I think my gun is broken. What a thought. My gun is broken. I'm Vash The Stampede, the horrible Humanoid Typhoon who eats small children and spends all his time plotting on how to do the most evil he can possibly manage in as short of a period of time as possible, destroyer of July and wrecker of five cities. Or was it six? Seven? I can't remember anymore. To listen to the rumors, I'm supposed to be immune to such earthly concerns as broken guns.

            Of course, I suppose the Vash the Stampede of the rumors wouldn't be prone to running out of bullets, be ovelry fond of donuts, utterly unable to hold his liquor, unable to get a date despite being dashing and good looking, and incapable of killing a fly without feelings of guilt and regret, and I'm all of those things. I'd better leave the list off right there at risk of depressing myself.

            I take another shot at the mostly empty bottle of Wild Turkey, aiming carefully at it's center. As expected, the bullet doesn't follow the appropriate and intended trajectory, and instead misses the glass bottle entirely and imbeds itself in an old tabletop I propped up behind it. On the up side, I hate to see a perfectly good bottle of booze wasted. On the down side, this confirms my suspicions that the calibration's off by quite a bit.

            I take the bottle and uncork it, sitting in a rickety chair and taking a long sip. First, I was out of bullets, and let me tell you, finding bullets that work well in this thing is a serious pain in the ass. My gun is custom made, only two like it in the world, and when Knives made them, he clearly wasn't overly concerned about the difficulty of finding ammunition that would fit a custom made piece. I can find a good number of bullets that will work, but very few that work well, which has nearly cost me my neck more than once. No sooner did I find appropriate bullets than I realized that it's aim has got to be off—I'm not quite hitting things I should in target practice. I suppose I shouldn't be overly surprised—my gun gets used more as a bludgeoning weapon than it does as a firearm and it certainly wasn't built with that in mind. Come to think of it, I'm surprised I haven't managed to knock something out of alignment before this.

            I take another sip and stare at the bullet hole in the plastic of the old tabletop. Somewhere between three and six inches off; I can compensate for it, but I'd really rather not. Over a hundred years of having my gun perfectly aligned and calibrated are working against me there; with my luck, I'd forget it's out of alignment right in the middle of a firefight and hit something vital on accident instead of something non-life threatening.

            I can't allow that. I will not take human life. I have never taken human life. I'm not about to start just because my gun's calibration is off.

            I sigh and stare down at the silver weapon in my hand. Despite all that's happened, I can't help but find myself a little bit angry that I managed to break my brother's gun. I mean, hell, more than a century is a bloody long time to go without needing more than basic maintenance, and intellectually I understand that. Emotionally, however, I'm angry at myself, and more than a bit ashamed. Knives made this gun for me, and I damaged it.

            Conversely, I'm angry at myself for being angry at myself. For the vast majority of our lives, Knives has done his best to make mine a living hell. In large part, he's succeeded. He killed Rem, the person that meant the most to me—though admittedly he'd meant to spare her for my sake. I know he's somehow tied up in the whole July incident, even though I can't quite remember how. Everything he does, believes, and is goes totally against what I know to be true.

            None of which changes the fact that he's my brother, even though I wish it did. I hate him. I hate what he's done. I hate what I know he wants to do, what I somehow know he'll try eventually. And yet I can't help but be angry at myself for breaking my gun, because Knives made it for me and I should have taken better care of it. Somewhere deep in my mind I'm still that child who's life revolved around two people—my surrogate mother, and my brother—and those two people I loved unconditionally.

            I suppose you could say I still love Rem unconditionally, despite the fact that she's been dead for over a hundred years now. She haunts my mind and dreams, like a guiding, guardian angel. She taught me, in that one short year, everything there was to know about how to actually live ones life by ones own moral code, and not say one thing and do another, as far too many people do. She gave me the moral structure I've built my life on. She shaped me. Without Rem, without her early influence, I don't know how I'd have been able to cope with my life as it's been. Sometimes I can almost understand where Knives went wrong. It's hard to live as we do, among humans, but not truly human, watching them be born, live their short lives, and die while we live on, and on, and on. Humans can be funny creatures; they rely so extensively on outside sources for their survival, indeed, on this planet can't survive without them, that you think they would take better care of what gives them life. All too often, though, they don't. I believe—I hope—they do it out of a lack of understanding. Knives thought differently.

            Which brings me back to Knives.

            Being twins, I suppose neither of us could be considered the 'eldest', but for all intents and purposes, Knives is my elder brother. Once upon a time, I looked up to him in the way a younger sibling admires the elder. Knives was always stronger than I was, cleverer, more worldly. I was sillier—still am, and proud of it—and more inclined to emotional outburst than calm, collected Knives, more prone to brooding, and laughing, and crying.

            I can't remember Knives ever crying. He did showed real emotion once though, a long, very long time ago, but it's been so long I don't know if he even remembers what it's like to feel anything but hatred and the burning need for revenge. I'm not even sure he knows what he wants revenge for anymore. Exterminating the humans has become his life's goal, and in pursuing it, he's become like the worst of them. If I'm emotional to a fault, Knives is horrifyingly logical. Kill the spiders, and save the butterflies. It sounds so perfectly rational, until you realize that by striving for it, you become a spider yourself.

            I don't know if that's ever occurred to Knives. What's worse, I don't know if it would matter much to him if it did. Like I said, it's been such a long time since Knives experienced a real emotion that I don't think it would bother him to realize he's being hypocritical. He'd kill the humans to save our kind, but he sees nothing wrong with planning to use our own brothers and sisters the exact same way the humans do afterwards. To Knives, there is nothing wrong with this.

            To me, there's everything wrong with it. As much as I loved my brother, as much as I still do, I can't reconcile my love for my brother with my hatred for the kind of man he's become and the kind of man he wishes I was.

            But I'm still angry with myself because I broke my brother's gun.

            Emotions are damned complicated things. I take another sip from the bottle, hoping it'll somehow magically sort out the whole mess inside my head. I know it won't. Doesn't keep me from trying anyway. I'm stubborn like that. Besides, being intoxicated can be damned fun under the right circumstances.

            Of course, under the wrong ones it just magnifies ones own feelings of hopelessness and depression. Alcohol is a depressant, of course. The paradox of drinking a depressant in hopes of elevating ones mood is actually rather funny now that I think about it.

            However, I put the bottle away. These are the wrong circumstances, I know it, and the last thing I need is to work myself up further. I don't need to go from brooding to all out depression.

What I need is a gunsmith who can fix my gun, and I've only heard of one that sounds talented enough to even try: Frank Marlon. It's been years since I heard anything about him, but not too long ago he was considered the most brilliant gunsmith alive. Surely if he'd died, it'd have made the news.

I stand up, and re-holster my gun with grim determination. Someday, I'll have to face it's maker again. I know it. And when I do, it had better be in good working order, because I'm not at all sure I'll be.


Author's Notes: Episode 3: Peacemaker is one of my favorite of the early episodes in the series. I'm sort of theorizing in this particular fic that part of the reason Vash doesn't use his gun until episode Five: Hard Puncher, is because it's broken and it's aim is off (which he states, in the English Dub at least). The one time Vash misaimed and almost killed people because of it, he was extremely upset, and I rather doubt he'd use his gun unless it's aim was perfect in order to avoid accidentally shooting someone somewhere fatal. The relationship between Vash and Knives is particularly fascinating to me; I've had a thing for exploring spiritual and blood family ties lately. I'm the elder sister of twin brothers, so twins have a special place in my heart. Even if they sort of want to kill each other (or at least hurt each other a lot ^.^;;;).

Disclaimer: I don't own Trigun. Well, that's not true. I own many, many episodes of Trigun and I own a growing amount of Trigun merchandise, however, Trigun ITSELF is not mine and in fact belongs to other people, and is being used without permission for the purposes of entertainment only. I am in no way profiting from this. In fact, if you factor in that I could be at work, rather than wasting my time writing fanfiction, I'm losing money. Not that I have a lot of money anyway and much of what I have is currently finding ways to spend itself on Trigun merchandise, so you see, suing would be counterproductive! Right?! =D

…..Never try to write a disclaimer at three in the morning…. x.x;;