The Penumbra Extinction

Welcome to Earth

It's an Overrated Place

Maybe seeing all this in writing will help me not go completely crazy.

See.

Writing.

On a smartphone.

NONE OF THIS SHOULD MAKE ANY SENSE. The part that freaks me out the most is that it does for a good part of me.

A part that I didn’t have. I just got it when I arrived. All these thoughts and knowledge that just came in.

I CAN SEE.

So far, overrated, glasses or not. But that might be that secret organization bunker places are, after all, not much to show. Or just part of the same foreign thoughts that let me know that this is Earth and I’m a US citizen of Japanese ancestry. I have a Washington State driver’s license. I know what that means. I know what a pizza is and what trucks are and that Japan is a country across the Pacific Ocean, just like homeland but modern and more… mundane?

Sadly, being in the headquarters of a secret organization that manages travel between different worlds is leaving me cold in light of everything else. Light…

And I’ve lost so much in translation. I can’t feel the Flow anymore. I miss the Flow. I could feel what things were when my mind was clear. I close my eyes and clear my thoughts and I can barely keep myself from tripping over everything. Now I can only see things…

I have the nagging suspicion that I wouldn’t be able to pluck a shamisen to save my life. I may be just glad that they exist around here. I don’t even know my own language, let alone how to tell the old stories. Or the stories themselves…

Yet… does this place have a gym? I’m afraid that of all of Owari’s teachings, only the deadlier ones came here with me. I don’t like what that means. Neither would she if she knew. A rather impractical thing to know around here, going by all of my new memories.

Let’s take a deep breath. Or ten.

I am Hajime Hanako. The flower of new beginnings. Born Sakaguchi Shizuka in the City of Crossroads, blind from birth, given away by my family, eventually became the apprentice of the Courtesan Owari, the Lady at the End. When she died of sickness I fulfilled her last contract and hit the road, becoming a traveling entertainer. It was a new beginning, a new name. I would travel where the wind took me and I could find warm bed and food by my skills.

That is all still true. That is still me.

And the winds have taken me to places I couldn’t even fathom. It is more than I could have wished for when I began anew.

So much to see in Earth. But Alan and Thomas seem intent on staying on Earth as shortly as possible. Let’s then travel to new worlds and embrace them, a new beginning in each and every one, whichever way I perceive them.

A few notes to keep around in case my memory plays games on me:

- I am still no warrior. Nagao’s honorable games of warrior honor aren’t something I ever planned on playing. And they still feel a terrible way to inform your life. I feel dirty spilling blood for such trifling reasons. Dirtier than usual after blades are involved.

- Speaking of Nagao, I’m hoping he’ll grow tired of waiting back in Toshishio and leave. His interest was giving me a growing unease. There may be more to him than appears. He’s no slouch, but he has a knack for being too convenient and not fighting the truly hard fights.

- I am completely sure the thoughts above came with me from the homeland and have remained the same.

- If Amal wants to be a daughter figure, she should figure out how to treat a father figure.

- I get the impression that Amal hasn’t grown up in a normal family. Not that I have first hand knowledge of how that goes. Yet if her dreams of the old lady in white and the Ouroboros are an indication, everyone knows that they aren’t folks known for a healthy growing up experience.

- These Estate folks are far too accommodating. Since I’m sure you’re reading this, hi! I’m sure they mean well after all.

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