Part 104: Coco's Route - True End - Part 9TrackHeilmittel
"I guess I might have..."
"What have you done?"
"Well...different things, I guess..."
"Things you can't tell me?"
"Uhhh...I don't really want to talk about it, to be honest. I think that sins are something you carry through life by yourself. It seems cowardly to me to unburden it onto someone else, and beg for pity and compassion."
"I feel the same way. That's why I can't tell you. If I tell you now, it would just be an excuse..."
"I crossed a line that should've never been crossed. I turned my back on god...It's like an original sin to me. I could never escape from it, and I don't intend to. As long as I live...Yes, as long as I live, I must carry this sin with me. But you know what...? You might think I'm horrible, but I don't regret anything. It is probably better this way...Because this way I'm the only one who has sinned...That means I'm the only one who will be punished...She has no sin to carry on."
"She...? Who are you talking about?"
"About myself...My other self..."
"Your other self...? Are you telling me you have split personality?"
You didn't say anything and took the cup from my hand. She sipped the cold coffee. For some reason, You suddenly tilted the cup. The black liquid, overtaken by the force of gravity, went splashing to the floor.
You's eyes were fixed on me. There was no expression on her face. All the emotion had gone from her face and I couldn't read what she was thinking. Her eyes were dark, dull, and without a spark, like a pair of ash gray glass beads. Eventually You whispered.
"She is ...My sister."
"Yes ...And at the same time she is me. She and I are...twins, you see. She is my...twin sister ..."
You yelped right next to my ear.
"Why are you so surprised about? Didn't I tell you?"
"Nothing about fraternal, or identical, or anything like that..."
"Oh...but, bwahaaa haaaa!"
I found myself laughing in spite of myself.
You cocked her head.
"Well of course we're fraternal twins! I mean, I'm a guy, and Sara's a girl..."
"Mono-zygotic is when one egg is fertilized, and then that embryo splits into two. So both twins have the exact same genetic makeup - that's why they're called identical, because they look the same, and of course they're the same gender. So, for identical twins, you can't have anything other than two girls or two boys. But, di-zygotic on the other hand...is when two different eggs are fertilized by different sperm. So, they're two separate entities from the beginning - each with a different genetic makeup. That way they may or may not be the same gender. They may not even look much alike. They're basically just like other siblings. So they're more like siblings who happened to be in their mother's body and get born about the same time."
"Hmmm. I get it...So...if a boy and a girl are twins...they have to be fraternal, not identical?"
"It started when you said something like...'So Mayo and you are twins...But you aren't any good at computers like Mayo is. In fact, you've got absolutely no aptitude for them. Why is that?' And then I said...'Because we're fraternal twins.'"
You flailed her limbs around on top of the ruins. That's right, You and I were on the top of the Lemurian Ruins.
"So after all that, do you get it?"
"...Huh? Get what?"
She paused in her flailing.
"The reason I'm not good at computers."
"Oh, that...it's like this, right? Because you and Mayo are as different from one another as any other siblings...Unlike identical twins, your genetic strengths, characters, or whatever, are completely different."
"Right. I'd say that our 'infrared vision' is the only inherited trait that we even share. Aside from that, I don't think we're very much alike."
"...So...what were we talking about before that?"
I sighed and started explaining.
It went back to that afternoon.... (Before I knew my real name.) Sora came out with some information rather abruptly.
"Yoichi Tanaka passed away 17 years ago. Yukie Tanaka passed away 15 years ago as well."
Yoichi was You's father, and Yukie was her mother. Both of You's parents had passed away. It was unfortunately a fact that was true. There was proof, including dated mail and other files. I had seen them with my own eyes. But You still wasn't convinced. In her heart she still believed that her father was alive. Of course, regarding her mother, she was even more vehement.
"But my mother works at LeMU. We were living together until right before all of this happened. There's no way she died 15 years ago..."
It was hard to know what to say...but...I said this -
"Maybe she wasn't your real mother. Meaning she might not even be Yukie..."
You was shaking her head back and forth as if to say, 'Impossible.' After a while, You spoke as if in a dream.
"Aahhh.....If only I could hack into there...Then I could find out details, get the whole story..."
The 'there' she was pointing at was LeMMIH's 'High Security Data.' All afternoon and into the night, she had tried to hack her way in, but kept getting rejected at the confirmation point. She knew the password.
"The empty fall sky...A single cuckoo calls out...Brings a chill to me."
She kept trying different variations: caps, lowercase, different fonts, Latin, German...She enlisted Sora and Sara's help, and they tried every possibility they could think of...but all to no avail. LeMMIH had built a high, impenetrable castle, and You was turned back again and again right at the gates. She was stricken with frustration and grief...
Video: Coco Potato Bug DJ
Finally, exhausted and at a loss, she found her way over to the Lemurian Ruins.
By the time I spotted her, she had climbed all the way to the top. I sat down beside her. Neither of us spoke. But from time to time, You would let out a sigh like she had thought of something. Time passed slowly...
"Listen, Kid, you get premonitions, right?"
After about the 153rd sigh, You suddenly came out with this question.
"Can you see anything about my parents?"
"Well, you know ...premonitions...aren't the same as seeing into the past...And you're talking about 15 and 17 years ago...When I was only one, or not even born yet. Either way, there's no way I can look that far into the past."
"You are totally useless....Even when Sora and Mayo were killing themselves helping me, you were just sitting there spaced out."
"Hey, actually...You and Mayo are twins, right? But you're not good with computers the way she is."
"In fact, you don't have any aptitude with them at all. Why is that?"
"I said 'because we're fraternal twins.'"
"Whoah! Banana, banaaaaana!"
"I remember now...cow cow cow cow...remember ember, cow cow cow now...Cow cow cow cow, NOW I rememberember!!"
You appeared to be malfunctioning. The harsh reality of things must have been too cruel for her to bear...When Sora first told her, You went hysterical, almost crazy, and then burst into a sobbing fit like a child. Maybe she had cried herself out. Because, since then, she had seemed much calmer.
"Apo, apo, a pineap-ple?"
She was in bad shape.
"You? Are you okay?"
"Uh, maybe you're a little psychologically...strained?"
"No waaaay, I'm fine! I'm starting over from here."
"No point in moping, right?"
"Enough about me, how about you, Hokutan?"
"Your name's Hokuto, right?...so...Hokutan."
"Cut it out, don't call me that."
"I...still can't think of myself as a 'Hokuto.' If I was walking down the street and someone called out, 'Hokuto!'...I wouldn't turn around. In fact I don't think I COULD. It wouldn't seem like they were calling out to ME..."
Hokutan, as you can probably tell, is meant to be a nickname. -tan is a cutesier version of -chan, which is typically an honorific that girls would give someone they liked and were familiar with. Youd think Hokutos brief wait, what?! reaction would be from You being much more familiar with him than usual, but nope, its because his name doesnt feel right.
"Well, even if that's what you think, that's just too bad. Your name is Hokuto until you die, and you're just going to have to live with that."
"But...If nothing else, I don't want you guys here to call me Hokuto. I'm used to being called 'Kid,' and you guys are used to it too, right? You can't just switch, in the middle like that."
"Well, I suppose, but still...You really want to stay 'Kid'?"
"Yeah, that's fine."
I had told her how I felt.
"You really hate 'Hokuto' that much?"
"Listen! For the millionth time...I just don't think that Hokuto is MY name...It's got nothing to do with liking or disliking the name."
"Look, I said this when we were talking about Ling Ling and Lang Lang, but...I really don't care what my name is. I'm not fussy, and I'm certainly not attached to it."
"But you can't NOT care at all. Whether you like it or not, a name is like a billboard for who you are. If you are going to live in society, you'll need a name eventually. I mean, any time that you make a contract, or apply for something, or take an exam, or get arrested...Whatever you say, your name is the most important way to verify who you are. Names are like ID numbers for people."
The word just slipped out. And then!!!
You grabbed the back of my head and pulled my face toward hers.
"Just then! Just now! Now, now, now! Kid, what did you just say!"
"I didn't say anything...I just repeated back what you were saying..."
You leveled a determined glare at me. She raised her finger and twirled it like a magic wand. She breathed in through her nose. I waited for her to breathe out, but she kept breathing in...and in...I covered my ears. She grabbed my hands and pulled them away from my ears. And then...With all the air she had just sucked in, she let loose right next to me.
in an excited whisper, of course.
She grinned loosely.
I just kept blinking at her. And then...
"I gawt it, I gawt it, I got it got it got it!!! I see, I see, I sincerely LOVE you!" Smooooch!
All of a sudden, out of the blue and with no warning - she kissed my cheek. A perfect hit. I was a little...giddy...
"Well, hurry up, ask me!"
"Come on, ask me, 'Hey, You, what did you figure out?'!!!"
I did as I was told.
"Hey, You, what did you figure out?"
"Funny you should ask, Kid! You see, you know the reason we couldn't get past the confirmation on LeMMIH? I figured it out!!"
"All this time, we thought we had the password wrong. Right? But that wasn't it. The password is probably fine. The empty fall sky...A single cuckoo calls out...Brings a chill to me."
"What do you mean?"
"So, it's gotta be this...It wasn't the password we had wrong...it was the username."
"Yup. A name is like an identification number for a person...it's what confirms who you are...So if we had the name wrong, it wouldn't matter how perfectly we put the password in."
"Access denied. Invalid name or password."
I had seen that message umpteen times.
"If you were right, and the mother I knew wasn't really my mother...It would mean that her real name wasn't Yukie Tanaka. Which would mean...?"
"If you just knew her real name, you could clear LeMMIH's confirmation?"
You tapped my forehead.
"But...how will you figure out her real name?"
"Well...Sora ought to know, right?"
Before I could say 'Sora?' You had grabbed my arms. A second later...
She jumped down off the ruins with a great cry.
I nearly toppled onto my head, but managed to right myself like a cat and landed safely. My own excellent reflexes impressed me.
As for You...She was sprawled on her belly in a puddle, arms and legs spread awkwardly.
"You? You! You okay?"
When I called her name, You hopped up. Water dripped from her hair. She was soaked from head to toe.
"Well, don't just stand there, let's go!"
She spoke calmly. Flinging off water, she headed toward the exit. From the back, she looked completely dry.
I stood for a minute in front of the gates of the Lemurian Ruins, just thinking.
"If you were right, and the mother I know isn't really my mother...It means her real name isn't Yukie Tanaka."
So what was her name then...?
Name...name...name You's real name was Yubiseiakikana...
TrackDrittes Auge Nehmen
YubiseiAKIkana...Aki meaning autumn...Autumn...autumn...autumn...
"The empty fall sky...A single cuckoo calls out...Brings a chill to me."
I broke it down by character.
A jumble of bits and illogical fragments. I tried to form them into a coherent pattern, but they slipped away. I couldn't grasp them.
But I couldn't help but feel that I had brushed up against another premonition, or at least an intuition...It was a haiku. Seventeen syllables. I muttered it out loud.
"The empty fall sky...A single cuckoo calls out...Brings a chill to me. The empty fall sky...A single cuckoo calls out...Brings a chill to me."
It was then...Someone was standing in the darkness beyond the entrance to the ruins. A human figure...A female...Her body was giving off heat, glowing redder than red. I couldn't see her face. I could just see that she was there. She was holding her breath in the darkness, staring at me.
"W-who are you!?"
She didn't answer. She didn't come any closer, but she didn't seem like she was going to run. The figure bathed in light looked like she might be a ghost.
A ghost...A phantom girl...
I heard a tiny voice. 'Hokuto'...my name...Was she calling to me?
Fearfully, I went a little closer. The darkness grew deeper. And at the same time, the light she gave off grew more brilliant. Her outline sprang into view. It had to be...She was...she was...the ghost...I had seen...
"The empty fall sky...Hokuto is calling out...Brings a chill to me."
"What did you just say?"
"The empty fall sky...A single cuckoo calls out...Brings a chill to me."
"What is that...? Is that some haiku?"
"Why a haiku all of a sudden...?"
"Don't you think it's elegant?"
"Refined, isn't it?"
"Japanese people a long time ago suddenly just started one day making up haiku. So, you see..."
"The haiku helped them to forgot their everyday cares, and gave them lots of graceful and happy, happy feelings."
"Oh, ho...is that so..."
"Oh, ho! Yes it is!"
"But listen, Coco...it's not once upon time right now, and...You kind of threw me off guard with your haiku-making there."
"Well I can't help it."
"What do you mean you can't help it?"
"I wasn't talking to you."
"I was talking to a life-form from another dimension."
Apparently Coco was radiating microwaves. Oh, my head...my head...I could feel my brain starting to melt...and coming out my nose...
What!? Wait a minute!
My brains couldn't be coming out my nose! I rubbed my nose with my finger. Something sticky and viscous was stuck to my finger. It was bright yellow.
"Craaaaaaaaaaaap!!!!! Crap, crap, my brains, my brains, my brains are melting...!!!"
"Hee hee heeeee!"
"Shut up, it's not funny, stupid! It's your fault, it's your fault, that my brains, my brains...."
"Neeee heee heeee!"
Coco was stamping her feet, grabbing her belly, and laughing uproariously.
"Hey, Takepyon, TakepyonWake up...I can't sleeeeep....Come play with me!!"
While saying this...She was shaking me, grasping my eyelids and dropping in 'Mermaid Tears,' and squirting mustard up my nose. Unable to withstand Coco's brutal attacks, I meekly went along with her request.
"Bwaahaaa hya hya hya hya."
Coco toppled over right into a puddle. Splashing the water around, she kept laughing and rolling back and forth.
"Damn it!! Coco, don't you have a tissue?"
"I have a ha, a ha, ha ha-handkerchief!"
She pulled a handkerchief out of her pocket and fluttered it at me. The handkerchief was soaked, and drops of water dripped from it. I blew my nose into it mightily. I blew until I blew out everything there was to blow.
"Whew, that's better."
I balled it up and gave it back to Coco. She carefully folded it up and put it back in her pocket.
I thought - 'You're actually putting that back!?' - but held my tongue.
"...So? ...What were we talking about?"
"About inchworm inching, inching!"
"No we weren't!"
"Inchworm, inchworm, inchy inchy inchworm? Inchworm, inchworm, boop boop de boop!"
Coco began inching along the floor flat on her belly. I wouldn't say a word...
"Hey Takepyon, Takepyon!"
"I'm not playing inchworm with you!"
"What!? Why not??"
"I'm just not."
"No, no, no, no, no, no? I wanna inchy, I wanna inchywormy!!!"
Coco splashed at the water.
(I went through this last night...)
'There's NO way I'm making the same mistake today' - I swore this to myself
"I'm going to bed."
She jumped up. And clung to me, sopping wet.
"No! I won't let you sleep!"
"Coco, I'm sleeping whether you let me or not."
"Why are you being so mean?"
"You're the one being mean, Coco."
"Takepyon...Takepyon...is just gonna abandon poor little Coco? I'll be all alone...Lonely...so lonely..."
"Why are you being like this?? Why don't you come sleep too?"
"With you? You'll come snuggle with me?"
"I don't think so."
"Well, well, at least, will you sing me a lullaby?"
"A lullaby? Oh, you mean...that one you sang before?"
"Well, I don't mind singing, but...I don't remember the words or the tune."
"That's okay. It's easy, you'll learn it right away."
And saying that...She burst into song abruptly.
"Moon sprite shouldering a long bow/Waiting inside a dream."
TrackDer Mond Das Meer
"Tonight a story by moonlight/Hoping the wait will be short/Sleeping curled and snug/Sleeping in mother's arms. Water sprite lifting a pair of paddles/Waiting inside a dream/Tonight the whirlpool demon, waiting for a boat/Hoping the wait will be short/Rock, rock, rocked to sleep/Sleeping, sleeping held by the ocean."
What was it...?
As soon as I heard Coco's lullaby, I felt a wondrous tranquility. I felt a tickle in my chest, like someone had blown lightly on me. This breath blew away all the dust and dirt that had built up inside me, and revealing precious feelings I had thought lost long ago. Precious wonder...like the vastness of the sky, as it seemed to me when I was a little child, or the deep blue waves, or the fragrance at twilight...
Back then I thought the ocean went on forever, and I was transfixed by the perfect beauty of the moon. For better or for worse, a delightfully sweet time...Coco's lullaby called up a sentimental mood in me. Lost in its sweet fragrance, I made the mistake of drowning in it.
"What a good song..."
"What's it called?"
"Who knows? I don't know its name...But I just call it the Moon and Ocean Lullaby."
"Moon and ocean? But don't the verses start, 'Moon sprite,' and 'Water sprite'?"
"So shouldn't it be the Moon and Water Lullaby?"
"Ummm...But at the end of the second verse it says, 'held by the ocean,' right?"
"Oh, that's true..."
"And...my mommy taught me this lullaby...So it's called 'The Moon and Ocean Lullaby'."
What's the connection between your mom and the moon and ocean?
Wait!!! Mommy!? Moon, and sea!? Did that mean...
"When you say Mommy..."
"Right. Tsugumi. Tsugumi..."
"-Tsugumi!? But that's crazy? That's impossible! But...no one knows that lullaby except Sara and me..."
"Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha."
"Why? Why are you laughing?"
"Hokutan? Don't you think it's strange, what you're saying?"
"Right now, you're a little confused. So you showed your true self for a minute. The real you decided to poke his face out for a teensy weensy second."
"Listen, Hokutan - think about it. It's not really that strange for Tsugumi to know that lullaby, right? Mayo could have just taught it to Tsugumi, right? And then Tsugumi taught it to me..."
"That's not possible!"
"What makes you say that?"
"Maybe you can't answer that?"
"Well then I'll just answer for you. You see, Hokutan - you know that Mayo doesn't exist in the world I live in. That's why you just said, 'no way'? And that's the reason you thought that there was no way that Tsugumi could know that song. right?"
"It's okay, you don't have to be scared! Just be honest with your feelings, okay? There's no more reason for you to lie anymore."
I was getting more and more confused. I was being gobbled up by one problem after another, being chewed up for sport, and I felt like I was losing myself. I squeezed my eyes shut, took a big breath, and tried to maintain a grip on reality. I opened my eyes, stared at Coco, and asked,
"Um...'the world you live in'...what does that mean?"
"See now, there you go, lying again"
"You know aaaaall about the world I'm in. Mayo's not there, and Tsugumi got hurt, and there's another you with a different face...You know ALL that stuff."
The world Coco's in...Another self...Tsugumi injured...Where there was no Sara...What?? A world without Sara??
"That's right! Hang on! Why do you know about Sara!?"
"Okay then, I'll tell you."
"It's because...I know everything. I know everything, so I know about Mayo. And the reason for that is...I have ESP."
"He hee hee hee!"
"Stop trying to mess with me!"
"I'm not...it's true!!"
"Okay, lemme ask you a question then. Okay, Hokutan, how come you know about me? Why DID you know about me? That first time, when we met in the decompression chamber, you said my name, didn't you? And why would that be?"
"It was...sort of like a premonition, an insight..."
"Uh-hunh. Well, what about Pipi?"
"You know about Pipi, don't you, Hokutan?"
"No, I have no idea..."
"Oh? That's funny..."
"Well, Pipi is this little kitten I have."
"Nyahaaaah haaaaaa!! Gotcha, I gotcha, you fell for it!!!"
"When I said kitten just then, you did a double take! Right!?"
"Why would that surprise you? Hm?"
"Because you know that Pipi is really a dog! That's why!"
"Stop acting. And stop playing dumb. You've known about my world aaallll along. That's why you know everything. Tief Blau virus...Cure virus...IBF...Pygmalion...the terabyte disk...All of them, all of them! You've heard all of those words before, haven't you!?"
"And this, this, I bet you remember this...How you and Mayo escaped from 102 feet deep down under the sea...Escaped with Nakkyu using a siphon...Don't lie and say you forgot. I know you remember."
"I'm the same as you. That's why I know about the world you live in, and the world I live in. So? Do you understand now?"
"I know everything you know. And, and...I know some things that you don't know yet. Things you don't know yet means...things you will come to know later."
"Maybe I'm telling you way too much stuff, so your mind is getting all mixed up."
"But I can tell you this, you'll understand it one day...So...I'll say it again...No matter what, don't lie to yourself. Okay? Understand?"
"I don't...I don't underst - of course I don't understand!!!"
"*sigh*...Here we go again..."
"Coco Coco...what are you? Why did you suddenly appear in front of me!?"
She scrunched up her face and drew her eyebrows together. Tears welled up in her eyes. She blinked to hide them and spoke quietly.
"I wanted......to see you. I've been...waiting for you. Waiting and waiting, for you to come...I wanted to see you...more than anything...I wanted to see you again...I've been waiting here by myself...all by myself."
Coco's words drifted into my heart, and melted like a light snow. We gazed at each other without speaking. It wasn't what the words said, so much as that she said them at all, that moved me so deeply. Before I sought their meaning, I let the simple power of her true feelings flow straight into my trembling heart. I couldn't take my eyes off of Coco's sad, tear-filled eyes.
Coco laughed softly. I could tell it was forced cheer. The bravery of that laugh gripped at my heart.
"I'm sorry, I have to go. We'll be apart again for a little while."
"Okay, before I go, I'll tell you something pretty juicy. But, I'm pretty sure you've already figured it out..."
"That dream you saw, it wasn't a dream. It actually happened. Okay? Don't forget what I just said, all right?"
"See you later, Hokutan."
The next moment, she was gone. Without a sound, just...gone, like a candle snuffed by a wandering night draft...And then I lost consciousness.