Part 11: Moon Door 1: Orbal Gear Project Part 1 - Second Day-Factory City of Zeiss-
Man's Voice: Morning, Tita.
Oh, yeah! I forgot that you and Mom were back!
We sure are! Looks like you had a good night's sleep.
Y-Yeah... Sorry... I feel bad for forgetting all about it...
Oh! Hey! You said you'd tell me what you were up to today!
Yep. That's still the plan. You might be better off hearing it from your mother and grandfather, though.
They were up discussing the issue all night. They both headed out to the central factory first thing this morning, so they should be there as we speak.
Th-Thanks! Off I go, then!
You might want to have breakfast first.
Whoops. Forgot that, too... I haven't washed my face or combed my hair, either...
All right. Take care of that first, then let's get some food in you. I promise it'll be warm when you finish up.
Tita: All right! I'm off!
Dan: Take care. Don't go trying to run over to ZCF so fast you trip or something.
Tita: I-I won't!
(It's so great to have them back home.)
(And now it's off to the factory!)
Umm... You wouldn't happen to know where Mom and Grandpa are, would you? Dad said they came here early this morning...
Oooh, they did... I know that very well, indeed... Erika came charging in with a look on her face that signaled all hell was about to break loose...
All the while, she was shouting, 'We've got a new invention to make, so we need somewhere really, REALLY big! Hop to it!'
She wouldn't take no for an answer, either.
I-I'm so sorry about her... She causes you so much trouble every time she decides she wants to invent something new.
At least she's better than Grandpa. Maybe... She doesn't scare the daylights out of you by yelling, 'Fire in the hole!' riiight before an unexpected explosion.
If only I could wipe that from my memory... Ahahaha...
In any case, your mother should be up in the operations room. I've got no idea what she's planning, but she said she had something to look into using the Capel.
As for your grandfather, he's in the design room. I-In a very good mood...
I can't believe the two of them are working together on something. This can't end well... P-Please, Goddess... Pleeease don't let them break anything...
Ugh... My stomach hurts...
Actually, now that I think about it, I think this is the first time they HAVE worked on the same thing together. Usually they're competing over who can make the best invention, not joining forces on one...
Grandpa's amazing on his own, but Mom's just as capable an engineer, even if she is kind of scary when she gets into her work. If the two of them are actually going to put their heads together on something...
Heehee. I can't wait to see the result! ♪ I wanna go see right away!
It looks like it's not even performing at 10% of its true capabilities, either.
These are some downright terrifying specs.
Wait! How in the world...? Isn't that data on Pater-Mater?
Hi there, Tita. You came at just the right time.
You've seen this robot in person, right?
Umm... Well, yeah, but... why do you ask?
What was it like in person?! Tell me everything you know!
Umm... I... Umm...
W-Well, it was really big...but other than that, I couldn't tell much just from looking at it...
Oh, right... I suppose you wouldn't be able to. It's an awful lot taller than you, after all.
Umm... Mom? What're you looking at Pater-Mater's data for, anyway? I thought you were here to work on some new invention?
...Wait... You're not...
Voice: That we are.
All right, then.
Then it's time to get right to work on our task--making an archaism capable of competing against our buddy Pater-Mater.
Let the Orbal Gear Project begin!
-Within the Heart-
Why...? Why do I feel like this...?
(Usually when I hear about something new being invented, I get all excited. I get so caught up in what's happening that I tune out to the world around me and focus on helping Grandpa. But today...I just feel a little bit sad...)
This doesn't feel right...
-Factory City of Zeiss-
What are these wires here for, Erika? They look completely unnecessary to me...
They're to deal with noise. This design requires a very high degree of precision, so it was a necessary addition.
So the orbal pressure changes get absorbed into here...
Hmm... I see...
Oh, Tita. What are you doing there?
W-Well... I was wondering if, you know, there was anything I could do to help. I want to do something for Renne, too...
I'm just not sure what I can actually do.
Hmm? What you can do?
Well, if you want to help me out, there IS one thing you could do for me. It's an annoying job, but if you're up for it...
An annoying job?
O-Okay... I'll do anything I can to help...
It's nothing that important, really, but I appreciate it all the same. I need you to go talk to Murdock and get him to sort out the paperwork for our return to Liberl.
The way we returned here was kinda, uh, borderline illegal. So no official paperwork's been filed or anything.
No illegal entry permits? That's trouble.
I'm cool with it, but Dan's brought it up a few times, so it'd be good if someone could get it taken care of.
(This wasn't what I had in mind when I said I wanted to help...)
(Oh, well. I guess I am still helping her by doing this. I'll just have to get it sorted out quickly so I can get back and help with the real work!)
Oh, Aidios above... Please protect us all...
Hmm? Hello again, Tita... Can I help you with something?
W-Wait. You aren't here to hell me that the experiment was a failure and the building is now full of poisonous gases, are you?! Or that there was a giant explosion and half of it was destroyed?! Or... Or...
I'm so sorry... I really can't apologize enough for all the stress Mom and Grandpa cause you...
Nothing like that's happened yet, though, so don't worry.
R-Really? Whew... That's a relief... Maybe that's a sign my prayers reached the Goddess after all...
Perhaps I should say my prayers for tomorrow while I'm here, too, then.
Umm... That said... I do have a little favor to ask of you.
What kind of favor?
Tita passed on what her mother had told her and asked if Murdock could sort out the necessary paperwork.
They arrived by air, did they? I can only imagine how surprised you must have been...
Th-They entered the country illegally?!
It sounds that way...
Oh, no... I need to go and sort that out right away!
Could you stay and pray to Aidios in my place, Tita? Please, just pray that nothing gets destroyed because of that new invention of theirs and it all goes to plan!
Okay! I will.
(Please keep Mom and Grandpa from doing anything too reckless...)
(...I wish I knew what I could do, though. I'm not strong like Estelle... I couldn't say anything to Renne like she did.)
(I'll get them to let me help with the Orbal Gear's development! If it really does end up having the same amount of power as Pater-Mater... maybe I'll finally be able to have a proper conversation with her. Time to go and ask!)
Bah... I had no idea you had something like this here now.
I think I might have to go over the designs again!
Did you manage to do what I asked?
Yup. Mr. Murdock said he'll take care of the paperwork right away. He's probably working on it right now.
But now that I've done that, Mom... I want to be part of the Orbal Gear's development team, too.
Yeah. I didn't write this in any of my letters... but I ended up spending some time with Renne while she was in Liberl.
And even if she's a member of the society, she's also my friend.
Now, where have I heard that before...?
Oh! Wasn't she the girl Pater-Mater belongs to?
Umm... Erika... If I might be permitted to say my piece here...
Say your piece?!
You better have a DAMN GOOD explanation for this one, Albert. My daughter ended up making friends with a member of OUROBOROS?!
Why is this the first I'm hearing of this? This wasn't in any of what you sent me!
Well... it was kind of hard to say...
Don't you give me that! As if you hadn't already exposed her to enough danger to make me want to strangle you, and now I'm hearing THIS?!
Just what have you been doing with my daughter while I was away?!
M-Mom! I'm serious! I want to be involved in the Orbal Gear's development! I'm completely powerless on my own, but I still want to find some way to talk to her. And the Orbal Gear's going to be able to fight on equal terms with Pater-Mater, right?
Th-Then I want to be involved! Because I want the kind of power that Estelle has!
Correct me if I'm wrong, but... you're not considering using the Orbal Gear to fight Pater-Mater yourself, are you?
What...? Th-That wasn't what I meant... I...
I want to make very sure of this. Do you understand just what we're making here?
Well, I only got a quick look at the blueprints, but it looked like a bipedal...
That's not what I mean. The Orbal Gear is a weapon. No matter how you try to dress that fact up, that's the reality.
It's a tool designed to be used by people to hurt other people.
B-But... But you're not making it because you want to hurt people, are you? Even the patrol airships used by the army are made to protect the country, not to hurt people...
It doesn't matter what I think. It doesn't matter what the developer of any new weapon thinks. We're not the ones actually going out and using the things we make.
The devices we pour our hearts into making go on to cause unspeakable suffering to people, and there's nothing we can do to stop it.
Have you ever stopped to think about that? And after having it pointed out to you, can you still say you want power?
We're doing what we're doing fully aware of what the potential consequences may be down the line, but can you?
You know how much I love you, Tita. And I understand that you care deeply about your friend. I do. But that's all the more reason why I can't permit you to take part in this.
Can you understand where I'm coming from?
I'm not taking this lightly, either, you know!
I appreciate how you feel, Erika, but I'm sure Tita's been thinking about this a lot herself, especially after all she went through.
Why not show her a little more respect?
I'm sure she has, but that doesn't mean I can let her be involved in developing a weapon. We researchers don't get a say in how our inventions end up being used down the line. That's just our fate.
That's what we have to accept when we're doing our jobs.
...That we do.
I know where she's coming from, but I absolutely can't let her be a part of this.
She doesn't need to be shouldering this kind of burden. Not at her age.
-Within the Heart-
I know all of what Mom's saying is true... I know... Really, I do...
But... But... But then what am I supposed to do?!
Just sit around helplessly?!
...I know. I'll go and see what Dad thinks. Maybe he'll actually listen to me.
Tita inserted a card into a slot in the elevator panel.
Sorry--hold on a minute. I'll be right over.
Really? So she wouldn't give you permission to join, then?
Nope... I understand what Mom's saying. I really do...
It's just so frustrating not being able to do anything...
Well, unlike your grandfather, your mother has very clear reasons for what she does. She's an engineer with specific goals and ideals over ones driven by emotion or curiosity.
That's especially true for this project, given that the future of Liberl's national defense may end up hinging on it. It was never going to be easy to win her over in an argument about this, I'm afraid.
That doesn't change the fact that I want to confront Renne, though. Maybe what I'm saying is childish, I don't know. But it's what I really feel, and I'm not budging!
Those are some bold words, Tita...(I don't think I've ever seen her look so serious about anything before...)
But even if they're bold, I don't think they're childish. At the same time, I don't think it has anything to do with whether you should get involved in developing the Orbal Gear, either. Having it isn't going to make confronting her any easier.
...Tita, confronting someone head on about something is a very difficult thing to do. Probably more difficult than you realize.
You're certainly kind, but that's not always going to be enough to change someone's mind about something once it's made up.
Maybe I'm never going to be able to talk to her like I want to in the end... Am I doomed to never do anything for her...?
... You backed down when you were arguing with your mother earlier, right? That says to me that the convictions she has are stronger than yours.
You already know that it's not going to be easy to talk to Renne. If you want to succeed, you'll need a stronger spirit than you've got now. Otherwise, you won't be able to tell each other how you really feel. You'll just back down first.
That reminds me of something Agate said once, actually.
He said, 'Fighting's all about guts!'
W-Well, that's not quite what I'm talking about, no...
(I really am starting to worry about this Agate fellow...)
Well is he wrong???
I think 'resolve' is a more appropriate word here than 'guts.' You'll need to have the resolve to express all of your honest feelings to her, plus you need to accept hers in return. No doubt it'll be a lot easier said than done, too.
Well, I know she's from the society and that Pater-Mater is too strong for me to compete against as I am. Especially 'cause I don't have the kinda power Estelle does... I'm not even confident she'll want to listen to what I have to say, and even if she does, that it'll have any effect on her...
But I can't just leave her and do nothing! I can't!
Listen... She was part of Ouroboros, and she did some pretty bad things, sure... but that's not all there is. I spent some time with her, I went shopping with her, I sat and talked with her... So I know that's true.
Deep down, she's actually a sweet girl. I'm sure she wasn't faking it, either. It's who she really is. She's not some kind of inhuman monster; she's an ordinary girl who was like an excited little kid when we found a cute pendant in a shop...
...and when I tripped and fell, she didn't hesitate to hold out her hand for me. She's a good person, and I still think of her as my friend even now.
But after that, she went away from me. Ever since then, she and Pater-Mater have been out of my reach...physically and emotionally.
Maybe the Orbal Gear will give me a chance to change that. If I have that, I might finally be able to see a little bit of the world that she does. Maybe she'll even be willing to open her heart--even a little--and tell me how she really feels...all while listening to my feelings, too.
That's why I want to be involved in making it, and I won't take no for an answer!
(I'm so proud of how much you've grown...)
... What do you think about all this, Erika?
How long have you been listening in on us?!
Not long. I only overheard the last part of your conversation.
O-Of course... What?
If you finally get to talk to this Renne girl again, and it turns out she doesn't see you as a friend... what are you going to do?
...Exactly the same thing. I'll do exactly the same as I would otherwise.
Because I've already made up my mind that I want her to be a part of my life, even if she doesn't want me to be a part of hers. I might not be able to chase her around and try to convince her to come back to us like Estelle can... but I can still try to get to know more about her and Pater-Mater, and I can make a stronger connection with her through the Orbal Gear.
There's nothing stopping me doing any of those things, right? Whatever makes it so I can be a part of her life, I want to do it. Even if it's small.
Because that's what friends do. That's how I really feel.
...I see. Well, I can't help but feel like you're being a little naive...but you got me.
I'll accept all you've said as a sufficient reason for participating in the Orbal Gear Project.
-The Dream Continues-
Really! Now, what're you two waiting for? We've got work to do!
Dan! I've redone the blueprints, so I need you to go over them! Tita! We're going to start making the quartz prototypes!
So I can be a part of the development? You promise?
...Haha. We'll see how long that happy face of yours lasts.
Now that you're on the team, I'm going to be working you to the bone. I hope you're ready!
Y-Yeah... Bring it on!
Good! Are you ready to get started?
Thanks to her efforts, Tita was finally allowed to participate in the Orbal Gear's development.
The familiar central factory was filled with a new sense of tension as it became the building ground for the new invention.
Tita was able to work as a full-fledged engineer equal to the adults around her for the first time.
She was also treated no differently than anyone else, meaning Erika's demands were constant and relentless...
...but that was a source of true happiness for Tita.
Finally, two weeks later...
-Factory City of Zeiss-
We've been working almost constantly for three whole days now.
H-How do you still have so much energy, Mom?
The best part of developing something new is about to begin!
That goes for you especially, Tita!
The seat in our prototype here is on the small side, so there's no way anyone other than you is going to be able to sit in it. So you're going to need to be part of our tests until the very end!
But please, let me have some sleep first...
Well, okay. Only because you said, 'please.' It's better than trying to do the tests today when you're in this state and ending up with a bunch of mistakes being made.
She's done very well in my opinion. Not even most veteran engineers can keep up with your working pace. I'm amazed our little daughter did it on her first project.
What, exactly, are you implying? That I'm some kind of machine with limitless stamina?
Okay... So that's the activation tests penciled in for Friday the 28th...
W-Wait! Tomorrow's Friday?!
Y-Yes, it is... Why do you ask?
I need to start cooking, then!
Grandpa! I just realized tomorrow's the last Friday of the month!
Ahh, yes. That's when Agate's coming, isn't it?
Yeah! I need to start getting things ready for tomorrow's food!
Well, if you're taking requests, I...
I'm not sure I follow... What's special about the last Friday of the month?
Whoops. I forgot to tell you. This is going to be your first time meeting Agate, isn't it?
Heehee. You see, he comes over here to visit once a month, and tomorrow's that day. So...
Heh. Heheh. What a coincidence that he should choose the day of our tests to make his arrival.
He sure is a LUCKY man! Ahahahaha!
Well, you see, Tita...your mother... Umm...
I've decided that tomorrow's tests are going to require a sacrifice. Heheheh... We can't just let any old person come to our house for no good reason, right? They need to make a contribution to the family.
I hope you're ready, Agate Crosner!
S-So let me get this straight... You're saying you want Agate to help with the tests, right?
I'm not sure I'd recommend that, Erika. He's a useless dolt where technology's concerned. I can't see him being much help...
Help? Oh, I'm expecting a lot more than that from him.
A-Ahaha... Come on, now, Erika. This is no time for being silly.
I'm not opposed to having him help out, though. I'd like the chance to have a good, long talk with him myself.
Y-You, too, Dad?!
Well, it's settled. Today's going to be a good day... A very, very good day...
Uhh... Umm... (I-Is it just me... or do they seem to have Agate all wrong?)
oh do they I completely missed it
Side Story [Orbal Gear Project Part 1] finished!
Received Long Barrel EX.
Received 3,000 mira.
This Moon Door has two parts, but we'll have to come back later for the second.