"After a certain point, speed is a matter of willpower." —Petra Venj
Eva Levante threads a needle with fine white silk. A lone lamp lights the wood grain of her table and the length of handsome black cloth in front of her. She only touches this garment at night, when her small flat in the Last City is shrouded in secrecy.
With each stitch, she recalls the strange encounter some months ago that prompted her clandestine work:
It was late that evening. She had been walking back from the Tower, nearly home, when she heard a smooth voice quietly assert, "Eva. It's been too long. You look as bright as ever." Osiris melted out of the shadows near her doorway.
The ex-outfitter snorted. "That's faint praise coming from someone who's been fifty for several centuries."
"My age shows in other ways. May I come in?"
"Of course." She opened the door and noticed how he looked over both shoulders before crossing the threshold.
"It's good to see you back in the Tower, Osiris." Eva watched him out of the corner of her eye as she put the kettle on. "I take it you're not here on official Vanguard business."
"No, I'm not. I'm here to ask a favor, or contract your services. Whichever you'd prefer." Osiris perched uncomfortably on the edge of her couch. Eva smiled. His regalia looked a bit absurd set against the mundanity of her cozy apartment.
"I'm always happy to grant a favor to an old friend. Even if I'm the old one now." She examined her self-serious visitor with a gentle gaze. "What do you need?"
"A custom Hunter cloak. Something that resembles feathers of a crow."
"I'm sure there are plenty of outfitters in the Tower that would do a fine job. I gave up on custom outfits years ago, after my fingers started to go." She massaged her knuckles reflexively.
"I need someone I trust. Someone who can keep a secret." Osiris fixed her with his inscrutable gaze. "If you agree, a Ghost called Glint will come by later to help choose the fabric."
"A secret cloak? This is just the type of thing Cayde used to come to me for. In fact, the last Hunter cloak I sewed was for him…" She drifted off sorrowfully, and poured the tea.
Now, months later, she puts the finishing touches on the requested garment. The black fabric soaks in the meager light, highlighting the delicate white silk. It's as fine a work as she's ever done.
Eva can't help but wonder who the new cloak is for. Who could warrant such secrecy? She just hopes it will be worn by as worthy a Hunter as her last.