The ashen clouds began to clear, letting sunlight stream into the twisted wrecks. Nothing stirred therein, even the gulls wouldn’t approach the beached ships as the black metal skeletons stank of alien fire. Like the scavengers, he stayed hidden. Few could survive what happened, and even if they had, their pitiable straits weren’t his concern.
Coastal winds scattered the remaining haze quickly enough. With the sun starting to rust into late afternoon, he chanced revealing himself to the sky. One moment the cliff side was empty, covered only in wildflowers and low scrub, then it was occupied by a lone man. Young, narrow-shouldered, and in desperate need of a haircut, he frowned at the city still shining up the coast. A moment passed, and with it his thoughts on the city and its apparently lazy inhabitants.
He waved a hand dismissively into the empty air and a tall lighthouse joined him, appearing out of the air with the slightest glint of quickly extinguished motes. Unlike the destruction below, the lighthouse bore only by the ravages of wind, rain, and an irresponsible keeper. Repairs were needed, and he’d long ago let the light burn out. Aside from keeping the place hidden from conquest and collateral, the young man didn’t chase illusions of home. He was capable of learning from some old mistakes.
He did shake his head at the wreckage below him. It’d been a valiant, if overly optimistic, stand. But now his view was an ugly jungle-gym of black metal, and her attention was piqued in his direction. Both were messes he had no interest in dealing with ever, and certainly not tonight.
Luckily, there was no one to cheerily goad him into action or sternly smile and insinuate he should. Thus, fortuitously alone, he was able to duck into the lighthouse and ignore the heavy feeling the twisted metal left on his mind.
Not a thief this week, but perhaps a willing victim? Who knows, these things are hard to predict.