chrysanthemum in winter

the desolate smell of the earth

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[old!fic] "Questions of Technology" - Star Ocean 3, Nel and Clair
Maria 4P
cybersky wrote in fly_by_contact
Originally written in November 2006, with thanks to gothatheartholo both for the beta job and for giving me the theme to work with (again).

Title: Questions of Technology
Fandom: Star Ocean 3
Characters: Nel and Clair
Rating: G (nothing objectionable)
Summary: Pregame ficlet. After a showing of Aquaria's secret weapon, Nel and Clair find themselves discussing uses for the latest technology.

Disclaimer: I don't own Star Ocean 3 or its characters, nor do I make any money out of this fanwork.


"Dion and Professor Elena have really outdone themselves this time," Clair had said, quietly impressed.

She and Nel were walking down one of the western corridors of Castle Aquaria after a showing of the runological research team's secret weapon in the fabrication room. As the Crimson Blades, they had been the first people outside of the development team to see the Thunder Arrow - a huge cannon that, once fully completed, would be capable of firing powerful beams of thunder by incorporating the latest technological breakthrough: channelled force.

"They sure have," Nel agreed to Clair's earlier comment. "With this new weapon, we might just be able to defeat Airyglyph and win this war."

"I certainly hope so," Clair responded solemnly. "It's been going on for so long now... I'd rather not see any more lives being lost."

They both paused at the front entrance to the castle, for they were leaving for some fresh air, and Nel turned to look at her partner. "You say that, and yet you continue to wield your weapon and command our forces." She only paused for a short moment before speaking again, since she already knew how the silver-haired woman was going to react to having the irony of her own words pointed out to her. "I know what you mean, though. I can't say I want this war to last any longer myself. The sooner it ends, the better it'll be for everyone, and that goes for Airyglyph as well as ourselves."

All Clair said was a quiet "mm" in agreement, and Nel began to suspect that something was bothering her. She was acting rather quiet and distant, as if she had a lot on her mind... and Nel thought she had an idea of why this could be.

Now that they had stepped outside into the city, the redheaded soldier decided that if they were going to talk, they would have to find somewhere more private to do so; after all, their personal concerns were not the business of the commonsfolk, especially if her suspicions were correct. There was also the matter of asking the other woman in a discreet manner; she knew that Clair didn’t necessarily like it when her problems seemed too obvious. It seemed a little silly, considering they had known each other for so long, but the long-haired commander had never been able to help being a little self-conscious.

Her train of thought was interrupted, however, when Clair herself began to speak. "Nel," she whispered, so as not to draw unwanted attention from the civilians, "can we go someplace quieter? There's something I want to talk about."

Nel, not showing her gladness that the problem of trying to be subtle in getting Clair to talk had been solved, gave the other young woman a nod, and with that they made their way eastwards, through the city's streets and then down several flights of stone steps, to a well-vegetated and fairly secluded spot that overlooked the vast body of water surrounding the capital. They set themselves down on the grass facing the lake, Nel sitting with one knee up and both hands on the ground, Clair by her side with her arms wrapped around both knees. There was a short silence before Clair spoke.

"You know what this is about, don't you?" She turned her head to face Nel, looking serious. "I can tell."

The other Crimson Blade, not one to deny the truth, gave a small nod, although she kept her expression neutral. "There's something you don't like about the new weapon, isn't there?"

"Mm." Clair turned her face away again, appearing downcast. "It's not that I don't appreciate the work that Elena and the rest of the team put into it, but... they've come up with these amazing technological innovations, and they're only being used to kill people. Doesn't it bother you?"

Nel considered these words for a moment; she had somewhat realised this herself, but up until now she hadn't really given it much thought. Perhaps she had gotten so sucked into this war, especially since her father's disappearance, that she had difficulty stepping back from recent developments and seeing the same implications that her partner had. Even so, she was thinking about the reasons for the current use of technology as well as words of reassurance for Clair. She had seen the other woman depressed so many times lately... if she didn't do anything to cheer her up, she would start feeling down as well, which wouldn't do anyone any good.

"It can't be helped," she said at last while staring straight ahead. "Airyglyph have been getting more and more relentless with their attacks, and we need whatever resources we can to stop them. With the way things stand at the moment, we just don't have much opportunity to use our technology for anything other than warfare."

Even to her own self, her words sounded too grim, even if they were the truth of the matter. Now some reassurance was definitely called for. She sat up a little more and turned her head to face Clair, her softer expression indicating that what she was going to say next would be more positive. "That's not to say we can't find other uses for the latest technology, though. Actually, if we put our minds to it, we could probably find all sorts of uses that would greatly benefit our country." She gave Clair a small smile, while the other woman was just beginning to look up again. "Do you have any ideas, Clair?"

"Hmm..." Clair pondered the matter. "I've been thinking that since Peterny's been expanding, it's getting more and more difficult for people to get from one end of town to the other. Do you think that we could use channelled force to power a new transport system that could allow fast and easy travel? I'm not completely sure how it would work, but..."

"I'm sure it could work," Nel chipped in, "if the research team can put their minds to it. Besides, I think it's a great idea," she added with a smile, and she was glad to see that her friend's face was beginning to brighten now.

"At least it'll help people," Clair said. "And hopefully there'll be many more uses for our technology that we haven't even begun to think of yet. If we can get that far, our whole country will prosper for a long time to come!"

"That's the spirit," said Nel, beginning to stand up. "We've got to think of our country first and foremost, and how we're going to keep making it better once this is all over. If this war keeps dragging on, we'll never get the opportunity to improve at all. That's why we've got to end it as soon as we can."

"You're right." Clair stood up as well, looking much calmer than she did before as she dusted herself off. "If we're going to win, we have to stay positive and keep our spirits up, and we'll use our resources the best we can to ensure a quick end to it all." She smiled at her friend. "Won't we, Nel?"

"We will," the redhead smiled back in agreement. She then looked out at the sky, noting the position of the sun as an indicator of the time of day. "We've still got about an hour before our next meeting," she said. "Why don't we get something to eat, and take a little walk afterwards?"

Clair nodded, and the two of them moved to walk up the stone steps back into the main city. As they did this, a small point of light like a star travelled slowly across the midday sky.


As with all the old fic I'm reposting, comments and concrit are fine, but bear in mind that I may already be aware of the flaws in these things.


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