Even the wicked…

Even the wicked have souls.                                                                -Lightning, FFXIII-3: Lightning’s Returns

Alex was not a nice man.

He was ruthless and merciless in his business dealings, had no friends (only frantically loyal bodyguards that, really, were mostly furniture to him), no family (left…) and no one who would care if he died.

That last part wasn’t quite true.

There were well over half a million people (at least) who would care one way or another if he suddenly expired. His very many employees across the continent (and soon the globe if his recent business dealings were fruitful enough) as well as his (also very many, sadly) personal and business enemies. People who he’d stepped on moving his way up the company ladder before he was able to secure control of the corporation for himself as well as those who had decided that they just didn’t like him, for one reason or another. (i.e. environmentalists, conservationists, political activists, disgruntled former employees, journalists, ex-girlfriends, one or two ex-fiances, etc.) Supposedly his death would also not be greeted by the local law enforcement. Alex was in relatively good health and any death would be suspect and need to be investigated. The local cops didn’t exactly like Alex (no one really liked big businesses that might possibly have shady dealings going on, but how else would you get certain things done?), but they hated having to deal with his corporation even more. No one really liked dealing with all the inevitable paperwork that someone of Alex’s social standing dying would generate.

He’d given up on making friends and creating a family for himself. What good were friends and family when all they did was betray you? No, he was fine with his ambitions and bodyguards and multi-billion dollar company.

Never Ceasing

Death is everywhere. -Lightning, Final Fantasy XIII-3: Lightning’s Return

She didn’t look around, didn’t bother to wince at the desolation that surrounded her.

The dirt was barren and dry, the plants long since turned to dust and empty buildings with debris lay scattered in broken pieces across the countryside. In some places were the bones of things that had once been living, breathing, thinking creatures. Whether they were human or some other form of sentient life, she didn’t know.

She didn’t want to know.

But it was highly likely that she would, in the end.

She was always going to learn about the places that she had allowed to be destroyed. This was part of her never ceasing penance.