BCJ, Chapter 109: ‘Ana’

As I was unlocking the cuffs on her wrists and ankles, Chameleon remained sitting in the same pose. Only after I finished taking them off her did she whisper, “Thanks…”

“I know this is probably a question you don’t wanna hear right now but…” I couldn’t help but sigh as I sat down in front of her and asked, “Why do you care so much about Ana? Like, from what I’ve heard so far, you theoretically shouldn’t even have any sort of physical or emotional connection with her before I moved to the island. Maybe you saw her a few times or something, but she was just a coma patient… And there were a lot of oth-Oh.”

Before I could finish speaking, I finally realized it. Fucking A, it was so goddamn obvious and I was being denser than a neutron star.

She smiled wryly, looking like she was going to cry at any moment but just closed her eyes and focused on her breathing. Eventually she softly told me, what I had pretty much already guessed on my own at that point: “Eve-77… A. She called herself Ana, too. She looked exactly the same as you. Even smelled and tasted the same. A perfect, flawlessly beautiful girl and… The love of my life. So I guess I lied, Anael. I lied about a lot of things. But how do you tell someone you just met and have been stalking for months that they look like the love of your life, who you raised like a little sister and…”

Chameleon stopped talking. So I said what I figured she didn’t want to say, “You watched her die. That’s why you keep telling me to wake up. Because you couldn’t-”

“No.” She shook her head gently, staring into my eyes with her irises turning from blue to bright red as she gritted her teeth. Eventually she breathed a long sigh and explained, “Ecstasy. The Devil’s name, the one who was controlling me, is called Ecstasy. ‘He’ is the one who stole Ana from me.”

“I’m kinda confused though.” I frowned and couldn’t help wondering, “From what I heard so far… Gemini and the two brats should have been with you for a pretty long time, especially Gemini. I mean, did she intentionally hide this story about ‘your’ Ana or did she somehow not know about it?”

“I don’t know what she told you.” Chameleon grimaced, “But maybe she wanted me to tell you this story myself… Ana was very similar to you. To the extent that I thought you might actually be the same exact person. Thinking rationally, it could have been due to genetic memory or the nature of your power. At that time, Psychics were very rare and valuable to Infinity, so I didn’t understand why they would leave her on the island to rot here instead of turning her into an ‘Agent’ or part of some other Project. I helped raise her, treated her like a sister along with Gemini and some others, eventually we became inseparable… She was perfect to me, in every way.”

I sighed, “Let me guess… She got possessed by that Devil called Ecstasy and went into one of those hell-portals?”

“No.” She shook her head again, “She ‘became’ that Devil, Ecstasy. I don’t know how much Gemini has told you yet… But those rifts in the mountain valleys, under the bays, inside the tunnels within the mountains… They’re always there. Infinity usually keeps them under control somehow, but every so often they drag this island onto another planet. Ana was obsessed with those damn rifts… She would always stare at them with her telescope, sometimes she would even sneak over and view them at a closer range with binoculars. Until one day, she went too close and something reached out from inside.”

“I think I heard this story before…” I muttered as she continued talking.

“But she wasn’t alone that night. Because we were inseparable. I was right by her side and tried to keep her from being dragged into the rift by that inky purple tendril…” She murmured, then sighed again: “We were both pulled into the ‘portal’ together. But it wasn’t the hellish nightmare that I expected. Instead, it just looked like a cave. A simple cavern with glowing rocks on the ceiling and archaic paintings on the walls. The ground was covered in various types of bones, mostly animals, but some were obviously human.”

“I think I know where this is going…” I couldn’t help but smirk as I thought about the thousands of stories that involved magical pocket dimensions.

Chameleon nervously continued, “At the very back of the cave was a complete human skeleton. It was sitting the same way I am now and seemed to have strange mystical runes engraved into every bone. I tried to convince Ana to leave, but she was too stubborn and curious. So I followed along, over to the ominous ancient remains. On top of the skeleton’s lap, in its opened palms were two strange spherical stones. One was white with a black dot in the center, like a pupil, while the other was black with a white dot. They were about the same size as eyes, I guess.”

“Classic Yin-Yang Cultivation bullshit.” I snickered and shook my head.

She looked at me with a bit of shock on her face for a moment, before smiling gently as her irises turned back to blue: “She said that, word for word. It’s amazing how alike you two are… It’s truly like you’re the same person.”

I shrugged, “If she inherited my memories, she could have a similar personality. Or umm… Well…” Then I thought of another, more fucked up and convoluted possibility: “What if uh, she actually is ‘me’ though?”

“Make up your mind Ana.” Chameleon glared at me, “Didn’t you just convince me that you aren’t the same person?”

“Well yeah, but I mean…” I frowned and stretched my arms as I yawned, “Like think about it this way. My power is pretty gimmicky. There might be distance limitations, or at the very least, dimensional and temporal ones. But what if… What if while this ‘Ana’ was comatose, she was actually controlling the body of your Ana. This Ana is definitely connected to me, I mean, she ‘is’ me. So if this Ana was controlling your Ana, while the original ‘me’ was just thinking he was dreaming… I’m just saying, it’s possible right?”

“I have no idea.” She lifted a hairless eyebrow and asked, “Then do you remember anything about our lives together? Growing up on the island, living with me, loving me…”

“Hmmm…” I had to seriously strain my brain muscles to try to recall even a tiny piece of dream-cream from a few nights ago, much less a series of dreams that took place over seven years or so. Eventually I sighed and honestly told her, “I don’t know. I’ve had dreams that lasted thousands of years, so it wouldn’t be strange if the entire time I spent with you was just a single dream. Or maybe I haven’t had that dream yet? Either way, I don’t remember.”

She looked disappointed, so I reached out and placed my hands on her cheeks, grinning: “I do know how I feel about you right now though. From the moment we met, I felt like I’ve known you for a long time. Your scent drives me crazy, in a good way, and the way your skin feels against mine is just… natural. I know we just met, but even as you were torturing me earlier, I never once considered killing you in order to escape… Which seriously should have been the most logical solution, but instead I tried to fuck you. I think I might be in love with you. But it’s not just you. I feel the same way about Gemini as well. And a deep connection with EMP… On the other hand, I don’t really know how to feel about Cicada and the little brats.”

Chameleon sighed, smiling at me as her face turned pinkish: “I think I love you too Ana. Even if you aren’t the girl I remember, I still love you. But I need to finish telling the story for you to truly understand, so please stop interrupting me.”

I snickered and pulled my hands back, “Sorry~! Hehehehe~! I’m an author, so when it comes to stories, I can’t help myself.”

“Uh-hum…” She cleared her throat and continued, “I had a really bad feeling the moment I saw that skeleton. Even worse than when a giant tentacle was dragging us into a possible hell-dimension… But Ana was always so brave and reckless. Without hesitation, she went forward, picked up the weird stones and shoved them haphazardly into the eye-sockets of that skull… Making them look like eyes. Then the whole cave started shaking like there was an earthquake. The bones on the ground transformed into a whirlpool and swirled around the skeleton, while the paintings on the walls started glowing with a bright red light and the rocks on the ceiling dimmed… Eventually it was too dark to see anything but those paintings. And then… I ran away. I… I abandoned the love of my life just like that and escaped on my own.”

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