The Now:

Unlikely

He tells himself there is more than this. More than the moment that defines his existence and more than routine that binds day to day. Perhaps, in that seductive span, the Before there had been something.

Not quite a hope, never a promise, but for all the vagaries just below the surface of his mind there is a sense of something that niggles. Something lost. Something that needed to be found.

An oddity amongst the order, an instinct of self-destruction that runs afoul self-preservation.

Darkness has no taste, no scent, it just is.

Yet it does.

Before avows that there was, is, shall be something more. But the Before is so chalked full of delusion via hallucination that while he wants to believe sense forbids him from blindly following the half mad impulse (instinct and exhaustion make him do it anyway, it's not blind, simply compulsion folded to after too long a day). Old cliché's non withstanding he's hesitant to trust a source whose tools unhinge the few scraps of sanity that are his own.

Sense, he suspects, is like routine. Implanted, enforced with obsession, insurmountable… So long as he adheres to… well what he adheres too.

Yet breaking the pattern has its own dangers.

Sense, like Routine, are both gears on the clockwork of the complicated, compelling, route that is his life. He can hear them grinding, grinding what he's unsure. But there is a subtle sound to it. The kind that defies descriptors and inspired headaches and nausea.

There's medicine for that, so his doctor would clamber, but he turns her down. Shreds the prescriptions she presses into his hands, and flushes the pills left in his house.

He's got enough factors controlling his life; he's not adding chemicals to the mix.

Back and forth, he paces the length and width of his rooms, breaching those without a thought he traces the familiar route without seeing. The inconsistencies jangle, no robes, no dark.

Save that little skein, too thin to be little more than shade. He finds it pacing under a tree between here and there. The shade is so light its bitter is lost and it smells sweet.

No talismans click and clatter with each step. Though he knows it his hands rise up to arrest the motions of nothing and therefore close upon nothing. Still he holds to the pattern, to the path. In his mind he's taking tangents and angles, perusing back ways instead of sunlit ones.

In this, his body complies to the patterns that guild his life.

That rebellious hand fisted over his heart tells more of his internal state than he'd like to confess.

Journey's end. The entrance's a blur, the surroundings a smear regulated as nick-knack. Another door, passed without recognition then forgotten. Beyond the barrier is white, all white, yet there is nothing bright about the room. Even with all the windows wide and the sun shining there's a depression to the whole. One desk, its top smothered in papers –work- awaits him.

The path's ended for now, reality and realization settled in.

He's here, not going, not there.

He's in his place, his task before him.

His hand looses, he looks about, seeing the rooms other occupant. Hazel hued eyes flick over him, stray to the fist that quickly unclenches and slips into the nearest pocket.

"Don't."

Mouth open, the entrepreneur who never meant not be was clearly intending to say something.

"Don't."

"I was… I mean…" One arm reaches, fingers brush the arm that wasn't.

The motion is vaguely reminiscent of an embrace.

Lips pealed into a soft snarl –not soundless, hardly gentle, the volume is merely subdued- the traitor shook his head.

"I'm not," he breathes, "not you son, not your friend. We're together because they say we were supposed to be. Lack of personality conflict, that's what the test said. Compatible tasks, lack of conflict, potential for humanization and eventually integration. That's all this is."

And with that he threw himself into his char. Snapping up the pen he glared down at the piles before him. Click, click, open, shut, he twiddled the mechanism with unfeeling fingers.

"Don't you think… aren't you thinking… that by thinking like that… means it won't ever stop. For you?"

Click, open… click… "You're a fool if you think this will stop, for either of us." Release, a near soundless shudder as it locked closed. "What are they going to do, to give your arm back, after you reform? How can they reimburse you, for all these years, with munney?" He smirked. "Unlikely."

To my readers,

Well, it's odd that I do this, but this chapter was posted rough draft version so I can attach an author's note to it rather than continue the story. I personally don't like doing so, but this announcement is of some urgency.

Due to this site's pro censorship policy as well as the unchecked actions of the Literacy Union I've decided like a few of my fellow authors that my welcome has been worn out. I've personally not been contacted by these parties asking for a cease desist on my stories (not that they actually, you know, warn people before shutting a story down…), nor do I personally feel that anything I've got published now would warrant the axe by their standards. The fact that this site is allowing them to set those standards is bad enough. The further fact that they are harassing authors who've done nothing more wrong than disagree with them…

It's just something that I don't want to be a part of.

One of the main reasons I write online is to avoid censorship. Yeah, I know that it has something of a stigma to it, but I've never had a problem with the distinction of online fanfic writer. I willingly take the good with the bad and consider it a fair exchange for the utter freedom to do what I like and to talk to other writers.

Slowly but surely Fanfiction's been taking those rights away and I initially had been thinking about leaving because of that.

The actions of the L.U. has sped up my plans considerably.

Expect an chapter update on the following stories/genres, these will have a similar letter of departure with a description of where to find my works (or in the case of the TOS stuff, a place where it will eventually be put up).

Pokemon:

Two Paths to One End

K.H.:

Questions, Queries, Quarry

TOA:

Family of Idiots/ Under Bound Boughs

TOS:

Shards of Regeneration

Star Fox:

Madness Season

LOZ

Song of the Seagulls/Four by four

Final Fantasy 7 (and it's various off shoots)

Glass façade/Shinra Files

Harry Potter

An Unraveling

Portal

Troubled Mind

Castlevania

The Seeds we've Sown

As of right now I've moved "Questions, Quandaries, Quarry" to Fic wad, under the pen name Kasan (underscore) soulblade and my other KH works will be following. I'm looking for other homes for the rest of my work (and am open to suggestions for that), but for now most of my stuff will be going to that site.

For those concerned, I won't be removing my work from this site, simply marking it all as "complete" then transferring it to the new. If anything goes, it won't be of my accord I assure you.

All in all it's a rather unpleasant way to wind up seven years of being a part of this site… but ah well… can't change what is.

I apologize for the inconvenience it causes to you, my readers, but it has to be done.

Kasan Soulblade