The sun was a few degrees past he zenith; it was early afternoon. The clouds from this morning’s rain were far to the southeast now, towards the mountains, leaving only blue skies and the scent of water in their tracks. The patches of greenery atop the white marble tower applauded politely in the breeze as Phen passed by. His heavy cape didn’t catch the wind, its crisp lines instead slicing the air like hot wire.
He liked the silence here, and he wasn’t offended by the sideways looks the humachines gave him as they patrolled the perimeter, looking as if they were simply out for a stroll if not for the bulky, humming rifles they held at the ready. From here the city appeared peaceful, tranquil even. The concentric rings of fortified walls looked as though they were retaining walls keeping the stillness of the city dammed up so it could spill into the outworld in metered precision. It was a nice fantasy.
Phen turned around and watched the smoke signals heralding the coming armies. He unholstered his A3-70 Rangefinder, skulled the three sentries, and jumped off the roof, vanishing in a puff of dust. Only his cape fluttered down to the surface.
Notes: I used an image as a writing prompt for this piece. I found it on pages 30-31 of my copy of The Art of Destiny. You may be able to find the image on the artist’s ArtStation page.