The Hard Choices (Hunt) Aug 26, 2018 4:11:10 GMT
Post by Tadayoshi Teppei and Silence on Aug 26, 2018 4:11:10 GMT
After the complete botch that was Devidramon's assassination, which ended in the discovery of Commandramon's old hideout by the village, it seemed his crusade was crushed; most of his old allies had been captured or destroyed, and if any remained it was very doubtful they were in a position to contact Commandramon. They were on the run now, after all, splintered and broken. All of them. Even him. Commandramon got it lucky, however: he had the benefit of outside help in the form Tadayoshi, a mostly untested Xros General who nonetheless was Commandramon's partner at the end of the day, not to mention instrumental in the assassination attempt ending so well as it did, at least compared to how it might have gone otherwise.
"Commandramon?" Tadayoshi had finished setting up camp fairly quickly, for there wasn't much to do but start a fire and hope the elements were friendly, given their supply level was just about 0.
"Good job," the dragon complimented half-heartedly as he sat back against a tree. The compliment was earned, though, given Yoshi's complete lack of outdoor experience. It took some instruction from Commandramon to get it going in the first place. "Keep it low, though. Smoke will give us away if we aren't careful."
"That's now what I want to talk about," Tadayoshi insisted, kneeling before his... well, the 16-year-old boy couldn't be quite sure what to call Commandramon. 'Ally' didn't seem quite right to describe someone he was supposed to be helping for no gain of his own, and yet 'friend' was far too personal given how little these two had really talked to each other about themselves.
In fact, Commandramon once again tried to assume what Tadayoshi had in mind, and quite predictably it had nothing to do with personal business. "No, I don't know if she'll come. If anyone is still on our side, though, she will be. I'm sorry, but I don't know how long we should stay here. All I know is that this clearing is where we would come every week when she had something to report, and today is the day we would normally meet."
"That's not it either... although I noticed the irony of the spy being the one you trust the most."
"She has never given me a reason do distrust her. She acts out of self-interest, but even she has to know the Black Army's atrocities are unconscionable. "
"I guess we'll find out, but, again, I didn't want to talk about that." It was at this point that, from across the fire, Commandramon broke eye contact. Instead he suddenly became much more interested in disassembling his weapon and cleaning it piece by piece. Tadayoshi tried his best not to let this deter him. "Adrian and Rebecca were both really good friends with their digimon, but every time I want to talk about anything besides your goals, you shut down like this! You..." Tadayoshi stood and collected himself; not getting emotional was something of a second-nature skill since long before he met Commandramon. When he resumed speaking, he was as soft and calm as he could be given the circumstances. "I wanna do something good for you, but, I mean... we have a whole lotta time to kill. It'll go a lot faster if we, you know, talk. It beats staring at the sky, doesn't it?" The fact that Commandramon softly sighed seemed to indicate that he agreed, but he also didn't seem to want to initiate either. "Alright, let's compromise here: we'll go old school." Finally, Commandramon raised a curious brow as Yoshi announced, "Would you rather be alone for the rest of your life or surrounded by annoying people the rest of your life?"
"It's a game. You give someone two choices that seem equally good or bad, and the other person has to pick just one. Sometimes you can tell something about the other person based on the answers they give, but I think you can also tell something from the questions they ask. So... which would you rather?"
Commandramon took much longer to answer than Yoshi expected, but at least he humored the boy and answered. "I would rather be alone."
"That tells me you're the kind of person who's content by himself and only keeps people around if he likes them - which I think I'll take as a compliment, thank you very much! So this would be when you ask me a question now."
Again, Commandramon needed time, this time to ponder the question itself rather than an answer to it. "Would you prefer to... lose all of your accumulated memories or the ability to make new memories?" Now it was Yoshi's turn to raise a brow, only this one was accompanied by a small smile.
"Hey, that's actually a good one! But that's an easy one for me. I'll pass on my old memories and keep the new ones."
"Is that so? I got the impression you were having an unpleasant time."
"Correct, but there's not much there to forget. I always just went to school, came home, studied, and went to bed... and not by choice." Tadayoshi didn't want to think about it much more, so he took his turn. "Would you rather be invisible or blind for the rest of your life?"
"Invisibility is easily the better option." That came from a voice Tadayoshi recognized but whose source he couldn't see until it jumped down from a branch above and landed with a much smaller thud and less bending of the knees than the young man thought there would need to be. "A lesson you two haven't taken to heart, judging by the height of your smoke plume." While Commandramon clicked his tongue and began irritably tending the fire, Renamon continued on, "I can't believe you came. I was hoping you'd learned your lesson and moved on, because I'm not here to bring good news this time. I'll only say this once: we're done. I won't turn you in if you leave now, but it's clear which side is the winning side here. I'm not interested in playing war anymore, 'Captain.'" Renamon deployed the tank like it was an insult.
"You know better than to think I'm the kind to give up Renamon," Commandramon calmly retorted just before gesturing to Tadayoshi. "And someone so well-informed as you should know the dangers of crossing a digimon partnered with a human. I can't think of many times when that ended well." Renamon's frown somehow managed to get even more sour. Perhaps she acknowledged this truth? Commandramon began to reassemble the rifle he'd taken apart for cleaning before as he continued, "You may have been good to me in the past, so I accept the offer of one last peaceful meeting and extend the same to you... but if you are on their side when next we meet, you will be on the side against a Xros General and his partner who is only concerned with the present, not the past. But this wouldn't come to pass if you threw your lot in back with us."
"Hmm... there is a third option." Renamon's eyebrows narrowed in Yoshi's direction as she brandished her sharp claws, which made Yoshi rise to his feet and back up behind Commandramon. Just at the same time, though, Commandramon had popped his magazine into place, completing his weapon assembly, and stood up much more calmly.
"Do you trust your odds?" he asked casually as he held his weapon lowered but at the ready. From there it was a standoff, but Commandramon was almost too calm; he believed Renamon might flee but wouldn't dare fight, alone, against a battle-tested digimon and a Xros General with unknown power. "You never liked an even fight. You assassin types are always afraid of a target who isn't sleeping. There's a place for you with us yet... espcially if the Black Army finds out who's been leaking so much information to me. We both know what they do to traitors."
At this point, Tadayoshi was hoping Renamon would turn the offer down and walk away; the last thing the young man wanted at this point was an 'ally' of such dubious allegiance and doubtful integrity. But Renamon, to Tadayoshi's dismay, smirked. "You have a talent for persuasion, Captain." The fox digimon then relaxed and stopped holding her claws out so readily. "You would be a good spy yourself if you cold be a little more..." Renamon thought of the correct word while she eyed the armed, armored dinosaur from the helmet down. "...subtle."
Word count: 1,432
Acquired: Xros partner Renamon.