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[Panel description: Jade and Calliope sit in the middle of a white spiral pathway.

[Panel description: The image zooms in closer. Calliope is crouched with her hands over her face. Jade kneels next to her, reaching one hand toward her. Her dog ears are turned back with concern.]

[Panel description: The image zooms in closer. Both girls remain in the same position.]

CALLIOPE: roxy...
JADE: she’ll be fine.
she was dreaming.
when sleeping god tiers die we wake up.

[Panel description: Calliope removes her hands and looks at Jade. Her gray makeup has been washed off in trails from her eyes down her cheeks, revealing green skin underneath.]

CALLIOPE: are you sure?
JADE: it happened to john all the time.
CALLIOPE: that wasn't your doing, was it?
JADE: he he no.
some dead troll didn’t like him I guess.
the point is, there is nothing to worry about.
CALLIOPE: I’m afraid I can't bring myself to agree.
JADE: about Roxy, anyway.
I’m sorry about the other you.
I know you looked up to her.
CALLIOPE: more than looked up to her.
I relied on her.
she predominated against my brother, a feat I believed impossible.
I thought she would be the one to defeat him once and for all.
but now she's gone.

[Panel description: Jade places her hand on Calliope’s shoulder, smiling fondly.]

JADE: are we safe here?
CALLIOPE: for now, I think, but it's only a matter of time before he finds me again.
it might be best for you to leave me.
He wants every trace of me obliterated, and anyone in the way will feel the full force of his anger.
I don't mean to sound too glum, but he defeated the strongest version of me there is.
what chance do I have?
JADE: I’m not going anywhere.
And I think you might be giving up too soon.
he’s your brother after all.
who better to know how to beat him?
CALLIOPE: but I’m not a god or a hero like she was or you are.
I don't have any powers.
I am just a silly girl who has been afraid for a very long time.
JADE: you know, back when I was two people, she made me...
I mean, I asked her to...
wow, this is getting confusing already!
I wanted myself to fight jack because I thought I was powerful.
it didn’t matter that I was scared or confused or hurting, only that I could.
but that part of me didn’t want to, and I didn’t like that being all I was useful for.
when the empress took control of me, I got worse, but maybe that was there all along.
I thought being able to do flashy tricks and save the day made me a better person.
maybe even better than my friends.
instead those powers ended up hurting people I cared about.
and however strong I thought I was, now I’m here.
they didn’t stop me from getting killed.
CALLIOPE: even without those flashy tricks, you did save me.
JADE: maybe I’m worth something then.
but having new powers didn’t make me any better.
and after meeting both of you, I know which one I prefer.
CALLIOPE: fat lot of good that does Us.
we're still stuck huddling in this hole waiting for him to blast Us to bits.
JADE: it doesn’t sound promising...
but she did say you could beat him.
CALLIOPE: she's wrong.
how could I?
she was so much stronger than me.
JADE: I thought I was strong and here I am.
so maybe it’s not about being strong .
something about you is special just because you’re you.
this version of you, right here.
paradox space works in funny ways.
I don’t always understand all of it, but if we’re here that means the universe wants us to be.
and who’s going to argue with the universe?
not me!
not usually anyway. (silly face).
CALLIOPE: the Universe wants Us sitting alone in the dark?
JADE: no.

[Panel description: Jade and Calliope sit next to each other. Both are smiling, although tear tracks remain on Calliope’s cheeks and both girls’ eyebrows are still slanted with worry. Jade looks over at Calliope.]

JADE: sitting in the dark together.
(happy U U face).

[Panel description: Jade reaches to her head with distress. Her dog ears have gone back again.]

JADE: ow!
CALLIOPE: (surprised face).
JADE: my head hurts all of a sudden...
callie, I think I’m waking up!
CALLIOPE: really?
JADE: really.
I must not have been dead after all.
CALLIOPE: that's wonderful.

[Panel description: Jade’s form flickers in and out. She is frowning, with her hand still on her head. Calliope looks over at her and smiles, but her expression is sad.]

CALLIOPE: you’ll get to escape this place and have a second chance.
JADE: yes.
I’ll be able to clean up the mess I made.
but I promise I’ll find a way to save you.
you don’t have to do this alone, and I won’t leave you by yourself.
CALLIOPE: jade, wait.
there's one rule I haven't broken yet, but I have broken all the others.
besides, surely any game between us ended with my death.
JADE: game? I don’t understand.
CALLIOPE: you don't need to Understand.
just remember.

[Panel description: Calliope puts her hand to her cheek and whispers into Jade's ear. Jade looks alarmed, but then she disappears entirely.]

CALLIOPE: *whispers*.
JADE: (surprised face).

[Panel description: Roxy is sitting on a white sofa in sprite mode with a neutral expression. Next to her, Jade curls up asleep on a pile of pink and white pillows, cuddling a stuffed animal and with bows placed in her hair near her dog ears. She sits up with an alarmed expression, and Roxy's eyes go over to her.]

[Panel description: John and Rose appear in the scene with a flash of blue-white light and the word zap. Rose looks furious. Roxy's eyes move over to the two of them, and her expression changes from surprised to concerned.]

[Panel description: John looks awkwardly away from the scene as Rose glares at Roxy with her hands on her hips. Roxy frowns deeply, while Jade reaches up toward one of the bows in her hair.]

[Panel description: Poorly drawn green curtains lower jerkily over the scene.]