Categories > Games > Xenosaga2 Reviews
a firefly night in the park of the durandal, momo & jr.
Faint lights flickered ahead of her, tiny stars in the darkness.
Fireflies, MOMO thought, like in Lost Jerusalem. Daddy told me a story, once, before I was born. I think... I think I remember. She smiled, pressing her fingers against the warmth of the hand that covered hers, pulling her up the slideway. "Jr..."
"C'mon, MOMO." He half turned his head to look back at her even as he ran, blue eyes shining. "I gotta show you something!" The edge of his long coat tangled her legs as it flew out behind him, and she couldn't help but laugh, puzzled and tripping, as he tightened his grip on her hand.
"In the park? But..." She tugged on his hand to slow him, without success. "Weren't we just there this-" She paused a moment, the data for the day and night cycles of the Kukai Foundation racing through her mind. "-morning?"
Jr. finally stopped as they entered the dim light of the park, swinging to face her without relinquishing her hand. "That-" A small grin started at the corners of his mouth, and he pulled her a few more steps, walking backwards. The rush of the central fountain grew in her ears, water and breath and hazy memories of a sad, loving voice. "-was this /morning/. Now, come o-"
"Oh, Little Master?" An older man, uniformed, had walked up beside them, his face heavy with worries and careworn concern. He gave Jr. a formal half-bow.
Jr. let out a loud breath and looked up, brushing a piece of red hair back behind his ear. "Is there a problem?" His coat rippled as though it was itching for him to run so it could fly again. "I'm... kinda busy."
"Are you eating properly?" There was a twinkle under the worry in the crewman's eyes, a little smile that hovered behind the layers of concern. "You're a growing boy right now, so you need to eat properly."
"Wha...?" Jr.'s surprise turned to a small laugh, almost a sigh. "Hey, I'm fine. I'm... great, actually." He squeezed MOMO's hand, tentatively, as though he was afraid that she might flee the contact. I wouldn't... "I was just gonna show something to MOMO here. Why so worried?"
"I have kids of my own." The environmental bugs hovered over the older man's head, silent in the sound of the fountain's fall; his eyes brightened in their light, the faded strands of his hair glowing silver.
"Right... I'll..." Jr.'s fingers began to slip from MOMO's, his grip on her hand loosening. His hand... She looked up at him; his glance flicked away from her, faster than a firefly. The numbers on his palm... He swallowed, smiled, drew another breath. "I'll be sure to do that." His smile widened into his normal Jr. grin. "Take care of yourself, too. Maybe we can get your kids up sometime to enjoy the view, huh?"
The crewman bowed, the weight of his worries falling away from his face as he smiled. "Thank you, Little Master. I'd like that."
"Great!" The redhead nodded as the man turned and disappeared into the dusk of the park. His hand slid from MOMO's, and he pulled his coat around him, fingers whitening as they tightened around the black edges. "A growing boy...?" His voice was quiet, a faint whisper traversing the silent space between them, the environmental bugs hanging still as stars in the air. "Huh..."
"Jr...?" The fountain filled her ears again, and she was floating, remembering the distant sound of that sad voice. Daddy... Her hand crept to Jr.'s, fingertips brushing back the cuff of his coat and touching his cold skin. "But warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child..." Her fingers closed around his. "Jr... I... I'd like to see what you wanted to show me."
"What I..." Jr. stared at her, eyes slowly traveling down to where her hand clasped his, and a smile began on his face, brighter than the sheen of his hair in the fountain's faint light. "Right! C'mon-" He tugged on her hand, pulling her towards the darkened observation window at the back of the park. "-last one there's a VX-10000!"
"That's not fair!" She laughed, stumbling as he dragged her up the steps to the window, environmental bugs darting out of their way like a shower of tiny meteors. "And- doesn't Shion pilot a VX-10000?"
"Oh, does she?" His grin made MOMO giggle, his earring swinging by his cheek and reflecting the green glow of the display screen. "Now-" He released her hand, only to gently place his on her shoulders, turning her to face the window. "-there. Down there."
"Stars," she whispered. The sideways horizon of the Kukai Foundation fell before them, dark but for the thousands of tiny lights that glimmered out of the eternal sky. Fireflies... She pressed her nose against the glass, watching the silhouettes of the skyscrapers dissolve into the blackness of the Foundation sea, casting their lights into the water. "Stars and city lights, and their reflections... you can't tell which is which. You..." She traced a finger across the window, wondering. "You can't even tell where the dome turns into outer space."
"'And the walls became the world all around and an ocean tumbled by...'" Jr. squeezed her shoulders, his breath soft on her cheek. "This is 'night' in the Foundation."
"It's so beautiful..." She lifted her hand, almost unconsciously, to Jr.'s touch on her shoulder. "It's..." A sky of fireflies... almost as though it always existed, like it was meant to be. Like what Shion said... "It's your own universe... that you're sharing with me."
She could sense the heat rising in his face as he wrapped his fingers around hers. "Next you'll be asking me to show you the Kukai constellations in the skyscraper lights and reflections."
"No." Jr. laughed. "But we can make them up if you like." He pointed with their joined hands. "There's... chaos. See, if you follow that light there up to the little one to the right, you get that piece of his hair that's always sticking up."
"I want to name one of the constellations for... for Daddy. And for Ziggy." MOMO rested her head against his shoulder, feeling the warmth of his hand begin to grow under her fingertips. "And for you."
author's note: the quote that MOMO remembers is originally by Carl Jung. Jr. is quoting Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.