Title: Broken Scarecrow

Claimer/Author: This story is written by and belongs to Emmy Kay.

Summary: It's the things that Labor 9 remembers that cause it pain. Contains spoilers for BBL.

Notes: A fill for a prompt on the hatofulkink meme.

Disclaimer: Hiyoko and Ryouta and all affiliated characters belong to Moa Hato/PigeoNation Inc. This story is written without permission and for personal/fan/nonprofit entertainment purposes only.

Prompt: Scarecrow/Ryouta. Labor 9 doesn't remember much, but she still has residual feelings for her childhood friend.

Labor 9 walked through hallways that seemed familiar. While it had a series of paths programmed, with options for minor independent departures, Labor 9 couldn't bring up anything from its virtually blank memory banks that would create such a recollection.

All the doors it passed were closed, all the windows shut. The program that ran its sensors kept recording, gathering a baseline. Labor 9 only knew that minutes ago it had been powered up, a door was opened and it had a route to take and data to collect.

Sensors kept feeding in new information: the slow hiss of the pistons on its legs with each step, the wavelengths and intensity of light as it filtered through windows, miniscule fluctuations in internal and external temperature, humidity and air pressure.

It kept walking, taking long, uneven strides, one long metallic arm dragging behind, scraping noisily against the waxed tile floors.

An alarm pinged. Infrared cameras mounted on its frame caught heat, steady and in a familiar-seeming shape, (birds, some ancient, internal memory identified) through a wall. As Labor 9 walked around the corner, it heard something. Voices.

It remembered voices.

"Ryouta, what do you think that sound -?"

Labor 9 paused. Something pinged, deep inside. What was it? Ryouta?

"Like something was being dragged - "

It remembered that voice. A thousand tiny slivers shot through Labor 9's memory, broken mirrors of sound and color, scent and taste - sunlight and the weight of books and confidential whispers and the feel of feathers against skin.

Labor 9 walked faster, the solid, offset metallic clunk of its steps gathering speed.

The sensors caught the birds, standing directly in front of it.

"What in the world -?" one said.

It raised its sensor-heavy arm, trying to reach the birds. Uncertain of its exact range, the arm smashed through glass, raining down glittering shards.

The birds shrieked and ran.


"Hyuu... Hyuu... " Labor 9 called after them, wobbling slightly on its mismatched legs. The parts given to Labor 9 were not designed for speech.

It kept walking. The paths were already laid out in its memory. All it had to do was follow them.

"The Midnight Hunter approaches!"

Labor 9 kept walking towards the pigeons, its cameras having sighted the birds down at the end of that long corridor. Ryouta. Something deep inside was pinging; painful, loud. It remembered being able to speak, having a voice.

It remembered Ryouta. Labor 9 picked up speed, leg pistons hissing, footsteps clunking, faster and faster.

"Hyou - "

Ryouta would make sense of all the bits of images inside, shining like broken glass. Ryouta would give it peace, once it could tell him. It remembered a word. Please.

"Hyougo - "

Water sprayed over Labor 9. It continued advancing. It reached forward with its long arm, gears whirring. Ryouta. Please. "Hyu - "

The taser flew. The electrical charge shorted its motors, mini-lightning arcing all over its metallic body.

Labor 9 fell over, spasming. It dropped heavily to the wet tile, weakly twitching.

A last glimpse of fleeing birds was caught by the open eyes of its cameras.

Inside, an alarm pinged, slow and distorted. A single memory flickered against the darkness. Bright sunlight and girlish laughter as a small child's hand picked an egg up off the ground. Ryouta.