Haruka's Diary
Chasing After Rainbows: September 2013

16 September 2013

Alternate Dimension (Part 94)

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She said that I could grab any random girl I see and do whatever I like to her, but what does that mean?

Well, each student of this school has no family. The evolution has meant that as a replacement for each girl who had died, or to create a completely new entity, would simply be an independent individual that seemed to have spawned like a NPC (non-playable character) in a video game. Explaining what a family is to them is next to impossible because of how humans have been changed completely. They would also be confused when they encounter aggressive behaviour by pre-evolution people when they do it via an interface (eg. driving cars, controlling video game characters) while not appearing so in person. Think of it as like a split personalty from not being able to express what they truly feel, a feeling that post-evolution people could hardly imagine.

I saw a girl who wears the Yuribashi Middle School (ゆりばし中学) uniform, the same school that Naomi Fujibayashi attended. It is one of those schools that exists to accommodate the rapidly rising amount of schoolgirls that appeared out of nowhere. Although people say it's a pre-evolution school, it was founded in the earliest stages of the transitioning period, where, apart from noticing something being wrong with the demographics statistics, nobody was aware of the changes going on. I believe it isn't an elite school, or else I would have heard it mentioned a lot at events with Mizuho Academy. If so, the uniform seem to strangely have that elite look for a normal school.

I liked the Yuribashi uniform because of its attractive design, particularly the brown pantyhose that is part of the uniform, along with the dark coloured theme of the whole outfit. I have a set of that uniform myself in one of my wardrobes, along with others. Well, "attractive" is somewhat a meaningless word these days since there are no men to attract, but it is one of the components that these feminine clothes we are forced to wear must feature or else we can't wear it at all, even at the risk of safety. At least the good part is that we don't feel anything on seeing another girl's attractive features. The design as not changed since before the evolution, though slightly conservative in design when compared to Mizuho's uniform.

Although not mandated by law, it is somewhat easy to tell apart a worker who works for one company and one who works for another because, as a result of the clothes being so troublesome to change, they introduce their own set of uniforms. Regardless if they are a supervisor in an office or a mechanic in a vehicle workshop, they wear what usually appears to be more suited for the office. It looks strange for people in labour intensive jobs to wear an outfit, but there is nothing else they can wear that won't get rejected on wearing.

So anyway, what do I do with this girl exactly? It's hard for me to think with her appearance alone, but that is practically how anyone looks today.

Me: "Hey you, the girl in the Yuribashi uniform over there."

The girl seem to have heard that, but caught her off-guard. She appears to be aware that I was calling her as she appear to be looking around in all directions except towards me. What is with her?

Me: "Yes, you. The girl who is turning her head everywhere except at me."

The girl turned towards me as if she is in trouble. Without saying a word she stared at my face for a while, before looking at the rest of my body for a seemingly long time. What is she staring at? Judging by how she was looking, she could be examining what I'm wearing, but I am uncomfortable that she is staring around my breasts the longest. Why is she so interested about them? She has the same thing herself... wait, hers does seem smaller than mine which, in her case, is considered about the average size.

Girl: "You are the CEO of Powell, Miss Hisakawa aren't you? W-what do you want form me? How are you wearing the rare Mizuho Middle school uniform? No one but actual students from there could wear it, and it doesn't look fake."

So this girl wasn't staring at my breasts, but rather my name tag around there that is part of the Mizuho uniform I'm wearing. It is known fact that it is not possible to wear the wrong Mizuho uniform since it auto corrects on wearing them. She mentioned "rare" because the middle school department is far fewer than the average middle school that you hardly see it, even within the academy itself. It used to be larger, but there are just too few students because everyone born today are usually of high school age or older. The middle school students of today are made up of the small minority who were born of the age or the older people who had been re-transformed within the past few years, and Mizuho's intake for that is quite small compared to other schools. The fact that she knows that I am the most important person to one of the largest companies today, and seeing what I'm wearing, has her confused.

Me: "It's a long story, but let's just say that... I never attended Mizuho as a middle school student before."

That wasn't a lie, but that's not what I wanted to say. I wanted to say that the Hatsuya Research forced me. In this day and age, it's considered normal for people who had just become young again to attend school again, though availability of places prioritises the newly born.

Voice in my head: "And have her raise questions on why you, as the CEO of Powell are working for Hatsuya, a rival company? There is no official partnership between us and Powell."

There was an abrupt pause. This pause was long enough for the girl with me to continue her conversation.

Girl: "Oh, right. I forgot to introduce myself. I am Ako Matsumi (松実アコ). So what did you call me for?"

Voice in my head: "Sorry about that pause. A college told me that you are on a mission to target any two girls at random for an official experiment... Are you picking this girl you are looking at now? Although picking these post-evolution people are easy targets since they are so trusting and have no family, they are the big unknown in terms of how the experiments will turn out. Our dimension is the only one where everyone have become a completely new and only gender that even we don't understand. We don't know how we reproduce ourselves without men or our body functioning differently from a female, but we know it's going on as our population actually increased during the four years since the evolution happened. What we have become seem to have been a wish of someone with a fetish for young women who were nothing but school and office uniforms with skirts that doesn't even cover the knees. I personally don't like how short they are, but we can't wear anything else. Even more strange is, from the view of how things were, how are we only be biologically of a very specific age range regardless of actual age, or the newborns to already have the academic knowledge of the age their biological bodies are at? Well, if you pick her, you would have to choose another person too."

Ako: "Hello? Your face seems as if someone else and me were talking to you at the same time."

How could she tell?

Voice in my head: "I didn't know post-evolution people are these smart, or is it her specifically?"

Me: "Oh, sorry. I kind of lost my focus there. You said that you are Matsumi, right?"

The girl had "I knew it" written all over her face.

Me: "Well, I am currently working on a project with a few people, but I need someone besides them and, I was thinking if you would like to be a part of it."

Ako: "Okay then... sure. If you say so."

She seem to have reluctantly agreed to follow me without any resistance or me explaining what is going on. Do these people actually trust strangers too easily?

Part 93 | Part 95

15 September 2013

678th post: Pseudo Japanese things that aren't Japanese at all

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You may have seen them before. From that "How to Draw Manga" I came across in a London museum (above tweet, possibly by an American author), to having the "の" (or its romanised form "no") being used excessively like "Ookami no Jutsu" or, if in Chinese, something like "时间の乐趣".

If you aren't familiar with Chinese or Japanese, notice the random の being used as a substitute for 的 in the middle of a Chinese sentence that contains characters that aren't normally used in Japanese, or used only in Simplified Chinese. If you are having trouble telling apart a genuine Japanese product with a copycat from China (Taiwan especially), look at the design like the fonts used: some products uses particular fonts that are commonly used on other Japanese products, but never elsewhere. If there's a barcode, the first two digits of a genuine Japanese product should start with "42". If it doesn't, it's not a real Japanese product.

Then there are overused Japanese themes used in the media that, while not historically inaccurate, it may give the impression to those who know nothing about Japan that it's still filled with ninjas, samurai, geisha, houses are made up of low-rise wooden houses, and people get around by horses. To make things more complicated, there are actual dramas on Japanese TV that does look like it takes place in the Edo era (Early 17th century to mid 19th century) or earlier, which, if it is the only thing that a non-Japanese that knows little of the country were to see it would think that it is the modern-day Japan. (It's possible if the influence is none or not obvious, and the local media hardly or doesn't cover it at all, which itself you don't watch.)

Until seemingly recently, I have also seen people using random katakana (or some typeface that tries to look like it) or some funny curved lines (which is also used in Chinese context) that are like what I call "chicken markings". They then try to excessively use it when talking about Japanese things. Sometimes with some strange accent that even Japanese speaking English would never use. I said "until seemingly recently" because I almost never see them these days. Possibly due to increased awareness of the Japanese language and culture, mostly through anime.

03 September 2013

An Unexpected Wish (Part 10)

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With the memory of a man being transformed into a schoolgirl in front of Nanami on a crowded train with no one noticing still fresh on her mind, she thinks that if she were to look at anyone for long enough, they would be turned into girls. Well, that was the first and only one she saw happening, so she wasn't sure if this was the case, or it just so happens by a great coincidence. It's still unknown why it happened.

A part of her is saying that person from earlier has always been a schoolgirl, but it  conflicts what she remembers seeing and asking. It's as if something is trying to modify her memory, which probably explains why people around her didn't seem to notice. Nothing that has happened seem to make sense, particularly how she found herself in a completely different place that, in real-time, takes only a second, but seems like hours being stuck in a strange place from her point of view.

On reaching the station near her home, she saw a familiar face waiting anxiously: it was Kotomi. Although Kotomi is technically Nanami's niece, Kotomi is somewhat like a stepmother to her after her grandmother, partly because Kotomi is older in age than Nanami.

"Saeko told me about what happened to you after I saw that flash of green light. I didn't think it would happen to you. I don't think you are mentally ready to tell me what happened, but you can tell me anything on your mind, no matter how absurd it may be. Things that can't be scientifically explained has happened to me."

Nanami did not respond apart from hugging her tightly in tears until she fell asleep.

*****

In the following weeks, strange things has happened around her. At school, Nanami could have sworn that the school principal was a strict old man that punishes heavily on every small mistake someone makes and sees only the direct result of that action and not what cause it that may not necessarily be the student's fault. In his place was a woman around her niece's age who is relaxed but firm. However, things seem as if this woman has always been the principal, though the effects caused by the previous principal from when Nanami is sure he was still around are still there, with the exception of punishment and ban durations that overlaps with the new principal, if the new principal is and aware of it and disapproves them that is.

As for elsewhere, it's harder to tell as you would never know that any girl you see could have been a muscular man just a month ago, made worse by the fact that nobody remembers who they were, and the victim themselves thinking it has always been that way as they are now. It didn't help that Nanami didn't know who these people were in the first place.

Nanami wanted to tell Kotomi about this, but she wouldn't be sure how she would react as, by the nature of this phenomenon, people's memories are modified so that they don't notice it. Then she remembered Kotomi saying that she would believe her, no matter how absurd it may sound.

She started to take out her phone to call her, but placed it back at the though of possibly disturbing her at work. However, at that very instant, Nanami could feel that some invisible force in her head. She knows that this is a sign that someone she has met before is being turned into a schoolgirl, and judging by the duration and intensity of it, it is likely to be of someone Nanami knows well.

Not long after the pain subsided, her phone rang. It was Kotomi calling her from the office.

"Hey, did you feel the pain in the head that I just had? You did? People around me don't seem to have it. I wonder what this could mean?"

I explained what I wanted to tell her.

"So you are saying that you suspected that random adults are being turned into schoolgirls? People around her didn't notice. You witnessed one being transformed in front of you? How about your younger sister?"

Nanani was confused on who she was talking about. She only has an older brother as a sibling, who has passed away.

"Your sister, Naomi. Who else lives with..."

Kotomi noticed that something was odd with Nanami's reaction. At that same moment, Nanami heard someone talking to Kotomi, but it was too faint to here.

"What is it Saeko? I'm on the phone with my aunt..."

The sound of the receiver being placed on something was heard, followed by illegible words in the background. Sounds of them arguing and being shock were heard.

"Sorry about that. Saeko just told me that you do not have a sister... with the possibility that my memory of who lives with you could have been modified... As promised earlier, I will believe what you said no matter how bizarre it may be. Are you home now? Saeko said she would come over to your place to inspect who is this younger sister of yours," said Kotomi in a worried voice.

Nanami is confused herself. Who is this girl living at her home? If Kotomi talked about Nanami's "younger sister" at the top of her mind, that means Nanami actually has one now. The only other person living with Nanami should be her grandmother.

True enough, there was someone besides her grandmother living in her house. The items lying suggests that they have been there for a while, but Nanami doesn't remember seeing some items, or the other items being at where they are now, earlier this morning when Nanami left. Even the items in the refrigerator seems different.

Nanami could not find anyone in the house, but she did notice that her late brother's bedroom are filled with unfamiliar girl's things, though the furniture are unchanged. In fact, the one that had changes was the furniture in Nanami's own room, where it seems designed to be shared with two people. However, it seems that there are nothing but her own things in them. Nanami thought that this unknown girl called Naomi might had stayed in her room before and moved to her brother's room later. Where could she be?
Nanami had taken town the family photos since the death of her immediate family members, but with a random stranger being just added to it, she has to look at them again to find out who is this mysterious little sister. No new photos were taken since then, save for candid shots with friends. The new little sister really does look like a sibling like how her brother was, though different enough to not look like twins.

Some time later, an unfamiliar voice announced her arrival. She sounded as if she usually does this, and carrying plastic bags filled with something. Guests and visitors would usually remain standing at the entrance until someone attends to them, but this person seem to completely disregard that.

Nanami turned to this seemingly rude guest. She saw a girl similar to that in the pictures, wearing an unknown school uniform, but had a familiar-looking logo on it (she couldn't recall where), and wears a name tag that had Naomi Fujibayashi (藤林直美) written on it. Seems that this "rude guest" isn't a guest at all, but rather the little sister that Nanami didn't have prior to today that somehow has her existence forced in.

[Author's note 1: I wanted to say that Naomi is wearing brown pantyhose, which is part of the school uniform, but that seems unnecessary to mention here since Nanami sees it often enough, and being a female herself, to not see it as a big deal.]

Nanami didn't know how to react. Act like the usual? But she doesn't even know her or know what the usual is.

"Oneechan? Are you daydreaming? Is there something on my face?"

It was at that moment that Saeko appeared shortly afterwards. She seems to have been running to catch up to Naomi earlier, but failed.

"Hey! Who are you?! How dare you barge into my home without..."

Saeko appeared to have completely ignored Naomi and talked directly to Nanami. Nanami was too preoccupied with the girl's presence to notice that Saeko had appeared without notice, or hearing Saeko speak as if she had taken a short pause.

"I have something to talk about. It's about what I found out at work, and it's related to what we discussed earlier."

She made sure that Naomi could not overhear them. Naomi was mad that she was being rude and being ignored, but let it pass after seeing that Nanami knew her well.

"It seems that specific types of people are being turned into schoolgirls with no memories of who they were. I have been wondering about other things about them until it happened to you, but it seems that their genes are also rewritten to become a part of a different existing family, especially childless middle-aged couples, or of any age with children in their teenage years."

"You mean to say that this Naomi girl living with me now could have been some dirty old man yesterday?"

"Not necessarily, but that could be possible. We don't have a clear picture of who or why they are being transformed, though Hatsuya has the tools to find out. What is clear is that she looks and behaves like a girl born a decade and a half ago with no traces of ever being an old man. This transformation also seem to have things changed in a way that things relating to the old self has disappeared without a trace, and new one appearing as if they have always been that way. We do notice an imbalance of the decline of middle-age man or older and elderly ladies with explosion of teenage girls whose numbers don't add up with that of last year or the pre-teens from earlier years, but with their existence changed completely, we do not know who these people were. It might even be that this new sister of yours thinks that she has always been part of your family, and would be bad to kick her out, especially when your home is her only home she knows. Kotomi mentioning her at the top of her mind despite having never actually met her is prove that everyone's memory has changed."

Nanami thought about what Saeko just said, then she realized something.

"Wait. If my grandmothers were to be turned into these young girls one day, what will happen to me?"

"Well, seeing at what has happened to others, you would simply not remember her. So will other people that know her. It could have been worse in a way that any children she gave birth to (including your parents), had become different or even cease to exist, but that doesn't seem to be the case. For some reason, you are the only one who could witness and remember the transformation happening. It's funny that they could have one of those transformed people to be your sister even though you could remember not having one."

It wasn't until Nanami thought about it until she realized something.

"If I'm the only one who could remember the transformations as it's happening, and memories of that person being modified at the same time to think it has always been that way, how did you know that I never had a little sister before? You seem to know about it soon enough to correct Kotomi when she mentioned Naomi to me over the phone without a second thought."

"Well, let's just say that I have an instinct that tells me that something wasn't right, and a way to check what happened without it being affected by the memory modification. Ever since that incident where you suddenly teleported to my house in front of Kotomi, I started checking more often when I feel that something doesn't feel right."

Saeko saw Naomi again. Saeko then signalled to Nanami that she is about to talk to Naomi to see what she knows. Saeko also noted the uniform Naomi was wearing, which slightly excites her for some reason, though she did not say why. She looked as if she has something to say, on why she's excited, but seem to have stop herself.

[Author's note 2: More specifically, Saeko was excited at the sight of Naomi wearing pantyhose as she used to be .a boy, so she does get excited over the feminine things she sees. She also noted that Naomi's breasts are larger than Nanami, but still smaller than her own, though Saeko wasn't thinking of that at that time. Saeko's thoughts would have caused an erection if she was still a boy, but being in a female body, nothing happened.]

"Naomi, do you know me? I am Hisakawa...", began Saeko, but was interrupted.

"OH, NOW YOU ARE INTRODUCING YOURSELF TO ME? After entering the house without invitation and ignoring me?", yelled Naomi. Nanami couldn't help but laugh, though Saeko got a bit scared from being yelled at.

After the introductions, Saeko asked about what happened to Naomi's family. What she said is similar to that of Nanami, but when it came to how her parents and brother were killed, her version is different: she was at the house when the murdering happened.

Naomi heard the voices of her brother and father yelling when she knew something wasn't right. She has seen Nanami heading out earlier, so she knows she isn't at home at that time.

She hid at the space under the bed of her parent's bedroom, which has boxes on one side that makes it not obvious to a casual observer form the doorway that someone is hiding there. However, the killer has been quiet entering the house, so she doesn't know if the killer is still walking around the house or has already left. She was afraid that any attempts to call for help would attract the attention of the killer, so she just simply stayed under the bed for hours. Naomi is careful to cover her phone's speaker while turning it off so it doesn't make unexpected sounds, like notifications, that would attract the murderer's attention to her.
Hours later, Naomi felt hungry, thirsty, and her bladder bursting. She was at the same spot where she was in the morning, though the sun has set, and the room is dark, though there's enough light form outside to see something. She wasn't sure if it is safe to get out of the bed.

It wasn't until the room lights came on and heard the voices of Nanami and the neighbours that she was assured that it was safe. Although, it was unavoidable to not see the dead bodies and blood splatter of her parents and brother. It was a horrifying experience for her, and her trust in strangers has dropped
Saeko thought about Naomi's story. While the murders did happened, and tally with what Nanami has said before from her point of view (dark house, brings neighbours, finds dead bodies), no one was found hiding in the parent's room under the bed where Naomi was supposedly hiding.

Saeko then thought deeply about something and told Nanami,

"I'm afraid to say this, but Naomi is really your sister now. She has no one but you to live with among the people she knows, and she does resemble your parents, though differently from you."

This is just too much for Nanami to bear with.

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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.