The Relic

No one would ever have known it was there, in that tiny retreat from the bustle and concrete tucked in a cluster of apartments. No one remembered that before the garden, before the apartments, before the city, it was there. The city rose around it from apocalyptic waste, slowly but determinedly reclaiming the destruction.

Once walls had surrounded the artifact, high impenetrable walls guarded by marines armed and armored with the pinnacle of military technology. Then budgets and memories failed. First guards then walls disappeared, redirected to new pursuits and construction as civilization marched onward to cover the past. Still it remained, an unimposing but immoveable relic of forgotten death.

Eventually the city overtook it, and a developer born into Upper End luxury fancied it to be an old broken fountain. It became the centerpiece of nostalgia, a hodge-podge tribute to the geometric tranquility of the ancient English garden incongruous between siding and palmettos of The Southern Age as discovered by archaeologists. Birds and lovers alike twittered about its intricately molded layers and cooling sprays, pretending to know of times far before memory.

Until the day the topmost fountain ground to life and the birds flew away. Iron screamed against iron and gears long unused turned layer after layer, settling each within the other until all rested in the base with a click. And they came to repeat history, the hordes of destruction, pouring from the lock to scour the Earth clean for another beginning.

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