The light of the setting sun scattered in the sky, brightening the last hour of day to a red glow on the horizon.

Following it across the dead landscape was the One Who Had Been Sent to walk the Earth. It was the only time this place, the Valley, all that remained, could be beautiful, and this fact was lost upon Him. He existed with one, unstoppable purpose and the setting sun was irrelevant to it.

Behind Him was the town of Lon, which had once won the honor of hosting the Games. Where the Emporer Siu could claim his birthplace and boyhood home. Where the Master Jin Lei had ended his martial life to become a simple gardener. Where now the mothers and children lay dead in the streets. The fathers clutching their weapons that did not help them or their families.

Ahead of Him was the metropolis of Zheng, where the great General Guanzhou had stationed the Army of the Empire of the New Sun. Where it had always been spring. Where the poets lived. Where the gods, who had now left them, had always been favorable.

And the One Who Had Been Sent walked on, into the night, unresting.

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17 August 2004