Haruka's Diary
Chasing After Rainbows: February 2010

27 February 2010

Alternate Dimension (Part 45)

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Takagi: "As for the rest of the club members... I don't know what they would be doing, but that recent incident in the papers involving Hatsuya's long-time rival did seem to have an impact on their original plans. Anyways, I want to go now. See you then, if I get to see you again, Hisakawa-san."

We certainly have been here for quite a while: the place is almost quiet now.

Me: "Yeah, see you then. Takagi-san."

She turned around and walked towards the main building. From where we were, I couldn't tell if she's walking around the school for the last time or if she's already heading out through the gates. I don't know when I would see her again, if ever. Either way, I found myself alone again. There was nothing but the sound of the leaves rustle in the wind for quite a while. Before long, I felt being hugged from behind. The aura of the person hugging me feels awfully familiar: it's like I'm being hugged by myself.

Itsuki: "So there you are. Why are you crying?"

Itsuki had sneak up to me. What is he doing here?

Me: "It's nothing. It's just that any graduating ceremony makes me sad, and I had not been to one since graduating from middle school."

Itsuki: "Didn't the both of us attended for high school graduation ceremony the year before?"

He showed me one from his school at Katsura and the other of me at Mihara. I don't recall the latter event.

Me: "If that happened during when my time was frozen during the dimensional change, how am I there as per normal?"

Itsuki: "That's either our counterpart in the dimension you were cloned in, or something that fills in the void while you were not around. Something like the Kotomi you saw being killed. It is a way to minimize the impact to others if someone were to suddenly disappear off to somewhere until they return."

Itsuki re-winded the one of his graduation until Kotomi appeared to be walking up to the stage. She was in the school's student council, but she never revealed what position she was in.

Me: "What's so out of the ordinary about her speech that I don't know about?"

Itsuki: "Look closely at the school principal."

It wasn't obvious from the audience point of view, but the backstage angle revealed that he said something to her. Kotomi herself didn't understand what he said, but the speech she had to give to the large audience in front of her forced her not to ask him questions about it at that time.

Itsuki: "Shame, that old man is now gone due to health problems. He was the first person who told her about the train incident a couple of years prior to the actual event, but she thought it was a joke as he told her that on her 16th birthday. Oh, on the date she claimed to have come back from the other dimension, her behavior was completely different from the day before, but still within her characteristics. She was literally crying in my arms and saying stuff that I wasn't paying attention to, though I did hear indirectly talking about you."

Me: "I would like to meet her again, but that won't happen for an another two and a half years, unless a family or relative of hers is hospitalized or has passed away, which is highly unlikely to happen."

Itsuki: "I've actually brought her along with me. She's currently hiding somewhere nearby. We were searching for you after the graduation ceremony."

Voice from behind: "Hi there! Saeko, you really had not changed at all through all these years."

"All these years"? And that voice... it's familiar. I turned around, but visually, I don't recognize her. Kotomi's older sister? But she's the eldest in the family...

The three of us started to walk out of the gate and talk along the way. The school is deserted by then, with only the graduates that have deep attachment of the school and those cleaning up the place. I was bored of where I was, but where are we walking to?

Itsuki: "She claims to be from the future. Though she didn't say how far, she did say that she is married with two children in primary school. It does explain why she looks a lot older and more mature than when I last saw the present Kotomi. She didn't tell me whom she's married to."

Kotomi: "You two will find out when the time comes. I came here because of what I just found out and could only be done in your time. I can't talk to my younger self because, as you know, I was studying in a well known Californian university and there is this annoying, but yet cause consequences if not followed, law of not allowing the past self to see the future self, but the reverse is allowed. Don't worry, the me who's there will come back here some months before graduation in mid-2009 for a funeral of a family relative. Anyways, Saeko, you might have experienced it recently, where they had cut you... Oh, sorry, I made myself cry."

She started to cry as though it had an impact on her, but she's trying her best to stop herself from crying. The Kotomi I know would cry into my... erm... Itsuki's arms for quite a while and let her feelings take over her. I think I know what she was talking about. It became more obvious as time passed since the first time I met her that her inner behavior does not match with her external expression in front of people. Me, Itsuki, and her unknown husband are the only ones who saw her true colours she doesn't show to others. Not sure about her children.

Kotomi (sad): "Anyways, forgive my current mood. You do know that the rival of the Hatsuya Research Institute has been brought down, right? Well, apparently, the "big boss" had escaped.

Itsuki: "Had escaped? But how?"

Kotomi: "Apparently, he was hiding in a place the police had overlooked and stayed there long enough to have the police at the ground floor leave. The police had checked all the rooms except storerooms and female toilets. This guy is heavily armed that he could easily take down heavily armored group of policemen. Saeko, you are the only one who can take on his attacks, but we need to change your reaction to it away from "pretend to be actually killed" mode. You have experienced that on several occasions, and found it annoying as it makes you helpless. That means that you being cut by a chainsaw would not even penetrate and not even leave a wound instead of your body parts all over the place with the blood, flesh, and... Argh, I'm crying again, and it's stronger than the last."

Though I sense annoyance on herself crying, the way she cried says that she's honestly sad about it.

Kotomi (sobbing): "Since young, I've trained myself not to show my angry self to others, how stressed I am, or do anything that would caused people to see me with a negative impression. As time passed, this turned into me being unable to express my actual mood. People had pointed out that my tone of voice, the way I say things, my external expression, and what I wrote, sometimes do not match with each other, though the words I say or write are the most reliable way to tell my actual mood. They get confused when I gave people a promotion or pay rise when I told them that with my frustrated expression and angry tone of voice as though they would be dismissed from work, though I had told everyone that I suffer from uncontrollable mood swings."

Sure enough, she suddenly became happy upon seeing how different things are between her time and my time. I wonder how things in the future look like?

Itsuki: "So before you were interrupted by your uncontrollable crying, you were saying he had escaped. How did he manage to hide from the police?"

Kotomi: "As you recall, there was the time where he made everyone disappear with their things on the ground. I don't know if I was one of them as it happened when I was already sleeping."

The time difference between California and Japan is about 17hours. That's almost a whole day behind!

Kotomi: "He used the machine to his advantage to try to sneak away, but since he noticed you approaching, he hid in a toilet the police didn't find him in, and probably wore a disguise to leave undetected. All that I can say is that he has already been eliminated in my time."

Chapter 10

20 February 2010

Non-ASCII link

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Although the support for this has been around for quite a while, I've rarely come across the sites non-Latin based languages having non-ASCII based URLs or IDN. Part of the reason for this are spoofing concerns such as the Cyrillic "а" looking a lot like the Latin "a" and misleading people since they look so identical, resulting on it not supported or enabled by default.

Anyways, on my main blog in Japanese, you would notice that the URL is
http://虹を追いかけて.blogspot.com/
in Webkit-based browsers (Safari, Chrome), but due to reasons mentioned in the previous paragraph, or in browsers that don't support it, you are most likely to see
http://xn--n8jos8fqkx000ci6n.blogspot.com/
instead.

"But how did you get the name there as the actual domain?" is what you're probably asking. If you want anything after ccTLD it uses code that's completely different from the above like
http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%99%B9%E3%82%92%E8%BF%BD%E3%81%84%E3%81%8B%E3%81%91%E3%81%A6
for
http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/虹を追いかけて
you might see when hovering over a link in eg. Firefox (of course, that article in question does not exist) and it's obviously longer, but that's not what I'm talking about here.

As you might know, entering the non-ASCII URLs is simple:

Internet Explorer 8 or Firefox 3.6:
Enter the URL you want and hit enter. If you are using IE8, the converted URL might appear for only a second before redirecting to your default search engine.
Enter the URL you want and hit enter. If you are using IE8, the converted URL might appear for only a second before redirecting to your default search engine.
You should see this or an error message below with that same url. "www." might be automatically added.

In IE8, you can check both the native and encoded addresses and even what type of characters were used.

Chrome:
The encoded URL would appear just as you type it.
Yes, it's that simple for Chrome. Anyways, copy that encoded URL, edit out unwanted parts (if necessary), register it, and you're done!

I would like to see this take off, but I don't want people using Cyrillic characters to mislead others into thinking they are the look-alike Latin characters. Also, can we hide "http://"? The person who invented it didn't want that to appear too. "www." is also redundant and a mouthful to say out.

(Cross-posted from the technology blog.)

16 February 2010

Recalling Memories

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Have you wondered why you could not recall your dreams, but could when you just woke up? I'm not an expert, but these dreams are based on what you have already seen, so they are just playbacks and are therefore not "recorded".

Since our memories are recorded in some unknown ways that might vary on top of having so many things already inside. If you have been doing/staring@ it for a long time or if it's significant enough, you would remember it. However, if you think too much on trying not to remember it, you would remember it anyway.

This is not recalling on exactly how many tiny insects like ants we have stepped on at a particular area or the MD5 hash code of a particular file, but how effective/detailed we learn and recall things depends several things: familiarity, duration, age, health, location, distractions, and other things. In general, the most recent can be recalled easily, but one from a long time ago has to be significant enough for you to remember it. Sometimes, you do remember it, but you don't think of it at all until something related triggers it. However, since this get shuffled around and compressed, we might not remember other details that you saw but did not pay attention to. Do you even remember what was the person sitting 7 seats to your left at the side opposite you in a crowded train was wearing, holding, talking to, or whether that person alighted after or before you? If you have never seen this person before and nothing significant happens, you won't remember that person. Even more likely to not pay attention if this happened on a typical day.

This is the way we remember things: process everything that comes in, get rid of what seemed insignificant, and what is left behind is what you remember. If something new happens, the older memory might have some or all parts removed to make way for the new memory. If it happens too frequently, you don't even pay attention until you are uprooted from what you are already used to.

Speaking of meeting someone, say you attended an entrance ceremony or the first day of something like college in the sea of unfamiliar people in a place unfamiliar to you back then. Then you meet someone after that would eventually become friends or at least your classmates. The thing is: can you recall seeing that friend prior to the commencement of the entrance ceremony? If that person didn't stand out, you probably won't remember. I didn't say "during the ceremony", since you might have looked around out of boredom long enough to remember some faces that eventually become your friends.

I know I had dreams of something before that ranges from [forgot] to [forgot], but some strange ones somehow woke me up and actually felt as though I was falling somehow, but didn't even fall off the bed. But if my sleep, that had a dream, was interrupted, I can't get myself to resume it even if I knew what the dream was. Another reason why I don't like my sleep interrupted and need a duration longer than the interrupted duration to make up for it, as long that sleep wasn't interrupted.

Wait, what am I writing? I think somebody showing me a photo of a shopping cart at the beach partially submerged by the sea water had some effects like me dreaming about the internet. Ugh... This post should have been published 9 days ago too.

15 February 2010

Alternate Dimension (Part 44)

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Classmate 1: "Yesterday was totally bizarre isn't it? I was studying in the afternoon when the sky suddenly became night with my pen I was holding on the ground and me sitting on top of my clothes. I swear I was wearing them a moment earlier. Good thing I was in my room."

Classmate 2: "The same happened to me too, but I was outside. Quite embarrassing. The same seem to happen to everyone else at the same time too. Some even found themselves in a mysterious crash, but are unharmed."

Classmate 3 (laughing): "Sounds like there is a serial mass undresser on the loose. By the way, have you heard? That research company that was previously accused for murders years ago, but with no evidence found, has finally been brought down. Here, look!"

She showed a newspaper, that appears to be today's edition, to the other two.

Classmate 1: I bet they were behind the massive...

She jumped in shock and became disturbed on what she saw.

Classmate 1: "That's way cruel, cutting a woman into pieces, and there's several articles inside confirming their past accusations, including ones I've never heard of before or seem related. But who's this recent, most violently attacked, victim? They didn't mention who she is or what caused the incident to happen."

Classmate 2: "That victim in pieces looks a lot like... Hisakawa-san? Our own school-wide famous classmate?"

The three girls turned to look at me. I just waved at them with a smile when I saw them looking at me. They smiled back at me before they turn back to each other.

Classmate 1: "No, she's right here and is still alive in one piece. If she wasn't, she wouldn't be here and we would have heard of it by now."

Classmate 2: "But the victim here resembles her the most, and the images here are not fake."

Please don't ask me, I don't want to answer to whose body that is even though I know that was me. I might accidentally reveal my secret if you make me and I don't like to tell lies either.

Classmate 3: "Well, the article did say that the victim was working for their major competitor, the Hatsuya Institute. Hatsuya is known for developing a lot of advanced, yet top secret, things that other research companies would want to know. Who knows if that victim is one of their many clones they have. Securing a job at Hatsuya alone is very hard with high qualification levels and, although not mentioned, they might even do a deep background check for personality, abilities, and, if any, check on how their past criminal records happened."

Classmate 2: "There's no mention of what happened to everyone else yesterday even though it's quite obvious and it happened on a massive scale. It's as though us humans, except those involved in this article, had vanished into thin air somehow during that time for hours that, to us, seemed like a fraction of a second."

Something like this seem to be the topic everyone is talking about lately, but none asked if I had somehow rose up from the dead. The situation could have been different if they had published my name and photo. There was no mention of the company I founded at all.

Classmate 4: "Hey girls, what are you... Uwa!"

This guy is usually one of the last to come back from lunch. He seem to like to do classroom duty with me, but is normally seen hanging around with those girls as at least one of them is his childhood friend.

Me: "I know, she looks a lot like me. Saw it on the morning news. I was really shocked myself when I saw the body. I don't know who that is."

Actually, I didn't watch the news, though I had look at a bulletin board website and the images people (anonymously) posted there earlier on my phone.

Anyways, the third semester of the first year is ongoing currently. More of the third years had turn up less frequently or even stopped coming to the club to prepare for their college entrance tests. Among the third years that are still around are those not continuing to college, having the test earlier or later than everyone else, think that they will get in easily, or those dedicated to the computer club like the club president who would turn up in the club room just to study. Since I was already elected to be the club president for the following school year, I have unofficially taken over him as most of the members asked me instead of him while the current president watches me on how I would handle the situation. Wonder if my third year seniors know that I'm actually a year older than them? They addressed me as their senior after announcement of me being the president from this upcoming April.

Although it doesn't concern me directly, closure of clubs due to lack of members at the end of the current school year does affect how many non first years entering the club next year, though there is a buffer time of a month to recruit new members. A most noticeable example of this is the art club located just next to us: after the third years had left, you don't see much people around. Students graduating from middle school who are interested in the arts wouldn't have picked this school anyway. I would like to help them, but I don't know how. (They, or the school, could ask me odd questions if I try to help them financially.) Plus, I'm quite busy as the head of the computer club and doing whatever nonsense Itsuki would want me to do, although some of the orders are just relaying the orders of the Hatsuya institute.

Due to the time difference of about two months that occurred about a year ago when transferring dimensions (as my cloned body didn't originally exist here while, ironically, my soul is), I missed out on a lot of things that happened during that time. I missed my own graduation ceremony since middle school, 4 years ago. Sure you can replay the video or attend somebody else's, but it's just not the same. Speaking of graduation, The graduation of my third year seniors is around the corner. Their last day of regular lessons was actually the end of the second term due to most college entrance tests being in January. How many times does Kotomi's weird uncle wants me to go through this? More than that of the teachers apparently. No, it's too depressing to talk about, and I don't know what I said when I was giving out my speech, so I should skip forward to when they are stepping out of the school gates for the last time, though some chose to hang around for a bit longer. It's quite easy to tell who the graduating third years are as they are wearing flowers pinned above the school badge and holding certificates the vice principal gave out earlier.

Me: "Takagi-senpai! I've something ask you!"

[Author's note: Takagi is a family name]

I can't ask a senior male club member as they would think that I am interested in them when calling out and might not be listening to me when they found out that I wanted to talk about something else instead. Also, this time-frame is rather short, not to mention the friends and family they might have brought along.

Takagi: "Oh? Hisakawa-san? Aren't you our senior instead?"

Me: "That's what I wanted to find out: I've been wondering for a long time why you and all the other people in the same year are calling me 'senpai'."

Takagi: "Well, while we were checking all the candidates, we have noticed that you have previously attended the famous Mihara academy and a typical one nearby between April 2004 and March 2007, along with working as a permanent staff of the Hatsuya institute many people are trying to het into. We also noticed there are three versions of you: the original male, the original female in the other dimension, and the clone of the female whose mind originated from the male. You fall into the third category, but inherited skills and possessions of what the second category had the first category didn't have. From there alone, we noticed that you should be a year older than us instead of 2 years younger. Must be a shock for you to be able to do something completely different, but yet, able to do well. We were even more shocked to see that you had went through so many things that even a respected elderly would not have gone through."

Wait, what did you say?

Me: "H…how did you know all of this?"

This must be a result of my cloned body being the "Property of Hatsuya Institute" and me transmitting information about myself, what I'm seeing/thinking what I did out in the open for everyone to see. Sad that I can't stop it myself. I have no privacy, I can't defend myself, I can't return to my original self, I can't remove what I'm wearing under my uniform, I can't die, I can't age, even if I seriously wanted it among other things. Worse part of it, I'm stuck with what I can't do with this body for the rest of my (eternal) life. My body even does things by itself without even myself knowing what is going on and is sending me signals of feelings that is seperate of that of my mind which confuses me or made me unable to think. Odd that I can remember clearly during what happened during the time that I can't think properly.

Takagi: "Apart from what you were thinking between what you last said and me saying this…"

Does she knows what I was thinking, or was that a wild guess?

Takagi: "…which was something about not being happy with yourself, one of the club members was randomly clicking links at the Hatsuya website under his father's account when he saw a bio about you, dated the February of the previous year, like you are some kind of robot based on someone else. We noticed that you are better at computing than us. There are also ways to check what you are doing. One went to talk to you while the rest checks one of the ways mentioned. We were shocked that it actually follows exactly what you do! We didn't tell you this because we assume that you already know about it. Talk about the lack of your own privacy. I'm sure you don't think of yourself as a robot though."

I started to cry into her chest and she pulled me closer to her body to comfort me. I have mixed reactions on her doing this to me: a part of my former male self is telling me to hold on to her for a while longer as I enjoy the feeling of… what am I thinking?

Me: "Takagi-san. Is there anything *sob* about the club that I *sob* should know about? Sorry, I can't control myself."

I said this in a sad voice as a result of my sobbing on top of my voice being muffled as my face is against her blazer. I was trying to say that in a serious voice.

Takagi: "Well, as you might already know, clubs are being closed down due to the lack of members, and our club might see the spillover effect. Even before you came, our club has enough members to not meet the axe. During the club exhibition period, well, making our club's presence known and what we do should be enough. You can ask the other members for help, though when you just joined, a lot of guys wanted to join. We had to reject those who used you as a reason, but they still loiter outside the clubroom until the teachers had to pull them away. We noticed that you were annoyed by your own popularity, so we don't blame you for the large crowd you brought to the club. You had even contributed to the club the most and completed given tasks in the quickest time that are somehow free from errors."

People were looking at us, but there aren't much people left as the graduation ceremony had ended quite a while back. Plus, the first and second years are already having their spring vacation now. If I were to be still a guy, those people around me would be gossiping even more and Takagi might mind what I'm doing to her right now even more to the extent of pushing me away, but I need someone to hug right now as I'm feeling lonely. Kotomi might not be back from her overseas studies for about two years. I don't feel comfortable being with my other self (Itsuki) as he likes to stare at me and not listen to what I'm saying because my appearance distracts him (and other guys), despite the both of us being the same person.

Me: "So what do you plan to do now that you have graduated? Work? I heard you didn't take any college entrance tests, but you look like you can enter college."

Takagi: "Well, I myself entered the same competition you took, but a year ago, and was hired by a different company. I think it's called Powell Research Institute or something like that. The company is a lot younger than Hatsuya, but seems to be rising quickly. Their headquarters is not far from here, and the place looks really nice."

That's the name of the company I founded. Even I don't know how the Human Resources department hire people or even what criteria they are looking out for, but the employees I've came across are quite good and know what they are doing.

Chapter 10

13 February 2010

470th post: Unspecified Names

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As mentioned, I will be listing the names of places mentioned frequently in my stories that had not been explained earlier. Do note that the phrases used here do not use the exact words mentioned here.

Green: Names that were given as I typed the parts they were first mentioned or gave indirect description of an actual place/company.
Blue: Names that were not given in the beginning, but were already given prior to this post
Red: Names that I made up while typing this post or later on.
Black: Unknown/Forgotten where the name came from, not part of the name in question, mentioned earlier
Mixed: Parts of the name known/given at different times. Colours are as mentioned above.

Story 1:
  • School the protagonist and Yukari went to - Mihara Academy, High School section (三原学院高等部)
  • Hospital the protagonist woke up in at the beginning - Hatsuya General Hospital (筏谷総合病院)
  • "Girl 3" - Saeko Hisakawa (久川沙江子). Story 1 itself takes place in "the other dimension" mentioned in story 2/3.
  • 原宿, 山手線, 渋谷 - Harajuku, Yamanote Line, Shibuya
  • "The convenience store with green, white, orange and red colour schemes" - 7-Eleven
  • "A fast food restaurant that has the famous golden arch" - McDonalds
  • "I wanted to introduce her to the son of my father’s friend" - Kenneth Tan (protagonist)
  • Aiko Hirano's father - Kenji Hirano (平野健二), director of Hatsuya Institute
  • "That Country" - Singapore
  • Hirano-san's cousins that are coming along during the holiday - Shin'ichi/Izumi/Kousei Miyazawa
  • Hirano-san's cousins that are not coming along - Kotomi/Kuniko Miyazawa (1. Busy with work. 2. Too young)
Story 2:
  • "That large academy/school at the top of this hill (here)" - Mihara Academy (私立三原学院)
  • "The strange man who forced me to wear this swimsuit" - "Professor" (story 1), the man Haruna met at the lift lobby after visiting Saeko/Mamiko at the hospital.
  • "To a small island country quite near the equator" - Singapore
  • "A research company near the train station" - Inami (井波) branch of the Hatsuya Institute.
  • Schools the protagonist attended planned so far (from first) - Katsura High School (克良高校, 2004-2005), High school section of Mihara Academy (三原学院高等部, 2005-2006), Kamisugi High School (上杉高校, 2006-2008), Mizuho Girls' High School (瑞穂女子高校, 2009-2011). Note: The year as at part 44 is 2007.
  • "my company" - Hatsuya Research Institute (筏谷研究所)
  • Company the protagonist indirectly founded - Powell Research Institute (パーヴェル研究所)
  • Location where the protagonist was cloned - Mihara Academy, College Section (三原学院大学部).
  • "New Trunk Line" - Shinkansen (新幹線)
  • "one of the international airports in the country" - Narita International Airport (成田国際空港)
  • "in a room filled with mountains of books and papers" - One of the offices at Hatsuya Hospital.
  • "science research and development building" - The same building the protagonist was cloned
  • ***** Hisakawa - Itsuki Hisakawa
  • "a four-dimensional pocket of a popular cartoon character I watched when I was younger" - Doraemon
  • girlfriend / "a girl I met last year" - Kotomi Miyazawa (宮沢ことみ)
  • "a data cable" - IEEE 1394 interface or Universal Serial Bus
  • "the other me"/ "former male self" - Itsuki Hisakawa (久川伊月)
  • "that common OS" - Microsoft Windows XP
  • "that uncommon operating system" - Linux
Story 3
  • protagonist's middle school - Kaisei Middle School (海星中学, 2001-2003)
  • protagonist's high school - Katsura High School (克良高校, 2004-2006)
  • protagonist's university - Standford University (2007-2009)
  • cousin's school - Mihara Academy (三原学院)
  • "oldest among my siblings" - Shin'ichi Miyazawa (宮沢真一), 4 years younger
  • "2nd youngest sibling" - Kousei Miyazawa (宮沢光世), 8 years younger
  • "3rd oldest sibling" - Izumi Miyazawa (宮沢泉美), 6 years younger
  • "youngest sibling" - Kuniko Miyazawa (宮沢邦子), 12 years younger
  • great-grandmother - Ajisai Miyazawa (宮澤 紫陽花)
  • "two schools located at the opposite ends from the train station near there" - Katsura Station (克良)
  • "the hospital" - Hatsuya Genteral Hospital
  • protagonist's boyfriend/husband - Itsuki/Saeko/Mamiko Hisakawa (久川 伊月沙江子・麻美子)
  • company the protagonist worked for just after graduating from university - Tanaka Bank (田中銀行)
  • company the protagonist worked for most of the time - Hatsuya Research Institute (筏谷研究所)
  • "a particular area in the capital" - Akihabara, Tokyo
  • "a connection interface" - Universal Serial Bus
  • "those cafes" - Maid cafe
  • "this OS" - Windows XP
  • "that OS" - Fedora (Linux)
  • "just across the nearby Bayshore Freeway where my university is located" - Silicon Valley
  • "****os***, **ogle, *ppl*" - Microsoft, Google, Apple (Inc.)
Story 4
  • protagonist's high school - Kamisugi High School (上杉高校, 2008-2010). Note that the year at the beginning is Summer 2009.
  • "a popular female student who is in the same year as Takuya" - Saeko Hisakawa
  • "a girl at the north-western outskirts of the capital looks very much like her, but she's only in Year 1 and does not have the trademark hairstyle people usually identify her with" - Saeko Hisakawa (again), but is attending Mizuho Girls' High School (瑞穂女子高校) instead
  • "a well-known medical and research company that needs a qualification higher than a high school diploma" - Hatsuya Research Institute (筏谷研究所)
Do note that the first four stories has many things in common, especially story 2 and 3.

06 February 2010

Alternate Dimension (Part 43)

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The way the car brought me to the building made me sick with bumps, quick turns, and rapid speed that I had motion sickness. It took me a while before I remembered why I was there when I saw clothes and bags on the ground. The place is eerily quiet and empty for a place known to be full of people at all times.

For the safety of others, I did not bring along any tracking or communication devices. Besides, they can track and see what I'm doing without any additional equipment on me, but I can't tell what they want me to do. There might be lags from between a few milliseconds to several hours if I had been time-traveling (and off my original timeline by a few seconds upon returning) or travel at high speeds for a long period of time causing an unnoticeable time-traveling into the future by a few seconds. The latter might seem insignificant, but it adds up: I first noticed this in middle school by synchronizing with a clock up to the very second, have my daily commute to school, and checked with the same clock some time later to find it out of sync. I know it can't be the battery, but that was the reason people gave without even investigating it.

Entering the building was surprisingly easy, almost too easy. It's as though they were…

Man A: "There you are. We knew you come here on your own, little girl."

…expecting me. He has this aura of evil around him, and where did the other men with chainsaws and machine guns come from? CHAINSAWS??!! I don't think I can survive being chopped into pieces.

Me: "What do you want from me? Why are you people killing people associated with the Hatsuya Institute? What did they do to you? Why are you using violence?"

Man A: "That's none of your business."

Man B: "Say, aren't you the one whom we send someone to kill you some years ago? Those guys are useless. Just because you founded another company and inactive with the Guys! Cut her into pieces and send her to the meat factory!"

Uh oh. This is happening sooner and on a scale larger than I was expecting. I'm in big trouble: how do I fight back when I'm empty-handed? Although they are spread apart, there's ample space for me to slip past them. The problem? Why did I pick these pair of high heels knowing that I would have difficulty running in these? Either way, there's a slim chance I would make it to the elevator over there and have the doors close before they could reach me.

Man C: "She's running for the elevator! Get her!"

They're getting closer quickly. What did I do to deserve this? Why did I come here without help or equipment?

Man A: "You can't get away now! One of our guys has cut the power of the elevator out!"

Oh no, my only way out is a dead end.

Next thing I knew, I saw them cutting the arms and legs of my headless body and then carrying only my body along (I can feel it), leaving my other body parts behind. They did try to cut that before my head, but failed to because of the swimsuit on it. I'm horrified on the idea of cutting people up, but I never thought I would be the victim and seeing it as it happened with all the blood! Wait... how am I seeing this? Why am I still able to think? Why didn't I feel anything as they attacked me, but yet reacted as though I did?

After what seemed liked endless boredom with my (missing) body feeling endlessly being touched, causing me to be unable to think for a while each time, familiar voices appeared. There was a feeling that a lot of people were looking.

Staff A: "Boss! What have they done to her?"

Staff B: "Why did she do it knowing that something like this would happen?"

Staff C: "Even though we had disabled whatever caused the phenomenon and called the police along, we were too late to prevent this from happening. I don't think the hospital could do anything to restore her either."

Director: "I never thought this could happen to her, let alone seeing it with my own eyes."

Itsuki: "She's still alive. We can reset this thing here so that she could move and talk to us, but, as you point out, her body is missing, so we can't put her back together. The logs from when we last saw her are still running. Look, even our current conversation is there. Saeko, you can move now."

I was able to move my arms, legs, and head. Looks odd since my main body is missing and the rest are moving around like fishes out of the water: I was trying to get up. I accidentally kicked my other leg as that happened.

Me: "Opps. Didn't mean to kick my leg away. I need help here. "

I noticed that my voice came out of the device Itsuki is holding instead of my mouth, though my lips did move as normal. I guess my vocal cords are not working as my head was split apart at the neck. An unfamiliar person that appeared to be my aly collected all my remaining body parts and placed them in some order in a luggage bag like I'm something you disassemble when storing aside. They didn't close the bag though.

Me: "As you can see, they had cut me into pieces and obtained my body for whatever they want since they noticed I didn't die after ramming a van at me at speeds that should have. Right now, they are some floors up trying to figure out how to remove the swimsuit that made me invincible as they think I have computer parts inside. I don't know where exactly though."

Itsuki: "According to signals we are receiving, it's at the 49th floor. There are no records of any tenants occupying that level, and the only way to get there is through the stairs at a particular area of a certain floor. Saeko, you obviously can't do anything at your current state, but you can help with the police by providing visuals as to what is going on up there, including possible ambushes in hidden areas."

Me: "Well, I'll try."

After some trial and error, I somehow manage to provide visuals of the place at angles and places the security cameras are unable to cover. Not sure how accurate this is, considering I've never been into any part of the building but the ground floor lobby. I decided to send the police tracking information on everyone there associated with the company should they try to escape later.

On one of the visuals has men in surgery outfits trying to figure out how to open up my body. They seemed unaware of the situation outside.

Man A: "I don't get it, why is this thing impossible to cut? We have already cut off her legs, arms, and head, but why can't we cut her body with the same chainsaw or even poke a needle in? It looks totally unscratched. Why is this body still moving around with the head chopped off like a cockroach? Good thing it doesn't has legs or hands to get away. Hey, stop moving!"

He punched hard into my body. I can feel the impact of him doing that.

Man B: "Well, we could use it as our play toy."

He did something that forced me to blush excessively. Hey, stop that.

Man B: "See? It even reacted to what I do to the body."

Man A: "Well, it's no fun with that thing in the way. Can't believe something that thin is impossible to cut or remove. How is this thing moving? I see flesh and blood instead of chips and wires at the areas that were cut."

Man C: "Let's try pouring acid like what we did to the director's nephew last winter or throw it into flames."

They just said something that had everyone listening to have their attention: they are the culprits that caused Kotomi to go blind and was later killed by a train. Even the Kotomi that's still alive now in the current dimension knows about this event from the (now altered) future. The police are now sneaking their way to the room my body is held hostage, with another team or me informing of potential dangers along the way.

The crooks poured as much acid as they felt like (which was a lot more than the amount poured into Kotomi's eyes) and watched me suffer the pain.

Man A: "Odd. Although the body is reacting as it should, there are no signs that acid was even poured: it's completely dry as though nothing happened!"

Man B: "What is this thing?!"

Man C: "We could use it as a shield at least."

No, I don't want to be your shield, and that acid you poured earlier was painful.

By this time, the police managed to quietly eliminate all the thugs outside and are proceeding towards where my body is. They are figuring stuff from how to do their next move to unlocking the type of lock used on the door (assuming it's locked) in a discreet manner, without alerting people on the other side, which is hard unless you can do that instantly and bash in immediately afterward.

What happened soon afterward happened too quick for me to follow, but the thugs that attacked were either shot dead or arrested, including the three that tried to cut my body apart. Although I'm still alive, they used photo and video of me being cut and appearing dead earlier and the copy of the footage I've sent to Kotomi ages ago as evidences for my "brutal murder" or "manslaughter". After all, who would believe that real footage of a girl who has been cut into pieces and blood all over (which is disturbing to look at) when the victim in question is still alive in one piece? People that had disappeared has now reappeared, but with all of their things on the ground (read: people screaming everywhere on what they saw). Those that were in transit found themselves at places far away from their intended destination or in a mysterious crash they weren't in a second earlier (to them).

Oh wait, the press... What should they report? Besides the above, for sure that the organization behind many crimes has been brought down, but people would notice the sudden peace, and the police team is a third-party to any of the research companies and is a body of the government. People visiting to parts of this building or walking past would notice the commotion and the long line of police vehicles. Plus, my friends might hear it and see me in a negative point of view or investors of my company would pull out, indirectly affecting my income. Er... What should I do? What can I do? Hope the police here would not reveal everything in the press conference.

Chapter 10

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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.