Author's note: Not much to say for a change. I've updated in a tolerable amount of time and very little has changed… Oh! But I did finally figure out how to insert letters with accent marks over letters in Microsoft Works! I always knew about the Special Characters menu, but I never really could use it…sorry I'm not as tech savvy as I let on sometimes. XD

It's kind of amazing that I've poked around trying to figure out how to add accents to letters for at least two years and failed miserably every single time… Until I try on a day with four mere hours of fitful sleep keeping my conscious. XD I didn't feel rested at all when I had to get in the shower this morning. I thought, "Wait, didn't I just lay down? I was plotting a chapter…and couldn't fall asleep…and now it's dawn?" There are even bags under my eyes…O.O It's been a very long time since I've seen those. Or remembered to look…anyway… XD

So, as long it carries over to , Dammerüng shall finally be spelled correctly with a little ü! At long last! -rather proud-

-brick'd- I wonder how many other words I need to go through my documents and find that were supposed to have marks over the letters that I couldn't add…

Please enjoy the chapter. XD

Xenosaga IV: Der Wille zur Existieren

Chapter 18

Fill My Empty Heart

The small lab was occupied only by two computer consoles along the walls and the closed maintenance bed in the center. The "bed" was a sleek silver in color, though the left side reflected a lurid past. There was a smatter of dried, dark red blood on the left side. It wasn't attached to the floor, though there were several wires connecting the console to the computers.

All was silent and still in the dimly lit lab. The bright overhead lights were left off since the lab had been unoccupied; until recently. The only light that illuminated the room was a pale blue glow emitting from the sides of the maintenance bed. It gave the room a mysterious though serene feeling.

It at least seemed calm for the single person who entered. He walked toward the coffin like bed unhurriedly, a small smile coming across his lips. He stopped at the side of the pod and pressed a few icons on the holographic keyboard that materialized over the unit. Ah…it isn't a wonder Wilhelm was able to hack the password so easily; she made it my previous name. The lid slowly began to raise up, sending a wave of cold air billowing across the floor.

The mist increased as the lid reached its tallest height. It sent a chill throughout the lab before it cleared, revealing the android inside. She was laying down in the small enclosed area, eyes closed in an artificial form of sleep.

"You're always asleep when I look for you," he said warmly, smiling at the peaceful expression on her face. "Mary always fell asleep if she had to wait too long…she'd always blame it on me taking too long to arrive though."

He brushed a strand of her silvery hair away from her closed eyes. Her long hair would have been white if it weren't for the beautiful though unnatural shine it possessed. There was a tint of blue at the very bottom of her hair, though the rest was the same shimmering silver.

Her attire was simpler than he'd seen it in the hands of Vector. There was no more external Hilbert Effect Generator atop her forehead, nor was there a tattoo inscribed with her title. Thin black gloves covered her hands and black, metal bands around her wrists rested above them. He distantly remembered the list of armaments Hikaru Uzuki had equipped within the small devices; it was quite extensive and replaced the need to weaponry that transformed in place of her hands.

She worse a tight white shirt of synthetic material that lead up to a familiar band around her neck; there was no doubt it the devices within the band were used to initiate one of the android's most deadly attacks. She wore a white skirt and black guards around her hips. The tall thigh boots she wore were also black with blue edging along the top.

"You protected Hikaru so carefully though," he murmured, "and you'll only open your eyes at her command, correct? It's a pity…that she couldn't be the Maiden of Mary. But I suppose such a fortunate situation could not repeat again. Nevertheless…I do hope to see you both awake before you depart."

He stepped away from her sleeping form and input the command to close the lid. "Then again, there wouldn't be any Vector logos on your frame anymore," he said with an ironic chuckle, "I never would have thought if you fell into the hands of Ormus that it'd be a blessing."

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Nephilim and chaos sat atop the edge of one of the massive superstructures that populated the massive city. The sun was setting and the sky was dyed brilliant shades of orange and yellow. A golden glow was cast over the bustling city. It gave the technologically advanced metropolis a calm aura despite the cars speeding by far below the two of them.

Nephilim's form was translucent and emitted a golden glow slightly more vibrant than the one reflected throughout area. "I knew I wouldn't be able to tell her."

"I know," chaos replied, looking toward the darkening horizon.

Even when the sun would eventually set, so much artificial light would illuminate the nonstop streets and walkways the stars would be invisible. The movement couldn't stop; there were too many people and things happening in the thickly populated metropolis.

"The truth is too hard for Shion right now," Nephilim said sadly, "If she let it pass without knowing, it would be so much easier."

"Learning the truth doesn't always lead to happiness. They might even be better off if they lived without it," chaos paused, looking down to complex system of highways below. "But sometimes, the truth seeks you out. I think the fact that Shion is here is telling us that. She has to learn the truth."

"Maybe so," Nephilim admitted softly, "But it's only a short manner of time until Shion's heart and body are--"

"What if it's inevitable?" chaos questioned, looking up to the sky suddenly. "My existence and yours…may be an inevitable part of this world where all things flow to a certain point. If our reason for existing is that we are meant to exist…"

"I don't think there's only a single future," Nephilim mused, looking up to her companion. "A single human thought can change the world. You're the one who taught people that."

"What I can do is limited," chaos said regretfully, "I still don't even know how I should use this power. Why am I allowed to exist?"

Nephilim looked away disappointedly. "chaos…"

"I want to believe in the existence of order born from discord," chaos explained, gaze returning to the half obscured horizon. "That's why I'm with them."

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I suppressed a yawned and rested my head against the wall behind the bench. Despite having slept for the larger portion of the last two days, the endless dreams had kept me from staying asleep very long. I'd always wake up between dreams and toss and turn if they were nightmares.

The temperature of all the rooms on the Dammerüng were at a set, controlled level. The air perfectly fresh though it lacked the purity of natural, Earth air. Kevin Winnicot… I thought, letting my eyes droop closed. He betrayed Wilhelm in the very end for KOS-MOS and Shion…I guess he really did love her.

"We have a request of you, Miss Uzuki. Kevin Winnicot was unable to resurrect Mary Magdalene, but I do not doubt that you could attain such a feat. We recovered the remains of T-elos and would like to see what would happen if she, too, awoke."

I opened my eyes for a moment and stared up at the ceiling blankly. "Mary…you said you willing sacrificed yourself and that you can't be reborn. But Wilhelm…the Guardian of this dimension, is positive that it's possible…"

She said Wilhelm believed will and consciousness can't be separate. But KOS-MOS is proof such a thing can happen. She inherited and holds the will and memories of Mary Magdalene but is still her own person. My eyes drooped closed a second time as I frowned slightly. Maybe that's the only flaw in Wilhelm's theology. And if that's the case, surely a single consciousness…whose will was inherited by another being…can be resurrected.

Perhaps I should research other attempts at resurrecting a specific consciousness. I know Joachim Mizrahi attempted it…but it failed and lead the creation of the 100-Series Observational Realian Prototype, codenamed MOMO. Who was he trying to resurrect? I know I read it somewhere in all the documentation of the final years of the T.C. era.

Darn it. I can't remember. I didn't research much, I was too focused on gathering information on KOS-MOS. It distantly related to U.R.T.V. Unit Number 666, Rubedo, and why his growth was temporarily stunted for fifteen or so years. I remember him, from that dream. I can't remember the connection…but …Wait. Midori would know! She's a Mizrahi; the granddaughter of Joachim, if my knowledge is correct. She might be too old to be part of this generation of decedents.

…But would she tell me?

"Hey! Did you fall asleep?"

I blinked and sat up straight, startled by the sudden voice. My gaze settled on a familiar smile and I relaxed, sticking my tongue at him mockingly.

"I wasn't sleeping, Rukiro," I retorted, "just…"

"Nodding off?" he suggested lightheartedly as he held out a hand to help me up. I accepted a little reluctantly and stood. He didn't release my hand immediately; I cast him a momentary, questioning look though it was enough for him to look away an release my hand. I shook my head, a little surprised by his abruptness, but dismissed it.

"I was thinking," I replied as we started walking down the hall.

"Well, I hope it was about what you're going to say to the hotshots in that Science Department. They're fascinated with how you got KOS-MOS functioning again. Though there aren't any Gnosis around, they want to see her in action…some of the weapons developers want your opinions on further equipment they could provide her with."

"Have they woken her up?" I asked crossly as we stepped into an elevator.

"No, there was an order from the top of their division that she be left alone until you were healthy. They had the door locked tight; I'm pretty sure only the person who ordered it…Zion, I think his name was, could get inside," Rukiro affirmed, "Not even the captain had access."

"Zion Hawking," I said absentmindedly, "that's what the doctor who treated me said. "I'm curious about him…hopefully I can met him soon."

"Eh, I didn't think there was anything that special about him," Rukiro said with a shrug as the automatic doors slid closed in front of us. No one else waited in the elevator. "I thought he was a little too interested in you and KOS-MOS."

"You met him?" I asked, raising an eye brow questioningly.

"Briefly. They wanted to know more about an 'apparently normal human' with such an odd bloodline," Rukiro explained, rather coldly. I winced at the comment, mildly surprised they'd taken any interested in him

"They're pretty weird around here, they have so much data on Realians and all the other types of beings that existed back then," Rukiro continued, "It's almost like they know more about us than we do."

"Where they concerned about something or just curious?" I inquired, slipping my connection gear out of my pocket. I opened up the map of the Dammerüng I'd been sent and zoomed into the gray classified area. "I doubt there could be very much unusual about your body, seeing as so much human blood composed the last generation…,"

"In my case, curious. But with you…," he paused, expression darkening considerably.

"What?" I questioned, a little hesitantly. They couldn't have realized I've forged a connection with U-DO…Rukiro wouldn't have greeted me so calmly if that were the case…

"Do you really want to know?" he asked, sighing heavily.

"Tell me. I'll just find out myself soon enough," I said worriedly, opening my map building and sync program.

"This is why I don't trust that Zion person," Rukiro began sourly, "They're trying to make excuses up to take KOS-MOS away from Ormus and have her taking commands from the head of the Transcendent Technology Department."

"Transcendent Technology? You mean there's a department here on the Dammerüng dedicated solely to research on the Transcend Christ period of time?"

"They focus on the Miltian Conflict and Michtam Controversy and everything that related to them," Rukiro explained, gaze dropping to the floor, "and they're lead by none other than Zion Hawking. I don't know if this theory came from him, but the reason to take KOS-MOS they told your father…well…,"

An awkward silence filled the small room. The elevator stopped smoothly as the number of the floor and department lit up on the control panel. "What did they say?" I asked softly as the doors slid open.

He looked up to meet my eyes, expression angry but worried. "They said you can't remain so close to KOS-MOS now that she's awake because you'll develop a connection with U-DO. When talking to your father, he…Zion mentioned that since KOS-MOS draws from the power of U-DO, using the Zohar as a door, that remaining in close proximity with her would aggravate your condition and shorten your life," Rukiro paused, grabbing my hand suddenly. "I wasn't supposed to hear their conversation, but he said like…you already were connected. But that's a lie…right?"

I bit my lower lip, simply staring to the floor. chaos…he said that I was connected to U-DO at the Beach of Nothingness. It'd explain a lot…but Rukiro doesn't know the extend of how much I've been passing out and having the strange dreams. What would he do if he knew I was going to die? Ever since I located KOS-MOS' frame…all those months ago…he's been so worried about the risk of a connection.

"Hikari?" he asked, expression tense as a small beep from the elevator sounded.

Why does he have to use that old nickname now? I can't… How can I…?

The doors slid open as a looked up and forced a smile. His expression was deadly serious and his grip on my hand almost painfully tight. I looked straight into his eyes for a moment, unable to ignore the shadow of fear reflected in their cerulean depths.

"Of course it's a lie."

He didn't looked entirely convinced as returned my gaze, scanning my eyes for a the sign of untruthfulness. He released my hand as we exited the elevator and started down the hall. There was only one door on the far side and young woman in a Vector uniform who stood in front of it turned around and greeted us with smile. It was a few moments before we reached the end of the long hall and she bowed her head when we reached her.

Is this…just another nightmare?

"Good afternoon, Miss Uzuki, Mr. Kukai," she said politely, "Mr. Hawking has asked me to escort you to KOS-MOS. He and several other colleagues in of the Transcend Technology Department, Weaponry and Defense Department, and Realian Department will be waiting there. The rest of the trip is all through restricted area, so I must ask that you do not stray from way I lead you."

"Understood," I replied automatically, trying to keep my expression flat. It was easier said than done; I couldn't remember ever lying to Rukiro about a matter as serious as death.

She nodded and smiled again. "Please come this way, then."

When we were little, I could never lie to him… I thought regretfully as we followed her through the door and down another hall. I'd always stammer and change my story…he'd always see right through me. I'd fidget around and even cry when I was really small. Even with my father…I couldn't look straight at him when I was lying. But Rukiro? I could never look into his eyes and flat out lie.

And yet I just did…so instinctively…

What have I become?

She swiped her key card through the lock and the door slid open. I inwardly noted it was a great deal thicker than the others doors on the ship and pressed the button on my connection gear to record the route we walked so I could sync it to my map of the Dammerüng. I would, of course, have to encrypt the file with protection since I was adding data that wasn't at the security level I had access to.

The brown-haired woman lead us through a series of halls, doorways, security checks, and past a few security guards that nodded respectfully to us when we were prompted to show our ID cards. After one final elevator ride, we reached a large circular room with six doors and a dome ceiling. My line of vision was instantly drawn to the transparent glass ceiling and brilliantly clear view of the dark sky and stars above.

The sight was breathtaking and mesmerizing; it was all so much clearer than the night sky of Earth. Each star seemed brighter than closer. No pollutants in the atmosphere or the familiar cloak of artificial light dying the sky gray existed. The only thing that marred the incredible view were two metal arches high above, connecting two connections of the ship.

Regrettably, I didn't have time to give it further examination. A group of five scientists, three women and two men, were gathered in the room. All but one wore Vector uniforms; three were of the First Division and one represented the Second Division. A tall, thin man with short silvery white hair turned around as soon as we entered and smiled.

He stood out from the others for a several reasons. His eyes were a calm blue-green; they appeared unusually bright, remarkably like KOS-MOS'. His skin was slightly darker, a sort of tanned color though paler than that of Mary Magdalene. He didn't wear a Vector uniform, either. It is. It's him… I thought numbly as he walked forward, extending a gloved hand as he introduced himself.

"Hello, Hikaru Uzuki. My name is Zion Hawking, it's an honor to met the young scientist who revived KOS-MOS."

Yeshua.

"Call me Hikaru," I replied, trying not to sound preoccupied, as a shook his hand. "Have we met before?"

His unreadable though kind smile returned. "This is the first time the Dammerüng has come in contact with Lost Jerusalem in over a hundred years. I'm afraid that's impossible in this reality for someone like myself who was born here."

"Right…," I said quietly.

"It's good to see you have come, too, Mr. Kukai," Zion said politely as he turned to Rukiro, reaching out to shake his hand.

Rukiro nodded silently in reply, less than subtly sliding his hands into his pockets. I would have glared at him for being stubborn, but lacked the resolve to explain Zion's identity immediately. It'd only worry him more…he'd be even more suspicious of me.

Zion wasn't affected by Rukiro's rudeness in the slightest. He held out a silver key card to me and began to explain. "As you have been informed, KOS-MOS has been appointed a lab here in the Restricted Area. You will need an escort to authorize the final security check, but this Triple B Level Pass has been programmed to permit your access to KOS-MOS' lab and the entire Transcend Technology Division's database. You are free to copy as much of the data as you want to your connection gear as long as you maintain Double A Level encryption. If you need it upgraded to maintain that protection level, we can take care of that for you."

I nodded and pocketed the silver key card. "Thanks. I've already used Ormus' technology to raise the protection level of my connection gear, so it's solid. Is there anything else I need to know about the Dammerüng's database?"

"No, that covers it. KOS-MOS' maintenance bed has been connected and her energy reserves have been replenished. Any repairs or modifications you need to make will be assisted by this crew," he added, motioning to the group of scientists in Vector uniforms.

Crap. I'm going to be bossing people twice my age around again…I kept most of my team on Ormus within ten years of my age. Hopefully they won't question me too much; beggars can't really be choosers.

Besides…all the programmers and engineers who helped me with her are probably dead now. They lost their lives because of her. I closed my eyes momentarily to suppress the sudden darker turn in my thoughts as I nodded in confirmation to Zion. I have to focus. I don't know how KOS-MOS is gong to react to seeing chaos again; it's not like the two of them are going to be able to say anything will all these other scientist around.

"I appreciate it. I'll start immediately," I replied, hesitating for a moment before dropping the formalities, unsure what he was planning. "Don't you want to see her?"

"That's alright," he said enigmatically, "I doubt there is time for that today. Let her sleep."

He…doesn't want to talk to her? Was it because of what I said at the Beach of Nothingness? So much happened around then…I hardly remember what I said to him. Just being there was confusing and learning of my father…and myself…was disorienting on its own. I told him her left eye was blue and her right red, didn't I? I just can't recall.

"Are you sure?" I asked, trying not to sound too relieved.

"Of course. I hope to see you again before you depart, Hikaru."

"Uh, sure," I stammered, cursing myself for being too unprofessional. There wasn't a doubt our conversation was being recorded on the security cameras. "It was nice to met you."

"Good day, Hikaru, Rukiro," he said as he walked past us toward the elevator.

That didn't feel right at all, I thought as the door slid behind us slid open. Could I be wrong about something? Zion Hawking looks identical to Yeshua and chaos but they acted so differently. I suppose it just might be because the chaos Shion and KOS-MOS knew was never deeply involved in an organization like this. But something feels wrong.

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Author's note: Holy crap! I hooked my old PS2 up today (I had my 360 plugged into my only audio/visual port to take some scripts. I held the PlayStation controller, the shape of control that's been in my hands since my dad got my Spyro for the PS1 when I was five or six, and it felt so wrong.

I'm so ashamed. XD The controller felt small and weird. The buttons seemed in the wrong place. Three months of addiction to my new Xbox360 playing Infinite Undiscovery and Star Ocean: The Last Hope have me totally accustomed to the Xbox controller. Granted, this very could be the first time I turned my PS2 or PS3 on 2009, but goodness…I was glued to my PS3 for most of November! The pregnant crab controller of the 360 felt more natural than a PS controller! -faints-

Oh, why I call it a pregnant crab? XD It's something my dad came up with when he got his 360 a few years ago. He said it was heavy, big, and crab-like and that the big battery pack made it look pregnant. So…um…yeah. XD

But I am happy to say this chapter is over 4,000 words! Next one should be the same size or larger!