Aunne never failed to be awed, at least in part, by the Vindicaar. Despite having seen generation ships before, and even living a surprisingly lengthy part of her life in one, those memories were hazy, distant, and indistinct – lacking in emotion and context after she was raised in the Plaguelands, so many years ago. It was one thing to have a vague memory and facts, and quite another to stand on the deck as it glided through the Nether, looking down on her adopted world as the raw power of the Light suffused the crystalline structures around her.

The Lightforged and the Army of the Light, even decimated as it was, still maintained its stronghold above the skies of Azeroth, now a truly long way from anything they’d called home. The Death Knight knew that relationships between the Draenei and the Lightforged weren’t as strong as outsiders thought – Velen may have led all of them into battle, but the Lightforged had fought a war from time immemorial, while the Draenei had tried to live normal lives. The soldier wasn’t the farmer, the general wasn’t the mayor, and the two, while similar in outlook, spoke in terms that indicated very different values.

When she and her two companions rode the transporter to the deck, when the great crystalline ship unfolded before them… for the first time in many years, she felt a touch of fear and the weight of the decision she’d made. Malien and Maisy were as cool and dispassionate as she didn’t truly feel, inside.

She wondered – if she were alive, would she throw up? She felt strange. Disconnected. Her mind turned a thousand times in a second, flitting from topic to topic, worry to worry, even as she stepped away from the flickering remnants of the Light that had enabled their transport.

“it will be alright, Aunn’keva.” His voice was at her ear. She didn’t relax.

“You are so certain,” she hissed to the air there – barely audible. “And I am not. Go away. You are not helping.”

“Aren’t I?” She felt a phantom touch on her shoulder – something her armor should have prevented. “One hoof in front of the other. One step at a time. They won’t deny you – though it’s likely they’ll need time to get used to the idea.”

That sensation of touch stayed with her for the hour it took to find Captain Fareehya, and the extra hour it took to convince her that the death knight was being neither foolish nor hasty. In the end, they agreed to open the way the following duty cycle, with many words of warning and at least two speeches trying to dissuade her from her course. The voice in her ear was more persuasive. “it can be done, light of my heart. Have faith.” And so?

She dared to – just a little.  

Author Aunne
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