(Page 79) Shadow enters the Watchtower, Petra invading her comms. “Guardian. No one has stood where you are since the Queen closed these doors.” She can hear Variks’s curious chittering. “You might want to look at this,” she mutters to him. The awoken woman can’t help but gaze at the faintly familiar surroundings in wonder. “It’s beautiful...” For once, her anger for the Queen’s Wrath is quelled. “Welcome home, cousin.” Variks snickers. Shadow splutters, about to deny such an asinine claim that she’d ever be kin with Petra, but a glare from her ghost keeps the guardian quiet. “I’ll get to you as fast as I can.” Anxiety claws at Shadow’s chest, reminding her she has a limited time to do what she needs to do. Glittering stone and massive arching hallways catch her eye, but the hunter continues onward without pausing. She hears Glitch behind her, examining. Grateful for him being distracted, she leaps through a portal into an ascendant plane. Her comms buzz. “Variks?” No response. “Damn.” She moves onward, shuddering at the silence and darkness, until- “Open the door, brother.” The voice echoes around the hunter, who whips back and forth. No, it couldn’t be. “Mara...?” “[i]Open the door![/i]” Shadow shakes her head. No, she must be hearing things. There was no way... but... maybe Uldren was right? Was Mara really back? “I can’t... No...” That was the voice of Uldren Sov. “The line between dimensional planes is thin here.” Her ghost hovers over her shoulder. Shadow ignores him. “Variks, Variks!” Her heart begins to race. “I heard Uldren. And I heard Mara.” Silence. Shadow can practically feel Variks’s unease. He must think she’s lost her mind as well. “No, listen, I heard her voice. There’s something weird going on. I’m going to find him.” “Do what you must,” the eliksni croaks eventually. Upon entering the ascendant plane once more, she hears the voice again. “Free me, O brother mine...” No, something wasn’t right. That wasn’t the Queen. “No. No, no, no, no! ...[i]Something's wrong[/i].” “Uldren!” At the panicked voice of the prince, the hunter breaks into a run. “Hang on, I’m coming!” “Find him,” the grumbling voice pleads through her comms.
First! [spoiler]Huh...this seems to have a lot more stress on Shadow than I was expecting. I wonder how she’ll react to the meatball? Also why are servitors taken like that?....just why? Either way, great work, as always![/spoiler]