Prologue

Nano Shinonome was not an ordinary girl.

No, no matter how much she wished to be, she was not. She was simply an android constructed by the young Professor Shinonome. She was artificial- every part of her being. Her skin, her voice and her feelings. Her main purpose was to care for the professor as she was much too young to do so herself.

Despite her being synthetic, since her creation, she had shown what seemed to be actual human emotions. She had allowed the professor to believe that she was loved by the robot, she had expressed her desire to be real and true and normal. And most of all, she had let the Professor know that she was frustrated with her and herself. Of course Nano was most often frustrated with her robotic gadgets and the wretched screw on her back that stuck out like a sore thumb. The Professor refused to remove any of these objects from her body and this made Nano even more frustrated. Such nonsense as screws and rocket-powered arms were what kept her from being average. But no matter how upset the young child made her, Nano remained by her side. After all, what would she be without her? A pile of scrap metal in a landfill, most likely. So Nano committed her days to her main purpose- caring for the professor.

After a rather uneventful year, the Professor had discovered a relatively young black cat in a cardboard box, named it Sakamoto and taken it to the Shinonome Lab; that was what the box had said, so wasn't that simple enough? Nano and Professor both decided it was perfectly adorable and extremely fluffy. The Professor had even presented the cat with a red scarf that would allow him to speak in human tongue. Unfortunately, when Sakamoto was given the liberty to talk out, he took the opportunity to lecture the pair for cuddling him so uncomfortably. Furthermore, they were much younger than he and ought to see him as Sakamoto-san. Such a condescending feline! Nano and the Professor were ready to put him out onto the street, when he apologized quickly for his behavior. Despite its annoying inhabitants, Sakamoto still wanted a warm home to call his own. He settled for the lab.

As time went on, it was a daily ritual to see the young students off to the local high school as Nano worked on the laundry. She longed terribly to be with them, talking with friends and laughing with them just as any other regular person. The professor did not notice this, despite how frequently it happened- even in the afternoons, when the students were on their way home. Sakamoto would see Nano gazing off in a distant trance while resting on the porch, and finally brought up the subject to the professor. Naturally, the professor did not want Nano to leave her, even for a number of hours, and tried to dismiss the matter. However, the matter lingered in the professor's mind and she felt that she ought to allow Nano to be a student. Just think of how many things she could get away with, with Nano gone at school!

It was decided. Nano would finally take the first step in becoming an ordinary person.