• Published 24th Mar 2013
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Fallout: Equestria - False Dawn - Requiem Mori



Equestria has fallen, and the pieces are still being recovered. A mare wanders alone, cold and embittered. Perhaps she'll find friendship, even in these dark times... if such a thing is even possible.

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Chapter 14: ... in a Sea of Souls

Chapter 14: ... in a Sea of Souls

What is reality but the dreams of the lucid?

How will it all end? In smoke, in fire? Perhaps in silence and dearth? A bang or a whimper, it seems that is the way things end these days. The war has been raging for a while, no peaceful deaths. It seems that there are only two ways to face your fate. Proudly, spitting into Thanatos’ eye, daring him to take you while you are still standing. Or to whimper and cower, letting him reap his bloody harvest.

Nice Spice has the meal prepared, possibly the last for some of the crew. Always a special meal, before the eve of battle, knowing that it may be the last. Yet the crew’s morale is high, boisterous dares and proud boasts. Fools... yet brave fools. I take my meal in my quarters, not out of a sense of entitlement, but rather from a desire to be alone. Loneliness... such a thing. It is odd how I can be alone in the midst of a crowd, though the knowledge that there are others there is somehow comforting to me even as I scorn their presence.

Yet these are the ones who stand with me, fight with me, die with me. Doing something that I had forsaken from my past, trusting others. Yet I worry for them, I worry for him. He leads us, but by that stroke, some are affected by him as well. The feel his rage, his bloodlust, his need for vengeance. And it feeds back to him as well. I shall take the trust that they have given me, and shatter it, breaking it that I may forge it into a weapon to save those closest to me, even at the cost of others.

My Captain... I feel the need to apologize, so I shall. But I shall keep it unspoken, written only in my journal. Then I shall do what I need to. I shall take my stand to stare death in the eye, one last time... and do what I can to take him with me.
~ From the Journal of Nevermore

I find myself running through the carnival grounds, hooves pounding on the hard earth. Piercing screams still cut through the air, though I’m getting closer, ever closer. My heart pounds in my chest, sweat falling off my brow. It’s an odd feeling, really, the feeling of being alive. Everything just felt... different somehow. I’d take a moment to revel in it, to enjoy more than the dulled sensations that had consumed the past century, but there’s no time. Even now, the screams tear at me. Even now, I fear I’m too late.

The tent looms in front of me, mirrors lining the sides. I do detest carnivals. They were always frivolous, pointless... and when I’m honest with myself, creepy. The mirrors distort my appearance, the dark mare in the reflection twisted by the mirror’s surface. The screams stop, leaving me to wonder if I’m too late, even as the sound of my own heart fills my ears. No longer distracted by the screams, I come to a sharp realization. The reflections in the mirror aren’t me. While it is true that they look like me... they don’t move like I do. Superficially they do, but they lack the fluid grace of a veteran combatant. No... it looks like they’re merely pantomiming my actions, jerked along like marionettes on strings. Even as I realize this, a knife comes flying out of the mirror, hurled by the reflection. Slipping to the side, I catch the handle with my teeth, even as a dozen hooves step out from mirrors. Snarling my anger, I take a deep breath, biting down on my temper, falling back to long training. Calm... precise... poised. This is how I fought. Not for me the frenzied berserker, crushing anything in its path. No... I am an assassin, a duelist. While some ponies may throw a couch at another during combat, I lack the strength and ineptitude to resort to such tactics. No... my path lies in cold precision.

My first clone slashes with her knife, an arching blow, too easily telegraphed. It makes me realize that while they look like me, they are definitely not me at all. With barely hidden disdain, I lean to the side, feeling the blade whistle past. Giving me the opportunity that I was seeking. My stolen blade finds flesh, biting deep into her neck. A savage twist tears out most of her throat, even as blinding pain flares in my neck. Gasping, I reach up, expecting to feel a bloody mess even as the other falls to the ground, shattering into a shards. Nothing... no blood, just pain. Biting down harder on the knife, I ignore the screams from the shards of glass on the floor, fighting against the pain. I feel a knife slipping into my gut even as I disembowel another of them, but again, no blood, just pain. “You think this will stop me... you think I cannot endure this?” Howling, I lash at the others, feeling blades nicking at my hide even as I dodge and weave. Their strikes expose them, their actions those of amateurs. They lack the conviction, they lack my murderous intent. Pain blinds me, slows me, cripples my movements. But I fight on, I struggle on. I refuse to submit, refuse to acknowledge defeat. I drop to my knees, panting heavily, amidst the shards of glass, even as the last one falls. Blood flows freely from a multitude of cuts, dripping into my eyes, staining my coat. “I will not... fall. I cannot... fall.” I stagger my way into the tent mouth, my body begging me to rest, to collapse and lie still for a moment, a minute, an hour, an year. Duty drives me on, ever further. I can endure, I must endure. Others need me. Zone needs me. Once I have finally finished atoning, then I will have earned my rest. Then and only then.

Darkness envelops me, not a shred of light anywhere to be seen. “Zone? Where are you? Are you in here?” I’m pretty sure that this was where her voice was coming from, though I can’t see anything around me. The bonfire in the center of the tent flares to life, revealing the mare from before, the beautiful one... yet now she is surrounded by dolls. Ignoring them, I close on her, until I realize something... the doll closest to me moved. A wordless hiss comes from it, a silent moan. A wave of horror and disgust fills me as I realize that its alive. Eyes replaced by buttons, flesh stitched back together, the poor mare can only squirm, loose and limp, bones torn from her body, now used to fuel the fire in the room. The white mare, Ryvolte, holds a needle in her crimson magic, thread trailing off the end as she sews a pony’s mouth shut. Blood splatters her coat, staining her outfit. Calm and poised, she finishes her grisly work even as she watches me.

“What is ze matter? Are zey not beautiful?” She smiles seductively, her voice pitched perfectly, offering everything, promising nothing. “I told you zat ze carnival is magic, non? Why are you so surprised?” She drops the stallion she was working on, letting him collapse into a limp pile, even as his eyes are wide and begging. Begging for mercy, for salvation. For death. “I must say, mon cher, zat you have a beautiful coat. It is not often zat I see a pony with a darkness like yours... non... most are more colorful... but not so with you.” She gracefully steps closer to me, even as I tense, wiping the blood from my eyes. “You shall be... très magnifique in my collection.”

There’s a stinging pain in my forehoof, even as my leg gives out. Cursing myself, I realize that I had lost track of her needle, distracted by her voice. I see the thread leading out of my leg, her magic crippling the limb, though the pain was more than I’d expect from such a small wound. My knife flashes down, catching itself on the thread. Despite its frail appearance, the thread refuses to break, biting into my dagger instead as it pulls taut. The enchanted thread pulls at my leg, drawing me closer to her. A fly caught in a spider’s web. She smiles, seeing me caught, seeing me snared in her embrace. Biting down hard on the handle of the knife, I brace myself mentally, even as my knife takes a shining arch. Blood flies through the air, splattering my dress, adding to the blood on her coat. My leg goes flying through the air, severed by my blade, wings keeping me upright as I hover above the ground. “Not... that... easily...” The pain is immense, the blood flowing freely from the severed limb, still caught in her thread. “Do not presume... that I will fall here... witch.”

She casually tosses my discarded limb away, raising an eyebrow curiously. “Zat was unfortunate... it would have been a lot easier if you just accepted your fate, non?” She licks her lips cleaning the flecks of blood on her face. “But if you won’t come quietly, zen I just have to force ze issue, oui?” Her magical thread dances out, even as the puppets start to rise, animated by her magic. Their moans and cries fill the air, even as they amble towards me, puppets dancing on her strings. My blade flashes, again and again, but the wounds are superficial, the threads and my weakness preventing any serious harm. The loss of blood is getting to me, staggering me, weakening me. My vision swims dully, even as I fight to stay conscious, my body screaming again to rest, to give in, to lie down and die. This kindles my anger even more, the thought that any part of me wanted to surrender. I don’t give in, I don’t surrender. I fight until I have nothing left to give. This ferocity served me well in the war, serves me well now. With a fury born of desperation, I lunge with the knife, aiming for her eyes with the strike. A moment of triumph as she doesn’t move in time... then the blade merely passes through her.

The unicorn laughs as I pass through her frame, mocking my attempt to injure her. Twisting around, I’m forced on the defensive again as more needles slide through the air, weaving a deadly pattern. Desperately, I dive for the ground, even as her magic follows me. Throwing my wings in front of me, I use them as a barrier, rolling across the ground, nearly tipping over from the loss of my limb. Panting heavily, I’m painfully aware of more areas of stinging pain. Her needles had caught me, their magical threads beginning to reel me in... Gnashing and thrashing, I can’t manage to snap the threads, being drawn inexorably closer, painfully closer. Loss of blood and injuries finally catch up, my body not as sturdy as it used to be, as it should be. That thought crosses my mind, even as the world begins to fade to black...

~~~~~~~~~~

“Tell me, Nevermore, who are you?” The voice echoes from around me, strange yet hauntingly familiar.

I scoff, my dress sweeping back behind me, looking around my cabin. My cabin, aboard the Flickerjack, airship of the Skyrates. I see my journal on the desk, locked with magic and bound with chains. I did not like to have others going through my thoughts. The journal has a simple leather shell, the pages lovingly cared for, the black leather trimmed with silver. It was a gift, actually, one that I did not mind accepting. Of course, I would never let him know that I was secretly pleased by it. The fool of a Captain required us to gift others on the crew, and to keep our identity secret. For my part, I don’t even remember who I was giving something to, just that I had found socks... and I think some broccoli. Minor G. Symphony, the ship’s musician, tried to be subtle, but was not successful. I had known of his interest in me for a while, and chose to scorn it. Truth be told, I did not particularly like him, finding his attentions to be irritating. Some might fear scorning a pony for so long, but he knew that if he tried anything, he would be lucky if I only knifed him.

Why I caught his fancy, I don’t believe I’ll ever know. Perhaps my demeanor, or my dress. Possibly the knowledge that I was never to be his, out of reach. Truth be told, I did not suffer the attentions of others easily, my heart hardened by hatred and betrayal. That did not stop him from trying though, to woo the unreachable Nevermore. Now that I think about it, perhaps he did not have the courage to approach me directly, taking my rejections in stride, treating it as a game...

I step over to my journal, slipping the silvered key from the front of my dress, undoing the lock. Next, the magical lock. The spell was relatively complicated, requiring both a match to my voice and a particular phrase, depending on the day. “Sundered Oath.” The cover opens, leading to the last entry. My heart stops as I read the words on the page... no... I didn’t want to remember this.

~~~~~~~~~~

“I do not know what he was trying to do there. To show forgiveness? To taunt me further? If the former, I do not deserve it. I am the reason he has suffered so, so I must suffer my penance in return. There are others out there, more deserving of happiness than I. I am the one who betrayed him. I am the one who cost him. I do not deserve forgiveness. If the latter, it reveals a cruelness that I do not believe exists in him. An idiot? Yes. Cruel? I do not believe so. Cruelty is for ponies like me.”

It was soon after my betrayal, a long flight back, one borne in awkward silence. He didn’t say anything to the rest of the crew. He didn’t have it. I could feel it in their eyes, their silent stares, weighing me, judging me, finding me lacking. Nessy was the only one to approach me, my dress spattered in blood, both mine... and his. The quiet mare just took me down to my cabin, saying not a word, leaving me on the bed. Time passed... how much I’m not sure. They took care of me, tended my wounds, but there was a tension in the air, even more than I was used to.

Then he showed up. The fool, the idiot... the Captain. He acted as if nothing happened, acted as if everything is as it were. Talking to me, even as I looked away in silence. Smiling at me, as if nothing were wrong. He kissed me, a gentle thing on my cheek even as I turned away. Why was he here? Why was he tormenting me. An idiot, but one that I had admired. There was something about him, something that drew me... yet it was something that I could never act on. I could never replace his wife, would never wish to try. No, I was Nevermore, the pariah, the outcast... the hated. He leaves my cabin, leaving more questions, more pain than when he had arrived. Why had he come? No... it was not for me to know, I could not know, I did not want to know then, and I do not want to know now. It’s too painful still.

Yes... it is time for me to leave, no use in staying on this ship, the broken Nevermore, betrayer of all, killer of all. Preparations are swift, gathering my meager possessions, making sure to tuck my journal away safely. It was not for them to read, especially the Captain... The deck is mostly empty, the moon clear and bright. This was the best way, to disappear, fall out of their lives as abruptly as I had fallen into it. It pains me, in some ways, to not say goodbye to Nessy... though I’m not certain that she would even want to see me now, not after everything I’ve done. I stand on the railing, looking down on Equestria sailing past. I close my eyes, taking a deep breath... before I hear a voice.

“What are you doing, Nevermore?” Minor’s voice breaks the magic, the silence. Ending my attempt to leave unnoticed.

“What does it matter to you.” My heart is still in turmoil, my mood dark. I lash at him with my tone, a barbed whip to tear into him.

He backs up slightly from my harsh tone. “I... I just saw... you and I was thinking...” He screws his eyes shut, blurting out his next words. “You don’t need to go, you can stay here with me! Um... us!”

Though I find no humor in his statement, and I do not mean to be cruel, my voice barks out a harsh laugh. “Stay here with you? Do not be a fool.” I see him crushed by my words, his heart bleeding by the verbal daggers I had thrown. I could tell him that’s not what I meant, that I could not bear to be here with my sins, my guilt... but no, I lash out more, pouring my pain on one who is undeserving of my wrath. “There is nothing here for me, nothing that I would want. Go away and leave me alone, you foul the air with your company.”

He opens his mouth to say something, reaching a hoof out to me, even as I fall off the railing, the wind stealing his parting words to me. I care not. My wings open, arresting my fall, settling me gently onto the ground, even as the Flickerjack continues on without me. I watch the ship fly, I watch it fade... and I cry. In the darkness of the night, in the silence of my guilt, I finally break down, and I finally cry.

~~~~~~~~~~

My eyes open again, the pages of my journal spread out before me on my desk. My gaze flicks up to the mirror on the back, my form wavering between my dark beauty from before and the decay of now, as if deciding what to wear.

“I am Nevermore... betrayer and betrayed. Murderer and murdered. I am death, even as I am dead.” I lean up against the mirror, seeing the decaying ghoul in front of me, her mask keeping her curse contained. “That is what I am... that is who I am. I am Nevermore, and I survive.”

The mirror shatters, shards of glass flying past me... and I smile.

~~~~~~~~~~

I wake up, blinking in the light of a bonfire. The mare is above me, Ryvolte, beauty, terror, monster. There’s a burning pain in my leg as she uses a knife, my knife, to carve the flesh, cutting past muscle, exposing the bone, the pain is immense, but yet I smile. I found the key, the lock. “Why do you smile like zat? Have you accepted your fate?” Her voice sounds confused, even as she draws my knife back for another cut.

I respond by lifting my hoof up to my face, tugging where I know that my mask will be, even though I can’t feel it. Her eyes widen, confirming my suspicions, even as she drives the dagger deep into my chest. “Your... mistake.” Exhaling harshly, I see nothing at first, but then the pink begins to spread washing away the illusion with it, even as she screams from the toxic cloud. I keep my breath on her, washing her with Pink Cloud until the illusion fades away completely, leaving me suspended from the ceiling with steel wires digging into my flesh. I’m surrounded by macabre examples of her craft, poor souls stitched together and rotting, hanging like marionettes. I pull on the rusting wires, finally feeling one give, then another, each snapping with torturous slowness. The object of my hatred lies below me, the Illusionist, the mare. I fall heavily to the ground next to her, even as she wheezes from the cloud that I had spewed at her.

She’s as beautiful as she was in the illusion, though dirtier, dustier, covered with the grime of the wasteland. “How did... how did you know? None of ze others knew...” She pulls herself to her hooves, even as I force myself up as well.

“You should... have left me... alone.” My voice is harsh and grating, ruined by time, death, and years without use. “That was your... mistake.” Restoring me to as I was... it was the little bit that reminded me that none of this was real, that all of it was her twisted game. Using the last of my strength, I lunge for her again, my knife going for her throat. To my surprise and irritation, it passes through, the mare fading from sight.

“I see... I shall keep zat in mind, though I doubt that we shall meet again, oui?” Her laughter haunts me even as I collapse back down to my knees. I need to look for the others, I need to make sure they’re fine. My injuries are severe, my body wracked with pain... perhaps I will rest, just for... just for a moment.

~~~~~~~~~~

A camera nearby blinks to like, panning around, ancient systems coming back to life, albeit temporarily, recording the surroundings for its distant viewer. “Are you sure that we should allow her to continue? Is she not a threat to us?”

“Yes, she is a threat, but also the answer. Feed her on despair, crush her hopes. Let her nature taint him, dark and evil... for he must be woken, but she will stain his soul.”

~~~~~~~~~~

I groggily pull myself up to my hooves, using a little bit of magic as a boost. “What just happened? Where are we?” I look around, seeing bodies on the ground. Just a few short weeks before, such a sight would have been horrifying, causing me to void the contents of my stomach. Now though? I’m almost used to it. The smell was still stomach churningly bad, but the sight itself was almost normal. I see Star pulling herself to her hooves as well, the tall mare shaking her head as if to clear it. It felt like there were cobwebs in my head as well, even as I try to blink them away.

“We were running... then...” Star looks around. “Zone, I don’t see Nevermore.” She doesn’t sound worried, at least not yet. I think we’ve all accepted that she’s quite tough... probably going to outlast the rest of us. A sobering thought, really, how old she is, how much she must have seen. What are we to her really? How does a pony open up to those that she knows will die and leave her alone for uncounted years ahead? I shudder at the thought. The rest of us seem to be recovered, even Tik, the mare still complaining quietly about many things, mostly her head.

“There was... some sort of magic. I can still feel it lingering. But...” Bodies are strung from the ceiling, and I avoid taking too close of a look at them... was this some sort of raider den, or...? Regardless, I wouldn’t want to stay here too long. Find Nevermore and get out, assuming that she was still in the area, of course.

“I think this is her... or what’s left at least...” Vusi’s voice calls out, standing over a crumpled pile of cloth and pony. Rusted wires are run through her flesh, stained with blood and time. He pulls a jar from his bags, the metal container clinking against its companions.

“No. I will not... permit it.” Apparently, she wasn’t quite as down as we all thought she was, though she looked absolutely terrible. She hisses at Vusi as he gets closer, even taking a snap with her jaws. I don’t think she’s trying to eat him... just... scare him off or something.

“None of that, you sit there and take your medicine like a good girl. It’s not going to hurt you, so don’t worry.” Vusi unscrews the cap, revealing some sort of goopy paste.

“No... I will not permit you... to use that on me...” She uses her wings to force herself back slightly, and to shield herself from him. “Keep your vile... zebra concoctions to yourself... I do not need them...” There’s a venom in her voice that even her pain can’t hide.

Star steps between the two, even as Vusi prepares to retort. “She doesn’t want it, no reason to force her.” She doesn’t say anything, lifting the wounded Nevermore onto her back like a sack of rotting potatoes. “But we still need to get out of here.” Nevermore looks like she’s about to say something, but a harsh glare from Star stops the words before they begin. “And you’re in no condition like that. We’re leaving.” Nevermore slumps back down across her back, her eyes closing, even as she dreams... and remembers.

~~~~~~~~~~

Sergeant Lighthoof looks at the pegasus warily. He remembers her, from before. The vicious mare that had killed that zebra, her cold heart making me very grateful that she was on their side. The sight of her still caused him to shiver, her gaze filling him with dread. His commanding officer, Captain Wine Vine didn’t seem particularly impressed with her though. Then again, the captain was a political appointee, and this was to be his first taste of combat... he hadn’t seen death before, and thus did not recognize her. “Listen Missy, this is a place for soldiers. I don’t know what sort of game you’re playing with all your dress up, but why don’t you turn your little tail around and scamper off back home. This is a job for the real fighters, not you glory hounds.” The mare called Nevermore seems to ignore him, staring off into the distance. A pot of tea is next to her, even as she sips from a cup. “Did you hear me you floozy? Get your behind out of my camp! We don’t need you.”

She settles the cup down with a click, even as she turns to slash at him with her eyes, though her tone remains calm, and enchanting in its rich tones. “I do hope, for your sake, that you did not just insult me.” Her eyes narrow, her demeanor that of dignified disgust. “After all, the vast majority of your little band here has yet to see any combat, including yourself, I might add.”

“Listen here, missy, I have a rank, and you better start using it!” His tone is angry now, his ego hurt by her defiance and disregard for his station.

“Or what? You will complain to your betters? I only have one captain, and you are not him.” She snorts. “Or did you think that we have nothing else to do than to foalsit some moron who cannot even draw up a proper battle line.” She stands abruptly, the cushion she was on getting kicked back and out of the way. She rudely cuts him off as he opens his mouth. “I suggest you get your things in order. Time is of the essence.”

“Why are we out here anyways? We rushed out here just to wait around in this forsaken desert.” He starts to complain, even as she turns from him, her veil blowing in the wind.

“Because there was nopony else.” She opens her wings, taking to the sky even as the sound of drums begin to fill the air. “Because we are expendable.”

The battle was fierce and bloody, the ponies holding bravely despite their inexperience. Fighting was sporadic at first, but quickly grew in intensity, becoming a raging firestorm of combat and death. Lighthoof stood in the middle of it, fighting as best he can. His radio was switched off, no longer receiving orders from Captain Vine. Most of the line had done that now, at least those who were still alive. The zebras had launched a surprise thrust into the heart of the pony lines, aiming for a decapitation strike on the leadership. Part of Lighthoof’s heart hoped that they had succeeded. Captain Vine had panicked at the assault, bellowing for any unit, for all units, to come back and defend the camp, and him, no matter the cost. Several units had done just that, breaking the lines in a mad dash back. They had paid dearly for the attempt. Not just them, but those that they left behind as well. Confusion reigned as his orders started to make less and less sense, screaming, cursing, crying in sheer panic. Unit commanders started just doing their own thing, fighting as best they can. Eventually, the sound of fighting began to die off. How many were dead? How many were alive? Was it worth the cost? His own squad was nearly wiped out. Only he and Private Daisy were left, though the mare was missing a large part of her face from a nearly fatal shot. He still didn’t quite know how she wasn’t dead yet.

The two of them stagger into the camp, bodies lying everywhere. “Ninety percent casualties... you sustained ninety percent casualties.” Nevermore’s voice is low and dangerous. Not for her angry yelling, as her voice is utterly devoid of emotion, but rather calm ruthlessness.

“But we won, that’s what matters... the package is safe, and is being delivered.” Captain Vine seems to be almost smug now, since the battle had ended. His uniform was still neatly pressed, and though there was some blood on him, it looked like he had stepped in it, rather than actually fought. Lighthoof’s stomach roils in disgust, looking at where Private Daisy was getting her head wrapped up, the Ministry of Peace nurses trying desperately to patch her up though it is probably far too late. He’s about to say something to the captain, even if it’s foolish, but he’s stopped by the sinister snick of a blade.

“It would have been a lot lower... if you actually kept command. If you did not panic. If you did not order ponies to abandon the line.” Her voice drips venom as she stands there, a hoof tucked into her dress. “Your soldiers won despite you... not because of you.” She has a dour expression on her face, one slowly turning into a smile. “I do believe... that the assassins may have been successful after all.”

“What are you talking about? They were all stopped!” His eyes widen as he finally realizes what she means. “You wouldn’t... you couldn’t! Do you know who I am? Do you know who my mother is?” He backs up slightly, nearly falling over in his panic. Even as he turns to run, its too late, a dagger lodged into the side of his neck.

“You are dead... and your mother needs to bury a fool.” She twists the knife, eliciting a tortured gasp. “You are a shame to the officers of the Equestrian Army.” She yanks the blade out savagely, taking a large chunk of flesh with the blade as he slips to the ground, gurgling his last breath.

Lighthoof looks at the mare aghast, even as she beings to clean her blade on the fallen captain’s coat. “You... you killed him... is it because he insulted you earlier?”

“I killed him for incompetence. His insults only meant that I could enjoy it more.” She slips the blade back into her dress. “He got too many ponies killed, for too little gain. I despise waste.”

“You wanted... to save lives?” He looks at her, surprised... she didn’t seem like the sort, to be honest.

“No. You are all expendable. We all are.” She looks off into the dying sun, expressionless. “Lives to be spent for temporary gains... until we are naught but dust and ashes, corpses strewn beneath an unforgiving sky."

~~~~~~~~~~

Welcome to level 10!

New Perk: Finesse - You’re skilled and fast, able to land a blow where it hurts. You gain +5% chance to score a critical hit on a foe.

New Trait: Pragmatic - You’re willing to do what’s needed, no matter the cost to yourself or others. You don’t dwell much on what might have been or what will be, but rather on what is.

Author's Note:

A note from the author: (That's me!)

Wow... I... really don't know what to say about this, so I'll just be a bit frank I guess. This was a really hard chapter for me to write. I felt like I wrote myself into a corner a bit, and this is me getting out of it. I had too many ideas going, and it just wasn't really working out. So I'm not exactly super happy with this chapter, and personally find it to be the weakest one I've written so far. So I'd like to apologize if it wasn't to your (the reader's) liking. However, I do have a clear end, and I know what I want to happen. Thank you for joining me on this journey, we're not to the end yet, but I can see it drawing together to where I want it to go.

~Requiem Mori

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