Okay, with the sudden influx of intros I thought I'd give mine a shot again.
^_^ I'm much happier with this version, since I think it shows Hane's
personality better.

{} is Navi speaking. Navi is one of Hane's two AIs.
[]is Layline, the other AI. Hane's not an expert at programming, so both AIs
are pretty basic.
<> are thoughts.
// are memories.

Soul Bruises- part 1

{Navi operational. State name please.}

Hane sat in the middle of a complicated bundle of wires, the dim
illumination of a single computer screen the only light in the room. "Hello

{Hello. State name please.}

She grinned, the motion sending shadows over her too pale face. "Hane.
Connect to Layline please, Navi." A second screen flared to life.

[You are now connecting to the Layline. . .

     Layline project activated. State your desire.]

  "Run systems analysis." Hane turned back to the cables that she was
unwinding and plugging in to various computer ports and electrical outlets.
She was dressed in only a plain white shift since she was going to bed right
after she finished, and her hair was done up in a loose braid to keep it
from her face.

[There are no system errors in Layline.

Run diagnostic scan on Navi?]

  "Yes." Hane's CD player lay near her foot. She twisted and pushed the play
button almost absently before going back to checking her things. It held an
older CD, one that she had found hidden under the floorboards of her room
one day. Her friends had thought maybe she would use it as a Frisbee . . .
Hane gave a soft laugh at that particular thought, carefully pulling several
electrodes out of another of her boxes. Hilde hadn't liked the style of the
music on it, but had given Hane her old player in case she decided she liked
it. She had; she hummed along as she lay the wires aside and plugged in her
lamp. "Status on scan, Layline?"

[Scan incomplete. Currently scanning drive C.]

  Hane heaved a soft sigh as she looked around her new room. There wasn't
anything that she had to unpack immediately, and nothing that she had to do.
She was bored . . . Idly, she wondered if anyone would mind her going out
and sweeping the hallway or something. A mental image of herself, dressed
like Hilde did when she was planning on spring cleaning, standing out in the
hanger cleaning away popped into her head; Hane collapsed into giggles.


The room was pitch black, except for a small bit of light coming from the
bathroom where Hane kept her nightlight. She was glad she didn't have a
roommate, since explaining that she was afraid of the dark was rather
embarrassing, but now the room was TOO quiet. Hane sighed and burrowed down
into her covers. 'I hate it when I can't get to sleep.' Turning her face to
the side, she blinked at her alarm clock. 3:06 AM glared back at her in dim
white. 'Argh!' she yelled soundlessly, and slammed her head into her pillow.
  What had Hilde suggested before when she was younger and hadn't been able
to sleep? Counting sheep or mecha or something . . . She tried for a while,
managing to go through sheep, mecha, Chibi Hildes, and was finishing up
counting little Shi-Ohkis when she gave up. Groaning softly, Hane rolled
over onto her stomach, reflecting on the fact that it wasn't so much the
silence that caused her insomnia. It was what came to her in the silence.

//The hiss of the brand as it hit her skin. The screams that were hers, and
yet not hers. The soft laughing that plagued all her dreaming as the screams
encouraged them to redouble their efforts.//

It was another's pain that kept her awake.

  Something wet hit her hand, jerking Hane back from her gruesome reverie.
She bit back a scream as she realized that it wasn't blood dripping down her
arms, and she wasn't Kathy anymore. She was Hane again, her face was wet,
and she was dimly aware that she was whispering to herself. "It wasn't me,
it wasn't me, itwasntme . . ."

//'You'll always be mine, sweetie, and everyone will know it . . .' And the
brand descended again . . . and again . . .//

  Hane clapped her hands over her ears, stumbling out of the bed. She sought
out the dresser, digging through it frantically until she found her clothes.
'Gotta get outta here.' She had the presence of mind to shove her flute case
and some other things into her pockets before fled down the hall towards the
door outside.


It was raining.

  That in itself was unremarkable, since it had rained almost constantly
since she had arrived in Yggdrasil, and it hadn't let up in the hours that
she had been out here. It was a miserable, soaking drizzle that had made the
ground into so much quagmire.
  Hane loved it. <Much less chance of becoming morbid out here!> Her
thoughts bounced a bit more light-heartedly now, and in a few hours she'd be
perfectly normal again. <I'll just sleep with my headphones on for a while .
. . or do something strenuous enough I don't have to.>  From what Commander
Maxwell had told her- after she'd collected herself, since she'd collapsed
into a puddle in his doorway; it wasn't every day you saw a living legend
after all- Basic Two would be Hell enough that she wouldn't have to worry
about her nightmares.
  She put her flute back into its case and stepped out into the drizzle
cheerfully. Instantly her hair was glossed over with a fine layer of
rainwater, adding weight to the already half-soaked mess. Her boots squished
on the saturated ground as she headed out further into the forest. A
complaining meow halted her and she turned around to watch a tiny black
figure bound toward her, almost invisible in the darkness.
  Yue Shi Oki, as Hane had named her after watching some of the old Earth
anime shows, leapt to her shoulder. The rabbit-like animal was wild, but
apparently since she had been feeding it, it had taken a liking to her. She
chuckled. "Your ears are muddy. . ." she teased, "Did you fall in a puddle
again?" Shi gave her a withering look and began washing her dirty paws and
said ears. Hane managed a slight smile and pulled out some of the carrots
she had saved from lunch in the mess hall. Shi's eyes lit up and she pounced
on them, crunching away in ecstasy. "Did you want to come with, or were you
just looking for a snack, Shi-chan?" The Oki sniffed the pocket that the
carrots had been produced from hopeful of more, but finding nothing but a
few electrical circuits and her flute case, climbed up back her arm to her
shoulder and curled up inside the collar of Hane's jacket, under her hair.
  Hane shivered as Shi's wet fur dampened her own skin, and studied the paw
prints leading up her arm and across her shoulder. She tried to glare at the
little creature (no easy feat considering where she was), but merely yawned
in return. "You just didn't want to get rained on," she accused it. A soft
snore was her only answer. Hane hmphed, slightly miffed, but couldn't quite
manage to get really mad at her sleeping companion. "My own personal neck
warmer," she laughed to no one in particular, and turned to go back in. She
had calisthenics pretty soon, and she would now need to change her clothes.
Pulling out one of the circuits she had in her pockets, she turned back
toward the base.
  A loud peal of thunder crashed overhead. Shi gave a terrified squeak and
darted down to scurry into the bushes, managing to trip Hane up on the way.
She went sprawling into a nearby mud puddle, cursing fluently as the
friendly rain shower turned into a full blown thunderstorm around her.
As always, comments and criticism are most appreciated. ^_^