I once had a conversation with Zuri. I told her exactly what I thought about the Order, and why I had to resign from it. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I could stand the reproach of Greer, of Lark, of the whole Order, but not Zuri. I needed to know she still believed in me. I was at a crossroads in my life. The galaxy no longer made sense to me. I saw the Order as decadent, as no longer serving its original purpose, of serving no purpose at all except to prop up a way of life, and that was not the Order had represented, in its glorious, exultant past, the past I believed in, the past I joined the Order to maintain. Not what it became. Not the soulless, custodial entity it became.
I knew it would be difficult for her. How difficult, I confess now, I sadly underestimated. I did not join the side of Reeve to support him, but as a misguided protest. I saw that only too late. Reeve represented everything I hated, what the Order was meant to guard against, its opposite number, in many respects. A child of the same lineage, but distorted, abhorrent.
I did not foresee a regrettable great many things. I did not know what Xander would do. I tell myself this as a way to exonerate me from the further abominations that sprang from my actions. I died, by the way, at the hands of Ulysses, but it was too small a payment, and I do not feel as if I can ever pay enough. How could I? In my misguided attempt to save the Order I destroyed it. Me alone. I carry this burden in death as if the sins of all time, across a thousand worlds, rest on my shoulders. In a way they do.
If I could speak with Zuri again, what would I tell her? Everything. I would tell her everything. I realize now that I didn't tell her anything at all. I forced her into an impossible situation. She alone would face the Order, and she wasn't prepared for that, anymore than the Order itself. That's why it happened. That's what I tell myself, anyway.
I came from a privileged few. I learned too late just how privileged.
"But this is not the story," says Kindly.