Nothing but a Broken Man - Momentary Hiatus

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ThoughtLock
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Nothing but a Broken Man - Momentary Hiatus

Post by ThoughtLock » Mon May 14, 2012 3:58 am

Prologue

Arrival

“Isn't it nice, Hayate? We'll have the weekend to ourselves! Just you, me and the wilderness. Have you ever been camping before?”

A bright smile. That's all I can ever remember distinctly. Her smile. I struggle to see past the fog in my mind, to see her features once and for all, but they shift and fade, leaving behind a smile and the sweet sound of her voice.

“I'm dreaming again,” I tell myself. She smiles once more.

“Indeed you are.”

I grimace.

“Is it at all possible for you to stop smiling? I know this is a dream and all, but it's starting to creep me out.”

She frowns. Her blurry eyes look downward. If I could see more of her face, I would say she looked sad.

“I'm sorry, Hayate. I truly am. Unfortunately I cannot dictate what happens in your dream.” Her frown curves back upward, turning into a weak smile reflecting her regret.

“I'm tired of these dreams. I just want to go back. I want to remember. I don't want you haunting me anymore.” My voice cracks, and tears stream down my face. I glare at her blurry form as she looks back up at me.

“Then why not wake up?”


And just like that, it's over. My head snaps up quickly. Another dream, and it's the same one, again. The bus rumbles quietly as it advances up the curving mountain road. As I look out the window, which is now covered in morning dew, I can vaguely see the town where I'll be staying for the rest of the school year.

“Yamaku.”

The name for the city sounds odd as it tumbles out of my mouth. It sounds Japanese, but I'm not even sure it means anything. I run a hand through the front of my rather lengthy hair as I remember the reason I'm even here. I'm coming to Yamaku to attend the Academy there. A school for students with disabilities. How quaint. As nice as it is to go back to a functional school instead of getting lectures from my dad on various subjects, I can't help but feel a little angered at my predicament.

“Is that all I am now? Just another disabled kid sent away so their parents can live a normal life?” I frown as I think about what I've just said. I know it isn't true. I don't know why I've become so bitter about this. It's a good decision on my parents' parts, but for some reason, I feel like I'm being abandoned.

I yawn distractedly as the bus pulls up to the wrought-iron gate of the school. The change in momentum as the bus stops snaps me back into reality. I notice my left thumb rolling over my first two fingers. I clench my fingers into a fist and release it several times, stretching my fingers out.

'Damn it,' I think to myself. 'I'm getting distracted again.'

I stand and stretch the rest of my body. My back is stiff from sleeping in the bus seat like that. It's unfortunate but really unavoidable considering how far away I live from Yamaku. I reach up to the storage rack and gather my bags. I step out onto the curb after giving the driver a mumbled “Thanks,” and stare blankly at the gate before me. The bus rumbles off down the road, and I'm suddenly there alone. I close my eyes and breathe deeply, calming my nerves, and I step through the gate onto the grounds.

The school is rather small, with only three main buildings, but it still manages to have a beautiful campus. The trees stand bright green in the Spring air, and a soft breeze picks up as I stand motionless on the main pathway. I smile contentedly and, pausing a moment to pull my hair into a loose tail, walk forward, keeping a nice pace as I enter the main building. It's still early, and classes haven't yet begun. A tired-looking man stands front and center in the large hallway. His eyes brighten slightly as I walk in, and I hope to myself that I haven't kept him waiting long. He walks forward and extends his hand to me.

“Matsushita, correct? Hayate Matsushita?” he asks with a rather flat voice, fitting the tired face he's currently wearing. I set one of my bags down and shake his hand, nodding. “Ah very good. I'm Mutou, the science teacher here at Yamaku. I've been sent to welcome you officially to Yamaku Academy. Now, you've gotten here rather early, so there's still time for you to go unpack and maybe catch a shower and breakfast before classes start.” The small smile I've been wearing flattens as he says 'classes.' Thankfully, he notices this and laughs slightly. “Now now, don't worry about classes today. You'll be attending them but you won't be responsible for any of the homework tonight. I'll have the Class Representative show you around today. Your homeroom class will be with me, Class 3-3. I also have your room key and student ID. You'll be staying in room 109 in the boys' dorm. Just follow the signs and you'll get there. Oh, and make sure you see the school's nurse after class today. He mentioned to me that he wanted to see you and set up your prescriptions.”

I nod slowly, letting him know that I'm keeping track with what he's been saying. He smiles and hands me the key to my room before sending me off on my way. I pick up my other bag again and slowly walk to the boys' dorm. I notice the signs that point me in the right direction, and follow the path through the campus. As I get closer to the dorms, I notice a few students out and about, despite the early hour. A short brown-haired girl with two prosthetic legs jogs lightly down another pathway towards the school's track, dressed in what I can only assume is the school's gym uniform. A blonde boy with sunglasses and a cane walks arm-in-arm with a shorter dark-haired girl with bandages around her eyes. An albino girl sits leisurely in a tree branch, staring off into the distance. I try not to stare at the various people, but the sight of them reminds me that I'm in someplace new, somewhere completely separated from the outside world. I try to swallow the feeling that I'm a fish out of water here, that I really won't feel this way for long. Shrugging off my doubts, I saunter casually into the boys' dorm and, finding room 109 easily enough, proceed into my room.

It's nothing special. A desk, some drawers, a closet, and a bed. Standard university single-dorm style room. The room is rather blank and dull, but the crisp, clean atmosphere of the place suggests room for decoration.

'I'm glad I decided to bring those posters,' I think to myself solemnly as I start to unpack my things. I put away my casual clothes into the closet and take down one of the uniforms the school has provided for me. It looks fairly comfortable despite the formal nature of the uniform. I set it aside with a towel on my bed, pausing a moment to take my morning pills, before grabbing them again and walking down the hall to the bathroom.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

It wasn't long before I trudged solemnly back into my room, hair still damp from the shower. I stumble through the doorway, not quite able to see through the curtain of hair that hides my face.

I dress quickly, pulling on the Yamaku uniform with an air of indifference. Again I pull my hair into a loose pony tail, leaving a few stray strands to hang in front of my face once more. As I adjust the uniform's red tie in the mirror, I look at my reflection and stop again to look myself over. My dark auburn hair frames my face well, and compliments my modest build. '177 centimeters, 77 kilos,' I think to myself absent-mindedly, calling back the numbers I was told at my most recent visit to a doctor. My skin is light, reflecting my father's nationality. He was American, and had moved to Japan to live with my mother after ending his career. He kept his own name for legal purposes, but insisted that I take my mother's surname. A flash catches my eyes, and curiously enough, it was my own eyes that was the source. Hazel in color, they're one of the few features I carried over from my mother.

Satisfied with my own vanity, I pull out the brand new messenger bag from my suitcase and start packing it with my various school supplies. I've always like orderly and menial tasks like these. There's something about the freshness of new things that sparks something in me, but I'm not quite sure why. I finish packing the last bit of new school supplies into my bag and breathe deeply, going over one final checklist of things I need to do this morning. I smile, checking through everything, and leave my room, heading towards the cafeteria for breakfast.

I manage to find something somewhat edible in the cafeteria, a waffle and a couple of slices of bacon. Content with the slim pickings in Yamaku, I settle down at a table by myself. The cafeteria isn't exactly crowded, but the soft roar of people talking fills the air.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. Squish.

Squish? I grimace at my choice of breakfast. On top of being bland and tasteless the waffle is soggy and the bacon is entirely too overcooked. I finish what I can of it and then put it aside, deciding to fill myself on the orange juice I got from the drink counter. It's surprisingly good considering the rest of my meal, so I finish it happily and return my tray. I find my way through one of the doors in the cafeteria to a small sitting area outside. I fumble with the headphones to my media player, and put the left one in my ear, leaving one empty so I can hear the class bell when it rings. I sit at a bench and relax a bit, sinking into one of my favorite songs.

“Balance. Repetition. Composition. Mirrors.”

I close my eyes and sigh contentedly. I needed this moment. I haven't listened to music in entirely too long.

“Most of all the world is a place where parts of wholes are described...”

I try to follow along with the lyrics in the first verse, but the way the singer accentuates syllables throws me off.

“And meanwhile, the statues are bleeding green...”

The slight tremor in my hands fades as the song switches into a finger-tapped bass solo, fast-paced but peaceful.

“And therein lies the garnered wisdom that has never died.”

I find myself tapping the rhythm to the song on the bench. The dulcet tones of the two bass guitars starts to overwhelm me, and I slip away into a unique calmness.

“Expectation... leads to disappointment.”

'How right you are,' I think to myself, anticipating the song's end.

“If you don't expect something big, huge, and exciting... usually... I don't know...”

The bell to class cuts out the rest of the song. I frown as I put away the player, making sure to pause and lock it before I do. I stand and follow the crowd back inside and drudge my way up the stairs into Class 3-3.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I almost immediately regret my decision. The class is almost completely full, despite the bell having just rung. Everyone's gaze snaps to me, and I'm caught lie a deer in headlights as I walk through the doorway. Mutou looks over at me, and quickly sets things into motion.

“Ah yes, good. Class, we'll be welcoming a new transfer student to Yamaku today, so please, give him your attention, I'm sure Mr. Matsushita has a few introductory words for us.” He finishes his short little speech and looks over at me expectantly.

'You sneaky son of a--' I cut my thought short and snap back to the task at hand. I notice my left hand rolling again and flex it to quell the tremor. I grin nervously, and begin. “Ah, hi everyone. I'm Hayate Matsushita. I'm 18 years old, and I'm glad to be here at Yamaku. You can call me Hayate or Matsushita, I'm fine with either. I'm very interested in music, reading, and soccer, so I hope to make a few quick friends here.” As I finish, the air fills itself with an almost deafening silence. Mutou picks up on the fact that I'm done and starts talking again.

“Thank you very much Mr. Matsushita. You can take a seat in between Mr. Maeda and Ms. Hakamichi there. She's the Class Representative, so she'll be showing you around Yamaku today.”

He points towards a dark-haired girl with glasses who looks at me with a rather off-putting triumphant grin. An empty seat occupies the space immediately to her right. I nod at him and voice a small “Thank you” before quickly moving toward my seat. As Mutou starts the lesson and I sit down in the surprisingly comfortable desk, I turn to talk to Hakamichi. Before I can even say a single word, Hakamichi throws her thumb over her shoulder, pointing at a pink-haired girl with drills. The girl looks brightly at me and turns to speak to me.

“Hi!~ I'm Misha. I'll be speaking and translating for Shicchan here.” As I open my mouth to ask why Hakamichi needs a translator, I notice Misha moving her hands with very articulate gestures. I nod in understanding.

“Right then. I'm Hayate, it's nice to meet the both of you,” I say casually. Hakamichi gives a quick glare and throws a few sharp signs to Misha.

“Oh what? I'm sorry Shicchan!~ Um, Shicchan would like you to know that she would prefer that you call her Shizune. Shicchan might be a bit too personal, wahaha!~”

I blink quickly, trying to regain my hearing after that little bit of raucous laughter from Misha. I glance at Shizune. I almost envy her for being deaf right now. It would be difficult spending a lot of time with Misha if she laughed like that all the time.

“Oh okay. I'm a bit more comfortable addressing people by their first names anyway. Shizune it is then.”

Shizune grins and readjusts her glasses. She signs very dramatically to Misha who translates almost immediately.

“It's very good to meet you as well Hacchan. Oh, now she's mad at me for embellishing her words~.”

'Hacchan? Really? This girl's a handful. Shizune must have the patience of a saint,' I think, but I smile and roll with it. “Hacchan eh? It's been years since anyone's called me that. So, how does this whole tour thing go?”

Misha smiles brightly. “Shicchan and I will show you around after class. We can't have you getting lost on the first day now can we? Wahaha!~”

A rather loud cough from Mutou immediately silences Misha, who gives an embarrassed smile and a quick apology. Taking a note that our conversation was over for the moment, I shift my attention towards Mutou's lecture. 'Chemistry? I think I'll like this Mutou guy after all.' Setting aside my thoughts, I pull out one of the composition books from my pack and, with the satisfying click of a new pen, start writing down notes.

As Mutou explains the process for alkane nomenclature, I relax a bit. This is what I excelled at at my last school, or at least, that's what I'm told. The material is familiar, and it's coming back to me like I've already learned it, but I don't remember learning it.

Two years. Gone in the blink of an eye.

'Damn it Hayate, don't do this now. You have better things to be doing than brooding on the past.' I try and calm myself back down, focusing my thoughts on Mutou's lecture. My hand is writing the notes down, but I'm not even really hearing Mutou anymore. My mind's in a different place.

A soft beeping noise. The smell of disinfectant. Plain walls. Uncomfortable bed.

I'm back at the hospital once more. Even though it was well over a year ago, I can still perfectly remember my confusion. I try to shift my weight to get more comfortable, but my left arm explodes in pain. Stars flash behind my eyes as I immediately try to correct my fault, only to have the same thing happen in my right leg. My head is bandaged, and I'm hooked up to oxygen, an IV drip in my right wrist. I return to my original position on the bed, and I'm doing my best not to move, not to make the pain any worse. A nurse walks into my room with a new drip for my arm. I lock eyes for her for a moment, and she freezes, dropping the bag. Before I can ask what happened, she's already back out the door, calling for a doctor.

The EKG picks up its pace as my heart speeds up. The doctor comes rushing into the room, and looks at my broken form on the hospital bed. He walks over to me and shines a light in my eyes for a moment.

“Hayate? Can you hear me? Try not to move okay? You're in a hospital, and you're very injured. Right now, I want you to tap your right index finger twice on the bed if you can hear me.”

I respond with the finger-tapping, but as I turn to look at him my vision starts to fade.

“Hayate? Hayate! Stay with me Matsushita, come on. Matsushita? Matsushita!”


“Matsushita!”

I jolt back a bit from my seat, and try clumsily to keep my balance in the chair. Mutou is looking at me, and Misha and Shizune are standing by the door waiting for me.

“Class has ended Matsushita. You might want to follow Ms. Hakamichi and Ms. Mikado out now.”

I look at the clock, and indeed, class has been finished for two minutes now. I shake my head quickly and apologize to Mutou before quickly gathering my things and rushing out the door with Misha and Shizune.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Lyrics from "Smells Like Content" by The Books
Last edited by ThoughtLock on Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:47 pm, edited 5 times in total.
Shizune>Lilly=Emi>Hanako=Rin. I wish the ranking system weren't so difficult. It's not that I particularly dislike any of them, so they're really hard to rank.

Current Work: Nothing but a Broken Man

ThoughtLock
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Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:55 pm
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Nothing but a Broken Man

Post by ThoughtLock » Mon May 14, 2012 4:06 am

Collision

Shizune was already glaring at me as soon as we stepped out of the classroom. I could almost feel her cold gaze pierce my soul as she pulled me aside, Misha in tow.

“...” she signed furiously. Her hands were moving faster than I could hope to keep up with, so I quickly turned to Misha for help. For a moment, she looked equally lost, but then began translating.

“Even though it is your first day Hacchan, spacing out like that in class is unacceptable!~” Misha said. Her tone didn't quite match the ferocity of Shizune's signing. Shizune's fierce expression softened a bit. “You really had Misha and I worried there Hacchan. Are you alright?”

I could see Misha mentally stumble over saying her name like that. I rub the back of my neck sheepishly. I can hardly I've already messed something up like this on my first day.

“Yeah, I'm fine. I didn't mean to space out like that but I got caught up in my own head. I got all the notes though, so I think I'll be okay,” I say. I stand a little bit taller, trying hide my momentary shame.

Shizune studies my appearance for a moment, and after reading Misha's translation, visibly softens. She closes her eyes, throwing on that air of victory once more while adjusting her glasses.

“...”
“Very well Hacchan. Now, your official tour of the campus can begin. If you'll kindly follow us...”

I'm very thankful to have Misha around. I'm not exactly sure how things would be going if it was just Shizune and me here right now. A note pad would work maybe, but I'd have to have a few words with Mutou as to why he thought it was a good idea to stick me with a deaf girl. I strap my messenger bag over my shoulder, and follow the girls down the long hallway.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


The campus is rather small, but I'm still a little bit winded as we finally reach the cafeteria for lunch. Shizune stands proudly in front of the doors and presents the building to me as if she built the damn thing.

“Here we are, Hacchan! Yamaku's cafeteria. Now, I insist that you have lunch with us today. Really, you should Hacchan. It's not often that you get to have lunch with two beautiful women like us, you know~. Wahaha!” Misha's laugh again pierces my ears as she translates for Shizune. She does have a point about the lunch though, and I really have no other choice to agree.

A few minutes later, we're all sitting at a small table, eating lunch that thankfully is better than the breakfast I attempted to eat this morning. I pry open the lid to my beef bento and start eating quietly. Shizune signs something that I barely catch out of the corner of my eye.

“So Hacchan, is there anywhere else we can show you today?” She looks at me hopefully, but thinking over everywhere we've been today, I can't come up with one place that I want to go. Unfortunately, there is somewhere I need to go today.

“Well, you've basically shown me the entire school. I know where the track is, where the various classrooms are, the library...” I say. “However, I was wondering if you guys could show me where the Nurse's office is. I have to go there after classes end today.”

Shizune almost coughs up the tea she's currently drinking and signs madly at Misha.

“...”
“Oh my goodness! I can't believe I forgot to show you the Nurse's office of all places! Yes, We'll go there right after this next class.”

I smile, but return to eating my lunch. The rest of the meal goes on in relative silence. As the bell to the next class rings, I mentally kick myself for not coming up with at least something to say.

We return to Class 3-3 and take our seats. The next teacher files in through the door and starts lecturing on Japanese History. I sigh and pull out another composition book to take notes. I've always liked history, and while it's never been my favorite subject, I try to keep my focus on the lecture. The minutes tick by, and my pen moves in time with the teacher's words, absorbing information directly into the paper before me.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

One lecture on the Meiji Restoration later, and I'm out the door again, following Shizune and Misha to the Nurse's office. They lead me to the door, and with a couple of polite goodbyes, they walk back down the hallway.

I watch them leave for a moment before turning back to the door. I raise my fist to knock on it, but stop for a moment before I do. I'm shaking with fear, and I have no idea why. I have no reason to be afraid, but for some reason, my heart is pounding.

'Come on Hayate. Get it together, what's wrong with you? It's just a simple check-up. What do you have to fear?'

'Everything...'

I shudder as that darker thought overtakes me. I shake it off and boldly step forward to knock on the door. I can feel my fist connect. Or... at least I would have had the door not immediately flown open.

It knocks hard against my chest, and before I can even react to the fact that I've had the wind knocked out of me, I'm on the floor, about a foot and a half away from the door frame.

“Ohmigosh! I'm so sorry, I didn't think anyone would be there! Are you okay?” A rather high-pitched girl's voice finds my ears.

'No yeah, I'm completely fine. Just got knocked on my ass by a flying door, but no, I'm completely okay.' Part of me wants to say it, but I know deep down it was an accident. Still, even if I wanted to, the fact that there's no air in my lungs keeps me from being able to say anything in response.

I lift my torso off of the hard tile floor beneath me, and immediately recognize the girl in front of me. Short, brown hair in pig-tails, and two metallic legs attached to her knees. It's the same girl I saw jogging this morning. She extends a hand to help me up, and taking it, I pull myself to my feet. Standing in front of her, I quickly realize how short she really is. She barely comes up to the middle of my chest.

“Emi, really, you must be more careful. God forbid there had been someone with MS or brittle-bone disease behind that door.” A deeper voice sounds from within the office, and the Nurse steps out to join the two of us in the hallway. He looks at me for a moment quizzically and then brightens up. “Ah, if I'm not mistaken, you must be Mr. Matsushita. It's good to meet you,” he says as he extends his hand. I shake it firmly and let him continue. “I do hope you're adjusting well to Yamaku, all door-related injuries aside of course.” He throws a cold glare at Emi for a second. She frowns somewhat angrily, but decides not to say anything in response.

“Yes sir, Yamaku's been good to me so far. I really like the atmosphere, very quiet and relaxed. I wouldn't worry about the door though. Maybe a small bruise, but I'll be fine. I've had worse.” I cast a small glance at Emi, who still looks a bit upset. “Don't worry, Emi was it? It's no big deal.”

She brighten up quickly and adds with a smile: “Yes, that's right, Emi Ibarazaki, the fastest thing on no legs.” She chuckles at her own joke.

The Nurse looks back to me. “Well anyway Mr. Matsushita, Ms. Ibarazaki here was just on here way out, so why don't you join me in my office and we can go over your medications.”

I step inside the office, waving goodbye to Emi who goes running down the hallway at full speed. 'Damn, she really is the fastest thing on no legs..'

I sit on the examination table, and the Nurse goes over a basic check-up: pulse, blood pressure, breathing, reflexes, all the good stuff. He finally takes a seat on his stool and looks over his chart.

“So, Mr. Matsushita, you have Stage 2 Parkinson's disease, correct? And for this you are taking bromocriptine and selegiline? How long have you had Parkinson's?”

I nod in agreement with the first two before moving on to a verbal answer. “Yes, that's correct. My most recent doctor put me on those because relatively speaking my Parkinson's isn't very advanced, and he also doesn't have me on levadopa because of the side effects of lengthy use. As for how long I've had it, I'm told I was diagnosed with it 3 years ago, but they think I've had it for four.”

He looks over the chart again nodding. “Right. You also have a form of amnesia, is that correct?”

I nod again. “Yes, I have lacunar amnesia which roughly covers the time after my 15th birthday up until I woke up in a hospital bed when I was 17.”

“And you were hospitalized because?”

Here's the part I was dreading. The one question I didn't want to answer. I close my eyes and try to answer, but the only thing I manage to do is notice that I've been rolling the fingers on my left hand for about two minutes now.

“Hayate? Are you okay?”

I flex my hands and open my eyes. “Yes, I'm fine. I was hospitalized with several broken bones, including a fractured skull and a concussion. I was comatose for a week, during which they stabilized some of the worst breaks with metal rods and put a plate in the back of my head. They told me I had jumped off a bridge...”

The Nurse eyed me cautiously again. “You jumped off a bridge?”

I swallow hard, but nod again. “Yeah. But they didn't treat me for depression because they didn't know why I had done it, and I couldn't remember my reasoning for suicide.”

The Nurse breathed in and out rather deeply. “Right. Well, that should be enough for today Mr. Matsushita. I'll have your prescriptions filled, but I'm also writing you a prescription for physical therapy. One of the symptoms of Parkinson's is weak motor function, as I'm sure you know, and while that may not be affecting you now, it'd be best to keep those synapses healthy. Nothing major, just some jogging in the morning. I'll have Ms. Ibarazaki coach you.”

'Running? Seriously? I know he's just trying to help, but I don't think this is the right way. Then again, I have put on a good bit of weight since the hospital, and it's not like I play much soccer anymore. Plus that Emi girl was kinda cute... in a weird you-don't-mind-a-girl-with-no-legs kind of way...'

I sigh, but agree to the jogging. I shuffle out the door after the Nurse passes me with a clean bill of health.

With a whole day left ahead of me, I start thinking about what I could do. However, my body answers that for me, and I'm suddenly crushed with a strong desire to sleep. I know better than to think it's a side effect from my medication, as I really didn't get much sleep last night and was forced to an early morning to get here. I quickly walk back to my dorm, and slide into my room.

My stuff is exactly the way I left it, in a glorious state of being half-unpacked. I frown slightly at the mess before me and put away the rest of my things.

'Next comes the fun part!'

I pull a couple of band posters out of my suitcase, mostly Western rock bands. I pin them to the walls of my blank room. Ten minutes later, satisfied with the state of my room, I kick off my shoes and plop down onto my bed. I try to stay awake for a little bit, but my weakened body catches up to me rather quickly. I'm completely asleep before the clock hits 5 PM.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

AN: So there it is. The first section of my first ever Katawa Shoujo fanfiction. I can only hope I got the characterization for everyone down right. I've worked on this for about 3 or 4 days now, and I certainly plan on delivering more. Hope you guys enjoyed it thus far, and I will check in with you soon with another section.
Last edited by ThoughtLock on Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:33 pm, edited 5 times in total.
Shizune>Lilly=Emi>Hanako=Rin. I wish the ranking system weren't so difficult. It's not that I particularly dislike any of them, so they're really hard to rank.

Current Work: Nothing but a Broken Man

Gilrond
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:41 pm

Re: Nothing but a Broken Man - EmiXOC, Chapters 1 and 2 post

Post by Gilrond » Mon May 14, 2012 6:52 am

My only real problem is that these two chapters are very similar to the actual VN which feels a bit lazy. I guess this won't be as much of a problem now that the introductions are done though.

I'm very happy to see an Emi-story, there are way too few of those around here :)

ThoughtLock
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Re: Nothing but a Broken Man - EmiXOC, Chapters 1 and 2 post

Post by ThoughtLock » Mon May 14, 2012 1:12 pm

Yeah, the similarity was unfortunate, but hard to break away from. It'll stop being so similar in the next chapter or so. I have this story planned out very nicely so far, so I'll try and update it pretty regularly. I thought the whole "physical therapy" thing was a good way to work Emi into the story naturally, as Parkinson's patients really do have physical therapy to keep their synapses healthy. I know it seemed more like Hisao's introduction than an original character's, but I'm trying to break that.
Shizune>Lilly=Emi>Hanako=Rin. I wish the ranking system weren't so difficult. It's not that I particularly dislike any of them, so they're really hard to rank.

Current Work: Nothing but a Broken Man

Guestimate
Posts: 117
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:32 am

Re: Nothing but a Broken Man - EmiXOC, Chapters 1 and 2 post

Post by Guestimate » Mon May 14, 2012 7:02 pm

Interesting. Good start so far. Dumb question: Will Hisao be making an appearance as well on on of the other girls' paths?

ThoughtLock
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Re: Nothing but a Broken Man - EmiXOC, Chapters 1 and 2 post

Post by ThoughtLock » Mon May 14, 2012 7:14 pm

Yes. This is set a little bit before Hisao joins Yamaku, roughly in mid-April.
Shizune>Lilly=Emi>Hanako=Rin. I wish the ranking system weren't so difficult. It's not that I particularly dislike any of them, so they're really hard to rank.

Current Work: Nothing but a Broken Man

Guestimate
Posts: 117
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:32 am

Re: Nothing but a Broken Man - EmiXOC, Prologue Complete

Post by Guestimate » Tue May 15, 2012 11:35 pm

You know, I kind of hope the OC also befriends whoever Hisao ends up with. Mostly because I've always wanted to see someone give him the "You break her heart, I break your legs." speech.

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Re: Nothing but a Broken Man - EmiXOC, Prologue Complete

Post by ThoughtLock » Wed May 16, 2012 1:46 am

Guestimate wrote:You know, I kind of hope the OC also befriends whoever Hisao ends up with. Mostly because I've always wanted to see someone give him the "You break her heart, I break your legs." speech.
Haha, that's actually really clever. I was planning to have the story go through Hisao's arrival as well, so it's a possibility.
Shizune>Lilly=Emi>Hanako=Rin. I wish the ranking system weren't so difficult. It's not that I particularly dislike any of them, so they're really hard to rank.

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Re: Nothing but a Broken Man - EmiXOC, Prologue Complete

Post by Oddball » Wed May 16, 2012 10:24 am

It's looking realy good so far.
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Nothing but a Broken Man - Act 1, Section 1

Post by ThoughtLock » Sun May 27, 2012 6:48 am

Act 1: Shiver

A New Beginning

Silence fills the hallway. The gun-smoke slowly dissipates, clearing the haze but leaving behind the bittersweet smell of sulfur. I exhale for the first time in what feels like ages. I eject the empty clip from my USP 9 pistol, sliding in a new one with a resonant and satisfying 'click!'

I look down the hallway. Two of the gunmen lay on the ground, blood pooling beneath them. Another rests up against the wall, injured, but still breathing. His shooting arm is essentially finished, a 9 millimeter round buried somewhere in his bicep. The Skorpion submachine gun he had been wielding is about a foot and a half to his right, just out of reach.

I stand and emerge from the planter I had been hiding behind and approach the man. He looks at me, but is powerless to make a move against me. He's dying slowly. I crouch down and look directly into his eyes. He glares back at me, his eyes as cold as his blood soon will be.

“<Where is she?>” I ask the man in standard Russian. He spits in my face and adds in a soft chuckle.

“<You never get a word out mine, Nip,” he responds. I look at him confused, but realize he's not speaking the exact dialect of Russian that I'm use to. His dialect is distinct, more in line with the Pomor dialect of north Russia. I adjust my speech accordingly.

“<I said, where is she?>”

“<Ah you recognize the dialect? Regardless, my answer stays the same: I wont tell you a single word, you dirty Nip.>”

I glare at him flatly. I can tell I'm getting nowhere, and there's not much time left.

I change my expression drastically, and I'm now smiling at him and laughing myself. It's his turn to be confused, but before he can really show it, I level the pistol at his left arm and pull the trigger. The 9mm round slams into his arm at the crook of his elbow at 321 meters per second. I allow the man a few seconds to vent his pain before I start talking again.

“<You know, I really don't like that word, so I suggest you tell me what I want to know before I find somewhere else to put a bullet.>”

“<Burn in hell,>” he groans, cradling his left arm against his chest. “<You'll get nothing from me, so you might as well just kill me.>”

He's bluffing, of course. He thinks I need him to find my way around here. While his directions would help, I could find the person I'm looking for on my own. I decide to enlighten this man. I press the still warm barrel of the pistol against his temple.

“<Alright then, have it your way.>”

I don't think I've seen a man go pale that fast in quite sometime.

“<Wait. Wait! Don't shoot, don't shoot, she's just down the hall and to the left, in room 20A!>”

“<Glad we could see things my way,>” I respond shortly. I stand and look down the hallway toward my target. As I start walking down the hall, I level the gun at the dying man's head once more and pull the trigger.

About a minute later, I'm at the door of 20A, a supply closet. I open the door quickly, and I'm relieved to find that the only person inside is the one I was looking for.

“Ms. Asegawa? I'm with SFGp, and I'm here to rescue you. We need to leave here quickly, I don't know how long it will be before more of those men come looking,” I explain as I untie her bonds. However, as I reach her gag, a beeping sound starts emanating from the corner of the room. She looks at me with fear in her eyes as I run to check the corner. There, hidden behind a filing cabinet sits a small cylinder, riddled with wires. The timer on the front reads “00:10”. I sprint for Ms. Asegawa and pull her towards the door. The beeping increases in frequency, beginning to sound more and more like a phone ringing. I try to open the door, but it's now locked, and refuses to budge. I cradle her in my arms and turn away from the bomb.

The silence immediately before the bomb goes off is deafening. In the blink of an eye, it's all over. The heat from the flames overtakes me and my vision goes white. For some reason all I can hear is the beeping.


And just like that, I'm out of the dream. My cell phone is ringing loudly on the nightstand where I left it last night. My bleary eyes struggle to adjust to the darkness of my room. I glance at my clock while I reach for the phone. '5:30 AM? I swear I'm going to kill whoever decided to wake me up this early.'

“Hello?” I mumble into my phone, finally managing to flip it open after clumsily trying to grab it in the dark.

“Good morning Hayate! Rise and shine, I expect to see you on the track at 6:00 sharp!” 'You know, unless of course it's an extremely cute girl on the other end.'

“Emi!?” I've already bolted into a sitting position.

“The one and only! Don't you sound happy to hear from me?” she adds with a giggle.

“Right, uhm, sorry about that. I wasn't exactly expecting you to call me, especially so early in the morning.” I'm already up and pacing about my small room.

“Right, about that. The Nurse gave your number to me yesterday so I could wake you up this morning. Now hurry up and get your butt down here. If you're late, you're buying breakfast for the both of us.”

“Right, I'll be right down.” I hang up the phone shortly after. I walk to my closet and pull out my gym uniform. 'Nurse Whatever-your-name-is, you magnificent bastard, I'll have to thank you for this one, somehow.'

I start the rather tedious process of changing into the outfit, a simple white t-shirt and some running shorts. I lace up the running shoes I brought with me to Yamaku, and throw my hair into a tight pony tail to prevent it from getting in the way while I'm running. Set to go, I grab my phone and my gym bag before walking out the door.

It's almost 6:00 when I reach the track. Emi is already jogging around the track at a light pace when I arrive. Her normal prosthetic legs have been replaced with running blades, but for some reason, she looks natural in this setting, comfortable. As I'm setting my bag down, she finishes her warm up jog and pulls up beside me, her legs clacking loudly as she jogs in place.

“I'm a little disappointed with you, Hayate. First day and you're already running late. Looks like you're buying breakfast.” She adds a little mischievous grin to her statement. Her enthusiastic hopping detracts from the entire image though. Still, I can't help but chuckle at her small joke as I limber up for my run.

“What? It just turned 6:00 now.” I say back to her.

“I said I wanted to see you on the track by 6:00. You aren't running on the track yet, so you're late.” Now the mischievous grin is starting to fit more.

'Technicality,' I think to myself, wanting to protest. I instead concede to let her have this small little victory. 'Plus, breakfast with her might be fun.'

“Alright, enough of that then Hayate, we have things to do. Today, just run at a comfortable pace. Don't do anything too crazy, I just need to see what I can expect from you, alright?” Her demeanor switches from childish to serious in the blink of an eye. She even stops bouncing as she leads me over to the track.

And there it begins. Just like a flash of lightning, Emi's off and running down the track. I quickly follow suit and settle into a brisk jog. I can feel my whole body limbering up as I follow her, the sharp feel of the cold morning air entering my lungs. I grin as I slip into a run, slowly catching up to Emi.

“Well well well, looks like you're no amateur Hayate. This is good, we won't have to work you up to a solid run. Alright, how's two miles sound to you?” She grins while she asks me about our training program.

Two miles. Eight laps around this track.

“Yeah, that sounds fine to me. This is about as fast as I can go, steadily at least.”

She nods in approval and sets off at a slightly faster pace than me. I'm content with letting her slip ahead of me. I'm entirely too tired to compete with a track star today. I keep my pace up, and twenty minutes later, I pull off to the side of the track and catch my breath on a bench next to Emi. She hands me a towel and a bottle of water. Mouthing a 'thank you', I take the bottle and drink rather quickly.

“You did pretty well for your first time Hayate. You managed to last longer than I thought. Hell, you even finished last.” She giggles at her blatant sexual innuendo, and giggles even more when I cough up the water I was in the middle of drinking. For a girl as small and innocent looking as her, she's got a dirty mouth. “Alright then, that should be enough for today Hayate. We'll meet up here every morning at six from now on.”

I looked at her confused. “You're not done here? We just ran two miles.”

She nods firmly, and stands once more, stretching her arms. “Yeah, I think I'm gonna do a couple more laps before I head in. Plus the runner's high hasn't really set in yet, and I think I'm gonna need those endorphins today.”

“I think I'll stay here then, run a couple more laps myself. I still owe you breakfast remember?” I say with a grin.

I don't think I've seen a girl smile quite this big in some time. “That's the spirit, Hayate! Alright, one more lap and then we'll head in for breakfast. Sound good?”

I nod approvingly and take off, catching her off guard as I sprint down the first length of track. It isn't more than a few seconds before Emi's right beside me. She sticks her tongue out at me for a moment before bursting down the track faster than I've ever seen her run.

'Fastest thing on no legs, indeed.'

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Ten minutes and four laps later, Emi and I are lightly jogging towards the cafeteria. Though it's still early in the morning, the cafeteria is open for various reasons, but mainly to accommodate the schedules of students as necessary. That said, I noticed the place was entirely empty when we walked inside. The clack of Emi's running blades echoed rather loudly off of the linoleum tiles as we proceeded to the counter. It was followed by an extremely loud rumble from my stomach.

“Oh man, I'm starving! I didn't think of it until now, but I completely forgot to go have dinner last night,” I say, holding my stomach a bit as the hunger washes over me for a moment.

“You know that's bad for you right? It'll wreck your metabolism,” Emi adds courteously.

“Yeah, I know. Learned all that nutrition stuff from my soccer coach ages ago. Sorry, but I was entirely too tired last night to care. I sure am regretting it now though. Let's hurry and get something to eat.”

With that, the two of us enter the line. I let Emi go ahead of me, and inform the person manning the counter that I'm paying for the both of us. Emi picks up a traditional Western breakfast complete with eggs, lean bacon and toast. I do the same but also help myself to a small stack of pancakes. Emi shoots me a look as we sit at our little table that we've picked out.

“I know, I know, there's no way pancakes are a good choice. Cut me some slack, I didn't eat last night and I'm dying of hunger over here,” I say as I rearrange the plates on my tray into a more organized state. “Besides, I got a good portion of healthier choices just like you did.”

Her face doesn't change as she eyes my food, but then smiles. “Well, that's fine then Hayate. I'll just make you run an extra mile tomorrow to burn them off.” Her smile becomes decidedly more mischievous as those words spill from her lips. I can't help but chuckle and agree to her terms.

Emi begins eating through her breakfast with much gusto, but I hesitate to start. The thoughts of yesterday's breakfast are still rolling through my mind as I pick up the fork for my scrambled eggs. Ignoring my slight unfamiliarity with the utensil, I start eating some eggs. I stop almost immediately

'These eggs! Oh god, these eggs! They're... They're....'

“They're amazing!” I realize a little too late that I've shouted rather loudly.

Emi jumps up a bit and looks at me angrily. “Hayate! What the hell was that?”

“Sorry! I'm sorry, the breakfast yesterday was absolutely terrible but these are probably the most delicious scrambled eggs I've ever had!” Just to make sure, I take a bit out of a strip of bacon. “Oh man, and the bacon is delicious, too!'

“Alright, you're happy, we get it. Just be careful next time you wanna scream like that; almost gave me a heart attack...” Emi says with a sigh of relief. “But yes, most of the time the food they serve at Yamaku is good, but every now and then it's pretty bad.”

Content with our conversation at that point, I start really eating as well. The two of us finish roughly at the same time, despite the additional amount of food on my plate. As we head back to the counter to return our trays, I wonder if I looked like a slob having eaten so fast. I've always had that issue, but because of how active I usually stay, it's never been an issue. I shrug off the feeling and escort Emi back outside.

“Well Hayate, as fun as this has been, I really need to shower now. Oh, and since we're friends now, I am cordially inviting you to the school roof tomorrow for lunch. Don't worry about buying anything, because I'll be making bento,” said Emi happily.

“Well, I can't refuse an offer for lunch, but the roof? Are students even allowed up there? Sounds kinda dangerous if you ask me.”

“No, no, it's completely fine. Rin and I eat up there all the ti-” A sudden beeping cuts her off. Emi pulls her cell phone from her bag and flips it open. “Crap, I'm running late. I'll see you tomorrow then Hayate, bright and early!' Without another word, she runs down the walkway, surprisingly heading to the Medical building instead of the dorms.

As I wonder silently what Emi could need to go to the Nurse for, I start to work off those pancakes with a slight jog back to the dorms. I can hardly clamber into the shower fast enough. The warm water pours over me, rinsing away the dirt and grime that has accumulated on my skin during the run. I can finally relax, letting all the tension in my muscles slowly release. The subtle shaking in both of my hands draws to a still. I am at peace.

When the water starts to run lukewarm, I exit the shower. After drying myself as best as possible, I dress quietly into my uniform. I manage to tame my tangled mass of hair into a respectable form and decide to leave it long, rather than tying it back like I've done recently. Grabbing my finished homework off my desk, I'm out the door once again, ready to face my second day at Yamaku.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

AN: Alright, the beginning of the first act! This Act should go from now until around Hisao's arrival, and will be followed by 3 more acts, in true Katawa Shoujo style. I'll admit I wasn't exactly pleased with this chapter, or at least not 100%, but I felt like I needed to post something after having taken so long to even get this one down. More is on the way!
Last edited by ThoughtLock on Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Shizune>Lilly=Emi>Hanako=Rin. I wish the ranking system weren't so difficult. It's not that I particularly dislike any of them, so they're really hard to rank.

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Re: Nothing but a Broken Man - EmiXOC, Prologue Complete

Post by The O.H.L. » Sun May 27, 2012 9:08 am

Liking the story so far! By the title I thought it was a reference to the Rage Against the Machne song Born of a Broken Man.

One thing I noticed; Emi would probably try to get Hayate to stretch before jogging.
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Re: Nothing but a Broken Man - EmiXOC, Prologue Complete

Post by ThoughtLock » Sun May 27, 2012 10:49 am

It is a song reference, but not to that one. The song it is from and the meaning as it relates to the story will come later.
Shizune>Lilly=Emi>Hanako=Rin. I wish the ranking system weren't so difficult. It's not that I particularly dislike any of them, so they're really hard to rank.

Current Work: Nothing but a Broken Man

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Re: Nothing but a Broken Man - EmiXOC, Prologue Complete

Post by Guestimate » Sun May 27, 2012 3:27 pm

Still looking good. I wish my dreams were that awesome.

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Re: Nothing but a Broken Man - EmiXOC, Prologue Complete

Post by The O.H.L. » Mon May 28, 2012 8:53 am

ThoughtLock wrote:It is a song reference, but not to that one. The song it is from and the meaning as it relates to the story will come later.
Aw, I had my hopes up. After all, the song I was talking about is my favourite song of all time.
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Re: Nothing but a Broken Man - EmiXOC, Prologue Complete

Post by ThoughtLock » Mon May 28, 2012 3:04 pm

The O.H.L. wrote:
ThoughtLock wrote:It is a song reference, but not to that one. The song it is from and the meaning as it relates to the story will come later.
Aw, I had my hopes up. After all, the song I was talking about is my favourite song of all time.
Rage Against the Machine is amazing, but it's interesting that you would think of it here. It's kind of creepy actually because Hayate is "born of a broken man" in a sense, but that will come up later.

god, I've been saying that so much in this thread, it's quickly becoming my catchphrase. xD
Shizune>Lilly=Emi>Hanako=Rin. I wish the ranking system weren't so difficult. It's not that I particularly dislike any of them, so they're really hard to rank.

Current Work: Nothing but a Broken Man

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