====September 21, 2013
====In the aftermath of her encounter with Q'fex, Hannah deals with the lingering guilt.

Who Hannah
What In the aftermath of her encounter with Q'fex, Hannah deals with the lingering guilt.
When There is 1 turn 2 months and 3 days until the 12th pass.
Where Southern Weyr


Lost in fog, the thick tendrils wind around me, hiding me in their opaque, white depths. I have traveled outside the weyr, even when I know that I should be. Can't be. I am forbidden, but no one will know. Dhiammarath will not tell, Lendai won't find out and Q'fex…

Lendai is not in love with me. She is infatuated.

Is there a difference? When it comes down to it? What's the thin line between love an infatuation but the promise of the fabled forever? And who really believes in that? I pass the docks, my feet pattering against the rocky ground. I stumble. My arms are folded defensively across my chest. My tears are more than mere memory against my cheeks. I shiver as the chilly night air aids the fog in seeping into my bones. The flesh of my skin. Everywhere I go, everywhere I touch, it bends and breaks, collapses and ruins. I never meant for anyone to get hurt.

I stumble, the glint of water peeking at me through the break in the fog. Lendai's face, Q'fex's hurt. Br'er's … they all mingle together. I need to get my bearings… I am lost. And the shadows keep on changing. I am haunted by the lives that I have loved. I am haunted by the actions I have hated. I am haunted by the lives that wove the web inside my haunted heat. Always reaching for what's right and never getting it right.

I am past the docks, the beach, the boardwalk. I am out of breath. I know the river lies this way, and I know that it is well past the time when I should be back in my weyr. Will they wonder? I don't even know, but what I know is that something deeper drives me. Further and further to run and escape. Am I crying? Maybe.

I care too much. It is hard to see a perfect forest through so many splintered trees. Finally, I stop. Fog swirls around me, cloaking me in mystery as I stand within opaquely shrouded depths. Silence settles all around me like a blanket. I'm not entirely sure how far I actually am from the weyr, but I'm far enough that I don't feel the pressure. So many lives, so much trust given for those lives. To love, despair, hope, live.

Lendai. Br'er. Q'fex. Br'er. Lendai.

Faces swim within my mind's eye. So much is settled, so much responsibility. I want to do them all right, but how can I? Lendai will not come through this well. And Q'fex… I don't even know. I feel like I've lost something undefinable that has little to do with was really lost.

You don't choose who you love.

I told that to Br'er. I told that to Q'fex. Does love matter? It is the most undefinable word we have. What does love really mean? Beyond sexual attraction, which is the most secondary part of true love.

Sinking to my knees, I press my hands into the dewy grass as midnight comes and goes. Thread will be falling soon. Sooner than we realize, sooner than we know. Dhiammarath feels it. In the earliest hours of the morning, she feels it. And where will all this love be, if not fodder for the beast that would devour us all? A shudder wracks my body at the thought of all of these people shredded by Thread. Burned, scored, devoured. Their dragons maimed, bloody and full of pain.

A fresh tear slips down my cheek.

I am sorry.

It's a whisper in my thoughts. Apologies for not being what I needed to have been. To have let things spiral into something they should never have been. For failing where I should not have. I am haunted by the promises I've made, and the others I have broken. But I am not haunted by what's to come. I hope that my friend is treated gently. I hope that, regardless of whether or not love is true or not, that the small bud of emotional vulnerability isn't stamped out. Love or infatuations; they are feelings that we all feel and rejection is a hot lance to a burning chest.

Thread is coming. Thread is coming. Thread is coming.

I shudder, because all of these happy people who's lives revolve around who they love, who they don't love, who they hate will find a world torn when this person or that are taken from them. Pretty faces, ravaged by the ancient enemy. I press my hands to my face. I cry for all those I've lost. For all those who will be lost. For how our lives will change, and for what we can grasp for in the now.

What is love?

I know the answer. I know the deep ache of fear. I also know that the night's near to gone now and the fog has done little to make this place reassuring. The glow I left the weyr with is gone, lost somewhere in my flight. I stand, and in the shadows of night, I begin to make my way back to the light in the darkness, that pulses like a lighthouse against the oppressive worry. So this is how I find myself standing on a threshold, bedraggled and in a dress that hangs damp and dirty from my flight through the fog enshrouded night. Not even the stars grace their protective sight onto the pathways I walk this night.

I lift my eyes, and even as I hate the vulnerability in my eyes. In my voice. A small, weak sound escapes.


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