Points of View
A Star Ocean 3 fanfic by Intrasonic
Disclaimer: This item of fanfiction is public domain and not intended for profit. And believe me, it isn't making any.
Author's Notes: This is better understood if you've seen Adray's
3P costume template. I don't know who thought that idea up, but I
hope they got a raise.
Nel smiled weakly under the combined gazes of her various friends. Claire, Lasselle, Elena... even the Queen herself. Elena was presently holding several pieces of paper with technical diagrams.
"Allow me to get this straight," Elena was saying. "You traveled to other worlds, experienced untold wonders and technologies, and finally arrived home again."
Nel nodded cautiously.
"You faced off against beings who might well be considered godlike, emerging victorious against them. Which could have countless theological ramifications for centuries to come."
Nel nodded again.
"You discovered hidden facets to our national treasure, the Sacred Orb, and the true purpose to its existence?"
Once again, Nel nodded meekly.
"And afterwards, the only thing you bring back is a set of diagrams-" here, Elena waved the papers she was holding, "-a set of diagrams with blueprints for an automated chamber pot?"
Nel flushed and studied the ground. "It made a big impression on me at the time, okay?"
Behind her, the doors were flung open in a fashion that instantly identified the new arrival.
"Greetings, your Majesty!" Adray boomed. "Elena, Nel, Claire! I have returned victorious!"
"Don't mind me," Lasselle muttered under his breath.
"Greetings, Adray," the queen replied. She smiled beautifically. "Nel was just sharing some of her newfound knowledge she gained on her journey."
Nel was, in fact, beginning to feel incredibly unknowledgeable.
Adray nodded approvingly. "Yes, we both learned a great deal from our experiences."
"We can see that. Before long," Elena replied, in an over-saccharine tone of voice, "chamber pots everywhere will be obsolete thanks to Nel's foresight."
And to think she had been eager to return home.
"I always thought Nel was too practical for her good," Adray agreed sagely. "She needs to get in touch with her emotions, I've always felt. Too logical in her thinking, and not enough feeling to get to what's really important."
"I suppose you know better?" Lasselle challenged.
The big man grinned. "Of course! I brought back a souvenir of my own!"
Elena brightened. "You did? May I see it?"
"Of course! I wish for all the world to see it! A memento of my time spent in other worlds, made possible by their unimaginable technology! A souvenir chosen with feeling, that will never wear out!"
Elena brightened even more.
Nel groaned. She'd almost managed to forget about Adray's "souvenir", courtesy of the costume outfitters in Gemity...
"Behold!" Adray cried, and turned his back on them.
Lasselle blanched. "That's..."
"Father," Claire whispered in disbelief.
"Oh my," the queen breathed.
"It's startlingly... lifelike, isn't it?" Nel offered weakly.
Adray flexed a little, giving the group a clearer look at the massive tattoo emblazoned across his back. "Done with the finest of inks, manufactured and applied with means beyond our own world! Guaranteed to last a lifetime!"
Elena had finally recovered her voice. "You... tattooed your daughter's face on your back!" she blurted.
"This is... possibly a new low," Lassalle opinioned.
"Still, the artwork is well-done," the Queen allowed.
"It's a work of beauty!" Adray declared. "Nothing less for my daughter! Now the whole world will know how much I care for her!"
There was another period of silence, during which the room's attention eventually focused on one person.
"Quite a souvenir, don't you think, Claire?"
Claire smiled back her father. At least, her mouth did. "Yes... Once again, you've completely exceeded my expectations, father."
"It was the least I could do," Adray assured her.
Claire nodded in agreement, taking her father's arm and leading him towards the door.
Adray raised an eyebrow, but followed along. "You want to go outside? Good idea, the lighting is rather dim in here..."
The door closed behind them, most of the way. Enough that they could still hear voices.
"...there we go, in the sunlight! See the inkwork, the attention to detail? Truly a beautiful thing, you must admit... eh? What's that in your hand, Claire? A cobblestone? What are you planning on-URGH!"
Several solid impacts sounded through the doorway, as the rest of the group listened on without comment.
"On the other hand," Lassalle finally noted, sounding almost cheerful, "it seems that the lifetime guarantee will prove absolutely true."
Author's Notes: As I mentioned in chapter 11, my original plan was for Peppita to actually perform in front of everybody. This little part (at least, the first part), was cut from that section, back before it was ruined. Dedicated to Peppita-haters everywhere.
Nel didn't know how fast you had to spin a heavy metal ring to make it start to give off a humming noise, but Peppita was presently managing it. She was spinning them in opposite directions, which the tactical portion of Nel's mind reasoned, counterbalanced their forces and made it possible for a featherweight like Peppita to keep them under control without smashing in her own skull like an overripe fruit. In theory, anyway.
A chorus of gasps echoed through the ground.
"Well... daaaaamn," Cliff muttered.
Hesitantly, almost fearfully, Nel wiped the mess out of her eyes so she could see clearly. Sure enough, Peppita was now shorter. About a head shorter, to be exact.
Several of the younger children clapped.
"Man, what a way to go."
"She was doing pretty good until the last part, I think."
"Yeah. I wonder what went through her head right before... you know."
"A metal bracelet, obviously."
"Y'know..." Cliff began slowly, "...I'd hate for anyone to think I'm insensitive, but... does this place actually employ any custodians? I mean, I haven't seen any yet..."
"We will," Nel assured him. "We will."
"So... does this mean we've got to have Albel in our party after all?"
"There's always Roger, I suppose."