A/N: I recently played this game called Steambot Chronicles and have tried to find fanfics based on it. However, I have yet to find any. So, I decided to write some Steambot Chronicles fics myself and give this fandom a jump start. This one-shot is based on an observation I had on one of the people you can pick up at a bus stop.
Disclaimer: I don't own Steambot Chronicles (a.k.a. Bumpy Trot) or its events and characters. They are owned by Atlus and Irem.
Lady in a Blue Dress
It was nighttime and the full moon rose over Happy Garland. A blond-haired, blue-eyed young man named Vanilla drove his trotmobile out of the city in search of some people to pick up. He had placed a carriage on the back of his vehicle and was using it like a bus in order to carry people to and from different places. Transportation services were among the many different ways one could make money.
As he headed north, Vanilla decided to stop by Pipit Cemetery and see if there was anyone waiting for a ride. Sure enough, there was a lone woman standing next to the bus stop. She was wearing a beautiful blue dress that gently moved with the breeze.
Seizing the opportunity to make some easy cash, Vanilla offered the woman a ride. The woman quickly climbed into the carriage and asked to be taken to the Owl Woods. Apparently, the woman's one true love was waiting for her there. After the lady was safely fastened in, Vanilla began to move his trotmobile and headed towards his new destination.
Before he could get to the Owl woods, Vanilla first had to climb up the trail through the Cuckoo Forest. Along the way, forest bandits and illegal loggers attacked with their own trotmobiles, but Vanilla had plenty of experience when it came to handling outlaws. The young man bravely fought back using his trotmobile's sword arm and water gun, and the bandits were no match for his skills.
As Vanilla battled all of the enemies in their way, the woman silently sat in her seat. She paid no attention to the fighting; instead, she gazed up at the moon. It had been several years since she had last been with her true love, but she had a feeling that it was finally time for a reunion. A slight smile appeared on her face as they came closer and closer to her destination.
Eventually, Vanilla's trotmobile crossed over the bridge separating the Cuckoo Forest from the Owl Woods. The woods were rather quiet except for the sound of his trotmobile's legs and ominous hooting of the owls. It seemed peaceful; yet, there had always been something mysterious about the place.
Just as the trotmobile was approaching the Owl Woods' bus stop, a fog suddenly appeared out of nowhere. The fog was so thick that Vanilla could barely see his own hand in front of his face. Even his trotmobile's headlights seemed to have no effect. Vanilla was unsure of what to do since he had traveled to the Owl Woods several times yet had never encountered any sort of fog before. Then, the fog faded away about as suddenly as it had appeared.
After the strange fog was gone, Vanilla looked around the area to make sure that everything was okay. Then, he turned his head in order to check if his passenger was alright. The young man's eyes grew wide when he realized that the carriage was empty and that there was no sight of the woman at all.
At first, Vanilla thought that the woman had somehow left without paying; however, he figured that he would have heard her get out. There weren't any human footprints in the area, either. It was as if the lady in the blue dress had simply vanished without a trace.
The whole situation was beginning to get a little too creepy for Vanilla to handle. The darkness of the woods and the hooting of the owls weren't helping either. Goosebumps quickly rose on Vanilla's skin as a chilly breeze blew across the area. It was at that moment when the blond could have sworn that he heard a soft voice whisper "Thank you" into his ear.
There had been several stories about trotmobiles picking up hitchhikers who turned out to be ghosts, but Vanilla had never believed any of them. However, he was starting to wonder if there might possibly be some truth to the tales. Could the woman have been some sort of wandering spirit? The boy wasn't really superstitious, but it was only explanation he could come up with.
Perhaps the woman's lover had died in the Owl Woods long ago and that was why she requested to be taken there. Vanilla wondered why she couldn't have made the journey by herself. After all, wild animals and bandits wouldn't have been able to hurt her if she really was a ghost. Maybe ghosts could only travel by vehicles for some reason, or perhaps she didn't even realize she was dead.
Vanilla glanced back at the empty carriage. Unfortunately, he didn't get paid for his trip to the Owl Woods. Then again, ghosts didn't carry money with them, or so he had heard. If he had truly reunited the spirits of two lost lovers, then perhaps the trip wasn't a complete waste after all. In any case, it seemed like Vanilla had no reason to stay around; so, he turned around and left the woods.
As he headed back towards Happy Garland, Vanilla thought about Connie, the girl who he met on the beach a while back. Over time, he and Connie had formed a very close friendship that might have even become something more. However, Vanilla left the country over a year ago and he hadn't seen her since. Several weeks ago, Vanilla finally returned, and he soon got a letter from Connie. Since then, he started to search for the girl, but to no avail.
Many of the leads he got were either dead ends or wild goose chases. There was a few times in which he just missed Connie by only a few minutes. After several days of fruitless searching, Vanilla began to lose hope of ever seeing her again. In order to take his mind off things, he began to keep himself occupied by doing various jobs such as transporting people and cargo.
Now Vanilla was starting to wonder if the ghost was some sort of sign. Perhaps it was time for him to resume his search for Connie. After all, if the ghost of the lady in the blue dress could find her true love, then maybe he could too.
With that in mind, the boy entered the city and headed towards the inn. Tomorrow, he would look for Connie again, and this time he would not stop until he found her.