Prelude: Primae Formae
rating: +35+x

His throat rumbled with song as he laid a bleeding finger on the strings of the lyre, surveying the crowd's state since the echos of his last notes. The scene was chaotic; buildings were burning, corpses were starting to decay, and the crowd lay before him on the ground and attempted to tend to each other's wounds.

It was ecstasy.

He studied the score on the ground before looking back up. He plucked the first string and the rest followed suit. Conflicting harmonies rang through the air as he continued to play, humming along with the frail semblance of a tempo he had constructed. The audience suddenly resumed their dance as they moved against their will. Servants and philosophers alike begged for mercy, to be released and to go free. He heard their requests as the notes gradually lost their tune and meaning. For a brief second, the thought of stopping flashed in his head. He didn't care.

As the city continued to burn around them, a spirit entered him. His fingers came to a halt and the music came to life. The ground had started to shift and turn. Chords dragged themselves out from under the dirt, keys formed husks out of urine, and melodies buzzed through the air as they observed possible prey. Everyone had stopped dancing to watch it unfold, staring agape at the wonders before them. Minutes hung in the air. Flames popped and crackled. The man observed the stillness around them, as if waiting for permission to move. His eyes moved to the score still on the ground, looking back up at him. It was waiting for its conductor to resume. After a moment's hesitation, he put his lyre down on the ground and snapped his fingers as he complied with its wishes.

The music descended onto the crowd. Servants were scorched, their flesh turned to a crisp. Philosophers were sliced open, entrails spilling into the ashes. Children jabbed their nails into dirt as they were forcibly dragged into the cracks of the ground. The pit was complete anarchy, and all involved were singing beautiful, heavenly notes. The lyre had started to play itself, and the music it produced was that which he had so desired to play as everything burned. Regrettably, he thought to himself, none would remain to capture in detail this wondrous scene. Everything would be burned and whittled away, and the only remains would be ash.

Nero understood this, and knew he had no more to accomplish with the performance. He picked up the score. Blood trickled onto it, and satisfaction filled him. He flipped the score over and found just enough empty space. Foreign ideas and thoughts rustled in his head, and inspiration burrowed itself in him. There was still more for him to do.

The symphony continued to play as he began diligently composing.

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