Visions of Foreboding: The Catalyst

[People who've seen this already know what it is. I just wanted to put it somewhere I could keep it.]

Abigail walked, alone in her mind. The desert stretched for miles in every direction, sand in dunes and declines as far as the eye could see. The sun glared, blinding and white, overhead; yet the desert felt no warmer than the streets of London on a cloudy day. Curious, but it wasn't an idiosyncrasy Abigail minded; the black tank top and cargo pants she couldn't remember putting on were hardly fitting attire for such a thing.

The repetitive sound of her boots shuffling on the sand had long ago lulled her into a state of sleep on her feet. Abigail was lost, somewhere in the desert, and her mind was lost somewhere else entirely.

Where was she going? Where did she come from? And...why? Why was she there? Looking for something? Someone?

The Shogun's face, head partially shaven, flashed in her mind and she recalled their most recent encounter.

"F*ck you Abigail."

Her heart spiked and she felt her body tense all over. It irked her just as much to remember as when she'd heard it. She felt the anger rising again, but just as quickly matched with...remorse? But why?

It's the strangest thing. One moment I was ready just in case I'd have to drive an arrow through her eye, the next...I couldn't stop wondering. "What happened to you? What made you this way?" It was just this...overwhelming sorrow...sympathy.

There we go again. I thought I was out of sympathy for the devil. In that moment, after the way she spoke to me...

I used to feel that way; I used to wonder. About Charlemagne and his reasons. That only changed when he took my mum.

What did I do? What is wrong with her?"

Oh, Abby," a familiar, distinctly southern Wales voice called from behind. She whipped her body around and opened her mouth to speak but Alyssa gave no time.

"I'm not being funny, but you've just got to...try to understand. What it is is, she may not be normal, but she's still a person. People don't usually just do things like that. You and I aren't so different, and she accepted me."

"Alyssa, you were fodder. Look what followi—"

"Come on now, London, we both know that's not what it is. What is a 'terrorist?' What's the difference between them and the blokes you stop from snatching purses?"

"It doesn't matter Lyss. You had no business being with her, she's a psych—"

"You're not listening!" she snapped. "You're not dense; come on now, stop being stupid. You know what this is, more than anything?" She began to circle Abigail, pacing around her as she spoke. "You're not mad that she's a killer, you've dealt with those before. You're not mad that she may not like you. Nothin' special. You're mad that she said that to you, that she disrespected you. That's what's new here. Ivana—all of your enemies—before, no matter what happened between you or how much you hated one another, there was a degree of respect involved. Until then."

Abigail stopped walking. Alyssa kept circling.

"You may not agree with the ideology but you can't deny there's a valid reason for her actions and beliefs. Grow up an outcast, the fringes of society with nothing but fighting your whole life, what would you expect to happen? I'm not asking you to condone the killing or agree with the hatred, but for the sake of everyone you wanna help, you'd better be ready to try and salvage that weak-ass alliance of yours. Otherwise, next time she gets like that..."

She stopped out front, leaned in close. Took a breath, and regarded the archer with grim countenance, piercing with her icy blue eyes.

"Otherwise you'd better be ready to take your first life or die yourself."

If words could take physical form, those may well have taken that of a class 100 mutant, punched her in the stomach, wrapped off her throat and pounded her chest like a drum.

Abby bolted upright, breast heaving in desperation as if she'd been deprived of air her entire life; body wrapped in cold sweat and a clinging sheet, the additional residue of her dreams.

Gravely close to a heart attack, she knew.

"Damn." She scanned the empty bedchamber, its ornately decorated walls and doors. Guards stood directly on the other side and all around the locale. They brought her no comfort, no security. No safety, not when her mind and body were bigger threats than most outside forces.

"That dream..."So vivid...

So cruel.

She stood and walked across the room. A towel from a wall rack, wrapped around her body. A light knock on the door. "Eyes," she called to the other side, signalling the legionnaires to avert them on her way to the bath.