|Another Roll of the Dice|
|What: Dying sucks, let's try that again.|
"Ah, there you are. Thought I had lost you for a moment."
It's a familiar voice, one that hasn't been heard in far too long but one that still manages to cut through the fog, echoing through a disorienting view as if looking through a dark, out of focus camera. It's an equally familiar dark-skinned face smiling down at her. Black dreadlocks. A lit cigarette in his mouth, the cherry nothing more than a dull glow at the end.
"I know," he chuckles in a warm, friendly tone. "These things'll kill me. It was good of you to quit the habit when you did."
Milo. Milo Thurman. The only person upon this godforsaken planet that she ever could have fallen for. Fallen enough to have married.
"You're not invincible, Neena. I know..you'd like to think that you are. But, you're not." Milo taps ash from the end of his smoke before lightly flicking the top edge of a single rectangular block, the piece only about two inches tall and colored in dark green upon gleaming silver. It initiates a chain reaction, suddenly filling the small, tile-lined room with the soft, rhythmic *tiktiktik* of one piece falling after another.
"Your heart was in the right place, kiddo. You do alright out there. But you still lose your focus. You need to remember the long term. Things may fall into place for you, but don't keep expecting the results to be immediate. Sometimes, it's going to take a while."
The cigarette returns to his lips, the cherry glowing brighter as he inhales through it. "Sometimes..it's going to take a very long while. You just have to be patient--"
"--And let the whole picture reveal itself in time."
The row of blocks has almost completely collapsed, revealing a single word across the floor in an elaborate, hand-laid script.
"Now. You still have work to do. It's time to wake up."
The last piece strikes the floor with the sharp, echoing crack of a pistol shot. The world fades into obscurity once more, white instead of black, the words reverberating within her mind as they, too, fade away into nothingness.
"..My little Domino."
Blue, blood-shot eyes snap open, pulling back to reality by that shot--by a door being closed--a few feet away. The overhead light is blinding, glaring down at her from above.
Here, lying on a hospital bed outside of Doomstadt, lies a white-skinned woman, covered in cuts, bruises, scars and burns. Here lies a woman who has been too damned lucky to die.