Just for the sake of giving everyone a free round of drinks I'm going to say that this is quite obviously my first post. Not to mention my first Megatokyo fanfic. I hope you enjoy. And if you don't... then you don't.
Today had been a good day for Miho so far. Not that very much had happened so far. One of the things that didn't happen was "Great Teacher Largo" pointing a finger at her every five minutes and calling her "7h3 3vil one". Miho was pretty glad about that, in a cool unemotional way. Being called Queen of the Zombies gets tiring after a while.
She had spent most of Largo's class not paying any attention to him at all. He was supposed to be teaching English, but he tended to confuse the language with l337, which Miho could already understand pretty well and saw no real use for. As for Largo's teachings on the proper playing of games… well… that just went beyond pathetic.
Ping, on the other hand, seemed to be very interested in this poor excuse for "class". Miho didn't know if Ping could actually learn anything from Largo. She was meant to played with, not to play games on her own. As for language, Miho supposed Ping had Japanese programmed for her speech patterns and was not capable of rewriting this program enough to "learn" English. Or l337 for that matter.
One time during class, Miho had got bored with staring out the window and had surveyed the classroom simply for something to do while the Great Teacher droned on. Ping had been paying attention, which was not unexpected, but was also sitting with a pen that was moving over paper. If Miho hadn't known better, she would have said that Ping had been doodling. Which was impossible unless someone over at Sony had programmed her with a "doodling" subroutine. Which was, to put it mildly, unlikely.
So maybe Ping really was making it all up as she went along, writing and rewriting her own programs whenever she really needed to. Although the need for a doodling program eluded Miho. She probably made it after spending too much time with Piro.
"<What are you thinking about?>" Ping asked in her usual cheerful tone of voice.
"<Nothing much,>" answered Miho.
It was lunchtime and Ping was busily eating from her very own lunchbox while seemingly oblivious from the stares all the students kept giving her.
"<How human are you?>"
Ping's brow creased up in simulated thought. "<What do you mean by that?>"
"<What are you? When it comes down to it?>"
"<A Sony EDS prototype of course,>" Ping said cheerfully. "<You know that.>"
"<Sometimes I wonder,>" said Miho. "<I saw you doodling in class. What did you draw?>"
Ping blushed her embarrassed blush. It was one of her more convincing blushes. "<It was nothing, really.>"
"<Electric sheep maybe?>" Miho said, a faint smile appearing on her face.
"<No,>" said Ping, obviously not getting the reference. "<Mostly just other things.>"
"<What other things?>"
The embarrassed blush came back with a vengeance. Did the artistic girl in a dating game always display such a lack of confidence in her own abilities?
"<It was just, you know, things.>"
Ping was trying to avoid the subject. She probably wasn't programmed to, but she was still trying.
"<That's right, things,>" said Ping, sounding relieved. "<Nothing interesting.>"
"<I'd still like to see them,>" said Miho.
"<I don't think we have the time. Class starts again soon.>"
And that was a lie.
Miho decided to let it go for now. "<You're right. We probably don't have the time.>"
Ping nodded happily and continued eating. She stopped mid-bite and sagged forward, her eyes going blank. Something metallic was sticking in her back.
Miho jumped up and tried to grab the thing, but was rewarded with a jolt of electricity.
"No, I wouldn't touch that if I were you."
Miho looked up and saw a gun. A few moments later she saw the man holding the gun. He looked fairly average. He wore glasses, a Sega coat and the grin of a madman.
"What did you do to her?" Miho asked.
The man gave a surprised smile. "Pretty fluent in English for a young girl like yourself."
"What did you do to her?" Miho asked again. She tried to make her voice sound tough, which is pretty hard when you're face to barrel with a gun.
"Overloaded her circuitry. Don't worry, she's not harmed. Not too much anyway."
"Got orders to take her with me, that's all. It's nothing personal."
"Your smile tells me you're enjoying this, though."
"What can I say, I love my job. Now step a little back please so I can gather the fallen without you interfering."
"No," said Miho, surprising herself.
"No? Interesting answer. Why not?"
"She's my friend."
"She's just a robot."
"She's more than that."
"I will shoot you if you don't move. Are you willing to risk your life for this thing?"
The moment she said it, Miho realised the absurdity. In games and, to a certain extent, in real life she simply manipulated people to get what she wanted. People were mere means to an end.
And here she was defending a robot.
Miho would have laughed at the irony if she wasn't staring down the barrel of a gun.
"I'm not unreasonable," said the man. "So I'm going to count to three."
"I won't move."
"Very altruistic of you. One…"
The man in the Sega coat swirled around and aimed his gun at a man in a Sony coat who was aiming a shotgun at him.
Miho stepped closer to Ping. The two men didn't seem to notice her, lost in a little world of their own.
"Badgering little girls? I thought you didn't do that kind of thing," said the man in the Sony coat.
Miho knelt down next to Ping.
"I will if it's necessary," said the man in the Sega coat.
Miho grabbed the metallic device still sticking in Ping's back. Painful jolts of electricity rushed up her arms. Miho ignored it and kept pulling.
"Shooting is easier."
"I like to give people a fair warning."
Black spots started swimming in front of Miho's eyes. She ignored them too.
"You're too soft for this business."
The device came loose in Ping immediately booted up again.
"<Miho,>" she asked, "<what's going on?>"
The two gaming industry hitmen directed their attention, and gun barrels, towards Ping. Ping shrieked in fright.
Then her earblade started beeping as she switched into defensive mode.
"Well. This is inconvenient," said the man in the Sony coat.
Miho couldn't see what happened next since the black spots filled up her entire vision and then her entire consciousness.
Miho opened her eyes and instantly recognised the ceiling of the nurse's office. She realised that this meant that she'd seen it too often.
Miho looked away from the ceiling and saw Ping. She was sitting in chair next to her bed aslee-- in stand-by mode.
To Miho, the world was a game and all the humans were NPCs. And now it was a bot, of all people, who'd become Player 2.