“All right, might have burned that bridge,” Imogen mutters once she and Lilly are once again outside Selendis’s office. Then again, they had a similar rough patch with Li June. “Eh, she’ll call us when she needs us, and then she’ll like us again,” she concludes philosophically.
“Yup. We’ll be best friends,” Lilly agrees.
A well-armored templar warrior jogs up to their position. He seems in a hurry, though not alarmed. “Lilly Washington, it is good to see you,” he declares when he reaches them.
Lilly does not immediately recognize the protoss himself, but she knows an Aiur blade when she sees one. “Hey, I recognize that axe!” she says excitedly.
“I didn’t mean this to intimidate you, of course,” the templar replies. “In fact, I will swear off this axe.”
“No, no, that’s all right. It’s only dangerous to me in my own hands.”
To clarify any possible confusion, the templar introduces himself as Axion. He had been told she was looking for him and came to seek her out for a third bout to settle their little competition. Lilly is excited about the chance; she did not think she would be allowed to touch one of these axes again. She asks Axion if he has figured the weapon out, and he modestly shares that he can control it a bit better now. That is her preferred weapon for their rematch.
“Oh, but first, I got you this,” she says, presenting him with the propaganda piece on Dominion warfare that she picked up in Augustgrad. “I wanted to get you something with, I dunno, a little more information, but this is what I could find. It’s a little biased towards the Dominion, of course, but I thought you might find it interesting.”
“Fascinating. I will have to have it translated. But thank you. I… uh…” This may be the first time they have ever seen a flustered protoss. Axion was not prepared with a gift to reciprocate. “I suppose I can only offer you an invigorating bout in return.”
“Sure!” Lilly immediately agrees.
“Just remember that you’re still recovering from that bloodhunter,” Imogen cautions her partner.
“You faced down a bloodhunter?” Axion asks, impressed.
“Well, I couldn’t see her. She was invisible at the time. She got me right here.” Lilly begins showing off her bandages as though they were trophies. Axion realizes there is a gift he can offer Lilly: medical treatment. That will help her and make him feel better about fighting her. He does not want an unfair match, after all.
First Axion takes them to the medical area, but the protoss doctors protest that there is nothing they can do about injured terrans. At least, that is what Lilly and Imogen assume; there is no audible conversation. “They had different doctors when we were here last time,” Lilly observes. “This wasn’t the room.”
Axion turns to her. “Who did you see before?”
“A vet. Your animal doctor.”
“Oh, yes, our bio-researchers. Of course. They study mammalian creatures.”
“Yeah, we can go there,” Lilly says. “Unless these guys want to see what sorts of wounds bloodhunters are doing these days. If they’re curious.”
“Hmm…” One of the khalai is intrigued. “That might actually be interesting, even if it is on a terran body. We don’t have many survivors who have faced down a bloodhunter. Their warp blades are very often lethal, as you never see them coming, of course.”
“I didn’t see what she slashed me with,” Lilly admits. “I assumed it was that.” She shrugs out of her jacket and peels up her shirt to show the wound.
“It was probably a warp blade. Although, since you’re not dead, maybe it wasn’t.”
After some poking and prodding of the wound, the protoss medics are none the wiser about warp blades but have learned that terrans cannot simply turn on and off their pain sensations. Their interest is purely academic though, so Axion escorts his charges to the xenobiology research lab. The protoss there welcome them cheerfully. “Ah! The terrans have returned!” One of them waves at Lilly’s bandages and asks Axion, “Did you do this?”
“Oh, no, no,” Lilly answers on his behalf. “Bloodhunter.” She reviews her injuries. “Also psi-gauntlet, hydralisk… I don’t remember what that one was,” she adds, pointing to some scrapes along her forearm.
The scientists here examine her injuries, particularly the warp blade wound. One of them appreciatively observes, “Someone knew what they were doing when they sewed this up.”
“That was Imogen,” Lilly tells them.
“Ah, yes. It makes sense a terran would know how to take care of a million wounds like this.” They administer a quick physical to Lilly, taking a bunch of readings and measurements, and then they give her an injection that will speed the healing process and ease her aches.