Christian began to kick Light, but found himself unable to move. Chains grabbed his wrists and ankles. Light got back on his feet and looked at his fellow eternal. “I had hoped it would not come to this,” Light explained. “You have forced my hand, however. I am sending you away. Where you go is up to you. You can either recreate Earth, or you can go to the Creator. Which will it be?”
Only a growl escaped Christian’s lips. His anger didn’t work against Shadow, but he was sure it would work against Light. Shadow is strengthened by pain and hatred. Light is weakened by it. That strategy didn’t work. The chains held.
“What kind of treachery is this,” he demanded.
“No treachery, Life. I have help in this endeavor.”
“From who,” Christian asked. The remaining three eternals revealed themselves at that moment. “And you said there was no treachery.”
“You have your choices, Life. Which shall it be? Earth or the Creator?”
“None of you care about Earth. You’re just scared of the Creator. Why should I spare you his wrath?”
Gray responded, to the amazement of everyone in attendance. This was the first time they heard him speak outside of the Meeting Place. “For all your complaining, Life, you are only correct about one thing. There is much pain in the world. You have suffered more than any other, but there is a flip-side to that coin. You have also felt more joy than any other. The birth of your children, their first steps, first words, and birthdays. These are things that you treasure, that you still carry with you.
“I do not ask this of you for fear of the Creator. I ask this of you because I have shared that joy with you, along with the pain. I have done so with all of the people of the world. You seek oblivion to numb your feelings, but I feel such a thing would be a crime. Feelings are the true meaning of life. To deny your life is to dishonor the memory of those who have ever been loved by you, those you claim to grieve for.”
Gray paused, looking to see if his speech was having any effect. Christian simply stared at the floor. Glancing at the others, he noticed that Light was the only one that seemed to be moved by his impassioned words. Gray had expected as much. Shadow and Death felt nothing but anger. Undaunted, Gray continued.
“You seek the end. You see the end as something final. I know better. No ending is ever final. Do the characters of a story cease to exist where the book stops? No, they live on to start another chapter. That is what the end is. It is the beginning of something new. The nights ends to begin the day. The verse ends to begin the chorus. Life ends to begin the afterlife.
“Do you expect to be any different, Life? You know the afterlife as well as any of us. Would you be able to tolerate the afterlife any more than you tolerate life? Would you seek a way out of that as well? You must face facts, Life. Even if we grant your death wish, you would not find peace in the afterlife.”
Lifting Christian’s chin, Gray forced him to look into his eyes. “Do us all a favor,” he pleaded. “Go remake the world.”
“Your words are pretty,” Christian said as he tore his head away from Gray’s hand. “But you win. I’ll go put everything back the way it was. Before I go, I’m going to make a few things clear. First, I’m still going to look for a way to die. You guys can tell me it’s impossible all you want, but there’s always a way. Second, if I ever see any of you again, I will beat the shit out of you. And last, Death, if you come anywhere near my family, DS included, I will kill you. I don’t care about the consequences.”
“What if it is their time to die,” Shadow asked.
“From now on, they have no time to die. Enough of this. Send me back.”
The void disappeared, replaced by everything that once was. All beings opened their eyes at the same time. For the first time in human history, everything that was capable of thought had the same thing on their mind at the same time: “What just happened?”