“This is it,” Natasha thought, realizing there was no more hope for an escape; the waggon was almost at Helgen. One of her fellow condemned prisoners–a friendly Nord–was talking to her, but she couldn’t focus on what he was saying.
She thought of her father’s last words to her, “Serve in the army and make something of yourself, or at least die.” He said it as if it was nothing to him if she died. She endured so much at his hands, and was happy when she finally got away from him.
She enjoyed being in the Imperial Army until she was deployed to Skyrim. They expected her to enforce a ban on the Nord’s religion, and she believed the orders were unjust and cruel. Natasha defected soon after her arrival, but she was captured and sentenced to death for it. She wondered if word would reach her father, and she struggled not to care what he would or wouldn’t feel about it. Nevertheless, her heart was heavy as the ride came to an end and she climbed out of the waggon.
She pushed aside all thoughts and feelings; preparing herself to meet the gods. She barely noticed the beheading of the first prisoner. They shoved her forward while the Imperial guards jeered at her. Natasha received her last rites, and that’s the only thing she paid attention to.
“Kneel!” the officer commanded when the brief prayer concluded. Completely resigned, she dropped to her knees in the filth and blood around the chopping block. The stench was overwhelming and she gagged, just as she heard a powerful roar from the sky.
For a moment, Natasha believed she was dead, and that dragon came to carry her soul to the other side. The screams of her captors made her realize the dragon was attacking everyone. It landed on the guard tower behind the executioner. The rest of the people scattered and Natasha came face to face with the dragon. She made eye contact with it, and was stunned to see the sky change overhead at the same time the dragon’s fiery eyes gazed right into her soul.
She scrambled to her feet and heard a shout, “Quickly, follow me!” She looked and saw it was the friendly Nord. Without hesitation, she sprinted along behind him. Everything happened so fast, and the entire town of Helgen was thrown into absolute chaos. The dragon circled above and spat fire at anyone it saw, and the terror Natasha experienced nearly drove her insane!
Somehow she continued running and the two of them made it into another tower safely. The Nord cut the rope binding her wrists, and they quickly grabbed what they could from the room. An Imperial soldier was dead on the floor, and Natasha took his armour and sword to protect herself.
“We need to get to the top of the tower,” the Nord said. He seemed familiar with the town, so she trusted him and ran up the stairs. She didn’t want to see that dragon again, but it smashed against the tower and broke the wall right in front of her. She was close enough to feel the heat of the dragon’s flames before it gave up and targeted something else. The Nord encouraged her to go through the gaping hole in the side of the tower.
The building below was engulfed in flames, but she managed to jump through its burning thatched roof. She ran through the fire, into the courtyard. The Nord rushed by her, urging her to keep moving, but she lost sight of him. The dragon continued circling overhead; unfazed by the volley of arrows from the town guards.
Natasha ran madly through the streets until she found her new friend again. He told her about a tunnel and cavern they could use to escape, but they had to pass through the jail. They needed to fight and kill the executioner and several soldiers as they made their way to the cavern below.
Another group of soldiers were fleeing the same way, and they tried to prevent her escape. “Traitor!” one of them shouted in her face while striking her with his blade.
She plunged her sword through his collar and down into his chest; finally in full control of her mind again. Immediately, she spun around to kill an archer behind her. When all the soldiers lay dead on the ground, Natasha thought briefly that any one of them could’ve been someone she once fought alongside with. “It doesn’t matter,” she told herself, “I’ll kill any of them I see!”
She and the Nord reached the end of the cavern, and both were grateful for the fresh air and freedom. It was already nighttime and the dragon was long gone. “My name’s Ralof,” said the Nord. Natasha introduced herself, and Ralof told her, “If you’re serious about fighting the Imperials, you should join the Stormcloaks–we’re going to take back Skyrim, and drive the Empire back to Cyrodiil! I would vouch for you.”
“Thank you, Ralof. I’m absolutely serious; those bastards have no right to subjugate the people of Skyrim! I’ll do whatever it takes to make amends for serving their army at all.” He told her to meet him in the nearby town, Riverwood, before he headed off on his own. Natasha looked up at the stars for a moment, silently thanking the gods for sparing her life. Then she drew her sword and walked into the woods. This is how her adventures in Skyrim began.
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