Part 6: Takeshi - First Day - Part 2TrackDrittestock
"I'm glad to be safe, but more important than that right now is who are you guys? The chick in black ran like something bionic... When the glass broke, that attendant was right next to it. But she took off at warp speed... What's up with that? And don't tell me that this is part of the theme park atmosphere?"
Because all of that is really more important than getting the fuck out of LeMU right now.
Neither of them tried to answer.
The fish on the floor were still jumping around.
"I'm really, really sorry..."
The park employee was bowing so low that her head approached the floor. For some reason her clothes were completely dry.
"It doesn't do us any good just standing around here, can you show us the way?"
"Certainly. There is a relatively safe place nearby. I will take you there..."
That was about the same as saying that everywhere else was dangerous.
You witnessed Erste Boden flooding and are questioning this?
I looked at a panel and finally realized that we were in Zweite stock--basement level two.
"So are we the only folks here?"
"I do not know. I am currently investigating."
Yeah, right, 'Investigating what?' I thought as we walked...
"What is it?"
"Three other people are approaching."
"For a while I wondered what was going to happen to us, but..."
It was one of the female employees that I'd met once before.
"I'm glad we survived..."
"Hey, aren't you..."
The girl finally noticed us.
"I didn't think there'd be anybody else here."
"Yeah. How are you?"
"Bout as good as I look, I suppose."
"Seems like you had a rough time of it, too..."
"Hey, lucky guess..."
Relaxing a bit, I returned her smile.
One of them was the girl who I thought was named Coco.
When our eyes met, Coco grinned.
"Oh, we meet again"
"It's been a while. It doesn't have to be right now, but Coco, will you tell me a joke later? I'm really in the mood for one."
"Sure. No problem I'll think of one."
She nodded brightly.
The other person was the kid I helped to the infirmary. His expression looked darker somehow. If he'd become super upbeat all of the sudden that would have been weird too, but... For some reason it bothered me.
"Is something wrong with him? He doesn't look so hot."
"Oh, he's, a bit..."
The attendant hesitated.
"By the way... Hey, Sora, do you have any idea what our situation is?"
The girl attendant addressed the question to the staff member in the dress.
"Well, the communication lines are down.... I've been investigating ways to restore our connection, but its going to take some time."
The attendant called Sora said this.
"In that case, let's go to the Central Control Room. We can monitor things in detail from there, right?"
"That sounds good. I wish I were more useful..."
"Don't worry about it, Sora."
With that, the girl addressed me again.
Ah, we meet again, Mr. Rogue Question Mark. How are you today?
"You're coming, right?"
"Y-yeah. I'll go."
It looked like there were a number of these narrow corridors above and below other corridors and rooms. I figured that they were probably used as shortcuts by employees as well.
"My name's You."
"You Tanaka. My real name is really a lot longer, but just call me You. What's your name?"
"Good to know you, You."
The whole time the girl in the dark clothes silently watched our exchange.
Theres quite a few of these question mark errors in the coding.
It seemed that this was the Central Control Room.
"Let's see. It looks like directly accessing it would be the fastest route."
Sora faced the monitor and held up both hands. Instantly the content of the screen began to change, with a number of windows opening, closing and searches for data underway.
"Hey...you can operate these computers without even touching them? I've got the latest cell phone and it's gotta touch panel. And it's got a kinetic-recharge function..."
"Huh? Oh, it means that even if the battery dies, if you walk around with it or shake it, it will recharge itself. It takes a while though."
I took my PDA from my pocket and lent it to Coco.
Coco took the PDA and shook it using short movements like she was shaking maracas.
"Yeah, like that."
The lamp that had indicated the battery was dead lit up.
"Oh, you're right."
"The harder you shake it, the more it lights up."
The lamp flickered. I didn't know if she was having fun or what, but Coco kept up her maraca act for a while. It looked like the PDA wasn't broken. All I had to do was wait and it would probably work again. It seemed the professional diving waterproof specifications it had boasted were actually true.
Sora typed quietly on the keyboard.
She was typing the keyboard, but.... It looked like her hands weren't even touching the keyboard. I figured that was my imagination.
"...I've learned something."
Sora said it in businesslike manner. She seemed done with the computer. Everyone looked at her.
"Everyone, please be calm."
As she said that, I notice she looked a little pale. The room went quiet as the focus shifted to her.
"The whole floor is flooded, except for one segment of stairs,"
"Flooded? The whole first floor?"
"Yeah. All of the partitions have dropped and it isn't possible to get through any of its corridors"
"In other words...there's no way up."
"That is correct. And as for Zweite stock and Dritte stock... The watertight doors did not close in time and Sector 3 is completely flooded."
"However, some rooms do have water from the flood we just experienced. Currently the bilge pumps are functioning, but it will take a lot of time for the water to completely drain."
"Does that mean that we have electricity?"
"Let's see... Some parts of the electric system, including the elevator are not functioning. The cause of this is unclear, but it would seem that circuit damage in each section is playing a role. That is another reason that I was not able to survey the situation adequately before."
(What does she mean 'she' wasn't able to...?)
Something about her words nagged at my mind, but I listened to the rest of what she had to say.
"However the generator is functioning normally and supplying power. So as long as the generator is operating as well as the circuitry, the water should be cleared with time. Incidentally, the internal air pressure of the complex is 1 atmosphere. The air is 22 percent oxygen, 75 percent nitrogen, 3 percent helium and the temperatures is 24 degrees Celsius..."
Heres the answer to the Why arent they all dead from inhaling so much helium? question that was asked earlier. Its a mix slightly closer to the kind they use for scuba diving.
"So, what you're basically saying is, we're safe for a while, right?"
"I'm sorry. That is correct... Everyone, we will be forced to wait inside the complex for a while."
"For a while? How long is that?"
"Until help comes. I am continuously sending out a request for assistance. However... Right now there is no guarantee that it will reach anyone. All communication lines to Insel null, including the emergency ones, have been physically severed and are unusable. I have also been attempting to make contact via a seafloor cable network, using sonar... Right now I cannot estimate when the network will be back online."
"So we're like little kids lost smack in the middle of the ocean and nobody can hear our SOS..."
The last bit of this line sent me on an hour-long Abba youtube spree for some reason.
Those were the cold, hard facts we had to face. There was every reason for everyone to get depressed. I sighed....
"Alright! We've got to stay in good spirits!"
One of the group was determined to dispel the gloomy atmosphere. You spoke so fast it was almost scary.
"I'm a first year student at Kyumeikan Girl's College and I work here part-time. My name is Yubiseiharukana Tanaka. I will be your guide until the rescue team comes. Rap-tap-tap-tap Ta-da!"
I even come with my own custom-made fanfare!
"...Hey, wait, wait! What did you just say?"
"I'm a freshman at Kyumeikan Girl's College. I work here part-time and only over the holidays."
"Well, I'm kind of new to this whole tour thing, but I will be leading the tour..."
"No, no. After that."
"Huh? You mean my name?"
"I can't get my tongue around that."
"That's why I said you can call me You. The long name is a pain, isn't it?"
"Hey, I have a question?"
Another gloom destroyer appeared...
"What might that be?"
"Can I call you Nakkyu?"
"Yes, please do. And what is your name?"
"Coco Yagami!! And this is Pipi!"
Im considering replacing [Pipi] with . Yea/Nay?
Her pet dog appeared from nowhere. Boy was she full of energy. Leave it to elementary school kids...
"And how old are you?"
"I'm in ninth grade."
"What? What's the matter?"
I thought it that surprises never cease.
"Okay, nice to meet you Coco and Pipi"
"What a cute dog!"
"And so smart, too!"
"I think so, too."
I wondered if maybe there wasn't enough oxygen in the room... I was getting a headache....
The girl in the black clothes gave our upbeat companions a cool stare. You noticed the look.
"Uh, and how about you over there?"
"Huh? Why're you asking me?"
"...Aren't you together?"
"Stupid. What are you talking about?"
"What's that supposed to mean?"
You noticed that she spoke too.
It was just loud enough to make out what she was saying.
"That's my name..."
"Hi Tsugumi! Nice to meet you!"
She turned her back. You shrugged slightly. I thought Tsugumi might have been embarrassed. There was something kinda cute about her.
(Tsugumi, Tsugumi... I think that's a bird's name...)
I remembered her tugging me along in the aquarium and running like the wind.