[Story] Broken Angel

A (very late, everything I do is late nowadays) writing prompt from 2DT last week, “how the angel drowned my spark“. This time it’s using the characters from my novel again, taking place about half a year before the novel does (though the small part at the end is set during the novel). It’s told from Claribel’s point of view (though I’m not sure I’ll make it canon, not sure the mindset in this story fits with her character) and is related to a previous prompt, The Curse of the Reaper that was Flan’s backstory. 

Again, please read, enjoy, and leave some feedback!

I guess you could say I’m almost perfect.
My grades were always at the top without even trying, and my parents were always pleased with everything I did.
You can throw any sport at me and I’ll be pretty decent at it too.
I had a happy life, and whenever a little problem came up it would sort itself out somehow.
Until I joined Anaheim.

“The hell is this?! Doc said he found a good test pilot, but you’re no better than any of them.” The red haired demon yelled as she opened the hatch of my Devastator exoskeleton. She’s barely older than I am, yet I have to be her subordinate? And all these older people follow her perfectionist whims.
“It just tipped over-”
“Of course it’s gonna tip over if you land clumsily like that!”
I hated this bitch. Who the hell does she think she is? I’m in a freaking hunk of metal and she expects me to dance around like a ballerina?
“Why don’t you give it a try then?!” I wish I never said that. She quickly slid and inserted her limbs into the mecha’s slots, settling in behind the closing hatches. In a blink she had darted off across the field, unpredictably switching directions with each step. The gun roared, and a paint bullet striked the target. She jumped around a few times, painting a dot on each target. It was as if the heavy exoskeleton was all a natural extension to her body.
She had humiliated me in front of all the engineers on the field. It didn’t matter that it was my own retort, I hated her for being so damn perfect.
I hated how the angel drowned my spark.

After talking with a few engineers, it turned out that I was actually a part of a very small minority that hated her. Most of them had a lot of respect for her. The genius that took over her father’s division three years ago, completed the electromagnetic railguns and refined the Devastators to a point that they were useable on the battlefield.
She was always all about business, and demanding to the point of being called the Scarlet Reaper. I heard there was a deeper meaning behind the Reaper name, but I didn’t care. I hated her guts.
One day I became careless and let my thoughts about her slip in front of a colleague.
“She’s far from perfect.” he said. “In a way, you can say that she’s broken. Time stopped for her. You know how soldiers that saw a lot of death have a distinct aura around them? Not even the most battle worn veterans come close to hers.”
What a bunch of crap.

A few weeks later, I saw her sitting alone with a knife in her hands. She wasn’t really doing anything with it, just… rubbing it, caressing it, twirling it around. There was a long scar on her left hand and arm – was that self-inflicted?
As I looked into her eyes, I was entranced. I started to understand what the engineer said. And I wondered. What affected this person? What was hidden in her past?
She noticed me, and for a moment our eyes connected. Through some unknown reflex, I felt something well up in my chest and had to run away. I broke down crying when I was alone. I wasn’t feeling sad, but I felt sad now. But it wasn’t my sadness. It was hers. The tears that were flowing out weren’t mine, but belonged to the girl who couldn’t cry anymore.
After that day, she didn’t seem perfect anymore. I wasn’t as intimidated, and she seemed almost human – just almost. She didn’t seem to have a heart.
I took an interest in her, and stuck to her closely. I wanted to observe her. I wanted to know more about her.

.

.

.

“Hi Aoi!” I said as I skipped into the shop.
“Oh hi Claribel!” Aoi replied.
I saw her sitting at the bar. Stretching out my arms, I ran to her. “Flaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan-ack!” Her hand reached out to meet my face, stopping me from getting towards her.
“Why are you being so clingy again?” Flan asked.
“Aoiiiiii Flan’s being mean!”
“Come on Flan, let her cling to you once in a while.” Aoi giggled as she said so. “I know you like it!”
“What, no, I don-” Flan let her guard down, and I quickly went in to hug and cling on to her. She looked away as she resigned herself to her fate, and Aoi smiled her approval. Even if you say you’re the reaper, I’ll spark some life back into you, Flan.