Chapter 42
by grlnxtr

Milady's voice: Oh, by the way dearie, don't think I've forgotten about you. I'm making that portal a one-way now, so there's no way you can go through it. I suggest you take my Master up on his offer... ha ha ha!

Raine watched as the portal went from blue to red, feeling her still-paralyzed body floating towards it.

Landing hard on the ground on the other side of the tunnel, she stared up at the Master, who was looking at her with some surprise.

Master: Well, that works too, I suppose. Release.

QR felt herself regain control of her limbs, and ordered herself to stand up, following the Master at a distance as she tried to think through the depressed fog in her head. One small hope managed to break through, as she concentrated on the individual in front of her who could and probably would grant it and began to plan.



Queen Laine picked herself up off the ground, brushing debris from her dress. Hearing footsteps behind her, she turned. Cautiously, she moved towards the approaching figures.

QL: Raine? What are you doing here?
QR, her voice flat: You're not supposed to be here.
QL: What do you mean? I assure you I'm real, Raine. They weren't, but I am. I'm sorry that you were hurt, but it's not...

QL trailed off as she watched the Master step forward, shaking his head.

Master: That's not what she means.
QR: The Psychic is here too, Master.

The Master turned, slightly surprised at her cooperation.

Master: The Psychic is here? Isn't that interesting...(quietly) Lenore?
Milady Lenore, as a voice in the Master's head: I'm working on it, but it could just be a coincidence. I can't see it very well, but the girl has her own reasons for cooperating. Watch her.
QL: The "Psychic?"
QR: Warteen.
QL: What is he to you? To both of you?
QR: (pausing, then meeting QL's gaze directly) He's nothing.

Raine watched as realization dawned in her sister's eyes and then watched with equal dispassion as she turned and ran.


M. Lenore: The witch understands. The basket case over there somehow clued her in, and now she's going to find Warteen. You might want to consider stopping her.
Master: Excuse me, you were the one who sent the "basket case" after me. However, it's a good point that you make. Raine?

Raine turned to him.

Master: Stop her.


QL ran, extending her senses to find the clueless Warteen before they did. Skidding to a stop, she took a sharp left, psychically calling his name.


Warteen paused, hearing a faint cry.
Warteen: Laine?

Turning slowly in a circle, he scanned as far as he could see. As he turned to his right, he caught a still-running QL.


Q. Raine: I can't.
M. Lenore: She's lying. She's the only one that can in the amount of time that we have.

Calling on the link between them without missing a beat, Milady Lenore and the Master forced their will on the broken girl before them. QR's eyes widened and a spark finally returned as she felt herself reciting the only spell that would work.

QR: (thinking) NO! This wasn't what I meant!
QR: (outloud)
I am death and death is me,
invoked and controlled by a witch's plea.
A choice I make, my own will free,
as I command, so mote it be.

QR's eyes turned black, tears streaming from them, as her hands rose high above her head like a puppet's.


Warteen released QL as she caught her breath.

Warteen: Ow. What are you -

He caught her again as she collapsed, eyes open and surprised.
Warteen: Laine?

Feeling for a pulse, he began yelling when he felt none.

Warteen: Laine!
Master: Such a shame, sibling rivalry, isn't it?

Warteen stood, drawing his sword in one fluid motion.

Master: Oh, there's not much point in protecting her now, is there?
Warteen, with a painful glance at QL: Is she dead?
QR: Yes.

Warteen jerked his head around, turning to Raine in shock.

Warteen: You did this? Why?

QR didn't answer, instead standing with her eyes closed.

Warteen: Answer me.

QR opened her eyes, and Warteen took an involuntary step back at their still-black depths and blankness within them. With a faint smile, she took a step in his direction.

QR: It doesn't matter. She's dead.

Warteen rushed at QR, sword high and murder in his eyes.

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