damn, these robots can sing

Stories

World is Ours: Part 2 – Eternal Six Hours

 

(inspired by Boku from Mikuchan)

AN: Feel free to leave any comments regarding improvements I can make, if you wish. Constructive criticism and support are always welcome!

 

The moment Miku and I stepped into the classroom the morning bell rang, signifying the beginning of the day and my usual nap. Miku noticed my sigh of relief and seemed to be reassured by it. It looked as if my usual desk partner was sick that day, allowing me to freely pull up the seat for Miku. I did this as politely as possible, much more so than I was used to. If this was in fact the real deal, I wanted to be as respectable as possible.

This period of courtesy was cut short when I was pulled off to the side by the instructor. “Who is that, and why did you bring her in here?” he asked, signaling towards the girl with whom I had arrived.

“I, erm… this is Miku,” I spouted. Come on, you need more. “She, uh, is staying with me from Japan, and she came to school to learn about American education.” Good enough?

“Hmm… why is she staying with you?” Apparently not.

Rapidly, I tried to think of some half-viable reason as to why a foreign girl was staying in my house. “Uh… she’s rather sickly?” I nearly yelled, hoping to get Miku’s attention. She realized that I seemed to be pleading for her help this time, and she quietly managed a cute sneeze.

Judging by the teacher burying his head in his hands, this little stunt either worked, or he was just too tired to deal with trivial matters such as this. “Does she have authorization to be in the school?”

“Yes.” Lie.

“Alright, whatever,” he murmured, head still buried, as the class stood for the Pledge of Allegiance. Naturally, this chant was not one that I typically stood for, but I suppose this was no natural day, so I remained standing. Miku had already followed suit with the rest of the class. I listened to her and silently chuckled to myself at the slurred, mumbling attempts at relaying the words. I couldn’t ask for more; it wasn’t her native tongue, and her attempt at it wasn’t awful.

The class took a seat and I decided to pull out some Spanish assignments to work on. Miku’s interest somehow piqued at this as she noticed my name.

“Oh,” said a beautiful voice next to me, “so your name is Ryan?”

Ashamed at my impoliteness, I nervously stammered, “O-Oh god, I’m so sorry! Yes, I’m R-Ryan.”

“I’m Miku Hatsune. Nice to meet you!” she smiled, holding out her hand.

I was impressed by her knowledge of American greeting customs, realizing that I knew nothing about Japan’s. “Nice to meet you, too.” I smiled back at both the vast degree of that understatement and the happiness of touching her hand again. “And I know who you are,” I added, trying not to sound as awkward as that statement would ordinarily be.

“O-Oh.” It was her turn to be nervous. “How do you know me?”

My lack of expertise on conversation and this added pressure were enough to make me squirm trying to organize my thoughts into words. During my struggle she let out a cute yawn, which I used as an escape for now. “Erm… you seem tired.”

She proved to be sleepy enough to neglect the sudden change in topic. “Mmh, I guess so,” she yawned again, rubbing her heavy eyes. “I’m not used to waking up this early.” If there’s anything I know, it’s that you don’t get used to waking up early enough for school.

“Go ahead and take a nap,” I advised. “I hate to break it to you, but I don’t think that a lesson on thermochemistry is going to keep you awake that well.” And so comes forth my characteristic sarcasm.

She eagerly took the advice, forming her arms into a makeshift pillow and resting her head upon it. This opened up a window of time to finish my homework and gather my racing thoughts. Something as simple as organizing one’s words into a few simple sentences never felt so hard, but after toiling for the final half-hour of class, I felt that once the time arose, I would be prepared to explain myself.

A ring of a bell and a shuffling of chairs sounded along with the rise of students and a rather refreshed Miku. Standing up along with the rest of us, her arms came out in a stretch signaling that she was refreshed, almost taking off my head.

“Now, I don’t think I really deserve that after saving you before,” said I from underneath Miku’s elbow.

“Gah, sorry, sorry!” I felt bad at making her apologize for what was supposed to be a joke.

“Only kidding, Miku, only kidding,” I playfully said as I packed my books away and started off. Once again, she stood there, as if waiting for a cue. Surely this would not be a recurring pattern. “Are you coming?”

“Hm? Oh. Yes, I’m coming.” She would get into the swing of things soon, right?

“Stay close to me when we get into the hallway. It’s easy to get separated out there.” Although I likely would have told her to stay close to me regardless of the situation, there was truth to that statement. The school was dreadfully overpopulated, and it became evident in the transitions between classes.

“Okay, I’m right behind you.” Why was she so eager to follow me? I suppose I was her only form of a welcome wagon so far, so she really had no choice. Not that I was complaining.

In Chemistry, during Miku’s slumber, I also worked out how the seating arrangement for the rest of the day could be redone to permit her presence there beside me. The students that should sit next to me in Calculus and Psychology, my next two classes, happened to skip school quite often, so I was clear there. Following that was lunch – no problem. Spanish was next, but I could easily pull up a chair for Miku. And finally, the pep rally until the end bell. It seemed that, in theory, the plan would work.

We reached my table in Calculus, and upon sitting, we earned some stares from the others. The bell rang. Class was in session.

Trying to stave off any excess awkwardness, I spoke up with noticeable reluctance. “I’m sorry about swearing before, Miku.”

“Don’t worry about it. I don’t mind. Besides, I think you compensated for it when you saved me.” What came with this statement was a beaming smile, one that was as, if not more reassuring than the statement itself.

“Thank y-“

“Shh!” came from the front of the room, where the teacher was standing. Her glare pierced my soul, and all I could do was silence myself for the remainder of the period.

Yet again, the bell rang. Standing near the door, I expected to turn and see Miku still back at the table, but to my surprise, she was right behind me.

“Ah, you seem to be getting the hang of things,” I jested.

She stuck her tongue out towards me, but then she returned the same grin that I bore. She seemed to be warming up to my sarcasm. Good, I thought. There would be a lot of that. Ready to go, we set off to the most interesting class of the day, Psychology.

As I predicted, my usual seat partner was gone, allowing my new acquaintance to replace her. We watched a video on personality. From a psychological standpoint, I find the subject of personality quite interesting, but needless to say, the video wasn’t the focus of my attention.

Miku seemed to watch the video in wonder. She nodded her head whenever the video mentioned anything relative to her personality. I had already found my own. Introverted, open to experience, conscientious, partially neurotic, somewhat kind, etc. After the video, Miku deemed herself to be quite open as well. Perfect. My worries of premature judgment dissipated a bit.

Another bell. No class, though. Lunch time was next. We made our way to the cafeteria when it occurred to me that Miku wasn’t carrying any food. If she didn’t eat something then she would surely be miserable later. Unable to find a practical solution that would benefit us both, I decided the next best alternative was, once again, chivalry. I handed her my pre-packed lunch, but it was immediately given back.

“Oh, no, I couldn’t. Don’t worry, I don’t have to eat now,” she said, displaying a faint smile.

“Sure you could. Trust me, you don’t want to go without food. There are still at least a good four hours until we can eat again, so please, take it.” I insisted this as much as possible, but I knew I would hate myself for it in the coming hours. Reluctantly, she took the pack, following me to my usual seat amongst a few of my friends.

I was greeted by a multitude of facepalms from those that new of Vocaloid and how much I listened to it. Miku didn’t seem to notice, though, and unpacked the lunch to find a few sandwiches, a bag of chips, some flavored water, and a bag of grapes. Not the meal fit for a famous Japanese singer, but it would have to do for today. This was the first time I had gotten a decent chance to talk with Miku, so I decided to converse with her as best I could.

“So how long have you been in America?” The question seemed innocent enough, yet still seemed to come out as abrupt. It was far from the real questions that were on my mind, but I felt it would be frankly uncalled for to ask them so suddenly.

“About a month and a half. I’ve been touring the country from the East, so I’ve been moving a lot.” I found this legitimately interesting. Whether this was from personal fascination or a newfound bias, I don’t know. “Can I ask you a question, though?”

“Sure, go ahead.”

“Earlier when I introduced myself, you said you knew who I was. Care to explain?” Even after preparing for this question earlier, I was still taken aback by it. I couldn’t run from it this time, though.

“I, erm… have listened to some of your music before. I find your singing enjoyable to listen to.” This was the first time the subject of her singing had come up so far. In every movie or show I had ever seen dealing with celebrities, somewhere along the lines they go into the standard “I’m more than just a star, I’m a person too” speech, so I assumed as much from reality.

She perked up in surprise. “You’ve listened to my music? Thank you, I appreciate it.” I thought that I would soon be disproven in terms of the celebrity mentality, but her chipper smile soon turned into slight dejection as she looked away, taking a swig of the water.

Thinking quickly, I added, “That wasn’t the whole reason I helped you this morning, though. I’ve known that guy for a while now. His behavior has never been very reputable, and I didn’t want to see him do to you what he’s done to so many other girls.”

I was returned with a smile and a hug just as penetrating as the first. “I’m glad you’re not one of those obsessive fans.” Well, we’ll get into that later. “People only see me as ‘Diva Hatsune Miku,’ and while I appreciate it, it can get a bit overbearing.”

Before I could respond, my trance was broken by what I then realized to be the fourth utterance of my name from the friend sitting next to me. I turned towards him to hear “Get on CoD later tonight.”

Ah, yes, Call of Duty. Did I forget to mention that I play that? Well, I probably didn’t need to; everyone and their mother has it, it seems. “Okay, but I have stuff to do, so you’ll have to wait until later.”

I turned back to Miku, continuing the conversation as if it had never been interrupted. “Yeah, I can see what you mean. I don’t see the diva, though. You seem pretty down-to-earth to me.”

“I do wish they understood a little better, but I’m thankful I have them regardless.”

Once again I was pulled away into my friends’ conversation against my will. The rest of the lunch period consisted of a struggle to maintain two conversations at once, and coupled with the lack of food in me, it was pretty exhausting.

1,600 students and a visitor stood at the sound of a bell. Off we went to Spanish class. The hallways were congested, as is the norm during lunch, so I decided it would be best to make some sort of idle conversation. “Sorry about the lunch. It was probably a little bland, right?”

“It wasn’t too bad. It certainly wasn’t as bland as yours,” she returned with a playful grin.

“Oh, kicking me while I’m down, huh? Alright, touché.”

We were talking about Hispanic culture that day in Spanish. The instructor, himself Puerto Rican, was coupled by first-hand experiences and a fantastic accent. We came to South America and began talking about their political opinions. Some countries were unanimous in terms of government, while others were divided in half.

Miku laughed and whispered to me, “Did he just say ‘harf’? He reminds me of a Japanese person trying to speak English.” This almost drove me into laughter as well. The comment was on the edge of racism, but it was Miku, so I decided to let it pass.

After a lesson on the subjunctive tense (hooray, hooray), we were greeted not by a bell, but by an announcement via intercom. “All students who are going to the pep rally in the gym are to be dismissed from their classrooms at this time. There is a five-dollar entry fee, so do not arrive without money.” I always carried some extra money with me; I had enough for both of us to get in.

The classrooms emptied into the hallways in a mob rush to the gymnasium. The intense excitement expressed by the student body was a hilarious exposition to the grand anticlimax that was the pep rally.

The bleachers and stairs were filled with bodies waiting for the show to begin. The step team walked onto the basketball court in their uniforms. I never cared for the step team, or any other team showcased at the pep rally, for that matter.

Five minutes into the show, I imagined myself dabbing my bleeding ears with tissues from the horrific mash-ups of Rihanna, Lil Wayne, and the Black Eyed Peas. People can like them if they want; I personally can’t stand them. I looked beside me to see how Miku fared, but she was unfazed. I noticed she was now sporting her trademark headphones. She noticed my pain and offered to help. The headphones were replaced with buds that we shared.

I was surprised with what I heard. I recognized the song as “Bye, Bye, Beautiful” by Nightwish. Although I preferred Tarja to Annette for their music, I found that symphonic metal wasn’t quite characteristic of what I had imagined Miku listening to. Maybe some Nightmare, or something like that. She didn’t give off the metalhead vibe.

The pep rally blew by as we listened to an amalgam of genres, all of which I approved. The school day was finally over, but it was Friday, which meant I still had another twelve hours left in me. I packed my things and thanked Miku for the use of her music player, but a rather urgent question came up. “Hey, Ryan, would it be too much trouble if I, um… tagged along with you today. I mean for the rest of the day. I don’t really have a place to go, so-“

“Don’t worry about it. I’d be happy to have you come along,” I said. With a third hug that day, we departed through the gym doors. A voice belonging to my friend Gene suddenly rang out, “Ryan, are you coming to band practice, or what?”

 

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World is Ours: Part 1 – Catching the Eye

(inspired by Boku from Mikuchan)

AN: Feel free to leave any comments regarding improvements I can make, if you wish. Constructive criticism and support are always welcome!

I woke up for school that Friday, expecting a normal, boring day. Sure, there was a pep rally for the last two class periods that day, but I would hardly call that attention grabbing, much less peppy. Oh well, any excuse to break the mold – however slightly – of my typically regimented schedule. I showered, dressed, brushed and straightened my hair, ate breakfast, drank my first Ale-8 of the day, the norm. After being driven to school by my dad, I was completely convinced that it was my archetypal day. My premature assumption would soon be proven wrong.

Walking up the steps in the frigid cold of February towards the front door of the building, I tried to select which song I would replay in my mind for the rest of the day. I’m one of the few people who enjoys music stuck in his head, it seems. Ah, Ura-Omote Lovers. Good choice, me. Humming the tune to myself, I walked inside.

I noticed something about the foyer’s air. School wasn’t exactly first place on the list of things that made me comfortable, but the atmosphere exceeded the realm of awkwardness into what I would almost call unsettling. Walking through the foyer towards the hallway leading to my class, I tried to listen to what was happening. A steady wave of bottled laughter emanated from the left-most hallway towards the intersection in front of me.

All fell silent – well, at least for me, in my state of shock – when she walked into my view. She carried a thin coat, presumably for the cold weather, creating a stark disparity with the rest of her outfit. Detached sleeves, a skirt – let’s just say it isn’t what I would suggest when it is thirty degrees Fahrenheit. But, of course, that wasn’t what my eyes (or anybody else’s, for that matter) were drawn to. The gorgeous lengthy pigtailed locks of cerulean were more than enough to give people trouble in stifling their giggles. I thought that surely it couldn’t be her. Surely it couldn’t be Miku. She was just a program. It must be one of the students trying to be “hardcore” or something like that. I kept quiet, in partial doubt and total awe.

Unfortunately for her, there was one who didn’t retain silence, or even common courtesy. It just so happened that I had had some experience with this person, none of it earning him any of my respect. He had it in is head that he had to victimize, and then sexualize every female he met, and every guy that stood in his way was subjected to ridicule and, on occasion, mild injury. I got enough of the former, but the latter didn’t sound like a step in the right direction, either.

“Hey, are you lost?” he spoke up. Huh? Was he going to actually be agreeable for once?

Miku(?) replied, “Yes, actually. How did you know?” My heart skipped a beat, or more accurately, six or seven. I couldn’t mistake that voice, even if it wasn’t using its native tongue. This was the real Miku. But how? As I slipped into a state of half-consciousness, the brute began to finish up his spiel.

“It occurred to me that you might be looking to find your way back to that planet you came from!” he burst with an arrogant crescendo. Dammit, he was still the same guy I’d always known him as. The insult was enough to cause Miku to step back in intimidation. It was more than enough to snap me out of my trance and fill me with anger. It appeared as if he was about to take a step towards her, but this opportunity wasn’t about to pass me by.

“Hey, Alex,” I spoke up, nearly shaking in fear, “why don’t you fuck off and leave her alone?” And there I went swearing in front of girls, Miku no less. As I hoped she wouldn’t mind, I decided to continue. “Don’t you have better things to do than insult ladies like this? Like maybe learning? You’re in a school, so you could probably find some knowledge to fill that empty head of yours if you tried.” Wow, I didn’t think I could come up with something like that. I mean, the structure of it was generic, but I guess I was just thankful that I was in a proper place to insult his intelligence.

As he raised his hand, presumably to strike me, I flinched, expecting as much. Suddenly, the final warning bell for the classes rang, reminding him that he must actually have better things to do. Resisting the urge to make a Saved by the Bell joke, and quite frankly, too scared to do so, I stood and watched as he walked off, glaring at me all the while.

“Thank you so much!” came a squeal from behind me. During my turn towards the voice, I felt a pair of arms clasp themselves around my upper back. Realizing that it was Miku, I seemed to melt (no pun intended) in her grasp. Quickly regaining as much sangfroid as I could, I returned the hug.

After releasing, I began to head off to class, expecting her to follow. To my demise, she stood there in the intersection with a confused expression. Feeling the urgency of getting to class on time, I grabbed her hand and did my best to weave her through the final few clusters of people into Chemistry class.


World Is Ours: Part 0 – My Introduction

(inspired by Boku from Mikuchan.org)

Well, for starters, my name is Ryan, and I am a sixteen-year-old guy that is a student here in Kentucky. No, I am not a redneck, and yes, I dislike them, too. I make good grades, I play saxophone and sing in a band, I like metal music, I have long hair, I drink loads of Ale-8. I could go on and on detailing the less interesting parts of my life, but I will save you the trouble. Let’s get into some less-than-wonderful parts of my life.

I suffer from depression, as many, if not most people do. I can only assume that this is induced by two major factors. First, my parents and I have a really poor relationship. Seeing the two people who one would typically be expected to be closest to drunk every single night for sixteen years does things to one. Their alcoholism drastically changes their personalities, so much so that punches were thrown at one point between my father and me. Before 4:30, everything is dandy, but then they are no longer themselves. Oh, well, I shouldn’t dwell on it too much. The other factor involves the loneliness, particularly in terms of women. I’ve had two relationships in the past. Both of them ended painfully. As a result of my avoidance from my parents, I have become much more solitary, leading people to think that I actually desire this. Therefore, isolation. The long hair doesn’t seem to be the most inviting thing for females in Kentucky, either, it seems. Anyways, enough about sadness, it’s about time to try and transition into how this is relevant to Miku.

I know relatively nothing about otaku culture or many other Japanese-related programs. The extent of my knowledge amounts to this: a brief history with the One Piece anime (don’t worry, only English subbed, sprinkled by a bit of Funimation dubbing); Hatsune Miku, with whom I have been infatuated since I found out about her a week ago from the time of writing this, and whom I will get into later; Kamen Rider OOO, a kickass live action Japanese series, introduced to me by my good friend Ned a day or two ago; and Queen’s Blade, an ecchi-ish anime to which I can’t deny having fapped, also introduced by Ned. It seems that I have Ned to thank for many things, but most importantly I have to thank him for telling me about Vocaloid.

While listening to some Maximum the Hormone on YouTube, I saw in the suggested videos section “Vocaloid Hatsune Miku, the worlds virtual diva,” and remembered that Ned had wanted me to check it out. Little did he know the impact that clicking on that video would have on me.

My eyes and ears each had their own moment of elation, and simultaneously, no less. I had just discovered the most beautiful girl and the most flawless voice I had ever witnessed, all in one convenient package. Well, it would have been convenient, but at the time, I didn’t realize the effect this would have on me. After another three and a half hours of listening to Miku and watching every video of her concerts that I could find, I finally set off to bed.

The next day, in Calculus class, we were going through a painfully ordinary day. Nothing had happened, and nothing was going to happen, so I let my mind drift, knowing I wouldn’t miss anything important. The awakening from my daydream was more awkward than most. To my adjacent classmate’s and my subsequent surprise, I had whispered “I love you.” After a sarcastic “Sorry, bro, but I’m not like that,” on his part and an insincere apology on mine, I tried to mull over what the hell had just happened for the past half hour.

I realized that I had just fantasized about Hatsune Miku, a fictitious character for a synthetic singing program. Why did I love her, though? Was it my mind’s effort to compensate for the emotional discord from the lack of affection that I felt? I don’t have any idea. All I know is that I loved an avatar. The worst/best part is that I didn’t see her that way. I saw a human female, living, breathing, with me, in my arms, my hands, my thoughts. Her energy and love lifted me, however briefly, from the apathetic torment brought about from my depression. I had noticed myself growing more suicidal, but since that moment, the thought of ending my life has barely crossed my mind. From what I’ve read in some of the posts on Mikuchan, I’m not alone in that respect.

There are a few fears I have concerning this, however. Relying on a fictional woman to solve one’s depression isn’t exactly the best sign of mental health. As long as nobody is seriously injured, though, these euphoric thoughts can continue until I die, for all I care. My main fear is that I will lose the ability to have these fantasies about being with Miku. What would happen? I imagine that I would sink back into depression, but would it instill thoughts of killing myself once more? If there is no pick-me-up at the end of that tunnel, then I could see that as a definite, if frightening, possibility.

That’s one of the reasons I will write this: to keep these fantasies – and myself – alive for as long and best as I can. Another reason is to entertain the few audience members, if that many, that I have. The third and final reason is to try and help those in the same situation as I am. Boku’s writings (to which I give credit for influencing my fantasies and my writing of them) have definitely lifted my spirits, so I can only hope that mine will, too. All this banter about depression and my life aren’t about to fulfill that goal anytime soon, however. So, finally, after this gargantuan introduction, and without further ado, I will begin to write my Miku fantasies.

The first fantasy will hopefully be up sometime this weekend (Mar 4-Mar 6), and from then on, I’m hoping to update on a week to two-week basis. Hope you guys enjoy it!