"He was like a father to us both." —Aisha
"This above all else, I hold true."
Shayura finishes her prayer but does not rise. Her kneeling position faces the sky where the Traveler once hung over the Last City. Morning sunlight fills the white space of her quarters with a warmth she does not feel. The light on her cheeks feels unwelcome. Undeserved.
"Doctor Uzair will be expecting you," her Ghost urges softly, giving her a gentle nudge on the shoulder. Shayura nods, struggling to keep her expression firm.
She fails. Her jaw trembles, and she scrapes tears from her eyes with the sides of her thumbs. Her Ghost emits a soft, sad chirp, before dematerializing to give her space.
Her room is silent, but Shayura's thoughts buzz like a beehive. Too many to focus on. Just a riotous noise of doubts and insecurities, shames and regrets. She slouches backwards off her knees, draws them up to her chest, and makes herself small against the unwelcome light of the sun. She does not want the universe to see her; she does not want to be seen. She does not want to be.
Doctor Uzair will remind her it is survivor's guilt. But it is so much more than that.
It is not justice.