In the End: Elite
rating: +70+x

Pain. Pain, and fire, and then peace. For a long time, she remembered the peace. There was a light, so beautiful and calm, that she drifted towards. Her parents, though, her parents would miss her, wouldn't they? She could hear them, and they sounded so sad. She couldn't leave, not yet.

She tried to follow their voices home. It should have been so easy. She walked a line, not daring to look up, to the light that called, nor down, to the darkness that hungered. Her parents were her line, keeping her here, from floating or falling. They called to her, and people gave her rides, and she should have got there. And yet, and yet…

Fire. Fire and pain. She felt herself set adrift again, her body wracked with nothing but pain. She saw them, finally, saw them as they floated past her, as she fell, burning, tumbling, into the hungry abyss. She fell through them, felt the pain of their deaths, added to her own, and landed, in the darkness.

The darkness loved her. It took her to its bosom, and taught her. It showed her what had happened to her parents, who was to blame. The darkness showed her what she could do with her anger, with her pain, how she could feed it. Then it let her go.

She didn't float, not anymore. She climbed up out of the darkness, every step a struggle, like forcing her way through a thick mud. Just because the darkness wanted her help didn't mean it was going to make her leaving easy.

It needed feeding, so she fed it. She avenged her parents. She more than avenged her parents, with blood and fire and pain. Until.

The girl looked up at the sound of a motor, a sad smile on her face. It was time to start everything again. She bent over to look into the car as it slowed down. "Excuse me mister can you give me a ride?"

The old man inside turned to her, and smiled. "Oh yes my dear. I'm sad to say, I should have given you a ride long ago. Come on in." He unlocked the door, and she slipped inside, resting lightly upon the seat. She didn't bother to put on her seat belt, even as the driver drove off.

"What do you mean by that?" she asked, poised to spring on him, as she had sprung on so many before.

"You've been tormented, my dear. Far more than you deserved. You… fell off the list. You were never supposed to have been left out here, on your own, this long." He took his hands off the wheel as he turned to look at her. If she had cared about her health, she would have worried about crashing, but she didn't, and, oddly enough, the car seemed to know the way without being guided. "I've been… inconvenienced for some time. The Foundation-"

"The Foundation? THE FOUNDATION?" she raged, her form shifting as her anger showed. "I knew it! you're another one of those damned scientists, trying to hurt me again! Well, I won't let you!" And the girl struck out, lodging her hand in the man's chest, where she easily crushed his heart.

…At least that's how it had always gone. The girl crushed, and crushed again, but found herself meeting no resistance. The old man just shook his head sadly at her. "You see? You are supposed to be at peace, but to be so angry…" The girl heard a change. The car engine wasn't making any noise, any more. Had it ever? Instead, it sounded like… like the clopping of hooves. "It's okay Mary. All of the pain is over."

Mary found herself unable to focus. The rage that had fueled her for so long was gone. She thought she heard her parents, calling her name. She found herself remembering a line from a poem she'd read in school. "Because I could not stop for Death, He kindly stopped for me; The carriage held but just ourselves And Immortality."

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