Deepseeker Shell

For Ghosts who hold on tight.

"It seems intact," a voice chirps in the dark.

A Ghost and their Guardian sit in an idle jumpship orbiting Neptune. The swirling cerulean hemisphere dominates the cockpit's right field of view, the rest blanketed by the gulf of space, speckled with the remains of another jumpship.

"Should… should we boot it up?"

The Guardian holds a datapad, the battered case adorned with Vanguard designs. Their Ghost peers over their shoulder at the only surviving piece of hardware they could salvage from the wreckage. That, and the shards of another Guardian's Ghost, respectfully arranged on the console.

"Whatever's in that device might be important," the Ghost urges in curiosity, more than anything else.

The Guardian gives in and turns on the datapad. After a cursory review, they find no field reports, no mission briefings. Nothing but page after page of…

Writing. Fiction, essays… poems. A huge collection of works, decades of material, all penned by the lost Guardian.

"This Guardian… she'd invented her own fictional universe. It must have meant so much to her to keep as closely as she did. A personal space to share thoughts without fear of judgment." The Ghost's assessment is analytical but bordering on the emotional core of the discovery. With a soft, sad beep, the Ghost looks at their Guardian and sinks down to the datapad.

"This is a piece of who she was. Personal truths." The Ghost muses, as if on the verge of a greater understanding. "Maybe… maybe through her stories, she lives on. Maybe… that's the same for all of us."

The Guardian says nothing and begins to read.