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no use ignoring that i've stayed too long.

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Jacob sits back against the wooden chair in his shack, a flickering orange candle light casting weird shadows over the angles of his face. He has much on his mind tonight, recent events bringing to the forefront a swirl of emotion that he typically keeps well under wraps. The lighting makes him look older; he feels that such a phenomenon is pointless when it could never match the age he feels. It could never match reality.

This had been going on for far, far too long. And no matter how it happens- it needs to end.

Trinity can't end it. Oh, they will, gladly. He'd almost been tempted to let them, once or twice. But the knowledge of what they would start with it, that kept those thoughts in line. It might make the end of the mess he holds reign over, but it would be the beginning of the end for so many. He already has countless deaths and failures on his hands, an invisible penance hung over his head. He would not have more- could not.

But this cannot go on forever, much to the contradiction of immortality as a concept.
It would, of course. But he couldn't let it.

He's no prophet, he's not God, and he is far from perfect. He's only human. He's tried to make them see that, he's tried to make it clear, but they have never believed it. Not fully. They insisted.

He can feel the coming change. Things are getting difficult for them, the land is changing, the balance shifting in their small world. There are more deaths than there are births, now, and the young ones are getting restless. They'd never been able to build themselves back up to their former glory, not after the fall of Kitezh, and it still doesn't look like they'll be able to- not even hundreds of years later. This generation of Trinity seems much stronger than any past invaders, and Lara...

Lara, she could end it. She would gladly end it.

He would gladly let her.

He does feel a sting of guilt for what he would do. His people, they had depended on him for well over a thousand years. He had not always been the most dependable leader, but he had tried, God help him. That had always been the most important thing to him. This feels an awful lot like abandoning the ship before it's due- a man in his position should, after all, go down with it, should he not?

But it would be so much easier, and in the long run, perhaps it would be better for them. No- not perhaps. He knows it would.

He's put up some resistance, of course. He has to. Old habits died hard, and it is, after all, his duty. But he'd be a liar if he said he wasn't hoping she would still bring the change he's sensed coming.

His people don't need to suffer anymore, and there is no use ignoring that he's stayed too long.

He releases a long breath, reaching forward to the hearth, where a pot of broth is warming. He sits back again with his simple dinner, mind made up at last.

It is time to write an ending.