Ghost Fragment: Ghosts 2
Two more scans and she could move on to the elevated grid. There wasn't really anything new other than the delta to sea level, but at less than 30% of the way through 2^128 scans, even a distinction without a difference could feel like a brand new shell.
So numb after months with just her own scans for company. She didn't even pick up on another Ghost being this close. "Obverse? Wait. I'm sorry. You're... Obsidian! Wow, how long has it been?"
"Well, I mean..."
"I know. It's been 6.8 years. It's just an expression."
Obsidian floated closer. "That's okay. It HAS been a while. I guess you haven't found yours yet?"
Cassiopeia projected glumness. "Not yet. But I haven't been looking on Mars for that long, at least! I'm optimistic."
"You should be! I was just at the City last year. A lot more of us are starting to find our Guardians latel— what's that?"
Cassiopeia resolved to run a full-range self-diagnostic before the next grid. Two Ghosts within twenty meters and she didn't sense either one? Something was off.
The new arrival chirped and spoke up. "Hello, you two! I'm glad ~identify(OBSIDIAN)~ to see a friendly face! I haven't been myself lately."
Obsidian looked at Cassiopeia. He read as nervous. She probably did, too.
"I was beneath the Blind Watch for a while. A long ~SIVA.MEM.GH404~ while. It was fun! There were puzzles. No one was alive down there, though."
Cassiopeia's scan of the new Ghost returned nothing amiss. "Are you okay, friend?"
"I'm great! Something got in me but the Light ~if (LIGHT) then WARNING~ burned it away. It's gone forever, now! ~consume: FAILURE replicate:FAILURE enhance:FAILURE~"
There was silence for a full three seconds. Then Obsidian spoke up, his words coming quickly.
"Well, great to see you again, Cassiopeia! Good luck!" He zipped away.
Cassiopeia watched him disappear into the horizon. "TWO self-diagnostics," she muttered.