Title: Dies Irae
Author: Unspoken Tragedy
Spoilers: All Ten Books, Particularly book ten.
Disclaimer: I own nothing you recognize and probably far less of what you don't than you think. The first two lines are quoted from the English translations of book ten.
Summery: When the very last human breathes his very last breath... I'm sure D will be there watching... and smiling.
A/N: This fic occurs after the series ends. That means that if you have not read the last book parts of this may be confusing to you.
And to anyone waiting on updates on anything: I'm working on it!
Maybe despite all of our advances, the human race is on a path to its own destruction. What was it again? Ah, that's right... Maybe we are just moths being drawn to a flame...
When the very last human breathes his very last breath... I'm sure D will be there watching... and smiling.
Hot. It was so unbearably hot...
"Someone save me..." his own whisper broke through the strange stillness around him. The silence terrified him. Only moments earlier the air had been rife with sound. Screams, crying, burning, crashing, sound, blessed sound.
Where had it all gone?
His eyes searched the world of white, black, red and gray around him, never really even knowing what he was looking for. Burning shells of buildings glowed against the white ash that covered much of the broken street. It occurred to him that maybe he should wonder where all the people went... but he knew that already. He'd known it as soon as the screaming stopped.
He also knew that the ash covered more than just a broken street... far more.
He watched silently as a pile of rubble sifted slightly, uncovering the charred skeleton of a car. He couldn't recognize the make or model—all cars looked the same melted.
It wasn't long before he realized that the fire was dying down... and that breathing was far more difficult than it should have been. And the pain... the pain... "Help me..."
Plumes of smoke rose from the ruins around him, distorting the sky above and he wasn't sure if it was night or day. It didn't even really matter anyways. It wasn't as if he had work in the morning- or ever again for that matter. His office had been destroyed as well as the others.
He wanted to cry, to curl up in his long gone mother' arms and hide there for an eternity... He felt so alone in this silence...
And then came sound, crashing back to him, seeming louder than it had ever been before. For a moment he couldn't breathe at all, the shock of hearing once more taking his breath away. Which was not an altogether good thing, since he had so little to spare in the first place. He closed his eyes, taking long slow breaths, ignoring the strange tightness in his chest.
"Does it hurt?" a soft voice shattered his frail concentration.
His eyes flew open and his head whipped painfully around to stare up at a really pretty... man. He was a small and delicate creature of Asian descent with silky black hair that reached his chin and alabaster skin that glowed red in the firelight. His eyes were strangely colored- one violet and the other gold and his smiling lips were a strange red hue. His perfectly manicured hands were clasped in front of the elaborate oriental... dress that the he wore.
"What do you think?" he scathed.
"I wouldn't know," the man replied, "I know not the feel of shame."
"Is that what you think this is? That I'm lying around in hot ash because I'm ashamed of myself?"
"You do not lament all that has been lost... because of you and yours?" A strange sort of fury emanated from the beautiful stranger, contradicting his smile.
"It's a bit hard to do so when I'm dieing!" Whatever reaction he'd been expecting, it wasn't the one he received. The man did not even flinch, nor did the smile waver. The Asian simply stood there, staring down at him as one would an angry child. Watching with a mixture of annoyance and affection... or was that something else? "Look... I'm sorry. I'm just... Please help me!"
"There is no man left alive who can save you now."
"Then what now? Have you simply come to watch me die?" He was embarrassed to note the touch of hysteria in his own voice.
The man ignored his question as if he should already have the answer to it. "Did you know the price coming into this?"
"What... are you talking about?"
"Did you know there would be so much destruction? You should have rightly stopped after Hiroshima. Why did you continue to create such atrocities?"
"We had to... the other countries, terrorist countries!" He felt a wetness on his cheek and wondered if it was from blood or tears, or if in the end it really even mattered which.
"So you destroyed them to save yourselves. Tell me now, was it worth it?"
"If there are innocents living still... untouched by the happenings here... then yes. Yes, it was worth it." And he believed that, even as he lay dieing he believed that it had been worth it.
"You still don't see? There are none untouched by the 'happenings here'. Billions of innocents are dead. Over a million cities are lying in ruin like the one you see before you. This war- weren't you Americans calling it World War III? -truly is the war to end all wars. I suppose that was what you had wanted all those hours you toiled in your labs, strengthening the atomic bomb."
"What- no! That can't have... We didn't know!"
"Of course you didn't, and for your ignorance you must pay the ultimate price." The man sighed and shook his head. "As must the innocents you claimed desire to protect. Did you not think that the enemy would have the same aims as yourself?"
The heat was suddenly not so hot anymore... in fact he was feeling rather cold at the moment. Breathing had gotten easier though and this conversation helped ease the pain from his injuries, even as it brought its own. "Well... we figured... But we had to do something... They would have continued to advance... if we hadn't..." It was becoming difficult to put his thoughts into coherent sentences.
"So here we are. Are you pleased with the results?"
"No." He was so tired... He had been able to ignore it for a time, mostly due to the fact that the other man had commanded his attention for so long. Now, however, it was too great to ignore. He just wanted to sleep... perhaps forever. Yet, he had to know the extent of the destruction. "Are there any...?"
"Others still living? No, you are the last." As his eyes slipped shut and he succumbed to his exhaustion he thought that smile had become just a bit greater with those words.
Count D watched silently as the man died. His name had been James T. Cunnings, the scientist behind the revolutionary changes to the atomic bomb. Of course, he hadn't been the only to create a stronger weapon; the very ones he fought against had done the same.
D sighed, glancing at the dieing flames with an overwhelming sadness. So many lives had been lost... so much good had been slaughtered by the self-centered ambitions of man. There wasn't much left on Earth anymore. The beautiful wild creatures of nature had been killed along with their oppressors, and fire had wilted away most of the vegetation that had sustained life on this planet for so long.
Tears silently streamed down his face, as he mourned the lost lives that'd had nothing to do with the foolish war that had done them in. Billions upon billions had been the sacrifice and for what? For the ash and ruins that remained?
But mourning could not bring again the beauty of Eden. No, actions must do that. The world could be rebuilt. The forests replanted, the animals reborn.
A new world could be created. This one... without man there to destroy it. D pulled a silver dagger out of the folds of his cheongsam and cut a thin slice into his wrist. Dark blood flowed to the ground adding new color to the world.
Through the ash... grew flowers, born from the blood of one willing to make the sacrifice, one willing to give everything to the world instead of taking everything from it.
Yes, the world would be reborn. From the blood of one who loved it.
The Count had a lot of work to do, work far different from that of his during the reign of man. That work was finished now, anyways. He'd gotten his vengeance after all. And the last of the race of man lay at his feet.
Count D smiled.
Lo ha terminido.
A/N: This turned out... just as depressing as I figured it would be. I had actually intended to end this differently, though, but this ending placed itself here instead. Blame the bunnies. "The war to end all wars," was a quote from a general during WWII, I can't remember which. Cookies to anyone who knows. "Dies Irae" means "The Day of Wrath", or "Judgment Day".
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