Authors Notes: Well, this is a surprise.
Welcome to .hack//AU dark duality. It's an alternate universe fanfiction... but I think you figured that much out by now! Umm, there's not much I want to say before the prologue. Most of the introduction is in the beginning of the first chapter, so...
This prologue isn't really meant to make sense, so if your head is hurting after it's done then I've done my job right, probably. It's meant to confuse you and be somewhat dream-like... but the rest of the fanfic isn't as bizarre as this, so bear with me, okay?
The truth is that this story has been in the making since the first game came out in English. It wasn't posted because I have a horrible habit of starting fanfiction and not finishing them. However... up to chapter five is written now (though not edited), so I have hope for this one. Thanks for taking a peak, I really hope you enjoy!
Before I get into this, there's a concept I'd like to explain that I'll get into a little further before the first chapter starts. In this fanfiction the main characters (Haseo, Kuhn, Atoli, etc.) are the normal human players. Or the equivalent of them, as there is no R:2 or any online game like that in this fanfiction. They are normal people; people who attend school and jobs and have a normal life. Skeith, Magus, Innis... they look exactly like the player characters. So Skeith looks like silver-haired Haseo, while 'Haseo' looks like a normal person with heavy similarities to Skeith (obviously no silver hair, though). I hope this'll make a little more sense after the first chapter...
Now, without further ado, I think all I can do is start up.
Rated teen for mostly the stuff later on; blood, violence, some dark themes, and some adult themes - but nothing explicit. You've been warned. I'm also only going to do the disclaimer in this chapter:
All .hack//G.U. Characters are ideas are not owned by me; CC2, Namco-Bandai, and the original writers and creators are the owners. Characters from the original .hack// series are owned by Bandai, CC2 and original creators and owners. Any music that I may mention is the musical artist's; I in no way have written any of the music that inspired this fanfiction. I guess the only thing that's original is the idea, as this is AU.
The world expanded to me in an immensity of white.
A room of white that made no distinguishing features about itself. There were no lines to the walls, no shadows to the floor, no distance to the ceiling. The only things I knew was that I was there. I existed there, at that very moment, living and thinking and gaping at a scene that should not have been real. Well, thinking and gaping was for sure; but as for 'living', nothing made sense anymore. It felt as if I didn't understand what life was... like I didn't understand the difference between life and death, and what makes you breathing compared to a simple imitation of humanity.
No, because there were no distinguishable features...
And there he was, in the midst of it all, standing as if he 'existed'.
His eyes drove into mine; or maybe he was actually a physical part of me. I couldn't tell. He just smiled and stared, head cocked to one side with the curiosity of a child. Red paint coloured his body; small flecks tainting his face, while as you looked further down the discolouration became significantly worse. It was that naive curiosity and that overpowering aura that extended from him that made me suddenly feel overwhelmed with fear, confusion, and utter disgust.
He was 'me'. I was 'him'. He was standing in my place, and I in his. And yet we were in our own places; how could we be in both? How could we be both?
The sudden realization of the situation struck me hard. The world around me distorted and I saw the full picture. Others were around us, but all below us. On the ground. Unmoving. And he just stood there, acting younger than he actually was, unchanging. I felt dizzy, and quickly covered my mouth. A wave of absolute horror washed over me and I felt as if I were going to be sick that second. Within a moment, I glanced up.
Just as I had expected now he was doubled over, hand over his own mouth. But he continued to stare at me, cold eyes now piercing down into me further than anyone had ever gone. I felt responsible for the way this world displayed itself now and the position the others around us were in.
He opened his mouth to speak.
No. You are me. You would have never existed if I didn't. You've tainted my soul; don't you understand what you've done? You're a monster. A pure monster.
He continued, playing his cute game. To him it was a game; life was not significant. What did it matter to him? A flesh body was only a bonus.
... h e y ...
The words were strong.
No, you haven't. I won't have anything to do with you. I won't have anything to do with you at all!
... h e y ... h e y , y o u l o o k ...
He smiled. A funny voice nagged at the back of my mind, silent and insignificant.
You don't know anything about me. Don't talk to me as if you know my heart.
... c a n y o u h e ar m e ? ... h e y , a ns wer me ...
That's right. Disappear. Disappear forever. I don't want to see you again.
Suddenly, he was clutching at his stomach, and he sunk lower to the ground towards the other people. I felt a feeling of pity and wanted to rush to help him. But I knew better than that; to save a monster was to kill others, wasn't it?
... h ey! W hat' s wrong? H...
The voice from the back of my mind grew stronger. The white walls began to waver as if the boundaries of time themselves were breaking apart.
I don't understand. What are you? You're a... monster... aren't you?
He looked up to me with sorrowful eyes; eyes unattainable by a creature as terrible as he was. Maybe he wasn't...
I don't... understand...
... t here's s ometh ing wrong! ... yes, p lease do! ...
There was a sharp pain in my head. I threw my hands up and clutched to my face desperately to relieve myself as normal human instinct commanded me to. A cold wave washed over my face; as if it had just been dipped in water... or that my hands were covered in liquid. With the idea dawning on me, I pulled my hands back low enough to get a sensible image of them.
Red. Stained red, painted red, red the same that dotted 'he' in front of me. And when I looked back up, 'he' was not a 'he' and 'he' was a 'she' and the world became thrown off it's axis and plunged into the ocean. My senses exploded everything wavered; the images I saw melted together and formed mixed waves of nothing. For some reason, it was horrific.
And I screamed, as loud as I could.
Everything shot into a realistic scene, but I no longer knew what was real and what was not. The world slowed. I wavered in my seat and suddenly plunged sideways without any attempt to save myself. I fell from my chair and hit the desk beside my own with my head, tumbling down to the ground and striking hard against the solid floor. White, fluorescent lights crashed against my sight and made the aching pain of the emerging headache extremely worse. Someone rushed to my side, quickly picking me up, but nothing made sense anymore. That world blurred away too, just like the white world, and I didn't understand. I didn't understand anything anymore. What was real and what was a hallucination made no sense.
I thought, this was the real world maybe, for the mere few seconds that I could stay conscious. That was all I could pray. And the constant call of my name tried to break through to my heart in the darkness that overcame me, but I couldn't make sense of the voice.
Beep. Beep. Beep.
Lights flashed everywhere. Computer screens lit the dark room, giving it an eerie blue glow. They flickered and danced as new screens and windows opened, buzzing with an extreme sense of urgency. The entire front wall was composed of screen after screen, all linked to smaller computer monitors that were on desks on the floor.The floor was scattered with chairs and desks with keyboards; with people all dressed in the same clothing, busily typing away. All of their expressions replicated serious statues of war heroes, but more of the kind that were in the midst of battle; for that was what they were doing – fighting a battle. The only sounds in the room were the clicks and chimes of the computers, the blurred striking keys, and the shouts of orders from one to another. A few people sat in the front, obviously the most important. In the back stood a man overlooking it all – a man who appeared to be as young as twenty, while his subordinates were all much older. He bit his bottom lip when he wasn't shouting things for the others to do.
This went on, repetitively. Suddenly, there was a small pause. Everyone's work slowed. The man sighed with relief. "Thank goodness," rung from his mouth, as he pulled a hand up and brushed his rather thin hair. Another man, who looked to be a bald twin of him, glanced over for a moment.
"Have you won?" He asked, his voice serious and hoarse, but it almost seemed as if it was his real voice.
"It seems so, for the moment," the man responded, his own voice very similar to the one of that beside him.
"I see," The twin said simply, turning away to watch the computer screens again. With a quick gesture, the man gave him a fast, sharp look, taking in a deep breath.
"Can't you feel it?"
The first man was startled. Slowly, without saying anything else, the bald twin stepped down from his place. He walked coolly down the only break of computers there was in the center of the room, which formed a pathway. He took each step carefully. The first man jolted from his own spot, moving one foot. A woman from the front seats turned her head back to watch the man coming towards her. He stepped even beyond her and went directly in front of the row of screens, stopping in their basking glow. Each feature of his body was trailed by the blue light of heaven; 'heaven' to his standards. He pressed a hand against the screen. Suddenly, the woman shot up.
"Those are our best LCD screens! They're very delicate, so don't you da--"
The first man spoke.
"What's wrong?" He asked again. The woman stopped mid-sentence and scowled towards the twin. He did not move; his hand didn't lift from the screen.
"You haven't won at all..." He said quietly.
"What was that?!" The woman snapped, obviously on the end of her strings for this twin and favoring the other.
"What?" Both the man and woman spoke at the same time.
Suddenly, on one of the screens near the top of the rows, a red window popped up, flashing.
The man instantly ran down the isle, pushing himself to the same side as the twin and gave a close-up examination of the red window. Suddenly it appeared on another screen. The twin still did not budge. The woman shot down to her own keyboard, typing in a flurry of things that were ridiculous to someone who knew nothing of computer programing. Orders were shouted again by the young man. The others in the room went down to their own keyboards and the room was filled with an air as if they were fighting a loosing battle. The red windows did not stop there; they repetitively appeared over and over again, each on a new screen, taking over heaven's glow. The man screamed in desperation. Urgency was more than there.
And within the flash of a second, all of the screens became white and red, taken over by the solid colours and destroying any hope of victory.
Everyone stopped. Their eyes glued to the screens and watched them. The man was the same, his jaw dropped to receive the open, deathly silent air. The woman's hands dropped to her lap, lifeless, as her pupils scanned everything. It was nothing but silence and the unchanging glow of the new colours. Suddenly, one of the workers spoke, as if automatically.
"A white background... and a repetitive word pattern..."
"A... I... D... A... A... I... D... A ...a-i-d-a-a-i-d-a-a-i-d-a..."
"All of the screens-"
Chatter filled the room. The woman looked to the man. He was silent. The twin's face was turned towards the man, half of his body accented in the horrific colours – the other half in darkness. His eyes were cool, but they watched the first as if he knew exactly what he was thinking, what he was feeling...
"... what is this...?"
There was a thump behind them.
Turning their heads, the woman and the man looked behind themselves, just as every other worker did. From the back row of computers one chair was now vacant, it's user lying on the floor, arms spread in a pathetic position, hair tangling against the carpet, and eyes closed.
In another world, a girl was tangled in a painful position. She was doubled over, clutching at her chest and screaming unheard screams of pain. Her hair fell against her back and shoulders and danced all around her in the broken world; a world of dark colours and shattered things; a world where nothing was actually in one piece, and where nothing was in anything but a brown, black or gray. Such a beautiful girl did not fit in a world such as this but there she was, begging for a mercy that would not come. A book lay in front of her, pages open and flipping themselves. The corners were torn and the colours were wreaked and the writing was hardly understandable, but it was there. She continued this for a minute or so, before she was left on the ground panting for an air that was barely there. Her eyes were sad and almost lifeless; there was only the hint of an undying spark of wonder, awe, and beauty. Even in her pain she had an unwavering aura of something unattainable by anyone; something perfect.
Slowly, she lifted her head, looking up at the sky with those sad eyes that were broken by something she could not fight on her own. Her soft hand reached out and grabbed the book in front of her, pulling it close and clutching it to her burning chest. She could not cry. Still gasping for oxygen, she slowly forced herself up into a sitting position where her panting was only pathetic and very painful instead of desperate. She watched the starless sky above her, the children she studied in her heart, the world she longed to protect, and the people she knew that she had hurt. Because she couldn't hold on, because she couldn't keep things together... it was falling apart. Because of one person who's intentions were pure the world was falling apart and an unmistakable darkness was formed.
Wind caught her hair, and the white goddess against the dark world muttered words not audible to anyone as she clutched her possession tighter, praying for release.