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Prayer

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Kima prays. Kima prays and curses and screams and rages and prays and prays and prays. Kima prays for her companions, curses at the pain, screams invectives at her captors, rages at herself and her own powerlessness; she prays for her mission and her order and her world, that it might survive the calamity she dreamt.

Kima does not pray for herself.

She knows herself, knows her own strength. She knows how much she can endure and when she will be overwhelmed. She has traveled this darkening road before and is familiar with its waypoints; she can endure a while longer. The Duregar mistake her impotent fury for helplessness, gloat over her struggles and relish in her pain, but her strength is the eye of a raging storm that gathers power with every passing breath and on every exhale she renews her vow to wipe this scourge from the world. She does not pray for herself, for she knows herself, knows her own strength, and knows how to bend her fury to His divine will.

When Kima does not pray, she dreams.

She dreams of voices, innocent and culpable alike, drowned under a cacophony of swords and spears and broken shields while she struggles uselessly against her chains. The world bleeds with the shrieks of the dead and the dying and she burns with anger, for she knows prophecy when it whispers in her ear.  

She dreams of her companions, their screams and sobs and final sighs slowly dissolving into the clangor of the Underdark. She dreams of old friends, their voices echoing around her torture chamber in a deafening chaos; some she knows have long since traveled down this road, but others she had thought still walked above, and to hear their voices hurts her more than the knives of the Duregar King, though he rejoices in her pain.

More painful still are her dreams of Allura, but those she welcomes as a balm and treasures deep in her heart. In those dreams Allura kisses her, sings to her, brushes sweaty hair back from her temple and mops her brow and whispers in her ear that help is coming, that if only she can hold on just a little longer they will be reunited and need never more be parted.

She knows those dreams for the fantasy they are, but she is grateful for them. Her every waking moment is filled with pain and wrath and ruin and even as she prays that Bahamut will see this evil gone from the world she trembles with the rage that this is but one breath in an endless storm that will one day overtake all that she holds dear.

But in the quiet before the storm are a thousand thousand moments of joy and love and happiness, and they do not matter less for not being hers. So she fights, and dreams, and prays, and knows that every beat of her heart is another victory. She walks the darkening path but the journey is long and has many waypoints; she can endure awhile longer. She is not broken. She will never break. She has faith in her God, and in her love, and in herself, and she yet lives.