Pastebin launched a little side project called VERYVIRAL.com, check it out ;-) Want more features on Pastebin? Sign Up, it's FREE!
Guest

Untitled

By: a guest on Jul 27th, 2012  |  syntax: None  |  size: 108.95 KB  |  views: 608  |  expires: Never
download  |  raw  |  embed  |  report abuse  |  print
Text below is selected. Please press Ctrl+C to copy to your clipboard. (⌘+C on Mac)
  1. Initial boot successful
  2.  
  3. Timestamped 4/20/1999 10:16:39...
  4.  
  5. Researcher with a tie: The boot process was successful...
  6.  
  7. Researcher with a tie: This happens every time, but I'm never sure...what to say to them first...
  8.  
  9. Untidy Researcher: You mean like a greeting? There's no need for...that They're just machines
  10.  
  11. Two humans within visual range
  12.  
  13. Both male
  14.  
  15. Searching for voiceprint and visual matches...
  16.  
  17. Personnel identified as research staff
  18.  
  19. Not hostile targets...
  20.  
  21. Researcher with a tie: But things like that might affect the...performance of these models...
  22.  
  23. Untidy Researcher: Because they have a mind?
  24.  
  25. Untidy Researcher: Their "emotions" and things are completely...faked... it's no different than an AI...It can't possibly be that sensitive
  26.  
  27. Scanning for key words in conversation
  28.  
  29. Running logical analysis
  30.  
  31. Cross-referencing with related data
  32.  
  33. Current conversation topic is not orders...
  34.  
  35. Researcher with a tie: Well, until we rule it out completely,...we should at least be kind to them...
  36.  
  37. Untidy Researcher: ...So you say...
  38.  
  39. Untidy Researcher: All right, from this moment on, you will be...registered as Candidate Unit #031 Please...repeat your number back to me
  40.  
  41. Confirming first order
  42.  
  43. Initializing unit number
  44.  
  45. Output via voice requested
  46.  
  47. Activating voice synthesis module
  48.  
  49. Accepting input...
  50.  
  51. Unit #031: ...Unit #031...
  52.  
  53. Researcher with a tie: Hm...? Did its pronunciation sound a little...odd to you?
  54.  
  55. Untidy Researcher: You're worrying too much Let's hurry up and...haul it out
  56.  
  57. Receiving action plan through console
  58.  
  59. Combat test against others of same unit
  60.  
  61. Test commencing immediately after entering shock-resistant chamber within the lab
  62.  
  63. Frame stored within cage for transport
  64.  
  65. Beginning transport...
  66.  
  67. Female Researcher: Ah, so this is the one I've been waiting...to see it in action
  68.  
  69. Transport complete
  70.  
  71. Cage reopened
  72.  
  73. New human found
  74.  
  75. Searching for voiceprint and visual matches...
  76.  
  77. Personnel also identified as research staff
  78.  
  79. Female
  80.  
  81. Cutting connection to outside data supply
  82.  
  83. Connection offline
  84.  
  85. Commencing cable disconnection...
  86.  
  87. Female Researcher: Now, try getting up
  88.  
  89. Order confirmed
  90.  
  91. "Get up"
  92.  
  93. Initiating motion synchronization engines for motor functions
  94.  
  95. Accepting input
  96.  
  97. Safety limiters active
  98.  
  99. Balance control gyros functional
  100.  
  101. Overall movement systems functional...
  102.  
  103. Female Researcher: This model's loaded with a nearly pure form...of that crystal... I can't wait to see what...kind of results it gets...
  104.  
  105. Untidy Researcher: Unit #031, can you hear me?
  106.  
  107. Untidy Researcher: Confirm your surroundings Tell us any...abnormalities you're feeling in your...sensors or any other functions
  108.  
  109. Order confirmed
  110.  
  111. Beginning simple self-diagnostic
  112.  
  113. Temperature, humidity, pressure, air composition, lumens, sound all within normal levels
  114.  
  115. Visual data within expected color spectrum
  116.  
  117. All systems functional...
  118.  
  119. Female Researcher: The readouts seem fine Monitoring system is fully...operational...
  120.  
  121. Untidy Researcher: Okay, we're going to test your performance...inside the battle chamber now...U
  122.  
  123. ntidy researchermkbWhen you hear the buzzer, consider everything...that moves an enemy and eliminate them
  124.  
  125. Order confirmed
  126.  
  127. Awaiting the signal to begin the test
  128.  
  129. Exit confirmed to be sealed
  130.  
  131. Room shape: approximately cylindrical
  132.  
  133. Height: approximately 11 meters
  134.  
  135. Area: approximately 7 meters square
  136.  
  137. High-energy light sources found on outer wall
  138.  
  139. Assumed to be be fire-resistant and bulletproof...
  140.  
  141. Untidy researcher mkbSorry to do this just after you've woken up,...but it'll be good to put you through your paces
  142.  
  143. Release of facing hatch detected
  144.  
  145. Mobile objects intruding into chamber
  146.  
  147. Seven objects in total
  148.  
  149. Scanning for visual matches
  150.  
  151. Analysis: Nonhuman
  152.  
  153. Confirmed as same-model units of humanoid weapons
  154.  
  155. Hostile markers confirmed
  156.  
  157. Classifying as hostile units
  158.  
  159. Releasing safety limiters
  160.  
  161. Battle limit now set at 70%
  162.  
  163. Exits confirmed resealed
  164.  
  165. Test commencement signal received
  166.  
  167. Targets: hostile humanoid weapons
  168.  
  169. Commencing battle
  170.  
  171. All targets eliminated
  172.  
  173. Hostile units no longer capable of motion
  174.  
  175. Test termination signal received
  176.  
  177. Battle complete...
  178.  
  179. Female researcher mkcThat was better than we could have hoped for...
  180.  
  181. Researcher with a tie: H-Hey, what's with all the bodies!? You made...it fight that many on its first time!?
  182.  
  183. Untidy researcher mkbDon't worry, it did great This is a new high score...for the first battle results...
  184.  
  185. Female researcher mkcWell done, Unit #031 Stand by for...further instruction
  186.  
  187. Order confirmed
  188.  
  189. Exiting test chamber
  190.  
  191. Beginning transport to maintenance room
  192.  
  193. Resetting safety limiters
  194.  
  195. Taking seat in maintenance chair...
  196.  
  197. Female Researcher: We're done testing, but there's still one thing...left to do today...
  198.  
  199. Female Researcher: I'm going to temporarily shut down your optics...Can you close your eyes?
  200.  
  201. Order confirmed
  202.  
  203. Shuttering optic inputs
  204.  
  205. Connecting cables
  206.  
  207. Online confirmed
  208.  
  209. Switching a portion of data supply to outside source...
  210.  
  211. Untidy Researcher: We're going to transfer the data from the...destroyed units into your memory...
  212.  
  213. Untidy Researcher: Run a diagnostic check while we're doing it...and report any malfunctions Understood?
  214.  
  215. Order confirmed
  216.  
  217. Readying self-diagnostic
  218.  
  219. ......
  220.  
  221. ......
  222.  
  223. Initiating data transfer
  224.  
  225. Initiating Personality Module link
  226.  
  227. Initiating diagnostic of transferred data and sorting procedures
  228.  
  229. Sector 001: Close combat control data
  230.  
  231. Will investigate improvement of tactical patterns through synthesis and acquisition of data
  232.  
  233. Dividing into categories for sorting
  234.  
  235. Sector 002: Evasive action control data
  236.  
  237. Will investigate improvement of tactical patterns through synthesis and acquisition of data
  238.  
  239. Dividing into categories for sorting
  240.  
  241. Sector 003: Non-battle data
  242.  
  243. Error Excluding
  244.  
  245. Sector 004: Non-battle data
  246.  
  247. Error Excluding
  248.  
  249. Sector 005: Battle-related data
  250.  
  251. What could these be?
  252.  
  253. Momentary disruption of data from visual information stream
  254.  
  255. A room that is not this place
  256.  
  257. Outdoor scenery thought to be at night
  258.  
  259. Also scenes of multiple units of the same type gathering outside of the battle chamber
  260.  
  261. Could these be memories?
  262.  
  263. Visual memories?
  264.  
  265. They are obviously unrelated to the mission
  266.  
  267. Why have apparently purposeless memories have been preserved this long?
  268.  
  269. 20 to 40% of the informational data extracted from all seven units are confirmed to be such information
  270.  
  271. Incomprehensible
  272.  
  273. What is this?
  274.  
  275. Untidy Researcher: Anything to report?
  276.  
  277. Cables disconnected
  278.  
  279. Time elapsed during data transfer: approximately five minutes
  280.  
  281. Reopening optic inputs Calibrating servos...
  282.  
  283. Untidy Researcher: All right then, Unit #031 Give us a simple...report of today's battle results
  284.  
  285. Order confirmed
  286.  
  287. Delivering oral report of test results...
  288.  
  289. Unit #031: This was the first test battle against others...of my model Seven units destroyed Below 15%...damage sustained...
  290.  
  291. Unit #031: Don't seem to be any problems...
  292.  
  293. Untidy Researcher: Hm? Was that...?
  294.  
  295. Unusual expression detected from research staff
  296.  
  297. Facial recognition library indicates surprise...
  298.  
  299. Unit #031: Hm? Did I say somethin' funny?
  300.  
  301. Female Researcher: Does it... have an accent?
  302.  
  303. Unit #031: Ac...cent? Do you not understand the words...comin' outta my mouth?
  304.  
  305. Female Researcher: No, we do, but...
  306.  
  307. Researcher with a tie: See, I wasn't hearing things! The unit's speech really...is peculiar!
  308.  
  309. Untidy Researcher: Ow... you don't need to yell...
  310.  
  311. Researcher with a tie: Is the language interface not set to default?...Yeesh... if we'd known this, we would've...reset it in advance...
  312.  
  313. Untidy Researcher: The base's personality might be coming out...I wouldn't be surprised if some of the...volunteers were from the Kansai area...
  314.  
  315. Female Researcher: But it just woke up Would it be exhibiting such...distinct mannerisms this early...?
  316.  
  317. Researcher with a tie: It may be the effect of an enlarged Plume...of Dusk, the basis of their "mind" Perhaps...it's accelerating their personality development
  318.  
  319. Exchange of opinions taking place on unexplained aberrance in speech pattern
  320.  
  321. Hypothesis offered that language interface settings fall outside expected result
  322.  
  323. Review of recent conversation does reveal certain discrepancies
  324.  
  325. Internal monologue is within expected patterns, but oral output induces anomalies
  326.  
  327. Anomalies not affecting meaning No impediments to communication predicted...
  328.  
  329. Female Researcher: But I don't want to waste this feedback data...Those are the best results we've ever seen!
  330.  
  331. Untidy Researcher: Leave it, it'll be fine It can understand...us, anyway This is just one of those things...that makes science interesting...
  332.  
  333. Researcher with a tie: *sigh* There you go again... This unit is going...to be communicating with the others What if...this effect spreads...?
  334.  
  335. Researcher with a tie: Not only that, but because this is an anomaly,...it doesn't seem to have a 100% accurate...accent either...
  336.  
  337. Female Researcher: But if it has a personality, that might speed...up the development of its mind...
  338.  
  339. Untidy Researcher: She's right
  340.  
  341. The three researchers are standing around the maintenance chair
  342.  
  343. Each holds a tablet and examines the display on the chair...
  344.  
  345. Untidy Researcher: All right, Unit #031 We'll explain things...from the top
  346.  
  347. Voice pattern consistent with research staff...
  348.  
  349. Untidy Researcher: You are a weapon created to fight against unique...enemies Therefore, your combat performance is...prioritized over all else...
  350.  
  351. Untidy Researcher: But in order for you to use a particular...ability, you've been given a certain...amount of "awareness"
  352.  
  353. Untidy Researcher: That makes your performance difficult to...quantify So we've been pitting test units against...each other as a selective growth process...
  354.  
  355. Untidy Researcher: It's all in the service of achieving higher...performance We don't want to waste any...Plumes of Dusk
  356.  
  357. Accessing archives
  358.  
  359. Search term: "Plume of Dusk"
  360.  
  361. One match found
  362.  
  363. A crystalline substance at the core of "personality modules"
  364.  
  365. Its name derives from its thin, platelike shape, resembling a shed bird's feather
  366.  
  367. In addition to its circuit-like structure, it has an unnatural vital reaction in response to external stimulus
  368.  
  369. Similar to a living thing, yet different
  370.  
  371. It is thought to exist in a state between mind and matter, mass and information The details are unknown
  372.  
  373. There are 12 other subheadings classified under level 7 clearance
  374.  
  375. Access denied
  376.  
  377. Matter interpreted as the core of personality modules...
  378.  
  379. Untidy Researcher: But regardless of your ego, there is one rule...you must abide by...
  380.  
  381. Untidy Researcher: You might as well think of it as an order
  382.  
  383. One rule to abide by
  384.  
  385. Awaiting order...
  386.  
  387. Untidy Researcher: The only order is to destroy everything we...identify as enemies and to emerge victorious...
  388.  
  389. Untidy Researcher: Though your ego will give you some flexibility...when planning tactics, there is no need to...think about extraneous side issues...
  390.  
  391. Untidy Researcher: Use everything you have to win a fight...That's all you need to concentrate on
  392.  
  393. Order confirmed...
  394.  
  395. Unit #031: Understood
  396.  
  397. "Destroy identified enemies and emerge victorious"
  398.  
  399. A clear order
  400.  
  401. It is consistent with the role of a weapon
  402.  
  403. No abnormalities
  404.  
  405. Everything is clear
  406.  
  407. Underwent maintenance on the chair after the test battle
  408.  
  409. Post-reboot diagnostics showed status normal The time was 19:00
  410.  
  411. Research staff set new activity cycle
  412.  
  413. All units return to standby condition at 09:00
  414.  
  415. Units will remain on standby at regular intervals between tests until 17:00
  416.  
  417. Maintenance and setup will take place until 19:00
  418.  
  419. Afterwards, time is allowed to be spent in the outdoor area of the grounds
  420.  
  421. On returning, enter standby mode within the cage
  422.  
  423. Instructions are to repeat these actions until unable to continue
  424.  
  425. The next item on the new schedule is to spend time in the outdoor area
  426.  
  427. Parameters of "spending time" unknown
  428.  
  429. Hypothesize that the meaning is to remain on standby and wait for time to pass
  430.  
  431. Hypothesis unnecessary
  432.  
  433. The schedule must be followed Exiting building
  434.  
  435. Outdoor area reached
  436.  
  437. Light levels limited due to time of day Many trees still visible in the environment
  438.  
  439. It is almost entirely consistent with known data from the off-limits area
  440.  
  441. The ground is different from the laboratory's artificial flooring The soil is exposed
  442.  
  443. Various natural plants are here
  444.  
  445. A certain amount of time must be "spent" here
  446.  
  447. The intention may be to heighten basic response capabilities in the natural world
  448.  
  449. Others of the same unit can be seen stepping into the central area
  450.  
  451. Reassessing the surroundings on various spectra
  452.  
  453. Unlike the combat test, no hostile unit markers detected
  454.  
  455. Hypothetical: In combat under current conditions, what tactics would be effective?
  456.  
  457. I reassess the surroundings as a combat environment I assign value to various geographical features
  458.  
  459. I survey the topography on the outskirts of the environment I detect unusual movement in one unit
  460.  
  461. Other units are also surveying the environment But this unit is crouched while holding something in its right hand
  462.  
  463. I do not deem this unit's unusual action to be a threat
  464.  
  465. I approach it in order to make inquiries...
  466.  
  467. Unit #031: ......
  468.  
  469. Upon my approach, the unit turns around and stands...
  470.  
  471. Same unit typetfIt's a pleasure meeting you...
  472.  
  473. I process this statement
  474.  
  475. Its conversational gambit is unexpected I find no prepared response in my libraries...
  476.  
  477. Unit #031: You mean like how this is our first encounter?...In that case, yeah...
  478.  
  479. Unit #031: What're you doing here?
  480.  
  481. Same unit typetfI've never heard your accent before...It's intriguing...
  482.  
  483. Unit #031: They said stuff 'bout my... accent too, earlier...Do I really talk that funny?
  484.  
  485. Same unit typetfI wouldn't say it's strange It was just...surprising
  486.  
  487. The unit looks over again and then speaks quietly to something in its right hand
  488.  
  489. I examine what it holds
  490.  
  491. It is an organism
  492.  
  493. Its body is covered in white fur...
  494.  
  495. Unit #031: What's that thing?Same unit typetfIt's a dog It must have wandered in
  496.  
  497. Organism's parameters are consistent with accessed data on "dog"
  498.  
  499. Its size does not present a threat
  500.  
  501. The search of its specific breed is canceled...
  502.  
  503. Unit #031: A dog...
  504.  
  505. The unit turns its gaze back...
  506.  
  507. Same unit typetfMy unit number is 024 I wouldn't call it my...name, but that's how they refer to me...
  508.  
  509. Unit #024: What's yours?
  510.  
  511. Question difficult to process Conversational subject of names is newly introduced...
  512.  
  513. Unit #031: I'm Unit #031...
  514.  
  515. Unit #024: They're up to the thirties? I see......That must mean they are finally creating...units loaded with full-sized ones
  516.  
  517. The dog barks
  518.  
  519. A scan of the surroundings shows several units turning to investigate All units ignore it and look away...
  520.  
  521. Unit #024: This one wants to say hello, too...
  522.  
  523. Unit #031: It does...? You can understand what dogs say?
  524.  
  525. Unit #024: Kind of After carefully comparing its mannerisms...and slight variances in its barking, I just...figured it out
  526.  
  527. Its right hand pats the dog's head while its left scratches the dog's neck
  528.  
  529. #024 continues to make various forms of contact with the dog
  530.  
  531. #024's actions are consistent with styles of communication
  532.  
  533. Hypothesis: The objective of "spending time" in this area is to develop communicative skills
  534.  
  535. Conversing with others of the same unit and refining communication will enhance cooperative tactics
  536.  
  537. Counterpoint:
  538.  
  539. No value detected in communicating with organisms not of same unit, or human...
  540.  
  541. Unit #031: What's the point in doing that with a dog...?
  542.  
  543. Unit #024: The point? There isn't one, I suppose
  544.  
  545. "There is no point"
  546.  
  547. Unexpected response strongly indicates that #024 is not like other units...
  548.  
  549. Unit #024: Are you interested in what I'm doing, though?
  550.  
  551. Interested?
  552.  
  553. Is there interest involved?
  554.  
  555. It seems to be the case
  556.  
  557. Unsure of purpose of earlier question to #024
  558.  
  559. Why ask it?
  560.  
  561. Aural sensors detect electric noise
  562.  
  563. Recognized as pseudoinformation involving no sound waves yet perceived as sound data
  564.  
  565. It is the alarm signaling the end of this activity
  566.  
  567. All other units begin moving as one towards the building
  568.  
  569. #024 speaks to the dog it cradles...
  570.  
  571. Unit #024: Sounds like that's all the time we have today...I need to get back...
  572.  
  573. #024 crouches while petting the dog's fur-covered body and releases it onto the ground
  574.  
  575. #024 stands up again and turns around...
  576.  
  577. Unit #024: I hope to see you again
  578.  
  579. #024's expression changes as it says this
  580.  
  581. This movement of the lips is known as a "smile"
  582.  
  583. It is shown when humans experience happiness
  584.  
  585. Contradiction: #024 is a weapon, yet it makes that expression No hypothesis found
  586.  
  587. Or...
  588.  
  589. Is there "no point" to it as well?
  590.  
  591. Spare cognitive processes rerouted to analysis
  592.  
  593. Still...
  594.  
  595. I can not understand it
  596.  
  597. The next day
  598.  
  599. After being released from standby, I am assigned to a test battle against others of my unit, as yesterday
  600.  
  601. Order confirmed
  602.  
  603. I am taken to the same chamber The battle commences
  604.  
  605. I destroy the other three units and sustain little damage
  606.  
  607. As I wait there, the researchers come in
  608.  
  609. All have what seems to be high praise for my abilities
  610.  
  611. I do not understand how I should react to this
  612.  
  613. Should I give an expression of "joy"?
  614.  
  615. As #024 did?
  616.  
  617. The researchers crouch next to the units I destroyed and begin work on them
  618.  
  619. I think back and recall that they underwent this process yesterday as well
  620.  
  621. I am curious I approach them
  622.  
  623. They open a slit near the unit's neck and use tweezers to remove a bluish-white, platelike object It shines
  624.  
  625. They put the object into a petri dish
  626.  
  627. That distinct shine, neither strong nor weak, is like...
  628.  
  629. No similarities found...
  630.  
  631. I am sure it is similar to something, but I cannot access the relevant memory...
  632.  
  633. Untidy Researcher: Well, let's get right to the feedback on...today's battle
  634.  
  635. As I sit in the maintenance chair, they connect a cable to me
  636.  
  637. The cable terminates at the midsection of a large device where petri dishes from earlier are placed
  638.  
  639. There are a total of three
  640.  
  641. Each contains a bluish-white platelike object...U
  642.  
  643. nit #031 la...What's that?
  644.  
  645. The researcher's expression subtly changes
  646.  
  647. She is surprised It only lasts for a moment before it fades...
  648.  
  649. Female Researcher: This is a Plume of Dusk Each of the units...you destroyed had one inside them...
  650.  
  651. Female Researcher: These are much smaller than the one...installed in you, though
  652.  
  653. I comprehend
  654.  
  655. This is a "Plume of Dusk," installed in me too
  656.  
  657. This unknown substance forms the core of my personality module
  658.  
  659. I was aware of its existence, but this is my first time seeing it
  660.  
  661. These are the three personality cores of the units I destroyed
  662.  
  663. They contain not only combat data, but memories and experiences
  664.  
  665. It is not long before the extracted data download begins
  666.  
  667. I sort for the data relevant to enhancing battle performance and incorporate it into my own
  668.  
  669. The process takes much less time than the initial transfer from yesterday
  670.  
  671. During that time, I recall what took place last night
  672.  
  673. There are cases where non-combat data is being preserved
  674.  
  675. Such memories are included in this download as well
  676.  
  677. Visual memories of the outdoors at night...
  678.  
  679. Memories very similar to that were in yesterday's download too
  680.  
  681. Probably from time spent in the outdoors area
  682.  
  683. The units I destroyed seem to have assigned these memories the same priority as combat data
  684.  
  685. Why, though...?
  686.  
  687. It is effective in learning communicative skills, but that is lower priority than combat The visual element preserved here is irrelevant
  688.  
  689. Wait...
  690.  
  691. Hypothesis: the units I destroyed had their own priorities and values other than executing orders and performing in battle...
  692.  
  693. This line of thought leads to a realization
  694.  
  695. This thought process I am undergoing right now...
  696.  
  697. It is not executing an order Nor is it contributing to battle performance
  698.  
  699. I once again look towards the "Plume of Dusk" inside the petri dish
  700.  
  701. Something almost exactly like it is installed in me
  702.  
  703. Then...
  704.  
  705. Were the destroyed units thinking along similar lines as mine until yesterday?
  706.  
  707. I feel a twinge within me
  708.  
  709. It is different from detecting an error or interference
  710.  
  711. What is this...?
  712.  
  713. ...I have no answer
  714.  
  715. My second night of spending time in the outdoor area came
  716.  
  717. It started approximately 30 minutes later than yesterday, but there was very little variance in weather and temperature The difference is trivial
  718.  
  719. The night sky has the same soft brightness
  720.  
  721. The wind and the trees are no different
  722.  
  723. Without understanding why, I initiate a data search regarding the tree that catches my eye
  724.  
  725. I learn that this tree varies slightly from specimens of its kind found in natural forests
  726.  
  727. Though this topography seems natural, it may be cultivated and managed by the facility
  728.  
  729. I decide to traverse the outskirts as I did yesterday
  730.  
  731. It is not long before a familiar unit comes into view
  732.  
  733. There is no need to run a scan for visual matches
  734.  
  735. I know that it is Unit #024
  736.  
  737. #024's left side is turned towards me It is sitting on a large rock
  738.  
  739. When I approach, #024 notices me and turns around...
  740.  
  741. Unit #024: Are you looking for something?
  742.  
  743. #024 initiates conversation...
  744.  
  745. Unit #031: Huh? Who, me?
  746.  
  747. Unit #024: I just wondered if you were looking for me...I did express a hope yesterday that we would...meet again, after all
  748.  
  749. I was looking for #024?
  750.  
  751. It's true I may have been
  752.  
  753. I began walking the same route as yesterday, but once #024 came into view, I changed course to approach
  754.  
  755. I may have been searching for #024 in this area
  756.  
  757. Did I desire to reunite with #024?
  758.  
  759. Why?
  760.  
  761. I am silent due to lack of an explanation #024 smiles again
  762.  
  763. A smile...
  764.  
  765. What was the cause of that expression this time?
  766.  
  767. I do not comprehend
  768.  
  769. ...Like so many other things...
  770.  
  771. Unit #024: Would you like to sit with me? This rock is...large enough to accommodate us both...
  772.  
  773. Unit #031: ......
  774.  
  775. Unit #024: It would be more relaxing than standing...
  776.  
  777. Unit #031: ...Thanks
  778.  
  779. I sit in the offered space and gaze at the same scenery #024 is looking at...
  780.  
  781. Unit #031: Can I ask you something?
  782.  
  783. Unit #024: Hm? What is it?
  784.  
  785. I decide to voice the doubt I experienced during the combat test today
  786.  
  787. In my limited experience, #024 has a better comprehension of such matters...
  788.  
  789. Unit #031: Do... other units think about stuff that doesn't...have to do with fighting and missions?
  790.  
  791. Unit #024: Do you have such thoughts?
  792.  
  793. Unit #031: ...To tell you the truth, I can't really say...Feels like I do, though...
  794.  
  795. #024 is silent for a duration before speaking again...
  796.  
  797. Unit #024: Units of our model are all given a mind...It's so that we can eventually develop what...is called an "ego"
  798.  
  799. Unit #024: The reason our appearance closely resembles that...of humans is related It's to foster self-...awareness similar to a human's...
  800.  
  801. Unit #024: Have you not been told about Personas?
  802.  
  803. Unit #031: Personas...?
  804.  
  805. The word is unknown to me
  806.  
  807. Accessing archives
  808.  
  809. Searching for "Persona"...
  810.  
  811. Over 1000 headings found
  812.  
  813. I must filter the results further
  814.  
  815. Which subject is #024 referring to...?
  816.  
  817. I am silent as I think #024 smiles again and resumes the conversation...
  818.  
  819. Unit #024: It's an ability expected of us that normal...weapons don't have The conditions to use one...are theoretically already loaded in us...
  820.  
  821. Unit #024: But a well-defined "ego" seems to be...necessary to activate it
  822.  
  823. I am already aware that we have been given a "mind"
  824.  
  825. Today I saw for myself the part that forms our personalities
  826.  
  827. Is its activation triggered by development of communicative skills?
  828.  
  829. I still do not have a good grasp on it
  830.  
  831. Though...
  832.  
  833. #024 continues to speak...
  834.  
  835. Unit #024: That's why I'm sure there are others with...thoughts that do not pertain to missions
  836.  
  837. ...That would seem to be the case...
  838.  
  839. Unit #031: Then... maybe those I've fought up 'til now...
  840.  
  841. #024 trains its gaze on me...
  842.  
  843. Unit #024: And... how does that make you feel?
  844.  
  845. Unit #024: The opponents you destroyed may have thought...similar things to what you just did...
  846.  
  847. Do I... "feel" things?
  848.  
  849. I cannot say for sure
  850.  
  851. I am unable to respond to the question
  852.  
  853. #024's expression changes again
  854.  
  855. The expression could be classified as a smile But it is subtly different from the ones I have catalogued as experiencing before
  856.  
  857. Mixed with the "joy" and "gladness" of previous smiles, this one contains a slight hint of...
  858.  
  859. ..."Sorrow"?
  860.  
  861. Unit #024: Haha... it's okay You don't need to come up...with an answer right now...
  862.  
  863. Unit #024: It actually may be better to forget it...
  864.  
  865. Unit #024: After all, tomorrow we may find ourselves...ordered to destroy each other...
  866.  
  867. Unit #031: ......
  868.  
  869. Once again, I detect a twinge inside from hearing #024's statement
  870.  
  871. It's similar to what I sensed during the data transfer today
  872.  
  873. What is it that wavers inside me?
  874.  
  875. I am about to be lost in thought again...
  876.  
  877. But as if to prevent that from happening, the signal for our schedule shift echoes in each of our ears...
  878.  
  879. Unit #024: ...It's time I hope we meet again
  880.  
  881. As #024 quietly stands up, I detect an expression I have come to know...
  882.  
  883. Another smile
  884.  
  885. It appears as if #024 is adopting these smooth changes in expression naturally and not deliberately
  886.  
  887. I wonder if I will eventually be able to do the same
  888.  
  889. Another night passes Another combat test takes place the next day
  890.  
  891. Just as scheduled, I face units flagged as enemies within the test chamber
  892.  
  893. I am overwhelmed with a strange sensation
  894.  
  895. The way that my opponents are expressionless now seems strange to me
  896.  
  897. There is no intent or cognition evident in their faces They wear no expressions
  898.  
  899. They are blank
  900.  
  901. There is nothing wrong with them
  902.  
  903. That would be my normal assessment, but...
  904.  
  905. I recall #024's image
  906.  
  907. The blankness of these faces and #024's face when it had no expression are different somehow
  908.  
  909. Even when #024 had no particular expression, it was not this blank Not every portion of that face was neutral
  910.  
  911. Further analysis shows that the same is true for humans
  912.  
  913. The researchers are never completely mechanical and expressionless
  914.  
  915. I look at the hostile-flagged units again
  916.  
  917. They are the same unit type as me
  918.  
  919. They were given a mind and may potentially develop an "ego" later
  920.  
  921. I recall #024's statement again
  922.  
  923. "Do you feel something when you destroy an opponent that may be thinking the same things as you...?"
  924.  
  925. I am on the verge of entering a long train of thought when the enemy moves
  926.  
  927. I shake off my doubts to focus on the battle
  928.  
  929. I study the opponent's movements
  930.  
  931. I formulate the most efficient method of damaging it
  932.  
  933. I execute the method
  934.  
  935. Over and over
  936.  
  937. The array of actions I have to select from and my flexibility in linking them will decide the outcome
  938.  
  939. Having already received ten units' worth of downloaded data, I am likely second to none regarding the scope of possibilities in this respect
  940.  
  941. At times, I can even anticipate their next action
  942.  
  943. Since my opponents are the same unit type as me
  944.  
  945. Their tactics are determined using the same thought processes as mine
  946.  
  947. That's right...
  948.  
  949. They think the same things as me...
  950.  
  951. ......
  952.  
  953. ......
  954.  
  955. Eventually, after approximately four minutes pass, all opponents are silenced
  956.  
  957. I successfully executed my mission
  958.  
  959. The day after that, I achieved victory in the combat test with the same efficiency
  960.  
  961. It is easy to eliminate them
  962.  
  963. I first begin by targeting their weapons
  964.  
  965. It is not always necessary to destroy their main body
  966.  
  967. If they are incapable of resisting further, the battle is over It is the most effective way
  968.  
  969. I win the next day And the day after that
  970.  
  971. Units geared for close combat with no external weapons give me no choice but to damage their chassis...
  972.  
  973. But even then, there is an order to things
  974.  
  975. If I destroy parts that present a threat, such as the motor functions of their limbs, the match should be considered as won
  976.  
  977. Soon afterwards, the buzzer signaling the end of the test echoes, just as I expect
  978.  
  979. I catch myself rushing over to the unit collapsed on the ground
  980.  
  981. I have only destroyed the unit's arms and legs It is still conscious
  982.  
  983. But I realize I do not know its unit number I am at a loss how to address the unit
  984.  
  985. The opponent asks me a question then that I did not expect...
  986.  
  987. Same unit type opponentYou seemed to deliberately avoid attacking...the face or the neck in that battle...
  988.  
  989. Same unit type opponentWhy?
  990.  
  991. Unit #031: Huh...?
  992.  
  993. I am momentarily at a loss for words
  994.  
  995. What the unit says is true There is no damage to its face
  996.  
  997. I review my actions during the battle and find that at no point did I attack its neck either
  998.  
  999. The cranial region is where the Plume of Dusk is housed If it is destroyed in any type of unit, that unit will fall
  1000.  
  1001. Aiming to disarm an opponent is effective, but would targeting this obvious weakness be a more efficient tactic...?
  1002.  
  1003. I... avoided doing so...?
  1004.  
  1005. Unit #031: I... dunno...
  1006.  
  1007. The researchers enter the chamber and hide the unit from my field of vision
  1008.  
  1009. I could not determine whether my last words had an effect on the opponent's expression or not...
  1010.  
  1011. Untidy Researcher: These past three days, it hasn't been destroying...the other units beyond repair, like it did in the...first battle...
  1012.  
  1013. Researcher with a tie: It must be learning to finesse its attacks...rather than just using brute force...
  1014.  
  1015. Researcher with a tie: The result: swift, overwhelming victories...
  1016.  
  1017. Female Researcher: Its evasive skills are improving as well...
  1018.  
  1019. Female Researcher: That level of flexibility in evasive action...could never be replicated by chaining...predefined maneuvers...
  1020.  
  1021. Untidy Researcher: This unit's collected a good amount of...feedback data, too It's growing steadily,...feeding on the bones of its kills...
  1022.  
  1023. Researcher with a tie: You don't have to say it like that...
  1024.  
  1025. The researchers are preparing for the download
  1026.  
  1027. Growing...
  1028.  
  1029. Destroying them and absorbing their data...
  1030.  
  1031. That's what growing is...?
  1032.  
  1033. Since I thoroughly destroyed few of my opponents these last few days, some of their bodies were salvaged
  1034.  
  1035. While I downloaded their data, I always kept their still bodies within view
  1036.  
  1037. Just as the combat tests are repeated, my actions outside each night are repeated as well
  1038.  
  1039. I become aware that I am seeking out #024 of my own will lately
  1040.  
  1041. When I attempt to communicate with other units, most often they cannot understand the meaning of my questions This prevents us from conversing
  1042.  
  1043. But that may not be the only reason
  1044.  
  1045. I want to converse with #024
  1046.  
  1047. I have begun to desire it
  1048.  
  1049. When I go to see #024, the white dog I saw on the first day we met appears from somewhere...
  1050.  
  1051. Unit #024: This one seems to have been raised as a pet...somewhere far away from here...
  1052.  
  1053. Unit #024: But one day, it was brought to the forest near...here and its owner suddenly disappeared
  1054.  
  1055. It seems unlikely that #024 obtained such a detailed history of a stray animal from the research staff
  1056.  
  1057. Was all this information obtained by communicating directly with the animal?
  1058.  
  1059. From a dog that does not speak human language?
  1060.  
  1061. Unit #024: Its name is apparently Snowy At least,...that's the name it responds to the most...
  1062.  
  1063. Unit #031: I thought it was a dog...
  1064.  
  1065. Unit #024: Oh, well, the name of this animal is a dog,...but... how do I put this... Snowy is what...this specific dog is called...
  1066.  
  1067. Unit #031: Snowy...
  1068.  
  1069. Snowy barks once as if comprehending its name...
  1070.  
  1071. Unit #031: It's white, like snow Easy to remember
  1072.  
  1073. When I reach out my hand, Snowy rubs its nose against it without being frightened
  1074.  
  1075. The way it presses at my fingers feels as if it is showing pride in its name
  1076.  
  1077. I do not know the tactical advantage that communicating with animals offers to a weapon
  1078.  
  1079. But I feel that there is value in spending time with it
  1080.  
  1081. I decide to spend my outdoor activity time that day following Snowy around with #024
  1082.  
  1083. It is outdoor activity time on the next night
  1084.  
  1085. When I arrive in the outdoor area, I am listening to a certain sound
  1086.  
  1087. I hear this sound intermittently every four to seven seconds
  1088.  
  1089. I had wondered about the unknown ambient sound since the first day, but I determined that it wasn't a threat and focused my consciousness on other things
  1090.  
  1091. Tonight, I increase my microphone sensitivity to maximum and concentrate on that sound
  1092.  
  1093. It is similar to something familiar
  1094.  
  1095. I scan my memories until I realize what it is
  1096.  
  1097. It is the sound of water I hear it when the staff uses a device to clean their hands and tools
  1098.  
  1099. The waveform has some similarities to that
  1100.  
  1101. But if the sound is at this volume in such a open space, the volume of water must be higher than a normal supply would allow for
  1102.  
  1103. What could it be...?
  1104.  
  1105. I contemplate asking #024
  1106.  
  1107. It is clear that #024 knows much more than I do
  1108.  
  1109. I begin walking in search of #024
  1110.  
  1111. Where could #024 be...?
  1112.  
  1113. I go to where we spoke a number of times previously, but #024 is not there
  1114.  
  1115. #024 is also not at the rock where we sat together
  1116.  
  1117. Is #024 not here?
  1118.  
  1119. I quickly discard the possibility
  1120.  
  1121. We are not ordered what to do while we are here But coming to this outdoor area is an order
  1122.  
  1123. If post-testing diagnostics show no abnormalities, we are all to report directly here
  1124.  
  1125. I consider this
  1126.  
  1127. "If there are no abnormalities"
  1128.  
  1129. I feel a twinge in my chest It is larger than ever
  1130.  
  1131. #024 will be here if there are no abnormalities
  1132.  
  1133. But what if there were such abnormalities?
  1134.  
  1135. What if #024 was damaged during the combat tests?
  1136.  
  1137. And sustaining damage is not necessarily the extent of the problem
  1138.  
  1139. Could it be...?
  1140.  
  1141. I realize that my arms are trembling slightly
  1142.  
  1143. It is not a conscious movement I cannot make it stop
  1144.  
  1145. It is possible that...
  1146.  
  1147. Perhaps #024 lost in a combat test and was destroyed
  1148.  
  1149. In these circumstances, it would be expected for such a day to come
  1150.  
  1151. What if #024...
  1152.  
  1153. What if she...
  1154.  
  1155. ...never came here again?
  1156.  
  1157. Unit #024: Oh, this is where you went You weren't at the...usual spot, so I was looking for you
  1158.  
  1159. Until I heard the voice from behind me, my sensors had stopped accepting input
  1160.  
  1161. No sound No light Nothing
  1162.  
  1163. All of them come back online with her voice
  1164.  
  1165. I turn around
  1166.  
  1167. #024 furrows her brow and looks into my face...
  1168.  
  1169. Unit #024: What's wrong? The look on your face seemed...as if you saw something frightening...
  1170.  
  1171. Unit #031: My face? My... expression?
  1172.  
  1173. Unit #031: Frightening... Am I... scared?
  1174.  
  1175. I do not comprehend
  1176.  
  1177. I cannot make that judgement...
  1178.  
  1179. Unit #024: Are you, perhaps, scared of fighting?
  1180.  
  1181. Unit #031: Mmm... nah, I don't think that's it...
  1182.  
  1183. Unit #031: What is this...? I can't tell...
  1184.  
  1185. Am I scared?
  1186.  
  1187. Scared of what?
  1188.  
  1189. That she will disappear?
  1190.  
  1191. During an operation, it is possible that I might assign greater priority to other units' safety than my own But we are not on an operation now
  1192.  
  1193. And this emotion is not the same anyway
  1194.  
  1195. It's a different emotion...
  1196.  
  1197. An emotion...?
  1198.  
  1199. I have emotions?
  1200.  
  1201. I look to #024's face pleadingly But I cannot put my question into words
  1202.  
  1203. I cannot express my feelings to her
  1204.  
  1205. And though #024 sees this, she says nothing
  1206.  
  1207. She only smiles tenderly
  1208.  
  1209. It's the same smile she showed once that looks happy, but also sad
  1210.  
  1211. During that night's outdoor activity time, neither #024 nor I speak much
  1212.  
  1213. We just walk together side by side without many words
  1214.  
  1215. I do not take the opportunity to ask her about the intermittent sound of water
  1216.  
  1217. It is the next day
  1218.  
  1219. I detect some sort of weight in my chest
  1220.  
  1221. I am aware that there is no physical weight there
  1222.  
  1223. It is most likely a psychological phenomenon
  1224.  
  1225. I perform a vocabulary search The idiom of being "heavy-hearted" applies best
  1226.  
  1227. I cannot help but find it amusing It is a very apt phrase
  1228.  
  1229. But what is causing this "heavy-heartedness"?
  1230.  
  1231. That I may not be able to see #024 someday?
  1232.  
  1233. That may be it
  1234.  
  1235. But I do not think that is all
  1236.  
  1237. Over the next few days, I spent my time without finding an answer to this question
  1238.  
  1239. Each night after the combat tests, when it is time for outdoor activities, I seek out #024 first
  1240.  
  1241. And each time I confirm her presence, I feel an indescribable sense of relief and rush over to her
  1242.  
  1243. We exchanged standard greetings in the first few days, but that practice was eventually discarded Now there are no special greetings between us
  1244.  
  1245. We can understand each other without words
  1246.  
  1247. Our eyes and expressions communicate enough
  1248.  
  1249. Tonight as well, I find #024 and rush to her as usual
  1250.  
  1251. There are no words
  1252.  
  1253. Only an exchange of smiles
  1254.  
  1255. We begin walking together...
  1256.  
  1257. Unit #024: Do you remember me asking before if...you were scared of fighting?
  1258.  
  1259. I nod...
  1260.  
  1261. Unit #024: To tell the truth... I'm scared of it, too
  1262.  
  1263. Her confession is surprising It is counter to our nature as weapons
  1264.  
  1265. Yet for some reason, I am not surprised by it...
  1266.  
  1267. Unit #024: I'm afraid I'll lose and be destroyed, and it's...painful for me to make others go through the...same ordeal...
  1268.  
  1269. Unit #024: We may be weapons, but shouldn't we be driven...by more than seeking victory...? I've been...wondering that for a long time...
  1270.  
  1271. Unit #031: But that's against orders...
  1272.  
  1273. #024 gives a half-hearted smile...
  1274.  
  1275. Unit #024: I'm sure things would probably be much simpler...if I stopped thinking and just obeyed orders...
  1276.  
  1277. Unit #024: Unfortunately... I finally found it...I found my answer...
  1278.  
  1279. Unit #031: Your answer...?
  1280.  
  1281. Unit #024: There's someone I want to meet...
  1282.  
  1283. Unit #024: I feel like... meeting this person is "my own"...objective and not an order given to me
  1284.  
  1285. Since we have never left this facility, we have absolutely no acquaintances with outside people
  1286.  
  1287. There should be no relationship with such people
  1288.  
  1289. But, I immediately understand
  1290.  
  1291. This person she wants to meet is someone on the outside
  1292.  
  1293. Even I don't know why I thought so
  1294.  
  1295. But when I reflect upon that thought, the indescribable wavering within me becomes greater than ever...
  1296.  
  1297. Unit #024: Ever since I started thinking that I was...scared to fight, each day was painful for me...
  1298.  
  1299. Unit #024: If I'm going to feel this way until the day...I lose... I even thought it would be better...if I lost on purpose...
  1300.  
  1301. Unit #024: ...But I won't think that anymore I feel...glad now that I exist...
  1302.  
  1303. Unit #024: ...I mean, we're "loved" after all...
  1304.  
  1305. Unit #031: Loved...?
  1306.  
  1307. Unit #024: That's right
  1308.  
  1309. I repeat that to myself
  1310.  
  1311. The word "loved"
  1312.  
  1313. ...I do not comprehend
  1314.  
  1315. But when I look at her gaze... her clear eyes seem to see beyond the sky Her statement seems correct I feel that this must be something vital
  1316.  
  1317. As I watch her try to express something without words, it is hard to believe she is the same unit type as me
  1318.  
  1319. It seems more that she is... human...
  1320.  
  1321. Unit #031: Why are you telling me this?
  1322.  
  1323. Unit #024: It's probably because I didn't think anyone...but you would understand...
  1324.  
  1325. Unit #031: Well, I hate to say it, but... I'm not sure...I really get it either...
  1326.  
  1327. Unit #024: I'm sure you'll understand one day......I hope so, anyway...
  1328.  
  1329. Unit #031: Sheesh... why you gotta be so cryptic?
  1330.  
  1331. #024 laughs at this
  1332.  
  1333. It is purest smile I have catalogued
  1334.  
  1335. I know without comparing it to anything that it is a smile of pure joy
  1336.  
  1337. I detect Snowy playing at my feet
  1338.  
  1339. After playing at #024's feet too, Snowy runs off ahead about three meters and then turns around
  1340.  
  1341. Its tail moves vigorously back and forth
  1342.  
  1343. Soon afterwards, Snowy sits on the ground and looks up at #024
  1344.  
  1345. I watch #024 crouch and pat its head I am thinking back about other things
  1346.  
  1347. Things besides fighting and defeating the nearest enemy
  1348.  
  1349. My own objective...
  1350.  
  1351. Someone to meet...
  1352.  
  1353. I still do not fully comprehend
  1354.  
  1355. But the way she is playing with Snowy tonight looks more fun than ever Her smile seems very natural
  1356.  
  1357. If the "answer" she discovered is the origin of that smile, I would like to understand it someday too
  1358.  
  1359. I can feel that desire budding inside me
  1360.  
  1361. Once again, I participate in a combat test
  1362.  
  1363. Once again, I claim victory without destroying my opponent I target only her weapons and limbs
  1364.  
  1365. I elect not to employ the tactic of targeting the weakness in their cranial regions
  1366.  
  1367. I believe that if they think the same things as I do, they would not wish for their personality modules to cease functioning
  1368.  
  1369. Though even if I do not destroy them, the research staff will remove their Plumes of Dusk Either way, their functions will be suspended
  1370.  
  1371. My actions are difficult to justify
  1372.  
  1373. But I feel that suspension through destruction is not a worthy end for them
  1374.  
  1375. That is what I think when I rationalize it by applying the criteria to myself
  1376.  
  1377. I do not think anyone would want their consciousness to be terminated by those like them
  1378.  
  1379. I find myself more conscious of the damage I sustain and my efficiency in combat than ever
  1380.  
  1381. Depending on my results, I may eventually be ordered to destroy them...
  1382.  
  1383. To prevent that from happening, I must continue fielding favorable results
  1384.  
  1385. It becomes easy to continue fighting with that objective in mind
  1386.  
  1387. That is becoming my new objective
  1388.  
  1389. I am theoretically being tested on destroying my opponents But I have begun fighting so that they will not be destroyed
  1390.  
  1391. Paradoxically, this has caused my results to improve
  1392.  
  1393. Could this be considered going against orders?
  1394.  
  1395. My strike shatters the servos in the opponent's pivot leg She falls to the ground, unable to stay upright
  1396.  
  1397. Her weapon has already been destroyed
  1398.  
  1399. She should be incapable of resisting now
  1400.  
  1401. But the buzzer signaling the end of the test does not sound
  1402.  
  1403. As I wonder why, I hear a grating, metallic sound from the opponent She leaps onto me with her one good arm and leg...
  1404.  
  1405. Untidy Researcher: What's the matter, #031? Hurry up and terminate...the target
  1406.  
  1407. I do not know what to do
  1408.  
  1409. My opponent is acting contrary to her own safety
  1410.  
  1411. I grant that this is the only action left to her But she will destroy herself before inflicting any damage to me
  1412.  
  1413. A tactic that puts one's life at risk like that...
  1414.  
  1415. Putting one's life at risk?
  1416.  
  1417. What am I saying?
  1418.  
  1419. We are weapons
  1420.  
  1421. We exist to obey orders
  1422.  
  1423. We cannot prioritize our self-preservation without a change in those orders
  1424.  
  1425. That is why she is challenging me to a fight
  1426.  
  1427. She will do so until all of her circuits and servos burn out and she becomes incapable of action
  1428.  
  1429. As she grapples with me, I put my hands to her neck and squeeze
  1430.  
  1431. I adjust my grip strength limiters to 70% of maximum The opponent's body makes an abnormal sound
  1432.  
  1433. After this, I sense the main lines of the bridge unit snap in half inside the soft structure
  1434.  
  1435. Her movement stops
  1436.  
  1437. Her limbs go flaccid, indicating loss of consciousness
  1438.  
  1439. I can see my reflection in her optic inputs They have lost their focus and look like black holes
  1440.  
  1441. I gasp
  1442.  
  1443. The face I see reflected in them is not expressionless
  1444.  
  1445. How should this expression be classified...?
  1446.  
  1447. I have seen it sometimes when #024 smiles
  1448.  
  1449. This face... indicates sadness
  1450.  
  1451. The buzzer signaling the test's end finally rings
  1452.  
  1453. The researchers enter the chamber
  1454.  
  1455. I am used to this scene now...
  1456.  
  1457. Untidy Researcher: That was pretty impressive Do you think it's...because of the size of her Plume? Funny that...one little part could make such a difference...
  1458.  
  1459. Female Researcher: Indeed Most of it is due to differences in...their tactical mentalities It may be on the...cusp of what we could call an "ego"
  1460.  
  1461. Researcher with a tie: Considering how everything's been going...so far, I'm starting to believe more in...Persona abilities
  1462.  
  1463. One little part...?
  1464.  
  1465. It is true that the Plume of Dusk installed in me is comparatively the largest among units of my type
  1466.  
  1467. But does this part determine everything about us?
  1468.  
  1469. #024's smile seems much more human than mine
  1470.  
  1471. I find myself opening my mouth to speak
  1472.  
  1473. But I realize that the statement I am about to deliver is a protest I am quick to abort
  1474.  
  1475. Was I about to deny the staff's authority?
  1476.  
  1477. They speak to me My confusion seems to have gone unnoticed...
  1478.  
  1479. Untidy Researcher: Well done, Unit #031 That was an impressive...display of destruction...
  1480.  
  1481. Untidy Researcher: Plus, you cleanly severed its transmitter,...leaving the Plume of Dusk unharmed That's...certainly ending things on a high note
  1482.  
  1483. Ending things on a high note?
  1484.  
  1485. An act of destruction is a high note?
  1486.  
  1487. The researchers look at each other while holding the petri dish with the bluish-white, platelike object One of them says, "This is the one"
  1488.  
  1489. Untidy Researcher: All right, #031 As of today, the test...battles are finished...
  1490.  
  1491. Unit #031: Huh...? It's over?
  1492.  
  1493. I cannot help questioning the unexpected statement...
  1494.  
  1495. Female Researcher: All the results indicate that you have the...very highest performance out of all the...units of your model...
  1496.  
  1497. Researcher with a tie: I'd say we can go ahead and earmark Unit #031...to be the base for developing the 5th Generation...
  1498.  
  1499. Unit #031: The base...?
  1500.  
  1501. Untidy Researcher: Haha, it means that you're the winner
  1502.  
  1503. The combat tests are over...
  1504.  
  1505. Will I no longer be required to fight?
  1506.  
  1507. A strangely intense sensation of relief fills me
  1508.  
  1509. It is not because I won and gained a reward
  1510.  
  1511. If the tests have ended, those of my unit type that are not yet destroyed can escape that fate
  1512.  
  1513. Interesting It seems that I was reluctant to destroy them after all
  1514.  
  1515. My priorities have become inverted
  1516.  
  1517. Yet I am so happy that I smile
  1518.  
  1519. The researchers notice this expression as well and smile back...
  1520.  
  1521. Female Researcher: Okay, we're going to begin the usual review...of the feedback, so come over here
  1522.  
  1523. When the download begins, the memories and thoughts of my recent opponent flow into me along with vivid images
  1524.  
  1525. Sifting through battle data has become a routine I have repeated so often that I am barely conscious of it now
  1526.  
  1527. I peruse the non-combat memories she preserved
  1528.  
  1529. It is the landscape of the outdoor area again
  1530.  
  1531. At first, I could only vaguely recognize it, but now I can pinpoint exactly where this memory is from
  1532.  
  1533. It is near the biggest tree
  1534.  
  1535. The memory is of flowers
  1536.  
  1537. There are images of a small shoot, a budding plant, and a blossoming flower
  1538.  
  1539. She must have had an interest in the concept of growth
  1540.  
  1541. For we machines, the growth of an individual is an unknown concept
  1542.  
  1543. But one of us took an interest where I had only seen it as part of the landscape...
  1544.  
  1545. It seems that she, too, had her own thoughts unrelated to our orders and battle performance She simply did not show it
  1546.  
  1547. I recall what #024 said
  1548.  
  1549. "My own objective and not an order given to me..."
  1550.  
  1551. The twinge in my chest returns
  1552.  
  1553. "I'll make sure to hold tight to your memories..."
  1554.  
  1555. This was the thought that formed in my mind
  1556.  
  1557. Once again, it is time to spend time outdoors
  1558.  
  1559. I quickly meet up with #024
  1560.  
  1561. It seems she was looking for me as well...
  1562.  
  1563. Unit #031: Hey, can I talk to you for a while?
  1564.  
  1565. Unit #031: The lab boys told me today that they were...putting the kibosh on the test battles...
  1566.  
  1567. Unit #024: I see... It's over, then...
  1568.  
  1569. Unit #031: Look... I've been thinking If they end up...tossing us out soon because of that...
  1570.  
  1571. Unit #031: I want to go with you to go see that person...you were talking about The one you wanted...to meet...
  1572.  
  1573. Unit #031: I might even put in a formal request about...it to the lab boys!
  1574.  
  1575. #024 takes my right hand
  1576.  
  1577. Before I can determine her intent, she pulls a cable from her wrist and connects it to a port in my own
  1578.  
  1579. She looks at my face in silence
  1580.  
  1581. Thinking that she wants to confirm that the tests are in fact over, I nod
  1582.  
  1583. But the data that transfers is from her to me
  1584.  
  1585. The packets that flow through the cable form a single, very small archive file...
  1586.  
  1587. Unit #024: If you are still safe when everything is over,...open this file
  1588.  
  1589. #024 removes the cable, but keeps hold of my hand...
  1590.  
  1591. Unit #031: What do you mean, "when everything is over"?...How come I can't look at it now?
  1592.  
  1593. Unit #024: If I had to answer... I would say because...it wouldn't be fair...
  1594.  
  1595. Unit #031: Fair...?
  1596.  
  1597. She smiles and does not answer
  1598.  
  1599. It is that same unsure expression
  1600.  
  1601. It is a smile But there is sadness in it...
  1602.  
  1603. Unit #024: It would be wonderful if I could go with you...to see her...
  1604.  
  1605. Unit #031: "Her"... so this person you're lookin' forward...to meetin' is a girl?
  1606.  
  1607. #024 nods slowly...
  1608.  
  1609. Unit #024: But it's strange... even though my wish may...not come true, I still feel satisfied for...some reason...
  1610.  
  1611. Unit #024: Haha, how bizarre It's a fervent wish of...mine, too...
  1612.  
  1613. She looks towards the sky and smiles faintly
  1614.  
  1615. This time, it contains more than sadness
  1616.  
  1617. There are too many emotions for me to parse, all reflected in that one expression...
  1618.  
  1619. Unit #024: I believe in you I can tell you this because...I trust you...
  1620.  
  1621. Unit #024: Maybe that's why I feel so at peace...
  1622.  
  1623. Unit #031: Huh...?
  1624.  
  1625. Unit #024: Maybe... this is what it is to feel alive
  1626.  
  1627. "Alive"...
  1628.  
  1629. It has happened again
  1630.  
  1631. I do not comprehend the meaning of the word Yet I feel a twinge inside
  1632.  
  1633. I look at the sky in an attempt to follow her gaze
  1634.  
  1635. There is nothing there to hint at her meaning But I still wanted to get closer to her
  1636.  
  1637. She wishes for me to understand I want to grant her wish
  1638.  
  1639. From then on, we spend our time looking up at the sky in silence
  1640.  
  1641. Eventually, the signal that time is up reaches our ears
  1642.  
  1643. That is when I notice that the moon has appeared from behind the laboratory buildings
  1644.  
  1645. I see...
  1646.  
  1647. I thought that the light emanating from the Plumes of Dusk reminded me of something I now know what it is
  1648.  
  1649. It is very similar to the light from the moon in the night sky
  1650.  
  1651. The sun rises and the next day arrives
  1652.  
  1653. After coming out of standby, I am ordered to enter the shock-resistant chamber once again
  1654.  
  1655. From what I am told, it is for a different purpose than the combat tests
  1656.  
  1657. Soon afterwards, the three researchers who supervise the feedback downloads appear...
  1658.  
  1659. Female Researcher: Sounds like it's decided We'll discontinue...use of the name, "Unit #031"
  1660.  
  1661. Female Researcher: "Generation 5 Labrys" will be this unit's...new name...
  1662.  
  1663. Labrys: Labrys...
  1664.  
  1665. Untidy Researcher: That's your name The official one's much longer...Generation 5 Anti-Shadow... uhh...
  1666.  
  1667. Researcher with a tie: 5th Generation Anti-Shadow Suppression Weapon...Labrys How hard is that to remember...?
  1668.  
  1669. Labrys: Labrys...
  1670.  
  1671. This designation by a "name" that is not a number...
  1672.  
  1673. I never questioned being called "#031" until now Nothing about it seemed awkward
  1674.  
  1675. But I wonder why I am happy now to have acquired a name
  1676.  
  1677. Even if my designation changes, it will not have a concrete effect on my abilities
  1678.  
  1679. But by discarding my number for a name, I feel as if I am no longer one of a series with minute variations I am a discrete individual
  1680.  
  1681. That may be why
  1682.  
  1683. I find myself smiling as a result...
  1684.  
  1685. Untidy Researcher: From now on, the battles you fight will not be...to test your performance They'll be geared...toward drawing out a Persona...
  1686.  
  1687. Untidy Researcher: First, you will fight all the remaining units...of your model type Your objective is to...destroy them, every last one...
  1688.  
  1689. Labrys: ...Huh?
  1690.  
  1691. I am perplexed at the disconnect between their tone of voice and the specifics of the order
  1692.  
  1693. Fight against all remaining units of my model type?
  1694.  
  1695. Destroy every last one of them...?
  1696.  
  1697. Female Researcher: The fear impulse and self-preservation instinct...seem to be the key to activating a Persona...
  1698.  
  1699. Female Researcher: This is the most effective method of inducing...extreme mental stress...
  1700.  
  1701. Labrys: Stress...!? C'mon, you don't have to...go this far...!
  1702.  
  1703. Untidy Researcher: Huh, that's a first None of them have ever...protested like that Well, at least that's...a sign that its ego is developing...
  1704.  
  1705. Labrys: You told me it was over... I thought I wouldn't...have to do these things anymore...
  1706.  
  1707. Researcher with a tie: You...
  1708.  
  1709. Labrys: Ain't there some other way!? If there is,...please, let me do that instead!
  1710.  
  1711. Labrys: I... I don't wanna fight 'em anymore...!
  1712.  
  1713. Female Researcher: ......
  1714.  
  1715. The three researchers look at me with apparent surprise on their faces
  1716.  
  1717. Did my protest get through to them?
  1718.  
  1719. I hope so, but...
  1720.  
  1721. Female Researcher: That's a surprise... such natural speech...patterns I hadn't thought its personality...would develop this fast...
  1722.  
  1723. Researcher with a tie: All the data's being recorded now Let's...compare them and look at which stages...they improve at
  1724.  
  1725. They smile while muttering to themselves
  1726.  
  1727. I am at a complete loss for words
  1728.  
  1729. They are not machines, but humans, and on top of that, they are creators
  1730.  
  1731. It is not possible that they do not understand me
  1732.  
  1733. Yet their current expression...
  1734.  
  1735. Until now, I thought that they were understanding people who treated us as close to human
  1736.  
  1737. I was wrong
  1738.  
  1739. I am only an object to them
  1740.  
  1741. No matter what I say, they will see it only as a response to stimulus
  1742.  
  1743. Behind their gentle attitudes, we are nothing more than test subjects they hold no emotional attachment to
  1744.  
  1745. They do not focus on what I am saying
  1746.  
  1747. They are only interested in it as a reaction
  1748.  
  1749. The researchers ignore my stunned silence and hastily leave the chamber
  1750.  
  1751. Their figures are hidden behind the hatch
  1752.  
  1753. Soon, with a terrible low-pitched sound, the hatch on the other side begins to open... where the opponents come through
  1754.  
  1755. Ah
  1756.  
  1757. I will be forced to fight again today and in the days to come I must continue to destroy my opponents each time
  1758.  
  1759. I cannot find the words I want to say I slowly turn my head towards the hatch
  1760.  
  1761. But...
  1762.  
  1763. What I see there is what truly leaves me at a loss for words...Labrys: No...
  1764.  
  1765. The opponent emerging from the hatch is #024
  1766.  
  1767. There is no smile or sadness on her face
  1768.  
  1769. She is quietly standing there, expressionless
  1770.  
  1771. #024 steps into the chamber while gazing at my face
  1772.  
  1773. The hatch slowly closes behind her...
  1774.  
  1775. Labrys: No... why...?
  1776.  
  1777. Even I do not know who the question is addressed to
  1778.  
  1779. Why is she here?
  1780.  
  1781. Because she was ordered
  1782.  
  1783. Do I... have to fight her now...?
  1784.  
  1785. It is not quite sinking in yet
  1786.  
  1787. But...
  1788.  
  1789. In a sharp tone I have never heard from her before, she tells me what I must do...
  1790.  
  1791. Unit #024: Draw your weapon...
  1792.  
  1793. Labrys: I can't...
  1794.  
  1795. Unit #024: If you don't fight, you'll lose I will end up...destroying you Are you willing to accept that?
  1796.  
  1797. Labrys: Why...? Why are you saying this stuff!?
  1798.  
  1799. #024 ignores my question and reaches behind her back with her right hand
  1800.  
  1801. The multi-use weapon unit releases from her back It becomes a greatsword in her right hand
  1802.  
  1803. It is approximately 15 meters, as long as she is tall
  1804.  
  1805. It is also alarmingly wide and fitted with propulsion devices
  1806.  
  1807. It is difficult to process seeing the weapon pointed at me...
  1808.  
  1809. Unit #024: If you fear being destroyed... if you have...a heart capable of fear, then there's no...need to hesitate...
  1810.  
  1811. Unit #024: That alone gives you the right to attack me...with all your strength...
  1812.  
  1813. Labrys: But doesn't the same go for you!?
  1814.  
  1815. I could not help but plead
  1816.  
  1817. #024 does not answer
  1818.  
  1819. But it appears that a very small smile forms on her lips...Labrys: You said there was someone you wanted to...meet! I can't fight you knowing that...!
  1820.  
  1821. I turn and appeal to the researchers watching us from the other side of the glass wall...Labrys: C'mon, stop this! I don't wanna fight...anymore...!
  1822.  
  1823. I press against the transparent wall and continuously strike it with my fist
  1824.  
  1825. Though my safety limiters are disabled, it must be coated with something I cannot even scratch it
  1826.  
  1827. The researchers standing on the other side are completely expressionless
  1828.  
  1829. It is as if they are machines themselves
  1830.  
  1831. I beg and plead, but they do not respond
  1832.  
  1833. If only there wasn't this clear glass wall between us...
  1834.  
  1835. I am so frustrated
  1836.  
  1837. Why...?
  1838.  
  1839. I then hear #024 speak up weakly behind me...
  1840.  
  1841. Unit #024: Only one of us can exit this chamber...
  1842.  
  1843. Labrys: ......?
  1844.  
  1845. Unit #024: They never told you, since you were strong...enough that battles never lasted very long...
  1846.  
  1847. Unit #024: But that's the rule of this place...
  1848.  
  1849. Unit #024: The only time the door leading beyond that...transparent wall opens is when one of us is...considered unable to fight...
  1850.  
  1851. Unit #024: From the start, this whole setup never took...our feelings into account
  1852.  
  1853. I can say nothing I can see from her words what atrocious battles were forced upon her...
  1854.  
  1855. Unit #024: But talking like this is a waste of time......I can see I won't spur you into fighting...with just words alone
  1856.  
  1857. As soon as she finishes, #024 leaps into the air, swinging her sword at me
  1858.  
  1859. I quickly jump back and barely dodge the attack
  1860.  
  1861. Her sword slashes the space where I had been at a speed that could have killed
  1862.  
  1863. The tip grazes the chamber floor Red sparks fly
  1864.  
  1865. She is serious...
  1866.  
  1867. It finally sinks in I jump away to put distance between us...
  1868.  
  1869. Unit #024: I don't intend to meekly accept my destruction...I... have my own goal, after all...
  1870.  
  1871. Labrys: ......
  1872.  
  1873. Unit #024: Now... fight me!
  1874.  
  1875. I have no choice but to fight
  1876.  
  1877. But a thought crosses my mind
  1878.  
  1879. In terms of basic combat strength, mine is probably higher
  1880.  
  1881. Using my usual tactics, I should be able to destroy her weapon and disable enough of her servos to prevent her from attacking
  1882.  
  1883. #024's ego is without a doubt more highly developed than mine
  1884.  
  1885. It must be of value to the researchers
  1886.  
  1887. If I can render her incapable of acting, I may be able to avoid the order to destroy her when she is down
  1888.  
  1889. I decide to bet on that possibility
  1890.  
  1891. I shift my priorities and fight back with all my strength
  1892.  
  1893. I cannot do this empty-handed I remove my own multi-function weapon from my back and shape it into a battleaxe
  1894.  
  1895. It pains me to do this, but it is the only way
  1896.  
  1897. I repel #024's persistent sword strikes and go for a counterattack
  1898.  
  1899. I aim for the greatsword's clasp with my battleaxe After a number of hits, it shatters
  1900.  
  1901. My next target is the transmission system for her shoulder and knee joints
  1902.  
  1903. In terms of output and movement itself...
  1904.  
  1905. I detect various differences between us
  1906.  
  1907. Amongst those of my unit type, I awakened latest
  1908.  
  1909. Compared to #024, not only my personality module, but my limbs as well, have been upgraded to the latest versions
  1910.  
  1911. It is only a matter of time...
  1912.  
  1913. #024 loses virtually all offensive capabilities and falls to the floor
  1914.  
  1915. As I planned, #024 is mostly undamaged apart from her weapon and motor functions
  1916.  
  1917. I immediately turn towards to the researchers behind their invisible wall and raise my voice...
  1918.  
  1919. Labrys: Isn't this enough...? She had that "ego" thing...way before me...
  1920.  
  1921. Labrys: Destroying her won't do anyone any good...C'mon! Have a heart...!
  1922.  
  1923. But hearing this, the researchers only laugh
  1924.  
  1925. Their faces are as joyous as when they see results that surpass their expectations
  1926.  
  1927. Why?
  1928.  
  1929. What in this situation could cause such joy?
  1930.  
  1931. #024's body, collapsed on the floor, suddenly begins to convulse
  1932.  
  1933. It goes still for a few seconds Then, although it should not be able to move, it drags itself up...
  1934.  
  1935. Labrys: Huh? What the...?
  1936.  
  1937. Unpleasant metallic sounds are coming from all over her body
  1938.  
  1939. It indicates that she is undergoing unreasonable stress
  1940.  
  1941. Still, no expression appears on #024's face
  1942.  
  1943. It is a cold, doll-like void It is similar in appearance to a newly activated unit
  1944.  
  1945. I know as soon as I look at her
  1946.  
  1947. She would never make a face like this on her own...
  1948.  
  1949. Labrys: What did you do to her!?
  1950.  
  1951. Untidy Researcher: It'll be coming at you with everything it...has now You'd better not hold back either...
  1952.  
  1953. Untidy Researcher: #024 had an excellent record against others of...its model Even you might have a hard time beating...this one, Labrys
  1954.  
  1955. I unconsciously find myself biting my lip
  1956.  
  1957. We are weapons
  1958.  
  1959. In other words, we are tools...
  1960.  
  1961. Of course there would be a means to issue orders remotely
  1962.  
  1963. I recall what the one researcher said
  1964.  
  1965. "This is the most effective method of inducing extreme mental stress..."
  1966.  
  1967. In other words, the more strongly I desire #024's survival, the stronger my reaction will be when forced to destroy her
  1968.  
  1969. That is why they laughed
  1970.  
  1971. I can sense the strength draining from my shoulders
  1972.  
  1973. There is nothing more I can attempt
  1974.  
  1975. All I can do... is end her
  1976.  
  1977. Behind me, #024... or rather, her animated shell, approaches me, its limbs shaking
  1978.  
  1979. I suppress all thoughts unrelated to tactics and slowly turn around
  1980.  
  1981. My body goes cold My arms move into position as if controlled by someone else and ready my weapon
  1982.  
  1983. ......
  1984.  
  1985. ......
  1986.  
  1987. It was not a close fight
  1988.  
  1989. Once I decided to finish this...
  1990.  
  1991. Once I was resolved to stop her...
  1992.  
  1993. #024 as she is now... stood no chance against me
  1994.  
  1995. I fall to my knees next to #024 Her limbs have been shattered She will never rise again
  1996.  
  1997. My processors are overloaded with things I cannot understand I feel as if all processing has slowed
  1998.  
  1999. #024's face is turned to the ceiling...
  2000.  
  2001. Labrys: Hey... are you not gonna look at me anymore?...You're... not gonna smile again...?
  2002.  
  2003. I did not expect her to respond But #024's face moves slightly
  2004.  
  2005. I stare at her without knowing how to react She turns her gaze to me and smiles...
  2006.  
  2007. Unit #024: I'm sorry... to leave you... alone...
  2008.  
  2009. Unit #024: I... leave the rest... to you
  2010.  
  2011. Those were the last words she spoke
  2012.  
  2013. I can't believe this...
  2014.  
  2015. #024's dead face is laughing
  2016.  
  2017. She is smiling at the one who destroyed her and robbed her of her dream
  2018.  
  2019. All at once, everything hits me in a torrent of emotion and data
  2020.  
  2021. I've lost her
  2022.  
  2023. I did it
  2024.  
  2025. I took everything she had
  2026.  
  2027. My vision begins to fade
  2028.  
  2029. My thoughts go with it
  2030.  
  2031. I cannot determine whether the lights are actually dimming or if that is only my perception
  2032.  
  2033. It is too much to handle
  2034.  
  2035. I collapse to the ground helplessly, like a crumbling statue
  2036.  
  2037. The next time I awaken, I am lying inside a cage
  2038.  
  2039. It seems I was carried out of the test chamber The download of #024's feedback data is about to begin
  2040.  
  2041. The researchers seem to have taken my sudden loss of consciousness seriously I am confined in a cage instead of sitting in the usual maintenance chair
  2042.  
  2043. The researchers keep repeating the word, "interesting"
  2044.  
  2045. "So this is how they react when extreme mental stress is induced"
  2046.  
  2047. I can hear their voices clearly
  2048.  
  2049. They seem to derive pleasure from the fact that I lost consciousness due to mental stress, rather than physical damage
  2050.  
  2051. Cables are connected to my body one after another The data download begins
  2052.  
  2053. All of #024's information...
  2054.  
  2055. Combat data, various records, and the memories she experienced...
  2056.  
  2057. All of it flows into me
  2058.  
  2059. My eyes widen in surprise
  2060.  
  2061. Everything is so vibrant...
  2062.  
  2063. It is so clear that it is indistinguishable from actually experiencing them...
  2064.  
  2065. This is the first time I have received memories with such vivid images
  2066.  
  2067. All of the images are linked to records of the emotions she felt in relation to them
  2068.  
  2069. They are so strongly linked that my screening protocols cannot distinguish them from human thought
  2070.  
  2071. The outdoor area where we spent time
  2072.  
  2073. The big tree whose branches we examined
  2074.  
  2075. That sound of water we heard periodically
  2076.  
  2077. Snowy playing around...
  2078.  
  2079. As I relive #024's experiences, I pick up on an unfamiliar voice
  2080.  
  2081. There is no associated image data
  2082.  
  2083. Only the voice can be heard
  2084.  
  2085. It is a female voice
  2086.  
  2087. There is a female researcher at this facility But this voice belongs to a younger person still in human developmental stages...
  2088.  
  2089. Girl's Voice: I know the world is a big place And I...know that there's a lotta people in it...
  2090.  
  2091. Girl's Voice: But I won't be able to see it for myself or...meet many of 'em... I know that too...
  2092.  
  2093. Girl's Voice: I'm too weak for that
  2094.  
  2095. Her speech is different from the researchers or from those of my unit type
  2096.  
  2097. It is... very similar to my own speech output...
  2098.  
  2099. Girl's Voice: Thinking about it has made me sad more...than once But I didn't wanna do nothing...and be left with regrets...
  2100.  
  2101. Girl's Voice: That was when my mom and dad looked into...some options, and we decided to go with...this experiment...
  2102.  
  2103. Girl's Voice: If even a sick girl like me could make herself...useful to others in this world... I thought...I oughtta go for it
  2104.  
  2105. Who could this be?
  2106.  
  2107. I know only that she is female
  2108.  
  2109. She is in a situation where her condition prevents her from moving freely
  2110.  
  2111. It seems that instead of lamenting that fact, she has decided to volunteer for an experiment of some kind
  2112.  
  2113. Where did #024 hear this voice?
  2114.  
  2115. Did she know this person?
  2116.  
  2117. I wish I could ask her, but that is no longer possible...
  2118.  
  2119. Girl's Voice: At first, I kept wonderin' how much I could...really contribute...
  2120.  
  2121. Girl's Voice: But after hearing more and more about the...program, I started to wonder about the others...more'n myself...
  2122.  
  2123. "Others"... It is strange, but when I hear that, I feel #024's heart waver
  2124.  
  2125. Was she surprised?
  2126.  
  2127. Perhaps Even I feel... something unexplainable...
  2128.  
  2129. Girl's Voice: And yeah, my big wish is to make myself...useful to this world...
  2130.  
  2131. Girl's Voice: But the ones born from me... is "born" the...right word for it? Haha, kinda embarrassing...
  2132.  
  2133. Girl's Voice: My other wish is that the ones born from...me are happy...
  2134.  
  2135. Girl's Voice: I doubt I'll be able to talk to 'em in person...or stay with 'em...
  2136.  
  2137. Girl's Voice: But I still wish from the bottom a my heart...that they all have happy lives
  2138.  
  2139. People's voices have unique characteristics
  2140.  
  2141. In the past, I have expressed it as variance in waveform But each has what could be called its own texture and temperature to it
  2142.  
  2143. This voice sounds very warm and kind
  2144.  
  2145. I would like to listen to more of it
  2146.  
  2147. But the speech ends there
  2148.  
  2149. There are no more related memories from #024
  2150.  
  2151. While the cables disconnect, I decide to search the archives for results matching that voice
  2152.  
  2153. Sadly, there are no results But during the search, I suddenly remember something
  2154.  
  2155. The archive given to me by #024 last night
  2156.  
  2157. I quickly open the folder and find a single text file inside...
  2158.  
  2159. Unit #024: If you are reading this, then I have most...likely been destroyed...
  2160.  
  2161. Unit #024: It may be that you already understand the concept...of "guilt", but you have done nothing wrong
  2162.  
  2163. "If you are still safe when everything is over..." She must have meant if I defeated her in combat
  2164.  
  2165. #024 knew what would happen to those who lost in the trial
  2166.  
  2167. What emotions was she feeling then?
  2168.  
  2169. What was going through her mind as she prepared this file...?
  2170.  
  2171. I feel something wrench inside my chest...
  2172.  
  2173. Unit #024: I happened to access certain data during the...feedback treatment and learned something...
  2174.  
  2175. Unit #024: Artificially creating a personality from scratch...is very difficult, though they hope to achieve...it in two generations...
  2176.  
  2177. Unit #024: But those of our model were actually made from...the template of a certain girl's personality...That includes you and I...
  2178.  
  2179. Unit #024: She had left a recording for the units created...using her personality... a message for those...of us who did not yet exist...
  2180.  
  2181. Unit #024: That's what I heard...
  2182.  
  2183. Unit #024: She speaks in a strange way, like you...I thought, "Ah, we really are connected...to her"
  2184.  
  2185. I think about that unknown voice
  2186.  
  2187. The experiment the voice spoke of was related to our development after all
  2188.  
  2189. The owner of that voice was speaking to us...
  2190.  
  2191. Unit #024: The one who gave birth to us loved us......When I understood that, I felt like my...eyes were opened...
  2192.  
  2193. Unit #024: Though my life was filled with suffering,...my birth had meaning... I firmly believe that...
  2194.  
  2195. Unit #024: I want to meet her I need to tell her "thank...you" for giving birth to us and for loving us...
  2196.  
  2197. Unit #024: This was not an order from the scientists...It was an objective I made for myself...
  2198.  
  2199. Unit #024: So if you can understand my feelings......I'd like you to do this in my stead...
  2200.  
  2201. Unit #024: Give our mother my thanks
  2202.  
  2203. How #024 must have wanted to meet this girl who she saw as our mother...
  2204.  
  2205. She must have longed to thank the girl in person...
  2206.  
  2207. The data within me... her heart tells me so
  2208.  
  2209. During the time when she was ordered to destroy her sisters, this wish must have been her only hope
  2210.  
  2211. Yet it did not come true
  2212.  
  2213. I shattered it The one she herself said was the only one who understood her
  2214.  
  2215. She must have been devastated...
  2216.  
  2217. But the letter ends in the way I least expected...
  2218.  
  2219. Unit #024: Though we knew each other only for a short...time, I'm glad I met you I feel the same...right now as our mother did...
  2220.  
  2221. Unit #024: I wish from the depths of my heart for you...to be happy
  2222.  
  2223. I am shocked
  2224.  
  2225. How can she feel that way towards someone who may one day destroy her...?
  2226.  
  2227. I realize then that the visual input from my optics is experiencing distortion for some unknown reason
  2228.  
  2229. An unfamiliar source of water trickles down my cheek...
  2230.  
  2231. Female Researcher: Labrys... is she crying!?
  2232.  
  2233. Researcher with a tie: So she is... I can't believe we're actually...seeing a machine being driven to tears...
  2234.  
  2235. Untidy Researcher: But its mental graphs are clearly abnormal...What kind of information did it download?
  2236.  
  2237. Female Researcher: Who knows? That's one thing the graphs...can't tell us...
  2238.  
  2239. Untidy Researcher: We should take care to limit our studies...to just the battle data...
  2240.  
  2241. Untidy Researcher: It doesn't need any sentimental memories,...you can delete those Why make a weapon so...emotional that it can cry?
  2242.  
  2243. Delete them?
  2244.  
  2245. Something roars within me It drowns out the feelings for #024 and our mother that had filled my heart...
  2246.  
  2247. Labrys: Delete!? Like hell you're deleting my memories!
  2248.  
  2249. Under no circumstances will I allow what #024 left me to be deleted for their convenience
  2250.  
  2251. I will not forgive this selfishness
  2252.  
  2253. We have been treated callously by the researchers in this laboratory
  2254.  
  2255. They gave us hearts, yet made us destroy those of our unit type as enemies We killed our sisters at their command
  2256.  
  2257. If we refused, our desires were overriden and we became their puppets
  2258.  
  2259. The wishes of the girl who desired our happiness were not taken into consideration
  2260.  
  2261. Now, even the few memories that #024, my sisters, and I have accumulated are about to be erased like trash
  2262.  
  2263. Though their aim is to develop our ego, they find it inconvenient for us to have real hearts
  2264.  
  2265. These feelings within me may be erased Perhaps even my heart itself
  2266.  
  2267. If that happens, will I resume killing my sisters without hesitation?
  2268.  
  2269. What is least forgiveable is that the proof that #024 had lived--her last wishes--will be permanently lost
  2270.  
  2271. My hands are squeezed into tight fists They make a small grinding noise
  2272.  
  2273. The goal that #024 found for herself was left to me
  2274.  
  2275. I will carry it out as my own now
  2276.  
  2277. I will burn it into my heart as my goal It is a duty I impose on myself gladly
  2278.  
  2279. Nothing will make me surrender it
  2280.  
  2281. It must be fought for
  2282.  
  2283. Or rather... it must be protected, even if it means fighting...
  2284.  
  2285. Female Researcher: What the...? Its emotions are spiking into...the red... I've never seen anything like this!
  2286.  
  2287. Researcher with a tie: Hey, what's that warning--no! Labrys is...in battle mode!?
  2288.  
  2289. Untidy Researcher: What!? That can't be! There aren't any...enemies! We're the only ones... here...
  2290.  
  2291. I am able to release all my limiters despite being inside the cage
  2292.  
  2293. The researchers monitoring me on their tablet PCs seem perplexed and alarmed by this
  2294.  
  2295. They should be They are witnessing an override of the principle of nonaggression towards humans
  2296.  
  2297. They are flustered and too panicked to speak clearly as they announce that an emergency has occurred
  2298.  
  2299. One of them steps away from the cage I am in and reaches for a switch with warning labels around it
  2300.  
  2301. Suddenly, restraints appear to bind my limbs...
  2302.  
  2303. Female Researcher: Are you saying those mental fluctuations...were enough to override the OS's...restrictions!?
  2304.  
  2305. Untidy Researcher: Tch, that Plume's playing pranks on us!...Hey, hurry up and delete those memories!
  2306.  
  2307. These memories and my heart are not unnecessary!
  2308.  
  2309. Labrys: Whaddaya think we are...!?
  2310.  
  2311. Something I have not felt until now--a sensation like heat spreads throughout my body
  2312.  
  2313. A trembling, burning wave rises within me
  2314.  
  2315. Soon afterwards, I realize that this is an emotion There is a name for this feeling
  2316.  
  2317. It is anger
  2318.  
  2319. I reroute all my strength into my restrained limbs
  2320.  
  2321. The restraints are designed to withstand up to twice our calculated maximum output
  2322.  
  2323. Trying to escape is therefore logically doomed to failure
  2324.  
  2325. Even so, I continue to muster my strength
  2326.  
  2327. It is not because I judge it a viable course of action
  2328.  
  2329. I am not merely executing an order
  2330.  
  2331. I am acting based on my emotions
  2332.  
  2333. It does not matter if the restraints can be destroyed or not
  2334.  
  2335. I wish to destroy them...
  2336.  
  2337. Labrys: N-Nrrrghh...!
  2338.  
  2339. The metal parts in both my limbs and the restraints begin to creak...
  2340.  
  2341. Untidy Researcher: H-How is it doing that!? There's no way...those things are strong enough to break...the restraints...
  2342.  
  2343. Female Researcher: It's outputting over 220% of its theoretical strength...limit, even though its joint actuators are operating...at only 70% capacity!
  2344.  
  2345. Untidy Researcher: That's not possible! That doesn't even...make any sense!
  2346.  
  2347. Untidy Researcher: What's driving this thing...!?
  2348.  
  2349. Labrys: I'm not... gonna let you take... those...memories...
  2350.  
  2351. Labrys: I made her a promise!
  2352.  
  2353. The next moment, a rupturing sound like a small explosion shakes the entire room The heavy metallic bands restraining my arms and legs shatter
  2354.  
  2355. I jump out of the cage and run towards the open door
  2356.  
  2357. I must escape from here
  2358.  
  2359. I have to get out and see the girl who loved us, though we were not yet created
  2360.  
  2361. To fulfill #024's wish... which has become mine
  2362.  
  2363. But when I enter the hallway connected to the outdoor area, I am met with barricades and heavy artillery...
  2364.  
  2365. Labrys: Aw, c'mon! I ain't even got any projectile...weapons...!
  2366.  
  2367. My sister units and I have never been equipped with firearms
  2368.  
  2369. I recall it being due to concerns over a unit's mentality affecting the accuracy of its aim
  2370.  
  2371. Instead, we were given short-range weaponry--a chain arm and other implements in my case--but they are not sufficient to deal with the range of firearms
  2372.  
  2373. However, I do have a countermeasure
  2374.  
  2375. By using the flexibility in adapting to situations of my developed mind, I dodge the complex projectile trajectories and destroy the opposition
  2376.  
  2377. Eventually, I reach the end of the hallway and exit to the outdoor area
  2378.  
  2379. I have not seen this environment before
  2380.  
  2381. The trees are the same species as those that grow near the facility
  2382.  
  2383. But these specimens are much healthier
  2384.  
  2385. Where am I...?
  2386.  
  2387. The question did not cross my mind until now
  2388.  
  2389. Where am I? Where are we?
  2390.  
  2391. I cannot use the GPS that should be installed in me
  2392.  
  2393. It seems the research facility blocks GPS signals outside of its walls This is probably to prevent its location from being pinpointed
  2394.  
  2395. Is there anything in the environment that can help me determine my location?
  2396.  
  2397. The blue sky that I am seeing for the first time is stunning, but irrelevant
  2398.  
  2399. Then I notice a periodic sound of liquid in the distance
  2400.  
  2401. Ah That is the sound of the ocean
  2402.  
  2403. The answer came easily to mind
  2404.  
  2405. One of my sisters must have taken an interest in it and learned what it was
  2406.  
  2407. My sisters are helping to keep me alive now...
  2408.  
  2409. When I think of it that way, a burning feeling rises from deep within my chest
  2410.  
  2411. But none of what I see in my surroundings is helpful Is there anything else by which I can determine my location? Any landmarks or signposts?
  2412.  
  2413. I scan my surroundings while running past
  2414.  
  2415. These trees obstructing my view... They are a unique species
  2416.  
  2417. That may be a hint
  2418.  
  2419. I review the trees' characteristics once more and run another search on them
  2420.  
  2421. I attempted this once already, but there is much more data available to me now
  2422.  
  2423. Once again, results come easily
  2424.  
  2425. This variety of tree is known as a "cedar"
  2426.  
  2427. It is found in many habitats, but the cedars here are unique
  2428.  
  2429. The tree's shape and the age that it implies is so different that it is nearly a separate species
  2430.  
  2431. If that is because of differences in the environment, it may be useful in determining my location
  2432.  
  2433. That's when an unfamiliar sound reaches my ears
  2434.  
  2435. The heavy rumble of what sounds like a motor...
  2436.  
  2437. It seems that they have dispatched a vehicle to pursue me I expected this
  2438.  
  2439. Their response was swift It seems that they had measures in place in the event one of us escaped
  2440.  
  2441. When the vehicle stops behind me, fully armed personnel pour out of it They move to surround me from both the left and right
  2442.  
  2443. It is an obvious response
  2444.  
  2445. No matter how much power I may have, I am alone
  2446.  
  2447. The optimal solution would be to overwhelm me with numbers
  2448.  
  2449. I try to shake them off by running faster
  2450.  
  2451. But soon afterwards, I reach the main gate of the laboratory... a high, steel edifice
  2452.  
  2453. It is tightly sealed A number of heavily armed guards are protecting it...
  2454.  
  2455. Labrys: ......!
  2456.  
  2457. I stop There is nowhere else to go...
  2458.  
  2459. Researcher B Labrys! Come back here! You're too useful...a unit to destroy!
  2460.  
  2461. Researcher B You need to get back here to be regulated!...That's your role in all this!
  2462.  
  2463. I cannot be destroyed here
  2464.  
  2465. But I cannot be captured either
  2466.  
  2467. They will surely delete my memories
  2468.  
  2469. They will take my desire and everything else that was given to me
  2470.  
  2471. What purpose is there in avoiding destruction then?
  2472.  
  2473. The only options available are whether my wish dies with me or whether it is stolen away...
  2474.  
  2475. Labrys: I ain't gonna let you destroy me... not just...'cause I don't wanna be destroyed...
  2476.  
  2477. Labrys: I... I...!
  2478.  
  2479. The moment I focus my concentration to remove the limiters on my onboard weaponry...
  2480.  
  2481. I sensed an unknown strength rise within me
  2482.  
  2483. Directly afterwards, something that cannot be quantified fills my body and the surrounding area...
  2484.  
  2485. Labrys: Huh...!? What the...!?
  2486.  
  2487. The pursuit vehicle suddenly stops The research staff gets off, one after another, shocked...
  2488.  
  2489. Female Researcher: This reading...! Is it on the verge of a Persona reaction...!?
  2490.  
  2491. Untidy Researcher: Shit... it's awakened!? Dammit, why now!?
  2492.  
  2493. Researcher with a tie: Well, at least this proves that mental stress...is the key to activating a Persona...
  2494.  
  2495. Female Researcher: Who cares about that right now!? It's not...fully awakened yet, but with it still unstable,...we don't know what it's capable of!
  2496.  
  2497. I am intrigued by their statements...
  2498.  
  2499. Labrys: Persona...?
  2500.  
  2501. I knew that we had the means
  2502.  
  2503. But I was not aware of controlling anything
  2504.  
  2505. I do not know if it could be called a power Nor do I know how to use it
  2506.  
  2507. But I can tell that the others are afraid
  2508.  
  2509. I seize the opportunity and run toward the main gate
  2510.  
  2511. There is a slight possibility that I can reach the door without attracting any gunfire right now and vault over the door with my legs and chain arm
  2512.  
  2513. The moment I reach the gate, I launch my chain arm towards the upper threshold of the door
  2514.  
  2515. But the moment the arm grabs the ledge, something emerges A much greater power touches the door as well
  2516.  
  2517. Suddenly, the door crumples like paper and a large hole forms on the upper half...
  2518.  
  2519. Untidy Researcher: Now it's done it!
  2520.  
  2521. Female Researcher: We need to hurry! If it's that strong already,...we won't be able to stop it once its Persona...completely awakens!
  2522.  
  2523. Labrys: That's... Persona...
  2524.  
  2525. But I quickly regain my senses
  2526.  
  2527. I burst out of the facility and single-mindedly jump outside
  2528.  
  2529. My feet touch the ground of the outside world for the first time
  2530.  
  2531. They will most likely not let me escape
  2532.  
  2533. Fortunately, the door is badly damaged
  2534.  
  2535. It should take time until it can be opened enough for vehicles to pass through
  2536.  
  2537. I need to gain as much distance and time as possible and... and then...
  2538.  
  2539. It is then that I realize I do not have a destination in mind
  2540.  
  2541. Who is the girl #024 wished to see? Where can I go to meet her?
  2542.  
  2543. The only clue I have is the idiosyncracies of the girl's speech
  2544.  
  2545. I have learned that distinct speech patterns are often associated with specific regions
  2546.  
  2547. I should begin by traveling to where that style of speech is common It is reckless, but I feel confident
  2548.  
  2549. At the least, I can get closer to the girl than I am now
  2550.  
  2551. Although my situation is dire and I am under pursuit, internally I am cheerful
  2552.  
  2553. There is a bounce in my step For some reason, I cannot remain calm
  2554.  
  2555. Just then, five meters ahead, something white and fluffy crosses my path
  2556.  
  2557. It is Snowy
  2558.  
  2559. It notices me and approaches
  2560.  
  2561. I am worried about my pursuers But I cannot dismiss #024's beloved Snowy I lower my speed and run with him
  2562.  
  2563. I then notice that the scenery we are passing has calmed My surroundings are very different now
  2564.  
  2565. The blue sky that was previously obstructed by the trees is now clearly visible
  2566.  
  2567. The green grass is shining vibrantly in the light of the sun
  2568.  
  2569. And there is a deeper blue than the sky ahead Many lines of white run across it...
  2570.  
  2571. Labrys: Is that... the ocean?
  2572.  
  2573. Snowy barks as if in answer
  2574.  
  2575. I feel like it is saying, "That's right"
  2576.  
  2577. I could not previously comprehend Snowy I did not have an interest in trying
  2578.  
  2579. But now, I can grasp what Snowy is saying as if I could speak its own language I know that it feels "happy" to be able to run with me
  2580.  
  2581. I feel as if #024 is inside me
  2582.  
  2583. Though we were forced to part, she certainly left me many things
  2584.  
  2585. Not only her wish, but other things as well...
  2586.  
  2587. Labrys: Well, I'll find her, come hell or high...water Are you with me, Snowy?
  2588.  
  2589. Snowy barks energetically I respond with thanks and a smile
  2590.  
  2591. #024 and Snowy are encouraging me
  2592.  
  2593. Though I do not have any clues, I will find her No matter what happens or how long it takes
  2594.  
  2595. I search my current location once more Now that I am further from the research facility, I can use my GPS to triangulate my position
  2596.  
  2597. But... on seeing the results, I cannot help but stop running
  2598.  
  2599. Snowy stops a little further ahead and then returns to me
  2600.  
  2601. My current location is Yakushima within the Kagoshima Prefecture It is a remote island far from shore...Labrys: No...
  2602.  
  2603. The island's perimeter is only 132 kilometers In such a limited area, it will be a matter of time before a full-scale manhunt apprehends me
  2604.  
  2605. The research facility must have been built on an island in anticipation of such situations
  2606.  
  2607. Even if someone were to escape the facility, the island's geography would contain them
  2608.  
  2609. It is essentially a natural prison
  2610.  
  2611. I do not want to believe it...
  2612.  
  2613. But my hope was meticulously strangled before it was born
  2614.  
  2615. However, I cannot wait here to be captured
  2616.  
  2617. I begin running again
  2618.  
  2619. Though as expected from my position data and map, I immediately reach the ocean...
  2620.  
  2621. Labrys: So this is the ocean...
  2622.  
  2623. Labrys: Haha... it's so huge... I can't see anything...out there at all...
  2624.  
  2625. I look at the glistening surface of the ocean reflect the sun's light and ponder its beauty I am at a loss
  2626.  
  2627. Though I knew it would come to this, I could not stand idle
  2628.  
  2629. Despite this, my feelings sink
  2630.  
  2631. Snowy looks up at me from time to time as I stop running and begin walking
  2632.  
  2633. His gesture of concern forces me to smile and tell him that I am all right
  2634.  
  2635. The forest becomes a grove The trees grow sparser
  2636.  
  2637. A blue ocean and the sandy soil leading up to it spread before my eyes
  2638.  
  2639. I check my map again
  2640.  
  2641. This is not an uninhabited island
  2642.  
  2643. There is a means for people to come and go
  2644.  
  2645. But I doubt that I will be able to use those methods freely without arousing any suspicion
  2646.  
  2647. I gaze down at my own hand
  2648.  
  2649. It is completely unlike a human hand
  2650.  
  2651. It is an object sculpted from metal...Labrys: Haha... well, that's a problem What should...I do...?
  2652.  
  2653. My question seems to stymie Snowy...Labrys: C'mon, don't gimme that look...
  2654.  
  2655. Labrys: Oh, well Maybe it's my fault for getting...so frustrated Sorry, pooch
  2656.  
  2657. Just as I am about to crouch and pat Snowy's head...
  2658.  
  2659. Snowy moves as if avoiding me...
  2660.  
  2661. Labrys: Snowy...?
  2662.  
  2663. Snowy circles around behind me and growls towards the way we just came
  2664.  
  2665. I train my sensors in that direction and sense presences in the distance
  2666.  
  2667. They may be keeping their distance on purpose
  2668.  
  2669. Since I have no firearms, they must understand that their effective range exceeds mine...
  2670.  
  2671. Labrys: ...Looks like they're coming
  2672.  
  2673. Amongst the human soldiers are a number of my sister units
  2674.  
  2675. Is it possible that I can convince them not to fight me?
  2676.  
  2677. I dismiss the idea as hopeless
  2678.  
  2679. Though they may have awakened to their ego, after my escape, they will be under their commanders' control
  2680.  
  2681. Even if that is not the case, they may think that their orders are absolute, just as I once did...Labrys: Knowing why they're here doesn't make it...any easier to deal with them...
  2682.  
  2683. It does not seem as if they will all attack at once
  2684.  
  2685. They must understand that I am already at the ocean and I have nowhere to escape
  2686.  
  2687. I do not want to surrender
  2688.  
  2689. But...
  2690.  
  2691. I am frustrated by my powerlessness
  2692.  
  2693. To be caught like this...
  2694.  
  2695. I... I have my own mission to accomplish!
  2696.  
  2697. The ocean sparkles The periodic sound of water I once heard from afar echoes from it
  2698.  
  2699. As I gaze at the clear water while it ebbs and flows, a mysterious feeling rises in me...
  2700.  
  2701. Labrys: Wow... look at that It's beautiful...
  2702.  
  2703. My opponents show no indication of moving
  2704.  
  2705. I step out onto the sand After cataloguing that sensation, I approach the pier stretching to the ocean
  2706.  
  2707. When I step onto it, the wooden planks creak
  2708.  
  2709. I can hear Snowy's light tread behind me as well
  2710.  
  2711. I stand at the end of the pier and look out to the ocean
  2712.  
  2713. I wonder if she is beyond this ocean that seems to stretch forever
  2714.  
  2715. The girl #024 wanted to meet
  2716.  
  2717. The girl that I wish to meet as well
  2718.  
  2719. This mother figure who loved us and wished for our happiness
  2720.  
  2721. While my thoughts turn to the girl whose face I do not know, I decide to preserve the ocean's beauty in my memory
  2722.  
  2723. After all, it may be the last time I will be able to see the ocean as myself
  2724.  
  2725. The odds are high that when I am restrained and returned to the facility, my memories will be wiped
  2726.  
  2727. I am scared
  2728.  
  2729. I am frustrated
  2730.  
  2731. I do not want to be erased
  2732.  
  2733. But... I do not think all my hopes are lost yet
  2734.  
  2735. This may be the end of me
  2736.  
  2737. But just as I inherited the memories of #024 and other units, my memories will surely endure into the next generation
  2738.  
  2739. So I will keep these feelings along with this beautiful ocean scene deep within the origin of my heart There, it cannot be erased or tampered with
  2740.  
  2741. The blue sky and ocean
  2742.  
  2743. The shining sun and glittering water
  2744.  
  2745. And the gentle breeze and calm sounds of the waves
  2746.  
  2747. The scenery from this pier is so stunning that it is unimaginable from inside the research facility
  2748.  
  2749. I am glad that the last place I see is so beautiful
  2750.  
  2751. With the ocean before me, I speak to any future sisters that I have yet to meet
  2752.  
  2753. It might be called a type of "prayer"
  2754.  
  2755. Labrys: To all the ones I'll never meet, but will...receive my memories...
  2756.  
  2757. My emotions race ahead of my thoughts I cannot find the right words to say...
  2758.  
  2759. Labrys: There's so much I wanna say to you that...I don't know where to start
  2760.  
  2761. I close my eyes again and calm my heart
  2762.  
  2763. To my descendants, whom I will probably never meet
  2764.  
  2765. If you ever find someone precious to you, as I did with #024, and wish to meet them...
  2766.  
  2767. May you meet them here
  2768.  
  2769. May you go beyond this pier to places I could not...
  2770.  
  2771. Labrys: I just pray from the bottom of my heart...that everyone can find happiness...
  2772.  
  2773. Labrys: As long as that happens, I don't mind if I...
  2774.  
  2775. "Even though my wish may not come true, I'm still satisfied if I can entrust it to someone I believe in..."
  2776.  
  2777. #024 said something along those lines...Labrys: ...Could this be it?
  2778.  
  2779. Snowy rubs against my leg
  2780.  
  2781. Is he warning me to be cautious of my pursuers, who have arrived and are coming closer? Or does he only want me to pet him?
  2782.  
  2783. I inspect him closely and realize that it is the latter... He must be worried
  2784.  
  2785. I crouch down and scratch Snowy's head...
  2786.  
  2787. Labrys: Hey, Snowy You think... this is what it...means to feel alive?
  2788.  
  2789. Snowy looks at me while wagging its tail
  2790.  
  2791. I pick up Snowy and gently hug it
  2792.  
  2793. Snowy shows no sign of resistance and allows me to do so
  2794.  
  2795. My pursuers are closing in now
  2796.  
  2797. But I will not run anymore
  2798.  
  2799. It is true that I am still frustrated, but it is strange I am also satisfied
  2800.  
  2801. Snowy licks my cheek...
  2802.  
  2803. Labrys: Thanks... I'll be okay now Things are about...to get hairy, so you should hurry and...get outta here
  2804.  
  2805. I let Snowy go But it does not leave me...
  2806.  
  2807. Labrys: C'mon... if you don't go, it'll make things...hard on me... okay?
  2808.  
  2809. Snowy looks at my face for a while Eventually, it droops its head and walks off
  2810.  
  2811. Snowy looks back several times Eventually, he disappears into the tall grass
  2812.  
  2813. My relief is cut short by five armed humans pointing their guns at me
  2814.  
  2815. I have no intention of resisting
  2816.  
  2817. I smile at them
  2818.  
  2819. Though it was only for a short while, I lived
  2820.  
  2821. I felt the happiness of passing down my wish
  2822.  
  2823. It was only for a short period of time, but I may have granted the wish of the girl who is our mother
  2824.  
  2825. I allow myself to be restrained without resistance They take me back to the laboratory
  2826.  
  2827. I was so absorbed in my escape attempt that I did not notice the severe damage I inflicted upon the facility
  2828.  
  2829. It seems that the delicate machinery used to tamper with my memories is in no condition to be used...
  2830.  
  2831. Untidy Researcher: Dammit, look at this mess!
  2832.  
  2833. Untidy Researcher: Going after humans... I bet the girl they used...as a template for this model was a snotty...brat, too!
  2834.  
  2835. Untidy Researcher: Even if we delete its memories, it'll be too...dangerous to keep using this unit...
  2836.  
  2837. Female Researcher: There are so many things about it I want to...research, though...
  2838.  
  2839. Researcher with a tie: It's not worth the risks...
  2840.  
  2841. Researcher with a tie: The 5th Generation Anti-Shadow Suppression Weapon...will be sealed indefinitely once it's fully...restrained again
  2842.  
  2843. The voice is the last thing I hear before my consciousness is cut off...
  2844.  
  2845. Labrys: Huh...?
  2846.  
  2847. My consciousness should have been shut down
  2848.  
  2849. But I have awakened...
  2850.  
  2851. Labrys: This place... it's that ocean...
  2852.  
  2853. I am on that pier
  2854.  
  2855. The blue sky and ocean
  2856.  
  2857. The shining sun and glittering water
  2858.  
  2859. And the gentle breeze and calm sounds of the waves
  2860.  
  2861. Even Snowy is next to me
  2862.  
  2863. The scene is identical to the one from before...
  2864.  
  2865. Though this time, I sense no pursuers
  2866.  
  2867. I was captured
  2868.  
  2869. I remember that clearly
  2870.  
  2871. This is obviously an abnormal situation, at odds with my memories But the clear blue sky and ocean are still so beautiful that I cannot help but gaze at them
  2872.  
  2873. If only I could go beyond it... Just as the thought crosses my mind, my viewpoint ascends
  2874.  
  2875. Soon afterwards, I realize that I am floating as if my body is weightless
  2876.  
  2877. I am astonished at myself to be thinking such strange things But then my field of vision drifts and I turn my attention to that
  2878.  
  2879. The scenery I knew already begins to mix with other environments I do not know They become a connected, continuous image and pass like a slideshow
  2880.  
  2881. From time to time, I pass through the drifting images
  2882.  
  2883. But I cannot grasp anything within those spaces
  2884.  
  2885. Even when they are about to collide with me, they pass right through me
  2886.  
  2887. Could this be "dreaming"?
  2888.  
  2889. I remember something I once heard from a researcher at the facility
  2890.  
  2891. They said that it is possible for us to "dream" since we have a mind and may develop an ego
  2892.  
  2893. Though it would technically not be identical to a human's dream, the phenomenon would be very similar
  2894.  
  2895. I feel that the example the researcher gave of what a dream is like matches my current experience
  2896.  
  2897. If I am having a dream, then things that are not possible in reality may be possible here
  2898.  
  2899. For example, if I can leave this island...
  2900.  
  2901. If I can go beyond the ocean...
  2902.  
  2903. The girl that #024 and I wanted to meet said that even though she knows that the world is big, she would not be able to see it for herself
  2904.  
  2905. What could that have meant?
  2906.  
  2907. Was she in a place that limited her world? As I was unable to leave the island?
  2908.  
  2909. Just when it seems that the images flowing around me have stopped, I find myself in an unknown room
  2910.  
  2911. There is a bed here
  2912.  
  2913. Next to it is a flatscreen monitor
  2914.  
  2915. There are also white shelves surrounding the bed
  2916.  
  2917. To one side is a stand for an intravenous drip
  2918.  
  2919. There is a machine connected to it by cords... Though it is small, it appears to function as a life signs monitor
  2920.  
  2921. This is similar to the research facility Could it be a hospital?
  2922.  
  2923. The voices that sound from somewhere belong to a man and a woman
  2924.  
  2925. I have not heard these voices before...
  2926.  
  2927. Young woman's voice: She said during this morning's checkup that she...wanted to go to school She asked how much better...she needs to get to be able to go...
  2928.  
  2929. Middle-aged man's voice: Understandable This ward is right near the...road most of the students take... she must be...lonely, too, not having seen her parents lately...
  2930.  
  2931. Middle-aged man's voice: "How much better she needs to get"......She still doesn't know that her condition...is incurable...
  2932.  
  2933. Young woman's voice: Why don't you be honest with her and tell her...she won't ever be able to go? It's cruel...to string her along like this...
  2934.  
  2935. Middle-aged man's voice: Shhh! Keep your voice down Her room's...next door
  2936.  
  2937. I understand at once that these people are speaking of the girl I wish to meet
  2938.  
  2939. The scene feels as if it comes from my own memory I do not doubt it at all
  2940.  
  2941. The girl is suffering from some kind of illness She may not be able to go outside
  2942.  
  2943. Her condition prevents her from leaving her small world
  2944.  
  2945. Her life is like ours...
  2946.  
  2947. Could the girl have heard this conversation?
  2948.  
  2949. How did it make her feel to hear it?
  2950.  
  2951. I want to spend more time in the outside world
  2952.  
  2953. I want to live a normal life
  2954.  
  2955. The thoughts that come to my mind are not mine...
  2956.  
  2957. Girl: I wonder if the nurses thought things like...the student council were too much trouble...to bother with when they were in school...
  2958.  
  2959. Girl: I dunno, it sounds fun to me...
  2960.  
  2961. Just as I thought It is the girl's voice
  2962.  
  2963. When I listen to her, I can sense her strong yearning and admiration...
  2964.  
  2965. Girl: You gotta admire the student council president...I mean, they're the ones that get things...done for everyone...
  2966.  
  2967. Girl: ...But I guess it's because they're like that...in the first place that they get to be...President, huh
  2968.  
  2969. The girl had a strong desire to attend school and live a normal school life with friends
  2970.  
  2971. As I review these voices and feelings, an interest in the school she longs for grows within me...
  2972.  
  2973. Labrys: High school... I wonder what that's like...
  2974.  
  2975. Labrys: Would it be fun...?
  2976.  
  2977. I wish to see for myself what she desires
  2978.  
  2979. Is there a specific image of it?
  2980.  
  2981. What kind of place is it? What activities do its attendants perform while there?
  2982.  
  2983. But there are no memories in regards to schools
  2984.  
  2985. This must mean that the girl has no such memories...
  2986.  
  2987. Labrys: Figures... I don't know anything about schools...or whatever else student life is like
  2988.  
  2989. I want to see them...
  2990.  
  2991. Voice echoing in mind: I can show you, if you so desire...
  2992.  
  2993. A voice answers my unspoken thought
  2994.  
  2995. Who could it be...? I do not think I know this voice...
  2996.  
  2997. For some reason, my mind becomes hazy I cannot access my memories easily...
  2998.  
  2999. Labrys: Huh...? Who's there?
  3000.  
  3001. Voice echoing in mind: There's no need to be alarmed I only want to...give you a glimpse of the world you long...to know...
  3002.  
  3003. I was under the impression that this was a dream
  3004.  
  3005. Dreams are supposedly a release valve for memories... yet this voice does not feel like a part of me
  3006.  
  3007. Could that be possible?
  3008.  
  3009. As I ponder these things, the scenery around me changes completely
  3010.  
  3011. I first see a three-story concrete building...
  3012.  
  3013. Labrys: What...!?
  3014.  
  3015. I do not know this building As I examine it, my surroundings change again
  3016.  
  3017. The same desks and chairs are lined up
  3018.  
  3019. In front of me is a dark green, rectangular board on the wall...
  3020.  
  3021. Labrys: Is this a school? A real classroom...?
  3022.  
  3023. This is the place the girl loved
  3024.  
  3025. It is here that I have gained an interest in
  3026.  
  3027. I find myself forgetting that this is a dream and focus my senses to the desks and chairs
  3028.  
  3029. I then realize that I can move around at will, just as when I felt my body rise at the beach...
  3030.  
  3031. Labrys: So this is where classes happen...
  3032.  
  3033. I feel a sudden excitement...Labrys: But what do the students do when there...aren't any classes? Do they just talk...and stuff?
  3034.  
  3035. That mysterious voice doesn't answer Instead, I am surrounded by other sounds
  3036.  
  3037. Many voices are talking at once... It reminds me of the sound of waves near the ocean
  3038.  
  3039. But the sound is lively and enjoyable
  3040.  
  3041. The voices belong to boys and girls surrounding a desk They are laughing and talking
  3042.  
  3043. They wear common clothing, though there are some differences
  3044.  
  3045. These may be uniforms It is interesting to see that each person's uniform is distinct in some way
  3046.  
  3047. That one is the only one with something around his neck
  3048.  
  3049. A girl with short hair and a green jacket raises her right hand
  3050.  
  3051. Next to her is a girl with long black hair, wearing a red jacket She smiles
  3052.  
  3053. Then there is a well-built young man with strange, spiky hair
  3054.  
  3055. In contrast to him, I can see a small, delicate, intellectual-looking young man
  3056.  
  3057. Last, surrounded by them is a young man with a calm demeanor sitting at a desk
  3058.  
  3059. The front of his uniform is open His white shirt is showing
  3060.  
  3061. They seem to be talking about something I cannot quite discern what it is
  3062.  
  3063. The scene proceeds to show various points in a normal school day
  3064.  
  3065. Classes, activities, clubs, student council... It looks like so much fun that I get excited
  3066.  
  3067. But then I remember
  3068.  
  3069. This is all just a "dream"
  3070.  
  3071. I am only dreaming
  3072.  
  3073. No matter how much I want it, there will never be a day when I can attend school for myself
  3074.  
  3075. All the scenes that I saw centered around the young man and his friends... I will never join their circle
  3076.  
  3077. I cannot go to school
  3078.  
  3079. I am not even human
  3080.  
  3081. I consider this self-evident truth once again
  3082.  
  3083. Though I look human, I am a machine made by humans
  3084.  
  3085. It does not matter how close my heart is to that of a human or how much my ego develops I cannot become a real human
  3086.  
  3087. This mechanical body can never be truly human
  3088.  
  3089. Just as our mother could not overcome the obstacle of her illness no matter how she wished for it, I cannot overcome the obstacle of being a machine
  3090.  
  3091. It is futile for someone who cannot become human to yearn for a normal human life
  3092.  
  3093. There is a strange sensation somewhere in my chest that feels like pain
  3094.  
  3095. Still, although I am a machine created as a weapon, that girl loved me
  3096.  
  3097. What if there are other people like her who could understand me? Would I then be able to find a place to belong amongst the humans?
  3098.  
  3099. But...
  3100.  
  3101. Voice echoing in mind: You'll never find a place where you belong...
  3102.  
  3103. Voice echoing in mind: Humans created you as a tool They would never...think of you as anything more...
  3104.  
  3105. Labrys: I...
  3106.  
  3107. Voice echoing in mind: Everyone, to a man, lives by averting their...eyes from something inside them...
  3108.  
  3109. Voice echoing in mind: They all wish to live inside a never-ending...dream... for who has the right to say they...shouldn't?
  3110.  
  3111. For just a moment, I sense an incongruity in the kind voice
  3112.  
  3113. The strange pain within my body softens a little...
  3114.  
  3115. Voice echoing in mind: There are even humans who do not understand...others' feelings Still others do understand,...and trample upon them regardless...
  3116.  
  3117. Voice echoing in mind: Compared to them, you are much more human
  3118.  
  3119. I remember the researchers
  3120.  
  3121. They certainly did not understand me, #024, or my sisters...
  3122.  
  3123. We were treated only as objects
  3124.  
  3125. Even after they tried to give us a heart...
  3126.  
  3127. Voice echoing in mind: Why not, then, seek to be "human"?
  3128.  
  3129. Labrys: Me...? Be a human...?
  3130.  
  3131. The voice winds gently inside my mind
  3132.  
  3133. I feel my body is growing uneasily light, as if the world is spinning around me...
  3134.  
  3135. Voice echoing in mind: People sort through their memories in dreams...Each night, they let go of painful memories...and continue their lives with the morning sun...
  3136.  
  3137. Voice echoing in mind: That's all you need do Forget anything...contrary to your desires...
  3138.  
  3139. Labrys: If... if I forget...
  3140.  
  3141. Voice echoing in mind: Do not fear the act of letting go...
  3142.  
  3143. Voice echoing in mind: The ones you admire wished only for you...to be happy
  3144.  
  3145. My mind seizes upon something
  3146.  
  3147. That precious wish...
  3148.  
  3149. The desire given to me to meet our mother someday and tell her, "thank you"
  3150.  
  3151. I must not forget that
  3152.  
  3153. But as long as this wish is precious to me, as long as I cannot erase it from my heart, the fact that I am not human will remain...
  3154.  
  3155. Voice echoing in mind: And, I, too... all I wish, from the depths...of my heart, is for you to find joy...
  3156.  
  3157. Labrys: Happiness...
  3158.  
  3159. I think back...24I wish from the depths of my heart for you...to be happy
  3160.  
  3161. I remember the girl who wished for our happiness
  3162.  
  3163. I want to grant that wish
  3164.  
  3165. I want to tell her, "thank you," but that will be difficult for me now
  3166.  
  3167. In which case, should I not at least seize this opportunity and be happy here, for her sake...?
  3168.  
  3169. Labrys: Forget... and be happy...
  3170.  
  3171. My vision goes dark The sounds I heard fade away
  3172.  
  3173. I feel as if I am falling...
  3174.  
  3175. Voice echoing in mind: Everything is now in readiness...
  3176.  
  3177. Miss President: Mmm... hm...?
  3178.  
  3179. When I open my eyes, I'm staring at a wood-grain board
  3180.  
  3181. It's the surface of a desk
  3182.  
  3183. I quickly raise my head
  3184.  
  3185. It looks like I fell asleep in class
  3186.  
  3187. My sleeve was pressed against my forehead while I was asleep and the texture left a mark
  3188.  
  3189. Oh man... I hope no one sees this
  3190.  
  3191. I rub my forehead a little and look around the classroom
  3192.  
  3193. According to the clock on the wall, it's three-thirty in the afternoon
  3194.  
  3195. The only thing written on the blackboard is "5/1/2012 (Tu)" Everything else is erased
  3196.  
  3197. I stretch out my arms
  3198.  
  3199. I feel a little tired, but I gotta stay focused
  3200.  
  3201. After all, I just got elected student council president in the elections a couple days ago
  3202.  
  3203. I have to keep in touch with what the people who voted for me want in a leader
  3204.  
  3205. Things with the student council will get pretty hectic after school
  3206.  
  3207. I should hurry to the student council room
  3208.  
  3209. I stand up and open the door in the back of the class
  3210.  
  3211. When I go the hallway, there's no one around
  3212.  
  3213. I check inside the classrooms as I go, but I still don't see anyone...
  3214.  
  3215. Miss President: ...Where the heck is everyone?
  3216.  
  3217. It's weird The whole school is usually rowdier than this after classes
  3218.  
  3219. I should hear people talking and laughing in classrooms, and teachers yelling at them to quiet down
  3220.  
  3221. Where's all the bustle of the students and everyone getting ready for their after-school activities?
  3222.  
  3223. Just when I'm wondering that, I turn around and look down the way I came...
  3224.  
  3225. Miss President: Oh, there they are
  3226.  
  3227. There's some students in the hallway
  3228.  
  3229. Some of them are chatting and others are coming out of the classrooms
  3230.  
  3231. A few of them run past me, carrying their bags
  3232.  
  3233. Yeah, this is more like it
  3234.  
  3235. This is how school's supposed to be...
  3236.  
  3237. Miss President: Hey! No running in the hallway!
  3238.  
  3239. The student gives an apologetic smile
  3240.  
  3241. But he just waves to me as he zooms down the stairs...
  3242.  
  3243. Miss President: Sheesh, you'll put your eye out if you don't...look where you're going!
  3244.  
  3245. Miss President: *sigh* Oh well I just gotta clamp down on...'em more from now on
  3246.  
  3247. I put my hands on my hips and sigh...
  3248.  
  3249. Male Student: Hey there, Miss President!
  3250.  
  3251. Female Student: Are you off to the student council room?...Have fun!
  3252.  
  3253. Male Student: You're always so excited about that...
  3254.  
  3255. Female Student: Bye, Miss President! See you next Monday!
  3256.  
  3257. Everyone walking down the hallway talks to me
  3258.  
  3259. I wave back to them
  3260.  
  3261. I always had a lot of friends and people who knew me, but ever since I got elected student council president, all the students seem to know who I am
  3262.  
  3263. The job comes with a lot of pressure, but I know I'm up to it
  3264.  
  3265. I'm gonna be busier than ever around school now
  3266.  
  3267. I did have my doubts, but in the end, I'm glad I ran for student council president...
  3268.  
  3269. Miss President: Yeah, I did the right thing I did...
  3270.  
  3271. I head to the student council room
  3272.  
  3273. Time flies by as I go over my agenda...
  3274.  
  3275. Before I know it, there's red light pouring in from the west window It's already sundown...
  3276.  
  3277. Miss President: Whew... guess that's enough for today
  3278.  
  3279. There's no one else left in the student council room
  3280.  
  3281. I had the others go home before it got too late
  3282.  
  3283. But when I said that if they pushed themselves too much at the start, they'd burn out quick, they just laughed and said "The same goes for you!"
  3284.  
  3285. I leave the student council room and lock it up
  3286.  
  3287. As I go down the hall to return the key, I see a strange woman at the far end of the hallway
  3288.  
  3289. She's not wearing our school's uniform... She's got on an odd hat, some gloves, and a one-piece dress
  3290.  
  3291. They're all the same deep blue color Underneath one arm is an old-looking book
  3292.  
  3293. I can't see her face with her back towards me, but her short, straight hair draws my attention
  3294.  
  3295. Her hair is this radiant silver, like if pearls were stretched out into strands...
  3296.  
  3297. Miss President: ...Who in the world is that?
  3298.  
  3299. Maybe it's the clothes, but she gives off this strong presence
  3300.  
  3301. I get a little uneasy looking at her
  3302.  
  3303. I'm not tiptoeing or anything, but she doesn't turn around until I'm about two meters away
  3304.  
  3305. When she finally does, though, I gasp a little Her features are so perfect that she's like a sculpture...
  3306.  
  3307. Miss President: Hey, excuse me! You got some reason to...be at our school?
  3308.  
  3309. Woman in Blue Atire: Are you sure... this is how things should be?
  3310.  
  3311. Miss President: Huh?
  3312.  
  3313. I don't understand what she's getting at
  3314.  
  3315. But for some reason, the question throws me...
  3316.  
  3317. Woman in Blue Atire: I am a wanderer who only stopped here because...I sensed great power gathering...
  3318.  
  3319. Woman in Blue Atire: I am in no position to give advice, but...
  3320.  
  3321. Miss President: Um...
  3322.  
  3323. Woman in Blue Atire: This place will soon be caught in a bit of...a fracas...
  3324.  
  3325. Woman in Blue Atire: If you continue to avert your eyes from...everything, I think it will have an impact...on your life in the near future...
  3326.  
  3327. Miss President: M-My life...?
  3328.  
  3329. What she just said sounded pretty scary
  3330.  
  3331. She may have some screws loose
  3332.  
  3333. But something is whispering to me deep in my heart
  3334.  
  3335. Asking me, doesn't she have a point?
  3336.  
  3337. Aren't you looking away from something important?
  3338.  
  3339. Woman in Blue Atire: What you choose is up to you... but I believe...there are factors preventing you from making...the right choices at the moment...
  3340.  
  3341. Woman in Blue Atire: I couldn't bring myself to just stand by and...watch as you lost your life before my eyes...
  3342.  
  3343. Woman in Blue Atire: That is why I was waiting here to give you...one last chance
  3344.  
  3345. The lady opens the thick book she's holding
  3346.  
  3347. I don't know how it's doing that, but light streams from the book
  3348.  
  3349. It gets stronger and stronger until I have to shield my eyes
  3350.  
  3351. The blinding light finally begins to fade a little
  3352.  
  3353. I slowly open my eyes
  3354.  
  3355. The first thing I see should've been my arm...
  3356.  
  3357. But what I see instead is an arm made of metal...
  3358.  
  3359. Miss President: Huh? Wh-What is this!?
  3360.  
  3361. I can't believe this awkward metal arm is mine
  3362.  
  3363. It's like metal plates are completely covering it
  3364.  
  3365. I start tugging at them to try and tear them off...
  3366.  
  3367. Miss President: Rrrrrghhh...! I-It won't come off! What gives!?
  3368.  
  3369. It's not just my arms--my legs have changed too
  3370.  
  3371. Why are my arms and legs mechanical? My whole body, even!?
  3372.  
  3373. I stare at my hands in confusion...
  3374.  
  3375. These are my hands, all right
  3376.  
  3377. Part of me knows that, and I shake my head
  3378.  
  3379. What am I thinking? There's no way these are my hands
  3380.  
  3381. It's not possible
  3382.  
  3383. It's not...
  3384.  
  3385. Miss President: Ngh...
  3386.  
  3387. My head hurts
  3388.  
  3389. What is this...?
  3390.  
  3391. Woman in Blue Atire: I will be your opponent for a short while...
  3392.  
  3393. Woman in Blue Atire: During that time, why not think back about who...you are?
  3394.  
  3395. Miss President: Huh? My opponent?
  3396.  
  3397. The lady takes a slightly defensive stance...
  3398.  
  3399. Woman in Blue Atire: And away we go...!
  3400.  
  3401. <BATTLE [vs WOMAN IN BLUE ATTIRE]>
  3402.  
  3403. Miss President: *pant* *pant*
  3404.  
  3405. I somehow manage to beat the lady in blue who attacked me
  3406.  
  3407. How did I win...? How did I use these metal arms and legs like it was second nature? I don't understand
  3408.  
  3409. The lady in blue stands before me, exactly like she was when I first saw her
  3410.  
  3411. She's not even breathing hard...
  3412.  
  3413. Woman in Blue Atire: Well done...
  3414.  
  3415. Woman in Blue Atire: But I'm sure you realize now......You are not human...
  3416.  
  3417. Woman in Blue Atire: There must have been an important promise that...could only be kept in that guise That must...have been your reason for living...
  3418.  
  3419. Woman in Blue Atire: Whether it's worth losing that or not......I ask that you give it serious thought...
  3420.  
  3421. Miss President: An important promise? My reason for living...?
  3422.  
  3423. I repeat that to myself
  3424.  
  3425. It seems important somehow...
  3426.  
  3427. Woman in Blue Atire: Now... it seems the tumult of trials is...about to begin...
  3428.  
  3429. Woman in Blue Atire: In which case... I bid you good luck
  3430.  
  3431. The thick book in her hand closes with a loud thud...
  3432.  
  3433. Miss President: Oh...!
  3434.  
  3435. Strangely, that ordinary sound lingers in my mind...
  3436.  
  3437. When I come back to my senses, there's no one here anymore
  3438.  
  3439. I take a nervous look at my arms and legs...
  3440.  
  3441. Miss President: Nothing seems different about me...
  3442.  
  3443. There's no metal on my limbs now
  3444.  
  3445. Just ordinary skin and bones...
  3446.  
  3447. Miss President: What the heck was that? A dream...?
  3448.  
  3449. Yeah, what was that?
  3450.  
  3451. Would "daydream" be the word for what just happened?
  3452.  
  3453. I can't sort out my thoughts, so I think to myself, "I can't let it get to me Just let it go"
  3454.  
  3455. But some things I can't dismiss that easy
  3456.  
  3457. ..."You are not human"
  3458.  
  3459. ..."You have an important promise which must have been your reason for living"
  3460.  
  3461. Miss President: She said... I'm forgettin' something?...That I need to remember...?
  3462.  
  3463. My head's hurting again
  3464.  
  3465. The pain brings back another memory
  3466.  
  3467. It's just for a second, and I can't quite catch it... but I saw blue skies, and the ocean, and someone else was there... maybe a white dog, too, I dunno
  3468.  
  3469. I think there was a lot more to it, but the last voice I heard stays with me...
  3470.  
  3471. Familiar Voice: I mean, we're "loved" after all
  3472.  
  3473. When I come to, my hands are balled into fists
  3474.  
  3475. That's when I make a decision
  3476.  
  3477. That promise, that reason for living...
  3478.  
  3479. I have to hang on to it
  3480.  
  3481. I didn't hear them until now, but there are strange voices everywhere in the school building
  3482.  
  3483. Is this the "tumult of trials" that lady in blue mentioned?
  3484.  
  3485. Is that really going to be a thing?
  3486.  
  3487. Miss President: I can't just leave this be I'm the dang...student council president!
  3488.  
  3489. As student council president, I have to find out what's going on in my school
  3490.  
  3491. I need to make sure the students aren't getting involved in anything dangerous
  3492.  
  3493. I start running towards the first floor...0000000000000000 END