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Old 07-01-2010, 12:00 PM
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Default [WAR] Waiting Games

Important note: |Dialogue| means telepathic speech. This is considered normal. Thank you.

So, I don't know how this turned out... the main problem is probably that it's confusing, since the characters and the world have already been created independently of this, and I don't know what kind of a job I did introducing them. It's like I've written a fanfic of my own work, which is basically what I did, and unfortunately nobody here has read the original work >w>;; So that's what I'm blaming the epicfail on. Without further ado...

Waiting Games

“It is prophesied that when the end comes, it will come in darkness: a catastrophe all foresaw but few believed. Most of us will battle too late against the chaos, but not the few, the radical few, who obey no discipline. Unencumbered by conscience, they prepare ruthlessly pursuing their own preservation. If they survive, the rest of us perish.” - Millennium

Side A

My name is Shiromoto Kohaku. I’m seventeen years old and I died two weeks ago. Yep, you heard me—I hate to break tradition, but this story starts with my death. At the moment I’m buried six feet under. You may be wondering how someone like me came to die; that’s exactly what I’m here to tell you.

I was also the last survivor of my kind, a tribe of white wolf-shifters called Shiromoto. The rest of them were ghosts. About a month and a half ago I was forcefully moved from my childhood home across the sea to the west to Shiromoto-mura (Shiromoto Village), where I was officially inaugurated as the tribe’s alpha. Times were hard; the tribe was at war with a neighboring pack and strange new demons had invaded all the lands east of our island home. Worst of all, a strange epidemic was ravaging our country; first came the nightmares, then the insomnia, then the coma, then death.

Conveniently, this was all happening at a time when the apocalypse was prophesized to occur.

A month ago, my guardian, mentor, closest friend, and protector, Jin, died. He was also my adopted father, although our relationship was not that of a typical father and son. Jin was old, and he was increasingly sick; in the end, he committed seppuku.

I was assassinated by our enemies. The day I died, I took the truth to my grave—that our whole war had been a misunderstanding from the start. They blamed our tribe for a massacre in theirs, when really, it had been a band of rogues who murdered them. It was too late, though; I was the last of the Shiromoto tribe, and I was dead.

At the same time, the demons started arriving on our shore. My burial was quick. Most of the tribe fled west, as did the majority of the population. Only a few stayed behind to perform the necessary rituals, and most of those ended up being destroyed not long after. Life as a ghost is not really as easy as you would think; once your soul is destroyed, it’s gone for good.

In fact, I don’t think any of them made it.

The world ended on a Monday. No one was really surprised. The land I was born and raised on had become a desolate wasteland; the sky was gray, and every so often the sky rained ash. There was not a sign of life. More importantly for me, our spirit world’s system failed. The gates between the upper and lower planes of existence had closed. I could not move onto the afterlife, nor could I be a proper ghost; I was stuck to my body.

So I waited. Waited for someone, anyone, to come along.

Still, I wait…

Last edited by Hakken; 07-01-2010 at 11:47 PM.
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Old 07-01-2010, 12:04 PM
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Default Re: [WAR] Waiting Games

Side B

I first knew I was seeing the future when I looked down and found that I had no solid form. Well, finding out that you don’t really exist is generally a pretty good indicator that something has changed; however, I had honestly never been in this situation before. Whenever I shifted time, I always saw through the eyes of one of my predecessors or another version of myself. Here, I was simply a ghostly silhouette…

So even I, the prophet, hadn’t survived.

My nails bit painfully into my palm with my hands tightly furled into fists, my knuckles paper white; I realized that I was holding onto something then. Slowly I untangled my fingers to reveal a burned and bloodstained piece of a photograph. I recognized the picture immediately. It was my family, during a day at the beach, not too long ago...

We’d been a family of four, Nomura-san and I, as well as our two adopted children. We’d lived in a large home in a small, quiet village, nestled in between the mountains and the sea, far away from the wars in the east…

I stuffed it into my pocket, glancing up to see a snow-capped mountain looming over me on the silvery horizon. I suddenly recalled what had happened here, as if it had all happened already. With the monsters invading from the east, they’d all fled west, leaving their sick and wounded to die. There had been many sick. In the end, the nightmare epidemic had spread like wildfire, claiming more Shikokians than any other disease in history. Those who evaded illness were murdered by the demons that flooded the land or killed in the wars that sprung up everywhere.

Slowly, I climbed up the mountain, enveloped in complete silence as I trotted through the unbroken snow. The once-grand Shiroiyama (Mount Shiroi) had taken on an almost sacred stillness, as if in mourning. Although snow fell, mixed with frozen ash, I wasn’t at all cold—it was an unusual sensation. Any exposed part of my body was smudged with dull gray.

From the corner of my vision, I caught a glimpse of a single amber-hued wildflower sticking out from the snow and braving the elements, like a small tongue of flame burning underwater. The only sign of life up this whole mountain. For a moment I simply stood, watching it fight, before I plucked it from the ground. (To my own surprise, my hand actually did not go right through it. It’d been a while since I’d been dead and I wasn’t used to the specifics.)

It wouldn’t have survived anyway. It couldn’t.

Finally, I came upon the entrance to the remains of the mountain city, Shiromoto-mura (Shiromoto Village). The city was surrounded by two fences with the clan graveyard in between, theoretically protecting the inhabitants. Much of it had been ravaged—trampled and broken by demons. A single grave stood out from the rest; it was large and prominent, yet simultaneously crude as if done in a hurry, and it looked considerably fresher than any of the others. Without taking another step, I knew whose grave it was. Why him? I approached it.

As expected, it read:

Shiromoto Kohaku Hajime,
Sixty-fourth alpha
Died Age 17—Rest In Peace

I respectfully touched my young son’s gave with one hand, searching my pocket for the photograph with the other. He’d only ruled the Shiromoto tribe for a few short months…

Exactly how had he died? Was it quick and painless? Was he asleep? Or… did he suffer for a long time, sprawled out on some battlefield? Who had died first, me or him?

How about after that? Had he been given the proper ceremonies? Or had the rest of them deserted him as they ran for their lives, with a few staying behind to bury him as quickly as possible?

The most likely answer to those questions…

I placed the brave flower and the picture as an offering at the base of the stone before sitting beside it, slumping back and waiting for the vision to be over, to go back to present time, at least several months ago. All dreams have to end.


I’d fallen asleep at Kohaku’s grave, and when I opened my eyes, I was greeted by a strange yet familiar half-black half-white house cat. I recognized him as the ancient spirit Kokutan—as I’d only recently learned, my father. The first thing I noticed was that the snow under him had turned an even crimson color—then I realized that he wasn’t half-and-half at all. The black side of him had begun to conquer the white side. He was more like three-quarters black now.

|You always seem to pop up at the worst time,| the feline mused, his voice clear in my mind, despite his body being obviously weak. |…Son,| he added.

|It isn’t my choice,| I said telepathically. My father looked pretty damn ravaged himself. He lay in the snow, as still as the rest of the scenery, bleeding from a wound I couldn’t see. |Of all things, why do you choose to be a cat?|

|I like cats,| Kokutan responded simply. He sighed, his flank sharply rising and falling, his eyes trained on the flame-like flower still laying on the grave. |There is no longer any balance here. This world is dying.|

I was silent. It was true, of course. There was no life and ash rained from the sky.

|I have a message,| he went on, |From your son there. He can hear us, but he’s unable to appear. He wants you to know that souls aren’t passing correctly between the planes. The gates are closed.| Kokutan faltered a bit and stopped speaking. |He’s tethered to his body here.|

I processed that for a moment. He was… here? I found myself looking around, wishing to see him, but he was nowhere to be found. Was my son really sitting right next to me?

|He’s there,| Kokutan promised weakly. |He sees you.|

How long has he been waiting? Kohaku— |Because of the nature of time,| I said, |All things have already happened. If I could change this... create an alternate path…|

|Maybe you can,| the cat suggested. |Which time did you jump from?|

|Before the demons moved to the west. It was just before his seventeenth birthday.|

The ancient spirit paused, thinking. |That was three years ago.|

Kohaku had been waiting here for nearly three years, then? The boy had been only seventeen. That was a damned long time. |Let me go back.|

|Give it your best effort, Jin. Warn everybody. On their current path, this is their future.|

I closed my eyes, to go back to where I’d come from, merely three years ago…

Only three years had passed.

Last edited by Hakken; 07-01-2010 at 06:24 PM.
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