For the first time in weeks Koza felt as free as she wished to feel, the strange shifting grasses crushed beneath her boots as she ran through the unsettling familiar landscape. In ways it was like Desolace, the mesas that were the foundation of the village easily recognizable, but the surrounding area was assuredly not the dusty desert the orcess now called home. Emerald grasslands, shifting in appearance as if they themselves did not know what form they took, stretched far into the distance underneath a similarly inconsistent sky. Koza did not care about how it all shifted, how the large, ominous white mountain broke the skyline with it's wickedly jagged peaks, nor the familiar cluster of trees where she could feel eyes from within peering out to watch her movements. For now, she was freed of the heartache and stress that being in Ratchet, being away from home, had allowed to fester within her. Here she could tumble about in the grass and watch the insects flee from her and into the sky without judging eyes, just as she used to as a youngling. As she lifted her head to give it a brief shake and free herself from the pollen and dust that clung to her hair, she noticed how quiet it was. No birds, no wind, no voices. As the heartache slowly started to creep back into her, the orcess felt a dull thud against her face and the world before her began to melt into inky darkness.
Koza's eyes snapped open to find a hand and portion of what appeared to be a troll's forearm dangling in front of her. It would seem, as she slept, that another had taken her half-filled cot as an open place to sleep within Ratchet's overcrowded inn. Infuriated, the orcess sputtered in rage as she wormed out from the underneath the troll and out of her cot entirely. She wanted to break his arm, to bend the arm back in such a way to keep him from ever doing such a thing again, but she knew that would only cause trouble for herself and her mission. Snarling, she turned on her heels and started to make her way towards the entrance to the Inn. With how many bodies littered the area, each step was slow and calculated, the orcess almost seeming to have to dance from empty spot to empty spot.
Once she had broken free from the Inn, Koza reached up to her neck and readjust her hood. It had begun to feel almost suffocating at times, although at this very moment it was a comfort as the feelings that had begun to reappear in her dreams settled back over her. With a grumble in her throat she trudged her way through the town, it’s populace slowly beginning to wake as the sun started to peak back over the horizon. For most it was a time to reconstruct after the raid that had happened just an evening ago, buildings blasted to splinters and holes left by cannonfire littering the streets. Hopping over one of these holes, the orcess was making her way down towards the water in order to prove a point to herself. Nights ago, after she had spent a few hours hanging up posters for Hotah and learning all she could about the auction, Koza had found herself stuck in a story told by a Pandaren. He was drunk, she had concluded. That was the only way his story about the sea and water could make any sense. Still she had never been one to stand by the coast and just watch the water, and was not one to turn down the opportunity to see something for herself.
The waves were coming and going in a cyclical rhythm as stomping steps came to a rest just out of their reach. The creaking of The Minnow could be heard across the quiet bay and drew Koza’s attention from watching the waves. The fact they had managed to secure that entire ship was impressive, and she could not wait to present it in its entirety to the Chieftain. She had fulfilled what was asked of her, quite well at that, and would soon be home. The orcess snorted and turned a furrowed gaze down towards her boots, not realizing she had taken a few steps forward in order to get a better look at the ship and now had the waves lapping at her just below her knees. With a deep growl in her chest and furious scowl on her face, Koza glared down as the water swirled about her. She hated water. For many, many reasons. It brought back memories of that initial sailing to Kalimdor, the sound of the bows of the ships crumpling against the rocks echoing in her ears. Memories of futile begging, bloodied hands and shattered futures. More recently were the one of fetid water attempting to choke her and her kin. Forgiving, that was what the Pandaren had called water. Capable of drowning souls, but also needed for life and assisted as much as it harmed. A bunch of proverbial nonsense to the orcess.
Beads of sea water were flung into the air as Koza began to violently trash against the water, kicking out at the sea as if it were some sort of enemy. There was no one around to be hurt by her anger, no harm in losing control for just a moment as the pain in her heart throbbed at the memories. One of the newest sat in the forefront of her mind, a good one edged with the momentary dread that had preceded it, and only fueled this venting of her frustrations. With each kick and fruitless strike at the water the leathers she wore grew heavier and heavier as they absorbed the moisture, the ropes around her neck adding more and more pressure before it began to choke as her limbs began to protest the aggression with more fever from every swing. At that Koza stilled, heaving and snarling as she recovered from her raging fit. She felt no better then she had before, in fact only feeling worse not that everything felt so heavy. She glared down at the water, face wet and shoulders shaking, watching as the churning ripples from her assault began to slowly dissipate back into the rhythmic waves. The tide continued as it had, not striking back nor even acknowledging what had transpired, causing wisps of seafoam to swirl around Koza’s legs. Her hands unclenched and fell back to her sides as she stood back to her full height. The orcess stood there silently swaying back and forth with the waves as an introspective look made it’s home on her face as she tried to will the shaking in her shoulders to stop. After some time had passed, Koza trudged back to shore with boots heavy with seawater and plopped down onto the sand to think as the gulls laughed above. One round of the tides brought a shell tumbling across the sands to rest inbetween her feet, which was quickly plucked up by the orcess. As she turned the shell over in her hands, she couldn’t help but think back to the Pandaren’s tale. The man was still insane, but perhaps not as much so as she previously thought. Now there was nothing more to do but think and sit until she had dried off as she listened and watched the waves.