Homecoming (Ren Tanaka)

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Homecoming (Ren Tanaka)
Date of Cutscene: 28 September 2015
Location: Mount Meru - Meruvia - Creation: Modern-1
Synopsis: "Hey, dad? It's me. Can we talk?"
Cast of Characters: 165

"Everything will surely be alright." "Maybe, Ren."

It started that way, on Sunday. Nobody really saw or felt sufficient to comment on why or how Ren healed remarkably fast from having his jugular opened up by Jack Slash- many elites have a way of healing quickly, so it went by without a mention. Likewise, nobody commented on anything as he left Njorun, walking deep into the rows of warpgates in the stacked-out transport areas to go somewhere, anywhere else.

No, well, no. Not really anywhere.

       Doctor Who, Series 6
       Murray Grant - The Majestic Tale (Of a Madman in a Box)

Some time later, and he's home.

The island nation of Meruvia is the center of the world in every way that counts... or so its inhabitants believe. Isolated on all sides by the sea, Meruvia is also home to Mount Meru: the highest peak in Creation, once only inhabited by Alaun but now somewhat- but blessedly, not very- colonized as part of the greater world.

Here, he doesn't have to be Ren Tanaka. He doesn't have to be the Traveller. He can finally be comfortable, in some respects, and admit what he is in truth:

A Solar Exalted; Prince of the Earth, Hidden Sun, Dagger of Heaven. He has many titles, but only one Name. He doesn't even sign it on the official thrice-blessed documents when he goes mountain climbing.

Even though only a handful of Solar Exalted shards (he considers the irony, as he walks, of the name being shared) are allowed to walk in the world at any one time, they are not treated with hate and scorn like many types of Creation. When he walked back into his home world, and said who he was, and that he wished to make a pilgrimage, he was not attacked or jumped on by dragon-blooded- he was treated with respect and formality.

He only visits the world rarely, but he visits it enough to make it meaningful. Nobody has had a problem with it so far.

There is something at the top of the mountain: it's small but it's there. It is not, exactly, a temple to the White Jade Emperor.

However, it is without question the absolute best place in the entire world to communion with him. Even though the world is not exactly flat, it has always been the center of the world; the highest peak, Creation's Everest, spot closest to the sun. A simple consecrated place to what few people remember is named The Unconquered Sun. Ren hasn't seen him personally in a while, but he's sure he's still willing to provide an ear.

When he sits down at the top of the shrine and stares into the Daystar, he knows he can see someone looking back.

"So, there's this girl," he says, then waits the required amount of seconds for the comical irony to steep properly before going on.

"I failed once already doing what someone else should have done to spare her the fate that's coming up in a week's time. I don't know what it is. I don't feel like I have the right- not after that- to face her. Even though it could be the last week of her life. I've tried- I have tried before this, inbetween the attempts at help, to make her feel happy. To show her some wonderful things. They almost never worked, mind you, we almost always ended up in some sort of mad adventure, but we managed to turn them around into learning experiences."

"I didn't... I never went into any of these things consciously thinking of them as last meals. It's only now looking back that I realize that's how they could have felt. It was always- always about making the future brighter, to echo the voice of someone else I f-" He headshakes. "Someone I would also like to think is a friend of mine."

"I'm not sure what to do."

"I've run out of things to offer her. I helped find her protection, I stuck with her for quite a long time to make her life better, try and make her stronger. I tried to eliminate the problem before it started, and I didn't, and I feel like a bit of a fool. Feel rather ashamed, feel like I failed, which isn't a good feeling for one such as I. I thought I had a good idea, but there was..."

He pauses a moment, fingers flexing in the subzero mountain air, trying to grasp something that doesn't exist. "Something missing." Trying to grasp something that doesn't exist. "Something I couldn't..."

"Something I couldn't think about..."

He stops. He purses his lips. "Intangible. Unconscious. Something that wasn't... there. Ah... ah, ahh, hey-hey hey...!"

He suddenly skips into a standing position, claps his hands together. He walks about a little, clapping, laughing at the breakthrough that comes from talking out loud in a place you can think clearly. And then, once he's done rubbing his hands together, he sits down again.

Ren closes his eyes. "I think I might have thought of something. I think I'll need some time to think about this. But first..."

He takes a deep breath.

"Sol Invictus, Luna, Autochthon, Maidens. Your humble servant, your prince, requests your blessing, not for himself but for another..."