Still day 1.
Okay, the existential crisis is over for now, so let's stock of the situation:
- I'm literally in the middle of nowhere with a dead darkspawn on the hood of my car.*
* Yes, a darkspawn from Dragon Age.^
^ Yes, the video game.
- I have no clue why this is, but I can speculate.*
* More on that later. For now I'm going back into the existential crisis.
Still day 1.
What are the five stages of dying again? Acceptance is in there somewhere, so that's where I am for now. My sanity may still be questionable, but that's irrelevant; if I don't treat my situation as real I'm going to end like the darkspawn corpse next to my car. At least I was able to loot a crude sword off the thing. Between that and the tire iron I'm reasonably armed.
The car started fine so I moved to some cover, and sat down to think. That didn't get me anywhere. I mean, it didn't matter how I got here; the fact is I'm here. The stink of a dead darkspawn pretty much confirmed that. Why I'm here doesn't really matter right now, so let's put that on hold and figure it out later if I can. When and where are very important, though. I've played through DA a couple of times, and according to canon the only place darkspawn should be running around is in Ferelden. But have I arrived before or after or during the events chronicled in the game? Where in Ferelden am I?
Why here? Why me? Am I that important in the universal/multiversal scheme of things that I get transported in toto (along with a 1996 Subaru Outback [OTOH, maybe it's not me that's important; maybe it's the Outback.]) to a universe that exists in my home universe as a video game? I don't have a problem with this universe existing; what I have a problem with is me being in it.
And I don't even have a boomstick...
My sanity is either definitely slipping or I'm a colder bastard than I thought I was. I didn't sleep well, but when daylight came up well enough to see I needed to get some water. I hadn't hid my car with that in mind, but I made a good guess and found a stream about a ten minute walk to west. I thought about alien microorganisms for all of three seconds, then shrugged and drank my fill. I'd rather they kill me than die of thirst, but the stream looked clean, my shots are up to date, and I don't have any way to boil the water.
Then the soldier showed up. He looked wrung out and scared, and I'd have been happy to calm the guy down if he'd have let me, but instead he waved a knife at me and demanded my coat.
"I'd rather not," I said. Stupidly, in hindsight.
"Give it to me!" he shouted, and stepped forward, waving the knife again, and ended up only a few steps away.
I'm not sure what came over me. I pulled the tire iron from the belt loop I was carrying it in and threw it directly at the man. Hard. He reacted from instinct and raised his knife hand to block, but the iron caught him hard in the forearm. I didn't hear anything break but he did yelp in pain. Then I tackled him. I don't think he'd expected me to move so fast, but I got under his knife arm and drove my shoulder into his chest. I lifted him up off the ground then somehow flipped him over backwards as I drove him back down. He hit the ground hard, then I came down on him harder. Again, I don't know if I broke anything (his or mine) but I heard the breath being driven out of his body. He flailed at me with the knife, but there was no strength at all behind it. I grabbed his hand and jammed the knife into his neck. Twice. I hope he didn't feel it.
It took me a while to stop shaking after that. I did clean my hands and the knife, and took the blade for myself. I dragged the body away from the stream and hid it under some bushes. The only thing I could say was, "Sorry," and I really meant it.
I drank some more water and filled the small plastic bottle I'd brought with me, then limped back to the car. The only thing I could think about was that I understood Fereldan.