The Haunted City

I’ve now officially had it. Variant 237 hates me.

I went to Akiba yesterday, to randomly browse through cute goods – what I normally do when depression looms.

First, I dropped into 7-Eleven to get some Aquarius and briefly look through the zasshi. The first fashion magazine I picked up had a girl who looked just like Miranda on the cover. Well, she actually looked a bit older, but she had the same mole on the tip of her ear, the same smiling eyes. It completely freaked me out, so I dropped the issue and left without my drink.

Then, I stopped by Sofmap, taking the escalators to the top floor. Yeah, my depression browsing also involves looking through the sexy girls on adult DVD covers. Sometimes there’s even an AV idol there at a table, with a line of guys waiting for a signature, a photo, or simply some hoped-for fleeting recognition. I’m usually the only girl that lines up with them, but I can’t help it – loneliness is corrosive.

In any case, as I was browsing…. Miranda. On a long and wide poster, and then on a DVD box with the same image. Slightly age-advanced, but amazingly convincing as she lounged on a bed in a purple bikini, propping her head up with her bent arms, showing ample cleavage.

There were actually a few titles with her on the cover, so I picked out some randomly and quickly checked out, blushing despite myself.

On the way back to the train station, I suddenly started to see her everywhere. On maid cafe fliers. On TVs blaring away at random store fronts. I gathered what evidence I could, and then rushed home on the Yamanote to watch the DVDs.

I still can’t re-focus. The way she was looking at the camera – she hadn’t looked at me that way ever, not even when we were together so long ago. She was seductive and voracious – even though she was never fully naked, it was as if she had stripped bare and pole danced up and down my soul. It was beyond real, and it was all, completely fake.

Someone has stolen her Ghost. The level of 3D geometry that Fan Cloud members share with Agartha Labs is immense, so that the virtual Die Database concert experience can be ultra-real. It’s to the point that you could render images or video that, with the right skill, would be indistinguishable from the original person.

Not only is Miranda missing, but someone has stolen her mirror twin, and is pimping her out for a quick buck.

As far as I can tell, none of the bootleg Miranda goods were created before the Fourth Event. In fact, the DVD publisher didn’t even exist before then – it must have taken them a month to make the video from whole cloth, and prepare it for sale.

I was also able to track down a fake talent agency, with almost invisible ties to the club that HikariFan found in San Francisco, the dating site, and that weird viral video going around with a Miranda-twin as punk dominatrix.

I really can’t put up with this right now. Someone chose the wrong girl to mess with, and I’m not going to rest until this stops.

We know who stole Miranda – her mother. Could she also be involved in stealing her Ghost? At this point I’ll believe anything – in many ways it would be easier to simply blame Number 12 for everything, and be done with it.

And yet…. I’m still watching that first DVD, haven’t even taken the shrink wrap off the rest.

I’m still staring at Miranda smoldering – not a barely sixteen year old girl from Portland, but her aged, idealized and sexualized self, perfectly packaged and ready to please.

What bothers me – what if it’s not just her Ghost that’s been stolen?

How many other girls may not even know that while they sleep, half way around the world people are lining up to leer at them?

Click to continue RGA

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