Zavala locked his office door. The furtive gesture made him uneasy, but he couldn't risk anyone coming in. The feed he was about to watch could easily be misconstrued.

As it was, the City smoldered with rumors from citizens and Guardians alike. The persistent, undulating hole in the Traveler's side put everyone on edge. Hearing that Vanguard leadership was using Hive magic to fulfil a bargain put forth by the Witch Queen would undoubtedly stoke the flames of panic.

Zavala leaned grimly over his desk to watch the Guardian's latest tithes to Eris Morn.

It used to be simple, he lamented. We exterminated the Hive wherever we found them, and we felt good about it. Justified. But in recent years, morally ambiguous situations like these had become more common, and separating friend from foe was increasingly difficult.

Over the feed, Eris Morn's face lit up with fierce elation as the Guardian's tithes flowed through her. Her Hive form seemed to swell with power. Zavala knew that Eris undertook the rituals with temperance, at least for now, but he wondered how long her clarity would last. Elsie Bray's warnings had been too vivid to dismiss entirely, even after Ikora's reassurances.

Zavala turned away from the feed to gaze out the window at the Traveler. The trauma puncturing its side reminded him of the stakes. The reasons they were taking such risks.

He sighed, wondering how many more compromises they would have to make before the end.