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Misery Never Ends – The Alternate Ending

Written by Wizalex :: [Saturday, 15 April 2023 04:38] Last updated by :: [Saturday, 15 April 2023 13:19]

Misery Never Ends

Written by Wizalex with Max and 10K

The story that follows is an alternate timeline version of the main story, diverging from the end of Chapter 6. Mary has finally been reunited with Damien, but something is wrong.

Warning: this is not a happy ending. This is violent, graphic and gory. This is what happens when the misery never ends.

Chapter 7: Things Couldn’t Be Any Worse

Peace. Blissful, quiet contentment. Mary lay on top of Damien, drinking in his presence with her entire being, inhaling his scent, hearing his heartbeat, feeling the new, rippling muscles and scar tissue lining his body. She had considered fixing the scars for him, but before she even made the offer she realised that she didn’t actually want to. Both of them had been changed by their years apart; there was no sense in trying to deny it.

The fact that the scars were turning her on also factored into it.

Something was wrong though. For as long as Mary stroked Damien’s chest, held him tight or planted loving kisses on his body, Damien didn’t return a single gesture.

He never woke up.

He was breathing. Mary was sure of it. His body was alive, resurrected by Amelie’s spell.

So why wasn’t he waking up?

Mary’s heart filled with icy dread and the longer she lay atop Damien’s unresponsive body the worse it got. A tightness gripped her chest and she struggled to form coherent thoughts.

It took almost an hour for her to gather the courage to examine him more closely. Finally, Mary delved deep into Damien’s mind. She found the problem immediately. His soul had been torn apart, tormented past the limit of any living being, shredded into incomprehensible, irreparable pieces, broken beyond any hope of repair.

By her.

And she’d just wasted an hour being too scared to look at what she might have done.

An hour in which she might have been able to save him.

Breathing faster and heavier with every inhalation, Mary tried to collect her thoughts again. Her chest heaved far more dramatically than her outfit could withstand, splitting the seams at the front of her tactical vest and causing a gooey, slimy fluid to trickle from between her breasts.

Melanie’s liquefied form pooled on top of Damien’s chest.

Now Mary stopped breathing. She watched in horror as Melanie’s body and soul blended into a swirling mess of red and silver, spreading slowly across the scarred canvas of flesh. The person who had brought her comfort all these years, carelessly erased from existence by the murderous lust that Mary had felt when killing her one true love.

It was too much.

Shallow panting. Rapid breaths.

Mary’s fingers dove into the Melanie fluid, attempting to grip onto any of it, to help her, to restore her before it was too late. She had to try!

Damien’s ribs broke with a sharp crack as Mary’s nails tore through his chest.

She screamed, dragging her hand back out and ripping open Damien’s ribcage in the process. His still-beating heart, now exposed to the air, burst as the force of Mary’s panicked shriek filled the world around her. Damien’s blood splattered across Mary’s tattered outfit and semi-exposed body, mixing with the dribbles of Melanie-fluid leaking from the homicidal canyon between her breasts.

The impact of Mary’s scream didn’t end there though. The rage-filled blast of intensely powerful pressure scorched the air around her. Damien’s flesh burnt away from bones once more as Mary failed to contain her power. The last remains of Melanie plastered onto Damien’s skin evaporated away. Mary just didn’t have enough focus anymore to prevent the total annihilation of their bodies.

Steam rose from Mary’s cleavage.

Rapid panting. Heavier breaths. Mary choked as she inhaled the last fumes of Melanie’s body, gagging as she experienced the worst taste she could ever have imagined.

Then the scent of Damien’s charred, disintegrating corpse hit her properly.

A floodgate opened. All the horrendous scents of the world that Mary had been subconsciously blocking out simultaneously assaulted her senses. The acrid smoke from the crater of the former gang base. The metallic tang of the blood around her. Even her own coffee-laced breath.

She tried to stop breathing again, but her body wasn’t listening.

Every inhalation brought with it a new world of pain as her senses expanded. The cries of distant people, wailing in pain and begging for aid. The taste of poisonous smog filling the air, drifting across the planet and directly invading Mary’s senses. The blazing light of the Sun on her eyes, amplified to a catastrophic degree and searing itself into her brain.

Why wasn’t it ending!?

Mary’s hand balled into fists and dove at her eyes, trying to drive the hostile light away. She rubbed them back and forth in tight circles, pressing the spheroids deeper into their sockets as tears streamed from the corners of her eyes. Tears of grey in one case and tears of green in the other. When the pain finally ceased and Mary unclenched her fists, the colour of her irises had been drained away, leaving only inky blackness.

Her hands though. Her hands were still covered in the remains of the people she loved the most in the world. And she felt it now. Now that the other distractions had been silenced. Their macerated flesh was digging into her, piercing her invulnerable skin and bleaching her body with blood. Redness spread from her hands and crept up her arms. Mary clawed at her body in an attempt to scrape away the evidence of her crimes, but it just caused the blood to spread.

Her body shifted and suddenly her skin was bare.

Her body had absorbed it.

Mary screamed again as she tried to claw her skin open, futilely attempting to extract the viscera from inside her. She could feel it, spreading through her body. Tormenting her. Violating her. Every beat of her heart dragged the vestiges of her victims deeper within, intertwining her body with theirs.

A further wail of agonised misery caused her hair to start weeping.

Ichorous scarlet drops slithered from the ends of the demon-stained strands, leeching into the ground below and bringing sulphurous fumes into existence. The viscous crimson streaks ran across Mary’s eyes and down her cheeks, lining her appearance with bloodied tears. When the last of the droplets fell, red was the only colour left on her face.

It took a while for Mary to stop scratching at her skin. During that time, the sky around her had grown dark, thunderclouds called to blot out the Sun’s light and prevent it from reaching her. Each raindrop falling on her skin felt like a tiny dagger, but that was alright. The world was nothing but painful. Mary knew that. The world was nothing but misery.

And now she knew that the Universe truly hated her.

There was no other explanation really. She didn’t know why, and she didn’t feel that any explanation would ever really be enough. It was just the cruel and unfair reality of her life. And surely, for reality to repeatedly heap this much despair and disaster onto one person, it had to be personal? Something she had done had offended the Universe itself to the point of making her existence a living hell. The odds of one unremarkable person having to endure this much pain otherwise were unthinkable.

But there were definitely others who deserved this anguish far more than she did. People who she could, at the very least, allow to experience just a small measure of her horrifying life. That seemed fair.

Fuck existence. Fuck the Universe.

Time to show everyone how the world really worked.

“I thought you said that he was alive…”

Omen watched the screens in horror. She was still playing back the moment when Mary apparently decided to tear Damien’s body apart one last time.

“He was fine! I saw him breathing, wrapped in Mary’s arms.”

Majestic was worried. Had she been wrong? Should she have stuck around for longer? Should she have approached her terrifying idol to check that everything was okay?

The IHF HQ was in chaos. Following a short session of Amelie berating Majestic for overextension of duty, and a trip to the medical wing for Francis and his broken foot, the remaining senior heroes of the IHF had gathered to assess the situation.

It was a sombre meeting. What had initially begun as the hope of a brighter era died with Damien. The satellite footage went out after Mary’s first scream, but it was clear that nothing good had happened. Now, with very little left in terms of senior, powerful heroes, this committee consisted of the dregs of heroism.

Omen could at least claim seniority and had taken over as default leader as a result, much as she had previously whenever Francis suffered one of his bouts of Mary-induced hysteria. While Majestic’s power level meant that she could have easily opposed this decision, she was too wrapped up in her possible mistakes to even consider it. Meanwhile, Demon ex Machina had found a place on the team after having made his way into the good graces of most of the current members of the IHF. He was currently wracking his brain to work out why Armageddon may have decided to simply end Damien’s life after all this time.

The other two ‘heroes’ present weren't quite that.

They'd been arrested earlier that morning after holding a shopping mall hostage. Bizarrely, the girls hadn't gone after banks or cash in general. They'd simply been after electronics and outfits.

Amy Kim, going by Paradigm, had enthralled a dozen shoppers into a riot as she instructed them to sow chaos throughout the shopping centre. It had put the police and mall security on the back foot, allowing her to simply waltz in and take her pick of every piece of top-of-the-range electronics she demanded from the store assistants.

The hypnotic e-girl had immediately outfitted herself with a purple cat-eared headset and begun to broadcast her spree. With a loyal online following already eager to witness the first demonstration, the short, busty, purple-haired streamer was delighted to finally be able to show off her long-anticipated powers.

Her new girlfriend was somehow even less subtle.

Ally May, now Nature’s Wrath, had taken a more hands-on approach to her rampage, starting from the coffee shop where she worked. Minutes after she had arrived that morning the place had been razed to the ground, reduced to ashes with every employee and customer trapped inside. The newly empowered elementalist had walked out of the place with a giddy grin on her face.

Flames trailing from her incandescent red hair and coating her naked body, she had littered a path of destruction behind her. The concrete under her bare feet melted away, cracks spreading out to expose the bare earth.

Earth which had then begun to drag shoppers deep underground.

The tall, nude redhead had decided to pick out a few new outfits, demanding that terrified pedestrians carry the ones she didn’t immediately don. Those who refused had their blood boiled on the spot, reduced to a smear of gore under Ally’s soles.

When the two girls eventually crossed paths, the crowds had hoped that they might just end up killing each other. Instead, they immediately hit it off, locking lips and brazenly making out on a pile of discarded clothing until they were finally arrested.

“Did you ever, like, consider that he might have been hiding from her? En gee el, maybe she just needs to get over him and, like, get out more?” Amy was braiding Ally’s hair as she sat on her lap.

“It would be so funny if she was actually just waiting to kill him herself, right? Imagine. She’s only been in such a mood because she thought she didn’t get to kill him herself!” Ally giggled as Amy stroked her cheek with her hair.

“Eye kay arr? Just imagine, she’s, like, so happy right now and you sillies are all worrying! Kiss me, babe.

Ally bent to kiss her new beau but her body stopped partway.

“What are-” She began before her throat seized up and only frantic gurgling noises could escape.

Red fluid began to leak from Ally’s mouth, then poured from her ears, her eyes and her nose. A mixture of her grey matter and blood was rapidly dripping from her face. Amy could feel a similar wetness seeping from every pore of Ally’s body. Every hair follicle and sweat gland had become a drain and her every bodily fluid was being forced out of her.

Ally’s face, and soon her entire body, was contorted into an expression of inexpressible torment. Her mouth played host to a silent scream that would never manage to leave her. Flames flickered briefly across her skin, scorching Amy, who scrambled to leap from her girlfriend’s lap. Ally’s hands held her tightly in place though.

The winds picked up around the room, attempting to help clear the blockage from Ally’s throat and allow her to breathe. Every gust of air that made its way into the redhead’s mouth managed to extract another gout of bloodied tissue, but more kept flowing from her body. Soon, torn pieces of Ally’s internal organs were visible in the spew of viscera.

Her body was being emptied out from the inside.

Each arm and leg was red, coated in a thick, sticky layer of burning blood. The blazing tar had latched onto Amy, who screamed bloody murder as she once again failed to escape the impossibly firm hold of the elementalist. Amy could see something now, as Ally’s eyes melted in their sockets and her ribcage burst outwards from her body.

There was something inside her.

Not something, you callous little bitch. Someone.

Mary’s body now occupied the space where the inside of Ally’s body had once been, while the remains of Ally’s lacerated skin draped over Mary like a cloak. Notably, the dead girl’s chest cavity had no hope of restricting Mary’s bust, causing it to burst outwards and sending the shards of Ally’s outmatched ribs to pierce through Amy’s body.

Amy screamed again while Mary licked her lips, tasting the blood coating her body.

“Mary!” Amelie shouted. “Whatever you’re doing, stop. We can work this out.”

“Can we?” Mary smiled. “That’s good. I was about to do something really bad.”

Mary stood, chunks of Ally falling off her and hitting the ground with a squelch. She twisted her fingers and Amy rotated in the air, dangling upside down.

Put me do-” Amy began.

Mary says bite your tongue off.

Blood dribbled from Amy’s mouth.

Mary says swallow it.

With a choking gulp, Amy forced herself to gulp heavily.

“Now, tell me, Amelie.” Mary floated towards the mage. “How are you going to make everything better? Is there a spell? I’d really like that. Any spell should do. I mean, at this point, things couldn’t be any worse. What’s the harm in trying?”

Mary smiled at Amy. “Mary says pull your nails out with your teeth.

“Mary, stop this!” Amelie screamed.

“Shhh, it’ll all be okay. She was saying some very mean things just then. I’m just teaching her a lesson. I don’t think she’ll be mean to anyone when I’m done with her.”

Amy floated through the air, positioning her face directly in front of Mary’s. The hypnotic supe gave a warbling scream as she tore out the nail of the little finger, extracting it from the nailbed with a single furious yank of her neck. Mary playfully stretched her head forward and chomped her teeth.

Now swallow it.” Mary grinned broadly as Amy swallowed the nail.

“Uh uh. I didn’t say ‘Mary says’...” Mary placed her hand on Amy’s neck, tracing the path of the fingernail through Amy’s body with her own. “And I wanted to make a necklace out of them…”

She waited until her finger had traced its way down to Amy’s belly.

Mary says give it to me.

“No! Stop this!”

“Amelie, I love you, but I’m busy.” Mary smiled as she watched the streamer gag and panic. “Wait your turn.”

Amy’s body retched and convulsed, but she wasn’t able to bring the nail back up her throat. She tried to move her hands back up towards her mouth, but she couldn’t raise them above her neck.

“Oh, dear. Are you having a problem? Can you not manage to do it?” Mary brushed her fingers across Amy’s belly. “Can’t you think of an easier way to do it?”

Amy’s eyes widened in horror as her fingers joined Mary’s on her stomach.

“There you go. I think you know what to do.”

Furiously scratching, maniacally clawing, fervently digging, Amy’s remaining nails tore away at the soft flesh of her stomach. She drew blood quickly and buried her fingers deeper with each gouge, relentlessly destroying her own body to fulfil Mary’s request in the only way available to her. A single, continuous scream filled the room, not from Amy, who was incapable of such a thing, but from Amelie, who was held captive in her seat by Mary’s will.

Ninety-three seconds after she started eviscerating her skin, Amy tore into her own stomach from the outside. A torrent of acid and bile poured to the ground, splashing her breasts and face. Through the agonising pain, her hand dug inside of her, searching for the item that would bring her peace. Searching for a scrape of solace in this torturous Universe.

Now you get it.

Mary smiled.

“Oops! Too late!” Mary held up Amy’s fingernail, threaded on a chain around her neck where she had placed it ninety-seven seconds earlier. “How silly, you didn’t think to look here.”

The telekinetic hold on Amy was released when the light finally left her eyes. Her lifeless body fell to the ground with a dull thump.

“I don’t think she’s going to be mean about me or Damien again.”

Mary gave the room a stern look, her pitch-black eyes inciting primal dread in everyone present.

“We’re missing someone.”

A second later Mary was standing at the end of Francis’ sickbed.

Neither Amelie nor Demon saw what happened next, but Majestic could see Mary move as a blur to bring the speedster, bed and all, into the meeting room.

The bed stopped at the doorway. It would’ve made it through, but Mary halted it instead.

Francis’ body flew feet-first at the opposite wall. The lower part of his torso crumpled on impact and he howled out as he clutched his mangled legs. After a moment, he noticed the blood-soaked carpet and the mess of what was once a human around him. He had landed in the smeared mess of Ally’s body.

Majestic was afraid to move. Should she let Mary know that she had been faithful to her? That she had made sure that Francis had been punished when he disobeyed Mary’s orders?

Don’t worry, Jennifer. I know just how faithful you’ve been.

The words cut Majestic and her heart skipped a beat. Why was Mary using her old name?

Francis was still writhing on the floor, trying to pull himself out of the gruesome mess. As Mary slowly drifted towards him, he changed course and attempted to move his arms at furious speed, dragging himself away from his approaching nightmare and back into the more appealing horror show of Ally’s body.

Mary let him get far enough to be completely coated in the bloody residue before she placed a finger on the back of his head and pushed it into the carpet.

“You’re being such a bad boy, Francis. You know you aren’t supposed to run away from me.” Mary used her index finger to lightly bat Francis’ head from side to side.

She flicked his ear and he screamed out in pain as the fragile bones broke and his ear drum popped.

“Were you trying to clean up the mess, Francis?” Mary asked, grin broadening as she thought of something. “Did you want me to help you?”

Mary used her finger to nod his head up and down.

“Let me just find something to use to clean this up…”

The bedsheets vanished from the bed and appeared in Mary’s hand.

“These should work! Let’s give it a go.”

Mary pressed the white bedsheets firmly against the carpet, allowing the blood stains to seep in, then rapidly scrubbed them back and forth.

Both the carpet and the sheets began to disintegrate.

“Oh, look! It’s working!” Mary used her other hand to turn Francis’ head to watch. “See? All you need to do is move fast enough!”

“Why don’t you try?” Mary tore Francis’ bandages from his body and placed them in his mouth. “Just copy me, okay?”

Francis tried, he really did. He shook his head back and forth across the floor in an attempt to remove the stains or tear apart the rug, but he just wasn’t fast enough.

“Here, let me help.” Mary’s grip tightened on the back of Francis’ neck.

The next second was agony. Francis registered all of the sensations at once and his brain almost shut down as a result. From the perspective of Amelie and Demon, Francis’ face turned into a swollen mess in an instant. From Majestic’s perspective, she got to witness the entire macabre phenomenon. She was almost sick.

First, his nose broke. It wiggled seven times from side to side as Mary pushed it deeper into the floor, then just gave up, retracting back into his skull. His eyebrows were torn off next, dragging follicles and skin along with them across the coarse fibres of the carpet. The rags were forced into his mouth as his lips hit the ground. Each Mary-driven oscillation dragged them back and forth until they split open, the skin bursting from his face in the same way that it would from a grape. Francis had closed his eyes, so mercifully his eyelids were the next to go, ripped out of his face by the friction against the ground; pulverised between it and the descending bone of his skull.

When his skull hit the floor, the rest of his skin entirely gave way.

It started with his forehead, already loosened around the eye sockets. The network of blood vessels broke and before any bruising had a chance to set in they were all stripped away. Beneath that red mess, white flecks of bone would be clearly visible. His cheeks wobbled back and forth humourlessly and, with a slight adjustment of her hand, Mary forced his jaw to open beyond human capacity, tearing apart the fleshy jowls as Francis’ jaw broke and scrapped against his collarbone.

Everyone heard the cracking of the jaw, and Majestic heard the shattering of teeth that followed soon after.

Mary lifted Francis from the floor to check the state of it. She tutted, displaying his disfigured face to the room.

“You’ve made it even worse!” She exclaimed in mock surprise.

Worst of all, he was very obviously still alive.

A ragged, spluttering noise came from Francis as he struggled to breathe. He wouldn’t be speaking again. For his own sake, Majestic hoped that he wouldn’t be living for much longer.

Mary frowned in confusion at Francis.

“Are you okay, Francis?” Mary put her ear to his face to hear the gurgling chokes. “Oh no! I think he needs the kiss of life!”

She entirely failed to hold back an utterly sadistic grin.

“But what can I do? He hasn’t got a mouth!” Mary suspended Francis in the air with a gesture and lowered her mouth to his chest.

“I’ll have to go in directly,” she gasped in mock horror.

Mary’s mouth vibrated and passed through Francis’ chest.

She exhaled deeply into his lungs.

Francis’ chest expanded with the first exhalation and his ribs pierced into his organs. They dug deep, and as Mary inhaled, she performed a chest compression, breaking the ends off of his ribs and forcing them to enter his punctured lungs, resealing the wounds with her power after they passed through. The turbulent winds emanating from Mary’s lips eroded the bone to dust, inciting a vicious tornado that tore apart the alveoli. Francis spluttered and gasped.

Her face still phased into Francis’ body, Mary sped up her breathing to a rate of hundreds of times a second. She breathed out hot and cold intermittently, using her powers to rapidly freeze-thaw the delicate inner workings of Francis’ respiratory system. The rapid compression and decompression burst every air sac in Francis’ lungs until they formed nothing but a pair of useless balloons, now filled with the condensation of water from Mary’s own breath.

With a last, gleeful exhalation came an incendiary puff of air. Enough air to fill the entire building hundreds of times over. The water Mary had breathed into Francis’ collapsed lungs rapidly evaporated, the molecules moving at speeds Francis had no chance of outrunning, boiling his body from the inside out. The expansion burst Francis’ lungs, spreading the delicate tissue onto Francis’ other internal organs. When Mary continued to exhale, she forced his oesophagus to collapse into Francis’ throat, blocking the expulsion of any more air from that avenue.

Francis’ skin inflated like a balloon.

He popped like one too.

His remains splattered across the rest of the room as an immense gust of warm, coffee-scented air wafted out. The chunks of flesh phased through Mary’s body but the blood layered her skin and outfit. When she turned around she was dripping with the stuff.

“I think that one might have been the kiss of death, actually.” Mary chewed eagerly on her lower lip.

“Now, I think you wanted to show your loyalty, didn’t you, Jennifer?”

Both Mary and Majestic suddenly disappeared.

“You love your powers, don’t you, Jennifer?”

Majestic looked around. She was floating high in the atmosphere with Mary about ten feet away from her. The world looked so small from up here.

“Yeah, I do,” Majestic replied. “More than anything.”

Mary smiled. “Do you know, I’ve been thinking about seeing whether I can transfer powers. Want me to try it on you?”

Majestic’s eyes lit up. Her loyalty was being rewarded!

“Do it. I want as much power as I can take.”

“Well,” Mary’s smile widened, “don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

Mary’s lips touched Majestic’s, briefly and tenderly, and Majestic’s world expanded. That brief moment of contact allowed her to experience the scope of Mary’s power, to appreciate the exact level of ant she was compared to her, to take in the intoxicating pull of such boundless potential.

It writhed within Majestic’s body as Mary pulled away. Was it… was it too much?

“Well? Go on, take as much as you can.” Mary idly flexed her fingers as she watched the stunned supe.

The power rushed through every facet of Majestic’s being. It swelled her body, starting with her breasts, expanding from an already huge size to an utterly enormous one. Her legs grew thick with muscle as her height increased and her hair lengthened, taking on an even more radiant sheen than it already had. The blonde locks were practically luminous!

Majestic took a calming breath and heard the rush of air enter her lungs. All around her, the already thin atmosphere was diminishing until they floated in a more complete vacuum than outer space itself. From this height, Majestic could see the wider-reaching effects as the light refracted from the Earth’s atmosphere shifted.

“Fuck, I just drank all that in?” Majestic was astounded. She could have easily just taken away the entire breathable content of the planet. In a single breath.

This was fucking epic.

“Oh, must have given you too much. Don’t worry, I’ll fix it.” Mary continued making that odd motion with her fingers.

Cold despair suddenly swept over Majestic’s body to match the freezing chill of the vacated atmosphere around her. Why could she feel that now? A light-headed wooziness overcame Majestic and her lungs burned like they were about to explode. Her impressive physique shrivelled, not just back to her former self, but below that, to a mere fraction of that power.

“See? Easy.” Mary smiled as she tapped Majestic on the shoulder, dislocating her arm.

Majestic screamed in pain, expelling most of the atmosphere and briefly relieving her overworked lungs, but wasting her valuable oxygen.

“Oops! Did I go too far the wrong way?” Mary asked. “I mean, your power was barely even a speck compared to mine, it’s so difficult to judge how much you actually had.”

Majestic looked at Mary with pleading eyes.

“Let me just put some of that back…”

Majestic exhaled a sigh of relief as her power returned, restoring a fraction of the atmosphere around the pair of supes. Not only did her power return, but it rose, soaring far above her previous power. Not just her initial power, but the power she had been granted a moment ago. She could feel the sunlight on her bare skin, exposed as her body tore through her inadequate costume. She could hear every single person on Earth. Every conversation, every peal of laughter, every cry of pain or joy.

Her head hurt.

“Too… much…” Majestic wheezed.

The power was overwhelming her. Her body was intact, not only intact but beyond invulnerable. But her mind? Her senses? Those weren’t coping.

Mary tutted. “I thought you could handle this, Jennifer. What’s going on?”

Another motion of Mary’s hands and Majestic realised what her idol was doing.

She was toying with her.

She was playing with her like a yo-yo.

Mary beamed at her.

“Such a clever girl.” Mary leaned in close to Majestic as she idly raised and lowered the girl’s power level. “You’re nothing at all to me, Jennifer. Just look at how easily I can control everything you hold dear.”

Majestic inflated and deflated, both physically and metaphysically. Her sense of self waxed and waned in time with the pulses of power Mary sent systematically into and out of her body. Her entire being felt like it was being worn out, pushed to the limit repeatedly, fatigued to the point of exhaustion.

Then it stopped.

And Majestic was left with almost nothing.

“I think that should be everything apart from your flight. It would be pretty pointless to take that, I mean, I can already fly.” Mary put a finger to her lips, licked a silvery sheen from the surface of it and swallowed.

“Hmm, doesn’t really taste of much.” Mary shrugged. “Oh well, that’s gone now anyway. I doubt I’ll even notice it adding to my power though.”

“But I’m so happy to see you being so loyal.” Mary hugged Majestic, shielding her from the surrounding chill with a loving warmth that forced the last breath from the depowered-supe’s body. “Anyway, I have a couple of other people to see!”

Mary released her hold. Majestic tried to call out for help, but there was no air to grasp. The thin atmosphere wouldn’t allow a single word. She felt faint but used her eyes and remaining lucidity to try to beg once more.

Help me, she thought, please…

The misty surfaces of her cornea froze and Majestic winced back the excruciating pain.

“You can get back on your own, can’t you Jennifer?”

Mary was gone.

Majestic made it back to the ground over two minutes later, having lost consciousness around thirty seconds after Mary left. She never managed to slow her descent.

With her body no longer invulnerable, Jennifer would have died on impact if she hadn’t already died from asphyxiation.

With Mary gone, Omen and Demon were free to move again. Neither of them realised that for a few moments though, given the shock they were experiencing.

“She actually killed him,” Omen stated hollowly. “It’d been so long, I thought she might never do it.”

The death of her longtime teammate hit her a lot harder that the rest of the massacre she had just witnessed. It was all horrendous, but well, this was Mary. Amelie had built up a pretty thick skin to mindless, gruesome murders over the years.

The memory of Charlotte’s death was still all too fresh.

“Perhaps we can rework the spell?” Demon suggested. “She may be content to let us work a little longer.”

Nope. Time’s up, Desmond.

Suddenly, Mary was floating in front of Demon. He flinched back in fear and Mary laughed.

“Such a scary villain, aren’t you? I bet everyone was terrified by your pathetic little Halloween costume of an outfit.”

Mary turned to Amelie with a sad look in her eyes.

“For your own sake, Amelie, I’m going to remind you of just who he is.”

Blood seeped out of every one of Demon’s pores. He screamed as millions of microscopic blood vessels burst within his body, allowing his skin to become completely coated in crimson. He couldn’t even collapse to the floor, Mary had him in another telekinetic hold, forcing him to remain entirely still as his body was subsumed by a cocoon of his own blood.

Mary let his mouth move though. She wanted to hear his pain.

When Mary was finished, Demon was gasping for air and painted sanguine.

“There you go, now he looks like a scary demon.” Mary slid a finger across Demon’s tender flesh and licked the blood off of it. She pulled a face. “Tastes like evil.”

Something peculiar was still happening though. Where Mary had touched Demon’s skin, silvery veins branched out, coating his body in a spiderweb pattern. Mary pulled at one of them and it snapped off, dangling between her fingers. She held it up to Amelie.

“You know what this is, don’t you?” Mary asked.

“His soul?”

“Wrong. This is the soul of someone that Demon has killed, either directly or through the actions of his crimes. Every one of those branches is a life taken.”

Amelie blinked as she took in the intricate pattern completely covering the former villain.

“Did you forget that he’s a killer, Amelie? That he was responsible for multiple slaughters? That the guy you’ve been fucking for the past years is as much of a psychopath as you think I am?”

Mary smiled sadly.

“It’s okay. I’ll save you the trauma of a breakup.”

Turning back to the demonologist, Mary carefully used her telekinesis to rearrange the spiderweb of souls on Demon’s skin.

“I’m going to let them torture you, Desmond. Can you hear them? Some of them want you to die. Some of them want a lot worse than that for you.” Mary tapped her chin with a finger. “I think I’m going to let them tear your soul apart. Slowly.”

Mary tugged on the spiderweb and Demon went limp.

Inside the mesh framework of souls was a single ball of silver light. Mary pointed at it and it started to move, reaching the internal surface of the interlocked grid. Then she turned her finger in small circles.

Demon’s body came alive with a scream.

His soul sped around the inside of the soul-cage, being stripped apart with every new soul-strand it came into contact with. As each tiny fragment of Demon’s existence was shredded away, it fluttered as slivers of silver to the blood-soaked floor below. The ball diminished in size and Demon’s continuous scream lowered in volume comparatively.

Amelie watched with tears in her eyes.

“Stop,” she whispered, “please, he was changing.”

Mary clenched her teeth and snarled at Amelie.

“You don’t get to give him a redemption arc. He doesn’t get to be saved if Damien doesn’t. He dies. Like Damien.” Mary flicked her finger one last time and Demon’s scream faded. “End of story.”

With a quick gust of air, Mary tore the remaining spiderweb of souls apart.

Demon’s body fell to the floor.

A shimmering force field surrounded Amelie.

“Come with me, Amelie,” Mary choked out, tears streaming down her cheeks. “We’re going to save the world.”

The world ended slowly, with Amelie watching from the front row.

Mary visited town after town, city after city, demolishing each and every building, crushing every single object above the surface of the planet into a flat paste. People, bricks and dirt were indistinguishable by the end of the day.

She moved in a robotic daze, unfeeling and unresponsive, refusing to acknowledge the pleas of the people she killed or the insults they threw at her when that failed.

With each place she visited, Mary thinned the atmosphere further, ensuring that no life would be able to exist on the planet by the time she was done.

It didn’t feel like enough though.

At the end of the day, Mary returned to the beach where she and Damien had first made love. From inside her safety bubble, Amelie finally spoke.

“They’re all dead.” Amelie had gone numb after the first few hours of mindless carnage.

“Every one of them. All gone.” Mary smiled. “Now none of them have to feel like this ever again.”

Mary faced the last surviving person on the planet and pulled her into a tearful hug.

“I did it, Amelie. I made it all right. Now they can all join Damien.”

“Mary–” Amelie’s throat closed up.

“Shh, don’t talk.” Mary hugged Amelie tighter, constricting her chest. “Just, just be here, with me. That’s all that matters now. That we’re together at the end.”

Amelie’s vision was beginning to go dark.

“You’ve been such a good friend, Amelie. You really tried to help me,” Mary whispered. “I’m really sorry that it didn’t work out.”

There was a brief pause as Mary built up her resolve.

“I love you,” with a twist of her hands, Mary tore Amelie’s head off, “and now you can rest.”

An hour later the Earth was gone.

– 40,000 Years Later –

In the void of space, Mary was deep in sleep. The entire Universe was empty now, all other life and matter having long ago been torn apart by Mary’s hand.

She was alone, but in her dreams, she was with Damien again.

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