A Distorted Melody

Discussion in 'UTAU Writing' started by SakisCookie, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. SakisCookie

    SakisCookie Momo's Minion Defender of Defoko

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    Yeah, I wrote up a nice little prologue. I know it's not a full chapter, but...gotta start somewhere, right? XP This is just to give you a feel for the world in which the story is set.

    I'll put it on DA once my internet stops being a jerkweed.

    Androids weren't exactly new to the world. VOCALOIDs had been produced as early as 2004. The problem was that they weren't available to the public. Even those that could pay for the professional singers were shipped mindless robots that had no personality to speak of. It was the price of mass consumption: programming every copy of the VOCALOID with a distinguishable personality was time-consuming and costly.

    Users wanted more than that. They longed for androids that could sing with compassion and feeling; robots that could act as friends and companions.

    It was with this wish in mind that they forged on to create UTAU.

    At first, it seemed their dreams had been achieved. UTAUloids were available to everyone, and they could be obtained with little more than a few official forms. All it took was a signature, and soon millions of people around the world were loading their voices into newly-customized androids.

    Then, everyone began to see the darker side of UTAU. With such free access, androids could be owned by anyone: from ditzy pre-teens to rather creepy old men. Some users resorted to copying--and even stealing--others' data, effectively besmirching a program that had only been created to bring joy to users.

    Many times, wild rumors would fly around the internet--rumors of self-proclaimed vigilantes who were determined to control the UTAU population. Every option was suggested, from kidnapping and de-activating to crudely destroying the androids with a hammer. Since UTAUloids possessed fully developed emotions and personalities, the authorities saw them as human, and announced that such actions would, in fact, be considered homicide. The rumors died away pretty quickly after that.

    Maybe that's why no one really took the virus seriously. We all believed it was just another rumor; that after a week we would forget it had ever been mentioned.

    No one could have predicted the events that marred that summer. We were unprepared, and we suffered for it.
     
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  3. SakisCookie

    SakisCookie Momo's Minion Defender of Defoko

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    "Alright, alright! The meeting has begun!" Courtney hauled her laptop into her lap, opening up a folder full of spreadsheets and WordPad lists. The extreme degree of organization was, in fact, a bit uncalled for, but the girl only felt secure when she had everything noted and scheduled. Everything.
    Peering over her computer screen, Courtney silently counted all the members of the group. Since its foundation, the LUMEloids had grown from two UTAU to ten, astounding the original founders.
    Courtney herself was the first to devise the group, her best friend Hinari joining immediately. As the former found herself increasingly involved in the community, the members of her modest group rose, as well.
    A chunk of blonde hair fell over Courtney's eyes, but she didn't bother to flick it away as she checked attendance.
    "Hey! Chelsea isn't here!" A girl who appeared to be considerably younger than the rest of the group sat up a little taller, and most everyone glanced at her.
    "Yes, Daisy. Thank you. Remember that talk we had about inside voices?" Courtney's tone was exasperated, but not harsh. Every girl that gathered in her living room for the weekly meetings was friendly in her own way, and the group always got along. Nerves were stepped on, yes, but it was to be expected. A room full of teenage girls can be a nightmarish scenario, after all. Shaking her head, Courtney sighed, "Anyone know where she is?"
    Fawkesy pulled out her cell, frowning thoughtfully. "I was texting her earlier, but she just kind of stopped replying-"
    "Here! I'm here!" Everyone's attention snapped up to Courtney's front door as a tall brunette rushed in. Her ponytail was a bit messy, no doubt the result of a frenzied preparation. Chelsea adjusted her glasses and plopped down among the circle of girls, offering a small wave.
    "I tried to get her here on time. I did," came the disgruntled mutter of the indigo-haired woman that followed Chelsea through the door. The robotic tin of her voice was an instant sign of her origins: she was an UTAU android. Iris Libra, to be exact. The robot politely shut the door and turned to glance at the other girls. "But, no. She wouldn't go until she finished that last boss fight-"
    "We're not that late," Chelsea pouted, exchanging an exasperated glance with her UTAU.
    Courtney couldn't suppress a laugh. "Okay, okay. It's fine. Iris, the others are on the back porch. Can you do me a huge favor and make sure Gomakashi isn't trying to murder Megan again?"
    A girl with long blonde hair allowed a look of concern to flicker into her sapphire eyes. "I'm sorry they always cause trouble-"
    "No, don't worry, Meg. Gomakashi is the psycho one. I guess it wasn't a good idea to load an android with the personality of a character that's a mass murderer," Courtney sighed, adjusting her glasses. "It doesn't help that Megan is always trying to get Goma-chan to obey her, but..."
    Iris offered an understanding smile. "I'll try to keep everyone alive and un-mauled." Her long hair gave an almost celestial wave as she turned to leave the room.
    Once she was gone, Courtney re-directed her attention to her countless spreadsheets. "Now...on to business. How is everyone doing with their projects?"
    "Ah...I've been working on a new clothing design for Mona." Nicola pulled a sketchbook from her bag and flipped through the pages, displaying sketches and lineart that earned impressed murmurs from the rest of the group.
    "Need someone to color that? I've got a new palette I've been dying to try," Chelsea offered quickly.
    As the girls offered explanations of their various endeavours, Courtney busily noted every word. Her fingers danced along the keys, and she only looked up when absolutely necessary. They were making excellent progress, according to her spreadsheets. With every member of the group working together, public attention to UTAUloids was steadily increasing.
    An hour into the meeting, Courtney began feeling extremely confident. The group had started developing new projects, including a chorus and a contest. Normally, something would have happened to distract them at this point.
    "Guys...listen to this." Sarah moved a bit closer to the group, away from the recliner she had chosen when she first arrived. She pushed her laptop forward, making the screen available for all to see. Internally, Courtney groaned. Sarah was normally the quiet one, but it appeared anyone was capable of de-railing the group's focus.
    Lynn was the first to speak, narrating the words on the screen before her, "An UTAU android was shut down today after showing signs of a virus. The UTAUloid, whose name has not been released in accordance with the creator's wishes, lost its voice gradually over two days. On the third day, the robot's user claims it would not wake, and would not respond to any reset methods what-so-ever."
    A chilling silence fell over the group as the words sunk in. All complaints of the girls' distraction were lost to Courtney, as were her words.
    Hinari broke the silence, looking to Courtney nervously. "You mean...it died? It really died?"
    "Robots can't die. Not in the literal sense of the term, anyway," Lynn objected. "I'm sure that if that UTAU's owner backed up her voicebank and personality files, she can load them into another robot."
    Nicola sat back, frowning. "I don't think that's the problem, Lynn. The fact that a virus can eat away an UTAU's life is terrifying. What if it happened to your L'Aquila? What if it happened to Mona?"
    "It could happen to anyone," Courtney breathed. Her own UTAUloids' faces popped into her mind. Sakura and Gomakashi were her babies. She absolutely loved them as she was sure all users loved their own creations. To see them 'die' would kill her, as well. Shaking her head to clear the dark thoughts, she said, "Sarah, see if they know anything else about it."
    Sarah shook her head, short brown hair rippling with the movement. "They know absolutely nothing. They don't even have a name for this, yet."
    Hinari began to look increasingly nervous. "Nee-chan, can we end this meeting early? I want to make sure S is okay. I don't want this virus to get her..."
    Surveying the others' reaction to this, Courtney found that most were in agreement. "Yeah, that sounds fine. But, guys, don't worry. I'm sure nothing is going to get to our UTAU."
    No one seemed fully reassured as they stood to leave. The girls exchanged quiet goodbyes, though a few tried to give positive encouragement. It was just a one-time occurence, they agreed. It was one UTAU; it wouldn't happen again.
    Courtney watched the girls lead their UTAUloids out the door, feeling a sudden protective urge. Through the forming of this group, she had bonded with the robots as well. To her, there was no artificiality to the beings. They had rich personalities just as any human would, and they were perfectly capable of affection. Why would anyone ever want to hurt the poor things?
    When the last LUMEloid member left her house, Courtney closed the door and sighed heavily. No point letting it worry her so much, she decided.
    "Why was everyone acting so weird when they left?" a metallic voice chimed. Courtney turned to face Sakura, reluctant to meet her gaze. The UTAU looked genuinely distraught, and telling her the truth would only make her panic. She briefly considered lying, but spotted Gomakashi on the couch, her expression curious. Goma-chan was the master of lying, as implied by her name, and she would pick up Courtney's bluff instantly.
    The human girl sighed, adjusting her glasses to buy time. "Oh, we just...heard that one of our friends is sick. It's nothing to worry about, sweetheart. Really."
    Sakura seemed satisfied by this answer, and she sat next to Gomakashi. "Okay. I hope she gets better."
    Gomakashi's eyes flashed deviously. She leaned closer to Sakura, whispering, "She won't. She'll die. You jinxed her, Sakura."
    "Oh god! I'm sorry!" Sakura wailed, burying her face in her hands. "I didn't mean to kill her!"
    Courtney rolled her eyes. As much as she loved her UTAUloids...she had to admit they could be really annoying.

    Whoo~! Chapter 1 is done~!
    And it only took about three weeks longer than it should have.

    Anyway, I'm gonna point a few things out. Each chapter is going to be from the point of view of a different character. This chapter is in my P.O.V. And...wow it's weird to write for myself. Makes me feel like I'm my own character. Far out, man. :uhm:

    Sorry I couldn't mention everyone specifically, but this is only the first chapter. And this story has crap-tons of people in it. XD
    And sorry it's a little slow. The action will pick up soon. I promise. <3
     
  4. IrisFlower

    IrisFlower Precious Flower with Thorns Supporter Defender of Defoko

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    lkdsghlkrgjhrekghrwjhgrjetjhetrhhkjhdskjfedskjhb!!!!!! /keyboard mash of ultimate feels

    I can't believe I was in the first chapter :'D And portrayed so awesomely *w*d

    <s>I bet I was fighting Captain Dolce or Barrett. Those are two bosses who are sure to make me late for roughly the same reason XD </s>

    Ffff- I can't wait to read more!! \(>0<)/ -waits anyway-
     
  5. NicolaCola

    NicolaCola Ruko's Ruffians Defender of Defoko

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    Uwahhhh, excitement~! This concept is so neat, and woohoo, I was in the first chapter, too! :D

    I love your writing style, and reading the first chapter gets me super excited for more installments! You really made sure not to lose anyone's character in this, so everyone was super unique, which helped make the chapter really interesting! Omigosh, I can tell from just the little bits revealed in this chapter that the plot is going to super awesome, too, I wanna read morrrrrrrrrre~~

    If you couldn't tell from my total abuse of the word "super", I find this fic to be awesomely amazing so far.

    Awesome job, can't wait for the next one~~! *u*
     
  6. candymarbles

    candymarbles Momo's Minion

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    :uhm: *high fives you*

    Woohoo, I got a line~ BD I'm all excited now, I can't wait to see the next chapter! (Everyone basically expressed my feelings otherwise, so awesome job!) :love:

    And you're right, I don't have an inside voice...
     
  7. UtauYork

    UtauYork Momo's Minion

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    goshican'twaitforthenextchapterholycrapthisisawesomeiwanttoreadmoreican'twaitican'tbelieveididn'treadthisuntilnowsorryorz

    ;v; I can't wait to read more. Everything flows together smoothly and the way everyone interacts is interesting as well. I'm so excited for the next chapter. =v=
     
  8. SakisCookie

    SakisCookie Momo's Minion Defender of Defoko

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    WARNING: Thar be cussing ahead.

    A note on my personality: Yes. I rant. A lot. I also threaten just about everyone. In private. If you actually come up to me and talk about my rage, I end up panicking and hiding in a corner. I just have a big mouth, really. XP I just don't want you guys thinking I'm a fiery jerk. QnQ

    This chapter is...hmm. I would change a lot about it. I hope I got Caroline and Sarah's personalities right. ;A; But I really need to get the action moving. This is still just build-up.

    I hope you still enjoy it, though!

    "Hey...this sounds great so far!" Caroline's voice broke the otherwise silent atmosphere in the small booth, sounding a bit too loud afterwards. Not that it mattered, since she was separated from the actual recording area by thick, soundproof glass. Through the transparent surface, she could see three UTAUloids, their ears covered by large headphones and their faces inches away from professional-grade microphones.
    Caroline felt a small smile tug at her lips as she remembered the effort that went into achieving this modest little studio. It had been one of Courtney's dreams when the LUMEloid group first began.
    "I don't want us to have to record our songs in a closet with a blanket against the door," she had sighed when such an idea was presented. "If we're going to be a full group, I want us to have the works. A studio with professional microphones! Soundproof glass! Just think of it!"
    At first, most of the members shrugged it off as delusions of grandeur. But a series of fundraisers and donations later, they had been able to rent a small studio in the city. Whenever a member of the group wanted to record individually or put together a chorus, they used the studio to record and mix.
    Caroline had rounded up Gomakashi, Fuko, and her own Rina to cover Ronde of Possible World. It had been a spur-of-the-moment idea; almost as much as the accompaniment of Sarah. Caroline had never interacted much with Sarah. In fact, Sarah was usually pretty quiet during meetings. Before they had begun recording, Caroline had attemped to strike up conversation, only to be immediately discouraged by Sarah's complicated speech patterns. Silence had reigned supreme since then.
    "There. How's that?" Gomakashi's voice crackled through the speakers in the mixing booth. Caroline looked up, finding that the three UTAUloids had slipped off their headphones and were awaiting approval.
    Sarah was the first to respond, looking up from a book in her lap. "I think it was exceptional," she said with a polite smile. Fuko and Rina looked pleased with their work, leaving only Gomakashi with a scowl.
    "Please. I was the only good one. The rest of you sucked. Bad," she spat, idly sweeping her long blonde hair over her shoulder.
    Sarah frowned, shaking her head. She directed an exasperated glance to Caroline and asked, "Why did you pick her for this chorus? She's always such a jerk."
    Caroline shrugged apologetically. "She has a deeper voice. I thought it would make a nice blend. Anyway, we got all the recording done, so we can send her home now." She re-iterated the message to the UTAUloids, leaving out the last quip.
    When all the equipment had been powered down and put away, the group began to head out. Their recording booth actually branched off of a hallway that contained a few other studios. There were five studios in total, and the other four were owned by human musicians rather than androids. None of the LUMEloid group had really run into these other artists, so they didn't think much of it.
    Today, however, there was a new addition to the hallway. Two men were looking over a sheet of paper, murmuring quietly. They appeared normal in every way--yet Caroline couldn't help feeling a twinge of unease when she spotted them. The way they stood was too strict and guarded, and their inaudible conversation didn't help. Ignoring the feeling, she led Sarah and the three UTAU down the hall toward the exit.
    To her great unease, the men stopped them as they passed.
    "Those three are androids, right? UTAU?" The man who addressed them wore an expression of calm curiosity, but Caroline felt nervous all the same. His emerald eyes surveyed Gomakashi, Fuko, and Rina with what she believed to be a dangerous edge.
    Before she could say anything, Gomakashi sneered at him. "No, we're walking toasters."
    Sarah shot the UTAU a warning look before answering the question herself. "Yes, they are."
    "They belong to you?"
    Pre-empting another sarcastic quip from Gomakashi, the two humans stepped closer to their respective androids. "Well," Caroline began slowly, "These two are ours. The third one belongs to our friend."
    The second man joined the conversation, keeping his eyes focused on the paper in his hand. Caroline tilted her head to try and read the print on its surface. It appeared to be a list of some kind, but she couldn't clearly read the handwriting.
    "What are their names?"
    The man holding the list caught her attention, and Caroline's eyes sparked with a bit of protective anger. "Why does it matter? Who are you?"
    Neither man gave a direct answer, nor did their expressions change in the slightest. The only response the girls received was another request for their names.
    Sarah looked between the men for a long moment, meeting their unreadable gazes evenly. With an amount of reluctance, she said, "This is my Fuko Zonbi. That's Rireka Rina, and that's Gomakashi."
    The man holding the list carefully scanned it before shaking his head. Only then did his partner offer a detached smile. "Very good. Sorry to bother you ladies," he said smoothly. He gave an inconspicuous hand motion and led his partner out of the building.
    For a moment, the girls stood in confused silence, the air between them crackling with unease. Rina was the one to break the silence, quietly murmuring, "I have a really bad feeling about this."

    ------------------------------------------------

    By the time Caroline reached Courtney's apartment, Sarah and Fuko had already separated from her and gone home. As much as Caroline dreaded walking with Gomakashi and her snide comments, she wouldn't keep Sarah from escaping.
    Caroline led Rina and Gomakashi to the front door, hesitating before she knocked. Through the surface of the front door, she could hear a storm of yelling and slamming that could only indicate one thing: Courtney was on another rampage.
    "Uh-oh..." Caroline breathed, glancing at Rina for help. Her UTAU shrugged, reluctant to be anywhere near the hurricane that was Courtney while on a rant. Gomakashi, however, barely acknowledged the noise as she threw open the door and flopped onto the couch. Realizing she might have to be the one to calm the situation, Caroline slipped in behind her.
    "...like some damn task force! Who do they think they are, the ****ing CIA of UTAU!? Vigilantes are MORONS, I tell you! God, if I ever see another one, I'll kick their stupid asses! I'll kick them so hard, their own mothers won't recognize them!"
    Caroline followed the string of profanity to the kitchen, hanging back a bit until she saw a safe opening to enter. Courtney sat on the counter, taking a break from her shouting to nibble on a few chips. Sakura was across from her creator, fidgeting uncomfortably.
    "Hey. What's wrong?"
    Courtney looked up quickly, her cheeks flushing in embarrassment when she realized Caroline had heard her tyrade. She cleared her throat, adjusting her glasses in an attempt to look casual. "I...nothing. More idiots to deal with."
    With a sigh, Caroline leaned against the counter next to her friend. She was probably the best suited mediator in the group, and was usually the one to calm arguements or tyrades. Honestly, any drama the group could produce was always going to be simpler than calming her siblings.
    "What sorts of idiots are you referring to this time?"
    Courtney frowned at the notion that she ranted on a regular basis, though she couldn't deny it. "These...okay. This group of people has made a list of UTAU that they think aren't worthy of existing. They're going around interrogating every android they see. It's ridiculous!"
    Caroline's eyes widened a bit, and she turned to face Courtney fully. "We saw those guys today! Outside the studio!"
    "Did they interrogate you?"
    "Well, they asked our UTAUloids for their names."
    In a flash, Courtney leapt off the counter, scowling. "How dare they come after us! I'll punch them so hard, my fingers will meld with their TINY BRAINS!"
    "No, no, no. Calm down," Caroline sighed, "You aren't going to fight anyone, and you know it."
    Courtney's anger melted to frustration, then embarrassment. She absently fingered her bangs and muttered, "I could fight someone. If I wanted. Seriously."
    "Right. Look, these guys had a list full of what I can only assume were the UTAU they've deemed 'unworthy'." Caroline's expression clouded with concern. "First that virus, now this?"
    "That virus?" Courtney shifted her weight to one foot, her eyes signalling that the newest target of her righteous fury had distracted her from the previous one. "...dude, what if they caused that virus!?"
    Caroline shook her head in exasperation. "Okay, now you sound like a conspiracy nut. All I'm saying is things are getting a little dangerous for UTAUloids. Maybe we should be careful."
    Out of the corner of her eye, Caroline noticed Sakura develop a look of horror. "D-dangerous? Are we in trouble? Oh my god. Oh my god."
    "No...er..." Caroline sighed, running her fingers through her hair. With Courtney on the verge of punching something and Sakura ready to panic, nothing she could say would help the situation much. After a few moments of quiet consideration, Caroline settled on offerring the pair a positive smile. "Maybe I was getting worked up, too. I'm sure everything is fine. These people and the virus will both pass, just like everything eventually does."
    Her words calmed both girls, and Caroline herself managed a relieved sigh. Time to duck out before anything else went wrong. "Yeah," she repeated firmly, "This is just a passing disaster. Like swine flu. It'll be fine before you know it."
    Courtney idly ate another chip. "Yeah. I suppose."
    Caroline drew a breath to voice her farewell, but was nearly knocked off her feet by a blood-curdling scream. She looked around in a panic, Courtney and Sakura doing the same.
    "Outside. I think it came from outside!" Courtney gasped. She darted to her back door, throwing the sliding glass door open and scrambling onto the porch. Caroline followed quickly behind, peering over the balcony railing.
    What she saw knocked the air out of her.
    On the sidewalk below, a teenage girl cradled the limp body of an UTAU android. From the sound of her hysterical sobbing, it was obvious the UTAUloid was severely damaged.
    Courtney drew away from the railing, looking ghastly pale.
    "That virus is just gonna pass, huh Caroline?"
    Caroline didn't bother to argue, slipping back into the apartment to escape the screaming.
     
  9. NicolaCola

    NicolaCola Ruko's Ruffians Defender of Defoko

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    Woah woah woah, so intense! *o*

    Things are really starting to pick up in this chapter! I wonder what kinds of UTAUloids are on the list, and if any of them are in our group? And what those men were going to do if any of those UTAUloids were the ones they were looking for? You really had me on the edge of my seat there, I was worried about everyone. ;;

    Eee, really looking forward to the next chapter~ Great job so far, Saki! >u<b
     
  10. Shinaichivocaloid

    Shinaichivocaloid Momo's Minion

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    Oh my gosh I love this so much. I really want to know what happened XD Now I'm worrying for my UTAU ;_;
    Great work!
     
  11. SakisCookie

    SakisCookie Momo's Minion Defender of Defoko

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    [​IMG]

    This chapter is a little shorter than I'd have liked, but...I've done about all I can do from Mona's perspective for now. XD
    I'd like to keep it to one P.O.V. per chapter, so in order to switch, you'll just have to wait until next time~.

    As a compromise, I promise the next chapter will be up much quicker.
    It's not like I have anything better to do since I dropped my AP Literature class like a failure. orz

    Some things to keep in mind:
    ~It got a little confusing for me, since Megan (creator) and Megan (UTAU) have the same name. ;u;  So I started referring to the creator as Meg. Hope that's okay. XP
    ~This chapter contains cussing as well. I made it white, so you can highlight it if you want.


    Enjoy!

    The air between the girls was silent and thick, the tension preventing anyone from speaking.
    Mona absently played with the long lock of bound hair that draped over her shoulder. Her mind continuously ran through cheerful thoughts to avoid being brought down by the harsh atmosphere. During a LUMEloid meeting, the creators stayed in the living room, and all the UTAU hung out on the back porch. A normal meeting usually found the androids showing off their voices and generally having a good time. This, however, wasn't a normal meeting.
    The most notable difference was that one of their own was missing. Frightened by the spread of the virus, Hinari had manually put her UTAU into cold storage. S's android body was shut down, with her voice and personality files saved on a back-up disc for later restoration.
    The android was safe, yes, but the idea of being shut down even temporarily was a fear that rang through the minds of the remaining UTAU.
    "Any of us could be next." It was Sakura's soft voice that finally pierced the silence, and all eyes were shifted to her.
    "Please. Those damn 'activists' or whatever you want to call them don't scare me," Gomakashi spat. Her violet eyes swept the group, glimmering with devious intentions. "I'm perfect. The rest of you are toast, though. I'll miss you." A malicious sneer tore at her lips, and Mona found herself shrinking away from the vicious woman. A few other androids shared her hesitation, while others rose to meet her challenge. Specifically, Megan.
    Since the formation of the group, Megan and Gomakashi had been quick enemies. While Megan aspired to hold the world in her hand, Gomakashi seemed to believe it was already under her foot.
    "Goma-chan, I think you've got that backwards, sweetie," Megan cooed, meeting the piercing violet gaze with her own sapphire stare. "If any of us is next, it's going to be you."
    In an instant, the two were inches apart, electric energy almost visible between them.
    Mona shot to her feet, looking between the two fiery blondes in panic. "Hey...guys, come on. We're supposed to be sticking together-"
    "As if I would ever partner with this lowly harlot!" Megan cried. "The washing instructions on her clothes are the biggest pieces of fabric on them!"
    Gomakashi smirked vehemently. "At least I actually have something to show off~."
    "What did you say!?"
    A fight was looming on the horizon, and Mona buried her face in her hands, unwilling to watch the spectacle. She couldn't bear to watch her friends attack each other this way.
    However, Gomakashi and Megan were both sent to the floor when Geode grabbed their heads and smacked them together. The pink-and-black-haired android towered over them, a scowl dragging at her lips. "Would you two stop acting like complete asshats and focus on the problem at hand!? ANY of us could be next! Our creators are worried sick! The entire UTAU community is too scared to leave their houses! The last thing we need is your ****ing drama!"
    Mona blinked in surprise, watching as the two girls muttered fake apologies and gathered their wits. While she was grateful to Geode for interrupting the building battle, she didn't want to belive their situation was that dire. The virus, coupled with the self-proclaimed activists certainly amounted to a terrifying situation, but it would pass. Something good was bound to come and save them.
    Right?

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    Two weeks had passed, and the amount of UTAU being stricken down by the virus had reached almost thirty. Creators and androids alike usually stayed in their homes unless going out was absolutely necessary.
    It took quite a bit of begging, but Mona finally convinced Nicola to take her out on the town. As apprehensive as both girls were, Mona couldn't stand wasting such a brilliantly sunny day, and she reasoned that staying in largely-populated parts of the city would keep her safe.
    As Mona led the way down the sidewalk, she immediately noticed a disturbing addition to the cityscape: wanted posters. The faces of various UTAU appeared on flyers pinned on telephone poles and store windows.
    'Those UTAU vigilantes?' Mona wondered solemnly, turning a wide-eyed gaze to Nicola. The brunette reflected Mona's look of silent fear.
    "Mona, I really don't like this," Nicola murmured, hugging her UTAU's arm. "Even if those weird people aren't after you, there's still the chance of that virus. If anything happened to you..."
    Mona nodded slowly, her gaze sympathetic. "I understand. Look, Megan lives near here, right? We'll just duck over there for a while. Okay?" Nicola nodded her approval, and the pair made their war toward the house they knew to belong to Meg and her UTAU.
    It didn't take long, and soon Mona was leading the way up the path to the front door. She raised her hand to knock...
    ...but was immediately bowled over by a hysterical blonde woman.
    Nicola reeled in shock, but soon collected herself enough to pull Meg off the stunned Mona, and yank her into a standing position. "Meg? Megan? What's the matter with you?" Nicola asked desperately. Upon closer inspection, she found the blonde to be trembling violently, tears cascading down her cheeks. Tentatively, she tried again. "M-Meg...?"
    "Sh...e....she's....gone..."
    Mona shook her head and sat up, face wrinkled in confusion. "We can't really understand you-"
    "I can't find Megan anywhere! She's missing!"
     
  12. candymarbles

    candymarbles Momo's Minion

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    You.

    You are doing a really great job with this story. I'm getting all jumpy and excited for the next chapter, gawrsh. c:

    also I kind of laughed really hard at the picture haha
     
  13. Shinaichivocaloid

    Shinaichivocaloid Momo's Minion

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    ;A; my baby!!!

    Oh my god it's so good! I'm amazed! Post the next one soon!!!
     
  14. NicolaCola

    NicolaCola Ruko's Ruffians Defender of Defoko

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    Omigosh, another chapter! *flails* Yay for a chapter from Mona's perspective~ ^^

    Eeee, your writing is so intense, I'm loving this story so much! That ominous 'Right?' made me shiver a little. ;u;

    Ahh, I'm really interested to find out what happens next and why Megan was taken. Can't wait for the next chapter~! >u<b
     
  15. SakisCookie

    SakisCookie Momo's Minion Defender of Defoko

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    Mom: Saki, what did you do at school today?
    Me: I finished typing a story about robots when I should have been working on my Economics project. <3
    Mom:
    Mom:
    Me: OW STOP HITTING ME WITH THE SPATULA THAT HURTS OW


    Anyway, yeah. With my laptop dead, my only internet access is at school during the rare moments when I get near a computer. Boo.
    Shit's getting real in this chapter, along with some deep fluff about friendship and love and blah blah blah. You'll see.

    Fun fact: All the UTAU in the list in this chapter are actually characters of mine. XP



    "This is unacceptble! I won't stand for it, I tell you! Girls, shit's about to get real!"

    Fawkesy watched Courtney pace, chocolate eyes sparking nervously. She stole a glance around the room and found her apprehensions were shared. Most everyone around her wore expressions of grief and fear--even Lynne appeared to be swallowing back tears. When Fawkesy's gaze found Meg, she had to look away. The blonde hadn't stopped crying since Mona and Nicola had helped her to the couch, and her sobs--much as she tried to quiet them--were equivalent to daggers.

    Only an hour ago, Nicola sent out a group call that something terrible had happened, and that she and Mona were at the scene. Within minutes, Fawkesy, Courtney, Lynn, and Chelsea came to offer support of their own. Megan's disappearance hit the group hard, and the looming fear of harm coming to their own UTAU had made it obvious that the androids should be left at home.

    And at this rate, Fawkesy realized with a twinge of fear, she wasn't sure if she ever wanted Saki to leave her sight again.

    "...kick them so hard, their own mothers won't recognize them!" With a small jolt, Fawkesy realized Courtney was still talking. As a matter of fact, the girl hadn't stopped talking since she arrived. She paced Meg's living room, ranting as if she weren't actually focused on the words leaving her mouth. "Oh, the clouds will rain agony upon those damn vigilantes! Rain! RAIN!!!"

    "Would you calm down and actually give us some ideas?" Lynn finally gasped, firmly grasping the group's leader by the shoulders. "Megan is missing. She could be-" A small whimper from Meg made Lynn choke off her words and try again. "I mean, we need to do something as soon as possible. We need a plan."

    For a moment, confusion clouded Courtney's eyes and she adjusted her glasses. "I...well...the clouds will rain...and such..."

    Fawkesy briefly felt a smile tug at her lips, mood lightened ever so slightly by Courtney's bewilderment. But out of the corner of her eye, Meg still wept heavily, and Fawkesy's smile was obliterated.

    "What I want to know," Chelsea spoke up, moving away from Meg, "Is why the police haven't done anything. Why aren't these people being arrested? Why aren't the UTAU being defended?"

    A shade fell over Nicola's eyes. "Because they aren't real people. Because, in the end, no one outside of this fandom cares about them like we do." Her gaze flickered to Mona, becoming soft with affection. "We don't see them as machines. They're our children and friends. Our family. It's only when I have to plug Mona into her charger or load a .ust disc into her system that I remember she isn't human."

    A silence fell over the room as all the girls took this in. Fawkesy felt herself tear up slightly, memories of Saki flooding her mind. It was true; in her life, Saki was a dear friend and companion. Someone who loved her even at her lowest points. Someone who was always there, and aways happy to see her. They made music together--one unable to create anything without the other. And every time they shared a moment, Saki's every word betrayed a child-like affection and dependece. As if she were constantly whispering, "Thank you for showing me life."

    Fawkesy quickly wiped her eyes, turning her thoughts to the present. "Nicola's right," she said. Her voice felt a bit unsteady, and the girl absently covered her mouth. "We're the only ones that are going to look out for them. We have to do something."

    "Well, where can we start?" Courtney sighed, gluing her hands to her hips. As tough as she talked, she was a low-action girl. And everyone knew it. "It's not like we can grab torches and hunt them down. We know nothing about these guys--no one does. They're practically UTAU Anonymous. But less smarter and without those creepy masks."

    Chelsea rubbed her chin thoughtfully. "Maybe we could trace them somehow. Don't they keep sending out lists of wanted UTAU? At the very least, we can hide in the city and wait for one of them to come by and put up more of those posters. They can't stay in the shadows all the time, can they?"

    Fawkesy drew in a breath to reply, but was interrupted by an ear-piercing noise. It was ridiculously high-pitched, and no matter how tightly she clamped her hands over her ears, the sound seemed to resonate inside her skull. At the point when it seemed most unbearable, it stopped completely. Fawkesy kept her hands over her ears, realizing with a small jolt of pain that she had been gnashing her teeth together. She pried her eyes open, finding the other girls had nearly the same reaction.

    Chelsea's mouth moved, but Fawkesy found she couldn't hear anything over the constant ringing in her ears. She shook her head quickly, frowning as the world started to come off of mute. The first thing she heard as the sound returned was a thick white noise. For a moment, panic rose in her chest. Had that high-pitched squeal deafened her?

    Courtney gasped (a gasp that Fawkesy was relieved to be able to hear), and the girls followed her gaze to the TV perched on Meg's wall. Fawkesy was sure it had been off before, but now the machine flickered with gray and white static. Fawkesy found herself stepping away from the screen. She jumped slightly when the static vanished, replaced by a full-screen image of the UTAU icon.

    "Now that we have your attention," a deep male voice murmured through the speakers, "We wish to provide an update on the current situation. And who are 'we', you may be asking? Many are calling us vigilantes. Some have gone so far as to call us terrorists. We, however, have adopted the name 'Meager UTAU Termination Entity'--or MUTE."

    A moment of silence passed, as if the speaker were giving everyone time to digest this information. Fawkesy found that she couldn't tear her eyes from the screen, mouth slightly agape as her thoughts whirled viciously. How had these people managed to control the airwaves? Was this their leader talking? If they could control the television broadcasts, what else could they do? For a moment, the stress of these worries was too much, and she stumbled back into the nearest chair.

    Unaware of her growing panic, the man's voice continued, "We would like to take this moment to discuss with all of you a few points on our organization and our purpose. We are NOT terrorists. We are merely concerned for the sanctity of the world. Frankly, these UTAU are pollution."

    Fawkesy was vaguely aware of a yelp of outrage from one of the girls, but she locked her focus on the television.

    "Many, if not all, of these privately-produced androids are filth who cannot sing, cannot dress themselves properly, and are otherwise not fit to exist. Our mission began at the bottom of the bottom, with androids whose voices were a nuisance to the modern day. Once most of these were disposed of, we moved up in the ranking of quality. And so we shall continue to do, until only the highest-quality voices remain. This means any UTAU who has never had a single criticism."

    "What!?" The scream was enough to tear Fawkesy's attention from the screen momentarily, her gaze instead locking onto Lynn. The girl trembled slightly, and Fawkesy realized she was shaking with fury. Lynn stepped toward the TV as if personally challenging it. "That...that isn't even possible! There doesn't exist a single UTAU that has never been criticized! There doesn't exist a single ANYTHING that hasn't been criticized! It's just not possible!"

    Chelsea tenderly reached out to touch Lynn's shoulder in an attempt to provide comfort. If it worked, Lynn showed no signs of it, and continued to seethe.

    And yet, despite the horrid tension and the angry tears that choked each girl's throat, the man's voice prattled on. Fawkesy even swore it sounded delighted by their rage.

    "Many of the UTAU we terminate are stricken down in stealth. So, to keep an organized count, we have arranged a list of every android that is now out of commission. This list will be repeated on loop until noon, so please remain calm if you miss anything."

    Remain calm? How ludicrous.

    The UTAU icon faded to a black screen, and white text began to roll up at a moderate speed.

    #1: Nana Chouko; #2: Ichirou Kageru; #3: Rina Utsuro

    A woman's voice read off every name as it scrolled past. An oddly-familiar voice, at that. Every girl in the room scrambled closer to the screen, scanning the names of the terminated (or dead, Fawkesy realized with a small cry. It was more like they were dead) androids with hungry gazes.

    #25: Aelita Zaki; #26: Ryouta Kanamade; #27: Asuka Hiirade

    At first, none of the names seemed immediately familiar. Fawkesy felt she might have recognized a few UTAU from the forums or from browsing YouTube, but it seemed no one she truly knew had been taken down.

    'Yet,' she thought with a pang, and silently cursed herself for thinking it at all.

    #89: Mary Castelle; #90: Manami Tamaki; #91: Malva Ganze

    As the list wound down, most of the girls began to relax. They were all safe, and not even Megan had made the list. But if she hadn't been terminted, where was she? Had she been kidnapped by someone else? Or-

    "No...no no no!" Fawkesy flinched away from the scream and whirled around to see who it had come from. Lynn was backing way from the TV, her face so pale it looked like she might pass out. Tears cascaded down her cheeks and her entire body was racked with sobs. Chelsea and Nicola immediately rushed to her side, trying as much as they could to calm the poor girl. Lynn, however, completely disregaurded their presence and continued to wail. "No! H-how did...but I left her at home! She....oh God, I have to get home!"

    Fawkesy never saw Lynn run out the front door, Chelsea following quickly behind her. Her gaze had already slowly moved back to the screen. She didn't want to look. Didn't want it to be true. How could it be true? It couldn't-

    But it was there, mocking her from the blackness of the television screen.



    #112: L'Aquila


    A note for AFTER you read this chapter:
    Please note that L'Aquila's termination is NOT my way of saying I don't like her or that she's bad or anything. She is gone for another reason that I can't tell you because, obviously, spoilers. I just want to be absolutely clear that she and anyone else who get taken out are not taken out because I think they aren't good. I swear.
     
  16. Fawkesy

    Fawkesy Ruko's Ruffians Defender of Defoko

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    ;o; That was such a good chapter.
     
  17. NicolaCola

    NicolaCola Ruko's Ruffians Defender of Defoko

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    AND NOW THINGS GET SERIOUS.

    Omigosh omigosh omigosh, that chapter was so intense. QAQ Looks like things are going to be escalating quite a bit from here on in, aksdlahsgks i can't wait *o*

    Clever acronym, by the way! Very fitting~

    You're doing such an awesome job with this, thank you for being so amazingggg~ QuQ
     
  18. candymarbles

    candymarbles Momo's Minion

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    Can I just
    like can I just say
    you are beautiful.
     
  19. SakisCookie

    SakisCookie Momo's Minion Defender of Defoko

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    You guys
    Oh my god.
    Come to Saki. -group snuggle-
     
  20. UtauYork

    UtauYork Momo's Minion

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    ;_; I come back from my unannounced hiatus to this and I was so excited. Then L'Aquila gets taken down and I just-- I'm overdramatically reacting with rage and sadness.jsjsjsjddkaksjddjddj

    Well done, I love it. ;;_;; I hope I get to be the one that gets to single-handedly take these jerkfaces down. [size=7pt]Taking down everyone's UTAU and stuff-- total asshats. [/size]

    Anyways, yes. I really like it. ;v;
     
  21. SakisCookie

    SakisCookie Momo's Minion Defender of Defoko

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    I will make sure you have your vengeance! ;A;
    And if it makes you feel better, she certainly won't be the last to go...
     

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