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A pretty woman in a brown and pink striped dress, carrying a cafeteria tray with a salad and cup of chicken noodle soup, sits down directly across the table.

Well now. Maybe this one won't threaten to rape you.

She's got the kind of face you'd expect from a French model, round brown eyes under thoughtful brows, her lips are pale and naturally smiling, and her nose has a slightly Jewish touch to it. She's wearing large spectacles and the silliest pair of wooden craft-class gag earrings you've ever seen on a woman so otherwise cultured. She has a name tag which identifies her as Dr. Di Lucien. Her ID picture is horrible and looks nothing like her.

You stare at her. Perhaps she got lost on her way to the pediatrics ward. She seems like the type to treat children. You wish she'd leave the cafeteria before something ugly happened in her presence. She looks like she would fall apart if someone spoke roughly to her. She doesn't belong here, you think.

"I'm Patricia," the woman says, putting out her hand. "Nice to meet you."

You reach to shake with her, but you're not really keen on using that hand until the muscles in the arm have healed, and so you pull it back and give your left hand instead, which makes for an awkward but successful shaking experience.

"Hi." You say, and realize she's waiting for a name. "I'm Kano," you say. "Are you looking for somebody? Because I don't know anybody here. I can't help you."

"Actually, Kano," The doctor swipes a floret of cauliflower through the ranch dressing on the salad, and your name sounds really strange when she says it, "I was kind of hoping I could help you." She bites the cauliflower in two and munches it.

The idea of eating something that's been polluted by ranch dressing makes you want to throw up. And she's still looking at you, which is another bad sign. It means she's probably waiting to see how you react to her words. This woman actually wants to help you. That makes her an enemy already. She probably can't even find a vein properly, like the first nurse you remember seeing, the one who left junkie-red blotches all over your arm because she kept missing.

"I have a doctor. I saw him this morning."

"Different kind of doctor," She says with that perpetual smile. "I'm a psychologist."

"You're a shrink."

"If you like. I've been assigned to your case."

"Oh well fuck that." You stand up and, leaving your tray untouched on the table, stalk away. She of course follows you.

"Is there some reason why you're upset?" she asks, catching up. She must have left her vegetable tray with yours. Perhaps the two of them will fall in love on the table and, when thrown away, will mix together in the trash.

The bliss of wedlock.

"I don't want another shrink. Benton's bad enough. I don't even need him. And you don't want to deal with me."

"Why?" she asks, and you turn around, ready to say something scathing and painful or super teenage-dramatic, perhaps "Because I'll kill you eventually, and I don't want to do that." But instead, you find the words just come out unbidden: "Cruciferous vegetables. I can never open my mind to a woman who dips them in ranch dressing. Now go away, Dr. Di Lucien. You can't help me." Not the most profound method of doctor dismissal, but it will have to do. Since you're supposed to be this crazy kid, she no doubt has you pegged as a psychotic already. So who cares how you sound?

And you try to stalk off again, but a second time she ruins it by stubbornly refusing to back off in a properly dramatic fashion. It never works like in the movies, you think.

The two of you end up in the corridor between the cafeteria and the recreation room, a face-off at high noon. She has the kind of high-heeled sandals that require a minimal amount of bondage to wear, and the straps go halfway up her calf. Like a Greek goddess, kind of.

Why are you looking at this doctor's legs? She's the enemy. You have to remember that she's Doctor Mengele. Doctor Womengele. Never to be trusted. That innocent face may look angelic, but inside there is a PhD waiting for you to say something meaningless so she can turn it around and convince you that you're insane because your mother didn't sing to you enough while you were floating around in the embryotic soup of her guts.

Beware the quack within.

"I'm sure my eating habits will never come up in conversation, since it's not me we'll be talking about." She thinks she's being so clever. "In fact, I'll take great pains never to mention them as a part of therapy."

"And you're so sure I need therapy." you ask. You try to stick a derisive snort in there for good measure, but it comes out sounding like a stifled sneeze. This... is not going well. "What for?"

"Well, for one thing, Dr. Benton tells me you threatened him with a piece of broken glass when you arrived here." She crosses her arms and regards you with a totally neutral face. Inside that brain, her PhDemon is waiting to pick your reply apart.

"I was having a bad day."

"He said you also told him that he had a demon face, and he was turning into a monster."

This lady's done her homework. You guess there must have been some sort of prodigy in the shinking arts, because she can't be a day older than thirty.

"He was being a dick. And I already apologized."

She makes pity look beautiful, which makes you even more angry at her.

"Stop feeling sorry for me. I don't want your help." You decide that since you've already stomped away in a huff twice, this third time you'll just wear her down until she leaves. You stare at her for a good twenty seconds until you start seeing something--maybe a fish, maybe something else--behind her eyes. It swims lazily from the left eye to the right, inside her head, like her head is hollow and full of water.

Definitely a fish. One of those lacy, mottled-colored ones. A koi. Only smaller. As you gape at her eyes, the koi flips a fin at you. The fish's delicate, ethereal way of saying "Fuck you." You can't help smiling at that. You cover your mouth so she won't see  but she's sharper than that angel's face would have you believe.

"What's so funny?" she asks, not in that smart-ass way people have when you make fun of them, but in a way that tells you she wants to be let in on a good joke. "Why are you laughing?"

"There's a fish," you tell her between breaths, "swimming around in your head." And, realizing you just gave yourself away again, you're instantly angry. "It's nothing. Go away. You're fired."


And then it happens: The showdown itself.

"Your father is prepared to keep you here as long as it takes, whether you fire me or not." Bang.

"Fuck him, fuck you, and..." your brain fails to cough up a third target. You fumble for whatever seems appropriate. "And double-fuck whoever put up all these retarded posters. All the fucking kitten shenanigans in this place. Is it like job security to you people? Driving us around the fucking bend?" Dry click: misfire.

Shit. That was stupid. You are stupid.

"Nevertheless," she says, and just looks at you. Bullseye.

It hurts, but you twist your hands into two dry fists and jam them as deep into your pockets as they'll go. It's a good thing you have your street clothes back. It would be even better if you could find a big black hole on this shiny floor and just sort of fall into it. But there's nothing in this hallway but stupid pictures of cats climbing trees and a broken clock (how fucking poetic) and you and your stitches and this fucking psychologist with little swimming fish inside dangerous eyes that don't slide off your own and won't let up.

You would give anything to get in that head and wipe out any memory she has of you. Knowing you, you suddenly are certain, will ruin this woman's life. Fuck it, be dramatic. Everyone expects it.

But she's not as helpless as she looks. Maybe because you're not much of a threat to her like this, or maybe just because she's some kind of super-bitch. A super-bitch powered by koi fish. No, stop that, think the crazy people thoughts when she's not here to read them.

"Fine," you say at last. "When."

"I'd like to get you in before I leave today, if that's all right," She says, and you are pretty sure this whole thing has been a formality. She has shot you down without trying. And there she goes again, she smiles, she's fucking happy to think of seeing you again because she's back on top and you're a patient.  She has the advantage on her side and you have... Joe, in his stupid fucking wifebeater and his smug face while he reads those endless romance novels in the hallway.

"But I don't do the couch thing. You want me in your office, I had better not even see a couch."

"I don't have a couch." She doesn't roll her eyes but you can hear it in her voice. "I'll send someone at three to bring you along."


And now she walks off, leaving you in the dramatic silence of your failed attempt at a showdown. She wiped the floor with your skinny ass and all you can think about is those legs, which is just fucked up and makes your empty stomach turn a little. That bounce to her step as she goes off to report to her superiors tells you that you just lost a battle against the one person you honestly need to beat, and you aren't even sure how it happened. It should have been easy but she looked at you.

You unpeel your hands from the pocketed fists (which hurts) and return to the cafeteria because you have nowhere else to go for three hours. Might as well give the guy with your future career a break and dump your fucking lunch tray.

But first you reach over and take a floret of cauliflower from Doctor Womengele's abandoned plate, skim it across the rubber-skinned vanilla pudding on your own, and pop it in your mouth.

Not bad.

You throw out the leftovers and wander the hall like the world's lamest ghost until it's time to visit Dr. Di Lucien.
Kano meets Patricia!

Uploaded with minor edits and formatting adjustment. This is an excerpt from a very weird surrealistic novel I wrote in 2000, right before I began to plan out Kagerou.

This part of the book takes place in the hospital where we meet Heyoka in Kagerou. Only in this universe, Heyoka is not there. Things go, as you can imagine, quite a bit differently.

Some major differences between this universe and Kagerou:

1. Kano's folks are still Scientologists and as you can see it's really rubbed off on the way he treats the hospital staff.

2. Red, Kid and Dark don't exist in this universe. The baddie here is a weird silhouette dressed in rags who calls himself Quetzalcoatl.

3. Kano is older than the analogous Kagerou universe storyline.

4. Different reason for being locked up (since he wasn't hitchhiking or blowing up convenience stores).

5. It's a lot more obvious what's wrong with his brain than he lets on in Kagerou.

EDIT: Added the rest of the scene.
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Osanagokoro Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'd be real interested to see how that session goes.
nekozikasilver1 Featured By Owner May 24, 2011
YOU. you need to write more of this. I'm loving this!!!!!!
I think Kano is one of the only characters I know that can pull off a second person narrative, outside of a Choose Your Own Adventures, mainly because it is his own voice, narrating himself. The fact that we all know he's crazy means he can pull this off so much better.
articpianist Featured By Owner May 2, 2011
I would fuck your brain. So. HARD.
kalkie Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Gawd this was great to read (Imma go with ~RoxiLore here); it's pretty delicious reading this whole thing, like dark chocolate. There's a great flow to reading this, with the little beats and quirks as we peek into Kano's mind and see this very interesting power struggle between patient and doctor. It may be different from the Kagerou comics but it's still very much like it and t would be pretty interesting to read more of this alternate univerese.
Kiarue Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2011
Now I want to re-read Kagerou and I have finals next week. Thanks. ]:{
SilverMandrake Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I would love to read this novel. I couldn't stop giggling at some of the jokes. Amniotic soup was a rather good one, I think. I would buy this book. :la:
RoxiLore Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2011  Student Interface Designer
You are amazing. At the risk of sounding like I belong in there with Kano, your written word always reminds me of melted dark chocolate. It's smooth, but you can catch the glimpse of something not quite sweet. That's true art, right there.
Kyinsky Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2011
I believe that 2nd-person present tense is the best one for writing a story about Kano.
WithFlare Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2011
Perhaps this is horrible selfish of me, but...can we...have...more? Because I think you've just given me a new fix. I am so sorry. But never mind, you just go your awesome way. ^^
ReNStudios Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, I haven't read much of your writing outside of your comic but I really love your style. Reminds me of how much I love this tricky perspective, and those silly choose your own adventure books!

I've always liked Dr. Di Lucien for some reason, and this little snippet makes me love her even more!
elaby Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2011
This was awesome! Your writing style is so interesting, and it matches your art style, which is really cool thing.
dash-of-balder Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Re. the next bit: sorry, just going to sit here and whimper and paw at the screen a while. This is GOOD. It hits you solidly in the solar plexus in the most satisfying way. Also "All the fucking kitten shenanigans in this place" is my new favorite phrase. SOLID GOLD LUKA.
FrostedSwitchblade Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2011
Gaah, I wants more! Did you end up finishing the novel?
AtomicFireball Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
I did. But in the end I went with the Kagerou canon instead, so the entire endgame plot of the book is wrong.

But bits of it are still good and I am thinking of playing with them again.

AmbrMerlinus Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2011
I have a particular fondness for the koi swimming in Dr. DiLucien's head.
elanor-pam Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
I like Patricia. She seems like the kind of woman it's fatal to underestimate.
Veliasin Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Ooo, I like this, it was fun to read, something I haven't said in a while. In fact, I would like to read the rest of it, should you have the time to post it here or on you site. Not really asking since that's selfish, just posing the question.
AtomicFireball Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
It needs major revision but I might have more soon. Depends on whether this ten year writer's block can be triumphed over :D
Veliasin Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Well I hope you can and do; it gets to all of us at some point but can't stay forever. ^-^
tchan Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2011
Ohhh, I LOVE the second person tense. I usually don't like it at all, but the way you wrote this was pretty addictive. Pretty much as soon as I started i couldn't stop, so...y'know...write more! ...And stuff.
Libra-In-Red Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2011
Interesting, I really like this. I miss seeing your writing, and this has a deliciously wonderful amount of character development. I've always liked the second person perspective, it adds a layer of personal involvement from the reader that you just don't find in books any more. I love this--but is this the "real world?" of Kagerou, or just like you said, an alternate that can exist or "does" exist?
OrpheusEleven Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
PhDemon is now my favorite term ever.
dash-of-balder Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
This is badass, and it fills me with joy that your writing is just as awesome without pictures as with. I'm really curious about how you thought up the first-person singular (I think that's right) point of view, though--I've only encountered it in one or two other pieces of writing. Did it just sneak up on you as the right way to tell the story?

Anyway, the point is: love this. Would squee merrily if more were to show up (but then I do that for all of your work).
AtomicFireball Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
It's second person present tense, the most hated of the perspectives. I like it because 1. choose your own adventure was the shizznit and 2. it makes YOU be crazy :3 Adds a layer of anxiety if done right (crossing fingers here)

And i just rewrote the rest of the scene and am appending it right now.
dash-of-balder Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Sweetness, thank you! I now have more big words to add to my pretentious English Major vocabulary. SCORREEE. *scuttles off to read more awesome things*

And yes, definitely does add to the anxious tension of the writing overall. ME GUSTA, as the meme would say.
OrpheusEleven Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I'd like to think that second person present tense is merely misunderstood. No...who am I kidding? People hate it.
AtomicFireball Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
That is because they weren't smart like me with the Choose Your Own Adventures and they always got their stupid mary sue killed.

Start at the ending you want and reverse through the book. Ta-daaaa!
OrpheusEleven Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Bum bum buuuuummmm. Smart kids unite.
Dragonizer Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
A 'verse without Heyoka is a sad 'verse indeed. But yeah, this was interesting! And it, um, makes me think I need to go through the archives again. I barely remember Ms. Shrink. :P
AtomicFireball Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
hehe! She's in Chapter 19 mostly, iirc.
GreyDrake Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2011
Wait, Kano's parents are Scientologists? How did I miss that?

Also I thought his dad was a doctor? Or was that Red's dad? Great, now I'm all kinds of confused. XD

(waves the long-time lurker flag)
AtomicFireball Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
I never really advertised it, since it has so little bearing on Kagerou.

Kano's father is a pediatrician, which is OK if you are a scientologist.

GreyDrake Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2011

I think I commented once or twice back in 2006 or so. XD I have been around for a WHILE. And I still love Kagerou as much as ever.
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