• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 01

Greatness Lost

"Sunday flyers!"
Mr Jenkins shook his cane at yet another traffic hazard on his way to get the newspaper. He let his wings carry him to a higher altitude, huffing to himself while holding his top hat in place. Sunday flyers, on a Tuesday? Bah! The world had truly lost its mind when the government decided that anyone with enough financial means should be able to experience the clouds. There was no respect left for The Ancient Pact these days.

There. Blissful silence, far away from the machines thundering through the sky below. He enjoyed the stillness around him for a moment, inhaled the distinct cloud-scent deep down his lungs, before looking down. The sight didn't surprise him, though it pained him as much as it ever had. Smaller creations, like the floating boats and winged bikes, mingle with big cloud-liners, filled to the brim with people. One particularly large one, a hideous red balloon with big letters offering 'the birds-eye views of the world' enraged him more than the others. Fools. Did they not understand that they can't escape their current fate by bringing what caused it when they move elsewhere? Humans had long been curious about what they didn't know, or understand. They rarely ever considered the consequences of their actions beforehand.

His jacket buttons had become undone in his rapid ascent. So be it. He only kept it for appearances. His skin, though its shape and form had altered to blend in better on this forsaken planet, was immune to the cold. He let the flaps move in the wind; a flaccid wing pair next to his own, vibrant and very much alive wings.


Greatness Lost

He observed the world, so very different from when he and his brothers first came here at the dawn of time. Back then, Terra had been vibrant and green, filled to the brim with vegetables, fruits, berries and other edibles as well as flowers, waterfalls and all things beautiful. Each breath you took had been a breath of Life. Animals of every shape and size had roamed the earth and the seas, all part of the wonder that is the Circle of Life. And now…

His eyes slipped further down, forced him to behold the disaster on the ground. Dried-out dirt, and cliffs. Massive signs pointing to where various buildings had once been before they moved up in the clouds. A man-made desert.

"Contemplating the destruction of man again, are we?" Mr Smith, as he called himself these days, bobbed by in his balloon-chariot, newspaper in hand. He had lost his wings a long time ago, sadly; he had a bad landing when they arrived and broke them off by the spine. It had made it easier for him to shapeshift; the wings are the most difficult to restructure due to their delicate design. He said he preferred the human appearance these days; it helped him blend in.

Why anyone would want to blend in was, to Mr Jenkins, a mystery.