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    One of my most-loved fics, apparently.

    The characters in this short fiction are not mine; they belong to Joss Whedon and Fox Studios. This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to the real past or future is purely coincidental.
    ----------------

    "I walk. I talk. I shop. I sneeze. I'm gonna be a fireman when the floods roll back. There's trees in the desert since you moved out. And I don't sleep on a bed of bones."

    The words are mine. They are not mine. They are gibberish. There are no trees here, no floods. Surely there never have been. This land is dead. Death.

    The girl before me...is she a girl?...is me. Not me. I see weakness where there should be strength. I see absence where there should be presence, presence where there should be absence. She should die. Another should take her place.

    I do not know what draws us here. It seems we have been here often. Always. Never. Perhaps it is the call of slayer to slayer. Perhaps it is the power of those who watch. Perhaps it is something else.

    We fight. There is no thought here. No speech. No sound save the thud of blows. As it should be. As it always has been. We are in one place, then another. Place does not matter. I have her pinned down. I see, suddenly, into her eyes. With her eyes. I see enough, too much, it all.

    I see the flood that will quench my thirst and wash away the debris of ages. I see the forest that will spring up where there was bare rock and sand. I see the eyes, the myriad eyes, more than can be counted. Something has changed, will change, is changing.

    **********
    We surround a demon as it tries to flee. It collapses, kicking, as we sever its head with threads thin beyond thinness. One of us places the head on her metal steed.
    **********
    A creature closes in on us. It moves, it sees, it brandishes its weapon. It is not dead. It glints of iron, its eyes shine blue, I see its joints outside its body. It is not of the living. It believes we are its prey. It is ours.
    **********
    I tear open its outer hide and feel the wind blowing from it. The vampire yowls without sound as we spin it around to face the sun. The sun is blue. Flames behind each of us push us each away as the vampire implodes into ash; I feel its heat on my face, but there is no fire.
    **********
    Light pictures surround us. They are spirits. This is a place of magic. The spirits circle us, crackling curses, burning our bones. I hear words. They are mine. They mean nothing to me. They are not supposed to; they are power words. I make out the sounds "system", "program", "terminate". The spirits flee.
    **********
    The Dawn is coming, the Core is rising. It is light, warmth, life. The Night Ones that came from the dark beyond heaven to feed on us have failed to reach their den. Sparks rise above the horizon, sparks and orbs. In the light of a billion suns, the yoomin burn to ash. We are victorious! Jubilation!
    **********

    The feelings are mine. Not mine. There is no time to think. The dream is over. I stir on the bare rock (there are no bones here).

    No one calls to me as I wake. I am alone. Those who sit in shadow direct my steps, but they do not speak to me. I have no speech, no name. No friends. But for the first time in four years, I find I have something new. I have hope.

    ------------------
    In the dream of the man who was dreaming, the dreamed man awoke.
    ---Jorge Luis Borges, The Circular Ruins
    DeadWar: Burden of Proof
    Out Now.
    Avatar by Barb
    Feedback is always welcome here.
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