I am Witt's daughter. I'm proud she was willing to turn on Xander.
There. I said it. Someone had to. Someone had to take Zuri's side. Someone had to be something other than a coward.
But I've done something I'm not proud of. I stole from an old woman. I think she was blind or something. I stole myself into her good graces. She probably never even suspected who I was. I visited her, one stormy evening, called myself her biggest fan, asked why she had stopped writing so many years ago...and begged for a new story. She told me one, all right.
Her words were rambling. I'm sorry, I should tell you her name. Iris. Her name was Iris. Iris was obviously in poor health, as I was saying. I think she was dying. Well, like I said, I'm not proud of what I did. I took advantage of her. She was just looking for someone to take pity on her, someone to share her pain. Just like anyone else.
It's not as if I lied to her. I really didn't. I can rightly say I was her biggest fan, read everything she ever wrote, cherished every word, and I really did want a new story from her. The last one. The most important one she ever wrote. What I have since called the Book of Iris, because it's so important.
I left her in the quiet hours of the morning. It had finally stopped raining, and she had fallen asleep in her armchair. She looked peaceful. I'd like to think so, anyway. If she's still alive, I wonder if she even remembers I was there. I told her my name was Vaughn. Of course it isn't. Vaughn's the sorry fool I did it for. He has me nearly convinced he wants the truth. Him and his stupid robot. Maybe it's wrong to disparage artificial intelligence, but it's ingrained in primitive organic minds like mine to fear such things. It's a mortal fear, something they know nothing about.
Maybe that's the point. Maybe it's a good thing. Maybe I'll let them have the book. Then someone will know. Finally, they'll know...
"But this is not the story," says Kindly.