"I do not own Tales of Symphonia!" – I.K.A. Valian

!!Important A/N!!: Many people may have been wondering what exactly I cut out from Dark Tidings. There are several holes in the story, most prominently among them is the span of time that stretches between the moment Genis and Gaar left Sylvarant for Earth and the point at which they return. Well, luckily for you, I intend to reveal those events now. Also, let it be known that I cut this out because it would have made the story too complicated to follow at that time, and I wanted to improve my skill with the pen before I ventured into what is now its own story.

And No, you don't have to have read Dark Tidings before this to understand the story, though I won't complain if you do. I'll make this story as new reader friendly as possible. Ahh… you've probably skipped reading all of this by now. On with the story.

"Gaar. We're lost!" Genis stopped and threw his hands into the air. "How many times are we going to lose our way walking through this stupid town?" His voice echoed off of the tall stone walls on either side of the alley and then into the distance where the sound died off. Once more the night air surrounding the boys was still and too quiet.

"Shh!" Gaar put his finger to his mouth. "Do you want someone to hear us?" Gaar quickly glanced behind them into the dark and dirty alley they were leaving behind. Ahead of them was a similar dark and dirty alley that looked exactly like the one behind them. They had entered the small stone built town hours earlier. Only now they knew it was a mistake to have done so. "I don't want to experience that again, if you don't mind."

"Yeah, yeah," Genis mumbled in reply. He rubbed his shoulder uncomfortably, wincing as he did so. His blue outfit had numerous scuffmarks and tears running through it. On both boys faces, arms, and legs were many bruises and a quite a few cuts. "How was I supposed to know that would happen? Humans are so stupid!" Gaar shot Genis a worried look. "Oh, not you Gaar, just the ones that did this to us. I mean, they didn't even let us explain."

Gaar nodded knowingly. "I know, they could of at least let us explain before they started beating us with stick and chasing us with swords." They both winced at the memory. A small pebble fell in the distance behind them, causing both of them to whirl around wide eyed, knees bent, and prepared to run again. They both let out huge sighs of relief when they see it was only a pretty black kitten playing with the pebble that made the noise.

Genis started to pace back and forth, his left hand behind his back and his right hand supporting his chin. His eyes shone with intense concentration. "I know this place wasn't built to be a maze. That much is obvious from the fact that we haven't come across anything that's tried to trick us outright. It's just that this place was built so badly that any decently minded person would become lost in here. Almost none of this construction makes any sense. And I know we've been by this point before because I swear I've seen that mold formation twice already." Genis stopped staring at the mold on the wall and looked skyward. The stars twinkled and shined in far different configurations than he'd ever seen.

"Don't worry Genis, I'm sure we'll find away out of here. If nothing else, we'll just blow a hole in the wall and-"

"Gaar, won't that attract even more attention to us?"

"Oh yeah…" Gaar's head sank. Genis sighed and rubbed his tender shoulder again.

"Gaar?" Gaar looked up at Genis curiously.

"Yeah Genis?" Genis sat down and leaned against the wall. He picked up a pebble and threw it at the opposite wall as Gaar sat down next to him. Genis sighed again and looked back up at the stars.

"Do you think the others are okay?" Gaar looked at Genis for a few seconds before he too looked up at the stars.

"I'm sure they're fine." Gaar's voice was calm and collected. Startled, Genis turned his head to look at Gaar curiously.

"How can you be so sure? I mean, we were in the middle of a Desian Ranch, completely outnumbered, and not to mention that we'd split up from two of the stronger members of our group. How can you be so sure that everyone's okay?" Gaar grinned and closed his eyes. Genis pouted. "Come on Gaar. How can you-"

"I'm sure they're fine, Genis. Your sister isn't that weak and neither is Colette. Besides, you took all those Desians out with that spell… What was it again… ahhh… I can't remember." Genis, scowling from being interrupted, thought for a moment.

"You know, I can't remember either. And I guess you're right. You k now, you're kind of like Lloyd." Gaar turned to Genis and attempted to raise his eyebrow curiously, but failed.

"How do you mean?" Genis shrugged and then yawned.

"I just meant that you both are positive thinkers, even if you both don't think very much." Gaar nodded looking back at the sky, thinking about what Genis said until what he actually meant sunk in.

"Hey!" Gaar punched a chuckling and snorting Genis in the arm lightly. This of course sent pain shooting through the young elf's arm. The reaction he had to this stimulus was to scream. This loud outburst set a chain of dogs barking, which alerted the pitchfork-waving, torch-bearing villagers. The boys were up and running before the first villager even saw their footprints in the dirty alley.

"Oof!" Lloyd landed with a thump. His impact with the ground sent dirt, grass, and two swords flying into the air. Raine sighed and, brushing her sleeves and brown coat off, walked past the upside down boy.

"Lloyd, I'm not going to say it again, I'm leaving and there isn't anything you can do about it."

"But Professor Raine, you can't leave." This time, it was Colette standing in front of the door with her arms outstretched. "We need you to help us complete the Journey of Regeneration. We can't do it without you. I'm sure he would have wanted you to stay too."

Raine paled for less than a second before she shook her head and pushed past Colette and out of the inn. Underneath her breath she said, "I'm sorry Colette. It hurts too much." Walking out into the rainy weather might not have been the smartest of things to do, but Raine had other things on her mind. Despite the weather, Asgard was crawling with a mixture of former Ranch captives, tourists, and town residents.

After a half hour, she'd made her way out of the town and was quickly walking down the road that led to the House of Salvation in the middle of the Asgard Plains. The sun was high in the sky now, its rays only interrupted by the occasional cloud.

After confronting and violently tearing apart any monster that crossed her path, Raine finally arrived at the House of Salvation. Intending to just pass through, she was walking past the other side of the wooden structure when a woman inside screamed.

Hair standing on end, staff I hand, and adrenalin rushing, Raine turned and sprinted toward the doors. Before she could grasp the door handles, they burst open and out poured three brigands, each brandishing a mighty iron sword in both hands and a burlap sack slung over one shoulder.

Raine stopped short in front of the three men, each surprised as the next at the sudden confrontation. Then the forward most brigand dropped his sack, which the other all quickly did as well, and started moving forward.

"Hey honey," said the leader. He held his right sword out toward her staff. "Why don't you put that down? I'd hate to have to resort to violence against such a…" he breathed in deeply and then looked at her as if he were appraising a piece of meat. "…pretty face."

Raine, her eyes harder than steel and sharper than a diamond edge, gripped her staff tighter and swung it behind her back into a horizontal position. She held out her other hand and made a "come, fight me" gesture. This served to enrage the brigands. They all raised their swords high and charged.

Raine gave a small smirk before she spun around, grabbed her staff with both hands, and used her momentum to sweep her staff in a circle just inches above the ground. This knocked all three of the brigands off their feet. In a final graceful move, Raine spun once more in the same spot while standing up and ended up in the same position she started in.

"I suggest you leave here before I feel the sadistic need to shred something to pieces again. You may notice the grotesquely mutilated corpses on your way out. I just couldn't stop myself once those monsters made clear that they wouldn't leave me alone." Raine stopped herself and glared at the three downed men in front of her. They stared back in shivering horror. "Well? You leaving?"

The brigands all scrambled to get out of the vicinity as fast as they could, running like the devil himself were poking them in the behind with his red hot pitchfork. Raine 'hmphed', picked up the three burlap sacks, and walked calmly into the House of Salvation as if nothing had happened.

Inside, she was confronted by a grisly scene. Blood pooled beneath the aged pastor on the floor in front of the Spiritua statue. A woman in a frilly white dress sat next to the pastor, rocking back and forth, hands clasped together, praying. Another pastor, this one much younger, sat on the other side of the dying old man, talking to him in hushed tones.

Raine looked over the scene and nodded to her self. She deposited the bags on the floor and walked forward, staff in hand. The woman and younger pastor looked at her, their faces streak marked with countless tears. Raine, sighing internally, stretched her glowing staff in front of her and started murmuring to her self. After several seconds, the green glow surrounding her staff grew bright.

"Heal!" Raine commanded, and the green Mana flowed from the staff into the old man. It flowed around him, penetrated his wound, but other than that, nothing happened. His wound didn't close and the blood didn't stop. Both the man and woman's faces fell at the same time. The woman started sobbing more, and the man became even more still and quiet. Solemn.

Raine frowned and tried again. This time, she concentrated and focused until the green mana surrounding her staff was glowing so bright that the other two had to turn away and shield their eyes. Sweat formed on her forehead and quickly gathered into a large drop. This drop joined other drops of similar size on her shaking, rigid body, and fell to the quickly reddening floor beneath.

Raine opened her eyes, which almost glowed with a surreal white behind them, and shouted, "C…C… CURE!" Everything in the room slowed to a crawl, almost as if time had stopped. And then, as if everything realized it was being left behind, events moved fast forward. The green Mana surrounding Raine's staff exploded. Most of the Mana was absorbed by the old priest's body, his wound healed, but a scab and scar was still visible, and he was still unconscious. The rest of the Mana shook the building with such force that all the windows blew out and everything on the walls fell off.

The younger priest looked down and saw the healed wound. He leaned down quickly, excitedly and listened for the elder man's breathing. Upon hearing said man's breathing, his euphoria erupted throughout his being. He jumped up and down shouting, "He's alive! He's alive!"

The woman too, started laughing and smiling. But when they turned to thank the white haired elf who helped the old man with healing magic, the found her lying in a pool of the old man's blood mixed with her sweat. Her hair was matted and damp with sweat, her bangs plastered to her forehead. And she was unconscious.

Well, I hope that was a good start.

Pit: "We'll see."

I'm going to try to keep it in this format, with half Genis and half Raine.

Pit: "We'll see."

Inri: "Oh would you stop that."

Pit: "We'll see."

Inri: Growls and slaps Pit upside the head with a frying pan.

Pit: "Ow. Why'd you do that, now my head's gonna get lumpy."

Inri: Tossing the frying pan up and down in one hand menacingly. "We'll see."

Pit: Gulps loudly.

Okay, enough of that. Please review.

Thanks for reading.