Cutscene: Tabula Rasa

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Characters: Kyo Taimiev, Izo Imaizumi

Friday, October 12, 2012
Yumezaki Municipal Hospital


"I didn't forget everything, despite appearances. I didn't forget anything at all, in fact."

The voice is as steady as the constant drip of the IV. It relates more than it speaks, slow and unhurried and toneless save for its air of gentle explanation. This is the twentieth visit Kyo Taimiev has made to Izo Imaizumi's hospital room. It is the first time, in all those visits, he has said a word.

"I still remember all those new things I learned. All those new emotions I had never felt before... layered over the few I'd already had. I don't feel any of them anymore-- not really. Not if I don't want to. I packaged them all up in compartments. Stored data. Things I can decipher, understand, reference. Useful information..."

Kyo exhales. His eyes close, as if to read that information off the backs of his eyelids. "...Catalogued responses. Here's the emotions I had, reacting to finding Yisa in her own blood. The emotions I had, reacting to the realization she can never be fixed, that to be with her I'll have to rejoin her..."

He leans closer. His eyes open to amber slits, just enough so he can see Izo's shortened finger. The irezumi swirled around the needle in his arm. The sight weights the corners of his mouth with dissatisfaction, creating the barest hint of a frown. "The emotions I had, reacting to you telling me I'd never escape paying for the person I used to be, anyway. And after you gave me such hope that I could..."

The clock on the wall ticks on, slicing time in neat and pitiless increments. With equal precision, Kyo organizes his own thoughts before continuing, matching emotion to reasoning to response.

"I keep them on a leash now," he explains eventually, once the sorting is complete. "Much safer."

His eyes reopen fully, their color a little more yellow than before. "Still, because of them, I am more than I was before. And I think, because of them, because of that machine-- because, in part, of you-- I made the first true choice of my life. Since then, everything I have done has been much more... volitional." Kyo's mouth shapes the word, tasting each syllable, examining it as if searching for that last sliver of its meaning that he has not yet managed to sample. "Not driven by hunger. Not driven by fear. Not driven by anything except my own will. I form decisions through deliberation now. I do nothing without a thought behind it."

Kyo stands up. His voice drones patiently on, even as he injects something slowly into Izo's intravenous line. "This is just the latest of the many decisions I have made."

The syringe empties of its black, swirling liquid. Kyo tucks it back into his jacket. Then, he checks his phone. Friday, October 12th. Just in time-- if all else falls into place.

"Nothing else has worked so far, Izo," Kyo murmurs. "The doctors only say to wait. Well, I am tired of waiting. I need you awake, not lying here in this endless martyrdom. Now, I admit... I don't know if this will work as I think it will. But we'll find out soon. Won't we?"

Usually, Kyo would smile after such a remark. He does not smile now.

"No more pain, Izo," he only says. "No more sleeping. No more of my debt to you. A god has no debts. His slate is clean."

Kyo straightens up, and takes his jacket, and moves for the door. At his back, the Cintamani drains into Izo's veins, its dark whorls vanishing without a trace.

"I never told her," is the last thing Kyo says. "I kept that promise, too."

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