Part 8: Takeshi - First Day - Part 4TrackKlamauk
But something struck me as strange. Actually, it had been bothering me since before...
'Basically...the assistant chief.'
She spoke about herself as if she were someone else.
'I was not able to gauge the situation.'
She spoke as if the problems in the system were her own.
'Please do excuse me.'
(System engineer...I wonder if she talks like that because of her job?)
That was what I thought...but I held my tongue.
"...I'm Takeshi Kuranari. I'm 20 years old and a junior in college. Thanks."
"Takeshi, nice to meet you."
"Yeah, it sure is!"
Everyone laughed cheerfully.
Everybody laughed except Tsugumi that is... It took a little effort, but the atmosphere finally loosened up. You started gathering us up.
"Okay now everyone! Now that we have just started having so much fun, it's time to say good-bye--"
"Uh, Nakkyu! Wait a second! We haven't asked somebody's name yet."
Coco pointed to the corner of the room.
"Uh, do you mean me...?"
We'd completely forgotten him. He'd been quiet the whole time, trying to stay out of the way and mostly kept to the corner of the room.
You looked at the boy and it looked like her face stiffened a little.
"So let's ask... What is your name?"
Coco tilted her head as she asked him the question.
"......... I... My... ........."
Im getting a bunch of ss through morse code. Must be a Creeper.
He looked down. I couldn't figure what he was waiting for....
TrackTraum In Der Dunkelheit
"Who am I...?"
"I can't remember... My...name..."
"Maybe you've got amnesia."
Generally, amnesia results from trauma to the head, epileptic seizures, mental diseases and disorders that manifest themselves as memory impairments. When a person has trouble recollecting events prior to the impairment, this is called retrograde amnesia. An instance in which memory impairment is significant and continues after consciousness is restored is known as 'anterograde amnesia.'
Amnesia caused by inherent mental factors is referred to as 'organic amnesia,' while that induced by psychological stress is typically known as 'psychogenic amnesia,' 'hysterical amnesia' being the most typical example. This is an affliction in which the victim often cannot recall knowledge relating to his or her personal history, such as one's name, history family or friends... And is often a reaction to incidents too hard to endure, which incite an unconscious desire to escape, forget or repress these experiences or events.
Symptoms do not manifest in any particular way physically, and a person's brain functioning remains normal. People found wandering in this state are often taken in or seek help from authorities, such as the police.
Young people in their 20s under severe psychological stress, such as those facing domestic violence or academic problems, marriage or financial difficulties, are the most typical victims. However, this illness can be used as a cover for criminal activities and it can be difficult to detect the difference.
This is especially seen in individuals with demonstrative personalities or a pathological tendencies to lie. Normally in a few days or months, or with the help of hypnosis or shock therapy, the memories should return. Complete amnesia can be spurred by retrograde life amnesia. Memories are usually restored gradually beginning with older ones and treatment methods include psychiatric care, and hypnosis both narcotic and naturally induced.
TL;DR: Amnesia sucks.
"That's right...he can't remember anything."
"Did you suffer a concussion? You might have bumped your head severely somewhere."
"Yeah, you coulda taken a tumble...like when trying to escape."
Tsugumi had let loose a nasty snort when I said 'tumble'.
"I don't know...I don't remember anything. Hey. Where is this?"
"We are in LeMU, a marine theme park."
The kid glanced at Coco. He tilted his head. Coco was playing rock, paper, scissors with her dog, Pipi....
Thankfully at least the electric drink dispenser was working. Each person poured the drink they wanted in a paper cup.
"For now, let's just make a toast and a prayer to everyone's safety"
"Okay then. Cheers."
The string of events leading to the sudden toast went something like this -
'Hey, kid, don't you know anything about before? Not even something personal about yourself? What do I know...Oh! I know...I'm kinda thirsty.'
That was the reason. But reason aside, we needed a breather, so the timing was good.
"Hey, Sora, what about you? Don't you wanna drink?"
Sora was standing stiffly.
"Uh, no thanks. I'm not thirsty."
"Well, how about taking a load off? You been standing the whole time."
"I'm fine. But thanks for your concern."
Sure...I thought. Sora seemed older than me. She seemed polite and serious. She seemed the typical, Japanese woman. Prim and proper could be one way of describing Sora.
I looked around at my surroundings. You was next to the kid and chatting with him. Sometimes he would laugh or shake his head weakly. I could overhear bits of their conversation. They were talking about his memory.
"It's not that out of the ordinary. You'll be fine. It'll fix itself in time."
It looked like the two of them were drinking orange juice. Tsugumi was a way off from everyone and looking into the distance. I had no idea what she was drinking. I didn't have any idea what she was thinking either.
After agonizing over whether to drink apple juice or cocoa, Coco finally decided on both. But she proceeded to forget about her drink immediately and Coco took a hold of Pipi's front legs and started dancing around. It was a cute scene... After things had calmed down, You and everyone gathered in front of the kiosk.
"For a while, it looks like we are going to have to spend sometime in LeMU. So there are a few things I would like to go over. First is what has happened. Next is what we should do now."
"You, would you mind if I addressed the first of those topics?"
"Please do, Sora."
Sora stood in front of everyone and held out her arms. Suddenly, a holographic window materialized in the air. I had no idea how the whole system worked, but I figured that it was the same one they had used at the entrance to the park.
"I will explain..."
And this is what she said...
The Insel null elevator shifted to its emergency power source and an evacuation order was issued for the entire complex. Employees and visitors evacuated the premises.
At this point, some people panicked and in the confusion opened the emergency corridor to the outside without going through decompression. It is highly probable that they are experiencing serious decompression sickness at this moment. The emergency corridor to the outside was left open for several minutes.
The opening of the emergency corridor disrupted the air pressure balance inside the complex and the devices responsible for adjusting the air pressure encountered problems. The complex started automatically pulling in air from the outside.
As a result, the mixture of gas in the complex designed to maintain 6 atmospheres of air pressure escaped. Apparently helium, which is lighter that oxygen or nitrogen, leaked out first. Air pressure in the complex dropped to 1 atmosphere, the same as the level outside.
The major power source came back on line. LeMMIH, the computer system responsible for overseeing LeMU rebooted and reset the air pressure adjustment mechanism. The air ventilation ducts were closed. However, LeMU was built to saturation diving specifications, meaning that as long as the internal air pressure was the same level or higher than the outside water pressure, it was designed not to collapse.
When the internal air pressure dropped to 1 atmosphere, it became impossible for the external partitions to withstand the external water pressure, causing the glass to crack under the pressure, thus resulting in flooding. Subsequently, to minimize the damage from the flooding, the emergency watertight doors had automatically shut.
Which brought us up to speed.
Welp. Were fucked.
"I would like to be able to gauge the current situation more accurately...however, some monitors and sensors are still not functioning normally. As a result, I can't obtain accurate data... and can only provide an outline of the situation..."
"Hey, sorry to ask you the same question again, but... The first floor...above us is flooded, yeah?"
"Correct. I have requested confirmation from our complex management system, LeMMIH, and it has been confirmed."
"So we can't get outta here."
"Currently, the top priority is requesting assistance so I am doing my utmost to get the communications system back online. I must request your patience..."
Sora bowed her head. I was feeling depressed again. I didn't want to admit it, but we were in deep trouble.
"Well, all we can do for now is just wait for help. Right?"
"You just keep trying to make everyone feel better, don't you?"
"Oh, I'm sorry. Would you prefer my dark, despondent, we're doomed approach?"
"That's not what I'm saying..."
"Anyway, how about another drink?"
You came out with a huge industrial sized bottle and held it up comically.
"I just can't get over how cheerful you are, given how totally screwed we are."
I complained again without thinking.
"I said that's not it at all. I'm like this precisely BECAUSE of the situation."
You said this with a bit of a sulk.
"Yeah, you're right...sorry."
"There's no need to apologize. Here you go."
Gulp, gulp, gulp....She filled my cup to the brim with juice.
Sluuuuuuuurp. But most of it was just bubbles.
"This is good!"
"Thanks for the juice."
"Anytime. And it's on the house."
You shouldered the massive bottle and took it back inside the shop. Carrying it she teetered like a penguin, which was funny because it really didn't suit her.
(Geez, she's a funny one...)
I laughed without thinking.
Tsugumi was leaning against the shop wall and staring after You. Her face was expressionless. I wondered what she was thinking.... I had no idea.
"Even if we are going to wait for help... We can't just sit on our butts doing nothing. Right?"
I casually tried to strike up a conversation with Tsugumi.
"You... You act like you're all serious, but there's really nothing going on in that head of yours is there?"
Got it in one.
"What? That's not true! I'm thinking. I'm always thinking. Yeah. I was just thinking of a way to keep us from getting bored..."
I rattled off the first thing that jumped to mind.
Tsugumi gave me an annoyed look. She seemed exasperated.... I didn't want her to expect anything from me, but her attitude was frustrating.
"Arrghh... Hey! Alright everyone listen up."
I had an idea. I called to everybody.
"What? What? What happened?"
Everybody gathered around.
"We're not gonna accomplish anything just spending time like this, right? So I just thought, why don't we all split up and look around the complex?"
"No. I think we should check to see if 'staying in one place' and doing nothing is really the safest thing to do. You know, walk around, see what we can find and scope out any dangers... If we find some, we can tell everyone to watch out for them or do something to get rid of them. And we can see if there isn't a safer place...and then we could all gather there."
"It's not like the rescue squad is about to burst in the door. So if we're going to have to be here in LeMU for half a day or a day or so, then... We should find out what kinda place this is and get to know it like our own house."
"In that case, I can provide you with an abundance of information..."
"No that's not what I mean. Listen. Sora, you have to look after the communications network, right? You were just talking about how some sensors or monitors weren't working right and you can't get a full sense of the current situation."
"Oh, I see."
You clapped her hands together.
"So, while Sora is trying to send an SOS, we should use our own two legs to see what kind of a situation we're in."
"How about it? Sora, that would be easier on you wouldn't it?"
"Yes...I suppose it would. But...there are still the dangers..."
It seemed that Sora was unsure.
"Alright, I'll go then."
Tsugumi suddenly laughed. It looked like she were laughing, but her lips curled nastily.
"Hey, Tsugumi! Where are you going?"
"We are going to split up and check things out, right?"
Tsugumi's expression was blank again. Turning around she headed for the entrance to the emergency corridor.
"Hey, you can't just... Come back here! Hey idiot!"
She was already out of sight. Her shoes clacked on the metal stairs as she climbed.
Sora's brow furrowed and her expression stiffened.
"I think it's alright."
"It's like Takeshi says. It doesn't do us any good to just stay here..."
He continued without pausing.
"Tsugumi just went to the second floor. I'll bet she is just going to look around there. So why don't we look around the third floor?"
"Alright then. I'm in."
"Okay. Let's do that then."
"Sounds like a plan..."
I gave a big nod.
"I guess there is nothing I can do to stop you. Please, be careful everyone."
Sora finally nodded slightly. Once everyone's minds were set, things picked up.
You, Coco and the kid, and I went to search around the complex.
Splitting into pairs where the corridor forked, we agreed to meet back at the fork when we had checked the corridor ahead... We did that over and over.
I wondered if water was leaking anywhere. I figured that the water pressure would send water spurting through any crack it could find.
According to Sora, the system had told her that there were six people in the complex. Still, there was no guarantee that was right. I thought that if we found somebody else, it might change our situation.
I hoped there might be a door to the surface that we simply were unaware of...I couldn't throw away that shred of hope.
Sora had said that she wanted to establish a means of communicating with the outside.
But Tsugumi was nowhere to be seen.
"Tsugumi hasn't come back."
"We can't just let her run loose...I wonder where she is."
"Shall I check?"
"We checked the life reading scan of people inside the complex. Even if Tsugumi were moving around, she should still appear in the results of this scan. That is of course if she is in the complex..."
(And if she is alive...)
I managed to keep that thought from coming out of my mouth. It only took a moment for a map of LeMU and data from the sensors to appear. There was one fuzzy light on the second floor.
"That would be Tsugumi..."
There were a number of lights in a room on the third floor. I figured that was the Control Room where we were.
"What is it?"
"Hey, isn't that strange? Look..."
The kid pointed at a corner of the monitor. It indicated a single digit number.
"Watch it closely..."
'Life readings: 5'
'Life readings: 7'
'Life readings: 6'
"Oh, my. You're right.... I wonder what it could be..."
Sora fiddled with the console, but the numbers on the monitor continued to fluctuate. The number changed every few seconds. But even while the life scan numbers changed, no new lights appeared or disappeared.
"Maybe... Maybe there is somebody besides us in LeMU. If the number really is supposed to be '7'..."
"That's what it would mean."
"Don't you think we should go look for that person?"
"I mean...they could be in trouble. We have to help them!"
"Hang on, kid. Calm down."
For a while all of our eyes were glued to the changing numbers. Watching them change was unsettling....
The monitor settled on the number six. The light on the second floor was moving around slowly. The five lights on the third floor were all in one room, unmoving.
"Perhaps it...was just because of a malfunctioning sensor. The cause is unclear. Would you like to see what else we can find out?"
Nah. Tsugumi's on the second floor and there are five of us here So that number '6' is probably right. Don't you think?"
"Well, I figure if we go look around a little more, we'll find out soon enough."
"Alright then. So, do you all wanna head to the second floor...?"
I thought it was best if we actually took in the situation with our own eyes.
In the end, we didn't find anybody else on the third floor. We didn't see any routes that looked like they might lead out either. Sora had told us there was no schedule for the communications system to be back online. We could look at the information displayed on some of the LeMMIH terminals, which were set in some attractions and in the corridors, but we couldn't operate them in any way. The cause for this was unclear, too. The fact that there were no leaks on that floor was our one saving grace.
Sora gave us 30 minutes of free time. But that still didn't mean we could go running around as we pleased. So we decided to randomly hit some of the rooms, and search them. Sora held her hands out in front of her and a holographic window appeared.
"Unlike the floor below, all of the scanning sensors on this floor seem to be functioning normally. This floor appears safer as well."
"Oh...Tsugumi is on this floor.... She seems to be walking in the vicinity of the elevator."
"You can tell that?"
"Yes. I will work in the Security Office while monitoring everyone's activities. If a problem arises, I will announce it via the intercom... And if something happens, please contact me immediately."
"Alright. Okay then. Let's split up and meet in the Security Office in half an hour."
After closing the holographic window, Sora went into a room a little ways down the corridor. Apparently that was the Security Office.
Everyone headed out in a different direction from the corridor intersection. I took my PDA out of my pocket and pushed the button. It was recharged and the backlight was working without a problem. I reset the time. After that I tested it a number of times, but it didn't seem to be able make a call or go online.
(Maybe I ought to give up using this to get in touch with the outside...)
I pushed the PDA back into my pocket. I had thirty minutes left. I was trying to decide which area of the park to visit first.
This choice cluster and the next have literally no impact on heroine points, so I'm going to go ahead and say don't bother voting unless you really want to. In exchange, I'll update both tomorrow and Sunday so we can get back to plot-relevant choices on Monday. Sound good?