The Owl Sector records describe the events of the Transmission Incident that occurred when SIVA prototypes developed by Clovis Bray were released by the Devil Splicers, and began to infect Guardians.[1] The Records have been arranged in a narrative/chronological sequence. A complete record can also be found in the Grimoire section of the wiki.

Owl Sector Records

OS-16 1

Owl Sector Internal, OS-I6 1

SHU: How long since we last convened?

QUI: I can still recall the Dawn Calamity, so not long enough.

BER: I've got consistent and strange reports coming in from across the system.

SHU: Try me.

BER: A few Guardians in the field report being swarmed by some kind of electronic mite. The first few after visiting the Dust Palace on Mars, but the rest from all over.

SHU: How bad?

BER: Fantastic, apparently. At least, that's what they're yelling over comms. Is happy shouting a medical issue? Do we take this to the Vanguard?

QUI: Ikora first. The Hidden might know something.


Owl Sector Debrief to Ikora Rey, OS-I6 1

IR: So what you're telling me is that an unknown substance or virus or curse is spreading among our Guardians.

SHU: I wouldn't put it that way, but yes.

IR: What are you doing about it?

SHU: We thought we'd ask you. It's not like anything we've seen before. We thought you or the Hidden might know.

IR: Nothing in my experience resembles this.

SHU: For what it's worth, our Guardians aren't worried. It's a carnival out there.

IR: But you and I know—

SHU: We do.


Records of the Vanguard, OS-I6 1

CY6: I don't see the harm in it. A little mysterious fun, some ka-ching to our usual pew-pew. Didn't you take candy from strangers, when you were newborn in the Light?

ZAV: No. I did not.

IR: This isn't candy, Cayde. The Owl Sector reports a highly contagious armor systems override. If you'd stop clowning for a moment and think—

ZAV: What protocols are the Owl Sector implementing?

IR: The Liaison asked me what to do.

CY6: That's a new one.

IR: Both the Owl Sector and my Hidden have been unable to gain control of these overrides. I suggest quarantine as a stopgap.

CY6: Lodging an objection, based on previous experience.

ZAV: She's right, though. It's the best option at the moment.

IR: The only option.


Report of Geographer Quist, OS-I6 1, for Owl Sector records, assigned to incident TRANSMISSION.

Current assignment is to quarantine and monitor the group of Guardians carrying overrides, care for any casualties, and so on. Easy peasy. No off-world missions and a dozen Guardians with flickering vision. My kind of job.

...Sorry, Shun, what was that?

Make that two hundred, then. Manageable.

...or a thousand.

...or ten thousand.

Oh Traveler...


Report of Bypass Authority Berriole, OS-I6 1, for Owl Sector records, assigned to incident TRANSMISSION.

I have been tasked with returning to the Dust Palace on Mars, which as far as we know is the only link between the Guardians first affected by these overrides. Appropriate contamination equipment has been requisitioned, although specs are for the Dawn Calamity and have not been adjusted.

The Owl Sector has determined that our acutest need is information. Which is where I come in. The area of interest includes former Clovis Bray buildings, so I expect my skills in cryptography, biosignature falsification, and historical architecture to be thoroughly exercised.

OS-16 2


Report of Bypass Authority Berriole, OS-I6 2, for Owl Sector records, assigned to incident TRANSMISSION.

Nothing unusual to report during approach and landing. Standard Cabal and Vex presence, still in conflict, and easily evaded. I was drawn to signs of disturbance in a section marked as unexplored. Following those signs, and unlocking the doors in my path, I climbed five floors to a derelict laboratory with a view of the rosy plains and a computer half buried in dust.


I love these vintage rigs. So graceful. So elegant. Mementos of a brighter time. They tend to be banged around a bit before I get my hands on them, but this one was pristine. I powered it up, ran a few traces and queries, and brought up the last authentication: one Dr. Shirazi, a scientist, working for Willa Bray. Something secret. The hashed password is twice the average length. I will submit my next report when I have cracked it.


Report of Geographer Quist, OS-I6 2, for Owl Sector records, assigned to incident TRANSMISSION.

Quarantine failed shortly after institution. Note to self: Corralling sick Guardians is one thing. Healthy, rambunctious Guardians, armed to the teeth and impatient to go back starside...

They threw things.

Shun modeled the outbreak for me after we retreated in disgrace. We are on track for total saturation of the Guardian population, excluding those off-duty, inside of a week.

Should any complications arise—which, since we're talking about a mysterious invasive technological override, is likely—the Tower will stand undefended, and the City will be helpless and vulnerable to attack.

Traveler's shadow, they're going to blame me.


Records of the Vanguard, OS-6I 2

CY6: All right, what's the next option?

IR: If you're so brilliant, you tell me.

ZAV: I suppose we should have known better than to tell Guardians to stand still.

CY6: It's not their strong suit. They're not good at staying off my table, either. Stinkers.

IR: Focus, Cayde. This is an emergency.

CY6: You mean opportunity.

ZAV: Cayde—

CY6: I'd like some of that Splendor that I'm seeing on Guardians. I look good in yellow, and I'm due for an upgrade.

ZAV: I am going to forbid you, Cayde.

CY6: Always the life of the party.

IR: We need you as you are. Healthy and in sound mind.

CY6: All right, all right. I'll sit on my hands. This time.


Owl Sector Internal, OS-I6 2

SHU: Berriole's deployed on Mars, Quist is whimpering in the corner—

QUI: Slander.

SHU: Correction to the record. Quist is curled up in the corner, making noises of outrage—

RAM: Officially, the Vanguard suggestion of quarantine was implemented and shortly afterwards reversed due to irreparable ineffectiveness. Unofficially, they laughed at Quist. Refer to Quist's notes, which will be released to all of the Owl Sector after appropriate redactions. I remind the Sector that public records can be read by children; please word reports accordingly. Next steps?

SHU: Segregating affected Guardians is impossible at this time. But limiting civilian exposure is still possible. Critical, in fact.

RAM: Guardians are more likely to respect exclusion from the City than confinement to our hospital wing.

SHU: I don't want to see the effects of this tech mite on those without the Traveler's Light. I'll talk to Ikora.

QUI: She still talks to you?

SHU: I'm Liaison to the Vanguard. It's my job. Besides, I'm irresistibly charming.

RAM: Even if?

SHU: Even if.


Owl Sector Debrief to Ikora Rey, OS-I6 2

SHU: We are in agreement, then.

IR: As much as I ever agree with you.

OS-16 3


Report of Bypass Authority Berriole, OS-I6 3, for Owl Sector records, assigned to incident TRANSMISSION.

Quist, Shun, I'm hearing the strangest things from you. Is everything shipshape? At any rate, Dr. Shirazi's password was a combination of musical tones and a Persian phrase that loosely translates as "Remember who watches you." Her entries are individually locked. The first is below, and more will follow.

I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to work with Clovis Bray. No more clawing for research grants. No more hopping universities. The volunteers enlisted for this study are likewise in good spirits.
Patient A, Susan, believes with all her heart in the colonization effort and will do anything to support it. Twelve hours have passed since injection with Magnificence 2.0. Her vital signs are strong, but she complains of phantom insects.


Report of Geographer Quist, OS-I6 3, for Owl Sector records, not that anyone reads them, assigned to incident TRANSMISSION under protest.

In consultation with the Vanguard, the Owl Sector decided to restrict travel between City and Tower. Checkpoints have been installed. Landing clearances have been revoked. We can fly as far as the stars, but we can't walk under the Traveler.

This will last as long as it takes to determine cause and cure. All Tower residents fall under this restriction. Guardians. Civilians. The sick and the well.

When I joined the Owl Sector, I pledged to uphold and support the Tower and its Guardians, our best and last defense against the Darkness, no matter what threat arose. No matter the cost.

I am forbidden to go home.


Owl Sector Debrief to Ikora Rey, OS-I6 3

IR: Your team is observing strict sterilization, firewall, and decontamination procedures, I hope.

SHU: It's touching to know you still care.

IR: The effects on ordinary humans, Awoken, and EXOs are unknown, and I'd rather not experiment.

SHU: The great Ikora Rey doesn't want to know?

IR: There are higher priorities in this situation.

SHU: You'd be worried sick if I caught the mite.

IR: The suffering of any lessens us all.

SHU: C'mon, Korrie.

IR: Liaison Shun, please confirm your operating procedures.

SHU: Standard Amber 6 protocol, no deviations.

IR: That will be everything, thank you.


Records of the Vanguard, OS-6I 3

ZAV: All Guardians are observing the prohibition on City visits. Ikora reports that appropriate crisis protocols are in place in the Owl Sector.

CY6: A watch-and-wait operation? You know I'd rather be shooting something. Can we sprinkle some of this stuff on the Fallen?

IR: Be careful what you wish for, Cayde.

ZAV: The Bypass Authority's researches have borne some fruit, I hear?

IR: It's slow going. I'm offering backup computational and decryption support, but she's fiercely self-sufficient, like most of the Owl Sector.

CY6: You mean she isn't asking you for help.

IR: I think she likes having secrets.

CY6: That doesn't sound familiar at all.

IR: In spite of my reservations, she's earned my commendation, Cayde. It's high-risk work for a civilian.

ZAV: Speaking of civilians, this Dr. Shirazi troubles me.

IR: Her choice of passphrase is interesting. As is her decision to lock each separate entry, a security precaution disproportionate to her project's classification as Level 2.

CY6: Not the probable association with a high-velocity technological mite that could bring the City's defenses to its knees? It's her passphrase that bothers you?


Owl Sector Internal, OS-I6 3

RAM: Berriole found a trove of laboratory notes in a locked section of the Dust Palace. Some dead scientist named Shirazi. Some forgotten experiment under the auspices of Willa Bray.

QUI: She's good as a bloodhound for secrets.

SHU: You could use a bit more sheepdog, yourself.

RAM: Our Guardians will honor the ban on City travel. This has been relayed on all channels as far as Saturn.

QUI: They might have honored the quarantine.

SHU: They're Guardians, Quist. Means the Light has cooked their brains. Haven't you seen them dancing in the Plaza, for no reason, with no music at all? We'll take what we can get.

OS-16 4


Owl Sector Internal, OS-I6 4

QUI: Did you see this dispatch of Berriole's?

Regrettably, Patient B entered a coma minutes after injection with Brilliance 3.2. Vital signs remain normal. Homeostasis preserved. While cause for concern, I do not think it necessary to table this study and will proceed.

RAM: If that's the effect on civilians—

QUI: It might have been temporary. But—

RAM: The decision to lock down the City was wise.

SHU: Thank you, thank you. Really, it's too much.


Report of Geographer Quist, OS-I6 4, for Owl Sector's mountain of records, on the everlastingly awful incident known as TRANSMISSION.

I can call my children on a screen and sing them to sleep, but I can't hold them or help them up when they stumble. I observe, I monitor, I wait, I read Berriole's communications.

Patient D, Yaris, is here to support his family. Clovis Bray allowances are sufficient but not generous, and there's another child on the way. He is sorry to be separated from them but glad for the volunteer's stipend.
No changes in general health were observed after injection with Fortitude 3.1, but the volume of his voice decreased significantly and is at present a whisper. Unexpected but not cause for alarm.


Owl Sector Debrief to Ikora Rey, OS-I6 4

SHU: Have you seen this?

Patient E, Jun, has been uncooperative. Laughed unpleasantly when I told him he would receive Glory 2.1.
"You're running prototypes in parallel because it's cheaper and faster," he said. "No ethics board on Earth would approve. But I don't have a choice. I'm neck-deep in debt to Clovis Bray."
I wish we had tweaked these elixirs to modify disposition.

IR: You wished to introduce me to your Golden Age analogue?

SHU: Ha. Ha. No, I thought you'd be interested in Jun. This kind of coercion isn't a known Clovis Bray practice.

IR: Not in the books you read, perhaps.

SHU: But it's in the record?

IR: It's in the record.


Report of Bypass Authority Berriole, OS-I6 4, for Owl Sector records, assigned to incident TRANSMISSION.

Patient A remains healthy and cheerful, despite a low buzzing in her ear. She has referred to the phantom insects so frequently and with such confidence that I'm starting to imagine them. Blue, darting things. There's a word for this phenomenon, where the patient's reality becomes the researcher's, but I do not remember it.
We did tag this variant with a blue colorant, for our own scans, but the patient should not have known. I will call it coincidence.


Records of the Vanguard, OS-I6 4

Transmitted from Owl Sector's Bypass Authority, Dust Palace, Mars.

Patient C reports yellow artifacts on the edge of her vision but remains excited about the potential of this project. She argued for taking strength and intelligence tests three times a day rather than daily. I saw no harm in this. There were clear improvements in her performance six hours after injection, in line with results from the other conscious patients.
This innovative therapy holds great promise for our colonization program. We can cut years off the construction timetable of a city. We can reduce the decompression and adjustment period of new colonists. This is a world-changing study, and I am glad to have such a motivated subject.

OS-16 5


Report of Bypass Authority Berriole, OS-I6 5, for Owl Sector records, assigned to incident TRANSMISSION.

I can see them now. Blue beadlike or beelike particles swarming around Patient A's head. I wonder what took me so long.
This effect was not intentional. We directed the nanoparticles to strengthen the subject's immune system, reinforce skeletons, exoskeletons, joints, and musculature, and accelerate synapse and logic board signaling. This should all have been invisible and internal. What does it mean?


Owl Sector Internal, OS-I6 5

QUI: I'd forgotten how heavy and sweaty these were.

RAM: Truth be told, I'm braver with the suits on.

QUI: A hundred separate pieces, requiring buckling and zipping, though?

RAM: We'll improve the design. Eventually. But they work. Berriole's got the most delicate tasks, and she manages.

SHU: Speaking of our codebreaker. She sent a sample scraped off the sand. And this log.

This is the second day that Patient B continues comatose. Hydration and nutrition support have been enabled. Vital signs are good. Green particles appear to be accumulating on his lips and nostrils. I have not observed similar consequences for other patients and am wondering if this was an idiosyncratic reaction.

QUI: Wait, what are you doing? Shun, where are your gloves?


Owl Sector Debrief to Ikora Rey, OS-I6 5

IR: Restricted leave? What did you do?

SHU: Forgot to put on part of the isolation rig. Too tired. I can't remember yesterday at all. Ramos will take over the duties of Liaison to the Vanguard. You treat her nice, okay? She's nervous.

IR: You—rest well.

SHU: I will.


Records of the Vanguard, OS-I6 5

IR: Was that Saladin who just stormed out? He's been on edge lately.

ZAV: He demanded to know what the mite was.

IR: His guess is as good as ours.

CY6: Don't mind him, he's always like that. Have you seen Shaxx? His poor Crucible. "What is this stuff? Get it out of my Crucible!"

IR: You'd think he'd appreciate increased aggression.

ZAV: He cares more about fairness.

Transmitted from Owl Sector's Bypass Authority, Dust Palace, Mars.

Patient C insists that I call her Kit. She says she has been fighting all her life for an advantage and finally has it, and she's not about to let it go. She has broken several pieces of equipment in exhilaration, in addition to a large quantity of glassware.
"Let me at 'em!" she said. "Give me something to fight!"


Report of Geographer Quist, OS-I6 5, for Owl Sector, on TRANSMISSION.

The Tower bubbles and seethes. No one sleeps. The Guardians rejoice, competing to infect each other, without a care in the world. The City glows in the distance. I sit alone in the Owl Sector observatory, at the highest point of the Tower, and watch the numbers on my monitor rise and rise. Shun is usually here with me, late at night, drinking tea and mocking my simulations. It's quiet without him.

OS-16 6


Report of Geographer Quist, OS-I6 6, for Owl Sector, on TRANSMISSION.

We don't know what this tech mite can do—travel along communications lines and in data packets, say—so the Owl Sector has decided to cut all but two emergency connections between City and Tower. My screens are fixed on the transmission map and no longer can be pointed toward home.

Yaris can't speak or make any sound at all. We do not know whether this condition is permanent. He lets me know what he requires, whether water or food, by typing, but has been reserved about his own thoughts. I find it difficult to look him in the eye.


Report of Bypass Authority Berriole, OS-I6 6, for Owl Sector records, assigned to incident TRANSMISSION.

Shun, Quist, you've gone silent and I don't know why. I am alarmed, but in the absence of updated orders, I am remaining on site to finish extracting the Shirazi logs. I hope that you and the City remain in good health.

Patient A appears to be walking two inches above the ground. It is unclear why this has happened. The soles of her feet have turned blue. She is alarmed and delighted by turn. This of course complicates our strength tests.


Owl Sector Debrief to Ikora Rey, OS-I6 6

IR: Welcome to the Underwatch, Acting Liaison Ramos. How is Shun? Why are you laughing?

RAM: We had a bet. He said that'd be the first thing you'd ask. He's still unconscious.

IR: My Hidden are at your command. We'll do whatever's necessary. Have you any idea what a cure might look like?

RAM: Not yet. Shun asked me to call this entry to your attention.

Jun has refused to perform required strength and intelligence tests. He has accused me, Willa Bray, and the Clovis Bray corporation of nefarious purposes thirty-two times since injection.
"Clovis Bray destroys the world to remake it in their own image. That's their goal. Look at me—the first step to your perfect colonist. But I'm just a prototype. You know what happens to prototypes, Dr. Shirazi."
I am not sure how this subject passed the psychological screen.
Visual observation suggests good health, despite the nimbus of white particles around his head.


Owl Sector Internal, OS-I6 6

QUI: He's been transferred to the hospital wing. Stable for the moment.

RAM: We'll have to be more careful. What's Berriole's latest?

Yesterday, with a wild yell, Patient B sat up, then started singing and dancing. Tried to calm him but was unsuccessful. He has not stopped since regaining consciousness. I have heard all the songs of his childhood, half the pop hits of the past century, and improvised ballads about his life. He's owned two dogs and six cats and I know all their names.

RAM: There's hope, then.

QUI: Trust me, you don't want to hear Shun sing.


Records of the Vanguard, OS-I6 6

IR: This mite now affects a third of our Guardians. While it appears to do no substantial harm to Guardians, we have one civilian casualty.

ZAV: I propose tightening restrictions for the safety of City residents. And we should stay vigilant. Dr. Shirazi's notes suggest other undesirable or unexpected effects, in addition to those we've encountered.

CY6: What, walking on air? Singing? Dancing? Strength? Readiness to fight? I'm not seeing the disadvantages, Commander.

IR: Liaison to the Vanguard Shun Li is unconscious in the hospital wing right now. I would call that a disadvantage.

CY6: Ah. Shun.

ZAV: Ikora is correct. Our commission is to protect the City, under all conditions, in all circumstances. We cannot risk the health of our citizens for this, this—whimsy.

CY6: Fun. The word you're looking for is fun.

OS-16 7


Report of Bypass Authority Berriole, OS-I6 7, for Owl Sector records, assigned to incident TRANSMISSION.

Along the sides of this abandoned laboratory sit locked metal cabinets, cut or melted open. Some piles of freshly broken glass, not yet sandblasted. I would venture that whatever Dr. Shirazi stored in these cabinets for the last few centuries was recently released to the world. I would also venture that we know what that is.

I'll call her Susan. I'll call them all by their names. It breaks protocol but feels like the right thing to do.
Susan took the news in silence. She appears resigned.
I am not resigned.


Owl Sector Internal, OS-I6 7

I ran into his room at the sudden silence, but he was already gone.


Records of the Vanguard, OS-I6 7

When I disclosed Patient B's clinical outcome, as required by exception 31B in the Research Regulations Handbook, Patient C said, "How could you do this to us?" I had no answer. My predecessor's experimental records had not suggested any lethality. A 20% mortality rate would counterbalance the increase in colonist strength, intelligence, and speed.

ZAV: Doubt in Clovis Bray communications? That's rare.

IR: It could be why she sealed individual research logs. This Dr. Shirazi appears to have been fond of Persian poetry. The Bypass Authority has been able to reconstruct entire ghazals by rearranging her passphrases.

CY6: I imagine the two of you purring with happiness over that.

IR: I am not as fond of poetry as Zavala, but I do appreciate the historical insight.

ZAV: I did not purr. Purring is not something I do.


Report of Geographer Quist, OS-I6 7, for Owl Sector, on TRANSMISSION.

Shun, you Shank-chasing, Mote-thieving Traveler-hugger, I wouldn't be in the Owl Sector if it weren't for you. Now you bail on us? I'm going out of my mind because of you.

Yaris remains mute. I regret not incorporating a self-annihilation function in these prototypes. I was too confident. I didn't believe I needed a failsafe. I will propose that we include this in future nanotech development.
The mixed blessing is that our results are solid. Further research will be rewarding. Yet I find myself hesitating to write the recommendation to proceed.


Owl Sector Debrief to Ikora Rey, OS-I6 7

IR: Any change?

RAM: None.

He said, "Everything and everyone dies. The more you try to cheat death, the more you try to profit from life, the sooner we die."
Today I went into Willa Bray's files to look for warning signs, any hint of what happened to Patient B, anything I might have missed. I found optimistic profit charts and a terse order to suppress some amount of data. The data itself is unavailable to researchers at my access level.
Am I complicit?

OS-16 8


Records of the Vanguard, OS-I6 8

"I am doing everything I can," I said.
"That's not enough," she said, and turned her back.
I do not have the training, or the knowledge, or the wisdom for this.

ZAV: She's been dead for hundreds of years, but I can imagine her standing here with us.

CY6: Frantically apologizing.

IR: As she should be.

CY6: Do I detect some jealousy, Ikora? Are her investigations so much more fruitful than yours? Or is it that she's created a puzzle you can't solve?

IR: None of the above.

CY6: It can't be that civilian in the hospital wing, can it?

ZAV: Cayde.

CY6: I'm just funning, Zavala.

ZAV: Do you want her to bring up that frame of yours? Because she will.

CY6: Close the records, Ghost. Thanks.


Report of Geographer Quist, OS-I6 8, for Owl Sector, on TRANSMISSION.

"Project results suggest…"
"Experimental outcomes imply…"
And I stop and look at Yaris through the glass. He is eating less and losing weight and hair.
I too am eating less and losing weight and hair. Bah, friendship. It makes us worry more and age faster. Bah, family. Same thing


Owl Sector Debrief to Ikora Rey, OS-I6 8

I said, "You must understand. I'm trying. I wanted to see us among the stars. I ran this study because I dreamed of exploring the unknown and making new places home. I dreamed of the whole universe becoming our home."
Jun said, "You don't even have a home here. They treat you with suspicion. You're not a Bray. Why did you come to Mars? Do you have no home on Earth?"
"I don't," I said.

IR: So she has a conscience.

RAM: I find myself liking her, despite myself.

IR: She's careless, and I find her research methodology appalling.

RAM: A Warlock would say that.


Report of Bypass Authority Berriole, OS-I6 8, for Owl Sector records, assigned to incident TRANSMISSION.

After a long silence from home, Ramos finally came online.

"Acting Liaison Ramos," she said. I didn't need to hear more. Almost took off my respirator, it was so wet. But that would put two principals of the Owl Sector in the hospital wing. And I need to be out here. Looking.

These prototypes are too deeply embedded in my subjects' systems to extract by force. Organs, neurons, frontal cortex... Even complete hemodialysis would be insufficient.
I must find another way. For Susan. For Yaris. For Kit. Maybe even for Jun.


Owl Sector Internal, OS-I6 8

RAM: Ikora Rey has granted the Owl Sector full use of the Hidden's resources. We have opened negotiations with Petra Venj for assistance from the Techeun Witches.

QUI: What could we offer the Reef?

RAM: Good health, whatever countermeasures we develop, and aid when the mite reaches them. Reef denizens are likely to be susceptible. And they see plenty of Guardian traffic.

OS-16 9


Owl Sector Internal, OS-I6 9

RAM: Promising notes from Berriole. Mid-experiment, this Dr. Shirazi changes course. Her logs describe the development of a cure. A complicated, lengthy, but noninvasive cure.

QUI: So what's the hitch? Where's Shun?

RAM: We tried it. Didn't work. The Hidden are working on it now.

QUI: And?

RAM: They said they were close. Then they muttered about unit conversion, physiological changes post-Collapse, and diminished chances of survival.

QUI: When will they be ready?

RAM: Soon.


Owl Sector Debrief to Ikora Rey, OS-I6 9

I said: Forgive me. He said: Only if.

RAM: The Hidden, the Witches, and our research corps may have had a breakthrough, using the information that Berriole has unearthed. We think we can neutralize this mite. The only problem is, we might kill Shun in the process.

IR: Are you waiting for permission?

RAM: It seemed respectful to ask.

IR: Do it, and the Traveler's Light shine on you.


Report of Geographer Quist, OS-I6 9, for Owl Sector, on TRANSMISSION.

Even if I cure him, would he speak to me again? I've never run an experiment with lethal outcomes or permanent disabilities. I never thought I would.

If they don't kill you with whatever mess of poisons they're mixing up, Shun, I will. I've never slept so little in my life.


Report of Bypass Authority Berriole, OS-I6 9, for Owl Sector records, assigned to incident TRANSMISSION.

Long and sleepless nights. My whole staff in isolation suits, bent over our microscopes. But we have discovered a solution, I think. We have not tested it on patients yet, only pure prototype samples. If we toggle Fibrons 7, 21, and 16 across all nanoparticles with pulses of particular wavelengths, enough interference should be generated to render them dormant.
I go now to try it on Susan, who lost consciousness yesterday. Even prone, she floats an inch above her sleeping surface.

OS-16 10


Report of Bypass Authority Berriole, OS-I6 10, for Owl Sector records, assigned to incident TRANSMISSION.

Overjoyed by your last communication, Ramos. Almost at the end of the Shirazi logs, which I will finish transmitting for completeness of Owl Sector records.

At least this much of my conscience is clear. Susan left our facilities today, walking on the ground. Not quite smiling. None of us are smiling. We don't know what the long-term effects might be. But she appears healthy, for now.


Records of the Vanguard, OS-I6 9

They did not see me behind the door.
Jun said, "We have to tell the truth about Clovis Bray. We know. They don't."
"We have to be cautious," Kit said.
"We'll be alone for a while. No one will believe us. At first.
"I've been through harder things.""
"You're in?"
"I'm in."

IR: Strange. I do not remember so much as a lone protest against Clovis Bray in our histories.

CY6: Patchy as they are.

ZAV: Colonists standing against their colony? You might as well jump into deep space without a suit or ship.

IR: Yet you look sympathetic.

ZAV: Authority exists for a reason. Rebellions tend to squander strength and vitality that should be conserved. And yet I can't bring myself to disapprove of them. Jun. Kit. Shirazi.

CY6: It was a different time.


Report of Geographer Quist, OS-I6 10, for Owl Sector, on TRANSMISSION.

"Thank you," he said. He walked out of the facility, a thin, slight shape against the red light reflecting off the dunes. The last to recover, and the last to leave.
After I sent my research staff home, I entered Clovis Bray's data isolation chamber with borrowed credentials. I had to know. My predecessor's annotations are sparse, but I believe the data from previous trials show mortality rates of 50-60% for the last generation of injectable biotech. I should have been informed of this.
My report will begin with the words: "Unacceptable, demonstrated risks preclude further human trials at this time." I must make Willa Bray see that this way lies disaster.

Our own disaster, meanwhile, has been averted. The Owl Sector relaxed the comms prohibitions today. I called my children and told them I'd be home tonight. They look no worse for the time apart. Guardians are being treated at the Tower as they arrive, much to their disappointment. And Shun—


Owl Sector Internal, OS-I6 10

QUI: Good to have you back, you hair-grayer, you cleft of the Traveler. Don't do that again.

RAM: You don't know how happy I am to see you.

SHU: What did I miss?

RAM: Nothing much.

QUI: Everything. You missed everything. Eva's cooking, dancing Cabal, the man in the moon setting up shop in the Traveler.

SHU: Hm. I'll have to ask Ikora for an update.

RAM: Wait until you're walking again.

QUI: So she can cut you down at the knees.

SHU: Ha. Ha.


Owl Sector Debrief to Ikora Rey, OS-I6 10

IR: Ramos. What's the news?

RAM: Here to say goodbye. I am stepping down as Acting Liaison to the Vanguard. Liaison Shun Li will be resuming his duties shortly. He is in good health. Says he knew you'd be worried sick.

IR: It's been a pleasure, Ramos.


Records of the Vanguard, OS-I6 10

IR: Neutralization is ongoing throughout the Tower. We should be clean soon.

ZAV: About time. These prototypes contaminated too many of my Guardians. Infiltrated their systems. Altered their behavior.

CY6: Brought joy and delight. Ruffled Ikora. Put a bee in Saladin's bonnet. What more could I ask?

ZAV: All told, I prefer corporeal threats. Enemies we can fight. These particulate, self-replicating, amoral things disturb my soul.

CY6: I still think they're cute.

IR: The misfortunes of Liaison Shun aside, Zavala is right. We should be exploiting Golden Age technologies. We've never had Golden Age technologies exploit us. We did not know they possessed such capabilities. And I worry.

CY6: Even though we've solved this problem?

IR: I think in terms of unifying theories, Cayde.

OS-16 11


Report of Bypass Authority Berriole, OS-I6 11, for Owl Sector records, assigned to incident TRANSMISSION.

I set everything in order and sealed the room. Left the computer in there, lovely as it is, after clearing sand from the crevices. A monument.

On my way out, I looked again at the tracks I followed into that room. Clawed. Fallen, I'd say, but there are no Fallen on Mars. Odd.

Closing mission and coming home.

OS-16 12


Owl Sector Internal, OS-I6 12

RAM: Welcome back, Berriole. We're closing this incident.

QUI: Good riddance.

BER: I'll put the final reports into the system and return the Owl Sector to standby.

RAM: Before you do—for our records—any success to report, Liaison to the Vanguard Shun?

SHU: None whatsoever. Warlocks are all mystery and power one minute, business as usual the next. Ah well.

BER: Why are you all laughing?

RAM: I'll brief you later.


Report of Geographer Quist, OS-I6 12, for Owl Sector, on TRANSMISSION.

Quiet? In the observatory? I miss it already. It's his birthday, Shun says. Or it feels like it. To celebrate, he brought, of all things, an arcophone. I wish he were unconscious again.

OS-16 13


Records of the Vanguard, OS-I6 13

CY6: This Shirazi character had such promise. All the potential of humankind at her fingertips. Then, scruples. Poor Clovis Bray. Poor Willa. How human.

ZAV: How lucky for us, you mean.

CY6: Now all the play's been played and all the fun's done. Back to the strategy table for old Cayde. What's next?

ZAV: We wait.

IR: Until the next unexpected menace rears its head.

List of appearances