Shirley was overwhelmed with despair. Fenimore was gone, murdered only because she tried to protect her best friend. Senel and his party had been defeated, falling to Vaclav's forces and ending any hope of Shirley being rescued. Worst of all, she could feel her sister dying in the cell next to her, the older girl's heart having had enough after Vaclav's new weapon fired its most recent shot.

As Shirley's mind spiraled through a state of semi-consciousness, she knew she was left with only two choices. The first option was to allow herself to remain in her prison, serving as a comatose human battery for her captor's weapon until her life force was exhausted and she shared the same fate Stella was suffering. The only alternative was a measure that would bring her instant comfort, but would result in infinitely more casualties than Vaclav's measly intercontinental laser could ever cause. It was only a few days ago that she had been determined in preventing this option from ever being used. However, at the height of her current agony, she questioned if a world where evil always prevailed was worth saving.


"Sir, Generator 2 is going critical!"

A combat engineer sitting at the Nerifes Cannon's control board frantically shouted in the aftermath of the weapon's latest attack. Vaclav peered over this underling's shoulder with an annoyed expression. When he saw the status monitor showed one of the weapon's two energy sources was indeed becoming unstable, he growled and turned around. Behind him were twin glass cylinders housing the sleeping forms of two blonde-haired teenage girls. The young woman to his left was wearing a long white and blue dress. The slightly shorter female on his right was in similar elegant attire, albeit with a shorter skirt and colored in black and dark navy. They had been captured on the eve of some silly religious ceremony Vaclav didn't care to know the details of. All that concerned him was the magic power their bodies possessed made them weapons he could use to defeat his enemies.

Both girls floated upright in their narrow prisons, but the older sister's form was noticeably more limp than her sibling's. She had unwillingly given her life to Vaclav's cause, reducing her to just a worn out part in the heartless commander's war machine. The man in red armor peered toward his remaining energy source in confusion as the clear holding chamber flashed with various holographic warning displays. He angrily thought out loud.

"How the Hell is that possible? We weren't even using it as the primary!"

Before the engineer could speculate an answer, Shirley's eyes abruptly opened and cast a rageful glare toward her captors. Her normally animated blue irises were now cold and empty. Seconds later, Vaclav and all of his minions on the control bridge were blinded by a flash of ocean blue light. In midst of the chaos, they heard the sound of glass shattering. The secondary generator had ruptured, freeing the girl inside.

Vaclav saw Shirley gracefully stepping toward him when his sight returned. Her youthful face was contorted in a bitter scowl, and her long blonde hair now shined in an alien light that accented her dark dress. Unbeknown to him, the young mage was now only the vessel of much more powerful entity; a being that knew only hatred and destruction.

As Vaclav widened his eyes in disbelief, Shirley outstretched her open right palm toward him. After the tall commander clutched his chest in pain for a few seconds, his entire body exploded into a shower of crystal clear water, leaving only his suit of armor behind. The rest of his subordinates stepped back in horror as this happened, but a handful of his troops were soon brave enough to charge the sorceress with their weapons drawn. Shirley quickly snapped her head toward them, sensing their violent intent, and narrowed her eyes as she eliminated them in the same fashion as their superior. As she remained completely silent, the rest of the personnel in the room simultaneously exploded into pools of water.

With the Merines now safely alone, the entity controlling her proceeded to the next stage of its ceremony. Shirley threw her head back and let out a painful scream as the light in her hair spread through her body. It engulfed the control room, followed by the entire Nerifes Cannon structure. The towering weapon was used as a beacon that spread the ominous light in several directions, covering the land below. Anyone unfortunate enough to be graced by the shining blanket was reduced to nothing but water, the basic essence of life.

The deadly spell continued to spread across the world in a snowflake-like formation. Its power was so great that it caused world's the oceans to wash over every continent, destroying all of modern society's inventions. Massive portions of earth sunk into the ocean under the weight of Shirley's power, giving the planet the appearance of a solid blue sphere.

When the purging was complete, the light gradually faded and left Shirley standing at the top of the Nerifes Cannon's flooded ruins. Her hair returned to its natural blonde color as her eyes began sparkling with their usual optimistic innocence. With half of her mind driven to insanity and the other half still influenced by her now-appeased deity, she closed her eyes and breathed slowly to calm herself. She was relieved she had fulfilled her destiny, and she smiled when she heard the gentle waves of the ocean surrounding her and seagulls singing in the sunny sky above her. The filthy land-dwellers were finally gone, and now the planet belonged to the sea and its people.