TheRoseShadow21 - AAAA! The softest bean! She shall not be spared. I'm glad I wrote her well! Hopefully I did your spiky bean justice too. Of course the suitcase runs away. There will be despair, but there will also be plenty of absurdity!
tobi-is-an-artist-too - Woo! Interesting favorites! Dajeong seems to be quite popular, which is great, because she's so fun to write.
PainX65 - Sunny needs the protection. Please. She's too good. Runaway robot suitcase! AKA my new favorite plot device that I definitely didn't use just to introduce other OCs. Thanks so much! :DD
ComplicatedYetSimple - Your review made me cry happy tears. Seriously. I'm so glad it was a fun read. And that you like the cast! Although that might not be too good in the long run. I'm happy Sunny is a fave! She's so precious. Another Dajeong lover! Woo!
Ziggymia123 - Sunny is just too precious. I'm so sorry. She was supposed to be a lot better of a conversationalist, but I'm not really sure how conversations are supposed to work, so she's morphed into the awkward extrovert bean you see today. Ginjiro definitely turned out a lot snappier than I expected, although I think he'll mellow out a bit. Rivka's design is so pretty. I wasn't kidding when I said she looked like a doll.
RioA - Yo Rio :D! Glad you don't mind the way I write! It's definitely not as polished as other SYOC's I've seen, but it is fun. And full of dialogue. I love writing dialogue. I did good with Kaiga! Yaay! Run, Sunny, run!
Also big thanks to Sharkeye for beta-ing!
Sunny stared at the errant luggage in disbelief.
"Uh, did my suitcase just…"
Viktor nodded, "I believe that the luggage is designed to follow you around, reducing the need to drag it behind you, however, yours seems to have developed plans of its own."
"Should—should I go after it?"
"That seems like a sound plan."
So Sunny was running through the Orlando airport once more, although this was much different than the first time. Sunny was sprinting, focused on her goal of catching the suitcase, when she realized she was barreling towards two girls standing in the middle of the hallway. She tried to dig her heels in to bring herself to a stop, but her sandals gave her no traction and she ended up sprawled out on the awful green carpet, staring right up at the two girls. Both were tall and pale, but that's where the similarities ended. One had silver hair, styled into a pair of twin tails and very neat bangs. Despite the hair, her face was youthful, a pair of red eyes peering out of it. She was tall and willowy, dressed in a sharp black suit with a red tank top underneath, and a pair of bright red heels standing dangerously close to Sunny's face. The other girl was much more muscular, although not quite as curvy. Her black hair was pulled into a sloppy ponytail, with messy bangs falling into her face. This girl's eyes were bright green, almost eerily so, and she wore a blue bandana that obscured the lower half of her face. Her clothes were also quite different from the first girl's; a loose black hoodie covered in neon purple skulls unzipped over a gray tank top, and a pair of dark gray cargo shorts.
"What the fuck?" The black-haired girl spoke first.
Sunny, frozen in her position on the floor, gaped awkwardly upwards at the new voice.
"Another one in cargo shorts. Truly a disaster." Said the second, her voice cold and smug.
"Uh. Sorry?" Sunny mumbled, unsure how to respond.
"Damn, Kagami, straight out the gate insulting her clothes. What a way to make an introduction." The first girl shook her head.
The silver-haired girl, now identified as Kagami, fixed her with a cold glare.
Sunny, not wanting to start a fight, spoke up, "Uh. Hi? I'm Sunny. It's, uh, it's—I—hi."
"Name's Karagi Iemikawa. I'm the Ultimate Graffiti Artist. Or the Ultimate Vandal, depending on who you ask."
Ultimate Graffiti Artist
"And I am Kagami Unubore, Ultimate Fashion Designer. I'm responsible for many renowned fashion lines, such as Unubore Business Chic, Luxe Lolita, Lady's Street Fashion…" Her voice trailed off at Sunny's blank expression.
Ultimate Fashion Designer
"Sorry. I—uh, I have no clue what you're talking about."
"You've really never heard of any of the most famous fashion lines in the world?"
Kagami's expression remained distant, but Sunny was sure she'd offended her.
"Need a hand up?" Karagi extended a paint-stained hand down to her, and Sunny gladly took it.
"Woah, you have six fingers?"
"Yeah." Karagi replied, completely nonplussed.
Awkward silence ensued. Standing up, she saw that she was about the same height as Kagami, and maybe a bit shorter than Karagi.
"So, Sunny," said Kagami, breaking the silence, "I assume that you have an Ultimate as well?"
"Uh, yeah! I'm the Ultimate Fisherman!"
"Well, that explains...that." Kagami glanced up and down at Sunny's outfit, scrutinizing her as if she were something distasteful stuck to the underside of her heel.
"Wh—what's wrong with what I'm wearing?" Sunny stammered, uncomfortable under Kagami's smug gaze.
"Isn't it quite obvious?"
"Yeah, Sunny, isn't it obvious? You're not dressed like a smug bitch." Karagi chided.
"I am not dressed, as you say, like a smug bitch."
"No? It must be your personality, then."
"How rude. I won't deign your crude remark with a response."
"You just did."
Sunny slunk away from the argument and back to the baggage claim where Viktor and Rivka were standing, Kaiga having walked away after getting his luggage.
"Uh, Viktor, have they been doing that the whole time?"
"Doing what?" Asked Rivka.
"Oh, sorry. There are these two girls over there, stuck in—"
"In a battle of insults? Yes. Those two were going at it when I came down here, at least half an hour ago."
Just then, another duo came rushing down the broken escalator. The first to get off the stairs was a skinny guy with pink hair, and… another set of heart shaped sunglasses? These were different than Ginjiro's, though. These glasses were dark purple, and wrapped around the sides of the man's face. His clothes were… a trip. He had on a sweater in this eye burning salmon color, and an equally bright green shirt underneath. It didn't end there though, the man had on a bright red hat and a lavender scarf. All in all, it made Sunny a bit dizzy.
"RIVKA!" The man shouted, and ran across the room to Rivka, wrapping her into a tight hug.
"Motek!" Rivka squeezed the man back, looking immensely relieved.
"Rivka. Ohh, ani kol kach sameach sh'matzati otach, hayiti col cach meodag, lo yadati eifo at hayit, v'ani lo yodea eifo ani achshav, v—"
"Yaron," said Rivka, pulling away, "I'm happy you're alright as well, but there are other people around."
"Uh, hi!" Sunny decided that was the perfect moment to introduce herself, "I'm Sunny, Sunny Sycamore. What's your name?"
The man scoffed, "what's it to you?"
"Oh—I—uh, I'm sorry? I didn't mean to be rude, I—"
"No, no, it's fine. The name's Yaron. Yaron Siskind. I'm the Ultimate Spoken Word Artist."
Ultimate Spoken Word Artist
"Sounds cool! I'm assuming you're Rivka's husband?"
"How the fuck would you know?"
"Uh? I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I—uh. Rivka said she had a husband earlier, and I mean you two seem really familiar, so I just…guessed?"
"You did guess right," said Rivka.
"Okay. Cool. I'm—um. Like I said, I'm Sunny. I'm the Ultimate Fisherman?"
Rivka nodded, having heard the information before.
"I suppose everyone here is an Ultimate, then?"
"Yeah…I mean, I think so. At least everyone I've met so far is."
"That's good to keep in mind then, isn't it?"
Sunny, nodded, unsure how to continue the conversation, and wandered over to the other girl who had come down the escalator. This girl was tiny, at least in comparison to everyone else she'd run into so far. She was adorable though, pale skin with freckles clustered across her nose, and happy green eyes partially covered by strawberry blonde hair. The girl wore a blue shirt under a light grey sweater completely covered with pins, and, (as Sunny happily noted), a pair of khaki-colored cargo shorts. Extending down from the shorts were a pair of knee-high socks, the same color as they sky and dotted with airplanes. Atop her head was a bright pink beanie, awkwardly smashing down the girl's pigtails.
"Hi there!" Sunny waved, jogging over to where the girl was rummaging through a black suitcase, "I'm Sunny! What's your name?"
She didn't get a response.
"Uh. Okay. I—sorry, you seem kinda busy I didn't mean to—"
"Oh! I'm so sorry, I didn't hear you the first time! I was trying to find something in the luggage I just received, but I guess it's not in there. You said your name was Sunny, right? I'm Asuka Maeda! Feel free to call me Asu, that's what my older brothers always call me. I'm the Ultimate Travel Blogger! Which is, uh. I was looking for my camera, I like to vlog when anything interesting happens, but I can't find it. All the rest of my stuff is in there though. Along with a lot of things that aren't mine. Ah! That was a lot all at once, wasn't it? What's your Ultimate Talent, Sunny?"
Ultimate Travel Blogger
Sunny, relieved at not having to deal with anymore uncomfortable pauses, took a moment to register the question. She blinked in confusion, waiting for any remaining brain cells to kick in, until her brain finally got it together.
"Oh! Uh—sorry, I'm, uh, I'm the Ultimate Fisherman! I kinda lost it for a second there, sorry. Um—there's a lot of weird stuff in these suitcases, isn't there? Mine had a sleeping bag and toiletries and stuff but it also had my fishing gear? And a stuffed fish? Here, lemme—" Sunny reached down to open her suitcase to show Asuka what was in it, but it wasn't there. "CRAP! SORRY I FORGOT I LOST MY SUITCASE GOTTA CHASE IT SORRY BYE!"
Sunny ran off again, but stopped only a few feet away.
"I don't know where it went. Auuugh." She dragged her hands down her face, and let them fall lamely to her sides. This was...not good. She'd gotten distracted by all the new people and now her errant suitcase had vanished. Shit.
"Sunny? Are you okay? You look kind of…displeased." Asuka had come up behind her while she was having a mini meltdown and had placed a comforting hand on her arm.
"Uh—yeah, yeah. I'm good, sorry that was kinda…immature? I—uh, I lost my suitcase."
"Oh. Well, that's not so difficult! Where was the last place you remember putting it?"
"No, that's not, uh" Sunny stammered, momentarily flustered by the sudden contact, and also uncomfortable with correcting someone she'd just met, "I, uh, my suitcase I didn't—I didn't misplace it, it ran away."
"It ran away? What do you mean?"
"Well… you know how your suitcase is kinda following you around?" Sunny gestured down at the suitcase sitting a few inches behind Asuka, following her around like an obedient puppy.
"Oh! I suppose so!"
"Yeah, well, mine didn't do that? I put it on the ground and it just kinda...zoomed off? I was following it but then I got distracted," she inclined her head towards Karagi and Kagami, who seemed to still be bickering.
"Well. That's…hmm. I wonder if anyone saw where it went? How about him?" Asuka wandered towards Viktor. Sunny hung back a bit, wanting to avoid the awkwardness that came with first introductions. Or, she tried, at least. Asuka waved her over, and she had to come join the conversation.
"Ah, Sunny. I see you have yet to find your suitcase."
"Heh. Yeah, I'm not quite sure where it went. I don't think it went up the stairs? 'Cuz that wouldn't make any sense. I mean they are fancy enough to follow you around so I mean maybe it could also get itself up the stairs but I don't know." Sunny felt her face grow hot. That sounded so dumb.
"Well, if it can't go up the stairs, then it has to be down here, right?" Asuka's response made Sunny feel a bit less idiotic, although she still felt a little weird.
"Asuka is correct. It must've gone down the other hallway. I suspect it has run into a wall, or gotten stuck on a different baggage carousel."
"OkaycoolyeahsoundsgreatthanksViktorbye!" Sunny shouted, already on her way to the opposite end of the hall.
This end of the baggage terminal was much like the first one Sunny had wandered down. The hallways would've been identical, save for a faded outline of a Starbucks sign above an inset restaurant that must've been, well, a Starbucks. She heard an awkward mechanical thumping from behind the counter. Resisting the urge to jump over the counter, (since that worked so well last time), Sunny carefully pushed open the half-door at the end of the counter and…laughed?
Asleep on the tile floor was a tall, slim man with slick brown hair dressed in a long black jacket, and what looked to be her suitcase duking it out with what must've been the suitcase belonging to the man asleep on the floor. The two suitcases were behaving like broken roombas, smashing into each other and then backing up to gain enough momentum to do it again. Sunny wanted to try to grab the handle of her suitcase, but she was worried that if she timed it wrong, she'd wind up with a broken finger. So she settled for staring at the two suitcases, hoping that they'd call some sort of electronic truce, or run out of battery. Whichever happened first. What she hadn't expected was for the man on the floor to wake up. He didn't seem startled though, the man stood up calmly and stared at the two suitcases, an expression of boredom clearly written across his face, before finally noticing Sunny.
"Hi? I'm sorry, I'm not trying to—uh—stare you down or anything I swear, I—my suitcase ran off and then I heard noises back here and it looks like it's…trying to do battle with your suitcase?"
"No shit." The man stood up and gave the nearest suitcase a sharp kick, causing the two suitcases to rebound in opposite directions across the Starbucks.
"Uh, thank…you? I think? Oh! What's your name, by the way? I'm Sunny! Sunny Sycamore? Also do you happen to have an Ultimate Talent? So far everyone I've met has had one, so—"
"Yeah. The name's Alias Mooney, I'm the Ultimate Archer. And I'm going back to sleep, so piss off."
Sunny was startled at the outright hostility, and couldn't come up with anything to say except for some confused stammering.
"What are you? Some broken record? Quit stammering like that and leave me alone."
Sunny needed no further invitation, and bolted away from the derelict Starbucks, now with her suitcase in tow. She didn't see anything interesting at the end of the hallway, so she turned and went back to the escalators. There was no one else around, they must've all gone back to the first floor. Sunny supposed she should head back up as well, but she really didn't feel like hauling her suitcase up all those stairs. It wasn't like she had much of a choice though. Surprisingly, her suitcase was quite light, and required very little effort to get it up each step. Soon enough, she was at the top of the escalator, slightly panting, but no real harm done.
There were a couple people standing in clumps around the atrium, but the rest must have gone elsewhere. To the food court, perhaps? She didn't feel like going back there. Instead, she set off in a new direction, to a hallway opposite the food court at the opposite end of the atrium. Through a set of giant glass doors was the terminal shuttle. It used to be a pickup station, where bulky buses on winding tracks came to pick up people to take them to other terminals. Sunny had always liked riding the shuttles, since they went outside the airport; it was like going on a mini-adventure. Plus, it was a nice station too. The ceilings were high and glassy, and each shuttle had its own glass tube-docking station thing, which made everything look very modern. But all the buses were gone, their glass tubes sealed off at the ends with cement, essentially blocking any entrances to the terminal shuttles. At the end of the station was a small man, pacing back and forth.
As Sunny walked closer to introduce herself, more of the man's features became clear. He wasn't necessarily small, just spindly, his bony wrists sticking out of a gray suit-jacket that looked like it had been yanked right out of the 70's. There was a bright red ascot around his neck, the only spot of color from his dull olive shirt, khaki pants, and brown shoes. His hair was black, and pinned up in a bun, revealing his sickly pale skin. The man didn't look well. Still, Sunny was undeterred.
The man jumped but composed himself quickly, the look of panic on his face replaced with a meager smile, his hands clasped tightly together in front of him.
"Hello. My name is Hideki Tateyama. It's lovely to meet you."
"Lovely—lovely to meet you too! I'm Sunny! Sycamore! Sunny Sycamore, sorry. You wouldn't happen to have an Ultimate Talent, would you?"
"Oh, yes. I am the Ultimate Travel Agent, setting up vacations and all that. Do you have an Ultimate Talent?"
Ultimate Travel Agent
"Uh, yeah. I'm the Ultimate Fisherman. I—I catch fish? Uh, travel agent, huh?" Sunny had done her fair share of traveling, but she'd never enlisted the services of a travel agent before, "Um…I didn't realize that travel agents still…travel agent-ed? Wait, no, that came out wrong I didn't mean that to sound like—"
Hideki cut her off with a thin chuckle, "Yes, I've heard that before. But rest assured, there are still plenty of travel agents in the business." He sounded almost like he was trying to pitch a sale to her, although Sunny wasn't quite sure what he was selling.
"Oh, uh, interesting. If you travel agent, does that mean you know about a lot of airports and travel stuff?"
"I suppose it would, although this specific airport is unfamiliar to me."
"Heh, you're probably lucky on that count."
"I take it that you don't like this particular location?"
"Oh! Uh…I mean, I'm not a huge fan of airports in general, so maybe I'm biased? I've never really like the Orlando Airport though."
Having obtained knowledge of his current location, Hideki looked a bit more relaxed. Not by much, though.
"Sunny, you mentioned that you've been through the Orlando airport before? Do you travel often?" Hideki mused, possibly in an attempt to generate some conversation.
"Yeah…yeah, I guess so. I mean, I live here in Florida, but I go to school in Japan, so that's a fair amount of flying each year. Sometimes I have to fly places for fishing tournaments too, although sometimes I can get people to drive if it's not too far, but, uh, yeah. Traveling." Sunny absentmindedly tugged at her curls, her incessant rambling making her want to curl up in a ball.
"Pardon me, but where did you get that suitcase?"
"At the baggage claim? Like it said on the tablet?"
"I did see the message, yes, but where is the baggage claim itself?"
"Oh! Oh! Sorry, it's uh, if you go out that way—wait. Wait a minute." Sunny was suddenly hit with a wave of confusion. Something was off. Usually people knew where baggage claim was, even if they'd never been to the airport, she couldn't remember why though. How did people get around if they—"DIRECTION SIGN THINGS! WHAT ARE THEY CALLED?!"
"YEAH! THE SCREENS, THEY HANG DOWN FROM THE CEILING, THEY HAVE ALL THE DIRECTIONS ON 'EM! THAT'S HOW PEOPLE GET TO BAGGAGE CLAIM! WAIT—" Sunny looked up to point at the information screen that hung above the door to one of the empty shuttle docks, only to realize that it was shut off, "oh."
That explained…so much.
"Are those hanging signs usually information placards?"
"Uh—Yeah, they updated them to be electronic a few years ago, it was a whole thing…OH! Right! Directions! Go through there," she pointed at the glass door, "and then you'll be in the atrium, and at the opposite end is a broken escalator, and then go down that and you'll be at the baggage claim."
"Ah, thank you very much, Sunny." Hideki nodded, and quickly walked out of the shuttle room.
Sunny, now alone, finally took a moment to organize her thoughts. There was clearly something going on, she'd figured that out about 14 conversations ago. The power didn't seem to be working either, the escalators were broken, and so were the information boards. She realized that the air conditioners weren't on either, their telltale hum suddenly glaringly absent. She had a suitcase that wasn't hers, full of stuff that was hers on a baggage claim on the opposite side of the world from where she was currently supposed to be. She should be in Japan right now, preparing for another school year. In fact, everyone else she'd met should be as well. That was another weird thing, there was no one else in the airport, save for the Ultimates she'd run into. Sunny thought she should be panicking, this was the weirdest situation that she could've ever found herself in, but she wasn't panicking. She didn't really feel all that afraid. Maybe it was the familiar territory, although it didn't feel so familiar any more.
"Sunny?" She felt a tap on her shoulder and whipped around, albeit very clumsily, and fell over her suitcase. Sprawled out on the floor, she got a good look at the newcomer. It was a man, tall, but fairly average looking. He had short brown hair that fell across his forehead and down his neck, but didn't quite cover his yellow eyes. The man looked professional, but also sort of intimidating, with a blue jacket over a black button down, and a pair of leather pants.
"Uh—hi? Do I know you? You don't look familiar? I mean I don't exactly have the best memory, but—"
"No. But I've heard of you. Allow me to introduce myself. I'm Bryan York, the Ultimate Taxi Driver."
Ultimate Taxi Driver
Bryan offered a gloved hand in Sunny's direction, but she ignored the help and disentangled her legs from the suitcase on her own.
"How do you know my name?"
"I'm a taxi driver, people tend to get chatty."
"That's not very reassuring, but, uh, oh well? I guess?" Sunny wasn't particularly comfortable with the idea of being talked about by strangers, that wasn't something she'd ever put much thought into. "You're the Ultimate Taxi Driver?"
Bryan nodded, "I did just say that."
"I—-uh—yeah. Yeah, you did. I was just, uh, that's an interesting talent? I've only been in a taxi a couple times, so I don't have much to say. But, uh. Yeah."
"It is certainly an interesting job. You hear all sorts of stories, and you get to visit plenty of different places. You mentioned that you've only been in a taxi a few times?"
"Well, more than a few, I guess. I just usually fall asleep in them, so I can only really remember a few specific rides."
"Yeah." Sunny squirmed a bit under Bryan's gaze. She felt a bit like she was under a microscope.
There was a sudden crackling over the PA system, and then everything flooded to life. The air conditioners whirred on, the starting of the escalators was heard, and the information boards suddenly flashed to life. But they didn't list out departure times, or gate changes, no, nothing like that. The electric blue background was replaced with a split black and white screen, with the words, "please proceed to the information desk at Gate 1-A" typed across it in bold lettering.
"That was unexpected." Mused Bryan.
"Yeah." Sunny felt a cold shiver run down her spine. Something was dreadfully wrong, and she was about to find out exactly what was going on.
Annnnd...that's the introductions done! I hope they turned out well! Sadly, I won't be able to put out any updates for at least a month, as I'll be away without any internet. But, I will be planning things the whole time, so I can get things rolling once I get back. Thanks for reading!