Koichi exited the convenience store with a couple of bags of quick to prepare food before heading down the street. He hadn’t had anything ready in the fridge when he’d gotten home the previous day and when he got the call to come in the next morning it didn’t give him time to make breakfast. Really, the entire experience had been a bit of a rush and he doubted he would have eaten even if he did have anything. The only thing he’d really managed when he got home before passing out was sending a text off to his boss about the next day.
Thinking on that, he pulled out his phone and checked his messages. No response from his boss yet. Looking at the time, he supposed Yamada-san would be at the office. He’d better call in just in case. Setting the phone to his ear, he kept a steady pace as he walked down towards the district headquarters for Harunata. Or he would have, had it not been blocked off because of the destruction from yesterday. He nearly stepped into the alley when a hand stopped him and a stout but muscular man pointed to the sign that they were starting construction.
Apologizing, Koichi started down an alternate route. It wouldn’t take that much longer and he was glad they were already getting right on the construction. It was one of the bigger industries, he supposed, and one of the only ones that allowed active quirk usage, which he noted as he saw a normal looking man picking up several bags of cement like they weighed less than groceries. Probably be only a day or two before that route was opened back up.
As the ringer answered he exchanged pleasantries with the office coordinator before the man got to the meat of the matter.
“So, you get involved in the Naruhata incident, Haimawari-san?”
“I was in the area.” Koichi replied. “I can still come in today and make my evening appointment, but I’ve been called to interview with the police, I don’t know how long it will take.”
“Some of the others in your area are calling out for family matters. We might just close down the office at this rate.” Yamada said.
“I should still be able to make the appointment today.” Koichi said as he turned the corner.
“Right, right, if you get held up tripping a purse snatcher again, can you at least get the victim’s number if she’s hot?” Yamada jokes..
“Helping people out isn’t for soliciting dates.” Koichi said with a slight frown.
“Why not, worked for you, didn’t it?” Yamada replied.
“I’ll see you at the office.”
Koichi exchanged goodbyes as he stopped in front of the district department. He looked at the building for a few seconds before flinching back for just a second when the door opened to reveal an elderly couple walking out. Right, calm down, he didn’t need to avoid the police anymore. Taking a deep breath, he stepped through the threshold into the main building.
The main room had a couple of people meandering, sitting on the benches. He waved to a few people who recognized him before heading to the receptionist, who let him past the first door. As he entered, he checked his phone for the note of which room he was supposed to be in when someone stepped into his path. Absently, he swung his leg around them, dodging the larger man as he tried to keep moving before a hand was put on his shoulder. Or tried, he stepped to the side.
“Why Hauler, are you avoiding me?”
Blinking, Koichi turned and blinked up at the taller man. He was just a bit wider than Koichi, but not the biggest person he’d ever seen. His shoulders were perfectly square, a strange feature of his physical mutation. His head was similarly shaped, with slicked down hair as he smiled his normal smile.
“Oh, Heihomushi-san, did you need something?”
“Well, that depends, are you finally turning yourself in?” The man pulled a pair of cuffs off his waist. “I bet your wrists will fit just fine in these.”
Koichi turned away.
“Not sure what you’re talking about. I’m here on official business and my license clearly states that…”
“Your license is only a year old, I’m sure if we did some digging we could find some past infra…”
The voice came from the end of the hallway, making Koichi jump.
“Yes?” He looked at the local station chief. “Oh Fugichi-san, I’m, well, here for…”
“The interview of the incident, yes that is why I called you.” The older man stepped more out of the doorway he was in. “Heihomushi-kun, do you have any reason to be standing around?”
“Just escorting our guest.” The large square man answered.
“Well, you’ll find that unnecessary.” The older station chief nodded and turned. “If you would, Haimawari-san?”
“Ah, yes,” Koichi said before looking towards Heihomushi. “Well, it was nice seeing you, but I do need to…”
The other man looked away before mumbling something under his breath that probably wasn’t terribly flattering. Not that Koichi stayed around, as he slipped into the office at the back of the building. Closing the door behind him, he heard a slight sigh from the station head.
“Some people can’t let things go.” The older man said. Koichi turned to see him heading towards his desk.
“Uh, it’s fine.” Koichi said as he moved forward to find a chair. It wasn’t the first time this happened. At least Heihomushi never got too physical and responded to the phones if he called in. “You wanted to talk about the incident.”
The older man nodded before sorting through some papers on his desk and pulling one out with a pen.
“It’s mostly paperwork at this point.” He said, handing Koichi the papers. “Need statements, times, list of actions, a scan of your license, but we already have that, list of injuries.” Fugichi paused and looked at Koichi for a few moments. “Or lack thereof, you got pretty lucky this time? There were a lot of injuries logged at the hospital for this incident.”
Koichi almost opened his mouth to correct him, but then paused when remembering what Tsukauchi-san told him.
“Yeah, got pretty lucky. Honestly, mostly I was just doing crowd control and helping some people move around because they got tripped up. Oh, and I helped Enigma move one of her clones so she could do reports, but other than that I didn’t do much.”
“Doesn’t surprise me, but knowing you, you used your quirk to do so. So we still have to keep everything logged for headquarters.” Fugichi replied. “They may call you in if they think you might have seen the dealer too.”
“So it’s Trigger again.” Koichi took a deep breath before letting out a sigh. “Honestly, I thought we were done with that.”
“Villain Factory hardly had a monopoly on the formula, even if they were some of the most aggressive dealing with it.” Fugichi shook his head. “More likely it’s another gang, there are a couple, of the Lowgrounds, Sunshine Republic it might even be the Eight Precincts of Death, though the latter would have to fight the local gangs.”
Koichi sighed again as he started scratching out the details for the report on the paper.
“I hope things don’t get too heated again.”
“It’s not really your concern, but if you see anything don’t hesitate to call us in.” The chief said.
“I’ll do what I can.” Koichi said. “That’s all we as civilians can do, right?”
Fugichi Hiro shook his head and smiled. “If only things were ever that simple.”
When the police officer opened the door to the car we arrived in I didn’t immediately respond because I was still staring out the window at the streets surrounding us. I rubbed my hands on my kimono a bit, they’d let me have my clothing back in the morning and my wraps, which helped a little bit since I felt less exposed with them on.
“Ume-san, we need to get going so we don’t miss our appointment.”
When I turned around I was still just slightly startled to see the human sized cat head that was peering back at me. Apparently that was a mutation, people with Quirks tended to have strange bodily features that were either the source of their power or just a trait passed down their family line because one of their parents had a quirk that required a physical mutation. I looked it up and apparently animal-like characteristics weren’t uncommon, some mutation quirks were simply called the name of the animal they most closely resembled. It didn’t make it any less unusual to look at.
Or cute. Honestly, I was actively resisting reaching out and scratching the police officer behind the ears. He was a professional and it would probably be rude. Luckily Danny was in my lap and I absently scratched his ears instead.
“Alright.” I nodded as I slid out of the car. Danny, taking the hint, jumped off my lap and onto my shoulders. He curled around me like a lazy scarf, much more comfortable since I’d taken the cast off his leg earlier that morning.
I stared up at the building and took a deep breath. Then immediately put a hand on my mouth. The inside of the Ingenium Agency and the surrounding area hadn’t been this bad, but it was a more isolated area. There were plenty of trees, but also cars buzzing by, making a smell of petrol, smoke, and, oddly, soy sauce permeate the air. The inside of the car smelled not as bad, because it smelled more like the upholstery, probably a newer car or at least one not broken in thoroughly. Still, I had to blink a bit as I looked around.
“Not used to the smells of a city?” The officier, Tamakawa, was his name, and looked at me. His own tiny nose slightly twitched.
“I’m from a more… rural area.”
Not an exaggeration, no city in the Elemental Nations was anywhere close to the sheer size, volume, density and scale of this. Even the Daimyo cities or major trading hubs weren’t as industrial or paved.
“I prefer the country too.” The officer gave a small little cat smile as he led the way. “It’ll be cleaner inside.”
“Sure.” I said as I held the hand over my face and trailed behind him up the stairs.
I was still glancing around. It was harrowing, really, how different this all was. I’d been in cities in my old life, but I never lived there full time. I was more used to suburbia. This was much different, as we were enclosed on all sides by towering buildings that shot up and out of view into the morning mist that hung in the air. It very much felt as if we were simply in an oversized hallway, the road being the floor that cut the walls of the surrounding buildings with a white misty ceiling. Thinking about the incident from yesterday I sort of blanched at the idea of something like that happening here. Those buildings weren’t empty, they were probably filled with people, so many people in such an enclosed space and all it took was one person with the right quirk at the right place to cause enough destruction to kill or maim all of them.
Why in the world would they even have such large city centers in such a dangerous world?
Rubbing my eyes, I entered the lobby of the office building. It was decidedly plainer than the agency was, it had plain white floors and walls, some floral paintings on the walls and a single person at a square desk. We buzzed through and went into an elevator that went up to the eighth floor. I fidgeted as we stood there in the silence, but Tamakawa stood next to me and broke the silence.
“There’s no need to be nervous. They’re just going to do some basic tests.”
“What if they want to experiment on me?” I said plainly, looking down. “That can happen, right? If I’m strange enough.”
“That’s illegal.” He reassured me. “They can only do non invasive testing and if you don’t want to answer a question they can’t make you. Even if they tried, I’ll be here to watch over the entire proceedings.”
I let out a deep breath. Why was I here? Oh right, I didn’t want to give them cause to mistrust me and because not having a quirk registered when it appeared was in fact illegal. But it didn’t lessen the bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. Did I really want this?
No, but I didn’t have many great options right now and if I wanted to at any point gain access to the type of resources I needed to get home I needed to play ball with whomever happened to be in charge here. I could live fine on my own in this world but that would mean I’d be stuck just LIVING here.
Just getting home right now was beyond me, I needed help. To get help, I needed them to know I was willing to at least pretend to play by their rules. I didn’t like some of their rules so far, but if they thought I was compliant they weren’t likely to look too closely at whatever I happened to be doing. Really, I wasn’t planning on breaking any laws quite yet, but if I had to I needed them to remember I wasn’t rebellious or resisting. First impressions were important like that. Still, it made me nervous having to explain anything about what I could do even if here it wouldn’t raise as many eyebrows.
Gods, I hoped this didn’t backfire.
When we left the elevator it was into a hallway that led down to a door into a new room. Opening the door, I raised an eyebrow as I examined the room. For a place that was supposed to be specialized in examining people’s quirks, it was just so plain.
The walls were an off cream color all the way to a plain speckled white floor. There was florescent lighting in the ceiling and generic black chairs lining the wall. End tables were set in each corner with magazines in a stack, as well as a few potted plants. One corner had a small colorful rug with a low table with toys I recognized for young children, a mess of colorful stiff wires stuck into a base with wooden beads you moved along it. There was a short shelf covered with other various toys, some cars, a few baby dolls, stuffed animals and the like, as well as a few poseable figurines.
Looking at it made me just sigh, another clear difference of the world to put so much care in a space made for children. There were no child friendly or child proof places at home. Danny actually jumped off my shoulders and walked towards the small area, sniffing and rubbing at the bookshelf.
“Do kids come here a lot?” I asked, pointing at it.
“Most quirks manifest by the age of five. So usually this sort of check happens as part of a physical for young children.”
Well, that was rather terrifying. While suddenly getting powers like that on the onset of puberty or during adulthood would be scary, at least the person would be old enough to use it responsibly. Despite what people think, their cute, young children aren’t naturally very empathetic. They weren’t sociopathic either, just they didn’t have a solid grasp of cause and effect. A child who could breath fire probably wouldn’t immediately understand the ramifications of doing so in an enclosed space nor would one with super speed or strength immediately understand how seriously they could hurt someone in a play fight. There were some benefits, living with a power most of your life makes you very aware of its limits, but having someone so young with that sort of power just unsettled me.
Though I suppose physically speaking, I really shouldn’t talk.
A nurse met us as a door, though she looked at Danny.
“You can’t bring an animal in here.”
I looked at Tamakawa. “Can you?”
“I’ll watch him.
I was led in to see an older bald man with a thick white mustache. He had a pair of round thick green glasses and he looked at me, holding out a hand.
“Good afternoon young lady, it is a pleasure to meet you. My name is Doctor Tsubasa.”
Unusually western greeting for a Japanese doctor, but I reached out and grabbed his hand. With a shake he nodded before heading over to the next room.
“We’ll be doing a few tests today. If you go with my nurse she’ll be taking your height, weight and blood pressure.”
I nodded, that sounded pretty standard. I walked behind the nurse, who I expected to take me to a type of scale. Instead she took me to something which I blinked at as I looked at it. It was a floor to ceiling poster of someone who looked like they’d stepped out of a Rob Liefeld book. He was built like a bodybuilder, in a red white and blue skin tight outfit with blonde hair slicked back except for two antennas that hung over the top of him. He had a fist on his hip and a finger pointing forward, solid black shading going over his contours with a white smile dominating his face and overly shadowed eyes with a speech bubble that said, Are you as tall as All Might? There was, next to him, a chart for height in centimeters and meters. He was over two meters tall, or if I saw the line correctly, two hundred and twenty centimeters at the top of his head. Though the yellow antenna added another thirty or so centimeters by themselves.
I looked at the poster, then the nurse, blinking.
“I suppose you want me to stand up against that.”
“If you would, can you remove your shoes?”
I nodded, shrugging away the weirdness. It was probably a children’s cartoon character or something, this place did cater to them, I supposed.
After she noted my height by having me stand against the poster we went over to a scale. It wasn’t digital, but was one of the ones where you move weights along a line to balance it out. The maximum limit on this scale was about a hundred and twenty kilos, probably also for use on children, though when I stepped on it it sort of clunked at the sudden shift. The noise having startled her, she looked at the scale as she tried to move the weights along the line to balance it out. As she started going towards the forty to fifty range I coughed into my fist before saying.
“It’s going to be closer to the one hundred mark.”
The nurse blinked in surprise. “You weigh almost a hundred kilos?”
“Actually, I think it’s around ninety.” I said.
The nurse nodded and adjusted the little sliding weights until it balanced out with my weight at ninety two kilograms. The nurse looked at the scale for a few seconds before she started to write it down.
“I guess so. That’s fairly heavy.”
“I know, it’s not a new thing.” I said.
“Must be a biological quirk then, do you know if either of your parents were unusually heavy? Such things usually happen in family lines.” The nurse asked.
“I wouldn’t know. Both of my parents died when I was very young.” I answered.
“I’m so sorry for that.” The nurse said.
“It’s nothing, but it means I don’t have any history on my family line.” I replied.
“Ah, so I can assume Yamada isn’t your actual family name.” The nurse replied, looking at the sheet of paper she was filling out.
“Yamada?” I raised an eyebrow.
“It’s a placeholder surname when one isn’t given. Would you prefer something different?” She said this time.
“I can choose?” I looked at her, a little curious.
“Well, you should, this will go into official records once we’re done here. You can’t simply not have a surname, it would be confusing for everyone involved. Even if you don’t know what your parents were.” The nurse replied.
“Oh.” I said, looking at her as I stepped off the scale and thought about it. I guess just Ume wasn’t going to fly here, well, if that was the case. “You can list it as Fuma.” I replied.
“Alright, how do you spell it?” She asked.
“In kanji, you use the symbol for wind and the symbol for demon, you got that?” I replied.
Honestly, I wasn’t going for irony or a pun or anything, that just happened to be how the Fuma clan back home spelled their name. I found it slightly ironic when I first actually saw it spelled out at the time, but still, they were as much family as anything else I had at this point. They were certainly more so than the Sumire had been, even if they trained me, especially since at this point I’m pretty sure most of them either hated me or tolerated my existence as a necessity to maintain their existence. I mean, sure, in some families that was in fact normal treatment, but it wasn’t anything I actually wanted to be a part of.
The nurse wrote it down and we went through the other steps. She took blood, blood pressure, checked my breathing and my pulse. She did it through my clothing and didn’t ask me to take off my wraps or my kimono. It was odd, but apparently the stethoscope was sensitive enough or accurate enough that she didn’t have to. Either that or she was told about my scars and didn’t want to upset me by having me expose them. Honestly, either was fine, I really didn’t want to explain how I got any of them. She also didn’t comment on my false arm, even though I’m sure she noticed it. Again, it was probably just a politeness thing, how I’d lost it didn’t really matter in terms of my supposed ‘quirk’.
She also wanted me to do an xray and a MRI scan. The latter I had concerns about because of my arm having a metal core. She thanked me for telling her and apparently had some sort of sleeve to cancel out the effects of the machine on just my arm. I agreed to letting both happen mostly out of curiosity. If this had been a different world I might have been terrified about them finding something inhuman about my body, but with how extreme and bizarre some quirks could make a human’s body I don’t think anything they could find could mark me as such.
The entire experience went fairly quickly, the scans only lasting a few minutes and not in little tubes. They were both in open rooms with a lot of space for laying down and room over the scanner. The nature of how quirks changed people’s bodies again made it so that they couldn’t have the equipment be just bigger than a normal human body. I imagine if someone had to lay on the table with a giant pair of wings, or some other stretched out or exaggerated feature they’d have plenty of room.
When I met the doctor again he had the scans ready and he set them on the table.
“Well, Ume-san, very interesting results we got from here.”
I looked over the scans myself, the x rays were pretty standard. My skeleton wasn’t anything special, after all. I’d seen x rays before in my previous life, though only of my teeth. It was black and white and showed the various bones, even when it ended. The MRI however was much much more interesting. It was cast in blue instead of black and instead of my bones it showed my organs. I actually looked closely at it, picking up the picture and just scanning it.
When I was younger (the first time around) I had a strange disconnect between my reflection and my actual appearance. I didn’t always immediately recognize myself when I looked in a mirror, somehow having an image in my head that didn’t really match what I saw. When I first got out of the academy I had much the same problem, mostly because there weren’t really many mirrors at the academy. Over time I’d relearned to recognize myself as my current form, as different as it was from my first one but I did and had grown accustomed to it. The current situation reminded me of that. I was looking at… a body, someone’s body, small, compact, muscular, full of organs, with a scan of a brain, and a little name on the corner that matched what I gave to the nurse, but it was hard to really think of it as mine. There were no scars, no skintones, no little makers of what I used to self identify. It was like an outline really, a blueprint of who I was. It showed where everything was, but didn’t have the coloring that people associated with what did in fact make a person. Given, that was because humans are biased, we like things with faces. This didn’t have them, so I sort of stared at it.
“Have you ever had an MRI done before, Ume-san?” The doctor asked.
I shook my head.
“I see, it must be rather strange. I think it’s time we spoke about the differences, shall we?” He said.
“Is there something different about my MRI?” I looked up at him, eyebrows raising.
“There is indeed. Let me bring up something for comparison.”
He pulled a file up and set it on the desk. Opening it up he put it down next to my MRI. In terms of body scale it looked like another child, he was rounder in outline, and apparently, had a pair of bat wings on his back. Though there was a notable difference between the two MRIs other than that. I blinked and looked at them both and opened my mouth, the oh forming on it.
“Indeed, I believe you do see the difference.”
The doctor said as he put a finger on my MRI. There throughout my body was a lighter section that went from the center of my body and extended throughout. When I saw it I had assumed it was simply my circulatory system, but apparently that wasn’t picked up on MRIs. No, looking at it more closely at where the trails of light branched and bunched I recognized the places commonly referred to at home as gates. It was my chakra system, and it was apparently visible on an MRI.
I think the doctor saw something in my gaze as he looked at me.
“Do you know what this is, Ume-san?”
I looked at him, then the picture.
“That must be where I draw my energy.” I traced the lines over the chakra system. “It does always feel warm like it’s moving through me when I use it.”
“The energy you use to do what?” He replied.
“Heal.” I said. “I can draw this energy from myself, and put it into someone else, to heal them.”
“I see, that is, quite an interesting quirk. I’m not sure if it’s an emission type, a mutation or some combination of both.” He said. “Given over the years there have been such combinations popping up frequently as genetics and family lines have mixed. Is healing all you can do with this quirk? Is it instantaneous?”
“Well no, it takes a while. I have to focus on the area I’m healing and I have to direct the energy properly to do it so I don’t mess it up. Really, I’m only good at fixing bones and closing wounds.” I replied.
“Mess it up? How could you do that? Can you be more specific?” He said.
“Well, the energy heals, but if you just tell it to heal, it does so indiscriminately and sloppily. It makes it easy for things like cuts on the skin, but say someone put a blade in someone’s heart. If I tried to heal the heart, it’s entirely possible that I might force certain parts that were supposed to be open, closed. You could see where that might be a problem.” I said.
The doctor sitting in his lab coat with his bald head adjusted his glasses.“That is interesting, and rather dangerous if done on purpose.”
“I don’t think I’d really get the chance to do that on purpose doctor, as I’d need to ACTUALLY be touching someone’s heart.” I held up my hand. “I can only heal someone where I’m directly touching them. I can go deeper past that if I focus, down to the bones as it were, but most bones aren’t terribly deep in the body.”
Which was the truth, without my wraps I couldn’t heal very far from point of contact. Better medics had a much higher range, hell Tsunade could heal an entire person with just a single touch of her finger. It’d probably be years of training before I got to that point if I wanted to even bother since the wraps extended my range so well.
“So it has to be directed.” He said. “That is very interesting, sounds like it’s limited by your own medical knowledge.”
“Well, I have to have very precise knowledge if I don’t want to mess anything up. The human body is a fragile thing, one small slip and entire systems can fail.” I added.
Which was true, even shinobi bodies were the same, it was the reason why medical nins had to have years of training to back up their incredibly large amounts of control. I only had the latter, which made me less than mediocre even with my wrap. I was great at diagnosis, but at actual healing I was subpar.
The doctor nodded before putting a hand on his chin.
“Well, with that in mind have you considered going into the medical field with such a quirk?”
“Um, no.” I said shortly. “Not really.”
“Really?” The doctor seemed surprised. “But it would be quite a boon to any hospital or even clinic to have you there.”
“Why?” I said, looking at him. “I surely can’t be the only person with a healing quirk, right?”
The doctor looked at me, then the nurse, who also seemed surprised. I blinked, scanning the room, what was I missing here? It, no, it couldn’t be, could it?
The doctor rubbed his nose before continuing.
“Ume-san, I think it’s important for me to inform you that while you aren’t the only person I’ve only ever heard of three other people in all of Japan with a healing quirk, of which only two are active in the medical field.”
I stared at him for a few seconds, then back at the nurse for confirmation, my heart dropping into my stomach as I went over the ramifications of this. I hadn’t thought about it when I healed Koichi at the Ingenium Agency because he was already in pain. It didn’t even occur to me to read into why Aizawa had been surprised when I closed his wounds after he dropped off Danny. Then I’d told that cop about it as well. As far as quirks went you only really got one very specific type of power and that was it. I could have done anything of my number of skills and just stuck with it as oh, that’s really just what I could do, that’s all.
Instead I’d singled myself out as one of four people capable of healing injuries, somehow being a rarity in a world full of superpowers.
Honestly, I might have been better off if I’d just told them I killed people for a living.
Note for people who don’t know metric to imperial, 92 kilograms is 202 lbs, and yes Ume weighs fifty kilos more than her entry page says. There is a good reason for that, not gonna tell you right now.