Note* No, the story isn't dead. I've just been beyond busy. Updates will continue, no matter how much time passes between them.

"With all due respect, I believe you are mistaken."

"You will do as you are ordered."

"But these orders simply do not make sense!"

"You do not question her authority, or mine for that matter."

"… As you command." Dow bowed her head to Terra yet again.

"We are machines. Formality is only necessary in the presence of the living." Without another word, Terra turned and left the room.

In a sudden flurry of anger, Dow turned around and pulled a massive switch in front of her all the way down. There was a terrifying, electrical sound that she dare not look at the source of, and a scream that could surely be heard echoing through every corner of Router. She let this persist for a moment, then moved the switch back to the off position.

"Why…" she turned again to face the girl suspended above her. "Why don't you just give up?" She shouted. "No one can stand against us! Why can't you just give us what we want? Why do you make us resort to these things?" The hollow, digital undertone in her voice became fast and agitated.

She waited for a response, but the only one she got was a single, hate-filled eye staring down at her and the words "I will destroy you" in Flandre's young, yet terrifying voice.

The doors opened and Lin walked in, holding a small tablet. "You might want to take a look at this. It's from Fibre."

Dow almost snatched it out of Lin's hand. "So we have more followers?"

"As far as I know, the preparations have already been made."

There was an uncomfortable pause. "Lin, do you know why we're attacking only one portion of Gensokyo at a time?"

Lin thought for a moment. "I thought it had something to do with efficiency."

"Don't you think that, with all of our resources and numbers, it would make more sense to simply overwhelm them all at once?"

"It's not my place to say. I follow orders."

"Of course you do." She started to walk out of the room as well. "That changes in ten days." The door opened and she stopped. "Oh yeah. Terra told me to start using that on this little vampire."

Marisa suddenly doubted her own idea to go to Youkai Mountain. Most of the kappa were gone, and she didn't really like the sounds she heard coming from further up the mountainside. "Marisa?" She turned to see a girl she didn't recognize at first. She was wearing a long red dress with a very long ribbon of the same color. Her hair was bright, emerald green and tied into one underneath her chin. "You don't come by here very often."

"Hina?" Marisa asked. "Glad to see somebody's actually down here. What's going on up there?" she gestured upward.

Hina sighed. "All of Youkai Mountain's united against this massive army of robots that are invading from the Blue Moon. It's been going on nonstop, day and night, for several days now."

Marisa pulled out her blackened mini-hakkero and sighed. "I suppose I'll have to take it to Kourin after all." Something suddenly dropped out of the sky and hit the ground near her with a mighty thump. When the small amount of smoke cleared, she saw the head of a drone lying next to her. "Are we winning?"

"So far, I believe so."

"Well, then that's all that matters." There was a sudden series of rainbow flashes above them. Marisa recognized its source almost immediately. "When did Reimu get here?"

Hina looked startled and look up. "Reimu's here?"

A few moments of watching the fight passed and Marisa sighed. "Well, as much as I'd love to go help, I'm on a bit of a time limit." She hopped on her broomstick and took off without another word to Hina.

Nitori and a few other kappa were behind the battle lines, working out a strategy of some kind. Reimu was invited to come see them, along with Grammar for some reason. After a few minutes of discussing various defense plans, Reimu realized something. "Is Youkai Mountain the only area currently being attacked?"

Everyone hesitated. "As far as we know." One of the kappa answered.

They didn't have time to talk further. There was a sudden change in the ambient sounds. Kappa and tengu alike began screaming and retreating. Explosions and electrical sounds were heard throughout the battlefield. Reimu didn't wait to see what was happening. She took off toward the direction of the fight to assess.

All the drones were gone. The only ones she could see were the broken and deactivated corpses scattered around the ground, yet the army was still retreating. She kept pushing forward until she saw what was striking such fear and decimating the army.

She looked… different. Her eyes no longer showed the compassion and joy they once held, but instead were lit with an eerie green light. Her left arm had been replaced with a massive sword with serrated teeth that spun on command. Attached to her back was a black box with lights running up and down. Her outfit was torn in various places, revealing black plating and more lights.

Ruukoto turned to stare at Reimu. "Obedient, isn't she?" Reimu only barely recognized the voice. Floating off to one side were two people she recognized, and a sudden fire began building in her. "I'm amazed at what you call 'technology' on this planet. Your outside world hasn't even advanced as far as you have, yet this is the best you can produce?" Data signal hovered with that same cloud surrounding her. Ethernet simply hovered next to her, facing down with her eyes closed.

Reimu was speechless. She looked back in horror at Ruukoto, once a gift from a colleague now a weapon against her.

"Your victim doesn't need to know what they're being killed with as long as they die." Ethernet almost seemed to lecture Data.

Data simply nodded. "Yes, Ethernet." Ruukoto leapt toward Reimu with a ferocity that was previously nonexistent.

Note* It'll get good soon.