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The thought emerged as forms appear from fog: they didn't know. No they couldn't know. Not for certain. Otherwise they'd have tried this sooner or at the very least let her die when she was first brought to the cathedral for healing.

Basically if the heavens and all the good people hadn't come after her then, they didn't know for certain what she would be in the future. Then she'd been an injured 17 year old prone to unusual fits. She'd have been a breeze to take out. All they would have needed to do is let the damage carry her into death. But they didn't. Nor did they send anyone else before this. If her fate was sealed, They'd been stupid to let her roam around with a sword that shone as the sun, drawing all sort of attention to herself. That would just be dumb.

Now admittedly, if Ulric was an sort of sign, paladins did lean to the dumb side but not the cleric and, well, everybody on the good side. So why now? What changed? Either something about her had changed or They knew something now they hadn't before. Nothing felt different. Well at least nothing that wasn't explained by some broken ribs and some internal bleeding. And no one had said anything ...so They knew something new. And the only thing that might have involved anyone involved with the celestial powers was...

Seetha rose slowly, hampered by the pain and fatigue, and limped her way to the sleeping wagon. Nibar. He knew something. He'd talked to that ball of light, and two days later, giant holy stone people come to execute her. No wonder he'd tried to help her. It was his scaly shrinking self that caused this and she'd get an explanation. She reached for the door handle when it flew open and caught her full in the chest. Swearing in pain she folded over, grabbing her ribs and with her other hand grabbed at the fleeing figure.

Nibar choked back a yelp as he was stopped short. He turned and, seeing that it was Seetha who had him by the collar, relaxed marginally. He'd thought for a moment that Baelphegaz had returned to torment him a little more. But right now, Seetha wasn't a whole lot better. She wouldn't be in a very good mood; who would be, after everything that had happened today?

Just so long as she didn't want to talk. She could probably use an ear-and maybe a drink-but he wasn't the kobold to help right now. He needed to be alone to think, to stop the whirling jumbling in his head. To do something about this new feeling.

Nibar was well-acquainted with fear. If terror were a person, the two of them would be drinking buddies at the local watering hole. But this was something he wasn't terribly familiar with. He suspected that this was what some people called sick dread. He could now begin to understand why: his stomach was doing a folk dance around his insides, and the thought that he'd have to talk to Seetha only made it worse.

Nothing for it but to improvise, make up a reason to be off on his own. Eyeing her hand at her side, he ventured, "I'm sorry, I didn't think you'd be standing right by the door. I just…had to answer the call of, um, nature."

Seetha sank to her knees but refused to let go of either her ribs or Nibar. The sword was broken. The sign that she wasn't what she was made to be gone and he was involved. He could bloody well wait to take a leak. "What did you say to that light ball? Why did they come to get me now? What did you do, Nibar?"

Was this anger, fear, or despair he was hearing from her? In his present state of mind, Nibar couldn't tell. He couldn't be sure that it mattered, either. He swallowed, said, "I didn't do anything! It asked how we all got to be here, and I told it. Everything we learned since I first got to Azhgrott. It said it could see the darkness you talked about. But it told me that the celestials would help us, not try to kill you!"

"Well they either lied or someone else beat me up." Her arm restraining the kobold relaxed for just a second before she dragged him close, nose to apparent nose. "And don't you ever do that again. I was protecting you. You all were wrong to step in." With that she let him go and fell onto her butt with a grimace. It was a few more hours to sunrise and by then her shame would be blunted enough to let Korak heal her.

Anger and indignation surged over Nibar as he stumbled backward, as much flung away as released. When he'd regained his footing, he was surprised to hear himself say, in a voice louder than he'd have otherwise liked, "No we weren't wrong! That angel was wrong for attacking you! He never bothered to look at what you've done or the choices you've made, or even that you could carry a holy weapon at all! If he's right, and all you are is just a vessel for some demon, no matter the choices you make or the things you do, then nothing any of us does matters! Not one bit! If he's right then everything about us is decided before we're even born, and we don't have control over any of our actions, and nothing we do changes anything!"

His breathing had gone hard and raspy, and he'd involuntarily taken another step back, but he was on a roll, now. "If that angel was right, why did the other one bother to step in, even if too late? If that angel was right, how is it you're able to swing that sword? If he's right, why do you work so hard to keep others from being hurt? If he's right, why does Baelphegaz keep trying to make friends and give me stuff?"

He…maybe shouldn't have said that last bit.

From the journal of Seetha

Contributor: Erica Marks