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aloy!eridani in horizon zero dawn
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"Yes?" he asks, turning to face her. 

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"I was told you're the one to see about the road to Meridian."

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"That trail... Sad to say, the report is 'nothing good.' The machines are growing more dangerous, and we've had sightings of Corruption - so much for sealing things off."

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"Have others been traveling through here?"

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"We've gotten a few Banuk through, and one Nora woman from your side of the gate."

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Guess the cultists are traveling overland?

"A Nora? Who?"

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"Ah - a young woman. She caused a bit of an... Incident... And then ran off. I'm concerned about her, but I haven't had the men to spare to go looking."

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"Which way did she go?"

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He'll give her directions. 

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Then after confirming which direction Meridian is from here too (and making a note of that on her Focus), she'll set out after the girl.

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There isn't a clear footprint trail - but if she asks some of the guards patrolling the road, they'll tell her they saw a Nora woman leaving Daytower, though haven't seen hide or hair of her since. She was shouting something about Prefect Zaid (the guards don't seem to have a high opinion of this 'Prefect Zaid'), but she refused an escort to the gate to the Sacred Lands, or even back to Meridian to request an audience with High King Avad about her complaints. 

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She'll keep an eye out for this Prefect fellow too, then.

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"He's the commander of Lonesome Rock, though he spends most of his time in Daytower. And... Well, his record's spotless. Accusations don't stick to him for long."

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"But the rumors keep swirling?"

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"He was a Commander during the Red Raids. Claims he never actually participated, and all his men were either dead or vouching for him - and spending more money than a soldier's pay should cover."

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"Oh." Aloy suddenly has a very good idea of why a Nora girl would have a problem with him.

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Well, they'll keep an eye out for this girl, let her know Aloy is looking for her if they run into her - good luck with the search, and... Be careful around Lonesome Rock. There's rumors of bandits and even more dangerous machines than usual out there. 

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She can handle herself.

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Still. Stay safe out there. 

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She will.

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And so the patrol continues on their way. 

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And Aloy on hers. A little more cautiously, since now she's pretty sure this is going to end with her having to kill someone.

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She does actually mostly avoid getting attacked by powerful machines on her way over, though she spots plenty across the river from her path. 

The fort itself is tiny, with fairly minimal staffing, seems like. It's built over the road, probably to control access in the narrow canyon, and the gates are open currently so she can just stroll right through. 

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She could! Or she could have her Focus do a scan and figure out how many people are in the fort first.

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Currently eight, looks like. 

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