Chapter 2

—-And what more of this family of yours?—-

They're gone. Dead. All of them. They don't matter anymore.

—-Is that so?—-

What do you even want to know? You want to know more about my father, the Lubraean traitor? Or perhaps my mother, another Lubraean traitor? I should have seen it coming. I could tell you about my clan, and my clan-father and clan-mother. Also Lubraean traitors. They were all City dwellers once, loyalists to The Regime before exiling themselves. Do you see now what I see?

—-We see unfinished business… We see a child seeking validation… We see great loss.—-

(Content. Together. A fire burns bright. Our cavern is alight. We hide within it to keep safe—the hazy sky is outside, and surely there are some without shelter this night. Those who will be torn apart. By the wild. By the Umbral Sun. By those Lubraean guards who call themselves Stalkers, pursuing us on behalf of a brutal regime.)

(Long ago, there were only Wanderers, surviving a harsh landscape covered with shifting, bloodthirsty flora. Surviving wildlife can flatten themselves until they are practically invisible—perfect at going unnoticed until they've split your skin and organs apart.)

—-And now?—-

(We are divided. Split by a shimmering orb that appeared briefly in our sky, as if having two suns isn't already crowded enough.)

—-What of this shimmering orb?—-

It was before my time. It came. We evolved. It left. Left us with a mess—those who believed in good progress. Those who didn't.

Those who believed dwelled in the City. Controlled it. Filled it only with the light of the Sapphiric Sun and endless day to keep the horrors of night away, revealing the horrors among us. They pushed progress for the sake of the few while the rest of us took our chances under the alternating suns.

—-And this shimmering orb you now see before you?—-

(There it is. Shining like silver in the sky. Like the stories told.)

Providing hope, then leaving everything to those who desire control but lack commitment and understanding.

—-Look at them now.—-

(Bodies. Limbs. Vaporized remains. A shattered sapphire. Lubrae irreparable. An Umbral sun, still shining darkness.)

…What have I done?

—-What was necessary.—-