Atlus blinked, rather startled at the world that he and the others had arrived at.
They were standing in what looked like a park, surrounded by medium sized buildings with cars on the streets...
"Just like back on Persona," he heard Nate say in a low voice.
"Hey, better check that pad and see if we wound up back on Persona by mistake," Brad said, sneering at Ellen and Mary.
The young man shook his head and took out the data pad, tapping on it.
"No mistake," he said after a moment, "We're on Earth."
This statement brought a round of surprised comments from the others.
"This place...is the real Earth?" Alanna asked, "Cool!"
"According to this," he continued, "We're in a place called Claytonville, Missouri."
"Whoa! Missouri's pretty far from Lunarvale!" Mark exclaimed, jaw dropped.
"We'd better look inconspicuous and start looking," Aya suggested, "If the last free Musia is here, we better hurry before whoever comes after her too."
"Wait a minute," the red-haired boy interrupted, "I think we made a mistake in Zenogias...I somehow found the team roster on here...and there are two additional names on here."
"Say what?" Mark asked, "Gimme that!"
Atlus moved a little bit so that the others could see what was posted.
"Midori and Chu-Chu?" Ellen spoke, shocked.
"The kid and the pink pet?" Brad asked, "Why are we supposed to have them along?"
"I don't know but we'll have to go back to Zenogias and get them--" Chris started to say.
"No chu don't have chu go back!" a high-pitched voice said behind them.
They looked behind and downwards and their eyes widened.
Midori and Chu-Chu looked up, waving at them.
"So that's how the names came up," Mary said, "You two sneaked in."
"Had a dream last night," Chu-Chu explained, "We knew we would be going with chu."
"I don't like this," Brad grumbled, "We shouldn't be taking a kid and that pet along. Atlus, let's go back to Zenogias and put them back!"
Mary and Ellen shook their heads.
"What's with you two?"
"You didn't object when Aya joined us," Mary asked, "Why now? Just because one's a kid? So what! We're kids too and look at us! Last year, we saved Persona and now we're going to save the multiverse. What's the difference between us and Midori?"
"Yeah," Ellen agreed, "We won't do it. And without us, you can't get to Zenogias."
"You wanna bet? Hey Atlus, order them to open the gate!"
"Enough of this fighting," Atlus broke in, "Brad, we're not going back; I'm standing by Ellen and Mary on this one. We have to find this last Voice--Musia before it's too late."
Brad reluctantly nodded, mumbling something to himself.
A short distance away were a trio of friends, sitting on a bench.
"Hey, did you go to the concert at the Township Auditorium last night?" one of the three, a teenage girl, asked, "I had so much homework last night..."
"I sure did! I got my homework done in study hall and went to see it. Man, Anime 99 was awesome, more so than usual," a young man sitting in the middle replied.
"Was the lead singer there? I heard she collapsed at the coffeehouse yesterday afternoon."
The third person, a woman with dark hair, replied, "She did...but she was fine afterwards. As a matter of fact...after that collapse, her singing improved drastically...more than even I thought was possible. You can bet someone from the recording industry will come knocking on the door soon."
"Get outta town!" the teenager exclaimed.
"Wow! Someone knock me out! I wanna improve my singing, Just like Dena Treis!"
Midori's eyes widened and she said, "Dena...Dena..."
"If you think she was good, you should have checked out the newest member! He plays flute and keyboard extremely well, he even played the latter during the duet with Orikasa Ai...and I'll say this," the dark haired woman said, "He's a hunk!"
The girl then ran up to the three and asked, "Excuse me...who are you talking about? The new member?"
The teenage girl thought for a moment, then spoke as Atlus and the others caught up with her, "Hmm....I think I know his name. Whooga...no, that's not it...maybe Youga--"
The young man shook his head and said, "No, I heard it last night. The guy's name was Hyuga. Hyuga Ricdeau."
Atlus turned pale as he said in a low voice, "Hyuga...Sorry but do you know just where this coffeehouse is?"
"Yeah! It's in the uptown area. We'd take you there, but we've don't have wheels," the girl replied.
"Speak for yourself," the young man answered, "These guys look like something's up. I have a van. We're on our way to school and we'll take you as far as Iria Street, which is a couple of blocks west from the 5th Avenue Coffeehouse, where Anime 99 performs."
"Think the van's going to fit all of us?" the young girl asked.
"It's a big van. We can try it. Come on."
The black haired woman said, "I'll help with the passengers. Five of you get in my car and I'll take you straight to the coffeehouse."
"Won't we be inconveniencing you?" Atlus asked.
"Delaying who?" the woman said and added in a low voice, "I'm one of the members of Anime 99. You've probably come to Earth for good reason...Atlus."
The look on his face at this expressed everything.
"I knew it. I'll explain later. Right now, we've got to hurry!"
Citan walked up to the counter in the 5th Avenue Coffeehouse, ordering some soft drinks for the other members of the band and looking back at Dena, who sat at a table, with concern.
Allie walked beside him and asked, "Hey, I'll pay for those!"
"No. I will."
"Well...okies. You know how to use our currency by now," she replied and watched as he gave the waitress the proper amount of dollars.
"Worried about Dena?" she asked after a moment.
"What do you mean, kind of?"
Citan shook his head, replying, "This sounds strange...but before yesterday, I had almost completely forgotten that I had come from elsewhere.... as well as why we are going to the gift store later today. I still do not remember some of it...but I do know that Dena must be protected...yet I do not know from who."
"You mean, you began to remember when you saw Krelian?"
Allie shivered, saying, "Man....though I wish you could always stay here...although I'm called an airhead at times, even I know that you need to somehow keep Dena from being hurt...and somehow return home."
He nodded absently and saw that the drinks were ready.
"I'll take some of these," his friend said and picked two of the glasses, delivering them to Mitzi and Carlo.
"Where's Dena?" she immediately asked, seeing that the young woman in question was not at her table.
"She said something about getting some fresh air. Don't worry, she's staying in sight," the young man replied.
"I hope so," she replied and sat down.
"Hey, where's Andrea?" Mitzi asked.
"She's at the park downtown. Said she was going to see how the high schoolers liked the concert last night," Carlo answered and nodded as Citan sat down beside them.
"Your sword?" the young man whispered, seeing a glint of metal underneath Citan's jacket, "You're gonna get in trouble if the cops see that!"
"Trouble is what I am expecting. That is why I took it with me today," he replied.
The others looked at him with wide eyes but said nothing.
Andrea walked in the door, a bit pale.
"Yo, Andrea!" Carlo greeted, "C'mon and sit down! It's our break day, you know."
She shook her head and said, "Can't. Guys, we have more visitors."
"You mean a record company came to see us?" Citan asked.
Andrea was about to reply when they heard a screech from nearby.
"That sounded like Dena!" she said.
A second later, they heard Dena call out, "Hyuga! Hyuga, help! They're here on Earth!"
Without another word, Citan and the others ran out the door.
Dena winced as she felt herself be pinned to the wall right after she shouted for help.
In front of her, closing off the exits from the medium sized cul-de-sac were a man and a woman with wings dressed in dark clothing. The latter was casting a type of spell, the one that was holding the Earth native down.
"Finally," the man spoke in a cold voice, "It took us a little over a month, but we finally found you."
"I don't know who you were calling to, but it won't work," the woman added with a hiss.
"Won't it? You're not getting me like you took Elhaym," Dena replied.
The man's eyebrows rose at this and he said in a way that would not be mistaken as a question, "You know who we are."
"Got that right. You're Ghaleon and she's Ultimecia."
"Good," Ultimecia said with a smile, "That will make things much easier and faster. Since you know who we are, you are coming with us."
"If you think that I'd go wherever with the likes of you two, you lost a lot of brains when you were both killed. Oh that's right, you were brainless to start with."
Ultimecia quickly walked to Dena and slapped her hard.
"You may be the Musia of Earth, but nobody talks like that and gets away with it. You try it again and we will make your pitiful life miserable," Ghaleon advised.
"Hah, I can see why Luna hated your guts. If Alex knew what was going on here I'm sure he'd kill you again and with my blessings."
"You are sorely trying my patience, girl. Now shut up and come with us before we--" he started to say.
"You might want to reconsider that threat," they all heard behind the duo.
Citan drew his sword from its hiding place and began to advance on the two beings that had Dena surrounded.
She called out, "Hyuga! Watch out!"
The two attackers turned and glared at him, and Ghaleon looked at him closely.
Citan's face seemed clouded for a moment, then lit up with recognition and fury as he said, "You again! Kidnapping another woman?"
"You! I almost didn't recognize you in that outfit, and you still wield that useless sword."
"Who is this insect?" the woman asked.
"Ultimecia, this is that fool Zenogias native I spoke of before...and it appears he made it here," was the cold reply.
"Hmm....? So you're the one!" she said and then grinned in a rather dark manner, saying, "In that case..."
Ghaleon nodded and commanded in a louder voice, "Come out here!"
A few seconds later, a large shadow appeared over the cul-de-sac, causing Mitzi to look up and ask, "Who--or what is that?"
Citan looked up to see a form that was strangely familiar...an extremely pale woman in a torn red dress with strangely shaped brown hair and where there should have been legs was a curved, green stump.
The strange woman slowly sank until she was on the street beside Ghaleon and Ultimecia.
Behind the doctor, a small group of teenagers in white uniforms arrived, their eyes wide with curiosity as well as apprehension.
"Who is that?" a Negro teenager asked, jaw dropped.
With them was a woman with short blonde hair, wearing typical Earth clothing. In her hand was a gun.
"Eve," she replied.
The strange being, Eve, turned and gazed at the woman, green eyes flashing.
The woman with the gun slowly slouched, her eyes, also green, clouding with a sleepy expression.
"Aya!" a red-haired young man said and went to her, shaking her shoulders, "Snap out of it!"
"Nicely done," Ghaleon said, smiling and turning to the apparent ally, "Now, Eve...when I tell you to...you are to kill all Earth natives in this...uptown area, including this girl's friends."
Eve, whose facial expression was blank, nodded and rose slightly, beginning to shudder.
Dena's face became pale as she said, "You wouldn't...they're innocent beings, they have nothing to do with this."
"Wouldn't I? Girl, your refusal is leaving us no choice. You're the one that will cause their deaths, not us."
Citan gripped the sword and charged at them.
At that moment, the red-haired youth nodded, saying, "Now's the time to fight! Everyone, get ready! Chu-Chu, see to Aya."
The other nodded, quickly pulling out weapons from hidden places...bows, guns, swords, knives, and knuckles.
Ghaleon turned back just as the first stroke of Citan's sword connected with the sorcerer's shoulder, piercing it.
The Lunar native growled and flung an ice blast with his good arm, throwing Citan backwards into the street.
"Nice shot," he admitted, "But it's the only one you'll get to do. You should have stayed out of it in Zenogias."
"We shall see about that," Citan replied as he slowly got up,
"Now's the time to see if our native powers work," he heard the Negro teenager say as he prepared the machine gun to fire.
One of the other teenagers, a tall blonde woman, nodded and raised her arm, calling out, "Persona!"
A white angel appeared over her head and pointed at Citan.
A yellow glow surrounded him, healing the injuries caused by the blast of ice.
"Mine works, but not as well," she said.
"Well enough," he said, "My thanks," and charged at the enemies again.
The red-haired teenager charged at Ultimecia, his weapon, a long sword, drawn as well.
"Hm? Two of you now?" she said, dodging all the blows...except for one that connected with her face.
Ultimecia gingerly touched her right cheek, near the nose and her hand came away covered with blood.
"Hmph....you'll pay for that mistake!" she shouted in anger and pointed at the young man with the bloody hand, "Thundaga!"
From that hand, an impressive amount of lightning bolts came and raced towards him.
Citan quickly aborted his own attack and knocked the teenager to the ground as the bolts narrowly missed them.
"Thanks," the red haired young man said, "The name is Atlus."
"Pleasure," the doctor replied, "Shall we?"
Atlus nodded, lifted his sword with one hand, pointed at Ultimecia with the other and shouted, "Persona! Get her!"
At this, a strange blue creature appeared over his head, moving in a strange way.
The sorceress laughed as the resulting whirls of wind bounced off of her and grazed Citan instead.
Dena looked on, wishing there was something she could do to help when she saw Ghaleon grab a child that was amongst the teenagers.
Midori! she thought and called out in a loud voice, "Enough!"
The fighting stopped.
"Ghaleon, Ultimecia...If I go with you, do I have your word that you'll spare everyone here? Including the child you're holding hostage?"
Citan whirled towards the sorcerer and saw the little girl in question.
I do not quite remember who she is, he thought, but she seems familiar...
The woman smiled and nodded.
"Of course," Ghaleon said in a genteel manner, "I may be a sorcerer, but I give you my word. Everyone in the uptown area and here will live and go free."
"Dena! No!" Citan protested.
The young woman looked at the two right in the eye and said in a monotone voice, "As we say on Earth, deal."
"Dena!" The other members of the band also protested.
"But," she continued, "Please give me a couple of minutes to say goodbye. I swear on my word as the Musia of Earth that I won't try to renege on the deal."
Ultimecia and Ghaleon looked at each other then the former said, "Go ahead," and stepped aside.
Dena walked towards Citan, a determined look in her eyes.
"Deindra," he said in a low voice, "Do you know what you are doing?"
"Hyuga.... no, Citan. No need to hide who you are anymore. This is the only way to save all my friends...including and especially you," she whispered as she helped him up, "I'll try to thwart their plan from the inside and rescue Elly."
"No buts. You can't rescue us all if you're dead, now can you? Just listen to me. You have got to live and find a way to get us out of this mess. Okay?"
He nodded, eyes dark with sorrow.
She smiled and kissed him softly on the lips and turned to the others.
Citan looked at the young woman that resembled his late wife, not sure what to think of the kiss.
"I'm ready now," she stated.
"Ghaleon, take Dena to the palace," Ultimecia commanded, "I'll open the portal. Eve, stay here for a moment."
She then raised a hand and concentrated.
In front of the wall, a blue portal opened.
Ghaleon let go of Midori and gestured for Dena to follow him.
The Musia of Earth nodded, waved to the others and walked into the opening with him.
The winged sorceress waited for a moment before saying, "As agreed, the Earth natives, as well as those from Persona and Evolution are free to go."
She waited until the band members and the teenagers had put a small amount of distance before she pointed at Citan and added, "Eve...kill him."
"What!" Andrea shouted, "You said everyone would--"
"The agreement was for the natives of Earth, Persona and Evolution to live and go free. This Hyuga is a native of Zenogias. Now kill him, Eve."
Eve nodded and faced Citan. Her eyes and clawed hands flashed, holding the doctor in place.
A moment later, green and yellow laser beams fired from the eyes and hands, striking him with full force.
As he collapsed onto the street, he was bathed in both white electricity and a yellow glow.
Atlus began to charge at her, only to be frozen into place by Eve's stare.
"He is dead," she stated after checking the body and as she passed the teenager, one clawed hand brushed against his.
He looked at her and whispered, "I understand."
"Excellent work," Ultimecia said with a smile, "Now let's go."
At this, both women walked through the portal, which vanished behind them.
The red haired young man took a deep breath and said, "We had better get Citan indoors in a hurry."
"What're you talking about, dude?" Mark demanded, "She just offed him and you're saying to get him inside like nothing happened--"
Atlus looked at him and replied, "He's not dead."
"Huh? Come again?"
"Yeah," Brad agreed, "Even I didn't get that. She killed him, we all saw it."
"No. Remember seeing her brush a claw against my hand? In that moment," he explained, "She explained that she only hit him with a blast to make it look like he had died. He'll wake up in an hour, but we have to get him inside somewhere right now."
The others nodded and the assembled group quickly went to lift and carry Citan, while the others helped Aya inside the building.
Eve floated into the room that she shared with the others, an odd look on her face.
Julia, Elly and the others walked up to her.
"What happened?" Victoria asked, "Where did you go?"
"To Earth," was the reply, "The actual world called Earth."
"Then the last Musia...?" Julia asked.
"Taken. But she did so of her own free will...in order to save her friends. I was ordered to kill Citan."
"What did you do?"
"Carry it out."
"Eve--" Elly growled and rushed as if to attack.
"Be quiet, Elhaym. He isn't dead."
"Your plan worked?" Luna asked.
"It did. I only knocked him out for about an hour and made it look like he died," she replied, "And all of you were right. He is the One."
The others nodded and said, "So who is the new Musia?"
"Her name is Deindra Treis...Dena for short. She is the Musia of Earth...and the one destined to be the leader."
"Where is she?" Julia asked.
"I don't know, but Ultimecia said she would be here soon. I also was told the mind control would be lessened a bit on all of us as reward for the excellent work in capturing her. We will also be permitted to explore this palace."
Victoria nodded and said, "You should get some rest, then. I have a feeling things are about to get busy."
Eve nodded, floated to one corner and within a few minutes was hovering in the air, sleeping.
Deona Lindholm's Fanfiction