When she had been very young, fire was her only escape. It had been the only thing that felt real to her; she delighted in watching as it burnt and tickled its way up her arm. Sometimes she danced, and the fire was her partner, spinning around her, like some spectral embrace. And now that she was older, she found the fire to be better company than any of her brothers.

She hated all the world, and despaired because of it. Denial helped her push away the pain; nothing so perfunctory and boring could be real. She often held in hope that perhaps it was a dream, and when she finally awoke into reality, things would be different.

What a horrible, boring existence.

She'd been alone for a very long time, never lonely, but always hating hating hating. That and the fire were the only memories that she knew of, misery and pure malice that obscured anything else she might have known. She hated so much it had to be released, and she would burn what was left of the world to cinders.

Rion seemed like a good place to start. Flames were already licking at his skin, dark patches appearing on once perfect data streams, beginning to corrupt his outer shell of code lines. He threw up his shield, in obvious distress.

She smirked at him, and then something unexpected and amazing happened.

He pushed her back, and she felt her body connect with the severe rigidity of the back wall, and she felt pain. It blazed its way through her, like fire

Yes, this is what I want, this is what I've been looking for...

She stood up, but Rion was up on her in seconds, her head snapping against metal, and Rion's slim fingers curling around her slender throat.

"It would be.... very nice, if, when I die, the world was real," was all she could whisper, trying not to notice the tears streaming down her cheeks. The pain coursing through her almost felt real, and for a second, she was nearly giddy. She felt oddly disconnected from everything, black fuzzing at the corners of her vision. Her source code was being stripped away, and yet tranquillity was burning through her as she felt herself drift further and further awake.

So this is what it is, to.... feel peace. I think I understand it now, Rion.

She had no idea what was to happen to her next, and she felt almost excited.

Where does your data go when you are destroyed?

But she knew it did not matter, just as long as she could take the fire with her.

But when I wake up, I hope that it is.........real.