Friday, March 13, 2015
In Gods' Good Time: Chapter Twenty Two of an Angel Beats Fan Fiction Story
In Gods' Good Time: Chapter Twenty Two of an Angel Beats Fan Fiction Story
C V Ford
Repeat of DISCLAIMER from Chapter 21: I take/assume NO responsibility or liability for any and all death, dismemberment, maiming, disfigurement, scarification, injury, mishap, physical/mental trauma, property damage/destruction, or criminal/terrorist activity that may be brought about by the misuse/carelessness or malice, intended or otherwise, by other individuals of the information contained in this chapter herein.
While the ownership and use of firearms are a right (At least in the United States of America. Consult the local laws of your own country in regard to this.) it should be treated and guarded by ones' self as a sacred privilege with attendant heavy responsibilities of ones' own conduct and behavior in regard to this.
BE SURE TO READ THE RULES OF FIREARMS SAFETY AT THE END OF THIS CHAPTER. (1)
When one owns and uses firearms, one LITERALLY has the power of life and death in ones' own hands.
THE RESPONSIBILITY IS YOURS.
Chapter 22: To Each Her Own
"So he comes into the shop. Had to be one of the guys in management at the Marysville Honda plant. I could tell he was fresh off the plane as he's staring around in absolute TOTAL wonderment.
"I give him a few minutes to take it all in. Looked like he was in Disneyland the way he was gawking at everything ... like ... 'WOW! These crazy Americans really ARE into guns!'
"So I ask, 'May I help you?', and he comes up ... and I swear to God and all that's holy ... He asks ... and I'm NOT kidding when I say this .... He asks ... With a completely innocent, wide eyed, beatific look on his face ... 'Can I get shot here?'"
"What!?" Takamatsu open mouthed.
"No!" Rachel open mouthed in a perfect 'O'.
Sakaki just stared open mouthed.
"Now ... I know it's not polite to bust out laughing howling out and out loud in someones' face and I didn't. My guts are siezing up. Throat constricting. My neck and jaw tightened up so much it HURT!
"I immediately excuse myself, indicating I'm getting something and head back to the store room for two reasons: Priority One, get the giggles out ... and FAST! I still couldn't laugh out loud even back there as he'd hear so I'm heaving and choking like a stand up grand mal siezure ... Man! it hurt so much!
"After about thirty seconds of the 'dry heaves' I come out with Priority Two, our three alphabet paper (Kanji, Hirugana, Katakana.) with the welcoming blurb, rates and range rules.
"He seemed happy with that for the moment and I'm back in the store room for another bout of Priority One. Another thirty seconds and I'm back out ... Not completely flushed of the yuks 'n giggles but enough to conduct business.
"We go over the range rules and I set him up with eye/ear protection, a .38, ammo and targets. I'm with him on the range about ten minutes demonstrating safety and handling then leave him to it.
"It's then another few minutes bout of Priority One getting out the residual giggles ... My sides hurt for a couple days after, I'm tellin' ya'."
"His command of English wasn't quite up to snuff I take it?" Rachel laughing.
"Better than my then idiot Japanese."
"She's here," everyone turning to a calm Sakaki.
"That, or a very large squirrel," smiled Jack as he and the others espied the boulder now clear of the sandwich and juice.
"It's her alright," replied a chuckling Takamatsu. "Don't know how she does it but she does."
"Oh really ... ," a skeptical Rachel. "How could she? We've been watching that rock off and on all this time, we would have noticed-"
"This is VERY good O'Hara-sensei," a satisfied Shiina said from the chair next to the teacher. "What do you call this?"
Rachel jumped up on just noticing the scarfed presence next to her, looking up and calmly munching on the afore vanished sandwich.
"How ... How ... did she-?"
"It's a gift," Duffy giggled. "And the operative phrase, as you put it, 'off and on'. My guess is she moves when we're 'off' and not 'on'."
Shiina refrained from giving the man a "look". Gift? A very hard won gift indeed. All those endless hours ... YEARS ... of training. Still, the man retaught her some invaluable lessons albeit inadvertantly. And the knowledge he was imparting here was ... interesting. That and her "extra curricular activities" he kept to himself.
"It ... It's ... ," Rachel recovering from her surprise and reseating, "it's Panini. Made them from what ingredients I could get from the cafeteria kitchens."
"So how long have you been sitting there?" Sakaki curiously inquired.
"Mmmm ... enough ... ," the ninja replied, friendly ominous, relishing the food.
"I've a question Duffy-san," stated a now serious Takamatsu.
"If you're on at least neutral terms with Angel, how come you're teaching Sakaki and I marksmanship?"
"It's not Angel I'm worried about."
The others, even Shiina giving a slight lean in the mans' direction, looked attentively at him.
Noting the others attention, Duffy continued.
"Before coming here, if anyone told you you'd soon end up in a neverending high school where you were eternally young ... could kill or be killed and not die ...
What would you say to that person?"
"I'd say he was baka-tai with a capital BAKA!"
"Exactly ... Now I don't know how long any of you've been here. Maybe it's been years, who knows? Compared to you, Rachel and I've been here only months. Maybe you've gotten used to it. All I can think of is how fantastic this set up is. As far as I'm concerned ... ANYTHING could happen.
"You already have a fantastic 'enemy' in Angel. Who knows what else might one day be here lurking about."
"You mean like that NPC we have as student council vice president?" Sakaki.
"That and other things." Duffy wondered as to why Yuri,and thus the rest, would keep referring to Naoi as an NPC. "Yes ... and other things."
"Other things? ... Like?"
"Before coming here, something like this would've been be so much sci-fi/fantasy to me. Anything could happen as far as the author's concerned. Now that I'm here, I have to take in the consideration of the possibility of other crazy things coming along. So far, it's just Angel and the veep.
"I've talked with Yuri off and on about this. She likens the whole situation to a video game of sorts, hence her calling the zombies NPCs."
"Yes," grinned Takmatsu, "non-player characters. She was something of a game addict before coming here."
"I remember her mentioning some games have some kind of 'fail safe' feature wherein player characters are prevented from being too powerful and may even be killed off if the game goes on too long or something. I'm not big on vid games, me being into Minesweeper and online Checkers.
"But if there's an elimination feature with my- ," the man snugged up against Rachel, "-or for that matter, Rachels' name on it, I'd like to be prepared ... And have as many friends backing me as possible and vice versa.
"Other things? Who knows? Maybe one day all those NPCs might turn on you in some way. Maybe something big and hungry might come wandering onto the school grounds from outta' the woods. Saitou says there might be something big, mean and hungry stoogeing around in that creek. Other than you battlefronters or Angel, there's no one here able to cope with something like that."
"There's you," remarked Rachel smiling.
"Or you now," the man indicating the revolver on the teachers' hip.
"I'm not sure if-"
"You will if ever the time comes ... IF. Makes me wonder ... There might even be the possibility of you," Duffy looking at the other three, " and the rest of the Battlefront having to join forces with Angel one day-"
"No way!" Takamatsu
"I don't ... think so... ," Sakaki
"... ," Shiina
"In any event, it's only rudimentary marksmanship you've learned today. Not moves and tactics. It's one thing to learn to hit the target. As you know from personal experience, combat shooting is a lot more involved."
"You got that right!" Takamatsu exclaimed.
"Could I try it?"
Duffy turned to Shiina just now finishing a second sandwich and pointing to Rachels' S&W.
"To see what it's like."
"Hmm ... ," the man thought, "... and yet ... ."
Getting up they proceeded to the firing line, the rest following.
Handing the eye protection and safety glasses over, Shiina took them and put them on without question.
"She passes the first 'test'," Duffy thought. "Shows she's serious. But then, when has she ever not been?"
Setting up the targets the man walked back to the firing line.
Turning to Rachel, Shiina again pointed to Rachels' revolver.
Taking the wheelgun and pointing downward, the ninja girl, turning to Duffy, pressed the cylinder release, opening the handgun. Pressing the plunger, the cartridges fell into her other hand.
"Could we go over the uh ... sighting procedure? Everything else I have down."
With a lifted eyebrow, Duffy went through a quick run down, the others looking on.
Review concluded, Shiina in goggles and "phones" stepped up to the firing line as everyone donned their own eye/ear protection.
Duffy noted the way the ninja girl stood. Fighting (boxer) stance instead of the "turret" stance (Feet shoulder width apart.) as he had the others do. Ayoob grip with the index of the supporting hand an inch forward and snugged under the trigger guard.
It was just as he did. Even the supporting hands' thumb was on top of the thumb of the holding hand, as he would if holding a semi-auto in order to prevent the slide from coming back and cutting the opposable digit while in operation. A habit he stuck with even when he himself held a revolver.
Cocking back the hammer for single action use, Shiina then peered through the sights. Drawing in a breath, letting out half of it, she rested her index finger, middle of the pad of the first joint, on the trigger ... and PRESSed.
The first shot registered at "six o'clock" just touching the outside of the bullseye.
The rest of the five shot string she placed in a tight pattern at the center of the bull. All five of the next string placed center as well.
Emptying the cylinder, she turned to Rachel, handing the gun to the teacher grip first.
Turning to Duffy, "thank you. It was ... interesting."
"Where'd you learn to shoot like that?" Duffy in rhetorical.
"Sometimes I would follow you coming here and watch. I wasn't quite sure how you did it until today when I heard your instruction. Your review of the sighting procedure with me completed it."
"It's still surprising how you scored," he answered, nodding at the target beyond.
"Concentration is everything."
"Y'know, you would do quite well if you started carrying one of these."
"I think I'll stay with what I have."
"To each her own," thought Duffy.
"They were from Yokohama, visiting relatives working in management at the Honda plant. Had their girlfriends along, wanted to take a picture of me with a babe on either side.
"So we get into the shot and one of them indicates for the women to get in closer to me. Without thinking, I say 'ALRIGHT!' and put my arms around their shoulders and draw them in.
"There I am, close in between, with two squealing good looking babes and I'm thinking: 'Yeeeesss, life is goooood!'"
"What were the two guys doing then?"
"They laughed and one took the picture. I only held them for as long as the shot took so it wasn't like I was assaulting anyone.
"Yeah," Duffy mused, "the early '90s were a good time for me."
"Geez!," laughed Rachel who had snugged her chair up to Duffys' and was seated sideways, leaning with her back on the man, head on his shoulder. "I wasn't even ten then."
"So what's the movie this Friday?" Inquired Sakaki changing the subject.
For the past month and a half, Friday 'movie nights' in the Class C lounge had gotten to be a regular affair. Word had gotten 'round and students, wether Battlefront, sentients, or npcs, were curious as to what strange films the gaijin would be watching in the 'double feature' that week. Usually between fifty to seventyfive would be cramming the lounge every Friday.
"There's One Rachel picked out." The man had the good sense to always grudgingly accomodate for a 'chick flick', half the audience being female. Both he and Rachel had fun sneaking glances at Yuri from time to time with a more girlish expression on her face whenever she was viewing.
"Oh!?" Sakaki liked Rachels' choices.
"It's called," Rachel in reply, "The Lovely Bones." (2)
"Funny title." Takamatsu.
"It's about a young girl caught up in a situation not unlike our own."
"Worth checking out," Sakaki turning to Takamatsu.
"What's the other one?"
"The Bad Sleep Well," Duffy answering. "A flick by Akira Kurosawa from the early sixties. About corporate corruption."
The couple couldn't help but marvel. The two Gaijin never failed to surprise when a Japanese film even they hadn't heard of was revealed to be in their possession. They truely were movie buffs!
"I like the grey ones."
The group turned to Shiina. Everyone puzzled over her remark.
"Oh! ... ," realized Duffy. "You mean the older black and white movies?"
"Yes. I like them more."
"You seemed to like that last color flick."
"That one about that American samurai?"
"The Last Samurai (3), yes. The way you were laughing, you must have thought it was a comedy."
The rest looked at one another, grinning and suppressing giggles.
Frowning on seeing the looks on their faces she continued, "I thought the ...
What is it? ... yes ... the action scenes were ... unrealistic. I never did any-"
Noting the abrupt halt in her speech, Duffy always eager to talk movies, tried continuing the conversation.
"You seemed pretty interested in the film overall."
"Before I met you and," nodding to Rachel, "O'Hara-sensei, I had only seen very few other European gaijin. Until then, I had only heard stories of, pardon the expression, 'the white hairy barbarians' from the other side of the world. That movie ... as you call it ... reminded me of one of them. He was an important one."
"By any chance, did you know his name?" Asked Rachel in a flash of inspiration.
Being the history buff he was, Jack had a good idea where this was leading.
"Uh ... I only saw him from a distance but ... yes."
"His name wouldn't happen to have been maybe William or ... Will Adams?"
Shiina returned a puzzled look.
"Um ... He was also known as Anjin Miura." (4)
The audible intake of breath from the usually quiet, stoic Shiina took the group by surprise.
"Bingo!" Duffy exclaimed silently. "She really dated herself. This definitely makes her the 'oldest' here."
"How did you-," the ninja girl cut her question in mid utterance. Smiling in realization she pointed at Rachel. "History ... right?"
"Yes ... It's what I do."
A short pall of silence fell over the group. Knowing this wasn't really the time or place for deep historical discussion, Rachel settled on a new tack.
"Would you mind ... sitting down with me and talk sometime later this week? Just you and I?"
Shiina paused for but a moment. "I ... wouldn't mind. Maybe ... I'll think about it."
The older two, deciding to stay longer, saw the younger three leave. Sakaki and Takamatsu hand in hand, with the ninja bringing up the rear.
"Whadaya' think, hon?"
"I think ... I'm going to have a VERY interesting history lesson for myself later this week."
"Yes, definitely," the teacher stated. "She may not be a famous 'grade A' historical figure, just a 'foot soldier' so to speak, but the insight from her perspective would be invaluable to me."
"Too bad you can't send those findings on considering our ... and their ... situation."
"A good teacher is a student all her life. For here, it's enough that I know."
As they observed the trio disappearing down into the woods toward the creek, Duffy put his arm around Rachels' shoulders.
"Hmm ... ," the man thinking to himself watching the receding Sakaki and Takamatsu holding hands.
If this continued, as it most likely would, he speculated about how long his and Rachels' chaste relationship could continue without it getting more "difficult". He wanted to honor God in all this as did Rachel. No cheapening or "messing" things up as he had in the past.
He was under no illusion as to where the kids stood on these things. Boys being boys, girls being girls. It was a wonder to him that the place hadn't turned into an eternal, non-stop teen orgy, especially in light of the fact no pregnancies ever resulted. It was still an orderly school so typical of Japan and any "dalliances" kept pretty much discrete. All the same, as a Christian he felt it incumbent to set an example for them.
Marriage? If so, how? No clergy present. And yet ... There had to be a solution for Rachel and he ... Somehow.
To be continued ...
1. The following are the RULES OF FIREARMS SAFETY quoted verbatim from the website of the National Rifle Association:
1) ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
This is the primary rule of gun safety. A safe direction means that the gun is pointed so that even if it were to go off it would not cause injury or damage. The key to this rule is to control where the muzzle or front end of the barrel is pointed at all times. Common sense dictates the safest direction, depending on different circumstances.
2) ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
When holding a gun, rest your finger on the trigger guard or along the side of the gun. Until you are actually ready to fire, do not touch the trigger.
3) ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
Whenever you pick up a gun, immediately engage the safety device if possible, and, if the gun has a magazine, remove it before opening the action and looking into the chamber(s) which should be clear of ammunition. If you do not know how to open the action or inspect the chamber(s), leave the gun alone and get help from someone who does.
4) Know your target and what is beyond.
Be absolutely sure you have identified your target beyond any doubt. Equally important, be aware of the area beyond your target. This means observing your prospective area of fire before you shoot. Never fire in a direction in which there are people or any other potential for mishap. Think first. Shoot second.
5) Know how to use the gun safely.
Before handling a gun, learn how it operates. Know its basic parts, how to safely open and close the action and remove any ammunition from the gun or magazine. Remember, a guns' mechanical safety device is never foolproof. Nothing can ever replace safe gun handling.
6) Be sure the gun is safe to operate.
Just like other tools, guns need regular maintenance to remain operable. Regular cleaning and proper storage are a part of the guns' general upkeep. If there is any question concerning a guns' ability to function, a knowledgeable gunsmith should look at it.
7) Use only the correct ammunition for your gun.
Only BBs, pellets, cartridges or shells designed for a particular gun can be fired safely in that gun. Most guns have the ammunition type stamped on the barrel. Ammunition can be identified by information printed on the box and sometimes stamped on the cartridge. Do not shoot the gun unless you know you have the proper ammunition.
8) Wear eye and ear protection as appropriate.
Guns are loud and the noise can cause hearing damage. They can also emit debris and hot gas that could cause eye injury. For these reasons, shooting glasses and hearing protectors should be worn by shooters and spectators.
9) Never use alcohol or over-the-counter, prescription or other drugs before or while shooting.
Alcohol, as well as any other substance likely to impair normal mental or physical bodily functions, must not be used before or while handling or shooting guns.
10) Store guns so they are not accessible to unauthorized persons.
Many factors must be considered when deciding where and how to store guns. A person's particular situation will be a major part of the consideration. Dozens of gun storage devices, as well as locking devices that attach directly to the gun, are available. However, mechanical locking devices, like the mechanical safeties built into guns, can fail and should not be used as a substitute for safe gun handling and the observance of all gun safety rules.
11) Be aware that certain types of guns and many shooting activities require additional safety precautions.
A. Regular cleaning is important in order for your gun to operate correctly and safely. Taking proper care of it will also maintain its value and extend its life. Your gun should be cleaned every time that it is used.
B. A gun brought out of prolonged storage should also be cleaned before shooting. Accumulated moisture and dirt, or solidified grease and oil, can prevent the gun from operating properly.
C. Before cleaning your gun, make absolutely sure that it is unloaded. The guns' action should be open during the cleaning process. Also, be sure that no ammunition is present in the cleaning area.
2. The Lovely Bones (Paramount Pictures, 2009) - Produced and directed by Peter Jackson. Saoirse Ronan stars as Susie Salmon, a young lady who runs afoul of a serial killer and is (Due to her unwillingness to relieve herself of spiritual/emotional "baggage".) "trapped" in an "inbetween", neither Heaven or earth, and watching over her family. A real tear jerker. Definitely NOT recommended for old softies like me ... or YOU!
3. The Last Samurai (Warner Bros. Pictures, 2003) - Tom Cruise stars as an American military advisor to an emerging 1860s Japan who falls in with an anti-change Samurai clan and fighting on their side.
4. Will Adams/Anjin Miura (1564 - 1620) - An English trader/navigator who became not only one of the very few Europeans to become a naturalized Japanese Citizen, but also attained the ranking of Samurai.
James Clavells' book, Shogun is based on the life of Will Adams.
I would like to thank Dima02 on fanfiction dot net for giving me an idea about "fleshing out" Shiinas' past. I've left mine vague enough by only placing her in roughly the same period of history he has, leaving him to complete that "history".
The two "incidents" regarding Japanese tourists mentioned in this chapter are among some of the many comical moments experienced by this author when working at The Powder Room and Pistol Range in Powell, Ohio back in the '90s.
Go to In Gods' Good Time chapter index on C V Ford's Anime Fanfiction Page
here. Just scroll to the story blurb in the Angel Beats section.
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Storyline and original characters (only) copyright © 5-1-14 C V Ford
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, and 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 and enjoyment of their works.