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RP: YSS Kaiyō Pre-Mission Thirteen: Misgivings and Revelations


The Gunman
YSS Kaiyo II

Sacre didn't know what to do. She had never been a Itto Heisho before. The red stripes on her arm felt heavy. She didn't know what to do with them. She had not been given a squad or anything yet, but that would be coming soon. Soon as she had left the Captain's office a fear had overcome her. She didn't want to be an NCO anymore. She was pretty sure she could do something to get out of being a NCO before then. She needed someone to talk to. So she ended up knocking gently on William's door.

William rubbed his one organic eye and opened his augmented eye. It quickly changed to night vision, casting his room in various shades of green light. "I'm coming." He said grogily, throwing on a tanktop and shorts.

The door slid open and William's eyes widened slightly once he registed Sacre standing at the door. "Sacre! What's up?" He asked, a tad more awake now that the angry medic as standing at his door. He must have done something wrong.

"At the moment, the celing, or have you gone blind? Those useless cybernetics of yours must be malfunctioning. I figured since you are the lazyist good for nothing who ever it was my misfortune to have cross my path you might have a few moments." She said in her normally caustic tone. Then there was a slight softening in her voice, something that a friend could detect. A vulnerability that were William angry at her, he could explot to hurt her. A stranger would likely have missed the change in tone. "You do have a moment?" She asked.

William had noticed the subtle change in tone, but the young Nepleslian had no such malicious thoughts. "Of course." He said stepping aside. "Come in." He added, moving inside and flipping the lights on. As she followed she would see that is rrom was rather spartan. He had very few decorations apart from a few sparse pictures, and his three katanas that were on special racks. His two revolvers sat in their hoslters on his desk.

"Is something wrong?" He asked sitting down on the bed.

Sacre entered and the door closed behind her. She wasn't sure what to say, what to ask. She took a moment to formulate her response. "Not with you." She said carefully. There was a moment of silence as Sacre tried to formulate her next words. She decided to go with the truth of what was bothering her. "You know I was never a Joto Hei before the Kaiyo right? Always managed to do something stupid and lose a stripe before they could pin me down long enough."

William took an involintary sigh of relief when she said it wasnt his fault she was upset, but quickly recovered. He listened quietly, then nodded. "Yeah I remember that." He siad, before noticing the new stripe on her shoulder.

Sacre nodded, "Joto Hei is when they start looking at you like you would make a good NCO. I'm a bitchy enlisted grunt, not NCO material." She waved at the new stripes she wore. "So what gives?"

William shook his head. "Well obviously Eden and Hoshi must see you as a leader." He replied, moving over to the far edge of the bed so Sacre could have ample space to sit if she wanted to. "They wouldn't have promoted you otherwise." He said, looking back over to her.

"Then they need to get their eyes checked. I don't want to lead. I didn't want to do it in the sphere, and I spent a lot of that just guessing and throwing out millitary sounding words at you." Sacre argued.

William smirked softly. "There's an old saying, that a leader who doesn't wish to lead is the best kind of leader." He replied to the angry medic.

"Then I'll probably be the most awesome leader to ever exist." Sacre responded sarcastically. "I don't have to take the promotion. I can be like, 'No, look at me, I'm a horrible person' and lose the stripe soon as we hit Yamatai. Clue them into the truth a bit."

The Nepleslian shook his head and smiled. "Sacre, you did a good job inside the sphere. Plus you are not a horrible person." He replied softly. "If you were truly a horrible person you would have let me die." He reminded her.

"I nearly made you die. Shooting at whatever it was that was holding you? It could have been like 'I'll squeeze just a bit more' and sqish, no more William." Sacre paused for a moment. Her sarcaistic tone morphing into a softer one as she dropped her shields a bit. "I'm not sure what I would have done if that had happened." She admitted uncertainly.

William hopped off the bed and stood infront of Sacre. "But I didn't..." He said softly. "You saved me, again. You are very intelligent, you are a leader, you just don't see it. I do though..." He said looking up at her.

"Don't you see, if I had guessed wrong my orders could have killed you. Hell, even if I got it right, we're in a dangerous profession. I don't want to be the one to get my friends killed, again." Sacre protested, trying to put the conflict she was feeling into words.

William's eyes softened, catching the last part of her sentience. "What do you mean, again Sacre...?" Her friend asked softly, concerened.

Sacre froze for a moment, realizing that she had given something about herself away that she hadn't meant to. She sighed, "I wasn't always a bitch. I was young, stupid, my platoon was deployed to the front lines." Her stomach twisted at the memories. She turned away from William, looking at anything other then him as she continued.

"We were just one part of a larger battalion. After we landed, we were assigned to hold a piece of ground against the invaders while the city was evacuated. We were on the far side from the main enemy force, or so we thought so we were spread thin. Turned out they had done some manuvering during the night and we were attacked. We held the line." There was a long pause.

"It was my job to keep them alive. My job to make sure all of my friends made it back. I was young, stupid, inexperianced. They took out our ship first. I did everything I could, but the casulties just kept coming. First one slipped through my fingers, then anouther. I couldn't keep them alive, I got them killed because I wasn't good enough. I'm never good enough, for anyone." Tears started to form in Sacre's eyes that she wiped away.

There was a long pause as Sacre tried to recompose herself. However, the tears were still in her voice as she continued softly. "The line held. But we had up over eighty percent killed in action. No backups because our ship went down. The powers-that-be decided that it was impossible to put the outfit back together with the survivors close it out, put the records in the archives, and wait until the scars had healed before reactivating it with new faces but old traditions." Sacre finished, finally composed enough to turn back towards William.

William's eyes watered as he listened to Sacre's tale. As he heard the part about her never being good enough he attempted to reach out, but his hand stopped just short and fell back to his side.

Once she had turned around his eyes were still wet with tears. "Sacre... I'm so sorry." He replied. "I'm sure that you did everything you could to save your friends. And you are good enough. You are good enough for me." He said as the tears streamed down his face.

Sacre wasn't sure what to do. She heard his words, but she didn't feel them. William looked like he needed a hug. She didn't like huging, she didn't like being vulnberable. That's how she justified it to herself at least. She gave William a wordless hug, trying to be stoic, but failing.

William looked supprised when Sacre wrapped her arms around him, but he wrapped his arms around her and squeezed gently. "I'm so sorry Sacre." He said again softly. "But you are good enough. Everyone on the Kaiyo thinks so. I think so." He said, his hand softly rubbing up and down her back.

Sacre melted in his arms. Her stiff posture evaporating as she was held close by William. There were more tears for a long moment. She didn't have words for the emotions that the part of her life evoked in her. Emotions she didn't want to feel. Eventually the hug ended.

Sacre wiped her eyes as they parted. "Thanks" She said in a very soft whisper. "But you see why I can't be a NCO right? I can't be in charge. Because when they die, it'll be my fault. I'll be responsible for their deaths." She explained.

William wiped away his own tears and looked back up at his friend. "I can see why it would be hard to take a command." He started. "But I believe that anyone under your command would be the safest soldiers on the battlefield... You can't blame yourself for what happened back then. You gave it your all, but the odds were so stacked against you." He replied. "It wasn't your fault."

"It doesn't feel that way." Sacre said simply. There was a pause. "However, you're right, they probably would be pretty safe with me leading them. I just have no idea what I'm doing."

William chuckled. "You will learn I promise, and I will help you however I can too." He said, smiling brightly up at her.

"Thanks," She said, feeling more assured now about the prospect of what lay before her. There was still a part of her that was worried about what was coming. Much as she didn't want to admit it, she really did care about the crew of the Kaiyo.