Part 14: Takeshi - Second Day - Part 2TrackErsteboden
I decided to shower her with the cheeriest greeting I could muster.
This doesnt strike me as a particularly good idea.
"GOOD MORNING! How are you feeling? If you aren't feeling good, you should probably get to the decompression chamber!"
Tsugumi didn't budge. She stood there with her mouth half open only blinking her eyes a couple of times.
"What's the matter? You tired? Low blood pressure? Well, I didn't exactly sleep like a baby either. That damn room was so small I ended up sitting on the floor all night..."
I yawned and rubbed my eyes with both hands as I spoke. But then Tsugumi's eyes narrowed into slits and she leveled a steely glare at me. It was the kind of look that could kill.
"...are the absolute worst."
Tsugumi shook her head as if she were fed up with me and vanished inside the Control Room.
"Hey! Hold on a sec!"
Sora's voice came from behind me.
"What are you doing there? Please hurry inside."
"Just please...go inside."
The expression on her face appeared more stressed than the day before. It seemed as if her face said...that something serious were unfolding...
"Actually, everyone, there is something I need to tell you right away."
Awesome. What is it?
Sora paused for a second. Sora looked over all five of us...You, Coco, the Kid, Tsugumi, and finally me. The cooling fan whirred away in the silence. Occasionally the sound of metal on metal would ring through the room. The five of us waited on Sora's next words.
"Last night, after the four of you, apart from Tsugumi, entered the pressurization chamber... I was in the Control Room here thinking about ways to escape or contact the outside. And... While I was checking the internal status of LeMU I discovered something."
ooookay. So what is it?
"You found a way to escape?!"
"Then a way to contact the outside?"
"Then what did you figure out?"
Maybe if everyone would shut up, we could find out.
"I discovered the strength of pressure the bulkheads can withstand...I found their limits."
Saying that, Sora turned her eyes to the side of the console.
Coco held Pipi tightly as she asked.
"I mean LeMU's walls. The partitions between the outer seawater and the inner air."
"What do you mean...when you say you found the limit?"
"Like I said yesterday, LeMU is a structure basically constructed on a saturation diving specification design. In other words, the internal air pressure equals or is greater than the external water pressure. However, the complex's internal air pressure is currently at 1 atmosphere... Therefore..."
"LeMU's outer shell is constantly being subjected to severe water pressure."
"But LeMU is not constructed to endure this situation for a long period of time. Inevitably it will, at some point, reach its limit..."
"Well put, You."
"So...when is this limit...?"
"According to LeMMIH's calculations, 119 hours from now..."
"119 hours... Five days, huh?"
"The estimated time of implosion is approximately May 7 at 4:30 a.m. Of course, it is only a calculation and there is a margin of error."
"What is the margin of error?"
"Plus or minus 12 hours."
Everyone went silent, lost in thought. Sora's talk had made it clear that we were in a crisis. But I still didn't know what to make of it.I didn't know if five days was a long time, or a short one. We didn't have a schedule...but if we could find a way out, I didn't figure we'd be sticking around five days. Even if we didn't call anyone, a rescue team might be on its way anyway...
"I'm not very smart so I'm not sure I understand.... What does all that mean?"
"Does that mean at 4:30 a.m. on May 7 LeMU will get squashed like a pancake? But that might happen at around 4:30 p.m., on the sixth or at 4:30 p.m. on the seventh. Is that good so far?"
"So doesn't that mean the opposite is also true? I mean, at the worst LeMU will last until 4:30 p.m. on May 6."
"So we're fine until then. There's nothing to worry about. Hooray"
"Right? Is that what it means?"
"We can't be absolutely certain that we will be safe... But judging from the results of LeMMIH's calculations, that would appear to be the case."
"Oh, goodie. Then no problem. Ms. Sora, you looked all serious and so I got kind of scared."
[Pipi]: "Bow-wow! Wooooooof!"
"'Geez, don't scare me, babe.' I think that's what Pipi's trying to say."
"I see.... If you had said 'We only have one more day,' or something I might have burst out crying. So we still have lots of time.... Someone will surely come to help us before that."
The Kid, standing next to You, agreed. He nodded rhythmically as if answering a question. The tension in the air gave way and smiles returned to the faces around the room. Even Tsugumi, who didn't smile, looked relieved. It was 5:50 a.m. I gave a large yawn.
"1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6...that's all of them."
I was in the narrow space of the chicken sandwich stand where the cooking equipment was. I was wrapping and placing the freshly made breakfast sandwiches on a tray.
"Why is it that I have to make breakfast for everyone?"
Complaining, I took the tray in both hands and opened the small door of the stand.
"That's the way it goes. We decided it democratically, you know."
You was waiting in front of the shop and snatched a sandwich from the tray. She peeled back the wrapping and opened up her mouth.
"Democracy...is overrated... It just means the majority rules."
"You got it."
You said it flatly as she munched on her sandwich.
"It is a reflection of the majority of the people's will."
It was true that it had been an overwhelming vote. I had only been appointed breakfast chief minutes before.... I hadn't even run for the office.
"I know that you're the one in the shadows running this conspiracy."
"Whoa, that's low! I wouldn't do that!"
Yes, you would.
"I'm pretty sure it's just because everyone sincerely thought that you would be the best cook."
"...You're sure full of it."
"Tee, heeeee... Thanks for the sandwich"
"You already ate it? That's so fast..."
"Yummy. I'll have another..."
Tsk! I slapped away You's outstretched hand.
"I've only made one for each person. If you want another one, you make it."
"Hey... Come on. Be a pal and make me one more.... Pretty pleeeeeeease"
First I wanted to get away from You. I took the remaining four sandwiches over to the rest area to hand them out.
As I called out I set the tray on a bench.
"Yeah! Yeah! Food, glorious food"
Coco came running and splashing toward me. Pipi the dog paddled along behind her.
"Oh this looks good!"
All of the sudden I noticed the Kid beside me.
"Hey. Where are Tsugumi and Sora?"
"Sora went back to the Control Room. She said there was still stuff she had to look into..."
"Oh, that again..."
"Hmmm. I think Tsugumi took off somewhere..."
"Same old, same old..."
I turned my eyes to the three chicken sandwiches left on the tray.
(What to do...)