So, here's a thought for a fun, powerful, and moving thread...possibly with LOTS of spoilers...
What is the best speech(es) from your characters in your story (either current or upcoming)?
I've got three to share. From Re:Apotheosis, Chapter XV (https://tapas.io/episode/2529915):
Cap stared up at her. “I said you’re not wrong. You’re right – I spend my days fighting people who never stand a chance against me, unless they somehow get their hands on Ultratonium, which they almost never do. Sometimes I even float there and lecture them after I’ve stopped them, which, when you think about it, is really easy to do when you’re bulletproof and they’re not. But what you’re missing is that that’s all I ever get to do.”
Alice sat on an adjacent couch. “What do you mean?”
“Do you see this glass of water?” Cap asked, picking it up and holding it in front of her. Alice nodded. “In order to drink this glass of water, I have to concentrate very carefully. If I squeeze it just the slightest bit too hard, the glass will shatter with enough force to send shards through concrete walls. Everything is like this for me. If I’m not careful opening a door, I’ll rip it off its hinges and send it flying down the hall. You’re right – I’m a god among men. But that means that I don’t get to be a man, or have what men have. Falling into this world was the first time in ages that I’ve had a proper challenge, it’s true, but it’s also the first time in decades I’ve had friends or people to spend time with who just treat me like one of them. All I get to do is fight supervillains.”
“But what about Janey Jamison, the intrepid reporter, or Billy Wilson, the photographer? Surely they’re in your life.”
Cap put down the glass and shook his head. “They’re long gone. They got old, and I didn’t. I’m the only one of us left now. And you can’t have a real life anywhere when you never age and everybody else does. I fight supervillains, and then I go to my cabin and watch television, and envy all the people on the screen for what they can have and I never could.”
“But you have that secret identity to protect–”
Cap held up his hand. “I’m Captain Infinite, the Man of Titanium. Do I really seem like somebody who needs a secret identity to protect my friends? I put it on sometimes because when I do, if I’m very lucky, I might just be treated like one of you...for a short while, anyway.” He sighed. “I would trade every single one of these powers you hate in a heartbeat just to be one of you for a day.”
And, now into spoiler territory, from The Odyssey of Daiki Yamato, Chapter V:
Aquila stared at Cap, and then looked at Kasumi and Daiki. “I killed a kid today,” she said. “Her name was Alice Yamada. She was only fifteen years old. The thing she wanted most of all was to become an idol singer, but that wasn’t her wish. The wish she wanted granted if she won this atrocity was for her grandmother to be able to come home from the hospital. She was young, and scared, and was still trying to work up the courage to put her finger on the trigger when I killed her. I was just trying to wound her. But I haven’t been in a fight for five years. I’m rusty, and I used too many swords. She deserved to live, and I killed her.”
“You could use your wish to bring her back!” the young man declared, desperation in his voice. “You could bring everybody back!”
“This one is a psychopath,” Aquila continued. “The wish he wants granted is be the greatest serial killer in history, and never get caught. He doesn’t deserve to live. He doesn’t even deserve to have his name remembered. But that’s not the worst of it. The worst of it is that Alice Yamada isn’t a protagonist, or even a primary character. She’s the sort of support character who dies to establish the stakes in the story. She was probably supposed to fight him today and lose. There’s no replacement coming for her in the next information stream update. She’s gone, and I’m the one who killed her.”
“She’s making up wild stories, and they’re all lies!” the young man said. “I’m trying to help my sick parents – I’ve never hurt anybody before!”
Aquila ignored him, the circle of swords accelerating. “This one is a primary antagonist. He’s here until the end of the story. When the next information stream update arrives, every single power I took away from him will be back. So you want me to spare the person who deserves to die, while the one who deserved to live died by my hand? I can’t do that.” Her lips curled into a sneer. “But it’s okay. It’s all coming back to me now.”
Three swords slammed into the young man, impaling him in the stomach, chest, and head. He toppled over. The spinning circle of swords disappeared. Aquila’s shoulders hunched.
“Daiki, Cap, thank you for trying to see the best in me,” she said. “I wish I could be like you. But, I’m not. I’m just a villain. That’s all. I’ll understand if you want to continue on without me.” Without meeting their gaze, she walked back into the building.
But I think this one is the best of the bunch (and also contains a whopper of a spoiler), from Chapter XIII of The Odyssey of Daiki Yamato:
“I didn’t jump from that building because somebody forced me to,” Kasumi said. “Nobody was bullying me, or driving me to kill myself. I’ve got severe chronic depression. I jumped because all I could see were the storm clouds in my mind and living didn’t feel worthwhile anymore, and I felt like nobody would miss me when I was gone anyway.
“When I drew you, I poured all of my hopes and dreams into you. I drew you to be the hero who could keep my storm clouds away. And on one of the few days where my mind was clear, I shared you, and everybody who saw you loved you. And I thought maybe that might be enough to keep the storm clouds away, at least for a little while. But it wasn’t. They came back, just like they always did.”
Tears ran down Kasumi’s face. “That day I climbed to the top of that building, part of me wished that I would find you waiting for me, that you would hold my hand and tell me that the storm clouds would pass. That you would save me. But you weren’t there. And deep down inside, I knew you couldn’t be there – characters you draw don’t come to life and save you.”
“I came into your world to find you,” Aquila muttered. “But I was six months too late. If I’d been on time, I would have been on that roof for you.”
Kasumi gave her a brittle smile. “I know. Whatever else you are or have done, you’re still my hero. After I jumped, and the miracle happened, and I found myself in your arms, I knew that I had been saved...that my hero did come to life and rescue me. And the storm clouds have been gone for a long time now. But, they’re never far away. They will be back someday. Sometimes I can feel them closing in. There will never be a day when I don’t need you to be able to save me.”
“I don’t know how to fix that,” Aquila said. “I don’t know how to make your storm clouds go away for good.”
“I don’t need you to fix it,” Kasumi stated. “I need you to be with me while I weather it. I need you to remind me that they will pass, and to hold and comfort me when it gets too tough for me to bear. That’s how I need you to save me.”
(And, for those who are wondering, my wife has depression, so that last one is drawn from life experience - she also checked to make sure I had gotten it right.)
So, those are my three best - what are some of yours?