[Report by VanNet encrypted router.]

A lapse. Nothing meaningful emerged from our work this time except vague affirmation. Perhaps I have misinterpreted the results.

[Personal notes, scored in Hive leather with a knife.]

"Yes." It approves of my interest. It encourages me. When Darkness reaches for you, you should flinch away. But I do not. This approval… excites me. Am I already in its power? Is this a declaration of its triumph?

When I was a Guardian, I went on a dive to gather salvage from an ancient submarine. We plunged so deep that the air itself became intoxicating. Hypnotized by our own beauty, we stared into each other's helmets, drunk on our distance from the world. But when we surfaced—


I feel that depth pressing on me now. My fingers and my ears ache. The enemy's excitement terrifies me. It cannot give; it cannot be made to give. The Fallen call it "that astonishing ability to evade being robbed." It can only take. What could this YES mean except that it has taken something from me?

My course is set. I did not tell Zavala. I take this onto myself in the hope of helping others.

[a small space]

—the Sumerian woman returned at last. She found an arcology garden on Titan. On the manifest—pine-apple! Pine-apples are real!

She is a power, this Guardian. But there are many as bright, or brighter. It is perseverance that makes the difference. We will see if this one perseveres. I sent her to bring me pine-apple seeds.

Her name is Enina. She has white, innocent eyes.

I will not give up my work. Not until I have fried rice with pine-apple and raisins. And not until I know exactly what is coming.


Category: Book: The Singular Exegete



Category: Zavala

You Can Never Go Home Again