Author's note: This won't make a whole lot of sense until you read the Celestia chapter of Homura's Encyclopedia of Witches. Being familiar with Fresh Pretty Cure would probably help, too.


Inori Yamabuki pointed her glowing flute toward Walpurgisnacht as she clenched her teeth in desperation. She was the only remaining member of the team of Magical Girls who had been fighting this colossal menace, and the fate of the world now depended on her. Harsh winds fluttered through the frills of her bright yellow dress as she floated in the stormy sky, and injury combined with weariness caused her vision to blur. Walpurgis showed signs of extensive damage herself, having barely overcome a combined offense moments earlier. When Inori was finally able to focus her eyes, she let out a loud battle cry and used her instrument to fire a barrage of golden light directly toward the gear-shaped Witch.

The attack was a success. Walpurgisnacht ceased her demonic cackling and exploded into specks of sparking glitter when it was struck by Inori's final assault. The sky returned to its original midday blue, and the torn ruins of the city below came to rest as the storm subsided. When the climate had returned to as it was prior to Walpurgisnacht's appearance, Inori succumbed to exhaustion and slipped into unconsciousness. The flute disappeared from her hand as she began plummeting to the ground below in a free fall.

Inori was rocked back to awareness when she landed on the crumbled remains of a city street with a harsh grunt. Her vibrant Magical Girl attire changed back to her brown school uniform, and the heart-shaped Soul Gem that adorned her single pigtail transformed into a egg-shaped jewel that reappeared in her palm. As she remained sprawled on her back and breathed in labored breaths, she attempted to sit up only to realize her body was pinned to the ground under its own weight. Her eyes then shifted to the Soul Gem sitting in her hand. She gasped in horror when she saw her final attack had left the mystical item polluted in ominous blackness, and she had no way of curing it of its corruption. She had witnessed all of her friends die around her, and now she was left alone to suffer a fate worse than death herself.

The fallen heroine squeezed her eyes shut in grief as she hopelessly whimpered to herself. After sniffing back some of her tears, she looked into the sky and spoke in a tiny, sobbing voice.

"Please, God, let someone beat me quickly when I'm a Witch. I... I don't want to cause a lot of suffering..."

Only seconds after finishing this short prayer, the air just over her began shining in a warm, pink light. Out of this radiance materialized a human figure; a smiling young girl who hovered only a few feet over her surprised onlooker like a valkyrie descending on a dying warrior. Inori's expression quickly changed to shock as she stuttered.

"G-... God?"

Her eyes carefully studied the celestial entity as she remained baffled. The mysterious girl kept her hair in pink pigtails, and she was clad in a short pink dress of a fashion that reminded Inori of her own magical form. Her manner was more collected when she spoke again.

"I never thought you'd be a Magical Girl..."

The angelic figure then replied to her in a sweet, caring voice. The sympathetic smile she bore never left her face.

"You've done a great job protecting your people, Inori. You don't deserve this fate."

She continued speaking in a more comforting tone.

"I'm not strong enough to restore your mortal life, but I can share your pain so you can spend your final moments in happiness."

A tiny hint of hope appeared in Inori's watery eyes at these words.

"Can I be with Love and the others soon?"

The illuminated girl giggled softly before nodding and replying in a friendly manner.

"Mmhmm. They told me where to find you. All three of them are really worried about you."

She then lowered herself closer to the paved ground. She blessed Inori's Soul Gem with a soft kiss, causing the artifact's dark energy to disappear and reveal its original yellow shine. The revived light was weak and gradually growing dimmer, but it was pure. Satisfied with this change, the benevolent goddess floated back to her original height and spoke.

"Farewell, Inori."

The dying Magical Girl's face now conveyed nothing but gratitude toward her savior. Her lament transformed into tears of joy as she weakly replied.

"Thank... you..."

Her eyelids then slowly dropped as her head turned to the side. After she exhaled her final breath in a relieved sigh, the Soul Gem's light faded entirely. The jewel peacefully disappeared along with Inori's body as the deity watched with a bittersweet smile. When the event was over, she similarly disappeared from sight and resumed her search for Magical Girls in need.


Final note: If you're wondering why I changed the title from "Deliverance" to "Buki's Ladder," here's the explanation I gave AnimeSuki:

"Deliverance is a movie about banjos and psychotic hillbilly rape. Burt Reynolds is involved.

Jacob's Ladder is considered by many critics to be an updated version of the Tibetan Book of the Dead. It's about overcoming the 'demons' that materialize from your anger, sorrow, and feelings of unfinished business when you die. It just seemed more in line with Madoka's themes to me. I'm not sure why."