The Whole World Is Broken
Copyright 2011 Ben Darrow
Cover images available on jasonsart.com and dudziak.com
The first indications of trouble came to Tench as he sat upon a broken spar of the antenna tower. It was a place he went when the whispers grew too strident and the need for stillness and solitude became imperative; an ideal sanctuary, just high enough to escape the hubbub of the city built into the tower’s base, but safely below the haunts of the Iron Goats, who might or might not welcome him. The blunted stub of the spar commanded a magnificent view of the Tenbor Dish, with its mosaic of farms laid out upon the gently sloping valley floor. At night, one could look up at the riot of stars crowding each other from horizon to horizon.
Tench somewhat preferred the night skies of his ancestral homeworld, which lay much further away from the galactic core, offering a less congested view of the heavens. But that sky could only be seen in the Verch, the last place he would go to seek tranquility.
On the day in question, Tench was gazing out over the Dish and thinking of the magnificent portents it must have received, long ago when the great ship was spaceborne. Some of those messages might linger in the deep spaces of the Verch, and he sometimes considered going in search of them, but it was a foolish idea, and no good reason for braving the Verch’s treacherous profundities.
When he grew tired of his musings, Tench called for a boat to meet him at the lake that surrounded the antenna.