Email the webmaster
Return to main menu Return to the fan fiction menu

Forever Frozen
by Orakio of the Domes

Author's Note: I must admit that the idea for this story wasn't mine; when I was browsing through some partially translated Japanese Phantasy Star websites, I stumbled upon a beautiful rendition of Nei, clad in purple vest as always, amidst a snowdrift. The caption for the pic gave me the inspiration to write this, and I want to thank that Japanese fan, wherever he or she is.

The memories of her are still fresh, as well as the scars that had been inflicted upon her passing. I can still see her in my mind, mauve hair flowing, auburn eyes large and curious. She had that innocence that could charm anyone. I grew to love her like a sister, and it hurt me in more ways than I could comprehend when she was lost. Sometimes, on sleepless nights at camp in the snows, I wonder if she knew what had to happen, she knew about her fate, and planned her own demise -- suicide, I suppose.

But I can't spend too much time thinking about her now. I have to move on...but I know she'll be forever frozen in my mind.

*     *     *     *     *

Rolf felt the cold bite of the fierce post-winter Dezo wind, and blinked into consciousness. The sky was clouded as always, a faint grey-white smear that blocked out the warm, nourishing heat of Algo. He shivered, threw off the ridiculously inadequate blanket, and stood up with a yawn. The blue-haired agent stretched, feeling his muscles tense with every slight twitch. His entire body was sore today, which definitely didn't make him a good candidate for fighting any other abandoned mining robots.

He and the others were in a small nook they found by the foot of a mountain, the best protection they could get at the moment. While the danger of avalanches was ever present, it was much better than being murdered by deranged robots in their sleep.

He twisted his torso around, hearing the crackling of his spine, and saw that Anna and Amy hadn't woke up yet. Kain, however, had gone off somewhere. Not that it wasn't expected. The overzealous wrecker had probably gone off to see if he could find any more defunct robots; machinery was his life, and who was Rolf to say that he couldn't pursue his own interests?

The agent sat back down again and closed his eyes. He took in a deep breath of the crisp and refreshing air and tried to blank out everything around him. He was trained to have high endurance, to be able to go through the worst of situations, but right now, Rolf felt that he had been taxing his limits ever since they arrived on the planet.

The deserted spaceport known as Skure was infested with biomonsters, vicious ones that looked to have mutated from such creatures as rabbits and avians. Upon the party of four's arrival at Dezo, they were constantly attacked while desperately trying to find their way out of the deathmaze.

When they finally did find the proper exit (or rather, a proper exit), it wasn't all that welcoming either. Temperatures were vastly different than the lush, almost tropical, climate of Mota, and the four found themselves expending energy much faster.

Even then, the situation got worse. There were a lot of robots running around the snowscape, all of which had been left behind by Palman miners when dangerous gases started leaking out of their former prospects. It was something that even the most optimistic person would frown on, and downed their spirits. They had come to Dezo in search of answers, but it was apparent that they weren't going to find them.

Rolf had intended to go to the nearest Dezorian town after landing and picking up from there, but he hadn't even taken into consideration the language barrier. It was a dire situation; the band of companions were slowly freezing to death in the middle of nowhere and they didn't have the faintest clue as to where to find another sign of civilization.

*     *     *     *     *

I once again took notice of how pale the woman was, how deathly pale. She stood motionless before us and spoke calmly, with the tone of a psychotic murderer. And that was what she turned out to be. I could see her ferocity, that latent ability to kill, and how terrible she was...yet she was also strangely fascinating, like a morbid distortion of my best friend for the past seven months.

I had been listening to Nei cry out in protest absently, dumbfounded by her twin's elegance, grace, and vileness. For the first time since we had stumbled upon her, her expression changed into a mask of scorn. "Fool! You say such things but you are powerless to stop me!" Nei couldn't meet her gaze, and as if challenging her, her counterpart raised a clawed arm and added, "Just try it!"

*     *     *     *     *

Rolf woke up with a start. He had drifted away for a few moments, but was brought back to consciousness by Amy. She was throwing snow across his face, and looked to be getting some kind of amusement out of it. Seeing him open his eyes, she grinned and said, "Finally!"

The agent gave Amy a sour face and hoisted himself up. The doctor shrugged and said, "Sorry, but they put me up to it." She motioned towards the other two companions, who were smiling like idiots. Everyone seemed to be in a pretty good mood today, except for Rolf.

"Okay, supply check," he said perfunctorily after regaining complete wakefulness. It had become a daily ritual to look in on the amounts of food, medicine, and whatnot left over from the previous days' journeys. Every day, they noticed dishearteningly as their backpacks slowly lightened. Not a good thing.

Today, they had about a dozen or so bottles of trimate left, with a few dimates scattered here and there. Food was okay for the moment, but a diet consisting only of freeze-dried vegetables and practically inedible chunks of old meat wasn't the best way to get into good shape. Other than that, they were pretty much fine, except for minor injuries.

The trek across the frigid desert was uneventful for the most part of the day, surprisingly, but thankfully. They encountered no more behemoths like the large miner robots nor gangly nuisances like the twig man series. The scenery was always the same, though, an endless tapestry of snow and ice and snow and ice and snow. To Rolf, it seemed almost irritating that such a renowned place as Dezo would be so bland, so abysmal.

Towards the end of the afternoon, though, the party got an unexpected treat. The clouds in the sky started breaking away, revealing Algo for the first time in -- what was it? -- weeks. Even the star's harsh yellow light (which provided with next to no extra warmth) was a welcome change, and Rolf actually smiled. He pushed back his hair and sat on the wet slush, not caring that his uniform would be damp for the rest of the evening.

The others also stopped to admire the view, and they watched silently as Algo descended down the sky, producing spectacular hues of crimson and orange as dusk drew on. When it had disappeared completely in the distance, the night sky was suddenly filled with countless stars, like it was a dark canvas on which an artist carelessly spilled glitter.

Dezo's sole moon was now clear and distinct, its milky appearance lighting the way. Nobody spoke for what seemed like an eternity, just in awe of the beauty of nature.

*     *     *     *     *

It was all a blur, and the next thing I remembered, I was kneeling down by her side. Her purple vest was slashed open in several places, and thick red blood flowed forth. Her expression was one of pain, and she opened her mouth to speak when a wracking fit of coughs came. She spit forth more of her life-fluids, and they trickled down her chin, tracing the area around her neck. I put a gentle finger on her lips to quiet her, but she pushed me away with unexpected strength.

"There's no hope left for me..." she whispered like a demented raconteur. And out of nowhere, she smiled, eyes glittering. "Please, Rolf...don't let them ever repeat the same mistake they made...when they made me..." I shook my head, biting back tears.

"No," I said angrily. "Don't say that, Nei! Y-You weren't a mistake...w-we all love you and you've sho-"

She interrupted me by putting up a weak, thin hand. She closed her eyes, and pulled me close, whispering into my ear, "I hope every in Algo can find their new life..." And her grip loosened. Her hand fell back down to the ground, making a heart-wrenching sound, the sound of death.

I stood up and turned away, not wanting my companions to see me cry. In the shadows, Neifirst's body lay, dead and grinning like she was enjoying some secret joke.

*     *     *     *     *

"Let's find some place to set up camp," said Anna all of a sudden. "Yeah, the view is great here, but we can't spend the whole night looking up at the stars." Rolf nodded dimly, and followed the slasher-wielding guardian. She maneuvered around the landscape deftly, almost as if she was familiar with it, and eventually, she tilted her head back and laughed.

The others stared at her as if she had gone insane, but she just pointed straight ahead at a mountain face. What was significant was the blotch of darkness near the bottom, which meant that it was a cave, some place warm and comfortable, and not out in the open! "Wow," said Amy. "This has been our lucky day!" She ran forward, eager to inspect the place.

The doctor was the first one to disappear into its shadows. The cave entrance was low, and even she had to stoop down a little to enter, but a few moments later, her head peeped out and said, "It's safe enough; no wild animals or anything. It's pretty warm, too!"

Rolf, Kain, and Anna murmured happily to each other, and went inside. It was warm, almost as if there was a huge bonfire just on the opposite side of the cave wall. No need to go investigating further, though; after all, curiosity killed the cat. A shelter was a shelter; a warm one was even better.

They unstrapped their insulated sleeping bags and unrolled them on the cave floor, which was the same color as the mid-morning Dezo sky. "This place is great," said Anna. "Aren't you glad I found it?" She smiled widely, and Amy returned it.

"Yeah," the doctor said. "This must be like the one warm place on all of Dezo."

Rolf was about to suggest that they call it a day and rest up without any further discussion, when he saw a dark figure dart across the entrance to the cave. It came and went so quickly, that it could've been his eyes playing tricks on himself, but his intrigue had been sparked, and he was determined to get to the bottom of this. A lifetime of dealing with dangerous situations made him wary of each and every suspicious item.

"You guys," said Rolf, eyes glued to the entrance. "We may have an unwanted visitor." Anna gave him that Not again! look but let her hand drift to her belt, where she felt the blades of her too slashers reassuringly. Amy nodded, and Kain picked up his gun and winked.

They followed the agent's lead, creeping quietly towards the outside again. Rolf put a hand on the cave wall, and traced it with his hand. The stone felt cool to the touch, although the cavern itself was warm.

spit forth more of her life-fluids, and they trickled down her chin, tracing the area around her neck

The violent contrast of the temperatures was apparent as soon as they stepped outside, but the agent took no notice. It hadn't been his imagination after all; the figure was standing on a hilltop, facing the opposite direction and gazing up at the moon. It was obviously humanoid, and there was something familiar about it. Its head was tilted up, looking at the moon, as if reminiscing.

like a demented raconteur

It turned around, face hidden completely in a pool of shadow, and noticed the band of four. It then ran lithely away, as if teasing them. Rolf plunged forth, increasing his pace. He felt the pounding of his heart, and the warmth of his blood beneath the skin as he arrived at a near-run speed. It could've been a life-threatening biomonster, but he didn't care now.

a heart-wrenching sound, the sound of death.

"Rolf?" he heard Amy ask worriedly. There was something in his glazed expression that frightened her. Rolf wasn't listening, though. He sprinted across the snow, leaving large clumsy footprints. When he got to the top of the hill, he looked downwards and saw the figure standing there, waiting. It stepped forward a few more paces, and beckoned for him to come.

dead and grinning like she was enjoying some secret joke

There was no need for anything else. The agent ran blindly down the hill, and rushed forward in a mad dash of glee. Reality was twisted, and nothing mattered anymore. Only him, and the figure standing in the snow. "Nei!" Indeed, the purple-haired friend of theirs was there, smiling warmly at them. Amy rubbed her eyes, mouth wide open in astonishment, and Kain spit out some exotic expression.

"Nei!" cried Rolf again. His three companions came down the hill as eagerly as he, and ran forward to meet their dead companion, this bend in logic. Nei was still smiling at them. She was clad in her familiar bodysuit, but didn't seem cold at all despite the inadequacy of such outfits for Dezorian weather.

"Wait," said Anna. "This is probably some illusion!" She struggled to find the words. "Just a mirage! I-I saw Nei die; this...this is impossible, and you all know it!" But nobody was listening. They were overwhelmed by her presence, Rolf most of all. He tried to choke out words, but found that he couldn't. Instead, he brushed away a tear from his eyes and stretched out his arms to embrace her. Nei stepped back for a moment, face still locked in that smile, and she shook her head.

"What...? Nei..."

Nei buried her head in her hands, and suddenly looked away. When she turned to face them again, the startling contrast of lights showed that she was no longer the one that they knew; she was the twin, the counterpart, the harbinger of doom. And she was angry. Rolf stopped advancing, and although no one spoke, he could hear things in his head as clearly as if they were spoken right next to him.

Filthy meddler, what're you gonna do now? I killed my wretched sister, but was my passing your act of vindication? You're worthless, agent! Your whole life was spent being babied by your superiors, and you never learned how to deal with things by yourself. That's why she's dead. She's dead all because of you, and you know it!

"No!" screamed Rolf, clutching his head. Locks of blue hair sprouted up from between his fingers. "That's not true!"

Neifirst laughed evilly and said, "Are you sure?" Then, she ran further forward. In mid-sprint, she looked back one more time, and there was another change. She was not the bloodthirsty killer, but the sweet, innocent girl once more. The killer. The girl. They were one and the same, yet two completely different people.

Nei! Hold on!

She stopped running, and turned around. Even in the dim light, Rolf could see tears come forth from her eyes, and they ran down her cheek. Her tears were like pearls, and they starlight shone upon them.

her life-fluids, and they trickled down her chin.

Her words were lifted by the wind and carried towards the agent. She sounded confused and disoriented. "Rolf, I..." Nei groaned, as if suffering from a powerful headache.

hand fell back down to the ground

A deep rumble was heard from behind the group of companions, and the others turned around to see what it was. Rolf, however, could not break his gaze. Nei, no longer seeming to be in pain, smiled weakly, and just like that fateful day at Climatrol so long ago, collapsed on the ground. She dissolved into the snow. "Look out!" he heard someone yell. It might've been Anna. He stared dumbly at the spot where Nei had fallen, and didn't move. Then, he felt the push of strong arms and saw that everyone was running.

the sound of death

The rumble became increasingly louder, but the events that were unfolding felt hazy, like the recollection of a dream in early morning, when unreality had been lifted like a dense fog. The shouts and the rumble and his own angry, terrified scream were all hums in the back of his mind.

"There's no time for that now!" yelled the guardian. "It's an avalanche!" Rolf finally commanded his body to move, although his muscles felt more sore than ever.

"Saner!" Amy screamed out into the night, and he felt his motions quicken, taking him ever farther. They ran, as if fleeing a deadly foe, not stopping to catch their breath. Specks of snow and ice that were sprayed onto their ankles were constant reminders for them to quicken their pace. Eventually, the rumble slowly began to die down, and their movements began to slow, too. The agent lied down and panted like a dog. Amy surveyed the area from which they had come: it was covered by a fresh blanket of snow, at least six feet high. The cave and a good portion of the mountain face were buried underneath.

Rolf lied there for the rest of the night, not caring for anything else. They had lost all their supplies in the disaster, but they still had their lives, so it was something to be grateful for. Amy came up to him and tried to comfort him. She, too, was shocked at the recent turn of events, but could cope with it better.

"She knew," said Rolf lifelessly. "She knew that was going to happen, so she lured us away. It's all because of her." He began to sob, and the tears came rushing forth like a flood. They fell down to the snow with a faint crackle and fizz of heat. "She knew; she saved our lives. Even after death, she was watching over us. God, I miss her..."

Amy knelt down and put a hand on the agent's shoulder and said, "We all do."

Return to main menu Return to the fan fiction menu