If you missed the last episode, you can find it [url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Forum/Post/223585441/0/0]here[/url], or if you need to find a previous episode, you can find them all in the [url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Forum/Post/220441594/0/0]Master Post[/url]. Please give a bump, upvote, or leave comment if you enjoy this and any other chapter!
Seren reclines listlessly against her cushion as the Awoken man before her pleads his case.
“…and we ‘aven’t seens anythin’, but the supplies keep disappearin’ – dunno ‘oo coulds be takin’ ‘em, ‘oo coulds even…”
The man trails off, overcome with emotion as he grits his teeth in anger at the injustice.
“Have you brought your concerns to the Vestian court?” Seren asks cooly, Shoko at her right hand. The man looks at her with incredulity.
“Why’d I even waste the fuel to get theres?” he asks, scowling. “Queenie don’t care ‘bout us. You of all folks should know that.”
“Just a precaution,” she answers. “Of course we will help offset your loss and send a Sarif to investigate the theft.”
Tears pour openly out of the man’s eyes as he begins bowing instinctively.
“Thankya, thankya,” he mutters quickly, bowing his head again and again. He backs away, one of the Maivas swooping over to accompany him.
I catch Seren’s eye as she turns to whisper in Shoko’s ear – within half a second, I can see the hints of the contempt that she holds for me, the sneers she’s worked to keep hidden from others.
[i]But she is my mother, for all intents and purposes[/i], I think analytically. [i]She found me, and she says that she made me.
Did she, though?[/i]
The question comes unbidden into my mind, the voice different, younger-sounding –
I look around Seren’s chamber and suddenly spy the boy in naval regalia hiding near the back. He puts a finger to his lips when he sees me, and calmly walks away. I curiously watch the others in the room, seeing that none seems to be able to see the boy, and stand up.
“Where are you going?” Seren calmly demands, not even looking at me.
“I just had a thought – “ I begin, crafting the lie as I speak, but Seren interrupts me with her hand.
“And…” Seren asks, exasperated.
“I…I need to check on Nas,” I come up with. “I think he actually likes having me around now.”
“Whatever,” Seren sighs blithely, waving her hand to dismiss me. “Who else is waiting?”
“Several more refugees, Lady Cay,” Shoko answers. Seren sighs again.
“And who do the Sarifs think are responsible for the attacks?” she asks to the Sarif’s chief, Mol, waiting in the wings.
“The Fallen,” Mol answers matter-of-factly. “It’s always the Fallen…”
I tune their conversation out as I slide surreptitiously away, departing the chamber. Once outside, I look around, craning my neck, for any sign of the boy –
And then I feel a tap on my shoulder.
Turning around, I see him standing quietly, watching me. I kneel down to meet his eyes.
“How curious,” I whisper unconsciously as I reach out and find my hand passing right through him – I poke at his shoulder again and see his form ripple slightly around it. I draw it back, feeling for any trace residues, my curiosity piqued by this insubstantial being. “What are you?”
Silently, the boy reaches out to my forehead once more and touches it –
Instantly, I feel myself transported – the hallway outside of Seren’s chamber falls away, replaced by a dark, misty ocean spreading as far as the eye can see.
I feel myself bobbing along with the current, swaying and dipping as the waves crash against me, floating on top of the surface – I look up and see strangely-colored clouds stretching across the horizon, the sky a hallucinogenic twilight –
Without a thought, I immediately know where I am:
But why would I know that?
And how did I get here?[/i]
In the span of time it takes for me to consider these questions, I return back to 6 Demeter, back to Hedon House – looking around the hallway, I see the boy is gone.
“Curioser and curioser,” I mutter to myself as I stand once more.
I head away from Seren’s chamber, contemplating what had just happened as I head to find Nas and cement my alibi. If I am to discern what these anomalies are, I’ll need to think up more excuses – maybe even enlist Nas’ help unknowingly.
[i]He may be a little arrogant and full of himself,[/i] I think analytically, [i]but he certainly fulfills his purpose.
Unfortunately for him.[/i]
I sigh as I turn my thoughts away from my investigation long enough to contemplate the unique relationship I’ve been forced into by Seren.
[i]If he’d just stop playing detective long enough to actually try and be one, I wouldn’t even be able to do as the Baroness ordered[/i], I think, a twinge of annoyance for Nas’ lack of insight distracting me. I push it down as I continue to walk, reminding myself that such feelings serve no purpose, and thus only deprive my processors the free space to contemplate….better things.
I switch back to my musings about the boy –
[i]Who is he?
And how did I know what it was without needing to be told?
Have I been there before?
Was I someone else before Seren found me?[/i]
“Curioser and curioser,” I repeat, heading for Nas’ apartment. I continue contemplating as I finally reach it, and knock on the door, still lost in thought.
The Awoken woman answers – she sneers when she sees me, cocking an eyebrow. From the books I’ve read, I recognize her posture as overtly aggressive to distract from her many vulnerabilities.
[i]Too bad she’s also too busy playing at being something rather than being it,[/i] I think, hiding my own smirk.
“Oh, it’s you,” she says flatly. “Tin man, Toto’s here.”
“Ah, you read, too!” I exclaim, unable to help myself. “Would that make you Dorothy then?”
She gives me a strange look, then just shakes her head and walks away.
“It’s talking again, Nas, make it go away,” she mutters as she walks back to her bed. Nas approaches the door, his expression also falling as he sees me.
“Seren need me?” he asks, reaching for his weapon.
“No, I thought….” I pause, wondering how best to phrase my question to achieve the results I require. “I thought we could go do something. Like friends do.”
Nas cocks his head at me.
[i]He thinks I’m crazy. I know he does.
Too bad he’s never considered that it’s an act.[/i]
“Just….just because,” I shrug.
Nas rubs the back of his head nervously. I keep my face purposefully blank as to not betray my inner sense of accomplishment.
“Well, I mean….I kinda already had plans today…..”
“No problem,” I answer, turning away quickly and walking off.
“Hey, so….that’s it, then?” Nas asks curiously behind me.
“That’s it,” I answer, not breaking stride.
Just before I turn the corner, I hear Nas muttering “Damn weirdo,” as he closes the door.
[i]Only to the uninformed[/i], I smirk inside as I turn another corner.
The boy is waiting for me.
“What do you want to show me?” I ask calmly as I kneel before him once more.
He points behind me, and I turn to see two Sarifs patrolling past, stopping to stare at me.
[i]They think I’m crazy too[/i], I think, amused by their attitudes.
“Have you noticed the patterns of the deck plating coincide perfectly with the square roots of the Golden Ratio?” I ask, putting extra emphasis in my voice. “Fascinating, isn’t it?”
As predicted, they simply shake their heads and walk on. I turn back to the boy and whisper:
“They’re gone. What do you want to show me?”
The boy reaches out once more and touches my forehead –
Loading, please wait. This may take some time...