Alternate Dimension (Part 78)

The closer I brought the friend to Takagi, the more nervous I got about how Takagi would react to it even though I have no involvement on how the friend became what he is like now that has the body to keep changing quite frequently without control. He currently looks and sounds like an office lady, and is unknown when the next transformation is, but an hour with an even number in it would be approaching soon.

Transformations frequencies varies between 2 to 100 hours, with the lower end being more common, always happens at the top of the hour, and the number of hours of these frequencies are always dividable by 2 without a remainder. That makes it easier to prepare for it, but preparing for a transformation that could happen between every 2 to 100 hours without knowing when exactly it would be can be quite stressful. Knowing exactly when it would be or, even better, not worrying about it at all, is less stressful.

Takagi's friend seems distracted by the elevator design: the inside looks quite modern, while the outside on some floors that others in the elevator had got on and off at looked futuristic or retro that is also reflected on the elevator doors: some were made of glass, some are the common type, some have a small window on the doors, but the most obvious thing is that the way the elevator doors open at the lobby and the sound they make. Except for the floor we got on and off, we didn't see what the floor indicator and call button looked like.

Me: "It seems that you are interested with the way the elevator doors open and the difference of the designs of the lobby of the floors we stopped at. If you're interested, head to the level where most of our oldest staff work at: there's a lot of old-fashioned equipment there that looked as if you stepped back in time..."

We reached our floor and walked towards where the room is. There are no windows facing the corridor in there except for a small window on the door. Most manually opened doors of rooms at Powell Institute are of the swing type, and the automatic ones sideways (or upwards).

Me: "This is where you will be working with Megumi. I only told her that the you as she knows is coming, but wouldn't be expecting your complete change in appearance and voice. Since your original name or picture were not used in your employee file, she can't search for you in the database either. I know who you are, but there's nothing on your body to say who you were. I'll go talk to her and give you the signal to come in. Of course, I'll try to have that happen before the start of the next hour."

Somehow, Takagi's friend doesn't seem nervous at all. Excited, as a matter of fact. Also, I was half expecting Takagi Megumi herself to not be inside the room, but she is there right now.

Me: "Takagi-san? I had brought that old friend of yours to work with you."

Takagi: "Who is it? The only person I know that I could think of that could work here is that Taufiq I asked you to rescue before, though it could also be an acquaintance that I would remember only if I see them."

The name of Takagi's friend is made up of five parts, and Takagi is calling him by the second part of it. I was wondering what to call him all this time because the full name is quite long, but I didn't dare to ask because he had once said that he doesn't want to be reminded of his old life, with his appearance and name being the last remains of it that he couldn't do anything about before his current situation. For that question Takagi just asked me about, I'll leave it ambiguous.

Me: "Okay you can come in now!"

The friend, who currently looks like an office lady, walked into the room confidently, but still has signs of being uncertain of what would happen.

Office lady: "Nice to meet you, Takagi-san. It has been quite a while since we last met, but I don't think you would recognize me."

Takagi seemed confused. I had told her that it's someone she know, but did not recognize her. I predict a greater shock when Takagi hears the name of the office lady in front of her, which isn't mentioned yet.

Takagi: "W-Who is this? I've definitely never seen this woman before. Also, why is she not even wearing a temporary pass? Even I, on my first day of work, wear it. Even you yourself are wearing a staff pass."

Takagi seemed distracted by the appearance of the office lady and wanted to talk about it, but I guess out of respect, especially with my position in the company, she didn't. I personally wouldn't mind if she did, even if it was a negative comment.

I looked at the time, and it looks like the transformation could happen any second now. I quickly gave Takagi's friend a visitor's pass to wear. This particular visitor's pass has been worn out from age and the way the visitors that had this had handled it. Even the oldest staff pass in use isn't as close to the condition of this particular pass.

Me: "I don't have the time to explain right now, but please observe her for the next minute at least. If nothing happens, that means that it might not happen for an another 2 hours or more."

Takagi: "What are you talking... WHAT IS HAPPENING TO HER?!"

The office lady that was there earlier became to look like a school girl from Britain: clearly looks like an European, and the uniform is distinctively unique to the schools there and different from most of the local schools.

Me: "As you can see, the visitor's pass I had put on her earlier has vanished during the transformation, and neither could the transformation itself be controlled. Race, age, and gender could also be changed at the same time too, but being a young Japanese woman seems to be the most frequent for your friend. I didn't give her a permanent pass because this has happened before."

British schoolgirl: "I think I should introduce myself, Megumi. You seemed confused, though that is to be expected. I may not look or sound like it now, but I am Taufiq. The one you met during your cultural exchange programme."

Takagi's friend said this in native Japanese. I was expecting the language abilities to change together with the transformation, but that didn't happen. I don't know the details, but maybe it's a one-time only change, or changes depending on the situation.

Takagi: "Taufiq?! What on earth happened to you? You've completely changed beyond recognition!"

Taufiq and I explained the situation.

British schoolgirl: " I would prefer to not be called Taufiq because I would be reminded of a former self I strongly want to forget."

Takagi: "Then what do you want me to call you then?"

Me: "Now that you mentioned it, I don't know about it myself too. She's the only staff in the company who currently doesn't have a name, photo, or biological info, in the company records, and officially the only staff who isn't issued a staff pass."

Takagi looked at me as if wondering how such a thing as allowing a staff without any identifiable thing and an almost blank staff profile is even allowed. Me acknowledging it and also being the highest position in the company made her quite astonished.

Me: "Well, the least I could do is to make your friend remember her staff ID and have her to tell us what to call her. Each time your friend transforms, she has an official name and photo assigned to it but, like I said before, it keeps changing by as much as 12 times in a day. This name that is to be entered is somewhat like a nickname to always call her by even if she transforms with a completely different look. She has also clearly stated to not use her original name not only for personal reasons, it does not reflect the fact that she very frequently becomes a Japanese woman of some kind from most of the transformations."

Takagi: "Then what do you want me to call her? By her staff number?"


Popular posts from this blog

Alternate Dimention (Part 27)

Review of Autumn 2008 anime

New Autumn 2008 Anime / Review of Summer & Spring Anime