Author's note: Oh I have no idea what I was thinking. Actually I wasn't thinking, and that's how this stuff always starts with me. Especially when I'm up at 5 am and haven't slept very much in the past few days. So my mind wandered and I kinda followed.
As with all fan fiction I do not own the characters or the places featured within this story. I simply created a scenario that would work with the characters I choose to include in this fictional piece. Big O belongs to Sunrise/Bandai and the Persona series belongs to Atlus.
Note: This fan fiction requires at least a base knowledge of characters from both series for full enjoyment. I am also attempting to write this from Dorothy's view. I hope you enjoy my strange little piece of fiction, such as it is.
Dorothy had decided to do the weekly shopping in the mall dome for once, instead of going to the usual corner market. Roger was always telling her a change of pace was good, especially after having spent time with Angel. That was when she saw it. Walking down an alley towards the object of her fascination she halted before it. She was too curious for her own good. Norman had told her as much many times, but that had never stopped her before. It wasn't going to stop her now.
"Don't go snooping around in other people's business," Roger's words of warning also sounded in her mind. But he does as much for his negotiating job whenever the need arises.
The object of her curiosity today was a strange blue door. It was relatively new, having not been there the last time she came to the mall dome, which was some months ago. The door was glowing, and had a strange symbol upon its edifice. Some kind of creature with frilled wings. It looks like the door to a fancy apartment, but all the apartments in the mall dome are on the upper levels aren't they? Putting her small alabaster hand on the ultramarine doors handle, she turned the knob, and the door opened to a satisfying click. It must be a shop, who else would leave the door unlocked like this. Stepping into what she believed was a small shop Dorothy's sense's greeted her with the strangest of sensations.
Once inside she realized this was no mere shop. Soft piano playing greeted her ears, accompanied by a woman's singing. But there was no piano or anyone singing present in the shop. A sound system perhaps? None was present either, to Dorothy's astonishment. The shop was a small blue room, bare of all but a table and a small couch. Pretty much everything in the room was blue, even the clothing the sole female occupant wore. The man in the room wore a black tuxedo, however. And that was yet another thing to she felt was odd about this place. Neither of the two occupants within the room where human! Dorothy was not sure how she knew this, but it seemed obvious to her for some reason. Perhaps it was the strange appearance of both that gave her this clue.
Seated on the couch within the room was an old man. Far older than her father had been, but his visage had struck her dumb. He had long pointed ears, much like elf ears from the old story books Norman had in his room. He also had a long nose. His hands were clasped under his chin, as if in repose or deep thought. Where it not for the fact she could hear him breathing Dorothy would have thought him a statue, so still was he. Roger would have described this man as a "creepy bastard". The female was much more …normal? If such could be said for anything in this place.
This woman could have given Angel a run for her money, so beautiful was her appearance. She did not seem to be much older than Dorothy looked, certainly only in her mid-twenties. Clad in the same shade of blue as everything else within the shop her outfit was also accented by black and gold circular clasps in double rows down the front of her dress, and around her waist a blue and gold belt to match. She wore black stocking on her high heeled clad feet. Her shoes where the same color as her dress. It was by far a much fancier dress than Dorothy's simple black maids outfit. The woman's hair was long and wavy, falling to her shoulders, and shone a soft blonde, verging on silver in shade. Her hair was held back from her face be a blue headband, which allowed her bangs to fall to the left side of her face. She held against her right side a purple book with the words Le Grimoire emblazoned in gold print upon the cover. At this point the woman stirred. Opening her eyes she turned her head ever so slightly as to be able to look at Dorothy. The woman began to open her mouth, as if to say a greeting, and abruptly closed it again when she saw Dorothy was the one standing there. Confusion was evident in her glowing saffron eyes.
'I'm obviously not who she was expecting.'
The woman turned her gaze towards the old man, as if waiting for a response. He stirred then, ever so slightly, and opened his eyes. If Dorothy had been human she might have cowered in fear of the fierce gaze those beady, bloodshot eyes held. But she wasn't human. And despite the fact that the man's gaze was fierce, it did not seem to hold malice. He chose that moment to speak.
"Welcome to the Velvet Room," his voice was surprising gentle, and it sounded like he was laughing almost. No that wasn't it, more like … amused perhaps?
"Ah. Interesting, very interesting. An unexpected guest has wondered into the Velvet Room, one whose destiny has not a thing to do with us." His smile quite literally stretched from ear to pointed ear. "My name is Igor, and I am delighted to make your acquaintance."
It took her a second to compose herself enough to reply "R. Dorothy, Wayneright. How do you do?"
"R? Ah you mean robot. It has been some years since we have had an automaton as a guest here," he chuckled quietly before going on, "tell me, how was it that you came to be here, in this room?"
"…Mm," that was the first noise the woman had made since Dorothy's entry. She didn't seem too happy that Igor was asking such a question. The woman no longer look confused. Now she looked rather unhappy at the gynoid before her.
"Ah, forgive me. I have neglected to introduce my assistant to you. This is Margaret." Igor made a small non-chalant gesture towards Margaret.
Margaret's simple greeting of "How do you do?" was followed by a nod, as if to make it seem more casual than it was. Her piercing, basilisk like gaze betrayed this, however, and made Dorothy feel as if Margaret was staring into the very depths of her being. Dorothy shifted uncomfortably under this ever relentless gaze. Margaret began to mutter under her breath "I'll make sure to lock the door next time."
"Now Margaret there is no reason to be so hostile." Igor said while chuckling a bit more audibly this time. At least he was a mirthful, kind figure.
Dorothy's curiosity finally overcame her hesitation under Margaret's unrelenting stare. "What is this place exactly? It doesn't look like any shop I have ever been in." Or any business I've seen for that matter.
"This is not your typical shop. And what we sell here is not available to just anyone," Igor began. "Allow me to explain to you what the Velvet Room is. This is a place between dream and reality, mind and matter." His manner became more serious as he began to explain. "The Velvet Room only serves a purpose for its intended guest, and only those who have signed a contract may usually enter this place. During a guests access to this establishment they learn about themselves and the world. However, it would seem that because you were able to see the door to this room, and Margaret did not lock the door upon reentry that you were able to step foot into the Velvet Room." Margaret came close to wincing at those words, but was just as quickly composed again. Igor started chuckling again, having decided to drop the serious mannerisms. "What exactly made you want to come here in the first place?"
Igor's sudden question caught Dorothy off guard. Honesty is the best policy Roger had often told her. "I was simply curious as to what kind of shop this was, as there are no other shops with blue doors adorned with creatures in the mall dome." 'I hope they believe me, lying once to Norman was bad enough, and I have no wish to lie to these people.'
"Mall dome?" Margaret seemed both confused and disturbed by this. She turned toward Igor and asked "Wasn't the door to Paradigm City permanently locked Master?"
She and Igor locked eyes for a few seconds, and then he responded, "Indeed, it is supposed to be locked. Perhaps our uninvited guest was simply strong enough to open the door herself." He turned back to Dorothy. "Well then, it would seem you were simply able to wonder into here of your own free will. No fault of Margaret's." Margaret showed some relief at the words her master spoke.
Margaret turned to face Dorothy yet again, but this time the look she gave her was far less hostile. It was extremely curious and suspicious in exchange for that hostility however. "So you merely wondered in? …. Did you not think it was dangerous to do so?"
Margaret's words sounded like a scolding to Dorothy, as an older sister would give an errant younger sibling. "I thought it was a shop. I was not wrong; however I cannot make use of the services rendered here." Dorothy tilted her head downward thinking 'Dream and reality? Mind and matter? What does that mean? And how can you lock a door to a city permanently when you live there?'
Or is the Velvet Room in Paradigm City at all? The weight of Igor's words finally hit her full force. Dorothy's head snapped back up to look Igor in his beady eyes. "I'm not in Paradigm City anymore am I? I'm not in my world either?" Her voice carried a hint of disbelief, making her sound something other than monotone for once.
"Ah so you have finally caught on. It would usually take an invited guest a few visits to this place to come to the same conclusion you have." Igor's grin returned as he spoke.
"How can that be? Are there other worlds besides the one I know?" Dorothy's shock made her a little panicy, and fear started to set in. 'What have I gotten myself into. I should have listened to Roger and not meddled. If I'm not in Paradigm City how will I get back home?'
Dorothy snapped out of her reverie when Igor stated "I believe it would be best if Margaret explained this too you, as she has more experience with the other worlds. And I rarely leave this place."
"There are many different worlds," Margaret began. Her voice and gaze alike were gentle, as if trying to calm Dorothy. "Some worlds are alike, but with many differences. Still other worlds are parallels of each other, with only minute differences. And then there are standalone worlds like Paradigm. The Velvet Room connects to all these worlds."
"So there are no other worlds like Paradigm?"
"None. It is unique in that much of its population is robots, and that people there cannot remember their pasts beyond forty years ago. However it is much like any other human world save for that fact."
For whatever reason, hearing Margaret's explanation did much in the way of calming Dorothy down. Finally composed enough to speak again she asked "Why do you assume I have free will? No one in Paradigm would think as much."
"My dear child, if you did not have free will then you could not have entered the Velvet Room at all. Nor would the door to this place have appeared to you." Igor answered her question with the most seriousness, but Dorothy could tell that he was amused by her asking such a question.
"It appears that even though I do not have access to the services you render I am still able to make use of this place. I have learned something of myself by stepping into this shop at the very least."
"So it is." Igor's tone was matter of fact, but still amused. "Perhaps it is best if you guided her out Margaret. If out uninvited guest does not have a guide she could end up on another world entirely different than her own." Turning to Margaret he issued the simple enough sounding order.
"Yes Master." She began to walk towards Dorothy saying "Please follow me."
Dorothy did as instructed and followed Margaret to the door. Before stepping out she took one last look back over her shoulder at the strange room. 'I have had enough of this place to last me for some time.'
Once outside Margaret walked Dorothy to the end of the alley where the door to the Velvet Room stood.
"I apologize for my rudeness earlier. We do not often get unexpected guests to the Velvet Room, and I thought it was my fault you had entered our home."
Dorothy looked into Margaret's saffron eyes, this time without the fear of being torn asunder by an unrelenting stare. "It's alright. It was I who entered your home uninvited. I'm sorry if my actions startled or upset you in anyway."
Margaret smiled gently. "Well then this is goodbye. I must be getting back now." She turned and walked quickly back to the Velvet Room.
As she was leaving Dorothy noticed something fall out of the book Margaret carried. "You dropped something Margaret," Dorothy called after her, but it was too late. She had already shut the door behind her with an audible thunk. More than likely making sure it was locked this time.
Dorothy walked over and picked up the item that the retreating Margaret had left behind in Paradigm City. It turned out to be two cards. Both looked like something from a child's trading card game. The backs of the cards where various shades of blue and white, a mask at the center of the card back was of both these colors. The front of these cards was a different story. One held a purple and black creature that resembled and oversized fly. The other held a small creature that somehow seemed familiar. It was white, wearing a blue hat with two points like ears, with shoes and a collar to match. The creature was also smiling. 'Much as everything else within that room, this too is clad in blue. I don't think I'll raise any more objections to Roger's preference for black as much anymore.'
Looking at the door Dorothy thought 'I do not have enough courage to go back in there today. Perhaps I'll return these when next I come to the mall dome.' Her mind made up she put the cards in her pocket gently and turned to leave. Entering the crowded streets of the dome she thought, 'I still have shopping to do.'
I left this open ended incase people think I should write more. I made various references to both series, even going so far as to make sure Atlus mascot showed himself. So you see now what happens when I stay up late for a few nights in a row? I come up with weird things that only make marginal sense.
For anyone confused by the term gynoid, it simply means female robot. Android means male robot. Science fiction writers have made the use of the word gynoid almost non-existent, opting instead to use android to describe the entire race of automatons. I have, however, decided to use automatons to describe the entire robot race and use android and gynoid as the gender specific terms they are meant to be.
Anyway, if you took the time to read this then thank you. Critique is appreciated.