Readings | XV The Devil
Shadow, materialism, bondage, delusion
Upright: Entrapment and emptiness. Malignant intentions. Addiction to ideas, substances or emotions such as jealousy or hate. Resentment. Self-delusion. Violence.
An expedition from Earth arrives to an undiscovered planet and a seemingly empty city. All is not what it appears. It is the contingency plan of a long dead civilization for revenge against humans and their wanton genocide of the original occupants of the planet. As the rocket men explore, they are killed one by one and are replaced by robots within their own skins by the very city they are investigating.
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"The city waited twenty thousand years.
The planet moved through space and the flowers of the fields grew up and fell away, and still the city waited; and the rivers of the planet rose and waned and turned to dust. Still the city waited. The winds that had been young and wild grew old and serene, and the clouds of the sky that had been ripped and torn were left alone to drift in idle whitenesses. Still the city waited.
The city waited with its windows and its black obsidian walls and its sky towers and its unpennanted turrets, with its untrod streets and its untouched doorknobs, with not a scrap of paper or a fingerprint upon it. The city waited while the planet arced in space, following its orbit about a blue-white sun, and the seasons passed from ice to fire and back to ice and then to green fields and yellow summer meadows.
It was on a summer afternoon in the middle of the twenty thousandth year that the city ceased waiting.
In the sky a rocket appeared.”