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I do not own Vash the Stampede, Rem Saverem, Nicholas D. Wolfwood, Milly Thompson, Meryl Stryfe, etc: they all belong to the incomparable Mr. Yasuhiro Nightow.

It occurs to me that Vash -might- compose letters in his mind as the way that he re-examines his day, unwinds, and learns any lessons he can from it.

This is an attempt to blend the tales in both manga and anime. Anywhere there is contradicting information, the manga's will be used. I use manga dates where they are given. Where dates are not given, I'm using my best guesstimate.

As the various "Unwritten Letters" accumulate, there will be more and more spoilers.






Monster



Year 113 month 7 day 22

Dear Rem,

Today, I am afraid for the descendants of the people whom you sacrificed your life to save. I think they may need more protection from Knives, from now on, than ever before.

I know that I am entirely unworthy of your notice or consideration. I accept that. I expect that's the reason why you no longer speak to me in my thoughts and dreams.

However, I believe that you would still want the normal humans here protected. Since I will not break my vow to you and end my own life, and since you are no longer available to protect the ordinary humans, I shall do the best that I can in your place. Continuing what you began seems like the best thing that I can do with whatever time I have left.

So protecting them is what I will do.

Knives was extremely angry today - murderously angry.

Any time when he broadcasted his emotions in the past, those emotions have been negative. The only exception would be if he was broadcasting satisfaction, in which case I immediately knew that something terrible had happened.

Today, his anger was more intense than anything I've sensed from him for decades. Oh, there have been small spikes of anger and hatred upon occasion, all through the years since the Great Fall. However, this is much worse than usual.

There is also a sense of fear coming from him, nearly a panic. A small undercurrent of fear is not unusual, but this extreme emotion is.

Coming from Knives, that blend of panic, hatred and anger is a dangerous brew.

The flare lasted long enough that I fear he has destroyed another city. There was a brief surge of relief (surprisingly, not satisfaction), but that melted away over his slow-burning hatred and anger. The icy chill of fear was still present, and still stronger than usual, mingled with his hatred and anger, until his emotions abruptly ceased broadcasting.

He is hiding himself from me, again, as I must continually hide myself from him.

I know approximately where he was, when he was broadcasting. I shall begin traveling in that direction. I hope to leave at least the insurance girls behind along the way.

I don't want either of them to be hurt any more because of me, or because of what I must do, or whom I must fight.

I expect that shaking young Wolfwood will be more difficult than leaving the girls behind. He didn't grow up as sheltered as they did, and he seems more alert to possible dangers than the girls are.

The girls have seen some of the dangers with their own eyes, yet their behavior suggests that they don't fully comprehend what they have seen. Wolfwood, on the other hand, takes the threats seriously. He's almost more concerned for Milly than I am for both girls.

He might be better at controlling his facial expressions than I am, but his eyes often tell all. Was that the reason why he took up smoking? Was it to give himself an excuse to look down, hiding his eyes from others?

I worry about these children, Rem, and others like them. Some I've barely met in passing, and others were born since I last traveled through their towns. Yet all are in danger from Knives' fury.

It's probably far too late, now, for whoever awakened Knives' ire. However, I can still attempt to protect others.

I miss you, Rem. Your wisdom, now, would be such a blessing to me... even though it's a blessing I never deserved.

- Vash "the Stampede"



Note: The following "letter" corresponds with the chapter "Colorless Expression" in Trigun Maximum 6 (or Trigun Maximum Omnibus 2). In that chapter, among other things, Vash goes into a church and listens to a sermon. Mr. Nightow wrote and drew that scene: I only included it. I did visit an online searchable Bible, to verify the quotes, and carefully defined the word "repent."




Year 113, month 8, day 5

Dear Rem,

They are still following me, Rem.

Wolfwood and the girls: they're all here in this town.

I don't know what's wrong with me. Usually, I can elude people better than this.

I've spent decades dodging lawmen and lynch mobs. During the last several years, I've also dodged bounty hunters. I've successfully gotten away from numerous infatuated girls, and even a few infatuated boys, all of whom seemed to be excessively lonely souls that became far too intrigued by the "new face" in town.

Admittedly, earlier, some of my efforts to evade Wolfwood and the girls were only half-hearted. I'm beginning to worry that I've allowed them to get too close. Have they come to know me well enough to detect when I'm about to run? I've always been a terrible liar, but I'd thought I was a better actor than that. Was I only successful in acting, previously, because I was dealing with complete strangers?

There's already so much blood on my hands... tens of thousands of people, perhaps a hundred thousand - perhaps even more. I don't want the blood of these children added to that.

I'm sorry... I'm sorry... I'm sorry... I'm sorry... I'm sorry...

I can never say it enough. I can never mean it enough. I can never be sorry enough. Nothing will ever bring back those people whose lives I have damaged or destroyed.

Most monsters only destroy one, or a few, at a time. I slaughtered tens of thousands in a single day. After killing so many, how can I hope to help any? I may find myself killing them, too.

I've tried drinking, to dull the pain. I just end up throwing most of it back up. My metabolism moves too quickly for me to get seriously drunk. Unfortunately, a buzz just doesn't do anything useful. The resulting head and stomach aches aren't helpful, either.

I wander in and out of shops, but nothing helps. Nothing even serves as a distraction.

There's a church here. Its doors are open today. I put my newly-purchased whiskey bottle into my coat's pocket as I look at the building.

You always spoke respectfully when you mentioned God. You used to talk as if He might have answers for everything. Maybe I should go in... Maybe I can learn something there... something that will help me to help those Knives would destroy.

Maybe I can learn how to atone, at least a little, for my many sins. They're so heavy, Rem. The weight of my sins is crushing me. If I don't learn how to bear this heavy load, I fear there won't be enough of me left to deal with Knives.

I can't protect anyone if I don't stop Knives. I can't stop him if I'm like this, scarcely caring if I live or die. He would kill me, and then he'd continue killing others.

Maybe I can learn something in the church that will help...

I begin walking up the steps. One of the little boys uses his legs to trip me and knock me down. I fall. I smile, and compliment him on his skill. Then I send him on his way.

I stand up and brush myself off. The church doors are still open. They seem to beckon to me. I walk in, quietly, and find a place to sit down. It's not difficult to find a place to sit. It's a fair-sized building, but most of the benches are empty.

A man stands up front, and speaks.

"'All have sinned, and fallen short - or proved themselves unworthy - of God's glory'," he says, quoting Romans 3:23. He adds a quote from Luke 23:34, and says, "'Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.'"

"Those were His words," the preacher says. "If you honestly confess, and repent of your sins - that means to agree with God that you've done wrong, and choose from now onward to always do your best to turn away from sins - and if you beg for His mercy and forgiveness, then our Heavenly Father will surely forgive you."

He continues, "On the distant Earth, the 'Son of Man' took on and bore the burden of our sins in front of the almighty God, our Father."

I try to listen to his words, but I am in too much pain. I find myself thinking that it cannot be possible.

My sins cannot be forgivable, at least not as easily as that. No one can forgive my sins - no one. How can there be any release from this burden? I can't even forgive myself...

Before I can bring myself to listen to any more of the preacher's words, a "wanted" poster with my picture on it is placed in front of my face.

"Yo!" a softly triumphant voice whispers in my left ear. "This is you, ain't it?"

"What?" I reply with a grin, equally softly, "This silly-looking guy? You're kidding, right?"

"Don't be so cold, Mr. Famous," a mocking voice whispers in my other ear. "You don't want your brains to get blown out in the house of God, do you?"

I let them take me out of the church. Whatever else happens, I don't want to make a mess in there. I don't think you would want a church disrespected in that manner, either, Rem.

They have speakers blaring at an unpleasantly high volume. They begin gloating about dragging me out of there without a fight. I don't like it, but I have no right to be proud after what I've done. So I bite my tongue and bear it.

The leader of the group identifies himself as a bounty hunter.

The insurance girls come to see what all the commotion is about.

When Meryl hears the man boasting of himself as a bounty hunter, she protests, "The Central Sheriff's Department rescinded Vash's 'wanted' status a long time ago!"

"Shut up!" the bounty hunter interrupts her. "This bounty on him doesn't come from the government. It's personal!"

He names his client, and says that she lost her family in the destruction of July.

My anger evaporates. He continues speaking, but I no longer hear him.

No matter what he and his associates do to me, it will be less than I deserve.

They all begin shooting at me. I dodge, mostly reflexively. I've trained myself to dodge bullets for too long, it seems. I can't make myself hold still. Aside from that, I don't resist.

"Nice dodging," the bounty hunter says, after a while.

I think he only paused his shooting to reload. The whiskey bottle I'd purchased and pocketed before going into the church is broken in two. I laugh a little nervously and slurp a few drops off the back of my left glove.

"This is all too easy for you, ain't it? No big deal at all," the bounty hunter grumbles. "Looks like I can get serious, then."

"No big deal? Easy?" I find myself saying, though so softly that he probably couldn't hear me with the racket coming from his speakers. "That's how you see it... well, that's okay. At least I don't have to grovel or cry..."

Then an emergency attention signal interrupts the broadcast. A reporter's voice informs everyone that, a few hours earlier, in the small town of November, there was a mass murder. The victims had been cut to pieces by a very sharp blade. Witnesses described an enormous blade-like object rising from the ship in the center of town. Not surprisingly, the reporter says the area is panicking.

"Tongari!" Wolfwood yells, "It's him. Let's move." Nicholas turns his head toward the bounty hunter and his associates and adds, "The fun's over, boys. We're skipping town in five minutes!"

What the bounty hunter and his friends say doesn't bear repeating. They attack, and Wolfwood shoots back. I also had to draw, and shoot, to protect Wolfwood. I wouldn't shoot at anyone only for myself, Rem. Not anymore.

I see a bullet coming toward my head. I know I should dodge it. I need to deal with Knives before I can allow myself to die. Yet it hurts so much, Rem... I don't know if I can continue like this...

I hesitate too long. I feel heat in my arm, which startles me. Feathers form. One feather rises up to catch and stop the bullet. I am still, silently staring as I watch this happen.

I had not expected that. I did not will it to happen. It simply happened.

I hear a scream, and Milly's worried voice asking her "sempai" what was wrong.

"Crap," I say, and concentrate to make the feathers retract. While I'm focusing on that, I'm peripherally aware that people are reacting to what they saw.

"What was that?"

"A monster?"

"He's using the power of the Devil!"

"This can't be good..."

Someone whimpers...

"Are we just gonna let him go?"

"This is bad!"

"The legendary calamities were his doing!"

"July, Juneora Rock, the fifth moon... he's the one to blame!"

I remain still, kneeling in the dirt on the road and hanging my head. I know what's coming. It's not as if this hasn't happened before.

The only difference is that now I know the truth. I'm worse than anything they could say about me, and worse than any vile name that they could ever call me. I deserve all of it. I'm not innocent. Perhaps I never was.

They begin throwing rocks.

"Get out of here, you fiend!"

"This place is only for humans!"

"Ooh, ah, ow, ouch!" I say, as I stand and move toward the edge of town. I don't hurry.

Wolfwood yells an insult at them. "We were just leaving!" he protests. "Would you just stop it already?"

"Ow, ouch!" I say again. I can't help it. The rocks hurt.

Wolfwood had said "we." I guess that means he intends to come with me.

"Let's just go, Wolfwood," I say to him. If I don't leave him behind here with the girls, then maybe he won't help the girls to follow me later on. Maybe I can elude him farther down the road.

I walk over to the girls and smile at them. Meryl's face is buried against Milly's shoulder. Milly has her arms around her small partner, and tears in her eyes.

"Mister Vash," Milly says, "I don't understand. What's happening? What's wrong? Even at a time like this, how can you keep smiling like that?"

"What else am I supposed to do?" I say to her. "I don't know anymore. Thank you... I'm sorry... Meryl..."

The small insurance girl cringes away from my hand, before I can pat her shoulder.

I had wanted to cure her of her infatuation (if she had one), but I'd hoped that afterward she would only despise me. I hadn't wanted her to be terrified of me. Her panicked reaction hurt more than I know how to put into words.

Perhaps one reason it hurt so much is that it had crossed my mind to try to make myself into what she wanted, for as long as she lived. It wasn't that I felt romantically inclined toward her. Instead, I simply wished to avoid hurting her.

Now I realize that was never possible. She wants an ordinary human man, not a monster like me. She had mistaken me for one of those, something I can never hope to become.

She cannot possibly despise me as much as I despise myself. No one can.

"I'm sorry," I say again, as I turn away from them. I'm too heartbroken to find words for a farewell to them. I don't expect that I will ever see either of those girls again.

Wolfwood bids them farewell as he follows me away from them.

I begin running toward the edge of town. The townsfolk are throwing stones indiscriminately, and some were hitting the girls and Wolfwood.

These children shouldn't have to suffer for my sins!

"Honestly," Wolfwood says as we run away from the town, "Bad luck follows you everywhere!"

"Give me a break," I say to him, "I'm almost in tears!"

This time, I'm not exaggerating.

I hope the townsfolk won't continue to trouble the girls, after I'm gone. They shouldn't have any reason to harm them, then.

With me out of their lives, they'll both be safer. They should be happier, too. Both are likely to live much longer lives now, than they would have if they had remained in proximity to me.

I will miss them, but there is no pain so great that it's beyond what I deserve. I should never have allowed them to follow me. They have been distraught and hurt because of me, and I cannot forgive myself for that.

Today's lesson is the same as all of the other most recent lessons. I am a danger to all who venture near to me. I must not forget, even for a moment, what a menace I am. I must keep all ordinary humans well away from me.

I must get away from Wolfwood, too, at the earliest opportunity. I don't want to be responsible for his death.

I must focus only on stopping Knives. Perhaps it is best if Knives and I destroy each other. We aren't good for this world. We probably wouldn't be good for anyone, anywhere.

I'm sorry that I couldn't be a better person, for your sake, Rem. I'm sorry that what I have become is such a source of grief to you.

At least it seems unlikely that I will continue to grieve you much longer.

I will always love you, Rem. I hope that doesn't displease you too much.

- Vash "the Stampede"
.

I colored a picture from this chapter of the manga ... click to see

...

I do not own Vash "the Stampede," Rem Saverem, Meryl Stryfe, Milly Thompson, Nicholas D. Wolfwood, etc: they all belong to the incomparable Mr. Yasuhiro Nightow.

This series of "Unwritten Letters" attempts to get inside of Vash's head, usually regarding the events in the manga (or anime). I will try to follow the chronology as closely as possible, and blend in Anime where the Manga is silent (though favoring Manga when ever there's conflicting information).

I imagine that Vash would be someone who'd want to re-examine a day's events, and try to learn from any mistakes he made. Vash doesn't consistently have anyone around that he can talk with that honestly. So it occurs to me that Vash -might- compose letters in his mind as the way that he re-examines his day, unwinds, and learns any lessons he can from it. Most of these "unwritten" letters will be addressed to Rem. However, if it's about something I imagine Vash would think that someone else might understand better, he may address that one to someone else.

The dates align with the manga. I use manga dates where they are given. Where dates are not given, I’m using my best guesstimate.

I hope all who read this collection, or any part of it, will enjoy it. :aww:

The entire collection of "Unwritten Letters" may be found in my gallery's "Unwritten Letters" folder.

...

If anyone's curious, my other Trigun Fanfiction (most of which is not duplicate posted at DA) can be found through my profile at fanfiction.net. :)

Note: There's no need for an account or to log in, just to read things posted at fanfiction.net. ;P
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