“Your father was a good friend,” says Ratio. “We fought together against the Backstroke. Like so many of our order, he was betrayed and murdered by Reaching the West Reaches; now the Hopeless Warriors are all but extinct.” He’s rummaging through a chest. “But when you were old enough, he wanted you to have this…”
“Is it a war-name?” says See Me eagerly. “A bolter?”
“Bolters are clumsy and random.” Frowning, the old man draws out a long blade of steel–knifelike, but impossibly long and slender.
“What is it?”
“An elegant weapon,” says Ratio, “for a more civilized time.”