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- "We all deserve to be remembered."
- — Ghost Shell Description
Four blue eyes reflect a shower of vibrant sparks from an arc welder. Finishing her work, the Eliksni engineer Niik blinks her nictitating membranes and pantomimes as close to a whistle of appreciation as she can manage.
Amanda Holliday lifts a welding mask and smiles approvingly. She leans around Niik to run a light over the weld, nodding in admiration as she does. "Damn fine work," she smiles.
"Repair is life," Niik replies with pride, setting the welder down. "Treat a machine like family, and it will treat you like family," she says with a gentle reverence, running one hand over the hull of the Sparrow. She looks at Amanda, then tilts her head to the side quizzically. "Why do you wear the… ah… eye-shield?" she asks, tapping the brim of Amanda's welding mask.
Amanda laughs. "I don't have eye augmentations like a lot of the other engineers. I'll go blind if I stare into a light that bright."
Niik nods, circling the Sparrow as she listens and inspects the rest of their work. "But you have different ones," she says, with a gesture to Amanda's prosthetic leg.
"That's a replacement," Amanda says softly, flexing the joint. "Can't grow 'em back like you or the Guardians."
The statement stops Niik in her tracks. "I forget, sometimes. That you are not Guardian."
Amanda comes around the Sparrow and places a hand on Niik's arm. "I make the most of what I got," she says quietly.
Human lifespans are vanishingly short compared to Eliksni, and Niik knows that even the long-lived eventually pass on. "Will your Servitor carry your memory like the Great Machine?" Niik asks, but Amanda looks confused. "Servitors. They carry record of our accomplishments, our lives. They are our legacy, made in the image of the Great Machine. Like your Servitor, Ra—Ra—" She tries to sound out the name. "Ras-poo-tan?"
Amanda can't help but laugh at the pronunciation, stepping close to Niik to cup her face in both hands. Niik slowly closes her eyes in response. "You're a sweet, weird person, Niik. But no, that big mean machine ain't no Servitor. He's just a big gun with a mouth."
Niik tilts her head to the side, blinking all four eyes in unison. "You are… a sweet, weird person, too, Amanda Holliday. I will tell our Servitor this… so you are remembered."
Amanda lowers her hands and smiles, wrinkling her nose. "Great," she says with a laugh. "Just how I want to be immortalized! 'Here lies Amanda Holliday. She was one weird gal."
Niik isn't sure if it is a joke, but Amanda is laughing, so she laughs with her. Amanda's happiness is infectious.
That is how Niik will have her remembered.
- Bungie (2022/12/6)