Short story  by Wanda Sonnemann, Screenshot from Warframe.

I clutch my gun, hands sweaty beneath the heavy gloves. This is not what I signed up for. But of course it doesn’t matter. How could it. If the Corpus is endangered we have to do whatever it takes, even if we end up dying.

I am Naam J-758/Gamma of the Corpus fourth Fleet.

This is already my second battle. And I am afraid.

Expected casualties 30 percent they’ve told us. Half are going to die in battle and half are going to be infested and join the enemy’s horde.

I curse myself for ever joining, Curse Anat for making me stay when I had the chance to leave. “Just a little while longer” She had nagged me: “We’ll soon have our own small enterprise within the Corpus.”

She is dead now, maimed by infested claws in the first battle. I hope.

I can see them now, on the other side of the loading area, scrambling in our direction. I try not to imagine familiar faces into their distorted forms. We are told to ready our weapons. The ospreys take off.

The first wave falls before it reaches us, cut down in a blur of gunshots and blades, faster than I ever deemed possible.

Today they are our allies we’ve been told. Don’t do anything to anger them.

I’ve heard about them. Read the documents. When they came for you, you were already dead. They were constructs of metal and ceramic, made only for war. They are Tenno.

I’ve seen them briefly, two vaguely humanoid forms, taller than most of us. They don’t speak and their helmets are eyeless masks. In a way they are more terrifying than the Infestation. But they are valuable assets in this battle, moving in between us and the infested like harbingers of death. Their attacks never miss their mark.

A mutated monster lashes at me and my tired body cannot evade its claws. Pain explodes where it has torn my overall apart. I will be one of those who die in battle. There is strange comfort in that thought.

A Tenno blade cuts my killer down. Its wielder is bleeding as well. I hadn’t known they even could. The other one whirl around, smoke pouring from its own blackened body only to find its companion weakened. It’s gesture is almost that of a person.

It goes limp, sinks into a kneeling position, head resting on its chest, arms dangling to the ground. The Tenno in front of me hurls itself at the monsters now clawing at the fallen companion.

And from the kneeling Warframe rises the floating form of a lithe and fragile girl, an illusion, certainly, but the expression on her face can only be described as human.

Focus. Determination. Fear. She reaches out.

The pain ebbs away. My vision grows sharper instead of more dim. I can move again. The remaining Tenno’s movements become strong and fluid once more.

It doesn’t matter, it occurs to me. The Corpus. The battle. The war. Everything I’ve been told is a lie. I’ve seen beneath the mask of a Tenno. I’ve found the truth. And I’ll live to tell the tale.

The Girl fades away, the fallen Warframe stirs.

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