There's been a murder in the clubroom.

This time, it's not a closed room mystery, real or imagined, even though only the victim, the murderer, and a cat hiding under the table were present when it took place.

Asahina is standing in the doorway in shock, no doubt about to faint or at least burst into tears at the horrific sight in front of her. A corpse folded over a table, enough blood leaked out and pooled on the surface to have started dripping over the edges... anyone would be stunned. Ah, sweet angel, if only I could, I would drop whatever I was doing to comfort you; nothing could be more important.

Those not familiar with this kind of story may wonder why I'm not going to her, then. But you see...

I am the victim.

And since I got a good look at my murderers face after he stomped in, pointed a gun at me, and fired, I can't call it a closed room mystery. Though all the details about it remain mysterious.

I have never seen that person before in my life.

And he certainly wasn't kind enough to give me an explanation on why I had outlived my usefulness, or was too dangerous to the future to be allowed to live, or anything that would let a victim explain what was going on to the investigators - if only he hadn't died before they got there. All I know is that he used an ordinary-looking gun, and vanished into thin air before my vision faded.

But there are more important things to worry about than the murderer or the motive, and I'm saying that as the one who was murdered. For starters, who or what is this "me" doing all the thinking? I definitely can't move or feel my body (which is looking quite cold and stiff), but I'm aware, able to see and hear things around me, and feel sorry for Asahina. A small part of me wonders how that last can be, since I shouldn't have any chemicals or hormones coursing through my veins when I don't have any veins, but that seems like an insignificant detail next to the big issue of being aware at all.

Putting all that up to having a soul will have to do for now, as it doesn't seem like anyone is around that I could ask, so let me put my next big question mark into words:

What will Haruhi do?

This is exactly the kind of situation that girl wanted to create, and I would not be surprised to find her or her associates at the end of the thread, but unravelling the yarn of mystery comes a distant second to stopping Haruhi from unravelling the fabric of reality. I can't do that if I'm dead, and even if the other brigade-members manage to conceal their emotions and my demise from her, she will... get unstable, if I just suddenly stop showing up for our daily clubroom meetings. And I'm not sure they would be able to conceal something like this from her for long, even if they have managed to hide their identities all this time.

Maybe I'm looking too far ahead. Something needs to be done here and now, before she gets back. If only Nagato had been the first back, she could have easily hid all evidence of murder, as well as calmly told the other two members of it, a much preferable sequence of events to almost anyone else coming in and seeing my remains.

But only Asahina, my corpse, and the cat are in the room, and two of those can't clean up a murder scene, while Asahina is more likely to start wailing in terror loud enough for half the school to come running. In short, no-one's around that can prevent the end of the world as we know it.

Well, I don't know about that. I'd say I'm quite capable of helping you with your problems.

...The cat... can talk?