In The End: We Dare Not Go A Hunting
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Site 19


"It's not supposed to be this way."

The girl crossed her arms, staring at the figure in the bed. She was talking, but not to any of the doctors who moved back and forth from their machinery to the figure beneath the sheets. They just ignored her, to their loss. Not because they were rude men who would have ignored a little girl's opinion, which they were, but because, to them, she didn't exist. She preferred it that way. Nor was she talking to herself, as it might seem. And the creature strapped to the bed had never responded to anyone. She turned her head, looking at the large teddy bear clutched by the recumbent figure. "Why isn't she awake?"

Most people would think she was a little crazy, talking to a stuffed animal. Most people would have been shocked when the toy talked back. She clearly wasn't most people. The little fuzzy head turned to stare her down, those glass eyes staring blankly. "She's never been awake. Why, is she important?" It questioned her.

"Well, duh." The girl tossed her hair back over her shoulder, glaring at the little beast. "Why else do you think I put you with her?"

"I just thought you were pissed at me." It spoke, because why not, with a thick Russian accent. It won't be typed that way, mostly because that gets annoying to read. "This is the most boring job, EVER."

"Please. If I was pissed at you, I would do something much worse."

"Really? You mean, you don't have a problem with how I was helping that Ja-" The Bear stops, as her gaze focuses back on it. Without needing to breathe, he still gulps at the look in her eyes. "I uh, I mean… "

"It's over." She waves it off, although her focused gaze shows she did not want to be reminded. "You work for me now. Has there been any change?"

The bear pries itself away from the form beside it, carefully setting the arm back where it was. It stretches, and twists, before looking at its mistress again. "None, ma'am. Well, none in her. The docs seem awful worried about something. They're trying to pack up." The bear absently waves a paw in front of a doctor as he bends to take a blood sample, but is ignored just as routinely as the girl.

She drifts closer to the shape on the bed. One hand reaches out to touch the too long, too thin limb. "While of course they're worried. The end is coming, and they want to make sure the bed is made before the House burns down… She looks so familiar…" The girl frowns down at the grey skinned face, trying to place it.

"Well, she is related to-"

"No, not that. There's something, in my mind somewhere-" Her eyes light up. While in most people, this would just mean they seemed to light up, her particular flair for the dramatic means an actual golden glow springs to her pupils… then quickly dims, because, ow, bright. "Of course. Back there. Behind… Yes. Yes, that could work."

"Hey now!" The Bear held up both paws, a worried look on its sewn on expression. "You're not going to go and do something dangerous, are you? Cause, I kinda like being alive."

She didn't even bother to acknowledge that. Instead, she took a jump to the left, a step to the right, and twisted reality 180 degrees to walk Behind The Scenes.


Behind the Scenes


She stood there, in the nexus of worlds and time, watching reality flow through around her. In her head, it was like she was standing on a catwalk, high above a stage, with streams of flashing lights and pictures pouring past her, as the catwalk slowly shifted up, down, left and right, showing her places and times that had been, were to be and never even existed. The reality of the place she called 'Behind the Scenes' was exactly as she envisioned it, except without the stage, the catwalk, the streams, or any of the necessary sense base cues humans seemed to depend on.

"It's here." She muttered to herself, strolling down the shaky metal frame at a rather quick pace. She paused to watch a battalion of butterflies wheel across a deserted sky, then took a moment to examine a scene where two rival armies of germs fought for control of a body. The teensy tiny rapiers were an adorable touch, but she found herself reaching out and eradicating the time stream they came from when they wheeled out the microbial cannons.

"It has to be here!" An effort of will refined her searches, less random, more directed- Which of course held to its own problems. The scenes and times ran together, bland men and women in white coats, performing bland experiments on objects that cause the streams of Realities to ripple around them as they tried to spin off alternate timelines where they could escape.

She sought further back, as the budgets shrank, and the rooms got smaller, looking for the one thing that would work, the one item that would… Yes. There. Of course. Right at the beginning. How could she have been so blind? They had been removed, almost completely, but stories always lived on, and if you can trace the stories to just the right moment-


NOWHERE


When?

Now.

Them?

Yes.

Do they know what they work for?

Does it matter? They feed It. They must be removed.

We could talk to them. Show them-

No. We will destroy them, root and branch. It is the only way.

The Queen would not approve.

The Queen is going beyond, her body is dying, because of their intrusions. We will kill them al-

"Okay, I was going to wait for a minute, jump in somewhere useful, but it's really complicated to tell which of you are talking, or even how many of you there are, so I'll just talk here, okay?" The girl was the only solid thing in NOWHERE. The other, beings? Creatures? Intelligences, yes, that will work, they swarmed amongst each other, beings of pure thought and idea. In the mortal realm they took forms, wield corporeal ideas as weapons of pure destructive force, but here they avoided it completey.

Intruders!

Two of them!

Seeking to force form on the formless! Remove them!

The girl looked around, unable to see a second intruder. She held up her hands in supplication-

Stop the former! Make it end! This is our place!

"Look! I have help for you! Your queen is dying, and you will soon as well!" She stood very still, hoping that a lack of action would help keep them from getting even more upset.

We do not need your help. We will destroy the feeders of the anti idea, and they shall be nothing but a memory.

We will win, as we always have.

"You won't!" She shouted, to make herself heard. Even to someone to whom reality was a mere passing thought, the lack of definition these things had was more than a little bit disturbing. And I don't like the way they're eying me, either. "They will make an alliance with the Enemy! You will be destroyed! Never have been! But I can help!"

How?

"They will erase you. But, if one of you were outside of time, with me, you could follow her back, when I plugged her back in."

And why would you do this?

"I believe in happy endings."


Behind the Scenes


The girl hurried back into the safety of the space between spaces, shuddering slightly. She had felt pieces of herself sloughing off into that featureless void every moment she spent there. It had felt like any movement any act that would need description was a violation of that sacred space. I didn't like it much either, but that's because it was far too meta for me.

Trailing with her was the bare wisp of an idea. The mind of the Queen, a brittle husk of what she had once been, her body ravaged by the forces of reality until she could no longer bear it. Her mind was still as sharp as ever. The girl had had to make certain promises, say certain oaths, bind herself in very specific ways before the Queen would consent… But all that had been done in retcon, after she had exited the place, so as to do no further harm to the Queens people.

She turned and watched the timeline behind her. One moment, the people riding out, ready to destroy, wiping out all in their path, and then, in a small dark room, a deal is made, and the people are gone, never having been in the first place. A tear falls down her cheek, but whether it is hers or the Queens is unknown. "Don't worry. Your new body will show them."


Somewhere on Route 66


"Ya know what we're hauling?" Special Agent Bradley Jones asked of his compatriot, Doctor Neil Hoern, again.

"It's a safe class. That's all you're cleared to know." The doctor replied, for what felt like the fiftieth time, but was really only the 12th.. He glanced over his shoulder at the trailer they were hauling, as if he could see through the metal to their precious cargo. "You really have to stop asking. If I tell you, I get in trou-" At which point the equipment in front of him that monitored the status of the creature flipped the fuck out, beeping, booping, and in general indicating that something was going wrong. "Fuck! Fuck! Pull over, pull the fuck-"

The entire vehicle flipped onto its side, skidding down the highway. Bradley was thrown out the side window to come to rest in a pile of cactus, his dead eyes staring off into space blindly. Neil was luckier. He remained conscious as the cap disconnected from the trailer and flipped end over end, to land grill first on the pavement. He had a beautiful view of the overturned trailer as a blade of liquid light cut through the side and the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen, her proportions stretched to fit a 15 foot form, yet still glorious. Her skin was light grey, her hair white where it showed under her helmet. She was dressed in armor of golden glorious light, and she was clearly not happy.

The Queen took stock of herself. She stretched, both physically and mentally, firmly rooting herself in this new body. Then she reached out across the years and universes, to where her people had been waiting since they had been erased from reality. Which one swift slash of her awesome blade, she cut a hole in the walls of time and space, linking here and now with then and there.

As the people bled out of the hole in everything, they took form, drawing on the ideas of Humanity to make themselves real once more. Weapons beyond description, armor beyond belief, steeds a mixture of both. And their bodies! In the time they had been gone, humanity had fallen in love with them again, and they had a plethora of shapes to choose from.

The Queen of Light and Air leaped into the saddle of a beast part dragon, part rocket ship, and raised her mighty saber high. She looked at he assembled legion, and smiled.

"We ride!" She called, and out they rid, up the airy mountain and down the rushy glen, a force for change unleashed in the world of men.

A little girl watched them go, a ragged teddy bear in her arms. She smiled, hoping it would be enough, hoping it would count. As the last of them rode off, she couldn't help but speak, mostly to herself.

"I believe in faeries."

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