Quiet Moment

The artificial Christmas weather was still pretty beautiful, Anjin noted. The city’s lights, festive and otherwise, were shining through a light spray of snow. Holiday cheer flowed through the city, with it’s heralds Laughter and Alcohol leading the way.

Someone had even put a massive Christmas tree on the roof. Anjin had noticed it on his way up here and smiled.

He crossed his arms on the console and rested his chin on them, staring out at the weather. He was alone; his friends off doing holiday fun things elsewhere in the city. He’d been invited, but…no. Thanks, but no.

He wasn’t being anti-social. He’d just seen an opportunity. There’d be other bad attempts at ice skating, other boozy Christmas parties. But a quiet moment here, in this place…it was rare, bordering on non-existent. He didn’t want to let it pass.

That’s what he’d told his comrades, anyway. Yuki had smiled and called him sweet. Sanjo had called him a sissy boy, and laughed in that room-filling bark of his. But neither had pressed the issue, or twisted his arm to come with them.

Maybe they’d both sensed the real reason: that their fearless leader had just wanted to sit in the cockpit without having to kill something.

Anjin loved his job. He loved being Pilot-One, he took a great deal of pride in his task as a City Defense Worker and he got on well with his co-workers. He considered his life blessed.

But all the same…it was nice to sit up here with a god’s eye view of the city and not have to decapitate a giant dinosaur, or blast a suburb-sized hole through a space demon.

Maybe they would have understood. His co-pilots. Anjin suspected the reason they worked together so well was that underneath Yuki’s protective bluster and Sanjo’s lust for a fight, they were all united by the same rush down the spine every time they took off.

That rush of “I get to DO this for a LIVING”. Like a full-body grin, like a rocket boost to the chest.

The half-full coffee next to him was still steaming. He sipped from it with an absent smile and looked out through the dinner plate eyes of the city’s mechanical champion.

To him, the city was a dreamland. To the rest of the city, Big Threat Defenda and its chief pilot were two cheery glowing orbs and a giant Christmas hat.

The weather might’ve been artificial, but Christmas in Tokyo was really beautiful

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Josh Hechinger is a future writing superstar/cautionary tale. He lives in Pennsylvania.

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