These events take place during the events of Rationality Zero. They are from the perspective of the Wonderworker Amir Cadavas, and may give perspective on some events from Cascading Error Critical and The Wormwood Event.
Amir Cadavas curled his lip, the faintest sign of disdain.
"There you are," he snarled. He slipped back behind one of the marble pillars of the airport, ignoring the travelers walking by him. Only one person among the throng interested him.
Michael Bishop strode through the airport, all suit, sunglass, and saunter.
A young woman turned her head as he passed.
Amir snorted in disgust.
Yes. Michael Bishop left an impression—an impression of vapidity, of a hollow thing. Handsome? Perfectly so. Yet his appearance belied a shadow within, a coldness that no human could ever truly understand.
Except, of course, one who had felt it.
"There it is," his companion muttered. He twitched, as if a man who had a palsy.
"We do as directed." Amir gazed at the shattered man, at his wide, almost wild eyes. "I know you want him dead. You have good reason. Still, we do as bid."
"It cannot die. Anything that made it human is gone," the broken man said. "I should know. There's nothing left."
Inwardly, Amir chuckled. Ever since Michael Bishop and his fellows had abandoned this one, deep in the jungles of the Yucatán, murderous rage had boiled just beneath the surface. Once a Designate of the Facility, now the broken man worshiped the Unfathomable One, a creature who dwelt deep within the oceans. He'd happily revealed his secrets, once he'd been exposed to the right kind of persuasion.
He'd died as Designate Davis. Now he called himself the Wayward One. Vengeance against the Facility smoldered in his every thought.
The Wayward One twitched, his head jerking slightly.
"You hear their thoughts." Amir watched the man who had been a Designate. "Even now."
"I hear everything," Davis said. "I'm still connected to their systems, in a tenuous way. I need to be close, but yes." He turned to Amir. "I can hear them."
"Extraordinary," Amir responded. "Whispered secrets in your mind."
"This I offer the Unfathomable," he ranted. "All the secrets of the Adversary. Simply grant me a place."
"We shall see," Amir said. He frowned, just a bit.
"It approaches," the broken man hissed, watching Bishop. "It cannot be allowed to recognize me." He stepped away, not looking back.
Michael Bishop glanced at Amir as he approached the lavatory.
No recognition flashed there.
No, Amir had only worn this form for a while. Michael Bishop had no reason to expect Amir to even be alive.
Death was but a doorway, after all.
The Silent Gentleman moved past another figure, one exiting the restroom. Bishop's gaze followed the man before stepping inside.
Amir waited a full ten seconds. Thirty.
No screams echoed forth from the small room. No one walking by noted anything strange.
Breathe, He thought to himself. He gave a two figured gesture to another man who stood across the way. That man stepped into the lavatory and then right back out.
He shrugged, shaking his head.
A smile crept over Amir's face.
Three days had been spent on personal sanctification, another week on discovering the perfect place. Summoning the Arachniis to the airport had been nigh-impossible, yet...
Now, all happened in moments. Without a snag or snare.
He relaxed his mind, breathing slowly. No matter how lucky Bishop might be, this place in time had been deemed perfect. He had his mind on another mission; he had little to no equipment. If he hadn't come out by now...
"The Arachniis has him." Amir nodded, ever more certain.
Amir turned, walking away through the airport. Now, he needed only lose himself in the masses.
Any moment the Adversary's servitors would begin to arrive.
He needed make haste.
He rounded the edge of the food court, trying to ignore the disgusting scent of grease and human sweat. Holding his fingers in the Seventh Sign, he relaxed his mind, reached within his memory.
He sought the gate of his darkest dreams. A place where even thoughts have teeth.
There. The fissure burned in his imaginings, jagged and lethal. It whispered terrible things. It burned with the power of the Noctiis, a sliver of broken time.
It is done, Amir thought, directing his thoughts at the schism. Michael Bishop has surely been taken by the Arachniis.
Minutes later, he stepped outside. A car awaited him. He slid into the passenger seat.
It is done, Amir thought again. Tell me, is he finished?
No, Uncle. The Harbinger felt immeasurably cold, her voice distant in time and space. Those words burned and whispered, cruel in a way that Grace Juarez had never been.
Never been... before.
He isn't. Amir sighed. The task is incomplete.
It is. He lives yet.