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The memory of the last disaster, countless years ago, had passed from all memory.

The people lived between the ocean and the cables that stretched into the sky.  Beyond those lay an endless wasteland that no one had ever returned from, and to the east, a mountain ridge that could not be scaled.  The people were happy, passing the years in a simple manner, in communion with the land.  Once every hundred years or so, The Great Ocean disappeared as another shore almost identical to their own came into view, and eventually joined to theirs, sky cables touching before ever so slowly receding into the distance and around the curve of the world.

The light varied over countless millenniums in intensity and source.  But the people did not need much light, nor did an abundance disturb them.  They were born, grew, spawned, and died in a most innocuous fashion.

Eventually, the  darkness came and the great ocean remained disappeared for a thousand years, would remain so for millions of years.  And in the long darkness came rumblings from below, ground swells and earthquakes were constant and varied in intensity, while the seam where the ocean shores met began to erupt with a dark yellow liquid.

After much study, it was found that this liquid was able to be molded into tools and parts and attached readily to the sky cables.  Thus, the people of the north and the south began construction of The Great City.   Stretching upward attached to the sky cables were wondrous buildings of all shapes, with slideways, and walkways between them, and longer thoroughfares and bridges built to connect to the other sky cables.

Eventually, after thousands of more years of gentle swaying, the heaving ground quieted, the liquid stopped oozing from the great seam a couple thousand years later, and the seam started to slowly separate!  Quite a few lives were lost as bridges and walkways shook violently, stretched taut, and finally gave crackling way.  If it had happened on a holiday or celebration it could have been much worse.  As it was, families, lovers, and enemies were suddenly split forever.  After a long stretch of the opposite shores receding, each of the two half cities settled resignedly into their new routines.

The old, bright light returned suddenly one morning, decades later, and caused an enormous uproar.  But that return was taken by some as a warning signal by some to return to the old ways, communing with the land and trusting in it to provide, and those who believed so descended from the city to the ancient homelands.  Each society prospered until a malevolent darkness came, as suddenly, the entire land was cast into shadow, as an immense pink-ish peach colored thing descended with glacial slowness.

At this time, the other shore came into view, and decades later, those foolish enough to still be living in the cities when they finally rejoined met a swift end.  The sky cables must have been bent by the weight of the descending object that had grown to obscure or obliterate all of the sky!  The city crumbled and fell just as the sky cables touched and the object bent into them… and kept descending!

The people ran horrified, but there was no escape, the only thing the people could do was to hunker down and crawl in the small valleys in the surface of the earth.  This was much worse than the fate of those in the cities, as this ridged monstrosity scraped across the land, deforming it and dragging away all of those who could not duck into crevasses large enough to shield them.

Still, the land gave off enough sustenance, in places, to survive.  The people suffered, but ultimately endured.

After three centuries or so, the object began to withdraw, ascending, glacially, as the sky cables unbent back into the sky.

The people would invariaby forget this, too, innumerable years into the future…

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After a good night’s sleep, Joe awoke, and opened the curtains.  He rubbed the sleep from his eyes, absentmindedly…