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The End

-by Nellisynthia


Choice.

A path lain straight and true. Dominoes set, a chain of events as sure as shadow and light, from the simple snow banks of Kharanos to these cyclopedian Outland halls. Gifts offered, each task a facade against strategies set forth from the shattering of wells to opening of portals dark.

A siren's call, seductive.

Such that even the most innocent would end here, as those last dominoes fell, in these rooms, to witness the final truth.

Fire and demons.

Theirs, and that way it had been always.

How could there be any other choice?

Darkness led that way, that and oblivion. Forgotten, forever, as if never upon the world had walked, the last discounting of a young life shown but empty.

And a breath away ... destiny.

Power.

Life.

Held out.

Offered.

Choice.

How could she have chosen different? How could she have trusted? How could she give so much away?

How could she have known?

How could she have known upon the slice of cruel steel, the splash of crimson, the shearing of flesh and breath, the final madness of bindings shattered, chains snapped like falling ice, bands of power loosed with the crashing of a failing heart, knees in a pool of blood, in the ending of a song.

How could three little words change so much?

The Fel Lord of the Legion never had a heartbeat to consider such a philisophical discource.

As his chains held no more.

As cobalt talons of magic and dreams rent him apart.


"We are free, Mezzy."

Twilight, beneath the stars, where the wind whipped across the top of the white hills, frost of white tossed up like fog, where the pines seemed to cry against the growing night. Disneri hugged herself, the succubus' wings folding over her. She felt ... cold.

That was new.

She looked to the side, where the tall voidwalker waited. She tilted her head, sultry eyes watching her brother, silouetted against the night. She wasn't sure he understood. You could never tell with Mezznuz, always silent, and when he did speak, words so few.

"It means we don't have to go back. Ever.

"Don't have to answer anybody's call or summons.

"No one, Mezzy. No one."

She wasn't sure she understood either. Oh, the physics were sound, the mechanics of a machine broken known, cogs loose beneath the stars.

How could someone offer her such a gift?

Her arms tightened about her, suddenly cold again.

"Oh Mezzy ..."

Disneri turned, hearing the voidwalker's call across the valley, hearing it echo between the mountain peaks. Caught then, and in her pretty tummy there was a twisting she had never felt before, as if she had not eaten for a handful of lifetimes.

"Oh Mezzy ..."

Fine fingers reached out. To lay upon bracers carved of metal. It always seemed to bring a touch of quiet to her darker sibling, when Mistress did that. She wasn't sure why, but she knew it was important.

"Oh Mezzy ...

"She's gone."

She had to look away then. She couldn't meet his gaze, couldn't look into the demon's eyes.

"I know ..."

Her words were quiet, whispered, as she caught her breath, her sharp fangs pressing into her lower lip, whitening them.

"I know ... she never ... she never gave up on us."

The succubus looked across the snows for a long while, as the fall of silver moonlight sparkled them as if strewn by diamonds. The strange thing was, she contemplated, Mezznuz was right. Never. And if that was true, how could they. She cast a low sidelongs glance, looking back into the dark beside her. It couldn't be done. It was a fight that had no winning.

But Mistress said, sometimes, sometimes, those were the only fights worth taking up.

She took a second long look at her brother, trying, trying to see.

A fight that had no winning.

Just like teaching a voidwalker the meaning of love.

Shivering, she managed a small smile.

"Come on Mezzy ..."

" ... we got work to do."

That's what Mistress always said.

Footpints in the snow, cloven, lead through the white fields. No longer running from, but a running to. They were demons. Immortal.

Disneri figured they had all the time in the world to conjure this one out.

Mezzy at her side. Pizyap already ahead, the imp complaining in a stream of demonic asking why they were taking so long.

Left in their wake, the crimson felhunter nosed in the snow for a bit, the simple demon temporarily distracted, unable to truly comprehend what was wrong, what was missing. Zhaatom looked up, and was about to push through the snow to follow, when a splash of yellow caught her attention. So carefully she reached out, and with fangs designed for slashing and tearing delicately snared up the little flower. Holding it carefully between her teeth, the felhunter bounded happily through the drifting snow to catch up to her family.

A peacebloom.

They had always made Mistress smile.

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