Kurt goes retrospective, looking back over the past couple of years and realising what's changed. His friends, himself, even the city. But they will all carry on, absorbing the changes, because that is what civilisations do.
I wonder what the Third Power thought of me. I can imagine Roberto Solitano, or whoever the leader of the Third Power was, smirking as he read a report of how the Academy's star scientist had been completely fooled by two agents in succession. When he walked past me in the corridors of the Academy, what did he see? Someone who didn't have the wit to look for the long solution, only the answers in front of his nose? Someone laughable?
The truth is, he probably didn't even see me. I was just another source of information, someone to keep track of in case the Academy got too close to the Third Power. Caine was spying on the whole Cube Retrieval Team, not just me, and it would've been Sente's portal that'd be the focus of his investigations. Violet and me... well, we were extra-curricular entertainment. Maybe he started getting concerned when we were at Lancewood, and obviously he would've been very careful when Scarlett was kidnapped, but I doubt we were ever taken seriously.
I visited Scarlett in hospital yesterday. I almost didn't want to... I don't like seeing her in this state. Physically, she's recovering very well. And in some ways, her mind, her character, it's still the same. It's her world that's changed. It used to be that people were basically good, that she could trust her family and friends. That safety was something you assumed as a right.
I don't know whether she'll ever feel safe again. People she doesn't know have tortured her for information she doesn't have. Her father was keeping dark secrets from her, for reasons that impacted millions. Her friend was a killer. And every time she tries to catch a breath, the world changes again.
Everyone has to grow up eventually. But it shouldn't be like this.
They say that men are always more aggressive than women, and there's only one time where that's not true. That's when a woman's children are being threatened. I've seen Violet being angry before, but I've never seen it so terrible or so focused as I did after we discovered that Caine was in the Third Power. I think Violet sees herself as being responsible for Scarlett, in place of their mother. And I think she believes she's failed.
I wasn't angry when I discovered the truth about Caine. I just thought, there's one more person who sees others as just counters on a board, points on a score. Everything he did was a lie, and he's dead to me now. Caine and Miranda, and all of the Third Power, were dazzlingly brilliant people who believed they were justified in doing anything in the service of their own goals. Anything.
I look at the Academy and the city, and I can see that the most conspicuous signs of our power and progress are the ones that are most easily destroyed. It's happened before, with the war.
And yet this city - this civilisation - has recovered. It took almost three hundred years, but we recovered and we rebuilt. We didn't have any saints, we just had millions of people with their own good intentions. People trying to make things a tiny bit better. It doesn't matter whether you succeed or fail. It matters that you tried, because otherwise, no-one else will.
We picked ourselves up, and we kept on going. That's what we always have to do.