Haruka's Diary
Chasing After Rainbows: Alternate Dimension (Part 42)

30 January 2010

Alternate Dimension (Part 42)

I changed my clothes with one of the set of clothes I just bought. (Itsuki is waiting outside despite me genuinely allowing him to be around as I changed.) I don't know what my hands were doing to my head and face as they moved by themselves. I couldn't tell as my eyes were forced shut and there wasn't any mirrors when I could see again. I wonder how I look like, and what's with this pleasant smell coming from myself?

I put on my white coat, changed into high heel shoes (they're uncomfortable and unstable for running, but I don't know why I like wearing them), and wore two work passes that had distinctive designs for the company I work for and for the one I founded, but what kind of a job title is "Visitor" for the one I founded, and "Executive Research Assistant" for the other? I have another for the former that says "Employee of Hatsuya Institute", but that's worse than just "Visitor" since my employees see the Hatsuya institute as a major competitor that the HR department does not want people who had worked there before. There are three different designs for passes for visitors, staff, and supervisors, but me having the supervisor design with my name, photo, and the title "Visitor" on it especially looks odd: there's no name, photo, or fanciful design for a visitor pass! Title on my pass is completely different from company records though, but my pass is genuine with anti-copying features.

Itsuki was waiting in my office at the entrance of my house here. He had the extremely shocked face when he saw me and wanted to get away quickly.

Itsuki: "Please forgive me! You see, my younger sister went into that room you came from and intruded into your office. P…please forgive me. I really didn't mean to…"

He closed his eyes with his hands together, as though begging me for forgiveness for something. What is he doing?

Me: "Onii-chan, what are you talking about? It's me! Saeko!"

He slowly opened his eyes to have a quick look at me before heaving a sigh of relief.

Itsuki: It's just you, but what is with all that you are wearing? I really didn't recognize you with all that you have put on and that hairstyle.

I looked at myself in the mirror. Yes, who is that serious-looking woman in a business suit with a white coat on it? Why am I seeing her instead of myself? She seems to be copying every action I make perfectly. Wait, that's me?! That's what my hands were doing by themselves as my eyes were forced shut? I don't even recognize myself, nor do I look awful. Neither did I know that just some adjustments here and there make me look different. Me being formerly part of Itsuki had me have mixed reactions about how I look.

Me: "Lets just say that I was thinking of having the people here to take me seriously."

Itsuki: "Erm, before I get attracted to you, shall we go search for whatever we are looking for?"

Why would you want to be attracted to your other self? You already have Kotomi.

•••••

We roamed around all the rooms in the entire facility, but yet we don't even know what to look for. There are so many rooms I've never been into before with many unfamiliar faces that are, ironically, my employees. As I show myself quite rarely, don't think anyone knows who I am though: there were no photos of me anywhere in the company (except my pass and entry scanners), and only my name and rumors being spread around (which are wild guesses) are the only way to know that I exist. I was called "the mysterious big boss" like those two who called us earlier.

While walking around, some of the staff tried to stop us (reluctantly), but immediately let us through after staring at me for reasons they didn't say, along with a face saying that they did not expect me to appear. They either saw my name or a supervisor-level pass design with a photo that matches mine. What I'm still amused is that the fingerprint scanners all over think that Itsuki's thumbprint is mine: I am supposed to be the only one who has access to all rooms without restrictions, but he is in many ways physically identical to me.

Why is Itsuki trying to avoid looking at me since I changed clothes? Well, my appearance alone give others the "don't mess around with me" feeling, though he could be feeling guilty after underestimating my abilities from earlier.

After what seemed like forever, we could not find any clues relating to the current phenomenon. We know we had overlooked documents and digital information, but there's way too much to look through. Wonder if any of my staff knows anything?

As we were about to head to the last few rooms, we met up with the two we met earlier and an another who had stopped me quite a while back for "hanging around" too much. Not sure if any of them recognize me from before though.

Staff A: "Oh! It's you again! And who's that with you? I've never seen her before."

He looked at me and noticed my pass.

Staff B: "Saeko Hisakawa… Where have I heard that… OH, SHI- It's the big boss that allowed the guy with her and his sister to run around the place. By the way, where is she?"

I sighed.

Me: "Didn't you get the hint? I've already mentioned that I'm Itsuki's younger sister, and he mentioned our family name."

Staff A: "That voice… you were that schoolgirl we met earlier?! A kid who founded and is running one of the biggest research companies in the country?"

Me: "Sadly, yes."

Itsuki: "It's a long story."

Staff C: "I was shocked myself to. I didn't know the schoolgirl I see running around everyday was the big boss. I thought she was visiting her father here or something until I noticed her doing it too frequently for too long. I was shocked when she showed me her pass upon being asked."

Me: "I wanted to keep my profile low by not making it obvious and using my appearance to my advantage. Also, I don't want people to know that I can't age or die due to some curse beyond my control. I'm supposed to be 18, but my body's age is frozen at 15. In fact, I was supposed to have died twice since I remember being stabbed or hit by a speeding vehicle and feeling the pain and seeing myself in a pool of my own blood. Even I don't know how I immediately recovered from that as though it never happened, or who tried to kill me."

I was surprised I was able to say all of that. Everyone, including Itsuki, had a shocked look on their faces.

Me: "Before anyone asks, I'm not a vampire either."

Staff B: "So what are you exactly?"

Itsuki: "Her soul originated from me directly, but her body is a clone of my female self while in the other dimension that somewhat went wrong. Before anyone knows that her soul is in the clone instead of the original, the Hatsuya Institute decided to irreversibly turn her body into something like an invincible, no-maintenance android. Besides emotionally, I don't know if she's would be affected if I were gone."

Me: "It may sound great, but as the years go by, I got tired of it. As Itsuki said, I was him and even had a girlfriend before it happened, but now I can't."

Itsuki: "By the way, did you find anything to share with us?"

She referred to a handheld device.

Staff C: "Well, so far it does not seem to originate from here, but it seems to have caused by something. We don't know what it is, but we know that it's in an office building downtown. We look up at the tenants of that building, and found out that a long-time rival company of the Hatsuya institute, which is not us obviously, is the major tenant. According to the boss' notes about them..."

Huh? Me? I didn't write anything. What are you talking about?

Staff C: "...she had been physically attacked by them at least three times and a loved one, which, in the current dimension, is still alive. Both worked for Hatsuya institute. Another earlier case 12 years ago is where the wife of a supervisor of one of their branches was killed for failing to give information that particular branch was working on. All of the victims they attacked were killed, but for reasons our boss mentioned earlier, she was the only one who survived their attack. Their objective behind this is unknown."

Where did you get this information? Although they are true, I never wrote this down anywhere.

Staff B: "That's cruel! Sure we are competing against them too, but not to that extent of killing people! Why isn't the company shut down or the police arresting them?"

Staff C: "There was no evidence or suspicious items found when they raided the place, and they just employ thugs or gangs on the streets and paying them with a lot of money instead of their own people. Oh, and here's one of the few videos available of them attacking a victim as it happened. Be warned that it's quite disturbing."

She also showed a video of me (from a witness point of view) being pinned down suddenly. A masked man started stabbing me with a knife and my Mihara uniform soon torn and stained with my blood. I tried to stop him, but was too weak to stop him. I showed no sign of life when they decided to stop stabbing and ran away, threatening bystanders as they pass. Odd, it didn't seem that painful or horrifying from my point of view. After the video ended at that point, everyone, Itsuki especially, was speechless.

Me: "I'm afraid to say that the girl being killed there in the video really is me. But what's the point of being invincible if my body behaves as though I am actually dying and unable to fight back? I was really scared! Hey, why are we talking about my past? Aren't we supposed to stop them or something?"

Staff A: "Erm, we are limited in numbers that they could just wipe us out easily. We could ask for outside help, but who out there isn't vanished into thin air? Plus, we don't have enough information to know what their strength is or their weaknesses are."

Staff B: "That's a tough question."

Me: "For starters, I shall head there first to sneak around to find out what they are up to. If they do catch me, do not respond to their demands, even if they point a loaded gun at my head or something like that. Next, forgive me if I went crazy since my actions could be easily modified. Lastly, I want all of you to work together with the Hatsuya institute. I'm sure they would know who I am if you mention my name. Itsuki here might help you guys with this."

Except, Itsuki seem to be very distracted by my voice and appearance to pay attention as to what I said. I know what he's thinking. Guys…

Me: "I know you are thinking "there's no way that this attractive sweet-sounding woman is the other me", but can you work with my workers and contact our director when I'm not around? It's important for making this tricky mission a success."

Itsuki: "Yeah, sure."

He gave me a "how did you know" look, but did not say that. Let's not waste anymore time.

Itsuki did not use my car today, so it should be at the usual spot, but how how are we getting around all the stationery vehicles? Can this car fly or go through objects? Well, I only know I could just sit in the passenger seat and think of the end destination and the car would move as though there's someone driving it. Like me, it doesn't need maintenance and there won't be any dents or feel the impact if you were to drive this thing at high speed into a wall and there won't be any dents on both the car and the wall. It just stops like a 3D game hack: sudden, but you won't feel it.

What a long bad today has been for my original birthday. At least the meal at the family restaurant was great.

Chapter 9

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中野区, 東京都, Japan
帰国子女 英語能力は堪能。趣味はアニメや漫画やプログラムコードを編集。通常、あたしの小説を英語で書いてです。Grew up abroad &travelled to different countries. I write my own fictional novel on my blog.