S9 - Dani

Dani couldn’t sleep. The campsite had grown quiet and the party had retreated to their own tents. But it was too quiet. There were no noises of the city, no chittering of critters. Even Mouse silently lay in their web. Every time Dani closed their eyes, they saw the undead feeding on the corpse they had fed to them. Their snarls jerked Dani instantly awake. And so it had been for the past few hours.

Sweating and lost, Dani tore away the covers and peeked out of their tent. Silence. Still. They crept out, careful not to disturb the quiet, though a part of them bitterly wanted to make a racket. Just to bother the others. Just so that they couldn’t rest either. But instead, Dani tiptoed down to the water’s edge. The wind was missing, and the windmill blades were motionless. The body Alra had plucked out was on the ground where it landed earlier, untouched and lifeless. Dani imagined their eyes bulging in pain as they died, the way the captain’s eyes had bulged.

Dani sat by the water’s edge. It was glassy. No ripples like when Dani had thrown the pebbles in. Just still. Their reflection was perfect.

It was mocking.

Dani raised their fists above their head and screamed as they slammed them down into the water. The splash was pitiful. The scream was pitiful. They were pitiful.

A tear dripped into the water, and Dani thought it was red like the blood dribbling from the captain’s lips.

This was it. This is what they had become. A murderer. They were no better than the healer who refused to see their parents. They played God, and they chose who lived and who died. Illyana had guided their hand, but it was still their own hand.

When the water stilled and the reflection came back, the face was ragged and dangerous. Feral. Somehow, Dani had cracked. Dani felt the rage and guilt and agony in a wild frenzy, yet the world was silent and still. Betrayed, the world itself.

Dani dragged themselves to their feet, fists dripping water and mud. They looked up to the moon with a broken anger, and a promise escaped like the whisper of a wind to fill the vacancy. “If that is what you need of me, then I will be your Hand. May the blood of your enemies drown me.”

S9 - Dani

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