Not much focus when it comes to stories that actually need to be finished...
Oh well. Honestly, I've wanted to write this for awhile. Casshern Sins is one of my favorite anime, and it was hard for me to adopt this sort of writing to what I thought would go best with the mood of the show. So sorry if I totally screwed over the characters and the imagery. 'Twas not my intention.
An endless march on a moonlit night. A silent battle to mark the frivolous deaths of metal machines that were never very much alive to begin with.
Yet they were never dead, either. Is it so unfair to assume that they felt with a passion that could rival a human's natural affinity for emotion?
The world around them is full of sins, dying under the weight of them all. He wishes he understood science better. Maybe then he could actually do something, like Ohji.
Over the horizon, the sun streaks a pale sunrise that is nowhere as brilliant as the one by the sea. Ringo is at his ankle, and she taps him excitedly. Even if he might find the colors dull, she always grinned when the sun came up.
'Liza used to tell me stories about these birds.' Lyuze told him once when Ringo was delighting in the morning sun. 'She said that every time the sun went down, the birds would lie in their nests and sing sadly, because they believed the sun would never come back. At sunrise, they would rise into the sky and sing beautiful songs, because the sun returned.'
'What happened if clouds got in the way?' He asked.
She shrugged, plucking absently at the dirt on the ground. 'Don't know. The sun has to come out sometime, though. Right?'
She has a point.
"Where are we even going?" Said female asks Ohji. They should be heading to Luna, saving his friends from imminent death has become an obsession for Casshern, but rumors have spread of an old spare supply store buried in the ground.
He explains this to Lyuze, but the often pessimistic girl remains unconvinced. "What makes you believe it's really there?"
"I don't. But we have to try." He says in his gruff tone. She thinks it's a waste of time, but her respect for Ohji runs too deep to try and dissuade him.
Instead, she falls back and mutters, "His desire to save is almost as bad as yours."
He jumps, realizing she's talking to him. She doesn't bother to glance at him, though. In fact, she seems to flat out ignore him, so he doesn't reply.
Is that a sin, he wonders. He has so many on his back, he's not sure if he should add that one or not.
Underneath the beat of the afternoon sun, Ohji seeks out hidden passages within the Ruined town. The others aid him, save for Ringo, who is distracted by the odd animal climbing up a board.
"Lyuze!" She calls, carrying the slow, squishy think. The pink-haired robot leans down to look closer. When she reaches out to touch it, it slides rebelliously back into its shell.
Ringo laughs delightedly, asking what it is. Lyuze is at a loss, but Ohji comes closer to name the animal.
"A snail." He dubs it. Joyously, Ringo names it Casshern Jr., much to the senior's surprise.
"Hmph." Lyuze says, glancing at him with that confusing look that lingers between utter loathing and incomplete acceptance. "You should put it back, Ringo. It won't survive by tagging along with us."
Ringo pouts, but accepts that it is for the best. She leans to put it back, and he kneels down next to them.
"It's so small." He says wonderingly, unsure of how such a creature could survive on its own.
"Of course it is!" Ringo says happily. "It's so big scary things won't notice it!" She then hides it beneath the boards and scampers away.
An afternoon of fruitless searching is needed before Ohji decides that there truly is no underground supply. While Lyuze expected this, she silently gathers wood for a small fire. In truth, the false rumor is just as damaging to her as it is to everyone else.
He follows her out on her quest. She is sure to stay at least a foot in front of him, but he doesn't mind. He picks up wood where she indicates without complaint.
Without warning, she stops, letting out a short gasp of horror. He walks up beside her, pausing as he sees her foot has gone right through the eye socket of a long decayed robot. All around them is carnage, and she bitterly whispers, "A robot graveyard."
He nods, although he's never seen one before. Almost defiantly, he kicks at a wayward arm. It disintegrates beneath his touch.
Her eyes follow his movements, and as the arm disappears to rusted ash, she also kicks the head her foot is in.
They look at each other once, and he drops the wood he has gathered. All at once, a strange music grips them as they engage in a ragged dance, destroying the fragile remains of robots. Their names are unknown, and their legacy is unremarkable.
But their memory is forever.
When they finish, no stray limbs are left. Only a thick cloud of dust and ash is left to commemorate as he silently picks up the wood and they head back to the others.
Ringo greets them happily, but Ohji notices that they are covered in the smell of death. Friender smells it as well, and recoils from them.
"What happened?" He asks, and Lyuze tells him that they found the graveyard. That seems to make the old robot understand, although Casshern remains confused.
When the moon is raised and the others are asleep around the fire, he stays awake to contemplate the stars. At least, he believes he is the only one awake, and is surprised when Lyuze turns towards him.
"Ohji is right." She says. "We do smell like death."
He doesn't respond for a long while. When he does, he asks, "Is it normal for you to destroy robot graveyards?"
"Of course." She says. "They only serve as bitter reminders. They are better off being carried away in the wind."
Again he is silent for minutes. "Isn't that cruel?"
She shakes his head, meeting his blue gaze. "No. It's freedom." She responds. "They are dead, and their bodies are gone. They are free."
He contemplates this. "I thought freedom is what everybody wanted."
For a second time, she grunts her dissent. "Freedom from The Ruin is what everybody wants. That's called life."
So it is, he thinks. In the end, all everyone is searching for is life.
Beside him, he hears her soft breaths as she finally falls to sleep. On impulse, he reaches out beside him to grasp her hand. Despite the fact that she is cold and smells of death, he finds it comforting that she doesn't disappear on touch.
Ohji is the first to awake that morning. He glances over, seeing the two linked hands. Guessing that Lyuze would blow a gasket that he would be unable to repair if she saw it as well, even if her fingers are curiously wrapped around his, he takes pity on Casshern and wakes him first.
The robot doesn't immediately release her hand, but when he does, it is with reluctance. Ohji smiles softly, and points out that the sun hasn't risen yet.
But it will eventually.