I've had this idea in mind for awhile now. Hope you guys like it. No long summary here. Just read on and enjoy.

It was a glorious day for mankind. It was a day of victory for Providence. It was the day of victory. Throughout the world, nanites were dying. By the trillions, they broke away from their hosts and disintegrated into dust. All across the world, people and animals were reassuming the shapes that they had forgotten. Monsters were being tamed. Incurable Evos were rushing from their cages to meet their friends and family, one of whom was Doctor Holiday's sister.

Tears of joy were shed and laughter reigned supreme throughout the land. The disease that had plagued the world for five years had finally been cured. People who had been in hiding were finally coming into the light again. They were no longer afraid. Among these people was White Knight, leader of Providence, who was stepping outside without protective armor for the first time in ages.

True, there was some regret. Those who had preferred their Evo forms had to adjust to being normal once more. Businesses that boomed because of the increase in power and abilities lost quite a bit of money. The parts of the world that had completely morphed to fit the age of Evos would have to shift once more to accommodate the untainted population.

However, probably no one felt more regret than Van Kleiss who, in a broken and crumbling Abysus, miles away from any of the thousands of parties that were going on at that time, lay dying.

He had felt the shift in the world immediately and had tried desperately to absorb the dying nanites into his system. It was futile, only serving to have the machines die within him rather than without. His red eyes had grown frantic as he felt his source of life draining from him. Draining from the world around him. Leaving him as an empty shell.

Now, he was lying in the rubble of his castle, staring blankly up at the sky. His earlier panic was gone, replaced with an odd sense of calm and acceptance. Also, he could feel a deep appreciation for everything he was seeing.

'The sky...' He thought to himself, staring at the white clouds drifting across a sea of blue, pink, and gold, undisturbed by the turmoil that was occurring below them. 'I never stopped to realize...how beautiful it is...' A pleasant breeze ruffled his hair and his smile widened. 'Maybe...when I die...that's what I'll become. Wind. Air. Sky.' It was a comforting thought. 'Or maybe, I'll simply dissolve into the earth with my body. Nourish the trees, flowers, and animals that will come here after I am gone.' That was another nice idea. 'Maybe I'll just disappear, cease to exist. No trace of who I was will remain.' This thought was slightly disturbing, but Van Kleiss quickly warmed up to the idea. After all, he reasoned, he wouldn't be likely to care about it once he vanished. Maybe not existing at all would be the best thing. He'd never have to feel regret or longing. He'd never have to feel anything anymore.

'What will come will come.' He decided, closing his eyes, waiting for the end. It was coming rapidly, he knew. With each passing second, he felt his strength bleeding out of him, like his life's blood from a gaping wound. The only difference was that he felt no pain, just a sense of...decay.

In his morbid musings, Van Kleiss completely forgot one important fact: He wasn't alone.

…...

A few yards away, a snowy white form was breaking through the rubble. It was a dog, a Husky to be specific. His amber eyes glinted as he looked around. He opened his mouth to call out to his master, but all that came out was a loud "WOOF!". The dog froze, his eyes widening with realization. Slowly, he looked down at his pearly paws. He wasn't a powerful mechanical wolf anymore. His claws, which had been able to cut through metal, now clicked lightly on the ground as he padded forward. He let out a whine of anguish which he quickly cut off. This was no time to be feeling self-pity! He needed to find his master! He needed to find his comrades!

He sniffed the air. At least his sense of smell was as good as ever. Yes! He could smell his master! Ears perked forward, the dog bounded over the rubble and toward Van Kleiss. Then, he stopped as another scent came to him. He hesitated for a moment before making a path toward this new, familiar smell.

At the same time, much further away, a pale hand was sticking out of a pile of fallen wood. It twitched weakly every now and then, showing that the owner was still alive. A soft, muffled noise pierced the air as a girl's voice called for help. She couldn't make portals anymore. She was completely helpless. She was terrified.

To her immense relief, she could feel her burden lifting. Someone was digging her out. A warm hand clasped around her wrist and pulled her into the sunlight. She looked up and blinked in confusion. The person that was holding her was one that she didn't recognize. He was about her age with messy brown hair, bright blue eyes, and a pair of shattered glasses perched crookedly on his nose. He was wearing a ratty white shirt and even more tattered jeans. His feet were sticking out of his destroyed tennis shoes. "Breach!" He whispered, pushing her hair out of her face. "Are you okay?"

The voice was very raspy from dehydration and stress. This was what gave the boy's identity away. Breach's eyes widened with recognition. "Skalamander!"

Skalamander's face broke into a lopsided grin. "Thank goodness! I was starting to think that I was the only one to survive." He stood and helped her up.

"What about Biowulf and Van Kleiss?" Breach looked around, trying to gain her bearings.

Skalamander shrugged and looked around. "Not sure. Maybe-"

"WOOF! WOOF!"

The two teens turned around to see a large, white Husky staring at them. The dog growled impatiently and started to run off, looking over his shoulder.

"A dog?" Skalamander tilted his head in confusion.

Breach stared at the shaggy white fur, realizing who it was. "It's Biowulf!" She immediately rushed after the dog's retreating figure.

…...

Van Kleiss groaned quietly as something warm and wet ran across his cheek, pulling him out of the blissful state of nothing that he had fallen into. He tried to lift a hand to push the source away, but found that none of his limbs wanted to obey him. Slowly, he opened his eyes and found himself staring into a the face of a dog. He narrowed his eyes for a moment. "Biowulf?"

Biowulf let out a joyful bark, pleased that his master had been so quick to recognize him. He curled up next to Van Kleiss and rested his head on his chest, whining softly. The scent of death was strong in the air. He knew that his master's time was short. Like any true dog, he would stay by his side until that time came.

Van Kleiss summoned as much strength as was present in his arm and lifted it so that he could rest his hand on Biowulf's back. "Thank you, Biowulf." He could hear more feet running toward him.

"Master!" A hoarse young man's voice shouted. Skalamander. A hand gripped his shoulder. "What's happening to you? It's like you're...fading."

It was true. Already, Skalamander could map out the veins on Van Kleiss's face and see the bulge of the bones underneath. His master's red eyes were now a dull shade of brownish gray.

Van Kleiss felt someone move around behind him. His head was lifted up slightly so that it was cradled in someone's lap. He looked upward to see Breach's yellow-green eyes. He could feel a smile coming to his face. "Hello, Breach." His voice had become a mere raspy whisper.

Breach rested a gentle hand on Van Kleiss's withering cheek and forced a smile, fighting back tears. She didn't bother asking if he would be okay. She knew the truth. "Does it hurt, Master?" She murmured in a broken voice.

Van Kleiss closed his eyes and breathed a deflating sigh. "No...it doesn't hurt." He took another labored breath. "In fact...I have never felt so...peaceful..." He breathed out. "Thank you...all of you...for staying..." His voice broke and he couldn't finish the sentence. A single tear trickled down his transparent cheek, but was quickly brushed away by Breach.

"Why wouldn't we, Master?" Skalamander muttered, wiping his nose on his shirt sleeve. "I mean...you took us in when no one else would. You gave us a purpose. You gave us a reason to live. It's the least we can do."

Biowulf let out a low growl of agreement, lifting his head so that he was looking at his master's face once more, even though the sight of this weakened skeleton made him want to weep.

Breach sniffed, tears streaming freely down her face by this point. "What will we do without you, Master?"

That helpless statement made with a child's voice sent a stab of guilt through Van Kleiss's heart. 'I shouldn't be abandoning them like this...' He opened his eyes. 'But then...I have no choice...' "Live." He rasped weakly. He leaned his head back against Breach and managed to get his fingers to twitch slightly, a weak attempt at scratching Biowulf's back. He felt Skalamander grasp his shoulder once more and smiled at him. He could feel the last few trickles of life leaving him and seeping into the earth. His eyes remained open, taking in his last sight: the sky. His next destination, hopefully. A final breath left his body. His limbs turned to lead. He never moved again.

At that moment, the silence of the coming night was broken by the sound of two teenagers sobbing. That sound was soon overwhelmed, however, by a heart-shattering, anguished howl.

The sad thing is that I see Van Kleiss dying a tragic death in the future. He just reminds me so much of Snape from Harry Potter! I mean, I hated both of them at first but then grew to love them. And both had a thing for the main character's mother (Ya'll SAW Van Kleiss smile when he mentioned Rex's mother! That was a SIGN! MOA likes to make things OBVIOUS!) And I'm sure that his death will keep with that theme... *breaks out a box of tissues* Please review, but don't flame. Flames burn Gatlocke, the Pedo Pirate. I need to get off this depressing train and write something fluffy now... Peace out! ^_^