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Chapter 1

She stood, gazing silently over faintly smoking blackened wastes. She had seen Armageddon coming for the mortals for many decades. The last had passed, to her good knowledge. Upon learning of her curse, she had resolved to never pass it to any of her offspring, for contemplating a world that would eventually fill with humanity's eternal depravity and sin was a truly terrifying thought. So, she had lived--if it could be called that. Oh, she had loved--many times throughout her long years. She stayed until she couldn't bear her lover's aging. Once, she had stayed. She still remembered holding that one's hand as he fought for air on his deathbed, struggling to draw air into once-young lungs, as she--ever ageless--quietly wept beside him. Eventually, she had given up love. Tired of hurt, tired of death, frightened to love again because her lover would always die. She withdrew into herself, retreating to what scraps of wilderness she could find and seeking the poor companionship of nature's life and process of renewal. When the war had finally started, she retreated further, finding refuge in deep caves, accompanied by the steady drip of water and inquiring calls of bats. By then, she had no interest left in mortal affairs, her mind and heart hardened with age even though she showed no physical sign of the years she had weathered. Many times had she considered the way to end it all. Once the bombing had stopped, she had arisen from the depths of her caverns and gone to find what havoc the mortals had wreaked upon the tired world. She had journeyed for months, seeking any human life, but had found none upon the continent, only the rotting shells of those who had once been. Death, only death. She had not thought the mortals would be so reckless as to kill themselves off completely, but she did not comprehend the practices of those lesser beings any longer, nor did she have any wish to. And so she stood above the ruin humans had made of Earth, saddened and perplexed. Perhaps now was the time, she reflected, to end life. After all, she had nothing left to live for. She had lived through so much life she tired of it. Many, many times had she thought of ending it, yet she had always stayed her hand. Perhaps now... was the time to finally let go.

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