The Broken Sky

Posted by DesertFox on July 15, 2015, 4:14 p.m.

Old Earth didn't need a Sky, it had had one of its own - or so the story went. The air was thinner now than when she was a child. Colder too, and not just because of her age. The slow pace left her breathing heavily. Some said that the Sky itself was leaking out through the holes, fleeing to join the Distant Sun - but what truly lay beyond was forever unknown, lost knowledge that had died with the Window.

Flight was no longer possible as it had been when she was young - the air was thinner now, too thin to fly without engines which could no longer be powered. In those days past, there had been constructed such miraculously light wings; with the light gravity, even now as the world was dying one could go gliding with those marvelous wings, but it was difficult at best and nothing as it had been in her childhood - the effort would leave one gasping for air in a world already eternally short of breath.

The World's Window was broken, pieces and Panes fallen to the red soil below. Great gaps existed, rent through accident, malice, or simply the inevitable flow of time. The World's Window had existed through known history; once it had protected glittering cities, shielding the Sky itself. It was supposed to be capable of self-repair, eternal and everlasting, but if that were ever true, it was true no more. Purportedly one of the Great Stones had smashed through and obliterated some critical component, causing the Window to fall silent. The last person to know had died so long ago that there was not even a memory - just stories to tell to children. Be good, or the sky will break.

She was nearing a place where the Window had shattered. One of the Great Stones had impacted here, erasing the ancient city that had lain below. Without the ability to fix itself, any damage was permanent. All that it took was a few shattered Panes, something breaking through once every few generations; the damage could only accumulate over time, and the Window had had millennia to do so. The air was thinner now - not just /now/, but /here/ as well. Too thin - she put on her breathing mask and hurried. Perhaps there was some truth to the idea that the sky itself /was/ escaping through the holes. Perhaps too, there was something here she could take back for trade, something useful to make this journey worth the while.

After all, the World was not going to last forever, and if she couldn't find old ancient trinket to sell, neither would her breather!

I was having a bit of a 'the deep, long time' feel, and decided to write it up.