Part 48: Takeshi/Sora Route - Part 5Enter Day 5, Part 1 and Day 5, Part 2 to start. The elevator button tempts us and Tsugumi shows us to Qualle. Something different happens this time around, though, since were on Soras route. It picks up after And where did that 'me' exist...?
Little by little, she began to apply more pressure. After a time, it became difficult to breath. My mind began to fog over. I was slowly drifting toward chaos...
TrackDrittes Auge Nehmen
"You are just a packet of information...'software'. The information written on a CD has no physical body, right? The CD itself is just plastic, a hard mass of polycarbonate."
But that mass has nothing to do with the information it holds. Information can't have a physical body, that's impossible. Information does not have shape or substance. The embodiment of information only takes place through its application. However, the embodied information itself has no actual body. The essence of information is the information itself..."
"Takeshi, it's the same for you. There is no physical substance to your 'essence.' Instead, the human called 'Takeshi Kuranari' is no more than a concept, information, software. And that essence is realized only through your body, the hardware. That's it. Your body is just the hardware. It's just a device in which the entity of 'you' is embodied."
I spit out the words with difficulty.
Was I making any sense to her? I couldn't tell.
The weight of Tsugumi's whole body was on my neck.
"I can't... I just can't..."
For an instant, her grip loosened slightly.
"I'm bound eternally to this horrid body. My soul is forever in chains."
Soras route doesnt do much for Tsugumis character, either.
Tsugumi became teary eyed. So that was the light deep in her eyes...tears.
"Hey? Takeshi...? Would... you kill me?"
Half lying on her side, she grabbed my wrists. She tried to force my hands to her own neck.
"Please...? Kill me?"
"W...what are you talking about!?"
I broke away from her grasp.
"Why are you talking like this...?"
"Yeah, I get it..."
Tsugumi muttered, her voice shaking. And her gaze drifted off.
"You're just a coward... Just a gutless man... In fact, you're not even a 'man.'"
"That's got nothing to do with this!"
"Come on, please... Kill me...! Can't you do it?"
"Are you crazy! There's no way I could do such a thing!!"
"Why not? Why can't you...?"
"Of course I can't! I... I don't need a reason! I don't want to... Why do you want to die so badly, anyway? Why do you need someone to kill you!"
"Please. It's because..."
"Are you really so unwilling...?"
"You're damn right I'm unwilling."
"Well, in that case... In that case, I know... I will kill you instead."
With all her strength Tsugumi slammed me to the floor and started choking me.
"I'll give you the gift of death! And then I'll..."
With all her strength, she slammed me down. Slammed me down. And slammed me down. Again and again.
I would die, if she kept it up. No, I WAS dying.
(If she doesn't stop, I'm a goner...)
Something red started to drip from her lips. It was blood. She's bleeding. Blood mixed with tears. Suddenly her shadow loomed over me. I couldn't see a thing. And then her mouth closed on mine. Our lips pressed hard together. My mouth was filled with the taste of her blood...and tears...
"I'll kill you... I will...I'll kill you... oh, oh... No! ...Don't leave me alone... No, please don't leave me alone... Please...Takeshi... Please."
Darkness surrounded me. Or, maybe I wasn't there at all... A darkness without awareness...I heard only the slight rustle of clothing, and Tsugumi's sigh. Hearing that sound, I felt a craziness swell up inside me. Two shadows overlapped to become one. And I plunged into the chaos, further and further and became one.
We can pick up once again from Day 5, Part 2 at when Ersteboden first pops up. Instead of Takeshi wondering about Tsugumi being a virus carrier, we get this blurb.
She had told me while we were on the Jellyfish Gondola...
I couldn't. There was no possible way I could do such a thing. But still... Why did I feel like I had messed up somehow...? Something had come over me. There was nothing I could do...
Coco embraces her inner-vandal once again, but chooses this time to deface the statue facing south, which is:
That one and when asked who shes inscribing, she replies with Sora instead of Tsugumi. We follow that to the end and then hit up the control room to see whats up with Sora.
I pushed the button to open the door and it slid open.
I called out her name, but got no response. The console was silent.
I wonder if this means she finished checking the sensor data. But if that was the case, I thought she would report back to us?
(Sora...where are you?)
I expected to find her hiding in the corner somewhere... I called out for her again, but still got no response. Next, I touched the terminal. Although I didn't know how to operate it, it seemed to be responding.
But it didn't tell me anything.
I decided to check somewhere else. I headed for the second floor.
Our second choice will be for the security office and You has some new things to say. This section works off of Day 5, Part 3 and starts from "Well, not exactly, really."
"Come on, wait a minute...!? Okay, so if you find that password, will that mean you can save Sora?"
"I mean, you could copy all her source data to a high-capacity hard drive or something... and then take that data out of here by hand, right?"
"Well, yeah. It could be done."
"Except, that won't be necessary."
You spoke coldly.
"We don't need to save Sora, she's saved already."
"The fact is, Sora doesn't actually reside in LeMU. More precisely, the brains of Sora reside in a super computer on Insel null. Are you following me?"
"Meaning, that even if LeMU sinks, floods or explodes, Sora won't be damaged at all. Because, she's not even here. She really lives above the ocean. So from our point of view...just like her name means in Japanese, 'Sora' is in the 'Sky'."
With that, You pointed her finger towards the ceiling. Lured by her pointing finger, I looked up. As if I expected to find Sora there. Naturally, she was nowhere to be seen...
"Hey, hey, hey, hold on a second! How could that be! All data communication lines with Insel null have been cut, they're useless...! Sora herself said that. It doesn't make sense! If as you say, Sora exists above us, then how could she appear before us here?"
"That's what I mean..."
Suddenly, You's voice level dropped.
"Come on, Takeshi. You think it's strange, too, right? Sora said that thanks to the maintenance program, communication functions were optimized... In order to perform periodic maintenance, the master supercomputer on Insel Null has to be linked with LeMMIH here. And since she said the maintenance checked out fine, that means... There might be a data communication link up and running somewhere."
"What? W-why, would Sora keep this from us?"
"What I'm going to say is only speculation, but..."
You furrowed her brows together.
"I think it's possible that someone is intentionally hiding the facts from us."
"Youre saying...that Sora could be lying to us?"
"No, it doesn't necessarily mean that."
You shook her head as she spoke.
"On the one hand, someone might have created a program to orchestrate the whole thing, including keeping Sora silent. Or it could be that, Sora may not be involved. Maybe she doesn't know anything or just hasn't noticed..."
"But for now, I don't know if it is true or not. Whether my suspicions are correct, or all just a big misunderstanding......? Anyway, I can worry about that after I've cracked the protection..."
"For now I'm just trying to access the supercomputer on Insel null from this console. I don't know whether I can even gain access, but I'm pretty that's where the data is. Yep. At least I know where the data is..."
"Well, at least it's a start..."
You suddenly became more upbeat.
"Cracking the security protection is going to be a real pain. This stubborn code! So what exactly awaits hidden inside? ...It's a little too soon to go there."
"Until I can get inside, it's the same as not knowing a thing."
You said this and then gave a big shrug.
"Yeah... But, I still think it's loads better than knowing nothing at all."
"Well, maybe you're right."
You gave me a smile. She then popped her neck and rotated her stiff shoulders.
"Now then... Back to work."
"Alright, You, good luck. There's still time."
Turning her back to me, You began to peck at the keyboard.
"But still, you know..."
Without stopping her hands, she muttered quietly.
"My mother used to tell me all about my father's habits... So I know there are clues to be found... Decoding something as inorganic as a computer program is possible because... Even programmers have habits..."
For a long time, You stared at the monitor. She didn't look my way. So I couldn't read her expression anymore. But I could tell by her shaky voice. She was probably crying. Without saying a word, I slipped out of the Security Office.
If so... No matter whether LeMU is crushed or not, she'd still be okay...
"Tell me Takeshi, after you escape from here safely, what's the first thing you want to do?"
Were her words just a flimsy attempt at compassion?
'I feel like I've gained an new perspective on human life.'
'Come on everybody! Believe in tomorrow, so you can live today...'
Were these words just robotic, programmed phrases...? Simple utterances encoded to pacify and comfort humans...? Suddenly, I felt a distance between Sora's existence and my own.
Day 5, Part 3 finishes things out from dinnertime and were going to leave the Kid alone again. However, Sora decides to intercede this time.
Cowed, the Kid froze.
I pulled back the hand that I had raised. It all felt so stupid... And so terribly sad. The Kid looked up at me all hunched up and trembling. I was disappointed in myself for having tried to hit someone like him. My heart ached with sadness. I let go of the Kid's collar, and he backed away slowly. Everyone watched us silently.
"Aaghh.... Damn it, damn it..."
Tears welled up in his eyes.
"Kid... Come on, I'm asking you... Lift up your head."
I hadn't wanted to blame him in the first place. I turned around and held out my hand again. But he wouldn't look me in the eyes.
"Even if you say that, Takeshi... I can't think like you. What's impossible is impossible! We're not all the same."
"I can't do it. I'm just not that strong. And I never will be...!"
"I can't go on living. I don't want to go on living...!"
"So, then... I should just..."
I didn't want to make him say the rest. But I couldn't stop him. I knew how hard it would be for him to say. Even I wasn't that strong. Everyone waited for the kid's next words in silence... They were probably unthinkable.
"Takeshi, stop it. Please."
Sora walked silently forward and stood in between the kid and me.
"Takeshi, please stop being so hard on him."
"No...I don't mean it that way."
"Kid, please look up at us."
"We can't fight...not like this. It isn't right."
Sora looked sad as she said this.
"Sora, this isn't just any old fight. I'm not trying to shut him out, I just... I wanted him to know how important it was to keep eating."
"I know that. However..."
"See, the Kid looks like he's already feeling a little better."
Sora smiled slightly as she said this.
"He really didn't mean it....okay?"
"Please forgive him? Let's make another sandwich...? It is a good thing that there are still plenty of provisions left."
"No! That's not what I'm talking about!!"
Sora stared back at me, eyes wide with surprise.
"It isn't about that, Sora...! It isn't about whether we have more or not!! It isn't...can't you understand that!?"
"I, I understand."
"No, I...don't understand."
"Well, which one is it, Sora?"
I had taken this all much further than necessary. But I couldn't stop myself.
"Do you, or don't you understand? Do you understand what I mean? Do you really understand why I would do something like that? So you don't know why I did it? You're a first-rate AI program, aren't you?"
"T-Takeshi...? What...do you want me to do...?"
Sora started to waver.
"I don't understand. I don't know the answer."
And looking down, Sora bit her lip.
"Oh... There's no way you could, could you...? Understand how important food is. Because you aren't human like we are."
"Hey, forget it. Besides, the floor just shook, right? What was that, Sora? Did something happen to LeMU?"
"What happened...? Come on tell us. If you check, you should find out in no time, right? Hurry up! Why won't you tell me what happened!?"
She thought she heard the sound of someone running in water. Sounds where there should have been none. Sora kept her distance from us, and ran out the exit of the room.
After watching her run off, Tsugumi stood right in front of me.
Tsugumi was glaring at me.
"You are such a scumbag."
You went over to the kid and hugged him around the shoulders. Coco and Pipi absently looked around the room at everyone.
TrackTraum In Der Dunkelheit
(What... What was that about...! I'm... I'm not wrong... I'm not wrong...right?)
Blood rushed to my head.
Even I could tell. I had said too much... But once you say something, it isn't easy to take it back.
Dead end. Nowhere to go. And thinking that...I realized for some reason that the door in front of me never seemed to open. When we had searched around LeMU, we'd tried to open the electronic lock, but it hadn't budged. Thinking about being trapped here was enough to hate even the existence of that door.
I heard a voice behind me and turned around.
The corridor's watertight door had shut without me realizing. I hadn't even noticed...
"Takeshi... What are you doing here?"
Looking around, I couldn't see Sora anywhere.
"...Sora? Hey, where are you?"
I looked all around. There was no way out other than the watertight door. It wasn't as if she were hiding behind something.
"You want to show me where you are...?"
I looked around again, but she was nowhere to be found.
"Takeshi? Where are you looking?"
I could only hear her voice.
"Hey, come on... Stop playing around and show yourself."
"I'm right here."
I heard her voice... Right above me. I looked up.
Huge droplets of water started raining down from the ceiling. The deluge soaked me mercilessly.
Water was blowing out of nozzles in the crevice between panel lines on the ceiling.
It didn't look like water was draining from either side of the corridor. I ran over to the hatch, and started pounding on it with my fist.
"Takeshi... What's wrong? What are you doing?"
"Open this door, Sora! This is the only way out of here! Come on!"
Suddenly all of the sprinklers, and the small sensors lined up next to them on the ceiling, turned and pointed at me.
"Can't you tell? This situation is...!"
The cameras slowly tracked me. The sensor eyes, probably not even a millimeter large, were flashing light.
"Hey, come on...don't tell me you don't understand, Sora?"
Sora was observing the situation leisurely...
"...Some... Somebody!! Open this door, please!!"
I kept pounding on the door, but no answer came from the other side of the thick wall. Looking around, I couldn't find one of the panels used to automatically open and close the watertight doors.
It was hard to see anything because of the mist.
"Sora... What are you doing...?"
I felt a slight shiver run through me.
"I am... I am only a program, after all."
Her voice sounded more and more mechanical.
"A program that can only give answers based on assumed information. I am only an RSD-generated image in human form."
"I cannot understand how important food is. I have no need to consume organic matter. It is unnecessary for me to eat to continue life."
"W-what are you talking about! Soraaa!! Stop it! Stop the sprinklers!!"
I slammed my body against the door, but it didn't budge.
Everything started to sway. All colors became distorted, and outlines suddenly became vague. I couldn't see anything.
"No.... No....! Who are you!? You aren't me!!"
(Sora...? What are you saying...?)