At Our Lady of Gamers, a Church of Miho, a reading from the second e-mail of _Quinn's:

I was not always known as _Quinn. There was only one person who could ever pronounce that name: she's forgotten how, now, but the sound of it still rings in the echoes of my footsteps, when I prowl the corridors in which she used to walk...

"Girrette!" she'd say, because in those days, the localization packs were not yet made; and she thought I was the best a man could be. And, not being Nihongo, I was the first she saw shaving. "Girette! Will you play with me today?"

And in those days, I, too, lacked localization, so I would say: "You don't get bored of reading everything to me?"

And she would smile -- and could she smile! -- and do that back-and-forth headshake that set her pigtails swinging, wish-thwack, wish-thwack, and say: "Girrette-kun, you're too nice to me!"

And I would disagree with the sentiment, and play with her anyway, because it was that the others were not kind enough. But no one listens to security, especially guest security.

For we would do these things in the third year of the chairmainship of Kagato, before he began to negotiate with Hell. And so it was that he demanded an accounting, and lo: the CPAs descended upon the lab as if a plague, and said: all of ye, go to the department from which you hail, and there be registered. And I hailed from no department, so I could not journey anywhere. And so she and I were without a place to register.

With nothing better to do, I would lock down the lab and sit with her in the observable classroom, set the windows to the Space Invaders demo, and teach her chess. She would get uncomfortable from time to time; eventually, I discovered that it offended her sense of order for me to sit in the same row: we were not, after all, of the same gender. So I would turn around in my seat and we'd play chess on her desk until lunchtime. I would step outside to eat, because she looked so sad unless I did. (Perhaps she still did; but at least, not seeing it, it tore not at my heart.) Something about sandwiches threw her off, I guess: maybe she just never liked them, or something about eaching lunch out of a bag. Maybe just that nobody had taught her to cook yet.

She would say creepy things sometimes. I didn't learn why until too late. Sometimes, she'd get fidgety, see? She never had a chance to learn patience, and her fidgeting helped me win; or maybe she lost faster so she could race me to the coffee room, or be first to touch the copier on every floor. And sometimes, we'd run into each other some place where we'd done something a long time ago, like where I watched her learn to walk, and I would say something about it: and she would say something politely disbelieving, that she didn't remember me being there. It wasn't until later that I learned she was speaking more truly than I thought.

Genki was a word that would always trip her up. The lab had hardly any women, for some reason or another, and the few there all practiced battle-ax-fu in their spare time. She probably didn't know any real girls until she met you... or had forgotten them, if she had. I'm still not over that, but I guess it never bothered you.

In the afternoons, she would teach me written Japanese; oh, I'd learned enough not to embarass myself too badly, but even if I never played a ren'ai game without her -- more likely, since she's met you -- literacy would be helpful in my line of work: ransom notes, or somesuch. (Real Men Don't Read Manuals, right? ;-)) I would make a lot of mistakes: one of the reasons I didn't go into teaching is that I've a got a bad chalkboard hand. She thought it was funny to show me how wrong I'd been by transliterating it into romanji: and so once she wrote down "_Quinn," and giggled. And spoke it. "Girrette," she said, "_Quinn's your secret name now. So I can talk to you and no one else will know." And now it's my nom-de-geurre, and nobody will be able to say it right again. And that's how I remember her.

And what does after the cute mean for someone who's immortal?

- _Quinn

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