All around her, the world burned. Searing eddies of dry air and smoke scorched exposed skin while airborne embers blurred her vision and left tiny pinpricks of pain wherever they touched.
And the sound... the sound those towering monstrosities made... was deafening.
But through it all, Hera Valroma had not wavered, had not flinched, had not even so much as thought of retreating. She and her men had pressed ever on, systematically gunning down husks while extracting what survivors they could from the wreckage of the city. There were precious few left, but every one saved was one more life that the Reapers did not claim, and that was all that had mattered.
Now, though, she was alone. Of her gathered units, many were now dead; she had ordered those still living to fall back with the civilians, to protect them and ensure that the last shuttles escaped to safety.
She had remained behind.
In the midst of the inferno and the chaos, Hera stood proudly, a smile on her face as bloo