Aishuu Offers:
Prince of the Layer
Disclaimer: Oujirou is CLAMP's... dammit. Though I'll trade them my three brothers for him... and throw in two dogs to sweeten the deal.
Note: Decided to send out the prologue as a teaser to defy the spammers. This is my fic for the "Obscurely CLAMP" challenge... figured I should get the ball rolling.


Mihara Oujirou stood in the observation booth with his brother, watching the end battle of the First Angelic Layer National Competition. The thirteen-year-old observed proudly with glowing eyes as Athena stood victorious over her opponent. "It was perfect," he whispered, smiling in rapt fascination.

"No, it wasn't," his brother said.

Oujirou's fists clenched at the implied insulted to Shuuko, but then he looked over at Ichirou, and noticed the genuine unhappiness there. "What's wrong?" he asked, forcing himiself to keep his eyes away from the screen.

"We didn't get enough data," he said. "Not nearly enough balanced data."

"Huh?" Oujirou knew that contestants had entered from all over Japan, and there had been thousands of them. The Angelic Layer Corporation was carefully recording the neural action of all of them as they fought, hoping to use the data in their research to create artificial limbs.

"We need young people, and we're getting them," Ichirou whispered. "Young, flexible minds that are able to grasp the way to move the dolls. But the sample is contaminated. For every ten girls, we have one guy, and none of them are anywhere near as devoted as their female counterparts."

Oujirou studied him, understanding the problem. "How much more data do we need?"

"At this rate, even if we factor in the inevitable popularity increase of next year's tournament, it will take ten years before we have enough," Ichirou said, studying the screens where a happy "Shuu" was waving at the crowd. "She'll wait that long... but by then, her daughter will be grown. I don't want to do that to her."

"You have my data," Oujirou said softly. "Is that any good?"

"Aside from hers, it's the best. But you're only one. The male and female minds work differently, and everyone is unique. We need a diverse sampling if we're to design the perfect artificial legs..." Ichirou answered. "And I don't want her to have anything less than the best."

The teenager studied the screen, feeling the bitter triumph of the moment. To come this far, and still be so far away from their real goal. "It's not fair," he said bitterly.

"No, it's not. But I've done what I can to market for both genders, and there's simply nothing else I can do. Angelic Layer is viewed as a girl's game..."

Oujirou stared, his fists so tight that his fingernails were starting to dig into the tender flesh of his palms. There had to be something that could be done... but what?


Note: I noticed Oujirou didn't compete in the first tournament... he'd have made it to the finals, being the most experienced player, aside from Shuuko. So... what changed?

This should be done by the challenge deadline of Jan. 31, 2003. I'm just going to concentrate on a few other things first. ^_^

I'm gonna become sunshine
And kiss everything in sight.
You could be a star in the night
Just use your imagination.
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