Alternate Dimension (Part 57)

My position as the Kamisugi High's Computer Club President has been handed over to the person whom everyone has elected months earlier, just before every third year became very serious for their college entrance tests. Initially, I wanted Takagi to take over my position, but he revealed to me that he was in the same year as me. That left me an uncertainty on how the newly elected club president would lead.

As I cleared out my things, I came across that strange doll again. It's the doll that, according to rumors, people who had came across this doll had their lives completely changed, like my Mihara classmate and her childhood friend some years ago... Wait. Could I also be one of its many victims too? The day it happened is about the same... No, it can't be, right? But, I've seen that thing several times, and my life now is completely different from before I first saw it... I think I should leave this thing behind and... what is he doing here?

Me: "Takuya-kun, what are you doing here?"

Takuya: "Well, I just want to visit the club room for the last time..."

I sensed that he didn't make it through his choices of universities and would have to wait for another whole year for an another chance.

Me: "Anyways, the founder of the Powell Institute asked me personally if I had friends who are interested in joining them. She said that being employed through her is easier than through the Human Resources department since she cares more about developing abilities and doesn't even care if you didn't even have a degree the HR department is looking out for. You are also protected from being dismissed or retrenched by all the supervisors except the founder herself. Keep in mind that she's so busy that she only appears in the company's messaging system, and you are considered lucky to even see her in person, so this is considered a rare opportunity."

His facial expression changed.

Takuya: "Really?! Please let her know that I'm interested."

The "founder" in question was me. It is common knowledge that most of the jobs at Powell requires, at minimum, a degree. It's also known that it's hard to succeed through the interviews done by the HR department due to strict standards, and their particular dislike towards people who were previously employed at Hatsuya Institute for reasons unknown to me, partly because I'm a Hatsuya employee too. I'm unrecognizable when in school uniform, or in random disguises to gather information from employees without revealing my identity, but for other occasions, my attire is formal enough to let everyone know that I have the highest authority there that, unless they didn't know it was me due to my disguise, they would greet me on sight and be careful not to make a mistake. To people like Itsuki... he disregards my level of authority and even managed to seduce me like the other day despite my seriousness. The HR department is not the only place to get employed into Powell, but they are the ones who put up the job offerings and therefore, to outsiders, seemed like the only way. Another way of getting in is through events like the annual programming competitions that is hosted in collaboration with other companies. The last way of getting in is through me, which I had talked about earlier.

The impact that I had left behind at Kamisugi High seemed great as I was mentioned in many of the farewell speeches. It was too emotional for me to handle. It was even sadder to leave the place I have been to for years for the last time. As for the Nanami that Itsuki had asked me to observe, I have not found anything special about her other than confirming that she is a relative to Kotomi. I seriously don't see the point of observing her.

So, I have this break between leaving Kamisugi High and entering Mizuho Girls' Academy, though the days between the first day of college entrance exams and graduation seemed to have toned down from the peak of the studying period. It is also this period was when Takuya had agreed to do the interview to join the Powell institute. In my wardrobe of my main house near Itsuki's place, it seems that I have already received the new sets of uniforms not long after that announcement of the new Mizuho uniform designs I saw even though that was even before the official results of its entrance tests were announced. Seems that my application was indeed sent to them a long time ago. When I tried it on, nothing seem to have happened to me. The "transforming properties" of the Mizuho uniforms Itsuki mentioned either doesn't work here and now, or would be adjusted to something similar to mine. Yes, the Mizuho uniform is not just a piece of cloth, it has technology built into it, but yet still weigh the same. What they are exactly is relatively unknown, but it has shown that the wearer does not develop not even a minor health issue from prolonged wearing of it, and the wearer and the uniform does not even get dirty or wet even if they dived into muddy water like they had never been. (Well, breathing underwater is an another thing though.) Since Itsuki is still wearing the older version while to work, I'm guessing that it would be on the day of the entrance ceremony the new one (*hnff*) would take effect.

I have prepared myself and my office for the interview, and, of course, checked what the available positions are. It's the same attire as when I have to show myself for business meetings, and, more recently, my conversation with Itsuki at my office about Kotomi coming back later in the year. It gives the atmosphere of not doing foolish things with me so effectively that I'm even scared to look at myself. The door that separates my house here and my office that sits right outside of it is easily concealable and can't be discovered by mistake due to the biometric entry system. Itsuki managed to get in since he shares the same traits as mine, and until recently, even my own thoughts could be monitored by Hatsuya Institute as part of their "discover trends among students for each period of time" nonsense, which is also why I am endlessly attending high schools for what seemed for almost a decade so far. Talk about a lack of privacy and freedom of my otherwise immortal life. To make matters worse, my name was registered under "Kanade Haneda" (羽田奏) with my hairstyle in the photo completely different from what I normally had my hair in. Apparently, they said that this was to avoid people from Kamisugi from recognize me. Those from Mihara in this dimension don't even know me, and my original high school with Kotomi is associated with that other me I always tag along with.

Closer to the interview time, a staff notified me of Takuya entering, as expected. Then, I saw the door of my office door being opened. It was partially opened just enough to not see me, but enough to see my desk and my arm.

Takuya: "Excuse me, is this the room of the founder of the Powell institute? I'm Ishida Takuya, and I'm sorry for not knowing your name."

Takagi was dressed quite appropriately for the interview, and holding some documents. He still doesn't seen to know that it's me yet. I adjusted my voice a bit to give the temporary impression that it's not me. I have to use that voice too while associated with that new identity.

Me: "So you are the friend of the recently-graduated computer club president of your school who told me about you. Am I right?"

Takuya: "Er, yes. She was the one who told me about this interview."

Me: "You are even lucky that you would just need to hear me talking rubbish for the interview. The HR department usually does that instead, but their standards and expectations are quite high. Besides, I already know your performance at your club and you didn't made it through the college entrance tests as the subjects tested are not of your interest. Quite a shame that the Art club you joined at first was disbanded by the beginning of your second year."

He seemed shocked that I knew this much without asking him questions.

Me: "Don't worry, I didn't do a research about you prior to this interview. In fact, I was with you as it happened."

Takuya: "I'm sorry, did I hear you say that you were with me?"

Me: "Yes. don't you recognize me? No? What about with this look and the name on this shiny useless thing on this desk."

I adjusted my hair and voice back to the usual one. The "shiny useless thing" I was refering to was the plate with gold-like texture that is long with 3 sides. My name was facing away from him before I said that. Takagi became more shocked the more "me" he knows was formed.

Takagi: "Hisakawa-san?! What are you doing here?"

Me: "I'm the so-called founder of the Powell Institute, and also the same person who was the computer club president of Kamisugi High right until a few weeks ago. I must emphasize on the "so-called" as I personally didn't founded it, but all evidence point to me. It's one of the many things I suddenly had as a result of my life being completely different from what I was used to. It's like a wish, that I have never asked for, coming true. I'm supposed to be 21 this year, attending 4th year of college, and working as an employee of the Hatsuya Institute. But instead, they made worse on a minor disaster I had relating to their projects, and I'm now forever stuck with a girl's 16-year-old immortal body that doesn't ages, and belongs to them. Don't you know about all the nonsense I have to go through now? Even now, I am still scared to even look at myself. I mean, what's with all this things I'm wearing now? At one moment, I was a nobody who was struggling, and the next moment, I'm suddenly popular and smart girl who looks prettier than most of the girls I've seen before. It's like waking up to find yourself in a body of someone else and can't return back."

To an outsider, it would seemed that an otherwise serious person holding an important position of a well known company suddenly showing her true colours that has been hidden for so long, or having gone insane.

Takuya: "Does... anyone else know about this?"

Me: "A close friend of mine and her uncle, who's also the director of the Hatusya institute, and the third years of our club when we were only first years. One of them currently works here at Powell."

Takuya: "...and what about my job here? You seem carried away talking about yourself."

Me: "Ah, that. You are actually already hired since I mentioned about knowing your performance at school. What is left now is to choose any available positions that interests you. I should have been more serious that the HR people throughout the interview because of my position, but I don't feel comfortable with going through the formalities with people I know outside this company. Welcome aboard anyway."

Now that the interview is over, I should start preparing before the first day at Mizuho. It's location is somewhere north of Kamisugi city. Pedestrian and vehicular entrances are separate, with the former designed in such a way that you couldn't tell who among those not wearing the Mizuho uniform are entering the campus or not. The Mizuho uniforms seems to change your natural behavior and how your body functions in many ways, including not developing health issues from wearing something for too long. Maybe it's because it's based on me that I don't notice any difference. Itsuki told me that, including the older version, everyone is issued with the same sizes and, if detected if someone is wearing the wrong type of uniform or are missing something, it would be corrected upon entering as part of the "transformation". "Transformation" times varies from person to person, but as a general rule, a girl who has the same age and body measurements as me would be the quickest.

According to the route that Itsuki brought me around the last I was there, it show little of the facilities they had as the route didn't go anywhere near the more central areas but more of the outer areas. Not counting stores in the central area, most of the companies that had been set up in here share are usually business services, media production, and scientific research businesses. Although the place is slightly smaller compared to Mihara, it's still big enough to require transport to get around. Since there are very few roads, walking and the free inter-school train system are the popular choice to get around. I should have done this earlier, but I should have checked how crowded the trains are between Mizuho and my house inside Powell institute.

Chapter 14


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