The fire is burning, burning. The Father is on His knees. (Like He's praying.)

He wants absolution. They want it too. (Neither of them deserve it.)

Rookie, cuff this son of a bitch.

So many mistakes. So many words said, battles fought, chains laid on their limbs- and He falls to His knees like He has any right to ask for the easy way out?

What have you done? His words. Don't you understand what he'll do to me?

They did understand.

The two of them deserve to burn for what they have done. What He has done. What He made them do.

Their world is pain and fear and silence and mistakes. So many mistakes, all on their shoulders. All on His shoulders.

What if things could be different? But no, they had stopped asking themself that long ago, when they first put on the mask. (They were His, then.)

The Father is on His feet (the Brave die standing up). The Captain levels the gun. They are unsure how to feel.

The world is on fire, still burning, burning. Their heart is not beating, or maybe it beats too fast, a little hummingbird in their chest. Their coat is damp with sweat; the heat is suffocating and their mask traps the smoke against their orifices. They make no move to remove the obstruction. (The mask is who they are now.)

The Captain lowers the gun. They turn away.

The Father still stands as the world burns down around Him for the second time. (Who was the real Harbinger of Destruction?)

No. No. No!

A sound, strangled and terrible is wrenched from their rusted vocal cords; the ragegrieffearpain is too much, too much, it is burning them.

(It needs to stop. It all needs to stop, here. Now.)

And I saw, and behold… a white horse!

In the end, in the very end, He is so easy to kill.

His arms are not strong now- there are no knives to cut through their skin when they grip Him tight and raise Him from where He dropped to His knees. He doesn't make a move to stop them, doesn't even flinch.

Whatever is inside burns hotter than white.

He is a rag doll in their hands. The Captain is stepping closer, eyes wide, shockfearconfusion.

(They know the truth- maybe always knew. The only way for this to end is for them all to die. Every single one.)

The wind at their back is a welcome, cool relief from the burning. He is weightless in their arms as they fall.

Everything tying Hope to the old world is untethered now- they can finally be free.

The Deputy is looking forward to resting.