Weekly Writing Prompt #161
We can no longer tour the City as it was, and yet, in the dawn hour, we can chase its ghosts. For we ourselves change, under its spell, and we too evolve into something of the past, an obscure picture in the dust of Time.
Inspired by the Secret Keeper’s prompt, and Babylon Berlin
Soon all will be shrouded in darkness, or is her sense of light and shadow, of day and night now irremediably confused? After so long in space this would not be surprising, and what did they say on the training range? “When you’re landed, don’t expect to adjust without pain!” Slowly, the navigator removes the oxygen mask, then her helmet. Her long red hair is still held back, before she can relax she will have to wait and feel how she bears gravity on this planet. Her suit’s instruments said that the atmosphere was breathable. Perhaps the radioactivity level is on the high side for a planet with so few people around…
At least that is what her briefing said. She looks at the star sinking into the luminous clouds, on the horizon. “Earth sunsets can be stunning,” said the brief, “their atmosphere is saturated with thin particles of dust. It is not known if this is the result of volcanic eruptions, or of a human-made disaster, which may also explain the sparsely inhabited continents…”
They approach slowly, through the landscape of rocks and dust, their steps forever silent.
It is as was written: the crater pocked by the impact of smaller asteroids, through millennia, and the uniform grey dust.
Their leader holds the white torch high, in their radio they have heard:
The slow rumble, punctuated with short burst of sharp notes, the sound of hyperspace messaging…
And the monolith rises in a shower of dust and rocks, dwarfing the scenery around them: the Sentinel has woken.
This is our old room, where we used to play,
Our toys are no longer there, lost, sold, gone to alien places,
But the light is there, in the dusty morning, where we looked,
I at you, your eyes, your lips,
You at me, wondering
What you could do with this girl ~
In the magical light of our eternal summer…