Natasha Ivanovna Plekhanova lived a simple life out on the edges of the Yukon Territory of Canada. She had a small house which she used as a base, spending a great deal of her time running the lines of traps she had set for fox and sable. She slept most nights out under the stars. Only returning home when her sledge, in the winter, or her travois, in the summer, was full.
Once home she spent her time cleaning the hides and preparing them for the traders that came by the town of Red Flint that was two days travel from her house. Not that Red Flint was much of a town. Three buildings. One a bar, one a general store, and one a gas station for the trucks that thundered by.
When she got to town on her twice yearly trips, she scrupulously avoided talking to anyone except the lead trader and the proprietor of the general store. The trader to make a deal for her pelts, the storekeeper to purchase the few supplies she needed. Ammunition for her rifle and shotgun, salt, a large bag of sugar, some wool yarn. She made sure to arrive on the rainiest or coldest days she could to keep from accidentally meeting fellow travelers in passing and never removed her hat or her scarf. In the store she asked for things by pointing with one gloved hand and she always merely nodded or shook her head during the negotiations with the traders.
The quality of her furs was always excellent and she paid the store in cash so neither trader nor storekeeper bothered her with any talking. Most individuals had no idea of her name or gender and simply called her "The Trapper". Sometimes a bright young fool would get the idea that there might be even more money wherever she lived or on her person. They would follow her into the vast woods and if they were lucky, would merely get lost and not killed by the weather or wildlife.
At home she spent her time making and repairing her clothes with bone needles and gut thread or knitting socks and mitten liners, preparing her hides, tending her small garden, and hoping that eventually some of her memories would fade.
Each night, whether she was on the hunt or at her small cabin, she said a prayer to Pravda the Goddess and Spirit of Truth, so that she would protect those that had fallen where Natasha had not. Every New Year and Mid-Summer's Eve she looked at a bottle of vodka and shook her head . The next morning she would head out to the woods and begin trapping again.
And so she lived. Solitary and sad amid the beautiful forests of Western Canada. Occasionally hunters or Canadian Armed Forces would pass through her area on training and survival exercises, but they never knew she or her cabin were there. She made well sure of that. But even those intrusions were extremely rare. Where she was, no one else wanted to be. It really was as simple as that.ENDNOTESa/n
I realized as I was going into the homestretch that it felt like I had cribbed part of Terry Brooks' Sword of Shannara. This was NOT intentional, but it still felt squidgy so I thought I had better bring it up here.
The only characters I used from The Red Star were Imbohl and Pravda. All the rest (with the exception of Buffy of course) were OCs. That includes Natasha obviously. I feared writing certain parts of her because I realized how close to a Mary-Sue I was treading. Hopefully the Sue-ishness was minimal. She was based on the concept of 'What would you get if you gave a Navy SEAL or an Army Ranger telekinesis?' That level of determination, creative thinking, and ruthlessness would be unbelievably nasty in my opinion.
Most of the town names and country names of the World of the Red Star I made up as the comic books are quite focused and why haven't you read them yet? Also the timeline has been seriously modified because I wanted the Red Star to still be "Internationalist" but still have the Nokgorka problem.
Thanks to everybody who commented. I don't ask for them, but they still show up :)
And as Tasha might say
Udachi!! (Good Fortune!!)