Part 25: Breakthrough
(Music: Elegy For The Torn-Off Gentleman)
: Thank you. Thank you for my daughter's sake, and for mine.
: No need to thaaank us, Mr. Minister. It was nothing.
: (What did HE do?)
: But one question. I can't heeelp but notice...your daughter is safe...and yes, you still look unhappy. How about a little smiiile for us?
: Of cooourse, there is still the matter of the other kidnapping victim...but is that really the only thing that troubles you, Mr. Minister?
: Please, let me think in peace...until the prison van arrives.
: I wonder if Lynne is at the park yet? Until we get her report, I guess I'll just have to wait here. This continued distress of the minister's...is there really something more to it, like the inspector in white said?
Hmm...let's see what Jowd has to say about the matter, since he's still here and all.
: Why don't you try talking to him instead of me?
: I don't even think he's ready to acknowledge my existance yet.
: He's an anxious fellow, yes, but I bet he knows when to accept the truth. Would his face be so furrowed otherwise?
: (What does one have to do with the other?)
See? This is why you talk to respected detectives. They give you intelligent advice like "talk to the person who's distressed if you want to know why they're upset." Let's follow that advice now!
: How about you finally admit I do exist?
: ......that "thank you" I expressed...that was meant for you.
: You're a ghost, aren't you? And you have the power to control and manipulate people, don't you?
: No, I don't have that kind of power. I can't control you.
: ......We've actually known, you know...for quite a while now...but I had no idea they were the powers of the dead, of ghosts...
: Known? Known about what?
(Music: A Dashing Enigma)
: What's this?!
: That's why your execution order caused me so much anguish, Detective Jowd.
: Mr. Minister. Why don't you just tell us everything you know?
: Yes, I suppose I should. You need to hear it all...all about the huge mistake this foolish man made...
The whole "manipulator" thing sounds kind of important, so let's hear about it!
: There are some cases in this country right now that are under a top-secret investigation. Of course, you wouldn't have known about them, Detective Jowd.
: Right. They don't share too much top-secret information with the inmates in prison...
: There are three prisoners, including you, in the Special Prison you just escaped from. All three cases have certain points in common.
: They do, do they? Tell us more.
: Neither of these men had a motive for their crime. And both of their crimes were...impossible.
: The curry-lover had no way of knowing how to infiltrate the commissioner's office. And the rock singer had no way of knowing the national secrets he leaked. The Special Investigation Unit submitted an investigative report to me on them. They concluded that these men's criminal acts were not of their own volition.
: But how could that be...?
: The theory the Unit came up with was the existance of a "manipulator."
: A manipulator, huh...?
: That's when the Special Prison was established as a facility to research that theory.
Hmm. But what does any of this have to do with Jowd's case? Sure, the minister doesn't know that Jowd's just covering for his daughter's birthday greeting gone wrong, but it still doesn't seem like Jowd was coerced into anything.
: These past several years, Inspector Cabanela has been studying these cases.
: He has, has he?
: Manipulating somebody into committing a criminal act...according to the Inspector, the first case of its kind was a locked room murder involving our nation's best detective.
: Are you trying to say I was manipulated somehow into shooting Alma? I appreciate the theory, but unfortunately...I don't recall being "controlled" by anybody. It's just not possible to manipulate another's behavior like that.
: (My powers certainly don't work on living creatures.)
: That's what I thought when I first heard the theory, too. However...I was seriously mistaken, and it proved to be a big mistake.
: You mentioned a "mistake." Could you tell us about it?
: ......I suppose everybody here has the right to know. All right, fine. I'll speak out loud so that Inspector Cabanela can hear this, too.
: There's something I'd like the two of you to hear. It's about a mistake I made. Inspector Cabanela, when you first made that report about a "manipulator," I'm afraid I didn't believe it at all. "Impossible," I thought.
: Perfectly understaaandable, Mr. Minister.
: But...I was wrong. That kind of power does exist. And I...I learned the truth of that firsthand.
: What's thiiis...?
: A month ago, I signed the order to carry out Detective Jowd's execution. However...that act wasn't of my own volition. "I was being controlled."
: What?! You never told me about this, Mr. Minister!
Then we get a flashback to the time when it all went wrong...
: That's when it started. That's when all of my fear, dispair and suffering began. At the time, it didn't even cross my mind that I had been "manipulated." And my memory of the event was only hazy, at best.
: (Hmm, so the memory of being manipulated doesn't clearly remain, eh...?)
: Signing execution orders is part of a justice minister's job. At the time, I just thought my psyche was rebelling against the task.
(Music: Towards Nothingness...)
: As a minister of justice, I couldn't admit what had happened to me. "I only signed the execution order because I was being controlled." If something like that got out, this nation's judicial system would crumble! Besides, I had no evidence to present that I had actually been "controlled." So, in the end, I couldn't admit to anybody what had happened...
: Hmm...I suppose...but it does sound a bit like an excuse. You should've at least told us, Mr. Minister.
: Yes! Yes, I know...I should have. I was...running away from the problem.
: Well, if you go around with an expression like that, I guess it's bound to happen...
: I explained it to her, and she was dead set against the way I was handling it.
: And then, with the kidnapping tonight...with it thrust under my nose like that, I could no longer deny my mistake. This "manipulator" comes upon us from somewhere unseen. That's why I've been keeping my distance from everybody.
: So that's why you've been telling people to "stay back"...
: But I never imagined that tonight, I would find out where this kind of power comes from.
: Where it comes from...?
: Inspector Cabanela...this "manipulator" is a ghost, a departed spirit.
: A spirit...?!
: As a matter of fact, there's a ghost talking to us right now.
(Music: A Dashing Enigma)
: Jowd! Don't tell me you can hear this ghost, too?!
: I'd say the only person who CAN'T hear him is you.
: "Spirit"...? "Ghost"...? Gods in heaven...Excuse me, Mr. Minister. I suddenly have some urgent business to attend to! I recommend you think long and hard before making your final decision, sir.
: We've been waiting to hear from you! Have you found the evidence?
: Well, uh...The situation here is...it's kind of difficult to explain...Sissel! If you're there, come to the park immediately!
: Yeah, I guess so, huh?
And as usual, we'll hang around and check out a few more things before advancing the plot. Especially since some of them are things you wouldn't want to miss in a mad rush to get to the park!
: Knew what?
: That you saved my life, the first time we met tonight...
: Oh, that.
: When I talked about that miserable, pathetic, short-sighted, disgraceful man...I knew I was talking about me. I hated who I had become. But you helped me appreciate the truth. Now I truly understand the wonderful support I've been getting from so many. Including that of my loving family.
: I'm glad to hear that.
: I'm starting to realize what a lucky man I am. And it's all thanks to you.
I'll admit it; in a game full of Best Characters, little things like this make the minister one of my favorites. But at any rate, time to talk to Jowd too.
: The minister was being controlled, huh?
: I'm truly sorry, Detective Jowd. I have no excuse to offer you...
: You know, maybe it was all for the best.
: What...do you mean...?
: If you had never been manipulated, you never would have believed the power existed. After all, you're a "realist", right? It just goes to show you, you never know when even the worst things can turn out good.
: Detective Jowd...I...I don't know what to say...
: All right, Sissel. You'd better go help Lynne. She's a good kid, but she's got a habit of taking on other people's problems.
: Yeah, I know. (Let's see...she's in Temsik Park, eh?)
: But I'm more concerned about Lynne. She looked really upset. (I'd better go see her...fast.)
Yes, yes. I'll do that. Eventually.
: Hey, why so quiet?
: Wh-what's going on? (Maybe he isn't here anymore...?)
: ......"Oh, Mr. Prime Minister! Squeeze me tight enough to take my breath away!" "My darling lady! Let us be free, spread our wings, and fly!" I think I'll edit those lines out once I'm back down on the ground...being squeezed tight enough to take one's breath away is not as much fun as I thought!
: (I guess the novelist is getting a lesson in reality...)
: When is that chief supposed to get here, anyway?!
: How should I know? You're the one who talked to him, ain't ya?
: Aaaaagh! I feel that feeling coming on...shall I...dance...?
: Hey, don't get me involved in this.
: All you have to do is say the word "Panic"! Just say the word and I'll do it!
: No way. I'm not gonna be responsible for that.
: Aaaaargh! Please! Won't somebody just say the word "Panic" to me?!
: This place has too many memories...and I'm just too weary...
: ("When the morning comes," eh? Must be nice...the morning will never come for me...)
(Music: GHOST TRICK)
Lady's Red Apartment