Chapter 2:

Vice Versa

IN-CURSE [HIATUS]


Limit. There is always a limit in this world. No matter how fast, how smart, how great they are. Like the city where we live in. We can’t cross everything just the way we want. Especially when someone is watching you. AI has evolved beyond our imagination. Now people can merge their mind with AI, so you can know and watch everything. They help us in our daily activities, everywhere and every time. There’s no limit in technology, and it always evolves.. But there are some people who still use their own minds to keep them humane… will there be a limit in our mind? Or otherwise?

………………….

…..wake up….

…..wake up….!

…..it’s not over…they’re….waiting….

…..wake up….!

Wake up Hirata!

“Huh…?”

“Where am I?”

I still feel a bit dizzy. “Urggh…”

I then look around. It seems that I’m in a hospital. I look at the time and it’s 10 am in the morning.

“Wake up sleepy head.”

“Kaito? Why are you here?” Wasn't he still in Kyoto-659 with his sister?

“Do you have a good nap princess? Come on, don’t look at me like that, don’t you know how much I worry about you.”

“Aren’t you still at Kyoto-659?” “What happened?”

“Take it easy.” “I just came back, when I come to your apartment and the notification board on your door says you’re in the hospital, so I come to visit you.” “Bye the way, is your right hand and eyes alright? you must feel sick after surgery.” “The doctor said that you were badly injured in a car accident. But he says that you’re good to go now. I’m glad you’re ok.” "But still… I'm pretty surprised when I look at you, especially like that." It must hurt."

Wait, what did he say? Surgery? I didn’t feel anything hurt in my body except my head. I didn’t understand what he was saying. so I stand up slowly and look at the mirror. “Are you ok? Can you walk?” “No worries, I'm fine now”

When I looked at myself, I’m very surprised. My right arm is replaced with a mechanical one and my left eye too. Kaito said that i was injured in a car accident. The last thing that I remembered is when I ran away from… wait what happened before that? “Urggh…!”

Wait, yes I remember again and I..I still can’t forget about what happened…. That night, it wasn’t a car accident. Me and … I… Izumi sensei…l why he…. My dad… my dad??? He’s dead but, why? Why? Why? He did that AAAHHHH!!! I can’t get it out of my mind. My head… It hurts so much.

“Hirata, are you alright?”

“I’m fine, I just had a little headache. After all,l the surgery really hurts so I’m still not used to having these mechanical parts on me."

“How long have I been asleep?”

“The doctor says it’s been 2 days since the accident.”

“2 days? That long!?!?”

“You were unconscious when the ambulance brought you here.”

What happened in 2 days? He didn’t kill me yet? why?

"By the way I’m still curious why you got into a car accident. Are you speeding?”

I didn’t answer him. I really don't want him to know about what happened that night. If he knew he would be in danger too. Especially knowing that Izumi sensei is the one who did that.

“Ok then, I’ll just take you to the apartment. You should rest first.” “Wait, why don’t we use my car?” You didn’t know yet? your car blew up”

“My car blew up? But how and when?”

The police say that it blew up in the accident but thank God you were far away from the explosion and immediately taken to the hospital after that.”

I clearly remembered that I did reach my car that night when my arm got shot before but, how can I be far away from the explosion?

Kazuto Kaito, he’s 18 years old. He has blue hair and green eyes. He has the same height as me. He is my best friend. We’ve been together since childhood. He always helps me every time I’m in trouble. We even have the same hobby. He has an older sister, her name is Misaki Kazuto. I have known her since childhood. She is a nice, cheerful, and attractive person. She has taken care of Kaito since childhood because their parents are gone. Now she is working at an AI research lab in this city. A couple weeks before, Kaito and his sister went to Kyoto-659 because his older sister had special research with her professor. So Kaito needed to escort him to Kyoto-659.

After a few minutes' ride, we finally arrived at my apartment. In the car he said that he wanted to talk to me about something. I think he still doesn’t know about my father and Izumi sensei.

“Ok here we are.”

“Wait, won’t you come in? you said there is something you want to talk about.”

“I can’t. I have to pick up my older sister at home and drive her to the lab. I’ll pick you up at 3. My sister also wanted to meet you, so we’ll talk later.” Then he left.

After he left I then walked slowly to my apartment. I have to make sure that there is no one there. I approached the door slowly. There’s nothing on the door’s notification board. which means there is no one in my apartment. But I have to make sure. Probably Izumi Sensei hacked it. I didn’t have any weapons, I barely knew any self defense skills. I breathed heavily and entered my room.

“Is anybody here? Hello? Come out wherever you are!”

No response so no one is here.I then checked every room in my apartment but after i checked all of it, nothing had changed. I thought my whole apartment got searched. But why? Why didn’t he come after me? Knowing that I know his true Identity. Or maybe he has been caught? After that I checked the news on TV and the newspaper for the last 2 days. But there is nothing. No news nor information about him and my case just count as an accident. Did he just disappear like that without a trace?

In Neo-Nippon people no longer fear crime and violence. Because everything is controlled and arranged by H.A.N.S. Every criminal activity is prohibited by the system. There are police in this city and each personnel carry a laser gun every time they patrol. But even if there is a crime, H.A.N.S will carry it out. Everybody knows there is a hard and tough punishment you would get if you committed a crime. That is why there is almost no crime rate in Tokyo-310. Police are just eyes for the system.

But why and how is there no crime news, info or activity about what Izumi sensei had done to my dad 2 days ago? Or maybe, he can escape because he is one of the people who made the system, so he can manipulate it. It must be! Why have I never figured it out before? Then I must find some information about H.A.N.S recently…

“beep… beep… beep…”

“Shut it off! What is that noise, “urggh…”

“Beep… Beep… Beep…”

“It’s getting louder and louder, where does this noise come from?” I checked all of the rooms and gadgets and appliances but nothing made that voice.

“BEEP… BEEP…” “Urggh… my head… it hurts…!”

“SPHERE DETECTED”

“SPHERE - H CONFIRMED”

“STATUS INITIALIZE”

It’s coming from my head. My eyes…! I can see something! it’s like a screen!

“UPDATING COMPONENTS”

“10%... 25%... 50%... 75%... 90%... 100%”

“ENHANCING”

“SYNCHRONIZATION START”

Suddenly, I feel something change in my body. My body became lighter.

“SYNCHRONIZATION COMPLETED”

I did feel something in my body had changed after I heard that sound. But not my appearance.I checked myself in the camera and nothing changed in my body. Wait a minute. I saw a screen when I heard that sound. Is it like what I think it is?

“STATUS OPEN!”

It doesn’t work? I tried to wave my hand, swipe up and down but it didn't work at all.

Does it have something to do with my mechanical arm and eyes? Or is it…

“OPEN STATUS” I said that in my mind and suddenly a screen appeared. So, the stats screen can only be seen by me. There is a lot of info about my name, age, size, level, skill, job and token…? What does this ‘token’ mean? when I pressed it, a gun symbol appeared. “What is this symbol?”

There is also a detailed description about myself and it says that I am a special “hex”? and my skill is… What? It’s locked? I have three skills but it’s locked so how can I use it? and my job is a gunner. But I didn’t see or have any gun. Then I looked at my level and my level is 200? Is this normal? Am I strong? Yet why are my skills locked? or the level system is different than I know? “This stat screen really looks like an RPG game and manga that I know.” I wonder who made this and why this happened to me? Is this what Izumi sensei has done to me or someone else?

“Hirata, I come to pick you up!”

Kaito? Wait, what time is it? It’s 3 PM already? “Yes I’m coming, just wait a minute!”

I panicked, “What should I do? How can I close this screen? What if he sees this?” “STOP STATUS” no I mean “CLOSE STATUS” Ok that works. “Where's my phone?” I then grabbed my phone and my jacket and locked my apartment “I’m ready”

“Took you long enough. Ok then let’s go.”

On the way, Kaito told me why he could look after me at the hospital. He said that his sister had to return to Tokyo-310 yesterday because of her job at the research lab. Her supervising professor needed her help so they had to come back. He said that there is someone his sister wants to introduce..

The research lab where she worked is about half an hour drive from my apartment through the highway. Everything seems fine but a couple minutes later, something strange and unusual happened. After we pass the toll gates suddenly the lights on the highway change from green to red. At first, I thought there was some inspection or maintenance on the road, but I was wrong. Suddenly a bunch of hunter droids appear from the sky and…

“BZZZ… BZZZ.. BZZZ… BZZZ…”

“TARGET CONFIRMED.” “START ATTACK”

Then they start shooting at us.

“Why are they shooting at us?”

“I Don’t know! Just drive Kaito, get away from them!”

Kaito suddenly shook his leg as fast as possible. We both didn’t know what just happened and rushed as fast as we could.

“Come on, move it!”

Kaito tries to overtake every car that is on our way and avoid every incoming attack. Those hunter droids had a really strong laser that could melt the road. They’re really chasing us, and they are getting faster. Kaito tries to drive faster and avoid the cars on the road.

When we were almost at the end of the highway suddenly all the hunter droids exploded. Kaito then suddenly hit the brake and we stopped. I then got out of the car. When I looked up there’s a girl floating in the sky with a laser gun in her hands and then she looked at me and said…

“Vice versa...”

Xingia
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