By Kaguya’s Chaos
She couldn’t keep still. Kicking her legs slightly she glanced around the room again. The others sitting in their own chairs were much like herself. The excitement and anticipation was practically a living thing among the fifteen ten-year-olds gathered in the small classroom. Kagome glanced back down at her portable screen on the desk in front of her and resisted the urge to mess with it. A loud sigh to her right caught her attention and she looked over to her best friend.
“Kagome!” Yuka squealed as she took her seat and set down her own screen. “It’s finally time! We get tested today!” She continued as she grabbed ahold of Kagome’s hands in nervous excitement. “Where do you think you’ll be placed?”
Kagome giggled slightly and winced when it came out as more like a squeak. Inhaling deeply to calm herself down, she pulled her hands from her friends’ tight grip. Assuming an air of superiority, she stuck her nose in the air. “It doesn’t matter where you’re placed only that you do the best you can.” She glanced at Yuka out the corner of her eye and both burst out laughing. “Did I sound like Hayake-sensei?”
Yuka crossed her arms on her desk and put her chin down. “Yeah, almost scary so.” She said still giggling slightly. Kagome glanced down at her own desk. “Yuka-chan? Are you scared?”
Yuka looked back over and nodded. “Yeah.” Both got quiet as they thought about what was to happen in the course of the day. The older kids had told all of them that the tests were really hard. “Onii-san said that they make you do all sorts of weird things.” Yuka continued and Kagome put her own head on her desk.
“My cousin Kikyo said that she couldn’t remember all the tests they did, but the written test is really hard.” She mumbled and Yuka let out a long sigh.
“Gah! I wish this would just start already!”
As if in answer the door opened and three adults walked into the classroom. All noise ceased as all eyes watched in anticipation.
“Everyone put your screens down and place all your attention up here, please.” The first adult to enter the room calmly set his screen on the podium at the front and gestured to the woman and man to have entered with him. “As you know, today is the aptitude and placement test and Dr. Kitakawa and Captain Saldanha are here to oversee them.”
Kagome sat up straight in her seat and breathed a small sigh of relief. She knew Dr. Midoriko Kitakawa. She was the lead psychic researcher down in the botanical labs that her mother worked in. While she didn’t know the rigid looking captain standing next to her, it was still relieving to know that Midoriko would be one of the overseers.
Hayake-sensei motioned the two to a couple of chairs set at the front and both overseers sat down. He then turned back to the class and placed both hands on the podium. “Before we begin the testing, we are going to go over a bit of our history. It is imperative that each and every single one of you understands how important today is. Not just for you, but for everyone.” He paused briefly and pulled out his screen. A few swipes later and an enlarged holographic list appeared before him.
“Each of you will start by taking an aptitude test. This will cover the things you have been taught as well as things you have yet to be taught. This will help us narrow down where your interests lie so that we can prepare you for your role in society.” He motioned vaguely to the list that many were already reading. “A sample of the jobs you could obtain. More will be explained on that after the placement testing has concluded. The second part of today’s testing,” here he paused briefly to again swipe at the screen and a different, shorter, list was presented. “…will be on what you’re fully capable of.” He stopped as excited chatter cut through his speech.
Kagome felt that thrill of both fear and excitement race up her spine. This was what she had been looking forward to and dreading at the same time. The second set of testing they were going to receive was to see whether they were psychic or not. So tightly was she wound up, she nearly jumped out of her chair when Yuka grabbed her arm and shook her slightly.
“Settle down! Quiet please!” Hayake-sensei nearly shouted to be heard over the others and quickly brought the room back into focus. “As you all know, we as a people, are divided into three separate classes. That in no way means we are separate as a species, just that some of us are born with a little extra that has its own place in our society.” He started to ramble on about equality and other things and Kagome felt a brief flash of irritation.
“-and that brings us to the three classes themselves. First we have the psychics, or rather those with that extra ability I mentioned earlier. If you are tested and found to have psychic potential your roles will be further explained by Dr. Kitakawa. Next we have militaristic ability. Many of you may test positive for an active role in our protection-“
“From the aliens!!” An excited voice broke in from the front and Kagome recognized it as Kai, a loudmouthed bully who liked to tease her. Many giggles escaped as Hayake-sensei sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose, as he was seen to do whenever he had to deal with Kai.
“Yes. From the aliens.” He muttered something else beneath his breath that had Midoriko stifling a laugh and Captain Saldanha snorting. “And the last class is the civilians. Much more of you are likely to become civilians then either of the other two, but that doesn’t mean being a civilian isn’t just as important.” He went on in his description but none of them were listening any more.
Kagome was again shaken by Yuka as she excitedly whispered about the psychic class. Her eyes followed the teacher as he brought his screen up for a third time and her own screen made a soft beeping sound. All students got quiet and turned to their screens as the test appeared. “Take out your stylus and you may begin.”
Kagome stood from her seat as her name was called. The second part of the testing had begun an hour ago and she was the fifth name to be called to the back room. No one had come back out, but that wasn’t unusual. Hayake-sensei had already explained they would be leaving out the second door and sent home after the second test. Glancing nervously at a grinning Yuka, Kagome walked slowly to the front of the room and up to a calmly smiling Midoriko.
Placing her hand behind the young girl, Midoriko guided Kagome to the door, winking to her as they both walked through. Inside were the other two adults and a large pod-shaped chair. “Higurashi-san, please sit in the pod and we can start hooking you up to the machine.” Captain Saldanha said gruffly and Kagome climbed into the chair. Midoriko knelt in front of her and began placing the small wires along her temples, the insides of her wrists, and the sides of her neck. When she was done she smiled briefly and stood back.
“The second part of the testing begins for one, Kagome Higurashi.” Hayake-sensei said softly into the small recording device in the top of his screen, and Kagome knew no more.
She vaguely remembered the test, and knew they had asked her multiple questions. She even remembered they had taken off the electrodes and the walk along the walkways to get home. But when asked later she couldn’t say with finality that she remembered what the second part of the test had been about. She wasn’t too worried about it however, because it was just how Kikyo had described it last week in their holo-conversation. Kagome sat in her chair at the family dining table, her mother, brother and grandfather sitting around her, but all conversation was muted as Kagome tried to think past the slight haze in her mind. The results of her testing was to be sent to her home unit around the time of the evening meal, and all the family members were anxiously awaiting the tale-tell ring of the notification system.
Ms. Higurashi placed the pot of Oden on the table and again glanced at her ten year old daughter. She still remembered the slight haze from her own testing all those years ago, but it was still slightly disturbing that Kagome didn’t even notice that they were having her favorite for dinner. She looked to her father, who had recently moved into their family unit after her husband had been killed by an alien raid. The older man was calmly sipping the tea at the head of the table, and if she had seen the slight tremble in his hand as he had lifted his cup, she would have thought him to be perfectly composed.
‘Please, any one listening up above.’ Ms. Higurashi briefly prayed, ‘don’t allow Kagome to take after her father and join the military.’ She looked down in slight shame for her thoughts, because it was considered a high honor to be in the military class, but she didn’t think she could calmly accept her only daughter to join the bloody fight against a race of beings that had destroyed their home planet and continue to hunt them down through the universe. ‘Please allow her to take after father and I and be designated as a civilian.’ She finished as she set the rest of the table and took her own seat.
Souta, ignorant of the undertones in the room, loudly laughed and brought everyone’s attention to the now. “Oka-san gave me Nee-chan’s cup!” He giggled loudly again and Ms. Higurashi felt the tension lessen from her shoulders as Kagome also laughed.
That tension however, returned with a snap as the soft chimes signaling a message rang through the intercom. Her hand trembled slightly as she brought out her screen and pressed the flashing message symbol. A holo-projection settled over the food at the table and Dr. Midoriko Kitakawa stood over the pot of oden.
“Congratulations, Kagome Higurashi-san. You have passed your tests with flying colors and you have been designated as a Psychic. You will report to room 207 tomorrow morning to begin further instruction.” The message ended swiftly and Ms. Higurashi felt the room tilt slightly as she sat heavily in her chair.
A psychic. Her daughter was a psychic. Glancing to the others in the room she forced a smile to her face. Well, it wasn’t the military, and that’s what she had asked for. Besides, there were many jobs a psychic could have that didn’t involve fighting the good fight. She repeated this over like a mantra as the family set about eating dinner.
Kagome breathed deeply as she again connected with that inner spark that pulsed within her. The others around her that she was able to sense faded to the background as she studied her own energy. Kitakawa-sensei had already identified with her on how her energy worked and the both of them had trained it into a well-defined point. Truly there was no need for her to do the inner searching she was today, but she was nervous. It had been five years since she had been designated a psychic and at the age of fifteen it was now time for her first linking lesson.
Linking, as it had been explained by Kitakawa-sensei, was where a psychic and a person from the military class joined mentally and fought together against the ether-based aliens that warred with humanity. According to Kitakawa-sensei, the psychic was able to tap into the inner energy of their militaristic partner and bring it to the fore, allowing their partner to fight fire with fire, as it were. Today, with their first linking, they would be paired up with veteran fighters that had volunteered for the lesson.
In keeping with how their society worked, they wouldn’t be meeting face to face with their linking partner. The pods they would be entering would already have the information necessary to guide each psychic to their partner. Kagome felt the same anxious energy fizzle up from the pit of her stomach and tried to contain the jitters running through her limbs. She glanced about at the ten of them standing in the room awaiting the linking lesson to begin and lamented over the fact that Yuka couldn’t be there.
Not that they’ve even talked to each other in the past five years, Kagome sighed. After their designation results had been posted, Kagome had found out that Yuka had been placed into the civilian class. When she had approached the friend she had had since they were both five, she had been greeted with cold politeness and a slight snubbing. Kagome had been hurt but she had understood. Yuka had wanted to be psychic since she had known her, and who wouldn’t want to be? Psychics were the top of the food chain. The head of all the classes. After all, without psychics, humanity wouldn’t be able to fight back against their enemy.
The door to the pod room whooshed open and all attention became riveted to Kitakawa-sensei as she came in. Still looking down at her screen and organizing what she found there, she ignored the quiet anticipation oozing from all in the room. When she finally glanced up, it was in satisfaction to see that all of her students were appropriately dressed in the suits used for the linking pods. With a nod of her head she approached the first of the pods in the room.
“Kado-san.” She motioned to the pod and continued to the next. “Amelia-san.” She continued down the row and Kagome approached the pod she was assigned when her name was called. At this point all of them knew what they had to do to properly hook themselves up to the pod. They had practiced multiple times, and while they never got to the stage where the pod was filled with the stasis gel, they were drilled in how the electrodes were properly placed.
Kagome sat in her seat and began placing the small suction cups in their spots. Temples, wrists, neck. She then strapped the long banded electrodes around her ankles and waited for Kitakawa-sensei to check her off. When it was finally her turn, Kagome watched in anticipation as Midoriko smiled slightly and nodded. “Good job, Higurashi-san. Now lie back. Remember not to panic as the pod fills with gel, the first few moments are the hardest.” She repeated softly as she pressed a few buttons on the keypad beside the pod. The chair she was sitting in reclined and flattened out as a smooth glass casing came over the top.
Kagome felt the tingles of fear shoot through her and again went over the information they had been given multiple times over how this worked. The pod would fill with the stasis gel and they were to calmly breathe it in as if it were air. Kitakawa-sensei had said it was an unusual experience, and frightening the first time. The best thing to do was to keep calm. She repeated this over and over as the pod began filling with the lukewarm gel. Contrary to what many of the older psychics had said, it didn’t fill slowly. The whole process was rather fast and Kagome didn’t have much time to contemplate the feel of the gel before her head was covered. As with all humans, she instinctually held her breath, but as if the gel had a mind of its’ own, she felt it enter her nose and before she could stop it, she felt herself breathe it in.
Her mind blanked briefly as she tried to reject the fact that she was ingesting a strange gel, her body had a strange convulsion as if on its own, and then it was over. She had closed her eyes when the gel had covered her face, but now her eyes shot open as she came to the realization that she was breathing in the stasis gel. She closed her eyes again, just as Kitakawa-sensei’s voice came telepathically to her.
‘Good. You have all successfully been submerged in the stasis gel and it is now time for your first linking lesson. All of you find your inner energy, just as we always do in class, and allow it to lead you to the next stage.’ Her telepathic message faded as Kagome did as instructed. Her inner self turned as if being directed and she felt herself wandering farther then she had previously gone before.
The place she found herself, felt strange. Like her limbs were extended farther then they should be, but she didn’t feel stretched. She was also aware of another energy around her, as if she was in a cocoon. Her inner self startled slightly when a deep chuckle vibrated in the proximity of where her ears were supposed to be.
‘Welcome to your first linking. My name is Wilson, Jacob Wilson.’ The deep mellow voice echoed strangely and Kagome felt a small fizzle of what could be a smile if she had a corporeal form.
‘Higurashi. Kagome Higurashi, a pleasure Wilson-san.’
Ah, so I’m back on the scene everyone. Thank you for taking the time to check out my newest work and please read and review.