Kenji Who? Part 3 - Feb 20, 2014

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Helbereth
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Kenji Who? Part 3 - Feb 20, 2014

Post by Helbereth » Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:38 pm

I fell asleep in the middle of watching old reruns earlier, and when I awoke I had a strange thought. That thought went straight to the page, and is here presented as a quick, largely unedited opening to a potential crossover fiction.
Part 1 (on this post)|Part 2|Part 3
___________________________________________________________________
Kenji Who? Part 1

Dawn filters through my curtain, and I fight its beckoning light for a short while, but I have obligations to fulfill. The haze of sleep still blurs my vision as I throw on a bathrobe and head downstairs to make my morning coffee. Over the past months – or maybe it has only been weeks, perhaps years – the drudgery of everyday life has been creeping into my mind, making me forgetful, and perhaps a bit mad. Every moment of every day feels like a repeat of the last; like the same day happening over and over.

Nobody else seems aware of the monotony, or they're just better at hiding it. They couldn't be aware, of course, nor should they. That's the way of things. None of them can know the secret or our plan would fail, and all my toils would be for naught. Everything has to happen according to the way he described. If we're discovered too soon, dire consequences await us just over the horizon, and it's all up to me. It's my turn to save the world, or so he said only moments before pulling that fateful switch, and I'm determined not to let my boredom result in the annihilation of all humanity. It would have been nice if he'd picked a nicer location to wait out this small eternity, though.

With my background in quantum mechanics, string theory, earth and life sciences, and too many other doctorates and professorships to count, it wasn't at all difficult finding employment – especially using psychically forged credentials. Unfortunately, the only position available was in the Library at this remote Japanese institution that caters to the physically disabled, Yamaku Academy. Thus I've had to slog through my days organizing magazines and fetching books for students, which I guess is just as well; I'd probably end up telling them too much had I found a teaching position.

The students here are... quaint. None of them really suspect anything is amiss, but I'm constantly assaulted by a myriad of questions that I barely understand. It's probably normal for youths their age to have so many stray questions, but I never really experienced my peers when I was their age. I suppose it's enlightening to observe their behavior like this, and maybe I'll write a paper on their awkward social interactions upon my return home, but it's little more than an oddity. It became so depressingly boring after only the first day that I took a second job at a nearby cafe, just to pass the time.

My primary objective while I'm here is to keep a low profile and ensure the safety and ignorance of everyone here, especially my charge himself. Now disguised as a teenage boy – or, not disguised so much as that's how he looks now – he still doesn't know who he really is, and part of my mission is making sure it stays that way. For whatever reason, he used a perception filter on his eyes so as to imitate partial blindness, which I suppose has helped him fit in at the school. I'm not sure whether it's a side-effect thereof, but it seems his partial blindness has resulted in hyper-awareness.

Luckily that hyper-awareness hasn't resulted in his noticing the false lens in his thick glasses, in which his memories are contained. According to the hastily scrawled instructions he left on the console, that isn't supposed to happen for at least a few weeks, at least. In the meantime, I get to mess around with the Dewey decimal system, listen to teenage chatter, and hope nobody figures out that I don't quite belong here. With any luck at all, my associate's strange behavior won't result in anything drastic happening, though I'm starting to think that's an inevitability. If there's one thing I've learned from traveling with him, it's that trouble is never far behind when one follows The Doctor.
_____________________________________________________________
Part 2

EDIT: made a few changes for clarity's sake.
Last edited by Helbereth on Thu Feb 20, 2014 4:54 pm, edited 9 times in total.

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Acik
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Re: Kenji Who?

Post by Acik » Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:56 pm

Kenji, wrapped up with a Time Lord. Or maybe he is one?! The glasses are his version of the fog watch, perhaps? Anyway, didn't spot any glaring problems with grammar. Interesting perspective from The Doctor. It's unlike any of the more recent or past incarnations, so maybe a future one? Things are wibbly wobbly like that.

Love the concept. First I thought it was Mutou as the Doctor, as would typically be expected. Glad to be wrong, though. Looking forward to see what you do with this.

Allons-y.

Edit: After rereading this a few times I think I might have misunderstood. Is Kenji the Doctor and 'Yuuko' the companion? Some points going both ways, but now I'm not 100% in either camp. Perhaps that's the point. Anyway, still pretty interesting.
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Re: Kenji Who?

Post by Helbereth » Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:15 pm

Acik wrote:Edit: After rereading this a few times I think I might have misunderstood. Is Kenji the Doctor and 'Yuuko' the companion? Some points going both ways, but now I'm not 100% in either camp. Perhaps that's the point. Anyway, still pretty interesting.
No, that's right. Kenji is a regeneration of The Doctor from sometime after the latest one, and Yuuko is his companion.

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Re: Kenji Who?

Post by Sea » Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:44 pm

Helbereth wrote:
Acik wrote:Edit: After rereading this a few times I think I might have misunderstood. Is Kenji the Doctor and 'Yuuko' the companion? Some points going both ways, but now I'm not 100% in either camp. Perhaps that's the point. Anyway, still pretty interesting.
No, that's right. Kenji is a regeneration of The Doctor from sometime after the latest one, and Yuuko is his companion.
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Re: Kenji Who?

Post by GorisTheKing » Sun Feb 16, 2014 12:49 am

Interesting, I can only vaguely remember that episode with the watch. Were you planning to do a direct parody of the plot or verge off and do your own thing?

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Re: Kenji Who?

Post by Helbereth » Sun Feb 16, 2014 1:26 am

GorisTheKing wrote:Interesting, I can only vaguely remember that episode with the watch. Were you planning to do a direct parody of the plot or verge off and do your own thing?
What's the point of fiction if the plot isn't original?

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Re: Kenji Who?

Post by GorisTheKing » Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:50 am

Helbereth wrote:What's the point of fiction if the plot isn't original?
A lot of the fiction on this site has the same plot line used again and again, just from different viewpoints and with different characters. It can be a different interpretation of events or a tribute to anothers work. Would you not watch a film because the plot is the same as a book?

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Re: Kenji Who?

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:34 am

GorisTheKing wrote:A lot of the fiction on this site has the same plot line used again and again, just from different viewpoints and with different characters.
And some would argue it's pointless. Reqading a story I know just from a different point of view is not really worth my while in most cases.
Would you not watch a film because the plot is the same as a book?
Depends. Some plots can gain from adding visuals. Others not really.

I don't know more about Doctor Who than you learn from being a regular on the internet, but since this story is by Helbereth, I'm confident it will be worth my while to follow it. ;-)
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Re: Kenji Who?

Post by Silentcook » Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:54 am

GorisTheKing wrote:Would you not watch a film because the plot is the same as a book?
Probably I would, but I would not watch a film if the plot is the same as ANOTHER film.
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Re: Kenji Who?

Post by Mournful3ch0 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:43 am

Not being a Whovian myself, I spent the first two paragraphs wondering if it was an adaptation of Ground Hog Day with some sort of actual underlying plot, rather than just trying to get things right with a woman... XD

Well thanks it still read good. Monidooring thread please.
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Re: Kenji Who? Part 2

Post by Helbereth » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:06 pm

Almost wasn't even going to continue this, but it seems to have gotten some interest, so I decided to make it into a short story. No it isn't finished. Yes, all the parts will be short. Yes, I figured out an appropriate Who angle that aligns with the KS universe. No, I'm not telling.

Part 1|Part 3
_______________________________________________________________________
Kenji Who? - Part 2

Arriving about ten minutes before eight, I park my infernally antiquated car at the far end of the lot and start the long walk across the manicured school grounds. As I'm headed in though the main doors, I pause just inside the lobby to listen near the vents. It's probably nothing, but I've been noticing something odd about the air flowing through the school's ventilation. The rushing sound from the wind passing through the filtration system sounds a little quieter – more muffled – than it should, which could just mean there's a new filter in place, but I haven't seen anyone from maintenance lately. Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but if not for the students and teachers passing around me, I'd use the sonic screwdriver to scan for anomalies.

“Good morning, Miss Shirakawa,” says a voice, its gruff tone allowing me to identify the speaker.

So much for scanning...

“Hello, Professor Mutou,” I reply, probably messing up the honorific; they're never used in my time. Attempting a deferential bow to make up for the verbal fumble, I accidentally drop my bag.

I wish I could say my clumsiness is intentional...

“Oh, I'm sorry!” he exclaims, moving to offer help.

The contents spill out across the tiled floor, and, worried that he might see something he shouldn't, I dive down ahead of him. “I-it's alright,” I stammer, reaching for a notebook ahead of his hand, “Y-you don't have to help.”

It takes him a few moments, but he eventually decides to back away. “Okay, well,” he says, and I see his feet turning toward the stairs. That's a relief until he stops and exclaims, “Ah!” then takes a few quick steps before reaching down to pick something off the floor, “I think this is your pen.”

Pen...? I don't have any... Oh!

“What's it look like?” I ask, wincing as I can already guess his answer.

“Silver and... kinda thick. Looks like there's an LED on the end,” he describes, walking back toward me, “I can't imagine writing with it is good for your wrists...”

Not thinking ahead, I blurt, “It's a space-pen!”

Of all the things I could have said, I called it a space-pen...?

“Like they use on the space station?” he asks, which seems to make sense.

“Yes, that exactly,” I reply, nodding briskly, “that's why it's so heavy...”

“But there's no gravity in space,” he counters.

There isn't...? Oh right, they don't have anti-gravity yet...

Thinking up a reasonable excuse, I reply, “It has dense ink and special utilities.” Snatching it out of his hand, I hold it up and explain, “They use it for all kinds of things. Flashlight, microphone, fly zapper – well, not that last one so much in space... It's a general purpose tool, sort of, I guess...”

“And... how did you get one?”

“My brother works in space – he gave it to me,” I reply, which is only half a lie; my brother flies a Mars shuttle in the 22nd century, but they don't use pens for anything.

The explanation doesn't quite sit well with him, or that's probably what the suspicious squint means, but he doesn't bother pursuing the issue. Instead he shrugs and smiles, then asks, “Well, anyway... have you seen a new student come by here?”

“New student?” I reply questioningly, wondering what he could mean. Technically The Doctor is a new student, but he established credentials to go along with the disguise, so Mutou must be wondering about someone else. “I don't believe I have,” I add, shrugging slightly, “You said he's new, though, right? What's he look like?”

“How'd you know it was a he?” he asks rather astutely.

Fortunately I have math on my side. “Lucky guess,” I hazard, “...had a fifty percent chance.”

“Right, well,” he reaches into a pocket and produces a wrinkled photo.

The brown-eyed boy in the image isn't familiar, or particularly remarkable, so I reply, “Nope, haven't seen him.”

Sighing, he looks out through the glass doors and explains, “His name's Hisao, Hisao Nakai... and he's supposed to start today... And, I'm supposed to meet him here, but he hasn't shown up yet – he's ten minutes late, now...”

The forlorn expression he turns toward the door is almost enough to make me pause and offer some comforting words, but I wouldn't know what to say. Besides, this school is pretty big, and a new student could easily end up lost trying to find their way around, so I'm sure there's nothing to worry about. This Hisao Nakai person probably just hasn't found the main building yet, or he took one look at its misplaced western architecture and decided to leave on principle. Either way, that's what's supposed to happen, and I'm not supposed to interfere. Meanwhile, I'm already late for my shift, so I check my bag, slip the sonic screwdriver inside, and walk away swiftly.

I'll kindly not mention dropping the sonic to The Doctor...
______________________________________________________________
Part 1|Part 3

Yes, it's very short. Allows me to produce a whole part in less than a day. No, I don't intend to release them daily. Yes, we are running parallel to the VN Act 1. Any other questions?
Last edited by Helbereth on Thu Feb 20, 2014 4:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Kenji Who?

Post by Mournful3ch0 » Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:20 pm

Helbereth wrote:Meanwhile, I'm already late for my shift, so I check my bag, slip the sonic screwdriver inside, and walk away swiftly...

Any other questions?
Yes. Though this may seem a bit off topic, why does Yamaku's library run all day long, rather than start at lunch or after school? Should the students not be in class all day? I just think that even a school as well funded as this one shouldn't be needlessly wasting money. I doubt the doors are being kept open for Hanako's sake :lol:
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Re: Kenji Who?

Post by Helbereth » Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:27 pm

Mournful3ch0 wrote:
Helbereth wrote:Meanwhile, I'm already late for my shift, so I check my bag, slip the sonic screwdriver inside, and walk away swiftly...

Any other questions?
Yes. Though this may seem a bit off topic, why does Yamaku's library run all day long, rather than start at lunch or after school? Should the students not be in class all day? I just think that even a school as well funded as this one shouldn't be needlessly wasting money. I doubt the doors are being kept open for Hanako's sake :lol:
The library at my school opened before classes started and stayed open through the day because some classes were free periods, during which students could visit the library or other facilities for research, etc..

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Re: Kenji Who?

Post by edruil » Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:51 pm

Helbereth wrote:The library at my school opened before classes started and stayed open through the day.
My school was much the same. I often used the library for homework during free periods or during lunch break so I didn't actually have to do it at home.

As to the story, I remember someone starting and never finishing a fic involving Mutou as the Doctor...Kenji is obviously a much different choice, but color me interested. Will be monitoring this thread

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Re: Kenji Who? Part 3

Post by Helbereth » Thu Feb 20, 2014 4:49 pm

It's been a few days, so I might as well add a new section.

Part 2|Part 4
_____________________________________________________________
Kenji Who? - Part 3

It's ten in the morning and the library is quiet. One might say it's almost... too quiet. In this still and quiet I can practically hear the dust settling, and it's maddening. After spending the first twenty years of my life surrounded by the noise and bustle of a city like Tokyo, this absence of sound feels like death. At this time, back home in the future, there are thousands of people wandering the streets, racing over the roads in water-powered cars, and rushing through their lives surrounded by the ingenuity and convenience of modern invention. Somewhere in this world of the past, that bustle is just starting construction, but I'm a million miles away in a musty library, choking on a biscuit.

I miss good coffee... and cronuts haven't been invented yet...

This place filled with books is one I never used to think could be boring before I met The Doctor, but gallivanting across the universe through space and time can make anything seem dull, although the loneliness is almost worse than the boredom. Every time I talk to someone I have to be extra careful not to say anything that's out of place, and it's exhausting. Keeping track is so tiring that I've just started avoiding socializing completely. It's just as well, though; in a few weeks I'll be leaving, possibly never to return, so I can't go around making friends.

Thankfully, that doesn't stop me from being an observer. While keeping my distance, I've gotten to know some of the students here at Yamaku, though most of them avoid the library unless they need it for research. There are a few who show up here regularly, though, including the skittish girl, Hanako Ikezawa, who hides her ruined face in a corner of the library on most days. The Tardis library has extensive records, including a newspaper article outlining the tragic house-fire that claimed her parents and left her with those awful scars. It's a shame seeing such a lovely young girl marred physically and mentally, but it's far worse being unable to help, so I try not to think about it.

Along with her is the tall, blond, blind girl, Lilly Satou, who seems totally out of place in Japan, but I'm not one to judge. Like her Scottish forebears, she maintains an air of reticence in the face of all the awful luck she's had to deal with, and I commend her for that, but there's a strange sadness behind her cloudy blue eyes. If she knew the life that awaited her in the years to come, it might help her cope with the tribulations of her youth, but I definitely can't mention her future triumphs. For now she's just a popular schoolgirl at a fringe institution constructed to hide away the dregs of a society that still judges people based on their outward appearance.

Then there's The Doctor himself, who shows up here every day as a result of a post-hypnotic suggestion he left for himself – convenient, that. Since I can't work in the boys' dorm for obvious reasons, and I couldn't get work as a teacher, he left himself a mental note to visit me in the library. Every day, as predictably as clockwork, when the skittish girl emerges from her corner and heads upstairs to visit with her friend, The Doctor steps in through the door, bristling with energy, and steps right across the room with all the subtlety of a pack of elephants.

The personae he invented, this Kenji Setou character, assuming he had any part in its actual creation and it isn't just a random collection of traits, seems to possess his intellect and cockiness, but lacks what little control The Doctor usually has over those faculties. The result is a brash, fidgeting, cocksure boy with numerous paranoid delusions. Some of the things he says sound like complete nonsense, though that's not really much different from any other day with The Doctor. When he assumes a lazy stance leaning against the counter, I greet him with a look of mild curiosity.

Like every day before, I bow slightly and greet, “How can I help you today, Mister Setou?”

“Has my package arrived, yet?” he asks curtly.

It's difficult not to roll my eyes after hearing that question for the fiftieth time. “No, nothing yet,” I reply, offering a strained smile, “I'm sure it will arrive soon, though...”

“What was that?” he asks, seeming distracted by his own fingers. It's unclear whether he's still not used to this latest regeneration, or he's just having trouble seeing them due to the perception filter. Either way, he stops fidgeting after a moment, then turns and scoffs, “Oh! Right, sorry... No package, then?” Turning back out toward the empty library, he continues, “Good, that's fine. Not your fault – you're one of the good ones, I know. Probably just the postal service being its typical slow self...”

Playing my role, I affirm, “Yes, probably.”

Usually this is where he very quickly lurches off of the counter and heads for the door, but instead he pauses. His arm flexes like he's about to bound away, but he stops and turns speculative glances all around the room. That could mean nothing, or possibly something, but it's different in any case. He warned me to watch for things that are different, especially where his behavior is concerned. There's a chance he just caught sight of a fly buzzing about the room, or something equally innocuous, but I'm not about to take any chances.

“Something else?” I ask, which draws a sidelong glance.

Squinting at me through those ridiculously thick glasses, he pauses like that for a few moments, then inquires, “Have you noticed anything... odd lately...?” he faces away, “I feel like something... or perhaps someone... is missing.”

Now I'm intrigued.

Before I can reply, he announces, “Well, then, I'll be going!” Spinning on his heel and flipping his red and gold scarf back over his shoulder, he marches toward the door. After a few steps, he quickly turns to walk backwards for a moment and adds, “If anyone asks,” he pauses at the door, “I was never here.”

After he slithers out the door, I'm left with my thoughts in a big empty library, so I start mulling over recent events. The Doctor has an acute sense for when something is out of place, which is probably still working even in his currently limited state. It's also possible he's just imagining things, or he's being paranoid for no reason, but I'm inclined to believe it's something important where he's concerned. Apart from his intuition, there also may be something worth checking in the school's ventilation system, and I wonder if that new boy is still missing.

I wonder if that's what The Doctor senses is out of place...

Taken separately these oddities wouldn't sound terribly suspicious, but I've never liked coincidences. What it all means eludes me, and I wish I could rely on The Doctor to find the answer, but he left very specific instructions about when and where to break the seal on his memories. Until then, I'll be the one responsible for finding out whatever might be happening. The Doctor wouldn't have left me with a responsibility like this if he thought I couldn't handle myself, and I've been looking for something to break the boredom, so this might even be fun.

I just have to figure out where to start...
_________________________________________________________
Part 2|Part 4

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