Part 54: Kid - First Day - Part 1Prologue
The Kid doesnt actually have any choices in the prologue. Hrm.
Anyway, were on to a new perspective, so that gives us a new color scheme for the dialogue box!
opened my eyes.
The ceiling was so white it was slightly blinding... It smelled of disinfectant... I wondered where I was?
"Are you awake now?"
I wondered who it could be...?
(No...wait a minute...)
Somewhere... I felt like...I had met this person somewhere before.
"How are you doing? You look...alright anyway."
Who? Who was it? I knew her. I was sure that I knew her. Still, I couldn't put my finger on any one thing about her that I knew. The more I thought about it, the more the area around my temples pounded with pain.
"Does your head...hurt?"
I pressed my temples with the fingers of both hands, nodding slightly.
"I'll try to find some painkillers."
She laughed sweetly and stepped away from me.
The room was completely white... With a number of beds tidily lined up in a row... Looking behind me there was a curved glass window in the wall. I got off the bed and put on my shoes, which were neatly arranged below me. I approached the window.
Transparent waves of light swayed gently in the deep, dense navy mist. I put both of my hands on the wall and pushed my face up against the glass. Just then - a flash of silver light dart across my vision. For an instant, I was afraid. Then I noticed it was just a fish.
"This is... the middle of the ocean."
"What's the matter?"
"Of course it is!? This is the LeMU infirmary."
The instant I heard that word, a flash of searing light reappeared in the back of my mind. That's right! That's right! I had come to LeMU!
And I had been walking around LeMU with her.
Had I come for fun?
Of course I had. This was a theme park after all... But was that right? Was that really the reason? Violent head pains struck me again. I shook my head again and again, my face distorted from the pain.
"Shouldn't you rest a little more?"
She helped support me as I returned to the bed.
She held two white pills in her left hand. In her right was a cup filled with water. White, white pills, two of them...
The first choice of the path is Thanks/No Thanks. Since the general consent seems to be to get through Yous path first, Ill be nudging the questions here and there to make sure we hit her path.
I took the pills and gulped them down.
"It's probably just mild barotrauma, or decompression sickness. It happens a lot to visitors... They just feel ill all of the sudden and get carted in here..."
As she said this she slyly took the cup from my hand. I sank my head back into the fluffy pillow.
"It's a bit of a stretch coming down here anyway. People with no experience just jumping to 6 atmospheres for long periods of time. Sheesh."
"The air pressure in the earth's atmosphere is made for people to live comfortably. Of course people are going to have bad reactions to breathing air this thick."
"Air and first love - both should be light. No doubt about that."
"Coffee and your first TIME... well those of course are better thick."
Well, that didnt take very long.
She touched my face with the palm of her hand. The backs of her slender fingers stroked my cheek. The smooth texture of her skin slipped down from my neck to above my chest, stopping there.
"It's alright. You don't seem to have a fever."
She smiled at me. Somehow I felt all embarrassed. I pulled the bedcover up to my eyes and hid my face.
"Just rest like that for a while. Okay? I'll go see what is going on outside."
"While you were asleep it seems that there was a bit of trouble..."
"Anyway, for now just rest and don't worry about anything. Okay?"
Seeing me nod, she walked away from the bed.
"Uh, hey! Wait a second!"
"Just let me ask you one thing."
"What might that be?"
"Why...am I here? You just told me that this is the LeMU infirmary...right?"
"You passed out all of the sudden at the kiosk on Zweite stock. And then some guy and I...hauled you here... You don't remember what happened?"
Kiosk...at the kiosk... In front of a big window... A sweet...a sweet smell... Something covering my body... The lemur mascot...
And I was struck dizzy... Like something being stolen away...I lost consciousness...and...
"So? Do you remember?"
"Do you have any other questions?"
I shook my head and answered.
"Well be a good boy wait here, alright? I'll be right back."
While I turned my head to stare at her back...
'My last name is Tanaka... My real name is much longer, though. But, it's such a pain...just call me 'You.''
I remembered her words.
All alone inside the room, it was quiet like time had stopped. I didn't know if the medicine had started to work or not, but my headache was completely gone. As I stared at the ceiling I thought. I thought about the events leading to my being in that bed...
I was on a bench in that park... I was...waiting for someone. Who? Who was I waiting for?
I didn't know.
My memory was a fog and thinking about events after that my mind just seemed to cloud over. I shook my head several times trying to clear it and concentrate.
Why was I here? Why had I come to LeMU? Did I come alone? Or was I with someone else? What was I doing before I came to LeMU? How had I arrived at this amusement park?
"It's no use... I can't remember..."
The thread of my memory was cut off right there. That time on the park bench enjoying ice cream...I couldn't get beyond that. It was like getting lost in a forest and going to turn back, only to discover that everything had gone dark... I felt very strange. It felt just like I was in the middle of a dream. I felt like I had lost something, something very important.
But I didn't know what that 'something' was. And not being able to move forward made me feel that it was specifically because I had lost something important. I felt an unpleasant sense of something lacking... And this sense of something not quite right irritated me. I took my right hand out from under the blanket and stared dreamily at the palm of my hand. The countless wrinkles etched there... intertwining, reaching out like the branches of a tree in complicated patterns... The pinkish skin...and buried deeper the slightly blue veins... And...five fingers...
(Had my hand had always had this strange shape?)
Bizarre thoughts hit me from nowhere. No, my right palm was no different than it had ever been. Yet, for some reason I felt that I had to doubt even that most natural of facts. Maybe, just possibly, until a few hours ago I might have had six fingers... Or seven, or maybe even eight... I felt like something was wrong. Could I have been feeling this way because... I lost 'something special?' I opened and closed and opened and closed my hand...just repeating that meaningless, simple exercise. I wandered in the forest. Searching for that one lost finger...
You dashed into the room and ran toward me as if she were going to bowl me over...
"What are you doing? This is no time to be sleeping!
She shouted at me suddenly.
Completely clueless, I simply laid there, stunned.
"Get up quickly!"
You peeled away the blanket and dragged me off of the bed.
"What...what's the matter?"
"I dunno, but...anyway, we've gotta escape out of here!"
You had a panicked expression. The relaxed look that had been on her face just a while ago had vanished completely.
"There's only one place! The floating island on the ocean!"
"Because I say! Don't ask questions! We're escaping because we have to escape!"
There was something urgent and powerful in You's words. You dragged me along... From her powerful grip I felt a sharp sense of crisis. I hurriedly slipped on my sneakers and fled out of the room with her.
I sucked in my breath, my body froze and I just stared at the light spreading before me. There was something missing. People...sound...warmth...
"No way...this can't be..."
The words I muttered were devoured by the eerie silence. Looking back and forth in the corridor... even in the furthest direction, there was no sign of people. Just the man-made walls on both sides... Unnatural light, whiter than white, shone from the ceiling and gave off a cold light.
"Wh-why... Why...isn't anyone here...?"
"You get it now? That's why we have to escape."
"Everyone...where could everyone be...?"
"Do you think they're playing hide-and-seek?"
"Anyway, there is no time to think about it now. We need to get out of here ASAP, or..."
Saying that, You again tugged my arm. Hunched over and on the verge of tripping I let You lead me through the wide corridors as we ran.
The more we ran, the more out of breath I became. My heart was pounding. Really everything just felt like a dream. A nightmare in which some unknown monster was chasing us everywhere... With no clue as to the identity of the monster, nor why we needed to escape. Hair-raising fear rose within me, and I was powerless to do anything. I simply cowered. In a world devoid of people... Among faded colors... Just You's palms grasped my arm... Only the certainty of her touch - that one point of contact - allowed me to retain any connection with reality.
You rushed to the front of the door and pushed the up button.
The button was unlit.
"Oh, no way! You've got to be kidding!? Why is this thing stopped?"
You struck the button repeatedly. But nothing happened. The light stayed off. There was no sign that the floor display above the elevator doors was functioning either.
"Hey! Aren't there any emergency stairs or anything?"
You looked back and shifted her eyes around as if she were thinking...
Saying only that, she dashed off.
You turned her head to the left and right looking for something. It looked like she soon found what she was looking for. And she headed toward it single-mindedly. A ladder...next to it was written in straight red letters 'Emergency exit' with an arrow pointing upward. At the other end of the ladder was the ceiling and a sturdy looking door, with a round-shaped handle attached to it.
"Are there emergency stairs on the other side?"
Without answering, You started climbing the ladder. She turned the handle and opened the door.
"There are emergency stairs that run along it."
You told me this quickly while we ran. The corridor stretched in a gentle arc so that the far end was not visible. The scenery was repetitive and I began to have delusions that I was running in place.
(Where in the world am I right now? How far do I have to run?)
I just had to trust in You and chase afterher back.
Inertia kept me going forward. Afraid I would miss the turn I grabbed the corner with my hand, yanking myself around and chasing after You again. The route had become straight. Immediately to the left, a green colored sign for emergency stairs was lit up. Below the light was a closed door... You jumped toward the door's handle.
"Hurrfff...hurrffff... This is stiff.... This is so..."
You was desperately trying to turn the handle...
"It won't open?"
"It'll open! It'll open for sure! I'll make it open!"
"Well, don't just stand there. Get over here and help me!"
Spurred by her words, I firmly grabbed on to the handle. I tried with all my might to turn it in the direction of the arrow that said 'open.'
"Damn...what's with this... It...won't budge...an inch..."
It was stuck fast, almost as if it had been welded shut. It didn't look like it would move to the right or left.
"We'll try to turn it when I say 'Ready, go.' Okay? Here we go. Ready, go!"
With that I threw my complete weight onto the handle.
"Ummmpphh.... Damn... O-P-E-NNNNNNNN!!!"
Just then it happened.
A sound arose up as if from inside the earth, echoing heavily from somewhere. You and I relaxed our grips and looked at each other.
"What...? What was that sound...?"
The walls shook. A small vibration shook the handle we had grabbed. The lights on the ceiling...flashed irregularly... The metal mesh floor was clanging against itself.
"It couldn't be... We're... We're..."
"In the middle of the ocean, after all..."
The vibration gradually increased in intensity. The squeaking sound of steel against steel shocked our ears. You and I held our breath, waiting still. We tried to focus, sharpening our senses, our eyes wandering the void. A low growling sound... Like the groan of a monster... A monster...approaching... A voice filled hate and rage turned to a howling roar, sending shivers up my spine.
"Where is that coming from?!"
"Where? Where is it coming from?"
You's voice approached a scream. Her face lost all color...and her lips went dry... The eyes behind her silky, swaying bangs looked as if they were about to cry.
"Wind... It's wind..."
Muttering this I looked in the direction of the wind. Down the extremely long corridor. Something appeared pushing and vying for space.
"It couldn't be..."
There was no doubt! It was a rushing behemoth of water... A massive froth of waves!
It was not the time to be shouting. You and I started sprinting desperately.
And ran and ran. The voice of the monster was right on our heels. But we couldn't look back. If we looked back, we felt like we would be swallowed up. Something beyond fear, or terror had made our minds go completely blank. We couldn't even think. We could only run desperately for our lives. My shoulder bumped against the wall of the narrow corridor. It looked like my foot would get caught up in the bent metal flooring. Avoiding the pipes that hung down, we leaped over the raised entrance of the watertight door and ran. We just ran on and on.
(This has got to be a dream...)
For an instant, that thought cut across my mind. In a world without people... And faded colors... A drooling monster was reaching its bluish-white arms out toward my neck.
We were turned head over heel in the violent water. Several times, maybe several dozen times, over and over again... Until finally my body stopped moving.
I peeled my body from the soaked floor. Water was still pouring in from the far side of the open emergency entrance. Water was flowing down like a waterfall and spreading smoothly toward the far corridor as if it were crawling across the floor.
(That's right! What about You!?)
Just as I thought that and looked back, You was standing up.
I shook the soaked You's shoulders and looked into her eyes. They were empty... Here purplish-blue lips were quivering. You was completely dazed.
"You! You! Hang on!"
The level of water had continued to rise during this short time.
"Ah! What should I do? What should I..."
Just then it happened! The watertight doors at the four sides of the room began to close at once.
(The doors are closing...)
Ever so slowly, letting off a dull sound...
I tried shouting, and even shaking her harder, but there was no response. Rather, You's body went limp and she collapsed to the floor.
"Hey! Quit goofing around! Come on!"
I took You's arm and put it over my shoulder, lifting her up. I started walking toward the nearest watertight door. You was heavy like a stone. Water pooled around both my legs and I couldn't move forward as fast as I wanted. Gradually a steel partition slid down from above. Another one came up from below, pushing away water as it moved. The stopped up water swirled around. As the width between the doors narrowed, the water level increased.
(Come on! Make it in time! Please just make in time...!)
Sadly, the door didn't stop moving. There was only a small opening left for us to escape.
"Whoooaaaaa!!! There's no way I'm going to die here!!!"
Giving a shout, I ran, pushing the water out of the way. You's slumping body weighed heavily on my shoulder. But I couldn't let go of her arm. I pulled together all my power.
(Almost there...! Almost...right there...!)
With one hand I had grabbed hold of the edge of the
Just a few seconds after I had squeezed our bodies through that narrow gap, the watertight door closed completely. We placed our backs against the closed door and collapsed. There was almost no sense of relief. Both of my legs were shaking, and my heart was beating like it would explode. We spent a few moments there in a stupor.
That's not to say that it was completely dry. It was still wet. And my body and You's body...
...We were still soaked.
"Are you alright?"
"You were really out of it until just a second ago..."
"Me? I was?"
You stood up and took her wet hair in hand. Wiping away the water droplets around her eyes with the palm of her hand...
"Oh! That's right!"
"The water carried us away! Carried! And carried! And carried us away!"
"...And...and what happened?"
"We got swept into the next corridor over. And then all of a sudden the watertight doors started to close... But You, you were all spacey... And to make things worse, you fainted..."
"So how did we get out?"
"I got us out!"
"What? You don't believe me?"
"You...well, you seem more like the type that needs help rather than dishes help out."
"What? What's that supposed to mean?"
"Oh, it's a joke. I'm just kidding If you really did save us, I suppose I should thank you. Thank you."
You bowed her head slightly.
"Do you really mean it?"
"Of course...I guess."
"I said I was joking."
"You take everything so seriously.... You're just an innocent young'un!"
" Oh, whatever... Well, I suppose I owed you one anyway..."
"When I collapsed at the shop, you helped me right? So now we're even..."
When I said that, You's face lit up in a smile.
"Anyway, enough of that. Let's hurry up and find an exit!"
"Yeah... You never know when there might be another flooding..."
You was checking the ceiling and walls as she started walking. I followed along behind her.
There was a big empty, mechanical merry-go-round. Without music or the voices of children playing... Only its bright lights glowed in a lonely sort of way.
"Hey. That reminds me, I haven't even asked your name yet?"
"Name. Your name."
"Oh...yeah..that... Um...I'm... My...name is...name...is...
TrackTraum In Der Dunkelheit
I...I didn't know. I didn't know...my name... My name... There's no way! It couldn't be!
(I should know it.)
It's my name! My very own name! Name...name...name...name...
Then all of the sudden a shock shot through my whole body.
"What's the matter?"
My head hurt... It seemed like it would split right open... I held my head in both arms and crumpled forward.
"Are you alright?"
Grinding my teeth, I desperately tried to endure the pain. Darkness blanketed my eyes... I couldn't see anything. I couldn't hear anything. The darkness invaded my brain and glommed together. It was a glob that would devour my brain... And dissolve it...into...mush...
"Hey! Hang in there! Hey!"
I didn't know... I didn't know...my name... Who could I...
The ceiling was so white it was slightly blinding... It smelled of disinfectant...
"Are you awake now?"
A shadow passed above me on the bed.
You looked at me as if she were worried.
"Back to the beginning...thanks to you."
"The beginning...? The infirmary, huh..."
"Hey, next time you decide to go and keel over, can you do it somewhere a little closer to this room? Because it was really a pain hauling you piggyback all the way here..."
"Oh, it's alright. You don't have to apologize..."
"By the way... Did you remember? Your name."
Name... That's right...My name...
"Oh! Hold on a sec!"
"You don't have to try to force yourself to remember!"
"I don't want you getting like you did before...alright?"
You said it very carefully.
"I'm gonna ask you a couple of questions... So just calm down...I want you to relax and answer them."
"First, do you know...today's date?"
"Today is... the first... May first, right?"
"You remember the date..."
"So how about your age?"
"Your birthday will do...either way."
I tried hard to pull together the threads of my memory. My age...my birthday... When I started to think about it, my temples began to throb.
"Hey, no straining yourself! If you can't remember, then you can't remember. Just say so."
But that didn't mean I could just stop thinking about it. I endured the headache as I felt like I wandered lost through a forest. There had to be an exit hidden somewhere. I just didn't know where...
"Okay, I got it. So you don't remember your name, age or birthday, right?"
"How about your address or telephone number? If not those, then how about your family, friends...or anything..."
"So you can't remember?"
I didn't have any memories of anything. A sense of something not being right gnawed at my mind. No, it was something closer to a sense of loss. I felt that I had lost the bulk of my existence. Like someone had stolen 'Me' away. And the 'Me' that was left was just an empty shell. The 'Me' that was here...who knew if it was even the real me? The instant that thought went through my mind, I was frozen by an icy wave of unease. Scared, isolated, lonely,...
I grabbed firmly on to You's hand. Her warm palm... That warmth was the only thing saving me.
"It's alright now. What are you a baby? Stop with that sad face."
She shot me a smile as she squeezed my hand back.
"I don't think that amnesia is all that uncommon."
"You don't have any memory, so that's memory loss or amnesia, right? Of course it is. I wonder what caused it... The air pressure change...or maybe you hit your head somewhere... Or some severe mental shock maybe."
"Like riding a crazy ride and maybe you panicked, or something."
"But don't worry. It's probably just temporary. It'll come back."
"For sure! Of course if you were in a major accident and had severe trauma to the brain, that would be a whole different thing. But that doesn't seem to be the case..."
You put her hand on my hair and gave me a smile so bright I almost needed sunglasses. That smile flooded into my heart, wiping away the remains of the unease that was swirling there.
"So, do you want to get going? I could sing you a lullaby and tuck you in, but... Unfortunately, we don't have time to relax. You understand, right?"
I nodded and got off of the bed. You started walking for the door. My eyes stopped on the bluish ribbon on You's back. The ribbon seemed to have taken on water and glittered brightly, like the wings of a newborn fairy.
You said that after trying to move the door with her weight several times. These were the emergency stairs. Or more accurately, it was the passage on the way there. The emergency stairs wound spiral-like around a fat pipe. If we followed these stairs, they would take us to the floating island...at least in theory. But now right in front of us stood a thick steel wall. The wall had a small watertight door and if we couldn't squeeze through that, then we couldn't make our way any higher.
"This isn't...the floating island yet, is it...?"
"It's pretty obvious, isn't it? Not even. I mean we haven't even hit Erste boden, so we've still got a long way to go..."
"Erste boden, was that the basement floor one?"
"What does that mean in terms of depth? How deep is it?"
"Let's see...Zweite stock is 102 feet deep, so... Around 90 feet, give or take I guess... We've only climbed around 12 or 15 feet on these stairs."
90 feet deep... 90 feet sounded so close, but... But, in any event, if the door didn't open up, then that was it.
"Hey. I wonder why it won't open."
"Who knows...? Maybe there is a secret spell or something."
"Spell...you mean like 'Open sesame?' That kinda spell?"
"There you go taking me seriously..."
"Well what then?"
"You really wanna know?"
"Maybe you'd better not ask."
"So what're you gonna do? Do you wanna hear it? Or not? Which is it?"