Jazz is both relieved and terrified when the letter comes, carried by a tiny white pigeon that flutters exhaustedly into his room.

It's from Baroque.

He tears the seal with shaking hands, and the smudged-ink paper falls open in his lap. He recognizes the handwriting as Serenade's, and his heart leaps up into his throat with sadness and joy because the princess is alive, still, to fight through this hell.

We are surrounded, it says, and the first part of the last word is smeared until he reads it as 'wounded' the first time through. Crescendo has been captured—assumed dead. This war will kill us all. Gods' speed.

Jazz crumples the letter in his fist and throws it to the ground, and the little pigeon flutters as if unused to such violence. This war will kill them all.