"I don't know what I expected."
Zavala sets down a datapad on his desk, watching Ikora pace back and forth across his office. "I don't know," he sighs. "Maybe we should have."
Ikora stops pacing. She turns to look at Zavala with an accusatory stare.
"Every single enemy we've fought was brought here by the Traveler," Zavala says, slouching back into his chair. "The Hive, the Fallen, the worst of the Cabal." His attention drifts down to the datapad, Sloane's report on the origins of the Witness. "What's one more group of people chasing it?"
"This isn't the Traveler's fault," Ikora says, doubling back on Zavala's desk. "You read the same report I did. We are at war with an entire civilization condensed into an individual. Multitudes of resentment and hatred crushed into a singularity."
"Resentment toward the Traveler." Zavala grumbles. "I'm not saying the Traveler is at fault. I'm saying… it's a harbinger of ill-omen. Everywhere it's gone, nothing but death has followed. Does it realize that? Does it care?"
Ikora approaches Zavala's desk. "Does it matter?" She challenges him. "It is obviously outgunned and running. For all the Traveler's strength the Witness is the greater power. It never came to us to uplift us. It came to us for help."
Zavala is silent. He looks up from the datapad to Ikora, then sighs and slowly rises from his seat. Ikora follows him with her eyes, watching him move to the window where he would gaze out at the Traveler in the past. Now a fleet of allied vessels struggle to fill that void.
"Were they really that unified?" Zavala asks, looking at Ikora's faint reflection.
"The Witness's people." Zavala stares past Ikora's reflection to the City. "Were they truly of one mind, united in a desire to become this… thing? Or were they forced? Compelled into action by the guidance of a few." She can feel the doubt in his words. Not in his wonderings about the Witness's origins, but in the Vanguard, in what he sees as a parallel.
Ikora steps to Zavala's side, briefly touching his elbow. "We'd never become that," she says softly. "Not in all of Elsie's journeys through time, not in any hypothetical future. We stand together because—"
"Because we believe what we're doing is right." Zavala interjects, looking Ikora in the eye. She sighs, turning to face the window. Her shoulders sag, and she is lost in the details of the cityscape.
"I don't know what I expected either," Zavala says. "But you're right. It wasn't this."
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