The Id, The Ego, and The Super-Ego; The Shadows, Man, and Persona. From them spurned forth the God and Goddess who would fight for the destiny of humanity. When SEES faces off against the Special Investigation Team, who will be crowned the True Heirs of the Arcana? The outcome of this battle will decide Humanity's fate! ...Will it be Blissful Oblivion, or Death?
Pairings...? Like I'd give that away from the get-go. ;]
A butterfly with wings of neon sapphire flew silently through the darkness.
You who wield the pillar of strength that connects Man's darkest desires to God above;
The façade used to overcome life's hardships;
In this ordeal what path will you choose for humanity,
As stewards to the reckoning that will come…?
The entire room was blanketed in suede that was an otherworldly deep blue. The strange man looked across the table at his guest, smiling, his round, black eyes staring unblinkingly at the guest who had just arrived. He rested his sharp little chin on his bony, interlocked fingers.
"Welcome. My, what an unexpected guest! I'm delighted to see you here however."
He grinned, bearing his sharp, inhuman teeth.
"…Now then, shall we begin?"
He spread the tarot cards across the table, and flipped up the face down card in the middle.
"I see... Very intriguing..."
Chapitre I – Guns and Glasses
Piece Un – The 'Allies of Justice'
Yosuke sat on a beach chair in the sand, his eyelids drooping lazily as he looked out at the sea. The relaxing rush of the waves coming in and out lulled him to a sleepy, blissful stupor.
"Mmm—Yosuke, I never realized how much of a stud you are…" Rise cooed as she traced one slender finger along his bare chest. She was lying prone in a pink two-piece, on a blanket on the sand.
"Ha! That's because you never took the time to look." Yosuke replied smugly as he sipped on a cocktail of different Junes brand fruit juices. Non alcoholic of course. A single, cool drop of lemon juice dripped from the bright yellow lemon slice placed at the rim of the cup, and fell into the now empty glass.
"Fetch me another glass, Bear-servant." He said regally as he placed the empty glass on the silver tray Teddie had balanced on one hand.
"Right away, sire." Teddie replied with a bow and promptly went away.
"Chie, dear, why not take a break and sit with me awhile?" Yosuke asked.
"Y-yes sir Lord Yosuke!" Chie replied enthusiastically, laying down the banana leaf she had been fanning Yosuke with, and sat with him. She giggled nervously.
"Mm, Yukiko, that's fantastic—", Yosuke purred as Yukiko massaged sun-tan lotion on his back.
"Thank you sir!" She said.
"This is the life…" Yosuke sighed contentedly. He turned to Naoto and opened his mouth, and she in turn dropped a grape into it.
Suddenly Teddie came running back, sans fruit juice cocktail. "YOSUKE!" He yelled.
"Calm yourself, Bear-servant. Where's my drink!"
Suddenly, Rise's face transmogrified into that of a plump, cartoon bear; with giant, prying eyes like saucers.
"YOSUKE!" She screamed, her voice suddenly that of Teddie's.
"W-what the hell!" Yosuke exclaimed, backing away into Yukiko. She rested her chin on his shoulder, and suddenly her face was the same as Teddie and Rise's.
Yosuke screamed, frantically flinging sand as he clawed and crawled away from them. Naoto tapped him on the shoulder and he spun around, and to his horror Naoto's face too transformed into Teddie's.
Suddenly all four of the girls' faces had turned into Teddie's, all screaming his name; all with the bodies of Chie, Rise, Naoto and Yukiko.
Yosuke awoke with a start, screaming.
"Finally!" Teddie exclaimed, leaning over him. "I've been trying to wake you up!"
"YOU STUPID BEAR!" Yosuke cried, grabbing Teddie by the neck and shaking him, "I WAS HAVING THE GREATEST DREAM OF ALL TIME! AND YOU-!"
"What's taking so long!" A familiar voice called from outside Yosuke's room.
"What are you guys—Ohhh my God—!" It was Chie. She was pointing at something on Yosuke's bed.
"What-?" Yosuke paused from strangling Teddie to look down at what Chie was pointing at.
"W-wait it's not like that!"
"YOU PERV!" Chie roared, producing an armful of shoes seemingly out of nowhere.
"FREAK! EW EW EW!" she yelled as she hurled the shoes at Yosuke, Teddie being caught in the crossfire.
"Ow! Chie-! Stop! Augh!"
"IS THIS WHAT YOU TWO ALWAYS DO TOGETHER WHEN YOU'RE ALONE AT NIGHT!" Chie yelled, continuing to hurl shoes.
"Yosuke! There's a monster under your sheets! I'll get it!" Teddie yelled. He took a sledgehammer, also seemingly out of nowhere, and held it above his head. The solid lead head of the sledgehammer eclipsed the light from the room's ceiling fan, like an ominous omen foretelling the pain that was to come.
"TED-! NOOOOOOO!" Yosuke howled.
[Five minutes later…]
"Yosuke… I thought it might be a Shadow… I'm sorry, really!" Teddie said, bowing apologetically.
"Just… just leave it…" Yosuke growled. He was holding an ice pack on his lap.
"You two are such freaks." Chie said.
"Can we… Vow never to speak of this again…?" Yosuke said quietly, hanging his head.
"Anyway," He said, "What do you guys want?"
"That's right!" Said Chie, "I totally forgot for a second because of what happened but you totally need to check out the news right now!" She turned on the T.V.
"—And we're continuing live coverage of the unknown creature wreaking havoc just outside the Samegawa Flood Plain in the town of Inaba. Japanese Self Defense forces are said to be en route to the scene as we speak, as dozens of local police are—"
"What the hell!" Yosuke exclaimed. On screen a hideous monster—a mass of black ooze and arms wielding knives was surrounded by police cars and police officers, guns drawn. Above it, a police helicopter shined a spotlight on it.
"It has to be a Shadow!" Teddie said. "It appeared around midnight suddenly! This was why I was trying to wake you up!"
"Well why didn't you say so! You stupid bear!" Yosuke yelled. He could suddenly hear the police sirens outside.
"What are we going to do!" Chie asked. Yosuke grimaced.
"We can't sit here and do nothing—" He said, "But, if we try and fight that thing in front of the police… we'll raise a big stink around ourselves…"
Chie slammed her fist on her palm. "I got it!" She said, "Let's swing by my place on the way! Come on!"
And with that the three left.
[Meanwhile, at the famous Amagi Inn…]
"Please settle down everyone!" The girl in the pink kimono said, trying to calm the crowd of worried staff and inn visitors. She could scarcely be heard over the collective roar of the tumultuous crowd.
"I-it's no use…" She said softly to herself.
"Yukiko-Chan! It's no use! Everyone is fleeing the Inn!"
Yukiko tightened her fists.
"If only… If only he were here…" She said to herself.
[At Chie's house…]
"Dah dah dah duhhh!" Chie sang as she took out the simple plastic masks. "I even have a cape!"
"Oooh! Oooh! I want the cape!" Teddie beamed.
"Uh! No way!" Chie replied, "The cape is MINE, duh."
"Normally I'd question why you have a closet full of super hero costumes but…" Yosuke trailed off, shaking his head.
"Err… w-well, what's important is, we can conceal our identities right?" Chie said, smiling sheepishly.
"Well… I guess this could work… Let's go!" Yosuke said. And with that the three took off once again, this time, for the Samegawa Flood Plain.
[Just outside the Samegawa Flood Plain…]
"Damn it! Just what the hell is this thing!" Dojima growled. He aimed his sidearm, a simple Nanbu handgun from behind his opened car door. All around him sirens wailed, gunshots rang out, and the voices of dozens of officers were calling out chaotically on the radio.
"D-Dojima-San! It's headed this way! Run!" A rookie police officer called to him.
"Idiot! There's nothing but houses that way! We can't let that thing pass!"
It was no use, the rookie officer fled.
"Shit-!" Dojima cursed as the mass of black ooze, arms, and knives made its way closer and closer.
Dojima pulled the trigger on his Nanbu over and over but the bullets did nothing but sink into the gooey mass.
Click. Click. Click.
"Damn it!" Dojima cursed again. "I-I've gotta do something!" He got into his car, and turned on the engine. He was going to ram his car head long into the monster—he had to stop it, even if it meant risking his life.
The beast drew closer. Dojima could make out a faint "I" on the mask-like "face" of the creature.
"Th-this is it…" He said. "..Aw hell." He took another breath of his lit cigarette, and was about to floor it when suddenly, the monster was consumed in an emerald whirlwind. It roared in agony.
"What the hell is going on now!" Dojima exclaimed. He lowered his head to the dash just in time to spy a mysterious entity on the roof of the building next to him, with hair like roaring flames, surrounded in a spinning circular-saw like weapon. It disappeared above a masked boy who, along with two others was atop a roof.
The police helicopter flashed its searchlight over to the three masked crusaders.
"Who the hell are they! What was that!" An officer yelled over the radio.
"Never fear!" Announced one, caped 'hero', "The Fist of Burning Justice Hero is here! …With her two faithful sidekicks!" The hero flashed the peace sign.
"Hyah! It is I, El Bear-On Guapo!" A bear-looking costumed hero announced, spinning before striking a flashy pose.
"H-he's wearing the costume of the Junes mascot!" A confused onlooker called out.
"…Are you two serious…?" Yosuke said. "And what the hell do you mean, side kick!"
"Just go with it!" Chie chimed hastily through gritted teeth, trying to maintain her heroic smile.
Yosuke shook his head. "Whatever."
"Uhh.. It is I—Phoenix… Ninja Man… S…?" Yosuke said hesitantly and struck an awkward cheesy pose.
"D-did he say Phoenix Chicken man S!" An officer said.
"Prepare to be vanquished, evildoer!" Chie roared, then leapt from the roof, doing a front flip before landing in a dumpster.
"Idiot…" Yosuke said, facepalming himself.
Chie emerged from the dumpster.
"Taaaaake this! Hyah!" Chie struck another heroic pose, and was suddenly consumed in a cyclone of blue light. Above her appeared her Persona, Suzuka Gongen.
The goddess clad in samurai-esque armor twirled her dual-sided energy blade, before charging at the monster, landing multiple strikes.
The Shadow roared in pain.
"W-who are they! What are those things that are coming out of them!" An onlooker said.
"T-this is amazing!" The news reporter on scene said, "It seems these masked heroes have the ability to summon some sort of—spirit! They're gradually beating the creature back! I've never seen anything like this ladies and gentleman!"
Dojima's jaw dropped. The cigarette he held between his lips fell onto the dashboard. It sizzled and the car began to smell like melted plastic.
"Whatever they're doing, it seems to be hurting it!" Another onlooker said.
"It's Bear-on time!" Teddie yelled, leaping from the roof. He landed on his back.
"…Ah- w-wahhhhh! I'm stuckkkk!" Teddie wailed, his stubby arms and legs flailing as he rolled back and forth in place.
"Stupid bear…" Yosuke said as he climbed down the ladder and helped Teddie up.
"Ahem, thank you, Phoenix Chickenman!" The Bear-on said.
"It's Phoenix Ninja Man…" Yosuke said with a sigh.
"Take this, Shadow!" Teddie roared, and summoned his Persona, Kamui. Above him it appeared, sending a wall of powerful Ice hurdling towards the Shadow. The ice crawled up the Shadow's hulking black body, before shattering around him. A shower of ice shards fell around it and the surrounding area, glittering like falling sapphires in the light of the full moon.
With another pained roar, the Shadow fell, hunched over.
"Yeahhh!" An officer cheered. "Go, Heroes of Justice!"
"This is indescribable! The heroes have some sort of power over elements as well! Beautiful shards of sparkling ice are falling down all around us! Who are these masked heroes! What is this power!" The reporter continued, frantically trying to relay every detail of the scene back to the station and its viewers.
"Here we go!" Yosuke yelled, taking a fighting stance with his dual Kunai knives.
"This is our chance!" Teddie exclaimed.
"Kyaaaaaaah!" Chie roared, leading the charge. The three rushed the fallen Shadow, beating it to a pulp.
When the dust cleared, the Shadow fell and burst into millions of tiny black drops of ooze that dissipated into the night.
"We did it!" Teddie yelled.
"I-I can't believe it-!" The pilot of the police helicopter said on the radio. "Whoever these guys are—they really defeated that thing!"
The onlookers of the fight cheered.
"Ladies and gentleman!" The reporter cried, "Th-they somehow destroyed it! The monster has vanished into thin air!"
Dojima blinked hard. "N-no way…" He said to himself.
"All units!" The dispatcher on the radio called out, "Apprehend the three suspicious persons on scene!"
The police began to approach the three from all sides.
"Uh oh…Time for a heroic exit… Got any ideas, Chie!" Yosuke said, looking around. "We gotta disappear now, and fast!"
The police began to close in on the three.
"F-freeze!" An officer said.
"Aw, leave 'em alone!" An onlooker cried.
"Chie! Hello!" Yosuke yelled to the caped hero.
"Hey who let that car through!" A police officer cried abruptly.
Suddenly, down the street, a midnight black van barreled through the police barricade, and with a skid stopped just short between the three heroes and the police.
The back door opened.
"Get in! Hurry up!" A masked boy said.
"Come on come on!" Teddie yelled, and shoved the other two into the back of the van before leaping in himself.
"Stop them!" An officer yelled.
The van screeched as it sped away, bursting through the barricade on the opposite side.
"Yakushiji-San, a distraction please." The 'boy' said calmly.
"Wait a minute, you're—"
"Right away…' Blue-Wasp'" The masked man who was driving replied with a salute. He pressed a button on the van's console, and smoke shot out from behind the van, covering their escape.
"Blue… Wasp…?" Yosuke said.
The pursuing police cars screeched to a halt, their drivers completely blinded by the smoke.
Naoto turned to the three and took off the small black mask which hid her eyes. She smiled.
"My my. You three sure know how to make an entrance…" She said.
Yosuke took his mask off and slumped in his seat.
"Phew. You really saved our hides back there…"
"Ehehehe…" Chie laughed sheepishly. "Yeah… thanks Naoto-kun…"
"Still, we looked pretty awesome didn't we!" Teddie said, beaming as he struck another heroic pose. Naoto laughed.
"Yes, I admit you three looked magnificent…"
"Ever since she was a little girl", said Yakushiji, "Naoto-Sama dreamed to be a super hero. She was quite jealous when she saw you all on TV and demanded we join in your efforts right away—"
"Ah-! Yakushiji-San!" She smacked him.
"In any case," Naoto said, "It seems we've lost them for now. Let's lay low at the Shirogane Estate for the time being."
Meanwhile, back at the scene of the fight against the mysterious Shadow, an onlooker watched. She loosened the grip on the gun she held concealed inside her jacket. Amidst the chaos of the scrambling officers and onlookers, she made her way to where the Shadow had fallen, and observed a peculiar, yet familiar key.
It was a golden skeleton key; the head of which ended in a spiral. She quietly pocketed the key.
"Hmm…." She said and slipped away into the night.
[Later, at the Shirogane Estate…]
"We're live at the scene where just moments ago three mysterious masked heroes, self named, 'The Fist of Burning Justice Hero', 'El Bear-On Guapo', and 'Phoenix Chickenman S' intervened when an unknown creature—"
"Ahh! It's Phoenix NINJA man! NINJA!" Yosuke yelled at the T.V.
"'It was amazing! They just came outta nowhere and beat that thing up," a random interviewee was saying excitedly, "and the caped chick was freakin' hot! I totally saw under her skirt when she was on the roof!' My, well, there you have it! Back to you at the station—" The reporter said, cutting the ecstatic teenage onlooker off.
"H-hot! He meant me!" Chie blushed. "WAIT, did he say he saw under my skirt!"
"This is Action News, with live coverage of the incident that occurred just moments ago in the town of Inaba. Last year, Inaba was also plagued by a series of bizarre murder cases—"
"Hmm. This is most severe." Naoto said. "This is the first time a Shadow has ever appeared outside of the other world…."
"Although, it is true that both the fog, and that entity, Izanami were able to come to this side", Naoto continued. She looked over at Teddie. "You as well. So I suppose it's only logical that a Shadow could make its way over." She paused, thinking hard. "But one of that magnitude…? And the public was made aware of it as well… There may be a panic..."
"There was no rain today… So it couldn't have anything to do with the Midnight Channel, could it?" Yosuke said.
"We defeated Izanami… ever since then, the Midnight Channel stopped appearing…" Chie said.
"Yeah! We beat that thing to a pulp! Rawr!" Teddie chimed in. He had removed his bear 'costume', and was now looking through Naoto's things on a shelf.
"Ughh." Chie sighed. "Maybe it doesn't even have anything to do with Izanami at all."
Naoto, Teddie, and Yosuke turned and stared at Chie. They were dead silent.
"W-what! What's with that look!"
"We need to enter the other world again as soon as possible." Naoto said. "All we can do is eliminate the variables and examine the consistencies that remain. If in fact there is nothing out of place in the other world, then it's completely plausible that the appearance of today's Shadow indeed has nothing to do with Izanami OR the Midnight Channel."
"Yeah." Yosuke said. "For now, let's rest up, and call the others tomorrow. Looks like the Special Investigation Team is at it again!"
"I think it would be unwise for you all to return home at this hour—" Naoto said. "If the police catch you out right now, you'll immediately be under suspicion. Best to stay the night, and leave during the day."
"So that means… WE'RE HAVING A SLEEPOVER!" Teddie beamed. He threw his arms around Naoto, squeezing her.
"I'm sleeping with Naoto-kun tonight!" Teddie yelled.
"Uh, no you're not!" Chie said, pushing Teddie aside. "You're sleeping with Yosuke. You can do more of that pervy stuff you guys were doing earlier."
Yosuke shot a glare at Chie.
"Pervy stuff…?" Naoto said.
[The next day, March 16th 2012, at the food court at Junes…]
"Why didn't you guys tell me you were going to go kick some ass!" Kanji roared as he stuffed grilled steak into his mouth.
"Man!" He said, "Nom, nom… You guysh were… nom nom… aweshome. Gulp. ….I want a cape too!"
"Ugh… Talk or eat, please choose one…" Yosuke said, grimacing.
"Uh, we did call you!" Chie said, "Like eight times! You sleep like a log. Seriously. Anyway, Yukiko is on her way here, Rise's still out shooting that movie… And Souji, well y'know…"
"We sure could use their help right now…" Naoto said, her arms crossed.
"It doesn't really feel right to have a meeting at our special headquarters without Sensei—" Said Teddie, frowning.
"Oh that's right—Who should be our leader now? Since Souji-kun is away…" Chie said, a hint of sadness in her usually cheery tone.
"I for one nominate myself," Yosuke said, placing a hand on his chest, "Seeing as how, I got my Persona right after he did, and well… it's been implied that I was always second in command anyway—" He nodded to himself with an air of self importance.
"True…" Chie said.
"I think I should be leader." Teddie said. "I was Sensei's main disciple. Aaaand I'm the most popular with the ladies.."
"Yeah right." Chie said.
"Ooh, Chie-chan, are you saying I'm more popular with the ladies?" Yosuke said, grinning.
"Um, no? Neither of you are popular with anyone." Chie retorted.
Yosuke and Teddie hung their heads.
"Oh look! Senpai's here!" Kanji said, with a grain of rice stuck on his cheek.
"Hey… Sorry I'm late…" Yukiko sighed. "The Inn was a total mad house because of last night…"
"It's okay!" Chie said.
"Alright!" Yosuke said. "Looks like we're all here. I now hereby re-establish the Special Investigation Team!"
"Ooh, fancy…" Kanji said, watching wide-eyed as he stuffed another piece of steak into his mouth.
"Yukiko-chan…" Teddie said smoothly, "So uh, did you see Teddie's bear-illiant heroic performance on t.v. last night? Hehehe."
Teddie sighed. "Never mind…"
"You didn't see?" Chie said. "It's been all over the news, duh!"
"Oh that! You mean the Shadow that you guys fought in Samegawa…" Yukiko said.
"Yep! The Fist of Burning Justice Hero totally cleaned house!" Chie bragged triumphantly.
Yosuke shushed her. "Idiot!" He said, "Announce it to the entire world why don't you!"
"Snrk—" Yukiko snickered. "Chie, your Persona is ice based, not fire based… and you use kicks, not punches. Your hero name doesn't make any sense… Hahahahaha!" She began another one of her trademark laughing fits.
"Here we go…" Chie said shaking her head.
"Um, back to the business at hand, please?" Naoto finally intervened. Everyone settled down and turned to look at her.
"Let's go over the facts we've ascertained thus far." She said. "One; a large Shadow appeared at around Midnight last night just outside the residential area of the Samegawa Flood Plain. Two; as Yosuke-Senpai pointed out earlier, there were no abnormalities in the weather; Three; as Chie-Senpai pointed out, the Midnight Channel has yet to reappear ever since we defeated Izanami one year ago. And four; we know that things like the Fog, deities like Izanami herself, and original residents of the other side such as Teddie can cross over from the other side to this side." She paused. "And, that about sums it up…"
Yosuke nodded. "Yeah, so I guess the only thing we can do right now is check out the T.V. world and see if anything strange is going on there. …Besides being a world inside a T.V., I mean."
"Teddie," Naoto asked, "When was the last time you were on the other side? Did you sense anything strange?"
"Eh? Well…" Teddie paused. "Well, it's true I have been a busy bear lately. So I haven't checked on the other world since… last week."
"Well, enough talkin' and let's get goin'!" Kanji said, finished with his meal.
"Yeah," Yosuke said, "Let's go!"
[Meanwhile, at the Inaba Police Station…]
"You sure have been hitting those files hard…" A rookie detective commented with a cup of coffee in hand. Dojima grabbed a tuft of his hair and sighed, closing his eyes.
"Maybe my instinct is wrong this time." He said.
"A creature like that," The rookie said, "Is really more of a scientist's forte, isn't it?"
"Yeah." Dojima grunted back. "You go ahead to lunch. I'm going to be awhile."
"Alrighty. See you."
The other detective left. Dojima pulled a file from under the one he was looking at and opened it up.
[Back at the entrance hall of the T.V. world…]
"Huh! Th-this can't be!" Teddie exclaimed, looking around.
"The Fog… It's returned…?" Yukiko said in disbelief. Teddie fell to his knees.
"I… I was supposed to protect this world…" He stammered, "But I was so caught up in having fun in your guys' world that I… I…"
"Teddie…" Chie said, placing a hand on Teddie's shoulder.
"This settles it." Yosuke said. "Ted… I need your help… can you sense if any new areas have appeared…?"
Teddie nodded solemnly. "I'll.. I'll try…" He tilted his head back, sniffing the air.
After a few moments, he reeled back, as if smelling something offensive.
"W-what is it?" Chie asked.
"This smells like… F-follow me…" Teddie said, and walked ahead of the group with his trademark waddle.
After making their way through the fog filled T.V. world, the group found themselves at the foot of a tall tower.
"What the!" Kanji exclaimed.
"What is this! It's huge!" Chie said, looking up at the structure.
It was a whimsical mass of seemingly different buildings forcefully fused together. The sight of it was daunting, awe-inspiring, and oppressive. Those who stood before it couldn't help but feel as if they were about to be sucked into the sky towards its top, which disappeared into the cloudy yellow sky of the T.V. world.
"It reeks of…Death…" Teddie said sadly.
"This is unlike any other structure we've explored here thus far!" Naoto said, gazing up at the seemingly never ending tower.
"It's faint but… I think I can sense someone else inside…" Teddie said.
"Someone else?" Yosuke asked. "Hm. Well whoever they are, they've got to have some answers. Let's go after him!"
And with that the group ran inside the mysterious tower, unsure of what lay ahead of them.