Okay, I'm pretty sure I shocked everyone with the ending of the last chapter, but hey, you need something unexpected right at the end, right? Anyway, here's the last chapter.
Hell, Seventh Circle:
"How could this have happened?" came the guttural growl. "You must have tempted her wrong."
"Master." Seventh Symphony said, her voice like steel. "You told me to tempt her with power. I did exactly what you said, and even threw in something about her family, for extra incentive, but you set me up to fail! You idiot! You should have figured it out by now, all the shit I had to go through, and it's all down the tubes, and I'm set back at least three centuries, all because of your pigheadedness!" she screamed. "I put hard work into all that, only for it to come to nothing." Her voice evened out, as if she had transitioned into a lecture hall. "If I had been allowed to use whatever I wanted to use, I would have tried cute shoes and chocolate. I worked with what I was given, and I was set up to fail. It is not my fault that I got chosen for the latest edition of Epic Fail Weekly." She finished her tirade, and the voice from the bone-black throne said "Yes, I see your point. It's not your fault that you failed, I place the blame squarely on…" here the voice paused, and a finger reached out, pointing at a falling soul in torment. "…that one. I will punish it accordingly. You are free to go." the hand that was semi-visible made a dismissive gesture, and the throne creaked as the entity on it shifted positions. Seventh bowed deeply, then hurried out.
Max had no clue where she was. She remembered only a blinding flash and roar, then she was waking up…wherever she was. "On the upside, the bed is soft, and I smell chocolate-chip cookies." Max thought. She opened her eyes, and found that the light was rather bright, so she shut them again, trying to adjust slightly. After flipping over from laying on her stomach, she tried to get to a sitting position, but had a hard time doing so.
"Slowly, now. That's it." A voice said.
Max didn't recognize the voice, but it sounded warm, comforting, and protective. It made her feel safe.
"Where am I?" she asked. "What happened?"
"You," the voice said. "are in Heaven. As for what happened, you took a bomb at close range."
At that, Max started to get up, her first instinct being to find her Flock.
"Hey, hold your horses there. Your family members are alive and well. Just rest for a bit; you can't expect to take a bomb point blank like that and then just get up and go. Take it easy, you've got all eternity."
Max nodded, and sank back down on the bed.
"You said my family is alive and well." Max said. "That's everybody, right?"
"The people that arrived with you include Fang, Iggy, Timothy, Nudge, and Angel. MacGyver, Ajax and Sigma Alpha also arrived with you. Does that satisfy your question, sugar?"
"Yeah, thanks." She laid back down on the bed, forgetting that her wings would be in the way. For some reason though, after she laid down, she didn't feel any pain from her back or wings, and wondered why. The realization that her wings weren't there was enough to make her snap open her eyes. This time, the light wasn't painfully bright like before, and she sat up again.
"If you are feeling better, I will escort you to see your family now." Max looked toward the direction of the voice, and saw someone who Max would have pinned as the picture of the 'Big Momma' stereotype, and was wearing a simple white robe with gold and purple trimmings. The face seemed familiar somehow, but Max couldn't place it.
"I hope you don't mind my asking," Max began. "but you seem rather familiar somehow."
"You do not recognize Me?"
Max's eyes widened in recognition, before a powerful urge swept over her, and she knelt in front of the Person standing in front of her.
After a moment, the woman touched Max's shoulder. "Come, we will see your family."
Max stood up, and together, the two left the room. They walked across a tastefully decorated courtyard, with the symbol of a pair of wings emblazoned in the center.
"So, what is this place?" Max asked as they crossed the courtyard.
"This is your family's new home." She replied.
"And what should I call you? I don't know your name."
The woman chuckled. "Oh…so many to choose from. I suppose you could just call Me Big Momma for now. That is the stereotype you thought of the moment you laid eyes on Me isn't it?"
"Yeah." Max agreed. "You never did tell me what happened to The Gasman."
"Oh luv, do you mean Timothy? I know you called him The Gasman, but he doesn't have that affliction anymore. He was healed of that right after he arrived."
"Did he build the bomb that killed us?" Max queried. "Because if so, I think I need to thank him."
"No, he didn't build that bomb, sugar." Big Momma said. "It was a fifty pound bomb dropped by a dive bomber. He was testing for an airshow, and thought that he had a disabled bomb with him. He also thought that the camp was the one set up by his partner for the purpose of using it as target practice. An innocent mistake on his part, and the jury formed to try him will find him not guilty."
They were across the courtyard by now, and they came to a door with a golden plate screwed to it that said 'Recreation Room'. Max pushed down on the ornately carved golden handle, and then pushed in the door. As it opened on well-oiled hinges, Max saw the familiar faces she had been with for the majority of her life. Ajax, MacGyver and Sigma Alpha were also there, standing off to one side.
"MAX!" yelled the younger ones, and Fang's head swiveled around to see Max. She was positively radiant, decked out in a white t-shirt with new denim jeans, and sparkling clean tennis shoes, her wings spread slightly behind her and immaculately groomed.
The Flock, similarly attired, swarmed her for several moments before letting her go.
Fang was the only Flock member that didn't run over to her, and hug her before she could even get in the door. He was sitting on a black leather loveseat, sipping from a cup filled with shaved ice, and reading a relatively decent sized book.
After the initial Max swarming, everyone pretty much went back to whatever they were doing, and as Max passed Fang's loveseat, he said "Care to join me?" His eyes flicked up to meet Max's eyes, then back to his book, and then back to Max again. After a moment, he put the book aside just as Max sat down.
There was no hesitation from either of them. One moment, they were just sitting on the loveseat, the next, they were passionately making out with each other.
Sigma paused in his game to watch the two love-birds, and Ajax took advantage of that to score another goal.
"Hey! I wasn't even watching!" Sigma protested.
"Exactly my point, old man." Ajax smirked. "Exactly my point."
HW: So, that's done.
Max: What have you done?
HW: Sent you to Heaven. Why? Is there a problem with your accommodations?
Max: Well, no…
HW: Is there anything wrong with your family?
Max: Well, no…
HW: So you're telling me that you've saved the world, and you are in a perfect environment, with your wings, your family, and your oh-so-studly boyfriend, and you have a problem with that?"
Max: Uhh…this is my brain before Fang: O, and this is my brain after Fang: o. It's quite sad!
HW: So that's all your crying about. See ya, hope you enjoy eternity with your boyfriend…
Max: Get back here!
HW: I'd love to stay, but my visitor's pass is about to expire. Bye!
Okay, so this is officially the first story I have ever completed! Yay me.
Answers to readers:
NinthFeather: Yeah, Max doesn't mince words when she's made up her mind. The game with the rock-paper-scissors between Sigma and Ajax was this: If Ajax wins, the Sigma pretends that he will have to 'make the sacrifice' and eat the beef. If Sigma had won, Ajax would have pretended to make the sacrifice and eat the chicken. Stupid stuff, but that's Ajax for you.