Business as Usual

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Business as Usual Children of Ursus
Instructor Grace
Logistics Operator
Vanguard Operator
RI Corridor
RI Bridge
RI Cafeteria
RI Training Compound
Amiya receives a request to transfer to the front lines. It is from the one member of Zima's group who is still staying behind in the Logistics Department – Natalya.
After discussion, the Doctor decides to look into the girl who submitted the application.
<Background 1>
Doctor ......miya.
Amiya Huh? Oh, sorry, Doctor. I was spacing out.
Doctor You don't look so good.
Amiya Ah, um, there's a matter of some concern.
Doctor, look, it's an internal transfer application.
The applicant is Natalya Rostova.
She wants to transfer from Logistics to the front line.
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor The Ursus Student Self-Government Group...
Amiya Right. She's the only member working in Logistics.
I understand they appreciate her talent and efficiency.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor ......
Amiya Of course you'd be worried about it too. Honestly, I don't really want to approve this one.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor Sorry, who is that?
Amiya I get it. Ursus names are hard. I'm not surprised you forgot.
She's one of the survivors we rescued from Chernobog, and a member of Zima's Ursus Student Self-Government Group.
In fact, she was the only aristocrat among the refugees.
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Amiya Do you remember that Zima's team became combat operators at their own request?
I was actually against it at first.
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor It hasn't been that long since they were rescued...
Amiya Right. Originally, even though they requested it themselves, I was going to convince Dr. Kal'tsit to veto the application.
It's just...
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor ......
Amiya They get regular psychological counseling and according to the reports, they're generally healthy, notwithstanding the occasional dark spot.
It's just...
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor I trust your judgment.
Amiya Thanks, Doctor.
It's just...
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Amiya I don't know how to put it better.
...Doctor, can you go check on Miss Rostova?
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor Okay.
Amiya Thanks, Doctor.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor ......
Amiya I know it's kind of a pain, but you're the only one who can do it, Doctor.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor Ugh.
Amiya Doctor, this is really important. Don't be lazy.
And you really don't have to take it too seriously. Just think of it as a little change of scenery.
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Amiya Oh, it's already lunchtime. No need to rush, you can go see her after you eat.
<Background 2>
Zima Hey, Doctor.
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor What's up?
Zima Nothing. Just saying hey, since I saw you.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor ......
Zima Hey, don't pretend you didn't hear me. I saw you stop.
Aren't you like super busy all the time? What are you doing wandering the halls?
Doctor Hey, Zima.
Zima You don't look busy.
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Zima I've got a mission. I can't be enjoying a leisurely stroll like you.
Nearl I told you not to wander before deployments, Zima.
Zima ......
Nearl Afternoon, Doctor.
Come on, Zima, back to the ready room. It's time to go.
Zima Hmph. One day I'm gonna be the captain and boss you around.
You too, Doctor. You're gonna answer to me.
Nearl I like the ambition. Let's talk about it after you've got one on me.
As for the Doctor, well, you'll have to have won a lot more than one.
Zima Eh.
[Zima leaves.]
Nearl Oh, Doctor, you should know, I've been taking the rookie team lately.
So if you don't have anything else, I'll get going.
Doctor What do you think of Zima?
Nearl Hm?
Hm... Well, you just saw that she doesn't take well to discipline. She's very insubordinate.
And as a warrior, at her age, it's normal to not know what you're fighting, or what you're fighting for.
But it's especially obvious for Zima.
She suffers from a lot of confusion. I don't know exactly what it is, but it's a bad sign and something I'm going to focus on correcting next.
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor You mean she only looks tough?
Nearl Right. Violence is a protective shell for her.
I wouldn't go so far as to say she has a fragile heart under that shell, but I can say that toughness is very fragile, in front of me.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor ......
Nearl Don't worry, Doctor. She's still a kid.
I heard she's from Chernobog. I'm sure she's carrying a lot of baggage. But she has a future.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor *Sigh*, I'd really like to get along with her.
Nearl Hah, don't worry, Doctor.
You must know, she doesn't hate you or anything.
In fact, she seems to reflexively attack people close to her.
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Nearl But I do have to say, I think this kid's all right, Doctor.
In fact, I like her. She's got a strong sense of integrity. So even if she's confused, that integrity will keep her on the right path.
And that's rare.
Okay, I gotta get going. Please excuse me.
<Background 3>
Gummy Wow, it's the Doctor!
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor Afternoon, Gummy.
Gummy Afternoon, Doctor!
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor ......
Gummy Am I too short?!
Hellooo, Doctor, do you see me?
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor Wow, it's Gummy!
Gummy You're looking good today!
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Gummy Are you here to eat?
I haven't had any missions lately, so I'm helping out in the kitchen.
Perfumer Gummy, I brought the spices.
Gummy Oh, thanks, Perfumer! Just put them over there.
Did you want something to eat?
Perfumer No thank you. I'm used to cooking for myself in my workshop.
Gummy Oooh, can I come eat with you sometime? I really wanna learn to use spices like you do!
Perfumer Heh heh. But of course.
Matterhorn Gummy, can you lend a hand when you've got a minute?
Gummy Coming!
Matterhorn Hung is out on a mission and I'm a little short-handed. I need you to take this pot for me.
Gummy Sure, Uncle Matterhorn! I'll see you next time, Perfumer. And you eat well too, Doctor!
Perfumer Sure. You're welcome anytime.
Vanguard Operator Is Gummy cooking today?!
Logistics Operator Oh man, what luck!
Too bad I just ate!
Vanguard Operator Haha, I'll get seconds!
Gummy Settle down, everybody. There's enough to go around!
Perfumer Gummy sure has a lot of energy, doesn't she, Doctor?
Doctor You can say that again. / ...... / You can say that again!
Perfumer One time, when she fell asleep in my workshop, I heard her talking in her sleep. What she said worried me a bit.
But when I see her like this, adapting so well to life at Rhodes Island, I feel like I have nothing to worry about.
You can't expect them to heal instantly. But given time, they'll be okay.
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor What did she say in her sleep?
Perfumer Oh, Doctor, some things call for discretion, you know?
I'll be keeping that secret for her. But rest assured, she doesn't need comfort, she just needs time.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor ......
Perfumer You care, Doctor? Heh heh. You really worry about your operators.
But rest assured, if there was something really important, I wouldn't hold my tongue.
A girl has her secrets, you know?
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor I sure hope so.
Perfumer Doctor, don't be so full of yourself that you think you have to take care of everyone.
We can look after each other too.
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Perfumer It's time I went back to the office.
If you ever find yourself tired, Doctor, you can always come sit with me.
[Istina walks by after Perfumer leaves.]
Istina Hello, Doctor.
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor Afternoon, Istina.
Istina I've never seen you in the canteen before, Doctor.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor ......
Istina You look like you have something on your mind, Doctor. I suggest you find a better place to stand and think than the cafeteria doorway.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor How's the food today, Istina?
Istina Hm... the rice is a little firm today, and the soup is too sweet. But I'm enjoying the vegetables.
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Istina If there's nothing more, Doctor, I'll be going.
I have class in the afternoon.
Doctor Class?
Istina Yes, Hypatia's history class.
After auditing for a while, I found Hypatia's take on history very helpful for me.
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor Can I help you?
Istina Hm. No.
Oh, I don't mean to refuse you. I'm having trouble explaining, because I'm not very clear either.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor ......
Istina Hypatia's lectures are very interesting. I think you should take a listen yourself, when you have time.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor I'm great at history too!
Istina Um, Doctor, did I not hear that you suffer from amnesia?
But I appreciate the offer.
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Istina I'll say, I could use some guidance.
In fact, I'm not certain the study of history will help me that much.
However, thinking on the experiences of our forebears could provide me some inspiration.
I'm off to class then.
Doctor Do you know where Natalya is?
Istina Natalya...? You're looking for her?
Gummy told me she wants to become a front line operator. I haven't heard if her application has been approved, but from what I know of her, she is likely already preparing for the transfer.
<Background 4>
Leto Your aim sucks, Natalya.
Natalya Don't be so sure, Rosalind. I'm going to hit you.
Leto Hehe, no way in hell~
And you gotta call me Leto now! Operator Rosa~
Natalya Okay, Operator Leto. Let us wait and see.
<Background fades out and in>
Leto And who got you using such a big sucker?
You found it in Chernobog, right? Why not throw it away and get something new?
Natalya Hup... sentimental value.
Leto Okay. More work for you.
<Background fades out and in>
Leto It kinda looks like you can't move anymore. Why not take a little break?
Natalya I can still...
Dobermann You lack stamina, Natalya.
Being Ursus gives you a nice base to build on, but you're a long way from combat ready.
Natalya Pshh... whew... Sorry. I'll keep trying.
Dobermann But your willpower is a lot stronger than I thought. Not bad.
If you can push through this round of training, it'll be good for you, even if you don't become an operator.
Natalya Thanks for that.
Dobermann Hm... hm?
Take five.
Natalya Yes, sir!
Dobermann Leto, you get out there and train yourself.
Leto Yes, sir~
Dobermann Grace, keep an eye on her.
Instructor Grace Got it.
<Background fades out and in>
Dobermann Doctor, it's lunchtime. You should be resting. We don't need you here.
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor Afternoon, Dobermann.
Dobermann Afternoon, Doctor.
If you're just here to say hello to me, I've got plenty to get back to.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor ......
Dobermann You're slowly but surely becoming a leader. That's no bad thing, I have to say.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor I can't be here?
Dobermann You can, but I have to take time to deal with you. I hope it won't be a lot.
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Dobermann But I guess Amiya told you we have another girl from Zima's group who wants to be an operator, and you wanted to check her out?
Don't look so surprised.
Everyone knows Amiya is very concerned about the survivors we rescued from Ursus.
You must remember Zima, Gummy, Istina, Leto—
Well, Leto is an exception. Nothing to worry about in the combat department.
When those four girls applied, Amiya was dead-set against it. She wanted to veto their applications. I don't know why, but she changed her mind at some point in the process.
And so now that there's another one, it would be out of character for her not to care...
<Background fades out and in>
Natalya Phew, that's enough rest. Rosalind, practice with me a while.
Leto Wow, you're really committed.
Natalya Don't underestimate my determination to become an operator.
Leto Alright alright.
Instructor Grace Natalya, you still need to rest. The most important part of exercise is recovery. If you keep grinding away at it, you're just going to break your body.
Natalya Thank you, Instructor Grace, but I think I still have some strength left in me...
Instructor Grace Hey, don't worry about Dobermann, I know she looks scary...
Dobermann Grace, I can hear you.
Instructor Grace Oh, well, you get it.
Natalya Yes, but don't worry.
Instructor Grace Okay...
<Background fades out and in>
Dobermann What do you think of her?
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor She's resolute.
Dobermann Is she now? I don't think so.
I've seen her type. They grit their teeth, fighting hard not to think.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor ......
Dobermann Doesn't it remind you of those three?
They don't know where courage comes from, so they bite down and take on society, no matter their age.
But they do seem to be ready.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor She's a fighter.
Dobermann Yes she is. Honestly, she exceeds my expectations.
An aristocratic young lady who can actually work hard for herself... hah.
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Dobermann I do understand Amiya's instinct to keep them off the battlefield.
Doctor, no one would be happy to send young people to war. Isn't the point of a soldier like me to protect kids like that?
I always blame myself for them having to go fight.
But I've come to terms with the fact that I can't save everyone.
All I can do is teach them to fight, to protect themselves, and to get home in one piece.
Think about it, Doctor, what can you do for them?
<Background 1>
Amiya Welcome back, Doctor.
So what do you think?
Doctor Did you see something in Zima and her girls, Amiya?
Amiya ...Yes. That's why I've been paying more attention to them.
Sorry, Doctor, I... wasn't sure if I should tell anyone about this.
You know about my ability to sense a person's most powerful emotions, and to even feel them when they're directed at me.
If they're not directed at me, but still strong enough, I can't feel them as clearly, but I can still sense something.
And the Ursus girls... it's hard to say.
Their situation is different.
At times, times that would seem ordinary to us, I will sense immense, overpowering emotion from them.
Of course, their emotions are different, but they share some commonalities.
If I had to put a name to the main emotion, I think I'd have to say "helplessness."
They are not so sad, not pained, not angry, not hopeless...
Maybe it's not the right word. It's like... like there's an invisible wall.
It's usually invisible and intangible, but it blocks them whenever they try to move forward. And they're stuck.
Doctor Is there anything we can do for them?
Amiya No.
We are in no position to help them now, Doctor.
What each operator is willing to tell us when they register their file, that's all we “can” know about them.
They may be hiding something from us. But if so, we have even less reason to dig it up.
Of course, that doesn't include things that might adversely affect Rhodes Island. But I don't think Zima's group falls into that category.
I'm not sure us suddenly reaching out to help them would actually be helpful.
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor Unprompted help is a selfish act.
Amiya Yes, I think so too.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor ......
Amiya Maybe it's just that I'm a little afraid to do it.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor We could just ask them.
Amiya Oh, Doctor, you're teasing again.
If only it were that simple.
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Amiya I feel like "I understand you" isn't worth much.
But people love to say it. As if it fulfills their duty to provide comfort, or that it will make someone open up to them.
It's hard to understand someone's feelings, let alone help them.
Many operators on board this vessel are the same, actually.
We don't share any particular experience with them, our words don't get through to them, and what we do, even if it's right, won't be what they want.
Doctor So you didn't stop the Ursus girls from becoming operators.
Amiya Right.
After sensing their emotions, I changed my mind.
Forcing them to safety may seem to us like the right move, like it's best for them. And it probably would keep them safe, in practice.
But that would not help them heal.
Doctor, I really don't want to say that time heals all wounds.
But I don't know any other way.
All I can do is respect their choice, and protect them in my own, Rhodes Island way.
When I think about it like that, I feel kind of full of myself...
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor Rhodes Island isn't a greenhouse. You're on the right track.
Amiya Yes, but I always hope I can do more.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor ......
Amiya Doctor, how to or whether to treat someone, from a physical perspective, is rarely something that needs consideration.
But when it comes to mental health, it becomes a more difficult problem.
For now, I can give only a vague answer.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor Then just make friends with everyone.
Amiya Yes, you're right.
If we aren't in a position to help someone, we must create the position.
I'm just a little frustrated.
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Amiya Medicine is for pain, to heal wounds. And some medicines can heal. But in any case, they can't erase the pain and suffering endured before the medicine is applied.
I've always wondered if Rhodes Island could help some people, even if only a few, to forget, or at least let go of the trauma they've suffered in the past.
I've realized along the way that it's really hard.
Developing the drug is only the most basic first step. There's so much more we would have to do to be able to achieve this.
Doctor At least we're already doing it.
Amiya Yeah. At least we are.
Thanks, Doctor.
I'm kind of embarrassed that you're comforting and encouraging me over someone else's business...
Anyway, to business, I'm approving Miss Rostova's application.
I hope that one day she and her friends are willing to open up to us. I hope that one day, we are able to help them.
I hope that one day... Rhodes Island can become their now home.