Losing Identity (Part 15)

Morning had arrived. I found myself on the bed of a room that is not mine, but then I remembered that I was visiting my dad's university friend regarding his son's passing away. I was shocked to learn that his son had entered me and that it's also possible that I could be him before the merger and now think and behave very much like me, Haruna, right now. It's hard to tell, because I have mixed memories and knowledge of both. It kind of conflicts if I want know what I was doing prior to the merger, on top of the knowledge that my memory of another childhood friend with me (Saeko/Itsuki) was modified when he turned into a girl. I don't know what to believe now: I don't even trust my own memory...

After taking a bath, I headed to the dining table for breakfast where everyone is. I don't know what he prepared, but it's certainly better than what I can prepare myself with. Saeko seems to be in a hurry with something. Everyone else seem to noticed this too.

Me: "Saeko, why are you in such a hurry? We would be in this country for several days, and today's only the second day..."

Kyousuke: "Yeah, it's not like we are rushing to catch a plane or something..."

Saeko: "Mamiko has disappeared! The group that went to the hotel yesterday told me, that she vanished into thin air at the hotel!"

Kyousuke: "You're saying she disappeared? How is that possible?"

Me: "In any case, we should start searching for her."

She couldn't have gone that far, since Mamiko is in a wheelchair and can't move around by herself, but her disappearing into thin air and not knowing where she went to is worrying. Since Mamiko is in some ways like Saeko, as the former is the latter's clone, she should know where she would have gone to, but judging by how worried she is, she doesn't.

I would like to help Saeko with the search, but I have no clues as to where to start. Kyousuke and I packed our bags as we headed towards the hotel.

The Father: "It might not have gone as planned, but feel free to visit us again soon. After all, you do have the soul of my late son residing inside. I'm sure he would be happy to see us again, but of course, he would be happier to be with you."

Somehow, those words did not have an impact on me. I thought it would, but it didn't.

Me: "Yeah, I'll let you know. Let my dad know that I dropped by to say hi."

We hurried down to the hotel to search for clues. Saeko reminded us that due to the accident, Mamiko is unable to communicate even if she wanted to. Sometimes, when I look at her, what I see is a body that doesn't respond at all, even if you do things to her that would normally force her to, like having your fingers too close to her open eyes or tickling her. Even touching her most sensitive parts of her body results in nothing. But her eyes looks as though she's trying to say something that no one can guess what it is. Saeko seems to have the closest correct guesses though.

Since the room she disappeared in is for me, Saeko, and Mamiko, no one else was in that room when she disappeared. That means that no one knows when Mamiko disappeared since reaching the hotel.

We searched around the room for clues when Saeko seem to be having a strong headache.

Me: "Saeko! What's wrong?"

Saeko: "Argh! I don't know what's going on, but something is telling me that she had time travelled to the time and hospital where we first met my clone. I don't know who is sending me these visions, but Mamiko is safe. Strange, I never had this kind of things before..."

Seeing that Saeko had somehow gain the ability to know where her clone is in real-time, there isn't really much for the rest of to do than to wait. I decided to head out to explore the shopping district that surrounds our hotel.

I don't know what to expect, but there are a large variety of shops here. I hear from somewhere that I should go to another place by train should I be looking for electronic goods or cheap goods (with questionable quality and service) as the rent here is high, which translates to higher costs of goods. However, there are some things here that I can't find elsewhere, so I should look out for "hidden" shops located at the upper floors of shopping centres. Before I knew it, I found spending a lot of time shopping for clothes.

As I head back towards the hotel, I heard the sound of vehicles screeching to a halt, but without the sound of a collision. I wanted to get to the scene quickly, but the crowd, students asking for donations, and promoters are preventing me from getting there quickly. I gave up trying to get there quickly.

Upon reaching back at my hotel room, I was surprised to see Mamiko back. On top of that, she's now able to move normally.

Me: "You really made everyone worried! Don't do that again without letting anyone know!"

I said that as I hugged Mamiko tightly. I noticed that her body under her clothes is unusually slippery when I hugged.

Mamiko: "Um, Haruna? Is there something wrong? If it's about my body or my disappearance, I can explain it to you, Saeko too."

This is the first time I heard Mamiko's voice other than through the radio frequency receivers. She sounds a lot like Saeko, but more lady-like.

Mamiko: "Shortly after I reached the hotel with the others, something seemed to made me to time travel to the time and place where you two first saw me, but at a different part of the hospital that seemed to be some kind of office. As you might already know at that time, moving my body seemed impossible as my muscles are paralysed from that accident, which also affects my facial expressions and vocal cords. So basically, I lied flat down with my face on the floor when I time travelled into that time, not being able to move and unable to call for help. I had to endure having my body behaving like a dead body: Letting gravity and the force move my body parts when carried around by others, and at the same time, not able to take control of my body or even communicate. I tried to send a message by them having to look at my eyes, but nobody, not even Saeko, seem to understand what I was trying to say. But they do seem to know that I was attempting to. Fortunately, I found out that I was able to manipulate the air waves in such a way that nearby receivers would broadcast my thoughts."

Saeko seem to feel guilty on that last sentence. Mamiko was forced to see Saeko waving her hands too close to her eyes that she felt uneasy. Saeko got shocked when Mamiko expressed her anger through a nearby television. I was there at that time.

Mamiko: "Shortly after my appearance into the room, he brought me to a strange room with stuff you would see in sci-fi movies. He then made wear a swimsuit that was tightened upon putting it on, but felt like I wasn't even wearing it. With it, I now don't need to feed myself or even need to go to the toilet at all. I can still eat and drink as normal though. However, I can't remove this swimsuit, as though it is part of my body now."

Saeko: "You sure it can't be removed? Let's see..."

Saeko tried to put her finger at one of the openings, but can't. She noticed that there were no gaps between the swimsuit and the skin.

Saeko: "I give up, what else did he do to you?"

Mamiko: "Let's see... oh, he attached a mind-reader device on my head, and wires on my body. The swimsuit seem to automatically turn into the connecting interface of the wire if close enough to any part. I don't know what he did to me next, but he put me in some kind of water tank and appears to be programming me somehow, as my body moved beyond my control, me saying gibberish, and visions of things I never seen before. The total time of this seemed like forever. To tell you the truth, I don't even know what he programmed me with. Next thing I knew, I was wearing the clothes from before, but with the swimsuit still on me. At that point, I was able to see what the other me, of the time I was from, was doing."

Saeko: "That explains a lot on why I have been having visions today: they come from you... I think I can read yours too! Now I don't need to worry about feeding you, as I don't need to."

Me: "So that's when you found out you can now move again?"

Mamiko: "Well, yes. He also did say something about accumulated time traveling through massive usage of regular transportation, but I don't understand what he meant by that. It was just after that he send me back to our present time not too long ago."

Saeko & Me (at the same time): "That was when I heard the loud vehicle screeching to a halt!"

We looked at each other as we both said the exact same thing at the same time.

Mamiko: "Yeah, I think my sudden appearance had shocked them. Haha. Too bad the wheelchair is useless now, but keep it just in case."

Saeko seemed to be somewhat jealous of her clone on the idea of not needing to bother with daily needs just to keep alive and healthy and want to say something bad, but she instead say,

Saeko: "Um, once we get back, I would like to see what else he did to you, something we can't do here. Who knows what else you can do now."

We continued chatting on until late at night, where we had forgotten about the others who might still be worried about Mamiko. I'm sure that the rest of my life would be just as happy. In fact, I would like to be with Kyousuke with the rest of my life, along with my childhood friend that resides in me.

Who knows what lies ahead, but I would like to do it together with him. For sure.

Chapter 7
Part 14 | Part 16
Related: Alternate Dimension Part 13, 14, 15

[Author's note 1 (April 2009): Okay, I don't really want to continue this any longer as I'm doing a total of 3 stories' worth at the same time. I have already in my mind to start a 4th. I want to end the 2nd too with it having even more parts that the rest, but I can't end the plot abruptly. Probably after the events that would avoid Kotomi Miyazawa's the train incident and the evil organization brought down. For the 3rd, I currently have no idea how to end this, but it certainly would be closely be following the main character of the 2nd story. Writing stories involving the same setting and meeting each other more than once can get confusing to write, not to mention errors and conflicts if both are about the same thing, but in a different point of view. Should I want to continue part 15 of the first story, I might remove this message. However, based on what I have already written for the 1st story, I don't see how to continue without drifting too far or starting from scratch. I don't want to have my stories to be like anime with a lot of filter episodes: taking up a lot of time just to get to somewhere. FYI, I started writing the first part of this story in August 2008, 9 months ago.]

[Author's note 2 (April 2009): Some of you might have noticed that "to be continued/continued from" might be on the left or the right. The left alignment is the old one, so I want to keep the consistency for all parts. I wonder how many words have I typed for each part alone though? Seems a lot.]

[Author's note 3 (July 2012): I have decided to continue this for a while longer until Haruna graduates from Mihara Academy as graduation is something not focused on in the other stories, and (for the more recent parts) those have more focus on an another school (Mizuho Academy) and less about Mihara Academy. Come to think of it, maybe I could also use this to explain what the original Saeko does before the 2nd story special (published May 2010) and her point of view right after the protagonist of the 2nd story disappeared from there. Other stories I already wrote are set many years after this one, so I feel awkward to "turn back the clock" just to cover this. If you haven't figured out from the URL or the earlier notes, this was the original ending of my very first blog story. I still haven't figured out the name of this story, though.]


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