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Copia

Point of view: Lift, Arclo
Setting: Yeddaw

The storm hasn't fully arrived yet, but it hasn't a stormwall either. It would make a creeping advance. Lift creeps into the alley, passing between shanties which are mostly empty with almost everyone having gone to the bunkers. She moved deeper into darkness and silence. Wyndle doesn't like the place, says it feels wrong. To Lift, everything has been wrong since Darkness had first stalked her. She stumbles across a body. Wyndle suddenly wraps himself around her leg. A flash of lightning reveals the body to be that of Darkness's female apprentice. Lift gasps, jumps backward, and bumps into another body behind her. The next flash of lightning reveals it to be Darkness's male apprentice. The old man's voice - the philosopher's - speaks to her. Lift is disoriented. she asks the old man what he is. She picks him out from the shadows, but he isn't really all there. Chunks are missing. He is naked, has strange holes in his stomach and is missing an eye. Cremlings are climbing up his legs ... and coating the walls of the alley. He asks Lift what it is to be her and calls her little Radiant. Cremlings begin to fill in his eye, holes and body parts. Lift again asks him what he is, and he claims to be just another refugee. Lift backs away from him, wanting to get away from him. he tells her not to fear him, that her war is his war. That ancient Radiants named him friend and ally before everything went wrong. Lift accuses him of killing the two people in the alley. This, he admits, though not in self-defense; they weren't capable of killing him. However, they asked for a contest and he gave them one. A flash of lightning reveals him to have a newly formed hand. He makes an assessment of her compared to some few well-known others. Taking out a sphere, he reveals his face to be the likeness of an old man. She sees that she made it around the body of the dead soldier and that if she climbs upwards she can escape. He states that he isn't the one Nale is chasing and calls the Herald a madman. He will also allow her to flee if that's what she really wants to do. But if she wants to save the other Surgebinder ... . Lift asks him what he knows about Darkness's plans, Radiants, Voidbringers, everything. He says his siblings are more interested in Radiants and that if she ever encounters another one of the Sleepless, tell them she's spoken with Arclo. He finds her interesting though and wishes her to answer some questions. He speaks as he dresses in a shiqua about how special she is and about cities, people, places. Lift asks him what if she's not special or doesn't know what to do. He says instinct will guide her. Lift then asks him what if he's wrong. What if everybody is frightened and nobody has the answers. (This is the conclusion that has always been too intimidating for her to consider.) She says she left Azir because she was afraid. She came to Tashikk because it's where her feet took her. She says that tonight she decided to be here. Arclo thinks this to be nonsense. Lift realizes that she didn't heal that boy. The Stump did. She's a Radiant who sucks in Stormlight from the spheres she trades to heal the kids who weren't born sick. Those kids she lets stay at the orphanage.

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