Des La Ryuje walked in the (an?) underground of the school, wondering both how they got into this situation and slowly coming to the realization that for the first time since joining the PH Mech Program they were truly alone. They tried to stave off the latter with the former, continuously reading back the words of Firro, the andriod who was in charge of if not the entire Mechanoids and Machine dorm, then at least the more troubled members of it.
It wasn't that Des didn't sympathize with the students in their assigned dormitories, Firro and their friends' very identities were in danger, if not from the Mademoiselle, then from the risk of reprogramming. It was that Des didn't see why they had to do this alone. While it was true that upon entering this forsaken school, they weren't given a uniform, it didn't seem to be as big of a deal as Firro had made it.
"The uniform isn't just a pretty set of clothes, it's a symbol of Primfel's power over us. Something about them allows the staff and security to know when we're near, when we aren't where we're supposed to be, it limits us in ways that aren't obvious, but still painful."
"And? I have a uniform, and I can take care of myself, I don't need a warning or anything..."
"No, you do not have a uniform, AMP Veloci does. You are free of the rules of this prison, making you the only one suitable to find what we need."
It wasn't very long before Firro had convinced Angelica with the AI positing that if indeed there was some sort of power that the uniforms held over the wearer, now would be the best time for the two of them to split up. A logical conclusion, meaning that Des felt all the more alone for it. Lacking anything better, Des clenched their knife in its sheathe, the feeling of something familiar calming them in this dark place. This was a place with uncertain laws and unwritten rules, so unlike their home, leaving them wondering, what were they even doing? Following the whims of some robots they didn't know, into a place no ones ever been, in hopes of finding a power that might not even exist?
"No," Des continued to reminisce in Firro's, "This is more than a rumor, this is history. If you go into that dungeon, you will find Mademoiselle Primfel's only true mistake. I am absolutely certain."
Des hated Firro, they hated how sure they were, they hated that they convinced their companion to abandon them, and they hated how even now they couldn't think of anything they could have done differently. A moment passed, and with it so did Des' misplaced frustration.
"What's past is past... it doesn't matter. For better or worse, this is my mission, I need to find whatever this so called mistake is."
Des's attempt to physical move forward proved better than their emotional attempts, and before they could begin to dwell on their past some more, they found that the corridor they had been following finally opened up. A quick feel of the brick walls led Des to believe that they were now in a circular room with only the one entrance that they had entered from.
"I guess this is it then." Des got closer to the floor and started to pat the floor, wondering where the "mistake" that was supposed to be dwelling here resided. Eventually, they found a depression in the center of the room.
"Hmmm..." After some hesitation, Des reached into the depression. And then they reached deeper. And deeper, before reaching far deeper than they should have been able to.
Des ignored the voice, instead feeling around the hole.
"I see.... you De......"
Des began to shake, but still ignored the voice.
"I see you... Des La Ryuje... I am what you seek..."
Des felt something grab their hand, and they pulled it back as hard as they could.
Angelica, remotely piloting the AMP Veloci, sat in her first period and began to ge to work. She didn't care what it was. She did not truly care about a lot of things right now, as she had one true priority, the protection and safety f her pilot above even hers. While in most cases, a super robot was a good and safe place to be, the risk of the facilities magical restrictions outweighed the danger. Des was a capable person, and Amp Veloci's could read the area better as a student than as an outlaw.
Still... there were other things to consider, and Angelica hoped that she did not make the wrong choice.
Des looked down at their hands and saw nothing, even though they knew that they felt something heavy clinging on to them. They looked around the floor and realized that they could now see the entire room, though there didn't seem to be any light sources.
"Des... La Ryuje, an interesting name, you're less from here than most people are, interesting."
Des looked around, trying to find the source of the voice, now coming from closer to their head than the hole.
"Really? Confusion? I'd thought you'd be used to this sort of thing by now, we both know that I'm not your first guest here." The voice had a tinge of disappointment.
"You're in my head..."
"Yes!" The voice almost began to cheer, "Good, good. You know, it's very comfortable here, I can see why you've let so many others in..."
"That's, don't, shut up!" Des gripped their knife tightly.
"Oh... You don't want to be reminded of... I see...I'll just... look around a bit more I think."
Des was very uncomfortable. They began to take some deep breaths and try to assess the situation, but it was difficult to calm down when something was rummaging through your thoughts. The voice was chilling and smooth, speaking with a soft hum, almost flowing from one word to another. The voice knew things about Des that they wished she didn't, and was only learning more. Was there even anything they could do in response?
After a moment, Des decided to try a diplomatic approach, "I came here to find... what is called Mademoiselle Primfel's Mistake. Are you the one?"
"Is that what they call me? Hah. I suppose that's fair... Not a lot has changed then." The voice was quiet for a moment before she continued, "I suppose that, given the circumstances surrounding my imprisonment, yes, I must be..."
"What should I call you then?"
"You know, I haven't thought about that too much... How about, F Sharpe? I think... that sounds right enough."
"Right. So, what now."
The voice didn't respond, as if contemplating something.
"Des... you... you aren't what I was expecting, who I thought would free me."
"What do you mean, is my past too boring for you or something."
"Well, I think we both know I don't mean that. I... There's some things here alright."
"What's past is past, what matters is my mission, which was to find you, and now I found you, so tell me what I'm supposed to do with you."
"Do you really want to know? I guess you do... and the sick thing is that I don't even have to make you, huh?"
"Sick? Me? I don't know what you're talking about, but I didn't ask for this, I didn't have a choice here."
F Sharpe's tone wasn't angry as much as it was to the point, "No, you had plenty of choices, plenty of chances to forgive and forget."
Des shouted in return, their voice starting to lose certainty, "My country is at war with monsters!"
"Then what about what you did to the people who weren't monsters?"
While Des couldn't see F Sharpe, they could feel her staring at them, and they did their best to stare back.
"You aren't stupid. You aren't naive. You and I both know what we have to do, you just want me to tell you to do it, as if that would absolve you of your guilt." F Sharpe's turned to a mocking tone, "Oh, woe is me, I'm forced to kill and kill under orders, how terrible, good thing I enjoy it though!!!"
"I..." Des began to shake and their breathing became irregular.
"Enjoy it? Yeah! I noticed! I noticed a lot of things, and on further reflection, I'm glad that you pulled me out, it means that I can feel less guilty, knowing there's someone so similar to me!"
The voice in Des' mind and heart was ecstatic, but Des was miserable. As much as they didn't want to admit it, F Sharpe wasn't throwing shots at the dark. In mere moments, the ghost had laid bare so many feelings that had been dwelling inside of them since even before they joined the PH Mech program. They clenched their fist and teeth and curled into the floor, no longer listening to F Sharpe if she was even saying anything.
Were they truly loyal to their country, or loyal to the violence it enabled? It was a line of thought that Des often came back to, when they were alone in the dark, turning in their sleep. Could things be different? Would Des feel worse if they were? Who would Des lash out against if the Dragonoids didn't attack their people? Where would they even be without their status, without their mech, without Angelica?
The ghostly presence only watched as Des began to cry, now digging their knuckles into their head as they wrestled with their thoughts. F Sharpe refrained from speaking, feeling somewhat guilty for inducing this panic in the pilot, but not enough to regret doing it. She had been laying down there for so long, all alone, forced to spend an eternity in stasis, catching only whatever scraps she could snatch whenever a guard had to come into her prison. She didn't ask for this either, but she'd be damned if she didn't get her revenge.
Des continued to grapple with their thoughts, struggling under the weight of all of these feelings they had repressed. They had been hurt. And their response was to hurt others. Was that right? Did 'rightness' matter? What was important? What was important to them? What did they want? What did they want?
Des didn't know.
F Sharpe didn't know either.
It was very likely that no one knew.
There was a moment of silence.
And then Des La Ryuje stood up.
"You're right. You're right about everything. I've just been lying to myself this whole time."
"Being honest feels good, doesn't it?"
"It really does."
"Then you know, what we're going to do, right?"
Des wasn't sure how, but they felt F Sharpe smile. It was warm and familiar, like one from an old friend.
Des brushed themself off and walked back into the corridor they entered, discussing with their new friend the murder of Mademoiselle Primfel, along with, how nice it is to not be alone.
Georgia was on her way to detention, shoulders hunched, her stride as low and downtrodden as it could be, with the hopes of almost becoming one with the hall, when out of the corner of her eye, she saw something odd ahead. She wasn't sre what it was, but she knew that something was ahead in the corridor, between a set of lockers and a classroom. Normally, she would refrain from investigating such a thing, even thinking about it too much could be risky, but... there was something, a feeling she couldn't shake, that drew her to it.
Georgia slowly leaned closer to the side of the hall where she had seen, whatever it was that she saw, just to get a closer look, not to get involved or anything.
When she finally reached it, the last thing she expected was to get pulled in by Des La Ryuje.
Georgia looked around, she wasn't in the hall anymore, she wasn't in a classroom either, was it a closet? A hidden room? She supposed that some schools did have hidden rooms... Then she turned her attention to the person grabbing at her, it was definitely the other mecha pilot.
That didn't stop her from attempting to ask, "Aren't y-"
"Shhh," Des covered Georgia's mouth and after some moments passed, uncovered it, "Okay, it should be fine, and yes, I'm Des."
The two awkwardly stared at each other for a while. It was the first time that Des had gotten a good look at her, and while before they might have scoffed or pitied the animalish pilot, in light of recent events, Des had ended up with new, possible conclusions...
"Are you going to uh, let me go?"
Des quickly, released their grip, keeping their hands close to them and definitely no where near Georgia, "Sorry."
In Des' head, F Sharpe giggled and let out an, "Ohhhhhh my gooooooooood."
They rolled their eyes, and turned their attention back to Georgia and the issues at hand, "Do you know where your robot is?"
Georgia's brow furled and she quickly rebutted with a, "Do you know where your robot is?"
"She's probably still in her first class I guess?"
"Oh. Uh, well, okay. That's some pretty good AI technology you've got then, I uh, don't know where mine is. Sorry."
Des nodded and then stepped into the back part of the hidden room they were in. Georgia looked with some confusion as her peer in piloting robots started to talk to themself. Georgia thought about leaning in closer, to try to hear what they were saying, and assuming that they weren't just talking to themself, find whatever device they were using to communicate. Instead however, Georgia's eyes settled on Des's very large knife.
"What?!" Des shouted as F Sharpe giggled some more.
They turned around and accidentally locked eyes with Georgia, and then immediately turned back.
"Look, I'm just saying, that, whatever conclusions you're drawing, they're wrong!"
"So, that said, is... this really the only way?"
Georgia finally decided to lean in, just in time to catch the tail end of the conversation.
Really? D... B... thats... okay sure." Des returned from their whisper-fest and then asked, "Could you please uh, hold your hand out."
"Could, could you please hold your hand out."
"Is... is this all... was this all just to... you know there's..."
"Look, this is, a bit weird, I know, but its easier if you hold your hand out than if I sit here and explain it all, apparently."
"It's a ghost thing, okay?"
Without really thinking, upon exclaiming 'what', Georgia spread her hand out, allowing Des to quickly grab it. As their hand wrapped around hers, she felt a light wind flash through her head. A moment passed, and she was still holding hands with Des. Before she could say anything however, she began to hear a soft hum flow in her mind...
"Hey Georgia! I'm F Sharpe! Long story short, I'm a spooky ghost who's going to help you get to your robot! I just need to look in your head a bit..."
I wanna be a real friend
Don't wanna break when I bend
I wanna a be no seeker
I wanna scream eureka
(This post was last modified: 09-26-2016 05:11 PM by Solaris.)