AN: Now I'm sure some of you are wondering what happened but I decided it was time to change my pen name from DragonMaster Reborn to Lady Darkness Diamond. So I hope that clears up any confusion for you who have checked out this story before. Same story, same authoress, just a different pen name for you all to smile at. :)
Plus this IS my first .hack/G.U. story so please go easy on me alright? And I think it's about time the Eight Phases we all know and love get a little more time in the spot light! So start reading and don't forget to review!
Timeline: Sunday, September 5th
Chapter One: Foresight
Darkness...no matter where he looked everything was pitch black. There was a small amount of light above him but even that was fading. He is coming, a soft feminine voice echoed through the empty space. Coming for all of us...watching and waiting for the chance to control the little Children of Morganna, it continued as the last of the light was blocked out. Are we bits of data? Crafted and reformatted by humans? Are we intelligent entities acting according to our own free-will? The one who is coming is stronger then the former Twilight Gods and he will use us to tear 'The World apart, the voice concluded with a tremendous roar as the empty space around him shattered like glass.
Ryou Misaki sprang up from his bed in a cold sweat. He groaned and put a hand to his forehead, Why do I keep having that dream? he wondered glancing over at his computer. The FMD was still laying there beside the keyboard after a long night of fighting off arena challengers at the Sage Palace. Ryou scowled at the memory and shook his head. Things had been crazy enough these past weeks in The World without him losing sleep over stuff like this. The World was just getting back to normal after Cubia's defeat, but unfortunately Ryou, A.K.A. Haseo, was busier then ever being the Guild Master of Canard and dealing with the influx of new challengers at the Sage Palace Arena.
Ryou sighed and laid back down, closing his eyes against the morning sun. He was already irritated and he had just barely woken up. Silently he thanked heaven that it was the weekend. Still he knew couldn't lie around for much longer, he had already received an e-mail from CC Corp informing him that the Guild Canard would be receiving an entire area as their new Home today. The Guild had gotten so huge lately that it wasn't very surprising. More people were coming to The World now that all of the problems had blown over, and of course who wouldn't want to be in the same Guild as the infamous 'Terror of Death?'
Tossing the blankets aside Ryou got up and started getting dressed. He slipped into some jeans and grabbed a black shirt over his head, pausing for a minute before turning away from the computer. He could go into The World later on. For now his stomach was demanding food. Slipping out of the bedroom he walked down the hallway into the kitchen.
His mother looked up smiled warmly at Ryou as he walked in. "Good morning. Having a rough day already are we?" she asked, leaning over to give him a one-armed hug before as she handing him some miso soup and rice. Ryou grumbled to himself as he sat down at the table alone. His father had to work this weekend so he had already left. Ryou glanced at the clock as he ate and realized that it was already 11:00 am.
Noticing his stare Ryou's mother spoke up, "I wanted to wait until you woke up before leaving for the grocery store," she explained holding up a list of items. "Do you need anything while I'm out?" she asked and Ryou shook his head, "No, I'm just going to take care of some things online," he replied sticking another helping of rice in his mouth.
The woman smiled knowingly at him, "Well then, try not to scare anyone off alright? Your not the most pleasant person to be around when you get in your moods like this," she added teasingly and Ryou scowled at her, "What's that supposed to mean?" he demanded and his mother laughed as she pointed a pen at him. "You know exactly what I mean young man," she swiftly retorted.
Ryou rolled his eyes and silently continued eating. He had to admit he got along much better with his mother than his dad who was working most of the time. She left the kitchen and a few minutes later and Ryou could hear the door lock. He put his empty dishes in the sink and headed back to his room. Ryou sat down at the computer he turned it on waiting for it to boot up before logging into The World.
Haseo stood at the Chaos Gate in Mac Anu with his arms crossed. The other players looked up when they noticed him standing there, but quickly headed off when he glared at them.
"Hey Haseo!" a cheery voice chirped right in her ear. Jumping in surprise he turned around and saw Atoli standing there with a big smile on her face. Haseo growled and leaned back, "How many times do I have to tell you not to stand in my blind spot like that!" he shouted and immediately her face dropped in disappointment. Quickly Atoli looked away and apologized, "Oh...I'm sorry I didn't mean to upset you," she stared down at her hands to avoid her friend's angry stare.
Great. I've upset her...AGAIN, Haseo thought with a frustrated sigh. Rubbing his neck he tried to make up for his error. "It's..." he hesitated and looked away, "It's not your fault Atoli. I'm just having a bad day is all," Haseo assured her, but it was clear she didn't quite believe him. He would have said something else, but was interrupted when Silabus and Gaspard came running up to him.
They both stopped with huge smiles on their faces. Gaspard was so excited he could barely sit still and all his words came out in a rush, "Haseo! Atoli! I'm so glad your both here! Can you believe that we really have our own area now?! I'm so excited!" he looked over at Silabus who pumped a fist in the air in agreement, "He's right! I never would have imagined that Canard would get so huge! This is better then I could have ever imagined," he added, clearly eager to get going again.
Atoli smiled at their enthusiasm and nodded at those words. "Things haven't been easy since Moon Tree disbanded so it feels good to be able to help out like this again! Let's do our best Haseo!" she told him and the Adept Rouge forced a smile onto his face for their sake.
I only have to deal with these newbies for a while. Silabus, Gaspard and Atoli are so excited about this, so I guess the least I can do I keep my cool until we get the other members settled in, Haseo thought, opening his bookmarked area words. After a moment he found it and selected the area. Turning to his friends, Haseo gave them the area words so they could transfer with them.
"The new Home is at Delta: Twilight, Swamp's, Waterfall," Haseo told them before turning back around and warping out.
When they all arrived Haseo gave a low whistle. He had to admit the place was impressive. In the middle of the area was a sprawling vine-covered temple sitting in the water with waterfalls were spilling from the roof of the castle. Through the giant mangrove trees he could see that the sun must be high in the sky.
He heard the sound of more people transferring and looked around to see his friends marveling at the area. Atoli gasped and her eyes widened, "Wow! This place is so beautiful! I've never seen anything like it!" she commented and Haseo merely nodded in reply. Gaspard rushed ahead down the stone path, "Come on you guys, let's see the inside of it!" he said as he hurried towards the stone entrance.
Inside the building there was green warp platform, much like the one in Moon Tree's former area. They used it to head up to what must be the throne room and found Death Grunty there waiting for them. Wrinkling his nose the Grunty sneered at them.
"Well, if it isn't Haseo? 'oink' I was starting to think you'd skipped out on us. 'oink' You never have been the most reliable Guild Master. 'oink oink" the Grunty waited impatiently for his answer. Haseo bristled with anger and raised a fist threateningly, "Why you arrogant little...!" he began, but Atoli quickly grabbed his arm, "Now, now, Haseo, you don't want to scare off your new guild mates before you even get to meet them do you?" she asked politely and Haseo scowled at Death Grunty before stalking off to take a seat on his "throne."
The other members of Canard stared in awe at the arena emperor and Haseo could hear them whispering as he sat down. Silabus and Gaspard were in their element and were giving a group of new players some advice and area words to use. Atoli had a crowd of admirers surrounding her as well. Being a former member of Moon Tree and having entered the arena with Haseo had made her enormously popular within The World. The only one not enjoy himself was, of course, Haseo.
Sighing to himself, Haseo rubbed his forehead that dream he'd had earlier was still bothering him. Things were finally starting to settle down, Shino was awake again and Tabby was doing well in her studies—she often sent emails to tell how she was doing. Then again Ovan had disappeared both from the game and from the real world as well and since Yata, Pi, and Kuhn were no longer need at CC Corp they was the possibilty that they would be let go from the company.
Why are you worried about that when there's someone here watching you? a deep, but familiar, voice suddenly whispered. Haseo straightened up and looked around, but couldn't see anything out of the ordinary.
With a shake of his head Haseo settled back in his chair, Great, now I'm hearing things even when I'm awake, he thought pushing up the FMD so he could rub his eyes. Either something is wrong or I'm really starting to lose it, Haseo shook his head dismissing his feelings. Unaware of the fact that someone really was watching him.
Aihane stood in a corner watching the legendary Haseo. He couldn't help but sneer at the boy, the legendary emperor who was now ranked among previous dot hackers such as Kite and BlackRose.
So that's him? The PC that the First Phase has attached himself to, but I guess it's only fitting that Skeith has chosen him. They do have quite a history together after all, Aihane thought, giving a fake smile as some noobs passed by. When they were gone he leaned back against the wall to further observe the Guild Master. This time when he smiled it was a mischievous one, Skeith may obey Haseo now...but soon enough he'll be calling ME master, Aihane thought as he stared back over at a clearly distracted Haseo.
His gaze wandered over to Atoli who was trading items with another player. Aihane stroked his chin as he considered things, There's also the Second Phase...Innis, The Mirage of Deceit...that girl has far more talent then she realizes, he considered, crossing his arms and nodding to another group of guild members that walked by.
With a little more training both Skeith and Innis will be stronger then ever, and they'll strong enough for me to use in my plans. Corbenik The Rebirth may be missing at the moment, but that Avatar is nearly impossible to control anyway so I'll worry about that some other time, Aihane raised the FMD and looked over at his other computer, which was compiling any and all information on the player who controlled Haseo.
The hacker smirked and lowered the visor, politely engaging some awestruck Haseo fangirl. Skeith, Innis, Magus, Fidchell, Gorre, Macha, Tarvos, and Corbenik. The Eight Phases may be stronger then anything else currently in The World, but they are still made of data. Any computer can be hacked and any data can be corrupted and twisted. The events of the past few months are evidence of that and by the time I'm done the Eight Phases will be under my control. With their power I will capture Aura and rule the online world completely, Aihane thought with sick pleasure.
The Eight Phases were A.I.'s originally designed primarily for fighting and all were capable of reformatting data. Morganna had, in some way or another, originally created all of them. Those fools at CC Corp had tried to reformat them and use them to protect The world, but instead the avatars had gotten loose and ended up choosing partners of their own.
Things will be different this time around however, those A.I.'s need an experienced hacker to put them in their place, Aihane considered as he straightened up and walked out of the huge Home. For now though... he could afford to bide his time.
After an hour or so all of the new players were off enjoying The World and the more experienced players were hanging around and chatting and Haseo for one thought that it was about time.
Haseo sighed and relaxed, About time most of them left, I'm in no mood to deal with all of these people, he thought finishing up a trade. Silabus and Gaspard had already gone to an area that had been posted on the forums. They had invited Atoli, but she had decided to stick around.
Quietly Atoli walked up and stood beside the throne. Leaning over she peered closely at her friend. "Haseo...are you sure your okay?" she asked curiously and he had to grit his teeth to keep from yelling at her. Haseo closed his eyes and took a deep breath as he fought back a sharp reply. She's just trying to help, she's just trying to help, Haseo chanted in his mind, "I'm fine alright?" he finally got out. This time Atoli picked up on the irritation in his voice and quickly leaned back.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to bother you," Atoli apologized once again and Haseo frowned at that response. "Don't apologize so much!" he snapped at her and Atoli blinked and looked away, "Oh, your right, I'm sorry," she added and Haseo covered the mic and sighed heavily.
The Adept Rouge merely shook his head and stood up, "Well, I think we're pretty much done here so I'm leaving," Haseo explained and Atoli smiled warmly, "Okay then! I'm so glad things went smoothly today! Kuhn and Bo invited me to check out a dungeon on the Sigma server earlier today so I'll see you later all right?" she told him and he shrugged indifferently in response.
Haseo watched her leave and then looked around and nodded with satisfaction before heading across the room and transferring back down to the first level. He used the warp platform to transfer back to Mac Anu and then used the Chaos Gate to transfer to Breg Epona. After a moment of thought he picked and area at random area.
Glittering, Black, Freedom? A bit too soft and fluffy for my taste and the level is pretty far below mine, but at least I'll be able to get some more items for Shop Acorn, he thought warping there. It was a forest dungeon and not much of a challenge since he was at level 150 now, but it would kill some time at least.
Haseo quickly made his way through, saved some players from Pks, and took his anger out on some the otherwise helpless Chim Chims. He breathed a sigh of relief when he finally came to the Treasure Room. "About time I got to the Beast Statue," Haseo muttered preparing to open the treasure chest.
He's going to attack! the same voice from before warned him and the Adept Rouge scowled and looked around. He had to admit that it did feel like someone was watching him. After a moment he shook his head, It must be my imagination...no one else is here, Haseo thought as he bent down again.
The only think you'll be IMAGINING is a blow to your life points if you don't start paying attention brat, the voice added snidely, making him jump in surprise. "What in the...?" he asked, surprised that he had actually been answered, but before he could react, though, a familiar sound came through the FMD as black spots danced in front of his eyes.
"AIDA? But how?" Haseo was shocked. Ovan had sacrificed himself to get rid of AIDA and he had even destroyed Cubia. Growling in frustration Haseo shook his head and pushed his confusion aside. "I can talk to Yata about this later" he decided as he closed his eyes and called forth his Avatar.
"Come on...come on...I'm right here! Skeith!" Haseo shouted as the forest dungeon disappeared and Avatar Space replaced it. The green Gate Keeper AIDA floated in floated in front of him ready to attack. A Gate Keeper? This shouldn't take very long, Haseo smirked as a scythe appeared in Skeith's right hand.
Clicking sounds filled the room as Aihane tapped away at the keyboard. The program he launched had failed to bring up any information on Haseo's player, which wasn't really that surprising. The one thing CC Corporation did do right was keep its player's identities confidential.
Quickly Aihane launched another hacking program that would probe CC Corp's data base's to find any weaknesses in their security. Switching to his other computer, Aihane smirked as he watched the fragmented remnants of AIDA dance across his screen, easily confined to his computer servers.
As a whole, AIDA had done incredible damage to the players in The World, controlling people and sending others into a coma. The larger part of AIDA would separate in order to perform different tasks and defeating one hurt the whole, but after Ovan's sacrifice AIDA had been fragmented and the majority of it deleted. Now that it was separated the individual AIDA that he had collected were easily controlled and directed.
Like a broken mirror. There are far too many shards to put back together again, but I can still manipulate the individual pieces, Aihane thought as he continued tapping away at the keyboard, inputting a special command to the AIDA fragment in front of him.
The World unfolded in front of him as the fragment flew through the streams of data in order to find Haseo. The screen switched to a forest dungeon and then the AIDA floated above the Beast Statue, watching Haseo for a moment before black spots danced across the screen. Of course the "Terror of Death" summoned Skeith in response to seeing the creature. You may think this AIDA fragment will be easy to defeat...but you don't know what your in for little Haseo, Aihane's eyes watched Skeith prepare to attack. I control AIDA's every movement now. Now Skeith...let's see how powerful you REALLY are, he pressed a button and the Gate Keeper's pink "eye" glowed as it prepared to fire its Algol Laser.
AN: Hope Haseo was in character, like I said this is my first attempt but constructive criticism is always appreciated.
I am currently in the process of revising these chapters and those that I have completed (again) will have a small symbol next to them. So Please review and let me know what you think! All comments are appreciated!