[[ Author’s note; This is a very odd style of writing but it’s the only way I felt like I could get this across as cryptically as I needed. It makes much more sense if you read the canon lore of course, there’s a lot of references to lore and in game so I hope you guys like it, and hope you don’t get confused by the odd style! The – indicates gaps in time. (Past, present, present-future)]]
“Catherine, you can’t do this!”
Kestrel barely raised her voice. Ever. But now, it was high pitched, loud, and on the verge of cracking from stress and holding back sobs.
“Catherine please, you can’t send her off, not alone. Let me go, I have my camoflauge, I’ll be completely safe!”
The teenager was practically clinging onto the older woman, who merely shrugged her off and reminded her that her orders were for reasons; and she only sent who she thought would be capable for the job.
“No extra units are needed, Kestrel, she will be completely fine on her own. You’ve seen how she has grown.”
“How can you be so calm about this? She is younger than me! You can’t send a kid out there.”
“Only by one year. She’s not a kid, and she has been trained quite well. The best swordswoman we have, you know.”
“If anyone else but you were questioning my orders like this, I would have snapped at them by now. Believe me when I say I know what I am doing.” The captain placed a hand on her subordinate’s shoulder, as if to calm her. “Now, I am done hearing this. Dismissed.”
That night Kestrel gave her last goodbye to Daisy.
An arrow in the notch, staring eye to eye with a cyborg killing machine. Only then did she pause. The archer had never paused taking a shot before. It was always twang whistle thud, twang whistle thud, onto the next arrow.
“It’s Daisy! It’s Daisy! Stop!” The arrow shot before Kestrel dropped everything and ran to the bodily shaped metal. She furiously ripped the arrow out, while breaking off the metal plating on her old friend’s face. “What did they do to you?” The second time she had ever raised her voice. She cradled the robotic girl in her arms, talking to her briefly, frantically, before being forced away, leaving the broken girl behind.
Years later, in her late twenties, Kestrel was a changed woman. No longer was she the ambitious, thrill seeking young child she was before. Every time she shot someone, it was cold blooded. Try harder. Give me a challenge. Did that hurt? Have another. Mad laughter sometimes echoed through the jungle.
And she trusted no one anymore. Not her teammates, or her captain.
“I don’t trust the living.” She’d always say, who knows what she was referring to?
But, reader, do you know who is not living? Daisy.
Run, run, run r-r-run. Citizens.
You are in d-danger.
Count the hits, count the hits.
Kestrel awoke in horror from reliving this nightmare she had every night. She mentally marked the beginning of another morning.
“Another day without you. I’m just counting the hits. Countin’ the hits.”