Part 29: Takeshi - Fourth Day - Part 2TrackKlamauk
I told the truth.
"I was going to take a walk when Sora came up and told me that Tsugumi had woken up. I didn't want her to start wandering around and hurt herself. So I rushed right over to the infirmary..."
"Oh...is that it? Actually, I guess I did heard pretty much the same thing from Sora. How Tsugumi woke up."
"What, so you knew all along?"
"Sorry, just thought I'd give you a hard time..."
"But you should have called us, too."
"Hm? You're right, I wasn't thinking. Well, I don't know about you, Kid, but You was dead to the world. I didn't figure it'd be any good to try to wake you guys up."
No one seemed inclined to question me further, so that solved that. Everyone milled around the rest area. I felt the energy drain out of me. I wasn't tense. But I wasn't relaxed either. Maybe I was just tired. I sat quietly, thinking... When I couldn't sleep, I had been pondering all sorts of things. About Tsugumi... And Sora... I may have hurt Sora's feelings. She always smiled and said she didn't mind, but... What would I say when I saw her?
"Which is why..."
Hearing You's voice, I returned to earth with a jolt.
"So many Greek myths have been handed down to us."
You was standing in the middle of the room, apparently giving a lecture. The Kid, Coco and Pipi were sitting on benches, listening obediently. I ended up listening myself.
"You see that statue over there? It's rather a lovely piece..."
She turned around and pointed at the statue in a corner of the rest area.
"The beautiful statue and the sculptor who loved her...I'll tell you their story."
She gave a melodramatic cough. Then she turned back to the group and began gesturing and talking.
"Once upon a time, in a place called Cyprus, there was a young sculptor. His name was Pygmalion. He's been called the King of Cyprus..."
"But in these myths they tend to call anyone a king or a god, so we won't go there for a bit...."
"Anyway, there was an excellent sculptor named Pygmalion. And then...um..."
"His statues were incredible. They were so vital and full of life, they looked as though they might come to life at any moment. But Pygmalion couldn't seem to get interested in ladies."
"The people around him wondered, why a brilliant sculptor like him couldn't land a wife."
"But Pygmalion seemed only to care about making his statues. Then one day, he finished the nude figure of a woman."
"It was a wonderful piece, absolutely charming, and even he himself thought it might be his ultimate masterpiece. But..."
"As he looked on her beautiful, almost living, face..."
"He realized that she was naked, and became embarrassed..."
"He brought clothes for her and dressed her. And when it got dark, he was so besotted with her that..."
"He brought her food to eat, talked to her and even slept next to her... It was the first time he had ever experienced true love. Love for the statue he himself had created... He poured all the love that he had into her. He believed that one day, she would speak to him..."
"But in the meantime, he neglected his work, he forgot to eat and sleep...and Pygmalion began to waste away. People began to worry that he would die...so they prayed to the gods."
"And Pygmalion was agonizing as well..."
"He was so sad to see her unable to speak, or eat, or sleep..."
"He thought that when he himself became old and went to heaven... She would have to continue standing there, just waiting to decay..."
"To him, it was unthinkable--"
"If he couldn't be bound to her, it would be better to throw himself off a cliff."
"If only she was a real woman, with blood running through her veins... It went on something like that..."
If only You would stop changing portraits every other goddamn line.
"Until his prayers reached Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Aphrodite came down to him and told him to kiss his beloved statue."
"When he gently kissed her..."
"Her skin flushed pink, her eyes opened and she turned into a living woman."
"A woman as beautiful as the statue had been..."
"So they married, and even had children."
"He kept making even more beautiful sculptures for temples around the world, and they lived... Happily ever after."
Finally finished with her long story, You pinched her skirt and curtsied. Coco and the Kid applauded her.
"Hey, that was pretty interesting."
"Bravo, bravo, bravissima..."
As for me
There was a choice here, but I made it for the sake of expediency. It was between Yeah, happily ever after, stay silent, or voice disagreement. We also wont be seeing the Pygmalion section again after this run-through.
"What's happily ever after about that story? It doesn't make any sense to me..."
"Pygmalion just had an obsession with his sculpture... He didn't work, he stayed inside talking to her... Thinking, 'Oh, if only my statue was a real, beautiful woman'... What a dark, depressing story...Pygmalion... I don't see anything happy about that. He just happened to have his selfish request granted by a goddess. The end."
"Listen, you don't get it at all..."
You shook her finger at me.
"That's not the point of the story, Takeshi"
She threw back her shoulders and started talking again.
"The story of Pygmalion... Shows that if you hope and ask and persevere, your wish will come true."
"His longing was answered because he put his heart into his sculpture, and then loved her, believing that she would speak to him one day..."
"So that's it..."
"Okay, this is a little different, but this guy named Rosenthal wrote about something called the 'Pygmalion effect'."
She was acting like a professor on a soapbox. It seemed like she was overdoing the whole thing. But her ridiculous expressions were so amusing, I got drawn in.
"It's not quite the same as the placebo effect. But both of them involve believing in something. So they both have to do with our chances of survival."
"Just because the sushi in the display case is made of plastic, doesn't mean the sushi inside is cheap!!"
She means that if they believe they have to perform better in escaping being crushed like sardines in a can, theyll be able to accomplish it.
Her talk seemed to have been derailed like a nasty train wreck. I had no idea what she meant. But the Kid and Coco were a rapt audience.
Sometime during You's long speech, my brain started working again.
"Shall we all go and see Tsugumi?"
"Yeah, I'd like to know how she's doing."
"Me too. Let's all go check up on her."
Coco's proposal came out of the blue, but everyone agreed and headed upstairs.
"Wonder how she's doing?"
"In any case, she needs rest."
"Well, worrying about her won't make her better any faster."
"Sora would let us know if anything had happened to her, right?"
"Yeah. And LeMMIH's always guarding the data in the infirmary's medical computer. So since LeMMIH hasn't come to us with any news, it means that Tsugumi is probably sleeping peacefully."
"Well, that's a relief."
"Right, nothing to worry abouteroon!"
"Yeah... Say, Coco?"
"What language is 'abouteroon'?"
Whoah! Obstinate stubbornness! Geezers going swimming in the winter! There's abouteroo, too."
Coco was always in upbeat mode...
"We should have brought flowers."
"And where do you think you'll find flowers?"
"Oh yeah, that's right!"
"Hey, Tsugumi! You alive? I had to force them, but I dragged everyone along to see you!"
"Listen Takeshi, don't be mean like that."
"...You don't have to push and poke me..."
Exchanging stupid banter, we approached the bed.
"I did it on purpose, as a joke..."
"You know, joke around, cheer her up a little bit..."
"Really? I don't know..."
The Kid had stopped suddenly. He was pointing at the bed in the back.
"What the matter, Kid? You discover a new species of something?
"Tsugumi's... Tsugumi's gone..."
I ran to the bed in shock. Everyone followed right behind me.
"She's gone! She's really not here!"
The bed was completely empty. The covers were just the way they had been. The pillow was the same. But the IV tube and the heart monitor had been torn up and scattered around.
"What the...why didn't LeMMIH pick up on this? LeMMIH was monitoring Tsugumi's data, right, You? What happened?"
"I don't know...I have no idea."
She averted her eyes from mine.
"Hey...!? Look at that!"
She pointed to the corner of the room. Her finger was trembling a little.
The cord was torn off the medical computer, and the monitor had been smashed to pieces. There had been an electrical short, and there was a burning stench around the area.
"That's what I'd like to know..."
"Um, um, what's that?"
This time Coco had found something. Under the computer console, there were some bandages and a long, skinny case of some sort. A white, hard case...
"It's Tsugumi's brace, right?"
"You're right. It's Tsugumi's."
"Tsugumi. She took off her own brace and smashed up the computer. She got out of bed, smashed the computer and then left the room..."
My thoughts leaped right out of my mouth. It was hard to believe...
"Really!? But when I brought her the sandwiches, she still looked like she was in pain, in bed..."
"You really think that Tsugumi...?"
"Well what else could it be?"
"Maybe someone ran off with her...?"
"Someone...like who? Who's here besides us?"
"It's crazy either way!"
You was shouting.
"How could Tsugumi even walk on that leg? It was a serious injury! It should take over two months to heal!"
"In fact, in her condition, she shouldn't even be able to get out of bed..."
"And it's strange that LeMMIH didn't respond, even if the computer is broken..."
"Even if someone had taken her out of here..."
"The sensor on the ceiling should have picked it up..."
Saying that, You raised her eyes to the ceiling.
"What in the world..."
"Wai-wait, then... What happened to Tsugumi?"
Coco barely opened her mouth.
"Maybe she was spirited away?"
Given the state of the monitor, Id say Tsugumi was demoned away rather than spirited away.
Tsugumi, disappeared? We were all in shock. Everyone kept talking, though.
"I don't believe that... I don't believe..."
All of the color had drained from You's face, as she absorbed the enormity of what had happened. She was holding her chest, looking up at the ceiling, in a cold sweat.
"Calm down, You. Don't freak out on me. Take deep breaths."
She breathed in and out, slowly. A little color came back to her face. But the question was what to do about the...situation. What to do?
"Hey, I know! We'll ask Sora! Where is Sora? She ought to know what happened, right?"
You looked at me with a glimmer of hope.
"Y-yeah, you're right. Let's call her."
We rushed over to the LeMMIH terminal in the corner of the room. Standing in front of the console, You began operating the panel.
"If LeMMIH hasn't realized it yet, that may mean that Sora doesn't know yet either..."
"But call her anyway. It's faster to ask her than to go on a blind search."
Before long, there was a change in the terminal. Sora's image floated up in the monitor.
"Sora, something terrible has happened. Tsugumi is missing..."
"What!? Are you sure??"
"I thought something had happened to the monitor in the room, but..."
"What!? Why didn't you tell us!?"
"I am terribly sorry. There has been terrible jamming, and...it had delayed me."
"Jamming? What's that?"
"Electromagnetic interference...? "
"How is the room? Is everyone there?"
"Yes, other than Tsugumi, we're all here."
"Because actually, my 'eyes' aren't working."
"So I wasted time trying to confirm..."
"Don't worry, Sora. We're all right. Can you come right over?"
"Yes, of course. Right away."
Sora disappeared from the monitor... And instantly she was standing in front of us.
"Am I standing in the right place? Can you see me all right?"
Sora looked worried.
"You're fine.... You really can't see?"
"It is getting better, but there is still something wrong. I can tell approximately where you are standing, but not which way you are facing..."
She was talking to a spot just next to me.
"Sora, Tsugumi's not in the infirmary. Can you search the other rooms?"
"Let me try...I'll do a bio scan on the entire building."
She put her hands on the LeMMIH terminal and started accessing it right away.
"Hey, hey... Who are you guys talking to?"
The Kid asked us fearfully from over by the bed.
Im going to have to split the update here. Theres ~76 screenshots between the last choice and the next one and lots of words, as usual. The next part(s) will be up later today as I have sleep to attain and college to attend.