I got a call from Haruhi late Saturday night. I was trying to sleep and so I ignored it; but it would keep ringing and ringing and so I had sit up and groggily grab the phone.
The sonic boom that was Haruhi cleared up any grogginess in my head. She wasted no time with such silly things as 'common curtesy' or 'apologies' and went straight into how she wanted to see everyone at shopping mall early in the morning; she didn't tell me why though. I bet she expects Sith lords to suddenly show up, beaming down on the mall. She also wanted to discuss, I.E tell,what demons in diguise looked like. I told her I couldn't do as she ordered if I didn't get any sleep and so she finally hung up.
" Come on Kyon! Wake up!" That shout and feeling of being jumped on can only mean my little sister has invaded my room(again).
"... It's Sunday!" I moaned. " Go away!"
" But you have a date don't you?" Date?...Oh yeah, Haruhi. I sat up and my sister jumped off
" It's not yawn a date."
" Then what is it?" has Koizumi been dropping by? His smile sems to have rubbed off on my sister.
" Orders." That smile of hers got wider
" Sounds like a date to me. I doubt Haruhi-oneesan would call it a date anyway." Yeah she's probably right...wait a minute!
" How do you know I'm meeting Haruhi today?"
"Well" She puffed out her chest proudly, "...as a junior brigade member it's my job to make sure you get your lazy but out of bed and do your duty to the Brigade!"Oh no! My little sister's been drafted! "That's why Haruhi-onnesan called me late night with orders to get you up on time." ! And how come she gets to be called 'Big sister?' I'm her big brother damn it!
"All right already. I'm going!" With Haruhi at school and my little sister at home, I'm never going to get any peace. Sigh. Such is my fate.
Well, there is one good thing about being God's henchman: traveling is convient. There was no line at the station, the train arrived early and the trip was shorter then usual. Haruhi must really want me to come if she's working all this subconsciously. I still would have prefered to stay in bed though, maybe I can get a nap once her latest scheme is over and done with.
When I arrived I saw Tsuruya-san was walking by. Behind her was some poor slob carrying a mountain of packages at her heels. I felt sorry for the guy; nice though Tsuruya-san is, she's just as hyper as Haruhi. One of the packages fell and-oh it's Taniguchi. Huh, didn't think he'd go for someone as energtic as Tsuruya-san. Well, she is rather pretty...she could make quite a ponytail with hair that long... I shivered as a chill ran down my spine.
" Good afternoon Kyon."
" Oh hey Koizumi." Maybe the chill was just nothing " Listen, we need to talk."
" Sure, what's up?"
" Haruhi started thinking about demons durring class the other day."
" Suzumiya-san is always thinking about paranormal things like that." That smile of his never seems to falter. Well this should do the trick.
" She thinks they really exists and wants one for the club. Her powers being real makes her think demons are too." Koizumi actually bothered to open his eyes this time.
" Are you sure?"
" Hmm, this could be a problem." Ya think? " I'll have to inform the Organization." And what will the Organization do? Nothing. They're all too scared of provoking Haruhi further-except for the ones want to use her.
" Do you know where Ashina-san and Nagato are?"
" No I haven't seen them." I started looking for the angel of the club, but instead all I saw was the Computer Club. They were spread out all over the mall. What were they doing here?
Warning, Incoming Game. Warning, Incoming Game.
Was that in my head?
"Look!" Koizumi pointed up. A giant blue-grey cube was descending down upon us: a Closed Space. But Haruhi's been happier then I've ever known her. How could-"We'll figure it out later. Now we have to get rid of it." Within momments, The Closed Space descended and everything went black.
When I came to, I was sitting in a forest, wearing the brown robes Haruhi had forced on the others that day in the club. I felt something in my pocket and pulled it out: a metal clyinder. Oh no...oh please no. I hit the switch and blade of light shot out.
A light saber.
Wait a minute, if we were swallowed by the Closed Space why am I in a forest?
" As Suzumiya-san develops her powers, so it seems her Closed Spaces develop as well." I saw Koizumi sitting up as well. He was dressed as I was. But there was still no sign of Nagato or Asahina-san. Everyone else had disapeared as well.
" You mean they get more dangerous." I countered.
" Not neccesarily. You have a light saber now don't you? In additon to becoming more dangerous, this Space seems to empower us as well." Koizumi pointed his finger at a boulder and it shot up into the air. " As I thought, my powers have been modified to that of Jedi. You should be able to do it as well."
Feeling like an idoit I pointed my finger at a rock and tried to get it to move and-nothing happned. Move damn it! But the rock never budged. I heard Koizumi chuckle, well excuse me for not being an esper.
" Well let's explore this Space a bit, it would be a good idea to learn as much as we can about this new kind for future reference."
And so we walked through the forest. Haruhi must not have been paying attention in Geography; forests aren't supposed to be this humid! My Jedi robs are sticking to me.
Maybe Haruhi knows the difference but though it was too boring. Yeah that would be just like her.
" You may have a point there." Koizumi said as he looked around, geez he looks like a tourist. " I prefer reasearcher."
" Sure, and just what exactly are you researching Professor?"
" The development of the Harutisams Suzumiyais spieces and the habitats it creates for itself. " He was forever touching trees and plants, as if making sure they were real.
" Can we just kill the Shinjin and get out of here?" Mosiquites shouldn't be here either as I swated my neck.
" I don't think there is a Shinjin." Koizumi replied. " Shinjin are the manifestations of Suzumiya-san's wrath and if she is happy right now then there should be no Shinjin."
" Then how do we destroy this Space?" Koizumi opened his mouth when a familar voice shouted
"Kyonobi, Koizumi. Where have you been?" I looked to see Haruhi. She was dressed just like how she was in the clubroom as well: Long white robes. She floated over to us and shouted, " I had scout parties sent out hours ago!"But we just got here."Do you have any idea how worried I was?" Wait a minute, Haruhi was worried about us? Something's wrong here I opened my mouth to ask her what was going on when Koizumi stopped me.
"Forgive us, Master. We were practicing and didn't want anyone to get hurt." Haruhi smirked.
" I see...yes, the padawon just might hurt someone. So little control he has." She shook her head smiing, as if at some great joke; it annoyed me but then again, I'm usually the but of her jokes anyway " Return to base when you are finished, the mission begins at 1800 hours." She turned on her heel and flew away. " And be careful." Putting Haruhi's unusual concern for our well-being aside for the mommnet I asked Koizumi what the heck he was thinking.
" I though it best to play along with Suzumiya-san's game."
" You think this is a game?"
" To her this is a game. That's what the voice said before the Closed Space dropped on us. This must be Suzumiya-san's game. No, that's not right... Perhaps it's a game to us..."
" You're gonna go on wordy lecture about perspectives again aren't you?"
" No, we don't have time for that. Suffice to say this might not be the real Suzumiya-san, but a fragment of the whole. One that was 'born' in this Closed Space out Haruhi's fasincation with Star Wars. If that were the case, it would make sense that her persona was different. But more importantly she wouldn't know anything about the SOS Brigade or anything that goes on outside this Space. Questiong her belief about reality could cause a great deal of mental stress and that means the Closed Space will expand faster."
" So we have to play Jedi for a figment of Haruhi's imagination or the world will be destroyed."
" In short, yes."
" One more question: how come you don't have a stupid nickname like 'Kyonobi'?" Koizumi laughed. It IS a stupid name.
" I thought of it more as an affectionate petname."
" Sans 'affectioante' and empahisis on 'pet'." Koizumi just smiled that annoying smile of his.
" You're right, it must be that my name doesn't sound like one of the Star Wars characters."
It took a while but we eventually found the 'base', if one could call it that. It was little more the a bunker. Haruhi was waiting for us and said that password that gave us entry.
Within the bunker was a single room filled was people dressed like me and Koizumi, Jedi apparently.
" Attention! Serving all Over Space Brigade!" Haruhi shouted. This is the SOS Brigade? " I have called you all here for a very important purpose." Haruhi gestured to a giant screen on the wall: it had Asahina-san's picture in it. Haruhi's not going to kidnap her is she? These are Jedi, but Haruhi- " Our objective is to free the Princess Mikuru from The Empire's most heavilly armed fortress. She will be well guarded and watched at all times, it will not be an easy mission."
Way to inspire moral, Master.
" But If we succed, we will have dealt The Empire a devastating blow: Taking so vauluable a treasure from their best fortress will shatter their mantle of invinciblity and more planet-nations will rally to our cause. The Princess herself will be able to win over many others. It will be beginning of the end for The Empire. If we succed, not only will we gain glory for ourselves and honor for the Jedi Order, but enough power to finish off The Empire once and for all. Are you with me?!"
"YES!" I had to ring my ears out after that one. Are these guys figments of Haruhi's imagination too? They argreed with her rather quickly.
" Then here's the plan." The screen changed to a map of the fortress as Haruhi pulled out a laser pointer. " I've arranged for the Imōto-chan army- " Did she say 'Imōtochan army'? to attack the main gate here." She pointed at the front of the fortress. " I would like a few of you to go with them, any volunteers?" She's asking for volunteers? That doesn't sound like Miss Voluntary Arrest. A number of hands went up." Good. This will be a distraction to draw them out, very important. Once we have their attention three smaller teams will approach the other three walls and attempt to scale them. This will also be a distraction, if you get in try sabotaging whatever you get your hands on, the rest of you will handle this. By now The Empire's forces should be split and the guard on the princess should be lighter. That's when a team consisting of Jedi Koizumi, Padawon Kyonobi, and myself will sneak up in an underground tunnel here." She pointed to the center of the fortress. " Once we are in, we'll get the princess out. Any questions?" Silence. It was a simple plan after all. "Then one more thing: I hope you all come back alive from this mission. Remember you are to be a distraction, no heroics okay?" That doesn't sound like the Haruhi I know. "Dismissed, and may the Force be with you." The Jedi left and Haruhi turned to me." Now there are two more people joining us but I didn't want the others to know. Come on in."
Tsuruya-san and Taniguchi entered the room but they were different. Tsuruya-san's hair floated around like it was alive and her odd tooth was an actual fang. Please don't tell me Haruhi turned Tsuruya-san into a demon. Taniguchi looked the same, just a difference in clothing and some kind of gun at his side.
" The deal was we show you where the entrance is." Taniguchi said "We're not going in there."
" But I already know where it is. If you want to get paid you're gonna have to come with us." Haruhi walked over to a high-tech computer thing. "And we'll need a droid to help us with hacking so I brought this." Haruhi presed a button and something came up the chute-It was Nagato! Only she was wearing some strange white armor and blue helmet. " She's the latest in bio-droid technology, what do you think?"
"Impressive as always Master Suzumiya." Koizumi the sycophant replied.
I was expecting something exciting and werid to happen to us on the way to this fortress. After all, The Haruhi I know would want exitement all the way: like some tribal warriors or tree/vine monsters. Images sprang to life in my mind of Haruhi caught by a monster with tentacle-like vines. I shook my head; Taniguchi's the pervert, not me! But I felt heat all over that had nothing to do with the 'Too humid to be a forest' forest.
Eventually untill Tsuruya-san stopped us at a tree trunk. One long strand of hair grabed a root and pulled, revealing a hidden passage.
" I'll go first, to make sure it's safe." And with that Haruhi descended down that ladder. Okay, this is really getting werid; I was expecting her to practically push me down there. Well, after Haruhi said all was clear we each went down one by one.
Did I mention the underground tunnel Haruhi talked about was a sewer? Yeah, as in a river of other people's waste. Haruhi, of course, marched through it as if it were water and Koizumi, I can never tell what's he thinking behind that smile of his. I don't think Nagato noticed the slime, or she didn't care. Well at least Taniguchi shared my misery-Tsuruya-san grabbed the ceiling with that long hair of hers and monkey bared across. Haruhi has some imagination, it absoultely reeks in here. It has to be some kind of Closed Space Super Stench. No way anything could smell this bad in the real world.
Eventually Tsuruya-san dropped down to the muck, but only Taniguchi and myself were splashed, everyone else mad a shield. I feel like I'm gonna throw up.
" Pay attention!" Haruhi shouted. " Tsuruya's found the ext!"
" It's right-" One of Tsuruya's hairs poised like a javelin, " Here!" she jabbed with the hair and a section of cieling moved out of the way." That's the end of our bargain." Tsuruya-san said.
" Very well." Haruhi concedded. You're letting them go? " Here's your pay." Taniguchi and Tsusrya-san vanished back down the tunnel. Another odd trait of this 'Star Wars' Haruhi.
We emerged in some kind of building. I could hear the sounds of battle still raging at the gate, so our distraction is holding; though I'm worried what she meant by the Imōto-chan army. " Now be quiet! Our distaction must be working." Haruhi motioned us down the hall and to a computer counsol.
" Yuki, here's where you come in."
" Affirmative." Nagato put her hand on the panel and it lit up. " Searching...searching...Princess Mikuru Asahina found. Detention Area Level 5. It is accesible through this build, up five floors."
That seemed rather simple.
" Great! Thanks Yuki, let's get moving." Haruhi's thanking people? Well anyway we moved the several floors to where Asahina-san was being held. There was a suspicious lack of guards-either the distraction is working better then I thought it was or we were going into a trap. I voiced my concerns to our great leader but she brushed them aside.
" We have to go this way, if there's a trap we'll handle it then." Easy for you to say! You're the one with the super powers.
" Here." Nagato said. " This bridge will take us to the Primary Detention Level."
Nagato released the lock into the prison and crept through. Unlike before there were guards here but Haruhi handled them all easily. Not by charging in like she usually did, but by actually thinking ahead and planning out her movements. That settles it, This had to be a different part of Haruhi.
" This lock too Yuki!" Nagato placed her hand on the lock but was repealed. Even she seemed surprised by this turn of events, though it was hard to tell. " Ohh, move aside! I'll do it!" What are you gonna do? Haruhi closed her eyes, took a deep breathe and posed like some martail art character from an anime. It was a good thing I held back a smile or we could have been in trouble. Haruhi's eyes snapped open and thrusted her hands against the door, causing it to burst off its hinges and slam against the wall. While it was impressive how she did that, it would be pointless if she harmed Asahina-san!
" Wh-who are you?" A timid, yet sweet voice asked.
" I am Jedi Grand Master Haruhi Suzumiya." Our fearless leader boasted. "Are you alright?"
" I-I'm all right." Haruhi grabbed Asahina-san and dragged her out of the cell.
" Then let's go!" Haruhi lead the way out of detention area and back to the main prison.
The doors behind us slam shut and troopers appeared from every nook and cranny, in momments we were surrounded. I knew it, I knew it was a trap. But no one listens to the 'Padawon'. Asahina-san hide between me and clutched my arm. Normally I'd protest if someone used me as a human shield but with Asahina-san...
" Hahahahah! You stupid brigaders fell right into my trap!" A figure in a full body suit of blue and red armor came out from within the crowd. " I knew you would come for the princess and recognized your second hand stragedy immediately." This guy must be what Haruhi thinks of Darth Vadar. "We meet again Haruhi Suzumiya, for the last time!"
" And just who are you?" Haruhi didn't seem worried at all that we we're hopelessly trapped.
" You don't remember me?! You snuck aboard my ship and stole my most advanced android!"
" Oh yeahhhh, that computer geek." Haruhi nodded.
" Darth Computer!" Andriod...computer...Is that the Computer Club president?
" That was so long ago!" Haruhi continued, "I was still recruiting for my SOS Brigade back then."
"I, Darth Computer, challenge you Suzumiya, to a duel! A duel! A DUEL!" Yep, defintely the Computer Club President. First Tsururya-san and Taniguchi, possibly my little sister, and now the Computer Club President, how'd they all get roped into this?
" I accept!" Darth Computer drew his light saber and Haruhi did as well. For a momment they circled each other before clashing in a...Oh I really don't want to describe the whole fight. Just say that they exchanged blows for a while.
Haruhi disarmed Darth Computer of his light saber and caught it in her free hand. Now dual wielding she stared down her weaponless enemy. " You lose." She mocked. I had a sudden bad feeling, something wasn't right. Getting here, defeating the Computer Club President, it was all too easy. I looked around and saw a sniper squeeze off a shot from above.
Use The Force Kyonobi!
I don't have the Force! Although right now I wish I did, then I wouldn't be in all this pain. The two of us hit the ground with a thud.
" Kyonobi!" Haruhi shouted, her turned my face to hers, she looked terrified...are those tears in her eyes?
" Troopers! Finish them off!" The Computer Club President shouted. An air vent burst above us and Tsuruya-san and Taniguchi dropped in. Tsuruya was using her as a whip while Taniguchi had his blaster. Together with Koizumi and Nagato they moped up all the troops. " I'll get you next Suzumiya! Next Time!" Darth Computer retreated. My vision got dark...hard to focus...
" Kyonobi! Get up! Kyonobi!" My body felt cold all off a sudden. " You'll pay for this!"
The crackle of lightening. A sharp scream.
" Whooa...Whooa... If I go down...Whooa... I'm taking you all with me!" Someone picked me up.
" If we don't get out of here nowwe're all gonna die!" The air fizzed by us; me and my carrier. An explosion...so...sleepy...
Game Over. Game Over.
My eyes snapped open and I took a deep breath. I had a dizzy spell and had to sit down. When I loked around I was back at the mall.
" Welcome back." I turned to see Koizumi smiling at me. Suddenly my back started aching horribly and I hissed in pain. "Yeah, that's gonna sting for a while."
" What the heck was that?!"
" I'm not quite sure myself. No one in The Organization has heard of something like this happening. But if I had to guess I'd say that was Suzumiya-san's daydream."
" Her daydream?"
" Yes, her daydream. You remember when I told you that some in the Organization believe the world to be Suzumiya-san's dream? And how she could change the world as easily as a dream?" I nodded. " Well my guess is that Suzumiya-san temporarily recreated the world. Daydreams are similar to nightdreams but less... potent, so to speak. When her excitment about becoming a Jedi reached a certain limit, her fantasy manifested in reality. Thus creating a a kind of Closed Space unlike those we have previously experienced. Those were made to allow her to vent frustration, while these new ones-let's call them 'Games'- are made to allow her to live out fantasies."
" And the reason my back hurts?"
" Ah yes, that would residue of the shot you took for Suzumiya-san." That' right. I saw the sniper and I just...reacted. "That was very noble of you."
" So...what happened after that?"
" Suzumiya-san was furious and used Force Lightening on Darth Computer-fatally injurying him. He activated the Fortress' self-destruct and we had to high-tail it out while Suzumiya-san carried you. We don't know if Darth Computer actually died though. As soon as we were clear of the explosion, it was pretty close by the way, a voice announced the game was over. Then I woke up right next to you." I tried to sit up and another lance of pain shot through my back.
" Ah yes. Kyon listen to me because this is very important: Even though we call these Closed Spaces 'Games' they are very real. In fact, while they exist, they are the real world. Anything that happens to you there will naturally be just as real. So don't do anything reckless; you just might die." I gulped hard.
" You mean that... if Haruhi hadn't ended the game so soon after I was shot..." Koizumi nodded and I shivered. I almost died today!
" Where were you two?!" I looked to see Haruhi glaring at us, still wearing those white robes. As soon as I got over my sense of deja vu I noticed she looked like she just woke up. " I've been waiting for hours!"She must have gotten here early to make sure she wasn't last. "You really do deserve a penalty for making your brigade chief waste her time!" But then her face softened and she smiled at me. " But I don't feel like giving you one-this time."
" Why did you call us here again?"
" There's a new Star Wars movie playing." Haruhi explained. " And we all need to do research on what else my powers are capable of!"
I looked over at Koizumi, and to my great satisfaction, I saw that annoying smile of his twitch for a momment before he reset it. Now he'll take what I sad about the demon more seriously. Asahina-san and Nagato walked up to me; Do they remember what happened? Haruhi doesn't seem to know, but she probably thought it was a daydream. Then I saw my little sister, she was walking behind Asahina-san and holding her hand. My heart skipepd a beat when I saw she was covered in band aids.
" What's my little siter doing here? And what happened to her?!"
" We found her laying around the mall; she was covered in scraps and bruises." Haruhi said. "You really should take better care of her!" That confirms my suspicons. My little sister was an entire army in Haruhi's daydream and hurt because of it! I'll have to make sure to keep her away from Haruhi's games in the future.
" Yes Ma'am."
" Good. Now off to the theather!"The pain in my back had subsided. I still stung like Koizumi said, but at least I could walk. On our way to the movie I saw the Computer Club gather around its president. He was laying on the ground, breathing hard and clutching his chest. But if I survived my fatal wound, he should too. So no one was hurt by Haruhi's fantasy, let's keep it that way.
For now it's off to the ticket Counter and for once I'm not paying.
" Kyon, Pay up!" What? " You still owe two penalties from before!"
Sigh. I should have known it was too good to be true.