Mya found herself waking from the short and unexpected nap as Vega was rising towards mid-day in the cloudless sky. Sweat covered her from head to toe, but Mya pulled the cotton blankets closer to her neck looking out beyond the edge of the city wall to the Ketsueki Desert. Tears still filled Mya’s eyes as she tried to make sense of the dream. She watched the half dozen swirls of sand make their way slowly across the windswept dunes. Her eyes stopped on a single plume of smoke rising into the air, mostly gray with a hint of black. Not for the first time she wondered what it might be like to escape out into the sands beyond. Could she make it out there and survive alone? The city provided what she needed with relative ease, and it had been a long, long time since she could remember anything besides Amorine.
A single figure was making its way across the peak of a dune just outside the city. She squinted her eyes down towards the person, they were on horseback and alone. Mya tried to imagine who the wanderer was coming towards the gates, but found it hard to care with the words of her father still echoing in her mind.