JADE: theres something i need to tell you

JADE: theres no point in hiding it any more

Jade's words, spoken in a nothing more than a dramatic whisper, nevertheless seem to echo in John's ears. Her face is somehow in shadow despite the sunny day, and John swears there's even a unexpected chill in the air. He feels a nervous prickling sensation crawl its way up his spine.

The windmills in John's brain slowly start to creak into motion. It must be something big. Something really big. Something so big that his sister would come all the way here to tell him in person, abandoning her scouting mission in the middle of an armed conflict to do so. As well as her husband, John realizes with a start, as Dave's curious absence finally brings itself to his attention. Hot on the heels of that realization is another, and another, and then another. Jade's mouth moves without a sound now: the wind that only exists in John's head is drowning out everything she's saying, as it whips itself up into a gale and his mind races frantically towards a conclusion. All at once he reaches the eye of the storm, and then, from somewhere out of a half-remembered dream, comes the sensation of falling. A burning golden city. A girl's screaming.

There is only one thing that Jade Harley has ever valued so highly above everything else, even her own life.


JOHN: jade...

JOHN: are you pregnant?