A/N: This was written for synergyfox in the Seeker Rare Pair Exchange. Kindly beta'd by serendipity513. Many thanks to her for dealing with the weirdness. Standard disclaimer applies to this and all chapters following. For specific disclaimer, see my profile. Links to cover art, icons, and a wallpaper that go with this story are available on my profile page. If you follow my Blood Trilogy series, the teaser trailer for the final installment is now available on my profile page.


The Lost Beginning

I no longer live in the beginning. I've lost the beginning.

-The Serpent, Act I

-l-

Road dust coating her coarse travel skirts from the knee down, turning them a dull grey, Jennsen trudged on. One foot in front of the other, boots as dull as her skirts.

Keep moving forward, because there is no going back.

The straps of her pack dragged at her shoulders, the supplies she had salvaged from the burnt out farmhouse heavy and meager all at once. An unstrung bow was lashed across the top of her pack. Arm guards too large for her slid around her forearms, held in place with tattered ribbons that had once adorned a blouse. Jennsen did not know how to work leather, or she would have shortened the leather laces. As it was, even at their tightest the arm guards did not fit. They had been made for a man, a resistance fighter and hunter.

Sean.

Gone now.

Jennsen was there when the banelings came. Stood frozen and shaking as Sean fought and died. Blinked dumbly when his blood was sprayed across her face.

Closed her eyes to meet her death.

Only to hear the voice of her brother Darken Rahl, ordering that her life be spared.

They had not spoken to each other, only stared.

"Stay far from Richard, sister," he had said at last, eyes ablaze. He was gone before his voice had faded from the air. A phantom. A spirit. A guardian angel. A treacherous tempter.

She had gathered what she could, and set out to find the Seeker.

Whether that was Darken Rahl's intention or not, she didn't know, and told herself she didn't care.

With a blink, Jennsen returned to the present, free for a moment from the mire of memory.

An inn was silhouetted in the distance. Moving her dry tongue against the back of her teeth, feeling as if even her mouth was coated in dust, Jennsen decided to use some of her hoarded store of coins to buy a meal and a bed.

No matter what kind of place it was. She had been on the road too long and seen too much to be picky about her accommodations.