Hi. Um. I'm back. Emails and PMs will be replied to, I promise. Soon. (Well, my definition of soon, anyway!)

Since, I'm back on GA after a 10-month-long sort-of hiatus, I thought I'd post my first ever multi-chaptered story (Well, first multi- on FFn. Other archives already have one or two). However, I'm very lax about updates, so if quick updates are you're thing, then this story isn't for you. And my chapters tend to be extremely short as well.

Also, this is set in quasi-16th century Japan second chapter onwards. Notice the qualifier, because I've made up and/or changed a lot of things, so…

Dedicated to Ochi and to Sona. Happy belated b'day, both of you :).

Stars and Snowfall

Chapter One

Kitsuya's Prophecy

There is a time for everything. There is a time for laughter and a time for tears. There is a time for joy and a time for sorrow. There is a time for hate and a time for love. There is a time for courage and a time for fear. There is a time for silence and a time for speech. And there is a time for the telling of tales.

The tale I tell you is of a time, long ago, before Alices could live openly. Oh yes, there was such a time, though none now live who remember them.

Our country was not always tolerant towards Alices. A long time ago, those with these natural born powers were feared and persecuted because of the great power they posses. The community of Alices did not exist then. It was every man for himself, and many great people of our nation were Alices who hid their power so that none knew about it, and yet used this power to rise to high places. But the ordinary Alice, whose power could not be so easily used, concealed it, and concealed themselves, hiding in the fringes of society. If one was fortunate enough to meet another Alice, one would almost go mad with joy for not having to hide one's true self. But many made the mistake of taking common folk for husbands or wives, or forging close bonds with non-Alices, and revealing their secrets. And they were betrayed and killed. It was a cold, lonely world for Alices.

But, after many, many years of living this way, when all looked bleak and there seemed to be no end to the madness, hope was born.

For there was a fortuneteller, whose name is recorded as Kitsuya, who was the strongest of those with his Alice. And one day there came to him a dream of a kind he had never known before. It was his Alice, working in his sleep. And there were images, pictures engraved in his memory, which could not be erased. And so he told his friend the dream and instructed him to convey it to the world of Alices, and the friend told another, and in this manner it was relayed to all the Alices in the nation. And this is what Kitsyua said:

"Hear me well, all ye who are cursed with powers from the day of your birth. I will tell you what I have seen, for it is a glimpse of a future where hope shines brighter than it does now.

For many centuries from now, there will be born a woman-child under the shadow of a star that dances across the sky. She shall be master of three powerful Alices, and in time she will alter the world with them. But her greatest gift will be her ability to love all those who are loveable and to make them love her in return. And this gift will bring her great joy and greater sorrow ere the end.

And on the first day of snowfall of the same year, a man-child with a heart of fire shall be born. He will be marked by pain and suffering even in childhood, but he will grow to be strong and courageous. His Alice shall be multiplying, but his gift will be of winning hearts and protecting his loved ones. And this gift will change the world for many centuries to come.

And these two shall pass through great tests unscathed, and the future of Alices will be in their hands. But here is the strangest thing of all—the future is not set. The choices of the two will be what shapes the future, but there are many paths and many choices. And only one will lead to salvation. But many other paths there are, and though some will lead to darkness, others will give temporary respite.

So hope, all those who live under the shadow of fear, for the future of Alices is not as bleak as it looks, and there is yet a chance for us."

The old man paused in his story and looked at the children gathered around him. "And the rest of the tale must wait, for I have already told you of Mitsumo of the Earth, and your parents will be waiting for you."

"But ojii-san, I don't want to go!" one small girl whined.

"Yeah, me neither. I want to see who those two people are."

"Me, too."

"I don't want to go."


"I want to know why they're special."

"I wanna see the bad guys dead."

The storyteller smiled. "Tomorrow, I promise that I will tell you more. Now go on, go to your parents."

And that's your typical anticlimactic ending :). And yes, I know. I'm rusty. Very rusty. Sorry.