A smile crossed Jenny’s face after Minh passed through the portal and she let out a sigh of relief. “I’m so glad she’s safe now,” Jenny said. “I disagree with her, but I respect her choice.” She turned to face Arianna. “Wendy and I refuse to go through the portal unless we all get to go together.”
“All of you?” Arianna asked. “You mean, all of the survivors?”
“Yes. All of the survivors still in the temple. We put our trust in you that you will do as you say and not attack Arkham instead of Carcosa. However, we will not abandon anyone in here.”
“Very well,” Arianna said. “Let’s go find them.”
Arianna lead the way as we descended back down the steps. I couldn’t help but wonder if this really was a wise idea. As Jenny said, we had already established that Arkham was saved. At this point we were just trying to save each other. Yet, in doing so, surely we risked our own deaths yet again when freedom was right in front of us. Still, this was the choice we chose to make and we would stick to it.
As we walked down the steps of the stairs, we heard a familiar voice we had not heard in a long time.
“Wendy! Jenny!” Finn said. “I can’t believe. I thought I had lost you all forever.”
“Finn?” Jenny said. We hurried down to rejoin him. “Where did you go?”
“You are all in danger,” Finn said.
“Finn, calm down,” Jenny said. “A lot has happened since then.”
“It’s true, Finn,” I said. “We have so much to tell you.”
“Why are you the only two here? Where is everyone else?” Finn asked.
“Otoh’halla divided us when we went to the Throne Room,” Jenny said. “We lost a few people since then, but we don’t have the time to explain everything. We need to gather up all the remaining survivors and get out the portal to escape.”
“Portal?” Finn asked. “Portal where?”
“There’s a portal at the top of the stairs,” I said.
Finn paused. His face went pale, looking from Jenny to me to Jenny. “Did anyone go through it?”
“Minh did,” I said.
“Who told you about this portal?”
“The High Wizard, Arianna,” I said. “She’s helping us.”
“That portal can’t go to Arkham. I’ve already found a portal to Arkham and it sure as hell was not upstairs,” Finn said. “The South Room is where you can cross into dimensions. That’s the only purpose it could possibly serve. Which means that the Portal Room upstairs is…”
“It’s a disposal chamber, if you must know,” Arianna said.
Jenny and I slowly turned around to see Arianna glaring at us menacingly, her arms crossed.
“You betrayed us?” Jenny asked.
“Betrayed you? I never was here to serve you! My only allegiance was to Otoh’halla! And I was so close to getting rid of all of you through that chamber. But now, I must resort to other measures, because this one – ” Arianna pointed at Finn ” – knows far too much!”
Finn pulled out his gun and aimed at Arianna. “I got one bullet left and I’m not afraid to use it.”
Arianna pointed her hand at Finn. “I can destroy you here and now. You’re fortunate that I try hard not to merge lesser beings into myself.”
I looked and out of the corner of my eye, I saw… could it be?
“Finn, keep her distracted,” I whispered.
Finn nodded. “You think so big of yourself, don’t you? And yet, even a simple criminal like myself was able to piece together your whole plan on my own.”
Arianna began to slightly levitate above the ground. I wasn’t expecting this, but from the signals I was getting, this wouldn’t really matter at all.
“Just a few seconds longer, Finn,” I whispered again.
“As I said, I’ve got one bullet and no fear, so do what you want to do and then die!”
“You’re a fool to think I’m the one who will die!”
Finn shot his final bullet right for Arianna’s head. In the same instant, Arianna’s crimson beam emerged from her hand and began to envelop Finn in its dark light. However, in the next second, Arianna was crying out as pain as, first, Finn’s bullet pierced her skull, and second, Duke’s flying leap knocked Arianna to the ground. As soon as her body hit the ground, another gunshot rang out. Then there was silence, as Arianna’s now lifeless body lay bloody on the ground.
“I hate it when they take so much effort to die,” Pete said, throwing Joe’s spent gun behind him.
I looked around the room. “Finn… he’s gone,” I said. We were too late to prevent Arianna’s attack. He absorbed into Arianna right before her death. But we were all saved from her plans by his sacrifice.
“I think… I think we’re the only ones now,” Pete said.
My eyes widened and I clutched Jenny’s arm a little bit tighter.
Three of us left? Could it really be?
June 26th: FINN, merged with High Wizard Arianna in the Book Room
June 25th: PRESTON, impaled by a toppled shelving unit of spears in the Armory
June 24th: MINH, transported via a portal to Arkham in the year 3007
June 23rd: ZOEY, electrocuted by the metal globe in the Arcane Chamber
June 22nd: AGNES, merged with High Wizard Arianna in the Arcane Chamber
June 21st: CALVIN, shot dead by reanimated Joe in the Armory
June 20th: URSULA, impaled through the head by The Sullied Crown in the Throne Room
June 19th: ROLAND, shot dead by Finn in the West Room
June 18th: YORICK, transported to Carcosa
June 17th: SEFINA, transported alive via a portal to Arkham
June 16th: MARK, devoured by an abomination in the West Room
June 15th: SILAS, succumbed to earlier poisonous gas exposure while in the Book Room
June 14th: AKACHI, succumbed to poisonous gas in the East Room
June 13th: RITA, woke up alive in Arkham
June 12th: LEO, shot dead by Finn in the South Room
June 11th: REX, torn apart by byakhee in the North Room
June 10th: MARIE, fell into the chasm in the South Room
June 9th: CAROLYN, head smashed by Lola in the Button Room
June 8th: JOE, shot himself in the Lust Room
June 7th: SKIDS, dismembered in the Greed Room
June 6th: JIM, possessed by Ambrose in the Lust Room
June 5th: DIANA, possessed in the Lust Room
June 4th: MATEO, drowned in the Sloth Room
June 3rd: DAISY, shot dead by Roland in the Gluttony Room
June 2nd: NORMAN, disintegrated in the Envy Room
June 1st: LOLA, abandoned in the Button Room
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