Saturday, March 2, 2013

Insert Expendable Cursed-Fate-Type-Thing Here

The planet of Pulse.

The mystical planet, in which people had lived, in which legends swirled around and chatter existed. It was the future.

Once, the swirling paradise of Cocoon, the supposedly utopian city, had hovered over the planet. The place had been a technological hub of bliss.

And it had been utterly corrupt.

The members of Cocoon had believed anything from the planet Pulse was evil and contaminated and had forced massive purges on people who had even suspicion of contacting anything in Pulse.

It had gone fine until the main characters of FFXIII had blown up the place.

The main characters, Lightning Farron, Snow Villiers, Hope Estheim, Sazh Katzroy, Oerba Dia Vanille, and Oerba Yun Fang, had been marked as l'Cie by the fal'Cie Anima. fal'Cie were godlike sentient beings made from crystals. Becoming a l'Cie meant the fal'Cie wanted you to do something for it. It would tell the l'Cie what he/she had to do through visions. If the l'Cie failed to achieve his/her goal, or Focus, he/she'd be transformed into a Cieth, a monster experiencing eternal pain. Achieving the Focus was not better either - the l'Cie would be "immortalized" by turning into a crystal when not needed and otherwise becoming enslaved to the fal'Cie forever (although the chance of ever turning back into a human was very slim)…

The team had been told to destroy Cocoon - their own hometown. But at the price of Vanille and Fang's humanity (they'd been turned into crystals), they'd not only destroyed the place but killed the two corrupt fal'Cie manipulating Cocoon: Galenth/Baldanders and Orphan.

Most of the important people anyway had evacuated or were purged, so it was fine to blow up Cocoon, but all that magical technology was destroyed.

On the bright side, after having destroyed Cocoon, the l'Cie group were miraculously cleared of their cursed fates, as well as those of Serah (Lightning's sister) and Dajh (Sazh's son), who had been crystallized previously. Serah and Snow once again were engaged. Lightning had to accept it, but her mood was better once Serah threw a surprise party for her.

And right before Serah was married, Serah and Lightning planned to go that trip Lightning had wanted to take Serah to originally in order to, ironically, get Serah's mind off Snow. The two were going to have some sister bonding time before Serah's marriage.

They were about to leave when the Sue arrived.


Rena Lynvale had been an ordinary young girl who lived in Cocoon when the purges had started. Although she'd had little contact with Pulse, she'd been purged for no reason - more evidence of the corruption of the fal'Cie.

After being purged, she found herself isolated away from the technological world she knew and in the wilderness, and soon ran into a mysterious, almost mythical place. She soon found herself captured by a strange thing... and fell unconscious.

When she awoke, there was a mysterious tattoo mark on her leg. It could only mean one thing.

Rena had been branded as an l'Cie.

Meanwhile, Lightning and her group were in the middle of the preparations for the trip when Rena appeared with two shocking people.

Fang and Vanille.

Needless to say, the sisters' plans were cut abruptly short.

As it turned out, Rena had not just brought back Fang and Vanille – she'd restored Cocoon back to its state. But she had not brought back PSICOM and its corrupted system. She had instead used her power to permanently freeze the members of PSICOM into crystal and use them as memorials to the corruption of the city.

People slowly moved back into Cocoon, and its former glory was restored. It became the utopia that it had once been. Serah and Snow got to see the fireworks again.

Nobody questioned Rena – for she had just brought back an amazing paradise sans horrific government and had brought back Fang and Vanille. And on top of it, she'd gotten Fang and Vanille to realize they truly did love each other, although it wasn't really that they hadn't already figured that out.

She also got Hope and Lightning to realize that they loved each other. Despite the fact that Hope was like a young teenager and Lightning was 21. Talk about dating older women. But they still loved each other.

It wasn't long until Rena revealed a more shocking secret: Nora Esthiem, Hope's mother, was also alive and well. She had somehow been turned into crystal (with no explanation) by PSICOM. Rena promptly used the powers of her summon, Freya, to bring Nora back. Hope was ecstatic.

When Rena was asked why she had done all that, she explained that it had all been part of her Focus. And when they asked her if she'd turn into crystal for finishing her Focus, she said she hadn't finished it yet. But she would. She would rather finish her Focus and be immortalized in crystal than turn into a pained Cie Corpse.

And Lightning's group vowed that they would do whatever possible to make her finish her Focus but prevent her from becoming crystal.

Unknown to Lightning's group, however, Rena had found a way to prevent herself from becoming a Cieth. And, of course, as a Sue, she had absolutely no intention of becoming crystal…


"Mistress," said Tato, "I have the footage you wanted to see."

Runoa looked lazily at Tato. "Do me a favor."

"Yes, mistress?"

"Don't call me 'mistress'. All the Sues seem to call me that. It cheapens my position, I'm not royalty, and I don't want those Sues thinking they're like my slaves or something. 'Mistress of All Sues'? Pfft."

"What should I call you then...?"

Runoa sat there, considered it for a bit, then said, "Don't call me anything. Now, you said you had the footage?"

"Yes," said Tato. "Yes. Um. Well, we have the footage."

She inserted the DVD (for who used tapes nowadays?) into the nearest player. Runoa watched.

The scene was Aster, Chrys, and Akai fighting against Tato in the Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne fandom, and Runoa watched the figures fighting.

"Isn't that girl Aster?"

"Yes. I noticed she had a very different fighting style than usual."

"I know. We discussed this earlier, about what's going on. I'm more interested in the girl. What did you say she was?"

"A fae. With the powers of Selene the moon goddess."

"That will be fine."


"Final Fantasy XIII?"

Chrys blushed. "No. Oh, no… I play video games, but… not that. Because…"

Aster threw up her hands in protest. "But Final Fantasy XIII is awesome!"

"It's okay," said Chrys. "I think I'll play it when they've fixed all the bugs… I heard some weird reviews about bugginess and all."

"But you have to play it!" said Aster. "Snow and Serah are an engaged couple, and… well, Snow's voiced by Ono Daisuke and Serah by Kotobuki Minako."


"Ono Daisuke. You know, the guy from Lucky Star… and he plays Koizumi in Haruhi, remember?"


"And Kotobuki Minako plays Mugi in K-On!. Now think about it. Ambiguously gay Koizumi and, well, Mugi, together…"

Chrys took a few seconds to register this.

Then both of them burst out laughing.

"…but I never actually played the game," said Chrys.

"Hm," said Tash. "Because I'd normally get Aster, but…"

Aster had not improved. She was in fact getting worse – laughing mirthlessly for no reason, talking about how "stupid" everything was, muttering under her breath, and going off on tangents, talking about random subjects.

"Stars are really beautiful, Aramayis," she'd said to the Counter Guardian once, "but it's always like they're teasing me…"

And the Counter Guardian had walked off, feeling somewhat sorry for her.

"Well," said Tash, "it's official. I have to assign all of Aster's missions to you, because it's neater if I do that instead of disperse her missions…"

"Right," said Chrys. "Well, I'll do the best I can."


"Ugh, Mizuho," said Chrys, "this plot is really linear…"

She ran once again into what seemed to be an invisible wall. "No towns! Very few side-quests, practically nowhere to go, and almost nothing to do!"

"Don't complain," said Mizuho. "Although the developers may have been stupid in making this game, there's one thing good from this."


"Haven't you noticed your health goes back to normal after every fight you have with a monster?"

Chrys blinked and registered it. It was true. Because of the game's idiotic design, after every battle, no matter how beaten up or bruised Chrys got in any battle, she always walked out unharmed and in perfect health.

"Hey, that's true," she said.

Normally, this kind of thing in a game would bother her. Of course, Aster didn't care about the technicalities of a game as long as it was a reasonably non-sexual game, and this author here thinks the gameplay is stupid, but the plot is awesome.

Still, automatic regeneration of health was handy, and Chrys soon found that she could use the game's idiocies to her advantage. The linear plot made it nearly impossible for her to get lost – and this was saying a lot, in terms of Chrys – because she didn't have to look for Rena in places she'd already stepped; the boring calm battle music didn't stress her out when she fought; the nonexistence of MP made it much easier to use spells and magic without worrying about regenerating; automatic health regeneration was always a plus. In the real world, materialism was actually better.

"…but the gameplay is still pretty silly," said Chrys.

The city of Cocoon was beautiful – Chrys had to compliment Square Enix on their beautiful and stunning visuals in the game. The technology, the nature, the fireworks. Everything.

It was difficult to find a stunningly beautiful Sue in such a stunningly beautiful environment, but she eventually found her. Rena was raking away leaves and enjoying the beauty of nature, as if she was a lowly peasant and not the girl who had just risen Cocoon from the ashes.

"Aren't you worried that you'll fail to complete your Focus?" said Chrys. "Or that you'll fulfill it and become a crystal forever?"

Rena turned around to face Chrys and smirked.

"I'm not stupid. I know you're a Society Agent."


Rena snapped her fingers and suddenly a figure emerged behind her - Rena's Eidolon, Freya, which took the shape of a dragon. Two people stood behind her, and Chrys realized she was facing not just Rena but also Fang and Vanille... who could summon Ragnarok if they wanted.


Chrys gulped.

"All right," said Mizuho. "Let's get this over with."

Wielding two Copyrights, she sprang.

Hecatoncheir and Bahamut appeared behind Vanille and Fang.

Apparently the two considered Mizuho enough of a threat to go immediately into Driving Mode (which was theoretically impossible since Driving Mode was the equivalent to the previous FF games' Limit Breaks). Hecatoncheir became a mech and Bahamut a flying beast.

"Time to play," said Mizuho, and materialized a purple ball of energy, which she used as a sort of shield to blast away the attacks of the Eidolons.

Rena, who was riding Freya, swooped down closer to Chrys and attacked her, but Chrys frowned and aimed a few bursts of magic at her.

"Chrys, arm," said Mizuho. Chrys duly linked her arm with Mizuho's and both of them glowed with a faint tint, then exploded a ton of power towards Bahamut and Freya. Their manuever worked - the two flying Eidolons were successfully pulled to the ground. It also dragged Hecatoncheir downwards.

With Vanille and Fang facedown on the ground, Mizuho was able to spring up and jam Copyrights on Vanille and Fang.

Hecatonheir and Bahamut disappeared. Both Vanille and Fang's eyes closed and they rose up through the air. A blue glow spread through their bodies as they hardened and became crystal, and floated further into the air until they were at the position they were originally.

"It's a shame," said Chrys.

Rena got up from the ground from where she had fallen and scowled.

"Don't you realize how the other characters are Sues too?" she said. "I mean, the main character's name is Lightning."

"Well, to be fair," said Chrys, "her name's Éclair, but she wanted to get herself a new identity for her sister, and éclair is French for lightning..."

"Don't you realize how much power resides in this fandom?" Rena was clearly angered, but she was focusing her energy on provoking Chrys; she was holding Freya back.

"Apparently," said Mizuho, "it's enough for you to gamble on being turned either into a Cieth or a crystal."

"Oh, that's no gamble," said Rena proudly. "I've found a way around that. See, my Focus is to kill Freya with my own hands. Of course, I'm never going to do that. And I can't become a Cie Corpse, because I have too much willpower not to be one." She smirked. "Remember how Lightning and her friends escaped being Cieth?"

Chrys didn't know the plot too well, but she knew this probably meant something bad.

Rena leapt back on Freya and flew off. "Good luck getting that Prohibitor on me!"

Mizuho got up, cursed, then blinked. "I might have an idea."


"I don't like holding daggers. They're dangerous..."

"Shut up," said Mizuho. "It's necessary."

Rena was in the middle of a speech on "How to Cope When You've Become an l'Cie" when Chrys and Mizuho burst in, both wielding daggers.

"They're going to assassinate me!" yelled Rena, and summoned Freya.

Other than the ones who hadn't been given the chance to tame their Eidolons yet, all of the l'Cie sprang at Chrys and Mizuho.

But the two had another trick up their sleeve.

The two had taken Oneshots, enabling them to get Eidolons without being turned into l'Cie. The hard part had been actually taming the Eidolons, but Mizuho had taken care of that with a few grenades and a long, agonizing magical battle (which shall not be described here due to the fact this fic is pressed for time and needs to be released soon; we'll leave it that Chrys was very, very thankful for automatic health regeneration at the end of the battle). Because the two had not been branded, they couldn't get new Eidolons, so they got the ones identical to the ones canon characters had: Mizuho had the Shiva Sisters (Snow's) and Chrys had Alexander (Hope's).

"Aw, I wanted Ragnarok," Chrys had said. "It has the same name as that video g- "

"Shut up," said Mizuho. "We're pretty Sueish to begin with and we don't want to make it worse; besides, Ragnarok can destroy the world, like Fang and Vanille almost did, and we don't want to crystallize ourselves, like Fang and Vanille did do."

"You seem to know more about this game than I do..." said Chrys.

"Only how it ended," said Mizuho. "Usually that's the important part in fandoms."

Anyway, Chrys and Mizuho summoned their Eidolons. Alexander, which was nothing really but a big fortress that shot bullets at people, was a perfect match for Chrys, who cowered behind it in fear of the charging l'Cie.

Mizuho expertly handled her command of the Shiva Sisters and unlocked Driving Mode in five minutes. For those who have seen pictures of Mizuho...just imagine her in a motorcycle. Wearing Final Fantasy-esque clothes.

At one point, when she saw an l'Cie trying to kill Chrys from behind Alexander, she slammed the l'Cie with tire marks to the face.

After slamming down a good amount of l'Cie and aided by the bullets Alexander was shooting Mizuho turned to go get Rena, dagger in hand. Alexander stopped shooting and Chrys ran, flailing, towards Mizuho and Rena.

"You two are going to murder me, eh?" said Rena. "Looks like the Society's changed from its peaceful aims..."

"Unless you come quietly, this is our only option," said Mizuho.

"I expected you to come up with something more creative," she said, and charged at the two. As Freya, the Shiva Sisters, and Alexander duked it out, Mizuho, Chrys, and Rena fought, Rena with a sword and Mizuho and Chrys with daggers.

Each side was keeping the other at bay, until Mizuho yelled...

"Chrys, now!"

Chrys launched the move Mizuho wanted. She plowed straight into Rena with her body in a canine-like manner.

At the same time, in a masterstroke only Mizuho could have planned, Mizuho flew up and launched at Freya. She pushed Freya down near where Rena was being plowed.

Now, Chrys had to time her plowing so that Rena would not stab her with the sword, and so Chrys reached under where her arm was and the sword flew out of Rena's hand. Startled but ready to get back, Rena took the opportunity to swipe the dagger from Chrys's hands.

That was her mistake.

As Freya was briefly plowed down Rena also tried to take the opportunity and grab onto Freya, which Mizuho had predicted. Chrys then threw herself onto Rena's arm. The arm shoved right into Freya's body, and as Freya flew up away in pain, it created a large, jagged, bleeding cut that would kill her.

You guessed it - Mizuho had caused Rena to kill Freya in a big Xanatos Gambit.

Mizuho smirked. "I told you it'd work, Chrys. Sues are predictable."

Chrys stared at Rena.

"No," said Rena. "No. This can't..."

Her hands glowed blue.

As Rena rose up in the air, her legs and limbs glowed blue and her body turned translucent, and Rena's eyes closed as her body became crystal.

The crystal statue hovered in midair as Chrys stared at it.

"Should we leave her there?"

"No," said Mizuho, "we need to get the Sue out of the fandom."

"All right."

Chrys reached up and grabbed the statue. It then became weighted and smashed her flat on the ground.

"...ow... crystals are heavy..."


The Society had no use for Rena's crystal, so it became used for decorative purposes. So, there was a nice pretty crystal statue in the main room.

"So it's like getting turned to stone but with a lot more dignity," said Akai to Chrys over the phone.

"Yeah, pretty much," said Chrys.

"So how was the game?"

"The automatic HP regeneration was nice and it was convenient to not be limited to MP..."

"So you'd play the game?"

"Absolutely not. It ruins my pride as a gamer..."

"Hm," said Akai. "Amusing. I probably shouldn't play it either. Especially since they got rid of the victory music."

"I hated that!" said Chrys. "I missed it so much!"

There was a long pause.

"You'd better take care of Aster," said Akai. "It's a shame she's missing it."

"...I need to get to that," said Chrys.


"I'm sorry you have to go through all this, Aster," breathed Chrys. "I'm really sorry."

She went up to Aster and hugged her while Aster rolled her eyes in delusion.

And then a shiver passed through Chrys's body.


"Don't scatter the manga everywhere," said Chrys, "or fa'den will get mad at you."

Aster scoffed. "You're actually going to use that language he taught you to call him that?"

"We are planning to make this a language someday."

"Yeah," said Aster sarcastically, "and we'll use this to pass secret information that the Sues can't tap into."

"Oh, come on…"

"What are you two arguing about?" Adrian walked into the room, smiling. "And remember to put that manga back, Aster."

"Yes," said Aster, scowling, "fa'den." Despite the fact her accent had lessened while being around the Society, it still muddled up the pronunciation.

Chrys laughed. "You're using that after all?"

Adrian patted Aster's head, grinning, and said, "So I guess you're ty'dal now."

Aster gave an exasperated look.

"See, you really are tsundere."

"I am not!"


Chrys blinked. She remembered that scene. Why had being close to Aster triggered it? And she didn't get it just by touching Aster – she'd had to really open up her emotions.

At first a strange, confusing idea came up to her. Then suddenly she had a realization of what must be happening. In shock, she ran over to Tash.

"Tash! Tash!"

Tash looked up from her paperwork. "What?"

Chrys stared at Tash. She looked like she was about to cry. "There's something… strange in Aster."

Tash tilted her head. "Huh?"

"I got really close to her and… well, I can't explain it… but… I… saw this memory of Adrian. And I was thinking… maybe there was… something in there… trying to comfort her."

"Uh-huh. I think I see where this is going… I've felt like that too sometimes."

"But… but… it's worse than that. See, you know how she went insane recently… see… remember how Death… was a lot like Adrian? Well… see, I think there's… something that looks like it's comforting her. But instead…"

"…it's driving her crazy…" Tash stood up. "We need to get Aster to Val. Now."


They went over to Aster and told her where they were going. Aster complied without an argument, although they heard her muttering things under her breath. Neither of them wanted to know what she was saying.

Valerie lay Aster down and inspected everything about her, but finally shook her head.

"Aster's channels are all blocked."

"What does that mean?" said Chrys.

"She's not letting anything in or out of herself. This means I can't get into her to see what's wrong with her. Of course, it's very likely she's doing this herself, but there's always the possibility…"

Tash turned to Chrys. "Get Aramayis. He's the one who knows how to handle this kind of thing."

Chrys dashed out quickly and returned with said Counter Guardian. After listening to the story, he nodded.

"The only thing I can suggest is to try to get her out of her shell," he said, "but it's not something that urgently needs to be solved right away unless she starts blowing up things. Of course, I don't like seeing her going through insanity, but what can we do?"

Tash and Valerie nodded.

"I'm sorry about all this," said Chrys. "But… Aster… is usually very nice. And I know you probably don't think well of her, but…she's really nice."

As Tash and Valerie left, Aramayis watched them, then turned to Chrys. "So… what is she really like? Because I can't understand her, but…"


Runoa went through the tape one more time.

"I'm sure now," she said. "I'm absolutely sure. You." She pointed to the pseudo-Tash. "Get information on this girl's fandom and her history. I don't care about the girl, but I want to see her information and her capabilities. If she's what I think she is… this should be interesting."

"Yes," said the pseudo-Tash, and ran off.

"Do you really trust her?" said Tato, frowning. "Isn't it obvious she has a double agenda?"

"I'm not stupid. I know she has a double agenda. But her boss is not powerful enough for me. I can strike her down easily, and by the time my plan is through it won't matter."

"I see," said Tato.

There was a long pause.

"You are faithful to me for the most part right?"

"As long as Chrys dies."

"Good enough. You seem like a good candidate. Come here. I have something I want to show you."

Tato was afraid of whatever was going to happen.

She had good reason, too, because she ended up screaming quite a bit that day.

No comments:

Post a Comment