BETA- Beings of Extraterrestrial Origin Which is Adversary of Human Race
TSF- Tactical Surface Fighters
Element G- The unknown material used to make the G-Bomb
XG-70b/d Susanoo- The giant mechanical weapon used to destroy the BETA hives.
PX- The cafeteria
Shirogane Takeru - The protagonist of the story.
Yuuko Kouzuki- The Professor working on Alternative IV
Marimo Jinguuji- Squad 207 instructor and Takeru's English teacher in the old world
Kasumi Yashiro- Survivor of the Alternative III project. Has mind reading abilities and only close to Yuuko and Shirogane
Chizuru Sakaki- Squad 207B Squad leader. Takeru calls her Class rep and is in loggerhead with Ayamine
Ayamine Kei- Squad 207 member, CQC expert
Miki Tamase- Squad 207 member, Sniper expert
Mikoto Yoroi- Squad 207 member, First Aid and survivalist expert
Meiya Mitsurugi- Squad 207 member, Melee weapon specialist
Chapter 1: A Future He will Never Accept
"Yeah this is the finish line. I just wish I wasn't crossing it alone"
-Cole from the game 'Infamous'-
I stared emptily at Sumika's lifeless figure as she laid there on her seat with her eyes closed as if asleep and her hands clutching on the Santa Rabbit I gave to her a few weeks ago. She looked so peaceful that I felt that if I just gave her a soft nudge she'd wake up and everything would be peachy. But who was I kidding? She was dead. I knew it, Kasumi knew it… heck I bet even Sumika knew it. After finally realizing that she was the one who made me a Casualty Conductor I felt an enormous weight hovering over my body.
Kasumi was right. The fate that she had given me was cruel, probably the cruelest thing that I've ever experienced in my life. I doubt the real Sumika in my peaceful world wouldn't do something like this. But then again… there was no telling what people would do when they've obtained such power. For so many years now I've been trapped in this endless cycle of time, existing in two worlds at once and experiencing everything since October 22, 2001 over and over.
I've seen so many things, felt all the happy times, the sad times and even times when I didn't want to die. Marimo-chan, Captain Isumi, everyone. Sumika made the painstaking way to send me back in time just because she I couldn't reach her. One could say that she was so selfish that she didn't want me to be with anyone else.
The flashes of memories that I've experienced during my countless loops flashed before my eyes. Though I don't remember all the details, one thing was for sure that I've had relationships with all the members of my squad. Meiya, Class rep (Chizuru Sakaki), Ayamine, Tama (Miki) and surprisingly enough, my friend who I thought was a boy, Mikoto. I even had sex with them too.
Sumika, what you've done to me probably pained me not only physically, mentally but also spiritually. Knowing that you were the one who trapped me in this endless prison of time made me really angry. If I had known about this earlier… I probably would've done unspeakable things to you. Hell I would've screamed and yelled and demanded for answers. But looking at your soft face now, I probably understand why.
You were alone.
You were so afraid of being alone that you punished me into this endless loop of time just so you could make me fall in love with you again. I would've done it… but after seeing the faces of my comrades die before my very eyes… I… I…
"Takeru?" I looked back to the cockpit of the ship to see Kasumi standing there politely, knowing well what I was thinking.
We both traded looks and once more I turned my eyes to the lifeless body of my childhood friend. "Kasumi. (Hmm?) You said before that Sumika was the one who made me into this Casualty Conductor, right? (…) So tell me. If I died now… would I still go back into the beginning?"
I felt her eyes widened as I mentioned this. "I don't know" was her answer. "But because Sumika was the one who made it, there's little chance that you would go back. But now that both worlds have been fixed, it'll be a matter of time before you return to your world"
"Is that so? Well I guess that's no surprise there" I said to her. "But if there's still a chance for me to do one last loop. I'll take it. (Eh?) Kasumi… you're probably reading my mind right now and by now you probably know what I'm about to ask but I'll say it anyway. I'm going to kill myself and do one more loop in time"
"But there's a chance that it might not…"
"I know that!" I raised my voice slightly making the girl behind me flinch. "I know this probably goes against everything, everyone said to me. I'll probably be hated by Marimo chan and everyone who died. But if I let this pass… I'll probably never be able to forgive myself. I know that this must sound selfish, but I have to go back… I have to fix this"
"Takeru…" Kasumi gently place her hand over mine. "There's no need for you to do that anymore. Please stop it. Stop tormenting yourself and finally live the peaceful you've always wanted… with everyone. If you kill yourself now… then all the sacrifices that's been done will mean nothing. (I know…) So please… stop it and let it go"
"Kasumi…" my eyes darted towards her. I lowered my body to meet her childish gaze as I smiled. I know what she was trying to tell me. She was trying to say that everyone should move on. But I can't. I know that's probably sounds like a kid who doesn't want to grow up. "Look at me. I once told all of my friends that they shouldn't give up. Not until they've done everything they can. Well this is something I can do. The only thing I am able to do. I've already made up my mind to return to in time… and probably set things right. You probably won't agree with me… but it's something I have to do… no… it's something I want to do. (Why?) Because all my friends died while I was the only one who lived. Just like all the other loops that I've been through. I was the only one who was truly happy and again… the only survivor. But no more. I will take Sumika's prison of time and I will make it my own. (Eh?) I will… I won't stop. I'll go through this loop another hundred times if I want but I will find a way! Yes…"
Yes I see it now. What the Shogun, Tsukuyomi and everything said. They said those things because they were limited to time. But not for me. They said those things because they believed that they only had one choice and they could never take it back. But not me. I have… the power, the ability to change my choices. I'll boldly claim that I had the power over life and death of every human on this Earth in the last two months then perhaps maybe… just maybe, I can do it.
"I won't say that everyone was wrong. But this is the only thing only I am able to do"
Kasumi searched my mind. I could tell since her eyes were mostly focused on mine. She could tell that I was determined to go back. Suffer the same fate over and over. Perhaps for all eternity. But I didn't care anymore. I'll go through time again and again and again if I want to but I know that somewhere out there in this screwed up world is the answer I seek. I will destroy BETA and I will make sure that everyone will live. I don't care if I end up being resented by the gods, Sumika or everyone else, I want to see that future where everyone is happy! Yes… now I truly understand what I truly wanted. What I cling so long to dream. What I truly wish for… is that bright future amidst this dark sea of time.
Who knows…? I could end up becoming the new emperor of Japan, CO of Yokohama base, a scientist or perhaps the devil himself. I don't fucking care anymore! What I want is that world. That future where the only blood stained hands… are my own. If I make even the simplest of mistake, I'll kill myself and go back again remembering every word, every line that I said to everyone. I'll shoot myself over and over and see every possible option, but for god sakes I will see the light at the end of this dark tunnel!
"I understand…" Kasumi spoke after a brief pause. I could already hear the roaring crowd outside waiting to greet me and a group of soldiers preparing to congratulate me on a job well done. "What do you want me to do?"
"Thank you Kasumi" I rose back up and lifted Sumika from her seat before taking her place by the cockpit. "If I remember correctly, Yuuko Sensei said that my memories of every loop I've done is simply drifting around in a vortex of time and space, right? (nod…) So here's what I want you to do Kasumi. I know it might be tough and it'll probably hurt but (I can do it) Eh?" Her voice interrupted me. I looked at her face and smirked. "I see. I want you to gather all those memories… of every loop I've been through and put them in my head. (Huh?) I want to remember all the happy, painful and sad times of myself and all the things I've been through to get here"
"You want to put… all your scattered memories… in your head"
"Not only that but I also want you to put in the 100 page equation in there too. (Eh?) If I have any chance of changing the fate of this world… then I must know everything. I will become god if I have to and besides, knowing that will probably save us a lot of time too"
"And also give me the method of restricting you from reading my mind. (Huh?) Once I go to the past… I can't take any chances that Yuuko will ask you to read my mind. I also can't let myself be affected by Sumika's images or yours and I can't let her know everything that happened to me so please…"
"Sorry for asking so much of you after everything that's happened"
"No. It just proves that you're the same old stubborn Takeru that I've known" she smiled at me before focusing all her thoughts and power to the infinite cosmos. "I don't know how long it will take. It may be painful"
"After what has happened in these past few days… it's safe to say that I've been through worst" I locked myself to my seat and breathed in deeply. After a brief moment… I began to feel Kasumi's mind power working on my brain. I saw everything… something like my whole life flashing before my eyes. I remember the first time when I came to this loop. My body was still unfamiliar to its surroundings, looking like a lost child in a theme park. The time when fell in love with everyone… when I slept with them, when I felt their innermost secrets. It was all coming back. The next image I saw was Alternative V going into plan and the last of humanity was escaping into space. I saw myself with the women I loved hugged me with all their might when I forced them to leave with the migrant fleet. The pain was like a nail being torn from its finger.
The next image I had was the time when I lead mankind on its final stand against the alien invaders, BETA. I think I became 1st Lieutenant during that time fighting alongside my squad killing maybe hundreds of thousands of these creatures. Eventually on a mission to recapture Asia, the company I was leading fell prey to a large group of enemies and were quickly overwhelmed. I was probably the last survivor of that battle… shooting and dodging like I have been. Thinking about it now and seeing it flash before my eyes… I kinda look like a hero in one of those mecha anime or manga.
After those images flashed I suddenly saw the image of my peaceful world. Yes… I also had time loops in this world too and like before I had a relationship with every girl that I've known. Heck I even saw myself doing it with Marimo-chan and that was pretty hot. I think it was during the time we visited the hot springs and she got so drunk that even Yuuko sensei couldn't control her. I saw my face and the faces of those that I cared about. Every event that passed through time and through the countless loops that I've done, they were all coming back to me.
After awhile, the next bunch of images that flashed before me was the numbers. I remembered them as Yuuko Sensei's equation of equilibrium or something and it had to do with having fifteen billion semiconducting parallel computing circuits to fit the palm of her hand. Though I doubt I'll probably make sense of them all.
Though the process of having my memories put back into my head felt like hours… in truth only a few minutes had passed by. When it was finally done, Kasumi handed me a pack of diazepam to end my life. These pills were standard issue for Eishi (TSF pilots) to lower their heart-rate and to keep them calm. However… too much of these things will undoubtedly kill you. I would've preferred using a gun but the process of doing that had a risk of confusing my memories. I couldn't take that chance.
"Kasumi… thank you" I said to her before finally gulping all the pills in the pack.
The bunny haired girl had tears in her eyes as she saw me gulp my last meal with no hesitation. "Takeru… bye… bye"
"Hey don't say that. (Huh?) You want to see me again, don't you? (nod) Then you shouldn't say bye – bye. You should say… see you…"
"Yeah… because I doubt this will be the last time we meet. If anything… I probably want us to be friends again, Kasumi"
"Ah" she wiped the tears from her eyes and smiled. I felt my heart slowing and my senses going numb. Kasumi opened her mouth to speak but I couldn't hear the words… but I had a talent in reading people's lips. I could tell what she wanted to say. When my eyes finally closed… my whole world had gone black and I was back to where it all started. Sumika… please if you can hear me… send me back one more time…
Everyone… I know you won't be able to find it in your heart to forgive me for what I'm about to do but I can't let this future be the one I want. Please… for once in my life… let the people around me… be happy…