Split Worlds' Nirvana

Authors: Agent Q, O'Sliggity Slice

Prologue: Deviance Origins

A/N: No, the elements of this story containing the world of Deviance are not another story. Maybe in the future, but not now.

Between Dreams and Memories, Beyond Dreams and Memories, its characters, settings, and themes are copyright© Daniel Kaye. All rights reserved.

As you read along, you may notice that sometimes, I cut short a lot of my descriptions, especially for the minor characters and some main characters. This will be compensated by the fact that there will be more descriptions over time, but it's mostly just to let you make your own image of the characters based on what they say and what they do.

Ok, last thing, promise. Every month, I will be putting up a chapter, hopefully. I will answer any questions you have regarding anything about the chapter that you ask in your reviews. However, you only have about one month after I put up the chapter to ask, and then it's off to the next chapter where you'll find your answers right here in the author's notes.

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(Silence. Five figures lie waiting, covered by the shadows in the dimly lit corridor. No one moves. Such is the importance of the mission being carried out in complete silence.

One of the figures signals to the other four practically identical people cloaked in black. He moves out of the niche he has been hiding in, and the others follow.

He crawls quickly, but silently across the length of the hallway, as do the others. They finally stop at a door that is slightly wider than the others. It is the first man who moved, and the leader, who speaks first.)

DANTES: This is it. This is where we'll find the Antithesis weapon.

RAGNALS: We are to destroy it then?

DANTES: No. The superior Core ordered for us only to gather information, and cause no injury to the weapon.

(Ragnals happens to think that this is a bad idea, which he shows by snorting. Dantes, who is in the same niche, sharply reprimands him.)

DANTES: Don't do that again, or we'll all die. I know how you feel about this. I have to say that I don't like this idea of letting the Collective complete the Antithesis Project, but the intent of the superior Core is law here, and we have no other choice.

RAGNALS: It'd be much easier if we could just pull its plug before the program is written out fully.

DANTES: I know.

(Dantes signals for them to move again. He comes to a stop before the large door, and slowly opens the door as to not let it squeak on its hinges. Once he has opened the door far enough for him to enter, he slips in quickly and stealthily. The others follow just as softly.

Dantes immediately closes his eyes due to the extreme brightness of the room. When at last he regains his vision, he can see before him the object that was feared to be powerful enough to destroy Deviance. But what he never expected was an embryo, still developing, its arm buds only protruding a few centimeters out of its body.)

RAGNALS: It probably hasn't even been coded with the necessary functions to live yet. Let's forget this and go back to Aicpalastaen. We'll just tell the Core that the project hasn't been progressing as fast as they thought it was.

DANTES: No. Look closely, Ragnals.

(Ragnals looks at the embryo again, but finds nothing different about it.)

RAGNALS: What? What do you see?

DANTES: Ciel, scan the area around the embryo for unusual energy patterns.

(Ciel holds up a device that closely resembles a tuning fork attached to a metal box. He waves it around as if it were a detector of some sort.)

CIEL: There's nothing. Maybe we got the wrong room.

DANTES: Change the frequency to detect for our energies.

CIEL: Why? Of all possible sources, the Collective would never use our own source on its greatest agent.

DANTES: I can sense it...

(Ciel shrugs. Nevertheless, he flips a few switches and waves it again. This time, the device emits a continuous screech.)

CIEL: Impossible...

DANTES: Actually, quite logical if you think about it.

RAGNALS: Would you care to explain what you mean by that?

(One of the two people who haven't spoken yet signals to Dantes that they should speak more softly.)

DANTES: (Whispering) We've all seen the Collective's agents. We all know that they're immune to most physical wounds, so the only way we have been able to keep them at bay so far is by our psionic energies that counteract the effects of their symbiote.

CIEL: And what you're suggesting is that the Collective hopes to rid this weakness by creating this newest weapon out of the very energies we have been using against it for an unknown number of millennia?


RAGNALS: That would not work, though. The two energies would counteract each other, and this weapon would be useless.

DANTES: What if there's only one?

RAGNALS: Then it would not side against us. Its source is Aicpalastaen, and its allegiance is to Aicpalastaen. It cannot betray us!

DANTES: No, Ragnals, it does not belong to Aicpalastaen. None of us belong to anything except...

(Dantes does not finish his sentence when the door breaks and two large and imposing men dressed in crimson suits, with guns drawn and pointed at the five intruders, rush in.

They are only two of the Collective's many organic super weapons known to Dantes as the "Red Death".)

CIEL: Damn! We must've made too much noise!

DEMISE: Quite correct, Infidel. Now prepare to die.

(Dantes reaches into his pocket but takes out nothing.)

DANTES: Damn! I don't have any psions on me!

DERRICK & LANCE: We're also empty.

(Dantes curses again. He pulls out two uzis and backs away from the agents.)

DANTES: Ciel, copy the embryo's code. Ragnals, Derrick, Lance, help me take these two down.

(Dantes leaps away behind a machine just as the agents open fire. Ragnals rolls behind a similar machine across the room with Derrick, but Lance is too slow to react and gets shot through the head.)

RAGNALS: Dantes! Let's just cover Ciel until he gets the code, and then let's get out of here!

DANTES: Too late for that! Ciel's gone!

(Ragnals looks back to where the embryo is, and indeed Ciel is gone.

Ragnals draws his handgun and comes out from his cover. He shoots at the agents, but they seem to be unaffected. Derrick follows him and also starts firing round after round at the agents, who still stand and fire even though they are hit with many bullets.)

RAGNALS: We don't have any means of countering them! This is hopeless, let's just go!

DANTES: We need to keep them back as long as possible. We can't let our mission fail.

(Ragnals growls in frustration. Dantes steps out with his two uzis flaring. Again, the agents seem to be unaffected.)

RAGNALS: None of us here can negate their shields... This is suicide!

DANTES: Ragnals, what are you doing?

(Ragnals begins to run to the door, but the agents turn to fire at him. Although he dodges most of the bullets, three hit their mark: one on his left shoulder, another on his left forearm, and the last on his left knee. Ragnals stumbles but manages to limp out the door.)

DEMISE: Plague, kill him.

(Plague walks steadily through the door in pursuit of Ragnals.

Meanwhile, Dantes and Derrick continue to fire at Demise. At last, Demise begins to show signs of weakness, as shown by his body jerking back from a hit. However, he still stands, even after taking shots that would kill anyone else.

Demise flips open a cell phone and enters a number.)

DEMISE: Forget the escapee, I need backup.

(A few seconds later, Plague returns to help Demise. He draws fire to himself, and dodges most of the shots.)

DERRICK: Dantes, there's an exit I think behind us. That's how Ciel got out, I think.

DANTES: Then let's go.

(Derrick and Dantes replace their weapons and dash for the small door that they didn't see the first time around. Dantes makes it through the door, but Derrick gets shot in the leg. He immediately falls to one knee.)

PLAGUE: There is no escape from the absolute that is the Collective.

(Derrick takes out his gun again and shoots at Plague, who, unaffected, fires back at Derrick. Three shots: all through the head.

Dantes quickly shuts the door behind him and runs to the hallway to his left. The door suddenly bursts open, and Plague jumps through. He spots Dantes, and begins chasing him.)

DANTES: How the hell do I get out?

(Dantes checks his bag for his scan of the building, but he finds nothing inside.)

DANTES: Shit...

(Dantes comes to a narrow hallway with only one door. However, the door is jammed and Dantes can't get inside. He turns back to see Plague at the entrance to the corridor, with his gun pointed right at his head.)

- -


(Ragnals finishes recounting his story of how he was the only one out of the group who survived other than Ciel to the highest ranking member of the superior Core, Octavian.)

OCTAVIAN: You are certain, Ragnals, that Dantes, Derrick, and Lance are all dead?

RAGNALS: Saw them die myself.

OCTAVIAN: But Ciel has the code, correct?

RAGNALS: As far as I could tell, yes. But if I may, Consul Octavian, why did you ask us to extract the weapon's code instead of simply killing it?

OCTAVIAN: I am afraid you may not understand if I told you.

RAGNALS: Pray tell me what is so important. My experience is many times less than your own, and so I may not yet understand all the motives behind the actions taken by the Core.

OCTAVIAN: The motives are simple. This..."Antithesis", as it is called, is in all respects, invincible. For us, at least. It was created to be a stronger version of ourselves. You may call it an improvement.

RAGNALS: That's why its energy source was completely composed of psi.

OCTAVIAN: Precisely. This is a being that is composed of both psion and symbiote; both parts of our realm.

RAGNALS: But that's impossible! The psion is part of Aicpalastaen, so it would naturally counteract the effects of the symbiote.

OCTAVIAN: Not completely true. A neutral entity born not on Deviance can indeed be fused with both sources of energy.

RAGNALS: But psi is part of Aicpalastaen...

(Cassius, at this moment, arrives.)

OCTAVIAN: Ah! Excuse me for a moment, Ragnals. Cassius has just arrived with news about the weapon's code.

(Ragnals bows to Octavian. Cassius and Octavian bow to each other.)

CASSIUS: I have news of the mission. But we need to speak privately...

(Cassius looks at Ragnals, as does Octavian. Ragnals bows and backs out of the chamber.)

OCTAVIAN: You have decrypted the code?

CASSIUS: Yes. However, there is something about it that bothers me...


CASSIUS: We found that its energy source is not composed of psi, as Ciel had insisted, but rather, it is something neutral.

(Octavian furrows his brow and Cassius starts pacing around him.)

CASSIUS: You also find this as disturbing as I do?

OCTAVIAN: Yes. Ever since we had arrived on Deviance and staked our claim to Aicpalastaen, the Collective has been in pursuit of us. We both know why.

CASSIUS: Psi is alien to Deviance. It wants to rid this world of its presence.

OCTAVIAN: Invincibility. That's what it wants.

CASSIUS: Invincibility...

(They are silent, allowing the effect of the word to sink in: Invincibility.)

- -


(The normally peaceful port city of Zaqa'Ari is now in a state of chaos. At every street, people run to the north, south, east, and west; anywhere to escape the golden mist spreading from the center of the city where the palace lay.

Kadar, the captain of the guard, scrambles out of the city. His face, while normally resolved, is now filled with fear. While running, he hurls his spear into the mist, and rips off his red cape to run faster. He continues to run until he meets with the only person who isn't running: Hamaan.

Kadar stops in front of the slightly shorter man dressed in the typical torn brown robe, with his hood covering most of his face.)

KADAR: They have returned! Hamaan, run!

(Hamaan makes no motion. He merely stares at the golden mist.)

KADAR: Damn, Hamaan, we have to get out of here!

(Hamaan breaks from his trance. He turns his gaze towards Kadar, who is trying to get him to move, but at the same time, considering running for his own life.)

HAMAAN: It isn't a djinn.

KADAR: I know they're not! It's the Youkai! Let's go, Hamaan!

HAMAAN: There is no need to run. That would be impossible anyway. Instead, let us hide.

(Hamaan makes the ground's hard-packed sand soften and loosen beneath his feet. He and Kadar soon slip into the Earth, just as the golden mist spreads over where they once stood.

More screams, and the sound of laughter fill the air of the city. The mist then gradually recedes back to the palace where it finally disappears, revealing a huge four-armed beast covered with white-silver fur.

When Hamaan can no longer sense the mist, he rises from the ground, taking Kadar with him. When they look across the horizon, though, they find that they are the only survivors, and that the only building still standing is the palace.)

HAMAAN: The palace still stands. Let us salvage what we can from it.

KADAR: You-you're a...

HAMAAN: What? Speak now, because you won't have a chance in the palace.

(Kadar tries to say the word, but he can't find the strength to. Hamaan walks quickly in the direction of the palace, and Kadar runs quickly behind.)

- -


(Hamaan and Kadar are still in the process of searching the remains of the palace. Although the outside looks as if nothing had happened, the inside looks as if a tornado blew through it. Sculptures, paintings, vases, tapestries, and almost all of the royal treasures are scattered across the ground. Kadar reaches out to grab a ruby he sees roll along the floor next to him, but he stops when he hears a roar from below.)

KADAR: You hear that?

HAMAAN: It's in the treasure room.

(Hamaan dashes for the stairs, and gracefully leaps down the whole flight without making more than a slight fluttering noise from his robe. Meanwhile, Kadar quickly stuffs the ruby inside his shirt pocket, and runs down the stairs, making much more noise as his heavy military boots clank against the marble steps.

By the time Kadar reaches the bottom of the stairs, Hamaan is already running silently through the wide hall to the treasure room on the other end. Kadar stops to breathe.)

KADAR: Hamaan...*gasp* Wait! I can't run that fast!

(Hamaan does not slow his pace, so Kadar curses, and runs again. He sees Hamaan enter the room far ahead of him, so he increases his pace so that he could help Hamaan if something dangerous happens.

Kadar half runs, half slides, into the treasure room. He doubles over and breathes heavily, before straightening himself up. First he sees Hamaan standing as if in a trance, much like the way he found him at the city gates.)

KADAR: Hamaan, what do you see?

(Kadar's question is answered not by Hamaan, but by a pale-skinned, tall muscular man dressed in light silver that matches with his hair color.)

KADAR: Who the hell are you?

(The man grins evilly, and his eyes ignite into a bright yellow color. He advances towards Kadar, and while walking, he materializes a bright orange blade from the air.)

KADAR: What the-

(Kadar realizes that he threw his spear while running from the city. And he knows that his dagger is no match for the intimidating blade in the hands of the stranger. He secretly curses the fact that no firearms were issued to the ceremonial palace guards.)

KADAR: *thinking* It was suicide to come back here!

MAN: Oh, I am forgetting my manners. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Marius Octavius Pious.

KADAR: That's great, but why did you kill everyone in the city?

PIOUS: Oh, not everyone. You're still alive, aren't you? Not for long, though... But really, I just needed enough living energy to fuel myself with so that I may once again assume a physical body.

KADAR: You? You're him!

PIOUS: Yes. Pious, king of the Youkai.

(Hamaan once again breaks free of his trance. He lowers his hood, revealing a bald tattooed head. His eyes ignite in a deep golden light, and glow with as much intensity as Pious'.)

PIOUS: Another demon? This has just gotten a bit more interesting.

HAMAAN: Your presence is not wanted on this world, Youkai. Leave!

PIOUS: Try to make me, little demon.

(Hamaan forms a blade of his own and rushes at Pious prepared to strike. He leaps forward at impossible speed, and as the distance closes, Hamaan lashes out.)

PIOUS: Syli tilyr cyht!

(Hamaan is suddenly repelled, and crashes into a nearby pillar. He quickly forces himself to rise, and gets into a ready stance, circling Pious instead of rushing him.)

PIOUS: Fools! Both of you combined stand no chance against me!

(Kadar runs to Hamaan's side. He draws his dagger and holds it ready to stab at Pious.)

KADAR: Come on!

(Pious unleashes a blue beam of energy that fires at Kadar, who dodges only by the many years of training with the royal guard. He rolls to the other side of the room, and he and Hamaan circle Pious on both sides.

Pious lifts his hand, and the floor begins to quake. A giant fissure appears in the center of the room, and many riches fall into the chasm. Pious, however, hovers directly above it.)

KADAR: Hamaan, I don't suppose you can fly as well?

HAMAAN: No, I can't, so grab onto something!

(Kadar searches the room, but finds nothing secured to the wall. Meanwhile, the crack grows wider.)

KADAR: There's nothing!

HAMAAN: Then we'll go through the walls!

(Hamaan grabs Kadar and jumps with him into the wall. Pious stops his spell, and flies up through the ceiling in pursuit of the two men.

Hamaan and Kadar fall out from a window. Unfortunately, the window is situated very high up on the wall. Fortunately, it is situated above a very large and deep fountain. They swim to the edge, and climb out, soaking wet. Pious is not far behind, as he too appears outside the palace, but on firm ground and dry.)

PIOUS: Now I have killed this whole city!

(Pious' human body arches back and he lets out a yell. He turns around to face Cye, who has his lance held ready to attack again.)

CYE: Youkai? But how?

(Pious recovers from the initial attack dealt to him by Cye.)

PIOUS: My, my, little Dunne. You don't remember the one who killed you?

CYE: Wait, it's you? No... That's impossible!

PIOUS: In just a few days, you will find just how possible my return truly is. Prepare yourself for the end!

(Pious envelops himself in a cloud of yellow mist, and fades away with it.

Cye walks to Hamaan and Kadar, still holding his lance out, fully extended.)

CYE: You two are okay?


CYE: Are there any more survivors?

HAMAAN: None. He absorbed all their life energies when he regained his physical form.

CYE: I see... Well, let's make introductions first. I'm Cye.

KADAR: Many welcomes to Zaqa'Ari, Cye. I am Kadar.

HAMAAN: Hamaan.

(Kadar observes Cye, the foreigner. His skin is lighter, and his hair is the color of straw and is tied back into a ponytail. He wears a dark gray suit and he holds a silver lance in his hand. At the push of a button, the lance retracts to a one foot-long rod. He sticks it in his pocket.)

CYE: That was Pious, the strongest of the Youkai. I don't know how he returned, but I'm going to Tantalus to find some people who can help. Would you like to come with me? It's across the Aquamagne, but Geist has his airship ready.

KADAR: There's no point in staying here. The demon said that he would bring about the end of the world, so I plan on stopping him before he does so.

HAMAAN: Tantalus... Very well, I shall go there as well.

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