The gentle sound of waves washing up upon the rocky shore was a constant one throughout this edge of the South leading to the Endless Ocean. Dustings of sand were sparse, with most of the coastline made up of assorted rocks and stone, backed straight into the Kaiju Jungle. In simple terms it meant that there was nary another person out here. It was the perfect environment for Amara to test something rather personal out alone. As helpful as Carro and Dion had been - not that she'd admit that aloud - they couldn't know what she was planning on doing. Not after the accident. Standing at the edge of an elevated outcrop looking over the seemingly infinite sheet of blue, Amara felt stuck. "This doesn't make any sense," She growled, trying and failing to take another step forward. "It's just some fucking water. I can handle it." So she said. Yet for whatever reason, the Saiyan couldn't bring herself to take the final metaphorical and literal dive. Distant memories of the crash circled in the back of her mind, the feeling of icy cold saltwater filling up her lungs... the thought that whatever of her crew had survived had met their fate at the bottom of the seafloor. "Damnit..."
Clear skies and the gentle sea breeze filled the android’s lungs as he took a deep breath of the air. It was like a breath of life, drowning the fatigue of his troubles and breathing new life and optimism into him. For so long he had been on the front lines of war and conflict, knowing only to fight and survive. Now, he could try something that he never had the time or opportunity to do, to try something that could give him some sense of peace and normalcy.
Why not a bit of fishing?
Saizomaru trekked across the grass plains, making his way to the shoreline. As he neared the beachhead, he spotted someone else nearby. Stood a top of a raise rocky outcrop stood a feminine figure with a bulky silhouette whom was made larger only by their loose-fitting clothes. He gave a small hum before changing path, making his way towards the elevation.
He took a few steps up the slope before giving a hearty ”Yo!” Whether the woman reciprocated the sentiment, or even just acknowledged his presence, he continued up the slope until he was stood beside her. ”Nothing like the good outdoors, right? Good weather, too. Not really been near water much but it’s always nice trying something new, y’know?”
He kneeled down slightly, placing his fishing tackle box on the ground with a slight tap and laying his fishing rod by his opposite side, a rattling of light metal and wire brushing against the grass. ”What about you? Just looking for a place to think about things?” he asked. Though Saizomaru preferred to do his thinking with a glass of liquor in his hand, he understood some liked to come to the shore to clear their heads.
Amara froze for a second upon hearing a sudden voice from behind her, surprise only multiplying as she realized she hadn't sensed anything coming... and still couldn't. Turning around as naturally as she could in her panicked state, the Saiyan gazed down unto what looked to be some sort of Earthling. The outfit and special hair color were pointers that they were some kinda fighter or martial artist, but that still didn't explain how exactly they just went under her radar entirely. She blinked and before it even registered the guy was next to her, keeping up his jovial tone. "I, uh, yeah." She was having perhaps a bit of difficulty stringing words together in a coherent sentence. Maybe. "Sorry I just- didn't expect for there to be anyone else out here. And I didn't notice you coming at all either." For the moment the water was forgotten as Amara had focused on the stranger, eyeing his gear. She hadn't been well versed in Earthling culture yet but was smart enough to deduce that it probably had something to do with fish given the number of times she passed by similar stringed rods on Papaya Island. "Guess you could call it thinking."
The android kept his eyes on her for a moment, glancing up and down her body. She seemed tense, as though she was stressed or nervous, perhaps even a little paranoid. Then again, considering that she didn’t even see or sense him coming, it seemed natural. ”Yeah, not a lot of people do,” he replied with the same-kept smile on his face. ”Means I’m good at being stealthy and sneaky. Guess I should be sorry for that though, so… yeah, sorry about that.”
He shifted onto his knees before flinging one leg after the other over the edge of the cliff. He reached to his left and flicked open the latch on the tackle box with a thumb. ”I guess not many people come out here all too much. Why bother coming out to somewhere like this when you’ve got everything you want in the big cities, eh?” Saizomaru shook his head as he reached in to pull out a small Tupperware container filled with bait—earthworms and mealworms mainly. ”Kids these days got it too easy. Half of them don’t even know they’re born nowadays.”
He hummed for a moment. He had expected the girl to follow up with something else, like an explanation. ”And… Whatchya thinking about?” he asked as his other hand grabbed the upper half of the fishing rod beside him. His finger and thumb quickly trailed to the tip where the hook was, pinching it and bringing it to his lap as he hooked a mealworm onto the end. ”Given the way you’re dressed, you look as though you on the run from the law or something. You been pinching apples from the stalls?”
"You're fine, I guess..." Amara replied a bit awkwardly, watching the man with a flicker of interest as he casually continued about his business as if she wasn't even there. He seemed certainly dedicated to fishing. "Besides that, it also isn't a very pleasant trek to get here. Most would have to go straight through the Kaiju Jungle, and those stupid dinosaurs are a lot tougher than I'd usually give them credit for." The trite conversation was interrupted by the stranger asking for her to elaborate on her thoughts. Certainly wasn't a very socially nervous guy, was he. "A bit forward, don't you think?" Her gaze turned back to the churning ocean, an imperceptible shiver rolling across her body. "If you have to know, it's just something stupid." Something that Amara didn't really understand. "I've been having... issues with water later. I thought that maybe I could just conquer it head on if I were to brave it alone." Kicking a loose rock off the edge, it plummeted for a solid six seconds before splooshing into the waves below. Upon Saizomaru's comment on her outfit, she turned back to him with a raised brow. "Ah, forgive me. I forgot that gis and flowing sashes were in fashion nowadays."
Saizomaru snickered. He hadn’t taken into account how one would need to make their way through the jungle to get to this place. The girl wasn’t wrong when she mentioned how dangerous it would be to trek through the area even if they were prepared. ”Naw, they’re just misunderstood creatures,” the android replied, taking the thought lightly. ”They’re big softies when you get to know them.”
He reared his arms back over one shoulder, the line of the rid trailing out a few inches from the tip. With a light toss forward, the line extended outward, a zipping noise shredding the air as it was cast out a dozen meters from his position. The bobble splashed onto the surface of the lake, sending out light ripples as it bobbed up and down to the motion of the calm waves.
”It’s only a bit forward if you’re thinking dirty things,” teased Saizomaru with a half-grin on his lips. He kept his gaze outwards to the waters as the girl explained her situation to him. Then, he rolled his shoulders in a pseudo-shrug. ”Aquaphobia, huh? The best way to conquer a fear is to have constant exposure to it. And besides, you’re not alone now. If anything goes wrong, I’ll just drag you back to shore. Then, you just try and try again. Think of it like training. You’ll fail, maybe more than once—we all do—but you’ll learn more and more from failures until you reach success.”
Saizomaru wasn’t particularly good when it came to learning new things. He was even less proficient when it came to fashion. When the girl pointed it out, he felt a little proud of it but also doubtful. ”What? This? This is just what I wear all the time. Don’t have another change of clothes. Then again, being an android, I don’t sweat anyways, so I don’t have to wash it all too often.”
"I'm sure you'd have great success spreading such information to the rest of the population," Head shaking slowly as she spoke, Amara watched as the man flicked his fishing pole, line casting out over the bluff and into the choppy water below. For a few moments, all was silent as the bobber happily flitted up and down. "...Or if you happen to be someone with a decent sense of privacy." Aware it was a joke, the rebuttal wasn't said with too much force behind it. "Besides I can already tell you wouldn't be my type." He seemed a bit too jovial and had this odd aura about him. It was almost like he wasn't an Earthling at all. "Thalassophobia," She corrected softly, staring out for the nth time at the sea. "I can drink and bathe just fine, and last I checked I wasn't rabid. Just... the sea. There's some real bad baggage attached to it is all." The advice given had boiled down to 'just do it till it works', which had been the original plan, to begin with. The thought of being so vulnerable in front of a stranger was another matter entirely. "Yeah that bundle of rags," Her finger jabbed as if he had missed his outfit somehow. "Most folks don't go around- wait, Android?" As in, machine person? He certainly didn't seem very robotic or weaponized.
”You never know,” the android acquiesced with a shrug, his fingers tapping on the handle of the fishing rod, ”it might end up being one of those big social movements like the environment and alien representation and stuff. Maybe I’ll write a book about it. ’It Isn’t Easy Being Green: Dinosaurs Are Our Friends’. Still a working title, though.”
He gave a soft snicker as he turned to give the girl a glance. ”Eh, privacy’s overrated.” Then again, Saizomaru couldn’t remember the last time he actually had a fair bit of privacy, or even when he wanted it. He spent most of his life either with his family or with his military corps. The only privacy time he had was sleeping or going to the bathroom—and even the latter wasn’t guaranteed while he was at base camp.
But then he raised an eyebrow. ”Uh… your type? Hon, I’m old enough to be your dad.” He shuddered. He didn’t know how old the girl was but judging from her height she could barely be any older than sixteen or so. ”Ew. Now I feel dirty. Maybe I should take a dive into the water too to clean off this filth…”
Yet it was the ocean that drew the two of them together as fate would have it. One of them came to enjoy it, the other came to face it. Saizomaru hummed as he glanced over the cliff edge, gazing into the ocean waters, trying to see if there were any fish nearby. ”Sounds like you’ve had it pretty rough out on the waves recently. Still, I’ll be here if you need a hand. I’m waterproof, anyways.”
It was another mention of his robotic nature, the first of which had taken the girl by surprise by the sounds of things. ”Yeah, android. Like that movie, ‘The Exterminator’. Oh, hold on—check this out…” He nestled the rod between his crossed legs. Then, with his right hand, he wrapped his fingers around the other hand. With a sudden jerk forward, he had completely pulled off his left hand at the wrist, exposing only a series of small connector pins at the wrist joint. He shook the loose hand up and down, making it wave at her. ”Helloooo!”
"...How old do you think I am?" She gave the man a hardened glance, slightly offended in the most asinine way possible. "I'm short but that doesn't mean I'm a teenager. Unless you're already broaching mid-forties you wouldn't be a possible dad to me in any way." Sure she wasn't as tall as other Saiyans. Or most Earthlings. Or mostly any other species in the known galaxy in adulthood. ...Damn it. "Though still, go ahead and take a dive. I'd give you a supportive shove to help out in that journey." Did any other people she'd meet with on this planet think of her as an adolescent as well? His second removal of an entire hand was a bit jarring, interrupting her thoughts as Amara stared it at for a solid half minute. "Most Androids I've ever seen are a bit more robotic. Like actual robots. Though I guess the people-ones are technically cyborgs and not necessarily androids-" Amara stopped mid-sentence, coughing into her fist. "Anyway. You don't really look to be entirely manmade. You some sort of cyborg deal as well?" Though he seemed rather leisurely for such a thing. Most Androids or Cyborgs were created with a specific purpose in mind - generally military application. You didn't just turn someone into half a robot for shits and giggles.
”How old do I think you are?”—he kept waving his hand around, using it to gesture at her—”I dunno. Like… tenth grade or something? You even dress up like them. Buncha delinquents tee-pee-ing houses and what have you.” The android paused, then let out a sigh. He reattached his hand with an audible click as the pins locked into place. He was starting to sound his age now.
He let out a hum as he grabbed hold of the rod again with both hands, though still keeping it braced between his legs as well. ”I could go for a swim, but I’m here to do fishing—with my brand new fishing pole! Well… A’ight, it’s second-hand, but it does the job well. Probably. We’ll find out when I catch something.”
It seemed as though the topic was leaning more towards Saizomaru being an android than it was about any fishing proficiency he might have. He tapped his fingers on the reel as he pondered what the girl said. Then, he replied, ”I guess you can put it that way. I was a human, once. Some serious stuff went down and I ended up being put in a new robotic body, though it looks pretty human. I guess, judging by your surprise, that this body passes off for being human pretty well.”
He took one hand off of the rod’s grip and tapped the side of his head with a finger. ”Everything’s artificial except for this. My head is the only thing that’s organic about me now. It’s got a few cybernetics—memory banks in the brain, improved ocular networking, voice changer in the larynx, that sorta stuff—but it’s still flesh and bone as opposed to the steel skeleton and synthetic skin through the rest of me.”
The android felt a tug at his arm. He glanced out and saw the line being tugged forward. With a grin he wrapped his hands around the handle and yanked hard on the rod. ”Yeeee, let’s go!” He felt the lure pull down from gravity, showing that it was out of the water. His left hand began to turn the handle of the reel, reeling in whatever he had caught. It took a few moments but when the lure came into view it had a large sea bass hooked on the end of it. ”See? Caught something with this cheap pole. This is what we call a ‘pro gamer move’.”
He smiled as he pulled the bass in to his lap. Then, after unhooking it from the line, he tossed the fish back into the ocean, watching it swim away. ”Now, before you ask: android body means no need for food or drink. I’m just doing this for fun.”
"Swing and a miss. Maybe you were right the first time with your age - you certainly act like a grandpa when it comes to this shit," Amara was aware that Saiyan genes basically stopped aging in its tracks for many decades but that was after adulthood. "Try early to mid twenties and you'll have the actual correct answer." There was a short lull in the conversation as the man continued to fish, having easily re-attached his own hand as if that were a normal thing to do. "Passes right up until you start taking off pieces like a building block playset, yeah." Aside from the lack of a Ki reading he seemed to be entirely normal on the outside.
It was a bit startling to see that somehow, Earth scientists had managed to create a lifelike shell for other humans to live on in that barely differed in appearance from that of regular people. It was odd to think that the entire body was fake flesh and plastic minus the head. "And you still have like, a replicated nervous system? Feelings? The rest of your body is responsible for so much that I can't really try to even think how any machinery can make up for it." Something had finally caught on the fishing line, the Android yanking it up to reveal a modestly sized fish. "Well done," She commented in a slightly sarcastic manner.
His eyes shifted towards the girl. He swung the fishing rod around to his side and gave her a quick jab in the arm with the tip of it. ”Hey—mind your language,” chided Saizomaru before bringing the rod back in front of him again. ”Young girls shouldn’t be cursing. That’s what old grandpas like me do.”
He cast the line once more, the lure splashing on the ocean waves and floating about. He was stuck in thought, his head slightly rocking from side to side as he did the maths in his head. ”Early twenties, huh? Well… I guess I coulda been your dad at the age of fifteen. Y’know, like what some of these uncontrollable delinquents end up as. You know it’s bad when you and your kid have the same bed time.” He snickered at his own joke, though he wondered if she would see the funny side of it too.
It was one vailed answer to the girl’s questions. He still had his feelings, his personality, his desires. They were some of the few things his new life had taken from the old. ”Feelings and personality are things that come from the mind and soul. They’re not so easily lost despite a change in body. Physical things are different. This body still has a nervous system—touch, taste, smell, hearing and sight are there—but they can be controlled. Pain receptors can be adjusted, even switching them off completely. I mean, if they couldn’t, it woulda hurt like hell taking my hand off. S’very useful when I need to do repairs and maintenance.”
The more he thought and talked about it, the more he saw the brighter side of his predicament. He began to realize more and more of the things he could do now that he couldn’t before. It almost made him as happy as when he had just caught his first fish. ”Hell yeah, fishing god right here.”
It made him think of something just for a brief moment. ”Y’know, one of my ancestors was known as the World God,” he spoke, feeling the want to talk about his family, mainly to pass the time. The two seemed like they’d be here for a while. ”He had the power of controlling the elements with the use of a magical fan. I wonder if I’ll be able to do stuff like that. Maybe fishing will bring me closer to the seas and give me the power to control water. To be fair, I’d probably use it to annoy people by blowing bubbles in their faces.”
"Language has been minded, and promptly thrown in the trash," She replied drearily. "I seek to break the establishment as a woman you see and the most effective way to do that is to fucking let your damn mouth run like it's full of shit." Amara's head shook slightly at Saizomaru's joke, huffing as the only indication of a verbal reaction to it. "So you aren't THAT old but you certainly act like it. The parts they fit you with come with dust already on it or something else?" He explained a bit more about his body as a whole. It was strange that it essentially was a machine casing housing a normal brain. What purpose did pain receptors serve if he could get factual and less distracting diagnostics? Was it all in an attempt to feel more 'alive' again? She was silent for a while as the half-man caught another fish, going on to explain more about himself. Did he trust her that much to start spilling the beans on his life story, or was he just lonely? "Ha, magic. I know it exists but I just have trouble wrapping my head around it..." She paused, a thought on her mind that continued to weigh heavily. "You know, I heard about Androids a while ago. Rumors originating from planet Plant about the Tuffles making mechanical monstrosities of metal and flesh. I'm not sure how much of that is true but perhaps you at least seem to be normal enough."
The android let out a long, exasperated sigh and hung his head low, giving it a little shake. After a few seconds, he leaned back up with a smirk on his face. ”I guess that’s one way to sell yourself as a strong, independent woman. And you’re an adult anyways, so you can do whatever you want, I guess.” It gave Saizomaru a sense of nostalgia. He had heard that his grandmother was a bit of a wildfire in her younger days. Then again, she still was even in her seventies.
Thankfully, Saizomaru wasn’t that[ old just yet, though the girl seemed to think him as acting like one. He liked to think of himself as more of having a dad personality—complete with dad jokes—but it didn’t make too much difference in any case. He had wondered what the girl’s parents were like, if indeed she lived with them. ”They’re new parts, so I doubt they have any dust. If they did, nothing a little compressed air and WD-40 wouldn’t fix.”
Those things were like magic to his body, though nothing in comparison to what his ancestors could achieve. His companion seemed to find some sort of fascination on the subject, though the android wouldn’t bet two pennies on it. He gave a shrug. ”Honestly? Same here,” he admitted. ”Like, how does it work? Is it like ki control but more advanced? Some sorta mystical energy that we don’t know about? How does one attune to it? These kinda things just escape me but I hope, someday, I’ll be able to learn it.”
There was something else that Saizomaru didn’t know about either, allegedly, despite his close connection to the subject at hand. He listened as the girl explained her little factoid. ”I have no idea what planet Plant is or what tuffles are, but I can safely say that I don’t look like a monstrosity. Well… maybe when I wake up with bed-head, but that’s about it.”
He reeled in the rod, pulling up another fish—a moderately-sized carp this time. ”Normal is relative. Normal, in the grand scale of things, doesn’t exist.” He voice was much lighter, quieter, yet with wisdom. He slowly unhooked the fish from the rod before tossing it back into the ocean. ”Everyone is different in one way or another. Short people, tall people, fat people, thin people; the old, the young, the middle-aged; humans, zoans, aliens; the good, the bad, the courageous, the cowardly—so many people of different creeds, ideals, background and upbringings. If everyone is so different from one-another… then how can one person be ‘normal’ in comparison to another?”
He tapped his fingers on the rod. He chuckled lightly. ”No, I didn’t grab that from a fortune cookie.”
"Correct," Her head nodded, lips tugging upwards into a smirk. "How wise of you to recognize that." Saizomaru had explained that he too didn't know much about magic, surprising given his ambitions. "As far as I can tell with my limited experience in magic-" With said experiences being mostly from Majins and not true spell slingers, "-It's a different but similar power to Ki. Like a Ki user can't decide to just one day do magic, and some people will never develop an aptitude for it even with training. The source of magic's power is a wild, chaotic thing. I'm not sure if there even is a way to pinpoint who exactly can and cannot make use of it." The man was also unaware of Plant's ongoing war, which meant by proxy that he probably didn't suspect her to be an Alien of any kind. Upon the talk of normalcy, Saizomaru decided to divulge wisdom like a streetside psychic. His speech on it was a bit predictable but not necessarily wrong, and Amara had one thing to say: "...Alright but you're still exceedingly strange." Her arms folded, a slight grin on her face as she waited to see his reaction to it.