Prologue: The Dream
A/N I do not own any of the characters or concepts in regards to Shin Megami Tensei, this is a fan work and is non-profit.
1994 Kichijoji, Tokyo
Through a maze of featureless pink corridors wanders a young boy, his mind drifting aimlessly amongst a haze of shallow consciousness. He has been here before; every night for the past year this dream has been the only constant in his life. A journey through the mists of a world he knows nothing of is where Kazuya Akanaka finds his only sense of peace. This is the only place he knows where his intellect will not help nor hinder him; a place where no one will fill him will hollow praise regarding his programming talent or criticize him for staying true to his pessimistic and cynical outlook on life and whatever lies beyond.
No, here all he can do is wander the hallways of his unconscious mind, free of responsibility or commitment, only answering to himself.
"Solitude… I ask for nothing more." He whispers to himself in contentment. Kazuya turns a corridor and looks forward upon a long pathway that extends beyond the horizon of his mind. In the distance he could make out no distinctive features, only a light that seemed to shine upon all in his own vision. He was puzzled at first, after all this was the first time that such a long pathway had ever appeared to him in his dreams. Every night prior he would spend twisting and turning through an endless maze of pink hazy walls with no end in sight. Kazuya looked upon that light and sighed and shrugged his shoulders.
"The proverbial light at the end. I only wish I could have evaded you longer and let my journey last forever. But even I am not so stubborn as to try and escape fate." Kazuya mused quietly in dissatisfaction at the prospect of reaching the end of his journey.
Despite his disappointment he marched towards the light his mind speculating with every step as to where he was going and what would he find when he reached there. He noticed an alternate pathway which could lead him from the light but he simply passed it. He had seen the end of his journey and like it or not, he knew he had to face it.
That was however, until a concrete wall with a man's face blocked his path.
"What?" Kazuya exclaimed as he bent his legs and raised his right arm defensively. He wanted to turn away but he found that his vision was fixed upon the face that was encircled with characters that he didn't recognize.
"Who dares attempt to pass this place!" The face on the wall announced with a deep booming voice that sent shivers through Kazuya's skin, he tried to maintain himself but was frozen in fear. Naught a moment passed before the wall continued.
"He who does not state his name shall not pass! Identify thyself!" The wall roared with a conviction that Kazuya had never known before in his life. Taken far from his comfort zone the young man forced his body to stop from shaking. Swallowing a lump in his throat Kazuya brushed aside his anxiety and put on a confident front and spoke directly to the wall that blocked his path.
"My name is Kazuya, Kazuya Akanaka. Sorry to disappoint." He addressed the wall in the same manner he had taken to introducing himself to anyone else he met. He added the second statement as a means of playing with his reputation as the prodigy programmer who would turn out to just be a reclusive teenager. He adopted his trademark scowl with his head tipped forward and his eyes staring directly under at you while his brown hair framed his face. The wall however showed no reaction to Kazuya's attempt at intimidation and instead continued talking.
"The one named Kazuya has dormant power." The wall spoke in a tone that was far less bombastic than prior. The change in volume provoked a small smirk on Kazuya's lips, thinking that perhaps his attempt at matching the wall's tone had succeeded.
"Make use of this gift." The wall instructed Kazuya who raised an eyebrow at the comment only to feel a rush of power flow through him.
"What are you doing? Why do I feel so…. alive?" Kazuya muttered in a daze as his body seemed to gain a new sense of strength and ability. The sense of elation quickly faded however and he found himself once again staring down at this wall that for some reason could speak.
"Kazuya…" The wall spoke his name with a greater familiarity than he would have expected. It was almost like the way a parent might address their child, a manner that while comforting for most, was off putting for him.
"Beyond this door, both those chosen by god that follow the path of Law and Order, and those that rely on their own power, that follow the path of competition and Chaos await you."
"The path of god? You can't be saying that-" Kazuya tried to interject but was unable to silence the concrete wall that appeared to know the contents of the world beyond him.
"Take care not to tip the balance between the two as you proceed." Warned the wall before it split in half and opened unveiling the light beyond that previously held an air of mystery to it. Now however, he had the vague musings regarding the balance of Law versus Chaos to consider. Though upon further reflection he realized that he still had no idea what to expect when he reached the light and the end of the hallway.
"Law and Chaos? What does this have to do with the end of my journey? Ah well, no use in speculating while the answer is in sight." Kazuya put aside his piling questions and moved forward towards the light disregarding for the moment the nonsense that the wall had spewed to him. When he finally reached the light Kazuya realized that he had arrived at a dead end. But before he could sigh and return to his wandering he felt his body pull himself to the right and through a small series of pathways until he noticed an object above the horizon. He moved forward and soon the object grew larger in size and it appeared in front of him blocking his path. It was a symbol that made him reflect further on what the wall had said. It was a crucifix, with the outline of what appeared to be a person bound to it.
"A cross? In my subconscious? It's appears that my prior theories were incorrect. Wherever I am, this is not my mind." Kazuya spoke to himself until he noticed that there was a figure in a blue robe staring at him. He couldn't make out much of the figures features apart from its crouched over posture and hollow gaze. A silence followed for until the robed figure spoke.
"This soul has been offered to god." The robed man spoke (the voice indicated the gender) with a disturbing level of pride. Kazuya frowned and without questioning the bizarre nature of his situation scowled at the man.
"Any god that would delight in the offering of souls is a tyrant. Release him at once." Kazuya ordered clenching his fists as he spoke. The man however only chuckled.
"If you call his name he shall awaken. Please call his name." The man requested in a manner that only irritated Kazuya further. He was not normally the altruistic type, but even if one disregarded Kazuya's hidden compassion for people he was still a man of logic and practicality. And things such as needless sacrifice for abstract goals and metaphysical concepts irked him to no end.
"I don't know his name! Even if I did, it wouldn't matter! Just release Yuji or I'll have to try and force you to understand my logic!" Threatened Kazuya, preparing to force his fist against the robed figure's seemingly frail frame. However the robed man showed no signs of intimidation and instead lowered his head as the crucified soul began to shake from its bindings.
"It appears that Yuji has dormant power." The man muttered with a mix of discontent and intrigue.
"Wait, Yuji?" Kazuya probed his thoughts trying to understand how he knew that name and that the soul on the cross held it. However those questions had to be put aside (like the others) the moment that the soul broke free from its bindings and fell to the ground only to quickly stand upright.
"Wh…where am I? I was trying to accomplish something but I forgot what…." Yuji pondered out loud clutching his head in confusion. Kazuya folded his arms shook his head.
"At least you had an objective in mind, up until recently I've just been wandering this maze aimlessly without any destination or conclusion." Kazuya remarked adopting his trademark attitude when dealing with people. Sarcasm was the only way he knew how to break the ice.
While most where off put or somewhat amused by Kazuya's sense of humour Yuji however turned to face him with a look of great amazement and respect. This took Kazuya a but by surprise as usually people looked at him like that before he opened his mouth.
"You saved me, didn't you?" Yuji added with a genuine look of gratitude. Kazuya tried to maintain his cool and retorted.
"I suppose, but I didn't really do anything special. I mean, apart from saying your name which I knew for some reason." Kazuya responded trying to downplay his involvement. He knew that he wasn't thinking to save Yuji for the sake of being a nice person, so he felt guilty in being seen as a hero when he didn't deserve it.
However, Yuji simply shook his head and smiled.
"Either way, I sense that if I go with you, I'll remember what it was that I was supposed to do. So please take me with you" Yuji pleaded with exaggerated arm movements, getting kind of close to Kazuya in the process. Kazuya blushed slightly for reasons that disturbed him greatly and nodded his head.
"Okay, okay! You can come with me, just please! Not so close! I like my personal space thanks." Kazuya exclaimed turning his head from Yuji has he gently pushed him away.
"Alright, sorry. I'll keep my distance. By the way, I'm Yuji Tokumura, what's your name?" Yuji asked politely while taking his place next to Kazuya but with a fair space between them.
"My name is Kazuya, Kazuya Akanaka. Sorry to disappoint." Kazuya answered adopting the same tone and pose he had used when dealing with the wall. He quickly regretted this action as right afterwards Yuji started to laugh in a manner that told Kazuya that he had just sounded really stupid. Kazuya tried to hide his embarrassment by scowling until Yuji stopped.
"Sorry, it's just the way you said that sounded so melodramatic. I don't mean to hurt your feelings or anything. Honest!" Yuji stopped laughing and bowed for his rudeness. Rather than focusing on the matter Kazuya decided to brush the whole thing off and focus on something that had started to bother him.
"Hey did you see where that guy in blue went? He seems to have just vanished." Kazuya asked prompting only a shrug of the shoulders from Yuji.
"No clue, we should get going anyway. Maybe we will find answers at the end." Yuji concluded and started to walk through the hall ahead of Kazuya. He pondered briefly on whether to push the issue but realized that they had nothing to go on but speculation at this point. Realizing that Kazuya ran over to Yuji and the two walked through the maze of corridors.
The two walked in silence until they saw another outline of a person, on the ground. Kazuya held back and prepared his fists while Yuji ran over to the figure only to stop when he realized that another figure was standing on top of it.
"Hey get off of him! He looks like he needs help!" Yuji yelled at the figure on top. The figure turned to Yuji and laughed scaring him a bit. The figure had dark tan skin and no features expect for pointed ears and red evil eyes. He looked like a demon of some sort, a creature that seemed to actually pose a threat to the two boys.
"This is the soul of a weak one who desires power. If you call his name he should wake up." The demon cackled prompting a scoff from Yuji.
"I-I don't know…" Yuji muttered quietly
"What was that! Go on, call his name." The demon taunted, pressing his right foot against the soul's head and his left against the soul's left thigh, crushing them in a manner that prompted the soul to cry out in agony. Yuji watched the scene in horror while racked his mind racked for the answer but came up with nothing. Biting the proverbial bullet Yuji yelled back at the demon.
"I don't know his name alright! So don't ask me." Yuji admitted shamefully, his body shaking in guilt and frustration. The demon saw Yuji how quickly lost his confident disposition and laughed victoriously.
"Then... he will die." The demon spoke with sadistic glee as he prepared his hands to rip the souls apart. Yuji braced himself for the oncoming violence when Kazuya who had surveyed the scene walked forward and stared the demon down.
"Takeshi, Takeshi... Kuromori. That's his name right?" Kazuya speculated based upon another whim he had suddenly felt in his gut. Yuji looked over to Kazuya in surprise when the demon simply cackled.
"Well, we will just have to wait and see." The demon said with a sinister grin.
The three didn't have to wait long to see signs of life as Takeshi rose from under the demon groaning like one would expect after awaking from being knocked out. The demon jumped out of the way and smirked.
"He may be weak, but he still has a good deal of strength left." The demon added in a manner that sounded slightly sarcastic. Takeshi grabbed his head and groaned a bit more before looking directly at Kazuya
"…Why did you wake me up!" Takeshi shouted at Kazuya with an accusatory tone and strength that surprised all of them. Kazuya, who was honestly not expecting such a statement thought for a moment about what to say. Yuji on the other hand, placed his arms at his sides and remained silent. To him a person's first meeting was an extremely important event, and the way in which Takeshi had responded to their kindness with complaints bothered him far more than he knew he should have been. He decided he would keep a close eye on this new person, already having a poor impression of this new companion of theirs. Kazuya on the other hand wasn't all that offended by the remark. He was very familiar with people who didn't adhere to social constructs. After all, he considered himself to be one of them.
"You had a demon on your back about to kill you, would you have preferred we left you alone?" He sarcastically inquired prompting a disapproving glare from Yuji who had only now recovered his bearings. Takeshi took a step back seemingly genuinely surprised by the news and stroked the back of his head.
"Was I? Rats and I was having such a good dream…" Takeshi added with a pout which to Kazuya came across as rather stupid. Rather than confronting him with the absurdity of such a statement Kazuya decided to do what he did best… more sarcasm.
"Well, perhaps I could knock you out right here and send right back to dreamland which is apparently not where we are now." Kazuya mockingly threatened him even cracking his knuckles to accentuate his point. Takeshi winced at the prospect and started to cower in a manner that only served to egg Kazuya on. The demon realizing his part was finished vanished in the middle of the scene.
"Ahem! Before we resort to fisticuffs like a bunch of brutes perhaps we should finish our journey first?" Yuji interjected spoiling the mood and causing Kazuya to retract his threatening advances.
"Point taken, c'mon Takeshi, you can dream later." Kazuya outstretching his hand which was previously about to punch Takeshi and instead opened it so that the two could shake on it. Takeshi sighed in relief but immediately afterward pretended to be disappointed that the two didn't fight.
"Damn. Oh well, let's get out of here." Takeshi accepted the handshake and the three started moving together through the pink maze. While they moved they introduced each other and started to talk about what they remembered before meeting each other. However they didn't get very far because the next place they went was into a room that was pitch black from the outside. And in the inside was a beautiful naked woman bathing in a pond.
"HOLY SHIT! BOO-Hmmmph" Takeshi was about to exclaim until his mouth was covered by Yuji who then quickly grabbed him and forcibly tore him away from the seemingly erotic sight.
"Avert your eyes man! A lady has a right to privacy when she is bathing. We have no right to gaze upon her in such a personal moment." Yuji lectured Takeshi in whisper while hiding the two of them behind some of the rocks. Takeshi struggled for a short time kicking and squirming against Yuji's weight until he found and opening and pushed himself free. The two of them caught their breath and glared at each-other. Neither thought at the moment to check how Kazuya was reacting to the situation.
"If that's the case then why the fuck is she bathing in a pond where anyone can see her? Besides it's not like I was going to whip my dick out and start ma-" Takeshi found himself silenced once again when Yuji tackled him to the ground and covered his mouth with his arms.
"Shut up! Please I do not want to hear anymore from you!" Yuji whispered scathingly to the Takeshi all the while fighting his own urge to sneak a peek. It was only then that they realized that Kazuya had stepped into the pond and was now staring right at the woman.
"Dude…" Takeshi muffled in a mix of jealously, shock and respect for such a ballsy course of action. Yuji in a surprisingly nodded in agreement.
"Who's there?" The woman asked still keeping her back turned away from the three boys. Kazuya felt his cheeks light up in embarrassment but for some reason he couldn't bring himself to look away or hide like the others. Even stranger he felt compelled to answer her.
"Kazuya, Kazuya Akanaka, sorry t-" Kazuya's token introduction was cut off when the woman turned to face him with a warm smile across her beautiful face.
"Ah… it's you, Kazuya" She remarked in excitement her body edging closer to him as she spoke. Kazuya found himself unable to tear his eyes off her despite the voices in his head screaming to do so.
"Y-yeah, y-you know me?" He stuttered out in a manner that prompted a flirtatious giggle from the mysterious woman.
"My name is Yuriko, I've been waiting for you." She spoke to him a low voice that sent shivers down his spine. Instincts and desires that Kazuya had long since dismissed as meaningless were going crazy at this moment as it seemed every word she said was planned for maximum impact.
"Y-you, h-h-have?" He asked almost afraid of what she would say next. Yuriko saw how embarrassed he was and giggled again, she loved seeing the normally stoic and cold Kazuya getting flustered at the sight of an attractive woman. Yuriko moved closer to Kazuya who froze as she advanced. She moved her arms from her chest and placed them around Kazuya's waist and raised her lips to his ear and whispered softly to him.
"Yes… as your eternal partner…"
With those words Kazuya bolted from the pond grabbing Yuji and Takeshi as we ran.
"Dude! What was that all about? Is she your girlfriend or something or are you some kind of chick ma-" Takeshi found himself cut off once again by Yuji who shoved his fist against his mouth.
"Just drop it horndog! We have more important things to deal with." Yuji scolded Takeshi while turning to Kazuya who simply nodded and looked away.
"I just want to get these dirty thought out of my head as soon as I can." Kazuya added with a sigh placing his hand on his temple. Just as he said that another female voice found its way into the ears of the three boys.
"Kazuya, how long are you going to sleep?" The voice of a middle aged woman stopped Kazuya dead in his tracks and sent another extremely uncomfortable feeling over his body.
"MOM! Well there goes my boner." Kazuya exclaimed loudly then added quietly to himself. The other three looked at him and then each other and bother surprised the urge to laugh at the situation.
"Just because you have today off doesn't mean you can oversleep!" The voice of Megami Akanaka lectured in that stern voice that only a mother can.
"It's not like I do anything on the days I don't have off or anything." Kazuya snidely remarked under his breath.
"Come on, get up!" His mother commanded prompting a whiny groan from Kazuya who saw the pink labyrinth begin to dissipate around him. In time his consciousness left the realm of unconsciousness and returned to the reality that he so wished to escape.
END OF PROLOGUE
A/N: So that's the first chapter of my novelization of the original Shin Megami Tensei. I've been wanting to this for a long time but until now have never had the courage to try. I've searched the site but I've never actually found a fanfic for the original series so I wanted to try and create one myself.
I know it isn't perfect so if you can give me any criticism you feel is valid. Having said that I'm painfully neurotic and have rather low self esteem so if you have any praise or words of encouragement then I'd love to hear them.
I'm trying to stay close to the source material (I have the game running while I write.) but as you can see I'm taking some liberties with the characters (especially Kazuya who is a silent protagonist originally.) I'm trying to write things with the reactions of the characters in mind hence where there was no way I couldn't write the scene with Yuriko and not have the characters comment on it.
Oh and in case anyone is wondering, this will follow the neutral path (as that's the canon route).
So until next time please read and review.