EIDBT – April 15, 2011 – So I can summon a god now
Okay, so you know yesterday when I said that some unbelievable shit happened? Yeah, yesterday has nothing on today. Yesterday was like “brainfuck lite” compared to today. I’m almost scared to watch the Midnight Channel again tonight for fear of what might happen as a result. In any case, if anything does happen, I’ll be ready for it.
Thankfully, I didn’t have any dreams last night. After all of the crazy shit that’s been happening to me night after night, it was nice to actually have a normal night for once. After being teleported into a world inside a TV the day before, I woke up this morning almost feeling like everything that had happened was just a bad dream, maybe just me being anxious about moving. Wrong. As soon as I came downstairs in the morning, Dojima was already on his way out of the door. He looked rushed and concerned, and the implication didn’t do anything for my good mood. On my way to school, I heard some girls gossiping about hearing sirens that morning, and seeing police cars throughout the town. Upon hearing the sirens myself, I knew that my day was going to be spoiled.
When we got to school, we were all corralled into an assembly. The teachers wouldn’t tell us anything about what it was about. My shit and fan proximity sensor was going haywire at that point. When we got in, I noticed that Yukiko wasn’t around. Thankfully, Chie told us that she was just helping out with her family’s inn, and that she’d be around after lunch. I was feeling a little more relieved, until the principal began to speak. Konishi Saki was dead. She had died at 1 AM last night, and was finally discovered at 7 AM; it was hard to see her body hanging from the telephone pole due to all the fog. Of course, this wasn’t all told to us by the principal; we pieced it together later. Yosuke… I didn’t say anything to Yosuke. I doubt it would have gotten through to him at that point. After the assembly, Chie and I overheard some girls saying that someone saw Saki on the Midnight Channel last night.
We waited around for Yosuke to exit the assembly. I was actually kind of surprised, because he seemed much more composed than I thought he would be. He told us that he saw Saki last night as well. She looked as if she was in great pain, then she just… vanished from the screen. After taking a moment to let it soak in, he followed up with a very good point; both Yamano and Konishi appeared on the Midnight channel just before their deaths. Chie seemed to not want to believe him. I guess she was like me, hoping it was all just a dream or some elaborate hoax. Yosuke didn’t stop there though. He pointed out to us what the bear we met in the TV world told us… That the world itself was dangerous… And that someone was throwing people in it. It couldn’t be a coincidence, and I told him as much. He told us that he planned to go back into the TV world, in hopes of finding a place like the bedroom we saw on our first visit, so that we could get some sort of clue concerning Saki’s death. Chie tried to shrug this off, saying that the police should be handling it. Yosuke snapped back at Chie, and urged me to take him into the TV world. He left to prepare, leaving me with a somewhat overwhelmed Chie. When she asked me what we should do, I responded immediately that we should help him. The guy might be a dumbass at times, but he had a good idea, and I wasn’t about to stand between someone and their grief if they were willing to face it head on.
When we finally arrived at Junes, Yosuke was waiting for us. He was holding a length of rope, with one end tied around him, and a golf club. He explained to us that he planned to enter into the same TV we did last time, just so that we could at least start from the same place. When Chie protested his plan, Yosuke looked at me with one of the most genuine expressions I’ve seen in a long time.
“What about you? Could you just walk away?” I had to be honest, I couldn’t.
“Yeah… I thought not. I’m glad to know you’re that kinda guy.”
He handed Chie the rope, and told her to wait outside. She was going to be holding our lifeline just in case we got lost. He handed me the golf club, indicating that he had also brought some wrenches for himself. With that, we entered into the TV…
The fall was a bit better this time; we knew what to expect. When we had recovered, the bear found us again.
“I get it! You’re the ones behind this,” he shouted (as much as he could shout, I suppose).
“You’re that thing from last time…! Wait, what the hell did you just say!?” Yosuke responded.
“Lately, I can tell someone’s been throwing people in here. It’s making this world more and more messed up… This is the second time you guys came here. And I don’t think anyone forced you in. That means you’re the most suspicious! You guys must be the ones throwing the people in here, raaaawr!” I was getting really tired of his constant accusations at us, so I told the damned thing to shut up.
“What’re you talking about, ‘throwing people in’!? If someone was thrown in here and they couldn’t get out, they might die! Who would do such a– Wait a sec… All this talk about someone throwing people in here… Does he mean Senpai and the announcer? Did that ‘someone’ throw those two in here? H-hey… What do you think?” Yosuke asked. I don’t know why, but that guy was on fire today. I agreed with him; it was a pretty sound conclusion.
“Could it be that someone’s throwing people in here, intending to kill them…? If that’s the case…”
The bear seemed to ignore the fact that we were clearly trying to figure out the nature of the world, by insisting that the TVs were a one-way door. The only way out was through him. I didn’t really know why he kept going on about that. Yosuke tried to tell him that it didn’t matter, because we had a lifeli–it was cut… Apparently shortly after we came into the TV. Great.
Once again ignoring the fact that we were clearly unfamiliar with this place and started to insist that we we prove our innocence. I tried to explain to the bear that it doesn’t work that way. He’s the one making the claim, so he needs to prove himself right. He went on to explain that when the fog is heavy in the real world, it lifts in the TV world, and the “shadows” who live there get violent.
Both Yosuke and I didn’t understand any of this. It was all very confusing, as I’m sure it is to be reading this. Nevertheless, we pressed on. Yosuke realized that the area we were standing in looked slightly like a studio. He wondered idly if the Midnight Channel was filmed here. The bear was confused at this, ensuring us that no “filming” was done here (he didn’t know what filming was, apparently), and that it’s always been like “this” in the TV world. I was confused by that statement, and asked what he meant by that.
“Only me and Shadows are here! I told you before!”
“Ugh… We don’t know what these Shadow things are!” Yosuke fired back. “Or what you are either, for that matter! You keep telling us to prove our innocence, but you’re the most suspicious thing here! Maybe you’re the real culprit! And what’s with that stupid costume!? I’d say it’s time you showed your face!”
Yosuke did the smart thing in this situation, and lunged for the bear’s head. he pulled and pulled, and it came off.
And there was nothing underneath.
The bear was empty.
The hollow bear eventually covered, finding its head and flipping it back on. He insisted to us, rather somberly,that he would never do anything. He told us that he just wanted to live peacefully. Finally, he seemed to come to a resolution:
“Okay, I’ll believe that you guys aren’t the culprits. But I want you to find the real guy who did all this. You have to stop him. Promise me, or else… I’m not gonna let you guys outta here.” So, whenever I need someone to listen to me in the future, I’ll just get Yosuke to pull their head off. That’ll work, right?
In the face of this ultimatum, Yosuke turned to me and asked what we should do. It was at that point that I made a connection. Igor, that creepy guy with the long nose, had told me that I’d encounter a misfortune at my destination, and that a great mystery would be imposed on me. The chances that this could be what he was talking about were far too great. I groaned silently, realizing that most likely, those vivid dreams I was having weren’t so much dreams as they were reality. Which would mean… The bear threw off my train of thought when he started speaking again.
“You’re the only ones I can ask. Will you promise me…?” We didn’t have much choice, so I promised him.
“Damn bear… Practically holding a gun to our heads…” Yosuke mumbled. I couldn’t help but think he was referencing something else… (Editor’s note: Like Persona 3. Get it?)
Nevertheless, Yosuke introduced us to the bear, and he repaid the gesture by introducing himself as “Teddie.” Way to go Teddie, have you been playing Chrono Trigger lately and been inspired by Robo?
“How are we supposed to find the culprit in the first place?” Yosuke had a point.
“I dunno… Oh, but I know where the last person came in.” Because Teddie had an idea of where we should be going, I figured it was high time to show some trust to an empty bear mascot costume and agreed to follow him. Before we left, he handed us both a pair of glasses. When we put them on, it was almost as if the fog didn’t exist. These would have been very useful yesterday… Though we did end up stumbling on what we think, at least, was an important part of the case.
Before we left, Yosuke brought up a good point. He asked if Teddie could fight at all. It didn’t seem like he could. As if to make up for it, he claimed that he could still help:
“Oh, I’ll give you moral support from a safe distance! How does that sound?” I raised an eyebrow at this, and wondered if he could really fight, but was just lying. I reached out, and simply touched him. That sent him flying.
“Ugh, this is so lame… We swore to find the culprit, and this is all the backup we get…?” Yosuke said what I was thinking. While lying on the ground, Teddie probably sensed a bit the determination behind our purpose here, and asked who Saki was. I looked to Yosuke, who was slow to answer.
“… That doesn’t matter right now…”
After walking for a while, it almost looked as if we were in some bizarre version of the Inaba shopping district. Teddie commented on this by saying that some weird places had been appearing recently in the TV world. He also said something that gave me pause for a moment. He said “This is reality for the person who comes in here.” It made me wonder what that would mean for Yosuke and I.
As we were standing in front of the door to the liquor store, Teddie sensed something, loudly proclaiming that “they” were here. I could only assume he was talking about shadows.
The experience was as terrifying as I could describe. Faces appeared in the doorway. The faces seemed to be masks, which were held up by a dark black liquid. Two of the masks oozed toward us, and solidified into floating pac men with tongues. They began advancing. Just as I was about to raise the golf club in my hands to protect myself, the sensation from my second night in Inaba, when I first went into the TV, came back. A voice rang in my head once again,
“I am thou. Thou art I. The time has come. Open thine eyes, and call forth that which is within.” When I did, I found myself holding a tarot card in my hand. I flipped it over, and instead of seeing one of the arcana, the card was blank. Before I realized what was happening, the card began to glow. I began to feel very… calm. Focused. I raised my head to look at my would-be attackers. Without knowing why I was doing it, I found myself whispering “per… so… na..” With the last syllable uttered, the card burst into a blue flame in my hand. I wasn’t scared. I wasn’t concerned. I didn’t think. My fist closed around the flame, and I let out a cry of fury as a part of my psyche, locked away for so long, began to emerge and take physical form. I let a content grin spread across my lips. It was time to fucking rock.
The fight didn’t last long. Everything felt so intuitive, in the same way that it felt back in my first night in Inaba. When I focused, a tarot card would manifest in front of me. All I had to do was reach forward and crush it, and the power of my soul would crash down on the shadows in front of me, demolishing them. While they were helpless, a simple bash with the golf club did them in.
When the second reject video game character was dispatched, I turned to look at the figure in front of me. I knew without having to think that this was Izanagi, a “persona.” An aspect of my personality. Should it be any surprise that the manifestation of my personality would be one of the Kami that created all of Japan? Izanagi receded, and I was left with a strange sensation. I felt as if I were a little bit more… complete. I didn’t say a word, and just let myself revel in the feeling for a moment. Yosuke interrupted my peace, however.
“Woah, what was that? Did I hear you say ‘Persona’!? What was it– I mean, what did you do!? Hey, you think I can do it too…?” Teddie interjected, misunderstanding me coming down from the high:
“Calm down, Yosuke. You’re troubling Sensei!”
“Gosh almighty! You’re amazing, Sensei! I am one impressed bear! I can’t believe you were hiding such an amazing power! No wonder the shadows were scared of you! *gasp* Are you the one who’s able to bring people into this world?” I nodded. “Hah! That’s what I thought! This is really something.”
After taking a moment to collect ourselves, Yosuke spoke up.
“Man… I wonder what could have happened to Senpai here.” Yosuke was clearly a little disturbed by the whole thing. Slowly, we began to hear voices. They were quiet at first, but we were soon able to hear them clearly.
“I wish Junes would go under… It’s all because of that store…”
“Oh, I heard that Konishi-san’s daughter is working there.”
“Oh my… How could she, with her family’s business suffering like it is…?”
“I heard their sales have gone downhill because of Junes.”
“S-Stop it…” Yosuke said to the void, clearly disturbed by was being said.
“That poor father… to have his own daughter working for the enemy.”
“What a troublesome child…” Yosuke turned to Teddie.
“You said that this place is reality for those that are here, right? So does that mean that this was Senpai’s reality when she wandered in here…”
With my new-found power of a Japanese Kami to support us, we entered the liquor store, ready to take whatever was thrown at us. The store itself seemed far too large and imposing for the dimensions to have been right. It was also incredibly messy. Soon enough, the voices came back.
“Saki, how many times do I have to tell you!?” Yosuke recognized the voice as Saki’s father.
“You know what the neighbours say about you, right!? Aren’t you ashamed of yourself? You’re the eldest daughter of a family who’s owned this store for generations! Is it the money? Or did you meet some guy there? Just tell me what you have to work THERE, of all places!”
“I… I can’t believe this…” Yosuke started. “She seemed like she had fun at work… She never said anything like this to me… You’re telling me THIS was how Senpai really saw things!?” Something caught his eye, and he went over to a counter. He picked up a picture. It was a recent one, with all of the Junes part-timers standing together. He noticed that it was cut up and abused. We began to hear Saki’s voice:
“I… never had the chance to say it…”
“Is that… Senpai’s voice!?” Yosuke asked.
“I always wanted to tell Hana-chan…”
“…That he was a real pain in the ass. I was nice to him just because he was the store manager’s son, that’s all… But he takes it completely the wrong way and gets all enthusiastic… What a dip.”
“P-Pain in the ass…?”
“Who cares about Junes, anyway? Because of that store, our business is ruined, my parents hare me, the neighbours talk behind my back… I wish everything would just disappear…”
“It’s a lie… This can’t be… Senpai’s not like that…!”
“It’s *sniff* so sad… I feel so sorry for myself… Boo hoo…” That was not a voice we recognized. The three of us turned to see Yosuke. Except it wasn’t Yosuke, it was Yosuke with obviously malicious yellow eyes, surrounded in blue flame. It continued speaking.
“Actually, I’m the one who thinks everything’s a pain in the ass. Hahahaha…”
“Who are you!? I-I wouldn’t think that…” Yosuke shot back.
“Hahahaha… Yeah, right. How long are you going to keep deluding yourself? Screw the shopping district, and Junes too! You’re sick of everything, especially living out in the sticks!”
“What’re you saying…? That’s not true, I–“
“You put on a good show of being carefree and happy-go-lucky ’cause you’re so terrified of being alone. The more the merrier, right? You’re gotta be surrounded by people to block out the pain of isolation. And what’s this about checking out this world for Saki-Senpai’s sake? Hah! I know the real reason you came snooping…”
“Hahaha! Why so panicked? I thought I was just spouting bullshit! Or maybe… I DO know everything you’re thinking! Why’s that…? Because I AM you! You just came because you thought it sounded like a good time! What else is there to do out in this shithole? A world inside the TV–now that’s exciting! You didn’t have a single other reason for coming here, did you!?”
“That’s not true… Stop.. Stop it…” Yosuke seemed to be receding in on himself. This fake Yosuke was clearly hitting some deep truth that Yosuke was trying to hide.
“You’re just trying to act like a big shot… If all went well, hey, maybe you could even be a hero! And that Senpai you were so sweet on? Her death was the perfect excuse!”
“That’s not true! What are you!? Who are you!?”
“*chuckle* I already told ya. I’m you… Your shadow… There’s nothing I don’t know about you!”
“Screw that! I don’t know you! You can’t be me, you son of a bitch!!”
Suddenly, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. I wanted to reach out and stop Yosuke from doing what he was about to do, but I couldn’t get myself to say the words or take the action. The Shadow Yosuke laughed in delight.
“That’s it! Say it again!”
“You’re not me! You’re nothing like me!” Yosuke cried out, fighting against his Shadow’s words.
“That’s right. I’m not you any more. I’m me.” His Shadow stood tall, with a satisfied smirk on its face. It began to glow, and was quickly surrounded by black, cloying mist. When it finally cleared, we were facing a monstrosity. It looked like a ninja riding a… very happy frog. In a booming voice, it proclaimed,
“I am a shadow… The true self… I’ll crush everything that bores me… Starting with you!”
Knowing instantly what to do, I began to face it in battle. Now, I don’t want to be anti-climactic or anything, but I don’t know how to describe battles too well, so I’ll give you some terrible drawings to make up for it.
After defeating the shadow, Teddie walked up to Yosuke.
“Yosuke, are you okay?”
“Yeah… What… Happened…?” Teddie turned to look at the Shadow. It was silent, simply observing us.
“You… You’re… not me…” Yosuke began to say again.
“That thing came from you, Yosuke… You have to admit it… or it’ll go berserk again…” He seemed reluctant to admit it, so I urge him on, telling him that everyone was conflicted inside.
“Is that… supposed to be comforting? Damnit… It hurts to face yourself… I knew it wasn’t lying… But I was so ashamed that I didn’t want to admit it… You’re me… And I’m you. When you get down to it, all of this is me.” Acknowledging this, the shadow changed form, then into a tarot card. Yosuke had awakened his Persona, Jiraiya, by confronting his true self.
“This is my Persona… When we heard Senpai’s voice… I wonder if that was something Senpai had been keeping deep down inside… Haha… ‘He was a real pain in the ass,’ huh? What a way to find out… Geez, this is so embarrassing… If you weren’t here, I don’t know what woulda happened… Thanks, Nakao.”
I helped him up. We shared a moment of empathy before Yosuke put the ace detective hat back on. He asked Teddie if the same thing had happened to Saki. Teddie seemed to think it had. He explained to us that when the fog clears, the Shadows in the TV world go berserk. When that happens, and a strong-willed shadow draws others to it, that big mass can end up killing their hosts. We stood silent for a few more moments before Teddie suggested that we go back, saying that this world is not meant for humans. The only two humans he sensed in here, who I can only guess are Yamano and Saki, disappeared after the fog lifted.
Back at the entrance, we had a short conversation about what was next. Teddie eventually suggested that it might be possible for us to save people who have been thrown into the TV in much the same way I saved Yosuke. We all seemed to agree that we would use that to our advantage while looking for the killer. As we were about to leave, Yosuke asked a question to Teddie,
“If Shadows are born from humans, what was Teddie born from?” He didn’t seem to know.
‘Will you guys come back here?” He asked us. I responded simply by saying “We made a promise.” Shortly after, we were being shoved through a stack of TVs again into the real world.
When we regained our senses, the first thing we saw was Chie, clutching onto the rope Yosuke had given her as if it were her own life. As soon as she saw us, tears began welling up in her eyes.
“Y-You guys came baaack…!”
“Huh? Chie? Woah, what’s with that face?” Yosuke obviously had lost his Ace Detective hat back in the TV World. Chie rewarded Yosuke by throwing the rope at Yosuke’s head, and began speaking, becoming more and more upset.
“The nerve of you guys! You are such morons! I can’t believe this! You guys suck! The rope got cut off… and I had no idea what to do… I was so worried… I mean scared stiff, damnit! I hate you both!” She ran off, leaving us without a chance to explain ourselves.
“I… I think that might’ve kinda sorta been our fault,” Yosuke said weakly. Yeah, he left it in there and burned it for good measure. We agreed that we should apologize to her tomorrow, but for now, the two of us were suffering from the same fatigue we experienced last time we went inside the TV. I began my long trek home.
On my way through the floodplains, I saw Yukiko sitting in a gazebo overlooking the ocean. I went up to talk with her for a moment. She seemed to be dealing with real enough issues that it would be nice to spend some time grounding myself around her.
“Oh… Are you surprised to see me dressed this way? My parents sent me out on an errand… Um… Are you getting used to your new town and school?” I didn’t really know how to respond. The school and the town itself were fairly normal. Old hat. The fact that I can summon the father of the Sun Goddess by crushing Tarot cards in order to fight manifestations of people’s personalities in order to possibly save people being thrown into a TV World from being killed by their own inner psyche when they fail to acknowledge it was what was throwing me off. I opted to just respond with a “Somewhat.”
“I’m glad to hear that. It must be difficult, moving to a place you know nothing about.” And stumbling on the cause of a chain of serial murders while meeting a bear mascot who’s hollow inside.
“I’ve never been out of Inaba, so I wouldn’t know what it’s like to transfer to a new school… Oh! Are you getting along with Chie? I mean, I always leave early, so… Umm…” Seeing if I’m still available, huh? Well, considering that Chie had just stormed out saying thta she hates Yosuke and I, I just responded “I don’t know yet.”
“I see… Chie’s very supportive, you know. It’s always her who gives me the little extra push I need. We had homeroom together last year too, and I still remember how we’d cut class sometimes. Oh, I should get going. I need to make tomorrow’s arrangements with our head chef. Our inn can’t function without me right now.” She stood. “Um, I’ll see you at school, then.” I saw her on her way, then went home myself. See, this is what I wanted. This is simple, this is what high schoolers experience on a day-to-day basis, minus the fact that Yukiko was wearing a kimono, I guess. I almost pity myself. Then again, father of Japan in my head.
When I got home, I wasn’t surprised to see that Dojima wasn’t around. I sat down with Nanako to watch the news. As expected, it was talking about the murders.
“Another incident…” Nanako remarked, “Dad won’t be coming home tonight.” I told her that at least I’d be with her.
“… I’ll be okay. Can you help me do some stuff around the house?” I’ve gotta say, I’m pretty impressed with how independent she is. The news shifted now to the Amagi inn. Yukiko was being interviewed, and as always, the reporter got way off-track with his questions. Of course, he made Yukiko pretty uncomfortable. Nanako decided that she had had enough of the news, and got up to do the dishes. Not wanting to watch Yukiko be berated with far too personal questions any more, I decided to get up and help Nanako.
And so here I am, in my room, trying to take in this day. I don’t know what to make of it, really. I’m going to try and watch the Midnight channel tonight though. Maybe I’ll get a better grasp on this whole thing by watching it. Though right now, there are some real burning questions that need to be addressed:
1. What are these Personas, and why did Yosuke and I awaken to them?
2. Why did I not have to face my own Shadow? It seems that my Persona has been awakening ever since I got to Inaba… Why am I different?
3. The Midnight Channel seems to show people who are about to be killed by being thrown into the TV World. Who is running this channel? Is that person the murderer, or are they just informing someone else?
4. What is Teddie, and what is the TV World? What are Shadows really?
I obviously don’t know the answer to any of these… I’ll just have to wait this all out I guess. I’ve been here for five days now, and I’m already in the middle of the biggest thing to happen here since its inception. Even I don’t believe this right now, in spite of everything that’s happened so far.