Are you mad.”

“No. I’m going back.”

Bristling. It’s about the only thing that comes to mind about the feeling that comes across her skin. Bristling, energy crawling under the layers and struggling to find its escape. It ran through over and over, and all it did was make her pace.

Gal had locked herself in the Shack again. It was becoming her sanctuary from everything, a place to sit and think. She had made it more homey, if possible, with cleaning and organizing, but it still was no home. The human had one, but the hostility she held and the weird air that hung about her whole aura, it didn’t feel like a home. On top of it, with her recent outburst at Kory, she needed to have a moment.

And what is a moment without reaching out to your own pirate of sorts. 

Adilia’s distorted laugh comes through clearly, along with the sound of bottles and papers being tossed around.

“Do you not recall how you came back to this world, battered and broken. Barely breathing with only a drop left in that heart.”

“Why must you chide me like a child. I recall.”

More shuffling and some mutters. Gal figues she caught her in the middle of her crafting, but won’t bother to ask. Instead, she turns to face a decrepit mirror and messed with her hair, pulling and twisting with impatient hands.

She can feel the bristling all on the scalp. It hums and stings, and all it does is make her mess with the mess more, thinking and muttering about its length and ideas. 

“So…Why try again. And on the heels of ruining the one good thing that kept you anchored to the earth. If the rumors are true, don’t you think that will cause more whispers.”

“They need help Adilia. It must be done. Besides, this gives a chance to try this map thing, see if the imaginary job from the Ministry will hold. But mostly, this dragon has to be stopped.”

“I think they gave you that to keep you from being a sad sod.”

A pop and Gal jumps slightly, pulling a few strands of hair out with a small curse. She stumbles, the eyes flaring to the harsh blue as she glared at the radio until Adilia murmurs about a rogue bottle and comes back. But when she speaks again, the glare becomes harsher and the lips curl.

“So are you going to try and come back alive this time.”

“Accident. I say time and time again, accident.” It’s a step towards the device, but she keeps her distance so as not to scream over it. 

“Nonetheless, I don’t think it wise you go again. Given all the present events, you’re…Pale Tree, what’s the word.”

Words dance on the edge of her tongue, but they linger and pool as she continues to stare. Even the ends of her hair feel it, and they curl against the sensation.

“Vulnerable.”

A noise echoes in her ears. It’s buzzing, and it pulses.

When Gal does not spit back, Adilia continues while messing with more glassware. “You say they feed on your regrets, your pain. So say we send a woman whose tan is still visible on that bare finger to fight and join ranks with her old memories. Fighting, screaming, and more, with all that regret and pain. You’re food to them…You’ll fall hard, or get so mad you’ll start to crack up until we hear that you’ve__”

Stop.

Her jaw was clenched tight with her glare drilling into the radio The hair stood on end, and her skin- Oh how the scars burn. The twisted scars dig into the muscles, tightening around her body as if ropes that pull, pulling her to the realization of just what she is doing to herself.

A feast for a Dragon.

“………..Gallant.”

It takes her a moment, but Adilia’s cool voice brings her down enough to calm the buzzing and at least have the ropes loosen around her mind. Enough so the shoulders sag and the jaw unlocks for her to get a large exhale out. She wants to defend herself, fight this, but what’s the point of fighting truth now. 

“…I know that it’s going to be worse now, I know it. But this- Adilia I need this. Just a moment to find something stable in this storm. If that means I step into Jormag’s mouth and find it, fine. I want my time, and I want people to stop pitying me for just enough. Until I have my bearings.” 

A moment of silence, but soon the glass moving is back and the sylvari chuckles. “Stop Pitying you. Can agree on that. Why pity a woman who doesn’t learn from her mistakes.”

She grimaces hard.

“Blunt.”

“I am a heathen Vindleton, nothing more. But I do hope that this will help with whatever mess you are. Would be nice to see what’s under your mask.”

Gal leans back and the gaze returns to the mirror still on its perch. Her hand returns to her hair and she pulls back the mess, memorizing how it falls and how close the scalp is. One final breath and she drops it, letting the waves fall, and she reaches for her radio. 

“I will forward my papers to you. If any more come from Elona, sign them and be kind. I want this civil.”

“Civil…A word that evades you to this day.”

The click of the switch is enough of an answer. The radio is slipped back into the drawer of the desk and Gal grabs for her coat that hangs nearby.

She needs a drink. 

Author MaddAce
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