Distant Reflections 1

Distant Reflections

A: Are you okay, Nanatsu? You haven’t spoken a word since we’ve been on this ship.

N: Oniisan!

A: Nanatsu, what did I tell you about suddenly grabbing me like that? Please, relax.

N: They’re dead.

A: What?

N: Adan, and Miharu, and even Artz. They’re gone now. Forever.

A:

N: Everyone was so careful to make sure that this mission would be safe. That’s the whole reason the Captain hired Azami, was so we wouldn’t have to fight past the station’s defenses. Then why? Why aren’t they here with us now?

A: Things don’t always go according to plan. Not even the Captain can predict everything.

N: I can’t believe it though. Artz and Adan were so close. Just yesterday they were laughing and squirting juice at each other over breakfast.

A: Geier and Martell knew the risks. This was always a possibility.

N: And Miharu. She showed me pictures of her baby girl. Now she’ll have to grow up without a mother.

A: The Captain will make sure that her family is taken care of.

N: But it’s not the same, oniisan. Not having a mother…growing up alone like that, it feels terrible.

A: Is that what this is about, Nanatsu? If it’s about Aoi Trinity then-

N: Don’t even talk about her! She makes me so angry. The way that she was, just oblivious to everything happening around her, as if she had nothing to do with it. All of the pain and the experiments, it’s all because of her. None of us asked for any of it.

A: She didn’t ask for any of it either, Nanatsu. She didn’t even know.

N: At least…at least the others won’t have to suffer anymore. I’m alone now.

A: Nanatsu, you’re not alone. I’m here with you, and I always will be.

N: But what if you’re the one who dies next! The Captain won’t hesitate to send you to fight. You could-

A: That’s enough. I made a promise to you. You don’t have to worry, because I will always come back alive. Do you believe me?

N: I believe you, oniisan.

V: Come in, Lieutenant-Commander.

A: Thank you, Cap—err.

V: What’s wrong?

A: You’re half-dressed, Captain.

V: Isn’t it a little bit late to be acting so shy, Douglas?

A:

V: Please, just take a seat. What did you want to talk to me about?

A: About the operation. It was a failure.

V: Losing you faith in me already?

A: No, it’s just not like you. I was surprised, that’s all. I’ve never seen you lose before. Won’t this end your perfect record?

V: Defeat and victory are all about perception. As far as the record is concerned, this mission was a success.

A: Pardon, Captain? How can that be. We failed to recover the Infinity, and Aoi Trinity escaped from us.

V: I’m well aware.

A: We also lost four Wyverns and your Cerberus. I’m not trying to criticize you, Captain, I just don’t understand.

V: Then perhaps it is time that I fill you in on a secret. I never lose because I never turn up empty handed.

A: I still do not understand.

V: Yes, we failed to retrieve the Infinity and Aoi, but in truth those were only my secondary objectives. It was more important for Nanatsu to hear the Infinity’s activation song. We will have later opportunities to capture it.

A: And Aoi Trinity? Can we really leave her in the hands of the Confederation?

V: She’s actually more of a liability to them for the moment. She has a free spirit, that one. You should of heard what she said when she defied me when I wanted to evacuate the cargo ship. The Confederation won’t have an easy time keeping her in one place.

A: I see. Well, as useful as the Infinity’s activation song is, I still don’t see how it justifies our loss.

V: Then you’re misunderstanding once more, Douglas. The Infinity and Miss Trinity are secondary objectives, and that includes Nanatsu learning the activation codes. Azami retrieved what we really needed.

A: And that was?

V: Information, of course. Aoi Trinity has only been in the Confederation for eight years now.

A: I’m not following.

V: Slumbering Eidolon was much older. While they are concerned with Miss Trinity, it was older data I needed. Namely, your parent’s research.

A:

V: The station was originally developed for the study of a prototype CAT-system constructed for Designer Children. While you and Nanatsu infiltrated the facility, I had Miss Azami copy the data from the system.

A: Had you planned this from the start?

V: Of course. You don’t really think that we needed to get a Jovian hacker because we couldn’t get our own, did you? Sabotaging Tenshi Station’s sensors, and overriding Slumbering Eidolon’s defense systems…I had been prepared to deal with these obstacles already.

A: Then why Azami?

V: One of our own hackers could deal with something as standard as sensors or defense drones, but it’s data I wanted. I needed someone articulate in the local code to make sure that I got what I wanted.

A: Then this was all for Project Dragonstriker from the very beginning.

V: Absolutely. With your parent’s data, the project’s completion shouldn’t be far off.

A: And what of Azami? Do you plan on returning her to the Confederation?

V: Of course not.

A: Are you worried what she will do once she finds out you planned to abandon her?

V: I already told her. She was rather less than happy about it. But the JAF already knows she was involved with us. If she returns to the Confederation the only thing that awaits her are charges of treason and domestic terrorism. She has no choice but to stay with us.

A: So you’re bringing her aboard the Weserubung? Why would you trust her?

V: I don’t trust her, but I trust that she still has feelings for Miss Trinity . I left her with the data we retrieved. I’m sure after reading through it she’ll be more than willing to help us.

A: It seems you thought much further ahead than I had expected.

V: Indeed. Have any more questions, Douglas?

A: None, Captain.

V: You can drop the formalities. It is just the two of us here.

A: My apologies.

V: You’re thinking about Nanatsu again, aren’t you? Worried about how she’ll play out in my schemes?

A: No, but I-

V: Douglas, what’d I tell you about thinking of other women when we were together? You’ll make me jealous.

A:

Distant Reflections 1

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