"This world is a far cry from comfortable. And when it disappears, a resounding cheer will be heard. Hope? Memories? Nothing more than the folly of children. What will push life forward will be the will to change…"


Tetsuya's eyes narrow. His face contorts. Roughly shrugging Takashi's hand off his shoulder, "Kei's not dead," he says. "I saw her this morning."

Tetsuya turns to face Hideaki as he explains, "No Tetsuya, you were Reset by the Resetters. They took away your powers and your memories. They 'Reset' you, back to how you were when we first got here. Not only that though, it seems they warped your memories worse than we thought."

Hideaki Yagami was the oldest of them being fifteen years of age. His short, yet shaggy green hair sloppily falls over his slightly pimpled forehead. Black rimmed glasses sit squarely at the bridge of his angular nose. Black cargo shorts wrap his thin waist and a purple t-shirt covers his lean torso. The tee has a blue planet on it that read "This is my EarthMother."

"When I first got here?" Tetsuya asks. "Hold on, where are we?"

"If only we knew. It's like some uncanny parallel universe. Everything feels like an ignorant copy of what it should be. All I'm one-hundred percent on is that this not where we belong. Everyone else we meet says the same thing."

"There are other people here too?" Tetsuya asks.

"Yeah, they're scattered about. The one who's been the most help is this weird old lady named Yumei. She's the one that taught us of our powers, the Angels, the Resetters, Hiruma…"

"Who's Hiruma?" Tetsuya inquires innocently. The mood grew eerie quickly. This name…Hiruma, obviously carried a certain taboo to it.

"Don't worry about it for now," Kazuo answers. "We've gotten Tetsuya back, now we can return to Yumei and see if she can restore what they've done to him."


Gold streams of light break in through the windows. Visible through the hazy dust that dances visibly in the room's air. Tetsuya and his six classmates lay lazily on old, brittle furniture. Their bodies ache and their spirits moan in pain. To fight Angels was to rebel against your own life force. These were mere children, no older than 15, no younger than 13. They were in no position to fight monstrosities, superpowered or not.

"I've made tea," Yumei says elegantly balancing tea cups on a serving tray. Each student takes a cup as she places the tray on the gray center table before taking a seat in the leather arm chair directly across Tetsuya.

"Hey, thanks for the tea…um…" Tetsuya starts.

"Yumei," Yuko says between sips.

"But I thought you guys said Yumei was an old lady?" Tetsuya asks.

"Tetsuya!" Ai and Yuko say in unison. A tender giggle was Yumei's only reaction.

The Yumei that sat across him was anything but. She seemed to be the peak of youth. Her face was soft, like a newborn's, even down to her gentle rounded chin. Her eyes, large and golden and long eyelashes gave her eyes alone a rather enticing allure. Her straight raven hair outlined her face and fell acutely to her shoulders. Tetsuya being…well, being Tetsuya, immediately noticed her rather larger bust, that also put into perspective her thin waistline and her sizable hips. However old she was, she surely didn't look it.

"You don't talk about a woman's age Tetsuya," Ai tells.

"Hey, it's not my fault you guys lied!" Tetsuya exclaims in defense.

"Well it wasn't necessarily a lie when we told you. When we met Yumei and she showed us our powers, she was an old crone. Wrinkles and all!" Josuke states. A fist comes down hard on the back of his head and almost causes him to spill his tea.

"Hey!" he shouts whilst rubbing the hurt spot. He looks behind him and notices Yuko with her fist clenched.

"Quit being jerks you guys," she commands.

"It's quite alright Yuko. As a rule of my existence, my form will change; sometimes I'll appear young, other times old and even other times, pregnant. My form constantly changes, but it will always be cyclical. Depending on how long you all are gone next time, I might be carrying something in my womb," she explains with an indulgent smile.

"That's super creepy!" Tetsuya blurts out, which earns him a slaps to the back of the head from both Ai and Yuko. "Ow! What? It's true!"

"Why does that happen Ms. Yumei?" asks a curious Hideaki.

"I'm unsure. It's one of the many questions I have about this world. Even knowing so much as I do, there is still so little that I understand of this world. But that is besides everything at the moment. It seems that you all were unable to retrieve God's Hand."

"God's Hand? What's that?" Tetsuya questions.

"We don't know. But if you hadn't gone all gung-ho on us, we'd have probably figured it out by now," Kazuo states. His tea was still just steaming in front of him, untouched.

"Gah! I'm so sick of everyone lashing out at me. Will someone please tell me what I did wrong?" asks a flustered Tetsuya.

"In the middle of our search for God's Hand," Yuko began to explain "just as we were entering the final stretch, we encountered a Resetter. Note, that Yumei had specifically warned us, multiple times, in fact, that Resetters are horrifyingly dangerous. They have the power to 'Reset' anything, among other abilities. Obviously, warping reality isn't dangerous enough for you so you had the brilliant idea to attack it and screw up our progress. It stuck us back at Yumei's place and reset your memories from before we all met up in this bizarro world. Get it 'main event'? This is YOUR screw up!" she shouts before taking another sip of her tea.

"Geez, I thought tea was supposed to calm moods, not excite them, amirite?" Tetsuya jokes with a sly grin and a shrug of the shoulders. The room remains silent.

Eh, I'll get 'em next time.

"Tetsuya, how could you joke about this?" Hideaki solemnly asks. "We don't know where we are, what we're doing here, how to leave, and our lives are in constant danger now. To further this string of misfortunate happenings, you set us back considerably from our only lead of being able to get home. Now we have to babysit you because your powers are gone. It's not funny at all."

"You never take anything seriously, Tetsuya. It was funny at school, but now there are things at stake," Ai adds.

As everyone spoke, Tetsuya finally realized the gravity of his actions. He had let the people he cared about down.

"Tetsuya," Yumei soft voice breaking the silence, "I can tell from the short time I've known you that you're trying your hardest to do what you think is best. You were trying to help, I'm sure. All is not lost. While it seems you have lost your powers, they are not gone, merely forgotten. You'll just have to remember how to channel your power again."

"Actually Yumei, about Tetsuya's memories, that's another thing we wanted to discuss with you," Takashi speaks his first words since bringing back Tetsuya. "It seems like they didn't just reset Tetsuya's memories. They were…um…warped, I guess, would be the word."

"How so?"

"They played a sick joke," Yuko began, "I found him on his way to school; apparently he was told that we had class, by his dead little sister."

"She's not dead. Quit saying that," Tetsuya mutters.

"He keeps trying to tell us that she's not dead, but if there's anything anyone knows about Tetsuya, it's that his little sister Kei died when he was seven," Josuke affirms.

"Why Tetsuya?" Yumei pries.

"Because even before all this craziness, even before waking up this morning I remember Kei."

A distraught Josuke shakes his head.

Yumei places a delicate hand over her lips. "How sad. I'm unsure of what to do about this. We can only hope that when Tetsuya regains his memories of his powers, he'll also be freed from the hold that the Resetters have on his mind."

Ai twiddled her thumbs. "What do we do now Ms. Yumei?"

"Well considering the amount of time it's been since I initially sent you after God's Hand, it may have already relocated."

"Why would it do that?" Hideaki asks.

"Nothing now is what it used to be. And tomorrow things will also be different. In this world, nothing ever stays the same. The same is true for God's Hand," Yumei motions with her hand to the kids. "Follow me to the basement."


A creaky stairwell made of old decayed wood led to the basement. The dense air made for harsh breathing for Tetsuya. The others, whose powers kept them safe, paid no mind to it. A single light bulb cloaked the room in a deep green tone. The small room had very little space for anything. Fittingly, there was but a single wooden desk placed against the far wall. On it lay a tome with a lunar impression on its hard outer cover. The children huddle closely together behind Yumei as she gracefully lifts the book with both hands. An ethereal wind blows graciously through Yumei and the tome flies open as it slowly ascends, leaving Yumei's tender hands. A light glow emerges from underneath her. The air above tears slightly before expanding into a large circular shape. A scene from within can be witnessed.

A tall, slender man in a black three piece suit is gesticulating at something. His wide lips are moving rapidly, yet no sound is heard. His red eyes are slit and narrow and the combed over platinum locks of his straight hair fall sternly over his forehead. His smile is cat like. His glare: malicious. The air around him is visible, a sickly green. Uninviting. Unwelcoming. He throws his head back and opens his mouth wide. Laughter. On his left hand is seen a gauntlet, shaped like the claw of an eagle, of ebony and crimson.

The tear in the air closes shut and Yumei returns to her normal state. She lightly places the book back on the desk and gestures to the children to head back upstairs.


"Hiruma?" Tetsuya speaks first.

"How did you know?" Yuko asks.

"He seemed like the kind of guy that you wouldn't talk about. Even though it was just a moving image, watching him was like feeling my heart drop into a dark pit. Who is he?"

Yumei's hands fell on Tetsuya's shoulders. "It's better we don't talk about it. It seems as though he has acquired God's Hand. If ever there was a time to weep, it would be now, but there is no time to weep. Hiruma has the God's Hand so we must meet him with the Devil. Yuko, Josuke, and Hideaki, take this," a black pyramid, no bigger than pen cap appeared in Yumei's palm. "This is a Guider. It will lead you to a man known as Shiozawa, the Hunter." Turning to the others, she creates another Guider with her other hand. "Kazuo, Takashi, Ai, this Guider will lead you to Neverheim, the City that Lost its Way. Be careful as this journey will prove to be even more dangerous than the last. When your two groups reach your destinations, you will know what to do. I know it seems abrupt to split you up, but we are all in danger now that Hiruma has God's Hand. The Angels, the Resetters, all of us. Please, stay safe."

Yuko took the Guider for her group and Kazuo took the one for his as the rest of them wave a farewell to Yumei. Though distraught, she hid it well.

"No worries Ms. Yumei," Josuke waved. "We'll make it to Neverheim, no problem!"

A tired sigh left Ai's mouth. "WE'RE the ones going to Neverheim. YOU'RE going to find the Hunter."

"Who cares?" Josuke replies. "I could do both, easy."

The door closes as the six leave. Their chatter and talk could still be heard for some seconds before finally parting ways.

With Yumei and Tetsuya alone, she looks down at him. Tetsuya, who had been staring at Yumei's chest while she was giving instructions, was still staring until it finally dawned on him that she had finally noticed.

"Oh…um…sorry…I…"

Yumei takes his hand and places a Guider in his palm.

"Oh, I'm leaving too? But I don't have any powers. What if I get attacked by an Angel?"

"That's why you're leaving, to get your powers back."

"Oh, okay. Where am I going?"

"That is something I can't tell you. Only you can know. It's a Guider. Let it guide you."

Tetsuya looks down in the palm of his hand. A different world. Unknown powers. Angels. God. Hiruma. He closes his eyes and a faint smile is all he sees.

Kei…

Arms wrap around him, pushing him into Yumei's warm bosom. A comfortable embrace. Yumei looks down at him with soft eyes.

Child, even before the Resetters touched you, I could tell that you were broken inside. Go forth and reclaim your true self. Look into the tomorrow and witness the past.

"Okay."