24.X \ 205

[Note: this lengthy chapter being released in many small pieces has turned an unprecedented corner, and so shall I by using numeral decimals.]

The trail was reasonably long by the reckoning of a child, easy switchbacks descending the face of the hill. The trees thinned against the edge of a cul de sac. The two stepped out into a semicircle of modest yet comfortable dwellings. “Like most of us with a miracle resistance, I lost my entire family.” He hung his head for half a beat and led them down the center of the street. “The Affliction created its own vengeance that way.”

“Once I was old enough, I dug it out. I gouged the secrets out of hiding, with unparalleled resources via my allies. The blood costs I incurred were… small in comparison. Yet, I bereaved myself again, through my own actions. I know very well what I’ve done.” Raev walked with floating steps as through the mists of time. Soleil glided with him, focused, letting the block roll slowly by. “Many agree the regime must fall. While you are almost convincing enough to make people believe there exists something redeemable.”

“Not all Hirylien survivors wanted to pursue vengeance. Pliskin for one, he was content to bring advances to market… in clever silence regarding the Vedani. The Pan-Galactic Imperium benefitted as they had before, scavenging under denial.”

 

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