I've been working like mad the last week or so on rewriting Rikuzentakata, my NaNoWriMo project from 2012, and thought I'd share a little excerpt.
Rookie mecha pilot Enokido Harumi has gone to a renowned senior pilot known as Shirofune, on behalf of Captain Suetomi Yoji Kishin, the legendary Fierce God of Aomori, to ask Shirofune's help in defending a little town named Rikuzentakata...
Shirofune nodded, just a little bob of her head. “Suetomi-sama is facing a dark time. Going asynchronous is a trial everyone who has been touched by the Presence within the sync hubs must face. Some, by merit of special mightiness or uncanny luck, endure this trial without any particular difficulty. Others are utterly destroyed by it, especially if they feel they have unfinished business in the Show, debts yet to be repaid. Suetomi-sama has accomplished a great many things—things that many would consider impossible. The people of Japan, through their faith in him, transformed Suetomi-sama from a man into a legend, and the weight of the title they have bestowed upon him is very heavy indeed. Surely you can understand that his worldview has been skewed by all of this.”
I nodded. “Do you really think there is an Omega coming to Rikuzentakata?”
“I do not know,” Shirofune admitted. “Even if there was, I am only a special warrant officer of the Titan Corps. As trivial and wasteful as it is, I have been assigned this post here, and certainly the people of Kamaishi are no less deserving of protection than those in Rikuzentakata.”
My heart sank; I knew what she meant. “So, you can’t help us?”
Shirofune shook her head, just enough to make the bells in her side-locks jingle a little. “Suetomi-sama wishes for me to pass the word along, so I will. But I will remain here.”
“What about the others?” I asked. “Nagaoka-san and Tsuchiya-kun and--”
“They will likely be sent north soon,” Shirofune said. “Until then, they will defend Kamaishi. They will not find their destiny in Rikuzentakata.”
“Will you reconsider, ma’am?” I asked, even though I feared that in asking that I was going too far. “A titled pilot like you--”
“Is still only a pilot,” Shirofune said with finality. “Return to Rikuzentakata, Harumi-chan. Tell Suetomi-sama that Teshigawara Mio sends her love. Tell him I will spread the word, as he asks. And tell him that it is long past time for him to stop being Kishin, and go back to just being Suetomi Yôji. All things must end.”