24 Mar 2013


I should finish this drink soon, I remember I have something to attend to afterwards... a meeting, I think. I'll come back another time to enjoy the rest that this coffee shop has to offer.

Was this place always this cold? I mean, I do like the coolness of the air here, but today seems unusually chilly. The jacket I'm wearing seems to do little. Now where am I supposed to head to... wait, what do I mean "where am I supposed to head to"? I know where I'm supposed to go! It's just along this winding alley here. Geez, I've taken this path for months already.

Oh wait, I remember now. Some silly appointment with a client complaining about some trivial problems. Even on a Saturday I can't rest. Well given the profession I've landed myself in, it can't be helped...

"Sorry to keep you waiting."

"Nah, it's okay. It's only been a minute. I've had clients way worse in punctuality."

Short black hair, bright eyes, pink shirt and red blouse, with an ordinary brown leather handbag... she doesn't look like somebody plagued with problems she couldn't handle. So why me then?

"You're thinking why I picked you, right? Frankly because the others have failed, and you're the remaining option I have."

"Well then, I'm guessing it's not because you have faith in my ability."

"Not quite. I know what you're capable of. But I also need someone resilient enough to endure the journey, and return safely."

"You're asking me to be a guinea pig?"

"If you want to put it bluntly, yes. But somebody has to do it, otherwise we'll have absolutely no information to work with."

Sigh. This really is starting to feel less and less worth the measly pay I get from this.

"Fine. So when do we star—"

Did something just explode? I swear I just heard a boom. 

"I guess we start now. Let me pass this to you first."

She quickly rummages through her handbag and puts a monarch butterfly charm in my hand.

"Don't get fancy ideas about luck or love. That's a special tag to make sure we can monitor you over there. Now move!"

More explosions. People are running away in the opposite direction that we are sprinting. Funny, knowing how unstable this world is, you'd think that the residents here would be less panicky here after seeing the weird phenomena that has been occurring. 

And I'm supposed to be part of the plan in stopping this crazy crap from happening. Well, at least stop it from happening too often.

"...so how am I supposed to pass through?"

"Try to find a spot of weakness. A shimmering, a ripple, anything that suggest a vulnerable area that you can dive into."

More shattered windows and demolished buildings. This beast is getting quite rampant.

"Alright, so what have we got here...?" She says that like she's browsing through a shopping catalogue. Not like she'll actually want to buy that hulking mass of black slime, with its long dangerous arms that are still slashing through the infrastructure like butter.

"Go ahead, I'll cover you. Just find a point of entry quickly!" 

She quickly takes out a pair of black pistols from her handbag. Looks can be deceiving in her case. No time to think though. I just quickly run towards the beast. 

Right arm coming in. I do a swift maneuver and dodge the swinging arm. 

Left arm from above. Roll to the side. Bits of gravel fly from behind as it crashes on the ground. I can hear her dealing out waves of bullets at the beast.

...there! A little warping right in the middle of the belly. This is going to be fun.

"Hey! Before you go in..." she's blaring in that communicator on my right ear. How did she even connect to it???

"Yeah what? Make it quick! The portal may not last too long."

"Firstly, your communication devices will NOT work on the other side. Secondly, your memory may be warped a little, but you have to focus. We don't want to lose another guy in there."

"Anything else?"

"Try to retrieve as many of our lost personnel as you can, if you manage to keep yourself together. We can still gain data from them. And one more thing..."


"Come back safely."

...is she feeling really worried for me? But we've just met—


Ow! She nearly fried the communicator! Fine then, here goes nothing...

I leap into the ripple, expecting to feel the disgusting slime enveloping around me soon...

Huh? I don't feel anything. It's like I just jumped into space—

"Good luck."

Did her voice change? Gah, probably weird space effects in this portal. Whatever, just need to remember what my mission is, who the others are, and who I am...

Wait. Who am I?

Uh oh.

Hope I'm still in one piece when—

...uhh... how long have I been asleep... what time is it?

Oh. It's still like 5 minutes before I have to get up.

Goodness. It felt like an eternity in my sleep. Too bad I don't remember what I was dreaming abou—

Wait. I do kinda remember bits and pieces.

...black slime?

...a girl...

..."complete the mission"... what mission? 

Ah, probably just a ridiculous dream. What does the weather outside look like no—

Is that a... monarch butterfly on the windowsill?