After the initial chaos of a clock tower falling from the sky, it faded into normalcy with only a reporter keeping tabs on it until one morning when its lights went out.
There were many theories why a clock tower the size of two houses fell from the sky and landed in Whiteridge. The initial reaction to such as large object falling in the village center was that a spaceship had crashed, but when emergency crews arrived, all they found was a violet steel tower with digital numbers the size of a person displaying the current time. There was no way discovered to get inside the structure. Early speculations suggested The Black Dragon dropped the tower; however, when the press inquired, The Black Dragon denied any knowledge of it.
One of Auceon’s favorite theories was the whole tower was a social experiment by a secret cult. He didn’t have any opinions about what that experiment was. Although Auceon also liked the idea of it being an art piece, he figured the artist would’ve come forward to claim it or had the clock count down to something as part of a statement. After months of the clock running normally and no one taking credit for it, the clock faded into normalcy.
Despite the lack of activity, Auceon kept tabs on it as one of his beats for the newsroom. As part of his commute from work, he stopped by on his hoverboard. All the changes he recorded were beautification efforts to the area, like new flowers, trees, benches, and playground equipment — all of those he received press releases. No mysteries there.
This morning was different. From off in the distance, Auceon noticed the red glow from the numbers were gone. With no time on the clock, Auceon raced on his hoverboard to the scene, his brown fur blowing in the wind as he traveled as fast as he could. Since most visitors came to the tower in the evening, it was easy for him to spot three humans carrying boxes running out from a previously hidden door at the tower’s base. They fled around the corner and out of his sight. Auceon had a choice: follow the people or go inside.
Auceon went inside. Thousands of screens covered the entire room. His jaw dropped in shock.
“Hello,” Auceon called out. “Anyone here?”
With no reply, he decided to familiarize himself with his surroundings. He rushed up the glass stairs, calling out again, only to find a self-sufficient greenhouse. At the end of the room, he found two doors. One lead to a bathroom and the other a tiny bedroom with three bunk beds. There were no personal belongings or clothing left by whoever resided there.
Auceon trekked back downstairs to study the screens. It didn’t take him long to figure out all of the displays were live feeds monitoring people and places throughout Whiteridge.
“What did I find?” Auceon muttered to himself.
Auceon scanned through the various monitors until he came across a set of static screens. Underneath was an infamous name: Bravak.
As if on cue, Bravak tore through the door. Auceon trembled at the sight of the shark twice his size. Bravak saw the screens as if they confirmed a suspicion he had and then noticed Auceon.
“You,” Bravak bellowed in accusation. “I should’ve known it would’ve been one of you reporters spying on me.”
As Bravak marched forward, Auceon knew it was the end of his journalism career.
Thank you to Henry Yusman at Design Pickle for bringing this scene to life. For this artwork, the scene depicted takes place before the events of the story, back to when the clock tower first fell.