This fic was inspired by an image I encountered recently that made me think 'what if persona 4 was like this?' So I hope you enjoy this alternate retelling of persona 4.
It was foggy outside. The fog was so dense that you couldn't see an inch out of the window. But you could feel that you were moving…as if you were in some kind of car.
"Ah... It seems we have a guest with an intriguing destiny...My name is Igor... I am delighted to make your acquaintance." A long nosed man before you cackled as he ran his hand together. There seemed to be a blonder haired woman with piercing yellow eye sitting beside him. Her clothing was a deep blue, velvet, much like the rest of the room.
"This place exists between dream and reality, mind and matter... It is a room that only those who are bound by a "contract" may enter... It may be that such a fate awaits you in the near future." Just what was he talking about? "Now then... why don't you introduce yourself...?" You speak your name.
"Hm... I see. Now, let's take a look into your future, shall we? Do you believe in fortune telling?" He said as he placed a deck of cards before him. "Each reading is done with the same cards, yet the result is always different." Igot cackled. This man was a strange one.
"Life itself follows the same principles, doesn't it?" Igor turned over a card. It was the image of a tower being struck by lightning and the upper half was now toppling over. "Hm... The Tower in the upright position represents the immediate future. It seems a terrible catastrophe is imminent. The card indicating the future beyond that is..."
The man known as Igor turned over a second card. "The Moon, in the upright position. This card represents "hesitation" and "mystery" ... Very interesting indeed. It seems you will encounter a misfortune at your destination, and a great mystery will be imposed upon you." Mystery? Misfortune? What was all this supposed to mean?
"In the coming days, you will enter into a contract of some sort, after which you will return here. The coming year is a turning point in your destiny... If the mystery goes unsolved, your future may be forever lost. My duty is to provide assistance to our guests to ensure that does not happen." Lost? Will I die? This must be some sort of joke.
"Ah! I have neglected to introduce my assistant to you. This is Margaret. She is a resident of this place, like myself." He waved a bony hand to the woman next to him.
"My name is Margaret. I am here to accompany you through your journey." She bowed formally.
"We shall attend to the details another time. Until then, farewell..." Fog filled your vision as you felt yourself be pulled from the room.
Clack. Clack. Clack. The train rattled on as a grey haired youth peered out the window as he watched what used to be the view of a city slowly morph into a country side. His name was Seta Soji, a high schooler whose parents had moved to follow business endeavors leaving him in the care of his uncle who lived in the country side. He sighed as he recalled his final memories with his old classmates.
"Well, I'm sure you all know already but at the end of this month he will be transferring to another school." The teacher at the front of the room announced. There was a unified grown from the student body over the knowledge of losing a close friend.
"We'll miss you Soji-kun" the girls coed.
"The sports clubs won't be the same without you." The boys said with a groan.
The teacher clapped his hands trying to garner the attention of the class. "Quiet down, guys. I'm not done yet…"
A ringing sound tore him away from his memory as his phone alerted him he had a new message. Seta smoothly drew his phone from his pocket to examine the message he had received; 'Meet us outside Yasoinaba Station at 4PM' it clearly red. It was from his uncle. But why did it read 'us'? Was his uncle bringing along his wife?
"We will arrive at the Yasoinaba Station in a few minutes. Passengers heading for Yasoinaba please go to the other side of the platform." A female voice sounded over the train's intercom. Seta always wondered if the voice was a preprogrammed voice or was it the same person who called the stops day in and day out. It didn't matter though for soon he arrived at his destination.
Seta stepped onto the platform and breathed deep the air of what would be his new home, Inaba. The air was cool and clean, unlike the city air he was used to. It was somewhat refreshing. He exited the station to see a scruffy looking man with a small girl hiding behind him waving him over.
"Hey over here" The man said beckoning him over. "Well, you're more handsome in person than in your photo." The man said with a chuckle. "Welcome to Inaba. I'm Ryotaro Dojima. I'll be looking after you. Let's see... I'm your mother's younger brother... and that about sums it up." He said with a smile as he stretched out his hand.
Seta gladly shook his uncles hand "It's nice to meet you."
"Heh. You probably don't remember, but we've met." Seta cocked his head as if searching for the memory. "I've changed your diapers before, you know." Seta sighed, his uncle didn't have to share that bit of information. "This here's my daughter. Come on, Nanako, introduce yourself to your cousin."
"H…hello." Nanako said in an inaudible voice. Her cheeks a bright shade of red.
Dojima laughed at the sight. "What're you so shy for?" Nanako slapped his backside. Dojinma gave a painful cry before returning to laughter. "Well then... Let's get going. My car's over there." He pointed to the car behind him. They all gathered into the car before pulling out of the station.
The town was definitely old fashion. Most of the houses weren't even westernized except for the large building that towered above the city. It's sign read; Junes.
"You don't mind if I make a quick stop?" Dojima asked as he pulled into the local gas station.
"Hi! Welcome to Moel!" An attendant said as he ran up to the car.
"Can you go to the bathroom by yourself?" Dojima asked Nanako as they stepped out of the car.
"Uh-huh" The quiet Nanako said with a nod.
"It's in the back, to your left. You know which way is left? The side you don't hold your chopsticks in." The attendant said pointing to their left hand.
"I know... Geez..." Nanako said angrily. She may have been small but she had a big temper.
"Are you taking a trip?" The attendant asked Dojima.
"No, we just went to pick him up." Dojima gestured over to his nephew. "He just moved here from the big city." Dojima smiled as if he was showing off a trophy.
"The city, huh?" The attendant looked surprised as they looked Seta up and down.
"Fill up my car while you're at it. Regular's fine." Dojima ordered the attendant.
"Right away sir!" Not wanting to anger a customer the attendant got to work.
"Good a time as any for a smoke..." Dojima said as he walked off as he drew a pack of cigarettes from his pocket.
"Are you in high school?" The attendant said striking up a conversation with Seta. "Does it surprise a city boy to see how little there is out here? There's so little to do, I'm sure you'll get bored fast." Man, this attendant mouth was like a dam that had sprung a leak.
"You'll either be hanging out with your friends or doing part-time jobs. Speaking of which, we're actually looking for part-time help right now." He handed him a business card. Was all this so he could pitch a job offering? "Give it some thought, why don't you? We don't mind if you're a student. Oh, I should get back to work." The attendant finally wandered off.
Nanako returns just as the attendant disappears. She seems to be staring at Seta intensely as if examining him. "... Are you okay? Did you get carsick? You don't look too good..."
Now that she had mentioned it Soji suddenly felt week. Could it be he was not used to the country atmosphere?
They soon arrived at the Dojima home, another old fashion home and Seta's new home for the next year. Seta journeys up the stairs as to prepare his room.
"Hey when you're done come back down stairs alright." His uncle called after him. Seta nodded in agreement.
Seta's room was small. It had four wall, a couch, a coffee table, a dresser with a small t.v. atop it as well as a few shelve for his things. There was a futon rolled up in the corner. This was going to take him some getting used to.
After putting all his things away Seta wandered down the stairs and into the living room to see both Dojima's seated before a dinner table before a lavish display of food. Yet there was no hint of a Mrs. Dojima. Was she working late?
"All right, let's have a toast." Djoima said as he raised a glass. "So... your mom and dad are busy as always... They're working overseas, was it?" Seta nodded. Sure he missed his parents but he was used to it. They were always so busy. I know it's only for a year, but getting stuck in a place like this because of your parents... It's rough being a kid." Seta nodded in agreement. Sure he missed his parent but they worked hard to make sure he was happy.
"Well, it's just me and Nanako here, so it'll be nice having someone like you around." Did that mean that Dojima was a single parent? Maybe he had gotten a divorce some time ago. Seta decided not to pry. "So long as you're here, you're part of the family, so make yourself at home."
"Thank you for your kindness." Seta said with a smile.
"C'mon, there's no need to be so formal. Look, you're making Nanako all tense." Dojima said with a chuckle. "Well, anyway... Let's eat." Dojima announced but was interrupted by the ringing of a phone. "Ugh... Who's calling at this hour?"
It wasn't Seta's…Nanako was to young to own a phone…so that could only mean…
"Dojima speaking." Dojima said as he drew his phone. "....Yeah? I see... So where is it?" Who was he talking to? It sounded like something bad had happened. ".... All right, I'm on my way." Dojima let out a heavy sigh. "Looks like I made the right choice to skip the booze... Sorry, but I gotta go take care of some business." He said as he stood and headed for the door. "Go ahead and eat without me. I don't know how late I'll be. Nanako, you help him out, okay?"
"... Okay." Nanako gave a depressed sigh. This must happen often.
Dojima opened the door only to be pelted by rain and wind thrown into his face. "Nanako, it's raining out. What did you do with the laundry!?"
"I already brought it in!" Nanako shouted over the rain. So she took care of the house work by herself? That was certainly mature of her.
"... All right. Well, I'm off." Dojima sounded depressed. He must hate it when work tore him away from family.
Nanako reached for the remote and turned on the television.
"-for this week." A news reporter said rapping up a bulletin. "Next, let's take a look at the hourly breakdown of tomorrow's weather. With storm clouds moving in from the west, expect rain throughout the day tomorrow in most areas."
"... Let's eat." Nanako said still sounding depressed.
"What does your dad do?" Seta asked trying to break the deafening silence.
"He... investigates stuff. Like crime scenes. My dad's a detective." That explained the phone call. Seta could only wonder what happened.
"And now for the local news." The announcer began his next report. "City council secutary Taro Namatame is under fire for an alleged relationship with a female reporter." It seems even Inaba isn't safe from governmental gossip. "His wife, enka ballad sensation, Misuzu Hiiragi, revealed to this station that she will likely pursue damages. In response, Eye television has decided to cancel all of announcer Mayumi Yamano's televised appearances." This seemed like it would soon get ugly. "Until allegations of an affair with Mr. Namatame are resolved, she'll remain off the air and out of the public eye."
"...This is boring" Nanako frowned as she changed the channel. A commercial for a franchise convenience center appeared.
"At Junes, every day is Customer Appreciation Day. Come see for yourself, and get in touch with our products!" Then a short musical number played. "~ Every day's great at your Junes ! ~"
"~ Every day's great at your Junes! ~" Nanako sang along with the television. "... Aren't you going to eat?" It seemed that she and Seta were no closer now then this morning.
When they were done eating Seta made his was back to his room and laid down to rest, the soft sound of rain lulled him to sleep.
Fog was everywhere. As far as the eye could see. Left. Right. Up. Down. Fog surrounded Seta on all sides. Where was he? There was nothing he could do but move forward.
"Do you seek the truth...?" An ominous voice echoed through the fog.
Seta looked around searching for the owner of the voice. "Who are you?! Where are you?" Seta wanted answers.
"If it's truth you desire, come and find me." The voice seemed to echo from up ahead. Seta continued on through the fog. He had to learn what all this meant. The fog and the old man.
Seta soon stumbled upon a door. He reached a hand out toward the door. There was no turning back now. The door slowly opened allowing him in. No surprise there was more fog.
But now there seemed to be a figure in the fog but it was still out of reach. "So...You are the one pursuing me. Hmhmhm... Try all you like..." Was the figure challenging Seta to a game of tag? None the less Seta proceeded forward after the ever evasive shadow that seemed to continue to move out of his reach.
"I see... Indeed, you possess an interesting quality... But... you will not catch me so easily" The figure was taunting him. Seta pressed on he had to reach the figure. "... If what you seek is the "truth," then your search will be even harder..."
"I don't care!" Seta could feel something welling up inside him. A surge of energy unlike he ever felt before.
"Everyone sees what they want to..."
Seta leapt toward the owner of the voice in attempt to catch it. He stretched his arm trying to reach the figure. For a brief moment he could see what looked like black and grey armor flash across his body. "W-what?!" For that moment Seta lost his concentration and fell into the abyss of fog. Seta could feel his consciousness slipping away from him. Was this the end of his journey?
"And the fog only deepends...Will we meet again...? At a place other than here... Hmhm..." The figure seemed to ponder the thought of their next meeting. "I look forward to it..."
Well that's the first section and day of the game. No I am not doing a day to day rewrite because free days are uninteresting so you'll have to pretend whatever s-link happened. Though I will let the readers decide which club Seta joins. Hopefully by the third chapter we can get more in dept into the concept. Well catch you on the flip side. Kamen ride out!