A/N: Argh, I tried to write this last night, but got roped into playing a stupid game of Mario Superwhatever Brothers with the family and it was absolutely horrible. So finally, I'm going to write something. Finally. Lance's POV.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything at all.
Warning: Contains spoilers for "A Family Crisis" and "Steel Foe".
It was my fault. I shouldn't have fallen. I should've been more aware. I was the one who was supposed to protect Ilana, not Octus. He lost his life because of me and my inability to take care of myself. I should have been faster, stronger. I should have gotten into the ship before the creature even had a chance to fire back at us. Of course, if I had been faster and stronger, I wouldn't be saying that I should've been. Octus is still gone and I'm still left alone with Ilana.
I think she's scared of me now. She saw what I did to that station once I got reins on the ship. I blasted the thing to bits without a single thought of regret. All the bodies of the men in there had dissipated to dust because of me. And what if Solomon had wanted to go after them? Well, now he couldn't. But I had gotten my revenge.
And Ilana won't really talk to me too much. She knows I'm pissed off at myself. Generally, I'm pissed of at anything that walks and talks, but now it's mainly just me hating myself.
I mean, I could always be better at anything. The reason I'm stuck at a corporal position is because I'm too rash, always jumping in headfirst. I'm not afraid to jump in headfirst; what have I got to lose? Nothing. Nothing.
The only reason I started trying Octus's whole 'decision making' process was because it seemed to work and because I suddenly had something to lose. I suddenly had Ilana who I had to protect. A whole squadron of men and I didn't care. They could take care of each other. But when it came down to just me, Ilana, and Octus, that was when it was game time and that was when I had to take charge of everything.
Now that Octus is gone, it's just me and Ilana. And with me buried in my misery of hating myself and looking over every crucial detail that I could've fixed to save Octus's life, it's mostly just Ilana. I'm more like a skeleton that she's carrying around.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not ungrateful that she's at least getting the food and making sure that we have decent places to stay (we're getting low on money and I'm not going to G3 and a cardboard box is looking like our only option…), but it's getting frustrating that she won't talk to me seriously on the subject of my major screw up. She's Ilana. She talks about everything.
I'm a little frustrated. Just a little. Between trying to repair Octus at night while still moving around the country and trying to protect a princess and fight off every day thugs, I'm getting tense. We're running out of time. When Steel finds us, we're screwed. If we go to Solomon, we're screwed. So all we have is each other, and so far, it's looking like that'll even end in us getting screwed.
Octus kept us together. He was like our father. Ilana's dad's back on Galaluna fighting a war for us, but mine's gone and I let Octus fill the role that had so long been empty. And he wasn't just a parental figure to me: he was like a best friend. And I'm not the person to ever, ever make friends. So he was the one exception to that. And Ilana was just there, along for the ride. She was a friend too, but Octus and I were closer, almost like brothers at times.
Now, without Octus, Ilana and I were straying farther apart. I mean, she was making meat talk. That was just awkward. It was fine for a little while, but there's a certain point where I just think "Are you serious?" With Ilana, I don't think she's ever serious about anything except for home.
And at this point, I don't even think I want to go home. I'd have to face the king and who knows how he'd be doing at this point, whether he's a bloody mess or already buried. He could be just fine for all we know. But how do I tell him that I killed his robot? Octus was made by the king. That's not something I want to mess with. Ilana could always tone him down for me and play that loving daughter role that she does so well, but I'm not sure if that'd be enough to save me.
I miss Octus. I hate the blunt admittance of feelings, but I miss him. I do. It's annoying. It's like a nagging feeling in my chest that I forgot something. It's so hellish that it makes me want to suffocate myself. I'm not really used to emotions a whole lot. I lost them so long ago, but now that they're back, everything is so raw.
I hate it.
And what do we do now? We're just running and I hate running. I'm completely used to it, having been in trouble more than once, but it's irritating how I have to run with Ilana now. We have nowhere to go, nothing to do. We can only run and fight and run and run. That's all. I work at night until like two in the morning when I know my dad would usually be home. Even when I stay awake until then, I just know what time it is. My internal clocks are set. So I stay there and sit for a few minutes, thinking about how my dad would tell me about the riff gate and the Manus armor. I only wish he had told me enough so that I could fix Octus… Then I would usually turn out the light and sleep after checking to make sure Ilana was already deep in her coma of slumber. She always slept so well.
Now G3 is offering to take us in and maybe they have a power core that would work to recharge Octus, but I don't know what I'm doing. I'm a soldier, a weapon, a killer. I'm not meant to be fixing robots.
That's why my dad and I stand on different grounds. He was respected for being a brilliant mind. Somehow, I turned into a guy who could only use brute force and demands to get what I wanted. Of course, I still got respect, but what did that matter when I was only seen as a one-track-mind kind of guy? It didn't matter, that's what. I'm not meant to be fixing robots, but if my dad were around, I would have gone to him and let him patch up Octus in a matter of seconds. He wouldn't have even had a single problem with any of this. It would've been done in a heartbeat.
Honestly, I want all of this to be over with and done. I want to be back in my barracks and disobeying direct orders and being scolded by the king. I liked those days, despite how miserable they were. I don't want to be stuck on Earth. I want to be fighting a war.
And I am. Just on a different planet. I'm fighting a war over a princess's life. Great. Just great. No, I'm not loving every second of it.
I'm fine with Ilana, really, I am. But I cannot stand her cheery disposition and that smile she always brings to the table. She seriously gets on my nerves sometimes. And that's why we had Octus in the first place. He was there to keep us safe, to keep Titan working, to keep me and Ilana from ripping each others' throats out. And we were getting along pretty well now that he was gone, mainly because we knew we had to. To keep from falling apart.
We're still on the brink of fighting. I'm on my last nerve with this whole fixing Octus thing. It's almost funny to think that I'm the one fixing him. My dad was the brilliant scientist who created the Manus armor and the riff gate, but Ilana's father created Octus. And somehow, I'm expected to fix him. Unless he was some sort of unfinished project my dad left behind.
Which would be cool. Because then maybe he told me about it or something. But he hardly ever left a project behind. Hardly ever. The riff gate was his last one and I doubted he would dump something as impressive as an emotional robot that could form a massive destructive machine like Titan. I'd bet anything he'd love to see me now.
Things are getting worse by the day. I'm almost afraid to wake up every morning. The news anchors always butcher Titan's lack of appearances to save the world. We're always criticized for being weak and useless. And we are. Without Octus, Titan doesn't exist. It's just a distant memory for Ilana and I. Everyone else things that Titan chickened out. We didn't. It's just that Titan is nothing anymore.
And sneaking in to use that power core was stupid. My idea. Dumb dumb dumb. We lost our chance to save him. And unless G3 has something bigger and better, we're screwed. And if we're screwed, I'm going to be seriously pissed. Ilana may have to watch out. I'll be doing more than just throwing lamps.
The stress of everything is really hitting hard now. It's like we were sent to Earth all over again, back when I thought I was the one in charge. The Octus bailed me out of that and took over the 'large and in charge' role so I could lay back a bit more and focus on the protecting. But no. Now he's gone. And I swear we're going to lose our minds over all this.
Or at least I will. I'm not sure how much longer I can handle everything. I'm still reeling from losing Octus, the only father figure I had other than the king. And then it hits me that the king could be dead. I really have no one at all to turn to. No one. Ilana and I are on the fray, trying to either reconcile or just split for good. Nothing has chased us in weeks and we're not really afraid anymore. She could stay with G3 and I could go wherever just to keep from losing my mind. I'm not sure if leaving would be a good idea though. Could just make things worse.
Solomon's not bad. He's irritating as Hell, but I've dealt with Ilana, haven't I? I don't really have anything bad to say about Solomon other than the fact that he is so secretive that it drives me to the brink. I occasionally feel the need to slap him ridiculously hard. And sometimes, I feel that way about Ilana too.
Everything is strained now. My grip on reality is fading to dust. I'm pretty much waiting for everything to crumble. And to think that it's all because I lost Octus. And why did I lose Octus? Because I was incapable of taking care of myself. I'm such an idiot. I was trained how to climb ropes back when I first started learning. I could climb trees before I knew how to walk. It's not like I wasn't good enough. It's just that I wasn't good enough at the right moment.
For that, I hate myself. Ilana thinks I have a self-loathing complex, whatever that is. Her and her big words, making me feel stupid…
It's not like she's a great help. The only thing she's good for anymore is bringing food and finding shelter and transportation. Not like I'm much help either. All I can do is fix a robot and sleep. I'm not sure which one of us is more important right now. I'm protecting her, but she's doing more for me than ever.
Is it bad to say that I'm worried about myself? My sanity is really hitting rock bottom, and I'm about ninety-five percent sure that I'm about to rip my hair out next time recharging Octus doesn't work. I'm getting so sick of trying that it physically hurts to keep going on. I'm not trained to fix robots. I don't want to fix robots, but I want to fix Octus. But it hurts.
I'm guilty right now. I hate how I couldn't save Octus. And it's a terrible thing when I hate Octus for leaving me and Ilana. Now Steel has a robot and we don't have a robot and what are we supposed to do? No money for food and shelter, not enough electricity to even think about recharging Octus. All we have is each other and that's not good. And I hate myself when I think about how much I hate Octus. He should've let me die. He can take care Ilana twice as well as I can. If I had died, they'd still be in the house and taking care of each other and Ilana would be safe and I wouldn't be ripping my hair out. I could've taken that creature. Eventually. Maybe. I don't know. I killed it, why does it matter?
Sometimes, I wonder how Kristin is. Ilana and I let the city be completely annihilated by that monster thing and I have no idea if she made it. Or Kimmy. Or even Jason. I don't know if anyone survived. It's kind of an upset that we let all those people down. More like Octus let us let all those people down. I'm guilty of hating Octus sometimes, but I miss him more than that, so maybe that's like the scale of justice, balancing itself out. I don't know.
But I feel like I'm about to snap under the pressure. I need to fix Octus. I have to. Or else… I don't know if I'll be able to keep my grip on this reality.
A/N: Wow, that turned out jumpier than I thought it would be. Review?