Marieke is at home again with Echo. When Nb and Nazareth fought, and Echo spent herself to heal Nb at the end of that terrible battle, Marie's anger at Echo died at last. Moving back home was good for her ... in spite of her spiritual turmoil, she began to look outward again, to take a real interest in her appearance, to consider moving on with her life - especially after she met someone kind and caring and intriguing ...

But trouble seems to dog Marie's footsteps. Sometimes it is her own fault, as when she deliberately baited an annoying woman and wound up with cracked ribs for her foolishness. But what happened the next day ... whose fault was that?

All that is known of the story is this: Marie came in, obviously in pain from the damaged ribs, and heard then that Nb and Catz were planning to leave the realms, to find a safer place. Nb even apologized to Marie, which melted her heart. She approached Catz, wincing, and paused to take a vial from her bodice - a vial she later swore contained pain medication Echo had given her. Marie drank some of the liquid, then kissed Catz. At that moment she coughed over the liquid, and some of it sprayed between the lips of Catz.

Catz attacked Marie instantly, though Marie protested she had only meant to apologize. Catz disregarded Marie's words, tightening her hands about Marie's throat until Marie's eyes bulged and blood vessels in them broke ...

Then Catz appeared to falter in pain. Marie, strangling, brought her knee into Catz's belly trying to break her hold. Catz tore her claws over Marie's face and fell. Nb scooped Catz up and ran ... and Catz sister Seduction slammed Marie to the floor, breaking several of the cracked ribs.

She will not say who healed her, but it is known that the following day her injuries were gone ... but then ...

PhoenixGod appeared in the Tavern. Echo ran home to tell Marie, for PG was one of the two people who could grant Marieke a proper annulment of her marriage to NbKiller, and free her from the sin of divorce. Marie came in eagerly, playfully swatted at PG to get his attention ... and was blasted through the wall by him in response.

Bones all down her right side were broken when she hit the wall. Dimly she heard people whisper that DarkPhoenix and PhoenixGod had somehow been joined, but this she barely understood. In a haze of sharp pain she heard PG ask what she wanted, and she quavered out her desire for an annulment, saying Nb had abandoned her. PG crudely told her to consider herself divorced, but in spite of her agony, she still begged for a proper annulment.

All at once the top layer of her skin was flayed from her body, and before her, written in letters of her own blood, was the writ declaring her marriage annulled.

As PhoenixGod erupted through the ceiling and vanished, Ice Demon sped to Marie's side. Ice exerted himself to heal the single hellish outer wound, the loss of skin; then, his healing energy spent, he took her home to Echo. Raksasha agreed to heal the internal wounds and did so, leaving Marie whole but utterly exhausted.

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