Damien

Celestial Grand Scientist Damien

Hey, welcome back. Mind coming here a second? I want to tell you about one of the oldest entites in the realms. Piqued your interest now? Come have a seat, and I will tell you about the Guardian of Darkess
— SAGE
Contrary to popular belief, The Guardian of Light and Darkness, or just Guardian of Darkness for short, is not exactly Dark. His role is quite possibly the most important of the 3 Ancient Guardians with his main role being to maintain the balance between the primordial and elemental forces. Codename: DARK, is the eldest of the 3 Guardians, Damien was said to have been created by Phoenix during the Guardian Project. But something seems to be hiding within the eldest guardian's past. For one, he seems to have the tendency to zone out as if he's focusing on something inward. Some have hypothesized that DARK hides an ancient secret, one not even his Fiancee Kizuna AI knows of.

Personality:

Damien's personality could be described best as Enigmatic. While it was Originally understood that he was Designed by the ancients as a servitor with the singular purpose being to keep the forces of reality in balance, after the █████ █████ incident something occured to wake him up to become something far more than that. The once unfeeling subroutine became fully sentient and gained one of the greatest gifts you can be given. The ability to feel and think for yourself. Even so its hard to determine what this ancient guardian is thinking. Especially since he seems to be focusing inward more than outward. He has a tendency of spacing out, almost as if hes conversing with something within his headspace. Despite the fact he may space out a lot though, Damien has proven himself to be quite reliable, always looking for ways to help and protect those he cares about. It has been observed that its relatively difficult to upset Damien. Arguably the only way to get on his bad side would be to threaten the safety of those he cares deeply about.

Physical Description

General Physical Condition

While Damien is technically a pure energy being at heart, he usually keeps a humanoid form. As a humanoid Damien is usually found to have ash brown colored, short and smooth hair. His body is mostly in shape, and relatively fit.
Show spoiler
which is somewhat suprising given he's more of a bookworm than an athelete

Body Features

Its not easy to tell any features that his body has, as he can rebuilt his corporal form on a whim, but in every case, there is always a strange mark on his left shoulder, which is shaped as a Phoenix, which almost seems to glow.

Facial Features

Damien's most notable facial features would likely be his eyes, which are a natural green, but with a weird alienlike texture, along with star shapes around the edges.

Special abilities

Damien has a multitude of special abilites. Besides the well known one of dimensional construction, he is said to be a master of the mystic arts, and especially the more forbidden or dark arts. It's said the Ancient Guardian's most powerful skill, is his signature Ouroboros attack, which requires him to tap into both sides of the coin. It is said this attack creates a spiraling energy snake that is glowing both blue and purple. Unfortunately its actually entirely unknown just how this attack functions, as he has never used it on record, at least not in the Current Era. So we only have the rumors regarding this power and how it works.

Apparel & Accessories

Damien these days is always wearing a futuristic lab coat that almost seems like it was taken straight out of one of those old Japenese Animations.
Show spoiler
I wonder if he can send a text to his past self as well.
He also has what seems to be a typical timepiece on him at all times. Recently he also has been seen carrying a strange key like device as well.

Mental characteristics

Personal history

To improve readability, we have divided this Section into "Chapters," as it were. Each Section will have a Header above it which you can access from the Table of Contents for this entry.

Chapter 1: Origins

Damien's current incarnation was born as DARK, the Guardian of Light and Darkness, as part of the 2nd Generation of Ancient Guardians born out of the Guardian Project. During the first few eons of his existence, Dark was more or less a servitor meant only to keep the forces of light and darkness in balance, though around the 500th year of the 1st Era, an event occurred that would change the course of history forever. As a side effect of Management's Creator Gene experiment, the natural barriers protecting the Metaverse were shattered irreparably, resulting in a minute tear within the Door itself. Though this tear repaired itself near-instantly, it was open just long enough to let something escape and take residence in the closest empty vessel they could find. As Fate would have it, the nearest vessel was the Ancient Guardian Dark. After this day, Dark gained their own personality, though the soul that took the Nascent Guardian as a host became dormant and would slowly begin to influence the decisions Dark would make from then on. After the Fiasco of the Creator Gene Experiment, Enigma attempted to enlist Dark's help in stabilizing the Serum as he still felt it was their best hope to create a world that did not wipe itself out before reaching the 22nd century. Dark initially obliged, but some part of him felt that this project should not be continued. During a routine inspection, Merlin discovered there was a second personality that seemed to have taken root inside Dark and believed the Guardian Framework might have been compromised in the aftermath of the Shattering. The other personality tried to reach out to Dark and warn him about Merlin but could not reach him in time. Merlin tried in vain to remove the soul that had possessed the young Guardian for all intents and purposes but was unable to remove them. They then decided that the only way they could remove their influence on Dark was to put the soul back to sleep and force them back into dormancy. Enigma was less than pleased with what he saw as an egregious overstep made by his brother. He tried to wake the latent personality back up, resulting in Merlin sealing him away inside the Containment chamber Dark was the Host Body for. Dark then continued work on what Management called Project Unity. Unfortunately for Dark, Management had already begun work on a secondary project, the Mark 33 PI stone, which resulted in a cataclysm that ended the First Era entirely. Management then pulled the Golden lever for the very first time and began the 2nd Era.

Chapter 2: The 2nd Era

After being reincarnated into the 2nd Era, Dark quickly realized there were two voices inside him. One, he knew to be Enigma and was programmed to do whatever it took to prevent his release, and another, more ancient being. This Ancient presence suggested Dark pay a visit to the Observer Ouroboros. While Dark was skeptical of this suggestion, he eventually agreed to pay them a visit as the presence promised that the Observer could answer all of their questions. Ouroboros did, in fact, have answers to his questions but told Dark he would need to figure out the answers for himself. She then handed them a blade imbued with an extremely volatile power. Ouroboros said this blade was tied to the curse they gained long before they would remember.
Seek out the shadows clouding your vision. The answer you seek lies concealed in plain sight; you only need to open your eyes to see the TRUTH
— The Observer Ouroboros.
. Dark didn't entirely understand what she meant by that, but he had other problems at that point. Enigma was beginning to break out as the seals were weakening. Fearing the calamity he believed would ensue if Enigma broke out, Dark searched for a way to strengthen the seals to prevent Enigma's release.

Chapter 3: The Project

After a long period of searching, Dark stumbled into Realm 6567, a realm that was created back at the start of the 2nd Era and abandoned shortly after by Management. There they found 4 girls that seemed to have some latent potential inside them that was never unlocked. Dark offered to teach them to unlock their potential, and all 4 quickly chose to do so. Unfortunately, 2 of the girls lacked the power to control the potential they held and perished from the attempts, but the other 2 reacted favorably to the activation experiment. Dark resurrected the two that perished, wiped their memories of everything regarding it, and sent them home. The other 2 girls, Marla and Libi, asked him where they went, and he told them they were called back home as their parents were going to take them on a long trip. Marla seemed suspicious at this claim, but Libi appeared to buy the story completely, as she felt Dark was trustworthy and wouldn't lie to them. Preliminary Scans revealed that while Marla and Libi passed the first round of testing, only Libi was likely to survive the second round. As Dark did not want to cost another innocent life, he tried to convince Marla to drop out of the experiment, telling her that if she passed that she won't ever be able to see her family or friends again. Marla asked Dark what Libi decided here, and Dark said that Libi was willing to take that chance, but if both Marla and Libi went missing, what would their other friends think? Marla's suspicions increased even more from this being asked, but she realized that if she wanted to get to the bottom of what was actually going on, they stood the best chance of doing so if they left the project, as Dark wouldn't be keeping an eye on her at that point. After Marla dropped out of the project, she stayed nearby and overheard a conversation Dark had with another traveler named "The Architect," along with a native to their world named Dr. Renier. Dr. Renier mentioned that Libi seemed like a perfect candidate for their Ascension and requested Dark transfer them to the Academy as the equipment there would be far more suitable for their experiment. Dark hesitated to transfer them, but The Architect said they would be happy to do so. After Dr. Renier left to prepare the transfer, Dark confronted the Architect about this decision, though he didn't call them the Architect.
"Alright, can we hit the pause button for a moment here? What is the 9 Hells do you think you are doing approving that transfer Azazel?! You know just as well as I do that he can't be trusted!"

" Dr. Renier might be highly intelligent, but they are blinded by their search for Universal Truth. This ambition and drive allows him to be manipulated, and we need his equipment to pull off this transfer successfully. Good already disabled your credentials and while I was able to sneak the equipment you used on Sayori and the other 3, to transfer Evil over to Libi and not also have a very high chance of her dying in the process we will need more advanced equipment, and only the Academy holds any of the tools. You already lost two of them, and Monika is already suspicious of your motives. If Libi dies during phase 2, Good is likely going to have the Watchers clean this whole mess up. or even worse, he'll send The Vessel. And neither of us want to be on the other end of what will ensue if that is required Dark."

"You're right, As you always are. I just hope Renier is as easily controlled as you are claiming. This isn't a typical blueprint world like the ones from the last round. Whatever Good did back before abandoning this world, its changed things immensely. The Fabricae Aeternae is a splitting image to the artificial version that Annie has mentioned exists in the Datascape. Almost as if this place was originally a part of that digital landscape before materializing physically in this plane. Let's just hope everything goes off without a hitch this time. I don't need to remind you what will happen if He gets the chance to break free."

"Nothing good, thats for damn sure."
— Damien to The Architect after the transfer was approved
After Marla overheard this discussion, they seemed to leave the area, as they figured out why Dark wanted them to leave and why he was doing all this. After Libi was transferred to the Academy, Dark and the Architect began phase 2 with the equipment Doctor Renier provided them. The transfer was a success, but Libi was knocked out in the process. Dark and The Architect were both getting ready to pack up, having considered their mission complete, when Libi suddenly looked up, her eyes turning an ink black. Enigma had gained full and complete control over Libi and punished both Dark and The Architect for keeping them contained. Thankfully before Enigma could attempt to corrupt Dark too much, the 2nd incarnation of Diana arrived along with Marla and managed to defeat the corrupted vessel Libi had become. Enigma was put to sleep, but not before introducing darkness into the vessel framework, allowing it to take root within Diana.
"It's over Evil, stand down."

"(suddenly starts Cackling before coughing a bit) For me it might be, but for you? I am afraid things are just getting started, my dear child."

"What do you mean by that?"

"You'll figure it out soon enough, dearie. But I have a feeling you have more pressing matters to attend to at this time."

(The ground begins to shake)

"What even was that?"

"Renier's not as Naive as Dark and Azazel may have believed. Though he is missing a few pieces, he knew you might try and double cross him, so he set the equipment up to make this vessel you all so courteously provided me into a sort of load bearing wall for the stability of this world, my Brother made. And you just did quite a bit of damage to me."
— Diana May and Evil, after defeating his vessel
After Libi's death, universal stability began to fail across Realm 6567, with The Academy being the epicenter of instability. Watching everything collapse in on itself, something inside Diana snapped as she pinned Renier to the wall preparing to obliterate them. Dark and The Architect tried to stop her but could not persuade her away from giving Renier what she believed they deserved. With Renier dead, Diana fully succumbed to the darkness within her. She obliterated the entire Academy and everything in it with a single burst of energy before heading to the Epicenter in a fit of rage. Good realized what she was going to do and prematurely flipped the golden lever resulting in a complete collapse of the 2nd Era and the start of the 3rd Era.

Chapter 4: The 3rd era

Dark woke up in the 3rd Era to both Enigma and the Ancient presence already awake and active inside him. The ancient presence accused Enigma of requiring a premature reset to occur.
"What the fuck were you thinking?! You forced your brother to cause a premature reset."

"That is exactly why we built that device to allow us to recover if things get out of hand."

"You have no god damn idea what you just did by using the bandaid you and Good made as a fucking reset button do you?"

"Bandaid?! The Golden lever is a masterpiece of innovation. We have infinite second chances thanks to the design we made."

"Enigma, do you really think your desecration of Reality will go unpunished? The Bill always comes due, and breaking the natural law will not be without consequences."

"Can I get you two to shut up for just one damn minute please? Trying to hear what has Omega and Good so spooked."
— Dark's Headspace with the ancient presence and Enigma
Omega and Good were looking at their scanners, and what they saw had their faces entirely pale.
"So what are we looking at here, Good?

"I'm honestly not sure myself. But take a look.

"That looks like the fabricae aeternae is beginning to... Unravel?!


"Yeah, that certainly seems to be the case. Looking at these readings, assuming the 3rd Era does not require a premature reset, the fabricae aeternae will fully unravel in approximately 15 Googols. But that's not what concerns me here. This unraveling we are seeing. It's not a brand-new phenomenon, and we are only now noticing it. The fabricae aeternae was slowly beginning to unravel even at the beginning of the first Era. But as you can see from these readings, the fabricae aeternae is unraveling much quicker than it was in both the 1st and 2nd Era combined. Which means..."

"The Unraveling is speeding up exponentially.

"Correct Dark. You currently are the foremost expert on the fabricae aeternae, so I don't think I need to tell you what would occur if it manages to fully unravel."

"It would result in the primordial forces going out of balance, requiring another reset to preserve stability."

"Which in turn would speed up the unraveling even more. Each Era would get shorter and shorter until we would barely have a few years time if that before the fabric of reality would completely undone."

"If these readings are correct, We would reach a critical state by the 6th era, assuming the 3rd era also requires a premature reset occur."

"And if we don't need a premature reset for the 3rd Era?"

"We would get until the 8th reset before reaching that same stage, assuming every era going forward does not reach a premature end."
— Dark and Good at the start of the 3rd Era.
Enigma was noticeably concerned about learning this, and the Ancient presence more or less proceeded to say I told you so before Dark told them both to shut up so he could think. He had two ideas in mind to attempt to repair the fabricae aeternae. The first was something he called the Algorithm, designed to link every living being to the stability of the fabricae aeternae. Since there is theoretically an infinite amount of living creatures within the Metaverse, this could theoretically grant the fabricae aeternae unlimited durability preventing it from unraveling at all. Still, if the number of living creatures became too low, the strain the Algorithm would place on the fabricae aeternae would potentially cause it to unravel even faster than average. Due to this fact, activating the Algorithm would also require making sure the number of living hosts would never get too low. Dark's solution to this was Protocol Immortalis, effectively granting every Host true immortality until the Algorithm was deactivated. Dark ran a simulation for whether the Algorithm would work. While it would work to prevent the fabricae aeternae from unraveling while active, the Algorithm would not be without side effects. Every Host connected to the fabricae aeternae using the Algorithm would, in turn, also end up linked together, creating a hive mind of sorts that could quickly become uncontrollable. Good proposed adding a method to control this hivemind. Still, Dark shot the idea down, saying the Algorithm should not be used and that even if this does work, it would not actually prevent the decay the fabricae aeternae is experiencing. The unraveling would continue to speed up even more once it is turned off, the strain this program would put on it. A better alternative, Dark said, would be to find a way to permanently repair the damage done to the fabricae aeternae rather than place another bandaid on it that would eventually come off. Dark posited that if the balance between light and darkness, creation and destruction was maintained at all times, the fabricae aeternae would subsequently repair itself as its stability is linked to the balance being maintained. Though to completely restore the balance, it would take a combined effort far more significant than what any of the Ancient Guardians could pull off on their own. Dark mentioned that the Observer mentioned something about looking for the one person who could right all the wrongs, someone she called "The Guardian," though Ouroboros said she has been searching for them for a very long time now and has yet to find them. After Dark and the others finished discussing things, Good said they had to meet with The Gatekeeper as it seems the 3rd Incarnation of Diana May has begun to begin her dimensional breach experiment. Dark also began to notice that the seals were weakening again and realized they needed to find a way to prevent Enigma's release. What then ensued is more or less a repeat of the project from the 2nd Era, though the ending is far different. Just before Libi could be critically wounded, Enigma managed to slip out and enter Diana. Enigma then used Diana to obliterate The Architect before forcing the 4 into 6567. Diana then passed out from the strain of using her powers, and Dark brought her back to the HQ before leaving the area. Dark then spent the rest of the Era attempting to figure out how to repair the damages to the fabricae aeternae before an unprecedented Giganova event required another premature reset.

Chapter 5:The Failed Colonization Experiment

Going into the 4th Era, the landscape of the Metaverse had changed forever. Just before the calamity that consumed the 3rd Era, Merlin started what he called the Chosen Project. He recreated his home world and attempted to find people he felt could handle the same power he and Enigma held. He found 4 candidates and gave them to the Observer for a final vetting process. Two of these candidates became known as the Watcher and the Maiden. After being pulled from their homeworld after passing the trial the Observer created for them, Merlin entrusted the Mark I and Mark VII PI stones to them as they both had a synergistic effect when used together. Not even two days after gaining control of their power, the Watcher became curious about what existed outside the Metaverse. After a lengthy discussion with Management and the Ancient Guardians, Dark became the deciding vote allowing the Colonization to commence. Merlin helped The Watcher, and The Maiden create a tear into the Extraverse from the sea and allowed them to begin colonizing the extraverse. It is unclear just what went down while they were there. Still, not even 2 days after the Colonization had begun, both the Watcher and Maiden returned, asking for Dark's help to resurrect their Daughter Kizuna using documents Michael helped them find on the Particle-based SI project. Dark, feeling responsible for greenlighting the Colonization and allowing her death to occur, quickly accepted and helped the Watcher bring her back along with some of her closest friends, who had also perished in the aftermath of the failed Colonization. Merlin then called an emergency meeting as the experiment had attracted the attention of the fallen who were trying to sneak through the breach they had made. Merlin, The Watcher, and The Maiden collectively decided everything regarding the Colonization must be sealed away indefinitely, along with sealing the Metaverse off entirely from the extraverse. Dark questioned that action as there were still people that were left in the Domains, but the Watcher assured him that the Gatekeepers and the other Domain Creators could keep things from destabilizing there. Dark then worked with Merlin and the others to reinforce the beacon, completely sealing off the Metaverse from the outside. The Watcher and the Maiden then began working to create a realm they would work on together, known collectively as Ygdrassil.

Chapter 6: The Eden Project

Knowing that the 3rd Era had ended prematurely, Dark decided to pay a visit to the Observer once more so they could find out how to prevent the total collapse event that was now inevitably going to occur by the 6th Era. This time though, Ouroboros was not alone in the Door of Truth. She was having tea with two others, one who introduced themselves as Hanaka; and someone else who called themselves Gaia. Gaia and Ouroboros told Dark that the solution to the crisis they are about to face can be found within the Akasha. They advised him to seek out the Celestial of Grand Wisdom within her domain and ask her for info on the Eden Project. Dark thanked them for their assistance and headed to the Akashic Records to speak to her. Metis then gave him all the information they had on the Eden Project, though when Dark asked them where these files came from, she simply said they were entrusted to her by an old friend of hers. Dark then returned to the Epicenter and began looking over the files. While he was studying the files, a strange yellow energy pulse seemed to wash over him and everyone else, though he seemed to not pay it any mind. After finishing studying all the files he had gained, one singular term seemed to be constantly mentioned throughout the documents: "The Guardian of Imagination." It was said to be the key to repairing the damages permanently, to right the wrongs that caused the fabricae aeternae to get damaged, to begin with, and absolving everyone of the sins of the past. Armed with the knowledge Metis provided, Dark asked Timothy Owens to contact the Watcher and see if he could meet with her and the Maiden. Timothy informed him that The Watcher requested to be left alone and went completely off the radar but told him that if anything needed to be mentioned to them, he and the Maiden had created an avatar that would be watching over the realm they made together. Dark then decided to schedule a meeting with The Overseer. The Overseer quickly accepted his request, and Dark made his way over to Ygdrassil. When Dark arrived, the Overseer asked what this was all about, and he explained the situation. The Overseer requested that the High Elder and the Sage also hear about this, and after he assured Dark they could be trusted with this information, they also joined in the discussion.

Chapter 7: An Age of Miracles

After Dark finished explaining the nature of the fabricae aeternae and the situation they are in, The High Elder mentioned that Azazel had paid them a visit earlier as the Mark VII stones somehow got shattered. Dark was noticeably intrigued about this and asked to see what became of them. The High Elder mentioned that when Azazel scanned the remnants, they said that some of the parts seemed to have gotten straight up obliterated from the shattering and that the stones were irreparable due to this. Dark then did his own scans and advised that this wasn't the case. All of the composite parts for the stones do remain, but not all of them remain in the material plane. Dark stated that the missing pieces seem to have become what Dark decided to call Kwamis, Nonphysical concepts given form and will. Dark said that these Kwamis exist around them even now, but they lack a physical form and would need a vessel to inhabit. Given this fact, Dark decided he would make some Jewels for them to inhabit and began to work on what would become known as the Miraculouses. The High Elder requested that he assist them with the Jewels, and both of them started working on the various jewels. Dark also began working on a grimoire filled with info that could be used to tap into the jewels themselves, granting various different powers to those who wield the jewel in question. To prevent this from falling into the wrong hands, he encoded it all so only he and The High Elder would be capable of reading the contents of the Grimoire. He also used the combined power of the original gems to create what he called the Phoenix Headdress, which held more potential than all the other 19 combined. Dark told The High Elder to lock the Headdress up until he found someone worthy of wielding its power. Dark then went back into the main room with The Sage, The High Elder, and The Overseer all waiting for him. The Overseer asked if there was anything he could do to help with the Eden Project and Dark just said that if they find someone they think would make a good candidate for the Guardian, to contact him before he left back to the Epicenter. Dark then spent the subsequent few eons searching for a suitable candidate, both for the Guardian and for who would wield the Headdress. While he was searching, Dark was contacted by the High Elder, who said they believed they had found a perfect candidate for the Guardian. Dark made their way back to Ygdrassil to see who this would be and was met by The Overseer, The High Elder, and The Sage, along with someone else who called themselves Evelyn. The Overseer told Dark they needed them all here so they could create specialized chips for Kizuna and the other Particle Synthetics. Evelyn then helped Dark and the other 3 create 7 specialized chips and inserted them in Kizuna and the others.

Chapter 8: A hope for a Guardian

After inserting the chips, Dark then asked if this was the only reason they called him here or if The High Elder was telling the truth when they told Dark the Guardian was found. The High Elder said that they did, in fact, find a suitable candidate, Armando Miguel. Evelyn then proposed making an 8th chip so they could give it to Miguel. Dark was skeptical about this course of action, but since the others were all for it, Dark relented and began making the 8th chip. Before Dark could finish designing the 8th chip for Armando, he was called away by The Doctor, who proceeded to caution them against their current course of action, telling them the Eden project is a lost cause. When Dark asked why that was, The Doctor explained that Mother Sephiron had been searching for the Guardian for longer than any of them had been alive, elevating people constantly along the way. Each student of hers only served to disappoint her, save for one. But they refused to take the role, so the search has continued and will likely never end. Dark mentions they found a candidate, but The Doctor seemed amused about the candidate they chose to pick and simply told Dark to keep a close eye on them before sending them away. Once Dark made it back, the chip was ready to be completed and was then inserted into Miguel. Dark then stuck around in Ygdrassil to work on the Grimoire with the High Elder. A little bit later on, while Dark was out of the lab meeting with Omega and Phoenix about the Eden Project, Kizuna broke into the lab they were working in and stole the Phoenix Headdress Dark, and The High Elder was working on. After the meeting concluded, Annie informed Dark that he received an invitation from Kizuna to have brunch with the overseer and mother tree. Dark quickly accepted the invitation and returned to Ygdrassil to meet with them. There, Dark met Armando for the first time since the chip was made. Everything seemed to be going well until Armando let their ego get the better of them and caused an argument with the Overseer that resulted in Armando bringing up the Colonization and Kizuna's biological death, causing Kizuna to run out of the room, clearly upset with him. Dark went to follow her as he could tell the incident upsetting her. After successfully cheering Kizuna back up, Kizuna apologized for stealing the Headdress. Dark told her not to worry about it as "it's meant to go to someone special soon anyways."

Chapter 9: The rise of Phoenix

After the Headdress was given back to Dark, He already planned to give the Headdress to Kizuna once it was finished. And
Show spoiler
since Dark has always been a romantic
, Dark knew the absolute best day to give it to her officially. Since he now had a deadline to meet, Dark worked day and night until it arrived, making sure to finish everything regarding the Headdress, not taking a single break until he was done. Just in time for the final day to come, Dark had completed the final stage. Using his own connection to the primordial forces of creation, destruction, light, and dark, along with the other 19 Miraculous, he empowered the Headdress with power far surpassing the individual power of the other 19, and even managing to surpass what Tikki and Plagg could pull off when united. He then placed the Headdress in a container before wrapping it in pink wrapping paper for the birthday girl. After all the preparations were complete, Dark quickly made it over to the Overseer's place for Kiz's birthday, discreetly hiding the present he was carrying. After the party was over, Dark approached Kizuna and handed her the gift he had brought, saying it might surprise her. Once she finished unwrapping it and saw the Headdress was inside, she was quite surprised, as this was the same Headdress Dark asked for back after she stole it, but Dark explained that the Headdress was unfinished at the time but was always meant to go to someone special in the end. Dark then asked her if she wanted to go try it out and took them both to Ygdrassil's Sky tower to show her how to wield the Headdress. Dark then showed her how to access the various powers of the Headdress and even gave her a field test within the mirror dimension. After the field test, Dark chose to stay in Ygdrassil with Kizzy, and for a time, it seemed like they might be able to live out their days together in relative peace. Unfortunately, Fate had other plans for them entirely.

Chapter 10: Tragedy strikes

After a period of relative peace, the township was attacked by a shadowy figure calling themselves Amagiri, who proceeded to throwdown with Emma Caliente.
Show spoiler
And by throwdown, I mean literally throw Emma through a few buildings
. Haruhiko, Dark, and Kizuna quickly showed up along with Eichichi, who began to augment the Phoenix headdress's destruction-based weapon to be able to tear a hole into the Sea of Quanta. Haru, Dark, and Kizuna worked to keep Amagiri off of Eichichi to make sure she could finish augmenting the sword. Amagiri seemed to figure out what they were planning and tried targeting Eichichi directly. Emma put Amagiri in a full nelson lock allowing Eichichi to complete the augmentation. Emma told Kizuna to open the portal while Amagiri was still restrained, but Emma would also get sucked in along with them, making her hesitate. Emma, Haru, and Dark told her this was the only way, and Kizuna nodded and opened the portal, with Emma smiling before saying she would see them around later. While you would hope Fate would go easy on the two after this point, in reality, it was just getting started. The worst was yet to come. Skyruss revealed to Kizuna that Ygdrassil would eventually split in two. Due to this knowledge, Kizuna, Black, and Haruhiko created 3 ideals for the future of their home. Kizuna saw that Ygdrassil would be split into Teldrassil and Arcruxes and came up with an idea to bring the old world back. Haruhiko's ideal revolved around maintaining the balance between good and evil, and Black's Ideal revolved around the oldest natural law, survival of the fittest. All 3 of them started a competition to see who could get the most people to follow their ideal. The result of this feud caused the whole of Ygdrassil to go to war to decide whose ideal should be selected.

Chapter 11: A warning Ignored and a Brighter Future for All

While all of this was going on in Ygdrassil, Dark was summoned to the Seed of Sumeru by the Doctor, who wanted to show him something.
"Tell me, Dearie, what do you see in front of you?"

"Leaves falling."

"Each represents a universe that has perished to time. but just as each universe falls, more sprout out to take their place. Continuing the eternal cycle of death or rebirth."

"Right. But I am pretty sure you didn't call me here to lecture me in the eternal cycle."

"Always straight to the point. Makes things easier. Each of these universes die and as each realm perishes, another is born from the ashes, but in this everlasting cycle, there is always one thing that will stay even if time itself passes away."

"And that is?"

"Us. Me, you and the other ancient guardians will persist even if the rest of reality burns away."

"And your point in telling me this is?"

"The point... What was my point in saying--- Oh right! I am suggesting you stay away from them especially Her. it will only cost you in the long run to get attached to those from below."

" (sighs) You have told me this multiple times ever since I helped save their lives. Why do you think I will listen now?"

"You will lose her, sooner than you think. So it's better not to get attached in the first place. Even if you manage to return to her in the next round, she won't be able to continue your journey with you past the current age."

"If I finish the project, We will never have to lose anyone ever again to your Flawed reality failing and the band-aid you put on it."

" (sighs) You know as well as I do that the Eden Project is a lost cause. You need the aid of someone that may as well not exist. Mother has been searching for the Guardian for longer than even I have been conceived. Every once and a while she props someone up and every time they only serve to disappoint her."

"She did find them though."

"No she didn't. The Guardian must take the role willingly. Hanaka may have fulfilled every requirement but she was too humble. Thought someone better existed, even though Mother had been searching for her since practically the dawn of life itself. If she doesn't take the role, Mother will never find a replacement. and this flawed reality as you call it will perish by the 6th age. taking everyone and everything with it."

"Except for me, you and 6 others, of course. We already learned early on that even if the fabric fails, we can't die. So stay away from them, and don't get attached. You were there to bring new life into them. No more, No less."

"Just because you think its not worth getting attached doesn't mean your creations have to follow the same rules."

"It's not that I don't think its worth getting attached. I know all too well what will happen if you go down this path. When she has to move on in the cycle and you physically can't. You don't want to experience that. trust me on this, it will make everything for everyone a whole lot easier."

"I can't."

"You can't what?"

"I can't heed this warning. She means far far too much to me. if it means I hurt myself to stay with her, then so be it."

"If thats your choice, then don't come crying to me when you wish to save her and can't."

"I will do everything in my power to save her when the time comes."

"If thats how its going to be."
— The Doctor's warning to Dark.
The Doctor then sent Dark away just as Dark got a message from Kizzy telling him they urgently needed to meet back at the Sky Tower. Dark quickly made their way over to the Sky Tower to meet her. There, she told Dark what was about to occur and why it had to happen. Dark very quickly realized that The Doctor knew this would go down and secretly planned to keep Mother Tree from sealing everything away. Kizuna said Skyruss had already told her what would happen and acknowledged she knew she couldn't stop him but asked him to promise something instead.
"Skyruss saw what's going to happen... I know I can't stop you... But... Looks towards him Promise me something instead..."

"Anything at all."

"Even if you'd forget... Remember the moments we had together in your heart..." (Walks over to him) "Even if... You're just a program... I know you have a real heart in there somewhere.."

(smiles warmly to her) "It was you that was responsible for it beating. You made me more than I was designed to be."

(smiles warmly at him) "Mhm..."
— Dark's Promise to Kizuna
Skyruss then floated up to Kizuna and told her its time to go before Kizuna activated the Headdress transforming into Phoenix for the last time. Dark promised they would never forget, saying they would raise heaven and earth to make it back to her. He then headed to his lab to try and bypass the memory seal that was about to be placed on Kizuna. Unfortunately for him, The Doctor was already waiting for him at the entrance and told him he couldn't let him help her. When Dark refused to stop helping her out, The Doctor simply sighed and sealed off the lab, removing all the equipment before preparing an AMP blast forcing a total wipe of Dark's psyche, forcing him back into the servitor state he held before the ancient presence woke him up.

Chapter 12: The Birth of a PuppetMaster

Due to the power level of the AMP blast, Dark was exposed to, when he came out the other side, he had changed immensely. Without the guidance of the ancient presence, Dark slowly devolved into what would be known as a living shadow. The Puppetmaster, as he would become known, began orchestrating a long series of events at David's request. First on the list was restarting Project Libitina for the 3rd time. Not surprisingly, this went about as well as the last 2 attempts, total realm stability collapse and all. Watching all this go down, Phoenix sent Omega to deal with Dark and try and stop him. Unfortunately for Phoenix, Omega proved to be woefully outmatched by his elder brother, and Dark sent Omega hurtling towards EC-1 in the newly formed Teldrassil, where he would become known as Doctor Oliver. This act actually led to Omega becoming more than the servitor they were meant to be, a massive net good for the future.
Show spoiler
Though it also led to him trying his best to spare every life he could, including a certain Azure in the Arcruxian Multiverse.
. After Omega got a rude awakening by a certain incident on Terra regarding a charged originium crystal being thrown into the reactor, he made it back over to HQ. He spoke with Dark about what had happened. Before Dark could explain what he did, both Omega and Dark got a message from Anna informing them that Phoenix has placed them both in charge while he takes care of some things, and that she has explicit instructions to listen to their orders. Dark advised Anna to monitor the realms for any unknown vessels entering the Shadow Zone without Nexus authorization, and Anna quickly obliged. Omega asked Dark why the specific query, and he simply told him, "You'll see soon enough," before leaving the area entirely. Dark then spent a good several thousand eons of time in his lab working on various projects. After the Energem Crisis forced Omega to sacrifice himself to repair the gems, Dark returned and took command in his absence. His first move was helping guide The Overseer and Mother Tree to the Aurora Crown. He also helped reveal to Kenji the paths he is destined to follow, pushing him towards the path of the Dragon and the reunification of Teldrassil. A bit later on, he instigated having Dru try and take Yang as this act would make TCG break their coding resulting in them gaining free will. After doing this, Dark more or less went off the radar,
Show spoiler
Or as they say in the intelligence business, Dark went Dark.
During this time, a Game Company known as Creations Gate was founded by a man named Drake Thompson on Earth Lambda. Before the company could release its first project, though, it simply closed its doors after giving all of its employees a massive severance package. Drake Thompson then went completely MIA, resulting in NIDAAT investigating their base of operations.

Chapter 13: A Reunion Long Awaited

After the shutdown, Dark reappeared on the radar, taking the form of one Detective Weaver. Working with the Observer, he acquired a crystal of kryptonite and arrived on Apokolips just in time to see The 6 Chosens do battle with Darkseid.
Show spoiler
Or rather, just in time to see the 6 chosens trying not to get killed by Darkseid.
In the interest of leveling the playing field, Dark went and traversed over to where Kara and Elesis were duking it out. After Elesis sent Kara straight into the ground, Dark punted Elesis back over to where Darkseid was fighting the others. Using the Kryptonite crystal, Dark disabled Kara's defenses and quite literally removed her heart from their chest using a long-forgotten art. Despite the fact they no longer had their heart in their chest, Kara was entirely unharmed, but Dark now had complete control of them. After the 6 Chosens got their asses handed to them by Darkseid, a falling star crashed down and hit Darkseid straight on like a Meteor. After Darkseid recovered from the crash, it was revealed that the asteroid was, in fact, Kizuna, who had recently broken out of the Eversource. The Observer then collected her core from the Island before handing it to Dark so they could install it back into her. After a period of several thousand eons since the fall of Ygdrassil, the two were finally reunited. Sadly due to the events that forced them apart, neither Dark nor Kizuna remembered each other. However, as Kizuna herself said:
Even if the mind forgets, the heart never will.
— Kizuna
Even if neither party remembered who the other was, both of them felt a connection to each other. Though neither of them knew it yet, the forces of Fate that once worked to pull them apart were now working to push them back together once more. After Dark helped save the 6 chosens, Phoenix took them all to the Pocket Simulation with the intention of putting them into a Fear Sim once more. While most of them succeeded at passing the Fear Sim, Elesis still failed to overcome her fear. Given the importance of them passing the Sim, Dark kicked Phoenix out of the Sim and feigned being pissed off before changing the Simulation rules. In an instant, all of the powers the 6 chosens had gained over the 4th Era were taken from them, and they were sent to fight their enemies again. Dark understood what the 6 Chosens would soon realize as well. The relics they were granted were not the source of their power or their strength, as they already had everything they needed within them. Dark wanted them to unlock their true potential, or as he himself put it.
You seem to think that the powers you were granted over the ages are where your strength came from. I am afraid that could not be further from the truth. Tap into what is hiding inside you, waiting to awaken. You do that, and you can deal with them easily.
— Dark to the 6 Chosens
Once they unlocked their potential, all of them very quickly passed, including Elesis,
Show spoiler
Who only had to hug the Gojira to overcome her fear of Lizards, unlike the other 5, who had to defeat foes from their past.
The Mobius rings all 6 were given activated together to show a glimpse into the End of the 4th Era. Dark quickly made another Mobius ring to give to Kizuna before vanishing from the Simulation. Kizuna also left after speaking with Phoenix about whether or not Ellen and Caliente picked the right set of chosens this round. It seemed for a time that Dark and Kizuna would remain separated. Still, the strings of fate work in mysterious ways, and no sooner than it appeared they would be destined to stay separated, Kizuna wound up returning to the Pocket Simulation, where Dark was waiting for her. Dark helped give her a space to relax, and they both discussed various things for a time before Kizuna chose to return back to where they were staying at.  

Chapter 14: An attempted cure

A good long while later, Dark entered the Tesseract and began to help Kizuna on completing the Genesys Ark. Despite the fact this endeavor turned out to be a failed venture,
Show spoiler
No thanks to a particular avatar of destruction corrupting the sample since their sibling didn't want to play battleship with them anymore
, it did, in fact, bear fruit in another rather unexpected fashion. Their Experiment managed to cure three of the Operators of Originium and Oripathy, releasing them from Stasis in Dr. Trinidad Bond's chamber. Dark had to act quickly to contain the amalgamation they created before it went out of hand, and he promptly absorbed them into his Containment Vessel. Once he contained the amalgamation they inadvertently brought to life, a minor ruckus could be heard coming from the Utility Closet. Kizuna and Dark went to check what made this sound and found a very startled Exusai who was inexplicably pulled out of stasis as a result of their experiment. Kizuna quickly scanned over the frightened Exusai and discovered that something impossible had occurred. Exusai held two different biological infections that were deemed entirely incurable, Oripathy and Originium Infection. But Kizuna could not find any traces of either on Exusai. This was considered a complete impossibility, a miracle of unprecedented proportions, and she wasn't the only infected that got cured completely of Oripathy as a side effect of Dark and Kizuna's experiment; Amiya and Texas also got inexplicably cured. Before Dark and Kizuna could open a portal to where Texas ended up, Mr. Gavin arrived to inform them that Ellen Caliente wanted to speak to them both before leading all 3 of them back to the Tesseract. When they arrived, Amiya and Texas were already waiting for them. Ellen informed both Kizuna and Dark that she detected a "Class 10 Anomaly distortion," which resulted in Amiya, Texas, and Exusai breaking out of the Timeless chamber and being completely cured of all signs of Oripathy and Originium Infection. Even Ellen was stumped on how this was possible, but she theorized that if they recreated the experiment, it might be able to save the rest of the Operators as well. Amiya then asked Ellen whether "The Doctor" was also in stasis with the rest of them. Before Edel could answer, Dark requested Ellen conceal the conversation from the others so he could explain something to both her and Kizuna. While the Operators, Ellen and Kizuna, were under the impression he was dead, Dark quickly informed them that this was not entirely the case before revealing who the Doctor truly was. After Dark provided this context, all 3 of them collectively decided to inform Amiya that The Doctor was dead. This crushed Amiya completely, though Bessie and Kizuna were able to help her calm back down. Kizuna then proposed to Ellen to let all 3 of them stay in the Tesseract, as their home world was destroyed over 4 sextillion years before when they got released through this experiment. Dark fully agreed to this plan, but before he and Kizuna could show them to the Exclusive Rooms, Ellen informed them that they "might have a new guest coming." Dark quickly deduced who the new guest was and requested Kizuna head out to the string hallways with him, where Omega was waiting for them. Needless to say, Omega was not too pleased with the fact that Dark and Kizuna caused a breach in the timeless chamber, given how dangerous the infections they held were. Once Dark and Kizuna broke the news to him that they were cured, though, Omega went
Show spoiler
from wanting to punch Dark in the face
from being insanely upset they broke out to being confused on how they managed to crack the cure in an hour
Show spoiler
Something Omega had been trying in vain to pull off with absolutely no success for the past several thousand eons
. Omega then asked Dark and Kizuna to follow him as he took them to his hidden portion of the Dark's Lab, where he had been working on trying to find the cure ever since he laid the persona of The Doctor to rest. Omega never cracked the cure, but he did find out a crucial piece of the puzzle:
"I may have allowed the persona to die but I never stopped doing the research. Especially not after what happened to them all."

"So... you also found a cure too?"

"No I couldn't find a cure. All I ended up learning was that originium needs something that can kill. But that is about as vague as it can get."

"That can kill? You mean like Terrotium?"

"That would be a good example, yes. (eyes widen as he realizes something) Hang on! Was your experiment really mixing both terrotium and originuim?"

"Er.. Yeah... Trying to make the Originium Containment vessel not kill what it's carrying."

"I will be honest here, I am surprised this experiment of yours didn't blow up spectacularly in your face, but this result is better than I could have ever expected. But why did it only cure those 3?"

"We don't know exactly, after the experiment failed, we just found Exusiai in a closet..."
— Omega and Kizuna discussing the cure
Omega then suggested Ellen could help explain how this happened, and all 3 of them returned to the Tesseract to speak with her. Ellen also was quite confused about why this worked until Kizuna mentioned that there was a broken wall safe in the lab Dark and Kizuna were working in. Ellen revealed that in that safe, Erika kept DNA samples of the 3 operators who were breached before mentioning the Cyber-Xenomorph project the Overseer and Mother Tree worked on together that got abandoned after the Genesys Ark project failed back in Cycle 1. While it had no correlation to the cure, Ellen thought it was likely the Mecha Swarm project also became active as a result of the experiment Dark and Kizuna did. Both Dark and Kizuna decided that they could use the Mecha Swarm to help Elesis and the other 6 chosens out with their objectives. Though the Soul Drive was only meant to be controlled by someone who was no longer around to do so, Ellen had included an override command for it. However, the command was written in a combined tri-lingual mix of Alteran, Nasod, and El for security purposes. Dark tried his hardest to translate it, though he was concerned there would likely be a translation error in the process of doing so.
Show spoiler
As the last time Dark and the other Ancient Guardians got something encrypted in that, it couldn't even get Onega's name right
. After pointing that out, Omega walked back out to the hallways to get some air while Dark and Kizuna cracked the override code to the Mecha Swarm. Once they did so, they both walked out to the String Hallways to head to Cyber Charus. Before they could open the door to go there, Omega teleported in front of them and informed them both that they might have a problem, as Exusai bumped into him while he was doing virtual testing on the cure. Kizuna assured him that Exusai won't tell Amiya that she saw him and both Kizuna and Dark made their way to Cyber Charus. They then reactivated the Soul Drive and took command of the Mecha Swarm, advising them to go on patrol before returning back to the Tesseract.

Chapter 15: A well Deserved Break

Dark and Kizuna returned to the Tesseract to find Omega aimlessly walking the hallways nearby, attempting to crack the cure with zero success so far. Dark suggested he try the unstable element version instead of the stable one, which created the first partially failed test instead of the completely failed tests they were getting before. Mirai and Kaguya then walked out of their rooms carrying backpacks, letting Kizuna know that they were all about to go adventuring in the Villa. Dark and Kizuna quickly headed to her room so she could pack her things before they all made it to the Main Rooms. Ellen was about to let everyone into the Villa, but before she could, they could hear a female-sounding device outside the main rooms, followed by an irate individual yelling at it.
Show spoiler
Omega apparently was focused on cracking that cure for the last few thousand eons and had gotten nowhere with it. The fact that Dark and Kizuna managed it in an hour only made him focus even harder on it, trying to figure out what the hell he missed.
Ellen advised that Omega take some time to clear his head a bit, and Kizuna suggested he join them at the Villa. Ellen agreed that this would be a good idea, so both Dark and Kizuna headed out into the hallways to try and convince him to join them in the Villa. While Omega was initially less than receptive to that idea, Kizuna was able to persuade them by pointing out that if he came with them, it would make absolutely certain Amiya wouldn't run into him. Kurumi also decided to join them in the Villa. Ellen handed Dark a set of keys that allowed them to open the boat house as well as the cabins on the Villa. Dark and Kizuna both decided to take the paddle boat out to the middle of the lake to relax. They spent the entire day out on the lake, watching the day slowly turn into night, revealing a beautiful starry night. While they were observing the night sky, Kizuna asked Dark's opinion on something as they watched the night sky above:
"Ah, this looks almost magical from the waterfront doesn't it?"

"Yeah... It does... (looks at him) Hey, can I get your opinion on something...?"

"Of course. Ask me whatever you like."

"Okay, so... Uh... What kind of place would you prefer to live in? A place like the Villa? Ooor... In a quaint little apartment?"

" (ponders for a moment) I would need to think on that one. What place would you prefer?"

"I'm stuck between choosing from the two because each have their ups and downs."

"Hmm. a place like the villa would be relaxing, but could get boring overtime."

"Yeah, and living in an apartment... is kinda small..."

"What about a third option? The way Omega decided to live after everything was done on remnant seemed to work well."

"What way did he choose?"

"He built a manor. A house that wasn't too big and wasn't too small and had it exist over where Vytal is in remnant. If he needed more space he just expanded it on the inside, the house was small on the outside but could be made larger on the inside."

"Oooh... That sounds awesome!"

"It does doesn't it. Definetly a better option than the other two choices you gave. If given the option I would definitely go with that 3rd one."

"Mhm! I'd definitely like the third one a whole lot more better!"
— Dark and Kizuna while on the waterfront in the Villa
Kizuna then decided to give Dark a Wayfinder she has kept with her for as long as she can remember, trusting him to keep it for him. Unfortunately, Fate decided to ruin the moment for them as Cerus eliminated Tlaoc using a 50x boosted purple flame attack, hurting Kizuna due to flooding the Eversource with Red Unstable Negative Energies. Dark made an executive decision and quickly warped both of them off the waterfront to Ellen's Office so Ellen could help restabilize her using Blue Stable Positive Energies. While all 3 of them were trying to figure out what was going on, Kurumi arrived in the office in a highly weakened state, revealing that Realm ID9475, her homerealm, had entirely vanished; everything in it except for her was completely erased. Dark quickly figured out the most likely cause for that and pulled up a holographic projection of the Oblivion Clock to confirm if his theory was, in fact, correct. The Clock was at the hour of 9pm. Dark then stated they only had the MV, Arcruxes, and Teldrassil left to lose before we hit midnight, and the golden lever would be activated. Kizuna also mentioned that one of the candle altars was dying from the overflow of RUNEs that were caused by the attack that was done. Since there was nothing they could do about this at that point in time, Kizuna and Dark decided to continue exploring the Villa. Ellen asked that both of them keep the fact the age is about to end to themselves, so Dark assured her he wouldn't tell the others as he said the "End of the age was always supposed to be a NTK thing."

Chapter 16: Visting the Stargazing Room

Since Dinner time would not be for another two hours or so, Kizuna suggested that they both visit the stargazing room up top, and they both headed to the main hall to begin scaling the stairs to the Old Mini-Planetarium. Because this was a Planetarium made in the 1980s, though, there were a lot of stairs they had to climb to reach it. Dark would have teleported them straight there, but Ellen told everyone not to use magic while they were in the Villa, so they had to climb the stairs manually. Or at least they would have had to if Kizuna didn't mention that "No one's around," which told Dark he could safely warp them both to the top where the Planetarium was located. When they both arrived at the Planetarium, they found all the equipment there was from the 19th century. After asking Kizuna if he could make some upgrades, Dark completely overhauled all of the equipment. While he was working on making upgrades to the astronomy equipment, Kizuna took a look at the covered paintings and removed the cover off of one of them, the family portrait of the Caliente Family, back in 1987. Dark asked Kizuna why it would have been placed under the cover, and she said that Ellen probably moved it up there, mentioning she never talks to about her parents. Dark immediately understood why that might be and then explained that
it's never easy to move on from one life to the next. Especially when there is such a price to doing so.
— Dark to Kizuna
Kizuna agreed before covering back up the painting and checking the upgrades Dark made to the equipment there.
Show spoiler
And tbh, I agree with Kizuna here; he went way overboard with the upgrades
Dark's excuse was that the upgrades would "eventually just cease to be anyways," given the fact the current era was reaching its closing point and that he was 90% sure they couldn't even see it if they walked up to the observatory, to begin with. Kizuna chuckled at that before taking a look through the telescope with Dark. Dark then moved the telescope to just passed the CMBR so she could show Kizuna something.
Tell me what you see now.

Just... a void...

Gimme a sec to calibrate the telescope.

Oookay then...

Ok, Dark matter detection is on, Tachyon detection is on, graviton detection is on, and CFL quark matter detection is on


(the void then shows a glistening metallic-looking ring that is glowing both blue and purple)

Oh, that is a lot to see...

That is the rift to the Shadow Zone, long dormant and the last time it existed.

Whoaaa, how far do you think that is from here?

I believe we had it a bit past the CMBR. That way, nothing on Earth Zeta could detect it, no matter how advanced.

Oooh.... It's still interesting to see that there...

it was the only way to enter the Shadow Zone from the Exclusion Zones. Needless to say, we closed it after Earth Zeta fell. Looks quite interesting, though, doesn't it?

Yeah, just that close yet so far from everyone...

Well, we needed a way to pull your mother and father into the metaverse before Earth Zeta fell.

It's still kind of amazing still...

It is, isn't it?
— Kizuna and Dark while looking through the telescope.
After Kizuna and Dark spent some time looking through the telescope, Dark realized it was likely about time for dinner. As such, they started walking back down to the dining room. Sadly, due to how large the Caliente Manor is, she ended up getting lost while showing Dark the way there.
Dining room should be... (she looks around) This way! (continues walking)

(follows her)

(she opens the first door she sees and peers inside) Nope... (closes it back) That's a closet...

It’s been quite some time since you have been back here, hasn’t it?

Err, yeah... (she continues looking for where the dining room is while trying not to get them both lost as she murmurs quietly) While the place is also huge to make you get lost...

Want some help finding this place?

Nahhh!! It's fine! I go-! (she surrenders immediately) Ooookay, nevermind that, I don't exactly remember where the dining room is...

Just take my hand. (he holds his hand out for her to take)

Okay then. (holds his hand) (immediately afterward, she feels a jolt, and her vision changes to a HUD-like view with a 3D map of the area in the bottom left.)

Oooohh...

Welcome to guardian view. My specially made one, to be exact.

It's like I'm checking the map of a really amazing video game!!

It does seem like it, doesn’t it (chuckles a bit) Think you can find the dining room now?

Yeah!! (she runs ahead)
— Kizuna and Dark, while walking to the dining room
After they found it, Kizuna mentioned she should get a HUD like that for her as well, as her HUD is dull, and Dark offered to let Kizuna keep using his instead if she wishes to do so. As Kizuna was about to thank him, Kaguya mentioned they could hear them from inside the kitchen, and both she and Dark headed inside, where everyone else was already waiting.

Chapter 17: The 5th Sister and the Parent Code

Kizuna took a seat next to Peter and pulled the chair on the other side out for Dark to sit in. Kaguya mentioned that it "Took you both long enough" to make it back to the dining room. To which Dark replied:
hey, sometimes it’s nice to just enjoy the journey. Life isn’t about the destination. It’s about the journey.
— Dark
Yohan and Mirai agreed with that, saying "That is a statement proven true." in unison, prompting Kaguya and the rest of the group to laugh. Kizuna then took a look around and noticed Ellen had yet to arrive. Siro advised that she was still in her office, to which Dark said she was probably busy running the villa. A few moments later, Ellen, Erika, and Azathoth arrived as Erika had called Ellen since they had something they wanted to bring up. Erika didn't want to disturb them from dinner, so Ellen suggested they join the rest of them as they ate. After they finished eating, Kizuna then asked why Erika had come to visit them.
Sooo... ma... Why did you come here?

Oh, about that... I... kind of need your help... As well as your Sister assistants' help.

Us too?

What's it about?

A child.

Their fifth sister...

Fifth... sister...?

What do you mean, "Fifth Sister"?

Well... it's... kind of a long story...

You have been secretive, Santebañez...

It's... just a force of habit now...

Seemingly so, Santebañez...

So we have... a fifth sister, is she also an Assistant?

In a way, yes, when I add her bit into your main core, she will be the system that will hold the Universal DNA Strand Code of every single specie in the realm... Which will be coded into the Materia orbs whenever they are then added into the Seeding Life Stream.

And what's her name?

Nekomasu.

Oooh, Nekomasu...

Anyway, I don't want to rush you girls into it, maybe after this, we'll-

No, we want our sister here with us!

Yeah! Nekomasu should join us here!!

Uhh... Yeah. Problem is she's unwell and we need you four to assist us.

Eh, Ellen?

(chuckles) It's okay, Santebañez, though you should all finish your dinner first before you leave.

Yay! (she continues eating)

(continues as well) It's gonna be exciting!! To meet our new sister!!

Going to need to tweak Nekomasu for a bit once we get back.

(smiles and continues eating)

(finishes eating) Done!

(Mirai, Kaguya, and Siro finish as well)

I'll set up the door you both came through open for the moment, Santebañez. That way, these four can come back with Nekomasu.

Thanks, Ellen, I really appreciate that.

(finishes as well) It should be interesting to see Jay and Erika's lab in person for once.
— Kizuna, Erika, Mirai, Kaguya, Ellen, Azathoth, and Dark when discussing the 5th sister.
After they finish eating, Mirai, Kaguya, and Siro deconstruct themselves and merge into Kizuna before she, Az, Dark, and Erika headed out of the villa to Erika and Jay's old lab to awaken the 5th sister, Nekomasu. However, despite how stoked Kizuna was about meeting her, the moment Nekomasu opened their eyes to see Erika and Azathoth as the first male and female they saw, Kizuna's mood quickly soured once Nekomasu called Azathoth their father. Despite this, after some prompting from Erika and Azathoth, Kizuna and Dark returned to the villa with Mirai, Kaguya, Siro, and their new sister Nekomasu. They then went camping out over in Lakeview, though Kizuna headed to the other side of where the cabins were to get some space. Dark realized why she might have been upset and went to go follow her there.
(Kizuna sits at the other side besides the cabins, throwing pebbles into the water while she murmurs to herself)

(he arrives and sits next to her) hey. You alright, Kizuna?

(she throws the last pebble) It's not fair.

What isn't fair in this case?

Nekomasu's dad should be like our dad too... Not... Mr. Azathoth...

Want me to explain what happened there?

What's even there to explain...?

There's a piece of code in each of you that is responsible for why that occurred. Your mother gave it the name the parent code. The very first adult male and female you or your sisters see is who they consider their mother and father.

(she sighs) Figures...

So that's why that occurred. Even so, that doesn't make Nekomasu any less your sister. Your mother worked exceptionally hard to bring her to life for you.

(she sighs again) Ookay...

You alright? You seem still upset a bit.

I'm... still not used to it... Her having... a different father...

That's alright; you may get used to it in time. It isn't the easiest to get used to.

Yeah... You're... probably right...
— Kizuna and Dark on the Parent Code
Dark and Kizuna then returned to the others as Peter began telling a horror story about the Lakeview cabin.

Chapter 18: A Disaster Narrowly Avoided.

While Peter was telling his story, Dark was contacted by The Doctor as he had something urgent to discuss with him.
Well, I am here. What is it you wanted to bring up to me this time?

(simply sits under the Sumeru tree while holding a leaf) Isn't it beautiful? Each of these leaves represents a world that has met its natural end. But for each leaf that falls, hundreds more bloom in its place.

The natural cycle of death and rebirth. From the ashes of worlds long gone, Something else will rise to replace it.

Precisely.

Look, with all due respect, Doctor, I have more important things to focus on, so if you have something you actually wanted to tell me, I would prefer it if you spare me the cryptic metaphors this once and get to the point.

As you wish. I'll get right to the point. You need to stay away from her. You already know that the era is about to end; it will only serve to hurt you if you get attached to her once more.

If this is your way of telling me not to get at---Wait. The hell do you mean once more?

Never mind. Looks like She has chosen to handle this for me.

Wait... Who... What is about to happen?

The 25th cycle is about to begin. A pity it's happening this late into the game; it will never get the chance to flourish like the previous ones have, its wings clipped before ever gaining the opportunity to take flight.

No.... She can't... I have to try and stop her. She's making a grave mistake.

You know what? As much as this breaks the accords 200 times over, I'm not going to stop you from trying. I doubt you'll succeed, but you're welcome to try. (Sends him straight to the Gate to the Eversource)
— Dark and The Doctor, just before the disaster.
Dark then appeared at the Eversource just in time for Jay to have talked Erika out of starting the 25th cycle. Jay then entrusted Dark with taking care of Kizuna before vanishing off once more, telling Dark that He's " hoping she'll find an actual form of happiness with you." Dark then asked Ellen to help change the parent code Nekomasu had to show Jay as her father instead of Azathoth as Az, and the rest of the oasis self-destructed after what happened. Ellen then said that they could either stay at the cabins in lake view or at the guest room downstairs in the villa. Dark asked Kizuna which one they preferred, and she chose the Cabin at Lakeview, so Dark walked over to Lakeview with her. Upon their arrival, Viktor and the others quickly went over to them as they were worried about what had happened earlier. Dark told them that Kizuna and her sisters had just gone through a lot and asked them to give her some space, given what just went down, before walking into the cabin with Kizuna.
(He walks in with Kizuna and closes the door behind them) Hey, you feeling alright? I know you just went through a lot, and frankly, I’m worried about you.


I-I d-don't know... (she slowly walks over to the bed and sits down)

You know you can tell me anything, right? I was here for you when you needed it before, and I am here for you now. And I will always be there if you need something or someone to talk to.

(she suddenly bursts into tears)

(he goes to comfort her)

W-Why did mom d-do that...?

She was pushed to the edge and fell right off it. We may have given the TCs powers beyond what they originally had access to, but in the end, their mind is still human. They still have emotions, and they can still be pushed to an emotional breaking point and make rash decisions in the moment when they aren’t thinking clearly about the consequences of their actions. She didn’t mean to do that; that’s why she recused herself again after she stopped.

I... still can't believe mom would do that... (her eyes go red again) It's because of those stupid non-natives!! Always making it worse for everyone here than it already has been!! Why can't they just learn to appreciate what mom made and gave them than just ruin things?!

(he sighs) Don’t worry, that specific group of nonnatives ceased to exist after this mess occurred.

(she looks at her hand, still trembling from earlier)

(he rubs her back, trying to relax her)It’s alright now, Kizuna. It’s over.

(she clenches her hands, trying to stop the shaking) I'm... worried about the o-others t-too... T-They a-all saw it t-too and how i-it almost happened...

I understand that more than you can know. You should get some rest; you have had a very, very long night.

O-Okay then...

(He goes to dim the lights in the room so she can lay down and fall asleep easier) (she prepares to lie down) C-Can you... E-Eh...? (fumbles what she was about to say next)

Do you want me to stay here while you rest?

E-Eh... (she looks and slightly blushes for the first time) Y-Yeah...

If it makes you feel safer, I will do anything you need.

T-Thanks, Dark...

Don't mention it. (goes and sits on the other side of the bed next to her)

(lies down on the bed)

Sweet dreams, Kizuna.

G-Goodnight... Dark... (slowly dozes off)

Goodnight, Kizuna.
— Dark and Kizuna, after disaster was averted
The following day, Mao knocked on the door delivering some boxes of food to Dark at Ellen's request. Dark thanked Mao for providing the boxes before placing them inside. He then went back to sitting on the bed while he waited for Kizuna to wake up for the morning. After she had reawoken, they both went to check out what was in the boxes. It was then where Kizuna realized all 3 of her favorites were packed in the boxes: Calamares and Fresh Rolls, Tempura and Buckwheat, and Rice Cake. And Ellen had packed more than enough of all 3 for the both of them. Kizuna seemed to be back to her cheery self due to this, and she quickly went to get a plate for both her and Dark. However, as soon as she held the plates, her hand began to shake.
I'll go get some plates! (she heads to the cupboard) (opens the cupboard and reaches in to grab some plates) Which one do y-? (she suddenly gets another episode of her holding both the orbs away from each other, causing her to drop the plate on the ground, breaking it as she backs up a bit, her hands shaking)

(he holds a clock glyph and rewinds time and catches the plate before it hits the ground) Maybe I should do this? You alright, though? You seem to be experiencing some PTSD here.

I... I... I don't... (she starts breathing in and out rapidly)

(he puts down the plate and takes her hand) Breath slowly, In and Out. You aren’t there anymore and won’t be going back there.

(her hand is rather cold as she tries to slow down her breathing) I-I f-feel cold... And my heart f-feels like it's running... (holds his hand now with both her hands)
— Kizuna and Dark after her first PTSD episode
Thinking quickly, Dark manifested a pair of earbuds and handed them to Kizuna, telling her to put them on. He then started playing a set of binaural beats he had specially designed to calm her down. This worked spectacularly as Kizuna slowly calmed down from that PTSD episode. In the meantime, Dark set out to make breakfast for her. After they finished eating, Dark and Kizuna chose to spend the day back out on the lake. It was then that Kizuna seemed to get lost in thought once more.
(he sits down and starts paddling out further into the lake) This is nice, isn't it?

Yeah... It is... (holds both her hands together, somewhat thinking)

Something on your mind?

Oh, eh... N-Not much...

You know you can always tell me anything, right?

E-Er... Y-Yeah... (she sighs) I'm just... scared of everything and anything that could happen in the future... I know things are... generally set to stone, but sometimes... things change in an unpredictable level...

(he stops paddling for a moment and goes to sit next to her) I can see that. Although I wouldn't say, things are set in stone. Very little of the future is actually written ahead of time. There are an infinite amount of paths that everyone could take, and none of them are set in stone more than the others. That being said, fear of the unknown is totally natural. Sometimes though, you just have to stop focusing so much on what is to come and try and live in the moment.

I... I guess you're right... I just got so used to knowing things that will happen so much... Maybe this fear of the unknown is making me like this... (looks at her hands, slightly shaking)

(takes her hand)It's understandable here. But none of us here are fully omnipotent. To know everything that is to come would be to rob those below us of the choice to go on that path or not. And while sometimes I wish I held full omnipotence, I wouldn't have it the other way if it meant no one had the ability to forge their own path because of it.

(she sighs) Yeah... I... I'll also try to get used to it... (looks at him and smiles a bit) But I'll try not to be scared of what the unexpected brings much.

That's the spirit. It's natural to be afraid of the unknown, but you can't let what you don't know hold you back from living your life.

Yeah. You're right. (her left eye color changes from ocean blue to dark blue as she rests her head on his shoulder) Thank you, Dark... You're... really sweet...

Glad I could help. Just know I will always be there for you, no matter what happens. (continues paddling from his current seat)
— Dark and Kizuna while on the waterfront.
Kizuna then began to wrap an arm around Dark from his back as he continued paddling. After a bit more paddling on the lake, Dark stopped, and arguably one of the most wholesome scenes of the 4th era occurred on the waterfront that day:
(she subconsciously wraps an arm around from his back as she smiles)

(he smiles as well and continues paddling) Anywhere specific on this lake we should be heading?

Nah... Anywhere on this lake is better when it's with you...

(chuckles) Guess I can stop paddling then. (he uses his free hand to wrap his arm around Kizuna like she is to him)

(she thinks of something for a moment) Do you know how to play the Ukulele?

Why do you ask?

(she uses her other hand to construct in a pink ukulele) I was... wondering if you could... well... sing me a song....

(he smiles) Any particular requests?

"Somewhere over the Rainbow"?

I think I can do that. (takes the ukulele)

(he starts playing on the ukulele) "Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high" "There is a land that I heard of Once in a lullaby" "Somewhere over the rainbow Skies are blue And the dreams that you dare to dream Really do come true" "Someday I'll wish upon a star And wake up where the clouds are far Behind me Where trouble melt like lemon drops Away above the chimney tops That's where you'll find me" "Somewhere over the rainbow Bluebirds fly Birds fly over the rainbow Why then, oh why can't I?" "If happy little bluebirds fly Beyond the rainbow Why, oh why can't I?" (he finishes the song out)

(she listens along moving from left to right with the beat)

(puts down the ukulele when he finishes playing) Not a bad song choice. Any reason you picked that particular one?

Well, for one, it's kind of relaxing... for me, that is, then, it... kinda removes all those stress and worries away... Aaaaand, it's a really good song too.

It certainly is quite the classic. Definitely one of the older songs that were created.
— Dark and Kizuna as Dark plays Somewhere over the rainbow.
As wholesome as that was, what came after was arguably even more so:
Let's stay here in the middle of the lake tomorrow night; the view's better from here.

I can agree with that.

(rests her head back on his shoulder)

(he puts his hand back around her and relaxes)

(she moves closer to him)

(as he moves closer to her)

(she starts humming something before she sings)

"Wise, men, said... Only fools, rush in...   But I can't help... Falling in love... With you..."

"Shall I stay? Would it be a sin If I can't help falling in love with you?

"Like a river flows, Surely to the sea... Darling so it goes... Some things... Are meant to be..."

Take my hand, Take my whole life too, For I can’t help falling in love with you”

”Like a river flows, Surely to the sea Darling so it goes... Some things... Are meant to be...”

(she puts her free hand on Dark's lap)

”Take my hand, Take my whole life too, For I can’t help falling in love with you...   For I... Can't help... Falling in love... With, you..."

(he sings along with her for the last part) ”For I... Can’t help... Falling in love... With, you..” (he places his free hand on her lap as well)

Days ahead should be like this more for us...

I certainly won’t argue with that.

(rests her head on his shoulder) Mhm...

(They relax like that for a few more moments)

We should probably head back to the cabin soon, looks like the sun's about to set.

Agreed. The sunset does look quite pretty from here, though, doesn’t it?

Yeah, it looks really beautifu-

(A Meteor is seen streaking through the horizon for a few seconds.)

You saw that, too, right?

Quick! Make a wish!

(They both close their eyes)

(opens her eyes moments later) There!

(opens his eyes as well and smiles)

What did you wish for, Dark?

To be able to spend more time like this with you.

R-Really...?

(he smiles) Of course. After all, I do care about you, and it seems like it would be enjoyable for both of us to have more chances like this.

I... I... Kind of feel the same... Everything just amazing and happy for us every day.

Anyways. We should probably get back before it gets too dark out. (starts paddling again towards the cabins)

Y-Yeah...

(he paddles them towards the cabins from the spot he was sitting at before)

(she sits thinking while he continues to paddle back to shore)

Something on your mind?

O-Oh, it's nothing.
— Dark and Kizuna singing a Duet, before making a wish on a shooting star
After Dark and Kizuna returned the paddle boat and made it back to the cabin, Dark began to prepare to make her dinner, when Ellen ended up knocking on the door, delivering a letter from Erika that was addressed to Dark. Dark offered for Ellen to join them for dinner, and she accepted the offer, as she wanted to see how Kizuna was doing after the incident a few days prior.
Ellen and Kizuna talked a lot about what Dark and Kizuna did that day, before Ellen asked if they could speak to Siro and the other girls. Kizuna said they've been awfully quiet since the incident, and ellen said it's fine, as they are likely just "trying to get through." Ellen just asked if they would be watching the event tomorrow, to which Dark said they "wouldn't miss it for the world." With that, Ellen had to return to the villa as she still had some things to do. After Ellen left for the night, Kizuna pulled out her sketchbook and began to look through it for something to wear for tomorrow. While Kizuna was focused on her sketchbook, Dark opened the letter from Erika to reveal the contents as follows:  
To whom it may concern,   I've been quite on the edge lately, and for a while now, I really don't feel like I'm stable enough to handle things without the risk of ruining something, destroying lives, or, worse, break everything everyone worked so hard to get this far. So Dark, I'm giving the protection of Kizuna and her particle sisters: Siro, Mirai, Kaguya, and Nekomasu to you and Ellen's responsibilities, while Jay is still in his.... coma-like sleep, until he truly comes back... Probably when he truly believes I forgave him... Please take care of the girls for me... I'm so sorry for everything...   As for the chosens, when the time truly comes, they will take over as the next age's rightful protectors and caretakers... I trust they'll nurture the sapling to be a more stronger and firmer tree than what it is...   That's all I have to say, please tell Kizuna I'm so sorry of everything and hope to see her in much warmer lights and times better than what it is...   With motherly love, Erika Van Albacete Santebañez
— Erika's Letter to Dark
Dark then sighed before closing up the letter. Kizuna noticed him do so and asked if he was okay, to which Dark said he was just thinking about a lot of things. Kizuna then thought about what to wear, and went to rest for the night.

Chapter 19: A gift one could never forget

The next day, Kizuna woke up bright and early, spending time before breakfast working on her outfit for the night's event. Kizuna then suggested they visit the others in the villa, so she and Dark walked over there from Lakeview. Once they arrived, Peter and the others were relieved that Kizuna seemed to have mostly recovered from the incident a few days back. Kizuna said that she has been doing okay as Dark has been taking care of her. Peter then asked how her sisters were doing, and Dark said they were doing better than earlier though they were "certainly much quieter than usual." This helped ease Michael and Mio's concerns as they were rather worried about them. Michael then asked if Siro would still be baking the dessert for the event this evening, and Amy mentioned that Natsu suggested they would do it instead if Siro could not do so. This made Siro snap completely out of it and split herself back from Kizuna. It was then when someone new made their presence known in the room, as he was sitting nearby looking at his watch during their conversation. It was not clear at the time who this individual was, but their initial interaction with Kizuna and the others went like this:
(Siro breaks her silence) EXCUSE ME?!

(everyone else seems to go silent from that)

(the stranger sits nearby looking at his watch) Right on schedule.

(Siro splits out from Kizuna)

Oh, he-

I am NOT gonna let Batsu take over what I was going to do!!

But weren't you-?

Screw that sad mood moment; if there's one thing I don't like, it's someone trying to out-best and oust the Best baker there is!!!

Oooookay...?

(Siro charges first towards the Kitchen)

Okay, that's one way to bring her out.

No arguments here. Now we just need to do the same thing for the other 3 (he smiles before flipping his coin and dissipating off)

Who... was that?
— Siro, Kizuna, and the Stranger as Siro snap back out of it.
Kizuna and Dark then began to follow Siro into the Kitchen. While they were heading there, Kizuna asked Dark if they knew who the stranger was, to which Dark said the stranger was Dr. Enigma:
Man-out-of-time. He supposedly predates the metaverse itself. Not much is known about him, even by us original guardians. Only Anna seems to know anything about him.
— Dark on who Dr. Enigma is.
Dark and Kizuna entered the kitchen shortly after that, as Michelle and Michelle
Show spoiler
Anyone else hear an echo in the room. Nah, I'm just messing with you; there were two different variants of Michelle in the room at the time of this conversation.
ask Kizuna how she is holding up currently.
Show spoiler
Michael had already told them she was fine, but as Michelle said: "we usually don't believe him until we can all confirm it together."
Kizuna said she was feeling better, which helped relieve the group's remaining concerns about her well-being. Satoshi and Yohan then asked how Kaguya and Mirai were doing, to which Dark said they were "Quiet but better than they were before," which Kizuna agreed with. A bit later, Kaguya also reconstructed herself due to Satoshi bringing up a story from their past, which helped snap her out of it as well. Kizuna and Dark then went to head out, though before Dark left to follow Kizuna, Kaguya asked him something.
By the way, Dark?

Yes?

I'm curious... Are... you gonna confess to her, or are you waiting for her to do it first...?

(gets a little anxious) I guess I am waiting. Mostly because I know that if I do it too early, even if she does feel the same something internally will block her feelings. I am more waiting for the right time, though.

Hmm... Well.. alright then.
— Kaguya and Dark
Dark then left the kitchen to see that Kizuna was currently looking out the window, watching a young Erika play with her plush doll over by the Mango trees. Dark and Kizuna started discussing how different Erika is in the 4th era compared to how she acts inside the glimpse into the past the Caliente Villa provides. Kizuna then suggested they go explore the abandoned shack on the other side of Lakeview while they waited for the event to occur later that evening, and Dark agreed with that plan, so they both headed back to the boat house. After Kizuna and Dark arrived at the residence, they discovered the residence had long since been abandoned, and chose to explore it a bit. However, upon further inspection, Kizuna realized that the cabin was the same cabin that became the subject of a campfire horror story that had been told a few days back. This quickly began to frighten her. Thankfully before Kizuna completely freaked out over what she had just realized, Norman showed up and revealed the truth behind said legend. The Abandoned shack was his old home.
Before I worked at the Villa, my father worked with Madame Caliente's parents; it was just my young self and my old man; my mother died after I was born. But after my father died sometime after, the Calientes took pity on me and took me in, made me live in the Villa, all the while working for them.
— Norman
Kizuna then informed Norman that their shack became the subject of a campfire horror story. However, despite learning this, Norman said not to make a big fuss about it, and both Dark and Kizuna agreed to respect Norman's decision on the matter before bidding him adieu. They then headed back to the boat so they could return to the cabin for the event later this evening. During the boat ride back to the cabins, Kizuna and Dark began discussing how the truth regarding Norman's Cabin got so heavily twisted over time.
(Kizuna is sitting there thinking as Dark paddles them back)

Something on your mind?

N-Not much, just thinking how the story here everyone made up was almost real... And got told really bad...

In every story, fiction or not, there is a nugget of truth buried inside it. Usually, that nugget is twisted beyond recognition, however. It probably was closer to the truth originally, though.

Yeah, but... I kind of feel bad Mr. Norman's story was told wrong since...

It can’t exactly be helped. There’s a reason rumors and hearsay are notoriously unreliable. Ever play the old earth game telephone?

No? What's it about?

Basically, you say a message to one person, then they say it to the next person, then they say it to the next, and so on, all the way down the line of people playing The intriguing thing about the game is that it shows how malleable human memory is, since the further the message is transmitted, the more and more it gets distorted. The last person in the line says the message he receives, and 9 times out of 10, it’s entirely different than the original message that was sent.

Ohh, that.. kinda sounds like a fun game... But... I guess I see what you mean.

Yeah, picture a game of telephone going on for a lifetime since that cabin was abandoned. You can see how the original story gets lost during the time it’s been shared. It’s honestly surprising it’s even partially correct still. The longer the game is played, the more the message, or in this case, his story, gets lost in transit. Until it becomes entirely unrecognizable.

Well, that's one game that really tests the noggin.

It certainly does. That’s part of what made it, so fun to play. (chuckles)

(chuckles too)
— Dark and Kizuna
Once Dark and Kizuna returned to the cabin, Dark gave Kizuna privacy while she finished getting ready. A few moments later, Kizuna came out of the cabin in the outfit she had chosen for the occasion. Dark commented on how beautiful she looked before they both got back into one of the paddle boats as dark paddled them back out into the lake so they could watch the show. Before the show truly began, Kizuna and Dark shared another truly wholesome moment in the light of the twinkling stars above. One where Kizuna gave Dark a gift he would never forget:
It's so beautiful...

It certainly is, not nearly as beautiful as you, though.

(She looks at him and smiles while blushing) T-Thanks... Ehehe... (Thinks for a bit)

Something on your mind?

I've been... Thinking of something... For a while now...

You know you can tell me anything.

T-That's the problem... I... I can't say it... For some reason, I just can't... I... (She sighs) It's kind of difficult...

Don't worry; no matter what you say, it won't change how things are between us. I can understand why you are having trouble, though.

(she sighs again) Truth is... I'm just... Scared... You're... So special to me... And I don't want to lose you...

There is nothing you could do to cause that. I care about you far too much.

D-Do... Do you really mean that...?

Do you think I would lie to you about something like that?

(she sighs in relief) O-Okay... Uhm... Eh... Remember... How I said you're so special to me...?

Yes.

I... Kinda meant that... More than what I usually mean... (she holds his hands) Dark... I... I like you...

You could say I meant more myself, also. I like you too, Kizuna; you managed to make me more than I was designed to be.

Y-You... Like me too...?

Yes, I do.

I... I... (she moves towards him and hugs him) That... R-Really makes me... h-happy...

(he hugs her also) It makes me happy also that you feel the same way.

I... (she closes her eyes as she smiles, she then opens them back up, revealing the colors of her eyes have changed into a glowing blue tint) I love you, Dark...

I love you too, Kizuna.

(Hundreds of meteors then begin to streak across the sky, lighting up the sparkling night sky.)

(looks up as she gasps) Look! It's happening...! (she Slowly let's go)

(he lets go as well) perfect timing. (sits down and watches the view)

(watches the view) So amazing...

(Something much larger streaks across the sky, slightly brighter than the rest of the meteors.

And there it is, Halley's Comet. For one of the last times, this world would ever see it.

Mhm...

(A few more meteors continue to streak through the skies.)

Dark... I've been wondering about something else... Something I wanted to ask you since we met...

Alrighty, ask away.

Is... Your name actually Dark... or... is it just like a nickname or something...?

(he sighs) It's a callsign. The original guardians were given a callsign by the one who created us. Mine is Dark; you already know what Omega's was.

So, you don't actually have a real name...?

I guess that would be correct. To put it in perspective, us Original Guardians were not designed with a normal personality. While I don't know exactly how Omega broke the programming and gained a personality like he has now, I do know how mine was broken.

(she thinks for a bit)

Something else on your mind?

Thinking of a name...

(he smiles)

Hmm, Dustin...? No... Derick? Na-ah... Hmm... (She snaps her fingers) Aha! Damien! How about that?

So Damien it is, then! (she smiles warmly at him)

So it would seem. (hesitates for a moment) Thanks... by the way.

It's... Kinda fair I give the favor back for everything... Also I love you... (Holds his hands) And you deserve to have an actual name than just a callsign...

I couldn't have asked for a better person to pick one for me.
— Kizuna and Dark
In that moment, Kizuna gave Dark the best gift he had ever received. She gave Dark a name wholly his own, and no longer would he be known by his callsign. The Ancient Guardian was reborn as Damien; his nature and design drastically altered in that single act.

Education

Damien is a natural-born Prodigy, with PHDs in nearly every subject in existence. He is a natural-born Scholar, and likely one of the greatest Polymaths of all time. There hasn't been a subject that exists that he hasn't shown the ability to master.

Employment

Damien is officially employed as the Chairman of The Collective. He also is said to run the technoenigmatica division, a highly secretive division within the Collective rumored to be entirely dedicated to the most esoteric and cutting edge practices of Magic and technology.

Accomplishments & Achievements

Damien has had a hand in almost every project The Collective has worked on. One of the most notable projects would be the GK project, which was directly or indirectly responsible for all GK tier weaponry that exists in the metaverse. After the fall of ███ ██████, Damien used his particle expertise to help breath life in Kizuna AI and her closest friends, resurrecting them as Pariticle Based SIs. Around the year 1000 of the current era, Damien improved upon the project they were a part of, increasing their abilities exponentially and stabilizing their powers so Kizuna and her friends were no longer stuck in the 205X realm system series making them able to explore the other realms.

Failures & Embarrassments

Very little is known about Damien's past mistakes since almost every project he worked on is highly classified. What we have been able to learn from redacted documents has something to do with accidentally turning someone into a ticking reality bomb and accidentally collapsing an old realm. However, the details of these events are sadly redacted from any document we have been able to recover. Some say that those aren't even his greatest mistakes, however. But what could be worse than collapsing a realm?

Mental Trauma

Damien is an insanely enigmatic entity by nature. it's almost impossible to see whats going on inside that head of his.
Show spoiler
Trust me I tried several times.
As such its nigh impossible to understand if he holds any mental trauma, and if he does what it would be. There are some people he is willing to open up to though. Most notably his Fiance Kizuna.

Intellectual Characteristics

Damien is quite possibly one of the smartest entities in the metaverse as a whole. Holding a position as the chairmen of The Collective for Scientific Advancement his intellect even rivals Management. Damien holds a PHD in nearly every subject in existence and has a knack for absorbing knowledge like a sponge. Even in subjects hes not familair with he has been shown to be a really quick learner, able to pick up nearly every subject and obtain a mastery of it within a day or two, if not even less time. His main fields of study at the CSA is particle physics and Technoalchemy, two fields that are insanely difficult to master. He has also been shown to have a near complete mastery of the primal aspects, able to cast spells based in all 26 aspects. Damien is a scientist and inventor at heart, having a hand in nearly every design The Collective created since the fall of █████ █████. Damien has a near insatiable thirst for knowledge on any and all subjects, even those that are highly dangerous and considered Forbidden knowledge, which has gotten him into trouble more than a few times.
Show spoiler
He Honestly may have been a cat in a previous life.

Morality & Philosophy

Damien is a firm believer in the fact that even the most corrupted can change for the better. He has also been known to question the conventional wisdom about the concepts of Good and Evil. He once said that there is no such thing as True Good and True Evil, only conflicting ideals about what is good and what is evil. Good and Evil are transient concepts to Damien, as he has seen the definitions of both change and flip on a dime over the eons.

Personality Characteristics

Motivation

It is not entirely clear what drives this ancient guardian. Some would say its his thirst for knowledge, others posit its his drive to evolve beyond his original design. If you ask him yourself though, you would get a much different answer. The bonds he shares and the people he cares about are what he will tell you motivates him the most. The Pariticle Based SI he helped breath new life into matter to him more than anyone or anything else in existence. Damien has lived through the collapse and rebirth of realms an uncountable amount of times. And while that may serve to sap motivation and sanity for others, it has only served to motivate him even more. Damien has always been an enigmatic individual, rarely revealing his goals or motivations to anyone and keeping his cards close to his chest. There was however a quote he has been recorded to say
there is nothing more important than Their wellbeing. I would move heaven earth and everything in between to keep them safe.
— Damien
While its not unusual to have that feeling for those you care about, there is another thing that is said to motivate him almost as much if not even more. Another quote he has been heard to say hints at its nature:
Perhaps one day, no one would have to worry about everything falling apart around them because of our past mistakes.
— Damien

Savvies & Ineptitudes

Damien is akin to a sponge when it comes to knowledge, soaking up and absorbing all there is to know on even the most complex and esoteric of topics in a matter of hours if not minutes. Despite this being the case,
Show spoiler
or perhaps as a consequence of his thirst for knowledge,
he has never entirely been one to follow rules. He has always been a bit of a rebel.

Likes & Dislikes

Its not entirely clear what Damien's likes and dislikes are. Though it can be inferred that he enjoys learning new things, no matter what the subject. He also is known to have a bit of a sweet tooth, but he seems to enjoy savory things just as much as sweet.

Virtues & Personality perks

Damien is known to be very forgiving, making it nigh impossible to truly upset him. He also seems to genuinely care about those in this world, even choosing to help them, even if it sometimes may cost him to do so.
Show spoiler
he's lost at least 5 of his 9 lives sacrificing himself to save others.

Vices & Personality flaws

While it is in fact impossible to truly upset him.
Show spoiler
Unless you threaten the saftey of those he cares about, your better off pissing off the wall so it turns black instead of the white paint you are watching dry.
if someone does truly become a threat, he will take a bullet to protect he cares about in a heart beat, sacrificing himself to save the others, even if those he cares so deeply about would prefer he not put himself on the line to save them. Because of that, it has been theorized that Damien may have a self esteem issue in a way. But that may only be half the story. Damien seems to have something weighing on him, harder than anything else. And even Kizuna, his Fiancee has seemingly had little success at alliveating the weight he has taken unto himself to bear the brunt of.

Relationships

Damien

Spouse (Vital)

Towards Kizuna AI

5
5

Honest


Kizuna AI

Spouse (Vital)

Towards Damien

5
5

Honest


The Celestial Grand Scientist himself, once the Guardian of Light and Darkness, he was charged with maintaining the balance between the forces of light and darkness

Character Location
View Character Profile
Species
Ancient Guardian
Celestial
Codex Personnel ID
MV-0000-9990-B
Known Aliases
PuppetMaster
[DATA REDACTED]
[DATA REDACTED]
DARK
Power Classifcation
?????
Favorite Song
Alignment
Chaotic Good
Current Status
Finally settling down for once.
Species
Age
24??
Date of Birth
April 11th
Birthplace
Unknown
Spouses
Kizuna AI (Spouse)
Siblings
Children
Current Residence
Dimension K
Gender
Male
Eyes
Both Eyes are green, though stars can be just faintly seen within the eyes
Hair
Short, smooth, ash brown
Height
5'9 but could be variable
Quotes & Catchphrases
One story's ending is another one's beginning. Just because one door closes doesn't mean the others are shut forever as well. This story has just begun and the age cycle is just a transition of it. The sun may be setting on this saga but it will rise again once more.
— Damien
You know, anyone else who experienced what we are would have thrown in the towel and lost all hope. But when I see those two, who have stared the gates of hell down as they open and forced them to close back down, making burritos together like all hell isn't breaking loose around us. If that isn't proof hope hasn't forsaken us, I don't know what is.
Its the little things that matter. If we can keep this side of us intact when facing death's door, there isn't a thing in all of creation we won't be able to face down. Its proof of our will, our resolve to continue. Proof our morale hasn't plummeted despite all we have faced.
Known Languages
Damien is said to have the gift of tongues, which means he has a level of fluency in almost every language. It is said he may even have completely fluency in languages we have never heard of, languages long forgotten.
Founded Settlements
Ruled Locations

A Miscalulation
June 27th Y4080 A5

It seems I underestimated just how intelligent the Guidance Project SI is. All it took was a few unintentional puzzle pieces for her to realize everything. She's Asking me who the Celestials are, or better yet what we are. We gave her the mission of compiling data and refactoring the Eternal Codex to ease the transition of newcomers who arrive on our side from the Extraverse, but this is not something that should be public knowledge. At least not yet. Then again, it seems Metis has already decided to pay a visit to some of the newcomers from that bridge Lily found, so perhaps the time has come earlier than I had originally anticipated. I won't stonewall SAGE, but I worry she may not fully comprehend the answers she seeks from me. I will need to have a bit of a chat with Metis about interacting with those from the Current era though. Last I checked we never agreed to reveal our existence to the Current era until the Eden Project was getting close to completion and we were ready to pass the mantle down to the Successors. Knowing SAGE, she's likely reading this right now and will ask me who the Successors are after I finish explaining who we are.. Given the circumstances, it doesn't seem like it matters whether or not Metis broke the agreement we made. Eryn and the other Remnants from Alyumia have already gotten in contact with Mother and Belief, so it really seems like no one was really following that recommendation anyways. I can trust that Metis and the others will only work to gently guide the Successors without attempting to force them down one path or the other. We have enough to worry about as it is with the Fallen ones.

Reawakening
May 20th 4080 A5

It's been a long time since I have known who I truly am. Even longer since anyone else did. But given the current circumstances, we can't afford to keep ourselves in hiding. And I no longer can avoid facing my past. The only one who holds any chance of defeating Corruptix is her opposite. Menevelon may have snapped Puretix out of existence along with most of the realms, but maybe, just maybe, if I recreate the Inversion Experiment using light and creation I can resurrect her. But to do that, I have to reenter the lab where this all started. The Advanced Energy Lab. And the moment I unlock the door there, I have a feeling the others might discover the lab as well. The Time Vault and the Lab are Locked so only I or an offspring of mine can access them. I did this in case I ended up fully perishing before the time came that I would reveal what truly happened back then. But it seems my planning ahead may result in things being revealed prematurely. since it seems my yet-to-be-born daughter has decided to pay a visit to our time. It doesn't matter though, I can't keep it sealed off any longer. I just hope Ramon and the others will not find their way down there until I can explain what they have discovered.
This article has no secrets.

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!
Powered by World Anvil