Everything swirled around her. She was beyond pain, beyond everything, except for maybe life, and even that was fading. She never meant for it to go this far, but her ability to stop her thoughts was too addicting. Funny isn't it, your need to overcome weakness was a weakness in itself. The alien voice mocked her as she lay in the center of the floor sprawled across it. Get …out. It hurt to think, it hurt to do anything; she just felt weak. But my dear, your depression is so delicious. She couldn't force the voice to leave; she barely had enough energy left to hold on to life. Leave…now. Anger swelled through her adding a small amount of adrenaline making her arms drip red at a slightly faster rate. Fine, but I'll see you again. The voice left her. If I live to see again. Was her final thought before the encroaching blackness took over.

            Kenan sat in front of the crystal ball, the room was freezing cold. For all the grandiose curtains and carpets there was still emptiness everywhere. It was as if all the beauty had been sucked out of everything and any form of warmth or happiness that tried to creep in would be chased away. 

            "I know your there, and you had better have a good reason to be," the words were as icy cold as the room.

            "Do you think it is wise to kill the girl yet?" the female voice was surprisingly warm, but it was the type of false warmth that lulls you into security.

            "She won't die, besides, I can't do anything about it, now is that all you wanted?"

            "But, Kenan, I mean, isn't she"

            "She isn't anything, let me have my sport, what I have in store for her will be a lot worse."

            The woman took offense to this and a hurt tone crept into her voice. "How can you be so sure she won't die in time for you to put your plan into action!?"

            "Lucinda," Kenan roared, "If you don't want your position to be jeopardized I suggest you stop asking me stupid questions!" The ferocity with which his words were issued caused Lucinda to back towards the door slowly.

            "S-Sir, I'm very sorry sir, one request sir, I used all my energy coming here, could you send me home sir," the words managed to escape just before she could shut herself up.

            "You mean you wasted your energy coming here," Kenan mumbled, "very well." Lucinda felt the energy wash over her as she returned to the castle.

            Stupid people, how can they live like this, don't they understand the balance is everything; I must install myself in it before I'm caught. Perhaps this understanding was what caused the balance mages to get rid of Kenan. Infectious evil is dangerous, like a virus, but when that virus understands the need to keep its host alive, the danger only increases.

            Ravenna awoke to a dream state. She was in her old dojo holding the staff that she had admired so much. Slowly she began to let go as she felt it rush around her, the quick graceful motions that her body instinctively knew. It was like she still only knew the forms, not how to use it. She had always admired the forms, never quite managing to let them go for the quicker thinking required when she was fighting the others. Her arm pulled it around her hips as her other hand quickly grasped it and began the basic whirlwind motion the she had first learned.

            "You were quite good weren't you," Ravenna ignored the comment and smoothly went through a more complex motion.

"I never learned how to fight with it" her voice was cold, the complete opposite of the anger aimed at the one that interrupted her denial.

            "Did that ever matter?"

            "Yes," the snappy response showed no doubt. "Weakness always makes a difference."

            "Were you ever weak?"

            "Always."