… but we press on. Fabor appears well, except for the increasing encrustation around his right eye, which he had replaced years ago. He said it was necessary; I thought it vanity, especially with the ochre and turquoise striped orb, but who are we to judge others, under these circumstances? Last night, as we observed the subplanetary susurrations beneath the surface, Bruna told me one of her interminable stories about a lost lover; so prime he was, she said, although whether that meant that he was loaded to discharge I was unsure; her face, so carefully reconstructed yet held together, I suspect, only with chicken wire and fragments of marble, flickered in and out of the cold firelight, and I wondered again about whether the keys had finally been lost, or whether we could recover them once we encountered the others … as surely, soon, we were bound to do.

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