Chapter 1

What have I done?



(Chaos—Lubrae convulses. The sky shatters.)

This was the cost of justice?

(An enclosed cell. Introspection. Subjugation incoming. Life, upended.)

You made me do this. You made me do this. I made me do this. You made me do this.

(Father's face. Mother's face. Empty. Clan, broken. Blood, pouring. Silence, eerie.)

It was them versus us. Then it was us versus them. I ignored who "us" was. I forgot who "them" was.

(Our City. An abyss surrounds. Lubraean-made. Infinite. Or just empty. Divides. Silently conquers.)

Ignorant contentment. Love… I… was… cared for…

(My clan, safety. Dual fire in the sky. Blue light. Salvation. Dark light. Death. Safety, my clan—my family.)

—-And who cares for you now?—-

…There are none left.

—-Do you desire it still?—-

Once. I did once.

—-And you returned it?—-

(Our Wildlands. An Abyss separates. Lubraean-made. Infinite. Beautiful.)

(A father. Him. A son. Me. His arm on my shoulder. Assurances of a collaborative future. A teardown of "us versus them." Love, shown.)

(Guards cross the Abyssal Bridge. Not guards—Stalkers, we call them, salivating after a group of Wanderers, ready to watch them be torn apart.)

(My anger flares. I move to confront the Stalkers. Father's hand holds me back. We lock eyes. His communicate sympathy, pain, regret. He won't let me reach the Wanderers. Their blood spills.)

(A lesson in inaction. Father wants me to see what he's seen. To feel the powerlessness he's felt. To feel insignificant. To accept the status quo.)

—-You were never capable of returning it.—-

(Slaughter. Our eyes meet again. Father's saddened. Apologetic. Afraid. Not of the Stalkers returning across the bridge, but of me. He sees not the same in my eyes. Only confusion. Anger. Anger at everything.)

You have your answer.

—-It's not our answer to have, but yours to embrace.—-

Embrace? Why?