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I'd cuss out whatever deity, power-that-be or mystical convergence of spheres that brought me here- only I can't remember exactly what it was and cursing at the universe in general is just asking for something nasty to happen.

I wouldn't have believed that before, but you know. I'd never been unceremoniously scooped out of my own reality and dropped into a new one, before.

"Ah! Shit, fuck, god damn it." I like cussing a lot when I'm confused or in pain.

It used to be a seldom occurrence.

Leaning on a tree, I inspect the bottom of my bare foot with a grimace. Yeah, that's gross. Not only did I just cut my foot on a sharp rock- it's not even the first time today. And if I don't find a place with medical supplies soon…I might get an infection and die.

Before that though, I'll be unable to walk anymore- which is why I'm basically jogging through the woods to begin with. Have to get where I'm going as fast as possible.

Except I have no idea where I'm going.

I mean, I know where I need to go, if I want to get help- I need to go someplace that has people.

But I'm in the middle of the fucking Storm Coast, so…

Yeah, the first clue I had was when I appeared here, and saw a dead Deepstalker. Then the entire area just…it just looks familiar. The pebbly ground, interspersed with actual dirt- the plants…the trees…

The constant rain.

I was still in denial before I saw the Dragon, though.

It flew overhead just this morning, which is when I 'woke up' and felt all the pain I was in.

Up till then, I'd been wandering around in a daze, convinced I was dreaming. But the dragon, the dragon woke me up. I stopped dissociating and wished I hadn't.

Cause while, you know, this is the most amazing thing that has or will ever happen to me…it's also the most terrifying and painful.

It's not just my feet, but my legs and my back, too.

My feet are cut, my legs are tired and bruised from falling down so much- and my back just always hurts. It's a regular problem of mine. I was going to go to a chiropractor soon, but I guess that's off now…

Ugh, not to mention the hunger pains that have started now that it's evening and I haven't eaten anything because I don't trust the mushrooms here.

Deep Mushrooms make poison of some kind, and like…I'm not taking my chances that there's other mushrooms on the surface that people just don't normally use because they're less potent.

And all I've been able to find. Are. Mushrooms.

They're everywhere in this beautiful but terrible place.

If I had shoes on, it wouldn't be so terrible. I've always liked the rain, it…makes me feel this deep calm inside. But now it's just making everything slick and my hair feels weird and it's sticking to my skin- ugh.

Feeling exposed like this is also just…I don't like it, and never have. I've never been a nudist.

Walking around my tiny trailer without pants? With a sports bra and underwear on? Sure.

Going completely buck naked out in public? Hell no. Not even in front of my grandmother, mother or any of my other female relatives. I've never felt comfortable with that.

And now I've got my arms crossed over my boobs as I jog, holding them in place as much as hiding them.


Wait, is that-

Hot fucking damn! It's a cabin.

Looks broken down and kind of reclaimed by nature but fuck- there might be a bed inside or old, dirty sheets I can wash and rip up for bandages and like…to use as a toga or something…

And it's shelter from the damn rain!

So I pick up the pace and ignore the twinges of discomfort from my feet and legs, just focused on putting one foot in front of the other and making sure I don't slip on or trip over anything.

I stumble once or twice and end up catching myself on trees, like I've been doing since my legs started to shake- around noon, I think? My forearms and hands are all fucked up. Abrasions, blood oozing from them…

If I don't find somewhere to tend my wounds soon and get shoes and clothes somehow…I'm fucked.

Ah! Level ground- actual dirt!

Stepping carefully across the overgrown 'yard', I keep my eyes peeled for wildlife and other possible dangers.

I want to just…curl up in a ball and sleep. But I can't, because I might not get back up again. I might…no. No, I won't lie down and wait to die, I won't waste my energy on things like crying, I won't give up. I can't.

Beating back the negative thoughts is always difficult when my situation is actually bleak and doesn't just look that way…but I can use the same techniques.

After an entire lifetime spent wishing I could go to another world, I'm not gonna let that dream-come-true, kill me. Not when I can do something with it instead. If that means I have to be extra exhausted all the time from fighting off my anxiety and depression, then so be it.

Just have to…find out when I am, to go with the where.

I won't survive without a plan and when you plan…you should plan big and small.

So for now, I need medical attention and food and water. For later…I'll…need to think on that some more.

Do I try to change everything? And if so, how? Am I too late to change anything?

Do I leave everything as it was and just try to hang on for the ride and enjoy the world and characters? Do I watch as everything crumbles?

Nah. I'm no NPC, not anymore.

I used to stand by and do nothing while others did things for me, but recently I'd been able to get up and do things for myself. I felt so proud of that, too…

And now this. After years of struggle and self-improvement and just when I was getting to be at my best-

I can keep going. This is nothing. I can still be the best version of myself. I just have to…

Stopping in the doorway of the old, broken-down shack- I survey the entirety of the place in one sweep of my eyes back and forth across the large space inside.

The ceiling is mostly intact, though it drips here and there. Floor is water damaged but holding together…

And there's a chest, over there to the side, at the foot of a dry cot.

Someone lives here. Or at least hides away here.

I need to be done doing what I need to do before they get back, if they're coming.

Which means I'll be walking in the dark if I don't hurry- possibly all night long. Ugh.

Thinking about that reminds me of the big blank space in my memories. The hole, the…abyss. It's just…dark. There are fleeting bits of color and light but nothing makes sense to my brain.

Sighing, I hobble over to the cot and sit down, opening the chest at the foot of it pretty easily.

Here I was expecting it to be locked. Well, if it wasn't, that could mean there's nothing in it, or at least nothing of value.

'Or maybe it's just owned by someone who has plenty of money to buy more stuff…' I muse as I look down into the chest.

Medical supplies, more specifically an injury kit and poultice jar are just…sitting on top of a spare set of…light or medium armor, I can't tell in this low light.

And there in the other corner is a small sack, that when opened, reveals some jerky.

This is probably someone's post or something. I need to get dressed and get out of here…but if I don't tend my wounds, I might get infected and…and I'll bleed all over the inside of the armor.

Picking up the sack, the kit and the bundle of armor, I take each individually over to the doorway to inspect them.

There's a pair of boots down in the bottom of the chest, too, so I take those as well.

The armor and boots are worn-out and old. Someone's spare, I'd have to guess. I don't really care as long as it covers my ass.

Turning my attention to the injury kit, I find some linens that could be used for bandages…and groan. Because I'm going to have to use that damn sheet on the cot to clean myself off if I want the bandages for my wounds.

There's a bottle of some kind of alcohol on a desk when I inspect the cabin further and it just smells terrible.

Using the sheet as a washcloth, I carefully clean my body of dirt and blood around my wounds and then brace myself.

Pouring that shit over my bleeding arms and legs is agonizing but at least I'm relatively certain I'll be better off with having done it.

"Nnngh, god…" I moan and catch my breath while wiping myself dry with the other end of the sheet. "Fucking gross…"

After pouring some poultice onto the bandages and winding them around my wounds, it soon becomes apparent that there's some kind of painkiller in them. Something to numb you, I guess.

And it's fantastic.

I still feel the pain in my joints and everything aches, but it's much more manageable now.

Have to rip up the sheets and wind them around the bandages to hold them in place in order to have enough clean bandage to cover all my injuries.

Getting into the armor is hard when the light is dying but I manage to get the tunic, leather vest and pants on without much trouble.

I leave the boots for last and wind the scarf around my neck, pulling it up over my head like a hood and across my face like a mask.

It's better if I go unnoticed, but even if I am, no one will be able to describe my face or hair this way.

Bracing myself once again, I carefully step into the boots and hiss at the slight pain of fastening them up and walking around in them.

I can tell this set of armor was made for a man, or at least with one in mind, anyway. The bust is a little tight and it's difficult to move my arms without the shirt bunching in an uncomfortable way.

Time to move. No bag and the sheets are ruined so I have to carry the kit and the jerky.

Good thing this belt can hold both, and-

Hey, there's a potion in this pouch! It's half-drained, but still!

Pulling the potion out, I uncork it and take a small mouthful.

It's kind of gross in texture, but not that bad in flavor. I can choke it down pretty easily and quickly, at least. The aftertaste leaves much to be desired, but…at least I'm not dead.