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[X] Let Sumi talk to the other rabbits about Ringo
[X] Don't take a pill
- [X] Hero
It's not that I don't think Sumi is trustworthy or anything. She really is! It's just that she's already shown that she's definitely intending to push me toward a certain course of action. I can kind of give her a bit of a pass on that as well though, since she seems quite aware of it, and has even told me out loud that she actually is biased. There is some genuine effort on her part to be fair and honest, but she can't help but slip her own opinion in too. Hard to ask for more than that really. I don't think anyone I talk to is going to be completely one hundred percent impartial all the time. Even if they were, then I think that would more speak to them not caring than anything else. Sumi definitely cares, you couldn't possibly convince me otherwise.
What about the others though? What are they going to think? I'm pretty sure that they'll care one way or the other too, but I'm not completely sure how they'll react otherwise. Will they be upset or angry or anything? Yeah, I doubt that. There'd be no reason for it. It's hard not to be nervous anyway though. There's this annoying feeling that I won't say the right words or I'll cause misunderstandings and embarrassment to myself or... Bleugh, no thank you. I'm okay with letting Sumi handle this, since she volunteered.
"Well, if you're willing to wait up for the others, then sure," I finally answer. Even despite sleeping a lot of the day, I am feeling somewhat drained in various ways. I don't know if I'll fall asleep immediately or anything, but I won't mind the chance to lay down and take it easy. Although falling asleep earlier also means waking up earlier. I do kind of have something of an appointment with Sanae to go meet Marisa... Although come to think of it, that also means talking with Sanae which is um...
"Hey, you don't have to look worried, I got this," Sumi suddenly reassures me about the wrong thing.
"Oh, err," I probably wasn't paying attention to my expression again. It really doesn't do me any good to keep realizing that after the fact if I don't do anything about it. "I wasn't worried about you, it was um... I'm also going to have to talk to Sanae tomorrow."
Sumi strides back over to her bed and sits back down, looking at me with a small amount of confusion. "Sanae? Why? You forget something up there?"
"No it's not that," I double checked enough to make sure that didn't happen in fact. "I just have a um, thing planned," Should I mention what the appointment is for? Err... Maybe later.
"Hm," Sumi apparently accepts the very little explanation that I actually gave her. She just nods and appears to go back to her normal relaxed attitude. "Well, if you need me to, I can talk to her about it too. Not like I have much going on tomorrow morning either."
While I appreciate the thought, that might be a bit overkill. It's not like I owe Sanae an explanation in the same way that I would the rest of the unit. I could just tell her that it's none of her business... Or at least I could if I didn't hate being rude. "I'll think about it," I answer vaguely.
There is a certain point where relying on your friends for help goes too far. I have no idea if that would be passing that point or not. I'm not sure about a lot of things regarding my friends right now though. I think it can be excused.
I stop by the restroom after leaving Sumi's room. The urge to shower is definitely there, but I kind of want to minimize my time wandering around. It feels a little evasive, but not running into the other rabbits is probably for the best right now. I don't know when they're going to come back, so I settle for simply washing my face off a bit and preparing myself for bed. It's a nice bit of comfort, even if I end up feeling a little bit jumpy the whole time.
Anyway, my discretion pays off, thankfully. On the way back to my room, I don't run into anyone. Well, it isn't exactly a long walk anyway, so the chances aren't actually that high. It also probably helps that I kind of hustle a little bit.
Okay, fine, I'm being shady. Whatever.
When I get back to the room, everything is about as quiet and still as you would expect. Ringo is... Still asleep and umm, sprawled out on her bed...
Guh, Come on! It hasn't even been an hour since I last saw her! Why should I feel so awkward now? Yes, okay I did kind of admit, out loud, with my own voice, just a few minutes ago that I um... That I liked her...
Aaaargh! Come on you stupid dumb idiot! There isn't even anybody else around! Why are you blushing!? She's not even doing anything aside from sleeping! Why are you all embarrassed!? Yes she might look a little bit more cute than you really remembered her being but um... GAH! Why are you being so gay!?
I throw myself down on top of the unoccupied bed and bury my face in the pillow.
... Urgh now my face is way too hot. I can't breathe either.
Flipping over to stare at the ceiling instead, I easily notice the bullet holes from this morning.
... Sometimes you just can't win no matter what you do, huh?
I at least manage to keep myself from sighing as I get up to turn off the lights. Just go to sleep. Things will hopefully be a little better in the morning.
Aaaaaah, this is much better. Err, better than what exactly? Hm, I don't know. Most everything that happened before this point, I suppose. Of course, the current situation is a bit of a high bar to reach. Can't
It's a very beautiful day out this cycle. Hm, I would put the time of day as just about noon based on the position of the sun. Nice, that means there should be plenty more cycles of this to go. I could go out.
Feel a hand slap my back playfully, have to turn to see it. it's Ringo. Oh wow, I didn't know Ringo owned a full suit. She looks really good in that! I don't know if the hat really matches, but whatever. "Hey, you spacing out?"
Ha ha ha. Like I haven't heard that one before, considering where we actually are. Still, can't help but glance back at the window. Obviously I can't see the Earth right now. It's midday! I just felt like I wanted to see it again for a second, you know? "Yeah, sorry, did you say something?"
"Nah, I just thought you'd be more excited." "It's an award ceremony!"
Oh, right. That. Honestly things have been such a blur for me ever since we got everything back to normal. Well, okay, things aren't really normal normal. They're more like kinda sorta normalish. Or maybe less than that? I guess the only real
Yeah, there we go...
Looking out toward the stars, this definitely is much better. Kinda relaxing, if a little bright. Well, what else would you expect considering the position of the sun? Of course it's going to be bright out this many cycles into the day. The sun is only halfway across the sky, we've still got plenty of cycles worth of sunlight to go.
I feel a hand pat my back suddenly. Soon after that is a friendly voice. "What's up, you spacing out or something?" Oh har har har, like I've never heard that pun before. The most standard joke you'll ever hear, and yet Ringo has made it so many times. Guess it's accurate this time though. I wasn't really thinking about much in particular, and was just kinda staring at nothing. Turning around so that I can properly respond to Ringo's voice, I see-Oh wow! It's been a while since I've seen Ringo in the uniform. She looks really good like that, even if the hat doesn't really match. She can pull it off much better than I can. Personally, I'm feeling a little bit uncomfortable in this suit jacket thing.
"Err, yeah, something like that," I admit. My thoughts were really far away just now, and I don't remember what I was so focused on. Maybe trying to remember what was going on today? That's the right line of inquiry I think. Why are we in uniform? Why are we so high up in this building? Where are the others? I have a lot of questions, but don't ask any of them. "Sorry, were you saying something?"
"Nah, just trying to get your attention," Ringo takes her hand off of my back and steps away, gesturing toward a door on the inside of the building. "We're supposed to head in soon I think. You ready to go?"
Ready? Ready for what? I glance around the hallway that we're currently standing in. It's just bordering the exterior wall of the building, near the top floor of one of the several skyscrapers in the city. The windows give a great view to the rest of the capital. Pretty sure I've never been in this one before now, in fact I don't really recognize it, or the part of the capital it's in either. If I was just looking at it from the outside though, I would guess that they just do some kind of generic business work in here. Not something that I'd normally be involved in. What are we even here for? "I'm ready, I was just... thinking about stuff," My mouth says without my brain even telling it to.
"About everything that happened?" Ringo sounds amused at the idea. "Man if I let you do that we'll be here until tomorrow!" Grabs me and starts walking. "Just stop worrying about it. We did our job and did it well, so now we're getting rewarded. Simple. Out of character for them, but simple. That's what happens when you become heroes."
We did what now?
While Ringo pulls me into the building, I cast one last look back out at the sky, just out of curiosity. I don't know the reason for it, obviously given the time of day I wouldn't see anything but the sun, or maybe some other stars further away, but... For some reason I just felt like I wanted to look at the Earth.
Ringo flings open the large double doors, leading me along into some kind of banquet hall...
Pure. Pure white. The whole place is rather regal, elegant, and almost offensively white. If it weren't for the accents of the various plates and trays along the center, as well as the faces of the people sat there, I would almost call this place blinding. It's too bright. Everything is too spotlessly white. There's no texture. Who thought this was a good idea?
A clear voice calls something out, although I somehow miss all of the words. Commander Yorohime! Even if it's been a while since I've last seen her (has it?), my body still snaps to attention at the sound. From the movement beside me, Ringo has the same reaction. Hah, of course we would be like this still, even if I'm not catching the specifics of what's being said, just the voice is enough.
Well, anyway, of course the commander would be here. We're obviously doing something important right now, although I don't know why Ringo and I would be invited if that were the case though. The commander of Lunar Defense Corps is obviously important. Her sister who starts speaking next, Lady Toyohime, is obviously important. Lady Sagume, Lady Chang'e(?), Lord Tsukuyomi(???), so many others... Yeah, they're all very important. Why are we here then? A few people start to clap, and I can't help but feel it's directed at me.
Something feels wrong.
More people speak, but I can't focus on the words. It just seems so dissonant. Like I shouldn't be here. No, I definitely shouldn't be here. Why am I here? Why are people so thankful for whatever we did? Why do they keep using that word? It can't be right. I don't want it to be right. I'm just really uncomfortable right now.
The feeling doesn't go away once people stop making speeches. Ringo and I sit down at the table, and dinner begins. Is it dinner or lunch actually? I don't know what time of the cycle we're in. My schedule has been kind of a blur ever since we came back. In fact, most things have been a blur. I can't remember when we came back, or what we did that people are so happy about us doing.
The dinner... It doesn't taste like anything. I can't taste anything other than blandness. The vegetables taste like water, the rice tastes like plastic. It's all too sterilized. Why are they feeding us this? I would rather have field rations than this. Did the food here always taste so bad? Even the Kogasa surprise was better. Tasting horrible is at least tasting like something. This is just... Way too plain.
Ringo's shovelling this stuff down though. Is it just me? Something is definitely wrong. This meal... It's for us, right? What are we celebrating? What did Ringo and I do? I try to remember it while I continue to mechanically eat whatever ends up in front of me. It's not fulfilling. I want another fruit salad from Merlin. I want some more eggplants from Minoriko. I don't want this stuff. It doesn't taste like anything.
"So, are you ready?"
"Huh?" Who said that? I look up and... Reisen? Err, not Reisen the one on Earth, the other one. I've never met her before, but I at least know who she is. She's holding a small microphone out in front of me, and has some kind of medal in the other hand. I can kinda read what it says from here-Medal of Heroism? Is that a real thing? Wait, what is that for?
"You're supposed to make a speech," Reisen prompts me, waving the microphone intently. "That's part of the award ceremony."
Err, a speech? In front of all of these people. These ridiculously important people that are in charge of basically everything on the Moon? I'm supposed to get up and talk about whatever happened? Right now?
... No. "Err, yeah, just a second," The lie comes out easily enough. Reisen backs away as I get up from my chair.
There's some confused muttering as I practically run out of the room, back into the exterior hallway. I hear a few utterances 'hero' from people, and can't help but speed up even more whenever I hear the word. Get me out of here. I didn't do anything. I didn't want to do anything, and I don't want to do anything now. I need to get out of here!
When I enter the hallway again, it's no longer bright outside.
Wait, how could that be? It was midday last time I looked! There's no way I was in there for more than a few hours, right? Why is it dark outside?
I race over to the window and look outside. The sun isn't out anymore. When I look through the sky again, I don't see it.
Instead, I see the Moon.
... Then where am I?
... Wait... The mission... So then that means that I'm... I need to confirm this. There's no way. I couldn't have made that happen. That's wrong. I didn't want that to happen! They didn't tell us that that was the plan! That's wrong!
I need to get out now! Looking up and down the hallway, of course there's no exit to the building this high up. I'd need to go down or up... Or just out. That should work. I can go out through the windows, I just have to get them out of the way first. Where's my hammer? Ugh, of course I wouldn't have brought it to this, would I? No, I didn't.
Well, I do have an alternative.
Two bullets, the first ones I can grab. That's all it takes to shatter one of the large panes of glass. The shards fall away neatly, out and down toward the city. I don't pay them much attention. If I'm correct (and I'm really hoping that I'm not), it shouldn't matter. No, no time to worry about that, I need to confirm something.
Launching myself out of the window, I fly as fast as I can in a random direction. My actual destination isn't specific. I don't care where I end up, as long as I can see what I need to see. The edge of the city. What happens when I get to the end of the lunar capital? Ordinarily, it should just let out to the bleak fields of nothingness that are the rest of the Moon.
But this time it doesn't.
There's a twisting, awful feeling in my gut. I see... What used to be trees. Discolored, lifeless husks of nothing that used to be trees. They've been purified. The further and further I fly, the more remains I see. Things that used to be alive, purified so that we could move in. This isn't the Moon. This is the Earth.
Or at least it used to be, before some hero came by and finished her mission.
... I want to scream, panic, cry, freak out, something. They tricked me. I didn't mean to do all of this. If I had known that this was the end goal, I wouldn't have!
But of course, I did do this. It was an order, and I followed it. It was a mission, and I accomplished it. We save the Moon from invaders. We made it so Lunarian society could continue. We're heroes.
I feel sick just thinking the word, but my body keeps flying forward...
Waking up... Is not very pleasant. I'm not sick, but I don't feel good. Mentally that is. It's like I feel guilty, even if I know I shouldn't. It was just a dream. Just a nightmare, really. I don't have to think about it. Just push it away and out of my mind like all the other ones. I don't have to feel guilty about our original mission.
Yes, okay, deep down, I know that something like that could have happened. Or at least some of it maybe. None of it did though. We failed.
And in a lot of ways, I'm actually glad for that. It doesn't mean that I don't still want to help the capital, but... Well, they have quite a bit of explaining to do afterward. I know I'm not really in a position to make demands of them right now, but...
Well, maybe if I really did become their hero or something.
... That's still really weird to think about. A bit better when I'm doing it on my own terms though.
When I slide out of bed and turn on the lights, I quickly see that Ringo has already gone somewhere. She at least left another post it note on the desk though, which makes it somewhat better.
I owe Rikako a favor after yesterday, so I'll be out taking care of that for a while. Left some money out for you if you wanna go somewhere. See you later. -Ringo
Hm. I kinda get the feeling that she might be intentionally avoiding me to some degree. Although honestly I'm not sure what I would do even if I woke up and she was right here to talk to either, so that kind of suits me just fine. We don't have to be together every hour of every day, especially if things are just going to be awkward.
I move the note to the side, and see a handful of coins were stacked up underneath it. Hm, alright, hopefully this should be enough to get breakfast, or maybe I could just save it and eat a ration instead. It wouldn't exactly be a glamorous start to the morning, but having some money on hand just in case seems like a good idea to me.
Pocketing the coins and turning to grab my hammer, something else happens to catch my eye. Is that-yeah, okay. I'm really not all that surprised anymore. Like I still hate it, and I'm still kind of embarrassed about it, but I'm not surprised. Maybe I'm getting a bit too jaded about things.
There are a couple new bullet holes in the wall.
Ugh. Probably going to have to take care of that too then. I guess it could wait though, I also have an appointment with Sanae. Several things to do, though I think I have a pretty good amount of time to actually get them done. The only other obligation that immediately comes to mind is meeting up with Reisen again, and that's not until afternoon.
[ ] Go get breakfast
- [ ] In the cafeteria
- [ ] Stay in the common area and eat some rations
[ ] Look for Ruukoto. There are some more bullets that need removed
[ ] Look for
[ ] Head to the shrine to meet up with Sanae
- [ ] Bring along Sumi
- [ ] Bring along Chiyo
[ ] Something else (write-in)
I have had a very long day, let me tell you...
Next update miiiight be in a new thread? Depends on what the vote count is once voting is over. Don't know yet.