I Should Not Be Hurt (Jin Meiyou)

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I Should Not Be Hurt (Jin Meiyou)
Date of Cutscene: 03 May 2017
Location: Tokyo Bay, Ruined Dockside
Synopsis: Jin makes a discovery about magic.
Cast of Characters: Jin Meiyou

"This isn't supposed to happen-- this wasn't supposed to happen--!" Jin repeated, over and over, working himself up into what would be a full-on panic attack in a few more seconds. The pain was nothing compared to the prospect of not being able to do what he was meant to do, to live his brother's life for him, in memory of him, in tribute.

He was half-buried under a pile of concrete and rebar, unused to pain like this, unused to it to the point of being beyond processing it at all. He tried willing his leg to heal, he tried using all his willpower, he tried and tried and of course it didn't work. "This is a setback I can't-- I can't save people if I can't walk-- what if it has to be amputated? What if no one finds me? I'm not even strong enough to get unstuck--"

And the mental image of the person who loved him most in the world, trying to get someone underwater free of what they were caught on, while dangerous shards of metal and debris whizzed past in the powerful undercurrent -- it flooded his mind like the waters of the tsunami flooded his world and stole everything that meant anything. Back then, he couldn't do anything, he'd been powerless to help; he hadn't been strong enough, he couldn't even move, himself. He'd been forced to watch as a piece of signpost pinned his brother as securely as the person he'd been trying to save, the person who'd already stopped struggling for air.

He'd been forced to watch as his brother slowly ran out of air and the strength to struggle, himself-- and still his brother held hope he could at least get the other person free, the other person who was already dead. His brother held his hand until his grip slackened and no more bubbles came up. Jin had been frozen in place and filled with mind-shattering horror as the water, red with blood and black with silt and horror, settled and abated some. He couldn't move as he saw the two bodies floating face-down, still stuck, but finally in reach of the air they would never need again.

Part of him was still there, would always still be there, heart stopped in the time when the world should have ended with the death of the one person who mattered most. The death that came from valuing the life of another above his own.

Part of him would always be in that moment, hand too cold and immobile to even hang on to the lifeless body of his brother. It was the moment that defined him, it was the moment that he decided he would be the man that his brother would have been, the man that his brother thought it was the best thing to be.

Now the reason he couldn't move was that he was frozen with the horror that he would break his vow, descending into an ever-growing maelstrom of pure, unreasoning panic.

I could heal your leg, came a voice, half in his mind. You can save more people if you use me for magic, though, if you use me to be a mage instead of just a good soldier. I need you out of the army, so I will heal it wrong, and it will only be right when you act in concert with me. I need you to use that will and drive of yours to work with me.

Thankfully, the intrusive voice was louder than the intrusive thoughts, and one of the things it said awoke such a righteous rage in Jin that all the cold immobility was lost and the pain shot up through his body, foreign and searing hot and a reminder of life, of the present, of now. "How dare you! There is no just about being a good soldier! That's all he ever wanted!"

That's irrelevant. If you want to still be a soldier, that's doable. You just won't be taking orders from an army that can never realize your full potential. I'll show you how to use the magic, and you'll learn on the go from other mages. Tell them I am Osiemnastka, an Intelligent Device. We can be a better soldier than he could have dreamt. We can be what he would have wanted to be if he knew it were possible.

Jin was silent for a moment; the pain was starting to cloud his mind. But his will-- no, his willpower, his drive, his dedication to the memory of the one he lost-- they were stronger. He noticed the 'we'. He didn't care. He noticed the thing's derision over his most sacred duty-- he still didn't care. If it could help him save people like he couldn't before, save people like his brother tried so desperately to do, save people like the role models they both had back then--

It would be worth it. And someday he wouldn't need the help anymore. Someday he would really be everything his brother wanted to be, and he would live on, and he would be worthy of that love, even if his duty might lead him to his death. That, after all, was part of the honor.

"All right. That is my greatest wish, isn't it?" He was silent for a moment. Then:

"Do it," he said. "Teach me."

As you wish.