“… Terra trusted that gravity would resolve the remainder of her task. And so it did… She kept Callimachus calm during that six-story free fall, providing his mind with the same weightlessness that his body was experiencing. The fantastic conclusion of Callimachus’s life — the crashing of symbols — the unity of free-falling flesh and bone with that of Volkswagen and passenger: i.e., Sergeant Richter and Major Faust was not so, however. Perhaps Callimachus took a step in the wrong direction sometime ago, which set him off course and proved that these three bodies would not intersect; or perhaps Terra’s calculations were distorted by the humidity of a storm far off in the Philippines; or perhaps certain shortcomings were the result of Sergeant Richter’s pulsing member, which surely unbalanced the suspension of the Volkswagen; or, taking certain variables a step further, perhaps a star died prematurely so that whatever scripture was written upon its halo could not possibly be so… The truth: Terra did not anticipate that starved children hiding in the ruins of Warsaw, Poland would salivate so ferociously at the sight of a passing deer that they would return bodies to their eyes. For that is what truly occurred! Frail, awkwardly shaped boys and girls began to appear out of the rubble, first as feet then as outstretched arms and open mouths, then as faces with eyes and mouths, and finally as tiny footprints that could be seen all over the rubble. Thousands of footprints, sometimes in impossible places, stamped the ruins of Warsaw, and that is what caught Major Faust’s attention and caused him to slam on the brakes. A free-falling deer (sent by angel, or god, or whoever was strong enough to toss Callimachus) smacked the pavement directly in front of the Volkswagen. Whatever was still throbbing in Sergeant Richter’s pants went limp at the sound of splitting flesh. The children took to their vanishing acts once more. Major Faust crept from the vehicle and Sergeant Richter mimicked this. Time travel: the product of a free-falling deer the size of a bear with masterful golden antlers and wide, bronze hooves that, since a time first remembered sparkled in the dreams of rapacious men and women who always needed more; these hooves and unbroken golden antlers that were hurled from heights unknown by, yes, god — no, not Wilhelm Broda’s god, but Major Faust and Sergeant Richter could not tell the difference; a god — the protector of Reuben Remus’s history to be exact — was the only entity with enough strength to throw a stag the size of a bear out of clear sky, they rationalized, somewhat abandoning scientific reasoning for the supernatural because Terra still lingered on the tips of their… stiff backs looked up to the sky in search of god or, more likely, a launchpad suitable for a deer the size of a bear. And though none of this could make sense to a man who rationalized facts and only facts, Major Faust revisited Wilhelm Broda’s confession, wincing his eyes now past the clouds. Time travel: scientific men, reasoning minds with an inclination for factual evidence, searching for the hand of god in the ruins of a dying city that was slowly being swallowed up by Nature.
The tenants of Terra’s Aristeia noticed branches pushing past the rubble, vines climbing up broken walls to snake their way into homes and family portraits, gravity-defying streams that flowed up staircases (and down some, too), coursing through living rooms to submerge decorative Persian rugs and heirloom China-sets; streams that puddled into closed-off spaces, turning homes into lagoons that grew deeper with each passing rainfall until the water started to overflow into sinks and bathtubs, falling into drains and pipes to continue their course underground. Some perennial facets froze in the winter months, as did rooms that were swollen with stagnant water — rooms so full that once they were frozen the surface-area of the ice bulged, breaking down walls and doors to reveal floating ice blocks that were filled with the memories of families long since forgotten. Then arrived warmer days and these great ice-blocks transubstantiated into rapid waterfalls that dropped from the rooms in great streams of slush and waterlogged home goods. The veil was lifting. An old world existed in the ruins. The dichotomy of destruction and growth filled Major Faust with macabre softness, and Sergeant Richter mimicked this equivocal assiduity by swashing back-and-forth a dry tongue that was swollen by assertions of god, free-falling deer, vanishing children, and an impossible forest in the city…”