Haruka's Diary
Chasing After Rainbows: August 2012

26 August 2012

Alternate Dimension (Part 87)

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(Edited: 7 Jan 2013)

It's been weeks since I was sent to the ski lodge to collect the mysterious doll and collect samples from the skiing lodge near there. It is indeed the exact same doll Hatsuya had that went missing decades ago, but, in terms of the condition, the doll seems a bit newer and not a fake. Is this another copy of it, or from earlier in the past than the one we had? We now have the technology to analyse what this thing is made of, but it can't sense any magical presence.

The mysterious doll is now in the hands of the Powell Research. The doll was never in Hatsuya's hands (unless you count myself) as it turns out that they were only interested with the ski lodge near where the doll was found and already have existing data about the doll in question. Powell doesn't seem to be interested about it as they mention it as the only man-made shelter in the area from the blizzard that frequents there. I had to distance myself from the research team because Hatsuya could observe what I could see and hear with my own eyes and ears and use me as a tool to look into what Powell is doing.

Hitoko: "Ms. Saeko, during our observation, this doll seem to be giving out quick sapphire blue flashes with random, but long, intervals between each instead of the rapid flashes of emerald green that you described."

Blue? I have never seen or heard of the doll emitting that colour before. Them mentioning the kind of colour it is associated with eliminates the possibility of them mistaken blue as green. I have seen one quick flash in green before, but the doll wasn't anywhere near me at that time, though I'm not sure if it doesn't have to be near me, or not for me only, for it to work.

Me: "That is new. This has never happened before, so I don't know what it means. Did you, or the other staff researching this thing wished for something in the same or neighbouring rooms as where the doll is being researched?"

Hitoko: "Well, I was thinking about if everyone were to always wear skirts of lengths like most school uniforms these days instead of other kinds like jeans and such. Nothing more, though I'm not sure about the other staff. Maybe each pulse I saw is from each staff, and the colour possibly meaning that it won't happen immediately?"

An interesting theory, though I'm not sure if this is the exact cause behind the strange patterns of lights.

Me: "Green is for accepted, I think. Never saw other colours before, so I don't know what it means. If it had read yours and that happened, it might mean it heard what you wished, but I don't know if it would happen later or not accepted."

I am secretly agreeing with what Hitoko was wishing: girls would look awful if they are not wearing skirts, or are wearing the long ones. I've also seen women with bad fashion sense and/or housing, and want them to have something better. As for the guys... The girly boys might as well be rescued from having ugly male things and become actual girls. I don't really like girls who behave like boys either, or those who show unethical behavior. Also, could something be done to a girl's body to be more useful, less stressful, and no awful ones?

Hitoko: "Hey... some rapid flashes of green are happening now, and I'm feeling something happening to my body."

I feel it myself too, but I don't see any noticeable changes between us.

Anouncement: "Attention all supervisors and management staff. Please come to the auditorium immediately for an emergency meeting. This includes the board of directors."

I don't know what happened for them to call everyone at such short notice.

Hitoko: "I think that includes us."

As we made our way there, it became more apparent that every single person heading there is a woman wearing skirts with not a single man in sight. I remembered that the people the anouncement mentioned included men, and women who don't wear skirts. Quite a number of them seem to be making calls on the way there. I received a call from Kotomi too, who sounded a bit different.

Kotomi (on phone): "Saeko... I'm scared. Shin'ichi, (2nd brother), my uncle, my dad, Itsuki, all the guys I know, had been turned into girls. My own behavior has changed too: don't know why I am so emotional. I tried to be like my usual self, but I can't. Help me! I think I might be going crazy!"

She sounded very different than usual. Kotomi is considered the most male-like person in the family, but she doesn't sound like it now. She has to see Itsuki as a male regularly to keep her sanity level stable, but if Itsuki is a female now, he can't become a man even when the Mizuho uniform is removed, and Kotomi would become insane. It was because of this curse that Kotomi has to marry Itsuki even though she wasn't interested in him, but she has to in order to make sure she sees him regularly after graduating from high school. The news of all the men having turned into women itself is also shocking. For the past few years, it's been gradual, but why so sudden now? I don't know the full extent of it currently.

Has it something to do with what I had just wished? All the non girl-like boys might have already become girls, so saying having the girl-like boys to become actual girls also means wiping out the remaining male population? Well, there could be men who are neither tough nor girl-like left behind, but I see nothing but females around me. Even the females who previously behave like males are now forced to behave in a very feminine way. I said "forced" because they could still think as their old selves, but are helplessly unable to express themselves except in a feminine way.

At the emergency meeting, it was revealed that all the remaining males who weren't turned into females with the existing phenomenon had just been completely been turned into girls, women who were above a certain age had become young again, and all children below a certain age suddenly became teenage girls. It's not clear if it affects all males, or just the girlish ones, but it is for sure that there are only girlish males left behind when it happened as everyone else had already been changed.

Babies who are now being born from their mothers already have a body and behaviour of a well behaved teenage girl with, oddly enough, clothes. This is for existing pregnancies. With the male gender seemingly wiped out, how could anyone reproduce themselves naturally? This could start the extinction of the human race if this is not solved as, even though females can produce children, that could not even happen in the absence of males. It is unknown at this time if a compromise has been made to compensate this or reverse this situation. As nobody was able to stop the earlier phenomenon, I doubt anyone could stop this one. There is apparently no known way to turn back.

With everyone now appearing to be girls of around the same age, the idea of a family now looks nothing more than a group of girls of around the same age being together. This change is similar to Mizuho uniform, but is independent of it at a larger scale without the uniform itself, more allowances to visual differences. Everyone is wearing a skirt that are no longer than a certain length. Except for a few, they all are of the same "default" tartan design pattern and colour. I'm guessing the ones aren't wearing those were those who already have skirts of that length or shorter at the time it happened as mine never changed, I don't see skirts longer than that length, and I heard some people who weren't wearing that "default" skirt saying that they weren't wearing it earlier but had owned it before.

The clothes could be taken off, but if no clothes are worn for longer than a rather short time (30 seconds on average), the previously worn clothes would reappear at sections where no clothes were worn in that time. Even stranger for the bottom: unless wearing another skirt of a specified maximum length or shorter during that changing time, a previously worn skirt would always appear. No clothes could be worn over the skirt except as part of the upper clothing. Clothing underneath it is allowed, but only if the said skirt is worn first. This means that nobody could be naked, and everyone is forever stuck wearing short skirts.

There is, however, a loophole for people who doesn't want to be seen wearing the skirt: pin the bottom of the mandatory skirt upwards onto the clothing covering the torso as clothes worn at the legs are technically seen as beneath the skirt. Due to the "skirt first" rule, if the skirt is removed without removing the clothes underneath for more than a certain amount of time from removing the skirt, those clothes would be removed automatically. There are exceptions to this, but it's not much. One thing for sure is that this loophole does not work with the Mizuho uniform, which now oddly seem like a more restricted version of this strangeness.

The extent and the impact of this new phenenomon is not known in its entirety at this point in time, but from what we have seen so far, it certainly is a major change.


12 August 2012

An Original Story By Me (Part 17)

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Kyousuke told me that someone in Mihara uniform that looked like one of the Hisakawa twins was spotted at Katsura High School. That school is a typical normal school located at the bottom of the hill where the main entrance of Mihara Academy is located, and there's a train station located right in between these two.

I don't know why Mamiko would go there, but I'm guessing that Katsura High is quite likely to be the school Mamiko attended before she came into this dimension. However, since that day, she seemed to have her mind focused on a particular someone who studies there. Mamiko had the look as if she knows something bad would happen to that other girl.

Aiko: "Well, I can't blame her for being that way after finding out Kotomi would die in a collision with a train in the winter of next year, no matter what Mamiko does to prevent it."

What did my classmate say to me? I don't even know who the person she is talking about either.

Me: "Wait. What are you talking about?"

Aiko: "Oh, sorry. Kotomi is my cousin who is from Katsura High, and works with my father at Hatsuya. She's closer to him than her own father. Apparently, Mamiko had time travelled to the future, where she found out that my cousin had already died two years after our current time. I don't really trust what people say would happen in the future, but the device used has known to have high accuracy with minor variances."

Me: "Sounds that you know her quite well."

Aiko: "According to my dad, Kotomi also seems to have a mind from an another dimension in her at the same time as Mamiko. The only difference is that nothing happened to her unlike what happened to Saeko up until now. Before you ask, my cousin in both dimensions are both females, though the one of the other dimension seem to have an affection towards Mamiko as a male of their dimension of origin. In other words, they were a couple. They both had met each other in our dimension, and my cousin isn't happy seeing Mamiko as a girl instead of a boy. This could have happened earlier if Saeko had not moved to a different house and attending a different school, or me having known that the two knew each other."

I sense potential trouble. If Mamiko does not have her mind in Saeko's body before returning back to her dimension, she would be forever be stuck in that cloned body when she leaves this dimension as that cloned body doesn't exist anywhere else. However, being able to do that is a problem by itself.

Me: "Is there anything you can do?"

Aiko: "As much as we like to help, there's nothing we can do. Transferring souls around does happen in Hatsuya's experiments, including ones that take place in other dimensions, but we can't seem to be able to control it. A person's mind is something that is hard to handle, and it's outside Hatsuya's expertise."

Kyousuke had been sitting at the corner listening to us, but not saying anything.

Me: "Kyousuke, come on. Just because we are both girls doesn't mean you can't join in our conversation. We are all humans."

My words doesn't seem to have calm down his nervousness but enough to had him talking to us.

Aiko: "So, what else have you heard about what exactly is she doing there?"

Kyousuke: "Well, besides that Kotomi girl you mentioned, Mamiko being there in our school uniform has attracted a lot of attention as the students there consider us to be an elite school... Oh yes, she also seemed to have lifted a curse of a desk from one of the classrooms that has been there for a while. That desk has "Itsuki Hisakawa" written on one of the books placed under the desk, which seems to be of the same family name as Mamiko. The classroom it is in is of the same year, but different class, as Kotomi."

Aiko checked something at the mention of that Itsuki name. Seems that she had just thought of something.

Aiko: "According to Hatsuya's records, that name is Mamiko's name at the dimension she came from, who is a guy, a Hatsuya employee, and a student of Katsura too."

Her expression tells me that she is surprised about this.

Me: "But why is it there if Itsuki's counterpart of this dimension is Saeko?"

Aiko: "I don't know. Probably a conflict with Saeko's things when Itsuki came here: Both are of the same person of their relative dimensions, but attended different schools. I can't say for sure if that cursed desk has already been there, or the things in our current dimension has been modified because of Itsuki/Mamiko coming into our dimension. I doubt it's much, but if Mamiko were to head back to her original dimension with her current body instead of being in Saeko's body, which seems impossible, Mamiko could possible bring along everything Saeko owns, as Mamiko's body is a clone of Saeko, and remains as she is now instead of returning as Itsuki. I'm worried about the imbalance it may cause, and my cousin's heart being broken because she can't marry the boyfriend she loved as he's a girl now."

I wanted to say that I have always been a girl since I was born, but having being told that my own mind doesn't belong to me made me not say it. My situation is similar to Mamiko in many ways, except that I don't have any memories besides who I am now.

Kyousuke took a glance at me at Aiko's last few words. He's looking at every part of me, and it's causing me to feel infatuated. What is this I'm feeling? Why have I not felt this before when we usually see each other? Something is wrong with me.

Kyousuke: "So that... means that... Mamiko would disappear when... she goes back?"

Kyousuke was visually distracted as he kept looking at me while talking to Aiko, which itself is causing me to blush even more. Why is he looking at me? It was Aiko who was speaking.

Aiko: "I can see that you two are falling in love with each other, which, judging by your faces, you two don't even know why yourselves. Also, boys fall in love with girls more easily than the opposite so Haruna might not be feeling of being in love with Kyousuke now, but Kyousuke is certainly falling in love with Haruna now. What you two are feeling now are similar to the earliest signs of what your parents feel towards each other."

Me: "WHAT?"

I'm speechless.

Chapter 8
Part 16 | Part 18

04 August 2012

621st post: Perception of Windows 8 before RTM

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Windows 8 (Consumer Preview) start menu screen
For those who have been follow me on twitter since at least for a few months, you would have saw me talking about Windows 8. More recently, I mentioned how frequent the blue screen of death (BSoD) appears on my Vista Laptop lately, and, indirectly, how long it takes to boot up with junk that has been accumulated over the years. To have a BSoD appearing this frequent on an OS newer than Windows 98/ME means that the problem is serious, but not helpful as to saying how to fix it.

I really wanted to reinstall the OS, but no, the manufacturer did not provide the OS installation disc that lets me do that. I'm using this Win8 upgrade to let me do that. (I have another laptop with Win7, but let's not talk about that now.)

Parent's Reaction
Had multiboot on the WinXP PC with Win8 RC and set the latter as the default operating system. This PC itself was bought recently, as used, to replace an older PC that is no longer functioning. Dad liked it, but not mom. Dad works at the office and likely to run a bunch of software (though tech knowledge is not as much as me), though mum is still on the basic level. Sometimes even asking me to help with something so basic.

Adapting to Change
Because Windows has been the dominant operating system for a long time, and the start menu being what it has been since Windows 95 in 1995, and a slight redesign in Windows XP and Vista, people have become accustomed to the start menu that is that thing in the bottom left corner that pops out as a selectable list.

Even as early as when Windows XP came out, I could start to see that people/companies are reluctant to adapt to change (staying in their comfort zone) by changing from the default theme to the "classic" style found in earlier operating systems. To make matters worse, there was a 6 year gap between the release of Windows XP and Vista instead of the usual 3 years. That gap is big enough to cause the people who had hardware older than what most people had (as there was no reason to upgrade during the gap) to not be able to run Vista. A contributing factor to its weak acceptance.

When Windows 8 came along, it introduced a brand new start screen and, at the same time, removing the code for the old start menu and introduced a new way of doing things. Most of which are easy, but only if you knew what to type and hard to explain to people who are used to the old ways that are gone in Windows 8.

Oh, I have also read comments on people criticizing it, so don't say I'm ignorant of what is going on. This brings me to my next point.

People criticizing things on something they only heard from others / used only for a short time / was fixed later on
You might have heard people criticizing about how bad Windows Vista was to the point that people would downgrade it to Windows XP. However, how many of those who complain about it actually use Vista? Sadly, when one person say "Vista is bad" to another, the person who heard/was told about it would also think it it's bad without even trying it out, and telling it to others. Sometimes, not going into detail as to why they say is bad is enough to convince others to not use it. The problems most people talked about, like taking thousands of days to transfer files (which, if you paid attention, was calculated wrongly and actual transfer was only a few minutes), were fixed in Service Pack 1 (SP1). In fact, the underlying structure of Windows 7 itself is the same as Vista SP1.

Why was I talking about Windows Vista when talking about Windows 8? Well, the same level of criticism has come, and labelling it as "the new Vista". People are complaining because they expect the old ways that they are so used to on a new (and yet-to-be-completed) operating system.

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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.