Part 79: Kid/Sara Route - Part 2TrackGedaechtnisschwund
"What about Nakkyu?"
"You's tougher than the rest of us. She'll be fine. Besides, if something was wrong, she would use LeMMIH to contact us."
"But if something happened to her during that shaking..."
"You needn't worry about that. Currently, there appears to be no direct damage inside LeMU. As for You's whereabouts, the sensors should be online in a moment and then I will be able to detect her."
"Alright. We'll forget about You for now. Let's go check the warehouse and then we'll worry about everything else."
"She's fine. I promise."
Promise? How could I promise that? But somehow I was sure of it.
With that one word, the tension seemed to leave Sara.
"What are you doing? You're gonna get left behind."
The next thing I noticed, we were the only people left in the room. Sara and I chased after everyone.
We were told that it wasn't urgent, but we still couldn't afford to be careless. Tsugumi quietly shouldered the heavy toolbox, climbing higher and higher. Sara and I followed her while Takeshi and Sora lagged behind.
I called out to Tsugumi up ahead.
Tsugumi responded without looking back.
"There is something that has been bugging me."
"Why were you eating a hotdog?"
I still couldn't figure it out...Tsugumi's behavior was incomprehensible to me. Then I hit upon it. It was like she had been showing off. But what she said was...
"Because I wanted to eat a hotdog."
"Is that wrong?"
"I don't think it's wrong, but..."
"But didn't you think that it might make Takeshi angry?"
Sara chimed in with a question of her own.
"How could I know what he is thinking?"
"I suppose you're right. We didn't know about them until right before, either."
After that we fell into silence. It looked like Takeshi and Sora were having a low-key conversation behind us.
Tsugumi started to speak suddenly.
"Maybe I did want to play a trick on him just a little bit."
For a second, I didn't know what she was talking about. Then I realized she meant the whole hotdog thing.
"Hee, hee...he's even more stubborn than I thought."
Tsugumi gave a rare laugh. But it was the kind of laugh that would raise the hair on the back of your neck.
Looking around the floor, everything seemed normal, but we could hear a hissing sound coming from somewhere. We walked toward the sound.
"Yesterday everything was fine here. Why do you think something would go wrong all of a sudden?"
"Well, not everything goes as forecasted..."
"It's probably because you were all running around like lunatics."
"You guys were making such a fuss...It probably threw LeMU off its axis."
Tsugumi's flippant remark had tensed the atmosphere around us.
"What's wrong? If you don't hurry I'll leave you behind."
Tsugumi walked briskly ahead.
"H-hey...what's the matter with her?"
"How would I know?"
"She probably fell on her head."
"She really is quite unpredictable..."
For a while all we could do is stand around not knowing what to say.
"So it is coming from inside the warehouse."
"I will run a scan to determine the situation inside."
Saying that Sora disappeared.
"The steam in there isn't going to explode, if we open the door, right?"
Tsugumi fixed her eyes on the door.
"Hmmm... It's probably fine."
"How would you know? Do you...?"
"I'm just saying what you want to hear."
Sora appeared in front of the door.
"I have finished the diagnostic. Atmospheric pressure is normal. No traces of toxic gas detected, however, the temperature and humidity of the room are slightly elevated. An area of the pipe has ruptured, and there is a slight water leak. The water is about four inches at its deepest point."
"*sigh*...Exactly as I thought."
"Nothing. If that's all that's wrong, it should be no problem."
"No, I suppose not..."
"Let's go in. If we fix it, there won't be a problem, right?"
"Yes. Please hurry."
We looked toward the wall that was making the hissing sound. There was a faint crack in the pressure-regulating pipe and water was dancing out of it in a fine mist.
"Are...are you sure this is okay?"
"Sure. Something small like this we can fix in a second."
Tsugumi opened up the toolbox and started taking out tools.
"What should I do?"
"The pipe bit bent...I'm going to reset the metal fitting, would you support the pipe for me?"
"What should I do?"
"Over there...there is a valve connecting to this pipe. You see it? I want you to loosen that a bit."
"At your service!"
"And what about me?"
"I'll tell you which tools I need and you pass them to me."
We started to work. We opened and closed a number of valves, connected and repaired pipes, and welded shut cracks...
"You're good at this."
"Welding. Where did you learn to weld?"
"You really want to know?"
"No. I mean...uh..."
"You know, asking meaningless questions is a bad habit of yours."
"Huh? What does that mean?"
"Alright. I won't ask anymore."
Every once in a while I felt that Tsugumi's words seemed out of place. I stole glances at Tsugumi's expression as I gave and took back tools. Of course, her face didn't really tell me anything...Sora watched us for a while from the side. After a while an intercom in the corner of the room sounded.
"What's that? Somebody calling?"
"It's from You. It appears that she is in the Security Office."
"So Nakkyu is alright?"
"That's a relief."
"Excuse me everyone, but You is calling me. I must be going."
"Okay, go for it. We should be able to handle the rest ourselves."
"Okay. I'll leave the rest to you."
Sora approached the intercom and disappeared as if it had sucked her in. We knew she could travel instantly, but...it was still an odd sight.
"Kid? I'm all set here, so please work on the valves for me."
"What? Sure. No problem."
I moved over to the area by the pipes that she indicated.
"First that blue valve..."
Video: Kid Restore/Breakdown
(Oh, what was that?)
For a second I saw something.
"Now twist the blue valve..."
The intercom continued to ring and the hissing sound of the steam persisted.
(That feeling I just had...that was like before... I know! It was like when I was going to the Conference Room from the kiosk this morning.)
"Now Sara. Hold right there for me."
"Okey-dokey. All set."
"Kid, do the valve in the order that I just told you."
"Hey, Kid. Are you listening?"
"Huh? Yeah, I got it. Sorry. The blue and then the red, right?"
"Right. Loosen it and then close it."
I started on the blue valve in front of me. I needed to loosen it... And right then it happened again!
It felt like my consciousness was whisked off somewhere else.
(Wh...what was that?)
An image flashed at the back of my mind, and it felt that my brain was being hammered by light. It would stop and start, stop and start. Boxes falling, and shattering to the floor. Massive amounts of water cascading down. And then...
I remember losing all power to stand and crumpling right there on the spot.
(That was... That was.........It can't be.......!)
"Hey! What's the matter? Hey!"
Takeshi shook my shoulders, bringing me back from wherever I'd been.
"It's me, Kid. You okay?"
"If we stay here, there's going to be trouble...we have to escape...now..."
I coughed the words out deliriously.
"Things are going to fall...and water will flood in...and someone will get really hurt..."
"What're you talking about...? You aren't making sense."
"Right now...we have to escape!"
I felt like I was filling up with fear and panic.
"Calm down! Just calm down!"
"Outta the way."
My left cheek burned, like it had been scalded.
Pressing my hand on my hurting face I stood up. The pounding of my heart finally got under control.
"You've done enough."
Saying that Tsugumi pointed to a corner of the room.
"Go over there and sit quietly."
"You don't get it? I'm saying you're in the way."
"Hey, that's a little harsh don't you think? I mean, he's probably tired is all."
"You be quiet. Listen. At times like this, people like him are a liability. He's going to make a costly mistake."
"You don't want to cause an accident here, do you?"
"Well, that makes sense, but..."
"Now you know what I mean. Get outta the way. We'll get somebody else to do this."
I walked meekly to the corner.
After that, the work went smoothly...and finally we succeeded in getting everything back to normal.
TrackTraum In Der Dunkelheit
What I had seen hadn't been real. Thankfully, my predictions had been off.
Video: Kid The Moon And Nightmares
I wondered what had been going on in my mind before. While everything had all turned out alright, it bothered me to no end. Yesterday in the Generator Room and then this. I wondered what was wrong with me. I was still without my memory. I couldn't even find any of the pieces.
I thought that maybe these crazy flashes that kept occurring had something to do with my lost memory.
(Maybe I'm closer to getting my memory back...?)
I floated around the warehouse thinking about it. Suddenly, I noticed that deeper in the corner of the room there was another door. There appeared to be another room on the other side of the wall. The door was open, as if it were inviting me in.
Inside the room was dimly lit and it smelled damp and moldy. The lights were off and closing the door made it even darker. I could just make out the interior of the room. The wall looked cold and sturdy. The room was covered with cables and pipes. I imagined that the room was used for storing equipment used in the warehouse. The far wall had a small, square window.
...My mind felt all foggy. Maybe I was just fatigued like Takeshi said. A lot had happened over the last three days. I had heard a lot and thought about a lot of things.
(I don't know what it is...but I feel so sluggish...)
Looking up, I saw moonlight streaming in through the window. It was warm, full light.
As I sat with my back against the cold wall, I stared up at the full moon shining in from outside the window. The moon was far away. The broad night sky was contained in that little square space. The bluish shadows of the moonlight crawled slowly across the gray walls. I looked at the moon and its shadows, and let out a sigh in the darkness. I didn't want to think about anything. I pretended not to notice the freezing coldness.
The room had a very small bed. The sheets were pulled tight. There wasn't a single wrinkle or even a speck of dust. Next to the bed lay a chair with all of the sharp edges rounded off. One of the chair's legs was bent off in an unnatural direction. The door was closed. It was a steel door with no knob.
I felt eyes upon me from the corner of the ceiling. A sharp, intense pair of eyes boring into my body. I couldn't see the body belonging to the eyes, but a harsh laugh rang loudly in my ears. Next to a lens a red light was on. The red light shown on the ceiling as if it would was cutting off the room's corners into darkness. Suddenly, I heard the sobbing voice of someone behind me. Someone was crying on the other side of the wall.
The small voice of a girl echoed in the darkness. And then I heard...
It was the gruff voice of a man ringing out. I suspected that the girl had been hit. It sounded like she had fallen on the hard concrete and was crying even harder.
I covered my ears with my hands and shook my head.
Still the girl's cries of pain didn't stop. As if trying to escape, I crawled across the floor to the opposite corner of the room and curled up. The moon's light was bright. I covered myself with a blanket as if to hide and closed my eyes. The girl just cried and cried.
....I wondered what that sound could be. I didn't want to think about it anymore. Even if I closed my eyes, even if I plugged my ears, the image of the girl struggling on the floor jumped back into my mind.
The voice gradually got weaker and faded. Finally it disappeared completely... In the silence, only a muffled sob echoed hollowly. The air in the room was so dank and stale that it felt heavy and strange on the skin.
I heard a feeble voice.
The sudden curses of the man drowned out the girl's voice.
"NO! I didn't know!"
"I didn't run away!"
And the award for Best song that comes right the fuck out of nowhere goes to
I shouted and grabbed the chair lying on the floor with both hands. I took the chair, as if to scare away a ghost, and pounded it on the wall.
Wildly I put all of my limited strength into it...over and over...
The chair bent awkwardly and scraped against the dented wall. Outside the window...the moonlight shined far away...
I took the chair and with all my strength, threw it at the moon.
The moon scattered like fireworks, shattering to pieces.
Saying this I threw my body into the steel door.
The door wouldn't budge. But I didn't give up. If I had to pulverize my body, I was still going to open that door.
I hurled myself against the door again and again. The rage I felt made my blood boil and my body shake with fury. Something hot and sticky flowed from near my temple. Every time I crashed into the door a shock of pain ran through my body. I thought that my shoulder might already be broken.
A dull sound echoed in the darkness endlessly.
Suddenly the door opened... White light poured into my eyes.
Tears swelled my eyes, overflowing.
Sara stood surrounded by the bright light, her hands outstretched to me. Finally my consciousness was sucked into the light. Powerless, I slumped to the floor, lying there. My body felt heavy like lead and like it would sink into the floor.
Next time: Anger issues and Cosmic Whale ride(s)