At his first dawn a boy was sold to the Machinarium Clan. For his parents were poor and did not need another mouth to feed. He would later be told that his father cried when he gave away his son. But he would not pay much heed to such tales, for they had only birthed him. The Clan was his home and his blood.
When the fifth dawn came the boy was small and could not yet fight with a clan sword. He climbed the great caravan and he clashed with the other children. He was free in his mind and he saw the great sand dunes’ breath. Until the wars came and they put him in the cannon machine to fight. They plugged a cable into his head, into his mind. And he was small and scared and the cannon was dark and hot. He loaded the cannon and he killed many men. It was good, for the men they killed were not like his clan. It was the first of the wars that would be his life.
Recidivists came to the world; in ships they tore through the skies. Like flies they seemed to feast on the red sun that hung like an over-ripe fruit. It was the sign of the Great War. They had broken their faith so they came to kill. The clan elders met. They met to discuss and to plan. They stood by their oaths to the hive-dwellers and they swore to wage war upon the twisted. It was to be blood and iron and death. It was the boy’s fifteenth dawn and he went to war along with his Clan. They gave him a name so he would not be forgotten. His name was Glass, and he wore the word zero on his chest.
In the twelfth year of war the man had grown to lead a company, he was kraal of the third company of Clan Machinarium and even the hive-dwellers knew his name. His face was marked with the honours he had brought his clan. To the war he had lost two sisters and three brothers. But he had found his love, a man called Thorn. They fought and bled and loved together. It was the longest dawn of them all. When he was old he would shudder when he remembered that dawn.
Peace did not come until the man had seen fortythree dawns. It was no true peace, but it was an ending. The last recidivist strongholdwas destroyed and the grounds salted. They spilt the blood and swore nothing would grow from such waste. The clans spit on the dead foes and shrugged and went back to their way of life. The trade wars began anew. The man had lost an arm, steel and wood was used to give him a new arm. Thorn lost his eyes and became dark and distressed. But they were together. It was a good dawn.
Eightynine dawns had the man seen when he assumed command of the clan. His face was now covered with clan tattoos and his hair was braided as is the right of the lord. Shattering Glass he took the new name Alchemical Fast. The caravan grew great and he would never touch the sands again. Slaves walked behind him, and the warriors painted themselves red so that the Emperor would see them. It was a dawn that brought new burdens.
Onehundredsixtytwo dawns had come and gone. The man is still strong in arm, both are made of steel and wood and little remains of the flesh he was born into. Tattoos cover him and a black mark is etched onto his chest to remind him of Thorn. His caravan is rich but the wind is cold now. The sands are not red and orange and full of life. They are bleak and grey. Did the recidivists steal the hearth of the sand oceans? Life is fading, even the hive-dwellers feel it. The colossi still roam Rhossum Secundus but their age is dying. The man once saw a war god of the Angeli Tenebris die. To see a god die is a fell sign, a terrible burden for a mortal. It is not the true nature of life. Memories haunt him. He wish he could rest, it is not yet time. He needs to feel the heat of war once more. The sun sets.