The Hideaki Akaiwa Story, Sanitized For Your Protection
First problem with this story: I have no idea if it's true. Second problem: It's filled with Code-of- Conduct-violating profanity.
But I checked out the name Hideaki Akaiwa, and it seems to be based on something true, at least. And I really feel that Ben Thompson--apparently an Internet specialist in badassery--deserves recognition for his account of this, by means of which Hideaki Akaiwa will enter literary immortality. At least in my mind.
I don't want anyone on Ricochet to miss this, but I don't want you to be exposed to profanity, either. Now, Ben Thompson suggests that if you don't like it, you should turn off your computer and join a convent. But I have a much better idea.
No need to join a convent, you've joined Ricochet, where you have all the benefits of Ben Thompson's story combined with the benefits of a convent--all for the price of a cup of coffee at Starbucks! Only on Ricochet will you find this story--sanitized for your protection. Here it is, family-friendly and rated PG-13. Enjoy!
Hideaki's wife of twenty years was still buried inside the lake somewhere. She hadn't gotten out. She wasn't answering her phone. The water was still rising, the sun was setting, cars and [expletive deleted to conform to Ricochet's Code of Conduct] were swooshing past on a river of sea water, and and rescue workers told him there was nothing that could be done – the only thing left was to sit back, wait for the military to arrive, and hope that they can get in there and rescue the survivors before it's too late. With 10,000 citizens of Ishinomaki still missing and unaccounted for, the odds weren't great that Hideaki would ever see his wife again.
For most of us regular folks, this is the sort of [expletive deleted to conform to Ricochet's Code of Conduct] that would make us throw up our hands, swear loudly, and resign ourselves to a lifetime of hopeless misery.
But Hideaki Akaiwa isn't a regular guy. He's an [expletive deleted to conform to Ricochet's Code of Conduct] insane badass, and he wasn't going to sit back and just let his wife die alone, freezing to death in a miserable water-filled tomb. He was going after her. No matter what.
How the [expletive deleted to conform to Ricochet's Code of Conduct] Hideaki Akaiwa got a hold of a wetsuit and a set of SCUBA gear is one of the great mysteries of the world. I'm roughly twenty hours into Fallout 3 and I'm lucky to come across a [expletive deleted to conform to Ricochet's Code of Conduct] vacuum cleaner in that godforsaken post-apocalyptic wasteland, yet this guy is in the middle of a real-life earth-shaking mecha-disaster and he's coming up with oxygen tanks, waterproof suits, and rebreather systems seemingly out of thin air. I guess when you're a truly unstoppable badass, you, by definition, don't let anything stand in your way. You make [expletive deleted to conform to Ricochet's Code of Conduct] happen, all the time, no matter what.
Regardless of how he came across this equipment (borrowing, stealing, buying, beating up a Yakuza SCUBA diving demolitions expert, etc.) Hideaki threw on his underwater survival gear, rushed into the [expletive deleted to conform to Ricochet's Code of Conduct] tsunami, and dove beneath the rushing waves, determined to rescue his wife or die trying. I'm not exactly sure whether or not the dude even knew how to operate SCUBA equipment, but according to one version of his story he met his wife while he was surfing (which is awesome, by the way), so it doesn't seem like that much of a stretch to say that he already had a little experience SCUBA diving under a more controlled situation. Of course, even if this dude didn't know how to work the gear I'm certain that wouldn't have stopped him either – Hideaki wasn't going to let a pair of soul-crushing natural disasters deter him from doing awesome [expletive deleted to conform to Ricochet's Code of Conduct] and saving his family. He dove down into the water, completely submerged in the freezing cold, pitch black rushing current on all sides, and started swimming through the underwater ruins of his former hometown.
Surrounded by incredible hazards on all sides, ranging from obscene currents capable of dislodging houses from their moorings, sharp twisted metal that could easily have punctured his oxygen line (at best) or impaled him (at worst), and with giant [expletive deleted to conform to Ricochet's Code of Conduct] cars careening through the water like toys, he pressed on. Past broken glass, past destroyed houses, past downed power lines arcing with electrical current, through undertow that could have dragged him out to sea never to be heard from again, he searched.
Hideaki maintained his composure and navigated his way through the submerged city, finally tracking down his old house. He quickly swam through to find his totally-freaked-out wife, alone and stranded on the upper level of their house, barely keeping her head above water. He grabbed her tight, and presumably sharing his rebreather with her, dragged her out of the wreckage to safety. She survived.
Man, do I [expletive deleted to conform to Ricochet's Code of Conduct] hope every word of this story is true.
Hideaki Akaiwa, Ricochet salutes you, especially if it really happened this way--and even if it only sort-of happened this way, Ricochet still [expletive deleted to conform to Ricochet's Code of Conduct] salutes you.