While Sundar’s stock is rising with Syr’Nj, E-Merl’s is dropping. Take this healing potion for WAV, you drama llama, and quit with the defeatism.

As this scene begins, I offer a reminder: HR is fundamentally mistaken about who Syr’Nj—who any of the Five—truly are. By turns, he will address her as if she’s just a gamer he’s got floating in a tube in his office (“We have met before”) and as if she’s a creation of his own two hands (“I am pretty much your god”), fashioned with or without that gamer’s assistance. Neither concept is correct, but the truth doesn’t feed HR’s narcissism quite as much. So he’s never gonna quite see her for who she is, at least not while he’s truly still “HR.”

This interaction is not really about advancing his goals. It’s about fulfilling his psychological needs. The Cultists’ mostly blind worship is not enough. He needs to be appreciated and understood. And for that he needs…not a peer, exactly, he has no peers…but someone whose intellect he can respect. That’s a lot of what Carol did for him, and one reason he extended her so much trust. Of the Five, Syr’Nj resembles Carol the most closely by far, so here he is, trying to replicate on Arkerra the relationship he had on Earth. Let’s, uh, see how that works out for him.