A Flip of the Coin
A young man stalks a quiet hallway in the dead of night, unable to find rest for his electrified mind. Though he had awoken recently to the world of magic, he found himself reborn in another way as well. Feeling the arcane energies flowing through him and through the world sparked something deep within his being, something he hadn’t felt in years. For the first time, something had finally broken through his jaded, disillusioned shell that he’d accrued through years of disappointment with humanity. Once more, he felt that glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, the world wasn’t so beyond repair, that the ability to fix its problems were perhaps just possible.
But then he was reminded yet again that, power or no, mages were still human beings, and just as corrupted with the same evils as anyone else. So quick to grab more power at any cost, so hungry for control, so lacking in forgiveness and rank with the desire for petty vengeance. And morals that were only upheld as long as they’re convenient. These things had already begun to eat away at him again, reminding him why he gave up on humanity in general the first time.
But not this time, he thought to himself. No. I won’t let myself waste away again.
But then what to do? He had two choices: he could cling to hope and attempt to better the world, one little bit at a time, as he had promised himself to do in the first place; or, as a grim thought kept reminding him, he could do everything in his power to bring about the apocalypse he so desired for the world to be put out of its misery.
Finally, Kymera comes to a stop and holds a coin in his hand, looking at it carefully. It’s an old half dollar- one he deemed appropriate for a personal reminder of his watchtower. Fate… heh. How ironic.
A few more minutes pass by in silence as he turns the coin back and forth in contemplation. He could have elected to use it as his magical tool in the realm of fate magic, but ultimately he had decided his 13-sided die necklace was more fitting for that. No, the coin was more fitting for personal focus and meditation.
Finally, he takes a deep breath and steals himself for his decision. Okay, enough time wasted.
…well, technically, as an Acanthus, time isn’t really a pro-
NO. Silly jokes later. Serious time now.
He blinks a few times, then grumbles at his own internal monologue. Why was it humor always slipped its way in even under the most dire of circumstances? Maybe Pinkie Pie is somehow jumping the fourth wall and into my head or something. Figures.
With a final clearing of his throat, he pushes such fickle thoughts aside and focuses back on the coin. Alright. So it all comes down to this. Heads, Here, he faces the heads side towards himself. I resolve myself to doing what is right no matter what, and not let the monumental challenge of overcoming the evils of the world overwhelm me. Tails, He turns the coin to the other side, then pauses as the gravity of this choice washes over him. He imagines his mind’s voice taking a darker tone. …I invite the abyss into my heart and become its conduit for undoing the world entirely.
He moves the coin into position to flip it. Once more, he repeats the conditions to himself, ingraining it in his consciousness. Heads, I save the world. Tails, I destroy it. With a final breath, he flips the coin, and everything seems to slow down as he watches it fly up a short distance, then fall back to the ground.
A phenomenon occurs. The coin, against the odds, is standing exactly on its edge.
Kymera does a double-take, then slowly kneels next to it, hesitant to even let out his breath. When he finally does, he can’t help but chuckle slightly, wondering if he’d somehow subconsciously cast a spell to produce this outcome, knowing that under normal circumstances it was million-in-one chance at best. The laughter dies away as he grabs the coin and slumps down against the wall, once again lost in thought.
Eventually, he pulls himself off the ground and stalks back to his room, with no more certain answers than he’d set out with.