You needn't resent my hesitation. Mine is a prejudice shared by many: evolution's paintbrush cut within the Hive a terrible anatomy rendered to elicit fear; they are loathsome things to look upon, after all. I speak not as some superstitious provincial afraid of the dark, but as a Ghost well-versed in the language of suffering.

Look at this one: they call him a Knight, this sin putrefying upon a slab. Is it only brute strength that qualifies a knighthood now? I have little compassion for the universe's mockery upon chivalric ideals.

In contrast, I call myself a creature of moral strength and sound reasoning, and as such, believe these traits allow me to judge so unforgivingly—but alas, I am also afflicted by a most curious and inquisitive nature. It is why, when my debased fellows departed to find unity with the Hive, I found myself compelled to witness their descent.

Not to share in it, of course. I doubt we share anything more than a species and the dark urge we all undoubtedly feel.

Yet as I watched them, I could not deceive myself into denying the elegance of pouring the Light in all its multiplex glory into these avatars of terrible intricacy. It is a sinister geometry, but not without its beauty. Gazing on them with an eye unvarnished by niceties, one can see that a fiendish purity of purpose drives them. They spill confidence like a vintner drunk on his own reserves.

Such a shame that this purity and confidence was leveled at the unforgivable quintain striking at our great Traveler and unraveling its works.

I shudder at the ease with which my comrades ignore such basic logic. This is the Hive! Disciples of that unholy church which laid our creator low. They struck for its heart and shattered a roaring conflagration into ten thousand motes flickering in the wind. In their fervor, they… played midwife, of a sort, to Guardians.

To Ghosts.

To me.

Cause and effect. Legacy. Is this what my fellow Ghosts see? Why it feels… right? Then with their foundation of logic, what is my hesitance except some… provincial superstition?

Category: Book: Lucent Tales