The Shadow of the Vessel

The shadow crept over our field, its penumbra a soft border drawn on the springy blades of grass, the light side receding while the dark one grew. And it was cold in that shadow, a sudden chill that crept up our naked legs as the heat of the sun was cut off with the quickness of the flick of a switch.

We couldn't hear the vessel from so far below, but those who cast their eyes skyward were rewarded with the ugly underside of the thing, all pipes and tubes and who-knew-whats, driving the massive antigrav plates that kept the titanic craft aloft. It was oppressive in its weight and presence, and we could feel its enormity and authority pressing down on us, even from that great distance. The thing eclipsed the sun. If it so chose, it could have kept us all shrouded forever, never again to feel warmth or see our world in the bright light of day. But it passed over, sonorously moving toward the horizon to meet some unknown waypoint. The thing was a grim reminder that we were small, insignificant in the face of those who had come before us. Those who had built, with their hands and their minds, a world that was beyond our peasant comprehension.


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