LIAB Epilogue 02:1/Text

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Portal: green, not blue. Decrypted boots on Magic Kingdom sod, in front of his face. Murmurings, minds and eyes grasping. Dimness, they were indoors...

Jack sprang up. His head snapped around to focus on scene after scene, eyes darting everywhere. He ate up the room in visual nibbles, absorbing the set before recalling the names of actors, before beginning his part in the play.

For a long time, he'd been alive. Then, it seemed briefly, not.

Now he was something like alive again, but realigned on a plane just beneath the visual. He was Jack Snipe. He was Decrypted. And that meant...

He found the Lady Firebaugh among his snapshots and turned. Just beside him, she was. Of all her new flock, a hundred new ones in her loyal service, t'was Jack himself who commanded her attention. Her eyes!

"Can you speak?" she whispered to him.

She'd come to Faq as a challenger. All these turns, they'd nipped and snipped as rivals, sometimes quite bitterly and with abiding contempt. Now, on this opposite side of the end, she still seemed like a sister to him. Had he...had he actually loved her as such all along?