35 - The Havoc

The afterwave was unflinching, the meteor’s impact meted ultimate devastation across the boroughs and plazas of Old Jardinian. Together with the unfolding, blossoming time dilation, there was an uncoiled spring of destruction and mayhem.

It pushed forward through Old Jardinian, undercutting domes and spires, leaving them to topple and fall, twisting in the afterwave. It raced up the grand kilo, unceremoniously de-pedestaling every golden statue. As the C-rail fell, well, as promised, so did the rest of Greater Jard. The afterwave lifted and spun lev-taxis like the playthings of a temporally temperamental toddler. The deluge of time and devastation began to tire only as it reached the quay facing halcyon lake. The water bore the brunt of the remaining force, rising up in a huge wave that broke against the falls, and the rock wall behind. The full weight of the tsunami crashed through the slab at the base of the falls. The first few meters of rock collapsed downward with grating volume. The meeting room adjuttment fell, the clear facade crumbling as the floor eroded beneath it.

Confused vertitrout lay flopping in the remains of meeting room as the table slid out, now unsupported on one end, and down through the falls amid the back rush of water in a graceful somersaulting dive.

Impecca and the Observer watched in shocked silence as the waters receded and the shockwave dissipated. Everything else in Alovian station seemed to have stayed put, as far as they could tell with all the dust billowing in. Outside, it was darker now. They must be inside the remnants of the smudge, though there seemed to be no more anomalous happenings. Evidently it’s anger had dissipated.

They looked out at the destruction below. It was total. At least it seemed most of the fires had been put out by the backrush of the tsunami that had found nowhere to go, and had turned itself right around. Thank goodness for small blessings. Though, along with the fires, it had taken a good amount of architecture.

The observer sat on the new edge of the meeting room, the room a few meters shorter than before due to the impromptu remodelling. He sat, not even noticing the debris and wet, that crumbled and splashed against him respectively.

“We failed, Impecca. My city is a pancake” He felt like this metaphor didn’t do the devastation justice, but he was mentally exhausted and so could forgive himself this, if not the failure. The city was flattened. Anyone would agree the destruction was ultimate.

Impecca stood behind him for moral support. The plain hundreds of meters below featured heavily a ghostly hush.

The Observer and Impecca sat there in silence, unsure of how, or even why to carry on. They sat there for hours, anchored with melancholy as the dust clouds slowly dissipated.

Finally, the Observer spoke. “Maybe we can contact your Alovians. Get you home, wherever and whatever that is now. Also, this schism, I think that maybe there could be people beyond the expanse. Though, I think they are unreachable, cut off by the drying seas. The transmissions club has been trying for years to reach anybody else, secretly from within the university. I dabbled myself of course, out of pure curiosity. Still, if there is anyone out there, maybe we can leave a record for them, if they ever come back here someday. They can learn from our mistakes”

Impecca shrugged, her people had left the Old Jardinians, seemingly left them to this. Did she really want to join them? She supposed there was nothing else to do now, she was again, almost utterly alone. It felt worse this time, because she had seen first hand, the verve and gumption of a metropolis, with endless possibilities for each day. Before, she had been able to hope for a tourist, and now, she knew there would be none.

They got up, and soberly began to study the strange mechanisms and interfaces of former Alovian station.

They spent several years doing this, it seemed to an extreme lack of fruition. In fact, the only thing to come to fruition was the fruit in the vertical gardens that made up a good portion of the lower station. Much went to waste with only two mouths to feed.

They spent every evening looking out through the gap, watching the sun set. The waterfall had eroded the weakened rock to the sides of the opening, and had regressed farther into the face, allowing them an unimpeded view of the nothingness, formerly Old Jardinian. The ex-city below had nearly been reclaimed by flora, but strangely, there had been no sight or sound of animals. The Seas had reclaimed the lowlands of Rimm, and beyond that, they could not see.

One night, the Observer remarked on a sour, metallic taste in the air.

The next day, an ebbing scream punctured the silent air.

Impecca had been trying to understand a creation stored at one of the research stations close to the meeting hall.

She called for the Observer, who had been looking at something across the level.

A scream meant another person. They dropped everything and ventured down the face to the lake. They used a spare danglecar that they had sourced for such excursions earlier in their happenstantial marooning. They’d scrounged together a boat for traversing the lake, on those earlier excursions.

Laying flat in a clearing, eyes wide in a death stare, was a face that the Observer hadn’t seen in years. It was unwashed, and covered in some sort of war paint, but he’d never forget the face that had offered him the fateful mark of excellence.

It was the dean, and she was very, very dead.

“Hmm” said the observer, quite surprised.

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