I'm afraid I am not sure where to begin here.
Perhaps who I am would be as good a start as any.
I am Ryoko Asakura – well, that isn't true. My name is Ryoko Asakura. Those two statements are not the same. You probably cannot understand the difference. After all, you're a human. Humans often are not very perceptive. A flaw of the species, I'm afraid.
I, however, was always aware of the difference. At least, I assumed so.
Perhaps I understand that better now?
In any case, I should begin earlier than that.
It's difficult... gathering your thoughts in this way... I think it was much easier as an interface.
Perhaps on occasion you've been in a dream where you felt as though something was wrong, but you couldn't quite figure out what it was?
That's how I've been feeling a lot lately.
I belonged - I guess still belong, in a way - to a group known as the Data Overmind. They have made it their mission to quietly collect as much data about the natural world as they possibly can. And they are searching for the key to their continued evolution, which has recently hit a dead end. As for the answer, I cannot say, but it has something to do with an unusual and mysterious human known as Haruhi Suzumiya. Perhaps you have heard of her?
I suppose the closest human label you could have applied to me at the time – for I shall be assuming by this point that you are human if you are reading this– would have been "rebel." My... certain viewpoint was not... well-regarded among the Entity. You could say I saw things through an unusual window... I probably wouldn't say something like that, but I suppose the human ability to speak... artistically... is one I have gained. Somewhat. I don't claim to be a fantastic writer. But I do try, and I need to tell this story.
Because, you see, a while ago, I was deleted. Erased, you might say, from existence. But I wasn't completely gone. I... lingered. A small seed of myself lingered...
It's difficult to understand, but in any case, I waited. And I thought. I was barely there, barely able to exist, and I only managed to exist through what seemed to be pure force of will.
But after so much waiting...
It was deemed to be fitting for me to come back. But not as an interface.
Instead, I was set to return human.
By whom, you ask? For what reason?
Well, at the time I believed the Data Overmind wanted me to exist as a human as some sort of punishment. And to observe Suzumiya Haruhi once more under different circumstances and under a different guise.
As for whether or not that was really it?
As the humans say, that's for me to know and for you to find out.
And I think I know where to begin now: when I first woke up as a human. It seems so simple now that I know. But humans do have to sort their thoughts out from time to time, yes?
Please enjoy the following story.
Did you enjoy this rewritten prologue? I'm still not sure if it's the way I want it, but it's a step up from the original IMO. Not in the sense of being better-written, or worse, but I think it fits much better in the context of the story.
For new readers who never even saw the original, welcome! I've really enjoyed writing this story a lot, and I hope you do too. It's been a great ride so far and it'll continue to be so straight until the finish!