by Ocean Seven
A new look at Blaze, who has been neglected for so long, and the start of his past.
|Project One Man War Saga
Adm. Blaze B. E.
Blaze. Blaze was the first character from the original series to undergo a huge change. His original character is lost to all time, although I do remember him being far more 'normal'. Now he's the lovable deviant of the DHO 'Outcasts'. But for so long he hasn't had a proper past. Like Demon, he was something of a fixture, with nothing really explaining how he became to be how he is. Demon got his break some time ago, although to some it may seen as a cop-out, but it really is a matter of not knowing what to do with him. He's a fixture of the Outcasts, but creating a past is nearly impossible for him.
But now? Now Blaze has his first real past. Born out of the routine ritual of getting on the bus home, turning on the music and just letting the mind wander. What began as yet another one of Blaze's errant chases turned into a surprisingly serious moment between him and Ahsuna, as the latter tried to deter Blaze from continuing to chase her by playing the parental guilt trip card.
But Blaze's only response was to state his parents would think nothing of it. Nothing. Maybe if he could say that they would think something of it right now, he could say that they would think this or that. But no, they would think nothing of it.
Because they can't think at all.
He'd only learned the whole story a while ago himself. How his parents weren't his parents, and how he didn't have any. He had to learn it himself, on his own time, but he didn't blame his guardians. They brought him up like any other kid, and looking back, they didn't even really lie at all. They just never did anything much to suggest that they weren't his parents. He does remember one small thing where he heard them talking about 'real parents' but didn't think anything of it at the time, and nothing changed at all in the family. It was as if they had a supreme sense of duty to raise Blaze, as well as genuine parental feelings at the same time, allowing them to live the life without anything cracking the window. Even now Blaze can't sense anything truly fake about it. Even when he tracked them down after all the years and talked to them about it, it was like they themselves had a hard time believing it.
Blaze gets sidetracked- this is something he's kept to himself since he learned of it. He mumbles around, but settles on a fairly common statement: people say he's got his mother's eyes. He's unusually quiet, before breaking the silence with a weak laugh. He does have his mother's eyes. Really. He does. For all the good that did either of them. Ahsuna- now assured that this is real, and not some new trick Blaze cooked up to lower her guard- waits quietly.
It was sometime in the middle of his young life that it happened. It wasn't exactly happy times, and time has taken its toll on his memory, but he does remember a time where everything went black. He doesn't remember much in the way of specifics, but does recall it being the most confusing thing he'd experienced at the time. Seeing nothing. Feeling exactly the same, but seeing nothing. Feeling eyelids blink over blind eyes. Well, at the time, maybe not exactly the same- but excluding the dull, throbbing pain making its rounds across his entire body, and the unbearable pain across his face, he was the same. Just another kid who identified a little too much with the hero types and thought himself invincible.
But all that is fuzzy. Those details took a little bit to recall. The easy part is what is causing all the fuzziness, all the dull recollection. The blanket of rage smothering everything. Through wracked by pain and completely blind, Blaze still had the energy to feel rage above all else. At the time it was probably the only thing keeping him going, as was probably the only thing he could do. But in the present, it just causes problems. All he can remember beyond that is voices. One clearly belonging to an adult male, three or four voices that never seem to fit the body they come from, and at least a half a dozen female voices, one of which he has a faint sense he recognizes, but can't place a name or a face to it anymore.
It was probably the last thing any of them expected, a small kid who had been tossed into the corner like he was nothing, bruises everywhere and a bloody face (Blaze extrapolates this; he can't actually remember much else beyond the voices and the rage. He just figures given the scenario that he probably looked like such) emitting such a violent battle scream and flinging himself at his attackers. Of course it did nothing but renew the pain that had just started to abate, but he was completely out of it. It did, however, attract the attention of others in the end. It's not often you get to hear a child's voice yell a warrior's death oath, and it attracts quite a lot of attention.
For all of his work, he was still a kid- and nearly beaten to a pulp. All the thanks in the world wasn't going to fix the damage, but it would keep the mind anchored to the body while someone else fixed that. However, there was still the question of his eyesight: one eye had been so badly hit that the damage was going to be difficult to repair in a way that artificial aids could be used. Even if that could be done, his other eye was a complete write-off: it looked like a pummeled watermelon someone tried to piece back together. He could be a child all he wanted, he could have all the thanks in the world, but that wasn't about to magically procure a set of matched and checked eyeballs out of thin air.
His mother, however, was.
Of course it was pretty much pointless; his mother wasn't actually his mother (though nobody knew that) so of course he couldn't see; but at least he could walk around with nobody able to tell the difference just by looking at him. That was something. Blaze sighs, and says that even if he had had doubts about his guardians not being his parents, that would have killed them right quick. It takes quite a lot of caring to just let someone else have your eyes, even if they don't amount to anything except a cosmetic repair. All the thanks in the world couldn't repair him, or procure new eyes, but it wasn't about it just sit there.
It would give those sightless eyes the gift of sight again.
His father was something of a scientist, and with the support of all of the thanks in the world, he was able to create a device that would help those eyes see again. It would not be perfect; even then, the brain was still a big question mark, an uncrackable safe with all the answers in it, hidden right behind the place people looked at every day. But it was a start. And it could grow. Not like existing commercial aids, which required lengthy and painstaking tests to calibrate properly. This device would learn, would test on its own, and continue to bring more and more sight back to the blind eyes.
But as time passed, and Blaze left for his own life, he knew he was blind for the rest of his life. His eyes were sightless; no amount of thanks, no maternal donation, no machine could change that. He saw the world through the cold eyes of a machine. His mother's gift, those deep blue eyes, were just a symbol for the machine. They were just a decoration. They weren't even his, really; they moved where the machine told them to move, that the machine could see what they could not.
Among all this was a faint light in an unlikely place. As a way to cheer him up, his mother had started to call him Blaze Blue-Eyes, a name that became the name he would use for a long time, coincidentally having the same initials as his own name. But after a time, it would wear on him, whenever he was reminded of it. He took to calling himself Blaze Blind-Eyes. Far from being self-destructive, it became a focal point in his life. it would remind him of how things had fallen, but at the same time remind him of how things were, and how he could even call himself Blaze Blind-Eyes. Even when he began his long trip into the murky darkness of life it was there, reminding him he was still human in those times whenever he had enough of a lull to actually think. Those blazing blue, blind eyes kept an image of better times for whenever he needed it. Although he could not stop his descent, his blind eyes gave him a place to retreat to, when his body began to act on its own through deeply ingrained routine. He did not have to see the results of his actions, and could instead spend his time detached from reality, looking at something brighter.
This is only a small bit of the immense weight Blaze has carried around in his life, but it gives Ahsuna a look at why Blaze is who he is. And it isn't quite that he is still who he is, but more that he has been able to rise from his former life into who he is at the present time, and be 'just' as low as he is. And the morbid irony is not lost on her: had the same events happened, but he retained his sight, he would not be standing here, telling her this story. Chances are, he would still be living his former life- or he would be dead at the hands of the DHO. It took something so bleak in order to become the one faint light in the ocean of darkness for Blaze.
While it is a light in the darkness, it is still a part of Blaze that is missing, a piece that will never come back. The truth is, despite the ability of the machine, his vision is nothing special. And it has only achieved the level of 'nothing special' recently. Despite the advanced beginning, and the ability to improve upon itself, the device could only give back to Blaze the barest of his vision. Even now, untold years later, detail is light, and he has little to no perception of colour. His depth perception is also primarily of his own making, having spent years learning every quirk of the machine sight in order to fill in the gaps of the machine's abilities where he could. And time has not been kind to Blaze. As his vision is entirely dependent on the machine, and his natural vision is nonfunctional, there is no natural object association going on in his brain. He has had to rely entirely on his own memory in order to recall anything new or something common that changes frequently. To his brain, what he sees is simply a screen; it cannot process the data like it could data from an eye. An object such as a pair of headphones must, by Blaze alone, be given the appropriate label, as each pair changes in shape. Virtually all new technology and sights are pure memory; very few have had the luck of being ingrained into his brain's automatic association mechanism.