Chapter 1 - Amidst debris


Friday 3rd April 2015 midday


Completely exhausted by the long train journey the siblings finally arrived home.

 “I’m hungry” was the first thing on Rins mind as she walked into the house. Saito needed to think for a moment, “Frozen pizza?”. The blue haired girl made a face and moaned, “I was gone for a year and really can’t stand convenience food anymore.”

 With a grumbling stomach she went to the kitchen, to have a look inside the fridge, which she closed again immediately while puffing her cheeks.

 “Where is dad? Did he barricade himself again?” the younger one asked her brother in disbelieve. He only grinned crookedly, to show her she was right.

 “Such an uncaring father” she mumbled upset, while passing her brother and tried to get her suitcase up the stairs to her room.

 The stairs where right next to the kitchen. Across the staircase you could see a door. It wasn’t very clear, if the room behind it was a library or a living room, because there were many bookcases filled with reference books, textbooks, novels, thrillers and even mangas. In Addition, there were a small sofa and a small older TV in the room. If you followed the hallway, past the room, you came to the front door.

 But Rin wanted to go upstairs, and so she pulled her unmanageable suitcase step by step with an angry growl. The blonde stood by the bottom of the stairs and watched all of this unfold. Shaking his head because of her stubbornness he finally gave a hard breath, “Would you like my help? Just say something.” “I can do it on my own” the girl noticeably groused. The young man couldn’t stand to watch her anymore and helped her, “It’s not my fault dad is doing his best at staying away again. But believe me, he missed you just as much as I did.”

 With a little grin he finally settled the suitcase in the first floor, petted the frustrated blue haired girls head and went back to the first floor.

 The high school student pushed her suitcase along the left side of the stairs, to get straight to her room. On her way she passed the bathroom on her right. Across from the bathroom, on the other side of the stairwell, was the bedroom from her father, which he rarely used and next to it, on the same side of the wall as Rins room, was Saitos room.


 Rins Room was really narrow and looked small. Probably because it was filled with quiet a lot of stuff. The furniture consisted of a relatively large wardrobe, a slightly wider bed and a corner desk. Next to the desk was a large bookcase with countless mangas. Furthermore, she had a small TV table with a somewhat older flat TV on top.

 Bummed, the girl fell on her freshly made bed. She couldn’t believe her dad didn’t even care that she was back. It was pretty normal that he locked himself in the basement for weeks at a time when he thought he found something interesting. He was a scientist and build himself a big lab in the basement. Rin couldn’t even say how exactly it looked down there or what exactly he tried to find. As a small child she went down there once, crying because she hurt herself. The man was furious with her and yelled that she was never allowed inside the room again, because of the machines and other stuff. Since then, the girl didn’t have the guts to even go near the basement. So, it was impossible for her to reach her dad, once he was down there.

 “He could have at least remembered when I would be back.” she had tears in her eyes, “I mean nothing to him.”


“Rin can I come inside?” shortly after, there was a knock on her door and Saito walked in. The blue haired girl didn’t even have a chance to answer. She didn’t really get what was going on, because she was still half asleep. Apparently, she nodded off while thinking.

 “I made us rice omelet” the blonde wanted to call his sister to the kitchen for dinner. Her blue eyes started to shine, “Really? With cheese?” “Of course, one Rin-Special” the young man laughed. With that information his sister was faster in the kitchen than he could look. If it was about food, Rin always was the first to be there.


“By the way I ordered your new school uniform” Saito spooned some rice omelet in his mouth, “You just have to go to the store for a quick fitting. Only then we will get the uniform.”

 “The one from the Suzuki Academy?” there was a spark of hope in Rins eyes. “No, the one from Aehara High School. It was your own fault, that it didn’t work out with the elite academy” explained Saito. “I should have never excepted the sport scholarship abroad. It would have been better to just accept the one from Suzuki Academy” mumbled the girl annoyed. The brother only shrugged his shoulders, “Well, it’s your own fault, if you neglect school and your grades get so bad, that you lose your scholarship.” “No reason to throw it in my face, you meanie” annoyed she crossed her arms in front of her chest, “I still don’t’ like the Aehara-shit-store.”

 The blue haired girl really couldn’t lie about not being on top of her studies while abroad and managing the hard, daily training as well. Also, she wasn’t the brightest to begin with, so even the English language, which was a basic requirement to hold a conversation in that country, was a hazard for her. In retrospect, she wasn’t really sure why she even made the decision to go abroad.

 In the afternoon she made her way downtown to the tailor, because she had to get her already waiting uniform fitted. On her way she got a queasy feeling. Even though she was only gone for one year, Aehara still felt foreign. It seemed like the city changed in its core. Although she couldn’t really see anything that had changed in her home town. Only the queasy feeling stayed.

 As she finally reached the tailor, it was her bad luck that the uniform didn’t fit and was way too big. It hung on her frame. Because of the stress in the last few months she lost a bit of weight. She didn’t even notice. With an appointment for the next day, the girl said her goodbyes and left the store. While doing so, she didn’t watch where she was going.

 With a dull thud the door closed behind her and Rin was left speechless and frozen, “W-what…what happened just now?! Where the hell am I?!” Just then the girl noticed the floor-length grey-brown cloak with a hood, which the wind blew from her head, “And where did that come from?!”

 Panicked she turned around but the tailor store, which should be behind her, wasn’t there. It disappeared into thin air. Instead, the blue haired girl stood in the middle of a rubble field, where nobody could be seen far and wide. Even the weather matched the debris with pitch-black clouds in the sky and if you looked in the distance, you could see lightning, shortly followed by loud thunder. Besides the loud grumble from the sky and the hissing winds, there was complete silence. Dust whirled around and it looked like it was going to rain any second.

 “This is a bad joke, right?” the girl trembled and hugged her upper body with her arms “What is going on? This is even more scary than the dream with the water torture and creepy Inko with his tarot cards.”

 Another icy bust of wind got her to tremble even more and cough as well, because a cloud of dust blew in her face. She needed to leave. She needed to wake up, so the dream could end. But how?

 To cover herself, she pulled the hood over her head.

 “It’s just a dream…It’s just a dream…” again and again the girl repeated the words and trembling put one foot in front of the other.

 What happened here? Was she still in Aehara? And if not, what was this before? A City? So many questions where flooding the girls head, but she didn’t have the answers. Answer seeking, she went forward and it started to rain like expected. It was a heavy rain, which soaked Rin to the bone. Hurried she looked for shelter. Some kind of debris, where she could hide. No matter what debris.

 It didn’t take her long to find a small hideout between chunks of debris, where she could crawl inside. Completely done with everything she fell on her butt and slumped down.

 “Let it finally end. I want to wake up” begged the girl and plaintive had to bite back tears. After she heard a quiet whimper, Rin flinched and looked around her mini cave.

 “What the hell” her eyes widened in disbelief, as she found a little girl hidden in the darkest corner. Quickly the blue haired girl moved towards the little one, “Are you fine? What happened? Where are your parents? What’s your name?”

 Without taking a breath she bombarded the girl with questions. To her astonish, the little girl looked unharmed and healthy. She had dark blonde hair, which looked a little bit brown. A small portion of hair was bound in two pigtails on the sides of her head. The rest of hair hung open. Rin couldn’t see her eyes, because she kept wiping tears from them. The girl wore a light-coloured dress, which was very clean and unscathed to Rins amazement. Just then the blue haired girl noticed the bird laying in the crying girls lap. He was blue-black and seemed to be sleeping or was he…Rin swallowed.

 “Hey, don’t cry” she softly tried to console the little girl.

 It seemed to help a little, because she finally began to say something with a shaking voice, “Onii-san…he said that you would come.” Confused, the spoken to girl tilted her head to the side and tried to understand, “Who? How would he know?” While the blonde-haired girl continued to wipe at her teary eyes, she stuck her left fist in Rins direction, “Here. He said you would come to get this.” Still with no clue, Rin looked at the girl in front of her and put her hand under her fist hesitantly. As a result, she let go of a gemstone on a chain. It fell in the hand of the blue haired girl.

 “Okay?” she eyed this thing, “And what am I supposed to do with it?”

 She couldn’t go on, because one of the debris above the girls moved. The older one grabbed the younger one just in time to flee their makeshift cave. The same moment the huge chunks of debris collapsed and the small cave was gone.

 Quickly she put the blue gemstone in the pocket of her trousers. With the girl and dead looking bird in her arms, Rin ran through the pouring rain, “Don’t worry, I will find a new shelter. You will be fine.”

 She didn’t even believe her own words, but she couldn’t let the little one know. After a while she discovered a door, leading to a house. Well, not really a house, more like heap of rocks with a ground floor underneath. Without thinking about it, Rin turned the key in the door and stepped inside the room. Suddenly she was wrapped in a bright light, which made her stumble and fall to the floor. The girl in her arms slowly started to fade and vanished completely. Only the strange bird remained. The bird started to glow in a bright light and Rin had to cover her eyes to not turn blind.

 Not a second later Rin felt a heavy weight thrown on her and also heard a lot of voices. Right away the girl tore her eyes open and recognized the precinct and the tailor store where she was before. A weight lifted off her chest and she took a breath of relief. The nightmare of a daydream was finally done and the strange cloak was gone as well. It took a moment till Rin realized the little boy laying on her lap. He seemed unconscious.

 “What the hell” flinched the blue haired girl, “Where did you come from?”

 The little man was approximately eight to ten years old and had black-light blue tousled hair. The hairline black and the rest light blue.

 Furthermore, he looked rough and scratched. Not only were his clothes completely in tatters, no, he had wounds on his whole body. What happened to him?

 Through soft shaking, she could wake the black-light blue haired boy, who looked at her tiredly through dark grey eyes.

 A few pedestrians already stopped and looked at them curiously, but not even one offered help or tried to call an ambulance. “Don’t worry little man, I will call an ambulance” Rin tried to rummage in her pocket and search for her phone.

 “No” panicked he grabbed her arm “I will be fine. You don’t need to worry.” “I don’t really believe that” nipped Rin, “Who are you? Where do you live? Where are your parents? I will bring you to them.”

 A little plaintive the little man stood up and brushed the loose dirt off his clothes. “I’m Skye. And don’t talk such gibberish. I just said you don’t need to worry. Also, you will not find my parents.” lightly laughing he made a move to leave.

 “Hey, wait!” the girl jumped up and followed him, “Let me help you Syke-kun. Do you really think you will get rid of me that easily?” “Yes, I believe that” he answered drily, “And now leave me alone. I urgently need to find someone.” Slightly limping the small boy disappeared into the crowd and Rin stared after him frozen.

 “Skye…strange kid” scratched Rin her head “Even though he is small, he acts really mature. And stubborn! I really don’t get how he can even move with these wounds. Such an idiot. He can do what he wants then.”

 Offended, she crossed her arms in front of her chest, while thinking about her dream again. Only then she realized, that she was drenched from head to toe. From the heavy rain?

 “What?! Maybe it wasn’t a dream? Imposs…!” she paused and suddenly panicked completely, “Hä?! Where are…?! Why…?!” Rin couldn’t finish her sentence, as she patted her chest area completely hysterical.

 “Gone…!” abruptly, she froze. Because of her panicked yelling passers-by where again looking at her noisily. Surely by now they were thinking that the girl was batshit crazy.

 With a lowered head and a lopsided grin, the blue haired girl finally moved to get out of the crowd and to a quieter place.

 “I don’t understand anything anymore. What is happening here?!” small tears were gathering in her eyes.

 She didn’t even want to look closer at this whole thing, because while walking she could feel something unusual down her waist.

 After just a few minutes she stood breathless in front of a public restroom and gathered her breath, before going into the ladies’ restroom.

 There she looked at herself in the big mirror above the sinks. “They are really gone.” the blue haired girl stared at her reflection.

 Again, she touched her flat chest with both hands and didn’t know what to think.

 “Oh god!” she suddenly widened her eyes and franticly moved to touch her now only shoulder-length hair with both hands.

 But the worries about her hairstyle didn’t last long, because she quickly probed her hands against the sink and put her face very close to the mirror. A pair of yellow eyes now looked back, “Damn what happened to my eyes?! How is it even possible to have such piercing yellow eyes?!” 

 Briefly she examined them, before she moved from the mirror and looking concerned said, “I don’t know what is happening right now? Who am I? When did I cut my hair? Where are my blue eyes? And what the hell is inside my trousers?!”

 With a mixture of dread and anger Rin locked herself in a cubicle with a door slam and pulled her trousers down in a flash.

 Then you could only hear a shrill deafening scream, which even chased away the birds in the tree tops.

 Seconds later, Rin came stomping out of the public restroom. With fast, big steps and lowered eyes she quietly walked away.


 “What did you do this time? You just were supposed to go to your uniform fitting” eyed Saito his drenched sister, which had just entered the hallway.

 “She was too big. It rained and there was a thunderstorm” the blue haired girl said in all seriousness. The brother eyed her with a tilted head, because for hours the sun was shining and there was no rain seen anywhere. “I think the jet-lag is going to your head. Go take a warm bath before you get sick.”

 “Who am I?” asked Rin with a dead serious expression, which startled her brother, but mainly confused him.

 “What? Who should you be? You are Rin, my little sister” the blonde didn’t get the question. “No”, she moved closer to him, “You have to be blind. My hair is suddenly shorter, my eyes are crazy yellow, my breasts are gone and then there is…well...”

 With blushing cheeks, she looked sheepish to the side and moved both hands in front of her crotch. Irritated, the young man looked at the girl, until he finally realized. There really was something wrong, and he tried to piece together the rest of her sentence, “What? There is what?”

 “Well…I…” embarrassed and bright red she looked carefully up at the blonde. “Just tell me” Saito shook her shoulders, “I don’t know you to be so lost for words. What happened?”. Tears were gathering in her yellow eyes, “I don’t know, but I’m not me anymore. There was an endless rubble field and a small child. Then a thunderstorm came and drenched us. When I woke up from that dream, I suddenly was a boy!”

 While talking, Rins voice was getting louder and shakier. Tears were streaming down her face and it was close to impossible for her to see anything.

 “Calm down” the blonde tried to get the situation under control and hugged his sister firmly, “Of course, you are still you. My little sister. There has to be an explanation for all of this. I will be there for you and try to solve this.”

 The calming words of the man gave the girl some hope and slowly she started to calm down. In spite of everything Saito still wanted to look closer at the phenomenon, just to make sure Rin hadn’t concocted anything stupid again. Although he had to admit that he hardly believed that she could suddenly put on such a perfect act for a silly prank.

 “Can I open my eyes again?” it came hesitantly from the blue haired girl.


She stood in the bathroom with a towel tied around her, while holding both hands in front of her eyes. Saito snorted while blow-drying her hair, “You didn’t have to close them to begin with. I told you a thousand times.” “But…” quarrelled Rin.

 “Just open them. What could happen?” complained the blonde, “I’m not your babysitter.”

 Silent, she endured the provocative words from her brother, where she normally would have fought them, lowered her hands and gloomy looked to the side while blushing.

 Her brother had insisted that she took a warm shower to prevent her from getting sick. Although it was easier said than done, because Rin was against that vehemently and so the young man had to take over. The whole time the girl had her hands in front of her eyes and made his task even harder.

 Furthermore, she was allergic to large amounts of water, which made her fearful reaction not better in the slightest.

After what felt like a lifetime, both finally emerged from the bathroom. Rin threw herself absentmindedly on her bed. Saito walked down the stairs, after leaving his sister with some encouraging words.

 He wanted to research in the library and look through the books for answers. Secretly he was more worried than he let on about Rin, but he couldn’t admit it to her. Of course, Saito had panicked as well, but he couldn’t load that on his distraught sister as well. Someone had to keep a clear head.

 He just couldn’t grasp what was going on and how he was supposed to undo these strange events. There was nobody he could ask. The whole story was too surreal and absurd for that. They would rather declare him crazy and instruct him.

“Hopefully she’s doing reasonably well,” he snapped one of the books shut and looked out of the library window.

 Because of her long day and the whole journey Rin was bone tired and so it didn’t take long for her to find herself in dreamland. She moved back and forth a few times, but didn’t wake up from it.



Velvet Room


Again, I heard the rippling water and soothing melody. At the same time there was the smell of fresh rain…

 Panicked, I tore my eyes open and like I thought I stood in ankle-deep water back in the blue torture chamber.

 “Oh no!” I moaned. “Nice greeting” there was a childlike voice. I recognized a certain undertone in it.

 Right away I looked around and gazed into a pair of yellow eyes, belonging to a small girl. She was a head shorter than me, but stood with legs apart and arms crossed in front of her, while staring at me.

 Fascinated from her slightly mussed and long platinum-blonde hair, I eyed her. She had it tied together, but I could still see that it would reach to her knees. This kind of hair colour was rare. On her head she had a blue hat with a small black sign and wore blue arm warmers, clipped to her blue top. That was tucked into black shorts, which in turn were held up by black suspenders. Under that she wore a blue-black-white checkered leggings and black shoes reaching over her ankle. She also had a white scarf wrapped around her neck and a white belt casually over her shorts. In her hand she held a tablet.

 “And who are you, shorty?” irritated I asked her. “Who is short? I’m a resident of the velvet room,” she answered me harshly, “My name is Jayce.” “Aha” I was not really interested and kept looking around the room, for that strange guy. As soon as I found him, I hurried through the water to him, “Inko!”. “Welcome, dear guest” he greeted me joyfully. Annoyed I put both hands on his table and closed in on him, “Our conversation from last time wasn’t finished!” “What do you think you are doing? Talking to my master like that?!” the brat pulled me back by my shirt, “And what do you mean with Inko? His name is Igor! IGOR!”

 To get it in my head, she said it again emphatically, but I wasn’t really interested in his name. I just wanted to know what was going on here.

 “Hey, you surely know what is happening here and why I suddenly turned into a boy, right?” I ignored the kid and spoke to that old man.

 “It seems like your journey started” he said confusing stuff again, “Have a look in your pocket.”

 Confused I looked in the pockets of my shorts, which I put on before sleeping. What should be in there?

 “Eh?” was the only sound coming from my lips as I pulled a golden key and the blue gemstone from my pocket. How did these things get in my pocket? Most of all I wondered what kind of key that was. Which door did he belong to? I thought hard because he seemed very familiar to me, but I couldn’t grasp from where.

 “What am I supposed to do with this key?” I still eyed that thing. Igor grinned, “He will open doors to new worlds.” “What?” annoyed I looked at him, “These riddles are getting on my nerves!” “You will see where he will lead you,” was my only answer, which didn’t help me at all.

 And I still had to figure out what this gemstone was all about.


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