Eramis and Variks stand in the shadow of a half-constructed city. Her people have salvaged bits and pieces from the Eliksni hideouts across the system and lashed them to the ruins of a Golden Age facility, building something new from something old. It's Eliksni flesh on the bones of humanity's failure, nestled in the icy tundra of Europa.
She watches Variks's face as he looks up. There is something familiar there. An awe that she remembers from a long time ago.
"It will be a new Riis," she says, raising her eyes to the scaffolding before them. "A new home for our people. No more running. No more living on the outskirts."
Variks looks away finally to meet Eramis's eyes. "What of the Devils?" He speaks Eliksni. It surprises her.
"Old names," she says, dismissive. "Leave the old names and the old ways in the past."
Just as she remembers, Variks doesn't let his awe stand in the way of practicality. His gaze has turned appraising. "And why choose this place? Why choose this frozen moon?"
"I saw it in a dream."
She can feel his skepticism. She doesn't blame him, actually—since the prison break, he's been hiding somewhere, some forgotten corner of the system, waiting for judgment to come. He gifted his people with freedom, and then built himself a cell of isolation. He can't see beyond what he thinks he knows.
"And why did you call for me?" he asks. There is a hardness in his voice. "After everything. We are not allies, Eramis."
"Old ways," she says again. "If the Eliksni are to survive, we need to abandon all memory of division. Petty squabbles, house politics… I want to wipe it all clean."
She looks up at the scaffolding again. "This will be a new world, Variks. New ideas. New stories. We will be known and remembered as something new."
Variks follows her gaze. Now his voice has softened. "And why me?"
Eramis turns to face him fully now. He fears her still—she sees it in the hunch of his shoulders, the way he turns his face to the side, as if looking at her head-on will hurt his eyes.
"In the new world," she says. "I will need a scribe."