"My path is my own. Now, and forever." —Shiro-4
"Suzume?" Shiro asked.
His Ghost materialized beside him in the cockpit. "Yes?"
Suzume spun 45 degrees clockwise and peered closer at the Exo, her equivalent of a raised eyebrow. "You'll have to elaborate."
"Sure. Sure," he said and waved away his Ghost's evident concern. "No, I mean, why the name?"
"It's your name."
"But you could have told me any name when you woke me up, and I'd have believed you."
This time, Suzume executed a slow counter-clockwise spin that Shiro had come to interpret like pursed lips.
"Well, yes, I suppose so. But your name is encoded in you—like how the color of someone's eyes exists in their DNA. You are Shiro-4."
"Huh. Why 'Shiro' then, I wonder."
"Hard to say. In the language of old Japan, the meaning of 'shiro' depends on context. Mostly, it means white, but perhaps castle."
"Don't feel like a castle. White seems odd."
"It can also mean…" Suzume's light blinked. "Innocence or purity."
"I thought that might get a laugh. Why the sudden interest in your name?"
"I've been thinking a lot about everything we're learning from Europa. I've always thought that we're defined by our choices—that we are the good and the bad that we choose to do. But we're also defined by the choices of others. I didn't choose to be a Guardian. And my name, I didn't choose that either. Did I even choose to be an Exo?"
"So…" Suzume bobbed unsteady in the air, unused to so much soul searching. "Does that mean you want a new name?"
"Hmm. No. I guess not…"
Suzume spun 45 degrees clockwise and peered again at him.
"…because I've already chosen what Shiro-4 means to me."