Cutscene: The Cafe Is A Lie

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IC Date: 24 December, 2009
Location: Taniguchi Residence - Yotsuya, Shinjuku-ka, Tokyo-to; subconsciously, The Velvet Room
Characters: Hitoshi Taniguchi, Igor, Elizabeth, Yuuka Chiba

Hitoshi had slipped off to sleep not too long ago. As far as his body was concerned? He was tired, and wanted plenty of rest to enjoy the fact he was sleeping... on a couch. In his own family's apartment. He had let someone else that had come home to Tokyo with him borrow his bed, not wanting to be a bad guest. So, it's no surprise that the poor boy would be having such a strange dream...

Or was it so strange? As he walked along, he was find himself in a coffee shop. The walls are painted a light baby-blue, the counter and cash register a darker sort of blue... The tables covered in what would look like crushed blue velvet cloth. A strange, white haired and yellow-eyed woman with a cute little hat and dress stands behind the register...

"Welcome to the Velvet Room." Elizabeth says, her voice calm, cool, cultured. "We have been waiting for you, Hitoshi Taniguchi; if you will follow me, my master is waiting." Moving from behind the counter, Elizabeth leads the young teen to the back, where there is a small table, covered in that crushed blue velvet. There are three chairs; two on opposite sides, and one next to the one against the wall, slightly angled. Elizabeth takes that seat. Next to her, is the Master of the Velvet Room...


Extending one white-gloved hand, Igor motions for Hitoshi to take a seat. "Welcome to the Velvet Room... I am Igor, and this is my assistant, Elizabeth, take a seat, and we will take a look at your future.."

A blink. Then another. For a moment, Hitoshi was genuinely confused. He tilts his head a little bit as the white haired woman begins to leave the counter and lead him on. It was odd... "All I came for was coffee," he whispers quietly. But despite this? He feels quite obligated to follow the woman. As he's lead into a back parlour of the coffee shop, with those same blue hues... he pauses at the door, looking around...

His eyes then fall on Igor, widening slightly. He's not sure why he feels so odd, or so obligated to listen to these strange people manifesting in his dream. Were they characters he had written about before? Possibly... his memory seemed a little fuzzy...

"... All right." Slowly, the teen begins to move around to sit, sliding down into the chair that faces the two strange figures. He stares at them from the span between them. Suddenly, he fidgets.

"What's this about m-my future?"

Igor smiles, as does Elizabeth. "We here at the Velvet Room can only provide a path and a way forward, it is up to you to see it and chose what way that you go..."

"As far as the future that lies before you, what we do is a simple... tarot reading." A deck of cards appear in front of Igor, and he shuffles them slowly, eyes locked on the teen in front of him. "In the pattern of past..." He places one card face down, "Present..." A second card, next to the first, face down, "And the future..." A third, final face down card.

"Would you like to hear your reading?"

    (>This is a very important decision.)
    (>Would you like to hear your reading?)

Hitoshi sits forward in his chair slightly as he looks to the cards. He watches as Igor takes them, shuffling them, and then as he draws three from the deck, placing them face down on a table. He tilts his head a little bit. Despite his usually even-minded train of thought, in which he would normally write silly things like these off as myths and the like... Well. The last month had proved to be far too real. Perhaps this had something to do with it.

"... Please," he finally says, nodding slowly. His eyes look onto Igor's for a brief moment. Why does it feel so odd?

Igor flips the first card over, revealing the classic six of cups, the symbol of a boat and a river, and well, six cups. "Oh my my..." Igor murmurs, looking at the card for several moments, before looking back up to Hitoshi, his eyes seeming a bit more buggy than normal.

"In your past, there has been a change of scenery, most of the times meaning leaving difficulty behind, or to restore balance...The ferryman, here, symbolizes quiet companionship, much like a book or something akin, to help you get to that answer..."

For the time being, Hitoshi is quiet. His head tilts a little bit as Igor quietly mutters his little 'my my.' At this point, he looks to Igor again, tilting his head to the opposite side... his hair, let down, falls the same way, a black sheet.

Listening to the reading, his lips slowly part into a silent sort of gape. It's scary to him how accurate it is. His mind flashes to a book laying on his nightstand... a compass, elsewhere. His eyes widen... not quite bug-eyed... but, definately a look of... well, it's not terror. It's not fright. He looks between the card... and Igor.

Igor looks at Hitoshi steadily, his face revealing nothing, Elizabeths' just as blank. He waits for any words, but then when sees Hitoshi is just looking between them, his gloved hands move back to the second card, flipping it over. Elizabeth lets out a soft sigh, even as Igor goes "My, my..." Again... the card is the Queen of Swords, but ... reversed...

"There is knowledge here, but the knowledge is unavaliable. The queen is about an aloof, cold woman who uses her information and communication ability without considering other people's feelings or what damage it might do. However... reverse it... and that mental acuity for information, the verbalizing of it, is impossible. The words are stopped. It may be interior, like memory loss, or a stroke, or even exterior, like the simple inability to access a book..."

There's still a marked silence from the youth sitting acrosss the table from the strange couple. Can Hitoshi hear faint piano music in the background? His mind wanders for a moment... his eyes looking around slowly after having hearing the prediction regarding the books. His aloofness shows, but his attention then goes back to the cards. The Queen of Swords is looked at quietly, even as it's upside down.

"A book?" He finally asks slowly. "What... in particular?" he asks slowly

"To use a book as a euphemism for others things, yes. Not necessarily a book. Perhaps you need to call someone and cannot reach them, or your telephone is off. That would be an exterior problem with the Reversed Queen of Swords..." Igor says, calmly, gloved hands flipping over the last card.

"Well, not only an excellent card in general, but this one, my my, speaks of many things. The Future, the Wheel of Fortune. The wheel is all about change and evolution at its' most basic form, a wheel that keeps spinning and spinning... good fortune, luck, change, elevation... questions have answers, issues are solved... that is the way of the Wheel of Fortune..."

The last card is finally looked upon, and like the first, Hitoshi's eyes look between it and the large, hook-nosed man... He says nothing, leaning back in the chair. He can feel himself shuddering a little... But why? It's... but wait. So much of it rings true, really. He remains silent, his wide eyes looking across the table to Igor. Eventually, though, he does break the silence.

"Is... is that it?" Hitoshi asks the man slowly... the color in his face strangely sort of faded now. So, odder things have happened. However, sitting down and being read your path in Tarot form in a dream is an all together different beast for the writer.

"There is but one more thing, and that is the social links of your soul... as you open more and more links with friends and family members, your power will grow that much stronger... I feel that you have already opened many such links... continue to do so."

"The power of these links is very important." Elizabeth continues. "The power with them and the time you spend with them will be revealed as you continue more and more on your path, and more Personae may be revealed with the opening of such links..."

"Do you have anymore questions?" Igor asks.

As the two alternate between the explaination of Social links and the like, Hitoshi quietly looks between them. "... The present. You said it was the withholding of information that could hurt people," Hitoshi remarks slowly, looking down now to that middle card, before looking back up. "That could not mean -myself- withholding the information... Right? It could be.. someone else? But they're not doing it intentionally... They're doing it to -try- and keep from hurting me."

He looks between them, now. "... Could the card be interpretted that way?"

"It could possibly be interpreted that way. The tarot is a mystery, and we can only describe what one sees, and every description can be a bit different than someone elses." Igor explains, looking at Hitoshi, lacing his gloved fingers together.

"Does that explain it well for you?"

"... There's millions of different ways, then," Hitoshi remarks, a forelorn look crossing his face after a moment. He gives a small sigh, before shaking his head. "It explains it," he finally admits softly, "but it doesn't make things much clearer." He looks back to Igor quietly, tilting his head just a little... Then Elizabeth. He furrows his eyebrows a little.

"Why me? Why here? Am I going to even wake up and remember -any- of this?" he asks slowly.

"A-am I going mad?"

"There is. You will find the way that we mean, and perhaps you already have." Igor explains. "As far as you, yes, you will. This is a place located between consciousness and subconsciousness, and accessible to all those with the power to summon Personae."

"Here in the Velvet Room, we store the Personae that you open with your social links, and guide you along the path that you take. It takes the form of its' users, seperately. You will remember, and you will be back to visit us in time..."

"You are not mad."

It's at this point that Hitoshi feels the need to rise. "I... I think... I'll be back," he whispers at this point... "... G-goodbye!" He backs his way toward the door, bowing slightly to both of the figures sitting there... Personae. A person can have more than one Persona within them. Hitoshi knew this. He -didn't- know about -this- part, though.

The creepy part. As he leaves, he takes into account the fact it's a coffee shop. He's vaguely reminded of one he and an old friend used to hang out at...

... At which point, he awakens with a start on the couch, with a bit of a cold sweat breaking out as he sits up. He's panting, having broken into a run before awakening. He also notices there's a weight on his leg... a weight of a head, someone sitting there beside the couch, propping their head on one of his legs and falling asleep.

An aburn haired someone. Hitoshi sighs, and looks down toward the sleeping Yuuka, before rubbing his eyes a little bit. "... It wasn't just a dream," he whispers quietly. "No... maybe..."

He begins to slowly lower himself back down to try and return to a more restful sleep. Meanwhile, back in the Velvet Room...

Igor looks at Elizabeth. "Why do the new ones always seem to run or be utterly confused?" The shortly-cropped white hair on Elizabeths' head shakes a tiny bit as she gives a soft chuckle. "I do doubt that's a question we'll ever have an answer for..." She replies, gently.

"Ah, I know... which is why we can only guide them on the path..." Igor says, as they wait for the next visitor...

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