Near Mayak, Crimea, Ukraine - August 2007
The man sat with his eyes shut, facing the setting sun. Whether he was aware of the beauty of the moment, with the impression of a fire burning far out into the ocean as the great orange orb sank into the sea, he made no sign of it.
Barely breathing, he sat cross-legged, on the end of the crusted and rusting pier platform. Jutting out from a secret alcove, long forgotten, surrounded by rocky, mountainous outcrops. A sailing craft big enough to sleep six people gently tilted side to side alongside the pier. Its main sail raised marginally, the canvas flapped every so often softly, in concert with the stays and the lapping of the small waves.
The air was dry, even this close to the ocean and at this hour of the evening. A stillness hung around the cove. The sand, hot and hazy, was motionless except for a little soft-shelled crab that tiptoed from where it had buried itself in the shade an hour or so ago.
All was quiet.
He took a long, silent breath in through his nose, filling his lungs, drawing the air in from his diaphragm to maximise his intake.
He held it for several moments.
Removing a Dictaphone from his pocket, he clicked it on, and began to talk.
"I am the Historian. If you're listening to this, either a copy has reached an unknown place in the world by some slim chance invisible to The Watchmen. Or, quite unbelievably, one man can change the world."
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