—Transcript of Agent X-23’s Dowsing Experience on Mount Pannawau—
Three men are approaching. They have the heads of owls, and magnificent breasts. With them is a teenage boy, shirtless. He seems calm, and is carrying a small parcel in his hand.
But it’s difficult to concentrate on that because someone has left the door open again, and its light streams out behind the group as they make their way down the slope. It’s blinding, shining into me, through me, finding all my secrets, my dark desires, whispering to them, touching them, caressing them, coaxing them into life. I feel a swelling at my middle, in my head, in my heart. Skin pulls taut and hard, and a ringing starts in my ears, fit to split my head open. I want to run, whether toward the door or away from it I cannot say, but my feet refuse to move. I tug and I heave and I beg them to move, but they will not, and then I know why. The roots. The roots that have grown out of the wand in my hands, up my arms, past my heart and into my groin, down my legs to the feet and onward, ever onward, down down into the mountain itself.
And somewhere, deep down in the bedrock, a calmness. A reassurance that I cannot be touched here. Not now. Later, the light whispers, and I shudder as it caresses me one last time, and then retreats. It still shines down the mountain, illuminating the scene before me with an eerie glow. But it leaves me, moves around me, and once again I can see.