CW: war, panic attack, description of injury, blood
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 09/05/2071
In the early days of September, the Bundeswehr began to withdraw from the German capital, leaving it to local law enforcement to mop up the remaining guerrilla groups.
Meanwhile, more than five thousand kilometers to the south, on a different continent and in a different war zone, a Foreign Legion sniper awoke in a Red Cross field hospital. He was gasping for air and groping for an assailant that wasn't there until one of the medics calmed him down.
"You alright?" the medic asked in French.
The Legionnaire nodded, temporarily distracted by his new prosthetic arm. He flexed his artificial fingers, complex algorithms translating nerve signals into precise commands for the actuators. Still clumsy this soon after the surgery, he was adapting quickly, and fine motor control would only be a matter of time.
A week earlier, in the middle of the night, a team of mercenaries had left him on the hospital's doorstep, in a growing puddle of his own blood. His spotter was slumped against the wall beside him, half conscious, clutching their rifles in blood-smeared hands.
A frag grenade had taken off the sniper's left arm and sent shrapnel tearing through the muscles of his chest and back. He had died twice on the operating table that night, but the surgeons had brought him back.
The injuries to his body were healing well, but no amount of tissue grafts and cyberware would fix the damage to his mind, the nightmares, the times he cried himself to sleep hoping no one would notice.
When the Legionnaire looked up, there was a smile on his lips, but a haunted look in his blue-green eyes. "Ghosts from the past, is all."