Part 93: Kid - Entrance to Final Route - Part 6TrackGedaechtnisschwund
That was my idea.
"Well, I guess that is an option..."
"There's no reason we have to split into teams of two..."
"And that way Takeshi won't go putting the moves on me."
"I said I'm not interested."
The room was covered in a massive web of pipes. The pipes continued into the adjacent Generator Room. It seemed that by opening and closing the valves, the water and oil pressure could be adjusted.
'Normally LeMMIH is responsible for maintaining the Generator Room, but even LeMMIH can't do much when the generator itself goes out. Anyhow, this is all because the power supply is down. This room is designed so that maintenance can be performed manually at times like this, or during blackouts.'
...That was what You told me.
You selected one pipe from the countless rows of them and instructed Takeshi to close its valve.
"Geez. You sure have a knack for abusing folk..."
As he complained, Takeshi did as You had ordered and turned the valve shut. Sara and I just stood off to the side watching the work unfold. Finally...
"Uggghh. Arggh! Damn. It's no good..."
"You, this won't close..."
"Geez. You wimp...you're a man, right?"
"You can say what you want, but this valve ain't gonna get shut any faster! It's rusted solid! It won't even budge!"
"Well, how about trying a wrench?"
"There's a bolt on the handle, right? If you can get a wrench on it, it might move."
"Oh. A wrench, huh...?"
"Hey, Kid!... You heard her. Gimme the toolbox already, would ya?"
I peered around in the darkness.
"What're you doing? I said get me the toolbox!"
"But...there isn't one here."
"Takeshi, did you forget to bring it?"
"Oh! Crap! I left it in front of the Generator Room..."
"*sigh* This sucks..."
"Alright, alright, I'll go get it."
I ran, heading for the exit.
But the Generator Room was practically next-door. Less than 30 feet later, I turned the corner and entered the corridor leading to in front of the Generator Room.
The toolbox was sitting right in front of the door. I headed toward it. Every time I put my foot down on the floor, little ripples formed on the surface of the water. The tiny circles of waves collided with the wall and bounced off of the side of the toolbox, rippling out in regular concentric rings. It was dark. Still, I was able to sense the changes and coldness in the movement of the water. My vision felt surprisingly sharp.
It happened just then...
There was a big splash and spray of water. It came from around the right side of the wall...nearly below the operating console. The droplets of water scattered gently around my legs. The ripples on the surface of the water gently bumped against my feet.
A fear like I had never felt chilled me to the core. I readied myself for anything, facing the darkness.
"Moon sprite shouldering a long bow/Waiting inside a dream."
"Tonight a story by moonlight/Hoping the wait will be short."
"Sleeping curled and snug/Sleeping in mother's arms."
TrackDer Mond Das Meer
I said the name without thinking. The shape that suddenly swelled out of the darkness was undoubtedly the girl from the compression chamber, the one from the day before. And Coco was singing a song...
"I was waiting for you."
She spoke before I could.
"I waited and waited...for you to come...I was waiting...all alone like a moon sprite..."
"T-then you should have come to me..."
"Because you wouldn't take me with you..."
"Will you take me to where everybody is?"
"Of course I will! Let's go together right now!"
Just as I said that...
A wall of water exploded from near Coco's feet.
The resulting waves stroked my feet. A fine spray of mist erupted skyward and rained down gently on the waves. There was the toolbox, left in the darkness...That was all that I saw. I forgot myself and all I could do was stand in that narrow corridor.
TrackTraum In Der Dunkelheit
Dragging the heavy toolbox and my heavier legs, I returned to the room with the pipes.
"This should just about do it."
"You're not done, are you?"
"Nope. We're still getting ready."
"Oh, I see..."
"We have to repair the generator next door after we finish here."
Takeshi wiped away the sweat from his forehead.
"Huh? Kid...what're you doing there?"
Noticing me, You turned around.
"I brought the...toolbox..."
"It doesn't look like they need it anymore."
"Oops. Sorry 'bout that. Turns out the valve was closed to begin with."
"So no matter how much I tried to close it, it wouldn't budge because it was already shut."
"I heard you...the first time..."
"Is that right? "
"Hey, don't be like that. These things happen sometimes."
I decided to...
Another new choice here between telling them about your meeting with Coco just now or keeping quiet. Weve got nothing to lose by telling them, so thats what well do.
....I told them
"Actually...I saw that girl again."
"Whaddya mean by 'that girl'?"
"The girl that disappeared in the compression chamber. I told you last night. Don't you remember?"
"Oh, your invisible friend."
"She's not invisible!"
I screamed at them as loud as possible.
"K-Kid, take it easy...Just calm down..."
"Where did you see the girl?"
"In front...of the Generator Room..."
"Did she say anything?"
"Yeah...I think she said something about being all alone like a moon sprite. Oh, I know! She....she was singing a lullaby."
"It was the same as the lullaby that Sara sang before..."
Takeshi and You looked at Sara. I focused my eyes on her, too.
"Liar! You did too sing a lullaby before, Sara! I remember it!"
Sara stared at me as if she felt sorry for me. You looked like she had a bad taste in her mouth. Takeshi avoided my eyes and leaned in close to say something to You and Sara.
"What are you whispering about? I'm fine! I'm not crazy! Don't...don't you look at me like that!"
"Okay. Everything is fine."
"So why don't we all go to the place where you saw the girl."
"She's not there...anymore. She disappeared..."
"I see...but maybe she'll show up again."
"It's no good. She won't..."
"I...uh...look, we believe you. I mean, we've decided to believe you."
"Alright? So...so you just keep your cool, okay, Kid?"
I didn't feel like saying anything else. Their agreeing with me was somehow sad. I was sure that the little whispering conference they had just held went something along the lines of, 'Just agree with whatever he says.' It depressed me and sapped all my energy. I didn't feel like resisting the three of them, or trying to give myself a pep talk. I was tired. I thought they could do what they wanted.
'You just keep your cool, okay, Kid?'
Takeshi's words lacked conviction.
When we went back in front of the Generator Room. Of course there was no sign of the girl. The four of us waited outside the Generator Room until we could be sure that the temperature inside had cooled enough.
Time was cruel, but forgiving. Like a wave that was rushing ever closer with each second...The sadness, frustration and doubt in the back of my mind slowly disappeared. After a while, I was back to my normal old self. Only Coco's parting words - 'Farewell' - seemed to linger in my mind, echoing without end.
It was like opening the door to a steam bath - a cloud of steam hissed out of the door.
The air in the steam-filled room was heavy and stuck to the skin. Inhaling felt like swallowing globs of sticky hot steam. Takeshi was opening and closing his mouth like a fish out of water.
"Isn't it hard to breathe?"
"Stop pointing out the obvious! Talking about it just makes it worse!"
"Nakkyu...let's just do what we have to do and get out of here."
"Alright. Let's divide up what we have to do and be efficient about this. I'll be here. Takeshi, can I get you to go over there? Kid, I want you to..."
And so we got to work fixing the generator.
There wasn't much for Sara or me to do, because we were helpless when it came to machines. Takeshi and Sara were working on the other side of the generator. You was doing battle with the machine and depending on my flashlight wielding skills. With nothing much to do, my mind started wandering. And of course they led right to the girl that had disappeared. I just couldn't believe that I had imagined the whole thing.
"About the girl."
"What? You still stuck on that?"
"Just listen. Maybe that girl... Maybe she is a ghost."
"That's gotta be it! That would explain why the numbers change so irregularly and why she vanished all of the sudden."
"Listen! I'm serious."
"No. If you were talking about something serious, I would take you serious. But I'm not listening seriously to something like this. Stupidity is contagious."
"It's like multiplication of plusses and minuses... A plus times a plus is a plus. But a minus times a plus is a minus..."
"So, pass me that minus-like screwdriver, would you?"
I suppressed my anger and put the flat-head screwdriver in You's hand.
"Okay then, you don't have to listen seriously. Just listen to me stupidly."
"It's multiplication, right? A minus times a minus is a plus, right?"
"So? What is it you're dying to say?"
"It's about the girl that disappeared. If she were a ghost..."
"Hold on. Now, do you really believe in ghosts?"
"I wouldn't say believe. But believe in the possibility..."
"Zero. That is what possibility there is. 0.00000000000000001 percent, maybe."
"How do you know?"
"Listen. Ghost stories now and forever are almost all made up. They are just fiction with the goal of entertaining people."
"But haven't you ever felt somebody's eyes on you when you were in a room all alone?"
"Yeah. Like someone was watching you from behind..."
"You mean your mom?"
"I'm being serious...oh, never mind."
"Things like that are just your imagination."
"A product of an overzealous mind. An illusion spawned by the mental state of the person."
"You mean, my mind is playing tricks on me?"
"To be perfectly blunt - yes. UFOs and goblins are the same thing. People like to imagine stuff. Thanks to the power of imagination, people have been able to evolve to where we are, but it's kind of a curse, too. Taken to extremes, there is no distinguishing between reality and illusions."
"When you turn on the lights, the ghost is only a shirt on a chair. People who want to be scared see what they want."
"If you really want to believe that something exists, even if it doesn't, then you still feel that it does. If you are scared of something, you'll scare yourself even if there is nothing there."
Next update: The rest of the Third Eye explanation, a nap, and something of a strange choice.