The shuttle lands as the sun sets. It almost disappears in the diffuse light; Commander Gennerin has summoned one of the gunships decked out in grey and green.
The flight crew leaves, handing over to Gennerin’s appointed pilot and navigator for this mission. As those two head in to check instruments, five soldiers, among them Corporal Allin and the new recruit Ross, march aboard. The commander prefers them away from the men in general at present. Neither are happy, I notice.
The Arc team boards next, with Artur throwing a last longing glance over his shoulder at the natural world before vanishing into the dim interior.
Damin is beside me, watching all preparations with an eagle’s gaze. On my other side, Gennerin rocks on his heels, hands clasped behind him. He too studies every move.
For my part, I am calm. Yes, I now return to that Spire, but this time there will be no ghosts to concern myself over. The ethereal beings that helped me before also came to our aid on the mountain. None survived. The only ghosts still resident inside Arc are Glonu. Besides, this time I have no intention of entering the shadowy space.
We will determine the weak points at the base of the tower and blow it to the ether. That is my task. Damin’s is somewhat different. My talents will find the weaknesses; he will place the devices. The latter fills me with dread, but I remain calm. However it plays out, we must do this.
As Gennerin clears his throat, no doubt to offer final words, a scream fills the air.
By the time we locate the source, a mere trail of vapour remains.
“Who took the flyer?” Commander Gennerin roars in fury. “I gave no such orders!”
A young lieutenant steps forward. “Commander, we believe the Lord Makar took it.”
I smile secretly. Enris is on his way to our father.