Hypatia

Summary: When she stood against the pogrom, they came for Hypatia next. She gives a final lesson.

When the light atop the Pharos was extinguished, the mob assembled. Hypatia denounced them.

They came for her next.

Hypatia fortified the library where she had trained a lifetime of students. The first four levels were turned into traps, symbolic of the elements.

The dozens that came for her charged up stairs and ramps. They triggered slides into spiked pits, interring them alive.

In time, their bodies filled the ditches.

They charged into the second level, where they met death by water. They were cut in half by high-pressure jets like invisible swords.

They met death by wind on the third level, where pneumatic valves catapulted them off the structure.

Their fervor was matched by the fire on the fourth level, where flamethrowers incinerated them alive.

Despite the causalities, hundreds replaced the dozens that fell. They charged the remaining four levels, meeting machinery they could not comprehend.

Hypatia taught her students how to avoid injury, but now she inflicted it upon the intruders.

On the fifth, their flesh was sloughed off by steam.

On the sixth, chemical batteries electrocuted the most ardent.

On the seventh, they died by poisons that were medicines in smaller doses.

On the eight, Hypatia awaited them with gladius and dagger in hand. She turned the telescope she once studied the stars with towards the earth, and the mob below.

The hundreds that fell were replaced with thousands.

Beyond them, she saw her students had successfully fled into the desert and to the docks with the library's scrolls.

Behind her, she heard the chamber door buckle. She pulled a lever and armed the final trap.

She drank a draught of hemlock, dying as Socrates did.

The fanatics found her cooling body with the chalice still in hand. They mutilated and defiled her corpse, but she already escaped into death.

The tower exploded moments later.

For one last night, a light to rival the Pharos illuminated her final lesson for her students to see.