I'm the one who convinced Vaughn to take Kindly seriously. He's going to overlook that fact for eternity. I just know it. And it only figures. That's life for you.
I should know. I've been dealing with this sort of thing for decades, ever since I was an apprentice of the Sapo Order. Perhaps the most important one ever. If I hadn't made the decision to turn on Xander, then Zuri would have been lost, and with her, the whole galaxy. Big stakes, those. Not that I'm taking all of the credit. In truth, I'm as much to blame as anyone else. As much a coward as anyone else.
Actually, to my ever-lasting shame, I further told Vaughn he should keep the whole thing buried. Let history forget it. Legend becomes myth. Myth becomes just a story. No one believes myths anymore. Why would they?
Like I said, I'm a coward.
There was a time I would have argued anything but. I was just as cocky as anyone else, a time when I knew Xander and Zuri merely as demanding masters in the Order, when I dueled Yvette in the training arena, blissfully unaware of the conflict the masters were hashing out, the gravity of the situation. I had never questioned Xander, never even dreamed of it. When he spoke, I took it as the gospel truth, and why shouldn't I have? His thinking was pure Sapo orthodoxy. It was Zuri who was the heretic, who sympathized with Quentin, her old master, who had defected to the side of the tyrant Reeve. What else was I supposed to think?
It was in the aftermath of Reeve's fall that everything fell apart. Suddenly no one knew who to trust anymore. At first I blamed Zuri. Why wouldn't I? It seemed only natural. She became a pariah to the whole Order, before even it fell, victim of a greater betrayal than could possibly have been imagined before, even Quentin's, even Reeve's. Well, sure, I knew the stories that circulated about Reeve. Any good apprentice would.
I assumed the villain was Zuri, but it was Xander. My own master. What other choice did I have? In the end, of course, it didn't matter. It came down to Xander and Zuri, and then nothing mattered at all. It was all over. The Order was gone, and with it any semblance of order. No one knew how important Sapo was until it was gone.
Most of all, me. I grew old. Yeah, somehow I survived. I guess I wasn't important enough, or was too big a coward. Didn't do nearly enough. Like everyone else.
So what can I say? Except, I'm sorry.
"But this is not the story," says Kindly.