1 hour ago
Thursday, December 30, 2010
The Titan and the City
The City once had a singular protector. A bronze-gleaming, orichalcum titan who watched, unsleeping, from atop the highest spire, and sped through the streets in pursuit of evil-doers. He was the greatest gift of the City’s greatest artificer, a wizard of science and thaumaturgy, who built the son fate had denied him. A son with an intellect and moral code as superhuman as his impregnable body.
The father and his City watched his son and creation with pride. The titan woke the somnambulist army of an insurgent nightmare, helped raze the hellish Charnel Gardens, smashed the Reds' war-behemoth nest, and nearly lost his life incinerating the Damnation Photo in the primal fire of his own alchemical heart.
It was all over five years ago. It was then the old wizard died.
The titan has barely been seen since. City-dwellers glance upward, and see the lights on the 86th floor of the Imperial Building that never go dark, but whatever the titan does in his creator-father’s laboratory, he doesn’t share with the world. People ask, “can a construct grieve?”
But the titan still goes out into the City, using all his resources to make sure he’s unseen. He goes to where he can't help but be reminded of a time where his strength and intellect were not enough. He watches a lovely woman in eternal sleep. A woman whose life he saved, but whose spirit he could not. He recalls with absolute clarity every detail of the brief time he knew her. He watches her with eyes that don’t blink, but dim a little with something that might approximate longing, and regret.
Perhaps the question people should ask is: “Can a construct love?”