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KENTA
September 30th, 2011, 05:23 AM
So, since I3uster was asking about it, I decided to go through all my old Lacuna stuff. Figured I might as well share what I had, if only for nostalgias sake. It was a lot of fun while it lasted, and some of these scenes are still really well done in my opinion. Anyway, just throwing what I have out there. Starting, of course, with the only bio I managed to save.

GENERAL CHARACTER STATISTICS

Character Name: Nodoka Tanaka
Name Meaning: Nodoka (tranquil)
Alias: Noda-chan
Gender: Female
Species/Race: Human
Age: 15
B-Day: 8/24
Zodiac Sign: Virgo
Bloodtype: B
Place of Birth:?
Current Residence: ?
Occupation: Student
School/Grade: 3rd Year Middle School
Family: Katsuo, Mom, Toshiaki
Gemstone: Sardonyx

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Height: Roughly 158cm
Hair: Dark Blue
Eyes: Red
Distinguishing Marks: Opal face with a bright smile, and an easily distinguished scowl.
Strengths: Easily conveys emotions
Weaknesses: Inferiority-complex, anger issues
More: Weight: 45kg BWH: 73/66/76

MENTAL CHARACTERISTICS

Allies: The stuffed bear she beats the crap out of to relieve stress, sometimes Katsuo
Enemies: Her parents, and occasionally Katsuo
Current Goal/Purpose: To fix her broken family and/or get the hell out of there.
Aspirations: Wants to be a doctor
Hobbies: Yelling, cooking, and Taekwondo
Likes: Fancy kicks, tall trees, and books
Dislikes: Parents, idiots, drunks, and loud noises not coming from her.
Talents: Fast Reader and strong legs.
Inabilities: Weak bones, hard to calm down
Fears: Having to live with her parents forever, losing contact with Katsuo forever.
General Personality: A very emotional girl who mostly conveys her emotions through angry outbursts. To most outsiders she seems pretty normal, but she can get pretty energetic when in a good mood.
Inner Personality: Enjoys the time she spends with Katsuo, but sometimes can't stand how stupid he acts. She constantly wants to keep herself in check, but her parents make that very hard, and Katsuo doesn't help.


SPECIALTY CHARACTERISTICS




Special Items: None
Weapons: None
Magics: None

HISTORIC BACKGROUND



General History: From a young age she's been interested in Taekwondo when she and Katsuo watched it on TV.(Olympic level stuff) She was never a bright student, but Katsuo helped her as much as he could so she wouldn't have to deal with her parents admonishment. Eventually though, as Katsuo argued with them more and more, her grades started slipping. Her father, in a drunken stupor, hit her one night for her falling grades. In retalation she kicked him in the head knocking one of his teeth out. He never touched her after that.

Present Life: She yells at her parents day in and day out about....everything. She's also taken to yelling at Katsuo about his life and how he's wasting it saying he needs to take responsibility for his actions. She wasn't there when he ran away, otherwise she might have stopped him; by force if necessary. Not knowing where he would go, she's basically fallen back on the plan that "He'll come back. Eventually."

Special Historic Notes: ?

anamesis
September 30th, 2011, 05:26 AM
I lost all my stuff after I factory setting'd my other computer ;_;



not that I really did anything useful :/

KENTA
September 30th, 2011, 05:27 AM
This was the bare bones summary of Yasu's route. It lets you know her personality a bit, and obviously as time went by I really got a better feel for her and it shows with the much longer days.

Day 4:
Katsuo escapes from Kiku and wanders around the city some more.
Sees Yasu sitting on a bench just watching people, neither says anything.

Day 5:
Repeat, except maybe Katsuo gets off from working with Kiku or something, I don't know.
Katsuo remembers Yasu, but again says nothing.

Day 6:
Repeat, but this time Katsuo sits down and talks with Yasu. It's a simple "What are you doing?" type of conversation that doesn't really go anywhere.

Day 7:
Katsuo is actively looking for Yasu this time, and they strike up another conversation, this time it goes into what Katsuo is doing with his life and Yasu feels a little pity for him. He feels both anger and shame at that fact.

Day 8:
Katsuo actively looks again, but Yasu is also awaiting him and brings something for him. Food, clothes, who cares? This time Katsuo presses Yasu to talk about herself and, uncharictaristically, she goes on and on about her life. Mostly her current life, a little bit about her sister.

Day 9:
Repeat, but this time Yasu talks about her sister a lot. Nothing else really happens.(I'm not sure when exactly, but by day 8 you should be locked in this route)

Day 10:
Katsuo keeps pushing Yasu to show him her house and her wonderful family. She says she'd love to, but would rather let them know first. Instead they just walk around town.

Day 11: (Wherein the writer encounters a serious case of writers block)
Yasu takes Katsuo to her home, but not everything is as it seemed. Her parents nonchalantly ask who Katsuo is, before she explains how she told them she was having guests over. They act ignorant because they didn't pay attention, and in fact didn't even know Yasu had left the house yesterday. This goes on for a little bit until Yasu invites Katsuo to stay for dinner. He skips out and wonders how she can live with her parents like that.

Day12: (Wherein the writer might be able to salvage this story)
They meet up again with Yasu scolding Katsuo about how he should have stayed for dinner. After a little while of Yasu going on and on about how great her family is and how much she loves them Katsuo can't take it anymore. He furiously goes over how delusional Yasu is being, and how her parents are sacks of crap(much like his own) and they get into a huge argument, with both of them leaving angrily.

Day13:
If you have enough Yasu points, you meet her again. If not, neither of you see each other again. BAD END BITCH! Anyway, Yasu said she spent the whole night thinking about it and ends up agreeing with Katsuo, crying while admitting it. Talking about how she's so stupid for thinking they cared about her, yada yada yada. The people passing by give them weird stares as she cries into his shirt. After calming down, Yasu wants to see where Katsuo lives, stating "Fair is fair." By this she really meant she wanted to see his home, not where he's sleeping at the time(wherever that is...Cafe? Kiku's house? We'll work that out later.) Katsuo, however, doesn't get that and takes her to ____. She gets kinda pissy about it and Kiku, after eavesdropping, throws her out.(Figuratively, not literally) Katsuo then gets a lecture about how sometimes you just need to let go and how "if you aren't ready, it's not a good idea to contact your family yet".

Day14: (This is a half and half day, one where part of it is from Yasu's perspective the other half from Katsuo's)
Yasu gets kind of worried about Katsuo because he's so late to their meeting place. She goes looking for him at ____(we seriously need to figure out where he's staying) She sees him storming off the other direction, Kiku doing a wanting to follow sort of pose behind him. Yasu, stupidly, asks what's going on. Kiku spends a solid five minutes yelling at her telling her how it's her fault that Katsuo tried to contact his family, why he might be running away again, and why she's the reason he's doing nothing with his life. Yasu, being stupid, takes this a bit too much to heart and goes back to her bench. Katsuo shows up pretty quickly, still a little mad. However, he can't take his frustrations out on Yasu, like he planned, because she's acting so weird and looking more than a little pathetic. No matter how much he presses her, she won't say anything and leaves.

Day 15: Yasu and Katsuo talk about what happened yesterday, Katsuo being especially vague. The entire conversation Yasu is listless, so Katsuo bugs her about it. She then starts going over how she's lonely and she's realized how terrible her life has been. She has no friends, her parents ignore her all the time, and when they're not doing that they're making sure she knows she's always second best to them. She even realizes her sister hates her and wouldn't even call or write to make sure she was OK. Yasu goes on and on about how it's not worth it anymore. She has nothing. The only thing she ever wanted, the only thing she ever needed, her family, has abandoned her. She has no friends, she doesn't know her extended family, and she hates her immediate family for their lies. She even gets angry enough to throw away Mari's keychain. Katsuo awkwardly tries to tell her that "at least we're friends". This seemse to cheer her up, and they agree to meet as often as they can at this spot. As Yasu walks home, Katsuo pockets the keychain she threw away.

Day 16: Before Katsuo can go meet Yasu, he has a surprise visitor. Nodoka looked up the address of where he was staying using the phone number he called from, and tracked him down. She spends a lot of time yelling at Katsuo telling him he has to come back. He, rather crudely, tells her to hold her bitching for a few hours because he has to meet someone. This pisses Nodoka off, but not so much as to quell her curiosity of who Katsuo is going to see. She follows him and the entire way there Katsuo tells her to go back. She refuses, of course. When they finally arrive, Yasu is surprised and asks who Nodoka is. While Katsuo tries to awkwardly spit it out, Nodoka butts in and starts explaining the whole situation to Yasu. Katsuo adds a few remarks here and there, such as "that wasn't nice," when being called a bastard. He is promptly shut up as Nodoka continues her rant. At the end of it, Yasu more or less goes wow and is forced to explain her relationship with Katsuo because Nodoka is all worked up and wants to know what her brother has been doing for the past two weeks. After Yasu gives a quick explanation, "We're friends" Katsuo suggests that Yasu should go home while he and Nodoka have a little chat. She wearily agrees and heads off. Katsuo tries to act casual, ignoring Nodoka's constant gripes at what's happened, and just going about his everyday life. Before she gets really mad again, Katsuo asks her where she's staying tonight and if she's had anything to eat. She has no idea, and not since yesterday on the train. Katsuo, in order to get his argument in order, distracts her with simple food and a roof for the night, saying they can argue in the morning. Nodoka reluctantly agrees, as this whole affair has made her very tired.

Day 17: Katsuo and Nodoka spend most of the morning bickering at each other, with Nodoka seemingly more adgitated than usual. They get nowhere and Katsuo notes that it's time to go meet Yasu again. Nodoka asks what his relationship is with her(despite being told yesterday they were friends). Katsuo says they're friends, but Nodoka doesn't buy it because she's seen him with 'friends'. He was never this friendly, and he sure as hell didn't speak well of them when they weren't with each other. Katsuo's excuse is that "That's because I hated them. I hated that place. This place is different." This shuts Nodoka up for a bit and they meet up with Yasu. Yasu and Nodoka act friendly to each other, but they really aren't connecting. Katsuo and Yasu spend most of the time talking about really trivial things and Nodoka just observes. After they're done, Nodoka and Katsuo head back. Nodoka keeps pressuring him to face up to reality, to go back home and deal with it. He refuses and they bicker some more. It isn't until late in the day that Katsuo finally blurts out why no matter what happens he won't go back. He can't leave Yasu. He doesn't know what she'll do if he's gone. He's the only thing she has left. This surprises Nodoka, and for the rest of the day(of which there isn't much left) she doesn't say much.

Day 18: Another day of trivial talk from Katsuo and Yasu. Nodoka doesn't say much before they go meet her, but she does try to spark a little conversation with Yasu. It doesn't go anywhere. As they're heading home, Katsuo notes that Nodoka has been quiet all day. She has, apparently, been thinking. She then goes into her own little spiel of how "you may be all that she has now Katsuo, but remember, you're all I ever had." She then says that she's going back soon, and she thinks that Katsuo should come too. If only for a little while.

Day 19: Katsuo makes the decision to go home tommorow. He lets Nodoka and Kiku know this before he goes to tell Yasu. He goes alone. When he tells Yasu, she freaks out. She thinks he's going to leave her just like everyone else. He promises he'll be back in a few days. She thinks he's lying, he'll leave just like everyone else. He keeps promising, and it gets later and later. He has to leave and get some sleep to catch the train with Nodoka tommorow, so he gives Yasu the keychain he has as part of his promise to come back. Yasu is just kinda stunned as Katsuo goes home.

Day 20: Katsuo and Nodoka make their way home. Most of the time is spent on the train, with Nodoka informing Katsuo how Toshiaki(their father) is taking everything. Mainly, with liquor. He yells a lot, even more than he used to, but that's about it. Yells and sleeps, hadn't been to work in two weeks. Most likely fired. He'll be really mad when they come back, because neither of them told him where they were going. "Joy," is Katsuo's only response as he prepares for the inevitable shouting match. Meanwhile, Yasu keeps going over Katsuo's words in her head. "He'll be back. He said he'll be back. He gave me the keychain I threw away. He'll be back." But continues to doubt her own words. Her parents yell at her for not being there to answer the phone when Mari called, and she finally blows up at them. She goes on and on about how they never cared about her, about how they only cared about Mari, how she might as well not have existed, and how she's not going to take it anymore. She ends the night locked in her room crying into her pillow, clutching her keychain.

Day 21: It starts with Yasu remembering parts of her childhood. Mainly people yelling. Mari yelling at her parents to leave her alone. That she doesn't need their attention. This royally pisses Yasu off, and when she wakes up she's furious. Then she remembers her fight from yesterday. She goes out and enjoys her time alone. She decides there to prepare. She knows they're going to get into another argument, and she'll be ready when it happens. She packs clothes, her cell phone, and not much else. That's all she needs. Over to Katsuo. They finally walk through the front door and the place is a mess. Nodoka comments that it's even worse than when she left. Toshiaki is passed out, the smell of liqour permeating the air. Katsuo begrudgingly picks everything up, while nostalgia washes over him. There are no happy memories. Just fights. By the time Toshiaki wakes up, it's already late in the evening. He doesn't seem to notice that Katsuo is back(or had ever left, that kinda mindset) and asks when dinner is. Katsuo actually thinks this is a good idea, and had Nodoka make something. It's really simple, but it works. No sense fighting on an empty stomach. Shortly after finishing the meal, Toshiaki passes out again. While this frustrates Katsuo to no end, this whole day has been tiring, so he decides a good nights sleep is necessary. Back to Yasu. She's arguing with her parents again, who had taken the fact that she called them negligent to heart. After a few minutes of yelling that goes nowhere, she retreats to her room and waits for morning to come. At 3 she sneaks out and leaves a note telling her parents what's up.

Day 22: This day is only slightly different, depending on variables I have yet to make up. Basically, this day let's you know if you get a Good or Normal end. If it's a Good end, Nodoka and Katsuo wake up at the same time. If not, Nodoka sleeps in. Makes a big difference here. Anyway, when Katsuo gets up, Toshiaki is there to greet him, hung over like a motherfucker. They "chat" for a few minutes about what's been going on before Toshiaki starts saying the wrong words and pissing Katsuo off. The argument ends with Toshiaki saying "I don't care anymore. If you want to leave just leave." This drives Katsuo off the edge and he grabs anything he can get his hands on and either tries to destroy it or take it with him. If Nodoka is there she goes too. Switch to Yasu, who is sleeping on a familiar park bench. She awakens around noon, and finds a message on her cell phone. From Mari. "Mom and Dad called and told me what happened. Good for you Yasu. I'm sorry I'm not there to help you out, but I couldn't bear to be near that place ever again. If you ever need anything, don't be afraid to call me and ask. You're the only thing I miss about that place, and the only thing I ever will. I know we didn't always get along, but I really do love you. So please, don't be afraid to talk to me. Anyway, I've got to get to class, talk to you later." Yasu listens to this recording over and over and cries over and over on the bench. When she finally gets herself together, she heads for the train station, believing, knowing, that Katsuo will come.

Day 23 Normal End: Katsuo gets back to Nozomu alone, having successfuly thrown away everything from his past. He is surprised to see Yasu there waiting for him. They go over everything that's happened so far, and what they're going to do. The game ends with them being really unsure of where to go from there.

Normal Epilogue: Katsuo is reflecting on his life while reading a newspaper in his apartment. It's been 8 years since he's seen anyone in his family, he's living with Yasu, who doesn't appear at all in this epilogue. They just live day by day, nothing too special.

Day 23 Good End: Katsuo and Nodoka arrive in Nozomu finally free of whatever was holding them back. They feel better than they ever have. However, they're both surprised to see a sleeping Yasu waiting for them. They agree that it's best to let her sleep for a little, and sit down to wait for her. It isn't long before Yasu wakes up, they have a quick chat that basically comes down to "I promised you I'd be back" "You did" "And I am" "You are". After that, they decide they need some place to stay for a little while. Katsuo manages to talk his way into being able to stay at Americain for a few months(max) while he tries to get on his feet. They all head to Americain, where Nodoka falls asleep almost immediately. Yasu and Katsuo go over what exactly happened with them, and decide that they're in this together. For the long haul. You can insert an H-Scene in here if you want, but it's not necessary.

Good Epilogue: Katsuo is reflecting on his life while reading a newspaper in his apartment. It's been 5 years since he became a permanant resident of Nozomu. Under the guise of legal gaurdians(well, Katsuo is her brother after all) he and Yasu were able to get Nodoka into school and she's currently in her third year of college. However, because of a very tight budget, she's living with Yasu and Katsuo in their apartment. She also might be taking a year off to help the family. We get to see Yasu who is...larger. Turns out, she's pregnant. She's much livlier now, and the expectant child(Katsuo is praying for a girl, Yasu a boy, and Nodoka a girl) has brought everyone even closer than they were before. Nodoka and Yasu get along a lot better, and could even be considered friends...I'm not sure how to end it on a really good note, but we can work that out in time.

KENTA
September 30th, 2011, 05:34 AM
And here is Day 1, in it's written rough draft glory. Days 1 2 and 3 were done by different people, and it show. I think Day 1 was Ana, Day 2 was me, and day 3 was Abe. I am still in love with Coach McPecs.

Prologue: To the promised land

Day 01/ Time flow disruption

Scene 1: Standstill

August --------- it’s raining.

Gunmetal grey sky looms outside the window like a distant warship.

Along with that warship…came the rain.

Katsuo: “…dark…”

Suffocating air in the room is as dark as the sky outside, if only in different way. It’s the same stagnancy you can find in tombs.

Yeah, this house is like a tomb.

I see same, familiar scene once again. This scene, burnt in my memory, has become the epitome of what “everyday life” in this house now is.

Dead ceiling light. No one has fixed it.

It’s irreparable. On the surface, the tungsten is broken and there are a few shards poking out. Beyond that, lord only knows what’s wrong.

Just like the problems in this house, I can get a general idea, but I don’t think I’ll ever know how to fix it.

Some flies are buzzing around the light. They’re trying to harvest some of the remaining warmth...But it’s been gone for longer than they’ve been alive.

They’re just like me. I’ve been grasping for a warmth that may have never been there.

The distant sound of a car somewhere far away acts like a signal, and I roll over in my bed. It just gets darker and darker, inside and out.

*Thum. Thum. Creeeeeak. Thum.*

That would be dad...

There is no mistaking it. Neither of us walks in such a drunken, lurching manner. Not to mention I'm obviously here. It has to be him.

And of course, neither of us would come home at 3am.

Aaah. If I could just forget. But I’ve memorized the entire scene downstairs. Mom might not be around, but I doubt he even notices.

*CRASH!*

I’m guessing that’s...a plate. One more shatters to the floor, and here comes the incoherent screaming. And there...I think he hit the table.

It’s like a broken record. Or a bad play. But there's no audience, and the curtain never falls. There’s a short moment of silence before everything starts again.

It's almost funny. His loud curses ring throughout the house, but it almost seems like he's trying to be quiet. Like he doesn't want to wake the neighbors.

*Crash! Crash! Crash!*

One, two, three…oh, what’s the point in counting? It’s not like it’s going to make any difference. Never has, never will.

In order to block the distinct sound of breaking cheap china, I bury my head into my pillow, blocking my ears. But my memory repeats the scene for me, even though I can’t actually hear it.

I direct my gaze to the neon orange numbers of my digital clock.

3:14am.

Looks like the mindless flies around the light bulb are’nt going to rest at all.

Katsuo: “…I’m tired…”

There’s a noise coming from Nodoka’s room. It’s pretty muffled, but I think she might be crying again.

Katsuo: “…tired…”

Ah, yes. So tired. Tired of him, tired of them, tired of this place. So very very tired.

I think...I think it’s time for a change.

Surprisingly easily I manage to lift myself up from the bed. Once the idea rooted into my head, it was already decided.

There is nothing here for me.

Sorry, Nodoka.

I can't do this anymore.

My entire life fits into a tiny bag so easily it's almost funny. I don’t have time to pick things carefully. Just stuff in anything that might have any use.

I can’t stop and plan. There’s not enough time for that. Gotta act fast, gotta get out.

To be honest, I can't even curse how selfish I am right now. Nobody’s perfect. And besides if it means getting out of here, I’d do just about anything.

The only things I have now are my bag and a very vague future.

What I leave behind is my old life, and everything associated with it.

My door opens without a sound. It’s the only door in this place that can do that. Not like it really matters, but if I get caught it just complicates things. So I guess it’s a blessing.

The radio's on. That bastard must be asleep.

Without even looking in the kitchen, my steps take me straight to the front door. There, I take my jacket, put on my shoes, and quickly open the door.

It’s raining outside, but I don’t need an umbrella. Too much work.

Exactly ten steps, and I’m on the street. I don’t really mean to, but I can’t help myself. I take one last look at the house.

Did it always look this pathetic? This uninviting?

I gaze at my blackened room for no real reason other than to burn it into my memory. Or maybe it’s to burn it from my memory. It doesn’t really matter.

Katsuo: “…Bye.”

I give a blunt goodbye and turn around, heading through the downpour. My anger denies me any chance of sounding regretful.

Of course, I’m soaking wet not two blocks away. It doesn't improve my mood in any particular way.

No buses would run at this hour either. If my watch was right, it’s still around 3:30.

*sound of car*

Katsuo: “Shit!”

The ever courteous driver of an errant car steers so close to me, the car kicks up a curtain of water that soaks me even further. My curses do not, of course, reach the driver, but it gives me something to focus on.

Luckily, my stuff is safe. The bag is supposedly waterproof, so there should be dry set of change clothes.

As I walk, the blurry line between night and morning changes into a grey dawn. I’ve calmed down a bit, but I still feel like the simplest thing could make me snap.

From the looks of things I’m by school. Heh, I’m never coming back here. But man, it looks so different at night. Devoid of people, sounds, and sights, it almost looks lonely.

By the time I arrive at the train station, my legs are burning, and my clothes are clinging to my skin. It’s very uncomfortable.

Katsuo: “…there go my savings…”

Of course, it being so early, nobody is here. With the exception of an old guy who let me in.

Because of that, I’m forced to use the automated ticket dispenser. Luckily I can just insert as much money as I have inside, and it gives me a list of options where I can go.

The choice is obvious here. I’ve got to go to the last stop.

After acquiring the ticket, I glance at my watch. 5:44am. It won’t be too long ‘till the first train arrives.

I use this spare time efficiently, and change to dry clothes in the station’s bathroom.

As I exit the stall, I notice I’m not alone. Washing his hands, there is a dirty old man with rough, unshaven face. His battered old briefcase and even more battered leather jacket actually look appealing. Comfy, even.

On that jacket, there is a stain like blood. There is also a hole that looks like it was made by bullet.

After drying his hands, he just walks out without so much as a word.

After what seemed like hours, the train finally arrived.

Glinting silver-white machine arrives to the station on time, but there are only a handful of people to greet it.

Me, and few others, standing on the lonely platform.

None of us payed any attention to each other.

As the train finally comes to a halt, the doors open with mechanical hiss. I brace myself a bit and head inside. I have crossed the point of no return.

False wood paneling is probably an attempt to simulate the look of those old, western-type of trains. The train was even segmented into proper four person compartments.

Almost all of them were empty.

Following the hall to the end, I manage to find a compartment I like. And just in time. The whistle outside informs that it’s time to leave.

The train speeds up, leaving the town behind.

This is it. I can’t go back now. Nothing drives it better home than seeing the station growing distant from the window.

Finally overcome by the fatigue, I sit down and close my eyes.

Katsuo: “Mmm...five minutes.”

Yeah. Maybe I should just…rest my eyes…for a little bit…



Scene 2: Fatigue Zenith



Katsuo: “…eh??”

The sky’s somehow...off.

Not like an off color, it isn't centered. Almost like a snow globe tilted to the left.

It’s like there is a slope to one direction, even though there isn’t.

Now a seagull, wearing a top hat with a cane under one wing, walks past me. It stops, turns around and opens it’s beak wide open.

Where the throat would be, is a speaker.

Seagull: “Welcome to jack-in-the-box, how may I take you order?”

That sentence was so broken I could barely make anything out of it.

But apparently it was not enough, as the seagull tipped it’s hat towards me.

Seagull: “Top ‘a de’ morrow to ye. So m-boy, welcome to the land of yonder paradise, I shall be you guid’ into the land of-“

Scene 3: Standstill II

Katsuo: “Uwaaaaah!”

My body jolts up from the seat in an instant. What I see with my eyes is no longer the strange scenery nor the talking seagull, but the moving scenery behind the window.

Katsuo: “…damn. Weird day for weird dream…”

I heave a long sigh, trying to calm my nerves. Anyone would feel jumpy after dream like that.

Luckily the distant landscape itself calmed me down with its unfamiliar beauty. Only now do I realize that I’m far, far away from place I used to call home.

No human settlements. Just pure nature untouched by human hand.

If there is something that can calm a person’s heart, it’s just that scenery.

*grumble*

Katsuo: “Ah…damn…”

Sounds like I’m hungry. And to be honest, I feel hungry.

By checking my clock, I realize it’s little past midday. No wonder my stomach feels empty.

But really…12:14...

I’ve been traveling over six hours.

Six hours worth of kilometers away from that grey, suffocating place.

For the first time in many, many years, I felt free. It was as if I had seen sun for the first time, too.

Katsuo: “Really…”

Katsuo: "Ha...Haha!..."

Katsuo: “I’m free!”

// Cue into the intro movie //

KENTA
September 30th, 2011, 05:35 AM
Scene 4: On the right track I

Katsuo: “Ugh…all broke.”

This does not bode well to my plans of buying some food.

Another thing that dawned to me was that packing in a rage was not wise thing to do. Now that I've calmed down, I can't help but realize just how many useless items I brought with me.

Let’s see here…

Katsuo: “Pair of tweezers…?”

Katsuo: “Bah, they’re super-glued together. Useless…”

Next!

Katsuo: “Four pairs of mismatched socks…”

Next!

Katsuo: “Unwashed underwear...Great.”

Ne~xt!

Katsuo: “Three pairs of jeans…only one of them without holes. Also, sweatshirt.”

…Next.

Katsuo: “A half melted candle?”

Next!

Katsuo: “Lighter with no fluid…”

Katsuo: “Broken flashlight…?”

Katsuo: “And three pieces of string.”

Awesome. I'll be able to live so comfortably with all this crap.

*sound of train’s whistle*

Familiar sounds switch my attention from my sad collection of junk to the train itself. The whistle must have meant that we were arriving at some station.

*sound of train coming to a halt*

I guessed right. The doors open and soon rustling procession of people move along the car’s interior. People we’re looking for places to sit.

And while I mused in these thoughts with the half-melted candle in my other hand…

*sliiiiide*

Katsuo: “…”

Woman: “…”

*Slam!*

Woman: “It’s occupied.”

The footsteps retreat from the door, leaving me in silence.

I stare at the door for few good seconds, before hurryingly slide the block shut and lock it.

Katsuo: “Uwah…that scared the hell out of me…”

Really, I had thought the train was utterly devoid of life except me and the operators. This just showed how wrong I was.

Katsuo: “…”

Letting my curiosity get better of me, I unlock the door once more and peek my head tentatively outside.

Hallway seems empty, and the other compartment doors are shut, at least.

With that, I retreat back and close the door again.

As I begin to understand my situation more and more, I realize that I have slight dilemma in my hands.

Katsuo: “Leave in search of something to eat, or stay here and protect my junk…?”

Hmm…





In the end, the only logical option is take my bag with me and pray that the room will be empty by the time I return to it.

But, as I reach for my bag and move towards the door…

*rrrrriiiipp*

Katsuo: “…crap.”

All the contents of my bag fall to the floor, creating a horrible mess.

Oh, looks like there was a harmonica, too.

*sliiiiide*

And if all this was not enough, my humiliation is witnessed by someone who nonchalantly enters the compartment.

This woman sits down opposite of the pile of mismatched items, groaning at the same time.

To be honest, she seems to have seen better days. What with the bags under her eyes, dirty hair that shoots out into every direction and hasty make-up.

The only real oddity I found in her was the half eaten sponge cake that was stuffed with pack of cigarettes into the front pocket of her jean jacket. She better hope nobody bumps into her wrong, or things could get messy.

Katsuo: “…the hell do you want?”

I am silenced by a raised finger, which then turns to point at me.

Then, as if it was the most normal thing to do in this situation, the woman turns and vomits straight into the garbage can that was close to the seat. This then turns into a hacking cough.

Finally the bloodshot red eyes turn back to me.

Woman: “My regular rate is four hundred; but for you, baby, I’ll settle for two.”

And after saying that, she closes her eyes, snuggles deeper into her seat, and begins, soon enough, snoring.

…right.

To tell the truth, even if I had that kind of money…

I think I’d pass.

Scene 4: On the right track II

Two hours later, I was still lamenting the fact that I had chosen the bag that karma seemed fit to ruin on a crucial moment.

Well, it’s gotta be how they say: ‘Life gives you lemons and a drought takes all the water.’

Katsuo: “Lemon my ass…I’d be lucky to even have glass to put something in.”

The sleeping beauty was still snoring, but rest apparently was needed. Her complexion had cleared and the bags under her eyes had faded, if only a little.

Speaking of her eyes, why are they open right now? And more importantly, staring at me?

Woman: “Water…give me water…”

Whistle of the train blows in the distance, and she flinches visibly. She's apparently suffering from a dreaded hangover.

Woman: “Water, hammer, whatever…I don’t care. I’ll give anything…”

While talking, the woman proceeds to clutch her head with her hands.

Woman: “My kingdom and my firstborn and…”

Katsuo: “All right, all right…just hang on a second...”

Katsuo: “Geez…”

Rummaging through the pile of junk I had stuffed back into my back, I finally found something that might help.

Finding: A thermos.

Contents: Nothing.

Katsuo: “…figures.”

Unable to think of any other way to help her, I proceed to the door and open it. Just as I’m about to leave, I find that the woman has grabbed my shirt.

Woman: “Where are you going?”

Katsuo: “To get water. So just sit there until I come back.”

And with that, I was out of the room.

The hallway itself was quiet. This was rather odd since the train was slowing down for yet another station. Usually you would see lot of people packed in the hallway at moments like this.

I head to the opposite way I had came, searching for the bathroom where I could fill my thermos with water.

However, thanks to the way this train has been built, it’s not as easy as it sounds.

They really don’t have many toilets in old western-type trains, do they?

My fifteen minutes of searching is rewarded with a women’s bathroom.

Of course, it’s occupied.

Katsuo: “Just my luck…”

While groaning, I begin to even wonder what I am actually doing here.

I have no connection to that woman. Why should I care? There’s no reason, yet here I am anyways.

My thoughts are interrupted when the door slides open, and a pair of olive green eyes stare straight at me.

From my eyes, they move to my thermos.

Apparently she finally realizes the fact that somebody is really standing here, and she lets out a squeak of surprise.

Girl: “E-e-excuse me, you can use the bathroom, j-j-just leave me alone!”

The girl, while stuttering these words, tries to squeeze past me. Of course, due to lack of space, there’s no way she can manage that.

Katsuo: “Could you just fill this with water?”

I roll my eyes, shoving the thermos into her hand. This causes her nearly to jump, just because my hand brushes hers.

It’s like I’m dealing with rabbit on a verge of a heart attack.

Well, it was half-cute half-annoying, but I really didn’t have time for it.

Besides, I had more pressing matters than analyze this girl’s behavior pattern. The idiot is actually about to fill the thermos from the toilet!

Katsuo: “Hey! Stop! What the hell are you doing!?”

Katsuo: “Use the sink, girl!”

Girl: “You mean you don’t want my pee?”

Excuse me?

Katsuo: “What...I...Wait, you mean you didn't even flush?!”

This causes her to blush slightly, and with powerful move, she slams the toilet lid down before I manage to see anything.

Girl: “Y-y-you just surprised me.”

The girl says this while filling the thermos with water, before handing it over to me. I take it with grunt which is supposed to sound like ‘thanks’.

After that, she literally pushes me out of the way and scurries down the corridor, disappearing from my sight in a instant.

It was like Persephone escaping from hell.

Katsuo: “Really…what’s wrong with girls these days?”





I return to the compartment faster than what it took to get to the toilets. Of course, this time I did not have to search for the destination on the way.

The scene here is same as ever, by the way.

The woman is face first on the table, groaning incoherently. I hand her my thermos, and without saying anything, she just drains it down.

Fifteen seconds pass, and the thermos is empty. The woman moans and collapses back on the table.

Woman: “Thanks.”

It’s just mumble, but it’ll do, I guess.

After satisfying her thirst, the woman takes out the snack that has miraculously survived in her front pocket, and takes a bite out of it.

Linde: “I’m Linde, by the way.”

Then, as if the whistle in the distance was her mark, Linde stands up and staggers to the door.

Unable to do anything else, I just raise my eyebrow.

Katsuo: “Are you okay?”

Linde: “Hundred bucks, and baby, I’ll be anything.”

And with those words, she disappeared to the hallway, with a rather sad smile on her face.

Scene 5: “On the edge of the rabbit hole.”
And so, after one more hour of gazing out of the window, the train comes to one more halt.

Why, you ask?

Well, that would be because the tracks happen to end at this station.

I must have really come as far as I could, as to come to the place where the trains are forced to turn around. It would be almost poetic, if it was not so clichéd.

Voice: “Ladies and gentlemen, we have arrived to the final stop: Yamanozomu city. I repeat: We have arrived to the Yamanozomu city. Please check you have taken your entire luggage with you before you exit the train. Have a pleasant day.”

A forcefully cheery voice resonates from the intercom of the train, announcing this is where I get off. I take what little I have with me, and move to the corridor outside the compartment.

I join to the small crowd of people heading towards the door down the corridor. Although I try to keep my eye out, I don’t see a hint of Linde. Maybe she got off on some other station.



Katsuo: Uwah! So bright!”

Really, it is! Even though I saw alright from the train’s window, looking at the scenery like this, it’s whole different thing.

Besides, there is no air-conditioning here. I feel the full heat of August on my face. Although I had hard time believing it in my home town, it really is summer right now.

I cannot help but to stretch wholeheartedly on the platform, despite the odd looks I get from the other people. Drawing my lungs full of fresh, warm, summer air, I feel more refreshed than in ages.

However, while this sudden summer I’m facing is more than enjoyable, I really need to move onwards.

I take my luggage and head towards the station ahead. I pass by the automated doors, and in to the people-filled lobby.

A large amount of people stand here and there, most of them either talking to their phones, looking nervously at their watches, or staring at the big board which tells the schedules of the trains.

I guess most of them are planning on traveling somewhere from here. My plan is different, however.

I got only one objective. And that’s the other pair of automated doors that I can see on the other end of the lobby.

My brisk steps take me to those doors in no time. For a few precious seconds I savor the moment, looking at the town on the other side of the glass doors.

Then…

I step outside.

Scene 6: “Tourist-tripping”

*sound of cars, people, etc.*

So…this is it.

Yamanozomu city, huh?

To be honest, I heard about this city for the first time back there in the train, when the voice announced the last stop.

Of course this means I have no clue about the place where I have just arrived.

Now let’s see here…

I turn my head, trying to find the usual sight that can be seen whenever exiting a train station anywhere.

Ah, there.

I walk up to the big map of the city that’s hung on the information board. From there, I can see where I am, and where I should head next.

Katsuo: “Eh…but…”

Katsuo: “Where should I head next?”

Apparently, I really had come to as far as it was possible. This was the last stop for the trains for a very simple reason.

Land ended here. After this city, it was pretty much just ocean to the east. Ocean also covered the area to the south, while mountains blocked north.

After mountains, there was more ocean.

Yeah, it was peninsula alright.

If I read the map-markers right, I was right now at the business-center of the town. And by looking around me, it sure felt like it.

There were tall high-rises everywhere, along with office buildings and other large, important buildings.

From the looks of it, all the major shops were also concentrated here.

Katsuo: “Wait a minute…”

I look at the street-sign that’s rather close, and points towards the large main square and the road that continues to the east.

“Shopping District.”

I feel like such an idiot…

Katsuo: “Well, moving on from obvious reasons why all shops are here…”

Local school must have been pretty big building, as it got its own map marker. That, or it was famous somehow. Building itself was along the road to the east.

What had been marked as “Old Town” was south from the business-center, alongside the coast and towards the inland, to the west.

However, apparently, the population was sparser towards the west. The map markings told me most of the west belonged to huge wheat fields.

To the west was also a shrine. Map told me it was local tourist attraction, dating all the way back to Heian period.

Moving on from the south-west to south and south-east, the residential area changes to harbor, which should probably be the focal point of all the employment here.

After all, this is a port-town.

One last thing that piqued my interest was some strange, green area that was right in the middle of the city. The text that would have explained it was all smudged up, so I had no idea what that place was.

Anyway, now I know the basic layout. Time for some scouting.

Katsuo: “But still…I’m thirsty.”

Silencing the need of drink inside of me, I make my decision and head east, to the main square, and the shopping district.

Time to see what the shops of this city have to offer.

Katsuo: “Not that I have any money to actually buy anything.”





Katsuo: “Uwah…so expensive…”

Katsuo: “Can student nowadays really afford this kind of stuff?”

With “this kind of stuff” I mean the strange ornaments that are supposedly attached to cell phones. There are tons of these mascots, ranging from cute animals like cats and sheep to more unique things, like dragons or small balls of slime.

Most of them look like complete rubbish to me, but apparently, they are really popular these days. At least, that’s what it looks like, judging from the huge amount of high school girls inside the shop.

Girl #1: “Kyaaa! Look, I got Gerorocker!”

Girl #2: “That is so awesome! I only got this Unicorny!”

Girl #3: “Guess what? I heard that the next model they’re going to put on sale is Lionel! You know, that lion??”

Girls: “KYAAAAAA!!!”



I seriously don’t understand people these days.

Though, to be honest, they aren’t really that bad looking. Only thing that’s bothering me about them is their ridiculous price.

Katsuo: “…hmh?”

What’s this…?

There, on the ground, clearly having been trampled over many, many times, is one of those little mascot animals.

I really don’t know what it is supposed to be. It looks like a fox, but it has long ears like bunny. And even more, its tail reminds me of a squirrel.

Whole animal is also green of color.

Katsuo: “You on your own, buddy?”

Sure, talking to inanimate objects is not the sanest thing to do, but it beats talking to yourself all the time.

I look around me, trying to see if some girl has lost her mascot. It would explain what this guy is doing here, on the ground.

However, nothing like that is on the sight. So, without further thinking, I pick the mascot from the ground, dusting it off on the process.

Katsuo: “Welcome aboard, pal. I guess we both could use some help, so why not hang out together?”

With slight grin on my face, I put the fox-thing in my pocket. Sure, in reality, it’s just another piece of useless junk that I’m carrying, but somehow, it did not feel right just leaving it there.

Determined to get out of hearing range from the squealing girls, I resume walking, heading further into the shopping district.





Katsuo: “Hmh?”

My peacefully paced walking and musing in my own thoughts is interrupted by voice that echoes through the market square.

Person in china dress: “Come get easing to the emptiness of your stomachs!”

Person in china dress: “Get some smoking-hot, steaming-hot baozi right now! Only from Baozi Laozi, yes!”

…oh god. The smells that travel through the air to my nose from the small mobile food stand are enough to make my stomach protest furiously.

And what makes it even more alluring is the fact that the baozi look like they just want to be eaten. Even in this heat they manage to look nothing but delicious.

It’s August alright, but the difference in the weather of this town and my old town is like night and day.

There the rain never seemed to stop, and it was always gloomy.

Here?

Here I have trouble trying to spot a single cloud in the sky.

Person in china dress: “Hey, you, young man!”

E-eh? Is that yell meant for me?

I shoot a questioning glance towards the baozi seller and point at myself.

Person in china dress: “You exactly, yes, you dozing off young hunk! Come over here! You look like you’re in need of a baozi, yes!”

Katsuo: “I...I do?

I walk, nervously, over to the food-stand. Anyone would be nervous when confronted like this by a total stranger. The fact that the person is swinging these huge chopsticks around not make me feel any safer.

But really…this is strange. No matter how I look at that small chef, I can’t say for sure is that person boy or a girl.

Sure, s/he’s wearing a china dress, but still…there’s just something in those eyes that makes me unsure.

How awkward.

Katsuo: “So, uh, did you want something from me?”

Person in china dress: “Yes! Tell me, young man: what is your favorite baozi filling, yes?”

Favorite filling, huh…?

Now that you mention it, I do have some things that I prefer over others. But the absolute favorite…?

That would be…

1. Cha siu baau, of course! Nothing beats pork! 2. Bean-paste filled doushabao! 3. Exotic vegetable yacai bao!

KENTA
September 30th, 2011, 05:36 AM
Choice 1: “Cha siu baau, of course! Nothing beats pork! Scene 7a: “Remnants of Zhu Bajie.”

Person in china dress: “Ho ho? Cha siu baau, yes? Now that’s interesting, yes…”

Katsuo: “You got problem with pork?”

Person in china dress: “Oh, not at all, not at all…”

Person in china dress: “It’s just that’s the most usual answer I get from boys when asking the same question, yes.”

Katsuo: “Really? I guess it’s in our genes. Fondness to meat, especially to pork, that is…”

Well, I guess pork in its all forms has always been as the generic, middle-way choice for guys eating any kinds of food…

Person in china dress: “Yes, that could be. But on the other hand, in Chinese zodiac, pig is associated with fertility and virility, yes. I think this could attract men too, yes.”

Person in china dress: “Maybe they’re secretly hoping that eating pig would transfer those said traits for them too, yes? Isn’t it said that the man is measured by the amount of the different women he’s been…”

Huh? Just what’s up with this person all of a sudden?

Person in china dress: “Who knows? Maybe all those customers I’ve sold cha siu baau have actually become very popular afterwards, yes!

Nope, I don’t think that’s the case. No man is going to get popular by eating the pork, no way.

Person in china dress: “Maybe because of me some of those men have found a wife and are now living happily instead of the boredom they were in before eating my cha siu baau! Yes, that is possible, yes!”

Crap. Looks like I flipped one dangerous switch at some point, causing this person to go nuts immediately.

Katsuo: “Umm…sorry to call you back from your daydreams, but why did you ask me about that?”

Person in china dress: “Oh, I almost forgot, yes! Sorry!”

? Choice 2: “Bean-paste filled doushabao!” Scene 7b: “Innocent till proven guilty.”

Person in china dress: “Doushabao, huh…? Hu-hu-hu-hu…”

Katsuo: “W-what’s wrong with sweet bean paste..? Your smile is creeping me out.”

Person in china dress: “Oh, it’s nothing~. It’s just that it’s difficult to believe that a grown, big man like you would like something so sweet, yes.”

Katsuo: “K-keh! My preferences are none of your business, damn it!”

W-what? Why are you suddenly giving me that kind of scary, you androgynous chef??

Person in china dress: “That’s right, yes. Maybe you would have wanted some sweet dessert instead of baozi then, yes?”

S-SHOCK!

Katsuo: “H-hey! Wait a minute! What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

The chef laughs like a girl before pointing me with those huge chopsticks s/he is waving around.

Person in china dress: “That’s okay, yes! I would eat dessert instead of baozi every day too, yes!”

Person in china dress: “Unfortunately this doushabao is the best I can do for you now, yes.”

Katsuo: “O-oh…okay…”

So, rather than my initial assumption of this person being quite clever, s/he was actually surprisingly naive. S/he was not teasing me, just being honestly surprised.

Katsuo, you’ve grown too suspicious of people…

Maybe it’s just good that I realized this. In a new city, in a new life like this, it might be better if I let my guard down a bit. I’m not going to make any friends by being vary of everyone, after all.

And I might as well start with this young chef whose gender is under constant questioning.

Really, is s/he a boy? Or a girl?

And really, what is s/he doing right now? It’s like…like…

? Choice 3: “Exotic vegetable yacai bao!“ Scene 7c: “Revenge of the mushroom eggplant!”

Person in china dress: “…”



Katsuo: “…W-what?”

The chef looks somewhat troubled, gazing from few of the baozi s/he already has steaming to me and back.

Person in china dress: “Hmmm~…Hmmm~”

Person in china dress: “T-this must be the first time a customer asks for something like that, yes.”

Oh, well that was surprising. Is s/he saying that there are no ingredients to make one?

Katsuo: “Hard to believe. I thought it was still quite popular when it came down to baozi.”

S/he grimaces like I had said something bad. Then the person sighs, looking me rather…shall I say “questionably”?

Person in china dress: “I-I think it’s mostly my fault, yes…”

Katsuo: “Huh?”

Person in china dress: “Back when I started, I used to make lot of yacai bao, yes. They had my own specialty filling, yes.”

Katsuo: “…what was that filling?”



Person in china dress: “Mushrooms and eggplant.”

Katsuo: “What the hell!? No wonder they don’t order that anymore!”

Person in china dress: “I thought so, yes…”

Person in china dress: “So, you want yacai bao?”

Katsuo: “Hell no! Make me something actually edible!”

Person in china dress: “Fine, fine.”

I know that baozi was just crazy but…still I feel like a bad person for making this young person crestfallen.

Scene 8: “Dumpling Dumping”

With frightening ease, the androgynous chef sticks the huge chopsticks into the steamer and picks up one unusually large baozi. It looks more than ready to be eaten, and to be honest, I get hungry only by watching it.

S/he puts in a paper so a person can handle it even though it’s still rather hot, and then, to my surprise, hands it over to me, grinning from ear to ear.

Person in china dress: “There you go. This is restaurant, yes. Not some shogi club of old men, where all they do is talk, yes.”

C-crap! S/he thought I was a customer??

Sure, I’d like to have some baozi. Anything to ease the rumbling in my stomach would be heavenly right now.

But the biggest problem is, after all, that I have no money…

Damn, what should I do?
1. Just grab the dumpling and run! 2. Explain the situation and apologize

? Choice 1: “Just grab the dumpling and run!” Scene 9a: “Grand Theft Nikuman”

Sorry, but my hunger is just too much to bear right now…

Katsuo: “…”

Person in china dress: “Hm? What’s wrong? Baozi are best eaten hot, yes…”

Now!

Katsuo: “Look! A nekomata! Right behind you!!!”

Person in china dress: “Kyaaaa! Where!? Where!?”

Chance!

I grab the baozi from the person’s hand immediately. For a moment it’s about to fall into the ground, but with last minute save, I manage to catch it safely into my arms.

And with that, I break into run.

Person in china dress: “H-hey! You! Young man! Come back here!”

Katsuo: “Sorry, but it’s an emergency! Really!”

My legs are still little numb from all that sitting in the train, but running like this proves to be no problem at all. At least when I want to get as far away as I can from that small mobile restaurant.







Huff, huff, huff…well, maybe this is appropriate distance…

Person in china dress: “Heeeeeey!!! Young maaaaan!!!”

What the hell!? S/he followed me!?

I speed up again, giving it everything I got. There’s no way I’m going to get caught. I don’t want to be known as the eat-and-run thief that got caught on his first gig in this town!







Person in china dress: “Waaaait uuuup!”

Why doesn’t s/he give up already!? S/he has chased me through half of the city already!!

Dammit, how in hell am I going to shake that person off my tail??

Katsuo: “Hey, isn’t that…?”

Bingo!

A nice, dark alley that is almost invisible to the people walking past is inviting me in distance. If I can dive in there, that crazy chef is bound to shoot right past the alley.

That, on other hand, would mean I would be home free.

Katsuo: “Hah! Try to follow me now!”

I change my direction the moment I see him/her lose the eye contact of me because of the crowd. With amazing precision I dash to the dark alley, running to its other end as fast as I can.

If I can just get around that corner…!

Katsuo: “Wohoo! Made it!”

I cannot help but to raise my hands in sign of victory. It feels great, as if I had just won a marathon. And to be honest, my achievement almost was like winning a marathon.

I lean against the wall, catching my breath while. It has been a while since I have ran like that. Of course I had P.E at school, but really…I couldn’t get enthusiastic about it there.

But now? Now I feel just great! That kind of chase is really what running should be all about. Nothing too fancy, just running to make sure other does not catch you.

Katsuo: “Haha…oh god, that was amazing…hahaha…”

From amidst my ragged breathing, laugh escapes my lips. It’s laugh that is born of enjoying something. Free, pure, innocent laugh.

Katsuo: “Hahahaha…ahahahaha!”

?: “What the hell are ya laughing about, punk??”

Eh?

I move my gaze to the other end of the alley. There, sitting on make-shift cushions made out of garbage bags, are bunch of guys I simply don’t know how to react to.

First of all, all of them are dressed in white jackets with bunch of random kanji written all over them. Really, do those guys even know what half of those kanji mean??

And then there are the hairstyles. I don’t know even how I should begin to describe them. I do know one thing, however. Both Riki Choshu and James Dean would roll in their graves if they saw these combinations of their beloved hairstyles!

Well, if Choshu-san would be dead, of course.

Delinquent Leader: “Hey, man, whatcha staring, huh? Somethin’ funny to ya?”

Katsuo: “You mean apart from your ridiculous looks?”

Craaaap!!! Why did I say thaaaat!?

Delinquent Leader: “Huh!? Ya tryin’ to be funny, man!? ‘Cause I ain’t laughin’ ya piece o’ shit!”

Delinquent Lackey #1: “Yeah, beat him, aniki!”

Delinquent Lackey #2: “Nobody messes with Motor-Swords!”

Katsuo: “You know, the term ‘Motor-sword’ sounds so much like sexual innuendo you cannot have done that by accident.”

Delinquent Lackey #1: “…”

Delinquent Lackey #2: “…”

Delinquent Leader: “Aa, shut up! I’m gonna beat ya to death, ya punk!!”

Why can’t I just keep my mouth shut!?

Katsuo: “Ah, sorry, sorry. Here, let me give you a present to make up for all this.”

Delinquent Leader: “Present? What the hell is it, then?”

*Splat!*

With expert timing and accuracy, I throw the dumpling I was holding straight into the guy’s face, and when it bounces back, catch it.

The delinquent leader and his lackeys cannot do anything but to stare me in utter amazement.

Katsuo: “Bye guys! Gotta run!”

I spin around on my heels and dash out of the alley and into the main street. After few seconds of running, I hear a high-pitched roar behind me.

Delinquent Leader: “Chase after him! I’m gonna fuckin’ kill that punk!!!”

Aaargh!

My legs feel like they’re burning as I force them to run again.





This isn’t funny anymore!




Choice 2: “Explain the situation and apologize.” Scene 9b: “Pros and cons of being poor”

Katsuo: “Ah, sorry. Hey, listen…”

Person in china dress: “Hmh? What is it?”

Katsuo: “You know…I’m all broke right now. I can’t pay for that baozi.”

For a while the person stares at me, as if surprised. Then…

Person in china dress: “Ahahaha! You were worrying about that, yes? It’s alright, you know. It’s on the house, yes!”

Katsuo: “Huh? On the house?”

The person smiles at me and once again thrusts the baozi into my direction.

Person in china dress: “Yeah. It was interesting to talk with you, so you deserve that, yes.”

Katsuo: “T-thanks!”

Ah, there still were some kind-hearted people in the world. To give dumpling like this to a boy they don’t know and who hasn’t got even any money…

A real-life saint!

Person in china dress: “Um, I’m glad you seem to be enjoying the baozi, but…”

Katsuo: “Hmh?”

I raise my head, stopping myself from devouring the baozi for a while.

Person in china dress: “There are other customers waiting, you know.”

Katsuo: “O-oh! Sorry about that.”

I apologize with quick bow and move out of the way to let the girl behind me. However, that only seems to make matters worse, as her gaze sank, and the dark blue eyes seem to avoid me at all cost.

To be honest, I find it strange that such melancholic looking girl would be eating dumplings, but…hey, it’s not my problem.

Katsuo: “Thanks again! And bye!”

Person in china dress: “See you again!”

Well, at least I will not die from hunger just yet. This single dumpling might not fill my stomach, but it’s hot enough to warm it up nicely for a while. And warm stomach creates an illusion of being full.



Somehow, my thoughts are starting to make me feel quite depressed…







After a while of walking, I arrive on a street that looks far cleaner than the previous ones. Well, it’s not that much clean, but more like everything that even resembles trash is not allowed here.

Oh, I get it. I must be getting close to the high school that was marked on the map at station.

Katsuo: “Hmm…school, huh?”

To be honest, I don’t what to think about school. I left my old school behind without a second thought, so it’s kinda hard to think about going to a new one.

And even if I wanted to go, how would I get in? It’s not like I can enroll there just like that. I would need cash to pay my studies, my past student records are still at my old school…

In other words, I don’t think it’s likely to happen that I get back to school.

But still…it would be fun to at least get a peek what kind of place this city’s school is.

Katsuo: “Hey, isn’t that...?”

I squint my eyes, trying to see a certain spot in the wall that had caught my attention. It was off the street itself, hidden in the shadows of large tool shed. If I’m seeing right, that surely is…

Katsuo: “What the hell is gardening mesh doing there? Is it some kind of makeshift ladder for escaping students, or for students who are late?”

Whatever it is, the mesh really comes handy for me. It’s perfect for climbing up to the wall, from where I could probably see the whole school.

Without a second thought I head to the mesh, determined to climb up.

When I reach it I immediately begin climbing.

Hyup! Hyup! Hyup!

It takes only few seconds to get to the top. I move so I can sit on the wall surrounding the school, and then begin inching myself forward to find a better viewing spot.

A while and…

Katsuo: “Woah…amazing.”

Katsuo: “This ain’t a small school, that’s for sure. Everything looks so posh!”

Clean, big buildings, big track and field for P.E, large building where the pool apparently is, tool shed that is size of small house…everything here is quite grand.

It’s not hard to notice that this was not a place for mediocre students.

But just as I was beginning to enjoy myself, watching at the school and the pupils everywhere…

Boy: “Hey! You! Who are you, and why are you sitting there!?”

Katsuo: “Aw, crap. Who’s that guy?”

I thought I only muttered that, but apparently the guy heard.

Boy: “I’m part of the student council here, mind you! Now tell me! Who are you??”

To be honest, I really don’t want to draw attention to myself like this. Neither do I want to tell that bastard my name. After all, if that name gets known around the town…

Well, let’s just say it’s not the kind of fame I am looking for.

Boy: “Are you going to answer me, or will I have to force the answers out of you??”

Katsuo: “Woah, chill out! You’re going to get your uniform all wrinkled if you keep waving your hands like that.”

Boy: “W-wha-wha…”

Boy: “You dare to mock me!? Get down here, right now!!!”

Katsuo: “Yeah, you see, that’s gonna be a problem. I’m not big on authority, you know? So why don’t you just run along?”

The guy seems to get a little antsy and runs to the wall. I’m assuming he’s gonna try to get up here. That pisses me off just enough for me to spit on him. It blinds him for a second, which is all I need.

With that, I hastily retreat by jumping down from the wall, safely to the other side where the student council member cannot catch me.

Or, so I thought…

*Cling, cling, cling!*

Boy: “Open the gates! Open the gates! There’s an intruder outside who was trying to gain access inside this school! Catch him immediately!”

C-crap, this looks bad. I really better start to run, if I don’t want to spend my first day in this city in interrogation by student council.

Katsuo: “Give me a break, really…”







Scene 10: “Glimpses of everyday”

I heave a long sigh. The remnants of my ice cream, which has proven to be useful weapon in combat, are all but melted.

Crunch, crunch, crunch…

Eating the cone is like eating carton, but at least it has some substance.

After running around like that, my chase finally ended in the western parts of the city. I got rid of my chasers at the residential area. Maybe it was known that people here did not like ruckus, but at least I was saved.

But this sure is normal place. If not counting the houses that were old, and got older the more I headed towards west, this could have been from my old city.

Except here the city does not smell like hopelessness.

Katsuo: “But still…you know…what’s up with this city?”

Not only are houses getting older, but there are also some clearly western-type houses mixed between more traditional type houses.

Maybe there was some fad at some point which caused many people to build their houses in western style? Or maybe there have been some foreigners living in this city?

Who knows?

I shrug mentally, realizing that thinking about things like these is not getting me anywhere. Neither is walking aimlessly towards west, though.

Katsuo: “I don’t want to end up to the outskirts of city, and the only interesting thing in this direction was that shrine anyway.”

I nonchalantly turn around, doing a 180 degree spin.

As I head towards new direction, my eyes happen to catch a glimpse of the view from one of the windows of the house at my left side.

There I see a very, very normal sight. At least, it’s supposed to be normal. I never really got to be part of that kind of scene.

It’s a clear view to the dining room. Father and mother are already sitting on their chairs, and two kids, boy and a girl, hurry on their own seats.

After putting their hands together and saying the usual: “Itadakimasu!” they all begin to dig into the food.

As I continue watching, the boy of the family says something to his father, clearly proud of himself. The father looks very pleased, and answers with big grin on his face.

However, the daughter does not seem very pleased. Even though she must be only ten years old, she says something very matter-of-factly, almost as if scolding the males.

Now the mother of the family joins in, clearly trying to calm the daughter down. However, the clear hint of smile on her lips tells me that this is not so serious situation.

The daughter is clearly furious about her mother siding with the father and son, but when the son says something with sly smile on his face, the girl’s mouth clamps shut, and she blushes heavily.

The father raises his eyebrow and looks at his daughter, but she seems to be extremely interested about the contents of her plate all of a sudden.

Father, seeing that he won’t get an answer from his daughter, says something while shrugging his shoulders. Whole table, except for the daughter who blushes even more heavily, bursts out in laughter.

“Hahahahahaha”, they all go. It must be hilarious.

Katsuo: “…yeah...it must be fun…”

However, I find myself unable to smile at the moment, even when seeing a scene like that.

Shaking my head and slapping my cheeks, I start walking away from that scene I peeked at for few minutes. A very normal family, eating a very normal dinner, living a very normal life.

However…that kind of normality was unreachable for me now. There was no way I could ever get scene like that back ever again.

Thus, in mood that’s slightly less happy than before, I head to into yet another unknown part of the city.







Scene 11: “Rose madder waves”







A~ah. It’s so late already.

Dusk is painting the scenery with fiery orange, making the sea before me look like its sprouting flames. White and grey buildings of the harbor are also getting their orange hue.

Seagulls cry far above me. They are about the only sound right now in here. And I don’t really mind it that way.

After all, now that I’m sitting here, deep in my thoughts, the last thing I need is company of another human.

It might seem little weird to say that, but after wandering through this city for whole day alone, I’m beginning to shun more and more the idea of talking with someone else.

Maybe it’s just my hungry mind, creating delusions to ease up my current state?

Or maybe the loneliness has made my mind consciously resent the idea of company?

Whichever it may be, I’m alone now, and that won’t change. It could be that it won’t even change. I learned that as I walked through the city.

No matter where I went…

No matter who happened to see…

No matter what did I do…

…I was still alone.

Someone who abandoned his past home is a drifter. I have no place to go, nor a place to stay. Without a home, I’m just a restless being wandering through this city.

A long, long sigh escapes my lips.

Katsuo: “…This isn’t like me.”

Yeah. I’m not one to mull over in thoughts like these for long.

I’m not dead yet, and that’s good. There’s tomorrow. Maybe then I can find some kind of direction to my life. After all, I will be more familiar with this city.

But in order for me to get to tomorrow…

Katsuo: “I think I need a time machine called ‘a place to sleep’, huh?”

Katsuo: “Okay! Time to move. I think I know one good place where I could sleep through this night.”

I stand up and take one last look at the burning sea.

With that orange, setting sun etched into my vision, I turn around, and head back to city.


Scene 12: “Black Night”


The school’s lights are out, and the all of the buildings are dead silent. Seems like it’s a perfect chance for me.

The metal mesh that has been over the wall gives me access inside the school walls, and subsequently, inside the school.

I climb over the wall and hop down.

Katsuo: “Uuf!”

By looking around myself, I see that the easiest way to get to the main building is by going behind the tool shed, from where I would end at the western edge of the school itself.



Even though there is nobody around, I find myself half-sneaking towards the school. Maybe it’s understandable in this situation though. I’m far enough scared that somebody will catch me, already.

Yet this option is better than sleeping in the street, where the police could catch me easily.

I sneak along the wall, looking through windows that give me view inside the school.

There’s got to be one window open here. It’s almost universal law that there’s always some way to access the school, even at night. It shouldn’t be that much different for this school.

A little while of searching, and ---- Bingo!

There is a window low enough for one to easily climb through it. It’s been left half-open, almost invitingly.

I couldn’t care less about the reason why it’s open. I just want to get inside the school.

I climb through the window and softly land on the floor of the school.

The smell of tidiness and books fills my nose. My old school did not smell nearly this good. Or this formal. Just as I thought, this place is clearly for those “Better-than-average”-students.

With swift and silent steps, I make my way down the corridor until I see a staircase. From there I head straight up.

There’s bound to be sofas or chairs here for students that are reading or doing homework. Like in the school’s library, or some similar place. If I can find just place like that…

*Crack!*

Katsuo: “H-huh?”

Just…what was that noise?

I turn around to see the source of the sudden noise that I heard. It was not loud, just something barely audible. Yet, without a doubt, it was a sound.

A sound like someone was moving.

Someone.

Moving.

Inside a school.

During the night.

In other words, someone doing something that was clearly not supposed to be done in this location at this time!

Katsuo: “W-who’s there??”

I give a short and clearly scared yelp, hoping to find out it was just some stray animal or something.

But instead, I suddenly get this feeling that whatever had caused the sound focused its whole attention on me.

C-crap! This is bad! I don’t know what the hell it is, but I can feel it coming this way!

*Clank, clank, clank, clank*

Steps echo in the dark corridor. They pick up the pace little by little, like a rhino that’s accelerating its charge. And, unmistakably, it’s heading straight towards me!

Hell, I’m getting out of here!

Katsuo: “S-stay away from me!”

I manage to yell that with almost pitifully weak voice before dashing to the direction where I came from with a speed of a hare.







Katsuo: “Huff, puff…”

Katsuo: “Just…w-what the hell was…that??”

I try to catch my breath at the park. It was the place I finally felt safe to stop at.

Really, I ran through almost half the city.

Now I’m in the park that I only saw by glimpse today. Unlike in normal parks that are usually well taken care of, here the plantation is running wild.

It’s seems almost abandoned, yet this place radiates with clear warmth.

Katsuo: “Aw, crap…I’m feeling really, really tired after that run…”

As expected, I drained the last bit of energy had been in me by fleeing from that whatever that was stalking unsuspecting victims inside the school.

I fall, panting, to the bench that’s under one of the taller trees in the park. The wooden bench feels nice and cool against my back. It’s almost like the air of summer night that caresses my face.

O-oh…this is bad…

I can’t fall asleep here. The police will surely find me if I sleep in such obvious place like this…

C-crap…eyes are getting damn…heavy…

…tired…





*screen fades away*

KENTA
September 30th, 2011, 05:36 AM
Day 2: Scene 1
Mustachioed Man


Bum: ‘Ey.

Nnngh...

Bum: ‘Ey!

Just five more minutes Nodoka...

Bum: I said ‘ey!

I don't want to go to school today...tell Mom I'm sick...

Bum: Wake the hell up!

Suddenly my world is turned upside down. Or rather, around and around.

Bum: That's my spot.

My side hurts now. Such a small fall, but it feels so much larger after such a long day.

Bum: Get yer own.

Somebody is talking to me...I think. That must be the person who did this to me. Oh wait, didn't I do that to myself?

Katsuo: Who are you?

Bum: None o yer damn business. This here's my spot, go get yer own.

Katsuo: W-Whaddaya mean 'your spot'? I got here first!

Bum: Nah ya didn't! I got here first, I just had ta drain the lizard real fast. When I came back I saw you sittin down in my spot!

Katsuo: No way! I've been sleeping here for hours!

Bum: Yer a damn fool, you been asleep for ten seconds tops.

Katsuo: Oh...Oh god damn it! Fine, whatever, you're not getting me to move.

Bum: The hell I'm not.

The gruff sounding man who knocked me out of my spot starts rooting around in his bag...I think. It's pretty dark right now, so far all I know he's reaching into a pocket or something.

Bum: Now me an this here knife say yer gonna get goin.

I couldn't tell what he was holding, but he was obviously holding something. And right now it isn't worth it. Maybe if I had some actual food in me instead of a small bit of baozi, and if I had a decent amount of sleep, I could obviously take this old man.

Katsuo: Yeah yeah, there's bound to be another bench nearby.

I wasn't really saying it to him, but I guess the old man heard me.

Bum: Heh, I doubt that. Even if there was, you think you're good enough to stay out of the cops' eyes? Nah kid, I can tell you're new to this so let me tell you something. Them cops'll tear a kid like you up faster'n you can blink. If they don't send ya home they'll send you to a home. Or if ya piss em off enough they might juss throw you in jail.

That old bastard starts laughing at the thought of my misfortune. But I know he's bluffing. They wouldn't put me in jail for something this stupid. Heh, they probably wouldn't even catch me if I knew they were coming.

Katsuo: Screw you old man. Those cops don't know what they're dealing with.

Bum: Yeah whatever kid. Now get outta here, I need ta sleep.

I can hear a slight ruffling sound...I think he just pulled some newspapers over himself like a blanket. I'd feel sorry for the guy if I wasn't in the same situation. And if he wasn't such a jackass.

...

...

Oh god...he was right. It's either that there are way too many homeless people in this city or this park has almost no benches, but all of them are full. Crap.

Hold on now Katsuo, think back to the map. Is there anywhere else you could sleep tonight?

...

...

I guess I'll just find an alleyway. It's better than nothing.
---------
Day 2: Scene 2
The obvious choice

Fatigue is a funny thing. In every sports movie I've ever seen the entire team can be drenched with sweat, obviously worn out, and still have the ability to keep going against incredible odds. As it turns out, that's not how it works in real life.

In real life when you're fatigued, everything but other people and the passage of time slows. I've gone maybe ten blocks, but it's been at least an hour.

...

...

...

Finally. It took at least two hours, but I've found an acceptable place for me.

In between two buildings, one looks like a clothing store, the other...I don't have the slightest clue, is a nice comfortable alley.

There's an area near the back that has a bunch of trash bags for the clothing store, and that is easily the most comfortable place here.

Just a minute or two of rearranging is enough to wear me out entirely, so I plop down and drift into a comfortable sleep.

...

...

Or I would, if I could. I spend a good deal of time tossing and turning on the trash bags trying to find just the right position. I don't think such a thing exists.

In the background I can hear a few things...moving. Probably mice or something. No big deal. Just gotta keep turning, I'll find the right spot and at least get a few hours of sleep...

And then, not only did I hear something...I felt it. On my arm. It was walking on my arm. A giant rat was walking on my arm.

Katsuo: WHAT THE HELL?!

I get to my feet quickly and shake it off. I can barely see it's silhouette scamper over to another alley.

Jesus Christ that freaked me out...well hell, I'm not getting any sleep here that's for sure. In fact, I don't want to sleep in garbage again. Ever. Damn thing nearly gave me a heart attack.

But where do I go?
1. North. Everything's classier up north. 2. South. Everything's bigger down there.

Scene 3a(+1 to Tomoko, Akane, and Kiku)
Might as well, I've got nothing better to do. But wait....which way's north?

Scene 3b(+1 to Akari)
Just follow the ocean. Maybe the calming relaxing waves can help get me to sleep.
---------
Day 2: Scene 3a
Wild Green Yonder

...

...

...

You know, after walking all around this place yesterday, I figured I would have learned about a side road or two. Or maybe I did and I just can't remember. Gah, this is so stupid. Damn rats driving me from my sleeping spot. Damn bums driving me from my park bench. Gah, this sucks, if I knew it was gonna be this bad I wouldn't have left in the first place.

Nothing around here makes sense. I've passed that building eight times now...Make that nine. The sidewalks look like streets, the streets look like sidewalks, and no one is out right now.

Maybe that rat didn't wake me up. Maybe this is all a dream. Yeah, I'm really asleep in that alleyway, none of this is happening. This is all just a dr-

Katsuo: OW!

Oh god, son of a bitch! Ow, god damn it that hurts! What the hell was that?!

Without realizing what I was doing I...no, it's too embarrassing to admit. No way that actually happened. Nuh uh, not possible. I did not just walk right into a streetlight.

Katsuo: Stupid thing...

I give it a swift kick before moving along, cursing the throb now coming from my foot.

...

...

Daybreak happened a little while ago. People have started to show up, slowly but surely.

Right now it's mostly office workers, but occasionally you see a high schooler or two. For the most part they're bookish people, but there are a few delinquents running around too.

None of them seem to even notice me.

It's probably better that way though.

???: Don't worry about it Nakajima. Despite being a bit of an oaf, he is still an officer of the law. You don't want to get on his bad side.

Someone's voice brings me out of my thoughts. It's very clear and refined, but at the same time...I suppose it's a little scary. Normal people aren't that eloquent.

However, because of that, I can finally see where I am.

This is that school I was at. It looks even better the second time around, especially since there's almost no one there right now.

???: Excuse me!

There's that scary voice again. It seems like it's directed at me.

???: Sir, may I ask what you are doing here?

If I didn't know any better, I'd say that there's a threat in those words. But no way, this guy doesn't even know me. He wouldn't do anything to me...right?

Katsuo: Ah, just wandering around. I'll, uh, get out of your way now.

???: That will be fine.

His voice has a finality to it that sticks with me. And I can feel his eyes linger on me as I walk away.

I shouldn't. He'll get mad and then some unnecessary stuff will start.

But I can't help it, I have to look back.

I was right, he's glaring at me. A pair of green eyes drilling a hole through me. Yeah, just go Katsuo, just go.

...

...

...

---------
Day 2: Scene 4a
Dude Where's my Motorized Vehicle?

Going against traffic sucks, regardless of location. More people bump into you than you know what to do with, you can't see where you're going, and for some reason you're always walking uphill.

Katsuo:*grunt*

Couple that in with no sleep, no food, even no water or peace of mind, and every step is that much worse. Thankfully, the worst is over.

By now most people are at work, at school, or ditching. Which means the streets are relatively clear. While this makes it easier to walk, it also means the sun is higher up and it's even hotter.

The heat in this town is unbearable. It must be at least 35 degrees Celsius out here. And the humidity, oh god the humidity. I feel like I could whip someone with my hair and hurt them. The sweat from my shirt could raise sea level.

Katsuo: It's so hot...

I've even started talking to myself.

But if I keep going I might just find...

Katsuo: Sh...SHADE!

Some time ago the buildings began to disappear and in their wake was simply a road that didn't seem to be used much. And eventually that even became a dirt road. Beyond that was what looked like a small forest. A heaven for me.

Maybe I was wrong about fatigue. Maybe when you really need the energy, you've got just enough to move yourself along, if only for that well earned bit of rest.

I say that because the forest, and shade, wasn't close when I saw it, but less than a minute later I was collapsed under the comforting gaze of the trees. It almost felt like I could forget my hunger, forget my concern, and just sleep away my cares.

Of course, God hates me, so that didn't happen at all. I did, however, get to sit around and daydream for a little while, which is always nice.

During my time on the ground, I noticed something. For the most part this area was unkempt, but there was a small area that looked like it was used relatively often. The grass was just a bit lower, less flowers, that sort of stuff. Of course, it could be a coincidence, but it was an interesting little tidbit to this corner of the town.

...

You know, despite this being a comfortable spot away from the sun, and all the probing eyes, I can't stay here all day. I mean, not only am I starving and my throat feels like a desert, but there could be some nasty animals here. I'd rather not deal with them.

So, I guess this means....back to the city? Might as well. Wait, before that, what time is it? Don't I have a watch in my bag?

...

Damn thing’s broken. Shit. Well, no matter. Not like it'll make much of a difference on a day like today.

...

...

...

---------
Day 2: Scene 3b
Goodburger

...

...

...

Going downhill is pleasant. Each step is a little easier, you get a better breeze, and it always feels like you're getting somewhere fast.

Going downhill with fishermen, however, is not. They are an unfriendly bunch, and they don't exactly smell great. Thankfully they all move fast and get to their destination much faster than I could imagine. Then again, I think all those guys were late. After all, don't most fishermen head out really early? The sun has already started rising. Lazy bastards.

This part of the city doesn't really feature much in the way of scenery. The buildings are smaller and more spread out, there's a vacant lot or two, one of which houses a few empty cars, and there's water. Lots and lots of water.

Lots of water means lots of humidity. Not many trees means very little shade. No clouds in the sky, very little wind. God. Damn. It.

...

...

...

I think all the saltwater in the air is starting to get to me. I can't really walk straight anymore, I'm not sweating, and I'm losing control over my head. This sucks.

Oh, joy. Birds. I love birds. The way they scream. The way they peck. The way they generally hate any and everything they see. Yes, you can't help but love the hordes and hordes of birds that have gathered here. They're rats with wings.

Bird: I take offense to that.

...What?

Bird: I said I take offense to that. You know we seagulls have made great advancements in the fields of medicine and astrology.

Why is that seagull wearing a top hat? No, wait, that's not the important part.

Katsuo: Why the hell can you talk?!

Bird: You sir are a racist. Assuming I can't communicate with fellow beings simply because of the color of my feathers. I'd have hoped that by now bigots like you would have ceased to be.

This all seems vaguely familiar. No, wait, hold on. What's going on here?!

Katsuo: I've gone insane. Truly truly insane.

Animal?: Uwo~! You aren't insane!

The new voice is muffled and seems to be coming from behind me. But when I turn around it isn't there. However, I can feel something climbing up my neck.

Animal?: Uwo~! If you were insane you wouldn't have picked me up!

It's that...that thing I picked up yesterday! Holy crap what's going on?!

Wait, more than that, why am I not running around screaming?!

Bird: Well that's easy. You jusFILE VOICE 21 NOT FOUND. REBOOTING.

...

...

...

---------
Day 2: Scene 4b
Sonic Discharge

Katsuo: UWAH!

Some cold water splashes my...everything, and I start to wonder where I am.

Katsuo: Christ...what was that?

There was that bird...none of which appear to be here anymore. And that stuffed animal toy thing....which is in my bag and isn't talking anymore. And I was...what was I doing? And how did I end up on the shore like this?

Katsuo: What...what time is it?

And why am I talking to myself? From the looks of it...My guess is it's already past noon. Probably 1 or 2 in the afternoon. Wait a second, don't I have a watch?

...

Well, I guess I did, but it's not working for some reason. Just great. Fantastic. Uaagh, whatever. I'm sick of this place. I smell like the ocean, which doesn't smell that great. All this sun is getting to me. I'm going back to the park. At least there I know I can find a tree and maybe something to eat...in the garbage.

KENTA
September 30th, 2011, 05:37 AM
Day 2: Scene 5
Indecipherable Lyrics

The walk back wasn't too hard. Well, not until people started showing up.

Most of them were my age or younger, so that just made things all the more suffocating.

Boy: ...No seriously, just right in two. The old man who works at the convenience store told me about it. Apparently lots of people were crying and they had to...

That’s pretty much all I get. Snippets of conversation that make little to no sense.

Well, it's not like I really noticed them that much to begin with. No food...no water...no sleep...something about Katsuo being dull.

Katsuo: Who you calling dull?

I don't quite know who I was talking to, and apparently the people around me don't either. They all walk just a little faster to get by me.

This is way too much. I need some water or something. Air conditioning would work too. You know, anything's better than out here. Maybe I should just--

Katsuo: Oomf.

I'm stopped abruptly, and from the sound of it, I bumped into someone.

Katsuo: Sorry about that, I wasn't paying attention to where I was going.

???: You have angered us!

Katsuo: U-Us?

???: Your apology is not enough to forgive such a transgression!

As I focus a bit, it becomes apparent that I did indeed bump into an 'us'. There's around ten or so guys in this group of people, all dressed very strangely. Are those...samurai costumes?

Katsuo: I'm sorry but, uh, I didn't catch your name...s.

Samurai: We are the Samurai who say.....two!

Katsuo: The Samurai...who say two?

Are these guys for real?

Samurai: The very same!

Other Samurai: Who are we?

Samurai: We are the keepers of the sacred words: Two, Chime, and Nee-womm!

Other Samurai: Nee-womm!

Nee-womm? What in gods’ name is that?

Katsuo: So uh....what's up?

Samurai: We, the Samurai who say Two, demand a sacrifice!

Katsuo: A uh... a what?

Samurai: A sacrifice! We, the samurai who say Two demand......A STUMPERY!

Katsuo: A what?

Samurai: TWO!

Other Samurai: TWO! TWO TWO!

Holy...god damn. Why in the hell did you yell that in my ear?

They keep saying it but...

Katsuo: You know that doesn't do anything right? You're not scaring me by saying the word two!

Samurai: Bring us the Stumpery, or you shall never pass through this park...alive!

Wow. I don't know which of us it is, but between me and...them, one of us is on drugs. And I'm not sure I want to find out which right now.

Katsuo: You guys are freaks.

As they continue to shout two at me, I retreat from the park as fast as I can and enter a nearby building.

---------
Day 2: Scene 6
Coach McPecs

The first thing I notice about this building is the giant window in the lobby. Now, unlike most windows, this one does not look outside. Instead, it looks directly at a row of treadmills that, at the current moment, are empty.

Half Naked Man: Sup bro. Watcha here for?

Sure enough, the man talking to me is not wearing a shirt.

Katsuo: What? Oh, uh, you know, just uh...can I use your bathroom?

Half Naked Man: Hmm, bro, you look like you could use some pumpin’ up. I'm gonna start you out with a quick warm-up, five minutes of cardio, and we'll see how you're doing from there, alright bro?

Katsuo: What? No, you're misunderstanding me. I just need to use the bathroom.

Half Naked Man: Listen bro, I totally get where you're coming from. You're alone, you've never worked out in your life, you smell bad, and you can't get chicks to give you the time of day. I used to be the same way bro. But you can't just give up bro. You've got to do something about it!

Every other syllable he flexes his pecs...it's strangely compelling. And quite disgusting.

Katsuo: Listen, uh...what's your name?

Half Naked Man: Just call me coach, bro.

Katsuo: Just tell me your name!

Half Naked Man: Fine man, no need to get all roid-rage on me. Names Tim. Tim McPecs.

Katsuo: ...

Foreigner?

*A flex of muscles sprite*

Yup, strange foreigner.

McPecs: Alright bro, now that we've got that out of the way, let's get you on that treadmill.

Katsuo: You know what...uh, Coach? I think I'm just gonna leave.

McPecs: Bro! You're never gonna get chicks like that bro! You'll never move on with your life bro!

Holy crap, run Katsuo run! His pecs are chasing you down!

---------
Day 2: Scene 7
Space Jammin’

...

...

...

It's orange outside. Not just the sky, but the entire town is orange. I don't think this is a natural phenomenon, I think my eyes have turned orange.

Or has my brain turned orange?

Gaaah, all this stress is killing me. I need food. But no one will give me food...I wonder...

Before I realize it I'm back in the park, staking out my bench for tonight.

And there.

Right there.

It sits.

Calling out to me.

It's not like it's that bad right?

I'll find something right there. Right at the top.

Slowly, slowly I reach in. And grab the first thing I can get my hands on...

Katsuo: God damn it...it's an empty bottle!

What I had hoped would be food turned out to be nothing but plastic. But, I think I've learned something here. Don't go garbage picking. You get nothing good out of it.

...

...

...

The day continues to dwindle, and everything gets a little darker. I think it's almost night time, meaning the bums are gonna take over the park soon.

Time to stake out my spot.

No food. No water. But at least I'll be able to get some sleep tonight.

It's maybe an hour or two before I decide to lay down, but by then everyone is gone. So now...

Katsuo: Finally, it's all mine. My bench. My bench...

And so I drift off into sleep, wondering if that noise I hear is of any importance.

KENTA
September 30th, 2011, 05:37 AM
Day 3, Scene 1:
”Messa di voce”

Drip, drip, drip…

Drip, drip, drip…

Katsuo: ”Uhm…?”

What is this?

What is this: ”drip, drip, drip…”?

*Kawshooooom~”

Katsuo: “Uwah!? H-huh!?”

Katsuo: “Rain!?”

I jump up from the bench and lift my gaze towards the sky, only to get my face hit by falling water drops. In only few seconds, I feel like I’m soaked to the bone.

Oh, it’s rain alright.

The latest creation of my incredible luck, it seems.

Katsuo: “Now where the hell is there a place in this park that one can use as a shelter from rain??”

My sluggish body moves ever so slowly, and I realize I have gotten a little, if any, rest at all.

A~ah. It really seems like my luck went down in the drain ever since I arrived in this city.

Not only have I eaten virtually nothing, but neither have I slept. And right now, I really feel like it’s taking its toll on me.

Katsuo: “Ah!”

There!

Spotting an old, wooden canopy, I hurry under it to save what little dry is left in me.

What greets me is a smell of moldy wood. This thing must have been here for quite some time. But, at least for now, it will help someone that has decided to stay under it.

Katsuo: “…”

Katsuo: “…damn…”

This is really the worst.

Broke.

Lost.

Hungry.

Thirsty.

Tired.

Lonely.

The list of what’s bothering me right now seems almost endless.

I’m starting to wonder about the reason I came to this town.

It’s almost as if I had not actually escaped to a better place.

Surely I must have known something like this would happen.

Yeah, surely.

So? For what reason am I here?

Am I like a mortally wounded animal, who wanted to get to a safe place where he can die in peace, instead of being chewed alive by his predators?

My situation right now indicates that pretty much.







Hey…are you there?

God? Any of you?

I’m not really the most religious type, but…

Can you listen? I got one favor to ask from you.

One little wish.

Can you give me a normal life?

I really never expected something supernatural or miraculous to happen to me. But what I at least wanted was a typical everyday life.

One with its ups and downs, one with joy and sorrow, one with excitement and boredom, one with all those grey little things that a life is made up of.

But instead, it looks like I’m being denied even that.

And really, to be honest…that sucks. I don’t want that. I want to be able to live like every other people too.

Like that family I saw two days ago…like all of the people I saw smiling under the sun, here, in this city.

I want to be one of them.

I don’t want to be forgotten.

So please, if there is any god here at all, listening to my rambling…let me ask you at least this one favor. I know very well you don’t owe me anything, nor that I would have ever done anything for you…

But still, I’m going to be selfish. It’s the only thing I can do right now. I’m too hungry and too tired to be able to do anything else.

Please…give me just a normal life…

A normal, typical, boring, everyday life.

…………………………………………………………..

……………………………………………………………

Katsuo: “…ahaha…”

*kaswhooom~*

Only thing that answers to me is the rain. And even it continues just like it was, without hearing my pleas.

Really, am I an idiot? There are no such things as gods.

No matter what happens in anime, manga, books and movies, the real life is real life. There is no magic, no god, no miracle. Just grey, depressing reality.

To ask something that does not exist to change the direction I’m heading towards in my life, I must have real-

[Quick flash of CG of the God of the Old Tower, along with fitting SE]

Katsuo: “Arrgh!!!”

What the hell!?

I feel like something had just went through my brain with speed of lighting, leaving an appropriate shock after it.

Damn! That hurt!



Katsuo: “Seriously…damn…”

What on earth was that??



Well, it’s not like I was expecting anyone to answer me anyway.

But one positive thing there was. That shock, whatever it had been, had jolted my mind just enough to drive the milky haze of remaining dreams out of my head, and fill it up with energy.

I really need to do something now, or I’ll just collapse to the ground and cannot get up again.

First of all, I should look for something to eat. Something, anything at all.

And in order to find something edible, it’s best to look from…

1. Shopping District. 2. School, right?



1. “Shopping District“ scene 2a: “Ossia uno”

Just what did I hope to find in here?

Just the fact that it is raining this hard should have already crushed any hope I was keeping alive.

As I watch the sad scene that was only few days ago a bustling shopping district, I feel more than a bit melancholic.

No more are the groups of school girls passing by, talking about things that don’t matter. No more are there shacks with strange ice-cream sellers. No more is there a flow of people that extended from one of the shopping district to another.

Now rain has filled the streets along with shadows. Sometimes I see someone else who has dared to go out in this downpour. Unlike me, they are all holding an umbrella.

Damn. I must be a sad sight.

All drenched in rain, face probably looking like I were a mere ghost…

I purposefully avoid shop windows from where I could see my reflection. No matter how miserable I feel, it’s going to be two times worse if I actually see how miserable I am.

To ease the ache that feels somewhere around my chest, I force myself to continue forward, through the streets.







Katsuo: “Ah…”

And here I am.

The station.

Back at the point where I left only two days ago. The point of no-return which I already passed.

Yet I’ve come back here.

I see few people waiting for a train that will arrive sooner or later. Most likely, it’s going to take them somewhere far away.

Maybe they hope they will find something better by leaving?

Most likely.

But I know it now all too well.

By searching for something better, you might actually find something worse.

And really, right now, I’m wondering…if I actually made the wrong choice by leaving.

What if I had…? What if…

Katsuo: “Shit!”

*Clang!*

I curse aloud and kick the trash-can that stands conveniently before me. Although it has never wronged me in any way, I felt like I had to take my anger out on it.

No way.

I’m not going to regret it. Not now. Not now that I made it this far.

I once more give my sluggish body the order to move. This time, the destination is unknown.

However, I refuse to give up. Even if I don’t know what I’m going to do now.

2. “School, right?“ scene 2b: “Ossia due”



It’s almost sad how the lights are on in the school even now. Even in the middle of this depressing rain, many are putting their all into learning and acquiring knowledge they might not ever need.

It’s almost admirable, if it was not so strange. For me, at least.

I began to see school as less and less important the older I grew. The more I began to think for myself, the more meaningless it felt to study something.

I knew I would never need all that information. Nor was there information I ever found interesting.

Everything was just something I needed to memorize in order to get good grades, and thus, graduate from school.

I did not do it of my own interest, but just because that was awaited of me. It was something I apparently needed to do in order to become acknowledged part of our society.

What a load of bullshit, I finally said.

Nowadays, person was measured by what he could achieve, not what he had achieved. And even more, those who felt like they did not fit into this huge machine called society, were called outcasts and banished from it.

I remember there was one in my old class too. A person who eventually became so alienated from the rest of the world that he shut himself inside his room, and refused to come out.

And he was not the only one.

It just shows how much pressure this world we live in puts on us.

Katsuo: “Aa~ah.”

But now that all is behind me, isn’t it?

I’m not bound by anything anymore. I left all my ties of obligation behind when I left my hometown and traveled here, into Yamanozomu City.





Just what did I came for here, really?

Did I really believe I could find food in here?

Or maybe I was just trying to…

Katsuo: “…nah.”

Shrugging my shoulders, I turn around on my heels, heading to the opposite directions. On every step, I feel my strength leaving me.

Most likely I will collapse soon enough.

But for a while…I’m going to keep walking forward.

Because that’s the only thing I can do right now.

Scene 3: “Cadenza”









I guess…

This is it.

I don’t even feel the hit as I collapse to the cold concrete. Instead, I feel something dull touch me, accompanied by the cold that creeps up even further into my bones.

I don’t even know where I am anymore. I can’t even begin to guess.

The rain is pouring down as hard as it has done until now, and shows no signs of stopping.

Time feels like it has stopped long ago, leaving me to wander alone in this grey, untouchable world.

Nothing I do makes any difference. Nothing anyone does makes any difference.

This world is just filled with worthless people like me, whose destiny does not matter to anyone.

If it actually did, I would have somehow found a way to survive. I really tried my best. I gave it all I got. So, if I don’t make it, it cannot be my fault. If one gave everything he had and failed, it cannot be his fault.

So, then, let me sleep.

I’m too tired to stay awake anymore.

I haven’t practically neither slept nor eaten during last three days. So nobody should have any complaints if I just lie around here for a bit?

I lean my back on the wooden door of some building. I collapsed before that building, so it will have to do. I got no energy to move somewhere else.

I just need to sleep.

Close my eyes.

Fall into slumber.

And forget.

[This happens only if it's possible for the style of text-showing to change for full-screen for the duration of this text. If not, it will portrayed in different way]

Right now, in this gray, dead space that I have inhabited for three days, I became content with the idea of “death”. The idea that I might actually die here, without having achieved that freedom I so fervently sought after.
It didn’t really bother me that much. It bothered me so little that it started to bother me.
Almost like a paradox.
So I close my eyes to the grey dawn, and let the rain be my sky. I let my spirit wander freely into the play called “life” without actually entering it.
------------The life sounds so alluring.
And so I chase after it with all my might. But I trip, and I hurt my leg, and I become tired, and I become hungry.
I can’t run after that life infinitely. Sooner or later, I have to give up, and sit down. And when I do, I lose the sight of the life forever.
But it’s alright. Everyone will give up eventually.
This is a game that nobody can win.
Life just runs too fast for mere humans like us.
-------- So isn’t it alright if I just sit down for now?
Take it easy, instead of hurrying?
It’s not like I can win.
So I’ll just stop running, stop hurrying, stop chasing after something I cannot ever catch. I don’t even have something I can gain by running.
In order for me to run, there would have to be something to run for.
Something which was worth all the sweat, blood and tears that were caused by this race.
Something like-----------------------------------------

???: “Could you move?”

…eh?

???: “I asked if you could move. You’re in my way.”

W-what…who…is it?

???: “No, let me rephrase it. You have to move. I need to get inside.”

Katsuo: “O-oh…sorry. Let me just…drag myself out of the way.”

???: “…”

Although I’m still struggling to open my eyes and see who I’m talking to, I can hear her heaving a long sigh.

???: “You stink like a wet dog. You look like you’re molding. Your voice sounds like you’ve been yelling to days straight.”

???: “You’re homeless, aren’t you?”

Katsuo: “...And?”



The silence is almost malleable. I can sense her staring intently at me. Until…

???: “Do you want to come inside?”

*Slow reveal of the Kiku & Katsuo CG*

To be honest, I had never seen girl as cold-looking as she was.

First of all, there was nothing friendly in her. Nor was there any kindness. She looked just like a doll that no one ever bought from the toy store.

There was no warmth that I could sense from her. She was just like the scenery around her. Something which would only be looked at once before moving on to something more interesting.

That was why I did not understand it.

Why was she offering me help?

Why? A person like her?

???: “Or do you want to stay there?”

Just as indifferently as before, like she was watching this scene from far away…

This girl’s voice was monotone an uninterested. And that monotone voice asked if I wanted help.

It was a small paradox on its own right.

Katsuo: “…no.”

???: “I see. Then what do you want?”



Of course-

Katsuo: “I want to be saved.”

???: “…”

She does not raise her eyebrow. She does not look at me confused. She does not at laugh at me. Instead, she nods her head, and answers:

???: “Very well. Then I will save you.”

???: “But who is this person that I shall save?”

Katsuo: “Tanaka...Katsuo Tanaka.”

???: “Oh. I see. Quite an unfitting name.”

???: “Then, Katsuo Tanaka.”

Kiku: “Let Kiku Tsukino save you for now.”

And that was how I met her.

A girl who uninterestedly saved a man from the harshness of the world.

And no matter how impossible it might sound…

A girl whose eyes reflected the moon even in the midst of rain.

KENTA
September 30th, 2011, 05:43 AM
And here's the map.

http://i52.tinypic.com/v5kd93.png

Verg Avesta
September 30th, 2011, 07:16 PM
I'm crying right now.

KENTA
September 30th, 2011, 07:20 PM
You should post what you have, since you probably have more than me.

Gaia
September 30th, 2011, 07:23 PM
I'm crying right now.

For grief because Lacuna has been forgotten, or joy, because it has again own thread?

King Rorthur
October 4th, 2011, 04:43 PM
Tomoko Kotonari

http://img145.imageshack.us/img145/9907/totmokol.jpg


GENERAL CHARACTER STATISTICS


Character Name: Tomoko Kotonari.(Attaining Dreams) in kanji: 智子


Name Meaning: From Japanese "Wisdom" or "Friend" (tomo) and child (ko)
Alias: ‘Shun-chan.‘ Roughly means “Fast.”
Gender: Female
Species/Race: Human
Age: 18
B-Day: 12/02
Zodiac Sign: Saggitarius
Bloodtype: AB+
Place of Birth: Tokyo
Current Residence: Nozomu City
Occupation: Waitress and co-worker of Kiku. She’s interested in the current pay but not in long-term career plans.
School/Grade: 3rd Year
Family: 2nd daughter of a middle class family, currently lives with her grandfather, whom was one of her doctors when she had the Bronchiolitis.
Gemstone: Turquoise


PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS


Height: 167 cm


Hair: Red


Eyes: Purple


Distinguishing Marks: Most notably her crescent shaped glasses.


General Appearance: Bright, intelligent. She has sparkling eyes which often twinkle with good humor. Her silky, curly, neck-length hair is worn in a handsome style. She is muscular but overall has a feminine build. Her skin is cream-colored.


General Clothing: Tomoko generally dresses up fancily because her grandfather is upper middle class. When going out on the town she wears a "pirate" shirt with a frilly collar and cuffs. Over it she'll wear a grey business suit and finally khaki pants with a slight bell bottom flare to them. Her causal wear is a red t-shirt and black pants with converse high top sneakers. Occasionally, she'll wear black bikers gloves with her causal wear. Her jogging outfit is a red long sleeved zipper shirt and a pair of blue shorts in the summer and a pair blue pants in colder weather.


Strengths: She’s a fast runner due to being on track and is in good shape.


Weaknesses: Prior to start of her route, Tomoko had bronchial pneumonia, which is a build up of fluids in the lungs. It's been a little more than a year since she's been sick, but she continues to push herself, even if it is dangerous for her to do so. Tomoko also has a tendency to fall over, trip over, or collide with things.


More: Weight: 54 kg, Breast: 78 cm, Waist: 54 cm, Hips: 82 cm


MENTAL CHARACTERISTICS


Allies: Fellow Track Team members and her co-workers at the Café.


Enemies: Student Council President, due to unknown reasons.


Current Goal/Purpose: She wants to take her team to victory for the first time in years. Go Nozomu Panthers, Go!


Aspirations: To learn to use her talents to guide others.


Hobbies: Track, of course! However, she is also a table top war gamer and hobbyist writer.


Likes: Travel, exploration, cracking codes, tracking down mysteries, and solving problems. Tomoko loves the freedom of action and new ideas.


Dislikes: Tokomo dislikes disapproval from others the most, having her honesty doubted is the key to this so she has issues with making promises. She also dislikes wearing tight clothing.


Talents: Other than running? Tomoko is good at getting people to do what she wants and is a master of French.


Inabilities: She doesn‘t respect the “authority” of certain class members.


Fears: Her biggest fear is being held back. No matter who or what the cause, if Tomoko is held back in life, in love, or in opportunity for spiritual growth she will be unhappy, even though she will keep smiling through all hardships.


General Personality: She is kindhearted, though sometimes tactless. She is best seen as being honest and regards herself and all others as equals. She sticks by her own very clear moral standards and is unconventional in relationships. Tomoko is a very sociable person, who accepts any friend who matches up to her personal standards. She will defend a friend with great loyalty, but she will also say exactly what she thinks. Can be somewhat arrogant.


Inner Personality: Tomoko feels like she is being held back at home, so she keeps up a false smile to make others around her happy. She day dreams that one day she’ll be able to meet someone that will challenge her to be her best.


Fondest Memory: Recently winning the regional track meet.


Biggest Regret: Getting sick and being away from school for most of the school year during her second year of classes.


Secret: She likes praying at the local shrine, but only when Akane is not present.


More: Will laugh about her misfortunes and mistakes, even while she is upset or in pain. Though she is angry if her integrity is questioned and can be can be cuttingly sarcastic when hurt. Tomoko has been known to be deceived in romance but is rarely misled in other areas of life.


SPECIALTY CHARACTERISTICS


Special Items: On her person, she wears a charm around her neck in the shape of a star.


Weapons: Tomoko Punch!-If Tomoko gets angered enough, she'll do the typical anime girl response by giving her foe a face full of fists.


Magic: Some do say she can run super fast compared to most other people…


HISTORIC BACKGROUND


General History: She’s had a fairly normal life in Japan. However, she has domestic problems with her father. He was an overly "familiar" father, who wanted her to be more sexual and extroverted. This does not mean her father abused her, but he put her mother down a lot, telling her she was ugly and unattractive.


The girl is now following an unconventional path because she doesn't want to become like her father's "image" of the ideal woman. Thus, Tomoko doesn't want to be locked in to a relationship or anything where a man can control her like her mother got controlled.


During her second year at the High School, she was elected as the 2nd year's class prepersentive. However, while she was gone sick for the rest of the year, her VP, took control of the council and now he holds the position over her head. This being her final year at the school, she wishes to find a way to "bitchslap" him.


While sick she was home schooled by her grandfather to make up for all the classes she missed.


Present Life: She joined track because she was bored one day and realized running was a fairly fun thing to do. However, those around her realize that deep down the real reason she likes to run is the sense of getting away from things. Tomoko has no desire to live as a pauper and this is the one way she feels that she can escape without hurting her family’s honor.


Tomoko currently lives with her grandfather, whom is a doctor at the local clinic. Since her parents travel around the world a lot for business, her grandfather felt it was better for her to live a "simple" life in this town. He's fairly liberal with her but is demanding that she keeps herself both mentally and physically healthy; hence why he asked the barkeep to let her work at the Cafe.


The star charm and the crescent glasses show her daydreaming nature - gazing at the stars and forgetting about her bleak reality. Even so, Tomoko tries to be enthusiastic, willing, and generally gets on with the job at her own speed -- which is usually fast.


Special Historic Notes: Her family travels around a lot. Long-distance travel to foreign places is one of the main interests of Tomoko. Though she prefers to "travel" in the world of literature or religion, but her travels have been far and wide.

King Rorthur
October 4th, 2011, 04:47 PM
Rei Yamaoka


GENERAL CHARACTER STATISTICS
Character Name: Rei Yamaoka in kanji: 山岡


Name Meaning: Rei means “friend"
Alias: Tomoko’s #1 Fangirl
Gender: Female
Species/Race: Human
Age: 17
B-Day: 8/26
Zodiac Sign: Virgo
Bloodtype: B+
Place of Birth: Nozomu City
Current Residence: Nozomu City
Occupation: High School student.
School/Grade: 2nd year student.
Family: N/A
Gemstone: opal


PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS


Height: 166cm


Hair: Brown, that extents to mid back. It is not kept in any real shape or fashion but it is is normally impeccably groomed.


Eyes: They are big and cheerful teal colored eyes.


Distinguishing Marks: None


General Appearance: Rei appears to neat and fastidious and has a pleasant, often quietly beautiful face. Her uniforms and clothing are typically clean and very neatly dressed. When not in uniform, she wears teal t-shirt and blue jeans.


Strengths: Rei is loyal and though, she has perseverance under extreme circumstances
.
Weaknesses: Rei is a nervous worrier. She's the type of friend who in some way helps feed the worries from others.


More: Weight: 542kg, Breast: 72 cm, Waist: 52 cm, Hips: 80 cm


MENTAL CHARACTERISTICS


Allies: Tomoko, and only Tomoko


Enemies: Anyone Tomoko dislikes.


Goal/Purpose: To cheer for her favorite track team member, Tomoko.


Aspirations: To be just like Tomoko.


Likes: Anything Tomoko does.


Dislikes: Anything Tomoko does.


Talents: gardening, health foods, flowers


Inabilities: Is a known hypochondriac.


Fears: Her own imperfections.


General Personality: Rei is witty and charming but a bit eccentric.


Inner Personality: Rei craves the opportunity to serve others and take charge of many apparently mundane matters that, collectively, are the bedrock of success.


Fondest Memory: Getting Tomoko to smile while she’s cheering for her.


Biggest Regret: Not being there when Tomoko got sick; although they didn’t know each other then.


Secret: Always has a camera hidden on her person. May or may not be a closet lesbian.


SPECIALTY CHARACTERISTICS


Special Items: Her digital camera.
Weapons: None
Magics: None


HISTORIC BACKGROUND


General History: Has been living in the city for most of her life. Nothing too interesting has happen thus far until she first met Tomoko on the track team…


Present Life: Rei more or less follows Tomoko around most places she goes during school, Tuesday nights, and weekends she has off from the Café. Some claim she is a stalker, others think she is just insane. Whenever someone askes Tomoko about her opinions about Rei, she just shrugs.
*****
Takeshi Hayashi


GENERAL CHARACTER STATISTICS


Character Name: Takeshi Ito
Name Meaning: Takeshi means "military, warrior" in Japanese
Alias: Park Police Man
Gender: Male
Species/Race: Human
Age: 23
B-Day: 1/23
Zodiac Sign: Aquarius
Bloodtype: A Negative
Place of Birth: Nozomu city
Current Residence: Nozomu city
Occupation: City Police
School/Grade: Graduated
Family: N/A
Gemstone: Onyx


PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS
Height: 190cm
Hair: Black, kept prim and proper for his duty.
Eyes: There is a distant, dreamy look in his grey eyes
Distinguishing Marks: Is rather scruffy under the chin.


General Appearance: Takeshi is taller than the average Japanese man. Often seen wearing his dark blue police uniform, complete with the kepi, he looks more like some military officer than a local police man. He stands in profile always noble with fine features.


Strengths: Takeshi is a quick thinker and has a high morale code for those around him. He does his job with great honor but will at times, rebel against commands and rules but comes to sensible conclusions when allowed to think things through for himself.


Weaknesses: One word, women. Although, not really a womanizer he wants to help every girl he sees that he deems needs protection. In doing so, he becomes eccentric and will do “manly” poses to make himself seem larger than life. Has a voyeuristic curiosity about people


More: Weight: 88 kg


MENTAL CHARACTERISTICS


Allies: Tomoko, the Barkeep, Tomoko’s Grandfather


Enemies: The gangs


Current Goal/Purpose: To catch that kid that keeps sleeping in the park after it closes to the public.


Aspirations: Strong belief in humane reforms, wishes one day to be police chief.


Likes: The Friendly Girls at the Café.


Dislikes: Those damn gangs.


Talents: clowning, juggling, witty comedy, local politics, shouting.


Inabilities: His mind is always working at lightning speed, so often he gets in a mental muddle and does weird things.


Fears: Spiders.


General Personality: Takeshi has an intense interest in people and will go out of his way to try and be friends with them, unless they are rude to him first.


Inner Personality: Takeshi is fair minded and has his own very strong, but personal, moral code. Has a big ego at times.


Fondest Memory: Eating the cheesecake at the Cafe.


Biggest Regret: Never having enough to give Tomoko or Kiku a tip.


Secret: Loves cheesecakes.


SPECIALTY CHARACTERISTICS


Special Items: Standard police gear.


Weapons: Has riot dress in case of issues bigger than local quarrels.


Magics: None


HISTORIC BACKGROUND


General History: Education was highly stressed in his police recruitment. Since he finished school, he trained for six months at the residential police academy . Upon completion of basic training, Takeshi was assigned to local police boxes. His is currently the one nearest to the park and Café.


Present Life: Takeshi lives in a small apartment nearest to his police box. It is currently staffed by three officers working in eight-hour shifts and he generally gets the night shifts. Takeshi has a intimate knowledge of his jurisdiction. He knows the names, ages, occupations, business addresses, and vehicle registration numbers of everyone under his watch. Takeshi has taken special note of the girls that work at the Café, just in case they need special attention in any emergency.


Special Historic Notes: Takeshi has been hanging out at the Café for the past three years and seems like he may be a regular without intending himself to be one.

*****
Hayato Kotonari


GENERAL CHARACTER STATISTICS
Character: Doctor Hayato Kotonari
Name Meaning: Hayati means “Falcon"
Alias: Tomoko’s Grandfather
Gender: Male
Species/Race: Human
Age: 64
B-Day: 10/ 22
Zodiac Sign: Libras
Bloodtype: O
Place of Birth: Tokyo
Current Residence: Nozomu City
Occupation: Medial Doctor
School/Grade: Finished
Family: Only family nearby is Tomoko.
Gemstone: Emerald


PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS


Height: 179cm


Hair: Greyish brown kept in a short professional manner.


Eyes: Hayato has dark blue eyes that seem to say he is diplomatic and professional.


Distinguishing Marks: Has a large mustache that would make one believe he is a Japanese version of Colonel Sanders.
General Appearance: He dresses with discrimination in subtle colors under his white lab coat. Always has a pen in his pocket and wears a bright red tie. Hayato has a handsome face for being as old as he is. As well, his build is graceful and clearly athletic.


Strengths: Always seems to know more about things than the average person.


Weaknesses: Tends to work for long periods of time, not realizing it half the time.


More: 90kg.


MENTAL CHARACTERISTICS


Allies: Tomoko, Barkeep


Enemies: None.


Goal/Purpose: To keep Tomoko healthy and happy; has been known to push for suitors for her.


Aspirations: Same as goals.


Likes: Listening to music, studying music history, playing an instrument in a group, such as string quartet or a jazz band, listening to poetry.


Dislikes: Sloppiness, especially in public, anyone insulting his grandchild.


Talents: Lavish with money, spending it on things that will bring happiness and a master in the art of romance.


Inabilities: Friends should never forget that the worst thing for him is to be left alone for too long. If this happens, he can become irritable and sulky, and they can lose their self-esteem.


Fears: Having Tomoko getting sick again.


General Personality: Hayato wants to make a visual impression that is appropriate to the task at hand, whether it be an international conference, a romantic assignation, or a day on the beach.


Inner Personality: Wants to keep his family happy and gives advice freely.


Fondest Memory: When Tomoko recovered from her sickness.


Biggest Regret: His son is not what he expected him to be.


Secret: Finds Rie very, very annoying.


SPECIALTY CHARACTERISTICS


Special Items: His blue pen and doctor gear.
Weapons: None
Magics: None


HISTORIC BACKGROUND


General History: Has been a professional doctor for many years now. He is in charge of a local clinic, though is often called to the larger hospitals in the region because of his skill. When Tomoko was sick with bronchial pneumonia, he stayed with her until she recovered. He then told her parents to keep her in Nozomu, under his watchful eye. Being friends with the Barkeep, he asked his old ally if she could work for him.


Present Life: Not much is currently happening for him, other making sure Tomoko keeps herself well.


Special Historic Notes: None.

Kotonoha
October 4th, 2011, 04:59 PM
So, you guys gave up on this?

King Rorthur
October 4th, 2011, 05:05 PM
No idea. One of the issues we had was that I think we were on all different mind lengths on where to begin and how everything was going to be organized.

Gaia
October 4th, 2011, 05:21 PM
Looks like you would have needed a slave driver a secretary a mum someone only to organize things. :p

King Rorthur
October 4th, 2011, 05:38 PM
*Gets the ball and chain ready for Gaia.*

Errrr....

KENTA
October 4th, 2011, 08:37 PM
So, you guys gave up on this?

More or less. It's hard to salvage something that never really took a form to begin with.

King Rorthur
October 4th, 2011, 11:50 PM
Not like we can't try again....I mean both Kenta and I have our stuff still around. Not sure if Verg has all of his girl's info or not.

While I loved the ambition we all displayed...Maybe we should be a little more realistic in terms of plots. Instead of seven girls...Maybe focus on four or five since that's easier to control and interconnect some plot ideas in the overall plot (I know not all VNs do that but it seems like a common staple). The other big thing is maybe limit the number of side characters? I think that this would help prevent the artists from fleeing as quickly as they did? I know from personal experience that drawing tons of characters can get tedious; though this does not apply to everyone.

Now, as the writing stories parts...You'll have to forgive me since I've done years of story telling; the best plots have 8 basic archetypes. If we limit the number of girls and side characters we can use this handy little chart to help us plot things easier:

1. Hero: The essence of the hero is not bravery or nobility, but self-sacrifice. The mythic hero is one who will endure separation and hardship for the sake of his clan. The hero must pay a price to obtain his goal. The hero's journey during a story is a path from the ego, the self, to a new identity which has grown to include the experiences of the story. This path often consists of a separation from family or group to a new, unfamiliar and challenging world (even if it's his own back yard), and finally a return to the ordinary, but now expanded, world. (Obviously Katsuo) The hero must learn in order to grow. Often the heart of a story is not the obstacles he faces, but the new wisdom he acquires, from a mentor, a lover, or even from the villain.

2. Mentor: The mentor is a character who aids or trains the hero. The essence of the mentor is the wise old man or woman. The mentor represents the wiser and more godlike qualities within us. The mentor's role may be to teach the hero. The mentor may occasionally be the hero's conscience, returning him to the right path after he strays or strengthening him when he weakens. The hero doesn't always appreciate this assistance, of course. (Would probably vary on plot.)

3.Threshold Guardian: The threshold guardian is the first obstacle to the hero in his journey. The threshold is the gateway to the new world the hero must enter to change and grow. (Daitaro, the gangs, the school peers, etc.)

4. Herald: The role of the herald is to announce the challenge which begins the hero on his story journey. The herald is the person or piece of information which upsets the sleepy equilibrium in which the hero has lived and starts the adventure. (Kat running away from home more or less fits this.)

5. Shapeshifter: The shapeshifter changes role or personality, often in significant ways, and is hard to understand. That very changeability is the essence of this archetype. The shapeshifter's alliances and loyalty are uncertain, and the sincerity of his claims is often questionable. This keeps the hero off guard. (Is generally the love interest who shows the hero the other side of things)

6. Shadow: The Shadow archetype is a negative figure, representing things we don't like and would like to eliminate. While the shadow is a negative force in the story, it's important to remember that no man is a villain in his own eyes. In fact, the shadow frequently sees himself as a hero, and the story's hero as his villain. (This depends on the plot.)

7. Trickster: The Trickster is a clown, a mischief maker. He provides the comedy relief that a story often needs to offset heavy dramatic tension. The trickster keeps things in proportion. They cut the hero or shadow down to size often times. They are very cunning and should not be underestimated. (also will vary on plot.)

Again these are just suggestions, if there is any interest in trying to bring back the project in the future.

Verg Avesta
October 5th, 2011, 04:15 AM
Guys? You remember how Makeruo was pedo for Nodoka? Those were good ol' times...

King Rorthur
October 5th, 2011, 09:35 AM
Indeed they were, Mr. Wolfie.

Kotonoha
October 5th, 2011, 09:50 AM
I remember when Rory was so obsessed with his character that it started getting annoying.

At least I think it was Rory.

King Rorthur
October 5th, 2011, 10:42 AM
I did like writing as the character, but wouldn't know about obsessed (I'm assuming you mean fixated). The character was ultimately given to a friend to use in one of her own projects.

Kotonoha
October 5th, 2011, 10:49 AM
It was Tomoko, right? EVEN IN YOUR MILK-UNRELATED SEVENTH THREADS, TO-MO-KO




(If there was one thing that bugged me about this project, although I didn't really say much about it since you guys already had so much underway and I wasn't involved anyway, it was the "let's make it JAPANESE!" thing that every English-language VN project has.)

King Rorthur
October 5th, 2011, 11:08 AM
Me with my own threads, since when?
Well besides for the posts in which other members were beaten up or maimed...But that's pretty standard. :neco_arc:

Kotonoha
October 5th, 2011, 11:09 AM
Not your own threads, it was a FOE reference :V

King Rorthur
October 5th, 2011, 11:12 AM
I'm just going to assume that's some sorta video game reference. :saber:

StardustReverie
October 5th, 2011, 11:15 AM
Even in the 7th, FOE!

KENTA
October 6th, 2011, 08:41 PM
Every 3 days, FOE!