Intro: After some debate, I finally decided to work on this. I feel excited about this one because mystery, suspense, and psychological themes are my personal favorites. This is also the first story I've done that doesn't have any supernatural elements to it, which is bizarre considering how crazy the series can get.
Edit: This story is now featured on AO3 as well! Also, changed around some formatting and style for superior quality!
Disclaimer: I don't own Danganronpa. The official characters and the world belong to the Kodaka, Spike Chunsoft, and its affiliates.
Chapter 1: Save the Future
Despair is such an interesting concept, thought Junko. History will look back and say the one who facilitated this despair was me. However, that's not the truth of despair at all. They don't understand it's actual nature and origin...and that's why the world's destruction was only a matter of time. This circle jerk of peace, this fallacy of harmony—it will come to an end. Even someone like "her" was only a speed bump on the way to this reality. Still, this despair isn't…
"This is what I call prime time television!" yelled Junko, observing the chaos engulfing Hope's Peak. The searing flames sent smoke into the sky while screams of terror and death filled the air. This was truly—in Junko's mind—poetry in motion.
"Wouldn't it have been better if we recruited those Reserve Course students for our cause?" asked Mukuro, making Junko's ecstasy-filled face turn into a scowl.
"You think I'd ever let those pathetic fodder stand by my side? Besides, my new limbs are about to be released into the world."
Junko's smile returned when she imagined how the newly reformed seventy-seventh class would impose despair on the world. Regular people being in despair was one thing, but her new Ultimate Despair would produce results not even she could fully calculate. That only caused the absolute excitement she was feeling right now to rise that much further.
"I understand," said Mukuro, who still looked unsure, "but in war, having numbers on your side could prove useful."
"War?" Junko turned and made eye contact with her sister. "I swear you're such a disappointment that you make me wanna slit my wrists. This isn't about war; it's about humanity breaking free of this false sense of harmony and embracing their basic instincts! Forget something as boring and predictable as war—this is the birth of a new world!"
Mukuro, who didn't have a meaningful reply, merely smiled at her sister's spirited and passionate nature and said, "If you say so, Junko."
"Now, let's go to our classmates."
Like a whisper in the wind, a figure darted past Mukuro and shot straight towards Junko. The two siblings didn't even get to blink by the time the figure reached its mark. There was a knife held only mere centimeters from Junko's neck, and the culprit was a familiar face.
"What the—" began Mukuro, about to pull out her knife and rush the attacker. Before she could make a move—Junko held up her hand, signaling for her sister to back down.
"I'll catch up with you," said Junko, who had an expressionless face.
"I said scram, you eyesore. The grown-ups are about to talk."
Despite her wanting to object, she knew arguing with Junko was pointless. If she wanted her to leave, there must've been a good reason. Mukuro sheathed her knife and proceeded to the main building where the rest of the seventy-eighth class was. Junko's mouth twisted into a smile while she flicked a strand of her blond hair.
"Getting past my bloodhound of a sister? Not bad…Chisa Yukizome."
"Thank you," replied the auburn-haired teacher, expressing a friendly smile while she was still holding the knife to Junko's neck. "You really should be kinder to your sister. Family values are important, you know?"
"Of course. The more valuable they are, the bigger the despair when you sever them."
"Are you planning on killing her?"
"Dunno; if I'm really bored or something."
"You truly are despair in human form."
"Like you have room to talk," began Junko, her smile growing wider, "or did you forget how you helped me take care of your beloved students?"
Chisa's expression didn't falter. "True enough." She proceeded to withdraw the knife. "I'm impressed. I came at you with a full killing intent, and you didn't flinch at all."
"Being afraid of death is so overrated. Besides, I knew you were there the whole time."
"Your analysis ability really is something special."
Junko raised an eyebrow before asking, "You figured that out?"
"I managed to put two and two together. It's ridiculous to think someone with the title of Ultimate Fashionista could be as prudent as you've proven."
"Good call. It makes me wonder if Ultimate Housekeeper is your real talent."
"What are your plans next?" asked Chisa as if she didn't hear Junko's last comment.
"I'm about to force a bunch of close friends to kill each other for no real reason other than my amusement. You know, the usual."
"That sounds fulfilling."
"I know, right? I have all sorts of cool things planned like trials and executions. I'm still working on some of the details and kinks, but my time here let me test run a few things. Maybe if it all goes well, I'll even get approved for a sequel!"
"Well, good luck with that. As fun as it sounds, I'll be plenty busy on my end."
"…And my upperclassmen?"
"We just finished the ceremony. They're out and ready to become productive members of society."
"The real world can be a harsh place."
"They'll be fine; I'm their teacher, after all."
"Heh, and it's all thanks to her."
"I assume you're talking about that person you hate?"
"Hate?" repeated Junko, recalling a certain girl's face. "I don't hate her. As a result of her sacrifice, the seventy-seventh class was able to open their eyes and see things as I do. I give props to people who take one for the team. Hell, she took like twenty for the team! That day was one of the most entertaining days I can remember!"
"I see…" said Chisa. Her eyes narrowed while her smile persisted. "My first guess was right. If you don't hate her…you were obviously afraid."
That statement sent a strange sensation through Junko's head. Not even a second after that last word was uttered by Chisa, her smile vanished. "…What?" was all Junko said.
"I have a hypothesis about how your talent works. Say you had to choose between taking a right or left path. The way you'd like people to think your talent works is that you could predict each and every step that would lead to the more favorable outcome of turning left or right. However, I don't think that's how your talent works at all."
Chisa paused for a moment to see whether Junko would counter any of her previous statements. Instead, all she continued to get was a blank stare. After concluding she wasn't going to comment, Chisa continued with her explanation.
"How I think it works is when seeing the right and left path, while you have an idea of which choice would benefit you most, you don't really know what will happen in between. If you're at point A, you have a good idea whether point B or C will be the best for you. The only problem is the farther the points are from each other, the more variables get thrown into the mix."
"Your point?" asked Junko, finally responding.
"If you weigh a situation where you had to dodge a knife versus infiltrating a building, your talent's accuracy isn't the same. If everything I just said about your talent is right, it's one of your weaknesses."
"One of two to be exact. I'm not too sure about the second as I am the first, but if I'm right about that…it's your most fatal flaw. Also, it's a flaw that you of all people will never be able to fix." Chisa kept gazing at Junko's indifferent face. "That's all just speculation, anyway."
It took a few awkward seconds before the next words were spoken.
"You know…I hate that smile," began Junko, her face twisting in disgust. "Variables? Weakness? Blah blah blah!" She started flapping her right hand like a ventriloquist would a puppet. "If I wanted boring ass lectures, I could've kept attending class instead of instigating this massive amount of death. What does anything you just said have to do with me being afraid?"
"Sorry, I kind of went off on a diatribe without meaning to. Although, the reason I think you were afraid and the way your talent works might not be unrelated."
"Then, get on with it!" demanded Junko, getting impatient. "Explain how Junko Enoshima could ever be afraid of some gamer nerd before I jump off this building from boredom."
"When you saw her for the first time, I believe three possibilities crossed your mind: you kill her immediately and be done with it, forcibly turn her into Ultimate Despair like Ikusaba did with me, or you keep her alive long enough to be useful. You went ahead with the third option and used her execution to trigger my students into becoming Ultimate Despair."
"I'm still not hearing the part where I was scared."
"…When you two first met—I believe there was one command your talent kept telling you that grew louder and louder… Chiaki Nanami must die." Instead of an unreadable expression, Chisa caught an extremely faint twitch of Junko's eye. "Oh…am I right?"
"How did you come to that dumb answer?" asked Junko, ignoring the previous question.
"You didn't hate Nanami, as you stated, and I assume that both of you had no previous history. The best option was to put her in a situation with no hope of survival, which is a method you hate because of how boring it is. You two are, without a doubt, complete opposites. Even if you didn't realize it, you felt an emotion you've never truly experienced before—fear. The reason being, Nanami could exploit your flaw."
She put her hands up like a professor dismissing their class. "That is my explanation on how Junko Enoshima could be afraid of the gamer nerd, as you put it. That's all I had to say."
There was another awkward silence between the despair loving women while the backdrop of death and pandemonium was still active. Everything Chisa said about Junko's talent and her motives for what she did to Chiaki was all put together using her deduction. She didn't know if anything she said was the absolute truth, but Junko's reaction was interesting in itself.
"Heh…" giggled Junko before she convulsed into a fit of laughter. She was tearing up while holding her sides. "Now I know Ultimate Housekeeper isn't your actual talent; it's the Ultimate Comedian! I mean, how else could such idiotic things ever be said! Since you're so interested, let me tell you something about your scary class rep."
All of a sudden, she pulled a complete one-eighty by halting her laughter and glaring daggers at Chisa.
"Ever since I was a kid, there has always been someone trying to stop me. Whether it was experienced detectives or people with talents, I always came out on top. While my legacy is going to be cemented as the greatest force the world has ever known, she will always be the girl I used to turn your students into Ultimate Despair. Now tell me, does Chiaki Nanami still sound like somebody I'm afraid of!"
"Your response is interesting…but I already gave you my opinion." There was a look of annoyance from Junko, who rolled her eyes. "It's not like it matters—she's passed away."
"…About that," began Junko, turning her back on Chisa and placing her hands on her hips. "This is a funny story: I set up that execution so when she gets impaled, it would avoid her vital spots. What I intended to do was use the last agonizing moments of her life to gloat for my amusement. Imagine my surprise when I found out the body had vanished without a trace? You wouldn't know anything about that…would you?"
Junko glanced behind her, seeing Chisa had already left. She realized this sooner but figured she'd humor herself and continue the monolog.
"That damn maid just wanted to hear how I'd respond to what she told me. Even if she wasn't all doped up on despair, there's nothing she could do. Now, I should get back to my sister before she screws something up. Seriously, it's tough being the smart sibling." Junko stretched out her arms while taking in the scene one more time.
"This despair is just getting started, after all!"
Chisa was strolling around Hope's Peak as if it was a lovely afternoon. The despair filling the air sent waves of pleasure throughout her entire body. Looking at the corpses of Reserve Course students and the destruction of the school was a more beautiful sight than she could've imagined. It was going to be important to maintain a low profile after this, so she took it in before having to depart. Right when she was passing the fountain, there was a surprising sight in front of her.
Him? she thought, looking at the artificially created Ultimate Hope, Izuru Kamakura. Upon inspection, all he seemed to be doing was staring at the fountain. What really caught her attention was an all too familiar object she caught a glimpse of in his hand. That's Nanami's hair clip. Why would he…
Like a jigsaw puzzle, she started to piece together what might've happened. She remembered rounding up all her students on the first day and meeting both Hajime and Chiaki at this spot. Chisa never looked into it much, but it was obvious the two had a close relationship before Hajime had his operation. The combination of Izuru holding her Gala Omega hair clip and his fascination with this spot made an idea pop up in Chisa's head.
Maybe Kamakura saw her dead body and part of Hajime slipped through the cracks? Kamakura, who was supposed to be perfect, might've been confused by the sudden emotions. Should I ask? She thought about it for a moment before deciding to confront him.
"They met here often," informed Chisa, approaching him. He slowly turned, looking at her with a cold gaze. "Do you remember?"
"While she was dying, her words confused me."
"By her, you mean Nanami, right?"
"Junko Enoshima would always say only in chaos and despair can unpredictability thrive," continued Izuru, who didn't bother answering the question. "However, after she said those words to me, I had a strange reaction… Tears started flowing on their own."
"Hmm," hummed Chisa, thinking of the best way to explain. "Nanami was someone important to Hinata and vice versa. Longing, affection, grief, love… Those are all imperfect things a perfect being like you was never made to comprehend."
Izuru changed his gaze from Chisa to the hair clip. The housekeeper didn't know if what she said registered with him. Trying to guess what he was thinking was like trying to grow another pair of arms. It was hard to grasp what thinking is to someone who's supposedly all-knowing.
Instead of a response, she watched as Izuru fished something from his pocket. Without looking, he flicked something at Chisa, who caught it between her fingers. It was just a plain, white envelope with no signature or insignia on it.
"What would this be?" she asked. "Not a love letter, I'm guessing."
"There are instructions inside that I made. After you arrive at the designated spot, you'll do the rest."
"What happens if I do something you don't want? I could even choose to ignore this."
"Upon observing you, I'm now sure," began Izuru, walking in the opposite direction, "you're the best choice for carrying out this task, Chisa Yukizome."
"My, would it be so bad if you gave an actual answer? At least tell me what it is you want. You certainly don't look like you're on the side of hope, but it also doesn't seem like despair has caught your interest either."
"What I want to see…is whether chaos or harmony can prevail in the end. Also—" He stopped walking suddenly. "—I want to see if the will that woman tried to destroy, can become something that can overtake her."
With those final words, Izuru departed to whatever destination he was headed next. Chisa was left alone while grasping the envelope. Not seeing a reason to ignore it, she opened the contents and examined the piece of paper inside. Upon looking at the contents, her eyes widened and a smile crossed her face.
If the Steering Committee wanted to create the perfect human, they might've succeeded. If what I'm thinking is correct, this will lead me to… Thinking about it no further, Chisa hastily departed to the appointed location.
How long does this go on for? Chisa slowly walked through the dark corridors located beneath the school. If it wasn't for the flashlight she had and the instructions Izuru made, traveling through all these dark twists and turns would be near impossible. There should be a door right around this corner.
Surely enough, there were two big doors she wasted no time opening and walking through. It would be pitch-black if it wasn't for the illumination from the flashlight, but she could still tell that the room was crowded with machines.
After a minute of searching the walls, she found the light switch. The housekeeper shielded her eyes the moment bright lights revealed some sort of laboratory. Not too far away was a large window that disclosed an empty room filled with a green glow.
This must be the place the Steering Committee experimented for the Izuru Kamakura Project. I can't begin to imagine the atrocities they probably committed down here. Whole countries would kill to get their hands on this kind of technology.
Chisa walked over to the main computer terminal and inputted a series of commands, as instructed by Izuru's directions. The second she finished, she heard a loud sound turning out to be a large, futuristic machine rising out of the ground in the green room. Not wasting any time, she went to the machine and input more commands on the small control panel located on it. A long, slender pod opened and revealed something to Chisa that made her mind go blank for a moment.
"Unbelievable…" she muttered before tears started flowing down her face. "Managing to affect Kamakura and being fortunate enough to have the Steering Committee's equipment nearby…"
She warmly smiled and wiped the tears from her eyes. Then, like a lever being pulled, she sadistically grinned and quickly pulled out a knife. Her mouth was watered, fantasized about what she was going to do.
"Since you're in a coma, I'm sure you won't mind if I entertain myself, right?" She was about to let the despair flow when she put the knife to the unconscious person's skin. "Let's see how many things I can cut before you wake up!"
Before the cut was made, she froze because her excitement subsided.
It was replaced by a dim feeling in her chest and back of her head. She stared at the individual's face. It was then—an interesting picture formed in her mind. She put the knife back in her pocket before crossing her arms. The interesting picture became more vivid.
"So, this is what you meant, Kamakura? You knew I would come up with the idea I just had. I really can't believe how amazing he is." She took her hand and lightly felt the individual's face. From where she was standing, all the remnants of damage done could be seen.
"Rest while you can because I'm going to pull you from death's embrace. After that, I'm going to turn you into the image that's in my head right now. Actually, it's better to say I'm going to make you embrace the role I have planned. You'll be at my complete mercy. Big things are going to be expected from you, so make this fun for me, Nanami."
Chisa's sadistic smile returned when another idea crossed her mind. "…Perhaps, a better title would be…savior."
Whew, the first chapter is done! This story is going to be canon-compliant for the most part. Bloom will mostly be my personal version and interpretation of how I feel the story could've gone. It starts canon from the fall of Hope's Peak and goes on from there. It'll also be pretty long—I'm certain since I already have all the arcs planned.
Despite me being "restrained by canon," it's still going to diverge pretty hard at the same time. There will probably be times you wonder how the heck that could fit in canon, but you'll see. Chiaki being in the Future Foundation might arise some complications if you think about it, but I already know how to make it work, hehe. Anyway, thanks for being the beautiful people that you are and reading!