The world was made of patterns. Eo lived to break them. It wasn’t that he was antagonistic, quite the opposite. He just knew the truth: within the patterns lay the malice.
The bigger patterns were called cycles. Paradoxically, the bigger ones were harder to see. The interlocking cycles could form larger patterns still, large enough that they couldn’t be seen at all. We do not name the things we cannot see.
Portis toiled away in the pale blue light of midday while the world slept. She stood knee deep in a fresh trench dug from red mud, gentle swooshing noises coming from her helmet like waves on a calm beach. Of course, Septipent had no beaches.
Eo watched intently from the hilltop but the day was silent. The barrel of his eight-foot rail rifle made slow sweeps of the sky. The Sentinels would come; the pattern demanded it.
Portis was pulling at the cables, tearing them from the ground like they were the roots of a great planet-spanning weed. In a way, they were.