Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A place

If there had ever been a time when this world was beautiful, that memory is lost - but while no heart-wrought poems would ever be composed to the golden sunsets of Peralta or her shimmering mountains or blue seas, she had for a time borne herself with a stately majesty. Her mighty factories and vast arcologies dazzled rather than charmed; what waters still faced open sky were penned in vast cooling lakes that tempered the beating nuclear hearts of a million power plants. Where nature's green was to be found, it was arrayed in ordered rows that marched for leagues. The streets of the cities were vast caverns between towering walls that let no light reach the dusty tracks below.

But even that stark majesty was lost when Peralta was cracked.

The planet had been struck by the focused cosmological necromancy of The Enemy, harnessing intergalactic energies that struck her with the impact of an incomprehensibly mighty maelstrom. Her core had been split and her skin broken in a million million places. She was fractured like a crystal seeing sphere dropped upon the marble floor of a Hierarch's auditorium. Her cities had crumbled; the waterways spilled their boundaries and flooded down through the leagues of structure below, spewing steam into the sky to mix with the smoke from countless fires. Factories had crumbled like a child's palace of twigs, molten metals and solutions eating through the surrounding cities in waves of consuming chemical flame.

But that had been years ago. Though the nuclear embers still smoldered and glowed, steaming sores that still festered on the skin of the world, most of the fires had died. The bursar's portion of the steam pillars had faded. Poison rains had washed the soot and ashes from the ruins of the hive dwellings and into deep undercity caverns that boiled and breathed toxic vapors through the dark hidden places below.

It was here that I had been delivered, to this corpse world of Peralta. The dromon that had carried me from the shining light of the Imperator's holy presence to this place had dropped from The Path only long enough to expel my descent craft before disappearing in a shattered-mirror prism of refracted starlight.

My sentence here is the Imperator's gift to me of my life. It is also his condemnation of me to my death.

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