Disclaimer: I do not own Puella Magi Madoka Magica, or The Walking Dead franchise. They belong to their respective owners/creators. I'm just playing around with their characters and/or setting.
Chapter 1: End of an Era
The blaring of an alarm clock startled Kazuko Saotome into consciousness. With a disgruntled groan, she shot her hand forth, blindly groping for the alarm until she was able to silence it. After a moment of reluctance, the young teacher got up from bed, ready—or not—to face the new day.
What followed was rather routine; Kazuko tended to her hygiene, had a quick breakfast, got dressed for class, fixed herself a bentofor lunch, drank enough coffee to make a hippopotamus do a dancing jig, made plans to burn all the photographs she had of her on again, off again boyfriend the first chance she got, for what he had said yesterday during dinner—seriously, who the hell picked a fight over something as trivial as the classification of a tomato as a fruit or vegetable, anyway?!—and to finish things up, she took a brief look at the morning news.
Not the most exciting or dynamic of mornings, of course, but Kazuko liked routine, so she wasn't about to complain. Still...she did hate waking up at such an ungodly hour. Especially considering how late she had stayed up the previous night...
"Ugh, I hate mid-terms," Kazuko grumbled to herself, as she finished up her third cup of coffee that morning. "Woulda gotten more sleep if I didn't have to stay up all night grading those bloody things..."
The underpaid, under-appreciated teacher sighed to herself, before placing her empty mug in the sink. She took a look at her watch, seeing how much time she had left. Half an hour before classes started, and the bus would take fifteen minutes to get there, so...time to head off, then.
Kazuko walked to her couch, picking up the remote to turn off the unnaturally cheerful morning newsmen, absorbing the bits of the morning news she'd already heard, when one last news story managed to catch her attention, and stave her off from turning off the broadcast.
"...In other news, reports are coming in that last night, a couple out on a late-night stroll were brutally murdered by a crazed, raving homeless man. Witnesses in the area claim to have seen the assailant actually eating the corpses of his victims, when police arrived. Reports are still coming in, but sources within the police department claim that the assailant was extremely dangerous, and even bit one of the arriving officers, forcing the responders on the scene to shoot and kill him. According to police spokesman Kenji Tachibana..."
Kazuko tuned out the rest of that broadcast, and finally turned off her tv, but the story stayed with her, all the same. It amazed her that something so violent and extreme could happen, especially in a city like Mitakihara. It was hard to believe such...monsters like that even existed...
Still, best to put it out of her mind. It wasn't like that news story would matter any, right?
With that idea in mind, the young teacher finally left her apartment, and hurried to the nearest bus station. She arrived in time, much to her relief, and soon stepped aboard, her next destination, Mitakihara Middle School.
The trip to the school was largely uneventful, though Kazuko was rather intrigued by the presence of a passing ambulance. Well, not so much the ambulance, but the apparent police escort it had, as evidenced by the two police cars following behind the ambulance. There was a story there, no doubt...
Not long after, the bus arrived at her destination, and she got off. Once away from the public transportation, Kazuko hurried on over to the entrance of Mitakihara Middle School, passing by a growing number of students as she strode through the courtyard.
"Good morning, Ms. Saotome!" a familiar voice called out to her, making the teacher pause in her steps. Kazuko turned to the source of the greeting, and smiled once she saw who it was.
"Good morning to you too, Mami." Kazuko greeted warmly, quite pleased to see her old student. Mami beamed in response, equally happy to see her as well, it seemed.
"How are you this fine morning, Mami?" she continued on, engaging in polite conversation. It was her duty as a teacher to be good and nice to her students, and besides, she honestly didn't mind talking with Mami Tomoe; she was one of the best students she'd had, by far. A shame she had already moved up a year...
"Quite fine, Ms. Saotome! I had a great time last night with my cousin Tsumugi. She was in town for the day, and we spent most of it catching up. It was quite a lot of fun!" Mami happily informed her, a serene smile molded upon her face.
Kazuko smiled herself, rather pleased to hear that. It was good to hear Mami was spending time with family; after the terrible tragedy that had taken the life of her parents last year, her poor student had been in such dire straits. A good thing she had such a nice, caring family to look after her. And plenty of friends, too, if the cadre of girls that grouped around Mami inbetween classes were any indication.
"That's good to hear, Mami. I'm glad you're enjoying yourself," Kazuko replied, nodding at her former student. She discreetly checked her watch, and gave a little bow to the young girl. "Well, I must be off! School will begin shortly, and it wouldn't do for me to be late for my own class!"
Mami gave a slight giggle, nodding in agreement. "Yes, we can't very well let that happen! Well, have a good day then, Ms. Saotome! See you later!"
"See you later, Mami." the youthful teacher echoed, before leaving to enter the school proper. She navigated the halls for a minute, before arriving at her classroom. She entered, greeted the few students that were already present, and sat at her own desk, going over the day's lesson in her mind.
Let's see. They had been going over the Sengoku Period as of late, and had been discussing the various Daimyos that had played an influential role in the time frame. Today, they were suppose to discuss Nobunaga Oda, and his contribution to the period.
Well, that would certainly be an interesting topic. Kazuko always found herself fascinated by history, and especially the historical warlords of Japan, and Nobunaga Oda peaked her interest above all else! She would have plenty of fun taking about him, that was for sure.
But, first...before the actual lesson, there was the matter of her Real Life Advice segment in class. It wasn't exactly part of her job to teach, of course, but Kazuko considered her own life experiences valuable learning material for her students, especially for the young ladies of her class! So, in her own humble opinion, it was absolutely vital that they know such things!
...And, well, if it helped her vent her frustrated feelings in regards to her boyfriend, well, that wasn't exactly a bad thing either, now was it?
Besides, her students didn't mind! Or at least, Kazuko was fairly sure they didn't mind. They'd never spoken up to complain about it, at least.
A few minutes later, the bell chimed throughout the building, signaling the start of classes. Kazuko stood from her chair, smiling at her assembled students. She took roll, briefly noting the absence of two of her students, before finishing with that. And with that done...
It was time to begin class.
The rest of the morning proceeded rather uneventfully, and soon enough it was time for lunch. Kazuko took her bentoand prepared to go up to a nice, tucked away nook on the school roof, when the intercom chimed, getting her attention.
"Hikaru Namashida, please report to the principal's office; I repeat, Hikaru Namashida, please report to the principal's office."
Kazuko stopped dead in her tracks then, feeling a momentary surge of unease.
Hikaru Namashida...did not exist. Or if he did, he didn't go to this school. Hikaru Namashida was a code-name devised by the school-board, to signal the faculty about an impending, school-wide emergency, but without arousing the suspicion of the student body at the same time. It was a method developed long before Kazuko began teaching for the Mitakihara School System, and it was the first time in a long time since she had heard the dreaded code-name.
The young teacher fretted for a few moments, wondering what sort of situation had popped up this time; the last time this had occurred, she and the rest of the faculty had been informed about a registered sex offender being spotted near the Middle School. That had been a nerve-wracking day, to say the least.
Kazuko didn't dwell too long on the matter, though. Whatever it was, she'd find out soon enough.
After taking a moment to compose herself, Kazuko left her classroom, but did not head toward the roofs, like she had hoped to before. Instead, she made her way to the staff meeting room, navigating the hallways easily enough, until she had reached the opaque walls that made up the staff room.
It was a common misconception that the majority of the walls of Mitakihara Middle School were made out of glass; and Kazuko couldn't fault anyone for thinking that. No, the walls were made out of a glass-like substance, though she couldn't recall the proper, scientific name. And this glass-like substance had several features, including the ability to turn itself opaque, when certain situations arose that called for privacy.
Though unlike most of the rooms of the school, the staff meeting room walls were always set on an opaque setting. That way, the teachers and staff would be afforded privacy at all times. It was far easier to keep it on that type of setting, than turning it on and off it when the room wasn't in use. It created a bit of disorientation, though, for those passing by the doors of the staff room. After one got used to being able to see inside the room of another class nearly all the time, it was a little startling to see a place within the school that didn't afford the viewer a glimpse into the room.
After taking another brief, fleeting second to master her feature, Kazuko gently opened the doors to the staff room, and walked in. She was surprised to see everyone else already present; apparently, she was the last one. Well, at least the meeting would get started with quickly, then.
"Now that we are all assembled, we can begin." Principal Yamada, a balding, portly man stated, once Kazuko took her seat. "I've received notification from the police that some sort of disturbance is taking place, not far from the school. At the moment we do not know the cause of this incident, but my contact within the Department suggested that it's likely some sort of struggle between two rival gangs, that's gotten out of hand.
"Regardless of the circumstances of this disturbance, the school must take precautions against this incident. If this disturbance is not settled by the end of the school day, we may be forced to detain the students from leaving, in order to ensure their safety. We will also need to be prepared if this disturbance spreads out to school grounds, as well." the Principal finished, inclining his head to the staff.
That startling news broke out a brief, but heated discussion amongst the faculty, though Kazuko herself did not really participate. She was far too shocked and worried to really add to the talk.
A violent incident taking place here, near the school?! Possibly between two rival criminal gangs, even! That was impossible to even conceive of, and yet, here they were. How could such a thing happen, especially near the school?
Such unpleasant times they lived in...dimly, Kazuko remembered the news story from this morning. Yes...very unpleasant times.
Still, it was best not to get too worried. The police would have the situation contained soon enough, right? So it wasn't like this was an...immediate concern or anything. More likely than not, the whole situation would be resolved well before the school-day ended.
That thought calmed Kazuko quite a bit. Still, a small part of her couldn't help but continue to feel rather...uneasy...
The voice of the Principal jarred her out of such musings, and she immediately started to pay attention to the flow of conversation, once more.
"...With this matter settled, you are all dismissed. Please, keep this information to yourselves, and if you cannot recall school protocol for an event such as this, please check the school manuals." the Principal declared, waving his hand in dismissal.
Kazuko stood up with the other teachers, leaving the room with them. After that, she resumed going to her previous destination, the school roof. Hopefully now she could enjoy her lunch and, more importantly, take her mind off of such a serious and grave matter...
Kazuko paused, turning her head to see who called her name; to her pleasant surprise, it was Mami.
"Oh, good afternoon, Mami." the teacher replied, smiling at her former student. "Is there something I can help you with?"
Mami blushed a little, oddly enough, but she managed to reply nonetheless. "Yes, actually. I was just about to head to the roof to enjoy some lunch...would you care to join me, Ma'am?"
Kazuko blinked, considering the offer. She didn't make it a habit of socializing too much with her students; after all, some boundaries needed to be maintained in a student/teacher relationship. But, she really didn't want to turn Mami down, all the same. She was a good girl, and she had asked so nicely...
"Sure, that sounds lovely." Kazuko replied with a nod.
Mami seemed to beam at that, and smiled graciously in return. "Ah, thank you, Ms. Saotome! I know just the spot, too, if you'll follow me..."
A short trip later, and they arrived at Mami's chosen spot; a nice little bench facing outwards to a small railing, which also provided them with quite a lovely view of the surrounding city.
Kazuko gave the younger girl an approving smile, and sat down with her on the bench. Kazuko sat down her bento, and opened it up, eating alongside Mami.
"So, how are you, Ma'am?" Mami inquired politely, a few minutes into their eating. "I heard quite the story about your, ah, Real Life Advice lesson today. Something to do with tomatoes, and meaningless fights...?"
"Ah, you heard about that, did you?" Kazuko gave a little chuckle, remembering the morning lesson.
"It was hard not to," Mami countered with a wry smile. "Your, ah, extra lessons are quite famous within the school. Even to those outside your class."
"I suppose that's true," Kazuko agreed, giving a smile of her own. "Well, I'm fine, Mami, all things considered."
"Are you sure? I mean...just going by your talks..." Mami edged, genuine concern evident in her tone.
The older woman raised an eyebrow, a little startled at the concern her former student was displaying. It wasn't exactly inappropriate, of course, but...well, it was surprising.
Still, at the same time, she couldn't help but feel a little touched. It was nice to think that one of her students cared about her so much, especially a nice, sweet girl like Mami.
"I appreciate your concern, Mami," Kazuko began, giving the younger girl a reassuring smile. "But everything is fine, trust me."
"If you say so, Ma'am..." the blonde allowed, doubt creeping into her voice. "I mean...from all your stories, it really doesn't sound like your boyfriend appreciates you..."
Her face flushed scarlet a moment later, however, and she hastily waved her hands. "I-I mean, I don't mean to imply or, I, um, just—!"
"It's fine, Mami." Kazuko was quick to assure, holding up her hand to still her student's panic.
She was more than a bit surprised to hear such talk coming from Mami, of all people, but the girl was just voicing her concern. It was a bit sweet, really, even if it did push at the boundaries between teacher and student.
Besides, Kazuko was more than used to hearing such complaints coming from her own, well-meaning, mother, so this wasn't the first time she had heard something like this.
"It's true that he can be more than a little...frustrating, at times," Kazuko acknowledged, a small smile working its way onto her face. "But he has his moments, let's say. And...deep down inside, I just can't help but continue to love him, no matter how vexing he can be."
Mami fell silent at that, her face seemingly troubled at those words. Kazuko furrowed her brow in confusion, and was about to ask her student what the problem was, when she glimpsed something out of the corner of her eye. She turned her head and saw...
A trail of thick, black smoke, wafting into the air from the city landscape.
Kazuko couldn't help but give a small gasp, catching the attention of Mami. She followed her train of sight, and seemed equally startled.
"A...fire?" Mami guessed, looking at the trailing smoke with apprehension.
"I would guess so," Kazuko agreed, feeling quite uneasy herself. "I certainly hope no one gets hurt..."
Perhaps she should have known better than to say that, because at that moment, a new black trail started to lift into the air, not far away from the original smoke.
"Another fire?!" Mami exclaimed incredulously, appearing quite alarmed, now. "What on earth could be going on?"
"I'm not sure..." the young teacher murmured, frowning in concern. Was there some sort of fire blazing in that section of the city? Was it spreading? Would they have to evacuate the school, if it spread in their direction? As if that situation with the gangs weren't bad enough...
A piercing scream cut into the air, shattering the pervading silence.
Kazuko jumped in alarm, and a few seconds later, raced to her feet, rushing over to the railing, looking in the direction of the scream. From her vantage point, she could see what she presumed was one of the three school security guards—hired after the aforementioned incident with the sex offender—running across the courtyard, toward the entrance into the Middle School proper.
Not far from where he was running, two people appeared to have...tackled another person, perhaps one of the guards, and were doing...something, to him. From this high up, Kazuko couldn't tell at all what was going on, but she knew it couldn't be something good.
Her eyes registered more movement just out of the field of her vision, causing her to look around. And what she saw stole her breath away.
More people were moving...almost shambling, really, across the street, heading toward the school courtyard.
What the...what the hell was going on here?!
The intercom system kicked to life just at that moment, but the words at followed did nothing to assure Kazuko's growing panic.
"All students are ordered to come inside the school at once! The school is initiating an emergency lockdown until further notice! All students are to report to their homerooms, and listen to their teacher's instructions. I repeat, all students outside of the school are to come inside immediately! We are initiating an emergency lockdown!"
Kazuko felt her face turn pale and ashen, almost trembling at that sudden announcement. A school-wide emergency lockdown was protocol for extremely dangerous situations and events...b-but it had never been used before! At least, not during her tenure as a teacher here...
What the hell was going on here?!
"M-Ms. Saotome? What's going on? Are we...are we safe?"
The sudden question peaked her attention. Kazuko paused in her own internal freakout, gazing over at the frightened, panicked expression on the face of Mami Tomoe.
At that moment, she took a deep, calming breath, and tried not to show how frightened or scared she was. She was a teacher, and Mami was a student under her care; she couldn't allow herself to...to break down, or anything like that. She had to look out for her students!
All the same though...she wasn't sure she had an answer that would satisfy or help Mami at all.
"I don't know, Mami." Kazuko replied at last, an anxious tinge to her voice. "I just...I'm sorry, I don't know..."
Whatever was going on, though, Kazuko knew it must be very, very dangerous for the school to take such extreme measures...
What was going on here? And...and what was going to happen to her and her students?
Hello everyone, and welcome to The Dead Walk Among Us, a crossover (more a fusion, really) between Puella Magi Madoka Magica and The Walking Dead!
I am your humble author (humble, ha!), Anime-StarWars-Fan-Zach...god I need to change my penname, it's so 2008...and I will be your guide for the remainder of this epic...uh, adventurous...semi-decent fusion that throws the cast of Madoka Magica into the world of The Walking Dead!
I hope you've all enjoyed the first chapter. Believe me, there's plenty more to come! Things will only go downhill from here for Kazuko and the rest of her students, much to their misfortune, and my own personal glee.
Until next time, my dear readers. See you then!