Author : Cosmo

Every day I am losing more of my sight. Every night, the edge of the moon blurs a little more. I can no longer see the stars. In its way, this slow drift into obscurity comforts me. It reminds me of my mortality.

The city streams by several thousand feet below as the zepp glides through the night. Rock and metal flow together, become a light-specked river, as above a cold wind snaps through the zepp’s mainsail. I lean over the railing, trying to make out individual buildings, and try my best to ignore the scraping of talons against the elevator wing and the following thunk as Aryan lands upon the deck.

The HARPY joins me at the rail, c-fiber wings retracting soundlessly into his back. For a few minutes we stand and say nothing. I can almost hear his eye shutters irising as he tries to infer my line of sight.

“I don’t understand,” he says at last, rotating his head towards me. “Every night you come out here. What do you expect to see?”

“Nothing,” I reply, trying to keep everything out of my voice. My hand rises, almost unconsciously, to feel the silver cross that rests beneath my shirt. Aryan knows about it, and I know it irritates him. He has taken it from me once before, but sees no harm in me keeping it.

“Your body is failing. We offer you treatment.”

“I’m not interested.”

“You are going to let yourself die?”

“Death is natural,” I reply.

In the ensuing silence I can feel him contemplating forcing the surgery upon me. But he knows that I would escape it afterwards. “I see,” he says. “Why do you wear that cross?”

“Who were you?” I ask. “I mean, before?”

For a moment, I think he is going to respond. Perhaps this time I have caught him off guard. Perhaps, somewhere deep within that network of wires and nanotech, he retains a vague recollection of his past. “I don’t remember,” Aryan finally says. “It is not important.”

“It’s the most important thing there is,” I respond. “It’s why you will never understand.”

Something changes about him. Aryan shifts his weight uncomfortably from talon to talon, then suddenly throws himself over the railing. I watch moonlight spark from his body as he plummets towards the earth. I can hardly see him when he opens his wings and veers left.

Below, the city streams by. Through this long journey, I have been keeping track of the latitudes and longitudes. Somewhere ahead of us, the city breaks against the Dead Sea. Somewhere below, the ruins of Jerusalem lie, sinking slowly beneath wave after wave of metal.

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