He’s a warning come too late, and they’re a fallout shelter. —Starpilot
The explosions darken the sky behind him, and the blast wave tears at his clothes; he feels his guts shred away, but his death is a dark wave frozen inches from breaking. He limps down the side of what had been a broad lawn, little swirls of ash rising with each step. For the first time in almost three thousand years, he can’t travel fast enough; he lurches as fast as he can, broken legs a disregarded agony, desperate only to get away, to move. An epoch of travel has shown him horrors enough to breed a mighty shell of humor, of ironic distance, but this is beyond all human coping. Poor immortal, he weeps now as Jesus wept, broken by the pointed, specific cruelty of the species.
One step thuds hollowly. He stares with eyes half-boiled away down through lead-lined glass into bloodless, shocked faces pressed against the shelter door. He’s a horror, momentarily godlike in his anger and his disappointment, and he raises his arms and wails at them, a wordless, empty sound, of judgment beyond death; then the old curse descends again, and Ahasuerus shuffles on, weeping dustily, tears boiled away by a completely avoidable disaster.