I don't really remember much of what happened after that. Everything's just a haze when I think back on it. I can make out small events, but everything in between is just a blind spot in my memory. I remember being hauled up and carried through the Citadel gates into the military district as I watched the lifeless bodies of my past dissolve into the morning mist. I remember 5 different faces I didn't recognize looking down on me as I could feel finally feel the adrenaline fading away as the pain from my cuts and wounds finally came into the picture. What I remember most is what happened after that.
I was sitting up on a chair in front of a mirror, watching as my hair was being shaved away down to the point where only a small layer remained. I had never realized how long my hair was. I guess, it was to be expected as I could never remember getting a haircut in my entire life. I watched the longs locks fall on my shoulder, letting them pile atop one another as I lacked the energy to brush them off. I just sat there, my own reflection giving me that deadeye stare, devoid of life and energy. I'm not supposed to be alive. As I sat there, the realization hit me. I wasn't supposed to be there. Hell, maybe I wasn't. Maybe I did die there, on that street. Reincarnation wasn't a new concept. I sure as hell didn't recognize my own face in that mirror. Was I even that same slum kid who led over 30 people to their deaths? I saw their faces when a mirror was held to the back of my head as though asking how much I liked my newly shaven head.
I was told one thing in the slums my entire life, that nothing was more important than survival. That everything came down to just that. The people you associated with, the decisions you made, all of it. And I did just that for over 11 years. I survived. I kept my head low, I associated with people who I knew I had a good chance of surviving with. Then, less than 24 hours ago, I made a decision. I decided that there was more to life than survival. And now, because of that misguided decision, everybody I knew was dead. I stood in that steel hallway, lost because I hadn't heard where I was supposed to go next. Where there were supposed to be almost 20 of us, only I stood. The rest, everybody else, was dead. Mishi, Miro, Trap, Ladle, Riu, Danev, Reek. They were all dead, their corpses probably being picked over by looting slum kids and being nested by fucking maggots and flies while I stood here, concerned with a fucking haircut. I was it. Everything else was gone. My past was just that, the past. Gone now. I didn't survive those slums. Maybe if I had survived, and done just that, and not done anything more, there would be more of us, but I fucked up. And for it, it was just me. I was all that was left.