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ShinJix
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PostSubject: Natural Gaijin   21.12.15 17:19

It was a silent, cloudless day at the University of Tokyo. Coincidentally, it was exam season. The usual students that pepped up the institution either were too busy or simply gave up. The sports teams were nowhere to be found playing, but found studying instead. The two-year foreign student Leo Parchem walked through the lifeless, empty hallway as he made his way outside the university. Shinji Owari, a friend of Leo came out of the restroom and appeared shocked seeing him casually strolling by.

"Leo, aren't you supposed to be studying!? Exams are here, and they can be pretty scary! I just got done with one a bit ago and I think I bombed it!" Shinji cried out but quickly silenced himself in respect of the classrooms nearby.

"I'll be alright. Take care, Shinji." Leo said before continuing his walk. Shinji shook his head in disappointment as he walked back to his classroom in the opposite direction.

Leo's footsteps echoed through the university walls as he made his descent down to the main level. The yelling of teachers and sound of numerous keyboards followed him as Leo found himself to be the only one present. Not even a hall monitor or a wandering staff member supervising the lobby, so Leo simply walked out of the university main entrance.

The doors behind closed as Leo felt the cold, windy breeze that plagued his surroundings. He noticed the emptiness in the campus as if he was the only one alive. Nonetheless, Leo took the moment to look at a childhood picture from his wallet. It was the only taken childhood photo that he had with his older brother Hund. Leo gave a deep sigh.

It had only been a week since Leo noticed he had mysterious powers. He was able to sneak away from teacher confrontations by disguising himself as one of the many university janitors, and he was able to receive free stuff like candy and lottery tickets by shaping into famous celebrities. Fun aside, Leo wondered why he received these powers and what was his purpose with them. He recalled back to last weekend that he saw Hund on television in Honor Guard uniform, and the childhood photo made Leo remember why he skipped studying for today.

The childhood photo was stuffed back into his empty wallet as his cell phone began to vibrate and play a catchy jingle. He put his wallet back into his pocket as he quickly pulled open his cell phone to see who messaged him. It was from his blind friend Hana Komori.

"Hey, where are you?"

The message said, but Leo casually put his cell phone back once more without responding. He started walking away from the campus university.


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PostSubject: Re: Natural Gaijin   25.12.15 20:37

Hana loitered on the outskirts of the university's campus, aside one of the great gates that
corralled the students in. She nervously clicked under her breath to gauge the immediate
surroundings. As the clicks returned, a sonar image of the square burned into her brain. No
moving bodies or cars were detected, allowing her to loosen the vice grip she held on the brim
of a large hat. Beneath it, two large ears flicked and flattened uncomfortably.

She waited five agonizing minutes until she finally fished out her tiny pink phone and called at
the AI. "Text Leo," she commanded the phone in Japanese. The phone flashed to life and
popped up with the appropriate texting screen. She spoke again, "We have a problem!" Hana's
thumb flexed around the phone and tapped the button to send the text to him. She shoved the
device back into her equally small purse and continued to rhythmically click for a change in the
surroundings.
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PostSubject: Re: Natural Gaijin   25.12.15 20:40

Why is she here?

Leo stood in shock as he saw a peculiar figure standing aside the main gate in the forward distance. There was only one person he knew who would wear a large hat like that, and that was Hana. The drawn-out single vibration and the catchy pop jingle was heard by Leo once more from his cell phone, and he had nothing else to do but to pull it up once more.

"We have a problem!" The cell phone signaled as  Leo stared back at Hana from afar.

"Do we!? Why aren't you studying!?" Leo yelled at Hana loudly as he could even though they weren't that far apart. He then ran toward her to waste less time.


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PostSubject: Re: Natural Gaijin   25.12.15 20:40

Hana squealed and ducked close enough to the sidewalk for her plaid miniskirt to drag against the
stone. "Stop!" she whined and shook her head. Her ears rung violently as she attempted to
reorient herself on the balls of her feet. She eventually uncurled from her ball and wobbled to
her meager stature.

"I can't go in there... as I told you!" She grumbled and lolled her head until the ringing fully
ceased its assault. She clicked a few more times and made her way over him. "Something...
went really wrong and..." she trailed off. A skinny finger pointed in the direction of her hat under
the concealment of her coat's long sleeve.
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PostSubject: Re: Natural Gaijin   25.12.15 20:41

Leo raised his right eyebrow in confusion as he awkwardly glared at Hana's finger which lead to her large hat. He scratched his head as he looked around him to see if there were any people, but nobody was there. He coughed and crossed his arms while rubbing them for friction.

"Is the hat glued to your head, Hana? It's getting chilly out here, so we should move to the convenient store nearby. I'm sure there's glue remover there." Leo snorted.


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PostSubject: Re: Natural Gaijin   25.12.15 20:42

The cold was the last topic on Hana's racing mind. She waddled closer to the man and grasped
his sides. She turned his back to the street and shielded herself behind him. "There's no need to
be so sarcastic!" she cried. Slowly, the girl removed her floppy hat and dropped it to her
midsection where her hands grasped at it for dear life. Her newly acquired ears jittered against
the frigid air and perked up at their sudden freedom. One wilted as she spoke, "Are they bad?
How big are they! I can feel them, but I don't know... what animal is it?! It isn't a cat! I know that!"
The resident feline expert nibbled on her lip angrily.
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PostSubject: Re: Natural Gaijin   25.12.15 20:43

She is turning into a bat... Is this reality?

Jaw dropped, Leo stood motionless as his eyes were fixed at Hana's mysterious ears that were similar to those of cave bats. He flinched at the sight of one of her ears flopping but not the other. "Um... They're uh, not that big... and they look like... bat ears." Leo swallowed in disbelief before looking into her eyes. "C-can you not see them, Hana?


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PostSubject: Re: Natural Gaijin   25.12.15 20:44

Hana fumed and tilted up her head to click at the sky; nothing returned. She swiveled and stuck
out her thin leg and clicked; it returned. "If I try and locate at my ears... they're kind of..." she
grew frustrated in her words and began to swat at the air in annoyance. "I can't locate them
because they follow my head... you know because they're attached!" She pulled at her ears
nervously and ducked back behind his height.
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PostSubject: Re: Natural Gaijin   25.12.15 20:45

"W-well, what do you want me to do about it!? I-I'm in a hurry, Hana!" Leo nudged away Hana as he turned around toward the campus to look for any passers-by, and there were none.

Exam season must be intense this year around.


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PostSubject: Re: Natural Gaijin   25.12.15 20:46

"I don't know! I don't know what to do anymore! I can't take my final, they don't allow hats in the
hall!" She dropped her hands to pull on her hair in exasperation. "Why is this happening!" she
shrieked.
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PostSubject: Re: Natural Gaijin   25.12.15 20:47

She was right. Exam season doesn't allow hats or electronics in classrooms. Although any other day is completely fine. Hana was screwed. Damn it, Hana.

Leo gave a deep sigh at the whole situation.

"Aren't you the slightest bit of cold!?" Leo attempted to change the subject away from her freakishly animated bat ears.

"I'm going home. If you're not sticking around here, you can follow me if you want!" Leo offered his right hand to Hana to her left after gently tapping her fingers a few times.


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PostSubject: Re: Natural Gaijin   25.12.15 20:48

Hana flattened her ears against her head and clasped her spindly fingers around his hand. The tips of her nails dug harshly into him. "N-No! I'm too worried to be cold... Sorry!" she apologized after realizing she was puncturing him as she loosening her grip. "I'm scared to think what else might change..." The batgirl glued herself to Leo's side and refused to part until they were safely away from the prying public.
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PostSubject: Re: Natural Gaijin   25.12.15 20:49

"D-don't worry... We'll talk about it after we're at my place. You know where it is, it's not that far." Leo said before walking away from the university campus as Hana quietly followed along the way to his apartment.

It was a rundown, poorly-maintained apartment that was only offered to the cheapest of students, and Leo embraced being one of them. The sound of nearby cars and bikes surrounded him the further they were from the university. The cawing of crows echo in the skies after each step they took. Leo began to saw his typical landmarks like the badly dented stop sign and the greasy takoyaki stand that sold numerous goods every day for different prices. The smell of fatty foods plagued the neighborhood. Leo struggled to resist the urge of having another takoyaki today, but he managed to reach his broken down apartment.

"We're here." Leo led Hana through the rusty apartment entrance and toward the missing-tiled hallway which poked out the occasional rat or two. The yells and chatter of fellow apartment inhabitants. filled up the two's ears as they trudged on. The cheeky, high-pitched landlady was shrieking at someone and Leo could not restrain himself from laughing.

"Alright, we're here. Three steps down, careful." Leo opened up door 104 as Hana gently made down those three stair steps. The drawn-out smell of yesterday's ramen and dirty clothes released out toward the apartment hallway.

A small stolen television laid by a wall in front of a pillow and a blanket. Numerous articles of clothing were scattered all over the room and the empty styrofoam ramen cups practically filled in the gaps between them. The small dining area was much nicer with a simple table and two simple chairs.

"Watch your step, it's kinda a mess." Leo guided Hana through the ocean of garbage toward the dining table and pulled up a chair for her to sit.

"Alright, you can sit down. Now tell me, when did you find out about your problem?" Leo casually walked toward the other side of the dining table and slouched on the chair in front of her.


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PostSubject: Re: Natural Gaijin   25.12.15 20:51

Hana followed after Leo blindly after placing her hat back atop her head to hide her offending
ears. She reasserted her presence against him ever so often as the pair wound away to his
neighborhood. She quietly clicked behind him get a semblance of the rapid paced area as she
was chauffeured into his residence.

One click and sniff was enough to tell her she was in a real college bachelor's home. "This is terrible, Leo! How can you let it get this bad!" Still, her stomach growled angrily at the mixed signals of good and rotten food. She shoved herself into one of his chairs and groped at the table emptily while thinking. "My hearing became ultra sensitive over the past week or so... then my nails got... pointier... Then I wake up this morning prepared to take my calculus exam and GAH! EARS!" Hana slammed her face into the table and fought back tears as she pouted. "How am I going to become a journalist like this! Mother is going to cry if she sees me without a hat!"
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PostSubject: Re: Natural Gaijin   25.12.15 20:52

Leo placed his hand on Hana's hat in an attempt to sympathize with her. There was enough pressure in his hand to feel the actual top of her head. "There, there. Don't worry, Ha- Wait, did you say this happened in the past week?" Leo turned toward the mirror on the wall as his face morphed and shaped into that of Hana, hollow cheeks, thin lips and all in only one second. He switched his focus back to Hana, dumbfounded.


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PostSubject: Re: Natural Gaijin   25.12.15 20:53

"Yeah?" She took off her hat and cast it onto the table after she picked her head up. Her face
tracked wherever his voice roamed. "Mother made dinner a week or two ago and the alarm went
off. The siren hurt my ears more than usual; it only got worse after that. I think they bled!" she
exaggerated.
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PostSubject: Re: Natural Gaijin   25.12.15 20:53

Leo continued the morphing process to the point that his low-pitched, slurred voice slowly altered to Hana's higher-pitched, soft girly voice. His usual big dry hands changed size in similarity of Hana's small and soft hands.

"That's interesting, Hana. Well, something happened to me in the past week too." Leo took his hand from Hana's hat and clasped her hand hoping she would notice a difference in his hand. "Can't you tell?"


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PostSubject: Re: Natural Gaijin   25.12.15 20:54

Hana quirked a brow at his imitation voice and flexed her hand closed. "You started using lotion? For something other than you time?" She chortled before she got better felt of 'his' hand. She curled her fingers around 'his' nails and felt the undeniable point. "W-Wha? Hey!"
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PostSubject: Re: Natural Gaijin   25.12.15 20:55

"Calm down, Hana. I don't think this just happened out of the blue. Have you been following the news? About the stuff about Alphas? You've heard of them, right?" Leo removed his grip from Hana and reverted himself back to his normal self in the same amount of time it took to change him.

"I think we're one of them." Leo said back in his slurred, low-pitched voice as he slouched back into his chair.


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PostSubject: Re: Natural Gaijin   25.12.15 20:55

"In correlation to the Honor Guard stuff? Mother just kept shutting off the television." She
pursed her lips and wilted her ears once more. "Oh, you know, I just thought that I was
completing turning into a bat or going to die or... something. I've never been in contact with a bat...
I don't think." She shook her head and smacked her head back against the table. "Can I just live
under your bed and never come out?"
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PostSubject: Re: Natural Gaijin   25.12.15 20:55

"Well, you can do that, but you might need to clean the place up and pay rent by yourself." Leo chuckled. "I didn't want to tell you, but I think I'm going to leave Japan for a while. Taking a trip overseas, I guess." Leo glanced at the wall behind Hana with the television by it. A pale red mask hung above the television with some of its coating peeled off from old wear.


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PostSubject: Re: Natural Gaijin   25.12.15 20:55

"I wouldn't take up much space..." she mumbled before moving onto his next set of words.
"Leave?! Overseas... what's out there?" She wrung her hands underneath the table anxiously.
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PostSubject: Re: Natural Gaijin   25.12.15 20:56

"I'm not going far, just to the United States to ... visit family. Yeah. I hear it's a really nice place, or at least that's what my pen pals there tell me." Leo said with a faint laugh. "Do you think you're... going to be okay by yourself?"


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PostSubject: Re: Natural Gaijin   25.12.15 20:56

Hana drained of the little color she held to her complexion. "By myself? You're leaving? When
this is happening!?" She flailed her limbs and attempted to not burst out crying again. "I can't go
home... mother is going to know that I'm wearing this hat for some reason. She'll take it off and
freak out that I'm one of the Alphas!"
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PostSubject: Re: Natural Gaijin   25.12.15 20:57

Damn it, Hana.

Leo gave a deep sigh as he stared upward at his moldy apartment ceiling. "Did you want to follow me then?" He blew away a spare hair away from his eye range as a small cockroach passed by between his feet under the table toward a hole in the wall.


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