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open Shadow of The Father


Radiant Hope (AU Sombra)

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(edited)

@ExplosionMare @Starforce

OOC

Radiant Hope strode into the palace. The guards vainly stood at attention only for Radiant to apathetically continue his stride into his office. He bearly nodded in Magloria's direction. That, however, wasn't a product of apply. In fact, it was his love that prevented him. He knew he was failing his wife, and by extension, Magloria. Radiant simply couldn't bear to look his daughter in the eyes.

He could avoid that, for now. What he couldn't avoid was Sombra's weakened state.

"How are you feeling today?" He asked. Once upon a time, that phrase would be a standard form of concern. Now, Radiant couldn't contain the fear he felt. Every day was a coin toss. Would Sombra be worse off today than yesterday? Would Radiant have even less time to figure out his cure?

Radiant was startled when he finally realized another mare was in the room. It was a pleasant surprise. Limbo Pass was good company, and the fact that she was here to keep Sombra company reassured him.

Missis Pass adjusted her ocean-blue hair and fidgetted, as she often does, before excusing herself, "I'll take Magloria to Jr. now. I don't want to cut in on your alone time."

With the swift vigor she always exuded, the green mare lept out of the room and skipped over to Magloria, "Are you ready to see Jr.?"

Edited by Loud Opinion
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@Loud Opinion @ExplosionMare

Magloria was watching the meeting unfold from around the corner of the doorway. Her small blue head peeking in as she listened. Her mother wasn't doing too well and less and less was she allowed to see her. She would watch upon the scene with sadness. She didn't understand why her mother was sickly. Her small frame sat at the doorway as she cradled her legs with her forehooves and rocked back and forth silently. 

Seeing Limbo's Mom in the room as they talked was comforting. She knew that whenever her mom was around she would be seeing her only friend shortly. Remaining in that silent cradling position she would eventually bury her head between her legs. Even though she was curious about her mother's condition she found a great sadness within herself. Soon enough, Limbo's Mom had come up to her and what she asked had made Magloria look up at her with those small grey eyes.

"I am um, ready. H-hows mom?" Magloria squeaked as she stood up on her four tiny hooves. Looking up at Limbo's mom she would regain a sense of calm and would walk quite close to her. She didn't want to veer too far from her comforting presence. 

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@Starforce @Loud Opinion

Sombra slowly looked up at her husband, doing her best to muster enough strength to elicit a response. However, she couldn’t let out more than a barely audible groan. Perhaps she could form words later, but for now, all she could do was lay there, thinking.

Magloria… she mentally whispered, wondering where her daughter was.

She had not seen her daughter in a while, not with her declining condition. She had agreed to this decision, not wanting Magloria to see just how sick her mother really was. However, keeping her daughter distanced only made Sombra miss her, terribly so. She would like to see her daughter again, if that was possible. She wanted to express this to her husband, but all that came out was a series of gasps and wheezes. Hopefully her daughter would come in anyways, even if only for a short while.

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On 2021-07-27 at 2:39 PM, Starforce said:

@Loud Opinion @ExplosionMare

Magloria was watching the meeting unfold from around the corner of the doorway. Her small blue head peeking in as she listened. Her mother wasn't doing too well and less and less was she allowed to see her. She would watch upon the scene with sadness. She didn't understand why her mother was sickly. Her small frame sat at the doorway as she cradled her legs with her forehooves and rocked back and forth silently. 

Seeing Limbo's Mom in the room as they talked was comforting. She knew that whenever her mom was around she would be seeing her only friend shortly. Remaining in that silent cradling position she would eventually bury her head between her legs. Even though she was curious about her mother's condition she found a great sadness within herself. Soon enough, Limbo's Mom had come up to her and what she asked had made Magloria look up at her with those small grey eyes.

"I am um, ready. H-hows mom?" Magloria squeaked as she stood up on her four tiny hooves. Looking up at Limbo's mom she would regain a sense of calm and would walk quite close to her. She didn't want to veer too far from her comforting presence. 

Limbo Pass gives a knowing smile to Magloria, "She's on her way to recovery! You'll see, your father is a miracle worker. He saved me, and he already saved your mother once before."

"So, how do you feel about Jr. staying at the palace? Should be able to see her more often now that she's closer."  Miss. Pass was not a fan of keeping her daughter locked up, but Radiant says it's for the best until he can figure out what's wrong with her, and she trusts his judgment.

As they walked down the hall, Limbo pass never lost the pep in her step or the smile on her face. What deity gifted her with this emotional resilience?

On 2021-08-01 at 11:16 AM, Sombra (AU Radiant Hope) said:

@Starforce @Loud Opinion

Sombra slowly looked up at her husband, doing her best to muster enough strength to elicit a response. However, she couldn’t let out more than a barely audible groan. Perhaps she could form words later, but for now, all she could do was lay there, thinking.

Magloria… she mentally whispered, wondering where her daughter was.

She had not seen her daughter in a while, not with her declining condition. She had agreed to this decision, not wanting Magloria to see just how sick her mother really was. However, keeping her daughter distanced only made Sombra miss her, terribly so. She would like to see her daughter again, if that was possible. She wanted to express this to her husband, but all that came out was a series of gasps and wheezes. Hopefully her daughter would come in anyways, even if only for a short while.

And how cruel were they to deny Radiant hope the very same thing? For a few painful moments, Radiant couldn't say a word. He had seen it a hundred times before, yet it never failed to strike at his heart.

It took every method he could muster just to keep tears off his face.

When he did finally speak, it was a whisper, "Don't worry dear, you'll see Magloria again. And when you do, you'll amaze her as the picture of good health."

He paused again before continuing, "I just need more time. Raise your head, please. I have another test I need to do."

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@Loud Opinion @ExplosionMare

Magloria looks up to Limbo Pass upon her knowing words. She didn't seem convinced that was the case as evidenced by the fact that her mother was still sick and wasn't getting better. At least that's what she had seen so far. "B-but mom isn't doing any better..." Magloria sighs sadly and looks off to the right as her eyes turn to the floor. 

Upon Limbo being brought up Magloria's ears perked up at that and her face regained that innocent sense of eagerness. "I think its great because I can see her all the time now!" she spoke with a slight hop of her four little hooves as she follows along with Limbo Pass. 

Magloria notices Limbo's manner of movement and replicates it, however her replication of it falls flat...literally. She tripped and fell on her face with a grunt. "Ooof!" her eyes adjust as she pulls herself up. "You'll have to show me how you...move like that." she grinned innocently. 

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@Loud Opinion @Starforce

Slowly, Sombra looked up to her husband. She desperately wanted to hold out a hoof to him, but moving one would be dreadfully painful and uncomfortable. She was reassured when Radiant told her that she would see her daughter soon and even moreso that she would be restored back to health shortly. She was slightly apprehensive about the possibility of being healed, but her husband had been successful before, so surely he could succeed once more.

Mustering all of her strength, she did as Radiant commanded and lifted her head up. Thin lines stretched across her neck as every muscle contorted to lift up her head. Her ears flopped on her head from the strain. She let out a soft grunt from the impact the action gave her. She shook a little as she continued to defy gravity, hoping soon that she would not have to rely on her strength alone for much longer.

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@Starforce

"You'll still need permission to get into her room, but your father is nothing if not reasonable," Miss Pass clarified as she continued to sway in her sacred way.

She then gave a tut when Magloria's face planted and lowered herself to let Magloria abord. "You'll find your center soon, and these like jigs will come as naturally to you as looking adorable," She exclaimed with a sly face nuzzle.

@ExplosionMare

"That's it, dear," Radiant reassured. Radiant was allowed a slight reprieve as he literally worked his magic. His experiments only increased in complexity as his more simple solutions bore no fruit. Even with the increased cognitive demand still was preferable. It wouldn't constantly remind him of his failures like the mare before him did.

The sudden cruelty in his mind shocked him to his core. Not now, no; but once upon a time. When he first dived into the dark arts, such thoughts nearly drove him away. It was desperation that lead him back, and confidence in his own resolve. He was no longer the child that tenderly skimmed the edge of darkness.

Doctors had no answer for Limbo Pass's condition. It was up to their king to brave the darkest caves and bring back the treasure within.

Ending his metaphors, Radiant redoubled his efforts. This time it would work. This time...

It failed.

He was silent for a moment. He then lowered Sombra's head and released it from his telekinetic grasp.

He had no words. He felt hollow.

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@Loud Opinion @ExplosionMare

Magloria could feel that her snoot was a little bruised from that little fall and it was slightly red. "S-someday...someday..." she spoke with a little smile across her light blue face. Pulling herself up, Limbo Pass can feel the light weighted warmth of the blue filly climb onto her back. Her four little hooves shuffle about into place until she is comfortably sat on her back. Limbo Pass's fu was warm and Magloria lays down on it. Spreading herself out on Limbo Pass's back in wanting more of the soft warmth. "You bringing me to her room is permission enough..." she said with a sudden cheeky grin. 

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@Loud Opinion @Starforce

Sombra did her best to simply allow the magic to flow through her. She allowed herself hope, if only briefly, that she would get better. As Radiant transferred the flowing and strangely warm magic through Sombra’s body, Sombra did her best to feel more relaxed.

She allowed her facial muscles to relax and for her ears to twitch gently. Her eyes fluttered, trying to embrace the magic. She wanted it to be not only in her, but a part of her. She was willing to hold onto it for dear life because despite her weakening state, she was determined to stay alive.

Sombra breathed out slowly. The magic did nothing. She felt no different than before. If she wasn’t so weak already, she would let out a deep sigh, or shed a tear or two. Instead, she looked up at Radiant with all her strength, begging him to lay her head back down. All she wanted to do right now was rest for a long, long while. She was feeling so down that suddenly Magloria was not on the forefront of her mind. Her mood will most likely pass in time, but it is hard not to feel at least a little down after having her hopes be brought up so quickly.

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@Starforce

Limbo playfully rolled her eyes are Magloria's sneaky ways. It was entirely unnecessary as Radiant had given her permission before she left the room, but felt no need to correct her.

Miss. Pass opened the door to her Jr.'s bed-chamber. The room was dark as pitch and just as somber. The bright colors were nothing to liven the ill-lit chamber. Limbo Dream's heavy breathing was the only motion within. Her horns would have repulsed Miss. Pass, were she not her mother. Instead, it gave her pride. She just knew that when her daughter woke up, she would be just as unique and passionate as she was.

Though it did sadden her to see that her daughter had to be neglected while Radiant was saving his wife.

She flicks the lights on and drops to let Magloria off gently.

"I'll be in your mother's room if you need me," She whispered, more out of habit than for any practical use, "Have fun!"

@ExplosionMare

A handkerchief was quick to dry Sombra's tears. Radiant had gotten into the habit of doing such things on her behalf, with her being a feeble as she was.

"Don't worry dear, I'll just try again. We'll try again and again and again until your walking and talking like you should."

In truth, Radiant was lost. He had thought of every trick in the book to keep ponies alive. Joy, comfort, and other such things ponies live for. Nothing was working.

He thought long and hard, as he left Sombra's chambers. The last thing he wanted was to leave his wife alone. He didn't know how he was going to save Sombra, but he knew it wasn't going to happen sitting at Sombra's bed. Work needed to be done, and today had to be sacrificed for the sake of tomorrow. There was also his daughter to think of. If he had given up his work to spend time with his wife. If he let Sombra go before she grew up, he could never face his daughter again.

As he walked to his study, a guard interrupted him, "Your majesty, there's been a theft. The pony is asking for an audience."

Was there no end to his problems? "You handle it," he replied harshly.

"Sir? She will not listen to my authority."

Radiant let out a sigh. He was no good at this, and he was running out of time. If he could just put the people on hold for a while...

If everyone was just kept happy until he was done, he would have both himself and Sombra to set things straight again.

He realized that he kept Sombra's mask on him. It was supposed to keep the pain away. To induce a calm and sedated state.

"Have her wear this, and I'll deal with her theft when I'm done with my work."

Meanwhile, Limbo Pass entered Sombra's room and sat beside her. "The kids are playing. I... Take it things didn't go so well."

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@Loud Opinion @ExplosionMare @Starforce

Magloria gently slides off of Limbo Pass's back and looks up at her with her big grey eyes. Her mane slightly obscuring one of her eyes with stray strands of that silky light blue hair of hers. Before Limbo Pass would leave Magloria would frown a bit, "T-tell mommy that I miss her..." she sniffled a little bit at that and stood there in silence for a few moments as Limbo pass would leave.

Upon looking at the bed she would see the familiar sight of the small white sleeping filly with her two sheep like horns. Others would have mocked Limbo for her horns, but Magloria thought they were cool! A sense of reinvigoration washes through her as she climbs onto the bed and crawled towards Limbo. Limbo would feel the soft warmth of her friend against her as Magloria plops down next to her. With a sudden boop to the nose Magloria exclaimed, "H-hi Limbo! I hope you are um, doing well...my mommy isn't feeling too well..." Magloria would say with sadness as she droned off in her words slightly. 

Magloria would bring up a small board game from under the bed. "Do you wanna play, Limbo? I know you can't see it but I'll play your moves for you!" she said in a cheery manner as she opens the box. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

@Loud Opinion @Starforce

Sombra sniffled as Radiant dried her tears with a handkerchief. For her husband’s sake, she did her best to compose herself as he did his best to sound reassuring. It was hard to stay positive right now, but Radiant gave Sombra hope, even if that hope was very little. Sombra began to think of something to say to her husband. It may not amount to anything, but she could at least let him know she appreciated him being here.

Radiant, I may not be very strong right now, but I have hope. The more you believe in my recovery and in me, the more I believe, too, she thought of saying.

Before she could utter a word, Radiant left the room swiftly. Sombra let out a tired sigh. She knew Radiant had work to do but she had hoped he would stay for at least a little while longer. It made her think of the pain less when he was around. As soon as that realization occurred, she suddenly felt a jolt of pain shoot through the back of her neck. It didn’t harm her badly but it didn’t necessarily feel good either. She let out a series of raspy gasps to ease the throbbing. It passed eventually but it left her feeling even weaker afterwards.

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@Starforce

Limbo Dreams voice echoed through Magloria's head, as it had so many times before.

She did not stir from her slumber, but the tone was that of a bad omen, "Bedtime is burning. We must cherish these coming days. I will not spoil our time with a sour mood. So let us rejoice now. We will play our games late into the night and be merry."

When Limbo says this, she nods in her sleep and goes from a neutral face to a smile.

She gives two snorts to say she wants to go first.

@ExplosionMare

"I knew he'd leave," Miss. Pass said solemnly, "He tries so hard to hold onto the future that he forgets what he's missing here in the present."

Limbo Pass holds onto Sombra's hoof. "The kids are getting along. I can't tell you how happy I am that someone understands my daughter. I can't imagine what she'd be going through if it weren't for Magloria."

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@Loud Opinion @ExplosionMare

Magloria moves the game box up onto the bed with her magic. Her horn illuminates the area with a soft icey blue hue as she opens the box and moves the pieces into place as she talks with Limbo. "Heh heh, you and your words of wisdom." Magloria giggled as she rolled the dice. 3 moves for Limbo. With her snoot, she gently moves the game piece 3 pieces forward. "You know, some day I am going to have you see the world, and you'll be at my side in the future when I become Princess." she spoke with a hopeful tone. With that said, Magloria rolled the dice. It was one move. She knew that she could cheat if she wanted to but she would never do that with Limbo. One move it was. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

@Loud Opinion @Starforce

Sombra sighed softly then grasped Limbo Pass’s hoof as firmly as she could. In her weakened state, the grip was extremely soft and loose. Catching her breath, she offered a few words to the mare who has been generously been taking care of her foals this entire time.

“Th-thank you…for watching over…inhales…my foal. I miss her…cough cough! Dearly. Those fillies…need…each other.” she rasped, fighting to keep herself under control.

It wasn’t long until Sombra fell into a fit of violent coughs. Oh, how she wished she could quell her heavy breaths for merely a moment! She wanted to be strong; for her husband, her friends, and most importantly, her young daughter. However, there was less and less hope that any physical strength could remain in her. She had only her mental strength to depend on, but that was beginning to fade as well. She needed a cure, and she needed it soon.

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  • 2 weeks later...

@ExplosionMare @Starforce

Clover the Clever. A founder of Equestria and Radiant's last hope. He ignored the pounding upon his study door for a good while.

Instead, he marveled at Clover's ingenious work in magic theory. A harsh pony, but one Radiant could respect. She proved that magic originating from the soul was more effective than magic from the mind. It required commitment. The slightest shred of doubt would unravel even the simplest spell, but its staying power and efficacy were undeniable.

Fear. That would have to be his conviction.

The knocking increased in intensity, and Radiant obeyed.

With the door now open, and giving light to the darkened room, the guard began to speak, "Your majesty! Conscious ponies are taking advantage of the masked ones."

"I don't have time!" Radiant snapped, "Throw them all in chains if you have to. Just buy me a few months to figure this out."

There was a time the guard would retort; Back when Radient's form wasn't so intimidating. The light around him wavered and flickered. The image of his legs became less defined as his hours of study dragged on. At this moment, they were a black mist.

"Hey Sombra," Limbo Pass said as she entered Sombra's room, "The kids are fine. I just needed to talk to you about something."

Limbo's voice was melancholy and defeated. Her lively legs and spine were weighed by an unspoken burden.

"Magloria," echoed Miss Dreams' voice through Magloria's mind, "You have been dreaming for some time. The alarm is about to wake you up to a cold room."

It was in the middle of one of their games that she chose to speak up. "Life is good now. Remember that when it is taken away, and know that I understand your pain, for I never go long without experiencing it myself."

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@Loud Opinion @ExplosionMare

Magloria's ears would perk up at the sudden voice of Miss Dreams' voice. She wasn't sure what to think of it. Dreaming? Wasn't she awake? She did think that the room was a bit on the cold side. Was that what she was talking about? She didn't know. Miss Dreams' spoke about the current goodness of life being taken away, Magloria understood what that had meant and would want to thank Miss Dreams' for the advice when she saw her again.

Magloria moves her gamepiece one step forward and giggled a bit. "Aww, just one more move and I would have gotten the bonus move!" she pouted a bit at that playfully. "You know I...I really like what we do. Playing games and all that...I just miss my mommy and daddy. They are always busy! Daddy has been doing magic stuff and he hasn't really told me about it." Magloria whined, her head flopping onto the floor a bit. Her snoot knocked over one of the game pieces, which caused her to smile. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

@Starforce @Loud Opinion

Sombra could faintly hear commotion from outside of her room but she could not make out any of the voices. Her hearing was beginning to fade and she could not tell if that was yet another side effect or another sign of her body becoming weaker. She wished she had answers. She wished Radiant, or anypony really, had answers.

At least my daughter is taken care of. If anything were to…well, she is in very good hooves. she thought. If breathing wasn’t such a chore, she would give out a small sigh.

Sombra wished she had a clock, or a window she could pear out of, or anything really to keep track of the time. She felt like she had been in this room for an eternity, counting down the days until she made her final departure. Of course, she did not wish to let this disease win, but if Radiant didn’t find a cure, then she would have no choice but to surrender.

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  • 4 weeks later...

@ExplosionMare

Limbo Pass strode closer to Sombra and sat on her bed. It broke her heart to see Radiant's beloved too weak to hear her enter.

"We need to talk," She said solemnly, "Radiant hasn't been eating. Radiant is tearing himself apart. I can't get much sleep I'm so worried. I can't imagine what Magnloria is going through."

"Look," Miss Pass got to the point, "whatever this is, it's not healthy, and I don't mean you. I don't know what Radiant has told you, but I can tell he hasn't made any progress since he started. It's not just your family that suffering either. Guards are knocking on ponies' doors in the middle of the night and locking them up. Any guard that questions it is being put in these weird masks that force them to obey."

Limbo Pass paused to look at Sombra's response. Looking for anything to tell her she was listening.

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@Loud Opinion

Sombra’s heart rate increased upon what Limbo Pass was telling her. She had no idea Radiant had taken his wife’s recovery plans this far. He was beginning to lose control of himself. The citizens were also suffering because of this even though they had nothing to do with his. Sombra’s heart ached for them.

She also wondered what would come of Magloria. She did not want the poor filly to suffer because of her. She wanted her to play with her friends and be happy. She wanted her to learn magic and do what made her passionate in life. The last thing Sombra wanted was for anything to hold her daughter back.

She turned her head slightly, doing her best to look at her friend. She bit her lip to prevent herself from going into a wheezing fit. She wanted to listen very carefully without any interruptions.

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@ExplosionMare

Limbo Pass waited for a long moment before speaking. "I think it's time to let go."

"I know it's hard to say goodbye, and your daughter deserves better, but this can't go on. Even if Radiant finds a cure, what will our neighbors to the south think?"

"By trying to give your daughter everything, you risk her having nothing."

"Look," Miss Pass says as she pulls out a cup of warm water, "I'll leave this here for you. It's boiled nightshade. I added something to numb the pain. I hate to see you like this, and I'm afraid that Magy might lose her father. I'd talk to him about it if those masks..."

She shudders, but then catches herself and looks Sombra in the eyes, "You're the only pony that can stop him."

She doesn't wait for an answer. With a lively trot, she leaves Sombra alone with the reaper.

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@Loud Opinion

Sombra looked to Miss Pass in shock. Well, as much shock as she could convey with her tired eyes. Was her friend suggesting she ended everything right here, right now? To throw away all her husband’s hard work and leave her innocent daughter?

She let out a few low rasps. This was a lot to ponder. If she drank the nightshade, she would rupture her family, leaving Radiant without a wife and Magnolia without a mother. Then again, did they really need her that much anymore? They had Limbo Pass and her foal. They could make new friends and Radiant could even find a new lover if he wanted. Somepony who wasn’t so frail and helpless.

The pain was a huge consideration as well. How long had she sat here, unable to move, speak, or even breathe sometimes? That was no kind of life to live. She wasn’t benefitting anypony by lying her in such a condition. Her family deserved to do something, anything besides care for a pony beyond help.

“L-Limbo—“ she croaked. Before she could get a response, the mare swiftly left the room. It was as if she was glad to be away from Sombra’s presence. It was confusing, but not surprising.

Sombra glanced idly at the nightshade. She quickly looked away. She looked at it again. She turned away. She had so many reasons to just take it, yet something still stirred inside of her to resist it.

Don’t make this too hard on yourself, Sombra. Just make a decision and do it quickly. Don’t even think. she willed herself.

Although it was near impossible, Sombra lit her horn and attempted to levitate the cup. It made her head feel warm and a bit dizzy. She managed to lift the cup slightly before a wave of dizziness took over. Sombra groaned and shifted slightly in discomfort.

She gave up on using magic and reached out with her hoof instead. The more she reached, the more strain she felt. She felt like quitting and opting to lie there once again, complete helpless against anything.

No, I…need to be strong, just this one time. Then I can relax. she urged herself.

With all of her might, Sombra reached for the cup and hoisted herself up on the opposite side. At last, the cup was completely in her grasp. She could finally decide her fate after so long. Everything was in her control and she was not helpless!

Yet, she couldn’t push the cup to her lips. Whenever she brought it close, her heart skipped a couple of beats. What was holding her back? Fear? Regret? Selfishness? It could be either one or all three. Whatever it was, it made her feel very uneasy. It made her balance loosely on the thread between life and death.

Maybe if I just close my eyes…

If she couldn’t see the reaper, then she wouldn’t notice its presence. Slowly, she brought the cup to her lips. It sat there but liquid did not drip down her throat just yet. If she was hydrated properly, a few stray tears would shed.

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