The Hub - Terminus
The Terminus is a great, immense facility that is at once a mixture of an alien ruin and a supermodern airport. The superstructure consists of towering blue vines, sometimes as thick as tree trunks, that wind and stretch about, forming great pillars and archways as they curl together. The same material forms the floor, instead of steel or stone. Ramps lead to stacked concentric circles, where the cables form archways leading into the numerous Gates taking people to the rest of the cosmos - and then some.
However, mixed in with this is a variety of architecture - both modern, sleek units and alien technology ranging from organic to stone monoliths - that houses a series of overpriced shops and restaurants. Hotels and the like can even be found mixed in, allowing every amenity one might imagine.
On the southern end of this immense room is a great archway, which leads into the Hub itself. It is large enough for small spaceships, while containing ramps and catwalks for vehicles and men on foot alike to cross at their own pace.
It's been over a week since he won a
date with the Pekopon girl, Haruhi Suzumiya. Truthfully speaking, the
whole event slipped Kururu's mind till recently. While he would
normally not heisitate to ignore such 'responsibilities', Kururu came
to the decision that it probably wouldn't be a bad thing to get more
familiar with the various Pekoponians in the alternate worlds out
there. Worse comes to worse, if the date goes bad Kururu could text one
of his latest inventions on her and call it an evening. Said invention
is in the trunk of the mecha he is now flying. What it is, is a SEKKRIT
(if it even comes into play at all).
Speaking of Kururu's mecha, there's
a new seat welded on the left side, much like a motorcycle add-on.
Likely that is for Haruhi. Seems to be the right size, despite the MUCH
SMALLER pilot's seat, designed to seat the Keron.
Part one of the date: Pick up in
Haruhi Suzumiya is...waiting impatiently. The girl some
would call God is not dressed to kill, but she's not wearing her school
uniform anyway - a red blouse and a denim skirt, nice casual date wear,
right? She is also, of course, wearing her habitual yellow ribbon, and
also her habitual vaguely annoyed scowl.
"Oooo, where is he!?" she mutters. "Aliens aren't
supposed to be late! They're supposed to show up right on time and then
look spooky and-oh there he is."
She waves her handbag as Kururu approaches.
Elsewhere, Yuki Nagato is sitting in
a chair and reading. On some unspoken signal, she looks up from her
book to gaze out the window, eyes glazing slightly as they focus on
something far, far away.
Kururu has been added to your watchfor list.
The humanoid interface then keeps
reading. o/` She's makin' her list, checkin' it twice, gonna find out
who's naughty and nice... o/`
Haruhi is dealing with the wrong
alien if she expects Kururu to obey common courtesies like being on
time. Nevertheless he's here. The Kururu Mecha comes to a stop and
hovers in the air a few feet away from Haruhi.
"Yo." He says in greeting. He
wonders, is he supposed to say anything else? Compliment her, perhaps?
He never paid much attention to Pekoponian mating rituals, at least not
to the finer specifics of everything that happened BEFOREHAND, anyway.
Ku ku. Besides, this isn't going to be a Pekoponian date, it's going to
be a SPACE Date.
"Hop in, and put this on..." He
hands Haruhi what resembles a necklace, though it feels more like a
collar. "I noticed you people have a nasty habit of not surviving the
vacuum of space, so that'll keep you alive and breathing." It'll
probably help with the bitter cold, too, but he doesn't mention THAT,
Haruhi Suzumiya gets BIG SHINY EYES. AWESOME GIANT
ROBOT. She should get the robotics club to make one of those. It can't
be that hard, if a frog can do it. SHe also grabs the necklace and
eagerly puts it on because it's from ALIENS and that means it CAN'T GO
She hops in. "OK!" she says. "Where we going? Space!?"
Kururu has the somewhat dubious honor of being the first and only person Haruhi has ever actually showed enthusiasm on a date with. This is largely because he's a frog alien from space.
"Kukuku, exactly. We're going on a Space Date." Kururu replies, as he starts up the Kururu Mecha again, which takes off back towards the Hub it entered from. A 'space date', in other words Kururu intends on taking Haruhi to a bunch of bizarre worlds from his own universe which will SEEM compltely random, and made-up, but totally real, honest.
"Might want to strap in, too. I'm PRETTY sure I put belts on that thing. Kuku." Yes, belts ARE there, either Kururu was forgetful, or that was just a joke. As for Haruhi's coller, it makes a few beeping noises when it snaps in, and nothing more. Though she'll find that as soon as they pass into the vacuum of space she's able to breathe perfectly normally.
Haruhi seems TOTALLY ENTHUSED. "A space date! Awesome!"
and she hums a happy little tune as Kururu drives them to victory and
justice! She does strap in - she's not insane, just crazy. She also
giggles, because the frog is funny, and she's hyper because DATE WITH
Space is big and huge and vast and neverending, but the couple is riding in one of Kururu's mecha, so despite the fact that it should take years upon years to travel from one star system to another, they seem to do so in a relatively small amount of time.
Hm, the girl is enjoying herself more than Kururu could have expected. And they haven't even ARRIVED anywhere yet. Though they're right about to. The Mech arrives near a planet, that seems to glow a light blue color, with two red rings surrounding it. "Here we have a planet has a giant amusement park covering its entire surface..." Kinda like Coruscant, only happy and fun. "We haven't found a way to pronounce its name in your language yet, just call it DizNee IV." Coincidental surely.
The Mech soars downward, entering the planet's atmopshere. Like space travel the mech seems immune to little things like re-entry. As they land, they are faced with what looks like a rather long line. But the attendants take one look at Kururu and make way for him.
It helps that the Kerons invaded this planet in the past.
Invasions do make people somewhat more likely to be pleasant in the future! Unless it doesn't work that way, but no matter. Haruhi seems deeply enthused, because she is a kook and this whole place is awesome. She marvels. Space is smaller than she thought! And re-entry's not that big a deal after all.
Yuki's going to have to beat Haruhi with an astrophysics book by the time tonight is over. "DizNee, huh? Sounds...familiar!" she says. "An amusement park sounds great!!" Well, no, they're boring, but -- a PLANETARY one! In SPACE! With an ALIEN! As Haruhi predicted, alien dates are awesome.
Let's save the debate over how plausable a planet-wide amusement park would be for later, this place makes so much money it's largely irrelevant. Despite the fact that no version of Earth is currently affiliated, nor aware, of it, DizNee IV is still responsibile for about 33 precent of lost revenue planet wide on each incarnation of Earth. Figure that one out.
Kururu hops out of the Mecha, which was left in Park and waits for Haruhi to follow him towards the entrance, which is now cleared for them. All manner of aliens are lined up. Tentacle-based, insect-based, lizard-based, aliens that look vaguely human but aren't quite the same, aliens that look like the horrors of the old elder gods, aliens composed of light and shadow, aliens composed of liquid, all sorts. They all look at Haruhi as if SHE'S the freak.
Problem #1 of the date has just arisen. Even though they're on a date together, Kururu is still only about 2 feet tall. It doesn't seem to bother the Keron that much, but it certainly looks odd.
Haruhi hops out eagerly, totally unwitting of the
terrible economic power she now stands at the epicenter of. She also
seems completely oblivious to the level of weird looks she's getting,
because she figures these aliens are all merely mortified by her
natural beauty and charm. And personal magnetism, can't forget that.
She grins waay down at the froggy. "So where next, huh?" she demands, because she's sure the totally awesome alien has SOMETHING TOTALLY WICKED in store. And by wicked we mean cool. ...right?
Kururu isn't one for rides, nor games, nor... ANYTHING at amusement parts like these, really. So Haruhi better appreciate how much he's putting up with, here.
At first he was thinking he'd outfit Haruhi with some of his destructive weaponry, unleash her on the amusement park, and tell her it was all a game to cause as much damage as possible. Amusing, but she might actually get hurt, and it would cause undue strain on Keron relations with this world. As if they weren't strained enough. So he figures they'd try the rides out. He can put up with the hum-drum, boring old amusement park rides.
"First I figured we would go ride the Atom Strainer. It's a device that spins and vibrates so rapidly it allows the riders to pass through solid objects on an atomic level." He's ridden it before, it's not what it's cracked up to be. Interesting light show, though.
Haruhi hates amusement parks. They are boring and
But planetary alien amusement parks with alien superintelligent frogs? ROCK ON! "Oooh!" she says, enthralled. "That sounds great! C'mon, what're we waiting for!?" She has a GIANT SMILE and looks just way too enthusiastic, but then again, she does come from poor, backwoods Pekopon, right?
Backwoods indeed. Most variations of
Pekopon that exist out there haven't even mastered deep space travel
yet! If a race of 2 foot tall alien frogs can do it, why can't they?
This sort of technology may seem
impossible, but it's really child's play, when you look at the universe
as a whole. It MUST be mundane, if it's being used for a amusement park
ride. But the important thing is that it will be a new experience to
Haruhi. And with any luck she won't be TOTALLY bored with all of this
new stuff by the time the night is out.
Kururu leads Haruhi up to the Atom
Strainer, so they can take their seats. "We pass through progressively
thicker and thicker walls. Plays a lot of nice tricks on your eyes. As
for the way it feels... I can only go with 'delightfully tingley'."
Haruhi gives Kururu a wry look, and notes, "It's alien
technology! I bet it's really amazing!" because she's kind of dense
when she's in the midst of amazing situations. Haruhi is by no means
bored, although heaven help Kururu if she gets that way! "Pass through
thicker and thicker walls...Yuki would love that! She's a real science
and books buff, I bet she'd be really amazed!"
"Hnnmm, Yuki? Wasn't she one of the other girls at the Auction?" He didn't say 'Pekoponian Girl', odd. Could he suspect her true nature? Kerons DO have a nose for other aliens, of course, even those very good at disguising themselves.
Kururu doesn't get time to ask more about her, though, as the ride starts up. The vibration is very subtle, but very very fast, and quickly spreads through the entire body. Then the ride starts moving, and approaches the first wall. Which it effortlessly flies through. That one was only a few inches thick. Thicker ones fast approach, but despite whatever you might THINK about 'fast-moving object + giant wall = CRASH', there's no crashing. There's a low 'whoosh'ing sound every time the ride passes through a wall, and the visuals that pop up with the thicker ones can only be described as 'psychadellic'.
And it DOES feel delightfully tingley.
Haruhi does not get much chance to answer, because THEY
IS GOING. It IS subtle, and at first Haruhi seems to disapprove of so
tame a ride. THis is right before FLY THROUGH A WALL. AND ANOTHER. AND
ANOTHER!! She's giggling as it goes on, because this is totally awesome
and trippy and GREAT.
Between walls, she can be heard to shout, "TOTALLY COOL!!"
At least Haruhi is enjoying herself. The ride is pretty mundane by Kururu's standards, and most of the people at the amusement park even! Oh sure, the technology is still pretty impressive, and the ride is very, VERY cool the first time you ride it. But after that? You can only not-crash through walls so many times before it becomes a yawn-fest. Though that first time is still a blast.
When the ride comes to a stop, Kururu hops out and thinks for a moment. He wasn't expecting Haruhi to be THAT amused by such a simple ride. "Hmmm, what else? There's the ride that's built on the subatomic scale which involves shrinking down in order to ride it." Certainly a space-saver, that one! "Or there's the Virtual Reality TV ride where put is on a desert island and make us fight for our survival...." That's probably a bit too dangers, Kururu didn't bring many weapons for himself. "Or we could go for some games." Boring, especially when you know how to cheat them, but maybe Kururu could win an oversized, useless toy to keep her happy.
Haruhi looks thoughtful - really thoughtful! This is
really something else. It's not quite as good as -- ...don't think
about that today, Haruhi, you are on a date with an honest-to-God
Little Green Man! Now people will really want in on the SOS Brigade!!
"Let's try the games!" she decides. "Maybe we can try another ride
Games AND a ride eh? That'll depend on how much Space Credit Kururu has left when it's all over. But whatever, he'll worry about that when he has to. To the games!
Despite being a planet humans have had little, or no, contact with, there sure are a lot of variations of Pekopon carnival games. From the ring-toss, to filling up balloons with water guns. Instead of regular rings they're miniature planetary rings (with little planets as the targets!) and instead of filling balloons with water, it's filling up white dwarfs with solar radiation. Or, it LOOKS like that, anyway, they can't REALLY be actual white dwarfs. Nice special effects.
"Ku, it's typical for the male to win a prize for his date on Pekopon, isn't it?" He almost sounds like he's annoyed with the prospect, but he'll go through with it anyway! Once he decides which game would be easist to cheat at.
"Ooooh," Haruhi declares, watching the shiny displays roll by as they go. This is freaking metal. Kyon's gonna be so jealous! Hah! Bet he's sorry for not buying that secret hidden camera now, isn't he!! "Yeah!" she says. "Most guys do, if they go to a place like this. Only the really boring guys don't."
Her tone suggests 'boring' is a synonym for 'in need of a violent, loveless demise.'
Kururu has spent enough time around other Pekopon girls to tell when they're implying 'violent loveless demise', so he quickly decides to hurry and win one.
Guns are more Giroro's thing, not that it stops Kururu from inventing a few dozen different guns a day, but the intelligence officer turns his attention to the Planetary Ring Toss, instead. And pay no mind to the glove he just slipped onto his hand. It's for.... grip. Yeah. Grip.
Kururu hops up to the counter, and merely flashes a Keron Badge, getting the surprised tender to hand him some rings. Being a race of invaders has its benefits.
While he would like to show off and flaunt his superiority, Kururu decides to get this done quickly. Best not to draw TOO much attention to him and his inconsequential little glove. Kururu takes the rings and immediately flings them onto the top five prizes. At once. And this is all despite the fact that the top two prizes are too large for the rings to fit over.
Excellent grip, that glove. "Ku ku ku. Child's play, just too easy." Kururu mocks the mortified game-owner. "Take your pick, you can only take one." The top five prizes?
5. A life-size Sumomo-chan doll
4. A slimy pile of tentacles which must hide a doll in the center somewhere.
3. A Micro Machine car. Seriously.
2. A 6ft tall battle suit which resembles a Gundam but not quite
1. MYSTERY BOX OF DOOM!
Haruhi Suzumiya watches with awe as Kururu summarily
wins handily. "Totally cool!" she declares. Haruhi likes the word
'totally.' But then she's told to pick one. They're all TOTALLY
AWESOME, of course (She figures the Micro Machine turns into a time
machine), but really, when confronted by a choice like this, there's
only one thing a girl Haruhi like can go for!
She points at the battlesuit, because the robotics club would be SO JEALOUS!! "That one! I'll get that one!"
Elsewhere, Yuki looks impassively down at her hands, calmly noting the odd, salty drops of water and wondering why they're coming out of her eyes for no apparent reason at all. Perhaps it has to do with the sudden feeling of foreboding running down her spine.
The game attendant sighs, and hits a button on the battlesuit, causing it to rapidly compress into a much smaller version of itself. How else would Haruhi carry it?
Kururu can't help but snerk at the quality. /He/ could invent one 100 times better, and stronger! But he'd best not reveal that right now, as fun as it would be to gloat. He gets the feeling from this girl that she's pretty hyperactive among such things, and that she would NEVER leave him alone if she knew he could do it. Sigh, the sacrifices his ego must make for the greater good.
"Well, there you have it. There's a book with instructions, in all 1,234,581,024,102 languages in the known universe. It'll tell you what you need to know, ku ku." A flimsy, knock-off it may be, but Kururu still makes a mental note to keep an eye on Haruhi's home world. Who knows? This may prove to be VERY amusing, at least. "I suppose we had better call it quits here. Before we wear out our welcome. The staff doesn't like it when I... win too well. Ku ku ku." One ride and one game? Well, best not to wear yourself out on one trip. If Haruhi ever returns here for some reason, provided Yuki can't stop it from happening, there'd still be much more to see and do.
Haruhi's face remarkably DOES NOT fall as it turns into
an action figure, because miniaturization is almost as cool as brain
probes. "Awesome!" she chirps, and accepts the prize. "My very own
super robot thing! Hah! Kyon'll flip!" And then she looks down at
Kururu, and...frowns. It's sad! "Awww, we gotta go? Well, I guess..."
She looks around. If this were a NORMAL guy, she'd grab him by the hand
and DRAG him to every conceivable attraction, but..it's not. It's an
alien. And aliens always know best, right!? Damn! "OK! If you say so!"
she says, though the smile is now officially Subdued.
Yes, Kururu does know best. Not because he's an alien, but because he's KURURU. And if Haruhi were to try and drag Kururu anywhere she'd find herself transformed into... SOMETHING. And that would eventually become unpleasent for everyone, one way or another. So, best the date ends on a high note, than let it turn into something ugly.
At least that's the universe's rationale. As far as Kururu is concerned, he's had about enough and feels he's lived up to his side of the bargain. And in return he gets another interesting Pekoponian (and alternate Pekopon) to keep tabs on. Ku ku ku. "Yes, I'm a busy person as well, and I have to get back to... things. Ku ku." Things like observing his multitude of hidden cameras, especially the ones set up around the Terminus and anywhere else Kururu can sneak into. He hasn't gotten one in the SOS Brigade HQ yet, though. "Should I take you back to the Terminus, or do you want to be dropped off somewhere else?"
That right there was about as considerate as Kururu has ever been to anyone, ever. Haruhi must have really made a good impression on him.
"You can just take me back to the Terminus!" Haruhi
chirps with a (now slightly less brilliant) grin. "I can get home from
there, no problem!"
Sadly, the air of mystery surrounding Haruhi's home life is too thick to be pierced even by something as mighty as Kururu being considerate.
Yes, the fabric of reality has had enough strain for one night, and adding to that would only make things complicated. Kururu being considerate is one thing, but actually ACTING on him being considerate? Well, best we don't go there.
"Roger." He says, almost militaristically. Just a force of habit. The Keron leads the Pekopon girl back to his Mech out in the parking lot. Interestingly, the line outside hasn't seemed to have moved forward AT ALL. If anything it seems to have moved back a space. Maybe someone got back from a bathroom break.
Or gave birth.
As the Kururu Mech starts up, Kururu reminds Haruhi. "Hey, don't forget to re-activate the necklace, we still have to pass through space to get back." It'd be a shame if the date came to a sudden stop in THAT regard, wouldn't it?
Another quick, and uneventful trip through the depths of space once more, and the Kururu Mech is back at the Terminus Hub. "You Pekoponians and your strange social habits. Well, something interesting came out of it all, hmm?" Kururu says, implying the item he won. It'll be as much fun for him to watch it as it will be for her to cause the chaos.
Haruhi reactivates the neckless, hops in, and...goes
with the flow, man. She is giggling over her prize, oh yes,
"Yeah! I got to meet aliens, and have an awesome date with a cool frog guy! Thanks for this!" She beams at Kururu, hops out of his little tank, and DOES NOT KISS THE FROGGY.
Haruhi figures kissing the froggy is probably some horrible taboo in space, after all.
Yes, it is best for all parties involved that she didn't do that. Kururu... he wouldn't handle being kissed very well. Best we not go there.
"Later." He says, before starting up the Kururu mech and flying off back through one of the hubs. Now then... to see about setting up a secret camera in that SOS Brigade. Kuuuu ku ku ku...
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