As Seen From the Golden Gallery

Harry and Dax emerged from the final stairway landing into the open air of the Golden Gallery.  Seeing the horizon allowed Dax to shake off the twitch of claustrophobia from their climb through the narrow stone passages, originally meant for young St. Paul's altar boys.

Harry looked first at the streets below, surrounding the church.  His gaze then drifted upward, out over the smoldering blocks of greater London and the outer neighborhoods. 

"She’s finally quiet," he said, leaning against the stone railing.  "Probably all choking on smoke by now."

Dax, thighs stinging from all the stairs, set down his backpack and fished in the front pockets.  He leaned on the railing next to Harry and lit a rumpled cigarette. 

"How many do you think are still here?" he wondered alound.  "I heard most people were gone one way the other by last week on Tuesday."

Harry shook his head.  "Posh folks got out, maybe.  Ministers and royalty and such.  Commoners never had the chance."

From the distance, muted residual explosions echoed between the buildings.  The tarnished ball and cross above them groaned as it lumbered through vibrations.  Below them, a handful of people darted in and out of doors and broken windows.

Dax blew smoke that was quickly lost in the general haze above them.  "You think," he said, snorting, "there’s anyone stuck in the old War Rooms basement?  Pondering the irony?"

Harry was still shaking his head.  "I reckon most people saw this coming.  Just not from our own bloody people."

The End

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