The scout stumbled through their perimeter two minutes into the night’s second watch. They nearly shot her, guns knocked and ready, before someone recognized the blue crest clutched in her fingers. They demanded rank and name. Teeth-chattering and trembling in the cold, she glared at them and collapsed in the snow.
Brass was skeptical. Her uniform was that of their army, nearly ruined beyond recognition, but those could be stolen. No identification papers or orders were found with a cursory search of her unconscious body. Against some judgement she was brought to the medical bay.
They had to cut the mess of fabric off her back to find the wound. The medics peeled back the frozen layer of mud and blood off to find a deep rend, the length of a hand, set deep the side of her spine. No weapon they’d ever seen would be responsible for the ragged wound. Malnourished, frostbitten, and anemic, it was a miracle she’d managed to get through the winter woods.
The scout breathed steadily as they eased her dead weight into the rejuv-tank. The woman was lucky she’d stumbled into this camp. Most of the outposts didn’t have such a well stocked medical facility. It would be days before the woman would be able to make a report, but the tank’s cell plasma was already regenerating her blackened nose into new bronze flesh.
The doctors shook their heads and shooed the leadership’s aides from their hallowed facilities. Her fingerprints and genetic identifiers could be gathered and passed over, but for now they were going to do their jobs and bring their new patient back to life. They’d leave the brass to questions of spies, scouts, and suspicious miracles.