I wasn’t in my world anymore; in fact, I wasn’t anywhere close.
No, the place I had somehow ended up in after the incident with Minami’s black hole was some sort of House of M knock off universe. A post apocalyptic House of M universe, in that the events that caused powers did cause an apocalypse in society that caused it to collapse then be rebuilt. The entire process, it seemed, took about a hundred years give or take, but eventually it came to this place. A place that looked and felt like what would have been in my world, just modern Japan.
Except most of the population had superpowers.
In fact, in this generation, eighty percent of all people were born with some sort of defining power. A quirk, as it was called. What a cute name for something that caused society to collapse in on itself, what a cute name for the fact that someone had caused a fucking black hole to appear in the middle of an urban center. Honestly, who names this shit in the first place? It sounded like propaganda created to make it seem more normal.
Hey, everyone, you don’t have a potentially dangerous and life threatening power that can be used to maim or kill other people, you have a slight mutation like heterochromia or being double jointed. A quirk of your genetics that makes you somehow able to break the laws of physics. Whether or not it’s something useful or deadly, well, it’s all chance.
While I’ll admit my world wasn’t much better in that regard, as a general rule EVERYONE in my world could learn how to mold chakra and become capable of working on an equal level as the people who were especially bred by clans. My siblings proved that at the last chuunin exams. Spectacularly. The reason why that didn’t happen was more a societal thing than anything, and frankly when I got back it was still on my list to extend basic chakra control exercises to as many common people as possible. There were so MANY non combat applications of chakra that non combatants could live having it accessible without killing each other.
Though that still meant I had to sort through the fact that the warmongering older generation were still largely in charge. But that was a problem for the future when I’m home, which was the current problem.
I was in a world which at no point could have been my own, lack of chakra proved that. So I had an overarching goal, getting home, which was a work in progress. I could hope it would boil down to just finding the right person with the right power and just asking, but in all honesty it’d probably take more than that. I’d more or less gotten finished with panicking quietly to myself while faking my way through small talk with the random generic nice guy who happened to be around when I woke up.
Koichi didn’t seem like a bad guy, but he wasn’t terribly assertive or observant. Or maybe he was too unfailingly polite that he thought asking about my scars would put me in a bad mood. Honestly, hard to tell with Japanese society. I had never visited Japan before and my view of how people behaved was likely badly skewed by the fact that I was a child soldier/politician/teacher/hope bringing insert name here type archetype back home. It really was put into perspective when the second person who did show up immediately got riled up about the fact that someone had hurt me and looked incredibly intent on finding them, probably dragging them down to some precinct and locking them up.
It was almost amusing in a way, I usually hated people assuming I was some weak kid, but it was the first time in a long while someone -anyone, really- had seen any inkling of what I might have been through and was actually indignant enough to try and do something about it. Said a lot about my world that that sort of reaction wasn’t common. People got hurt in my world, scars were common among the people, age didn’t matter. It happened, no one assumed someone else caused it and even if they did they didn’t ask questions like they were about to go on a crusade on anyone’s behalf, let alone that of a complete stranger.
Well, okay, most people in my world didn’t do that. I bet Naruto Uzumaki would have done something like that had I ever met him, but that was why he was different.
I chuckled a bit to myself, how likely was it I would find more righteous saviors out to ‘save me’? Honestly, looking at the hero culture, it was probably something that might come up. Another thing about this world, or maybe the inevitable result, they had superheroes as a profession. Said profession seems to be a subsection of public services mixed with some sort of quasi celebrity status. Basically like firefighters or cops but with memorabilia. It was something that came up quite frequently in my initial research of this world and, strangely enough, it was the only profession that gave people license to use their superpowers, at least in public. People had super powers, but it was illegal for them to use them, unless they were superheroes who specialized in dealing with ‘villains’, or anyone who used their superpowers to break laws. Including apparently the law of using your superpower in public, which if you didn’t have a license to be a hero, even if you were fighting a criminal or villain or other useful activity was vigilantism.
Seriously, what type of bullshit was that? Join this special club of elite people otherwise you can’t use any power you have even if you’re being useful? How the actual fuck did they even enforce this?
Well, actually I knew part of the answer to that. If today’s incident with the black hole was anything to go by, somewhat poorly. Though, given, a black hole showed up in an urban area and only a few people died, maybe I was being a bit critical. There were a couple of videos of the incident online already, as well as videos of heroes on the scene handling evacuations. For the most part that was the focus of the heroes of the agency, since they didn’t want to risk engagement until they got everyone out. It was a better policy than back home, where it wasn’t uncommon for villages to just disappear in the wake of an inconvenient shinobi battle.
Wow, thinking about it, I really was throwing stones from a glass house. Maybe my annoyance at the situation was coloring my judgement.
I leaned on my wooden palm as I flicked through the articles that had been posted in the last few hours about it. Mostly I was looking to see if I was mentioned anywhere, but so far no, there was no mention of my so-called falling or Koichi somehow catching me. There was a list of heroes who were doing things on the scene, and an interview with Ingenium, the dude whose agency I was currently hanging out in. Apparently their hard counter to black hole dude was some hero named Eraserhead, though there was no picture of him or any info on his quirk in the articles. According to links he was an underground hero who…
The door to the room opened and unlike last time I was upright enough to actually glance up and see who it was. A tired looking man with long black hair, a black outfit and wrappings around his neck walked in with…
My friendly tomcat perked his head up in my direction from his spot in the man’s arm and moved to jump forward. The man in question shifted his grip to prevent him from jumping and just walked to the bed. I would have been curious as to why before he got closer and set Danny on the bed. Standing there I could see the small cast around his left frontmost paw. It didn’t stop him from doing an awkward three legged sprint and wedging himself in my arms in front of the tablet. Setting it down, I started petting his head.
“The vet put that on him?”
“Yeah.” The man replied in a low, tired voice.
He sat himself on one of the beds and laid down, instantly making himself comfortable as he closed those bloodshot eyes of his.
“After being a thorough pain, he did.”
“The vet or Danny?” I asked.
“Both.” The man replied. “Damn cat wouldn’t stay still and he was bloody hard to catch.”
“So how’d you catch him?” I looked at him, a little curious.
“Had some treats in my pocket.” The man replied as he absently reached into said pocket.
Danny’s head actually raised to see what it was, but was disappointed when the man revealed it to be a lint roller, which he was absently rubbing on his chest.
“I take it you have cats.” I replied.
“Two and a half.” He responded without opening his eyes.
“A half?” I asked.
“I foster kittens too young for the shelters. So at any given time, I have at least one half a cat.” He shifted his shoulders and turned his head, opening one eye to look at Danny before speaking again. “Though in all my time doing so I never met a cat half as troublesome as that fellow. Can’t believe the vet wanted to keep him around for research.”
My eyebrows raised as I looked at him. “Research?”
“Don’t know if you realize, but it’s pretty rare for animals to have quirks.” The man shifted on the bed before closing his eyes again. “Some sort of durability, regeneration or other enhancement quirk. A mutation from what I could tell, he’ll probably live as long as you will.”
Well, no. That was just the natural effects of the fact that Danny had and could use his chakra. Though he must have been pretty low and gotten a shock if he broke his leg regardless of that. Given, as a cat, his threshold for chakra exhaustion was much lower than a human’s, just because of how small he was. Reaching down I put my hand around the cast and started to do a diagnostic jutsu.
“If he could regenerate why’d they give him a cast?”
“Pretty slow regeneration from what they could tell, walking on a broken leg will put it out of whack even if it’ll get better by the next day. They had to reset the damn thing after we finally caught him.” The man said.
“Ah, okay.” I said as I absently healed Danny’s leg. It was in fact already set in the cast, so it wasn’t like they would be shocked it’d be healed later. “They give him any pain killers?”
“Please.” The man replied. “If getting that cast on was hard, there was no way the cat was standing still long enough to be stuck with a needle.”
I looked down at Danny for a few seconds and sighed. “He didn’t hurt anyone, did he?”
The man actually turned on the bed, his eyes opening to show a blank expression as he pulled up his sleeve to show the patchwork of sticky bandages that didn’t completely cover the trails of scratch marks. I looked down at Danny and flicked his ear as I turned to stand.
The man closed his eyes.
“It’s okay, cats do shit like this when they’re scared.”
“No,” I stood and sent a glance to my cat, who was currently making himself comfortable on the tablet I was using. “He really should know better. Here, let me see that arm.”
“They got it covered at the office.” The man replied before he moved to turn on his back. I caught his wrist.
“It’ll only take a second, just let me see.” I looked down at him. He looked at me and moved down the sleeve back down his arm.
I ran the jutsu from my palm over the scratches. Some of them were deep for a cat scratch, but thankfully Danny hadn’t hit any arteries. It took longer than using it on someone with chakra, but it was still a relatively light injury so I was able to close them in less than a minute. This actually caused the man to raise his head as he looked at me, then his arm. He stared for a few seconds before he looked up at me.
“Huh.” He said in the same tone of voice.
“Is that all of them? Or did Danny leave a sea of cut up vet techs in his wake?” I replied.
“Nah, just me.” He said as he looked up. “Though I am curious now, what is the name of the owner of that little hellion?”
“My name’s Ume, what’s yours?” I said, looking back at him.
“Shota Aizawa.” He replied.
“Or Eraserhead?” I followed up.
“Crawler tell you?” Eraserhead asked.
“You mean Koichi-san? Yeah, well he said you’d be by with my cat. I assume that means it’s you.” I said.
“Just call me Aizawa, I try to keep a low profile.” He laid back down. “And I have to get up in a few hours and this place seems quiet enough to rest before I have to get back home to feed my own hellions.”
“Alright, I’ll let you sleep.” I said, returning to my bed. Though a thought occurred to me. “If you were the one who took Danny to be treated, did you see what happened to Koichi-san’s arm?”
“He broke it running into a building.” Aizawa replied.
“Not because I was too heavy and it hit him too hard?” I said a little sheepishly.
“Considering how fast he was going, I don’t think your weight was a factor in that. Besides, it can’t be that much, what’re you, like forty kilos?” He asked.
“It’s a bit more than that..” I said. “It’s not important. Just didn’t want to think I accidentally crushed him or something.”
He actually paused for a bit at that response and mumbled something like, no wonder he had trouble carrying you, before following up in his normal voice.
“That have anything to do with your quirk?” He asked.
“Something like that.” I said. “Anyway, thanks for taking care of Danny.”
“Sure, whatever.” He shuffled a bit before pulling the blanket on the bed over his shoulders. “Want to repay me, just tell whoever comes in I’m sleeping off pain meds so they don’t bug me with questions.”
“You want me to lie to a medical professional.” I replied, raising an eyebrow.
“You seem the type accustomed to such practices. Night.”
He shifted a little before closing his eyes again and going limp right then and there. His breathing was pretty even too, but I was kind of tempted to do a diagnostic on his head to see if he was really sleeping.
Nah, it didn’t matter terribly if he was faking or not. He was one of the hero professions and, more importantly, he seemed like the type who wouldn’t hurt someone after going through the trouble of saving them. Especially if he didn’t deem me enough of a threat to stay awake in front of, fake or not.
Eh, honestly, I didn’t care much either. It wasn’t like I didn’t deal with stranger people, plus he gave me some ideas on at least some ways I could kill time while whatever hoops I needed to jump through to get home were being put in place.
Hopefully fostering kittens wasn’t as rigorous a process as being allowed to use superpowers was in this world.
Is Eraserhead trying to guard her?