p style="margin: 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"emBare feet ran across wet sand. She tried to ignore the glass shards digging into her soft soles. Raza's thoughts raced as she leapt over fallen logs and amidst heavy brush. The terrain was alien, her mind unsure of where she was heading, but her body seemed to know and at this point, she was just grateful for that./em/p
p style="margin: 1em 0px 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"emShe couldn't stop now. /ememEven if it slowed them down, they still had the advantage./em/p
p style="margin: 1em 0px 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"emRaza couldn't remember why she was running, come to think of it. All she remembered was her Ma'da screaming, then boom! She's running with glass in her feet and her heart pounding like it's going to explode./em/p
p style="margin: 1em 0px 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"emBehind her, she could hear something hissing, an ancient voice filled with malice as it roared./em/p
p style="margin: 1em 0px 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"emAdrenaline may fill her veins now, but she knew it wasn't going to be enough. She couldn't outrun them./em/p
p style="margin: 1em 0px 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"emSure enough, her stubby legs tripped over something. Tears swelled in her eyes. It was over before it'd even begun./em/p
p style="margin: 1em 0px 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"emThe enemy slithered towards her. Raza may never have seen a naga up close, but she recognized them from all their stories. Giant green and teal bodies of scales and fangs, spears and magic in hand with those malicious, cold eyes./em/p
p style="margin: 1em 0px 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"emOne held their spear towards her, ready to cut her down. She couldn't understand what they said to one another, but it didn't matter./em/p
p style="margin: 1em 0px 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"emIt was over./em/p
p style="margin: 1em 0px 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"emRaza couldn't move, save to close her eyes. She couldn't look, couldn't speak, just couldn't-/em/p
p style="margin: 1em 0px 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"emSomething wet and sticky ran down her legs. It hurt; it hurt so bad…/em/p
p style="margin: 1em 0px 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"emRaza couldn't help herself as she sneaked a peak. The naga would all dead, their bodies all speared themselves. One's head now lay on her limbs, it's awful eyes staring straight at her./em/p
p style="margin: 1em 0px 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"emShe yipped, crawling back from the scene./em/p
p style="margin: 1em 0px 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"em"Where ya dink ya're goin'!?"/em/p
p style="margin: 1em 0px 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"emFor once, it was another pair of trollish eyes. Dark yellow ones at that, belonging to a red-haired mon with a wooden spear in hand. Darkspear or Nagan, she didn't know nor did it matter./em/p
p style="margin: 1em 0px 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"em"Girlie, what were ya doin'?"/em/p
p style="margin: 1em 0px 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"emShe couldn't speak./em/p
p style="margin: 1em 0px 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"em"Why are ya 'ere?"/em/p
p style="margin: 1em 0px 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"emShe clutched something in her hands even tighter. Since when did she have her hands full? Nothing made sense; she just wanted to go home./em/p
p style="margin: 1em 0px 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"em"Who are ya?"/em/p
p style="margin: 1em 0px 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"emSuddenly, everything shifted. Same soil, same heat, but she became much taller. She had a spear in her hand, a great comfort in this place. Yet looking at the girlie in front of her, realization hit Raza like a lightning strike./em/p
p style="margin: 1em 0px 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"emThe little girl- only looking four or five years old- had ragged, yellow hair. Orange eyes openly sobbed over dark teal skin. Her clothing, barely more than crudely stitched up rags- were grimy with a few holes. Although the girl reminded her of Cego, her face was more like her own./em/p
p style="margin: 1em 0px 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"emMa'da./em/p
p style="margin: 1em 0px 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;""emKij…" The girl was shaking, holding onto some loose rags like a lifeline./em/p
p style="margin: 1em 0px 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"emThe poor girlie was scavenging!/em/p
p style="margin: 1em 0px 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"emShe could feel this mon soften, the image of his own sister blurring with her Ma'da./em/p
p style="margin: 1em 0px 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"emPink box braids going down her shoulder, bright orange eyes like Ma's as she laughed. Then her body riddled with human bullets, sailors patting themselves on the back for getting rid of another savage, his anger and sorrow for the little tuskling blurring his vision. And a name:/em/p
p style="margin: 1em 0px 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"emCego./em/p
p style="margin: 1em 0px 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"emRaza felt like crying herself, for his sister and her own, for her Ma'da and this mon who now felt all too young for any of this./em/p
p style="margin: 1em 0px 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"emYet once again, she saw the world through her Ma's eyes. She could feel her tears flow freely down her cheek./em/p
p style="margin: 1em 0px 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"em"'ey Kij, I'm Raz'nek." The young mon kneeled down beside her, looking over her loot and injuries along her lower body. Then, his hand curled around her face, wiping those salty tears away. "No need ta cry now. I gotcha. Ya're safe now."/em/p
p style="margin: 1em 0px 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"emKij wasn't sure about that, but she didn't really care right now. She held onto the young mon for dear life./em/p
p style="margin: 1em 0px 0px; color: #444444; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"emEven if it's just for one night, she feels safer than she's ever been. And that breaks her daughter's heart. /em/p