Part 68: Kid - Third Day - Part 4
There was Sora. She was in front of the console with both hands together. She was quiet, her eyes closed. It was like she were meditating. The LED of computers in the room were responding and flickering. But when Sora noticed our presence she opened her eyes and smiled.
"What is it, you two?"
"PANT, PANT.... I thought of a way to escape!"
You shouted in between breaths.
"A way to escape?"
"R-really? You did?"
"PANT, PANT, PANT...Harrrph, haaaaa!"
"Are you alright...?"
"I'm f...fine...PANT...I'll be fine...after I rest... Deep...b-breath....deeep...."
You put her hand on her chest as she breathed deeply trying to catch her breath. Then...
"Hey, Sora? Why can't we escape from here?"
"Stupid! It's because LeMU is flooded with water!"
"Enough. I'm not asking you. Be quiet!"!
"Sora, answer me."
"It is as Kid said. It is because LeMU is inundated with seawater. The water has blocked passage to Insel null via the elevator and emergency stairs. Thus all avenues of escape have been closed off."
"Okay then. So you mean that if we could get rid of all of that water, we could escape?"
"Yes. However, with the limited wastewater pumps still functioning, it is impossible..."
"It's no problem."
You stopped Sora at that point.
"The floating island has to have a high-pressure intake fan, right?"
"A high-pressure fan?"
"A device to send in a mix of high pressure gas to increase air pressure in the complex."
"Yes. It is exactly as you say."
"In that case, why don't we use the high-pressure fan to pump in high pressure gas which will then push out the water?"
"If you blow air into a straw that's in water, the water comes out of the straw, right?"
"Oh...I get it..."
"Theoretically it is possible."
"I told you! Let's do it!"
"In other words, unfortunately, it is impossible."
"Because we can't activate the fan from here. It is the same as with the reason the elevator is out of order - the cause is unclear."
"It is very unfortunate."
You's shoulders slumped dejectedly.
I put my hand on You's back. She turned and smiled an empty smile.
"Ha...Damn...I thought it was a good idea, too."
"I guess I'll have to rethink it."
But her words sounded empty of the spark she'd shown earlier.
Only then did You finally notice the coffee stains.
"Oh...yuck...this is gonna stain for sure!"
"There is a laundry room right next to the changing room. Why don't you wash it there? Fortunately, you have a change of clothes as well."
You took an area of her coat that was stained black and held it to her nose.
"Yuck! This stinks like sugar..."
(You mean it smells like coffee!)
...That was what I wanted to say, but I just barely held my tongue.
You said she was going to change clothes and had gone up to the second floor. Sora went back to work. Sara...she was probably sleeping in the compression chamber. Takeshi was supposedly filthy drunk in the park rest area. Tsugumi hadn't come back. I had no idea where she'd gone...
In the middle of the table was a three-dimensional image of LeMU. I was staring at it and trying to come up with escape plans. At that point I hadn't even hit upon a single one. Any plan would fall apart before I even got it fully developed because of my limited knowledge. But I didn't intend to give up. I thought if I could just find a starting point...I wanted to get back at You somehow. The door opened and somebody came in. Looking back...I saw that it was You. She had changed into her work uniform.
"Oh, so this is where you are. I was looking for you."
The ribbon on her outfit shook rhythmically as she walked toward me.
"Are your clothes dry?"
"Nope. The dryer is broken. These clothes will do for a while anyway."
"Hey, what are you doing with that LeMU hologram?"
"You aren't trying to think of a way out, are you?"
"Well, all I've got is time on my hands."
I lied to her. Embarrassed, I couldn't tell her the truth.
"Enough about that. Aren't you going to sleep?"
"I drank too much coffee, so I can't sleep. Besides, there are lots of things I wanna think about..."
"How about that? Same here."
"What? The coffee or the thinking?"
"Wow. That's weird."
You laughed dryly as she said that.
"Hey, how about keeping me company?"
"Are you going somewhere?"
"Yeah. Well in order to think, you've gotta be in the right place to put you in the mood."
"Someplace in mind?"
"Yeah, a place connected with the third eye."
When the third eye opens, true wisdom is apparent and all becomes visible. The power of ancients. Ultimate knowledge. Proof of a transcendental state beyond that of normal people. The place that You led me... Was...
You walked toward a stone gate, which rose out of a dimly lit dome.
"Can I ask you a question before we go in?"
"Why do the Lemurian Ruins have something to do with the third eye?"
"Oh, that... That? I lied."
"To tell you the truth, they're not related. There is no meaning to that or connection at all. I just thought that if I said that, then you'd come along with me."
"Thinking about things all by myself doesn't really suit me. I need someone else around."
"Are you mad?"
"No, not really. I was just thinking that you don't seem the type to be governed by random, illogical thoughts."
"But actually there might be a connection."
You turned her gaze to the ruins.
"I told you about how my mom was doing her own research while pretending to study the Lemurian continent, right? It seems like she was completely hooked on researching the third eye. Do you know why?"
"Because she was conducting research in the name of Lemuria?"
"Yeah. So my mom wanted to study the third eye, pretended there was a connection with Lemuria and wrote about it."
'One theory has it that the people of Lemuria were giant apes that were 12 feet tall They had walnut-colored skin, there were no differences between males and females, they laid eggs and communicated via telepathy. And they had a third eye in the back of their heads. Telepathy and the third eye...This has something to do with the third perspective. Drawing on the idea that our vertebrate predecessors had three eyes...So the ancients - especially the Lemurians - may well have been races that mastered the use of this power. And based on the facts discovered, I conclude...'
'That the origin of the third eye is Lemuria. She even wrote trumped up papers on the topic. Even though they really are totally unrelated."
"I wish you'd tell me more about the third eye."
"Sorry. I'll tell you some other time. I don't really feel like going into it now."
It was darker inside and the pathways were interwoven like a maze. The lighting was surreal, with dim lights in some areas and bluish white lights elsewhere. Occasionally a hologram of some deep-water fish would shine into view. The ruins were also slightly flooded with water, which had the effect of making them appear more like ruins at the bottom of the ocean.
Finally, we came to an open space kind of like an auditorium. The room had a high ceiling. There were rock pillars - called obelisks - scattered around the area. A few of them were broken, collapsed or crumbling. Looking closely, I saw that a mock relief was carved into the wall. As I absentmindedly stared at the wall, You walked over to one of the collapsed obelisks and sat down, hugging her knees.
That reminded me that I had seen an image of a sun disk in the relief on the wall.
"There are a number of theories about the precise location of the Lemurian continent, but no one really knows where it was. But most people agree that it was located near the belt of tropical rainforest just below the equator."
You reverted to speaking like an employee, which she was, and started giving me an explanation of the place.
"Members of our research staff here at LeMU have put forth hypotheses that the people of Lemuria worshipped the sun..."
You paused and shrugged...
"So I guess that's why we built this temple."
As I sat down next to You, I nodded.
"A Sun Temple...at the bottom of the ocean...doesn't that strike you as kind of ironic?"
I wondered if she was talking about the continent that had sunk to the bottom of the ocean. Or maybe she had meant...us.
"Did you think of anything?"
"What do you mean?"
"Ways to get out."
I shook my head.
"I thought so... I can't think of any other ways. If we could just get that high pressure inflow machine to work..."
"You know? I've thought this through. I think we're being lied to by someone."
"Huh? What are you talking about?"
TrackTraum In Der Dunkelheit
"I mean, I don't think what happened this time was just an accident. I think that somebody trapped us here on purpose."
"There's just too much that doesn't add up. Mayo's friends, Takeshi's friends and my coworkers should all know that we are trapped here, right?"
"So why doesn't anyone come? Even if there is some reason that they can't get inside, divers should at least be knocking on the windows! Besides, we still have power, only the communication system to the outside is down."
"We still don't have any idea what caused the alarm before the accident and the blackout... And we don't know why the high pressure input fan stopped working either. It's almost like everything was set up to trap us here."
I didn't know what to say to her. It all made sense to me. Actually, I had been feeling the same thing. The reason that I hadn't been able to - or didn't realize it was maybe that I didn't want to face up to reality.
I sneaked a looked at You's face. She clutched her knees and turned her helpless looking gaze to the water's surface. Her lips were a bluish color and it wasn't all the fault of the light. You was always more upbeat than everyone around her. She was a powerful presence for me. But right then, she seemed very small and fragile. No matter how tough she acted, You was still just a girl at heart. It had been a quick three days since the accident...it only made sense that she would be feeling the strain. Swallowed into the deep, dark ocean, we had lost the warm spring sun.
(I couldn't let her go on like this, I had to cheer her up somehow...)
That was how I felt deep in my heart.
"Kid, you can see the future, right? Tell me how things are going to turn out."
"I think we'll be saved."
"Of course, it's a..."
I wanted to say premonition, but I couldn't. Saying it was wouldn't work. You could see through a lie. I thought about it. The third perspective. The third eye. True wisdom. Omnipotent all-seeing vision. The power to make light shine once again. I thought that if I only had that! But it didn't exist. It couldn't possibly...
"It's not a premonition...or a guess..."
At the very least...
"It's a promise."
"Yeah, I promise."
At least...I hoped it was. That it was a promise that would materialize. That we would be able to get You out of there. I held up my hand up as if taking an oath. I approached You...but then she spoke.
"And what if......you break it?"
"I won't. I'll see that you're safe."
"For sure? There's not even a 1 percent chance you're wrong?"
"There is not even a 0.00000000000000001 percent possibility."
I pointed my finger at my heart and promised You.
I crossed my heart and hoped to die...
"Oh well, I suppose I'll have to trust you."
...And stick a needle in my eye...I won't break my word to you.
She tried to access the computer network again. I planned to stay and see her through it. But...
Tap, tap, tap...
"Access denied: Invalid username or password."
It seemed like she still couldn't get past the security.
"Oh, no. It looks like it's no good...."
You's shoulders slump dejectedly.
"Isn't there anything else you can do?"
"I could...enter by cracking the system open or get LeMMIH to remove the protection mechanism..."
"Why don't you ask Sara?"
You stopped talking and looked down.
"Don't you want to find out what happened to your father?"
"You have a right to know. There could be information being kept from you. So are you going to try to get at the truth or are you just going to let these doubts nag you forever..."
"So, You, what do you want to do? In the end, it's up to you. So... You should do what you want to do."
You stared at her fingers...and then she looked at the display...finally her eyes drifted to the ceiling. You gave a nod after a while.
"It might be a lot to ask, but I'll ask Mayo for her help."
She wasn't wrong. She didn't need to feel intimidated.
"Alright! I'll go ask her for you."
With those energetic words, I bounded out of the Security Room.
(Wait a second...where is Sara anyway?)
Finally I realized something. I should have checked on the monitor in the Security Office. But I thought I'd look stupid going all the way back again... I thought I might ask Sora... But then I saw Sara cutting across the far corridor. I immediately went after her.
I went in after her.
Sara jumped, startled.
"Oh...sorry. I didn't mean to surprise you..."
"I'm exhausted so cut me some slack. My mind and body are shot."
Sara's haggard expression told the same story. I remembered the fight the day before with Tsugumi. She had probably had a sleepless night.
"Were you thinking of going to sleep now?"
"Huh? Is there something wrong?"
I explained the details to Sara. About You's father gone missing. And about her working at LeMU to find clues about his fate. That her search was being blocked by some protective mechanism in LeMMIH.
"Wow. I had no idea about any of that."
"Yeah. Well, You and I can't figure it out alone."
"So? What is it you want me to do?"
"Well we were hoping you could try taking out LeMMIH's security so that we can get into the network."
"Hmmm. Cracking the security, huh...?"
"I feel bad asking when you're so tired, but could you do it for her?"
"If you wouldn't mind, she'd really...er, eh?"
"I said 'sure' already."
"I mean it's to help Nakkyu, right? I can't very well say no."
I grabbed Sara's hand and shouted happily I was so happy I could have jumped for joy...I did...actually jump. I was sure that things would go fine now.
"H-hey, hey, wait...Kid, what are you so happy about?"
"All I said was that I'd help Nakkyu. This doesn't really have anything to do with you, does it? There is nothing in this for you. So what are you so pumped about?"
"Well, of course I'm happy. You's a good friend of mine."
Sara stared at me suspiciously.
"Oh, I get it."
...Sara patted me on the back.
"Uh, huh. So that's what's been going on."
Sara shot me a sly grin. I had a bad feeling about the whole thing.
"Don't go imagining anything stupid. I'm just..."
"Dear Jove! Love, 'tis a beautiful thing. Fret not dear Kid, I shan't tell a soul."
(What the heck is Sara talking about?)
"Well, You is waiting so we'd best get going."
I started heading for the Security Office pulling Sara's hand. But it ended up being my arm that got yanked.
I lost my balance and stumbled forward, leaning on Sara. Without missing a beat, she grabbed my left thumb and squeezed it tight. She drew close to me and whispered in my ear.
"To tell you the truth, I'm a bit jealous. I'm jealous, but..."
"But since it's you that she's gone for, I'll let it go."
As she spoke, she pushed me away and slapped me on the back. I was getting more and more confused.
Sara sat in the chair, popped her knuckles and faced the keyboard.
"Mayo, I'm really sorry."
"Don't worry about it. It's no big deal."
"You're in good hands with me."
"Hopefully you can help, Sara."
Sara started tapping away on the keyboard. A number of windows opened up on the screen.
"First let's try stealing a password."
Her typing was fast and rhythmical. Finally a list of files came up. She opened one of the files. She opened a search window and started pouring through files.
"Huh? It's not there... In this kind of OS the file should be saved here, but..."
"What are you looking for?"
"The password hash values."
"It's an unchangeable string of letters or numbers created by a mathematical function when a user sets a password."
"If you can find the hash, then it's easy to get a password. For example, if you save a large number of the hashes and compare them with the hash values in the password file then..."
"...Can't you make it easier to understand?"
"Alright. It's basically like the password's fingerprint."
"While you can't create a person from a fingerprint, you can identify one, right? It's the same as a fingerprint. The hash always reflects the characteristics of the original. And the modulation pattern is always derived from the character line up of the original..."
"I...I still don't get it. I think it's just beyond me...sorry to bug you."
I wiped away sweat and walked a short distance from Sara. You watched Sara as she leaned against a wall. I headed over to her.
"I wonder...it might be that there is a file that only the root authority can access... Even if I did find it, it could be randomly sequenced... That'd mean I'd need another message..."
Sara mumbled to herself as she worked. Occasionally Sara would fiddle with her ribbon, or tap her fingers on the desk...so it didn't seem that she was having much luck.
"I wonder if this'll work."
"But no matter how good Sara is, this isn't like a contest."
"Look, the contest Mayo won wasn't just any contest. The code she decrypted was a 68 bit strong code."
"...I'm not really sure how incredible that is."
"The strength of a code depends on how long the key to it is when the password is encrypted. The longer it is, the harder it is to decode."
"You still don't quite get it? Well, how about a specific example..."
"So if a 1 bit password is encrypted, it can come out in one of two ways. For example, say that 'E' is the letter. That can either be encrypted as a 0 or a 1 with a 1 bit key. So when this becomes a two bit key, the possibilities are double the code, or four. So for the example of 'E,' it would be either 00, 01, 10 or 11. So with a three bit key..."
"What do you think happens?"
"Uh...let's see....um, there are two ways for a 1 bit, and four ways for a 2 bit, so..."