[Long description: The optical lens of MarkOS’s respirator lights up, projecting an image out into the cockpit. It’s one of hellfire and brimstone, a vision of the rift before it became a rift. A shell explodes beneath the belly of a tank, while an aircraft of some kind breaks through the curtain of smoke. Those that aren’t killed in the blast take up the charge, scorching the earth with carbine and fire.
???: I was looking over your report, and I couldn’t help but notice… In it, you say that: “According to local accounts, much of the planet was devastated during an imperial campaign, several hundred years ago.”
The frame pulls out of the projection, to show Chief and MarkOS gazing at it.
Chief: Yes, there was—
The projection cuts out as the stranger cuts off the Chief.
???: That’s ridiculous. There’s no record of that in the Archive. Not here or anywhere else.
MarkOS’s movements emulate those of the shadowy figure, one who puppets him from several thousand lightyears away...]