literature

The Death of the Mechanic

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Being the last thoughts of one simply known as the Mechanic, killed in action in the year 845 by the calendar of the Jorn Commonwealth over the mountains of the Theocracy. Recorded by means of a device with an as yet unknown working.

He died to stymie the Devil's forces, and we may yet all be saved by his actions.



The unnamed mountain range passed away beneath us, shrouded from view by the mists that often formed among the high peaks. The low throb of the engine could be heard, beating in time to my heart as I gazed over the railing. For the longest time, the Skysailor had been my greatest dream, and for the longest time, I did not expect it to be reality.

And yet, after many long years, it was a reality.

The thought still boggled my mind.

And yet, I marveled at my wonder. By all rights, I should be sick to the stomach with fear, horrible, gut clenching fear. However, to my greatest surprise, it didn't come. I was going to do battle with the forces of the Devil Himself, and yet I felt no fear. I was going to do battle with the foe that had stymied the Prophet of Danforth, perhaps one of the most powerful individuals alive, and yet I still felt no fear.

Hark, but a watchman calls. I turned to the youthful dwarf, and asked him what he had seen. He beckoned me to the railing and handed me a spyglass, and pointed to the south west. I lifted the spyglass to my eye and peered through. There, beneath us, an unnatural shadow laid heavy upon the fields west of Danforth's Home.

Then I felt the fear that had been so long absent.

In came upon me like a wave of the ocean, like a herd of the great buffalo, like a meteor from the sky. I was seized by the futility of what we were doing. The hopelessness of taking the fight to the supreme being of darkness, with only the paltry might of the Theocracy behind us. For, while the Theocracy is perhaps the most powerful force in the land, behind the Jorn Commonwealth, its might is nothing compared to that of the Being we were matched against.

And yet, as soon as the fear was upon me, I felt my resolve harden. The fight may be hopeless, but that is no excuse not to fight it. And so, with my crew surrounding me and my airship's deck under my feet, we went to meet our destiny.

Upon our entering the city, we saw that the Prophet of Danforth, against all expectations, even his own, was still standing. Around him stood a ring of five of his soldiers, possibly the only surviving of his number out of his original five hundred, a sight which made me sick to my heart. Golden light flared from his hands, and a storm of fallen weapons and inanimate objects swirled about him in a maelstrom of death, into which even the dark swarm was hesitant to tread.

I felt a grin, perhaps a ghastly and morbid grin, but a grin nonetheless, stretch across my face as I realized that we still had a fighting chance. Turning to my crew, I shouted, "The Prophet is in need, gentlemen. Who will give him aid!?"

"We will give him aid!" was the overwhelming response, and one that lifted my heart so that it felt as if it would burst from my chest with pride. Turning again to the scene below me, I held a hand in the air. Immediately, the gunnery crews sprang into action. Cannons were loaded, and the device I created and tested myself, known as the charge coil, was primed and ready to go.

At the drop of my hand, the cannons fired into the dark mass below. The reverberations of the shot rumbled in my chest even as the muzzle flare left a streak across my eyes. Far below, the heavy rumbles of the explosive shells left trace to our passing, leaving large gashes across the face of the earth, as though a giant had carved through the city with a knife.

The crew rushed hither and thither, medical crews in standby, and several maintenance crews rushing below decks. I took note of this absently as I watched, with avid anticipation, as the charge coil readied itself to fire, like a great beast rumbling with the new stirrings of life after a long winter. The coils, contained within their glass containers, began to crackle and spark with the force running through it.

And then, in one loud burst, it fired.

I was awestruck. Never before had I seen firepower of such magnitude, controlled and released through a machine made by the hands of mortals. Its power was such of a god, who would absently smite those who dare walk the good earth that he created. I was taken to a realm of absolute wonder at seeing the bolt of electric current arcing towards the ground far below. So awestruck, in fact, that I didn't realize that my hearing had been struck from me for several seconds.

The current swept through the black mass, illuminating those locked in horrid convulsions, as though engaged in some sort of eerie dance, before passing from them and into a new host, which danced and convulsed as their predecessors. At last, the current left those of the Devil's kine and coiled itself into the ground. Behind it, a charred mass of flesh, bones and weapons littered the blackened cobblestones of the nameless city, leaving the Prophet and his own in a sea of calm, like the eye of a storm, amidst the still ample swirling black sea of the Devil's followers.

At length, it dawned on me that the weapon was so powerful and uncontrolled, that it had struck my own ship! A large, black burn was etched into the side of the ship, which assumed an arcane shape as if drawn by the hand of the Devil himself. I shuddered to look upon the strange design, yet my attentions were diverted for the need to aid the Prophet. Readying another volley, we launched the explosive shells into the tempest below, which, after seeing the might of the charge coil, seemed absolutely miniscule in comparison, despite being the most destructive barrage of ordinance ever released upon the forces of the Devil on the land.

The swarm below roiled in confusion, fear and awe, surging backwards from the awesome might of the Skysailor. Beneath, the Prophet moved forward with his companions, wading into the blackness, illuminating all about him with golden light. The weapons still swirled, and the fires still raged. Indeed, he cut almost as destructive a swath as did my ship, despite his being the power of only one man. Even in the midst of my workings, I felt deepset awe for the swath of death and woe that he cut among those of the Devil's favor.

The charge coil sparked and spat, indicating that it was ready to fire again. I raised my hand to give the command to fire, and as I did so, I distinctly heard a click, click, click. I hardly had time to process these sounds before letting my hand fall. The coil screamed and roared its anger to those below, unleashing its rage as a coil of the brightest lightning, which speared into the horde below like a fisherman seeking fish.

Even as I did so, I felt a hot line of remarkable and fiery PAIN, which flared from my side and into my heart. I screamed for the world to hear, and yet the cannon had struck our hearing from our ears, and none heard my call. I stumbled and half turned, to see the spectre of my death. A tall figure, cloaked in a robe of deepest black, stood before me. His face was shrouded by a mask resembling a stylized skull, with the hood of the black robes concealing anything I might have seen. Large, black wings sprouted from his back, looking for the entire world like the wrought iron fence of some castle.

In his hand was a knife of peculiar make, one which I have seen the Chardlith Empire use on occasion. It was a blade, connected to two handles, requiring the user to use a nimble had motion to flip it open and shut.

It was also stained with a deepest red, like that of a rose picked in the late afternoon with the light of the setting sun upon it.

The red was my blood.

Darkness swirled about me, even as I recognized the form of the most feared of the Devil's servants. The Proxy.

My hearing returned in a rush, and I heard myself tumble to the deck, unable to make even the slightest feeble motions of my limbs. Around me, unearthly shrieks split the air as several creatures landed upon the deck. I took no notice of this occurrence, being somewhat preoccupied with my impending death.

My vision grew ever darker, and what color there had been washed away, as though the wet paint of a large carving was left out in the rain.

My last view was the Proxy striding forward, bending over me and ripping my shirt open, and lowering the knife to carve his seal into my chest.

I felt no pain, and soon I saw nothing. I felt nothing.

I ceas
I felt the inspiration for this while reading some Poe. Obviously, I can't even come close to matching the style and mastery of Poe, but I felt the inspiration to try.

I had this idea percolating for the last few days, but just before writing I decided to switch to first person. Otherwise, it would have been one of my usual third person action scenes.

I felt it worked better this way, myself.

Also, yes, the Mechanic is a huge fan of similes. Why did you ask?

Double also, yes, the story is supposed to cut out like that at the end. The Mechanic dies before he can finish that thought, and so it isn't fully recorded.

Enjoy!
© 2011 - 2022 Okolorion
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Mojoworkn's avatar
OH! You should add dash (—) to the end to make it clear that it really is the end!

Now it makes much more sense. :)