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"It's Ember's... essence," Quentin said, looking despondently at the jar of whitish liquid. "It's supposed to power me up enough to, you know. Fight the Beast."

"There are benefits to swallowing," Margo said.

Alice winced.

Quentin winced, too, and then took a deep breath.

Julia rolled her eyes. "Come on, Quentin, do it! Power up! We need to take the Beast out now."

"Maybe it should be you," Quentin said, looking at Julia desperately. "Or--" He glanced at Eliot.

Eliot scoffed. "Dream on. I'm already High King. I've already taken one for the team, remember?"

Julia knew she ought to hesitate, but went ahead and grabbed the jar. "The essence of a God, huh?"

As she tasted it, she knew. She felt the power coursing through her. But before she finished, she heard noises--she put down the jar, half-full, and looked around to see her friends' bodies, broken and scattered across the floor.

"Well, well," said a charming voice. "Don't you look ready to be my ally!" 

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