Franka: Symbols of the Past

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Operator Record
Symbols of the Past
Franka icon.png

The flowers and trees around her could be symbols of days gone, or of nothing at all; it is all in her mind.

Unlock conditions

  • Raise Franka to Elite 2 Level 1.
  • Have at least 50% Trust with Franka.
RI Training Compound
RI Corridor
RI Room
Franka receives a letter, forcing her to face a past that she had long since sealed away.
<Background 1>
[Franka is sparring with Melantha, displaying their swordsmanship.]
Franka Control your distance! Close in!
[Melantha thrusts her sword, but Franka parried it.]
Franka Slash! Don't just rely on thrusts!
Melantha Phew!
[Melantha charges at Franka and slashes her sword, which the latter managed to block...]
Franka Aim low!
[...and countered with a thrust from her rapier that knocks down and disorients Melantha.]
Melantha Eyah!
Franka You lost.
Melantha Franka...
Franka How many times have I told you? You're using a longsword. Your style may be based around rapiers, but don't rely on thrusts so much.
Melantha Sorry.
Franka You don't need to apologize. Old habits die hard. It's not easy to combine those two weapons' techniques, and I'm really just coming up with this on the fly as I train you.
Melantha Um, Franka? There's actually something that I've been meaning to ask.
Franka Mm?
Melantha You seem to know a lot about my rapier style. Why's that?
Franka Hm... Well, before I became a mercenary, I was actually the greatest fencing teacher in all of Columbia.
Melantha R-Really?
Franka Hehe, normally you'd have to pay the big bucks to take my lessons.
Melantha Um, so...
Franka Just kidding. I was never a teacher.
Melantha Mnngh... Not another one of your jokes. But why then?
You're very familiar with that particular style. If I remember correctly, last time you even said, 'have you forgotten your third lesson, on how much force to apply to a thrust?' Or something like that.
Franka Hm...
Right, I wonder why.
<Background fades out>
???? Control your distance! Close in!
Aim low!
Have you forgotten your third lesson, on how much force to apply to a thrust?
??? *Sobs*...
???? Eh? C'mon, don't cry. I just meant if you're here to learn fencing, you gotta put in some work, you know? I didn't mean it like that. Alright, alright. Don't cry, now.
<Background fades in>
Franka Alright, that's enough chatter. Let's take it from the top.
Franka raises her sword, holding it right before her nose.
An opening! Strike!
Melantha I've got a chance!
Melantha, who finally managed to threaten Franka's neck with her training sword, notices that her teacher seems to be in a bit of a trance.
Franka Fine, you got me. This is your first win during training, isn't it Mel?
Melantha Only because you were a little... A-Anyway, I still have much to learn!
Franka Of course. When did I say you were good enough to graduate from my classes? You still won, though, and that counts for something.
She strokes Melantha's hair.
Her usual smile has reappeared on her face.
Melantha Um... Thank you!
Franka Right, I probably won't be at Rhodes Island much next month. Be sure to keep up your training, okay?
Melantha Um? Huh? What are you off to do, Miss Franka...?
Ah, I don't mean to pry...
If you're going into danger, please, make sure to stay safe.
Franka Don't worry, it's nothing dangerous. I'm just taking some time off for a trip, what with how busy I've been lately.
Melantha Huh? Really?
Franka Alright, time's up. Gotta go.
<Background 2>
[Liskarm tells Franka something.]
Liskarm I heard that.
Franka Wha?
Oh... I remember, you were there drilling while I was training Mel. What, you heard something?
Liskarm So what's this about taking time off?
Franka Didn't I just say it's for a trip?
Liskarm Yeah right.
Franka Can't you trust me even a little?
Liskarm Okay, so what's the destination?
Most governments don't welcome Infected tourists. Where are you going?
Franka Oh dear, is Little Miss Teacher's Pet really so worried that I'm about to do something dangerous?
Liskarm I'm not worried about YOU. I'm just worried about the trouble you'll—
Whatever, screw this song and dance.
Yes, I'm worried about you, alright? You were acting so distracted back there. If you ever need help, or just to talk, I'm here for you, okay?
Franka ......
Alright, alright... But I really don't need any help, I promise. It's not anything dangerous this time, just a personal matter.
Liskarm ......
So how do you know so much about rapiers?
Franka Et tu, Liskarm? Why's everyone so curious about this all of a sudden?
Liskarm You wouldn't normally lose a match like that, but you did. And right after she brought it up.
Franka Oh.
Liskarm It's my job to worry about my partner when she's not at the top of her game.
Franka Alright. I'll tell you. I'm actually the successor to the Victorian Aubigny school of fencing. I was way too talented even, renowned across all of Londinium by the time I was seven.
And apparently God Himself had a problem with that, because I caught Oripathy when I was eight for no apparent reason.
After my master died, I left Victoria in search of the twelve surviving blades, forged by a legendary blacksmith.
Liskarm That's the plot of a Higashinese novel, isn't it?! Besides, you're Columbian!
Franka Heheh...
Ahem. Truth is, I had a dream when I was eight. After I woke up, I went and followed that dream's guidance, all the way to this remote abandoned city.
Then I met a giant fowlbeast who used its own feathers to stab its prey. I was just a kid, but seeing that technique gave me a revelation—
Liskarm There are no fowlbeasts like that!
Franka Huh. So that's not gonna fly either?
Alright then. So by pure chance, I met a Yanese swordmaster who taught me their secret techniques—
Liskarm Come on. Stop fooling around.
If you don't want to talk about it, then fine, forget I asked. Sorry for bringing it up.
Everyone's got things that are hard to talk about. No need to go through all that trouble just to hide it.
<Background black>
One month later...
<Background 3>
Melantha Um... Liskarm? Do you know if Franka's back yet?
Liskarm You know, I just asked the Doctor about that.
Melantha What did they say?
Liskarm Nothing in particular, just that we shouldn't worry. She'll be back on schedule.
Melantha I'm still worried about her, though. She seemed a little out of it before she left.
Liskarm Relax, she'll be fine.
I believe in her.
??? Aw, how touching! Hey there, you two.
Melantha Franka!
Liskarm Franka...
[Franka enters the room.]
Franka Honey, I'm home! Okay, Mel, let's get right to business. Let's see if you've gotten rusty this past month.
Melantha A-Alright!
<Background 1>
Melantha Haah—!
[Melantha slashes her sword at a training dummy...]
Melantha Slash!
[...which lands a clean hit.]
Melantha Oh.
[Franka approaches Melantha.]
Franka Not bad, not bad. You haven't been slacking off, at least. You're connecting your slashes and thrusts much better now. Very nice.
Melantha Yeah... Um, Franka?
Franka What's wrong? Did you suddenly notice how cool I am? Is this the birth of yet another Franka stan? In that case, feel free to hop right into my embrace.
Melantha You look so much happier now. I'm glad.
Franka Oh.
Alright, alright. Let's continue your training. Have you been working on your basic stances?
<Background fades out and in>
Franka If I remember correctly, you come from a pretty well-off family, right?
Melantha It's not worth bringing up...
Franka At the very least, they're more than capable of paying your medical bills, even if you didn't fight. You only started fencing as a way to stay fit, right?
Melantha Yeah...
Franka Why fight, then?
Melantha Um, that's just because...
When my Oripathy was still in its early stages, it used to give me really heightened perception.
And when I came to Rhodes Island, I saw how everyone was working so hard for their fellow Infected, so I thought... since I have this power, I should do something too.
I should at least try.
That's how it started, anyway. Since then, my perception's started to recede, and my parents... I haven't been able to get in touch with them for a long time.
That's why I'm actually very glad that I made this choice. I met so many important friends, and... I can support myself now, even without my parents' help.
Franka Mm. What an inspiring story.
Melantha What about you? Why do you fight?
Franka Because I'm a mercenary, of course.
Melantha Huh? But—
Franka Mel, count yourself lucky you found a reason to fight before actually having to do it~
Anyway, you don't need to hear this next part.
Hey, Teacher's Pet. So you finally found it?
Liskarm Franka... What is that thing you left in my dorm room?
Franka It's a letter, duh.
<Background 3>
Liskarm So you took that month off because...
<Flashback starts here>
<Background 2>
Franka Hey, I'm back for debriefing, Doctor.
Doctor Right on time. / (Signs off)
Franka Thanks!
Doctor How've you been? Liskarm was worried. / Go see your partner. She's been worried.
Franka Huh? Really? She's been bothering you about that? What a bitch. I should teach her a lesson.
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor She didn't bother me.
Franka Really? You're so kind, Doctor.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor ...... / It's so dull here without you two quarreling.
Franka Heehee, I didn't expect you to care about us so much.
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Doctor Should've kept my mouth shut. / You shouldn't always bottle it up inside.
<Flashback ends here>
<Background black>
The Doctor's right.
I have to leave it behind before I can move forward.
And the best way to stop thinking about it might just be to... toss it out like yesterday's trash. Dump and forget.
<Background 3>
Franka Right, I was burying my mother.
Liskarm I'm sorry...
Franka You were asking how I'm so familiar with Mel's fencing, right?
Her style is basically the standard Victorian foil. It's the top choice among Victoria's upper-class women who want to stay in shape. Of course, it's mostly just for show. It's not all that practical.
There's really nothing secret about it either. You familiarize yourself with the sword on your first lesson, learn your posture on your second, and how much force to use on your third... It's all the same no matter where you go.
And I learned it myself years ago.
Liskarm Hold on, didn't you just say it's used by the upper-classes?
Franka Right. I... used to be something of a fancy-pants girl myself.
My hometown's called Givogia. Big city in Columbia. Never heard of it, I'm guessing?
Liskarm Yeah...
Franka That's because it was destroyed in a Catastrophe when I was thirteen.
<Flashback starts here>
Catastrophe Imminent.png
Young Franka Daddy... Daddy...
Mother Don't! Franka! Don't go over there!
<Flashback ends here>
<Background 3>
Franka My dad disappeared during the disaster. My mom and I just happened to be out in the countryside at the time.
When we saw the Catastrophe clouds, we headed back right away, but... There was nothing left but ruins, buildings torn apart by Originium crystals.
With the insurance payout plus our savings, we had enough to move to another city, but my mom soon got very sick from overwork.
So as soon as I graduated, I put my old fencing skills to work and became a mercenary—then I met Dr. Longfellow.
As for what happened next, you've seen it all in my file at Blacksteel.
Liskarm ......
Franka Oh, now that's not the face I was expecting! Don't worry, that was all a little joke~
Liskarm Why, you vixen—!
Franka Alright, alright, don't get your panties in a bunch. That did actually happen. Seriously.
That look you had just now was really rude, though.
Liskarm I'm sorry, I—
Franka It's okay. That was years ago. I've long since put it behind me. My mom's been sick for years, too. I was more than prepared for it.
If you really feel bad about it, how about you treat me to tea?
<Background black>
This was why. This was exactly why I didn't want to tell anyone. I didn't want anyone looking at me with pity like that.
But... now that I've told her everything, it doesn't seem so important anymore.
It's all in the past. Should I be looking toward the future then?
<Background 2>
Liskarm Franka.
Franka Excuse me? Miss Teacher's Pet wants to talk to me on the road?
Or are you still hung up on something... What's this?
Liskarm I'm granting you a three month time-off. I think you need more time to get your head sorted out.
It'll be summer in a month. You can either choose to take it easy, or maybe go some place for a vacation.
Now, if you'll excuse me.
Franka ......
<Background fades out>
So you still remember my plans to go travelling.
What a unique way to comfort someone. It's just like you, though.
Maybe that future I've been looking forward to is... already here?
<Background fades in>
Franka Hey, Teacher's Pet... What do you say to coming on that vacation with me?
<Background fades out>
This is a letter that has been opened many, many times—
Young Franka
I got the money you sent me, but my treatment really doesn't cost that much. You don't have to keep sending me more.
My condition is still pretty stable. At the very least, I can still write this letter myself, so you really don't have to worry.
Remember to buy yourself some pretty dresses and jewelry. If you ever see anything you like, just buy it. Doll yourself up, and you'll feel better, trust me.
And if you still have any money left over, save it. It's dangerous to be a mercenary your whole life. You should retire as soon as you can afford to.
I was still so young when your father died. There were so many things I never had the chance to enjoy.
All the places I've never visited, all the foods I've never tasted, all the entertainment I've never had the chance to experience... You have to enjoy them for me. That's much more important than my health.
Oh, and of course the most important thing is that you're happy.
Finally... It's been three years since I last saw you, Sweetheart. When will you come home to pay me a visit?
Your loving mother