Helvia was already gearing up when her commands came from headquarters. News of the missing squad had spread like fire through the lower ranks, especially after the survivor’s wild tales of warped creatures and haunted fog had conjured horror stories in their idle minds. Helvia had been there before, swapping ghost stories over a cook fire to stave off boredom, but that was before... Before the stories had been about her.
She was brought out of her absent-minded trance when she tried to scratch an itch in her right arm. Where flesh and bone had once been was now hard carbon steel and intricate machinery, engineered by the greatest minds the Guard had to offer. She ran her fingers over the glass-smooth surface and let herself recall, just for a moment, memories best left in the dark. Grievances gone unanswered. Revenge yet to be taken. And somewhere within, pride at how strong it had all made her.
The feel of the metal brought her back to reality. This prosthetic weapon was more than a replacement. It was a reminder of duty and loss. It was the kind of gift that demanded recompense.