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He wiped the sweat from his forehead and looked around and saw only the many vibrantly colored houses, but not his
Taman shud man
pursuer. The dark sky gave him cover for now, but he couldn't stay in the same place forever, lest he be discovered. In his hand was The Rubaiyat, a large selection of poems. Flipping through the pages quickly, he found the phrase he was looking for. Knowing he had little time left, he tore out a scrap of the page reading "taman shud" and shoved that into his pocket. Suddenly the sound of The Machine filled his ears, and he tensed instinctively. It was near. Out of nowhere, the beastly mechanical thing charged at him, its synthetic flesh horribly torn and hanging in shreds. Its glowing red eyes emanated not hate, but the dead-serious orders it was given. Assassinate him. Assassinate him. Destroy him. Destroy him. Stop him. Stop him.

The man made no sound but turned away and took to sprinting. He had to succeed. He couldn't fail his mission. He ran and ran and still he ran, until he reached the beach. It would have been so simple, but something had gone terribly wrong. He felt a sharp prick in his back, the feeling of The Machine's poison needle injecting its fluids into him. He fell to the ground, immobilized, and watched as The Machine snarled in his face and roared victoriously before leaping into the air and disappearing through its portal.

The effects of the poison were already kicking in, and it wouldn't be long before he was dead. The man tried to yell in outrage, but his vocal cords were already destroyed. In a last attempt to complete his mission, he tore out a blank scrap from The Rubaiyat and scratched onto it a dire message, in cipher form. He only hoped it could be decoded in time to stop Their plans, otherwise all hope would be lost in not only this world, but in the Other. He dropped The Rubaiyat with a sudden pain and suddenly his fingers became nearly useless. He couldn't finish his note. The man gasped for air as he shoved the cipher into his pocket with the taman shud note. His vision went blurry, and all was dark.

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