A/N: So, after several years I finally picked up my copy of ToS to play it again. I guess inspiration struck? Heh. Anyway, this was originally something I wrote on my own, without the intention of showing it to anyone. Yes, it's a self-insert, and that's part of the reason why I'm not sure what to think of it. I decided to post it when I realized I really was working hard on a story for once, and I really am curious to know if it's actually good.
There really are a lot more self-inserts on Symphonia than I thought. O.o Some of them are as horrible as they look, but I actually found a few really good ones. I tried my best to make this one decent. Well, enjoy! :D
10/17/12 EDIT: Cleaned up this chapter a bit so it's not so cringe-worthy. It was getting embarrassing! Haha anyway I'll work on fixing up the other early chapters when I get time. If you're a first-time reader, rest assured that it DOES get better if you have the patience to get past this story's rocky start. XD I started this when I was sixteen...I'm almost twenty now. There's a pretty noticeable quality difference. XD
Darkness was all encompassing. I had never known a darkness so deep, so unforgiving as this. I could see nothing. I could feel nothing. There was little I could do besides exist, and hope to escape from this black eternity. I was an isolated consciousness, barely aware of my own thoughts. Gradually, I lost awareness of everything...
TALES OF SYMPHONIA: NEW REALITY
Wetness. A drop of rain.
"Is she all right, Professor? That scrape on her forehead..." A male voice came from my right. It was one I certainly didn't recognize.
"She's fine. It seems she's only unconscious. We should get her out of the rain before she gets sick." Now a female voice spoke, presumably the Professor.
My back ached. The voices were also coming from above me, which meant I was probably lying on the ground. How had I ended up there? I wanted a warm bed, someplace to get a restful sleep, not the hellish one I had been trapped within earlier. I tried to open my eyes, and found I had the strength to do so. The light hurt, though, and I forced them shut again.
"I think she's waking up!" Another voice came, that of a young girl, one my age…that was a strange thought. How old was I again? Now I opened my eyes fully, allowing my sensitive pupils to adjust accordingly. Gentle hands helped me sit up, and dizziness caused me to rest my head between my knees. Finally I looked up, faintly curious as to who had helped me.
Five people stood before me. They were all wearing clothes that I immediately considered strange; though when I tried to remember what normal was supposed to look like, I found that I couldn't.
There was the woman kneeling next to me, the Professor—she had short silver hair and wore an orange tunic, and she had some kind of staff in her grip. There was some concern in her gaze, but at the same time she seemed wary.
The others…there was a brunet boy in red, a blonde haired, blue-eyed girl, and a young silver haired boy that looked like he could be related to the Professor. Finally there was the man at the back of the group, standing a little further away from the rest. He had spiky auburn hair and a piercing gaze; he watched me quietly, one hand resting on the hilt of the sword at his hip.
"Are you okay?" The boy in red asked me, breaking me out of my thoughts. I realized that his voice was the first I'd heard upon waking up.
"Give her a moment to think," the solemn man finally spoke, "it's only natural for her to be disoriented."
I blinked, unable to find my voice at first, unsure if I even had one. After a few seconds I was able to force my mouth to form words. "I…I'm fine. Just a little sore, I guess." I was wet, too, but surely they already knew that.
"What were you doing laying unconscious in the middle of the woods like that?" The silver haired boy (the Professor's brother?) spoke up.
"I..." I was unable to think of an answer.
"What's your name?" The blonde asked. Her face was open and friendly; I naturally wanted to confide in her, to ask her for help. Unfortunately, I couldn't answer this question either.
"I don't know..."
"Amnesia. It must be from the head injury," the Professor said, frowning. "I'll do what I can, but first we'll have to get you inside and out of the rain."
Nodding vaguely, I went along with them. The group seemed to know what they were doing, and I highly doubted I could accomplish anything on my own in this state. My head began to throb, and I tried desperately not to think. Amnesia...of course that would be it. I didn't want to think about the implications of that right now. All I wanted to do was…was…
I realized faintly that I had fallen over after only a few steps. Giving up, I let myself slip into unconsciousness.
I was warm and comfortable. Was my hell finally over?
I was able to open my eyes easily this time; the light in the room was gentle, pulsing softly. The fireplace in the corner of the room was the source of it. I was in a cozy bed, wrapped in blankets. My mind had been cold, numb; I felt it begin to thaw in this homely room.
Then, of course, the events that had transpired started coming back to me. Waking up in the forest with a group of strangers. The words that had been exchanged…Amnesia.
I gritted my teeth, trying hard to think. My name…my name was Brittany. That was right. I knew that much; it was the first thing that came to mind, and it just seemed right.
But my name wasn't the only thing I had forgotten…I couldn't even remember my surname, or where I lived, or if I had any family. Did I even have friends? Who was I?!
A sudden feeling of panic hit me. Where was this place? What was I supposed to do? There was no one here to give me the answers that I needed, and I didn't even know where to start. Was I really…all alone here? This wasn't right. I wanted…I wanted…
A faint image caught in my mind, and I shook my head as it faded. I wanted someone to comfort me, but I couldn't remember who I would have turned to. The panic faded as a horrible sense of loneliness set in.
"Oh, you're finally awake. How are you doing?" The brunette boy from earlier had entered the room. His voice was welcoming, friendly. I couldn't answer him. I stared at the blanket on my lap, feeling empty. He sat down in the chair next to my bed, a puzzled expression now on his face. "...Hello?"
I spoke suddenly, without realizing it. "My name's Brittany." My eyes remained glued to my lap.
"Brittany?" He said my name, and at that instant I knew it was indeed mine. "So you remember!"
I shook my head, and finally looked up at him. "Nope. Just my name. That's all I know."
His grin fell. "Ah...still, it's better than nothing."
"Yeah..." I did have to agree with this. My name was the one scrap of identity I had left.
He smiled again, seemingly wanting to brighten the mood. "Glad to meet you, Brittany." He seized my hand, shaking it. "My name's Lloyd."
I was startled into a laugh at his cheerful gesture and attitude. "Lloyd, then. Thanks."
"You're awake!" The blonde girl entered the room now, a delighted expression on her face.
Lloyd's smile grew. "Colette! This is Brittany. She finally remembered her name!"
"That's great!" She exclaimed, genuinely happy. "I'm Colette," she said to me.
"Nice to meet you." I found myself grinning. Their names seemed oddly familiar, but I was sure that I didn't know them. At least they seemed nice enough.
The other three of the group came in, roused by the sudden conversation. Lloyd began introducing me to them, and vice versa.
"Brittany, this is Genis, Professor Sage, and Kratos." Genis was the young boy who bore resemblances to Professor Sage, and Kratos was the solemn one.
"Thank you all for helping me earlier," I said.
"Were you able to remember anything aside from your name?" The man called Kratos asked me, and I shook my head.
"My name is all I have. I don't even know who I am or how I ended up where you found me."
"You have a mild concussion," the Professor explained, "it most likely caused the amnesia."
I felt my forehead, and my hand encountered a lump and scabbed skin. It didn't even hurt. How had it happened, though?
"Is there any way you can help her, Raine?" Genis asked, but the woman only shook her head.
"Unfortunately, amnesia isn't something that can be cured through the healing arts. There have been some theories, but any spells are only in the experimental stage. We may do more harm than good in an attempt to restore her memory."
"The mind is a fragile thing," Kratos said, elaborating further, "amnesia is not truly a loss of the memory. A head injury only temporarily impairs the mind's ability to remember past events. If we try to speed up her recovery, we may only worsen her condition."
Genis and Lloyd looked as glum as I felt. Colette, however, remained optimistic. "Why do you all look so sad, then? You heard what Kratos said. Amnesia isn't permanent. Your memories are still there, Brittany, and they'll come back to you soon."
I nodded. "…Yeah, I guess you're right."
I needed to remain positive. But still…I found myself agreeing just because I was completely lost and I didn't know what the right answers were anymore.
We spoke for a short while longer, but it was evident that the group had other business to attend to. They explained that I was at a House of Salvation near a town called Palmacosta. A House of Salvation, apparently, was a type of rest stop for travelers. It also served as a small church for those on pilgrimages. They seemed surprised upon finding out that I had no idea where Palmacosta was, or even Sylvarant, for that matter.
"Sylvarant is the world," Lloyd said, an incredulous expression on his face, "how could you not know where it is? We're in Sylvarant right now!"
"Lloyd, there's no sense in getting worked up about it." Raine admonished him.
Still, the fact that I couldn't even remember the name of the world we lived in was more than a little disturbing. What could have caused me to forget so much?
"We've talked for long enough." Kratos frowned, "We should be going. Have you forgotten about Chocolat?"
"That's right, we have to go put the squeeze on Dorr," Lloyd's eyes narrowed, "before Chocolat is..."
"Is someone in danger?" I asked, concerned.
Lloyd nodded. "Yeah. We have to go save her from the Desians. You should stay here in the meantime; it's too dangerous."
"Okay," I replied reluctantly. I didn't want to be left behind, but I also didn't want to get in the way.
And so, they left. I didn't know if or when they would come back. The caretakers of the House offered me that room to stay in for a while; they were very kind. Upon hearing that I'd lost my memory, they'd decided to teach me of this strange world called Sylvarant. First, being priests, they taught me of the Church of Martel.
Martel was a goddess who slept at the center of the world. Because she slept, the land and people suffered and Desians had free reign.
"How do you wake her up?" I asked, confused. What I was hearing seemed familiar, but wrong at the same time.
The priest laughed. "That, my dear, is the job of the Chosen of Regeneration."
"The Chosen of Regeneration...is that a person? Who is it?"
"Why, you've met her." He answered me with a twinkle in his eyes, "Lady Colette is the soon-to-be savior of the world."
I looked up at him, fascinated. "Colette?! But...what does the Chosen do? What's her job?"
"She travels the world and faces many trials," he said, "releasing magical seals until she reaches the Tower of Salvation." He then pointed the tower out to me, an impossibly tall structure that stood out against the blue sky. "Then she will enter the tower and offer her prayers of Regeneration. The Chosen will become an angel, and the goddess will awaken. The world will then be saved."
"Wow," I said in near-disbelief. Magic? Angels? Goddesses? The people in this place seemed to take these things as a matter of course, but for some reason my mind revolted against the ideas like they were ridiculous. I knew what I was supposed to say here, though, so I spoke. "That's…that's really amazing."
The priest seemed pleased with my reaction, and so he began to tell me more stories of the world. Despite how confusing it all was, I listened intently, hoping to uncover some of my memories in the process. Still, my past remained hidden from me.
That night as I lay in bed, I realized that it really didn't matter. I needed to stop dwelling on it so much because I had very little control over all of this.
The present and the future—that was what I should focus on. I knew what the problem was, and now I had to decide what I was going to do about it. I wasn't going to remember everything if I spent all my time despairing over the fact that I couldn't remember.
…All right. I would wait here for the others to come back. They were the only people I had at this point. Colette was the Chosen, right? She was supposed to become some savior of the world. If that was true, and if she was really as kindhearted as she seemed…then maybe she and her group would help me. I would do what it took to get my memories back.
With a game plan in mind, sleep took me much more peacefully this time.