The pain was excruciating. Blood poured from the wound in his chest, and his companion was sure he was going to die. His armor was in pieces, and the vest he wore had been cut, the threads that once crossed his chest slashed off. Still, they had to keep moving, or risk the blood attracting more predators.
It had started out as a simple scouting expedition. He and his crew were supposed to go out and rescue one simple little Eldarian that had gotten lost and had sent out an SOS due to lack of survival skills. Now, the entire crew save the now-wounded captain was dead, and the pathetic excuse for an Eldarian was with him.
The little Eldarian wasn't without his share of injuries, either. Apparently, he'd fallen down a cliff just after sending out the SOS, and bore a few scrapes and cuts for it. His left arm hung oddly, and the captain knew it was dislocated. Still, even with the obvious signs of head trauma, the smaller Eldarian had done fairly well for himself against the creatures that prowled about.
"Let's get moving." growled the captain.
The younger nodded and followed, staggering. He was obviously dizzy, but tried to keep up. His white uniform was tattered and dirty, very unlike the image that had been shown the now-dead crew. There was a howl behind them, and the captain grabbed his wrist and dragged him towards a nearby cave.
"Thank you." said the younger, once they were inside. He tried to gather some wood and leaves to make a fire. He set it up, then used a small amount of Symbology to light the leaves.
"A Symbologist? We were told you were a scout." said the captain.
"I was scouting." the younger replied. "My skills actually defer towards swordsmanship, but I am capable of using Symbology as well. It . . . it was the only thing to protect me from the predators until you arrived."
"What happened to your sword?"
"I can't use it right now. My balance is off, and . . ."
"Never mind." The captain looked over his smaller charge.
He was young, only about 15 years old, dressed in a white military uniform that had seen better days. Like most of the newer generation of Eldarians, he wore ear coverings; his specific set was purple and silver, held together by a single teardrop earing on either side. The youth's skin was paler than most Eldarians, and his hair was a messy green at the moment. But the strangest thing was his eyes. Never in the history of the Eldarians had there been one born with Amethyst eyes. He looked at the Captain and finally spoke in his calm, almost soothing voice.
"You never told me who you were."
"Arumat P. Thanatos."
The youth nodded. "Faize Sheifa Beleth." he said with a light smile. He, too, studied the other.
Arumat was well muscled, and slightly tanned. Dark scars marked his entire body, or at least what could be seen. He wore a purple uniform that had seen many battles, and was torn on the one side. The weapon of choice was also unique; there were few Eldarians that could use a scythe. What mesmerized Faize, though, was the haphazardly cut silver hair, which was tied off at one side of his face with a purple and gold clasp, and left only his left eye visible. This intrigued Faize, but not as much as that beautiful, cold Amber eye that watched everything.
Faize was so intent at looking at Arumat that he didn't realize that he was feeling nauseous. Not until he suddenly fell over, dizzy, and threw up.
"Weak stomach?" Arumat asked. He finished bandaging his chest and walked over.
Faize shook his head. He looked like he was going to be sick again.
Arumat checked him over. "You have a concussion."
Faize tried to sit up, but Arumat held him down firmly. "But . . ."
"Rest, kid. I'll be on guard."
Knowing it was going to be useless, Faize closed his eyes.
It was a few hours later that Faize woke. The fire had dwindled, and yet there was a warmth against his back. He glanced around. Arumat was missing. Slightly panicked, he tried to move. There was an arm over him. He looked down to notice the scarred arm and realized, Arumat was holding him.
"Awake, kid?" Arumat asked.
"Good. We have to keep going." Arumat got up and led Faize out into the jungle again. They walked for a long time, until they reached Arumat's purple spacecraft. It was small, only really big enough to house the standard six-member crew. And once they were inside, Arumat realized it smelled awful in there. Faize didn't seem to mind. He sat where the captain indicated, and they left the planet.
Back on the exploration ship, Arumat and Faize were both attended to. Arumat's chest wound was sewn closed and treated with healing Symbology to ensure it healed. He was ordered to shower and change his uniform before reporting in.
Faize's arm was relocated, causing him to pass out from the pain. They also checked the head trauma he'd suffered, and then he was changed and left to sleep.
"So, what happened?" asked the commander.
"The planet is filled with large, hostile animals. My crew died trying to get to the scout, and I didn't get out unscathed, either. The scout is currently in the medical ward having his own injuries taken care of."
The commander sighed.
"Sir, if I may be so bold, why didn't you tell us he's your genetic son?"
"He doesn't know, nor does he even look like me. Faize is a genetic question. His skin is too pale, and those eyes. Never has there been a purple-eyed Eldarian, let alone one who's eyes change when they're in a bad mood."
"His eyes change?"
The commander nodded. "His eyes turn red when he's angry or emotionally unstable."
For a moment nothing was said.
"You're dismissed, Captain Thanatos."
Arumat nodded and left. The strange little Eldarian was on his mind a lot, lately, so he headed to the archives, specifically the ones for the artificially grown Eldarians. He sat at the computer and typed in the name of the Eldarian he was searching for. Faize Sheifa Beleth.
The information scrolled up. His height and weight at birth, any allergies he had, and anything that was abnormal about him. Arumat found it, what he'd been looking for. According to Faize's age, he fell under the category of Eldarian children that had mysteriously ended up partially the other gender. Faize himself was an anomaly in that, under the correct circumstances, he could end up pregnant, and live through it. But the requirements were rather strange. He had to be caught off guard in order for his body to allow it.
There was also a note on what Faize seemed to like, and it made Arumat curious. The note said that Faize had been accessing the files on the old ways, and that a lot of those files were on birth and life. He'd seemed particularly interested in how one birthed a child, and what they used to do.
Arumat printed the page, and any of the ones Faize had been reading recently on the old ways. It would make good research material when he was bored. He never admitted it, but Arumat loved to read. Because the ship couldn't connect to communication buoys while in warp, he often kept a book or something on the bridge of his ship.
Faize shifted and blinked awake. His arm felt horrible, and so did his head. Still, he sat up and stepped out of the sleep pod.
The captain was all he'd dreamed about, and it made him wonder. That armor denoted Arumat as part of the Thirteenth Division, a suicide group as the other Eldarians put it. And yet, the Captain had treated him with kindness.
As he took a step forward, the world seemed to pitch around him, and he fell. A pair of strong arms caught him and held him up as he tried to gather himself.
"You shouldn't be up, Faize."
He tried to speak, but his mouth was dry, and his mind was quickly fogging over. He tried to look up, and thought he saw Arumat looking down at him. And then, blackness as he passed out.
Arumat carefully gathered the younger up and put him back in the sleep pod. He sat nearby, partially to keep an eye on him, and partially because the doctor needed to check on how the scar was healing.
Faize woke again and tried to get up, only for Arumat to place a hand on his chest. "Hmm?" he mumbled.
"Stay down, you're still healing."
Faize struggled, his face contorting in pain. Something was bothering him.
Faize stopped, gasping for breath. He tried to look at Arumat, and his hand managed to touch the one holding him down. The delicate piano-player fingers were cold.
"You're freezing." Arumat said. He placed a hand on Faize's forehead. "Kid?"
Faize panted slightly. "Cold." he managed to whisper. "My arm. So cold." He sighed and passed out again.
Arumat looked up and saw one of the doctors. "Hey."
"Yes, Captain." said the doctor.
"Something's wrong with his arm. It's freezing."
The doctor checked, then did something with Faize's shoulder. The youth, who had been sleeping restlessly, seemed to relax finally.
"And you're here, why, Captain Thanatos?"
"Stiches." Arumat replied. He sat there and let the doctor check the rapidly healing wound. Soon, it would be just another greyish scar, like all the others. He sighed.