2018-06-21 - LOTUS INCEPTION: Fate Testarossa

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LOTUS INCEPTION: Fate Testarossa

Fate Testarossa comes to terms with past trauma through her big sister - Alicia Testarossa.


Fate Testarossa, Alicia Testarossa(Thanks to Hotaru for playing her.)


Altseim - Midchilda - Outside of the Garden of Time(???)

OOC - IC Date:

6/21/2018 - April 27, 2015

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (5)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> I Can See Clearly Now - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FscIgtDJFXg

The sky over the mountains of Altseim is so blue. The sun shines so brightly. The breeze so mild for this time of year. It's such a perfect day for two girls to spend outdoors. In the distance the craggy shape of the Garden of Time looms - but to Fate and Alicia Testarossa the place is known by another word.


Their stated reason to come out here was to study under fresh air. Yet Fate Testarossa brought no books with her, no materials at all. She's sitting lightly on a nestled tree root, dappled by the shade her clothing little more than a white shift as contrast to the bright blue dress of her sister.

The ribbons in Fate's hair however are the same color. They're not Nanoha's white - or her black. They're blue - and a precious gift from her big sister.

That's why Arf and Linith and Precia all stayed behind - because time between two sisters is considered nigh sacred.

She's been quiet - answering Alicia's questions when she's had them, but otherwise she's been swept up within her turbulent thoughts. She wanted to sweep them all aside - to enjoy this time with her sister. And yet every time she looked at her... they came back, instantly.

Because it hurts to look at her. It hurts because she's what Fate Testarossa wants. Truly wants - more than anything. It hurts because she's innocent - not complicit in Fate's pain. And yet her presence still hurts.

So instead she mostly looks at the sky.

BGM Change: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CA_RMYve2Dk

Even as a dark shadow passes overhead.

It hurts because she wants her in her life, but she knows it can't be. Precia... Linith. She knows over time - maybe they'd be able to live together in the way that Fate would want. The only barrier is her after all. Her desire was already balm to her pain.

There's a distant rumbling, it is the prelude.

The more she wants Alicia in her life. The more it hurts. The more it hurts because she cannot be. They're so different as people, even looking nigh identical.

She's the daughter Precia wanted. All their differences just drive it further home that Fate cannot be her.

The smell of ozone grows thick. As the first flash lights up the shadow overhead - brighter than any camera flash.

The first raindrop falls - bruises a leaf as it bends under the sudden weight to a subtle angle. The water gathers and rolls. Gravity takes it into freefall anew. It lands on the tip of Fate Testarossa's nose, splattering.

And she does not move, does not flinch. Because she does not fear the storm.

Fate Testarossa is the storm. And as a storm might awaken a child from restful slumber - she knows so too must she.

Her chin lowers, as her eyes shutter her eyes in a slow blink.

"Alicia... sorry to trouble you... but I'd like to stay out here a while longer."

She cannot look at her because she's afraid it will be the last time she ever sees her.

<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Alicia is acknowledged as the 'big' sister by the dream, but the logic ends there; she is clearly the younger of the two, in all ways. Her little hand, still chubby with baby fat, is engulfed by her 'little' sister's, and her voice rises and falls in the eager arpeggios of the very young, in stark contrast to Fate's comparative monotones.

It was true this morning; it was true on the walk; it's true now.

"It's no trouble, I know how you love storms!" Alicia chirps gaily, after a moment's hesitation, a worried look at the dark sky and its corresponding expression worn on her sister's face. They had separated a moment ago, the girl having hared off at a sharp angle to investigate an interesting-looking caterpillar, but now she comes bounding back across the grass, sunny as the sky was a little while ago.

Her smile is so wide that it closes her eyes.

Grabbing Fate's arm, she plops down at her side, nestling them both closer against the trunk of the tree for shelter -- and against one another.

Her cheek presses into her sister's back, right below the shoulder, which is about how things shake out when they're both seated. Her own ribbons are black; they've traded.

Her breathing is light and soft, but not as light and soft as the sound of the rain. Her silence loudly bespeaks the way that she's listening to it, with the sort of rapt, gentle wonderment that one might experience a symphony.

Or maybe she's listening to something else.

Her fingertips twitch, dreaming-puppylike, in time with her sister's heartbeat. Thump-thump. Thump-thump.

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (5)] has posed.

It's like Alicia has known her her whole life. The way she speaks. The way she treats her. She's certainly like the big sister she would have wanted. It's even fitting - having shared memories of the same five years of life. Those formative years of innocence where life blurs together into just a series of snapshots and feelings.

There's so much intimacy in the way she grabs her arm - she wants to believe it even now. That this is real. That the two can spend the rest of their lives together. The warmth of that hand on her arm, the sensation of the other girl leaning against her side. As the two huddle together to take shelter from the storm, her hair skimming Alicia's side.

Even as that cheek presses into her back she smiles, but her smile feels like something dim. Like a single glimmer of light behind the storms. It does not match her eyes.

Her movement is minimal.

Fate's heartbeat is even at first - but there's a subtle quickening. In that cadence of lub-dub from the blood rushing through. Lub-dub.


The rain droplets sprinkle upon them unevenly.

And her heart just beats... a little faster.

Her movement is minimal. To the whole world Fate Testarossa seems still.

And yet her big sister who is smaller than her - more a child. Knows better.

She's anything but.


Something trembles within her shoulders, the movement transferring between them. Her effort at speech is halting - like even her throat hurts to utter the words, but emotion is creeping in as she gets behind that important first step. Her name.

"... part of me wants to stay here with you forever. The two of us... together. It feels like... we belong that way."

Her hair is growing more damp, but she doesn't start to shiver - she doesn't because Alicia is so warm.

"That I belong... here with you. I wish I could just... give in to that... I feel that would be truly wonderful. I never knew how much I wanted a sister until... I met you."

Her weight rests against the other girl. Like she's allowing herself that single moment of weakness where the younger sister supports herself on the older.

"When I look at you though... it hurts."

The rain provides - her eyes do the same.

"It hurts because this is a dream - right?"

<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Pressed against each other, the two sisters are practically one being. Alicia squares up wordlessly, so that they're back to back instead of side to side, but other than that she doesn't move at all and somehow she's like an extension of Fate's own body. She can feel the rising wind drag Alicia's hair across their backs. She can feel her every breath. She can feel the rain slipping between the leaves to spatter on her skin. She can feel the goosebumps rising on Alicia, who is lighter, smaller.

And she can feel Alicia's eyes reopen. It is slow, sticky. Grains are dragged in the wake of her eyelashes like clods of soil in a tilled field.

Or shards of salt.

Some things, once done, really can never be undone.

Fate feels the wince travel from the edges of Alicia's smile out through her shoulderblades and down to her toes, which dangle high above the ground, on legs that are good for swinging and kicking at times like these but, right now, remain still.

"Ne, sis... it's just so sad," she says, tiny-voiced, "That you feel like this life could only be a dream."

She reaches out and grabs Fate's hand with her own, without turning around.

"You do know it's okay to be happy, right? As your big sister... I couldn't protect you, and I couldn't even help you, but... I loved you. I loved you before you were even born."

Hot water is starting to infect her throat, too.

"You deserve to be loved, and happy, Feito... please, please believe me. Listen to your big sister."

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (5)] has posed.

The rhythmic synch between the two girls - makes it more clear how it feels like they're in a mirror. And then she can feel the wince - the goosebumps rising. The subtle chill. As things change.

It took so much courage to do it. Fear too. Fear of what she'll lose. Either she'll lose Alicia - or she'll lose all the people who mean so much to her. But isn't that what courage is? Facing fear.

And yet there's still pain when she does it. As Alicia tells her that - there's this long inhalation through her nostrils. As her shoulders shake.

She doesn't say anything for a while. She just... listens to her. And only once it's done does she start to sniffle


The world feels like it's wrung out of her. The first time she's called her that.

"... duh-did you know? That... I only knew what... happiness was... because of you..."

The warm tears start to soak her cheek. And she looks at her. "Remembering... your life... your... happiness... I wuh-wanted it... so badly... so badly that sometimes... I messed up..."

BGM Change: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DY54Dc11Lds

"I know you luh-loved me... because those precious memories... they taught me... about such wonderful things..."

It's only in this moment when she cracks, crying so hard while the other supports her that it feels like she's actually the younger of the two.

"They let me at least accept a little... all the wuh-wonderful people that came into my life... and wanted me to be happy. All of them try to teach me... more about happiness... every day."

Finally looking at her, through tearful and warm eyes, she places an arm around her, before leaning against her shoulder. It's the first time she hasn't been afraid to touch her - that her mirror image might just shatter like glass.

"Mother... juh-just... made it a little hard to accept them more... it's like I couldn't... like I had to relearn... that I was... allowed to be... happy..." She's all but trembling against her, "... so it's a good thing you were... here... to k-knock some sense into your dumb little sister. That you came back... for me..."

It feels like a prayer. Like absolution. Of whatever barriers made Fate believe she was unworthy of being happy - of being loved. That she accepts in Alicia's love - her desire to make her happy that she has worth. Worth enough for her big sister to come back and try so hard to give her happiness. But also an absolution - telling the older sister who was not there to protect her - that she absolutely did.

"Thank you so much."

<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Alicia shakes in time with Fate's voice, harder and harder. But she doesn't disappear; not as a figment and not as a person.

She stays. Pressed closely against Fate, she stays. And when, at long last, she is held, she holds back, squirming within the embrace to wrap her arms around Fate from behind.

Her fingertips can't quite weave from across her sister's shoulders... her arms are just too short. And yet the warmth within her, heedless of goosebumps, heedless of rain, heedless of realities large and small, for the first time make her feel bigger than Fate, after all.

From behind her little sister, Alicia kneels tall, upon the tree root, and makes a nest out of Fate's hair for her chin.

"Baka-Feito," she whispers. "I /still/ love you. I'll always love you."

Her hands tighten over Fate's heart.

"I'll always be... right here..."

She sniffs, and a warm drop of saltwater joins the intermittant drizzle upon Fate's neck.

"...I wish you could stay. Even though it's a dream, I'd be your big sister forever if you stayed here with me... Mama and Lynith, too... they'd really love you... we'd get to do everything you always wanted to do as a family..."

More drops. A tiny flood. Every drop an ocean. A vast sea.

"Buh-but... I know it's a selfish wish... I-I'm always the selfish one... I'm sorry..."

Her tiny hand opens, a pale white flower.

Inside, a beautiful golden charm. It is sharp-edged and dangerous but no less lovely for it.

"I wanted to be with you... but I'm glad... I'm so glad, Feito... that the reason that you can't... is also... about love..."

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (5)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTYuD2kFc5c

Fate doesn't even notice that the other girl's arms can't reach around her. That it should be the other way around in this strange juxtaposition. All the younger years she should have had, all those moments of actually being the younger sister.

She doesn't notice - because right now she can't dwell upon such painful things. Right now she just is Alicia's younger sister. And she always will be.

From now on - nothing could ever change that.

And that just makes her so happy. She might never be Precia Testarossa's daughter - but it doesn't matter because she is Alicia Testarossa's baby sister.

"I luh-love you too..."

Tears spill upon the hand linking them. Right over her heart. It feels like such a better connection than even those memories of another life. Of another happiness. These feelings. These feelings of love between the two sisters. Theese are entirely hers

She gives her head a little shake when Alicia says it's selfish. "It's fine. It's the best kind... of selfishness. I wish... I wish you could... come with me oneechan... I wish we could have all that... I wish we could keep sleeping in the same room... and that we could brush each other's hair every day... and... share all our secrets..."

"I wish I could introduce you to Nanoha... and Lera... Endo... Ren... Setsuna... the Harlaowns and all the Chevaliers too." And not just so Alicia could know that love that's causing her to choose to leave this, "I wish I could keep laughing together with you when you're happy... and crying together when you're sad... and just... enjoy growing up together... it would be... truly wonderful."

It feels so unfair that she can't - but Fate Testarossa has always been able to accept the things which are unfair.

That is just life. It is her life. And now she knows just how precious that life is. Leaning backward, instead as their arms seperate, Fate slides her hands into Alicia's palms, pressing her hands between them. Her eyes meeting hers, soft and warm.

"But we'll always have this... always. I could never... ever... forget this."

<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Alicia presses Bardiche more firmly into Fate's palm.

"And that's why I'll always be with you, sis," she whispers. "I'll love you forever and ever."

Solemnity has come to her now. Face revealed, her already-red eyes are further red-rimmed with tears that continue to track silently down her cheeks. Someone ought to blow her nose. But despite all that there's nothing comical or even tragic about the little blond waif.

Her expression, in a single word, is strong.

"Go get 'em, Feito. And... be happy, okay?"

Just holding hands is unbearable; she rushes in for another hug.

She squeezes /so tightly/, with all her might, and for a brief moment Fate is protected from the whole whole world by Alicia.

And then she dissolves into motes of blue light, each one a tiny, perfect star, taken together a galaxy. A milky way of memories --

"I wanted this in real life, too." Her final words, almost lost to the wind; to the still-rising storm.

-- and of more.

A dream doesn't have to be 'just' anything.

Behind Fate, the tree they were leaning against groans. Was it always so massive -- and dead?

Was it always the World Tree?

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (5)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Dear My Sister - Dear My Memory - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4fcD58NEUs

Bardiche is met with wide eyes. As he's returned to her so casually. It's actually such a relief to know that he was being kept by someone like her big sister. She can't resent her for keeping him from her - because she knew she was trying to make her happy.

"Thank you for taking care of him."

It's such a sad moment for her - but it's also the happiest she's ever been. The world outside here is dark and frightening. It's a world where little girls can live such sad lives. It's a world where they can be tied to a Lost Logia, dying slowly - forced to watch as their loved ones are wrested from her.

It's also a beautiful place - where she met everyone. And that includes Alicia Testarossa.

"...I am happy... and I have you to thank for that..."

And that moment where Alicia rushes her into her arms, her arms open - and wait to receive her. There is no stiffness in the gesture. Only warm acceptance of her love and affection.

She squeezes back with all of her strength - unafraid that her mirror image is going to shatter - that the dream is done. She's ready to wake up.

And so when her sister dissolves - she only reaches out a hand - unto those motes. Unto the miracle that was her existence. It's like trying to catch fireflies in her hands - but she doesn't clenches her hands. She just watches her float away in a million million stars of memories that flow through her.

"... One day - when we see each other again - I'll tell you all about my life. Everything you missed."

She puts a hand over Bardiche, over her heart.

Turning - she's passed this tree so many times before in her life. Flying overhead - or just walking by it in the Plaza. But now it's here - and it's dead.

"Bardiche. How are you doing?" <Condition: All Green. Full Drive Mode - Unlocked. ... Recording - 'A small wish.' Now available for playback - Sir.>

Fate stares at him in wonder for a moment, but does not give him that command. Instead she faces the tree. In the distance behind her - she knows the Garden of Time is there. What she's left behind.

"Let's go - Bardiche." <Yes Sir.>

The triangle in her hand shimmers with light - and then so does she. An obsidian poleaxe with a yellow gem. Her barrier jacket forms around her, but her cape does not - her shoulders bare. Holding him upright with a single hand overhead, she closes her eyes as if focusing. The revolver cylinder within pounds three cartridges in - turning each time. Then the axe blade folds back in two directions.

<Zanber Form.>

Into a forked guard. A colossal blade of energy forms - first the darker core of crackling lightning - before the corona around it of blindingly bright light. At least three times as larger as she is tall. A white cloak draping her shoulders, as it flaps in the wind of the storm overhead in time with her damp hair.

Runic circles form around her feet of concentric energy. Layers upon layers grow - and add with each passing second as she gathers the energy.


The word does not feel so painful anymore. She's accepted that she loves her mother - but she's accepted that she may never forgive her either. And that's fine.


She's accepted that the cat familiar that raised her is gone. That she died - trapped between loyalty to her mother and her love of Fate.


The last word takes longer for her to say. Yet it's the most wonderful acceptance. It's her acceptance of the fact that her big sister truly loves her - and wanted to be with her.

"... I'm glad I was able to meet you."

It's not so much that the weight of the blade falls - but more that she snaps it into place. The sheer force of the blade slicing through the air causes the ground to shake beneath her. And that's even before the lightning begins to fall. Saturating the entire area around the blade.

The girl smiles.

"I'm going back to where I belong now."

Gripping the hilt with both hands, she raises it high overhead. "SHIPPU JINRAI!" <Sprite Zanber.>

The blade keeps increasing in size, growing - and growing each time lightning strikes it - it expands - larger and larger. Then with all of the precious feelings of love for her family - and her love of the friends she wants to go back to. The blade falls towards the tree.

COMBAT: Fate Testarossa transforms into Barrier Jacket Blaze - Full Drive Mode!

<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

The blade enters the tree silently, smoothly. Without resistance, or even friction of any kind. It slows not because of any pressure but because of its own obvious expansion...

...the golden light that begins to fill the tree like holy water fills a chalice, it feels like Alicia's final embrace...

...it leaks from every crack and it pours from every root and it spiderwebs all over, up and down, within every vein, all the veins of the world...

...and the blade stops.

Like returning a sword to the stone, there's a rightness to how Fate's blade fits into the tree. A snugness.

The hilt twists in her hand, with all the ease of a housekey in its lock...

...and the way is opened.

The Sword vanishes, not out of any exhaustion or expense but simply because its work is done.

Where the World Tree once had a vast scar within it, now it is a living crevice, an passageway between two massive knots that can be navigated and entered by an adventurous child.

From just beyond sight, more telltale blue light leaks out of the heart of the Tree...

...the dreams of Fate's friends.

And high, high above -- too high to be noticed, too high to be seen from the ground...

...a single twig on a single branch on a single limb -- one of hundreds, even thousands -- it strains, as though reaching for the sky -- and it sheds its blackened, dead bark -- just a fingernail's worth -- as it forks itself with a single breath's worth of new growth. Tiny, and slender, and green.

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (5)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> In the Name of Life(Instrumental) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImPM5IDIYPs

There's a surprising lack of resistance - until then suddenly it stops. The warmth of Alicia Testarossa still suffuses her shoulders. That hug feels like it's guiding her. And then the sword turns.

Then vanishes. She does not seem surprised. The attack was more symbolic than anything.

Hesitantly - she steps forward and puts her hand to the tree's trunk - then tilts her head to peer inside the crevice. Ahead she sees the blue light shining.

"Everyone... I'm coming..."

And then she climbs inside. It is not the first adventure nor the last that Fate Testarossa will go upon, but for once she's allowing herself to be affected by the sheer wonder of it. She's a child who just discovered there is another world inside of a cupboard.

That that world happens to the dreams of her friends - makes it all the more wonderful. More importantly though - she's a child allowing herself to be happy - allowing herself to be a child.

There is urgency certainly but... there is also that wonder.

At points she turns herself sideways to squeeze herself within. At others she goes down on all fours - sometimes even giggling a little with delight as she crawls.

... she does notice the new life that forms overhead. She's simply happy to be moving on with hers. Moving on with the memories of Alicia and her family - and moving forward with the people precious to her.