.hack//SIGN Fan Fiction ❯ .hack//OBSCURITY ❯ _obscure.obscurity ( Chapter 1 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Disclaimer: The characters of .hack//SIGN do not belong to me. They are the rightful property of Bandai and all involved with the .hack projects. I claim only this storyline and the characters within it that you do not recognize.


The sounds banged louder and louder into her ears, her feet hitting the rough oak planks upon the floor with such intensity, one would think the rhythm was that of a bellowing gong. Her very body swayed in every single motion possible, her eyes closed. Why did she keep her eyes closed? One could never truly answer that question without the enigma still lingering about the possibilities. Only she knew. Yes. Of course. Only she knew. She kept her eyes shut because another world reflected into the far depths of invisibility. The nothingness behind those eyelids was a booming heaven of ecstasy to her. She could see colors--many dancing colors--as her exterior body broke through the air with unpredictable motions and swings. Every limb upon her slenderness was taking its part in this addictive drug she called dancing.

Both of her bare feet hit the floor yet again, creating the painful sound of flesh against wood. Painful? No... Never... She couldn't feel it at all. All she heard and felt was that organic sound blaring from her headphones. All she saw was the dancing hypocrisy beyond those closed eyelids. They did not understand. They never would. She was not in that world. She was in this one.

The CD whirled inside the CD player with a small star marking the top of it. The sound blared from her headphones again, her body quickly catching the beat with one swing of her feminine curves. She caught every tone, every note, with a mixed rhythm all her own. Her body did what she knew it could--it danced like no one ever would know. The lyrics blared into her ears, throwing her into another state of ecstasy. It was as if she could feel it surging through her--every single movement in the music, every single imbalance, every single sensual point of notable pleasure. Oh, yes. She could feel it.

A light shone dully in the corner of the room, its murky illumination barely noticeable in the darkness. The light flickered on and off, on and off, on and off; its continuous blinking almost becoming a rhythm all its own. A screen was visible through the darkness, however--a glass screen... a computer screen. Red lettering could be barely seen in the blend of light. Red lettering... Yes. It read in quite visible letters--Error. Error. Error. Error. Over and over the letters flashed. Over and over it read--Error. Error. Error. Error.



The fresh dew swept over the surface in almost surreal lapping waves. Green bladed waves, thin as hairs, covered the entire hillside, the only other scenery seen being the overcast sky, dotted with clouds foreseeing the oncoming rain. The air was chilled, yet warm with the morning sun hidden beyond thick clouds. A sweet silence surrounded this area. Nothing was there but the emptiness to welcome all who dare be at this place with its bittersweet rain. Small droplets would soon fall upon whoever dare be there. It was foreseen. Of course it would occur.

The wind welcomed this trespassing figure upon its hillside with a whiplash of fury, his clothing entangling itself through his legs and planting it firmly against his body. He stood in his place, however, even as the wind fought its way past him, sending wispy fingers through the silver strands decorating his head. His eyes simply stared past the serenity with a shallowness almost too deep to be seen as he held the worn oak of his staff in the moist soil.

Pulling back only once to gain his balance, the young boy pushed forward through the swirling mist of wind, his eyes intent, yet unfocused completely. His hat remained upon his head as the locks hidden beneath battled for their way out, sweeping the cloth back slightly. A fragile gloved hand came up to grip the hat, keeping it in place, the other still locked unfalteringly to the staff.

And, at that moment, it happened. Light speckles of rain began to fall, blanketing the content scene with a gloom that seemed to stretch for miles. This did not falter the boy in any way, however. Both feet continuously heading down the hill regardless, stone eyes still set, he continued on his determined path. The rain did not phase him. No, not at all. It was merely an interference in the system data. Such drizzle was irrelevant and would not even phase the character's data at all. This, he knew quite well. But, even as he was reassuring himself of this repeatedly, he knew in the depths of his mind how differently things had been affecting him lately. He knew the causes, and he damn well knew the consequences.


Just as his mind went into that tailspin of thought, both grey eyes of his squinted to see in the deepening rainfall. Another figure stood on the opposing side of the area. It was a thin figure--obviously bountiful with curves. No doubt, then. It was a woman. A difference caught in his facial features. His mouth tugged downward with displeasure, the muscles of his face beginning to retort with a scowl. Narrowing both eyes at the girl in a glare, the boy turned and continued his path down an ulterior way. He would merely go around her.

Unfortunately, this figure saw things in a completely different perspective, and was soon on her way to follow him. Her strides were graceful and leisurely, clearly pointing out to him that she had all the time in the world to retrieve him. His eyes did not meet her own, however, for he refused to let that happen. He knew once he met even a glance with this woman, he would end up swelling with a hate inside of him too bitter to be reconciled with.

His eyes narrowed angrily.

Without turning to look at her, both feet of his took off in a mad dash. He'd be damned if he couldn't get away from this girl. As he guessed, she took off after him, her own feet colliding with the damp soil and puddles with loud splashes and sloshes.

The chase was on.

He ran blindly, his breath exiting him in loud heaves and gasps. His lungs beat against his rib cage with the blind desire for air, but he ignored all his body's requests and continued running. Legs fragile with malnutrition, his entire body weak with fatigue and hunger, he simply continued on. Occasionally, his eyes would turn back to see the proximity of his pursuer, but, almost instantly, he would turn back and pick up his pace in an attempt to outrun her. The woman was not far behind him at all, raven hair flapping endlessly beyond the ebony of her top. Her eyes remained glued to this boy as he attempted to flee from her. Every joint in her body responded to her commands with such promptness and directness, she seemed as a soldier pursuing the local thief. She ran, no sound emitting from her mouth, no breath to be desired from her lungs. Though she was distant from him, slowly, surely, certainly, she was nearing him.

The downpour became harder, mercilessly beating against his frailness with its unforgiving hands. He stumbled once, quickly regaining his composure and continuing on. His breathing became harder, his heart pounding in his ears, his vision blurring as the blood rushed to his head, but he ran on desperately... desperately. The pounding within the walls of his ears grew louder and louder as his heart banged against the cage of his skeleton, trying harder with each beat to break free. He gasped for air, his lungs now burning as his mouth was chapped with dryness. There was no taste in his mouth except the unmistakable tinge of blood. The walls of his mind crowded with the contradicting battle of whether to give up or to continue on until his death. He knew very well if he continued in his state, he would be very sure to either drop dead or fall unconscious before long; whichever came first.

He stumbled again, this time not containing nearly enough energy to fix himself before hitting the ground. And, simple as that, his body collided with the ground in a painful thump as his chest landed sharply on a rock. He screeched out in pain with a voice almost too broken to let out even a simple cry. His eyes shot to the heavens in agony as he reached down to clutch the now bleeding wound, his lip drawing into his mouth for him to nibble in pain. He looked up at that moment, his eyes swirling in red dots and clustered landscape, and fought weakly to keep his head up.

"D... damn... it..." He cursed under his breath, his voice once again cracking as if he had not spoken in days--weeks--perhaps even years. Using his arms to prop himself up, he attempted to stand yet again, though his once burning determination had withered to nothing more than a hopeful spark. His arms trembled, his vision blurred once again, and he collapsed then and there. His mind screamed for him to get up, his eyes burning with an intense rage, but his body protested with a weary cry for rest. He trembled under the cold rain, his pale back shuddering from the damp and heavy clothing that now blanketed him. He couldn't give up now... But, of course, he knew it was too late.

The sound of approaching feet, sloshing through the mud and shallow puddles, rang clearly in his head, and he clenched his eyes shut to prevent any look at the approaching figure. Body strewn upon the ground helplessly, the young boy simply lay there, unsure of whether to look up to the inevitable, or to cower away from it by pretending not to see it. Unfortunately, he had not much of a choice.

Two hands grasped harshly to his silver locks of hair, and his head was forced up to look toward her. Her lips were pursed, her eyes staring daggers into his soul, and her hands trembling with a suppressed emotion. Be it rage, or be it sorrow, he could not be for certain. At her back was a large staff, much more meticulous than his own. It was of a blazing red, a crystal-like surface covering the entire rod as a small translucent jewel crowned the very tip of it.

They simply stared at each other in silence, both reflecting different emotions upon stone cold faces.

"Tsukasa..." Her voice was quiet and faltered slightly with repressed pity. The boy, now deemed as Tsukasa, only answered the pity in her eyes with a hate too deep to be known. His body remained motionless, and it was quite clear that he could only keep his own head up with her help. A tiny trickle of blood came from the corner of his mouth, his very face decorated with numerous scratches, but he continued to glare at her determinedly.

"Tsukasa..." she repeated with the same concern. "I'm sorry it had to come down to this. I didn't mean for it to be like this... I honestly didn't know things would get this bad, and I..." She bit her lip and swallowed the lump that had developed in her throat. She opened her mouth to continue speaking, but her voice betrayed her, ending up as only a choked reply.

His eyes remained indifferent upon her, his voice cold and silent. "Why did you come here?"

"... I came because I was worried."

"I don't need you to worry about me."

"You can say that so easily, but... look at you... Tsukasa, you need to come back..." She stared down at him with a forcefulness commanding him to obey. Tsukasa did not budge, nor did his tone.

"I don't want you here. Go back where you came from."

"Tsukasa, damn it! You can't even keep your goddamn head up! I'm here to help you!"

"I don't need your help!!"

"Yes, you do! If you didn't, would I be so damned persistent to find you?!"

"That's your problem! I didn't order you to come looking for me!"

"And, I wasn't ordered to come looking for you!"

A short silence followed that retort. Tsukasa's unwavering stare remained present as he kept his eyes ever-intently upon her. Finally, his voice venomous with hatred, he replied indifferently, "You're a liar. You always have been."

She drew in a sharp breath, trying with all her might not to cry at his hatefulness. Her hands shook in his hair, her own vision now impaired with tiny droplets of tears. She spoke quietly and patiently to him, "That was a long time ago, Tsukasa..."

"And, it can never be long enough."

"Tsukasa... I can't repent for what I've done, but... Can't you at least let me try...?"

"Try?" A small chuckle emerged from his trembling body. "Try? You wanna try to repent for what you've done?"


"..." He was silent for a moment, his look upon her impalpable and uncomprehending. His brows drew downward, his trust in her very wavering at that moment. His eyes continued to stare into hers unresponsively. Then, without warning, Tsukasa threw back his head and released a loud guffaw, his mirth barely containable. The girl drew back in surprise, her eyes widening in utter astonishment.

Clutching his wounded chest, Tsukasa unsteadily propped himself up with one hand and put himself onto his knees. The laughter died down until it was nothing more than a fading echo on the wind. He turned to her.

"You want to redeem yourself for all you've done?" A bittersweet hatred still lay tinged in his words. "All you've done?" He shook his head, almost more to hold himself back from doing anything irrational than to show any pity towards her. "And, just how, Akama, do you plan on doing that?"

There was a pause. Both said not a word, their gaze locked within the depths of one another's. The rain trickled down their bodies, clinging their clothing to their bodies as the relentless wind howled in despair, as though it sensed the melancholy of the situation. Tsukasa's restlessness was held deep within his gaze. He was a stubborn one, and he obviously was challenging her to speak any further. Akama stood, accepting the challenge with ferocious purpose.

"You try to say you've done all wrong yourself, and then you attempt to blame others so you can try to sound rational, but..." her voice quivered for a second, a mere fraction of her being too choked-up to respond. The concern and care evident in her voice before had now faded into nothingness, and she spoke to him in the same abhorrence he spoke to her. "Well, here's a newsflash, Tsukasa, I am no saint myself, and I have no problem with leaving you here alone again."

Much to her astonishment, the boy's reply sounded somewhat happy in all its demonic wording. "That's how you should've left it. It was better when you all would just leave me alone."

Akama's nose crinkled unhappily. "Why do you want to believe you're hated? If anything, I'm the one hated around here."

Tsukasa did not respond. He only stood, his back hunched over due to his sustained injury, and turned to walk away. "I'm leaving now. You should go back now." Using his free hand, he used the staff at his side as support as he prepared to leave. A tiny hand came to that arm, however, and clutched it firmly but gently. He did not move as Akama spoke to him with a tiny voice--an almost desperate voice, "Why is it you want to banish yourself from people? Why can't you let yourself be happy?"

Closing his eyes, he replied simply to her, "Happiness is like a flower. It grows if you feed it right. It grows to its full potential, then it withers and dies. I have no use for a dead flower." And, with that, this very fragile and vulnerable boy broke away from her grasp and continued his way down the muddy hill, walking into the distant nothingness awaiting him.

Once he was nothing more than a speck upon the horizon, Akama slumped her shoulders angrily, her eyes still lain upon his fading figure. "Tsukasa..." she spoke softly, her voice hoarse with regret and pain. "You can blame yourself, but you can never seem to blame others for anything... Damn you."


Two lonely eyes watched the ongoing day, never pausing their intent stare upon the day's glories and disappointments. She stood there on the bridge as the daily ships and such passed her by, both orbs of vision fixated on nothing and yet everything. The world came to her sight as a swirling pool of corruption and misery; this such angst reflecting itself into the very vision she dared obtain. If looks could kill, the many strange folk she sent misshaped glances to would've been dead and in their grave already.

She scanned every crevice and nook in the scenery over and over again, a gloominess of sorts nearly radiating from the very body she inhabited. "Ginkan... tell me once again why I'm not doing anything."

A man, clad entirely in silver armor of all sorts, came from behind the young girl. His eyes were an eerie coat of glowing blood-red, a mask fixed upon his face so that nothing but his chin and mouth could be seen. The niche of his nose stood broad and bold as he looked down upon the girl. He saluted her and recited the answer to her question as if his very tongue had memorized each and every set of words that emerged from his mouth. "It is for the good of the Crimson Knights that Tsukasa be out of The World, and away from Lady Subaru."

Subaru's gaze averted from the calmness of the passing boats below to the man. Using both hands to prop herself upon the wooden railing, she turned to him in a flurry of blue fabric. "You are dismissed." Though her voice was soft and merciful, she used a tone not to be disobeyed. The paleness of her face, yet the sternness of her posture told him immediately that she was quite serious. Bringing the curve of his lip down into a displeased frown, the knight turned and headed down the crossing bridge, his sword at his side: the sign of his loyalty to the Crimson Knights and to the leading commander, Lady Subaru. Absolutely, she was a wonderful leader, and she was positively one to take action for, or with, the Crimson Knights. Though, lately, it had been quite suspected that the lady was not quite sure where her loyalty lie...

But, it was also quite true that none would dare question Lady Subaru's judgment.

So much had happened within that time... so much she had no control of whatsoever.

Scowling irately at the eternal glow of everlasting sunset, Subaru's hands gripped to the wood of the bridge's upholder, her anger boiling up to the point she had to release her grip lest she want to squeeze until blood was shed. Only her conscious could stop her from pulling out the axe at her side and transferring the entire town of Mac Anu into nothing more than rubble. Her eyes boiled over in rage at the many memories that lay hidden deep within that prison of her locked secrets. How she longed to scream out into the nothingness that would engulf her. How she longed to erase ever existing in the Crimson Knights' position at all. How she longed to simply lean over the edge of that bridge and fall into the deep river below. But, of course, she also knew that if she were to do so, The World's entire framework of order would crumple until nothing but a memory. The Crimson Knight's could not work on their own. By far, they were not capable of doing anything without someone's commands or requests. They were like lost puppies: they had to be lead to their food to know it was there for them to eat. Then, just like that, they would scarf up the food greedily and without consent as to their leader.

Subaru's eyes closed as she blocked the thoughts from her mind as though the entire world was in disarray. She had no desire to worry now; especially now. She had no time to worry about personal affairs. It was for the good of the Crimson Knights.




Lifting a downcast face to the artificial sunlight pouring upon her small frame, the girl known as Lady Subaru let herself drift away for a moment. So confused... so confused...

What is your duty?

To sustain order within The World.

What is your position?

Commander of the Crimson Knights.

What is your purpose?


Almost as quickly as the question presented itself, Subaru stood erect yet again, her being radiating with importance and nobility, and turned to walk away. Even she could not deny she was running away from the question, but she also knew that now was no time for personal issues.

Or so she told herself.

Truthfully, the young female knight had no desire whatsoever to uphold any law inside this clustered world of ulterior reality, but it was her position, and she could not turn and run from it. Of the two choices, she could only pick one. She could either abandon her position as a knight of the Crimson Crusaders and go after him to fix all the wrong that had been done, resulting in what could be the greatest catastrophe known to The World's law and balance simply to please her aching conscious; or she could turn away from her aching conscious and stand as she was made to--as the leader of the Crimson Knights--and leave him as it was. After all, he was a disruption in the normality of The World's activities, wasn't he? He went against everything she was taught to stand for, didn't he? As the proud Commanding officer of the Crimson Knights, it was her place to banish him, wasn't it? It was her place to see to it that all who oppose the law of which she upheld were to be dealt with accordingly, wasn't it?

How many times had she recited this repeatedly in her head? She could not be for certain. She lost count ages ago. This contradictory behavior had only occurred after she met him. Though, even then, she could not blame him. Was it truly his fault that when she was needed most, she faltered to him? What was it that had made her unable to harm that boy? What was it inside of her that caused her such pain and regret to know how he had fallen? She could not be for certain. As were many things within her life lately, it was not within her grasp, and it would probably never be. It was merely a distant thought she pushed aside for later.

After all, she had no time for such worthless deliberation. She had no time for anything lately. In the most recent days, Subaru had found herself very distant from everyone, her mind almost lost in a sanctuary of false solace and console. She continuously lied to herself, repeating the same thing every day. As the sun rose in the morning and she lay her first footprints into the newborn future, she repeated it to herself. Even as the tides reached their lows and their highs, she repeated it to herself. Even as the first bird of the morning sang its first discordant note into the premature daylight, she repeated it to herself. And, even as the sun set to end the past and give birth to the future, she repeated it to herself.

It was her duty.

The sun's rays began to vanish beyond the horizon, the illumination of its end casting dim shadows upon the cold stone beneath her as she walked toward the main gate, her posture now slouching with the need for self-assurance and confidence.

She could be nothing more than who she was. She was Lady Subaru of the Crimson Knights. That's who she was: all she was. She could be nothing more. Even as she longed to stand in the vast fields of a reminiscent love of him, she could not linger in the past if she wished to prepare for the future. Because... it was her duty.

And, with that, she exited in a spell of golden rings, her artificial assurance vanishing into the oncoming night.


If you are near to the dark

I will tell you 'bout the sun

You are here

No escape

From my visions of the world

You will cry

All alone

But, it does not mean a thing to me...

The chime of bells rang clearly through the foggy night, the constant flurry of snow creating an almost surreal atmosphere. Even as this fantasy seemed to drift down the empty streets, a certain feeling crept behind the street lamps and engulfed the corrupted peacefulness in something too dark to be comprehended. It was as if the world was... bleak: as if the end had already occurred. The end of what, no one could say.

The streetlights dimmed into sight as the howling wind died slightly.

"I'm not sure if we can handle this one... It's the third one this week."

The halls of the hospital dimmed in contradiction to the streetlights outside. The blank manila of the tiled floor reeked of the smell of death and disease, its flaked edges the sure sign of the many feet that had scampered upon it within the past week.

Two shadows hastily headed down the blank halls.

"The third one? What of the last two?"

A light switch sounded, and another portion of the empty hospital went dark.


Two pairs of feet sounded in discordant harmony as two men headed further into the darkness. The sound of the echo of their dress shoes upon the hard tiles came as the melody to their rhythm. For a while, there was no conversation between the two. Nothing but the silence accompanied them now.

Click, clack, click, clack, click, clack...

And then, a sound emerged from the silence in the darkened hallway: a muffled noise of agony and despair followed by a loud thump. The distant sound rebound through the darkness for a moment before dying out completely. Both males stood firmly in their place as a closed door at the very end of the hallway came into view at their nearer proximity. Clearly, this was the door from whence the sound had emerged.

"... And the third?"

The first man lifted a large callused hand and gently pushed the door open, the slight squeak signaling an instant start in the person who lay inside. A small figure lay strewn upon the gurney, their chest heaving up in down as beads of sweat trickled down their face. Smog formed repeatedly within the confinements of her respiratory mask, her eyes clenched shut as the pace of her breathing picked up. Her head fell to the side, the girl's left cheek landing upon the white pillow brusquely as the ever-present muffed sound of condensed breathing frequented the silence. In the background, the regularity of a beep could be heard as a green light served as the only source of light in the small, yet congested and muggy, room.

Beep... beep... beep... beep...

Such a slow tempo... Almost as slow and temporary as the thump that could be heard ringing within the walls of her mind.

Bu-bump... Bu-bump... Bu-bump... Bu-bump...

The organ that forced all blood through her veins... Though, even the pale clamminess of her skin could shine light on the fact that even that rhythm was weaker than that of the beeping.

In the illumination of the green life monitor's light, the taller man, clad in a completely white suit, turned to the smaller and rounder man, his very gaze setting his response in stone.


Knowing the song I will sing

Till the darkness comes to sleep

Come to me, I will tell

'Bout the secret of the sun

It's in you, not in me

But, it does not mean a thing to you

The girl's right arm, and the one opposite to the doorway and the men, discreetly slid from its perch upon the bed. Laying in a jumbled layer of entanglement, a small cord encircled the tender flesh of the girl's arm, its roots leading downward where a set of headphones peered through the scattered array of sheets upon the floor. Another sound came forth from the heaps of papers and other scraps upon the floor, an almost inaudible mix of whispers, yells, and instrumentation breaking the repetitive other noises. This sound was different... It was... organized, and yet held a freedom all its own. It was... music. One paper among the heap slid down the pile to the worn tiles below, and revealed a discarded CD player upon the ground: a CD player with a small symbol upon its case shaped somewhat like... a star...