Scenario:Ayer - A Hopeful Heart

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A Hopeful Heart

As Bowman continues to spend his days on the ship as Ayer, his vulgar comments become increasingly apparent. Bowman accompanies the crew on a new mission, excited for an opportunity to let loose.

On a quiet morning several days after the incident in town, (Captain) and the crew gather in the galley of the Grandcypher.
Bowman: Yawn...
Lyria: Oh! Good morning, Ayer.
Bowman: Morning...
Vyrn: You sure look sleepy. You feelin' okay?
Bowman: Yeah, I'm fine.
He greets his crewmates sleepily and sits down at the table with an innocent expression on his face.
Lowain: Mornin', bro!
Bowman: Mhm...
Lowain: I'm in charge of breakfast this morning, and I cooked up something real special just for you!
Bowman: Oh yeah? Special?
Lowain: Ta-da!
Lowain: It's high in protein and low in fat, just like you asked. But I didn't let that affect the taste or looks one bit!
Lowain: I'm, like, pretty proud of it, so enjoy!
Bowman: High protein and low fat, huh? Hah, pathetic.
Lowain: Huh? You say somethin', bro?
Bowman: Nope. Looks delicious. Thanks a bunch.
Lowain: You got it!
Wait, did you just thank me? You?
Lowain: Looks like today's gonna be a lucky day!
Lowain grins happily and saunters into the kitchen.
Vyrn: Ayer seems to be feelin' a lot better.
Lyria: He sure does!
Lyria: I've seen him talking to the other crew members more too... I'm really glad he's opening up!
Ayer: ...
Bowman: What's up, Ayer? Got something to say?
Bowman: You gotta admit, things are going pretty well.
Ayer: Bowman... What are you scheming?
Bowman: Hahaha! Chill out, buddy. Just kick back and enjoy the show.
Bowman: Hey, (Captain), don't we have any more interesting jobs on our plate?
A short time has passed since Bowman started working with the crew as "Ayer."
Lyria: Um... Interesting jobs?
Bowman: Yeah. Feels like I'm starting to lose my edge, y'know? I've got the urge to let loose and go wild.
He speaks the words with a smile on his face, but (Captain) and company are confused by his intentions.
Vyrn: Go wild?
The rough nature of Ayer's—or rather Bowman's—speech and behavior has gradually been making itself more obvious.
Lyria: Well, we do have a request... Right, (Captain)?
(Captain) nods.
Bowman: Oh yeah? What for? You ought to bring me along—you can be sure I'll be useful, (Captain).
Bowman: Oh, this must be the place.
(Captain) and the crew have made their way off the main road to a remote location in the mountains.
Bandit: Hey! Who the hell are you people!
The crew has accepted a mission to capture a gang of bandits targeting travelers and merchants in the area.
Bandit: C'mon, guys! Let's give our guests a warm welcome!
Bowman: Hah! The worthless little rats are rounding themselves up. Thanks for saving us time.
Vyrn: H-hey, Ayer! Don't be too rough with 'em!
Bowman: Yeah, yeah, I know. Anyway, let's get to work!

A Hopeful Heart: Scene 2

Bowman ends up getting too rough during their mission. As the crew discusses his recent behavior with Jessica, Bowman appears and is about to challenge (Captain) to a fight when he spots Seox passing by and decides to switch targets.

Bowman: Hahaha! Is that all you've got? Well?
Bandit: Urgh... Eek! N-no more!
Bowman: Oh, come on. You gotta entertain me more, or else what's the point? Show some spirit!
Bandit: Aaahh!
Lyria: ...!
Ayer, wait!
Vyrn: Hey, lay off 'em! Don't you think they've had enough?
Bowman: Sigh.
Bowman grudgingly lowers his fists as Lyria and Vyrn plead with him to stop in panicked voices.
Bowman: Whoops. They were so weak I guess I let myself get carried away.
Lyria: ...
Jessica: So that's what happened...
Lyria: Yes. Then we asked him to stop, and things didn't escalate any further.
Vyrn: He's been actin' kinda funny lately, don'tcha think?
Jessica: You're right. He does seem to be behaving strangely. But I think that's—
Bowman: Hey, (Captain).
Bowman: I could use some more action. Whaddya say we trade punches?
Jessica: Ayer...
Vyrn: In other words, you wanna fight?
Bowman: You're up for it, right?
(Captain) seems to hesitate at Bowman's request.
Bowman: C'mon, you can't tell me that was enough for you. I know you—
Bowman: Oh, actually, never mind. I'll ask him.
Lyria: Huh? Who?
Seox is a crew member

Seox: ...
Bowman: Perfect timing.
Bowman grins with delight upon seeing Seox pass by behind (Captain).
Seox not in crew

???: ...
Bowman: Perfect timing.
Appearing behind (Captain) is Seox, a member of the Eternals, one of the strongest crews in the skies.
(Captain) and company were first acquainted with the Eternals through Sierokarte.
Bowman grins with delight upon seeing the formidable warrior.
Bowman: Fight me, Mr. Eternal.
Seox: Are you challenging me to a duel?
Bowman: You'll do it, right? Think of it as a rematch.
Seox: Very well. I accept your challenge.

A Hopeful Heart: Scene 3

Bowman wins against Seox, but growing irritated with Seox's words, reveals his true nature as Bowman and attacks the crew. Believing that Bowman is also a part of her brother, Jessica decides to put a stop to his actions.

Lyria: I guess Ayer wins?
Bowman: Hmm...
Bowman: I could tell he was holding back, but oh well. I was doing the same thing.
Bowman: Either way, guess I've had my revenge.
Seox: Ayer.
Bowman: ...
Seox: Do you recall what I said to you before?
Seox: What has you so flustered? What are you afraid of? Can you even see me clearly?
Seox: If you discard those who care for you to walk the path of solitary combat, nothing awaits you but darkness.
Bowman: Sorry to say I don't.
Seox: I know you must remember, Ayer.
Bowman: ...
Seox: I heard about what happened the other day. You swung your fists to protect your sister and Lyria.
Seox: So what are you so frightened of?
Bowman: Huh?
Seox: It doesn't sound like you're headed down the path of darkness anymore.
Bowman: What the hell are you going on about?
Seox: I see. I suppose you wouldn't know...
Seofon is a crew member

Seofon: Oho... It's quite rare for you to speak to other people like that, Seox.
Seox: Seofon. I didn't see you there.
Seofon: I was here the whole time! Actually, wait—we came here together!
Seofon not in crew

???: Oho... It's quite rare for you to speak to other people like that, Seox.
Seox: Seofon. I didn't see you there.
Seofon: I was here the whole time! Actually, wait—we came here together!
Seofon is the leader of the Eternals.
Seox: Enough. I don't have the energy to deal with you right now.
Seofon: Okaaay. Sorry for interrupting.
Seox: Anyway... Ayer.
Seox calls his name as though to confirm something.
Seox: You've already figured out what's important to you, haven't you?
Bowman: Hah! Don't give me that.
Bowman: You mean all that happy-go-lucky crap that tied him down, don't you?
Vyrn: Huh? Who are you talkin' about?
Bowman: Ugh, I'm seriously getting sick of all this.
Bowman: I think it's about time to smash it all to pieces.
Vyrn: Whoa, what're you sayin'?
Lyria: Um... Are you... Bowman?
Bowman: Oh? Guess the jig is up.
Vyrn: Huh? What's goin' on? You're not Ayer?
Bowman: What're you acting so surprised for? You already knew there was another person inside "Ayer."
Bowman: That person would be me.
Vyrn: What! Then what happened to the real Ayer?
Bowman: What do you mean real? I'm just as real as he is, bonehead.
Lyria: Is Ayer okay?
Bowman: Who knows?
Vyrn: You jerk!
Bowman: Hahaha! You lookin' for a fight? Bring it on!
Bowman swings his fists gleefully at Vyrn and Lyria, but (Captain) dashes forward to intercept his punches.
Bowman: Well, well! Looks like you're finally ready to fight. Let's do this, (Captain)!
Jessica: Stop this, Ayer!
Bowman: What?
Vyrn: Hey, Jessica, he's not Ayer right now—he's Bowman. Ayer can't hear you!
Jessica: No, that's not true.
Jessica: Ayer. I won't stand idly by and watch you attack your fellow crewmates.
Lyria: Jessica?
Jessica: (Captain), everyone, I'm sorry for my brother's behavior.
Vyrn: There ain't no reason for you to apologize! I'm tellin' you, he's—
Jessica: He's Ayer.
Jessica: It's true he's acting differently... even going so far as to take the persona of someone he calls "Bowman"...
Jessica: But make no mistake—he's a part of Ayer too. That much is fact.
Jessica stares directly into her little brother's eyes as the rest of the crew watches on, bewildered.
Jessica: Ayer... As your sister, I can't stand by and watch you make poor decisions.

A Hopeful Heart: Scene 4

Ayer listens to Seofon's words of advice and realizes that there are those who will accept him for all that he is. As Ayer comes to terms with his combative nature, Bowman disappears and Ayer returns to himself, stronger than before.

Bowman: Hahahahaha! That's rich!
Jessica: ...
Bowman: I gave in to my instincts and tried to attack my comrades, and you still think I'm that naive little brother of yours?
Bowman: Is that what you're saying? Is that seriously how it looks to you?
Jessica: Yes, that's right. You are—without a doubt—my little brother Ayer.
Bowman: I gotta say, I'm shocked! I knew you were clueless, but I didn't realize how clueless.
Seofon: Hm... You won't stand a chance against your sister by being sarcastic.
Bowman: Huh?
Seofon: I've said it before, but that sarcasm of yours is no more than a defense mechanism stemming from your fear of revealing your true self.
Seofon: What are you so afraid of? Both the unnecessary length of your trunks and the sarcastic cut of your jib—it's all a defense mechanism.
Seofon: It's like you're scared to expose your true self.
Seofon: Putting the length of your swim trunks aside for the moment...
Seofon: Isn't it about time you were true to yourself, Ayer?
Seofon: The desire to guard your heart as well as your heart itself...
Seofon: There are so many people ready and willing to understand and accept you for who you are.
Bowman: ...
Ayer: My... heart? Bowman is... part of me...
Ayer: Sis, everyone... I...
Bowman: Tch...
Ayer: Bowman.
Ayer turns to face Bowman and stares directly into his eyes.
Bowman: What? You wanna fight?
Ayer: No, I won't fight you.
Bowman: Huh?
Ayer: Bowman, it's true that you're an alternate self I created.
Ayer: I was searching for someone... someone to rely on.
Ayer: I wanted somebody to see I was different from my perfect family and to accept my combativeness... to understand and guide me.
Bowman: Right? We had a lot of fun together, didn't we?
Ayer: Fun, huh...
Ayer: I won't lie—it was comforting having you around. It felt like I had an older brother looking out for me.
The resolve in Ayer's eyes seems to waver for a moment, but he continues.
Ayer: Even so, I rejected you.
Ayer: I rejected you—the symbol of my desire to fight—but I couldn't accept my powerlessness.
Ayer: I turned away from the combativeness driving me, as well as from the people who made me who I am, and who are trying to protect me even now.
Ayer: But after doing that, I had nothing left.
Bowman: Hey, knock it off, Ayer. Enough talk.
Bowman: If you wanna persuade me, you better come at me with your fists. C'mon, fight me like a man.
Ayer: Give it up, Bowman. I told you I'm not going to fight you.
Ayer: Don't let me reject you any longer.
Bowman: You...
Ayer: Bowman...
Ayer approaches Bowman slowly.
Bowman: ...!
He then wraps his arms around Bowman, who stands frozen in place.
Ayer: Thank you.
Bowman: ...
Bowman: Hah... You're a downer through and through.
Bowman: I've had enough of protecting a boring kid like you.
Ayer: Sigh.
Ayer breathes a sigh as he opens his eyes and looks around at his crewmates.
Upon seeing their concerned expressions, he shrugs his shoulders slightly, feeling uncomfortable.
Ayer: ...
Jessica: Ayer.
Ayer: Sis...
Jessica: I want you to stand there and think about what you did!
Ayer: What?
Jessica: Do you have any idea how much trouble you caused everyone? How worried we all were?
Ayer: R-right...
Ayer: Sorry about that.
Vyrn: Sheesh. I don't really get what just happened, but I'm glad things are back to normal.
Jessica: Grr...
Lyria: Hehe. Don't be so mad at him, Jessica.
Jessica: Lyria...
Jessica: But... I was so worried...
Ayer: Sis... I'm sorry. Er... It's all thanks to you that I, well...
Jessica: The truth is, I was scared.
Jessica: I didn't know what I'd do if you said you didn't need your friends and family anymore...
Ayer: Sorry... I'm okay now. I won't deny who I am any longer.
Jessica: Ayer...
Jessica: Hehe. I'm glad to hear it. You've really grown up strong.
Ayer: Don't treat me like a kid.
Jessica: I wasn't trying to. I just meant I'm glad I can rely on your strength.
Ayer: Me being strong makes you happy?
Jessica: Of course! You saved me the other day, after all.
Jessica: And you have to be strong if you're going to travel with (Captain) and the crew as a skyfarer.
Ayer: ...
Ayer: Yeah... That's true.
Ayer raises his head and turns to (Captain) and the crew with newfound resolve.
Ayer: It wasn't just my sister. You all being there for me, and the things you said... they all pushed me forward in the right direction, little by little...
Ayer: At least I think so.
Lyria: Ayer...
Ayer: I guess what I want to say is...
Ayer pauses.
Ayer: Nope, that's it! The end!
Ayer turns his face away, his cheeks flushed slightly.
Vyrn: Haha! C'mon, there's no reason to be embarrassed!
Ayer: I'm not embarrassed!
Lyria: Don't worry, Ayer! I understand what you were trying to say!
Ayer: Stop it! You don't need to understand it!
Try as he might, Ayer is still unable to be completely honest about his feelings.
But upon seeing his efforts to improve himself, (Captain)'s heart is filled with warmth.