Innocence is a beautiful sight to behold. From the first gurgling giggles of a baby to the ecstatic smiles of young children, the joy and purity of innocence is a reminder to us all of how we once viewed the world. Carefree and guileless, we had no worries and no fears; we simply trusted and loved those around us, and placed our faith in those who loved us without reservation. But as we got older, the world around us seemed to change, little by little. Maybe we are hurt by a friend, maybe we catch our parents arguing, or perhaps a family member ridicules us for our beliefs. Each experience darkens the tint of our formerly rose-colored glasses, until at last, when our false expectations are shattered,
we realize that the world was never as secure as we wanted it to be…we were simply blind to the truth. The world is an ugly placed, populated by broken people who have no choice but to accept the status quo; the dark forces that push and pull at our lives seem unstoppable, ready to tear into us at any moment.
Such is the fate of our world…such is the world of Black Bullet: a dark, hopeless time where monsters known as Gastrea rule the world, kept from the last remnants of humanity by pillars of a substance known as Varanium. But the Gastrea were born from a virus, and they grow out of human hosts, so anyone at any time could be infected, and die to bring forth a Gastrea ready to destroy anything in its path. The Gastrea can be fought, but it takes a specially trained team of individuals with Varanium weapons to even bring one down, and the majority of humans do not and cannot afford to undergo such training. In this hopeless world, how can innocence exist? Who can have any form of innocence or decency in such a horrible and indecent time?
The answer lies in those who have the least to lose: the Cursed Children. The specialized teams that fight Gastrea are always made of two individuals: a human operative known as a Promoter and a Cursed Child, called Initiators. The Cursed Children are female children born to mothers who were infected by Gastrea while they were pregnant: this gave the girls more durability and strength than most humans, and also special abilities based on the type of Gastrea they were infected by. These girls are crucial to the elimination of Gastrea, because they give their allies an advantage of speed and power that levels the playing field against their enemies. Their alliance doesn’t merely stem from the need to fight, however, as each Child needs to be medicated regularly so as to counteract the influence of the Gastrea DNA within them, and prevent becoming Gastrea themselves. But despite the sacrifices they make and the help they offer, the Cursed Children are shunned as monsters by most of society: hated because they are a constant reminder of the toll that the Gastrea have taken on humanity. They have no reason to hope, no reason to even want to help…but they do. Why? How can the Cursed Children find a reason to hope, to love, to trust, in the midst of a world that hates them?
They place their faith in their Promotors. Each Child has a deep and personal relationship with their Promoters; the trust that they place in each other is more than skin-deep, but it forms the essence of their bond. They rely on each other in order to stay alive each day, so they can’t rely on a passing knowledge to get them through, but on an intimate and deep knowledge of how the other thinks, feels, and reacts. In a world where innocence seems lost, it can be found by putting faith in the one who keeps us going each day, both in the world of Black Bullet, and in ours. We can find the innocence and joy that we think we’ve lost by trusting in God. When we hit rock bottom and lay down our pride, when we give ourselves fully to Him, when we allow Him into every nook and cranny of our lives and let Him shape us as He wills, we can learn to truly love, to truly feel, to truly trust. We will not be foolish or blind in our trust, as God calls us to be “wise as serpents, yet harmless as doves”, but because of our trust in God, we will be able to love and trust others without reservation, knowing that God has a plan for it all. It’s not easy, as the world around us will find ways to hurt us…even those close to us can and will sometimes bring us pain. But that pain and loss will never define us, as we are defined by someone greater than anyone or anything that could hurt us in this world. As we journey through this broken, sinful world, let’s pray that God gives us the grace to trust Him. It’s the only way that we will be able to survive, here among the monsters.