Haruka's Diary
Chasing After Rainbows: October 2013

14 October 2013

An Unexpected Wish (Part 11)

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Nanami did not know how to react. She is kind of disturbed that a random stranger claiming to be her younger sister is living in her house, but the things in her house does suggests that she really does stay there. At the same time, she is kind of glad that she has someone living with her now.

Nanami thought of something: if Naomi was like the office man she witnessed being turned into a school girl, that means that Naomi could have been anyone of a different family of any age and gender, but somehow had been transformed to be Nanami's younger sister in every way. Naomi herself probably doesn't even realize she was a completely different person! Nanami wondered how many more people faced the same fate.

Then Nanami realized something else seem odd: where is her grandmother? She was hesitant to ask Naomi, being unfamiliar with her, but asked the question to her anyway.

"Grandma Ajisai? She's living with our cousin and his wife. You know, the one with Kotomi and many other children. I don't know why they had so many."

Nanami noted that Naomi knew the name of the grandmother. She guessed that her grandmother changed places since this Naomi appeared, but still concerned as our parents and older brother had died.

However, this is the first and last time Naomi mentions her grandmother as not only will the changes going on will affect the grandmother, a more noticeable section of the population will be transformed.

*****

Some weeks later, Nanami noticed that there are suddenly more students, female mostly, on the train to school. Initially, she thought nothing of it as they could be heading to some events, but the large crowd persisted over time long enough for Nanami to notice the same faces. Nanami wondered why: no events she knows of are going on, and there's no way a new school would begin in the middle of the second term.

She also noticed that something is different with the people she normally see along the route, but can't figure out what exactly it was.

In her school, she also can't help but notice that all classrooms are filled to the same maximum number of students per class, which, as Nanami recalls, has unequal number of vacant seats.

Nanami received an email from Kotomi. It said, "I don't know how I didn't realize this earlier, but there is news on how odd it is that we have a lot of young people even though statistics and archived news say that we have an aeging population and low birth rate. Speaking of the elderly, you may have noticed that most of them seemed to have vanished completely. Even more amazing is that no one could explain why or who they were. Demographics data don't lie, but they dont add up to what we are seeing now. Can you say a name of anyone of that age I'm supposed to know without mentioning how I know them? Not sure if my memory has been modified like the last time, and it can happen without me being aware of it."

Nanami felt a sense of worry: her grandmother could be one of them, so she entered her name (Ajisai Miyazawa) in the reply to Kotomi, who is also her great grandmother.

She did not get a reply until an hour later. Nanami figured she doesn't recognize the name as there are people who don't know names of their own relatives and probably figuring out who that is. Unless the person is well known, it's likely that just entering the name in the search engine could just show results of someone else with the same name.

When she got a reply, it said, "Sorry, I can't remember or find anything on who that was, no matter how hard I tried. Was that a name of one of my relatives? I oddly don't seem to remember any relative who is an elderly... Did this crazy thing going on made me forget? Has she also been turned into one of those many teenage girls that suddenly appeared? If it happened the same way as what you witnessed happening to a man being turned into a girl, that means that it can happen to anyone, and with the amount of teenage girls we are seeing today, I would say that so many people have been transformed that it caused a very noticeable population imbalance."

Nanami was schocked. Does that mean that her grandmother has just simply vanished without any farewell? Nanami started to cry since her grandmother is gone now. Nanami typed the following words slowly while still in tears: "Is there a way to bring her back?". She figured out that this would be pointless anyway as, even if her grandmother could be turned back, her health condition already has her the risk of dying from an age-related disease to be high.

Kotomi replied, "Without even knowing what caused it, that would be impossible. This is not like some mad scientist filling up the air with some gas. It's more like our whole world is like data and something has modify that code so that our world will work differently from what we have seen, changing what we are and our memories in the process. I would say that what we are seeing now is the transitioning stage that I'm not sure what it will be like, or how long it would take, but I will see what I can do with the help of my colleagues here in Hatsuya. I have to, I don't want to be turned into one of them and forget who I was."

In her sadness, Nanami didn't really look through the message properly that Kotomi wrote apart from the bit on doing something about it. Seems that Nanami only has Kotomi for a family, and some stranger who has been genetically modified to be her sister.

Part 10 | Part 12

(Author's note [to be posted as a separate post later]: This story chronologically takes place during the transining stage of the human evolution. Other stories I wrote covers this too, but of different stages. "Alternate Dimension" only covers the end of the transition and 4 years after. "Disoriented Feelings" covers the transitioning stage, but somewhere in the middle to early-late stage. "Teary Promise" takes place before this happens, so there is no mention of it. "Yononaka no Okugi" is from a viewpoint of a girl who was born after the final transformations happened, where simply thinking of males would have them have an irreversible feeling that has them difficult to think, which means anything they are in has to be censored out to maintain everyone's sanity, though the task of censoring itself is so difficult that, until details are worked out, there is a blanket censorship on subjects like history and biology as those feature men a lot and the human reproduction has since changed dramatically, so the people born after it know nothing of those subjects. I avoid mentioning the month and year as it would give me more flexibility to time the event of things without conflicting with another, especially when I forgot when something happened.)

01 October 2013

Yononaka no Okugi (Part 3)

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It wasn't easy to find anyone whose given name is not in katakana. Looking at my class registry, none of my classmates have it. I don't have access to that of other classes and you can't tell how it's written by simply hearing hearing it. Most people assume it is in katakana since it is common with most people of an age group. I can't think of any examples of names I have seen before that are in kanji or hiragana.

Well, when exam results came out, they did put out a list of names of the students here The problem with that the notice has already been removed before I came to be aware about the world before the transformations, so I didn't pay attention to who they were. If my memory serves me correctly, none of the top few had non-katakana names.

...hold on.

I walked past a poster that had the name of the student council's vice president on it. I only know her family name by sound, but when I saw 井ノ 一詞 for Hitoshi Inosaki being written down, it gave me a weird feeling. What caught my attention the most is that the given name is in kanji, and contains the 一 (hito) character that is very rarely seen in names. I also noticed the missing 崎 (saki) from her family name, which made it even more peculiar as the second character is ノ (no), which itself is not kanji.

That is unexpected. I have seen the vice president before, but her name is not usually mentioned, or by family name only if it did. People don't really remember her since people would only remember the main president of the council, or if people wondered what the structure of it is. It's like she is invisible, and only there for the sake of filling up the gaps.

Should I go to the student council room and talk to her about what I know so far? I don't even know her on a personal level. What if the other members are present if I were to visit her? I don't if that would affect the outcome.

*****

I have just finished my research in the library and heading to my home. There shouldn't be anyone in the in the classrooms apart from club activities as it's well after the end of school, but I'm hearing something from one of the vacant classrooms. This school building is designed from a time when middle and high schools have about the same number of students, but now there are fewer students in middle schools everywhere, so there are quite a number of vacant classrooms. As I got closer, I hear strange sounds that are commonly heard in the toilet, but not usually heard elsewhere.

(Author's note: the toilets in the post-evolution world are completely different owing to how different the human body works. Toilet bowls have been replaced by a device that automatically attaches to the body so that their bladder is removed without requiring any effort. Because of how the insides has been redesigned, it's impossible to use this without triggering a check to see the girl using it needs to be made pregnant. She would be made pregnant at this stage if someone had died without a replacement on the way. The girl in question wouldn't notice it until she notices that she can't detach herself from the device when childbirth is going on. It is impossible to relieve bladder without using that device apart from an old-fashioned toilet seat, but they are quickly being replaced as the new toilet does not require any water or toilet paper, and the waste can be turned into something useful, like to generate electricity. Naomi does not know what a pre-evolution toilet are like, or how they work, so she does not know that the sounds she normally hears in toilets are different in pre-evolution days. Of course, nobody documents about toilets.)

What I saw in the vacant classroom shocks me: I saw Hitoshi behaving in a completely different way form when she is out in the public eye. For some reason, she is trying to rip out her blouse at the buttons while sounding angry. She also seem to have destroyed her signature hair by having quite a length of her hair cut without a care of the results, and she had her feet into something lying on the ground that doesn't look like a skirt.

Hitoshi did manage to rip apart all the buttons and secured that thing that was at her feet earlier at her waist. That thing she's wearing seem to cover her entire legs, but those seem too loose to be stockings. At the same time, she kept trying to pull out her breasts out of the restraints underneath her blouse (I didn't realize I was wearing the same kind of restraints too) with one hand, and punched herself at the area where the bladder comes out from with the other.

I have no idea what she is doing to herself, but she kept yelling "this can't be happening", "I want my old life back", and "it has been about a decade now" in a desperate voice. Well, the fact the number of years she mentioned (a decade=10 years) being more than the number of yearbooks I saw in the library, along with the strange things she's doing to herself, strongly supports that she must know what happened 5 years ago.

About a minute later, the unknown thing she's wearing over her skirt suddenly was brought down to her feet, the blouse she ripped apart fixed itself and, out of nowhere, the sweater, blazer, and ribbon she is normally seen wearing appeared too. I guess she took them off before I came. Her hair regrew to what it was before as if her terrible cutting earlier never happened. Wait, what? I never thought of touching my clothes before, but is that what happens when you do something to it? To be honest, I have never seen myself without these clothes I'm wearing before. I can't explain what happened, but I saw it happening with my own eyes.

Hitoshi then started screaming again (the way she screamed sounded odd, as if she wanted to scream in a different way) while shaking her head madly and shouted something about why she has to live like "this", whatever the word "this" refers to. It was when she was shaking her head around that she saw me staring at her. She paused for a while as if trying to determine how to react based on what I am identified as. A short pause later, she was blushing excessively in embarrassment.

"D-Did you see what I was doing?"

I nodded. Kind of regretted doing this because of how she reacted next.

"Please don't tell anyone else about what you just saw. I was figuring out how our bodies work, and you caught me in an embarrassing situation. I am figuring out how our expressions work, and it seems that I am currently not expressing what I'm really feeling inside. I feel awkward being polite when I am not trying to."

That didn't sound right: her tone does not match the words she said. Hitoshi seems self aware that she isn't expressing what she is really feeling, but did not clarify on it.

I talked to her about what I have discovered so far. She was amazed that, for someone who is born after the evolution like me, was able to understand the world today from the viewpoint of pre-evolution people.

Hitoshi explained that she was like those older people who worked at offices until about early last year when she suddenly found herself being young again. For people like her, attending school is optional as they have attended before, but she did anyway as she forgot what it was like. She became the vice president partly because she has the life experience, whereas almost everyone else never existed more than 3 years ago.

I asked about what she was doing to herself. She seemed reluctant to reply.

"Well, I did say I became young again. Not too many years earlier, I me, like everyone else, was transformed against our will to what we are now. I was a middle aged man. Please don't make me ask how I looked: our present female-like bodies are not supposed to see males as we have evolved to not need them and don't exist anymore. However, our female instincts has not changed, so we still dress and behave as if we are attracting men despite having no men to attract. We are not allowed to see images of men, not even an old image of myself, as it would trigger an archaic feeling that, with our redesigned bodies, would be impossible to subside until becoming young again or reach an insanely high level. Trust me: I am still feeling it right now after accidentally seeing it online last year. It's not life threatening, but it does affect your concentration."

That explains a lot of why I am seeing so much incomplete or missing old things everywhere: images of men are very common pre-evolution, so they are removed to keep us sane. I wouldn't want to be the girl who removes the images.

"How can we be sure that we are removing the right ones if we can't even look at it? Apparently most of the censoring takes place where people would make the sacrifice of going crazy. For places like Mizuho Academy, however, people have apparently been trained to totally ignore the feelings, which is a difficult thing to achieve but yet are able to with a high percentage of success. No wonder they are the best in the world."

Without knowing what is this feeling she is talking about, I can't really understand her or the significance of it.

Chapter 1 / 2
Part 2 | Part 4

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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.