The Next Gen Tower, Talos Island, Paragon City
“This better be about the end of the world or you’ll be in so much trouble!”
Grim Ichor remembered her words to her girlfriend a few months ago once she had finally emerged from her sanctum.
Note to self: Do not call out Taylor about the end of the world. She takes everything way too literal.
Kat stood on the edge of the Tower’s roof with Tania and Drake, watching over Paragon on the eve of it’s destruction. The sky darkened above them but it was the not the sunset of their home city that blackened out their view of the sun. The massive form of the Infinity, the ark build by Next Gen to evacuate this dimension before it collapses floated above them, the hum of the massive antigrav pulse engines loud and desperate as they struggled to keep the ship in the air. It would not be able to float like this for more than a few hours. On the other hand that was more time than earth had left. It truly had been about the end of the world. Apparently Grim had just been lucky enough to be with the only blood mage who found out the true meaning behind the end of the Mayan calendar. Galaxyan had brought them the same Grim news only hours later. Reality was unraveling. Why they didn’t know but it wasn’t entirely unlikely Next Gen’s massive manipulation of the time stream wasn’t to blame. It might be their own fault the world was about to end and yet there was nothing they could do to save it.
“Galaxyan is on board, preparing the quantum drive you salvaged from the Arc, who knew that evil fortress would be good for something after all?” Tania stretched her neck, looking over the massive form of the Infinity. It still looked like patchwork, half-finished, barely able to fly at all. Still it looked better than the Tower. Next Gen’s home had been stripped of all parts that could be used to build the dimensional ship including the out armor. It now rose to the skies like a skeletal monument to their destroyed home. And even that would cease to exist before the day was over. “And Lightnyng is helping the evacuation at Portal Headquarters so it’s just us to say goodbye. Just as well he wouldn’t care for it and she would just yell at me for some crap she imagines.” Grim spun and looked at her friend as she stretched her shoulders. Tania’s eyes burned with cyan fire that she usually tried to hold back and she looked more relaxed than Grim had ever seen and suddenly she realized way. “You’re not leaving. You’re staying here. To die. Why?! Don’t tell me you believe that crap about your powers being the catalyst! And even if, we can freeze you till we know a way to fix it all.” Tania just gave her a sad smile that looked way too tired for someone so young and shook her head. “I will try to stop it Grim. I have the fire that burns reality, if anything can control what’s coming it is me.” Kat barely held herself back from shaking her friend as she stared trembling “You don’t believe that. But sure alright. Let’s fight then. I’ll stay too. We’ll kick this end of the world so hard its not gonna sit for the next millennia. I’m not letting you do a suicide mission alone. You’ll come with us or I’ll stay with you here. We don’t even know Taylor’s crazy ass ritual to move the whole blood dimension with me can work. ” Tania gave her another sad smile and turned her head up as the Infinity passed over them. “All this.. this is just too much. I already left one world for a new life. I don’t have another in me. And this wasn’t so bad, we did good here right?” She turned to Kat, looking almost desperate in her question looking for any validation that her existence had been anything but a waste. Drake stood strangely silent, his scarred and chiseled face locked in a grim scowl. The fact he didn’t try to argue with Tania clearly told Kat they’d had this argument already. “It will work Kat. You’ll make it work. Life is what you’re all about. You’ll survive and they all still need you.” Tania reached out, almost touching her friend’s cheek, but stopping, even now too disturbed to actually touch another human being. “I’ve been dead since they took me to the camps Kat. I’m no one, just Dayrunner, just the job and the power. But you’re not. You just forget about it sometimes. You’re still Kat you just try to be Grim Ichor way too hard all the time ‘cause you think you have to. Kat is my only friend. Don’t lose her to the power and the voices.” Tania turned away. Anyone else might have tried to hide tears but they would have burned in the fire of her eyes long before anyone could see them.
Grim frowned and nodded. “You’re right. And because no one else will its your damn friend who’ll stop this madness. I’m not letting you go, I’ll get Flamedancer to shut you down if I have to. We’re leaving and you’re coming with us!” She took a step forward and stumbled, suddenly feeling dizzy, the world spinning around her. Something caught her from behind, strong arms lifting her up. Tania didn’t turn to her again. “I knew you wouldn’t. But by the time you wake up again you’ll be in a pod like Keia is already.” The arms lifted her up and she barely managed to recognize the face of Triple Point before her sight faded, only voices left in the background now. “ Take her to Taylor Ben. She needs to do whatever mystic fuck she prepare to make sure Grim can survive the trip. Oh and make sure you get assigned way away from her Grim, she’s gonna be so pissed at us for this.” Grim was shaken as Triple wrapped his arm under her legs and lifted her up. At least he didn’t throw her over his shoulder.. “You got it love. And no offense but the blood lady is right. Orders are orders but if you stay here at least give them a hell of a fight. Ah right gonna lieave you two your moment.” She could feel him stiffen as he stood at attention for a moment. “Commander.” Grim felt herself carried away as she faded. She could only imagine the last words between Drake and Tania and maybe it was a good thing. The man whose adopted daughter had become so powerful he could not stop her from committing suicide now and the girl who could not even give him a hug for goodbyes. A pathetic better not witnessed by anyone so that imagination could make it better. The last thing she saw was blue fire, burning so bright it shone even through her closed eyes a streak racing upwards before everything turned black.