Birds is in the Jupiter garden now, surrounded by weeping cherry trees and curtains of hanging tree moss. Spread out on the ground around her are a number of maps in various stages of completion, scraps of paper with torn edges, and a number of jars and boxes with pigments and other bookmaking supplies.
Thirteen A rustle of moss announces the arrival of Thirteen.
Thirteen "Hello, Birds-of-Trinity."
Birds "Hello, Thirteen. Please take care not to step on any of the papers."
Thirteen "I will do my utmost."
Thirteen "Are you all right? I did not have the opportunity to see to the wound you suffered in the defense of the manse."
Birds is silent for a long moment, thinking.
Birds "I am...well enough, but maybe my wounds would appreciate your attention."
Thirteen steps forward, carefully negotiating the papers, and gently cradles Birds's head in his hands, investigating the injury lightly with his fingers.
Thirteen "It is not serious." He runs a finger along the edge of the cut, and it is gone.
Birds makes a small noise. "Thanks."
Birds "I don't suppose that detail was actually why you came looking for me?
Thirteen "Are you all right?"
Birds "I'm doing better than some of us."
Thirteen "I have asked Lucent to talk to Zahara. I do not know how else to aid her."
Birds "That is...something. I think Zahara will do what is needed when it's time."
Birds "She is suffering, but we don't need to worry about her."
Thirteen "I am not sure I can help it."
Thirteen clenches a fist in frustration.
Thirteen "Damn Cerin!"
Birds takes Thirteen's hand and pulls it open.
Birds "I'm worried too. I don't know how to stop."
Birds "But if we don't stop then it will consume us with fear and self-observation. We must look outward."
Birds releases his hand. "If we look too closely at ourselves, I'm afraid for what we'll see."
Thirteen "I am not sure."
Thirteen "I was ready to kill the Bone Dagger Kings."
Thirteen "If I had not considered, I might not have stayed my hand, or I might not have realized the value of doing so."
Thirteen "If we wish to rise above the people we have been, we must know them."
Thirteen "Otherwise we will be merely shadows of our ancestors."
Thirteen "They could not stop the deluge. But we must."
Birds "She is not the one I am worried about, nor you."
Birds "Do you know what? Lucent came to me today and we also discussed the problem of Zahara, and... the things I suggested to him!"
Thirteen "What did you suggest to him?"
Birds "I didn't say it in as many words, but...I thought, if we feed her heart to him again, then we can have that Zahara back, the indestructible one, the one whose heart was made of adamant."
Thirteen "Yes. I understand your concern."
Thirteen takes Birds's hand lightly in his.
Thirteen "Out of all the members of our circle, you are one of the two I trust."
Thirteen "Do not be afraid of your heart."
Thirteen "The horrors we consider, in our anger and loss, are not important. We accept the responsibility only for the horrors we perpetrate."
Birds "Who is the other?"
Thirteen "I cannot promise you that we will not make sacrifices in our war, both of that which we have and that which we are."
Thirteen "But nothing can be lost that cannot be regained."
Thirteen "I am sorry that I left you, at Golbai."
Birds "I am sorry that I disappointed you."
Birds "But we are not those people anymore."
Thirteen "No. We are not."
Birds "We have made enough sacrifices. I think it is time to start taking things back."
Thirteen "I cannot disagree. Indeed, my thought is bent on it."
Birds "Also, I think I cannot be Birds-of-Trinity any longer."
Birds "I need a new name."
Thirteen "What do you suggest?"
Birds "I am thinking on it. Perhaps I will be an eagle."
Birds "Or...did you know that sometimes, in the south, when a body is cremated a bird with a long tail emerges from the flames, carrying the skull in its talons?"
Birds "We call it a pyre phoenix. It is a very auspicious omen."
Thirteen "They arise from the ashes of death."
Thirteen "You must tell me more about your homeland, Birds. Or Phoenix?"
Birds "Birds, for now." She clenches her teeth. "I am not dead yet."
Thirteen "And you will not be, while I remain."
Thirteen "There have been enough deaths."
Thirteen "I love you, Birds-of-Trinity."
Thirteen "Excuse me. I have much to prepare for."
Birds embraces Thirteen before he goes, not saying anything.
Thirteen carefully steps over papers as he heads towards the library.