OPPOSITION/RESURRECTION Episode 8: Struck by a fleeting epiphany - the written adaptation

STORY ARC: Destructive Tendencies

A web novel by Jack Y./superslinger2007

Part 1: Determination

Chapter 1

        The Resurrection Movement have won their fourth victory against the Opposition who wanted a Fugitive dead. With some help, the group of mercenaries and magical girls surpassed the might of the Opposition Member named Strength, and took advantage of a physical weakness in her back.
        But the Resurrection Movement's victory was not without cost. Outside a BLU Team freight base, two people outside the base lay lifeless on the ground after electric bullets struck them each in the head and sent them into comas.
        One of the two headshot victims, known only as Black Gold Saw, was a woman with long dark red hair and a black-and-red outfit with red clawed gloves. Despite the red curved horns on her head, Black Gold Saw had assisted the Resurrection Movement twice in fighting the Opposition, including their battle against Strength.
        The other victim, Kyoko Sakura, had more prominence among the Resurrection Movement. She was a teenage magical girl who also had long dark red hair and had been a member of the team's Holy Quintet division. However, she violently renounced the team while under pressure from a stern, bitter woman she had known for a few years, bolstered by her own discovery that their Fugitive commander had made a deal with a devil. Yet, almost because of her decision to ditch the Resurrection Movement, Kyoko had been taken out by the Opposition. The red dress Kyoko wore as a magical girl faded back to her vest, shirt, and shorts, and her red Soul Gem appeared next to her, intact.
        Three mercenaries of the team's Codename Fortress division stood silently over Black Gold Saw. A young man known as Scout wore a flat cap, a headset over his left ear, and a red T-shirt. He had just tried to contact Medic only to overhear the electric bullet that sent his fellow teammate into a coma.
        Scout was joined by a woman he called FemScout, who dressed nearly identically to him, and by a man known only as Spy, who donned a balaclava mask and a formal blue suit. The three of them knew that they were all at the Teufort base on the day when Black Gold Saw arrived to disarm Black Rock Shooter, another Opposition Member they've defeated in the past. They pondered for a moment what had led the mystery assassin to shoot down their interventionary ally during the battle against Strength.
        FemScout then looked over to the two people who were next to the nearby comatose Kyoko.
        Sayaka Miki, a magical girl with light-blue hair and a fortissimo-shaped hairclip, continued to kneel as she looked at her close friend's oddly-serene expression and at the half-finished Pocky box she had placed in her open hand.
        She then heard what sounded like sobbing nearby, and looked up to see Mami Tomoe, another magical girl with blonde hair in twin curls, wiping away tears while holding her feathered hat in her hands. When Mami noticed Sayaka looking at her, she quickly closed her mouth into a smile, though her eyebrows remained drooped.
        "This better not take forever. I need a candy bar!" shrieked a nearby girl, whose long hair, a layer of dark-blue that covered its inner hot-pink highlights, had a blue bow on top. Stocking Anarchy, one of the Hostiles the team was also in contention against, traded glares with Sayaka, who had forgotten she was still around.
        The two people who were with Stocking, though, were instead appalled.
        "Huuhh?" groaned one of them, a boy named Nagisa Hazuki, who had wavy-blonde hair and wore a distinct vibrantly-colored Arabian-style outfit.
        "Don't you think I know that?" responded the other, a young woman named Serah Farron, who had her pink hair tied in a ponytail draped over her left shoulder.
        Nagisa H. looked around and saw a few more people in the area tending to their own business.
        A young silvery-white-haired girl, known to the magical girls as Nagisa Momoe, wore a disjointed outfit with a brown cat-eared headband and a pink overcoat cloth. She knew she had the same name as the only young boy in the area despite receiving a few nicknames of her own, but Nagisa M. couldn't help but look at the other Nagisa with a confused look on her face.
        "Bebe?!" gasped Mami as soon as she noticed the girl staring at the blonde-haired boy.
        Nagisa H. took a glance at Mami, and then focused on a stoic girl with long black hair who had a distinct circular shield attached to her left forearm.
        Homura Akemi was on the phone with the Resurrection Movement's commanding Fugitive. "I figured it out," she declared.
        "Look, Homura," urged the Fugitive, "getting shot into a coma is not like when that Sealing Wand detransformed you."
        "If I stopped and thought about it from the start, it would've been obvious. There's one last thing I have to confirm to be sure." Homura looked over at Kyoko's comatose body.
        "What, with the Soul Gem? You're making it seem like the Opposition put a suppression field around it or something."
        Homura watched as Sayaka, who was still kneeling on the ground, began to reach for Kyoko's Soul Gem.
        An electric spark caused Sayaka to pull her hand away from the Soul Gem even though she wore gloves.
        Overhearing the spark, the Fugitive continued, "I'm guessing that's what happened, then. Well, it doesn't look like Kyoko will be waking up any time soon, not until we get rid of the Opposition."
        Homura looked over to Mami and saw her wipe another tear from her eye.
        "Ms. Sakura..." muttered Mami as she knelt down and placed her hand over Kyoko's closed fist.
        Homura quietly walked over to two more people in the area who had been listening in through the team's communications systems.
        One of them was Dell Conagher, better known as Engineer, who was a kind-but-tough mercenary of the team's Codename Fortress division who wore overalls and a headset mounted into his construction helmet. He held a device equipped with a swivel-mounted camera and managed to film the moment that Kyoko's Soul Gem zapped Sayaka.
        The other person was Madoka Kaname, a pink-haired magical girl of the Holy Quintet, who had not yet changed out of her pink-and-white dress. She had a phone of her own and was also listening to the comms when the Fugitive began to give his next command.
        "Team, right now, Medic's in trouble at the old hospital," spoke the Fugitive. "I want only the people with the Resurrection Movement to go there and check on him. But you gotta move right now."
        Madoka noticed that the Fugitive sounded a bit fed-up when he gave his order. She then raised a small board she held in her other hand and stared at it for a moment.
        The board had the number 11 written on it. It was dropped by Strength, the Opposition Member the team just defeated, as she disappeared in a time-screw teleport. However, none of the team members had identified the number's significance yet.
        Madoka looked up in time to notice Sayaka take out a phone from one of Kyoko's pockets.
        Sayaka handed Kyoko's phone to Nagisa H., who spoke into it.
        "Aww?! How could you?" groaned Nagisa H.
        "Uhh, hi, I guess?" The Fugitive began to hesitate. "Ok, I kinda overheard you just now. Did you just say you didn't wanna run away anymore?"
        "Look, I've had enough of runaways too, so next time, you better hope I don't send the team after you."
        Nagisa H. groaned again. He gave the phone back to Sayaka before rejoining Stocking and Serah on their way out.
        "I'm telling you they just won't listen!" he shouted.
        As Sayaka raised the phone to her ear, the Fugitive repeated his order.
        "Resurrection Movement, make your way to the hospital, if you can. I know it's tough right now, but we have a task to do."
        Sayaka watched as the other team members grouped up. She then noticed Mami and Nagisa M. walk over to a young woman with silvery-blonde hair and a green version of her usual crystalline dress.
        FemScout also noticed the three having a discussion away from the team, and began to listen in.
        Mami asked, "Uh, do you have any free time today?"
        "Certainly," replied the woman, who happened to be Elsa herself, a well-known snow queen who enlisted the Resurrection Movement's help despite falling out of favour with their commanding Fugitive. But it would be some time before her secret plan to rescue her sister from her gasmasked kidnappers would continue.
        FemScout decided to call out to Mami's group. "Will you just let's go? Come on, move it up!"
        Sayaka changed back into her school uniform with a bright glow. As she morphed her own Soul Gem back into a ring on her left hand, she kept her now-ungloved hands away from Kyoko's Soul Gem, which seemed to visibly crackle for a short moment. Sayaka began to watch over the comatose bodies of Black Gold Saw and her fallen friend Kyoko, as the others headed out.


*   *   *

        "Doctor, doctor, doctor..." sighed Scout once the team reached Drogentote Medical Hospital.
        The comatose body of Medic lay crumpled on the ground just outside the giant sliding doors that were marked with a red cross.
        Suddenly, the doors slowly began to open, allowing a young girl, with multi-layered blonde and blue twin-bunched hair and emerald-like eyes, to slip through.
        Engineer was the first to notice.
        "Hail, fellow well met," greeted Yutaka in a sweeter-than-usual voice.
        Engineer wondered if something was off about Yutaka, who visited the inhibitor rooms just two months ago. At the very least, he noticed that her clothes didn't look the same.
        Elsa, however, was the first to voice any concerns the team might have had. "What? No, this can't be right."
        Madoka then remembered Yutaka from their last meeting, and began to walk up to her. "Huh? What happened to you?" she asked.
        "I'm not so sure," replied Yutaka, who glanced down at her uniform. She didn't seem to mind that it underwent a drastic change in its color scheme.
        A ringtone sounded across the team's headsets and phones.
        "Resurrection Movement, brace yourselves," warned the Fugitive over the comm.
        "I know that voice," said Yutaka.
        "I'm getting an Opposition reading at your location, but I can't quite figure out..."
        Yutaka gently pulled Madoka's hand down and leaned toward the phone she held. She then spoke into the phone. "My name is Nia."
        "No, it ain't!" interjected Scout and FemScout in unison.
        "My friend, you are quite out of your depth," declared Spy as he pointed at Yutaka.
        Madoka raised her phone back up to her ear and asked, "What's wrong with her?"
        There was a brief pause before the Fugitive replied solemnly, "Something happened, all right. Something I did not think was ever gonna happen at all."
        Homura looked up and gasped silently. She saw that her twin-from-another-time had returned, and placed herself between the large group and the young girl with a bad case of mistaken identity. But once Homura saw the Second-Homura, she quickly rested her right hand against the side of her head, almost by habit.
        "Stand down," ordered the second-Homura.
        "I... I must agree," said a hesitant Fugitive. "All of you, come back to the inhibitors right now. We gotta talk about this."
        "But Medic--!" yelled Scout.
        "I can't risk you staying at the hospital," urged the Fugitive. "That person going around shooting you into comas might still be there. Besides, back at the inhibitors, you might find something about Yutaka that could be useful."
        The young blonde- and blue-haired girl could only shake her head at the Fugitive's assertion. She knew she wasn't Yutaka anymore, so she was confused that the man on the other end of the line was still calling her by that name.


*   *   *

        At the inhibitor room, the team watched silently as Engineer softly tapped the primary inhibitor's frontal column with a gloved finger.
        An image appeared of the young pink-haired girl being recorded from the inhibitor's camera-embedded viewscreen. She wore a wig on her head that had the same shades of blonde and blue that she now had. But the girl wore the wig very loosely and messily, as her pink hair and her purple ribbons were poking out in several places.
        "Okay, this is Yutaka at the inhibitor room back in... 2012," announced the Fugitive over the comm, somewhat hesitantly. The team assumed, as always, that when they pulled up some imagery on the inhibitors, their unseen commander could also see it on his end.
        As the clip began to play, some of the team members noticed that Yutaka had her lips pursed in the footage. The screen showed Yutaka groan in exasperation.
        "And there should be another clip," the Fugitive continued.
        Engineer tapped the inhibitor on cue.
        A short burst of noise was followed by a beep on the inhibitor. The viewscreen showed a pattern of color bars instead of the clip the team was looking for.
        With another tap, the color bars inverted their colors briefly.
        "Darn," muttered Engineer.
        The second-Homura sighed as she lightly pushed past Engineer. She placed her hand onto the inhibitor and tapped her finger a few times against it.
        But the color bars remained on the viewscreen.
        "Okay, never mind that," said the Fugitive.
        With a few more taps of her finger, the second-Homura returned the image of the frowning wig-wearing Yutaka onto the screen.
        "Team," continued the Fugitive, "I don't know how far that destroyed inhibitor can send its electric shocks, but I think Yutaka got zapped again today like she was a few months ago. It's almost like Yutaka ended up with..."
        "Two separate souls that possess the same body," suggested the second-Homura.
        "Yeah. Think about this for a moment: Have you ever felt like there might be someone else trapped inside of you? I mean, it's probably not gonna happen to you, but..."
        "Right," agreed the doppelganger as she nodded.
        The Fugitive found it tough to find the right words. "But for someone to have two... different personalities inside them, that's kinda..."
        "It's a phenomenon known as 'dual souls'."
        "Well, other than Yutaka having triple souls now, it-it's troubling."
        Homura frowned at her twin-from-another-time. She was confused that a person like her would know such things, even if that doppelganger wasn't really her.
        The Fugitive continued his briefing. "Yutaka might not even be Yutaka anymore. On that note, Resurrection Movement, our next target is actually supposed to be someone named Nia Teppelin."
        Madoka let her mouth drop open. She felt like she heard that name before, and wanted to check the inhibitors for further info. But the Fugitive's next statement discouraged her from doing so.
        "But there's barely even anything about Nia anymore, and all signs point to her getting manifested inside the young girl."
        The team members braced themselves as the Fugitive made his grim declaration.
        "Yutaka is Opposition Member #5. She shall be known as The Corrupted. I mean, with all those personality shifts of hers, I wouldn't be surprised if one of them did have something against us."




Chapter 2 >