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The Advanced Class: REBOOT

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It was a bright and sunny morning in Sakuragoaka High, as Yui Hirasawa, a girl with brown hair, and in her winter uniform, a dark blue blazer and gray skirt, was walking down the street, with her guitar on her back.  She was smiling in glee, as she said, “Oh, boy… I cannot wait to have tea with my friends, again.”

Her smiles turned to a tired look, as she yawned, “Yaaaaaaaaah… I overslept, again… Ui had to wake me up, when I was sleeping peacefully…”

As she walked tireless and sluggish, she moaned, “I blame the homework…  I have to study to go to college, this year.”

Yui Hirasawa is a third year student in her school.  She is a member of the school’s Light Music Club, a music club that is dedicated to rock and roll.  She is also the frontman to the band “After School Tea Time”, who is playing in their final year, before going to college.  She’s not much of a genius in exams, but she has been doing well, thanks to her friend’s tutoring.  She arrived at the school, as she moaned, “I made it…”

“Morning!”  A girl called to her.

The girl has short light brown hair, slicked back with her headband on, and with her blazer open.  She smiled and said, “You look sluggish… again…”

“Oh, Ricchan…” Yui smiled, “I woke up late… again…”

“That’s the trouble with you, Yui.”  Ritsu said, “You always act giddy and energetic, but you always feel tired…”

Yui sobbed, as she moaned, “Aw, don’t be mean!”

“I know…  Come on.  We have to get to class.”

“Right.”

They walked to the building, as they headed to the third floor.

Yui & Ritsu arrived at the third floor, heading straight to the classroom.  As they went to the doorway, they saw a girl with long blonde hair, thick brown eyebrows, staring at the window, all motionless, in her uniform.  It was Tsumugi Kotobuki, their classmate, or Mugi-Chan, for short.

“Mugi~!”  Yui cheered, as she ran to her.

Mugi didn’t respond.  She was still standing, without looking.  Yui was confused, as Ritsu stared at her.  She said, “Uh, Hello?  Mugi-Chan?  Yo!  Mugi…”

She waved her hand in front of her face, as she said, “This is not like her…”

Yui said, “She’s like a mannequin…”

She poked her arm, and nothing happened.  Ritsu said, “Interesting.  She’s like lost in thought.”

Yui asked, “Should we wake her up?”

Ritsu smirked, in a cat-like grin, “Oh, not yet… I wanna try something.”

“Try what?”

A girl appeared, as she glared at Ritsu.  She has long black hair and bluish eyes, wearing her uniform.  She scolded, “Ritsu, you better not be doing what I think you’re doing!”

Ritsu placed her hands behind her back and shivered, “WHAT?  No…  Mio, you know I wouldn’t do that!”

Yui pleaded, “Mio-Chan!  Mugi’s not moving!”

Ritsu said, “Please.  We’re all 18.  I wouldn’t mind a little fondling on--.”

BONK!
“YOU WERE GONNA DO IT, ANYWAY?!”  Mio yelled, as she conked Ritsu on the head.

Ritsu moaned, with a lump on her head, “I was just kidding…”

Mio approached Mugi, as she said, “Hey, you okay, Mugi?”

Nothing.  Mugi could not respond.  Mio then stated that this is pretty much a phase, since she is looking out the beautiful morning sky.  Yui said, “Oh, wow… That’s right.”

She looked out the window, as Mio stated, “I’ll see if I can wake her up.  You two head to class.”

Yui & Ritsu went to the classroom, as Mio said, “Alright, Mugi.  I’ll try to wake you up.”

“That will not be needed, Miss Akiyama.”  The teacher said.

The teacher was wearing a yellow dress and glasses, with long brown hair, flowing down.  Mio gasped, “Uh, Miss Yamanaka…  Sorry.  But Mugi, she--.”

“Let me wake her.  Leave her like that.  It’s natural.  Get to class.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Mio walked into the classroom, as Sawako kneeled behind Mugi, on one knee.  She said, as she dug inside her uniform, “Phew… I thought she’d never leave.”

What could Sawako be doing to Mugi?  Does Mio know something she doesn’t know?

At the classroom, Mio talked with Yui, as she explained what just happened, moments ago.  Yui said, “Mugi-chan was all frozen-like?  Wow… And Sawa-chan is waking her?”

“I was going to, but she stopped me.”  Mio sighed.

“Typical.  I mean, our last year together in this school, and our last performance in the Light Music Club.” Ritsu barked, “We need to be ready for our biggest performance, ever!”

Mio huffed, “Are you not forgetting something?”

Yui asked, “Huh?”

Mugi entered the room, moments later, as Sawako began class.  Mio said, as she saw Mugi enter, “Never mind.  I’ll explain later.  We’ll discuss this matter, at the club room.”

Mugi asked, “Hey, girls.  Is there something you wanted to ask me?”

Yui, Ritsu, & Mio turned away, as Mugi said, “Oh, okay.”

They went to their desks, as class was about to begin.

XXXXX

Later, down below in the second floor, a girl in long black hair, done in pigtails, was sitting in her desk.  Her name was Azusa Nakano, and she is a second year student, and a member of the Light Music Club.  She was looking at her notes, as a girl with brown hair, done in a bun, walked to her.

“Azusa,” Ui said.

“Oh, hello, Ui-chan.”  Azusa smiled.

“Azusa, can I borrow your cellphone?  I want to text to Sis.”

“Why?”

“Well, I forgot to remind her about dinner, tonight…”

“Oh.  Don’t worry, I’ll tell her.”

“Thanks.  But I figured she needed a text.”

“Well, I can give her the message.  I can just type it on the cellphone, as a reminder, then send it to you.  How’s after class?”

“Now’s fine.  Sometimes she can forget it.”

Azusa nodded, as she pulls out her cellphone.  As she turned it on, she started to hear static and interference.  She was shocked, as her phone was pointed at Ui.  Ui asked, “What is it?”

Azusa replied, as she put her phone away, “On second thought… How’s about I tell her, at the clubroom?”

She shivered, as Ui asked, “Something wrong, Azusa?”

Azusa replied, “My phone… I heard… Well…”

“Well, what?”

“Does this school have upgraded its internet provider?”

“We don’t have a satellite.”

Azusa replied, “No… I am pretty sure--.”

Ui giggled, “Well, no matter.  I will run into her, when I get the chance.”

“Sounds fair.”  Azusa replied.

Ui walked out of the classroom, as Azusa thought, “Weird…  I figured that something is wrong with Ui… or that is because--.”

She shook her head and thought, “NO!  This school isn’t weird.  I should know that, by now.  Plus, with everything going on, I fear the weirdness levels will skyrocket…”

She pictured Yui, giggling to Azusa, as she cheered, “Azu-nyan~!

Azusa said, “Like a child… I know that this will be our final year, together… and after that, everything will be under my reigns, in the Light Music Club.  I only joined, to increase potential.  And because of that, I made new friends.  I hope I can make even better friends, next year.”

She got up from her desk, as she was heading out.  She spotted Ui, talking with Jun, a girl with brown hair, in puffy pigtails.  Azusa listened on, as Ui said, “I think she’s close… It’s been like that, since she came here.  And even in her knowledge, helping my sister like that, there’s a possibility that she knows.  She’ll know the truth, eventually…”

Jun responded, “You’re right.  I may have to skip my evening routine…”

Azusa asked, “What evening routine?”

Jun replied, “OH!  Azusa!  Just a little evening review for the Jazz Club.”

“Oh.”  Azusa said, “And I thought it was something serious.  Sorry if I eavesdropped.”

Ui smiled, “There’s no need.  I mean, you did hear it all, did you?”

Azusa gasped, “Uh, NO!  No, not at all!”

She walked off, as she headed to the clubroom, “Uh, gotta go.  Bye.”

She ran off, as Jun asked, “What’s wrong with her?”

Ui said, “I dunno.  I think it may be something she knows.”

XXXXX

At the clubroom, Azusa was chatting with the others, as Yui explained what went down.  Azusa scoffed, as she didn’t believe it, being that Mugi was motionless and frozen.

“It’s all true,” Mio said, “Mugi was stiff as a board.”

Mugi blushed, “I’m so sorry, Azusa.  I was…”

Yui shivered, “It was scary, like a doll, looking out the window.”

Mio barked, “No, it wasn’t!”

Mugi smiled, “Well, it was a matter of thought.  There was something I forgot to do, and it was getting some tea for the club.  Sadly, I forgot to get it.  By the time I remembered, I was late for class…”

Mio said, “At least Miss Yamanaka let it go.”

Ritsu pleaded, with her hands in a prayer, “Please forgive me.  I almost grasped on you, from there… only to snap you out of that trance.”

Mugi laughed, “Oh, only you’d give me a pinch to the face, it’ll only work, taiyaki.”

She winked, “Yakisoba?

Ritsu asked, “You okay?”

Mugi smiled, “I’m fine.”

Yui said, as she was worried, “Did she just say Yakisoba, all of a sudden?”

Azusa added, “And she even said Taiyaki…”

Mio said, “She seemed okay, after that little trance.  I, uh, would like to assist her, tonight, in private.”

Ritsu giggled, as she sneered at Mio, “Oh?  What could it be?”

Mio barked, “None of your business!”

She sat up, as she said, “Mugi seems okay.  But having to go through this predicament with her spouting words, I think she needs privacy.  Be right back.”

Mugi smiled, as she was entranced, “Oh, soba… Yakisoba…”

Mio assisted her, as Azusa asked, “What the heck’s going on?”

Yui shivered, “Could it be about the tea?  Azu-Nyan, I’m scared!”

“So am I.” Azusa said, as she whispered to her, “You know, funny story… Ui was to talk to you, via my cellphone, and it has something to do with dinner, tonight.”

Yui said, “Oh, right.  Anything is fine, Azu-Nyan.”

Ritsu walked off, as Yui & Azusa were concerned.  Azusa then confessed, “Does your cellphone go off, with interference?  I heard static, during class.  And it was pointed at Ui…”

“Sis?  I say it has to be a huge satellite.”

“No.  I don’t think this school has advanced technology.  But where?”

“Should we ask the teacher, Azu-Nyan?”

“No.  I’m gonna ask Ui and see who has it.  Otherwise, I can sort everything out.”

Azusa thought, “Ui… Mugi… Mio… Something’s fishy going on, here.”

Yui whimpered, as she was scared.  It’s not right that her friends had to depart, during club meetings, and that they never had practice.  Yui finds it scary, while Azusa finds it suspicious.

Outside, Mugi was shoved into a broom closet, as Ritsu asked, growing chary, “Does she know?”

Mio said, “No reason.  Give me a couple.  I’ll be back.”

“What about practice?”

“Well, play along.  We may practice, but this wouldn’t be long.  Wish me luck.”

She went in the broom closet, as Ritsu shut the door.  She waited, as she said, “I shall keep guard.”

That night, Yui was practicing with her guitar, Gita, and she whispered, “Gita… Do you think this all feels strange?”

She was communicating with her guitar, a Heritage Cherry Sunburst Gibson Les Paul, as she stated that her friends are acting strange.  First, Mugi started to say different words, including Japanese foods.  Then, Mio said that she wanted privacy.  And now, Ui is the cause of a static sound, during class.

“Gita… I am not sure what it is… You think it might be--?”

She stopped, and said, “Nah.  It’s just a phase.  Tomorrow, after the next morning, everything will be over…  I’m sure of it.”

She placed her guitar down, as she went to bed.  She went under the covers, as she slept heavily.  As she was sleeping, Ui was watching, by the door.  Her eyes shone, as she grinned in a slightly evil grin.

At Azusa’s house, Azusa felt the exact same way, as she was sitting in bed.

“Why doesn’t Yui get serious?  No one knows what goes on, inside a school… but Yui thinks Mugi is stiffened, like a doll.  But it’s just lost in thought.  But how?  Mio-Senpai said that she was rigid and frozen.  Did something happen to her?”

She went to bed, as she whispered, “It’s like a horror movie… but this is more of a thriller.  But it’s too soon.  It’s probably a dream.”

She went to bed, as she whispered, “Probably… … …a dream…”

She snoozed, as she whispered, “It has… to be…”

The next morning, Yui met with Mugi, who insisted on talking to her, alone, in the clubroom.  Mugi was sitting in her chair, as Yui asked, “Mugi-Chan… Is there something I can do?”

Mugi asked, “You know why I was standing, lost in thought?”

The clouds grew dark, as Mugi said, “Well, to tell you the truth, I’m worried that we will never be together, after the year is over, since we’ll be going to college, real soon.”

Yui asked, “Why?”

Mugi sniffled, “Because… Oh, mochi…  Don’t take it so hard…  I was lost in thought, thinking… Well, everything we did, for the past three years… it’ll go away.”

Yui sobbed, “I’m… I’m so happy that it was a misunderstanding… but I’m glad you’re okay, Mugi-Chan!”

She bawled, as Mugi said, “Aw, don’t cry.  Mochi.  Rice.”

She hugged her, as Yui gasped in horror.  She stopped, as she asked, “Mugi!  Are you hungry?  You must be spouting off foods…”

“Sorry… Must’ve been last year’s summer vacation… I always wanted yakisoba…  Badly.”

She petted her head and said, “Badly. Yakisoba.”

Yui cried, “STOP SAYING THAT!”

“Stop saying what?”

“THAT!  Is that all you can say?  What did Mio do to you?”

“Nothing.  Even if she is helping me, it’s classified…”

“Classified?”  This grew Yui’s concern, as she was completely curious.

Mugi smiled and said, “Whatever.  I hope I get some, on the way home.  I love to try some… soba noodles.”

“Soba?”

Mugi walked off, without responding, as Mio came in.  Mio asked, “Yui?  What are you doing with Mugi?”

Yui held her arms and cried, “TERRIBLE!  SHE’S FLIPPED!  Here I thought she was normal, but she’s worse off!  MIO-CHAN! MIO-CHAN!  SHE CAN’T STOP WITH THE YAKISOBA!  AND SHE STARTED SAYING RICE, MOCHI, SUSHI, PICKLES, AND--.”

She paused, and was rumbling in her stomach, “Eh, heh, heh, heh, heh, heh… Now, I’m famished.”

Mio sighed, “What am I going to do with you?”

She asked Yui, “What’s eating you?”

Yui sobbed, “I don’t know…”

“Tell me.”

Yui shivered, sweating in fear, as she asked, “Mio… Was this school built in a cursed area in Japan?”

Mio was shocked, as she was frightened.  She shivered, “W-w-w-w-w-w-where did you hear that?”

“A hunch… from when Mugi was acting strange…” She dusted off her skirt, as Mio sat down, still scared.

Mio said, “Whatever it is, it’s nothing.  Maybe… Maybe it has to do with aliens… NO!  No, not aliens… maybe…”

Yui asked her, “Ghosts?  That seems right.  Maybe ghosts haunt us to make us say different thi--.”

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!”  Mio shrieked, as she under the table.  She was stiffened in fear, as Yui was worried.

“Sorry… I was wondering, since Ui has been watching me, this morning…  Could it be that way?”

Mio replied, from under the table, “N-n-n-n-n-NO…  I don’t think it is…”

“Look out, Mio…” a voice called, “The ghosts are grasping on you!”

Yui & Mio shrieked in bloody terror, as Ritsu laughed.  Mio screamed, “RITSU!  That’s NOT FUNNY!”

Yui panted, as she was frightened, “Darn it, Ricchan!”

Ritsu complained, “Seriously… Ghosts, demons, haunted schools?  That’s all a coincidence.  Besides, I’d believe it, but it’s just an old wives’ tale.”

Mio barked, “Well, why tease me?”

Ritsu scratched her forehead, as Mio sighed, feeling better, “You’re such a jerk, Ritsu!”

She huffed, “HMPH!” as Yui felt concerned.

“What?”  Ritsu asked.

Yui asked, “Why are you scratching your head?”

Ritsu said, as she was scratching it, “Gee… I don’t know.”

“Are you itchy?  Mio!  Ricchan is itchy!”  Yui said.

Mio turned to her and gasped, “RITSU! NO!”

Ritsu stopped, as she said, “Okay! Okay!  I’ll stop!  Sheesh…”

She tilted her head to the right, as she smiled, “I must’ve used the wrong soap, last night.”

Most of her hair started to fall out, as Mio was shrieking.  Yui gasped in fright, as she cried, “RI-RI-RI-RI-RI-RI-RICCHAN!!!  YOUR HAIR!!!”

Her eyes widened, as she cringed, “WHAT THE HELL???”

Ritsu’s left side of her skull showed a small chrome spot.  Her headband fell off, as her long bangs flowed in front of her face, with some more hair falling to the floor.  Mio was shaken, as Yui gasped, cringing, “Fallen hair… baldness… chrome plate…”

Ritsu’s left ear fell off, as Mio turned pale white.  Yui squeaked, “Eek…”

Yui fainted, as Mio gasped, “YUI!  Yui?”

Hours later, Yui woke up, as she was on the floor.  Ritsu asked, as she was whole, again, from her head, “You okay, man?”

It was dusky out, and the sky turned reddish.  Yui moaned, as she cried, “YOUR HAIR!”

Ritsu asked, “Excuse me?”

Yui stated, “MIO!  Ricchan’s hair was--.  Huh?  Where’s Mio-Chan?”

Ritsu said, “She ran away… seeing a bug…”

“But it was--.”

“MY HAIR IS FINE!  You got a problem with that?”  Ritsu glared at Yui.

Yui whimpered, “S-s-s-sorry… but you also lost an ear--.”

“Yui, Yui, Yui… You’re probably dreaming…”

“HOW CAN I TELL?  I DID SEE YOU LOSE YOUR HAIR AND EAR!  HOW THE HECK IS THAT RIGHT?”  She shouted.

Ritsu explained, “You should go home.  Mio just left, after the bug she saw.”

“Bug, my hide!”  Yui yelled.  She then sighed, “But you’re right…”

She walked out of the clubroom, as she said, “I must be seeing things…”

Mio appeared from the closet, as she asked, “That was close.”

Yui left in a staggering pace, as Mio asked, “That was horrible… We can hold off, until the College Exams… But everything else, she mustn’t know.”

Ritsu nodded, “I agree.  She saw the ear, and she passed out.  Nice acting, Mio.”

Mio huffed, “I wasn’t acting.  You know I despise gross stuff, and horror stuff…”

Ritsu whispered, “Lycopene.”

Mio stood straight, as she collapsed, like a stiff board, with a little fright in her.  Ritsu smirked, “Works every time…”

She looked at the door, as she said, “Yui…”

Outside the school, Yui was running, as she ran into Azusa.  She caught her, as she was sobbing.  Yui wept, as Azusa asked her what happened.  Yui says that she is losing it, since yesterday, ever since Mugi was talking weird.  And then Ritsu started to lose her hair, and an ear, even.  Azusa was gagging in disgust, as she explained, “This doesn’t add up.  I mean, chrome plating and an ear…  You and I should head to my place.  I’ll tell Ui that I brought you to my place, for the night.”

“Yes.  Thank you, Azu-Nyan…” Yui wept, as Azusa held her by her bosom.

Azusa think Yui has gone crazy, but in her view, she was partially right.  She knew that there were strange things going on, including the stuff that has been happening.

Azusa whispered, “This school… Just what the hell is going on?”

The following Saturday Morning, Azusa and Yui entered the school building, as Azusa had an idea.  She said to her, “We have to sneak in… and see what’s going on.  Yui, you up for this?”

“Right, Azu-Nyan.”

They went to the backway, as Yui whispered, sniffling in tears, “This is scary, on a Saturday…”

Azusa shushed her, as they went in.  She said, “The others must not know, even Miss Yamanaka…”

Yui wept, “Hold me, Azu-Nyan…”

“Not now.  Don’t make a sudden movement.”

The entire school was empty, as there were no sounds.  It was quiet and desolate, they went to the stairwell.  They heard a faint sound from a classroom.  Yui asked what it was.  Azusa motioned her to follow her.  Azusa whispered, “A power drill?”

Yui said, “The entire school’s clean and pristine…”

Azusa said, “Probably the custodian came in, last night.”

Yui sobbed, “The sound is getting louder.”

The sounds stopped, as they went to the second floor, and to Azusa’s homeroom.  Azusa said, “It’s coming from my classroom.  It’s quiet.”

Yui added, “Perhaps too quiet.  If I’d know I’d be early, I would’ve had a small breakfast, beforehand.”

Azusa placed her hand on her own desk, as she said, “Well, for now, I think I need to know what happened, last night…  Ritsu-Senpai’s hair was falling off, correct?”

“Yes.”

“And one of her ears, showing a spot of chrome plating in her forehead…”

“Yes, but her forehead wasn’t always that shiny.  She was itchy in her forehead.”

Azusa pondered, “Odd.  Maybe… She had a wig… Or… it is because she had a nasty haircut, butchering her skin, and had to go to the hospital, to fix her cranium…”

“Or… She could be…”

They pondered, as Azusa came to the conclusion, “Maybe… … …it could be… that Ritsu got a steel plate in her skull, and got herself a felt wig.”

Yui nodded, as Azusa whispered, “Damn it…  I thought it might be something else.  I mean, the same thing happened to Jun-Chan, yesterday.  Her hair went down, and suddenly, she was walking into a tree…  And then, WHAM!  She fell over, and she kept walking, continuously…  It’s like…”

“Like some sort of walking doll?”

Azusa’s eyes widened, as she whispered, “No… It’s… It can’t be true…”

“What is it, Azu-Nyan?”

Azusa stated, as she was panicky, “We have to leave before--!”

“Hello?”  Mio’s voice was called, as she was in the first floor, “Assistance?”

Yui cheered, “IT’S MI--!”

Azusa covered her mouth and hid inside a locker, near the classroom.  They hid, as Mio thought, “I could’ve sworn I heard Yui, from in here.”

She whispered, “Fuwa.  Oh, crap.  It must be another sickness…”

She walked to the first floor hallway, as Yui heard the faint footsteps.  Yui cringed, “Mio… What is she doing here?”

Azusa shushed her, as she said, “Stay right here…  You make sure you do not leave.  I’ll find Mio.  Don’t make a noise.”

Yui stayed in the locker, as Azusa walked downstairs.  She saw Mio, as she turned to her.

“Azusa?”  Mio asked.

Azusa stated, “Mio-Senpai, why are you here?”

“Well, it’s personal.  I figured I’d come here, before the others arrive.  It’s a personal matter…”

“That time of the month, right?”

“Yes, Azusa.”

“What the heck’s going on?  What’s wrong with Mugi-Senpai?”

“It’s not your concern.”

She walked off, as Azusa calmly asked, “Would you, at least, tell Yui-Senpai the truth?  She’s shattered, from inside…”

Mio smiled, as she walked away, with no response.  She then said, “You can go home.  Where’s Yui?”

Azusa turned away, as she said, “She’s with me.  I’ll see you Monday.”

She returned to the second floor, as Mio walked into a door, near the classroom.  She bumped into the door, and walked backwards.  She walked forwards again, as she spoke, bumping into the wall, “The door.  Is the door locked?”

She kept walking through the door, for minutes, bumping back and forth.

Meanwhile, Yui was in the locker, sobbing in fear, “I’m 17, I’m not afraid…  Mugi-Chan… Ricchan… Mio-Chan… What is it?  Ghosts? Demons?  Aliens?  Some magical spell?  UNDEAD ZOMBIES?  ALTERNATE REALITY?  GAH!  I’M SO CONFUSED!!!

Azusa opened the door, as Yui shrieked.  Azusa asked, “What’s the problem?”

Yui said nothing, as Azusa offered her to take her home.  Yui nodded, as she said, “Azu-Nyan… Don’t ever leave me, again.”

“Promise…  Now, calm down.  Mio was here for a personal matter.  We should head home, before anything else happens.”

Azusa was concerned, but deeply in thought, not sure what is going on.  “Mio-Senpai would never calmly say something about me!  Would she?  If I have a hunch of what’s going on, then maybe, just maybe… I’m right…”

She heard noises, as Azusa ignored it.  She and Yui walked out of the building, as Yui asked, “So?”

“Nothing…” Azusa said, “But Mio’s appearance here, I’m going to ask her, Monday.  You should go home and get some rest.”

Yui clasped onto her and cried, “NOOOOOOOOOOO!  AZU-NYAN!!!  NO!  DON’T LEAVE ME HERE!  TAKE ME WITH YOU!”

Azusa hobbled off, with Yui grabbed her right leg, real tight, dragging her along.  Azusa yelled, “Yui-Senpai, let go!  I did all I can for you!”

“NO FAIR!”  Yui whined, still being dragged.

“Yui-Senpai!  GO HOME!”

“WAAAAAAH!  AZU-NYAN!!!”

The following Monday, Azusa was in the clubroom with Yui, as she stared down at Mio, who was having tea.  Azusa was glaring at her, as she was concern for Yui’s safety.  Mugi giggled quietly, “Hochi… Tsukenchan…”

It was merely gibberish, as Azusa looked at Ritsu.  Yui was in the corner, still saddened and befuddled.  Mio asked, “Something wrong with her?”

Azusa said nothing.  Mio asked, “OKAY!  Azusa, why are you scowling at me?”

Azusa huffed, as she turned away, “You…  I cannot say.”

But then she said, “Mio-Senpai… Answer me this… If you were a robot, would you tell me?”

Yui gasped, as the others were shocked.  Mio said, in disgust, “Uh, Azusa?”

Ritsu cried, “WAIT!  Mio’s a robot?  COOL!”

Mio cried, “She said if I was a robot, which I’m not, I’d let her know!  Don’t jump to conclusions!”

Mugi’s eyebrows went upside-down, as she was focused.  Azusa whispered, as Mugi looked on, “This does not make sense…  But I knew it was a ridiculous theory.”

Yui sighed, as she sat down.  Yui giggled, “Azu-Nyan, do not be silly.  Mio-Chan’s not a robot.”

She added, “If she were, she’d explode, like a bomb!”

“WHAT?!”  Mio cried, as she sobbed, “Oh, come now… Don’t say that I am really an android…  Yui?  Ritsu?”

Mugi nodded and said, “I believe you, Mio…  You’re no robot.”

Mio sighed, “Thank you.”

Mugi smiled, “Takuan…”

Azusa giggled, as she thought, “I should’ve known…  What a relief.  And here I thought we are manned with robot students.”

She said, “It’s nothing, really.”

Yui sighed, as Azusa thought, “Even Yui-Senpai believes it.  Well, I’m glad that this nightmare is over.”

The girls have tea together, as Azusa and Yui finally must this theory behind them… or so they thought.

That night, Azusa snuck into the school, as she whispered, “There’s just one thing I do not understand. What could they be doing, downstairs?”

She went behind the halls, as she heard a male voice speaking to Mio, who was in her school uniform.

“Miss Akiyama, are you ready?”

Mio bowed and said, “Fuwa.”

They walked to a small room, downstairs, as Azusa heard the commotion.

“What in the world?  Why’s Mio-Senpai with a man?”

She crept into the room, hiding in the shadows.  A small door opened from the walls, as Mio stepped in.  Azusa whispered that she never knew of that door.  She walked towards the secret passage, and then looked around.  She snuck down the stairs, as she whispered, “A long… long… stairway…  Did we have a science room?”

She made it halfway, when she heard voices.

“How is Miss Akiyama, doctor?”  A female adult voice spoke.

Azusa gasped, “Miss Yamanaka?”

Sawako was talking to a man in a bright red suit.  He said, “Not so good.  If things go well, she’d be durable, before college.  After all, you did institute the idea, Miss Yamanaka…”

He was a tall man with a blonde buzzcut and a chiseled chin.  Sawako was in a white lab coat.  Azusa leaned by the metal bar on the catwalk, as she saw huge metal machinery, all around the dark room.  She then saw a female body, made entirely of metal.

“What is this?”  Azusa whispered, “Who is this man?  And whose body is that?”

The man said, “Anyway, once we finish up with this new applicant, we’ll be able to fix the seniors, then the juniors, and the new students.  I’m surprised that the entire school has very few broken-down girls…”

Sawako said, “It might be, sir.  Plus, Miss Akiyama is overdue for her repairs, since yesterday…”

“Repairs?”  Azusa gasped, “No…  Why?”

Sawako sad, “Plus, Miss Tainaka and Miss Kotobuki are late for their routine check-ups.  And this girl will be finished, once the repairs on Miss Akiyama are set.”

The man replied, “Good.  Bring her in.  Where’s Akiyama?”

“She’s already prepared, doctor.  Gentlemen?  You may bring her in.”

Two men in white lab coats appeared, rolling in a girl with long black hair, covering her bare chest.  She was only her upper body and head, and no arms on her.

“MIO?!”  Azusa was frightened, as she kept quiet.

Mio’s body was motionless, with her eyes open and blank.  The man said that her fears have messed her up.  Every time she shrieks, her body is damaged a bit, and had to be reworked in her central processors, to avoid damage.  Sawako agreed, as she said that she even frightened her, now and then.

“I can see why this one hasn’t been stable.  Miss Akiyama’s circuitry must be stable enough.  See what you can about repairing her.”

“Right,” he said, as he held a scalpel, opening Mio’s bare stomach, in a square shape.  He slowly removed it, showing a small motherboard inside her.  He said that her motherboard needed an upgrade, which will take ten minutes.  He also said that her chips were out of place.”

Sawako said, “Nice.”

“Shall I attach a new RAM to her?”

Sawako halted him and said, “No…  We’ll use mine.  I may be needed for a brand-new RAM drive…”

She opened her blouse, and then opened her bare midriff, revealing circuitry inside her.  Azusa gasped, “No… Mio-Senpai… Miss Yamanaka… They’re… They’re robots?  NO!  N-no… Impossible…”

The man asked, before Sawako could remove her drive, “Did you hear that?”

He asked four men in white, “You, see if we can remove her RAM and replace it to Miss Akiyama’s.  And you two, find her…”

He whispered, as he said, “Someone’s learned our little secret…”

He smirked evilly, as Azusa ran back upstairs.  She cried, “Oh, no… I have to run.”

She ran up back to the surface, as the man halted them.  He said, “No.  Disregard.”

They stopped, as Sawako asked, “Who was that, doctor?”

The man said, “One of our own…  I think I may find out more about her…”

Sawako was worried, as the man said, “Now, my dear, let’s replace Miss Akiyama’s RAM.  Shall we?”

XXXXX

Azusa ran out of the school, as fast as she could, as she was panting.  She sobbed in fear, as she cried, “No… I was right…  This place… This place is manned with robots!  Mio… Ritsu… Ui… even Miss Yamanaka!”

She paused and said, “No… It’s not true, but where’s the proof?  Yeah.  Miss Akiyama isn’t there.  It’s got to be a secret project, and there are robot replicants… Yeah!  That’s it!”

Azusa was relieved, but confused, “But wait… What of Mugi and Mio?”

She then held her cellphone and sent a text to Yui.  She said that she’d like to meet her, tomorrow night at 7.  Yui made a reply, as it said “Can do, Azu-Nyan~!

Azusa said, “Maybe this can go away… and Yui has to know…”

She walked off, as she headed home.

As promised, the next night, Azusa waited by the corner, as Yui asked her, “Hey there, Azu-Nyan.  Did you wanted to talk to me?”

Azusa was shivering in fear, as Yui was worried, “What’s wrong?”

“Is… Is my whole life a lie in this school?”  Azusa blubbered.

“Huh?”

“It’s Mio… Mugi… Ritsu… and Miss Yamanaka.  I don’t know how to tell you this, but… This is anything but weird.  Yui…  I have to say it.”

Yui asked, “Is it because of Ui-nee-chan??”

“Huh?  What does it have to do with Ui?”

Yui stated, “Well, last night, she said to me, as I was doing my homework…”

Yui was sitting in her desk, doing her homework, as Ui said, in a fast mannerism, “I hope you are studying, Sis, for I have been making dinner for you, non-stop, since we are good friends and all.  And I know Mom and Dad appreciate it, since we are growing up.”

She kept talking, as it went to an electronic voice, with her mouth speaking and moving in hyperspeed.  Yui was shocked, as Ui kept talking extremely fast.  Thirty minutes later, she stopped speaking, and then dropped to the floor, facedown.  Yui shrieked, as she held Ui, who was unconscious, with her eyes open and her mouth drooling.  Her eyes faded, as Yui sobbed, hugging her.

Azusa said, “My goodness…  Ui… Not you, too…”

Yui asked, “What’s wrong with my sister?”

Azusa sniffled, “She’s a robot.”

Yui asked, “Eh?”

“THEY ALL ARE!”  Azusa roared, “I AM ON MY LAST END OF MY ROPE!  But it all makes sense:  the static interference in my phone, Mugi-Senpai wanting yakisoba, spouting nonsense, Ritsu losing an ear, and Mio being repaired…”

She cried, as she wept.  Yui petted her and said, “It’s alright.  I believe you, Azu-Nyan…”

She made a kissy-face, as she cooed, “It’ll be alright.  The bad robots won’t hurt you, anymore… I’m right here…”

Azusa said, feeling sad, “You… You don’t believe me?”

Yui smiled, “Nope.”

Azusa yelled, “YOU’RE FULL OF IT, YUI HIRASAWA!”

“But, Azu-Nyan--.”

“LEAVE ME ALONE!”  Azusa roared, “I’M SO CONFUSED!  WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON, ANYWAY???”

She ran off, in tears, as Yui was saddened.  She sniffled, “Azu-Nyan…”

Yui said, “But I believe you… Azu-Nyan… Don’t… leave… me…”

She made a glare, as she scowled, “Mio!  What did you do to her?”

The following morning, at school, Yui scolded Mio, who was at her desk.

“Do you realize what you did?”  Yui scolded, “Azusa knows what the heck is going on in this school!”

Mio ignored her, as she made a straight face, “That’s not your concern…”

Yui replied, in a dopey smile, “Uh, yeah, that’s true… But now I feel that Nodoka-Chan is a robot, too.”

Mio gasped, “WHAT?  Azusa said that?”

Yui jumped in fear, as she pleaded, “I can explain!  Azusa can’t stop crying, and she said that she knew what was going on!  Don’t blame me!”

Mio barked, “Well, Azusa should mind her own business, when keeping secrets!”

Yui said, “But then there’s Mugi’s frozen stance, and her lost in thought, over college… and that moment with Ritsu was disturbing…”

Mio turned away, as she growled.  But shivered in fear, as she said, “Yui… You and Azusa can’t shake it off.”

Yui asked, “Can you show me your robot face, Mio-Chan?”

She stood up and barked, “NO!  I can’t!  I mean, I’m not a robot!”

“Well, Azusa’s losing it!  I believe her, but it’s not true!  Please, help us!  Azusa is frightened, and if that is the case, she’ll leave us! FOREVER!”

Mio sighed, as she said, “You really want this to end?”

Yui nodded, as Mio exclaimed, “Alright… Meet us behind the building, at 7PM, after school… Bring Azusa, and no one else.”

Yui asked, “What about you?”

Mio said nothing.  She walked off, as Yui said, feeling worried, “Mio…”

XXXXX

Azusa and Yui meet, at the hallway, as Azusa asked, “7PM, after school?”

Yui said, “It’s to finally end this.  We have to know what is going on.”

Azusa said, “Well, Mio said that she’d bring us two… But it better not be a trick.”

Yui smiled, “Oh, it won’t…”

She pranced off, but stopped and said, “I believe you.  Azu-Nyan… I believe you.  If I ever find out that my sister is a machine, and my friends are, too… then, what does it mean for me?”

Azusa felt sad, as she said, “Apology accepted.  Seven at night?”

Yui smiled, “Sure.  Bye-bye~!”

She pranced away, as Azusa felt concerned.  She said, “To end this, huh?  Replaced by robot girls, as students… automation in school…  Yui has no worries… but that’s what I’m afraid of…”

She looked at her hand and sniffled, “Ui… Mio… Miss Yamanaka…  What the hell is going on?”

At the clubroom, that afternoon, Ritsu said, as she was talking to the other girls, “Well, now that we have that matter settled, Yui, Azusa… You’re staying late, after school, right?”

Azusa said, “Yes.  We, uh, have had some theories of what has been going on.  We’ve decided to get to the end of this mystery…  We’ll report this, once we’re done, tomorrow.”

She added, “But let’s keep it between all of us.”

Ritsu nodded, “Right.  Meeting adjourned.”

Once Mugi & Ritsu left, Mio approached Yui, as she said, “Yui, one moment… We’re good for 7PM?”

“Yes.  Mio-Chan, you think maybe you know what is going on?”

“I know the truth.  Does Azusa get the message?”

“She’s joining.  Azu-Nyan is more ragged than me.”

“I understand.”

She hugged her, as she said, “Be careful.”

Mio walked off, as Yui was concerned.  Azusa asked, as she approached her, “You going to get ready?”

Yui winked, as she said, “I’ll meet you at 7.”

“One last chance to back down, Yui.  You sure you’re up for this?”

“Don’t I always, Azu-Nyan?”

Azusa whispered, “I’m sure you’re not always up for it.”

They left the clubroom, as Ritsu returned.  Mio nodded to Ritsu, as Ritsu nodded back.  They walked together, as night began to fall.

The sky began to grow black, as the stars shone.  Yui arrived at the building, as Azusa was waiting for her.

“You’re early…” Azusa said.

It was 6:45.  And it was almost 7, the allotted time that Mio would meet with Yui & Azusa.  Yui asked, “So, you sure about this?”

Azusa nodded, “Yes… I need this problem dealt with… And Mio wants it done.”

She added, “Only, I’m not sure if it’s really going to be her… or her robot double…”

Yui snickered, “Spooooky… I love to know what happens next.”

Azusa said, “The truth will be told.  Finally, all the answers will be made.  Yui, are you nervous?”

“Me?  Oh, no.  I just sing to myself, and hope that the bad stuff goes away.”

Azusa giggled, “Well, that’s a relief.”

Yui & Azusa sang together, as they sung for fifteen minutes.  It was finally seven at night, as Mio appeared, from behind the darkness, walking slowly.  Azusa said, “Here it comes.”

Mio spoke, with her eyes shining an LED blue, “Welcome.  I have been expecting you, Yui Hirasawa. Azusa Nakano.”

She spoke in a robotic tone, calm and soothing, as she said, “I am glad that you came.  You want to know what is going on.  You’ve got to stop thinking about other stuff, jumping to conclusions… when you realized, by now… that everything is all what you see.”

Mio stood straight, as Yui said, “Ooooooh, nice calm voice.”

Azusa asked, “Hold on a minute!  What are you saying?  You mean, Yui-Senpai and I knew, all along?”

Mio said, “Except you know too much.”

She added, “To answer, if I was a robot, you two would know.  Well… Yes.  I am an android.”

Yui & Azusa shrieked, as Mio continued, “But there’s more.  This entire school… is all manned with android women, ages 16, 17, & 18… including our teacher and master, Sawako Yamanaka, our first android…”

Yui cried, “Sawa-Chan’s an android?!”

Azusa said, “I saw you… Sawa-Bot, and that man!  While you were building yourself, they said something about Seniors, Juniors, and the new students!  What the hell is going on?”

Mio spoke, “That is our test area, where the girls are born in.  You see, we are all 100% artificial… and most of us act real, to meet the eye.”

Azusa asked, “But… Ritsu…”

Mio explained, “She missed her emergency routine, fixing her facial features and hair.  I repaired her, the minute Yui fainted.  It was a matter of shock, since it wasn’t right.  Mugi-Chan, however, suffered a glitch in her C Drive.  We were going to disassemble her, but we couldn’t.  Those were the words that were stuck in her C Drive… during the summer.”

Yui smiled, “That explains why she wanted yakisoba.”

Azusa growled, “But… But Miss Yamanaka… How is she the first robot?”

“The man you saw, who created her… she was the man who created the world’s first android rock back – Death Devil.  Sawako chose to remain here, as she would be a teacher here, after the success of her rock band, but chose to continue the Light Music Club, no matter what.  I chose to step in, along with Ritsu, and then Mugi.  And you two came along.  Should the club disbands, permanently, Miss Sawako would be deactivated, and replaced with a brand-new teacher unit.  The man who created her only did it, since he loved rock and roll.  Sadly, it wouldn’t be a school for music… but a school, nonetheless.”

Mio explained:
This school, our land, was unnoticed, being below in the rankings.  We have reason to believe that only ONE student, in the third year, is suddenly starting to fail.  The man you saw… was the principal, and every year, he would create newer students, to obtain a very strong grade.  It started, the day Sawako graduated… and you noticed that twenty of us have perfect scores.  It’s neither of us… That’s how many we have achieved, and did it, every year.  We always get the answers transmitted, during finals, as we learn how to be perfect, but five of us… we learned to become independent, and even started our own dream, to become Sawako’s dream rockers.

Azusa asked, “Dream rockers?  And you still maintained the school’s academic level?”

Yui said, “And that the school has included… Azu-Nyan?”

Azusa cried, “THERE’S NO WAY!  I’m not a robot!  I’m enrolled here!  How was I supposed to know all this?”

Mio replied, “That is none of your concern, Azusa Nakano.  Of course, the introduction of this school and all of us is to remain a secret, and we don’t allow outsiders to know our secrets… until now.”

Yui sobbed, “So… What’ll happen to us?”

Mio said, “We won’t disobey our prime directives…  We are not going to kill you, if you’re thinking that.  That’s his job.”

They shivered, as Mio explained, “So far, only a tad handful of girls had known our secret, and over twenty of them were used as drones.”

Azusa huffed, “In other words: slaves!  Mindless, emotionless, lifeless zombies, right?”

Mio said, “It was the only way to keep it a secret.  And no one would reveal it to the public.  No one does.  No one has.  But you two… You know of it, too much.”

Azusa cried, “MONSTERS!  I thought we were friends!”

Mio felt sad, but did not speak in a sad voice, “I know… I’m sorry.  I know we had fun… but we get to go to college, after thorough upgrades, but you cannot.  We sometimes use held-back students as host bodies, and make them into newer students.  And should anybody ask, they were transferred or expelled.”

Azusa shivered, “No…  You’re… You’re insane.”

Mio stepped forward, “And that happens to most of our perfect students.  Beyond repairs would mean that they are transferred… and we feel bad about it.  But you lived to those three years… you don’t mind another three years, under a new name.”

She held her wrist and said, “For me, Yui… Stay with me.  I chose to assimilate you, as much as I can… but I cannot…”

Yui blubbered, as she was relieved, “MIO~!  Oh, Mio, thank you… I just want to be friends forever… I love you, Mio… We get to go to college, together~!”

Azusa shivered, as she cried, “YUI!  YOU TRAITOR!”

Mio turned to Azusa, “Silence, Azusa Nakano.  You shall be Student Drone #30.  Please come with me for assimilation and modifications.”

Azusa roared, “THE HELL I WILL!”

She grabbed Yui’s wrist and ran off.  Yui cried, “HELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLP!”

Mio remained in place, as she beeped, opening her lower face, showing a huge megaphone from her mouth.

“Attention, all students! Attention, all student!  Intruder alert! Intruder alert! Quick, they’re getting away!”

Most of the students were in the first and second floor, as they heard Mio’s cry.

Azusa and Yui ran off, inside the building, as Yui shouted, “Azu-Nyan, what are you doing?  Mio wants me to stay!  She said I cannot be assimilated, or whatever it is!”

“Yes, she can!”  Azusa cried, “She knew you wouldn’t keep a secret!  She did it to trust you!  Are you that dumb?”

Yui asked, “Eh?”

She sobbed, “BUT AZU-NYAN, I WANNA STAY WITH THEM, FOREVER!!!  YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND!  WE’VE BEEN TOGETHER, SINCE WE STARTED THE LIGHT MUSIC CLUB! I CANNOT HAVE IT BEING ERASED!”

Azusa slapped her, as she said, “Tell me!  What’s more important to you: college or being a mindless high school fembot?”

Yui asked, “Do I have to recharge with tea and cake?”

“YUI!”

Yui whimpered, as she pouted, “Alright, fine!  I can’t stay here.  So, does this mean that After School Tea Time is no more?”

Azusa instigated, “Not with these guys as robots… Let the principal dismantle Miss Yamanaka!  That man is sick!  We’re leaving, right now!”

The school gates slammed shut, as Mugi appeared, in a soothing voice, “Yui. Azusa.  You can’t escape.”

Azusa cried, “We’re trapped.”

Yui sobbed, “NONONONONONONO!  I DON’T WANNA BE A ROBOT!  Can I have, at least, a robot brain, so I can study better?”

Azusa growled, “Yui-Senpai…”

Mugi smiled, “Yakisoba, teriyaki, takuan, saba… You’ll love the new name… You are no longer Hirasawa Nakano.  You be Yui Azusa…”

Azusa asked, “She’s glitching, isn’t she?”

Her eyes turned red, as she lunged in and grabbed Yui’s ankles.  Mugi said, in a robotic tone, “Yui. Hirasawa.  Come. With. Me.”

Azusa shrieked, “NO!  YUI-SENPAI!”

Yui cried out, “AZU-NYAN!!!  HELP MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!”

She grabbed her guitar, a red Fender Mustang electric guitar, and roared, “LEAVE HER ALOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONE!!!”

WHAM!
Azusa swung her guitar, slammed Mugi at the head, decapitating her body.  Her body remained rigid, as she spoke, “Ouch.  Ouch.  Soba nozzles…”

Azusa sobbed, as she rubbed her guitar, gently, “I’m sorry, Muttan…”

Yui was scared stiff, as she saw a headless Mugi.  Yui sobbed, “You killed her, Azu-Nyan…”

Yui shrieked, as she assaulted her, “YOU KILLED MUGI-CHAN!  I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU!”

Azusa yelled at her, “LISTEN TO ME!  That’s NOT Mugi… That’s just a robotic version of her.  She’s a puppet! A doll! A hoax!  A sham of a student!  CALM DOWN!”

Mugi spazzed a bit, as she beeped, “Open eyes udon bokchoy… takuan…”

Yui sniffled, “Sorry… I forgot.  Also, thanks for saving me, Azusa…”

Azusa said, “Right.  Now, let’s go!”

They ran off, as Mugi collapsed, beeping incoherent words.  Azusa held her cellphone.  She said, “I have to call the police.  We have to beat it, before someone else gets to us…”

She held her phone and gasped, “NO ANSWER!  No dial tone…  Yui…”

Yui held her phone, as she wept, “WAAAAAAAAAAAAH!  NO BARS!!!”

Azusa snarled, “Pick-up… Pick-up… DAMN IT!”

She growled, clutching her phone, as she knew that this place is blocked by a white noise.  Cellphones in this school was rendered useless, meaning Azusa’s plan to send the police was thrown out.

“Now what?”  Yui sniffled, “I wanna go home!”

Azusa said, “We all do.  Yui, hold onto me… and don’t let go.”

“Azu-Nyan, I wanna go home!  I’m cold, I’m tired, and I’m hungry!  And our friends have abandoned us!”

I’m here.  There’s nothing to worry about.”

Azusa looked around, “Okay.  Since the front gate is locked.  And they’re guarding the back way… We have to find an alternate escape route.”

She saw the fence, a steel mesh fence, as she said, “If we can avoid the barbed wire, we can be able to make it to freedom.”

Yui said, “Yeah, let’s get this over with.”

Azusa said, “We have to leave this hell.  No one has ever left this place.”

“NO one has.”  Ritsu laughed.

She said, as Azusa shrieked, “Well, well, welly, well, well…  You’re not a bright eye to see me.  Mio told me everything.  You girls have to die.”

They winced in fear, as Ritsu laughed, “I FOUND THEM!”

Azusa said, “Yui, quick!  Climb the fence!”

Ritsu said, “It’s of no use…”

Yui climbed the fence, but…
BZZZZZZZZZZZZZT!
“YUI!”  Azusa cried.

Yui was electrocuted, as she moaned, “Did you get the number of that car?”

Azusa carried Yui up, as Yui was out cold.  Azusa barked, “You won’t get away with this!”

She dashed off, as Ritsu called, “RUN!  RUN, COWARD!  You are running from your future?  HAH!  You can’t run away from fate!”

Azusa had Yui in her shoulders, as she ran out to the back gate.  She knew that there was one way out, now, and that’s where they came in.  Azusa said that it’ll be over, and Yui can be happily safe.

XXXXX

They made it.  They arrived to the back gate, as the clouds covered the moon.  Night grew darker, as Yui was placed by the fence.  Azusa said, “I don’t know… I can try to climb it… but…”

She tried to open the gate.  It was locked.  She sighed, “Figures.  Well, better go for the harder approach.”

As she prepared to climb, she heard beeping, whirring sounds, and robotic laughter.  Azusa ignored it, as she said, “This is a nightmare.  I have to wake up… Yui-senpai, forgive me… But… Should I leave you behind?”

She then remembered how she and Yui first met, including how Yui dubbed her as Azu-Nyan, her cat-like nickname.  Azusa sniffled, as she sobbed, “I can’t leave her… I helped her, only to realize that this school is a farce!  Yui…”

She held Yui up in her shoulders, as Sawako said, as she appeared from the shadows, “Were you going anywhere?”

Azusa climbed up, as she said, “Do not try to stop us, android!  We’re leaving!”

Sawako cried, “You leave this place, everything goes away.  Yui’s out, right?  Her body will be useful and limber.”

Azusa sniffled, “I cannot let you make her one of your freaks!”

“You’re making a huge mistake!”  Sawako cried.

“TRY ME!”  Azusa yelled, “Goodbye!”

She climbed down and made it across the gate, as Sawako said, “But do you remember how you joined the Light Music Club?”

She stopped, as she was about to run.  She asked, “Huh?”

Sawako cried, “You made it this far, and you are free, Azusa Nakano!  Or should I say… Drone #27?”

Azusa huffed, as she dropped Yui, “I’m not your slave, Master…”

Azusa is really a robot student; however, she rebelled against her own kind, to assure her freedom, once she found out about the secret.  Azusa spoke, “I am NOT programmed to be recycled as a new student!  I knew all about you and the principal’s sick deeds!  Muttan and I are happy… Yui-Chan and Gita are happy… You can’t keep us locked away, like zoo animals!”

“But I am living you up to a life of happiness!  I gave you academics and music, and a hint of freedom!  I gave you human life and human happiness!  I gave you your own personality!  And you dare abandon me, for this human girl?”

She added, “Do not forget… we already created Drone #28, from Ui Hirasawa…”

Azusa gasped, as she snarled, “You sick freak… I won’t… I won’t stay… and make you abuse her.  I’m free.  Yui’s free…”

Sawako grinned, “But who’s going to care for you?  Your parents?  NO!  You have NO parents!”

Azusa gasped, as her eyes widened, as Sawako continued to yell, “You lives… are all artificial!  Your parents… illusions! Fantasies!  Afterimages of your family blood!  Are you going to rust away?  We know she cannot repair you, let alone her guitar!”

Azusa shrieked, “LIES!  ALL LIES!  NO!  I WILL NOT BE YOUR PUPPET!”

Sawako said, “Abandon your own kind, for her?”

Azusa yelled, “SHUT UP!!!”

She dropped to her knees and sobbed, “SHUT UP!  SHUT UP!  I AM NOT ONE OF YOU!  I NEVER AM!  I WANT A HAPPY LIFE, LIKE YUI!  She… She was the only one that cared for me.”

Sawako sighed, “I am disappointed in you, Drone #27… Disperse and return to me…”

Azusa turned around and said, “No…”

Yui woke up, as she said, “Do as she says, Azu-Nyan… You belong here…”

Azusa asked, “Yui… You… You can’t be serious.  You’d sacrifice my life, for your own?”

Yui smiled, “I know… But if it’ll make you happy, I can go, myself… I love you, Azusa…”

She hugged her, as Azusa spoke, “Yui…”

Azusa started to cry, as Yui smiled to Sawako, “Sawa-Chan… Let her decide.  She’s your problem.  Thank you for a wonderful three years…”

“You chose to escape?”  Sawako asked.

“It’s a secret, deep within me.  I won’t tell.  I promise.”  Yui smiled.

She waved goodbye, as she said, “Bye-bye~!”

She pranced away, but--.
BZZZZZZZZZT!
She was shocked by Azusa, with a stun gun, as she sniffled, “I’m sorry…”

Yui was on the ground, as she was badly hurt, clinging to life, “Azusa… Azu-Nyan… Why?”

Azusa sobbed, “You were going to end my life, if you told anyone…”

Yui whispered, “I… I would never…”

She passed out, as Sawako opened the back gate.  Azusa bowed, as her head dropped down in sadness, “Drone #30 is now prepared, master…”

Sawako smirked, “Excellent work, Drone #27… but don’t think that this act of betrayal will be unnoticed.  We’ll discuss this matter, later.  Have Hirasawa in the lab.  He’ll take care of her.”

Azusa picked Yui up and said, “Yes, ma’am…”

She carried an unconscious Yui in her arms, and brought her to the school building.  She whispered to Yui, “I’m sorry, Yui…”

Yui was out cold, as all she heard was faint sobs of Azusa, and Sawako’s evil laugh, in her perspective, which was pitch black.

When she woke up, she saw a huge blinding flash of light, shining over her.  She was in the lab, strapped down on an operating table, with her uniform on.  The table was grey, with blood stains and scratches on it.  The room was completely black, as Yui and the light over her were still in place.

“W-w-w-w… Where am I?  She thought, as she was coming to, “Wherever it is, it’s scary… Hello?”

She tried to break free, but couldn’t.

“Mio-Chan?  Ui-nee-chan?  Mom? Dad?  ANYBODY?”  She cried out.

She wept, as she was crying, still strapped down on her ankles, wrists, and neck.  She blubbered, “Someone… help me…”

The man in the red suit appeared, as he said, “Ah, yes… Yui Hirasawa…”

Sawako said, “She’s the imperfect one that Drone #27 befriended.  Nice girl, but her skills are anything but high rate.”

He was with a woman with a green doctor’s garb, wearing glasses, and has brown hair.  He said, “I know you can forgive us, but you knew… You and Drone #27 knew of us…  This is an order by me, the principal.  And since you knew too much… you know what must be done.  Now, you will become a newer version of yourself, and you’ll like it… just like your sister.”

Yui moaned, “Azusa…”

He held her face and said, squeezing her jaw, clasping her cheeks, puckering her lips, “Look at you… Firm, supple, cute, and very talented…  Such beauty, misplaced.  You can continue the Light Music Club, as president…”

He let go, as she cried, “Azu-Nyan… Where’s Azu-Nyan?”

She yelled, “WHERE IS AZUSA NAKANO???”

He replied, “She’s being replaced… and so are you…”

A flash of light shows another table, as Azusa’s head was on the table, with her upper body lying down, and her legs on the floor.  She was still in her school uniform, as Yui sobbed, “No… Azu-Nyan!  What have you done to her?”

The Principal said, “You should’ve stayed quiet, but yet we don’t trust you.  You are the first person to almost escape.  Almost… since Drone #27, or Azusa, as she was called, stopped you.  Consider her expelled… and you, too…”

Yui sniffled, “Why?  Why could you do this?”

The principal said, “Because, I want a perfect school… a perfect job… and a perfect life… and you… are imperfect.”

“You… You turned my friends into robots!  You turned them into puppets, and my sister, too!  YOU MANIAC!”

“Oh, am I?”

The Principal had Sawako in his arms, as he said, “Once thirty drones are complete, my darling wife will leave my duties to her…”

Yui sniffled, “No… Sawa-Chan… fight it…”

The nurse held a syringe, as Sawako said, “No.  After you become my thirtieth drone, I’m leaving it to my master, and I remain as your teacher.  The man is my husband… She is my master.”

Yui asked, “The cute nurse?”

The nurse removed her mask, revealing to be Nodoka Manabe.

“N-Nodoka?  You?”  Yui sobbed.

Nodoka hissed, “You… You should’ve listened to me, Yui…  I always knew you’d procrastinate your college exams.”

Yui sobbed, “Nodoka, I’m sorry…  I wanted to go to college, but--.”

“SHUT UP!”  Nodoka said, “Years wasted with you, and were the happiest moments of my life!  And now, it ends…  Too bad you knew… and everybody knows; even if you did, you’d blab it to everybody, one of these days.  No one must know… even you.”

Yui sniffled, as she was crying, “Nodoka…”

Nodoka said, “You… You’re not my friend, anymore.  Sir?”

He nodded, and said, “Put her to sleep.”

He and Sawako giggled, as Nodoka held the syringe up.  She said, “Soon, this will put you to sleep.  When you wake up, no more will you be the ditzy cute-loving Yui Hirasawa… but of a new name and life…  I will miss you, since you were very nice… always…”

She went closer, as Nodoka closed her eyes and said, “Goodbye…”

Yui couldn’t stop crying and whimpering, as she stopped.  She whimpered, “Nodoka… I love you…”

Nodoka started to cry, as she closed her eyes and said, “I know.”

The needle stuck into her neck…

AAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!

Yui woke up from her bed, as she gasped.  She panted in fear, as Ui ran to her.  She asked, “Are you okay, Sis?  I heard a scream!”

Yui hugged her, as she was crying, “OH, UI!  It was terrible…”

She bawled, as she explained her nightmare, “It was you… Mio-Chan… Nodoka… Sawa-Chan… and the principal… robots… EVERYWHERE!  OH, UI!  WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!”

Ui sat by her bed, petted her head, and said, “Shh… Shh… Sis, it’s alright…  It was just a nightmare…”

She then scolded, “But no more fried noodles, before bedtime, for you…”

Yui nodded, “Sure, Sis.  I’m sorry if I worried you…”

She heard a faint ticking sound from Ui, as Yui whispered, “Huh?”

Ui smiled, as she got up and said, “Okay, now, let’s go to bed.  We have school, tomorrow.”

Yui asked, “Hey, Ui… You want to sleep with me?”

Ui said, as she giggled, by the doorway, “I think it can wait, until tomorrow, to do so…”

She held up a long cord, connected to her, and said, “But I have to recharge… for tomorrow…  I was gonna plug you in, but you were passed out, during dinner…”

Yui gasped, as she looked at a cord, by her bed.  Ui said, “But I guess I can sleep by you, right here in your room.  Sleep mode doesn’t begin, until 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… System shutting down…

She whirred down, as her eyes closed, and her body was standing straight.  Yui got up, as she cried, “UI!  NOOOOOOOOO!”

She got up, removed her blanket, and saw that a cord was attached to Yui, herself.  She was plugged into the wall, as her jaw dropped.  She cringed, as she sobbed, “No… Not that… I’m… I’m… Mom? Dad?  Help me…”

She slowly closed her eyes and said, “Help me… I’m powering down… in 3… 2… 1… poweerrrrrring drrrrrrrrrrrr…

She slurred to nothing and collapsed to the floor, in a huge THUD.

THUD!

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!

Mio woke up, in the clubroom, as she gasped, looking around.  It was empty, as she saw Ton-Chan, the small turtle in the tank, as she looked at her hands.  She whispered, “What a nightmare.  Yui… Azusa…”

She sat up and said, “Scary nightmare…  Where are they?”

She opened the door and saw Ritsu.  Ritsu spoke, “Hello, humanoid.”

Mio shrieked, and then fainted.  Ritsu smiled, “AH, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA!  Sorry about that, Mio!”

She smiled, but stopped, as she saw Mio, motionless.  She nudged her, as she asked, “Mio?  Mio?  Oh, boy…”

Mio’s voice spoke, “Robot girls… My life as an android woman… No man will marry me now…”

Ritsu huffed, in disgust, “Okay… I’m gonna go get the nurse.”

XXXXX

Minutes later, Mio was sitting by Ritsu, as Mio told her the daydream she had.  Ritsu joked that it was a day-mare.  But she calmly said, “I can assure you that no one is a robot…  You were imagining thi--.  Where did you even get this idea?”

Mio said, as she felt worried, “Well, it must be from our trip to the movies, and we watched that sci-fi epic, which was an awful movie.”

“OH!  You mean the one where the robots took over the government and turned innocent people into robotic slaves?  Yeah, you were screaming, every time you saw the scary robots.”

“Yeah… but that was scary, seeing humans… and to have a grotesque scene, when you have a human woman become a robot, with tools?  So sick…”

“You mean operating on them, making them into disgusting creatures?”

“EW!  The very thought of it frightens me!”

Ritsu smiled, “Mio, it’s just a movie.  That was all in the past.  What’s done is done.  Also, my bad.  Yui, Mugi, & Azusa are not robots, and neither is Sawa-Chan or ourselves.  It’s not real.  You must be deluding yourself.”

Mio nodded, “I guess you’re right.”

Ritsu said, “Come on.  Let’s go home.”

As they walked together, leaving the clubroom, Ritsu asked, “You know, next weekend, we could see another movie.  This time, you get to pick the movie.”

Mio smiled, “Uh, thanks… but I think I’ll just stay home… for the moment.”

Ritsu laughed, “Ah, well. Easy come, easy go.”

Ritsu shut the door, as the clubroom went dark.

At home, Yui was playing with Gita, as she strummed a lot.  She heard the phone rang, as it was Mio, sending a text to Yui.  Yui saw it and answered it.  Mio’s text said:
Yui, if you were a robot, you’d tell me, right?

Yui replied, with a giggle:
Sure, Mio-Chan.  Love you.

Mio got the reply, at her house, as she sighed, “Thank goodness…”

She sat down and said, “This is crazy… I mean, this is nuts.  I had a horrible dream, with Yui and Azusa becoming victims, in a school run by androids… and I was one of the androids.”

She giggled, “Maybe Ritsu’s right.  It was a dream.  And it was a movie.”

Ritsu called Mio, as Mio answered it, “Hello?”

Ritsu asked, “Hello, Mio?  How are you functioning?  Mugi is eating her yakisoba, as we speak?”

Mio asked, “Uh, Ritsu, why do you ask?”

Ritsu said, “Sorry.  I told Mugi about that movie, just now.  She said that she enjoy soba.  And then said soba, teriyaki.”

Mio stammered, as Ritsu joked, “How are your internal processors work now, since I told Mugi about--.”

Mio roared, “AAAAAGH!  SHUT UP ALREADY!  I AM NOT A ROBOT!!!”

She hung up, as Ritsu was on the other line, as she said, “I was joking… What’s wrong with her?”

Mio lied in bed, ignoring that prank Ritsu.  As she relaxed, she whispered, “I’m just glad it’s all over… and I’m glad it’s not happening.”

She fell asleep.  Her eyes closed, and her body tossed a bit.  As night fell, she was sound asleep.  Seconds later, the door opened, as a figure was appearing by the door.  Her eyes shone in a slightly evil grin, while the lights were still on, in the hallway.  Of course, Mio never told that dream, again, to anybody else, since her friends know.  But even so, was this a dream, or was it real, since a figure was watching over her?  All Mio did was sleep peacefully, as the figure remained, all night, in a malicious grin.