Sunday, December 6, 2020

The Great Reset

 



Look, I don't care how close we are. Dragging your blind old ass is getting us nowhere in the dark and I need to feed Akki before she starts screaming again. We have 3 more flights of stares and it doesn't help that this is the fifth time you have ever climbed stairs blind. Fujiwara grumbles as he slowly climbs. I am a great Samurai warrior and if you release me from this spell demon, I will be of greater use to you. I am holding no spell over you old man, you are a blind 72 year old man who would have starved if I didn't pick you out of that collapsed street. As we finally reach the 5 floor in what remains of downtown Tokyo, we find a safe area and set Fujiwara down and proceed to unwrap my wife's binds so she can see where we are. I set up the portable camp stove and proceed to start making this evenings meal and my wife Mami/Akki screams at me in ancient Japanese. 

She says she will not eat your poison demon, as Fujiwara sits closer to the fire and sticks out his hands to get them warm. Well, she is going to starve before we reach you old home town so tell her you will eat it first to show her that it isn't poison. I don't think she trusts me either as I am with you, let alone talking in this strange language that for some reason I can understand. It's called English and it wasn't that strange a couple years ago. I hand Fujiwara a bowl as he takes a bite and hands it back to me so I can place it in front of Akki. It has been 5 days now that I finally found her again and by this point she is getting hungry. As she picks up the bowl and takes a bite, her distaste is written in her face. Typical, she never liked my cooking in the first place I laugh to myself. I finally make myself dinner and sit by the fire to get warm, while holding onto the rope to make sure she doesn't run away again. Why don't you let her go Fujiwara says, as he stares off into darkness unbeknown what he is looking at. She is my wife, that's why and I love her. Even if she doesn't remember me. Tell me again in your own words Regan-san what is going on and why can't I see? I told you three times already but once more and my tale of two worlds will be done, I hope. We are in the world 2022, you were born in 1942 and your real name is Tetsu, you are a retired monk that worked for a monastery that took you in since you were a child. She is my wife Mami, we were married in Canada, another part of the world 3 years ago. Yes, I know that but what happened? Okay as I settle in to tell the tale... 

In 2019 a sickness fell upon the earth that we called the coronavirus. It was crossing the world at an enormous speed, killing many people. By 2021 the government started giving people cures for the sickness called Vaccines. It was a special type of medicine that needed to be taken every four months. It first was given in spring in 2021, as the world started to really notice the virus mutating. Many people we not sure of it and many people lined up to get it. In the beginning the vaccine was working, the sickness was slowing down for those who took the vaccine, so those who where not taking it were dying faster than the government can handle, so they made it mandatory for everyone to take it. Yet is still wasn't taken by everyone. So one day the government decided that it will start spraying the medicine throughout the cities and towns by aerosol or gas, in these things we called planes and was quietly administered in the food. Administered? Fujiwara asked. Put in food without the person knowing. Now this medicine was a special type that was never used before and they were not truly sure what the side affects would be and as we sit now I am sure they never thought an outcome would ever happen like this. The medicine started to change people. This drug or medicine was called Mrna. Now I don't know exactly what happened Fujiwara, as I am not a doctor yet this Mrna unlocked past memories within your DNA, your history that is built in you from your father and their fathers before them. For most it unlocked memories from 2000 years ago, as told me the last thing you remember is burying your swords and going to make love to your woman before you left for war against the emperor. That is the only memory you have because your woman got pregnant that night and had another child from your seed. That child was from you, and everything you gave to the child was locked in your DNA. I had a child? Yes, and that child had many other children until you were born, well the original Tetsu was born. Blind and now too old to survive for himself. 

I don't understand, how did you not get this medicine? Well my family thought I went crazy as I locked myself in their other home, not going outside and only drinking the water and food that was canned before this sickness took effect. The let me go as they were too worried about their own family getting sick that they basically forgot about me and disowned me. It wasn't until the power went out that I finally walked outside and by that time the world had already fallen back into past memories. You can't see old man so my appearance isn't anything to you. Yet this Mrna medicine left a strange affect on those who took it. They can see, yet they do not understand the things around them. You think you are a 24 year old man in the prime of his life, when it isn't true. These are your old memories of an ancestor that has been dead for way too long.

And your wife, why does she call you demon? I think it is because I did not take the vaccine or had any affects of it. People see you and they walk past, now the moment I take off my hood they see a shadow, almost a blur in time. To them I look like a monster, and that is why we must get back to my sword teachings, if I am ever going to survive living in this place.  This city now you might remember as a small village called Tokyo, is a graveyard of burnt out buildings that scrape the sky. A fire let loose from someone's carelessness and tore through the entire place. We are huddled in what looks like an old shopping mall, yet there is nothing of value for us here. Fujiwara shakes his head, I am too tired demon to teach you the sword today. Go to your practice and let me rest. This story sounds too mysterious and it is riddled with tricks as this language you use, and there is no way I am an old man. I can still feel my strength. Those are memories old man I say to him as I grab my sword and start my stance. Even blind Fujiwara can hear my footing is wrong and corrects me as I practice my defense. After I worked up a sweat, I make sure Mami's binds are not too tight. She still looks to me in fright, I hope one day she will awake from this curse and go back to remembering me and not the 45 year old woman named Akki that she calls herself now. Fujiwara has finally fallen to sleep, and I thank him everyday for the guidance he gives me. Without that blind bastard I would never have gotten as far as I am now. He may be blind yet he fights as if the vaccine for some reason gave him back his sight. Such blinding speed and precision that he can slice a fly in mid air if it is annoys him enough. I make my bed in the corner by the stairwell. The city looks deserted yet there is still the others. The true demons that roam this land. 

It was about only 1% of the population that become these monsters, something in their DNA that unlocked some of the farthest memories the human species has. They have become wild animals, cannibals' that will not hesitate to destroy anything in their path. They wear the flesh of their victims as hunters might wear the skins of a woolly mammoth long ago. The feast on the flesh, with no memory of fire or what cooking tastes like and they seem to travel in packs, only recognized by the smell that follows them. If it wasn't for Fujiwara's great sense of smell we would have died the first time my wife escaped us. By my calculations that would leave about 1.2 million of these creatures roaming this Japan landscape. The people have built walls to stop these intruders however since most of them can't actually notice I am human like them, without my cloak I might as well be a demon roaming the land fighting monsters. And to think only a couple years ago I was in Canada, on a small island with a population of 16,000. Those numbers would have been easier to manage. 




By morning light I had fed everyone and started down the stairs when Fujiwara smelt something off in the distance. Stop he tells me and he grips his sword. They are waiting for us just over yonder. How many I ask. It smells like three in front and four around the side. I tell him to tell Akki that we are surrounded, and if she doesn't attack me, I will give her a sword to help protect herself. She is very fine with the blade as she told us one night her father taught her as she was growing up, yet she was never going to be allowed to carry one. As she cursed and spit on the ground that her father believed that a woman of stature should never have use for such weapons. She shy's away from me as I hold out the blade. She takes it as we get ready to walk out the door. From behind she smashed the hilt of the blade against my shoulder and makes a break for the road. Dammit I yell and I give chase ordering Fujiwara to stand his ground. As she is running she cuts the binds as one of these creatures dives from atop of an abandoned bus just missing her as she slices him down the middle of the chest, as she makes her way through the burnt out streets. Two of them give chase as another one dashes out in front of me. With the sword fumbling in my hand a slice the tip of its nose off. Not breaking speed the creature dives at my throat with its talon claws. Holding back his hands I knee him in the balls and toss him off me and grab the short blade from my belt and stab it in the eye socket with a wet thunk. Twisting the blade in so my hit reaches the sweet spot in the brain. Looking over, the creatures are close to grabbing distance and she does a roll confusing the creatures as they run past. With a swing she takes the head off of one and falls to her knees stabbing the blade into the other creatures ribs. Blinded by the view I didn't notice the creature about to pounce when out of nowhere Fujiwara cuts the creature is two. Thank you I say as I try to run after her. She may think she is older but in her true self she was a professional runner. As she leaves me in the dust as I cuss to myself for being so stupid, i watch her fade in the distance. 



What was I thinking as I walk back towards Fujiwara. Hurry up and start following her smell, she looks like she is walking towards a dead end from a building falling. Well she is walking into a world of trouble Regan-san, it smells bad up ahead. Shit, I say as I run towards my bags. We don't have time Fujiwara yells from behind me, as I turn around. He starts off with his trick of a blind sonar by throwing rocks in front to follow the cluttered road. I am still amazed by this skill. I look back at our belongings and say fuck it and start running towards him. I have my small pack with me, a few flares and a small gun with a handful of bullets. Leaving my cooking stove and my hunting riffle behind I run towards the dead end. I find Fujiwara hiding behind a few burnt out cars, as I slowly come to his position. Did you see hear where she went I asked? Yes I heard he go down underground. Dammit, the subway tunnels i thought to myself. As we rush out towards the downward stairs a group of nine of them emerge rushing towards us. I put my sword away and pull out my gun and start firing at the ones closest to us as 4 out of seven drop. I stumble to open the clip as Fujiwara  starts cutting threw the horde as the bodies fall like wet sacks of cement. Hurry up he says as he starts running again, stop pissing around with that firecracker and move your ass. Unable to load the gun I stuff it in my pants and make a run for the stairs. As I grab his hand he looks at me with those empty white eyes and sniffs. We don't want to go down there. 

Yes I know old man yet we have to save her. She looks as though she can handle her own as we pass two bodies on the steps. It's pitch black down there and I need your hearing. I only have two lights left and I need to save them. Okay he says but you are not going to like it. As we rush down the flight of stairs and unto what once was Tokyo station, the smell of death hits our nose like a train in my memory hitting a bird in flight I once watched from a bridge up high. 

There was still emergency lighting down here and it looks like the creatures of what I have named them cromagnons have built a nest here to keep their meat fresh. In small wooden cages they bodies of rotten corpses lay drying in dark hell. Off in the distance we hear a scream and we both rush towards the sound. Here I say as I help him off the platform to the tracks below. Be careful I say, there is many things in our way. I break open my first flare and light it as we rush into the darkness. Just in front of us we see a group of cromagnons fighting each other to get into a tiny space in the wall. She must be in there I say as the horde stops fighting and turns around to look at us. Their faces covered with shit and blood unrecognizable to the humans they once were before, they come  rushing towards us. I grab my sword as we put ourselves back to back. Are you ready old man? Shut up he says as we start fighting for our lives. Thirteen of them attack us from all sides as we slash our way through. Fujiwara working his magic as each cromag doesn't even have a moment to understand the blade that goes through. One jumps behind and bites my ear as I thrust my knife in his throat, pulling it out to get another who dove at my feet. We can still here the rest trying to get Akki and she holds her back against the wall stabbing at anything that gets close. I slip over the flare I accidently dropped as it burns my leg. I fall on my back as one of the creatures gets on top of me. With a swift slice my face is covered in blood as the body topples on me, making it hard to regain my footing. Hurry up you loaf Fujiwara yells as he kicks the body off me and turns to fight the rest. I regain my stance and take out two more with clumsy blows. Seeing that they can't get to her the remaining cromags run past us back towards their home. Knowing we don't have much time before the rest show up, I run to where she is hiding. With a look of hate she has held back the monsters as I toss the dead bodies out of her way as she swings her sword just missing my hands. I tell Fujiwara to tell her to stop it, we are not going to harm her as he pulls me back and tells her gently to grab his hand. 

With as much trust as a scared wild animal near a warm fire, she comes out of the hole to join us in this new black prison we have found ourselves in. We can't go back he tells me as the flare begins to fizzle out. I tell him we don't have much light left so he must take the lead. Being blind has its perks when the world has always been dark. Even for him who might believe he is a young man who for some reason lost his sight, his instinct is as sharp as his former self was. 

We have been walking for two hours, it seems every stairway leading up has been blocked off. Things must have been pretty bad above us as we move towards Chiba. Akki walks slowly behind us as Fujiwara resumes my Japanese lessons. I had already learned Japanese before the great reset yet this was very old Japanese and even through the language originated from the way they both speak now, to them it sounds childish and confusing. As I start stumbling at my words Akki speaks harshly calling me a fool, taking the lead she starts correcting me. It seems in her past memories she was a teacher, and a harsh one at that. As she starts correcting everything I say as Fujiwara says quiet. We stop for what seems like forever in this dark cold place when he starts running forward. What is it? Run he says, they have dogs. As we start running, I am the first to run into the train as Fujiwara stops her from colliding. Fuck I scream and blood flows down my forehead. I grab the last flare and light it as I notice we have hit another more fancier station. I look up and see we have arrived at the Ginza station. I highly rich neighborhood in Tokyo. I tell them to get to the platform as I help them both up. I look back and can hear the scramble of them rushing to get towards the light. Running as fast as we could we make our way to the fifth floor of the Ginza mall. 



Loading my gun I stand at the dead escalator until the two dogs rushing up with the four creatures in tow. Aiming my gun I shoot them like fish in a a barrel, not even giving them the chance to make it half way. I quickly reload my gun waiting for the next batch of clay pigeons for a few minutes when I look over and see a high priced liquor store with the doors still opened. Fuck it I said to them both as I ran to the store searching for something high proof and finding Bacardi 151 in the import isle. Quickly ripping my shirt and grabbing three bottles, I soak my shirt and stuff it in the bottle as  Fujiwara  tells me he hears a bunch more. These must have been the slower ones I thought to myself as I light the makeshift wick from my shirt. Akki is looking at me strangely and Fujiwara starts complaining that he can't smell them coming up with all that smoke. As they start rushing Akki grabs her sword waiting for the onslaught that is coming towards us as I toss the first bottle down lighting the escalator on fire. Quickly cracking open the bottle I take a big swig and smash the bottle over top of them as fire rains from the sky. I grab my gun and start firing at those still coming towards us. Still unable to fight them off Akki jumps in and starts slicing them as they come off like that old fruit ninja game. Fujiwara  confused by the smell and the noise backs off into the corner, the look in his face shows that this is the first time in his life he ever felt truly helpless to do anything to those he sworn to protect. Even if they are some crazy woman and a demon. After the I unload the last of my clip I jump from the top and barge down killing those who are burning alive to silence their screams. Quickly running back up I survey the room and run towards the pile of chairs  off to the side and start throwing them in the escalator shaft. Akki seeing what I was doing proceeds to help me until the small area is filled with a large pile of tables and chairs. Dropping to my knees as the Adeline rush starts to wear off, Fujiwara wonders into the store. 




Is this a Saki store he asks as the faint smell of alcohol resides in the air. Yes I say as I walk in and grab him one of the finest bottles they have and grab a bottle of some American bourbon for myself. I grab a set of Saki glasses and pour Akki one as she takes it, slowly starting to laugh as the shock takes hold and she finally realizes this isn't the world that she remembers. I am sorry Regan-san, i wasn't a lot of help there. Don't joke Fujiwara, if it wasn't for your hearing those dogs they would have gotten us for sure. I walk over to a perfume store and grab ten scented candles and light them as we huddle around the big empty mall all having a drink. Akki looks around eyes wide and says thank you for saving her. I say no problem as I get up and walk around the mall finding new supplies. When I get back from pillaging the upper class sports store and filling a bag with all the cooking needs that I left behind,  Fujiwara tells me he tried to explain to her what is going on. She looked up in her beautiful brown eyes and said I do not remember you as my husband. My husband died in the fields from an argument over refusing payment to the overlords that protected her village. And after that she promised she would never love another. Hearing that I slowly turned away as a tear ran down my eye. Shaking off the hard blow, one that hurt more than running head into a train I grabbed her and showed her the kimono store I passed while looking for supplies. I walked back and brought in some candles and a bucket I found that could hold enough water for someone to take a bath. I heated the water and set the candles and the warm water beside her with some nice soap and went back to find Fujiwara drunk and talking to himself. She sat alone in front of the mirror cleaning herself off as she took the time to relax. Something she hasn't done since this demon kidnaped her and brought her to this strange place. She came out afterwards to find us both a little tipsy. She was dressed in beautiful black Kimono while also wearing a nice set of pants. She looked at us as I laughed and she said they were more comfortable in this cool weather. After we drank some more, Akki only having a little stating that getting drunk with two men, well one that says he is a man is unlike her. 




What I could find of food was in tins, so we made miso soup with cooked dog for meat. It wasn't my idea, yet she said she wasn't going to waste the already cooked meat. Once we finished I drunkenly stumbled into the parking garage looking for a means of transportation. Finding nothing that would work, I walked back to the sports store and grabbed 2 bikes. One a double tandem and the other a a bike i attached a set of wheels on the sides to help Akki be able to ride. She thought it was brilliant and looked at me the first time with no fear in her eyes. I explained how to ride and she wanted to learn right away without the help of the wheels. In the dark down the empty halls of the mall I taught her how to ride her first bike. She was persistent and within a few hours she was asking me to remove the wheels. 

Fujiwara mocked me and said he was not going to learn. Shut up old man I said as I told him all he needs to do is just put his legs up. After a little sleep we went down to the main level and started biking towards Nagoya. The plan was simple, first we go to where Fujiwara grew up. A small farming community that never grew as the map showed me and try to find where he hid his and his fathers swords before going to war. After that we were going to go towards the coast and see if we can find anyone who might be able to remember today and the not the long ago past. When we first started riding Fujiwara  was being stubborn, yet as we went he started enjoying the wind on his face and even managed to find the peddles and give me a break from the strain of the both of us. It was awhile before we got unto the freeway as cars were littered all over the road ahead. It took us awhile on those first few days to find our bearing as the rains started to fall during the later summer months. 

As the last of the city laid behind us, the gloom of the adventure that awaited us became more forlorn. That night we camped off in a small shelter designed as a road stop. The doors were still opened and able to be locked behind us. There was no running water and what we had for supplies teetered on dry. When we awoke we found the sun was shining, Fugiwara was in an unusual sprite mood with a sudden energy I had never seen before. When I looked into his face to see a smile that must have been unknown on the original owner of the body, I saw hints of darkness in the center of his eyes. Is everything okay today? Yes Fujiwara said as he gathered his things around him in a manner of actually seeing what he was doing. More worried about Akki, I made sure she was ready for the day. Her face seemed very tired today and her look was one of deep sadness. 



Something about her face had also changed yet I couldn't get a right idea how. Is she looking older? 




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