She felt empty. The battle had turned out far differently than in her imaginations. Now she stood in the empty hall of Camelot, the round table right in front of her. All colors seemed to be drained from her. Grey strands of hair framed her face, where once the black cascades felt over her shoulders. She felt more tired than ever. But in her face there still was the ageless beauty of the goddess. What now? What options where left for her? She was at a loss. All her trials had been in vain.
Suddenly, before she could find an answer, the large doors of the gate flew open. Merlin appeared, closely followed by Frik. The moment she saw, him the anger rose again inside her. Merlin - once her highest hope for the survival of her people - now her most acrimonious enemy. Because of him, it all had gone wrong and now he stood in front of her, obviously at the same rage as she was. "I knew I would find you here, Mab" he said. Of course he would. After all there still was a connection between them. At this thought Mab felt a twinge in her heart. But she ignored it, the memory was too painful, instead she answered: "So you have come to see my final triumph?" But her question was rather made in gallows humour than meant seriously. She knew the last fight would be about life and death. Of course Merlin also knew that. He had only one goal, now that everybody he once loved was gone. "I've come to see your final defeat!" he hissed. "Bah you always were a dreamer Merlin!" she returned. "Let me see… you have lost your Arthur, the battle, your one true love…"
"The battle isn't over yet Mab", Merlin declared. For now there only was one fight left, and he wouldn't refuse it. She was right; he had lost everyone that mattered to him so only the wish for vengeance was left inside him. It wouldn't matter if he died now, Nimue was lost to him and the world would still be changing without him. But Mab still disavowed his resistance. He was her creation and she wouldn't give in. "You can't win!"
At that moment Frik interfered, pointing out that Mab was in rather worse condition, so Merlin would have an easy game defeating her. That brought Mab even more in rage. She jumped on the round table straight toward both of the men. "Why are you consulted with that traitor?" she hissed raising her arms threateningly. She hated that little bastard, and she would have ripped out his heart in the same moment if he hadn't chosen to back up and retreat. "Madame after all my years as faithful servant… I mean that's rather harsh!" he said reproachfully. But Mab only shouted: "That's not as harsh as I'm going to be!" Frightened by his former mistress Frik decided to leave this fight to Merlin. At least he was still a wizard whereas Frik didn't even possess his magical powers anymore. "Sorry can't stay!" within seconds he made his way out the hall, closing the gates and leaving Mab and Merlin behind.
Now as they were alone, it seemed that Mab let her mask drop. A deadly silence was lingering in the air. Suddenly there was no arrogance left on her face. Instead she looked rather deprived and sad. Her eyes weary and her former haughtiness gave way to certain firmness. "Mordred is dead." was all left she could say. Slowly she realized the pain concerning him. At least he had been the only one who had stayed faithful at her side. But for Merlin this statement only made clear, that they both where at equal conditions. "So we both have nothing to lose." His eyes glared when he said; "This battle now is just between you and me, Mab." He moved closer. Merlin thought, that now the time for arguments was over. His decision was made, like it was years ago when he had decided to kill Vortigern or like it were when he had wanted to beat Mab in revenge for Ambrosia. Now he would avenge them all: his mother, Ambrosia, Nimue and Arthur.
Mab saw the hatred on his face and realized that all words had been said. With the blink of an eye she parted the wooden table that so long had been the counseling table for the knights. Nothing stood between them now and their fight began. It was Mab that used most of her powers to bring up a storm. The strong wind pulled Merlin from his feet and nearly smashed him into the ceiling. But Merlin wasn't anymore the foolish young apprentice. His powers had grown over all the years. He pulled his energy against hers and moved slowly down again to the ground. When he was back on his feet again he saw that Mab visibly was out of breath. She staggered a little but it made her even angrier. Her first trial wasn't meant to kill Merlin but now she resolved her decision. Her next move should be the end of Merlin. "I show you how weak I am!"
As she raised her hands, the end of her fingers transformed into sharp arrowheads. As quick as a flash the arrows headed towards Merlin. Right before they could pierce him he raised his right hand in return to form a wooden round shield. The ten arrows got stuck in the thick wood one by one. For a moment disbelieving astonishment was shown in Mabs face. But it was quickly followed by infuriation. How could he withstand her after all these years of not using his skills? But Mab had no time to think about Merlins skills. She needed to win and she needed to do this fast. There was already a slight dizziness creeping inside her head. When Merlin pulled the shield aside, she threw a ball of fire at him. But he simply drew aside and it smashed into the wall. So she threw one after another. But every time Merlin either avoided or parried it. And with each fireball she felt even more exhausted.
Mab had to end this. She raised both of her hands and formed with all her magic left a huge bowl of fire. With the rest of her powers she shot it towards Merlin. The wizards reaction came as fast as the huge bowl flew. He ducked down and the fireball stroke through the gate with the power of a meteor. There it crossed the next hall and left the castle at the eastern window where it fell into the lake beyond. The castles people, that had already awaited the outgoing of the fight, watched the spectacle in horror. Now they saw the in their eyes evil Fairy Queen still wasn't defeated and all of them starred now at the two opponents in the table room.
Mab still wasn't ready to give up. Her will to survive was stronger, even if those humans would attack her now, she would fight them. "My strength may be failing Merlin, but I can still deal with these poor humans." Pressing one hand to her side, because of the stabbing pain in her body, she went closer. "What are you planning to do?" she asked. "Use your puny swords and axes on me?" Now fear crept into the people's minds as they believed her to attack them. Hopefully they looked at Merlin to protect them. But he recognized his chance. And suddenly there was no fearful thought left in their heads. One by one, everyone who had looked into his eyes had forgotten absolutely everything concerning this situation. Even their own will had been extinguished. Hypnotized by the wizard they turned around and ignored their surroundings not even noticed Merlins words. As he said: "No Mab we are just going to forget you." So he turned around leaving the hall knowing that when he deleted all memories for her in the humans' minds, Mab finally would die. She could draw no more power out of the people's beliefs and weakened as she was, she simply would cease to exist. Finally he could defeat her. Merlin hoped he would feel better when alls this would be over and his revenge fulfilled.
Mab was irritated by this at first. "Merlin, what are you doing?" "You can't fight us nor frighten us – your just not important enough anymore." he declared glancing back at her. Slowly it began to dawn on her. "We forget you Queen Mab. Go join your sister in the lake and be forgotten!" With that he finally turned and concentrated hard to uphold the hypnotization. But still there was this anger and hatred he felt for her he wished that it was so easily, that she was not important anymore. But that could only work for the people, not for him. His emotions were still too strong and it was hard to ignore her cries.
"Look at me!" she yelled. "Merlin!" But the people moved out of the halls leaving the scene, following the command in their heads given by the wizard whose name they couldn't even remember. Mab still screamed, "Don't forget me Merlin… I love you!" When he also went to leave the hallway, Mab couldn't bear it anymore. He ignored her desperate cries but she didn't want to die. Fear nearly paralyzed her and for some awful long seconds she felt the cold finger of death catching her breath.
But then her will to survive came back. She would do anything. She knew she had done many wrongs. But if he could give her only one more chance she would do everything to proof him worthy of it. She knew he hated her, but if she could convince him of another chance he might be able to forgive her. Gathering together all the little strength that was left in her body she began to ran. She ran right after him. She could not simply let him walk away. When he nearly had reached the end of the hallway she caught up with him.
As Mab reached him she seized the back of his robes. He stopped abruptly when she clutched her hands deeply into the cloth. That was not the way he had planed it. He wanted to destroy her, not to hear her pleas for mercy. With a brisk movement he turned around and simultaneously he struck out with his right arm his hand clenched to a fist. The punch hit her right in the face sending her down to the ground. Mabs head seemed to explode in pain, when she fell. When she could open her eyes again she found herself on the floor. Quite disorientated she looked up right into his eyes….