There had been a flash of light. Searing pain. A blazing sun bore down on her and the water she splashed in did nothing to help keep the rays off her. She flailed in the water for her hat but couldn't find it. This was not where she was expecting to be sent. Erzebet's bullets had opened up numerous holes in her clothes leaving room for the sunlight to hit her.
Where was she? It didn't matter where. What mattered was what going on and what was going on was that she was burning.
She ducked down under the water, covering her head with her hands, twisting around so her protected back was raised towards the sun's angry rays.
She needed cover first and foremost. Hob and Nob burbled in the water near her. She had no idea where her bloodboxes have gone. She swam down down down, down as far as she could go. Not enough, she thought. The UV Rays were weaker but not enough. She was having trouble thinking.
There! She saw it! Opportunity! There was some kind of shipwreck nearby and resting on the ocean floor--a treasure chest. Hob and Gob floated over and helped her tug it open.
She slid herself inside and slammed the lid shut.
Relief. Now all she had to do was wait for nightfall.
Until I got involved with the movement all I was DOING was remembering dead things. It was like my brain was a COFFIN, and now I can feel my blood pumping!!
She smiled, briefly... But with her wounds, with her burns, and with her being hungry...she closed her eyes and fell fast asleep in short order.
And she dreamed wordless dreams of sepia. Moments jumbled together, twisting through time...
Fire shot down from the skies, punching through tall buildings and blasting up plumes of dust and toxins into the air. Coughing, screaming soldiers rush by her, one seizes her arm and drags her along in an attempt to help. She is surprised and tis no time to smile, but she allows her arm to be seized and runs along with them.
Tis no heavy feat to be valorous during the end of the world.
She sees men, women, and Elw alike collapsing underneath waves of dust and smoke. Even though it is evening, even though her body was eternally cold...warmth blistered on her skin. Gunfire splatters across her body and that of several nearby soldiers and she tumbles backwards, the spell she was thinking of casting vanishing from her mind. The dying crash to the floor beside her. Black smoke wafts away from her body. Tis an unpleasant feeling. The howls of pain and panic surround her.
A shout calls for the reploids to move forward. A squad of machine people advance forward as Marivel pushes herself up to her feet but an Elw's hand presses down on her shoulder and says something to her. She feels her wounds subside, the howls cease as the men and women near her stand themselves back up. Marivel looks towards the Elw that helped her, a people distant like her own but here and now were as close allies as you could get.
There is an explosion from ride armor artillery. Reploids are sent flying back. The reprieve is over. One in blue armor lands near her, Marivel looks at her face. Her eyes widen faintly. The machine woman gets up, unafraid. She says something to her and keeps firing her pistol into the enemy. Marivel can't afford to stop her.
So this was war. All their adventures and they couldn't stop it.
The Elw shout present recognize the threat first. They shout out a warning and Marivel looks up.
Nuclear missiles. While they were fighting, the war had expanded. The bombs detonate and everyone--
The Crimson Noble shouts out her spell. The missiles undetonate and pull themselves back together, wounds are repaired, time rewinds. They pull back. Only a few short seconds were bought but they were enough.
The wolf reacts first, consuming missile after missile in inky blackness. The Crimson Noble smiles with hope and shouts their name. They vanish to try and catch more across the way. One of the missiles is left behind for her, their teamwork instinctive. Anastasia catches the armageddon weapon in a white aura shield that practically covers the whole field.
The fighting along the ground is simmering down. A few bursts of gunfire from the blue armored reploid is enough to send the foolish scattering. Most remain, even the enemy. All look to Anastasia. They cheer her bravery, they cheer her power, they cheer her justice. They claim she is invincible.
Marivel looks into her eyes. She sees terror and desperation. Raising a hand she opens a power and relieves Anastasia of that concern by banishing the weapon to hell.
The shield fades. Anastasia turns to smile at her...Is it over?
It's not over.
The Crimson Noble isn't sure what it is, but in a flash of light it is as if a sun entered the battlefield. Marivel shields her eyes, grimacing as the new adversary is shrouded in light and flame. Screams punctuate the battlefield.
The sun approaches Filgaia slowly but inevitably. Marivel feels her body burning. Smoke drifts off her limbs. Pain beyond pain fills her.
Anastasia dives and protects her body with her own. A white rippling barrier crackles around her and as many other people as she can manage. Marivel loses a few seconds of time when her eyes instinctively shut.
And when her eye opens again, she sees behind Anastasia the King of Darkness.
Marivel called him the King of Dorkness.
Dad. Mom too. Her people! All here! "Why...?" Marivel asks.
There is voice here, for this moment, as her father holds off the sun with darkness beyond darkness, everyone together pushing back inevitability. "As the supreme species we have a duty to protect this world."
"Now that duty is passed onto you. Tis your inheritance, our little hope."
Mother gestures with one hand and a mass teleportation spell shimmers underneath their feet. "No matter where you go," She tells her. "You'll never be alone, sweet demon."
Marivel shouts mother. She shouts father. But the last she sees of them is the darkness being pushed back by the light...
...and everything consumed. The darkness. Her people. Their souls.
Time passes in a blur. She doesn't drink. She doesn't eat. She doesn't even sleep. Time is strange. Time is jumbled. She remembers...
She remembers arguments.
She remembers karaoke.
She remembers joy.
She remembers reassurances.
She remembers little robots dancing around their creation's head.
She remembers microphones.
She remembers plans.
Time is strange.
The time comes.
The final battle begins.
The plan is in motion.
She sees herself and the woman she loves fighting an unstoppable enemy.
She remembers Desire at her side.
But when Marivel sneaks a glance behind her...
...all she can think about is how her mother was wrong.
They are alone.
Sounds like someone who has been hurt before...