In a dark and windswept place, the Lady and the Fighter met. A cool wind was blowing, making the Lady’s silvery cloak and the Fighter’s long black coat as things alive, writhing and twisting.

“What about…him?” the Fighter said. “If he returns, he’ll crush us. I can’t win against him–none of us can.”

‘”He is lost,” crowed the Lady, each word accentuated by a cloud of mist from her lips. “Swallowed by the darkness he created. There’s no more than an echo left, a pathetic little thing.”

“Let me kill him,” the Fighter said. “I’ll make it slow, so when I finally crush his skull, he’ll know…”

“No. You will leave the echo He is already broken. The echo is powerless to act, and is no threat to us. But, more than that, I want him to see our triumph. He sought to destroy us–now he will see us triumphant and simply fade away.” The Lady laughed, silver bells smothered in indigo velvet.

“I still think we’re making a mistake,” said the Fighter.

“Of course. Attacking, grappling, feeling the sour breath of your adversary in your face: that’s you. Far better to act with a subtler touch.” the Lady said. She made a sweeping gesture and rose off the ground, riding the wind like a gossamer thread. “Great things have been set in motion; go and do your part.” She wafted upward, and vanished among the clouds.

“And you do yours,” the Fighter muttered. The ground at his feet became tacky and malleable, and he sank into it. The precipice where the conspirators had met was left barren, as it had always been.

A small figure appeared at the edge, emerging from nothingness as a fuzzy outline before congealing into the form of a small child with dark hair. He stood for a moment, sadly regarding the desolate scene, and then vanished, fading away like a dream upon awakening.