Star Army

Star ArmyⓇ is a landmark of forum roleplaying. Opened in 2002, Star Army is like an internet clubhouse for people who love roleplaying, art, and worldbuilding. Anyone 18 or older may join for free. New members are welcome! Use the "Register" button below.

Note: This is a play-by-post RPG site. If you're looking for the tabletop miniatures wargame "5150: Star Army" instead, see Two Hour Wargames.

RP: YSS Kaiyō Pre-Mission 16: Early-Life Crisis

Blizzard

Well-Known Member
RP Date
YE 41
RP Location
YSS Kaiyo II
YSS Kaiyo II
Med-bay
Early YE 41


Gravity stepped down the corridors of the ship with a silent determination, using sheer discipline to keep those hellish, confusing emotions she felt at bay. Just a few minutes prior, she'd been sitting in the observation deck, staring at the stars beyond and hyperventilating. As far as she knew, that wasn't normal behavior for a biologically nineteen-year-old girl.

It had all been started by Saya's message in the ship's groupchat. Did other people really see her that way? Did they really think of her as nothing more than a soulless killing machine?

Shaking those pesky thoughts away, Gravity forced her fiery temper to the surface, a raging inferno that would beat down anything that would shatter her focus. The azure girl came upon the med-bay doors and strolled right in, briskly making her way to where Saya sat. Gravity dropped herself into a chair across from the medic, and after a moment of hesitation wondered if she'd really made the right decision. Maybe she could just fire off a joke and leave?

No. Not this time.

Unable to think of any eloquent way to word the question that was on her mind, Gravity looked Saya dead in the eyes, and like always, went right for the throat.

"Saya, am I a monster?" asked Gravity with an uncharacteristically serious expression.

Saya had been a little worried she had upset the ship's pilot with her suggestion about the game. She had only made the comment because she had thought the girl enjoyed the more combat intense things they did as she always seemed up for it. But obviously it had been a mistake, one that had caused the pink haired medic to squirm in her chair.

Then she had logged back in and asked Saya to talk, and that had made her even more worried frankly, but as Gravity walked in and sat down and fired off her question so quickly, she couldn't help but respond after a moment of thought.

"Gravity, I don't see you as a monster, far from it. I think you're strong, compassionate, and have a certain zeal for life that I strive for. Do I sometimes misinterpret your jokes? Yes, but see you as a monster? No." Saya explained as she shook her head. The data pad in her lap had several questions she had saved during her time back on Yamatai at the hospital when she had to evaluate a recovered service member's mental capacity to return to service.

It seemed the stumbling, usually nervous Neko was gone, instead replaced with the Medic that was Fujiwara Saya, fully in her element. Her voice had been full of conviction, and oddly enough power for the normally shy girl.

"I know! I know." Gravity sighed, her stony complexion cracking for a moment to show something... different. "But don't you at least think it's weird how willingly I can kill hundreds of people?! I get excited! I love my job! Whenever we get into a battle, I think of it like a game! The winner lives, the loser dies! It that not in the least bit strange to you?!" she blurted, her last sentence turning into a low roar like a tiger's. Gravity didn't realize it, but she'd slammed her fists on the table as hard as she could, even now subconsciously looking for a way to lash out and incapacitate her opponents.

"Did you know the MINDY and I believe MINDY 2 both had modules installed that when a Nekovalkyrja killed someone, it gave them a flash of pleasure? We, as a race, have been created, trained, and encouraged to kill for decades now. It's almost a part of our genetic code at this point. I've seen cases of older Nekovalkyrja that can't be sexually stimulated without your thoughts."

Saya frowned a little, not at all disturbed by the outward sign of hostility. She knew it wasn't directed toward her, but she did look to her data pad for a moment and type something in before she looked back to Gravity.

"I have a question for you, do you find it odd that I have never made a single kill in my time in service? Almost ten years, three tours on different ships, all which have seen combat, and I have never once taken a life."

Gravity cocked an eyebrow, making it clear that she found that whole story incredulous.

"Uh, yeah I find that weird! It seems this empire can't go a day without getting into a war! And you're a neko, like me! Are you seriously telling me you've never been roped into an away team that engaged in combat?! Sorry, Saya, but I think you're full of shit, quite frankly." the pilot replied, crossing her arms.

Saya shrugged and pulled up her own records, which included her current kill count. It red a rather large "0" though did include several away team missions.

"I have never once killed a person, and I promise you I have seen plenty of combat, with some battle hardened people." She went ahead and pulled up records of several of her crewmates, at least what she could show. A red eyed, white haired Neko, a Violet eyed Neko, and a red haired Neko, all with kill counts in the hundreds, despite them being power armor pilots. The redhead had several areas under her record that were blacked out for "mental evaluations" while the violet eyed Neko was listed as KIA.

"Your willingness and excitement to protect your cre-... your FAMILY... Does not make you a monster Gravity. It makes you a protector."

"Yeah, sure, I love this crew!" Gravity muttered guiltily. She would honestly give her life for them all, and she hated that she was complaining about it. "But is any of it real?! Do I really care about you all?! Or am I just another cog in the machine of this cold, uncaring universe?! You know we haven't even discovered one percent of this galaxy, right?! We treat this war like it's the end of the world, but can you imagine just how many wars are going on in our galaxy alone?! How many wars are going on in the countless galaxies beyond our own?! Is this all I'll ever do? Kill and hurt and pray one of you won't be next?! Hell, there's wars going on in other UNIVERSES!" Gravity cackled almost manically, a shrill sound that stopped at the lump in her throat.

"Yeah! Turns out there are other universes! Isn't that fucking amazing?!" the girl asked sarcastically, spreading her arms wide.

"It is amazing, absolutely! Before I joined the Kaiyo I never would have thought I could go to another Universe, but my first mission here we had to attack what looked to be a capital ship. But no, this isn't the only thing for you. When your service is up, you can opt out, and go live a civilian life. We owe our lives to Yamatai and it's our responsibility to repay that with our service, but once we are done, our life is ours. And even then, our life is ours. You know my vat was supposed to be all infantry? I went Medic though, because I hated fighting. I still do, which is why Sacre has been giving me... Lessons..."

Saya visibly shuddered and looked at her lap for a moment as if she tried to banish the thought of the lessons.

"The emotions you feel, your concern for your own mental well being, the concern about the well being of your family and your fear of hurting them or letting them get hurt... It shows you are more then just some mindless cog. It shows your are alive, and you are your own person."

Gravity inhaled deeply, then exhaled. She seemed to accept the answer, at least a little bit. But she still had strong doubts about her personal sovereignty. After all, who wouldn't? Things like this took time, much more time than could be had in a simple heart-to-heart with a therapist. For several, long moments, Gravity sat starring at the table, silent as a mouse. Her mind was still flooded with complicated and torrid emotions, but because she didn't have the vocabulary to vocalize those issues, she didn't.

"I feel like there are more things you want to say. Everyone has things they want to say, but they can't. Out of fear of rejection, or scorn, or simply a lack of ability to put words to their thoughts. If it's OK with you, I'd like to understand you a little better?" Saya asked with a small tilt of her head. Her gaze had no trace of pity or worry, simply professionalism.

"...Sure." mumbled Gravity.

"Your tank mates? Did you get along with them? I see you are fairly young, do you keep in touch with many of them?" Saya asked, The pilot across from her shrugged in response.

"Sort of. We were the batch with high ambition, it seems. Tatsuki is a fighter pilot, Orihime is a genius bio-technician for the SSS, Astrid leads a SOFT team..." Gravity trailed off, looking off into the distance. "But we're all so busy. It's been near two months since the last time I spoke to them, and that was on mom's birthday."

Gravity suddenly froze, as if she instantly regretted letting out that bit of information.

"Mom?" Saya was quick to pick out this little bit, especially with how Gravity froze afterwards. "Was she the lead engineer? Many Nekos seem to form a bond with the lead engineer for their tank cycle."

"It was more than that," Gravity admitted reluctantly. She never told anyone about her mom, except for Sacre. She didn't want to get the poor old woman in trouble. With a wince, the girl figured she was already in too deep. Here's to hoping doctor/patient confidentiality was a thing. "She was my mother. When I first woke and coughed up all that nasty fluid, she gave me pomegranate seeds to get the taste out of my mouth. She taught me how to braid my hair, took pictures of my sisters and I to add to the others. I have many "sisters" in that respect. She gave us hugs, answered all of our dumb questions about this crazy new world. She treated us like her actual daughters, and just for a moment, I thought everything would be okay, that me, my mother, and my sisters would get to live normal lives as a family..."

"I see..." Saya said simply as she narrowed her eyes a little. The blue orbs found their way to the data pad again and typed in a few things before she took a breath and held it in for a moment. She had never felt that sort of...Warmth... from the engineer of her batch, but maybe that was for the better? Maybe this was the reason why there was the rule.

"It may be the reason why we are not allowed such interaction with our engineers when we are first brought out. I know of another Neko I served with that had a stranger, yet somewhat similar interaction with one of her engineers, and it had caused a bit of a complex in her. Granted I think there were...other issues? But that's not to say this is a bad thing. You were shown warmth and love from a earlier age then what I was, and perhaps that helped to fuel your development more. It may cause issues now, but who is to say what it will do when you have more life experience?"

"All it did in the beginning was get me in trouble with my drill instructors," sighed Gravity. "I was so angry when they took us away. I would refuse to follow orders. I even attacked one when she got in my face. I loved the hand-to-hand drills, but then they started teaching us the lethal stuff; how to slit a person's throat, throw a grenade, fire a rifle, and all that. I didn't want to learn it. I wanted to get out and explore the world."

"That's understandable. You had formed a connection to this woman and you were upset at being taken away. But why is it you didn't attack when you learned the lethal techniques?" Saya tilted her head to watch Gravity.

"Because I knew if I did they'd put me down like the defective product I am, and I'd never see my mom again." grumbled the pilot in reply, her fingers curling slightly like claws. "But also... while I enjoy fighting and defeating my enemies because of my programming, I constantly tell myself that these are not things a young girl should feel joy for. So even when I was confident I could have overcome the guards and escaped, I told myself that a normal person wouldn't do that. I eventually learned to grin and bear it, biding my time."

"So you won't reenlist when your time is up?" Saya posed the question with a little more sadness in her tone then she had hoped to, but regardless it had been somewhat evident. "When your service is up, it is obviously your decision, but I see you doing a lot of good in the Army. You care for your crew, and that's important."

"I... don't know." Gravity replied with a shrug. "I love flying. I love the challenge. I just wish for once I could fly and not fear for my life, you know? Like I did with Apollo- my dragon friend from Ayenee. And now I have Sacre, the first ever love of my life. She wants to stay here, so I will too. I just... I just want a break from fighting. I want this war to hurry up and end so I can take an opportunity to really explore the universe and act like a normal person. For my entire life it's been 'go here' and 'blow this up' since I opened my eyes."

Gravity laid her head on the table, suddenly feeling very tired, the weight of her experiences in the past year started to press down on her. She'd traveled to multiple universes, tamed dragons, explored temples, and regularly defied death behind the wheel of a multi-billion KS warship. Most girls her age elsewhere, like Nepleslia, would be hanging out with friends, maybe deciding what college to go to.

"Did you know I've never woken up later than 8 AM? Not once in my life? Never just leisurely stretched out on a sunny morning and listened to the birds outside?" The azure girl asked Saya.

Saya allowed herself to smile a little at the thought process of the girl, glad to hear it. This was normal, it was stress she had seen many of the younger Nekos start to feel a year or two in.

"Neither have I. I don't think, with the exception of once because I forgot to purge my system of alcohol after a dare party, and it was not an enjoyable sleep I will say that much."

Saya stood and moved herself to sit at the side of the table where Gravity's head rested, her hand laid on the younger girl's shoulder.

"These thoughts are perfectly normal that you're having. You want to live your life outside of war and battle and death and fear. I lived through the second Mishhu war, remembered the fear on a daily basis of a surprise attack, or when we dove into battle if we would be killed, if I would wake up in a tank back on Yamatai next to my shipmates... I even dreamed of having a small house on a beach on this world I heard about through some of the older Nekos on the ship, ones that had served along side of the Princess, Ketsurui Hanako. These thoughts are the right thoughts to have, they give you goals, reasons to fight, reasons to live, even if it is as small as sleeping in past 8 AM."

The younger neko let out a very shaky breath she didn't realize she'd been holding. Reaching out, she pulled Saya into a hug, just letting tears roll down her cheeks. Being a very physical and impulsive creature, the act was instinctual. In a sea of confusion and hurt, it felt natural to cling to the nearest source of comfort. Quite literally, in her case.

Gravity very rarely cried. Only when she'd been separated from her mother, then again when she'd been separated from Apollo. Although both of those times her tears had been mixed with violent rage. It felt good, she thought, to just cry for the sake of it.

Saya locked up for a moment, shocked the woman would hug her. But after the second of shock, she allowed herself to rub Gravity's back a little with a sad smile. She had been ready to say something, mouth open, yet stopped herself short and just let her cry.

After what seemed like an eternity, Gravity finally realized what she'd been doing. Releasing Saya quickly, she sat straight and wiped her face with her sleeve. Those golden eyes were red at the edges, her cheeks turning a darker shade of blue in embarrassment.

"S-Sorry. I didn't mean to... uh..." she stammered quietly. She really needed to work on impulse control, she grumbled internally.

"It never helps to bottle up emotions, a good cry can be a good thing." Saya explained and shook her head. "If you ever need one, and are worried about how someone will perceive you, don't hesitate to find me. As long as I'm not elbow deep in someone, I'll do what I can to help." She just smiled and ignored the wet spot on her lap.

Feeling somewhat better after the whole ordeal, Gravity stood and bowed deeply to Saya.

"Thank you." Said the pilot quietly before she turned to leave.

"I am glad you trusted me to talk with me, it means a lot Gravity. And you know if you need anything, I'm here. Have a good night." Saya said as she stood and gave the girl a bow in return and a small wave as she left. As Gravity left and the door shut, Saya let out a long sigh and opened up a message to Wyatt, it was short and sweet.

["I'm so glad you came into my life, I love you..."] She sent it off before she turned back to her bay to do a bit of cleaning.
 
Top