Another Failure (Lena Reiniger)

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Another Failure (Lena Reiniger)
Date of Cutscene: 30 July 2015
Location: Lena's Apartment
Synopsis: After a failed attempt to reclaim a Lost Logia, and some words she hadn't expected, Lena reflects on how little she truly has changed.
Thanks to: Hannah Sharpe and Runealy Waldia
Cast of Characters: Lena Reiniger

The trip from the site of that failed attempt to seal and recover a Lost Logia was a quiet one. She said nothing, and Ascalon said nothing. The device knew it was best to keep silent when his master got like this. After all, for as sophisticated a piece of magic and technology as he was, there simply were some things that he knew he didn't fully understand. The human heart, the tempest of emotions, was one of those things. So the trip back was quiet, aside from the torrent of wind high above the city as they flew at an altitude that would keep them from being noticed by all but the most careful observers looking up at the night sky. Ascalon knew it would be bad tonight, worse than usual.

When she finally did get back to her home, the knight dismissed her armor without a second thought and removed Ascalon from her wrist, placing him on her dresser. In silence she went about her routine before bed: a shower--much needed after the night's activity, getting dressed for bed, and sitting across from it, staring at the wall. It hurt to move. Two years without combat had made her soft; something she would have to correct, she thought. Every movement of her right arm sent pain shooting through her. Even now it had begun to bruise horribly from about the shoulder down to the elbow, the risk of using cartridge-enhanced magic without proper protection.

Ascalon finally chimed out to his master, mechanical voice strangely sounding concerned despite the device's incomplete understanding of such emotions. <Sie sollten Ihren Arm sah, Master.>

There was no response beyond her breathing, one slow, shaking breath after the other.

<Master...> the device began again.

He was silenced quickly as she shot up from her chair, kicking it behind her and against the wall, leaving a crack in the drywall. She squinted, face screwing up into what could only be called agony as she fought to maintain her composure. For all her training, though, her father never once taught her how to control herself when nobody was looking, and soon Lena Reiniger was on her bed, sobbing. "I did it again, Ascalon! I'm not any different!" She howled, not really caring if a neighbor would hear her.

<Master...> the device began, faltering briefly. <Sie durchgeführt Ihre Pflicht, so gut Sie können.>

That was true, but for some reason those words didn't help her. Her body shook even more and finally she shot bolt upright and launched a pillow at her dresser. Of course Ascalon didn't move, he couldn't, really. He wouldn't even have had to. She was wildly off target thanks to her blurry vision and her constant, failing in the fight to hold back tears. In her mind all she could see was the image of Miss White, being struck by her Panzermörder, a spell she knew better than to use. That sight of her engulfed in violet light, and she could only imagine what it had actually done to her, especially if her Barrier Jacket hadn't held up. "I tried to kill her! I didn't even think, Ascalon! I just did it! Who uses a bombardment spell meant for destroying sealing barriers on a person!?" Her voice cracked, choking on the tears that wanted to flow as she fell back onto the bed and curled up, arms wrapping around her legs. "All I do is destroy... I'm a monster..."

For a long while Ascalon remained silent before answering, <Ich habe keine Antwort.>

She couldn't let herself break down when there was someone who might have needed her help. But that girl she'd stayed with while she recovered... those words the girl said; thinking about them made her curl up even more, trying to become such a small ball that the world would forget all about her. "She said I saved her and her friend..." she whispered, closing her eyes tight. Sleep wouldn't be especially good this night, not that it ever was. But somehow, Lena just knew it would be worse this time, like it was before the crash back on the Asura, when she'd crippled that poor new recruit. Like it was every time she hurt someone she didn't mean to. Like it was the night after she'd gotten her father--the thought made her stomach churn even now, so many years later. She'd see his face again, like always. The face of that man she hated, the face of the father she loved despite her hate. Cold, lifeless, covered in blood but staring at her with judgmental eyes, disappointed in what she -had- become, instead of what she -should have- become. "Who's going to save me..."

Unable to do anything, Ascalon, her father's former device, the only thing she had of him--of her family, sat on her dresser, casting a sorrowful light across the room while he watched his master suffer alone.