Yewll: "These things'll kill you. Far more efficiently than a poorly planned Volge attack."
Nicky: "That was Birch's idea."
Yewll: "And triggering a radiation leak in Old St. Louis? You guys are idiots, you're reckless and you're stupid and that's why I stopped working with you..."
Nicky: "He's dead."
Yewll: "So we're the only two left?"
Nicky: "I need you. Come back. I think I'm being watched, and I can't do it on my own. Come on! I finally got my hands on one of the Kolovan. The Golden Knot..."
Yewll: "Nicolette! Destroy it. Immediately."
Nicky: "Together we could reshape this planet."
Yewll: "Reshape? Or destroy."
"You can't create without destroying. I thought you would have figured that out by now, Doctor."
"Reshape" and "destroy" being key concepts for the Alekta as well, after that last line. I think it's terraforming for sure now -- maybe that's why they put the bubble over Old St. Louis in the first place? -- but I can't imagine what the end result would be. All these conspiracies, she sits in the middle of them. She and Datak and Rafe, with Pilar. She and Rafe, the affair. She and Birch and Yewll and who knows who else, Ben Daris and Luke as junior members, with the Kaziri. She was a quartermaster in the Pale Wars, and Yewll was on the other side, and nobody knows how the Volge got here or why. I wonder how much of this will be explained in the next three weeks?
The wedding goes smashingly, I'm sure, but pre-wedding festivities also mean a return to the question of vanished Hunter Bell, bad husband and possible optics problem for Datak Tarr.
JACOB CLIFTON is a freelance writer and critic based in Austin, Texas. He currently recaps The Killing, Pretty Little Liars, Mistresses, True Blood, and Defiance for TWoP. Jacob can be found online at jacobclifton.com, Twitter, and Facebook, as well as a regular column for Tor.com, Geek Love. A new short story, "This Is Why We Jump," appeared in this month's Clarkesworld Magazine.