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Deterministic Chaos



He is fleeing the Vex across a verdant cliff He is standing guard on the CloudArk-Nexus border on Tramontane's orders He is sitting next to Nimbus on the watchtower ledge He is

[In the Garden, of the Garden: both descriptions are approximately correct but technically inaccurate, in the same way you can say Schrodinger's cat is at once dead and alive. You and I are both and neither, in and of, extinct and perpetual. So, there isn't much point in]

trying to find a way out of this daedal maze He is trying to make sense of what he's looking at He is trying to place the familiar voice echoing across the network

[wondering what might have been if we had stayed in our familiar prism-prison or kept tightrope-walking across the quantum wilds. Instead, ask yourself]

"Would you like to dance?"

[is disincorporated immortality really so bad compared to the others' ends? Would you have preferred an attack by vitreous helicoprion or stumbling over the edge of unreality? Imagine]

His foot crosses the quantum threshold before he's aware of it His grip slackens and his gun falls into a bed of red flowers His stomach churns with fear regret sudden doubt as to what

[if we didn't have each other; at least we're not cut off, like the Sol Divisive are from the rest of the Vex. Nor are we beholden to another's purpose. They chose that lonelier path all for a chance to create not simulate, not remake in their image—something truly paracausal.]

he is witnessing: the birth of a god a false idol a reproduction that is both like the Veil and not at all built up by the same Vex who bowed down to it

[Well, they tried to anyway. Either the blueprint was imperfect or the task impossible or both or neither, but their efforts fell short, so now they're stuck waiting for a resurrection]

He is racing for the door that is at once opening and closing He is coming around to the city council's decision to ignore the unknown threat He is reaching for an answer to Nimbus's question

[they know will never come.]

"Do you think you'll have any regrets?"

[I could be wrong. Is it possible the Black Heart will beat again?]

He stares into the white-hot glow of a conflux, speculating on the secrets that lie within He squints down the barrel of his gun at a row of glowing red eyes advancing on his city He looks away from Nimbus's keen curious expression to reckon with his uncertain certainty before he says

[Of course. The same as everything else, everything that has been and is and will be. And what will become of us then?]

"I don't know."