tales of the activated

pensieri 3

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I do realize the compiled posts are rather long, so I’m contemplating putting them into pages eventually. In the meantime, thank you for reading. Please proceed under the cut.


note 2 – note 4

I woke up on Master Beika’s couch.

I’m not sure how I got there, or how long I had been there. I just remember an overwhelming tiredness engulfing me along with the disappointment, or relief. I fainted, or Marceau did something, or Beika did something. I was not sure anymore. But I was asleep, for quite a while. My joints and back ached.

Marceau did a few more combings through my timelines. Beika did what she could as well, reading my lifecodes and lacing them all with healing programs, sending water into me when she could. I felt it, but I was too exhausted to resist or to respond, for some reason. I slept through it all, completely tired, completely exhausted.

I had thought things would be better after their first try. But feeling, knowing, believing: it was hard to do, even with them around.

When I remembered wanting to fly up to the sky above the capital again, to drop and to no longer exist, the girls pleaded in my head, with all their skill and knowledge, blocking, stopping, halting. All of these simply made me want to curl up into a tighter ball, where they could not reach me. Because I did not deserve to be reached. Not by these strangers.

Why should I be here. I need to know.

If you cannot tell me, let me try it again, so you won’t need to worry about me.

They feel it in me again. That urge they fear in me. They pull me down again to sleep, suspecting it’s just tiredness. And I let them pull me down again, for there is nothing else I know right now to do.

Why should I be here. I need to know.


“Soji. You hear me, right?”

A different voice, yet familiar, after so long. Master Lan. I groan, just barely, to show that I heard. Everything hurt. Everything felt weary.

“Those girls mean well by what they know. But they’ve had you drugged to the limit, four days now. Just to keep you level.”

I’ve noticed, sort of. I stopped feeling that desire to reach the sky. Instead, I felt nothing.

“Soj, they’re not going to stop until you show them that they can stop worrying about you. At the current state of programming knowledge, if they don’t stop worrying about you, they’ll keep this up. You’ll end up as something you nor I could recognize. You don’t want that, as much as I don’t. Believe me.”

I swam up through the cobwebs of the drowsiness, and forced myself to listen.

“Why do I know? It’s happened to me. When that happened. I think you saw it. Beika was telling me you were there.”

Yes, I was. I saw it. Master Beika was a wreck. She probably is now.

“The only reason they stopped was this: my master kept knocking on my head. Figuratively, that is. You are needed, you are needed, you are needed, and soon. Get up. It kept ringing somewhere none of that heal-program drugging could reach. That thought cycle they kept worrying about did not leave, but it got reined in. Once it was reined in, they loosened the hold. Do you understand me?”

Sort of. I had trouble translating some of the words to my brain, but I understood, more or less.

Yet, Beika and Marceau were Lan’s friends. Strictly speaking, they are not mine. I am borrowing them as my own friends. Beika does not hold me…the way she does Lan.

“Soji. The past is done. We know you for who you are, right now. And we do like you. We do want you around. Beika, Marceau, and me. As our friend. We want you to be here in Pendi. And if that’s not solid enough for you…”

He mussed my hair.

“…No one in the capital can make plain-black coffee like you. Just with a usual filter. No bitter aftertaste of any kind. Marceau misses your soup. Beika keeps telling me about your icebox cake. Get up and serve us sometime, alright? We’ll be waiting.”

He let go.



I gave a sign that I heard, but did not move. Everything still hurt, but not as much. True to his word, the girls had loosened their tight grip. They saw what they wanted to see.

What it was they found, I am not sure. There were merely memories: Lan sipping his coffee, plain, strongly black, without sugar, not wincing from an aftertaste. Beika rapidly scooping mushroom soup into her mouth through her spoon, smiling the whole time. Marceau tossing her head when I look, but smiling as she ate her peach cake when she thought I was not looking.

It was a sense of not wanting to fly anymore, not because Beika or Marceau said so, but because I no longer want it myself.

He held my head. “It has helped, somewhat. That’s good.”

It has. I am grateful.

And yet everything I already lost keeps coming back to strike at my head. I wince as another round punches me and makes me beg to go back to sleep.

“I know that, too,” Lan says. “The past cannot be forgotten. But it is the past, new friend. It’s the past. What we have is now. So come back to us.”

The punches kept coming, but my head surfaced from the drowning sensation. The past is the past.

“We are still waiting for you. Come back to us.”

I’ll keep trying. I think.

note 2 – note 4


Author: EK

Crazy writer, bookworm, anime fan, and a few other things.

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