Chapter 9


On the day she leaves to find the Nine, the Techeuns name her Orin the Lost. She raids a storeroom in the Vestian Outpost, stuffing into her knapsack digital schematics for a phaeton backscatter scanner, a jade coin, several bundles of dried queensfoil, and nothing more.


She goes beyond the heliopause.

It is a long walk.

A sudden death.


She sheds herself and emerges anew in the glimmering scales of her old lives: an immigrant, a translator, an emissary, a hammer of judgment. They expect to claim her will, but she clenches it a little tighter.

Her gifts can end wars.