Lina woke up in a strange dull room and saw Sylfiel leaning over her. "Lian, are you all right?" Lina sat up. "Lian? Who is Lian?" Then Lina did a double-take. "Sylfiel what happened to your clothes!?!" Sylfiel was dressed in strange plain white clothes, like a peasents outfit, but no peasent ever wore white or such fine weave.

Sylfiel looked confused. "You are Lian. And my name is not Sylfiel, it is Sylvia, Sylvia Ellen Hadra." She looked down. "And what is wrong with my clothes?"

"Where is your priestess outfit? And I am not Lian, I'm Lina Inverse, beautiful sorceress supreme!"

Now Sylfiel looked worried. "Lian -- "

"Lina Inverse!"

"Lina, then. Lina, who are you and who am I?"

"I am Lina Inverse, from Zefilia. I have an older sister, Luna. And you are Sylfiel Nels Lahda, a priestess and princess of Sairaag."

Sylfiel looked more than worried, closer to downright alarmed. She darted out into the hallway and called out "Mr. Tallium, she is awake. But she seems to have lost all of her memories!" A young man with shoulder lenghth black hair, violet eyes and dressed in a dark suit walked in. He was carrying a cane made of twisted dark wood and topped by a ruby crystal. Lina then screamed, for the man, for the difference in hair color, and the open eyes, was Xellos!

"Elmekia Lance!"


"So let me get this straight. Whoever this person whose body I inhabit is, which is nicely taller and fuller than my old one, but which lacks my flaming red hair and lovely ruby eyes, is named Lian Vesrine and she is from a place called Zai Fila. She also attends a school named LON or the Lucefiel-Otis-Nigdo, named for the founders Amanda Lucefiel, Sophia St. Otis and Charles Nigdo. All in Atlanta City. Do I have everything?" Lina was getting walked "home" by some of Lian Vesrine's friends.

"You forgot your elder sister Luna, the former valedictorian." Spoke up a cheerful girl with shoulder length black hair and sparkling navy eyes. "My sister Nacia says that one should never forget one's family."

"Hmph" A young man, with ice blue eyes, and fine pale hair dyed silvery-blue said this. He was dressed all in beige and white tones, and had a distinctly aloof attitude. "What good is family anyway?"

"Now Zachary, don't be mean." said a tall young hunk with shoulder length blonde hair and an affable smile.

"Yes, you should be happy that you even have a family." Sylfiel, no Sylvia, interjected.

"It is not my fault your father died in that eruption. People should not have built Zai Ra so close to an active volcano." Sylvia bit her lip and turned away. The blonde hunk, whose name was Gary Gabriel, quickly put his arm around her and shot a glare to Zachary Grey.

"Ah, and this guy Xavier Tallium is my advisor/counselor. And he's married to the dean of Nigdo, a Zela Tallium." Lina quickly changed the subject. She felt sorry for whoever belonged in this world. Before she left, she would try to change at least that for her. "Strange profession for Mazoku."

"But Lian -- "


"Lina, there are no Mazoku in this world. Nor any magic either. But there is science and technology. I saw how you started when you saw that car. I guess there are no cars where you are from."

"That's right, Amelia, uh, Amelia Williamina Rune?"

The raven haired girl smiled. "That is right. I am a First-Year in Otis. And my sister is Nacia Agnes and my dad is Philip D. Rune, mayor of Zai Rune."

"Zack, you come from an important family too, don't you?"


"Um, it might not be a good idea to mention his grandfather, Ms. Lina. Zachary is a bit sensitive about that subject."


"Well, it is his story, I should not -- "

"Why, why, why, why, why!"

"Just tell her Amelia. i do not care, and she will just annoy us all along the way until we do. You know Lian, this is just one of her stunts to get out of doing work."

"If you say so, Zachary." The girl named Amelia took a deep breath, and started in on her explanation. "Zachary the first test-tube baby, a gift to his parents from his grandfather Richard Grey. Then, when he was an adolcent, he was one of the first successful people to undergo gene therapy, to combat anemia, also under the work of his grandfather Richard Grey. He feels insecure, he wonders if he is truly human."

"A guy I knew back home, Zelgadis Greywards, was very similar. He was made into a chimera, 1/3 golem, human and mazoku, by his great-grandfather, Rezo Greywards. He died though. He was blind and wanted to see so he ressurected the Demon King Shabranigdo, except it turns out that Shabranigdo was in Rezo's eyes. Zelgadis is searching for a cure to turn himself fully human."

"Zachary does not search for a cure but debates Philosophy instead. Unusual, Richard Grey was born blind too, that is why he first started genetics, in order to prevent what happened to him from happening to anyone else."

"What happened to Zack's parents?"

"They died in a car accident when he was fifteen. In fact they were on their way to see him at the hospital where he was getting gene therapy. He did not even get to say goodbye." Amelia's eyes became a bit misty.

"Don't make her cry!" Zack snarled at Lina. He had been walking ahead of them, but now dropped back and placed an arm around Amelia. "Besides if anyone has a tragic story, it is you, Amelia."

"Eh?" Lina queried.

"When Amelia was three, she and her older sister saw her mother knifed by a burglar in thier house. Then her sister ran away and began getting into all sorts of trouble: getting drunk, doing drugs, stealing, prostitution, the works. Finally, her uncle Randy and cousin Alfred tried to kill her father. They wanted a more corrupt mayor, one who would not be so tough on drug running, and one capable of being bribed."

"It is alright. That is all over, and Nacia has come home and is going through detox."

"This all sounds familiar. i wonder, could I be in an alternate world? If I am, that would be great! I could go home!"

"That would be nice, Lina." Sylvia smiled at her from the comforting embrace of Gary. Lina felt a flash of jealousy. The scene they presented was so very similar to Gourry embracing her rival Sylfiel. "It does seem that there are many parallels between your world and ours. Science; magic, people and places seems to have twins in the other world."

At this point they had reached the street where Lian lived. A young woman with long blonde hair and blue eyes ran up to them. Lina gasped, this girl looked exactly like Filia! "Gary, onisan, what took you so long?" she yelled. She even sounded like Filia!

"Sorry Filia. I was just walking Lian home. She had an accident and lost her memory. She thinks she's someone named Lina Inverse."

"Well, you better not be unfaithful to Sylvia, otherwise I'll have to beat you up. It's OK to be friendly, but she's your ex; Sylvia's your fiancee." Fiancee! Lina thought. How lucky is Sylvia? I wonder ...

"Geez, you guys did not mention the fact that you were engaged before hand."

"Yeah, it's one of those things I forget to mention. Did I tell you Sylvia's a very good cook?"

"No. How long have you known Lian anyway?"

"Since you were nine years old, when you moved here from Zai Fila. Gary had come just two years before from Mipross Isle.." This was said by a young man who had walked up. This man had his spiked hair dyed green, and wore a punk's outfit. "Do you not remember this?"

"Accident. Amnesia." Zack was very economical in speech.

"Mipross Isle? Hey" Lina exclaimed. "That is where Rowdy and Meliroon are from. Gary, do you have something called the Hikari no Ken?"

"Geez, that reminds me, I have to call Grandpa Rowdy tonight. But my grandma's name is Melanie, not Meliroon. But they do live on Mipross Isle and both are really short. I get all of my height from my mom's family Grandpa used to run an antiques buisness, but he retired and it was passed down to my dad. Now I help him out by being a courier to clients who cannot come to the store itself. I may not be bright enough to go to college, but I have traveled about quite a bit." Gary scratched his head. "I do in fact have an antique sword with the words Hikari no Ken engraved upon the blade. It was a gift from my Grandpa Rowdy on my 21st birthday, six years ago. I do not practice kendo with is, of course, but it is the Hikari no Ken."

"Nice. And who are these people anyway?"

"Oh, this is my younger sister, Filia Buscott Gabriel. She a senior in high school, and going on to LON next year. She got accepted to Otis, just like Amelia and Sylvia. And this is her boyfriend, Valentine Terrak. He looks like a Goth, but in fact is an honor roll student."

"Huh, it almost seems like everybody here is hooked up but Lian. In my world, Gourry, Zel and Xellos are all in love with me."

Perhaps they might have gone on in this vein, but a commotion occured just in front of the house ahead. "I said NO, now get going!" was heard, a tall, somewhat ugly, red headed man was bounced out the door, and large bouquet of flowers was dumped on his head. The man stood up, brushed himself off, picked up the flowers and saluted the closed door with them, calling out "See you tomorrow Luna." He then walked off in the direction opposite of their arrival, whistling cheerfully. Taking this in stride, Gary walked up to the door without even batting an eye and knocked.

"Mario Gavin, if I've told you once, I've told you a mill -- " the door was jerked open and a girl with black hair and blue eyes who looked way too much like Xavier Tallium for Lina's comfort. "Oh, hello, Gary, I thought it was Mario again." Her glance passed to Lina, who was trying unsuccessfully to hide behind Sylvia, her bulk all too obvious in comparison to that sylph. "Zela called me from the school. All of you come in."

"So you think this may be a case of switching, rather than simple amnesia?" Luna Vesrine, who also worked as a waitress, even if she did not need to, asked Zachary.

"No, I think it is some sort of prank or excuse. But it beats the Gary's "alien abduction" theory. And this world, it is hard to believe someone with amnesia would think of that."

"Hmmm." Luna examined Lina from head to toe. "Tell me more."

"Ummm. A kingdom, entirely populated by women, called Femille."

"Women's college nearby. Named Wellesley though."

"A woman named Eris who lived in Sairaag. She was an assistant to Rezo. Short, black hair, hazel eyed, dresses like a slut."

"My grandfather does have a lab assistant name Ellis Rashaine. Same features, but she certainly does not dress like a slut, whenever she gets out of those lab coats."

"Eris was in love with Rezo."

"Actually that is similar to this world. Ellis and Richard are getting married next spring. It is rather unusual since Grandfather is sixty-six and Ellis is only twenty-seven but they really seem to love each other. Besides, except for the fact that Grandfather's hair is completely white, he does not look much older than me. He must be a favorite of Time."

Lina swallowed her bile at that. "A hot and heavy couple, Martina Zoana and Zangulus. Martina is the princess of a city named Zoana. She's a good Brass Rackets player, and Zangulus is a good swordsman. He has the Howling Sword."

Sylvia snapped her fingers. "Marta Navi and Zang Color. They got married last year. Marta is from the city of Zai Ona and she is an excellent tennis player."

Gary nodded. "And Zang is a junior partner in my father's antique buisness. He's also my kendo sparring partner. 'Howling Sword', I remember that was his nickname in highschool, since he could move his bokken so fast it actually sounded in the air. He has a friend called Vernon Magin. Works with Ellis and Professor Gray on genetics, with an eye towards cloning."



"Never mind. Ah, a Shinzoku called Laguladia or Auntie Aqua."

"Auntie Aqua!" Smiles wreathed Sylvia's face. "The librarian for LON is named Julia Aidal. She is also called Auntie Aqua because she helps out the swim team."

"A tree called Flagoon, near Sairaag."

Now Sylvia winced. "The volcano that blew up Zai Ra was named Flare Gun."

"A dragon named Milgazia."

Filia's turn. "Miller Garcia, called 'Mill' behind his back. Auntie Aqua's neurotic secretary. Blonde, with a supercillious attitude."

"Super what?"

"Supercillious. Haughty."

"Ooookay. Vulabazard, the Fire Dragon King."

Now Amelia. "Vale Bazar. He was your biology teacher and a somewhat hot-headed red-head. He gave you an F, remember?"

"Nope. Deep Sea Dolfin, a mazoku."

"Oh. Dolf C. Deop, Zela Tallium's younger brother. He teaches marine biology in LON."

"He? Dolfin's a girl."

"So will Dolf be after this summer's operation. He plans to change his legal name to Desea Elfin There was a lot of controversy in hiring him, being a transexual and all, but LON prides itself on being an equal opportunity employer. That is why Richard Grey can teach genetics and chemistry here, even though he is blind." Trust Amelia to know that. She was in Law, where she had met Zack in one of the classes, and had the makings of a brilliant lawyer. She had been winning almost all of the arguments Lina had been having with her all afternoon. That was one thing Lina wanted to get back to, an Amelia who backed down. And a transexual? What type of weirdos populated this world?

"Ma-Ryu Gaav, the Chaos Dragon. Red-head, tall and very ugly."

Now Luna chuckled. "Oh, I know him very well. Mario Gavin, the security chief at LON, also an alum. He comes by to prpose to me every week. He is really rather sweet." Lina shuddered. The Knight of Ceifeid going out with a servant of Shabranigdo? Best friends with them? She wanted to get back to black and white issues.

"Last ones. Dynast Grausherra, Sheila, his general, and Hellmaster Philibrizo."

Luna finished it off. "Dyne Hao. Dean of Academics. He is a cute guy, grey eyes and short black hair. He is in love with Michelle Grou, a student, but she keeps putting him off. She has ash-blonde hair and green eyes. He also has a younger brother, Rizo. Rizo is such a sweet kid, with such pretty green eyes, lighter than Michelle's. Everybody loves him, but when you went to babysit him Lian, you almost killed him." Luna paced. "It does seem as though there are a lot of parallels. Now, you've told us about the people, the places and magic. What about yourself? What is your main goal?"

Lina thought. "To make a ton of money so that when I go home, my parents will be proud of me."

Luna looked stricken. "Lian" she said very gently. "This is not a parallel universe. What you experienced was a fantasy world, that you created to spare yourself pain."

"And how would you know."

"Because you want to go back to your parents. Lian, our parents died three years ago, in a car accident."


Lian looked down to the ground, five stories below her balcony in Lucefiel. This was her life. She was twenty-one and a loser. She was the younger sister of a valedictorian, yet failing every course. She had access to a trust-fund, but only if she could prove herself capable of supporting herself. She couldn't. Even her sister, with her part-time waitressing job, and full-time goverment official did better. At least Luna wasn't an addict and alcoholic. She had a bunch of friends, but they weren't close. They had their own successful lives, with careers and relationships ahead of them. She didn't have anyone. Her parents were dead. She had made a pass at her advisor, and then threatened him with a sexual harrassement case when she was rebuffed. She had lost her temper at a little kid and almost killed him while babysitting. She had a record that made Lina Bandit Killer look tame. No wonder she had tried to escape into a fantasy world.

She leaned forward and sighed. No magic. No love. No money. No close friends or family. No beautiful Lina Inverse, Sorceress Supreme. Everything she had made up in her fantasy world, it was all just a dream. She wanted to go back. Even if she had made every man who had rejected her into a demon, even if she had crippled her friends by making them freaks, turning law studying Amelia into a justice freak, compassionate Sylvia into a flake and kind Gary into a brainless jelly fish, she wanted to be the heroine again. If she had wronged everyone who ever tried to help her in her own mind, it was still her world. She wanted it.

The door to her room opened. She gasped. There was Xellos, purple hair, closed eyes, staff and all! "Come now Lian, step away from the window. Just calm down." No, he had come to take her away, back to that world of the loser Lian. Lina pressed herself closer to the balcony, away from Xellos. "Lian, this is for your own good. Get away from the window." She looked down. Below her she saw her friends, Zelgadis, Gourry and Amelia. Zel and Gourry were beckoning her, smiling. Amelia was calling her name "Lina-san, Lina-san. Come on, jump down to us." Yes, her friends, they would help her get away from the demon. She'd jump and cast a Ray-Wing, then Zel would fry Xellos for her and Gourry would take her in his arms and Amelia would look up to her in hero-worship. Then they would go adventuring again, and she'd gain all the power and money in the world, and make her parents proud. And she'd show her sister who was stronger. It was all there, all she'd have to do is jump. "Are you frightened?" She turned to the side and saw Philibrizo leering at her. "Coward!" She'd jump and then they would go back and kill him, just like before. "Lian!" "Get away from me Xellos!" and she jumped "Wait for me!" and she was falling and falling, and now she'd cast Ray-Wing and laugh about the scare she'd just given them, and just a little later she could go eat and eat and eat and eat and eat and ...

Coroner's Report:

Victim: Lian Vesrine

Age: 21

Cause of Death: Suicide, fall of fifty feet from balcony.

Found by: Xavier Phelan Tallium, advisor to victim, Mario Charles Gavin, Security Chief of LON

Probable Time of Death: 7:52 PM --/--/----

Location: Lucefiel Dormitory, Lucefiel-Otis-Nigdo Private University, 409 Lado Road, Atlanta City --, -----

Next of Kin: Luna Charlene Vesrine, older sister of victim

Contacted: Yes

Death Certificate

Time Issued: 8:20 PM --/--/----

Location: Sophia St. Otis Hospital, Lucefiel-Otis-Nigdo Private University, 409 Lado Road, Atlanta City --, -----

Issued by: Dr. Richard Alfred Grey MD, Ellis Vera Rashaine BA, Sylvia Ellen Hadra (resident)

Note: Charges against university will not be pressed by request of victim's family. Victim was said to have a pre-existing conditon, possibly percipitating suicide.