Splintered

“Your tea has gone cold.”

I had forgotten Ikora handed it to me. My thoughts are preoccupied.

“I… have been burned before.”

“Was that a joke from the dark and brooding Eris Morn? I’m shocked.”

“The universe has many corners. There is much that is shocking still left to uncover."

The moment hangs for us both.

“I was thinking: We should go down to the City. There’s a great ramen shop there. Perfect blend of spice and flavor.”

“That would be nice.”

She’s studying me now. Does she know?

“You’re leaving.”

She always sees through me.

“Tell me I’m wrong.”

“There is a greater purpose.”

This does little to satisfy her. Her face carries the weight of disappointment.

“When will you be back?”

I have no answer.

“So you’re abandoning us.”

“There is still much to be done. You don’t know what I have seen.”

“We would have been lost without you. We need you here. You know this.”

If I were to tell her where I was I going—what I need to do—she would not allow me to leave.

“I have to do this alone. It’s—”

“Let her go.”

Zavala. Always has to weigh in.

“Eris has made her decision. You can’t force her to stay.”

“I don’t think you know what you’re saying, Zavala. Are you forgetting we only survived because of her?”

“And we’re all grateful, but if we can’t live with the absence of one person, we won’t survive very long.”

This is a battle Ikora can’t win. I won’t let her fight.

“Your whispers carry throughout the Tower. Were I not in it, as you would prefer, I wouldn’t have to endure them any further.”

The brave commander can’t even bring himself to look at me.

“Is this true?”

Ikora, you already know. I cannot waste more time.

“As I told Asher, there is a storm coming...”

“Oryx is dead. We’ve weathered the storm.”

Ikora is upset. She has yet to understand the bigger picture.

“Yet his sisters would see his will done. There will always be another storm.”

“Then let’s weather it together.”

It’s my turn to hang my head.

“We made do without her before. We can do it again.”

I thank Zavala with a nod. We have found common ground. Ikora, however…

“You see everything but what you already have.”

She turns to leave and I won’t stop her. She is not wrong.

“Good luck.”

Zavala’s words ring hollow.

It pains me to part in this way, but I can’t endanger anyone else.

I alone have been entrusted with this.

They will come to understand, should I survive.