|The kids were having their aforementioned "bust up", letting off steam.|
In Gods' Good Time: Chapter Six of an Angel Beats Fan Fiction Story
C V Ford
Chapter 6: Answers
He didn't sleep long and with one eye open at that. At 5 AM it was up and out. This time in a clockwise direction of the schoolgrounds' perimeter. Jack counted on his observers to be typical young people in not getting up earlier than they had to, especially since he would be passing the dorms early on. Seemed to have paid off. Only the odd maintenance staffer could be seen about the various buildings.
Another climb of the cel tower and optical scan revealing the same from yesterday. Unless supplies were by air or somehow delivered underground , there was no way the place would continue to function for long.
Leaving the tower area, he continued cross country instead of the gravel path. Not noticing the stealthy, silent observer in the foliage and early morning gloom. It was an affair of honor for Shiina now and if Yuri gave the word ... she'd strike.
Jack took his time walking the school perimeter, taking in every detail he could. The other two gravel paths ended about a hundred yards into the woods leading to only more trees and "rabbit trails".
It was almost 9 AM when he dragged himself back to his apartment. Grabbing some cereal, he took a not so quick nap. It was almost noon when he awoke.
He thought it better to start asking questions of the Battlefront and who better than the members themselves? One sure place to find some was the cafeteria and it was there he headed.
Reactions from passing students seemed the same. Either complete indifference, or stares and hushed remarks to one another. Most among the "normal" uniforms. Obviously not all the "sentients" were Battlefront members.
He found them easily enough. Sitting at the same few tables as the day before, "dragon lady" not in evidence. Tired of the furtiveness of before he decided on the direct approach ... which was to go up to the "biggest and baddest" and/or most authoritative looking as that would most likely be the "leader" at the moment. In this case the large framed Matsushita.
A hush fell across the group as they saw the approaching foreigner. They hadn't expected this.
"Excuse me," Jack cleared his throat and did a slight bow. "Matsushita-san is it?"
The large teen was taken somewhat aback. He was not used to being addressed in a polite manner by an adult.
Other Battlefront members either smiling nervously or mouths hanging open, watched. The Utari girl, deadpan expressionless. Jack kept a mental eye on Fujimaki the sword bearer.
And the blonde ... Was that a mic extension on the side of her face? Yes ... she was wearing a headset of some kind ... Wireless mic ... radio?
"As you may have noticed," Duffy started, "I'm not from around here-"
An understatement that elicited some intakes of breath and nervous giggles.
" -and I was wondering if you or someone else could clue me in as to what all this is about."
Matsushita 5th Dan was at a loss for words. He quickly recovered as he noticed someone else approaching.
Pointing past Jack he said, "I think SHE might help you."
Jack turned slightly as front members let out more gasps and giggles.
Coming directly towards them was a small, petite, elfin figure. White hair, yellow eyes, with a look of calm authority. It was evident she was not with this bunch. Clad in "normal" uniform, bright khaki blazer, black skirt, she seemed quiet and yet, in her own dainty way ... strong.
The diminutive one looked up at the foreigner.
"You shouldn't be here."
Even more hesitant chuckles from behind and louder.
Duffy held up his lanyard ID. "This says different but I'm inclined to agree ... If you have answers, I have questions."
She motioned to a table several over from the Battlefronts' where they sat across from one another.
The kid made for a very poor Rod Serling (1). At least ol' Rod let one partly in on the "joke" at the beginning of each episode. Jack found quickly she answered best when given direct questions. Here for a tense 24+ hours and finally some answers set in stone. He decided on starting with the news mans' five ws'.
"Who ... are you?"
"What ... are you in relation to this place?"
"Student Council President."
"What ... IS this place?"
"I take it this is a school."
"Other than the obvious, what ... IS this place for?"
"For those who cooperate, it can bring rewards."
"Rewards? ... as in ..."
"To pass on."
"What do you mean by ... uh ... 'to pass on'?"
"Transcendance ... destiny ..."
"Oh ... great!" Jack thought. "Kid's spacey as a-"
He decided to cut to the chase.
"WHY am I here?"
"I do not know ... Only you would know that."
An idea hit him. A School is for education so ...
"Why ... ," he gestured to the cafeteria scene about him, "are THEY here?"
Not THAT again!
"Uh ... how ... did ... I ... uh ... THEY ... get here?"
"Now we're getting somewhere ... ," Duffy thought, " ... Not!"
The Q & A session continued, resulting in Duffys' being informed of a bad situation. The girl patiently giving answers he did not at all like.
"Is this Heaven/hell?"
"In spite of the schools' name, I am not sure."
"No one gets sick here? ... Really? Does anyone grow old here?"
"No one has been here long enough to find out."
That gave him a chill.
"How does one leave?"
"They just ... go."
"Go as in ... vanish? Disappear?"
"Terrific!" He thought. "The 'rapture'!"
"Their fate. Destiny."
"Seeing as this may be a Buddhist/Shinto kind of arrangement ... does reincarnation come into the picture?"
|Because of her emotionless style of delivery, Jack wondered if she might be one of |
the "zombies", yet he detected something behind the yellow eyes saying different
The man was really yearning for a talk with the smiling smoker in the Kuppenheimer (2) suit. It wasn't like pulling teeth so much as knowing which ones to pull. Even then, this dead pan Tachibana kid was not an outpouring of info. Because of her emotionless style of delivery, Jack wondered if she might be one of the "zombies", yet he detected something behind the yellow eyes saying different.
All through their non-discussion, sidelong glances revealed the Front people either staring intently at them or engaged in subdued conversation. Some, including Matsushita and Fujimaki, watching in a rather hostile manner toward the girl.
And yes ... that ... Yusa ... was talking into that headset, her hand up to her ear as if pressing a transmit button.
"You don't seem to be well liked by that bunch. What's up with that?"
"Some students," she paused as if picking words carefully, "... are not cooperative."
"Cooperative ... ? In what way?"
"Acceptance." The eyes blinked once. "I must go now. Afternoon classes will soon start and I have other tasks."
"I have further questions. Is there any way we can get in touch later?"
"I will be ... around."
With that, the girl excused herself and left.
Watching her leave, he checked his notes doing a quick summary. Wether he "died" or not he couldn't be sure but there was no denying he was in an alien place/situation. He also couldn't deny the events of the past couple days and that he was in the best physical shape he hadn't been in many years. Though this wasn't Heaven, it certainly wasn't the colossal mideival torture chamber he envisioned hell to be, a cackling Vincent Price (3) and all.
He got up from the table and strode over to where the Battlefront contingent was seated. He now had a lot more info than before but felt a different perspective useful.
"Get what you want?" A half smirk on 5th Dans' face and snickers all around.
"Perhaps. Can I ask a favor of you?" Keeping a level tone in his voice. He heeded the words of John Wayne (4): 'Talk low ... and slow ... and don't say much.'
"I would like to speak with Ms. Nakamura if that could be arranged."
Excusing himself Jack left the same way as Tachibana. Front members either somewhat amazed or talking among themselves.
"That sure took some nerve!" Fujimaki exclaimed. "I oughta'-"
"Yuri said do nothing for now but watch," the big fellow said. "Nerve? I like that in an opponent."
NERV ... ous was more like it. Duffy wasn't happy with the situation but felt the direct approach best for the moment. There were more of them than he and a show of weakness could only make things worse ... perhaps ... fatal?
If even half of what the Tachibana kid said was true ... A fight with anyone would be pointless. You'd only come back.
These Battlefront kids seemed organized but were they dangerous? Nothing on that blog indicated they were hostile in a physically menacing way, only suspicious and ... strange. All the same ... calling themselves the "Battlefront" ... like some resistance group.
Armed with new questions and a "better" understanding of his present situation, he decided another talk with the principal worth a try. It wasn't. He received a repeat of the nice speech on the benefits of education and youth profiting thereby. When asked direct questions about the schools' exact location and the logistics in supply, etc. the "robot" would at best refer to vague generalities. After he politely exited, Jack concluded the principal was no more in charge of the place than he was.
Who was? SOMEONE had to be. The place couldn't just run itself. Tachibana? Those kids of the Battlefront? If factions were "ruling" why didn't the place degenerate into total destructive anarchy long ago? All Jack sould see about him was the calm orderliness of a large academy ... and about that ... a forested wilderness.
Nothing but the school station and grounds maintenance on the airwaves ... What "internet" there was was extremely limited ...
And something else: In the two days so far, no aircraft were to be seen. No winged specks in the distance, not even a vapor trail. Jack hadn't seen anything like that since the two weeks right after 9-11. Eerie. If this kept up, he could only conclude he WAS on another planet ... or an afterlife ... of sorts.
"He actually walked up and addressed you directly? Called you by name?" Though Yusa relayed everything she could to Yuri during the encounter, the Front leader was still, to say the least, surprised.
"And he seems to know who you are," Matsushita replied. "He'd like to talk with you."
"Talk ...," she kept the emotion down.
"Mentioned you by name," Fujimaki piped in. "Said he had questions, you might have answers."
"None of you ...," Yuri panned over the room meeting the gaze of all who had been there." ... said a thing to him, right?"
"Ignorance golden! Silence bliss!" TK
"Not a thing," answered Matsushita. "He looked like he was about to ask something when Angel showed up. I only pointed her out to him and he seemed satisfied. They must have talked for over a half hour."
"You watched the whole time?"
"Couldn't do anything else. 'Sides, you told us only to observe."
"Yeah ... That I did," the young woman leaned back in the desk chair, hand under nose, stroking chin.
"Notice any new objects he was carrying?"
"Well, he had the binocs Shiina mentioned from before and-"
"Did you see him writing while asking Angel anything?"
"Wait a sec," Fujimaki said. "The notebook he has-"
"It didn't look anything like school stationary."
"What'd it look like?"
"The usual spiral kind except ... the cover was different. Blue with printing in Romanji. English maybe ..."
"Polite ... courteous. Firm though. Didn't sound like he was looking for a fight ... another thing-"
"He spoke perfect Japanese but ... ," Fujimaki looked perplexed.
"His mouth ... didn't ... match the words ... like ... a ..."
"Like a what?"
"Well ... ," the sword bearer faltering. "Like a foreign movie without the words on the bottom ... Uh..."
"Bad dubbing," Oyama interrupted. "As if you're watching a badly voice-dubbed foreign film."
Fujimaki frowned. The little dweeb could be a bit too smart at times ...
"At least there's no subtitles to read It'd be kind of rude looking down ... to read ... while ... "
The kid trailed off. His lame attempt at a joke going nowhere. He was glad he was too far from Yuri to get a whack. He dreaded the 'ranking' he'd get from Fujimaki later.
"Nothing surprises me anymore," said Yuri. "What was he like talking with Angel?"
"Always writing," said Hinata. "He looked kind of confused and intense with some of her answers."
"Too bad we weren't close enough to hear them," the big one said. "Woulda' been interesting."
"I'm sure she gave him an earful ... in her own limited way," Yuri thought aloud.
"Does any of this affect tonights' operation?" Asked Takamatsu.
"No. We proceed as planned with tonights guerilla concert/tornado hit. At 20 hundred hours ... It's Operation ... Start!"
As the front members conversed among themselves, Yuri leaned forward, elbows on desk and hands clasped to her face. She went down a mental list:
A foreigner, American, wearing his own street clothes not maintenance uniform, has binoculars and non-school stationary. How could he get those? He COULDN'T have arrived with any of his past-life possessions , could he? ... What if he brought other stuff? ... Other ... stuff ...
A chill went up her spine.
From what she read and heard of Americans and their ultra weird country ... Americans really liked their guns. So much so they even have laws supporting ownership ... He couldn't ...?
"Shiina?" She called for the brooding one.
"She's out doing her shadow routine with the foreigner," answered Takamatsu. "She checks with Yusa per your instructions."
Yuri put in a call to Yusa.
"Tell her when you see her to get on up here. Urgent ... We need to talk."
Getting "home", the man wasted no time. Getting the frequency counter and scanner, he proceeded re-searching the frequencies above 30 mhz. He knew it would take awhile as he was sure any communication between Yusa and Nakamura would be, unlike the school station, sporadic. In over an hour, the freq counter registered a number near the 500-670 wireless mic range.
He looked the frequency up. While it was above the 400-500 school utilities span in the general area of the "hi" wireless mic range as expected, it was actually "out of band" above 670.
The man figured they must have "appropriated" a wireless mic or two and "tweaked" them for tuning above programmed freq. Possibly Takayama doing the alteration. He found several days later that was the case.
Getting the Uniden handheld scanner he set the receiver to the exact "channel".
"Must be 'ponytails'," he thought as he heard the feminine monotone relating observations to whom he assumed to be 'Dragon Lady'.
At the first mention of Yuris' name he was sure.
"Sounds kinda' like Pam Ferdins' Lucy from the Charlie Brown specials," he thought on hearing the responding authoritative voice.
As it was, he was only semi-surprised some of the back and forth had to do with him. They had even found out his name!. Every so often it was mentioned he couldn't be spotted and probably was at his apartment. This raised an eyebrow only slightly. This more than confirmed the three seen outside the day before.
He monitored intently. It was a comfort knowing they had no knowledge of his ability to listen in on their communications.
Seemed he was not the main subject of conversation. Over the course of the next several hours of irregular, long time between signal exchanges, he deduced something "big" in the making for that night. Some sort of "operation" not having anything at all to do with him. Something about a concert.
It didn't sound like a school sponsored event. An elaborate prank of some kind? Disruption? Vandalism?
And who/what was this "Angel"? The "fellow student" mentioned in that blog? The Tachibana girl from earlier?
The only other very few references to him seemed in regard to his location. A Shiina being mentioned only once.
"She-na?" He questioned to himself. The name itself brought to mind Irish McCallas'(4) character in that old TV show. "Could it be the girl I saw outside with Matsushita and Fujimaki yesterday?"
Radio traffic picked up before 8 PM. Yes, as was discussed before, a concert ... or something ... was in the offing and students gathering in the cafeteria. The kids were having their aforementioned "bust-up", letting off steam. From the sounds of Yusas' reportage, it seemed half the school in attendance and all the "Battlefront" either present or had taken up "positions" outside.
Every so often, "music" drifted up from the direction of the cafeteria several hundred yards distant.
"No sign of Angel so far ... or the Gaijin," a chuckle. "Maybe he's not into J-Pop. How's it in there Yusa?"
"Gi-De-Mo isn't exactly what I'd call J-Pop, Yuri ... The audience is at its peak. Get the fans on?"
"Let's wait a few minutes more and ... Wait a sec!"
"It is ... Hit the fans! ... Get the others to snatch up as much as they can then meet us at rendezvous point. Things 'r about to get hot!"
Turning from the scanner, Jack checked over the Rock Island Armory made M1 Garand. A proven design George Patton declared to be "the greatest battle implement ever devised". His father, a veteran of the Korean War, swore by it. Duffy sweated over more than a pay check or two getting it. Though cleaned after the last time fired, he gave it a good once over, making sure everything functioned properly.
He reasoned since this was "Japan" there shouldn't be any guns here other than his. Since who/what saw fit for his "goodies" to accompany him to this strange place, there had to be a good reason to have them along. Knowing there was a possibly hostile element watching, Jack was taking no chances. He set the rifle on the table and glanced at the clock. 8:25 PM.
As he reviewed the related items on the table, a long unheard but familiar sound from his days of working at a gunstore/target range hit his ears ... small arms fire?
To be continued ...
1. Rod Serling (1924-1975) was the host of The Twilight Zone, a half hour mystery/sci-fi/supernatural TV anthology lasting four seasons, 1959-64.
2. Kuppenheimer is a prestigious mens clothing firm that was one of the suppliers of Mr. Serlings' suits for the show.
3. To older readers/movie fans, Vincent Price (1911-1993) needs no introduction. Actor, bon vivant, gourmet, writer, promoter/dealer/critic of the fine arts, he was Hollywoods' renaissance man. Most noted for his horror film roles the second half of his movie career.
4. John Wayne (1907-1979) was a film actor (Best known for his "westerns".) noted for his slow talking acting style that went along well with the character(s) he played. Straight, to the point, honest, slow to anger. Never starting a fight but more than ready to finish it.
5. Irish McCalla (1928-2002) was the title character in a one season TV show, Shena Queen of the Jungle (1956).
This ends the weekly chapter installations. Future chapters will be every two weeks. Even though the next ten chapters are already written, I'd like to "buy" some time and have more written in the future.
Storyline and original characters (only) copyright © 5-1-14 C V Ford
In Gods' Good Time chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Go to C V Fords' profile page and anime fan fiction stories list at fanfiction dot net here.
Go to Jays' Tee Vee blog main page here. If there's a buncha' articles under this 'un yer already there.
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.