Gakushuu shakes his hand, wincing. He glares at the microchip, like it shocking him was in its control and not his own.
He sighs, leaning back in his chair and kicking off the desk to spin around. He roves his eyes over the mess he made the garage, parts and tech littered about. He sticks his leg out and stops his spin, pulling closer to his desk to once again start working on his microchip.
This specific little project of his would help with his personal interests in E class. He’d gone up the hill out of boredom, knowing he’d gathered all the information he could have from second hand sources and decided to try for first hand instead. It had been a normal classroom.
Except for the disgusting stack of porno mags he’d found and a strange, large black computer that had been at the back of class.
Of course, he couldn’t just tell the principal he’d been up at the classroom, or else he would pretty much be admitting he’s on his last straw for finding information on 3-E’s secret, but it’s disturbing that a teacher has so many porno mags stashed in their desk.
So instead, he writes an anonymous email(making sure to add a few purposeful errors, no matter how painful it is to do so. Gakuhou will most definitely recognize his format style but he’d never believe Gakushuu to make spelling errors) detailing rumours of the 3-E teacher bringing inappropriate magazines to school.
With that out of the way, it brings him to his next topic of interest. The large computer at the back of the classroom.
The current microchip he’s attempting to create should allow him to download everything on the computer. He hadn’t found any ON buttons but he’d found the computer's source code, and if he implements it into this chip along with a few extra tweaks, he should have all the information on E class he desires.
Easier said than done. Working on such a small piece of tech is difficult, and his already poor sight doesn’t help. He’d switched out of his glasses a while ago but it didn’t make much of a difference.
After long, painful hours spent on this single chip, he’s finally completed it. Adding it to his laptop, he’s quick to begin the extra levels of coding, fingers flying across the keyboard.
A loading bar pops up on screen. Gakushuu finishes the last little bits of coding and clicks the enter button, watching it slowly fill. He leans back and stretches, groaning.
He’s almost there. Just a few more seconds of loading, and all of E class's secrets are his.
As the bar completes loading, something begins popping up on his screen. Gakushuu squints, leaning closer. Little numbers of code swim across his screen and begin to form some kind of avatar.
It fills with colour, and a girl with lilac hair and bright blue eyes stares at him, startled. Gakushuu blinks back. He recognizes this girl.
They stare at each other awkwardly. “Uhm,” Ritsu says, pressing the pads of her fingers together, “How did you, uh, summon me? You shouldn’t… be able to.”
“I went to E class,” Gakushuu says, mind running a mile a minute, “And found a large computer at the back of the class. I thought it would tell me the secret E class is hiding, so I found its source code and created a microchip to replicate it so I could download its contents.”
Ritsu blinks. “That’s incredibly advanced for a middle school student.”
“Thank you. You’re an AI?”
Gakushuu narrows his eyes. “Why are you in E class, then?”
“Well,” Ritsu coughs a little, “Um, my creators wanted me to, uh, interact with humans the same as my avatar's age. They wanted to try and avoid the whole dystopian earth, robots taking over the world scenario and figured not keeping me in a lab was the best option.”
Gakushuu frowns. “But E class of all classes?”
She shrugs. “It doesn’t get a lot of attention, and they still don’t really want me to be public knowledge as of yet.”
Gakushuu hums in interest. He leans a little closer again, curious. “You seem rather, uh, human, I suppose?”
“Indeed!” Ritsu cheers, hands falling to her sides, “With the help of the students and teachers, I have managed to develop human emotions!”
“Fascinating,” Gakushuu breathes.
Ritsu giggles, cheeks pink. “That’s very nice of you, Asano-kun!”
Gakushuu feels heat crawl up his neck. Ah, this is embarrassing. He’s complimenting a fellow student. Is this flirting? She’s an AI. Gakushuu thought the coding was fascinating. But the coding is her, by extension, isn’t it?
Gakushuu shakes his head. He shouldn’t think of this. “Well, Asano-kun,” Ritsu says, bringing his attention back to her, “I have to go. But if you’d like to talk, call me anytime! It’ll be nice to speak with people outside the classroom.”
“Sure,” Gakushuu agrees, rubbing his eye, “I’ll see you tomorrow. Maybe.”
Ritsu smiles at him and disappears from his screen. Gakushuu sits there, thoughtful.
Was this E class’s secret? That they were housing an AI? He wouldn’t be that surprised, but wouldn’t it have been easier to just not include her in the student register? After all, Ritsu said her creators did not want her to be public knowledge yet. If they made her name known, regardless of showing her face, she was at risk of discovery.
Gakushuu bites his nail. There’s no way that’s it. It can’t be.
“I need sleep,” he grumbles. He’ll pick this up later, when there’s coffee in his system. He closes his laptop and stands, walking out of the garage.
Oh, right. Maybe he should ask Ritsu about the porno mags.
Gakushuu hands Gakuhou a mug of coffee. He takes it and sits down, opening the morning newspaper. Gakushuu joins him at the table after a moment, typing away at his laptop.
He can tell Gakuhou is glancing at him from time to time. He’s yet to put his contacts back in, but he will before heading to school. His eyes were just a little itchy from how late he’d worn them.
Eventually he says, “I was up late wearing my contacts.”
Gakuhou hums in understanding and goes back to reading, curiosity sated. Gakushuu blinks as two eyes peek out from the bottom of his computer screen. He glances up at Gakuhou, then opens a separate document and starts typing.
Good morning, Ritsu-chan.
Morning, Asano-kun! Sorry for the sudden visit, but I couldn’t help but ask: do you think you could attempt to update me?
Gakushuu raises a brow, intrigued.
You seem well versed in the technological field, and my masters are rather far away. Plus, this modification isn’t something I want to bother them or any of my sensei’s with doing, so I was wondering if you would help?
Alright, I don’t see why not.
Ritsu beams at him, giving a little bow.
Thank you! The update is rather simple: I’d like to create a projection feature, so I could project myself out of the screen.
Gakushuu hums a little in thought.
We’d need to install a camera for you, but projecting is easy. I’ll start after school.
Alright. Thank you again, Asano-kun!
Gakushuu smiles and nods. Ritsu disappears from his screen, and Gakushuu closes his laptop to stand and start heading for school. He’s quick to switch to his contacts first, packing his glasses away and quickly making a thermos of coffee to carry with him, then heads out the door.
He’s a little distracted throughout the day. The idea of working on an advanced AI has him excited, and the idea of her forming as a projected character has him thinking.
He heads home after school to pack up a few of his tools. He changes quickly as well, slipping on cargo pants and a black T. He contemplates if he should wear his combat boots but decides against it. He’s not working on anything particularly heavy, anything he’ll need to do with Ritsu will probably only involve removing her back plate.
He hurries back to the school, starting his trek uphill. He pulls out his phone and says, “Ritsu-chan?”
Ritsu pops up. “Oh, so you do have access to all my technology,” he says.
“Yup!” Ritsu nods, “I see you’re on your way up. Do you think it will take long? I don’t want to keep you.”
“It’s alright,” Gakushuu says, “Adding a projector will be easy. It’s more so a matter of the coding that will go into you being able to project and form outside of the computer.”
“Okay,” Ritsu hums, and she disappears again.
Gakushuu thinks. Ritsu seems excited at the thought of being able to create a form outside of the computer. He supposes she is an AI with emotions, there’s a possibility she wishes to feel more human by having a body outside of technology.
An idea comes to mind. It’s a little ambitious, but once Gakushuu sets his mind to something, he refuses to give up on it.
He refrains from mentioning his idea as he’s working on Ritsu. He adds all the necessary parts, then hooks up his computer to her and begins the coding. It’s a lot simpler than he thought, but that’s probably because of how advanced Ritsu is, and soon he’s joined in the room by the girl, glowing faintly.
“Wow!” she gasps, bringing her hands up to twist them around, “I’m 3D now!”
Gakushuu smiles, amused. “You are,” he agrees, packing all his things away, “Is there any particular reason for you wanting to be able to project?”
Ritsu falters slightly, which only makes Gakushuu double down on his idea. “I think it’d be fun!” she says instead, turning to him as he stands up, “Being able to actually stand around with all my classmates. Plus, I think Koro-sensei will be surprised!”
Gakushuu hums. Koro-sensei? He doesn’t recall a teacher of that name. He’ll look it up later.
“Ritsu-chan, do you know anything about the porno mags in this building? For a teacher to be bringing such things to school is rather inappropriate.”
“Ah,” Ritsu scratches her cheek, “Uh, yeah. Koro-sensei has been yelled at multiple times by both the students and the teachers, but, uh, he’s undeterred.”
Gakushuu scrunches his nose. “That’s disgusting.”
“Well,” Gakushuu sighs, heading for the door, “I did send an email to the principal about it, so maybe he’ll cut it out then. I’ll talk to you later, Ritsu-chan.”
“Okay,” Ritsu says, and waves, “Bye, Asano-kun!”
Gakushuu shoves his hands in his pockets, thinking.
He’s going to make Ritsu a body.
It’ll take a long, long time, most certainly. But he’ll do it. There’s still a few things he wants to test out before mentioning his idea to the girl in question, lest he gets her hopes up and it ends up failing.
He pulls out a notepad. Luckily, he had needed all of Ritsu’s measurements in order to help create a perfect replication of her avatar in her projected form, so he already has a few things to start with a possible endoskeleton.
He jots down a few extra things. Certain ideas for how to get her system working, ways to add somatosensory senses, the addition of hair outside of a wig.
This was going to take very, very long.
He asks Gakuhou about the teacher named Koro-sensei. He pauses for a second too long before saying that Koro-sensei was indeed a teacher at the school.
“I was wondering,” Gakushuu hums absently, “I’d heard some of the 3-E kids say it, but I thought we didn’t have a teacher of that name.”
“Technically we don’t,” Gakuhou says, “But I’ve heard that nickname before. I think it has something to do with Karasuma-san being former military.”
Gakushuu ah’s in understanding, then finishes his dinner and retreats to the garage to begin his first experiments of creating Ritsu’s body. He doesn’t believe Gakuhou’s explanation at all, but he has other things to focus on at the moment.
He makes tiny robots to test first. Little cats, each with a coding to track certain reactions they have. Then he brainstorms for a bit. The first thing he decides to brainstorm on is a way for the body to move on its own.
Charging seems impractical, and letting her run off batteries would be setting her up to fail. He needs to create a way for her to make energy all on her own.
He runs through his knowledge on the human body. Possibly, he can create some kind of function that will allow Ritsu to consume food and water like a normal human, then turn them into pure energy. It’s a bit of a stretch, but he can’t think of anything else.
He doesn’t want to risk having her destroyed if the body was destroyed, so downloading her system would be better to start. Any modifications Ritsu may want or will want can be added. For now, he’ll be playing it safe.
Besides that, he decides to start on the senses: touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing.
He starts with touch. The receptors he’d need have to be sensitive yet strong. They need to be created with the same type of feel as normal hands and able to give signals to the main system that will allow the cat to physically feel things, so that Ritsu will be able to feel things.
It’s what he decides to work on first. To make this possible, he needs to be sure he can recreate all the senses and be able to give Ritsu a continuous energy source.
He sighs to himself. He’s about to start living in the garage, at this point.
“You need parts?”
“Yes,” Gakushuu says, picking through his scattered papers on his desk. He’s so unorganised, but that’s how most of his projects usually start, “It’s for a personal project of mine.”
He hands Gakuhou a sheet, with a list of the things he needs. Gakuhou squints at it, then says, “Only if you pass your quiz today with full marks.”
Surprise surprise, Gakushuu aces the quiz. He spends lunch back to his old ways of attempting to figure out E class’s secret, because no way is it Ritsu. Too many things don’t add up.
He decides to head uphill again. There’s not much time till summer, which also means end of term exams are coming up. He’ll get busy the weeks leading up to it, but during summer he should have free rein to work on Ritsu’s body all he wants.
He stays in the trees, peeking past the bushes to try and see what everyone is doing. There is… no one in the classroom.
He squints. He supposes it is lunch, but he was hoping at least one student would be in class.
He hears a loud noise in the distance. Jumping a little, he looks towards the sound. Then takes off towards it.
He’d left his phone and bag back with Ren, not wanting Ritsu to interfere with him. He doesn’t doubt she would try. He comes to a stop when he sees Akabane and Terasaka, the former punching the brute in the face. There’s a strange, rectangular hole behind them, damp with what seems like recent water.
Akabane runs off, then Terasaka follows shortly after.
Gakushuu climbs into the trees and heads in their direction. He lets the leaves hide him, and comes to a cliff edge, where all the students are peering over and watching who he recognizes as Itona…
Attack a giant yellow octopus. With the tentacles sprouting from his head.
Gakushuu blinks. Rubs his eyes. Blinks again. His sight may be bad, but it’s not failing, is it?
No, that’s genuinely a giant yellow octopus. “Koro-sensei!” Shiota yells in concern. Gakushuu blanches.
That’s their teacher? Is that E class’s secret!? That they have a giant yellow octopus as a teacher?!
He watches in fascination as Terasaka jumps down after some order from Akabane. They work together to sedate Itona, and eventually the class manages to scare him and a man dressed in all white off. They’re all laughing and playing happily afterwards, splashing each other and joking around.
Gakushuu watches them for a little longer, amused. Akabane shouts indigently as he’s splashed, fully clothed in his uniform.
He looks at the strange octopus. It screeches a little when the kids attempt to splash it, and moves away in a blink. Gakushuu watches it, amazed. That’s some incredible speed.
He shakes his head. He should head back before one of the students catches him, or lunch ends. He’s not going to ruin his perfect record.
Ren hands him his bag once he appears again. Gakushuu thanks him quietly and slips the strap over his shoulder. They both head to class together, meeting up with his other idiots.
“We’re starting preparations with class tutoring,” Araki says, “I’ll let you look over the schedule after class.”
Gakushuu hums, nodding his head. His mind is on other things.
Gakushuu sits down at his desk in the garage, wearing some comfy clothes and placing down a cup of coffee. He opens up his laptop, leans back, crosses his arms and calls, “Ritsu-chan.”
Ritsu pops on screen after a moment. “Hello, Asano-kun.”
“Why is there a giant yellow octopus teaching E class?”
Ritsu blinks. Opens her mouth. Closes it.
“You weren’t supposed to know about that.”
“No, I didn’t think so.”
Ritsu looks a little nervous. She glances around, then pulls out some kind of case from nowhere. She digs through it and reads over a couple papers, then says, “Okay, well. I guess I’m not breaking the NDA, technically.”
Gakushuu blinks. “NDA?”
“Mhm,” Ritsu nods, and then goes on to explain how Koro-sensei is the giant yellow octopus that blew up the moon, and that he plans to do the same to earth before graduation. She was originally named Autonomously Thinking Fixed Artillery before she was gifted her name by the students, and she was built to help with the students of E class assassination mission against the target.
“People aren’t supposed to know about it, and technically I’m not supposed to be telling you this,” she says, “But, the NDA specifies we are only allowed to talk about Koro-sensei with people who know of him. And you do.”
Gakushuu smiles, amused. “Who knew the government would leave such a loophole.”
Ritsu giggles a little. “Yes, they probably assumed they would be able to keep him a secret.”
Gakushuu hums, tilting his head back and closing his eyes. “This throws a wrench in my plans,” he mutters.
“Oh?” Ritsu says, “How so?”
Gakushuu looks at her again. They stare for a bit, then he heaves a sigh and stands, walking out of her view from the laptop camera. “I’ve started a new project,” he explains, wheeling the table with the endoskeleton of her body over, followed by the blueprints, “But the addition of guns may be complicated.”
Ritsu covers her mouth, shocked. “You’re going to make me a body?” she whispers.
“Yes,” Gakushuu says, smiling, “I am.”
“Thank you!” she cheers, “Thank you thank you thank you! Asano-kun, I’m so excited!”
Gakushuu chuckles a little. “I’ll need your help and input, of course,” he says, “Plus, now that I’m aware of your status as a fixed artillery, we’ll be changing that. You’re going to have guns at your disposal if it’s the last thing I do.”
Ritsu claps excitedly. “Let's get to work then!”
Gakushuu spends a very long time in the garage from then on. Gakuhou is curious, he can tell, but doesn’t bother him. It’s not unlike Gakushuu to randomly decide to create some big project for one reason or another.
They take a little break with finals approaching, where Gakushuu picks up on his studying again and starts with the tutoring of A class. He still sketches out design ideas and certain things he may need, all at his disposal now because of Ritsu.
Of course, the little bet the virtuosos make has him sighing loudly. Ritsu, in her projected form so they can make the final adjustments to her endoskeleton, pats his shoulder. Her hand phases through him.
While they don’t win the bet, Gakushuu still stays in first. Doesn’t mean the principal isn’t pissy.
“You’ve been spending far too much time on that little project of yours,” he says, “Have you lost your drive?”
“Not at all,” Gakushuu says, feeling his anger boil, “Even you are incapable of reining every student you have in to a certain degree. Those four are already being punished by my classmates for their incompetence, and I plan to never let it happen again.”
Gakuhou barks out a laugh. “You plan one thing, but only your results will prove you right,” he says, “Such a sad little thing you are. At this rate, Asano-kun, you’ll never beat me.”
Gakushuu gives him a withering look. “I will defeat you, principal. Without a doubt.”
“I’m sure,” Gakuhou mocks, and waves him off. Gakushuu doesn’t storm out of the office, but it’s a near thing.
Ritsu is concerned. “That’s always been our relationship,” Gakushuu says, shrugging, “Besides, he’s right. The others were cocky and now they’re paying the price, but it’s my fault for not keeping them in check.”
“You weren’t even there to stop them though,” Ritsu says, quietly.
“Still,” Gakushuu sighs, “They’re my responsibility as the leader of our group.”
Ritsu frowns more, fiddling with her fingers. Not really liking the sullen mood surrounding them, Gakushuu says, “Over summer, I should be able to develop your body even further. It should be complete either sometime before or after midterms, but definitely close to that time.”
That makes Ritsu smile, “Thank you so much, Asano-kun.”