While Alria tried to help the Mon-keigh recover from all the smoke that had found its way into his air system, she tried to figure out why she was doing this. Why was she sitting in a crude barn, surrounded by odious grox, just for the sake of this Mon-keigh? Was he worth the Shuriken Rifle ammunition she spent to save him, and was he even worth the time she was spending? If she brought this question to anyone on Ulthwe then she would have been laughed at for even asking it, but the answer was not so obvious to her right now.

The Mon-keigh started coughing again, so Alria tried to soothe him back to sleep with gentle words. "Don't worry, don't worry, you'll be better soon ..."

He seemed to like that, as his coughing subsided again. Alria did not have any of the equipment needed to treat smoke inhalation, and even if she had it she would not know how to utilize it as she had no knowledge of medicine (let alone veterinary training), but the mon-keigh seemed to be recovering. Soon, Alria hoped, he would be fully healed.

But why did Alria hope that? There must be a reason for her to care about this Mon-keigh, this man who Alria's culture considered to be a lesser being. It can not be that she values all lives; in order to save this Mon-Keigh she had to kill another one. That one is still outside where Alria shot him dead, getting picked apart by dark birds and grey rodents. And in any case, even if the one she is trying to save does recover he will just die in less than a measly century. Alria had only just reached adulthood by the standards of her race, and yet she was still three times as old as this Mon-keigh could hope to live to naturally. Even if this one could prolong it's life by the crude science of his race, his mind would be too dull to truly experience anything.

And yet, looking at him now Alria still hoped that he recovered. "What is it about you?" the Eldar woman asked the human man. He did not answer, instead he remained asleep.

Sighing, Alria decided that she needed some sleep too. This was easier said than done, as the only blanket was covering the Mon-keigh. Temperature aside, the barn was full of drooling lobotomized beasts and stank of their excrement and their urine. It reminded Alria too much of the Prison Cell where Governor Malonie held her as a captive, for there too the entire cell block stank of the filth made by the other prisoners. Even hovels that the rustic Exodites inhabited on their Lilaethan, the Maiden Worlds they fled to before the fall, were not so filthy as the places where the Mon-keigh lived and kept their beasts of burden.

Less than a month ago Alria was in her Craftworld, creating beautiful works of art.

"Stay positive, do not despair", Alria reminded herself. As an Eldar, Alria must always keep her emotions in check lest She Who Thirsts find a weakness to exploit. Even the Gods - Asuryan the Phoenix King, Kurnous the Hunter, Kaela Mensha Khaine the Warrior - if even they could not defeat The Great Enemy then what hope other than avoiding direct conflict did the Eldar have of survival?

Remembering that the point of this was to stay positive, Alria shifted her thoughts away from the extinction of her people's Gods. She tried thinking about her family and friends instead. Oh boy would she look forward to seeing them again! Her father Elros always took her to the gardens (he followed the Path of the Farmer after completing the Path of Service), and her mother Laedra would give her the best hugs and would tell stories about their race's glorious path (she followed the Path of the Storyteller, an artisan like her daughter). And Alria's would like to see her fiance's brother Galanban again; Alria always wanted a little brother and Galanban had such a bubbly personality that everyone felt better around him.

... but then Alria would have to tell Galanban that his older brother Gilrion had met a violent end on the field of battle. It is unlikely that Galanban would see his older brother again so long as he lived: Gilrion was not a warrior or a tacticion, so there would be no reason to place his soul in a wraithguard. And Alria would have to tell her parents how she was blackmailed into helping the Mon-Keigh plunder the graves of their ancestors. Not that she would get a chance to; there is no way Craftworld Ulthwé would ever take her back after such a deed. They'd take the Spiritstones, but it is unlikely that they would take her as well. More likely is that they will try to kill her for this, honestly Alria would not be able to blame them if they did.

"It would have been better if I had never been born" she muttered to herself.

Unable to call to mind a single thing to cheer herself up, Alria decided to stop thinking and to instead distract her mind the only way she knew how: sculpting. Alria was not yet skilled enough in this to be a full-fledged bonesinger ( ... yet) and would probably never match the old masters like Kaeleth-Tul, but she has been working on her path for the last few centuries and all her teachers told her that she has potential.

Alria left the Grox Barn and headed outside so she could work without disturbing the sleeping Mon-keigh. She walked past the dead Mon-Keigh, past the log cabin, and to a small grassy area where she felt she would attract little attention. From there she began to concentrate fully and intensely on her craft, pulling psychic energy from the warp and crystallizing it in realspace. It was straining work, but Alria enjoyed it and because she focused entirely on the sculpting process she was able to at least temporarily forget the troubles she found herself in.

Ever so delicately, the sculpture began to take shape in Alria's nimble hands. A few twists here, a few turns there, keep focusing, remember to breathe, a little bit more, a little bit more ...

After a good amount of time, Alria had formed a rough form. It was not her best work by any stretch of the imagination (the sculptures Alria is most proud of had taken her years to complete), it was just a quick little creation to take her nerves off edge. If Alria saw further potential in it then she would add additional details to it, but for now she could not. It was a small creation, maybe the size of an Eldar's closed fist, so she would easily be able carry it on her person while she journeyed across this world.

Calmed down considerably by this, Alria stood up and began to head back inside the barn. She picked up a lasrifle from the dead attacker and brought it inside with her - to ensure that if the other two attackers returned they could not use it against her.

Once inside, Alria found a dry corner in the barn. She rested her head against the wall, laid her shuriken catapult across her lap, and looked one last time at the sleeping Mon-Keigh. She still did not know why she rescued him, but right now she felt it did not matter. She closed her eyes, and soon drifted into a much-needed sleep.