Presented by: Xenogears: God and Mind
Fei looked into his father's eyes, looking deep in the depths of those black abysses which years ----- or was it centuries before had watched his mother with unfeeling unknowing blankness. Those eyes Fei knew, had watched his own first faltering steps like the ever present stars which are always there even in the brightest of daylight, waiting only for the fading of the azure sky into the velvet diamond studded blanket of the night sky.
Fei watched those dark eyes, haunting but not haunted, looking at them and loving them as only now he could. He went back in time to the Bledavik arena, the heat gathered around him in a cloud of agonizing sunny radiance like a mist of his own boiling furious blood. Only now in a flash of insight could he see the veiled sympathy and longing that had filled Wiseman's eyes in that first meeting, and only now did he understand truly what he was fighting for.
Then in the grim fortress of Nortune's prison, his body and mind strained to point as he sat in fear of the battle with the immense and seemingly invincible demi- human on the next day. Only now did he recognize the worry and concern in those eyes when Wiseman had told him the secret of the destructive combo, the secret that had allowed him to win.
Then with pain he remembered his most recent encounter, lying stricken bloody and weak of spirit beneath the cross of Golgoda, the marks from the chains which had pinned his wrists and almost flattened his lungs into suffocation clear and red on his tanned skin. But more painful then had been the knowledge that his love, his life his all Elly was gone and he could do nothing. Only now did he understand the veiled compassion in those eyes, and had that been tears that he had seen, glinting in those murky depths like the most precious of chrysalis floating at the bottom of dark water.
Then there was a change, the passing of something, those dark depths which up until then had been flecked with brown altered, becoming truly black, the diamonds of the tears became the ruby glint of pure madness and Fei almost felt his soul thrusting from his body cowering and twisting away, leaving the newly united battleground of his mind like some dispirited commander who had decided to surrender.
And at the same instant those beloved eyes became dark, the body too hardened and darkened. That beloved face tanned and care worn, with it's neatly clipped mustache that had tickled Fei's infant cheek as his father kissed his son goodnight. All were gone, hidden under the folds of gleaming black steel that covered the face in a brutal grip, two hands, now clad in hard black gauntlets picked up a dark steel mask and hooked it over the face. The cloak of dark blue that had covered Fei's father's martial arts dress grew black, fading into a sheath of midnight.
Then this dark figure stood, rising up like a menace of despair against the yellow and orange of the eye of Zohar, it's hellish light; so unfitting for the residence of such an existence as Har, silhouetting the body and giving it nightmare strength.
"I am thy true father!"
The voice was that same malign chuckle Fei remembered, and now that he remembered all the haunting disjointed acts of his other self he knew the origins of those dark connotations and sinister harmonics, the music of pure evil.
"Grahf!" "Yes it is I! The dark priest of chaos, the mother of destruction's shadow. I told thee I killed thy father and so I did" "Fei!"
Fei turned from the menacing figure to see Citan waving frantically with one green clad arm, his lined scholarly face under it's dim bobbing hair urgent, the fiery light winking off the circles of his glasses obscuring his dark angular eyes.
"Fei! I see now. Grahf merged with your father the way he wishes to merge with you! But Kahn's ego was strong enough to resist him." "Yes he was the first to survive my passing." Fei turned facing Grahf his white shirt stained with blood by the light, wholly himself. "I'm not who I was! If my father is strong I'll be stronger!" "Thou wilt receive me as thou wish'd in thy boyhood. But that thy father had not interfered our purpose would have been fulfilled by now. Thou knows thyself and thou knows thou wants me." "Never! I see you now. You're just a diseased part of a past version of me! The worst evil of Lacan distilled and condensed, you didn't reject Lacan he rejected you, he cast you out. The only reason you didn't cease to exist is that you had nothing, no self image, no Ego only hate and lust for revenge, you take another self and fill it with you, personifying all your hate with the name of Grahf, you're a parasite using and discarding bodies and minds, waiting for the right model to come along"
The Contact's voice seemed strong and clear and somehow all listeners knew that it was not just Fei who spoke, but Lacan, Kim and Abel adding their voices to his, and all backed up by the awesome power of the wave Existence.
Fei didn't feel the others only a sense of profound universal understanding, he had beaten Id, could feel that dark devil in the back of his mind urging him on, now he could beat Lacan's old Id. "I had thought me to spare thy Id, transmuting it to another self when I took thee. But thou wilt cease also when I take thee" "Then come, take me if you can."
As if by mutual consent the two moved towards their gears, Alpha Weltall stood black and harsh, it's spiked bat wings staring out like the branches of some tree of shadows who's roots sucked life from the soil, and who's fruits were the fallen seeds that blossom into destruction.
Xenogears rose like a tower of light, it's six wings flickering with radiance dripping drops of radiant power. Somehow Bart Citan and the others knew that they must not interfere in this battle. As he had triumphed over his own past the Contact must triumph over Lacan's, ending his last mistake and becoming a pure vessel for the light power before he faced the ultimate challenge --- the destruction of the mechanical jailer that held Har in thrall.
The controls of Xenogears were almost an identical copy of the controls of Weltall, except that they were sheathed in a pure white substance which was soft to the touch and slightly warm. The cockpit was warm too, a warm humid heat that comforted Fei, while at the same time exciting him the feeling of a mother's womb. He could see his dark opponent, the Assassin of all order leaning over his own standard functional controls circling round and looking for an opening. Fei knew how powerful Xenogears was but he also knew the power of Alpha Weltall. He remembered now, as if his contact with the ineffable white existence, reaching from it's fall down the path of Sephirot. He could see Lacan's memory, only fragments and flashes it was true, and certainly nothing of the dark existence that he faced, but he knew that Alpha Weltall had been the premiere gear of the Shevites, constructed even after his own Weltall, the upgrade, a gear constructed with the special desire in mind, the specific purpose of uniting with and channeling the ultimate power of all universes that existed within the Zohar modifier, the hosts for the spirit of the Slayer of God.
This was no ordinary gear he was facing, he knew that so he moved with care. He circled rising off the ground with a smooth swan like ease. The dark gear followed rising up from the floor of the cavern like the looming ominous peak of a haunted mountain.
Then he attacked, bolts of fiery red ether, the color of freshly opened wound spiking up from the black gear, with a strange kind of calm Fei realized that they were the same color as the facings on Grahf's gear.
There was no way he could avoid them, but with out thinking he made a barrier of anti-ether similar to the one Grahf had placed around the petty and cruel Bishop Stone.
But Grahf followed his bolts rising up from the floor, darting up and snatching at the brilliant Xenogears. Fei swerved right and launched his own etheric blast, a mighty ball of blue white that consumed the dark gear in fire, washing around it' shadow in a nimbus of flaming energy. There were few gears in the world that would have withstood that blast, the omnigears perhaps, might have done ---- barely. But Alpha weltall only reeled drunkenly like an eagle drugged in flight. Then suddenly he attacked again slamming forward in a mighty punch, attempting to grasp and sever one of the angelic gear's diaphanous wings.
Fei avoided the punch and parried the blow with a sweeping chop, then Grahf was coming in close and launching another attack of hellish red. This time Fei was caught. Xenogears fell backwards, first reeling then, as Grahf launched Alpha Weltall in a vicious follow up kick, falling to the floor. Fei was shaken, his body slamming into the straps, his elbow banging against the side of the cockpit. But he was unhurt, and in a second he was standing on his feet.
But the evil that piloted the dark gear needed that second. As Fei stood Xenogears, ready to fight once more. Grahf's voice rang out triumphantly in the cavern like the trumpets at the gates of the underworld, calling Cerberus the dog of death from his uneasy sleep.
"I have won! Move one step closer and thy friends shall die, even as thy mother, they shell fall from the vast plane of existence carried on a wave of death which I shall impart unto them. If thou wilt give thyself to me they shall live." "Fei! Destroy him we don't matter, if you let him do this he'll destroy the world. The good of the many outlays the good of the few!"
Citan's voice was strong but it shook slightly as he stood with Bart, Emeralda, Maria, Rico and Billy, exposed in the glowing light of the eye of Zohar.
"Say Fei! Waste this guy! If we get blown, it's not your fault!" Bart's voice was equally strong as he stood every inch the prince of Aveh, Fei was too far away to see the expression in that single sapphire orb, but if he had seen it he would have recognized it as the expression of Mother Sophia as she whirled the Excaliber to destruction in the maelstrom of Solarian fire, stirring Lacan's grief and bringing out his id to produce the dark monster that threatened their lives.
"I ----- I" Tears pricked his eyes, his tanned face burning as Grahf's malign laughter rang out across the cavern. "Kim, Fei! Emeralda doesn't matter ---- kill dark man." The sweet accented voice in it's disjointed syllables floated up to him, and that finally decided him. He could feel the love Kim had for his child well up in his memory, and he could feel the love he shared for all of his friends well up in him like a spring of life giving water in a dry desert.
"Okay Grahf! I'll do what you want just don't hurt them." Grahf's laugh intensified as with a single sweeping gesture of Alpha Weltall's dark arm he erected a barrier of pure red negativity around the little group.
"Step down from thy gear and remember that I canst kill thy friends with as much thought as the angry man will stamp on the low crawling insect." Limbs trembling Fei got out of the gear, he wondered what it would be like --- ceasing to exist, he supposed it wouldn't hurt.
"Fei no!!!!!" The chorus rang out from behind Grahf's impenetrable shield. Fei saw Rico, red hair flowing, a grimace of effort on his huge ugly face, his green eyes blazing like a cats trying to force his way through the barrier. But the huge demi-human, grunting as he put the massive force of his body into the struggle pushed flat against the wall, his muscles straining.
"My power is more than sufficient, my beloved disciple, to hold such a wild ox as he within my grasp" There was a flash of red and Rico fell back, ugly first degree burns starting on his hands and face. Billy raised his hands to perform an etheric cure, his pale hair bloody, his young eyes terrified. Granf struck him down contemptuously.
"Stop! I'll do what you want! just don't hurt them anymore." Fei's voice was no longer the voice of the Contact, it was frightened husky moan, as every agony that his friends endured transmitted itself to him as keen as the burns on Rico and Billy's skin.
Grahf stepped out of his gear cockpit, and not bothering to use the ladder floated to the ground beside Fei like a hawk stooping on it's prey.
Fei's eyes locked with Maria's, the strange silent girl whom had been such an aid to their quest in Shevat. Then Billy, the young Priest who loved his sister Primera with a love so bright as to be almost jealous. Then Rico, the bluff bad tempered old demi-human, hard as nails but faithful as a well trained wolf. Emeralda, her tanned face so like his own --- or was it Kim's, the last living remnant on this earth of his lost love ---- a child of her past self. Then Bart, standing proud and erect, his corn gold hair gleaming like a crown of glory, his chin upright and not a trace of fear on his strong pirate's face. And at the last Citan, a solid figure as he had always been, all his once dark past now a distant memory, wholly committed to the cause of humanity his oldest friend, teacher and rock in the storm. He took his last look at his friends, and as he looked Grahf stretched forth his dark hand, and his dark will and Fei Fong Wong started to fade.
His newly joined mind started to darken into unknowing, squeezed out of the plain of its existence by the smothering of a dark presence. He fought of course, raising barriers of memory like shining barricades in front of the steadily encroaching tide of Grahf that was slowly overwhelming him. Kahn had survived but barely, and he had been a man, himself for almost 41 years before the dark wave covered him. Fei was only a boy of 18, still coming to terms with his reunited self, not yet a close nit whole as any resistant mind should be. The contact was going too, it's bright power draining into the dark leaving only Fei to fight on alone. But slowly inexorably the dark advance continued, the sun going down in the sky of the young mind, the iceberg of the human spirit melting away to a single bright point.
What had once been Fei held on grimly, an iron will blazing like a candle in a black wind. It had no memory, no self, not even the psychopathic desire that had spawned this Grahf and later Id. It hung on to one thought and one image only, the image of a girl's face with gentle violet eyes and a wealth of chestnut hair, the smooth warmth of her skin, the gentle sternness of her spirit. And of course her name, the last coherent word he formed was her name. With one despairing cry the tiny spark of will that was the last splinter of Fei cried out the name of his love, his life, his darling. "Elly!!!!!!!!!" And discorporated.
Behind Grahf's imprisoning barrier they saw Fei's face change. As with his father the eyes changed first, slowly darkening from those huge liquid mirror's of the soul that a girl called Elly had loved, two dark pits of swirling blackness. Then the face began to change, hardening and deepening into lines of deep death like bottomless crevasses.
"What's happening to him?" Bart asked, Citan took off his spectacles and rubbed his eyes with one tanned hand, wiping away the tears from his angular face. "Grahf has taken Fei's mind and is using the power of the contact to remold his body." His voice was quiet, almost a whisper in that empty echoing cavern. "Then Fei ------" Rico's gruff growling voice was hesitant, not wanting to ask the question. "Grahf has taken his mind and soul, Fei is ----dead."
Citan sniffed and buried his head in his hands, Bart's face grew solemn. Emeralda wailed hysterically and jumped into the arms of Maria who held the Nannomachine child close, but whether to comfort the green haired girl or herself she didn't know. Bart pulled a long thin knife from his red ornate jacket and saluted solemnly as Billy began to recite a benediction in a soft dead voice.
What had been Fei's face was completely alien now, the skin was still the aching familiar tan, but there was an ugly set to bone and flesh and a horrible glint in those empty black nothingness' of eyes. The long straggling hair of that deep brown was growing shorter, and as it grew it altered it began to take on the hue of the Zohar light, a brilliant dragon red. Fei's clothes too changed, shimmering into a suit of glittering platemale, archaic as the hollow speech that they all recognized as coming from the mouth of that steel mask.
"Grahf! You've taken my son you bastard! I killed you once I'll kill you again" As Gahf slowly shimmered into being he turned to see Kahn shrugging off the black cloak, he stood in his fawn colored robe, his tanned face as full of grief as the faces of Fei's friends. Grahf looked at him and his face twisted into a horrible expression of contempt.
"Thou insignificant fool, now thou shalt learn the true power of the Contact, and in the learning thou shalt die."
Grahf raised one hand, fingers spread, and a bolt of red energy slammed into Kahn, there was no time for him to use his Chi to defend himself, he was obliterated in burst of instant flame.
The barrier surrounding them dissolved, Rico and Bart began to tense themselves, each wearing an identical expression of vengeance but Citan turned to them, his face streaming openly with tears, one hand gripping the hilt of his sword so hard that the knuckles were white.
"No it's no use we'd never defeat him without the Contact"
Citan turned to the glittering figure of Grahf. Sparks of light bounced steadily off Grahf's golden armor. Almost absently through his grief Citan noted the ornate sword slung at Grahf's waist.
"The wave existence would never accept you. You have the physical contact power but you'll never have the spirit! You will never destroy God and if you do not destroy God, then God will destroy you" Grahf laughed. "The Deus system is but a tool, I was able to decimate the armies of the world using only the finger of it's power in the Diablo's five centuries past. Deus shall never destroy my Ego for I am but a force of destruction. It shall swallow me and the contact power with me and even as the parasite, I shall destroy it from within and my spirit shall rule all. Using the power of Har I shall destroy all with Deus as my vehicle." So saying Grahf turned, and walked off into the glittering heart of the eye of Zohar, there was a bright flash and then he was gone.
Fei's friends huddled close weeping uncontrollably, and as the light of Zohar faded to black they clung together, a silent group of humanity sitting in the dark alone with their emotions.
The machine was programmed to unmake a self, a simple matter of mechanical precision inserting it's tentacles of cold clinical thought into the mind of it's newly absorbed member part, feeding off the psychic energy and storing it in it's various compartments, draining the Id of all will and drive, the superego of all experience and the Ego of all self knowledge. The shallow shell of thought that was left, a thin and flimsy thing composed of the thought "Think ---- am" could easily be disposed of. Even as this process of annihilation was going on the physical body of the component was broken down into constituency, the information coded in base pairs on it's chromosomes was read, the instructions relayed, it's metabolites were shunted off to be reformed into new life tissues for the machine and it's waste products were disposed of.
Twice only had Deus failed in it's duty. One of the non compatible components --- perhaps due to the meddling of it's chief power source, had been ejected whole and unharmed, though of course the self had been scrambled. The other lay close to Har, in the small sphere of influence given over to power operations, her self intact but her body unmade. But that didn't matter, it had received all it needed from that particular self, the Miang consciousness had returned to it's rightful place in it's workings and the rest, now nothing but a confusion of emotion was flung down to Har like a bone to a dog.
Har could no longer influence events within time. It's bipolar self, the immanent and transcendent parts both had been captured, but existed. Ever since the day the small one on the metal microcosm, the thing the inhabitants called Eldridge had come to it. It had touched the small one's mind and saw there a chance for it's salvation. The small one was still receptive to its touch, for it remembered the hand of The Soul Absolute that existence which was as far beyond Har's capabilities as Har was from those of the humans. Har had touched that small one and used the cells of Deus, expending great amounts of immanence, to create a glitch in the genetic code, so that a certain times the Contact would be born, he who would feel Har's call and respond.
And when the machine had created it's servant, she who would reactivate it, a human purpose, Har intervened directly. It had little necessity left in this three dimensional world. Long ago had been the times when Har was strong, long ago in the four dimensional world of the multiverse exploring possibilities, unmaking a star in one reality to form the atoms together in another in a great fiery conflagration, making and unmaking and preserving life as the Soul Absolute had created it to do.
But now it could scarcely bring an influence to bear, and yet it had managed to fight the machine that bound it, sucking out it's infinite power. It had created the companion, allowing the purpose of the machine to be diverted only into a flying compulsion which took women like a hidden assailant, raping their minds and inserting it's own corrupting influence which ascended in the new mind to take precedence above all need for life or love.
But that had tired Har and so it had not even managed to summon the reborn second Contact. The third had been full of hate, and whilst Har could give knowledge it could not dictate actions. In it's own way it felt sorrow for the destruction the one called Lacan caused, though the feeling it felt was as far beyond sorrow as the feelings of an ameba are to a human being.
But now Lacan had returned corrupt and full of destruction, the antithesis of life. And Har could feel the dark tide ranging through the carefully planned maze of the machine. The machine could not discorporate it for it was not corporate, even as the destroying fire that burns flesh and life away is not corporate. It was a soul of destruction, rerouting the machine's main command to a single word. "Destroy"
Har felt the tug of darkness, it's own power was in that dark, it's own immanence, ability to intervene within time counteracting Har's transcendence. Har clutched the self that had been Elly to it's nonexistent chest as it felt an infinity of power drained. It fought back trying to stop the flow but it was in three dimensions only and it couldn't manipulate the possibilities.
There is no human sensation to compare with that of the drowning Har, except the one of a strong swimmer covered in a suit of lead fighting a tugging tide of black obsequious water. The tides of Grahf's dark thought flooded through the Deus system, eating Har's power, and Har felt itself discorporating, the immanent part of itself, the part that existed in this reality was being slowly sucked into the dark. It still existed but behind the shield of the fourth dimension, unable to intervene in time until it's infinite strength was restored.
Clutching it's daughter to it's chest it's immanent self discorporated, and with an unsounding cry of loss it felt it's creature's self break in the tides of blackness and discorporate into a million shades of light.
The entity felt itself, it felt every particle like a black scale on a malign dragon. It had once been called Grahf, it had once been called Deus, but not anymore it needed no name it simply was. A force of destruction a devil spirit of blackest night. It gathered all the matter that comprised itself and wrapped it around the planet, squeezing it, altering the composition of it's core, letting it bleed lava. Then with a smash the planet exploded into a myriad crowd of fragments flying across the empty blackness of space like glass from a smashed pot. The entity reveled in it's destruction, it's infinite power stretching out to squeeze stars into oblivion.
Somewhere it felt a race of living creatures and out of shear malice it obliterated the star about which their world circled sensing with glee as their discorporated selves passed on out of time. It could destroy, it could kill, it was the universe's murderer. It stretched out a tendril of being to find a black hole, to slam it together with a million other black holes creating a well of gravity so vast that all galaxies would pull together back to the primordial chaos, a chaos of which it would be Lord and Master, an unending night of nothingness only blackness stretching on into eternity with no end.
"No!!!" It wasn't a voice for on the cosmic scale of events there are no voices and no language. It was rather a feeling of denial placed before the entity like a guard placed over an ornament to prevent a careless child from smashing it. "You can not deny me, who are you?"
"I am the existence behind existence, I am the net of vital energy that permeates all life energy and movement, I caused the first beginning of time and I know all dimensions, I am the one who receives the timeless selves of all things and recreates them in themselves to be of me and of the multiverse. I am the soul absolute."
The reply was not in words as here recorded, rather the entity seemed to catch a metasensory glimpse of all infinity and the infinities beyond and the whole vastness of the multiverse of space and time reduced to a single bright point, and yet the speaker stood outside that point. "If you're like Har I'll destroy you, I am Destruction! I am Entropy!" "You can not for I encompass my own destruction as I encompass all possibilities. You have destroyed nothing, only put them out of time and this reality, they all exist in other places and times." "I have killed them! I am the destroyer!" "You are nothing, you do not exist for it is ordained that you leave this time now" and with a last shriek of rage the entity of destruction discorporate in a burst of time, howling it's way into a shrieking void where it had so much desired to send the universe.
Somewhere, beyond time and space in a realm unknown to dwellers in the multiverse, two selves that had once been known as Fei and Elly danced together in eternal love.
It is now 01:53am, and I have been writing this for about three and a half hours. I started out trying to write an alternative ending to Xenogears where Grahf wins and I succeeded ------ almost. I apologize to anyone who finds me a little too metaphysical in my definition of the wave existence and the "Soul Absolute" To avoid all the religious implications I will just state that the Wave Existence, otherwise known as Har is not God, as he is not (to use the philosopher Karl Bart's Phraze) "Wholly other"
I am a theist and believe in God. The Soul absolute however, is not necessarily God either it is just part of creation, but it's too late and I'm about metaphysixed out for tonight. I suppose this shows what happens when you get a philosophy student writing science fiction all night, oh well I've done it now and I'm not going to delete it.
Sumery: (for those who didn't follow a word of this, or just to summarize in case you're not sure).
Grahf took over Fei's body and used it to join with Deus, he then took over Deus, destroying Har and Elly in the process. He then attempted to destroy the universe but was stopped by the "Soul Absolute." --- You see, it's the alternative ending to Xenogears!!!
Discorporated: mentally ceased to exist.
Immanence: God's ability (or Har's), to intervene in creation.
Transcendence: A term used to apply to God or Har existing both in and out of time.
Multiverse: Entire reality of space and term including alternate realities.