Look Back (Chapter One Complete, 7/15)

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Acik
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Look Back (Chapter One Complete, 7/15)

Post by Acik » Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:26 am

Alrighty then, hello there, folks. Awhile ago I decided to hop onto the zombie fic bandwagon (original, right?) and this was somewhat the result. Originally it wasn't written for KS, but after several rewrites and restructuring I decided to give it a try.

Basically, instead of churning out chapter seven of Waiting, I decided to try my hand at this again. /procrastination.

Well, enjoy. Or not. I'm not your mom. If was I would tell you to clean that room. Seriously, turn around...I'll wait...disgusting, right? Pick up all the crap and then read this. Actually, read this first. Then clean. Or not.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Chapter One, Part One: Solid Ground

Inhale.

Exhale.

Inhale.

Exhale.

Recoil.

A sharp expulsion of breath accompanied a bang, a flash, and a thud as the lifeless body hit the concrete. Several screams echoed off the walls of the nearest buildings, the kin of the fallen voicing their dissent. Their taunting cries died out after a moment, the stale city air returning to the silence of the night.

Smoke trailed off the barrel of the rifle, wistfully joining the smoke and smog above. The iron banding around the gun had seen better days, and the wood finish was beginning to show serious age. But the gun performed. If it could push a projectile to lethal speed, well, that was all Hisao cared about.

Content that the herd was no longer concerned with his shot, Hisao raised the gun away from the iron railing and slung it back over his shoulder. Despite the oddity of this place, he still waited a moment longer, listening. He heard no frantic shuffling or angry snarls. Just the wind. He almost regretted that.

Sighing, Hisao snapped open the release on the holster holding his pistol and made for the stairs. He doubted that he would really need to use it, but it was faster than drawing the rifle off his back. Fingering the cold black metal of the pistol, he silently descended from his perch.

At ground level the subtle wind that dominated the rooftops was all but dead. His brown hair, tousled by his extended stay above, rested against the side of his head threatening to obscure his vision with its new length. The few strands that occupied his vision danced side to side with his motions. Another sigh escaped his lips. It was time for another amateur haircut.

Hisao unconsciously moved his hand away from his pistol and let it rest on his knife. He hated cutting his own hair. Even scissors would make the task a small bit less depressing. But he knew the value of vision. Letting his hair grow out would make his life more dangerous. Not to mention give him a front row seat to the graying locks that were slowly overtaking his head.

Realizing his hand was fingering the knife, Hisao jerked it away and pulled the gun from its holster. This town was making his careless.

Thrusting the thought out of his head, he slowly rounded the base of the building. He knew that is was probably pointless; he hadn't had an issue all day, but carelessness had ended too many lives for him to underestimate its importance. So he moved slowly, pistol resting in both hands, ready to fire at a moments notice.

The corner ended at the start of a street, stretching far both ways, an endless sea of flat roofs and brick fronts. In any other town Hisao would fear for potential gunmen on those roofs, but the odds were slim here. For more reasons than Hisao preferred to think about.

Still, it never hurt to be careful. Hisao poked his head around the corner, scanning the rooftops and the street. He needed to make it to that body. Four blocks doesn't seem that far from a high rooftop, but on the ground it could take hours to move that far safely. At least, in any other place.

Satisfied that a sniper wasn't going to take a pot shot at him, Hisao ducked to a crouch and quickly darted across the street. His footfalls sounded unearthly loud in the stale night; reverberating off the steel fencing lining the opposite end of the street. Breaking into a quick sprint, Hisao leaped over the fence and rolled onto the dead grass.

The pistol was the first thing to come up, followed by his eyes. Still in a crouch, Hisao scanned the area. A small park occupied this portion of the town, brown spiky grass and thick vines grew over what was once playthings. A steel wrought jungle gym was completely smothered in growth, lending its appearance to a sickly green igloo. A small concrete path ran through to the other side. Where the earth hadn't come up to swallow the path Hisao noticed faded red stains. If such things had once bothered him, he couldn't quite remember when.

Slowly, Hisao raised his body up, pistol still ready to fire. The park left too many blind spots for his liking. Anything could be hiding in the shadows. But this was the path of least resistance, and it had been far too long since that had even been a possibility. He knew it could still be dangerous, but the odds were on his side. For once.

Luckily, the earthen growth on the path absorbed most of his footfalls, allowing slightly faster travel. Taking quick and deliberate steps, Hisao drifted through the park. The solid wall of buildings continued only a few more paces away. Hisao allowed himself a quick smug smile. It would have normally taken an hour to cross such a place, ignoring the fact that he would have avoided it to begin with, and he was practically at the other side in less than five minutes. Small things in life, right?

A rustling came to his left, followed by a quick shallow breath.

Stupid, Hisao! You're so stupid!

Before the unknown breath had finished its exhale, Hisao was ducked into a crouch, pistol raised at the noise.

“Hold!”

His own voice sounded foreign to him. How long had it been since he last spoke?

The rustling continued, but it wasn't frantic or hurried. The breathing remained steady. So it wasn't a person. Not anymore at any rate.

Hisao lowered his pistol and stood up. He could almost make out the huddled shape moving in the shadows. It knew he was there...it had too. He had spoken to the damn thing, not to mention being close enough to smell. But it wasn't making a move toward him. It wasn't doing anything.

The first time that happened Hisao nearly had a heart attack. Probably more from relief than shock. But the novelty soon wore off. Now it just left him feeling uneasy. Five years of experience and conditioning had taught him that this was all wrong. He almost missed the wild cries and frantic running. Almost.

Whatever the wretched thing was doing, it wasn't bothering Hisao. Better to not look a gift horse in the mouth and all that. But it still unnerved him. It would be a shame if that gift horse turned out sickly or lame.

The sounds of the creature faded as Hisao carefully rounded the corner. Another endless street lay before him, indistinguishable from the last. After scanning the rooftops for gunmen Hisao repeated the process from before, this time ducking into an alleyway on the opposite end. It was narrow, hardly wide enough for Hisao to pass, but it was the most direct.

The alleyway narrowed a bit more at its end forcing Hisao to shimmy along the wall. The back of his rifle grated along the wall, screeching as the metal etched into the stone. It almost drowned out the sound from above. Almost.

Hisao stopped immediately and squeezed both arms straight up, pistol aimed to the sky. Above him several wooden boards spanned the short gap between the buildings, several pots that once held flowers scattered along the sides. Most likely an easy way to visit the neighbors in a different time. A different world.

But now the boards shook as the weight of someone, something, ambled across its length. The shuffling gate and slumped posture was all Hisao needed to identify the creature. It stepped across the boards and onto the next building, but Hisao didn't hear its footsteps fade. Instead the creature turned about and crossed again, the wood groaning with tension.

Hisao narrowed his eyes and kept his gun raised. The creature made it across and stood for a moment before turning and crossing again. Hisao watched for minutes as the creature repeated itself again and again. This...this was new.

Content to let the thing walk in circles until eternity, Hisao brought his gun down and made to move. Before he got an inch a pebble struck the top of his head. His eyes shot skyward and his arms raised above him. He had to protect his skull from the falling pot that threatened to crack it open. But that was all reflexes. His mind was already lost in memory.
Last edited by Acik on Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Whoops, starting writing another one. This time: Zombies! Look Back
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Re: Look Back (Chapter One, Part One 9/17)

Post by AntonSlavik020 » Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:37 pm

Interesting beginning, mainly because it's post-outbreak and doesn't start at Yamaku like a lot of them do.
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Re: Look Back (Chapter One, Part One 9/17)

Post by Oddball » Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:33 pm

It's well written, but I really don't see what this has to do with Katawa Shoujo so far.
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Re: Look Back (Chapter One, Part One 9/17)

Post by Acik » Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:29 pm

Oddball wrote:It's well written, but I really don't see what this has to do with Katawa Shoujo so far.
Ha, nearly forgot that I wrote this. I started this as a little side project to help get the juices flowing while writing Waiting. At the time it seemed everyone was writing some sort of zombie fic, and while I'm not a huge fan of the genre myself, it allowed me an outlet for something that was a bit more in my comfort zone (third person narrative). While I'm no stranger to writing, Waiting was my first serious foray into a large first person narrative. Look Back allowed me to just write in a style I was comfortable with. As far as it's relation to Kawata Shoujo, all I can say is that there is a lot more. I don't feel too bad about giving some details away, mostly because I'm not quite sure when I will seriously get back to work on this one. My other piece is much higher priority for me, right now.

But just in case someone doesn't want to know some of the details, I will spoiler tag the rest.

This story takes place roughly 4-6 years after Emi's good end. Without going through a whole synopsis, Look Back is about Hisao finding his way through a shattered world to get back to Emi. It's been nearly two years since the 'outbreak' and Hisao has been searching ever since. Some of the other characters will have some small roles throughout, but this is primarily a piece about Hisao dealing with his condition and mental state in this ordeal.

I just realized that sounded a bit like a one of those cheesy blockbuster movie intro's:

(cue deep, over dramatized movie announcer voice)
In a world, where everything wants you dead. (zombie scream). One man, alone, (rifle loading), and with nothing left to lose...

...and that's enough of that. Hopefully that helps.

Edit: Totally forgot about a huge plot point that helps draw the correlation. A large portion of this piece takes place in the past. It jumps back and forth from present day Hisao to his memories of life with Emi. Can't believe I forgot about that...it's practically in the frackin' title...
Wrote a story, here it is: Waiting
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Re: Look Back (Chapter One, Part Two 3/16)

Post by Acik » Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:49 pm

Well, I have been sitting on this next section of Look Back for quite some time now and thought, "Why not?" So I did what polishing I could do on my own, and here we are. Now back to work on Waiting.

Allons-y
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Chapter One, Part Two

“Son of a bitch...” Hisao muttered as another piece of drywall rebounded off his head. Buy a fixer-upper, they said! Great return investment!

He sighed and scaled back down the ladder. Who even buys a house anymore? All of his friends had nice cozy apartments. They lived near things. Not out in the middle of nowhere. Well, the middle of suburbia, at least.

“You need a shower.”

Hisao rolled his eyes and turned to his mother, “I'm well aware.”

“Someone's a bit grumpy.” She retorted.

“Sorry,” Hisao exclaimed. “I'm just tired. It seems like we've been at this for months.”

“It's been four days, honey.”

“Four days for you, too. You should go home. Dad's probably lonely.”

Shaking her head, Mother moved to secure the ladder. “Probably. But he can manage. I worry about you here, all alone.”

Hisao couldn't blame her. Home repair and renovation is hardly an appropriate task for someone with a heart condition. But he was more fit and healthy than he had ever been. Surely he could handle a bit of housework.

“I'll be fine for another hour, Mom.”

“I thought she wasn't coming back until tomorrow?” She asks, head titled.

Hisao shook his head. “Change of plans. You go on home. I will keep it easy until she gets here.”

He could see the unease and discomfort in her eyes. But it had been years since his last incident. Granted, it was one hell of an incident. After that, though, nothing but smooth sailing. Better than smooth, enjoyable.

“Fine,” Mother sighed. “But don't even think about fiddling with that wiring again!”

“Fair enough,” Hisao chuckled. “Although if I fall with them I could always use them for a jump start.” Bringing both hands to his chest, Hisao buzzed through his teeth and gently tapped.

“Hisao, that is not even remotely funny.”

Then a voice from the doorway. “It's a little funny.”

Hisao turned to the door and...

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


The pot cracked against his wrist and split into pieces, raining old dirt and pebbles onto his head. Pain shot through Hisao's arm, but it wasn't too bad. Apparently the previous owner didn't care for sturdy pots.

Flexing his hand and rotating his wrist to make sure nothing was broken, Hisao slipped out of the alleyway. A small courtyard nestled between the buildings, its benches and bins overturned and scattered about. It was only about ten paces to the next alleyway, but Hisao remained still.

What was that all about? He hadn't thought about that for long time. He was honestly surprised he could still remember it at all. But the memory felt vivid and visceral in his mind. He had blocked them for so long. He needed to stay focused, not get caught up in the memories of a man who no longer existed.

The emotions from the memory lingered, though, but Hisao knew how to deal with them by now. He might not still be alive if he hadn't. He focused the frustration and the anger, the sadness and the isolation. He let it flow back into his mind, the specifics lost behind focus. The emotions remained, but they had no meaning, no power. They were fuel now. A source of energy to complete his next objective.

Hisao let out a slow breath and took a step. He briskly crossed the courtyard and entered the next alley, gun at the ready. It was narrow like the first, but Hisao quickly slid through and darted across the next street without looking. The next few blocks were gone in a matter of minutes; Hisao didn't care if someone heard or saw. He needed to get to that body.

Lost in his single minded focus Hisao rounded the next corner at full speed. He was close, only a few more streets. But his focus and speed all shattered at once as he barreled into a tall heap of clothes and flesh.

Hisao grunted and ducked into a roll as he rebounded off the person. He tried to angle and land on his good arm, but it wasn't enough. He shot out the arm to brace the fall, but as soon as his weight hit it, the arm gave out and the pain rocketed up his arm.

Trying to ignore the sharp pain, Hisao quickly brought up his pistol and aimed it at the person he ran into. Well, it was a person, once.

The creature sat against the wall of a building, presumably where it landed after the fall, aimlessly pumping its legs as if it thought it was still walking. Its feet scrapped against the ground but found no purchase. The creatures head lolled side to side, its dull eyes searching but never focusing.

Hisao resisted the urge to put a round in its head. What was the point? The thing wasn't even capable of getting up.

The creature grunted as Hisao returned to his feet. Its eyes fell on him and it let out a passive growl, but it made no move to attack. It only took a moment before the creature lost interest and began pumping its legs and rolling its head.

Hisao knuckles whitened against the grip of his pistol. These things were pathetic! He looked into the vacant stare of the creature. Less of a monster then its kin elsewhere, it had no aggression. This particular one wasn't as decomposed either. His skin was sickly pale and he had an old wound on the side of his neck, but he wasn't some of the walking horrors Hisao had seen before. Somehow, this was worse.

It looked far too human, far too real. The freshly turned ones were always the worst. But seeing this decrepit husk was unnerving. It wasn't supposed to be like this. Why wasn't it snarling and running and biting like the others? Why weren't any of them doing that?

As odd as it was, Hisao preferred things how he knew them. When the creatures ran and fought there was life in them. It was perverse and wrong and terrible, but its what made sense in the world now. But these things. This thing. It was even more wrong.

Hisao growled in his throat and gritted his teeth. He was tired of this place. He needed to get out as fast as possible, and his ticket was on a body a few blocks away. Letting his anger go, Hisao quickly pumped two rounds into the creature's head. The sound of the shots ran against the buildings. Some muted screams and growls echoed in the night. He didn't care. It didn't matter.

Hisao turned and walked away from the stilled corpse, his goal set back into his mind. The sooner he reached the body the sooner he could leave this place.

Moving quickly but carefully this time, Hisao maneuvered his way to the body. It was only a block away, lying in the center of a square by the train station. Hisao ducked into the last alley and shot through to the other side.

Hundreds of street lamps illuminated the tiled square, casting a hollow yellow haze over the entire area. A few forms shuffled about on the edges of his periphery, but they made no move towards him. Hisao slowly walked into the square, his pistol raised as he closed in on the body.

A crumpled shape soon was at Hisao's feet. It wore the blue uniform of an officer at the train station, mostly tattered by now, but still intact. It made him easier to identify. It made him a target.

Blood pooled around the back of its head, a crimson halo that continued to grow as the blood ran into the lines of the stonework. Red lines framed its fallen form, lending the image of a portrait of a man. With a bullet hole clear through his forehead.

At one point Hisao might have been proud of such a shot. Now it was just efficiency. He could be proud of that. But he wasn't. It was grim work, doing what was necessary. But it was necessary. He had to believe that much.

Kneeling down, Hisao reached into the man's coat and fished a thin slip of plastic out of the pocket. He quickly read the access card to make sure it was the correct one. Content that it would get him where he needed, Hisao pocketed the card and turned away from the body, heading for the station.

“Did you know him?”

Hisao cursed and spun about, his pistol seeking a target. The voice was odd. Ethereal almost in how it echoed.

“I'm armed! Show yourself!”

Hisao let his voice trail off as he continued to search. Before he could find the source a small frame appeared in a doorway down the street. A small girl with brown hair, tattered and frayed, emerged from the house. Her gaze was stuck on the body. Hisao slowly lowered his weapon as the girl looked up at him. Her eyes met his. Green eyes flashed between the grimy strands of her hair. Hisao's mind shot back...
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Re: Look Back (Chapter One, Part Two 3/16)

Post by motokid108 » Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:25 am

You have my attention... I like this
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Re: Look Back (Chapter One Complete, 7/15)

Post by Acik » Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:26 pm

One of these days I will clean up the formatting on this chapter and recombine it. Any further chapters on this project should be more akin to what I have done in Waiting.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Chapter One: Solid Ground, Part Three

“Emi...”

“That doesn't sound right.”

Hisao shook his head. He had to dislodge the memories that threatened to overtake his mind. Come on, Hisao. Keep it together.

“I...no. I didn't know him.” Hisao breathed.

The tattered girl's gaze fell back onto the body. “I think I knew him. Not his name, but he gave me stickers once. I was afraid of the trains.”

“I'm sorry.” Hisao whispered. He wasn't. He wasn't sure if he any longer held the capacity.

The girl shrugged. “Don't be. You probably did him a favor.”

Hisao cocked his head and stared intently at the girl. She couldn't be over ten. Crouching down, Hisao reached out and brushed the hair out of her face. “How old are you?”

The girl reached out and pushed a few of the graying strands out of Hisao's eyes. “How old are you?”

Hisao smiled. “Younger than I look, probably.”

“I'm old enough, then.” She replies, almost emptily.

“Do you have a name?” He asked.

The girl's eyes began to shift, looking everywhere but at Hisao. “It's best if you don't know.”

Hisao's fake smile slowly dropped. She couldn't possibly be asking...

“It's easier for you if you don't know.” She whispers.

Hisao let out a long breath. “Are you sure-”

The girls grabbed his face with both hands. Her green orbs flickered back and forth, searching his eyes. “You're the first person with a gun that I have found. Please.”

Her conviction almost frightened him. He had performed the Mercy on countless people over the years. But this was the first child that had asked. What was left of his morality told him this was deeply wrong. He wished it was louder.

“Maybe you can find somewhere to go.” Hisao muttered, knowing it was a useless question.

The girl's grip tightened on his face, her eyes practically afire. “Could I go with you then? Follow you everywhere. I'm not very fast, I haven’t eaten probably in weeks. I'm very weak. Could you protect me? Could you promise me that? Where are you going? Would I make it there?”

Hisao gently pulled her hands off his face and rose. “No, you wouldn't.”

Hisao wasn't sure he would ever get used to the relief in their faces once they realized what was about to happen. She almost looked...happy.

He raised his pistol.

“Tell me, mister. Do you believe in God?”

Hisao blinked. “No.”

The girl smiled and closed her eyes. “Good.”

Inhale.

Recoil.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I know this was a short installment, but it was the tail end of the chapter that I just never pushed out, for whatever reason.
Wrote a story, here it is: Waiting
Whoops, starting writing another one. This time: Zombies! Look Back
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Re: Look Back (Chapter One Complete, 7/15)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:03 am

That is not the dialogue of a girl younger than ten years - not even during a zombie apokalypse...

This is why I hate zombie stories: People feel compelled to write the most illogical scenes simply for the shock value :?
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