Li: This story's kinda weird, but this has been rattling around in my head for a while…
Hector: Like all the other stories that you've written for this site?
Li: Oh, hi. –choughs-Since you're here, please muse. And before I forget, this has hints of SHONEN-AI, but none that gets too explicit, and it's one-sided. Okay, I've warned you. If you have mental scars because of it, you can't say I didn't warn you!!!-has coughing fit-
Hector: …-sighs- Li-chan0767 does not own Tales of Symphonia. –turns to Li- You. Go lie down and rest.
ARCH, Scene 1
Yggdrasil smirked coldly as he read the book before him with a twisted sense of glee. It spoke of how a Cruxis crystal could be fused with a living being even more completely than the Chosen's transformation, creating a far more powerful angel, known as ARCH. The high Seraphim of Cruxis knew that he had the right equipment to create such an angel, but he didn't have a suitable host. Perhaps Pronyma…
"Lord Yggdrasil!!" Speak of the devil. Not bothering to look up from his reading, the High Seraphim simply sighed in irritation.
"What happened this time, Pronyma?" He asked, glancing up ever so briefly. The leaf haired half-elf shifted uncomfortably before speaking again.
"It seems that the Chosen's group has been captured." She said softly, eyeing the blond in respect. "Lord Kratos' son is with them; do you have any orders concerning him in particular?" Yggdrasil's eyes lit up.
Placing the book aside, he folded his hands before him as he contemplated what he could do. If he brought Lloyd into Cruxis, not only would he keep Kratos alive and loyal, but the Chosen's group would lose their leader and be forced to surrender Sylvarant's Chosen one. But not only that, a child of angelic lineage would have a much better chance of surviving the trials of being turned into an ARCH…
Grinning maliciously, he nodded. "Yes, bring the boy here to the castle; I have something I wish to discuss with him…Something that would benefit all of Cruxis…" Pronyma found his expression and tone very worrying, but if he said it would be good for Cruxis, she wouldn't complain.
"I shall go fetch him, if I have your permission." She stated, to which Yggdrasil nodded. As soon as the Desian grand Cardinal left, he chuckled and picked up the book again, muttering to himself, an evil grin on his face.
"The boy comes with me. Lord Yggdrasil wishes to speak with him." Pronyma gestured with her staff at the brunette, who looked rather shocked. The two angels that held him at spear point gave the Desian looks of shock before roughly shoving the boy over to her. Lloyd yelped when he felt a vice like grip on his shoulder, and he looked up in mild disgust at Pronyma.
Colette looked at Lloyd in shock; what did they want with him!? He wasn't the Chosen of Mana, a host planned for the goddess, but yet the leader of Cruxis wanted to see him? Confused, the blond shook her head and reached for her comrade and secret crush.
"Lloyd!!! Lloyd!!!" But even as she spoke, the brunette gave her an apologetic look as he vanished. Suddenly feeling cold, the Chosen stood mutely where she was, ignoring the angels trying to roughly shove her into the cell with the other three female group members. Lloyd was…gone…
Lloyd felt like someone had taken control over his body as he entered the castle at a steady pace behind Pronyma, who looked at him in disgust. "Why Lord Yggdrasil would wish to speak with such an inferior being as yourself…ah, but I forget that you are different from most inferior beings…" Lloyd looked at her in confusion.
"What the hell is so special about me?!" he demanded, scowling. "Why do you and the Renegades need me so much?!?" Pronyma smirked coldly, a dangerous thought dancing in her head.
"It is not my place to tell you." She replied cryptically, earning a frustrated noise from the teen. "That is something that you'll have to ask another one of the Four Seraphim, but there is only one who can give you that answer honestly." Lloyd, who must've decided that arguing was pointless, refrained from showing the woman a very rude hand gesture and scowled.
"Be that way…" he muttered darkly, shooting a harsh glare at Pronyma's back. The woman froze briefly as the intensity of the glare mirrored the enraged expression of a certain auburn…Shaking her head, she led Lloyd further into the castle.
Yggdrasil heard them coming and quickly placed the book to one side as Pronyma appeared, the brunette swordsman in tow. Lloyd stared in disgust at the blond man as he stood and floated over to him, a cold smile on his face.
"Lloyd, how nice to see you again." Yggdrasil said softly, shooing Pronyma a good distance away with a flap of his hand. "I had hoped that it would be when you returned my sister's vessel to me, but this is just as good; actually, it's better than that."
"And why is that?" Lloyd asked just as softly, arms crossing dangerously over his chest. Yggdrasil raised an eyebrow calmly, wondering how best to approach the situation. Lloyd could have quite a temper, and he was about the most stubborn person alive. Finally, the High Seraphim had an answer.
"I have something I wish to discuss with you…" He began, actually touching the ground as he landed to stand on eye level with Lloyd. "I have noticed how close my sister's vessel is to you, and vice versa. While this does distress me, she is useless as of right now. Sylvarant has enough mana to wait for the next chosen, seeing as how the mana links are severed…" He muttered the last bit in a bitter voice; now his control over the summon spirits was broken. "So I am willing to let her go, but only if you…" he poked Lloyd in the chest, earning a startled gasp from the teen. "…are willing to make an agreement."
"What type of agreement?" Lloyd asked cautiously, nervous. Yggdrasil smiled slightly and crossed his arms.
"I let your friends go, but you have to join Cruxis." The High Seraphim knew that it was a risk that Lloyd might take after his father and rebel, but if he could control him, he could very well create an ARCH powerful enough to defend Welgaia, possibly even himself.
Lloyd felt his head whirl; Colette wouldn't be pursued any more, but he would have to join up with the person he swore to bring down and oppose. But if it meant that Colette would be safe…it was such a painful choice, but in the end, Lloyd sighed and nodded.
"Fine." He whispered, looking at the ground, disgusted with himself. 'I'm a bloody hypocrite.' He thought bitterly, looking up at an obviously delighted Yggdrasil and a very startled Pronyma. The Grand Cardinal was about to object when Yggdrasil beckoned her over.
"Prepare testing room C-354, including the hibernation chamber." He ordered immediately, giving her a look that demanded no objections. Pronyma nodded and went to fill her orders, leaving the two alone in the room. Yggdrasil walked closer to Lloyd and looked the teen up and down, a rather disturbing look on his features.
"For right now, you'll need to wear spares…I will have a uniform made for you once the angel transformation is complete…And don't worry; you won't be wearing one of my spares." He chuckled when Lloyd's look of mild fear was replaced by one of relief. Pondering briefly that the teen would look rather attractive in a white body-suit, Yggdrasil pulled him along behind him as he headed into a walk-in closet.
A half-hour later, Lloyd found himself dressed in a dove-grey robe and cloak that covered his face and felt rather comfortable. When he'd asked about the color, Yggdrasil had given him a rather unnerving look before stating that since he wasn't a full angel of Cruxis yet, he couldn't wear white, and since he wasn't against the angel any longer, he couldn't wear black.
"Besides, you look rather attractive in it." He had added on later, which made Lloyd flush furiously and splutter before he saw the smirk on Yggdrasil's face, showing that he had been joking. He'd been relieved by that, and hearing those words in his memory gave him disturbing mental images that he REALLY didn't want to see. Pulling up the hood of the grey cloak, he stood just as Pronyma returned.
"Ah, Lord Yggdrasil. Testing room C-354 is now ready, and the hibernation chamber is operational." Yggdrasil placed his book aside, face alight. He had re-read the portion on creating an ARCH so often that he had the instructions memorized. Floating over to Lloyd, he lightly grasped the teen's forearm before gliding out of the room.
"Don't forget, the Chosen and her friends are free to go." The High Seraph called over his shoulder, to which Pronyma nodded.
"It seems that they have already escaped, and are busy finding a place to hide for the evening. They have also obtained a mana fragment, so the Chosen might very well be healed soon." The Desian explained, turning and drifting behind her master. Lloyd listened with only half his mind; the other half had noticed the strange floating walkway that they were on. He could see through it to the city beneath, and it unnerved him to see so many soulless angels flying around beneath him.
He was grateful that he no longer needed to worry about Colette becoming one of them.
"Ah, here we are." Yggdrasil announced a few minutes later, breaking Lloyd out of his reverie. The three stood before a portal into the basement onto which they went. Vanishing briefly, Lloyd found himself in what had to be the strangest of test rooms he'd ever seen. Eerie blue and violet lights illuminated the place, and a seed shaped chamber was connected to the ceiling by hollow tubes of condensed mana. There was also various lab equipment scattered about, and Lloyd had a brief thought about how Raine would've had a field day in the room when Yggdrasil pulled the hood of the cloak down.
"First off, Lloyd, I need to see you swords." Before the teen could protest, he had removed the steel weapons and was looking Lloyd calmly in the eye. "You won't need them later on, and I have asked that special ones fitting a member of Cruxis be made." Placing the blades aside, he walked over and pulled off the Key Crest, leaving the Angelus project attached bare to Lloyd's hand. "Now…" The Seraph lightly pushed Lloyd over to the hibernation chamber. "You shall need to remain in here for a while in order for the angel transformation to go without pain."
"Then why did you remove the Key Crest?" Lloyd asked, hesitating before the chamber. Yggdrasil sighed and shook his head.
"If I had left it on, it would've interfered with the transformation." He explained, half-lying. Gently pushing Lloyd into the chamber, he said adamantly "Turn around and relax. It won't be all that bad." Lloyd gave him a nervous look before leaning back and closing his eyes.
As soon as he did, the lid closed, and the mana tubes began to pulse with an ominous light. Pronyma stood by as Yggdrasil drifted over to a machine controls and punched a few buttons. A small thin tube connected directly to the Exsphere, and then latched its other end right above Lloyd's heart area.
It was the transfer of the Exsphere's strength enhancing abilities to the host's heart that made an ARCH so powerful, not to mention practically immortal. It was also the reason that not many were strong enough to withstand that sort of transfer. Lloyd's vitals seemed steady, giving Yggdrasil a good picture.
Watching calmly as the rest of the wires and tubes connected to the youth's form, Yggdrasil felt a sense of success rushing through him. When he had told Lloyd that the Key Crest would interfere with the transformation, he had meant the transformation into an ARCH.
Nothing was going to get in the way of this; not even Kratos.
-has several coughing fits within 5 minutes- Well-coughs-
Hector: I told you to go lay down!!! You can barely talk without hacking. –shoos Li to bed before turning around- Yeah, Li's kinda sicky, so I'll handle the musing on my own for a while. So…-shifty glance-
Florina: Please review!!
Florina: She really doesn't sound good…
Hector: yeah, makes me wonder why she didn't STAY HOME!!!!