A/N: A short little Devil Survivor 2 oneshot that I wrote half as a request, half my own ideas. Not entirely sure when this takes place in regards to canon. There's probably a bit of OOC in there too, because I'm not too good at writing the DeSu2 characters yet.
Also, very spoilery, particularly in regards to the Anguished One and the actual final boss and stuff. Proceed with caution.
The Anguished One had walked among humanity ever since he had left the Septentriones in the days before humanity's advent. It had been he who granted fire to the first humans, and he had granted the Hotsuin clan the secret to their abilities. It was no secret to him that they had despised him ever since, but despite this knowledge, he still complied with their current leader's summons. It was, after all, the courteous thing to do.
He floated down in front of the Tsuutenkaku. He could sense Yamato's presence along with the presence of several other humans, but the plaza was completely empty. It was strange; in the Anguished One's experience, Japanese cities were normally quite populous at most hours of the day, unless it was one of those odd cases where a disaster had ravaged the land and driven the humans from their residences.
"Yamato Hotsuin, I am here," the Anguished One called out. There was no answer. "Does he not intend to show up? …Ah, perhaps he intends to play a game of hide and seek, with me as the seeker. Don't I have to count first before I can begin seeking?" He covered his eyes with his hands. "One… two…"
"Those childish games are long behind me, Septentrione."
The Anguished One turned around to find Yamato standing under the tower. The entire area hummed with energy.
"If you didn't call me out for a game, then why did you call me out here?"
"To lure you into a trap."
The bolt of energy hit the Anguished One in the chest, causing him to fall backwards. That was much stronger than he'd expected. He lifted his head, and found that the entire Tsuutenkaku was glowing gold. Yamato was attacking him with the full might of the Dragon Stream?
"Do not try to run," Yamato said as he took steps closer to him. He tapped a button on the cellphone in his hand, and a Loa appeared. "We have units stationed through the entire city, including others who are capable of harnessing the Dragon Stream."
The Anguished One's eyes narrowed. Even that one… So Yamato truly was taking this seriously. "I will not allow myself to be captured, Yamato Hotsuin." His body began to glow blue, and he shot into the air.
"Bind him, Loa."
The demon's energy struck him in the back, and he fell several meters in air before catching himself on the side of a skyscraper. Another bolt of almighty energy struck him in the arm, causing him to fall to the ground. That speed and strength… He stared up at the cloak wearing, silver-haired figure standing above him.
"I've got him. It was much easier to take him down with the Dragon Steam. You shouldn't have bothered with bringing the whole Osaka branch out…" She put a foot down on his chest as she continued to talk. "Just hurry up down here. I don't want to damage the test subject…"
Damage the test subject? Ah… so that was why they wanted him. His vision was fading… and he fell unconscious.
"Right, voltage is at 5.2%... Clamps attached? Good. Aaand… Flip switch."
Electricity coursed through the test subject's body, but he didn't scream. He merely twitched in a way consistent with how a human would react, though the fact that he was alive showed that he very clearly was not. Yamato frowned from behind the glass. Electricity hadn't affected him much. Gunfire had been completely ineffective, as had physical trauma. He'd easily survived in conditions that would kill a normal human, including a complete vacuum. There was no mechanical way they could kill him.
Kanno hummed to herself as she went to check on the subject. "Still alive? Huh. You're sure resilient for whatever you are."
The test subject said nothing. Kanno walked across the lab to where the needles were stored and took one out. For someone who usually worked with technology, she was certainly enjoying this more than she should have. Then again, Yamato always had her pegged as the mad scientist type to begin with. Yamato walked into the room and took the needle from her.
"Were you not working on improving our summoning program? The summoning speed is still too slow for actual combat, in case you haven't noticed."
"Is it? Works fine for me. But if you insist." She walked out of the room while still humming to herself. The other scientists finally walked back toward the test subject now that Kanno had exited the room. Yamato handed the needle to another scientist and stood back against the wall. They thumbed over the restrained test subject's body until they found one of the few places on him susceptible to physical injury (in this case, his wrist) and stuck the needle in. The syringe filled with what looked like liquid stardust.
"Take that away to testing," Yamato said. "The rest of you, take the test subject to the other lab for damage testing. And remember the procedure! Bind him, then remove him." He stepped back as the JP's workers and scientists walked past with the test subject in tow. They'd been at this for three months now, and yet they still had very little progress. There was still so much he didn't know about Septentriones, and with that day growing ever closer…
"Chief," called a voice from the door.
"I don't recall you having clearance to come down here, Sako," Yamato said.
"I'm sorry. I'll accept any punishment you wish to deal."
"I don't have time to give out meaningless punishments. Now what is it?"
"I have the meteorlogical data for this past month, but…" She hesitated. "I am not sure I feel comfortable knowing that JP's is—"
"Then leave." Yamato stared down the hallway the test subject had gone down. "We do not have time to argue moral obligations. These tests are important to JP's, and even Japan's, very survival."
"I didn't mean to say that I'm disloyal to JP's. Excuse me." She walked down the hallway away from Yamato without even giving him the files she'd come down with. Not that it bothered Yamato; they'd end up on his desk eventually. For a pawn with so many doubts, Sako was considerably loyal. With that annoyance gone, Yamato walked down the hall to observe the test subject's current tests.
How long had he been trapped underground like this? His whole body ached and burned - the result of endless testing. His throat was dry… or was it? How many of the human functions that he'd adapted to pass along them remained? To extend the energy to maintain those functions was just wasting it; after all, these people only wanted his true self. Perhaps this was how the Hotsuin family was finally earning their revenge.
He stared up at the darkness and stretched out a hand. He wanted to touch the stars. But he couldn't so long as he was trapped in this place.
It would be so nice to just
Destroy everything around him
Destroy this entire world
Deconstruct it until there was nothing but bones
Alcor pulled his legs up close to him and wrapped his arms around them. His breathing slowed and eventually came to a stop. His mind was empty. There was no mind. There was no Anguished One.
Break. ΩʀΨΨЁ%. Destroy. ЁΨΘE±ΩΩ. Erase. E±ΨЁʀʀ%%ΨΘ.
The room was flooded with light as the door opened. "Wakey wakey. Time for another busy day."
"I don't want to%ΩΩʀ±, ЁΨΘE…" The words flooded from Alcor's mouth, reverberating through his entire hollow body. He opened and closed his hands. Hands? What were hands? Nothing but instruments he did not need. He didn't need any of this. All he needed was to get out. Erase this entire facility. Erase Osaka. Erase Japan. Erase the world. All as programmed.
The fragile human in the doorway stared at him before sticking a finger in her ear and twisting it around. "Mind repeating that in a language I understand?"
His gaze flicked up toward her, and he stared, unblinkingly. "ΩʀΨΨЁ%. ΨЁʀʀ%%Ψ." The words spilled from his mouth, dripping free of the dam in his slipping mind. The woman must have realized that something was wrong, because she was taking steps away from him and back toward the door.
"Ohhh. I am not qualified for this." She pulled a device from her jacket and held it out. He could feel the flow of energy from that other world coming. He welcomed it.
"%ΩΩʀ±ЁΨΘE E±ΨЁʀʀ%%ΨΘ!" Alcor snarled, and power surged around him. Long metallic wires extended from his tattered sleeves. They began to wrap around him, and as they did, he brought his hand – a mere instrument of destruction in this form – up toward the woman, and he fired the force of a small star at her. She crumpled to the ground, still alive only because of the program in her cell phone.
And he was running, breaking through walls and glass and plaster and metal and who knew what else. He was grinning madly, but the expression was only a remnant of what had been. He didn't need this form. He didn't need anything.
Nothing NOTHING nothing ЁΨΘE E±ΨЁʀʀ day and night and stars and gods
And he was flying through the air and into the sky and bathing in the light of the stars.
Yamato Hotsuin stood in the dust of the JP's Osaka branch and surveyed the damage Alcor had caused. No one had died, due to their prototype Harmonizer application, but Kanno would probably be in the hospital for some time. It wasn't a complete waste, though; the machines monitoring Alcor's body had recorded everything he'd done in the three minutes it took him to destroy the entire branch.
He stepped over a moaning JP's member and walked over to Sako, who was commanding a few of the non-injured JP's members.
Sako quickly bowed to him. "Most of our systems are offline, but should be back up soon. The most extensive damage was to the bottom floors, and it seems to have just broken through the floor and flown out through the ceiling. Once I get a head count on active JP's members, I'll send a squad in pursuit—"
"We have all the information we need from him. Allow him to go free." He walked away from Sako and toward his office, ignoring any objections she might have had. He needed to begin work on the anti-Septentrione defenses now. With the information he'd gathered from Alcor, JP's could finally begin work on a way to destroy Polaris' harbingers of doom when they arrived. From there, he could finally seek the world he wished for. Alcor would get his dues in time.
He landed in a hilly area in the woods, sweat running down his face. He wasn't sure how far he'd flown or even if he was still in Japan. The Anguished One leaned up against a tree and continued to gasp for breath. He'd escaped, though how much of his sanity remained intact after that ordeal he could not tell. He held his hand out in front of him.
The hand split into three, and rapidly reformed. The Anguished One fell to his knees, clutching at his chest. He could feel himself unraveling as his instincts fought against his mind. Everything inside of him told him to abandon this form and return to the Akasha Stratum so that he could await his next command.
He could easily just erase the mountain he stood upon and allow it to be returned to void, like the rest of this stagnant world. Devour it all for himself and gain favor. Rise above a mere program in the Record.
"%ΩΩʀ…" He bit his tongue to stop himself from talking. He couldn't deny his nature when it was trying to force its way out of him. What was it that humans did to calm themselves? Deep, even breaths? That was difficult when you didn't have lungs. He tried it anyways. In… out… In…
He felt himself come together, and fell to the ground. The soft earth welcomed him.
He hadn't felt the call so strongly in a long time. Yamato's torture had allowed him to hear it again, but with how strongly he'd felt that call it had only been a matter of time. Even though he'd abandoned them, Polaris was still trying to call him home… It only meant one thing. This world would soon be deleted, and if he refused to come along, him with it.
Slowly, the Anguished One got to his feet. If this world that wanted him dead, that had tortured him, that had rejected him, was to come to an end, then he would still give them the capability to fight back. Yamato's actions would not influence his own.