She normally does not wander off like this, not since she hurt her leg running down the mountain a few months ago, he thought, so where could she be?
As he walked outside, he heard voices coming from near the workroom where the Land Crab had once been.
"Are chu sure about that dream?" a female voice asked in a puzzled tone.
Who is Midori talking to?
"I had the same dream," another female, this one familiar, replied, "But I was one of the women."
"I think something really bad is about chu happen," the first voice continued, "Chu and Citan having the same dream...and the names Midori told us."
"I saw dreams too," he heard his daughter say, "The two bad ones already took Julia, Eve and Victoria."
"Chu-Chu, just because doc and Elly had the same dream doesn't mean that something gonna happen to them," a familiar male voice retorted.
"What about these other names you mentioned? 'Althena, Dena'? Was there any others?" Elly asked.
"Uh-uh, other than Elhaym."
A female-but-robotic voice added, "I have a bad feeling about this."
Citan walked over and called out, "Is that you, Fei?"
"Oops, I think he found us," Midori said in a meek manner.
A few steps revealed Elly, Fei, Chu-Chu, Emeralda and Midori sitting on the grass in a circle. They looked up and saw him.
"Uh, hey doc," Fei said in an "you caught me" tone.
"We were coming up here to visit," Elly added, "And we happened to run into Midori out near the storeroom."
"I admit, it is good to see all of you again," Citan said quietly, "but the topic of discussion is rather...unsettling."
"I know," Chu-chu replied, "Midori told us all about it. Methinks the Musias are being gathered, yes I do!"
Citan sat down, interested and asked, "Musias?"
"There's an ancient legend from when the Eldridge crashed here," Chu-chu started to explain in an unusually serious voice, "When what we know now as Miang and Elhaym first came chu be, a young girl arrived chu our world somehow. Her voice had the power chu change the world around her and open doors into other places. The legend also says that there are five other people throughout the cosmos just like her."
"O-kay," Fei asked, "so if someone evil got a hold of these people, if the legend were true..."
"It'd be a disaster, chu better believe it."
"Uh, Chu-Chu, perhaps we should go inside were it would be more comfortable," Citan suggested.
"Yeah," Elly agreed and got up.
In the strange castle-like building that the voice sent the kidnapped women and the two evil ones, Ultimecia saw Ghaleon enter the part that seemed like a courtyard.
"Well, Ghaleon, we have two more to retrieve today," she stated, "But this time it's up to us as far as who gets who."
"Ah. According to the book, who is left?" he asked.
"Let's see...we already have Eve, Julia and that strange woman called Victoria...that leaves 3 left. The next two have been located. One is in your native world...an old friend, as a matter of fact."
"Oh, who is it?"
Ghaleon nodded after a moment and said, "I know who it is. And the other one?"
"This one will be rougher than the past ones. She is a fighter from a world called Zenogias. However, their technology level and otherwise are rather primitive so there shouldn't be that much trouble with her. They certainly won't be able to come after whoever goes."
He asked, bluntly, "What's her name?"
"I'll take it."
In another room of the strange palace, the three women sat on one of the couches, looking about them.
The strangely mutated woman said, "I can't see where this place is. It's almost as if it's in the middle of, literally, nowhere."
"I wouldn't doubt it, Eve. I guess that's what they meant about dying if we try to leave."
Eve turned and asked, "How were you brought here, Julia?"
"I think I was hypnotized, now that I think about it," the woman called Julia replied.
"Hmm...our kidnappers have different methods, I see," a woman all dressed in black with a black horn-like hat said, "The one that took me simply used force."
"What world did you say you came from?" Eve asked, curious.
"I thought it was Earth, but they called it Persona," she replied, sighing, "I was a singer in a place called the Velvet Room, working for a mindmanther named Igor."
"I thought I came from Earth too," Julia agreed, "But our captors called it Gardenia. Eve, what was your world called?"
"Personally, they gave it by a more fitting name: Evolution."
"And you were taken moments before you were to die? Odd..." The black haired woman said quietly.
"What are they going to do with us?" Julia asked, "I'm worried about my daughter."
"You have a child?"
"Yes...Rinoa. She's three."
"Nice name," the third woman said with a smile, "Oh, I forgot to tell you my name. It's Victoria."
"It's a fitting name," Julia replied, "If we're going to be here a while, we may as well get to know each other."
"It will work for a cover," Eve said quietly, one extremely long finger carefully tapping against her chin, "but we must figure a plan to not only escape but to get rid of our captors."
"One that won't get us all killed."
Citan looked out the window, watching Elly and Midori playing outside while the others were sitting in the equivalent of the living room, chatting.
It has been quite a while since the house has been this full, he thought, ever since Lahan was destroyed...
"Oh, how's Midori's leg? She didn't seem like she was limping this time, chu."
"She is a little," the doctor replied, "That is to be expected when you break a leg."
"I guess chu would know."
"Are you okay, doc? You look like you haven't got any sleep in the past few days," Fei suddenly asked.
"Actually, I have not. That dream Midori told you about has been...reoccurring."
Suddenly, a cold blast of air went through the room, causing all of them to shiver.
"What was that?" Chu-chu asked after a minute.
"Unknown," Emeralda replied, "But--"
Right at that moment, everyone heard a scream from outside. A second later, Midori called out something that made them all stand and run.
"Fei, daddy, Elly's hurt!"
Outside, the group saw Elly lying on the ground and a man with white hair in dark robes standing beside her. On one side, Midori was moving her lips, but no sound came out.
"That will shut you up, kid," the man said, voice sounding sinister, "No need to call for help when there's nothing you can do..."
Citan, fortunately could read lips and understood just what she was saying: He's come for Elhaym.
"Hold it right there," he said in a steely voice, hand on sword, "What do you think you are going to do?"
"Oh, my...you want to fight? I can guarantee, you will lose."
Fei asked angrily, "Just who are you and what do you want with Elly?"
"Elly? Oh, you mean Elhaym. What I want is none of your business, but if you must, the name's Ghaleon. Ghaleon of Lunar," he replied, "She was right, this is a primitive world. Now, I'm taking Elhaym out of here. No funny business and nobody will get hurt, all right?"
"Where could you possibly go?" Fei asked.
The dream from the night before flashed through Citan's mind...and in particular, the face he was fighting against.
"Wait...! I know you! You are the one kidnapping women!" he called out and drew his sword.
"Hah!" Ghaleon simply said and waved a hand towards them, sending Fei backwards with a ball of flame.
"What the--?" Emeralda asked, shocked, "There is no more Ether power here! That fireball is not possible!"
He ignored her and sent another flame at Chu-Chu, which set her fur on fire.
"Ouchy-wowowowow!" she shrieked.
"Farewell...fools," the wizard said and picked up Elly, slinging her over one shoulder as if she were a sack and waving the other hand.
A blue and black vortex appeared from out of nowhere.
Ghaleon laughed and walked into it.
Normally, Citan did not give in to wild impulses, but the face from the dream that was now carrying Elly away caused him to obey the impulse just this once.
"Oh no you don't!" he shouted and jumped into the portal.
A split second later, the vortex slammed shut.
It took a few moments for Fei and the others to mentally realize that Elly had been kidnapped and taken to nobody knew where and that Citan had disappeared into thin air.
Ultimecia frowned when the portal opened in a rather abnormal manner, admitting Ghaleon.
"You knocked this one out? Really, Ghaleon, you don't have to club them over the head," she said in a what-am-I-going-to-do-with-you tone.
"I had no choice. She fought rather fiercely and nearly escaped," he replied and gestured to the girl slung over his shoulder.
A second after he said that, the portal slammed shut with a bang.
"What happened to the portal?"
"Some native fool jumped through after me with a sword drawn. Luckily, it caused the flows to shift, sending him elsewhere."
"Hmm...an excellent way of dealing with pests. Wherever he winds up, he won't be able to come after us. So...is this Elhaym of Zenogias?" she asked, looking at the girl on his shoulder.
"Yes. What is it? You look furious."
She said angrily, one wing twitching, "Couldn't you sense the difference? Unlike the others, this one's Musia powers haven't come to life yet!"
"That's impossible. I sensed strong powers within her."
"You sensed something else, but that wasn't it. Although, it might be something we're seeking..." she drifted off in thought.
"Do you mean the Ultimate Power?"
Ghaleon hmphed a little at this, then asked, "Did you make your trip yet?"
Ultimecia said, suddenly remembering, "Oh, yes. I almost forgot about her. Yes, I made my run a few seconds after you did. The girl wasn't hard to...convince. Did you use some mind control in the past on her?"
"How did you know that?" he asked, surprised.
"Seemed like your influence when I went in. Anyway, she's asleep in that crystal case nearby. She won't wake up until it's opened," she replied, gesturing to a large, nearly transparent crystal casket that was balanced on a rose pedestal.
"Ultimecia, the voice that brought us here said that at one time, you spoke in a strange way...with k's in place of c's. How come you don't talk that way now?"
She frowned and replied, "I don't remember much of anything other than the ones that killed me in the first place and my own name. Did I really talk that way?"
He nodded and changed the subject.
"So, now we have 5 of them," Ghaleon stated, "And there's one left."
"And who gets her, is that what you're asking?"
"All right. We'll use a coin from my world and flip for it," she said, extending one hand to the air, causing a strange coin to materialize, "This is a gil. Heads, you retrieve the last one. Tails, I do."
He nodded and said, "Fair enough," and watched as she flipped the gil in the air.
They quietly watched as it landed on the ground...and looked at the item in shock as the gil lay rested upon the table on its edge.
"I believe we both go after her, then," she said.
That will have to wait for a time, you two, the voice spoke. This time, instead of in their minds, it was audible.
"What is wrong?"
The power of the last one hasn't awakened yet either. Unlike Elhaym, you won't have anything to hunt her down with. Start working on the others' minds until the powers of the final one wakes up...and do get Elhaym to the room you put the others in.
"We might as well," Ultimecia said, "Whoever it is hasn't steered us wrong yet."
At the school of St. Hermelin, a small but familiar group of students had gathered near the entrance to the gym.
"This'll be the last day we can use this shortcut," a young man in a yellow hat said with a grimace, "So why don't we sneak over to the Peace Diner for lunch, guys?"
"So you want to spend it getting into trouble, eh Mark?" a young girl giggled, "Sounds good to me! The cafeteria food has gotten so bland!"
"Normally, I would stay inside the school since we are so close to graduating," Nate, the heir to the Trinity Trust, said with a sigh, "But this time I'll agree with Mark and Alanna. Anything looks better than fighting demons on the streets."
"Pretty strange thinking, since it's been a year since the incident with the Deva System and Pandora," a tall red-headed boy said to them, shaking his head, "Although in comparison to that, everyday life has been so...boring."
"What, man?" Mark turned and asked, "You want to be fighting demons again?"
"You know what they say, Atlus," Nate said, "Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it."
The door leading to the main part of the school opened, causing the group to look casual in case it was Dean Harding.
Instead of the strict teacher, Ms. Smith and two younger women were walking towards them. As soon as they reached the students, the teacher started giving them strips of paper.
"These are absence passes," she explained, "But I don't think you'll be going to the Peace Diner just yet."
"Is something wrong, Ms. Smith? You look pale," Atlus asked.
"You could say that," one of the girls beside the teacher, Ellen, explained, "Mary and I just got this note and we showed it to her."
"Lemme see that!" Mark exclaimed and snatched the note from Ellen's grasp.
Nate stood beside him, reading the piece of paper.
"It's from Igor and Philemon," the latter said after a minute, "They want to see us at the Sun Mall's Velvet Room immediately."
"I don't like the tone of that," Brad, who had been quiet until now, said, "If both of them sent that, we've got some monster-kickin' ahead!"
Ms. Smith nodded, finished passing out the passes, "I think so, too. Now, all of you get going!"
The group nodded and left the school through the hole in the wall.
Deona Lindholm's Fanfiction