The Augur of Dunlain Falls heard a faint sobbing. As he watched, hands that were not his own gently eased to the floor a body that definitely was his own.
Ayrenn? Where are you?
"I'm all around you, Augur," said Ayrenn, her voice loud in his ears. "I am you, and I contain you." Her voice was rough with grief and guilt. "I'm sorry, Augur. I'm sorry that you had to lose your mortal life for this, and I'm sorry that you have to watch me… falling apart."
His vision went dark, and he realized that the eyes through which he saw were Ayrenn's. She had closed her eyes, and laid her head against his still-warm chest. He could hear nothing through her ears. His heart had gone still.
That's really my body? I just died?
IT CANNOT SURVIVE YOUR DESTINATION.
Ayrenn struggled to gather her composure. "Augur, you came here with a Servitor. A Dwemer construct, though you've clearly adapted it for a new task-set."
The Augur of Dunlain Falls tried to focus on memories of the time before. The entire history of the world seemed to be split, before and after a moment, a few short breaths ago, when he became someone new. Perhaps he became something new. Perhaps–
"Don't think of your arrival. Consider instead what you know and what you can do. Can you call your Servitor?"
I can. I can whistle, and it will move to me.
"Try," said Ayrenn, rising to her feet.
I… I have no mouth.
Ayrenn smiled. "You can borrow mine."
When the Augur spoke, he could hear his own voice and Ayrenn's at the same time. It felt like he was constantly interrupting himself. "I'll — I — Call –"
Ayrenn gently pushed his awareness back from her body and said, "Don't speak. My voice confuses you. Focus on my breath, and my lips. Think back to Rimmen if you must…"
The Augur felt a warm flush in his soul at the memory, and felt the response in his… her body, rising to match. Indeed, her lips and her breath were very familiar. He could imagine exactly how it would feel to purse those lips and blow a sharp wind through them.
A piercing whistle echoed through the cavern, a high soprano, trailing to a soft alto at the end.
That was louder than I usually manage.
KYNE IS STRONG WITH YOU BOTH.
Whirring and clanging noises above the cavern heralded the Servitor's descent. Two dozen claws dragged the segmented bodies of ten different Dwemer animunculi across the cavern's roof and down its walls.
You've been referring to yourself in the second person. Don't you mean "us"?
SHE IS ME NO LONGER. I HAVE CARVED FROM MYSELF A MEASURE OF MY ESSENCE. SHE CAN GO WHERE I CANNOT.
What did that cost you?
"Not much," said Ayrenn, answering for her former host, "Perhaps an era or two."
The Servitor clanked and scraped its way to the Augur's body, where it waited patiently for its dead master to issue another order.
"Also," said Ayrenn, her voice becoming hoarse again, "the capacity for love. That price was almost too great to bear."
You've lost it?
"No, Augur. I've gained it."
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