A man hung from chains as black as the walls around him. The golden glow that had radiated out of him in years gone by had diminished to scarcely a glimmer. Were any human to ever be allowed to look upon him, the depression in his eyes would make them shrink back in horror. For when one so powerful has lost all hope, those around him cannot help but be sucked into his despair along with him.

As thunder sounded outside his window, he trembled and shivered at the rain hitting his skin. It was a sound that he had not allowed during the many years this world was under his control.

His gaze rose to the one visitor he was ever allowed. The woman stood haughtily in the doorway of his cell. He could just make out the blackness of her eyes from the soft stream of moonlight that barely lit the area around him.

“How could you do this? You’ve destroyed all I’ve worked for.”

“Oh my brother.” The woman glided into the cell with ease and confidence. “I have fixed the world you broke. You should be rejoicing. You should be standing next to me, side by side, as our parents foresaw. ‘Darkness and Light joined together for a world that stands strong.’ But you wouldn’t have it. The people you made were weak. I merely seek to make them strong.”

“You have sent them to their graves. The people remember my reign. They remember the paradise I gave them.”

“They have to be strong. The prophecy called for a strong world. The one you created was flawed.”

“They were blessed. They have nothing but death and destruction now. They prey on each other like animals. You did that to them.”

The woman’s laugh broke through the air. From one so dangerously beautiful, the sound was such that it would set a mortal’s ears ringing. It was powerful and awesome, but horrible and appalling at the same time. The man flinched in his chains.

“My dear brother. I unleashed their true selves that you kept carefully locked away. They are true to themselves now. They no longer have the Master of Light to hold them back. They are real.”

“No. They have the Angel of Darkness. Encouraging them to do what they want. To take what they please. Are there any among them that are good anymore? Or have you poisoned all of their hearts? I have to believe there are righteous out there somewhere.”

“There is good or bad or whatever they want everywhere. They are no longer restrained. They can be who they want and do what they want.” She turned to leave. “I will send the water you asked for. You should ration it. It’s all you will receive for a while.”

She left the dungeon, leaving her brother alone with his thoughts. And while the thoughts of a god are vast, his depression did not allow him to see any hope. The world was in turmoil and he could do nothing to fix it. It would be up to a mortal. But were there any left that would answer him if he called? Did he even still have the power to do so? He reached out with his mind in desperation. Perhaps there was still one out there.

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