Disclaimer: Not mine. The end.

A/N: Title is a song used in The Wire. I had never learned that much about these instruments in the past, and was surprised/fascinated to find out what a phurba dagger represents.

The phurba has three segments on its blade. The three segments represent three energies. These energies are known as the 'three poisons.' The three poisons are attachment, ignorance, and aversion or fear. The three sides of the phurba also represent the three spirit worlds, and the phurba itself represents the axis of these three spirit worlds. The center of the phurba brings the three spirit worlds together. The phurba's blade represents 'method' and the handle represents 'wisdom'.

Comments are always welcome.

My Life Extra

By, Nicole Silverwolf

Emerging into the room was akin to entering a firing range. While away at medical school she had seen one; the stark open space disquieting even though no one was using any kind of gun. She was set upon almost immediately by the woman with blonde hair asking every question under the sun about her patient.

Tired calm was the only tone she could speak in.

"He's resting for now. You can sit with him so long as he stays quiet," she assured in smooth if heavily accented English. With a nod of thanks the woman called Elena slipped past her into the partition she'd cobbled together for privacy.

Out of the corner of her eye she caught sight of pale hands flying to a mouth and heard a cry unmistakeable as grief. The thick cloth fell back at that instant, shrouding them from view.

Taking slow and measured steps she moved across the room to sit at the table occupied by Tenzin and Schaeffer.

"Well?" Schaeffer asked simply, the native Tibetan language flawless after so many years of practice.

"He needs a proper hospital and probable surgery. But you already know that."

Tenzin nodded grimly. He had known. The reality was that the nearest hospital was more than a day's hike away. Instincts told him the man he'd saved would not have survived that long. There was no safe way to carry a man with a wound such as his very far. "Yet?"

"I've done what I can. If he was out there as long as you think he was, he is certainly stubborn. If he survives this trial, it will be due to powers beyond medical intervention."

Both men studied the worn table darkly. The sound of the fire, and of Tenzin's youngest daughter playing just outside the window were loud in their thoughts. It smelled less of blood and infection out here which she was grateful for. Yak butter tea was proffered to her, a gift from Tenzin's beautiful wife and it was drunk gratefully by all.

After a long moment, Tenzin drew an object out from among the folds of his coat. Long, ornate and covered in dried blood she had still never seen such a magnificent phurba before. Schaeffer looked surprisingly troubled at its presence.

"I found it on him; out there," Tenzin supplied carefully.

"I believe it is a sign."

She reached out as if to touch the metal hilt but stopped inches short. Phurba's were not meant for just anyone to wield. The head shaman of their village had one. How could that man, clearly no shaman, priest or holy person have one?

"Stolen?" she asked hotly. Already she (and many others in their closely knit village) had been concerned with Tenzin's choice to bring home a foreign outsider clearly mixed up in something dangerous. This stolen item did not bode well for making a case to allow these two interlopers sanctuary.

Schaeffer spoke, putting his hand out and lifting the dagger gingerly. "Perhaps it was stolen at first. I do not doubt that this Drake is a thief. But that is not the whole story now." He turned the blade into the light.

Her concession was minor, filled with more question than tacit approval. "Elena is not a thief that much is clear. And I wonder how such a woman could be tangled into the story of such a man."

"He held onto this sacred item despite grave wounds," Tenzin stabbed a finger at the object. "You did not see the wreckage he crawled from healer. No ordinary man could have survived it. The mercenaries I saw did not."

"You trust him enough to bring whatever was chasing him to our village?" she asked more directly than she would have dared before.

Tenzin's normally calm face hardened significantly. "There is no guarantee of that."

"Trouble clearly follows him," she countered.

"As a healer I would have thought that would not matter to you," Tenzin's voice didn't change in tone, but the subtle way he held himself, as if mimicking a brick wall spoke clearly of his anger.

"I am a healer, and as such I am doing what I can for the man. But I sense this man is dangerous or brings danger with him at every opportunity. What responsibility do we have to that? Should we not seek the authorities? Should..."

"This is the key to Shambala," Shaeffer interjected softly.

The shock stopped her cold. Wide brown eyes stared at the dagger in a new light. Tenzin looked satisfied but also very concerned as she cast a glance his way.

"It was lost centuries ago. Our histories tell of it. How has it made it back to the very village it was lost from?"

Medicine was a science as much as an art and in between these two things she had placed little room for superstitions and fate. She glanced towards the bedroom, troubled eyes seeing the forms silhouetted in dying afternoon light. Imagining what might be being said.

Schaeffer was holding the dagger carefully. "I will hold onto this until it can be returned to him."

Whatever protests she might have voiced were pointless in the face of such a moment.

It was most definitely a sign.


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Thanks for reading!