Nuria exhaled long and pushed as much of the stress out of her as she could as cigar smoke drifted up to the ceiling of bar. Her eyes were closed and she tried as hard as she could to focus purely on what she was doing, where she was, who may or may not be looking at her and forgetting everything to do with the fucked-up acid trip that had been the last little while. She had very little luck doing this.

At first she was convinced that she had either been slipped something or maybe a laced Tylenol or something. Anything but believing that not only had she laid on her bed and been on fire, enough to leave a perfect impression of the fire on the sheets but not torch the bed, but also had a tattoo on her suddenly burst into Jesus-writing-on-the-wall kind of shit.

She supposed it could be a mental breakdown of some sort, a work induced thing maybe. She worked her ass off every day, all day. She was smart and she earned her place where she was. Maybe all the stress and lack of sleep made her snap and this was all some stress induced episode of..something? Nuria had no idea, she was as far away from a damn shrink as most people were from the Man in the Moon. he was good at helping people, she was a good listener and used logic to help people. Self-analysis, on the other hand, yeah, definitely not a strong suit for her.

She sighed and took a pull off the cigar and stared at the smoke as it idly drifted up to the ceiling and joined the cloud that was already there.

What a waste.

As she walked Nuria saw tree after tree full of what looked liked food just standing abandoned, no one gathering it and storing it for the Dark That Comes each year. In fact, Nuria had seen no one the entire time she walked. She was following the shore of a large body of water now. She smiled as she looked over to it and remembered her youth, when the Cauldron still had such things to offer, before the War, before everything.

She could not remember how many Cycles of Dark it had been since she saw the water like this. 300? 500? Her memory was very good and yet she could not for the life of her remember precisely, and it upset her a very great deal.

Her eyes were on the lookout for any and all things that could offer succor, or present a danger and it allowed her mind to drift. Drift to blasphemous thoughts.

Why would the Eight Mothers send her here, was she not a champion, her honor unquestioned? Wasn’t she good enough? Did she present a threat to them. The last thought chilled her marrow and she stopped and wrapped her arms around herself,she would not go down that line of thought. She did not remember what Terror looked like perhaps, but she knew that she had been as close to the face of madness as she ever wanted to be.

Walking more, the sun in the distance setting.

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