Miranda – Thieves and Beggars 074

“No one can tell what goes on in between the person you were and the person you become. No one can chart that blue and lonely section of hell. There are no maps of the change. You just come out the other side.

Or you don’t.”
Stephen King, The Stand

This recording is not time-stamped. The HUD of a Hunter is displayed, looking down at the dusty gray surface of Luna. The subject is breathing hard, and her hands are visible as she scrambles up the side of a hill.

“What was that? What was that?!” The hunter’s voice, female, was high and panicked.

“That was a Hive Knight. It’s no longer pursuing us…”

“A what?”

“An enemy of the City.”

“What are you talking about? You’re not making any sense! I don’t even know who you are, or what you are!”

“I told you, Miranda, I’m your Ghost. I am here to help you.”

The view rolled over, and overhead the pale blue globe, Earth, shone in the sky. A satellite streaked through the stars.

“Help me? Where…we are on Earth’s moon, right?”

“Yes, yes!” The Ghost sounded relieved.

“How am I on Luna? I was…was somewhere else…” Miranda’s voice trailed off in confusion. She rolled again and looked to her right: the reflective surface of a lunar solar panel flickered nearby. She crawled to it and looked at it, but saw only a flat-gray helmet covered by a tattered green hood staring back.

“You’re an Awoken, so I imagine this makes even less sense than if you were Human. Guardian, I need you to listen.”  A little red Ghost with darker red stripes floated into the view, blocking the reflection. “Right now, the largest army of Guardians ever assembled is preparing to attack the Hive – those monsters that were chasing us. They will need every gun they can get.  We-”

The Ghost stopped abruptly. Behind it, the reflection darkened. The Hunter turned around: emerald fire licked the horizon and spread through the sky.

“What…what is that?” she demanded.

“Something’s wrong.” The Ghost sounded confused, scared.

The Hunter turned and began scrambling up the hill again. “Screw this!”

“Guardian, wait! They’re under attack! They need our help!”

Miranda laughed, but it sounded hollow. “No. We’re getting out of here. Preferably to Earth, if nowhere else.”

“We’ll need a ship to do that,” said the Ghost resignedly.

“What’s that over there, then?” She pointed at a brown structure just at the edge of sight, lit with orange fire at one end.

“That’s…that’s a ship. It’s a Fallen ketch. But I don’t recognize it or the flag. And it looks like they are preparing to take off.”

“Then we’re getting on board.”

“But…the Fallen will kill us if they catch us!”

“Those Hive things will kill us if we stay.” The Hunter started running across the dusty dunes.

“I think this a bad idea,” insisted the Ghost.

“You know, you could try being more optimistic. Your bedside manner is terrible.”

“I’m not a doctor,” said the Ghost defensively.

“Whatever you say, Doc. We’re getting on that ship.”

End Record 074

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