The Business of War

RPD War Journals 6


((occurs during the worldwide shutdown))

"Although there is little evidence to support what we have heard, the defendant has already confessed to committing a crime against humanity, as well as conspiracy, treason, and parricide. This international court finds the defendant guilty."

"Death! Give him death!"

"Make him pay in blood!"


"However! We must recall that the defendant had surrendered himself peacefully, and that in the end he had ultimately helped to fix the problem he had created. He also shows complete remorse for everything he has done. Shiken Max, I sentence you not to death, but to a life in complete solitary confinement. That is all. This court is adjourned!"


That's how he had gotten into that tiny, dark cell. Then, fast-forward to the beginning of the war, he was suddenly given a complete pardon to fight and act as advisor in the RPD. His trial from 6 months ago was kept a secret, and to this day the public knew nothing about him.

But why was he remembering all of this now?

He felt strange. As if he were completely weightless, contrary to his heavy and bulky armor. That's when he realized he was in a location he always frequented in his illusions- a blank, white plane of nothingness. But why was he here? The last thing he remembered was being about to leave Canberra, talking to the Captain...

"Well, well, who would have thought we'd meet from this?"

A voice he thought he would never hear again. Yet there she was, looking over at him and smiling. He tried to say something, but found that he couldn't.

"You've been shutdown," she said to answer his thoughts. His heart felt like it could give out. "Don't worry, it's just a light one. I'm not sure, but.... Maybe.... When you transform into a robot, this is where the human part of you goes. That could explain why you're here. As for why I'm here... I don't know. Or maybe this is all a dream.... It's all quite the anomaly."

There was a pause. For a long time they stood silently, and Makenshi thought all of this was just an illusion, expecting her to disappear at any given moment. But she didn't. And besides, this was going to be as close as he could get at being with her.... Most likely for the last time. Finally, he summoned the strength to speak.

"I.. never got the chance to tell you I'm sorry... For not protecting you. I should have been-"

She hushed him. "No, Makenshi. It wasn't your fault. None of it was. To this day I have no regrets for what I did. Because I did it for you... And your friends."

"But I've still done so many horrible things, one after another...."

"That was all in the past. It wasn't you. You had another chance at life, and that's when "Makenshi" was born. The other Shiken Max, the one who had committed those crimes.... That Shiken Max is in the Scissor Army right now."

"It can't be that simple, though. I can't just write off my past self as a completely different person. There's nothing I can do to atone for what I-"

"Listen.... You are not Shiken Max, but you are Makenshi. One day you'll understand what that really means. You've done enough atoning already, so please, just let everything go... For now... For me..."

"That's strange. The shutdown was completely reversed, right? So why isn't this one waking up?

"They're calling for you, Makenshi."

"Wait...! I want to stay here!"

The girl shook her head. "You made a promise, didn't you? A promise to another person..."

And she was gone.



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