It crawled underground, mountain big and dimly aware. It ate roots and bones, insects and small animals. Hungry for more, it surfaced.
Chains of black concrete slithered skywards, wrapping around the spires of steel and cement that punched through the soil. It grew webs of tarmac even as it bled glass into hollow window frames. The city shuddered and heaved, belching gray-green doors and sleekly carpeted corridors. It shrieked longly and lowly, like the whine of screeching types and bustling traffic. Birth is hard no matter the species. Panting, the newborn metropolis disgorged its plummage: strings of fairy lights looped around expensive shop fronts, smiling, dead-eyed men in velvet and glittering billboards.
And then, as quickly as it began, it was over.
The heat of new life was quickly subsumed by the night’s chill. Steam gusted from the manholes, propelled by the endless migration of subterranean trains. From a distance, the city looked dazzling: pinpoints of light smeared upon the hills. Beautiful but empty. The roads were clean of cars and racing pedestrians. But those would come later.
"Dat’s mighty pretty for a youngin, " said Rick. "Often times, you’d gotta wait for it to settle in ‘fore you could even think of sellin’ a kiosk."
Dave frowned and said nothing.
"I remember New York. That one was a beaut’ but she came up in chunks. Ragged and wild. Took ten whole mayors to tie ‘er down." said Rick, plaid-coated and thickly-bearded, as he pushed itself onto his feet. "You comin’? City this pretty’s gonna attract officials faster than y’can say Broadway."
His words snapped Dave from his petulant silence. “I’m comin’.”
Silently, the two men trotted down the mountain towards the newborn city. It needed them. Symbiosis was not an unusual evolutionary trait.