Read Or Die Fan Fiction ❯ Read or Dare! ❯ Chapter 7

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Mad Science 101

"Robots?" Shane echoed her statement thoughtfully as they walked together through the busy library, the brown haired librarian walking towards the reference stacks determinedly.

The librarian looked over at the young woman oddly, though that wasn't an unusual occurence, but in this case it was more due to her question than her strange appearance. Oddly, she found that kind of refreshing. "Robots," Koyomi agreed, her short coppery hair falling around her face.

Shane frowned in consideration, "Unless we narrow it down a bit, you're going to be hauling a mountain of books away." He looked at her thoughtfully and asked, "Humanoid robots?"

"Sounds good," Koyomi said agreeably, her t-shirt revealing the metallic arm she had, a mass produced ‘armitage’ model.

"Fiction or non-fiction?" he asked as he lead her deeper into the shelves past other students and volunteer staff, looking almost like a hound chasing after his prey.

"Bit of both," Koyomi shrugged as she coolly explained, "I'm looking for some inspiration."

"Inspiration?" Shane smiled suddenly as he realized, "You're trying to build one!"

"You got it," Koyomi nodded.

"Then you’ll need some Asimov," Shane retraced his steps to the fiction aisles and began to pull several books down as he asked, "you've read his three laws or robotics?"

"Hey, I'm building the hardware along with Chao and Hikase, not doing the programing," Koyomi protested mildly.

Shane looked over the top of his glasses at her as he pointed out, "Programing is dictated by the design and manufacture, you know. You've got to keep that sort of thing in mind."

"And how do you know that?" Koyomi gave him a look.

"I read it in a book somewhere," Shane shrugged with a slight smile.

Koyomi scowled as she muttered, "Guess I should have known a librarian would say that."

"We should also get you the information on Japan's Asimo series of robots," Shane moved back to the nonfiction shelves, "and you should really read through the Jane's guides."

"Jane's Guides?" Koyomi followed him with a frown as she asked, "Aren't those on military vehicles and equipment?"

"There's been some remarkable advances in military power suit technology in the past few years," Shane explained as he pulled the guide down eagerly, "none of the 'Black Project' stuff will be in there, but some of the tech is gradually being revealed for public consumption."

Loaded down with a pile of books to begin her research Koyomi gave him a thoughtful look. "How do you know about that stuff?" she asked. “It doesn’t seem the sort of thing a usual librarian would know.”

Shane shrugged, pushing his glasses back up as he said, "I used to get around a bit."

"Shane, I was looking for..." Kelly trailed off as she saw her partner in crime standing there. "Hey, Koyomi."

"Miles," Koyomi nodded to her slightly, "you know this guy?"

"I wouldn't go that far," Kelly smiled slightly.

Shane made a face, "I'm hurt." He smiled slightly, "Is there something I can help you with?"

"Another mess in the programing section," Kelly shrugged.

Shane nodded, "Right." He turned back to Koyomi, "When you actually finish the robot.."

"Yes?" Koyomi asked.

Shane grinned. "I'd like to see it." With that, he moved off to help Kelly, leaving Koyomi looking at him thoughtfully.

The writer assignment

The students waited there patiently, as always. A few minutes after the class was officially supposed to have begun Yomiko Readman wandered inside, her face buried in a book as usual, dragging her suitcase cart behind her. She bumped into her desk, looked up, and noticed that she was in class.

"Good morning," Yomiko beamed at them, carefully putting her book away. Walking over to the board she wrote in bold script, Creative Writing.

"Uh oh," Dan murmured softly.

"I'll be honest," Yomiko smiled cheerfully, "I can't write myself. But, as you all know by now, I certainly enjoy reading."

Soft chuckles from the crowd at that. The woman was obsessed with reading, clearly, and the variety of what she read was astonishing. Watching her in class they saw detective novels, romance, science fiction, horror and many more categories ended up on her desk at one time or another.

"One of my favorite authors, Sumiregawa Nenene," Yomiko hesitated as she spoke her name, the teacher's face becoming oddly sorrowful, "spoke of a passion for writing." A bit more cheerfully, "I don't know if any of you have that passion, but I look forward to finding out."

"Wonder if she knew this Nenene?" Koyomi said softly to Dan.

"Good question," he softly answered.

"The assignment," Yomiko smiled, "is two pages of writing for the next class. It can be a piece of fiction, an essay, poetry, or even free verse, it's all your choice. I just want to get a feel for your writing style."

Dan raised a hand, "If we're not sure what to write, are there certain topics you'd prefer?"

"Did you have a novel or television program that ended in a way you didn't like?" Yomiko asked with a happy smile. "Write the ending you would have wanted to see."

Another student looked surprised, "Isn't that fanfiction? I thought teachers disapproved of it."

Yomiko beamed at them, "I won't tell if you won't" There was a bit of laughter from the class as the students set down to work.

Most of the students were just taking Yomiko's class to fulfill an English requirement at the academy, but it was surprisingly enjoyable. The teacher herself was pretty entertaining, and the course work she assigned was surprisingly interesting. Now as Dan and Koyomi walked away from the class, they fell into discussion of their teacher.

"So what do you think?" Koyomi asked him curiously.

Dan blinked, "About what?"

Koyomi said impatiently, "Did Yomiko know this Nenene?"

"Probably," Dan frowned thoughtfully, "but I wonder if they're friends now? She didn't sound as perky as she usually does when she mentioned her."

"Well," Siobhan said thoughtfully, "let's look into this lady."

Detouring from their trip back to the dorms Siobhan led them over to the school's library. Entering through the simple security gate they went on in, noting a man sitting at the check out desk reading a book.

“Met the librarian yet?” Koyomi asked Dan curiously as they walked up to his desk..

Dan blinked, “No, not yet. Is he the one who helped you with that robotics research?”

"Yep, that’s him," Koyomi walked over and cleared her throat, causing him to look up in surprise.

"Ah, Koyomi," Shane smiled, pushing up his glasses, "how's the robot coming along?"

"Progressing nicely," Koyomi smiled. "I’d like you to meet my friend Dan, " she nodded towards Dan.

"Ah, yes." Shane smiled wryly to Dan, "nice to meet you."

"You too,” Dan nodded..

Koyomi smiled as she said, . "We're looking for information on an certain author.”

"No problem," Shane got up out of his seat, leading them over to the database computers as he asked, "Which one?"

"Sumiregawa Nenene," Dan offered.

Shane nearly stumbled and fell on hearing that name, but recovered fairly quickly. "Sorry, sorry," he straightened out his glasses nervously.

"Recognize the name?" Koyomi asked him dryly.

"Something like that," Shane said, calling up a file on the computer about Sumiregawa Nenene, "here's her catalog information and..." The man hesitated a moment. "She also has a personal webpage, there's a link attached." With that, he excused himself to attend to another student.

"That was odd," Dan blinked.

“Got that right,” Koyomi agreed as she ran through the page, frowning at how little
personal information the catalog actually gave. The link to Nenene's webpage popped up easily, showing a well designed layout and a bit more personal information.

"What's that?" Dan noticed a link on the upper corner of the page.

'Have you seen me?' was the tag line. Koyomi clicked on it, and a moment later an image appeared on the screen. Both Dan and Koyomi gaped at it in surprise, until Koyomi recovered enough to say, "Yeah, I think Yomiko knows Nenene."

The picture was of a younger Yomiko Readman, holding a book in her hands and beaming happily, little circles of red on her cheeks. Books lined the background of the scene, clearly the woman was standing in a bookstore or an library. Just below the large picture was a response form, waiting to be filled out.

"So what do we do now?" Dan mused.

To be continued....