There's always a Choice

Chapter 1


In a plain beyond the Elders reach, beyond the call of evil, two guardians of the universe looked upon the realm that covered the world of witches and demons in the dimension of earth.


Far away but clear to them, the shadow of a girl in a wasteland of stone and ragged naked cliffs burning red from the fire behind, stood on a rocky outcrop. The girl with love in her eyes turned to look back one more time at the demon standing on a ledge behind her behind, his bearded scruffy form rigid and half mad eyes focused on her as if he was seeing love for the last time, and she transported away leaving him behind standing staring into the wasteland.


The guardians, floating creatures of human shape, ethereal and beyond time and space, watched. The younger of the guardians, only several eons old, turned to the other and said slowly " And so it begins, but where will it end. "


The other  answered slowly " It will end where fate takes it "


 " And good will prevail? " said the younger one


 " Or it won’t and many other fates will be decided " said the older guadian smiling gently


 " This one has fought hard " the younger guardian said "


 " Others have fought as hard and lost " said the older guardian " we can just watch and allow fate to take its course. " Far below the demon saved  the witch he loved from a bullet, as her sisters watched helplessly. The older guardian waved its hand in their direction "They have to make the choice or the choice is not true "


 " So hard, so hard " murmured the younger guardian " When the fate of souls are so tied together, that they can only exist, even into immortality. Together. "


 " Some souls are only complete together " The older guardian said. " Perhaps not such a terrible choice. To exist as a complete entity, fulfilled and content or not to exist. To be good or not to exist. Is this a worse choice than to exist as a half being, incapable of loving or caring, spurned by others, even hated. "The older guardian smiled " Besides souls whose existence are dependent on another often find a strength in the need to protect the other’s existence that is not granted to those that exist fro their own sake.


The younger guardian watched the drama in the realm below and sighed at the direction he watched it take. He watched below as three witches rejoiced in the pregnancy of one of them, and watched as the temptation touched them so gently so softly, none of them realised where they were being directed. The guardian almost whispered " You know, you know what to do, think of what you know and use it wisely " but the witches below had been touched by temptation and closed their hearts to voices that pleaded with them to listen and understand the consequences.


"They think they know all about evil" the younger guardian said to itself' " They think that evil must always have a shape and a form that they can vanquish. It will be a hard lesson to learn; that good and evil are natural elements of the universe, and must be in balance for the universe to exist. That both can enter souls and change them permanently. I wonder if they care capable of learning it"



For the Charmed sisters it was a time when they finally felt in control of their destiny. They had defeated the Source, they were the acknowledged most powerful witches in the realm. For Piper, her dreams and hopes were coming true and it all seemed so right and natural. Her sisters were safe, the future she saw as a mother would happen. She knew what she wanted and what she was prepared to do to achieve it. She finally had defeated her secret dread. Never again would she have to live with the self doubt, the fear of failure. She had total belief in the knowledge of her own goodness and destiny and her own sense of right and understanding of the nature of evil.


For Phoebe, it was knowing what she would never be evil again because never again would she allow her heart to rule her life. For her, following her heart opened the the temptation to evil. Better for her to deny love, deny the need,  the joy, deny the being she loved, than ever risk temptation  again. To love and care for another being, to give another being so much power over her was for Phoebe the path to evil, it would never happen again. She would only “love” where she could control, where she took what she needed and she would discard when she no longer needed it. To exist to care for others was to risk a pain so bad that she would never again allow that hurt to touch her. And as for the demon she had loved, did love, he was the symbol of evil, the symbol of her fear, better to send him away, ignore his peril, blame him for her pain, than face the consequences of her nature.


For Paige, it was a time of uncertainty and unease, For no reason she could understand, she felt isolated from her sisters, a part of the trio but rejected and often ignored. She sensed some change, something had happened to them and she knew it was not good but her sisters barely listened to her concerns these days. She had an uneasy feeling about the path they were following but they seemed unable to hear her voice when she tried to talk to them. All she knew was that something had changed for the worse but she could see no identifiable evil. Paige alone of the sisters had no sure sense of her destiny. She understood that the Charmed Ones had fulfilled  their original destiny and she understood her sisters’ belief in their choices but unlike them she did not believe they now owned their next destiny. She believed they started again rather than controlled it. So she spent her time learning her craft and worrying about the future. She shared Phoebe’s fear of her demon ex-husband and Piper’s growing belief in herself as a super magical being but for Paige there was a long and lingering doubt that this was their true path.



The guardian watched and grimaced as the demon ex - husband returned declaring himself good and the witch Phoebe rejected him. It watched as she stabbed him and planned his death and it watched as Phoebe and Piper allowed their own sense of purpose and concern to overwhelm the reason the Charmed trio existed. The guardian watched and felt real pain as the first steps toward the seemingly inevitable fall were taken. It was small really, an innocent asked for help, and the two sisters who should have known better, hesitated to help a mermaid in love, a small thing but the path was set, a choice was made. The only hope was that the younger sister demanded they assist. Would that in the end be what decided all their fates?. Either the younger sister would convince the other two to listen to her doubts, her concerns and look to other choices or the two older ones would brush her and her doubts aside so convinced of their own importance, they would all fall to evil. 


The younger of the guardians knew it would be better to turn away and not watch what happened below because it knew that it could not change what would happen or make the choices for the players. Only the natural selection, the unassisted and true realisation of good would ensure the balance between good and evil, the natural order. Yet it felt compelled to watch it to the end . It had seen these dramas play out over an eon and the tragedy of loss and the occasional triumph never ceased to effect it.


The older guardian watched a little while then turned " Come away " it said to the younger " What will happen will happen. The choices are theirs and the consequences will be theirs to share and take responsibility ."


"It is a pity other are hurt by those actions " said the younger guardian. 


The older one smiled sadly " In the end they all have other choices."


 " Choices, always choices " said the younger guardian

The older one shrugged " They know what they need to know " it said. " They have learned the answers.  In the end, it all comes to  if they can understand what they know " .


"It seems so hard when they very belief in their own goodness is the condition of their fall. " the younger guardian answered " It is a pity they cannot understand the balance needed between good and evil, that the trappings of good are actually the path of evil, the self righteousness, the conceit of belief in the  correctness of decisions, the unquestioned and thoughtless presumption that their course is the only one and no other path is just."


 " That is the course of natural selection " said the older guardian. " Look back at the history of this realm. How any times has evil been inflicted in the name of good. Crusades, Holy wars, Holy inquisition, wars against evil, wars of retaliation, claiming justice when the calling is revenge.  They mistake the idea of the ultimate evil, they belief it is the act and the powers that defines the evil, but often it is the meaning behind the act, the same act can be both the apex of good and the penultimate evil, only depending on the belief behind it. When they start defining their goodness by their acts without questioning their motives then, they fall. "


Over the next weeks, the guardian just glanced at the drama unfolding below, and each time it looked the drama became grimmer and grimmer..  The guardian watched the demon try to be good and it heard Phoebe tell him he was evil when he tried.  "Don’t believe her " the guardian whispered to itself hoping somehow the demon would hear it. But all that happened was more pain and more hopelessness as the witches drove him to despair and pursued their path to their own destruction.


The older of the guardians came to watch, and he saw the demon edge to the brink of madness. They watched him beg for help and have it denied. They watched him chose the role of evil he so feared and they watched the witches in their self - righteousness turn on him. Driven to a belief in his evil destiny, shunned and condemned by those who should have helped him, the demon tried his own self destruction and failed.


 " Now is the moment " said the older guardian as they watched as the balance of good and evil stood on the brink. The avatars of power offered the demon the unlimited power and he refused. He sent them away screaming he did not want the power. He would not join.


 " Why, why does this have to happen? " said the younger guardian shaking its head.


 The older one sighed " Because always, always their fate is their choice, and while the choice may be very hard and painful, if they do not make it, if anyone else decides it or makes it for them or compromises their choice then it is not their choice and their fate is undecided and we begin the drama again. "


The younger guardian smiled " Even so, every time I have seen a being who is pivotal to the balance forced into such a choice, I feel great fear. I see the past when such a being has chosen a path that changes the order, and the evil that followed. "


The older one answered " But the natural order, is that good should be stronger than evil, but just enough to keep the forces in balance and there are beings whose fate it is to maintain that balance.  And if a being who is fated to keep that balances does not chose that fate perhaps that in itself is fate, to let evil dominate so that good does not become so powerful it turns on itself and mutates into evil of the worst kind . Even evil has a purpose "


The guardians looked down on the drama again. They saw the witches confront the demon and they watched the conflict send him into a state of madness.


 " They know better, " sighed the younger guardian


 " So does he " said the older guardian.


 " He knows the answer to his fate, as much as they know the answer to theirs. We can only wait and hope they all understand "