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Replay That Funky Mashup: Behind Blue Eyes by J. Kiln
Flakes of silent white drift down from the grey sky, quietly blanketing the world…
The first snow of winter has arrived…
In the streets, a diminutive woman, with red hair and blue eyes, and carrying bags of groceries, walks through the crowd and the cold.
She catches up to two young lovers, Allison and Eileen, walking together with Eve, Eileen’s little sister, between them, the three of them holding hands.
Eve turns her head back to the diminutive woman, and says, “Hurry up, Ada! My shows are about to start!”
“Didn’t you already watch them this morning?” Ada replies politely, though unenthusiastically.
Eve unhappily explains, “Those are different!”
“Oh, I see, I see,” Ada answers, barely hiding her indifference behind a forced smile.
Eve impatiently pulls on Eileen’s and Allison’s hands, and demands, “Then, let’s go home now!”
“Relax, Eve,” Eileen says. “My apartment isn’t far, we’ll be home in time for your cartoons. Be patient.”
Eve still isn’t happy, but she doesn’t complain again.
“There’s no need to rush, Eve, we have plenty of time,” Allison says, before noticing Ada starting to struggle a little with the weight of the groceries.
Allison extends a hand to Ada, offering to take some of the bags, and Ada gladly hands a few over with a grateful, “Thanks.”
Eileen offers and takes a few bags herself, lightening the load.
And the four of them walk back to Eileen’s secondhand car, and enjoy the drive home.
* * *
As soon as Eileen unlocks the front door, Eve hastily takes off her boots and rushes to the television.
As the family’s au pair, Ada has to quickly set the grocery bags down and tend to Eve, helping the little girl change out of her winter coat to keep her from getting snow everywhere.
As soon as Eve’s settled down and waiting for her cartoons to start, Ada goes to help Eileen and Allison with the groceries, sorting them away into the shelves and cabinets, before a loud boom shakes the whole apartment.
“Eve!” Eileen shouts. “That’s too loud!”
Eve looks back to Eileen, confused. “B-B-But, it came from outside!” She points towards the window.
Everyone immediately goes to the window, and looks down…
A portal… there’s an infernal portal in the street below, snapping shut and collapsing, leaving behind an angry, salivating demon.
“What the actual f-” Ada almost swears, before the demon suddenly screeches! And lunges to attack an innocent bystander!
Eve screams in terror as she backs away from the window!
“Shush, shush,” Eileen quickly quiets Eve, “don’t… don’t worry, Eve, it can’t get us here.”
Another loud boom rattles their world, this time, seemingly closer, as if right outside their door…
“Eileen, Allison,” Ada says. “Take Eve, hide in the bathroom, and don’t make a sound.”
“W-What?” Eileen asks, not understanding what is happening.
Something slams against their front door, followed by the sound of metal slicing through rushing water, and a malevolent, gurgling roar.
“Go. Now.” Ada flicks her head towards the bathroom, prompting a fearful Eileen to drag Eve and Allison away, pulling them by their hands.
But it’s too late: the front door breaks and comes off its hinges!
A huge, demonic snake, seemingly made of water, floods into the apartment!
Covered in gashes, the demon snake has rammed itself into a man, impaling him and the door with its long, sharp fangs!
And with a single bite, the man and the door are reduced to splinters; flesh, bone, and wood break apart with a sickening crunch.
“Robert?!” Ada screams, recognising the man!
The demon snake spits out the bloody mess at Ada’s feet, accidentally throwing to her the twin swords the man was wielding.
As Eve screams and cries, Ada snatches up Robert’s enchanted katanas, and swings them at the demon!
The blades pierce and slice through the demon’s neck, severing the head!
But as Ada ducks and rolls aside, the demon doesn’t fall… instead, it magically reconnects its head and heals its wounds… before turning to Ada, and roaring hatefully at her.
Ada holds up her katanas defensively, ready to fight to the death.
The demon snake hesitates… and suddenly lunges at the window, crashing through the glass and flowing away like a river in the air.
Ada slowly lowers her swords, and looks to what remains of Robert…
Eileen and Allison are shivering in the corner, still shielding Eve with their own bodies.
Snowflakes begin drifting in through the shattered window, melting as they fall upon the pool of blood.
The television suddenly stops… every radio and screen in the world, suddenly stops.
Before an eerie broadcast takes over…
A strange man, calling himself, “Faust”, speaks:
“Some of you may be wondering, just where did these demons come from?
“Well, where else? They come from Hell, the one and only.”
“Faust” smirks as he says it, amused by his own joke.
“And,” he continues, “since I now control every military power in the world, I am, truly, your new master.”
“Faust” moves closer towards the screen, with a satisfied, evil smile.
“If you don’t like it, well… you can find somewhere else to live…
“Or just die, really.”
“Faust” violently pulls the camera to his face, and declares:
“This is my world now.”
“Faust” snaps his fingers, creating sparks that burst into flames… the demonic heat causes the lens to crack as the camera melts… and the broadcast abruptly ends, leaving only white noise…
* * *
Television sets, silent and blank, reflect the falling snow from behind a store window, as Ada, Wallace, and Rose pass by them.
Wallace, a gentle giant of a man, and Eileen’s close friend, has armed himself, Rose, and Ada, with guns from his family’s shop.
Rose, a middle-aged biker in leather jacket, and a family friend of Allison’s, rests her shotgun over her shoulder, as she follows behind Ada, asking her about “Faust”.
“So, you’re saying this “Faust” guy’s real name is “Adam”?”
“Yeah,” Ada answers. She’s carrying an enchanted katana in each hand, leaving her pistols holstered at her hips.
“And Adam was your brother?” Rose asks further.
“No, we were colleagues…” Ada struggles to find the right words. “Master Julia recruited children with magical potential. I was one of those children. Same with Adam.”
“So… you and Adam grew up in a cult?” Rose asks bluntly.
“It isn’t a cult,” Ada turns back to say. “We practised magic. Trained with ancient spells and enchanted weapons. It’s all real.”
“Right, I guess it is…” Rose glances at the demon corpse in the street… the first demon to appear in the city, and the first to fall victim to Ada’s magical blades.
Wallace moves up closer to Ada, and asks, “So what are you going to do now?”
“I don’t know, exactly…” Ada answers, tightening her grip on her swords. “But since I haven’t heard from Master Julia and the others… it would mean that Adam’s killed them all, and…”
“…and?” Wallace asks.
“And… I’ll have to find Adam…” Ada slowly replies. “And kill him.”
“He’s got an army of demons,” Rose reminds her.
“The psycho also said he wiped out every military force in the world,” Wallace adds.
“I don’t care,” Ada almost snarls as she says. “Adam has to die.”
“What about Eve?” Rose asks. “You said you were assigned to be her secret bodyguard? Something about Eve having magic?”
Ada frowns as she answers, “Master Julia sent me to investigate Eve’s potential, to see if she should be recruited.”
Rose and Wallace exchange somewhat-worried glances.
Ada notices their apprehensions, and quickly clarifies, “When she gets older. Master Julia will arrange a magical test for Eve. If she passes, she’ll get a choice to learn more about magic. It’s not a goddamn cult.”
“Still sounds a lot like one to me,” Wallace says with a shrug.
“Then go tell it to a demon,” Ada answers coldly.
* * *
After their patrol, the group returns to the college, where Ada has set up a huge magical barrier to protect it.
A few demon corpses dot the perimeter of the magical barrier; they had all been cut down by Ada’s katanas.
Ada, Wallace, and Rose walk through the snow-covered grounds, push open the doors, and enter the main building.
The warmer temperature inside immediately brings them relief.
They hand over their scavenged supplies of packaged foods, spare parts, and siphoned fuel, to those who asked for them, so to keep the survivors alive and relatively comfortable.
Then, Rose goes to Allison, Eileen, and Eve, and is dismayed to hear that they still can’t reach the rest of their families; the Internet and phone networks have failed, while emergency radio channels are still too chaotic to be of much help.
Wallace checks up on Millie, her father, and her friends, Hayley and Caprice.
While Ada decides to head back to her room, which is just another small office with two sleeping bags, separated in the middle by the desk and a noticeboard.
Ada sets down her katanas, holstered pistols, and equipment on the desk, and goes to lie down on the floor, her head resting on her sleeping bag like a pillow.
The sleeping bag on the other side of the room is quiet: her roommate isn’t lazing about and avoiding helping out today, it seems.
Ada closes her eyes… ready to take a light nap.
“Umm… hi, Ada…” a familiar voice says, “…welcome back.”
Ada opens her eyes, and looks to her roommate, Olive.
Ada sits up, and greets them, “Hey, Olive.”
Olive holds up a pair of handmade scabbards in their hands.
“I’ve finished making these…” Olive says.
“Alright!” Ada takes the scabbards, and goes to her swords.
She slides her katanas into the sheaths, and inspects the fit.
“These will do just fine…” Ada nods as she says.
Ada then clips the sheathed swords to her waist, and draws them.
The blades slide out with ease.
With a satisfied smile, Ada carefully slides them back. “Not bad, Olive.”
“Thanks, Ada,” Olive says happily. “I’m glad you like them. Eileen and Caprice did all the hard work.”
Ada unclips her swords and puts them back down on the desk.
“Tell them they did a good job, too,” Ada says and pats Olive on their head.
Olive watches as Ada sits and lies down on the floor again, using her sleeping bag as a pillow.
“Tired?” Olive asks.
“Just taking a quick nap,” Ada answers with her eyes closed.
“Can I… ask you something?”
“Do you… Do you want to talk about Robert?”
Ada’s eyes open; her smile fades. “No. Not really. Why?”
“I’m sorry, but… you keep saying his name.”
“What?” Ada turns to look at Olive.
“When you sleep… you’d say his name… and then you’d start to cry…”
“Oh.” Ada turns her gaze back up to the ceiling. “…I don’t want to talk about him.”
“Okay…” Olive says quietly.
Then, Ada sighs, and asks, “Is that why you’ve been so nice to me?”
“K-Kind of…” Olive looks away as they say, feeling shy. “I… uh… I like… I like you.”
Ada blinks and widens her eyes, and looks back to Olive.
Olive slowly turns their eyes back to Ada, with their hands slightly shaking.
“Oh,” Ada says.
Olive stares at Ada, waiting for her to say something more than just, “Oh”.
“I’m… I’m sorry,” Ada answers. “Olive… you’re a good friend to me… but I, I just can’t…”
“You can’t like someone like me?”
“I… I don’t think I can ever like anyone…”
“…because you still miss Robert?”
“Yeah… yeah, I guess…”
Olive nods, and wipes away the tears from their cheeks…
They chuckle as they say, “I’m sorry… I knew this was a bad idea.”
“No, Olive, it’s okay… Hey, come here.” Ada pulls Olive towards her and encircles them in her arms.
“A-A-Ada!?” Olive shivers in her embrace, afraid of what’s happening.
“Shhh…” Ada whispers to them. “Shhh… I promise you, I’ll always be your friend… nothing more, nothing less…”
Olive slowly relaxes… and gives in to their emotions…
As Olive begins to cry in her arms, Ada closes her eyes… and finally lets herself grieve for Robert…
Warm memories become tears in the cold of winter.
Ada and Olive hold and cherish each other…
And for a while… both of them find peace.
At night, in the cafeteria, Ada and Olive sit beside each other at a table, with Millie and Caprice on the opposite side.
All four of them are quietly having dinner, though Ada is intently staring at a piece of paper.
Allison had heard it repeated a few times over the radio, so she wrote down the news: “All demon hordes on the West Coast are converging towards Los Angeles; Faust is believed to be there. A citywide evacuation is underway, but the exits have been overrun by demons; the entire population of L.A. is trapped. Anyone who can, please help.”
Ada considers one plan after another, thinking about what to do…
Meanwhile, Caprice is busy considering Ada and Olive’s relationship, and not bothering to conceal her interest as she stares at them both.
Millie and Olive are afraid of what she’s going to say, since, apparently, not even the Demon Apocalypse can dampen Caprice’s energetic personality.
Olive feels like a really awkward conversation is about to start, and that Caprice is just waiting for the right moment to open her mouth.
Suddenly, their friend Hayley walks up, drops her bag of chips on the table, and takes a seat, unwittingly becoming the trigger.
“SO!” Caprice immediately starts. “Hayley, how was your day?!”
Everyone is so startled that they stop moving.
Hayley blinks, her hands frozen over her bag of chips. “Umm… it was cold?”
“Glad to hear it! By the way, are you two dating now?” Caprice asks Olive and Ada bluntly, with a huge grin on her face.
“N-No… Caprice…” Olive says, as Ada looks to them and back to Caprice, caught off guard and confused.
“Huh?” Caprice asks, not even suppressing her disappointment. “What? Why not?”
“We’re just… friends…” Olive says.
“Awww~” Caprice seems to deflate like a punctured balloon.
Hayley slowly picks up her bag of chips, and with her eyes flicking back-and-forth between Caprice, Olive, and Ada, she quietly tears open the top.
“Well!” Caprice flashes a smile and regains her enthusiasm. “At least you two are still good friends, or things might have gotten awkward!”
“Yes, how fortunate that they didn’t,” Millie says smugly under a polite tone.
“Yeah,” Ada mutters, “we’re just friends.” She folds up the paper and tucks it back into her pocket.
“Everything okay?” Hayley asks.
“No, I’m thinking about L.A.” Ada answers directly.
Everyone lowers their head; they’ve all heard the news.
“How will you get there?” Millie asks, concerned.
“I’ll use a spell, obviously… I’m not driving through demon country to get to the City of Angels.”
Millie gives a polite smile at Ada’s divine comedy.
“What about us?” Hayley asks. “You’re just going to leave us?”
“I have to stop Adam, and end this madness,” Ada says, and finishes up her doughnut.
“We’ll be defenceless without you,” Caprice says.
“You’ll be fine,” Ada says as she chews. “Just stay inside the barrier, and don’t waste the supplies we’ve scavenged.”
“But how long will we last?” Hayley asks. “What if you don’t make it back?”
Ada swallows, then licks her fingers… and says, coldly, “Killing Adam is the only way to stop the Apocalypse. If I fail… then it’s all over.”
No more words are exchanged, as a dark silence envelops them…
* * *
“You’re crazy!” Rose says to Ada.
“You don’t even know if Faust is there!” Wallace argues. “You can’t take on a whole army of demons by yourself!”
Late at night, in an unused classroom, Ada is forced to explain her decision to Eileen, Wallace, and Rose.
“Faust is definitely there,” Ada insists. “And you heard the report: “anyone who can help, please head to L.A.””
“And what will you do when you teleport there?” Eileen asks. “Set up another magic barrier? Can you protect an entire city?”
“Like I said: I’m planning to teleport survivors here,” Ada says, “I don’t know how many I’ll end up rescuing, which is why I’m telling you about it first.”
“What if you accidentally teleport a demon here?” Eileen asks. “Or do something that exposes us, or puts us in danger?”
“That won’t happen,” Ada says dismissively.
“But if it does?” Wallace asks. “What if a demon gets in while you’re gone?”
“Then just kill the damn thing,” Ada answers impatiently.
“You’re leaving?!” Eve suddenly appears, running into the classroom with Allison chasing after her.
“Eve…” Eileen says. “Aren’t you supposed to be in bed by now?”
“I guess you’re not much of a babysitter too, huh, Alllison?” Rose teases with a smile.
“Sorry… sorry…” Allison says as she catches her breath. “Eve heard the rumours… that Ada was leaving…”
“Why are you going away now?” Eve clings to Ada, shaking her arm. “Aren’t we safe here?”
“Yes, yes you are,” Ada gently says, patting the little girl’s head. “But there are other people who need help right now, and I have to go help them.”
“But what about us?” Eve cries. “What about me? And Eileen? And Allison? And Rose and Millie and all our friends?”
“I’m right here too…” Wallace quietly points out.
“Don’t worry, as long as you stay inside the barrier, you’ll be fine,” Ada says. “And I promise, as soon as I’m done, I’ll come back, okay?”
“No!” Eve throws herself at Ada, hugging her tightly. “I don’t want you to go!”
“Alright, that’s enough, Eve.” Eileen pulls the crying girl away from Ada, and with Allison’s help, drags her off to go back to bed.
“Don’t go, Ada! Please stay! Stay!” Eve cries desperately as she’s carried away.
Ada turns her head, unable to meet Eve’s tearful eyes.
Ada seems lost in thought, as she stands at her desk, before all her weapons and equipment.
The cold morning sun reaches in through the window…
She looks to Olive, still asleep…
Not wanting to wake them, Ada moves quietly…
She affixes to her belt: her walkie-talkie, flashlight, compass, knife, rope, her two pistols, spare ammunition, and, her sheathed katanas.
Then, she takes her backpack, filled with food, bottled water, a first-aid kit, a blanket, a small telescope, a spare flashlight and compass, and a map of Los Angeles meant for tourists.
And with a final glance at Olive, peacefully asleep… Ada smiles… before silently walking away…
* * *
As she makes her way down the hall, she bumps into Millie, holding two cups of hot coffee in her hands…
“Ah, good morning,” Millie greets Ada with a warm smile.
“Good morning…” Ada says and nods; she wasn’t expecting to run into anyone.
“Care for a cup of coffee?” Millie offers Ada one of the cups, steam wafting gently from it.
Still feeling a little hungry, Ada decides to accept. “Sure… thanks, Millie.”
Ada leans against the wall as she enjoys her coffee, while Millie simply stands beside her.
“No… it should be us thanking you, Ada… all of us… we owe you everything.”
“I just happened to be in the neighbourhood,” Ada jokes, dismissing the notion.
“Nonetheless… many of us owe you a great deal, myself included.”
“Well, I got a cup of coffee out of it, so I guess we can call it even.”
Millie slowly smiles, and nods, and takes another sip.
“Eve has Eileen and Allison, so she’ll be fine, but… if I don’t make it back… could you take care of Olive for me?”
“I will… you have my word.”
Ada nods… and enjoys what might be her last drink with a friend.
* * *
Ada tosses a case and her backpack onto the passenger seat, and minds her sheathed swords as she climbs into the pickup truck.
She closes the door, and looks to Millie, waving her goodbye.
Ada waves goodbye as well… before taking a deep breath… and putting her hands on the steering wheel.
The pickup truck begins to lift slightly, seemingly defying gravity, as Ada incants her teleportation spell.
And in the blink of an eye, the bright horizons of a snowy city flash and disappear into the dark, empty streets of Chinatown, Los Angeles.
The truck bounces as gravity yanks it back down.
“Home sweet home…” Ada says and scans her surroundings.
Everything looks damaged and deserted, but there isn’t a demon in sight.
Adjusting to the sunnier climate, Ada takes off her jacket before putting on her backpack. She also grabs Wallace’s hunting rifle, removing it from its case on the passenger seat, and steps out of the truck for a better view.
The sun is still rising over the skyline, while plumes and columns of smoke drift out from buildings set ablaze, darkening the day.
Ada focuses the riflescope at a particular building in the distance, which Julia owned and used as a secret school to teach magic… and where Ada, Robert, and Adam grew up together…
She sweeps her view over every window, and checks the grounds for any signs of demonic presence.
“Huh,” Ada mutters to herself. “I guess Adam didn’t take it over… must have been too modest for the bas-”
Something stirs in the back of the truck, causing Ada to spin around and aim at it!
But it’s just a saddened little girl under the tarpaulin, slowly raising her hands…
“Eve?!” Ada exclaims as she lowers the rifle. “What… what are you doing here?!”
“I want to help too…” Eve says, feeling guilty for sneaking into the truck.
Ada sighs… She slings the rifle’s strap over her shoulder, and walks up to Eve.
“Come here!” Due to her small stature, Ada struggles, but manages to extract and lift the girl out of the truck bed.
“What were you thinking? You could have caught a cold!” Ada continues berating as she helps Eve up into the passenger seat, pushing aside the rifle case.
Then Ada herself climbs into the driver’s seat, stashes her backpack, rifle, and its case into the back, and almost scolds Eve again, before noticing that the little girl has properly buckled her seatbelt and is sitting still.
Ada decides to just leave the rest up to Eileen, and incants again the teleportation spell to bring them back.
But… nothing happens…
Ada recites the spell again, slowly, and carefully…
But still they remain on the dark street.
“No… oh no… no, no, no…” Ada tightens her grip on the steering wheel.
“What’s the matter, Ada?”
“We’re in deep sh- …we’re in deep trouble.”
“We can’t go back?”
“No… not by teleportation spell.”
“Because the son-of-a- … the bad guy who calls himself “Faust”, is blocking us from teleporting away… I think we need to drive out of the city…”
“Because he’s a bad guy… he’s bad… he does bad sh- bad things like this…”
“… But why?”
“Stop asking me “why”!! We grew up together! We trained and played together! He was like a brother to me!! I-I don’t know why he’s destroying the world!”
Ada’s anguished outburst startles and scares Eve… but she stops herself from crying…
The little girl quietly wipes away her tears, as Ada slowly calms herself down.
“I’m sorry, Eve… I’m sorry for yelling… it was rude of me…”
Eve doesn’t reply…
Ada rests her forehead against the wheel, trying to think of a way to keep Eve safe.
“The truck has its own barrier spell, so you should be safe in here… probably…” Ada thinks aloud.
After a few moments, she lifts her head back up, and looks to Eve, still bundled up in her winter outfit, and staring sadly back at Ada…
Ada takes a deep breath, realising she has no choice but to abandon her quest for vengeance to keep Eve safe.
“Alright, Eve,” Ada tentatively says. “We’re going to get out of here, but I need you to pay attention, and listen to everything I say, okay?”
“First, you should take off your winter clothes: we’re in California right now, it’s going to get hot.”
“What? We’re not in Utah anymore?”
Ada unbuckles Eve’s seatbelt, and helps her take off her coat.
After neatly folding up her coat and buckling Eve’s belt again, Ada starts the truck… and carefully drives towards the building, where Julia’s secret school is.
The engine seems too loud as Ada drives by once-familiar neighbourhoods, now lost in shadows and eerie silence.
“Where are all the demons?” Eve asks.
“Coffee break, maybe,” Ada kids to lighten the mood.
“Hmm…” Eve is still too young to grasp the humour. “How long is their coffee break?”
“I don’t know, Eve… I was joking.”
“Oh. … Dad says, if you take a long coffee break, it means you’re really lazy…”
As they drive closer and closer, Ada begins to notice the signs of recent battle:
The buildings and infrastructure seem more and more riddled with bullet holes or scorch marks; splotches of dried blood, demonic or otherwise, become unmistakable, while every surface seems strangely wet, as if a flood had come and swallowed up the corpses.
“I made a mistake.” Ada finally steps on the brakes. “Adam didn’t overlook our old home after all.”
As she shifts gears and starts to reverse, Eve notices something:
“Ada? Who’s that?”
Ada turns to look, and is startled to see someone staring back at them!
“M-Michelle!? Is that you?” Ada shouts as she stops the truck.
Michelle, a diminutive young lady, slowly nods in reply.
“Michelle!” Ada leaps out and runs to her. “Are you hurt? Where’s everyone? What happened?”
Michelle’s expression doesn’t change, as she points at their old school, and says, “Julia’s in there, with the others…”
Ada looks to their old home, now heavily-damaged and desolate…
“Then we’re going to rescue them: I’m going to drive us all out of here. Come on!” Ada draws her swords. “Where are your weapons, Michelle?”
Michelle shakes her head. “I lost them.”
“Take mine.” Ada gives her a sword and a pistol.
Then she turns back to say, “Eve, stay in there! Don’t leave the truck!”
“B-But,” Eve fearfully says, “you said you wouldn’t leave me!”
“I won’t! I’ll come back, I promise! But you have to stay right there, or else a demon might eat you! Do you understand?!”
Eve nods, unhappily…
“Good girl!” Ada says, then turns again to Michelle: “Let’s go.”
Ada and Michelle run towards and onto an upturned car like it’s a ramp, and leap off of it to get over the obstructed gate.
As she lands, Ada glances back, through the bars of the fence, making sure that Eve didn’t leave the truck.
Then, she and Michelle run up to the entrance, before the doors suddenly swing open to reveal a woman in a red cheongsam: Master Julia! who knocks them back down with a magical gust of wind!
As Michelle unnaturally rises again to her feet, Julia hurls an explosive lightning bolt at her, flinging her small figure to the side!
“Master Julia!” Ada screams as she staggers back up. “What the hell is wrong with you!?”
Julia wastes no time and grabs Ada by her hand, pulling her along as she conjures another magical gust, pushing open the gates and clearing the path of obstacles.
“Everyone! Move! To Ada’s truck!” Julia calls out, as she traps Michelle in a dome of fire!
“Wait, what about Michelle?!” Ada shouts! “What are you doing?!”
From the entrance, Professor Stefen emerges, with magic students Sofia, Filip, and Nina, and a wounded soldier, Kasper, with his little sister, Laura.
As Michelle stands up again with inhuman speed, Professor Stefen casually fires a shotgun through the flames, blowing a hole in Michelle’s gut!
“No!!” Ada tries to shoot Stefen, but Julia knocks the pistol away!
“Ada! Michelle betrayed us!” Julia yanks her along as the group rushes to the truck.
“She turned herself into a demon, just like Adam!” Julia explains, still furious at their treachery.
Ada looks back, thinking that it couldn’t be… as Michelle splits apart her lower jaw like a snake, and consumes Julia’s dome of fire…
Ada stares in disbelief as she runs.
With her whole body steaming, Michelle tosses Ada’s katana up into the air, walks through the fence as if she’s made of boiling water, and snatches the falling sword by the hilt; she pauses briefly when Ada’s pistol in her other hand is caught: so she tilts it to pass between the bars.
“No…” Ada says, “no, it can’t be… she’s just like Adam…”
“No, not like Adam,” Stefen says while running and smoking a cigarette. “She’s a demonic, serpentine, water-based entity.”
“What the hell does that mean?” Laura asks.
“”Liquid snake”,” Stefen answers.
Michelle fires at them, but Julia blocks every bullet with a magical shield.
So Michelle discards the emptied pistol, and throws Ada’s sword with all her strength!
The blade breaks through Julia’s shield and the truck’s windscreen, stabbing into the headrest just above Eve’s head!
“Ada!!” Eve cries as she jumps out of the truck.
Ada goes to calm the frightened girl: “Eve! Get in the truck! Get back inside the truck! I don’t care, get inside, now!” — “No! She threw a sword at me! I don’t want to, I don’t want to!”
Sofia, Filip, and Nina help Kasper and Laura up into the back of the truck, while Stefen empties his guns at Michelle to slow her down.
Ada gives up pleading and just lifts Eve into Sofia’s arms, letting her drag the crying girl onto the truck bed.
Julia pulls the embedded katana free from the headrest, just as Michelle reaches the truck, and violently crashes against the magic barrier, knocking herself to the ground!
Stefen hands his empty guns and spare ammo for Kasper to reload, and climbs into the driver’s seat, while Ada throws Julia the other katana, as Michelle suddenly lifts herself upright again with demonic will.
With her hands reshaped into blades of boiling water, Michelle stabs at the magical barrier! Then, turning her arm-blades into large, fang-like hooks, she pulls and tears herself an opening, and slams her head in!
She begins to squeeze her whole body through the gap, like an amorphous, translucent snake!
As Stefen starts the engine, Michelle splits open her lower jaw with a gurgling hiss! But Julia swings the katanas down her liquid face, cleaving her whole head apart!
The misshapen beast screeches in pain!
Stefen reverses the truck, pulling the edge of the magic barrier past Michelle, and then he lurches forwards, ramming her down with the barrier’s wall!
“And that’s another one for my assistant!” Stefen yells!
Julia hurries herself into the passenger seat, and Stefen accelerates, driving everyone away.
Michelle transforms her cloven head into the gaping maw of her serpentine form; the watery snake bubbles and roils, growing in size as she slithers up into the air to give chase.
Weaving swiftly over the streets, closer and closer, like a hot river trailing steam, the demon roars as it catches up with the truck!
In the truck bed, Kasper hands Ada the loaded rifle, and starts reloading the shotgun.
The demonic snake swirls and cascades down at the truck, clamping its jaws onto the roof of the magic barrier with a boiling splash!
Ada pushes Eve into Nina’s protective embrace, and hands Sofia her pistol.
Eel-like tongues force themselves past the roof of the barrier and pour through!
Ada and Sofia fire at the attacking appendages!
Stefen swerves the truck, trying to throw the demon off!
“Stay on this road!” Julia tells him. “We can teleport away once we’re outside Chinatown!”
Kasper yanks the terrified Filip over to protect Laura, before loading the final rounds into the shotgun. He then aims at the nearest demonic eel-limb, and blows the biting end to pieces!
One tongue finds the hole in the windscreen, and rushes in to bite and strangle Julia’s neck!
Stefen instinctively sticks his cigarette into it, but scalds only his fingers over its hot liquid skin!
Julia magically freezes the limb, almost turning it to ice before it retreats!
“Oh, piss off with those Graboid tongues, Michelle!” Stefen yells at the fleeing appendage. “Even I ain’t that kinky!”
As the truck races to the edge of Chinatown, Ada, Sofia, and Kasper fire their last shots, so they desperately bash away the tentacles with their empty guns!
“Swords!” Ada shouts for Julia to pass them back, as she draws her knife to fend off an eel-tongue.
But before Julia can hand the katanas back, a tongue coils around Filip’s neck and bites his shoulder, burning his skin and clothes!
“Filip!” Nina rushes to him, exposing herself to attack.
“Nina, stay down!” Ada slashes at another tentacle, cutting off its hissing head!
Just as Julia gives Sofia the swords, the decapitated tongues fume as they sharpen into blades.
Nina and Kasper manage to free Filip, before all the blade-tongues impale them!
Ada and Sofia swing their katanas, slicing and severing the tentacles to free their friends!
But behind them, another tongue grabs Eve and snatches her up before Ada can stop it!
“Eve!!” Ada gasps; “Ada! Help!!” Eve screams!
Sofia immediately leaps and climbs up the tentacles, scorching her hands as she hurries like a cat to rescue Eve!
The demon suddenly retracts its tongues, just as Sofia hurls herself at Eve!
She swings her sword, and cleanly cuts through the tentacle, freeing Eve!
As they fall, Sofia catches Eve’s hand, but it slips out of Sofia’s grasp as the rest of the withdrawing tentacles coil and wrap around Eve, pulling her up into the demon’s jaws.
Eve cries in pain as the boiling tongues squeeze and sear her!
Sofia lands at the rear edge of the truck bed, and nearly falls over, before Laura catches the tip of her katana, cutting her hands to pull Sofia back.
The demon’s jaws finally lose their grip over the magic barrier, and the snake slips off from the roof, with Eve wailing amidst its enclosing fangs.
“Stop the truck!” Ada screams at Stefen!
“We’re nearly outside of the suppression spell: we’re teleporting!” Julia says.
“No! Master Julia, we can’t leave Eve behind!!”
“I’m almost drained of magic, Ada! We can’t keep fighting Michelle!”
“Then I’ll fight!”
“No! Ada, I’ll need your magic to save the others!”
Ada looks to Nina, Filip, and Kasper, all of them dying from demonic injuries…
Sofia is doing her best to keep them alive… Laura is pressing her hands over Kasper’s wounds, slowing the bleeding, and she looks to Ada, wordlessly begging her to help save her brother…
“I promised Eve I wouldn’t leave her!” Ada desperately says to Julia. “I can’t let her die!”
“Ada, it’s too late! There’s nothing you can do!”
“No… no… no… please, no…”
“I’m sorry, Ada… she’s gone…”
Ada looks back at the demon snake, still pursuing them.
She can no longer hear Eve’s crying…
Ada walks over the puddles of blood, to the rear of the truck, and stares into the broiling maw of the beast, as the truck lifts, and the world around her flashes and disappears…
And she finds herself returned to Utah… in the familiar grounds of the college… under a bright, snowy sky…
Ada’s sword slips through her fingers, dropping beside its twin… where blood and snow coat their blades…
In a biology classroom, a pair of bloodied scalpels are left forgotten in a sink.
Ada and Sofia had assisted Julia and Stefen, and worked to save Kasper, Filip, and Nina.
Tarpaulins draped over desks served as makeshift operating tables.
Julia neutralised the demonic poison in their blood, and Stefen excised the tainted flesh and cleaned their wounds, before magically suturing them up.
As soon as they were done, Eileen confronted Ada, having found Eve’s winter clothes in the truck, all neatly folded.
Ada slowly told the truth… that Eve, missing since morning, had hid inside the truck bed…
And when Eileen demanded to know what had happened to Eve, all Ada could do was shake her head.
Eileen nearly strangled Ada, before Wallace held her back.
Eileen sobbed furiously, and blamed Ada… for deceiving her family, for bringing the demons to their city, and for causing Eve’s death.
After Allison, Wallace, and Rose dragged Eileen away… Ada walked back to her room… and laid down on the floor, resting her head on her sleeping bag.
She closed her eyes… and dreamt of nothing…
* * *
When Ada woke, the sun was beginning to set, and she found Olive sitting beside her.
She said nothing, when Olive asked if she was alright.
Olive then asked if Ada wanted to be alone, and Ada said, “no…”
* * *
Olive brought Ada some warm food, and they shared dinner in silence.
Then, they went to the infirmary, and Ada tended to Nina, Filip, and Kasper, relieving Sofia so she could rest.
Laura came by later, asking if anything’s changed and if her big brother Kasper was going to be okay.
Ada nodded, and told Laura not to worry.
After Sofia fetched Laura and took her to their new room, Ada and Olive stayed and kept watch.
Olive dozed off eventually… leaving Ada alone to monitor the patients’ conditions.
Ada sat by the window, looking out at the cold, silent city… where no electricity powered the buildings or the streetlamps… where no headlights shone on roads near or far… and no planes blinked their navigation lights in the dark sky…
Ada wondered if the afterlife would be just as haunting, as a world overrun by demons…
* * *
At midnight, Stefen came to relieve Ada and Olive, relying on coffee instead of cigarettes to stay awake; he grumbled about how it was going to mess with his sleep.
As they walked through the quiet hallways back to their room, Olive whispered, asking Ada how she remained so calm.
Ada replied that she wasn’t… she was just focused on revenge, even more so than before: she was going to kill Adam and Michelle, even if she had to go through every demon on the planet to do it.
Olive remarked that that was crazy, and that they thought Ada was a smart and compassionate leader, always thinking about saving as many people as she could.
And Ada coldly admitted: “I only care about revenge.”
Ada walked on, not realising Olive had stopped, and leaving them behind…
“So I was the only one?” Ada asks.
“Yes,” Julia says and nods. “No one else teleported messages or contacted us.”
The early morning sun seems to cast long shadows about them…
“Then it’s true…” Ada says. “Adam killed everyone.”
“Not all of us,” Julia reminds her. “We’re still here.”
“The only ones left…”
“Now… how do we kill him?”
“I don’t know…”
“What do you mean? Can’t you figure out how to break his demonic pact?”
“He destroyed all my tools when I was away; burned my books and resources. I don’t even know what he’s become, exactly.”
“He’s just an overblown demon, right? We just need to hurt him… badly.”
“I… suppose blunt attacks can still seriously harm him… but we never fought face-to-face, so I never had the chance.”
“You killed all his demons…”
“I’m afraid he has more; that was his tactic: to tire us, before sending Michelle to inflict the final blow.”
“Michelle… she was the demon who killed Robert…”
“It seems so… based on your early messages, describing the attack…”
“Robert died trying to protect me… why didn’t Michelle finish me off?”
“It’s cold here, I think that might have slowed her down…”
“Is that… Is that why you want to move us all to that old mountain temple?”
“Indeed, no one knows about it, it’s cold enough, hard to reach, and with a little work and magic, we can even grow food there.”
“So… we have until spring to gather enough supplies and move everyone?”
“No, Ada, we can’t wait: Adam knows we’re here, we must move now. You have to gather everyone and prepare them to leave.”
“Can we teleport everyone all at once?”
“I think I’ve recovered enough to pull it off… we should be able to; we’ll combine our strength and-”
“Ada! Ada! Ada!” Caprice comes frantically running. “Ada!!”
“We… we’ve…” Caprice catches her breath. “We’ve got to go now…”
“We were just discussing that, actually,” Julia says.
“No, I mean, right now!” Caprice hurriedly explains. “The college is surrounded by demons!”
* * *
Ada and Julia dash across the snow-blanketed grounds to the front gate, where Stefen, Sofia, Wallace, and Rose are.
Rose and Stefen both have their shotguns, while Wallace keeps his rifle aimed at the nearest demon, and Sofia stands ready with Ada’s twin katanas.
Julia asks, “Stefen, how many?”
“All of them, I think,” Stefen answers. “But Michelle’s holding them back from the barrier, and she told us to send out Ada, unarmed and alone, or they’ll slaughter everyone like in L.A.”
“Me?” Ada asks. “Why me?”
“I don’t know, she just walked away before I could ask.”
“That doesn’t make any sense, what does she want with me? Why not just attack?”
“Maybe they want to negotiate? Your guess is as good as mine, Ada.”
“That seems unlikely,” Sofia comments.
“It’s a trap,” Julia agrees. “Sofia’s right. They just want to separate Ada from us.”
“But if that’s the case… why?” Rose asks. “What does Ada have that they want?”
“Maybe because Ada’s the one who set up the magic barrier?” Wallace asks, keeping his eyes and rifle trained on the closest demon.
“No, that’s not it… Hmm,” Julia says. “We’ll have to fight our way out again… I can sense the same spell, suppressing us from using teleportation.”
“That’s not going to work, Master Julia,” Ada says. “We can’t escape from this many demons.”
“We’ll have to try,” Julia says.
“No,” Ada insists. “Tell me, how do I break Adam’s pact with the demons?”
Rose baulks. “You’re not seriously going out there by yourself, unarmed?”
“If there’s a chance to get to Adam, then yes: I am going out there alone, but I’m taking Robert’s swords with me.”
Ada turns to Sofia, the fierce look in her eyes convinces Sofia to relent, and surrender the katanas and Olive’s scabbards.
Julia sighs, and says, “I don’t know what kind of pact Adam’s made with the demons, but you can try to claim his contract for yourself.”
“Invoke the demon that Adam is beholden to, and declare that Adam is unfit, and you want his contract.”
“That will work?”
“It might… and you’ll have to prove yourself worthy to the demon too.”
“Ada, no, forget it.” Rose hands Sofia her shotgun, and shakes Ada’s small frame. “We’ll just run, okay?”
“Let go of me, Rose.”
“Ada… don’t do this…”
“I have no choice, Rose.”
“It’s not worth it, girl! I’d rather die than see you turn into another Faust!”
“… I’m going, Rose. … Let go.”
Rose’s hands slowly loosen, releasing Ada…
Ada turns, and finds Wallace wordlessly offering her his best rifle… Ada nods, and accepts it.
She buckles and tightens a belt of spare ammunition to her waist, and slings the gun across her back.
Then, with single-minded purpose, she walks out the front gate, leaving everyone behind.
* * *
Ada walks down the middle of the street; her path cleared of snow, her every step watched by demons…
The monsters keep their distance, growling softly as she passes.
Ada walks to the end of the road, where a demonic portal awaits her at a junction.
She briefly wonders if she could have walked down a different path, or if she could turn back…
[Choice: ada_turn_back = False if “Keep going.”; True if “Turn back now.”]
[Branch start: if ada_turn_back == True]
A thought suddenly flashes in her mind…
She remembers Olive, comforting them in her arms…
Her hands grip their handmade scabbards tightly…
[Branch end: if ada_turn_back == True]
But no, she dismisses the thought…
There is no choice but to keep moving forwards.
Ada clears her mind and braces herself…
She steps into the portal, and falls through a demonic gullet…
* * *
The dark portal spits Ada out, throwing her to the ground.
She angrily gets up from the snow, brushing and dusting herself as the portal snaps shut and collapses.
“Now, where the hell am… I?” Ada mutters, before recognising the house before her.
It’s her Colorado home… where she looked after Eve, living and working as an au pair for her family.
Ada walks up to it, surprised that its windows are no longer broken.
She presses her hand against the door, somehow in one piece again.
“Am I dreaming?” Ada wonders aloud, remembering clearly that the door and windows were broken… when she slew the demons inside…
She feels again the tremendous guilt… for not telling Eileen, Allison, and the others… that their families are gone… lying that they had fled, to spare them from the grief…
She cremated the remains, to stop demons from scavenging them…
Hoping that she had miraculously travelled back through time, Ada closes her eyes, takes a deep breath, and opens the door…
Everything inside looks intact… so Ada carefully walks in…
The living room is untouched… it’s just the way it was…
The sound of cartoons comes from the television… there’s a kid sitting on the sofa, eating cereal as she watches her shows… and Ada instinctively runs to the little girl…
Ada accidentally knocks her bowl to the floor as she holds the girl tightly, warm tears flowing down her cheeks.
“I’m sorry! I’m so sorry I left you!”
“It’s okay… I-I wasn’t scared…”
“A-Are you hurt? Are you okay?”
Ada lets go to take a good look at Eve… and gently caresses her cheeks…
“I love you, Eve.”
“I-I love you too, Ada… it… it wasn’t a nightmare… was it?” Eve shivers as she asks… tears forming in her eyes…
Ada shakes her head, and hugs Eve close to her heart, sobbing with her precious little girl.
“You lied!” Eve screams into Ada’s chest. “My mom and dad are gone! You said they escaped!”
“I’m sorry… I am so, so sorry, Eve…”
Eve whimpers, crying for her parents…
Ada holds her tighter, trying to ease her sorrow.
When suddenly, the television stutters and freezes… and stops…
A man walks in, and says, “You shouldn’t lie, Ada… You’re setting a bad example, you know.”
“Adam…” Ada quickly stands and pulls Eve behind her, as her other hand draws a sword.
“Oh, sorry, am I interrupting?” Adam affects an apology, keeping his charismatic smile.
“Why did you do this?” Ada asks, slowly backing herself and Eve away from him.
“Would you rather I let Michelle have her? Come now, you mustn’t think of me as some sort of heartless monster, Ada.”
“… Then why did you destroy the world?”
“Destroy the world? No, Ada, no, that is just a common misconception, a horrible misunderstanding. Come, sit, let me illuminate your darkened mind, and save you from such ignorance.”
Adam summons the dropped bowl to his hand, and returns the milk and cereal into it as if they were never spilled.
He sets Eve’s bowl on the table, takes a seat on the couch, and pats the space beside him, beckoning Ada and Eve.
“I can hear you just fine from here,” Ada says.
“I can kill you both just fine from here as well,” Adam grins as he threatens.
He snaps his fingers, and Eve’s bowl starts to shake and crack as its contents boil.
“Stop it! … Okay, fine… Just don’t hurt her,” Ada begs…
Adam smirks victoriously. He waves his hand, dismissing the bowl like ashes disappearing in the wind.
Reluctantly, Ada sheathes her sword… and with Eve, goes to sit down, as far from Adam as she can.
Adam pretends Ada’s distance doesn’t offend him, and picks up the remote control.
“Let’s start at the beginning… with a younger me, and a beautiful woman named Lilly.”
He presses a random button for show, commanding the television to retell his romanticised memory, presenting it as an old black-and-white drama.
“Yes… I was but a fool then, one who fell madly in love with her,” Adam narrates emotionally, echoing the television:
“You’re right, I am a fool, Lilly, one who’s fallen madly in love with you.”
The black-and-white drama flickers, depicting scenes of happiness… Adam and Lilly were made for each other.
Ada incredulously glances at Adam.
“But our love, like all good things in the world, couldn’t last,” Adam speaks with great anguish, repeating the drama:
“Even our love, just like all that is good in this world, can’t last forever, Adam… you have to learn to let go, and continue your life without me…”
“I couldn’t let her go.” Adam clenches the remote.
The black-and-white Adam trembles as he clasps Lilly’s hand to his lips, with his other hand lovingly caressing Lilly’s face, while she sleeps peacefully on a hospital bed…
“After she left me… well, you know what happened, Ada…” Adam presses another random button:
The drama slowly colours itself into videotape recordings and sepia photographs, following Adam, alongside Ada and Robert, as they volunteered for charities and nonprofits: they cooked and fed starving communities, treated the sick and injured, and helped evacuate refugees from disasters, disease, and war.
They quietly used their magic to save as many people as they could.
“For a time, I was content with helping others,” Adam says, genuinely. “Just as Julia taught us to… just like what Lilly wanted…
“After a few years of being a relief worker, though, the victims I couldn’t rescue weighed heavy on my soul… and I felt I had to do more.”
Newspaper headlines flash by; magazine articles; news reports: catalogues of Adam’s rise in the business world, as he gobbles up one company after another.
“It was easy, with Julia’s connections and influence. We manipulated the greedy to work for us, taking apart corrupt monopolies, piece by piece.
“Of course, Julia refused to establish an empire, focusing instead on destabilising hegemonies from the shadows, rather than outright conquering them…
“Ridiculous! Banks were the new monarchies of the world! With our power, they were as fruit to us, ripe for the taking! We could have plundered the tyrants’ vaults, raided their kingdoms, and seated ourselves on glorious thrones built upon money and control!
“We could have ruled over a new world: rid it of war, corruption, and madness… but Julia expelled me, for defying her stupidity and lack of vision…
“She betrayed me, Ada. She lied to us. She was afraid we would become too powerful for her to beguile and string along like puppets. A spoiled girl, leashing a wolf to be her loyal puppy.
“Exiled and disillusioned, I resorted to politics to realise my ambitions. I asked for your help when I ran for president but you were too deluded by Julia’s foolishness, and you rejected me.
“Your refusal hurt me, Ada. We could have saved so many lives and repaired so much damage in the world…
“I was relentlessly mocked and disgraced. Without you beside me, I couldn’t corral enough of the simpleminded rabbles to give me power.”
The television glosses over Adam’s failed political career.
“And your failure to look beyond Julia’s veil of lies is what drove me to enlightenment…”
The television shows Adam with Lilly’s corpse, resurrected.
“Beautiful… weren’t we?”
“Eve, close your eyes, stop listening.” Ada holds Eve close, muffling her ears.
“I sold my soul to Mephistopheles, a demon who gave me real, everlasting power, and revealed to me the secret knowledge that Julia forbade, keeping me in the dark and under her thumb.”
Adam crushes and melts the remote in his fist.
“Mephistopheles helped me bring Lilly back… but… once more… our love failed to last…”
The screen becomes their bedroom mirror, covered in bloody handprints.
“Brought back from the afterlife, Lilly saw visions of the future, of me, ruling over the earth… and of the past… of the child we lost…
“It was too great for Lilly to bear… and in her grief, she removed her beautiful blue eyes… turning herself into a lamia, the first demon I unleashed upon the world…
“Michelle was sent to investigate Lilly’s victims… and it was Julia’s fault that they slew each other.”
The bedroom mirror ripples into a bloody river, slowly flowing over Michelle’s mangled face.
“Unable to revive Lilly, I used my great power to resurrect Michelle instead, gifting her all of Lilly’s blood and beauty… I made her a pure lamia demon… without weakness…
“She was unquestioning in her loyalty, Ada, an admirable trait. Together, we liberated Julia’s hoard of knowledge and treasures, claiming what should be mine, and burning everything else.
“With guidance from Mephistopheles, I found a way to summon demons from Hell itself, using the very spells that Julia was too afraid to learn.
“I brought down militaries first, so there’d be no insane attempt to prevent my wonderful new world from dawning…”
The bloody river paints itself into a shining portrait of Adam, sitting before huge office windows, behind an ebony desk, piled with skulls, and the name “Faust” on a golden plate, as Michelle and his demons stand around him, mocking “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci.
“And you know what I’ve realised, Ada? After cleansing this horrible world of the unworthy?”
The painting fills a void beside Adam: Ada appears, leaning affectionately on him.
“I still want you.”
Ada’s furious eyes turn to Adam.
“Be my queen, Ada, and have the power to do as you wish.”
Her glare softens just slightly…
“You can keep Eve as your daughter.”
Ada looks to her, trembling with eyes closed in her embrace…
“Refusing me again won’t do her any favours, Ada…”
“How can I be sure?”
“Sure of what?”
“That I would become a queen, and not a glorified footman like Michelle?”
Adam regards Ada with suspicion and contempt. “I promise you, you will be treated as a queen.”
“And that you will never replace me? Like you did Lilly with Michelle? No, there has to be some sort of guarantee, something I can be sure of.”
“I am not a salesman, Ada, I am not hawking wares that you haggle over for a price to your liking. I am making you my bride, with or without your consent.”
“Then you will have no queen, just another servant that you can only dress up as a queen.”
Adam starts to seriously consider Ada’s argument… before nodding with an evil grin.
“You are absolutely right… you really are worthy of becoming a demon wife… you are still the cold-hearted bitch of my dreams…”
Ada smirks at Adam’s venomous compliment.
“So what does the destined Wife of Faust demand? What would satisfy the future Queen of Demons as adequate bride price?”
“Isn’t it obvious? … Half.”
“Half? Of the planet?”
“Of your power, silly. Anything you give me, you can take away, except equal power.”
Adam’s expression darkens…
“Ada, you ask too much.”
“Don’t you remember what I promised you? That I will always be there for you?”
“I… I remember…”
“Then if you truly want me…” Ada reaches her hand to Adam, stroking his face. “If you are still the selfless, kind man I knew and loved, all those years ago…”
Ada looks longingly at Adam, pleading for him to remember his humanity.
“That was a long time ago, Ada.”
“Not that long ago, Adam… I haven’t forgotten who we used to be… have you?”
Adam looks away, feeling a needle of regret pierce his heart…
A small remnant of his humanity wrestles away the demonic influence, and urges him to trust Ada.
“Fine, then… as you wish, Ada…”
He takes Ada’s hand, and gives up half of his magic.
Demonic fire burns Ada’s hand! But she doesn’t let go, instead, she holds on tighter!
“Adam!” she says, seizing the chance! “Break the pact!”
“Break the pact with the demons! Do it! I’ll help you!”
“Why!? I thought you loved me!!”
“I do! But for who you are! Not your power! Let it go! Throw it away and start over with me!”
“No!! Power is all I have!! I’ve sold my soul!!”
“You still have your heart! It can save you!”
Adam hesitates… before he sees Eve, tearfully looking back at him from Ada’s arms…
And he finally recognises her, as the child he and Lilly lost… her soul reincarnated…
He remembers Lilly’s last words to him, pleading for him to let go, and live a good, meaningful life…
He nods… and tells Ada…
“Take care of Eve.”
…and breaks the pact.
The house shakes as a portal bursts open behind Adam, throwing out greedy, demonic hands to drag him in!
“No!!” Ada clings tightly to Adam’s hand, refusing to let Hell take him!
“GIVE HIM TO ME!!” Mephistopheles bellows from the depths!
“You failed, you piece of shit!!” Ada tries to shout him down! “Adam gave up your power! He never wanted it! You tricked him!!”
“THE CONTRACT WAS SIGNED IN BLOOD!!” Mephistopheles beats his wings, and flies up through the flames and the smoke, coming to claim Adam himself!
“Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit!” Ada yells, terrified by the immense monster as she desperately pulls Adam back from the smaller cackling demons! Eve holds on to Ada’s waist and helps pull too!
“THE SOUL OF ADAM LEVICKY HAS BEEN PAID FOR! HE IS MINE!!” Mephistopheles raises his huge, clawed hand for Adam!
So Adam lets go, allowing Mephistopheles to drag him to Hell, and sparing Ada and Eve…
The demonic portal snaps shut, spitting Ada and Eve back!
And they fall onto the living room floor… safe and unhurt…
Slowly… they look to each other… with tears in their eyes…
“Adam… Adam let go…” Eve says…
“To save us…” Ada nods…
With nothing left to say… Ada hugs Eve… and they close their eyes…
Ada watches from a window, as Eve, Allison, and Eileen make snowmen…
She smiles at them… then continues to write in her diary…
She writes about Adam, saving Eve after Michelle nearly boiled the girl, then brought her back to their home in Colorado, and even repaired the damage to the house…
Ada tries her best to remember the good person that Adam once was… the man that she promised to always be there for… as a friend…
She regrets how she shunned him in his exile… how she was cold to him…
But, she wonders, if she had been there for him like she promised… would he have fallen from grace, and destroyed the world?
Could she have turned Adam away from the demons… and saved him… and everyone else?
A teardrop stains the page, startling Ada… she didn’t even realise she was crying…
She puts away her diary, and wipes her cheeks…
[Branch start: if ada_turn_back == False]
Then, she decides to leave the past behind her…
And goes to join Eve, Eileen, and Allison outside…
[Branch end: if ada_turn_back == False]
[Branch start: if ada_turn_back == True]
Before Olive offers her their handkerchief…
And Ada accepts it with a smile… and leans against Olive’s shoulder as they hold her…
Together, they watch Eve, Eileen, and Allison, building their snowmen…
[Branch end: if ada_turn_back == True]