Captain's Log 804
I can safely report that today has been just as boring as every other day of this past week! I know that as defenders of justice, we should be happy about any moment of sustained peace, but…it's just too dull! I'm going stir-crazy without any action to give us purpose. All there is to do around here lately is teasing Mikuru and changing my hairstyles around, which have both gotten dull with our limited outfit supplies! At this point, I really wish some evildoer out there would get around to…doing evil! Pirate raids! Dastardly alien fleets! Anything to get us some excitement around here!
Haruhi finished typing her rant, dismissing the holoscreen before her. Stern eyes swept across the room she was in as she took stock in her crew.
The rest of Team Haruhi of the Galactic Regional Observation Conclave's Patrol Force seemed to be enjoying the peaceful days, each person sitting relaxedly within the CIC room aboard the Schismatrix space vessel.
Mikuru had prepared more tea once again, something that Kyon and Itsuki seemed to be enjoying as they idly chatted. Yuki, meanwhile, seemed to be engaged in one of her holobooks, scouring its pages for every ounce of content.
In boredom, she glanced over their outfits once more. Yuki and Mikuru, like Haruhi herself, wore a brief, pink top with equally short shorts paired up with long white gloves and boots. Haruhi had gone a step further, insisting that they should each have something to their outfits to personalize it. The end result had landed Haruhi with white thigh high stockings, Yuki with sheer pantyhose and the knee-high white socks that barely protruded past Mikuru's boots.
Meanwhile the boys only had simple blue jumpsuits to their name. 'One of these days I really ought to make Kyon and Itsuki's outfits less bland," she thought to herself in pure boredom, 'My petition for better female outfits worked, after all, so why not – ugh, why am I even thinking about this right now?'
"Gahhh, I can't take any more of this!" Haruhi cried in frustration. "Why can't some evildoers do…well, something evil right about now?"
"Haruhi," Kyon chided, looking her way, "How many times do I have to remind you that wishing for something bad to happen is the last thing upholders of the law should be worried about?"
"I know, I know!" Haruhi pouted, crossing her arms. "It's just been far too quiet lately."
"…a little too quiet," Itsuki pointed out, setting his tea cup down. "Moments like these are often the calm before some terrible storm."
Kyon sighed in exasperation, sparing his friend a glance. "Why does everyone here seem dead-set on jinxing us? You know that's never a good idea –"
His complaint was cut off when an alarm began to ring.
"Eep!" Mikuru started, almost dropping the tea cup she had been grasping. Blushing furiously, she glanced at her console, realizing the noise was coming from it. Tapping a button, she opened up the ship's communication system.
A holoscreen popped into existence a second later, the words "EMERGENCY SOS" plastered over it.
Before anyone could react, Haruhi had already leapt out of her captain's chair in excitement. Pointing a finger at the screen, she declared, "Aha, an emergency! Quickly Mikuru, see what kind of mission we have waiting for us!"
Kyon shook his head. "You really shouldn't be getting this excited over other people's troubles…" he muttered to himself. Itsuki, overhearing him, simply smiled reassuringly.
"U-um, roger!" Mikuru nervously complied, doing as she was told. The screen expanded further to make way for a video recording. A desperate looking woman in her early twenty's appeared on screen, her frazzled brown hair and panted breaths belaying a struggle of some kind.
"T-this is the Usagi Tsukino, requesting any possible help at all. Our cargo has been compromised, and now – "
The video abruptly cut off, though the audio kept playing for a few seconds longer. No longer visible, Haruhi and her crew could only hear the girl shout in protest to an off-screen menace.
"No, wait, s-stay back – nnnghh!"
The audio went dead moments later, ending the message. Mikuru blinked at the screen, her eyes wide.
"A cargo ship in trouble?!" Haruhi all but roared, "It's GOT to be a pirate attack, obviously!"
"There usually is more pirating going on in the trade route in the True Galactic Empire Border Regions," Itsuki noted, "But this has been the first reported case in the past week. Perhaps Captain Beyond's crew finally finished licking their wounds?"
"Hmph, if it really is those guys, I've certainly got a few more lumps I'd like to add to their head!" Haruhi scoffed. Her eyes brimmed with determination as she turned to face her soft-spoken friend.
"Yuki, trace the message's origin and point us in the right direction!" Jabbing a finger at the ship's pilot and co-pilot, she added, "Kyon, Itsuki, rev up the engines! We've got a ship to save!"
When the Schismatrix reached its destination, the sight that greeted Team Haruhi wasn't one they were expecting.
"Where's the pirates?!" Haruhi demanded. The cargo ship floated adrift on its lonesome with no sign of any attacking vessels in sight.
Yuki glanced at her radar display, softly speaking, "Zero ships detected."
The confirmation only sent Haruhi further on edge. "Don't tell me we already missed the raid! Ooooh, Kyon, I told you to go faster! What if you let the pirates get away?!"
"Even if that's the case," Kyon flatly replied, "We should actually check out the cargo ship itself before jumping to any conclusions. We still don't even know if it really was a pirate attack."
"Well, what else would it be?" Haruhi scoffed, already tuning him out. "Right, so here's the plan! Yuki, Mikuru and I will board the ship and investigate! Kyon, Itsuki, I want you two to sit tight. Just because we don't see them doesn't rule out the risk of pirates still being around – if they were to return, our ship would be another easy mark for them if left undefended!"
"That's…not an entirely bad plan, I guess," Kyon admitted. 'You're still rushing in recklessly like usual, but at least you're taking a few precautions for once.' he thought to himself.
"Of course it's not, it's a perfectly sound one!" Haruhi boasted, puffing up her chest. "Yuki, I'm counting on you to look over this cargo ship for clues. Our first priority is finding out what happened to the crew, then figuring out what all those pirates must have stolen by now!"
Yuki nodded minutely, falling in line behind Haruhi with an alien grace as their captain waltzed in the direction to the docking bay doors. Mikuru glanced at the pair before sparing Kyon and Itsuki a quick glance. "U-um, you two be careful, okay?" Mikuru hurriedly pleaded before jogging after the other girls.
The pilots exchanged a look as the CIC's door slid shut. "…that should be our line," Kyon said, palming his face.
'PLEASE let this be a mission that actually goes smoothly for once.'
"Say, isn't this one of Carrot-Yutani Corp's ships?" Haruhi noted, glancing around the interior of the docking bay. Yuki absentmindedly nodded her head, looking over the schematics of the cargo ship she had hacked into.
Haruhi peered over the petite girl's shoulder, glancing at the display as well. "Any idea where the crew might be?"
Yuki carefully studied the map before pointing a dainty finger at one of the rooms. "This is where the message was sent," she dutifully intoned.
"Hmm, if we start our search there, we might be able to find clues about where they dragged her off to!" Haruhi concluded. "Alright Yuki, lead the way!"
Yuki led them out of the ship's tiny docking bay and into a corridor. "Don't forget to set your blasters to stun," Haruhi reminded them, bringing out her ray gun. Yuki had already done so before they had even left the ship, but Mikuru fumbled with her own ray gun, nearly firing off a shot in the process.
Haruhi sent her an annoyed look but refrained from making any further comments.
The trio's journey was met with an almost oppressive silence, with no telltale signs of a struggle having taken place.
"Huh…this place doesn't look ransacked at all!" Haruhi observed, glancing around. As they trailed after Yuki, numerous instruments and devices that would have hefted a decent sum of money if pawned off remained intact.
"M-maybe it wasn't pirates…?" Mikuru broached. Even she could tell that something didn't seem right about the situation as she cast her frightened eyes about.
They arrived to their destination without complications. Within the room they finally saw signs of a struggle having taken place, blaster marks dotting the walls and floors.
Haruhi took it all in, furrowing her brow in contemplation. On the opposite side of the communication room was a broken door, blasted cleanly off of its hinges. "Looks like whatever attacked her came from the other side," Haruhi observed. "Yuki, is there any way to get to that side of the ship from the docking bay?"
Yuki shook her head. "Negative. The hallway beyond this threshold leads to the lower cargo hold."
"And that wasn't even breeched from the outside, was it…?" Haruhi mulled over. "Could it have been something they were transporting that did this?"
Holding her blaster tight, Haruhi advanced on the destroyed door, peering cautiously out of it. The hallway, much like the communication room, was also a wreck. "Yuki, can you hack into their systems and dig around to see what kind of cargo they had?"
Yuki nodded, immediately going to work on her wrist-mounted holopad.
Yuki blinked in mild confusion, watching as her tool suddenly malfunctioned and crashed. The purple-haired girl's fingers blurred as she tried to undo the damage, but the device remained unresponsive.
"What just happened?!" Haruhi asked, tilting her head in confusion. "Did you just…get counter hacked?"
Yuki continued to stare at her tool in mild bafflement as Mikuru pitched in. "U-uh, Haruhi," the communication officer spoke meekly, " I…I can't contact Kyon or Itsuki!"
"What?" Haruhi immediately checked her own headset, realizing that it had been disabled as well.
"Well, whatever it is that's pulling this prank on us, it's clearly still on this ship!" Haruhi growled, "And no one gets away with pulling pranks on Team Haruhi of the Galactic Regional Observation Conclave's Patrol Force!"
She didn't wait for the others as she began marching forward, boldly proclaiming, "Come on girls, we've got a mystery to solve!"
"Dangerous," Yuki softly spoke, gliding after Haruhi with ease. "The situation is unknown."
"Y-Yuki's right," Mikuru chimed, looking more frightened than ever, "Maybe we should regroup and come back with reinforcements first…?"
"And potentially let whoever did this slip free? Nuh-uh," Haruhi said, the picture of determination. "Yuki, it's a straight shot to the rest of the cargo holds from here, right?"
The smaller girl nodded, letting Haruhi continue to lead the way.
'This is probably a bad idea…' Mikuru thought to herself, not liking how the damage around them seemed to worsen as they got deeper.
Finally, they reached a room that led into the storage area in the underbelly of the ship. Haruhi, never one for being subtle, barged loudly into the room, pointing her blaster in numerous directions. "Freeze!" she shouted, fully expecting the culprits to be present.
Instead, she was greeted with the sight of a dozen utterly adorable rabbit robots, all of them turning from the card game they had apparently been playing to spare the girl with curious looks.
"…huh." Haruhi said, taking stock of the room. Yuki and Mikuru filed in after her, the former still tense and the latter looking relieved. "Oh!" Mikuru gushed, her fear giving way to excitement, "It's the Carrot Corps. Rabbots!"
"Aren't they just used to help clean, do maintenance and otherwise fill really boring jobs?" Haruhi idly asked, her words tinged with disappointment.
"…packaging," Yuki added, her eyes narrowing slightly. She still had her blaster gripped firmly in hand, looking ready to act at the first sign of something going wrong.
"Packaging…? Yeah, that would fall under 'other really boring jobs'."
Haruhi took another look around, not seeing any sign of the crew – or anything beyond the rabbots. "Did we really end up missing the bad guys?" Haruhi bemoaned.
"Someone disabled our gear, though…" Mikuru pointed out, looking torn between staying put and rushing over to hug one of the rabbots.
"Well, yeah, but the only things here are these fellas," Haruhi remarked, jabbing a finger at the rabbots, "and I don't know about you, but they don't scream 'evil wrong-doer' material to me."
"There's no way something this cute can be evil!" Mikuru agreed, stepping forward to the crowd of rabbots. "Uh…hello there!" she tried, bending down to pat one of them on the head. "Can you guys help us out?"
"I doubt that," Haruhi sighed, "If they're still running around, clearly the people who attacked this place thought they were so useless that they couldn't be bothered to disable them!"
Collectively, the rabbots turned their heads from observing Mikuru to focus on Haruhi. Although their smiling, wide-eyed expressions didn't change, it almost felt like the atmosphere in the room got heavier.
They turned to each other, as though communicating silently. Without warning, orange tape burst from the wrists of the rabbot that Mikuru had been petting. It grasped the adhesive material in its hands, quickly running around Mikuru's bent legs with it, tightening the strip around Mikuru's thighs, just above her knees.
"H-huh?! Eep!" Mikuru squeaked, her calves now tightly bound together. Losing balance, she pitched forward, landing with a soft thud against the ground.
Haruhi blinked, looking absolutely shocked. "Wait a second…are you seriously saying that the real villains were cute little rabbit robots? Isn't that a little bit ridiculous, even for this setting?"
"Appearances can be deceiving," Yuki reasoned. "…they are coming."
One of the rabbots propelled itself up into the air, sailing at Yuki with rocket propulsion. The slight girl managed to roll to the side in time to avoid it, pelting it with numerous shots from her ray gun. The stun setting seemed to have an effect on it, as the rabbot's jets sputtered out, sending it careening into a wall.
"Don't worry Mikuru," Haruhi called out, charging forward, "We'll save you!"
The rabbot attending to Mikuru had already begun to wrap tape around her ankles, further limiting her mobility. "N-noooo, something so cute shouldn't be doing something so cruel!" Mikuru weakly protested, flailing her body around piteously. A second rabbot joined the effort, casually walking atop her back and pulling her arms behind her. Forcing them into a box tie, it began depositing tape over her wrists, tying them tightly against each other.
"Oh no you don't!" Haruhi cried, aiming her ray gun at the rabbot straddling Mikuru's back.
Before she could make the shot, a rabbot jumped onto her shoulders from above. "Ack!" Haruhi grunted in surprise, trying to shrug the interloper off.
It held steady, reaching down to grab the gun out of Haruhi's hands. "Hey, give that back!"
Ignoring her, it simply tossed the ray gun aside, another rabbot sprinting past to catch it. The one straddling her shoulders opened up a compartment on its back, revealing a small, blue sphere inside. It reached a hand behind itself, grasping it. With practiced ease, it pinched Haruhi's nose with its free hand, causing the thrashing girl to open her mouth in protest.
"Knock it offffmphh?!" Haruhi sputtered, the ball finding its way inside her mouth. It made for a tight fit, the sphere's size causing it to slightly protrude from her mouth. Making sure it was firmly in place, the rabbot began wrapping tape around her cheeks, pulling it tightly around her head. It kept it up, wrapping her mouth with two more layers of tape, keeping her hair pinned down and, more importantly, the ball gag within firmly in place.
"Nnngh!" she protested, already trying to claw off the gag. The rabbot on her shoulders suddenly jumped off, making room for a jetpack sporting rabbot to take its place. It began to shoot tape around her chest and arms, just under her breasts. Haruhi ran forward, trying to pull herself away from its grasp. The rabbot was dragged along, its jet boosters not doing much to help slow Haruhi down.
Another rabbot joined the cause, jumping up to grab its airborne brethren by its legs to better anchor it. Haruhi tried to continue forward, but the combined might of the two rabbots ground her progress to a halt. A third rabbot arrived, hastily applying tape around her thighs, just underneath her shorts.
It quickly added tape around her ankles before giving the other two a thumbs-up. With her legs now fettered, Haruhi could barely move forward. The rabbot holding its airborne friend let it go, wandering off to help aid in the fight against Yuki. The jetpacker resumed its interrupted work, finishing up Haruhi's tie around her chest.
She had managed to tug the first layer of her gag loose somewhat, something that the rabbot took note of. It immediately pulled her wrists behind her back, holding them straight down. Orange tape was slipped over her wrists, the rabbot wrapping the adhesive material around them multiple times until they were tightly secured.
Next, it began to quickly wrap tape around one of Haruhi's clutched fists, working layer after layer around it until it was thoroughly encased.
"Mmgh!" Haruhi protested, seeing where it was going with this. When it came for her other hand, she relaxed it, trying to hinder its progress by wiggling her fingers.
The rabbot simply began to pin down each finger, slapping tape over them one at a time. She continued to flex her fingers, feeling the tape starting to give way already. Not wasting any time, the rabbot began applying tape around the forcefully closed fist as it had done for the other hand, properly encasing it shut.
Mikuru hadn't been faring any better during Haruhi's bungled rescue effort. The rabbot on her back wasted no time after securing her wrists, carefully applying tape across her shoulders and forearms, wrapping it around the entire length of her body. The tape pressed tightly above and below her breasts, pinning her arms to her sides.
With the tape properly distributed, it took out a ball from its back compartment, shoving it into her mouth with little resistance. "Mmphhh…" Mikuru had weakly mewled, her feeble struggles doing nothing to stop their progress. Several strips of tape were wrapped tightly over her mouth, the bulge of the large gag stuffed in her mouth somewhat visible.
Its friend had also finished securing Mikuru's legs, slapping layers of tape over her smooth thighs. Mikuru found that the only freedom of movement she could still afford was her ankles, as they had forgone restraining them entirely.
As the two found themselves captured, Yuki continued her own fight. She had switched her ray gun from the stun setting to its lethal setting, having made note that the rabbots she had previously engaged with already recovering from being stunned. As good a shot as she was, the rabbots seemed to adapt to the bigger threat she posed, managing to twist and turn just enough for her shots to only barely skim them.
Sensing movement behind her, Yuki once again rolled to the side, kneeling on one knee as she blasted two rabbots trying to sneak up on her. She managed to get clean hits on them, taking them out of commission.
However, Yuki quickly realized it had been a ploy, as she barely managed to dive away to avoid another rabbot swooping in from above. During her dive, a fourth rabbot collided with her, ruining her landing.
Yuki kicked it away, gracefully rising to her feet. Blinking, she realized that the rabbot that had tackled her had managed to grab her ray gun in the process, leaving her completely unarmed.
Yuki looked further into the room, watching as her companions were being subdued and contemplated her options.
Stripped of her blaster, she knew she had little chance in a direct confrontation with them anymore. A tactical retreat seemed like the most logical choice in her mind, and yet…as she sent a furtive glance at Haruhi and Mikuru's squirming forms, she felt the lingering desire to reach out and help them, despite the odds.
The choice was taken from her entirely when a rabbot decided to take advantage of the pale girl's hesitation. It slid on its belly through Yuki's spread legs, spinning itself onto its back and shooting tape out at her arms.
"!!" belatedly, Yuki tried jumping backwards to avoid it, but the rabbot's aim struck true. Just enough tape found its way across one of her wrists, causing the rabbot to tug at it. Another rabbot dropped in, shooting tape at her other unattended wrist. Together, they held her as she tried to tug her arms loose.
A third rabbot jumped onto one of its companion's shoulders. After steadying itself, it began applying tape to her wrist as well, slowly wrapping it around her adjacent wrist. It tugged at it tightly, forcing her two wrists to slowly move closer together in front of her.
Yuki put up as much resistance as she could, a rare sight for the soft-spoken girl. But it ultimately proved futile, as her wrists were joined together, the rabbot wrapping additional layers to fully secure it.
With her arms now tightly secured in front of her, it hopped off its companion's shoulders, walking casually over to Yuki's legs. There, it began applying tape just under her shorts, onto her pantyhose encased thighs. Yuki's spread legs were systematically shut close as it began wrapping the adhesive material tightly along her thighs before traveling down and doing the same for her calves. As with the other two girls, it applied tape loosely over her boots, around her ankles.
By the time it was finished, Yuki found that she could do little bit stand straight, especially with the other two rabbots still holding her now tied wrists down with their improvised leashes.
With the work on her slim legs out of the way, they finally made their move. Releasing the tape they had anchored themselves with, they climbed up either side of her body. One began to wrap up her forearms while the other worked on her shoulders.
As she watched them secure her arms in front of her, she found herself attempting to utilize her headset one final time.
"Emergency broadcast, frequency 30.94 activa–"
She never got a chance to see if she could break through the forced radio silence, as the rabbot attending to her shoulder plucked the headset off of her and tossed it aside. It opened up its storage compartment, slipping the rubber sphere it plucked into Yuki's mouth. "Nnh…"
She bit down into it, taking a few experimental chews. She could barely manage the simple task, the ball making for a tight squeeze in her petite jaw. The end result had it filling her mouth even more than the other girls, if only slightly.
'There is little chance for escape now,' Yuki observed, not bothering to put up any further resistance.
The rabbot quickly wrapped four layers of tape around her head, pressing tightly into her hair and cheeks. It moved back to finish wrapping bindings around her upper body, covering her arms and torso just below her chest with the material.
Likewise, the rabbot attending to her forearms had finished its own task. Now it worked on putting the final touches to her. It tore off the tape that they had anchored her with that had still been hanging from under her wrist tie. Tearing a small piece from it, the rabbot grabbed her thumbs and began to tie them together.
They stood back and admired their work. Yuki's arms were bound tightly in front of her, pinned down against her chest with no slack to allow her to move them. Furthermore, with her thumbs tied together, she could do little with her hands.
At the same time, Haruhi's capture was wrapping up as well. Her arms were the opposite of Yuki's, tied similarly but with them behind her back. Combined with the tape mittens she had been given, there was little Haruhi could do but wriggle slightly and shout through her gag. And as layered as the gags they had been given were, that too had proven to be just as fruitless of an effort.
With all three girls fully subdued, the rabbots turned to each other and threw their arms up in celebration. Haruhi and Mikuru had their headsets removed, the rabbots putting them in a sack along with the rest of their lifted equipment.
They pushed each girl to the ground, lining them up close to each other.
"G….ood…." a voice suddenly spoke up from an unseen intercom, "Bring them….to…..me.."
"Mmngh?!" Haruhi grunted in surprise. 'Ha, I knew it! There was no way that these guys could have been the true masterminds!' she thought, ' Just you wait, whoever you are! Once we get out of this, you're getting a big thrashing!'
One rabbot ambled off out of the room as the others stood over their captives. Haruhi tried to kick at the legs of a nearby rabbot, not wanting to play their mysterious captor's game. However, with her legs bound as they were, it only served as a light tap, drawing the rabbot's attention to her.
It peered down at her eyes with its own unblinking orbs, its ever-present smile doing nothing to belay its mechanical thought process. Slowly, it trailed its eyes down her body, lingering at the boot that had tapped it.
Haruhi squirmed slightly at its gaze, but maintained the glare she directed its way. 'Just what ARE they planning, anyway?' she couldn't help but wonder.
The rabbot that had left the room returned, this time with what seemed to be a laundry cart of all things. It stopped in front of the girls, nodding its tiny head at its brethren. And with that, the rabbots split into groups of three, each group hefting up one of the girls. They slid Haruhi in first, before piling Mikuru and then Yuki over her.
The girls, now forced together in an enclosed space, could only continue to squirm as their captors began to push the cart to an unknown destination.
"Mmmphh…" Mikuru mewled, her wide, doleful eyes shifting between Haruhi and Yuki. She had hoped that either of them had a plan of some sort, but neither girl seemed to convey anything of the sort.
Haruhi continued muttering angrily under her gag, and even with her voice muffled as it was, Mikuru still got the impression that Haruhi was ranting about getting revenge on their captors.
Yuki was always hard to read, and even in such dire circumstances the girl's face continued to present a calm stoicism. But, and Mikuru thought that it was probably just her frazzled nerves speaking, it almost looked as though the pale girl seemed to be…slightly worried, if the minute narrowing of her eyes was any indication.
And so, the trio found themselves utterly helpless and without a plan as they were hauled off deeper into the bowels of the ship…