Cantabile: A Fowl Through the Window

From Arknights Terra Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Operator Record
A Fowl Through the Window
Cantabile icon.png

The fowlbeast pulls out a grain of rice and places it in front of Cantabile, turning its eyes up at her.

Unlock conditions

  • Raise Cantabile to Elite 2 Level 1.
  • Have at least 50% Trust with Cantabile.
Reserve Operator - Logistics icon.png
Medic Operator
Feeble Patient
Field Operator
Injured Fowlbeast
Resting Patient
Young Recovering Patient
RI Room
RI Corridor
RI Infirmary
Cantabile saves a fowlbeast that suddenly flew into her life, and saves herself in the process.
<Background black>
I never did go back to visit that child I saved...
I'm afraid... As I am now, can I really help her move forward in the right direction?
What if... because of me, she instead...
Field Operator Cantabile, after deliberation, the Doctor and Dr. Kal'tsit have determined that in your current state you are no longer fit to continue conducting missions as a field operator.
But even so, you must eat your meals regularly, understood? Prolonged starvation is extremely bad for your health, especially as an Infected.
You aren't responsible for that person getting injured, nor are you being punished for making a mistake during the mission. The issue is how you mishandled things after the mistake.
Even when it comes to my own affairs, I...
Field Operator Are you listening, Cantabile? Then, uh... go ahead and rest up first. Once you're feeling better, figure out where you went wrong, and we'll go on another mission together then. How does that sound?
Also, we'd really appreciate it if you told us why you're taking this out on yourself by skipping meals. If you're willing, that is...
<Background 1>
Cantabile If I'm willing...
Mission report... Our objective was to help the villagers fight off a gang of bandits that had been harassing them.
I injured a client. I was supposed to help them, but I ended up hurting him.
Because I... I didn't want to see anyone lose their life during the mission. So I accidentally... injured the villager who was about to kill one of the bandits.
I... don't know what his circumstances were. What if he had been seriously wounded by the bandit before, and I didn't know? Should I have looked into his background before making a decision?
No, no. The squad leader said that wasn't where I made my mistake...
But I was told that Rhodes Island's primary mission was to save people and treat diseases. I hurt someone they were trying to save, yet somehow I didn't do anything wrong, and don't deserve punishment...?
And where I went wrong was how I handled my mistake? How I handled it...
<Flashback starts here>
Background-Hotel Room.png
1437, here's your meal. Fill yourself up, and tomorrow a teacher will come to instruct you in music and literature.
...Meal? But... isn't it still alive?
It's not alive. It's food. You have to eat it. Have you already forgotten your first day here? How it felt to have a full stomach?
I felt... my strength returning to me.
Yes, that's right. Strength. You could stand, you could run, you could jump. No more vomiting up sour bile as expected, no more closing your eyes while writhing in pain. Isn't that right? You don't want an end like that, do you?
But... But...
[The door closes.]
<Flashback ends here>
<Background 1>
Cantabile Blurgh...
Cantabile crumples the report in front of her, unwilling to write any more.
She reaches for another sheet of paper on which to write her analysis of what went wrong. But in the end, all she has to show for her efforts is a pile of wadded-up paper.
Cantabile I know why I'm like this, but I don't want to write it down... Damn it, why am I like this...?
[Someone knocks the door.]
Voice Outside the Door Cantabile? Are you in there? It's almost time for lunch, and the Medical Department will be coming around over the next few days to remind you to eat on time.
Did you make sure to eat breakfast?
Cantabile I... Yes, I did.
Voice Outside the Door Good. I believe you, so I hope you'll return our trust as well. Please eat well, and get enough nutrition. We'll give you a routine checkup in a few days, alright?
Cantabile Alright.
[Cantabile walks to the door...]
Cantabile Phew...
[ the sound of a glass breaking is heard.]
Cantabile What was that?
Injured Fowlbeast (Feeble chirp)
Cantabile How... did you get in here? Did I forget to close the windows?
Injured Fowlbeast (Pecks at the grains of rice on the table)
Cantabile Are you... someone's pet?
<Background 2>
Cantabile Excuse me, I'd like to know if you ever... raised a pet fowlbeast?
Snowsant Nope! Unfortunately, I don't have the money to keep a pet...
But if you ever need any pet-care items fixed, feel free to come see me!
I'm the one who fixed up Vanilla's pet water dispenser!
[Snowsant walks off as Cantabile tries looks at people walking by the corridor.]
<Background fades out and in>
Cantabile Excuse me, are you Operator Vanilla? A fowlbeast flew into my dormitory, and I was wondering if it might be yours?
Vanilla I'm afraid not. The only pets I have are these cute little Originium slugs.
How about it? Want one for yourself?
Cantabile I-I'm good!
Vanilla Maybe try asking Instructor Dur-nar? She might be secretly raising them for her little patients!
Actually, there've been quite a few pets out in the courtyard lately. Some of the operators release them there after raising them for a while. Maybe you can ask Perfumer or Beanstalk. If anybody knows, it'll be them!
<Background fades out and in>
Beanstalk A fowlbeast? I thought you said you wanted to raise a baby metal crab? Why the change of heart?
Cantabile No, it isn't mine. It just happened to fly into my dorm... But I don't think I have what it takes to care for such a tiny life, so I can't just go and adopt it.
Be it a fowlbeast or a metal crab, is it really acceptable for me to self-righteously declare myself its master? What if I can't take care of it, or what if it doesn't want to...
Beanstalk What makes you say that? Look, you've searched all over, and it doesn't belong to anyone here at Rhodes Island. Instead, it flew into your dorm asking you for help. Which means it chose you.
Just like this little crab here chose to save me out in the wilds.
So why not give it a try? You might end up being a great owner, or a good friend.
Cantabile "A great owner"?
Beanstalk There's no need to be so anxious– Woah, are you shaking? Are you... afraid of fowlbeasts?
Cantabile No, how could I be afraid of something so tiny? It's just that...
Beanstalk Hmm? Afraid you don't have enough experience? Fear not– I'm the best there is at taking care of pets, and I'll teach you everything you need to know!
Look, stroke it gently just like this. Show it your kindness, and you'll earn its trust. It's not that hard!
Even a shy little crab like Peacake will start getting affectionate once she gets to know how kind you are.
Cantabile But, I've never... Beanstalk, I've never kept a pet before, so I have no idea what to do. Before, I've only... seen them dead...
If I try to take care of it, will it... end up dying?
Beanstalk Huh?
–No way! It probably just can't fly right now because it hurt its wings. Don't be so nervous!
After you get back, build a little nest for it, provide enough food and water, and give it some room to move around. That's it for the basics, so make sure to take good care of it!
Cantabile Okay, I...
<Background 1>
Injured Fowlbeast (Lies down on the table)
Cantabile Oh, you're still here.
You have no master here, and I left the window open. Yet you stayed, even after I fed you.
Injured Fowlbeast (Scoots closer to Cantabile)
Cantabile ...Stay away from me! I still have my weapon, and I've never raised anything like you before–I, I'm afraid I might...
Injured Fowlbeast (Cowers)
Cantabile *pant*... *pant*... Sorry, it's my fault...
Y-Your wings... Beanstalk said you might need some anti-inflammatory medicine and bandages.
I've never done anything like this before, but...
J-Just stay right there and don't move... I'll apply the medicine.
The fowlbeast senses that Cantabile is trying to help it, and shifts over to get closer to her finger.
Cantabile ...Eek! Why did you move closer all of a sudden? Did I hurt you?
Injured Fowlbeast (Spreads its wings effortlessly)
Cantabile I see, so you're fine... the medicine is working.
I'll go get something for you to eat.
<Flashback starts here>
Background-Hotel Room.png
1437, why aren't you eating?
Because... Because it's still alive...
If you won't do as you're told, you're free to leave.
...No! I don't want to!
Then eat it, or get out of here and starve to death. Eat now, and tomorrow we'll feed you what we normally have. After class is over, you can take a walk around outside. We'll even let you visit the garden.
Haven't you always wanted to play on the swings outside?
<Background fades out and in>
What about those classmates of yours? Why don't you ever talk to them?
I... I thought I wasn't supposed to talk to them?
You must. You must communicate. You must fit in. You can't act like an alien.
Go make friends. Get acquainted with them. Let them meet a new friend, a bright and promising student.
<Background fades out and in>
You've done well, 1437.
You'll be allowed to move freely around the manor. We've enrolled you in school, and next month you'll be able to go to the School of Literary Studies and the Conservatory to continue your education. Your tutor will go with you.
...Thank you.
How do you feel when you attend a funeral? Those people over there are crying, and I see that you're shedding tears as well.
My mission is complete, and thus a funeral follows. But... that warrants the shedding of tears.
Excellently done, 1437.
<Flashback ends here>
<Background 1>
Cantabile If you get hurt, should I cry–or should I feel sorrow?
But right now, it feels like... I can't feel anything.
I can't feel anything at all.
Injured Fowlbeast (Tries to get closer)
Cantabile ...Stay away from me!
Are you not afraid of me? Why are you... trying to get closer?
There are so many others here. Why did you have to fly into my room? There are so many kind, gentle, and warm people here. They...
They grew up in a safe environment. They've never witnessed cruelty. They know how to take care of you... But, I'm trembling. Can't you see that?
I'm probably going to end up hurting you, so... you shouldn't stay with me any longer!
Because I have no idea how I should treat you!
...So why won't you leave?
Your injuries aren't serious. If you hadn't come into my dorm, or if you'd flown out by yourself onto the deck, someone would've seen you and come to help...
Maybe... I can help you with that...
[Cantabile opens the window.]
Injured Fowlbeast (Cowers hesitantly)
Cantabile Do you... want to be free?
<Background fades out and in>
Cantabile Phew...
Let's go.
[Cantable walks out.]
<Background 3>
Resting Patient Medic, can you take a look at my injury? I kinda can't feel my back anymore...
Feeble Patient *cough*... *cough*...
Tell me the truth. This rock here's beyond treatment, isn't it?
[Cantabile enters the infirmary.]
Cantabile (This place is... the sickbay? How did I end up here? The fowlbeast...)
(In the end, I couldn't throw it out... Instead, here I am, outside...)
(If I really were to do that, then I would truly be... No, I can't throw it out.)
(But I don't want to head back either... I already bothered Beanstalk earlier, so I can't cause her any more trouble. The Doctor's too busy and doesn't have time for this nonsense...)
(Medic... Maybe the same medic who saved me?)
Excuse me, but do you mind if I ask why there are so few staff here today?
Medic Operator Engineering found a collapse along our navigation route, which buried many of the people from nearby villages. Almost half of the Medical Department's gone out to rescue them.
Are you looking for anyone in particular? Or are you here for your routine checkup?
Cantabile Actually... I wanted to see the medic who first rescued me when I came to Rhodes Island. I wanted to talk to her, but she's not here.
Do you know when she'll be back? ...I miss her a little.
Medic Operator Hard to say. I'm not sure what the situation is like out there, but I'm guessing tomorrow at the earliest?
Cantabile I see... Then I'll head back for now. Thank you.
Medic Operator Wait, that's not the way to the dorms.
Cantabile ......
I... I'd like to take a stroll first.
Medic Operator Is everything alright?
Cantabile I... I'm not sure...
Resting Patient Wait, hold on, young lady! I thought I was just seeing things, but there's a fowlbeast clinging to your back!
I thought you knew, but looks like you didn't notice it at all! It's gonna fall if you don't catch it!
Cantabile Huh?
Cantabile reaches behind her back. The fowlbeast's talons are hooked into her clothes, the creature struggling to squeeze in behind her neck.
Resting Patient It's gonna fall!
Cantabile What? Why is it...
Please, medic! Its wings are injured and it can't fly. Look... I applied some medicine and wrapped its wings, but the bandages have fallen off... Can you save it?
I, I...
I've seen fowlbeasts dying before, and that's how their wings looked... Is it dying because I didn't take good care of it...?
Medic Operator Huh? What are you talking about? It just looks that way because its wings are a bit injured, and it can't sit still because it's had too much to eat. Just let it rest for a few days.
Cantabile ...Really? Is that all?
The fowlbeast rests in Cantabile's hand and nestles into her palm, rubbing against her as if looking for a comfortable position.
Medic Operator Don't panic. There's nothing wrong with it, so why are you so nervous that you're clamming up?
Cantabile ......
Resting Patient Heh... How cute.
Feeble Patient Young lady, that fowlbeast really trusts you. Reminds me of my old beckbeast I had back home.
Mind sitting over here and letting me take a closer look? Haven't seen one of those critters in a long while.
Resting Patient I feel like my eyes are going blank, having to lie here day in, day out.
Cantabile I...
Huh? Do you want to fly somewhere?
The fowlbeast flaps its wings and flies over onto the hospital bed.
Young Recovering Patient Wow! It's a fowlbeast! Can I pet it?
Medic Operator You'd have to ask Cantabile first.
Young Recovering Patient May I, Cantabile?
Cantabile Oh, you're...
Young Recovering Patient Cantabile! Remember me? I'm the first person you saved! You promised you'd come visit me often, but then you never did...
Cantabile Sorry, I... Recently, I've been a bit...
Young Recovering Patient You've been busy taking care of this fowlbeast, huh? Hmph! Well, I suppose I can forgive you.
The nice medic lady said that if I eat well and take my medicine like a good girl, I'll be able to raise one in the future too!
The fowlbeast seems to find the soft quilt quite cozy, and happily hops around on it.
Several patients get up off their beds, leaning in to look over, their eyes shining, unable to keep from smiling.
Cantabile Sorry... This is a sickbay, and I shouldn't be interrupting your rest. I'll take him back first–
Resting Patient Leaving already...? Why not stay a bit longer? It's nice seeing something with so much life and energy.
Feeble Patient Can I pet it, miss? I've been away from home for so long, and... I haven't been able to pet my beckbeast in ages.
Cantabile Of course you can... It's not like I own it or anything. Our paths just happened to cross.
Feeble Patient Woah! That's how me and my beckbeast first met, haha.
Resting Patient You know, you really are a nice person. Fowlbeasts just like this one get hurt all the time, maybe eight hundred a day if not a thousand. But hardly anyone's willing to save them. They're just like us sick folks, lucky enough to have met you people while on death's door.
You guys really are good people...
Cantabile "Good people"...
Cantabile looks at the fowlbeast, and the critter's two shiny black eyes also peer back at her.
Just then, it hops over unsteadily, trying to snuggle up to the person who rescued it.
Young Recovering Patient Cantabile, the medic told me that after I get better, I can stay here and study whatever I want. And you all can help me!
That's just like going to school, right? I saw this word in a book that teaches you how to read, but you're my "savior"!
Cantabile "Savior"...?
Resting Patient Haha, you little rascal. How ambitious do you have to be to want to go to school?
Young Recovering Patient Right? The nice medic lady told me before that you know tons of words, can read books, and even play the piano! That's soooo cool!
Resting Patient Woah, is that true? Can you really play the piano?
Cantabile A little bit, but...
Young Recovering Patient She also told me that you've even taught other people before! Can you teach me too?
I want to be just like you when I grow up!
Cantabile ...There's no need for that. Just be yourself.
The young patient picks up a small musical instrument placed at her bedside and plucks the strings clumsily, making an out-of-tune sound.
The fowlbeast chirps softly, as if to sing along.
Resting Patient Ahaha! You've been practicing for so long, and that's the best you can do?
Feeble Patient What are you talkin' about? She hasn't had anyone to teach her. The fact that she can even make a sound is pretty good.
It might not be what you can call a song yet, but I don't mind listening to it every now and then.
A hand reaches out, covering the young patient's tiny hand–
Cantabile lightly plucks the strings, and a little ditty drifts through the quiet sickbay. She's playing a piece she's never played before. There is no score, only the mood of the moment conducting her.
Young Recovering Patient Woah...
I wanna to learn to do that one day!
Medic Operator C'mon, it's time for dinner. Head back to your beds first, and I'll serve your meals.
The children should also behave themselves.
Young Recovering Patient Cantabile, I promise to eat well and get better! You should too, so we can get strong and healthy together!
Feeble Patient Young lady, you should come visit us every now and then, when you have the time. How about it?
Cantabile I...
<Background 1>
Cantabile Phew...
"Savior." "Young lady."
Nobody's ever called me those things before...
Injured Fowlbeast (Soft chirping)
Cantabile In the past, those people in their fancy clothes would never call me anything like that. As for the kids... I didn't dare listen to what names they had for me.
They never once called out to me. They were merely speaking to a fabrication, a fake me that I've never known.
But, just now... They called me a savior. They called me a young lady...
Nobody's ever called me those things before...
Injured Fowlbeast (Hops around on the table)
Cantabile Did you know...
[Cantabile writes something.]
Cantabile I've... killed people before.
I've never told this to the Doctor, or even the medic who saved me.
They rescued me.... They brought me in, gave me food to eat and water to drink.
Was it because I was scared? Back then, I felt that the only way I could survive was by listening to them. Starving to death is such an awful thing...
The fowlbeast fetches a grain of rice from Cantabile's untouched meal, raising its neck to swallow it.
Cantabile I've killed more than one person... I always told myself, they're objects, not living beings. Those people took me to their funerals countless times, and each time, I never heard their crying as anything more than that.
But, that last time, my target's... wife. Thinking I was her son's teacher, she begged me from beneath the rubble to save her husband I had just killed, or at least to pull out his body.
And then, she...
The fowlbeast pulls out another grain of rice and places it in front of Cantabile, turning its eyes up at her.
Cantabile She...
In her terror, right there in front of me, she gave birth to a...
To a...
...loudly-crying child.
The fowlbeast sees that Cantabile still hasn't moved, and continues pecking around. After eating another grain of rice, it places another in front of Cantabile and turns its head to look at her.
Cantabile's hand brushes against the Originium crystal on her arm.
Cantabile I... I was wounded in the explosion... I, I also helped her patch her wounds, but dared not touch her again. I knew what Originium dust was, so...
That was a... life. I realized, all the targets I did in before, were also lives.
I'd always been lying to myself! I lied to myself that my targets were nothing more than targets, that my food was nothing more than food.
...No, they were all lives.
I should never have... seen them as things, that could be exchanged for my strength, for my continued survival...
They were not, and neither am I...
The fowlbeast pushes the rice grains towards Cantabile, the grains it had already picked up forming a small pile.
It picks up another grain, wanting Cantabile to eat as well.
Cantabile takes one and places it into her mouth.
Cantabile ...I didn't die in the refugee camp. I was rescued and brought here, so I should...
I should set aside my old ways.
Injured Fowlbeast (Pecks at the grains of rice)
Cantabile Can I... pet you?
As... a living, breathing being?
Cantabile hesitantly reaches out to the fowlbeast.
The creature approaches little by little, until it leans in to snuggle up to her.
Her hand runs gently across its soft feathers.
Cantabile I shouldn't keep it hidden anymore, should I?
I also... shouldn't treat myself the same way. That won't accomplish anything.
I'll write down my entire past.
Cantabile looks at the report she had written and slides it into the file folder bag.
Cantabile They will learn about these things. If they find out, then I...
I will know more clearly how I should behave in the future.