Marcus found me first, as he shouted orders at the ones loading the ship. He turned and came over. “It is good that you have woken, he said. "You can carry lighter things.”
He began to turn away, and I asked, “Is that how you greet a man who died?”
He turned, eyes flashing. “Died? Timaeus died. Ion died. Philemon died. They all died because of you. You were wounded. Julius came back to sew you. Now we heal like mastodons. But dying hurts.”
I stood there as he walked away. I had never thought they would remember that. Exhausted, I sat. The grass of the tundra was coarse and stiff and brown. I knew it would taste acrid if I tried it. The ground beneath the grass was cold and the ground beneath it mud, but the sun fell warm across my shoulders. My eyes closed. A multitude of birds chirped in the shrubs nearby. I drifted, and may have slept.
“I owe you an apology,” said the voice of Jerem Cozak, and I started to hear him near. “I misunderstood what the White Swarm said.” He placed his hand upon my shoulder as he spoke.
“I think that may be a very easy thing to do,” I said. “Faith Gata...”
He nodded, squatting on the grass beside me. “A memory of the Blood of History, which the White Swarm now holds, one of the oldest.”
“Was he really...”
“Your father? Did he raise you, beat you, expect too much? Do you have his skin, his chin, his disposition?”
“In my dream I never saw myself.”
He smiled. “Just so. But now you have known the memories of the woman named History and the man named Faith. You know they are both long dead.”
“And I know I was raised by a poor woman in Ariel until the age of eight, when the Historians of the Temple of the Profusion started caring for me. But I know the Blood of History may manufacture sons,” I said, and nodded to the nearest Never-born.
“Just so again. So you must ask yourself: are you an orphan of the street raised for a while by a generous soul, or are you the culmination of a thousand years of dreams and memory and prophecy, anointed for some purpose? Or will you ask why these two must conflict?”