|Dark Mirrors: Epilogue|
|What: Now that the biggest tears are taken care of, Illyana finishes healing the walls between reality in Limbo. But not before someone has some parting words of wisdom.|
At the very peak of the Darkchilde’s citadel is a room. Circular, it measures a good thirty feet across and instead of walls there are only columns and peaked, Gothic arches that hold up the dome above. Every inch of the floor and pillars and ceiling are inscribed with symbols and glyphs. Magical writing inlaid with silver metal. Promethium, blood from the animal heart that beats in the very deepest of her dungeons.
A stepping disk opens, it’s edges still slightly frayed and ragged from the press of other realities upon this one, for while the three strongest have been closed the small tears must still be dealt with. As the disk falls to the floor, it leaves in its wake the horned and hooved Darkchilde, eyes burning white with power and Soulsword in-hand. As hooves touch the center of the room, eldritch fire catches in the lines of silver, spreading outwards, and then upwards.
“I know you’re there.” The Darkchilde says, turning to look towards one of the pillars and after a moment the red-skinned demon-Scott steps around and into view. He doesn’t cross the writing though, staying just beyond the edge. “You should be back in your reality, since I’m about to slam the doors shut.” She points out, before quirks a brow upwards. “Or has your master decided to challenge me after all?”
The demon-Scott’s wings stretch a moment, and then fold down against his back. “No, as soon as I return, he will close that rift and we will never see each other again. But before I go… It’s easy to think of those you have seen as wild imaginings and dismiss them. But from reality to reality, we are made up of the same pieces though some are larger in one place than they are in another. The bright, shining goodness that I see in our Illyana, I can see echoes of in you. But by that same token the ruthlessness of my Dark Lord, who would damn the souls of his friends for one small child… Your brother has bits of that in him as well.” He pauses for a moment. “I think that you see that as well. So remember these dark reflections that have been seen of those you know, and realize perhaps you do not know them as well as you think.”
A frown makes a thin, hard line of the Darkchilde’s mouth, but she doesn’t argue the advice given. “A last suggestion.” The red-skinned one says. “My Lord’s suggestion about replacing your servant, S’ym, is a wise one. You must hold Limbo and guard against the Elder Gods, but without someone you truly trust at your right hand you will fall.”
“I can’t trust a demon!” Illyana says with a bitter laugh.
“Not a full demon, no.” The demon-Scott agrees. “Your brother will volunteer, but you must not let him. It is a dark path, and you will each try too hard to save the other, sacrificing until all is lost. “ There is a long pause. “I only ask that whoever you place at your right hand takes up that burden willingly.” There is the taint of bitterness to the words, speaking of matters that hit too close to home. Winds spread and stretch again, “I wish you good fortune, Illyana Nikolievna Rasputina.” And then he drops backwards, falling into space until his wings catch the hot, Limbo winds and he flies into the distance.
Illyana stands there, watching him leave for a long moment. Then she bows her head for a moment to center herself and shakes off thoughts and worries. She has work to do. Words that no human tongue was meant to speak starts to roll off of her tongue, Limbo itself going still and quiet, like it’s holding its breath. The eldritch fire burns bright, flames clawing upwards until the light from that room spills down over the citadel like liquid, rolling over the parched land until it finds those rifts between realities and slowly knits them closed.
It’s hours before Illyana’s chanting stops, her voice gone hoarse and when the fires flicker and die down the young woman herself slowly collapses towards the floor, the Soulsword slipping from her fingers as its flames too die down like banked embers. Just before she hits the ground, eyes rolling up into her head a stepping disk opens at her feet and she’s gone.
A hulking figure steps into the room, purple skin and a single horn, a cigar caught between his teeth. He lifts one massive paw of a hand and between thumb and forefinger is a crystal, much as the ones Illyana and her friends had to seek out.
“Darkchilde thinks she’s won, eh?” Thin lips pull back into an evil smile. “S’ym got what he wanted.” His hand closes around the crystal and he tucks it away, out of sight as he turns away and heads back down the stairs to the citadel proper. “One day soon Darkchilde… We’ll play again. Just like old times.”