It's not as if Lucretia means to invite the assassination attempts on her life.

As Madame Director, she'd known that her life was forfeit to the fight against the Hunger a long time ago. She'd also known that many would try to end it before she could ever get far enough to be killed by the monster of her own horror story. In those days she had something to fight and people to fight for. Lucretia is many things, a wizard, a liar, the savior of the world; a survivor is something she made herself be for a very long time.

Before the Day of Story and Song, she had Davenport to protect her- and he had, three separate times, and those are only the times she knows of. He learned quickly to keep his knives sharp and his eyes sharper. Lucretia wonders now if he remembers those moments at all- the time he found her with blood running down her temple and a sword to her throat, or when she'd almost swallowed poison laced wine until Killian had knocked it out of her hand, or when she'd almost been thrown off a cliff as some messed up sacrifice to the Hunger. (She can't exactly muster any anger towards those terrified townspeople, since she ruined the entire godsdamned world for the same reason. Davenport still mauled a few of them on her behalf.)

After the dust settles, though, Davenport leaves without a backward glance and Luctreia assumes he doesn't believe it matters anymore. She is inclined to agree.

After all, her job in this world is done; why would anyone want to kill her now?

Or, to amend that last statement, there are many reasons someone - Taako - would want to kill Lucretia. Almost ending the world, dooming countless people to death, ripping her family apart, mind-wiping people; Lucretia knows the extent of her mistakes and she knows she must pay for them. Many people would want to kill her.

It doesn't take her long to realize she'd quite gladly let them. But Lucretia has always been a woman to play by her own rules, and she won't go down without a fight- not if it isn't the right person. The random victims have claim on her life, sure, but there are others who deserve their pound of flesh first.

The second week after the Day of Story and Song, when the night terrors have ripped her screaming from unconsciousness, and the light is low and her thoughts are churning, Lucretia writes a list.

It's not hard to put the first name down: Davenport is the one she's harmed the most with her pathetic stunts. Davenport deserves to deal the final blow the most, and she wouldn't even argue if he wanted to cut out her tongue just as she effectively did to him before he killed her.

The next few are harder: Magnus should probably be next, since he lost Julia and Lucretia did nothing to stop it. But Merle lost his chance at fatherhood. Or should it be Lup, since Lucretia took away any chance of her being found? (That one stings the most; Lucretia was the keeper of her family's memories and shouldered that responsibility willingly, but to become the unwitting warden of Lup's hellish prison? It makes the acid in her stomach flood her throat every time Lucretia thinks about it.) Or Taako, who didn't even know he had a sister to save? Barry, who knew the extent of her crimes and could do nothing to punish her for so long?

In the end, Lucretia gives Lup the second spot but Magnus is a close third. Taako goes next, and Merle after him, since Merle at least knew he had family. Barry brings up the rear, even though Lucretia would be very willing to have him deal the first blow, if only because he at least got to wiggle out from under her thumb before most of the others.

It doesn't matter to Lucretia's frantic, emotional thoughts in the night if any of these people want to kill her. They are the ones who deserve to kill her. It's only right that they get the proper time frame to enact their justice.

But after- if there is an after- if they don't kill her. Then. Then Lucretia will be more than glad to answer to the rest of her crimes.

So when the first one slips into her office late into the third week after the Hunger's defeat, Lucretia does not scream. She does not run. Why should she? The man is here for a good reason, even if she cannot fulfill his request.

The Bulwark Staff leans against her desk two inches from her left hand when the man rushes her. Lucretia tips her head up, but doesn't bother to mind the blade that pricks the delicate skin of her neck. The tip glistens with her blood where it rests against her calm pulse. Lucretia folds her hands on her desk and meets the other's gaze head on. Something in her placid expression makes him blink, disturbed.

There is a moment of silence. Lucretia straightens the paperwork- relocation and allocation of funds to those who wish not to remain with the Bureau now that their war is over- without glancing down. She folds her hands again and knows she has enough magic in her to blast this man to kingdom come even without her staff.

He opens his mouth. Closes it. Glares at her and presses the knife more tightly to her skin. Lucretia arches a delicate eyebrow. "Yes? How may I help you?"

"You took everything from me," he whispers, and oh, but his voice is so young. He can't be much older than Angus and her heart twists. "Everyone I loved- gone, because of you."

"I apologize," Lucretia says, not insincerely, "I do tend to do that to people. It's a terrible habit. Am I to assume you wish to correct the error of my continued existence?"

"I'm here to kill you," he confirms. But something she's done- her steady gaze or the Bulwark Staff lingering menacingly in the background or her calmness or maybe even the sadness she allowed to leak into her tone- just this once, just to allow him this glimpse of reality- has made him hesitant, fearful. He is only a child, after all, and Lucretia feels like taking the knife and doing his job for him for what she has reduced him to.

But she has responsibilities, and more people than him to answer to.

"At the risk of sounding trite," Lucretia says mildly, "I suppose the right response to that is 'get in line.'"

In the end, he is easy to subdue. She barely notices the tremor in her hands as she lifts his unconscious body into the transport and sets a course for him to Neverwinter. He'll be able to get a good night's rest with her sleeping spell in his system, and Neverwinter will take care of him from there. She doesn't plan to tell any authorities about his attempt on her life, although she does suppose she'll have to make sure security is tightened. Her life is already forfeit, but it won't do to have the rest of her crew endangered. Lucretia has put too many people into danger for her own sake for one lifetime.

Lucretia goes back to her quarters and adds another name to her list. His name is Daniel. He is eighteen. Her mistakes killed his parents and his little brother.

Lucretia will be waiting for him. She will wait for them all to come. And they will come.

Too soon, she realizes she won't have to wait very long.