The first day of September marked the beginning of a new autumn. Summer vacations were over, and this time we've managed to spend them without anything weird happening out of nowhere. Of course, it's easy to guess who was the driving force behind all our activities this summer. Haruhi Suzumiya, the leader of a school club called the SOS Brigade, dedicated to searching for supernatural beings like aliens, time travelers, espers and sliders, and hanging out with them. Does that sound crazy to you? It's okay if it does. Haruhi is the most eccentric and unbearable person you'll ever meet; it would be rather unusual if she chose the most important mission of her life to be something more ordinary. This was no joke I said before about looking for aliens, time travelers, espers and sliders. This is the truth, the meaning of Haruhi's very existence in this world.

What's much more amusing that all those things she desperately hopes to meet one day do exist, and they are closer than she expects them to be. There are five members in the SOS Brigade. Haruhi is our leader, and who are the others?

Here's Yuki Nagato, for example. She looks like an ordinary school girl, always reading a book nearby and not saying a single word until someone talks to her first. A quiet, shy book-loving girl. But in fact she is an alien. According to her own words, she is a Humanoid Interface, sent to our planet by the Data Inte- something something Entity, I can never remember that ridiculously long name properly. You would never expect, but her strength isn't some super advanced alien technology you can see in every sci-fi work. Instead, she has this power to manipulate data around her, very similar to magic. The best comparison I can come up with is Neo's powers to manipulate data in the Matrix to make himself stronger and faster, or stopping bullets in mid-air. Nagato can do all that and even more. I saw her fighting skills once and I still can't believe a fragile girl like Nagato could have moves like that. And it wasn't the most impressive thing she's done.

Then there's Mikuru Asahina, a senior student one year above the rest of us. She is the most beautiful girl in our school, and she's also what an otaku would call a moe: a cute and clumsy girl who tends to get herself in trouble, a girl you would want to hug and tell her everything is going to be all right. Oh, Asahina-san… Ahem, where was I? But the truth is, she is actually from the future. Asahina-san is a time traveler who came to our time to investigate a strange anomaly that prevents her fellow time travelers from going too far in the past. I'll explain the details later. Now, to the next Brigade member…

Itsuki Koizumi. A good-looking guy who definitely has as many secret admirers as Asahina-san, but of a different gender. He is always polite, knows a great lot of smart things and random trivia, and also has this big stupid smile on his face that only goes off so often. Koizumi is an esper, a person with psychic powers. The irony is, he can't access them until he goes to a special place called a Closed Space, a colorless replica of our world where giant creatures called Celestials dwell. His job as an esper is to enter Closed Spaces and destroy Celestials who cause havoc there. Why so?

It's all because of Haruhi. Not just Koizumi, but also Nagato and Asahina-san are here because of what she truly is. Apparently, Haruhi has the power to create something from nothing, to change the world around her at her desire. Nagato believes this power will eventually serve as a means of evolving the life in the universe. Asahina-san thinks that Haruhi is responsible for blocking the time travel beyond a certain point. Koizumi outright calls her God. And what does Haruhi say about all this?

She doesn't even know anything that's going on around her and because of her. That's right: the person who looks for aliens, time travelers and espers doesn't realize they are right here, by her side, and that they are interested in her as much as she is in them. The person who has the power to change the world doesn't know she has it, and cannot use it properly. So far everything she's done was completely random. Since she started the SOS Brigade more than a year ago, many weird things have happened, and she still doesn't know about most of them, and that she was the one behind them. Is your mind blown yet?

I guess now you want to know about me. I can almost hear your questions: "Who are you?", "What's your name?", "What powers do you have?" Well, prepare to be disappointed. I am just an ordinary guy without any supernatural powers who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The only unusual thing about me is that I go by a stupid nickname Kyon that everyone uses instead of my real name. Even my little sister, who used to call me "big brother." That's all there is about me.

I and the rest of the SOS Brigade are students of the North High school. We are second years, except for Asahina-san who's a third year. This day, September 1, the first day of autumn, having spent nice summer vacations without any time loops or fake murders, we've returned to school and went to our classes. Haruhi and I go to the same class, so when we opened the door, the first thing we saw was what we expected to see the least.

"Good morning!" with a cheerful smile on her face, this girl which hasn't been in this school for more than a year greeted us. Both Haruhi and I stopped at the door, but while Haruhi looked astonished at the view, I felt this sharp sensation of fear growing in my guts. I knew about this person much more than Haruhi ever did. The girl who tried to kill me twice, the girl from my worst nightmares, the snake hiding behind a pretty face.

Ryoko Asakura was standing right in front of us.