Woman: “Ah, I almost forgot. There are several spare uniforms at the staff room you can wear. We keep spares in case our students stained theirs with paint or blood, or gets torn apart. Wait inside the girl’s toilet of the nearby park. You will attract attention if you don’t change.”
Why are they keeping spares at all? Why at the staff room instead of the storeroom? What is with the mention of blood and tears? Why wait inside the park toilet instead of the outside? This sounds very wrong, even for a school away from the city.
Me: “Is the bullying that bad?”
She had an odd expression on her face when I said that.
Woman: “Not all the families of the students can afford the uniform, and you know, bullying cases where they tear them apart. Some are… Left behind by students. There’s a set prepared in the first cubicle in the toilet.”
Why did you already prepare the uniform when I had only just met you? I felt that the conversation was very awkward to me. I somehow sensed that the uniform in question once belong to someone that has something happened to her. Unclear if related to the recent tsunami or not. Nevertheless, I continued following. At the same time, I sent a coded message in secret to my brother and Hisakawa-senpai that meant as a cautionary notice that I could be in danger of being attacked.
The park in question seems deserted, and not of the one I had been to. The woman went ahead to the school just visible in the distance. There are two toilets next to each other, one for each gender, but why am I seeing a urinal in what is marked as the female toilet? Why is that there? Only boys can use that. Nevertheless, the said (female) uniform is in the first cubical.
It feels as if I’m being watched while changing… Have I walked into a trap? If so, why did I knowingly walk into one? It’s possible that someone might had saw me talking to that woman, who could possibly isn’t with her, and led me to the wrong toilet by swapping the signs as, clearly, there aren’t supposed to have urinals in the woman’s toilet. (Not my first time seeing them: Saw men using one of those when dad brought me in the mens room when I was a small kid wanting to use the toilet, but with only dad instead of mom around to ask.) Would someone attack me once I get out of this cubicle?
Wait. I’m hearing a commotion outside. Sounds like there are boys fighting outside, along with a familiar voice.
Unknown girl: “You two, why are you switching the toilet signs?”
She said that with a frightened voice, but frightened girls wouldn’t even involve themselves to begin with. Wait. There’s no other toilet besides the one I’m at within earshot.
Male 1: “Do you want this knife into you? Mind your own business.”
At that moment I received an email from Hisakawa-sempai. It said: “My senses tells me that you are in the park’s male toilet and I caught two men changing the signs. One has a knife and some ropes, the other with a gun.” Two armed men? Huh? Another message? “There’s a possibility that I might ‘die’ confronting these men. lol”. Why the quotes and laughter on being killed? More importantly, how is she sending me these messages while dealing with hostile people?
Male 2: “Hey. Get out of our way, unless you want to get raped like the girl we have trapped inside that we planed.”
They really do want to rape me! Why did I knowingly walk into a trap?
Hisakawa: “Y-You would have to take me on first! Don’t g-give me the special treatment just because I’m… a girl!”
I don’t know what happened exactly out there as they seem to have moved out of earshot of me. Some time later, I heard gunshot and, a short while later, a scream of the woman I was with earlier.
Woman: “Murderer! Come back here! Hey!”
Man 1: “Hey, you shot that girl in the head…”
Man 2: “Oh no! I didn’t mean… Let’s get out of here!”
I received a message from Hisakawa again. It said, “You can come out now, though a woman saw me being shot. Technically, I am not dead, but my body reacted as if I was actually dying. Kind of an annoying feature to have for an immortal girl like me. On top of that, they deliberately made me unable to fight.”
Wait. She is immortal?! Also, what is the point if being immortal if she couldn’t fight?
“Hurry up and revive me. I can’t revive myself when people are looking, including via security cameras. You just need to bring my body away from watching eyes or something.”, said a more recent text message.
I got out of the toilet, already changed, and, to my horror, I saw Hisakawa-senpai lying dead with a bullet on her forehead. I started wondering if this messages I’m receiving from are fake. I messaged “How are you sending messages to me? Prove to me that you are that dead over there and not some pretender”.
“Well… someone closed my eyes, so I can’t tell what’s around me besides indistinguishable footsteps and voices. Your phone does not support, or is inaccessible to me, to link up with my status… But you probably wouldn’t understand what you are seeing if it does. How I am sending this to you? I don’t know how myself: I just think of you and what to say, and you would receive it as a cell phone message. You could say it’s part of how my body works, except that no one told me everything it is capable of.”
Was this how I received a message from her during the school field trip where my phone has no signal coverage? Still, no normal human could send messages by just thinking, especially to an electronic device that doesn’t use analogue signals. Appearing to be dead in front of me on top of that. Lets see what happens if I attach a picture of her dead body to her. There was a slight delay before I received a reply.
“Yes… That is me right there. I would love to send you a picture of what I can see, but, after someone closed my eyes, there is nothing but black space. My body is in a “dead” state, so apart from being able to hear and feel, I can’t do anything. Try forcing my eyes open.”
I did as I told and got another message. It was a picture of my lower half while squatting with what was underneath my skirt partially visible. “Sorry about that angle of you, but that is exactly what I’m seeing with my current head position. Is this enough evidence?” attached. Well, since I did it without a thought, and Hisakawa-senpai being someone I known for a while who is a girl and immobile, I shall overlook that. Even more so when I was saved from being raped not too long ago.
I tried to carry Hisakawa’s body to the toilet area, but the teacher whom I was with earlier came back to the park after chasing those men. She saw me and had a horrified look.
Woman: “Hey! Leave that body alone or the police would label you as the culprit instead of as a victim. Especially when there are no security cameras in this area.”
At that moment, something odd started happening to Hisakawa’s body. Blood that was scattered on the pavement came flying back into her body. Any injury, or clothes being torn, or dirtied, during the fight was reversed. Her body is now back to what it was before the attacked happened.
Hisakawa: “That was a horrifying experience. Now I know what it feels like to have been shot by a bullet into the forehead. Can’t say that I didn’t feel the extreme pain of it. Funny how they made me immortal, not that I asked for it, but defenceless and fearful when attacked too.”
Woman: “You- You…!”
Hisakawa looked at her, before wearing the look as if realizing something.
Woman: “You are that famous Powell founder! Hisakawa Saeko! Your company has helped a lot of people and we don’t know how different things would had been if the company did not exist.”
Hisakawa-senpai seem to not like her own company being mentioned. Most likely for being inappropriate to the situation or how often she has been asked of this. I honestly was surprised that the teacher did not question on how Hisakawa came back to life after very convincingly appearing to be dead, especially after having been shot in the forehead. No normal person is supposed to have survived that.
Awkward silence soon followed as no one said a word after the teacher.
Woman: “Those boys has just been expelled from school for bullying that resulted in the victim ending up being admitted to hospital, or worse, even suicide. I never thought they would go to the extent of murdering… you. It’s technically murder, but you are alive as of it never happened even though I witnessed it. Still, they can be charged for attempted murder and possession of illegal weapons. Except for their current whereabouts, I know everything about them.”
She was indicating towards Hisakawa.. Despite mentioning how Hisakawa has come back to life, she did not express shock or even question how that was possible, which I find very odd.
Hisakawa: “Nishizawa, you can stop trying to avoid mentioning how I came back to life. I already told her myself.”
Seems that Hisakawa and the woman I just met called Nishizawa knew each other before today, but where?
Hisakawa: “So, this is Nishizawa. She’s one of the people who occasassionally works at a department at Hatsuya behind… me.”
She seemed reluctant to say it.
Nishizawa: “What are you talking about? You are our most important thing to our company! Those old lab rats and theories don’t represent how humans would accurately react, and we can use you over and over without worrying about the police. Plus, your reaction is an accurate representation of how people would react our untested medicine, products, and theories.”
Why the mention of lab rats?
Hisakawa: “I never wanted to be your lab rat!”
She seemed angry.
Nishizawa: “Yes, but that was the condition for whoever stumbled into that machine at Mihara Academy your girlfriend, Miyazawa has set up, which happens to be you. Since that machine created your body as what you were at that time, you are technically our property and forever stuck as a female. An android with your own official serial number from those guys who approve electronic devices as safe to use, so that legally means that you are not human or an animal and we can get away with whatever we do to you. If it weren’t for you being an existing employee, and Miyazawa herself emotionally attached to you specifically, we could have kept you like a prisoner.”
Who is this girl named Miyazawa? Is what Nishizawa said true?
Hisakawa: “I AM VERY MAD! I CAN’T TAKE THIS ANYMORE!”
She said that in a sad, crying, voice despite the angry words.
All of a sudden, Hisakawa stabbed herself in her chest with the knife the attackers left behind. It was too quick and sudden to persuade her to not do it. This time, nothing happened. The knife just stood there partially into her body with no blood around it.
Hisakawa: “Why can’t I kill myself? I have experienced the extreme pain of being killed too many times! How am I still living?”
Nishizawa: “I told you: test our untested products and theories. Should those actually result in death, you will react as such, but made it so that you aren’t actually dying. That also means that you are immortal. We didn’t want you going against us, so we deliberately made you helpless and unable to express anger, even if you were to be attacked like earlier. These are hardwired into your body, so that can’t be change with anything presently accessible to you. We can also trace you anywhere in the world even if you try to escape, and you can’t stop sending to us what you are seeing or hearing.”
Hisakawa seemed like she has given up living, and knowing that she couldn’t die even if she wanted to. Who want to live on forever? Even in movies, I’ve never ever heard of an immortal person who is also scared and defenseless. However, I could sense that Hisakawa is unable to express what she is truly feeling inside.
Nishizawa took out something and press some buttons. Hisakawa’s crying and anger abruptly stopped and wore an expression that looked as if she is a receptionist waiting to greet someone. The knife that was in her fell onto the floor with no blood stain, not even from earlier, and the cut into her body and clothes reverted too.
Hisakawa (in a pleasant and polite voice): “May I help you, Nishizawa-San?”
Her eye movement tells me that she has no control of her body.
Nishizawa: “Hold on. Those eyes of yours don’t seem right.”
Uh oh. She noticed that too. Now I can’t tell if she’s forced to behave that way, or has been brainwashed.
Nishizawa: “Now that is out of the way, shall we head to the school? We has lost a lot of time.”
Hisakawa: “Understood, madam.”
This feels akward.