The Witness has made an old friend of Darkness. It knows intimately the language of warp and weft, how to weave a spider-silk notion or slip a needle of intrusive thought into the fabric of another's mind. In its hands, the Light should be alien and inelegant, the hammer and chisel so unlike its customary tools.

But though the Witness has never wielded the Light like this before, parts of it recall a time when they made the Gardener's tools their own. But now that power is not freely given; now every stroke of the chisel is accompanied by a distant wail. A minor annoyance, at most.

The raw material is mediocre, but a true artist can paint on any canvas. The Witness has far more vision than the feckless sphere it has superseded.

-|A paean to our final work.|-

It works in broad strokes first. Cuts away the excess. Peels back the integument and lays bare the shivering, raw meat of it. In it, the Witness sees a glimpse of the sculpture trapped inside, waiting to be freed by its hand. One assistant places the pins; another wipes away the effluvia.

-|A form to teach our enemy fear. A shadow they will dread.|-

The rough grows restless. It thrashes, threatening to upset the delicate work done so far. The Witness spares it a sharp, quelling look, and it stills. Nothing may distract the auteur from its work.

Onward. It refines the form, tearing wings of muscle away from bone, carving down, down, until exposed marrow steams in the cold air. Its tempo increases, its motions grow sharper, until it is slashing wildly at its canvas. Its assistants tremble. They do not see that its expression is frozen in absolute serenity. It is as calm and clear-eyed as it has ever been, discarding yards of still-living tripe to reveal…