Eris Morn's workspace was organized. Clean. A camp stove. A burned wok. A crate of rations to keep her fed until the next supply drop to Luna. A metal worktable with a neat arrangement of medical equipment, carefully kept. Half of a Thrall's skull, a saw resting at its side. A collection of discarded chitin. A skein of Hive leather.
Drifter picked up a jar from a shelf. The container was filled with pickled Hive eyeballs, the green dimmed by death.
"You live like this?" Drifter asked, incredulous. Eris looked at him with a frown.
"What do you mean? Like what?"
Drifter gestured around the room. When she said nothing, he continued.
"You called the Derelict a heap."
She switched on one of the harsh halogen lamps hanging over her worktable. The light cast everything in hard lines of shadow.
"So what d'you call this?" He shook the jar of eyeballs. They rolled and thumped together in their glass container before settling into a teeming stare.
Eris silently returned her gaze to the reliquary. It was an unassuming vessel, its contents obscured, save for a strange interior glow.
"Undoubtedly, the Scribe of House Light has examined these," Eris said. "Why bring one to me?"
"Eido ain't exactly a Darkness expert."
She felt the grooves and patterns under her fingertips as she turned the reliquary in her hands. She felt the shift and shudder of the Darkness as it responded to her touch—to her silent inquiry. She ran the pad of her thumb over the seal's edges.
When Drifter had first offered the relics to her, Eris had called them a gift. Now that she had one in her hands, she did not think she should unwrap it. She looked back to him.
"What is your motivation for helping the Guardian? I do not assume altruism."
Drifter gave her a look of mock offense. "Hey, why not?"
"Hm. I did assume deflection. Speak plainly."
Drifter fell silent for a moment. His face was pensive. When he finally spoke, his words were carefully chosen.
"The Eliksni need a win," he said, looking away from her. "After all that—the Vex, Salvation, everything—House Light needs a win."
"And defeating Eramis will be 'a win'?"
"Yeah. Hope it sticks this time."
Drifter leaned back on his heels and grinned. "Plus, always nice to be owed a favor. Don't know if Spider'll make good on his… But I bet Captain Kell would."
Again, deflection. She placed the reliquary down on her worktable. Drifter didn't move to pick it up.
"You sure you don't want to keep 'em?"
His tone was genuine. Eris considered this. Not the offer, but the sentiment behind his words. The implicit, unspoken faith.
"You trust me?"
He shrugged. "Who wouldn't?"
There was a smile—slight, careful—at the corner of her mouth. Something close to delight.
"Then stay, be silent, and listen. I have thoughts on their utility."
Drifter did as she asked.
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