And though I had slain a thousand foes less one,
The thousandth knife found my liver;
The thousandth enemy said to me,
'Now you shall die,
Now none shall know.'
And the fool, looking down, believed this,
Not seeing, above his shoulders, the naked stars,
Each one remembering.
--John M. Ford, The Final Reflection

The Asylum Director

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"The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn't require any." - Russel Baker

Monday, June 13, 2005

Chapter 2 is up!!!

Chapter 2

Koji Nakamura

By most indications, Koji Nakamura was a little strange, even openly anarchistic. His hair was dyed to the striking platinum blond and neon red, combed back style he sported. He wore a tinted purple monocle over his right eye, though both his eyes were a stark and charming emerald green. His skin was rough, tanned to a light bronze color but his face was distractingly pale. He had a slightly muscular build, similar to those in the lightweight division of boxing. He moved like a prize fighter as well, the weight of his body pressing on the balls of his feet and his hands seemingly ready to go into a defensive position at a moment’s notice. He walked around wearing a black leather coat, faded jeans and a black shirt, accessorizing only with a pair of white gloves and the aforementioned monocle. He had a proud gait as he walked along the halls of Sacred Cross Academy. Koji Nakamura didn’t seem afraid of anyone, partly because of his android companion.

Takara was a unique, customized series-3 android. Her hair was a dark, brownish red color that was kept in a degree of disarray that agreed with the contouring of her face and shoulders. Her skin tone was lightly tanned, similar to the stereotypical image of a Latin American woman. She had more muscle on her metallic frame than most androids, specially requested by Koji. She stood at least three inches over him, her height roughly a few inches above six feet. Her chest was well-developed, firm but with a disturbingly realistic feel and look to them. Her lips were a deep, scarlet red color to match the leather coat she wore, as well as the rest of the all-leather attire she wore. Her most unusual physical features were her eyes, white as paint and bearing a lifelessness that was unnerving, impersonal and reminded many that she was far from a human being, that she was just a very well-programmed machine. Around them were rings of black eye shadow, adding an ominous energy to her gaze. It was hard to deny that the leggings and the combat boots and the leather tank top – all scarlet red – fit her body tightly and hugged all of her false feminine charms.

Koji had only recently obtained Takara and only managed to do so because of his father’s position in Schneider Multinational –the world’s largest manufacturer of the androids previously known as AF units. He himself wasn’t quite sure why he wanted an android but he recalled that his discontent over the standard series-3 units prompted him to fill in a special request. He wanted one more physical, more forceful than any unit. He was less interested in getting a unit that could do the duties of a secretary but rather, he just wanted something. Sadly, even after having Takara for two months, he still wasn’t sure what that was exactly. Takara was the end result, albeit her personality, her people skills and her demeanor sorely lacked, even compared to the – according to the general perception of tech-heads around the world – outdated series-1 units. He wasn’t sure what to make of Takara just yet, it hadn’t dawned on him yet just how potentially useful she could have been to him if she’d given him just a single chance. Of course, she wasn’t one to try and convince him of his usefulness and skills. It was a flaw in the basic emotional and personal algorithms and processes of the series-2 and series-3 units, something handled easily by the series-1 units.

As he and Takara walked along the hall, Koji’s eyes fell on the woman he’d developed a romantic interest in: Yuki Kurogane. He found her endlessly intriguing with her silent, withdrawn demeanor and the fact that he always seemed to find her alone. The only company that he’d ever seen her with was with her android, the name of which he’d never bothered to get. He stopped for a moment, admiring Yuki while she was looking out the window before he kept on walking to his classroom. He had a lot on his mind, or so he wanted to make himself believe. He just wanted to occupy his mind, keep it from wandering over to Yuki.

“Takara, anything on who beat me yesterday?” he asked as he slid the door of his classroom open and took his seat in the rear corner. He looked at her and saw the same cold, empty expression.

“I have not obtained any information on that matter as of this time, sir.” Takara answered coldly.

“I see. So we don’t know the identity of whoever created ‘Elena Fairchild’ yet.” Koji closed his eyes in disappointment. He was agitated. “What about the ‘Leonia’ player, do you have any data on her?”

“I have obtained no information on that matter as well sir.”

He scowled. “Well, go back to the house. I don’t need you here.”

“I will be going then, sir.” Takara bowed before she turned around and left.

Koji waited until he felt sure Takara was gone before he let his body shudder. “If she wasn’t just a machine, she’d be really attractive.” He paused. “I wonder if other android owners think this way…”

* * *

Koji walked up to Yuki during the lunch period, eager to try and talk to her. He’d spoken to her on any number of occasions in the past but he’d never gotten to get into her head. He was infinitely curious as to how to break into her mind, figure out what she was thinking but he’d proven to fail dismally at it. That day, he was intent on finding out what he wanted to know but had no idea how to go about doing it. It was one of the things he’d found profoundly disappointing and rather irritating about himself. He sat down and looked right at her, as if trying to silently let her know he was interested. She didn’t do anything except for ignore him and keep eating her lunch quietly, occasionally glancing to the side for whatever reason. Koji had no idea how to react to it but couldn’t. He was a clueless fool when it came to real women. He was just an ignorant fool desperately trying to figure them out. In simple terms, he was just like any other man in the world. He knew that well enough and that thought made his blood boil. He hated being just like anyone else.

Yuki was always a quiet girl in school, keeping her own company most of the time. A few people noted she seemed to blush a bit in the company of certain female students but most brushed it off, thought nothing of it. A few guys had tried to get close to her, try to pry her out of her shell for whatever reason but she pushed them away. It was as if she was avoiding them. Most of Sacred Cross’ male population eventually just gave up on luring the so-called ‘ice princess’ with their charms but Koji just found her blatant avoidance of men even more intriguing. He was observing her for as long as the two of them first met at the steps leading to the library. She spent the afternoon reading Kafka, Mao and Shakespeare while his plan to browse through some haiku from the Meiji Restoration era but ended up observing her instead. She seemed so different from the other girls he’d seen, special in some way. He’d spoken to her that day, talked to her a bit but only managed to get the most basic information from her – her name. Most men would have taken her cold approach to him as a sign that she wasn’t interested but Koji – more so than most men, sadly – had the innate ability to be unable to take a hint, no matter how obvious it was.

“So, how are you?” he asked, trying to smile as sincerely as he could. Smiling was hard for him.

“I’m fine.”

“What are you reading?”


“Is it any good?”

“Grab a copy and find out for yourself. There’s one on that wooden thing behind you. It’s called a bookshelf.” She said before showing him an unpleasant, sarcastic smile. “They have things called books.”

Koji kept silent for a moment, pondering a good topic to shift things to. He finally thought of one and leaned forward, ready to smile a victory smile. He felt confident he’d thought of something she’d take an interest in. “Do you want to go sky diving with me and Hinata and her friends on Saturday?”

“I don’t like heights.” Yuki answered, not once taking her eyes from the book.

Koji paused but then had another idea. “You know, there’s this new restaurant near here. I’m told that they have great food. I was thinking maybe we could go check it out together tomorrow night?”

“I have to perform a systems maintenance check on my android tomorrow night.” Yuki answered as she turned a page on the book in her hands. The fact that she was showing just enough signs of interest to tell him she was busy was more grating and far more discouraging than a complete lack of interest. “I’ve got a series-1 model and you know how those units are always in need of maintenance checks.”

Koji’s frustration was starting to build slightly but he kept himself calm, kept it down. It was something he’d become quite adept at over the years. “Well, how about tonight then?”

Yuki looked at Koji for a moment before returning to her book. “I’m not interested.”

Koji took a deep breath. He was starting to see he was getting nowhere. He’d reminded himself of the fact that he knew nothing about Yuki and what the girl liked. He knew that Yuki had an android like his but he suspected that she knew more than he did about them, despite her using an archaic series-1 unit. That was perhaps his most difficult task, as far as he was concerned. Despite talking to girls as much as possible and calling most of them his friends, he denied to himself that he was someone who had no idea what really getting to know a girl was like. His approach to girls had always been simple – throw money at them even though you don’t have to. He was rich after all and could spare it. He’d take them out, buy gifts for them, treat them to expensive meals and generally do things for them without being asked, all in the name of getting closer to them, befriending them. Girls liked him for it but none of them really got to know him or wanted to get to know him beyond the usual things. A few did but often, there wasn’t much to tell. Koji sadly knew himself less than he knew others. He was in touch with any number of things but not himself. He sighed and sensed that he was going to get nowhere for that day and simply left the girl to her reading.

* * *

Yuki let a small smile form on her lips once Koji was gone. She’d never really liked him, as much as she’d never really liked heights. She didn’t like most men, only seeing a few as attractive or appealing to her. She could count them all on one hand and none of them were around her. She preferred to be alone or with her android Michiko, or perhaps the very few girls in Sacred Cross that she trusted. She was always to be found doing something alone. Whether it was thinking, reading, sleeping or just doing nothing, she was always in the habit of doing it alone. She had a few friends and those she held close and in her confidence but they were not the typical group of friends. They rarely met and spoke to one another but they knew in their hearts that there was a bond between them that didn’t need idle chit-chat and constant contact to keep their friendship alive. In Yuki’s case, one of them was in Italy while another was halfway across Japan and last was Michiko, the android that she’d treated like a person from the day she was activated.

As the annoyance Koji caused was drifting away, she let her mind wander a little. She read books whenever she didn’t have her Leviathan system or Michiko around, giving her a broad spectrum of knowledge. It was a little too broad in fact, as her mind kept stored a large amount of interesting but ultimately useless facts and information. She was intelligent, could have probably been able to do anything she wanted to and become whatever she wanted to be if she put her mind to it but was often too willing to let her mind wander, be distracted. After a while, Yuki closed the book and put it back on the bookshelf to go back to the dorms when she spotted a familiar face coming her way. The person coming her way was not someone she was particularly close to but it wasn’t someone that she would have objected to getting to know better. She glanced behind, took notice of the girl using her hands to signal her and turned around.

“Excuse me, you are Yuki Kurogane, correct?” the young man asked.

“Yes. Who are you?”

“I’m just a messenger.” He answered as he reached for a sealed envelope in his bag. He handed it to Yuki. “I was asked to give this letter to you by the lady in the skull and cherry blossoms kimono.”

Yuki looked quizzically at the messenger, who promptly pointed her to the origin of the letter. She gasped at the realization of who was the sender. The woman was the head of the archery team, known to write in her spare time and was both pretty and deadly. It was the older of the two Tsujimoto sisters, Aya.

End Chapter 2


And naturally, there's no one to blame for it but me. It serves as decent warning that this isn't exactly something that has history on it's side. This is the 4th attempt at creating a sequel for SNA, with the previous 3 attempts resulting in dismal failure. In this, I sadly admit a slight throwing back to old fanfiction habits I shouldn't get back to. I'm likely the only one that understands that but that's fine. It's likely I'm the only one reading my posts here anyway.

On a side note, I've dug up and dusted off an old, old fanfic file for Love Hina from long, long ago. It's already started and the plot is ready made but...part of me wants to finish it, put it up as a last, desperate stab at quality fanfiction but the rest of me...realizes that there's no hope for FFN. I'll put up the details of the idea up here soon though. If nothing else, maybe someone will stumble upon it and make it work. I know I never really tried.

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