Tonkatsu! Volume 1
Erika smiled at her reflection as she said, “I love it! Thanks so much, Earl!” She then handed the mirror back to her barber. He gave a soft chuckle and said,
“Of course! Anything for you.” He removed the cape from around her neck before dusting her off, “You know, I must ask, why do you come on down to this shop to get your hair done? There are many salons around here.”
“I can’t just abandon my barber,” she said as she stood up and stretched. She looked at the wall where a framed photograph hung, “Besides, you and my daddy opened up this barbershop from the ground up.”
“That we did,” Earl said as he started to clean off his tools, “We grew up together, and one night he said that we should cut hair. We spent many summers with lemonade stands, lifeguard jobs, fast food, and many others before we eventually found a lot and started to go to work. We opened up and since then this joint has been open for the past 25 years.”
“Wow,” she said, Earl told her the story many times, and each and every time it took her breath away. “Well, I’m glad you’ve been able to stay open.”
“We have God to thank young lady,” he said with a chuckle, “So what’re you up to these days?”
“Not much,” she said as she turned to him with a smile, “I’ve got my senior year in high school, I’m also still taking my Wing Chun and Karate classes, and I’m also studying for college.”
“I see, you might have to show me the result of your training sometime.” He said as he playfully threw a few fists in her direction, “I was a damn good boxer back in my day.” Erika gave a soft snort before she said,
“Maybe,” She said,
“So tell me, you got yourself a man yet?”
“Oh, no, not yet.” Erika said with a soft chuckle, “I just haven’t met the right guy yet.”
“Have you tried dating a basketball player?”
“No,” she said as she shook her head, “None of the guys on our team are really my type.”
“Tall, dark, and handsome isn’t your type?”
“That’s not what I meant!” She said with a laugh, “I just meant, none of them are guys I would want to date. There are loads of other guys at the school.”
“Yes I suppose,” he said, “You know, I could see you up with my son.”
“Your son?” She said, “Oh! That’s right! He’s in the Military, correct?”
“Yes ma’am!” He said as he grabbed a picture from his workstation and handed it to her, “He’s part of that new Space Force.” He then gave a soft groan as he rolled his eyes, “I still can’t believe that’s a damn branch of the military.” He then sighed as he said, “He told me he wanted to explore the stars, as well as the first black man to cut hair on the moon.”
“Is that where he’s at now?”
“No, not yet, for now, he’s still at some basic training.”
“I see,” she said as she handed him back the picture, “Anyways, you’re welcome to give him my number, and me and him can hang out sometime.”
“Well alright, I’ll do that!” He said as he took back the picture,
“I should get going, I’ll see you later.” She said as she waved to him and left the barbershop. She looked both ways before she jogged across the street to her car. She unlocked the door before she got inside and turned the car on. She looked at herself in the mirror before saying, “Damn! You really outdid yourself this time Earl! I haven’t looked this fine in ages!” She then pulled out before she then drove off through the town before heading towards the city on the highway.
Her drive was suddenly halted with a massive traffic blockage. She groaned and thumped her forehead on the steering wheel. “No, no, not today of all days!” She huffed before she took out her phone. She went through the various apps before she frowned and said, “I’ve already played everything on here.” She suddenly jumped to attention the moment she heard gunshots followed by explosions. She leaned over the dashboard to see some smoke up ahead. “Damn! What happened?! I hope people are okay!” She then paused before groaning and getting out of her car.
She walked down the freeway brushing past people running in the opposite direction. She then could get a bit of a better view as she saw a fight breaking out. A robotic-looking being fighting off a humanoid being that resembled a spider. The robotic person struck the spider-like creature twice before he raised his leg and kicked the creature in the chest. The creature flew into the side of a car before it growled and opened its mouth charging a beam. The beam was fired which resulted in a massive explosion. Erika was thrown off her feet from the blast before she landed flat on her back beside a car.
Her ears and head began to ring at an extremely loud frequency. She slowly placed her hands on her ears before she rolled onto her side. As she opened her eyes she saw the robotic person lying beside her sitting up on his forearms. He looked over at her as he panted heavily. He spoke to her but Erika couldn’t seem to hear him, “Wh-What….?” She said softly, he spoke to her again as he reached onto his waist and pulled off his belt before handing it to her. When she saw his face as his robotic body faded his face gave her a sense of comfort, despite being bruised, scraped, and covered with blood.
“Take this,” he said, “Put it on, you’ll know what to do.”
“Wh-Wh-Whuh…?” She said as her hearing and vision started to return.
“I’m trusting you with this, you’ll be able to save everyone.” He said, “My time is short, and all we have now is you. Take this, use it, save everyone.”
She groaned as she sat up a bit before she reached out to the device. It was large and oval-shaped with a circle in the middle of it. As soon as she grabbed onto it she looked it over, “What do I do with this….?”
“Stand up,” he said, “Put it on. Afterward, you’ll know what to do.”
She took a deep breath before she slowly got back onto her feet. She looked down at the device and said, “It looks like a belt buckle…” she then slowly moved it to her waist where it then latched out and stuck itself to her. She gasped as she threw her head back and her widened eyes gazed into the sky. She felt suddenly transported to someplace in the back of her mind. It was all white and she was alone. She looked around before she suddenly turned to see the man from before.
“Don’t be alarmed,” he said, “This will only take less than a few seconds. Currently, that device on your waist is overloading your system with robotics and cybernetics too advanced for the minds of mankind. They’re from my planet known as Eiga. My name is Showa, I came to this planet well over 60 years ago and ended up becoming a hero to humanity. This is me passing my power down to you, if you ever have any questions put it back on and you can talk to me.” He then raised his hand to her face and sent a quick pulse to her brain before he said, “Now go!”
In reality, the spider creature opened its mouth and fired a beam in Erika’s direction. Erika slowly moved her head downwards before she said, “Hen...shin…” The laser then hit an invisible barrier in front of Erika as she went up in a pillar of light. The beam then broke the barrier and shot forward before it crashed into the street causing an explosion. The spider creature sneered before it perked up and turned to the sound of a thud. It looked to the top of a trailer on a semi-truck to see a shadowy figure knelt. The figure slowly stood up and turned around to face the creature. Vents on the forehead of the figure turned on and two horns shot out and upwards before the person became visible
The person squatted down and tapped their knee, “Damn! I can really jump now!” With this being said, the voice of the figure had belonged to Erika. She had now transformed into a being similar to that of the one she saw before. The creature roared before it charged another beam in its mouth. Erika quickly turned to the creature and she leaped straight towards it, the semi-truck she was on fell onto its side and struck the creature in the chest with her knee. The creature growled as it flew backward into a car. The car went up in an explosion as the two charged towards each other at extreme speeds. The two stood inside of the expanding explosion, exchanging blows of hand-to-hand combat. The creature threw two punches which Erika quickly moved her head from side to side before she jabbed towards the monster twice with her fingers, the monster barely dodged before he threw an uppercut. Erika blocked the attack before she quickly raised her knee to force the monster’s mouth shut as it went to fire a beam. Erika then grabbed the monster and bashed her forehead into its face before she turned and threw it to the street. At that moment the explosion went up before it turned to smoke as Erika stood in its place.
The monster growled before it ran towards her and threw a punch, Erika moved to the side slightly, causing the creature’s fist to fly past her face before she planted her fist into the creature's ribcage. She then planted her left foot forward before she pushed through with her fist sending the creature flying down the freeway with a sonic boom. The creature rolled along the ground before it crashed through several cars before it came to a stop. The creature got onto its feet as Erika approached it. The monster threw a punch, Erika vanished before she suddenly appeared in the air behind the creature where she kicked it across the head sending it flying off the freeway and onto the highway below. The creature stood up and looked around before it froze. Its eyes rolled up as it saw Erika standing on its head using her right arm. She chuckled before she spun and struck the monster in the face with her foot sending it rolling across the street before it crashed into Gas Tank Truck resulting in a massive explosion.
Erika bounced back and forth on her toes before she rolled her neck and lifted her left hand, “Come on,” she said as she curled her fingers a few times. The monster roared as it flew towards her. Erika quickly crossed her arms and blocked the monster’s punch. The force from the punch caused a massive gust of air to shoot out from behind Erika. The monster swung its other first but was then winded by Erika kicking it in the gut. She then performed a quick ax kick to the creature’s face before spinning and performing a roundhouse kick sending it crashing onto its back.
The monster got to its feet quickly as it fired a powerful beam from its mouth which hit Erika in the chest. As the explosion went off the creature gave a soft sigh. “I saw that coming from a mile away,” Erika said from behind the creature. The creature roared as it spun and threw a punch. Erika turned and raised her arm blocking the oncoming punch with her forearm. She quickly punched the creature in the chest twice before she punched it in an upward diagonal direction across its face before she swung her arm back striking the side of the creature's head with her elbow. The creature hissed as it then fell onto its knee. The creature quickly rose as it went to punch Erika in the hit, Erika performed a downwards chop to block the punch before she quickly raised her hand and struck the monster in the face with the back of her hand. She struck the creature twice in the stomach before she jumped and performed a downwards punch to the monster's collar bone spiking the monster into the ground.
The creature slowly got onto its feet before it clenched its fists. She then pressed the circle in the center of her belt causing it to say, “Ready?! Engage!” She got into a quick stance before she accelerated towards the creature. She struck the monster in the chest with her knee, before she rotated backward and flipped the creature into the air with her leg. She looked up at the creature as her visor started to glow a bright blue. She leaped into the air and knees the monster in the face causing it to spin to a horizontal position. She flew past him before she spun in a vertical upside-down position. As she peaked in the air she spun upwards before she then began to descend, she then speeds up and crashed through the creature with a powerful kick. The creature exploded as she came closer to the ground. When she landed she tripped and stumbled a few times before she twisted her ankle before she rolled back not a hillside with a large explosion of dust.
Erika fell face first from the side of the hill before she rolled onto her back. She gave a large exhale as she said, “It’s over, thank God,” she then grabbed the belt and took it off her waist causing her transformation to fade. She sighed before she rolled up her jacket sleeve and looked at her watch, “Crap! I’m gonna be late!!!” Erika made her way to her car as fast as she could before she eventually was headed off. She eventually burst into the classroom of a college and said, “I’m here! I’m here! I-“
“Miss White, it’s about time you showed up.” Her teacher said as he folded his arms,
“I’m sorry! There was traffic and-“
“That’s fine,” he said, “However, the class is over.”