Liskarm: Still Waiting

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Operator Record
Still Waiting
Liskarm icon.png

After leaving home, one longs to protect the rebirth of one's origin.

Unlock conditions

  • Raise Liskarm to Elite 2 Level 60.
  • Have 200% Trust with Liskarm.
Characters
Backgrounds
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RI Corridor
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Jessica wants to learn more about Vouivre after reading a novel that takes place there, and only Liskarm is familiar with the present situation in the country. To her surprise, Liskarm is far more than just "familiar" with the happenings there.
<Background 1>
Vanilla What of... my tribe...?
Liskarm Right, and I apologize if I shouldn't have asked.
Vanilla Oh, it's nothing special. Is there something about us you wanted to know?
Liskarm Yes, actually, I have been doing some... research.
Vanilla Something that has to do with my tribe?
I don't remember us ever having all that much to do with anyone though...
I could probably count all the mercenaries and merchants that passed through our land before I left on just one hand, and let's not even mention those tribes that intentionally stayed away from the rest of us.
Liskarm What I want to know is what life was like for you outside the Vouivre Alliance's territory.
There is very little literature on the subject, and given how chaotic everything is, it's not easy to get to the bottom of everything with each and every tribe...
It's just as you said before. These tribes are practically isolated from the rest of the world.
Vanilla I don't really mind.
But why are you interested in this?
All I can think of is the endless desert, the dry weather, and the hunger there... and the survival techniques I learned just to survive.
Liskarm I thought I might find these things helpful.
I mean no harm.
I'm just doing some investigation into everything that has to do with the Vouivre Alliance.
Vanilla Are you thinking about going back to Vouivre?
Liskarm I-I'm not planning on it. At least not right now.
In the future, though...
Anyway, tell me about the kind of food that your tribe eats, how you cook and train, and what your husbandry techniques are like.
<Background 2>
[Vanilla is spacing out just as Jessica walks and bumps into her.]
Jessica Ah...!
Sorry, sorry! I didn't mean to bump into you. Did that hurt...?
Vanilla It's okay. I don't get hurt very easily.
Huh? Jessica!
Jessica Oh, hey there... Vanilla.
Vanilla Are you busy with something?
Jessica It's nothing that important. I'm just...
I'm going to Liskarm's to return a book I borrowed from her.
Vanilla A book?
I'm so jealous. Both you and Liskarm have read a lot of books, right?
Reading so many words at once is still kinda difficult for me...
What kind of book did you read, Jessica?
Jessica It's about Vouivre.
Vanilla Vouivre? What about Vouivre?
Oh, could it be one of those old classics, like the "Vouivre Agricultural Techniques"–?
Jessica Sorry to rain on your parade, but...
It's a romance novel that takes place during the Vouivre War.
Vanilla A romance novel... about the Vouivre?
Jessica That's right.
The flames of war rage... as the battles come to a standstill...
During this time of chaos when all the mercenary groups are vying for dominance, the female lead charges into her lover's mercenary unit all by herself just to ask for his captain's permission for them to elope...!
Vanilla Is this a true story? Which mercenary group is that–
Jessica It's probably just loosely based on real life... I guess.
Vanilla Well, that's odd. Most people's impression of the Vouivre is that they're all big mercenary lunks.
Here I thought no one would be interested in stories about Vouivre.
Jessica Haha... I think it's a pretty good book.
After reading it, I kind of want to visit Vouivre, if I ever get the chance.
Vanilla, what should I do if I get to visit?
Vanilla You want to visit Vouivre?
Jessica Is that... weird?
Vanilla If you want to know what it's like to live in hell, I could be your bodyguard there and take you around.
Jessica I-Is it that bad?
Vanilla Where I used to live, the people haven't even heard of things like toilets, bathrooms, and kitchens. The whole place's just an endless desert.
Jessica Ugh... I'm not sure I could get by there...
Vanilla Oh, but Liskarm's from an Alliance-controlled area. That might be closer to the stuff you read about in the book.
Well, unlike where I used to live, the enemy there isn't nature itself. They contend with the even greater chaos of society there.
Jessica The Alliance's territory is more chaotic than the outside...? That's not something they ever talk about in the book.
Vanilla Honestly, I don't really know what it's like in there.
Liskarm asked me about life back home before, and when we started talking about it, she said it wasn't all that peaceful of a place.
I spent most of my childhood with my tribe, and it was always a struggle between life and death, but I did get to live pretty free, aside from all that.
But the adults also told me that Vouivre was a mess.
Hmm... I don't really know much more, so maybe you should go ask Liskarm.
She just asked me not too long ago how life was with my tribe, too.
Jessica Huh? Really?
Vanilla I'm sure she could explain Vouivre much better than me.
That romance part, though...
Tell me more about that next time.
Jessica I'd be glad to, if you're interested.
(I'm so curious about Vouivre right now because of the book.)
(But... I really didn't know that's how Vanilla saw the place.)
(It sounds much worse than the book makes it out to be.)
(What about Liskarm? I wonder what she thinks of her homeland...)
<Background 1>
[Jessica knocks the door.]
Jessica Excuse me, Liskarm? It's Jessica.
Liskarm ......
Jessica Liskarm?
Liskarm I'm here. Come in.
I'm drying my hair. Wait there for a moment.
Jessica Okay.
[Jessica enters the room.]
Jessica (Whoa... Compared to the last time I was here, there's so many books.)
(So many reports, too.)
(Liskarm's not just amazing in battle. She's also so knowledgeable. Plus, she's always so serious...)
Hm? What's this report here...?
"A Survey of the Popularity and Reputation of Mercenary Groups within the Vouivre Alliance?"
And this. "On the Tribes of the Vouivre Region..." I found it...!
Liskarm What did you find?
Jessica Eep! I-I'm sorry, Liskarm. I shouldn't have looked...!
Liskarm Phew– I was just taking a shower after training.
Did you need something from me, Jessica? If I remember correctly...
Jessica I... I'm here to return the novel I borrowed from you.
Liskarm Just leave it on the table. I'll take care of it.
Jessica Okay.
Liskarm Huh? This book...
Jessica I-Is there a problem?
Liskarm No... I'm probably just mistaken...
If you borrowed it from me and you're bringing it back now, it's not an issue.
Jessica *Whimper*... Thanks, Liskarm.
......
Then...
Liskarm Something on your mind, Jessica...?
Jessica I... Yeah...
Liskarm Now, don't be so reserved. Take a seat.
This isn't Blacksteel. You don't need to try to be so polite around me.
We are friends, aren't we?
Jessica Liskarm...
......
Liskarm I see... So you don't trust me...
Jessica O-Of course I trust you. O-Okay...!
Liskarm Ha.
You haven't changed at all, Jessica.
Jessica I'm trying my best...
Liskarm There's a tough side to you, and unlike before, you know how to bring that part of you out now.
But well...
You freak out whenever you're scared. That hasn't changed.
Jessica *Whimpers*... You make fun of me just like Franka does now.
Liskarm Oh, no, I'm not as much of a meanie as her.
Jessica Right... No, I mean... That's not what I meant!
Franka isn't really that much of a meanie, but she always pranks the rest of us all of a sudden–
Liskarm –And her jokes are terrible.
Jessica ......
Liskarm Ahem... Okay, I'll try not to badmouth her. You wouldn't know how to respond otherwise.
So, was there something on my shelf that caught your eye just now?
Jessica Well, I guess it wasn't a book that I was interested in... It's more like Vouivre itself that I'm trying to know more about.
Liskarm Vouivre?
Jessica After I finished the novel, I wanted to know more about the story's setting.
You've been looking into Vouivre and the organizations there, right?
Liskarm Hm? How'd you know?
Jessica Sorry, I... I saw the report on your desk just now.
And I also heard...
Liskarm Well... These reports aren't really anything that special.
It's just... a habit of mine.
I was born in Vouivre, after all.
It wasn't until I'd left that I started to understand what a difficult situation my homeland is in... and what that actually meant for people outside.
But there is nothing I can do about the status quo.
All I can do is to understand what is going on there to the best of my ability and to think about what I might do about it.
Jessica I remember now. You told me before at Blacksteel.
That Vouivre needs a PMC that's different than the other ones.
Liskarm Thinking back... I must've been so rash and naive for even coming up with that idea.
Jessica I-I think it's great to be ambitious!
I mean, it was you who plucked me out of the Equipment Department and asked me to join your team.
It was only because of your advice that I came here to Rhodes Island. I wouldn't have changed so much otherwise.
Back there, I didn't have any friends I could open up to, not to mention dreams.
I've always been very thankful of you, Liskarm. J-Just like How Franka found Vanilla–
Liskarm Franka actually looked at all the recruits to find Vanilla.
All I did was run a few searches on the Blacksteel roster. That's all it took to find you.
You have such amazing potential. It was a waste for you to work in Equipment Testing.
*Sigh*...
Jessica *Sigh*...
All those days gone by... They're all some really great memories... Yeah.
Liskarm Looking back, I was just far too naive.
I thought I could start my own PMC as soon as I figured out the way Blacksteel operates.
For the past few years, all I've ever paid attention to was Blacksteel's expansion.
Jessica If that was your goal all along, why did you go to the Biochemistry Department?
Liskarm I had a few bottlenecks...
It's all pretty clear to me in hindsight, but everything was just a haze to me back then.
The things that Blacksteel asked of me just didn't seem to be anything like the "peace" I had in mind. I was always hesitating during my missions.
That contradiction tormented me. If Dr. Longfellow hadn't assigned me to Biochemistry, I probably would still be tormenting myself.
......
Jessica... We've been working in Rhodes Island for a while now. What do you think of this place?
Jessica I-I feel honored to be here!
I get to keep working with you and Franka, and I've changed a lot ever since I got here.
Back at Blacksteel, I just didn't have any friends I could open up to.
But I have a lot of friends here who will hear me out... and I've gotten a lot of help from everyone.
I think coming to Rhodes Island has got to be one of the most important things that ever happened to me!
Liskarm Yeah... That's good.
Jessica What about you, Liskarm? That reminds me. You and Franka were the first two Blacksteel employees who came to Rhodes Island, right?
Liskarm A-Ahem.
Right. Back then...
Jessica You two just left without saying a word. I was so nervous.
I was so worried you were abandoning us.
It wasn't until later that I heard you were transferred to Rhodes Island with Franka.
Liskarm Well, what else could I have done? She was my one and only partner...
Besides, I just didn't understand how Blacksteel did things back then. I was perhaps even more confused than you.
And I'd shelved my goals for a good while too.
Jessica You don't mean... that Blacksteel has some dark secrets...!
Liskarm I think Blacksteel is a good company.
It's just... I guess I started seeing things differently at some point.
I thought Blacksteel had a different philosophy than the other mercenary groups out there, and I thought that was the best way to unite all the disorganized mercenaries in Vouivre, to fix the way they live.
Yet reality and my beliefs are two separate matters. My principles and actions don't always line up with each other either.
Jessica I... I think so too...
Blacksteel's operations help maintain the peace where it operates, but that peace is on the surface only.
It wasn't until I came to Rhodes Island that I understood things can actually be far grimmer.
Liskarm That's also why I never talk about those ideas I had anymore. They're way too foolish.
Rather than a security company that focuses only on opportunities, I think it's far more important to focus on your personal mission and responsibility.
Jessica, have you heard that, though deadlocked, Vouivre is still at war, and how it is completely disorganized?
Jessica I heard some stories about it before, but now that I've finished this book...
I want to learn more about Vouivre.
Liskarm I used to think that perhaps the people out there just didn't know how to help Vouivre out of the hole it's found itself in.
It wasn't until I'd left and joined Blacksteel that I realized hardly anyone even knew how hard life was in Vouivre, or should I say... no one cared.
But I still wanted to make my homeland a safe place to life.
I want to make it a place where people from Vouivre would want to go back. I want to bring everyone together, to turn it into a place that can defend itself even without the PMCs outside.
Jessica I heard you babble about how Vouivre needs a security company to bring it peace while you were drunk one time. Is this what that was all about...?
Liskarm That was just drunk talk!
I just started putting together these data on Vouivre not too long ago...
G-Gathering intel is just a habit of mine. It's got nothing to do with ambitions or whatever!
So don't make fun of me...
Jessica I wouldn't! I am sure you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.
From the moment I first met you, I've never seen you slack off, whether it was back in Blacksteel or here in Rhodes Island.
Although you've been drinking with Franka a lot more ever since you came here.
Liskarm That's all her fault.
She said she was going to fix how deadpan I was, and this was the way she went about it...!
Jessica But I think you live a much more fulfilling life now.
You smile a lot more too.
I think... Franka changed you for the better...
Liskarm ......
She may have become infected, but she's still trying to make her life more delightful.
She's serious when it's time to be serious, and she enjoys life whenever it's the right time to.
If we were still at Blacksteel, she wouldn't have that luxury. Blacksteel doesn't give its Infected members that kind of treatment...
And don't even ask if they'd let us stay together as partners.
Even though Franka got infected, she was still able to think about how to live her life to the fullest.
On the other hand, I... I'm nothing compared to her.
Jessica But haven't you already found your goal, Liskarm?
You want to go back home, and to bring peace and change to Vouivre.
I know you'd definitely give it a lot more thought than me. I-I'm sure of it!
Liskarm I'm... still not strong enough.
I don't have a clear goal like Franka does.
I still don't have the slightest clue what I'd have to do to start a new organization and run the whole shop myself.
Even so, I know it's definitely possible to bring change to Vouivre with the power I have.
I really think so.
Jessica I'm sure it is!
Vanilla told me that Vouivre has lots of special dances and food, and even though life may be pretty simple for the tribes in the outskirts... they are all very hopeful about the future.
Liskarm Looks like you're getting all hyped up about Vouivre again.
Jessica Well, I mean... both the story and the protagonist are really special in this book.
I'm sure stories that take place in Vouivre will become more and more popular.
I... I even want to pay Vouivre a visit, actually. Just once.
Liskarm Of course... If I have time, I could take you around and be your bodyguard.
Jessica Not even you too, Liskarm... *Whimpers*... Is Vouivre such a scary place?
Liskarm Right now? It's way too dangerous.
Coming across bandits is the least of your worries. If you found yourself caught in a fight between the mercenaries there...
Jessica T-That's a little...
Liskarm That being said, Vouivre will become a place that's worth paying a visit, Jessica.
When that happens, you won't need a bodyguard. You'll be able to travel through the countryside, the wilderness, and the cities freely.
And to make that happen...
<Background fades out and in>
[Franka enters the room.]
Franka *Yawns*... Hey, Liskarm, you there?
Liskarm Who told you to just come in without knocking–
Franka What'cha writing?
Liskarm Don't just go looking at my report.
Franka Hm? What's this? A novel?
Liskarm Don't just start rummaging through my bookshelf either.
Franka "Vouivre Love..." Oh, isn't this–
Liskarm I knew it. This is yours.
Franka Isn't this the romance novel I left in your room?
So you really didn't care for it, huh...?
It's such an emotional story. Kinda makes me want to start a book club about it.
So you never so much as opened it after I lent it to you?
Liskarm Jessica borrowed it from me the other day, and she just returned it.
Franka Well, I'll talk to Jessica about it, then. I'm never recommending books to you ever again, you party pooper.
Liskarm Hmph, it's just a made up story. There's no reason to read it.
Franka You know, this is the hottest romance epic among girls right now, and it's one of the few stories out there that takes place in Vouivre.
I guess it's kinda weird to have someone from Vouivre read a Columbian novel about Vouivre, but still.
I actually wouldn't mind hearing you criticize how different the book is from the real life over there.
Liskarm Well, I can tell you at the very least that your favorite part, the part where they keep sending letters to each other, is never going to happen there.
Franka Tch.
Liskarm But well... After she finished the book, Jessica now knows a lot of the places and names there.
She's also very curious about Vouivre now. Even borrowed quite a few of my research reports.
Franka That's the kind of power that novels have.
Liskarm Yeah, I guess I could research it from a cultural perspective.
Franka You know, you really aren't a romantic at all.
Liskarm We just aren't interested in the same genres.
If you'd brought me some sci-fi...
Franka That's got no romance in it at all.
Liskarm It's weaponry and equipment research! Anything wrong with that?!
A-Anyway, did you need me for something?
Franka Hm... What was it again?
Liskarm What?
Franka Just kidding.
We got a new mission. Mutant Originium Slugs.
I was kinda thinking I could just take this mission on by myself or not tell you at all, and you'd be so mad.
Liskarm ......
Franka So how about it? Wanna come join me on the hunt?
Liskarm (Breathes in)
(Breathes out)
Yeah.
I just finished this report.
Franka Alrighty then.
Liskarm Well–
Let's get going already.