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(Fic) Warning: Character Death

28th June 2009 (19:53)
Tags: ,

This ficlet was inspired by all the recent discussion about warnings. It's rather more angsty than most of the things I write, but that seems to fit the title.

454 words. Willow, late Season 6 AU. Xander got there too late.

Warning: Character Death


It took seven days to create the world.

It takes her just seven hours to destroy it.

Most of the people die in the first two hours, as the shockwave of fire marches around the world and turns it to ash and cinders. The people she knew - Buffy and Xander, Dawn, Giles, Anya, her parents - they're among the first to die. At least it's quick. She owes them that mercy - they were her friends, after all.

The ones who die later are less lucky. They see the first desperate news reports, as cameras that happen to be pointed in the right direction record the onrushing wall of flame, higher than a mountain, moving faster than an aircraft, stretching halfway across the horizon. The sight is broadcast out to the world in those scant few minutes before each camera in turn is consumed by fire. There's no way to escape, no way to hide; all they gain is to live their last moments knowing that death is coming for them.

She regrets that, a little. She didn't want anyone to feel pain. But as each human soul flares up and then goes silent forever, she knows their pain is over.

It's worse for the ones underground, in sealed buildings. They don't burn, they choke slowly as the firestorm sucks all the oxygen from the air. She gets angry with them; they weren't supposed to suffer that way; they're spoiling her plan. But not for long, as her power reaches out and the very air inside their lungs turns to flame and consumes them. After that, they can know peace.

The last humans left on Earth are the crews of submarines, deep in the cold, still depths of the oceans. They don't die until the fifth hour, when the seas start to boil.

The forests burn, leaving behind nothing but cinders. She used to be good at science; she knows the rainforests were the Earth's lungs, photosynthesis keeping the planet alive. No longer. But it doesn't matter, does it? There's nothing left to breathe the air that will no longer be renewed.

The icecaps melt, pouring their cold water into the roiling, bubbling oceans and sending up vast clouds of steam. Great dark clouds fill the air and blot out the sun, weeping silent tears of grief at the world's destruction.

Seven hours ago there were six billion people in the world.

Now there is only one.

She stands untouched in the midst of the destruction. A tiny figure, alone now. More alone than any human has ever been.

She sinks to her knees, and there is nobody left to hear her sobbing, hear her repeat a single name over and over again...
 

Comments

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 28th June 2009 19:14 (UTC)
Warren is a bitch. And also dead.

But what about the people on the ISS, huh? (Also, do vampires die from being boiled in sealed coffins at the bottom of the ocean? Inquiring minds want to know.)

Seriously, this works really well as a logical continuation of that all-consuming (heh) grief of losing someone. Kudos for making a rather morbid idea feel emotionally real.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th June 2009 19:58 (UTC)

Were there people out in space when 'Grave' was filmed? Well, they'll die when their air runs out, unless Willow kills them first.

Morbid? Moi? :-)

Thanks!

Posted by: Barb (rahirah)
Posted at: 28th June 2009 19:59 (UTC)

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 09:47 (UTC)

Posted by: Emmie (angearia)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 19:25 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 23:22 (UTC)

Posted by: Emmie (angearia)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 23:25 (UTC)

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 23:49 (UTC)

Posted by: Dave (dlgood)
Posted at: 30th June 2009 02:12 (UTC)

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 30th June 2009 08:23 (UTC)

Posted by: Dave (dlgood)
Posted at: 30th June 2009 23:56 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 1st July 2009 01:04 (UTC)

Posted by: Dave (dlgood)
Posted at: 1st July 2009 01:28 (UTC)

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: 28th June 2009 19:23 (UTC)
Scoobies

... while the majority of the demons managed to escape to the other dimensions through portals...

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th June 2009 20:00 (UTC)

Shh!

Anyway, Willow wanted to kill the humans as an act of mercy. I dont think she cared about the demons, although she might decide to hunt every one of them down through all the infinite dimensions now. I mean, she's got nothing else left to do, has she?

Thanks!

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: 28th June 2009 20:04 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th June 2009 20:06 (UTC)

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: 28th June 2009 20:11 (UTC)

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 28th June 2009 21:08 (UTC)

Posted by: Bob the Mole (bobthemole)
Posted at: 30th June 2009 02:49 (UTC)

Posted by: Barb (rahirah)
Posted at: 28th June 2009 19:58 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure this is the last word on the subject.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th June 2009 20:01 (UTC)

Well technically, I've just killed every character still alive at that point except for Willow herself, so technically it isn't quite over. But almost.

Thanks!

Posted by: The Mezzanine (deird1)
Posted at: 28th June 2009 20:02 (UTC)

Wow. This is great.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th June 2009 20:05 (UTC)

Killing every last human on Earth is fun! You should try it. :-)

Thanks!

Posted by: The Mezzanine (deird1)
Posted at: 28th June 2009 20:12 (UTC)

Posted by: erimthar (erimthar)
Posted at: 28th June 2009 20:59 (UTC)
pic#89543843

She sinks to her knees, and there is nobody left to hear her sobbing, hear her repeat a single name over and over again...

And the saddest part is that she's probably just now coming to realize that the owner of that name, wherever she is, will never forgive her for what she's done.

Ultimate power, ultimate destruction, and ultimate despair. This is how Hell Goddesses are born. (oooh, there's your sequel.)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th June 2009 21:54 (UTC)

Willow sends herself back in time and becomes Glorificus?
... nah.

Thanks!

Posted by: mikeda (mikeda)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 12:03 (UTC)

Posted by: mr_waterproof (mr_waterproof)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 19:10 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 23:25 (UTC)

Posted by: none of the above (frogfarm)
Posted at: 28th June 2009 22:51 (UTC)
faith S4 puppy

*golfclap

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 08:15 (UTC)

:-)

(I assume a golfclap is a good thing?)

Posted by: Emmie (angearia)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 19:32 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 23:27 (UTC)

Posted by: Emmie (angearia)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 23:33 (UTC)

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 08:15 (UTC)

Thanks! :-)

Posted by: Lily (lavastar)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 00:49 (UTC)

Oh, wonderful! And yummily angsty - especially the last line.

...is it a bit sad that Willow being sad over Tara gets me way more than the entire Earth ending?

Anyways, brilliant.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 08:17 (UTC)

"One death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic"
- Josef Stalin.

So it's not really strange; or at least, you think the same way as Joe Stalin did. :-)

Thanks!

Posted by: Lily (lavastar)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 15:18 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 18:56 (UTC)

Posted by: slaymesoftly (slaymesoftly)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 12:05 (UTC)

Ouch! Well done logical conclusion to Willow's grief-driven temper-tantrum. Go Xander for saving the world!

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 16:35 (UTC)

grief-driven temper-tantrum

Unfortunately there's nobody left alive to scold her and tell her to go sit on the naughty step until she calms down...

Thanks!

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: 29th June 2009 17:26 (UTC)

So she didn't kill herself at the end?

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 18:55 (UTC)

Well, that's one possibility.

I thought it would be even more angsty and heartbreaking if right at the end she realised what a huge mistake she'd made, now that there's absolutely no way to repair it...

Posted by: Emmie (angearia)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 19:34 (UTC)

I love the imagery of her internal feelings of tortured solitude becoming manifest here on Earth. Her heart is a burning ground, a decimated wasteland. So too will she make the world and achieve a perfect symmetry of destruction.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 23:28 (UTC)

Speaking of symmetry - the final scene was meant to mirror the final scene of Willow in 'Grave', except for the lack of Xander (or any chance for redemption.)

Thanks!

Posted by: Bob the Mole (bobthemole)
Posted at: 30th June 2009 02:54 (UTC)

Excellent!

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 1st July 2009 01:05 (UTC)

Thanks! :-)

Posted by: riccadonna (riccadonna)
Posted at: 30th June 2009 09:15 (UTC)

So, the ficlet was good, and the title--right at this particular moment--was a stroke of genius; but you deserve an award for planting the seed to one of the most hilarious bunch of comments I've ever read!!!

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 1st July 2009 01:07 (UTC)

Thanks! It was quite an odd juxtaposition of moods...

Incidentally, the title actually came first - I then started thinking what would be the best way to kill off the largest number of characters in the shortest number of words. :-)

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