Part 56: Kid - First Day - Part 3
"How? Cell phones don't even work..."
"Even without a cell phone, LeMU must have other means of communicating, right?"
"Oh, right! The Control Room! Why didn't I think of this until now? From there we should at least be able to contact someone on the floating island."
You's face lit up again. Next, light returned to Sara's eyes as well.
"What's this? Why won't it go through? What's the matter?"
It looked like she was going to rant. No, she was already ranting...
"Hey, hey! Nakkyu, wait a second!"
"Hey, what are you going to do with that chair!?"
"I'm going smash it into this stupid...machine! I'm going to destroy it! I mean smithereens! Absolutely pulverize it!"
"Ta-take it easy! Just calm down!"
"How do you expect me to stay calm in a situation like this?"
"How can all of the communication lines be down! E-mail, too. Even the emergency line won't go through! Is this possible? I don't get it! Something is wrong here!"
"Still, you don't have to destroy..."
"Shut up! I've had...enough! Kyaaaa!"
Sara and I restrained You and dragged her outside the control room.
You's eyes were bloodshot like a rabid dog. Somehow her fantasy-like outfit seemed out ofplace.
"Well, if it has come to this, there is nothing else to do... Let's just...split up again and look for an exit."
"It's no use! After we already looked everywhere?"
"But we haven't looked inside the rooms."
"I see. There might be something like a secret passage hidden or something..."
"There is no way. This isn't a ninja house you know."
"Anyway, let's just...look one more time, alright?"
"Because there might be a helpless maiden trapped somewhere like I was. I'm off."
We agreed we'd meet again in an hour... We decided to meet in front of the Control Room.
You and Sara were probably investigating upstairs.
I noticed immediately that the scenery was different from the morning. The pond in the middle was covered with a lid. Or more a partition of sorts than a lid. In either case, the pond was no longer connected to the ocean. The LeMMIH computer that You had talked about might have automatically sealed it off.
There was still a slight scent of cooked chicken in the air. The second I smelled it, my stomach started to growl. I glanced around. There was no one there... I thought I might eat... But I didn't want to do anything criminal. I swallowed once and left that area behind.
There was nothing really out of the ordinary here, but I did pick up on one thing. This room was not flooded with seawater. The elevated entrance had stopped the water.
The fragrance of food was tickling my nose.
This room to was spared flooding by its elevated entrance. The chair that You had knocked over was as she had left it. I put it back where it should be, checked the room and left.
The smell just wouldn't quit teasing me.
You had passed through here just a while before. Just to be sure, I peeked in the shadows of the stone pillars and behind buildings, but couldn't find anything resembling a pathway.
That smell.... Ohh! I couldn't take it any more. I slyly extended my hand toward the case holding the warm chicken sandwiches. This situation called for extreme measures! I kept telling myself that as I munched and swallowed down the sandwich.
It didn't look like there were any hidden corridors to be found, or anyone trapped here besides the three of us. I wondered how things were above. Maybe it was just like You had said. Maybe there was no more point in looking... It was still before our meeting time, but I went back to our rendezvous point in front of the Control Room.
There was a surprise waiting for me!
"Huh!?!? Who...who...Who are you?"
"What, you forget us already?"
What in the world? I felt like I had met them before. I was pretty sure of it, but...
"Uh, um, your name is...?"
I couldn't remember it.
"Nah, I don't think I've introduced myself yet. I'm Takeshi Kuranari. And this here is..."
The guy named Takeshi indicated the girl.
"I'm Sora Akanegasaki."
She gave a slight nod.
"Takeshi and Sora..."
I repeated the words. They both nodded.
"But what are you doing here?"
"Huh? What's going on here?"
"You don't have to be so surprised, do you?"
"Just a bit ago, when I was walking around Zweite stock with Mayo...we bumped into these three..."
"So, you're stuck here too, huh?"
"Huh? Wait a sec... didn't you just say 'three people'?"
"Yeah. See. Right over there."
I followed the direction of You's finger. Someone was standing on the opposite end of the wall along the corridor. I could only make out half of the person's back, but I saw long hair and black clothes and it left an impression.
"You mean Tsugumi?"
"Oh. Tsugumi Komachi, I think it was."
Tsugumi...so that was her name. She wore all black. It didn't sound familiar. But, still...
"I feel like I've met her somewhere before."
"Do you know her?"
"No, it's not that. It's probably just my imagination... It's just somehow...something..."
"Something? Anyway, she's pretty tough to get along with. I'm not sure why, but it seems like she doesn't like me very much."
"Doesn't like you?"
I could feel a slight animosity emanating from Tsugumi's back. She didn't have to say anything, there was a definite atmosphere which made approaching her difficult.
(Maybe I'll go talk to her...)
Just as that thought crossed my mind, Tsugumi shot a glance in our direction. She had piercing eyes...and an intimidating gaze... With her glare eating into me, I couldn't take even one step forward. There was no way I could talk with her.
(W-what that's all about...? Why is she so angry...? I haven't done anything to make her hate me...)
Tsugumi's gaze returned to normal. Cold beads of sweat appeared on my forehead.
"Oh, that reminds me - where's Sara?"
Having realized she wasn't around, I glanced around the room. Without my noticing it, Sara had come to stand behind me at some point.
Charging ahead again here, choosing Dont Worry to make sure we dont accidentally pick up Sara points
But, her expression somehow didn't seem fine... It was probably to be expected, though. All kinds of things had happened, and in the end we hadn't found an exit. Mentally we were pretty well done in. I thought that I should probably leave her alone for the time being.
"Anyway, just standing around isn't going to get us anywhere... Let's see what the situation in LeMU is right now via the Control Room."
Sora said this and pointed to the Control Room right across from us. Encouraged by Sora, we all shuffled into the room.
"Well, let's see..."
Sora faced the monitor and held up both hands. Instantly the content of the screen began to change, with a number of windows opening, closing and searches for data underway. I stared dully at her rapidly moving hands. It looked like Sora was fairly used to handling this computer. For one thing there weren't any flying chairs or heel stomping... It was completely different from the way You handled things a while ago...
"...I've learned something."
Finally, Sora said this in a matter-of-fact way. Everyone looked in her direction.
"Everyone, please calm down and listen to me... Please don't get hysterical or depressed."
Saying this her face seemed pale. All eyes were glued to her in silence.
"I have a report on the current status of LeMU."
"Is completely flooded."
"Yeah. All of the partitions have dropped and it isn't possible to get through any of its corridors."
"So what you mean is...all the paths leading up are completely shut off?"
"That is correct. Furthermore..."
"This is the floor above, the floor with the infirmary."
"The blinking area is our current location."
"Almost half of LeMU is submerged!"
Sora nodded somberly with a pained expression on her face.
"This floor's dry areas are divided into three sections."
"The areas that have no flooding and that people are able to pass through. The central area displayed on this map is where we currently are in Sector 8."
"Huh? It looks like the map is divided in to two areas...so where is the third?"
"Actually, due to a flaw in the system, we are unable to call up a detailed map... Sector 4 above the corner of Sector 8 looks fine. However..."
"There's no way to get there?"
"Correct. It is impossible."
"All of the corridors connecting the sectors have flooded. 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 leading up to the floating island have completely flooded."
"So, even if we could make it there, we'd be wasting our time?"
Everyone went quiet.
You opened her mouth silently.
"Isn't there something like a wastewater pump in LeMU?"
"Of course there is."
"Well, why don't we use that to pump the flood water out of those areas..."
"It appears to be...out of order."
"Why? We've got electricity..."
"I am not yet certain...of the cause. Some electrical systems, including the elevators are malfunctioning. Disconnected wiring in each sector might be affecting the situation, but..."
"By the way, a life readings search or bio scan for life inside of LeMU indicates that the people present are the only people remaining here."
The people here.... You, Sara, Sora, Tsugumi, Takeshi and I...a total of six people...
"Furthermore, the current internal air pressure is 1 atmosphere. Oxygen concentration 22%, nitrogen concentration 75%, helium concentration 3%, temperature 75.2 degrees..."
"You mean the environment is suitable for us to stay here for a while?"
"Yes. That is the current situation... Everyone, we will be forced to wait inside the complex for a while."
"For a while? How long is that?"
"Until help comes. I am continuously sending out a request for assistance. However..."
"Currently, there is no guarantee that they will reach anyone. All communication lines to Insel null, including the emergency ones, have been physically severed and are unusable. I have also been attempting to make contact via a seafloor cable network, using sonar... Right now I cannot estimate when the network will be back online."
"So we're like little kids lost smack in the middle of the ocean and nobody can hear our SOS..."
The gravity of the situation was descending on us. There was no reason to be upbeat. Takeshi and You let loose with sighs almost simultaneously. Sara and I slumped our shoulders.
(That reminds me, what happened to Tsugumi? She hasn't said anything at all...)
I looked back. Tsugumi was standing in a corner of the room glaring at us. Like before, there was an atmosphere around her that seemed impenetrable.
(Really, why is she so peeved...?)
"Let's be positive. Positive is the word! Alright everybody?!"
You broke the silence with her energetic pep talk. But no one responded.
"Now quit looking so depressed. Even if we are floating in the middle of the Pacific, it's not as if we're lost in a blizzard."
"So, I mean if we wait a few hours, help will probably come."
"How do you know that?"
"Well...think about it. We don't know why, but we've been trapped inside this cramped complex. On top of that, we don't have any way to contact the outside."
"But, but...listen. Even if we can't contact anyone, somebody else probably will."
"Like who? Ooooh, that's right. You mean like your colleagues...or Sara's classmates, or teacher..."
You gave a big nod as if to say, "That's right."
"And Takeshi, you weren't alone when you got here either, right?"
"Well, that's true. The people on the floating island should have noticed a long time ago that we're still down here."
"Yup. So I don't know if it will be a rescue team or a search team or what, but anyway somebody should come to help us soon."
Sara, Sora, Takeshi and I all nodded. Hope returned to everybody's face. Only Tsugumi...only she kept her cold gaze trained on us.
There was something unnerving about waiting for help in the dimly lit Control Room, and there weren't that many chairs to start with. I wondered if there were a place in one of the dry areas that everyone could relax. The closest one was the Conference Room we were at.
"Hey...Sora, how come you know so much about LeMU?"
I asked Sora, who was sitting next to me.
"Probably because I am a system engineer at LeMU's research and development division. Actually...I am the assistant chief."
"Assistant chief...so you're pretty high up then?"
Well, Takeshi isnt wasting any time in flirting with the A.I.
"Only in name, I'm really just an assistant. It's no big deal."
"But, hey, Sora weren't you up at the gate above ground? You were giving some kind of explanation at the entrance, right? I only heard half of it, but..."
"That's right. So you noticed..."
"We are short of staff here. So from time to time I do that kind of work."
Sora smiled. I wondered what the 'gate above ground' was. I didn't understand what Takeshi and Sora were talking about, but for now I knew the reason why Sora knew so much about LeMU.
"So that means...there are two employees from LeMU here then."
"I mean You."
"Well, I'm not really an employee. It's just a part-time thing..."
"And Takeshi? You just came for fun?"
"What other reason would someone have for coming to a theme park? And Sara?"
"I'm...well, I'm here as a volunteer."
"It's an event for juniors at Kyumeikan."
"But, it's basically just for fun."
Without thinking I let out a cry. For some reason, something bothered me.
"Everybody here...you're not all friends, right?"
"No way. We just met."
"So then why are you talking to Takeshi like you're old friends? And Takeshi is talking to you guys the same way."
"Oh, that's right, you don't know..."
"When we all met up on Zweite stock we introduced ourselves."
"Oh, so that's it..."
"Yup. That's it..."
(Hm? Still it seems strange how they are all so friendly for having just met...)
That was what I thought.
"What about you? What's your name anyway?"
"I'm pretty sure we haven't heard yet."
"I'm... I'm...... I'm........."
"An assassin, that's what he is."
"He's being hunted by the underworld."
"I'm not being h...h...hunted!"
"I told you to quit taking things so seriously. You just don't get it.
"Alright. I'll explain for him. Actually he... He's got amnesia."
She told them how I'd forgotten my name, address, family and friends. And that I only remembered the date and everything after meeting You. After listening to the explanation, Sora said -
"Complete amnesia. It's also called retrograde life amnesia... While general education and knowledge remain intact... One's name, background, family and friends, all aspects of one's life history are wiped completely from one's memory. Normally, one's memory returns within a few days or months."
"Hypnotism and electric shock therapy are also said to be effective means..."
"Ha, ha, ha. Relax. To put it another way...this type of amnesia usually solves itself naturally. So for now... You really shouldn't worry or think too much about it. That's really the best medicine for you."
"See? It's just like I said, right? Don't worry. Things'll be fine."
"So there you have it."
"You say it like it's somebody else's problem."
"That's not what I meant..."
"I mean, memory's a weird thing. Sometimes when you're thinking about something entirely different, boom, you just remember. Like with celebrities...you know their face, but you just can't remember their name..."
"Yeah...I wonder if that's just the way it works..."
"So, how far back do you remember, anyway?"
"How far back?"
"Yeah. You knew Sora's and my faces, right?"
"And you remembered my name..."
"...how far how far back?"
I couldn't remember anything before that. And, I remembered everything after that. So that tumble into the pond was the line between my memory and non-memory. My consciousness was cut off at that moment.
I announced this to everyone.
"By 'pond' do you mean...the 'pond' at the rest area?"
"I think so..."
"You don't remember anything before that?"
"No vague images or anything come to mind?"
"Like the scenery around your house or..."
"The girl you like..."
"On TV there you sometimes see dramas about people who don't remember anything, but who instinctively know things."
"I get it. Like the guy that paints like a pro the instant he takes up a brush?"
"Yeah. Like that. So maybe you should try to see and touch lots of things?"
"Yeah...what should we have him do first?"
The conversation about me went on around me... My temples were throbbing. My face was distorted with the pain.
"Wa...wait a second!"
"Sora just said it, right? 'You really shouldn't worry or think too much about it.' If you put too much pressure on him, the mental stress will turn him into a wreck."
"Like mental overload, maybe? Sometimes he starts groaning like he's in pain...then he suddenly collapses."
"Is that right...?"
"So when it comes to things having to do with his memory, take it easy or..."
You gently placed her hands on my head.
When she did, it was strange, but it seemed to suck away the pain.
"Okay. Got it. Now let's talk about something else."
"Um... Something has been bothering me for a while..."
Video: KidReunion or Chance Encounter?
"What do you suppose we should call him?"
"Oh, yeah. We should probably decide to call him something or else it'll kind of be a pain."
"How about John? Don't you think that would be a little rude to all of the people named John?"
" 'Or, it's kinda of random, but how about John Doe?' Don't you think that's kind of rude to the other Johns?"
"Well, it's only for a little while, so it doesn't have to be perfect."
"Let's call him sniper."
"Why are you all so hung up on that? He's not that kind of guy at all."
"Well, how about John Mitochondria?"
"I don't get it."
"Let's see. Let me think of another one. How about Melos?"
"What? What's Melos supposed to mean?"
"Short for Mr. Memory Loss."
"Nah, it's bad luck to name him that..."
"Sorry. I didn't mean to be so direct..."
"Nakkyu, don't you have any ideas?"
"How about Mr. A?"
"That makes him sound like a convict or something."
"Then how about Mr. B."
"What's the difference?!"
"How about Astiane Kumegawa?"
"How about Memory On?"
"Enough with this! Something simple is just fine."
"We could call him Kid Q."
"Hey, you. Which one do you like?"
"All of them...stink."
"Don't be so picky! These are tough times for everybody!"
So the Kid doesnt like any of the names presented to him, but is somehow able to come up with a list of character names from other KID series, including one from Never7. Very curious, very curious indeed.
The name picked doesnt have any effect on the path, so feel free to see if you can pick out the Never7 reference or just choose a name that suits your fancy.