Let's head back to B.C. and check up on Atria...


Scene 8: Target

2020 B.C.

She had left. On her most recent visit to the Cave, she had finally pulled her thread off of its place on the Loom, setting it somewhere else, somewhere new. Ignoring how fiercely she hadn't wanted to. What she wanted didn't matter; that much she knew. And so long as she remembered that, she could stay focused on her fateful task. Maybe someday, she would finally forget about Akhel - about the cadence of his heart, the color of his eyes, the contours of his ass...

Atria blinked the thought away, then squinted to adjust to the sun in the place where she'd landed today. She had chosen to visit the site of the boy whose thread she had once snipped, whose death had evidently caused pain to Lachesis. For while cutting his thread, she had sensed somehow that the poor soul had died violently; perhaps his killers were despicable folks who deserved to be next on her slaughter list. Perhaps their deaths would help lessen humanity's darkness. She had to believe this, so that she could hope that this visit to earth would be productive.

And while she was here, Atria figured, maybe she could check up on the boy's family, to see how they'd been faring since his passing. Even if she wasn't able to explicitly apologize to them, for having cut his thread, at least she could share sympathy for what had happened. It was, after all, her fault that he was dead.

Encircling the spot where she had landed were strange stacks of stones, she noticed. She had learned a while ago that human customs and practices were often bizarre and completely ridiculous, so she made nothing of this. Nor of the fact that a group of middle-aged women were currently surrounding her, obviously alarmed at her sudden appearance and stark nakedness. And given that each of them was physically deformed or badly injured, in one way or another, Atria could tell straightaway that upon staring at her flawless figure, these women were more than a little bit jealous.

She felt more than a little bit sorry for them, and wished she could help. But she had never been in the business of healing. She was in the business of bringing death, or else forestalling that inevitable fate, for souls who weren't supposed to die just yet. For those such as Akhel...

Clearing her throat, she stood to her feet and addressed the strangers who were still wordlessly gawking at her. "Would any of you be so kind as to lend me some clothes?"

The women all blinked and kept on gawking at her in silence.

She persisted. "If one of you could please spare a cloak, or a sash, or any scrap of cloth that I could don before paying a visit to the nearest town, I promise that this kindness would not go unnoticed."

And she meant it; she would at least see to it that whoever helped her didn't die a violent or untimely death.

One of the women spoke up then. "Where have you come from?"

Atria sighed. "It doesn't matter, and you wouldn't want to know."

"Well, she's got to be some sort of supernatural creature, so I reckon it'd be best to listen to her," another muttered, clearly spooked about how Atria had just materialized as if out of thin air. She removed the threadbare cloak from her back and extended it toward the stunning stranger. "Wouldn't want to provoke her anger."

Atria thanked her, draping the cloak over her shoulders. And then she left the henge of stones behind and made her way toward the nearest village.

After reaching the humble hamlet, asking passersby whether they knew of a family that had lost a loved one recently, she realized that the sidewise looks she was receiving from these people weren't entirely due to her striking beauty. That was part of it, surely. Yet more so, they seemed to ogle her because of her complexion, she inferred upon noticing that none in this realm were similar to hers. Atria's skin, a rich bronzed olive, was a sharp contrast against the lighter features of these villagers, even when her limbs were mostly covered. Lachesis must have fit in much more easily here, she figured.

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