Author's Note: It's plot/action introduction time!
OOOH, I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS CHAPTER~
Luka woke up slowly, realizing she'd been drooling all over her pillow. She yawned, sitting up and stretching. Rubbing her eyes with one hand, she stood up and tossed her tuna back onto the bed.
Gakupo heard movement and set the pan he was holding back onto the stove. "Guess who made eggs?" he called, cupping his hands around his mouth.
Luka, despite herself, smiled. "Coming!" She padded down the small stairs and turned, finding herself next to the table. Gakupo turned and waved from the kitchen.
The room was brilliantly lit, sunlight streaming in from the windows. It warmed her bare feet as she lightly stepped over to the stove.
"You're not going to throw something in my face this time, are you?" Gakupo teased. She punched his shoulder, still groggy from sleep.
He dumped the eggs on two plates, neatly centering them, and handed one to Luka. They both went over to the table and sat down.
"So." Gakupo said. "Anything in particular that you'd like to do today?"
"Don't you have work, or something?" Luka said suspiciously. "What do you live on?"
"Me? Well, I have a job at a store, but it's closed for a while now."
They chewed in silence for a minute. When they were done, Gakupo took the plates and dumped them into the dishwasher.
"Hey, I know what we should do today!" he said. "We should go watch a movie. It's too late to do anything else."
Luka looked up at the clock. "Noon already, huh." she said. "Okay, sure."
Luka and Gakupo walked through the park, hands in pockets. The weather was humid and bleak, daylight blocked by a gray mass of clouds.
"That... that was fun." Luka said shyly, watching her feet as they stepped through the lush, green grass on the ground.
"Yeah." Gakupo responded, thoughts elsewhere.
They kept walking. Gakupo glanced at his watch, then up at the sky. "Hey, Luka- it's getting kind of dark. It's already after six!"
"Wow." Luka muttered. "Time flies."
"Let's go home. Come on, this way." Gakupo said. "Quickly- we wouldn't want to be stuck out here in the dark."
"I don't know- I've heard it can get dangerous. Better safe than sorry, no?"
"All right." Luka nodded, and they turned and headed back.
There weren't many people on the sidewalk as they started back, and the sky was growing dark. Luka nervously glanced up, then looked all around. A bad feeling lingered in the air, seeping into her stomach.
"Gakupo... can we hurry a little?" she said meekly. Without realizing it, she'd grabbed onto his arm.
"Why?" Gakupo said. "Afraid of the dark?"
"Don't be an idiot, of course not!" Luka scoffed. "I just... feel something's wrong."
"C'mon, don't jinx it." Gakupo chuckled. "It-"
Suddenly, Luka perked up, stiffening.
Gakupo felt her grip tighten. "Luka, is something wrong-? Luka!"
She'd started shaking, almost completely frozen. He whirled, grabbing her by the shoulders. "What's wrong?"
Suddenly, he heard them. It was a loud, rumbling noise, the noise of many speeding cars. He turned...
And saw what looked like six or seven pairs of headlights.
As they sped closer, Gakupo saw that they were huge, black trucks-
Luka suddenly snapped into focus. "Gakupo, go away. Run to your house, leave me here-"
"What are you talking about, Luka?" he said. "Who are those-"
"No time to explain! I'm sorry!" Luka yelled, tearing away from him. Her long, black dress billowed behind her as she ran, boots slapping the pavement.
"No!" Gakupo followed her, catching up and taking her by the shoulders. "What-"
"Let me GO!" she cried, ripping free of him. He caught her again and she screamed, clawing at his arms.
Suddenly, they were illuminated by bright, harsh lights. Gakupo shielded his eyes, backing away.
"GET DOWN!" he heard someone shout through a megaphone.
"No." he heard Luka whisper beside him. She went weak in the knees, legs buckling.
That was all Gakupo needed to hear.
He grabbed Luka by the arm and started running, fast. She stumbled behind him, unable to keep up.
The trucks, vans, whatever they were, pulled away and followed the two, screeching as they turned.
Their feet pounded on the cement of the sidewalk. Luka panted and gasped, holding her side. Gakupo gritted his teeth, looking back. They were getting closer every second, accelerating.
He went around a curb and ducked into a small alley, leaning against the wall. While waiting for his breathing to slow down, he turned to Luka. Her face was coated with a sheen of sweat, cheeks red.
"Who're those guys?" Gakupo said through his gasps. "What's going on?"
Luka opened her mouth, trying to get words out and failing. Suddenly, her eyes widened.
"What?" Gakupo said.
He heard the van pull up to the alley, blocking the exit. Swearing, he pulled Luka farther in.
But it was too late.
They'd been spotted.
What seemed like an entire army of men poured out of the truck. Gakupo and Luka were suddenly lit with spotlights, and they heard the clicking sounds of many guns being readied.
"Get down!" one of them shouted, one that seemed to be the head of the group. "Now!"
"Gakupo." Luka whispered.
"GET DOWN OR WE'LL SHOOT!" the leader shouted again.
"You might want to cover your ears."
"Just do it!" she hissed.
Gakupo pressed his hands over his ears, still confused.
Luka drew in a breath, filling her lungs with air.
Opening her mouth-
She screamed a perfect, high-pitched note.
It hit the men, literally hit them, and they fell, clutching at their ears. The window on the van blocking the way out shattered inwards, the van's exterior filling with dents. It looked like it was about to turn over, rocking- and suddenly, it was on its side, then upside down, and then it was rolling away, built-in alarms blaring-
The sound of crunching metal and breaking glass filled the air, mixing with the screaming.
Gakupo, arms aching from pressing his hands over his ears so hard, looked up at Luka with a mixture of horror and confusion.
Her scream suddenly died down. Her eyes fluttered... and she fell.
Gakupo dove forward and caught her. She coughed, and blood splattered over his white sleeve.
Without hesitating, he barrelled towards the entrance of the alley, leaping over the fallen, stirring men, and tore down the sidewalk towards his house.
In his arms, Luka started sobbing, hands curling around his robe. She gripped it with shaking hands.
Gakupo opened the door and ran immediately to her room. He locked the door and laid her down on her bed.
She sat up, sobbing louder now, and grabbed her tuna. Blood trickled out of the corner of her mouth.
"Luka." Gakupo said, tone urgent. He gently turned her face towards his. "I know you're in pain, but you've got to tell me what's going on. It's the only way I can help-"
"You can't help." Luka wailed, burying her face in her tuna. "I blew it. They know where we are! I'm dead!"
"Tell me the full story!" Gakupo yelled, shaking her by the shoulders. "Now, quickly!"
Luka wiped off her eyes. "R-remember how I told you that my dad sold me to a gang?"
"Well, it wasn't a gang." she said through her crying. "It w-was a-" she hiccupped convulsively. "- secret branch of the gov-vernment, and he's the head of it. He sold me to them for r-research-"
She broke into more tears, shoulders shaking. "I escaped, but now they're here- they're going to hurt me, do you understand? I'm dead!"
"Slow down." Gakupo said. "They did research on you? But that's illegal-"
"I know!" she shouted at him. "I know, I know, I know- but they did! They turned me into a freak. And they want me back-"
All of a sudden, there was banging on the door downstairs. "OPEN UP! YOU'RE SURROUNDED!" they heard.
Luka moaned, pulling up her knees and dropping her head onto them. Gakupo made a frustrated noise through his teeth. He swept her up into his arms and ran downstairs.
"There's nothing you can do, Gakupo!" she yelled at him, tears streaming from her eyes. "Don't you understand? It's over!"
"I'm not going down without a fight."
"You- you aren't part of this! You can just leave me, and-"
"I won't leave you to these cruel people, you hear? Now, stop talking. I'm getting you out of here."
He looked around, and his eyes settled on the back door. He ran to it and opened it.
Immediately, there were spotlights on them- but Gakupo ran anyway, arm over his eyes. There were gunshots, and he ducked.
But suddenly, they were all around him and Luka. Their guns were all steadily pointed at them.
"GET DOWN!" someone shouted through a megaphone.
There was a silence.
"No..." Luka whispered. Gakupo slowly set her down. She stood, swaying unsteadily, and let her face fall into her hands.
"It's going to be okay." Gakupo said, wrapping his arms around her from behind. The men around them moved forward, closing in. "Somehow, it's going to be... okay..."
He heard a noise, suddenly, and looked up.
The men seemed to have stopped closing in, looking around in confusion. A screeching noise...
Suddenly, a small object flew through the air. It clattered down and spun on the ground.
Everyone looked down-
And it exploded loudly, filling the air with thick, white smoke and brilliant light. The smoke billowed all around them, blocking out the stars.
A car, long and black, burst through the smoke, barrelling towards Gakupo and Luka. It swerved at the last second, screeching to a stop.
The window rolled down, and someone with long, yellow hair stuck her head out. She was wearing sunglasses, and they shielded her against the blazing light from the stun grenade.
"Don't worry, you're safe with us!" she yelled. "My name's Lily- GET IN!"
Ears ringing, Gakupo grabbed Luka and opened the car door, pushing her in. He got in after her, shutting the door.
The tires spun, and the car screeched away.
Once the shock had worn off, Gakupo sat up. "Um-"
"Ah, they're still following us. How unfortunate." Lily said, glancing back. "Gumi, would you do the honors...?"
"Of course." a voice said from the seat beside Lily's, and the person she'd been addressing stood up on her seat. She raised her head through the sunroof, and Gakupo heard the click of her gun...
Luka was jolted into awareness by the loud sound of bullets.
"Gakupo..." she said, grabbing his sleeve. "Are... are we... safe?"
"Yeah." Gakupo said, as Gumi whooped and ducked down, closing the sunroof above her head. "I think we are."
The car pulled up behind an abandoned warehouse.
Gumi and Lily climbed out, slamming the doors behind them.
"Come on." Gakupo whispered to Luka, squeezing her hand for encouragement. She climbed out after him, anxiously squeezing his arm. He could hear the sounds of hundreds of hidden crickets, buzzing into the warm, pitch-black night.
"This way!" Gumi called to them, beckoning. Gakupo could now see that she had green hair, cut so that it rested around her shoulders. There was a pair of red goggles on her head, glinting in the light from her flashlight.
They ran to the warehouse, and Lily opened a hatch in the floor. She ushered them in, onto a ladder.
Gakupo went first, and Luka after him. "What's going on?" he whispered.
"I don't know." she answered, voice shaking a little.
Once Gumi and Lily seemed to be sure that they were in, they started going down after them.
Gakupo stepped down from the ladder, clumsily helping Luka off.
Gumi and Lily dropped off the last rung, pushing past the two towards the main room. "We've got her, and some other guy!" they heard Gumi call. "We won!"
Immediately, they were surrounded by what looked like ten or eleven people of different ages.
"Oh, give them some space!" one of them said, pushing everyone else aside. She had brown hair and a red outfit. Her face was warm, almost motherly. "Hi." she said, as the others who'd crowded around backed away. "My name is Meiko. I'm sorry that everyone was so RUDE-" she turned and shot a meaningful glare at the rest of them- "but anyway, let me explain what just happened."
"Yeah." Gakupo said, voice small and disbelieving. "That would be nice."
"We," Meiko said, "are Vocaloids. We're supposed to be secrets of the government, but we've escaped. Now, we live in hiding, trying to sabotage them and expose their secrets to the public."
"Um." Gakupo said quietly.
"Oh, I'm so stupid! This must be a lot for you girls to take in. I-"
"I'm not a girl!" Gakupo said indignantly.
"What-?" Meiko squinted. "Oh, goodness, you're a man! Whoa!"
"Don't take it personally." a man with blue hair said from the side. He had a scarf around his neck, even though it was summer. "When Meiko's drunk, she tends to make mistakes."
"Am NOT!" Meiko yelled. "I like the occasional bottle of beer, but right now, I'm-"
"Occasional?" a young boy with yellow hair laughed. "HA! A bit more than occasional!"
"But right now, I'm not-" Meiko interrupted.
"Yeah!" a girl with yellow hair complained. "You don't even leave any for the rest of us."
"Hey- hey, you're not supposed to be drinking yet, Rin!" Lily said incredulously.
"The rest of you guys do it, it's not fair!" she complained. "Len also drinks with me!"
"Hey, you keep me out of this-"
"All you people, shut the HELL UP!" Meiko said. She turned to Gakupo and Luka, smiling sweetly. "Would you dears like to choose rooms?"
"This is a bit... overwhelming." Gakupo said, feeling a headache coming on. "Could you, maybe-?"
"WHO wants COOKIES?" an excited voice piped from across the room. It was a girl with pink- orange, maybe?- hair, and quite an odd outfit. It resembled a cat.
"NO ONE wants your cookies, Iroha." Len said nastily. "Everyone hates your cookies, and everyone hates you."
"Wha- wha-?" Tears sprang into Iroha's eyes. Suddenly, her line of sight landed on Gakupo and Luka, and her mood brightened. "HEY! We've got NEW PEOPLE!"
"Yes, yes!" Kaito said. "You know what? I think that the new people want cookies. Lots and lots and lots of cookies! Do you want to go make them?"
Iroha gasped, clearly happy. "YES!"
She bounded away, into the kitchen.
Gakupo cleared his throat, and they all turned. "So." he said to Meiko. "Are you the, uh, leader... person?"
"Heavens, no!" she laughed. "I like 'occasional' bottles of beer too much to be any kind of leader. The leader is- hey, where is she? Miku! Mi-"
"All right, I'm coming!" they heard, and a girl walked into the room. She had glossy, teal hair, bound in twin pigtails that arced around her shoulders. "Oooh, yay! You got to them in time!" she said, happy.
"Thanks to me and my grenades!" Len said excitedly. "I make good grenades!"
"Hush, now." Miku said, patting Len on the head. "Hey, you new guys. You look terrible!"
Gakupo looked at Luka. She was still clinging to him, eyes wide like a deer in the headlights.
"I think your friend there has gone into shock." Miku said. "Guys, help her to her room, before she falls over."
Lily amd Gumi came forward, gently taking the near unresponsive Luka and helping her away. They turned down a hallway and were gone.
"Hey..." Miku said. "You're- you're not a Vocaloid, are you?"
"Vocaloid?" Gakupo said, confused.
"Yeah, one of us!" Miku said. "You know, freaky voice powers-?"
"Oh, no, no." he said, shaking his head. "Of course not! I just discovered that such a thing existed, like, an hour ago."
"Well, you were lucky to outrun... them." Miku said. She pronounced the last word with disgust, as though it tasted bad. "They'll be after you now, too. Oh, but where are my manners? You look exhausted! Piko, can you show Gakupo to a room?"
"Any room." She then turned back to Gakupo. "We'll discuss all this in the morning, okay? I'll see you tomorrow." Then, she turned to everyone. "All right, you guys, show's over. Go to sleep!"
Everyone went down the narrow hallways, and Piko led Gakupo down the one on the right.
Gakupo glanced at the boy. He had strange, white hair, shaped into what looked like a 'P' on top of his head.
Piko opened a door. "This'll be your room."
"Thanks." Gakupo said, and then the door closed. He was left in silence.
There was a small futon mat on the ground, a pair of sitting-cushions next to a short, wooden table, and not much else.
Too exhausted to explore his surroundings further, he collapsed onto the futon and fell asleep.