"Do not dishonor me boy! You have already pledged your life to your country!" Saigo closed his eyes tightly and braced himself as he was kicked back onto the ground, his ribs ablaze with pain. He let out a whimper as he was kicked yet again, blood spurting from his mouth.
"Stop! You'll kill him!"
"Don't stop me woman! He is no better than those Americans if my only son walks away for the seventh time!"
The small crowd of people that had gathered to watch the 72nd Kamikaze forces take flight watched in silence at the dramatic scene that began to unravel. Saigo Kuribayashi was a young pilot, a recent recruit to fly with the "divine winds." Their mission was like every other pilot's before them-fly their bomb loaded planes into any enemy ship they could find. This was something that was heavily romanticized by the propaganda and it had manged to trick young men like Saigo that dying in this way was 'noble.'
"Father," he croaked, struggling to stand up to his feet as a group of officers stared disapprovingly at him. "Please...don't make me go-" he let out a yelp as he was kicked again, his father's eyes wild and burning with a flame that only ignited when his father felt very patriotic, or very angry.
"You have no right to call me father boy! Our ancestors blessed you with a vision of the afterlife and the honorable death that you were to take. Now you want to walk away a coward? You want to walk away and dishonor you family, your descendants, your ancestors?" His father's face was turning a violent shade of red, his arm shaking as he pointed it at his downed son. Saigo felt a tear drip down his face as he heard the steady crying of his beloved mother. His father yelled something at her and she screamed again, her shadow falling over him as she attempted to shield him.
"Please Kenji, he's your son! You can't let them send him off again, vision or not!" Saigo's hearing began to echo everyone's voices, the mashed up sound of engines taking off, the crowd beginning to cheer, his parents yelling and a harsh ringing sound. Suddenly his vision flickered between the chaotic airfield to a majestic wooden gate with a glowing ball of light behind it.
He felt himself be shoved to his knees roughly, two of the officers standing over him. One of them, Officer Yamato his flight instructor, gave him s disappointed look as he shook his head. He motioned behind him and a young soldier in a military uniform approached, a katana held in both hands. The officer made a cutting motion and the boy brought the blade up, bringing it down as Saigo's mother yelled to stop. Then another bright light enveloped the young pilot and everything seemed to disappear.
Saigo woke up quickly, suddenly aware of a cold chill that tingled his entire body. His hands felt numb as he shoved them into the leather jacket he wore. He got up slowly, wincing from the cold and the pain in his ribs. He took several steps forward before falling to his knees, his pistol dropping out in front of him.
Saigo gazed at his surroundings, taking in the awful silence before yelling, "Where am I?"