by Matt Wallace
Danneth is thirty-six and he still dreams of it. Five of them entered the Akropolis that night. It should’ve been hot, but the stone was cold when they touched it. They wandered the empty city for hours before finally making the trek up the long, steep steps. They made their way to the highest chamber, a fortified structure surrounded by battlements crowned with twisted, unrecognizable shapes. It was empty, too. They found a room with veined walls, lines thick and twisting like petrified kudzu. The strange runes that they would come to know as runati surrounded the throne-like chair with its stone skull cap, the dome designed to open heads and burn the runati into brains.
Somehow it spoke to Danneth’s father. What it later took the scientists months to begin to decipher, the old man knew that first night. But he let them fumble with it, allowed them to study it, to begin to expose it to the world. He let them believe he was a simple farmer just happy to have made first contact with such a discovery. And when the time came that their inept ministrations were of no more use, he, the simple farmer, ejected the government from the Akropolis.