That bothersome wind!

"Thirty degrees east… north of…"

The young woman, whose crow-black hair thrashed about in the ever-changing flurries of blustery weather, mumbled to herself as she examined her crumpled map in one hand and held an old-fashioned compass in the other. It took her nearly two hours to find the compass, and a long trip down the Archives to find the timeworn map of the world. She now sat here, against an unidentifiable stone structure, trying to distinguish where she was exactly, and where she needed to go. In her pastoral clothes of merely a long trench coat, stained trousers, and longstanding hiking boots, the dust storm challenged her in a game of balance; causing her legs to shift positions anytime it decided to alter course.

Alas, the gale changed direction all too rapidly, and her gloved fingers failed to grip the map in time. Off it flew with the current! She gasped, dropping the compass and forgetting her fallen duffel bag. She leapt up to catch the document, but it slipped from her grasp and continued onward. With stiff feet against the rustic sand, she took off to a sprint, "No! Please, no!"

She didn't know where this was headed, paid no attention to the ground before her, or how far she was scurrying from her camp.

"No, oh God no! I need that!" She cried, reaching out for the map. Its swiveled directions and unforeseen turns in the air mocked the woman punitively until, irrevocably, it was too far away to see against the dust. She didn't give up, though. She ran on, losing herself in the dust storm, as her goggles began to build up in grime, veiling her entirely from the surroundings. Finally, she slowed down to a complete stop, heaving in the dusty air regrettably, and soon covered her lower face with the red scarf that was, just a moment before, draped loosely around her thin waist.

Anger clouded her strained mind in moments, "Damn it! Why? I was so close!"

In a second's realization, she gasped at her own words. She hasn't cursed in months. Then the woman remembered…

Camp! Gasha!

The thought of losing Gasha, her only companion, struck her heart in impulsive desperation. She rubbed her goggles to gape out into the wasteland but saw nothing in sight. In normal cases with Gasha, she would have calmly remained composed and think up of any calculated contemplations. Yet, when she looked down, wishing to see Gasha's grin and obliging hold of the woman's hand, and saw only sand and rubble, she began to panic.

"No, no, no…"

A turn to the right. Nothing.

A turn to the left. Still nothing.

Nothing. Nothing. Nothing!

Now screaming, "Gasha! Gasha? Answer me, please! Where… where are you? Where am I?"

One: To the blackening sea