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Side: Recovery: Chapter 1 - Waking Up

by Shiny Pyxis

Shiny Pyxis (A Dangan Ronpa Fic that takes place after the events of SDR2 and contains major spoilers from both Dangan Ronpa games and the DR3 anime. Don't read this fic if you haven't played the games or watched the anime, unless you REALLY enjoy spoiling yourself.)

When the survivors of the Neo World Program woke up, they all knew they had a lot of work to do. However, reviving their friends ends up being a lot more difficult than they thought it would be.
When he opened his eyes, he knew he wasn't quite the same person anymore.

As memory after memory flooded his thoughts, it took him a while to understand his situation. He remembered that he was a Reserve Course Student at Hope's Peak Academy and had been classmates with Sato and Natsumi, both of whom had died during his time there. Nanami had been friends with him, not as an AI, but as an actual person in the real world. He remembered signing the forms which gave both his consent and his entire being to be used as a test subject for the Kamukura Project.

He remembered all of that with a mixture of grief and guilt.

He remembered that, a few months after all that, he had woken up with a curtain of long, tangled black hair cascading down his body, and a noticeable lack of emotions which had been exchanged for both an enhanced body and an augmented mind. He had met Enoshima Junko, had been the tiniest bit intrigued by her notions of despair breaking the monotonous boredom he'd found himself in, and agreed to help her with her plans. He saw the terrible incident that was the first Mutual Killing Game, and remembered his apathy as he stood by and watched the members of the student council kill each other. He saw the other Reserve Course Students starting the so-called "Parade" after Enoshima leaked the fabricated details of the game to them. He had been there when Enoshima kidnapped Mitarai and brainwashed the class of 77-B. And, worst of all, he remembered watching Nanami struggle through the labyrinth of torture to save her classmates, her friends, only to be skewered at the very end and becoming the very reason her class had fallen into despair.

He remembered feeling apathetic at everything that happened then, and found himself now feeling disgusted by it all.

The events of the next couple of years seemed to blur together. At some point, he'd realized that perhaps it wasn't despair that was unpredictable, but hope. He had spent the next two years watching as the previous class of 77-B, now dubbed the Ultimate Despair, did Enoshima's bidding and dyed the world with the hopeless despair they so fervently worshipped. He saw the broadcasted videos of the 77th class participated in another one of Enoshima’s Mutual Killing Games, their memories of their time at Hope's Peak wiped clean from their minds. He remembered the mixture of despair and hope the world had felt as Naegi Makoto, a student as ordinary as his past self was, defeated Enoshima and escaped with five other survivors from the school building before the Future Foundation rescued them.

He remembered finding the Junko AI in the two bear-like robots that roamed around in Towa City and ripping the program out of them. He remembered meeting the same Naegi Makoto that had defeated Enoshima Junko, and offering a hand to find the rest of the Remnants and to restore them back to their pre-brainwashed state. He remembered how easy it had been to convince the previous class of 77-B to take part in the Neo World Program; after all, what could be more despair-inducing than losing themselves and having their entire being replaced by Enoshima Junko, their idol of despair? He remembered tampering with the simulation to include the Junko AI, so that he could finally test whether despair or hope truly was the most unpredictable one.

He remembered… the simulation itself. He remembered meeting everyone in Class 77-B for what he thought was the first time. He remembered the deaths. He remembered the executions. He remembered the intense amount of guilt he felt every time a classmate of his died. He remembered spending time with each of the people in the simulation, getting to know them all and becoming friends with them. He remembered feeling lost when he revealed Nanami's true identity as an AI in the game. He remembered the shock and despair he felt when the secrets he'd forgotten were revealed. And he remembered the indescribable feeling he felt when he realized that he could overcome everything, that he had four other friends to help him overcome the despair they had put themselves into.

And now, he remembered that he was out of that simulation.

That they were out of that simulation, a small voice quietly reminded him in the back of his mind.

"How are you feeling, Kamukura Izuru?"

Hinata looked at the person who'd addressed him, a man with icy blue eyes and an arrogant sneer across his face. He immediately recognized the man as Togami Byakuya, one of the people who’d entered the simulation to rescue him and his friends. He slowly sat up, surprised to feel that his muscles hadn't completely atrophied during the time he was in the simulation. Kamukura Izuru… so that was who the Future Foundation thought they were speaking to, huh? He couldn't help but smile a little, his face muscles feeling oddly stiff as if he hadn't used them in years. Well, they weren't technically wrong, he thought to himself as he rubbed the side of his head. Kamukura Izuru was definitely there, seeing and hearing everything, but the one answering the questions wasn't him.

"I'm… overwhelmed, to say the least," Hinata managed to say. His voice was hoarse and he felt dizzy from getting up earlier. Togami helped him out of the pod and half-dragged, half-carried him into a chair nearby. Hinata looked around, noticing how the other four survivors were also just starting to come to. Sonia was already chatting pleasantly with Kirigiri about something or another. Naegi was helping a frantic Kuzuryuu get a bearing of his surroundings. Owari looked like a skeleton, though that didn't seem to stop her from wolfing down the box of donuts that seemed to have been provided for her. Souda was off examining the pods, sitting down on the floor as he stared intensely at the wires coming out of them. Everything seemed to be going smoothly, though Hinata couldn't help but scan over the ten occupied pods that his comatose friends were in. It… didn't seem fair that he had woken up first, before the rest of them.

Togami, watching his patient's eyes, seemed to realize what the Hinata was thinking. "The chances of them waking up are microscopic at best, and that's being optimistic about it. However, we won't pull out their life control just yet, in case there is a way to save them. I'm sure someone with talents like yours could figure something out." Did Hinata imagine it, or did Togami sound a little resentful when he said those last few words?

He's not wrong , said the voice again. Though it'll definitely take a lot of time and patience if they want to avoid any complications .

Regardless, he tried to laugh it off, but winced at the uncomfortable pressure that put on his chest. "I'm not sure if I have those talents on me anymore… well, I mean…" He looked back at Togami. "It's not like Kamukura Izuru and Hinata Hajime are really the same person, after all." The words had kind of slipped out on its own and he hadn't given much thought about it until now, but saying them out loud seemed to solidify the thoughts running through his mind. He was Hinata Hajime, and though he had the memories of Kamukura Izuru, they were still separate identities.

Togami didn't seem surprised at that statement, though he did jot something down on his tablet. As he wrote, he said, "We've already talked to some of the other survivors about the situation; once I've confirmed your physical condition here, Kirigiri will be coming over to ask you a few additional questions here."

"That's fine," Hinata said. The dizzying feeling in his head still hadn't gone away, and he figured having some time to process everything would help him out a bit. He leaned against the back of his chair, muscles already aching a little from sitting up. Physical therapy would be very helpful after all this was over.

Togami asked him a couple questions while they waited for Kirigiri to finish. Did anything seem to hurt? Could he move his fingers and toes? Was there anything that seemed to be unusual about his body? That last question was a little more difficult to answer, Hinata thought, as he rubbed some of his long, black hair between his fingers. It certainly wasn't the hair he was used to as Hinata Hajime, though he could remember being indifferent about it when he was Kamukura Izuru.

The sound of heeled boots tapping towards them alerted the two men to Kirigiri's presence. From behind her, Hinata saw Sonia wave at him before she went off to join Naegi and Kuzuryuu's conversation. "Kamukura Izuru," Kirigiri said as she walked approached him. She stopped in front of his chair, and asked, "Or would you prefer to be called Hinata Hajime?"

"Hinata Hajime… please," he said, and felt an instant rush of relief as he spoke. Reaffirming his own identity seemed to release a lot of stress he didn't realize he'd been holding on to since he woke up. "Kamukura and I aren't the same person."

Like Togami, Kirigiri had with her a tablet, which she, too, began taking notes on. She glanced over towards the Togami, who took the hint and directed his attention to Owari. When he was gone, she continued, "Can you tell me everything that you remembered after you first arrived at Hope's Peak Academy?"

A vague enough question that, depending on how it was answered, could give insight to what the survivors knew. He wondered for a second how everyone else had answered, and decided that it would be best if he was cooperative and honest about what he could recall.

So he began reciting everything he could.
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