I found Nightjar. Blood of the Bright Ones, I found him.
I knew it was foolish of me, but I didn't care. I went back to the old house, I looked at its burned remains. And that where I saw him. He was inside the burned out husk of a house, sitting on the soot-covered floor.
I went inside. "Nightjar? What happened? Where have you been?"
He didn't answer me. He had his eyes closed.
"Nightjar?" I crept closer to him.
Then he spoke: "It took me a while. To get up the courage. I didn't want to do it, but I had to. I had to do it, don't you see?"
"Do what?" I asked. "Are you...are you responsible for the attack?"
"No," he said. "But I suspect they were after me."
Without opening his eyes, he pulled out a syringe from his pocket. "Because of this." I knew what it was. Before he even said it, I knew what it was. "Ink."
"I took it," he said. "It hurt so much. Every time I let them out. I thought the hurt would go away, but it didn't. It always hurt. Do you know how long I have been hurting? You were lucky, you got to stay on the Shore. I was sent back here almost immediately. I've been hurting for years. I've stored up so much hurt I couldn't take it anymore."
"So you, what, want to become a Camper?"
"I don't want to be a Nest," he said. He opened his eyes and I could see the pain in his eyes. "But I knew I couldn't leave. Not without dying. Not without becoming empty. So the Ichor was my only choice. It'll keep me alive."
"But you won't be," I said. "Alive. You'll be part of it. Part of the Camper."
"But I won't hurt, will I?" Nightjar said. He closed his eyes again. "That's my obsession, it seems. My own pain. But soon it won't matter. I'll just go to a place with lots of people and drink more ink until the hurt stops. Until I stop." He smiled. "So go run along, little Cuckoo. Go back and tell everyone. I won't care at all."
So I turned and came back.
I don't know what to tell the others. I don't know what to do.
I just don't fucking know.