Character Interview by Brittany
I was not ready for this to happen, not now and not ever. I missed my two best friends. They were gone now, and I’d never see them again save for those photographs I kept. That, and the videos on Joell’s phone. I can’t believe myself, holding onto that worthless piece of junk from the twenty first century, but it helped me a lot. Now, the only thing I had with me was that phone, along with my clothing and my identification card. I was trapped here in infinite darkness, and I wasn’t sure of what way to go. There was no floor to be seen, but I was on a solid platform for sure.
“Evening, Hikaru.” A girl’s voice commented nonchalantly.
I didn’t recognize that voice. It wasn’t Erune’s or Aiko’s, and it certainly wasn’t Lexi’s. It was one I had heard before, though, one that lingered in the back of my mind. Joell swore up and down that he saw her writing to him in dreams before, but Joell was not exactly the most sane person when he was alive. I turned around, a girl sitting on nothing like there was a bench there. She had crooked bangs that covered her eyebrows, long and jagged brown hair, gray eyes reflecting the small electronic tablet on her lap. Her clothing was a hiking vest, a white long sleeve underneath, a pair of dark jeans, and some tennis shoes. She never actually looked at me.
“Who are you and where am I?” I demanded.
The girl smiled to herself as she typed, “I’m nobody important, and you’re in the first Subdimensional Rift.”
“Wait,” I paused, licking my lips, “That’s real? The Subdimensional Rift isn’t just one of Hiroko’s theories?”
She looked at me and said, “Hiroko was written to be smart. Of course he’s the second one to have developed the Subdimension theory.”
“Written?” I narrowed my eyes.
I watched her eyes shine for a moment, and she ceased typing for only a second. “I’m Brittany, and I’m the person who decides whether or not your friends live or die. Congratulations.”
I decided to label this girl as a lunatic. Nobody could be deciding my fate for me, not after all the hard decisions I had to make. If she was telling me the truth, though, I would make her very sorry for taking them away from me. I paled slightly after realizing how much power she could have if she was being honest.
“Ask me anything, Hikaru.” She snapped, “I know you because I created you.”
I licked my lips. “Full name, birth date, and place of origin.”
“Easy. Hikaru Takuro Masano, or, more properly, Masanao Hikaru. You were born in the year nineteen ninety four during August, the day was the sixth. Your hometown was in Okinawa, but you and your mother moved to France, where your mom had your two French brothers: Jarvis and Jetawn.” Brittany stated that like it was common knowledge. “Your mother and stepfather were killed in nine eleven, and you woke up in the twenty second century about six o’clock in the afternoon in the year twenty one fifty nine. I never dated it on paper, but it was September ninth. Same day, same place as nine eleven, just in the future.”
I felt chills run down my spine. “To the letter.”
“Enjoy.” She growled, then turned to a more pleasant tone while looking me in the eye. “Anyways, I need to do an interview for my club, and I picked you as my victim.”
I winced slightly, realizing that meant she had control. I couldn’t get out if she actually had me in one of those Subdimensional Rifts. She knew how to put me in here, she had to know how to get me out, which meant I had to comply with her ridiculous ideas. I had to actually have an interview with this girl. I grimaced lightly, knowing that Joell would make some cheery comment about how he didn’t think that it was so bad in here even if it was creepy and smoky, and that the eternal darkness made for a good Halloween theme. A twinge of nostalgia ran through me at that idea, and I must have agreed, because a chair appeared behind me.
“Great. Well, if you do the interview, I’ll tip you off to how your brothers are.” Brittany said.
I agreed, “I’ll take it.”
“Good. Question one, when did you first meet Joell and Alexis?”
“Oh no.” I said to myself out loud, remembering the way Joell and I met. “Alexis, I met last year. She was apprenticed to Joell and I, so that’s how I met her. Joell… I met him when I was eight or something. He was cadet for The Project- Project Humanity, that is- and he crashed his Duo Latera battle mech into the woods. I was assigned to retrieve Joell from said location, and he was grinning and laughing like crashing a three billion dollar mech was absolutely fine.”
She asked, “Question two, what are each of your intelligence levels, and how do you score intellect in your time?”
“Were. Joell and Alexis are gone.” I snapped. She gave a nod, and I then said, “We score it on a scale of one to twenty. I have a fairly high level, at least a sixteen. Alexis had hers at an official fifteen, only a fraction above the majority intellect of twelve. Joell apparently had a nineteen, so he was a genius, but he wasn’t quite right in the head. He could track six different conversations at once and name every battle tech unit on either side, but he couldn’t read.”
Brittany tapped on her keyboard, writing down what I said. “Well, question three. What is the most important thing to you?”
“It used to be…” I swallowed hard, then restarted my sentence, trying to ignore the guilt in my chest. “I used to care more about my career than anything. I wanted to be General. Now that I have it, I seem to always turn around to say something to Joell or Lexi, but they aren’t there. They were the most important things i my life.”
She gave me a long moment, then continued to ask questions. “Question four, if you could change yourself in the past, what would you change?”
“I’d stop being such a workaholic. If I just stopped being so obsessed about working my way up the ranks, I wouldn’t have… I would still have my friends here. My obsessions are what got them killed. If I hadn’t followed orders to the letter, they’d still be here.”
“Here’s to the zeros, I guess.” She muttered, “Not-exactly-a-question five, name your relationships.”
I frowned, “I hate Reiner, that Dazai freak. Sure, he turned on them, but… I can’t forgive Ludwig Reiner for all the stupid things he put us through. He’s the reason we’re fighting a war. Joell, he was my best friend ever. He stuck around with me even if I was being a horrible person, and I swear he’s always with me even if he’s gone. Alexis was his girlfriend, one that I wished was mine. She wasn’t exactly sweet like Joell, but she could switch from screaming at me to giving me a hug in seconds, and I could never see what was coming with her. Hiroko, I hate seeing him without his sisters since they left for the base in Italy, but he’s a good guy. Erune and Aiko, it was hard. I wasn’t sure who was who, they were the same person a lot of the time. The only thing different was that Aiko was always making trouble, and Erune was nicer than Aiko.”
“Sure, but you missed some people.” Brittany told me.
I looked at her for a moment, then remembered. “Ah, right. I didn’t know Shaw for long, so I couldn’t tell you much, but he was with Lexi a lot. He was shipped off to Canada. Then there was him…” I glared into the darkness of the unseen floor, “I can’t believe that Adrian betrayed us, that snake! I will get him for that one day… Miss Matsuko is my cousin, she’s actually really nice.”
“Question six, what’s your biggest achievements?” She said.
I looked up, almost regretting staying. “I guess forming the Shadow Legion. Meeting Alexander Parker was a high point, too. He’s just as skilled as his sister, Alexis, was, so I gave him an invite to join the Shadow Legion.”
“Question seven, if you had remained in the past, where would you be?” Brittany asked.
I hated giving this answer. “In a grave. I would have died in nine eleven.”
“Question eight. If you could tell your brothers anything, what would it be?”
“… I…” That took me by surprise, but I knew the answer. “I would say, ‘you two need to look out for each other. You were given a destiny, and if that destiny is without me in it, so be it. Just never give up.'”
The blue eyed girl smiled slightly, “So be it. Question nine. Explain why you joined The Project.”
“I had nowhere else to go. I was angry. I wanted to believe I had power over something.” I murmured, “I was seven, I passed the tests in under a full year. I was a pilot before I was out of elementary school, and I had taken it upon myself to study on my own accord. I wasn’t going to be stupid, but honestly, being stupid was the least of my worries.”
Brittany asked, “Question ten, how did you change the most?”
“I used to be haughty and self-absorbed. I was only focused on getting somewhere in life, and that took out the purpose of life. Now I’m learning to slow down.” I admitted aloud, feeling the anger and guilt from years of shutting people out lifting, and I physically felt lighter.
She raised an eyebrow, “What is life, then?”
“Life is…” I licked my lips, realizing how difficult it was to try and explain it. “It’s… like a train that has no destination. You can’t see the ending coming, even if you want it. Half the time, you can’t see what’s coming ahead, and other times, you have an assumption of how it might end, but you’re wrong. Sometimes, the train comes off the rails and you’re left to pick up the pieces of it. It’s when you don’t know what to do that you finally try to stop the train, but it has no brakes on it. When you finally find that unknown destination you were seeking, you just…” I felt my mouth get dry. This philosophy wasn’t mine to say. It was Joell’s. “You just find yourself in a better frame of mind. Life’s not fair, but it’s beautiful. I promise you it will always be beautiul. I choose to… enjoy the ride.”
Brittany smirked to herself, “Isn’t that what Joell told you while listening to Relient K or The Maine?”
“Yes. Now, my information on my brothers?” I leaned forward, wanting to hear this information, but more or less wanting off the topic of Joell.
She said, “Jetawn’s been watched over by Jarvis until he died. Jarvis then joined the Shadow Legion. Your family is basically scattered across space and time thanks to 9/11 and a bad incident in two thousand fifteen.”
“What? Jetawn’s gone?!” My breath caught.
She shrugged and nodded, “Pretty much.”
“I… I don’t know what to say…”
“Then say nothing at all. That’s what you always do.”
After a long moment of silence, she began typing again. My vision started to blur, her silhouette slowly fading into the darkness, and eventually she became nothing but the darkness she was surrounded by beforehand. When I woke up, I was sitting in my bed, and I was holding a clipboard. I looked around. Maybe it was all just a dream? No, when I looked down, she had scribbled on my notebook.
“Thank you, Hikaru. Jarvis will be fine.” The scrawled mess read.
I stood up and walked out of my room, clutching Joell’s phone in my hand carefully. I needed to find Hiroko. He was probably working in the engineering bay, as he always was. I sped up and made a left turn through the pale blue stained glass double doors, ignoring everyone who was talking to me about work. They should know by now that I want nothing to do with work since Joell and Alexis died, but they obviously never got the memo. That didn’t matter right now, though.
“Hey, Hiroko? You mind running that ‘Subdimension theory’ by me again?”