Ikora Rey strode into the Future War Cult headquarters. It had the air of a church—hushed and reverent, but the air of sanctity was undercut by the intrusion of Vex technology. Wires climbed like vines across the ceiling, and the air was filled with the faint smell of ozone. In the middle of the room, reclining on a seat reminiscent of both throne and operating table, was Lakshmi-2. Her face was obscured by a helmet that connected to the mess of wiring above.
Studious Cultists shuffled about with their heads bowed, glancing suspiciously at Ikora. As the Warlock advanced, a Cultist held up a single finger, commanding both silence and patience. Ikora's eyes narrowed. The Cultist whispered into a small microphone next to the Device. Its subaudible hum had been inconspicuous, but once it powered down, the quiet felt overwhelming to Ikora.
Lakshmi sat in repose, presumably orienting herself in the current timeline. "Leave us," she said without opening her eyes. "We'll resume at 14:25." Her subordinates filtered from the room, looking past Ikora as if she were invisible.
Lakshmi finally opened her eyes, and fixed them on the Warlock. "I assume you're here to bargain."
"I'm not." Ikora's tone was calm and cold. "I'm here to issue a warning of my own."
"Warn me?" Lakshmi laughed, her voice thin.
"If we have any further incidents on account of your incitement, I will personally find a remote, icy moon to leave you on."
Lakshmi tutted. "Only small minds classify prophecy as provocation." She stood up and smoothed her garments.
"Certainty in the face of the unknown is the provenance of zealots." Ikora eyed the Device. "And the insane. This isn't a debate."
"And yet, you are still here. Come, Ikora, you've not seen what I have." Lakshmi gestured to the Device. "The Botza District under assault for a second time. Saint-14, pinned down by gunfire. And you…" she trailed off, "screaming for help over the comms."
"How many of your prophecies have gone unfulfilled, Lakshmi?" Ikora snapped. "I wish you could hear yourself; how afraid you sound."
"All those years studying under Osiris, and you're still so naïve," Lakshmi replied.
Ikora's anger flared. She advanced on the Cult leader. "Cut the B.S., or suffer the consequences. Understand?"
Undaunted, Lakshmi's artificial eyes shone bright. "Understood."
Ikora stepped back and let her anger pass out of her with a sigh. "Then we're done here." She turned on her heels and strode out.
As she left, Ikora wondered whose prophecy she had just fulfilled—Lakshmi's or her own.