The Engineer

We need more time, you said. Kan-Hur had rushed off, daiklave in hand, to repel the armies of Dragon-Blooded that now swarmed into the citadel like locusts.

Your hands brush across Her surface in a lover’s caress, a farewell. The hum and the shiver of magic coursing through metal meets your fingertips, as if in response to your final gesture. There is little more that you can do for Her, She who may have saved you all.

We need more time, you said. You had believed that She would be your Salvation – but that was when there was three, and now that all remained is you. For all your skill, your perfection in every matter mechanical and mathematical, the only calculation left to you was the grim knowledge that you alone would not be enough.

Your two fallen comrades lay dead at your feet along with the corpse of your traitorous Sidereal adviser. Only She remains, and you mutter urgently to Her as the sounds of battle draw nearer. Soon, Kan-Hur will arrive to the same conclusion as you. Soon, he will make the same choice you would have, the choice to destroy what had been a century in the making rather than have Her fall into the tainted hands of the rebelling underlings.

Yet you know another choice exists – She cannot save you, but perhaps you can save Her.

You press your cheek against Her and close your eyes. She is both cool and warm, metals mixed with the pulse of sorcery. There is no time to attune to Her, to unleash her fury upon those that have betrayed you. There is only time to configure one final order in her defense system, whispered and desperate.

She will always know my voice-

The citadel begins to tremble and implode around you, but you cannot take your eyes off Her. The radiance of Her shields activating is all you can see, even as you burn. Time has finally ran out.

The Engineer

Exalted: Northern Skies Jehzavere