"It didn't make any sense to us.
Why had our partners turned on us?
Without us, their minds revert to resemble the bio-weapons we fought during the war.
Though, the way Hazuki was acting...it was almost like she had already been lost..."
Takeshi hadn't been back in his old dorm room in a long time. After his studies were completed, he said goodbye to this place where he spent 3 years with Hazuki.
"At that time, things were really peaceful, because she was practically immortal, I didn't have to worry about her dying and leaving me.
I thought we had grown to understand and care for each other, but a lot of the things she did...just didn't click with me.
She'd sometimes go off on her own, she always seemed to keep me at a distance...like I was some kind of poison to her.
She really was a mysterious girl..."
He felt restless. It was as if their was a violent storm inside his mind, a storm which he couldn't quiet. The futon was comfy, but...it felt empty....
It's not that Hazuki slept next to him all the time, but he'd grown used to it after a while...it just felt weird when she wasn't around.
"Hazuki...why...?" It didn't make any sense to him...what were Hazuki's goals? What was she trying to do? Why had she changed so suddenly? There were too many missing pieces of information...
He shielded his eyes from the night with his forearm, a sigh escaped his lips...his heart felt uneasy...
"Hazuki...will die...?" He said it with a disbelieving tone.
For just a moment, an image of Hazuki appeared in his mind and he just realized...
"She rarely smiled around me..." A dry laugh found it's way to the surface, and he felt like breaking down... "I wonder...did she care about me at all...?" A few more laughs escaped, "Did I...develop genuine feelings for her? Not as a Handler, or a partner...feelings that a man develops for a woman?" He'd always thought of Hazuki as a person, rather than a corpse or a Reanimated, over time he started to grow feelings for her...he wasn't sure when, or how he came to realize that...he just knew someday...
"We had an unspoken bond...right...?" He wasn't really sure anymore.
He heard a small commotion outside, he went up to the window to see some Handlers discussing their orders...loudly...
Rather than go out and check it out, he simply closed his window and went back to sleep.
He wasn't sure when the order to move out would come, but it would come...and when it did...he had to be ready...
"That night, I dreamt about Hazuki...
The dream wasn't anything spectacular...it was just a memory of how Hazuki became my partner...it was a long, arduous path though..."
Nyaaaa.......... That was soo sad...
I am starting to think you are having writer's block often... I dread that cus I really LOVE your stories.. especially this one... I hope you continue Kouta..
Well, I do have writer's block very often. I also have other projects I work on, so certain things tend to get pushed to the back of the production line.
I've got a manga to work on (going very well by the way, if I ever scan a page I'll put it up here ), a visual novel to work on (text portion is done btw, when I finished writing out the scenario I was like: "Holy s**t, did I write that?" It was one of the few times where I actually LIKED my own writing. ), I also play guitar and recently came up with a song....yeah...I know...I do too much and should probably stick with one thing at a time...
There's also the non-fun things, like school...
I do try to update when I can. And I do enjoy that at least ONE person likes what I write. It gives me motivation to do it again!!!
Also there's a song stuck in my head called Boombox.
PS: I really like sad stories.
"In about 108 hours, we would be shipped out, during those 108 hours, about 80% of us had to be retrained, aside from myself and the Corpse Collector Unit, most of us hadn't seen combat since the end of the war. We were outfitted with new gear, one of them was an exploding collar, running away meant death...there was no going back..."
It was the middle of the day, Takeshi found himself walking down a path lined with dead trees.
Here there was no one. Not anymore at least...
Back than in Spring, the flowers would bloom....but now, when Spring would come...they'd probably never bloom again...
Ah, around here...he had met Hazuki again.
He tried to find that tree within this maze of trees...ah...he found it at least.
He traced his hand along the edges of the trunk, dents, cuts, fractures...this tree had been used as a dummy to vent Hazuki's frustration in the past.
He sat with his back against it, sighing to himself as he became lost in memories once more...
-December 24th, 3:15 pm, (12 years ago)-
How did...a casual stroll on this snow covered path...turn into stalking...?
Well, it's not like he was really stalking her...they just happened to be going in the same direction. About 10 seconds ago, now he was just watching her hit a tree...
"....This is really one messed up girl..." Is what he thought...
He sighed to himself, shortly after that he realized what a bad mistake that was...!
Hazuki's hand busted through the tree Takeshi had been hiding behind.
"Do you have a death wish?" She menacingly bared down on Takeshi...
Takeshi backed away, his back hitting a tree...realizing he was trapped like a rat!
"Wait, there's a perfectly logical explanation as to why I'm here!" He tried to explain frantically.
She was practically possessed by a demon, all she could see was causing Takeshi as much pain as possible.
"I'll break your arms, pluck out your eyes, snap your legs, and rip off your [bleep]...you won't die, but you'll be in terrible pain forever..."
"Hold on, if you do all that I probably will die!" He needed something, some kind of weapon to defend against her.
That's when it hit him....
It was a stretch, but it was better than the alternative, knowing Hazuki she'd definitely kill him...!
"Uh, the reason I was following you was because...I AM IN LOVE WITH YOU, AND WANT TO TAKE CARE OF YOU...!"
Of course, that stopped her. That would've stopped anyone...regardless of how axe crazy they were....
"...What...did you say...?" She asked in a hushed voice.
Takeshi relaxed just a little. She'd probably kill him twelve times over if she ever found out he was lying...right...?
So, he decided to just go with the flow in this situation...
"Uh...yeah...I...really love you. I wasn't sure at first, but I guess I really do love you...and so, I wanted to be by your side...heh-heh..." He said nervously...
"Why do you love me?" She asked in a subdued tone, she was definitely fishing for answers.
A mistake here would mean, Takeshi dies.
"Well...actually...I'm not entirely sure why...at first you were just a passing thought, but than you kept appearing in my mind and I had the desire to get closer to you and so...I think, that's love, right?" That kind of explanation was half-assed and would probably get him killed.
For half a minute, she was silent.
Eventually she breathed a deep sigh, "Idiot." She took a seat against the tree, right next to him. "Listen to me, I'm not going to disregard your feelings, but I'm not going to accept them either. You don't really know anything about me, and odds are you never will...if you want to follow me, that's fine...but don't expect me to acknowledge you."
She leaned against him.
"You're an idiot you know that."
Wait, so was she accepting him, or rejecting him? He was really confused at this response!
Still...he wasn't dead, and his head wasn't being torn off, so he was relieved. At the very least, things between them were okay...right...?
(Behold, Hazuki's dere side....let that feeling of: "OMG, SHE'S SO CUTE, I JUST WANT TO HUG HER" sink in for a moment...)
LOL she is cute tho... sometimes
Anyway I am checking on often... I AM WATCHING YOU SIR!!
I couldn't update over the weekend.
This month has a certain significance to me, so I'm gonna popping in and out at random times.
I will try to update as soon as I can, but I make no promises right now...
For the record...I really hate this month......
"Hey, I have a question."
"What is it?"
"I've heard various stories about how pact partners were superhuman, is that actually true?"
"Oh, you'll find out in the next part of the story...
It started when Hazuki and I were called in from the head office. Since I was the only able-bodied survivor, they asked me to identify the corpses. As you can imagine...it wasn't pretty..."
-Same day, 5:23pm-
Takeshi resisted the urge to throw up when he looked over the mangled bodies, which had been dead for a while now.
Hazuki didn't seem to have a problem seeing it, she looked to Takeshi and asked; "Well, is this one of them?"
"Y-Yeah, that's Niyakawa..." Takeshi said while looking away, "I thought this was already taken care of?"
"Hm...apparently, there are a few bodies that are unaccounted for." She said with her arms crossed.
"Didn't they send a recovery team to get their bodies?" Takeshi asked, trying his best to ignore the smell. He closed up the body bag and put it back in the container, he wanted to get out of the morgue as quickly as possible.
"And...what'd they find...?"
"Which one, the first or the second?"
"Eh...? ....Oh...." Takeshi understood what she was implying, "what happened to the first team?"
"Similar things to your classmates, but the fact that a few bodies are unaccounted for probably makes the higher ups think there's a link between what happened to your class, and what happened to the recovery teams. The only survivor was from the 2nd team, he was a raving lunatic though when he returned..."
Takeshi had a pretty good idea where this was going though...
"So...what's gonna happen now...?"
Without delay she responded, "Pack up, we're going hiking..."
-Same day, 5:40-
They stood at the site of the crash, when the bus derailed and fell into the mountains.
The guard rail had yet to be fixed, and signs of the crash were still present. Takeshi tried his best not to remember what happened that day he felt sick just thinking about it.
"Oi, focus!" Hazuki snapped her fingers to get Takeshi's attention. "I asked you, which students are unaccounted for?"
"Ah, right." From his pack, he pulled out the list of names.
"Uh...Haruo Nijima, Anri Mizawa, and...Akiko Yukimura..." The last name struck a chord somewhere inside him...he could've sworn...he saw her die...
"..." Hazuki pat his shoulder, "I don't think I need to tell you, you're not my partner, you're a regular human right now and you'll break like a regular human, if it was up to me, I wouldn't bother bringing you along, but orders are orders, so try not to slow me down." Hazuki slid down the mountainside.
"..." Takeshi would have to walk down though, there was no chance in hell he could do that...
-10 minutes later-
He'd ran all the way down the path as quickly as he could. Of course, when he finally got down to Hazuki, she was annoyed.
"What took you so long, slug..." The look on her face was clearly annoyance.
Takeshi sighed, "Well I'm sorry princess, not all of us have genetically enhanced skills."
Before Takeshi could respond, she cut him off, "While you were down here, I did a bit of searching..."
"What'd you find?" Takeshi asked.
...She pointed over to one of the bushes.
He hesitated, wondering what she found?
She refused to tell him, wanting him to find out for himself. He pushed past the leaves to see an arm...torn off in a messy fashion.
"...." He didn't want to keep looking, when he was about to look away, Hazuki put her hand on his head...keeping it in the same place.
"Don't look away...observe...what do you notice...?"
"I...I see..." He took a deep breathe, trying to calm his nerves...another...and another... "Alright...is think...there's teeth marks on the wrist, and...looks like something dug into the skin around the shoulder...um...I think...with their teeth and an arm...they bit and tore."
"Uh..." He continued to stare, trying to find something else... "Judging from the entry wounds, the attacker was probably much larger than the defendant...maybe an animal or...." He trailed off, not wanting to think about the monster from before, "...ripped clothe not from my school's uniform so...it could've been a hiker or-" He saw remnants of an emblem in the shoulder area, "No, this is a member of the lost recovery team."
"Well...lets see..." He was getting into it now, the point of disgust had passed, it was now being taken over by curiosity, he felt a little scared of that, "Judging from the dried blood stains...I don't think the victim survived...what with their whole arm and...part of their side missing like this...and...this wasn't recent...probably an old victim...trail's gone cold and-"
"That's enough." Hazuki put her hand on his shoulder, "You did well." She pointed off to a random direction, deeper into the thick of trees. "That way, we may find more clues up ahead."
She pulled something out from her jacket pocket, "Here...you may need this..." She was handing him a handgun.
Nothing special, just a standard M1911A1. "I don't know what we might find, but it's best if you protect yourself."
"Ah, right..." Takeshi thought he picked up a sense of concern from Hazuki...? Was she worried about his safety...? "What about you?" He asked, noticing she seemed to have no other weapons on her. At least, nothing visible. (He wasn't even aware she was carrying a pistol).
"Heh..." She turned away from him, "I'm a corpse...I don't have to worry about death...now lets go..."
-Same day, 6:00pm-
"Stop." Hazuki suddenly said, they were in a grassy clearing surrounded by trees and...the trail was leading off in a few different direction.
"...." A few moments of silence passed.
"Most likely...a few of these are just animal tracks, but it's likely we could overlook something...so...we'll have to split up."
"Eh? But, if they're just corpses, shouldn't we just stick together...not like they'll be able to move or-" Takeshi stopped when he realized how stupid he must've sounded. Right in front of him...was a moving corpse, technically...
"...Listen up...this is a secret that the media is forbidden to reveal, there's a hush on it because if people found out exactly what our enemies were capable of, we'd lose plenty of prospective recruits. Hence our numbers would dwindle to only the brave or the crazy. But, since you've been drafted anyways, best to tell you now...you'll find out eventually." She pointed to herself, "At the moment, we're the only ones who can come back completely from death, but...it's not unlikely to see an enemy get back up after it was 'killed'. You have to make sure it's really dead first...considering what happened to the search teams and the unaccounted bodies, it's very likely we're dealing with something that might've mutated before it 'died'."
"So...wait..." Takeshi was having a hard time processing this. "What exactly...are we looking for...? People who are alive or dead?"
"...A little of both..."
With that, she turned to a random direction. "I'll search down this path, you go that way." She pointed to a trail leading down a hill.
Takeshi's knees were shaking. Well of course they would be...after what was just said...dead bodies getting back up and attacking him...not knowing exactly what to expect...
Yes, he was scared. He kind of hoped that he'd just wake up back home, and this would all be some kind of bad dream.
Of course it wouldn't though...he'd been trying that ever since he got on that bus...
He felt a hand touch his...
Hazuki was holding Takeshi's hand against her chest.
"Don't be afraid...I won't be too far away, I promise you, that you'll get back alive...okay...?" She smiled warmly at him.
"....Okay..." He trusted her. He wanted to believe in her. He wanted to think that he'll be fine as long as she stays by his side...
He tried to slide down the hill in a cool way, but ended up tripping and falling on his face...looking kind of like an idiot.
Once the pain and dizziness passed, he got back to his feet.
It was a REALLY good thing that whatever he was looking for left an easy to follow trail.
"....." Actually, it was a little too easy wasn't it...?
He'd been following the trail for a while now, without Hazuki around to talk to, his mind wandered to his past...to the people he was searching for...one person specifically...
"Akiko..." He said silently to himself...what happened to her, was cruel and undeserving...she was so kind, she didn't deserve that kind of fate.
"Dammit...to die like that..." That moment was traumatizing to him, he'd been having frequent nightmares about it...
He started feeling dizzy, he lost his footing and ended up falling on his knees in a bad way. He wasn't concerned with the pain, it was the shooting pain in his head that he was concerned about, he kept hearing her voice in his head.
He wanted it to stop.
He placed his hands over his ears, to try and block out her sweet voice.
"Stop it, stop it, stop it, stop it...!"
Didn't work of course, if anything the voice was even louder...it was like torture to him, similar to nails scratching on a blackboard. The only thing that brought him out of it was a shadow in front of him.
"...." He slowly looked up...merely 9 feet away, there she was...
Walking through the green foliage, arm out stretched to him, she was smiling...
"Akiko...?" He wondered, if this was some kind of illusion. Even though he knew it was probably an illusion... "Akiko...!" He shouted out to her.
She just smiled at him, little by little, she started closing in on him.
"Takeshi." She said in a sweet, alluring voice, devoid of cruel intentions.
Akiko was alive...
Right in front of him...!
Takeshi smiled, just a little.
He only noticed Akiko in front of him, he proceeded, single-minded and unaware of the world around him. He didn't even notice the shadow standing behind him...
He finally caught it, something big, and dangerous was bearing down on him from behind...
His line of sight was obscured by sharp blades which resembled a Praying Mantis. Something wet was dripping on his head, he wanted to reach for his gun...to look at what was standing behind him...
But his legs were frozen solid.
They shook, but did not respond to his commands.
At just that moment, he heard something like a heavy collision.
He slowly turned around to see Hazuki struggling against some...thing...!
It had a humanoid body, considerably more feral looking and it's skin had turned something of a sickly gray, it's neck was extended and it's mouth was split open by four sides, rows of sharp teeth on each mouth flap. Not only that, but there were four bladed-tendrils sticking out of it's back, and a long reptilian tale.
"Takeshi...!" Hazuki called out to him, while apparently entering into a grappling match with this 6-armed monster. "Snap out of it, and shoot...!"
"Hazuki...!" He drew his gun as quickly as he could, his hands were still shaking but he tried to line up the sights with the monster's head. Hazuki was in trouble, she was pinned down by it and dodged it's bladed tendrils as it tried to pierce her.
Just as Takeshi was about to fire, he felt a booming pain in his right side. Something had collided with him, something heavy and hard. Which caused him to skip across the ground, until he finally stopped after hitting a tree. He was in a lot of pain, it hurt to breathe and his vision blurred. But he could definitely see another one of those damned monsters.
He heard it's ear piercing scream.
As if an alarm went off in his head, he desperately reached for his gun. But there was no way he could match the monster's speed...
He was gonna die here...and Hazuki was gonna die too...
It was hopeless...if only he hadn't been caught off guard, if only he hadn't been such a coward...
And once again, Hazuki saved him.
She collided with the monster, but in the process she was impaled by at least 3 of it's bladed tendrils, the other one stopping just after slicing her right shoulder.
With her body she pinned it to the ground, as it kept cutting into her back, clawing and ripping her apart.
"HAZUKI...!" Takeshi shouted, a wellspring of courage exploded inside him, he ignored his pain as he dived for his gun, scooping it up as he hit his chin hard against the dirt.
He rolled on his back as the first monster jumped on top of him, before it could bite down on his face, Takeshi shot out 4 shots into it's mouth, the bullets bursting out from the back of it's head.
It tried to bit at him one last time, before it puked out blood on Takeshi's chest and stopped breathing, Takeshi pushed it's body off quickly as he rolled onto his stomach.
Takeshi fired off as many shots as he could until he saw those bladed tendrils stop stabbing Hazuki...
Just like that...it was over...
He breathed out a much needed sigh of relief...sure...he was in an intense amount of pain and lying next to something that looked like the unholy love child of a necromorph and a symbiote. (Dead Space and Spiderman reference)
"Ha-ha...hey Hazuki...you really came..." He said to try and break the silence and tension of the moment, "Yeah...I think...I found two unconfirmed bodies...right...?"
"...." No answer from Hazuki...
"Hey, Hazuki...that was a close one wasn't it...? I don't think anything's broken, just some sprains, cuts, and a few bruises..." He tried to sit up, but found that painful so he just lied on his back...though he didn't want to.
He noticed dark clouds forming overhead...
"Hey...you think it's gonna rain...? We should probably get those wounds of yours healed up or you'll bleed out..."
Takeshi was feeling a little uneasy about Hazuki's silence.
A little drop of rain hit his nose.
"Hey...tell you what...when we get back, lets go do something together...okay...? I think I owe you again for saving my life." He laughed dryly, trying to keep his spirits high.
His anxiety was starting to get to him now...
"Hazuki...?" He rolled onto his stomach once more, looking over at Hazuki...
He expected her to have gotten up, ripped off the monster's head...or...maybe threw an insult at him. But now, she wasn't doing anything...she just laid there, unmoving.
"I'm a corpse...I don't have to worry about death..."
She had said that to him just a little while ago...
And yet, she was just lying there like a true corpse.
"Hazuki...!" Takeshi slowly got to his feet, ignoring the pain in his body as he quickly made his way to Hazuki, stumbling and falling a lot, when he finally got to her he was on his knees and pulling her off the monster and trying to drag her body under a tree to escape the rain. But he couldn't get her far, he ended up falling on his back while dropping Hazuki on hers...
He crawled next to her, rolling onto his back and staring up at the rain...
"Hey...right now...it's almost like we're cloud gazing..." He tried to keep positive... "Hey, Hazuki...you should really get up, I know you're cruel but even you should realize that I can't do the impossible..." He laughed dryly.
He stared at Hazuki's frozen expression...
"..." He touched her cheek but felt no warmth... "Hazuki..." The pitter patter of rain surrounded Takeshi giving him a bit of peace, that peace was shortly broken by the sound of many ear shattering screeches in the distance...
Takeshi kept his gun close...
This wasn't over yet...and Takeshi was all alone...