“Of course.” he breathes, bowing his head to Borusa before taking that final step.
Above as below, bodies like cattle in jewel-tone silk flood the exits, jamming up in piles when they get there, for they have discovered the exits are barred. And there is nothing Silander can do as he watches from his post, the door to the Disrobing Room, but cling as men and women start to lean toward the Eye of Harmony’s gravity well.
As for the Doctor, the knife punches swiftly through the front of his robe, piercing a kidney. He stumbles into Kenny, clutching his side as they both duck beneath the flight of a doomed chair.
A roaring commences in the deep; sunlight runs into the pit, bleeding rivers of paint. Kenny tries to slip the heavy robe from the Doctor’s body; he can see his friend is labouring under its weight. The breaths come faster.
Borusa helps him lay the Doctor on the floor of the pulpit. The robe slides away, a red dragon swilling into the void.
Kenny moves to stand between the two huddled figures and the wakened Eye of Harmony, his long, delicate hands outstretched against dead Qqaba’s writhing, swirling appetite.
But he cannot maintain it. He falls.
The Doctor screams and, scrubbing tears from his face so hard he bleeds, tries to get up, shoving Borusa to the ground again, behind one of the fluted emerald pillars.
His tired eyes are a haze of vaseline as he stumbles to the edge of the pulpit-precipice. Flamina’s dna inside him… can he use it? Can he? Does he dare?
Before he plunges himself over the side, he screams one word, just one.