|"WHERE THE HELL'S CENTRAL OHIO!?"|
In Gods' Good Time: Chapter One of an Angel Beats Fan Fiction Story
C V Ford
Even with 30 years and and as many pounds gone, he still didn't fit the demographic. He wasn't the right age. He wasn't even Asian let alone Japanese! What and where was this place? Why was he here ... AND WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH THOSE CRAZY KIDS WITH THE GUNS!?
Prologue: Alright ... Good Night ...
Submitted For Your Approval ...
Another days' work over, Jack Duffy trudged to the mailbox outside his apartment house door. No bills or anything else, he proceeded, pausing only to look back at the old Ford parked out front. Seeing the vehicles' lights were STILL off , he cursed inwardly over his mild obsessive/compulsive affliction. Past the washing machine and up to #3, moving slowly through the dark.
"Gonna' have to replace that bulb," he thought. "Landlord doesn't seem to want to."
Fumbling in the gloom, he unlocked the door and stumbling in, kicked over something small in the dark. Something making a cardboard sound. Could it be ... ?
Setting down his satchel and hitting the light switch, he exulted, "yes!"
His neighbor across the hall must have moved the package from outside and put it at his door. He'd have to thank him.
Picking it up, he smiled. His birthday present to himself had arrived a couple days earlier than expected. Package torn open, he was quite pleased with what met his eyes. Three anime, including Evangelion 4.44 and Kiss Me Deadly, the 1955 Mike Hammer film he made a special point to have. Yeah! Micky Spillane and anime. Quite a combo. Va va voom Mikey! Pow!
Throwing a hasty meal and a Coke together, he sat for a viewing. In no mood for watching anime at that moment, he settled on the older black and white movie instead. Disc popped in the machine he started chewing on chicken and rice as the film played.
Kiss Me Deadly was one of the weirder filme noir. Ralph Meeker as Mike Hammer, two fisted PI hot on the trail of vengeance and "the great whatsit". Whatever the "thing" was, he would find it ... Everyone else to die in trying.
It had been a fairly long day and though Jack, not one to doze off in the middle of a flick, did so.
Nodding off he felt a brief, sharp pain in his chest ... and ... "slept".
As if someone had shaken him, he suddenly came awake. A quick glance around assured he was the only one there. Glancing at the screen, he noted he had hardly slept at all. The scene of Hammers' mechanic friend, Nick, removing a sizable pipe bomb from his '54 'Vette still going ... yet ... sunlight poured in through the blinds. Daytime?
Crazy. He didn't recall the disc having a continuous play option, yet the same scene as it was when he fell asleep(?) a moment ago. How ...?
He scanned about again. Everything OK except ... The curtains, door and frames were different.
More new, modern in appearance. This couldn't ...
Moving to a window he drew the blinds and looked out over the daylit landscape ... His jaw dropped.
"My car!? For that matter, where's the street!? ... Where ...
"WHERE THE HELL'S CENTRAL OHIO!!?"
Chapter 1: Incidental Occidental
Still holding the blind cord, Jack backed away from the window, panicing in place. He put no stock in "When you're worried and in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout." No "pinball panic". Stay in place ... get it out of your system ... clear your head ... THINK! In a surprisingly short moment he calmed down and decided on action.
He scanned the outside, alien landscape still there. A paved stretch, not much more than a bike path lay in front of the building. Beyond, a stand of trees and even farther, a set of buildings, more modern than the quaint older section of Westerville, Ohio he resided in.
First the obvious. He tried the phone, dialing one number after the other. Work, police, fire, no result but dead silence after. Looking up he noticed an official looking manila envelope on the living room table. Gingerly opening it he spilled the contents: A lanyard ID card, what looked to be a credit/debit card, a "map" of some kind, something looking like a schedule and ... a letter. Info!
Checking the letter first was a real eye opener. In a few paragraphs he was welcomed to the maintenance staff of a place called ... Heavens' Academy (!?) and if he would be so thoughtful as to peruse the schedule and other materials (The map being that of the school grounds.) within ...
"Don't remember applying," he thought wryly.
The letterhead brought him up sharply. He couldn't read the foriegn print/alphabetics but he knew what type it was. Kanji? Yes. He could at least tell it was of the Japanese type what with the curlyques and "tails" they seemed to prefer. Other "unreadable" script he guessed to be of their two phonetic alphabets. At least the body of the intro was in the "Romanji" thus English. Checking his watch and wall calender against the schedule, he noted he had a few days before reporting to "work". More than plenty of time to clear up this mess and get his sorry butt back home. No way he was going to work for a bunch of foriegners he never met before and certainly not involuntarily. No ... straighten this out and "get the hell outta' Dodge".
Striding over to his satchel near the desk, he opened the bag and drew out the Colt 1991 A-1 .45 ACP. in a nylon "hip hugger" holster. Press-checking the chamber, he put the pistol in "condition one" ("Cocked & locked". Hammer back, safety on as God and John Moses Browning intended.). He looped the holster on his belt, slipping the pistol in. Checking the closet a few feet away, Jack twirled the combination on the small gun safe within. A sigh of relief left him as he noted the rest of his modest collection still there. Going to the "bedroom" closet (As he slept in a sleeping bag in the living room, bed being bad on the back, he used the space for his computers and video collection. His "toy room" as it were.) he opened the fireproof metal "footlocker" seeing the various calibers of ammo present.
Donning a light jacket he moved back to the satchel for a double mag pouch for the .45, placing it in the left pocket. As a last touch he reached in the bag and withdrew the tiny NAA .22 lr mini-revolver, stuffing it in his right jeans pocket. Habits picked up when working at a combination gun store/pistol range some years back. With the Buck lockblade snugged next to his wallet, he felt prep complete.
A thought hit him. Pulling out the wallet, he checked the contents. Along with the eleven dollars in cash (Now DAT be ghetto!) and drivers license, were the usual ancilliary ID: NRA membership card, Ohio concealed carry permit, lottery tix, Wal-Mart gift card, various business cards, old ticket stub to Atlas Shrugged Pt. 3, etc.
"I'm still me at least," declaring to himself as he hitched up his pants. Why were they so loose?
He thought differently about his identity as he checked himself in the bathrooms' full length mirror, getting his second shock of the day.
The man staring back was not him ... or rather, not the same him.
Quickly backing away he hit the sink, sharp pain up his back doing more than a triple take.
"My ... my ... GOD! ... Impossible!"
It was still him. The same James B. Duffy he had known ... Thirty years before.
The hair wasn't even half as gray (He started "looking like a German shepard" in his mid-twenties.). Mouth hanging open in disbelief, he noticed something else and turned to the sink mirror for closer inspection, working fingers and tongue. ALL his teeth were there! No chips or fillings and only a hint of yellow. A perfect set!
Turning back to the full length, he gave himself the once over more than once. Creeping apprehension giving way to amazement. Stepping back he noticed other things. The not so faint back pain of several years was missing. Knees didn't ache and pressures on kidneys and gall bladder gone (No stones?).
He wasn't almost 60 anymore! Almost 30 years and and as many pounds ... gone! Staring back was a physical self he hadn't known since his early thirties.
Jack wasn't sure wether to thank whoever was responsible or go completely Micky Spillane on his posterior ... If he could find him/them. As it was, he had just been yanked out of his life and into another. As much as he felt it, he had a nagging doubt it wasn't his any more. Would he have wanted to "go back" as good as he felt right now? All the same, he had to find out what was going on.
Grabbing clipboard, notebook, pens, and the "map", he donned the lanyard ID and was about out the door when a thought struck him. Holding the Colt close to his side he went to the side of the door passing the clipboard over the peep lense. No shots fired through or anyone trying to bust in, he unlocked and slowly opened the door. Cautiously peering out, he scanned the hallway.
Instead of a short passage with #2 door opposite, a large long hallway, five doors to the side (His own with the number 30.), greeted his eyes. He glanced back and forth noting the difference between the modern hall in contrast to the archaic, older house interior of his apartment.
Gingerly stepping into the hall he checked his NEW apartment keys already on the ring with his old set. He still had his car keys! He missed that old Ford already. Somehow, he knew it wasn't somewhere outside waiting for him. Someone had gone to a LOT of trouble to mindscrew with him ... Why?
The sound of a door opening prompted him to look over the head of the stairs. A short Asian man in grey work coveralls ascending. Jack quickly holstered the pistol and adjusted the jacket. No sense in spooking a "fellow worker". Locking the door, he descended the steps, saying "hello" as he passed. The short man glanced at him, smiling with an "ohayo" in return.
Duffy noted the man looked niether surprised nor distressed on seeing him. Showed little emotion.
Out the door, he checked his location with the map. A paved wide path off to the right would take him through a stand of trees to his "time clock" in a small building behind "Classroom Building A".
Quiet. A glance at his watch told him a few minutes til 8 AM. Coming out of the trees Jack noticed the gym building on his right with building A left. A little more to the left he found the smaller building behind the larger, a twin lidded incinerator next to it. The double garage doors revealed a small pickup, a couple of lawn tractors and a single co-worker greeting him.
"You must be the new guy", accompanied by a small bow.
"Uh ... yeah. Just got here. (Yeah! Right!) Got a few days before reporting in, thought I'd check things out ... Get a 'lay of the land' so to speak."
"Feel free," the thin Asian fellow returned now shaking hands.
As they talked of his future (Fat chance! He was leaving and SOON!) duties, Jack at once noticed something extremely odd. Though he heard Kaji (His name.) speaking English, the mans' lip movements didn't match. Like a bad dub of a foriegn film. Amazement and relief hit him at once. The language hurdle at least was one headache out of the way.
"Guess 'it' only works with the spoken word," he thought. "Can't read the 'squiggles' though."
Kaji went on about his future duties. Not much different than what he was used to at Otterbein College. Grounds keeping, light maintenance, etc. Nice but Jack wanted real info.
"At the risk of showing my ignorance, what kind of school is this and (More importantly!) where is it located?"
"High School, grades 9 - 12. As for where it is ... it's ... ," Kaji looked absently into the distance as if trying to process an esoteric concept that was beyond him. "It's ... always been ... uh ... here ..."
A chill went up Duffys' spine. The guy seemed intelligent enough ... yet ... it was if ... his mind seized up over such a simple question.
"Any questions like that, I guess you can get answers at admin in Class Building B. Offices open before nine."
"Thanks. I'll do that. I've some time left so I'll just look around."
"Good talking with you. Look forward to working with you."
Shaking his head, Jack walked down the side steps of Class A while scrutinizing B. He recognised the type from his viewing of several of the anime in his vid collection. Older, "classical" Japanese school building. "L" shape with "clock tower" at the middle. Must have been the main when the campus first started.
A, a more modern brick and glass structure was actually three parallel buildings of three floors each, joined by enclosed walkways at both sides. In the hopes of acclimating himself (Though hopefully not for long!) and to kill time, he entered A and started checking out the vending machines in the hall.
"At least the ones not in English have 'pitchers' on 'em," he thought. "let's see ... Key Coffee ... what's this slop? At least it's not UCC ... would probably have LCL in it. Good God ... I can joke at a time like this. Bolvic? ... Someone trying to avoid copyright violation? ... Not a Coke in sight ... How ... Barbaric!"
"Oh m' God!"
Drawing himself upright, he turned towards the source of the exclamation.
"This is no time to get lost in thought," inwardly chiding himself. "You're on 'enemy territory'. Look sharp!"
Three girls, in characteristic "sailor fuku" school uniforms gawked at him in amazed dumbfoundedness. Something Jack found most off-putting.
Duffy puzzled, "the guy on the apartment stair and Kaji didn't react like this, why ..."
Composing himself he replied, "Good morning ladies." Glancing at his watch he decided to proceed to his next goal.
"Excuse me," he said walking past. He left the building walking diagonally past the steps leading down to the lower campus for another quick look at Class B.
The three girls watched open mouthed as the foriegner left. Two then looked to the twin poneytailed "blonde" firing off fast questions.
"How did he ...?
"Who ... and what's he ...?
"Hold it!" The 'blonde' exclaimed. "I'm on it!"
She brought her left hand to her ear and deftly pressed the transmit button on the wireless mic headset she always wore.
"Yeah?" Firm voice on the other end.
"Yeah Yusa, what's up?"
"You're not gonna' believe what just walked past us in Class A!"
"A foreigner ... gaijin! Old one too. He's heading out way past the steps to the athletic field. You can just catch him if you look out the window!"
Yuri Nakamura went to classes as little as possible. She had no intention on "graduating", knowing what that meant, so no point attending. When not planning/executing Front operations, she was content to sit at the center of the "web". That center being the comandeered principles' office to the front and left atop Class B: Unofficially known as Anti-Angel Strategy Headquarters/Safe and Sound.
The only place on campus safe from ... HER. Radio in hand, she took in Yusas' terse report.
"Say what?" That can't ... just a sec ... Noda!? ... What's with you?"
The only other in the office, Noda, at that moment gaping out a side window to the front of Class A, gestulating wildly. So amazed, he had dropped his halberd. Rushing past the deskbound Yuri, he stopped at the front window and resumed his state of agitation.
Yuri also took to the front window, snatching the pair of 57mm binoculars off the desk. Raising it to her eyes, she focused on the out of place dark jacketed figure walking along the wall separating upper from lower campus. It was as Yusa said and Noda agitating.
"How in the world ..."
She took the binocs from her eyes, blinked twice and peered through them again.
To be continued ...
Storyline and original characters (only) copyright © 5-1-14 C V Ford
Note(s) to the reader:
This is my first attempt at a multi chapter fanfic. In fact, it's my first fanfic ever. While working on this the past THREE years, I branched off into short story/one shots. All my 30 plus stories on this site came long after I started this one.
I have 16 chapters done. It may take up to another 16+ to complete. The next five after this one will be posted in weekly intervals. The rest, one every two weeks or so.
I refrained from posting this as I wanted to finish first. Fanfiction dot Net is littered with the corpses of multi chapter stories that will never get done. I hope this won't be one of them.
As the worst stories are the ones not told and rather than "hiding my candle under a bushel", I decided to post it.
This is where you, the readers, come in. Even though everything is pretty much "locked in" up to chapter 16, if you have ANY thoughts or ideas, please PM me with them. I'll give even the more outlandish a read as they might get my gray matter moving again.
Some things to keep in mind.
1. The story is OC centric.
2. The OC will be "shipped" later in the story with another OC more his own age. We're not talking Mr. Kimura here.
3. This is more a drama (With some comedic touches.) than an actioner.
4. The story is a pre-Otanashi one of events before that characters' arrival.
I hope you have as much fun reading this as I of writing it. Until then ...
In Gods' Good Time chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
C V Fords' profile page and anime fanfiction stories list at fanfiction dot net here.
Go to Jays' Tee Vee blog main page here.
Disclaimer: The preceding is a NON-PROFIT work of fan fiction for entertainment purposes only. I make no claim to ownership of the names/characters, places, & events mentioned in this work that are the intellectual properties of others. They are the sole properties of their respective owners. Please, by all means support the owners of such properties in the purchase & enjoyment of their works.