This is not a story for the light.

She coughs dryly. The desert sand scores the back of her throat and leaves her hoarse. Hoarser. She's done with screaming, done with the crying, done with everything. Instead she walks, and even though she can't feel his weight - what with her magic levitating his prone body - she feels much, much more resting on her slender shoulders.

Elika walks.

He floats in front of her, an inch or so from her arms. She has them outstretched, like she can catch him again. She knows she can't. There is nothing to catch anymore. The world around them is still black, as black as ever. Hers is the only colour in this blasted wasteland. The colour of mud and despair.

Elika breathes.

She feels the magic leaping in her. Increasing. It seems like it has been years since the light seeds back in the City, or the shell of her city, and yet the magic is increasing. Soon it will push out to her skin without her trying, soon it will take her over. She wonders what will be left.

Elika dreams.

When she had been younger, the hero she'd fantasized herself being was… her. Was all her. Every thought, every act, every step. But now she feels the alien consciousness pressing in on her. The God who is waiting.

She doesn't have long.

She stumbles over the next dune, tries to suck in a lungful of air that doesn't hurt. It's there, on the horizon, back where it all started. Something meaningful. She wants to try.

It's hard to recognize the cliff side where she landed on him.

She looks for a while. Feels her time running out. Doesn't care any more. Hasn't cared for a while… since she saw him stumble, since she realized the light inside her was growing. There is no longer a sense of urgency. She doesn't think much lives that is worth saving. The world will be left to the mercy of two gods once more. Perhaps they will reshape it. But she doesn't care if they do.

She finds the cliff, and that's when the change begins.

Blue light seizes her from the inside. Elika gasps and drops to her knees. He drops down with her, still at arm-height. His head lolls back. She stares into his closed eyes and starts to weep blue fire. The tears hit her cheeks and become incandescent. They melt through her skin and she feels pain. She looks down at herself. Underneath the rags of her clothes, her wrappings, she is translucent, spirit-blue.

The last thing to go is her mind. She gasps and gasps and cries and she doesn't know if she's crying harder for the desolate wasteland, the Prince, or for herself. He's there, eyes closed, mouth lined. She wants him to smirk with that mouth again. He was so alive, and now it's unfair that he's so…

Something shatters inside her, and her mind floods with blue light.

Ormazd stands up in what was once a human body. He frowns down at the detritus in front of him. Ah, yes. The graverobber who doomed the world…

For one moment, something creeps into the edge of his consciousness, like a wordless cry, or a shout of pain, even love…

And then it is gone.

Ormazd leaves the corpse in his wake. He has more important things to do.





Sorry for the shortness and the down-ness of it all. I'm afraid I'm not going through the best time at the moment, but I'm sure it will pass.

On the bright side, PauseTheTragicEnding has informed me there will indeed be a new PoP sequel! And that does make me happy. :)

Thanks again to everyone who is still sticking with me for these shorts. They won't end until my inspiration does, or yours.

- Shadowhawke