a Question of Form

Abenanin toils in the heat of the workshop, men working at the vast forge behind him. Molten metal is poured into casts, shaped into semblances of human form. Plates for arms and legs and chests and faces are created, the engineers feeling like gods, the constructs their frail creations.

Except the shells of the constructs are hardly fragile except in the delicacy of their beauty, even the whisps of their ornamentation gilt from sturdy bronze, and any god worth his worshippers knows not to create anything mightier than they.

With a pause, Abenanin wondered about their creations, wondered why they had taken a human form. Is there a comfort in the familiarity of one’s own shape? Is the form of a human thought to be above all others?

Or is a construction walking in the semblance of man better able to trick him?

It is this final sentiment that rests in the engineer’s mind, a thought that resides with him as he looks up to see that same fiery haired woman approaching him, Sustephanie. But although his eyes are fixed upon her swaying body, hers are caught by the construct beside him.

As she draws nearer he can hear the click of her heels against the stone floors, a sound much like the pounding of hammers and mallets on steel. And because of their constant echoing in the workshop, Abenanin didn’t notice when she had stopped walking and stood tall right before him.

She smiles, though it flashes for only an instant. Sustephanie then demands that the young man have the construct ready to go in a half hour. He protests, of course, wanting more time than that to prepare the steel creation for her intentions. She counters by shortening the time to a quarter hour, leaving Abenanin silent: he knew what would happen if he raised his qualms once more.

Satisfied, her heel turns and she goes to leave. The click of her shoes carried her away from him and the construct, fading into the cacophony of falling tools.

He tosses a question at her back, asking if they’ll be taking a cart to carry the construct in, to which she only laughs. Shaking his head, Abenanin decides she means for the trio to walk together, through the grim grime of the city’s underbelly.

He’d sharpen the sword in that quarter hour.

The End

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