Sfyrí kai Amóni
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The Reconstructed Temple of Kythera-On-The-Lake
Approximately Half a Mile above Southern Russia
January 2019

Robert Bumaro stood in front of his anvil, a hammer clenched in his hand. This was, admittedly, mostly for the sake of show— the item he was forging could have been molded just as easily with his own two metal hands. Though they had a spidery appearance, his enemies knew all too well of their strength.

Upon the anvil, he placed a white-hot ingot, and raised his hammer. "We are beings of three ages." The hammer met the ingot with a clang. "Bronze." Clang. "Brass." Clang. "Silicon." Clang. "All among us have rejected the material— the world of Sin and Flesh. All of us have chosen to ascend into Her light." Clang. The head of a hammer took shape upon the anvil.

"We have our differences— ideological, technological, generational." St. Hedwig of the Church of Maxwellism now spoke. From the tips of her fingers, filaments formed themselves into a structure that would join the hammer's head and its shaft. No printer could accomplish what her fingers were doing, joining together strings of material atoms thick. "Some of us view WAN as being in the aether, others view her relics as parts of her. But we are all in agreement that this is the year the Flesh overtakes the world. Unless we do something to stop it."

On a lathe, Legate Trunnion, her face covered by a large brass mask, machined the shaft. "And do something we shall. Mekhane's summoning last century ended poorly, because she was assembled by a fraud whose name we have…" She looked towards Bumaro, the chains that were her hair rattling. "Re-purposed."

Bumaro resisted the urge to give a wry smile.

"Now," Trunnion put her hand around the shaft as it spun, her palm a hair's breadth away from its turning surface, "Bronze, silicon, and brass join in order to make Her weapon. The Cogwork Orthodoxy offers a shaft of tungsten-brass, strong enough to support the head, much as industry has supported humanity."

"The Church of Maxwellism offers the link." St. Hedwig broke the filaments, revealing a sturdy joint of silicon. "Though it is small, it represents that, for better or for worse, technology connects us all, and we of Maxwell are connection incarnate."

"And I, the Prophet of the Broken Church," Robert Bumaro held his hand aloft. "Offer forward the head of beryllium-bronze. A slayer of magic and mortal, capable of sundering sin from flesh."

The three components levitated towards Bumaro, and floated in stasis, spinning. Then, Bumaro clenched his hand into a fist, and the shaft, link, and head were joined, a brilliant burst of light blinding the congregation.

Bumaro took up the hammer, feeling more whole than he had in centuries. "We have the anvil. Now, the Hammer— Wan-Mekhane's Sfyrí —is ready to strike."

Before the three prophets, hundreds rose from their seats, offering displays of adulation in the way only Mekhanites could. The Orthodoxists revved engines and let gouts of fire burn forth from their mouths. The LCD skins of the Maxwellists showed electricity arcing across them, forming the sigils of all the Mekhanite sects. And those of the Broken Church erupted in cheers.

"We will be arriving at Lake Baikal in six hours. Partake of your rituals, and prepare for battle."

With a flourish of his robe, Bumaro turned away and walked off of the platform, hammer in hand, looking at his two equals. "Don't give me that look, Trunnion."

Trunnion removed her mask, which was concealing a soft scowl. "Wan-Mekhane? That was not part of the rehearsal."

"The Egyptians did it all the time! Amun-re, Ra-Horathky…" Hedwig flexed her digital wings. "Even our misguided Greek ancestors got in on it. It's just tradition."

"I had to appease St. Hedwig's congregation." Bumaro put up a hand in an attempt to placate Trunnion. "Objectively speaking, they have the most powerful weaponry, and we're going to need it."

"Why not just let the Foundation be devoured?" St. Hedwig frowned. "Wan knows there's no love lost."

"Book of Disassembly, Chapter 52, Verse 19."

Trunnion sighed, her brain ticking as she remembered the passage. "And it shall come a time when Kythera-on-the-Lake falls once more, and the Eye of the Blind Idiot opens. During this time, opposing hands will fall on the hammer to gouge it out and blind it for another forty days."

"Kind of a short time, don't you think?" Hedwig was half-paying attention to the conversation, one eye clouded over with the internet, checking to make sure the passage of the Temple was not detected by any below.

"It's metaphorical— something we borrowed from when we hid among the Hebrews. It just means 'a very long time'. Forty days and forty nights of rain, forty years going through the desert… something to do with Abrahamic numerology." Bumaro waved it off. "It is not immediately concerning. The point is: if we succeed, we will have time."

"But to succeed…" Hedwig's voice filled with frustration. "We need to help them. Jailers. Slaughterers."

"But they wish to save the world, all the same. And who knows?" Bumaro rolled his shoulders. "We may even change a few minds."

The night that the temple flew through the sky, thousands around the world dreamed.

The dream of a man in Utah, filled with blood and fire, was replaced by the sight of him running a marathon, a pair of sleek, silver legs replacing the imperfect steel ones he had to operate every day.

A woman with an insulin pump sleeps fitfully in Mexico, having visions of an angel putting in a pancreas made of gold, and she tastes cake properly for the first time in decades.

In Japan, five sisters dream of the connectivity they have shared since their birth being shared with the whole world, and that world being full of more adventures than ever.

In England, a boy with a pacemaker woke up to find that the sheets which he clenched so tightly, in an effort to ward off the things that strode through the shadows, were singed around his fingers.

Each of them knew that something was different about the world when they woke up. Something in the world had Broken, and somehow, they were responsible for fixing it.

In a room in an undisclosed location, three sets of eyes watched as the apocalypse began around a lake in Siberia.

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