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He soared higher and higher, white wings beating noiselessly as he streaked upwards, defiant of the gravity pulling him back towards the ground. Soon the figure buried himself in the clouds, the pale feathers blending in with the mass of moisture. How good it felt to stretch to his full extent! How wonderful it felt to ride once more upon his chariot and behold the mass below him in all its value!

The creature grinned to himself. It had been too long since he had feasted so well, and on such delicious sounds! Oh, might have stayed had he been more gluttonous! Yet, he knew how to face temptation; he simply feasted on what was required before parting out of the normally silent Hell. And yet, he knew the best was still out there and he was meant to find it.

At once, a beautiful song broke through the atmosphere, calling to him. Oh, could this be it? Could this be the messiah? Speedily, he dove down towards the pitch.

She stood tall, a beacon at the front of the hall. Once again, the Church had its Musician and her voice filled the chapel. The faithful filed in and sat in their seats, row after row, section after section. The clergy lined up and watched quietly as the room filled, only the sounds of feet patting the ground and benches groaning as people settled in them to break the tone of the mechanism. Finally, once the final member sat down, the man standing at the foot of the altar spoke.

"Faithful. Today, we celebrate the recovery of our Voice. She was taken from us, by the Heretics, the Foundation." He spat out the word Foundation like it was a blasphemous term, and the congregation murmured in assent. "However! The Heretics have been crippled! Their power is waning and their grip is slipping." The murmuring grew in volume, with greater grunts of agreement. "They have struck down our prophets too many times! They have tried to quiet our Truth! They defile our God and molest our Musician!" Cries of outrage and anger rose above the rumble of their voices. "They are unfaithful! They are against God! We must strike down this evil and make the Broken Whole!" The congregation was becoming frenzied, cheering loudly while stomping their feet against the ground.

The man at the altar held up his hand, waiting until the only sound in the church was Her Singing. He spoke calmly and evenly, in a steady rhythm.

"Broken we come. Broken we meet. Broken we fight."

He repeated it, again using a steady rhythm as the crowd picked it up.

"Broken we come. Broken we meet. Broken we fight."

The chanting grew in volume as more people began saying it, then yelling it, then screaming it, once again stomping their feet in unison. Never in their frenzy was the meter changed. The congregation was so engrossed and spirited in the chanting that the entrance of a pale figure at the back of the crowd went unnoticed.

How wonderful!

He had made many pilgrimages before to many places, but never before had he found such a feast. He was almost content just to bask in the rhythmic noise of chanting.


The people in the furthest back pew were caught completely off-guard. The row in front of them had just enough warning to turn around before their demise. After that, the organized rally became a chaotic massacre. Cries of pain replaced the proud proclamations. Men, women, children, families, trampled over each other, all trying to reach the altar, praying to God to save them. It was in vain. Each sob of terror, each pained howl, each and every shout of panic and plea made him grow more and more. He stepped forward through the aisle, slowly basking in the beauty of the scene. He reached the foot of the altar, wings having grown so huge as to reach every corner of the church. Spreading his arms outward and tilting his palms towards the heavens, the figure let out a pleasurable sigh, blood flying all over his form and sliding off as if it were water. He licked his lips, savoring the taste. Soon, far too soon, every human in the room was dead. Flesh and metal covered the walls and floors. And yet, he realized, feeding was not done. Though all the humans were gone, a pitch still persisted, originating from the construct towering over the back wall of the altar.

It was so…majestic. So perfect. So undeniably holy. How could he leave? How could he leave?

He knelt where he stood, recognizing where reverence was proper. He stayed for a long time, thoughts focused on it and only it, praying to it, thanking it, letting it nourish him more and more as it sang at higher and higher tones.

Eventually, a new sound joined the pitch.

Tick-tock. Tick-tock.

He didn't mind. In fact, it seemed right. It was a sign. A sign of purpose, of more than just feast and fast. He stood and turned, wings folded in as much as possible to face the entrance. It must be protected. She must be protected. It was his God-given duty.

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