A fragrant breeze
played with the beads
that swung delicately from The Witnessed Day's antlers, while 'birds' spoke in gentle tones. Such was the lullaby for Whisper and Lucky, while the clouds drifted lazy overhead. A thin shadow crossed over them, cast by Stone's moving dark obelisk as she navigated the maze of crumbled walls. The waddling-thing panted quietly in the shadow of a leaning pillar, its eyes on a dangling carrot, while the bobblings chittered with barely a whisper.
The pillar shifted slightly, a threat that it may soon fall upon the waddling-thing and its passengers.
Whisper would feel the low rumble, a slight tremble, of the broken rock upon which he lay.
Somewhere among the broken ruins, something squeaked and snapped and cracked against metal.
The 'birds' had stopped making sound.
For a few strained moments, silence hung waiting over the ruins.
A low sound
rumbled beneath their feet."What happened to the radio?"
Golby stood poised atop a high angle between a severed mech-arm and a collapsed wall. He was cloaked and armored in rust-colored weatherproof traveling-clothes, high boots and a tall hat, pointed sunglasses glinting. A bulging sack of doughnuts was slung over a shoulder, while the other hand held a H.O.B.O. bright with a hologram display of the surrounding landscape.
The ruins shuddered."PUT IT BACK!"
Golby screeched in a high panic as he broke into a scurrying shuffle down the angled wall. "Turn it on, turn it up, put it back, quickly now, put it back put it back put it --"
The sound roared again, thundering in their skulls.
The pillar crashed to the ground, narrowly missing the waddling-thing that had leaped away in time. All around them, broken things were tipping and cracking and dropping precariously close to where they stood or lay.
Around the perimeter of the ruins, something flickered.
Out of empty air, like the static of an ancient television, flashes of fur and scale and bone fizzled into existence -- until, within moments, a massive, gray-white monstrosity
was revealed out of its invisible slumber.
It roiled and raised its bony spines -- each as tall as a building -- growling low and horrible. Quick as a skyscraper-sized cobra, the beast launched into the air and struck the highest point of the ruins with a hammering blow of its long muzzle, raining rock and broken metal down upon the travelers. Its shadow cast dark upon them as it snarled and snaked through the air, angrily striking down again and again in a magnificent determination to pulverize
every scrap of stone or machine still standing.