Rest of the story: https://docs.google.com/document/d/15ew1g89oxjEj5mZRFvv94Ht2Td6lVWkc-Lk7nwplUgg There is a tag as well. [b]Chapter 18[/b] Another memory forced its way into Tivik’s brain. He recoiled in pain, tearing his helmet off. He breathed heavily and clutched his head as he crumpled down. “What is the meaning of this? This much of my life was locked away?” His eyes flared in shock. “My brother is no heretic. I am the heretic! My brother…” his vision began to fade to a dark blue and white as his consciousness drifted into the past. Tivik ran as fast as he could, gripping his younger brother’s arm tight. Their home was a flash of bullets and arc rounds. The unrelenting snowstorm in front of them pelted his mask. He spat and knelt, recharging himself with ether. He offered a portion to Vyksis. “Brother, why did father have to die? Why was he killed by those we want to trust?” Vyksis asked, shaking in the cold. Tivik shed his cloak and wrapped it around the smaller Eliksni. He squeezed his four eyes. “Vyksis, that lightbearer… did what they had to to survive. They do not understand Eliksni like you or I. It was a matter of circumstance.” He put a hand on Vyksis’ shoulder. “I do not blame that human for father’s death. I hope you can understand.” He stood up and continued walking, though not with his brother in tow. “Find a group that will care for you, Vyksis. I am at an age where I must provide for myself. I will find a crew, I will survive, and I will come back to you. We will achieve our goal, I promise.” “I think I understand.” Vyksis nodded. “I won’t let father’s death change anything.” “Good.” Tivik adjusted his mandibles into a smile. “Go now, I will see you again, brother.” He grimaced in pain as he turned around, disappearing from Vyksis’ view into the snowstorm. “I will be strong for you, Vyksis. Whatever it takes.” - “And now, we dock the sympathizer.” The captain ordered, slowly approaching the chained vandal. Tivik struggled against his binds. “My captain, please. I am past that.” “Oh? Then what are these?” The Eliksni held a datapad before Tivik’s face. He did not have to look, for the information before him had been written by himself. He lowered his head and made one last plea. “Though I have faith in guardians, my feelings about our kind do not change. We are noble. We deserve the Traveler, but this is not the way.” “Listen close, Tivik.” The captain leaned closer. “We have no room for weaklings on our crew. You will either shape up,” he held a shock blade high. “Or die!” His weapon ripped through Tivik’s shoulder, severing his lower arm immediately. Tivik was still processing the pain as his other arm was cut off. His screams echoed on the metal walls around them. “The caps.” The captain held his hand out. “Yes, Noxis.” A vandal dropped two docking caps into Noxis’ waiting claws. “Do you know what happens when one of us holds back because of our petty ideals? We fail. Failure leads to death! And a catalyst for failure like you,” Noxis covered the dreg’s wounds with the caps. A crude patch for Tivik’s honor starving injuries. “Might as well be dead. Consider this a sign of mercy.” He and the rest of the crew began to exit the room. Tivik could feel their four eyed glares of disdain through his fading vision. Tivik’s remaining arms were released, and he collapsed onto the floor of their lair. His head buzzed, and his torso screamed in pain. “Failure.” He whispered, “I am a failure of an Eliksni.” He struggled to push himself up. If I die now, what have I lived for?” He looked around, his vision spotty. “If they find out I have a brother, he will surely suffer. I cannot let that happen.” He stumbled to his quarters. A newfound, desperate resolve filled his heart. - Tivik the dreg looked over the three struggling guardians in a pit before him. A hive wizard shrieked as it crumbled to ash. “Move, move! Our light’s still-“ the titan coughed as he hauled the corpse of his hunter friend over. “C’mon, we can revive him if we just get out of here.” Tivik watched the guardians attempt to escape. He looked over at his wire rifle, which lay in the snow next to him. He started to reach for his weapon, then shook his head. If he could hold out for another year, perhaps, he would be fine. Before he could leave the guardians be, though, the footfalls of his captain sounded behind him, freezing him in place. “This is your chance, Tivik.” Noxis’ words crept into Tivik’s head as approached. “Do you remember what I told you?” He grabbed the wire rifle, brushed it off, and shoved it into Tivik’s arms. “There is no room for failure on our crew.” He pushed the dreg forward. “Go… do what you have to. To survive. You deserve it.” A mixture of fear and desire was enough to snap the Eliksni into focus. He crept forward, his legs hugging the cliff, and took aim, first at the titan. He watched the guardian struggle to drag the hunter along. Sorrow began to entangle his heart, and the reticle of the wire rifle swayed. Perhaps if he pretended he missed… “If you do not kill them now, our crew might catch one or two eventually.” Noxis warned, taking note of the dreg’s hesitation. Tivik swallowed as he pulled the trigger. Noxis was right. The rest of their crew was around the area, and wouldn’t hesitate to murder the guardians in cold blood. The heavy guardian fell, and he desperately reached for his dropped comrade. Tivik closed his eyes and ended the titan’s life. He then took aim at a confused warlock, and all was done. He turned away, refusing to watch their ghosts flicker out, drowned by darkness. Noxis huffed in amusement. “Tivik, you surprise me again, but this time, it is a good surprise. In a way, you are still a failure for abandoning your dream. One would think your resolve would stop you. However,” He walked around the dreg. “You’ve done well to get past your own mind. Self preservation is a good motivator, is it not? You are a true Eliksni, working and living for himself.” He pulled Tivik forward. “Do not worry, you do not understand beings like they, so you cannot be hurt by their deaths, and they cannot blame you.” Tivik came out of his haze. “What have I done?” His arms shook, and he dropped his rifle. “What have you done? Tivik, you’ve made me proud.” Proud. The word shook the dreg’s entire being. He wept uncontrollably, deprived of approval since the day he lost his home. He saw his long dead father in his mind, and his thoughts began to wander to his brother. The rest of Noxis’ crew began to surround the two, attracted by the sound of gunfire. Noxis reached down and pulled the docks off of Tivik. He took Tivik’s upper right arm and held it up for all to see. “Do you see those three dying ghosts?” He swept another arm across the pit. “That was the work of our very own human sympathizer! Now, witness the rise of the Guardian Killer, Tivik!” The rest of the crew cheered, clicked, and roared in light of the dreg’s transformation.