Thy Will Be Done
Chapter 6 - this heart's not my possession
by Meimi


Disclaimer: Am not associated in any way with Namco, Monolith, et al. No profit, blahblahblah.

Notes: Take a sharp turn right after Episode 1, head straight into Alternate Universe/Timeline territory, add in a few speculative theories, shake well.


Laughter, the constant, eternal companion to pain, wended its way through his head, sneaking down his spine and slithering up his arm to come oozing out his fingertips, infecting his tongue as he rested his chin against his hand. Oh yes! That laughter! It echoed in his ears -too loud, too harsh- and clawed and rent his reality to jagged strips. A beautiful sound. An ugly sound. So horrible. So glorious. So... empty.

And the answer the universe, at last, had supplied to the unknown that the laughter and pain always, always hinted at but never unveiled? Darkness unending, black on black and all the light to life fading away bit by bit.

Beauty in entropy.

"Suppose truth is a woman, what then?" A question Albedo offered, sacrificed to the dark. The fading white, the fading red, to a one and then none they would fall, then all would be black, unending. Ah, but the pride Nigredo must feel. "Wouldn't there be good reason to suspect that all philosophers, in so far as they were dogmatists, had a poor understanding of women?"

He chuckled then, high and piercing and painful, as it rightly should be, "That the habitual dreadful seriousness and awkward pushiness with which they approached truth were clumsy and inappropriate ways to win over a woman?"

"Yes! And what a woman she is!" Albedo crowed as he shot out of his seat, dangerously teetering over Simeon's control. It seemed as if he would take a header at any given moment and wouldn't care in the least. Throwing his arms out wide, Albedo danced a little jig, contorting this way and that to keep from damaging his beloved E.S. Tears of mirth glittered in his eyes when he finally stopped and returned his gaze to the vast, expanding darkness of the Abyss. "The wonders mine eyes doth behold!"

"Alas," Albedo flopped back down in the pilot's chair, his joy deflating with a nigh physical sense in the space of a few seconds, "I do not think she will allow herself to be won over."

"The tragedy I must endure," he cried brokenly as he reached out and grasped helplessly at empty air, "My Queen! My Mother! I give thee all myself, and, to show my devotion to thee, I consecrate to thee my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my heart, my entire self."

"But she will not hear me. No no, not an unworthy such as I," Albedo singsonged, a manic smile etching its way back across his lips. "Our lady of mercy, nay, ma dame de la mort, only to the Fallen, forsaken gods and angels alike, will she turn her ear."

"Tsk tsk," he murmured as he commanded Simeon to withdraw further away from the Abyss. It wouldn't do to get sucked in. Oh no, for one who still bore mortal follies such as he, it would only be a false peace, a temporary end. Ma dame de la mort would not deign to gift him with such grand desires.


"Hmm," Albedo giggled as he dug his nails deep into his cheek and slowly raked them down, "I wonder, which of them drew your precious attention? An angel? A god? Which of them fell so far that they could fall no more except into your final embrace? An interesting question."

"I wonder if that particular truth will allow herself to be won over," Albedo said silkily as he ripped his nails out of his skin, flinging blood across the cockpit. "Perhaps I could even convince her onto the dance floor. Wouldn't that be fun?"

The laughter came again then as he absently eyed the blood still dripping off of his fingertips. Red and red and red on white, oh yes, he still had that to deal with. Mustn't tarry too long... but beauty, ah, how he wished to taste the beauty before him.

If only.

"Such a pity, you can't be mine," Albedo whispered, hollow regret threading paper-thin in his voice as he reached forward with his blood-stained hand and drew a cross in the air, "Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum."

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.


Smooth. Rough. Cracked. Hard. Soft. Silk. Paper. Leather. Wood. New. Old. Moth-eaten. Dust-ridden. KOS-MOS cataloged each and every sensation from her fingertips as she ran her hand along an overfilled shelf of books. It was a repetitive task, perhaps she could even classify it as soothing. She had gone over every process and sub-process within her operating system after she had been released from that dream, but they had all checked out clear. According to her system log, nothing had happened. For eight minutes and twenty-four seconds KOS-MOS had simply sat rigidly at Shion's bedside while monitoring her body temperature.

Her experience in that dream had occurred, but it refused to be written to her memory. It lingered only in her temporary processes, jumping from circuit to circuit as one process ended and another began. The next time she underwent a system shutdown - sleep- it would most likely vanish into nothing, and then she would have no recollection of it at all.

That... unsettled her. Yes, unsettled seemed to be the proper word to describe it. She did not feel human emotions but sometimes her thoughts mirrored them and when that happened she could pretend, and maybe in the pretense she could make Shion happy someday. She could pretend that she felt unsettled, nervous, and perhaps a little frightened by what had happened. She couldn't protect Shion from something like that dream, and if she couldn't protect Shion, and thus fulfill her duty, then what purpose did her existence serve?

She had fled Shion's bedroom, pretending to be hounded by her pretend doubts as she hid herself behind the bookshelves of Jin Uzuki's "bookstore". It was just a pretense, an exercise in appearing to be more human, nothing more. Pretending to pretend didn't make what had happened any less of a reality though. No... no, it did not.

"Hello again."

KOS-MOS, startled out of her thoughts, glanced to the side. Jin peered around the corner of the bookshelf at her, a kind, if mildly curious, expression on his face. Strange, why hadn't her sensors detected his approach? A quick scan of her system produced no indications of malfunction; yet she had not sensed his presence until he had spoken. That was disturbing. Perhaps it was time she underwent a full diagnostic... but for that she would have to sleep.

"Are you all right?"

KOS-MOS blinked, that was unexpected. Had she been giving the impression that something was amiss? Interesting. "I am operating within normal parameters."

"I suppose that is something of a yes," Jin chuckled as he stepped further into the aisle. "Is Shion still resting?"

KOS-MOS kept her face blank as she activated the majority of her dormant sensors just to make sure. It was unnecessary, she would have known the instant there had been any change in Shion's immediate condition. She was always attuned to Shion's state of being. Still, KOS-MOS checked anyway, just to be sure. "Yes."

"I see," Jin said softly as he reached up and gripped his shoulder. A nervous gesture, KOS-MOS noted. Why was he nervous? Nodding to himself as if he had decided upon something, Jin smiled, "Would you care for a game of Go to pass the time?"

"I do not believe I have played Go. However, I do have the instructions for play as well as several tournaments recorded in my database," KOS-MOS tilted her head slightly in curiosity. He had an ulterior motive to his offer, of this she had no doubt. The most likely being to fish for information concerning Shion. Asides from that, and perhaps because of it, the interaction might prove to be a worthwhile endeavor. "Yes, I believe I would."

"Splendid," Jin smiled brightly as he led the way back towards the household. KOS-MOS wondered briefly at his unconcerned air. Odd. How would he know if any customers arrived? Or was he depending on her ability to detect their arrival? Just how much information did he have concerning her?


The muted sniffling was the first indication that Jr. had finally found MOMO. Geez, he really needed to have a stern lecture with her about running off. Not that he could blame her, the discussion about the Abyss and what they could do about it, which ultimately was nothing, had stretched out, hour after hour after hour of the same old crap. That was Gaignun's job, not his, damnit! And throughout it all, Juli Mizrahi had very obviously been avoiding any possible interaction with MOMO. Which led to his having to search around for her because, of course, she would run off... again. Yes, a stern lecture would most definitely be in order. Later.

Jr. sighed soundlessly, steeling himself for what was to come, and made his way into Helmer's little private, enclosed garden. He should have known, she always found the flowers and greenery without fail. Why would this time be any different?

MOMO blended in quite well with the blooming cherry tree she was huddled under, but the sniffling gave her location away. She was trying not to cry, and succeeding somewhat. Probably trying to put on a brave front, Jr. surmised. She hadn't noticed his presence yet, but she would soon, 'observational' wasn't just a word tacked on to her designation to make it look pretentious, after all.

The sniffling ended abruptly, but MOMO kept her head down, her face hidden in shadows. "Hello Jr."

Jr. winced, she sounded utterly despondent and there really wasn't much he could do about it. The only thing he knew of that might improve the situation was to talk to Juli Mizrahi directly himself, but that would have to be done in person. That was truly an impossible feat at the moment. So he was left with just trying to talk MOMO out of her funk, here's hoping. "Hey MOMO."

"So," MOMO began as she started twiddling her thumbs, "Is the meeting over with?"

"Sort of," Jr. answered hesitantly as he plopped down next to her, "your mother wanted to speak with Ziggy about something, so he stayed behind while I came looking for you."

"Oh. Well, that's good I guess," MOMO murmured softly, sounding as if she really didn't care one way or the other. "Jr., why do you think mommy doesn't want to see me?"

Jr. grimaced. She would ask that. He could lie... but she deserved better than that. He might as well be honest, the truth would hurt but at least she would know. "Actually, I think that's your father's fault more than anything else."

"What?" MOMO's head whipped up to stare at him in shock. "What does daddy have to do with it?"

"MOMO, you know that you look a lot like Sakura Mizrahi, don't you?" Jr. asked gently. This was going to hurt, maybe him more than her. His memories were like little jagged pieces of glass, they always made him bleed.

"Oh yes," MOMO nodded, smiling just a little bit, "My hair color and eye color are different, of course, but we were supposed to look exactly alike. And daddy gave me everything he could, every little scrap of data he could come up with about Sakura."

"Right, and that's the problem," Jr. mentally sighed as her face fell, "He made you that way without taking your mother's feelings into consideration. Your father tried to make you in your sister's image. Unfortunately, on the surface he did a pretty good job. And considering the fact that Sakura's death nearly killed her, it's no surprise that your mother is still having a hard time reconciling that knowledge with the fact that you aren't your sister."

"I... see," MOMO whispered brokenly, her eyes glimmering dangerously with unshed tears. It made a terrible sort of sense. Did her mother hate her because of her appearance? But no, her mother had never seemed angry, or hateful, or even spiteful around her, just... sad, always sad.

"It's not your fault and it's not hers," Jr. said soothingly as he leaned over and wrapped his arm around her shoulders, "And I think that someday she'll be able to look at you and just see MOMO, not Sakura. You just have to have a little faith, that's all."

"You think so?" MOMO asked softly, a tiny thread of hope starting to weave its way through her. Maybe... someday.

"Oh yeah, definitely," Jr. smiled slightly as he leaned back against the trunk of the cherry tree, closing his eyes to the present and letting his memories of a different sort of sakura loose from their cage, just for a little while.


He had almost drifted off when MOMO nudged him back to the here and now, "Huh?"

"How do you know so much about mommy?"

"Uh... well..." Oh crap.


It had been an interesting game, Jin chuckled ruefully to himself. KOS-MOS had thoroughly trounced him in a rather embarrassing short amount of time, not an entirely unexpected occurrence. She was an android after all, and one whose design was fashioned a great deal by his sister. That gave him pause.

"So, Shion built you?" Jin asked conversationally as he studied the board, trying to determine his next move. It would have to be a well calculated one, he was already fighting heavily to just maintain what was left of his territory. KOS-MOS had systematically been encroaching upon it bit by bit and swallowing up any weak areas.

"She is the one most responsible for the design of my operating system and aesthetics at this time. The only other individual that has had as much of an influence in my creation, Kevin Winnicot, is deceased." KOS-MOS blinked blankly as she patiently waited for Jin to make a move. "In a human sense, they are my mother and father, though I am quite certain that he did not think of himself as such."

"But Shion does?" Placing one of his black stones down to fortify a group, Jin didn't wait for an answer before continuing, "Would that make you my niece?"

KOS-MOS tilted her head to the side curiously, as if she had to think about it for a moment, before replying with a simple, "Yes."

He may tease Shion ruthlessly for being a fool -and in some ways she was, then again, so was he-, but what he would probably never admit to her was the truth, he knew she was brilliant, dangerously so. It frightened him. She was very akin to Mizrahi in a way, always searching for God in the sciences she lived by. If she was unable to find some sort of peace in her work, her path might turn out to be very similar.

If that happened, it would be his fault. He had fallen victim to a similar viewpoint fourteen years ago -or was it longer now?- and it had cost him dearly. His sense of duty and justice had made him late, far too late. With his own life thread unraveling little by little thanks to Margulis, he had discovered his mother and father's already cut. Dead, all dead save for a little sister he knew only in the vaguest of sense. She had been frightened -terrified- and traumatized, but he had found her. Alive, and... protected. There had been something there, he had sensed it, but hidden so well he could not discern anything about it. It had been waiting for him to come and rescue her. Why? It bothered him. Make no mistake, he was grateful, but bothered by it nonetheless. Being important enough to protect could prove deadly.

Jin's dark thoughts stuttered to a halt as a flash of deep red caught in the corner of his eye. That's- Turning his head to the side for a better view, Jin frowned at what he saw. Shion. She sat out on the grass beside the pond, her lower legs tucked up under her. She was wearing a wine red kimono, the one with the tiny black and indigo butterflies design, her favorite. That was never a good sign. For the most part, Shion preferred pants and stockings and short skirts. During her teenage years there had been many fruitless conversations between them about inappropriate clothing. Her final contention always being that if he could show off his legs whenever he walked in that skimpy kimono of his then she could show off her legs wearing whatever she wanted to. Such discussions never ended well.

She looked very unhappy out there, if not a little sickly.

"My main duty is to protect Shion," KOS-MOS stated matter of factly as she culled another group of Jin's black stones from the board.

"Why?" Jin asked, her answer taking him somewhat by surprise.

"You are her older brother, correct?" He nodded and she continued, "Is it not your duty to protect your younger sister?"

"Of course."


Why indeed. There were many answers to such a question, but which was the right one? Responsibility? Duty? Honor? It had been all of those in the beginning. She was all that was left of his family, all that he had left. He had failed his mother and father, but he would not fail her. Love? That was the more difficult answer. Even though she was his baby sister, he hadn't really known her all that much. There had been too much of a time gap between them for that. He had been out finding himself and his purpose while she was being born. And then, after the events of fourteen years ago, it had just been the two of them. He had tried to be something of a parental figure, with laughable results, and she had hated him for it.

And now? Well, he could try.

"Shion," he said softly to announce his presence as he walked quietly over the grass. Silence was golden in combat, but a seriously bad idea when approaching a volatile sibling. He had learned that lesson well over the years.

"Go away Jin," she muttered as she tucked her hands in her sleeves, not deigning to look up at him, or perhaps attempting to hide the fact that she was upset. It was a useless tactic, she sounded upset.

"What's wrong?" Jin asked as he settled himself down in the grass beside her, doing the expected of ignoring whatever she wanted him do.

Her teeth ground together audibly before she answered, "Nothing."

"It's not good to lie," he said blandly. This appeared as if it was going to turn out to be one of their typical arguments. There would be a few stilted comments and then one of them would say something that sounded like an accusation -in this particular case, him-, the insults would fly and then she would storm off. She would fume at him for awhile, but at least she wouldn't be depressed for awhile. At least, that was the way it was supposed to go.

Shion sighed heavily, not taking the bait for once, "There are a lot of things we do that aren't good, but we do them anyway."

Jin looked down at her in barely masked surprise. This was different.

"I failed her," Shion whispered sadly as she leaned forward towards the edge of the pond and dipped a finger in the water, "I promised Feb that I would help her sisters, but I was too much of an idiot and now I've failed."

Feb? That sounded familiar. Where had he heard it before? Feb... Feb... February? No, that wasn't it. Feb... "Febronia?"

Shion glanced back at him, shocked curiosity visible in her expression. "You knew her?"

"No," Jin shook his head, "but father mentioned her." He remembered now. Father had always sent him letters at systematic intervals, but he hadn't paid all that much attention to them back then. He should have. They had gotten a little strange there at the end. "He said he had received a Realian from an old friend, a unit specially constructed and designed to watch over children, or in this case, you, since taking care of mother's... illness was eating up more and more of his time. It seemed a little odd at the time, which is why I remember it."

"I see," Shion turned her gaze back out across the pond, her eyes growing distant as she tried to remember something, any little thing, just this once. It was futile, she knew. For the most part, she still didn't want to remember any of the horror of that time, and thus, even the good memories were locked behind a forbidding wall. Only little tiny scraps and pieces had gotten through it over the years, so very little, and most of them were bad. "I didn't even remember her until recently."

Jin nodded silently. He didn't need to ask what had happened to Febronia. Those who were not with them now, had died back then. Dead from the fighting, dead from the Gnosis, or simply dead from the insanity. And the survivors... would forever be haunted by them.


In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond; And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring. Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity. - Kahlil Gibran


Credits: Albedo butchered quotes from Friedrich Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil. He also perverted a prayer to the Virgin Mary.