Chapter 2


Our world has changed, and the people of the Last City look to you—to the Vanguard—for leadership. We have come face-to-face with that which we have feared and condemned for so long. New insights have been discovered and knowledge once thought unobtainable has been gained. There is an untapped potential in Stasis for us to be greater than the sum of our parts. Yet the Vanguard remains stagnant in its unwavering crusade against the Darkness.

You believe we must destroy the Darkness. We cannot. We should not. We must use it, learn its power. We have a chance to show our strength in the face of utter calamity. Make no mistake—the new Collapse has arrived. Stasis is the key to enduring it. Our enemies will come from all sides, but the balance will see us through. We simply cannot win this fight on firepower alone. If that were the case, the Warmind would not have been reduced to a boneless heap of machine parts.

I know what you think of us. The Drifter, a nuisance. The Stranger, an unknown quantity. I am also aware of the impossible feat of fully earning your trust. Your trust is a luxury. Yet I have been ever ready to serve and support Vanguard efforts throughout your tenure. Never once have I led you astray. Believe me when I tell you that this is the only way forward.

We are doing what is required to win this fight. Now is not the time for staunch biases. It is time to end the old guard. There is a new calling, whether you answer it or not. You do not have to embrace it, but do not stand in our way. We will move on with or without you.

What you reason to gain by holding on to antiquated ideas is nothing compared to what we will lose if we do not fight back against those who use the Darkness by employing any means necessary.

If we do not, we will surely face complete annihilation.