October 30, 0079 UC

This war is driving everyone mad.

It occurs to me that I've spent a considerable amount of these pages writing about my own issues in this war, my family problems, and my quandary about my brother. But as a part of this crew, I'm forced to pay attention to them as well.

We lost Ryu today. Everyone took it pretty hard; he was a dear friend to all of us, after all. He was almost like the big brother we all needed. I don't know how he managed to get out of the infirmary in the first place, but he saved both Amuro and White Base by what he did. Everything stopped for an instant when his Core Fighter slammed into that Magella top, but since it was a battle…

As soon as we decided it was safe to leave the ship, we all poured outside to inspect the flaming remains of the two destroyed fighters, as if there was anything we could do, as if we could bring him back. The general consensus was that we all screwed up bigtime. Everyone was grabbing for blame. I think everyone was trying to make each other feel better about it, as if it wasn't their fault. But there's nothing to be done about that, either.

I think Amuro and Bright took it especially hard. I could tell it hit them both like a ton of neo-titanium that Ryu is not going to be around to keep them working together. It seems to me like it weighs heavily on them that it's up to them to work together now. That may be the one bright spot in all this; they finally agreed on something. I know I'm not the only one who noticed it. Bright and Amuro were both on the ground on all fours with tears streaming down their faces. You expect that from the rest of us… but from them?

It scares me, to be honest.

The two of them returned to the ship last, after a considerable amount of time. Mirai and I were on the Bridge quite a while later. She looked out the window toward them and sighed which is what got me to start watching them. Across the expanse of sand, I could see that Amuro had finally gotten to his feet while Bright was still hunched over, his shoulders sagging, sitting cross-legged in the sand. I could see that Amuro was saying something to him, but I don't know what. He looked to be rather adamant about something. If Bright said anything to Amuro in response, it wasn't evident from our place on the Bridge. From where Mirai and I were, it looked as though Bright simply stood and somberly walked back to White Base, a blank expression on his face. Amuro watched him go and from his reaction, I don't think he was satisfied with the answer, if there was one. He shouted a sentence right before Bright entered the ship. I only just barely made it out; "Are you the commander or aren't you!? Well!?"

Bright stopped in his tracks. He made no other indication that he had even heard Amuro. Instead, he looked up, along the side of the ship, then entered as if having to force himself to do so.

Amuro paused for a moment longer, looking from the ship to the remains of the fighters, and back again. Finally, looking as tired as a man three times his age, Amuro returned.

Next to me at the window, Mirai abruptly turned around and leaned against the window, squeezing her eyes closed.

"I didn't see that," she told me, "I did not just see that… and neither did you."

I nodded in agreement. Bright and Amuro both hide what they feel to their own ridiculous extents. But that particular scene certainly didn't need to get around the ship and it certainly didn't need to have any bearing on what happened on the Bridge. We still have a lot of fighting ahead of us before we even make it to the Odessa Offensive.

At least the battle on one front is finally over. But it, too, is not without its casualties.