Gundam SEED Fan Fiction / Vandread Fan Fiction ❯ GunDread SEED (Redition) ❯ Memories ( Chapter 15 )
[ P - Pre-Teen ]
Disclaimer: Gundam SEED and VanDread belong to their respective companies. I'm just a writer with a desire to write.
< >: Thoughts
Kyo was dead…
The Nirvana's head physician tried everything to revive his patient; CPR, chemical stimulants, defibrillation, electromagnetic brainwave pulsators, and whatever medical training he had learned in the academy on Talark, and whatever advanced medical equipment on Megele he had on hand…but it was too late. Nothing he attempted could bring Kyo back to the land of the living.
Finally…after three agonizing hours, he at last acknowledged that it was no use. With a heavy heart Duero McFile pulled the cover on the downed warrior's face and declared the former Yamato clinically deceased at 1730 hours. With great reverence and respect, he bowed his head in silence, in respect for a great fighter and ally, and an even greater friend.
Kyo's death caused severe repercussions throughout the Nirvana's crew as the craft was amid heavy gravitational fields and violent energy storms, deep within the gas giant. Outside of the planet's ionosphere waited the Earth Fleet, patiently waiting for the crew of the Nirvana's next move, should they all try to come out and fight. If they choose to leave the gas giant, they would plunge head-long into the waiting arms and might of the massive Harvest Fleet, the main battleship, and it's hordes of escorts, as well as the dark Gundam who had defeated Kyo and his own Gundam Freedom. If the pirates remained where they were, they were doomed to be destroyed by two other forces, the intense gravitational fields, and the violent electromagnetic storms. As of now, the Nirvana's power supply was imbalanced and they had only enough power for at least 96 hours.
There was a somber and despondent mood on all the pirates inside the ship. Everyone in Magno's crew tried to come to terms with the stark facts that Kyo was no longer with them, and it was very obvious that they would be joining him in the Great Beyond in the next four days. A few were happy that the Gundam pilot was gone, (due to the ingrained hatred of men in their upbringing), but MOST of them who had initially joined Barnette's side of the mutiny, now saw the true extend of their erroneous, rash, and totally impulsive actions, but now that grew even more as they realized that they had been forgiven by the young man they all despised, and that very same man had given up his life for them, without a single hint of hesitation, and they felt immense guilt and shame as they heard his words to them before he finally passed away. As a result, those who questioned and renounced their childhood beliefs shunned Jura's best friend. Duero, and Bart were no longer persecuted on the basis of their gender…what would be the point of it anyway…they all were going to die soon.
Those who believed in that the end had come decided to throw caution in the air and abandoned their posts and duties. Several members of the Dread and Vanguard pilots went on alcohol binges to try and drown their sorrows in wine, beer, and sake. Others isolated themselves in their quarters and would refuse to come out for any reason at all. Thankfully, none of them considered suicide…at least not yet. A few females in particular, were especially inconsolable.
“Mr. Alien! (Sob) W-W-W-Why did you… (sob) have to die?”
Dita was kneeling in the middle of her room crying her heart out, and clutching a small crystal object to her chest and holding it tightly. It was the beautiful diamond pendant that Kyo had as part of his past life and memory for her Christmas present. Among all of her collections of `alien' artifacts, it was her most cherished and prized possession. After all it had been given to her by a REAL alien.
To Dita, anything that wasn't from her home planet of Megele was considered as alien to the normally enthusiastic and perky girl. Her home world was so…ordinary to her when she grew up. Ever since she was little, she had great dreams to go up to the stars and see what was out there. Hearing about the so-called terrible `men' only served to fuel her curiosity and desire to venture out into universe. When she had joined up with Magno Vivian and her pirates, she knew that she had the chance to venture out into the universe and see what it had to offer. She could still recall her First Contact, almost as if it had happened only yesterday…
Dita: “WOW! It's a real live alien!”
Kyo: “Excuse me?! Who are you calling an alien?”
End of Flashback…
Ever since that first fateful day, she wanted nothing more than to learn as much about Mr. Alien. She had never encountered a man before, and he displayed amazing powers, talents and abilities. As she spent more time with him, she began to have certain feelings for Mr. Alien…Kyo, feelings that she couldn't understand.
Why was it that she felt her heart skip a beat whenever she was near him? Why would she feel like swooning whenever he was around? Why did she feel so weak yet so strong when he talked to her? Why did she feel so…so happy on that day when they were talking in the park…when they drew close to one another? And most of all, why did she feel this great warmth in her very being when she was close to him? She wanted desperately to be just like him. She wanted to be by his side, forever. Was it because… he had been a part of her very soul?
Now that he was gone, an empty void filled her heart and being. And it seemed that nothing could ever fix it. Her very spirit felt shattered, like fragmented glass.
In the Engineering section…
Parfet gazed at the badly damaged and seemingly irreparable Freedom Gundam, with Liberty nearby in the assembly Hanger. She had gathered every last part of circuitry and system that was found of the mighty Gundam. She had tried in vain to restore the parts and place them back into the Gundam and help repair it, but was totally unsuccessful. She still had no idea as to how the Gundam's Paeksis enhanced systems worked, or how could Kyo unleash such power in this Gundam. She had made many attempts to recombine the broken crystal-core circuits and parts with lasers, welding tools, plasma binders, but none worked. The broken parts and system components rejected every process she attempted.
The head engineer, sighed as she stood up, and looked to her other failure. Well, in truth, Liberty wasn't really a big failure. It was just so badly damaged that she had no hope in repairing it in time for the pirates' next and quite possibly last confrontation with the enemy. If only the ATCISS could be restored to it's full state! Then Parfet could finish those modifications she had been working on, and then she could repair Freedom and both the Gundam and Kyo could…
When that came into her mind, she sighed and felt her depression and sadness grow. What would have been the use of that? The Gundam would only be piloted by Kyo since he was the one who knew Freedom's full power, systems, and abilities, and he was the only one who could bring all that out. Liberty was only able to unite with Freedom to and the new modifications were worthless without the Gundam and it's pilot nearby. She began to question her plans to repair the broken Gundam, and to try and find out how the Paeksis-enhanced systems and armor worked. Instead, she should be concerned on providing enough power to maintain the barrier around the ship and to keep everyone…
Then again, what would be the use of that? Eventually the barrier would collapse and the gravitational fields would crush the ship and everyone onboard, if the electromagnetic storms don't reduce them all to atomic particles first. And if they decided to come out and face the enemy, she had no doubt that they wouldn't survive the Harvest now.
The bespectacled girl however had one bit of solace in her though. When their end did come, she would die with her friends… and with…Duero.
When Parfet became one of the first of the female pirates to form a friendship with the so-called `enemy of all women', she had to contend with the fact that many of her colleagues thought that she had gone insane. However, with her inquisitive nature and easy-going attitude, the head engineer inadvertently began a movement of acceptance and even trust between the genders. With the examples Kyo and his relationships with the Register, the Dread and the Vanguard teams, plus individuals like Meia, Dita, Jura, Sara, and Mai; Parfet found the prospect of men and women living and working side by side to be more than just possible. It had become a reality onboard the Nirvana.
But now, with Kyo dead, that dream and that reality seemed to have died with him, and it now seemed that mechanical genius of the pirates had no more rabbits to pull out of her hat to save the crew this time.
As her crew went on with their duties, Gascogne decided to spend some time for herself in her office. As she sat in front of her command console she contemplated the deck of cards on her table, she looked at it and brushed her hands on the deck carefully, almost like it was a little baby under her care. She thought back on the games she played with the Gundam pilot, when she had the free time and so did he. Though Kyo was the worst card player she had ever seen and met, he never once complained about his constant losing streaks to her, and was more than willing to play against the tough, yet easy-going head supplier in a few hands of Poker. Just about every other girl would never play against her, since the muscular woman was just too good at cards.
Now, she had no one to play against and she missed having the hard-working Kyo in the Register. She had been hoping to sample even more of his cooking, after she had a taste of the Christmas banquet that he helped prepare. She smiled a bit as she recalled how good he looked in his tuxedo uniform. He had been efficient and hard-working, and the Register just wasn't the same without him. She sighed sadly as she recalled him saying that she was like a big sister to him, in his final moments not too long ago. He was the only person onboard the whole ship…or anywhere else for that matter, who she allowed to call her Gasco.
Meia remained totally silent as she sat in her room. Normally, this wasn't extraordinary since the Dread Leader was non-talkative, she only spoke when she wanted to say her opinions, and she was giving her orders. However, her silence was due to a much more profound reason. Her shoulder had been neatly bandaged and Duero assured her that she can still pilot her Dread against the enemy if she had to. However, like BC and the Captain, she knew just how grave their situation was. Their greatest tactical advantages were gone, their second-in-command of their defense forces was dead and his mecha totally off-line. Meia knew that they couldn't win this war with Dreads and Vanguards alone, the battle they had before was solid evidence of that fact. Morale was at an all time low, and team spirit was totally nonexistent. However, like the born tactician that she was, she tried to find a solution to this crisis. It was what Kyo would have done…
On that thought, she smirked a bit. Here she was, comparing herself to a man. Back then, before that fateful day, she would have scoffed at the thought of a man having any worth. However, all that changed when Kyo came onboard. She could still recall the time Kyo had challenged her…
Kyo: “Ah, ah! The warrior who loses control over her temper has already lost the battle.”
End of Flashback…
Meia's posterior winced slightly from the memory of being tossed across the hanger. Still, that event, along with those times on that desert planet and in the asteroid field, made her realize the need and importance to place trust on her teammates and to rely on them and to accept new ideas from others, including men. She learned to let go of her pride and found that Kyo had indeed a great deal to offer, along with the other men. The pirates would never have made it this far without their aid.
Kyo often appeared as an enigma to her. He was certainly not from Talark, and would frequently show skills and abilities that she or any female from Megele would have never expected from a man. The more things she learned about him, the more her curiosity was aroused. Was he even human? Every part of her being told the Dread pilot that he was human, and after having to endure the sight of Kyo nearly being impaled by Dominion's beam saber, and having to watch him perish in front of her, told her that he was mortal. Still, it didn't explain how he had so much power, skill and wisdom on many things.
Meia shook her head to try and make sense of it all, and most of all, why was it that she felt like a part of her soul had been shattered at seeing Kyo die, and why was it that she wanted so badly that he should have lived? Why did she feel this way for him? She felt this strange desire to know all there was about him, even more so when she opened herself to him. He was the only person in the whole ship…no, the whole universe, that she opened her heart and soul to. He showed so much understanding to her suffering, and part of her seemed to want him to open up to her too, having seen suffering in his normally tough and independent exterior, namely when he gave his final farewells, to everyone on the Nirvana…including her.
In the medical bay…
Paiway sat on the chair, sadness and despair etched in her young face. Those feelings had a good reason to be on the young Megele apprentice nurse, she had been totally responsible for the whole mess she and the others were, and she was…totally the one responsible for the death of Kyo. She never expected that her one little mistake and brief flare of anger and jealousy to have such dire consequences. It was just that she felt so sad, angry and depressed for all the time her friend Dita spent with Kyo, and she seemed to ignore her all the time. She only wanted to get back at him for raking all of her friend's attention, especially on the anniversary of their joining with the pirates. However, that one little error had nearly cost everyone's lives, and namely that of Kyo who died willingly to save them, and now, his words echoed in her mind, she had helped in the death of an innocent man. A man who without any anger still considered her as a surrogate sibling, despite the fact that she had a hand in his death now. He had never hated her and considered someone he would gladly die protecting…Kyo cared for her, along with everyone else on the ship…and he died to save her.
She later confessed to her comrade Jura when she had later come to the medical bay for her mistake and her jealousy.
The words Kyo said in his final moments echoed in her mind endlessly.
The eleven-year old girl sank into deeper depression. There was absolutely no way out of this mess they all were in. They might as well give up all hope. They were all finished, and she didn't deny that she was largely responsible for all this.
Mai Miazaki sighed as she absently looked at her console in the Register. As she thought on the situation, her mind drifted back to the time that Kyo saved her life. When he got her out the way when the stack of missiles fell, nearly killing her, he made the first crack on the wall of her hate towards men.
Since the time of Mai's ancestor, all women born of their line were taught from the cradle to detest the opposite gender. They were the hated enemy and were not to be trusted. They all had no honor and were to be treated like the scum and filth that they were. However, no matter how she tried to, she could never hate Kyo after he saved her life that day. In fact she had grown to respect him, though she sometimes wondered on how he had so much knowledge and skills, such things that no woman of Megele ever expect a man to possess. She had been meaning to ask him all about who he really was. But that chance never came…he was gone now.
Sara sweated as she went on with her kata in the ship's gymnasium. She had been going through her exercises ever since the announcement came that the Crusader Squadron's commander perished in battle.
The female warrior and pilot was sorely disappointed with several members of her squadron, who had decided to give up the struggle and get drunk or lock themselves in their quarters. It seemed that when Kyo died, the spirit, cohesion and camaraderie of the unit had perished with them. That kind of atmosphere didn't suit well to the warrior female and she had to take some measures to maintain discipline in her fellow pilots. However, she knew that she couldn't halt or heal them in their grief and despair, and now at least half of the squadron were neither mentally or physically able to go into combat. However, she knew that she couldn't blame them in their sorrow. After Kyo's death, she too had lost almost all of her own will to keep on moving. After all they had been through together as a team, after all they had learned from the master Gundam pilot, the fire in their team had been reduced to a mere flicker.
They had been the first female combat unit who used the hated men's machines in combat, the very same machines meant to be used against them. They were also the first to be under a male leader. Despite their initial distaste and reluctance to follow a man's commands, they all had developed a bond of loyalty for Kyo. He always looked out for them. Though his training regimes and combat scenarios have been very difficult and impossibly rough at times, they all came to understand that Kyo did this to prepare them for the battles ahead of them and for them to survive the worst of the worst. He showed no favoritism and treated all of them the same. He made their practice sessions to be grueling, training them for hours after hours, until all of them mastered the techniques, maneuvers and tactics, as one whole and worked as one unified force. And the Elsman descendant of Dearka Miriallia admitted that it worked. Before long, the Crusader Squadron grew under Kyo's care and supervision into one force to be respected and to be reckoned with.
Now, the unthinkable happened, the Gundam pilot and his mecha had been defeated and slain. Sara thought them to be totally invincible, that no one could ever defeat them, either when with Liberty and without it. However, she now knew that Kyo was merely mortal and he after all had…a human soul. They had not been the `Mr. Alien' that Dita had made him out to be. The Mobile Suit and his Gundam had not been the otherworldly war gods that they seemed both to be. In a way, sad and grievous as it was, Kyo's death had been an object lesson for the girl and her fellow pilots. No one was immortal.
However, unlike some of her fellow mecha operators, she had not lost all of her faith. Kyo had deep confidence in the Angel Squadron and to their second in command, up to the very moment of his death. Sara decided that she would continue what her commander had started. It was what he would have wanted for her to do for him. He had instilled their core values in the group; Loyalty, Honor, Respect, Camaraderie, Faith, Trust, Bravery, and Hope. She would not show anything less, she would keep on fighting the enemy, and if she would also meet her end, then she would make it one of remembrance. Despite being a man, Kyo had shown the pure hearts of warriors and showed a great degree of true warrior spirit. Her ancestors would have been proud and honored if they were alive to meet these men…no doubt about that. And if they would encounter Kyo's family and his surviving relatives in their trip back to Megele and Talark, then she would be the first to speak on behalf of the dead leader of her squadron.
In the bridge…
All was silent and somber in the Nirvana's command bridge. Belvedere, Amarone, Celtic, and Ezra all looked at their consoles blankly. Their thoughts all centered on the bleak and depressing state they all were in, and also of the mutiny that did not but cause strife and discord. And had lead to the deaths of a young man who gave his life in their defense of the ship and everyone onboard…including them.
Ezra recalled some of the times she had encountered the young Kyo, during those times, he showed so much respect and courtesy for her. She felt as if he treated her like a mother, and in a sense she was, with her baby due in a few months. She had hoped that Kyo would be around to watch her bring her child to the world
Now it was impossible, and now the truth was, that she, her comrades…and her unborn child would never survive.
Inside the conference room…
“Captain, please. You can't keep on blaming yourself for what happened.” Buzam said to her superior officer as they were alone in the room in deep discussion.
The aged woman let out a long and saddened sigh. “And give me a good reason why I shouldn't feel that this whole mess was my fault, BC? I SHOULD have done something to stop this pointless mutiny before it could escalate into this! I'm the CAPTAIN…and yet I did nothing to stop it, and look what my hesitation has done to us. Here we are…trapped inside a gas giant with the Earth Fleet waiting for us outside. We can't retreat, but we can't just surrender either. Either way…we'll be dead. If only I had put my foot down on that whole matter and stopped Kyo from leaving the ship, then giving up his own life to help us… He was willing to give up everything dear to him, even to the point of self-detonating Freedom to save us, even if we did bring back him here, we could do nothing but see him die in our own Medical Bay. And all this is because I didn't do anything to stop that stupid mutiny before…”
“Captain, don't start second-guessing yourself. What's happened has happened, there's nothing we can do that will change that now.” Buzam emphasized. “We don't have the power to change the past. I also feel saddened, very deeply saddened that we couldn't save Kyo, just like you and also the rest of the crew. I want Kyo to be back here to help us fight this mess, so does everyone else. But we have to accept the facts that he's gone now. We have to plan on how we can get out of this situation we're in as well as to plan for out futures!”
“Our futures, eh?” The elderly captain gave her First Mate a sad smile. “And what should you propose we do about that mammoth Flagship out there, waiting for us along with it's fleet? We don't have the GunDreads anymore. It's already been proven that Vanguards and Dreads alone aren't enough to match the Earth's arsenal, especially that MONSTER out there, and I'm NOT talking about the Earth Battleship or those GunDread clones.”
Speaking of which…
The Harvester Flagship waited for it's prey to finally show themselves to be harvested for it's creators. Inside the behemoth battleship, a lone Gundam was being repaired for internal and external damage from it's encounter with the enemy Gundam.
The Dominion's CPU had calculated that there was no way for the Freedom and it's pilot to survive the heavy gravity and dense electro-magnetic storms that made up the gas giant the pirates had fled to. There was no longer a threat to the Harvester Armada as the Gundam that had been a thorn on the Harvesters' side had been destroyed. The Harvest would now go on as scheduled, and the humans on Earth would continue existing for a very long time.
For now, the Earth-built Gundam was in need of repairs and recharging of it's core systems. It may not have a pure nuclear reactor as power supplies were needed on it's world, nor did it have the same P. Phase Shift Armor system, since it used a version known as Variance Phase Shift Armor. But with Freedom out of the way, there was nothing stopping it from it's key directive and reason to be assembled, accomplishing the Harvest plan.
On Earth, many celebrated the defeat and destruction of the one machine and it's pilot that had been a thorn on their side. Now nothing would stand between them and their survival
Back at the Nirvana…
Barnette held her right cheek in shock as pain ran on her face. Jura had just slapped her!
“W-What was that for?!” The green-haired female asked. In all the years they had been together, side by side, the blonde pilot had never raised her hand against her. Now, Jura was giving her a glare that made it look that Barnette was the one who murdered her mother.
“I can't what I just heard from you, Barnette. And I thought Meia has ice in her veins.” Jura said with a fierce seriousness in her eyes, her vain, self-centered and proud attitude were not showing at all. In fact, today was one of those VERY rare times the Jura was DEAD serious.
“W-What are you talking about Jura? All I said was now that useless jerk Kyo is now out of our lives…”
Barnette now found herself holding both her cheeks, which were stinging.
“What's the matter with you Jura?” Barnette asked in total confusion. “Why are like this over that man? He's the enemy! They…”
“What's the matter? I'll tell you what's the matter, dear Barnette.” Jura replied with a sing-song voice. “What's wrong is that I found out I love a heartless and vindictive person. That's all!”
“Kyo was a man, but he was MORE than that. In case it slipped your mind, he's done countless good things for this ship. Even I can see that. Apparently you didn't, or you didn't want to admit all the good he's done for us.”
“What are you talking about?”
“What I'm talking about, is the way you're treating his very memory. At the very LEAST, you could give those memories SOME dignity! Kyo deserves that much, even from you.”
“Why should I anyway?” Barnette replied, her anger rising to the surface. “He was nothing but trouble the very moment they got onboard this ship! He ate a lot, he was too bossy, no one stood up to him except me! And thanks to him, we are all going to die! Why then, should I remember someone like that at all?”
Jura became silent and still, deadly silent, that caused Barnette's anger to freeze and drop. The green-haired Dread pilot always got very nervous when her best friend became like this. Finally Jura spoke, in a voice devoid of any emotion. “And people think that I'M shallow? What you've just done and shown to me right now has just put everything I've ever done to shame. And right now that's what I'm feeling towards you now Barnette…absolute SHAME. Kyo was man, yes, but he was also a human being. He did all that he could to help us throughout this voyage, right to the very end. You can't place the blame on him for what happened. I spoke to Paiway right after he died and she told me the whole story. He and Dita were telling the whole truth. And that's how I realized that you used that opportunity, so you could turn everyone against him.”
“W-What are you saying?”
“I'm saying that YOU Barnette, were jealous of him.”
“Me? Jealous of Kyo? That's totally ridiculous!”
“Is it? I don't think so. I'd say that I'm dead right. Every time you challenged him, he met every test and exceeded it in every way possible. He showed you that he could sing, play music, and dance, he also showed you that he can cook and so on. And you know what I noticed? Not once did he ever gloat about it. And I think that was the reason that irritated you the most.”
“That's right Barnette, he NEVER gloated. You always expected him to rub it in every time he beat you, but he never did. And do you know why? He respected you as a person, and as a human being.”
“I can't believe this!”
“Whether you believe it or not doesn't change the facts at all. The big reason I'm so ashamed of you is because a `shallow' person like me can see that truth, but a smart person like you didn't or won't. What's even MORE shameful is that after I've explained everything to you, you're still not accepting the truth.”
“That's totally absurd!”
Jura sighed sadly…she had hoped that she might have changed her friend's view of the situation but apparently she wasted the time, and her efforts to try and get rid of her state of denial didn't get anywhere at all. After a long period of silence, she responded with a tone of finality. “I was once the same as you Barnette. I once hated all men, but Kyo showed me how blind I was to the real person that he was inside, he wasn't the crude and stupid savages I believed men to be. He was the only man I felt honored and privileged to fight alongside with. And if you still can't find it in yourself to accept that, then there's absolutely nothing left for us to talk about. Now get out of this room.”
“Until you think about what you've done to Kyo, and make your peace with him, then I don't want anything to do with you! NOW GET OUT!”
After shoving Barnette out the door of her room, Jura locked the door, and in the silence of her quarters, decided to unleash all of the emotions she had barely suppressed. Tears ran down her face and formed a small puddle on the floor as she leaned on the door and sat on the ground. She loved Barnette dearly and forcing her away tore at her very soul like claws. However, she couldn't stand being near her after all she had done to Kyo. She felt her heart torn in different directions and she couldn't make any sense of it all. On one side was her long-standing devotion to Barnette and their long-standing friendship. On another was her new-found admiration and something…deeper for Kyo. Her memories went back to the time in Anpathos, where she had been kissed by him, the memory of the kiss they shared made Jura shiver slightly. Just what where those feelings they shared when their lips touched? They were somewhat the same when she kissed Barnette, but were so different?
Speaking of whom…At the Register…
“I can't believe that she slapped me twice, then threw me out of the room! More than half of the crew won't speak to me! It's all Kyo's fault!” Barnette sobbed as she was in the Register, in Gascogne's private office, with the head supplier.
The head supplier gave the Dread pilot a bit of a glare as she supped her tea. “In all honesty, I don't blame Jura for what she did.” She said in a quiet voice.
Barnette's head snapped up like a coiled spring. “What?!”
The muscular woman nodded as she explained her side of the story. “If she didn't slap you, then I WOULD have, after what happened to Kyo. Here you are, blaming Kyo for something that you brought on and did to yourself. And he hasn't even been dead for more than three hours. That's low Barnette, despicable… and cold.”
The green-haired Dread pilot couldn't believe her ears and she was hearing this…from Gascogne of all people. “Are you against me too? Are you on the men's side?!”
Gascogne shrugged her shoulders. “The side I happen to be on is the one I believe in, no matter what gender it is. Listen up, Barnette. Kyo never volunteered to be part of our crew, he had a deal with the Captain and the Commander, but he became part of this crew. He and Freedom didn't have to fight our enemies alongside us, but they did anyway. He didn't have to work under me here in the Register, but he did anyway. After that battle with the first Space Urchin, he DIDN'T need to work here under me any more, but he chose to. Kyo never WANTED to be in command of the Vanguards, but he took the position anyway. He DIDN'T need to cook us that Christmas dinner, but he did anyway. And you know why he did all that? With his abilities, skills, knowledge and the sheer power of his Gundam, Kyo would have left us to our fates long ago and at any time he wanted, but he chose not to! He could have left us to find his parents, his past, and his home. But he cast that aside to lend his aid to us, and now…he sacrificed his life, for us, and you know why? I'll tell you why. It was because he BELIEVED AND CARED for us all!”
“He…believed and cared for us?”
“That's right. It's as simple as that. Did you listen to him when he was talking to the Captain?”
“What do you mean?”
Gascogne took out a small video card and loaded it into a console.
“This was a recording of his last words, before he died three hours ago, and when you just showed me that you were indeed jealous of him. You should hear this.”
Barnette was about to retort, but her attention was caught as Kyo's last words to the crew was heard. For over a few minutes, Barnette was completely silent as she heard Kyo's `confession'.
Gascogne nodded as the recording ended. “You were angry and jealous at Kyo for all his skills and abilities. But now I guess the situation's different. You can see now Barnette? Before you lead the mutiny, you still had friends here in the Nirvana. Jura's there for you along with the others, your fahma and ohma are back at Megele waiting, your home back at Megele was there always. And you could recall all the things that happened to you, either good or bad when you were growing up until now. Kyo…what did he have? Nothing, everything that you take for granted…he didn't have any of it. I can barely imagine what Kyo feels whenever we sometimes talk about home, our folks, our friends, our happy moments. He has no memory of any of that. I have to admire him, for having the will to keep on living when he can't even recall things that all of us take for granted. It's like being in a room full of your most precious moments and dreams, but you can't even recognize them.”
Gascogne sighed as she continued. “It's even harder for Kyo to live a normal life. He can't remember his parents' faces, their names, where he grew up, his siblings, their faces, the people who taught him all the things he's good at. He can't even know if they are out there somewhere, or even if they are alive. Kyo was right that he was an empty shell of a man, and he was jealous of us, including you. Ironic that the one person you were jealous of was jealous of you as well, I guess you never took the time to know Kyo for who he is, instead you hated him, because of what he could do and being a man, despite all that he did for us. But Kyo never hated anyone at all, we all, even you gave Kyo a reason to stay alive, all he had were shadows, shards, and ghosts as memories, but we became the family he wanted to have and protect. We became his reason to stay alive and open up to others, even Paiway, who unintentionally started this whole mess, Kyo considered her as his baby sister, and someone he would gladly die protecting. He considered me as a big sister, and if I was indeed his big sister, you can bet I would be beating you up for ever starting this whole mess, Barnette. Kyo cared for us all as we made our way back to Megele and Talark, while he aided us to battle the Harvesters, we all, even you gave him hope, memories, and in that sense, a chance to release himself from his past, his ghosts, and to reach out for what life and the future had for him, and live again...to be with others, to have friends, to have a place to call home and to have loved ones, a family. And in exchange…he wanted to show to us all that we all can do so much more if we set aside our differences and prejudices and work together regardless of our gender. You broke those hopes and dreams to pieces when you let your jealousy start that pointless mutiny. But he never gave up his hopes, he came back to us and fought for everyone here on the ship, including you and those who joined you in the mutiny, even if he knew that he was going to die. But he never gave up in his faith and hope for all of us, and he willingly paid the price for helping us with his life.”
Gascogne then looked Barnette in the eye. “Now can you tell me honestly Barnette…Do you really think that all this is Kyo's fault?”
Barnette remained silent as she took in what Gascogne had told her. After what seemed like an eternity, she slowly stood up with her head bowed down, and left the room without another word.
The head supplier nodded as she watched the girl leave. As an expert card player, Gascogne had developed the talent of reading other people's expressions through their faces and body language. She also knew the certain people would set up false fronts to hide their insecurities and doubts. Fronts such as Meia's cold and calculating visage, Jura's vanity and hunger for fame and recognition, Dita's over-enthusiasm, and of course Barnette's outward toughness and hatred of men. However, Kyo had broken those fronts and caused them all to feel new and strange feelings within them. He gave them a new kind of strength, his strength and his inner most confidence, and in return, he drew strength and confidence from them. Now that bond had been broken and the women were in disarray without that seemingly symbiotic link that made them more courageous and stronger than they were before. Once more, Gascogne wondered how one young man could instill so much strength in so many people.
At a certain place in the Nirvana…
Barnette really didn't want to do this. However, the head supplier was right and so was Jura. In order for her soul to move on, she would have to deal with her past crimes and atone for them. And so, she moved to the chamber where Kyo's body was stored to await interment.
Among the pirates, death wasn't uncommon and those who perished in their voyages were usually given burials in space, that is unless they made previous arrangements to be buried on Megele. Kyo was no exception, his corpse was currently lying on a table with a sheet covering him, he was in his normal clothes, beside him was his helmet, his pilot/combat uniform, his pistol and his sword, those were the only things Parfet was able to rebuild. After today, Kyo would be placed in a capsule-like coffin and launched into the void, to be returned to the cosmic dust where all had been born, alongside Freedom, who would be cleaned before joining it's fallen master in death.
She walked up to the table and faced the body and stood in silence for a long time, gazing at the deceased Gundam pilot. On one side, on a small table was a small locket Kyo had on him, only he could open it, but he never did. After a few minutes, she finally began making her peace with Kyo.
“Kyo…I…don't know if you can hear me, but wherever you are now, I want you to know that…I'm so sorry.”
Barnette felt surprised as she felt a tear flow down her cheek, but she paid no attention to it. She was so intent on making her peace that she didn't notice that Kyo's body began to glow faintly and the locket on his neck also glowed with faint light.
In the engineering section, another strange occurrence were taking place. Deep with in the Paeksis-enhanced circuits of both the Freedom and Liberty, certain mechanisms and systems began to activate, Freedom's eyes began to flicker with light and power.
Somewhere else, outside of the plane of existence in the universe…
Kyo didn't know where he was, period. But it was warm and yet deprived of light. He felt no pain and it seemed that something was calling to him. He found himself being drawn into whatever was beckoning to him as he saw a bright light, the light was in the color of blue-green and it seemed so familiar…
With careful, measured, and cautious steps, Kyo began to head towards the lights…
END OF CHAPTER 13B