Brandon was silent and followed all the others, still pretty confused what happened to him. He was behind all of them, looked pretty bad, and didn't know what to do. After a little walk, he just noticed that... He doesn't know where he lives. He doesn't even know is doing in this weird country.
"U... Mm...", Brandon tried to talk, but had problems with it.
Dino twitched as the racist caricature appeared on the screen.
"Son of a bitch!" he yells out and kicks the over-sized marble. He growls menacingly at it, and forces his attention away from the blackface and onto Tomoe.
"Hey, girl, you did..." he paused and shifted uncomfortably, then continued: "You did well tonight." He looked up thoughtfully. Come to think of it, he didn't even know these people's names. Did they introduce themselves earlier? He couldn't even remember. "What's...ah...what's your name?" He turned and looked at Koi and Naomi, Saigo, and finally Brandon. An idea popped into his head.
"Alright, can I get all of your names and phone numbers? Dis whole mess showed me that we'll probably need to get better at using all of dis shit. We should get better if we practice togeder."
Dino didn't like the prospect of becoming a leader, but these people did not seem to coordinate themselves very well. He had grown fond of the girl he had initially distrusted, so he figured maybe he might be able to get at least her out alive if he did take charge. He realized that one of the younger people was standing in the back, stuttering and looking worried. "What's up, buddy?"
Deciding that putting his gun in his holster would be too open, considering how he only has pants to wear over his suit this time around Koi opts to place his gun in his pocket, and leave, just before going to the door he stops long enough to give the advice "For those who came into this today; it's probably a good idea to not speak of this to anyone, after all we dont want someone pulling a houdini from a psych ward....."pausing a moment more to then give his name to the guy "Koi, but don't bother with the number for me, don't have a cell and the last thing I need is my parents asking who all the weird people are...... We'll meet when we appear here again, and if we survive the next round then I can give you more info, till then." Koi raises his hand as a farewell and leaves for the door, though he didn't like leaving with just that, and would gladly have given a contact he just realistically didn't have time, his Parents would have noticed his dissappearance by now and if they saw him in this get up would have a field day trying to pick up any information from him, something he feared the barrage of questions would make him slip, and frankly he wasnt goign to even try to find out what the consequences if any were going to befall him if he did so. Now the real problem is how do I sneak in without them noticing me like this...
Last edited by Hadou; 03-27-2008 at 09:15 PM.
She stared at Koi for most of the time, didn't really try to cover her bad feelings about being close to this guy who had blown half her limbs off. But he didn't seem to notice her behaviour, or even her existance. It couldn't have been such a hard experience for him, if he could forget about it that easily. From the corner where she stood, she was unable to see what had been written about her on the black ball, didn't see the caricature of herself and would have been glad about it, if she had known about it. But that way the first thing she sensed, apart from Koi's disinterest, was Tomoe, offering Naomi to walk her home. She was relieved, nodded and said "Thank you" in English. After two seconds, she realised that last thing and corrected herself in Japanese:
"I mean, thank you. Thank you for helping me."
She paused for another few seconds, then began:
"Would you... Well, would you mind..."
But she was interrupted by the tall black man, who spoke first to Tomoe, then asked everybody for their names and phone numbers. She turned towards him and said a bit hesitatingly:
"My name is... is Naomi Kimamoto."
It took her some effort to simply trust those people she did barely knew for two hours. Tomoe was the exception in this. But maybe it was about this exception, or about almost being killed, or risking her life together with these people, anyway she slowly walked towards her clothes, lying at the wall on the other side of the room, searched the pockets for her cell phone, a plain gray one, and told them their numbers, both of her apartement's phone and her cell phone. She had nothing to write on, so she repeated both numbers three times slowly, so that they would be able to remember them.
Then Naomi stood up and put her clothes on, over the black overall. She had seen what it could do. She had noticed about the power and protection Tomoe had had. It hadn't been able to protect her from being shot, but she felt stronger, though. When she wore her clothing, she walked towards the ball, remembering what Tomoe did minutes prior, and took one of the x-shaped guns and one sword. Naomi wasn't even able to tell why she did, but she wanted to leave this room with something at hand to protect herself.
After that, she came back to Tomoe and went on where the black man had interrupted her:
"Would you mind... maybe staying over for some tea? Um... Of course, you don't have to, if you don't want to..."
She couldn't help but blush from asking this woman such a silly question, something sounding as normal as inviting her for tea. But though its silly sound, she was very serious about it.
Tomoe slightly tilted her head in Dino's direction since formal bows made her feel even more awkward than normal.
"Tomoe Shimada. I don't have a cell phone. Besides, my work schedule is all over the place so I don't know if I can make it anyway." It sounded like a reasonable excuse and better than the truth that even though she considered these people as friends she wasn't fond of spending extra time with them.
Then Naomi asked her to join her for tea and once again weaved through her anti-social tendencies.
"...That sounds good."
Tomoe turned back to Dino. "Last time we had some survivors that didn't make it to the second mission. Anything can happen in between now and the next time we come here. I suggest enjoying your free time as much as possible."
Just like the ending of her first mission, leaving the room made the outside world look even more beautiful.
"This is why I'm never going to leave this place, Naomi." Tomoe said while smiling and taking in the view of Tokyo tower from the stairs outside the room. "Coming so close to death just makes life that much better. Not having to kill or die makes even the tedium of everyday life enjoyable. If getting points means I'll leave then I don't care if I ever score another point."
She took the first few steps down the stairs of the apartment and waited for Naomi to lead her.
The prospect of the next mission was even more terrifying than usual, but it was that terror that Tomoe thrived on in the time in-between.
Naomi followed Tomoe silently. It didn't even matter to her, that the tall man hadn't told them, or at least her, his name yet. She was sure that, if he called, she would recognize his voice. But she wasn't that sure if she was going to meet him, if nobody else did. In fact, she wasn't willing to meet any of these people again, if not together with Tomoe. She never met her before this evening, but though she felt more connected to her than to anybody else in Tokyo. Maybe because nobody else put that much effort into her, Naomi's, survival. Maybe because nobody else, not her closest friends, would have gone through all this mess alive, and would have started to panik a long time before the end. Or maybe because she had been there when she needed somebody to be around her, at the beginning, before the mission.
It didn't matter why she felt that way about this woman. More important was that Tomoe decided to stay with her for some time, maybe an hour or so, though she didn't have to, though she could simply walk away, live her life and don't care about her. It made Naomi so glad that she couldn't help but smile. But only until they were outstairs, when Tomoe started to talk, looking at Tokyo Tower while doing so. She became serious and listened carefully. She stayed silent and took the lead when Tomoe stepped aside to let her pass. But then she murmured, loud enough for her to hear:
"You know... I didn't think I'd survive tonight. I thought two times that I'd die. It felt the same way both times. Like I'd lose my consciousness and simply never wake again. And both times I woke up in this room. I was happy, I think. But now that I think of it, I wished both times that I had died. That I wouldn't have to think about now, when we're leaving the room. When we are going to meet normal people again. When I will go to bed at home, lying awake the whole night because I can't help but think about the guns, the aliens, the people who died and what happened to me, before I went to that room."
Tears started to run down her cheeks, while she went on:
"I want to talk about this. I want to talk about everything that happened, because otherwise my brain is going to blow, my mind will collapse and I'll break down. I'd like to scream, to run through the streets of Tokyo and scream, search for people I can kill with the two weapons in my hands, so that somebody will notice the pain in me. But I already killed innocent people. I saw them blowing into pieces the same way my arm and leg did. And... I don't know, what I am going to do. I don't know how I can manage to live like nothing happened."
She stopped, looking to the ground, still crying, and whispered:
"It would have been so much easier, if I had died. So much easier for everybody."
"Live like nothing happened? I guess if you score a hundred points you can do that but what's the point?"
Tomoe gestured to the normal people walking through the midnight streets of Tokyo without the vaguest notion of how many people had died that night.
"Look at them...we're not like that anymore. Most haven't come close to death while you've beaten it twice. We know for certain how fragile we are since we've died before. For me, that's what makes it worth going forward."
She hated dealing with crying people. It ratcheted up the awkwardness a million times over.
Tomoe made several aborted attempts to touch Naomi but finally managed to set her hand on the crying girl's shoulder on the fourth attempt.
She wasn't used to touching people either.
"Next time...I'll need you. You make me feel strong."
During a moment of sentiment and raw emotion Tomoe decided to duck out of the moment by stepping into a convience store and buying each of them an onigiri. It was almost enough to make her wish for another alien attack. At least she knew how to handle those.
Last edited by Sidharthavicious; 03-28-2008 at 02:21 PM.
Naomi shuddered slightly when Tomoe touched her, but didn't seem to react to anything else. She took the onigiri Tomoe gave her, but still just stared at the ground. Then, after several minutes of silence, she finally said:
"I... I just would have wished to die less painful, less disgusting. Fast, maybe without even noticing it. Not... Not with the feeling of being helpless, just being a toy."
She sounded pitiful. But her right hand clenched around the sword, and that powerful, that her whole hand was covered with a black peel of veins and muscles, without her noticing. The tears didn't stop, but when she went on, her voice had changed: There was even more bitterness in it.
"What was the point in taking all these goddamn lessons in karate through all these years, if three assholes could take, tie and rape me that easily? Why do all men tend to be sexistic?"
Tomoe purposely crammed her mouth with her onigiri so she couldn't say the first stupid thing that popped into her mind. She took her time to chew, swallow and think about how to measure her words carefully to talk to an emotionally scarred girl.
Then she said the first stupid thing that popped into her head.
"Tell you what...if hell's capsule toy doesn't kill us before and we survive the next outing we can go find those guys and kill them."
When she thought about her words and how idly she said them Tomoe momentarily questioned her very humanity. She thought of stories she had heard about how taking a life was a deep and utterly destructive experience and wondered just why she had taken to it with an ease that sometimes frightened her.
Tomoe stopped in her tracks and for once found herself more uncomfortable with being alone with her thoughts than being with someone else.
"I...need to go. I have something to think about. Sorry." She turned and began to head home but paused.
"Naomi...the people inside the room and the people outside aren't equal. You shouldn't confuse one with the other. Nevermind. You shouldn't listen to me. I'm crazy. Bye."
Last edited by Sidharthavicious; 03-29-2008 at 09:27 PM.
Kill them..., it echoed in her mind, between the walls of her skull. Kill them... No, it wasn't like Tomoe had put this thought, this idea, this plan inside her. It had already been there. Its seed had been there from the very moment on, when she had woken up in the room. It had time to develope during the 'mission'. It had started to grow, when they left the room. But Tomoe's words now rolled the stone aside that was lying between Naomi's eyes and the plant, so she could see it and admit its existence. It was exactly, what she wanted. She wanted to kill them. For an instant, all her fear was washed away by mere bloodlust and the desire for revenge. But it popped like a bubble, when Tomoe turned around and started walking away. Within fractions of a seconds, panic flooded back into her head.
"Wait!", Naomi yelled after Tomoe. "Please, don't go yet! I..."
Her voice faded and became a whisper.
"I don't want to be alone."