Author Note: This is my first P3P fic. (Sorry to those who read my DA fics but lately DA has been boring me. I'll finish them eventually I promise!) I am open to all and any criticism. (Especially on my grammar I am horrible at grammar and sentence construction. Despite this I hope you will all enjoy my fanfic.). Currently is being re-edited. Just spelling mistakes at first and latter grammatical fixes. (However not too much I don't want the story to lose some of it's charm. Also…prepare for loads of fragments.)
Major props to DropletofSour whose Persona 3 rewrite. Persona 3 FES: Lusnati Style I drew influence from. Hopefully there's a lot of differences between the two but I have to admit to my love of his fanfic.
This fic as per the summary is a retelling of the P3P (Female) Path. [Frankly I thought the Female PC to be a little too bubbly and ditzy for my personal tastes] so don't be surprised if she comes off (in the beginning at least) to be a bit of a brat and a coward. I found it strange how the PC starts off so heroic I might do a male version (which will be different) but there are already several male fanfics I didn't see any female ones that weren't romance focused so… (not to say there won't be romance *winks* but well its more of a…Just read! If I explain well…it won't be so interesting. I promise she gets better ^_^ Also "This sucks." is her catchphrase. Get used to her saying it. She's gonna say it A LOT in the beginning as she matures it should lessen. (Should)
Also her weapon of choice is going to be the one handed short sword (why the heck they changed the main PCs weapon is something I'll never understand. Just seemed silly to me (especially considering Yukari runs to your room with this weapon in her hand can you really picture someone running around with a Naginata in a hurry when they don't know how to use one? ) A short sword was already pushing it. At least the sword can be semi hidden. -_-*
Also female looking Orpheus makes no sense so yeah…no female looking Orpheus.
I toyed with the idea of making Ryoji and Pharos both females…but ultimately decided against it. (Yes it's a silly fan girl reason T_T I am ashamed. *hangs head*)
No I'm not going to tell you how it ends. Cause I'm evil like that *insert maniacal laughter* Anyways here's the beginning - OH wait one more thing. Most of the game script will come from my play through on Maniac mode so yeah. For some reason Atlus loves their (…) I don't know why but this is word for word (most of the time) from the actual game so…
…Also I know this is going to result in a lot of groaning but she lived in America (that'll at east give a semi-explanation to my use of Americanisms but NO there will not be any random insert X dude/lady from America Mary sue that makes me have the urge to bang my head against a wall. Heck there won't even be any references to America except in the Hangedman's link [if you've played the game before (and if you haven't you shouldn't be reading this fic) you'll know what I'm talking about.)
Edit: I can't believe I forgot the disclaimer *Facepalms* Anyways I obviously do not own P3P the only thing I own is Minako's personality (don't even own the character herself T_T)
Onto the Story (Sorry about the long note this is the last time (hopefully) it'll be so long unless I'm answering reviews). Enjoy! And please review! I can't improve unless you do so!
Chapter 1 : New Girl in Town
Time never waits.
It delivers all equally to the same end.
You, who wish to safeguard the future,
However limited it may be…
You will be given one year;
go forth without falter.
With your heart as your guide…
Inside the New City passenger train "Anehazuru"…
"Due to a malfunction in the switching system, today's rail schedule has been greatly altered. We apologize to any customers who were in a hurry. The next stop is Iwatodai…Iwatodai."
"This is the final train bound for Tatsumi Port Island. Please take care to board before our departure."
I sigh heavily. I wonder if whoever was waiting for me would get pissed off because I was so late. Not to mention it was close to that time. A small part of me hopes that it won't happen here…that it would be the exception to all the other places I had visited. The thought of not having to deal with "Critter Time." as I dubbed it due to the strange creatures I occasionally saw. Granted its not like they all attacked me or anything, of the few that I had come into contact with I was always able to escape and due to my time on track well my speed was nearly unmatched by most of the people I knew. I quickly got off the train and wished I had charged my music player all the way to full; the batteries had died nearly an hour ago. I took out my phone and check the time, it's midnight.
Before I even took a step forward "Critter Time" kicked in. Inwardly I groan why couldn't I ever catch a break. I hate Critter Time. And yes I'm fully aware that said name is ridiculous but what else was I to call it? Between people turning into coffins, the water turning into blood, and the random creatures (though rare) running around I would have called it the Creepy Hour but that just seemed well…corny...not that Critter Time is much better but eh. At least Critter Time amused me more.
I need to hurry to the dorm, the sooner I can reach my bedroom and go to sleep the better. I was already feeling the effects of jet lag and I really need to shower. Looking up at the moon and seeing the bright eerie green emitting from it I cringe the memories of my first Critter Time session forefront in my mind. It would be best if I hurry.
Gekkoukan High School, Iwatodai dorm…
Here it is my new home for the next year. Fantastic. I enter the dorm and no sooner had I turn from closing the door, do I see a boy. He has a blue grayish hair color (who actually has hair that color anyways?) and bright blue eyes. His pupils seemed to be two colors a light blue outer with a dark blue inner and…are they somewhat purple? Creepy…
"You're late. I've been waiting a long time." He's holding a book in his hands. Our eyes meet and I feel paralyzed for a second. As if his eyes were holding me into place.
The boy is wearing white and blacked striped outfit that looks like a prison uniform. I can't help but stare at him. I've never seen any other human not be in one of those coffins during the Critter Time it was odd. His holding out a piece of paper did nothing to help the situation.
"What the hell is that?" I eye the paper warily. Maybe it would explode into bats or something…I really needed to stop reading random horror books, and watching low budgeted horror movies and mixing the plots together like that. It just wasn't healthy.
He frowns slightly I suppose because of my language, before continuing. "If you want to proceed, then please sign here." He points to a blank line at the bottom of the page.
"It's a contract. There's no need to be scared."
No need to be scared? I have some strange kid in a jail uniform with purple blue eyes, giving me some contract that I don't know what, all of this is happening during Critter Time where water is blood and coffins are abundant and I'm not supposed to be scared? Granted I'm not but still…this is freaky as hell.
"It only binds you to accepting full responsibility for your actions."
I'm tempted to ask what actions does he think I'd need to take responsibility for, and how the hell does he know all of this, but instead I shrug. I'm too damn tired for this right now, maybe if I'm lucky I'll wake up tomorrow and see that all of this was a hallucination brought on by Critter Time.
"I chooseth this fate of mine own free will."
Luckily, or unluckily I suppose, it was written in English. …who the hell even speaks like that anymore? I arch a brow a the boy but he's still giving me this creepy happy expression somewhat between a pedophiles' leer and a slasher smile. Deciding not to tempt fate by making this kid angry I sign the contract.
Yeah yeah I know what the heck do I look like being scared of a kid well…I'm not even sure said kid…is well human. I've never seen another human during Critter Time, and I'm damn sure one wouldn't be so calm…that said this is probably a hallucination anyway, so I went ahead and signed the damn paper.
I make sure to make it as pretty as possible if this was to be the piece of paper that damned my soul my signature might as well look good.
"…Very well. Time is something no one can escape. It delivers us all to the same end. Wishing won't make it go away. And so it begins…"
The kid disappeared as if melting into the darkness and I blinked. Heh shadows tended to do the same thing…I wondered if the creepy kid was some sort of cultist…it would explain the jail uniform. And what the hell was beginning? Why do I have the feeling signing that paper would do me more harm than good-
EH? Two in one night huh? Lucky lucky me. One freak, two freaks, three freaks more -
"How can you be…But it's…!"Some girl with brown hair was staring at me with her mouth open. I hope I didn't look like that with Jailboy.
Though she did mouth what I was wondering, I thought I was the only one not in a coffin during Critter Hour. I feel a bit of my uniqueness wash away. Yes I was actually disappointed I wasn't the only freak in the building with the except of Jailboy…who didn't fit my quota for human anyways. Granted I have red eyes so I can't really talk but thanks to my bangs most people can't really see my eyes to well. I guess I was going to have to go through the whole "I have red eyes, no I'm not a demon, no I'm not sick." phase all over again.
"Don't tell me…"
She pointed a gun at me and my eyes bugged out of my head. IS THIS BITCH CRAZY? I thought guns weren't even legal for civilians here!
"Wait!" another girl showed up. She had red hair.
The first girl gasped and the lights came on.
No shit Sherlock, we all realize the lights came back on. I glared at her. Psycho bitch was going to shoot me!
"I didn't think you'd arrive so late." The redhead seemed amused. So she thought Psycho bitch trying to kill me was funny huh. "My name is Mitsuru Kirijo. I'm one of the students who live in this dorm."
Ah Japanese. She didn't use all those formalities my aunt had beaten into my head but I suppose that had more to do with her age or anything inwardly I cheered I had told my aunt I wouldn't need all that crap. Though no sooner had the cheering happened then I felt annoyed that means I wasted a whole bunch of time for nothing. …I hate my life.
Psycho bitch seemed confused. Oh now you decide to ask questions when before you were just going to shoot me huh?
"She's a transfer student. It was a last minute decision to assign her here." Yup that's me. The new girl. "She'll eventually be moved to a room in the normal dorm."
Normal dorm? I had gotten all excited when I heard I was dorming. Having gone to public school back home I was used to commuting which given the general insanity of my aunt…sucked. Also…what the hell was a normal dorm? Then again…given that these two were aware during Critter Hour maybe I was in the freaks dorm.
"…Is it okay for her to be here?" Psycho bitch said.
I prayed I didn't have to share a room with anybody but least of all her. She might come out of nowhere during the Critter Hour and shoot me because redhead had stopped her here.
"I guess we'll see…This is Yukari Takeba. She'll be a junior this spring, just like you."
So Psycho bitch's name was Yukari huh? …I'm tempted to stick with Psycho bitch.
"…Hi, I'm Yukari."
Originally I was going to ask Psycho bitch what she was doing with a gun but she might still shoot me so I changed tactics.
"Isn't this a normal dorm?"
"Huh! Oh, uh…of course it is!"
Yeah totally not suspicious at all Not suspicious at all. That's it…I was in the freaks dorm. This sucks.
"…Not quite. It's a co-ed dorm, for one thing and there are other differences as well. I'll explain later." Mitsuru interrupted Yukari easily.
…Right. It being co-ed just means there's male freaks in here too. Well if I'm lucky they'll be hot and not overly obnoxious but given my luck in the time I've been here so far I wasn't to sure of my chances. Still I hope by "later" she meant tomorrow. I'm tired…and I really, really need to shower.
"It's getting late. You'll find your room on the 3rd floor. Your things should already be there. I suggest you tuck in for the night."
"Um…where are the showers?"
"Oh…I'll show you the way. Follow me." Psycho- I mean Yukari said. Great. Though as dirty as I was I really didn't care.
She pointed out the bathrooms on the first floor and told me there was one more per gender on the 4th floor.
Dormitory, 3rd floor hallway, at the furthest door…
"This is it…Pretty easy to remember, huh? …Since it's right at the end of the hall. So, any questions?"
The temptation to ask about the gun arose but instead I asked about Jailboy.
"Does that boy live here?"
"What are you talking about? …C'mon, it's not funny."
….So apparently I'm the only one who can see Jailboy. Well at least my feelings of being unique went back up but still…why the heck did everything moderately freaky happens and I'm the only one who notices? This sucks.
"Um…Can I ask you something? On you way here from the station, was everything okay?"
No everything wasn't okay! Between Critter Time, some Jailboy making me sign some demon contract and you trying to shoot me, everything was not okay!
Of course…I can't very well say that…besides I'm too tired for this. I just want a hot shower and bedtime.
"I see…" Of course Psycho didn't believe me but I wasn't saying anything else. I was tired of talking to her at this point. "…Never mind, then. Well, I'd better get going…" she started to leave before turning around. "Um…I'm sure you still have other questions, but let's save them for later, okay? Good night."
As she walks down the stairs I open the door and go into my new room. There was nothing special about it other than for some reason there was a checkered pink bedspread and multiple pink towels. I cringe. I hate pink. Especially bright nearly blind you pink. I resolve to have everything changed to blue as soon as possible. I'm exhausted. Quickly I rummage through my luggage, grab a bath towel and some soap, and head for the nearest bathroom. (Which was on the fourth floor.) I past some strange double doors on my way there but they are locked and I figure whatever is behind them is really none of anyways so I wash quickly before going back to the room. As soon as I'm back in my room I throw on some pajamas and crawl into bed. I'm...so...tired...
"It's Yukari. Are you awake?"
Oh…god. Not only did I have to deal with her last night I was stuck with her being my wake up call? Oh come on! Granted maybe I judged her a little harshly last night but still! It's too early for this!
"Good morning." and she sounds way too damn cheerful this early in the morning. I want to smack her with something. "Did you sleep okay?" I'd have slept better if Critter Hour hadn't happened, Jailboy with his contract and you threatening to fucking shoot me but other than that? I had pleasant dreams!
Ugh. I'm still tired. I want nothing more than to crawl on the covers.
"Mitsuru-senpai asked me to take you to school. Are you ready to go?"
I look her dead in the eyes and she gasps I guess she and Mitsuru were brain dead or something last night (or maybe Mitsuru is smart enough not to say anything).
"They're like that; anyways I'll be okay getting to the school on my own."
She recovers quickly I know she wants to ask more about my eyes but she gets the message that I'm not going to answer her.
"Oh…Are you sure…? But, you don't wanna risk being late the first day, do you?"
Don't want to risk you shooting me either.
"C'mon, hurry and get ready!" I sigh resigning to my fate. PB is going to drag me around today. This sucks.
Inside the New City passenger train "Anehazuru"…
"We have to take the monorail to get there. Bet your last school wasn't like that, huh? This is my favorite part…when it feels like you're gliding over the sea."
I frown I can't help but think of falling into the sea. I hate trains over streets for the same reason I always imagine the train toppling over into the street or the river and well…its not pretty.
"Our stop is Port Island Station at the end of the line. From there, we walk. Have you ever heard of Tatsumi Port Island? It's a man-made island. They built our school right in the middle."
…they made and island and built a school in the middle of it? Lame. This means I'm stuck on this thing every single school day to the end of this year. This sucks.
"Oh, look, you can see it now!" I turn and see a nice looking school with plenty of trees with pretty flowers on them. I don't know what the flowers are only that they look nice. But they're pink. Why the hell was everything pink around here? I glance at Yukari's outfit and sigh. She gives me a strange look before some girl calls "Morning" Yukari responds cheerfully. Guess they're friends…or she's popular. The latter seems more likely considering the girl didn't stay long.
"Well, here we are…Welcome to Gekkoukan High! You're gonna love it here!"
Yeah about as much as sticking a flaming sword in my eye.
We enter the school and Yukari turns to me.
"You're okay from here, right? You should go see your homeroom teacher first. The Faculty Office is right there to the left. …And that concludes the tour. Do you have any questions before I go?"
Yeah what class are you in and if I'm in it how do I get switched. I can't say that of course so I just go with.
"Nope, I'll be okay."
"Hey…About last night…Don't tell anyone what you saw, okay? …See ya later." …She's joking right? Who the hell would believe me even if I did tell them about Critter Hour? Or maybe she meant about her taking a gun out on me. That's at least semi-believable.
I see a bunch of people standing in front of the bulletin board. There's some angry girl yelling at some guy. She calls him Kaz. Some girl complaining about having the worst teacher ever. Heh be happy you don't have to deal with Critter Hour. I'd trade you any day. Some fat kid mumbling that he can't see hid name and having a mini-panic attack over it. She girl in a uniform with a yellow jacket over it.
"Aww…We're in different classes. Eh, whatever." I wonder whose she's talking about but its none of my business so I go over to the bulletin board.
This sucks. I can't find my name. I decide to look again maybe…just maybe for once in my life I'll have some luck.
SUCCESS! There's a small note with my name on it!
"Minako Aristao - Class F"
I look closer and notice that Yukari Takeba is also in my class.
In a glum mood I decide to go straight to the left ignoring the teacher mumbling with the receptionist about something and some girl playing on her phone. I see some strange guy with a weird hat on talking to a blond boy with a fan before I go into the nearest room I hope this is the faculty office.
"Oh, are you the new student?" A brunette teacher holding a file turns to me. She appears a little stunned at my eye color. Fantastic I'm going to have to go through another year of this crap but luckily the teacher doesn't mention my eye color.
Hopefully this bit of luck won't turn out like my last one. I nod and she smiles.
"Minako Arisato…11th grade, correct?" She flips through the pages of my file I presume. "Wow, you've lived in a lot of different places…Let's see…In 1999...That was what, ten years ago? You parents- *gasp*"
…now why did she have to bring that up? I scowled slightly. Even now I hadn't fully accepted my parent's death. Supposedly there had been some accident but…I didn't fully believe that. Because the day after that accident was the day I had started experiencing damn Critter Time.
"I'm sorry…I've been so busy, I didn't have time to read this beforehand."
So you decide to read it out loud in front of me instead? Brilliance.
"I'm Ms. Toriumi. I teach Composition. Welcome to our school." I smile politely.
"I'm pleased to meet you." I hope this day doesn't get any worse- damn it. Now its definitely gonna get worse. Oh well at least I don't have to deal with some random dude trying to hit on me.
"My, aren't you polite? Girls like you should be an example for others."
Heh. Oh if only you could read my mind Ms. Toriumi.
"Have you seen the classroom assignments? You're in 2-F; that's my class. But first, we need to go to the auditorium. The Welcoming Ceremony will be starting soon. Follow me."
The principle is a stout man and the second he opens his mouth I place my head in the palm of my hand and decide to sleep. As I'm trying to sleep I hear some morons around me whispering about the new transfer student.
Ugh. Why? They really don't have anything better to do? Screw this I'm going to sleep.
After School Homeroom
…and there went my dreams about being left alone. I turn to face him and he laughs. "You look like a deer in headlights."
I glare at him. "What do you want?" He's wearing a baseball cap and a uniform though for some reason his shirt is blue. He also has brown eyes. Attractive enough I suppose.
"Woah. Red eyes? Awesome"
"Huh?" I was used to either someone calling me a demon or asking if I was sick…but awesome? That was new. "Who are you?"
"Me? I'm Junpei Iori. Nice to meet ya. I transferred here when I was in 8th grade. I know how though it is bein' the new kid…"
"So I thought I'd check up on you, make sure you weren't freaking out on your first day."
"Do I look like I'm freaking out to you?"
"I thought so." I got up to leave but Yukari shows up and sighs.
"At it again, huh? Honestly, is there any girl you wouldn't hit on?"
A womanizer. Great. Next time I don't want something to happen I'm going to pretend that 's what I want.
"Did you ever think you might be bothering someone?"
"What? But, I was just bein' friendly."
"If you say so. Anyway, some coincidence that we'd be in the same homeroom, huh?"
…Yeah real twist of fate. I hope whoever did this is having the time of their life right now because frankly this sucks.
"Yeah, I know."
Grand. I'm stuck in a homeroom class with Psycho Bitch and Mr. Get-All-Up-In-Your-Face. Joy.
"Um, hello? Did you forget I'm in this class too? C'mon, lemme in on the fun!"
What is he 10? I think Stupei would be a better name for him.
"By the way, do you guys know each other? I heard you two came to school together this morning. A couple of cuties like you, walking side by side…The whole class was buzzing about you."
"Ugh…Could you just cut it out? I hate dealing with rumors like that." For the first time it seems Yukari and I are in complete agreement. "I mean I'm used to it, but she just got here, you know? Don't you feel bad, spreading rumors like that? …Well, I've gotta go take care of some archery team stuff. Don't try anything funny, you got that, Junpei?"
Heh. Looks like I got myself a guard dog.
"What is she, your nanny…?'
"Well, just to clear something up, I seriously didn't come over here to hit on you or anything. If you ever have a problem, you can tell your ol' pall Junpei about it!"
Old pal? I don't even know this fool.
"…You're kidding, right?"
Everyone here had to be insane. That was the only explanation.
"Ouch! Yuka-tan's rubbing off on you already, huh? Well, I'll be seeing you around, then."
Yuka-tan? Those two are pretty close then I suppose seeing as he has a pet name for her. I shrug and continue on with the day.
At the end of the day when I was walking back to the dorm Junpei caught up with me in the halls, yapping at me until I let him walk me to the dorm.
"Whoa, check out the jocks on their run…Hey, did anyone tell you about the school clubs yet? Girls can join too, so why not do it if you're interested? You'd be joining as a new member, though, so you won't be able to apply for a little while."
"Eh sure what clubs would be open?"
"Well I heard the Volleyball Team and the Tennis Team are looking for new members."
Aw…no track? "Sounds cool."
He smiled and he actually has a pretty nice smile.
I will deny thinking that to the grave if asked though.
As we walked to the dorm we talked about random things mostly going back to fighting games. Turns out he and I do have something in common, our love of Tekken and Soul Caliber.
"Welcome back." Mitsuru sounded almost…rehearsed as she said it. T'was moderately creepy. "You should rest. You're probably tired."
Yeah…it was almost time for Critter Time. I preferred being asleep when it happened, a free extra hour of sleep for me!
I walked over to Yukari who was sitting alone idly. "Hey what are you doing?"
"Oh killing time, doing nothing. You should go to bed early tonight you look tired."
I frowned. I don't know why but something about the two of them seemed off. Whatever I need to shower anyways. After a nice hot relaxing shower I change into my Pajamas and crawl into bed.
As I was walking to class I overheard a conversation.
"Did you hear the rumor…?"
"Oh, um…something about…a bathroom?"
"N-No! Not that one! I mean the story about the first-year student! Not only did she stop coming to school, she does nothing but sit and stare at the walls all day. If her mother tries to talk to her, she only mutters to herself, "It's coming…It's coming…!"
"Huh. How about that."
"You don't believe me…?"
The bell rung and as I walked to class I mused. How strange. Probably just stress.
Ms. Toriumi had us look at a novel by Zenzou Kasai.
"I'd rather teach Utsubo Kubota."
Frankly I didn't even know who the hell these people were. I guess that's what happened when you spent most of your time aboard.
"He became famous as a singer, but he's also produced fine literature. I wonder why its not in the textbook. Well, I'll just bring Kubota's book next time. …Hey, Junpei! Were you listening? Who did I say was my favorite author?"
And Junpei looked absolutely clueless so instead of fessing up he bugs me for the answer.
Sighing I gave it to him and it seems more rumors are being spread about me now…great. I should have kept my mouth shut and let Junpei get his due.
After class there was nothing to do so I went back to the dorm.
In the lounge there was a man sitting in one of the chairs, Yukari is talking to him.
"Oh, she's back."
"So, this is our new guest…" the man is wearing glasses and well…he's attractive enough I suppose. He's wearing a suit for some reason. "Good evening. My name is Shuji Ikutsuki. I'm the Chairman of the Board for your school. "Ikutsuki"…Hard to say, isn't it?"
He's got that right I was tempted to call him Mr. I for short. That said while it was mildly acceptable back home I wasn't too sure how that would be perceived here. So tongue twisting name it was.
"That's why I don't like introducing myself. Even I get tongue-tied sometimes…" I can't help but smile. Finally someone here who isn't a complete creep or overly serious. "I apologize about the confusion regarding your accommodations. However, it may take a while longer before you receive the proper room assignment. Is there anything you'd like to ask?"
Great…so there was a chance I'd be stuck in freaks dorm for a while. Fan-tas-tic. I considered asking him about how Yukari and Mitsuru knew about Critter Time but I remembered Yukari's whole "don't tell anyone spiel." I was pretty sure that applied to this guy to and I had no wish for her to take out that gun again so I decided to stick with a generic question.
"Why did you come here?"
"To welcome you, of course." …Right so the Chairman of the Board comes all the way here to personally invite me into his Freak Dorm. …not suspicious in the least. "Speaking of which…Where's Mitsuru, Yukari?"
"As diligent as always. Although it doesn't hurt to come down and say hello…Do you have another question?"
Since this dorm was Co-ed and I hadn't seen any guys.
"Who else lives here?"
"There are only four students in this dorm: You, Yukari here, Mitsuru…and a senior named Akihiko Sanada."
So three girl freaks and one male one eh? Judging from the fact that we have about 10 rooms and only 4 people…yup. Definitely the freak dorm. Just my luck.
"I hope you all get along."
…If I can avoid getting shot. Me too.
"Do you have another question?"
Nah. I was good. The only other question I would want to ask you couldn't be asked in front of Psycho- I mean Yukari.
"No, not really."
"Then, I hope you have a successful school year. Now, if you'll excuse me…You must be tired from all the excitement. You should go to bed early. As they say, "The early bird catches the bookworm"!"
…What? Isn't it the early bird captures the worm?
"…Please forgive the bad pun."
I knew there had to be something wrong with him. So he's the type to crack jokes that aren't funny. I just hope he doesn't do that a lot. He laughed while Yukari sighed in annoyance.
"You'll get used to his lame jokes."
…That meant they had to be fairly common.
Eh. It could be worse.
As usual I shower before bed.
"Master Minako Arisato…"
What the hell? I found myself floating through a checkered floor into a strange door, it opened and a bright light enveloped me. When I could see again I was in some strange purple room it felt more like an elevator though and I felt somewhat dizzy. We were defiantly moving up but where to I wondered?
An old man with a long nose that looked like a beak with huge eyes and a mostly bald head except for the sides where his hair seemed a decent length looked at me.
"EEH!" I jumped and he chuckled.
"Do I have such a frightening appearance?"
"Eh…" what was I to say without offending I decided to shake my head "No…I was just…surprised." He smiled he was wearing a suit and white gloves and I could have sworn his ears were pointed. Whatever he was…it certainly wasn't human.
"Well then. Welcome to the Velvet Room. My name is Igor. …I am delighted to make your acquaintance."
Well sorry Creep-O but I can't say I feel the same. I looked closer at him he had brilliantly white teeth but while his hair was white his eyebrows were black and his eyes…I shuddered inwardly. The were practically bulging out of the sockets. I wasn't in Japan anymore was I?
"This place exists between dream and reality, mind and matter…"
Oh. Oh. No no no please don't tell me this dude can read my mind! That would be bad! When he gave no sign of hearing my inward pleas I nearly sagged in relief. He gestured towards a chair as he continued and while he spoke I sat down.
"Only those who have signed the contract can enter this place…"
The contract as in the thing Jailboy gave me? What the heck was that all about anyways? I look down at the table and yelp there it is right in front of Creep-O. Maybe those two were in cahoots? What kind of cult could invade your dreams anyway? I was sure I was still asleep. "Henceforth, you shall be welcome here in the Velvet Room. You are destined to hone your unique ability, and you will require my help to do so."
"What unique ability?" The ability to walk around during Critter Time? What good was that? All I could do was see coffins and run away from the critters.
He smiled in that creepy way of his "You'll find out soon enough."
"I only ask one thing in return…that you abide by the contract, and assume responsibility for the choices you make."
"This…this is a dream right?" This is creepy. Some Jailboy gives me a contract and now Creep-O has it.
"Precisely…You are fast asleep in the real world as we speak. This visit of yours is merely a dream. However, you will come here of your own accord, sooner or later. Hold on to this…" a strange silver key appeared in the palm of my hand stunned I looked up at him. "There is still one more resident of this room, who unfortunately could not be present for your arrival. But I'll make sure you two are properly introduced. Another time, perhaps. 'Till we meet again…" Those last words were said in an almost whisper and I felt myself being pulled once again into the world of darkness.
When I woke up I couldn't help but wonder about what a strange dream - The velvet key…it was still in my hand. Despite me having it clenched in my palm it was as cold as ice. I got up and dug through my dresser finding a pretty yet thin silver necklace I looped the key through it and placed it under my clothing as I got dressed. What was my so called destiny and why would I need Creep-O's help? Regardless just in case I'd keep the key.
I got to school quickly and met Junpei at the front gate.
"Yo…Man, I'm so sleepy today. In times like these, it's best to sleep during class!"
And this is why you end up needing me to bail you out in class Stupei.
"You ever notice how sometimes taking a nap in class makes you feel more refreshed than sleeping at home?"
"Don't' sleep in class." I really didn't want a repeat of yesterday.
"Whaaat? Why do you have to be all serious?" Because you're not that's why. "That feeling of being completely recharged is awesome…But I'm screwed later since I didn't hear the lecture!" …and there you go making my point. I shake my head. "Oh, but we have classic literature today…That means we're stuck with Mr. Nasty ol' Ekoda…"
…Just my luck. Turns out that Ekoda was that snob arguing with the cashier lady during the first day of school.. Maybe if I'm lucky he'll ignore me.
"Ahem…I'm Mr. Ekoda. I'll be teaching you Classic Literature. I'll be teaching you about good old Japan all year. Some people say Classic Lit isn't relevant to everyday life, but oh, how they're wrong! The students, the other teachers…Wrong, wrong, wrong! Nobody really understand Classic Lit…"
So he's one of those. Fantastic. Ra forbid anyone other than him be right. With a sigh I open up my notebook and start taking notes. I'm tired and feel tempted to sleep but remembering my lecture to Junpei in the morning decide to stay awake. Other than some bad attempts at being hip Ekoda doesn't seem to be that bad as a teacher. I learned something at least.
I ended up meeting Yukari at the shoe boxes at the end of the day and went back to the dorm with her. Not like I had anything else to do. She wanted to stop over at Paulownia Mall to get something.
"Have you come here before? A lot of Gekkoukan students come here after school. There's a karaoke box and a CD shop. Oh, and a really great café, too! There's also a nightclub, but that's kinda not for us yet."
Seems like a good place to hang out. I spot an arcade and smile as soon as I got some free time and some cash it was on. I wonder if there's anywhere I can work around here? I was going to ask Yukari but…meh. She might recommend where she worked and heck…while I'm not calling her Psycho Bitch anymore I don't think we're on our way to becoming BFFs. The mall is crowed with students on their way from school and well it takes time getting to where we want to go.
"Welcome back." That same practiced line from Mitsuru. She was a rich girl wasn't she? Kirijo? …The name sounded familiar but after several moments of not being able to place it I shrugged. "The moon is beautiful tonight. It might be nice to read a book by moonlight once in a while."
Ugh….the moon. I recall that day I got here the eerie green color the moon had during Critter Hour. Yeah…I'm going to sleep. I like that extra hour boost with a quick goodnight to both Mitsuru and Yukari I run to my room doing my nightly ritual. The second I reach the room I feel exhausted and throw myself into bed.
There's a loud banging at my door. Wearily I get out of bed. What the hell? It's Critter Time! I get up to open the door and more banging.
Ugh. Its Yukari what the hell could she want now of all times and why such a panic?
"Sorry, I'm coming in! I don't have time to explain. We have to get out of here, now!"
"What's going on?"
"Hurry! Downstairs! We'll leave through the back door!"
Alright now I'm creeped out what the hell is going on in this Freak Dorm?
"Wait!" Now what? I had been about to go out of the room when she stopped me. "…Take this, just in case." she hands me a short sword. What the fuck am I supposed to do with this? I don't know how to use any weapon! I looked at it closely. I don't even think the damn thing is real! Give the gun at least!
"Okay, let's go! Follow me!" Bah. I follow her all the way down stairs and we are at the backdoor. "Alright, we should be safe now-"
Suddenly there's a loud beeping and I hear Mitsuru's voice. "Takeba, do you read me!"
"Y-Yes! I hear you!"
What. The. Fuck. What is this reconnaissance? Are these people spies or something? Also how the heck are they using whatever they're using during Critter Hour. Electricity doesn't work at this time!
"Be careful! There's more than one enemy! The one we're fighting isn't the one Akihiko saw!"
What are they talking about! Suddenly there's a loud slam at the rear door.
WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?
Yukari gasped before stammering. "L-Let's pull back!" I didn't even question her I want to get the hell out of here.
As we ran up the stairs we heard glass breaking and stomping from downstairs.
"It's getting closer!"
I run ahead of Yukari to the 4th floor maybe if I'm lucky it would catch her and be so busy doing whatever it was going to do I could get away. Yes I'm a shameless coward.
HELL NO! I kept running and opened the door to the rooftop. A few seconds after I reached the top she appeared and locked the door. I was tempted to close it and leave her in there but…well I'm not a murderer.
"The doors are locked. I think we're safe for now…!"
Suddenly there was this giant critter with a Mask with the I symbol on it…but that's not what was really important. The critter had several armors and legs and each hand held a steel sharp blade. Yeah. I don't want to chopped into little pieces! I don't wanna die here!
"You gotta be kidding me…! It climbed up the wall…!"
I flinched this wasn't going to end well. "That's the thing that attacked this place…We call them Shadows! O-Oh yeah…I have to fight…I…I can summon mine…No problem…" Yukari took out her gun yet instead of pointing it out that thing like anyone with sense she held it at her own head.
She took several deep breathes and the creature suddenly sent a large ball of flame at her knocking her backwards. I cringed at the loud thud she made when she hit the ground. That had to hurt.
When she hit the ground her gun had went flying across the ground and landed by my feet. I blinked and saw Jailboy. He smiled at me and held his fingers to his head in a shooting gesture. "Do it."
What? I was supposed to shoot myself in the head? Is he crazy?
Well shooting myself in the head seemed a better alternative to be stabbed by that creature still coming towards me so I grab the gun off the ground holding it to my head I take a deep breath. As I pull the trigger a word escapes my lips.
"Per-so-na" The gun goes off and suddenly a creature appeared I stared up at it stunned. It seemed to be humanoid with a…lyre I believe? On its back of all places.
"Thou art I and I am thou."
What the heck? Suddenly the creature seemed to crumple in on itself and my head felt like it was splitting apart all I know is that the first creature was replaced by another one that I couldn't see too well due to my eyes closing because of the pain. However it seemed decked in black and wasn't as humanoid as the other was it decimated the giant critter into pieces. I looked up and stared at it in amazement I could see it clearly now and there was something…about it that gave me a strange somber feeling. I couldn't describe it but in a flash of light Orpheus replaced it.
"Is it over…?" leftover bits from the critter started charging towards Yukari two of them in fact she was still on the ground weak from the flame blast the creature sent at her. "It's still moving…! No…G-Get away from me!" Shit. I may not have overly liked her but I certainly wasn't going to stand by and let her get killed. Not when I could do something about it.
I ran in front of her intent on protecting her. The critters…or shadows as she called them surrounded me I grabbed the gun and shot myself again summoning that Creature again. It bashed one of the shadows with its giant lyre. The second one scratched at me roughly with its claws, I can't help but scream because of the pain. Blood came trickling down my legs where the claws had torn into flesh. The pain…I don't like pain…but…I can't let Yukari die. Once again I held the gun to my head. "PERSONA!" The lyre came on the second shadow especially hard and made a satisfying bash sound. After the battle I felt as though the creature had grown stronger. It was odd to say the least.
The critters were gone and Yukari is safe in exhaustion I fell into the ground my vision blacked and the last thing I heard was Yukari's voice.
"Are you okay? Come on…! Please…! Can you hear me! Answer me!"
…The Velvet Room? What am I doing here?
Igor had a patient smile on his face. Did he know this would happen all along?
"It's so nice to see you again. You became unconscious after awakening to your "power." I see that it was Orpheus that heeded your calling.
So that creature's name was Orpheus…so what was the name of that other creature? The one that defeated the big shadow?
"That power is called a Persona…It is a manifestation of your psyche."
A manifestation of my psyche?
"A persona is a facet of your personality that surfaces as you react to external stimuli…You can think of it as a mask that protects you as you brave many hardships.
"A mask?" I'm really confused now.
"When you use your Persona ability, you must channel your inner strength, The ability evolves as you develop your Social Links - your emotional ties with others. The stronger your Social Links, the more powerful your Persona ability. Please remember that."
…so basically getting to know people gives me a level up on my freaky ability to summon creatures like this Orpheus then? That's…odd. And if a persona is a facet of your personality…and I have more than one…why do I have the feeling that I should be talking to a therapist instead of him?
"Now, then…Time marches on in your world. I shouldn't keep you here any longer. Next time we meet, you will come here of your own accord. Until then…Farewell."
When I awoke I saw a white ceiling. You know that feeling when you haven't brushed your teeth in a long time? That exactly how I felt. As I ran my tongue over the grimy surface of my teeth I cringed. My breath must smell terrible right now. I wonder how long I've been asleep. Turning I see of all people Yukari. Why her of all people? Maybe she thinks she owes me for saving her life.
"You're awake…! Um, how do you feel?"
I feel like shit Yukari. I've been in bed for Ra knows how long and I reek. How would you feel? That said I don't know how long she stayed at my bedside.
"Have you been here long?"
"Thank goodness. You finally came to…I was so worried about you…the doctor couldn't find anything wrong with you. He said you were just exhausted…Um…I'm sorry I couldn't do anything…"
Yeah I'm the one ending up having to save both our sorry asses. Ugh. I want a shower.
"But, your power…It was amazing."
"What…did I do…?"
"The power you used…We call it 'Persona.'"
Hm…that's the same thing Igor said.
"And those creatures you defeated are Shadows -our enemy." So apparently critters (I don't think I'm going to stop calling them that for a while) are these so called Shadows…"We'll explain everything later. I'm sorry I didn't tell you before…I, uh…I wanted to tell you that…I'm sorta like you."
"Why tell me this?"
"My dad died in an accident when I was little…" oh please no. I don't want to hear your sob story I have my own problems. "And my mom and I aren't exactly on good terms…You're all alone too, right? To be honest, I already know about your past…But, it didn't seem fair, so I wanted you to know about mine…It was back in '99...There was a big explosion in the area. Supposedly, my dad died in the blast, but nobody really knows what happened. He was working in a lab run by the Kirijo Group. So, I'm hoping that if I stick around long enough, I'll find out something." Ah I see. So that's why I found Mitsuru's name to be familiar she was the heir to the Kirijo group. "That's why I'm going to Gekkoukan High, and why I was there when this happened to you. …Of course, I panicked and wasn't much help…It was my first time fighting them, too. I'm sorry…you wouldn't have to go through all this if I wasn't such a coward…"
I smile at her warmly apparently it was a good thing I decided not to lock the door.
"It's not your fault."
"Thanks…but still…and here I am telling you all this the minute you wake up. While I was waiting, I thought to myself, "I've been hiding so many things from her…As soon as she wakes up, I'll tell her the truth. So, thanks for listening. I've been wanting to share that story with someone for a long time. Alright, I'm gonna get going. I'll let the others know you woke up. Oh, and, uh…you don't have to be formal around me or anything. Us second-year girls got to stick up for each other, after all. B-Bye." Yukari left. I was let out of the hospital the next day. Hm. I smiled as she left. Maybe she wasn't that bad after all.
Needless to say I end up brushing my teeth until they bleed trying to remove the grime. Ugh. Smelly breath is not fun. I curse Igor the whole time.
I ran into Junpei while I was walking to school. "Yo, long time no see. What's up? Did you have an upset stomach or something?" No Junpei I fought these critters - I mean shadows with this freaky Persona creature I summoned by shooting myself in the head.
Yeah…might be best to keep that to myself so I just smiled at him. "Just a little sickness I'm fine now."
"Oh that's good! Anyways, I got something to tell ya."
"What is it?"
"Actually…Oh, wait! I'm not supposed to say anything!"
"Huh?" What is that supposed to mean?
"Then why did you say anything in the first place!"
He blushed. "Sorry!"
"Sheesh, someone's full of energy today…I could hear you from all the way over there." Yukari walked up to us.
"Hey, it's Yuka-tan. You two live in the same dorm, yet came separately today? Is it…because you'll cause too many rumors again, hm?"
"What? I just left a little late! Anyways, I need to talk to her. Bye-bye, Junpei." Yukari shooed Junpei away.
"Whaaat?" he left sulking. My lips twitched.. I'm finding it hard not to laugh. Does that mean he's growing on me?
"Are you feeling better? …Minako."
….What the hell is with that blush? "…" I felt awkward for a moment. And why did she just say my first name without any suffix? Wasn't that some sort of intimacy here? …You know what I don't want to know. I placed that in my black box of thoughts I do not touch and left it.
"Um, sorry to hit you with this first thing in the morning…but Ikutsuki-san wants to talk to you today. Come to the 4th floor of the dorm after school, okay? Don't forget."
Yay another Freak Dorm meeting. I hope Ikutsuki doesn't make more of those lame jokes of his.
And yet again in class Junpei ended up needing my help. I whispered the answer to him. "Mud huts." Really he needed to learn to pay attention. Professor Ono had said it not 3 minutes before. Though I looked at Mr. Ono's strange hat and his obsession with samurai and shook my head. I wonder if he knows how to use a sword? And as usual more whispering and rumors. Since we were having a meeting at the freak dorm I decided to go back early.
When I reached the 4th floor I saw Yukari, Mitsuru, the Chairman and a male student I had never seen before. He had…grey hair…first grey blue and now straight grey. Where do they get these hair colors from? Its like I'm at an anime convention. I decide to sit next to him, after I do so he looks me head to toe before turning back to Ikutsuki.
"Ah, there you are. I'm glad that you're okay. I wasn't sure what I'd do if anything had happened to you."
Hmph. You say that after having me in your Freak Dorm and nearly torn apart from those damn critters? Nice Ikutsuki, real nice.
"The reason I asked you here is because I needed to talk to you."
"Oh, before that. I believe I mentioned him earlier, but this is Akihiko." I look at the gray haired boy next to me.
"How ya doin'?"
I wave awkwardly. He's cute and he gives me a small welcoming smile. Hey freak dorm might not be so bad. Well other than the critters constantly trying to rip me apart at least. That is if the creature - I mean my Persona doesn't do it first.
"Okay, let me start off by asking you this…Would you believe me if I said that a day consists of more than 24 hours?"
"Huh?" Ikutsuki looked shocked he obviously didn't expect that response.
"Critter time right?"
"Critter time?" Mitsuru looked confused.
"When the electricity stops working, people get locked up in coffins and those strange critters- I mean shadows start wandering about."
"I've experienced Critter time since I was 6."
Everyone looked at me in shock. "Really?" Ikutsuki blinked.
I nod. "Most of those critter- sorry I'm used to calling them that. I mean the shadows in New York tend to be small and there are not a lot of them. For the most part they stay way from me and I do the same."
"That makes this easier than." Mitsuru placed a briefcase on the table, she didn't open it but rather looked toward Ikutsuki to continue.
"Anyway, we're the Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad-SEES for short. On paper, we're classified as a school club. But in reality, this group is dedicated to defeating the Shadows. Mitsuru is the leader. I'm the club adviser."
"A Shadow feeds on the mind of its prey; the victim becomes a living corpse. They're responsible for most of the incidents on the news, if not all of them."
So…these critters only appeared during Critter Time and SEES fights them to stop them from feeding on people's mind. Sounds like something out of a JRPG.
"How do you fight them." Yeah I was pretty sure I knew the answer but I wanted to know for sure. So far what I got was that members of SEES apparently used guns to shoot themselves in the head and summoned those…Persona creatures. Why one would shoot themselves in the head I will never understand but apparently that's how the Persona was released.
"Although rare, there are those who can function during the Dark Hour. Some may even awaken to a power that enables them to fight the Shadows. That's "Persona"-the power you used the other night.
Yeah the power that nearly split my brain apart? I'm not looking forward to doing that again.
"The Shadows can only be defeated by Persona-users. Which means, it's all up to you guys."
So apparently only the members of the Freak Dorm can stop the critters…joy.
"I'm glad you're quick to understand."
Its not like I have much of a choice you smiling bastard. This sucks.
Mitsuru opens the case on the table and inside is a silver gun similar to the one Yukari used.
"What he's trying to say is, we want you to join us."
Yeah I had sort of figured that part out. So now I'm going to be stuck fighting those critters, blowing my brains out with a gun to summon that Persona, and on top of that more than likely getting my ass kicked because of my inability to fight. Why the hell were they asking me, an ordinary high school girl, to join their reconnaissance group anyways? I'm liable to get myself killed!
"We've prepared an Evoker for you. We'd like you to lend us your strength."
Evoker? That thing isn't a real gun? Well…I felt like an idiot of course it wasn't a real gun, if it was my brains would be all over that rooftop. Looking at the determination on Mitsuru's face, I could tell this question was a mere formality, I was going to join them whether I liked it or not. With a sigh I nodded at least I'd have some eye candy here.
Yukari let out the breath she had been holding. "I was afraid you'd say no…Welcome aboard!" she smiled at me brightly and I gave a small smile in return.
"Thank you so much. I'm really glad. Oh, I almost forgot…About your room assignment…Why don't you just stay here, in your current room? I don't know what the holdup is, but I guess it worked out in the end." he laughed.
That laughing bastard planned this from the beginning. The urge to smack him arose within me so strongly my hand twitched.
"Hold up? But, wasn't that-oh never mind."
I guess I'm an official member of SEES now. At least I'll get one of those nice red armbands!
Suddenly a voice rang in my head.
Thou art I…
And I am Thou…
That shalt have our blessing when thou chooseth to create a persona of the Fool Arcana
I felt stronger inside. Was this what Igor meant by the power of social links? I go back to my room to sleep the night away. I don't even bother with my nightly ritual I was so tired. That hospital had drained all my strength.
But before my eyes could shut I felt an eerie presence.
"Hi, how are you?"
How the hell did this freaky kid get in here?
"How did you get in here?"
"I'm always with you…"
Right very creepy and to top it off he chuckled. I wanted nothing more than to hide under the blankets why oh why did the creepy Jailboy have to visit me?
"Soon, the end will come." And to top it of he's sprouting doomsday prophecies. Fantastic. "I remembered, so I thought I should tell you."
I wanted him gone now. He's scaring the hell out of me, I'm tired, and the room is creepy due to Critter Time.
He laughed again and I wished I hadn't said that. "I wasn't expecting you to thank me." Please leave soon creepy child. I can't take much more of this today. "But you're welcome. That…is what I'm supposed to say, right? I don't really know what this "end" is about, either." Yet you barge in my room at this time of night to tell me about it? "Oh, looks like you've awakened to your power…and an unusual power it is."
Why the hell do all these freaks know everything about me? This sucks.
"A power that takes many forms, yet is bound by none…It may prove to be your salvation, depending on where you end up. Do you remember when we first met?" when your creepy self gave me that contract? Why wouldn't I remember that. That's the day this nightmare began.
"I expect you to honor your commitment. I'll be watching you, even if you forget about me…" and now he sounds like a creepy stalker boyfriend. Ick. "Okay then, see you later." And once again he vanished in the darkness. Shaking I grab my sheet and pull it over my head. I don't want to see anything else tonight.
End Chapter 1.