Fictober Day 12: “What If I Don’t See It?” (Phantasy Star Online)

I don’t think I’ve written Phantasy Star fanfic in… about a decade. Well, putting word to screen/pen to paper, anyway. My fanon has never ended in my brain. Either way it’s been awhile.

Eclipse is a character a friend of mine made and played as in PSO1. She’s a RAcaseal for those curious, with a nice red and black colour scheme. Harp (shortened for Harpuia, because teenage me named her after a MegaMan Zero character dkfgnkghn) is also an RAcaseal with a green colour scheme, and is a character I used. Zero and Cyril, who are mentioned, are also mine. An HUnewearl and an FOmar, respectively.

I miss this game. I should dig up my Gamecube copy…

Also, while I wouldn’t say this theme was the inspiration for the fic, “Remains” by Ascendant gives me such strong Phantasy Star Online vibes I feel compelled to link it.

For Harp, the artificial sky of the Pioneer 2 always looked lonely. Holographic rain fell down upon her metallic skin, forming puddles on the ground that rippled as her boots went right through them. She had experienced real rain, on the surface of Ragol, cold as it splashed against her body and the rifle she carried.

Pioneer 2 had been her home for as long as she could remember, but it didn’t feel like a home. It never felt permanent, never felt comfortable. Despite being full of so many Humans, Newmans, and CASTs alike, it felt strangely empty at all times. A city of lost souls, repeating the same actions, the same words, every day and night.

Ragol was supposed to be their new home, but that had been a lie. There was nothing on Ragol except the mass grave of Pioneer 1’s remains and its crew, and the dark god that an ancient civilization had sealed within the planet. A seal she may well have helped to weaken, as it was already before she had ever set foot on Ragol.

Ragol had real rain and was full of life. And yet it was full of death and suffering in ways she had never experienced before. She would never forget the dark god, or the faces that screamed as she walked upon them.

She could delete those memories, or so she thought. They remained deep within her mind, nothing able to make them truly go away.

Pioneer 2 managed to feel colder than Ragol had ever felt somehow. Cold, distant, and yet safe and familiar, and also neither of those things

“There you are, you took awhile,” Eclipse commented as Harp walked into the bar. Zero and Cyril weren’t there, but that didn’t surprise Harp. Zero didn’t care for such things and Cyril wasn’t old enough to be there in the first place.

Oh. So that was why Eclipse wanted to see Harp here specifically.

Eclipse frustrated and intrigued Harp in equal measure. Where CASTs were often expected to be cold, calculating, and logical, Eclipse was full of life. Her words were spoken with the entire emotional spectrum, but she tended to favour a smirk and a voice that dripped with sarcasm.

Harp didn’t have that, or at least, she didn’t think she did. She tried to fit the expectation, to be cold (by hiding her feelings), to be calculating (by ignoring her feelings), and to be logical (by twisting the knife further). It didn’t get her the appreciation she’d hoped it would.

“Something on your mind?” Eclipse asked, drinking something that glowed blue. It wasn’t normal for CASTs to drink, or at least that’s what Harp’s creator had told her. None of the Humans or Newmans present seemed to notice, however. Had he been wrong, then?

“I just don’t understand how you… do it,” Harp said, looking at the drink in Eclipse’s hand and then into Eclipse’s eyes. Just as alive as any Human or Newman.

So why didn’t she…?

“You can do it too, you know,” Eclipse said between sips, giving her that same confident smile that not even a god of evil and destruction could take from her. Somewhere underneath, the trauma of that encounter still lingered, however. As it always would. “You could actually live, Harp. Get happy, get mad, cry a little on the inside, you can do that! You’ve got it in you.”

“What if I don’t see it?” Harp questioned, looking at the drink Eclipse offered her. It glowed purple. She held the glass to her lips. Would it even taste like anything?

“Isn’t it sad to be the one who can’t see what everyone else sees?” Eclipse argued, swishing her drink around in its glass. “By the Light, even Zero can see all the emotion and desire you keep bottled up, and if she of all people can see it… What’s your excuse?”

A CAST to CAST intervention, was that why Eclipse wanted to meet her here?

“But…” Harp offered weakly, unable to finish her sentence. She looked down at the purple liquid.

“Come on, just try it,” Eclipse urged.

Harp held the glass still, lifting it again and tilting it. The liquid felt cold against her lips and her tongue, and it tasted… she didn’t have any reference for it. Her creator hadn’t given her a concept of taste.

“Sweet, right?” Eclipse asked her.

So that’s what it was.

“…Yeah,” Harp said with a quiet voice. “It’s… sweet.”

The point of this was to try to feel more than what she had been told she could. To feel the things she repeatedly denied herself.

But mostly, she felt nothing.

harp is not a happy character

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