Greetings. Overactive Mind here, actually posting something after… Man, more than three and a half years!? Sweet ephemeral pumpkin on a green ghost pogo ride…
Anyway, this story began as an idea I submitted to superstarultra as a suggestion for his brilliant collection of Haruhi drabbles, You Got HaruhiRolled! Said suggestion was made into reality as chapter 69 (stop snickering) of said work. Now, I want to take a crack at it. Expect abundant silliness with an unexpected plot filling. Well, I suppose if I tell you about it then it won't exactly be unexpected… Bah! You know what I mean. Possibly.
In any case, let us begin!
August 29th, Loop 259
Yuki Nagato had before her a conundrum. The temporal loop engendered by the local data manipulation prodigy, sometimes known to observers on the other side of the fourth wall as the "Endless Eight Incident", would soon be concluding its first decade. While at first the recursive temporal phenomenon had been a novel wrinkle in her assignment, by now Yuki had it documented down to the smallest anomaly in the tachyon flux pattern. Things weren't any more interesting on the level accessible to her human sensorium either. In each iteration, the SOS Brigade was effectively unaware of the time loop until the chrononaut operating under the codename Mikuru Asahina discovered that she was cut off from her superiors. Yes, some déjà vu had begun manifesting at Loop 34, but it was only the beginning of a standard cyclical memory echo with a wavelength typical for this sort of time-space phenomenon.
Yuki herself had attempted to increase the variety of the loops, inasmuch as she could within her operational boundaries. The kimono purchase phase of each loop offered a unique attempt for her to diagram the psychologies of the other female SOS members, using a method that effectively treated the two of them as dialogue trees in a dating sim, allowing the humanoid interface to map their individual emotional spectra far more thoroughly, efficiently, and discretely than would be possible during a normal time flow. The cicada catching competition provided similar opportunities for behavioral study, albeit for more simplistic subjects: insects and male humans.
Unfortunately, by now Yuki had a more than satisfactory grasp on the human and cicadidaen psyches, and while both still had a few nuances that she had not yet fully investigated, she knew that this road would not persist for much longer. For lack of a better word, she was becoming fidgety. Yuki was a humanoid interface tasked with observation and data acquisition, but now the observable, acquirable data was stagnating. Her patience was, of course, infinite, but the organic portion of her mind shuddered at the thought of what could potentially be millions of repetitions of the same damn two months. If she was perfectly honest with herself (and she could be nothing but,) the rest of her was beginning to sympathize.
This brings us to Yuki's analysis of the conundrum mentioned in the first paragraph, in her apartment on the night of August 29th. Specifically, the two hundred and fifty ninth August 29th since the spring semester had ended. It also brings us to the girl coming to a decision and appearing to fall asleep while sitting at her table. In reality, her mind cruised the sub-ether to confer with the Integrated Data Thought Entity.
[9854624286: Request – Preliminary Supplement Present
[985472677: Command – Elaborate
[9854624286: Request Supplement – Local timespace has entered class 7 causality loop. Interation count 259. Cycle frequency 14 planet-axial revolutions. Data of standard causality progression have been analyzed above and beyond satisfactory levels for given phenomenon as dictated by protocol. Probability of phenomenon self-resolution less than one in one googol.
[9854624286: Request – Permission, Multiple Proposals
[[A. Directly interfere with local timespace to increase probability of phenomenon self-resolution.
[[B. Alert secondary priority subjects to presence of causality loop at start of each iteration until phenomenon resolves.
[[C. Exploit loop to create scenarios that would present unacceptable risk under normal temporal conditions, gather data therefrom.
[985472677: Stand by. Processing request.
[985472677: Request Response – Permission request A denied – Unacceptable risk.
[985472677: Request Response – Permission request B denied – Unacceptable fraternization with subjects.
[985472677: Request Response – Permission request C beyond unit authority to grant or deny. Forwarding to direct superior. Stand by.
This was somewhat unexpected, but not unprecedented. The evolutionary catalyst Yuki was studying sometimes resulted in her direct superior not having the authorization needed to judge her proposals. Technically, this meant she didn't even have the authorization to make those requests, but interfaces got a little leeway in that regard. After all, to do otherwise would be counterintuitive.
[4472677: Stand by. Processing request.
[4472677: Request Response – Permission request beyond unit authority to grant or deny. Forwarding to direct superior.
Now this was a surprise. The last time one of Yuki's requests had necessitated traveling up this many links in the chain of command had been the barely averted apocalypse scenario just after the formation of the Brigade.
[263447: Stand by. Processing request.
[263447: Request Response – Permission request beyond unit authority to grant or deny.
[263447: System Alert Triggered – Multiple redirections detected. Estimating required authority to assess request.
[263447: Estimation confirmed by subentity administrator. Forwarding.
This was totally unanticipated. Yuki had, to borrow a local idiom, opened one serious can of worms.
[42: Stand by. Processing request.
Yuki's physical eyes opened at this. A two-digit PIN meant this aspect of the IDTE had been present at the initial integration of the Entity. That she would submit something that such a being would even glance at…
[42: Request Response – Permission request granted.
[42: Request Response Supplement – In addition, 9854624286, local designation Nagato Yuki, is to treat this proposal as primary mission objective until causality loop cessation, and is not to offer any assistance in loop cessation without permission request supplemented with multiiterative evidence of primary subject degradation. Finally, other aspects of the Integrated Data Thought Entity may submit requests to 9854624286 for certain experiments. These are to be treated as requests from an aspect of equal rank, regardless of origin. Objective priority alteration effective as of beginning of next iteration. Fraternization restriction effective immediately. Experimentation requests may be submitted once objective priority alteration becomes effective.
Yuki eased her awareness out of the Entity's subethernet carefully. This… this was a lot to digest. She considered faking an illness of some sort to have uninterrupted time to ponder the implications of this mandate. Then, a blip nagged at her subetheric senses.
[42: Personal Message to 9854624286 – Have fun, Yuki. I look forward to seeing what results from this. :)
Yes, Yuki decided, she was definitely telling the others that she was sick tomorrow. Possibly the next day as well.
And there you have it. Chapter the first of The Endless Eight Experiments. I'm more than open to suggestions for Yuki's antics, (heck, I've even provided an in-story rationalization for them,) though I do have a few ideas I'll be putting in regardless.
Also, bonus points to anyone who figures out how I generated Yuki's PIN.