Alternate Dimension (Part 76)

After that last company meeting, the perception of me to the Powell staff has changed. They used to imagine me as a lady somewhere between the 30s and 40s, doesn't show herself except in the messaging system or important meetings, and, just as the staff personally think they can get away with doing something bad, they would unexpectedly receive a notice from me that I know what they had done. Now they see me as someone they can't fool, has a lot of knowledge of things, and a deceiving appearance of a high school girl instead of a middle-aged woman in formal business suit people imagined me to look like. I could sense that my staff were distracted by how I looked when they talk to me. In terms of what the average staff wears, how old they look, or how they behave, I would stand out a lot. Who knew that what seems like a teenage girl running around like a child is the founder and big boss of one of the largest research companies around?

People in high position tend to be greedy, I would listen to the regular staff more than the people in between. An example of how I caught supervisors abusing their powers were when they were abusing the staff under their direct supervision, and threatened to blackmail them by having prepared fake, but convincing, evidence and present it to me and have them fired over things they never did. To make matters worse, they have more of their colleagues to side with them enough to make it look like the victim really did something wrong and threatened to give me the fake evidence if they tell others who could help them. Of course, I would side with the victim if I get a word of it, but due to the threat, they never did. I only know of it when it got to the last stage where they would need my approval for a supervisor to fire a staff over an alleged wrong-doing thing.

Once I got the notice, I investigated the case and, with my time viewer that allows me to look at the past, I could see events that aren't even recorded. (It's as if the whole world I'm in is a game, and I'm given administrative privileges to look into the things behind it.) They would be stumbled when they found out that I knew the truth among the very convincing lies and reject the request. Depending on how corrupt the supervisor and the people involved are, I might also dismiss them at the same time too. When people caught wind of this, the number of such cases dropped. Of course, some didn't believe it and did the same thing.

Sadly, as much as I would like to look more serious, I have no control over what I wear or how my body grows. When I try to be serious, it's reflected in how I phrase words like in the messaging system, but not my body's behavior, which has a mind of its own. I find myself crying with tears flowing out of my eyes when I'm feeling seriously angry since my feelings of anger is expressed as sadness. The angrier I am, the more tears would come out of me. I mean, wouldn't it be confusing if I'm seen crying and sobbing, but saying angry words in a happy voice? I warned to my staff to only pay attention to the way I'm saying words as my body language can be misleading. I did my part to try to keep myself calm so that the misleading expressions don't show up, but that's sometimes unavoidable.

To avoid being taken advantage of, I shall not have my weak points be known and train myself to be mentally strong, and that's why nobody is able to find my weak spot. I had found myself in situations where people were trying to find my weak spot, but couldn't find it. The only weakness I can't do about are those that come from being a girl, though Mizuho has trained me to not be mentally affected by it (because I'm so used to the weakness being exploited by them frequently and was forced to concentrate on doing work and studies at the same time). It's one of those things they know and help you with, but never mentioned about it. Secondly, the people I can't exactly argue with are Itsuki and Kotomi, the former because his body was previously mine and could control my body when he feels like it. My usual defence techniques against other people oddly doesn't work on him either. For Kotomi, she helps to make sure Itsuki would not go out of control and cares for me the most.

Lastly, being "a robot made by Hatsuya", they could, like Itsuki but with greater administrative rights, take control of me and do whatever they want. Me having the highest position of their rival company also means that they could use me to control Powell too if they wanted to. They originally wanted to create one out of whoever curiously enters the cloning machine they prepared, but that being me and also being an existing staff of the same company has raised a complicated situation as to what to do. If I was that random intruder instead, Hatsuya would do whatever they liked against the intruder's will. They used me as a test subject in place of lab mice or human volunteers, where my body's reaction would really react if given something untested and enhance the accuracy of developing medicine or machines. I have actually died from some of those experiments, with actual footage to show my dying process (it was very painful and horrifying from my point of view to tell you the truth), but my own body keep resurrecting me, as if the whole experiment never happened and do it again. That's why I can't really die even if I wanted to, on top of my body not being becoming biologically older than around 16. Since some experiments requires my mind to be in a certain mental state, being a staff of other departments, and is personally known by the future successor of the company (Kotomi), they have to give me a break, and that "break" is having to manage a large company a me in an another dimension founded, and attending various high schools for 3 years each.

The college who is helping Takagi's friend from back around Summer, emailed me. It appears to be sent from a mobile phone, where he said that a mysterious doll that appears to be of an ancient South American design appeared at the lab and something happened to everyone there. He wants me to head there as soon as I could. I've encountered that doll before, but I've never heard anything about it in years. What has that doll done this time?

I reached the location of the lab as soon as I could. The lab seems relatively intact, and the inside seems oddly normal for what sounded like an emergency situation. What is strange is the lack of people in it and some odd smell.

Just outside the lab around the back, I discovered a group of schoolgirls of an unknown school lying on their bags on the slope outside as if taking a nap. It seems normal until you realize that it's within the premises of the lab. One of them spotted me and asked me to come forward.

Girl with glasses: "Oh, Saeko! I forgot to mention that the air inside the laboratory is poisonous to anyone who doesn't want to be turned into schoolgirls like the three of us. Obviously, the three of us did. It's a good thing you didn't bring anyone else along, which I forgot to mention. I think you aren't affected because you are more of an object than a person."

This girl was the professor who emailed me earlier to come here? She doesn't look anywhere like him.

Girl with short hair: "Funny, I was already a woman but I never thought I would become young again."

This is probably the assistant that is usually in the lab when I come here. The third girl was sleeping, as if oblivious to the situation.

Girl with glasses: "I don't know what happened exactly... a strange looking doll of a south American origin suddenly turned up and turned all of us in the lab into young girls, and what we were wearing turned into female school uniforms. I don't know what school these uniforms we are wearing belong to, but it's certainly not one under Mizuho. Could simply be auto-generated. Even the bags that we suddenly had has some random items you would find in a typical girl's school bag. There's even a Purikura sicker of me and the other two, as what we are now, already pasted on some of the items inside."

Me: "You seem oddly relaxed for being unexpectedly turned into a girl from an adult man."

Girl with glasses: "I'm kind of already mentally prepared to become a girl after turning so many of the male Mizuho graduates into females. Say Saeko, could you take a sample of the air inside the lab and send it to headquarters? We don't know if the air in there would turn other people into girls like us, or if the change is permanent, or would spread to the surrounding areas. One thing's for sure is that it turned us into young girls in a different way from what we are familiar with."

Me: "And who's that sleeping girl with you?"

Girl with glasses: "This girl with long hair and buttoned up blazer? It's that overseas male friend of a Powell staff of yours you brought to me back in the summer. He couldn't decide what to become, but his ideas are clearly influenced by the anime he watches. I hope he doesn't mind being a girl that he appears to be now should our change be permanent, because she's clearly unrecognisable from her former self."

Very unrecognisable indeed, but I guess I already know who it was judging by the fact that there was no one else I know to be at the lab. Takagi's friend is supposed to lay low until he takes up a new identity that doesn't look anything like his former self.

Girl with short hair: "I think we should also go to headquarters for a physical check-up of our bodies, because that air we breathed in made us genetically different and we don't look anywhere near like our former selves. Headquarters might be aware of it the moment Saeko noticed something odd with this place."

Girl with glasses: "Look at the bright side: recent scientific advancements has allowed females to have a child without men, so we aren't worried about babies being born should the male gender somehow become extinct. It would be worse if the opposite happened as men can't make an offspring to replace themselves should they die, speeding up the extinction of humans."

Me: "I think I better come with you in case your records as a Hatsuya employee has been erased."

I don't know what's stranger, the professor over-exaggerating what would happen in an oddly serious point-of-view, or how normal the situation seems to be to an outsider.


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