Part 41: Remote Neural MonitoringPart 41 - Remote Neural Monitoring
She fell into thought.
Maybe she didn't have anything planned.
"I, I don't need anything in return...."
Rimi's shoulders dropped, crestfallen.
"N, no, that's not it...."
"I don't ne, need anything in exchange.... I'll lend it to you, normally...."
A wide smile. One that looked amazingly happy.
She seemed so charged up, I thought she might throw her arms around me.
I almost never did anything to make a girl delighted, so I couldn't help being happy about it as well.
Th, thank goodness I'd worked up the courage to say it....
It was all thanks to Rimi of course. I owed her one.
But I was a tad put off by how she instantly rejected my request to wait outside while I tidied up my room a little.
"You don't have to put on a front. We're pals. Right?"
What kind of pals....
Rimi was absent from my memory. And so I didn't really know.
For that matter, I wondered if Rimi was serious about it being okay not to clean up my room.
Even though convenience store lunch boxes I'd finished eating were scattered on the floor along with utensils, and eroge boxes with sensationalistic illustrations on them were piled up on the bed.
Either Rimi wasn't the sensitive sort, or she didn't perceive me to be any kind of threat. Both prospects left me feeling kind of ambiguous....
My nerves had worn thin from cowering in fear the whole day, but maybe the reason I didn't feel all that exhausted was because Rimi was here with me....
Rimi closed the lyrics booklet, stretched grandly, and sent a smile my way.
What to do, she'd asked.... What was I supposed to do?
Rimi hadn't come here to hang out in the first place. Her original aim had been to borrow my CD.
If she were going to do me the favor of staying here with me, how should I respond?
Did I even have to do anything, to begin with?
If this were an eroge, we'd jump right into an H-scene, but....
Crappity crap. I'd better not think about that sort of thing right now.
Even under the best of circumstances, I would still feel very strained being alone in my room with a 3-D girl.
If I let my imagination run away with me unnecessarily, I'd become overly conscious of her and might do something weird to give myself away.
Rimi gazed vaguely at the manga volumes scattered on the floor and the eroge stacked on the bed.
I had the sense that I ought to start a conversation, but I couldn't think of any potential topics except games or anime.
I didn't think she would know much about them.
Anyway, she'd said she would be there for me, so maybe she would spare me and start talking first.
I didn't know how to handle 3-D girls, after all.
I was grateful to her for staying with me, but I wouldn't be able to hold up under the pressure of this silence....
The dimness of my room was also part of the issue. It gave me the hallucination that there was something lewd in the air between us.
I'd thought of it earlier at school. Something that might be a hint about how to come into possession of a Di-Sword.
OST: Distorted Theory
"Is it possible to change your imagined visions into actual images?"
Using the things Sena had told me about VR technology and how "Humans are electrical devices" as a springboard, I began probing into the matter.
"What're you doing?"
Rimi stood up and approached me.
Err, should I explain?
But how best to explain it to her.... what a hassle....
"Hey, hey, tell me what you're doing--"
When I didn't react, Rimi started poking me in the back with her finger.
I, I certainly couldn't ignore her, could I....
As I entered search keywords into my browser, I spoke without looking over at Rimi; in fact, it seemed more like I was addressing Seira-tan.
"Delusions become reality?"
"Ahaha, that's impossible."
"If they could do that, people would already have become omnipotent."
Omnipotent.... huh. That very well might be the case.
"What about it?"
"Th, there's a system like that.... in, in America, um, er.... they have a.... patent....."
"Eh~, you're joking, right?"
I sensed Rimi letting out an exasperated sigh behind me.
"Hm? What's this?"
"P, proof.... of the patent, a photo."
Leaning forward, Rimi brought her face nearer to the monitor.
She ended up peering into it from very close beside me.
"Uwah, I'm terrible at English...."
"You're amazing, Taku. Being able to read it."
S, so close....
She was so near me, I could see the reflection of the monitor sparkling in her eyes. I was starting to get flurried again.
"Come on, tell me what it is."
Apparently it had drawn her interest.
Doing my best not to think about how close she was, I focused on looking back and forth between my monitor and Seira-tan.
"E, even people who've been bl, blind since they were born, by connecting to a recording device.... Um, umm, like a video camera, th, they can see the scenery reflected there. Pretty dense stuff.... yeah."
"Do you mean a video camera can work in place of your eyes?"
"R, right.... It's called VR technology...."
"Heh~ It'd be amazing if it were real."
Sena had said the tests were successful.
"I'm not that quick on the uptake, so I don't really get it, tahaha...."
Even so, I persisted in inputting more new keywords.
"Be, because the scenery in a recording device, and the things you imagine in your head, are b, both.... electrical signals, so...."
"If, if you look at it the other way around...."
Ambiguous answers were all that came back to me.
Maybe she didn't understand.... very well....
It'd be a bother to explain in greater detail, so I gave up on talking about it. I concentrated instead on looking things up.
Well, it wasn't like I needed her to understand. Because in the end, it was nothing more than my own deductions.
Rimi went on nodding and making noises of assent all on her own.
I figured I would leave her be.
I'd run a variety of searches, but I couldn't find any documents verifying my line of reasoning.
I went to a foreign Wiki site that Shiho had told me about, one all about American patents.
I began searching to see if there were any patents similar to what I had in mind.
As I jumped from link to link, I finally hit on an image similar in atmosphere to the one Shiho had passed on to me before. It appeared to be a different patent document than the one about VR equipment.
I swiftly skimmed the contents.
It was exactly what I'd been thinking of!
I unthinkingly hovered out of my chair.
"Th, this is.... amazing...."
"Mm? Amazing? What is, what is?"
"To, to put it.... simply.... th, this is...."
"Can they really do that? It's not a sci-fi novel or something....?"
"Pa, patents.... y, you can't get one un, unless it's been perfected...."
"Y, you, you definitely can't...."
So it had said when I looked up patents online.
This wasn't fiction.
With enough money and technological power to construct the system, it could be made into reality at any time.
This was what Sena had told me.
"Would it not also be possible to control all of people's five senses, as well, as their free will itself?"
But a source had emerged.... for the theory I'd thought of.
I wondered why such an amazing news story remained totally unknown in Japan.
Frankly, it seemed Nobel Prize-worthy to me.
I went on to run a search for the words "thought recording."
What came up were the records from an American lawsuit.
"Uwah, English again...."
"I'm gonna get a headache--"
It was fairly long, so it looked like I'd have a pretty hard time reading it as well.
The phrasing might get kind of weird, but I used an automatic translator to convert it to Japanese.
The contents were, in sum, something along the lines of the following.
The plaintiff's claims
My thoughts have been spied on by means of a special device, recorded, and broadcast to an unknown destination via satellite.
These satellites have taken me hostage. Day and night, without end, numerous satellites constantly assault me.
Since the latter part of December 1990, I have been forced to view man-made dreams (including both visual and aural components) as I sleep.
From February to May 1992, I underwent biorhythmical assault (pain, torture, harassment).
Biorhythmical attacks were carried out against every part of my body.
All those portions of my body were adjusted to best receive the unpleasantness, exhaustion and suffering induced by pain, torture and harassment.
"....Whoa, for real?"
"Ah--, I know about this. I saw it in a movie a couple of years ago!"
But the brief written here wasn't.
It was difficult to discern the boundary between the two.
It seemed as though it could be truthful, considering the patent I'd seen earlier....
Ayase had become two people before my very eyes.
I hadn't witnessed the second when she "became like that," but when I turned around, another Ayase was there.
She had showed me how she pulled her Di-Sword out of thin air as well.
It hadn't been an illusion or a delusion.
Once she showed me something like that, I couldn't say she was simply sick in the head anymore.
"This is the delusion you wished for."
That mysterious phenomena really had been....
Was it truly the result of what I'd envisioned....
"Di-Swords are only visible to those with the power."
"You can see my sword, can't you?"
"That means only one thing."
Was this what she had been referring to when she mentioned "the power"?
It was too much of a leap to assume such a supernatural power existed, simply because there was a system capable of scientifically replaying delusions on film.
"Even I don't know how."
Except, what if....
The way to come into possession of a Di-Sword required precisely that sort of supernatural power.
And if I bore such a power within me.
Positive, Negative or Neutral?