The Persistence of Memory
Deborah J. Brown

A Wild Arms III Alternate Universe story: Wild Arms III is copyrighted to RPG Dreamers and Sony.

Author's Note: This is not, nor will any Wild Arms fic I write ever be, a Jet/Virginia fic. If your only interest is that sort of story, you won't find it here. Also, any reviews that have questions will be answered in my LJ in order to avoid turning my chapters into one long author's note. You can find my LiveJournal blog under the name KosagiNoLegion. (I'd post the URL but eats them.)

Prologue: A World Reborn

White. As far as she could see a pure empty whiteness. Bring back the world? She wondered. How does one do that? She felt her father's presence all around her. Not so much guiding as encouraging her. This place contained all the memories of Filgaia. All the memories of her world and its people. Memories. That was it. Her memories and the memories of her companions.

The others. She needed them first. Clive, brilliant, incisive, and impetuous. Gallows, brave, childlike and caring. Jet, lonely, determined and filled with a kind of angry hope. Virginia could feel them, sense their presence. She knew them almost better than she knew her own kin. It was their memories and hers that would set the world back in motion.

Together now, the four drew on everything they had seen and experienced. They had traveled the whole world, met so very many people. Not every living being on the planet, certainly, but enough to get things started. The memories of those they restored could be used to restore more. Until every one who they knew to be alive would live again. Restoring Filgaia would be more difficult – Jet alone carried the memories of what the world should have been like and those memories would have to stand alone against everyone else's. At least to begin with the world would be what they remembered it to be; would be what had been recreated on that terrible day when the Council of Seven's attempt to restore the planet had gone so disastrously wrong.

Thinking back over her adventures, remembering the beginning, the first meeting with her friends, Virginia almost smiled. That fight with Janus Cascade. Other fights, other people met. Lives being reshaped and reborn, her memories and those of the others accessing them and restoring them to life.

She didn't know why, but her thoughts kept sliding back to Janus. It bothered her that he was still on her mind. She'd tried to forget about him, yet there was something about him that made it impossible for her to do so. We killed him. Didn't we? Doubt assailed her. She remembered that last fight in Yggdrasil. Remembered the way he'd laughed, as if – even in a moment of defeat – he considered himself the victor. No. I know him. He didn't die. He couldn't have. She shook her head, forcing herself to stop thinking about him, about the horror he'd become. If only he'd been different. If he'd been the Janus Cascade she'd wanted him to be. Mind and heart were at war. The man had once been more like her – he himself had said so. Yet her memory showed him as he was. Cold, calculating and selfish.

At last, still confused and angry with herself and even angrier at Janus for that confusion, Virginia forced her thoughts away from the man, focusing once more on the restoration of all of Filgaia.

and somewhere, in heights of Yggdrasil, a demon opened his eyes and howled.

To Be Continued...