Journey through the Afterlife
Author's Note: Aha! I live once more! You can't get rid of me that easily! I'd like to DEEPLY apologize for the long wait everyone had to endure. The funny thing is that I nearly finished this chapter about a WEEK after the previous chapter was released. But I got carried away with other things and couldn't finish.
Anyway, there's some things I'd like to announce. First off, we got some more new players, and I'd like to thank all for contributing. But my tiny brain can take only so many players to keep track of, so I'll try to squeeze in new guys if say, players begin to get erased.
In addition, I plan on making a sequel to this fan-fic after Day 7/Conclusion. It will take place in the same continuity and city, and people can re-submit new characters. I'm saying this because in the unlikely event that somebody dies in this chapter or next, the creator of the character won't feel so down.
Well, that's about it. Now try to enjoy the story.
Kurai stared at his watch. 60 Minutes. As usual. It always seems like I get less time than the other ones. Doesn't matter, though, all I really have to do is cut down on the monologues. Well, I'll try.
Harriers often had different opinions about early Bonus days. A lot of Reapers his age personally love having the opportunity to fight "seasoned" players in a late day like 5 or 6. But those people are idiots. And idiots get their asses kicked by "seasoned" players. While mercilessly erasing "fresh" players was a little heart-wrenching, it was really the safest and smartest way to gain points.
Kurai looked up at the night sky. He chose that this event happened late. Would it be easier in the day? Maybe. Would it look as cool? No. No it wouldn't. Kurai slowly, but eagerly, walked up to a phone booth and placed coins inside. He put the phone to his ear and chuckled softly to himself.
Today is a Bonus Day/
Survive if you can/"
I'll hunt you guys down/
Until the clock stops ticking/
Let's try to have fun."
Kurai continued chuckling as he hung up the phone. He was supposed to explain the rules to the players. Hope they got the gist of it via haiku.. I'm sure they'll understand soon enough. He walked out of the park as his soft chuckling erupted into insane laughter.
Maikeru Tapang continued watching the flickering flames of his lighter while sitting down. Completely focused on the fire, he didn't notice his partner approaching him.
"Mornin', Maikeru. Well, evening, actually. Still feels like morning, though. Know what I mean?" a boy with very dark blue hair approached him. Maikeru continued looking at the flame of the lighter.
"So...Did you answer the phone? Maikeru. MAIKERU? Hello?"
"Well then, feel like sharing with the class?"
"About today's goal?" He turned off the lighter and looked at him. "Guy named Abakashi wants us dead. We have 60 minutes to stay alive for today."
"That so..." he sighed. "Well, standing here won't do us any good, then. I say we erase this guy before we both get our asses kicked."
"Well then, Shigeki." Maikeru stood up before reaching into his jacket pocket to put on a pair of blue sunglasses. "Let's survive."
Damon walked down the street with two hot dogs in hand.
"Alex?" He asked. "I got some food from a Mexican Dog stall... Um...You want one?" He smiled nervously.
Alexandria took a long, heavy sigh. "JESUS, David. First; it's Alexandria, if I wanted to be called Alex, I'd tell you that. And second; No. I don't eat generic food brands, remember? Yeesh, you have no idea how to act in front of celebrities." What!? Damon thought. She's a celebrity? Crap. Would she get angry if I never heard of her? Probably shouldn't ask that-
"Y-you're a celebrity? I, um, didn't know." He looked to the side. "So, er, what do you do for a living? Do you like... Never mind."
"It's Alexandria Rai!? Heiress of Rai Hotels!? Hello?"
"I- Sorry!" He waved his hands. "Um... Sounds nice though. Hotels? Maybe I should visit sometime-"
"UGH!" She turned away. "Never mind. Let's just continue avoiding that guy..." Glad to change the conversation, Damon nodded.
"Yeah, but we don't know what that Abasomething guy even looks like, I mean, he could..." Damon trailed off. "Well, judging from the hoodies we saw before the game began, we can only assume those people have giant black wings. Try to remember that." She walked away. Damon sighed threw away one of the Mexican Dogs before following.
So much for that. Just proves that socializing doesn't make a better team.
54th Street, Entrance to Sunshine Station Burger Chain
"Try it again." Rafe nodded. Jack charged at the door and kicked it. Nothing happened. After kicking the door for what seemed like a hundred times, Jack turned around and looked at Rafe strangely.
"What? See that symbol?" She pointed to a graffiti mark above the store entrance. "I found out yesterday that players can go into those buildings. But it doesn't seem to matter now." She sighed. "I figured that maybe we could wait indoors while the timer goes down." Jack let out a sigh as he leaned against the wall.
"In off the moors, down through the mist bands, God-cursed Grendel came greedily loping." A voice said. Jack and Rafe looked around, in a panic. "The bane of the race of men roamed forth, hunting for prey in the high hall." Kurai jumped from the roof of the building the team was trying to enter, landing right in front of them. "Kurai Abakashi. Lover of poetry and devoted Harrier to the Conductor." He bowed.
"Abakashi..." Oh. CRAP. Rafe reached around her neck and pointed her camera.
"Taking a picture? Please, please, there is no need for that." As she snapped a photo, a white flash emerged as a photo of Kurai fell from the camera. Kurai flinched in pain. Quickly noticing what had happened, Jack reached into his pocket and pulled out a pen.
"Hm? Oh, that was supposed to be an attack. Ah, the eagerness of young players; they have no idea how to REALLY use a psych in combat." He pulled out a watch that fired a beam at both of them, but Jack quickly sketched a shield with his pen to block it.
"Magnificent! Let's see how long you can keep that up!" He chuckled as he raised his clock again. While Jack prepared to draw another shield, he was kicked by Abakashi, knocking the pen from his hand. Kurai continued a flurry of punches and kicks, most of which Jack couldn't block. Mainly because Kurai moved in a strange and unpredictable way. While Rafe and Jack could see him land the blow, they never actually saw him pull back for a punch. It just... happened. As Rafe helplessly watched Jack receive a no-holds barred beat-down from Kurai, she began to think of how her psych could help. She ran up to him and swung her purse. He re-appeared 5 feet away and countered with another clock-laser. It hurt a lot, though she still managed to quickly get back on her feet.
"Rather tenacious, aren't we?" Kurai fired another energy beam, but they both managed to roll out of the way. Jack grabbed his pen and hastily drew what appeared to be some sort of gun, but it looked more like a tin can with a handle. Without hesitation, he unloaded the gun. Kurai did another teleport to sidestep all of them. Rafe snapped a picture of the strange clock that Kurai held. A photo came out of her camera and fell to the floor. She quickly raised the photo of the camera into the air and summoned a replica of the exact same clock. Suddenly, everything except for her and Kurai lost color and ceased to move.
"W-What the hell?" She asked as she looked at the clock. Kurai began chuckling. "Hey. You're using my psych. Impressive." He ran up to her. The world began to move again and regained it's colors. "Of course, it can only stop time momentarily. Quite a shame, is it not?" Jack snuck up behind him with a newly drawn sword. Kurai turned around and fired a laser at him, destroying the blade and sent Jack plummeting to the floor. Rafe tried the watch, but it was ineffective. After hopelessly waving it around, she futilely threw it at Kurai. It's impossible to win against this guy if I hardly knew how this thing works. Rafe thought as she looked at her camera. "Jack!" She looked at her wounded partner.
"Screw this guy, we'll have to get out of here." Jack nodded while getting up. They quickly stared at Kurai before turning around and running away. Kurai glanced at his clock. Only 40 minutes..!? Ridiculous. I've only erased about 3 pairs. No way I'm letting this slide. Kurai punched the ground with the clock he was holding. A large group of wolfs rose from the ground and chased after them.
The duo continued to run from the wolves. It's not as if they thought they couldn't erase the wolves, but the Noise was really just a red herring. Fighting them would allow Kurai to catch up with their team.
"...And so then I said 'No, THAT'S a goat!" Alison laughed as she finished her joke.
"I...I don't get it." Ari scratched her head.
"Ah...Never mind." The two continued walking along the road, still keeping an eye out for any homicidal Reapers. Meanwhile, Shigeki and Maikeru watched in the distance.
"Can't scan them. They're either Players or Reapers." Shigeki said, still focused on them.
"Well, the Reaper that's hunting us was a guy. Unless one of them has an... important secret... I'm assuming that they are players. Let's ignore them." Maikeru began to walk away
"Hey. You said that the guy on the phone was a man. For all we know, one of them could just be an incredibly girly-looking dude." Shigeki grabbed Tapang by the shoulder. "...Like Chris."
"Well, what are you gonna do, kid? Just run up to them and set them on fire?"
"No, we're going to run up to them and set them on fire!" Shigeki holstered his whip and spun it around menacingly. "Let's do this!" Shigeki ignited his whip and charged at the duo. After lashing at Alison, Ari retaliated by quickly running behind Shigeki and wrapping her jump rope around his neck. Shigeki began to flail is whip around furiously while breaking out of the girl's grasp.
"Who the hell are you guys?" Alison got up. Maikeru slowly walked forward. "We're Players. And, if my partner has managed to prove anything, you are as well." He took a hesitant pause before resuming. "My name is Maikeru Tapang. That's Shigeki. There. Now how about you introduce yourselves as well..?" Shigeki returned to Maikeru's side and nodded.
"...Okay. I'm Alison Lorel, and this here is Ari... Kagamine"
"Outstanding. My partner and I are looking to erase Abakashi, the Reaper."
Shigeki rubbed his arm. "So if you seen a guy who might me him, give us a call."
"You want to fight him?" Ari spoke "But we're supposed to avoid him. The idea is that we make sure we... don't fight him."
"Right, right," Shigeki chuckled. "But he wants us to think we don't stand a chance, only because he knows that the odds of him getting his smug ass erased is just as likely as ours."
"And if we get rid of Abakashi, we win the day. And shall continue doing so until week's end." Maikeru concluded. "So would you like to help us survive?" He stepped forward. Alison and Ari stared at each other, pondering what to do. After what seemed like an eternity, Rafe sighed.
"Sure. We'll help you fight him if he finds us. Remember that we still win if we wait it out."
"W-wait, are you sure, Alice? I mean..."
"Hey, hey, no worries." Shigeki smiled. "Abakashi shouldn't be that difficult."
Kurai slammed the player into the wall, leaving cracks and crevices in the building.
"...I'll kill you! Y-You son of a bitch!" The player helplessly kicked his legs.
"Hey, hey, language." Kurai slammed him into the wall again."So, any idea where that other player you were with is hiding? There's no use in not telling me, you know. If I don't get him in roughly 5 minutes, he's Noise Food." The player struggled to speak, due to Abakashi's tight grip on his throat. "He...He's...Hiding behind this building...In a dumpster..." He managed to whimper. Kurai repeatedly slammed the young boy into a wall, steadily increasing strength with each passing blow. Soon afterward, the player erupted into static, leaving Kurai staring at the damaged wall.
"Slow day, Abakashi?" Kat slowly walked behind him. "...I've had better" Kurai chuckled. "7 players, going on 8. Although I'm kind of looking forward to seeing how you fight players. But that's assuming that they are even alive by your bonus day. Hardly anyone picks up the ropes fast enough to win."
"So, you're saying you'd be happier to see more people survive today?" Kat smirked. "It'd mean that you wouldn't have to think up as many poems and haiku to tell your victims."
"Well, would you look at that." Abakashi pointed at his watch. "Only 30 minutes left. Goes to show how long and tedious this conversation is. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a job to do." Kurai raised his clock and disappeared in a flash.
Central Park, Pond Area
The newly formed team all sat down at benches nearby the pond.
"So, if we're going to stick together like a pact," Alison gestured to the two newcomers "How about we try and get to know each other more?"
"I don't see why." Maikeru leaned back in the bench.
"Well, you know," Alison continued. "Ari and I already discussed how we died and what we lost. It helps us kind of connect, you know?" Maikeru began to look annoyed.
"What do you want to hear? Would you like to hear how and why I died? I'm sure that's a very interesting story. Even better; finding out that you still have to continue living after you burn to death, only to find out that people are forcing you to team up with some random kid, in hopes to survive a week with everything trying to erase you from existence."
"Okay, shut the hell up for a second, will you?" Alison stood up. "Jesus, it seems that every time we try and talk with you we just get some snappy retort. Listen, dying obviously wasn't fun, but that's why we are here, so we can continue living and avoid death. So you don't have to tell us about your past, but you can at least pretend that you care about what's happening to us!"
"Damn." Shigeki raised an eyebrow, but followed it with a long sigh. "She has a point. Acting like a dick to everyone you meet gets you shot at. I should know, of all people."
"I guess you're right..." Maikeru got up and looked at his hand. "Sorry about that." Ari smiled and nodded."Glad that's over with. Let's just leave the past behind for now."
"Well, we still got half an hour left for today." Maikeru said while staring at his hand. So let's stop tearing each others throats out and continue doing what we do to stay alive."
"But... My dear boy..." A figure walked in. "Tearing people's throats out IS what we do to stay alive." Kurai walked in, panting heavily after a brief run.
"Ahem... Kurai Abakashi, Lover of Poetry and Devoted-" Kurai's introduction was cut off by Maikeru pulling out his lighter and torching him.
"Hey. Hey. HeyheyheyheyheyHEY!" Kurai shrugged off the flames. "Ouch." He raised his clock and re-appeared behind Maikeru and kicked him in the head. In a state of panic, Shigeki and Ari stumbled out of their seats.
"Four on one, eh?" Kurai smiled. "'Now this is the point. You fancy me mad.'" Kurai released a beam aimed for everyone, but only managed to destroy the bench.
"'Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me.
You should have seen how wisely I proceeded –
with what caution,
with what foresight,
with what dissimulation, I went to work!'"
He blasted Shigeki as he ignited his whip. Alison began firing blasts of sound at Abakashi, sending him flying back, disarmed of his watch.
"Now's our chance, let's run!" Alison said to the team. Nobody else responded. "We're...fighting him for real, aren't we?" Maikeru got up and nodded. "No point turning back now." He turned around to quickly torch Kurai. "We can do this..."
"'Yes he has been trying to comfort himself with these suppositions; but he had found all in vain.'"
Kurai reached out his hand and grabbed Maikeru's shirt collar. He then delivered a sluggish blow to the face, knocking off Maikeru's sunglasses.
"ALL IN VAIN,
because Death, in approaching him had stalked with his black shadow before him and enveloped the victim."
He continued with his onslaught of blows before Ari lashed at him with her jump rope. "You sure like to talk a lot." She grunted as she charged at him again. Kurai tumbled across the grass and reclaimed his clock, stopping time right before Ari landed her next blow. He narrowly avoided it, only to be hit by Shigeki's whip. While stunned from the blow, Alison began firing more blasts of music at him.
"That's enough!" Abakashi punched the floor with his clock, summoning a large noise mammoth to the battlefield. The gigantic beast towered behind him, its shadow looming over the Players. Kurai chuckled.
"Hey, fair's fair, right? 'You can be a king or a street sweeper... But everyone dances with the Grim Reaper.'" The mammoth stomped the floor, shaking the earth and knocking the players off their feet. Kurai then fired a beam from his clock, hitting all the fallen players. Maikeru slowly got up and readied his weapon.
"Oh, perhaps you misheard me." Kurai cleared his throat. "You see, I intended for you all to die after I said that. But if you want a more tragic and longer death... Well, I won't complain."
"Hey. Guys." Maikeru looked behind him as his comrades got up. "I... was wrong. We won't win against this guy. Just run while I try to hold him off."
"What? No, we-" Alison began, before being interrupted by Maikeru. "Listen, I learned a few things while-" he managed to say before being erased by another blast from Kurai.
"It's rude to interrupt. But that's karma." Kurai stared at the place Maikeru once stood.
"Shit! Maikeru!" Shigeki gasped. He ran at Kurai and began rapidly hitting him, each attack barely phasing him. "I'll never forgive you for this!"
"Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it," Kurai said, smiling. The mammoth stomped the ground once more, knocking the players down, once again. Kurai slowly walked up to Shigeki and pointed his watch at him.
"Time's up." Kurai failed to say without slightly smirking at the pun. Alison ran up to him and tackled him, sending both to the floor.
"Woman. Get off me." He threw her to the side and rose back up his feet. Ari's jump rope glowed with an electric aura as she ran up to Kurai to attack him once more, and was once again stopped right before she landed the blow. Alison got up and prepared to take another shot out of her mp3 when Kurai sidestepped and blasted her with another beam.
"Hey. Elephant." He looked up at the mammoth and pointed to the severely wounded Shigeki. "Get rid of the fallen player, will you?" The mammoth slowly advanced toward Shigeki. Alison looked nervously at the mammoth before snapping Ari out of her frozen position.
"Ari, we need to stop that elephant before it erases Shigeki." As she said that, Shigeki slowly rose up.
"No... it's cool... I... got this." Shigeki panted while igniting his whip. "T-try to focus.. on the Reaper." Alison chose not to listen, ran between Shigeki and the mammoth and proceeded to fire blasts of sound at it. She increased the pitch and frequency of her attacks as the mammoth increased its running speed. Ari jumped on top of the mammoth and finished it with her jump rope right before it hit Alison.
"...You killed my mammoth!/
I worked hard on him, you know/
I'll do this my-"
Flames covered Abakashi before he finished his poem. Shigeki tossed Maikeru's lighter aside and began to repeatedly attack Kurai until he fell to his knees. Still while on fire, Kurai looked up at Shigeki.
"..Such power, you possess, to erase.. me... of all people, while partnerless. I must say, I-" Shigeki finished him off with one final blow, forever erasing Kurai Abakashi.
The three stood there, silently wondering what was going to happen. In a flash of light, the clocks on their hands disappeared and The Game Master appeared before them, playing an ominous motif on his violin.
"Magnificent. Defeating a harrier is no easy task." The reaper said, still playing the violin.
"W-who are you?" Ari stumbled back.
"I am the one in charge of this weeks game. You may call me Edward Uwain." He put his violin in its case before resuming. "I'm here to both congratulate you on your efforts. But I'm also here to take something..."
"And... What's that?" Alison asked. "Well, I'm sure you know that a player cannot exist without the accompaniment a partner. In order for this game to continue properly, I'll need to deal with Mr. Shigeki Kamiko." He pointed at Shigeki.
"What!?" Shigeki snapped. "But we won today's challenge!"
"Yes, yes, and that's all good. But with the absence of Maikeru Tapang, you are no longer with The Game. You are no longer a Player. You are no longer amongst the RG, the UG, or any plane of existence." He began to raise his palm. "We have reached the coda of this ballad, so let's make it worthwhile for the audience."
"Wait.. Shigeki's with us now." Alison said. "Doesn't that count as a pact?" Uwain chuckled softly.
"While your ensemble performs superbly, I'm afraid its harmony doesn't scale with the flow of The Game. Farewell, Kamiko." He pointed his palm at Shigeki, creating a ripple in the air that instantly destroyed him. Alison and Ari were rendered speechless as Uwain took a bow.
"A magnificent performance, wouldn't you agree?" He slowly clapped to himself. "Perhaps we'll meet again later. And perhaps I'll be willing to give a... special encore. Toodles." He teleported away, leaving the two girls in silence.
Author's Note: Well, that's the end of the relatively darker Day 2. Please don't say anything if your character has yet to appear in this series. I can assure you that most of the characters MIA will appear on Day 3. But if one doesn't, or your character was one of the three that got offed today, I deeply apologize.
Knowing who was going to die in this chapter, I made sure to try to make their brief appearances as awesome as possible. But they kind of grew on me while doing so. It's sad.
Remember, as I said earlier, I'm planning on making a "Week 2" for those who want to re-enter submissions. Sorry again for the long time it took to update. I am 90% sure I will not let that happen again. Please believe me.
Fun Fact: Abakashi was mainly quoting from Edgar Allen Poe's classic Tell-Tale Heart. Just thought I'd let you know.