Part 66: Kid - Third Day - Part 2
It was strange...I thought that maybe she wasn't on that floor. Just then, Sora's voice came to me from the voice converter.
"Kid, it's me, Sora. I know where You is. She is fine of course."
"Huh? Where is she?"
"Zweite stock. In the Security Office."
"Security Office? Why is she there again?"
"I don't know. You contacted me about with her whereabouts."
"I got it. Well, I'll go to the warehouse as well then."
"No, that will not be necessary."
"Fortunately, to the extent that I have been able to investigate, there was no major damage."
Sora added that there were enough people to do the required work.
"It would be better for you to go to You's location."
"To where You is?"
"Yes...Something is strange there."
"I can't say for sure...but I sense something. So I think that someone should go investigate."
"Wouldn't it be better if you went instead of me?"
If something were strange, I didn't know what I could do.
"I'm sorry. Unfortunately, now I must go to the Control Room."
"Control Room? Is something else wrong?"
"Uh...no...I have to do a little maintenance on LeMMIH..."
"I'm sorry...but do you think you can manage it for me?"
"Sure. I don't have anything better to do."
"I'm off to check on You. The Security Office, right?"
"Yes. Thank you."
"You? It's me. Can I come in?"
After a bit the door opened.
"What's up? What are you doing here?"
You was unable to hide her surprise... Sora was right. Strange might have been the word for it.
"Sora told me to come."
"Y-yeah. Uh...she...um... She said...that something was strange and that she wanted me to take a look..."
I couldn't think of a better way to put it and blurted out the truth.
"Uh, is this a bad time?"
You slumped her shoulders as if defeated and heaved out a sigh.
"Oh well. I guess that's how it goes... If you think about it, Sora has ears everywhere."
"Well, quit standing there. Come on in."
"You want some coffee?"
It smelled like hot coffee. In a corner of the room was an ancient siphon coffee machine percolating up dark liquid. You offered me a chair and I sat down. She turned to the coffee maker to pour coffee.
"What are you up to in here?"
I asked You this bluntly as I leaned back in the chair.
"I'm looking into something."
"Looking into something?"
White steam curled into the air from where she was pouring the coffee.
"Is this something that you have to hide from everyone?"
I thought it came out a little too accusatory. Maybe I was a little peeved that she was hiding something from us.
"Here's your coffee."
She turned back toward me with a white cup in each hand. She handed one to me.
"It's hot so be careful."
A white cup. White steam. Only the liquid inside was black. LeMU's logo was printed on the cup.
"Well.... Where should I start...?"
You sat down next to me and took a sip of her coffee. Then she gradually started to talk.
"I told you before, right? About why I got this job at LeMU... I'm looking for clues about my father, who disappeared."
"He went missing 17 years ago and I came hoping to find a hint as to why."
"You said that the last place he was seen was in LeMU, right? Oh. Are you investigating that...?"
You nodded and shifted the cup to her other hand.
"Information about my father."
"It was 17 years ago... They say there was a big accident here."
"I don't really know that much about it. Even looking at old news clippings, I wasn't able to gather much information."
"What do you mean?"
"The cause of the accident, specific damage, what happened afterward...all the coverage was vague... I figure that the media didn't really know the details about what happened either."
"Somebody or something powerful clamped down on information."
"Hmmm. That's interesting..."
"An accident 17 years ago shrouded in mystery. And my father that disappeared 17 years ago. He worked here until right before the accident. I can guess about some of what happened from what we already know..."
"You think that the accident had something to do with the disappearance of your father...?"
"I thought that here...that in LeMMIH, there would be some trace...that's why I came."
"But since I started working I haven't had any time to look into it..."
"I couldn't even get close to LeMMIH's database."
"I guess it makes sense. I was pretty naive."
The chair squeaked as You slumped back in it. She just stared at the ceiling.
"But...but...you know what? Opportunity knocked."
"Opportunity... You...you don't mean this accident?"
You placed the cup next to the console.
"Now I have access to LeMMIH. Thanks to the accident, I have been able to get a step closer to my goal."
"Well, I suppose it has also put my life in danger, but..."
You joked as she shrugged her shoulders.
"I'll ask you one more time, but did you have to keep it all secret?"
"That's a toughie. I mean, I work here, but I don't have any authority. It's just a part-time gig... Taking advantage of this accident to gain access to secret information in LeMU. Normally you might call this..."
"A kind of looting maybe?"
"That's right. Stealing information. It's a pretty decent crime."
"But I suppose there was no way I could have kept it hidden. Sora knows everything that goes on relating to LeMMIH."
"I think she would understand your situation if you explained it to her."
"Hmmm...I wonder about that."
You growled as she put the cup to her lips. I too took a sip of coffee. It was super bitter and super thick.
"So? Did you find anything out?"
"That...that's the problem."
Saying that, You started manipulating the keyboard. One of the monitors on the wall shifted from footage of an observation camera to an image of a computer desktop. It the middle of it one window was open. You explained as she stared at the screen.
"This is the authorization screen to connect to the network."
"This is where the system assesses the user for proper authorization."
I felt like I kind of got it, but not really...
"I'm attempting to connect to LeMMIH's C level...meaning I'm trying to access classified information. But if anyone could easily access important data, it would be a security disaster, right?"
"That's why there is a screen where the computer asks 'Hey, who's trying to look at this?'"
As she spoke, You used the mouse to click on the box for 'Name.' Inside the box were written the words, 'YUKIE TANAKA.'
"Of course there is no way I could access the system using my name, so I'm using someone else's name to get me in. But anyone might think to try that, right?"
"I suppose so."
"Obviously the people who programmed this aren't stupid. So to prevent false authorization they have methods to check people's identity. The screen then says, 'If you really are YUKIE TANAKA, please show me your password.'"
You then used the mouse to circle around the box for 'Password.' It was still blank.
"I'm working on that right now."
"What? You don't know it?"
"I don't know it."
"So you haven't looked up anything yet?"
"It's not that I haven't...I haven't been able to. I haven't been able to get in..."
"So you're stuck..."
You nodded and gave a big sigh.
After a second's pause, You was back tapping on the keyboard. There was nothing for me to do. I just sat there watching You do her thing. The password blank filled in as she typed.
Tap, tap, tap...
The digits she typed in were blocked out by *, so that anybody watching wouldn't know what the word was.
You tapped the Enter key.
'Access denied. Invalid name or password.'
So You immediately tapped in another line of letters.
Tap, tap, tap...
'Access denied. Invalid name or password.'
Tap, tap, tap...
"I was just wondering, who is Yukie Tanaka? Looking at the name, I was wondering is she a relative or something?"
"She's my mom."
"Your mom worked here?"
"Works. She is working here. As in the present tense."
"Hey. Your mom researches archaeology, right? You said something about it yesterday I think."
"Yeah. So what?"
You answered, her eyes still glued to the computer.
"But archaeology has nothing to do with theme parks, right?"
"My thoughts exactly. But I figure that LeMU could probably offer her a lot more money than some small university research department with next to no budget."
"Is LeMU doing some kind of archaeological research?"
"Well, at least it is pretending to."
"It seems like they are doing a survey related to the ruins of the Lemurian continent. Near the end of the 20th century, some oceanic ruins were discovered near Okinawa, right? Leiblich Pharmaceutical spread rumors that these ruins somehow were evidence of the existence of Lemuria. They have poured loads of cash into the archaeological survey of the seafloor. I have no idea what the company is up to."
"Your mom was involved in that project, too?"
"Apparently...but I don't know the details."
"But I think it is all just an act. I think she's just taking the money and researching something else."
"I told you yesterday, didn't I? The ancient idea of 'the third eye.'"
"Your mom sounds tricky."
"Well, she is. Still, I think I understand how she feels. Even if they dug up all the ocean floors of the world, there is still no way they would find the ruins of the Lemurian continent. Everybody knows that it is a complete waste of time. Even the higher-ups at Leiblich Pharmaceutical probably know. But they still have to go about pretending to do research."
"I wonder why? It sounds like a waste to me."
"Who knows? But it's a company were talking about, so I'll bet it has to do with money. But there is no way for us to know and I don't really care."
Tap, tap, tap...
"Oh, that's right. I've been meaning to ask you, but... What do you mean that your mom is researching the third eye?"
"In a nutshell, it basically means that... Any dimension 'n' may only be understood in its entirety when viewed from a dimension at least 'n+1'."
It didn't sound very basic to me. What did she mean?
"Essentially, only by gaining a sense of the 4th dimension can we really fully sense the whole of what is going on around us."
I had no idea what she was talking about.
"Like when the third eye has opened up or something."
She reached out for her cup and took a sip of coffee.
"I think yesterday you said something about evolution. About losing that organ thingy on the head...the, um..."
"No, no. Not there."
"It's here and it's called the third eye and it has to do with supernatural powers. It's like... Like the third eye on the forehead of the Hindu god Shiva...like they say in yoga about the Aagya Chakra, or third eye Chakra... Or the astral light training by sages...or like in esoteric Buddhism with the famous monk Kobo Daishi's ascetic training and invoking of the Kokuzo deity of space through the Kokuzo gumonjiho... Like the All Knowing Eye in Tibetan Tantric Buddhism."
I felt like I was being bombarded with exotic words. The conversation had completely left me behind.
"I think I mentioned it yesterday, but... When the third eye opens, true wisdom is apparent and all becomes visible....at least that's what they say."
"That's IF the story is real."
"Uh, so let's see...that means... In summary it goes something like this... Your mom is researching an ancient concept called the third eye or third perspective... And once someone has acquired the third eye they can sense the 4th dimension and see the whole of the world. And that is in line with the legend of the third eye."
"Does that about cover it? Well, to hear my mom tell it, the third eye and third perspective are the same."
"I don't quite get it... Why would a sense of the 4th dimension allow someone to understand the whole world? Or why is a sense of the 4th dimension necessary? We're seeing the world the way we are right now. I don't get the connection between the third eye or third perspective...and the 4th dimension..."
There were lots of things I didn't get. The whole concept seemed to be beyond my understanding.
You started working again without answering my question.
"Sorry, let's make that the end of today's lecture. The explanation from here is pretty hard. And it's pretty obvious I'm busy, right? If you really wanna know, next time I'll explain it in an easy to swallow way."
You didn't say anything more.
I decided to give up for the time being. I remembered I was still holding the cup. I figured not drinking it would be a waste so I drank it down.
(Yuck...this is so bitter.)
And it was completely cold, too.
You muttered this and looked down dejectedly. She leaned back in the chair and it squeaked. In the end she hadn't found any new clues. Actually, she hadn't even gotten past the authorization screen.
'Access denied. Invalid name or password.'
That message had been displayed again and again. It still sat in the middle of the screen.
You was really down.
"So you couldn't get it? The password."
"Don't you have any ideas?"
"I mean, when somebody sets a password, it is usually a word that has to do with them. A birthday or phone number for something short. Even somebody that wanted to think of something nobody would know would probably come up with a phrase related to their past. I mean, there is almost nobody that uses a meaningless combination of numbers and letters. If they did, they would probably forget it. And if they forget it, then a password is meaningless..."
"I know that. I tried all the things I could think of."
"I tried them backwards and as an anagram and all possible patterns I could imagine..."
"But it's no good. I'm just a normal person when it comes to computers."
"I'm no hacker or cracker. I don't have any illegal programs and can't just type one out right now."
You stuck her hands up in the air, signaling her surrender.
"I know! Sara could probably do it, right?"
I remembered that Sara was a top-level hacker.
"You said that Sara took first prize in some code-breaking contest, right? I'll bet she'd make a password-breaking program for you."
You didn't seem keen on the idea.
"Why don't you ask her?"
"I could, but I don't want to."
"I don't want to involve her in this."
I thought that maybe she was still concerned about the criminal element of the idea.
"But you don't mind getting me involved?"
"Well, you came and involved yourself."
But at this rate, You probably wouldn't find a clue during her lifetime. I wanted to help her out. As a way of thanking her for helping me.
"There is just one clue..."
You took a piece of paper from atop the console.
"This was inside my mom's machine."
"Sure. I saw it."
"But I don't remember it."
"I was in a hurry."
"So the paper you have now is the one with the password on it?"
You held out the paper without saying anything.
"Huh? What's this?"
"It looks like it, but it seems different than normal barcodes."
"It's got ten lines?"
"What does this have to do with anything?"
"About how many characters were in that password? You said it was in Japanese, right? About how many characters was it?"
"I don't remember very well. Maybe 10 characters give or take."
"Was it all written in Japanese? Any numbers?"
"I'm pretty sure it was just Japanese. I don't remember any numbers or anything else."
"I wonder which end of this is the top."
"You got me."
"Or could it be written vertically? No way. If you printed out a text file, why would it come out as a barcode?"
"Hints? If I don't know the answer, how can I give you a hint?"
"But you have to remember something, right? Like, did it have to do with food, or a person's name..."
You shook her head and spoke.
"I saw it, but only for a second."
"But how could you forget something so important?"
"Well, at least I know my address. And phone number. And birthday. And my social security number. And... I even know my name."
"Now who is forgetting the important things?"
I was obsessed with solving the puzzle we had found. It was frustrating.
'Now who is forgetting the important things?'
...What could I say to that?
(It's not like I wanted to lose my memory! Watch this! I'll remember everything just to show you!)
But first...I had to figure this out. I had my mind set on it. I almost felt like solving this was a rite of passage that would help restore my memory.
(Could it be...?)
I thought for a second.