Part 21: Confinement room 2
You were here?! When?! Why!?
Suddenly Seven was mumbling to himself. They were words Junpei didn't understand.
Seven's hoarse voice trailed off, and Junpei couldn't make out what he'd said.
What the hell was that?
Seven's brow furrowed furiously, and he ground his teeth back and forth.
It's...it's right there...
Seven stopped, frustrated. He pulled his hat off, and ran a hand through his hair.
Then suddenly, he looked up, his eyes wide.
That's right! An experiment!
An experiment?! What...sort of experiment?
They were...they were trying to control people! Or...or something like that...
Junpei didn't know what to make of Seven's story. Instead, he simply stared as Seven continued.
Aoi, Light, and Nona... Those were their names. Well, some of them.
I think there were...4 or 5 more... But I don't remember all their names.
Yeah, that's right... That's why I'm here...
Seven began to mumble to himself, and wander aimlessly about the room. He looked...confused.
So far as Junpei could tell, the man was simply rambling, and there were odd twitches to his movements.
Was I working that case...?
Seven continued to mumble to himself about things that meant nothing to Junpei. Junpei didn't have any answers for him, of course.
He couldn't understand what was happening to Seven. All he could do was wait.
After a few minutes, Seven finally stopped.
He crouched down and looked under the bed. His face registered mild surprise, and he began to mumble to himself again.
The hole's gone...? No, maybe it was a different room. There's gotta be a ton of rooms on this boat that look just like this one...
At last, Junpei could contain himself no longer.
Hey, uh, what exactly do you remember? Well, maybe you could stop talking like a crazy person and tell me what's going on here?
Seven stood up slowly.
Well, it's not like I really remember everything. I've only got bits'n pieces, and they're scattered and don't make much sense.
I don't care. Tell me the bits and pieces, then!
Junpei could feel it... Whatever Seven had remembered, it was important--very important.
Seven drew a large, muscled hand down, across his face. As he wiped the sweat from his brow, he spoke.
From what I can remember, I think I was...
Yeah. I was looking for that group of kids that got kidnapped 9 years ago.
You remember that, right? It was all over the news.
Y-Yeah... I was still in school...
I don't remember all the details, but I do remember some of it.
I think it was a bunch of kids right around my age. They all just disappeared. Nobody knew why. It was all over TV and the newspapers, every day. So you're saying you were investigating it?
Yeah, that's what it looks like. And I guess I found something...
There was this medical company called
After I figured that out, I managed to get some information out of somebody who worked for them.
There were a number of human shapes moving near the ship. They were men in black suits.
Many of them were carrying large bags onto the ship.
He had moved before he even realized he was going to. Out of the shadows he came, his gun already in his hand.
He heard the words "Don't move", but they weren't his.
He felt metal touch the back of his head.
"Drop your gun," came the cold voice from behind him. With the words, he felt the cold metal thing behind him press against his skull.
Slowly, Seven crouched down, and laid his gun on the ground.
He felt a sharp pain in his neck. ...A needle. Was it...some sort of drug?
As he was thinking about that, Seven felt his face hit the cold concrete beneath him. He could feel the chill of it seeping into him.
"Ugh... Damnit! Shit, my head hurts..."
Seven woke to find himself lying on a hard floor.
He twisted his neck to peer around the room. "Where am I..."
There was a small, shabby bed, and a dirty sink. A toilet with no stall or privacy of any sort... As a cop, it was a place Seven had seen all too often.
"I'm in a cell, huh."
Opposite the toilet was a door set into the wall. Seven struggled to his feet and hobbled toward it. He gave the door a good shove, then another. Then tried pulling it.
It didn't open.
Well, that was about what he'd expected. It wasn't likely that someone would put him in a cell only to leave it unlocked. He threw himself against the door a few times, but to no avail.
"I knew it..." Seven grumbled to himself as he moved back toward the bed. He sat down.
The voice was far away--very far away. Seven couldn't understand what it was saying. Nonetheless, it was a voice, and a high one--most likely a child.
His eyes shot open.
"Hur...! O...ere!" "...kay...ing!"
As he listened, he could pick out several different, distinct voices. There were at least 5 or 6, possibly more...
Where were the voices coming from?!
He looked around the room, frantically. Perhaps the door? No! That wasn't it!
Was it coming from the left? Was it coming from...under the bed...?
He grabbed the bed and flipped it up with ease. There it was.
There was a hole for ventilation in the wall where the bed had been, covered with a metal grate.
Seven lay down on his stomach and peered through the grate. He couldn't see anything... It was too dark.
Now that he'd found it, however, there could be no doubt--this was the source of the voices. For a moment he was confused. Why were there children nearby?
Then he remembered what the man from Cradle Pharmaceutical had told him. How a ship would take the kidnapped children from the wharf to a waiting passenger liner out in the ocean...
Seven looked at the metal grate. Could he fit through that hole...?
He stuck his fingers through the grate and grabbed hold of it.
"Hhhhggh!" "Urrrrgghhh!" "UuuuurrrrrrrRRRRGGGHHH!" "Hrrrraah--!"
"*Pant* *Pant* *Pant*... Yeah! How'dya like that, you son-of-a-bitch!"
He had gone silent, and simply stared off into the air, his eyes blank.
Hey... What happened after that?
He'd waited long enough. But Seven shook his head.
I don't... I don't remember what happens after that. I think I found some kinda door out of the duct...
Oh man... Why can't I remember what happened next...?
Oh man... What happened to the kids, Seven?!
Did you save them?!
I dunno... I dunno if it was me... I just... I've got this feeling...
...A girl, I think.
Deep in his heart, Junpei felt something very cold. Seven's head dropped, and Junpei saw on it a look of sadness the likes of which he had never seen on the man before. The large man's eyes blinked rapidly, as if he were fighting back tears, and he swallowed hard.
His sigh was like the melancholy setting of an old, abandoned building. He shook his head and spoke.
Anyway, just... Please don't ask me any more, okay? I really don't remember anything else...
After that, Junpei could hardly try to force any answers out of the other man. There was nothing more he could do.
Instead, Junpei turned his mind to trying to make sense of what Seven had told him.
[Music: Riddle and Puzzle]
They had been brought to the ship for an [experiment]. Something to do with controlling human beings, Seven had said.
The 16 children who'd been kidnapped were the subjects for the experiment. Seven had said 3 of their names were [Aoi], [Light], and [Nona].
That was the new information.
He had also learned that Seven was, or had been, a police officer. Still, there was little he could do with this new information.
He'd learned nothing about the Nonary Game or Zero.
He had no idea why they had been brought to the ship that had been the site of those experiments 9 years before.
Junpei couldn't forget what Seven had said the purpose of the experiment had been... To control human beings! Could such an absurd experiment really have been conducted?
Man, that was... a lot to take in all at once. It's worth it though, since this one scene makes this entire room worth it in my opinion.
[Music: Quinary Game]
Speaking of which, we don't really have much left to do here. Most of it was dealt with last time, since this room is a tedious slog the best of times.
After flushing the toilets 11 times in total, this drawer opens up. It's the only part of the room that's really contrived when you think about it, and makes no logical sense, but that doesn't make the rest of it any more fun.
The room itself seems to know it's not that great since the last two tiles are both in this one drawer.
I don't know what Seven's gonna use to keep the door open this time; the towel, maybe? That's a bit of a stretch though. Might just stick the drawer there, like a giant door stop.
The only mystery left is that door.
All right, let's crack that mystery then.
We've got 4 tiles.
And there are a bunch of tiles that are the same size up on the wall here.
So if we replace 4 of the tiles on the wall with the one's we've got, that should open the door. Well, there's only one way to find out.
So many choices... so hard to choose... Lotus, Seven, help!
Yeah. You're right. It's just 4 tiles. I need to think...
No, I can't. I don't get it.
If you don't know what that is, then maybe you need to examine them a little bit closer.
Examine the tiles I have, huh...
Lotus, you're useless. Seven keep on being awesome, would ya?
If you're not sure, just make sure you take a good, long look at everything, and think it all over again.
A hint? Well, there was that one thing... but it's not working.
If we're missin' a big hint, then we're gonna have trouble solving this thing.
The only thing in the dark room that we haven't used yet was "14=E" but I'm not seeing how that's relevant.
Think carefully. Try and remember if you missed anything.
Well, let's see... we know that 14=E. We have a set of four tiles that apparently have a 14 on them. There's... four Es in "EMERGENCE." That's it!
Does that mean we got it right?
Yes, it looks like we did! The (14) hidden on the tile. If you convert that to hexadecimal...it's an "E".
Basically the Es in "EMERGENCE" are the (14)s from the tiles... So if we replace it, that gives up the answer.
Officer Seven's on the job!