For What It's Worth
Author's note: This is a crossover of Azumanga Daioh and Highschool of the Dead. I do not own either anime. Azumanga Daioh is the property of Kiyohiko Azuma and JC Staff; Highschool of the Dead is the property of Daisuke Saito and Madhouse Ltd. The title is derived from the song written by Stephen Stills and performed by Buffalo Springfield, which I heard at Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam's TGS trailer. The thing that really inspired me to create this fic thick is the physical resemblance of two characters: AD's Sakaki and HSOTD's Saeko Busujima. They're both hot! And it'll also include crossover bits of various anime as well as a Lovecraft-inspired back story. Thanks to some help with Elred Bluegreen. And also please read my other horror fic Grimoire: The Lustbound Heart.
Chapter 1: Buffalo Springfield's Undead Springtime
Fears are nothing more than a state of mind. I can't remember I said that. I tell you everyone's scared here. You could see it in their eyes. It eats away at you. Ages you. I'm tired. I walk around 'Nam. Everyone does. Focused on one thing: staying alive.
-American soldier, Battlefield Bad Company 2: Vietnam State of Mind trailer.
The classroom hummed with all the usual activity in what could just be another day. Yukari in all her eccentricity, began the day's lessons. Outside, a sunny spring day gave the school an air of tranquility.
"Okay, who can tell me what an intransitive verb is?" She demanded from her class. In the heady spring morning, however, no one seemed inclined to answer. She grumbled to her class, "Come on, you little brats. I'm not gonna be asking Chiyo-chan to answer for your hollow little heads." Everyone sweat dropped at hearing that. Typical Yukari. Then Tomo raised her hand.
"I know what is," she answered proudly, "it's a verb that's too lazy to move." Dumbfounded silence.
Finally, Yukari spoke, "That sounds correct, Tomo." Then ranted, "BUT! You're way off the mark!" Without even pausing, Yukari's razor-sharp gaze snapped precisely to Osaka's forehead. "You! What do you think it means?"
Osaka returned Yukari's look almost listlessly, and widened. The huge, saucepan-sized eyes then met Yukari's unwaveringly, and bored through them straight into her brain. Pulling her attention away from existence. Yukari forgot where she was standing, absolutely horrified by the very sight of those eyes, tearing through the very fabric of time and space and wiping her memory clean.
Then, Osaka blinked."I dunno. Is it a lazy verb?" She asked.
"S... stop raping my brain..." Yukari murmured, too low for anyone to hear... except for Osaka, who shook her head. Miss Yukari's kinda weird sometimes, she thought. Meanwhile, Eugene Gotou is receiving Math assignments from his students. Of course, anyone who doesn't have any earns a smack on the head. As he did he announced to his class.
"Okay, class. Today we will discuss the law of sines. But first a refresher drill." He made a quick review about the lessons from the previous week. Outside, Nyamo is managing her PE class.
She whistled her wards to stop and and broke out the lesson, "We're going to play volleyball today! Get into groups of six!" They complied and fell into formation. Back inside, Kimura's class is reciting their poems when he broke down into another one of his pedophilic rants.
"Oh yeah, the other day I was talking to another teacher at an all-girls school, and..." He groaned a bit and put his hand on his head, "When they have gym class... the students sometimes stay in their PE clothes for homeroom!" He pounded his clenched hands on the table and cried, "When it's swimming season... THEY COULD BE IN SWIMSUITS!" He began crying on the table, feeling that he had lost an opportunity at looking at highschool girls. Everyone in his class sweat dropped over the recent of his usual outbursts. As the day reached it's zenith, lunchtime began. All the students either stayed inside or milled out to the canteen for lunch. At the faculty room where most of the teachers eat, Gotou joined the teachers at the table. His bento contained food that might have been found in a US military MRE(Meal, Read-to-Eat).
"What's that?" Nyamo asked him as she looked at a piece of of white meat smothered in gravy with white lumps on top.
"Oh, this," he happily chuckled, "that's turkey breast with gravy & potatoes." And he produced another pack. "Here's my shrimp and mixed vegetables in white sauce." He opened it and revealed a hodgepodge of shrimp, diced carrots, corn, peas, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, red pepper strips and green beans covered in a blanket of creamy sauce. It seemed tasty but to Nyamo, it reminded her of airline food.
"That's food? I thought you were going to start teaching Science." Yukari jabbed slyly, "hey, is that growing smallpox or what?"
"It's healthier than your lunch. You ever wonder why no one talks in my class?" Gotou grinned. "Because I notice everything! This here," he pinned the turkey with his plastic spoon and waved it in front of Yukari's face, "is my secret. Packed with calories to keep you at your best! This one loaf could feed a man for a day!"
"Eh, no thanks, I'm watching my weight... and my good health." With this said, Yukari took a bite out of her candy bar. Kurosawa groaned at the irony, and the harebrainedness, of Yukari's thought. She noticed he was wearing his sleeves down a while go but now he's wearing them rolled up. It revealed some tattoos that he had on one of his arms. One of them depicted a pair of bayonet-tipped M16s crossed together with a jawless skull-faced parachute above them to form a Jolly Roger. On the chute is the sign emblazoned 82ND AIRBORNE: DROPPING DOWN HELL FROM 8000 FEET IN THE AIR. The other tattoo further up pictured a blue-and-green checkered shield with a streak of lightning across it. On the diagonal blue parts are a sun and and a star. Above is a ribbon sign that said 75 RANGER RGT. Although no teacher would be allowed to have tattoos, Gotou is an exemption. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, he joined the US Army's 82nd Airborne Division when he was 17. At 1991, he signed up for the Rangers just in time for the Gulf War and had served from that year to 1996. He withdraw from service so he could take a college course as a Math teacher but he reenlisted for Regiment at 2000 and went into the Balkans as a part of the Kosovo Force. Right after the tragedy of 9/11, the Rangers were at the forefront of the War on Terror, spearheading the invasion of Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom and then Iraqi Freedom. He was discharged at March 2005. The tattoos he got in his service were the mark of a military man, thus he was allowed to have them as long as he discreetly covered from the student's eyes.
"Look's like you're feeling lively today," she noted at his buoyed mood.
"I don't know but maybe it's the spring fever. It's got a way of getting to me sometimes." He replied as he ate his lunch.
The radio at the corner that was playing a pop song a while ago now announced, "Hey, Good Noon, I'm Naku AKA Nakuro Tanaka!" Said a man's voice.
"I'm Michi AKA Michiru Okinu!" Announced a woman's voice. The two voices on the radio then engaged on a conversation.
"Hey, Michi. Today's a wonderful spring day and the weather's a mild 30 degrees Celsius and the cherry blossoms are in full bloom."
"Yeah, I like this time in the year 'cause we can go flower gazing at night. It's full of nostalgia gazing at the flowers to remember all the wonderful times of your life."
"Speaking of nostalgia, we have a letter from Echo-Golf 82-75. He requested Buffalo Springfield's For What It's Worth."
"Oh, I love that song!" Said Michu. "My dad would listen to it when he drives his car to the beach on summer."
"Okay, now let's just, open the letter like this," a piece of paper was torn, "then play the record like this and put it in the air. Now on the air is For What It's Worth by Buffalo Springfield." Then song began to fill the room with it's strumming guitars, giving the room a lazy relaxed air. Something more suited for summer than springtime. While very nice, the closest thing Nyamo could think of for a '60s song in a spring night is Ben E. King's Stand by Me.
She turned to him, "So, that's your favorite song. It's very relaxing." She unknowingly tapped her foot to the beat of the song.
There's something happening here
What it is ain't exactly clear
"Yeah, I listen to that every time my dad goes home from managing shop at a beach resort in Honolulu. He also listened to it during his tour of duty in 'Nam." He explained. "He served with the 1st Cavalry from '65 to '71."
"I see," she replied. "So what brought you here to Japan?"
There's a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware
"I've got relatives here who recommended me to teach here. I got my knack for Math from my uncle who teaches at the University of Hawaii."
I think it's time we stop, children, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
"I expected someone from Hawaii to be a bit relaxed," Nyamo noted, expecting that Hawaii's slow pace of life and aloha atmosphere would produce a easygoing and laid-back personality, not the macho military buff Gotou is.
There's battle lines being drawn
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong
"Well, you can blame my uncle," he chuckled as he ate a piece of turkey, "he's quite the Math drill sergeant at my family."
"I can't blame you for that." Kurosawa took a bite of her beef ramen. Then she noted his choice of food. "Um, do you really eat something like that everyday?"
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind
"No, I don't." He replied, "I sometimes eat heavy meals at my relatives' place and sometimes buy a week's worth of groceries."
I think it's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
A student rushed inside the faculty room. He was panting a lot and he looked worried. He said, "Excuse me, everyone. We have a problem outside." The teachers stood up, jolted by the student's tone of urgency.
What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Immediately, Gotou's sleeves were down, concealing his tattoos from view, and his chair was knocked back. "What kind of problem?" He demanded. That was the drill- if there was a problem so large that the Teachers Lounge was breached, SOMEONE was answering to him, one way or another.
"It's, it's, there's someone who's down, sir! He's bitten!""
It's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
That did it. Eugene Gotou's killswitch had officially been flipped. He shut off the radio and tore out the doorway. The student barely had an opportunity to duck, narrowly avoiding being ground under the huge math teacher's boots.
Several moments earlier...
Chiyo, Osaka, Yomi, Tomo, Kagura and Sakaki went up the roof of the school, the door leading to it is open so it could let in air. They sat down and ate lunch on the brick plant boxes. From the top they can see the cherry blossoms at full bloom, their flowers coloring the sky pink while fleecy white clouds above move about lazily, complementing the heady beauty of spring.
"There's nothing like a rooftop lunch at springtime," Tomo said excitedly as she ate alongside meganneko Yomi. "You get a first class view of the entire school from here."
"Not to mention the breeze here is quite relaxing," Yomi added while munching on her Yakisoba-pan. She was concerned for her weight, eating food in smaller amounts lately.
"Oh so true, Yomi," the wildcat commented an easygoing smile on her face , "especially after a heavy workout that doesn't work at all."
In just two seconds she earned a hard knock on the head from Yomi, who clearly disliked her friend's fat jokes. "Yeoww!" she cried as she soothed the new lump on her head.
"I like eating here sometimes," Chiyo said as she sat down next to Sakaki. "The weather is nice and the breeze feels great too."
"Just sitting out here in the warm sunlight," Osaka yawned, "with the wind blowing through makes me all sleepy. And it makes me feel that I could fly away in my sleep." Then the spacey girl felt Chiyo tugging the cuff of her blouse, almost as though to keep from fulfilling that wish. She always felt goosebumps about Osaka's whimsical thoughts of jumping of the roof to fly. She then yawned loudly. It seemed that the universe had slowed down when Osaka looked around. Everyone was staring at her.
"What'cha all looking at me for?" She asked everyone.
After a few seconds, Kagura spoke, "Wow, that was greatest yawn I've ever heard." Indeed as her yawn was so long and loud and pleasant to here that anyone would notice that.
"Yeah, I couldn't take my eyes off it," Yomi replied, pleasantly amazed by the airhead's wide yaw.
Then Tomo pop out, "That was the greatest yawn I've seen in the history of yawning, the yawn where all yawns will judged!"
Osaka turned her head. "Really? Thanks." She said proudly, "Now that I think about it, I've been workin' at it my whole life."
Kagura could only look on in wonder as Osaka yawned again. "Wow... it's just so cool..."
"Don't get too absorbed in it." Yomi warned. Osaka had a way of repelling any and all rational thought away from her when she was acting like this... speaking of lack of rational thought, she remembered to check what Tomo was doing at the moment. She had a pair of binoculars pressed to her eyes and was looking out over the schoolyard."What're you up to now?" Yomi asked, more than a little suspicious. In response, Tomo chuckled deviously.
"You know that boy from Class 1? The baseball player?"
"Yeah, what's your point?"
"He looks really good in a swimsuit... just saying."
"You're spying on the boys' swim class? What're you hoping to accomplish by doing that?" To be honest, Yomi wasn't even surprised any more. Tomo would do that at times. "And besides, where'd you get those binoculars?"
Tomo shrugged. "They were up here."
"Ah... leftovers from some guy spying on the girls-"
"Holy crap!" Tomo recoiled, nearly dropping the binoculars, and than leaned against the fence of the roof intently. "His shorts just came off!" She squealed. Almost immediately, everyone but Chiyo and Osaka, came to the railings and peered through. As they did, they saw a boy in the distance covering his bare crotch with just his hands. They simply were stunned by what they saw. Tomo just smiled with glee when Yomi snatched the binoculars. She muttered, "Hey!"
"Sorry, Tomo," Yomi scolded, "but I don't want to be pulled into anymore of your nonsense today."
"Hey, no fair!" Tomo fumed, "why do you have to be such a killjoy?"
"'Cause the last thing I want is to get in trouble with you," she sternly answered, "what if the lenses bounced off some of the sunlight?" Then Tomo let out a catlike smile.
"Oh..." she said mischievously, "I see. What you really wanted to say is you wanted see them nude but you're in denial so yelled at me. You naughty girl."
She angrily smacked her head again. She shouted, "That's not it!" She tried to hit her a third time but she dodged it and ran away.
"Denial, denial, denial!" She playfully sang as Yomi chased her, satisfied that her mischief has garnered yet another victim to poke at, "Yomi likes naked boys!" Everyone else blushed at the rant. As they ran around, two more people emerged from the staircase leading to the roof. Chihiro and Kaorin came in wanting to eat at the roof.
"Wow, I didn't know you're eating here too," Chihiro said as they appeared. "I didn't expect anyone to be here."
"Yeah, well, we were about to leave." Yomi used the distraction to grab Tomo's elbow. Her grip was like a steel clamp.
"Oh, don't be in such a hurry." Tomo resisted, her voice strained with effort as she surreptitiously struggled against the crushing clutch of her 'friend,' "I'm sure that we won't get such a good view from anywhere else in the..."
Tomo was out cold. Yomi grinned triumphantly, while Chihiro and Kaorin watched in disbelief. Whatever, it was the fact that those two got into fights is common knowledge but this is the most violent outburst they witnessed so far- but comically satisfying. Kaorin commented, "Wow, Tomo. Is there any day where you don't make a scene...?" She turned her head to another direction was struck by lightning: on the plant box is her 'crush' Miss Sakaki. She gasped excitedly as she calmly ate lunch on the plant box with Chiyo. She felt her body tremble in the awe that is Sakaki.
"Miss Sakaki..." she stammered. Then she rushed to her side, "I didn't expect you to be here." She was all fidgety at seeing her on top of the roof.
"Uh..." Sakaki queitly replied, "I'm just eating with my friends. The roof is nice during the springtime."
Chiyo cheerily invited Kaorin, "Would you like to eat with us, Kaorin?"
The wind blew the tall girl's hair dramatically and the scent of cherry blossoms hung heavily. It was all too romantic for her to handle. It was her fantasy coming true! Then reality came back to her.
"Excuse me, Kaorin... Would you like to sit down?" Sakaki asked her. Kaorin hastily collected herself, her fantasy almost getting the better of her.
"Okay, I'll sit down," she quickly said, sitting right beside her. She then opened her bento to eat with them. She noticed that they haven't finished their lunches. It'll be good time to talk with them. As Yomi dragged the wildcat back to the plant box, Kagura was looking through the dropped binoculars. She was looking at some people playing volleyball.
She noted, "Wow, they sure are having fun while everyone's eating lunch. Hope they don't faint in the heat." One of the players then served the ball. An opponent spiked it, hitting so hard that it flew high up then over the wall. Everyone below muttered until a boy ran in.
"I'll get it!" He distantly shouted as he climbed over the wall with the help of several companions. He chucked over the redoubt and disappeared. Kagura wondered how did anyone would get their feet to the ground safely from a wall that high. Then she went back to join the others, not realizing how hungry she actually is until after that ruckus caused by Tomo.
"So what's the news for summer...?" She asked.
Outside the boy found and picked the volleyball lying beside the fire hydrant. He was going back to the school gate when he heard some heavy footsteps from behind him. He looked behind and noticed a man walking listlessly on the pavement. His face is dull and lifeless; he looked as if he was just dragging his feet like a drunk. He said to him, "Good noon, sir. Need any help?" The man did not answer and continued amble on. He approached him and asked again, "Is there anything wrong, sir?" Then he turned on him.
"AAARRGHH!" A short piercing scream startled the girls, who jumped to their feet. Tomo got the binoculars and all the girls rushed to the railings.
"My God!" Yomi shouted, "What the hell is that?" Tomo looked at the source of the scream.
"Look here, Yomi." She said breathlessly as she handed her the binocs. Yomi looked through the glasses and gasped. The boy who jumped of the wall was now clutching his arm, blood dripping all over his arm. He was now running for his life from a figure that seemed like a sick drug addict, who gave chase rather limply.
He rushed for his life from the maniacal figure after him. He panted frantically as he squeezed his bitten arm to stop the bleeding. He shouted, "Somebody! Help me!" He repeated his cries for help until he reached the gate. A delivery truck stopped at the gate. He frantically ran in as it slowly opened. The people who opened gasped in horror as they saw him. "There's a rabid drunk on the loose!" He warned to his rescuers.
"Get in!" shouted one of them, motioning the truck to get in, then he ordered his colleagues, "And close the gate!" The truck got inside as they closed the gate. In the heat of the moment, however, they did not notice another person slowly getting in. Then it disappeared among the trees of the school.
The teachers, led by the student, scrambled to the victim. Gotou stepped forward and asked urgently, "What the hell happened here?"
"It's Mikami Katsu, Mr. Gotou." Said a custodian . "He's been bitten pretty badly!"
"Shit..." Katsu moaned, lying down and wincing as they made a makeshift bandaged in his arm. "Some guy bit me."
"Where is he? I wanna see him." He demanded. But he got his answer when something knocked the gate. They all looked back and saw what caused the noise: a man in a jacket. His eyes are a dull lifeless gray. His skin is also in the same sickening color, almost as if it was rotting off his body. Like messed-up windup toy, he just knocked the gate. Everyone backed out in fear. Except, Gotou. He froze like statue, his breathing becoming hard and his heart beat wildly. He was at Afghanistan, at a location that he still remembered. Yes... he was there... he saw it all... near Herat... near the Iranian border... They... He should have seen it... coming... It came here...
He was looking at the figure before him from behind a heavy glass pane. He wore a Desert Camouflage Uniform and written on his patch is HASHWELL. His skin was rotted gray, instant necrosis. His eyes were pale and rolled up. He made terrifyingly savage lunges against the pane trying to get to the Ranger standing before him, who fell on his back at the horrible figure. He saw the horrible transformation took place before his eyes.
"Ach!" Katsu yelled, writhing as another wave of pain shot through his body. His struggles became more and more forceful, more rabid, and seemingly animalistic. Gotou, unlike the high-school students around him, who were starting to panic, seemed to recognize what was happening and changed his approach entirely. A biting attack, almost instinctive, rabid yanking, and...
before their eyes, Katsu lunged forward with his teeth bared, stopped short by Gotou's quick response. He crashed his fist into the solar plexus, knocking Katsu a few feet away from him. He grabbed his arm and threw him over his back, his lightning fast moves stunned everyone. As his opponent quickly recovered, he gave a hard right hook to the face, causing him to fall on his back.
"Somebody give me something heavy!" He barked.
"Here!" Shouted the gardener, who tossed him a rake. He caught it mid-air and quickly raised the butt end pointed to the ground. He sudden thrust it into his chest. Katsu groaned wildly as he suddenly buried the pole into his heart, his death throes terrifying everyone.
"Jesus Christ!" Kurosawa shouted, "What the hell did you just do to him!"
"Saving our asses, that's what!" He tersely replied as he backed away from the corpse. All of a sudden, Katsu lunged forward, letting out a guttural growl. Gotou immediately fell on his back as he rose again. But the rake jutting out of his chest made him unstable, making the student wobble and stoop, with the protruding garden tool keeping him off the ground. Thinking quickly, he slipped a foot behind his, hooking it in and instantly slid it across, flipping him on his back. Back on his feet, he planted a foot on his and pulled out the rake. And used the makeshift lance on the head.
The sickening crush and gush of the head being pierced by a pointed object made everyone sick to the stomach. He looked back at them and let the rake fall to the ground clanging. Panting, he wiped the sweat off his forehead with his arm and said to them, "Now that's how you kill a rabid drunk." And he did a sign of the cross as though to remove some hex casted upon him. The man on the gate simply rocked his body against the metal edifice.
At the roof everyone saw the event and was taken aback by the suddenness. They were breathless by how the boy turned violent and tried to kill everybody within arm's length. Only to have his life ended in the hands of the hardassed Math teacher. Yomi put her hand on her mouth in surprise. Sakaki held Chiyo closely to her arms, the eleven-year old visibly scared by what happened below. Chihiro vomited her lunch and was taken down downstairs by a visibly shaken Kaorin. Only Tomo smiled with excitement, as though it were an action movie.
"Wow!" she squawked with joy. "Did you see that? Those moves? I bet this Gotou guy is badass!" She emphasized the last word with glee.
Yomi, clearly disgusted at her friend's cries of joy of something so horrible, barked, "What the hell's wrong with you! He just killed a student!"
"A student who tried to attack him." She chirped at Yomi. "And finished him off with his awesome moves!"
"That's not the damn point! You're acting all happy when someone just died!"
"Hey!" she reminded her, "that someone tried kill people. Besides, let's just let this sort of thing blow over."
"That's easy for you to say!" Yomi snapped, "you think it's all a comedy when everything just took a turn for the worst!"
Kagura got between the two, "Chill, you guys. It was self-defense. He's keeping him from hurting anyone." Her voice strained from watching the bloody spectacle. She could not just believe what she saw. "God... I can't believe it..." She muttered. Osaka, unmoved, during the whole time, finally spoke.
"He was okay before he attacked them, right?" she nonchalantly asked. The three girls turned to him, wanting to asked her.
"What?" Kagura asked.
"She's right." Yomi confirmed. "He didn't go berserk before that."
"And we heard him scream too, plus that guy appeared." Tomo added, pointing to the distant figure knocking the gate. They all turned eyes on 'it'. They could not believe something like that would happen. An eerie chill went down their spines.
"You mean?" Kagura spoke, "that gate humper?" At the corner, two girls hugged each other, trying to keep calm.
"I'm scared, Miss Sakaki," Chiyo sobbed as the tall girl embraced her protectively. Although a high-school student with above average IQ, she was technically a child and therefore very prone to fear in most situations. Sakaki felt scared too, not only for herself but for Chiyo, who would be completely helpless if a similar situation befell on her.
"Don't worry," she comforted quietly, "It's going to be fine. Just go back to the classroom. You'll be safe there-"
"I don't wanna go back!" She cut her off, hugging her tightly. "I wanna stay with you." She was crying now. Sakaki also wanted let out a tear. Foreboding hung heavily in the spring air. Something's coming up but they could not tell what.
"My God..." Nyamo said. "I can't believe it..." She could not fathom why would someone still attack anything in sight despite taking the full blow of a rake through the chest.
Then Yukari cut in, "The big question is what the hell is he doing here." She meant the man ramming the gate with his body. Everyone found his lifeless appearance quite disturbing. The empty stare and the gaping mouth reminded the English teacher of Osaka and Kimura respectively... and not in a very good way.
Gotou remained silent. He panted heavily as he could believe how these... zombies... got here. And it chilled him even more to know where they might have come from. He then turned to one of the volleyball players who were around and asked her sternly, "What happened here? What the hell's Katsu doing outside?"
"I-I'm s-sorry, sir," she stammered, "he was just getting the ball."
"By jumping over the wall?"
"We thought we could just get it ourselves." She whimpered.
"Goddamned it! You should have reported it whoever was in charge!" He growled. The girl put her hands on her and sobbed, blaming herself for getting him killed.
"Jesus Christ," Kurosawa scolded him, "calm down. They're just trying to retrieve the ball." She embraced her told her, "Don't cry, it'll be alright."
"Okay..." he sighed himself down. He had been strict with students but this is the first time he actually snapped at one. He called out to the other volleyball players, "All of you, get whoever's in charge right here and get your friends at the gym right now. You'll all be safe there until this blows over." They all nodded meekly and went off. He added, "Be sure to check if the gym's secure while you're there."
"Mr. Kato," he told the custodian, "go with those kids. They'll need someone to keep an eye on them."
"Alright," replied Kato, stalking off to join them.
"Yamada," he turned to another boy, "help this girl to the gym."
"Alright," he complied. Yamada turned to Nyamo, "Miss Kurosawa, let me help her. And somebody give me a hand here..." Nyamo handed the sobbing girl to the boy and his friends.
"What's going on here? We heard some shouting." called out the principal as he jogged to gates with the volleyball players' PE teacher, Mori. Instinctively, Gotou turned about face like the soldier he is, ready to give him a sitrep.
"Sir, we have urgent situation in our hands right here." He said crisply, standing attention.
"Gotou, what the hell are you doing giving orders to my students?" grunted Mori in annoyance, hips on his hands. To him it seemed like Gotou is overstepping his boundaries, acting like an overbearing drill sergeant. Then Mori stopped when he looked at Katsu's corpse on the ground, sustaining serious injuries on his head and chest.
"What is the meaning of this?" demanded the principal. Until he was stopped on his tracks on the corpse on the ground. And of the figure ramming the gates. He gasped in ignored him and turned to Mori.
"It's one of your students, Mr. Mori. He jumped over the wall to get the ball and got attacked by this guy." He gestured to the man on the gate and then told them about how he tried to attack him and how he was forced to kill him.
"But how could this be..." The principal found everyone's account of the incident too incredible to comprehend, especially how he took a rake to his chest and still go crazy, and even more in the Math teacher's concise manner of explanation. "I can't believe this. Getting up after thrusting a rake's blunt end through the chest and all because he was bitten? That is absurd."
"I know but it did," he said. "Listen, we've got to get everybody to gym right now. Something bad's going down and I can feel it."
"Feel what?" Mori asked skeptically with his arms crossed. "Hell, Gotou, you may be an ex-Ranger but your instincts won't work here. That... guy," he said with disgust, feeling his stomach churn from looking at his dead face, "is outside and while we're safe in here. Let's get the police to grab this guy's ass."
"That's easy for you to say," he retorted. "but you don't set up camp on a LZ unless you're absolutely sure it's secure." He used military analogy with emphasis on the last words, hopefully to get the message to that blockheaded asshole Mori. The principal stepped in, knowing the word war between the two would not help their situation.
"We don't need dramatics!" He asserted, "we need solutions!" The two backed down at this. He then asked Gotou, "You are sure that 'thing' attacked Katsu and made him attack you."
"Yes, sir." He and everyone else around explained about it. He then asked, "What are our options?"
"Options?" The principal raised an eyebrow. Then said, "We can call the police and medical services then get everyone to gym as you suggested and wait it out. Or we could cut class right now."
"What the hell?" Gotou remarked, "No offense, sir, that'll make things worst than they are a while ago-"
A student sibilantly emerged from the small crowd and said, "Excuse me, everyone. I think I saw someone loitering the school."
"Hey!" snapped Mori, "don't interrupt! This is an urgent matter-!" The boy got scared out of his wits.
"Cut it out, everyone!" Gotou harshly whispered, gesturing his hands to tell them to stop, "he's got something to tell." He then turned the student and asked him. "Did you say you saw someone loitering around school. A student?"
"I don't think so," he replied, trying to sound coherent in the tension-filled atmosphere, "he's a guy wearing a suit. I saw him walking like deadwood near the trees but he disappeared when I called out to him."
"Alright, alright," he said, "that's okay. Thanks for your help. But he thought, Goddamnit! Why'd you not tell me that before? We've been fucking compromised! Nyamo looked at Gotou's shocked face.
"Gotou?" asked Nyamo, "What did he say?"
To that he replied slowly, "Someone's inside. Our security's compromised." Everyone felt their blood run cold at hearing that latest development. Most of all the principal, knowing well the danger it presented itself now. He then asked Gotou, feeling his expertise drawn from his Army days can be of good use.
"What are your suggestions, Mr. Gotou?"
Gotou finally collected himself and elaborated his plan as though he was discussing how to take out an MG nest, "Okay, we'll have to get everyone in the gym but we don't want panic in our hands. Let's say it's an emergency fire drill. That way, hell won't break lose. Get on the public address system and tell everyone to report to their classrooms for the drill. Then get the teachers and class reps to bring everyone the gym but only on your instructions, Mr. Hajime. At the same time, we get the police, paramedics, the fire department, and the whole Ground Self-Defense Force if necessary, on the horn. We wait it out until they come. And we should evac anyone from the clinic to the stage."
"Agreed," Mori joined in, "let's roll-"
"Not yet," he cut in, "we need to assess the threat first. I'll go look for this guy." He then turned to a student, "What's your name?"
"Sakura Tanaka," she replied.
"All right, Miss Tanaka, I need you to go look for the class rep of 2-E, Makoto Koga, and tell him to assemble the entire class at the gym but don't tell them why, if they did asked just say I said so, alright?"
"Yes, sir." she replied.
"Okay, go." The girl ran back to the main building. He said to Yukari, "Tanizaki, I want you to keep your mouth shut about all of this unless necessary. I don't want you raving about anything that'll cause a riot." He knew how notorious Yukari is throughout the school, saw he made extra sure she kept her word.
"Alright, Gotou," she grudgingly agreed, "I'll try to keep my mouth shut until then."
"I mean it. I don't want any killed on my watch, or your watch for that matter." He turned to Nyamo, "Kurosawa, on me."
"What?" she followed him as jogged to the direction of the trees.
"I need your help in hunting this bastard. We need to take him down."He turned back to another member of the maintenance staff, "Finish that gate humper." He nodded slowly in reply before taking the rake.
Then the gardener followed suit. "Hey, wait for me. I've got tools in the shed you'll be needing..." As the trio went way, the principal turned to the other teachers.
"Alright, let's not waste anymore time and do what Gotou says," he said and they all moved out. he then turned to the students. "Report to your class or to the gym and don't tell anyone about this right now." They all meekly agreed and moved out. The man left behind raised a stick at the figure and finished it off.
The spring blossoms masked a sense of danger and horror that covered the school in a thick blanket. So thick that they have barely any idea about what it is.
A/N: Eugene Gotou is based on a Math teacher who was featured on the first episode of Azumanga Daioh while his surname came from a brief mention from Episode 4, where Kimura mentioned that he had him substitute for his class. Enjoy the story and give reviews and advice. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. XD.