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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, '12, 3:20 am
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There is not much appreciation for Phantasy Star Portable games over here, but I have to admit Nagisa's story in Phantasy Star Portable 2 Infinity was touching, despite the game's limitations. Here I explore the possibilities of one of the game's possible endings. Sorry if I spoil something about the game. Sega of America had already spoiled everything by not localizing this excellent game :(

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Fierce clash of swords, sparks flying. Both opponents were somewhat hesitating. The human hunter begged his pale-skinned dark-haired opponent to stop, for it was a crazy thing to do. He had no will to fight his companion. Although the woman had a suspicious appearance, and an even more suspicious behavior, the last months had proved that she was not a bad woman, just an unfortunate victim of fate. As she had chosen him to be her bodyguard, he learned a lot about her during the missions to put an end to the new threat to Gurhal System. He also learned that she was more of a fragile girl on her own, with a troubled past, hiding under an artificial tough loner mask. However, there were some mysteries surrounding her character, as her obsession in collecting some strange fragments. Besides, she insisted on that fight, claiming it was the only way for her to fulfill her destiny.

As much as the hunter tried to avoid the pointless battle against his now friend, she got him framed by injuring many people inside the residential area. Despite her claims of being possessed by the ultimate evil force, he could see clearly that she was a good woman deep inside, for none of the civilians was critically injured; mostly just knocked unconscious. However, he had to do something because her behavior was unacceptable. Besides, she threatened to harm Emilia, the cheerful blonde teenager, who was just trying to help Nagisa, the mysterious Duman, all the way. The teenager was the closest thing to a friend the tormented Duman ever had, so there was no reason for her to attack the person she loved most, in theory. Therefore, it had to be either that she was really possessed by the evil force, or that she had a card in her sleeve, that she would not play until the last round.

The fight was very awkward, and the hunter was feeling uneasy. The Duman behavior was almost suicidal. She would attack him with full force, leaving her guard open for a counter-attack, apparently on purpose. However, her attacks were not staged; if he didn't stay alert, there was a great chance that she would end delivering him a very serious, if not fatal wound. She was a formidable fighter on her own, very quick and strong. No one could tell that the apparent skinny and well-endowed girl was such a terrific swordswoman.

Because the hunter had adopted a defensive stance, Nagisa taunted him. "You can't avoid me forever! Hurry up and kill me!" There was a strange fire in her eyes, a strange aura enveloping her. Probably she was not wrong about being possessed by the devil.

However, how could the hunter keep his concentration when Nagisa begged him to attack and kill her and Emilia begged him not to attack her? "Please, stop! Attacking Nagisa is absolutely wrong!"

With his heart torn apart, the hunter was a spectator of the last discussion between the two friends.

"Why... why are you doing this?" Emilia asked her friend in a supplicating tone.

"Because..." pausing to deliver a fierce blow that was promptly parried by the hunter, Nagisa barked, "Because it is my mission!"

"Even if it is your mission, you are doing it the wrong way, Nagisa!" The blonde teenager yelled back, desperately.

"I am..." Nagisa delivered another strong blow, which was dodged by the hunter. Leaving her back exposed to her opponent, she would be dead in a few moments had him decided to kill her, but he refrained from doing that. "Not wrong at all!"

"I am sure you can find another way, Nagisa... Please!"

Emilia was out of the hunter's sight, but judging by the way she talked, he was sure she had tears in her eyes. With his heart torn apart, he was indecisive: killing Nagisa would make Emilia hate him forever. Besides, he had no reasons to kill that woman he sympathized with, not to say lusted for, because of her exquisite beauty that held him completely astounded. However, she seemed determined to die, or to commit some atrocities, and he could never let Nagisa hurt or kill Emilia, his dear friend, whom he lusted for as well. Her enchanting innocent Lolita kind was too charming to be ignored. Despite all this lust, he was not a pervert like Hyuga; he deeply respected both girls and never said anything inappropriate to them. He just couldn't help the fact that both were real beauties.

To add to his indecisiveness, Nagisa had just hit him in a moment of distraction, leaving a deep cut in his leg. While he stood guard again, Nagisa screamed. "There is no other way of doing this. For the sake of carrying out my mission, I had to live. For the sake of dying here, and accomplishing it, I must fight him!"

The battle lasted a few more moments, and each blow seemed to be more and more aggressive. The hunter, having collected a few injures, started striking back the frenzied Duman. Still in doubt if she was really possessed by the Dark Force, he had to plan his blows carefully, for his opponent left her guard so open that a small mistake could mean her death. There was a profound weariness in his heart. No matter how hard he tried to carry the fight on, calmly, hoping Nagisa would change her mind, his mind was devastated by the continuous tension in the air.

Obviously, Emilia was grieving, trying to choke her tears. She could not understand why that cheerful and upbeat girl, gradually losing her shyness, and making friends with everyone a few days ago in the beach had become so decided to murder her or to be murdered by her hunter friend. It was like a nightmare, but as much as the teenager kept pinching her skin, trying to wake up, she wouldn't. It was not just a bad dream. It was her friend Nagisa consciously trying to get killed, to put an end to that tormented existence right by the time she was finally enjoying herself, having a chance of living like a normal girl at her age, becoming self-aware of her attractiveness as a woman, discovering that despite her excessive innocence, she could be a good friend to everybody. If it was true that the owner of that wonderful personality had to die, Great Light was not being fair. Not being fair at all.

And, although she tried to hide, Nagisa was the one suffering most. Although her exterior showed nothing more than a cold woman concentrated in the duel she was taking part in, deep inside contradictory feelings shattered her soul, making it harder and harder to keep focused on her plan. Her real battle was not with her friend; there she pretended to be aggressive, delivering fierce blows knowing that they would not hit an experienced fighter like the human hunter was. Even so, it was hard. Nagisa was not the kind of fighter who lives and dies by the sword. It was exactly the opposite; she would only kill SEED infected monsters. The thought of injuring or killing a person was loathsome, and only she knew how painful it had been to knock all those people unconscious, as bait for her friend to fight and kill her. She hoped her performance would convince him to carry out his role on her plans.

To make matters worse, deep inside, she was having a hard time convincing herself that it had to be that way. She had never deluded herself with thoughts that she could forget about the reason of her existence, her main mission, but after the happenings of the last few days, she wondered if there was not another way of accomplishing her mission without losing everything she had conquered. If, in the past, calmly accepting her fate would be easy, now it took a lot of effort to keep it going, resisting the urge of breaking down in tears. And Nagisa was losing that inner fight, as her eyes were wet.

As the battle raged on, Nagisa's ears were showered with pleads to stop, making her state of mind even worse, leading her to become even more reckless. Her movements were not light and graceful as before. She could not even hold the Steel Hearts steadily while standing and she had to swing it on purpose to hide from her opponent that her hands were shaking. If the hunter or Emilia noticed the weariness on her heart, they would expose her weakness and probably be successful in talking her out of her scheme, and that would be catastrophic.

However, as her anxiety increased, her movements became less and less predictable. After delivering another desperate blow on the hunter, who easily parried it, she swung her body in a strange way. The hunter's counterattack movement, calculated to miss the Duman by an inch, forcing her to retreat for a while and buying Emilia and him time in their desperate efforts of convincing Nagisa that the duel was pointless, missed its mark.

"Ahwwgh!" Nagisa screamed in pain, and staggered. Then, she immediately took her left hand to her side, where a warm and crimson fluid was pouring from a small, but deep opening.

Shocked by the sight of the blood pouring from her friend's body, and going out of control by seeing the Duman fall on her knees, Emilia shouted at the hunter, who was paralyzed, "No! No! What are you doing to Nagisa?".

That mockery of a duel had become serious. And dangerous. The hunter, panting heavily from the intense physical effort, had his heart overwhelmed by grief. It looked like Nagisa was really serious about getting killed, but why him? Why did she choose him to commit that atrocity? He was confused about his feelings for the Duman. Surely he considered her a friend, but after the last days in her company, he wanted more. He wanted to discover a way to make that rare smile on her face a constant. Yet, either possessed by evil forces or moved by some reason he could not grasp fully, she started ruining all the magic of the last months. What had been a fantastic experience, despite the hardships they had to endure together while fighting against evil forces, had now turned into a nightmare with all that people knocked unconscious by Nagisa, and her unexplainable aggressivity. And mostly, by the sight of his friend in deep pain, wounded by his own hands.

Nagisa, on her knees, pressed the wound, trying to stop the blood flow. Although she wished the opposite, it was not deep enough to grant her wish. If she fell, too weak to keep standing, the results of her gamble would be the worst possible. Her ears were showered with yells, screams, and pleads to stop. Her friend Emilia was screaming at the top of her lungs, in total despair "Please, Nagisa, stop this madness!" The heartrending appeal was too much for the Duman, who could not hold back the tears anymore. Soon, her friend, bodyguard, and now opponent joined the chorus, although in a more collected manner. Their emotionally drenched pleads were almost breaking her.

Then, she heard a voice inside her head saying: Nagisa, stop! Left completely in awe, she wondered whether she had lost so much blood that she was hallucinating, or if the last events made insanity gradually take over her conscience. Breathing deeply, moaning, and contorting in pain, the Duman was shocked to hear the voice calling her again. Stop the fight now, Nagisa! Feeling the pressure of her own feelings, she closed her eyes.

With her eyes closed, images started forming in the young Duman's mind. A mixture of recollections and images created by her own mind, she caught small glimpses of what should have been her long forgotten childhood, mixed with vivid recollections of her days collecting fragments, fighting evil life forms, her love and hate relationship with Wynarl, her happy moments in company of Emilia, the hunter, the other guys from the Little Wing. Her deep feelings for Emilia, for the hunter...

Those memories coming back to her mind all at once were much more painful than the wound in her body. To think she would never be able to feel those marvelous sensations again was awfully depressing. If she wasn't so determined to fulfill her mission, she would have surely given up. The prospects of living a peaceful life, filled with small pleasures, deeply affected her. Having lost her memory and, since then, lived mostly like a loner, she valued much more every small moment of joy than normal people, who are so used to pleasant moments that most of the daily joys are ignored, or worse dismissed as something unworthy.

Then, strange images formed in her mind. Images of unknown places, unknown times, where Nagisa was surrounded by her friends, having fun. Many different scenes, like a slide show, where Nagisa, Emilia, the human hunter, Lumia, Yut, and other people she came to know during her short stint in Little Wing were present, always happy, like a very close group of friends. It was as if her most secret wishes were being presented to her. Maybe she was so seriously wounded that it was part of the process of dying, although her senses seemed to be working perfectly. She heard that same mysterious voice inside her mind: Nagisa, you can be happy too.

Following up, a series of tantalizing images flooded her mind. An older, Nagisa, apparently in her mid-twenties, still stunningly pretty, walking in the grass field in front of a small, but beautiful house, surrounded by two little girls, with hairs long and black as hers, and a skin whose color was somewhat darker than her own, and somewhat paler than a human, shouting "Mom!". Then, a handsome human embraced her from behind and kissed her cheek with love, whispering in her ear "I love you, Nagisa!"

The last images tortured the young Duman so much that she almost surrendered to the delightful images and abandoned her project. The voice inside her head kept taunting her, saying, It is all for you, Nagisa! The images of her most secret wish, of having a regular life, fulfilling the nature's purpose for her existence, were too much. If she had a chance of having that dream come true, she would abandon everything for that. She could not resist such temptation.

You were born to be happy Nagisa. You will have everything you ever wished for. You just need to live. The taunting voice kept saying things straight to Nagisa's heart, with a sweet and compassionate voice. It was like a guardian angel, or even Great Light itself comforting her. All your most secret wishes will be laid by your feet, you just have to walk and collect them all. You are special, Nagisa. The words made the Duman cry. She could not get rid of the image of the two little girls calling her mother. It was much more than she had ever dreamed of. Having the opportunity to raise a few souls to enjoy a plentiful life, unlike herself, would be the greatest joy of her life. Especially knowing that children would be part of her, her own blood, but untainted by SEED corruption, and Dark Force's evilness. Nagisa, you and all your descendants will have a majestic life, blessed with happiness and love. Love. Love. That word touched her heartstrings. Of all the things she was ignorant about, the one that made her suffer more was not to know what love was. That four-letter word seemed to carry such a strong influence in everybody's minds that the young Duman elected it the most important thing in life. If only she could feel love, she would give up her plans...

But no. Nagisa opened her eyes. She had to resist. She remembered what would happen if she didn't strive in her original plan until the end. Thousands of people dying, entire cities destroyed, maybe even the whole Gurhal system. It didn't matter how good her life could have been. She knew exactly what she has been doing for months, and she knew exactly why. That was the reason of her existence, and she could not fail. The whole Gurhal depended on her. The happiness of thousands, millions of people depended on her. Moreover, in the end, her own happiness depended on it. She would not fail.

Nagisa took her hand out of her wound. The hand, completely covered in blood, was a gruesome image that left her shocked. However, the blood was not pouring from the cut so intensively. It didn't look so serious. So, she stood up, slowly. Decided. There would be no turning back.

Emilia and the hunter were relieved to see their friend recovering. Maybe the wound was not that serious, and Nagisa would be fine. Maybe it had helped her to desist from her intentions and stop that useless fight. Emilia was ready to scream some encouragement words for her friend happily, but her words died on her mouth as the Duman, slowly walking toward them, started to speak. Her face evidenced she was going through pain, but there was a fiery look in her eyes that scared her friends.

"I'm still not... done... even after all this... I won't die. But... I can see it... you can't kill me... you don't want to do it... your heart is too soft... maybe I shouldn't... but, I must. If you can't do it... then I'll murder you all for the sake of my own peace of mind! Starting with you, Emilia! I'll take her from you first!"

Her words were calculated to drive the hunter mad. Running towards her best friend and brandishing her sword was not easy, not easy at all. Now there was no turning back. She hoped it would be enough to make the hunter fulfill her last wish. She knew that, if she could do it herself, she would not make her friends go through such ordeal. However, if she killed herself, the one she wanted to kill would not die. There was no choice.

As she darted towards the helpless teenager, Emilia's confusion turned into fear, and let out a scream that almost torn Nagisa's heart apart. "No, Nagisa! Noooooo..." Nagisa only resisted the heartrending plead because, above everything else, she was doing that for Emilia. In a matter of moments, she was dangerously close to the group, and the hunter stepped up to protect the blonde girl. Besides, there was another plead inside her head. No, Nagisa, stop it right now! You must live, you fool! It made the Duman rest assured that she had no right to stop. While Nagisa lifted her arm to attack, both noticed that her green eye flashed an evil scarlet glow. In fact, Nagisa's eyes were so wet, dripping tears along the way, that the light hitting the drops generated rainbow hues in her orbs.

Emilia protected her head with her arms, closed her eyes, and cowered instinctively. She screamed "Nagisa, noooooo!" The girl was already expecting the worst when she heard the sound of rustling metal, and then...

"Aahhhhhh!"

The most horrific scream Emilia had ever heard in her life pierced her ears, and her heart almost stopped. The scream turned into a low moan. The teenager wanted to scream, but her voice died, so shocked she was. Although she had her eyes closed, she knew exactly what had happened. She didn't want to open her eyes, as she refused to believe the tragedy that was unfolding before her eyes, the terrible thing she was powerless to stop. She felt like if she didn't open her eyes, that would be just a nightmare. But, deep inside, she knew she was acting like a fool girl. Startled by sound of a metallic object ringing after a strong impact, she decided to face the truth, so she opened her eyes.

In front of her there was a hunter with his hands trembling, visibly in shock. Behind him, Nagisa, shaking, her two hands holding the blade of the sword whose extremity was buried in her chest. Emilia let out a scream of horror as she saw her friend collapsing, falling on her knees, and painfully removing the blade from her body. As she had done it, crimson blood started pouring out of her body, staining her white jacket. Like a representation of evil taking over the otherwise pure and innocent Nagisa.

In an accusatory tone, Emilia yelled at the hunter. "What have you done to her? Have you gone insane?"

Nagisa answered, with her voice becoming increasingly softer. "It is all right. Finally... you aimed right at me... Ugh... That is great... because... Gurhal is safe now..."

While the hunter was speechless, feeling an immense regret for stabbing the beautiful and innocent Duman, Emilia kept blaming him, making him feel even worse. Had him not been paralyzed, there was a great possibility that he would not resist his grief and finish his own life right on the spot.

"Nagisa! Don't die!" Emilia shouted with despair in her voice, and then turned to the hunter, aggressively "Why did you hit her that way?"

Nagisa fell on the floor and rolled on her side. Feeling weaker and weaker, she knew the end was near. Although it was kind of depressing to be aware of her own death, she didn't regret from the moment she heard the voice inside her head screaming in despair: You fool! What are you trying to do? Wasting your life for what?

She answered Emilia with a scary grin "If I had avoided his blow, I wouldn't die... right? He hesitated so much... ugh... took a lot... of my... ugh... time... but now it... is finished..."

Feeling an enormous pain by seeing all the suffering her best friend was obliged to endure, and grieving the fact that she was powerless to help that girl she loved so much, Emilia accused her "You did that on purpose! Why?"

Nagisa added, her voice just a faint whisper "You perceived it? I thought I was good at pretending... but I could not convince you this time... ugh... anyway, forgive me, Emilia... but this way... everyone is safe... my mission... is completed... the reason of my birth... the purpose of my life... now over... ugh... gasp..." Nagisa was choking, as the blade had pierced one of her lungs. "I'm glad... it is all over... I'm glad... I hope I can rest..."

The voice inside Nagisa's head was desperate. You ruined everything, you devil! What will you get from that? You are dying! You will never be happy!

"Nagisa!" Emilia screamed at the top of her lungs and rushed towards her dying friend.

"Forgive me... I wanted... to make you happy... give you... all... a peaceful future... I... love... you all... ugh..."

The hunter, finally recovering from the shock, broke down in tears, and knelt beside the dying Duman. "Nagisa! Forgive me... I didn't want..."

"You did... it right..." Nagisa interrupted him and smiled. "I didn't want... to force you... but... if it had to be someone... I'm glad it was you... because I love you... I love you both..." The eye under her eye patch became green while the voice inside her head shouted Stupid girl! You murdered us both!

"But I wanted to make you happy, Nagisa!" The hunter held her hands gently.

"I'm happy... ugh... this way..." Nagisa's voice was becoming almost incomprehensible, as she was passing away.

"But you are dying!" Emilia added, sobbing bitterly.

"But... I'm happy... I love you all... believe me... it is all right..."

Nagisa's body became still. Down there, Emilia urged the need of rushing her dying friend to the medics, but Wynarl, the ethereal entity who accompanied Nagisa, suddenly materialized and picked up Nagisa's lifeless body into his arms. He explained that Nagisa had done that to kill the evil that threatened to resurrect and destroy Gurhal System. Then, he added that trying to save her in a moment of weakness like that would not only be useless to help the dead Duman, but also could be dangerous if the evil entity Nagisa was trying to kill with herself exploited the close spiritual bond between the two girls to possess Emilia. He too was frustrated with Nagisa's death, but unfortunately, Nagisa was right, and her sacrifice had been the best for the whole world.

While Emilia was heartbroken, sobbing and asking why Nagisa had to die, and being hugged by the hunter, who was sobbing bitterly, sharing the same grief, if not greater for dealing his friend and secret sweetheart the fatal blow, Nagisa's spirit, floating out of her body, was feeling sad for them, but relieved. Seeing the Dark Force being dissipated, dying, and yelling at her with rage, for she had ruined its plans, she smiled. You damned girl! You ruined everything! If it weren't you, soon the whole Gurhal System would be under my feet! Damn you, I curse your soul forever and ever, stupid Duman!

Nagisa ignored the Dark Force. Finally, the SEED-contaminated woman had no reasons to worry about the evil entity anymore. She knew she was free from its influence, and that, once dead, Dark Force was powerless to harm her soul. It surely had been worthy. Her friends would eventually recover from her death. Her sacrifice had saved Gurhal, so she had no reasons to grieve for what could have been. She was happy. She knew since the beginning that her destiny was to die by the knife. Being a martyr was not so bad. Nagisa didn't want to be remembered as the savior of Gurhal. Just to be able to see from above all those people she loved, humans, Casts, Beasts, Newmans, or Dumans, living a happy and peaceful life in that beautiful system, was the complete realization of her soul.

Looking down with love in her eyes, not aware that her soul had gained an angelic aura, Nagisa said, as her parting words to her friends, "It is all right." Then, looking up, and floating to meet the white light above her, completely in peace, she said again. "It is all right."
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