Idlaide - The Rays of Fortune

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by Quiet One, Oct 13, 2014.

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    Ellesandis, a moon circling one of the outermost Jovian planets of the Rival System. Out of the way enough to make a fine home for the Ray Project back when it was first under control of the Stellar Armed Forces. Since then much of the settlement, factory, and anything remotely human has been overrun by the moon's aggressive terraforming. The factory where the Rays were built made the place ideal for Ray pilots to live, as any necessary repairs could be easily made. The fact that it was out of the way suited many of the established pilots also, though it was proving a bit problematic today.

    Max Fouxet just saw the whole area as one big training ground. Well, he was trying to. That was the job the other pilots had let fall into his hands. None of them wanted to teach the new recruits. Some of the other pilots thought they were completely unnecessary. Get kids together they thought the dormant Rays might accept? But then, they were all at least ten years older than him.

    Fouxet was 43, and looked rather good for his age. No grey streaked its way into his slicked-back black hair or in his pencil-thin mustache. His wrinkles were few and complimentary. It did sort of fall apart around his neck, which he kept wrapped in a red scarf. His jacket held a knife, a copy of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, by French Science Fiction master Jules Verne, and the odd tidbit here and there of other things in his pockets. One of these days he resolved to finish the book. He had his boots placed firmly on top of his ship, Idlaide, and was currently munching on an apple as the shuttle lowered itself into the large grassy field he'd told them to drop off in.

    "Remember, that these kids rely on you now, Max," his favorite Ray captain, Oswin Juenva Jones, reminded him. Even with the grey seeping into her hair, Max still found her to be a real looker. "Some of them are around the age you were when you got your Ray. Some even younger."

    "Got?" Max repeated with a quirky grin. "I thought I stole it. Isn't that what all of you always said? I'm the 'Ray Thief.'"

    Jones smiled back. "She chose you, Max. And for good reason, we eventually learned. Still...Try not to make them all like you."

    As soon as she and Cerberus were gone Max slid off his ship. He personally considered his ship one of the most beautiful ever made. It had the blues, greens, and violets of Ellesandis, separated by a swirling pattern of foamy white lines, so the whole thing liked ethereal sea waves. As he got off her wing, he gave Idlaide a tender pat.

    Someone apparently hadn't gotten the memo to collect twelve pilots, because he saw only ten people standing there before him. One, a very young girl, seemed to be there more for support than anything else, as she didn't seem to make many motions towards the twelve currently steel grey little ships sitting on the pale blue-green grass.

    "Hello, new recruits," he said to them. "Let's see if I can't get this out of the way quick. I'm here to teach you how to fly your Rays, but it's a lot deeper than that. These Rays - their AIs are so advanced they surpass human intelligence much like...a star surpasses a planet. Even these little ones here, waiting for you to choose them. But they're unrefined. Think of them at the moment, like a super genius with the maturity of a four-year-old. They'll adjust fast, when they bond to you.

    "Which brings me to the second part." Max rolled up his right sleeve, showing everyone the interactive wristband fused to his forearm. "This is not jewelry. It's more than a weapon. It's more than a tool. It is your life. If you go to a Ray, and it chooses you, and you get this, there is no going back. You and your Ray are together forever, and you are a pilot, a soldier of fortune, forever. This is your last chance to walk away, all of you. If you're certain as to why you're here, then step up and put your hands in the holes provided. If the Ray chooses you, it will put this on your wrist. Fair warning - it stings like hell.

    "And don't get discouraged," he added. "It might take a couple tries for you to pick the right one."
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  2. Among the many recruits being talked to by preaching man, Cynthia stood and listened without looking like she cared in the slightest. She did actually care, a lot, but she would never let that be known. One of the many techniques her father taught her about the world of business was that if you looked bored occasionally, then your patron would take you more seriously, expecting you were already aware of everything they were spewing. She figured this type of setting would be good for this technique. She came here to be taken seriously.

    With that in mind, she dressed that way. Her shiny black, combat style boots came up to her knee, and from there long black and lacy thigh high socks sprouted out. Her medium length skirt was pure white and somewhat pleated. It blew a bit in the sharp winds of this area. Her long black hair blew a bit as well. Meeting where her skirt left off, was a low cut tank top of the same color and material. If you were looking at her from far away, you would think she was wearing a dress. To finish her stylish look, she had a long black jacket with a white puff around it, and then a silver chain around her neck. There seemed to be something at the end, but that was hidden inside her tank top. Just to make things a little more edgy, her make up was put on very sharply. To put it simply, she looked fierce.

    In her head, she was admiring how smart she was when putting her outfit together, but also listening closely at the same time, scoffing quietly to herself at how dramatically he was making everything seem. Cynthia was not afraid, if that was what he was trying to get across. As she waited for him to stop talking, she admired her freshly painted black nails with a slight smirk on her face. Then, she glanced around at the other recruits. From the look of things, none of them seemed to be from Rivas. Most of the had the look like they grew up in weaker areas, but that was only an observation, she could have been wrong.

    That didn't matter too much. What did matter was asserting herself as better then the rest. One of her many goals of coming here was to prove herself as more than what was expected of her. She was hoping that some would drop out already, once he mentioned that there was still an chance to leave. From the look on her face, anyone could tell that she was set to stay. A single doubt did not cross her mind, unlike one probably should have.
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  3. Wayne was blatantly ignoring the presentation that Max had been giving. He knew enough to know that walking away would be incredibly stupid, right now. He was facing at least four years of jail time for the beating he gave that drunken bastard. He was damn lucky that this opportunity fell into his lap, like this. He couldn't face another jail sentence. His reputation was bad enough, he didn't need more time behind bars to give people any more reason to hate him. He was currently carving a small piece of wood with what a slightly rusty combat knife. Carving always helped soothe his nerves. He wasn't really sure why, but he felt that he could truly relax when he was carving. It kept him sane, really.

    When he heard that the presentation was finished, he looked up from his carving. Were they supposed to do something? He wasn't sure. That's what you get for not paying attention, asshole... He thought. Whatever. Just wing it. Can't be that hard, right? He looked over to the Ray on the very end of the line. It was sheltered. Hidden from the casual eye. Quite a lot like him. He put his knife in the sheath on his side and walked over to the hole, peeking inside it. As expected.... Can't see shit.... He sighed. He hated jumping into things blind, like this. He at least wanted to see what was going to potentially cut his hand off. Well.... not cut it off. Just bind a piece of metal to the skin without remorse.

    Alright, He thought, Enough pessimism. Stick your hand in the hole, grit your teeth through the pain, and move on. He rolled up his sleeve, wiggling his fingers for a bit before shoving his left arm into the hole. He shut his eyes tight, bracing for the pain he thought would soon follow. Only nothing came. He opened one eye, then the other. What the actual fuck? He thought, putting his free hand on his waist. Was this one just not for him? Oh well. He looked over to Max. "So if it don't choose you, you just move on to the ne-" Sudden, sharp pains shot up and down his arm, like a knife was removing his skin. His sentence was cut short by screaming as he dropped to one knee, grabbing his arm in an attempt to dull the pain, somehow. He wasn't sure how, exactly, but it was better to try a stupid idea then to not try one at all. When the pain stopped, he ripped his arm from the hole, falling onto his back. He looked at his wrist. A shiny new wristband now graced his arm.
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  4. Max watched as the first one went over. He chose the one at the end. Interesting choice. It had been a little difficult to move. Stubborn, he supposed. When he put his hand in, he braced himself too. He was about to reply, since this one clearly hadn't been paying attention, that yes, you just move on to the next one, when the point suddenly became moot. Max remembered how it felt to be bonded with Idlaide. It had felt like needles being carried by bugs crawled around inside his skin for a few moments.

    When Wayne removed his hand and showed that the Ray had chosen him he smiled down.

    "Not so bad, huh?" he said. "Congratulations, pilot. Everyone else? Step up, don't be shy. Their skins are reactive to assume different colors. It's supposed to be for camouflage, but no Ray ever wanted to hide. It'll change to whatever color you want. But first, after it chooses you, you have to make sure to give it a name."
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  5. Cynthia was more than a bit surprised when someone actually went up as the first contender. Cynthia had a bit of a high school mentality, thinking that you never want to be first in anything, unless you are winning a contest of course. This was not a contest to her, really. I mean sure, she wanted to achieve greatness over others, but it wasn't a contest yet. She needed to figure out the quarks of all of the people around her before she treated it like something of the sort.

    Her eyes kept full attention on the man who chose his ship. She watched, without flinching, as he was inflicted with pain. Under her breath she whispered the word "Weak." There was no way it could hurt that badly, she had to convince herself. If she got scared now, she would never be able to go anywhere with this.

    So, she decided to be second. In her mind, that silly child's rhyme rang in her head. "First is the worst, second is the best, third..." and so on. She found it fitting, second was good.

    And so she approached the ships. With one hand on her hip she glanced at the ones remaining, deciding which one she liked best. To her, they all looked basically the same. She was unimpressed, and her expression showed it.
  6. 'So that is them? Magnificent...' Hazel eyes roamed over the twelve unclaimed Rays that waited silently before them all. There was so much that she knew about them, so much that she had dug up on the Rays as well as the project surrounding them. She didn't even give much of a listen to what Captain Fouxet was saying to all of them. Surely those surrounding her had no idea what they were getting into, but she knew exactly what she was doing. The moment she had been approached and given the chance to study the Rays she practically screamed out in joy. Yes the actual Ray program had been shut down, but that did not mean that they had been fully forgotten. Even now scientists were still trying to figure out the AI's and find ways to get those wristbands off of the pilots. So then why was she there? Because she had written a paper, or ten, about the Rays and the personalities of the AI's located within them. In her papers she talked about the Rays as if they were actual people! Perhaps it was because of how she viewed them that she had been approached to do such a thing. To become partnered with a Ray and find out all she could about them.

    Hearing him speak of the Rays as though they were four-year-old's, made a smile creep along Solange's lips. It seemed she was not the only one who tended to think of them as something more than machines. The captain continued on with his warnings even as she made her way forward from the back of the group. She was not there to contemplate her future and decide whether or not to take a leap of faith, she was there to gain a freedom she had been longing for. A freedom that she felt could only be brought about by a Ray. "Excusez-moi , capitaine ..." She called out to him in french, her hazel eyes looking to him; though she had to admit it was hard for her to take her eyes off of one particular Ray. Sure they all looked the same, but something drew her to one in particular. "But I would like to skip the preliminaries and be chosen already." The rest of her words were also spoken in french. It did not worry her that he would not understand her, she knew that he would be able to. But listening to him use scare tactics on the others was becoming quite boring to her. Even since she had left to be flown out to this moon, her body had been itching to get to the Rays. Anxious to find her Ray and form the bond that would make them one till her body drew its last breathe.

    Once again her hazel eyes moved toward the Rays. Those light orbs moving over each Ray as she moved past it, finally stopping in front of the one that had been catching her eye the moment they were in front of them. A small smile curved her lips as she lifted a hand and let it rest gently on the Ray's surface. Would this be the one? Would this one be her freedom? Her liberte? Pulling her hand away, Solange began to roll-up the sleeve of her top, exposing her arm up to her elbow. If the Ray did not choose her, then she would just move on to the next one. There was no reason to feel discouraged about not being chosen by the first one she walked up too. "Please be my liberte." She whispered as she inserted her hand into the hole the captain had spoken about.

    Within a moment a sharp pain shot through her whole body, causing her to give a hiss through her teeth. Slowly she pulled her hand from the hole to reveal a wristband now attached to her wrist. Soon that small smile of hers had grown into the biggest grin she had ever given. Leaning forward, Solange placed a single kiss on the Ray. "Merci, la liberte."
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  7. "Not so bad?!" Wayne shouted, out of breath. It was far worse then it was made out to be. Wayne wasn't sure if his arm was sensitive or if his Ray was a sadist. Probably a bit of both, he assumed. He slowly stood up, sighing. A name, huh? He thought for a moment. What did him and his Ray have in common? Well, they both seemed to like being alone. As far as Wayne could tell, it didn't have the greatest reputation, with the way Max was looking at it. They both seemed to be a bit on the unwanted side. Nobody really wanted them around. When that realization was struck, he ran his hand along the metal surface of the ship. "Persona non Grata....." He whispered. "Unwanted. Unneeded. Unwelcome...." His face split into a crooked grin. This is gonna be much more fun then I thought.
  8. Max watched as the second approached, eyes drifting from one ship to the next, not seeming to find one she wanted. He recognized people like her from back when he lived on Rivas. He hadn't been well-off, but he could recognize those that were. Not by what they wore or where they went in the city, but by how they carried themselves.

    "Second-guessing yourself, Miss?" he asked. He could tell she wasn't. He just wanted to push her into acting. Choosing your Ray was in fact the first lesson: leap into the unknown. "There's no shame in being scared. It really does hurt, and the shuttle can always take you back."

    He was halted, however, in his taunts by Solange's approach. French was his first language, English a fluent second. It was one of the reasons his copy of 20,000 Leagues was in French. To her request to simply move on and select her Ray, he replied in a more street-wise dialect of French, "Please, be my guest."

    He watched as she picked one, saw her stroke it. Yes, he thought. That's what they like. You already understand. He watched further as she inserted her hand. He watched the sting, and noted the reaction was different than with Wayne. Maybe hers was going easier on her. Or maybe Wayne was a baby. Time would tell. Either way, Solange apparently had a name for hers immediately.
    #8 Quiet One, Oct 13, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2014
  9. This comment, she heard drift through her ears, made her brow furrow and her eyes narrow slightly. She stopped in her tracks, in front of another Ray that seemed just the same as the other ones. Words like those were exactly the push she needed, because they were like her father's. And, any thought of him made her go into action quickly. She was like a child in this way.

    So, without giving him a glance and showing him her slightly ticked expression, she ripped up her sleeve quite quickly and shoved her arm into the hole that was just to be in front of her. Unlike the first man who seemed to at least pick based off of character, Cynthia had to prove herself in the moment. She had the absolute confidence that she would get a Ray, no matter what. In fact, she was confident that any of them would choose her. Another thing she knew for sure was that she could not go back. She had too much pride to go back to her home, to her father, and to that damn child.

    And well, the Ray did not reject her confidence and anger. The shiny band latched onto her arm which sent a sharp pain into Cynthia's wrist. You could tell, because a shrike shrilled from her lips. She hated to show that she was in pain, but she didn't expect it to hurt as much as it did and she couldn't help it. She was not used to physical pain, it wasn't common to get in her living area. The thing was, it actually didn't hurt that much, or at least it would not to someone who was more common around pain. The ray seemed a bit taken back that she actually felt as much pain as she was showing off. So much so, that she looked up and glared harshly at it, gripping onto the band in a silly attempt to ease the pain.
  10. There weren't as many people here as she'd thought, as it looked like all the other recruits had come alone. Yukiko's eyes widened as one of them stuck his hands into the slots and a moment later cried out in pain, a bracelet now attached to his wrist. The next recruits didn't seem to have as much trouble, but she still bit her lip in concern and anxiousness.
    But it wasn't for herself, she knew, which was something she had to remind herself of every few minutes to keep herself from getting carried away in the excitement of it all. She was here for her brother, and she was the one she was proud of.

    Yukiko actually was incredibly proud, as her brother had been training for something like this for the last two years. It seemed like whenever she was hanging out with friends, or watching an h-vid (holographic video), or going boating, Katsuko was always working, studying, or exercising.

    And all that work was finally paying off, and Yukiko couldn't be happier for her older brother. She walked closer to him, watching anxiously as he slowly put his hands in the first hole. She covered her ears, ready for the yell of pain that could come at any second. Except it didn't come. He pulled his hands out, looked in her direction and shrugged, then moved to the next.

    Nothing. Same with the next several, until suddenly he was standing in front of the last ship. Katsuko shot her a smile, though it was tinged with sadness and desperation. It seemed like everything was muted as Yukiko wrung her hands in front of her, walking to stand right beside him. No matter what happened, she would be there either to provide praise or comfort.
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  11. Max watched as the well brought-up woman shrieked in pain. Probably one of the first times anything had really hurt her. He hoped to himself that she could get used to it. This job wasn't easy.

    "That's good. Now you have to name your Ray," he said to her.

    His attention turned then to two others. Aguaceles. The little girl had a sort of natural balance in her walk that could only come from walking on a rocky boat. She had her sea legs, and sky legs weren't too different. But she seemed to have no interest in picking a Ray. She just watched as her brother was rejected by one Ray after another. He was troubled by it, but now very curious.

    "Miss?" he addressed her. "Would you perhaps like to try one? No harm in at least making the attempt."
  12. Solange's smile would not leave her face. The moment she had felt the pain shoot through her, she knew that she had made the right choice. Or had her Liberte been the one to make the right choice? Either way, she knew that there was no going back from this point forward. Though if she was to be perfectly honest, she had never wanted to return to her home. Never wanted to be with her religious family and their foolish ways. Yes her named meant 'religious knight', but that did not mean that she was one. In truth, she trusted science over religion any day of the year.

    A loud scream had her looking over to see a young female pulling her hand from the Ray in front of her. There was a band on her wrist, which meant she had been chosen, but it seemed that she did not enjoy how this choosing was done. "I wonder if they others will react in the same way. Eh, Liberte?" Did the Ray understand french? Though she was capable of speaking to in various languages, french was her first language; and it felt only natural to speak to it in such a way.
  13. She looked down at the machine that chose her with a horrifying look of scorn. That truly was, more pain then she had ever felt in a long time. She could only compare it to the last time she broke a nail, a freshly painted one at that. It was such a tragedy.

    Never the less, if there was anything that Cynthia had mastered, it was her glare. This was the glare she kept while staring at the ray.

    "You are mine now, I own you. So, in a way you're like a slave. I've had those and know how to reprimand them. I'm naming you like one too. You're name is...Vincent. Yes, Vincent. Vincent is the proper name for a servant figure. So I think it suits you." She finished as she flicked the nose of the ship. Vincent, using his new name, totally seemed like he did not mean to shock her. He seemed like a child that mistakenly hurt their mother or teacher, someone they admire as an authority figure.

    A smile slowly grew across her face. Although she was still mad about the shock, she was glad that this one chose her. In her eyes, it seemed weak, well everything seemed weak in her eyes, but this thing seemed especially weak. She was overjoyed that she didn't even have to establish their roles, they simply just fell into place.
  14. Trent listened attentively to Max. After Max finished speaking he stepped forward and contemplated which slot to choose. As soon as he chose one he put his hand in. Nothing. Me moved to the one next to it and felt a sharp sting. Like a ring of needles jabbing into his wrist all at once. He flinched a little bit. The feeling remined him of the time he dropped a scalding pan of hot grease on his hand. It was not a feeling he liked to remember. When he pulled his hand back there was a shiny bracelet attached to his wrist. "Cool." He said with a smile. "Hmm, Jarvis? No. Axor...yes!" he rubbed the smooth shiny metal. He looked at Max. "So what now?"
  15. Katsuko took a deep breath and inserted his hands into the holes, as Yukiko watched nervously. This was it. His last chance. Each second felt like an hour, and Yukiko seemed to count them in her head. 14, 15, 16, 17, 18... she thought, her heart dropping lower as each number ticked by. Nothing was going to happen. Katsuko looked down at her, smiling sadly. "Well," he said quietly, "I guess it just wasn't meant to be."

    Yukiko reached out and clasped her hands around his as he removed them from the holes. "You did everything you could, Katsuko," she told him, giving his hands a tiny squeeze. "The ships just didn't choose you. You were good enough, don't think that you weren't. You should be," she stopped with a gasp. As her hand bumped against the opening of the hole there was a tiny vibration from inside. The girl looked up at her brother, her eyes wide. "Do you think that could be..." she asked, trailing off at the end. He knew what she meant. Yukiko let go of his hands and began to move her arms back to her sides when something silver and shiny came speeding out of the hole and latched onto her wrist.

    Screaming in pain, Yukiko dropped to her knees, her fingers prying against the metal band. Katsuko didn't do anything for the first few seconds, simply staring at her in astonishment. Then he seemed to come to his senses and knelt down beside the girl, setting a hand on her shoulder. "Imouto?" he asked, the shock still apparent on his face. "Are you alright?"

    Yukiko shook her head, tears streaming down her cheeks as she curled into a ball on the ground. This hurt even worse than when she had slipped on the stairs and broken her leg, and even though she had been barely nine then, she could still remember the sharp, deep pain the fracture had caused.

    "Please..." she whimpered, "get it off."
  16. For the most part everything was still all about watching. The fellow French one, Solange, had bonded with Liberte on many levels almost instantly. It was like he was listening to one side of a full conversation as he heard her coo to the machine in fluent French. She would treat her Ray well, and probably make captain.

    The spoiled rich girl seemed set on taking charge. She was firm, demanding, and assigned her Ray - Vincent, now - to a servile state. Max hoped the relationship would grow more complex. A Ray pilot's strength was their Ray. They needed to work together, not have one command the other.

    And then there was the boy who wasn't chosen - and his sister was. She immediately started crying and whimpering. Hadn't she been listening? It didn't come off. He decided to simply address Trent's question in passing.

    "Like I said, you can choose how they look. Give them colors you want. Their personalities are unique. Their pilots are unique. Make their bodies unique, too."

    Max then continued on so that he knelt down beside the crying girl.

    "You can't take it off," he said softly to her. "It chose you. I'm sorry're a pilot now."

    He looked to the brother. "Help me get her up. Come on." He grunted as they brought her to their feet in front of the Ray that had picked her. "It won't hurt you again, I promise. It chose you. It wants to be with you."
  17. Solange moved away from her Liberte so she could be closer to her new captain. She passed the one who had just been chosen, the male naming his Axor, and couldn't help but look at him. "Now, we learn to fly. Oui, capitaine?" How would they learn to fly their Rays? Would like learn like most creatures tended to learn, by jumping from some high up point and forcing their wings to flap? Just the thought of taking such a plunge was frightening, as well as exciting to her. If only her family could see her now! They would think her possessed for finding such joy in something so against their creator.

    By now she was standing close to him, though making sure not to go to far from her Ray. Yes she was capable of going an even further distance, but personally she did not want to stray to far from Liberte. They were one unit now, bound together. Which meant that they would learn to live their lives with one another. And there she went imagining Liberte was a being like herself or any of the others. No wonder some of her professors had thought her strange. "I will admit that I am anxious to see my Liberte soar." She was not speaking in english, having switched over when she had spoken to Trent. Though she had not had a chance to learn anything about the others, she was certain that they all generally spoke english.

    Another loud scream had Solange turning to see a young girl down on her knees. She was looking at the wristband in horror; tears streaming down her face. Was she upset about being chosen? Hazel eyes, which were now becoming cold as her smile disappeared, watched as the young girl curled into a ball and cried for the thing to be removed. Why was she crying? Why was she not happy about being given such a great gift? 'Remember Solange, not everyone is as you are.' And how very true that was... Solange made no movement toward the young girl. No words of comfort would come from her mouth, so she saw no reason to coddle her. Instead she stayed where she was and waited for someone else to help her.

    Instead she looked to her Ray and thought about the coloring that the captain mentioned. Would she choose it? Not at all. Instead she would let Liberte choose for them. And as though he had sensed her thoughts, the hull of the ship became a gun metal grey. Solid in color with no markings at all. It seemed that he had a love for neutral colors as she did. She was just grateful that he had not chosen to be white. Or else keeping him clean would prove to be quite the chore.
  18. Trent had no idea what Solenge had said. "Sorry I don't speak french." Trent walked over to his Ray. He set his hand directly on the bow. He expected the metal to be cold, but it was actually quite warm. The smoothness was comfortable. The warmth changed, quickly. It got to a scalding hot temperature. He took his hand back quickly. "I have a bad feeling about you" he said. He put his hand back on the same spot. It was nkt as hot as before. The front of the craft turned neon green, spreading out from the spot his hand touched, He slid his hand down the side in a sweepng motion. The color turned black towards the middle and then a deep-ish blue at the end. "But damn you are cool."
  19. Yukiko flinched back from the ray as she was lifted to her feet in front of it. Katsuko sighed impatiently and grabbed her hand, pulling her closer and pressing her fingers against the smooth surface.

    Almost immediately, shimmering blue began to overtake the dull grey paint, forming complicated and barely visible swirling patterns of different shades. Yukiko stared in wonder as the wave of color spread from her fingers. covering the ship. She glanced up at Katsuko, expecting to see the same kind of astonishment, but instead his lips were pressed into a firm line, and his eyes were hardening. He let go of her and stepped back, turning around and beginning to walk away.

    "Where... where are you going?" Yukiko asked, tears threatening to take over again.

    "I'm going home. There's no reason for me to be here anymore. After all, I wasn't chosen, now was I?" he asked, his voice suddenly bitter as he looked back at her.

    "You don't mean that," she asked, the tears now streaming down her cheeks as she looked at him with hurt, pleading eyes.

    Katsuko's harsh gaze softened a minuscule amount. "Maybe not, but even so, you can't come back with me. You don't belong at home. Your place is here." He turned back around and continued to walk away. "Goodbye, Yukiko."

    That last word seemed to be the final blow. He never called her by her name, Katsuko had always referred to her as Imouto, little sister. Calling her by her name made it seem like... he was abandoning her.

    And he was, she realized, as he continued to walk away, eventually disappearing as he reached the ship that would take him back home.

    Yukiko slumped to the ground, leaning against the slightly warm surface of the Ray, wrapping her arms around herself and beginning to sob.
  20. Max watched as this played out. Rarely did a Ray choose its color before its name, but what seemed to really matter was the interaction between brother and sister. He watched, not really being able to imagine how this could have played out any other way. From what he saw, Yukiko was supposed to be there for support only, but she was the one who'd been chosen. He frowned as Katsuko walked away. Idlaide didn't like it either. Her body rumbled with a sudden change in pressure, and she gave a sharp, threatening whir.

    "Not now," he said to her quietly. The whir quieted, but the tone pulsed a bit, almost like talking. He sighed. "I know. Later."

    He looked at Yukiko, not sure what to tell her. The only thing it occurred to him to say was, "You still have to name it."
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