Chapter 1: The Present Future
"…was seen entering the Southern most part of the city near-"
"Hey! I was watching that!"
Akihiko Wakahisa heard his Father complain as the television was switched off while he came down the stairs. That morning would be his first day of school since he had gotten suspended a week ago. He had gotten into a fight with another boy, and the school suspended both of them for it. But the punishment didn't end with Masaki High School's suspension, as soon as his Mother learned about this, Akihiko was also grounded. Even though his punishment was officially over at the school, his punishment at home wasn't. As he walked down the stairs it was clear that he still wasn't allowed to watch T.V.
"Mama, I learned my lesson." Akihiko groaned as he entered the Kitchen.
His Mother gave a disapproving eye towards Akihiko's knuckles which were still bruised. "I'll believe that once your hands are healed up. Until then, no phone, no internet, no T.V."
"Don't you think you're being a bit harsh, dear… I mean with all that's going on-" His Father tried to defend him.
"Katsuhiko, don't undermine me in front of our son." Her Mother snapped. She always was the one who ruled the house.
"You're on your own kiddo."
"Thanks Pops." Akihiko sighed heavily. "Anyway… I'm running late so I better be off."
"Hold on." Mama stopped him. "You still have time. Sit down and eat."
It seemed like his Mother had seen right through him. He had wanted to leave the house as soon as possible to catch up with his friends, but it seemed that Mama was hell-bent on making his grounding stick as long as possible. So Akihiko ate his breakfast as fast as he could, which wasn't all that bright of an idea as he ended up choking on some toast crumbs that went down the wrong pipe. When he had finished his meal he gave his Mother an expectant look, wondering if it was safe for him to leave.
"Fine!" His Mother had read his mind. "But I don't want you fooling around after school. I want you to come straight home."
"Don't take that face with me. After you broke that boy's jaw you no longer are an innocent angel."
"But he deserved it!" Akihiko must of complained for the hundredth time.
"Do you want to be grounded another week?"
Akihiko shut his mouth. Why was his Mother being so stubborn on this?
"Have a wonderful day at school." Her Mother said coldly, indicating that Akihiko could leave.
Akihiko didn't waste any more time. He grabbed his Bento Box (a Tupperware-like lunch box), and quickly escaped his prison. The day was a gray one, dark and cloudy, but to Akihiko it looked like a beautiful Spring day. As he stepped outdoors he looked around his house, wondering if his best friends were waiting for him. Sadly he didn't see them. Resigning himself for a lonely walk to school, Akihiko exited his front gate and started the road alone.
He found the streets oddly vacant for a Monday Morning. There was rarely a car driving pass, and if that wasn't strange on it's own there also was next to no pedestrians on the sidewalk. Usually he'd see some fellow Masaki students walking to school, but for whatever reasons he only saw one boy a head of him. When he arrived at the school itself it was just as vacant as the streets. His own homeroom only had eight students, and he just barely made it to class on time. Thankfully his friends, the twins, were there.
The Takei Twins were a brother and sister. They actually lived relatively close to his house, so they were a familiar presence in his house. Even though they were separated by gender, they looked very much alike. But if that wasn't enough to make them a special attraction, the pair were also haafu, or half-japanese/half-canadian. The sister, Hana, had this exotic look to her that made all the boys want her, while the same exotic look for the brother, Hiro, came off as intimidating. Regardless Akihiko was one of the few that had connected well with the novelty of the two being haafu, and because he didn't treat them different, they bonded with him.
"Yo." Akihiko waved at them as she took a seat. "It's been a while, hasn't it?"
"Yeah." Hiro agreed. Both twins spoke with a slight accent. "We tried to visit you a few times, but your Mom was being scary."
"She's really mad." Akihiko told them. "She said she's never been more ashamed of me."
"But it wasn't your fault that you got into that fight, Aki-chan" Hana protested. "Just because you won doesn't mean you started it."
"I told her that, but she doesn't care. I guess she would have preferred if I let myself get beat up." Akihiko shrugged.
"Don't say that." Hana dismissed that argument. "She loves you."
"I know, but still…" Akihiko complained. "I wasn't allowed to play any games, watch TV, get online…nothing. She even took my phone. It felt like prison."
"That's rough." Hiro sighed a bit. He scratched his dark cheek with his fingernail. He always came off as distant, which added to the myth that he was an intimidating person. Even with Akihiko and Hana around he always took the backseat to them. The reality was he simply wasn't confident in his people skills, so he came off as being distant. Akihiko knew he agonized over trying to sound intelligent, and when he felt he didn't he retreated into himself.
"Wait, if you were locked up in your house, does that mean you don't know about… about them?" Hana suddenly sat up.
"What do you mean?" Akihiko looked at Hana, wondering who in the world she could be talking about.
"T-The aliens?" Hana asked with questioning eyes. "Your Mom told you about them, right?"
"Aliens?" Akihiko laughed. But he stopped almost at once as the Twins weren't laughing. That was an odd thing to joke about. Hana was the more outgoing of the siblings, but her jokes tending to make sense. Joking about aliens out of the blue was just plan odd. But the longer he looked at her, the more serious her face face. "You're joking, aren't you?"
"No." Hiro confirmed, but Akihiko was still skeptical. The longer this went on he was sure that they had planned this out beforehand and were just sticking to the script. He wouldn't put it passed the twins to cook up some story. But aliens? Couldn't they come up with something more believable?
"Three days ago an alien ship from space showed up." Hiro continued. He didn't seem as distant now that he had something he could talk about. "It's hovering over New York City right now. It's been all over the news."
"I was locked up in my room, remember?" Akihiko reminded him. Hiro was always a bit slower than Hana was."Well it's why no one's coming to class." Hana explained. "Lately the space ship has been sending out these probe things. From what the News says, it looks like they are scanning every teenager on the planet. Nothing's happened other than that. The aliens haven't even spoken to us, so everyone's wondering what's going on."
"Some nut from Texas tried shooting at their probe, but bullets didn't do anything. Then the same day I heard some militant group in Iran tried destroying a probe with a RPG, but it has some sort of protective shell that even a small missile can't break. The probe just ignored the attack and continued along with it's scanning." Hiro told him.
"So you're telling me there are aliens on Earth, and Mama didn't say a thing about it?!" Akihiko looked bewildered. "Ha. Ha. Next time you make something up, make it believable."
"It's true!" Hiro protested. He hated being accused of lying. "Maybe your Mom is just a wacko."
Akihiko felt slightly irritated at Hiro insulting his mother, but she was a wacko. "C'mon…"
"I know it sounds stupid." Hana sounded slightly frustrated. "But we aren't putting you on. As far as your Mom's concerned…. well she is a professional Mama-san, isn't she?"
Mama-san was a slang word meaning an intense mother who was strict and emphasized education. That certainly was his mother. So Akihiko had to agree with Hana on that. But he also thought it was beyond crazy that his Mother wouldn't tell him something as important as aliens. Wouldn't that be one of the biggest things ever to happen to Earth? And would his own mother be that strict as to not tell him something as mind blowing as this. It didn't add up."If they're scanning everyone on Earth, have you two been scanned yet?" Akihiko asked. He was going to find the plothole in their stupid story.
"They're not scanning everyone on Earth." Hana caught is trick. "Just teenagers."
"And the probes just made their way to Japan recently." Hiro continued her thought, returning to his bored tone of voice.
"I heard on the News this morning that a probe was spotted in town, though." Hana added. "Sooner or later we're all going to get scanned."
"I wonder what they are looking for?" Akihiko asked.
"Maybe they are looking for fertile women so they can mate with them." Hiro said with a playful grin.
"Gross." Hana slapped him. "They're scanning boys too…"
Akihiko rolled his eyes at them. The whole thing was one big joke. But there was no denying one thing. They had been in homeroom for a good while now, class should have started yet there no one else had come in, not even the teacher.