The blade struck home between the plates of my armour, and I felt the laser-etched steel bury itself within my chest. It was cold. Colder than anything I’ve ever felt in my entire life. One wrong step and the man had me dead to rights. Torian was always better than I was with a knife. Every duel at the Academy saw me beaten because of his mastery with edged weapons. I had him with ranged weapons, though, as my eyes were far better and didn’t suffer from a degenerative disease.
When we met in the skies above Kaeshana, however, we didn’t fight with rifles. There wasn’t the room. The station we battled in was rife with tight, spinal corridors. It would’ve been a nightmare to have a proper firefight. We’d be wasting munitions as we moved from one bulkhead to the next. No, everything would be decided more intimately. Regardless of how I approached the situation, the fact that I marched towards my inevitable demise was apparent. There was no way I would’ve survived fighting that former Battle-brother of mine.
Carnelian droplets spilled from my lips, and from the wound between my armour plates. My life’s essence gracelessly departed from my sundered flesh and began coating the deck of this ancient station.
At least when I went, there would be something that would remember me.
Torian spoke, then. The man said some words about how he hated those events played out the way they did. He loathed the choices I made, and the banner I elected to stand beneath. The man considered me his kin - yet struck me down as if I was nothing more than farm-bound swine. Everything that bound us together in the past was severed in the very moment the sharpened steel pierced my flesh. Torian left me then. Left me to die, bleeding out like a stuck pig. That was when the coldness of the blade in my flesh began to spread, swiftly enveloping me with its icy chill.
Death’s frigid fingers were claiming their prize.
Something changed. The hoarfrost that gripped my form began to recede, which in turn reignited the searing pain of the knife in my side.
“We’ve got you.”
I don’t know who spoke those words, but they were all that I could remember after the darkness took me.
I died on Kaeshana, but through a mysterious stranger’s salvation - I was reborn.