Of Presence and Existence
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>From her perspective, everything moved in a dichotomy. Quickly and slowly. Peacefully and traumatically. Complete and devoid. She could see people move into their lives since the moment of their conceptions. Yet, by the time Lain came to understand that person, they were already dead.
This condition was not really new to Lain. Or was it? It seemed an eternity since she deleted her existence and at the same time, it felt like it happened just a moment ago. There were instances where she had a hard time understanding whether she was still her teenage self, a grown woman, or an infant.
Either way, Lain was very lonely. She wanted to be with people. People like Alice, especially. She often remembered the girl who remained her friend regardless of what happened. She also remembered she never had a chance to say goodbye. And now, wherever Alice was, Lain was not.
Walking through what looked like a gate, she strolled through a park that still remained as it was, despite her condition. Lain liked parks. Parks always seemed to calm her troubled mind, even in this frame of perspective. Whenever she thought of them they also seemed to appear... or did she appear in one? It mattered little.
Sitting on a rock, she watched existence pass by in an instant. Everything passed by and passed on. None would notice her. It was nothing knew. Was it?
A familiar and alien voice answered her question.
She looked up to the passing reality for the source of the answer. Walking through the flux of existence, a man unlike any other paused and smiled at her. Like his voice, he seemed normal and extraordinary.
Tilting her head in confusion, Lain stood up and walked through the continuous flux of essence to him. He was tall, yet not overly so. His manner of dress was simple, yet almost kingly. The only unique aspect of his person was the color of his hair. It was a most pure red. Very much like blood that sustained and gave life. The gold color of his eyes also spoke of something greater than anything she had experienced and felt a pinch of fear.
Her apprehension vanished when he smiled, ?Will you walk with me??
She was simultaneously shocked and delighted at the prospect. She dared to hope that she was not alone as she followed him through the varying layers of being.
In an instant, they were on what looked like a cross between a ruin and a construction. There was also a vibrant seaside garden and a barren desert mingled around and within.
?What is this place??
?It is what it is. And it is where we are.?
She blinked at his answer and followed him to a series of rocks on the beach. Taking a seat on one of the rocks, she saw him gaze into the distance.
She leaned against a rock and looked to him. ?Who are you??
There was no loss of patience in his voice as he replied. ?Is it that important??
Lain considered his words. Yes, she was curious as to who this person was. He was the first she could tell was like herself. It was exciting and frightening at the same time.
There were no others that could understand what she was experiencing. She was forgotten by everyone.
As if he had picked up her thought, he said gently, ?No one is ever really forgotten, Lain.?
His voice, along with the words, was a balm to her soul. In this person?s presence, she felt at peace with herself. It was a feeling that was often fleeting while she still existed with everyone else, save for Alice.
Yet this person seemed to understand everything. He knew her. Before, she would have felt sorrow because somehow, someway, anyone would have gotten hurt because of her. Yet, this person was different.
Again, she asked, ?Who are you??
The red haired man with gold eyes smiled warmly again, ?I am me. And you are Lain.?
She was almost floating in elation when a memory brought her back to earth. ?But no one remembers who Lain was. She never existed.?
The man blinked at her statement. ?And your existence ended simply because you erased your name from every person?s memory??
Lain couldn?t understand why he thought of her as still being there when she recalled deleting herself.
The man turned towards her and said in a manner of a father gently chiding his offspring. ?You didn?t listen. I said: No one is ever really forgotten.?
She sat on the rock beside him and looked into the same place he did, digesting his words carefully. If no one is forgotten, she wondered, and then someone must have remembered. She looked to him, almost as a retort to his earlier words. He must have remembered!
The man smiled playfully. ?You understand quickly.?
Starting to comprehend, she continued, ?So, to existence is something beyond memory.?
He nodded. ?Yes, but memory can be such an abstract term. Impressions are something that go beyond memory. And because of that, Alice never really forgot you, nor did the people that you interacted with. In essence, though they ?forgot? you, your ?memory? remains with them.?
The possibility had never occurred to her before. It gave her more questions, but the answers were not impossible as they once were. In fact, it gave her an idea as to who her companion was.
In a spark of inspiration, she asked a different question, ?You say no one is forgotten. So that means you remember. What else do you remember??
He smiled and started to chuckle as he stood up, ?That which must be remembered and not forgotten.? She saw his cheerful demeanor dissipated when a memory of his own came. She could not see all the details, but there was sorrow, anger, and regret, ?and the things which cannot be forgotten.?
?Even if it?s not pleasant??
He nodded once more. ?And therein lays the value of memory. The story contained has its own value to every individual.?
Lain figured their meeting over when he stepped off the rock and into the distance. However, she hopped off and followed him down the sands.
?I have one more question.?
?I know who you are, but I do not know what are you called??
She noticed a small smile tugging at the corners of his lips when he answered, ?A name that I nearly forgot a long time ago. Among my people, I was named the Lord of Heaven, though I never felt as such even before my people met their end.?
Knowing that his past was something left to him, she looked to his destination and found it a place where she could not go, yet.
?Will I be able to see you again??
He knelt to her and took one of her hands in his. ?If you want to, you shall. I look forward to meeting you again, Lain.?
He stood up again and walked into places where she could not yet understand. She wanted to go with him and see what was beyond, but it was not the time just yet. However, it did not bother her. She had all the time in the world.
Reflecting, she realized meeting this man had saved her from perpetual confusion and even possible stagnation of self. Now, there were no questions that plagued her once meager understanding and everything seemed new again.
She knew those whom she cared for, search for, and whom she was.
She was... no, is Lain.
I wish I had a basic explanation as to what the heck happened, but I'm still sorting out the details.
My first story og Lain and though I?m sorta happy with the end result, I?m also kinda sickened that I would fill a short fic with so much pointless philosophical jargon that I barely understand myself.
This just came to mind after noticing all the various nonsense going on in the series that it puts the Matrix to shame, but then again, you don?t have to work hard to do that. Oh and Neil Sinclair's 'Emmisary' was also influential and helped inspire this story, though I hope I'm not ripping him off.
As for Lain?s companion, I would doubt that Ten Oh would act like Kujaku, but since this would take place a long time after the end of RG Veda, there is room for change. Ten Ou?s nice and all, but from what little he was shown in the manga, he was never the type to give the kind of answers in this fic. But then again, I could be wrong and I did it better than I thought. But I don?t count on luck to writing good stories.
So, I request you, gentle readers, to hold nothing back... well, it?d be nice if it was constructive as well. So, I'm crossing my fingers.
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