Sunday, April 9, 2017

Alternation




“Look out!”

“H-huh?”

A young lad around his teens hurriedly rescued the little girl with a funny hat. They ran into the hallways of the deserted school, panicking and grasping for air as they ran. Hoards of undead school staff and students had been lurking around, trying to get their hands on the two. They got to hid in a classroom that didn’t have any intruders.

“Are you okay?” asked the guy, kneeling and checking on the girl.

“Nu-uh.” The innocent girl blushed but tried to conceal it. “What are we running from? And who are you?”

“Uhm…” The young lad introduced himself as Yoo Minhyuk, who happened to suddenly awaken in this strange yet dangerous place, and that they are being chased by zombies.

The girl, who introduced herself as Yuki Takeda, said that she has no memories.


“All I could remember was my name,” Yuki told Minhyuk, dusting off her hat and wearing it again in a snug fit over her pink hair. “What’s that in your hand?”

Minhyuk looked at the crowbar he picked up from a while ago.

“Oh this? I just found it. If ever someone tried to hurt us, I’ll protect you, okay?”

“Okay…thank you!” Yuki smiled. “But I don’t have any weapon…” then Yuki frowned and looked around for something, but did not find any.

Before they can move forward, yet another group of the undead started gaining at them from one of the hallways. It turned out that they are being surrounded with no exit options left. Minhyuk started panicking, but Yuki was still clueless.

“Why would they want to hurt us?” Yuki smiled innocently, but was kind of sweating. “T-they’re students in the school, right?”

“I know…that’s why I don’t want to hurt them…they might be your-”

One of them jumped over to Minhyuk, pinning him to the floor, while another took Yuki by her right arm. Minhyuk felt helpless, but deep inside him, there’s a switch that has been flipped.

“…outta my way, monsters.”

With brute strength, Minhyuk’s aura changed as he pushed away the one who took him down with a lot of force and picked up his crowbar once again (that he had dropped when he was attacked). Ensuring that he wasn’t bitten, he quickly smashed the skulls of all those who tried to grab a hold of precious Yuki with a pair of cold hands and stern eyes that focused on each attack. Yuki became dead scared, but tried to control herself, as blood splattered into her cheeks.

After the elimination scene, Minhyuk turned to the poor girl he saved. He tried to wipe away the blood from Yuki’s face but Yuki backed away in fright.

“Y-you’re not the Minhyuk…that I talked to recently…”

Minhyuk smiled.

“Correct. How perceptive. I’m his ‘other’, if you may call me.”

This ‘other’ Minhyuk, who introduced himself as ‘Red’, explained to Yuki that he only switches over his ‘host’ whenever he feels scared or helpless.

Yuki then turned around to talk to someone – her teacher.

“Oh, hello, Megu-nee! This is my friend, Minhyuk! He rescued me!”

But Minhyuk, or rather Red, didn’t see anyone.

“Megu-nee says that she wants to thank you for saving me!” Yuki smiled.

Red assumed that this ‘Megu-nee’ is either an imaginary friend of Yuki, or perhaps a deceased or faraway teacher. He decided to play along and say ‘hi’ to the teacher, and told her that he will look after Yuki for a while, since ‘Megu-nee’ had something to take care of, according to Yuki.

“So you do have memories after all,” Red knew the entire conversation as he was listening from the back of Minhyuk’s consciousness.

“Well, Megu-nee is someone I can’t ever forget!” Yuki smiled as they went along, trying to find an exit from the school or a safe place to hide in.

Red decided to stay in defense for a while until they have found a safe haven and Minhyuk agreed at the back of his mind.

Meanwhile, another zombie attack occurred, and they were cornered in the school paper room. With a brave but tactical mind, Red breaks the window and safely took Yuki in his back while jumping from roof to roof.

They ended up near the gym, being cornered once again.

“Stop right there!”

A girl with a long beautiful hair that shone a periwinkle shade of blue entered the scene and cut through the attackers with her unique and sophisticated but deadly butterfly knife. With yet another blood feast upon Yuki’s eyes, she trembles yet again, but is comforted by Red, who knew just how innocent she is.

The girl immediately saw the two and ran away with them, deep into the gym’s innermost locker room, which led to a secret shortcut to a science lab. They took refuge there for a while as Red and the girl assessed each other for damage.

“My name is Blanche. At least, that’s what they call me. Glad I made it in time,” the girl said, folding her bloody butterfly knife back into her pocket.

“Thanks for saving us, we owe you one. This is Yuki Takeda. She’s easily scared and kind of eccentric but she needs all the help she can get.”

“And you are…?”

“…”

Red looked at Blanche’s eyes. They were amusing and just as cold and stern as his.

“You must be like me, aren’t you?” Red chuckled. “See, this body isn’t mine. They call me ‘Red’, and my host is Yoo Minhyuk. Is ‘Blanche’ you or your host?”

“That’s the name of this body…my ‘host’ if you call it that way,” the girl replied. “But since I don’t have a name, please call me Blanche for now.”

Yuki now started talking to herself again, but with an unclear person – maybe perhaps just murmuring to herself. Red and Blanche were busy getting to know each other that they didn’t notice or hear enough what Yuki told herself, but she seemed irritated and was arguing with herself in some way.

Blanche rushed to hug and comfort Yuki, who had tears in her eyes for making herself sad in some way due to the self-talk.

“There there…” Blanche took of Yuki’s hat and brushed her short hair with her slim right hand. “Things must’ve been rough for you, huh?”

Yuki noticed some stars tattooed on Blanche’s shoulder. She didn’t dare to ask, but she thought in her mind that they were pretty, colorful and creative. Red also proceeded to tell Blanche about Yuki’s memory loss, and her ‘teacher’ that they conversed to recently.

Blanche tagged along with Red and Yuki as they ventured once again into an open field, trying to stay away from the undead. They ended up near the track and field part of the school after being chased through by their predators.

There were so many this time that all of them were too busy. Yuki wanted to help, but she was told to hide behind a tree so as not to get hurt as the two ‘grown-ups’ took care of things.

However, Blanche was pushed to a plant box quite hard by one of the undead students, who cornered her with a hungry and feisty look. Blanche gulped in terror at the sight of the student, who had a familiar hairstyle and set of eyes. Her own stern eyes were replaced by the ones from her original ‘host’ – pure and innocent, like Yuki’s.

Blanche could not move an inch, as if she saw a horrible ghost.

“L….”

“La….”

Yuki was scared and debating whether or not she should enter the scene. However, Blanche was about to be attacked and Red was too busy being cornered by a big hoard of ‘monsters’.

“Please don’t hurt me, Lam!” Blanche screamed, closing her eyes, hoping it’s painless.

Not knowing it, Yuki had actually stepped into battle and killed Blanche’s attacker with a blood-like sword that came out of nowhere from her hand.

Yuki then turned to the scared Blanche, who kept uttering the name ‘Lam’. Yuki wondered who this girl is and proceeded to ask her.

“I-I’ll tell you later…we have to fight!”

Blanche and Yuki then turned to the suffering Red in battle to ward off the rest of the student zombies. However, they are still all too strong and plentiful in numbers. Meanwhile, they started fainting one by one for no reason, emitting a black aura from their mouths.

There was a guy who wore black and floated behind them, holding out his hands to manipulate the undead with his own will. He took down so many at once.

As they made their escape into a forest trail behind the school, they rested for a while and made introductions to each other. The guy in black introduced himself.

“I don’t have a real name, but you can call me Stiles, or Dylan, or Nogitsune, or Thomas – whichever you like.”

“Hmm…I think Stiles would be my favorite. Let’s go with it.” Red suggested, and everyone else agreed.

Blanche then told her side of the story.

“Lam is…my friend. She sacrificed herself so that I could live. She agreed to have a head transplant with me without my permission, as I was unconscious during our accident. The ‘Blanche’ you talked to earlier is my ‘other’ self…the ‘Lam’ I created in my head to make me feel less guilty about it.”

“Sounds like me, huh?” Red chuckled once again. “Minhyuk, my ‘host’, casted away all of his hatred towards his family, his suffering from his mother and siblings, onto me. This is so that he would remain innocent because he loved his family so much. I took all of that hatred, and so I was born to finally end it all.”

“That’s rather interesting,” Stiles said in a dorky but seemingly sinister way. “The Nogitsune once took over me, prompting me to kill all of my friends with this strange power, because they all neglected me whenever I was in trouble. But that’s in the past now – I still have some of this power but I’m using it under my terms.”

When Yuki heard all of their stories involving ‘other’ selves, she started talking to herself once again – this time, she’s shouting something and Red could hear it.

“You’re nothing! You’re not as special as them! You don’t belong here!”
“No! I…I have something!”
“Y-you don’t even have a weapon, now do you?”
“Shut up! She helped me, okay! Everyone’s helping me!”
“You’re just using us…”
“No, I’m not!”

Red turned to Stiles. “What does she mean, ‘using us’ in context?”

Blanche, as her real self (the host of the body), tried to comfort Yuki and calm her down with reassuring positive words. “Yuki summoned a blood-like weapon recently. Much later on, she summoned another weapon that looked like a fancy sword that resembles a key.”

Stiles decided to hold out his hand onto Yuki’s face, but not touching it. A holographic image went above Yuki’s head as she calmed down and tried to wipe her tears away. Images of girls with weapons were seen in her head from the holographic display.

“This girl, Yuki, might have ‘borrowed’ weapons from other people from other dimensions and worlds. In fact, she might be the one who unknowingly brought us together, since I believe we’re not of the same universe here.” Stiles assessed the imagery everyone saw.

“Now I understand why she’s too reluctant to fight,” Red sighed.

“She didn’t want to ‘borrow her friends’ powers’ because she had none on her own. How sad.” Blanche kept on comforting Yuki as they kept walking into the forest. “Don’t worry, Yuki. I’m sure you’ll find your own weapon someday. It just takes some time, okay?”

“I believe in you.” Yuki smiled.

“You need to believe in yourself, not just in others.” Red smiled at him. “Alright?”

“Okay…!” Yuki smiled once again and happily went with the group.

“So now that’s settled,” Stiles interrupted. “I’m looking for someone. Do you know a guy named Minho?”

Red’s eyes suddenly lost its sternness as he switched back to Minhyuk. Yuki noticed the change in his eyes and personality.

“That’s my big bro’s name! You two know each other?”

“Hmm…what does your big bro look like?” Stiles asked.

Minhyuk then proceeded to pick up his cell phone and showed a picture of Yoo Minho, his bossy big brother who had glasses.

“Uhm…I’m afraid that’s not the Minho I knew. This Minho is a little chubby and had no glasses. He had a different hairstyle, but he’s a really nice friend. I’m looking for him because an organization named WICKED took him away.”

“Oh…” Minhyuk scratched his head as they moved along, seeing a bright light at the end of the forest. “My bad. ‘Minho’ is quite a common Korean name, I guess.”

The group had made it past the forest and ended up in a dump site.

Upon arrival, there were two Korean guys who were also in the dump site.

“Minho!” both Stiles and Minhyuk found who they were looking for.

However, as they approached the two Minhos, a bunch of holographic walls appeared and divided all of them individually. Yuki was trapped in the middle, crying in despair.

“Fools!” A white-haired man with dark skin appeared in front of them, on the very top of the dumpsite mountain. He was the one who summoned the traps to keep them all divided and in despair. None of them could break out.

“Try as you may, but you cannot break through these walls.” The man kept on strengthening the walls with his magic as everyone else tried to break free but to no avail. Not even the alters of Blanche and Minhyuk, who had switched over and combined their strengths with their hosts, could break free. Stiles was rendered unconscious due to the strange man’s magic.

“Xemnas…!” Yuki recognized him from the memories of the fancy-looking ‘keyblade’ she wielded earlier, that was from another universe. “Why did you come here in this world? What are you after?

“You…Yuki Takeda…you’re a thief. Stealing powers from another world is against the laws of nature and harmony.”

Yuki then knelt down and cried. She slapped and punched herself in the face while cursing herself with negative words because of her heavy guilt.

“I…have no powers…they all have ‘alters’…they all have weapons…magic…telekinesis…I have nothing…I have no memories…I have no real friends…”

“I have nothing…”

Yuki fell unconscious.

Inside her mind, she was taken into an abysmal emptiness but it was surrounded with slightly colorful lights. A triangular-shaped figure was seen in the horizon. Yuki knew its name because of her ties to the other worlds.

“Bill Cipher…what are you doing here?”

Bill is one of her ‘friends’ inside her mind. In fact, all of her ‘friends’ are actually people from other universes, but she still sees them as her imaginary friends.

“It would seem that the only way for you to save others is to unlock your memories, huh?”

Yuki gulped in nervousness and anxiety.

“I’m ready to face everything. I’ll do what it takes to save the friends I currently have now.”

“Are you sure?” Bill let out a sad but reassuring tone. “If you do this then there’s no turning back, okay? Are you ready to regain your memories again?”

“Yes…I just…”
“…don’t want to lose more friends anymore.”

Indeed, Yuki started remembering her past again – the past in which her friends had been separated from her, and that her teacher died. She does not know if these friends are still alive, but she’s always been haunted by the fact that they could be dead due to the long time passing that they weren’t there in the school at all.

In fact, she didn’t really have amnesia – she purposely hid her past so that she would not be haunted by them at all, much like Blanche and Minhyuk. It would seem that she on her own is an ‘other’ to herself by hiding her painful memories just to survive.

Suddenly, she remembered one last memory.

While one classmate, Kurumi, was missing, she bravely snuck out of their hideout and took a baseball bat from a classroom and attempted to save her. She ultimately failed but Kurumi still survived anyway and was thankful that she tried to save her from being one of the undead.

“Finally…a weapon…”

Breaking out of the illusion, Yuki wakes up and finally summons a baseball bat – the one she took to save her dear friend Kurumi from the zombies.

“Xemnas…THIS is my weapon!”

“Perfect…” Xemnas smiled. “But can you break through my defenses?”

Yuki slammed the baseball bat as hard as she can along with Blanche and Minhyuk (and their ‘other’ sides). The shattering of the barrier walls also woke up Stiles, so he contributed into using his powers to attempt to break and lift the walls. They ultimately did it in the end.

However, Xemnas already exited the scene with the parting words:

“Farewell, Yuki. You have done well. I’m sure HE is proud of you.”

Yuki smiled.


After all of the fuss, the two Minhos then proceeded to reunite with their respective friends and family. Beyond the dump site, Yoo Minho states that there is a refuge that they can all rest in for the while.

There’s a cottage that has a big enough space for all of them. While all of them settle in, Minhyuk went outside for some fresh air. He saw a familiar person in a lab coat. Beside him was a guy who seemed older than him, but not too old.

“Chief Choi!” Minhyuk was surprised, such that he switched over to his ‘Red’ personality. “Well well…what brings you here?”

“This is Cha Do-hyun,” Chief Choi introduced the guy who is with him. “Right now, he is under the control of his ‘other’ named Shin Se-gi, who’s just as rough as you are, ‘Red’. I think you two will get along~!”

“Pleased to be your acquaintance, Subject 001.” Se-gi, who had cold and stern eyes like Red, shook hands with Choi’s subject.

“Oh, I’m very pleased already!” Red let out a psychotic but firm smile.

The two ‘others’ went back to the direction of the dumpsite mountain and had some crazy talk with each other. Chief Choi went back to his car and drove off somewhere. Blanche and Yuki, who wore aprons and went outside for a while pausing their food prep, looked at the two and then smiled.

THE END…?

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