Subject: [FFML] [Revision][OMG] Hues of Belligerance: Chapter 1
From: Christian Clark
Date: 5/4/2005, 3:38 PM

I used Notepad and fixed the programing errors that occured on my last
sending of this story.  And as a prenote; thanks to DB and Abdiel for
the C&C on the previous versions.


-- God wants spiritual fruits, not religious nuts. - For pointless fanfiction, go to: For a Live Journal to waste your time with, go to: -- Attached file included as plaintext by Ecartis -- -- File: HOB1.txt Hues of Belligerence "Queen's Knight, f3." Belldandy said casually, taking the piece off the board and placing it in front of the remaining black knight. She waited patiently for her opponent to place the move. Her king was safe and her pieces were more numerous than her foe's. If she played right, she could defeat her foe within three more moves. She looked up to her opponent and found only a mirror. The mirror itself was not special, but the reflection was significantly different than what she expected. The Belldandy in the mirror was encased in shadow, while the real one was shrouded in light. The other difference was Belldandy's reflection had an unsettling glare that would not falter. After every move the reflection made on the dark side of the mirror, the reflection would resume glaring at her. The reflection moved the king's bishop to an unassuming position. However, Belldandy was wary of such a maneuver. With a few of her pieces protecting the king, it would be easy to defend and retaliate. She moved the king out of the way to what she believed would be a safe place while her other pieces would take the rook and bishop out before they could do anything. However, the reflection moved its rook, looked to the board, and said calmly, "Checkmate." For a noticeable moment, the reflection locked her gaze with Belldandy's and smirked as though she knew this would happen from move one. She looked to the board and to the set with utter horror at the realization she had completely missed the pawns... but they weren't there a minute ago... were they? Time seemed to slow down as she reached forward and slowly removed the king from the board. She had been defeated. The instant she picked the piece up, she blinked and realized something had changed. She looked around to see herself in the darkness, while the reflection grinned triumphantly towards her from the light. She felt constricted, like a set of chains was crushing her torso. She had to get out of there, but the darkness felt thick as tar and rendered her immobile. A whispered, cruel chuckle caught her attention as she saw the reflection sitting casually in the light, reveling in newfound freedom. The reflection had everything that was hers. Her face, her skin, hair, everything. But there was a clear difference in the eyes. They were cold, cruel, and bitter. And the other Belldandy made no effort to hide her spite when she hissed like a snake, "you lose... at last." Belldandy blinked when she realized that she was staring out into space as the rain lightly fell. Her face was lightly covered in perspiration and her heart was beating twice as fast. Something was wrong. She was on her way back home when the storm had hit the neighborhood out of nowhere. Seeking shelter from the rain, she found an alcove for a store that had been closed that day and knowing that the rain would be there for a little while, thought it best if she relaxed for a while. Going over the myriad of things she was planning on doing, she must have let her mind wander. Yet, she was never prone to such a thing. It was almost as if something had forced the vision against her will. Before she could dwell on it, a burning sensation from her ear brought her out of her reverie, and she ran through the rain to see a large eighteen wheeler careen out of control on the street and into a building. The heavy steel pipes on the flatbed spilled from their bonds and towards a group of fleeing pedestrians. On instinct, she raised her hands and summoned the wind to cast the pipes into a non-threatening direction. Several of the pipes landed harmlessly in front of the crowd, and the rest simply remained where they were on the flatbed when they should have been tossed like sticks. With a sigh, she brought her hands down and joined the group of concerned people that had survived an incident that would be described as miraculous. It all happened so fast. Upon closer inspection, there was something that didn't seem right. Closing her eyes and feeling the ether in the air, she failed to find the cause. It was human error, nothing more. - >From the shadows, a figure watched Belldandy leave with a sigh of relief. If the goddess wasn't there, then things would have gotten ugly very quickly. Yet, it didn't and so there was nothing left to worry about. With no other business here, the shadow retreated quickly. The sooner it got out of the general vicinity, the better. - Watching from the safety of her room, Belldandy found herself entranced by the rain. As soothing as it was, there was something gnawing at her about the events from earlier that day. She couldn't place a name as to what was. Worse yet, though she had saved innocents from the accident, the burning in her ear had yet to cease completely. The seals on the Obsidian Seal were all in place and secure. In her years of learning, her teacher had instructed her to never release that unless it was completely necessary. She had only done it once. That was to rescue Megumi from an infection a few months ago. Since that time, the Obsidian Seal was calm, but everyone once in a while, it would be strained, to the point where she could feel physical pain. Recently, it was starting to act up more than usual. Leaning against the wall of her room, Belldandy started to wonder what it was exactly she had released. In spite of the anxieties, she did not regret using it to save Megumi. Only in the most precarious of situations should the Obsidian Seal be broken. And even then, it should be resealed as soon as possible. Or so Celestine had often told her in the past when she would constantly ask him what it was for. Sadly, she never got any more than 'it is an evil thing' as an answer. Any details were lost when he was imprisoned and later perished. She had even made an inquiry to the Almighty concerning the matter. 'It is what you are. You will learn when the truth lets itself known.' He knew and understood her frustration, but insisted that this concern was hers and hers alone. Now, the burning from the seal was starting to become more obvious as the nerves in her lobe sparked to life with pain. She held her head as the heat spread from her ear. It became a splitting migraine as her head started to throb and her eyesight started to grow fuzzy. Turning to the bathroom, she could hear a voice screeching a summons for her. Against her will, she dashed through the hallway, threw open the door as the mark on her forehead shone brightly. The mirror matched the radiance of the mark, and became a liquid for her to move through. Hoping to quell the screaming, she leaped through the mirror, to the confusion of her sisters and Keiichi. Their protests were drowned out by a single word repeated in accusing tones. "VIOLATOR!" - The screeching was gone, but Belldandy could see nothing. Her bare feet landed on something warm and soft, much like the sand of a beach. Yet, it wasn�t granulated and she could move about freely, despite her lack of visibility. Looking frantically for an entrance, Belldandy ran through the thickening darkness. When her hands touched what felt like a wall made of clay and rock, she followed it as far as it would take her. Soon enough, she heard her own footsteps echoing through the hallway she found herself in. The clap of her feet against the floor grew louder as she felt the hallway growing smaller the deeper she went. However, she could hear the sounds emptying into what sounded like an auditorium ahead. There was a light there she followed like a moth to a candle. She could go nowhere else. As she drew near, she could hear whispering. A voice that sounded very familiar to her. However, with every sentence, it made her blood freeze as it conjured up images of being blind folded as someone held a knife to her neck. "...I want... I want to watch you lose control... I want to watch you lose... I want to be there when your hot black rage rips wide open... I want to leave you out in the cold..." Her steps slowed cautiously into the room, even then, every step she took sounded louder than she wanted and it reverberated through the massive room. The light from the many sets of ancient runes on the walls, many of which she couldn't recognize, illuminated the room with an eerie glow. Yet, she still felt drawn to the center of the room, where a circular dais rose from the floor. She had been here before. Everything from the runes on the walls to the dais was all so familiar... but why couldn�t she put a name to it? She knew there were parts of her memory that had been tampered with due to Celestine, but that had been dealt with... or was it? Could there have been more he was keeping secret from her? She held her arms together as the voice�s intensity grew, along with how tangible its anger felt. "...I want to know just how much you hate me so I can predict what you'll do... I want a controlling interest... I want to be your secret hater... I want to destroy you, but I can't..." With careful steps, she walked onto the dais and as she reached the central area, she heard the entryway shut loudly. The voice started to slowly recede, however, the last utterance was unmistakable in its malignance. "...I want and I want... and I will always be hungry..." She knew this voice. She had heard it countless times in the past. And it had a name as well, yet it wasn�t in her mind. She whirled to the now invisible hallway and before she could even realize what was going on, an ice cold wind brushed past her face and to her ear, where the Obsidian Seal appeared. Again, the searing heat returned and as she struggled with the pain, the earring shattered and its pieces fell to the floor. She looked to the remnants in complete horror, wondering how this was so as the pieces began to melt into a viscous thick fluid at her feet. She watched in horrid fascination as the liquid, seemingly with its own will, raced to the other end of the dais. The liquid gathered into a puddle, roughly the diameter of a dinner plate before calming down momentarily. Belldandy was about to step forward when a rumble threw her off balance and she fell to the ground as a large pillar sprouted from the ground. She looked up to it to see the liquid that was once the Obsidian Seal thin out into a string and crawl into and around the clay into an arrangement she was familiar with. They collected themselves into a pattern of Abolition Seals, meant for releasing anything locked away. The seals started to trace themselves around the pillar. At the center of the pillar, a singular circle, with all the completed runes in an elaborate design, glowed softly. Belldandy was well aware of what they were to do, but what they were trying to release was a mystery due to the intricate order. When the runes finally settled, the pillar shattered violently. On instinct, Belldandy held her forearms in front of her self to shield her face from the many pieces. When the last of the debris settled, she peeked through her arms to see an almost perfect replication of herself, made of clay with rocky patches here and there. The posture of the cast was a severe slouch forward. Its head was drooped, the shoulders were slack, and the arms were hanging dead at its sides. Belldandy stood up slowly, fearing that whatever it was that appeared, she didn't wish to disturb it. Despite her care in silence, the figure came to life, threw its head back, and screamed. It was the same accusing wail she heard before she had entered here. It was a beautiful and horrifying song that created an all-consuming dissonance wherever it went. Try as she may, she could not block out the sound as the cast was joined by a host of other voices to create a terrifying choir. The cast then bent over again, only this time, fingers dug into the ground and dashed to the goddess. Belldandy hardly had enough time to bring her hands up to find her fingers locked with the casts. Her hands didn't hurt much, but she found it hard to concentrate on a defense when her eyes were locked with the beasts own. They seemed hollow and devoid of intellect; a wild animal given her form. Each of its hurried and bestial icy cold breaths created small clouds of steam in the room and its mouth was slack with a deep growl from its throat. Belldandy was in the middle of summoning Holy Bell when her foe screamed once more and threw her into the wall on the other side of the large room. She hit the wall violently and left a large crack as she dropped to the floor. Despite the pain, she looked up to see the other her spasm violently several times before it settled and then stood upright. With fresh pain coursing through her, she shook her head to regain her sense of balance. Her head was pounding furiously as she staggered to her feet. Using the wall for support, she noticed that the breathing of the cast slowed down to something more human. A tense standoff took place as Belldandy prepared Holy Bell for the upcoming confrontation, though the pain slowed the process. When the apparition opened her eyes, Belldandy gasped. There were pupils now... her pupils. It was the reflection in her dream from earlier that day. This was what she summoned when she released the Obsidian Seal? The cast discerned her confusion and frowned. "You�ve forgotten me; haven�t you?" The voice was hers, but the inflection was sharper and accompanied by a harsh bite. Belldandy shook her head. "No... I remember, but I don�t..." "No." "Huh?" The figure started to circle her. "It�s not simply �you� or �me�. It�s always been," her frown grew deeper as she continued, disgusted at what she was to say, "'us'. We are one being unable to live without the other. We have always been separate and one." Belldandy interjected, "That�s true... and at the same time, untrue. One cannot be described by one aspect of their person alone. It�s part of a whole." The shadow folded her arms. "Ah, but we are an exception. We have had different masks we show to all, but there�s never been truly a 'you' or 'me'. Again, it is only 'us'. Individuality is a fool�s dream." Knowing she could be making a mistake, the goddess replied and asked, "I don�t understand... who is this �us� and who are you?" "Who... am I?" the other Belldandy asked slowly. Her anger started to show through her features as she seethed. "Who... am I? Who AM I?! WHO AM I?!" with every successive utterance, the other version of the goddess started to flare with a primal rage and from her back, a pair of wings encased in metal emerged. Without warning, the other Belldandy charged, faster than before, and trapped the original to the wall. "WHO!? AM!? I!?" Before Belldandy could say anything, cold steel emerged from the other�s hands and clamped over her throat in attempt to squeeze the life out of her. Fortunately, Holy Bell had emerged and freed herself to sprint away to give herself distance. The other Belldandy turned slowly to her and growled, "How dare you..." Belldandy prepared a shield of gales to defend herself as the other one charged again. The apparition struck the ground with both fists, which caused a stone spike to jut out of the ground and shatter the shield. She didn't have any time to recover when the other dove at her. She didn't get a chance to take advantage of the opening as Holy Bell sent a surge of powerful winds to send Belldandy�s attacker away. With Holy Bell's emergance complete, Belldandy and her other half weaved a seal to bring forth the winds for her protection once more. With no warning, the other one's back opened to reveal an angel completely covered in armor. The momentary lapse in defense cost Belldandy dearly as the armored angel charged and tackled Holy Bell, leaving Belldandy alone to defend herself. As the two angels fought, the shadow resumed her assault and slowly drove the original back to the dais with a flurry of punches that the latter blocked and diverted desperately. Using a hole in Belldandy's defense, the beast launched herself off the Belldandy's stomach, flew to the wall and used it as a spring board to charge once more, giving no chance for Belldandy to dodge. As Belldandy skid backward, she noticed the runes on the walls glowing brighter with a sickly light. Once again, the second she took her gaze off her opponent, she found herself on the ground facing her foe's angered face. �How dare you ask such a thing?!� The other one screamed before she drew her hand, still encased in metal, back and sent it full force into Belldandy's stomach. Pain assaulted her nerves as she tried to restore the breath in her lungs. However, the other Belldandy was far from finished as it repeatedly struck her with lithic malice. Between blows, it grabbed a hold of her collar, and lifted her up until they were face to face. Belldandy�s blue eyes saw herself in the other�s brown eyes... and it was then she remembered exactly who this was. The other Belldandy snarled, answering her question, "I am you... your shadow. Everything about yourself you hate is me. Just as everything that I hate about me is you." Just then, everything went bright and she blacked out, feeling only the anger and an intense pain sending her into darkness. - Putting the phone down, Urd looked to her younger sister and Keiichi and shook her head. "No one topside�s seen her there. So, she can�t have gone far." "But we can�t just sit here and do nothing!" Skuld cried in fear for whatever it was that took her elder sister away. Keiichi, being just in the dark as the others, offered, "you think she may have gone somewhere? You know, people do that once in a while to think." Urd shrugged. �Perhaps, but she�s never wandered far from the temple. And even if she was going somewhere, she�d have told one of us or left a note.� "Still, I�m going to fix Banpei so we can look for her," Skuld said as she turned around to head back to her room. "That will not be necessary," Belldandy's voice said sharply from down the hall. They all turned to her emerged form in joy until they noticed there were a few notable things different than the Belldandy they all knew. There was a scowl that seemed out of place on her face, her markings had changed slightly, and her eyes were a earthy brown, as opposed to Belldandy's sky blue. "Belldandy?" Keiichi said, not sure if that was the right thing to say. With a voice that sounded like Belldandy's, but with a much harsher tone, she said with an angered frown, "You insult me by mistaking me for her, human." "Verthandi..." Urd whispered, taking a step backward. "What?" Skuld added incredulously, peeking from behind Urd. "No way! What did you do to my sister?" Verthandi�s eyes shifted to Skuld and narrowed dangerously. "She violated the law. When she committed the crime, I went active and now, on my authority as Judicator, she has been forced into dormancy for the time being." Keiichi spoke up in confusion. "Wait... Violator? What's that supposed to mean?" Skuld frowned when comprehension settled in. "It means Belldandy's gone." Without giving an explanation why, the youngest goddess stomped away to her room. "Having a tantrum won't bring her back, dear Skuld. Just live with it!" Verthandi sneered. All she received in reply was a heated glare and a slam of the door from her room. "Hold on," Keiichi interceded, "how would Belldandy violate the law? There�s got to be some mistake and..." he was about to say more when Urd�s hand clamped over his mouth. He soon understood why when he noticed Verthandi's quaking form and her murderous glare. "Are you implying, human, that I was in error when I dispensed judgment?!" Keiichi�s fear grew when he felt a tremor starting to rock the foundations of the temple. In a frightening way, it made sense. Belldandy could control the wind and whenever she was most happy, a wind would blow that could calm anyone down. Verthandi, evidently, was of the earth. "No. He�s not." Urd spoke for him, standing as tall as she could, trying to match Verthandi�s gaze. Both goddesses stared each other down for what felt like an eternity before the trembling of their home stopped and Verthandi turned to the restroom. �Good. It would have only made things worse for her had he tried to appeal.� Opening the door, she turned to Urd. "I need to report back to the Almighty; I won�t be gone long." With an evident lack of sincerity, Urd replied, "we�ll be waiting." Verthandi ignored her and they both stood idly as a light burst from the restroom, indicating that she had used the same mode of transportation Belldandy did. With Verthandi gone, Urd let go of Keiichi�s mouth and slumped against the wall. Breathing heavily, Urd held the look of one that barely escaped the headsman�s axe as she wiped a thin layer of sweat of her forehead. "Urd, what�s going on?" Keiichi asked, frustrated that he felt out of the loop. Sliding to the floor, Urd curled her knees to her face and said devoid of her usual energy. "It�s how Skuld put it. Belle�s gone. And we can�t do a thing about it." End of Chapter 1 Update notes: I completely forgot to add that much of the scenes with Verthandi's introduction was inspired by an AMV of Shamanic Princess to Evanescence's 'Imaginary' (not the version from their 'Fallen' album, but one of the earlier renditions that you can download from the net.) The combined imagery of Amy Lee's semi-modified vocals when shown two shadows fighting made me think of Belldandy fighting herself. Boy, was that ever longwinded. Oh, and the words Bell heard initially were from Recoil's 'Want'. Just bear with me, it'll make sense eventually. Much thanks to Abdiel and DB Sommer for giving a little extra help. It pays to listen to folks that C&C your work. :) Old Notes: This started out with Shades of Malice around April of 2003 and since then it's snowballed into this. Kinda weird if you think about it. However, when SoM got written, I wanted to write a sequel to it, but the ideas were sparse at best at the time. Thanks go out to Dev, Chan Wei Lik, and Elisteran for looking over the first draft, pointing out the mistakes and setting me straight on a few things. Now, I finally think I got something to work with. Next, stories like this can only get better... with contributions from you readers at home. CC in all forms is acceptable in all major emailing outlets. Lastly; all things OMG belongs to Fujishima and Dark Horse. .---Anime/Manga Fanfiction Mailing List----. | Administrators - | | Unsubscribing - | | Put 'unsubscribe' in the subject | `---- -----'