(Father… it's been a year since you were taken. But we have not been attacked since. I know the Stalkers still watch the clan, but I survive alone these days—ousted for being the only one brave enough to act. A liability, they called me.)

(We will see what they say when I bring you back. If you still live.)

(Every Umbral Sun, I walk the Abyssal perimeter with the help of the Sapphiric Converter's attunement to our great sun, providing me light in the dark. The Stalkers don't expect me, so they don't see me. And the Glaive, a tool of The Regime, which I have named after you—Rheliksward—makes eviscerating them that much easier.)

(I kill many looking for a sign of you. Wash my hands with their blood in the hopes of your continued existence. I have been lost without your guidance. Unsure of what I am. Who I am. What I am meant to do.)

(And now, as you stand before me draped in the insignias of the very Regime that took you, I am confident that you have no answers.)

(As you call your fellow Stalkers to overwhelm me, to bind me, to carry me into the dense, unending city of Lubrae, I am confident that you are a coward.)

(As you testify at my trial that I should not be put to death for what The Regime claims are immeasurable crimes, but should instead serve alongside the Stalkers—alongside you, killing Wanderers, annihilating clans—I am confident you are an opportunist.)

(What about Mother? Our clan? What about "down with The Regime"? What about biding our time? Or is this another lesson in inaction—in sparing ourselves from the absolute worst so that we can barely live? Barely survive?)

(I am confident, Father—you will die by my hand.)


Category: Book: Shattered Suns