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Final Hikari: Okay! Time to explain “Toothpick Syndrome!” XD I apologize for not doing this sooner, but this was the first disclaimer opening I had. -shot- It’s a term I made up for characters whose personalities can be summed up by the following definition:

A character who is so incredibly powerful you know that they could just pwn the ass of anything other character who tried to fight them armed with only a toothpick. But they’re too stoic, cool, or just mature to gloat about it because both they and everyone else already knows how kickass they are. Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII, KOS-MOS from Xenosaga, Toya from Ceres: Celestial Legend, Sigmund from Infinite Undiscovery, and Arumat P. Thanatos from TLH are all Toothpick Syndrome Victims.

Final Hikari: XD Yes. The phrase “pwn your ass” is really in my vocabulary. X.X

Edge: -blink- -slight nod- I suppose it’s a fairly…accurate description.

Final Hikari: -sweat drop- Thanks…now do the disclaimer!

Edge: Final Hikari doesn’t own anything from Star Ocean: The Last Hope.




Utopia

Chapter IX

Longing




“Good morning!” Rose Niketa Hanabi called with an overly energetic wave; something that seemed to be a trademark of hers. Her gaze fell to the three headed dog that stood between the two Lemurisians, currently carrying a suitcase in each head. “Is that Cerberus, your doggie?”

Lymle patted its middle head as Rose approached. “He’s a good boy.”

“He looks like some sort of doggie express with all those suitcases,” the young Eldarian chuckled. “Are you all ready to go, Lym?”

“Yeah,” she replied with a brief nod before turning back to Lutea. “I’m going now, ‘kay?”

Lutea smiled, although her expression remained somewhat forlorn. “That certainly sounds familiar…I’ll see you soon though.”

“It won’t be as long as last time, I promise,” Lymle added as Cerberus flicked his tail impatiently. “I’ll still be here on Lemuris after all…”

With a smile that didn’t reach her eyes, Lutea nodded. “Goodbye, Lym.”

Lymle returned the smile as she bid her friend goodbye. She turned away and started toward the far exit alongside Rose with Cerberus in tow. Lutea stood and watched as they departed with a somewhat saddened expression, but the younger girl didn’t look back. Living in Woodley was almost too peaceful in comparison to when she’d traveled board the Calnus with Edge and the rest of her friends.

Through, truthfully, she didn’t see Arumat as a friend to the same definition as she saw Edge and Reimi. Not to mention how painful it was to look back upon the circumstances in which he joined their group, either. Nevertheless, he was still trustworthy, despite always being reluctant to associate with anyone. The idea of being surrounded by strangers, off worlders no less, was slightly uninviting, but she felt just as alienated among the inhabitants of Woodley, despite having known their names for many years.

The air was warmer than it had been the evening prior and the snow piled up on the ground was also melting. Small puddles of cold water gathered between the cobblestones on the road that lead to the exit. They passed through the tall arch where toe path ended, and, unsurprisingly, Arumat stood waiting. His arms were crossed and he had his scythe in hand. Rose was the first to greet him, bubbly and cheerful as ever, but only earned a brief glare in response.

“You’re coming, then?” he asked shortly, gaze settling on Lymle.

“Yeah,” she replied with a nod, meeting his cold stare evenly, something she’d never been able to do in months past. “I decided to come, ‘kay?”

He glanced over at Cerberus, who walked up behind her and sat down. He surveyed its three heads, each carrying a suitcase in their mouths. A slight smirk shadowed his expression as he straightened and turned away from the, starting in the direction of Lake Aegis. The region was thickly populated by hostile creatures, even so long after the Cardianon’s disappearance from Lemuris.

“We’re going through the Van Elm Region then following the trail to the southeast. It takes three days to reach Asgard from here. Don’t fall behind,” he stated, addressing them both.

They walked in silence for a moment, letting Arumat get several yards ahead. His stride was quick and purposeful, thus, difficult to keep up with; especially when his gaze settled on a Stone Golem on the far side of the slight hill they were ascending. Lymle looked over to the tall walls that protected Woodley with a distant expression.

She was glad to go, but had a slightly foreboding feeling of what awaited her. Rose, despite being close to their leader, Commander Gaghan, knew next to nothing about Faize’s fate; she doubted the common knowledge amongst any other surviving Eldarians that had known him was anything more than a lie. But she would undoubtedly have to be guarded about what she said to them; there was a great deal of conspiracy surrounding the Eldarians, Earthlings, and SRF that she only knew the resolution to on Earth.

There was a painfully likely chance the Eldarian civilians, since most of those who had accompanied Gaghan to the front lines of Nox Obscurus and learned the truth were dead, were still under some sort of illusion.

Rose sighed, shaking her head at his back. “Is he always like that?” she muttered as he extended the blades of his scythe.

“Most of the time…he’s gotten nicer though,” Lymle replied simply, watching as he hurried forward, weapon outstretched, to attack the enemy from behind.

“But it’s like talking to a brick wall half the time,” the Eldarian objected. “I honestly stopped thinking he even listens to me.”

She watched as the ex-Thirteenth Division captain lifted the blade high above his head, taking one step forward before bringing the weapon done on the guardian beast. The laser scythe was plunged into the creature’s stone body and sliced through it effortlessly. It thrashed momentarily before he retracted the scythe and slashed it a second time horizontally, the weapon now engulfed in light, sending the rock beast flying into pieces.

“You’re probably right…,” she trailed off, letting the thought hang. “But he can still hear you, ‘kay?”


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Edge Maverick drummed his fingers against the desk impatiently, staring at the computer screen with a slightly disappointed expression. It was only the second time he tried to contact the former Death Squadron captain, but it once again went unnoticed or ignored. He leaned against the back on his chair and crossed his arms to wait and see if so much as a message recorder would acknowledge the COM.

The signal was outputting in compatibility mode, since the basic USTA provided computers needed special clearance and a high security level update to contact COM addresses beyond Earth. Welch had taken care of both steps for Reimi and him, but the function was still limited in comparison to the information on the receiving COM if he were calling on another Earthling address.

Though the UP3, which still had yet to be officially approved, would prevent the use of such things, he did distantly miss some of the Eldarian technology that had been equipped to the Calnus. It was much better than what the USTA currently offered.

He waited another minute before closing the communication feed. Reimi had contacted En II to get Bacchus’ and Myuria’s new COM data, but several checks had to be conducted to ensure it was a legitimate request since En II was to remain isolated from other civilizations.

He hadn’t tried to relocate the mysterious, possibly Cardianon, vessel, for the sake of keeping it a secret from the USTA, but he was painfully aware of how little time remained before it reached Aeos. He was anxious and impatient, but as the captain of nothing more than a lost ruin, couldn’t do anything.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Welch Vineyard heaved a sigh as she, too, drummed her fingers against the metal desk impatiently. The twosome were on Welch’s personal computer, located in the hell known as her apartment. Surprisingly, her bedroom wasn’t kept in a condition as terrifying as the living room Reimi first had the displeasure of entering.

Though the bookcase, desk, nightstand, dresser, and closet looked as though a small whirlwind scattered debris native to the rest of her apartment all over the surfaces, including a simply terrifying number of shojo mangas (not to mention a few shonen ai mangas, which explained some of the item creation expert’s crudest jokes).

In fact, the bed itself, though left unmade, was free of all but one graphic novel, much to the ex-First Officer’s surprise. That is, of course, assuming that comforter pulled over the middle of the bed isn’t hiding a pile of junk…

Reimi leaned over to read over the younger girl’s shoulder. She looked over the text displayed on the screen of the database Welch had accessed. However, the unusual language everything was written in seemed familiar and made her suspect that “hacked” was a more adept term.

“Welch, whose database is this?” Reimi asked suspiciously, a slight frown appearing on her face. Her hands were on her hips as she waited for a response.

“Well, I said I’d get all the data the from Aquila collected, didn’t I?” Welch questioned passively, waving the question off idly. “I’m just doing what I promised you kids.”

“That looks like the Morphus’ language. Did you somehow contact En II? You know it’s illegal to-”

“Relax!” Welch interjected. “Look at it rationally; the USTA lost contact with the Aquila during the first warp trip. Thus, we have, like, no data from the ship! But those pointy-eared Morphus did a lot of maintenance to the shop so they must have oodles of data!”

“Alright..,” Reimi trailed off, straightening and taking a few steps away from the computer, resigned Welch’s search would be taking a while. “But exactly what is the Aquila’s data going to do for us?”

Welch clicked her tongue disapprovingly. “Duh! I’d expect a dumb question like that out of Edge, but your hair is brown, Reimi! Not blond!”

She crossed her arms impatiently and perched on the foot of Welch’s unmade bed, inwardly wondering what compelled the younger girl to purchase sheets in such a sickeningly green, puke-like color. “Enough of the jokes, why do you want the Aquila’s data so badly? What does it have that can help?”

The younger of the two rolled her eyes dramatically. “C’mon now. Use your noggin’! Edge things the Cardianon Mothership could have expelled from Nox Obscurus. So before we do anything, we should see if that’s possible. And the Aquila, just like the Calnus, was pulled into that Mothership. They were there for far longer than you guys’ were, so there’s a good chance they have the information that could make or break this theory.”

Reimi sighed and shook her head. “Welch, do you really think that’s possible? It’s nice to think of, but is it really feasible? He would have contacted us by now, don’t you think?”

Welch leaned back in her chair and crossed both her arms and legs stubbornly. “You almost sound like you’re against this. Besides, the COMs are difficult to repair, especially on foreign vessels. But if we get the Aquila’s data on it, we can determine if it’s possible or not.”

“But…would En II have copied the backup files of the Aquila?”

“Why wouldn’t they? They exist to gather information on threats to their race, and those Cardianon dues certainly sound dangerous.”

Reimi sighed. “Could you at least have waited until the requests I submitted to get Myuria’s and Bacchus’ new COM information so you didn’t have to hack into some database for it?”

“Eh, this is faster.” Welch said with a shrug.

Reimi looked over to the time displayed on the data panel serving as Welch’s clock and appointment calendar, sitting on the nightstand against the wall. Nearly midnight already… Her gaze dropped to the floor as silence once again filled the room. I know why they’re both so intent on finding out if this is real…but don’t they realize even if he is alive, that he won’t be welcomed back anywhere?


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Faize Sheifa Beleth carried his rapier out of its sheath, ready to fight at a moment’s notice as he ventured down what remained of a road in the Subterranean City that existed at the heart of what remained of the Cardianon Mothership. Many of the overhead passes he remembered traveling by over a year prior had crumbled and collapsed. Massive chunks of metal that fell crushed structures below, only increasing the devastation wrought by the two invasions, escapes, and finally, the external destruction of the ship.

The external barrier wall around this city is the strongest on the interior of the ship…they’re the only ones that can withstand atmospheric entry. Once the final surrounding compartments are detached, I’ll need to transfer primary control to a terminal in this region.

He looked down to the expansive city below, inwardly thinking finding a stable structure with a suitable terminal would be long, difficult work. The condition of the metropolis was at least twice as bad as the roads that lead down to it; almost everything was on the brink of collapse.

The silence was hauntingly eerie; even the soft whirr of machinery was greatly softened on the inside of the nearly impregnable walls. There was no activity in the city, or rather, what was left of it, nor were there any machines left to defend the buildings. At least, not yet; it was impossible to know when something that remained of the Cardianon’s defense system would suddenly appear.

The roads themselves were made out of an unusual, almost springy, synthetic material that warped under the pressure of the debris atop it. When still in working order, they’d reflected the electromagnetic energy given off by the Cardianon’s levitating vehicles. It was vaguely reminiscent of what was once used on Eldar, but the most common form of transportation in the Cardianon culture was transference. Though an impressive feat of technology, when rendered unusable, the equipment was merely bulky junk that got it the way.

From what he’d been able to determine from the records that weren’t deleted by the final Cardianon leaders and exploring the various areas of the Leviathan ship, the science of instantaneous transference was used by both military and citizens. The type of law once practiced by the creatures was best described as a dictatorship; all went according to the will and command of one specific person.

He walked down the empty road, frequently having to climb over ruins. Many of the structures were built with light metals with devices that warped and altered gravity around them built inside, causing anything made in such a manner to cave in shortly after power was cut off. It seemed unconventional and senseless, especially since such buildings consisted of at least half the devastation in the city streets below.

The vessel’s old propulsion system was fueled by the power of a Grigori. A single exalithium crystal wasn’t nearly enough to power the vessel in its original state. With more than half the original mass gone, the large store of exalithium crystals that backup generator ran on was just enough to keep the ship in warp space.

As it was a Leviathan, the trip was slow and time consuming. Long before the SRF’s intervention with the Cardianon, the race had begun to mutate and exterminate each other. The effects of the ill turn in the specie’s evolution were all over the Subterranean City. Decaying corpses, skeletonized remains, and shreds of what had once been organic material littered the city streets below.

The Cardianon that mutated lashed out and slaughtered their comrades. Ones that maintained their sanity and knowledge fought those who did not - all in all, it wasn’t a wonder most of the Cardianon were extinct. Apparently when some of the last sensible Cardianon realized even their fellow reptiles in cold sleep were doomed, they deleted all information on the planets they targeted and successfully invaded, unlike what happened in Lemuris.

He stopped when a rather cavernous chasm further down the road where the metal was broken came into view. He looked over the hole, estimating the distance between the two roads to be at least sixty feet in length. He closed his eyes and extended his right hand, summoning the power of a symbol.

The familiar revolving circles materialized before him as ice appeared on the jagged metal and started expanding outward. He watched as the artic breeze swirled around the area and the size of the break diminished. He remained focused on the bridge of ice, ensuring the crystalline pass was thick enough not to crack or shatter. Despite the notable mental strain as the process consumed well over two minutes, he didn’t release the symbol until it solidified on the opposite side.

The blue materialization circles disappeared immediately, leaving only a cool gust of wind as the stillness returned. He took a deep breath before continuing forward, inwardly wondering if he’d be able to make it to the ground floor within the day.

He walked across the slippery bridge as quickly as possible, but without running - since such would only result in falling and landing flat on his face - while glancing beneath the bridge and above to the upper overpass. The thick ice distorted the otherwise unaltered view of the lost city.

The break looked recent; it seemed as through it couldn’t have been broken for more than week prior, though there was no sign of falling debris causing the damage; not to mention it hadn’t shown up on his blueprint of the Subterranean City, based off a recent analysis. He stopped momentarily, gaze falling to the icy ground beneath him. A dark, mechanical vessel was approaching from below. It was just discernable through the semi-translucent ice. He hurried toward the other side, stepping into the metal without a moment to lose.

He had less than a minute to distance himself from the symbological ice when the undoubtedly unmanned security vessel flew upward. It very obviously wasn’t one of the simple drones that had once patrolled the halls; this creature - at least sixty feet wide - was far too massive to even be comparable.

It crashed through the makeshift bridge, shattering the ice and sending shards and daggers of it in all directions. He turned away from the onslaught of sharp ice, but felt small fragments flying through the air inflict small scratches on his arms and legs. He raised his right arm over his head for protection, but scantly a second later he felt a particularly large shard, at least an two inches thick and six long, embedded itself in his forearm.

The hilt of his rapier nearly slipped from his fingers upon the moment of impact, but he managed to keep it from clattering to the floor. He grimaced in pain as the cold, agonizing sting shot up his arm. He glanced at the wound to see blood soaking his sleeve and dripping to the floor before looking to the overpasses above him to try and locate the creature.

He caught sight of it circling around the ceiling, identifying it to be one of the mechanical ‘dragons’ that once protected the city in great numbers. The road directly above the one he had chosen to take lurched dramatically to the left, instable from the newest break in its length. He breathed a curse under his breath as pieces of the metal enforcers on the sides of the unstable road fell, landing with an easily heard crash below.

Calculating he wouldn’t have time to run and avoid the collapse, he settled on the next best option, though not the most rational for finishing the battle. He beckoned to the power of the most destructive symbol he had mastered; the symbological calling circle faded in and out of view as he struggled to spread the range of the symbol over the entire highway above.

The glowing, translucent panels appeared with a bright flash of light, engulfing the massive road as the same light died down circulated around the sides. The panels took the form of a sphere large enough to contain the entire falling section of road, at least ten times the usual range covered by the symbol.

“Extinction!” he called aloud, unable to release a symbol of such strength mentally.

The light passed between the translucent panels that surrounded the road like a puzzle of crystals, slicing the heavy glass and metal with a hellacious screeching sound. The area as enveloped in blinding light for a long moment before the annihilation finished. Only a cloud of dust drifting down remained.

He took a deep breath as he reached for the shard of ice imbedded in his arm. He wrapped his fingers around the cold dagger and jerked it out. The tip was covered in blood and the material of his sleeve was quickly dyed the same ominous color.

The crash of the metal beast breaking through the another bridge on the far side of the enclosure reverberated and echoed through the expansiveness of the abandoned city. Scraps of metal, chunks of concrete like substance, and large metal beams rained down.

He took a quick practice slash with his rapier to ensure he could still fight left-handed; the bleeding only worsened. He doubted he’d hold out very long in a sword-to-sword fight, but if all went as it seemed, it wouldn’t come to that.

Faize looked over as the mechanical monster swooped down from above, its head turned in his direction. He straightened and despite his dwindling supply of psychological energy, summoned the symbological materialization circles for what felt like the hundredth time that day. The creature responded by flying forward, directly at him.


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Final Hikari: …Cliffhanger. I’m cruel. XD But I do apologize for the huge delay on this one. T.T Though the school induced loss of my editor, it was mainly writer’s block and general disgust with my writing that that slowed this down. And, as those who are paying attention might have guessed, that means I’m proofing these chapters alone again. XD So if you see any typos, feel free to point them out. -sweat drop- Also, I’m getting ready to start an original story titled “Dystopia.” Though no relation to Utopia or Star Ocean, just thought I’d mention that. XD

Lymle: …That isn’t very original, ‘kay?

Final Hikari: Blech. Seems a lot of people don’t know what a dystopia is. XD Also, anger does wonders for one’s productivity; the main reason this chapter and the next chapter got done was because I was pissed off and angrily pounded the two chapters out on my keyboard in a few minutes. XD The poor keyboard…I abuse it so…

Faize: The keyboards of Earth are quite primitive though, I doubt they could easily be damaged due to their sheer size…

Final Hikari: I’m a few chapters behind, so I’m going to try and spam you all with weekly updates while I get back on my feet so my end year quota is correct. :p And please review! This happened because I didn’t get enough over the last few chapters. XD Or…or…-thoughtful- If I don’t get at least three reviews for this chapter, I won’t write another scene in Faize’s POV until XII! -throws back head and laughs evilly-

Faize: -shakes head, whispers- Has she completely lost it?

Lymle: I’m starting to think so, ‘kay?
ZOMGF The Last Hope is coming to the PS3 with new features and NEW CHARACTERS!

Let us pray it's region free. X_X Otherwise I'll start sobbing on my PS3 and research weird programs and hardware that will let me play a Japanese game on my 60 GB, $600 PS3. :shakefist:

Ahem, now the original note:

I have much to post and a kiriban to prepare for.

Be one of the first five people to catch a pageview between 10,000 and 10,100 to capture a kiriban! Thou shalt get a oneshot of your requests for a reward. Capture it...capture it! :XD:
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:iconfreezie43110:
Freezie43110 Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2009
Star Ocean International is what the new version will be called in most places. I wonder what the characters' voices will sound like in Japanese(optional while playing) Meracle already sounds like she uses some helium in English so it'll be funnier in Japanese.
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:iconrollingtomorrow:
RollingTomorrow Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2009   General Artist
I'm quite excited about TLH I. :D Are you buying/have already bought the PS3? XP

Mmm, the Japanese voices are pretty good. Edge's seems a bit odd at times, Reimi's is a lot higher, Meracle sounds like a chimpmunk on fast forward, Lymle is a lot less annoying, Myuria sounds like a horny schoolgirl, and Faize is voiced by a woman. :faint:

I say keep English voices. :XD: But that's just my opinion. ^^;
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:iconfreezie43110:
Freezie43110 Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2009
Now how about hearing it in German?
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:iconrollingtomorrow:
RollingTomorrow Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2009   General Artist
One can only wonder...O.o

It's hard to find German scenes on YouTube, but it's funny to hear the French ones. :XD:
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:iconfreezie43110:
Freezie43110 Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2009
Now if only I had a PS3, the cash to get SO:I, and the patience TO PLAY THROUGH AND GET EVERYTHING AGAIN! ugh
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:iconrollingtomorrow:
RollingTomorrow Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2009   General Artist
:XD: The money and time is harder than the patience, don't you agree?
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:iconfreezie43110:
Freezie43110 Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2009
True. You're talking to someone who played through every single level of Kirby 64 and got every single crystal then did it all over again 10 years later. How's that for patience?
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:iconrollingtomorrow:
RollingTomorrow Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2009   General Artist
:dummy: Never heard of that game.

But it sounds like quite an acomplishment.
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(1 Reply)
:iconxfaizexandxlymlex:
XFaizeXAndXLymleX Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2009
Final Hikari: If I don’t get at least three reviews for this chapter, I won’t write another scene in Faize’s POV until XII! -throws back head and laughs evilly-

Faize: -shakes head, whispers- Has she completely lost it?

Lymle: I’m starting to think so, ‘kay?

That made me LOL XD

SO: TLH FOR PS3 WITH NEW CHARACTERS?! SAY IT AIN'T SO! I NEED A PS3!!! More characters...how fun! ^.^
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:iconrollingtomorrow:
RollingTomorrow Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2009   General Artist
:XD: :giggle: Did you like that part? XP :lol:
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