Disorientated Feelings (Part 28)
Anyways, this visitor who had greeted rather informally and it turns out that he really is from overseas. He's name is Brandon Hopson friend of my uncle that drops by from time to time and like my uncle, creeps me out. I last met him during my college days in California. I found out that during the time between me heading overseas to study and the funeral of a cousin's (Nanami) immediate family, I was kept in the dark as to what was going on back in Japan. I didn't know anything about my husband's female clone entering this dimension back then, or the madness she had went through. The reason they gave was that they didn't want my college studies to be interrupted or be affected.
Brandon: "Wow, your country has changed a lot since I last came here with your uncle. I'm still amazed of how advanced in technology for a long time."
He's part of a division in North America that works on the programming and came here for time-traveling and instant teleportation. After all, who would want to arrive at the exact same spot after time traveling if that spot has an object, like support beams, in the way or has nothing solid to stand on below your feet as a result of digging/erosion or a building not built.
It's sad that I don't know how things were back then even though I saw images and things from that time. Seeing old things as brand new shocked me, and films from the beginning of the Showa era and earlier are scary. Not only am I seeing a lot of people that might have already died now, the events around that time were, well, so horrifying that I'm ashamed that I'm their decedent, but I can't believe the chaos back then. Even I don't know why my great-grandmother married a foreigner from east Russia, which kind of messes up the appearance of their decedents: my eyes are not brown, and neither is my hair completely black that people actually though that I'm wearing contact lenses or had dyed my hair. I was born like this, but I've always wondered why I'm so different and this seems to vary among my siblings. Except for the colour, it seems that the shape of our faces comes from either mom's side or any non-foreigner on dad's side. Wait, doesn't that make almost everyone a distant relative of me?
Brandon: "Saeko might not have told you this due to either the trauma or lost of memory from being shot, but in summer 2008, she was shot in the head. Her "body protection" covered only the torso, and anywhere outside that area is not effective, but at least her mind and memories are still intact, but the guys from her memories are whipped off. The sad part is that she can't see or hear any non-female human being, as though they don't exist, even via image prints or video displays as though they don't exist. She could, however, feel them or receive messages by them. So, even though it took place in a crowded area and had saw who the attackers are, her memories messed up means that her memories of the place are less crowded (due to her inability to see guys), and only recalls seeing a "floating gun". She knows the place should be more crowded than what her memories says and the gun can't be "floating in mid-air" by itself. Even though the damage to the brain has now been reversed, we can restore memories that were corrupted, but due to the complexity, Saeko's modified state during your husband's birthday of the year before the incident might replace part of her current memories."
Me: "It sound like a video game where information about an object is missing, but is allocated a description of the missing item as though it's not missing. But you don't know what that missing thing is. So, how was she fixed?"
Brandon: "Well, it actually involves us of the current time-frame heading into the past. Technology back then was not advanced enough to fit the power of a super-computer into something as thin and small as the clothes we wear, which is what the newer version of the body suit is that could prevent her from being sniped in the future."
I shall not go into the details of the rest of what he said, but it includes Saeko's body growing a bit while changing to the new one. Although I wasn't around for Itsuki's birthday in 2007, I did hear that his "experiment" with Saeko caused some damage to the latter's behavior from her attempt to regain control of her body. I would have stopped my husband from this erratic behavior if I was around. It could be further damaged by the bullet that went into her head. I feel sorry for Saeko for being admitted to hospital a lot of times.
Brandon: "Because of her inability to see guys, we had decided to send her to Mizuho."
Mizuho as in Mizuho Girls' High (瑞穂女子高校)? She had went to countless schools that I didn't pay attention to this particular one as one of the many she had went to. Their uniform closely resemble more of a formal business attire. What's even more odd is that although males are allowed to visit, work, or even study there (no, seriously) since it was founded, there are no signs of any guys or even male toilets in the entire campus grounds or them spotted stepping out of it ever since it moved to the current campus, but people did see them entering. It's almost like a trap for them, except, they somehow reappear outside unharmed. Well, that's for the guests and temporary staff. For the male students and teachers, nobody knows what happened to them, except that they are known to still keep in contact with their friends and family. Well, I do know the truth behind it as I was part of the team with setting up the security of the place. It's a unique concept that involves making them to obey to not trespass or leak the school's secrets without official approval that kind of eliminates the need of a fence or a security guard. Nothing more that goes against their will. However, there's another team that is involves with the finer details that are unknown to me. My husband, who had went in there before to visit Saeko and something that involves his work, confirmed this, but didn't say what happened to him upon entering other than that he's happy about it.
Besides some background information about that school, time travelling is a risky thing that involves three versions:
- Viewing. You can watch the past/future with your own eyes like watching a video or navigating through a game map, but you can't interact with it.
- Being there as what you are at that time. Interaction is possible, but risk altering your present/future. It might be possible that the current past is already influenced by your present/future time pane. Also, you can't travel anytime outside the time you are alive.
- Being there as your current self. Same as above, but time-range is not limited to your life-span. There's also the added consequences of letting your past self see you or, worse, prevent your own parents (or anyone in the direct family line) from meeting each other, directly or indirectly. Saeko is a living example of how different my husband could have been if his parents had done something different, including insignificant ones.
These are not laws, but safety precautions. There's even a debate about bringing in things from the present/future into the past. Things that are time-sensitive like the internet may have different content or even unavailable. You could technically bring a 2010s car into the 1930s, but what about the fuel? Or more importantly, what would people think if they see it? If this time-traveling thing is to be make known to the public, what about the bad things people could do with it? I could go to the past and cut off my past's leg, but by doing so, my own leg would become the same as how I cut off my past's leg as that past self is me too, with my life since then possible different from that point of time than what I had went through and possibly the horror of my future self cutting my leg in my mind. Sounds silly, but think of the serious things that can happen. There's also the additional precautionary measure that we don't spawn inside an object or end up anywhere but the ground.
With careful planning to not have anyone in the past see either of us, we traveled to a private hospital owned by the Hatsuya division in Hong Kong that is more well known as Fatt Guk, the Cantonese pronunciation of the kanji for Hatsuya (筏谷) due to someone misinterpreting the Chinese characters as Cantonese instead of Japanese when registering the English name there. Avoiding known people there was not difficult as it's in a foreign land, but they could be there on a holiday. Looking at the situation, it would be best to "fix" her 3 months after the incident. Since the new version is not complete and the information needed to transfer to the respective departments from my time (transferring data through time is a lot more complicated that the internet) necessary to complete it, I could only partially restore to the original state and temporary provisions. Some adjustments to her eyes allow her to see guys as quite faint figures (as compared to not able to see them at all), loading a backup of her memories as at my husband's birthday in 2007 with some adjustments with newer memories. There's a possibility that she won't be the same as she was before the incident even with all of this, but it's unlikely that her mind would be affected. I treasure her more than my husband because her mind was part of my husband that treated me nicely when I first met him, but the current one is an idiot. I married him only because of Saeko and my unexplained instincts of not wanting anyone else.
Since I'm already "in the future" I don't need to wait long to see how it turns out and it turns out to be quite similar to the Saeko I saw when I came back for the funeral of the Fujibayashi household. So, no point going further into this ordeal. Brandon told me that it's okay to talk about what I just did to the present Saeko and Itsuki.
Children: "Mommy! Welcome home."
Erm, what are these things again? They came out of me 3/4 of a year after I had that with my husband and then it seemed that I have to take things easy and avoid unhealthy things during that time as my stomach grew larger and for some reason. No, my mum is some woman who took care of me as far as I could remember as a baby who, in some ways, look like me and... WAIT, I'M THEIR MOTHER? As in like me and my mother, but with "me" being those things and me being "mother".
Itsuki: "Oh? Kotomi? You're back. Saeko has yet to come back, but she could be staying at one of the many places she owns instead. Also, I was just about to cook dinner and... Kotomi?"
This is a joke, right? It's like the tables have turned in my family where I was a happy middle school student and suddenly wake up to be an adult with children with my own house, taxes, bills, and with what I'm even wearing very adult-like and respectable-looking. I'm not running around and playing with slides, I'm suddenly interested with boring and complicated things instead of fun stuff, time seemed to move forward faster and faster. There's some guy who's the father of these things and staying with me. I don't know my own birthday, I remember this strange feeling deep inside me when I was born with the face of my uncle stuck in it, I remember being killed by something I can't see that sounded like the train horn. The time my boyfriend suddenly became a girl, the time I was locked in at the middle school storeroom with a crazy guy for the whole night, the time I was almost narrowly struck by lightning at Edgewood County Park, the time I was almost knocked down by a reversing car outside my primary school. Oh no, why am I suddenly having these thoughts?
Voices: "Mommy? Kotomi? Are you alright?"
I suddenly lost control of myself and fainted from all the dizziness that the only thing I knew at that time was that the movement of my legs was restricted by the skirt I'm wearing when I fell.
When I came around, I was in the bed of the master bedroom where my husband and I sleep. I noticed that he had changed my clothes. The lighting of the room is dim too.
Itsuki: "The children had went to sleep and I've already informed your workplace that you had fallen ill. They said you looked fine when you left."
Me: "I think I've worked too hard. Adapting to my surroundings of a place I've never been to before of a different time uses a lot of mind power to process the unfamiliar things I saw there. The summer of 2008 in Hong Kong. Also, my mind was stuck at my middle school days and was shocked on what I suddenly had. I was already fainting when my mind returned back to normal."
I didn't go into detail about the thoughts in my mind before I collapsed, and I didn't mind my husband changing me out from my binding clothes that traps my body heat. He looked as though he was expecting me to talk about it, but didn't.
Itsuki: "Oh, that particular summer. I mysteriously fell ill just like you did, but it was worsened by Saeko forcing me to answer her questions in my drowsy state simply because I didn't notice her sleeping under my bed in of my bedroom at my parent's house before lying down. My weight pinned her down and couldn't move, but I didn't know she was there as mom didn't say who or where the guest was."
Itsuki: "Well, prior to her being shot, I noticed through the viewer that there were several suspicious men in black suits hiding in the crowd and focusing on Saeko, with one of them holding a sniper riffle. All were wearing dark sunglasses. I arranged a special taxi to pick her up at an area near a downtown branch there. It's too risky to have her walk into the office with them watching."
Did you just say something important? You just described what I thought only Saeko saw, whose memory of the event was corrupted.
Itsuki: "I tried to warn by calling her, but after my call, she should have pretend to walk towards the taxi as per normal instead turning around to look at the sniper and running away. The taxi driver was the one who picked her up and sent her to the hospital. Of course, he changed the license number once he made sure those black-suited guys were out of sight. That bullet that went into her brain caused her to lose all memories of even knowing what guys look like, among other things we aren't sure of. I don't know if she saw me differently, but I was the only male she could see. I had tried to restore her memories with a copy I had, but missing information after the backup date is not covered that I had put in some of the events of what Saeko might have seen with me around. It was only three months later before she was discharged. They said that her head was still quite fragile with the head bandage still on and her legs were still paralyzed, but would be fully restored back to normal during her time in Mizuho."
Unable to come up with an answer, I just nodded weakly.
Itsuki: "During her time in Mizuho, she chose to stay at the dormitories there as she's afraid of running into trouble into guys she can't see and don't even leave the campus unless she's with her friends. On some days, I have to bring her out from inside the campus grounds myself. I don't need to hang around suspiciously as I was transferred my workplace to there shortly after the incident because of Saeko. By then, she could see guys, but is so afraid of them to the extent of running away on sight of something her mind has never seen or known before. Again, I'm the odd one that she doesn't run away from."
I wanted to ask what it was like from his point of view to step into the grounds of that school, but I fell asleep by this point and completely forgotten about it when I woke up.