Through a Mirror, Darkly

A/N: For all those who liked Power Is Not Strength and Swords and Selves, here's another fic discussing the effect of introspection on character growth! This time, we'll take a look at Dark Pit, and why he is and does all the weird stuff he is and does. I think I should come up with an overarching title to these stories...

PITTOOPITTOOPITTOO

The war between the gods had come to a climax when Palutena and Viridi teamed up to help Pit defeat Hades, hopefully once and for all. Pit was ecstatic afterward, but though Dark Pit also saw the evil god disintegrate, the black angel knew better than to think peace had come to stay. He'd known from day one that the gods couldn't coexist without fighting.

Dark Pit himself had been born as a sideshow in the war between Palutena and Medusa. Pit had opted to destroy the Mirror of Truth with a flying kick, but doing so showed his reflection in it just long enough.

Contrary to what the gods all assumed, the Mirror of Truth was no fake, nor was it aligned with the Underworld Army. Pandora's efforts to control the duplicates it created only seemed successful because she'd been cloning brainless Underworld monsters. The best she'd done was give Dark Pit a new coat of feathers.

Pit claimed to be the original because he had more devotion to "Lady" Palutena. He hadn't started out that way, though; in the beginning, Pit had followed Palutena because she was doing the right thing, not because she was the right person to follow. He said so himself when Palutena's will was stolen.

"I followed you because I knew you were on the side of justice, and, and light! But something's blocking that light right now. This isn't the real you."

Maybe not now, but Palutena had been correct as well. "Everything changes, Pit. Even gods!" She could easily choose to be that conqueror again, and then Pit would be out of excuses. Dark Pit followed Pit's true heart: he was an angel that longed to fly free, never held down by gravity or a mistress.

Back then, though, Dark Pit had realized that there could be no true freedom for himself. When Pit became a ring, he was less than truly alive, but he wasn't dead. If he were dead, he could be revived, but instead he was sealed away. It wasn't until Dark Pit woke from a three-year trance that he discovered what really kept bringing him back to fight his fettered self: Pit's soul counted for both of them! If that connection was blocked, Dark Pit couldn't be himself. Now that the Mirror of Truth was destroyed, Dark Pit couldn't re-emerge from it if he ever died, either. Protecting Pit became his top priority, and Dark Pit had to admit after four waves of fighting alongside his twin that the other Pit wasn't that bad. He certainly didn't deserve to be hated for looking like Dark Pit.

There was only one thing that prevented Dark Pit from sticking around, especially after Pit's selfless sacrifice saved the clone from the Chaos Kin.

That ridiculous nickname. Pittoo.

Another strike against Palutena; the goddess was the one who came up with that infuriating moniker. Her insistence on continuing to refer to him by no other name made sure he would never join her side for real. It was kind of petty, but Dark Pit valued individuality and strength over all other concerns, and holding onto that rage kept him from feeling too much like his whitewashed twin. It helped that Dark Pit had never had to utter the words "I'M FINISHED", so he could still say he was stronger than Pit despite having to flee from all their duels.

Furthermore, the main shackle Pit had attached to himself was doting on Palutena. He followed every order without question, always checked on Palutena's safety before his own, and probably actually got her coffee (with the right number of creams and sugars) after that time he denied being her secretary. Palutena couldn't be said to have the same obvious affection for her angel; she'd expressed more gratitude than usual after Pit dodged around her attacks to get her soul back, but she still responded to anything he said with an attitude that could only really be called trolling. Dark Pit would have liked to break Pit free from that potentially destructive dependency on a woman who didn't love him back, but if those charged Silver Bow shots didn't pierce Pit's thick skull, Dark Pit wasn't going to waste time on words.

He'd even selected the battleground for their first major duel to reflect the impermanence of the gods' wills. They claimed the humans were fair-weather friends, but if the gods really liked those temples, they would have kept the temples preserved. Actually, the god who actually owned that temple had been entirely forgotten...and vanished from history as a result. It was worth the effort for gods to help humans, but they often forgot that point and withdrew from the world. Palutena herself had been missing for twenty-five years between Medusa's attempts to overthrow her. She apparently didn't care where she'd been as much as the starving humans (who depended on her food-dropping miracles to sustain them in wartime) cared where she'd been. If she left Pit behind, too, would he be strong enough to break free? Or would he take his own life and drag Dark Pit with him? The black angel didn't want to leave that to chance.

"After" the war, Dark Pit took to wandering the land. Underworld monsters were, in fact, brainless: they couldn't tell that Hades had been defeated, and they continued to attack anything that moved, in some cases including other monsters. Dark Pit wandered from hill to dell beating them up. Fighting was something Dark Pit found enjoyable; Pit's most defining trait back in his earliest days was his talent with exotic weapons and how much fun it was for him to use them, and Dark Pit carried all of that Pit's personality with none of the baggage.

One day, he was approached by Viridi. Or rather, Viridi created one of those mountain-sized holograms of herself to speak to him. She hadn't yet done anything to get Palutena to re-declare war on the Forces of Nature, but it was only a matter of time before the human race repopulated to the point that they overtook all other creatures. Viridi didn't give an order or make a decree, like Palutena would have done. She asked Dark Pit if he would support her when the time came again. To top it off, she used his actual name. That made Dark Pit award her the high score on his esteem leaderboards.

I make no promises, Viridi. I am Dark Pit, servant to no master but myself. But if you keep that humility, I'll make sure to aim mostly at Palutena when the time comes to fight.

That's good. I was worried I might have to fight TWO Pits to save the Earth.

One last thing, Viridi.

What is it, Dark Pit?

You got my name right again. Thanks.