The FEARs of Haruhi Suzumiya

A/N: Hello, readers. I'm Anime Borat. This is a little weird idea I have that is still taking place a few months ago and which I've acted upon. Especially now in the wake of FEAR 3(F3AR), I've intended to make a this weird little crossover. This is also my first serious fic involving Haruhi Suzumiya. Special thanks to JonBob0008(the author of Meet the Suzumiyas) and from superstarultra(You Got Haruhirolled) for some advice they gave me along the way. Also, recommendations for reading: The Osaka at Threshold, A Closed, Dead Space( by superstarultra), Broken Mosaics by nukerjsr , The Cries of Haruhi Suzumiya(Kamigoroshi and Tsukuribanashi) by Thnikkafan and The God I Once Knew by The Hidden Lostar. Here, I'm pleased to present to you my thirteenth fic, The FEARs of Haruhi Suzumiya. Please read, review and suggest. Furthermore, Haruhi Suzumiya is the property of Nagaru Tanigawa and FEAR belongs to Monolith Productions. No copyright infringement intended.

Interval 1 - Genesis

The clouds were gray over the airport. In the sky Continental Airlines 747 descended gracefully over the runway. A woman looked through the window of her seat. The skies seemed to declare the arrival of an impending storm. The plane glided smoothly until it stopped, the heavy bumps of its landing gear bouncing slightly. From her window she saw the airport's perimeter fence. Having finished, the pilot announced to them they have arrived at their destination and to pick up their luggage on the way out, finishing with the complement of a nice trip. For the woman, her trip was anything but nice. The seat belt came off and door came open. She stood up and took her belongings and walked briskly to the the open door that lead to the jet bridge.

In her unhurried pace walked through the crowd of passengers. Those who looked closely would find her as a Caucasian with average, albeit beautiful, appearance with dark brown hair and green eyes. Her age judged to be between late twenties to early thirties. She seemed pleasant enough, wearing a smile that said "hello world." From a distance she seemed like just another face on the crowd. She then went through the long lines of security, passing through a metal detector while her luggage underwent x-ray inspection, she would later retrieve it from Customs. It beeped loudly and the female guard asked her step out. She stepped unloaded her personal effects while she submitted to a body inspection. Seeing that her items are harmless, she was finally let through with a polite apology for the inconvenience. She replied in passable Japanese and judging from her accent, she seemed like an American. The first part of her entry had been completed, the second part was very critical, which would most certainly spell the difference between success and failure - and ultimately life and death.

The middle-aged immigration official was astute, polite. He exhibited neither the boorish and obnoxious attitude that most Japanese males would sometime reputedly display towards members of the opposite sex, a problem that has recent occurrence as of late, nor the extreme politeness that they too have been sadly stereotyped with. Nor did he displayed the face of the average bureaucrat, bored, callous individuals stuck in dead-end positions, who countered their own boredom by slamming rubber stamps on defenseless papers, deliberately flaunting regulations as an excuse for delays, and generally being an officious ass. She had encountered such kinds before all the time, one time she gave one an uppercut to the face. He just radiated easy-going good cheer with a hint of professionalism, which seemed a bit suspicious. "First time in Japan?" he asked her in English as he checked her passport.

"Yes," she replied.

"So you have no other luggage?"

"That is so."

"I see. How long do you intend to stay here?"

"As long as I have to. I have some affairs that need to attended here, friends to meet and deadlines to accomplish." The computer beeped and her face registered along with all the necessary personal information from her. It was certified that she can enter. He handed her back her passport.

"Okay, welcome to Japan, Miss...?"

"Halliger. Constance Halliger."

"Well, Miss Halliger, have a nice day."

"Thank you, sir." She displayed a bland face that said nothing then but inwardly she mentally sighed with relief. Phase one of her entry had been complete. It had been the most weighty part of her entry was over. After lining up at customs, she got her luggage; she had nothing to hide, and breezed through the airport lobby to a bench at a corner where she sat there. With patience she carefully scanned everything around to see her waiting party. She picked up a magazine from her bag and began reading it. This allowed her to watch for any deviation from the scene around her. Hundreds of people streamed through the entrance of the airport, with the security checkpoints serving as the only bottlenecks and a lot more sweep through the airport like specters and shadows moving fast to some unknown, a phantom destination for an ambiguous purpose; it's a never-ending cycle for most of them, which seemed very appropriate, she thought. They don't know nor care whether they get to their stop and finish their business, then take the trip home, then get back again.

She checked her watch. It was three minutes to four PM. She was ahead of schedule but it was tense. She then covertly scanned again, to see if the welcoming committee, anyone of them, has arrived. It was imperative that her contacts arrive at the right time lest her pursuers are here already, whether they are watching her at the moment or that she slipped under their noses was another matter. She had to get rid of her papers and her disguise, which made it possible to slip in undetected so far but she needed to do it when they arrived. At her far right, a woman appeared at the bar. She sat on the counter and ordered a coffee. Halliger's eyes peering above the magazine, she watched the woman as she had been instructed to in advance. The woman then sipped her coffee, the very act confirmed to Halliger it was her contact. Then came the tricky part, the subtle gestures that can confirm or disavow her arrival.

The woman sat at her general direction. Halliger then shifted the luggage on her feet slightly to the left. That told her that nothing followed her or watched her, she was safe. Then the woman stood up and got walking. Halliger got up exactly forty-five seconds later. Walking, their paths were far apart, moving parallel to each other until their paths converge at the middle of enormous lobby. They both met at another bench but not sitting there. She had her back to the woman.

"It's nice to see the city of Kobe," Halliger said aloud to no one in particular- except for the woman, which confirmed that she was clean, not captured and turn by her antagonists If she did, she would have given a different phrase.

Her answer in turn was a beeping cellphone. That told Halliger it was really her contact. The woman picked up the phone and made a call in hurried Japanese.

Then the talking began.

"It's good to know that you've made it, Miss Halliger." She smiled.

"You not so bad yourself, Naomi."

"How's the weather back home?"

"Crappy, you couldn't get a day without rain at this time of the year." It sounded like a casual conversation that was struck with an acquaintance but both women knew each other a few months before.

She was recovering in a ward room at Walter Reed. She remembered getting shot... by that bitch! The first thing she shouted as she woke was the name of Becket, then Keegan, then the rest of the team's, she tried to break out of the restraints but she was too weak to do so and she collapse back to the wheeling gurney. She had convalesced for six months. During that time, she debriefed by numerous agencies about the incident at Fairport, the debriefers were a little too pushy sometimes but there was one that made her snap. It was a man from the Department of Homeland Security, the man who briefed them on the mission in that cold Pentagon briefing room, about Fairport and Armacham. He told them that it was a simple extraction mission. Adding insult to injury, he congratulated her on a job well done, told her about how the damage in the city should be attributed to the nuclear explosion, how her squad should have officially died, and whatever bureaucratic bullshit 'needed' to stabilize the situation, last of which when she asked him what they will do the data they gathered from Snake Fist. Liar! Tell that to people who died there! she thought with rage. The Homeland Security man earned a satisfyingly hard uppercut to the face. Later that night, after the Homeland Security man fled, she was approached by a boy who wore a uniform of some high school from another country, nationality unknown.

"Hello, Lieutenant," he greeted politely.

"Who the hell are you?" She asked with quiet, unconcealed hostility. "You don't look like a doctor or a suit. What are you here for?"

"I'm interested to hear about the latest developments around Fairport, Washington. Mind if we talk about it a little bit?"

She raised her eyebrows in skepticism. "Are you some kind of reporter? If you are, I'm not saying anything. What happened there is literally hell on earth. And you won't believe the shit that I saw there!"

"I see. No normal human being would deny that. Would you deny that you know Armacham? Alma Wade? Or Project Origin? Replica forces-"

She was surprised to hear all of that from him. "Whoa Whoa! Hold it... How'd the hell you know all that?" She could believe her ears when she mentioned all of it. How the hell did that kid know? "What's the meaning of this?"

"The Fairport fiasco means a lot to us as well as your government. We sensed something cataclysmic is afoot and that it could be a paradigm for something potentially dangerous."

"You didn't answer my first question."

"Oh," he apologized politely, "forgive my lapse on the inquiry. I belong to a special agency. Let's say we have resources that can obtain any information we needed about any possible development of significant interest to us."

The boy seemed rather mature and concise when she talked to him. It was suspicious."What? What are you? MSS? NIS? I'm no dummy, you know." She referred to China's Ministry of State Security and the Korean National Intelligence Service respectively. She read articles about them in Time magazine and the US military newspaper Stars and Stripes.

"We profess ties to no government or organization. But we do have a special prerogative to such matters." Then his smile changed into an expression of urgency. "We can't discuss this any further. If we are to discuss this in any detail, you must leave this place."

"What... you mean escape...?"

"Affirmative. What you saw is very important to us as it is to your government and Armacham. They want to cover up any witness that have seen the event if they can. Your government won't disclose it to the public, the ramifications of such exposure would cause widespread panic all across the country so your arguments will go no where, at least until they could come up with a concrete solution. However, Armacham is not above in its attempts to stabilize the situation through other means, like silencing witnesses."

"You're telling me that my life is in danger?"

"We need you to survive."

"What's so important is it to you?"

"There are things that could spell danger to us," he replied cryptically. He began to walk away to the door.

"Wait, don't I have a choice?" she asked him.

He turned around and smiled. "Just sit tight. We'll get you out of here. It won't take long." He left the room

The next night. She woke to find herself being taken out of the hospital. Doctors and nurses were all over her as she was wheeled through the hallway. She couldn't remember much. They were blurry, hazy figures due to the bright lights and she could barely distinguish from the cacophony of sounds flying everywhere. One thing that she immediately feared was Alma. She had dreams, horrible dreams. Nightmares. Nightmares such seeing Alma at the foot of her bed, of seeing Becket and Keegan screaming in agony, of replaying the horrific events all over when she sleeps, of the hideous things she witnessed at Fairport. Fear gripped her every time she slept. She would sometimes wake up screaming in cold sweat, prompting the attendants to come to her. That played in greater intensity when she was escaped, at the helicopter she thought she saw Alma riding with them. She closed her eyes so hard that she thought they bleed.

"Why don't we get going, Miss Halliger?" The woman asked her. "Time is short." That reminded them of what they have to do.

"I see," Halliger replied. "business can't wait, is it."

"Of course." The woman slipped her cellphone back in her coat pocket. They proceeded to walk together. Moving unhurried, they checked through a security desk and continued into a parking lot. They hopped in a white sedan. A man with spiky hair greeted her.

"It's good to see that you made it through, Lt. Stokes," he said cheerily. "It seems your reputation precedes you."

"I heard that one before," she replied evenly.

The woman sat on the front passenger sat. She face the driver. "Step on it," she ordered.

"Yes, ma'am," he replied and started the car. It moved out of the parking lot. Ten seconds later, another one, their security tail, moved out of the curb near a shop and followed the other car to secure its rear. Then a third one positioned itself in front of the other car and now began the procession to Nishinomiya.

Two days ago...

I, Kyon, was taking the long walk home after another of Haruhi's wild schemes. This time, it was investigating an abandoned village in the woods near Nishinomiya, which had a reputation of being haunted by ghosts. It had been a fruitless, frustrating escapade. Going around the houses of the village with a camera and a digital voice recorder was frustrating as counting rice grains from a pot; no doubt influenced by those Silent Hill and Fatal Frame games she bought recently.

It was a bad day for me, tripping over sagging floors, having close calls with broken glass, rusting roofs, decaying ceilings with bits and pieces falling on my head as well as Haruhi's eccentric, often maddening, antics. One time she did was one she popped her head through the window with the ever-present camera in hand, nearly giving me a heart attack. Then again when she groped Mikuru, whose torment already consisted of wearing a horridly cutesy white-and-pink dress all along the way, enduring stares from people they passed by and the Brigade pandering her to different people as she promoted the SOS Brigade. That also tormented me as well when I heard a few snickers and not-so-good comments behind me. It had been a pain for most of the afternoon and he was glad that it's over.

I looked at the sky and noted its leaden color. Not good. I have to get home before I get soaking wet. It would be a bitch to go home looking like a castaway of a jet plane carrying air mail like Tom Hanks but I wasn't in the mood for running either so I just quicken my pace, tightening my coat against the lashing winds. It seems the weather is getting hectic today. I wonder if it's Haruhi getting frustrated from not finding a ghost. I shuddered at that thought and hoped that Haruhi doesn't make one come true. Her abilities to alter reality I witnessed all too many times, some of which nearly destroyed the world, at least the one I knew. The world we knew. I checked my watch. The LCD screen registered 5:15. I sighed in frustration. I was late.

Nightfall came by the time I entered I was a few feet near my house. The cold seemed to assail me at all sides and I tugged my coat tighter. I climbed up the steps and knocked on the door.

"Come in," piped the cheery voice of his sister. The door opened and Imouto beamed happily, glad to see that I had arrived home safe and sound. I closed the door behind me, took off my shoes and made a brief trek to leaving room and finally to the sofa where I sank myself in comfort, dumping my bag to the side. It felt so good just to seat in the sofa in the comfort of my home after that backbreaking wild goose chase for ghosts which turned up nothing at all. Nothing at all...

"Hey, Kyon!" My sister shouted and that jolted me to my feet. She ran into the living room carrying the cordless phone."Mom's on the phone!" I got up slowly, however reluctant my body may be, and took the phone.

I answered it, "Hello, Mom?"

"Hi, Kyon," she cheery voice chimed, "it's great that you're home. Listen, I'm with your dad right now in his medical check-up so we can't be home for dinner. There's food in the fridge and pantry if you want to eat. Will it be alright?"

"Yeah, no problem at all," Kyon said with a smile.

"Thanks, honey and take care of your sister, bye."

"Bye, mom." She hung up. I replaced the receiver back to its place. My dad had a benign tumor that needed some checkups and my mom had to be at his side but that was okay. Right now, there's Imouto, Shamisen and the house to care of and everything else about the world can take some rest for now. At least, I'm entitled to a breather. I returned to the couch for a few seconds, letting out my breath.

Then my cellphone rang. I groaned and sank my face in the palm of my hand. Haruhi again. She's probably calling me for another adventure. Reluctantly, I dug it out of my pocket and saw who called. It was a text message from Koizumi.

He looked at and it read:

We have a matter need attending. Please come tomorrow. Thank You. Koizumi.

I turned off my cellphone. The message read like a telegram but its message is no less clear. Haruhi had caused something again but they're not gonna tell me yet. Before it would annoy me about why they have to hold back until the eleventh hour. It still annoyed now but why spoil the surprise? I'm sure Itsuki knows what he's doing. I never knew a time when what he told was too late. But then again, I'd be dead by the time he reached me over something.

And if he was calling me over it, Mikuru's and Yuki's are not far behind. I got up and went to the refrigerator to see what we have. Imouto and Shamisen immediately rushed in and took over, grabbing the remote to watch TV. I entered the kitchen to and walked towards the refrigerator. I opened and peered inside to see what we have. There's isn't much in the refrigerator for me to make since I'm a lazy cook when it comes to fresh food, usually a bit sloppy here and there. Man, I might need to learn how be not a kitchen litter bug. I went to the pantry to see what else we have. There's a lot of prepackaged food in it. I turned around and called my sister, "Imouto, I'm gonna make dinner. What do you want? We have curry, instant miso soup and-"

"Curry!" She cut me off excitedly. "I want curry, Kyon onee-chan!"

Instant curry it is. Then I selected my own dinner, instant rice porridge with tuna. I don't know why but I developed a taste for instant rice porridge with anything over time. Perhaps it was because of the epilogue of the events last December, hard to tell. Too bad Imouto didn't share that same taste and it'd be nice for her to get off curry once in a while. I prepared the curry first, taking it out of its box and taking out a pan. I put the curry pouch in it and poured some water- and I made sure I didn't open the pouch by mistake. Then I placed it in a range and left it to boil a while. I then made my tuna-rice porridge, putting mine on microwave. I followed instruction as usual and within a few seconds it's now in the oven. Then I made rice, which isn't hard to do. While the rice cooked, my cellphone rang again. I checked the caller.

It was Asahina-san. Heretical as I may sound, I likened her to a muse. I always found her sweet demeanor a pleasant and relieving contrast to Haruhi's rambunctiousness. It was her misfortune, and mine, to be her "moe" mascot of the SOS Brigade, a club I inadvertently started during Tanabata three years ago, gave her the future club's "mission", to find aliens, espers and time travelers as well as unraveling the mysteries of the world. Well... no harm in answering the call.

"Hello?" I asked, my eyes kept watch of the cooking rice.

"Kyon-kun, is that you?" Mikuru asked. It felt nice to hear her voice but her voice feels... different.

"Yes, it's me."

"Kyon-kun, something strange is coming up. We have to meet in the clubroom tomorrow-" Then there was some static on the other end. I almost dropped the phone from the suddenness of the static. "Kyon-kun, are you there?" She asked worriedly.

"Ugh, I'm here," I immediately replied.

"Kyon-kun, listen-" -more static- "you have to-"

The line was cut off. I barely had the strength to hold the phone. My hands trembled and relaxed on my chair. What was so urgent that Mikuru was trying to say? What was going on at the other end? I hope she calls back. It could a technical error for all I know, maybe a stretched-out line or a low battery-

The rice began to froth at the lid of the pot. I quickly stood up and lowered the heat. I picked up a paper towel and wiped the rice-water froth from the lid, careful not to burn my hands. I disposed of the towel and was thankful the rice didn't burn. I wanted to get her message and I wanted to know it. I felt a crawling sensation on my spine, a feeling which seemed to come from an abysmal unknown which I cannot fathom.

I was about to dial her number when a third call came in. I checked who it was, only to find that it was Nagato. What could it be now? Hopefully not the same disturbing dispatches I received from Koizumi and Asahina-san. I click the phone to answer, "Hello?"

Then came her clipped voice, "Kyon. Are you up tonight?"

I paused for a while, managing a "Yeah" after that.

"I need you to sleep at precisely nine PM. There is a situation that needs handling but not at this point."

"What...?" I can't believe my ears. "What's wrong?"

"It is imperative that you follow my instructions. The situation is an anomaly that must not be disturbed tonight. Under the orders of the Integrated Data Sentient Entity I cannot elaborate further. Good night."

It seemed like glacier decided to take a nap near my house. I sat back on my chair, looking back to the rice I'm cooking to be sure I didn't burn it. I pondered at their communiqué, which rather irregular in their tone and content. First from Koizumi, his brief message said it would discussed tomorrow. Second, Mikuru. I could not hear what she has to say due to the static. That reminded me that I have to call her back.

However, I must attend to what I'm doing right now first so to make a mundane passage short, I prepared dinner for Imouto and myself a few minutes later. As I absently stirred my tuna-rice porridge, redialed Mikuru's number and waited her her response. After a hum for a few seconds, nothing. I did it again and a third time. No answer. I suppressed a mild apprehension about why she didn't answer. I turned to the number of her apartment. I dialed the number and waited for a while, absently listening to the dial tone.

It was her messenger. Her voice announced, "Oh hello. You've reached Mikuru Asahina. Please leave a message." Her cute voice briefly mesmerized me and made me almost forget my purpose of inquiry.

I made my message. "Ah, Asahina-san. You told me you wanted to tell me something. I'm sorry you couldn't reach due to some technical problems. Please call me." Hopefully if they are technical problems. I gently laid the phone down to its place. I settled down with Imouto and ate my dinner.

I went to bed, just as Yuki told me to. I looked at the clock and it showed 8:55, five minutes before the appointed hour. I laid down on my bed and closed my eyes. Sleep is usually relief after another at school and a rough afternoon at the clubroom. For this night, however, this was not the case. The unsettling feeling I had tonight kept me from relaxing. The first thing that came to my mind was Ryoko Asakura, that sweet little girl who tried to kill me to see how Haruhi would react, to test the emotion's of a god, Yuki's metaphysical cohort who went beyond the stated directives of her masters to see an event that she could observe, directives that I believe were sanctioned to be broken.I saw her giggling happily with a knife in hand, charging at my direction. Then I found myself lying on the floor while she smiled happily with her blood-red knife, her blue eyes full of glee.

I opened my eyes as I recalled her voice. My eyes stared back to the clock. It registered 9:01. Recalling her instructions, I instantly snapped my eyes shut and laid myself down again. I did not doubt Yuki's word but I hope that it wasn't true. There's a spark of curiosity in me that tells me to stay and watch the pretty lights when they come but I'm not going to stick my neck out if it turns out to be true. I huddled in my covers, forcing myself to sleep. When I finally did, things weren't so pretty.

I was moving at the speed of light, passing hundreds of warped strobes of multicolored orbs, which reminded me of the Matrix films. Then everything stopped and darkened to pitch black. There was a light and I sound. I turned my head and saw a TV with static on the screen. The buzzing sound of the TV echoed unearthly throughout the room. Staring at the tube, I wanted to run away but to where? Wherever I look around, everything around me is inky black and I fear about what prowls in the darkness. I cannot think quickly as my mind is as blank as the space I'm in. It seemed like an eternity when I slowly turned around to face the TV. I did not want to touch it for obvious reasons but I seemed drawn to it... somehow it beckoned me to touch it, to manipulate its controls. I do not know what to fear, the darkness and its hidden terrors or the TV's surprises?

I took my chances and turned the knob that changes channels. The static stopped and it was replaced numbers flashing one by one, accompanied with a brief chime that might have come from a wide grocery store's paging system or an elevator, then a dial tone. Then a woman's voice broadcast the flashing numbers in a matter-of-factly manner, "Five. Five. Seven. Two. One."

My ears where suddenly assailed with high-pitched static, quickly followed by a soul-stopping scream. Instantly, my mind and body was racked with pain. My ears filled with static and I feel I was pierced with billions of needles all over my body. I screamed but I could not hear my voice. Then I heard my own scream a few seconds later, coming back to me in full force- so powerful that I was deafened by it. Suddenly, images flooded my mind. Images of a closed space that is red as an inferno, of a montage of my friends and the events of the SOS Brigade played before me at breakneck speed. Then some more images, hazy and nightmarish. A brief glimpse of a surgery room, then one of the city torn by demonic-looking Celestials, I saw someone whose face is obscured by bad lighting, of papers that look so formal that they might have been files from a secret safe, one with Itsuki's photo on one corner and that of another individual I know not, and a shaking light bulb. Then everything went black.

My scream echoed back at me and I was sprawling in front of the TV, paralyzed and exhausted. The space was filled with a violent wind, and extremely loud static from the TV and howling mixed together. I wanted to move but I can't, my vision began to distort horribly like a monitor with bad reception. I felt I was gonna loose my mind. Then came the woman's voice again. "One."

I jolted out of bed of my in a few seconds. I woke up and saw my clock. It was 4:59 AM. I looked around my room. I pinched my arm to see If I'm not dreaming. I saw that I'm no longer dreaming. I sat upright in bed, my body numb and my mind perplexed and disturbed by my vision. I sat there immobile, trying to make sense of my dream. All those swirling images... what do they mean? How do my friends figure in it? Haruhi may have done this, what provoked her? I cannot delve deeper into my dream since I can't find my answers there. I have to go to school, to the clubroom.

It was 5:30 by the time I've got off my brooding and hurried up to my daily morning routine.

On brisk walk to school, the day was sunny with a few puffy white clouds. A light breeze blew through me and the scene is so lighthearted that I whistled a tune. I forgot what it is but it must have been... Harehareyukai? Well, whatever it's named made the walk faster and more enjoyable. I was in school and up the classroom. I took my seat and noticed Haruhi sitting moodily in her chair and facing the open window, her head resting in her arms.

"Good morning, Haruhi," I greeted cheerily for some dumb reason.

"Oh hi, Kyon," she replied with her face in a pouting expression. "Yesterday turned up nothing. Damn, if only ghost were real."

I stifled myself from remarking "Thank God they aren't" and let Haruhi say what she had to say for a while, about how she had prepared for it and all our well-wasted afternoon hours. I then said, "Well, the reason we didn't find any ghost is... they don't actually exist."

Haruhi slowly turned her head at me. "Kyon, why would people keep saying they're real? They must be!"

I sat down beside her. "Well, I could say that it's a superstition. Most of those things have been debunked by now."

That's when Haruhi suddenly stood up and crossed her arms. She gave me a look that was piqued by my rationalization. She said angrily, "Kyon! Most of those superstitions have been debunked but the belief of ghosts has remained stronger than ever. People continue to believe year after year and most people want proof of it."

Then, I replied with something I remembered from social studies class, "Couldn't it be because such beliefs are passed down from generation to generation? Think about it, Haruhi. We inherit these beliefs from our ancestors, vestiges from a time when they barely understood the workings of the natural world around them. They believe that these hidden forces move about around them, alternately seemingly aloof and at the same time can intervene in our lives both directly and indirectly. That belief also evolved with society's development, which gave forth the rise of gods and mythology. Ghost in particular came from the worship of ancestor spirits, stemming from our belief in in the afterlife." Much of Itsuki's way of explaining things must be rubbing of on me.

Then Haruhi countered me in a bluster, "But what about evidence of their existence? It's said that presence of a ghost can be felt by anyone near a haunted location. How about the phenomena of white noise, EVP, EMF and photography? They've been caught on them so they must be real and their must an afterlife."

I adjusted myself a bit on the chair. I gave back my own explanation, "It could stem from a number of causes. One could be psychology when it comes to haunted locations, people tend to be uncomfortable in a place they're not sure looks safe. And the EVP, EMF and photography can be caused by some quirks in technology or some anomalies in the environment and with the advent of Photoshop, most of them would be frauds."

"And why does anyone believe in an afterlife?" Haruhi asked impatiently.

I was taken aback by her question, something that really struck at the core. To tell you the truth, I don't exactly believe in ghost even as we spoke but I do believe in the existence of data lifeforms, the things Nagato and Koizumi introduced to me when we rescued a Computer Club president from a closed space. Primitive beings that cannot evolve because they can no longer process new data. Besides the ones that infected the dogs and giant cricket, I honestly cannot know what else they can do or how are they out there. Needless to say, I answered her question, though with reluctance stemming from being caught off-guard by her, "Well... they want to know if there's something out there beyond death. They want to know if something's out there."

We remained silent for a while. Haruhi then said, "Yeah, they gotta exist." She then sighed with frustration, resting her head back in her arms. "If only I had an esper, we could see if they really exist." She then turned to me, "Get to the clubroom, don't be late."

I responded plainly, "Yes, ma'am."

I walked to the clubroom after our classes ended. There was something I'm unsure about. I noticed a slight shimmering at the corner of my eye and turned to it. It was gone. I shuddered a bit from that and I felt a tinge of relief when I entered the room. I noticed everybody's in the room. Itsuki was there, with a neutral smile on his face I might add. And there was Yuki reading a book in the corner. And of course, there was a Haruhi, God of the current universe and undisputed leader of the SOS Brigade. Someone's missing. I couldn't think who... Jesus Christ, Asahina-san... How could I forget... I suddenly remembered she tried to contact me last night but I couldn't get her massage due to the strange static. More over, I just just sent her a message to tell me to call back and I've never heard from her since. I mentally scolded myself for these lapses and hoped she was okay... but in the back of my mind said it would be contrary.

I took my seat near Koizumi. Haruhi took her seat. She asked us, "Has anybody seen Mikuru?"

None of us could provide a satisfactory answer, at least I did. For sure, Yuki and Itsuki have something to say about this. I could see it in their eyes. Haruhi turned to me. "Kyon, where's Mikuru?" She asked me that question with a tinge of suspicion, obviously not liking it if there's anything between us. "Well?"

Hmm, I have to say something so I began my tale, "Last night, Mikuru contacted me and said she has something important to say to me but the line was full of static. I sent a message via landline but she didn't answer me since this morning."

"What?" Haruhi was puzzled. She asked me with an accusatory tone, "Why did she call you?What's this message all about? Kyon!"

I had to explain myself, "She said it was urgent-" I raised my hands for emphasis- "but I couldn't get it because of the static. She didn't answer my message since this morning."

Then Itsuki stood up for me. "Kyon's right. Perhaps she had something that she needs to confide about and Kyon's simply the first person she turned to." Okay, I take that back. Look's like you made it worst for me, huh?

"Kyon...?" She glared at me displeased, her arms crossed.

"That's just that," I replied, "there's nothing between me and Mikuru. She simply phoned me."

"Speaking of something between them," he added, "don't you think it's strange that there's static in their talk."

Haruhi paused for a while, stroking a her chin with a finger. "You're right. Maybe we should visit her today..." She then sudden slapped the table in excitement, her eyes gleaming in discovery. "I got it! Mikuru might have disappeared last night. Wow! We've got finally something to do this afternoon. Today! The SOS Brigade will investigate the disappearance of Mikuru Asahina!"

I was about to voice the contrary, "But-"

She cut me off and turned to all of us. "Okay, everybody, pack up. We're going out in an hour." She then left the club room for reason, maybe to announce the Mikuru's 'disappearance'. Now that Haruhi has cleared the premises, I turned to Nagato and Koizumi for our little round table conference. Nagato and Koizumi seemed to change subtly from bunch of club underlings to their actual selves in a span of few seconds almost seamlessly, just like a steady flow of a stream and not an on/off switch.

I regarded Koizumi. "Seems things are a little strange today, I bet."

He smiled. "Well, I agree with you, Kyon. It struck me as too ordinary." Then that smile disappeared. Something grave must have got into his mind. "It happened to me do moment I woke up."

I was quite surprised by that. "What? How?"

Koizumi pointed his finger to the calender at the wall behind me. He said, "Take a look."

I turned around and saw it. I was stunned to see the year that was indicated: 2027. What the hell? I couldn't believe my eyes. I felt a huge weight had suddenly dragged me down. I could barely stand up, my legs trembled from weakness. I slowly sat down, my body slumping against the back. It was like a few feverish seconds before I noticed a hand offering me tea. I looked to see Koizumi looming, obscuring the light. I took the tea and drank it, I just didn't refuse it then. It was hot and good. I put the cup on the table.

Koizumi said, "I made the tea myself since she's gone."

I finally regained some of my strength. I stuttered, "2... 2- 2- 2027?"

"Yes, Kyon. We are in the year 2027," he answered.

That's all for today, folks. It was supposedly before FEAR 3 but due to delays then, I have retconned the story to be take place at the same time as FEAR 3. Beautiful, eh? How does the SOS Brigade figure in this one? You'll have to wait for a while.