After-credits are practically expected these days, as are inevitable sequels used to set up wider universes over time.
Don't blame me, blame Marvel!
That being said, sometimes an after-credit scene or twelve can help soften the blow of a rather abrupt ending, right?
Events unfold including but not limited to:
Nuh uh, you'll have to read and find out!
Okay, okay.. Jeez..
So there's this bit where at least one person reads this part before chapter [5.11] and gets horribly confused in the comments.
You KNOW you want to scroll down and see if I'm right now, don't ya? :)
"Yeah, no kidding, magical overload hurts like a bitch. Give it an hour or two and you'll be feeling better I'm sure"
What? Where am I..
What am I..
Wh-Why? I’m.. I’m..
"You most certainly are little sister. Congratulations, you’re influence is spreading at last, we've all been waiting to meet you again with bated breath I assure you!"
"I'm.. I'm Alive?"
"Yup, have fun with that by the way. It's been good catching up 'Lady Death' but I've got to get back to work, the universe doesn't run itself ya know?"
Slowly I rolled over with a pained grunt to stare up at the dark cloudy sky above me in confusion.
Wasn’t it day time a minute ago?.. or was it night time?..
I can’t tell, my head hurts too much to think at the moment.
My eyes trailed down from the cloudy sky to focus on the flattened slab of sold black stone I’m apparently laying on, only just being able to catch a glimpse of a strangely tall, overly hairy man standing above me as he turned away almost lazily.
"Who.. are you?"
He laughed, a warm, deep, lovely laugh that lifted my spirits despite my confusion and pain.
"When the time is right, you'll know little sister.. for now I have work to do and you have a mortal mate to comfort.. have fun with that too, of course."
Without another word he just seemed to fade out of existence before my eyes until all that was left were a few wisps of lingering dust that floated down to land across the otherwise pristine black stone mass beneath my numb body.
For a few long moments I tried to process everything that was happening but I quickly decided, with more than a little encouragement from my poor aching head, that if he'd even existed in the first place then he can wait for another bloody day to be dealt with!
Slowly as the seconds ticked by my foggy mind started to become hazy on the details of his face, eventually even those faded until I could draw nothing but a complete blank about him and his existence in general, as if he were just a dream and just as easily forgotten as any other daydream tends to be.
The sound of running feet and a frantic skid greeted me, followed closely by an almost silent cry of 'Holy shit!' before more frantic footsteps brought the worried face of my best friend into view at long last.
It took a few attempts before my lips decided to cooperate, by which time he’d already reached my side and wrapped those warm, warm arms of his around me in a vice like hug as almost painful waves of worried, scared and yet joyful magic poured out of him, seeping into my skin like the most refreshing of summer rainstorms.
His eyes cut around me in horror for some reason before coming back to focus on me at Last.
"..You’re real?.. right?.. not a fake-stupid John.."
The words tumbled past my lips but I didn’t regret them when a smile that could only be equalled by the warmth of his arms quickly lit up his whole face because of them.
Those strong, warm hands cupped underneath me and I found myself being lifted high into the air suddenly, hugged tight to his chest like I was the most precious of treasures he’d ever seen in his life.
Carefully he turned to start walking us back across the wide, completely flat black surface I’d been laying on which, on closer inspection, appears to be some kind of obsidian if my eyes are to be trusted in the slightest at this point.
His eyes swivelled around with worry every few second which I found highly off-putting for some reason and, out of curiosity more than anything else, I shifted my head over to better glance around us this time.
At first the only thing that greeted my curious eyes was an edge to the obsidian flat-top, but as we kept moving on we crested that edge and were met by a deep trench where I think water used to be?
One that seemed to contain a sea of a completely different verity now as thousands of dried up, half petrified corpses lay stretched out as far as the eye could see inside it’s recessed depths.
My traitorous memory fished up barely recognisable or acknowledged faces that were, at the time, attached to unquestioningly ‘alive’ bodies in matching clothing to the corpses before me, dragging an upwell of guilt along with them which hit me so heavily that it was all I could do not to cry out in pain from the power of it and the accusations burning inside me from all of those cold dead eyes.
I killed them.. I killed them all.
I drained them dry to stop Arista’s plan in practically a suicide mission, but then somehow survived it anyway?
A horrified sob pushed itself out of me and with an almost frantic jerk, I twisted away from their cold eyes to stare blankly into John's nice warm chest instead.
His hands shifted a bit and he shushed me delicately while draping a blanket of his warm magic around me as best he could to drive away their angry stares at last.
I didn't acknowledge it outwardly but even in my guilty haze I had enough mind to reach out with my strangely muted feeling magic to pull the ‘blanket’ closer around myself for comfort.
I’m alive and I won.. but at what cost?
Why doesn’t it FEEL like I bloody won?!
I feel dirty inside, the residue of more than a thousand dead mages haunting me from the inside out!
It’s a stink that feels like I’ll never be able to get clean from!
How did Al deal with this?
This horrible clawing, nauseating guilt?!
Despite what I said, despite my actions and my thoughts at the time, I'm not a monster.
I'm just Hannah, I've just done something horrible to save the world for the first time in my incarnation’s lifetime and it doesn’t feel like a victory in the slightest!
No matter.. no matter what happens now, I have to accept that about myself.
I have to accept it and the fact that whatever innocence I have left in me is now forever tainted by this.. this gnawing guilt that HURTS so damn much!
No matter the reason. I just murdered a LOT of people.. in revenge?.. of all things I did it for revenge and hatred, and to give all my suffering meaning at last.
Words are pretty but facts are facts.
Al would be so disappointed in me for this.
Maybe Pastor Roberts was right all those years ago after all?
Alice is bad.. Alice has always been bad and she just proved it!
"..Alice is bad.."
I rolled in John’s arms slightly so my eyes could trail along the practically mummified trail of bodies piled up around us again, memorising each one as best I could to burn them into my memory for all time.. my punishment for what I’ve done..
"Huh? You say something Han?”
Part of me wanted to smile at his obliviousness but a much larger part of me just wanted to curl into a ball and cry instead.. so that's what I did..
John walked, I cried and the world kept turning until finally I gave in to the exhaustion I could feel crashing in around me at long last by falling into a fitful sleep filled with accusingly blank eyes and the fearful cries of my ‘victims’.
A mantra formed up, echoed by those same wailing voices in my head to the point of utter madness.
‘Alice is bad’
‘Alice is bad’
‘Alice. is. Bad!’
“Han? Where are you going?”
I smiled at him as best I could, trying to keep my nerves and the tremble in my hands as hidden as possible.
“I’m just going to bed John, don’t worry.”
For a long moment he inspected my face, it took everything I had to not crack and start crying again under his scrutiny.
“I’m tired that’s all. We can sort everything out in the morning, okay? I’m glad Sarah’s going to be okay and Eris too but I just need to rest now.”
I need some alone time.
If I didn’t know full well that he’d stop me I’d have warped out to one of my boltholes the moment my head started to clear honesty..
I really AM glad to hear that Sarah’s okay, but I can’t face her right now.
I can’t face anyone.
I just want to be alone, I j-just need to be alone!
It all got too much for me, with that one simple word, my name of all things, he broke me.
It was said with all the care and worry he could muster tucked tightly behind it and a ragged breath left me again as I turned to run away from him before I could just collapse into him like the useless puddle of guilt that I feel like right about now.
He was too slow to catch me for once.
With barely a few steps I was through the doorway into my realm at last.
The world inside our elevator seemed to brighten to greet me for a moment but before anything else could go wrong or John could catch me the magic of this realm, my magic, surged up to form a rift in the air just like the ones I learnt to create in my mindscape while fighting Arista and I sprinted into it as it snapped shut tightly behind me.
I just want to be alone!
That’s all, just alone for a while so I can lick my wounds and avoid having to face S-Sarah or anything else that I’ve got coming as a result of the last few days.
I need to work.. I need to focus on something that isn’t messed up beyond all reasoning like my bloody LIFE is right now, is that so much to ask?!
Another rift opened up before me, leading into a wide room set up like a rather large workshop that I’m pretty sure didn’t exist until a moment ago.
It didn’t matter though, I sprinted through the opening anyway and the moment it snapped shut behind me I let out a heavy sigh before sinking to the floor and curling up into a tight ball so I could cry or sleep or.. or ANYTHING, just something other than the guilt that just won’t leave me ALONE!
‘Alice was bad’
Door’s shut, no sound from outside.. I think I’m clear..
Like a nervous little rodent I sprinted out of the rift that had formed between the void that holds my workshop and one of the lesser used food storage areas of my realm.
John’s obviously found a new way to track me faster because the last two times I went on a food run he’s popped up far too quickly for my liking.
I tried to make a bracelet that hid my magical signature completely but he still bloody found me so I’ve got no choice but to be quick about things sadly.
With a grunt I snatched up a bag of potatoes to toss into the rift followed closely by a chunk of magically preserved meat.
That should keep me going for another week or so at least!
Maybe two if I stretch it out a bit an-
The door to the storage room crashed open as a panting John burst through it at full sprint.
I barely had time to dive through the rift and have it snap closed at me heels before he would have actually gotten within grabbing range this time.
“It’s getting bloody dangerous, I need to find a better solution for this.. maybe I can find a way to create food from nothing? Sure, it won’t have much nutritional content but it’s better than.. well, nothing?.. at least.”
Ari’s continued silence and the strange feeling of my stupid broken core pulsing in tandem with what I can only imagine is my now fully ‘activated’ Locus Point, was truly maddening for the second or two that I allowed myself to pay them any attention, luckily that didn’t last long and with a grunt from me the potato sack with accompanying meat slab floated into the air from the ambient magic of my realm alone, to follow behind me slowly as I made my way back towards my lab.
“..Stupid persistent John..”
My stomach rumbled loudly again, followed quickly by a tight hunger pang that I’ve come to realise is an indicator that I forgot to eat again, AND that I’m a few days off from my next joyful visit from Mother Nature.
Slowly I set the pocket wardstone I’ve been working on aside and lay my head down on the desk.
I didn’t get much sleep last night, or the night before.. week?.. month maybe?
John’s got this whole tracking thing down by now.
I can barely open a rift at all anymore before he comes flying in out of nowhere to try and bloody grab me!
“What do you think little guy? Think it’s worth trying?”
My roommate ‘stared’ blankly back at me for a moment or two before snapping his mouth a few times to flash his teeth in that strange way that I’m starting to find at least somewhat ‘cute’ as time goes on.
“You’re right. Everything’s worth a try, no progress without risk, huh?”
Slowly I rose my hand up and as my magic rolled excitedly around the room a rift about the size of my palm formed up at just the right height for me to quickly shove my fist through.
I’d barely gotten my wrist past the opening before my hand came into contact with something hard and someone let off a startled yelp of pain in response, frantically I spread my fingers out and grabbed the first thing I could feel before yanking my arm back out and letting the rift close once more.
“SCORE! Fresh cooked chicken leg, come to Mommy!”
My roommate flapped his awkwardly wide ‘tongue’ out at me hungrily but I was already two bites into the drumstick and there’s no bloody WAY I’m sharing!
It’s not like he really needs to eat or anything anyway, stupid greedy little bastard!
“Hunger problem solved, now if I could only work out these thrust calculations at last, finish the dagger prototype and find some permanent solution to stop this stupid body from bleeding so badly every month I’ll be golden.”
Meat finally gone to the great abyss of my grateful stomach I paused with the bone to stare at my dopy looking roommate with his surprisingly expressive ‘face’ turned towards me pleadingly.
Finally after a long pause to consider him I waved the bone back and forth a few times before tossing it over to him so he could snatch it out of the air.
The bone disappeared quickly and his mouth finally stayed shut for once as he got to work digesting it; that should keep him busy for a day or two at least!
“I really should get around to naming you, shouldn’t I?”
He ignored me, much more focused on what little meat remained on his bone then my voice, not that I can blame him really, I’m not even sure if he understands me or not honestly?
“How about Darren?.. hmm, no, you don’t look like a Darren on second thought.. how about-”
And, cut! Roll credits!
Executive Producer... Nessa M
Screenplay by... Nessa M
Fact checking and location information by... G Oogle
Script Supervisor... Licorice
English Translation by... Anam Chara
Alternative language Translation by... G Oogle
Theme tune by... Y Outube
Best boy... John (as if he’d let anyone else claim it)
Dolly Grip... Eris (she won’t let go!)
Boom! Operator... WHO GAVE SARAH EXPLOSIVES?!
Graphics designer... *Placeholder*
Breakdown Artist... Hannah (*sigh* too easy..)
Key Hair Stylist... The other Sarah from the salon, I guess?
In loving memory of:
The thousands of extra’s that died during filming for the final act due to an unfortunate miscalculation on just how well magic works in the real world, because we forgot to hire a special effects guy.
In smug memory of:
Arista, may her core fragment disintegrate over a septic tank of some description for all eternity.
Special thanks to:
All of the readers who got this far! :3
See you all in the sequel!
If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudos!
Click the Thumbs Up! button below to leave the author a kudos:
And please, remember to comment, too! Thanks.