I Will Not Die
Leigh Gilholm Fisher
Age Rating: 13 +
-Entry for the StarOceanArt contest on DA-
I Will Not Die
Perhaps this is a demise fitting for the 'Apostle of Creation'…
Darkness: perpetual, never ending darkness stretching off into the farthest reaches of the great star ocean. The beautifully shining stars it was known for were invisible to his dying eyes. It carried with it a crushing weight that pushed against his chest, making it difficult to breathe. Every breath came with great agony and increasing difficulty. His eyes could have been closed and what he saw would have been more comforting; perhaps his failing mind could at least materialize pictures of those he'd bid goodbye. The starless obscurity transgressed both the universe of mortality and on into the other side of the star ocean, where far too many of the people he cherished had disappeared into.
Is this all a dream…? It barely feels real…
Nox Obscurus - the land where the night was endless and the only light was sinister and cursed held to its name, even in the interlude. He'd more than willingly cut his last tie to reality and chance to live. The control unit on his wrist whirred as the damaged devices within the machine struggled to remain functioning. It was practically a miracle it had guided the Sol out of the dystopia in time to save the Calnus' captain. His death would have been even more meaningless if the young Earthling had come with him.
Or perhaps I'm merely living a nightmare?
His body wouldn't move - all of his muscles ached and several deep wounds kept his mind hazed with pain. The bleeding had stopped, but he suspected internal damage as well. Not that it mattered; it was his time of dying. His eyes fell closed in an attempt to be rid of the darkness in his final moments. A fleeting image of a young woman with bright silver hair and a pleasant smile flashed through his mind.
This place…it almost never followed laws of physics or science. I suppose I never should have expected such of the Grigori, but phenomenon after phenomenon…they all lost meaning…
The shadows seemed to be infiltrating his body with each breath, suffocating him and slowing the beating of his heart. He couldn't feel himself falling anymore - the pain from his many injuries was starting to ebb as numbness overtook him. It felt somehow relieving, to think the suffering would very soon be over. He'd receive the freedom from reality his corrupted will had sought to bring upon every living being in the universe.
"I…lied to you, 'kay…?"
A slight smile pulled at his lips, even as the young Lemurisian's words echoed in his mind. It was one of contentment, though if his eyes were open, one would be able to see they were still pained. Lymle's ever enigmatic demeanor had finally been broken; she'd cried for him. It was likely the first time tears slid down her cheeks since her body and mind were frozen. But he couldn't rid his mind of her. He had never gotten to ask her name. The friendly tribeswoman from the Black Tribe of Roak had captured his interest the first time their eyes met, even though it was only for a moment. He knew it was irrational, but couldn't help but care for her.
Did I at least tell her my name?
I can't remember anymore…my mind won't let me recall…
"The truth…the truth is…your cloak…kinda…kinda did look okay on you… But only…kinda…"
But she had disappeared, embraced by the cold arms of death before he even had the chance to answer her question. He hadn't been able to get to know her well, never mind protect her when it mattered most. It was a foolish infatuation that drove him away from he companions he'd been working with for months and the young girl who did truly care for him. It was so ironic it was almost comical; he was surprised he hadn't realized the stubborn girl's true feelings until it was too late. It barely mattered when he did, even though it seemed, even in that final encounter, that the seal on her growth had also been broken.
"Faize and Edgie are still inside, kay!?"
He dismissed the growing regrets, trying to keep his mind focused on the memory of the nameless Roakian's smile. Even if they had more time - if he could have saved her - he couldn't be sure if it would have been enough to save him. If his actions hadn't damned his fate, he might have the opportunity to see her once more. Her death had served as a catalyst for his descent into madness, but even if it had been prevented, it wouldn't have changed the fate of Eldar and the millions of innocent lives lost.
Just a fool…
He would have said the words aloud if he was able to. His mind was barely able to conjure coherent thought. There was little time left and the flood of memories had abruptly stopped. He welcomed it. He was slipping away, and lacked the awareness to realize whether his eyes were open or closed when a flash of red appeared in the distance. The golden glow around it, illuminated by the golden leaves around the jewel. He thought it could only be his last spark of life that created the image of the red and gold ornament he'd seen in the Purgatorium that served as the only testament to his love's untimely fate. He felt jolted upward suddenly.
The voice rang through the emptiness with shocking remembrance. His eyes were open; he was sure of it. His body was failing and he lacked the energy to recall, never mind hallucinate. The ornament dissolved into nothing in the darkness as a hand materialized in its place, somehow visible in the abyss. Perhaps it was just a final illusion created by Nox Obscurus to torment him - or maybe a final phenomenon?
That voice…but I never told her my name…or…?
Seeming as though she was reaching from the other side of the star ocean, and into the interlude, the hand extended to him drew closer.
"You will not die here."
His voice wouldn't come. Only thoughts formed in his mind, oddly clear. Could she hear him? It seemed too unrealistic to be possible. But I've been waiting for you…ever since I came here, ever since I donned that mask; I've been waiting to---
"You will survive."
For what purpose…?
"This is not…your time of dying."
The darkness was breaking; shattering like glasswork and shining as it collapsed.
He lifted his arm and reached out to her, his hand trembling violently as he attempted to seize her hand. His bloody fingers were pale and guided by a will to live he hadn't felt before her familiar, gentle voice echoed throughout the dystopia. Even in the deplorable conditions, she still sounded welcoming and reassuring. There were so many things he wanted to say; too many burning questions and things he wanted to tell her. Things he had to tell her.
I…I'm not being allowed my death…
"She's waiting for you."
But even a final miracle of mercy wouldn't grant his sincerest of wishes. Instead, the phenomenon that brought them together one last time seemed to read his mind and bring the fate he dreaded to reality. Pain once again flooded his senses and words weren't coming as he desperately stretched out his hand.
"There are too many people wishing for you to be alive for you to die now. Fate doesn't want us to be together, for you only resemble him. It's simply how things will end for us. But you never believed in this sort of thing, did you?"
Is this supposed to be repentance? Atonement? To be deprived of the utopia of death?
He felt the strength coming back, although at an excruciating price. Darkness seemed to wrap around him, pulling him further away and trying to choke him. He struggled to reach her, and even felt the accursed crimson glow engulf his eyes. They both seemed to know the interlude was over. The hand of salvation to free him from the pain of reality and bring him to the peace that awaited him on the other side of the star ocean was too far away for him to seize.
"You'll be fine. Just go back to where you first met her. She'll be waiting."
Wait! At least…at least tell me your name!
He could almost see the smile pulling at her lips as she lowered her hand, no longer trying to reach him. Her hand instantly began to fade. He felt his heart wrench at the sight; his last hope was being extinguished. He wouldn't be at her side. The darkness was turning dark blue, and bright stars were piercing every stretch of the void. The darkness was being replaced by the expansiveness of space; the side of the star ocean he'd both revered and despised at different points in life.
Faize Sheifa Beleth knew the ethereal dystopia in the heart of Nox Obscurus would be vanished completely by the time she answered his question. He had no time to say anything more; reality was returning too quickly.
Once again, they were pulled apart by the cruel hands of fate before he could so much as bid her an eternal goodbye.
I don't own anything from Star Ocean: The Last Hope. But you all knew that, yes? Three cheers for last minute contest entries written at 2 AM! XD