Mar 182003

Title: Division of the Whole
Fandom: Vortex
Characters: Chocho, Inuchan, Robin
Rating: T
Warnings: Expletives like whoa
Notes: I started this one in 2003, and then, I just stopped caring as my life collapsed into a flaming pile of shit around my ears. I’ll probably never finish it.

{Begin Prologue}
In the beginning, back when it all began, before the world was new and the mountains tall, there was Void. The Void was the truest of all things to be called void since, as it was pure and truly empty – devoid of energy, being, or thought. And in the most profound moment, before or since, the void became aware of itself.

"I am Void," it thought, and then it was Void no longer.

"I am Chaos," it proposed, and the universe sprung into creation in a Brownian swirl. All things became possible, and to each, its opposite was bound; all things were in balance, and in powers of two they danced the sacred dances of being.

But after the passing of millennia, the dance began to slow in the grip of a previously weak and harmless force; and Entropy was the name of this destroyer of worlds. Chaos, in the interest of preserving the divine discotheque of the cosmos decided that there must be some force in the universe to counteract the swelling power of Entropy, who grew stronger as time passed and the system ground onward. And ever wise, Chaos created sentient life on a small blue-green world in an obscure arm of a far-distant galaxy.

"I shall call them dolphins," thought Chaos, "And so they will not be a lonely race, I shall place, also, other races." And one of these companion races was the race of Humankind, which was not at all as it is today. In fact, this is the story of the beginnings of Humankind and the reflection of those beginnings in the practices and thoughts of the modern incarnation of those sentients, who are very confused and angry because they have forgotten their source and their story.

Humankind, in their earliest incarnation, were composed of joined pairs of opposites, and as such, they lived in cycles of joy and pain, of beneficence and cruelty. And in their cycles they created spirits to rule the bright sides and the dark sides of things, to balance their own cycles with an opposing set of cycles, and they called their creations Gods, and all was well between humans and Gods. And as the small blue-green world turned, Humankind and Gods underwent a sort of parallel evolution; by nature of their symbiosis, each could develop a different set of skills, and together they would have almost total control of their environs, at least as long as Chaos didn’t come down for tea with the dolphins again.

But, one fine morning in a particularly dissonant cycle, a human awoke, stretching its four arms, and yawning from two mouths, and it thought to itself, "What if we divided? What if Humankind split, each, into two, and the same of Gods? Wouldn’t we have better control with more specialization?" Now, it should be noted that this thought came straight from the mouth of Entropy, but the human in question thought it was an excellent idea, and managed to convince others of its surety, and Humankind divided the Gods, and the Gods divided Humankind.

And they wept. For twenty-three days and nights they wept, Gods and Humankind, for now they were alone in themselves, and without their opposites, they were powerless. And Humankind beseeched the Gods to make it right again, but the Gods, divided, had no power. And the Gods begged the same of Humankind, but there was no solace to be found. The damage had been done, and the world began to decay under the hands of those who were convinced by their pain that they and only they were correct. And the dolphins lent no hand, because dolphins don’t have hands to lend.

Years became decades, centuries, and millennia, as humans and their Gods tried to right the wrong they had laid upon the world, but it was a totally useless endeavor, and the only power that remained available had to be stripped from the body of the small blue-green planet, itself, thus furthering Entropy’s devilish plans. And in time, the gods began to fade from memory, and trapped on a dying world, humans began to forget that their pain was a symptom of a giant wound where their opposites once lived off the same blood and breath.

{End Prologue}

And it is in this crippled and dying world that we find a boy just as broken and burned as the small, blue-green planet he calls home. More often than not, the pain in his eyes is invisible behind his gleaming spectacles, as good a reason as any to wear the damn things, he figures. Nights, or better said, mornings, during which sleep should be had, as he lies awake waiting for the latest round of unspeakable pain to pass through his bones and leave him alone with his nightmares, he occasionally wonders about another totally unrelated pain. He wonders why he loves the world, when all it does is its damnedest to maim and kill him. He’d shrug it off, but that involves moving and by its very nature would be even more painful. Sometimes he wishes he wasn’t so alone, but on the whole he’s glad for it – he’d hate to see anyone else have to go through this.

Across town, the room spins, and she screams for the mercy of impotent gods as she realizes that she can’t move her legs and she’s blind from the fever, and nauseous from the blindness. She wishes she could shed her skin not to have to feel with it anymore. She’s certain that she’s deaf to the room, but the hundreds of voices inside her head won’t stop screaming, and the fever continues to rise.

Hours have passed. He thinks he slept through at least two of them, but he could be lying to himself. Sitting up, and listening to his spine crack in six or seven places, and wishing it had popped in the other three, he looks around the room philosophically. "Ass," he thinks, "I feel like ass." He groans softly and fumbles for his glasses and his cigarettes. It’s going to be one of those fucking days, and he can tell already. He flicks his lighter, and promptly singes his hair. Oh, yeah. One of those fucking days. He vacantly contemplates his hair for a moment, realizing that he can’t stand it long, and doesn’t particularly like it short either. He thinks about shaving his head, as he digs through a pile of less than completely grotesque laundry, and comes to the conclusion that that would look even worse. "Give up," he tells himself, "You can’t win."

She comes to her senses, or at least what of her senses haven’t been irreparably damaged by the experience, and tries to reseat her kneecaps. She grunts and grumbles her way into a vaguely bipedal position and limps about until she finds her shoes, suddenly glad she slept in the clothes she’s been wearing all week. She ties her shoelaces and stands up again, wincing as her lower body realigns itself. "Ass," she thinks, stumbling into the bathroom, "I feel like ass." She fumbles in the cabinet for a rubberband with which to tie up her greasy purple hair, and finding one, she tries to cheer herself with the thought that she has only one more exam to deal with before she can go to Coffee Hell and drink tea until the stress settles. "Christ," she thinks, invoking one of the lost Gods, as she fails to find her glasses where she left them, "it’s going to be one of those goddamned days." Finding them at last, she stumbles out the door, grabbing for the Pall Malls in her jacket pocket. Halfway down the block she finds the empty pack, and curses everything she can see.

Tired and glassy, after hours of taking phone calls from stupid people, he opens the door of Coffee Hell, and is promptly greeted by a crowd of people who want or expect things from him. "For fucksake," he thinks, "can I not even get my late night coffee in peace?" Hours roll into each other, and his sharp wit gets sharper and better aimed as the night goes on. Other members of his species begin to back off somewhat, as the concealing gleam off his glasses turns into a vicious glint.

She glances up from her conversation with her brother as he walks into the room. "Food," she thinks, appraising his angsty defensiveness. She’s known him in passing for a couple of years, and they never got on well together. She thinks he’s vapid, pretty and angst-filled, and as far as she knows he thinks she’s a knife wielding nut-job. And as she considers it, he’s not that far wrong. Distressingly, her brother is on good terms with him.

"Inuchan!" calls Robin, with a wave.

He looks up, and sort of smirks at Robin; his face isn’t working quite up to par today, but somehow, the smirk becomes more appropriate as he notices Robin’s sister on the couch. She’s a knife wielding nut-job, as far as he can tell, and he doesn’t think she likes him much for some inexplicable reason. It’s kind of refreshing, though, that she doesn’t want anything from him, even if she does look at him like a cheetah looks at an antelope. In the background, he hears talk of going somewhere that serves food, and he raises an eyebrow at Robin.
Robin shrugs and turns to his sister with an inquisitive look. "Schmengy’s?" he asks, naming the pancake house that is being contemplated. "Walking?" she asks, and looks around the room. There is a brief pause and some discussion of who fits in which car, after which one of the coffeeboys volunteers, "Yeah, I’ll take Robin and Chocho."

In this interval there is much driving to Schmengy’s.

Chocho sits at the end of a very long table, surrounded by a pair of goofy fruits and what appears to be a cracked out Dave Grohl clone. She and the leftmost goofy fruit enact a great deal of ignoring the increasingly disgusting and obscene squirrel humour in which the rest of the table is engaged. Squirrel ass jokes are just not on her list of things to do today, and she wonders why she bothered to come out tonight, besides the glaringly obvious desire not to go home. As the world whirls on around her, Chocho stares into her coffee and dissociates. Somewhere in her mind she has four arms and two mouths and is content with the swirling world, but that somewhere is not here. She chases the vision, and the world whirls by her eyes, never marring the flow of the pursuit.

Suddenly, she loses her quarry and plunges back into the dimly lit pancake house, only to realise that she and Inuchan are the last ones left at the table. Great. Fan-fucking-tastic, with Swiss cheese. She manages a sickly grin.

Inuchan looks at Chocho, and rifles his otherwise occupied mind for something vaguely intelligent to say. She appears to be grimacing at some internal thought process. He opens and closes his mouth once, and then with a shrug offers, "So, we should get the fuck out of here. I don’t really feel like going home, what are you going to do?" He’s not sure why he asked, but it has to beat going home and failing to sleep. There’s a pause as he watches her peer suspiciously at him.
Chocho peers suspiciously at Inuchan. "Food," she thinks, "Filler. Waste of ….eh, what the hell. It has to beat staring at the wall for another eight hours." She manages to smile, a slightly better attempt than the last one, and says, "Ehh, fuckknows. You want to go wander around on campus a bit?"