Under a banner bearing a wing and a spiral Jerome sallies forth. No trumpets announce his going, no crowds mark his passing; he walks through the gates of the city of Galt like any other traveler. He is a spy, an agent, a scout; a friend to those in need, those still lost in the labyrinth, a memory of magic like water in a desert land. Thus he pays those who found him, those who held the door open against his coming.
The sun shines cruel in the labyrinth, and knives are worn strapped to the thigh. Colin is armed with a knife and a stick, but more than these with the memory of Galt. They have never seen that city, those lost, never sat idling in its cafes, or browsed dreamily through its libraries, never seen the Tower of Flight. Some have conjured rainbows, banquets, peace; these are his meat, his hope of return.
He lingers by the river’s edge, last boundary between Galt and the labyrinth. He remembers other incursions, days of whips and hunger, and sets his feet from home.