Straight from the Mind of Lin “SakuraSensei” Kotomi

FamousLastWords | 17:52 Apr 17, 2070

If you haven’t already seen, Lin Kotomi, username SakuraSensei, from /ARtists died three days ago. Daaaaaaamn. She was renting tons of Brainstorming space. I was cleaning out her mind on the servers and it was a goldmine, holding the most fucked up shit you can imagine.

Here’s just a taste. A tame one, but a shocker. This one’s memory, not her experiential art. Some fragmentation. Plenty more to be posted in the coming weeks, in all levels of NSFW, including several of her private commissions. You won’t believe who was buying.


* * *

Lin Kotomi swiped her hand across the turnstile, paying fare for Cheongdong Mall to the southeast Hives. The Hyunsang Avenue station appeared as generic as they came—cement floors met navy plastic walls, monotony broken by aluminum gates and the glass-and-steel pneumatic tunnel—but it was well kept. Unlike some Hives, these people actively kept the community clean. The walls were spotless, litter swept away, and the stench of city filth mostly replaced with the citrus-scented cleaner used by the station. Rubber mats covered various walkways to reduce the noise produced inside the echo chamber, and aural sponges dotted the walls to dampen the cacophony. The local community made this all possible, rather than the underfunded transportation department of Neo-Seoul.

Lin walked through the station exit…

…and entered the corner store near her hive block. There was a large Japanese presence in this neighborhood, and the local stores accommodated these cultural desires. First things first, she stepped into the walk-in cooler at the back. Someone had knocked over a stack of bottles inside. When she entered, the scent of citrus IPA assaulted her alongside the frigid temperature, liquid dripping from the shelves to soak into her pink shirt. Lin climbed a couple feet up the sticky stainless-steel shelving to reach a twelve-pack of raspberry cider at the top before…

…tossing a pack honey-crisps on the countertop with the rest of her groceries. She notified the owner of the mess in the cooler.

Daisuke grumbled. “Damn kids mean well, but they need some more sense.”

Lin laughed at how a single profane word could ever escape the kind man’s mouth. “Come now, ‘Ojii-san.’ If anyone’s going to knock sense into them, it’ll be you.” Her pitch spiked even higher than usual, mimicking how the youngest children spoke to the father-like figure.

Daisuke smiled in response. “I suppose it has to be. Who else could have turned a life like yours around?”

“And that has always earned my gratitude.”

Lin gave a quick bow before sliding the groceries into her aluminum-mesh handbag and hopping out the door to…

…nearly break her ankle as she climbed the last step to her floor of the hive block. She dropped her grocery bag and the rice lid popped open, spilling its contents to clatter all over the steel-grating walkway and slip through to the street below. The grains hit each and every elevated path on the way down, turning the hive-block into Neo-Seoul’s largest rain-stick.

Snapping the lid onto the now half-empty container, Lin got to her feet and ran past the hive cell doors, each pounding step reverberating down the walkway, to enter her own before someone saw. She quickly shut the door and left its transparency set to frosted; after that embarrassment, she wanted to hide. Breath caught, she kicked off her flats and turned towards the room.

Home. Though the narrow, one-room space was entirely concrete, Lin’s eyes fed her fantastical, colorfully hand-drawn landscapes across the walls, animated as if in the paper flip-books modern history museums showed in their interactive exhibits. Her mind projected an analog clock on the wall, numbers in the form of anthropomorphic animals posing in the correct shapes.

Lin felt the soft, thick carpet beneath her feet as she walked across the space. She set her bag on the stovetop and pulled off her sticky, skintight shirt to throw into the laundry bin at the base of the mirror. Not motivated to put on a new one just yet, she opened the fridge at the back of the room to…

…sit down with a cider on the tiny red couch that flipped upside down into her bed. She folded the gray, carbon-fiber wall-panel down to desk level and swiped her hand across the surface to log in. Setting her drink to the side of the desk, the DigitaScreen virtualized before her and sections of the panel surface clicked as they receded to form a keyboard, keys fading to bright colors.

Her calendar was marked busy for several days. The Crimson was running a performance night in a few hours, and she always loved dressing to match the club’s risqué aesthetic. It would be a night on the town, one of the perks of living beneath your means. After that, Lin had a few days off work at the mall, but she was behind on her commissions and needed to catch up. Her worry was not of money, but of keeping a reputation of reliability. Internet fame was powerful but fickle; she had no plans on losing her followers.

Lin pulled up her Entwine dashboard. There was plenty of activity on her threads, as always, and several mutuals on /ARtists had posted since she had last been home. She started skimming through her DMs…

…and came upon a surprise: a message from fAR_cry_fashion, the account of AR pop-fashion model Chom Tae-Yung. Oh. My. God. Curious, she opened the message.

“Hi SakuraSensei. Longtime follower here. I’ve had a thought on my mind for some time now and was hoping you had space for a commission. My only concern is discretion. Given my spotlight, it would be problematic if an order of this nature got out. I’m can pay extra for your care in this matter.”

Looking at the top-left corner of the message, the green outline of fAR_cry_fashion’s avatar indicated she was still online. Excited with opportunity, Lin replied to the message.

“Hi fAR_cry_fashion. I’m fangirling a bit over here with this message from you. Your latest shoot is gorgeous, and you’ve gotten me into whole new looks. Girl-to-girl, discretion is free. What kind of sick cravings have you come up with? ;) Don’t hold anything back.”

Lin reclined, reaching for her oversized stuffed rabbit while the typing animation worked away in their chat window.

“So,” the reply finally said, “I realize this isn’t exactly proper etiquette, but I’d like to talk in person about it, or at least over a voice chat. I don’t think I can do it justice over text. I’m free all night. Is this a problem?”

Lin’s could feel her heart thump as she typed out her reply before slamming the enter key. She started freaking out over what to wear to meet one of her internet crushes.

“I’ll be at the Crimson tonight at 21:00,” Lin’s reply read. “First round is on me.”