Chapter 4

Neomuna is a wonderful place for a Hunter to run. This Hunter, specifically.

Here the activity of life runs close to the surface—like an invisible river, like a migration of birds, like the moment of breathless motion just before the lightning strikes. Here Strand twines through his fingers, strong as a rope and just as flexible, and all he has to do is keep running. And why would he ever want to stop?

The pounding of feet. The exhilaration of free-fall. The snap as he catches hold of the weave of existence itself and swings up again with all the momentum of his dive. In motion, as he turns, he catches brass and gold reflecting vibrant city lights, realizes there are Vex in the streets—

Are they, too, part of the same flow? They echo in the weave nevertheless, like flowers on the surface of the rushing river. The Hunter bounds from one building to the next, never stopping, and finds effortlessly the place where all those Vex will converge, drops a roiling knot into the midst and sails on by.

How wonderful, simply to move, and never stop.

And then, later: when the exhilaration has run its course and he's agreed to do some little work in the service of science, he perches at the top of Artifact's Edge, that towering drop-off on Nessus. There's a safe lift down, but no Hunter he knows has ever bothered to take it, rather bounding along in their free-fall, daredevil way.

On Neptune, in Neomuna where that artifact of Darkness shores up the existence of the city itself, finding the weave was easy. Here…

Here on Nessus, it's perhaps not as close to the surface, but now he knows what he reaches for and, by the Darkness, it knows him as well. The Hunter wraps his hands in the beautiful ropes of the world's loom and vaults into emptiness. Laughter and Strand buoy him up at once, delight and freedom and a wonder at the vastness of existence.

Easier to learn the trick of it, where the Veil is close and enveloping. But of course Strand is everywhere. How could it not be?