❯ KNIGHT OF THE STAR LEAGUE – Where the hell i am? ( Chapter 2 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
KNIGHT OF THE STAR LEAGUE
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything except Yoko Hachiman.
Notes: I have revised my precedent chapters since many readers have signaled that they were rather cryptic or difficult to understand even for those who play Battletech.
The planet Butterfly is inspired from “Turn A Gundam”.
Chap 2: Where the hell I am?
It is now accepted that Yoko Hachiman wasn’t born in the Draconis Combine or in the Japan islands on Terra. Although her phenotype was Japanese, her cultural flavor and her mannerisms indicated that she was probably born on a Periphery world, one with a heavily Asian background. The fact that some of her early battles were in the Outworlds Alliance is proof enough.
Yoko Hachiman, Facts and Conjectures 3055.
Yoko Hachiman looked bewildered around her. How was this possible? One instant she was simply riding her bicycle on a dirt trail in a forest. The next, she was crashing on a grassy field surrounded by hills.
There was also the fact for the illogical terror she felt before the accident as everything in her mind was screaming “DANGER!”. And, of course, the bout of nausea and massive headache right after her splendid landing.
The sixteen years old black-haired girl finally managed to stand up, brushed her clothes and examined herself and her cross-country bicycle. She sighed in relief that everything was in order.
She rapidly extracted her cellular phone from her pocket. She didn’t know where she was and… She stopped herself and frowned as she looked the sun in the sky. She blinked and blinked again as she consulted her watch.
“What the hell?”
No, she wasn’t dreaming. Her memory and her watch were saying to her that she was still in the morning when the accident happened, but the position of the sun completely contradicted her. It was visibly early afternoon. Another jarring detail was the weather. She was wearing her leather vest on her bicycle garments because of the cold wind that was blowing since yesterday. And now, she was forced to open her vest because she felt she was under a summer afternoon weather.
The trickle of anxiety in her stomach was now a full and rapid river. What in the name of God happened to her? Where was she? She almost wailed as she suddenly remark that her phone wasn’t in a zone with a network available.
She forced herself to breathe deeply and focus on herself to find her centre. The meditation worked and the icy fingers of her fear evacuated her mind. She wasn’t yet in a desperate situation. She had food, water, equipment and transportation and she was still healthy. She was only…lost.
Her bicycle was really a gift of Heaven. She could travel a long way before required rest. Not knowing where to go, she decided to follow her intuition and ride in direction of the South. She smiled as the sun began to set in as she finally remarked the silver iridescence of a brook in the green grass.
As she built a small fire and readied herself for the night, she tried again her cell-phone for the same result than before: Still no network available. She sighed as she contemplated the stars in the night-sky and began to slowly drift into sleep in her sleeping bag: the tent was not required since the weather was so perfect.
One stray thought brought her to full awareness again: SHE COULDN’T RECOGNIZE ANY CONSTELLATIONS! She must have stayed a long time, gaping at the unknown skies as exhaustion finally remind her that she needed rest and she managed to sleep despite the growing sensation of being completely lost.
The day after the last discovery had been without problems except for the presence of Earth animals, something that reassured her, that were sometimes aggressive. She gulped as she remarked snakes that were probably poisonous and she defended herself against a feral dog with her katana.
That last encounter assured her that civilization was nearby since dogs were a sure sign of the presence of humans.
It was in the afternoon of her second day since her arrival that she witnessed another sign of civilization and a strange one at that. She stopped her bicycle and gaped as she was seeing an actual BLIMP of all things!
It was a standard blimp, zeppelin-like with an orange-yellow coloration, a wooden passenger-cabin and it was motorized by four ICE-propellers: The sure sign of industrialized civilization. She had a doubt before, because of the amazing pure quality of the air. She frowned as this was perhaps the sign that she was in the Past. She was too far away to distinguish the signs on the blimp, but she was sure that it was a white bird near a fire-colored sphere.
She smiled as her intuition was vindicated. According to the direction taken by the blimp, she was on a direct course for a town or something. In fact, she exploded in joy at what she found after the next hill: A road!
Yes, it was really a road and with asphalt on it. Not a dirt road but the sure sign that cars or other means of ICE-based vehicles were used where she was. The only thing that troubled her was the absence of any signs on the road and the non-existent traffic. The road showed signs of wear but for four hours she encountered no vehicles.
And then, she began to ride along cultivated fields of wheat and softly cried in joy. She was still lost somewhere but she was still within a human realm. Her heart was accelerating as she saw machinery and people working in some fields. She preferred to wait for others signs of civilization before attempting a contact with the locals. She stopped between two hills and grinned as she distinguished a town at the horizon.
She rode with energy, eager to finally assess her situation. It was when she was nearing a bridge that she felt something.
It was a burst of emotions. The more curious was the fact that she was sure that those emotions weren’t hers but someone else. Someone…in distress…nearby…
The scream erupted from the banks of the river. She braked and jumped from her bicycle to see what was happening. Her eyes widened: A young girl, probably of the same age of her was running along the river, completely nude…
She was tall with long golden hair and was desperately signing to… HELL! Within the embrace of the rapid current of the river was another girl, also nude, younger and with short brown hair. She was also clearly in difficulty and was fighting to maintain her head out of the water.
Yoko didn’t even hesitate or think although she wasn’t that good as a swimmer. She promptly kicked off her sport-shoes and jumped directly from the bridge. As she touched the surface of the water, something seemed to ignite within her core-being. She found herself swimming with incredible ease despite the strong current. It was as if something was helping her to glide through the water.
In a few moments, she reached the now tired teenager and grasped her. “Don’t panic! I’m here to help you! Try to relax!” She absently asked herself why she was using English instead of her native Japanese. Probably because the other girl had called to her sibling in English.
Unfortunately, the brown-haired girl was on the verge of panic and was struggling within the arms of Yoko as she tried to maintain the two of them at the surface. Once again something seemed to click into place within the mind of the displaced Japanese. “Calm yourself!” And this time, she sighed in relief as the girl stopped struggling instantly.
Despite her inexperience, Yoko knew that it was useless to fight against the current. She simply began to aim for the nearest river bank and used the water to help her. She reached the shore and this time, she felt her exhaustion like a switch was on. It was curious since, from the beginning of the rescue, her muscles have been heavily solicited without complain.
She shook her head and focused on the person with her. She was a young teenager, perhaps two years younger than her, with a bob cut of brown hair and chocolate eyes that were glazed. Yoko frowned as she assessed that the young girl was still in shock from her brush with drowning.
“Sister?” The young girl turned to the sound of the voice and looked into the blue eyes of the golden-haired girl. She hiccupped, threw herself into the open arms and began to sob within the embrace.
Yoko nodded. It was good that she was crying. The shock had passed, now she could regain her composure, especially with her older sibling. She noted the freshness of the water and quickly ran to her bicycle to extract her towel from her backpack. She returned to the two sisters and began to help them.
Yoko Hachiman was smiling. Things were looking better for her now. She had helped the two girls to gather their clothes after the accident and they were now walking along a secondary road to, according her guides, the house of their family. Yoko had absently noted that the two summer dresses of the girls looked like western dresses of the Twenties era.
They were, in fact, chatting happily as if they have been friends since always. The long-haired girl was called Kihel Heim and her younger sister Sochie. They were the only two daughters of the current mayor of the nearby small town of Nocis. They knew how to swim, but Sochie had been surprised by an unexpected strong current and taken away before her older sister could take action.
The two girls were enchanted to meet Yoko. They had commented on the rich apparel she wore and the sophistication of her bicycle. Yoko had quickly taken on herself to tell the truth whenever she could. She had truthfully told them that she was on a journey and that most of her equipment was a gift from her parents. Apparently, it was common in this society that young people quit their hometowns and learned their trade in other parts of the world.
At last, she had a name for where she was: Butterfly. She had managed to hide her dismay at the confirmation that she was nowhere a place she knew. Another planet! It was something from a manga where the young schoolgirl found herself in another universe.
The mayor of Nocis was a jovial man that welcomed her with open arms. Especially when he learnt about the accident and the help that Yoko had given to his daughters. His wife, a strong woman named Alea Heim, began in fact to dot on the displaced Japanese.
As the evening went, Yoko found herself in a guestroom, Alea Heim having forcefully declared that she couldn’t let her go like that. A hostel room or sleeping in the open? By the Omniss, young girl! Her ancestors would never forgive her if she didn’t repay the life-debt.
Yoko fell on her bed and gazed on the ceiling. So many things and yet not enough. She now knew that she was on the planet “Butterfly” on the extreme border of the “Outworlds Alliance”. The Alliance was a political body of 40 stellar systems somewhere in “The Periphery”, whatever the last term meant. The society of was mainly agrarian with a few big towns where technology was more present and only one spaceport. Apparently the Omniss faith, embraced by a good portion of the Alliance and almost anybody on Butterfly, denounced any technology not related to the preservation of human life.
But the kick in the butt was the date. According to a newspaper she was in…3025! Either she was in another universe where Man had learnt to travel among the stars or she was in her own future. And of course, she couldn’t ask too many questions or her hosts would begin to suspect something.
Tears began to drip from her eyes as the enormity of the situation finally crashed on Yoko Hachiman. She was lost: Completely and utterly lost. She had no clues about the how or why of her situation. She was bereft of the simple presence and support of her family, with almost no resources except the few things she had with her and the gentle help of the Heim family.
She angrily stood up and looked on the tranquil scenery outside the window. If she didn’t know better, she could almost swear that she was in a rural place in the early 20th Century. The final nail on her coffin was the absence of any moons in the sky.
In the obscurity of her room, a metallic éclat reached her eyes. She slowly drew her katana. The antic weapon was her inheritance. She was the last of the modest bloodline of the Hachiman Samurai. In fact, the Daisho was the only proof that she was the last and only Hachiman in this universe.
The blade seemed to drink the light of the stars and shimmered under the gaze of its mistress. She blinked. Something, perhaps her intuition, was whispering to her soul and soothing her heart. For an instant, it seemed that the blade was promising her that it will be better in the future. IF, she was willing to pay the price. After all, the katana was a weapon: the soul of the Samurai but also a tool for war.
It had also been a note of interest to see that the significance of the Daisho was known in this society. The mayor had commented on the dedication of the Japanese teenager to “proudly continue the honorable work” of her ancestors.
She slowly sheathed the ancient blade and prepared herself to sleep: Tomorrow was another day.
Notes: It’s slow and I seem to have some difficulty to write after my forced period of dayshift.
Oh well, at least I am writing. I am a little disappointed in myself for I could have developed more the various scenes of this chapter.
Oh well, nonetheless I am slowly building the setup for the action-packing, angst-powering and mighty powers of the futures chapters, right?
Read and review, thank you.
PS: I have just finished the sheet of the future battlemech of Yoko. Oh my god! She’s going to kick butt with it! And I have respected the rules! Just one clue for now: Star League technology.