Every End is a New Beginning

Callista flexed her claws and sneered at the two Templars. A guttural growl escaped from her throat before she charged at Corinth, a renewed hunger of bloodlust filling her up. She swiped high at his face before swiping lower at his abdomen. He dodged both, but lost ground as she pressed her advance.

Magdalena flanked her and swung her hammer low, slamming it into the left thigh of Calista. The Empusa dropped to a knee and then turned to swipe at her attacker, but Magdalena was already out of range. Digging her claws into the roof, Calista dashed after Magdalena, crashing into her and sending the Templar spiraling away. Before Magdalena could act, Calista was on top of her clawing away in a frenzy at armor and skin.

A flurry of shots rang out as Corinth let loose a swarm of bullets from Powell and Loy. Most of the bullets hit home, causing Calista to roll away and focus her attention back on him. He quickly holstered the empty guns and pulled out Reeves and Bale, but Calista was on him before he could aim. She grabbed him by the neck and slammed him down onto the roof, knocking the wind out of his lungs.

Rising to her feet slowly, Magdalena picked up her hammer and slowly ran towards her enemy. She was bleeding from her wounds, but she still had enough strength to end the fight....or she hoped. Raising the hammer above her head, she prepared to bring it down with all her might onto the back of the Empusa, but Calista was faster. Before she could react, a hand was around her throat squeezing, forcing her to drop the hammer.

Calista had had enough. No more games, no more playing with her food. It was time to finish this so she could get out of the city and start over somewhere else. Somewhere that would take the Templars months to figure out where she was, and by then, she could have moved again. Always staying ahead of her pursuers until she was strong enough to wipe them all out.

The Empusa advanced to the edge of the rooftop, suspending the Templar precariously over the streets below. It was a long fall and death would be instant, even from one of Gaia's chosen. Calista laughed as the one called Magdalena clawed at her wrist, trying to break free.

"It is useless to keep fighting. Either I drop you and you die or I squeeze your throat until you do. I haven't decided which would be more fun yet."

The sound of gun fire erupted behind her and she rocked forward as three bullets hit her in the back. She growled loudly and turned around to see Corinth with both of his guns leveled at her. He didn't know what to do in this situation. Being a Templar, he knew that the killing of the Empusa was paramount, but he couldn't just sit back and watch his fellow Templar, friend, get dropped off a building.

"You drop her and I'll make sure you get locked inside the smallest container I can find for all eternity!"

"Don't threaten me, Templar," Calista hissed, "or I might do the exact thing you told me not to do." Calista smiled and then released her grip, letting Magdalena go.

In the blink of an eye, everything slowed down. Corinth dropped his guns and broke out into a sprint. Even with his Haste spell, he wouldn't be able to reach her in time. As he drew closer to her, he watched as she slowly disappeared over the edge. Her fingers were the last he saw.

Corinth ran past the Empusa, easily dodging a swipe and jumped over the edge, diving after Magdalena. The world sped up again as the spell wore off, sending everything into overdrive. Extending his arm, Corinth reached out to grab Magdalena's hand. Once he grabbed her, his hand gripping her wrist like a vice, he activated Spider Climb and pressed his other hand to the side of the building, slowing his decent enough that he could maneuver around to be right side up.

"I got you," he yelled to her.

"For hell's sake, you better."

He looked up and then down at Magdalena. "Mags...I need you to swing towards the window. Break it so you can get inside. Think you can do that?"

"I'm a Demolisha, what'd you think?"

"Fair enough," he said through gritted teeth. His arm felt like it was on fire. "Put your feet against the glass...kick off, and then break the window when I swing you back. Got it?" He looked skyward again.

"I got it, mate!"

"We only got one shot at this."

Magdalena put both her feet on the glass and kicked off with all she could. Corinth held her wrist tightly and moved outward with her and then pulled her forward with every bit of strength he had. When she was close enough, she pulled back her fist with her right hand and punched at the window. Building windows were a lot thicker than regular glass window as they have to hold up to higher winds, but when Magdalena punched the glass, it shattered in an explosion as easily as a plastic cup.

Letting her go, Corinth watched as she rolled away and then stopped, looking over to him. "Come on," she yelled. "Your turn."

He looked up again and then back to her. "You know...I always loved the name Magdalena." A soft red aura appeared around him as his shotgun appeared in his free hand. Very quickly he lifted it up and pointed it above him.

In a flash, Magdalena heard the shotgun go off and then something rushed past the window in a blur. One second Corinth was there and the next he was gone. She blinked a couple of more times and then heard the crashing sound from outside. Car alarms began going off, filling the air with repetitive loud beeps and horn honks. She hurriedly made her way to the window and looked down. She sank to her knees and punched the floor as hard as she could.

"Damn it...," was all she could say. Below her, Corinth lay under the slowly disintegrating body of the Empusa, the barrels of his shotgun punctured through her chest and out her back. Right where her heart would be. A fitting end, Magdalena thought to herself as she gained her composure and made her way to the stairs. He was gone, she knew that. No one, not even a Child of Gaia, could survive a fall like that.


Corinth's eyes opened. He was standing alone in a room full of white. No entrance, no exit, just white in all directions and as far as he could see. Even though he had been there before, it was still disconcerting, but he knew what he had to do. He began walking forward.

As he did, the path he walked became narrower. He didn't know how, he just knew it did. Both sides of the pathway began to change. To his left, it became brighter, warmer, almost comforting. The realm of The Host. To his right, it become darker, colder, almost powerful. The Realm of The Dreaming Ones.

He continued walking, each side growing stronger around him, pulling him in both directions. Finally, he came to an intersection. One path went to his left, one to his right, and one forward. The one forward was a short path that stopped at a mirrored reflection of himself. Corinth gazed into it for a moment before looking to his left and then to his right. He had a decision to make. Did he follow the Shadow or the Luminance? He couldn't remember what he chose last time. Or maybe he did. Maybe he would choose the opposite this time.

He stood there another long moment trying to decide what to do. If he even wanted to make a choice. Did he want to continue fighting all the time? Was he making a difference? Was he only slowing down the inevitable? He was tired. So, so tired. He looked at his reflection. He looked to his left. He looked to his right.

Then he took a step.

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