AsoIku book 10: "finally, some action!"

[Update: finished, and while it doesn’t resolve the 30-day challenge, it does wrap up a lot of dangling plot threads, with a surprise at the end suitable for ending a season (should there ever be one…). Some of the threads don’t make a lot of sense, though, and I don’t think it’s incomplete understanding on my part; they just were never adequately explained.]

With two chapters to go, things are finally heating up. If they ever make a second season of the anime, it looks like book 10 can be the climax, and the reason is that Kio “gets a grip”. A very senior, and very scary, Catian official pushes him hard to defend humanity, and when he stands up to her, issues a challenge; if he fails, they’ll leave Earth forever and never come back. He has 30 days, and, fortunately, the help of some very talented women.

(actually, this was in the first half of the book, so technically the sponge bath wasn’t the most significant thing that happened, but I didn’t want to change the subject…)

Meanwhile, the opposition is planning a decisive strike, and for reasons of their own, two Dog deserters want to stop it. The gang is stunned when they show up and tell their story, and when Kio reports it all to Captain Kuune and asks if they should be trusted, she forces him to make the call. With a wink and a grin, she puts her faith in him. If it’s a trick, the lives of all her crew could be lost, so, y’know, no pressure. All he has to do is… Jens. Even with Director Kawasaki vouching for her, that's a hard sell.

And, yes, Kawasaki’s secret is finally out! He’s a Dog, who’s been using a holographic projector all this time to hide his ears and tail. I’d been wondering if he was a member of the mysterious third outlaw race in the alliance, but he’s just been using a high-tech disguise and hiding in plain sight. Just the ears and the tail, though; the rest of his “unique” look is natural. Offhandedly, he mentions that because Earth is such a remote planet, there are actually quite a few Dogs hiding out, leading Kio to mutter about the Men In Black movie.

Oh, the challenge Kio has to meet? Just manage to get 10,000+ suitable humans signed up for a Catian exchange program, and get permission for 10,000+ Catians to live on Earth. In 30 days. No pressure.

(and where do I sign up?)

On a side note, the other assistoroids find 6-chan locked up in an apparent system crash, and between the suspicious timing and the fact that he’s known to be an oddball, Kios calls up to the ship to ask maintenance-tech Seshimi to come down and take a look, in case a simple restart would wipe important data. Her status is finally cleared up as Eris’ osananajimi rather than some other possible interpretations of “girlfriend” (darn), and it turns out she’s also a young mother. I swear, they breed like cats. :-)

(6-chan’s “crash” is another Very Important Thing; he’s been up to quite a bit that no one knows about)