Lloyd: Sheena, I think we have a problem

Lloyd: Sheena, I think we have a problem.

Sheena: What's that?

Lloyd: I think Lynsandria's dead.

Raine: Dammit, the stupid girl, leaving her poor, poor readers hanging like that. Ressurection!!

Lyn: Huh, lol, wut? (looks at horde of angry readers) Well, howdy doody! Listen, I'm not going to give you some type of BS about why I haven't updated in over half a year, like my mom's in the hospital or crap like that. I will tell you the truth, in joke format. So anyway, my main computer's been acting pretty funky as of late, I think it may be an icky, icky virus. But that's not the point, the point is this chapter was ready to post 3 months ago. And, now for the punch line: since my main computer froze up whenever the wind changed direction, I decided to move all my files to the slow, slow laptop. But, there was a problem; I knew I had this chapter done and that it was somewhere, but it wasn't on any of my CDs. And now to the funny part; I just found it yesterday. Guess where it was saved? On a floppy disk, that's right, one of those flat things we used. save stuff on. (realizes that none of the readers are laughing) Aw come on, why so serious?

Heath Ledger: That line's copyrighted.

Lynsandria: Dammit, I don't own that line (hands Mr. Ledger a huge pile of money).

Yuan: Curse you technology scum!

Sheena: shut up Lynsandria and give the readers what they want. Ready…? BEGIN!!

Chapter 19: Balancing the Underworld

"Doublets?" replied our Lloyd, looking confused. "What are doublets?"

"I rely don't understand," replied his reflection. "Let's find out where Raine is; she can explain it better than I can." With that, he headed for the stairs, with Lloyd following.

"Where are we?" he asked.

"Colette's house" came the reply.

"The chosen?"


When they reached the bottom of the stairs, they found Raine, examining the pouch Lloyd had handed her. "Professor sage," said the boy in red. "Can you explain what doublets are exactly."

Raine looked a tad grumpy at having to leave from her work, but she consented. "What have you told him already?"

"All that I've managed to tell him was that we feel the same things when we're in such close proximity."

"I see, then I have much to tell him," she said. She turned to the young renegade. "Do you know how twins work?" She asked.

"Yeah," was his reply. "They're born at the same time, and sometimes they can be identical, right?"

"That's right." She said. "That's really the closest example of doublets I can come up with. We found cave writings in Radiance explaining some of these things. There are many worlds out there and some, in rare cases, are like our worlds, reflected. Most of the time, the people are completely reflected, matching looks, personality, and even small things like clothes. However, no two worlds can be exactly the same and sometimes, there may be a flaw."

"A flaw?" asked the renegade.

"Yes," she said. "A difference, and that's where doublets come into play. A way to look at it is that everyone in the reflected worlds is an identical twin to themselves in the other world, except for doublets."

"I still don't understand."

"Doublets are the only people different from their otherworldly counterpart," explained his doublet. "People like us."

"Yes," said Raine. "Unlike everyone else, doublets share a thin thread of mana, connecting their souls. Normally, it doesn't affect them that much unless they're together and they never find out unless they travel. One more thing; have you heard of the late pope Augustine?"

"Yes, the pope who isn't acknowledged by the church anymore because he committed suicide?"

"…He didn't commit suicide," replied his doublet, looking confused. "They found nothing wrong with him after the autopsy; no poison, nothing."

"No," said Lloyd, shaking his head. "He committed suicide."

"In your world he did," said Raine quietly. "From my research, I discovered that pope Augustine was actually a doublet."

"What?" asked Lloyd.

"Yes", said Raine. "You see, Maxwell, the summon spirit of birth, creates life that is born in the two worlds. And Pluto, the summon spirit of death, is in charge of keeping balance in the underworld."

"Pluto? Keeping balance in the underworld?"

"I'm sorry this is so confusing," said Raine. "But reflected worlds have to have an equal number of people in the underworld. In other words, if someone died in our world, then someone in your world have to die in order for the balance to be kept."

"What does this have to do with doublets?" asked Lloyd.

"The thread that connects the souls of you two together is there for a reason," Raine continued. "I have no thread connecting me to my counterpart for one reason; Pluto makes the assumption that I'll die at the same time because we're exactly the same. But he can't assume that with you two. Since you're different, you are in different places at different times, and so one of you may avoid a death that the other would experience."

"Okay," said Lloyd. "I'm not sure I understand it all, but continue."

"This is where pope Augustine comes in," said Raine. "Our Augustine died of unknown reasons, but yours committed suicide. Perhaps something happen to yours that didn't to ours, causing him to take his life. But ours died as well."

"Yes, why's that?"

"The thread tied between you two disappears when one of you dies. Without that tie, your body short circuits because it doesn't know how to operate without that thread and…you die."

There was a long silence that filled the room. Minutes dragged on like hours until finally, the doublet spoke. "So…why does Pluto do this? Does he enjoy people dying or something?"

"I don't want you to think of Pluto as a bad person," whispered Raine, loud enough for the two boys to hear. "He's not. He's just blamed because of his job…but someone has to do it."

"So if Sheena makes a pact with Pluto…" said the renegade.

"No…" said Raine sadly. "There is no way to avoid death, even a pact with Pluto."

"I see," said Lloyd. "Then…when you die…will the Raine in my world die?"

"This is where we know very little information," explained Raine. "However, since I share no thread of life with my counterpart, if, somehow, I were to be in the right place at the right time, I could live on while she was dead. And this is also where it gets especially difficult to understand…"

"What was that thing you said earlier about balance in the underworld."

"Yes, this is what I'm talking about," she said, hesitantly. "Back to the example I just gave. I'm alive, but my counterpart isn't. We have no thread connecting us so I live on. But the underworld of your world has one more person. This means…that someone in our world…has to die, to balance things out."

Another long pause followed. Finally Lloyd spoke up. "I know you said not to hate Pluto, he has to do this. But can't he do anything, so that no one has to die for anyone else?"

"No Lloyd," she said. "It's impossible to change it. The need for balance is much, much stronger, than a mere summon spirits powers."

The next day, Lloyd was awakened by loud noises downstairs. Groggily, he slumped downstairs to see what was going on downstairs. "Do I have to wear a tux?" his doublet complained loudly.

"Zelos said he wanted things to be formal," said Raine, impatiently forcing the coat on him. "You can change once it's over."

"I hate tuxes, they're so uncomfortable," the other Lloyd said, defeated. Lloyd silently agreed with him.

"What's going on?" asked the renegade.

"Oh, excellent!" said Raine. "I found the way to reverse the spell on the pouch so you can go back to your world."

"Thanks, but what's going on?"

"Zelos is getting married," said the other Lloyd. "Do I have to wear dress shoes? They give me blisters."

Me too the renegade thought.

"You can take them off after the ceremony," said Raine. "I'm sorry it's such a rushed goodbye, but we really have to leave soon and you can't stay here for too long, I'm sure you want to get home. Touch the pouch when you're ready."

"Can I ask you something?" asked the renegade.

"Yes" said Raine.

"Whose Zelos getting married to?"

"I'm not sure I can answer that, natural law may interfere."

"Just try it," said the other Lloyd, scratching at his skin beneath the itchy fabric.

"Well, alright, he's getting married to Sheena," said Raine, her voice as clear as ever.

It had the same affect of a bomb dropping in the middle of the room. "What the Hell? That bastard, I'll kill him," shouted the renegade suddenly. Just like the day before, a long, awkward pause followed this. Lloyd realized just how sudden his outburst had come and turned a bright shade of red. Before anyone could question him he grabbed the pouch and immediately felt a pulling sensation.

Lyn: Oh, you see what I did thar? I just threw in Pluto from Tales of Phantasia. What now?

Yuan:…I'm sure that's copyrighted somewhere. To be safe, Lynsandria does not own Tale of Symphonia, Phantasia, Eternia, Destiny, or any Tales games that you can make up. If she did, she would be on some resort right now and this story wouldn't exist.

Sheena: Finally you throw in a Sheloyd moment, I was beginning to think this was in the wrong category.

Lyn: Soo, anyway, in all honesty, I am sorry that I haven't updated since we had a blue moon and I hope this chapter is as good as everyone has hoped. We all know by now that I'm unreliable as to when new chapters will come out, but I hope that it will not be in a year, or however long I was offline. Also, I will update the preview of next chapter on my profile. I'm sorry that everything was confusing these past few chapters, I tried to make it easier to tell which Lloyd was which…I'm sorry if I failed you.