Alternate Dimension (Part 46)

Itsuki: "He has already been eliminated by your current time? How? When?"

Kotomi: "Well, all that I could say is that there would be a lot of confusion, even more confusion than anything Saeko has already went through: Nobody could tell who's who, as everyone's appearance has changed overnight. I was surprised to suddenly see a lot of foreigners with hardly any locals, but, apart from the confusion, all were behaving like one. I've seen a grown-up crying like a baby, and a child driving a car. I didn't think I was affected too until I looked at myself and my family. Everyone was forced to corporate with each other to solve the problem, by that, I mean thousands, or even millions, of people."

So how do we know that the Kotomi here is the one we know and not someone else if you're telling us that everyone's appearance had changed? I'm guessing that it's already been fixed, or you're someone who has known her close enough to not raise our suspicious when we first saw you, or the problem was undone when travelling back in time, but if the last part is true, she would look the same as the Kotomi of this time. It's also possible that Kotomi herself sent someone or an avatar who looks a lot like her here on her behalf to pass the message. Nobody knows how exactly the future will be, and predictions have proven to be different, like in the 1960s or 1970s of how 2001 would be like with all that space travel, but the computers that are nothing more than bulky things with flashing bulbs and query results are printed out like a large receipt or screens that looked like a large box with a curved glass that appears gray when not in use. Technology for video calls that they predicted is already here, but since people don't want to seen or know their location, it never became big and is now limited to online chat and business meetings. Kotomi didn't seem to bring along technological things except the ones of our time or earlier. Odd that what was released 3 months ago she had looked quite old, like she actually had it for a long time and not buying it just for this trip.

Itsuki: "Sounds like something big, like a 8.0 magnitude earthquake or the world war or something."

Kotomi: "Erm, Saeko, I know what you're thinking, but you do know that I'm from the future and can't confirm anything more than what has already happened or known presently. As to why I could say about a cousin's funeral in the future but not being able to say that..."

There was a weird sound that is usually heard when a corrupted video on a disc is being played, what was even more weird was that it came out of her mouth.

Kotomi: " my husband is because of a mandatory rule in the..."

That sound again. Though the vocal cords are technically able to make that sound, or other people's voices, nobody is able to come as close as that sound, no matter how hard they tried, if they wanted to.

Kotomi: "...unless necessary. I hate to hear those weird sounds coming out of my mouth if I am trying to say what I'm not allowed to like a while ago. Makes me sound like a computer speaker. Anyways, I should go now as I have work to do, and people from my time might be watching my actions, even if there aren't cameras around."

With that, she runs off to some deserted area to make sure nobody saw her how she travelled through time. The words that the future Kotomi had left behind cleared up our doubts, but also raises questions like how is the mastermind captured? She didn't specify a time-frame of when that would happen, apart from it already over by her time. The way she said it tells me that it will not happen quite soon and she won't be there as the future Kotomi had just heard of it. We walked around the town aimlessly before she head back to her time. What's so nostalgic of this place? She had never worked or studied here, and neither is it her hometown. Could be something that only she herself had experienced.

Itsuki: "I have a strong feeling that her future husband is me. Look at her face: it's as though she is still seeing the both of us very frequently, especially the way she treated me."

Me: "More importantly, how is that big boss going to be caught? She wouldn't have come all the way from the future for nothing you know. It must be important and it's obvious that there are more things she didn't say, but left a lot of hints. We already know that she doesn't show her actual feelings to anyone else besides us, but what we saw is rather absurd. We saw her crying deeply twice, but the way she talked while crying was as though she's not crying at all, apart from the sobbing voice."

Itsuki: Yeah, what did she do? She mentioned "her employees", so it could be something wrong that happened at work. She is one of the people behind what happened to you, though she herself was a test subject by her uncle at birth, with abnormalities not appearing until many years later, though Kotomi herself noticed that her body does things she doesn't understand, but the uncle saying that it was normal like why she fell in love with me, and can't stop thinking of me despite not interested in me at all at first. Sounds like her body doesn't cooperate with her own mind.

Why are you talking about this? I already knew this, and it somewhat applies to me too.

Me: "And that escaped man, we don't know what he's capable of, or anyone he keeps in contact with, but the international police are on the alert. I don't think he's stupid enough to keep his original look and wore a disguise like how he escaped and documents that would even fool the authorities if they were to check. It was hard to tell what he was wearing as people were too focused on me back then and assumed that the boss was one of those who were already arrested or shot."


My task at the Powell Institute most of the time is just to help others, especially difficult and overdue tasks, so it wouldn't make a difference if I helped apart from slightly less work to do, though I do this remotely without showing my face. Being reminded of what Takagi-senpai had said to me, I checked the employee records. There are several with that family name in the records, but different given name. I'm not familiar with the latter, so I should look through their bio and photo too. She did tell me how she was employed here, though unaware that I am the founder. The highest level most of my employees have seen are their immediate superior or one of the directors, but I can overwrite their decisions and give instructions to my employees directly. Unless there is a strong reason to do so, I would normally not interfere with the human resources department on deciding who comes in or gets kicked out. Except the few who saw me during the last crisis, those who saw me would think that I'm just an another visitor until they noticed me in a staff-only or restricted areas, which I usually don't do.

Now that the yearly attract-new-members-to-your-club, period of the new school year is over, the club that I'm now in charge of has seen a large amount of people entering, comparable to sports clubs. Not surprisingly since it's popular, and there were spillovers from disbanded clubs. During that time though, a lot of people came just to see me for the same reason as last year's, though not as chaotic.

One of the people from the disbanded clubs is a familiar face from the neighbouring art club: Takuya Ishida (石田 卓哉), a second year student. It's a shame to see that club close down, but there's not enough support to keep it going. He seemed lost at first, but felt better when I introduced to things like 3D modeling, and video and image editing. He might not currently understand programming, but he's certainly quite talented in designing and visualizing.

Club activities is the only thing I'm looking forward to these days, as everything else is the same routine I'm so used to. Besides that, the only other thing that's not the same each time is Itsuki bringing me out to places. Are there any major events to look forward to? By major, I mean something that I would really look forward to, or something that are the most notable out from a lot of things that I went through and remember them well. Odd that I can still remember a particular trip to the supermarket 5 years ago clearly even though nothing significant happened and is considered a regular thing at that time.

There's a new club that has been created in the previous school year by big fans of anime, Frontier, Crimson, The Tower of Something, R2 Rebellion, Kokoro wo Taberu and War with the Library, are among the ones that are on TV now, according to them. I checked the schedule, and it airs after midnight. No wonder they looked sleepy or hoped that their recorders had caught it due to the schedule changing by a few minutes from time to time, or, worse, postponed by an another week due to some sports event. I sometimes don't understand what they are talking about among themselves, like the term "Nice Boat" that everyone was talking about about the time it was formed. At least they are the peaceful type as to not beat people up. I can't believe the amount of money spent on merchandise that could be used for more meaningful things.

Chapter 10

Last edited: 13 March 2010


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