AN: Sweet, sweet Half-Innocent. I wrote this even before beginning The Life of a Devil, but then it was savagely deleted by the cold hands of injustice… They shall remain unnamed.
Please enjoy the revamped version of this Half-Innocent.
The Other Half
-…Present Day: 12:01:29 PM…-
She was dying.
Water gushed through the gashes and holes; once an impenetrable flying machine, now a steel cage sinking to the abysmal ocean floor.
Kagome waded towards the nose of the plane, her left arm hanging limply by her side, her right hand tightly clutching the damned jewel around her neck. An ooze of blood from the wound on her temple trickled down her cheek and to her chin, where it paused before dripping into the knee-high seawater.
The water rose, however, and soon it was waist high, movement increasingly difficult.
"Ah," Kagome stumbled, cutting her knee on something wickedly sharp in the water.
Her vision blurred before she reached the first row of seats. What once used to be the 1st class cabin was a burning prison cell. By now, they must've been at least twenty meters underwater.
The 15 year-old stepped back when a fistful of exposed wirings fell down from the ceiling, dangling barely a foot above the water now reaching her chest. Kagome had to paddle around the electrical circuits.
She pulled open the curtains separating the space between the cabin and the cockpit.
The door to the nose of the aircraft was half open. Kagome tried to widen the gap, and after that failed she tried to squeeze through, but something was stubbornly blocking the door. The water was coming up to her chin. She was desperate – her instincts kicked in.
She inhaled and, without hesitation, dived into the water.
Thankfully, because she had long hair, she did not notice the object caught beneath the door, hindering her escape. It was a man's shoe; and part of the man's appendage was still inside.
She hugged the wall and began to drag her numb body over the side of the door. She didn't know when it had happened – the plane had pitched backward, the nose of the plane somehow resurfacing above the bloody water. But it wouldn't last long.
Kagome gasped; mouth now above water after she finally got her head and shoulders through the small space. With a fierce kick she managed to get her entire body through the narrow doorway. The water was still rising.
She awkwardly stood up on the wall of the plane. The seat where the pilot once sat was now above her head, and the cockpit door was steps away, left open like a trick door on a stage floor.
The cabin beginning to flood, she had to think fast.
Kagome's grasp on the jewel was a death grip; knuckles turning white and fingers reddening in defiance unlike any other. Only humans so intent on living, on survival, knew the true feeling of absolute desolation.
In her right hand, she felt the pang of the pink jewel before it cracked.
-…2 months earlier…-
Higurashi Kagome was no longer a child. Today, perhaps the gloomiest day of her life, was her 15th birthday. She wore the typical mourning attire one would dress in for a funeral and thereafter. She was unusually pale; not the cheerful girl her family grew to love.
Outside the large Victorian window, rain poured down with no sign of breaking. It was a sluggish day.
And all because of her death.
Kikyou's death, to be more exact.
"Your relative," the lawyer started, sitting comfortably behind his oak desk. "Wanted you to take on the duty of Guardianship. It is a great honor, Miss Higurashi; only three others have ever laid hands on such priceless finery before you. Midoriko Miko, then her descendant, Kaede Miko, and then her granddaughter, Kikyou Miko."
She watched the balding man lean back on his black leather chair. He seemed to be waiting for a reaction.
What was she supposed to think?
Kagome had just attended a funeral, on her birthday of all days, and now she was supposed to take ownership of an incredible artifact, specifically requested by a dead relative she didn't know she had until today.
"What about Kaede?" she spoke up. "Kikyou's sister, I mean. The little Kaede."
The old man scoffed. "Please. She's hardly a preteen. She wouldn't be eligible for such a burden, even if Miss Miko had written it down herself."
"So that's it," Kagome felt cold all of a sudden. "I'm supposed to take care of this jewel until my death?"
"Exactly," he nodded with a smile. "Never mind the offers you will undoubtedly receive; not to mention the threats… and death warnings no less… You must have it with you at all time."
"That's a lot of pressure."
"And you will not forget it," the lawyer leaned in, his casual smile replaced by a very sullen look as he held his hands before his mouth. "This is a serious matter, Miss Higurashi. You will need to protect it with your life: Simply because that jewel's existence is much more significant than yours."
"Yeah," her smile was humorless. "Look at Kikyou."
-…3 weeks later…-
"Could you explain that again?"
Kagome sighed. "I told you Souta, she's your 4th cousin."
The new Guardian was in her hotel room, busy packing her belongings and souvenirs. This would be her 5th hotel change since last week.
From her cell phone, affixed between her right ear and shoulder, came a very audible groan.
"How does that work?"
"You know Cousin Sato?" Kagome tripped on a footstool and blundered into the nightstand.
"Well, his cousin, Kari, has a cousin… Kari's our 2nd cousin, by the way."
"Oh," he said slowly. Kagome knew her little brother wasn't following.
"Just think of it this way – our cousin's, cousin's, cousin, has a cousin. That would be Kaede. Oh, she's about your age, so you two should get along great. She's a bit serious, though. And her plane's supposed to be in Tokyo soon – like in an hour. So remember to tell her NOT to touch my underwear drawer, OK?"
"How long will she be here? In our house? In your room?"
"I don't know," she dumped her last bag of clothes into her suitcase and tried to close it shut. Needless to say, it was ineffective. "She'll be in the guest room as soon as I get back… but she'll probably be in our house until she goes off to–"
"College," Kagome could see him knowingly smile on the other end.
"Be patient with her. Please? She just lost her sister; she's basically an orphan."
"I know, I know," there was a pregnant pause before he continued. "But when are you coming back?"
Kagome stopped and sighed. She sat down on the bed before answering. "In a month or so. It's hard to book a flight when you have 10 stalkers breathing down your neck." She then promptly got up and kicked her two duffel bags to the door, taking out her aggression in a healthy manner.
She waited for an answer.
All she got was static.
"I just have a bad feeling about all this…"
Kagome's warm smile was reassuring, visible or not. "I'm sure everything will be fine. Besides, I'm in Shanghai," she clicked her tongue. "It's hardly a sea away."
-…Present Day: 11:56:07 AM…-
"What's going on?"
Kagome's scream was drowned out by another explosion. Reading lights burst and oxygen masks plopped out of the ceiling – and in the midst of it all, the overhead compartments began to open up one by one.
The plane lurched again.
Passengers screamed, trying to unbuckle their seatbelts out of irrational fear. Luggage flew into seats and people alike, one of them knocking out an elderly man sitting two seats away from Kagome.
"AGH!" Kagome ducked before a rogue tray boomeranged above her head.
Suddenly, she felt a horrible burning sensation on her right temple. She'd been hit.
"How…?" Kagome whispered, wiping the blood away from her eye.
Then there was another explosion.
Kagome flew out of her seat, the seatbelt torn from her waist. She landed on the aisle, her head painfully connecting with a seat handle. That was when Kagome lost feeling in her left arm.
She dragged her body up the aisle, getting kicked and stepped on by other desperate passengers. There were so many legs clambering out, attacking her, abusing her bruised body.
There were so many shrieks, all deafening, unbearable and shrill. They wanted out.
They wanted salvation.
"Stop it!" she screeched, again, kicked in the head. "STOP IT!"
Then, there was one last, huge explosion, engulfing the tail of the plane in unimaginable combustion. It was like an earthquake, but more powerful than anything she had ever experienced back in Japan, her home country.
Kagome saw them fly away, ripped out of their seats and dragged back to the rear of the plane. Like rag dolls, dozens of legs and arms flailing in a last ditch effort to grab onto something, anything.
People somehow staying immobile cried out when their seats began to shook, starting to fall out of the screws that made it stationary.
How did this happen? How could this be happening?
Kagome instantly grabbed the jewel, acknowledging its presence around her neck, holding onto it as if it was her lifeline.
They had gone far too off course. Their plane had been delayed. They should've reached Narita Airport 2 hours ago.
They were lost.
And now they were falling.
Kagome felt the floor shake, violent and rapid like a tremor, the walls of the plane vibrating repeatedly. Then, unexpectedly, her body shot into the air. The plane was falling tail first; a nearly impossible phenomenon.
Her grip on the jewel tightened. Still floating, she began to breathe normally.
"Just stop," she muttered. "Just stop."
The clash of burning metal hitting the cold surface of the ocean was horrendous. Like a nuclear bomb, no screams followed. Giant waves traveled out from the point of impact; if seen from above, it would've been like a ripple taking form on a still pond. Many disappeared when the plane hit water. Others drowned, pinned to their seats by luggage or due to injuries.
Even the pilots had been sucked out of their seats, one of them loosing his shoe and foot.
Kagome… she opened her eyes after the plane started sinking.
A voice cried in her head.
Kagome crawled forward.
Kagome's muscles tensed. Her heartbeat and blood pressure increased. Her adrenaline soared.
Self-preservation. Fear of annihilation.
Fear of death.
"Live," she hissed, getting to her knees.
Water poured into the economy cabin.
She stood up, staggering to her feet. Her hands were cold. Her head was spinning.
But the jewel. The damned pink jewel had an unearthly aura about it. It was feeding on her will to live. On her life. On her soul.
She was dying.
AN: Like I'm going to kill off Kagome in the prologue. -.- This sure is turning out to be an action flick, huh? Well, never fear! Because it is I, Snowgirl, who's writing this story. So you just know there's going to be humor in here somewhere.
Next chapter – …ah… Chapter 1? …darn, gotta think of a title…
Ciao and Adieu!