Alaia Skyhawk: Hi there. This is the first chaper of book two of my planned 'Restoration' series, 'Hope of Restoration'. This is being posted as a teaser since I won't be updating this 'till I've finished book one, 'Prequel to a Restoration'. There are some spoilers for disk 1 of the game and also for what you find out in a certain scene at Altessa's, so if you haven't got that far, don't read this 'till you have. Finally, I don't own Tales of Symphonia or any of its charaters. I do however own Krishka, the Alurannai, Aluran and any OCs, so please don't steal them.
Hope of Restoration
Summary: It has been nearly four thousand years since the death of the Giant Tree, the Summon Spirits continuing to tell its Prophesy to the people. Kratos, the Alurannai's watcher within Cruxis, is close to breaking point, no longer able to stand and watch the death of innocents as he waits for the Promised One. But how much longer can the worlds survive... waiting for the Chosen of Restoration.
Chapter 1: Breaking Point.
Welgaia, the Holy City, was a place of beauty...and emptyness. It was not empty of people, quite the opposite, for Welgaia was home to thousands of 'Angels'. It was just that they were soulless, with no ability to think for themselves, they simply, just existed. They felt no hope...no happyness...no sadness...nothing. They spent the passing of time doing whatever task they had been 'assigned', over and over and over...an endless expance of stagnancy, with no chance of reprive, not that they noticed. This silent crystal and metal city, with its tall, graceful towers, its silent and empty Angels, was a parody of the bustling cities, towns and villages of the worlds below. Above all this 'perfection', stood the Castle of Vinhiem, home of the Lord of Cruxis and his fellow Seraphim. This castle of silver and stone was as cold and desolate as the city itself. Its rooms and hallways filled with yet more angels, though some of these angels still had their souls and could think for themselves. The Seraphim gave orders to these Archangels and High Angels, who then passed them to the relevant Commanders, who then led their 'flocks' (Groups of fifty soulless angels) in carrying out the orders.Thus went the daily lives of the inhabitants of Derris Kharlan.
However, orders sent to the Desian Grand Cardinals on the worlds below, were always transmitted directly by one of the Seraphim. The Desians were the 'bad guys' of the regeneration system. Their only purpose was to cause havoc in the 'declining' world and 'awaken' expheres. Exspheres could only be awakened by placing them on human hosts, who the Desians would then torment as the small crystals sucked the life out of them. Of course, the people of the two worlds knew nothing of this. Had no idea that the Holy Order of Cruxis, beings promising hope to the people and who led the Church of Martel, also led the Desians in making them suffer.
As for the Regeneration System itself. Every hundred years the Chosen of the declining world, would be sent on a Journey of Regeneration. At the conclusion of this journey the Desians would be 'sealed away' and the mana of the world would be replenished. At least, this is what the people believed... The truth was that when the journey was complete, the flourishing world would begin to decline as the flow of mana reversed in favour of the newly flourishing world. As for the Desians who were supposedly 'sealed away', they were in fact transported, Ranches and all, to the newly declining world, to perform the same purpose there as they did in the other. This was the true reality of the Regeneration, neither world knowing of the existence of the other. The people kept oblivious to the truth of this endless cycle of false hope...and death.
We have to get out...I refuse to die in here!...
Hands ran along the wall. The escapees groping their way through the darkness of the disused ventilation shaft. There were about a dozen of them, the largest number that could safely make an escape attempt. Any more that that and the chance of being spotted, and recaptured, was too high for them to risk it.
"Are we almost there?" A voice whispered.
"Yes, I can see some light ahead. Miri, do you remember where Kiro said the orb was?"
"It's in an old tree trunk just outside the shaft. There's a crack in the right-hand wall about a metre from the end. You need to reach though it to get the orb. Once we've closed the tunnel again you need to drop the orb into the hole in the top of the stump outside so that the next group can use it"
As they approached the blocked exit of the escape route they slowed down as the figure at the front began checking the right-hand side of the passage. After a few moments there was a hushed cry of triumph.
The figure headed towards the boulder that blocked the end of the shaft and touched it with the palm-sized crystal sphere. There was a faint grinding sound as the immense rock slid to the side. The figure cautiously stepped out of the tunnel. As she looked to the sky, starlight shone on her waist length, brown hair. Its glow cast upon her face, lighting the determined look in her deep green eyes.
An auburn haired man strode down the crystal sheathed hallway, ignoring any angels, as he made his to the conference room. Outwardly he looked bored, just like anyone else would with nothing to look forward to but another pointless meeting. Within him however was a maelstrom of suppressed anger, frustration and regret.
That's it. It's over. I've had enough. I've been our 'Watcher' within Cruxis for nearly four thousand years and it's time that I left. I could have left years ago... but still...I had to try one last time...
Two centuries ago...
A man stood at the back of the room. His body sightly hunched with the first signs of his immense age. His voice carrying softly to where I stood.
"You've done all you can. From the infomation you've sent us over the centuries, we've long since determined that Yggdrasil is beyond redemption. He is incapable of acknowleging his mistakes and therefore incapable of correcting his flawed path."
Narim Breuntas turned to face me. His eyes shadowed, as the eyes of all Alurannai had become since the death of the Giant Tree. He has been ruler of the Alurannai for nearly six millenia, and at the age of nine thousand seven hundred and twenty, would live no more than another three hundred years. When the time of his death came, I would take his place as Narim, and would be the last surviving member of my family. He took a step towards me.
"There is no futher need for you to stay on Derris Kharlan. We can easily monitor Cruxis' activities from the outside. You can come home."
I looked at him, then turned and began walking out the door. When I reached it, I looked back and spoke.
"I know you're right, but I'm not ready to give up on him yet. I am the one who failed to stop him giving into his anger and lonelyness, failed to stop his dessent into madness. I have to give him one last chance to turn back. I have to try at least once more. I owe that to him, both to him... and to his sister... whom I promised I would look after him."
I've given him that chance, but he still refuses to acknowledge his mistakes and now he is verging on one even greater. This plan of his will not end the discrimination between the races, for such is not born of the different Bloods, but of the weakness in the peoples hearts... But still he will not see that. It is as my grandfather said... Time for him to know the truth about me... Time for me to leave.
The girl looked around, eyes searching the surrounding area. Seeing that there were no patrols nearby, the girl, who looked about ninteen years old, turned an signaled for the others to leave the tunnel. The starlight revealed seven women, two men, and two boys who were no more than ten years old. Though they varied in appearance, one thing was the same. They all bore the haggard look of those tortured ceaselessy, day after day, from sunrise to sunset. Torture that tonight, they may escape from forever. As the last of them left the tunnel the girl used the orb to close it behind them, then dropped it into the stump next to the exit. With the boulder in place the end of the shaft was almost completely hidden. Hence the reason the Desians hadn't realised it was being used as an escape route. One of the older women, Miri, walked up to the girl and placed a hand on her shoulder.
"Anna R'fernon, you take care of yourself, you hear me." Tears glinted in the woman's eyes. "You've been like a daughter to me and I'd hate for those bastards to get their hands on you again."
Anna smiled. A sad smile, the corners of her mouth just lifting as she wiped away the tears that trailed down her cheeks.
"You take care of yourself too, Miri." She turned to the others. "All of you take care..."
And with that, they scattered and dissapeared into the night...
The Conference room was a vast, dimond shaped chamber af blue and white crystal. Within this room stood three elaborate thrones, one in each of three corners, with the entrance being in the fourth. The throne opposite the entrance had been placed on a raised dais. It was in front of this throne that the man waited. Icy emerald eyes stared out a face framed by long, golden hair. The lithe figure, clothed in purest white, held aloft by segmented, rainbow hued wings. He was an image of flawless purity. A being wreathed in light... yet filled with the untold malice of unslaked revenge. Such was Lord Yggdrasil, the Lord of the Holy Light. Ruler of Cruxis, the Desians, and the instigator of the needless suffering of two worlds.
"You summoned me, Lord Yggdrasil."
He turned and watched the aproach of the auburn haired Seraphim. One the only humans he had ever believed in and called a friend. The human who was his second in command, and one of his most trusted companions.
"Kratos. I assume you've read the report on the proposed Age of Lifeless Beings."
Lord Kratos, Second Seraphim of Cruxis, nodded gravely. He stood before Yggdrasil, wearing the pale bule and silver outfit that declared his rank. Kratos smirked inwardly.
It's ironic that Yggdrasil chose pale blue and silver to be my Colours. Especially since I hid from him, and his sister, the fact that I am the Inartu of the Alurannai... Pale blue and siver, the colours of my reta, a garment which I haven't worn since I left Aluran on that day nearly five thousand years ago.
Lord Yggdrasil decended to the foot of the dais.
"Well then. Tell me what you think of it. Do you have any suggestions for refinements to the plan?"
Kratos looked directly into Yggdrasil's eyes as he, for the first time in nearly four thousand years, told his former student exactly what he though.
"I have no suggestions for refinements... for I believe this plan to be utter madness and will play no part in it." So I suggest you forget your 'Age of Lifeless Beings' or else I'll shove it down your thoat and hope you choke on it!
"...WHAT DID YOU SAY? HOW DARE YOU?"
Kratos watched calmly, and with complete detachment, the look of utter fury that was now on Yggdrasil's face.
"What I said was that I will have nothing to do with your plans...not now...or ever again...I'm Leaving.
To say that Yggdrasil was angry, was a major understatement. The floor beneath him was literally smouldering from the fury driven mana that crackled around him. His face was a mask of hate, his eyes lit with insanity.
"YOU'RE BETRAYING ME?" He screamed, then hissed. "You of all people...I TRUSTED YOU. I thought that...You were the one person where I though I could stand before the worlds and say 'look. Here is a human who doesn't discriminate against half-elves. Here is an example of how humans should ...What? What's wrong with you?"
His tirade had been cut off, by the sound of Kratos laughing...
"Nothing is wrong with me," Kratos laughed again. "It's just ironic that you'd say that...because I'm not."
Alarms shrilled in the distance as Anna ran for all she was worth. One of the Desian patrols had spotted her...and they were gaining.
"There she is! Host body A012. Don't let her get away!"
Anna was gasping for breath. She knew she wouldn't last much longer. Her body, weakened by her captivity, just didn't have the strength. She reached a large meadow and was faced with a dilema. If she left the trees she'd be an easy target for their crossbows, but to run around it she's have to double back. The crash of booted feet in the forest behind made her decision for her. She ran into the open, desperately hoping she could reach the other side in time.
There was the 'twang' of a bowstring, followed by a sharp pain in her leg as she fell... Less than half way across the meadow.
She stared in terror as the Desians aproached her, sneering. Unable to run, she cried out for help. One of the Desians lashed her with his whip.
"Don't waste you time vermin. No one's going to save a pathetic little rat like.."
The Desians jumped then glaced around as a deep, snarling growl echoed across the clearing. Anna barely had time to register this before the screams of the Desians cut through the night, punctuated by the sound of snapping, tearing teeth. In the darkness all Anna could see was that the creature was about the size of a small horse, and the Desians... they didn't last long. As their cries faded to moans, then silence, she desperately tried to drag herself away, then froze.
It was comming towards her, the sound of its footsteps getting closer... Anna, unable to get away, closed her eyes...
And waited to die...
"What do you mean 'you're not'? Not what?"
Yggdrasil frowned, confused, then gasped as Kratos calmly removed his cruxis crystal... and crushed it. He stepped towards Kratos in disbelief, then froze in astonishment.
This isn't possible, he destroyed his Cruxis Crystal!
But it was... Kratos spread his cyan wings... then extended his sarren, one of the main distinquishing features of an Alurannai. He gave the stunned angel a condecending look and answered him.
"I'm not human..."
Alaia Skyhawk: Cliffhanger! Yes I know I'm evil for ending it there, but that's the way it is.
For those who want to know what Narim, Inartu, sarren and any other such words in there mean, they're explained in 'Prequel to a Restoration'.
Also, I can't remember if there is a tree stump next to the tunnel into K'var's ranch, if there isn't one 'shrugs' I'll just call it creative licence.
Finally, for those who are wondering where the '5000 years ago' bit comes from, there's a book in the tower of mana that says the 'war ended 4000 years ago and lasted for a 1000 years' in other words the war 'started' 5000 years before the events of the game. It also means that Mithos and the others must have gotten their cruxis crystals not too long after the war started since Mithos looks about twelve and the elven story teller says that he was kicked out shortly after the war started. That's my thoery anyway.
Anyway please review this, constructive critisism is welcome but pleeeeease, no flames (Puppy Dog Eyes).