I wonder if any of you are beginning to catch the deepest theme I wrote for this work...
Caesar landed on his half-melted back with the girl in his arms half a
mile away, watching some rock still fly over him, and the ground before
him still collapsing into a massive crater. The two lay still for a few
seconds as the last of the ash, dust, fire, steel and stone flew by, and
with one long note, the song was done.
As soon as the last note died the girl began to sob, the fear of the last few minutes catching up with her. The sky was black all around, the earth still shaking. All around the concussion of the explosion was tearing down buildings from top to bottom as they fell under their own weight.
Caesar picked the girl up off of his heaving chest, his tears belying the pain that he did not express vocally. By reason of his incredibly thick skin, no bones were broken, and he was still able to move. He got down on all fours and looked at the girl, motioning with his head that she should get aboard.
Still sobbing and heaving she climbed up and wrapped her legs around his neck, her feet just barely meeting under his chin. She hugged her arms around his forehead, just barely completing the circumference.
The king crawled across his domain, now forever marred with a massive crater, and all the stones had been moved. He did not have the strength to stand or run or leap or bound, and so trudged on his hands and knees for hours under the shade of the ashes and dust that made the sky perfectly black at noon and after. For three hours he crawled so before the theater came in view, as finally light began to push through the dust cloud. He turned around and made for his home junk pile. He could not keep his precious subject safe forever, that they now knew. He needed something that would keep her safe against all enemies.
He left the girl at the top of the pile, half concealed in the ruins. Still to tired to climb, he allowed himself to fall the whole distance to the bottom of the shaft, then crawled his way down the tunnels. He for one moment considered pushing the bars together again for light, but then remembered that there would be no light even if he did. Onward he crawled.
There, in his bedroom chamber, he reached deeper than he had in many years into the nook that once held his bomb. He drew out a black book that fit nearly in the palm of his hand. He hadn't been able to turn pages with any success for many long ages, but he had carved what he could remember of the book onto the wall. He had defended his cause today.
Caesar climbed out the top his shaft using only one hand, the other clutching the one thing that could keep her safe forever. He gave it to her, then showed her to climb on again. She climbed up for his head, and together they rode towards home.
Home had grown much nearer to the Caesar's tunnels in the past few days. The people had grown past the bridge that the king had laid and built many buildings and streets on the other side, pushing the rocks whither soever they liked.
Caesar set the girl back down on the ground, and they walked toward the growing home. They passed a few nondescript grey buildings, built of a stone only humans could make that was smooth and hard. Caesar and the girl walked toward the river.
As they approached the bridge they were surprised. Men from every side leaped out, carrying the shiny guns. Caesar moaned and fell to his knees before they had even begun shooting. The girl cried out in protests but to no avail as she was quickly caught up by her daddy running through the scene. The others kept a constant beam of hot light on Caesar, who only lay still and twitching under their shots.