Cutscene: Night Terrors
IC Date: November 19, 2009
Characters Involved: Shiori Hibiki
Running, through the empty streets of a forgotten night.
Shiori could hear them close behind her, and hear them, their tainted whispers slithering in her mind, the gift and curse of those with the power to sense the supernatural, to sense the world of demons and Shadows and Personas.
"Persona!" Shiori shouted, but her voice was a thin, hollow, reedy thing, whipping away unheard in the gale of mocking laughter from the triumvirate of masks so close behind her, one of them wearing the face of a little girl in a black dress.
And Pheme did not materialize, did not emerge to help her, remaining in the depths of Shiori's mind, leaving her vulnerable, helpless, useless-
No! Not useless, she just had to draw her Evoker, and everything would be- but her Evoker was gone. Lent to a friend... why had she given her Evoker away? There had to be a reason, but in this time and place it was hard to think, hard to remember anything except the terror, the cold spike in her mind that froze the moment into an eternal series of snapshots, just before the demons of darkness caught up with her...
Shiori planted a foot hard as she turned a corner, dashing into the endless gloom of the abandoned city, splashing through puddles of blood. Her breath caught in her throat, and she could not run fast enough, never fast enough against the shadows in her soul, as her hazy vision blurred with-
Red armbands, on dark uniforms. Safety. Salvation. Shiori cried out to them, weeping with relief. SEES would take care of her. SEES would save her from the Shadows, and save her from herself.
But the blue-haired one turned, and Shiori saw a mask of bone white. The coffins of the Dark Hour arrayed around him in a mockery of a cape, as he drew a long, silver sword, and pointed it at Shiori.
Death shook his head.
His mechanical minion extended a hand towards Shiori, fingers splayed, and Shiori could see down the darkness of the barrels, see the bullets nestling within, hear the click in the instant just before the end-
Shiori shot upright in her bed, panting hard, as her heartbeat gradually slowed down. Reaching out with cold, clammy fingers, she grasped the digital clock beside her, and peered at the display.
Just a little after half past two in the morning.
Shivering in her bedclothes, soaked with sweat in the cold bite of autumn, Shiori curled up into a ball, hugging her knees to her chest.
It was going to be a long night.