Mami's body had never felt so light before. Her skirts swirled about her in a haze of fabric, her blonde curls fluttering, as she felled her enemies one after another. There were so many of them- but the blinding haze of bullets that surrounded Mami was more than enough for those monsters.

When they were hit they didn't get back up again.

The hideous little patchwork creatures, their bodies crafted from alien geometry that shouldn't have existed (had no right to exist) in the real world, were torn asunder before her; heads and arms and legs tearing off bodies, but they left no blood.

They left no sign they had ever been alive at all.

Mami felt a little sorry for those writhing creatures. She knew they didn't have thoughts or feelings. They didn't have any impulses other than a base desire to kill. They didn't flinch when the bodies of their comrades were ridden with bullets; instead, they crawled over the corpses and kept on going. They didn't care about each other. They didn't care about themselves, either.

That was why they were so dangerous.

And that was why Mami didn't feel quite so horrible for destroying them after all. They were living creatures, true- but they didn't seem to possess any emotions. They were empty shells, animated solely through a desire to hurt and maim and keep on killing. They were puppets, marionettes, robots. They weren't human.

Their eyes were always blank and dead.

Mami thought if those creatures could feel emotion- if they could speak beyond nightmarish gabbling of backwards words and scrambled sentences- then they would have all killed themselves long before they tried to kill any others.

If those creatures knew how revolting and loathsome and incredibly pitiable they were they would have cried. They couldn't cry, of course (did they even have tear ducts?)- but sometimes, Mami felt a little bit like crying for them; even as she tore them apart like tissue paper and the stack of dead bodies grew higher and higher.

Those creatures couldn't ask for help.

They couldn't talk- and the ones that could talk, Mami couldn't understand. Their voices would forever go unheard.

There was no point in being alive if you were cold and dead inside. There was no point in living solely to kill. There was no point in anything if you couldn't hope; and the eyes of those monsters were so dead sometimes Mami wondered whether her bullets even made a difference.

Perhaps they were dead already.

Perhaps those monsters preyed on humans deliberately so Puella Magi could find and kill them. They couldn't talk, true, but maybe they'd been crying for help all the while? Maybe they existed in their dark little realm cut off from the rest of the world, waiting- just waiting- for somebody to come and finally destroy them.

Sometimes, as Mami danced through waves of shadowy familiars, Mami thought humans weren't the only people she was saving.

She was saving those poor, lost, empty creatures who couldn't think or feel or dream or hope. She was saving them from themselves.

And maybe, one day, they would thank her.

But for now, all Mami could do was keep on killing- and keep on praying she was right.

She was doing a good thing.

She was.

Wasn't she?