Chapter 5:

The World Without Stein

ONE SHOT


The universe is a code, I am a missing script, and history is just files of data. My philosophy is synonymous with the phrase "Life is a game."Bookmark here


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Hana Kanemoto was alone in her living room watching the afternoon news. They were reporting about a hijacked television broadcast that occurred the night before. Supposedly, the station was experiencing technical difficulties they had no control over and suddenly a group of five people appeared on the premises. It's as if they were possessed, like a voice was summoning those people to that location. When they returned to their senses, they had no recollection of how they got to the TV station or why they would have the urge to even show up there in the first place.
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Well, I'm to blame for it.Bookmark here

I was seeking a vessel that I could possess. That's where I chose Hana Kanemoto, an assistant for a researcher in quantum mechanics. Actually, it doesn't really seem like possession. It's more like she and I are simultaneously sharing one soul.Bookmark here

Why do I need to inhabit her soul, you ask? I don't have a body of my own. I have a mission I must complete, but I can't reach my goal if I can't walk the earth without a body to use. You see, for some reason I was meant to be added into human existence but as it would seem, I have been forgotten by the universe itself. I am a wandering spirit from the outside looking inside at what could have been. My life is an unnatural existence where I am everywhere at once. I can tamper with history and interfere with the world below me, but I cannot create or destroy. It's like I'm a god but my abilities are far less significant. Without a physical body, I am nothing more than just a spirit floating through the endless void of the universe. Regarding my mission... For now, let's just say I've made a big mess of things and I need to fix it. Maybe once I clean up my mistakes, an even higher entity will reward me for my efforts and give me the only thing I ever wanted: true existence.Bookmark here


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Hana went out to visit her longtime friend and superior, Tachibana Honda at the laboratory where they conducted their research. He was one of many researchers who worked at the facility. To be precise, Tachibana primarily focused in the study of multiple worlds. Perhaps this is the reason why I chose Hana's soul to inhabit. I randomly gathered five individuals to choose from and Hana happened to be among them. When I possessed Hana, I caught a peek into her life. If she was researching other worlds and quantum theory in general, then maybe the world would learn of a possibility like me.Bookmark here

After learning of the television broadcast that was hijacked, Tachibana was concerned for Hana, knowing that she was inexplicably involved in the incident.Bookmark here

"Are you sure, you're alright Hana? I don't want you to push yourself."Bookmark here

"I'm fine, really. I just can't remember anything other than being confused alongside four strangers at a TV station." Hana reassured him while laughing off the situation.Bookmark here

"So, this isn't the work of a cult or some criminal plan?" Tachibana teased.Bookmark here

"Don't joke around like that! It's not like there was a cryptic message shown on TV last night. At least there wasn't as far as I know. And I'm not involved with anything shady if that's what you're insinuating!"Bookmark here

Hana sighed.Bookmark here

"Plus, I still have to go to the police station for more questioning."Bookmark here

Hana lowered her head, sulking. She dreaded having to go speak to the police. Hana was still in the dark surrounding the previous night's turn of events. And what more did the police need to ask of her. Honestly, the whole ordeal dropped a bucket of stress over her head.Bookmark here

"Who knows? Maybe we're dealing with something entirely different."Bookmark here

"Tachibana?"Bookmark here

"Maybe someone from another realm is behind this. I wonder where I would begin with that kind of research. And what kind of message would they want to share with us?"Bookmark here

Hana looked at Tachibana as he smiled.Bookmark here

"Maybe you're on to something, Tachibana. Who knows?"Bookmark here


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Hana caught a bus to and got off at a stop near the police station and continued the rest of the trip on foot. She reached her destination with no trouble. As expected, Hana was asked more fruitless questions such as: "Were you ever acquainted with the four other people who were drawn to the station last night? Do you have any idea why you were so compelled to visit the TV station? Have you ever been affiliated with the station in the past?"Bookmark here

No.Bookmark here

None of Hana's answers would bring the police any closer to solving the mystery of what exactly happened. Reaching a dead end, the officer gave her the okay to leave.Bookmark here

It was still broad daylight, so Hana expected to find the everyday sight of people on the move with places to go and some traffic accumulating in the streets. Instead, the scene was filled with chaos and disarray as people were screaming and running for their lives. Hana just left the police station, which meant some officers were in the area as well. Hana was afraid she had walked into something truly frightening, like a mass shooting or a terrorist attack but she tried to maintain her composure. Soon, Hana caught a glimpse of just exactly what was spreading terror throughout the streets. No one was shooting at innocent people and there weren't any bombs exploding. What Hana saw was a large, red demon carrying an iron studded club. It was towering over everything, wrecking havoc with every step it took. I couldn't afford to waste another second. I stopped the world's time, creating a space where only the demon and myself could move. I took over Hana's consciousness and summoned a long sword.Bookmark here

This is the mistake I made.Bookmark here

I was fed up with the universe and in my frustration, I accidentally unleashed copies of ancient evils from history. Now, they're running rampant in the present day. Among these evils were demons. It may be hard to believe, but I happened to discover them when I was tampering from the outside. To correct my error, I fight these monsters and erase them from existence.Bookmark here

The demon whacked his club trying to hit me. I jumped to evade the attack. I wanted to end this quickly, so I proceeded to hack and slash away at it until it was destroyed. Following the final blow, the demon exploded into small specs of light, leaving nothing else behind. Time was moving again and Hana regained her senses.Bookmark here

"Huh? The monster.... It disappeared?"Bookmark here

Hana was disoriented. For a moment, Hana felt like she froze up in fear. Once she saw that the demon was no more, she didn't understand how it vanished into nothing.Bookmark here

Poor girl. Hana doesn't know I'm possessing her, but for now it's probably for the best. Perhaps she'll catch on to me soon, but I don't need to build even more stress for her. I know I need to use a human body, but this is my fight. I'll do the rest on my own. Maybe someday I won't have to live like this anymore, but until then the world continues to move without me.Bookmark here

Ana Fowl
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