Sorry this wasn't updated sooner. I was delayed partly because I felt inclined to reread the entire light novel series in anticipation for the fan translation of the two most recent light novels that were released. I still have a ways to go before I'm caught up, but at least I wasn't delayed five months like I was with chapter two.

Anyway, enjoy!

Chapter 3

I've had a large number of bizarre dreams over the course of the last year. Some of them were harmless enough, like when the SOS Brigade had become characters in an old western movie called The Wizard of Oz (I looked it up recently to remind myself of the name). Others were pokes into my psyche, like the dreams involving my cousin which thankfully stopped after I started dating Haruhi. Then there were the nightmares, like when I dreamed that I was being killed by Ryoko Asakura that had possessed a wooden turtle.

The dream I was having would definitely fit in that last category.

I was standing in a foggy, gray, featureless void, reminiscent of a certain room in the Water Temple. As I looked around for the tree that was supposed to be in the middle of this void, I soon discovered that my shadow was behaving unusually. It lifted itself off the ground. At first, I wasn't alarmed, but when my shadow began to grow to an enormous size and take on a monstrous shape, I realized something was wrong.

It attacked me immediately by trying to crush me with its giant hand. I could do nothing other than leap out of the way. I searched my person for some kind of weapon, but I didn't have one. Totally not fair! I got up and tried to run, but one of the fingers on the creature turned into a tentacle and grabbed my ankle. I tried to get away, but I was soon lifted high into the air. Just before I was slammed into the ground, I saw an orb of red light hit the finger, causing it to let go of me. I was then caught in a heroic manner by Koizumi. The idea of being rescued like this by him annoyed the hell out of me. If Taniguchi ever found out, I'd never hear the end of it.

After I was put down, I saw that Nagato and Asahina-san were also here. Asahina-san was wearing her brilliant Battle Waitress outfit that was just so adorable on her. What I would give to see her in that outfit again...wait, forget that. I'm not single anymore.

The three of them lined up in front of the monster, preparing for battle. The monster attacked with a large swipe of its claw, but was blocked by Nagato's field. Koizumi transformed into a red ball and collided with the creature. Asahina-san apparently was able to use her Mikuru beam, and large blasts of energy shot out of her eye and hit the creature with tremendous force. Nagato followed this up with her own attack by thrusting her own bright beam-like appendages into the monster. However, none of these attacks appeared to do any damage.

The shadow countered with a huge sweeping attack that knocked all three of them off their feet. I screamed out to see if they were okay, but none of them moved. However, before I could find out if any of them had died, I noticed that Haruhi was standing next to me. I called out to her, but she didn't even acknowledge my existence. She just stood there and watched the creature in complete awe and wonder.

The monster spotted Haruhi and moved its enormous hand towards her. It gently picked her up and brought her closer towards itself. I screamed as loud as I could, but neither of them noticed me. A minute later, the shadow placed Haruhi directly onto its chest, and she was quickly absorbed into its body. Suddenly, the creature howled in what appeared to be nearly orgasmic pleasure. It's body began to twist and distort as if it was transforming. Unfortunately, before I could see the end result of this transformation, it looked upon me, and with a single motion it, it lifted its arm to crush me. The last thing I saw was the giant hand obscuring my vision.

I felt a familiar weight land on my body. It took only seconds to realize what was happening. Sadly, I couldn't enjoy it.

"Good morning, Kyon!" came the excited voice of my girlfriend.

G...get off of me. I'm freezing...

Haruhi moved up to my face to try and kiss me, but she stopped when she noticed something wrong. "You look so pale. Are you okay?" She then placed a hand on my forehead. "Oh my god, you're burning up!"

Wh...what are you talking about? I'm freezing. If I got any colder, my atoms would reach the state of a Bose–Einstein condensate.

Haruhi got up and walked out of my room. "I'm going to grab a thermometer."

My head hurt so bad that I was seriously wondering if I would die, and I couldn't stop shivering. How did I get so sick so quickly? Just last night I had a measly headache. Who doesn't get one of those every once in a while? Man this sucked.

A second later, Naru-san looked inside my room, followed by Haruhi.

"Is he okay," asked Naru-san.

Haruhi ignored her mother and placed the thermometer into my mouth. After a minute, it gave its measurement.

"40.1 degrees," said Haruhi as her eyes widened. "That's really warm."

"Oh my!" said Naru-san. "Should we get him to a doctor?"

"No...I'm fine," I said as I tried to sit up.

Haruhi pushed me back down. "No, Kyon! You need to rest!"

"But...I have exams to take today."

"That doesn't matter! Your health is way more important than some stupid exams."

It was then that Oruki entered. "What is he dying?" he said with all the concern of a potato.

"Dad!" said Haruhi with a scowl.

"He has an over 40 degree fever," said Naru-san.

"Is that so?" said Oruki. "So you're only close to dying. Pity."

T...too retort...

"I'm getting you a wet washcloth," said Haruhi as she bolted out of the room once again. I had to admit that it was nice to have her take care of me.

"I guess I'll have to call the school and your parents," said Naru-san as she walked out of the room as well.

Great. That's just what my mom needs to hear. She was already worried enough about my grades.

With the two women out of the room, this left Oruki standing in my room. He looked around awkwardly for a few seconds before saying something. "So...if you're not hungry, can I eat your portion of breakfast?"

You have the worst sense of humor I have ever seen.

After that, Haruhi returned with a bowl of water and a washcloth. She placed the cool washcloth on my head. I had to admit that it felt pretty good. After a minute of watching me, Haruhi made an announcement. "I'm staying home!"

"The hell you are!" said Oruki. "I'm not letting you miss your exams!"

"I don't care! Kyon's sick! I have to take care of him!"

"He's not dying, okay? He'll be fine! Naru-chan and I will take care of him! If he gets any worse, I'll drive him to the hospital myself!"

Haruhi didn't respond as she looked at me with a mix of concern and anxiety. After dipping the wash cloth in the water one last time and placing it back on my head, she stood up. "Kyon, I order you to get better as soon as possible! It's bad enough that your missing your exams, but you're also going to miss an important Brigade meeting! That's unacceptable!"

There you go hiding your true feelings again. Just be honest and say that your worried about me.

Haruhi walked out of the room just as Naru-san returned. "Your school knows you're not coming in, and your mother knows you're sick. How are you feeling, Kyon-kun?"

"Like crap," I said.

"Don't worry," she said with a smile. "I'll take good care of you! With my help, you'll be feeling better in no time!"

I wonder if I should be a little scared...she's not mad at me for last night, is she? That could be really bad.

It was then that I sneezed hard. Not having anything on me other than my hand, it was soon covered in a large amount of snot. "Ugh."

"Ew," said Naru-san in disgust. "I better get some tissues." She quickly left and returned with a box of tissues and cleaned my hand. "Looks like you'll be needing these, too. I'll leave them next to you in case you need them."

Not long after that, Haruhi appeared in my room again, dressed in her school uniform. "I'll be back as soon as I can." She looked at her mother. "Make sure you take good care of him."

"Don't order your mother around!" said Oruki. "Now get out of here before you're late! And if you screw up your tests, I'm going to strangle him!" He was sure to point to me when he said that.

Haruhi game me one last worried glace before she walked out of the room and left the house. Naru-san dipped the washcloth and replaced it one last time before getting up. "I'm going to make Oruki and I some breakfast. While I'm doing that, I'll fix you up a special soup that I've found to be a great remedy for the flu. It'll make you feel better before you know it."

I had a really bad feeling about this remedy. Usually, anything Naru-san cooked was delicious, but whenever she made something bizarre like her protein drinks, it was like eating animal crap flavored with death. Unfortunately, my sickness made me unable to protest.

After Naru-san walked out of the room, Oruki looked at me with what I could only guess was his warped idea of disappointment. "Kyon-kun. I just want to let you know that if for some reason you fail your exams, I will not allow you to marry my daughter. My daughter will not marry a dead beat."

Hey that's great. It's not like I feel crappy enough as it is. Let's pile more pressure while we're at it...speaking of pressure...ow...

It was when the middle-aged bastard had left that I started to feel really awful. I still had the chills, but it was also compounded by a sudden nausea. The room around me was stating to spin. I wanted to close my eyes and try to sleep it off, but I felt even worse when I tried. Man, this sucked.

I waited around in my bed feeling miserable for an hour before Naru-san returned with a bowl of what appeared to be soup.

"I hope you're hungry, Kyon-kun. This is a recipe passed down my family for generations!"

Should that make me even more scared?

"Now sit up please so you can eat this up." After I complied, Naru-san moved the bowl of cool water onto the floor and placed the soup bowl in its place. She then took a spoonful of what ever it was and moved it towards my mouth. Normally, the idea of being spoon fed by Naru-san probably wouldn't have been so bad, but when I saw how dark the liquid in the spoon was, I was reluctant to say the least.

"Don't be scared. Good medicine always tastes bad!"

Shouldn't that make me more scared? I looked at the spoon for a good minute before swallowing hard and opening my mouth. The soup tasted like gasoline mixed with small bits of tar. It was agony to try and swallow it down. After grimacing, I was horrified to find another spoonful in front of my face.

"I'm good."

Naru-san frowned. "I'm sorry, Kyon-kun. This won't work unless you eat more."

Why are you doing this to me? Oruki said a few weeks ago that she's apparently very passive aggressive. Is this some way for her to exact her revenge on me? No, she not that kind of person.

I reluctantly took the second spoonful, only to find it even worse than the first one. After I swallowed it down, I felt a tremendous burning sensation in my stomach. When combined with the nausea I was already feeling, it was impossible to keep myself from puking. I was just quick enough to grab the garbage can next to me as I emptied the contents of my stomach. After I had vomited enough to allow the nausea to pass a bit, I laid back into my bed.

Naru-san looked a bit disturbed by me condition. "Maybe we should take you to the hospital."

"No." I said, worried that going to the hospital would make everyone worry. "I just need some rest."

Naru-san frowned at me for a few minutes before she finally stood up and left my room. I got the feeling that she was feeling powerless to help me.

The next few hours went by like a blur. All I did was shiver violently while my mind was assaulted with strange images I could barely describe. I felt like I was falling through an environment filled with darkness and odd shapes. Every time one of these shapes collided into on another, I felt a stabbing pain in my head. Occasionally, the image of Haruhi would rush towards me but would fade before she reached me. What the hell was going on in my head?

Eventually, I started to feel something tickling the back of my nose. I had no idea what was causing it, but soon I was in the verge of sneezing. I grabbed a tissue and sneezed into it. I immediately felt something somewhat large pop out of my nose. When I looked at the tissue, I saw some blackish, gooey...thing that was covered in some blood. In my delirious state, I threw the tissue in the garbage next to me before grabbing another tissue to wipe up some of the blood on my face. I then laid back down and passed out.

The carelessness of my actions that last minute would haunt me for some time afterward.

I was soundly sleeping for what seemed like quite some time before I was awoken by the sound of the front door loudly opening. The next thing I noticed was that my bed was soaked with what must have been sweat, followed by the realization that I felt remarkably better than I did a few hours ago. The sound of footsteps rushing up the stairs signaled to me the arrival of my girlfriend.

"Kyon!" yelled Haruhi, obviously still worried. "How are you holding up?" Before I could answer, she rushed up to me and placed a hand on my forehead. "You feel a lot better."

"Yeah, I feel much better."

Haruhi then noticed that I was soaked. "It looks like the fever broke. That's good." She examined me a bit closer before I noticed that several other people had entered the room. Nagato, Asahina-san and Koizumi had all come here as well, perhaps concerned about my health. I looked at my clock and realized that they must have skipped the Brigade meeting and came directly here. I was kinda touched.

"Is he doing better?" asked Naru-san as both she and Oruki also entered.

"I'm doing okay now," I said with a smile.

"Good!" said Naru-san with a smile. "I knew my remedy would help!"

Uh, Naru-san? Don't you have to actually keep the remedy down before it could work?

"So he's better already, huh?" said Oruki with an annoyed tone. "How convenient!"

Haruhi shot a nasty glare at her father before turning back towards me. "Well, it's good that you're getting better since it was bad that you missed your exams today. Fortunately, you should be able to take the make-up exams tomorrow."

Oh, that's just what I wanted. Nothing is better than throwing away a good portion of my weekend in order to take exams.

Haruhi stood up. "You're still in recovery, so it's best that you eat something. I'll go down to the kitchen to make you something."

"You don't have to, sweetheart," said Naru-san.

"Just let her," said Oruki.

After Haruhi had gone downstairs, the three Brigade member approached me.

"I'm glad you're doing okay," said Asahina-san. "When Suzumiya-san told us you were really sick, I was worried."

It always feels good to have your concern. Don't you ever worry, Asahina-san. I'm not so weak as to let a measly bug take me down.

"I had to admit that when I noticed Suzumiya-san's emotional state, I realized that you must have been quite ill," said Koizumi with his annoying smile. "We are all relieved to know that it wasn't serious."

It sure felt serious when it was happening.

Koizumi continued. "That truth is that the others and myself had some concerns about your condition last night."

"What made you think that?"

"Shortly after you and Suzumiya-san split off from us, I was informed by both Nagato-san and Asahina-san that something appeared to have happened."

I looked at both the girls with concern. "What happened?"

"There...was a small time quake. I can't say anything else as it's classified information," said Asahina-san weakly.

I've grown used to the ambiguous nature of any information the time-traveler ever gave. I instead looked towards Nagato, who I knew would at least give me an answer.

"There was an explosion of data that occurred approximately five minutes after we departed from the train station. The data that was altered appeared to center around your exact location."

"Wait," I said. "Are you saying something happened to me? Is this related to why I got sick?"

"It might be," said Koizumi. "That is why Nagato-san wanted the opportunity to examine you further."

"May I begin?" asked Nagato as she held out her hand.

I agreed. "If there's something wrong, I'd like it fixed."

Nagato gently placed her hand on my forehead. Surprisingly, she only had it on there for few seconds before she pulled away. I noticed a subtle look of shock on her face. "It is gone."

"What is gone," I asked.

"The fragment of super-analog data is no longer imbedded within the confines of your cranium."

I was confused for a second before I remembered what she was talking about. Thoughts of that monstrous creature Nagato, Koizumi and I battled in the storeroom of that grocery store came rushing back. Apparently, when it exploded, a small piece of it entered my nose. Nagato had told me about it later, much to my chagrin. I was never comfortable with the idea of having that thing in my head.

"So it has gone missing, huh?" said Koizumi while pinching his chin. "Where could it have gone?"

"Whoa! Wait a minute!" interrupted Oruki. "What the hell are you guys talking about? Are you telling me some weird thing was inside his head?"

"I take it you weren't informed," said Koizumi.

"Uh, no!" said Oruki before looking at me. "Just when were you going to tell any of us about that thing?"

I looked at him sheepishly. "Sorry. I didn't want you to worry."

Oruki took a second to gather his thoughts. "If I'm getting this right, that super-analog whatever was part of that monster that nearly kill everyone here! And you thought it wasn't worth mentioning?"

"I just figured that if it was really dangerous, Nagato would've said so."

"Oh, that's reassuring! I feel sooooooooooo much better knowing the alien has things taken care of!"

I took a great deal of offense to that statement. Of all the people I knew, Nagato was the only one other than Haruhi that I completely trusted. If it had been any guy other than him, I probably would have decked him.

"Are there any other surprises you haven't mentioned?" said Oruki. "Is the Loch Ness monster hiding under your bed?"

"No," I said. "There's nothing to worry about anyway. She said it was gone, right?"

"It's true that she said that," said Koizumi. "However, the question we should be asking is where did it go?"

"How do we know it didn't just disappear?" I asked. It was then that an important memory came back to me. "Wait, I think I know where it went!" I grabbed the garbage can next only to find that it was empty. "Huh? Where did all the garbage go?"

Naru-san answered. "I took it out earlier today while you were sleeping. Since it was filled with some gross stuff, I figured I'd do you a favor and take it out. Did I do a bad thing?"

"Where'd you put it?"

Naru-san pointed towards the street. "I brought it outside with the rest of the garbage."

I bolted out of my bed and out of my room, ignoring the pleas of Naru-san and Asahina-san that I should be more careful. I ran out of the front door and right to where the garbage was left. I started sifting through it to find the bag that belonged to my room. A moment later, I found it and saw that a hole had been ripped out of the side of it. I then saw a kitchen bag with another hole in it. When I examined the contents of the bag, I found that there were a ton of rotted leftover vegetables and fruits. I kept looking around for what I had sneezed out, but I failed.

"Did you find it?" said the voice of Koizumi from behind.

Don't startle me like that! Don't you realize that this is a bit of a tense moment? By now, everyone who was in my room had followed me out here.

"I can't find it," I said before looking at Nagato. "Do you know if it's in here somewhere?"

"It is not here," said Nagato.

"Do you have any idea where it went?"

Nagato subtly shook her head. "It is no longer near this location. Outside of a radius of 25 meters, I cannot detect its presence."

"Why can't you sense it from further away?"

"Interfaces were not designed with the intent of manipulating super-analog data. As a result, our ability to detect super-analog data is considerably less advanced than our ability to detect other forms of data."

"Great..." I said as I placed my hand on my face. I remembered that Nagato explained something like this when we were at the grocery store a while back. "It could be anywhere now."

"Don't worry," said Koizumi. "The Organization will do whatever it can to track it down. It would be quite troublesome if another creature like the one we fought before were to appear."

It was then that I heard the voice of Haruhi from the door. "What are you guys doing?" She then ran up to us. "What's going on?"

I smiled at her. "I was looking for something in the garbage. I sneezed something weird out before and I wanted to show it to the others.

"Ew," said Haruhi. "Why would you guys want to see that?"

"We were wondering if that thing was related to Kyon-kun's illness," said Koizumi. "Guess we won't be able to find out."

Haruhi examined the garbage in closer detail. "Did a wild animal get in here?"

"I think so," I said, not wanting Haruhi to know what really happened. I was hoping she wouldn't notice the bits of rotting, unused pieces of fruits and vegetables.

Haruhi stood up and grabbed me by my shoulder. "Whatever. You need to go back to bed. If you force yourself to move around while you're recovering, you could get sick again."

I reluctantly followed her orders and went back into my room. Shortly after that, the three Brigade members left, saying they were satisfied in knowing I was okay. Haruhi then brought up my meal. Since I hadn't eaten anything all day, I was starving. I probably ate it in record time. So good! Haruhi sat next to me while I ate, which I had to admit was enjoyable.

"Didn't you make something for yourself to eat?" I asked.

"I'll eat later," she said as she leaned on me.

Man her body feels good. I should get sick more often. I was sure to rub her back a bit while I ate. Before long, we were feeling quite relaxed.

I then remembered something that had worried me earlier. "So what happened with those markings we left on the athletic field. Did you guys get into trouble?" I was surprised that Oruki hadn't come to kill either of us by now.

Haruhi sat up scowled when I asked. "You would not believe what happened! After we had left, someone came around and defaced the whole message! How dare they?"

"Really? What did they do?"

"They changed up the message so that it was completely different! Now it says some absolute nonsense!"

Didn't it already say some nonsense already?

"I bet the Student Council did that, or maybe we have some other unknown enemy who is out to sabotage the efforts of the SOS Brigade! Man, it pisses me off?"

"So what did the school officials think about it all?"

"Well, they questioned me before class started, but because the message was different from what we had put down last night, I felt inclined to deny my involvement. I'm not taking credit for that garbage that was on the field!"

"So they believed you?"

"I guess so, although I think they're still investigating. Hopefully they'll find the culprits that ruined my message! I'll make sure they pay!"

I couldn't help but chuckle a little bit. I knew exactly who was responsible for defacing the message. Good job Koizumi and Nagato. I can now sleep soundly knowing that I won't be killed today.

Haruhi then appeared to remember something else. "Oh, by the way. Yuki-chan is going on her first date tomorrow."

I remembered the agreement we had made with the Computer Club president a few days ago. "Is Nagato really okay with going through with this?"

"She seems okay," said Haruhi. "However, I don't plan on leaving her alone with that guy."

"What do you mean?" I said, feeling confused

Haruhi winked at me. "I'm gathering the rest of the Brigade to follow them. We'll be on a secret mission to ensure that Yuki-chan is kept safe! You better make sure you get your exams done as quickly as possible tomorrow, because we're going to be busy for the rest of the day!"

You have got to be kidding me. Don't you have any shame? It's incredibly rude to follow two people on a date.

"I don't care. Yuki-chan is just a girl. She couldn't possibly be able to defend herself if his pervy hands were to try and do something! Remember what he did to Mikuru-chan?"

THAT WAS YOUR FAULT! Not only that, but it also be a cold day in hell before Nagato would need help in dealing with an ordinary person. Although I have to admit that I still hated the idea of Nagato going out with him.

I sighed. "Alright, I guess it's up to us to keep an eye out on Nagato."

"Good!" said Haruhi with her million-watt smile. "The Brigade will unite to take down our enemy!"

I ignore her last nonsensical statement and finished my meal. After finishing it, Haruhi was nice enough to take my plate and kiss me on the cheek. The rest of the day was uneventful. I sat on my bed and did whatever last minute studying I could muster before I became too tried to keep my eyes open. I hated the fact that I had to go to school on a Saturday, but if it meant getting a little bit more studying time, I guess it couldn't be so bad.

Before I drifted off to sleep, I wondered what became of that thing that came out of my head. I sure hope the others find it and kill it.

Well, I wonder what will become of that blackish thingy.

I'm hoping the next chapter won't take longer than a week to complete. The next chapter should be a lot of fun to write. See you guys soon!