She came to the ziggurats. I figured she would. She didn’t kill me; I didn’t figure on that. Her robot claims I’m missing data, data that would change the formula, say the experiment isn’t over, that it’s not time to sweep up the shavings and turn out the lights. I don’t see how some would-be god-AI is going to reweight the scales, but I promised, and I know enough to know Quelana had something up her sleeve. I fear Quelana’s programming has become corrupt, that she’s become too attached to her mimicry of humanity that she’s forgotten what she is, too attached to the lives she comes into contact with here to leave in the wake of a clear and present danger, to retreat to the Safe House. It’s only a matter of time before the Jandross use what they know about the gates to figure out how to redirect their energy as a weapon, or draw the attention of something we don’t want to find us, or find and subvert Eygon.

But I promised. Once it’s safe to go back inside (I can’t believe I went to all the trouble of disabling all the defenses only to have that scout trigger them wandering aimlessly) I’ll contact this ‘Professor Celandine’ and see how he plans to deal with a horde of human locusts.



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