Mother of Scorpions

She is dying.

Her eyes are nothing but blood and pain, stab wounds in her skull, the only vulnerability in her superior skin. The cold creeps up on her, suffocating her struggles, bringing pain and lethargy. As fiercely as she wants to fight her death, she cannot.

He has killed her. She could never have imagined he could.

As a child he was so weak, so pathetic. She tried to teach him, tried her best to harden him, but blood will tell. He was inferior, and nothing she could do could change that. The idea in creating him had been to make a being hardened to heat and cold; instead he was vulnerable to both, and ugly, and physically weak, and lacking in the ability to discipline his mind and make it a weapon. Well, not a weapon as her people used theirs. In the end, it seemed, he had found a way to make it a different kind of weapon. He had killed her through cunning, and ruthlessness, and strategy.

When he fell into the trap she'd set for him, she was ashamed. Glad for her own success, of course, but ashamed for him, that he was such an emotional weakling he'd returned to the place where his mewling weak Sebacean cow of a mother had been taken. He had been taught how to be a real person, how to be a strong person, and instead he'd thrown it off to embrace the pathetic species of half his heritage. She was enraged then, angry that he was not only weak but had turned his back on strength, on being a true person, a Scarran. She showed him the pathetic way his mother had screamed as he was conceived, and took pleasure in his anguish, even as she was disgusted by the fact that he would feel such.

But she was wrong.

She underestimated him. He did take her lessons on strength to heart, and he'd learned the skills a physically weak warrior needed to win. He had learned trickery and strategy. He had learned how to use his intellect to defeat a physically superior opponent.

He would never be strong, like a Scarran. But he would defeat Scarrans anyway.

As she dies, part of her mind keens at her failure, that he proved himself worthy after all and she let him get away, let him reject his true bloodline and turn to the line of the brood cow who'd begged for death rather than bear him. But part of her mind, part of her heart, looks without eyes at the boy she raised and sees a deadly, ruthless warrior, who's found his own form of strength. Just as she always wanted for him. Just as she tried so hard to teach him.

As the cold steals her senses and her strength away, as the blood darkness of her only vision drips down her face and congealed into ice, her lips move, forming words he will never hear, will never look for.

"Proud... of you... my son..."