Part 12: Takeshi - First Day - Part 8TrackGedaechtnisschwund
"We may have even overlooked the cause of this when we were checking around a little bit ago.... We're all in this together. Everyone is fine, so let's just consider ourselves lucky."
"I am really sorry..."
Sora answered this without looking away from the monitor.
"Thank you for being so kind, Takeshi."
I scratched the tip of my nose.
Sora turned and stood up.
"I have gauged our situation. I will now display it. Everyone, please do not be shocked or let this get you down..."
"Sora, when you say it like that it makes us nervous."
"Oh, I'm sorry..."
"Still, I'm fairly confident that there are few things that will shock me."
"I see. In that case - I thought everyone was probably numbed by what we had experienced so far.
"The sectors that were able to avoid damage during the first flooding were isolated from the flooded sections and forced ventilation created a sudden reduction in air pressure. However, the inundated sectors were not able to withstand the weight of the water and tilted, causing a rupture of the joint in the adjacent sector. The gap in the internal and external air pressure caused seawater to be sucked into the complex through the rupture. So many of the sectors that were stable until that moment, were instantly flooded..."
"This blinking area is the Central Control Room. And..."
"You mean nearly half of LeMU is underwater."
Well, besides the fact that the entire facility was underwater to begin with
"The area displayed in the center of this map is Sector 8, where we are."
"Huh? It looks like the map is displaying roughly two areas, but where is the third sector?"
"Actually, due to a flaw in the system, a detailed map cannot be displayed... One part of Sector 4, diagonally above Sector 8, is stable."
"There's no way to get there?"
"Correct. It is impossible."
"Because all of the corridors connecting the sectors are submerged. In terms of distance, it is roughly 100 yards. I don't think there is anyone among you that is capable of swimming 100 yards without breathing. Therefore I say it is impossible. Furthermore...even if someone did reach Sector 4, I don't think it would improve our situation at all."
"Section 4 is in the same predicament as here. All of the emergency stairs to get to the floating island are completely flooded."
"So, even going there would be a waste?"
"Well, then there's nothing we can do..."
"So we should forget about Sector 4."
"We'll just have to sit quietly and wait for help to come."
I left the room and hit the food stand, snagging some cola for everyone.
"Alright, cola time! I'm gonna toss everybody one! Ready? Oops. I got one, two, three, four... Five...I'm one short!"
"Oh, I don't need one."
"Oh don't worry about it. I'll go get one more. You can have mine."
"No, really. I'm fine. I'm not thirsty and I don't really like cola..."
"Well, in that case..."
I tossed out a cola to everyone in order. You, Tsugumi and the Kid all took one. But then the Kid started shaking his can!
"S-stupid! What do you think you're doing?"
"If you do that, it's going to explode everywhere!"
"R-really? Is it dangerous?"
"Did you forget that cola is carbonated?"
"Geez. I'll give you mine. Here."
I switched cans with him. This time, the Kid slowly lifted the tab without shaking the can.
The cola erupted powerfully. The rest of us hurriedly jumped to get out of the way. The Kid got a blast of cola in the face.
"Hey, are you alright? Just so you know, that wasn't my doing..."
"This cola...it's sweet..."
"Oh, guys! You should be more careful."
You said as if she were at her wit's end.
"These cans contain pop made with special gas so that they are made at 6 atmospheres. Weren't you listening when they said that the bringing in and taking home of canned beverages was strictly prohibited?"
No, but I do vaguely remember a joke about some guy and his grandfathers ghost.
"Whoa! I didn't know that! I must have missed it!"
It was true. Normally, the inside of the LeMU complex was maintained at 6 atmospheres using a mixture of gases. Now that the floor had become 1 atmosphere, the gas in the can was still highly pressurized and the gap in pressure with the atmosphere made them burst when opened.
"I didn't know that."
The Kid wiped his face with a nearby towel.
"...Hey, Kid. No one would expect you to know that. You, you gotta tell Mr. Amnesia here these things..."
"Alright, alright. I didn't notice until after the fact."
"Huh? Coco, what's wrong?"
Coco was embracing Pipi and looked downcast. Thinking about it, I realized that Coco hadn't said anything for a while. It didn't seem like her.
"Hey, aren't you going to drink your cola?"
I held out a can of cola in front of Coco.
"It's a little warm, but it's the best I can do."
"I don't want it..."
Coco mumbled this.
TrackTraum In Der Dunkelheit
"I don't feel very good... I've been thinking about it since before... And I haven't been able...to think of any jokes..."
I peered down at Coco. She didn't look too good. She was sweating and having a hard time breathing.
"Hey, you don't look very good..."
"Takeshi, get outta the way!"
You came rushing over to Coco, pushed me out of the way and put her hands on the girl's shoulders.
"Coco...do you have a headache?"
"Yeah, a bit. I feel kinda dizzy..."
"What about if you swing your arms around - does that hurt?"
"Just a little..."
It looked like it hurt more than a little.
"I suspect it might be decompression sickness, due to the sudden loss of pressure on the floor."
"Yeah, it could well be."
Pipi was looking up at Coco worriedly.
Let's get her to the Zweite infirmary. Takeshi, carry her."
"On your back! Hurry up and squat down!"
"I want you to carry Coco!"
"I got it! You don't have to scream in my ear!"
Coco held onto my back from behind. You and Tsugumi supported her from the sides. Sora led the way and the Kid brought up the rear.
"Hey, are you sure we shouldn't take a normal corridor?"
"Please proceed straight ahead. This is a shortcut."
"Whew! We made it. Let's get her up there."
"No, Takeshi. Please go ahead into that room there."
"Lay Coco down in there."
Coco lay on the bed. The Kid and Tsugumi watched all of this from beside me.
"So, You, what are you gonna do in this tiny room? Isn't it a little cramped for examining her?"
The space was so small that with everyone in there we could hardly move.
"I'm not going to do anything."
"...What're you talking about?"
"We're going to have Coco relax in this room for a while."
I tilted my head, confused.
"This is hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Allow me to explain."
"Decompression sickness occurs when there is a sudden change in the surrounding air pressure and gas bubbles that can't be discharged accrue in the body. Gas becomes air bubbles and these gather in tissues or veins. When gas bubbles remain inside the body, the oxygen respiration efficiency drops dramatically."
"So...no matter how many deep breaths you take it feels like you are suffocating?"
"That is correct. But also, if any nitrogen which had dissolved in the blood turns to gas, it could produce a thrombus, or blood clot. Of course this could hinder blood circulation which is very dangerous.... So we seal this room and pump in a high concentration of oxygen slowly taking it up to roughly 3 atmospheres... Then we slowly decompress you back down to 1 atmosphere. Using this difference in pressure we dissolve the gas bubbles in her body back into the blood, where she gets rid of them naturally by breathing."
"So basically, you make us like a can of cola that won't blow up..."
"Okay, I got it."
I lifted my hand.
"Gosh that dash up the stairs sure wore me out..."
I heaved a breath.
"Oh, Takeshi, are you in pain at all?"
"Huh, me? My muscles feel kinda sore and I'm a bit sluggish, but..."
"Hey, Takeshi, don't you think you should probably go in the room, too? In light cases of decompression sickness, you are not necessarily aware of it immediately."
"After you figure out you're in trouble, it's too late...?"
"Yeah. And the symptoms can be drawn out."
"Yes.... Just to be on the safe side, I want you all to enter the room."
The decompression process took place over several hours. Coco lay on the only bed. The Kid, You, Pipi and I sat next to her. It was cramped... We were like sardines in a can. There was nowhere to move.
I took out my PDA and checked. 11:54 p.m..... I was sleepy. Coco was sleeping and her breathing was relaxed. It looked like she was doing better. It didn't look like You or the Kid were sleeping, but they sat quietly with their eyes closed. Pipi had crawled under the bed. Sora had sealed the hatch from outside and was adjusting the pressure as necessary.
"Sora what about you? Don't you need to be treated?"
Before the process had started I had asked Sora this.
"No. I'm used to this... Oh, also...everyone, please remove your voice converters during the repressurization process. They are designed to protect your eardrums from the change in air pressure...however during pressurization they can interfere."
I removed the earphones that I had become completely used to and held them in my hand. Sora still stood just outside the hatch window. Tsugumi...wasn't inside or visible outside the room. She had left just before the pressurization process had started.