The First, the Last
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The faint lights of distant stars littered the weary sky, redirected in a multitude of ways through the stale atmosphere. Down below the cloudless heavens was the debris of an underworld. The wrecks of sky-piercing towers cast endless shadows across granite plains—the graveyards of billions of minds. If those minds could think they would be embracing the breeze fleeting around the decayed duds and bomb craters, but all the breeze brought was erosion. One of the silicon monuments, which rose and split the sunrise in two, was impacted by a small gust of wind. The survivor tore its seams apart and fell with a thunderous bang. A final echo of a building that held the sounds of hundreds.

Continent-spanning corpses rose up from the debris, ossified limbs and hands reaching to the smoke-stained aether. Fractured skulls that once released river-carving plasma were now hollow caverns. Miles of cylindrical pits—the holders of instruments that tore these beasts down—had filled with the ashes of unintended victims. A small whirlwind touched the edge of one of the vats and ejected plumes of waste into the air.

Not far from these holes of debris, partially lodged under a millennium of dust was a most peculiar sight—a sculpture of malformed posture and structure. Its once vibrant markings had faded to oblivion, leaving a featureless beige behind. The last flakes of blood cracked off its stumps and fluttered into the pale horizon. The wind blew on.

The sounds of ancient air currents were interrupted by a noise that had not been heard since the last cell had blown apart and died. A soft scraping, which slowly and rhythmically repeated. Two of the bumps on the entity's head kept a fixed gaze on the sapphire sun, keeping watch for any sign of existence—any being that could look upon itself.

The broken silence would not do. As if to quell this intrusion of discord, a large dust storm, delivering the powder of shattered bones and lives, blew in and over the area. The loud whirling wind nearly masked all else, but the scraping continued. Blue beams flickered and vanished within the storm, and the eyes continued to stare through the flashes. The hollow scrapes grew, and the storm began to blow more fiercely. Rusted chunks moved from their resting places and collided into the statue, shattering rebar lumps. And yet it continued. It continued and grew in intensity, grew in harshness, and called out across the rotten lands in a shrill cacophony. The storm broke the silos in explosive blasts and created clouds of ash, but the song went on.

After several minutes of turmoil, a last sigh escaped the storm, and the dust it carried was dropped. The wind stopped blowing. As the sun's blaze returned to the silos, no response to the signal was sent, and the statue was now submerged under the rubble of its past jail. But time would come to pass. The ground and dirt would slowly shatter and dissipate, releasing clouds of earth. Like a sungrazing comet the planet evaporated until a single relic was released with the last specks of matter. And like the specks it would sink into the void and drown in the darkness.

It would see no sights, invisible for the rest of time.

There would be silence and nothing more.

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