Serenity is a rather popular and tragic character, so while this Fragment does introduce an OC, I had to strike the right balance.
While Rena is introduced and gets a rather nice spotlight, it’s definitely still about Serenity’s issue. In the village she could walk around freely since it’s open air, but Chaldea’s closed corridors and circulating air make things much trickier. Gudao, Gabrielle, and Mashu are the first people she can touch without worry, and she’s not keen on ruining that by placing someone else in danger. That’s the entire general setup shown in a previous Fragment, so it was simply a matter of “how to remedy that” so she could walk about.
The charm is an easy fix, but there’s a reason it wasn’t developed first. I decided the antidote was more important because, well, it is. If for some unknown reason the charm’s workings failed, someone could be killed without an antidote backup. Develop the foundation/safety measure first, then you can move onto the more promising ideas. The only issue with the antidote is that someone needs to follow Serenity around if she wants to wander outside her room, which makes it problematic for that person.
That’s where Rena fills the perfect niche. As a robot, it’s able to follow her everywhere without issue. It can be equipped with whatever it needs to properly suit her needs, like scanning and sanitizing anything she is worried she may have touched. The most important is the antidote delivery system, which is rather straightforward compared to some other features on the techmaturgical prototype. Armed with that, Rena is now the perfect assistant for Serenity, especially since she’s grown rather attached to the little metal ball.
Curious about the chapter’s title? I try to be meaningful and clever with the titles when I can, but this one was a tad extra special. “Song of Deliverance” comes across as a tad religious, but that wasn’t the design behind it. Clearly it refers to the liberation of Serenity’s fears of walking about Chaldea, but that’s not exactly it. Rena’s first actual conversation with Serenity involved using the music player to do rough inquiries, but that’s not quite it either. Rena’s translated name means “Joyous Song”, and now it makes a little more sense, doesn’t it?
My friend informed me Bumblebee in the Transformers movie used a similar method of communicating, so I had to re-watch parts of it since I actually forgot. They’re not exactly alike though. The transformer can switch radio stations and play the words necessary at will to actually form the sentence. Rena has to search through tracks from Jeanne’s only recording and play what’s available without changes. Clearly using the tablet to type was a better idea, though the lack of connection ports made for a rather interesting run-in with everyone’s favorite autocorrect system
Songs Rena played:
Here I Am – Bryan Adams
Colors of the Wind – Vanessa Williams
Son’t Stop Believing – Journey
Telephone Line – Electric Light Orchestra
Serenity being a good artist I actually made up on the spot, but I did it through logical connections. Someone who can’t touch something can only view or listen to it, so she would be very keen on those two senses. It’s the idea behind why she’s rather interested in hearing Jeanne sing in person, and the ability to draw well. It’s one thing to imagine something and another to sketch it, but since she’s an assassin with unnerving precision, I don’t believe that would have been a big leap.
To better balance out that it’s not a complete OC centric fragment, I made sure she interacted well with her fellow Hassans and two former antagonists. I fleshed out the friendship/kinship between the three assassins in preparation for later, since they’d obviously form a group of their own. Tristan was supposed to lack a clear presence last chapter so he be introduced here for Serenity, and apologize for his actions in Camelot. Paracelsus is also still apologetic, though it can be argued his actions against her were much more severe in Prototype.
That said, Chaldea is starting to become almost… too peaceful, no? Cu and Emiya still bicker and you have Gilgamesh brooding but keeping away from others. That’s being remedied next chapter, because nothing can ever be too smooth of sailing. Conflict is part of human nature, after all, and the new arrivals definitely have history with that. That’s your teaser for this week.