Night of the Second Rotaa, 0011:04:56 Dec, West of Settlement 4, 104th Vi’myrii Mechanized Cadre
Shas’la Sac'ea Fo'en entered the Enclave HQ TV-7 through the open rear hatch, and passed quickly through the black curtain to where Shas'Nel Kike'xītomata – Green Sabre Tiger
, was monitoring the communications from the cadre command and other units. A few other shas’la were there eating or sleeping, while another cadre NCO conversed with the Shas’nel.
In the infrared light blackout light, the skin of the Tau present turned a pale grey, and they all wore deep shadows over their faces. The Shas’nel studied the face of the younger firewarrior and asked, ‘What are you doing up Shas’la Fo’en, your watch is not for another dec?”
‘Can’t sleep, but I wanted…I wanted to find somewhere safe?’ he replied removing his helmet, and storing his pulse rife.
‘Xhmm, then get something to eat and drink,’ said the old Fireblade. He watched the younger Tau tear into a meal-ready-eat, and then reluctantly start eating. Kike'xītomata looked at his Terigun
, or First Sergeant, Shas'Nvre Kireit'shi, and then asked, ‘Why are really here Shas’la?’
The Sac’en firewarrior was one of many stragglers picked up the cadre, most were separated from their units, or were the only ones left from their squads. Shas’la Fo’en, was one such “lost firewarrior”.
‘I suffer these terrible pangs of guilt, like…like somehow my cadre being destroyed was all my fault. That doesn’t make sense; but there it is. And I can’t shake these images in my head of…of my dead ta’lissera brothers…and sisters…laying there mutilated, and bloody. I know the images aren’t real, and I know I’m not responsible; but the terror…and the guilt are still there. Ge’tos and Li’tei both suffer the same aliment…but your firewarriors don’t. Why shas'nel?’
‘So, that’s it then? And I thought he wanted to know why all our firewarriors are so much taller?’ said the Shas'Nvre Kireit'shi – Light of Absolute Victory
‘That’s what I thought too Li’sun,’ said the Shas’nel, but then taking the Sac’ean firewarrior by the shoulder added, ‘Let’s you and I go outside and let the Shas’nvre here get some sleep. Besides, I want to smoke my pipe.’
And with that, the Shas’nel tossed the firewarrior his pulse rifle and helmet, and ushered him outside. In the inky blackness, both firewarrior could just enough to know where they were, but not much more. The sky was cloudless, moonless, but filled with a quadrillion stars. Each an intense point of silver white light. The old shas’nel used an electric lighter to light his pipe, and then closed its field cover; which let in air, but released no light.
‘It would a twelve evenings like this to tell you the full story of why we’re not affected like you and your brethren. But let me just say that the firecaste of Vior’los, rediscovered an ancient technique from our tribal past. We, in essence, go into a deep trance before battle. It keeps out distractions, and heightens all the senses; for instance even though I can’t see your hands, I know the last finger of your left hand is twitching. Am I right?’
‘T’ah…yes how did you know that?’
‘I can hear it move, just like I can hear your breathing. Just like I can hear our silent firewarriors on the line, shift there weight to keep their legs from falling asleep…They’re giving away there position just as much as if they were yelling and screaming.’
‘Shas’nel, towards the south-west what are those lines of bright light?’
‘Xhmm?…’There was a tremendous flash in the south-west quadrant. A fireball of immense was seen by the whole cadre; and approximately thirty-five raik'ans later the blast wave hit.