Disclaimer: Not mine; not for profit.
"This Shall Be My Name"
The first thing noticed is the cold. It is no colder than before, perhaps even less so, but it is different and it registers instantly. It is. . ."wet" is the word apparently.
. . .I feel wet.
My back-up is interested as well. She smiles however, as opposed to my careful stillness. Her master's influence, most likely. I have only met him once but there have been rumors of his odd tendencies. It is believed he has spoiled her with unnecessary data, although I do not know for certain. She is skilled, however, and her behavioral oddities are as of yet no consequence to me.
"What are you going to call yourself?"
She speaks, and I turn. The wet cold particles - "snow", I am being told - fleck her blue-black hair with white. The hair. It will be the only thing distinguishing us from the normal humans of this world, but a feature that should go unnoticed. My own hair is made to be a light mixture of brown and purple. I prefer it, though I will not mention it to her. Hers is awkward and long, decreasing efficiency.
But no matter. She takes my lack of response as confusion and continues.
"You do know about it, right? They have names here. Isn't that silly?"
Her speech is fluid, perfectly human. I decide that the rumors are worth checking into when the opportunity arises.
She changes stances. "But I suppose it could be fun too. I just can't decide what to call myself. Maybe because it's so simple-minded? They wouldn't need things like this if they had mastered mental links."
"They do not work that way." My first words. It feels odd, and while I defended them, I decide that I do not like this verbal communication either.
"I suppose so. And it is entertaining. Your mouth tingles."
I ignore her. A rectangle - "book" - is lying on the ground and curiosity fills me. I do not pick it up but she does and flips through the pages carelessly before speaking again.
"'Ryoko'. I suppose that will do."
She scans it more, then laughs. "You need to read this! These life-forms are so ridiculous."
She tosses. I catch with only slight hesitation.
I read the first page, but do not understand her meaning. This is closer to our own form of communication, although crude and primitive in structure. I go on to the next. Then the next. Then the next.
"You're enjoying it? How strange!"
I have no response, but shut the book and pocket it. Why, I wonder. There is a flutter through my body, making me feel warm by her jibe. No, not warm. Too many positive connotations. Burn.
She is influencing me. Confidentially I refer to my master, who agrees with my concern. My back-up is one to be watched.
"Well? What about your name? Did you find something?"
I did not. The names in the book seem inappropriate for my own use. They are the names of this planet, of these life forms. It feels wrong to feign their nature to such a personal degree.
I shake my head and the white orbs spin in my vision. They are increasing. My partner looks up, her face strangely unreadable. I hold out my hand and the frostbite scalds as they collect.
"Well, try to find something soon. We have the surnames we were assigned, but eventually you're going to need your first name too."
The Japanese language finally installs. One of the names for this snow. . .it matches with a character in this novel. If this is true of many other words, I would have difficulty finding a name for myself.
Could I use this? One, but part of many. Cold, but fashioned so. Here, but from far above. It seems fitting enough. But it belongs to those on this world.
No, I suppose it will have to do. This shall be my name.
I will merely write it differently.
Not sure how I feel about this one; writing Yuki first person is extremely difficult. Hopefully I'm just being self-critical.
Many thanks to Flower of Paper, for being amazing and lovely and full of betaing wonder. This would have been a lesser story were it not for her.
Until we meet again.