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By: Amber Michelle

Presented by:
Xenogears: The Nisan Sanctuary

Xenogears is (c) Squaresoft - this is a non-profit fan work.
The story is rampant with spoilers, so read at your own risk.

"WHY? Why did you do this to me? Why did you curse me to this? WHY?!"

Elly's eyes snapped open, her entire body ringing with Kahran's empty, despairing scream.

But it was just a memory...... there were no screams here, no sounds, no light, no shadow. Just the soft glow of...... something...... in the mirror, wavering like water.


"It's only a symbol, Elehayym. Just that."

She stared at the soft glow; behind it, she stared back at herself. It was as if the vision was an echo, and she could see both herself, and the other half of her soul. The one with indigo hair, and the blackness of creation behind her eyes. "Why...... are you here?"

Her reflection became sharper, the barrier thinner. "You have your memories...... and I have mine."

"Why am I here?"

"We've ...... merged with him. But I cannot merge with you, not yet. You understand, don't you? This barrier...... it's of our making."

Whispers...... whispers everywhere, and voices so familiar she almost recognized them as her own...... but they were just echoed, pale imitations of voices, and sounds, and despairing cries. They weren't her own voices...... their lives seemed to stretch through eternity, beyond understanding. Not like her's.......


"We are separated by such a thin line, Elehayym......" The reflection lifted a slender hand, splaying it palm-out. The air between them rippled in pale, near-invisible concentric rings, as if her fingers were five stones, dropped into a pool of water. Her eyes might as well have been cold space, for all they gave; they were dark, bottomless........ or perhaps she was viewing the stars through her eyes...... humanity's origin. The stars. "I have only done what is necessary to keep the humans on this planet alive. Is that not what you have done, all along?"

Her eyes were empty; but Elly's were brimming with tears. Tears........ real, or imagined, in this place? "Life...... is not always what is most important. Haven't you realized that yet? Sometimes it's the eternal soul that must be saved, not the mortal flesh......" She lifted her own hand, resting it on the sheen of the barrier in reflection of Miang. More ripples spread from their hands, flashing brightly, in all colors and in none she had ever seen. But she could not feel it; she felt only the death-like coldness of her counterpart's flesh.

Perfect...... reflection......


"You...... you don't understand." Elly shook her head violently, shaking Cain's thoughts from her head. "You don't care! How do you expect to rule these people if you don't even understand how to feel for them? They share your soul!"

"You are the one who does not understand, Elehayym."

The woman rested her hand on Cain's shoulder, flawless indigo hair shifting in a sudden breeze. A perfect pair...... even their coloring set off the other...... Where Cain's golden eyes and pale hair glinted in the remaining light of sunset, hers seemed to draw it all in and trap it within her bottomless eyes, never letting a glimmer escape. And when she touched him, the light was drawn from his eyes as well.

"No......" Elly backed away, clasping Abel's hand. He had said nothing -- was he under her spell as well?

"We have a purpose - and so do you. But yours will not be served in this realm......" The Gazel filed into line, each lifting a weapon salvaged from Kadomony.

"No!! Elly!"



"Weren't you satisfied with him, Miang? Why did you have to hurt another soul needlessly?" Her counterpart's flesh was warming - or perhaps she was simply growing accustomed to the chill. "Or did Cain escape you? Did he realize, in his last moments, what has eluded you for all these millennia?"

"So...... your accusation is correct......" Miang's brows contracted. "It does not matter...... He was just a misguided pawn, like all the others. We are the only necessary components of Deus......"

The barrier reflected her uncertainty, shifting gray......


"Commander......?" Elly shook her head, trying to clear it of her awful dream. "Wha......?"

His golden eyes met hers for an instant; then he pulled the rope tighter, jerking it into place about her arm, binding her to the wooden frame. Her other wrist was already similarly bound, held immobile by fibers even a sword might not cut through.

"Commander......" she whispered again. Recognition flashed in his eyes. Pity nearly rose to the surface, but he shook his head. "Why do you......? Do you understand what they are doing to you......?"

Miang rested her hand on his shoulder, seeming to materialize from nowhere. Her short-cropped hair wavered in an errant stirring of the air, and her flawless face and bottomless eyes seemed to suck in the little light Merkava held. Ramsus's eyes lost their luster, the light's play on his pale hair dimmed. Not a glimmer escaped her touch......

"You are the one who does not understand, Elehayym. We have a purpose -- but yours will not be served in this realm......"


Miang's hand spasmed, and Elly pressed her fingers harder against the barrier, feeling the chill draining. "Why did you do this to him Miang?"she asked softly, echoing Kahran's last scream before their merging. "All he needed was love. He didn't deserve this......"

"From humanity to one errant boy?" Her voice was fading, her eyes not so empty. But it wasn't enough.

"That is the beauty of the human soul...... to save the one is also to save the many. If one person is helped and healed by another's actions, it is enough. The greater good will always be served as long as humans are willing to help and care for one another."

Her counterpart shook her head. "Not good enough. Humanity is self-serving! And so was he. He wanted me for my support, not to love me. Such a thing is impossible in his mind, unattainable!"

Only for the words you spoke before his birth......

The sheen of the barrier wavered, darkened. "Does it still elude you, Miang......? Still? Even healing oneself is unselfish...... because someone benefits from it. Nothing has to be selfless to be pure......" Elly pressed harder; her fingers slid through the film separating them and closed around Miang's hand. Her counterpart's hand closed reflexively, and her eyes, no longer so bottomless, shined like the barrier between them.

I know you want to die. I know you want to end it forever and dive into the infinite darkness of the void...... But only demons wallow there. You have something that makes you different. Can't you feel it?

"I feel nothing."

That emptiness is called regret. Those tears in your eyes are sorrow...... She felt the tears slide down Miang's cheeks, like an echo, almost as if it were happening beneath the surface of her own skin.

"They're crying......"

No...... you are crying. The others are beyond tears...... Her indigo reflection opened her mouth to deny the words, but nothing escaped from her lips but a low, keening wail full of despair in the making for ten millennia. Miang's hand gripped hers with crushing strength, and she closed her eyes, letting the wail trail off into nothing. Elly leaned forward, her own tears finally escaping her eyes.

"Now...... you understand?" she asked hopefully, wishing she did not have to just stand by and watch. All of the pent-up pain was flooding forth again, in images and sounds and memories, so quickly she couldn't consciously grasp them with her mind -- Abel...... she bit down on her lip hard. Emeralda? And the girl...... the girl whose luck had named her Miang even before she lost her life to her namesake. The strongest memories..........

Elly reached out and slammed her other hand against the thin film separating her from her other half, trying to push through it, scoring it with her nails. Searing pain lanced through her nerves, half from the assault, and half from her separation...... but she couldn't break it without Miang's help.

"...... I want to see him again...... Kahran......" Miang's tremulous voice rose above the clamor, silencing the images, pushing the 'others' away. She raised her head, dark amethyst eyes gleaming full of tears. Full, not the empty, starless night of the universe. "Kahran......" Her other hand rose, sliding down the barrier like it was glass, until it met with Elly's.

How could she bear the pain? Ten thousand years was an eternity of existence...... The barrier gave way and their hands clasped tightly. Elly knew the feeling, the sensation of having something precious ripped away, only to find that you had to start over again in another time, another place...... another person...... not even her own.......

"I wanted to help you......." Elly whispered, chin trembling. Her words came out shaky, very small and quiet. "Everyone deserves to be loved. Everyone deserves a chance at happiness. It isn't fair that you were denied everything...... but life really isn't as bitter as you think it is, and the loss only makes it more valuable." They were close now, both nearly touching the barrier between them. "Maybe...... maybe we will see him again. Maybe we can put his mind at rest......"

Miang shook her head, tears flying free. "He won't ever forgive......."

Elly smiled through their tears. "The capacity to forgive is greater than you think......" She felt herself fading...... or was Miang fading? It was a strange echo of her vision; she could see, through the other's eyes, herself fading...... but it was her reflection that was fading, like a ghost.

"We'll see it for ourselves......"

As...... one.


Author's notes:

This story just sort of popped into my head. I wrote it over the duration of two hours, somewhere around five or six in the morning, so if it's a little strange...... well, that should teach you not to stay up so late. ^_~ But seriously...... I just came up with it one day, while wondering about the merging of Elly and Miang, and how it would have come about. Obviously Miang possessed Elly, but that's not necessarily a merging -- they're two very different halves of the same person, and after ten thousand years, I imagined there would be a barrier of sorts between them, something not crossed without mutual consent.

Thus this story was born. The word "shinonome" is from Japanese vocabulary, meaning "morning twilight" or "clouds at daybreak". It fits (in my mind at least) well if you imagine it -- Original Elly was light and shadow -- her two halves would be one and the other. When the two combine, they make something akin to twilight......

Well, that's one of my going theories, so don't feel you have to agree. I hope you enjoyed the story, short (and weird) as it is. If you want to contact me, I welcome comments and suggestions, as long as they're constructive. Please keep flames to yourself.


--- Amber Michelle
--- Xenogears: Guardian Angels