It is the end of your life and you are up on stage being presented with a major award. What award is it, and what have you won it for?
“So we’re in agreement then,” Ali said with an air of finality, looking at each member of the secret council in turn.
“I am loathe to leave the fate of all the realms to chance, young woman,” Enma, the great Lord of the Spirit Realm, admitted. He bristled at the idea of taking orders from someone who had been his enemy just weeks before, powerful psychic or no.
“We’ve run the probabilities ourselves, father,” Koenma retorted, jumping to her aid. He, too, was no more pleased with her perceived betrayal than the King, but he fully understood her actions and trusted her motives. “These plans for the most likely course of events are our best chance to save more than just ourselves.”
The old human psychic in attendance scoffed. “You’re talking about rewriting history.”
“Not rewriting it Genkai,” Ali interjected. “Righting a wrong and offering a second chance to those who had their futures stolen from them.”
Again the woman laughed mirthlessly. “You will forgive me if I believe you only wish to clear your own conscience.”
“Master Genkai,” Koenma cried indignantly.
“It’s alright Koenma,” Ali said. “She is certainly entitled to her feelings. I don’t deny that I will certainly rest easier if these plots and schemes come to fruition as we hope.” She smiled. “Genkai will do her part. As she must.” The old woman grunted, reaching for her teacup instead of deigning to respond.
“And the child? Is she really to know nothing?” King Enma’s concern was leaving the fate of the worlds in the hands of an ignorant child.
Ali nodded. “We must let the future play out until the proper moment. If we interfere before then, we risk unleashing a worse evil on the worlds than if we just let it be.”
Koenma sighed. “You sure do enjoy playing the long con, don’t you?”
“I’ve had years of practice,” she smirked.
Genkai stamped her cigarette out in the ornate ash tray Enma had provided. “I still think you should say goodbye to them.”
“You’re just being stubborn, child.”
Ali had to stop herself from laughing at that. Genkai was old, sure, and her faded hair gave her the appearance of being decades older than Ali, but the wolf demon woman had lived centuries before Genkai was a twinkle in her father’s eye. She smiled across the table at the old mentor. “You seem to collect us.”
Genkai grunted again, this time in amusement. “I don’t know why I bother. None of you listen to a word I say.” She took another sip from her tea, but Ali knew she was sincere in her feelings for all her past students.
Koenma rubbed his temple. “This is going to be a nightmare to keep from Hiei, you realize this right?”
“Telling him now would be counterproductive,” Ali said sadly. “He’ll understand one day.”
“Just stick to the story we came up with,” Genkai snarled. “He won’t know the difference. He’s as oblivious as this one is stubborn.”
Ali chuckled. King Enma folded his hands in front of him. “So our business here is concluded?”
“It would appear so,” his son replied, getting to his feet as the women did the same. “Genkai, I thank you for your assistance in this matter.”
“As if I had much choice,” the old woman grumbled. Her voice was gruff, but Ali knew she would play her part well without complaint.
Enma bowed, excusing himself to his other duties as ruler. Koenma escorted the two women back to the gates. Botan met them there to return Genkai to the human realm. She refused to allow another ferry girl to see Ali off though, and made Koenma promise to wait for her to come back.
“She’s going to be a mess, you know,” Ali said once she was out of sight.
Koenma shrugged. “She’s young. She gets attached. It’s my own fault really, for letting her get so involved with the spirit detectives.”
“Still, it’ll be nice having a friendly face send me off to my eternal rest.”
Koenma gave her a long look from the side. “After all those plans we just made, you believe you’re not coming back?”
Ali shrugged. “We made plans to ensure Mika has all the necessary tools at her disposal exactly when she needs them. How she chooses to wield them is entirely up to her.”
“If it’s our best case scenario,” Koenma mused, “we might just have to grant you an eternal blessing award for services to the realms.”
Ali’s face flushed. “I’m just the messenger,” she replied. “Mika is the one who will save us all.” She smirked. “With any luck, I’ll be back in a couple decades.” Koenma shook his head and chuckled.
Botan returned, wearing a brave face that Ali suspected was taking a lot of effort to hold back tears. She took the grim reaper’s hands and gave them a gentle squeeze. “I’m ready.” She glanced back at Koenma and gave him an encouraging wink. Everything would be alright. She had foretold it, after all.
Notes: Yeah I didn’t really want to do the whole “stage award presentation” thing but I did like the idea enough to come up with this. Ali was at the crossroads to the afterlife after a rather tumultuous affair in which it appeared she had turned to the “dark side” and betrayed everyone. Things were complicated, but long story short she didn’t have to go to purgatory jail because she had vital information on the future to bargain with. This takes place between the second and third stories of my fanfiction, a sort of “behind the scenes” deal that’s referenced in the final story even though I hadn’t actually written it until now.
Now it’s your turn. Come up with some lifetime awards. Who earns them and how? You never know what these sorts of ideas could spark! Jot down some ideas!
Monday’s prompt: What modern technological device takes up most of your time?
Now if that isn’t a loaded question I don’t know what is. The phone thing is a bit overdone in my opinion so hopefully I’ll come up with something new/better/creative for you for Monday. Until then, have a great weekend!