You want to talk to her. You open your mouth to respond, but of course no words come out.

She laughs. "I still have your voice, young one."

The same intense urge from the bar fills you again, rising and twisting with sudden anger. How dare she steal from you? How dare anyone in this insane world steal from you?

In answer, your grip tightens on the dagger into your hand, and you leap towards her.

Somewhere in the back of your mind, you notice how fluid your movements are, how unnaturally graceful and fast you have become. You bound off the sides of pillars, elegantly propelling yourself upwards with all the strength and grace of a practiced gymnast until you're above her. The queen of snakes barely has time enough to swivel her head towards you when you throw yourself down upon her, dagger out in welcome.

You slide down the length of her exposed body, slicing open her neck as you go, the dagger slicing through her flesh and slowing your decent. She screams out, her disembodied voice echoing through the ruined temple, and then she drops heavily to the floor, dead.

You wait a moment for something to happen. For some other monster to emerge, for her to get up and laugh at the joke she had played on you, but it doesn't happen. Her corpse remains on the ground.

You're surprised by how easy it was. This was the Queen of Snakes? How could anything so weak be the Queen of anything? But the dagger sends waves of confidence through you. Why shouldn't it be easy? It seems to say. Nothing can stop you both.

The second she dies, the air in the temple changes to icy cold. your breath comes out in a fog, and you feel your face begin to go numb with the chill.

You half expect the remaining snakes to fight you, but they're already fleeing into the cracks and corners of the temple, lost without their mistress. Some small part of you wants to go after them, to clear the entire building out and destroy what's left of the Snake Queen's kingdom, but in a twist in role,s it's the dagger that stays your hand. There are larger targets, it seems to say. We have a purpose here.

It's right, of course. Somewhere in this place is your voice. Somewhere in here is your name. You begin to look around the temple; you don't know what your name or voice will look like, but you feel as though you would recognize them if you were to see them.

At some point, you find a slip of paper. It appears to be a bill of sale: one human Name sold to someone called The Bridge Builder.

A flash of recognition stirs in your chest. Recognition that is not yours. The dagger knows who this Bridge Builder is, and the dagger would very much like to. . . meet them.

You smile and sheathe the blade. Who are you to deny your companion? You just need to find your voice--

No, comes the thought. It's not important.

And it's not. Why would you need a voice? You and your friend do well as it is, now.

You leave the temple.

[You Wander the Desert]