For once, Becka and Karen have absolutely no idea what kind of day it is at Ohtori Academy. Now, normally they may be too engrossed in their daily redhead-sighting missions to notice the weather, but even in those cases they could assume that it was bright and sunny as usual. Today, however, they were oblivious for a different reason... they were underground, and had been for quite some time.
As a matter of fact, they were prowling Ohtori's extensive sewer system (and, yes, it *was* rose-shaped). And of course, they needed their usual array of unusual clothing for the task: they were both dressed all in black. They wore tight leather pants with black flood boots up to their knees over them, black turtlenecks, black trench coats, black gloves, black hats, and very black sunglasses. As a result, neither could see where they were going and they had gotten themselves completely, hopelessly lost.
"Ka-chan, where are we?" Becka wondered for the millionth time.
Before she could finish speaking, a shadow danced in front of her in the light from her pocket flashlight. "I wonder, I wonder, do you know what I wonder?"
In an automatic response, Becka quickly turned off her light, much to A-ko's disappointment.
Karen answered her earlier question in the way that only Ka-chan could, "We're in the sewer."
Becka sighed in exasperation, "Ka-chan. I *know* we're in the sewer. But *where* in the sewer are we?"
Karen shrugged, "I don't know."
Becka, at the edge of her patience, tried once more, "Why don't you look at the map?"
Karen smiled at Becka and cheerfully quipped, "Because it's dark, and I can't see the map."
Becka stormed over to where she assumed Karen was and shined the flashlight up as close to Karen's nose as she could get it. "Better?" Karen chirped, "Hai!" and pulled out the map while Becka was left to wonder why, oh why, was Karen the one with the map?
On cue, two shadows danced across the map. A-ko sang, "I wonder, I wonder, do you know what I wonder?"
Becka gritted her teeth and exhibited a remarkable display of will power *not* to turn of the light or try to spatula the shadows to a compact, shadowy heap. No, she must be strong and give Karen the time she needed to find them a way out of this damp, shadowy hell. Meanwhile, Karen was oblivious to both the shadows and the shaking Becka as she stared harder and harder at the paper in her hands until Becka swore she could smell smoke coming from the general direction of Karen's head.
And still, the shadows sang on. A-ko and B-ko chorused, "I wonder, I wonder, do you know what I wonder?" The shadows were ecstatic with delight to see how they perturbed these visitors to the shadowy depths of Ohtori Academy, and C-ko and D-ko soon joined in the taunt.
A-ko sang, "Apparently animals."
B-ko chimed in "Beautiful but bereft."
C-ko sniggered, "Cautiously conniving."
D-ko smirked, "Definitely daft!"
Karen suddenly stopped smoldering and blinked, "Four shadow girls?" Becka turned off the light and shrugged, "The sewer's a big place. I guess they live and multiply down here ... like the Rabbits of Doom." Karen shuddered at the thought, while Becka queried, "So, Ka-chan where are we?" Karen sighed and pouted at Becka, "I tried and tried, but I just couldn't read the map with sunglasses on..."
Somehow, Becka managed to sigh, sweatdrop, facefault, throw the flashlight at Karen, throttle her, and spatula her into the ground all at once. Even the shadows were amazed. Karen could only squeak a barely audible, "... damn..."
Unfortunately for both of them, the flashlight rolled off on its own accord... turned on. Becka noticed it first, as Karen tried to pull herself back into a roughly human shape, ... shadow girls... lots of them. Perhaps it was the giggling that alerted her, or the movement on the walls as they bounced up and down -- shadows of people who just weren't there. Karen came up beside her and peered over the rims of her sunglasses as she stated, "We're doomed." Becka nodded as they watched on in horror.
E-ko began, "Eureka! Eek! even Egads!"
Likewise, F-ko sang, "Frightened friends, forsaken, forgot!"
"However, horrible horrors--"
"Induce intelligence into inevitable insignificance."
"Laughing lunatic ladies lifted little light!"
"Hey, Ka-chan... did they just say they want to kill you?" As she really doesn't want to be alone with Karen if she gets further gone than she already is, Becka pulls out a pamphlet entitled 101 Ways to Interpret Shadow Girl Speak and quickly translates: "Ha ha ha ha. You're scared of us." Karen mutters, "Damn straight, we are." Becka continues:
"Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah, you can't get away!
Normally, you're so talkative,
But now that you're stuck with us -
You can't do a damn thing.
You're at our mercy now
Because we have your flashlight!"
Undaunted, the shadows keep right on going ....
"...never never never never never!!"
"Stay scrupulous so someone says show-"
Becka hastily reads: "Nanny nanny boo boo. You won't have any more games! But if you behave, we might lets you see these animals..."
Karen mutters, "But xylophones aren't animals..."
After a few moments of pathetically whimpering and cravenly cowering, Becka and Karen peek at one another. "I'm going insane Ka-chan," Becka cries. Karen nods and wipes a tear from behind her glasses, "I know. This is worse than the Chemistry Lab. I mean, at least then, there were other *people.* Now there's just... shadows."
"Hey, Ka-chan. I have an idea. Maybe if we keep talking it'll keep us sane. It's gotta' be better than listening to... them." Karen blinks, "I guess you're right, but since when do we talk to each other? And why would we really want to be sane anyway?" Becka mutters, "You're *not* helping."
Karen smiled brightly, "I try, doesn't that count?" Becka shakes her head emphatically, "10 points for effort, 0 for execution." Karen pouts, "But I thought you didn't want them to kill me..." Miraculously, Becka has the diplomacy and restrain *not* to answer that.
In other words, it doesn't take long for Becka and Karen realize that talking to each other is *not* helping them in any way, so they do the next best thing -- they sing. Seeing how Dolphin's Cry is one of Becka and Karen's favorite songs, they begin to sing it with a fervor.
Soon, however, Karen falls over giggling in the middle of the chorus and cries, "Sheep will eat us!(1)"
Although this method does distract them from the shadowed frenzy nearby, it in no way helps them get any nearer to the outside. Determined, they avert their eyes from the walls and look somewhere ... anywhere but at A-ko and the rest of the alphabet. Suddenly, they hear strange music. Sadly, thinking that all the shadows were otherwise occupied, they looked for the source of music. They find it coming from two toga-clad Greek shadows: Alpha-ko (a-ko) sang opera while Beta-ko (ß-ko) danced to a Russian Polka. Becka and Karen looked a little further and saw Zeta- Eta- and Theta-ko singing backup and Phi- Xi-, and Psi-ko playing shadow guitar not to far away.
Once again, Karen states the obvious, "There's more?" And Becka joins her, "And they're Greek? I thought the American version was bad enough!" They both back away, only to find themselves against another wall ... naturally, another wall populated with even more shadows... and more Greek ones at that. Epsilon- and Upsilon-ko are convulsing in seizures while watching their favorite TV heroes: Pi, Chi, and Chu! Tao-ko appears and chants lilting prayers over their spasmodically twitching forms.
Next to them, a lone Greek shadow paddles her canoe while merrily singing "Rho, Rho, Rho your boat."
Not too much further down the wall, Becka and Karen warily peek at another shadow girl who apparently wears overalls, a large straw hat and holds a pitchfork. She giggles, while reciting a rather... interesting version of "Old McDelta Had a Farm." On this farm were a frog, sheep, and cow (as played by Kappa-, Lambda-, and Mu-ko, respectively).
Fearing even more (as if that were humanly possible), Becka and Karen see a shadow dressed as Santa, with skirt and oversized hat. Beside her, Nu-ko (her elf) scampered about organizing the staging of the carols Sigma Claus was singing. She went through such all-time favorites as: "Gamma Got Run Over by a Reindeer," "Here We Go Iota-ing," and "I Saw Mommy Kissing Omicron."
The two, small, dejected little "eeps" which *were* once Becka and Karen crawl down a narrow tunnel over to a small corner, where they continue to cower. Considering that the taunting form the shadows couldn't get a whole lot worse, Becka dares to whisper to Karen, "Are you pondering what I'm pondering?" Karen weakly nods, "I think so, but how would we get Touga to wear a Sailor fuku?" Becka is distracted long enough from the all-imposing shadows to sweatdrop, "Um, not _quite_ Ka-chan..." She glances fearfully once at the cheerfully bouncing shadows, "I'm thinking that these songs are actually starting to sound... fun." For once in her life, at least, once in this webpage, Karen gets a truly genuine, *helpful* idea, "Hey! Maybe we can beat them at their own game, and get away from here!" Becka blinks, "You know, Ka-chan, sometimes I think you're the *stupidest* person in the world, and the you go and say something like this and TOTALLY redeem yourself."
Karen asks, "Becka?"
Becka answers, "Yeah, Ka-chan?"
Karen frowns, "I still can't see."
Becka sighs and regrets ever opening her mouth as usual. She takes a deep breath and states, "All right, let's go!"
Songs by Becka and Ka-chan
After several hours inflicting twisted songs upon the shadow girls, Becka and Karen finally stop to catch their breath. Then they notice something odd... silence. A-ko, B-ko, all the way through Z-ko, Alpha-ko, Beta-ko, all the way through Psi-ko all lay spontaneously convulsing in a muddled heap against the wall. "... no... more..." Mu-ko and Nu-ko barely moan. Surprised at their success, Becka and Karen look at each other. Becka says, "Well, I guess we can leave them the flashlight. It would be damn cruel if we took it now." Karen nods, and they turn to find a way out. As they fumble around, suddenly a beacon appears before them: a shining light, illuminated and glowing against the black pitch of the dark. (Luckily, they both still had sunglasses and were not overwhelmed.) Still, Karen mumbles, "I see a light at the end of the tunnel . . have I died and gone to ... Juri?" Holding that beacon was, indeed, none other than Arisugawa Juri. Karen looks up at her, "Have you come to lead us to that Great Castle in the Sky?" Juri sighs and whacks her on the head with the lantern. "Do I *look* like of some kind of wing-bearing, halo-wearing, harp-plucking god-sent messenger from heaven to you?" Becka mutters under her breath, "uh... no."
Juri begins, "After Becka missed the fencing club meeting, I was informed that you two were trespassing down here..." Becka looks appalled, "I *missed* the meeting? Oh, no! Juri-sempai, can I make it up somehow?" Juri looks at Becka at responds, "We'll discuss the details later, after I get you two out of her. What *were* you doing down here anyway?"
Becka looks at Karen. Karen looks at Becka. Becka asks, "Ka-chan, why *are*
we down here anyway?" Karen continues to grin behind her sunglasses, "The
world may never know..."