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=2. Beginning=
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Tracy was not looking forward to a subway trip back home. It didn't help that the meeting he had to translate was very boring and buisness-y. He thought Jon had more of a fun job working with video games. Then again, Jon had fun sitting at his laptop and typing what looked like nonsence until 3 in the morning. He said it was programming, but if that was what a video game was inside, it didn't seem all that cool in the first place.



Why did Tracy get himself involved with such a geek? He didn't know that Jon made some of the games that he loved. All he knew, when they met, was that he was a really hot guy who liked role-playing AND was gay. In fact, they were both obsessed with Japanese pop culture, and they could both speak Japanese. However, Tracy had more of an advantage. He was born and raised near Kyoto, and learned Japanese before he learned English. His parents moved back to the United States before he entered first grade. Since then, he spent most of his time associating with Japanese people. It was always interesting to see a slightly taller guy with light blonde hair down to his jaw and light green eyes mixed with Japanese people. It made him seem like the Japanese albino.



"Do we have to?"



Jon, lost in his own world, glanced at Tracy. "Have to what?"



"Ride the subway."



Jon paused. Did they? "Yes, there's no other way right now."



Tracy stood in place, and folded his arms. "I'm thirsty."



Jon looked at him blankly. "A vending machine is over there, go get a drink."



Tracy was taken aback. His little angry gesture wasn't enough. However, there was a vending machine in the alley he was standing near. Why in an alley? He looked at the machine. It looked clean enough. He approached it with caution. It was simply a soda machine, nothing more. He took out the Jon's change (he stole it from the chest of drawers) and put it in the slot.



"Sooodaaa..." he hummed as he pushed the button.



Ping! A carbonated soft drink was at the bottom, ready to quench his undying thirst! He removed it and opened the top. Shaa! Tracy put the can to his lips, trying to drink, but it was empty.



"What the..." He shook the can. "There's nothing there!"



Jon looked over. "What do you mean, there's nothing there?"



"I opened it, drank, and nothing came out!" He shook the can, hoping to hear some kind of noise.



Jon, however, noticed that Tracy was not wearing the same clothes. They were slowly changing into something else. Before long, Tracy was wearing a white oxford shirt, red suspenders, black slacks, red combat boots, and a black fedora. "Nice duds. Smashing."



Tracy looked down at his clothes and screamed. A few passers-by turned their heads to see what was up, then kept walking. "Why... where... what the hell? Dios mio, they've been replaced!" He grabbed Jon by the shirt collar and dragged him deeper into the alley, to one side of the soda machine.



"What is going on?!" Tracy shook his poor victim.



Jon shrugged. "You've got me."



"You're supposed to know!"



"How come?"



"'Cause it was your change I put in the machine!"



"So this means I have to know what's going on."



"Right."



"I don't."



Tracy growled in frustration. "You're no help!"



Jon reached inside Tracy's shirt pocket and removed a business card. "Look at this."



The business card read, "Solitary Assassin Zero. Function: Killing the dead, whether undead or alive." Tracy stared at it, confused. What was he supposed to do? Go buy a gun and shoot corpses at the morgue? He flipped the card over, reading the reverse.



"Ways of death. (1) Pouring contents over confirmed dead person and saying appropriate magic phrase. (2) Aiming can at confirmed dead person and saying appropriate magic phrase. Note: Can may be materialized at will. Indestructible. To store for later use, put in pocket of pants." Tracy glanced over the instructions twice. Appropriate magic phrase? Sounded like something from an anime. He handed the card to Jon.



"Well, now I know what to do."



Jon held the card, baffled. "What?"



"Kill people. Didn't you read the back?"



"No... I didn't even look at it." Jon flipped the card over, but only saw a drawing of a soda can. He flipped it back, and saw a long line with the words 'Mahoutsukai / mahou seinen no namae' in small print underneath. Jon frowned and the 'Mahoutsukai' disappeared. "I think you have to fill in your name." He handed the card back.



Tracy now saw a space above 'Solitary Assassin Zero'. He pulled out a pen and wrote 'Sodapop Z' on the blank. He looked over the card again. "I see. Now it says, 'Sodapop Z: Solitary Assassin Zero' blah blah blah."



"I can't see the rest."



"All it said was that my function is to kill dead people."



"Function? Kill dead people? Isn't that an oxymoron?"



"Well, yeah. But..." Tracy sighed with happiness. "I'm a mahou seinen..." Little stars formed in his eyes.



"Mahou SEINEN? First of all, mahou anything is stuff from anime! Second, there's no such thing as a magical guy! Magical girl, yes. Magical boy, yeah. Magical YOUNG MAN?!?! Where the hell do you get that?"



Tracy scoffed. "Excuse me, Jon, but this is my new occupation! It's my destiny..." He stared at the business card lovingly.



Jon smirked. "Does this mean you get to wear a short, tight-fitting costume with dominatrix-style boots?"



Tracy grabbed Jon closely and nuzzled him. "Only in bed, dearie... not unless you want to now..." He snickered, an evil grin creeping over his lips. He traced his fingers over all the wrong places.



"That seems like a nice proposition..." Jon smiled happily, but then realized where they were and what was happening. "TRACY! None of that!" He pushed Tracy off of him. "Now go be a mahou seinen and magic something."



Tracy nodded. "One problem."



"Hm?"



"I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M SUPPOSED TO DO!!!"



Jon put a finger to his ear. "Yechh. What exactly did the card say?"



Tracy sighed. "Function: Killing the dead, whether undead or alive. Happy now?"



"Do you know what this means?"



"Not really."



"This means you have to kill zombies or living people."



Tracy jumped. "Zombies?" He crawled backwards, even deeper into the alley.



"Yes. I don't know about the alive part, though. I'm not sure how something can be both alive or dead simultaneously."



"Jon..."



"Yes?"



"Z-z-z-zombie whore!!" Tracy squeaked, his voice breaking. Jon turned around and saw that there was indeed a zombie prostitute. Her flesh was sagging, and decaying organs were falling from her miniskirt. Maggots burrowed holes in her skull and intwined with her hair. Her clothes, which looked as if they were once shiny and glitzy, were tattered and moth-infested. Every part of her was in disrepair, to the state of revulsion. An eyeball popped out of a socket and rolled around on the ground, past Jon, and stopped at Tracy's boots. Jon was able to hold back, but Tracy never had a strong constitution and promptly regurgitated the sandwich he had at the meeting. Seeing his own vomit, he tried to scream, but his throat hurt badly. Paranoia washed over him. He felt extremely unclean.



Jon called out, "Use the soda!!"



He looked at his hand, which was still holding the soda can. One of the instructions said to pour the soda over the person...



"Chikushou, you bitch! Soda no izumi!!" Tracy shouted hoarsly. He hurled the soda at her, and she began to fizz at the touch. All of her body parts, even the eyeball, began to melt and evaporate. All that was left was a soda can and two pieces of paper.



Jon stepped out from the soda machine. "Wow. Did you do that?"



Tracy nodded. His throat hurt even worse than before.



Jon started to wrap his arm around Tracy's waist, but Tracy bent down to pick up the paper and the soda can. "Damn. Missed a warm fuzzy moment."



Tracy looked at the paper. "Congratulations, Sodapop Z, on a job well done!" He smiled. The other paper read, "To return home, press button on bottom of can. Note: If returning with more than one person, make sure others are holding on to the primary transporter." He nodded.



"What?"



"Hold onto my hand." Jon held Tracy's hand firmly.



"Now, press the button on the bottom of the can." Tracy held the can while Jon pressed the button.



If that's all there is to being a mahou seinen, Tracy thought, then there's no way I can screw it up. As long as I have some kind of direction, and Jon... but...



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Comments

The following comments are for "Ambivalent Hourglass pt 2"
by Miku

Confusing
Parts of this were very confusing for me. It would have helped to be told much earlier that they're in a video game (if they are). And *why*. It seemed like too much of a jolting jump from the first part you posted and the second.

"...decaying organs were falling from her miniskirt."-- Hmm? Falling through the hole in her miniskirt? All I could see was her uterus and tubes falling out.

"Dios mio, they've been replaced!"-- You had a big buildup about Tracy's Japanese fluency, so that seemed out of place.

I'm still interested, though.

( Posted by: Elphaba [Member] On: October 13, 2003 )

^-^ thank you
I'm happy to get your criticisms. The story has been in my head so long and the manuscript is a bit old, so I don't always remember what I've written down and what I left out.

( Posted by: Miku [Member] On: October 13, 2003 )





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