Recoil (Yuna Kagurazaka)

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Recoil (Yuna Kagurazaka)
Date of Cutscene: 27 June 2015
Location: Residential Ponyville (Equestria-1)
Synopsis: Yuna's experiences fighting the Sonic Chaos Titan have left deep marks on her heart - marks which she's been managing to hide from others. But they're still there, and taking a growing toll ...
Cast of Characters: 385

With a cry of mixed revulsion and fear, Yuna bolts awake, sitting up in a cold sweat as her brain starts piecing her surroundings together.

She's not in El-Line's cockpit; she's in a cottage in Ponyville. Beneath her is a straw-filled mattress; not the most comfortable bedding, but comfortable enough for either human or pony. And after a moment's flailing, Yuna realizes or remembers that she's in her Equestrian unicorn body, not her natural human body.

With a weak moan, the idol singer flops back down on the mattress, closing her eyes. The curtains of her cottage are still drawn tightly, but it seemed to be daylight outside. "What time is it?" she mumbles.

"About two in the afternoon," Elner replies. "Yuna, are you all right?"

"Just a bad dream," Yuna mumbles at the robo-faerie, laying a foreleg over her eyes. "Saturday, isn't it ... ?"

"If it were 'just' a bad dream, you wouldn't have needed a Saturday to try to catch up on sleep. You haven't slept through the night in more than a week now ... are the nightmares getting worse?"

Hidden under her foreleg, Yuna's eyebrow twitches slightly. "What nightmares?" she lies.

Elner isn't remotely fooled. "You're still blaming yourself ..." the robo-faerie begins.

"Shouldn't I?" Yuna moves her foreleg out of the way, looking at Elner but unable to muster the emotional force for a proper glare, or even a glower. "I took the easy way out -"

"It was the only option -"

"I should have tried harder!!" Yuna shouts abruptly, fumbling out of bed, nearly crashing to the floor before she gets her feet under her. "I'm not supposed to take the easy way out, remember?! I'm supposed to be the Savior of Light; how can I call myself the 'savior' of ANYTHING if I let myself say somebody can't be saved!?"

"Yuna." Elner's voice is quiet and calm, but it's still enough to stifle Yuna's frenzied emotions. "There were hundreds of individuals who had been forcibly integrated into that Chaos Titan - physically integrated in nearly all cases, perhaps mentally integrated in a number of them. Freeing them would have taken a protracted physical effort to cut them free, and without advanced medical support, there's no telling how many would have died in the process or shortly after. Their mental wounds were far worse - who's to say how many of them could have been saved in the first place?"

Yuna turns away from Elner, trotting over to the sink to splash some water on her face. "So I shouldn't have tried? You're just trying to make me feel like I did the right thing ..."

"Not 'shouldn't' have, Yuna. You could not have done any more than -"

"... stop lying, Elner."

The robo-faerie falls completely silent.

Yuna turns the water back off with a sigh. "We're going to lose the war, aren't we?"

Elner's optics flicker briefly, its closest equivalent to blinking in confusion. "There's little evidence to support that theory ..."

"Don't treat me like a complete airhead, Elner," Yuna sighs. "I thought you were smarter than that. But - we keep losing, or just barely holding the line. The Confederacy attacks ruthlessly, we just barely hang on at best ... it may take centuries, we may not be here to see it, but ... how can we win? How can the Light win when the Darkness never stops?!"

"You know the answer already, Yuna," Elner says, staying calm in spite of Yuna's abrupt explosion. "Or at least you know a part of it. Remember the principles that you wanted to organize Starlit Hearts around? 'Called to be defenders, not destroyers' ..."

"Is that even going to be enough?" Yuna shakes her head, then turns to look at Elner. "If the Darkness attacks so violently that we can't even defend precious people and places ... if we can't protect anything -"

"Don't say that, Yuna. You of all people have to hold on strongly to hope." Elner's voice doesn't hint at its rising fear; too many other Saviors of Light have started following this line of reasoning, and Elner has seen repeatedly that it has only one possible outcome if she can't be persuaded to abandon it in time. "You're supposed to be a symbol, the Queen of Light's champion -"

"'A lone champion, a beacon of Hope and Light to stand against the looming Darkness,'" Yuna quotes from one of Ryudia's lessons on Ruliezes. "That was in our own universe, where the Queen of Darkness was the single biggest threat ..." She trails off, hanging her head.

"You're not alone in the Union," Elner reminds her. "You have friends, a lot of them - you have friends who aren't even in the Union. And you need to talk to them. Even if you're not going to talk about your nightmares, or about the Sonic Chaos Titan, you NEED to talk to somebody. Friendship has always been your greatest source of strength; closing yourself off from your friends is only going to leave you hurting worse." The robo-faerie flits over to a window, and by using a wingtip, pulls the curtains back to admit the afternoon sunlight. "You haven't eaten anything today. Get a snack to tide you over until supper, and spend some time out and about - in Ponyville, back on Njorun Station, somewhere. Anywhere that isn't being cooped up in this cottage."

Yuna's tail flicks back and forth as she squints against the sunlight. "Anywhere, huh?"

"Anywhere with people you can talk to," Elner amends. Sitting around on a desolate asteroid out in the Void won't help Yuna; she needs to be with friendly faces and voices, not alone with her thoughts. "I'll get Jiina and her sisters to help with cleaning while you're out. - Don't forget your bag," the robo-faerie adds, flitting over to the duffle that Yuna's been keeping packed for when she leaves Equestria.

"I'm staying in town for now," Yuna says, slightly overwhelmed. "If I decide to head through the warpgate, I'll let you know so you can bring it before I go through." She heads out the door ...

And Elner lets out a sigh of relief. Crisis averted, seemingly ... at least for now.