Chapter 13

[Report by VanNet encrypted router.]

Another threat of imminent disaster. You declared a new Golden Age, and our enemy declares a second Collapse. They imply it is already in motion. Alarming.

[Personal notes, scored in Hive leather with a knife.]

Free fall is indistinguishable from a stable orbit until you strike the ground. Are we already falling? Is our doom fixed? Have I missed the signs this time?

I should ask Osiris. I should ask Ikora. I should ask my Queen. I should conjure wretched Toland from the Sea of Screams and wring the truth from him. But would I be believed? "There goes old Eris," they will say, "howling about fingertips and revenge again. She is lonely, so she prophesies doom."

Zavala would believe me, but he would also call me in for rest. Ikora would set me in a library and take care of me, and I would be too glad of it to leave. I cannot. I cannot. Even my Queen knows that some secrets must be kept in solitude. She will understand.

She trusts me.

I look forward to sharing a meal together.