Author: The Full Metal Bitch PM
1990, an alternate world in which the superpower of Eurasia dominates world politics and giant robots are tools of war utilised across the globe. Young maybe-lesbian Alina Davison has just been recruited by her government to pilot a deadly superweapon...Rated: Fiction T - English - Sci-Fi/Drama - Chapters: 36 - Words: 102,061 - Reviews: 30 - Favs: 14 - Follows: 7 - Updated: 02-26-09 - Published: 01-03-08 - id: 2458145
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Alina woke up the next day – well, early in the morning, but her body refused to acknowledge that – feeling completely refreshed. It had been the best night's sleep she had had in weeks, and, she realised regretfully, it would be entirely wasted. It was pitch-black outside, and now she had nothing to do but wait. As before.
She looked over at Miyuki, who was still asleep, her head resting on the side of the bed. She'd heard you were supposed to find your other half cute while they were sleeping, but any cuteness Miyuki might've possessed while unconscious was offset by her habit of snoring loudly as she slept. Alina smiled as Miyuki let out another very un-ladylike snort.
It was time, she decided, to check downstairs and see if Laure was still up. She didn't much want to talk to her, but as Miyuki had said it was something that needed to be done. The last thing they needed was an angry Laure informing the government that there was a pair of fugitives and their giant robot in the area.
She left the snoring Miyuki alone in their room, and proceeded down the stairs. The lights were out, and several times on her way down she missed the next step down.
She eventually found her way down to the main room without breaking any limbs and, as she'd expected, Laure was still up, filling in reports – or pretending to, a nagging voice suggested – at her desk.
"Laure." Alina said as she walked over to her erstwhile friend. "Sorry about earlier. I...er, we were tired. Flying from Japan to America to Europe within a few days can leave you a bit cranky."
Laure looked up at her, her hair hanging over her face and shrouded in shadow, and Alina felt more than a little bit nervous, especially considering the bad mood Laure had been in earlier. Then Laure flicked her hair out of her face, and for a second she looked childishly excited before settling into her usual guarded expression. "Alina. Ok, then. I want some answers, if you don't mind. What the hell's going on?"
With her hands in her pockets, Alina leant against one of the supporting wooden pillars in the room. She might as well make herself comfy. Despite what she'd told herself earlier, Alina knew she could trust Laure, and yet she still didn't think it would be wise to give her the whole story. "Basically, Laure..." she paused, trying to think of where to start.
Laure held up a hand to cut her short. "I know all about you and that robot the government have made you pilot. I don't know if they exposed you to any of it, but you've reached borderline mythical status out here in the sticks, Alina. There was a documentary team here at one point, even."
"A-a documentary team!?" Well, that was a new one.
Laure nodded. "I mean, look, honestly, what has this town ever produced that's achieved this level of fame before?" She smiled sardonically. "You're probably tired of hearing all of this, but you've reached the point now where the tiniest thing you do could have so many repercussions and consequences it's hard to know when to act. Am I right?"
Alina looked away. Laure could still read her too well. "I'm right, aren't I? With that in mind, then..." Suddenly, Laure was standing up, and her chair fell to the floor with a clatter. "Why the hell did you run away!?"
Alina was caught off-guard by this. "Wh-what?"
Laure leapt out from behind her desk and grabbed Alina by the scruff of her jumper before she could react. "You still don't think before acting, do you? People are now actively staying away from this town because of you! You were a public darling, and now you've gone and turned an entire superpower against you, idiot!"
Alina struggled to get free, but Laure's grip was almost mechanically strong. "I knew what I was doing!" she protested.
Laure sneered, and let go of her. Alina hit the ground bottom-first. "Liar. What course of logic, and I use the term loosely, made you do it, then?"
Alina felt her anger rising at the unfairness of Laure's judgement, but suppressed it. She took a deep breath. "The people I work for...I...let's just say we disagreed in our methods."
"Don't mince words."
"Ok, then. I'm trying to find a peaceful solution to this giant monster problem."
"Ha! What, are you gonna negotiate with them!?"
"That's the plan, yes." Alina said, acutely aware of how ridiculous it sounded even now. She stood up, defiant, and met Laure's stare as best she could. "So far, it seems to be working." That was a half-truth; Alina had no idea whether the Sins had really acknowledged her peace offer, but for the sake of this argument they had.
Laure laughed, again. "Listen to you. You're a teenage girl, Alina, and this is real life, not some wacky Saturday morning cartoon. Even if this plan of yours works, then what'll you do?"
"I'll...I'll get by." Alina said, looking away. "It's not about me, anyway. I'm doing this for the people I care about."
"Lemme guess, it's for her?" Laure spat, looking genuinely hateful.
An awkward pause followed. Laure seemed to realise she'd gone too far, and she took a step back, suddenly quiet. ""There are other people I want to protect." Alina said, calmly. "Whether they know it or not."
"I'm not going to apologise, Alina." Laure said. "I still think you're being stupid by doing this. But I'm also not going to rat out one of my old friends, you understand?"
Alina nodded, unsure of what to say. "L-Laure...thank you. We won't be here long, I promise."
"No." Laure said, a melancholy smile crossing her face for a few seconds. "You won't."
Back in Japan, it was obvious that Horatio Yorick was unhappy. His once perfect features were haggard and worn, his hair was a bedraggled mess, and he hadn't changed his clothes for several days. Although he wasn't quite there yet, Steiner was beginning to worry that soon a night watchman might mistake him for a homeless person and throw him out. Nevertheless, he endeavoured to report to him as if everything were normal. Yorick sat at his desk, chin cupped in his hands and with an expression on his face that would've made a wild animal think twice before attacking.
His subordinate, of course, was unperturbed. "So apparently Davison has been sighted in the American Republic, sir." Steiner said, conversationally.
"Why should I care?" Yorick said bluntly. "If we don't need her anymore, than it doesn't matter where she is."
"She's an unknown factor in this plan." Steiner explained, talking slowly as if he were trying to explain something to a mentally-challenged child. "I find it's best to keep tabs on her. We received a report from the Americans about it this morning. Apparently one of their patrolmen on the East coast witnessed them taking off from the Florida swamplands, towards the European Sectors."
"Is the new one up and running, yet!?" Yorick demanded, cutting Steiner off. He'd had enough of this, damn it. The sooner it was over the sooner he could retire to somewhere peaceful. Maybe he'd start a family. The idea might've cheered him up if he didn't have to deal with Steiner.
"It's under construction as we speak, and the prospective pilot will be approached soon. Don't worry. Everything is under control."
There was something about Steiner's attempt at a reassuring tone of voice that irked Yorick immensely. His eye twitched involuntarily, and Steiner didn't miss this. "Something the matter?" he asked, in that same voice of faux-concern. God, Yorick hated him.
"N-nothing." he lied, busying himself with some papers on his desk. He knew full well, by now, that Steiner and Dawes were cooperating behind his back. It would've taken a fool not to see it. He was just a puppet, that much was obvious, and it wouldn't surprise him if Steiner was just keeping him around to mock him.
Even so, he couldn't quit, just yet. Yorick doubted Steiner and Dawes would allow someone who knew as much about their plans as he did just walk away scot-free. His brow furrowed at the thought. "I'd like a few moments alone, Steiner." he heard himself say.
Steiner looked surprised for a brief second, and then he nodded. "Of course, sir." He stood up, and left, without saying another word.
Yorick stared down at his desk, at a loss for what to do. Suicide, maybe? That was certainly an option, but deep down he knew he valued his own life too much to do that. Or perhaps he could commit some kind of horrible crime, like assaulting a female staff officer. That might do the trick.
He slumped back into his chair and ran a hand through his once-pristine hair. Had he really fallen so far in such a short time? It seemed unbelievable, and he was beginning to hate himself for being suckered in by Steiner in the first place.
And there was still so much paperwork to be done.
The next few days passed uneventfully enough for Alina and Miyuki. Each morning, at Alina's behest, they explored the area more and more, revisiting places she hadn't seen since childhood and taking in the quieter, more relaxed atmosphere that was sadly lacking in the Japanese sector of the supernation.
While she was extremely tempted to merely spend all of her time with Miyuki, doing nothing but lazing around and enjoying her girlfriend's company, there were other things for her to think about. She needed contingencies in case of every possible scenario, as by now she knew that, as powerful as Aradoll was, he was far from invincible. Alina was under no illusions as to her own ability either; she couldn't hide for much longer, and she knew it.
"We're gonna have to leave soon, y'know." she mused aloud one day, while they were visiting a nearby river. Miyuki, leaning back with her bare feet being stroked by the water's current, looked over at her, a sly smile on her face. "Ok, then, where do we go next? I'm thinking somewhere exotic, maybe. Like the Italian sector."
Alina got the feeling her girlfriend wasn't taking her entirely seriously. "'Yuki, this is serious. We've pushed our luck hanging out here this long anyway."
"I know, I know." Miyuki said, turning over onto her stomach, head resting on her folded arms. "But I've never seen any of this before. It's different for you. You've experienced life out here. It's so... no, exciting isn't the right word. Dull, in a good way."
"Still." Alina persisted. "We can't get complacent."
Without warning Miyuki practically threw herself up the river bank and landed with the upper half of her body in Alina's lap. "C'mon," she said coaxingly "a little bit of complacency now and then doesn't hurt, surely?"
"Well, I, um..." Alina began, determinedly fixing her eyes on a nearby tree. "'Yuki, we should-"
"C'mon, Alina. Does this hurt?" Miyuki said, placing one of her hands on Alina's inner thigh. Alina instinctively felt her self-control began to slip away, as it had in Florida, and Miyuki responded by inching her hand further up Alina's leg, moving it precariously close to an area Alina didn't particularly want touching. They were both frozen for a moment, Miyuki obviously waiting for the sign of consent she assumed would come next. That their situation was reversed from what it had been in Florida didn't escape Alina.
Miyuki was poised like a cat ready to strike. All Alina had to do was give a nod, or say something romantic perhaps, and...and then what? Alina wasn't a naive girl. She was well aware of the mechanics, on paper, of sexual intercourse. But there was more to it than just knowing what to stick where. She didn't feel ready, yet. This was happening too fast.
However, there was a second reason for her reluctance, although she wouldn't admit it to herself; childish as it might've been, she didn't want Miyuki to take the lead yet again.
"'Yuki, please. No." she eventually said, as firmly as she could manage. "Not yet."
An expression of disappointment, and then one of embarrassment, spread over her girlfriend's face, and slowly, Miyuki lifted herself up again. "S-sorry." she said, ashamed, and Alina realised she must've spoken harsher than she'd intended. An awkward silence ensued, with both girls facing each other, and neither willing to look the other in the eye.
After a few seconds, Alina gulped, and, coming to a sudden decision, she gently grabbed hold of Miyuki's hands. Miyuki raised her head, and Alina saw there was a deep blush across her face. "I-I'm sorry, Alina." she said quietly. "I-I shouldn't do that."
"I t-try to force you into these things...and..." Miyuki sniffed loudly "...I know I shouldn't, I feel terrible for doing it, b-but...like that time, back in the school, when I kissed you so suddenly...I couldn't help it. I couldn't help it just then. I...I'm just a pervert." She spoke slowly, struggling to find ways to vocalise her confession. "I'm so ashamed."
Alina was taken aback, but only for a moment. Miyuki was still avoiding looking directly at her, and she looked glummer than Alina had ever seen her before. Almost automatically, Alina raised a hand to Miyuki's disorganised hair and caressed it calmly, leaning forward until she was only inches away from Miyuki's face. "It's ok, 'Yuki." she said, her voice little more than a whisper. "It's ok." she repeated, and a smile found its way onto her face. "Even if you are a pervert. You're a pervert I've taken a shine to."
Miyuki still looked unhappy. "No, Alina. You don't understand. I shouldn't be-" she was cut off as Alina kissed her, passionately and forcefully. It was a full thirty seconds before Alina pulled away, and as she did so she was smiling. "You see, 'Yuki? I'm just as much of a pervert as you are, now. We're even."
For the first time, Miyuki appeared stunned. Then, slowly, she smiled, and then she laughed, tears welling in her eyes. "T-thanks, Alina. For...for putting up with me."
"Someone has to." Alina said jokily. She looked around, and a frown spread across her face. It seemed dark, all of a sudden. Awfully dark for the middle of the day. Alina looked up, and then the reason for the sudden darkness became obvious.
There was a vast, conical shape suspended in mid-air above them, dozens of thin tendrils poking out of it, waving through the air erratically. Miyuki, on her feet now, grabbed hold of Alina's hand tightly. "What is it?" she asked.
Alina smirked. "It's what we've been waiting for, 'Yuki." She took a step towards the vast shape, the Sin she'd met all that time ago, in the air above Kobe. "It looks like our holiday's over."