Nothing. No light. No sound. No form. No voice. No knowledge of who I am. ...Who I am? Who am I? I extend a hand. A hand that belongs to no one. To take hold of my existence...
A locker door rattled before it swung open, revealing a purple-eyed, blonde-haired girl, dazed as she looked around. A dark pink vest partially obscured her white button up shirt and orange tie. A dark purple skirt hung just below her vest, the black musical notes patters circling it as well as the silver music note pin in her hair symbolizing her obvious love for music. She gasped, feeling a rush in her brain as memories came flooding back.
"This is me." She breathed. "My name is Kaede Akamatsu. I just remembered who I am. Nice to meet me." The confused young girl stumbled out of the locker in a daze, only to trip and fall, the weight of her white backpack adding more weight to her descent. "Ahh!?" She shrieked as a blinding pain suddenly rushed through her head. "Gghhh...Owww..." she groaned as she gripped her aching head in her palm, standing up in her loafers.
The pain erased whatever daze was left, leaving her annoyed as she narrowed her eyes in frustration. Her annoyance however quickly gave way to curiosity and confusion as she looked around the room. Her surroundings looked to be a normal classroom one might see in any traditional university, barring the locker she stumbled out of.
"...Huh? Wait, where am I? What is this place?" She wondered as she rubbed her throbbing forehead. Yep, this is definitely going to leave a bump... As she became more aware of the room's setup, she wondered "...A classroom?" Yeah, this is a classroom alright. But...I don't recognize it. "Where am I...? What am I doing here...?"
Kaede's eyes suddenly widened in realization. She snapped her fingers, gasping before she spoke aloud.
"Oh! Is this a dream!? I just have to pinch myself, right?" Kaede reached up to pinch her cheek, only to feel a minor spark of pain before she let go. "Ummm...Okay, hold on a sec. Let's just stay calm and think this through." She said to nobody in particular before she closed her eyes and sifted through her existing memories.
In the middle of her concentration, she was startled by a loud banging sound. She opened her eyes in a flash and jumped in shock.
"Whoa!!!" She shrieked as she turned around and saw two closed lockers next to the one she had stumbled out of.
Loud bangs echoed in her ears as she saw them slightly sway from the violent forces inside them. She swallowed her panic and gathered her courage before taking her first steps towards the storage units.
"What the...are there...actual people inside there? Hang on, I'll get you out!" She called as she walked over to the lockers and yanked the doors open.
As soon as she opened the doors, two human forms fell out of the lockers. Two undignified yelps echoed in Kaede’s ears as their owners faceplanted into the hard floor.
Kaede sweatdropped before she knelt in front of them. "Are you two okay?"
They groaned as they lifted their heads to look at their savior, allowing Kaede to get a closer look at them. On her left lay a boy with short blue hair hidden beneath a black cap. His dark orangish-grey eyes looked up at her, though she could tell they wished to hide underneath the cap’s protection along with his hair.
Guess he’s the shy type… Kaede noted his black uniform and shoes as she turned her gaze to the other confused prisoner. A girl…?
Kaede took note of her flowing brown hair that extended to the small of her back. As she looked up hesitantly at Kaede, the blonde girl saw a few locks of brown hair tied into a simple braid that hung loosely over her right ear, tied together with a simple black ribbon.
Adorning the top of her head was an ahoge that, in sharp contrast with the rest of her hair, was a beautiful shade of lavender. Glancing down from her uniquely colored hair, Kaede stared into the girl’s equally strange eyes, the left a greenish-hazel color, and the right the same brilliant lavender as her ahoge.
Never seen hair and eyes like that before except in anime... Kaede noted as she looked further down, observing the heterochromatic girl’s clothes with curious eyes.
Hugging her torso was a simple pink, short-sleeved T-shirt. Covering her waist meanwhile was a fairly short, purple skirt, ending an inch or two above her knees. Kaede’s eyes traveled down the girl’s slender legs and stopped at her pink shoes and white socks, covering her feminine feet.
She looks…like an average girl. A cute, average girl. Kaede thought whimsically.
At that moment, the confused heterochromatic turned to look at the blue-haired boy. He returned her cautious gaze, a temporary silence permeating the room and leaving Kaede on the edge of her seat.
"...Ah! Aaugh!!!" They shrieked as they fell on their butts and scooted away from each other and Kaede.
"Wh…Who are you?!" They both exclaimed, pointing fingers at each other and Kaede.
"Are you with those other guys!?" The boy demanded.
"...What other guys?" Both girls inquired curiously as they realized that none of them were threats to the others.
"The people who kidnapped me!" The boy exclaimed.
"Wh…Where am I...? What are you gonna do to me!?"
"Hey! Hold on!" Kaede interrupted, getting both their attention.
She walked over to each of them, lifting them to their feet by tugging at their wrists before dragging them over to the desks.
"Alright...what are your names?"
"...Huh?" The boy asked, bewildered by the question. He bit his lip hesitantly before introducing "Ah, I'm...Shuichi Saihara."
Kaede nodded and replied politely "I'm Kaede Akamatsu." She then turned to the currently unidentified girl and asked "And your name?"
"Oh, I'm Kiki...Kiki...Kiki..." Kiki's eyes widened, gasping as her eyes glowed with horror.
Kaede and Shuichi frowned, starting to worry as the blonde started to wonder Is…something wrong with her…?
As if on cue, Kiki clutched her head in her hands and exclaimed "No! No ! No! No! NO! THIS CAN'T BE!" Kiki quaked in her sneakers, a suppressed sob in her voice as she moaned “WHY?! WHY IS IT-”
"What, what is it?!" Kaede asked in concern as Kiki looked at her with panicked eyes.
"I…I can't remember my last name! I can't remember who I am?! What am I gonna do if I can't remember who I am, who my family is, whether they're safe..."
Shuichi and Kaede looked at Kiki with concern. Poor girl...at least I remembered my full name, but she doesn't even have that! Well...someone's gotta get her to calm down, so I guess it's up to me!
Kaede walked up to Kiki and grasped her shoulders, smiling reassuringly at the girl before she spoke with complete calm.
"Hey, Kiki, it's alright! I had trouble remembering who I was too for a bit, so I know how you feel. But I promise, you'll remember soon, okay? So just take a deep breath and relax."
Kiki closed her eyes and took a deep breath, feeling the weight of her anxieties reduce as she exhaled.
"Okay...I think I'm okay now..."
"Good." Kaede's expression turned serious as she turned her head and told Shuichi "Now listen to me, Shuichi...Shut up! You're not the only one who's confused right now! Just look at poor Kiki!"
Kiki shuffled awkwardly as Shuichi apologized "Ah, sorry..."
Kaede sighed and nodded as she closed her eyes and tried to sift through her memories once more.
...That's right. She realized as she thought I was kidnapped, too! I was walking my usual route to school when all of a sudden, someone shoved me into a car. I shouted for help, but no one came to rescue me...Everyone pretended like nothing happened...It made me think how rotten the world is...And then, I lost consciousness...And when I woke up, I was inside that locker...
Kaede opened her eyes and exclaimed "Shuichi, Kiki, I think I remember what happened to me!"
She quickly relayed the necessary information to the two other captives. They nodded curiously as Shuichi commented "Same with me...Were we kidnapped by the same people?"
"It seems like it..." She bit her lip, pondering "But...why me? My family's not rich and I'm no one special. I'm just a normal university girl who can play piano. There's no reason to kidnap me..."
"Me either...I'm just a regular guy...I'm an amateur detective, but that's not exactly special."
Kaede hummed before she turned to Kiki and asked "What about you, Kiki? Were you kidnapped by those same kind of guys?"
Kiki sighed and apologized "Sorry, but I don't remember anything about how I was brought here." Her shoulders sagged as she lamented "I wish I could be more helpful."
"Hey, don't worry about it, I'm sure you'll remember soon, just be patient." Kaede smiled as she assured the girl "I promise, you're gonna be really helpful, I just know it!"
"...Thanks, Kaede." Kiki replied with a smile as she nodded.
"Back to the point..." Kaede glanced around the room as she pondered "...This is a school, right? Why did they take us to a school? I wonder why..."
"Well..." Shuichi hesitantly suggested "There might be clues in this classroom. Why don't we try searching it?"
"Great idea, Shuichi!" Kaede exclaimed before she turned to Kiki and asked "Kiki, you wanna help too?"
Kiki nodded and replied "Sure, what do you want me to do?"
Kaede turned to Shuichi. "Shuichi, you're the detective here, so it's your call. What do you want us to investigate?"
"Well, um...Kiki, why don't you examine the desks? You can see if anything's hidden inside."
"Got it!" Kiki nodded hesitantly, her eyes betraying her uncertainty.
"Kaede, why don't you check out the lockers we stumbled out of? Maybe there's something secured on the inside or on the backs."
"Okay, leave it to me, Shuichi!" Kaede saluted.
Shuichi smiled in amusement before he decided "I'll check everything else."
"Okay, we all have our assignments, so let's go! Investigation Start!"
Kiki and Shuichi sweatdropped at Kaede's enthusiasm before the three of them separated to begin their searches.
"Find anything you two?" Kaede asked as she frowned. "'Cause none of those lockers had anything I could find."
"Well, no clues, but I did find these coins."
Kiki uncurled her fist to show a pile of bronze-colored coins with the imprint of an anime bear's head on the surface.
"They're really creepy..." Kaede concluded, causing the others to nod.
"Yeah, though even if they're not informative, they could still be valuable." Shuichi advised "Let's hold on to whatever ones we can find, just in case."
"You can put them in my backpack!" Kaede volunteered as she gestured to the white backpack on her back. "Just put them in the front pouch."
Kiki nodded and circled around Kaede. With a shaky hand, and encouraged by a smiling nod from the blonde, she unzipped the pianist's backpack and deposited the coins inside before zipping it back up.
Once Kiki had circled back around, Kaede asked "What about you, Shuichi? I bet you must have discovered some super-secret clue to help us get out of here!"
Shuichi chuckled at her enthusiasm as he denied "Oh, nothing like that, but I did find one thing of note. Follow me."
The two girls followed Shuichi to the window before he grabbed the bottom handle and lifted it, allowing a chilly breeze to enter the room.
As the girls shivered, Shuichi suggested "Look outside, but don't fall through."
The girls nodded before they peeked through the window. Their eyes widened as they peered down into a seemingly endless abyss.
"What the..." Kaede gasped.
"I can't even see the ground!" Kiki exclaimed.
"Yeah." Shuichi explained after the girls brought their heads back in and closed the window. "I think it's safe to say that whoever abducted us brought us to some kind of skyscraper like structure, though I don't know exactly how high up we are."
"Okay...so somehow the three of us were abducted and brought to some really tall building, one of us has a severe case of amnesia, and the only thing that could possibly identify the culprits are some weird coins in my backpack." Kaede summarized. "Am I missing anything, Shuichi?"
"Um, no, that pretty much sums it up." Shuichi agreed.
"So…what do we do?" Kiki asked. "I doubt we'll find anything by staying here."
Kaede and Shuichi nodded before she turned towards the door and suggested "Well, there's only one door, so why don't we go see what's on the other side?"
Kiki and Shuichi both nodded before Kaede exclaimed "Alright, let's go!"
"This...looks like a normal university..." Kaede concluded as they walked by another classroom door. She tried opening it, only to scowl in frustration, cursing "Damn, this one's locked too!"
"It sounds like whoever abducted us wants to ensure that we don't go anywhere they don't want us to." Shuichi noted.
"Well, we've tried every door we've come across, and they've all been locked. Even the room we came out of is now locked." Kiki agreed, her lips drooping into a discouraged frown.
"Well, all we can do is keep moving until we can actually get somewhere." Kaede told her new comrades as she turned her head and smiled at them. "Besides, if what Shuichi said is true, then it must mean they want us to go somewhere."
"Yeah, but who knows where that is..." Kiki’s voice echoed with doubt, causing Shuichi to frown.
"Seriously, you guys need to keep your chins up!" Kaede told them with slight force in her voice. "We've just gotta keep on charging ahead and hope for the best!"
Though still apprehensive, the two new comrades smiled softly and nodded. Kaede sighed in relief, ahppy that her two new friends were at least somewhat encouraged by her words. The three of them continued to walk through the seemingly normal hallways until they at last came to a pair of double doors. Kaede tested the handle, pulling it slightly before her eyes widened as it gave way.
"Hey, it opens! We might have found a way out!"
I…don't know if it's that easy... Shuichi thought, though he and Kiki nodded, playing along with Kaede's idea since they didn't have any better ones at the moment.
Kaede took a deep breath and narrowed her eyes in determination. "Alright...here...we...go..."