New York, the middle of June 2018. Pigeons and gulls were fighting over territory on the tall and dense buildings, myriads of people walking past on the streets below. Blended into the endless crowd walked a young woman, a 19 year old girl fully accustomed to the city life. This is a story about inheritance, about taking up the torch of a long, proud bloodline.
Shizuka Joestar: Her Inheritance
"You're back already?"
"Yeah. The graduation ceremony doesn't take all that long."
"I wish I could've been there to see it..."
"Don't worry about it, old man. I'll just ask my friends for pictures."
"Technology these days is so great. Imagine, what I did thirty years ago was considered miraculous..."
"This story again, old man? You've told me about Dio a thousand times. Look, I'll be in my room. Shout if you need anything."
Shizuka Joestar. Birthday: Unknown, but set to be January 5th, 1999. Born in Morioh, Japan. Biological parents unknown, adopted by Joseph Joestar. Stand name: Achtung Baby.
"The old man loves his stories, all three of them," Shizuka reflected. "About Morioh and how he found me, about him and Jotaro-san travelling to Egypt to beat the vampire Dio, and about how he defeated the four so-called Pillar Men. Especially the Pillar Men. He loves repeating that one, the boastful geezer. Does he really think I believe all that crap?" Shizuka sat on the side of her bed, flipping her phone in the air. "He's gotten worse after granny Suzi Q passed away, too. Now he barely manages to get out of bed, so he's stuck only telling stories like a broken record. Poor old bastard, I suppose... considering that the Speedwagon Foundation recommended delaying granny's funeral a little to bury both of them at the same time. Grim, but it's fairly obvious why... Oh well, I've already made peace with that truth." Shizuka grabbed her phone, opened social media and found some pictures before heading back to Joseph.
"The graduation you wanted to see. I found pictures."
"Oh... I thought they'd be printed."
"Different era, old man."
"I'm glad to see you've grown so much... I got to be there the whole way. You've gone from girl to woman before my eyes."
"Well, you don't have to be so dramatic-"
"That means you should be ready!" Joseph raised himself slightly.
"H-hey! This vitality...!"
Without warning, Hermit Purple launched forth from Joseph's hand, wrapping its thorny vines around Shizuka, enveloping her entirely. Then, golden Hamon energy began surging through the vines.
"Listen closely, Shizuka! With my Stand's vision powers I've seen something unspeakable! I won't be able to act, so you'll have to go in my place! Seek out a man named Marshall Newport and take him with you to my mother's resting place. She will be able to tell you more! I can't do much to prepare you for that meeting, but I'll give you all I have left to give… I'm sending you the last of my life and my Hamon! Through my Hermit Purple… Vital Essence Overdrive!!"
Between screaming in shock and being constricted, Shizuka failed to respond. Soon, however, the energy and the Stand faded, and the young woman fell over on the floor. A couple of seconds passed before she got herself on her feet, most of her skin bright red and blood trickling from evenly spaced thorn wounds.
"What the hell, old man?! What's your- Huh?"
A metallic artificial hand lied on top of a simple, white bed sheet, a slightly shriveled up old man resting underneath. The man's eyes were closed and his heartbeat missing, a slight smile visible on his unmoving face. Joseph Joestar died peacefully on June 18th, 2018.
The next morning, Shizuka awoke in an otherwise empty apartment, the Speedwagon Foundation having visited and taken care of Joseph the evening before. Shizuka had managed to avoid having to talk about why she was red and bloody, and now, most of it seemed to have healed, at least from what she could see by looking down. Attempting to start the day, she headed to the bathroom, but found herself stuck by the mirror.
"Wha- What the hell is this!!" Shizuka leant forward and looked closely at herself. "I'm pretty sure that I remember my eye colour not being fucking green!! That old bastard, what did he do to me!? My hair's brown, too!" Shizuka lightly tugged on one of her bangs. "…Worse, I can't really go out looking like this. There's still plenty of marks from Hermit Purple's thorns scattered across my skin. I'm gonna have to apply a lot of makeup for this… Especially on my back to the left of my neck; it looks like there's a large mark there that hasn't gone down at all. A... star-shaped mark. Alright, what the hell?!"
A couple of hours later, a strange force seemed to pass through the streets of New York, like a strong wind pushing people out of its way. The force forged its path at walking pace through the crowd before hitting a bus, rushing upwards past the open driver's window, and then stopping. After taking a moment, the bus driver continued on his route, unknowingly carrying an extra passenger on the roof. From nowhere, a pair of dark, dark red sunglasses, almost black, materialized right over the bus. Then the rest of the girl appeared. Shizuka stood on the roof of the bus, smirking as the vehicle took its time through traffic. She had put on a green crop top with emblems where the straps met the rest: A "Jo" symbol, the somewhat smaller O overlapping the J, above her right breast, and a slightly rounded off five-pointed star emblem above her left. The top also had openings on the sides further down, below her breasts. Below was a pink skirt held up by a belt of golden leaves, and below that, a pair of white boots. The boots had slight heels and reached halfway up Shizuka's legs, and were covered in holes following a complex pattern, though looking most like star shaped holes at a distance. On her right arm, Shizuka wore three pearl bracelets, the middle one being all white pearls and the other two alternating between pink, light green and light blue. Finding a safe enough place to stay, Shizuka sat down on the bus roof and let it take her to the airport.
"Well, I suppose everything is in order." A woman slid Shizuka's passport back to her. "Consider your official documents before you dye your hair and do other things like that when travelling, though."
"Uh, sure, whatever. I'll get that taken care of."
Shizuka walked through security without any problems and went to sit by the gate. "At least that confirms that I'm not just seeing things," she thought. "Lucky that I'm still mostly the same, otherwise travelling to Morioh would be difficult. Maybe I should've asked the Speedwagon Foundation to help me out with some tests... I asked if I could fly privately, but apparently I'd have to pay for that, and because of that whole discussion it slipped my mind."
A few hours later, Shizuka was sitting in her seat en route to Los Angeles, relaxing and listening to music on her phone. To counter the air conditioning, she had put on a simple, cream-coloured cardigan above her top. Still, a cold, menacing sensation crept down her spine and gave her chills.
"There's something... wrong," Shizuka thought, pausing her music and putting her phone away. "I'm on edge... but what for? It's just a flight. Yet I can feel something dangerous staring right at me..."
"Heh heh heh," a man a few rows further ahead snickered to himself. "Hehehehehe... Kikikikiki! Awesome, baby, awesome!" The man was in his thirties or forties, his black hair combed backwards and his eyes hazel brown. He did not stand out from the crowd for most people, but floating around above him was a humanoid Stand, red like wine and two feet tall. The Stand was looking around at the other passengers on the plane with its hands over its eyes like pretend binoculars, especially gazing at the women.
"This ability is just awesome! With my Demon's Eye I can see through whatever cover is in the way! Kikikikiki!" The Stand stared at an unknowing blonde woman. "Awesome, awesome! Looking awesome, baby!! And how about this one, the redhead? Psh, she's flat as a board! Oh, but this black-haired beauty right here! Awesome, awesome, awesome!! What about this young brunette with the sunglasses- Eh?"
Demon's Eye tried to correct its pretend binoculars as it looked directly at Shizuka, and its user rubbed his eyes. "W-What the hell!? This girl, she... She doesn't have boobs! There's a hole where her chest should be! And her ass as well!! L-like... Like half her body is missing!"
"So… what are you looking at me like that for?"
"W-who said that!? The girl didn't move her lips at all!"
"Stands can communicate with other Stands. Is this the first time you've met someone with an ability like your own? You're glaringly obvious."
"A Stand user...? I see, I see... Well isn't that awesome! So you understood my Demon's Eye's ability to see through materials, huh? How awesome for you! What are you going to do about it?"
Shizuka did a simple hand motion, a movement smooth as silk. Then, all that was left was an empty airplane seat. Demon's Eye frantically looked around for a few seconds before its user was struck in the head by something.
"Well, I guess 'you'll see' isn't quite accurate," Shizuka said as she reappeared, having hit her opponent with a simple swing with both hands. The man was knocked into the seat in front of him and started bleeding slightly from his forehead. “Keep your eyes, all of them, to yourself, creep,” JoJo said loudly enough for other people to take notice. She then disappeared again.
"Y-you bitch...! Talk about an awesome sneak attack! However, that one attack was all my Demon's Eye needed to see! Woman, you may be able to turn invisible, but it's still possible to hear you and see the marks you leave behind on visible things. I, the awesome Ted Vavoom, will now surpass your ability! I'll kill you for daring to attack me!!" Using Demon's Eye's perception, Ted spotted a miniscule indentation in the floor rug. Demon's Eye leapt forward with its fist extended and hit something.
"Gah!" Shizuka tumbled backwards, the blow having struck her throat. Concentrating, she managed to remain invisible, starting to retreat backwards through the plane.
"Hey, hey, are you running away? I can see your footprints with my Stand's awesome sight, you moron!" Ted moved to get up from his seat, but immediately felt dozens of eyes stare at him judgingly. "Well, maybe removing the spectators first would be an awesome idea..."
Shizuka took long strides as she moved to the back of the plane, observing how her opponent was meticulously knocking every single passenger and flight attendant out cold with Demon’s Eye. While Ted Vavoom looked away, she hurried into the bathroom.
“How deep should my bluff go here,” Shizuka planned in her head. “A double bluff could work, but he might see through it, so I should try a triple to be safe… Or I could go all out!”
Ted finished removing witnesses and turned his head to the back of the plane again, only to find it missing. All he could see was blue sky.
“Is this some kind of joke? The girl’s invisibility ability is awesome! Awesome, but I’ll still find her...”
“Will you, now? Jog your memory, then. I’m in the bathroom. Find me, and maybe you’ll be able to beat the shit out of me after all.”
“An open challenge…? Do you take me for some sort of idiot?”
“What! So upfront, too!! I’ll kill you for that, you bitch!”
“Kill me, then. I’m right here. All you have to do is find me.”
Fuming, Ted started fumbling around, trying to find the bathroom door. After a little searching with his hands, he located the door, feeling that it was locked. Attempting to break through, he summoned Demon’s Eye, which started rapidly jabbing at the lock. Then, suddenly, Ted was knocked over, something heavy crashing into him.
“What the hell was that,” Ted grunted as he got to his feet.
“You were attended to,” Shizuka responded as she removed Achtung Baby’s effects, revealing the back of the plane. Shizuka had kicked one of the flight attendants’ trolleys towards Ted and hit him. The bathroom door was slightly bent, showing that Demon’s Eye had hit the mark, but Shizuka had simply lied about being inside. “Hey, at least you had the right idea, right? No need to feel upset.”
“Do you think this is some sort of game, woman!?”
“No, I’m trying to beat the shit out of you as well. We just have different methods. Seems to me that mine works better.”
“Maybe it has been… but you’re stuck now, aren’t you? Even if you turn invisible, there’s nowhere for you to run.”
Demon’s Eye pushed the trolley back towards Shizuka, who hurriedly jumped as high as she could, barely clearing it. However, the Stand was ready to meet her as she landed, striking her repeatedly in the left knee and tripping her up. As Shizuka attempted to catch herself, Demon’s Eye moved around her and jumped on her head, slamming her down on the floor. The red Stand continued trampling Shizuka, who was stuck and unable to fight back.
Stand name: Demon’s Eye
User: Ted Vavoom
Power: B Speed: B Range: D
Durability: C Precision: A Potential: D
Ability: Can use its hands as pretend binoculars to see through thin materials. Additionally, it is a quick and nimble fighter.
Demon's Eye was trampling Shizuka, kicking her head into the floor over and over. Shizuka grunted as she attempted to make a move but failed.
“How's that for awesome power,” Ted Vavoom taunted. “Victory is mine!”
“Gah- God damn it… I need to find a way to fight back…”
“As if! Give it up, you ran out of tricks.”
“I did not get on this plane to…” Shizuka shut her eyes and tried to gather her strength. “…to fucking die!”
Using all of her power, Shizuka attempted to lift herself up and flip Demon’s Eye off of her. As she attempted to make her move, she suddenly felt the Stand's weight disappear. Immediately after, Ted crashed into the wall, and the plane shook slightly.
“What the hell,” Ted yelled. “What was that!?”
“What was what,” Shizuka asked as she got to her feet. Soon, however, she noticed it as well: A white hand was hovering above her own. “Wah! What is this!?”
“Don't ask me, idiot!”
“Shut up, then!” Shizuka looked at the hand. It seemed to be a feminine hand wearing a glove. “I wonder… With all the changes I've been going through, could this be my…?” Pushing all her spiritual energy outwards, the young brunette attempted to call forth her Stand outside her body, summoning the rest of the spirit that the hand belonged to.
“…Oh my God,” Shizuka commented as she looked at the Stand. “She's huge!” The Stand was half a head taller than Shizuka, and she had a clearly humanoid, feminine shape. The Stand's skin was blue and her eyes pink, her hair black and pushed back by an orange hair band. Connected to the sides of the Stand's collarbones was a silky white piece of clothing that looked like a fan collar on a medieval dress, circling her neck and catching her hair. Further down, halfway down the Stand's chest, began a cream-white dress which flowed down her body, stopping short by her upper thighs in the front but reaching further down on the sides and in the back. Below, she was wearing thigh-high socks with the same white colour as the collar, and light purple high-heels. Her arms were clad in long gloves white as her socks which reached the middle of her upper arms, and from her wrists stood pairs of thorny purple vines which twisted around close to her arms and reached her elbows. “You're a bit of a lady, aren't you? I guess I should call you Achtung Baby… Stage 2.”
“So this is your Stand's true shape,” Ted asked. “This is what's been turning you invisible? If you're depending on such tactics, your Stand can't be very powerful… You caught me off guard, that's all!”
“Whatever you say,” Shizuka retorted. “Deduce whatever you like. Come at me if you want proof.” “I don't know how to use Stage 2 yet,” she thought to herself. “I have to stay on the defensive until I learn. If I try to attack, I might end up hitting myself, hitting a random passenger, or even crashing the plane with no survivors. Pace yourself, Shizuka…!”
“Very well,” Ted responded, Demon’s Eye jumping forward. “I’ve got nothing to lose from finding out!”
As Demon’s Eye advanced, Shizuka attempted to move her Stand into a defensive stance, but all Achtung Baby did was lift her arms a bit. Demon’s Eye nimbly manoeuvred to the left, moving around Achtung Baby and spin kicking her in the back. Shizuka tumbled forward, barely managing to stop herself right before crashing into a wall. Soon after, Ted was launched backwards, bouncing on the airplane floor as he fell.
“What the,” Shizuka stuttered as she turned to see what had happened. Without her thinking, Achtung Baby had twirled, striking Demon’s Eye in the gut with her right elbow and sending it flying. “Am I thinking too much or something? You have better control of the situation when I’m not focused…”
“Well, that blows my theory out of the water,” Ted grunted as he recovered. “Isn’t that awesome. However! You have absolutely no idea what you’re doing, don’t you?!”
“Maybe not,” Shizuka responded, “but she does.”
Achtung Baby slowly walked forward, looking down at Demon’s Eye. Shizuka placed herself in the middle of the walkway and attempted to not think, letting her spirit move unhindered. Once the Stand had gotten close enough, she sprang into action, launching a swift kick with her right leg, planting her high heel in Demon’s Eye’s forehead and sending it crashing into the floor. Continuing the assault, Achtung Baby jumped and punted her opponent with her left leg as it bounced, launching it into the wall. Then, she jumped on top of a seat and prepared for her final attack.
Achtung Baby unleashed a furious barrage of punches on Demon’s Eye, pummeling him into the side of the plane. Ted Vavoom screamed as his skin burst, causing him to bleed profusely. Nevertheless, he started staggering towards the unmoving Shizuka, eventually getting close enough to swing at her. Unable to hold herself back anymore, Shizuka jumped backwards to dodge, losing control of Achtung Baby in the process. The Stand continued her attack for a moment, but with much poorer accuracy, allowing Demon’s Eye to escape while she punched cracks in the wall.
“You have awesome strength, but that’s enough of your autopilot nonsense,” Ted sneered at Shizuka. “I’m not going to let you get an opportunity like that again.”
“I don’t think I need another opportunity like that,” Shizuka replied. “If we keep going like this, I’ll learn how to use my Stand, bit by bit.”
“I’ll die before that happens,” Ted hissed. “See, I’ve had an awesome epiphany. It no longer matters what happens here, to me or to anyone else, as long as you die!”
“So what you’re saying is you’ve gone mad?”
“I’ve had it up to here with your attitude! Prepare to meet your maker!”
Demon’s Eye threw a quick punch at Achtung Baby, causing Shizuka to flinch. As her Stand attempted to counterattack, Demon’s Eye jumped out of the way, causing her to attack the wall, creating more cracks. Shizuka tried focusing on Achtung Baby’s movement, but was kept busy by having to dodge Ted’s attempts at hitting her. As Demon’s Eye moved around while attacking Achtung Baby, the cracks in the airplane walls began spreading, hollow metallic sounds echoing through the cabin.
“Your lack of control is about to cost you your life,” Ted taunted.
“Ah!! You bastard, you’re trying to bait me into dooming us all!”
“And that group includes you, which means I win!”
Shizuka desperately tried to make Achtung Baby come back to her before it was too late, attempting to move back to a defensive attacking style in order to avoid any further damage to the plane. Then, a screeching noise of tearing metal deafened the cabin.
“Hey,” the co-pilot said.
“What,” the pilot replied.
“You know how it’s been really quiet and nobody’s disturbed us, not even the flight attendants?”
“Yes, I’ve been enjoying that. What about it?”
“Well, heh, this might just be me, but I looked outside the window and I can’t see the back of the plane…”
“I think you’re right. Where are the wings?”
“Ehe… hehehe! I know, this must be a dream! I must have fallen asleep thanks to the autopilot, that explains it! Hey, you better wake me up soon, we’re about to crash! Hahaha!!”
Large flakes of metal broke off from the plane as it shattered at the middle, breaking in two right in front of the wings. As the front and the back of the plane started falling away from each other, splitting Ted and Shizuka, Ted took a moment to laugh, looking straight down at the desert below.
“This is it, girl,” Ted taunted. “End of the line! That’s what you get!!”
“Calling this a victory is only a testament to your own madness, you idiot lunatic!”
“Yeah, yeah, that’s awesome, whatever! We can chat more when I see you in Hell!”
The two plane halves moved too far apart to say anything more. Ted let himself fall as the front half of the plane tipped over, and he soon crashed into the wall separating the cabin and the cockpit, passing out. In the back half, Shizuka hurried towards the open end before the angle became too steep.
“What am I even doing,” Shizuka asked herself as she climbed upwards. “I don’t know how this could help in any way… Do you have any ideas?”
The young fighter looked at her Stand, who simply glanced back.
“I thought as much. Well, I guess I’ll just follow my heart, then. It’s too late for anything else.”
Shizuka gathered some speed as she climbed upwards, and as she reached the end of the line, she jumped, freely falling in the open air.
“And now… deep breaths and a little waiting time.”
Shizuka faced upwards as she fell, attempting to stay calm by breathing. As she drew her breaths, the thorny vines of Achtung Baby, falling with her, started glowing weakly. Shizuka did not take notice, as she emptied her mind in anticipation of the end. The glow grew stronger, slowly but surely, with every breath she drew. After a while, a long and thin piece of metal came flying towards Shizuka, its terminal velocity beating hers. Shizuka accepted it, thinking it would just speed the process up, but Achtung Baby began moving on her own. The Stand focused the glow she had acquired towards her index fingers and clasped her hands together, focusing the energy into a single point. With that point, she attacked the metal sheet from below, denting it and letting it rest on her fingers. A faint golden glow enveloped the metal, which started spinning rapidly.
“Wah!” Shizuka was jolted back into full consciousness as her body was suddenly pulled upwards, lifted by the force of the makeshift rotor her Stand had created.
“You’ve… created a helicopter or something,” she gasped, and as she did, the golden glow around the metal weakened, its rotation slowing down. Achtung Baby glared at her user.
“I’m sorry! Deep breaths, deep breaths… This must be the power the old man gave me before. The Hamon I inherited…”
The descent continued as a bumpy ride, Shizuka trying her hardest to breathe properly. A mile later, the girl and Stand crash-landed in the desert a short distance away from the front half of the plane wreckage, heavily bruised but alive.
To be continued…