For the first time in her life, Na'Tiel knew terror. She could hear Na'Tal's laboured breathing, heard his words to her, refused to acknowledge the import of what he said.
"Love you. Bye."
Her fighter was shuddering, engines screaming at 20% above their rated maximum. She didn't care about the flashing warnings. Only one thing mattered. She heard the desperate gulping of Na'Tal, heard him thrashing as he started to asphyxiate.
She was going to be too late.
She should never have left him alone.
There was only silence over the comm channel. She screamed in denial. He couldn't die! How could she live without him?
Na'Tiel stopped her fighter on top of her brother's battered ship. There was silence, too much silence. He wasn't there any more. She booted open the hatch of her fighter and went EVA clutching a tiny oxy torch.
Too late. Much too late. She broke into the jammed hatch. His regulator had been smashed. no air. No oxygen. No life. He couldn't leave her behind! She screamed in terror and loneliness and grief.
The rest of the squadron found Na'Tiel trying to share her air with the lifeless body of her brother. She was totally demented and careless of her own life.
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