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#81

Great chapters Red!


#82

It was the devil’s child. Her face, her eyes, her body looked just like death itself. What was even worse, it was in the guise of a little girl. He couldn’t believe it. The evil thing was talking to him like it was still alive. He raised the gun, pointed it at her, but could not bring himself to look as he pulled the trigger.

The shot rang throughout the store. The baby cried instantly. Suddenly, he was slammed on the ground, chocking as a force of unbelievable strength gripped his throat. He dropped the gun and felt himself being lifted into the air as the others were gasping in fear. He kept his eyes shut, fearing what he would see.

A cold voice spoke a deadly monotone voice, “Who gave this pathetic excuse of meat a gun? Let me explain something to you ‘adults’. Fear is an emotion designed to warn you of danger and keep you alert. If you ignore it, you become reckless and get yourself hurt. If you let it control you, you no longer think rationally and make the deadliest of mistakes. This ‘man’ obviously has no control of his fear, so how long do you think it would have taken him to shoot you by mistake?” There was a brief pause of silence. The grip suddenly tightened. “OPEN YOUR EYES FOOL!” He opened his eyes.

Death himself was holding him by the neck. Death incarnate was staring at him with eyes of rage. Death spoke, “This man is still not thinking rationally! Look at him, shaking and eyes going everywhere, he is nothing but in a panic state and has not heard a word I said.” Death pulled his face to its, “Stop shaking, now.”

He did so. “Breath in, breath out, breath in, breath out.” He followed his directions until slowly, he realized he was looking at a young man. Slowly, he looked around. Three others like him had his friends and wife at bay. But there were teens as well.

For the first time, he found his voice, “What the hell are…” He was slightly chocked and forced to look back at the one holding him.

“I didn’t say talk yet. The first words out your mouth are, ‘Maya, I am so terribly sorry for being a pathetic excuse of a human being. Please forgive my pathetic and reached soul.’” He pointed to the little girl he shot at earlier, but she was in a different spot, shaking with her eyes widen as if to cry. “If she had not moved when you closed your eyes, you would have been dead already. I don’t judge murderers, but I would have made sure you met the court date for the judge of the quick and the dead.”

He wanted to scream, run, hide, but if he let himself go to fear again, it would hurt him. Instead, he repeated the apology to the girl, whose name was Maya he realized. He said afterwords, “Who are you people?”

The devil smiled, “People…good start. My name is Michio. Yes, I look very scary and have a great deal of strength. But I am speaking to you, walk and move in a normal fashion, and I am still alive. Your reaction to try to shoot us would have been justified if we were just moaning and slowly coming to eat you, but instead you turned off your brain and took a shot without seeing the obvious differences. You don’t get your gun back. Akira will get you some food and baby formula, then you are to leave in that car. ‘They’ are now coming here because of that shot you just did. You are to be gone in less than five minutes. Remember, fear is a useful emotion, but control it.”

Michio let him go and went over to Maya. He gently picked her up and rocked her. As they prepared to leave, the man finally thought to himself, “What did I nearly just do?”

After they left, Togoto came out from hiding. Michio calmly asked, “Why were you hiding?”

Togoto answered, “Confirming what I feared, most people are not going to react to you well.”

Michio briefly looked at Akira but winced for doing so, “I know that already.”

Maya finally spoke, “He tried to shoot me. SHOOT ME! Bastard! Hiroto, why didn’t you kill him!”

Hiroto glanced at Michio with a glare, but Michio answered coldly, “So, we are monsters then?”

Maya reared as if she was struck, “No!”

“That’s why. He didn’t hit, I doubt he could of. His aim was way off, and he was controlled by fear. I warned you that this could happen. But, if I had been there two seconds earlier, he wouldn’t have a hand right now nor gotten off that shot. We are not monsters killing people. But we have to be careful, Maya!” He gave Maya a rough hug, both as a punishment for disobeying but at the same time affectionate for her being unharmed.

Hiroto took over hugging Maya when Michio let go. Akira simply said, “Nice speech.” Jun nodded in surprised agreement.

“I had that one building up for awhile.” Michio looked at the pair, “You need to straighten up your clothing some. Nice bra, Akira.”

Akira’s face turned dark as Jun slightly jumped. Akira shot back, “Well, Hiroto’s perfume suits you, Michio.”

Michio looked back at Hiroto who was now trying to convince Maya she didn’t need candy. She was beautiful, brave, caring, and a good friend already. “It does, doesn’t it?” He heard Them getting closer. “Lets take the back way out, this is going to be a long night.”


#83

While at the store, Togoto got himself a nice notepad and pen. He had to write down everything he has observed while with these kids. First, he wrote about how the outbreak seemed to occur around the world at the same time. He could only draw three conclusions.

  1. It was an attack, but not by any known power.
  2. It was an act of nature against the human virus.
  3. No conclusion can be made at this time.

He opted for 3, for these kids were the anti-virus if it was one, and nature should not have allowed for that. The night they left the store, they moved with such silence, he actually started to take notice how much sound he made. Every now and then, they ran into a group of Them. Maya stayed back with him as the other four slipped in and removed the threat with silent and deadly speed. Still, if they saw more than fifteen, they moved around the group. Secretly, Togoto thought they could handle up to thirty easily, but Michio chose caution.

Their destination happened to be Michio’s house. It turned out they accidentally gotten near it during their adventure so far. Togoto was very curious to meet the parents of a young man who mutated the infection to suite himself. However, it was obvious something was very wrong when they got there.

Michio looked at his house with a stoic face. He did not know what to hope for, but now he readied himself for what he was about to see. Maya started to come towards the gate, “No Maya, stay out here and keep watch. Jun, stay with her.”

Maya was about to say something back, but she must have noticed Michio starting to shake. She said nothing and hung back with Jun. Hiroto, Akira, and Togoto walked into his yard with him.

There were a few bodies here and there, bodies of Them. They had no head injuries. The front door was open and a bit ajar. Michio walked in and stopped. He couldn’t cry, call out, or do anything. All emotions left him. “I guess this is emotional shock,” he said out loud. Hiroto followed his gaze and gasped, Akira put her hand and Michio’s shoulder. Togoto looked as well.

Togoto realized the bodies in front of him were Michio’s parents. The father turned into on of Them. The mother, with multiple bite marks and missing parts, did not turn into one of Them. They all fed on her and yet she never turned, but They truly died for doing so. The mother had some form of whatever made Michio what he is, but not quite the same. Still, she gave her son once last gift through her genes.

Hiroto first spoke, “I am so sorry, Michio. I shouldn’t have suggested we come here.”

Michio shook his head, “I would have found out sooner or latter. It is hard to take in right now, but… I am going to bury them. We stay here for the rest of the night. I know where we have supplies in my house.”

Togoto watched as the three moved his parents to the backyard and buried them. Jun brought in Maya. Togoto was surprised when Michio prepared a nice meal for them. Still, after that meal, he saw Hiroto just holding Michio on the couch. He was already asleep. “Even with their new strengths, they still have some weaknesses of being human. That is good I guess.”

He poured every theory, thought, details of their adventure, and all the details about the kids into his notebook. He did not tell Michio he already drunk some of Jun’s blood, but some how Togoto just knew he would never be like the kids. In some ways, he felt like a shepherd being guarded by his sheep. Still, he knew he had to do something, for these kids were the future if anything was. He slept lightly that night.


#84

Colonel Odel listened to the various signals that still could be heard across the world. “Oh my God, these are orders to prep for nuke launch.”

Everyone with him at the base froze. Their base would not be targeted, it was to minor and not well known. However, every major city and military base would be in danger.

“Alert the General now, get the survivors to the minor secure bases now!” Odel thought to himself, “Nuking the cities might get rid of large numbers of Them, but it would not help the survivors. We need to survive, IDIOTS! They are just dooming us all.”

Another message caught his attention. As an intelligence officer, he understood this one as well. It was not one many people would know. “Finally, someone as has issued world plague orders. This situation works very much like it. Orders to set up safe zones with heavy guard, but the infection is easier to prevent this time. You can shoot Them and make sure no one is bitten. Also, anyone who is naturally immune gets high precedence.”

He looked over the orders and stopped for a second. “Get me the General now, we need to pass on these orders as well.”

“NUKES! How FUBAR can this GET! Is Japan targeted?”

“Not by the U.S. However, Russia and China might have it targeted.” Colonel Odel knew the General already knew that, but he had to confirm his fears. However, “More than likely it will Okinawa that will be hit.”

“Well, we are not sending survivors there, we are sending several to you.”

“Here Sir?!”

“You are very isolated, well secured, and can hold out for a few months if needs be.”

“Very well sir. Sir, about the other orders…”

“We are taking those steps now already. However, I don’t have a single soldier to spare to find those freaks of yours. I highly doubt they are what you think they are Colonel.”

“With all due respect Sir they can be humanities last hope.”

“I highly doubt that Colonel! I am interested only in saving human lives here. From what you said, they are not human anymore. Over and out.”

Odel slammed the phone down, “Damn that man.” He had to find someone to get those kids. But he did not have the troops at this base for that. All other troops were very busy. He had to find troops with enough skill, have not gotten caught up in this mess yet, and soon. “Impossible. Damn, I wish I had a Seal team.” He did a double take on himself.

He could not contact the boomers with their nukes, but the converted cruise missile subs with their seal teams should be contactable. And if he was right, one should be close enough…


#85

Togoto watched as the group washed up in the morning. Though the rested close to each other, Togoto noticed none of them seemed to have an active night. Michio was thinking hard at the dinning table.

Togoto approached him, “So, what are you thinking now?”

Michio gave him an odd look, “You are the adult here. Any idea on what we should do?”

Togoto paused for a moment. “Well, I would say we should find where everyone is holding up. You and the others can almost guarantee people’s safety if you had a little bit of back up. However, I doubt anything good will happen if we approach a group of survivors.”

Michio nodded. “I was thinking we should leave the city, but the power had not gone out yet. Why is that?”

Togoto paused again. He had not thought about it, but that was a very good question. “Perhaps the power station is being protected?”

Michio nodded. “Then I say lets find a good place in the city that is easy to defend. My house has the draw down stairs to the attic, but if we get trapped in there, it would be very bad. Plus, I don’t have all that much supplies here.”

Togoto noticed that Michio was making sure not to think about his parents. “Yes, we should leave. Perhaps the mall or another store?”

Michio shook his head no. “Too many people would be there.”

It came to Togoto, “Let’s go to the University. They have a lab there, and I want to take a look at your blood. I am not as adept as most scientists, but I am the closest one we got. There are things we need to understand about you. Plus, they have a cafeteria, stores of supplies, and dorm rooms.”

Michio thought about it, “And most people would have fled there, okay, lets go.”

It was the same as the day before. Maya had to stick with Togoto as everyone moved through the streets. It drove her nuts, as Togoto was creepy and boring. She had so much energy now, so much strength, she needed to play, run, jump! And for the first time, she did not feel constant fear. She felt strong. She no longer was turning around looking out for her…

She stopped suddenly. She knew where Hiroto was ahead of her, even though she was out of sight. “Sis?” she called out.

Togoto quickly went “shush” to hear but she waved him off. They were not close enough.

Hiroto was by her side very quickly, “Maya, what is it?”

“Should we check on Mom? And…Dad?”

Hiroto bent down and hugged her softly. Her skin felt different, but good. She smelled nice to Maya. Hiroto whispered to her ear, “We can’t, Maya. It is too dangerous for us to go where people might be, and our home is too far away from here. The University is near by. I am sure when we can, we will find Mom.” She did not bother to mention her dad.

Maya nodded and continued. Slowly, she imagined finding her Mom and running to her. But the more that happy thought went on, she realized Mom would not be seeing her little girl, but what Maya was now. Maya did not want her mom to be afraid of her. She felt sad, but a she felt a little bit better when she thought of scaring her dad.


#86

The University was ‘almost’ empty. A few straggling Them were here and there, but four quick shadows slipped through Their numbers and removed the threat. Very few even noticed They were under attack until They moved no more.

Togoto watched from a bit of distance with wide eyes. The efficiency of the teenagers was unreal. Michio now didn’t even use a weapon. He had perfected a hand strike that didn’t even draw blood but still crushed the skull. He was able to use it since They never heard him.

When it was clear, Togoto approached the group. “The lab should be in that building. Michio, would you come with me there?”

Michio nodded, “You guys, go hit the cafeteria. I bet you are hungry, and so am I.”

Hiroto gave Michio a small hug before running off with her sister. Even though They were no longer around, they still made little to no noise.

“You guys are like ghosts.” Togoto said without thinking.

Michio paused, “Not ghosts. I can’t but help of thinking of some sort of bad omen. Like the four horsemen. Akria is War, Jun is famine, Maya is pestilence.”

Togoto laughed, “Ah, but there are five you?”

Michio said, “I am Death.” Togoto couldn’t look at Michio right then. Several times, Togoto thought Michio was Death incarnated. He had to break the mood for both his and Michio’s sake.

“So Hiroto is the pale horse you ride on?”

Michio looked confused, then turned dark. He looked at Togoto with a shocked face and said in a barely hinted stammer, “Mr. Togoto, I never thought you would say something like that!”

The mood was broken. Togoto laughed, but in truth he just felt relieved.

“Besides, Hiroto and I did not go all the way yet.” Michio paused as they entered the building, and then signaled all clear. “We got close, but not all the way.”

Togoto was surprised, but he didn’t press on. “Sorry for the joke, Michio. It was in poor taste.”

Michio smiled, “Well, at least I can call you dirty old man now.”

At the lab, Togoto drew some blood from Michio. It was darker than normal humans. “The hemoglobin count must be low.” Togoto thought, but he couldn’t think of why that would be. He took Michio’s temperature. It was above rooms temperature, but much lower than a normal person’s. He told Michio, “Very odd. Did you ever here the theory that dinosaurs were luke-warm blooded?”

Michio face seemed to ask what he meant by that. Togoto continued, “Mammals are warm blooded in that we regulate our own temperature and keep it at a constant level. Reptiles are cold blooded and rely on the ambient temperature. Dinosaurs had a range of temperatures that could operate in. If the temperature dropped below that range, then their body would maintain the minimum level, and like wise when it got too hot. This allowed them to be able to have great stamina and yet be very energy efficient, thus part of the reason why they got so large.”

“What does that have to do with me?”

“It seems you are now luke-warm. It is almost like whatever causes They to be couldn’t do it to you. Your body used every bit of latent dna in your genetics to fight off the infection and adapt you to fight the source. Well, at least I am guessing that. Nature works in mysterious ways.”

As Togoto did some more tests, Michio suddenly stood up and started to smell the air around him. His face become grave, “Teacher, we should leave here now. I think I smell natural gas.” He stood perfectly still and took long sniffs, “Someone alive has shown up, some of Them are after that person. The gas might be a trap for Them. Get out of here teacher, I will see if I can stop this.”

Togoto shouted for Michio to wait, but he was gone in a flash. He quickly gathered his things. He ran down the stairs towards the exit when he realized he forgot his notebook. He couldn’t smell the gas, so he ran back to the lab. As he grab his notebook, the whole building shook with a violent shock…

Togoto woke up later. He was lucky to be alive. The building was still intact and the smoke did not fill the area he was in. Still, his leg was badly injured. He did not know what time it was. He bound his leg with clothes off his back and pieces of debris. “I really hope those kids did not try to find me. That explosion would have brought lots of Them here. Maybe even live people.”

He slowly crawled through a maze of corridors and smoke, but slowly, he got outside. It was dark. “That much time has passed?” He dragged himself towards the cafeteria building. If the kids were still around, that would be where they would hide. But as he crawled, he heard Them all around him. The fire burning in part of the building highlighted the walking dead all around him. Too late he realized he was breathing rather heavily and coughing.

Slowly the came towards him. College students, people from the city, kids, all with gaping mouths and unfocused eyes. Yet, they all sounded hungry. “Sorry kids, I have been one lousy shepherd.” He closed his eyes as they came closer. A faint popping noise kept busing around him, then he noticed he heard Them following to the ground. He opened his eyes again, and all of Them were on the ground with severe head wounds. A figure of man appeared from no where. It was a soldier, a type Togoto never knew existed. His face almost scared him as much as Michio’s.

He spoke to Togoto, but it was in English. The soldier growled and called to someone else as Togoto blacked out.

As the soldiers took the unconscious Togoto to the drop point, the Japanese-American amongst them began to pour over the notebook and relay information back to base…


#87

Cliffhanger! Oh no!


#88

Will finish this story tomorrow. Going to have to end it with HotD in mind… Though I think I got a goody.


#89

Michio ran down the stairs to where the smell of gas was the strongest. He knew he had little time. He slowed down only when he started to smell the living person well enough. “It would be bad for me to burst in on this person,” he thought.

He peeked into the room. The person was breaking the gas values in the chemistry lab. Michio saw blood dripping from the man’s arm. And his eyes… it was clear there was no sanity left in the man. Michio ran. “Togoto better have gotten out, this is going to be close.”

A few of Them were in his way, but he manly went by them. He did not make enough sound for them to stop heading towards the crazed man’s loud bangs. Michio felt an air pressure change, then the light and heat, then the shock wave as the explosion over took him near the door out of the building.

He woke up to the sounds of Maya whispering to him, “Get up! Come on husband, get up!”

“Maya, I am not your husband. First, oww…” Michio looked at his leg. Jun was binding a cut with some clothing. He did not ask where he got it. Bits and pieces of Them that were inside the building lay scattered throughout the front area. More of Them were approaching from the city. Hiroto and Akira picked Michio up. Michio looked around, “Where is Togoto?”

Akira spoke in a sullen voice, “He did not come out. We can’t go in. They are approaching, we must leave.”

They carried back to the cafeteria. He ate and drank some of the food they found. His leg was already feeling better, but he still limped a little while walking. “I can’t believe it. We are alone now.” He didn’t share that thought with the others, though he could tell the loss of Togoto came to a shock to them as well.

Akira spoke up suddenly, “We can’t stay here now. To many of Them are moving around, and the explosion might attract rescuers. I have a bad feeling they will shoot first then ask questions.”

Everyone packed what they could and left the University. The night passed slowly while they moved towards the outskirts of the city. Jun came up with a plan. They would head to Akira’s family’s cabin in a small town west of the city. It was a few days walk, but they might be able to find a car.

It was morning when Maya truly started to complain. “I am hungry, tired, and sore! Let’s take a break. There isn’t enough of Them to cause Us trouble.”

Michio’s leg was no longer causing him to limp. In order to test it, he walked over in the street to one of Them. A round house kick to its head sent the head into the alley. It banged against some trash cans. The other Them nearby went into the alley to find the source of the sound. They got themselves stuck.

“I guess we can.”

This was the last shopping center before the main highway. Michio did not like the idea of going to the highway in daylight. They would simply freak people out.

They went into a candy shop and started to help themselves. Through a mouthful of soft serve, Jun whispered to Michio, “Let Akira and I take the lead until you feel rested up. I see your leg is better, but you still seem down.”

Michio nodded, “I should have thrown Togoto out of the building. What was I thinking…Is that a copter?” The sound of a helicopter rang through the small street. Lots of Them were following its sound. It was still far away, but seemed to be approaching them. “This is not good. Okay, everyone, lets lay low, They will follow the copter. Just let it…” The flash of light was odd, and he swore he felt electricity encircle him. The soft serve machine sparked, the cash registers sparked, and the copter made some odd noises.

Michio was not sure what it just was, but he started to guess. “EMP? Why the hell would anyone use an EMP here? How in the world would that stop Them?” The copter sound came closer and closer. Michio shouted, “Get back! It’s going to crash!”

Everyone dove behind a counter. The sound of a crash did not occur. The copter landed near the store area. Guns could be heard and shouts. The shouts were in English. Everyone looked confused, but Michio knew English and followed what they were saying, “Holy &(#! They hit this area with an EMP! What ##(@&! How much of our gear was not EMP protected?”

“Most of it is protected, Sir. However, some parts on the copter need to get readjusted. We have to sit here for a bit.”

“Thank God for Seal foresight. Cover firing positions! Not one of Them is to get near this copter! Shoot for the head, make every shot count!”

The gun fire continued. But more and more of Them were coming now. Michio guessed there were only 6 to 8 soldiers. Now there were nearly 100 of Them. “Stay back, I am going to do something stupid,” he said to the others.

He sneaked out the door and into the nearby alley from before. He threw his voice to the other side of the street and called out in English, “Do you soldiers need a hand?”

The lead seal member looked around. He knew the voice did not originate from where he heard it. “Who is that?”

“One of a few that can help. However, you must promise me something.”

“How do you know English?”

“I was born in America. I moved with my family back to Japan.” Michio never did tell most of the school where he came from, just Rei and Ich. He glanced back at the candy shop, and Hiroto’s wide eyes of surprise made him realize she knew a bit of English her self.

“Michio, is that you?” the soldier asked as he blew away one of Them.

“Yes, how did you that?” Michio was confused then.

“What promise do I need to make?”

“Don’t shoot the gray shadows ripping up the walking dead. Only shoot the ones walking slowly and moaning and looking dead. Shoot one of the gray shadows, all bets are off.”

“Deal. We know not to shoot you.”

Michio was not sure what the soldier meant by that, but he signaled the others to attack. One thing was for certain, a copter was a way out…


#90

Captain Hark couldn’t believe his eyes. It was exactly as Odel described, but the sight was still unreal. Four teenagers with gray skin, moving faster than anyone he has ever seen, were moving in and out of Them with lethal devastation in their wake. It must have been Michio he was watching the closest.

He moved up behind two of Them, made his hands into points, and then punctured both of Their skulls in one blow. He kicked one next to him, knocking the head off. One came at him with a gaping mouth, so he reached out and ripped off the lower jaw before smashing the head in. Two of the others were not nearly so violent. The boy and one girl used bats and smashed the heads of Them with efficient and quick strikes. With the soldiers help, they had their area well covered. The other girl was bare handed like Michio, but all her attacks seemed to be far cleaner and yet very damaging. After being hit, not one of Them stood back up.

“Boys, we were told to take them back alive. Here is my order. Don’t shoot them, they might get mad.” The others laughed at the joke, but he gave a signal to his right hand man. He was not going to take any chances. Teenagers were always dangerous, these were off the scale.

The battle lasted for ten minutes. Maya even came out and took out one. Hiroto ran over to her and chided her. Everyone else was left breathing for air. Slowly, Michio looked at the soldiers and the copter. “Any chance you guys taking passengers? I think we have something to offer.”

Hiroto came up to Michio and looked a bit scared. She did not trust the Americans, but she did trust Michio. The lead soldier said, “Yes, you are coming with us. Those were the orders.”

One soldier suddenly pulled a gun and fired. Hiroto acted faster than Michio and threw herself in front of him. She fell flat against the ground, unmoving. More shots rang out and Jun and Akira fell. Michio grabbed Hiroto’s body and Maya and ran. Shots rang out near him but he moved faster than ever before. Something was screaming at him from within, but he payed it no attention. Maya’s scream from the outside drove him.

He turned a corner. He looked at Hiroto’s body and couldn’t believe she was gone. His own voice said to him, “She isn’t gone.” Michio started to think he lost it when he realized, he didn’t smell any blood from Hiroto. He stopped. He looked at where she was shot. Three darts were still sticking to her. She still had a breath and pulse. “What the…” The impact of three darts on his back was the last thing he felt…


#91

Eleven years latter…

That was the end of the world, eleven years ago. Just two months after being taken by the military forces, which were no longer bound to just one nation, the rain started across the world. The soft pitter patter of little drops ended the human race as anyone knew it. The old world was gone, and new one rose in its place.

Michio watched the setting sun from the hill top. The gentle breeze and swaying grass helped put his mind at ease. The sound of the person approaching did not cause him alarm, for those small little feet belonged to someone he loved greatly.

“Reika, up here.” He called softly.

The ten year old girl ran up to his side. She looked so much like Hiroto, though a bit of Maya and his mother mixed in.

“Daddy, is it true what Mom said? Before me, everyone was different colors?”

“Yes, dear, Japanese were more white in color, Africans were much darker, and there was every shade in between, but not gray.”

“When did everyone become gray?”

“After I did, dear, after that day it rained across the world.”


#92

Really good Red!!! :slight_smile:


#93

An excellent story!! I can’t wait to read your next one! :slight_smile:


#94

I need to write out more on my novel/anime idea story.


#95

For fun, I will start out on one of my other ideas…

Natsumi walked with a fast but casual pace to the corner of the street. The neighbor hood was filled with the sounds of the morning rush; cars pulling from the drive ways, children playing on their way to school; and the sound of her best friend calling from the stop ahead.

“Natsumi! Good Morning! You seem pretty happy today!” Sooko’s cute voice did not match her very geeky look, but she always had the brightest of spirits. Natsumi smiled and showed off her long black hair to the surprised Sooko.

“I slept very well last night and did not toss and turn. Finally got my hair styled correctly.” Her hair’s beauty matched the rest of her at last, at least some would say.

“Wow! I knew you had grown it long, but I never thought it would suit you that well! I like it!”

They continued their walk to school with idle conversation. Natsumi’s school was typical for a Japanese High School. The uniforms had skirts for the females and pants for the boys. She had several classes and a small box lunch for meal time. What is not typical for all Japanese students is being in the popular crowd. Natsumi was in. She had a spot in the gymnast club, katana club, and friends with the richer crowd. The whole first part of the day was spent talking with friends when she could, showing off her new hair style, and trying to get the attention of the lead track star from the men’s team.

After lunch, psychology class began with a slow crawl. The teacher was an old man who seemed to stretch each word for as long as he could. “As you can see, dreams are a biological process to re balance the chemicals of our brain. But why do we dream what we dream? The dream journals you have presented the last few days will be the subject for you next assignment. I hope you have been keeping up with them. But, back to the chemicals of the brain. First…”

Natsumi couldn’t believe he was going to go over each chemical of the brain. She slid back into her chair as did the rest of the class. The teacher was a bit hard of hearing, so the idle chatter began. Hana next to Natsumi whispered, “I love the hair.”

Natsumi smiled and mouthed a ‘thanks’. She looked at the board and saw the teacher was starting to try to draw the brain. The slow process numbed her mind…

It was her home. It didn’t look like home, but she knew it was HOME. She was standing in a strange landscape. She couldn’t see herself, but she knew she was there. The landscape itself wasn’t made of dirt, trees, rocks, but a solid mass of living tissue. Spikes and spines struck out here and there, puddles of algae and water dotted the surface, and buildings were literally grown from the surface. It felt clean somehow…

“Natsumi, he is about to turn around…” Hana slightly shook Natsumi back into reality.

“KEEP YOUR DAMN DIRTY HANDS OFF ME!”

Even the teacher heard the shout. The whole room froze. Hana’s face was filled with fright and shock. Natsumi’s voice and face, for just a second, was the most frightening thing she had ever seen. However, it was just a second.

Natsumi’s face went beat red. “Sorry, so sorry. I must have drift off and was having nightmare…”

The teacher simply said, “Well, I want a full page report on that one, Natsumi. Don’t fall asleep in my class again unless I instruct it.”

There were whispers after the teacher continued his lesson. For the first time in Natsumi’s life, she knew the rumors about her were not going to be good this day…


#96

For the Princess Resurrection Fans… This takes place shortly after the last aired episode…

Hiro woke up in his bed. The small basement room no longer seemed claustrophobic to him. In was now his small space of comfort in which he can feel relatively safe. He looked at the near by clock and saw he woke only two minutes ahead of the alarm. Talking softly to himself in a half awake state, he said, “It is a school day, isn’t it?”

He got up and dressed. He grabbed his toiletries and prepared to head to the bathroom when a knock at his door surprised him. After making sure he didn’t drop anything from the surprise, he opened the door.

Hime looked down upon him. Her slit eyes seemed to peer right into his soul. Her smooth pale skin, her straight golden hair, did not help hide the coldness that always seemed to be in her look. Yet her beauty took Hiro’s thoughts away for second, until he realized he still looked quite a mess.

“Hime!” he said surprised and blushing at the same time. “Sorry, I wasn’t expecting you to be down here so early.”

Hime looked at him with an odd glance before saying, “I need you to do a couple chores before going to school. Flandre’s main battery died yesterday. Right now she is hooked directly to the generator and is in sleep mode. Sherwood is visiting the Royal Kingdom today and will pick up a new battery for her while she is there. Until Flandre is working, you will have to do some of her chores.”

She handed Hiro a list and walked away. Hiro watched her go, thinking to himself, “Hime was nearly in my room alone with me…” He face went bright red…

A couple hours later Riza from the balcony watched the tired Hiro head towards school. A small feeling of sympathy crossed her heart, but she didn’t recognize it. However, seeing Reiri leave for school earlier still meant her heart was feeling much happier. “I love school days. No damn vampires in the house for a bit.” She proceeded to do some push ups and a few pull ups until Hime appeared below.

With her was Hiro’s sister, Sawawa. Sawawa’s voice reached Riza’s keen ears, “With Flandre out for today, it will take me a bit longer to do the chores, Mistress. I am sorry if diner is late tonight.”

Hime calmly said, “It is alright, Hiyorimi, and stop calling me Mistress.”

Sawawa headed out of the mansion grounds. Hime remained where she was and called up, “Riza, I need to get a few personal supplies. Care to come with me?” It was not so much a question but an order. Riza rolled her eyes.

“You are a big girl Hime, you can go by yourself.”

Hime looked up at Riza. “True I can handle myself, but it would be unwise for me to be alone.” Riza stopped her workout. Every now and then, she forgets that Hime’s siblings wanted her dead. An attack could occur at any time.

“Fine, fine. One condition, we get a parfie on the way back!” She simply jumped down from the balcony and walked next to Hime…


#97

Hiro sneaked into his class room. He barely made it on time. Most of the students at the school did not pay much attention to him. However, when they did pay attention, it usually did not bode well. Most of the guys and a few of the girls at the school were intensely jealous each time that Reiri should him any attention. But, except for those rare occasions, school was safe for Hiro.

The teacher’s slow and hypnotic voice caught the class by surprise, “Class, today we have new student. Please treat her well. This is Ms. Kano, Shizu.”

Every boy in the class, and a few of the girls, gaped at the young girl in the door way. “Ssooo Cuutteee,” crossed Hiro’s mind. Her dark blue hair was cropped short, her wide eyes seemed a little scared while looking around the class. The irises were a deep purple. She seemed no taller that Hiro. Her voice was very soft, “Hi, I am Shizu.”

Everyone watched as Shizu took her seat, the seat right next to Hiro. A few angry glares flowed his way. Shizu let out a small, barely audible cry, as her pencil fell off her desk. Hiro instantly reached down and picked it up for her, but in doing so touched her hand as she was doing the same. He felt sparks go through his entire body.

“Sorry!” He whispered. She looked up at him and gave a small smile. Hiro did not know how he kept from melting right there…

“These are the personal items you were talking about?” Riza watched Hime as she picked up another chainsaw. She gave it a few practice swings, and placed it into the cart. Already, the cart was filled with a variety of large and potentially dangerous tools.

“Our last few battles have been costly. I no longer think it is safe to not be prepared.” Hime gave a nasty looking pitchfork a few spins.

“Is something wrong, Hime?” It was rare for Hime to go out in public where so many people could watch her. She also seemed a bit on edge.

Hime paused for a moment. “I am not sure. I have been feeling, something since this morning. I haven’t felt this in a long time, not since… But it is nothing to worry about. These will do.”

Riza growled to herself that she had to carry all the purchases. “At least I am still getting a work out,” she thought to herself.

On the way back they stopped by to get the parfait, telling the shop owner that Sawawa would be there a bit latter. After leaving, Hime spoke, “I can now see why she visits this place so often.” She checked a reflection in the glass to make sure she had nothing left on her lips.

Riza momentarily forgot she was carrying everything as she watched Hime wipe a bit of whip cream from the corner of her mouth and lick it off her finger. “Okay, I need to get out more often,” she thought to herself. They continued towards home when something caught both of their eyes. An unusual jeweler made a temporary stand at the bottom of the hill where the mansion was.

Hime nearly passed it by but stopped suddenly. The merchant quickly asked, “Oh, such a fine pretty lady like you deserves something special! What ever has caught your eye, I will make a special bargain for you!”

Hime instantly picked up a strange necklace. The silver chain was studded with various stones, but the piece in the middle was decorated by striking silver and gold feathers. It really did not seem to fit Hime’s style though. But before Riza could even speak, it was purchased at a very low price. They started to head back up the hill as Riza realized something was wrong. Hime didn’t even speak once since she saw the necklace.

Riza looked back where the merchant was only to see he had disappeared. “Wait a second! Hime, don’t…” Riza turned around to see Hime, and dropped everything when she saw her…


#98

As a Princess Resurrection fan, I have to say nice work. :slight_smile:


#99

It was lunch time at the school. Reiri sat in the shade eating a well prepared box made by Sawawa. “Living at the mansion does have some benefits,” she thought to herself. Still, she was craving a bit of blood. All her adoring sheep were near her. Perhaps tonight she pay one a small visit. She never truly hurts any of them, but they do sate her desires. She looked around the garden area and stopped when she saw Hiro with a strange girl. He was blushing, smiling, and barely holding himself together next to what was an absurdly cute stranger. Reiri often played on Hiro’s feelings, and she admitted his young virgin blood is pleasing, but the for the first time she felt a bit jealous. She shook her head and tried to knock the silly idea out of her head. Then she caught the sent of the new girl. Her eyes widen in surprise.

She had walked over to them before even realizing it. Hiro grew nervous upon seeing her. Each time she addressed him, the other students bullied him. She found this amusing, but at the moment, it was not even crossing her mind. “Hi Hiro,” she said with a sweet smile. “Who is your friend?” The young girl was hiding behind Hiro. Reiri thought to herself, “Now that is odd for her to be hiding behind him.”

“H.h.hey Reiri. This is Shizu, a new student in my class.” He was so nervous about Reiri being there that he did not notice Shizu was holding him.

“Hi Shizu. Hiro is a dear friend of mine, so I am a bit protective of him. Sorry for startling you.” Reiri could tell Shizu knew what she was. Shizu was wise to be afraid for touching a vampire’s prize.

Shizu’s soft voice spoke out, “Hi Reiri. Hiro is my friend too. I truly mean no harm.” Hiro seemed lost, but Reiri wasn’t going to explain to him here who he gotten himself mixed up with. However, Reiri could tell that Shizu meant what she said. “How odd,” she thought.

She smiled, “Well it is nice to meet you then.” She gave a small smile and walked back to the shade. As the whole student body silently thought of ways to destroy Hiro, having two such girls ‘fight’ over him, she was lost in her own thoughts. “What is a harpy doing here?”…


#100

Later that day, Reiri was sitting by a window in class when a bat flew by. She made a small excuse and left the room. No one ever seemed to mind when she did this. She quickly went to the roof and conversed with her little minion. Her face revealed the shock from the news that it revealed.

A few minutes later, there was a knock at Hiro’s class room. It barely managed to draw the boys attention away from Shizu. A young man was standing outside when the teacher opened the door. “I have a message for Hiro Hiyorimi from Reiri Kamura. He is to read it before going home. She fell ill and had to go home before him.” Fire seemed to be surrounding this young man, and Hiro suddenly felt heat all around him. He could almost hear their thoughts…

“HIRO LIVES WITH REIRI!!!”

The teacher took the note from the man and handed it to Hiro. The intensity of the stares nearly burnt Hiro into a crisp right there. When he thought he heard a few desks being pushed aside as a few boys started to get up, Shizu let out a very soft sigh. Everyone’s attention went back to her, freeing Hiro from certain near death.

He opened the note. “Hiro, go straight home today. Go alone and be quick. Do not worry about any assigned chores. Stop for nothing.” Hiro was confused and began to feel a bit worried. He knew Reiri was not ill, and wondered what could have made her leave school early.

Whatever Shizu did, it did not last the rest of the day. Hiro ran as fast as he could to avoid the mob after him. “Why did Reiri have to reveal we live in the same house!” he shouted in his mind. A few quick zig and zags and he lost the mob. He breathed hard for a few seconds before heading towards the mansion. He did not get far when Shizu stepped out in front of him.

“Shizu! Whwhat are you doing he.here?”

“Can I walk with you for a bit?” Her voice was barely a whisper. But her eyes were almost pleading. Hiro’s heart beat was going fast. He knew the note said to go home alone, but Shizu couldn’t be a concern.

“Sure!”

They walked a bit slowly. Hiro tried to make idol conversation, but failed to do so. Slowly, something did cross his mind, “Shizu, where do you live?”

Before she answered, another woman’s voice spoke out from a large alley way. “There you are little sister. Ooohhh, I see you found him already! How did you know we were looking for him?”

Hiro turned to the voice and saw four young women, either late teens or early twenties, standing in the alley. Their clothes were tight, short, and revealed a great deal. Yet, something felt very wrong. Shizu’s voice spoke out louder than usual, “Sisters! What do you mean found him? This is my friend, you said I can have one.”

The one that spoke earlier groaned, “Geez, Shizu, how can you call yourself one of our sisters with that attitude? Yes, you can have a friend, but the Queen has specifically requested that one. She wants him tonight.” Her smile, stance, everything about her would light the fires of any man, yet Hiro only felt the urge to flee.

Shizu’s face was filled with shock, sadness, and fear. “No! How can that be?! How does the Queen know Hiro?”

The other woman’s voice went cruel, “Shut up, Shizu. If you don’t like this talk to the Queen yourself. I suggest you get going if you don’t want to watch us, prepare him.”

Shizu faced Hiro. The sadness there nearly overwhelmed him. Her voice cried out softly, “I am so sorry, Hiro. I am SO SORRY!” She ran away crying.

“Shizu! What is going on here? Who are you women?” The one that talked earlier grabbed Hiro and brought him into the alley. The other three surrounded him. They lightly brushed themselves against, and started to touch him near where they shouldn’t.

They spoke as well, “MMmm, definitely a virgin, but not much on him.” “Why does the Queen want this one?” “Shizu seemed interested, there must be something to him.” “Well, think the Queen would mind if we taste him first?”

“Taste?” Hiro thought. He looked at them again. Where clothes were, feathers started to appear. Their faces started to turn to mean as razor sharp teeth were revealed in their wicked grins. Hiro shuddered in fear, and then shuddered even more when a deep growl filled the alley.

The women went immediately back to looking extra sexy. They all looked at the entrance. A young man stood there. He did not look quite Japanese, yet he spoke in an old accent, “Harpy bitches, leave that boy alone.”