Silent Inaba

Written By: Lady Lunar Phoenix

Beta: Erin Carde



"My my, it seems we have a guest."

Blue and black, with clear windows that showed a fog that enveloped the... the what? It had all the ear marks of a high class limo, from the soft cushion seats to the bar with drinks and glasses provided. A small table rested at the other end of the vehicle while a rather odd looking man sat there. The crown of his head was bald, the rest of his hair was gray with age and hung down like a short curtain to his shoulders. He had a long hooked nose and eyes that were wide with incredible insight, knowledge, and madness.

Or maybe Souji was the mad man for dreaming this up? On the left of this strange man sat a young woman, who didn't seem to notice his presence at the moment. She wore an formal uniform that was royal blue in color and dignified in appearance. Her hair was a golden blond in color, held by a slender black headband. It was lightly curled and framed a calm face. Her bright blond hair and young healthy skin tone was the only color that wasn't eerie in presentation.

A bright spot of warm light in an otherwise dark and foreboding landscape that Souji didn't understand his place in.

"Where am I?"

"You are in what is called the 'Velvet Room', it can take any number of forms as per needed by someone who has entered a Contract." The strange man explained with his storytellers voice that could command any audience and, at the moment, was commanding Souji. Neither high pitched nor booming, it came off more like the kindly old grandfather who had lost his mind. The kindness never left the tone, but did leave any hope of understanding him at the door.

Outside there was a fog of white, the light beyond it was blue.

"I am here to help guide you to your destiny. A terrible event is rapidly approaching, one that will sever you from your original path. My job is to help you resolve those issues. The only thing I ask in return, is that you abide by the contract and take full responsibility for your actions." The rule about dreams was that you could not feel anything that you did not feel in the real world. The seat Souji sat on? That felt of velvet, the air tickling his nose had that manufactured scent from an air conditioner, and the taste on Souji's tongue was of blood.

Outside the fog was white, the light beyond it was red.

The man didn't move much, his hands placed in a steeple like the roof of a church, or a judge deciding the fate of the one before him. Occasionally he broke the links of fingers to gesture in some small way. Yet his rare use of his hands made even that seem important.

"My destiny?"

"Everyone has multiple destinies that exist as they travel down the path known as Life. But each destiny has it's own turn that a person can take. Yours, however, has been forcibly altered into this particular direction." This time the woman spoke, her voice was calm and elegant, as poised in tone as she was in person.

Outside the fog was red, the light beyond it black.

"My name is Igor, and this is my assistant Margaret. We will help you within the limits of the contract," Igor stated, as a sudden force seemed to slam into the 'Velvet Room'. Souji was knocked to his right, while 'Igor' held on to table to keep from being flung to the side as well.

"What's going on!?"

Another blow this time sending Souji tumbling to his left.

"It seems that, what is controlling your current destination would like to welcome you personally!" Igor shouted to him as the world went black.


The next thing Souji heard was the mechanical voice of the train telling him his stop was coming up. Snapping him awake and back into the real, not blue and black limo, world. He stood up from his seat, pulling out his carry on before leaving to the docking area. 'Mom never said much about Inaba save...' A piercing pain struck the center of his forehead. Crying out in pain he staggered back with his hands gripping his head. The pain was sharp, sudden and right in the center of his eyes it felt.


The doors before him slid open and he stepped out blindly onto the loading dock of the train station. For a moment all he knew was the pain in his head, even as a strong hand gripped his arm and held him steady. "You ok son? You don't look good."

Pulling his hand from his face, Souji saw an older man standing beside him. The firm square shape of a face, with stubble and slightly unkept black hair as though he had just gotten off work. Indeed the man was carrying his coat over his shoulder and the tie wasn't as tight as it should have been.

Blinking, Souji looked about noticing a small girl at the man's side, peering up at him, concern and caution warring on her features. "This is my daughter 'Nanako', and you must be my nephew Souji." The man said as Souji turned his eyes back onto the stranger. "I'm your uncle Dojima, Ryotoro, I'm your mother's younger brother," he explained, while the pain faded from Souji's head.

"Yes, thank you for taking me in like this," Souji managed to utter, as he finally got his wits together and began to mentally settle himself in. He shouldered his bag as Dojima walked off still holding his arm.

"Don't worry about it, but about your headache. Do you need to see a doctor?" Dojima asked his voice concerned.

Souji could see something of his mother in the concern this man showed in his eyes, but Souji was pretty self sufficient on his own. Then again, Souji had to be, what with how often his parents and him moved about. Souji could cook, clean and take care of himself, so why did he have to go to a town that his mother refused to go back to? For that matter refused to let them visit? 'Mom how desperate were you when you sent me here?' After all that little speech about the do's and don'ts of Inaba had been off the wall weird. Even for her.

And mom was weird.

"As long as you're in Inaba, don't be awake at night when the fog rolls in."