Alchemy of the Soul

Summary:Jr. is missing. Following her heart, Momo sets out to find him and learns the hard lesson of growing up.


A/N:
I don't own Xenosaga (doesn't take a genius to figure that out!).
The plot will be veering off from the established story line in Episode I.
Takes place after my other fic, The Truth that Sleeps Within.

Prologue

Blackness. Deep and impenetrable. Never before had space seemed so lonely... so empty, reminding her of what life would be like without him. Her thoughts swirled in circles, always coming to the same conclusion. There would be no rest until she knew he was safe.

A memory distracted her. The last time they saw one another was over a month ago and his last words to her were good bye. Not see you later, or I'll be back soon. Just good bye. She had felt a deep sense of loss as she realized that he was no longer that carefree child she once knew.

As he turned and walked away, she glimpsed something very troubling. Fierce determination crackled like blue flames in his eyes and a faint, red aura flared briefly around him. She should have known that something like this would happen. She should have seen it coming. But she did nothing to stop him and now he was missing.

Countless miles fell away as the ship sped recklessly through the void. The blackness held her, toyed with her, making her believe that she was nowhere near her destination. For hours, she formulated plans and made detailed calculations, analyzing her chances of success. Her worries only grew with each passing second, compounded by guilt and a feeling of uselessness.

Suddenly a light appeared on the console followed by beeping. It was a proximity alert. Another ship was approaching. She adjusted her speed and sat back, gasping as the stars disappeared behind a wall of red.

It was the Durandal, stranded without its captain.

For what felt like an eternity, she watched the massive vessel drift past her, tormented by conflicting feelings. She knew her friends would be worried, but something prevented her from contacting them. She remained in her chair, hands clenched over the console, until the Durandal shifted and the space around her opened up again.

The computer's toneless voice filled the cockpit, informing her that she had arrived. The Durandal was immediately forgotten. Directly in front of her was a mangled mass of rusted metal. Squinting at the debris, she realized that she was not looking at a wreck, but at the colony itself. Her heart sank as she thought about docking in such a pitiful place.

One thought gave her courage.

Jr. might be down there.

If she had to, she would walk through the gates of hell to get him back.