Persona 3/4 – A Meeting of Worlds


Chapter 2: World

"So how exactly does this work?" Yukari asked Rise as a party of seventeen moved through Junes' electronics department.

"It's a hugely involved process. Each person has to go through it," Rise said with an air of dignity about her. "Each person stands directly in front of the television, and then we step through."

Yukari raised an eyebrow. "You're not very funny, you know."

Rise smiled. "Nope! That's why we have Teddie around. His jokes are amazing. You should ask him to tell you one later."

"So anyone mind telling me why I was dragged along on this field trip?" one of the two newcomers to the group demanded. He was a rugged detective in the Inaba police department.

"Dojima-san, please be patient," Naoto replied without looking at the detective. "All will become clear momentarily."

Yosuke and Teddie were the first to reach the large screen television sitting near the floor in the electronics department. This television was almost a relic to the Inaba investigation group; it was their gateway to saving those who had been thrown into the world within over the past year.

"Up until two months ago, we would follow our leader into this specific TV," Chie told Junpei as they approached Yosuke and Teddie. "He moved back home just six weeks ago. We all miss him, though."

"Hey, Teddie, did you bring them?" Yosuke asked. Teddie nodded with a grin and revealed a plastic bag from behind his back.

The group was a chaotic mess of conversation as it gathered around the single television screen. Dojima seemed to be the only one who was utterly confused as to why they were standing in the Junes electronics department.

"Okay, then. Everyone should pay attention over here," Yosuke announced. The group quieted down and their eyes all fell on Yosuke, who was standing directly in front of the screen. Teddie stood directly to his left, with a goofy grin on his face. "Teddie, if you would please."

Teddie moved to each person individually, reaching into the plastic bag and pulling out an object, which he then handed to everyone. While Teddie was busy, Yosuke began speaking.

"You'll find Teddie handing you a set of eyeglasses. Well, uh, we don't really think they'll be necessary, but we wanted to cover all our bases. Kind of a 'just in case' situation."

Teddie reached the final person, Junpei, and reached into his bag one last time. Suddenly, his face contorted into a worried expression and he frantically dug inside the bag. "Uh, Yosuke, I'm out of glasses."

Junpei looked into the bag as well. "Eh, just as well. I can see fine."

"It's not your eyesight we're worried about," Yosuke replied, "it's your life."

Dojima's brow furrowed. "Now wait, Hanamura, you're not doing anything dangerous, are you? I won't let Nanako be involved in anything-"

"Dojima-san, you worry too much," Chie interrupted with a dismissive wave of her hand. "Even if we would let Nanako do anything dangerous, it's not like you don't have the entire team that took down the killer standing right in front of you. If anything happens, we can handle it. Trust me."

Dojima stood silent, defeated by a high school girl. "Fine. But we're leaving at the first sign of any funny business."

"Dad, we'll be fine," Nanako said, tugging at Dojima's sleeve. She only came up to his navel, an elementary school girl with the wit of a fully capable adult.

"Don't you have any glasses tucked away, Ted?" Yosuke asked. Teddie shook his head, then started contemplating.

"I think I have one inside my world. Just one pair. It won't hurt Junpei to go in without glasses."

Yosuke nodded. "That's cool, then. Alright, everyone, gather 'round. Time to show you how we do things around here." Attention was returned to Yosuke and the large screen behind him. The third-year student turned around and reached out a hand to hover over the smooth screen of the television. "Those of us who still use a Persona can still access this world, but I don't know about any of you guys, so go ahead and pair up as best you can. Now, check it out." Yosuke made a pointed finger and tapped the screen. A series of ripples traveled out from the tip of his finger, as if he'd dropped a pebble into a lake's surface. When he pulled his finger away, the ripples stopped.

There were smiles and gasps of excitement and awe spread throughout the group. Dojima's mouth hung open ever so slightly. Nanako, already donned in her kid's style glasses, clapped and laughed.

"Our TV sure doesn't do that," Junpei remarked with a laugh.

"May I test something?" Mitsuru asked Yosuke. "You say that it's your Personas that allow you to traverse the two worlds. Perhaps we can also do so, because we have the potential to carry them."

"A logical conclusion," Naoto observed. "Yosuke-senpai, let her touch the television."

Yosuke nodded and stepped away from the screen as Mitsuru sidled her way up next to it. She reached out and gingerly touched the television screen. From the point of contact, a ripple traversed the screen's surface, exactly as it had done under Yosuke's touch. There was a second wave of awe and excitement throughout the crowd.

"Sweet!" Junpei cried. "So we can do it too, because we used to have Personas?"

"It appears that way, anyway," Mitsuru replied with a nod. "I'm satisfied. Port Islanders, please stay close to your Inaba chaperones. We don't know what's going to happen."

Dojima was still completely awestruck as Nanako moved forward, pulling on his sleeve as she went. "Let's go! Let's go!"

Koromaru leapt up into Ken's arms as he stood next to Rise, who was flanked by Yukari as well. Yosuke motioned to them first, and the four of them moved up to stand abreast in front of the television. Rise grinned and leapt forward with an excited cry, followed quickly by Yukari, who shouted in surprise, and Ken with Koromaru, both of whom were silent. As their bodies contacted the screen, it disappeared as if it were bounding through a vertical wall of water. Ripples crashed out from the screen, never leaving the two-dimensional plane, but traversing the screen violently as such a disturbance interrupted its peace.

In an instance, Rise, Yukari, Ken, and Koromaru were gone.

"Me next, me next!" Nanako cried with squeals of laughter. Dojima didn't look as enthused.

"Nana-chan and Dojima-san can go with me," Teddie suggested. Nanako cheered as Dojima clumsily allowed himself to be pulled by his daughter to face the screen alongside Teddie. "One," Teddie started, "two, three!" Teddie and Nanako leapt forward, pulling Dojima along with them. Both of them let out shouts of excitement as they plummeted through the screen's surface, while Dojima waited to shout until after he was completely through.

"Next up," Yosuke called.

Kanji and Junpei sidled up next to each other, each with cocky grins on their faces. The simply leapt forward, both without a word, and entered the screen simultaneously, leaving the group smaller than before.

"I'll go next," Yukiko proclaimed. Mitsuru decided to go with her, standing confidently next to her with her arms crossed. The two of them looked almost regal in their reflections in the screen, before both let out girlish yells of excitement – not screams, of course, but mere exclamations of adrenaline – as they leapt into the screen as well.

Chie and Fuuka were next, standing quietly in front of the screen. Chie grinned widely and let out a whoop of excitement. She grabbed Fuuka's hand and leapt forward, Chie yelling in excitement and Fuuka screaming in protest. Soon, they were both gone.

Naoto nodded to Yosuke and moved to face the screen next. Aigis stepped up next to her. The two of them, silent as the grave, calmly stepped forward, allowing the rippling screen to envelope them much more delicately than the previous groups. In just so many seconds, they, too, were gone, leaving only Yosuke and Akihiko.

"This is quite the way to travel," Akihiko remarked as he and Yosuke moved up next to each other.

"It's great. Only thing is, each television is connected to a different location. Also, there's no way out, once you're in. Only Teddie can make an exit," Yosuke said. He saw Akihiko's worried expression and laughed. "Remember, Teddie's on our side. We've gone into this world so many times it'd be impossible to count! Now let's go join the others."

Akihiko nodded and faced the screen as confidently as he knew how. With a push of fear and anticipation, the boxer leapt forward alongside his high school chaperone, and both slipped through the dark screen into a world of white.

Moments later, Yosuke held out his hand, which Akihiko graciously took. Pulling Akihiko to his feet, Yosuke had to laugh a little. "Sorry 'bout that first step, man. It's a bit of a doozy."

"No kidding," Akihiko said with a chuckle himself. "I'm afraid my pride will remember that one for a while."

Yosuke looked back to the group, then around at his surroundings. The world inside the television was nothing less than picturesque. Beautiful mountain ranges cascaded across the horizon; beautiful lakes reflected the perfect blue sky; gigantic fields of gorgeous wildflowers bloomed unnaturally close together, forming a sheer carpet of various colors. This world no longer even remotely resembled the dreary, fog-filled world that Yosuke knew so well. He and his friends had finally rid both worlds of the terrible fog that was threatening to meld all realities together. Now, this world truly reflected that which it was supposed to: the human heart. The heart was a strong entity, shared by all, yet unique to each individual. This world represented that unity, and that individuality, in its absolute splendor.

"There's no fog here, so I don't think we'll need those glasses," Teddie claimed from behind Yosuke. Yosuke turned around and laughed a little, surprised to see Teddie suddenly suited with his infamous blue bear costume. Adorned in red and white pajamas, the bear was a sigh to behold; but it was still Teddie – or, perhaps, it was how Teddie normally was. It was beginning to become difficult for Yosuke to remember.

"Nice outfit." Junpei cracked a grin. "Kanji, you were right. He looks so fluffy! Hey, Teddie, can I pet you?"

Teddie's glass eyes narrowed dangerously, proving that his "costume" was more than just a costume. "No."

"Aw," Yukari whined. "What about me?" she asked, leaning down and putting an innocent hand to her hair.

A faint red flooded the cheeks of Teddie's bear face. "I-I'd be bear-y pleased if you did."

Yukari's eyes flashed and she stood up quickly, the innocence gone from her face and voice. "What? 'Bear'-y? Oh man, that was terrible."

Yukiko snickered a little loudly, but managed to keep her composure.

"Anyway, now that we're here, what do we want to do?" Chie asked, looking around.

"You say that like it's not the most beautiful landscape ever," Ken replied, his eyes wide and brimming with excitement. He was looking every which way, trying to take in as much of the scene around him as possible.

"Oh, it's beautiful, but it's not something we haven't seen before," Yukiko told Ken. "Ever been to the mountains in your dreams? Or gone deep lake diving? Or maybe you went frolicking through a field of flowers with a crush? Well, where do you think those images came from, Ken-kun?"

Junpei looked around in astonishment, then looked back at Yukiko. "Wait, are you shittin' me? This place is where our dreams come from?"

"That's not entirely true," Naoto replied with a shake of her head. "More accurately, this place is formed out of our dreams. This world reflects the human heart in the majority."

"It's so pretty," Nanako said in awe. "It wasn't like this at all when I was here before."

A slight sting in Yosuke's heart made him laugh. "Well, Nanako-chan, you saw some of the prettiest stuff there was in here before. This is just what your big bro helped make this place."

There was a tiny gasp from the girl. "Big bro made this place so pretty?"

Chie nodded. "Yup. And all of us helped. Even you."

"Even me?" Nanako was in sheer ecstasy now, her eyes alight with wonder.

Dojima shook his head and rubbed his eyes before looking around again. "It…It really does exist," he whispered.

Junpei laughed and threw his hands into his pockets, intending to take in a huge breath of fresh air. Before he did, however, he grunted in confusion and withdrew his hand from his pocket. Kanji raised an eyebrow. "What's up, Junpei?"

"I don't remember putting anything in my pocket," Junpei replied, inspecting the object he'd withdrawn from his pants. It was a flat, rectangular card with the emblem of a mask on one side. The other side, however, seemed to show…

"Wha?" Junpei cried, holding his hand out at arm's length, then bringing it in close to his eyes again.

"What is it, Junpei-kun?" Fuuka asked.

"I-It's Trismegistus," Junpei cried. He flipped the card over in his hand and held it up to show Fuuka, who gasped.

"It is! It's your Persona! What's it doing on that card?" Fuuka asked.

Akihiko looked as if he felt something. Reaching into his own pocket, he withdrew a similar card. "Caesar?"

Mitsuru, Yukari, and Ken all looked at Akihiko, then reached into their own clothes. Each one withdrew a card containing what appeared to be their Personas. Ken even pulled out a second card and gasped. He quickly showed it to Koromaru, who barked and wagged his tail.

"What? Even Cerberus?" Yukari inquired. Ken nodded and showed it to her.

Dojima was lost now. "Wait, wait, wait, what's going on? What's all this card business about?"

"Well, Dojima-san, do you remember our story about entering the TV and summoning Personas to fight Shadows and track down the killer?" Yosuke asked.

Dojima nodded slowly.

"Well, these guys did something similar a few years back, but they'd lost their ability to summon their Personas. Well, it seems that this place has let them do it again, in the form of those cards. See?" Yosuke reached into his pocket and pulled out a card containing the image of Susano-O, his Persona. "We're used to having these things appear with us when we enter here, but they're not."

Mitsuru looked up from her card to peer at Yosuke. "Appear? Then, they don't travel to the real world when you leave?" she asked.

Naoto shook her head. "No, I'm afraid they do not. We are unable to summon our Personas in the real world."

Rise sighed. "Which is a bummer, 'cuz that'd be totally useful sometimes. It'd be awesome if I could sense people's locations in the real world."

Fuuka gasped and looked at Rise. "What? You sense people?"

Rise nodded. "Yep! I'm like Teddie, but more accurate. His Persona is much more battle-oriented than mine, though, so he helped fight off Shadows while I gave analytical support from a distance."

Akihiko laughed. "Wow, Mitsuru, this is sounding really familiar."

Mitsuru nodded. "I agree. There are entirely too many correlations between our groups to be mere coincidence. In my experience, I would expect that our groups were formed in the ways that they were for a reason."

"It sure is nice to think that way, that's for sure," Chie agreed. "Without that thought, we might not have been able to save Naoto, Kubo, or Nanako, since Rise was the one who pin-pointed their locations."

"So, we have cards with our Personas on them," Yukari observed, "but does that mean that we can summon them?"

Yosuke nodded. "Hey, Yukiko, you have your fan on you, right?"

Yukiko nodded and drew a large-framed fan from her waistband. "Are you asking for a demonstration?"

Yosuke nodded. Yukiko sighed and opened her fan. She threw her card into the air in front of her face and spun around. "Amaterasu!" As she spun, Yukiko extended the arm holding her fan, and turned the fan horizontal. The razor edge of her fan sliced cleanly through her card, which immediately fell into two pieces, then disappeared in a puff of light and smoke. The air above Yukiko shimmered as a physical body appeared over the group's heads. A glowing humanoid body with a large, metal protrusion similar to a cape or large wing appeared. It nodded its indescribable head at the group, then disappeared in a flash of light as quickly as it had appeared. The card reappeared in Yukiko's hand, completely mended.

"That was incredible," Dojima whispered. "I've never seen anything like it."

"Did you say Amaterasu when you summoned it?" Mitsuru asked.

Yukiko nodded. "Yes. Our Personas are named after gods and entities of various myths, legends, fables, and stories. We don't know why; they presented themselves to us as such."

Mitsuru sighed and shook her head, placing one hand on her temple as if she had suddenly become very tired. "Another quality we seem to share. Will the correlations never cease?"

"Well, none of us have our weapons with us to see if it works with us," Yukari said. "Even Koromaru used a kunai in his mouth."

"That's not true," Ken replied quickly. "Sanada-sempai never used a weapon; just his fists."

"That's right!" Yukari laughed. "Akihiko-senpai, go ahead and try it."

Akihiko looked at his card in confusion. "Do you think it will work?" he asked.

"Not if you question if it will or not," Teddie replied simply. "It's your Persona, after all; it's part of you. If you don't think it will appear, then it unmistakably will fail. That's how it works, after all."

Akihiko nodded and held his card out. "Alright, then. Caesar, show yourself, for old time's sake!"

Akihiko threw the strange card out to his front, about eye-level, and delivered a quick jab that shattered it like glass. He grunted as his face contorted in discomfort, an eerie blue-black smoke lifting from the ground around him. A large, silver knight appeared overhead, a grand sword in one hand and a globe in the other. It lifted its sword high into the air before disappearing in a flash of light. Akihiko fell to one knee, panting.

"Akihiko!" Mitsuru cried, rushing over to help him. "Are you all right?"

"Yeah, I'm fine," Akihiko replied between gasps. "It's…"

"That was definitely Caesar," Yukari observed. "Akihiko summoned his Persona!"

"It feels just like the first time I used my Evoker," Akihiko finished. "I'm tired just from that tiny summoning."

"Well that's understandable, it's been years since we've summoned our Personas," Fuuka noted. "I think it'd be only natural that we'd feel a bit of fatigue."

Yukari held her card out, similarly to Akihiko, and punched it with her bare hand. The card fell lifeless to the floor. Confused, Yukari picked it up and stared at it for a moment.

This time, it was Teddie to the rescue. "I think Akihiko succeeded because he used his hands to touch Shadows. You guys claim that he used his fists as weapons, right? Well, that's the expertise he used in fighting against the Shadows, so I figure it makes sense that only a weapon used against Shadows could break the card."

"But I don't own any of the weapons we used anymore," Yukari replied in disdain. "And even if I did, they'd all still be back home."

"No, no, no, that's not what I meant," Teddie replied feverishly. "Akihiko used his martial arts to fight Shadows. Just like Yosuke used two-weapon fighting like daggers. Chie used her martial arts, too, but with her legs. Yukiko used a fan! Those are skills used to break the cards, not weapons."

"I get it," Junpei said in realization. "So you're saying that, since I used a katana against the Shadows way back when, I could break my card using one?"

"Sounds that way," Chie replied with a push of her glasses.

"Those are so cool!"

There was a wave of shock as everyone remembered that Nanako and Dojima were still present.

Naoto walked up to Dojima and placed a hand on his shoulder before looking up at him in inspection. "Well, Dojima-san? What do you think of this place?" she asked.

Dojima shook his head. His eyes had not stopped moving from Yukiko to her Persona, then from Akihiko to his own. Then, after Caesar had disappeared, he had merely resorted to staring absentmindedly. "T-This is unbelievable! A whole world, inside the TV! You kids…you were telling the truth!"

"Of course we were!" Chie piped. "After everything that happened, like when the killer confessed his crimes, you still doubted our story?"

"Yeah, man, we even broke into the police station that night and took out your nephew," Kanji added. "We broke the law in so many ways, I don't even wanna think about it."

"And all to save Nanako," Dojima said with an aura of sudden understanding. He looked down at his daughter, who was holding Koromaru and grinning at the scenery.


Dojima looked up. "Do you guys mind if we went home? I…I have a phone call to make."

Yosuke raised an eyebrow. "A phone call? Is it that important?"

Dojima nodded while looking Yosuke in the face, something he had not done since entering this world. "Yes. I owe someone an apology. And besides, I think he'd like to be here, too."

Rise's eyes lit up. "What? Dojima-san, you don't mean!"

Dojima nodded with a wide smile on his face. He was actually a very ruggedly handsome man, when he was scowling. "Yeah. I'm going to see if my sis will let him go for a few days."

"I say we call it a day, too. We can return tomorrow, and be more prepared," Mitsuru added. "How does a picnic sound?"

Nanako immediately started jumping up and down, still latched onto Koromaru. "A picnic! A picnic! Yaay! We can bring boxed lunches!"

"That's a great idea! I'll make a whole bunch of them for everyone," Chie said with a confident grin.

Yosuke's stomach did a somersault. "Er, Chie, that may not be the best idea."

"Hey, I've been practicing, I'll have you know. Yukiko and I have been studying under the Inn's head chef for weeks! I'll show you," she added with a fist raised in defiant vigor.

"Fine, fine, but only make some for yourself. I'll just take a taste if it's that important to you."

"Yukiko, Naoto-kun, let's make another cake," Rise giggled. Yukiko and Naoto nodded in agreement.

"What about our group, Mitsuru?" Yukari asked. "Mind ordering in some sushi?"

Junpei's ears perked up immediately. "Did I hear someone say 'sushi?' Because I think I heard someone say sushi!"

Karomaru barked and wagged his tail.

Chie stood up tall and an air of invigoration appeared about her. "All right! So we'll go home and prepare for a grand picnic feast!"

Everyone cheered.

Junpei looked around. "Uh…so how do we get out, exactly?"

Teddie grinned and waved his arm. A large, triple-stacked set of televisions appeared in an almost comedic puff of smoke. "Just go through these! Don't worry, they automatically take you back to where you entered. Oh, and when you get back to the Inn, don't go through the televisions. I dunno where they lead, and I won't be here to let anyone back out."

Dojima shook his head, a wild smirk on his face. "I still can't believe this is all happening," he admitted.

"C'mon, Dad, let's go make some lunches for tomorrow!" Nanako set Koromaru on the ground and took her father's hand, leading him over to the television screens.

One by one, everyone left the blissful environment behind in order to properly prepare for the next day's banquet. Being last as always, Teddie looked around and sighed happily at the beautiful scenery before leaping through the televisions. Whether it was his own excitement over the concept of a picnic with such a huge group of people, or just absentmindedness, the stack of televisions remained.

"Scrtch scrtch."

The coast was clear, now. It was safe to come out.

Out from behind rocks, trees, and even from inside the lake, dark masses appeared. They oozed and slithered along, their strange, shadow-like matter pulling themselves along. There were only a large handful of them, and they were highly cautious towards the strange stack of televisions standing in their utopia. They knew who the people who had appeared here had been. They were, after all, Shadows – embodiments of the hearts of man. The connection between the hearts of mankind allowed the Shadows to understand the identities of every last person who had just left. The Shadows weren't crazy enough to confront such famous humans.

…But this new structure, this triple-stacked television set…

That was an open invitation.

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End of chapter 2.