The Astrologer - @SimoneFar - ClockPunk

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The Astrologer

A ClockPunk Story by SimoneFar

The structure was based on a series of pillars, larger and taller than the trees of the forest.

Around each pillar there were many giant cogs. Every now and then something, deep in the structure, made a metallic sound, similar to the ring of a bell, as a signal. Responding to that, one or more cogs from the most external round of pillars moved, hooked up cogs from the internal ring and made them rotate. The movement, then, was transmitted to the mechanism above and telescopes and mirrors changed their position.

Lukas knew that there were also smaller cogs, inside the structure, cogs able to acquire data from the mirrors and the telescopes and spin to calculate.

That was how horoscopes were made.

So much science used to serve a so dumb superstition!

Artamiz was impressed, frozen watching the great mechanism moving. Lukas shook him grabbing his shoulder. «We still have a lot of stairs to climb».

The only way to reach the entrance of the structure was climbing stairs built beside the pillars. On them, the clash of cogs against cogs and the screech of pillars moving was enough to drive someone mad. Lukas wrapped up his scarf around his head and ordered Artamiz to do the same.

Fortunately, up on the platform outside the main building the noise was less intense.

«What now?» asked Artamiz. The upper part of the structure was a hemisphere, made of metal, telescopes and mirrors coming out from it like tentacles. The entrance was just a hole in the hemisphere, no doors or gates, but Lukas wasn't sure that going in was a good idea. «Let us wait here, he should come»

The bell rang three times and all the cogs and pillars stopped. Heavy steps came from the hole. «Who are you?» asked a spooky voice.

«Lukas, the heir of the enlightened reign»

The astrologer came out. Was he human? Wasn't he? Impossible to say. His body was closed in an enormous armor that made his movements very slow. Neither was his face visible, covered by a mask depicting a moon and a sun chained together, as sides of the same medal. To walk, the astrologer had to put his hands on the ground, like a gorilla, probably because the weight of his own body was too much for just his legs. He was like bound to many wires that were planted in the armor and run back in the hole, disappearing in the darkness.

«You are the heir born in the second day of the second month of a good year. You will be king, but then the war will reach you»

The way the astrologer talked about his future made Lukas shiver. «I don't need a prediction so far in the future. I'm here because the king needs your help»

«It's not my help, child. It's just the future. I can bring you the future, if you need it»

«I'm just here... to ask you a question»

The astrologer closed his hands, the bell inside the structure rang again. Few pillars moved and also the wires on the back of the armor started to slide, as they were connected to the very mechanism. «Ask, child»

«We... need to know where gold can be found. It's... very important... the reign is near bankrupt»

There was a big clash of cogs finding alignment and spinning together. The platform where they all were trembled a little.

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