Life goes on. I’ve forced myself back into the swing of things, which has actually helped some. Poe didn’t bother coming back. I didn’t bother visiting her either. I’m sure she was thinking the same thing I was: that we had gotten too close the other night. Getting close to other people isn’t really the most ideal thing. Making connections hurts when people die.
Helios is dead too, by the way. Yeah, that kinda came out of nowhere, huh? Just like with Hyde, the details I got regarding his and Caper’s deaths were almost non-existent. Pretty sure they actually flat-out lied with the information they gave me regarding Caper because “work mishap” doesn’t exactly describe my understanding of the situation particularly well.
But yeah, Helios is dead. And apparently they’ve found him a replacement. Also, the Highers seem to have decided that I need a new roommate. I don’t think I need to spell out how these two things are related.
I got a heads-up along with my orders, and I kind of thought I had prepared myself properly. I hadn’t, though in my defense, I don’t think I would have been prepared even if I knew exactly what to expect.
My new roommate knocked in the early afternoon. I opened the door to a short, young-looking girl. First thing that I notice is that her hair is dyed pink. Fucking pink and pulled into bunches (kind of like how Poe wears them but shorter). She wore some sort of Japanese schoolgirl Sailor Moon outfit. Then she made a face that I assume was her best attempt at “^_^” and said something about “Ohio gesundheit.”
I shut the door.
God fucking help me.
She knocked again. When I opened the door, she stood there with her arms crossed, pouting. “That wasn’t very nice, Messenger-san.”
My last hope that she was just some weird door-to-door salesman disappeared. Nope. I was going to be sharing my living space with an honest-to-god weeaboo. “You’re my new roommate, then?”
“Yep! Call me Shiki-chan.”
I sighed. “All right. Need help moving in, Shiki?”
“Of course. Shi-chan. Okay, then.”
Shiki is not exactly the type of roommate I would have chosen. It shouldn’t be a surprise that she’s an avid fan of anime. She’s always using the TV to watch it. In Japanese, of course. There’s obviously no way she’s going to watch anything in English, i.e., a language she can actually understand. Not that not understanding it is going to stop her from throwing around “kawai” and “desu” and “aragato” and other words she barely knows like she just learned them from Japanese Dora the Explorer. I put my foot down when she tried setting up her figures and wall scrolls around the apartment. That shit is staying in her room.
Of course, she has other hobbies. You’d think they’d maybe be other nerdy things. Comic books or video games, maybe. I like Spider-Man. Maybe I can talk with her about Spider-Man. But no, of course it wouldn’t be that simple. Shiki’s other passion is for knives. Fucking knives. Butterfly knives, switchblades, pocket knives…even hunting knives and kitchen knives. So now my apartment is filled with all sorts of fun little sharp and deadly objects. On the plus side, if I want an apple cut up, she could probably slice the shit out of it for me.
Although apart from being a bit obnoxious and owning a collection of deadly instruments (most of the time I can manage to ignore the fact that she probably uses them to actually kill people), Shiki’s not that bad. She’s kind of cute and brings a bit of energy to the place. And hey, if you can ignore the –chan part, she has a name that’s actually somewhat sensible. It’s not all that hard to at least coexist. She eats her sugary cereals, I eat Chex. She watches anime, I wear headphones and block her out with music. She goes out and makes friends, I keep myself locked up in the apartment. Eventually she’ll go out on assignments to kill people and I’ll keep putting names and numbers into a database and pretending she’s going to a convention or something. All in all, I suppose things aren’t really as bad as they seem.
I appear to finally be getting somewhere. Removing a hard drive from a computer, it turns out, is a fairly simple process that requires only a tiny screwdriver and a few minutes where Mr. Justice has stepped out of the room. There were few complications (did you know that computers can have more than one hard drive? Turtle didn’t! But he does now and it doesn’t really matter because he just took all of the hard drives) and I now have a bunch of extra files to look through. A quick search reveals mentions of Maurice, so that lets me follow up on that lead Rachael gave me, and I have the actual audio from Mr. Messenger’s interviews now. This should help immensely in the near future.
More importantly, however, is the introduction of Miss Shiki-chan. She’s someone who’s still around who knew The Messenger. Probably pretty well, given that they were roommates. I just so happen to know her as well, considering we’re about the same age. We’ve talked a bit and gotten along all right just by virtue of us both being college-aged students. In reality, she’s not as bad as The Messenger makes her sound. She’s certainly a bit quirky, to say the least, but not to the level he plays up. Maybe it’s because this is just his first interaction with her and she tends to kick things up a notch for first impressions (she’s been acting less eccentric every time I’ve seen her after my initial encounter), but maybe it’s because he just finds her particularly irksome. Who can say for sure?
Miss Shiki-chan is around a year younger than me and taking classes part-time. It’s hard for her to take much more than that because the Filii require a fair amount of work for her. I’m able to muster a fair amount of sympathy for her by ignoring the nature of that work. Denial is turning into quite a handy little survival trait for Turtle. I’ve gotten in contact with her to talk about Mr. Messenger. It’ll be nice to finally find out something about him other than what he himself has written.
 Readers familiar with Japanese words and phrases might have picked up on the fact that Mr. Messenger’s limited grasp of the language leads him to misspell and misinterpret much of what Miss Shiki-chan is saying. I have decided not to correct or translate these for two reasons. First, preserving the original text displays more of Mr. Messenger’s mindset. Second, I just think it’s funnier when he’s wrong. ~T