Suddenly, Elizabeth found herself thinking of Bariso. Would he be alright?  She didn't particularly like him, and he was probably caught in this scheme anyway, but still. She didn't want him to get turned into lava, if that was even real. And what about the druid, Ellen? What would happen to her?

The elementia seemed pretty busy muttering strange things  and making the walls turn weird colors and start smelling like peppermints, but they owed her for being so dishonest and nasty all-around.

Everyone was being quiet, so she didn't yell, but worked her way around the crowd (almost knocking down Sue in the process) 'til she was behind Aria. She didn't know much about Aria. The other Elementia seemed to have defining qualities- Tierra was nice and friendly, Fiamma was vain and silly, Acqua was tricky and formal, but Aria was just the other one. Still, she didn't seem to be evil, and she seemed to know what was going on, anyway, so it was worth a try.

"Aria," she said clearly.

"Yes?" said Aria distractedly.

"What happens to Bariso? And Ellen? And whoever else was left behind?"

"Oh, they'll find a way out. They're smart."

"But why didn't we take them with us?" said Elizabeth, angry. Were the elementia really so unconcerned with people- granted, they were a dwarf and a druid, but they were still people.

"Well, I suppose we could have done that. But it's too late now, no-one will be able to come through the tunnel after us."

"WHAT?" yelled Elizabeth. Aria seemed supremely unconcerned.

"YOU MEAN YOU LEFT THEM THERE TO DIE?!" She screamed, getting the attention of everyone.

"They won't die," said Aqua crossly. "Bariso can open a portal, he'll get himself and Ellen out. Now stop yelling, I'm trying to work."

Elizabeth was so furious she was shaking. These Elementia were evil. They didn't actually care about people, they just wanted the humans to save their world for them. And now they were stuck, all of them, even Elizabeth, because SHE sure as heck wasn't going to leave anyone behind. WHY had no-one else asked the right questions? Why was it only her to sort out what was right and wrong, who was good and who was evil? Why was no-one helping?

She was crying a little now, wiping her tears away as shemarched briskly down. She ripped her skirt and tied it up so it was shorter and she could walk freely.

She had come to a decision.

No-one was going to help her. No-one was going to take responsibility. Everyone-else got too caught up in the magic, in the adventure, but she would be left out in the cold, to call when it was getting too wild, when the fun was getting mean. Or they were the ones making the magic. Making the traps. So be it. She would be the grown-up one. She would take charge. She would make decisions based on a strict moral code and a set of practical limits. She would get everyone out safely.

She was always going to be the boring one. The one who was born a parent.

So she would accept her heretofore cursed destiny and get everyone out okay.

The End

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