A Psychonauts Fic by Digitaldreamer
Chapter Twenty-Two: The End of All Things
Hello again everyone.
Yes, I'm aware, it's been a long time. It's been so long that has changed its formatting rules again and all my old formatting no longer exists, which is annoying. I'm gonna have to fix that at some point. There's also now a Psychonuats wikipedia… jeez, it's amazing to me to see how much this whole fandom has changed. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get back to this thing. I'm sure you're all aware that when it comes to multi-chaptered fanfiction, you're taking a bit of a gamble in regards to whether your inspiration will last long enough for the project to be finished. In this case, unfortunately, that didn't happen. Life happened, college happened, different fandoms happened, and long story short this thing isn't coming back. That is a shame, but sometimes it can't be helped…. and well, to be fair, this thing was absurdly overdramatic anyway. But hey, it's still my baby and probably the first fanfic that I consider to be a success- the yaoi days don't really count- so I figured I owed you guys the last of what I wrote and a summary for what would have happened. So without further ado, here are the last bits of Cursum Perficio. Apologies to Pancake for the quite-possibly-literal mutilation of his character, hurr.
It was something Nereus had only seen a few times in his life, and would rather have not seen again if he could help it. There was something about fire that seemed sinister, the way the flames leaped and twisted into the night sky. The orange tongues snapped and crackled like a wild beast. smoke billowing into the air as the whispers of an ancient curse spoke at the back of his mind. It gave a terrible light to the camp, replacing soft blue with wavering gold that cast sharp shadows across the trampled earth.
With the fire came the voices, a cacophony of cheers and chants as that strange music from the feast had been transformed to something far more terrifying. Shrieks and cries of glee filled the air, far more frightening than the smoke and flames that twisted through the dark sky.
Nereus had no idea what was going on, but one thing was certain: he did not want to go near the fire and that noise. Unfortunately, the healer was far stronger than him.
"Let me go!" Nereus cried, thrashing violently in his captor's arms.
"Oh, stop struggling, would you? You're going to mess up your pretty clothes and then your dear mommy and daddy will be mad at me," The healer drawled as he made his way toward the source of the noise. He seemed frighteningly cheerful, a fact which was most likely correlated with the current chaos going on up ahead.
Nereus gave a growl as he desperately kicked out his legs.. "No! You put me down right now or I'll-"
"There you are!"
The blond immediately froze as if he'd been shocked, eyes widening in fear. It was his father!
"Ah, there you are Aurelius," The healer's face spread into a grin as Nereus' father rushed towards them, his robes swishing around him in the night. "I figured you'd be looking for our little troublemaker." Aurelius ignored him, instead favoring to reach out and grab Nereus telekinetically, tugging him from the healer's grip.
Instead of setting the boy to the ground, however, his hand clenched into a fist, causing the telekinetic energy to squeeze around the blond. "You stupid child!" He roared.
"Ahh!" Nereus let out a cry as his body twisted in the air, grinding his teeth as the air was crushed from his lungs. "F-Father-"
"How dare you speak to me?" His father snarled, his expression positively livid. "You have no right to so much as look at me after the stupid stunt you have just pulled, let alone speak to me!" He waved his hand and allowed Nereus to drop to the ground, sapphire eyes blazing dangerously. "You could have ruined the entire ceremony had you not been found!"
The healer gave a soft laugh from his place at the man's side. "Indeed. Good thing I was there, hm, Aurelius?"
"Yes, Faustus. How fortunate." Aurelius didn't even glance at the healer, he was too busy glaring at Nereus. "You foolish child..." He hissed as he stalked towards the shaking boy. He knelt down and hauled Nereus to his feet, pulling back a fist. "I should-"
"Now now, come on Aurelius, no harm done," Faustus cut in cheerily. "You mustn't hurt him too badly... I can't imagine your wife would appreciate you bloodying him up before the ceremony, hm?"
Aurelius paused, panting for breath, his eyes flashing between the healer to his terrified son. There was a great cry from farther in the camp, the music was growing louder. Finally the father gave a growl, releasing the front of the boy's robe and grabbing his arm instead. "Very well. Come, boy." With that, he began to stalk toward the center of the camp, pulling Neres with him.
Nereus let out a shaky breath as he was tugged along. He supposed he was fortunate that he wasn't about to be beaten... but there was still the issue of Spinoza. He knew his father did not approve of Spinoza, but he also knew the family blood was precious. Surely his father wouldn't allow more Galochio blood to be spilled! "F-father-"
"Do not speak, child," His father growled. "You are already late."
The blond shook his head as they grew closer to their destination. "But father, they're going to... they're going to sacrifice Spinoza! You have to stop them!"
"Stop them?" His father's eyes narrowed, the firelight casting an eerie golden glow across his face as a small smirk twitched across his face. "Why would I stop them? It is a necessary part of the ceremony."
Sapphire eyes widened and Nereus nearly tripped over his own feet in shock. "...What? Father, no, you can't allow this! You can't, he's-" He was interrupted by a cacophony of voices. In a swarm all of the women who had been helping him dress earlier had surrounded him, all speaking quickly as they took hold of his arms.
"What are you doing?"
"Ach, you're late, the mistress has already begun to speak!"
"Hurry, hurry child!"
"Gah!" Nereus let out a yelp as he was dragged along a path lined with torches. "S-stop, I don't... no, let me go! I have to help Spinoza! STOP!"
He went ignored.
The women dragged him with surprising strength down the path, ignoring the way the boy's bound feet dug into the earth and kicked up dirt and rocks. As they made their way forth there was a great cheer. Galochios lined every side of the path and were cheering and calling out, but Nereus could barely make them out in the flickering shadows of the fire. The music swelled as Nereus was pulled forth, and above it all he could hear his mother chanting. Finally he was dragged to the center of the camp, where a large fire had been erected. Placed before it was a great stone basin filled with water, a variety of runes etched into it, and beside this two wooden pillars had been stuck into the earth, etched with similar markings. Finally, there was a table made from similar wood placed on the other side of the fire.
In the firelight, Nereus could faintly see dried blood on the table.
"No..." The blond gasped, his eyes wide. "No, no, no, let me go!" He screamed, fighting desperately against his captors. His efforts were futile, however, and with a final heave he was shoved to his knees in front of his mother, whom was standing at the center of it all and chanting.
His mother paused as she gazed down at him, expression cold. "You're late, boy," She hissed, the firelight seeming to twist her beautiful face into a terrible, demonic one.
Nereus gaped at her, his eyes wide. "M-mother..."
"My brothers and sisters!" The tall woman called out, silencing the crowd. "At long last, the time has come! We are finally ready to begin the ceremony! At last, the gift of Indra will be returned to us! With this boy-' At this she grabbed Nereus, hauling him to his feet. "We will at last have our revenge! We will finish this foolish war!"
A great cheer erupted from the crowd, causing Nereus' stomach to twist. Didn't they realize what they were cheering for? Didn't they understand! They were cheering for the death of two innocent boys, for the annihilation of a family, for so many terrible things...
Nereus flinched as his mothers hands suddenly touched his shoulders, snapping him out of his dark thoughts. He glanced up at her, eyes wide. "Mother, please, we have to stop this! Spinoza is-"
His mother, however, had already begun to chant, her strong voice echoing through the night. He saw two women rushing to the basin and doing something with it out of the corner of his eye, but was unable to really see what they were doing with his mother's fingers clutching him in a vice grip. She guided Nereus towards the stone basin, her throaty, harsh words ringing in his ears.
"I-I, mother, please, I-"
He was cut off as his mother grabbed the back of his head and without warning shoved him face first into the basin, eliciting a yelp from the boy that quickly transformed into a gargle. Nereus thrashed as he fought against the woman's hold, her chants muffled by the icy water that swirled around him. The firelight flickered above the surface, his mother's face little more than a swirling dark blob above him. He was thrashing and kicking but she wouldn't let him up, he couldn't breathe!
Finally, just when he thought he would run out of air he was pulled out of the water, liquid splattering to the earth as he slumped in his mother's grasp. Nereus gasped for breath, soaking wet hair falling over wide sapphire eyes. He barely noticed as several women surrounded him and took him from his mother's grasp, then began to drag him towards the two pillars. He did, however, snap out of it as thin fingers grasped at his clothes, and without warning the top robe and his sash were pulled away.
"What are you doing!" Nereus demanded, thrashing in their grip as the cold night air hit his bare chest. "Let me go! Stop, listen to me!" The women ignored him as they hauled him between the pillars. Without warning they grabbed both of his arms and pulled them from his sides, tying one arm to each pillar with practiced ease. The same was done to his feet, and before Nereus knew it he was completely helpless.
Nereus hung there, dripping wet, as the women backed away. He had fallen silent for the moment, his chest heaving as he struggled for breath, trying to ignore the way the smoke blew in his face and stung his eyes. What on earth was going on here? No one had told him how this ceremony was supposed to work. Being strung up like this made him feel very uneasy. He barely noticed as his mother continued to chant, gazing at the wild crowd. Were these people really related to him? They all had mad, terrible gleams in their eyes, their cries for blood... how could he possibly be the same as these people? There had to have been a mistake...
His thoughts were interrupted as he realized a clearing was being made. The cheers were, for a moment, now focused towards something that was being forced through the crowd. The blond peered out into the darkness from behind dripping wet bangs, feeling his heart sink. He didn't need to look, he already knew what, or rather who, was being pushed along.
That didn't stop his stomach from twisting as he finally spotted Spinoza being shoved forward. He watched the boy fall in a heap before Nereus' mother, dirt smearing all over his face and plain gray clothes. The boy lay there for a moment, breathing heavily as he gazed around with bewildered azure eyes.
"Spinoza!" Nereus called out. "Spinoza, get up!"
The other boy blinked, then looked to Nereus. The instant he spotted his friend his face broke into a happy smile. "Nereus! Hi! How are you!" The blond called out cheerily.
Nereus' eyes widened. Did Spinoza not comprehend what was going on? "How does it look like I'm doing, you moron!" The blond cried.
Spinoza gave a laugh. "I... I guess that's true. Funny, those ladies promised me a party, but this is a really, really weird party and I- ouch!" He gave a yelp as he was tugged roughly to his feet by his hair. He was placed before Seraphim and he gazed up at her with confusion. "O-oh, hi Nereus' mom, what do you-"
He was interrupted as Seraphim placed her hands on his head and began to chant. The entire crowd fell silent as she whispered, her eyes falling half closed and twitching, her wispy voice whispering through the air, long hair billowing around the two of them as a wind swept through the area, the flames dancing through the sky. Nereus watched in horror, his eyes wide. Finally after a moment Seraphim's eyes opened again and she turned to the crowd.
"My brothers and sisters... it is known, of course, that the heir cannot be made the heir by his will alone. Things must be lost for such power to be gained. We have given much over these past years to keep Nereus Galochio at his strongest and most pure, and now at last we come to the final stage... that of the sacrifice."
"NO!" Nereus cried out, thrashing in his bonds.
"Sacrifice?" Spinoza repeated, blinking.
"The sacrifice is an essential part of this ritual, my brothers and sisters. He has tried his best, but I assure you that my child is, for the moment, woefully human. Not only is he woefully human, he is connected to the Aquatos, our hated enemy!" At these words the crowd let out a boo and a hiss. "Indeed... such a creature is so tainted, he is almost not worthy! However, this is where our sacrifice comes into play!" At these words she took a hold of Spinoza's head and spun him around to face the crowd, her nails digging into his face as she ignored the child's cry of alarm. "This child shall be the price for our heir's purification, and with his blood we will give our heir the power of Indra!"
"W-what?" Spinoza sputtered, eyes widening as the crowd cheered. "I'm... blood? What?"
"NO!" Nereus screamed. "NO, no! Mother, don't do this! Don't do this!"
His mother paused, looking to her child and sneering. "Silence, you filthy child. Can you not see this is for your benefit?" Spinoza stared up at him, eyes wide, mouth agape. The boy appeared to be in shock.
"How is it for my benefit!" The blond snarled, hands clenching into fists, nails digging into his bare palms as the crowd's cheers rang through his ears. "You're going to kill my best friend! No foolish, Godforsaken ritual is worth this!"
There was a gasp of shock and the crowd fell silent.
"What did he say?"
"I don't believe it..."
"Why that little-"
Sapphire eyes flashed at this and his mother gave a sickening smirk. "Is that so? Our ritual is so pointless? If that is the case..." She released Spinoza and stalked towards Nereus. Her long-nailed fingers twined through his sopping wet hair, tugging him towards her as with a glint of steal a gleaming knife was held to his throat. "My boy... if you truly believe this, if you truly are unwilling to go through with this, then you must die!"
Nereus eyes widened and he stared at his mother, mouth going dry. "...What?"
His mother grinned, her eyes shining with malice, her expression a horrible mask of utter insanity. "Do you truly think you're that important, my child? The only way you hold any importance is as the heir. If you refuse to go through the ritual and accept what is rightfully yours, we have no use for you. Regardless, someone must die tonight, and if you refuse to allow things to be as they are meant to be, we will return your blood to this earth so we can start over again!"
At her words the crowd gave a great cheer, their voices ringing through the air.
"HE'S MADE US WASTE THIRTEEN LONG YEARS, KILL THE BRAT!"
"DIE! DIE! WE WANT HIS BLOOD!"
Nereus let out a shuddering breath, his shocked eyes meeting his mother's manic ones. The knife blade pressed against his throat, drawing several ruby beads of blood from his neck. He couldn't believe this, after everything his mother was just going to kill him, he couldn't believe this, he-
"STOP!" Spinoza's voice rang through the air, silencing the crowd. Seraphim paused, glancing over her shoulder to see the boy standing there. "I... I'll do it!"
The heir's eyes widened and he swore he felt his heart stop. "No..."
His mother's expression, however, twisted into a smirk. "Oh my... is that so?" She murmured, her voice suddenly frighteningly sweet.
Spinoza swallowed, then nodded. "If the choice is between me and Nereus... I'll do it. I'll die for him." He was shaking, but his lithe shoulders were set, pale face set into an expression of grim determination that didn't fit him at all.
"No..." Nereus repeated, feeling as if his entire body had gone numb. "No, no..."
His mother, meanwhile, gave a horrible laugh. "Would you look at that... it seems your idiot friend has more sense than you... how fortunate." With these words she released Nereus and walked over to Spinoza, placing her hands on his shoulders. "The ritual will continue!" She called out, eliciting a cheer from the crowd.
"NO!" Nereus screamed. "No! NO NO NO!"
The crowd continued to cheer as Spinoza was lead towards the other side of the fire, beyond Nereus view. The blond let out a shout as he strained against his bonds, struggling to keep his friend in his sight. "Spinoza! Spinoza, don't do this! Don't do this!" He cried out.
Spinoza paused and glanced up at Nereus, innocent gaze meeting Nereus' terrified one. "Nereus... I'm sorry, I have to."
Nereus shook his head, tears coming to his eyes. "No... no you don't! Please, don't do this! It's just some foolish ritual, don't do it!" He pleaded.
"But if I don't, you'll die," Spinoza said simply.
"Who cares!" Nereus cried, shaking his head again. "I'm not... Spinoza, don't do this! Please, please don't! It's not worth it, it's not!"
The other boy shook his head. "Yes it is, Nereus. Inoue needs you. Razputin needs you. You... you're going to do great things, remember? You can't die here."
"Yes I can!" Nereus screamed. His throat felt raw from all the yelling and the tears were spilling down his cheeks and he probably looked like a mess but he didn't care. "I can and I... Spinoza... Spinoza..." He let out a choked sob, crying openly now. "Don't do this. Please. I can't lose you. You looked at me when no one else would, you talked to me, you...you can't die, you idiot! If you die I'll never forgive you, do you understand me! I'll never forgive you, so you can't die! You can't... you... Spinoza! You promised me a party, you jerk! How dare you break that promise you... you... augh! You're my best friend. I... I..." He trailed off, his voice little more than a broken whisper. "Please, please don't... please... please don't do this."
Spinoza gazed up at him solemnly for a moment. Then he smiled, that same bright, radiant smile that he had given Nereus on the day they had met. "When we met... you never smiled, but now you do it all the time. I wanted to have that party because it meant you would smile a lot... but I guess that's not gonna happen now. Promise me when I'm gone that you'll keep smiling?"
"Spinoza..." Nereus sobbed.
The other boy grinned. "I'm glad I met you, Nereus. Just... always try to keep smiling, okay?"
With those words he allowed himself to be dragged around the fire, out of Nereus' view.
"No..." Nereus whispered, his eyes wide. "No... no! No, Spinoza! Don't let them do this to you!" He screamed, once again fighting valiantly against his bonds. He kicked and thrashed, but the ropes held fast. He glanced around wildly, desperate for something, anything to make it stop. His gaze finally settled on his father and he gave a cry. "Father! Father, please stop them!"
The older man glanced up from the place where he had stoically been watching, eyes narrowing. "Stop them?" He gave a horrible laugh at this, his terrible cackle mixing with the cheers of the crowd. "My son, there is nothing I can do. That boy must die. How many times have I told you? Sacrifices are necessary... and for you to be cleansed, to be the vessel we require you to be, something must be lost. That boy has been given a great honor. He will die for you!"
The blond stared at him. " But... Spinoza... he..." Nereus shook his head violently, feeling his throat constrict. "No... no! Someone stop this! Please! I- AH!" He let out a cry as his mother's powerful hands suddenly grabbed at his shoulders, forcing him to be still.
"And now... let the ceremony commence!" She called out, causing a great cry to erupt among the Galochio family.
Nereus let out another cry at this, fighting against his mother's grip. "No, no, stop! Stop it, you stupid... augh! Spinoza! Don't do this! Fight them off! Please!"
His mother let out a laugh. "It's useless, boy. He cares for you too much. There is nothing more that you can do."
"Shut up, woman!" The blond snarled, glancing over his shoulder to fix her with a glare. He then looked back to the crowd. "Galochios! Galochios, please don't do this! Please, listen to me! Am I not meant to be your leader! This has to stop! Please, don't let this happen, don't kill one of your own! Don't-" He was cut off as his mother's hand clamped over his mouth.
"Silence, boy. You have nearly dismantled my ceremony for the last time," The woman hissed into his ear, her icy tone sending chills down his spine. Nereus swallowed. The crowds cheers were growing, he could faintly hear the sounds of a knife being sharpened, he could feel Spinoza's terror... no, he couldn't let this happen, he couldn't!
But there was nothing more he could do.
His mother released his mouth and placed her palms on his back again, beginning to chant. The crowd's excitement was growing to insane levels, their shouts for blood filling the air. The flames cast a terrible glow across their faces, transforming those he had formerly seen as his family into a massive, indistinguishable crowd of demons. Their mouths opened and shut as they let out shouts and cries, teeth appearing wicked and sharp in the flickering light, their blue eyes shining with a terrible, blind insanity. He could hear another woman calling out orders, yelling something about a sacrifice...
"No... no... no... this has to stop... this has to stop..." Nereus whispered, gazing at the crowd in horror. "I... I have to... no, no, no, stop, stop STOP! STOP!" He screamed, once again desperately struggling.
His hoarse voice was lost in the crowd's shouts and his mother's chanting, but even with all this he could hear the other woman. In his minds eye he could see it, the way the knife was hefted into the air, the way the firelight glinted off of the blade, the way Spinoza simply closed his eyes and smiled one last time...
There was a swish, a thunk, a choked cry... and just like that Nereus knew it was done.
Spinoza was dead.
The blond fell silent, his eyes wide with shock, his entire body numb as he went limp in his bonds. The jeering crowd, his mother's chanting, it all seemed to fade away, leaving him hanging there in the dark with that simple realization.
Spinoza was dead. His best friend was gone. Spinoza was gone. Spinoza would never laugh again, would never smile again, would never be able to call him those stupid nicknames again, would never again be there to listen as Nereus spoke with him about everything and anything, would never be there when we went to visit Inoue, would never be there to understand things when no one else understood. Never. He was gone.
"...Why?" The blond whispered, his voice coming out in a cracked whisper due to being raw from screaming. "Why? Spinoza... why? I... I..."
He hardly noticed that his mother had stopped chanting for a moment. He was forced back to reality, however, when suddenly something warm was smeared across his back. The boy suddenly tensed, his sapphire eyes narrowing. "What..." He gasped, glancing back at his mother. His mother gazed back at him and smirked, holding up her bloodied hands as she began to chant again... and Nereus realized.
It was Spinoza's blood on his back.
The blond let out a choked cry and bucked violently, trying to shake off his mother's grip... only to be cut off as quite suddenly his mother's fingers were thrust into his mouth, a coppery taste filling his senses. Sapphire eyes widened in horror and Nereus shuddered, feeling his stomach twist. He almost threw up, but his mother's lithe fingers forced him to bite the rising bile back.
And, unfortunately, this is where we stop. Or maybe fortunately, since I wrote all that awhile back and boy does it ever show. At any rate, here's what happened after that to the best of what I can remember. Keep in mind there may be some discrepancies since it's been awhile and I lost the original plot notebook, but I'll do my best.
Right, so Nereus' mother completes the ritual, obviously. It involves this fun, incredibly nasty process of carving these nifty tattoos into Nereus' back and some psitanium which is actually used to unlock all that absurd psychic power- and, y'know, drive our poor Galochio insane. It's pretty tragic.
The memory reel ends after this and Raz and Milla continue onward. They're walking for a ways and it's only after Raz makes it out of the closet that he realizes Milla isn't with him anymore. This is pretty par for the course, however, so he continues on through the dark until he arrives in a long, ornate hallway covered in dust. I think there were portraits on the walls, but I can't really remember. At any rate, he shows up here and there's Lili.
Yeah, like you all didn't see that coming.
They're both glad to see each other and they walk hand in hand as they make their way along the hallway. Lili asks Raz if he's still mad at Nereus. Raz admits he is, but admittedly lately he's had a few thoughts about it- no thanks to people constantly talking in riddles. He's starting to think Nereus isn't entirely at fault, Freudian Excuse and all that, and maybe he should cut him some slack considering how absurdly terrible his life has been. After all, they gave Oleander another chance. It's with this in mind that they come to the last memory vault, sitting alone in the hallway. Raz breaks it open and they watch.
Nereus is now fourteen and pretty much dead to the world. He obeys his mother and father without question, using his powers to attack non-psychics and help his family seek out Raz. They're having trouble finding the Aquatos since Vitra hasn't awoken, however. At any rate, this goes on for awhile… and then one day he happens upon his father abusing Inoue. This ends up being the breaking point and he finally snaps. Inoue gets locked in a caravan by Nereus' father and then Nereus goes on a rampage and kills everyone. Like… burns them alive on stakes. Because well hey, with all the hate on his object of obsession, that's pretty fitting, isn't it? Right, so the Galochio family gets wiped out in a single night by Nereus' craziness… and then he comes to get Inoue. He holds her close and promises to protect her no matter what the cost. It's then that he spots his old goggles in the caravan, which he hasn't worn since the night of the ceremony.
It clicks and he pulls them on. He is the Heir of Galochio. As his family has said, he's the Lord. He's practically God. He had every right to kill his family because his judgement was above all of them… and it's above all of the rest of the world as well. He knows this is true. And after all the abuse he'd received from them and everyone else, he thought it's time to use his knowledge properly. He knows nonpsychics are evil, but he's seen some good through Razputin… so he' would fix the world. He'll make it perfect for psychics. He'll save Razputin and make a perfect world for him.
Nothing like insanity to help make some fantastic jumps in logic.
So the reel ends and Lili observes the fact that Nereus is freaking crazy. Raz agrees, and it's then that he hears the voice calling his name again… and then it clicks for him.
The voice is Nereus. Nereus is calling him, begging him for help, because somewhere in his mind there is still that little boy who simply looked up to Raz as the only good thing he knew. Somewhere in there is the boy who just wanted to save his sister and who doesn't understand where things went so impossibly wrong. Somewhere in there is just an idiot teenager who needs help facing his personal demons like Raz did with Vitra… and when they're so similar in that regard, how can Raz deny that?
So they keep walking and finally they reach a great door, similar to the one in Raz's mind. Lili says she can't go any farther, Raz knows that. So they kiss, Lili makes him promise he'll return… and with that, Raz goes on.
Nereus is in the dark, fighting a great, winged dragon of water- Indra. He's fighting and fighting, but of course he's losing. Voices echo throughout the room, the voices of his parents, Spinoza's final cries, images of Inoue's death, constant reminders that he is a failure and he doesn't deserve to even see Raz because he failed at that standard. He's pretty much just getting beaten into the ground.
And then Raz shows up.
So they fight the dragon together now and all the while Nereus is apologizing, insisting he's been trying to do the right thing and he doesn't know what happened. He's lost control and he can't stop it, and all he wanted was to be with Raz to make all the hurt stop. Raz says it's okay and insists that if he took control of Vritra, Nereus can do the same. Nereus insists he can't because he's not as strong as Raz, this whole mess pretty much proves that.
Except then Raz forgives him. Because how can he not, when he's made just as many mistakes and everyone forgave him in the end?
So he says this and this proves to be enough to spur Nereus on. They both take hold of the sword of Vritra and take down Indra together, the world spins…
And then Raz wakes up on the mountain again. His friends are relieved and amazed to find he's alive, but Raz pushes past them, concerned about Nereus. Since Nereus is no longer connected to Raz, he collapses… and unfortunately is now dying, because unlike Raz he doesn't have the ability to heal and the fight did quite a number on him. So Raz rushes to his side and pulls him close, begs him not to go because yes he did a lot of terrible things but they both understand each other. They really are like brothers in a way and they finally have this chance to make it all right between the Galochios and the Aquatos, things are finally fixed and it's not fair…
Nereus just smiles and tells Raz they've already fixed it. They've already fixed it and Raz has already saved him, so that's good enough for him. This is good enough, and now he needs to go apologize to Inoue, which is all he really wants right now. So with that in mind, he dies in Raz's arms. Raz is… quite distraught, really. And none of the rest of the group really understand why, but they somehow feel a similar level of understanding since they went through Nereus' mind too in a sense. It's pretty sad.
So they go on to bury Nereus and Inoue next to each other on a hill overlooking the sea. Raz and Lili stand in front of the graves for a bit and Lili observes that it's really somewhat silly that they're all so "alas, poor villain" about this whole thing. Raz doesn't really think so… but hey. He's forgiven Nereus, he's moved on, and hopefully Nereus is in a better place. So that's… not the best ever, but not the worst either.
Anyway, the next scene is a scene of all the campers heading home- generally a giant near world-destroying disaster is a cause for camp being cut short. Fortunately, most of the kids families are fine, and the older campers are all fine as well. The parents would really like to know where Raz is, however, and Dart would like to say goodbye- but Raz isn't there. Sasha explains that Raz's case is currently under investigation. He did nearly destroy the world, but it wasn't really him and there are brain scans and all that good stuff to prove it. Plus, because Nereus is gone, so is Raz's connection to him, which means Vritra and Indra have both vanished. Because of this, it's very likely he'll be off the hook. Several parents are angry about this and still demand to see him at Psychonauts Headquarters, but Sasha smiles and says they won't find him.
"Well, where is he?"
"He's on vacation."
Cut to a scene of Raz standing on the beach in swimtrunks, wiggling his toes in the sand. His body is covered in scars but his face is hopeful as he gazes out at the water, which is tinted gold in the sunset. Lili comes to stand beside him.
"Are you scared?"
"Don't be. I'm here."
They kiss and make their way into the waves hand in hand, and that's the end.
Whoo. So yeah, uh… good God this plot was stupid. Very stupid and Kingdom Hearts-esque. My anime influences were definitely showing here and it's no secret that I strayed completely from the tone of the original game. The levels of angst and OVER NINE THOUSAAAAND power levels are kind of absurd here and I'm sorry for that. I also abused the elipsis tool far too much for my own liking and the fic changed a lot at the end- the thing with everyone showing up in Nereus' mind was NOT supposed to be there originally and good Lord did that stretch things out. That being said, this thing is still my baby and I do still love it. The year or so I spent in this fandom was one of the greatest years of my life, I learned a lot and changed a lot. Most of the friends I had at the time I no longer really spend time with, but Pancake, Dylan, Kaya… you guys really do mean the world to me and I'm so grateful for everything I learned from you guys. So thank you.
Anyway, I guess that's it. I'm sorry I couldn't properly write this thing out, but I hope this will be good enough. For the record, I think if anyone wants to see the best Psychonauts fic out there they should check out Cerebral Soldiers, which captured the game far better than I did and also actually inspired this one.. If you haven't read it, you should check it out.
Thank you for everything guys. It was good times.