It wasn't even her that originally stole it from Them, but since she had run when she received it instead of giving it back, she knew that she would be made to suffer if she was caught.
She would like to think that she had kept the box out of some sense of defiance or bravery, but in truth she knew it was fear of what they might do to her when she gave it back. It had been her brother who had stolen the Box, after all. She may have been used as an example to others even if she had never laid her hands on the thing, so instead she ran.
The energy that she had gained from the food and water donated by the starving man was starting to flag once again. She was so tired, but she knew that to sleep would be predictable and to be predictable was to be caught so she tarried on, but she did know that she was near collapse.
Before he died, her brother had whispered something which haunted her thoughts: "It's Their tool... I saw Them use it." She shuddered despite the heat. It was still a mystery to her how he had gotten away from them, as afflicted as he was by the time he found her. He had suffered so much to get this Box to her... it had to be good for something, but in the few moments she had snatched to look at the box she had found nothing new.
The sand shifted beneath her unexpectedly and she fell on her side hard. It knocked the breath out of her and so she lay there for a few minutes catching her breath again. How could something that felt so soft under her shoes be so hard when she had landed upon it. It seemed cruel somehow.
She found that the wind was less where she had slipped and so she propped up her pack and again removed the box. It was beautiful, but how could it possibly be worth dying for. Was her brother mistaken or insane or... or what? The nature of his injuries could drive a man insane, but she chose to believe him. What choice did she really have anyways.
She closed watched the stars swirl around for a bit then closed her eyes to the bright sun... and found herself drifting in that space between sleep and wakefulness. She dreamt that she could feel the box pulling on her pulling her into sleep. It was a strong attraction and she found herself drifting towards it like sleep must be a physical place.
Inward and yet farther away she drifted... closer to the stars and their swirling haze, they seemed much bigger now.. She found colors she had never seen before in them, and then somehow knew she was amongst the stars... they were all around her. She could almost hear a soft sound, like the whine of an insects wings pervading emptiness of the stars around her.
As she focused on the sound she found one star coming closer and closer to her. Soon it didn't feel like she was getting closer, only bigger and bigger but the same distance away... It was a weird sensation and her stomach rose into her throat at the sensation of it, as though she was falling from a huge height.
She felt the star move under her, so large she could feel the heat of it... and on past to a round body that seemed so dim and cold in comparison. The noise got louder and louder it seemed like a thousand thousand whispering voices... a shiver crawled up her spine as she somehow knew it was them... closer to her than ever before.
She saw the round spec get bigger and bigger and began to make out colours. Blue, green, brown, and swirling white. It was beautiful, and the closer she got the more defined it became. She started falling toward it... the voices so loud that they were hurting her ears, but she couldn't understand any of it.... like bats wings against her head. Oh it hurt.
Falling ever falling... if she had hands they would have been on her ears, but there was nothing to her... only thought. As she became closer she began to recognize what she was seeing beneath her. It looked like a Map! great oceans and island and continents... and all coming so fast now... she looked straight down and saw a great golden plain beneath her, getting bigger by the second.
the plane took shape beneather her revealing crags and ruins and hills, and then she could see a spec which became ever larger and larger as she descended. The spec was a person sitting... it was her... and she was coming at her so fast.
She started awake, screaming and writhing in he sand. Her head felt like it would split apart from the pain in her ears. She came to herself and ceased thrashing. he first thing she noticed after the pain was the dark. When had it become night?
She sat up and pulled her hands away from her ears. They came away wet, and she noted with some alarm that it was blood.
The cube was in the sand next to her and she wiped her hands before picking it up again. She inspected it carefully and couldn't notice any change to the cube itself, but she felt different within herself as she held it... as though she was vibrating. it was unnerving and she shoved it back into her bag.
It wasn't until she stood up that she fully noticed her surroundings. She gasped with realization as she recognized the sounds assailed her. She staggered forward in the sand, rubbing her eyes and looking again, her head was spinning. Spanning before her was a great body of water, so large that the moonlight offered her no end in site to the great expanse of water that laid before her.