beaslays: ([SMT] Argyle Love)
[personal profile] beaslays
I'll add a proper header here and give this a tktle tomorrow. Rihht now I just need to get this posted so I can sleepp soon. Basic summary: SMT Noctune, an insomnia induced fanfic about Hijiri.

Exploiting the Amala Network is not unlike opening an old book you once finished reading then never looked at again. It's strangely familiar, and when Hijiri peers into the book, the words float up to meet him like old friends, and he takes to the Network so quickly that after some time, he's certain this isn't the first time that he's done this. So he delves deeper and deeper, digging through the Network, stumbling over blocks and obstacles that suddenly crumble at the slightest of thoughts.

It's easy. Too easy. He flips through the pages of this old book and reaches in and finds what he wants and needs in moments. The information he finds is useful to whatever he needs Naoki to do at the moment (always towards stopping Hikawa), but ultimately it's useless chatter and pointless prose, because Hijiri soon learns that none of it matters in the long run.

Even before this pathetic non-life of an existence, he had known the Network like the back of his hand, and more than that, ever more than that, he has always known and understood the Vortex World for what it is. Accessing the Network had only activated this knowledge.

And oh, knowledge is power. And madness. He knows there's something else. Something he knew even before all this, a piece of himself from a long, long time ago. Knowing there is a missing piece of his knowledge is the most difficult of it all, and this is what Hijiri desires. To know. To see and understand... everything. 

Then, one cycle, Hijiri cracks the Network. It's supposed to be a moment of triumph for him, but then he looks past the Network and into the abyss of time and space, and this abyss smirks at him, and Hijiri's mind shatters.

Alone in the terminal room, Hijiri throws his head back and laughs, because for all his knowing and wanting and searching, he's been so stupid.

The abyss beyond the Network is an endless sea of information - and a mirror. Hijiri's mind reels at what he knows now, what he understands, what he thinks he remembers*, and he has to sit down for a while to sort it all out and piece his mind back together.

He says the name that echoes in his mind, tries it out aloud. It's old. It's strange, and weird. It fits in so well with the world as it is now. It fits him so well. A familiar word in a new tongue. 

The name is his.

When Hijiri next stands, it is with a resolve that has been in him through many, many lives. He will have his Reason, one way or another. He has decided this, and he will end the cycles, and finish what he started so long ago.

***


The sea of souls pulses around him, though he knows he is alone even here.

"You certainly know how to fail spectacularly, even after all this time." The voice is smooth, and familiar, though the visage is that of an old man.

Hijiri scowls. "This will not be my last attempt, I swear that. I will have my Reason."

The old man taps the ground with his cane, and the sound is sharp, echoing around them and inside his head. Not
comforting, but not unwelcome either.

"The time for a world of your doing is past," says the old man, tone like a firm reprimand. "Your perseverance is certainly ever admirable, of course."

"As admirable as yours had been to have me join you, I'm sure," replies Hijiri, "In any case, I got much farther than I ever did, this time. I'll remember earlier in the following world, and earlier after that, if it comes to it."

A low chuckle from the old man echoes around them, as with the cane hitting the floor. "I have no doubts you will be successful. Someday. Perhaps."

"If I'm lucky," adds Hijiri.

"If you're lucky," agrees the old man, with just the slightest hint of amusement on that severe face of his. Then, he continues, "Of course, Naoki doesn't quite need the same amount of luck you would need to succeed."

Hijiri feels like there's a million things he could say in response to that, but the only words he manages is a quiet, "...you've replaced me, I see."

A pause, and when the old man finds an answer to that, his tone is softer than before. "Nothing in all the universes and all of creation could ever replace who you were, are, and what you represented."

Hijiri might have dared to say the old man's tone is affectionate, but he knows there is no room here for the kind of familiarity that such a tone implies.

"I should have known you were responsible for him," he says, after a moment that feels like double his many lifetimes. "You always did have a hand in everything. What then, if Naoki fails to walk into your waiting arms?"

"The cycles begin anew, and I act accordingly," is the swift reply, as though the old man has been asked this many times. "I am patient."

Hijiri laughs, and it's a small laugh, one that falters after a moment because it can't get any farther than between the two of them.

He feels small. A single soul in the backdrop of the abyss of time and space.

"You trust him to do what you have planned."

"I trust him to do as he chooses." The old man corrects him in an instant. "And whatever he chooses, he will have the support of those who follow him, just as you once did."

"Another story for a a time that we'll never have," murmurs Hijiri.

"Indeed," says the old man, and there's that chuckle again. "For now, you will continue your cycle, as shall the struggle betwen they who vie for creation."

"See you in the next world, then," says Hijiri.

"Good luck," says the old man, and he's gone with a laugh, returning to the darkness of the abyss beyond.

And Hijiri lays back in the sea of souls, and decides to wait, as more words float off the pages of the universe, lazily rising up to meet him, feeding him with knowledge he could not have in life.

And Hijiri chuckles, because he understands. 

October 2015

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