Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ella habla espanol?

Hey everyone, I know that this week has been a little light on the posts. We're still trying to adjust a working schedule, so bear with us for awhile.

Anyways, today is Saturday, which means a new chapter of Ankoku no Ki. This week starts the story arch that will last till the end of the book, so I really hope you enjoy it. Anyways, tell me what you think


Chapter 10:
Comenzemos Realidad


            The year 2030 is when Rachel Edington’s story continues. A year has gone by since her escape from the secretive wing of Wright Patterson Airforce base in Ohio, USA. In that time, she managed to find transportation out of the United States—with the help of the German doctor, Friedrick Hartmann—and to Tokyo, Japan, the new capitol of the Republic of the Eastern Union. The war is taking a small toll on citizens of Japan, but life in the technologically advanced capitol is, for the most part, progressing as usual.
            Now dawns the time when you ask: “What’s next?” Well, simply stop asking such stupid fucking questions and start reading further down the page to find out.


            “Why do we have to go to the market so often? I’m getting sores on the bottom of my feet from all this exercise,” groaned nineteen year-old Angela White as her and Justin Feldin stood in front of a refrigerated wall of soy products in a downtown Tokyo market.  Angela was a girl of medium height with lightly tanned skin. Her face was naturally pretty and worked to highlight her bright, light-green eyes without a trace of make-up. In two long braids her red orange hair draped past her shoulders and rested atop her breasts. Habitually her hands pulled softly at one of the braids as she waited for Justin to choose between several types of tofu.
            To the average passer-by, Angela was just another pretty girl who resembled the average Latina and really loved warm colors—literally, her entire wardrobe everyday consisted of a t-shirt and pants of either red, orange, or a combination of  both colors. To her circle of friends however, she was a person with a firry ambition to explore new things and a slight obsession with fire. Well, I guess “slight” is putting it lightly, especially since Angela loved everything about fire—its glow, its color, everything. At one time, the obsession had thrown her life as an orphan in Madrid, Spain into hot flames. (She had a pile of matches, gasoline, and a lighter. You do the math.) For a while she was even homeless. Luckily, times were quite different when she was relocated to Japan by a private interest group and met Justin, Rachel, and their three other roommates.
            Finally Justin decided on a type of tofu and placed the white block in the small basket hanging from his arm. “We wouldn’t have to if Yoshiro didn’t eat so much all day,” Justin replied with a slight bit of humor. “I swear, that kid eats so much food…I figure he would be as big as Huey by now.”
            “Well, it’s no surprise, considering how much he runs each day,” Angela snickered.
            “I guess.” Justin’s eyes replaced the case of soy products with Angela as their point of focus. Softly, he smiled at her. “I find that it’s best to not complain about it though.” She smiled back and let her right arm intertwine with his left.
            “How could I ever complain about spending time with you, Justin?” He laughed lightly before kissing her softly on the top of her head.
            “No sè, bonita.” Angela’s smile brightened as she pushed her body even closer to Justin. She always loved when he spoke Spanish to her.
            “Te adoro mi amor.” Together, they walked lightly to the other parts of the market to get the rest of the items on the shopping list they had been sent to complete. Never did either give up the comfort of the touch of the other.


            “Alright, Rachel, just focus your energy into physical form. Picture a vine coming from your body, feel it beneath your skin, and then make it breach, just as we’ve been practicing. You can do in, mein liebe.” Dr. Hartmann coached Rachel as she meditated with crossed legs in the center of their minimalist Tokyo home—only a few blocks from the market at which Angela and Justin were shopping—in only a training bra and black sweat pants. For several months the doctor and Rachel had been trying to gain more control over Rachel’s abilities, while even discovering a few—such as her realized ability to sharpen a curved vine so much as to create a large scythe. (One day, I’ll tell you the gory stories behind such a realization, but for right now we’ll stick with Rachel’s training.) Several vines began to reach upwards toward the ceiling from her back and held stiff in the air, she smiled at the, now pleasurable, feeling of the sharp plants breaking out from beneath her skin. A side-effect of the training had definitely been to make a masochist of the once sweet and timid young woman.
            Her tightly closed eyes marked the level of her concentration as she attempted to envision what the vines should do before the action occurred. Two of the vines split, dividing into four smaller vines. Suddenly she opened her eyes with excitement. “I’m doing it!” she exclaimed. The vines shot back into her skin as soon as she lost her concentration. She shuddered hard in ecstasy with the feeling of the retreating plants. Hunching forward slightly, she tried to gain control of herself.
            “Y’know, that still creeps meh out a lil when ya do that,” joked a chubby, dark-skinned kid of twenty named Huey Langstrom, who sat on the couch pretending to read Manga, but secretly paying more attention to Rachel’s training.
            “Shut up!” Rachel exclaimed sharply as she sat up in embarrassment. “You’re a creeper for watching me anyways!”
            “Sure, yell at the black kid, racist.” Huey laughed heartily. Like Justin and Rachel, Huey was from Ohio, but spent most of his time a few dozen miles south of their hometown, Monroeville. He was a child of the streets of Cincinnati, a city which grows more violent as I write these words. Huey’s mother died from complications at his birth, and his father—who couldn’t handle the stress of raising him and his three other brothers—put a colt .45 to his head and blew his brains out against their Over the Rhine apartment only a month later. As you can see, Huey never knew either of his parents, but his brothers—ages 10, 14, and 16 when he was born—all pulled together to help raise him. Their efforts eventually turned to illegal actions in order to keep the rent payments paid, but such was the only way that they could survive. Huey loved his brothers, but he always knew that what they did was wrong and wanted more out of life than they ever had to offer. This wanting led to actions that will be made clear very soon, but resulted in him being relocated to Japan by the same people as Angela.
            “Rachel, you need to lose concentration so easily,” Dr. Hartmann preached for the tenth time that week. “This training is meant to teach you that above all else.”
            “I know.” Rachel sighed. “It’s quite hard when I have a pervert like Huey watching me.” She glared in his direction.
            “Hey, don’t mind me. I’m just sitting her, catching up on my favorite comic.”
            “Oh really? Is that why you were reading the exact same thing the last time I was training?”
            “U-U-Ummmm…..” Huey stammered for words. “Huey’s not here right now, please leave a message after the beep…BEEEEPPP…”
            “Uh-huh, that’s what I thought, pervert.”
            “Now, Rachel, get focused. We must get to finishing this training if we are to locate the tree of darkness,” the doctor said, trying to get her back on task.
            “But,” she protested, “isn’t knowing that it’s somewhere in the Kanto region enough to just search blindly for it?”
            “You should know better than that, mein liebe. The door to the Tree could be anywhere from an inch wide to the size of an entire building—” Rachel groaned.
            “Fine, fine.” Once more, Rachel closed her eyes and tried to focus, but quickly her concentration was broken by the sound of the front door sliding open and the sound of Angela and Justin’s laughs filling the air.
            “We got the grub!” Justin yelled as he and his girlfriend entered the living room holding hands. “Oh, sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt anything,” he said apologetically as his eyes fell upon Rachel, whose eyes were fixated on their hands.
            “No, it’s fine, you didn’t interrupt anything at all, Justin,” she said with a fake smile as a few vines started to squirm at the small of her back in response to her rising hatred for Angela. Justin wasn’t fooled by her cheesy smile and smartly released Angela’s hand. Of course, Angela looked at him in confusion for a moment before she got the memo and worked to change the subject.
            “Has Yoshiro or Melanie come back yet?” she asked Rachel, who still refused to speak to the girl whom she considered a home-wrecker at best.
            “No,” Huey answered, putting down his comics, “Yoshiro is somewhere searching for more information on the Ankoku no Ki legend, and I think Melanie is out with another guy.”
            “Isn’t that the fourth one this week?” Angela asked with a small sense of humor.
            “Yeah…but you know Mel, always looking for a good time with the guys.” They both laughed, while Rachel stood up and started to walk away. Justin tried to pretend not to notice.
            “I’ll be in my room,” Rachel said with an undertone of anger. “Don’t bother me unless another person comes to kill me.” Soon, she was out of sight and in the next room over. An awkward moment passed before Angela took the groceries from Justin and walked to the fridge in the next room to put them away.
“I believe she will need help,” Dr. Hartmann smiled and followed Angela into the next room.
            “Dude,” Huey said to Justin, who simply stood in the shame of making his best friend so irritated at his presence. “You know, if you make her any angrier, you’re likely to get your balls sliced off by those vines, or something.”
            “What can I do?” Justin asked, sympathetically. “I can’t please everyone…” he sighed.
            “I guess, but kudos on bagging the hot, Hispanic chick by the way. I know you guys’ve been goin’ out for about a couple months or something, but I’m still surprised you pulled it off without her setting your junk on fire.” Huey laughed, returning to his comics. Justin smirked, inching himself in the direction of Rachel’s room.
            “You honestly wouldn’t believe how hard it was to stop her. She really loves fire.” They both laughed—Justin’s laugh being hollow, with only thoughts about the pain Rachel felt.

Fate drives us.

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