Part 59: Interview 29 BonusBarracks 29 - Vulnerable Heroes
The night sky is glittering with stars, and the soft sounds of the waves lapping the shores of Yellow Comet echo around the pier. An Orange Star naval craft has docked at the port nearby, and the soldiers are gathering, preparing for combat the next day.
At the end of the pier, a woman sits alone, staring at the shimmering reflection of the moon on the water, her legs swinging back and forth slowly. A man walks up the pier, shouldering a gun and wearing his uniform already, and sits down beside the woman. They sit there in silence for a moment, watching the ocean’s movements settle, becoming glassy and still, the moon’s light glowing ever-more brightly as it reflects from the water’s surface.
“Dave.” the woman says.
“Selena.” the man replies.
“It’s unlike you to seek out company like mine on the night before a battle. Isn’t poker usually your speed?”
“Sometimes I just wanna sit and think.” Dave replies. “You seem to be good at that.”
Almost like clockwork, the face and cheeky grin of Commander my dude appears in Selena’s mind and she represses the feelings rising up inside her.
“I, um, yes… yes, I seem to be good at thinking. Or overthinking, perhaps.”
“Eh, what’s the difference?”
Selena chuckles. “I suppose you’re right. Are you worried about tomorrow, Dave?”
“Well, yeah.” Dave says, shrugging. “Not worried about myself. Just worried about Rin.”
“Did you hear what she pulled last time? Told her not to do anything crazy, and she goes and picks a fight with a bomber. I mean, she won, but…”
Dave lets out a sigh.
“Dave, she won, that’s the important thing. She’s a soldier; this is her job. You can’t keep her safe, even if you want to.”
“...Yeah.” Dave says.
Selena turns to him. “I know it’s frightening. But you should start trusting Rin more. She’s grown into a confident sailor.”
“I suppose I still see her as a kid. But I guess I should’ve known that she’s more mature than that.” Dave replies, looking down at his friendship bracelet. “You must look at the other soldiers in the same way, right?”
Selena muses on the question for a moment, turning back to face the ocean, and feeling the wind on her face.
“I don’t know. We’ve lost so many friends during our campaigns, and… age didn’t seem to have much to do with it. Old and young alike have fallen, and in my eyes, the young don’t necessarily need more coddling. Most of them grow up quickly, like Alfonse, and Carter.”
“Yeah. I guess that’s just the nature of war.”
“Don’t worry about tomorrow, Dave. I can’t go with you, but the soldiers you’re going with are more than good enough to defeat Black Hole. Right?”
“Yeah. You’re right.” Dave replies, shaking his head. “Gettin’ too introspective for my own good. Another day, another battle…”
He stands up and glances down at Selena.
“Thanks. I think I needed that.”
Dave begins walking away. “I’m gonna go see if the boys are still playing poker.”
Selena glances up at the moon in the sky. The reflection in the ocean doesn’t do it justice, she decides. It glows with an ethereal beauty not seen anywhere else in the world. The waves continue to lap the shores, and Selena allows her eyes to close for a brief moment, feeling completely at peace. It has been far too long since she has had the chance to enjoy the silence.