“... Sister Razorleaf. Razorleaf… Captain. Are you listening?”
Shaureyne glanced up momentarily at the irritated elder priestess, a bead of sweat running down her brow. The sentinel-captain did not think she was destined to encounter Elene Silentbranch again - and most certainly not under these inconceivable circumstances.
“Are you quite finished?” Elene inquired, her arms crossing over her chest. Her bare foot tapped impatiently against ancient stone. The flow of Haidene’s waters lent a calming feeling to the otherwise pensive atmosphere within the Temple of the Moon. Shaureyne held her head in her hands for a moment, her heart pounding too loudly and quickly to pay attention to many of Elene’s words.
“I-I apologize, priestess,” Reyne managed to stutter as she attempted to gather her bearings. She held a sweaty palm to her forehead.
Elene cocked a long brow at the sentinel. “I won’t repeat myself again, captain,” the priestess said with a condescending tone, brandishing the parchment scroll in her hands, “So listen closely.”
The priestess cleared her throat before continuing. She peered through a pair of sleek glasses at the scroll’s contents as she recited them out loud. “On behalf of orders issued by the Sisterhood of Elune and Commander Feathermoon, the Razorleaf unit of the Silverwing branch of the Sentinel army is to be decommissioned - effective immediately.”
Elene pauses briefly, furrowing her brows. She glances down at Shaureyne with the slightest hint of pity. “Captain Shaureyne Razorleaf is to be discharged completely from the Sentinel army with no honorable mentions. A formal ceremony may be held for the unit only.” The priestess proceeded to roll up the scroll and hold it out to Shaureyne.
“Discharged,” Shaureyne repeated. The words sounded foreign on her tongue. They felt foreign.
“Yes, discharged,” Elene replied, her pity carrying into her voice. “Their word is final, Captain Razorleaf. You of all people should know that.”
She did know. Yet, Shaureyne hesitated to take the scroll into her shaking hand. She stared down at it with disdain, her gloved fingers brushing over the fine parchment. It crinkled under the rough weight.
It all felt so cruelly orchestrated, as if some higher power - perhaps Elune herself - desired to destroy Shaureyne’s ambitions, and to do so in one swift, relentless stroke of the pen. Perhaps she was never destined to become a leader. Perhaps she was never meant to be a sentinel at all. Perhaps-
“Captain Razorleaf,” Elene interrupted. She looked down at Shaureyne with an expression that almost suggested she was concerned for her.
“I’m fine,” Shaureyne said, though the tone of her voice betrayed such a notion. “Is there a…” she trailed off, gulping. “Is there a reason for all of this?”
“I said I wouldn’t repeat myself,” Elene sighed. She was silent for a few seconds before relenting. “Your unit has gone against official orders numerous times since arriving on the Broken Isles. Military protocol broken more times than I can count on both hands. Not even your trials during the winter seemed to hold any sway over your actions. Perhaps it truly was never any fault of your own, but the council does not see it that way.”
Shaureyne pressed her lips into a thin line, and her brows furrowed. She took a long, deep breath. This was happening. This was really, truly happening.
What would her sister say?
“Your subordinates have already been notified,” Elene pressed on, as if to answer Shaureyne’s question. “A decommission ceremony has been scheduled to occur in seven nights. I suggest you begin preparing your speech… and that you choose your words carefully.” The priestess leaned in slowly to murmur that sentence, her gaze imploring Shaureyne to calm herself.
Shaureyne’s eyes could not tear away from the scroll in her grasp. “Very well,” she stated in a stony voice. She felt numb. Suddenly, it was as though her uniform had come alive, and was attempting to squeeze her entire body away until it had turned to dust. Not even Haidene’s waters soothed her now.
The world seemed… gray.
Shaureyne quietly turned away from Elene, her arms falling limp at her sides as she made her way towards the temple entrance. She looked at no one. Her walk was stiff. She simply continued moving, out into the temple gardens, across the bridge. Elene’s voice called out to her, but all she could make out was her name. She didn’t know where she was going, but didn’t seem to care, either.
She heard nothing. She felt nothing. She was nothing.
Shaureyne Razorleaf. The captain who was…
… just was.
"Return to your base. Prepare your greatest warriors. The Sentinel army will not fall to the likes of you brutes."