Title: Collision Course: Reconnection - Prologue
Rating: PG
Summary:

Three men connected by a cruel twist of fate. Three relics forgotten by time.
What should ever happen when they collide?

Author Notes:

The Kino no Tabi series is one of the few animes that have made an impression for both in my heart and how I see the world around me. One of the episodes that really stood out and touched me emotionally was the "Three Men Along the Rails". I don't know if perhaps it's because I have seen many loved ones who live they're lives never questioning the world around them. And thus, suffering because of their ignorance everyday.

And it was from these pondering of mine that this story was born. The sad thing is, I've had this baby planned out since 2007...but have always been too afraid to publish it. But it's better late than never, right? I will cease my ramblings now, so I do hope you enjoy this story :3

Prologue: Within the shadows of the forest [a]

The solitary moon, amidst the starless sky, continued to bestow gentle light to its kingdom below. This generous act allowed the forest to posses a light source to which would momentarily hold back the ever creeping darkness.

However, in the peaceful sky, a battle was being continually fought. Every so often, the ones responsible for the disappearance of the stars would try to battle the very moon for supremacy over the sky. Yet these victories of the clouds never lasted.

Still, at this moment, the moonlight was concealed by a veil of clouds, and thus darkness crept over the landscape.

The shadowy forest held the appearance of being devoid of all life. The one thing that contradicted this illusion was the ever vocal questioning of the owl within the dark night.

Then, a foreign crackling noise disturbed the tranquilty of the night. The source of this noise came from a campfire. Located a good distance from the flames, was a lone motorrad, held in place by a kickstand. A sound of movement came from besides the great oak tree, located nearest to the campfire. The rustling of the leaves betrayed the position of the figure, who was restlessly moving within the sleeping bag.

"Hey Kino, are you awake?"asked a boyish voice, which belonged to the motorrad.

"Yes I am Hermes." Answered the traveller known as Kino. "What's the matter?"

Hermes remained silent for several minutes as he tried to see how to best word his question. His companion, on the other hand, took this silence to mean something entirely different. A smirk played upon her face as a glimmer of mischief lit up her once drowsy eyes.

"Don't tell me your afraid of a syllogog coming to get you?" she asked, with amusement clearly present in her tone.

"Geez," the motorrad grumbled, "when are you going to forget about that! Anyone would make that kind of mistake!"

As she brought her body into a sitting position, Kino couldn't help but chuckle at her companion's expense.

"Only you would do that, Hermes." She chuckled. "Now," she had ceased her chuckling, "what's the matter?"

Well, I was just thinking." He began, as the flames continued to flicker and crackle in the dead of night. "Don't you feel a little bad about what happened the other day?"

Within that instance, the cheerfullness was wiped completely off of her facial features. In its place, a solemn look crossed her young face.

"You mean those three old men?"

"Yeah," he stated, "those old guys!"

"What about them?" she asked in her usual confident tone, but one could almost hear the pain secretly leaking out from behind a tiny crack in her voice.

"You should have told them the truth, Kino." The only reply to be heard was her silence. So, he decided to elaborate. "If you had told them the truth about the meanilessness of what they were doing they could of…."

"Could what Hermes?" she interrupted in a calm voice. "Learn that everything they've done all their lives was for nothing?" Despite the harshness of the tone, she was not angry at Hermes. No, rather she was angry at how cruel and cold this beauitful world could be.

"Learn that their hard work and devotion brought no comfort or riches to their families, who are all probably dead by now?"

A normal girl would have been sobbing uncontrollably at this display of cruelty. But Kino was not a normal girl. She knew all too well the way the world enjoyed to play sadsistic games on the fragile human heart. Instead of giving into the tears, the strong, young traveller fixed her saddened eyes on to the glowing fire.

"I…" she started, "I was tempted to tell them, quite bluntly, about their situation." She paused for a moment. "Instead, I chose to do it subtly with that story and the questions."

Hermes contemplated Kino's choice of words. Then he decided to offer his own as well. "But those old guys couldn't take the hint." He stated quite bluntly. "I still think you should've told them directly." Kino took his arguement into quiet consideration as she continued to watch the fire's dazzling performance.

"Perhaps…" she began to chew on her lower lip before proceeding. "Perhaps I should have. But Hermes, I have no right to make such a grand decision for them." Laying upon her back once again, her eyes travelled up to the luminous moon.

"I am nothing but a mere traveller," she continued, "who must not interfere in the customs or lives of those who reside in foreign lands." She allowed the darkness to envelop her vision as she momentarily closed her eyes. Images from her past began to flash right before her.

The man once known as Kino….

Young and vibrant Sakura….

Three rabbit skins, dangling upon the tree branch…

"I am but a traveller," she repeated as her eyelids began to slowly open, "I am not a god. So I have no right to govern people's hearts or choose what may be best for them." Amidst the dark sky, she could she flickers of light sparkling brightly across the sky. It would appear that the stars had managed to escape from the confines of the clouds' grasp at last.

"I am only human." A silent whisper and then everything was silent. A soft sigh escaped her lips as she stared at the now star speckled sky.

"But you know…" Kino turned her attention back on to Hermes as he continued. "You know that they aren't machines." He said softly, and it was then that Kino heard the note of sadness within his statement.

"I know," her gaze was once again set upon the heavens, "and I hope that it never does happen."

"Kind of a futile hope, if you ask me."

"I know." She whispered. "I know."

End of Prologue: Within the shadows of the forest [a]

To be continued….

Author Notes:

I just want to say thank you again for taking the time to read this story. I appreciate any constructive criticism or pointers you the readers may offer. Thank you and have a great day :3