The Fading Jewel

[11.22.99] » by Chad Harger

Author's Note: This story starts two weeks after the fall of Deus.

Bart observed the ruins that was once Lahan. Bart looked at the rebuilding effort taking place. It was ironic that the people of Lahan, who did not depend on technology like the rest of the world once did, was actually rebuilding at a rate faster than say Nortune. Already three houses halfway finished.

"So this was Lahan," said Emeralda. "Where Fei once lived."

"So it is," replied Bart, looking at green haired beauty. He still could not get over it. After her, Fei, and Citan returned from the lighthouse, everyone was shocked at her change. He recalled when the three of them walked into the gun-room. Everyone was surprised at Emeralda's new body, especially the men. Unfortunately for Bart, Margie was there also. It was also unfortunate for Bart that Margie elbowed him in the ribs.

"Thank goodness you arrived," said the construction foreman. He came up and shook Bart's hand. "If this wasn't so important, we wouldn't have called you in."

"What's the problem?," asked Bart.

"We have a giant boulder we can't move," replied the foreman. "We are out of explosives, and it's buried to deep into the ground to get a pulley properly attached to it."

The three of them walked over to the boulder. Bart realized the foreman was correct. There would be no moving this thing by conventional means. Know he knew why Citan had asked him to take Emeralda.

Bart asked Emeralda, "Do you think you can do it?"

Emeralda smiled, "No problem." She then cracked her knuckles, a habit she picked up from Rico, and walked over to the boulder.

"What's she going to?," asked the foreman.

Bart smiled broadly. "Just wait and see. You'll be surprised." Yet Bart was concerned. A few hours after the fall Deus, Emeralda suddenly went back into her reclusive shell. She was like that for two days. Then she disappeared for three days. She returned two days ago and continued on as if nothing had happened. Although she seemed alright, she had the look of the inevitable.

Emeralda looked at the boulder. It was to wide for even her stretchable arms. Normally she would just rap her arms around it and toss it. She was a lot stronger than people believed. If she still had access to Ether, she would have used Dark Beast, and be done with it, and Hammerhead would take to long. Emeralda finally decided on Divider. "I am going to use Divider. Make sure everyone is clear. This rock will no doubt throw shrapnel all over."

The foreman looked at Bart, "What is she talking about?"

"You'll see soon enough. Just do as she says and get everyone out of the way," ordered Bart. He had seen her do this only once before. When they had infiltrated Solaris, they ended up being trapped in a room by a guard robot. Emeralda just stood in front the giant machine. Billy told her to get back, but she ignored him. Instead she looked the robot in the eye. She smiled and then her body stretched like taffy and disassembled into it's individual nano-components. Then the components passed through the robot. The robot shook and threw sparks as Emeralda passed through it. The robot shuddered even more after Emeralda passed through and reassembled herself. The robot then fell to pieces. Bart shuddered. He hoped he never had to see her do that to a living being.

Bart now watched as Emeralda passed through the boulder. He heard the foreman whisper, "What the hell?" Bits and pieces of the boulder flew out from the inside. The boulder shook as if it was being destroyed from within.(Which it was.)

Emeralda finally passed through the boulder and became whole again. Suddenly she fell to her knees. Bart realized something was wrong with her. He ran to her side. "Emeralda, are you ok?"

Emeralda looked at his friend, "I seem to have over-exerted myself." She then passed out.

Bart looked at her in shock and horror. This should not have happened. Not to her. He grunted as he picked her up, she was heavier than she looked. It was then that he noticed the right side of her hair was white like Sigurd's.


The Yggdrasil was the only piece of working technology left in the world. Knowing the ship would be needed in the months to come, Fei, Rico, and Citan took the power core from Xenogears, and rigged it to ship. Fortunately the power core was more than capable to handle the job required of it. Yggdrasil became a flying hospital and relief ship, and most importantly a symbol for the future.

All of Emeralda's friends were in the gun-room, with the exception of Citan, who was examining Emeralda. After nearly two hours Citan walked in.

"How is she doc?," asked Elly.

While Citan wore the mask of professional detachment, he was in turmoil on the inside. He remembered what one of his instructors had told him while he was in medical school. "When you tell a patient they are dying do get emotional. Show them compassion and kindness, but above all, do not become friends with them. You do not do the patient, their family, or yourselves any good. Our jobs are to repair the body and to provide comfort for the dying body. Leave the mental and spiritual matters to the shrinks and priests." Citan being who he is had asked the obvious, "What if the dying patient is a friend?" The instructor simply said, "Then you, Hyuga, have a problem." Citan always wondered what his instructor meant by the answer. Now he knew, and he didn't like it one bit.

Looking at his friends he started to talk, then stopped. He finally said, "She's dying."

The only sound in the room was Maria choking back her tears. Her, Emeralda, and Primera had became like sisters when they first met.

"That's impossible!," demanded Fei. "She was meant to outlive us all! Hell, she was meant to live for, well, forever!"

Citan walked over to a chair and sat down. "That may have been true. But that can no longer be. She is almost out of energy. Her hair is also an energy indicator. When her energy levels are full, her hair is green. But when her energy levels drop, her hair gradually turns white."

"Wait a minute Citan," said Rico. "I may not know how she works, but I've seen her eat and drink. Doesn't she get energy from that?"

"No," said Fei. "If I remember Kim's memories correctly, eating and drinking were only a form of stimulus response to the actions, and also as a part of her learning about social skills and interacting with others."

"Then why don't we find what her energy source is then recharge her," said Billy.

Citan shook his head. They still didn't understand. "It's not that easy. Even if we found another source for her, it would probably be to late." Citan took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. "When I talked to her earlier, she told me were she was for those three days. She told me that right after Fei and Elly returned to us, she was feeling weak. She decided to return to Kim's laboratory to see if she could find out the problem. She found out that when Kim had originally intended for her to absorb solar energy like one of the solar panels that once powered Solaris. During his testings, he discovered an energy source more effective than solar energy and used that instead."

Bart was the first realize it, "You don't mean!"

"Yes Bart. My energy came from the Ether. Like Citan said, I absorb Ether like a solar panel absorbs solar energy.," said Emeralda. She was standing in the doorway.

Maria got up ran to her. She rapped her arms around her and started to cry. "Ni, Tolle! Ni, Tolle! Mec! Mec, nel hiel nife yi hiriel yi hol!,"*she blurted. *(Solarian, Oh Sister! Oh Sister! Why! Why does this have to happen to you!)

Emeralda returned the embrace. "It's all right Little Sister. Everything will be fine." She pulled Maria away. Emeralda then asked Margie, "Could you please take Maria for a walk and talk to her? There are things I have to do here before I can talk to her."

Margie then took Maria in hand and left the room. After they had left Citan said, "Emeralda you should still be in bed."

Emeralda shook her head. "No Citan I cannot do that. I have seen people who are dying, yet are still be able to preform their duties. While I can no longer help humanity, I can still experience what it is like to be human. According to my internal diagnostics, I have four weeks of reserve energy left. I want to use that time to live life as much as possible. I want to explore the facets of humanity before..." Emeralda paused. She never did that before. Taking a breath she finally said, "Before I die."

"Emeralda, I would like to talk with you in private later," said Fei.


Later in Fei's room, Emeralda and Fei sat in silence. Fei had a hard time thinking what to say. Every time he thought of something he would look at his hands and change his mind. Every time he looked at his hands he would think, Are these the hands that created Emeralda? Are these the hands that painted Sophia's portrait? Are these the hands that destroyed Lahan? Are these the hands of the only survivor of the Eldridge? While he told the others what he believed was the truth about himself, there would always be a part of himself that would doubt these things.

Fei look at the woman who may or may not be his surrogate daughter. One of the things he had to do was to clear the air between them. When she first joined them, he acted like a jerk. "Emeralda, there is something I have to tell you."

Emeralda looked at him. Fei smiled at her. He then realized something. She was an innocent thrown into the war.


After everyone was reunited, and escaping from Solaris, Fei took Emeralda with her. Her superior fighting techniques would help make things easier. They had run into a group of guards. He and Elly had dispatched three of them. Yet Emeralda would not attack.

After Fei finished off the last guard, he turned Emeralda and demanded, "Why didn't you fight him!?"

Emeralda answered, "Because that not I am."

He did not have time to ponder what she meant, but now he understood. Like Krelian, he figured she was created to fight. That was not the case. She was created to bring peace through other means besides violence. Granted she did kill when necessary, like against robots and monsters. And she did fight against the Wels and Seraphs, although she was careful to make a quick kill without making her target suffer.


Fei smiled at her and said, "I have to apologize. I know you have apologized to me, and said that you realized I was not Kim. Yet apart of me is Kim."

Before Emeralda could say anything, Fei held up a hand for silence. "When you first came to us, I treated you badly. That was wrong of me. When you first came to us something came over me. I don't know what. Maybe a part of Id's anger and resentment leaked through to me. But that doesn't matter. I was in control, and I have to apologize. For all the hardships I caused you, wether directly or indirectly, I am sorry for all of that, and I hope you can forgive me."

Emeralda reached out and touched Fei's hand. "Of course I forgive you Fei."

Then a change came over Fei. His eyes flickered. And the part of him that was Kim spoke to Emeralda, "I will always love you my daughter. I will always be proud of you."


During the first part of the week, Emeralda learned as much as she could. She knew of only of person who could help her. Emeralda stayed at Citan's as a student learning. They talked about many things, history, science, and other things that made up the sum of human knowledge.

On her final night she was sitting at the table eating supper with Citan and his family. She asked, "Citan, what makes a person turn to evil?"

Citan leaned back in his chair and tried to think of a proper answer. Finally he said, "I believe that nothing turns a person to evil. It is the choices they make in a situation that determines what do for good or bad. Some people believe it is better to die than to commit an evil. Sometimes a good person will commit a evil act and turn to evil." Turning to Yui, Citan smiled and said, "And sometimes an evil person will commit a act of goodness what will turn them to good. What it all amounts to is the ability to choose. Granted Miang and the Gazel Ministry manipulated things on a vast scale, yet in the long run we were still responsible for our own actions. If we choose good, then we do good, if we choose evil, we do evil. Although what I have said is just a generalization on the subject. There is so much more on the subject."

"I know that killing is wrong, so I wonder, did we do evil by killing the Wels and Seraphs?," asked Emeralda.

"I can't truly answer that. All I can do is give my opinion," answered Citan. "They were once human, that were changed drastically. I am sure we asked ourselves, 'How much of their humanity still existed? How much of their human mind is gone? Did their souls leave their bodies after they were changed?' These are questions that no man will ever find the right answers to."

Smiling at Emeralda, Citan said, "This much I do know. You are good person Emeralda. When you fought against us at the Gate, your goodness broke through Krelian's tampering. That proves you are indeed a person with a good heart. Don't ever forget that, even in this short amount of time you have left."


For the rest of the week Emeralda spent it in Bledavik with Elly. Emeralda helped her and the others find survivors. While she did not get directly involved, she helped comfort the survivors as much as she could. They real reason Emeralda was here was to do what Fei did with her. To ask Elly for forgiveness.

After was shift was over, Emeralda went to Elly. "Could I speak you please?"

Elly smiled. She smiled more these days. It was if she finally found her purpose in life. "Sure," she replied.

"Fei apologized for the way he treated me, when I first joined you all. Now it's my turn to apologize to you," said Emeralda.

Elly frowned in confusion. "Apologize for what?"

"The way I treated you Elly," answered Emeralda. "When I first saw you anger came over me. It was only after I gained my adult body that I understood were that anger came from."

Elly blinked, "Resentment, from what? We never truly met until the battle at the Gate."

"No, but I knew you as Kim's Elly and Sophia," replied Emeralda.

Now Elly was throughly confused. "I still don't understand."

Emeralda took a breath. Partly from figuring out how to explain it Elly, and also her own tiredness. She finally said, "Kim was angry at Elly. Although he never told her, he was angry and bitter toward her for being barren. I know that sounds unreasonable, but that was the way he was. As he was programming me, he must have transferred some of his bitterness over to me. He was almost as angry of a man as Fei was before he found peace with himself. Krelian resented you because you looked like Sophia, yet was not. Once again some of that resentment was transferred over to me when he reprogrammed me." Emeralda paused again. She lowered her head in shame, "I personally resented you because you didn't rescue me from Bishop Stone and the Ethos."

"Oh, Emeralda," said Elly smiling. "There is nothing to forgive. What the others did to you was not your fault. As for what happened, well maybe there was something more we could have done after we found you."

Emeralda nodded. "There is also one other thing I need to ask."

"Go ahead," replied Elly.

"What happened to Krelian?," she asked.

"He died," replied Elly. It was true enough.

Emeralda frowned. "Elly, you are not fooling anyone with just a 'he died' line. We all suspect something else happened. Something you and Fei didn't tell us."

Elly looked up at the sky, then looked at Emeralda. "There is much more to what had happened. Fei and I decided not talk about it for awhile. The ramifications would be terrible for everyone. Not only at what happened to Krelian, but also the spiritual aspects. You see Emeralda, there is a God. At the last moment, Krelian found redemption. God had forgiven him. Krelian then died and went to be with God. If it got out that there is a real God, then people might be angry with God for the events of the pass ten-thousand years. They may even be more angry at God because God forgave Krelian of his many sins. Someday when things are more quiet and stable Fei and I will tell the world the truth. Hopefully people will once again able to accept God into their lives."

"Thank you," said Emeralda.

Elly walked over to her and hugged her. Tears were streaming down her face. She said, "Someday Fei and I may have children of our own. If we have a daughter, I hope she turns out to be like you."

Then the facet of Elly that was Kim's Elly whispered into Emeralda's ear, "Soon, soon my beautiful jewel we will be reunited."


Over the weekend, Emeralda decided on how to make her next objective come about. It fascinated her ever since that night. She wanted to experience it. She had to pick someone who would go along with her plan. One was to old, the other was to young. Two were already involved. That only left one person she knew of.

The start of the second week and it was the middle of the night. Sigurd was laying in his bed with a headache. He went through the effects of alcohol quickly. An hour after he woke up from passing out, he had a hangover. I am going to kill him, thought Sigurd.

The 'him' in question was Jessie. Because today was Sigurd's birthday, Jessie decided to throw a private birthday party. The other party member was Hyuga. "There's no alcoholic drinks," assured Jessie with a wide grin. Sigurd shook his head. He should have known Jessie was up to something. There was no alcoholic drinks, because Jessie had made a rum-cake! Even that little bit in the cake was enough to get him plastered.

The door-announcer dinged. Sigurd wondered who it could be. Sitting up in bed, he said, "Come in."

The door opened. A silhouette of a shapely woman stood in the doorway. Sigurd's eyes widened. His first thought was she was a 'gift' from Jessie. Yes, Jessie is a dead man, he thought. Jessie should have known better.

The woman then said, "Hello Sigurd."

Sigurd blinked. He said, "Emeralda? Is that you?"

Sigurd got up and put his robe on. He raised the lighting a little bit to get a better look at her. For the first time in his life he was speechless.

Emeralda was wearing a light green-robe that accentuated her remaining green hair. The left part of her robe hung down enough to expose her shoulder. Her hair was done in up in a ponytail in such a way that the green and white colors of her hair almost had a hypnotic effect. Sigurd could smell the intoxicating perfume that emanated from her body. Her emerald eyes sparkled in the dim light. She was smiling at him seductively.

Sigurd sat down in the bed. He looked up at Emeralda, who was now standing a little bit to close for his comfort. "Can I help you?," he managed to say.

"I think you know why I am here," she answered. "Or don't you remember what I asked of you that time?"

Sigurd realized what she was talking about. In spite of the situation, Sigurd tried not to laugh. It was quite funny in a way. It happened the night that Fei and Elly finally admitted their love to each other.


Sigurd was just retiring for the night. He had just taken a couple of steps after getting off the elevator, when the child Emeralda had nearly knocked him over. She seemed to be upset. Sigurd asked her what was wrong.

"Kim hurt Elly! He hurting Elly! Her in pain!", she cried out.

It took a second for Sigurd to understand what she was going on about. He remembered that the girl thought Fei was someone called Kim. Suddenly a chill went up his back. The only way Fei would hurt Elly was if Id had taken over!

"Come with me!," he ordered. The two of them went to the entrance of the gun-room. "If I am not back in ten-minutes, or there are sounds of a battle, then get help! Do you understand?" Emeralda nodded.

Sigurd then opened the door and barged in. He skipped the stairs and jumped down to the lower level of the gun-room. He was about to open the door when he heard sounds coming from the room. The sounds reminded him of Hyuga's bachelor party. In particular, the holo-movies Jessie had provided. Sigurd tried not to laugh out loud.

He went back to Emeralda. He told her, "Fei is not hurting her."

Emeralda asked, "How she no be in pain when I hear screaming?" Sigurd knew he had to tell her about such things, lest she went back there and bursted in on the young lovers.

After he talked to her, Sigurd nearly jumped out of his boots when she asked, "You show me?"

"I cannot," replied Sigurd. "Even though you are four thousand years old, your body is that of a child. People would accuse me of seducing a child. That is a crime. Someday when you become an adult, you will find someone, or someone will find you. Then you will discover what Fei and Elly have discovered between them."


The adult Emeralda sat down on the bed beside Sigurd. "I have a body of an adult now, Sigurd." She placed a hand on Sigurd's knee.

Sigurd flinched back violently. "I don't like being touched," said Sigurd.

Emeralda thought for a second. "Because of what they did to you in Solaris?," she asked.

"How do you know about that!?," Sigurd demanded.

Emeralda realized she brought up something she should not have. "I am sorry Sigurd. I didn't mean to. When Krelian was examining and trying to reprogram me , he would sometimes be in his office. One day he left and forgot to turn off his computer. Through the window, I saw with my enhanced vision saw a list with everyone's names and their medical history. One of them was yours."

Sigurd said nothing. When he told his brother and Fei what he went through, it was the watered down version. They had done worse to him, a lot worse. If it was not for Hyuga, Jessie, and yes, even Kahr, he would have been broken physically, mentally, and spiritually. Turning to Emeralda with sad eyes he said, "Because of what I was put through and the trauma of the events, I cannot give you want you want. I maybe never be able to..." His voice suddenly trailed off.

Emeralda looked at the ceiling and sighed. "In a way I went through the same thing. I never knew what had happened to me, because I had little awareness at the time. Lately I have become aware of had happened to me. Although I don't recall the pain, I still have the shame. When I chose you for this endeavor, it was just to experience the act. You were the logical choice out of everyone I know. Later when I was preparing, I found out it was something more. We have a lot in common. We were both used by other people for their own gains. Isn't it time for us seek that which brings us pleasure to the body and to heal the trauma?"

She reached out and touched Sigurd's hand. This time he realized he did not pull back. The next thing he knew they were holding hands.

So far she was right. Then he continued. It was if he knew the rest, "It is also because we are alone in this world Emeralda. Although we have friends, we are still alone, because of who we are, and what we went through." Sigurd reached out and took Emeralda's other hand into his.

Smiling, he said, "Maybe you are right Emeralda. It is time to heal the wounds. If what you set out for us to do will help heal some of the trauma, then so be it. As I said before, though, I do not have any experience."

Emeralda looked Sigurd in the eyes. (He never wore the eyepatch in his room) "Neither do I Sigurd," replied Emeralda. She drew closer him. Their lips almost touching. She whispered, "Then tonight we learn."

Then they kissed. To Emeralda it seemed to last forever. Yet when they finally broke the kiss, it only seemed to last a few brief seconds.

"Almost forgot," said Sigurd. He went over to his desk and pressed a button on the control panel. The room was filled with a fading hum.

"What was that?," asked Emeralda.

Sigurd came back over to the bed, and embraced her. "It's sound buffer. Basically is makes a room soundproof. All the private room have them." He laughed and said, "I guess nobody told Fei or Elly about it."

It took a second for Emeralda to understand. Then she laughed. She kissed Sigurd again. And for that night they did so much more together.


Near the end of the week, Emeralda went to Nisan. There was something about her that always concerned her. She hoped that Billy was able to help her.

Billy was busy interpreting some of the data that Citan had managed to download from Razael's Tree before Grahf and Krelian showed up. Citan had asked him to translate some of what he found. Billy was amazed at the data. The Ethos claimed that they had created their religion to control humanity. Yet after a day of translating, Billy discovered that the Ethos had told another lie. Apparently this religion was a lot older and almost a complete opposite than what the Ethos taught. The Ethos had just twisted the meaning of the older religion. What amazed him the most was that, among the chaos, the Nisan Sisters were able to get all of it down on paper before the world's technology failed. All that remained was to finish translating it.

Emeralda finally found Billy, as he was working on the data. "Hello Billy," said Emeralda.

Billy turned to Emeralda. His heart went out to her. Almost three-fourth of her hair was almost white. The remaining green hair was light and faded. Forcing a smile he said, "Hi Emeralda, how are you?" Billy then wanted to kick himself for asking a such a question. He already knew how she was. She was dying.

Emeralda saw the look on Billy's face. "It's all right. I know you're being nice," she said smiling. "I am fine all things considered."

"So what brings you here?," asked Billy.

"There is something that has been bothering me," she explained. "Even before I knew I was dying, there was always this one thing on my mind. I need to know Billy. I need to know if I have a soul."

That last comment made Billy pause. It would have been better if she tried to seduce him. He wanted to say she did, but that was an answer he was not even sure of, and that would not be fair to her. In all honesty, he still didn't know what to think of Emeralda.


When she first came on board, Billy thought she was another war orphan. He decided to introduce her his sister, Primera. He hoped they could become friends. He took Emeralda to the room Prim, Chu-Chu, and Margie shared. All three of them were in the room.

"Emeralda this is my sister Primera," he said.

Emeralda went over and said, "Me Emerelda. How you?" Of course Primera said nothing because of her past trauma. Billy had forgotten to tell Emeralda that.

Then Emeralda turned to Billy and said, "She no talk. She stupid?" Margie dropped the book she was reading, and Chu-Chu made a squeaking sound of surprise.

Billy grabbed Emeralda's arm and yanked her out of the room. "Don't you ever say such things about her!," he yelled. "Her mother was killed in front of her eyes. The trauma was so great she lost the ability to speak! Now go back in there and apologize!"

After she left, Billy had to go for a walk. Even the worse kids at the orphanage had better manners. He ended up going to the gun-room.

To make his day even worse, his father was the only one in the room. Before Billy could turn and leave, Jessie asked, "What's wrong boy?"

Billy answered, "It's nothing."

Jessie shook his head, "I know that look Billy. There are only two things that set you off like that. Since I haven't done anything you would object to lately, I assume it has something to do with Prim."

Billy explained what happened. "I can't believe that little punk said that in front of Prim," he said.

"In way I can see it happening. She doesn't know much about the world." Before Billy could object, Jessie continued, "You don't know who or what that child is do you? Hyuga told me earlier. That 'punk' is roughly four-thousand years your senior. While she looks human, her body is made up of nano-machines. On top of that, Fei told him that she witnessed her mother's death right in front of her eyes. Sounds familiar doesn't it? Yes, what she said to Primera was wrong. But you have to understand, she has no understanding of how the world works."

Billy did not know what to say. He decided to go back and check on his sister. To his amazement he found Emeralda and Primera playing!


"I think I've just realized something," said Billy as he was desperately trying to change the subject, while hoping for a proper answer to Emeralda's question about having a soul.

"What's that?," asked Emeralda.

"Well when we all first came together to fight, we had our own reasons. Later on it was for a common goal, to fight against the Gazel Ministry and to ensure our futures. Yet on an even deeper level it may have been something else. Our mothers."

Emeralda thought her hearing was starting to fail. "Did you say...our mothers?"

Billy replied, "Yes, our mothers. Think about it. You, me, Rico, Maria, Bart, whose mother was killed by Shakhan in front of his eyes, Fei, Elly, whose real mother died in the lower levels of Solaris and later Erich's wife. As for Citan, well he's a big question mark. Anyway we all lost our mothers through violent acts, or like Rico who was alone when his mother died. Granted that the Gazel was trying to get us together, but I think it was that common element of our mothers' deaths that brought us all together. Deep down we realized that we all suffered the same loss even though we just at the time met each other, and through our friendships helped each other move past the pain."

Emeralda thought about it. It did seem right to her. Something to think about later. For now though, she had more pressing matters. "Billy you still didn't answer my question."

Billy sighed. He decided to try a quick prayer. Folding his hands, he lowered his head, and said, "God, please tell me if Emeralda has a soul." It was not the most fancy prayer he ever said, but he was not sure what to say. He hoped he had enough faith left in him to receive an answer.

Billy sighed. He did not expect a quick answer. After the truth about the Ethos came about, his faith was shaky at best. He was about to tell Emeralda he had failed, when he noticed one of the untranslated parts of the old religion. He blinked as he saw the translation appear before him. It was if somebody just told him what it meant. Turning to Emeralda he asked, "You were created to bring peace, right?"

Emeralda nodded. "Yes that is my primary objective."

Billy pointed to the untranslated manuscript. Smiling at Emeralda, he said, "Here it says, 'Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God.' Yes, I think that answers your question."

For the first time in her life, Emeralda felt complete.


During the third week of her remaining life, Emeralda spent the most of it looking for a group of certain people. Her inquiries led her to the city that was destroyed by Id; Elru. Even here in this city that was destroyed so long ago, the survivors were rebuilding.

Tolone scanned the land. She was perhaps one of most fortunate people in the world. When the world's technology had failed, she was worried that she to would die, or worse become brain damaged because of her positronic brain. Luckily, her cybernetics were bio-chemically powered by her own body instead of Ether. Right now she was surveying the land. She was in the middle of calculating the best layout for the new houses when she was interrupted.

"Hello Tolone. I would like to speak to you and the other Elements if they are available," said a woman's voice behind her.

Tolone turned to the speaker. She acted like she knew her, yet Tolone could not place the voice or the face. Then she noticed the hair. She knew of only one person who had hair like that, even though a majority of it was white like Dominia's. "Emeralda? Is that you?," Tolone asked with a hint of uncertainty. She was all grown-up.

Emeralda smiled. "Yes it's me. I have come to talk you and the others if possible."

Tolone's frowned. Here was a former enemy wanting to talk to them. Granted, over time those war wounds would heal, but it was not yet time. What would this woman have to say to her and others? Tolone stopped in mid-thought. She remembered. Anger and bitterness passed through her.

Finally she said, "The others are around. I'll go get them and meet at our meeting-site." She pointed to a large building. "It's over there," she said.

After everyone was at in the building, nobody said anything. Even Seraphita was sitting still and being quiet.

They all knew what was on the others' mind. It was a hard lesson they all learned about human nature; Sometimes people with dark histories can show kindness, and that sometimes those who claimed that they were righteous, were in fact evil.


"Get us out of here!," ordered Bishop Stone as he ran onto the bridge of the Solaris flagship.

"What's going on!," demanded Dominia as she entered the bridge. "Everyone is running around like Lambs with their heads cut off!"

Stone turned to her. His face was chalk white. While he seemed to have calmly left the ruins after grabbing the child, he and the others ran for their lives as soon as they were out of vision. He knew what the traitor Billy and the others were facing. Turning to Dominia, he yelled, "Vel Ealic el Elru!"

Dominia stiffened, and a wave of fear went through her, she said in a low voice, "Did you just say the Demon of Elru?"

Later after things were calm, they started the journey back to Solaris. In the meeting hall Stone talked to the Elements. He pointed to the naked child standing before them. He said, "This child is the key to our future. She will unlock many doors for us. We may even be able to see god because of this child!"

Dominia was not really paying attention the man. He sounded like some fanatic. Besides, there was something about the man that made her nervous ever since they first met, and for her that was a first.

She looked at her comrades. Tolone seemed to be paying attention, yet Dominia knew better. She could tell by Tolone's passive face that she was in communicating with her neural-interface, while a separate part of her cybernetics recorded the meeting for later reference. But she had one hand covering her mid-section, and the other arm placed on her other shoulder as if she was covering her breasts. Seraphita was shifting in her seat as if she had to much pent up energy waiting to be released, yet she was always like that, but when Stone looked at her, she had a look of distaste. Finally she looked at Kelvena. At least her reaction would tell her something. The blind woman had a knack of seeing people's soul. Dominia frowned. Kelvena's reaction to being in Stone's presence told her something. Kelvana was inconspicuously pulling on her skirt as if she was trying to stretch it out so it would cover her legs.

Dominia still had one thing left to do. After Stone finished talking, she asked, "Bishop Stone, granted this being you call Emeralda is an artificial construct, but still shouldn't we give her something to wear?"

Stone smiled, animalistic hunger was in his eyes. "This being is a work of art! Even Krelian will admit to that. Why should we cover her? This is an example of the perfection we will attain one day."

While Dominia didn't have Tolone's analytical mind, or Kelvena's insight, she still knew a lie when she heard one.

Later in Dominia's room, the four women talked.

"I don't like that man," mumbled Seraphita.

Her sister put an arm around her, "I know sis, none of us do."

While Dominia expected more professionalism from the others, neither was she upset with their behavior, she could not blame them. "Before you all arrived," she said. " I placed some quiet inquires to central. Some people there owe me some favors. They can send me the records, both official and unofficial, about Bishop Stone before we get back."

Dominia then asked Kelvena, "What kind of person is he?"

Kelvena shuddered. She rarely ever talked about the true nature she saw in people. And the others never asked her what she saw unless it was important. Sometimes what she saw gave her nightmares. Nervously she said, "He's a ravenous animal. All he does is take and take. He will take pleasure anyway he can. Willingly or not. What he cannot posses he will try to destroy. He thinks he is without sin, even though he has committed his share." Kelvena hugged herself. "I knew he was looking at me, because I could feel the venom of his soul directed toward me."

No one said anything for minutes. Finally Dominia said, "The best we can do right know is to sit and wait. We will be returning to Solaris in five days. I should receive the data in two days. Maybe then we'll have something more."

Unfortunately they were to late. Tolone and Seraphita were heading back to their quarters after dinner the second night. Their route took them past Bishop Stone's quarters. Just before they reached the door to his quarters, it opened and the child Emeralda walked out.

Serpahita suddenly stopped, and her sister bumped into her. She was about to yell at her sister when she saw what made her sister stop so suddenly. "Oh dear god!," she whispered.

They took the battered child to their quarters and contacted the others on a frequency only known to them. Kelvena arrived with a portable medical-kit and went to the bedroom where Emeralda rested. A few minutes later Dominia arrived. She was holding some documents. To say she was pissed at what she was told by Tolone was an understatement.

As they waited for Kelvena, Dominia calmed down and told the sisters what her contacts discovered, "How Stone ever got into the Ethos is beyond me! He has been accused of rape and assault ever since he turned sixteen, but he was never charged. Because his parents were connected politically, it was suspected that they bribed officials, but never proven. Even after he joined the Ethos and was positioned near the orphanage at Aquavy, it was rumored he would make midnight 'visits' to the orphanage. Although those visits tapered off after the wife of former Jugend Instructor Jessie Black, who ran the orphanage, was killed by Wels. Another rumor was that he tried to somehow manipulate the young Etone who took over the orphanage into, into," Dominia realized she could not finish.

Tolone frowned, then her eyes went wide, "Didn't Jessie have a son? I remember now. His name is Billy Black. If I remember the intelligence reports for Aquavy sector, a Billy Black took over the orphanage." Turning to his sister, she said, "We fought him where Emeralda was sleeping because I heard Elly call him 'Billy'.

The women shuddered at what almost happened to Billy. No one deserved that. Not even an enemy. "I don't know about that," said Dominia. "All I know is that we have to stop that madman!"

The bedroom door opened and Kelvena walked out. She looked as if she was about to cry. Her comrades looked at her with concern. She was considered the emotional rock among them.

"How is she?," asked Tolone with genuine concern in her voice.

"She doesn't understand what happened to her," answered Kelvena. "She has very little awareness about the world around her. She probably didn't yell out because she didn't know that what Stone was doing to her was wrong. She is an enigma to me. While she is an artificial being, she seems to have a soul. From what I can gleam, she has a capacity to learn and to function as a human. All she needs is someone to show her the way. As for her physical condition, well, if she was flesh and blood, she would have died. Her nano-machines seem to be repairing the damage that bastard caused her."

Everyone looked at Keleva in surprise. She never swore, not even in anger. Finally Tolone said, "I think we should contact the Commander."

"No!," replied Dominia a little sharper than she would have liked. Ever since he got back from the botched raid against the desert pirates he seemed distracted. She did not want to add to the girls' worries. "This is something we should do on our own. Not only for Emeralda, but for all the people that scum hurt."

The four woman set up a private meeting with Stone. They claimed that an emergency had come up in Solaris, and that they needed to talk to the Bishop about it.

The Elements walked into his office. Before Stone could say a word, Dominia made her move. The next thing Stone knew, the tip of Dominia's sword was right above his genitals. Stone merely raised an eyebrow. "Do you know that what you are doing is amounting to mutiny? I may have been away from Solaris for awhile, but I believe they still execute people for that."

Tolone snorted, "Huh, we'll probably get a medal, or even a promotion."

Stone sighed. "As you can see I am busy. I don't know what's going on, but I have a lot to do. That child we recovered has vanished."

Kelvena growled, "All you need to know is that she's safe from you."

Stone frowned. He suddenly realized what was happening. They knew. Then to the Elements surprise he smiled. "Ah, yes. I am surprised you are so angry about it. She is after all just a machine."

Dominia flicked her sword. The button on Stone's pants flew off. With a voice that would even make the Demon of Elru pause, she said, "She's more human than you'll ever be Stone. You better choose your next words carefully, or you'll go from Ethos Bishop to Nisan Sister in two seconds."

Stone head tilted, "I suggest you consider your own actions carefully. I knew you women might cause me trouble, although I did not expect this much so soon. If anything happens to me, then certain records will be released to the public. They will hint at how you got your positions." He then smiled, "You women and Commander Ramsus are close are you not?"

Dominia lifted her sword. "Damn!," she yelled. She turned to the others. There faces went from fury to uncertainly. Granted there were rumors, but they were squashed. All of them earned their positions legitimately. Even if she killed Stone, there were still the other Elements to consider. She had a responsibility toward the others. As for the Commander, this action would only add to whatever stress he has been going through lately.

Dominia returned Stone's smile with one of her own. "Fine, we'll go straight to Krelian. It'll be interesting to hear what he says about how you have treated 'his piece of art.'"

Bishop Stone laughed, "Do you honestly believe that man will care? Do you think that walking emotional void will get angry? I might die laughing right now just from thinking about it."

Dominia could say nothing more. She looked at the others. She knew they couldn't do anything more without suffering the consequences. As they left the room, Dominia stopped, turned and said to Stone, "I'd rather be in a locked room with the Demon of Elru than with you!" Even after the door closed behind her, she could still hear Stone laughing.

The Elements spent the remaining time with Emeralda. Kelvena tended to the rest of her wounds. Elmeralda's bruised face and vocal cords were badly damaged. It would be awhile before she would be able to speak properly because the nano-machines had worse wounds to repair. Tolone started to teach Emeralda basic reading, writing, and arithmetic. To everyone's dismay, Seraphita tried to make some clothes for Emeralda. What she made was thrown into the recycling-system. Although the clothes were fine, the color was not. Red was not Emeralda's color. Dominia decided to make the clothes for Emeralda. Although she would never admit it, she had a good fashion sense and was an excellent seamstress. Last she made a scarf to cover Emeralda's bruised face. Dominia was a soldier, she done and seen many horrible thing, yet making this simple scarf was the hardest thing she had ever done.

After they reached Solaris, the Elements went straight to Krelian with Emeralda. There was no way in hell they were letting Stone come near the girl.

Just as Stone predicted, Krelian had no reaction to the events. Dominia was livid. Tolone and Seraphita had to restrain Dominia as she was about to draw her sword and go after Krelian. Threatening Stone was one thing, Krelian was another kettle of fish all together. The Elements left in defeat.

Just after the destruction of the first Gate, the Elements were in a meeting. A messenger came and delivered a letter to each of them. Each note had the same message; The stone will soon be shattered. K.


It was the last week of Emeralda's life. There was one thing she had to do. In a way she did not want to do it. But on the other hand it was a part of her, and in a odd way it would seem strange if it was still here after she was gone.

"Absolutely not!," yelled Rico.

Emeralda shook her head. Two-thirds of her hair were white. She knew that she would not feel the effects of dying until her the final hours. She wanted to get this remaining part of her life finished. She was already having second thoughts on what she going to do. "Rico," she said, "it's not like you will be rushing my end."

The demi-human frowned, "Damn it woman, why did you ask me?"

"Because you are the best mechanic I know," answered Emeralda. "Besides, I want to get it over with quickly, before I change my mind." She then gave Rico a mock glare, "Or do you want to arm-wrestle to settle the argument."

Rico laughed. There were only three people who truly earned his respect. Fei who beat him in Battling Tournament, Citan, who he first believed was just one of those know-it-all intellectual types, until he had shown his fighting prowess in the sewers, and then there was Emeralda.


After Rico had gained his Omnigear and was forced to defeat Hammer, he knew the Yggdrasil's course would take him near Nortune. He had asked Bart and Sigurd if they could stop there so could pick up Hammer's personal effects, and tell the people in D-Block what had happened.

When he reached D-Block, he discovered that the prison had been turned into a make-shift hospital. People were helping each other. Old grudges were put away as people reached out to each other. Unfortunately for many of the patients, medical resources were lacking.

Talking with the others, it was decided to take the wounded to Nisan. During the trip something set in among the Battlers that came along with their wounded friends; boredom. They were fighters pure and simple. Then somebody decided to hold an arm-wrestling competition.

Rico joined in, and as usual was winning. After his third win, he was waiting for the next challenger. To surprise the surprise of the Battlers and Rico, Emeralda was the next challenger. She stood on the challenger's chair.

Rico frowned, "Get out of here kid! This is an adult's game! Go play with the pink-furball!"

Emeralda placed her arm on the table. "I know how play!," she replied, "I challenge you! You accept or you coward!"

Shocked silence filled the room. Rico's jaw dropped. This little twerp had the ying-yangs to call him a coward! Rico then shrugged, "So be it. The gauntlet has been thrown, and now the challenge has been accepted."

The two of them locked hands. Everyone in the room thought it was funny. Rico decided to slowly defeat the girl, to teach her a lesson about making foolish challenges.

The signal was given. Rico started to move the girl's arm. But he realized he could not.

"Come on Rico, quit toying with the kid and put her out of her misery," someone said.

"I'm trying damn it," he replied in a strained voice. It was then Rico realized something. First was that Emeralda's strength had not been measured. The second was that she was toying with him!

Then Emeralda made her move. She slammed Rico's arm down with such force, that the metal table ended up with a dent in it. Rico shot up from his chair. His arm was sprained. If we was a normal human, she would have crushed his arm. He glared at Emeralda. Fury emanating from him.

Rico glared at Emeralda, but she only glared back. "Rico, she just a kid!," someone said.

Then Rico laughed. "I like you kid. You've got guts! You don't back down from no one do you?" With his good hand he slapped her on the back, nearly knocking Emeralda to the floor. It was Rico's way of showing someone that they had earned his respect.


Emeralda gave Rico a confused look, "You indicated I had earned your respect by nearly knocking me to the floor?"

Rico laughed, "Hey, it's who I am."

Then he turned to her Gear, and frowned. Using Xenogears, Fei moved the inactive Omnigears to the storage facility were the Goliath was once stored. Right now Crescen's power core was exposed.

Turning back to Emeralda, he said, "You will only be rushing your death if you do this!"

Emeralda shook her head. Rico was right. But it would only be a half-hours worth of reserve energy. According to what she found out at Kim's laboratory, Kim was able to capture Ether in its purest form, and used it to power her reserve batteries. While Solaris did make energy weapons and bombs based on Ether, they were only able to utilize only twenty percent potential of pure Ether instead of the one-hundred Kim had done. They had to use amplifiers for energy weapons and other explosives for their bombs to make them truly effective. What truly surprised Emeralda was that her reserves had not failed after the Zohar Modifier was destroyed. But if it was one thing she learned was not to question one's good fortune.

"She is literally a part of me." Emeralda paused. It was the first time she called her Gear 'she'. She had always called Crescens by name. Continuing, she explained to Rico, "Krelian made Crescens from samples of my nano-machines. In a sense it is alive through me. It wouldn't be fair for either of us, if she was still around after I am gone."

Rico looked at Emeralda with sadness in his eyes. "If I help you do this, I'll be speeding up your death. Just like, like, his," said Rico as he hung his head in shame.

Emeralda realized what Rico was talking about. "We were all responsible for what happened to Hammer. Instead of listening to him, we pushed him away. We treated him as though he was just getting in the way, instead of trying to understand him. We all felt guilty for what happened to him. Even Elly felt deep guilt at the way she treated him, even though he killed her mother."

Emeralda placed a hand on Rico's shoulder, "I could do this alone, but it would only hasten my own end. If I did it alone, I would use up to much of my reserves. If I asked anyone else they would only being doing what were are doing right now, arguing. Besides being the best mechanic, I had thought you would at least understand why I have to do this."

Rico tossed his hands in the air in defeat. The demi-human realized there was nothing he could do about it. "Fine then," he said. "Lets get it over with."


The next evening, Emeralda, Maria, and Primera stood in the empty grassy plains near Nisan. Emeralda held her 'sisters' hands in hers. Crescens hovered before them.

Ever since Gears were first used, it was tradition among private owners to have their Gears self-destruct after they had died. Now it was Crescen's time. Yet the Gear was so unique, that only Emeralda herself that set off the self-destruct command. Not only that, Krelian had told her, "Even in death, Crescens will be a work of art." She always wondered what he meant.

"Do you have to do it,?" whispered Maria as she squeezed Emeralda's hand.

Emeralda looked down at her. Maria was fighting back tears. She realized she was to. She said, "As I told Rico, it would be fair to either of us, she is a part of me that I have to sever."

Emeralda then looked at Primera, the loss she witness when she was young, just like her own. She then looked at Maria. She was felt sorry at the girl was forced to do. Nobody should have to go through what she did. Billy was right, it was that common loss they drew them together.

Sometime when to many losses are gained, even a friendship can be forged. A bond that can so strong, friends will consider each other family.


It was make or break time. All or nothing. The absolute 'THE END'. Deus had to be stopped or everything they had worked for would be in vain. Not only for themselves, but quite possibly for the rest of the universe.

Bart and Sigurd figured that they could spare at least three days of R&R for the crew of the Yggdrasil. The spent the time at the Snowfield Hideout. They have a chance to rest up, make final preparations, and say final good-byes.

Fei spent his time trying to figure out his new Gear. Mainly to it was keep from going crazy from worrying about Elly. He was not about to go through that again. Bart and Sigurd became closer as brothers as they talked about the things they never knew about each other. Citan spend his time in his quarters with his family. He told the others under no circumstances was he to be disturbed. To make his point he had his sword half drawn from its scabbard as he told the others of his wishes. Rico also spent his time alone. He was privately mourning Hammer's death. Billy and Margie, being who they are, along with Chu-Chu, helped take care of the orphaned children. Emeralda was also busy experiencing a new sensation; Boredom.

Emeralda did not know what to do with herself. Nobody seemed to need her help with anything, so she took to wondering the ruined halls that was once Shevat. She was passing a room when she heard crying. She thought somebody was injured. She burst into the room and saw Maria laying on the bed holding a pillow while she was crying.

"Maria hurt!," yelled Emeralda.

Maria looked at Emeralda in surprise. "N-n-o. I-t's just that, that. Well, it's just that," Maria found she could not find the words.

Emeralda, still thinking she was hurt said, "Me go find help!"

Maria quickly composed herself. "No Emeralda!," she said, "It's all right. It's just well. My father died." Maria suddenly found herself talking about what she was forced to do. After she was finished, she felt better. The bottled up feeling were gone.

Emeralda looked at her with sad eyes. "I loss to." Like Maria, she found herself talking about Kim and Elly and how she witness their deaths. Finally she told Maria, "Be back. I go get friend."

Maria wondered what she was talking about when she left the room. A few minutes later she returned with Primera.

"She loss to," explained Emeralda, "She no speak because of she saw." Then she told Maria of the nightmare Primera had witnessed. Maria noticed Emeralda mentioned Stone in an very angry voice as if he had done something her also, but she did not say anything about it.

After Emeralda finished, "We loss family." She looked up to Maria with expectancy as she asked, "Maybe we be new family?"

Maria thought about what she saying. Then she went over to Emeralda and smiled, "Yes, I would like that also." She hesitated for a second and said, "I would like that a lot my sister."

The two of them hugged. To their surprise Primera walked over and joined in the hug.

After they released, Maria looked at her newfound family with renewed energy. "You know I never had any siblings. But I know what sister like to do together," she said.

Emeralda asked, "What that?"

With a twinkle in her eyes and with a mischievous smile she answered, "Have fun."


Emeralda shook her head. She could still remember feeling dizziness at what the three of them did. She chuckled and said to Maria, "I think that was the only time I ever experienced the feeling of 'tossing my lunch' as Bart would put it."

In spite of the solemness of situation, Maria laughed out loud. Her idea of having fun, was to take Seibzhen, and go outside and fly on his head. The three of them were all amazed at the acrobatic abilities of a Gear that was so huge and bulky. Fly in the open air like that made them all seem free and that there were no problems in the world.

Primera got her 'sisters' attention and pointed at Crescens Emeralda and Maria looked at the angelic Gear.

Crescens started to fly. The Gear flew fifty feet into the air and stopped. Then something incredible happened. The tip of her wings started glow with a faint white light. The white light then turned gold. The gold light became brighter and suddenly started to consume Crescens at a steady pace. The 'sisters' watched as the gold light finally consumed Crescens. The gold light was now the same shape and form as Crescens. The gold light then started to gradually fade. Though it all, there were no sounds from the event, no explosions or other loud noises, just a silent testimony of a dying machine.

On the ground they watched in silence. From their viewpoint it seemed as if the golden form that was once Crescens was part of the night sky.

The three of them just stood there in silence after the light had faded. Maria and Emeralda were surprised when Primeria broke the silence, as she said, "Its was be-au-ti-ful."

Emeralda hugged her, and said, "Yes, yes it is."

Emeralda then looked at the sky where Crescens had died. Yes it was a beautiful. Krelian was right, it was a work of art. But for her it was so much more. That death sometimes does not have to be a violent ending.


When Bart was still pirating, he would use a lonely tree by the ocean as a marker for when he would take the Yggdrasil to Nisan. It was here where Emeralda chose to spend her final hours.

After she said her final goodbyes, she gave each her friends an envelope. There was a time marked on each on, indicating when they were to be opened. She even made sure the Elements each got an envelope.

Emeralda sat in an unused park-bench she had managed haul from Nisan to the tree. She wanted to be alone for her final hours. Before she died, she also wanted to see an actual sunrise by herself. Emeralda thought it was ironic that she wanted to be alone her final hours, considering she was practically alone for four-thousand years.

She tried to move her hands, and realized she could not. She was paralyzed from the neck down. When she looked at herself in the mirror after she woke-up, she saw that her hair had only had a few strands of translucent green hairs left.

Emeralda was not afraid of dying either. While she was learning about herself and the world around her she discoverd something. That nothing lasts forever, least of all things made by man. She just did not think it would happen to her so suddenly. She wondered if her nano-machines would break down and turn to dust. Even the clothes made my Dominia were bonded to her through the nano-machines. Maybe there would be something left to bury. Emeralda was not sure what would happen to her body.

As Emeralda looked at dawn's light appearing on the horizon. She started to think of her friends; Elly and Fei, who in a way, had suffered throughout the ages. Maybe now they could finally find peace. Bart and Sigurd, long lost brothers who gave up their princely crowns so that their people could have true freedom. Chu-Chu and her people, who had every right to hate humanity ever since the crash of the Eldridge, but were willing to let the humans live beside them in peace. Maria and Primeria, who had both lost their innocence through tragedy. Emeralda hoped that they would be alright without her. Rico, stubborn and opinionated, yet loyal to a fault. Billy, who was shattered when he discovered the truth about the Ethos and the religion they had corrupted, but now is trying to discover what that old religion was about. The enigma called Citan. While he seemed calm and calculating, there seemed to be a violent storm just below the surface. To Emeralda, the only time Citan was truly at peace was when he was with his family. The Elements, fierce opponents, yet in a moment of being themselves, helped right a grievous wrong.

Emeralda thought about herself. She suddenly understood something about herself. Yes, Kim created her as a symbol of hope. Sure she was meant to bring peace. Yet she was not bound by those options. Kim also gave her a will. He made sure she had the right to choose these options. She could have just as easily have chosen evil instead of good when she learned about those concepts. She had the right to choose any path she wanted.

Smiling she whispered, for that was all she able to manage now. "Thank you Ki.," she stopped, then started over, "Thank you father."

Emeralda looked down and saw her hands. They were cracking as the nano-machines were shutting down. Already some of her skin looked like dust. Emeralda sighed and whispered, "Dust to dust."

Silently she watched the sun come up. It was almost halfway above the horizon. "So beautiful", whispered Emeralda.

"It is indeed beautiful," said Krelian.

Emeralda blinked. Suddenly beside her stood Krelian. She looked at the man, no angel now. His wings glowed faintly like the golden sun. His once tortured eyes now sparkled with love and peace. His voice had a musical quality to it. His robes seemed move in the wind, even though there was no wind blowing.

Emeralda felt a twinge of anger. But it quickly dissipated. What he did to her was in the past. Besides if God could forgive him, then so should she.

Krelian then sat down on the bench beside her. His wings spread out so he could sit properly. One of his wings brushed against Emeralda's shoulder. Even though she had no feeling left in her shoulders, she could still feel the warmth.

"You know why I am here?," he asked.

"I think so," said Emeralda.

Krelian smiled. His eyes seemed to sparkle even more when he did that.

"Yes child of God, it is almost time to go home," replied Krelian.

Emeralda smiled. She then whispered, "I know you did some bad things to me. I know that I should hate you, but I do not. What I am saying is, I forgive you."

Krelian's smile widen and his eyes sparkled even more. "You are indeed a peacemaker Emeralda."

"Thank you Krelian," whispered Emeralda. She then frowned a little bit. "Krelian, will my body turn to dust?"

Krelian turned to Emeralda. "No, your body will not turn to dust." Krelian seemed to blush, "I knew you would turn to dust when your time was up. But I consider you a piece of art. I made a few adjustments so the world would always remember you. Looking back I never understood why I did it. But know I do."

"Will I be able to see it?," asked Emeralda.

Krelian tilted his head for a second. "Yes we can." Then he said, "The sun is almost up. Let's watch together."

Emeralda watched the sun finish its ascension into the sky.

For the first time in Emeralda's existence, she was truly tired. Her eyes started to blur. Her eyelids felt heavy. Slowly her eyelids closed. Darkness start to fall around her. The last of her green hair turned white. Then she felt nothing.

"Emeralda," said Krelian. "You can open your eyes now."

"I can't," replied Emeralda. "They are to heavy." She then realized she was no longer speaking in a whisper, and that her voice had almost the same musical quality as Krelian.

"Yes you can," replied Krelian.

Emeralda found that she could indeed open her eyes. She found that she could now move. She gasped in surprise as she looked at herself. Peace, love, and happiness seemed to fill her very core. All the problems, doubt, and terror that she had faced in the past seemed to vanish. She was now dressed in flowing white robes. She looked at her hair and saw that they were an even more beautiful shade of green then what she had before. She also noticed she had no wings like Krelian. "How come I don't have wings like yours?," she asked.

Krelian smiled, "I still have things to do before I can go back. I never wanted to come back. But what I wanted and what God wanted are two different things. You on the other hand have finished what was set before you. You will enjoy peace and happiness for all eternity." He took Emeralda's hand into his, "When I am finished with my duties here, then maybe we can share some that together."

Emeralda looked at the shell that once was her body. She watched as the wind suddenly picked up. Flakes of skin flew off into the wind. Emeralda smiled at what was revealed. Turning to Krelian, she kissed him on the cheeks, and said, "Thank you Krelian."

Hand in hand, Emerlda and Krelian started their journey to a much better place.


Fei was painting the wall of the newly built house, when he accidently kicked over a paint can. He looked at the green paint that spilled out. A chill went up his spine. A void suddenly entered his soul. He was not sure if was directed to him or the Kim facet, or the both of them. But he knew what it met.

Elly burst in. She was crying. "Oh, Fei, Fei, she's gone. I can feel it." Fei held her in his arms as he cried along with her.

Later they opened the envelopes. It stated where she was during her final hours. They decided to wait for the others. They figured their letters said the same thing.

A hour later, the Yggdrasil came to pick them up.

Soon everyone gathered around the woman that was once Emeralda. Through her tears, Maria said, "It's incredible."

Even Rico was amazed. "What should we do with her?"

Fei turned to his friend, "We should leave her here."

Citan frowned, "Are you sure Fei?"

Fei looked at Elly. They did not have to say anything. They both knew.

"She was a symbol of hope and peace," said Elly. "I think this is what she wanted, to be a constant reminder of hope and peace."

Margie thought she heard something behind her. She turned and gasped, "Uh-oh. We've got company."

The others turned and saw the Elements walking toward them. They paused when they saw their former enemies. The air suddenly became thick with tension.

Elly turned to Fei. "I'll handle this," she said.

Before anyone could object, Elly walked toward the Elements.

"Elly," said Dominia. Her voice was filled with genuine grief. That brought up Elly short.

She looked at the other Elements. They to seemed to be in grief. Taking a guess, Elly asked, "I know Tolone and Seraphita took Emeralda with them, but did something happened afterwards."

"Emeralda must not have told them about what happened to her," said Tolone.

Elly frowned "What do you mean 'about what happened to her'"? she asked.

Kelvena shook her head. "Its something that shouldn't be talked about right now. In due time we'll tell you about it, but just not now. Let's just say Emeralda went through a terrible ordeal, and we helped her out, and leave it at that."

"We received her envelopes just last night," said Dominia. "We came to pay our last respects. We don't want any trouble."

Elly thought of what to say. She still was not sure what happened between Emeralda and the Elements. Then she realized that this might be Emeralda's way of getting the two groups together to make peace.

Elly held out her hand. "Them come with me," she said. "Maybe we can start making our peace as we remember her."


There was once a child created to be a ray of hope and a creator of peace. She was meant to live a long time, yet circumstances beyond her own control had caused her to die early. Yet even in death she remains a symbol of hope and peace. The shell of the woman that once was Emeralda still continues being a symbol of hope and peace. Now she is like her namesake, an emerald. For generations to come her body, now a green statue that is an exact duplicate of her body, will help to inspire peace.

The End

Afterthoughts: I hope you, the reader have enjoyed this story. I usually have a reason for writing a story. In this case, I don't have one, except I had to write it. I also hope, you the reader are not put off by the Emeralda/Elements/Stone flashback. I tried not to be to graphic about it, yet still be able to write about it without seeming to drop the ball. I also didn't put any warnings about the scenes for three reasons. One, the game had a teen rating. Two, they already hinted at such things in the game (Billy's attempted prostitution, which in our country would be considered statutory rape), Three, anyone who lets their little kids play 'T' or 'M' rated games, should not complain to me about what I write. The only thing I will apologize for in those scenes, is the length of it. You may see other versions of this story in two parts. It is fine. This version is one whole story for GIA and nothing has been changed.

One last thing. Do not reproduce this story on any media. If you want to post this story on the web than e-mail me. If I find out someone posts this story without my knowledge, then I'll put them through a hell a lot worse than what Fei experienced at the hands of Miang. IE, Lawyers.

Xenogears and all related characters are (c) 1998 Squaresoft.

The Fading Jewel is (c) 1999 Chad Harger

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