The Let's Play Archive

The Answer

by Feinne

Part 2: Entry 3/31/10-02

Entry 3/31/10-02

The darkness didn't last long...

RECORD 4- "The Velvet Room"

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I awoke in a strange blue elevator, with even stranger people.

I... What happened...?

Ah... A very rare guest indeed...
Are you a simulacrum, or in fact human...?
*chuckle * It seems you destiny is similar to mine.
Um... Where am I...?
Who are you...?
Ah... forgive my manners. I forgot to introduce myself.

We reside in this Velvet Room.
Pleased to meet you.
This place exists between mind and matter... A room for those who have forged a contract...
Yes... In awakening to the power of the wild card, you are now bound to a contract.
From this moment forth, you are our guest in the Velvet Room.

This was about where he lost me.

Surely you know of which I speak. The ability to hold multiple Personas and wield their powers...
Until recently, a young man with the same talent was our guest here.
You... know of him?
Indeed I do. He achieved a marvelous thing... reaching the "answer of life"...
The "answer of life"...
The power you have gained is a means to attain that answer.
This answer... if I reach it...
Would it mean my death...?
All who live journey in search of the answer, and they reach it at the journey's end...
If you have close ties to people you call friends, remember this...

It was the same for that young man.
And that is all I can tell you.
Well, I shouldn't keep you here any longer.
The beginning of your ordeal awaits...

Even as I was wondering what all of this meant, the world lurched again.

I am certain you will require our help in the future.
Please take this.
> Obtained Velvet Key.
It would be better if you came here of your own free will next time.
Until then, farewell...

So much has happened to me since that decision.
If this power is a sign that I'm drawing closer to life...
...does it mean that the answer at the end of the journey is... death?
I was surprised, at the time, to discover how little the possibility bothered me...

Slowly, the world came back into view...

RECORD 5- "The End of Time"

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Woof! Woof!
Phew, she woke up.
You really scared us, collapsing like that.

It seemed that while I was unconscious, Mitsuru had called for help. Also, I couldn't help but feel, well, sort of odd.

Give me a break.
I'm sorry to have worried you...
Hm? What's all this...?
While I was fixing your body, I added some extra equipment.
We found some strange things under the floor...
There was no sign that you would wake up, so instead of waiting, we tried everything we could...
I see.
It still sucks, though, getting bossed around by her like that.
That strange girl said, "If you want to protect Aigis, you should put that on her."

It seemed Akihiko had also answered the call. They'd chained the girl who'd attacked us to a chair.

No worries here, though... She's on her best behavior now.
I guess she wasn't lying after all.
Anyway, she can't cause any trouble now. We have our Evokers this time.
What do you gotta bust things up like that for? I mean, today's my turn to clean the place!
Hey, quit with the silent treatment and say something.

Are you serious...? You were sleeping all this time!?
...It opened!

Sure enough, her faceplate had opened again.

You look pretty comfy there... "I ain't afraid of no humans," huh?
I-It's just that... I was tired after going into Orgia Mode...
Did you cooperate with them in order to help me?
The reason I came here in the first place was to protect you.
These restraints aren't necessary. I won't attack anymore.
No one is going to believe you, if you don't explain why.
It's because... I thought you wouldn't like me...

I don't know if she can be trusted, but I believe she has no intention of fighting us.
Besides which, if she has the same parameters as I do, the chains will not hold her anyway.

A fact which she proved immediately after I mentioned it.

Huh!? Then these friggin' nonstop shifts were for nothing...?
First, tell me who you are and your purpose in being here.
...I'm Metis. As you can see, you and I are practically siblings.
And as for my purpose... It's simply to save you, my only sister...
...from this impossible situation.
Hopeless situation...?
Did... something happen while I was asleep?
How long was I asleep, anyway...?

It turned out something had indeed happened while I was out. And something else had failed to happen...

...Yet today is still March 31st.
Tomorrow, and all the days after it, will also be March 31st. At this rate, it will last forever.
Didn't you feel it? The moment when time skipped?
Skipped...? Do you mean what we felt at midnight?
Then... Are you saying that the same day is repeating itself!?
That's not all... We haven't been able to leave the dorm since this morning.
That makes two ways we're trapped here.
No... But why?

Abyss... of Time?
It's difficult to explain... It may be easier to show you.
I'll lead the way. Please follow me.
H-Hey! Who elected you mayor!?

As it turned out, the basement of the Iwatodai dorms had undergone some rather unusual changes since I'd last seen it.

RECORD 6- "The Abyss"

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The Abyss of Time... And endless desert and a ring of strange doors...

This is the Abyss of Time.
It's an uncharted territory that probably spreads beneath this area like a tree's roots.
How could something like this have appeared under the lounge...?
At first, the Abyss of Time was a small thing.
Then, without warning, it began to spread out, and formed a connection to your dorm.
It's clear just by looking at it that this place was not man-made.
It might be the product of some dangerous power, the way Tartarus was...
Sheesh... Haven't we had enough of that kinda stuff by now?
I'm not sure I can explain it, but the flow of time here is not normal.
The reason why time is skipping and why you can't leave the dorm is most certainly due to that effect.

Eradicate it? How're we supposed to do that...?
I've already tried the simplest, most direct way...
...Eliminating all of you.
The Abyss of Time connected to this dorm, as if drawn to it...
That, together with the way you can all perceive the time skips...
It seems clear to me that you have a lot to do with the reason for this happening.
So that's why you attacked? In order to eliminate us...?
What the hell? We've never even heard of this place before!
If there is another way, we can only find it by entering the Abyss.
You'll have to discover the cause and strike at its source.
So you want us to investigate it under the assumption that we'll have to fight?
That's why I insisted on the extra equipment to protect Aigis.

Some of us were less than excited about this prospect.

Are you seriously telling us to go back to the way things were when Tartarus was around!?
Never mind that, how are we supposed to believe whatever you say and jump in there blind?
If you have a better plan, let's hear it.
First, the basement of your dorm, then the time skips, and now you can't reach the outside world...
I-If we can't leave the dorm... how will we eat!?
If we're stuck here for long enough, and we run out of food...
Are we going to... starve to death!?

Again, some of us were less than excited about this prospect.

If the current situation continues, your lives may all be in danger.
What I'm asking you to do is the only way for you all to survive.
Naturally, we all want to survive.
But you first appeared to us as an enemy. You must understand that we can't entrust our lives to you.
I'm not even buying your reason for being here.
You say you want to protect Aigis, but what's in it for you?
"In it"? I'm doing this because I care about her!
For heaven's sake, she's my only sister!

Mitsuru and I were both thinking the same thing on that front, by the way.

Aigis was the last of her series, and none of her model were produced afterward.
To hear you talk, it sounds like you've been in this Abyss of Time from the start. That bothers me.
You said this is uncharted territory, unconnected to the outside world. Am I correct?
Aren't you supposed to be a weapon, anyway? How do you square that with attacking us to save Aigis?
That's... I... Um...
Well? We're waiting... Hope you've got a good answer.
Cause if you're stringing us along, we're not gonna let you get away with it...
E-Enough about me! What good is any of this supposed to do you?
I thought I told you, there's no time to waste!
Now follow me.
Of are you going to give up so soon? Because if you are, you should have let me kill you in the first place!
What did you just say!?

I'd had about enough of this.

But if you continue to act this way, we'll have to go on without you.
Huh...? Without... me?
Haha... you can't possibly...
I-I know the most about the Abyss... You need me! A-And...
Hey, you don't get to decide that!
Fighting would put all of our lives at risk.
If that's the way you think of my friends, I can't go with you.
Awww, too bad. Have fun here all alone, mmmkay?

She didn't seem to take that suggestion well at all.

...Maybe we should finish her off now, so she can't backstab us.
W-We don't have to go that far...
I'm sorry... I didn't mean to upset you, Aigis...
I'll listen to you from now on! I will... Please don't leave me...
C'mon, it's... it's too late to get all weepy.
But maybe it's true that all she wants really is to protect Aigis-san...
...Well, Senpai? Do we take her along or not?
*sigh * Cause if this is our only choice, I just wanna hurry up and get it over with.
Listen to me, everyone.
It seems that once again, we will have to investigate, and there will be battle involved.

If someone with the power to change Personas is in charge, we can proceed the same way as before.
And if you, as leader, approve... I have no issue with Metis accompanying us.
If you wish to proect me, you must fight to protect us all.
Hurting my friends will not be tolerated. Do you promise?
Yes! I promise!
Hmph. This better not come back to bite us in the ass.
Hey... Aigis.

Yukari had a very valid question, one I had no answer to.

I... really don't know.
When I thought we might lose someone else, I became scared, and suddenly...
Metis, was it...? Do you know anything about this?
I just met her. How would I know?
Anyway, if you already know someone with that same power, why not just ask him?
If we're going back into combat, this clothing won't do.
Well, you andme are still Gekkoukan students until that magic degree comes in the mail.
Sorry to trouble you, Yamagishi, but could you retrieve the armbands from the command room?
Of course.
Oh, and the things we found when the floor opened up... I'll look into them once I have a chance.
Maybe I can learn something.
All right, let's get back upstairs.

Metis lingered behind.

I promise to listen to what you say, so...
Could I... call you Sister?
...Go right ahead.
Thank you... Sister!

Mitsuru had some ideas as to how we could organize the investigation.

I'll be supervising the investigation and assigning each of you your roles.
For now, I'm going to concentrate on finding any documents similar to the ones we found in the basement.
So we're splitting up?
...Well, I suppose you are the only one who knows where to find that stuff.
I'll try to rejoin the group the moment I find what I'm looking for.
I'd also like a second team to handle another task...
Someone has to look around to see if the Abyss of Time is connected to any other places than the dorm.
We have no way of estimating how long we'll be in this situation, so a stable supply route is crucial.
Hey, wouldn't Koromaru's nose make him perfect for a job like that?
I mean, if there's food or anything out there, he'll sniff it out.
That's right, boy! Me and Koromaru are gonna find an exit lickety-split!
Very well, I leave it to you two.
That's that, then. Iori, Koromaru, and myself will go our separate ways for now.
The main investigation will be up to the rest of you, with Aigis taking point.
Aigis, I'm counting on you.

And so our investigation into the Abyss began...