After shutting the door, she walked cautiously up to the other bedroom down the hall. There was a muffled sound coming from inside. Gently, she pushed it a little so she could see inside. It was Yuri. She was lying on the floor, leaning against the side of bed. She slumped as if her body was just dead weight. She was sniffling like she had just cried for hours. Her Borg sat on the bed, indifferently licking the tears from Yuri's face. The Borg glanced at Kumi and then continued licking.

Kumi had seen her like this a hundred times. By now Kumi knew to always carry tissues in her pocket. Kumi grimaced as she took a few more cautious steps into the room. She was pathetic, but she would never say that to Yuri. In fact, she couldn't even blame her. She was the only real human left in this house. Kumi was more liked the winged creature on the bed, they were both filled with the same stuff.

"Get up." Yuri froze. She turned and blushed. "K-Kumi?" She self consciously wiped her face ans sat up. "Did you want something?" She said, so ashamed she couldn't even hold her head up. "It's okay," said Kumi, bending down and handing her a tissue. Yuri gave her a small smile, but Kumi''s eyes were blank, her mouth inexpressive. "Yuri, I have a question for you." "Yeah? She said. "About the math homework?" she asked innocently. "What? After all of this you still care about of school?" Kumi asked full of awed curiosity. Yuri looked confused. "Yeah, what's wrong with that? The exams are coming up soon, you know!" Kumi turned to look at the borg, which had retracted its tongue and was now resting on the bed. She was silent for a long time.

"Kumi?" Yuri's voice was small, but it rang in Kumi's ear. She could hear the concern and caution in it. Finally Yuri turned to her. "You're thinking too small." Yuri narrowed her eyes in vexation. She waited for Kumi to speak again. "You've been there, Yuri! You've been to the forest of spaceships! You know what this is! It's not some game!" Kumi shouted, waving one of her arms as if displaying the scope of the problem. Yuri was silent. "Why do you think these aliens keep coming to the school? Why do they keep targeting these little schoolgirls instead of going to straight to the capital?" Yuri stood up. "I don't know. They just do. So we have to stop them. "
"But don't you get it? The party was formed by a bunch of symbiotes! It's just a plot by them to get more hosts!" Yuri shook her head. "Ms. Hisakawa would never do that!" Kumi sighed "Yuri, I know that this is hard to understand, but", she slipped the mitt off her hand. "But she's just like me." Yuri stared at her hand, smooth and perfect skin with long, thin fingers. Although she was expecting it, she still whimpered when the drills twisted and squirmed under the skin, squirming all down her arm like one giant tentacle. Yuri looked away, shaking.

"We're the best alien to fuse with. WE are the ninth alien, Yuri." "That's a lie!" She shook her head. "I was born here! On earth! I'm not an alien. I'm a human." She looked Kumi in the eye. "So are you." The taller girl smiled, and Yuri could see that it was warm, but also tinged with an ineffable sadness. "Yuri. Nobody's an alien on their home planet." But then, the smile faded. "Don't you see, Yuri? We have to go. We have to go together."

"W-w-where? Where do we have to go?" Kumi said, her eyes blank with confusion. Tiny steel spirals twined out of Kumi's fingertips. The skin was bloodless. They spread out of both of Kumi's arms toward Yuri like the wings of a condor.

Kumi could articulate them fluidly, and they silently reached Yuri. She was shaking. "Let's go together, let's take the Borg's ship and go. We'll go to their home planet, get all the answers." She stroked Yuri's hair reassuringly, even though she was standing seven feet away. "Let's get out of here and never have to be alien fighters again." Two drills came to rest on Yuri's shoulder. "I know you're sick of this too, Yuri"
The little girl began whimpering. She looked up at Kumi, shaking. "What are you talking about?!"
The drils clapped onto her and yanked hard, pulling her frail body to the floor. Kumi walked towards her, the drills sucking back into her shoulder joint. She seemed unaware that her arms were just bags of skin flopping around her, after spending the entire day just to heal them. Yuri didn't even bother to resist as the drills clasped around her neck, groping around her windpipe. Even choking, the backs of her eyes pricking, she could see that Kumi was afraid too. The drills were squeezing around her neck, enraged that she should even exist. The coils themselves writhed into her neck, abrading it. Suddenly, with a shudder, they pulled her towards Kumi, setting her face less than an inch ways from Kumi's. Kumi leaned forward, their lips touching for an instant, even while her eyes burned with malice. Then, like a hurricane, the drills quicklysubsided with a disturbing gentleness. They softly placed Yuri on the ground, where she gasped and sputtered, but didn't dare to move. When her breathing returned to normal, and then became increasingly deep and strangely calm. She could hear a strange noise, realizing in time (as she readjusted) that it was Kumi sobbing.

"Kumi," Yuri tried to say, but it came out in a haggard whisper. "I'm sorry. There's so much- so much I just don't understand." But Kumi continued to cry, even louder than before. After a few minutes she picked herself up and walked out of the door without saying a word, closing it softly behind her. Yuri picked herself up off the floor and into bed. The borg slipped off the nightstand and stood guard the rest of the night, spreading its wings protectively in front of the doorway.

If only I knew how Yuri could forgive me. Everything's such a mess. I don't even know why I did that. I must have been blindly insane. I don't know why I kissed her. I don't understand anything. I'm afraid. I wish Yuri knew how sorry I was.

I slipped into the third room, completely dark. I slipped into the covers, with no borg to guard me. Before I fell asleep, a thought popped back into my head. I still had tears. I was still a human being.