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post #24 of (permalink) Old 04-24-15, 01:12 PM
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As he steps out into the street, Pieter spares one final longing glance back inside the chapel, marvelling for a few more moments at the magnificence of the great statue and lingering in the warmth it brought to his soul. Then there was the blood, a single tear. At least Pieter thought there was. He took one step to head back inside for a closer look but once he had blinked it was gone. Maybe it was just his imagination, or a trick of the light. Whatever it was, he felt no reason to linger here any longer and turned back to the street.

The lights rose and Pieter dropped to his knees, grinning from ear to ear. It was over. This whole terrible nightmare was over. The light was back and surely whatever evil had emerged here had been banished along with the darkness it lurked in. He basked in the light, looked up joyously into the midday sun. Then it grew brighter, and brighter. It hurt his eyes. He started squinting but it wasn't enough. He closed them tight but the light felt like it was burning through his eyelids. He covered them with his hand but the light still pushed through the gaps between his crooked fingers. He turned away and pushed his face to the ground, wrapped his hands around his head and cried as he waited for the sky to explode.

It never did and as swiftly as it had come the light was gone again and once more Pieter was left alone in the dark. Slowly he emerged from the ball he had made of himself, falling sideways into the foetal position first, then stretching out and sitting up. He wiped the tears from his cheeks with his sleeve, cleaning the dirt from his face only to replace it with that from his clothing.

What did it mean? First the tear, then the light.

It struck him like a thunderbolt. The Emperor was unhappy about the light. He did not want his subjects to be left in the darkness. He wanted the light restored and he wanted Pieter to restore it. But how? Sure Pieter had the skills but it was unclear at what point the systems was damaged the cause the blackout. He still held the Mechanicum coin tight in his hand. This was surely a sign too. The Mechanicum ran the power plants, but this did not give him his next move. There were hundreds of plants in the grid.

Inspiration struck him. Picking up a small stone from the ground next to him he carved a groove into the top of the coin, then tossed it into the air, the way he had seen one of the Overseers do it when deciding whether or not to beat one of the workers. Pieter's technique was not nearly as good and the coin spun awkwardly away into the street. It landed and Pieter hurriedly crawled on all fours over to it. The groove in the coin pointed to Pieter's right.

That was his heading, guiding undoubtedly by the Emperor's own hand. Picking up the coin and tucking it into his pocket, Pieter groaned as he pushed himself to his feet and set off down the street.
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