Part 12: Large hospital room
[Music: Riddle and Puzzle]
She stopped short, surprised to see them, and was very nearly bowled over by the the rest of her companions, who were coming through the door behind her.
Ace, Santa, Clover, and Lotus all poured out of the door, each of them as surprised as the last to see Junpei, Snake, and Seven.
Junpei and Seven were, for the moment, at a loss for words.
What are you guys doing...?
Why are you...?
They were happy to simply see one another again.
Although the level of cheer varied greatly from person to person, each one of them was wearing some manner of smile.
Almost as though they had already forgotten about the death of the 9th Man.
He felt sorry for the 9th Man, but more than anything Junpei was just happy to be alive.
If the RED isn't working, we can't keep going...
What about that big hallway? Maybe there's somewhere in there we might be able to go.
No, there's nothing there. The 5 of us had a quick look. There were a great many rooms, although none of them appeared to have held patients for quite some time.
Patients? You mean all those doors are for hospital rooms?
Yes. Apparently, they have a number of individual rooms, in addition to this large central room.
There was a door down at the end of the hallway too, but it was locked.
It had one of those solar system mark things on it.
A rough diagram of what the symbol for Jupiter is:
(basically it's a 2 with a vertical line attached, or a 4 with a curve or something similar.)
I wonder what it means.
Confusion seemed to be the consensus.
That reminds me, what's the deal with this big room anyway?
What is this thing? Was this some kind of huge passenger ship?
No one, not even Snake, appeared ready to offer an answer until Seven unexpectedly spoke up.
I bet it's a hospital ship.
I'll let Seven explain this one, since there's nothing I can say about it that the game won't.
Junpei looked at Seven, shocked both by his knowledge and the apparent identity of their prison. He was not the only one.
What's the Gigantic?
Seven nodded to Lotus and began to speak.
She was initially intended to be a passenger liner, like the Titanic, but soon after the ship was launched the First World War began, and she was pressed into duty by the British navy as a hospital ship.
What, then, happened to the Gigantic after her fateful encounter in the Aegean Sea?
One theory ran that a man named [Lord Gordain] purchased her.
Note: looking up this man will lead to spoilers. Consider this your one and only Official Warning.
Lord Gordain, it seemed, had been one of the few survivors of the Titanic tragedy, and that trauma had turned him into an obsessive collector of all things related to the Titanic.
As his obsession deepened, he began to desire the Titanic itself.
That, of course, was impossible--the Titanic lay at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. The Gigantic, however, had not suffered such a dire fate, and as she was identical to her sister ship, she caught Lord Gordain's eye.
Yeah. At least I think I am.
That's impossible! No way we're in some boat that's almost 100 years old!
Pipe down. Just pay attention. What, that's it? Well, have you got any proof?
Proof that this ship is really the Gigantic.
Oh for goodness... Don't tell me that's your only reason?
N-No, I've got more...
Well, uh, I mean...
Seven looked around desperately, doing anything to avoid meeting Lotus's piercing stare. He scratched his head for a moment, then gave up.
Finally, he opened his mouth.
Lotus sighed and shook her head...
I guess your memory isn't back yet, is it?
Then, almost as if to save Seven from further embarrassment...
...A bell began to ring from far away. It sounded as though it was the clock at the main stairway.
Then we've still got 6 hours left, right?
Let's just get moving. We gotta find that hardware the REDs are missing.
That's all well and good, but where are we going to look?
Well, we've already searched the big patient room...
They had been examining the room as they talked.
...But we haven't found anything.
Well, there's only one thing left to do.
Uh, well, not just one...
Well, you already checked some of 'em out before you came here, right?
We each checked a single room, so 5 rooms in total.
All right then, that's 5 rooms we don't have to search.
If we split up, it won't be that bad.
There are 48 other rooms?
Lotus did not seem excited by the prospect.
Seven fidgeted nervously before responding.
After some discussion, the 8 of them decided which rooms to begin with, and in what order they would go. Junpei was chosen to search the rooms on the starboard side, moving from fore to aft.
The details decided, they left to begin searching. Out into the hallway they went, each to the rooms they'd been assigned.
From far away, Junpei heard the bell ring.
It did so only once--it was 1 a.m.
They had gathered in front of door number . Or perhaps, to be accurate, they had gathered in front of the RED next to door number .
Had one of them found the missing piece?
What happened, guys?!
It was June who answered him.
She was pointing at the RED.
He pushed through the others until he stood in front of it.
[Music: Who Is Zero?]
C'mon guys, who was it? I thought we're supposed to yell if we found it.
Junpei wondered why she was hesitating. The others looked as confused as June, but kept their mouths shut.
What the hell? What is up with you guys?
They all knew something he didn't and Junpei wasn't about to leave things that way.
Finally, Lotus frowned and spoke.
Well, that's the thing... We don't know.
You don't know?
When I got back, it was already like this. There was no one else here. That means I was the first one back, but...
Junpei looked at the bottom of the RED again, just to make sure. The slot that had been open on the bottom was now covered with metal.
Clearly, whatever had been missing had been returned.
What about the other 2?
They're the same.
Junpei quickly examined the other 2 boxes.
Satisfied that they were also repaired, but still very confused, he returned to the others.
All right, I just wanna be sure here. Nobody has any idea what the hell happened here, right?
Huh? ...Wait a minute.
That was when he noticed.