Sage !PLSKN7WwcQ 2013/12/13 (Fri) 02:18 No. 176513 ▼
File 138690113845.jpg - (669.30KB, 1008x1000 , The best cat that was ever a person.jpg)
In the event I haven't imagined it, I step out into the hall.
"Alice?" I call out quietly, "Rin?"
I'm reluctant to wake either of the two. The rooms are pitch black?save the lamp light flooding from the bedroom's open door and what little moonlight shines through the windows?and deathly quiet. My eyes slowly adjust, and I step further into the living room.
I feel relieved, as there are no collapsed or otherwise lifeless bodies in the room that could've caused such a sound by falling. There is also an absence of burglars or anything of the like. The window curtains are open, but all of the windows themselves are still closed. Alice sleeps soundly, bundled up in blankets on the couch. In the quiet of the room, I can hear her breathing.
Something brushes past my leg, I stifle a scream.
"Meow," it says, silently hopping up on the armrest by Alice's head.
"Oh, just a cat," I whisper to myself.
"Not just a cat, young lady. I am the cat."
I'm a bit shocked; I can hear the cat's thoughts. More surprising is the fact that Alice owns a cat at all. She didn't seem the type to keep pets.
Satisfied with my investigation, I head back to my room.
The cat follows.
"Don't leave me out here," it thinks, racing towards the open door.
"Alright, fine," I say, letting it into the room before I shut the door.
It climbs up onto the bed, where I can see it clearly in the light. It almost appears to be an ordinary cat, save a few flaws. And were it not for the bright red eyes, the black and deep red fur, and overabundance of tails, I'd have not found cause to think it suspicious or odd in any way. But judging by appearance alone it is indeed an odd sort of cat, and I think it unusual that it would be so eager to follow me?essentially a stranger to it?into a closed room. More interestingly, I find it in possession of a number of memories. Memories of me in particular, and more peculiarly all from what appear to be Rin's perspective.
"Odd," I say to myself, "Very odd."
"Yeah, I can tell you already know the deal," the cat thinks, "Doesn't take a mind reader to decrypt that look on your face. it's me, Rin!"
"You're? a cat," I say, boggled, "Rin is a person."
The cat lifts up on her forelegs, holding her head high with pride, "Not true! Rin is indeed a cat and I am she."
"I was under the impression that Alice's referring to you as a cat was somewhat more? metaphorical," I say.
"Totally literal. But you don't seem particularly bothered by it," The cat replies mentally.
Yet again, my mind recalls Alice's description of this world. "The impossible, made possible." Right now it feels more like a mantra to prevent my descent into blubbering insanity. Under normal circumstances, one who sees a cat claiming to be a human or vice-versa and believes it should have their head checked. As an extension of that notion, despite my ability to hear the cat's thoughts it fails to change the perception in my mind that I am in fact talking to a cat. Perhaps I've been insane since day one and have yet to have fully realized it until now. Unlikely, given the number of strange events I've been exposed to while others around me remind me that it is all normal. Then again, they could all be insane as well.
"I'm talking to a cat," I say, "I think that bothers me more than the fact that you are calling yourself Rin. I can at least suspend disbelief long enough to accept that part."
"Can't help you with the talking to cats part. But I could always change back to prove I am who I say I am," Rin thinks, "The only caveat would be that I invariably come out of this form naked."
"Noted. I can trust that you are who you say you are, as I've seen the memories in your head for myself. But? this is some kind of curse, right?" I ask, "Like a ?person by day, cat by night? sort of thing?"
"No, no, no. Not at all. What you see now is me as I truly am. Alice's soup was just so bland and watered-down that no matter how much I ate and drank I still ran out of prana in the end."
"Prana. If I were to explain the concept to you, it'd take me all night and you the better part of a bag of catnip as payment. That's some real science-y stuff you're asking about there, so let's just say it runs like a battery. I charge it with food and sleep and stuff, use it to maintain human form, and once it runs out? Poof! Cat. Ergo, our current predicament."
Heh, cat battery. The explanation is simple enough that a child could comprehend her meaning, but is its only purpose to maintain a human form, or is she capable of doing other things with it? Oversimplification leads to more questions, but I opt not to inquire as I've no bags of catnip with which to use as a bribe.
"Doesn't seem to change the fact that I'm talking to a cat," I say.
"You were always talking to a cat," Rin thinks, rolling around on the bed and pawing at the sheets, "Only now, I can't actually talk back."
"Mrrrooooowww," Rin says. "See? Cat lungs, cat throat, cat mouth, cat tongue. That means cat words, not human words. it's real simple stuff."
I take a seat beside her on the bed, scratching her head, "Do you cough up hairballs, too?"
"No, I'm smart enough to know about an invention called bathing. I'm also perceptive enough to notice that, for someone with no memories, you've an awfully comprehensive knowledge base when it comes to cats."
"Is that so?" I ask.
She's struck a chord with me; her question hits hard. I do know an awful lot about cats, don't I? With a total of almost three whole days? memory and having not once come into contact with a cat or any items describing cats until just now? How do I even know that cats cough up hairballs? From a logical standpoint, I expect I should not even know what sort of animal I'm petting right now, let alone any manner of intricacies such as hairballs. Perhaps a portion of my memory has been retained? Or has it started to come back? I search my tiny set of memories for clues, but I can't seem to recall anything older than two or three days ago.
"Hey, space case," Rin scratches my leg lightly, "I wouldn't worry too much if I were you. You're probably just doing what Satori does."
"And what's that?" I ask.
"You're putting a knowledge base together using the minds around you. Probably. Satori does it unconsciously sometimes, so the way I see it the same thing could happen to you."
"That doesn't make any sense."
"it's just a thought. A hypothesis. You know what I mean. Like grasping at straws but both of your hands are cat paws and you can only hold onto one while the others fall to the floor like a monument to your failure to hold all of the straws? Might've gotten a bit specific for that example. True story."
it's odd, but she seems to be much, much more talkative in this form, despite being unable to utter so much as a single coherent word. She seems somehow more? comfortable, in this situation. The fact that I'm pulling the words straight from her mind doesn't seem to have any negative impact on her. Rather, the thoughts are so directed that there could be no explanation other than she is counting on my ability to hear them. Perhaps this is why she and Satori are on such good terms.
Oddly, I am capable of knowing the nature of Rin and Satori's relationship; a set of knowledge that I am incapable of possessing without utilizing the minds and memories of others. The glimpses of Satori I have consciously or partially unconsciously pulled from Rin's mind that I can recall only give Rin's side of the story, and nothing implying their relationship status can be gleaned from them as a result. Rin also has no prior memory of me before today, so I can accurately surmise that Satori and I have never met. At least, in Rin's presence. While it does seem likely or at least possible that my memories are bubbling just below the surface, perhaps the real fact of the matter is simpler; perhaps Rin is right. I know an awful lot about cats, but next to nothing about satori as a species.
"I? think I'm starting to get your point," I say, "I seem to know things that I shouldn't. Or couldn't, under normal circumstances."
"You've been showing signs of it all day, really. It isn't anything to worry about, I think."
"You don't seem sure of that," I say.
"I'm not a Satori," Rin tilts her head, "Now are we going to get to sleep or what? Won't it be bad if you stay awake for too long?"
"-What exactly do you mean by that?"
"I'd like to sleep in this room, where it's warmer."
"No, no," I say, "The other thing, about being awake too long."
"I meant nothing by it, if that's what you're asking. But your ability is physical in nature as far as I know, so won't it strain you? Satori gets these terrible headaches sometimes."
I have had headaches before, haven't I? All of them related to my ability. Once when my ability awakened?or considering the circumstances reawakened, the other time when it was overloaded by Okuu.
"It seems I'll be having a lot of questions for you regarding Satori and satori," I say, "Truthfully, there's a lot about me that I don't yet know."
"I'm a walking library," Rin nods, as much as a cat can nod, "But sleep first, yeah?"
No argument here.
[ ] Let Rin stay.
[ ] Make Rin leave.