Shook shoved his hands in his pockets and strode towards the mess, huddled into his jacket against the alternating heat and cold. He walked through patches of dusk and morning and moonless night that skittered across the courtyard.

Rupture and Yank were sharing a cigarette just outside the door. “You don’t want to go in there,” said Yank, twirling the smoke in his long fingers. “Cloister’s holding court. Preaching about our lost purpose.”

“What’s for dinner?” asked Shook.

Rupture shrugged. “Usual. Bits of morale, hope, whatever they can parse out of the heartbox.”

Shook sighed. “I hate this fucking siege.”


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