Radioactive (or Katawa: Call of Yamaku) (or something)

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Radioactive (or Katawa: Call of Yamaku) (or something)

Post by Scissorlips » Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:11 am

I... none of those thread titles are really any good, are they? They're all awful. Oh well.
Anyway... I have to confess to some backtracking here. I originally had the first two parts of this in my one-shot thread, and, like I said, it was only supposed to be about three chapters long. But then it wasn't. So instead of putting it all in that thread, I decided to just make a new one.
This was an idea I'd been mulling around for a while and just decided to make reality in a random spurt of pure creative freedom and it was wonderful. I don't really care for alternate universe stories and I don't imagine a lot of other people do, but I encourage you to at least give the first chapter or two a shot, they're pretty short. And if nothing else, I had a lot of fun writing this. Maybe you'll have fun reading it too, maybe not. It can't be helped.


It's been half an hour, suppose those guys are still out there? I debate sticking my head around the corner for a full thirty seconds, finally deciding that it's worth a shot. Slowly and carefully, I steal a glance, which immediately earns me a loud spatter of gunfire. I duck back around the side of the wall as concrete splinters fly. Mystery solved.

“You're the persistent type.” I call.

“We've got all day, asshole!” Comes the reply. The voice is muffled through the material of a gas mask, but I can hear it well enough.

“All I want is to pass.”

“Then pay the damn toll and fuck off!”

I grit my teeth. Nobody cares about yen anymore, not since the military cordoned off the school and the surrounding 30 kilometers. The excluded zone or some bullshit like that, labels didn't matter once the survivors began tearing eachother apart for medicine and supplies. Pills. That's all that anyone really cares about now, there were too many students with too many medications that just suddenly weren't available anymore. People died, maybe more than in the initial blast.

The only currency now consists of pills, ammo and medicine. I need the first, and I don't feel like giving up either of the other two if I can avoid it.

These punks are making camp in the burned out wreckage that we once called the Shanghai. Good choke point, with the windows gone they can cover the whole intersection, and with all the rubble it would take too long to find a way around. This town used to be filled with old people but now it's mostly just ruins, raiders, and things that might be old but can't really be called people anymore.

“Do you have any insulin?” A new voice calls. It's just barely recognizable.

“Ikuno, what--”

“Please, Haruhiko. We haven't found any in days, and... and I don't feel so great.”

Still keeping out of sight, I pat one of the many pockets on my military jacket. Luckily, Kenji had stockpiles of equipment all over the school, hidden throughout the grounds, even in the goddamn trees. He'd been so damn prepared.

Kenji, if you could only see us now.

“Yeah, I've got some. Don't shoot.”

“If you try anything, asshole...” The male voice warns.

“Just relax.” I sling my gun over my shoulder, a custom present Kenji had given me himself, right before all it had all happened. I don't know much about guns beyond cleaning, maintaining and killing things with them, but this one's a beauty, I've been told. Nice scope, not too heavy, easy to reload. Hits hard and fast, that's all I really care about.

I raise my hands in the air and walk around the corner, taking slow, steady steps towards the smashed out Shanghai. I can make out two figures, but they're both geared up to the point where I can't even tell which one of them has a Y chromosome.


“Hisao.” One of them calls, I guess that's Ikuno. The other doesn't lower his gun.

“Where's your gas mask, man?” He asks. “Are you some kind of mutant?”

“Do you want the insulin or not?” I mutter, carefully reaching into my pocket and pulling out a small glass bottle. Ikuno's face probably lights up, but it's impossible to tell behind the full mask.

“Toss it over. No, screw that.” The taller one climbs out of the shell of a building, still aiming a semiautomatic at me. I never really got to know Haruhiko, before the incident. Maybe I should have been more social, when there were still a lot of people left to get to know. But it doesn't really matter now.

When he gets not too close but close enough, he extends his hand. I deposit the bottle into it and immediately turn to leave, I don't have time to socialize. And if they're resorting to area tolls, I doubt they really have anything worth trading.

“Hey, Hisao.” A voice calls from behind me. I stop.

“Haruhiko, please don't--” It's a strange thing, hearing Ikuno's distraught cry get muffled by the equipment around her face.

I turn around to see my former classmate, the muzzle of his gun aimed right at my chest.

“Sorry man.” He says.

Greed, maybe. Desperation, probably. It doesn't matter now. It's too late to ask him. My hand was already gripping the detonator in my pocket, turns out I can squeeze it faster than he can squeeze the trigger. The tiny explosive taped to the bottom of the lid on the bottle of water he holds in his hand explodes, and then he doesn't have a hand. Or an arm, or, really, very much at all.

Ikuno's scream and the thump of Haruhiko's body hitting the ground are the only sounds to follow the blast. I glance over at her. Even though I can't see her face, I know she's torn between staying safe where she is and running to his side. And I can't blame her, he's probably got some good stuff stashed away in the few pockets he has remaining. It's all going to be pretty badly stained, though.

I turn to go and begin to hear her crying, a soft sobbing that she tries to suppress. Damn it woman, not in the gas mask. The nearest safe place to take that off is two kilometers away.

I don't know if she's weeping for him, he seemed like an ass anyway, of if she's crying for herself. It wouldn't surprise me if she only stuck with him because he had the means to keep the food and medicine coming. Well at least I'm not taking the gun, I can't afford to be weighed down right now.

I start to walk. Ikuno's sobs grow louder.

I never really knew her. We only even talked once or twice.

But I do remember the way she used to smile. I do remember the way she used to laugh.

...Damn it.

I reach into my pocket--different one this time, the one for the non-explosives--and pull out another vial of clear liquid. Without turning around, I hold it out, and I can hear her sniffles grow quiet.

For almost a full minute, nothing. Then I hear hesitant footsteps approaching.

“Is that... really?” She asks softly, as if not daring to believe. It's quite an act, if that's what it really is. And I don't have time to think about it any deeper than that.

“If I wanted to kill you too, I would have done it already.” I say simply. A few moments later I feel a careful hand take the vial, my arm falls to my side and I resume walking.

“Hisao...” Ikuno mumbles, her voice still distorted by the mask. Hard to thank someone when they just made your partner into mush. There are worse ways to go, though.

Who knows what will happen to her now. And she might even be useful, the Council is always looking for able-bodied workers, as long as they can pull their weight. But she probably knows that already, and if she isn't strong enough to make it there on her own, she wouldn't be any use to them anyway. So I keep walking.

Like I said, I can't afford to be weighed down.
Last edited by Scissorlips on Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:58 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Radioactive (or Katawa: Call of Yamaku) (or something)

Post by Scissorlips » Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:12 am

I pick my way through the rest of the town, heading towards the hill that leads to the place I used to call home. The straight, open road would be a death sentence however, so I step off the beaten path and begin moving through the wooded area. I come across a body not too far in. At first it looks like some dogs have gotten to him, but after rolling him over, his mouth is all cut up. And by cut up, I mean cut out.

Nasty stuff. Some decent gear and a little bit of food, though. Gray hair, I don't even remember this guy's name. Probably the only one from my class that I never talked to once.

Good taste in ammunition, if nothing else. Since he had enough, his gun might have jammed. It happens. I take what I need and keep moving, eventually coming across another body. This one's smaller, might have been a first year. What's left of its mouth is open, the tongue has been cut out. Maybe it was postmortem, though.

Yeah, maybe.

Not much to scavenge here, and I need to make it to the school before sundown, so I continue on. A sound begins to drifts through the trees as if following the wind, deep, hearty tones that resonate in the distance. Music was never really my thing, and all the song really says to me is “trap”, but I'm headed that direction anyway.

The music gets louder as I walk into a small clearing. A figure is sitting in the center, hands moving back and forth across an old looking instrument. It's a violin. Even if I couldn't see the dark skin and black braids emerging from the gas mask, I would know who it is.

“Go away.” Molly calls over her playing, but she doesn't stop.

“But I just got here.”

“Hisao, is that you? I mean it, leave!”

I take in my surroundings. “Where is he, Molly?”

She stops for only a heartbeat before frantically resuming her playing.

“Hisao, please. You need to get out of here.”

All the racket coming from her violin is keeping me from hearing much else. I glance around, left and right, check behind me. I remember to look up, but the trees are clear too. What are the odds of--

A hand bursts from the ground at my feet, wrapping around my ankle. It's followed by an arm and then a face, blotted, discolored and wearing an expression of pure rage. I can make out the tattered remains of his stupid artist hat clinging to his filthy blonde hair.

“There you are.” I reach to unsling my gun, but Takashi pulls my leg with surprising strength, the next thing I know I'm on my back and he's digging himself out of the earth. Molly's playing is frantic now, the notes are fast and shrill.

“You should really let the girl go, Takashi.” I roll sideways with a grunt as tries to slam his fist into the spot I was just occupying. The impact shakes the ground beneath me, shit.

“Shut up. SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP.” His eyes are completely bloodshot, his skin is dyed a deep, veiny purple. Someone got an unhealthy dose of radiation following the incident, it seems.

“AND DON'T YOU STOP PLAYING!” He screeches to the girl sitting not far away. She flinches heavily, but continues the song.

I get to my feet, take the safety off my gun. Stupid for not doing it before I even walked in here. I raise the barrel, but Takashi is already in front of me, I pitch to the side to avoid another strike. It's so fast that I can both hear and feel the displaced air.

“What's the matter, Takashi? Can't take a little noise?” I scramble for cover, making my way back towards the treeline as I continue to dodge his blows.

“You shut the FUCK UP!” He doesn't slow down, wide eyed and staggering. I wonder if he's even been eating, does he live underground or is it the best way to get away from the sounds? I knew he and Molly spent a lot of time together, but for her playing to become the only thing he can sta--

With a snarl, Takashi swipes at me, finding purchase on the edge of my jacket and throwing me to the ground. Shit. In an instant he's on me, holding me down with his knee while his hand is on my chin, squeezing painfully. I guess I know what happened to those other guys.

“Thanks for stopping by.” He wheezes, his vocal chords are probably in about as good of shape as the rest of him. “I was starting to run out of red paint.”

“My pleasure.” I mutter, pulling my combat knife from the sheath on my belt. Takashi opens his mouth to say something else, for wanting peace and quiet so much he seems to have a soft spot for speeches. Let's see if he's soft anywhere else.

My knife makes a thunking noise as it enters the side of his head. Takashi's mouth splits into a grin, he tightens his grip around my chin while wrapping his other hand around my throat as if to tear it out. Shit, shit shit--oh, right. I'm an idiot.

The blood is starting to pound in my ears as pain screams through my face, but I grit my teeth and pull the knife back out, switching it to my other hand and jamming it back into Takashi's head, but entering through his right ear this time. There we go, the reaction is immediate. He freezes, eyes wide and face a mask of shock. Blood, among other things, gushes from the wound in a spray, I pull the knife back out and the spatter only intensifies. Takashi collapses on top of me, thanks for that, asshole.

I throw him off, wiping as much of the dark gunk as I can off my jacket and onto the grass. Takashi is on his back now, staring up at the sky, his chest heaving up and down. Fluids are still seeping from the hole in his head, but overall it looks like an improvement. In the distance, the violin has finally come to a stop.

“Damn it. God damn it. Fuck.” Takashi gasps, his arms and limbs beginning to spasm. “I can't die, I just... I just got an idea for a new painting.”

I shrug. Maybe he should ask the people who he's already silenced permanently if they care. “I never really liked your artwork anyway.”

“Fuck you, Nakai...”

“Yeah, yeah.” I know this conversation is finished. I turn and walk over to Molly, she's just sitting there in the grass, staring down at her still hands.


She doesn't look up. She's just the kind to blame herself for the people Takashi killed, who knows how long he's been forcing her to sit and play like this. I tap her shoulder.

“Molly. He's gone. You can go now.”

“Why are you here, Hisao?” She asks softly, her gaze still downcast. I can't see her eyes around the lenses of the gas mask.

“Just passing through. I need to get something from Yamaku.” I didn't come for you. Would I, if I had known? Maybe. Maybe not. She doesn't respond.

“Did he have a stash anywhere? There's a camp about three clicks west of here. Good people, even a few teachers there. You can make it.”

“I'm not going.” She replies. Damn it.

I think she and Takashi might have been dating, back before it all happened. But don't tell me she still cared enough about that jerk to want to stay here, even after what he did.

“Takashi's dead. You don't need to stick around.”

“It's not that.” Her voice trembles. She finally looks up at me, and--oh, goddammit. For the first time, I take a moment to fully look her over. I open my mouth to say something, but can't think of the right words.

“Just go.” She looks past me, over towards where Takashi's body lies. She picks up her violin again and resumes playing, some slow, quiet song.

“Sorry, Molly.” I had it wrong. She doesn't say anything else.

I do as she asks, but I promise myself that I'll swing by and check on her on my way back to the Council. I trudge through the grass and enter the treeline, taking one last look back at the girl who sits, the stubs of her once amputated legs now completely fused with the earth of the clearing. The requiem she plays for her crazed, murderous and now still protector lingers in my ears as I get further away.
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Re: Radioactive (or Katawa: Call of Yamaku) (or something)

Post by Scissorlips » Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:13 am

“Here it is, man. Told you it was a piece of work, huh?”

“This is what you've been begging me to get pieces from Mutou for?”

I watch the scene as if from a distance. Maybe I have a vivid imagination, or maybe it's just because I've been having this dream off and on for months now.

“Yeah, man. Don't you know, normally you have to go through all the proper channels and shit like that. But your science club must have some pretty good connections.”

“It's not... real, is it?”

“Hell yeah it is. You'd be amazed by what you can find instructions for on the internet.”

“Kenji, tell me you're kidding.”

“What the hell, dude? How do you expect us to quell the feminist uprising without needless bloodshed unless we strike their headquarters? One fell swoop, just one detonation and we've won!”

“Kenji, I didn't borrow all those parts just so you could build a bomb out of them. Warning people about your theories is one thing, but building a bomb...”

“Oh, now you're doubting me? I know what I'm doing, here, look. It's solid as a rock.”

“Hold on, don't--”

A presence is suddenly standing next to me. I turn my head only the tiniest bit and can make out a tuft of sea-green hair.

“So that's how it happened.” The intruder says.

“Get the hell out of my head.” I reply, glaring. But not at her. At the scene in front of me. It's frozen now, Kenji still poised to bring his wrench down on the metal container in front of him. He had dragged me out to his bunker in the heart of the woods, behind the school. Said it was important. Said he had something to show me.

Fuck, if I had only known.

“Sorry.” The new voice says quietly, pulling me back to reality. Or, not really reality. It's still my dream. Mine, not hers.

“I can't help it.” She mumbles.

“Get. Out.” My hands are balled into fists at my sides, I don't want to turn to look at her. I don't want to see her. Not until I have to. Not until it's time.

Anyone who's fallen asleep within a few clicks of the school has run into her, in one way or another. And anyone who's had encounters with the shambling, mindless husks that wander through the excluded zone have seen her handiwork too.

But not for much longer.

“I'm going. It's good to see you, Hisao.”

“Piss off.”

Her presence withdraws, my dream resumes just as Kenji's wrench lands. Everything erupts.

I wake up in a sweat, my instincts already screaming to check my surroundings. It's still dark, although the sky is beginning to show the faintest hints of the sun rising. The most important thing right now, though, is that there's a campfire crackling a few feet away from me, and I don't set campfires. It's a damn stupid thing to do out here, and a good way to get you--

Something small and cold touches the back of my head. “D-don't move.”

“I wasn't planning on it, Hanako.”


“It's him, Hanako.” Another voice says. I look up, someone I hadn't noticed before is sitting across from me, on the other side of the fire. Damn it, why hadn't I seen her before? Was I careless, or sleepy? Or did she really just appear out of nowhere?

I feel the muzzle retreat, stupid, stupid. “Don't lower it.” I mutter.

“S-sorry.” Hanako shakily returns the gun to my head, fuck, she'd better have the goddamn safety on.

“Just relax, Hanako. Hisao isn't here to fight.” Lilly calls.

I stare at her, focusing on my former classmate and not the barrel digging into my hair. She's dressed in fairly light gear, and her skin still looks as clean and fresh as ever.

“I'm not, but you still shouldn't let your guard down that easy. How have you two managed to last this long?”

Lilly smiles, reaching forward to retrieve a tin mug from within the fire. She blows on it carefully, how the mighty have fallen, I guess.

“We have our ways.” She says, taking a tentative sip. Only now do I notice the veins between her eyes and her hairline are dark and purple, bulging slightly. That explains the lack of a gas mask, at least. Maybe it was all worth it if it meant she could keep drinking her precious tea.

“I might have something you want.” I begin slowly digging through my pockets, maybe I can throw some bandages at them and be on my way.

“We don't need anything from you, Hisao.” Lilly smiles brightly, her eyes still closed. “You are our guest, feel free to stay awhile and rest.”

At this, Hanako retreats from her position behind me and sits down next to Lilly. Her gear is painted in a camouflage scheme, she peers at me through a wide, clear faceplate. Nice suit, it looks like it might even have been traded for at--or stolen from--one of the military outposts.

I can't stay much longer, I feel rested enough now and it would probably be easier to sneak into Yamaku with the low light. But I've had colder reception than this, and they haven't tried to eat me or anything, like that time last week.

“What brings you to this area, Hisao?” Lilly asks. “We thought you were mostly doing jobs for those two these days.”

Those two? Oh, she means the Council. I guess she and Hanako probably don't get out very much. Which raises the question...

“That's actually why I'm out here. And have you been keeping tabs on me?”

The whole time, Hanako has been watching me intently. Her hair is tied up behind her, too dangerous to keep it in front of one eye anymore, I guess. And there are people with far worse scars than her, now.

Lilly opens her eyes for a moment, and I see that they've gone completely clear. Her companion glances over at her, looking uneasy.

“Like I said, Hisao. We have our ways.” Lilly smiles sweetly, but I feel something tugging on the edge of my mind. I grimace, but Hanako still has her gun out and the last thing I need is to spook her. I notice she's been letting Lilly tend the fire this whole time, but I'm distracted by the sensation of a hand rooting around my consciousness. I can't help it, a growl escapes my lips.

Hanako blanches, but Lilly closes her eyes again, a melancholy look on her face. “I see.” She says.

Somehow, I doubt that. Or I would, if this had been the old days. I don't quite think this is the Lilly I used to know, though.

“Yeah.” I mutter. There doesn't really seem to be a point in keeping things from her now.

Lilly frowns. “She won't go down without a fight.”

I can't help but chuckle at that. “Really? It never took much to put her down before.”

She pouts for a moment. “You know what I mean, Hisao.”

Hanako seems to have figured out the subject of our conversation, either she picked up the hints or Lilly clued her in somehow.

“W-we tried to get into the library, last month.” She says. “To get some books.”

She stares down at her hands, cradling her gun as if it were a stuffed animal. “We h-had Natsume and N-Naomi with us, too.”

She stops there. I listen to the fire crack and rumble for a few moments.


“And they died.” Lilly says simply.

“It's n-not just h-her.” Hanako adds. “There are a c-couple members of the l-literature club that still c-control the second floor. And the z-z-zombies, too.”

Even she can't utter that last part and sound like she believes it. And I can't blame her, but it's the truth. The mangled things wander around the whole area, usually they just prowl and steal things, but when they get closer to the old school building they get violent. They get fast, even. Or so I've been told, the things the Council has me doing have kept me closer to the outskirts of the excluded zone these days.

Hopefully it won't be a problem, though. I brought enough ammo for the whole damn gang.

“Yeah, well. We'll see how things go.” I climb to my feet, still keeping one eye on Hanako's trigger finger.

“Before you leave, Hisao.” Lilly calls. She's probably going to ask about the lack of a gas mask, but whatever heightened senses she has might have spelled that one out for her already.

She speaks slowly, choosing her words with care. “She would want you to know that she was thinking about you. At the end.”

I don't know whether to laugh or bristle. I end up just staring at the fire in front of me.

“How could you know?” I ask quietly.

“I didn't, not at first. But, well... once the changes set in.”

Lilly takes a short sip from her tea, or whatever it is that passes for tea these days. “She left an impression. She really cared about you.”

“She was...” Lilly trails off.

“She was the fastest thing on no legs.” I almost whisper, staring at the heart of the fire, not bothering to look up.

She would have been the perfect partner, I think. Agile, good endurance. Checking her prosthetics would have complicated things, though it wouldn't have been too difficult to manage. But Emi has been gone since the beginning, since the day it all came down.

She was fast, faster than anyone I had ever seen. But even she wasn't fast enough to outrun the blast.

I turn to go. I can't stop, gotta keep moving. I have to get this done, then I can head back and crash and maybe even hunt down some whiskey. Or vodka, that seems to be all anybody has in stock. But none of that matters until this job is over.

“H-Hisao! Wait!” Hanako calls. I glance back.

She stands there, her frame bathed in the warm glow of the fire that flickers in the low, early morning light. All decked out like that and with her gun still in hand, she seems like a completely different person from the one I used to know. But she hasn't changed so much. I'm glad at least one of us hasn't.

“D-don't get dead.” She says.

“Not in my forecast.” I reply.
Last edited by Scissorlips on Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Radioactive (or Katawa: Call of Yamaku) (or something)

Post by Scissorlips » Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:14 am

The sun is beginning to break over the horizon as I finally step onto the grounds of what used to be Yamaku Academy. The student population has long since spread out among the 30 kilometer quarantine zone, but the different buildings are still the turf of various groups and factions. The girls' dormitory is surrounded by barbed wire, I can hear cheering, among other noises, coming from the lobby. Supposedly, Enomoto runs something between a brothel and a fight club out of the first floor. But that's not why I'm here today.

Yamaku was closer to the blast than anything else, the entire back half of the school is gone, there's nothing left.


I guess I'm still here.

The courtyards are pockmarked by craters and still littered with debris, human or otherwise. There might be a few brave souls who still venture into the auxiliary building looking for supplies, but the handful of heads set out on spikes around the entrance, right next to the scrawled promise to do no harm, is more than enough deterrent for most. The nurse didn't take losing his favorite student very well, and doesn't practice anything close to medicine anymore.

Carefully making my way through the grounds towards the central building, I can already see the zombies. They shamble around, some are eerily silent, some are mumbling or reciting things. Study guides, recipes, what used to be my English teacher is even muttering old war poems. He, it, I don't know, doesn't seem to be interested in doing much else, all tangled up in the barbed wire fence like that.

Although some of the buildings still seem to have power, the front lobby is dark and dilapidated as I enter through the doors. This is where Mutou stood waiting for me, what feels like a long, long time ago. I never saw him, after the blast. Maybe he figured it out, maybe he knew what had caused it and that he had played even an unwitting hand in the death of so many. Just another thing to keep me up at night.

Something darts through the shadows as I take a few steps in, I level my rifle but it's gone. I have a flashlight I could pull out, but my night vision is actually pretty good these days, another side effect. The safety is already off this time, I keep my weapon trained on the halls in front of me as I head towards the stairs. I would say something about how things are going well so far, but that always has a habit of making the shit hit the fan even faster.

The hallways of the first floor are still a mess. Books, even desks and chairs are everywhere. The first years were probably the ones that had it the hardest, being younger and weaker. I'm sure some made it, though. The military even let a few leave, at first. Before they got better screening methods for mutation and contamination. Then they clamped down hard. Now, nobody leaves, and the only ones to come in are soldiers, scientists guarded by soldiers, or pirates and robbers who bribe or sneak their way past the cordons.

Memories begin to bubble up as I reach the second floor, as I walk past the tea room. Barring the occasional, ominous noises coming from inside some of the rooms, the building is eerily quiet. Well, the noises are eerie too, I guess. Fine, the whole place is eerie, and the sooner I get this over with, the better.

Light. One light, tiny pinprick, red, get the fuck dow--

The sound of the gunshot splits my ears after so much quiet, I dive for the nearest classroom, one hand shielding my head. Back check, room clear, barring that big, red mess in the corner that I don't want to look at too closely right now.

“That was a warning shot!” A voice croaks from the hall.

“You're a fucking liar!” I call back. And a damn poor shot at that.

“The second floor is ours!” Someone else shouts. That makes at least two, muffled voices, masks.

“You're gonna want to get out of my way.” I reply, reaching for a grenade.

“...Now.” One of them says quietly. Two guns erupt, I watch bullets tear into the floor outside the room, but the idiots aren't even aiming near me. Still, I shield my ears against the racket, it drowns everything else out. What the hell are they--

As the din begins to fade, I can hear another sound, this one the breaking of glass.

I whirl around but something's already in the room with me, a dark brown blur is moving left and right, I reach for my knife but something, someone rushes forward, a head cracks against mine. I'm seeing stars and, when they fade, a wide grin as a familiar face is suddenly right in front of mine.

“Sup.” The girl in front of me breathes, eying me up.

“Hey, Miki. Looking good.” I grunt, reaching to rub my forehead with one hand while I aim my gun with the--

“I wouldn't do that, Hisao.” Her right hand--well, her only hand, grips my rifle, pointing it away teasingly, while she brings her other wrist up towards my face. I wince harder at the sight than I had at the headbutt.

Miki's left arm resembles an open wound, the blunted flesh stripped away to reveal a jutting, sharpened bone that she wields like a knife. She slowly traces it over my neck, still peering at me coyly.

“That looks like it hurts.” I mutter. She smiles sadly, the girl I used to know emerging for only a flicker of an instant before her eyes regain that wild, predatory look.

“Oh, believe me.” She licks her lips. “It hurts you only a little bit more than it hurts me.”

“You got him, Miki?” One of the voices calls from the hallway.

“Oh, I got him all--” She takes her eyes away from me for only a moment, but that's a big enough mistake to exploit. I push off from the wall with my shoulders, choosing to be the one doing the headbutting this time. Miki gasps in something between pain and delight and stumbles backward.

“Oh, you fucking gaylo--”

“I don't have time, Miki.” I'm already drawing my combat knife, but she comes at me again. She's wearing a lean, form-fitting bodysuit and no mask, but I can see that the poisoned environment has already had its effect on her. Her body was always toned and sleek, but now she moves like a goddamn gust of wind, sprinting from spot to spot and twisting in kicks that smash clean through the wall. I can hear footsteps running our way and know that I can't afford to play with her any longer, lovely as she might be.

“I don't know what brings you back here Hisao, but you're not getting any closer.” Miki shouts, slashing at me with her arm.

I choose to postpone coming up with a response, unclipping a grenade from my belt and tossing it towards the door, just as two armored figures arrive. One swears and dives back into the hallway, but the other is a little slower. Miki glances over at him, eyes wide.

“Akio you moron, mo--”

Bits of exosuit and osteoporosis--I think?--afflicted youth shower us for a moment and the floor shakes, Miki lets out a cry of rage.

“GodDAMNIT Hisao look what you've done!” She screams, pulling back her sharpened stump as if to charge me with it.

“I saw, I saw.” I level my rifle at her, but the ground is suddenly shaking again, and not from an explosion this time. Miki takes quick steps back towards the windows, managing to pull herself outside with her heightened dexterity.

“Taro will set you straight.” She mutters, giving me a look that says everything could have been cool if I hadn't just blown up a friend of hers.

The rumbles are getting louder. This room is small and cramped, I edge my head into the hallway and see no trace of the other guard. I can hear a faint crashing now, something that sounds like it might be a roar, almost like that of an engine. I'm running, bolting towards the library. Large, open space, room to dodge, maybe even space to set up an ambush if I have time.

A zombie is stumbling through the door ahead of me, I put a bullet between its eyes without even stopping and slam past as it falls, entering the ruins of Yamaku's library.

The lights are out here too, but what looks like billions of dust particles are drifting through the beams of sun that pour from the windows. Many of the wide, spacious aisles are tipped over, books and pages are everywhere. And that rumbling still hasn't let up. I take long, fast strides across the carpet, turning around to see the door behind me explode.

Dust and plaster rain down on the hulking figure that emerges, Taro looks like he's seen better days. His previously useless arm is just a dull stump, blackened with flaky blood that has long since dried. By contrast, the rest of him is absolutely massive, bulging with muscles. If he had a neck before, he doesn't now, and his good arm resembles a number of sledgehammers taped together. Except it's not, it's one big fucking angry fist and it's headed right this wa--

I roll to the side, coming up and letting loose with my rifle. Taro shrugs off the bullets as if they were sports officials wanting to test him for steroids. He grunts, a sound like a locomotive hissing as he plows through the wreckage to close the distance between us again. In the corner of my eye I see Miki crash through one of the windows near the ceiling, climbing down to sit on top of one of the remaining bookcases. She watches with dull curiosity as I do everything I can to keep space between me and the massive mutant intent on ripping my head off. This isn't so hard, though. He's fast when he charges and damn does he look strong, but he's slow the rest of the time, as long as I keep backing up I should be able to put him down, I should be just fine.

A loud blare rings out as somewhere, a gun opens up. I feel the bullets tear through my shoulder, before the thought that I've been hit even registers, a massive hand is curling around my chest. Taro throws his newfound prize, namely me, across the room, and a strangled cry escapes my mouth as I smash through several empty shelves before hitting one that's still full enough to stop me.

I blink up at the ceiling. My back is swearing at me, everything is fine equals shit hitting the fan, remember, asshole? Even as the blood seeps from the wounds on my shoulder, a foot is stepping on my chest. A figure dressed in heavy gear and a thick gas mask looks down on me, just from his eyes I can tell he's sneering.

“You came to the wrong literature club, motherfucker.” Lezard taunts. In a moment, Miki appears next to him, studying me through narrowed eyes. A few loud footsteps later, another massive form appears at Lezard's other side.

“Taro isn't even in the literature club.” I mutter, struggling to get my breathing under control. Blood loss, shock, all bullshit words that are going to be more than that very soon if I can't catch a moment to get to my inside pocket.

“Honorary member.” Lezard reaches back to pat his hulking companion affectionately. Even though his eyes show nothing nearing intelligence anymore, Taro still scowls at him. Then Miki does the same thing as Lezard and Taro gets a big, stupid grin on his face.

“Hisao, what do you want? Why are you here? Did the Council send you?” Miki asks, turning back to me. But Lezard brandishes his gun.

“Fuck that, Akio's meat because of him. We're returning the favor.”

Need my pills. I need my pills.

“We can make him meat as soon as we figure out what he's doing here, Lezard.”


“That's right, Taro.” Miki gives her companion a strained smile for a moment before looking back at me. “Start talking, Hisao. Please.”

“Now.” She tries to force another predatory grin, but doesn't seem to have the heart for it. I look into those amethyst eyes for a moment, remembering the times me and Emi had managed to corral her into running with us. And back then, sitting in the grass next to the track was always...

I glance over to my left. There it is. The door to the literature club room. I'm so close. I just need my goddamn pills, and then I can do this.

“Two days ago,” I begin, looking back at them. With every ounce of subtlety I can muster, my free hand slowly creeps inside my jacket, reaching for the first bottle I can find. “the Council sent me to--”

“What the fuck are you doing?” Lezard shouts, aiming the barrel of his gun directly at my chest. “Do we look blind to you?”

Guess I wasn't sneaky enough. Maybe I should have let Shizune teach me a few lessons on subtlety, like she was always offering. Even though I could guess what she really wanted.

“Lezard, hold on for--”


“Yes, Taro.” Lezard mutters, sneering at me again through his gas mask. “Meat.”

He puts the gun against my rib cage, and then he pulls the trigger.
Last edited by Scissorlips on Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Radioactive (or Katawa: Call of Yamaku) (or something)

Post by Scissorlips » Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:14 am

The blood that gushes from my mouth is as hot as the rage that boils in my chest as Lezard empties his clip into my stomach. The muzzle flash lights up the three faces above me, as well as the rest of the gloomy library. No matter how bright it is though, it isn't enough to stop everything from going dark as my eyes close on their own, ice cold shock and pain flooding through my veins.

Lezard doesn't stop until his gun clicks in response. He's stupid for wasting ammo.

But he's fucking stupid for not aiming at my head.

“Serves you right, asshole.” Lezard mutters under his breath. Miki lets out a sigh.

“Pick him up, Taro. She'll want to at least know.”

“She probably knows already.” Lezard says, stepping off of me. I can barely make out their words from the sound of the blood pounding through my ears. A thick, heavy roaring, a strong pumping that isn't fading.

Over it, I can hear the two of them walking away. A set of creaking thumps sound Taro's advance. But he stops.

“Pretty.” He remarks bluntly.

“Oh yeah, it's really pretty, Taro.” Lezard calls. “Really messy, too. The best kind.”

I can feel Taro's breath on me as he leans in closer.


“You what?”

The blood is pumping faster now, my body is burning and twitching, I know I need my pills but I need to fucking tear something in half first. And then maybe tear it in half again. I crack one eye open, Taro is standing back up, looking in the direction of the club room.

“Glowy.” He says.

“Stick around, I'll get you a thesaurus for christmas.” I grit my teeth, putting the palms of my hands on the floor as I push myself up. The carpet begins to melt underneath them. Taro turns back to me, mouth widening in a childlike grin as he realizes he gets to play some more.

“Dinosaur make good present.” He remarks, I wipe the blood from my mouth as I stagger to my feet. It hisses as it begins to evaporate.

“Are you a fucking cockroach, Nakai?” Lezard cries, diving behind a bookcase. Miki is nowhere to be seen, but the door to the literature club room is open a crack.

“I thought we were all special here, Lezard.” My gun is within arm's reach but the last thing I need is to melt that too. Blood is still pouring from my chest, but the air is sizzling and crackling now, green light is shining through the holes. Need to wipe them out and take my pills before I go full glowy.

“See no dinosaur!” Taro roars indignantly, swiping at me with a massive hand. Luminous, green steam escapes my mouth as I backstep the blow and then move in closer, drawing my knife. I dodge and weave around Taro, making quick, light slashes whenever he gives me an opening. The cuts themselves don't seem to hurt much. When I lay a hand on them afterwards, the gurgling and hissing of flesh is only outmatched by his roars of anguish.

Even if I brought a goddamn dinosaur, he wouldn't be able to see it now, Taro is blinded by rage. I take a few calculated steps and he charges, slamming past me and blowing straight through several bookcases, headed straight for--

“Oh, shit.” Lezard mumbles, trying to disentangle himself from the wreckage at his feet before impact, but he's not much faster than Akio was. When Taro peels himself away, the bookcase is almost wrapped around Lezard's limp body, conforming to his shape.

“WHERE HEESOW?” The lumbering giant roars, his body dripping with blood dyed a sickly orange color.

“Down.” I half walk, half run towards him, slamming my palm into his chest, the flesh sizzles and burns. Taro bellows, raising his hand to swipe at me, but I push harder. The thick flesh gives way, starts to melt, his cry becomes a squeal as my hand sinks further in.

No more time for games. Need to kill you, then need to take my pills. Too big for knives, too thick for bullets, probably got a reinforced skull.

Need to tear your heart out.

Taro falls backwards, but his shoulders are so massive that I barely have to take another step to continue digging into his chest. There's the ribcage, the flesh is cauterizing and closing around my hand, just going to have to pull it out--

“Stop!” A voice wails, I turn my head to see Miki running towards me, eyes wide. Sharpened wrist of bone, dangerously fast, bigger threat than Taro. I pull my hand from the engorged beast and use it to snatch Miki's throat, stepping forward and slamming her against the wall. Her good hand flies to mine, struggling desperately, she's choking.

“Hisao.” She gasps. The radiation is pouring off me in waves now, from only a few meters away I can hear the Geiger counter in Lezard's suit going crazy.

“Shouldn't have let him aim for the chest, Miki.” I growl at her, tightening my grip just enough to let the flesh of her throat begin to dance. She sucks in a labored breath, weakly trying to jab at me with her wrist, but I grab it with my free hand. Enough pressure and the bone begins to melt, she lets out a gurgling cry, a sobbing wail as tears begin to spill down her face.

“Hisao,” She claws at my hand, her eyes closed. “Please.”

I remember the times we used to run, Miki. I remember the teasing and the good-natured ribbing, the jokes you used to make about teaching Emi new tricks to use in bed. I remember all of us going into town, me with Emi and you dragging along...


I remember why I'm here, now. I discard Miki, casually throwing her towards the bulky mass of our former classmate. She coughs and gasps and sucks in desperate breaths, afraid to look up at me for fear that I'll decide to finish her off. But I have better things to do.

There's almost more green light than sunlight in the room now, the steady pumping sound is probably loud enough for them to hear it. I reach inside my heavy jacket and pull out multiple bottles of pills, popping them open and jamming them down my throat. Ibuprofen, Prozac, even Viagra, it wouldn't matter now. My metabolism is so fucked up that just about any kind of pill will keep the symptoms at bay. Someday, I'll get my hands on one that will do the job. A pill that will keep things under wraps so well that I'll be able to escape the zone of exclusion, I'll be able to make it past the quarantine area.

That day is today. And I'm almost there.

Having swallowed a good amount of my reserves, the light emanating from my chest begins to dull, the pounding noises grow quiet. The ticking of Lezard's Geiger counter slows.

Time to do my job. I walk towards the literature club room, past the two forms, one lying on the ground and the other still on her knees.

“She like dinosaurs.” Taro whimpers.

“I wouldn't know.” I reply under my breath, continuing to walk.

“Hisao.” Miki pleads, her voice raspy. “Don't do it.”

I take a few more steps, reaching for the last item in my bag of tricks, a simple 9 millimeter pistol.

“Please!” She cries, still coughing and gasping. “Don't hurt her!”

I reach the door to the literature club room. Next to me, Lezard is still crumpled into the side of a bookcase, he stirs at my approach.

“What...” He grunts, trying in vain to climb out. “What the fuck are you?”

I glance at him for only a moment.

“I have a heart condition.” I say simply. “Arrhythmia.”
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Re: Radioactive (or Katawa: Call of Yamaku) (or something)

Post by Scissorlips » Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:16 am

The club room is a maze of darkness, lit only by a single beam of light that struggles to make it through the grimy window. It takes a few moments for my eyes to adjust.

The floor is covered with the old beanbag chairs that students would have used in the library proper. In the center of the room, just past the light, a slender figure is slumped into the largest one. The girl sits up as I approach, wiping sleep from her eyes.

“Hi, Hisao.” She says quietly. She looks like she's wincing in pain, but just barely.

“Hey Suzu.” I reply, holding up my pistol to inspect it in the low light. I'm not trying to impress or even threaten her, just making sure it's in working order. Check to make sure it's loaded, click the safety off, right. A long walk, a handful of bodies, and now it just comes to this.

“You know why I'm here?”

“I can guess.” She sits forward, scooting onto a beanbag that rests in the center of the light. Now that I have a good look at her, I can see her skin is deathly pale, almost translucent. Her body has wasted away to nearly nothing, her hair is long and matted, and her eyes are so dark and tired that she looks like she hasn't slept since the day she was born. But I know that's not the case. Even now.

Especially now.

“Suzu!” Miki's shouts are distant and dull, the material of the door and the wall really are that thick. “Suzu, run!”

I take a step back and slam the door shut, pulling over a nearby bookcase to make sure it stays closed. Maybe I'll go through the window, or maybe I'll see if I have enough explosives left to take out the wall. Either way, first things first.

“It's nothing personal, Suzu.” I say quietly, walking back over to her. She watches me blankly, her stare both unassuming and unafraid.

“Shizune wants me out of the way?” She asks softly. I nod.

“You've been digging through everyone's head at night for too long. She's afraid you might know more than you should.”

Suzu bites her lip. She looks like she wants to protest, but is too tired to do so.

“I might, yeah.” She whispers.

Suzu peers at me again. “Please don't tell me that bag is for my head.” She mumbles.

“What?” I grimace. “No. Fuck no, you have such a goddam morbid...”

Stop, stop. I can hear a fist banging on the door now, just one. Taro is probably still down for the count, and Lezard's a useless ass anyway.

“Hisao, listen to me!” Miki's voice is muffled through the door and my makeshift blockade. “You don't have to do this!”

No time for reminiscing. Do what we came here to do.

“The bag is just for my equipment. Shizune isn't that diabolical.”

Suzu smiles dryly. She looks like she could fall asleep again any moment. I don't know if that would make this easier or harder, and fuck, I don't want to find out.

“You might be surprised.” She says quietly, still squinting, the corners of her mouth pulled as if she's suppressing the urge to flinch.

“Yeah, yeah.” I take a step closer, raising my gun. Hold it with both hands, don't miss the girl. Even though she looks so frail that even a body shot would probably do the job.

Now there are more hands beating on the door. More than two people, some sound weak, halfhearted strikes. The cavalry, all rotting and moist. Just another reminder that the sleepyheaded thing in front of me isn't as innocent as she seems either.

My finger is on the trigger. Suzu looks me right in the eyes, frowning slightly.

“She doesn't have it, Hisao.”

“Of course you'd say that.”

She smiles again, a weary, exhausted smile. Deep, dark lines rim her eyes.

“I don't expect you to believe me.”

My hands haven't moved. “How would you even know?”

“Because,” Suzu says. “Shizune has been tossing and turning in her sleep these last few nights, trying to think of what she's going to tell you when you come back and she doesn't have your pill.”

The door behind me begins to bulge and crack, I let out a frustrated snarl as I circle around behind her, still keeping my pistol trained on her head.

“And what, you know where to find it?”

Suzu appears to think it over. “I don't know that.” She says quietly.

“If I let you live, could you find it?”

She pauses again. “I can't promise that.”

“That's what I thought.”

The door bursts open and Miki runs in, flanked by half a dozen mangled, moving corpses. The air fouls immediately.

“Hisao, just, wait. Please.”

“Stay back Miki.” I warn, moving closer and pressing the barrel of my gun to Suzu's head.

“It's okay, Miki.” The girl in the beanbag says, in the same tone she would always use when we woke her up to tell her she had hit something hard on the way down.

The zombies just stand there, their decrepit bodies moving up and down as their punctured lungs struggle to operate. Their empty eyes travel from me to Suzu and back, uncomprehending.

“What about these things, Suzu?” I ask, my tone still hard. “Even if you didn't play with everyone's dreams, these creatures are still your fault.”

I can't see her expression, but her head lowers as she stares at her lap. The zombies begin to shuffle forward, their hands in motion.

“Bad move.” I mutter, grimacing as I look back at my target.

“Wait!” Miki cries. Against my better judgment, I do. I look up.

The shambling corpses are digging through pockets, purses and bags. They're pulling out pills of all shapes and sizes, holding them out as they stagger up to the green haired girl in front of me. Without a word, she slowly cups her hands together as each of the creatures deposits their gift before dragging their damaged legs out the door. In less than a minute, it's just the three of us.

With a careful glance at me, Miki kneels before her best friend, helping her swallow the pills one at a time.

“Tell me what those are.” I mutter, my pulse only just beginning to slow now that I'm not so severely outnumbered.

“Sleeping pills.” Miki says, glaring up at me before returning to her task. “It hurts her to be awake.”

“I was thinking something a little more permanent.” I reply, but the words feel hollow. This is the Miki I used to know, the one that always looked out for her friend with the debilitating sleep disorder. The one who stayed behind to keep her company when she was injured, who never once complained about carrying her around.

“No matter what... Hisao?” Suzu turns her head to look up at me, having finished the last of the pills. She's already fading, Miki cradles her gently as she leans backwards to lay down against the beanbag chair. I still haven't lowered my gun.

“If you make it out of the quarantine zone...” Suzu mumbles, her eyes fluttering open and closed. “...can you please tell my parents that I'm sorry?”

I say nothing for a long moment.

“I can't do that, Suzu.” I reply at last, frowning down at her. “I have my own apologies to make.”

“I know.” She's sinking into the makeshift bedding. Miki stands up, wiping her eyes and knowing that she couldn't stop me now, no matter what I chose to do.

“But Hisao, I don't think she blames you for Emi.” Suzu whispers, already on the way out.

Damn it, god damn it, my hand is shaking, the pistol is bouncing up and down like I'm some amateur.

“She should.” I mutter.

“I saw it, remember? You... you didn't know.”

“It's still my fault.”

With great effort, Suzu opens her eyes to look up at me.

“You have no idea,” she smiles wistfully, “how much I wish I knew what to say to that.”

Miki looks stricken, but something tells me it's not my place to know. I blow out a long breath, okay, think. Just think, what can we do. What are the odds. If I've been working for the Council all this time and they still haven't found it or still won't give it to me, would I really be that worse off telling Shizune to shove it? What about those things, those zombies? Who's to say they won't go berserk and be even more dangerous once the plug is pulled?

“If I let you live, IF I let you live.” I say to the girl below me. “Will you keep an eye out for what I'm looking for?”

Suzu smiles weakly, attempting to raise her hand in a salute but failing miserably at it.

“The next scientist to enter the excluded zone is getting his mind felt the hell up, I promise.”

I almost crack a smile at that. Almost, almost, maybe I will later. After some whiskey, or vodka, or both. After I'm far away from here.

“Alright then.” I say quietly. “Go to sleep.”

She smiles wider, but her eyes are still taking me in wistfully, like there's something she wants to tell me, but she can't.

“See you in my dreams.” She mumbles, and then she's gone. My hand falls to my side, Miki is staring down at the ground now.

A figure limps through the door, we both look up.

“Is she--”

“Don't even fucking start, Lezard.” I motion with my pistol. “Get out.”

He looks from me to Miki, who nods at him. Grumbling under his breath, he stumbles back out of view.

Neither of us say anything for a few long moments.

“The zombies and the dreams are still a problem.” I say.

“We'll move her. We'll get as far away from everyone else as we can.” Miki replies, staring at me desperately.

“The Council might come after me.”

“You can have some of our supplies. We'll always keep a place for you.”

A place? I don't want anything like that. I don't need some shattered wreck to call a home, I just need to stabilize my condition so I won't be a threat to people when I get out of the quarantine zone. I need to get past the military, I need to find Meiko Ibarazaki.

And then I need to tell her that her daughter's death is my fault. Whatever she decides to do with that knowledge is fine by me.

That's what I need. And besides.

“I killed Akio. Taro might not pull through.”

Miki looks as if she had almost forgotten, as if she had wanted to.

“Taro is tougher than he looks. And Akio knew the risks. Stupid fucker, it took forever to find an exosuit that worked well with... with those bones of his.” She sniffs, absentmindedly going to wipe her eyes with her left wrist, but she catches sight of her melted bone. I wouldn't be surprised if it still hurts, if it does, she looks like she's only remembered it now.

“I took that, too.” I say quietly. I'm not going to apologize. They almost killed me. But I would have done the same to them.

Miki grimaces at me, of course she's used to losing an appendage. Her expression softens, though, when she looks back down at a slumbering Suzu.

“But you didn't take her.” She replies gently. I turn to gaze at the girl lying slumped on her back in the web of beanbag chairs, her chest slowly rising and falling. Maybe this trip wasn't for nothing after all. Maybe Suzu is my best bet at finding the means to make it past the military's radiation detectors.

And maybe, if I do somehow manage to get out, I'll have to find her parents, too.

“I'm leaving. The Council will start getting antsy soon.”

“Okay.” Miki says numbly. Hard to thank someone for breaking into your home and then not killing your best friend.

I move towards the door, intent on keeping my pistol out until I know Lezard isn't planning anything shortsighted.

“Hey, Hisao.” Miki calls after me. I turn.

She gives me a pained smile. She just looks weary now, she looks almost as worn out as her charge. I wonder how much of that wild, energetic psycho-bitch act earlier was just that, an act.

Her good hand is clutching her melted mass of a left wrist, but she stares straight at me. “I'm sorry about Emi.” She says.

“Yeah.” Yeah, I'm sorry too. And no matter how nice it might be to stay here and try to relive some of the old days, those days are gone. Just like a lot of things, and a lot of people.

I turn again. “Take care of her.”

“I will.” Miki's tone is tired, exhausted, and still mixed with real, physical pain. She should probably pop a few antirad meds when she gets the chance, too. In fact, hell, they all should. But her words are still determined, her will is resolute. I think she can handle this one. After all, Miki always did remind me of Emi at times.

And there was nothing that girl couldn't do.

"Radioactive" is a song by Imagine Dragons.
Last edited by Scissorlips on Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Radioactive (or Katawa: Call of Yamaku) (or something)

Post by Trivun » Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:13 am

This is awesome. Great original story and you've kept the essentials of the characters well while still giving a decent reflection of how they'd cope in a situation like this. I'd love to see more of this soon, and find out what Shizune and Misha will do when they discover what Hisao has done (or rather, hasn't done...). Consider this story added to my favourites tab :D

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Re: Radioactive (or Katawa: Call of Yamaku) (or something)

Post by Banda » Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:23 am

Get out of here K.A.T.A.W.A :l
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Re: Radioactive (or Katawa: Call of Yamaku) (or something)

Post by Yellow 13 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:04 am

He was a good Stalker, let's drink to him once more
When the war, has been won
And our march home begins
What awaits has not yet been revealed
What was won? what was lost?
Will our deeds be remembered?
Are they written on stone or in sand?


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Re: Radioactive (or Katawa: Call of Yamaku) (or something)

Post by Scissorlips » Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:33 pm

Trivun wrote:This is awesome. Great original story and you've kept the essentials of the characters well while still giving a decent reflection of how they'd cope in a situation like this. I'd love to see more of this soon, and find out what Shizune and Misha will do when they discover what Hisao has done (or rather, hasn't done...). Consider this story added to my favourites tab :D
I'm glad you liked it, it was fun to have a change of pace. I wasn't really planning on continuing this one though, but if the urge strikes then it could be a possibility.
Banda wrote:Get out of here K.A.T.A.W.A :l
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Re: Radioactive (or Katawa: Call of Yamaku) (or something)

Post by YourFavAnon » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:49 am

Definitely an interesting story, the concept was really well thought out. This reminded me I need to write something for Halloween soon, so thank you for that as well.
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Re: Radioactive (or Katawa: Call of Yamaku) (or something)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:41 am

Interesting - not quite as depressing as Doomish at his worst but pretty bleak all the same.
At the rate people are dieing here the zone will probably be empty in three days tops.
Stalker reference?
Last edited by Mirage_GSM on Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Radioactive (or Katawa: Call of Yamaku) (or something)

Post by ProfAllister » Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:49 pm

Well written and fun. A good job.

I do feel the need to point out that it doesn't really pass the "Does it need to be a crossover?" threshold. It's a generic post-apoc drama with imported names and relatively irrelevant personality tics. Not a bad thing, but the crossover aspect was probably detrimental.

Still a fun story, and I'm sure you knew it was breaking rules for the sake of breaking rules, but it merits saying.

(This is meant to be mostly positive, even if it doesn't sound that way.)

One bit bothered me, though:
Scissorlips wrote:He's fast and damn does he look strong, but he's slow, as long as I keep backing up I should be able to put him down, I should be just fine.
Breaking the law of non-contradiction is a side effect of the radiation? :P
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Re: Radioactive (or Katawa: Call of Yamaku) (or something)

Post by andros414 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:33 pm

ProfAllister wrote:One bit bothered me, though:
Scissorlips wrote:He's fast and damn does he look strong, but he's slow, as long as I keep backing up I should be able to put him down, I should be just fine.
Breaking the law of non-contradiction is a side effect of the radiation? :P
It took Prof mentioning it and me re-reading it several times to notice what you're talking about. I kept reading it as "... but he's slower than me," :D
Shizune > Emi = Hanako > Lilly > Rin

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Re: Radioactive (or Katawa: Call of Yamaku) (or something)

Post by Catgirl Kleptocracy » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:22 pm

Great work here, I really enjoyed reading this story! The writing was overall pretty sharp, and there were a lot of lines I really liked. It was also a really cool idea for a story--the characters are already seen by many as "different" or "disabled", but this story adds an extra element to that in their mutations. I think this was most clearly expressed with Hanako, when it's noted she no longer has to hide her scars any more because there are people out there worse off than she is. That's the kind of change in characters that these kinds of stories can really bring out, and I was pumped when I saw it here.

My philosophy on crossovers is a bit different than a lot of the opinions shown here, but I don't think that the crossover elements used in this story were detrimental at all. The fic isn't advertised as a crossover, and had it not been for the comments, I never would have known. Even more, though, the story doesn't depend on knowledge of the crossed over canon--everything the reader needs to know is contained within the story itself. I never played S.T.A.L.K.E.R., but I feel as if I didn't miss anything or lose out on some element of this story because I wasn't familiar with the other canon. That's how it should be done, and I think you did a great job of it. I'd argue that the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. stuff did bring enough into the story to justify bringing it into play here, but as I don't really think it needs to be justified, I'll call it a moot point.

I do have one constructive point to make--there was one issue I found in the story big enough to point out, and that issue brings about several different consequences. Before I go into that, I'll reiterate that this was a great story, and I loved it. This is just something to look out for in future writing.

The main issue: The rift between what that narrator knows and what the reader is told, and its effects concerning point of view.

As a writer, you don't want to show all of the cards you're holding before the final play. However, this can be tough when the story is in first person. Here, there are two major points that are used to surprise and shock the audience--the first is Hisao's mission (kill Suzu for the counsel), and the second is his motivation for doing so (to get his wonder-pill from the counsel). As we go through the story, we follow Hisao as he struggles to complete these objectives. We know he's looking for somebody, and it's implied he's going to kill her. It's a huge surprise when the reader finds out he's supposed to kill Suzu, and why he's doing it. The problem though is that the story is in first person--our narrator knows these things from the beginning (and if we're looking at this as viewing a snapshot of a larger timeline, he knew BEFORE the beginning). However, the audience isn't told until near the end.

The problem here is that we have a direct link to Hisao's mind, actions, and motivations. You do an excellent job of getting us in his head for the rest of the story. However, certain bits of information are deliberately concealed from the reader. It's like putting up barriers saying, "You have his entire mind at your disposal and see everything he's thinking--except for this (extremely) relevant bit here, and that one over there." It's frustrating, and actually acts to distance the reader from Hisao instead of bringing them in closer, which is one of the major draws of first person writing.

It has a few different effects on the story. The first is that the beginning sections feel disjointed. Hisao knows his mission, but we don't--the first indication that he's looking for something is when he's talking to Molly in chapter 2, and it's not until he talks to Lilly and Hanako that we get any real idea of what his purpose is (and that's when the story really begins to shine, in my opinion). As a result, the action sequences of chapters one and two are awesome on their own, and well written, but there isn't anything tying them together. They feel disjointed from the rest of the story, and other than being random encounters (cue battle music), don't do anything concrete to further the plot.

Then there's the scene where he's talking to Lilly about Suzu--referring to her as "she" without giving the reader any indication as to who is being talked about. Here's an instance where our link to Hisao--vital in a first person work--is severed. The reader--who wants answers--is being deliberately blocked by our narrator; the person we're supposed to empathize with. The narrator himself becomes an obstacle to the reader's search for answers, which distances us from him (and if done too much, can make us resent him).

I'd also argue that the surprise of holding those secrets to the end is outweighed by the potential conflict that can be brought in by letting the reader know what he's trying to do and why from the beginning. If we know from the beginning, we can get a lot of insight from Hisao as to how he feels about having to assassinate a former classmate. He can even debate with himself as to whether or not it's worth killing her for the pill--does that really justify him taking her life? The flashback/dream in section 3 can then be about his pre-nuclear encounters/relationships with Suzu instead of the bomb thing with Kenji--his feelings and relationship with her are directly relevant to the story being told; Kenji and the reason why the place has gone to hell are not. Even more, if we can empathize with him enough that we DO want him to carry on with his mission, there's still a big surprise bomb you can drop--Suzu, who can seemingly read people's minds while sleeping, tells him the counsel doesn't actually have the pill they promised him. If the rest of the story is giving us that as his primary motivation for doing everything in the first place, it'll be an even BIGGER bomb when Suzu drops it if we've put our hopes in it than if it's introduced almost then and there.

With first person, always keep in mind what your narrator knows. If he knows it--IN MOST CASES--the reader should too.

All said though, I (again) really enjoyed this. Some great action, great dialogue, interesting characters and variation, and a cool story to boot. I could see this going further than a one-shot, but if you decided to end the story here, that'd just fine as well. Keep it up, Sciz. This was classy.

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