003: The Last Tree

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The Last Tree stood in the center of the massive temple complex. Under a searingly bright dome of artificial blue sky, It seemed to glow from darkened entryway.

Julissa approached silently, as reverent as a nun, and knelt among the twisting roots of the towering oak. Its leaves, gold as autumn, made a soft carpet for her. She bent her head, reached out one hand to the rough bark, and murmured a prayer to the last living thing that had ever known the Earth.

A long time later, Julissa stood, and wept as she unhooked the axe from her belt.

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