Copyrighted to Astian Leslie Hannan 2005. All rights reserved.

She lay alone, on the ground, devoid of everything but a scrap of humanity. She could not understand why one would wish to cause her injury and pain. A player killer was the worst person that could possibly frequent The World, yet Subaru dared not post a message on the Message Board, lest she expose her weakness. Perhaps it would be easier to not come back. To never return to the problems that encompassed this place. But, no, that was not currently an option. There were a few issues that needed to be resolved. And one of them involved the mysterious WaveMaster, Tsukasa.

With great effort and obvious pain, she pushed up from the cold, unrelenting earth and picked up her axe. She didn't even attempt to straighten her hair, or clothing. The mad look-alike woman had completely ripped her attire and damaged her character data, for the time being. It was something that she dared not yet change. She wished to show Tsukasa who she truely was. That everyone has problems, that everyone hurts.

Behind the computer screen, sitting in a wheelchair, suppressing tears, she pressed the buttons on the control pad to make Subaru exit the current dungeon, quickly to Carmina Gadelica, a less frequented server, and then to warp through a Chaos gate to where she most expected Tsukasa to be. Golden runic rings of light encompassed her as she teleported from the Root Town to the field, where she expected Tsukasa to be.

Verdant grasslands stretched out before her in every direction, with large stones dotting the landscape, greatwindmills of cloth attached to them. They were sculptured into buildings, and amongst them, golden Portals spun lazily, awaiting someone to get near enough to them to open. In her current state, and at her current level, she dared not approach any of the portals, and thus headed straight for the dungeon, the quickest way possible, without attracting any unwanted attention to herself. She had to remember that she didn't look the best, from the attack, and that if anyone saw her like this, it would be posted across the Message Board. She worried so much about it. The ex-leader of the Crimson Knights, reduced to a normal Player Character that couldn't even defend herself against a Player Killer. Those whom the Crimson Knights most despised. She allowed a weary sigh to escape her lips as she approached the dungeon entrance, and descended into the darkness.

Walkways stretched out before her, with running water cascading along beside them. She didn't have to walk far to find him, standing alone, amongst stalactites and stalagmites that stretched from ceiling and floor to meet in a line of jagged looking teeth. Tsukasa stood with his back to her, looking across at the doorway to the adjoining room. His shoulders were slumped, as usual, and she could tell he was deep in thought.

She approached him, ragged looking and announced herself with one faint sob. He turned to face her as she dropped her trailing axe and lunged at him, clutching at him for support. At first his body went rigid and stiff and then relaxed after a moment's time. He spoke questions into her hair and bought his arms up to encircle her in his embrace. It was then that she allowed the tears to flow, both in character and out. It was a very depressing moment for her and he didn't seem to really understand it.

Please don't talk. Don't say a word. Just remain like that, forever.

As if her thoughts had reached him, he ceased to speak and just stood there, allowing her to cry out her tears and get herself back together. Crystalline tears hit the keyboard of her computer behind the screen, yet she could not stop. It had all caught up to her. She was at a crossroads, now what was she to do?