by Max Barry

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by The Evolved Obsessed Miku Fan of Socialist Lop. . 99 reads.

COMIC STRIP VOLUME #001: "The Digital Conscious Enters"


VOLUME #001: "The Digital Conscious Enters"

The year was 2030 in the city of New Hakashi, better known as “The City of Fashion.” Thousands of tourists flock to this city to see it’s exclusive line of clothes and fashion shows as well as to purchase the many different unique clothes of the highest quality and style. The popularity of the voice software engine known as Vocaloid had long since dwindled in popularity over the years, to the point where only a few million people knew what it was, let alone be fans of it. Our story begins with a young 20-year-old man named Yuri Tohime. As a child, Yuri was always told by his multi-millionaire father and his fashion designing mother that he was going to have to marry someone one day if he was to be a hard-working man in the future. Yuri always hated the idea of being in love and had decided to stay single and to work on his own accords. Yuri wasn’t able to make a lot of friends and thus developed an introverted personality. He never considered himself to be a bad person, and he just wanted to live a regular life without interference from annoying people.

Moving on, Yuri was on his way to work when he received a message from his boss, Mr. Hamilton. He unlocks his phone, opens the message and starts to read it.

Yuri: “You’re late to work again and that report isn’t going to finish itself?” Dammit! When will he get that I need to get sleep just like every other human? Oh well. Better hurry then. I can’t risk getting fired. Again.

Yuri immediately begins to run through the crowded streets, passing by different people and even jumping over a trash can. He swerves around some more people, trying to not crash into one, but with little effect. He bumps into a tall, bearded man that looked like he’d seen better days.

Man: Hey punk! You trying to pick a fight with me?!

Yuri: Uhh, I’m sorry, it won’t happen again, and— Hey look over there!

He points to a building before making a run for it. The man begins to give chase, and Yuri knew he was in trouble. He quickly dashes through the streets, runs over a bench and jumps another trash can.

Man: Punk! I said get back here! I’m going to make you pay for that!

Yuri comes around the corner of a building and swerves into an alleyway before finally hiding behind a dumpster. The man arrives, believing Yuri had hidden in the alleyway, but to his surprise, no one was there.

Man: Crap. I’m not wasting my time chasing some stupid boy. I’m leaving.

The man leaves and Yuri checks to see if the coast is clear. Once he confirms it, he continues walking through the streets before finally arriving to his job. He enters the door, only to see his boss had already been waiting for him a few feet in front of Yuri.

Mr. Hamilton: Late again, as usual. I guess I shouldn’t have expected much from you, considering the fact that your resume said you were fired from your last job for the same reason. You’re lucky this time, though. Vega told us just now that it was his wedding anniversary today, and we wanted to throw him a big party, so you’d better come celebrate it with us.

Yuri: No thanks. Parties like that don’t really interest me.

Mr Hamilton crosses his arms in annoyance.

Mr. Hamilton: Oh? And why would that be?

Yuri: I’m just not into that lovey-dovey stuff.

Mr. Hamilton: Really now? Then what do you plan to do now?

Yuri: With all due respect, sir, I just think that kind of stuff isn’t for me. I’d like to take the day off if you guys are gonna go celebrate some wedding anniversary.

Mr. Hamilton. Hmph. Fine. But I expect that report to be finished tomorrow then. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to be fired once more now, would yo—

Yuri: Thanks!

With that, Yuri immediately dashes out the door.

Mr. Hamilton: I swear, that boy has no respect…

Yuri goes back home the same way he came to work. He pulls out his keys and unlocks the door. He opens it, goes inside and locks the door behind him.

Yuri: Well, guess I have a lot of free time on my hands, so I guess I’ll spend the rest of the day gaming.

Yuri enters his room and sits on the gaming chair his father had bought for him years ago. He puts on his headphones, turns on the monitor to the computer, and logs on. Yuri then remembered something on the back of his mind that had come of interest to him. He pulls out his phone, unlocks it, and checks out his text messages. He didn’t have a lot of contacts on his phone. He then opens up a chat he had with some strange person he had met a while ago. The last message sent was from yesterday.

Yuri: Oh yeah, I almost forgot about this message Communist Lop had sent to me yesterday. Geez, that’s such a dumb username.

Yuri then reads the message. It said:

Communist Lop: “hey
i want u to check out some Hatsune Miku songs cuz u seem rather depressing and u seemed like u needed something to really amp u up. so check it out. Now. OwO ara ara senpaii!!!1!1!

ps aslo heres a link to one of them. I dont know what is going on with the last bit tho"


Yuri: Geez, what a weeb. Oh well, I don’t really care. But I guess it wouldn’t hurt to listen to this song

Yuri then opens the link and he is sent straight to a YouTube video. It was a Hatsune Miku song called Miku.

(This is now the reader’s queue to open the link and listen to the song. This is optional, but it will help you envision this story better. Watch out for them as there will be many more along the way.)

After listening to the song, Yuri slouches back on his chair

Yuri: Ok, that wasn’t such a terrible song, up until the last bit. What was that noise supposed to be anyway?

Yuri notices that the Windows Security app was giving him an alert to a potential security breach.

Yuri: What the heck…?

He opens up the app and the moment it opens, he is given a warning that his Wi-Fi had been breached and that he need to take immediate action to protect his account.

Yuri: What the?! No, no, what?! This can’t be happening!

Yuri frantically moves the mouse around, closing the app out of desperation. He immediately noticed a file on his Windows home screen that was named 39.EXE.

Yuri: … That’s not ominous at all…

The file immediately renamed itself to OPEN_IT.EXE.


The file immediately renames itself several times, changing from OPEN_IT.EXE to PLEASE.EXE, to then renaming itself to I_NEED_TO_BE_FREED.EXE.


Suddenly, the file renames itself one last time, this time to please_free_me.EXE, in lowercase letters

Yuri: AH— Huh? What? It’s… lowercase? Why?

Yuri felt tempted to open the file now, to the point where he even felt bad about it

Yuri: Strange… It’s almost like it’s talking to me… It doesn’t seem to be that bad… Maybe I should…

Yuri’s cursor slowly moves along the screen, slowly drifting over the file, before finally double-clicking on it.

Yuri: Here goes nothing…

After clicking on the file, it disappears, and a strange noise could be heard. Suddenly, a voice that almost sounded robotic calls…

???: Hello? Can anyone hear me? Hello?