The Abbess sat silent, vaguely focussing upon the wheeling-scythe symbol that blazed above her place of worship. She wore a red robe in the old esoteric style, which bore the seven pointed-star of her predecessors. In wearing this robe - as opposed to the black cosmic mantle of the Religion - she had hoped to hear once more the sinister songs that had guided her through youth and the long years that followed. Even the wordless chant she had just performed could only bring echoes of the Desire that had moved her people through the ages. Her time had come and gone - or so she felt in that moment, for she was trapped then in the cage of her flesh. The destruction wreaked by The System had lessened her strength, and all she felt was a terrible weariness, and an urge to pass away through the veil of sleep. On this April night of 168 year of fire, the horizon was orange with flame, and it was only a matter of time before the forces of tyranny came to destroy all she had built up. Once, there was hope as a spirit began to break the chains that bound - once, a flourishing of glory as there had been long before, when Nature blew life into dying embers. But again, the same jealousy, pettiness and greed took root amongst the proud.