“Will you come somewhere with me?” he asked after Ivy’s tears had gone quiet, her breathing raspy.

Wiping her face on the sleeve of his jacket, she looked up with red-rimmed eyes. “You know I’d go anywhere with you.”

First they dropped Rabbit off with Ivy’s parents. Then Vasic ’ported Ivy to a room at Central Command. She glanced around the spartan space with its single bed made up with military neatness, the only other piece of furniture a metal trunk at the end of the bed. “Is this your room?”

“I slept here.” Going to the trunk, he flipped it open to retrieve a piece of paper. He didn’t really need that paper, with all the names branded on his brain and backed up on a secure computronic drive. But he’d started writing the names on this list the day he’d understood exactly how he’d been used, what he’d done, and now the yellowed sheet was both a talisman and a physical reminder of the debt he owed.

Ivy put a hand on his shoulder where he crouched by the trunk. “What’s that?”

“A list of the people I was sent to erase.” He looked up, held her gaze; never had he lied to her about who he was, the things he’d done. Today, he told her the worst of it, his heart a block of ice. “Some were murdered by those whose Silence had broken, others were ‘accidents’ at the hands of out-of-control anchors, still others were the victims of serial killers the Council couldn’t afford to acknowledge.

“I had to make them disappear, get rid of any trace of their deaths.” He’d cleaned blood out of carpet, made bodies vanish into crematoriums, erased betraying particles of DNA, destroyed any other physical evidence. “I wiped these people out of existence, stole the peace of a final good-bye from their families.”

Gentle fingers stroked through his hair. “You remember each name,” she whispered. “That matters.”

“Not enough.” He rose, the list in his hand. “Someone once said to me that I had no right to rest until I could give the lost their names, set the record straight. I don’t want that kind of rest anymore,” he said, rage in his blood at the idea of leaving her. “But I can’t go forward without paying this debt.”

“I understand.” Taking the list from him, she unfolded it. “What can I do to help?”

Such a simple question. It threatened to break him. “Just be with me.”

Ivy nodded and slipped her hand into his. He took them first to a secure room that was the records hub when it came to births and deaths among the Psy. Using a password he’d been given by a fellow Arrow who’d had reason to have hacked the system, he logged in and uploaded the corrected files, ensured the changes were made across the entire system.

If a member of a victim’s family checked the records now, they’d find the truth, discover exactly how their family member had died. But that wasn’t enough. No one might ever check. I considered sending an e-mail to each family unit with details of the updated information, he telepathed Ivy, but some have no families . . . and others will not care. I’ll personally deliver the truth to the ones who will care, who’ve searched for that truth.

He held the clear honesty of her gaze. It could take as long as twenty-four hours. One of the final precious days before he placed his life in the hands of a surgeon who’d given him an eight to ten percent chance of survival.

Even if it takes seventy-two, Ivy replied, her expression both tender and fierce, we’ll make sure we reach every single one of them.

Vasic said nothing; there was nothing to say. His Ivy understood him.

Upload complete, he teleported them to a remote location beside a brace of staggering mountains, home to a stonemason who worked with his hands. “Oh, there you are!” the white-haired man called out. “You got my message, I see! I sent it as soon as I finished.”

They followed the sturdy-limbed artisan down a pebbled pathway swept free of snow. He eventually stopped beside a simple obelisk about seven feet tall, the stone a smooth black with glittering minerals wound through the midnight. “It’s lovely,” Ivy whispered, a fist gripping her heart. She knew without asking that Vasic had chosen the stone, taken great care to create a memorial haunting in its beauty.

“Yes, yes.” The stonemason smiled, smoothing his weathered palm over the stone with pride. “Each name, I do by hand. See? All perfect. I checked to make sure no mistakes.”

Regardless of the man’s words, Vasic spoke each name aloud from memory as he checked the obelisk, his hand intertwined with hers. With every name he spoke, he telepathed her the truth of that person’s death. Her eyes burned for all those who had been lost, many so young. And her heart, it broke for her Arrow who carried the weight of these losses on his shoulders in silent penance.

He spoke the last name and went quiet. Beside them, the stonemason surreptitiously wiped away a tear. “This is good, what you do,” he said into the quiet. “The heavens weep.”

Thanking the stonemason for his work, Vasic ’ported the memorial to a place of astonishing beauty on a high bluff that overlooked a serene aquamarine beach, waves rolling gently to shore and grasses waving in the wind. Instead of using his Tk to sink the foundation of the obelisk into the ground, Vasic dug for two hours with a shovel he’d left there earlier.

Ivy got on her knees and used her hands to clear away the dirt.

After it was done, they stood in silence for a long minute. “This isn’t enough,” Vasic said at last. “This place is isolated.”

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