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Author Topic: Otoko no Red Shirt - Short Story  (Read 93 times)

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Offline eldritchmaestro

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Otoko no Red Shirt - Short Story
« on: October 02, 2018, 10:14:45 AM »
Otoko no Redshirt

Today, I am going to die.

Don't take it the wrong way. It's not like I intend to die. And no, I am not suffering from an incureable disease. It's something worse than that.

The espers are fighting again.

A car flies through the air and crashes through a building. The explosion shatters nearby windows, and the sound of screaming and sirens fills the air.

The flying human in the air dressed in showy white leather clothing shouts something sarcastic at his opponent.  It seems to be a standard strength based villain. He is trying to get away with diamonds he just stole from a bank. I wish he could've stolen them succesfully so that something like this didn't happen.

The flying esper sends a blast of air through his hand. The villain withstands it, and cars behind him are sent flying and crashing into windows. More people scatter and scream.

I call them espers, but actually they are called heroes and villains.

I'm only human and naive, so I think it's foolish that they use their powers without caring for collateral damage, but if I were to be realistic, I would have to admit there is no choice.  No matter what ideal people have about how super powers should be used, the villains will always use underhanded tactics. There are simply too many people with powers, and too many people who ignore the rules for regulation to be possible.

The result is attrition. To be honest, this is a more peaceful fight than usual.

The thief launches more cars, and the flying esper deflects them, taunting him all the more. It may look like he's trying to get good views on WeTube, but the truth is one miscalculation could mean death. It was not rare for villains to have more than one power, or to use some sort of anti-power gadget against others. I understand.

But please end it quickly. I've already died twice.

Two people have been crushed under falling street lamps. An old woman, and a salary man. I experienced every moment.

Right now, 'Me' is about 150 people running and screaming for their lives. I am a highschool boy with a cellphone recording everything. I am a rough thug ushering timid people along with harsh words. I am a terrified girl cowering in a corner somewhere, I am a police officer rashly going closer to the villain to see if I can aim a shot at him, I am an office worker with shrapnel in my back because I stood in front of an exploding window. I am scared, I am excited, I am angry, I am dying.

[False Us]  is my ability. It seems to be something like a ninja's kage bunshin but not exactly that. I can multiply myself and displace other people with my own persona, sending them miles away in random areas.

Sometimes I replace civilians, but sometimes I just appear in the vicinity. The condition for activation seems to be 'I should not be seen or noticed.' So I don't have a choice on what clones I create. If I activated this ability in a military base I'd make hundreds of soldiers. If I made it in a hospital I'd be the hospital staff and the patients combined, and if I made it in hell I'd probably be demons.

By the way, the abilities are very realistic, and at this point in time I can only think of actively controlling five of them and relating to them. It's like being the manager of an army in a strategy game like Age of Kingdoms. I can leave some on autopilot, but concentrate on one.

In this state, the original Me does not exist until I deactivate the ability.

'I', the police man finally take a shot at the thief.

The thief reacts to the bullet striking him, but it simply falls off him like a dead fly. He seems to be bullet proof. The thief still feels it though. He turns around immediately and holds out a hand. A blast of fire flies out of his hand and incenerates the police man, turning him into a burning screaming skeleton. The other police men back off and take cover.

Perfect. I have made him reveal his trump card.

The hero, angered by the death of an innocent and finally seeing what he was truly dealing with swoops in and slams the thief into the ground. He holds up his left hand and gathers air, and places a dome of this air over the thiefs head.

He struggles, trying to send out fire to the hero, but in seconds his eyes roll into his head and he falls unconscious. The dome of air suffocated him in seconds, and prevented him from using any of his strength or fire.

The situation is solved. This was one of the easier ones. The incident with the assassins had been more difficult.

Sighing, I slowly deactivate my ability. The many victims and civilians slowly filter out of existence without anyone noticing. In some odd cases when people take an unnatural interest in one of my clones they hang around for days until they finally dissapear. As I said, the condition for activation and deactivation of my ability is 'Nobody should notice'.

Satisfied, I become Myself, that is, Rex Dice.

I am indeed a highschool student. I was drinking coffee when I noticed the danger of another esper fight.

I am no hero, but I thank the heavens  - or the devils - that gave me this ability. It is perfect for my trauma as someone who has been caught up in too many situations where I could only run and watch as the city was destroyed around me. Things are still chaotic now, but they have become better. And now that I can use this ability I can reduce the amount of casualties by having stand-ins.

In science-fiction tv series or horror series, there are always monsters that go on rampage and kill innocent civilians and defeat the military to make them seem dangerous. Such side characters may have one or two lines, but will quickly be killed off before the hero comes in to save the day. They are called red shirts.

This also provides the motivation for heroes to act quickly to save the day, and even though the evil thinks it is winning, they too are too preoccupied with making a lot of casualties to focus on the true threats - the heroes.

Distracting the villains, motivating the heroes and saving people - this is the service I provide by sacrificing the many Me's in the middle of these skirmishes. 

I guess you could call me the perfect red shirt.

« Last Edit: October 02, 2018, 11:05:13 AM by eldritchmaestro »

Offline Spooky Manimal

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Re: Otoko no Red Shirt
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2018, 10:47:21 AM »
Ah, that was pretty neat. It was a good narrative that gets you right into the story, also helps the way it's spaced out so you naturally just keep going down and reading. I like the idea and the whole "I" being so many people thing. The monologue is well done and it was a solid read. Neat opening scene for sure!

Offline eldritchmaestro

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Re: Otoko no Red Shirt
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2018, 11:05:02 AM »
Ah, it's actually a short story haha. I'll edit the title to say as much.

I'm stealing the style from a light novel Hero of The Shield. It's a digital novel translated into english and the language and formatting is really simple. I typed this out on-forum by the way, and it was really fun to work on haha. Sometimes I'm really just in the mood for simple fast language and easy reads. I really wish I could write like Hemingway and just focus on outputting my ideas rather than levelling up my vocabulary to boss-like levels. I guess my philosophy in writing is the same as in art.

Offline suupertramp

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Re: Otoko no Red Shirt - Short Story
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2018, 12:22:19 PM »
Awesome read and a great execution for a short story. Definitely has potential for something bigger.

I struggled slightly to get what the ability was, since you mentioned displacement I thought it was actually taking control of a bunch of actual people, then it seemed more like he creates clones based on the people in the area, which makes more sense. either way certainly very cool.
I re-read it and finally got it I hope - they create copies of the people in the area, sending the originals to random locations far away, and then take control of the copies which are in the original's original locations? Can he choose which people to displace, or is it random? what happened if he accidentally displaced the thief?

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leveling up my vocabulary to boss-like levels
the light novel style worked well, since heavy vocabulary isnt a necessity for a good read.

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I'm stealing the style from a light novel Hero of The Shield.
Funny you should mention that after your previous topic on copying :P
I think there is a manga of that? I've been reading it and it's quite fun.

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I typed this out on-forum by the way
I see you like to live dangerously :P

apart from not quite getting how the power worked, which may be my fault, I thought that was a fun read.

Offline eldritchmaestro

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Re: Otoko no Red Shirt - Short Story
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2018, 01:14:05 PM »
It was dangerous indeed... It logged me out after I finished the story. It would've been so bad.

Haha am I allowed to answer about the powers... All of the above? No? Er let's just say depending on the situation it transports certain people automatically out of danger, while it spawns others in the middle of a place. That's why some of his clones are supposed to usher out or sacrifice themselves for civilians. He can definitely target it though, and espers can't be forcefully or accidentally translocated out of a place.

I'm playing with the idea of making light novel illustrations of my own for such things. I wish I could turn it into a bigger project. There could be some fun times.

Offline suupertramp

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Re: Otoko no Red Shirt - Short Story
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2018, 02:08:09 PM »
aha ok that clears up my queries for his power for now :P

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making light novel illustrations of my own for such things
I love the style of light novel illustrations (it is me or are they all very similar style? maybe because of being black and white...), and you should totally do that.

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I wish I could turn it into a bigger project.
go for it :P

Offline Coryn

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Re: Otoko no Red Shirt - Short Story
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2018, 02:09:13 PM »
Argh. Remind me to read this thing after work. No time no time!

Will review stories upon request. My latest arc: http://goo.gl/KYgsfF

Offline eldritchmaestro

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Re: Otoko no Red Shirt - Short Story
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2018, 05:36:46 PM »
Will do will do

@Suuper haha roger roger

Offline Coryn

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Re: Otoko no Red Shirt - Short Story
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2018, 06:49:52 PM »
Cool stuff Lego! It gives off a real MHA vibe. Not sure if that's what you were going for, but all the same. Did you write this while you were at home?

Will review stories upon request. My latest arc: http://goo.gl/KYgsfF

Offline eldritchmaestro

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Re: Otoko no Red Shirt - Short Story
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2018, 07:23:57 PM »
Home as in the homeland? Nah, back overseas at the moment. If you meant at my desk then yes. I haven't mastered the art of writing stuff on my cellphone yet, though I think that'll be one of my final forms as a writer. I'd be a productive demon and a half.

I'm glad ye liked it, and that it gave off that vibe. I'm always tempted to make stuff really really dark, so if it can feel like MHA a little then coolbeans. By the by I've been reading it religiously. Good, good manga.

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Re: Otoko no Red Shirt - Short Story
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2018, 07:43:57 AM »
Homeland yeah. After all, no matter where you end up, your home town is always going to be your home town.

Funnily enough, I haven't actually read any MHA yet. It's just inescapable so I know a whole bunch about it.

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