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June 5th, 2009

Here's another installment of Nick of Time.  No nice pictures in this chapter.

Chapter 4: Time Hazard

  Escaping death once again.
  Waking up, Sousuke thought to sink into checking his flesh as always.

  For some reason all of his body was dripping wet.  Body aching here and there, and due to the AS Pilot Suit, at most there are bruises.  Only his right arm won't move as he wishes, this is probably due to a light sprain.

"......"
  There was the sound of water flowing.  And the faint sound of the wind.  But it was totally dark and nothing can be seen.  Where did his night vision goggle went to.  Sousuke searched his tactical vest for a Maglight.
  Alright, there is one.
  He has to switch on the light to the lowest necessary luminance.  What he saw first, was the naked bare rock.  Next was the foaming styrol in pieces and the entangled wire.  A Vinyl Waste basket, a wooden chair, a torn fence.  And a lot of junk.
  His surrounding space was like a round grotto.  Similar to the construction of a sewer.  Water flowing on the bottom---- probably knee deep---- filthy waters flowing at the different wreckage, were gathered here in mountains.
  Probably, carried by the rapids in season or a period of time.  Even large parts are rolling about.  When Sousuke lost consciousness during the fall, it seems like he was washed here.  With the flow of water stopping, the water level first seen seems to have subsided.  For the time being he was a garbage that flowed into the chamberpot.
  How long was he separated?  What time is it now?  Looking at the watch.  When he lost consciousness, it's most likely around 15 minutes.  Although he didn't know the distance he was carried, guessing from the silence, he might have separated from the crash sight.  He didn't even have his carbine gun.  It must have fallen somewhere.
"Captain"
  He was looking for Tessa.  She can't be found.
"...Captain....Tessa?"
  He shouted with an unshoutable voice, turning at the junk in his surrounding.
  Among the junk is a dead skeleton.  A worn out work uniform and name plate.  Gender is indistinctable.  What happened here, he did not know how people died here.
  Tessa is not here afterall.
  Was she left in a safe place, or was she washed into another place.  He doesn't know whether she's alive or not----
(dammit)
  Of course the communications device would be useless.  Even if it were not destroyed by the impact and water, in a closed space at a depth like this the electromagnetic-waves would not reach.
  At any rate it's upstream.  He has to find her.
  Sousuke with a quick pace, turned against the flow of water and retraced his steps from the Grotto.  A little forward and there was a brick wall in the naked rock.  It's a sewer afterall.  A ruins that has not been inhabited by humans for a long time, rains and water collected flows to this place.
  He move forward for more than 300 meters.  He can see a large hole in the ceiling.  There was a slope of broken bricks and piles of steel frame.  Without any hardship he managed to climb the large hole, getting out of the layer of the sewer.
  There was a large shaft.  Narrower than the first elevator shaft that they descended, the height is about a 5 storey building.  Turning the light higher he illuminates above his head, going through the side of the shaft, there was a passage full of skeletons and pipes.  Somehow deteriorated and worn out, within a number of them hanging in the exterior of the shaft.  Concentrating his eyes, in the top most space of the cave, there was a squared passage, a large hole opening in the floor.
  Seems like he fell from there.
  It's good that he only suffered minor injuries.  Below the passage he fell through was a scaffold and steel frame, because of the colliding pipes and wires, the 5 story height would not be a headlong fall.
  However Tessa is another thing.  It would be hard if she fell.
  The light of the maglight weakening, Sousuke now at the base of the cave---- looks for an area where rubble and pipes are mortared and piled up.  Tessa was not there, he found the lost Carbine Gun.  Picking it up and verifying if it’s functional.  It seems that it was not broken, because it fell from that height, there is no guarantee that it will fire.
(She is up there....?)
  In that passage where he fell from, he might lose consciousness again.  If he did not find her here, will she answer if he shouts?
  No, it's dangerous.
  It's bad if he was heard.  30 minutes have already passed from the crash.  It would not be strange if the enemy reinforcements managed to come to this area.  Going up, he has to verify that passage.
(really, how unsettling)
  Thinking annoyingly that it was his misfortune for falling in the hole, he immediately rethinked.  Originally they would be crushed by that helicopter, and be flattened.  Besides if he were to fall with Tessa in this hole, how would she fare without the anti-impact of an AS pilot suit.
  Increasing the light, following the pipe and steel frame crawling along the walls of the shaft, he climbed up.  He managed to reach about 3 storeys, but there is no way to go further up.  To get out of this shaft, it seems he has to find another route.
  The nearest tunnel---- was formerly a passage and he jumps to the squared hole, with the shaft in his back and heads deeper into the hole.  If he can find a stairs going upwards, it should let him go the place where he left Tessa.  Maglight in the left hand, Glock 19 hand gun in his right hand.  Since there might be a possibility of the carbine gun failure, he would not use it to make the first shot.  At any rate, it was in a situation where he might meet enemies so he can't make any gunshot sounds.  It would be better to make a test shot when guns are fired.
  With caution he proceeds to the ruined passage, turning to a number of corners and crossroads.  There are a number of resident doors on both sides of the passage.  He looks inside.  Was it a staff room or lodging house.  A room with nothing in it.
  There was a stairs inside the passage.
  And then---- in front of that stairs, Leonard Testarossa stands.
"!"
  He put on a red coat on top of his AS pilot suit.  Wavy silver hair.  An ornamented Colt Peacemaker in his right hand.  His face can't be seen with the night vision goggles, but there is no mistake.  It's that man.
  There was no hesitation in his reply.  Sousuke immediately fires.
  In an instant the red coat moves, immediately stopping the bullets.  It's the aforementioned reactive bullet proof vest.  Not caring he continues to fire 5 shots.  All of them to no effect.
"The same greetings as usual----"
  Leonard moves.  The revolver blows a fire.  Sousuke hides in the door just in front of him, the enemy bullet going pass.  He barely managed to evade and the bullets hit the walls, with the concrete fragments scattering.  Protruding the gun he immediately returns fire.  Using up all the remaining bullet in the magazine.  There was a thunderous roar of the fierce gunfight, resounding.
  No response.  Did he evade all of it or was all of it stopped.
"----I'm amazed at your impatience"
  You also of your usual pretension, purposely missing the chance for a surprise attack---- though that's what he thought, he didn't say a word.  In the exchange of bullets he returned the Glock to his holster, and nimbly setup his carbine gun.
  He's so proud of his bullet proof clothes, but how about from a rifle bullet with a full metal jacket.
  Firing in semi-auto.  Out of place.
  As expected he knows that he can't defend from the rifle bullets.  Leonard flutters his body, and his figure disappears from the passage.  Anticipating the damage from the wall, Sousuke shoots.  No response.  Return fire comes.  Just goes over the head.
"........."
  The Carbine Gun's aim seems to be off to the right.  It must be because of the fall from 5 storeys, there are no other problems and it functions.  It’s impressively stubborn.  If he's given the opportunity, he would send a mail giving thanks to the maker.
  Sousuke fires, Leonard fires.  Sousuke moves, Leonard moves.
  This kind of reply continued a number of times, the two of them went out in the wide room.  In a room like a gymnasium, a large liquid tank and a Still, Compressor, countless pipes and valves were spread all over, complexly becoming complicated.
  Over there is a night vision equipment, while he is disadvantaged with only a maglight.  Aiming and moving with only the light of the maglight is completely visible.  He would have to infer prior to firing.
(No....)
  That is not the only reason why he can't bring him down.  Leonard is strong.
  That reaction speed, the accuracy of that shot, it was a calm and decisive movement.  Like a thoughtlessness, but actually it was a logical positional gain. It was not a common technical skill.  Whether it was the gift of his natural talent, or from an extensive training is not known, but he can't be bewildered by his vagary weapons or speech.  From his preconception, he though of him as a [weak boy] relying on his hi-tech equipment for protection, he was mistaken.
"Can't be easily killed right?"
  Leonard laughing in the darkness.
"Good luck, since you're no match in an AS.  Now is your chance."
  Sousuke remembers the uncomfortable feeling from his provocation.  This is not the opponent he has faced a number of times, previously he had a more softer demeanor.  Was that an act?  Or did he changed into something?
"You seemed to be a little vulgar"
  Sousuke flatly said.  Minding himself, his maglight will reveal his current position.
"Is that so?  To get along better with you, I think this method would be better"
  Gunshots.  Leonards bullets immediately grazed beside him.  Using the waist high pipe as a shield, he gives pressure to his opponent by removing him off his position.
"We'll get along better with your corpse."
"Haha, you said it"
  Since the start of the gunfight, almost more than 3 minutes have passed.  It would be bad if he kept on dragging the time.  Leonard's subordinates will be arriving.  Although he is fixated in defeating him, to withdraw from this place, he had to decide about it soon----
  Before that decision, the expected enemy reinforcements arrived.  15 meters to the right of the tank Sousuke was hiding, in the stairs above, 4 men with submachine gun appeared.
"Mister Ag (Silver)!?"
  One of the man called.
"I told you not to come.  Go back"
"But, you're alone----"
"Go back"
"There he is, over there!"
  One of the men sensed Sousuke and fires.  Tearing up the tank he was hiding on, some kind of liquid dispersed.
  He returns fire.  One of them got hit in the chest from Sousuke's bullet.
  The remaining 3 deployed and added firing.  The scattering bullets hits the pipe and cable, scattering fierce sparks in the surrounding.
  A well trained enemy.  Not even agitated with injury, cover fire and shots with the objective to kill and wound were well cooperated.  But the attack and movement were monotonous.  The composition of the team was not long.
  In the expected place one of them came out.  Killed with one shot.  But that man looks like he's throwing a hand grenade this way.  From the hand of the fallen man, the pin of the hand grenade was pulled and fallen----
"!"
  Explosion.  It was an incendiary bomb.
  A white flash and conflagration.  It was a type of hand grenade that would burn the area with super high temperature, most effective indoors.
  There was no damage to Sousuke who was separated, but a much more serious matter occurred.
  Immediately beside the exploding incendiary bomb, there was a liquid tank.  With the splash of bullets the hole widened, and the liquid content flowed out of the tank.  Being left behind for more than 17 years, the unknown liquid with its combustibility mostly undeteriorated---- somehow that liquid caught fire from the grenade, and burned with a fierce heat.
  The flame went along the pipe and ran around the room, with explosions occurring when taking in the conflagration.  The floor split with the impact, steel frame of the ceiling falling towards Sousuke.  Barely evading he runs inward.  If he were in this room he would either be baked or suffocate.
  One of the enemy screams, falling to the lower floor from the dancing flame on the cracks of the floor.  Their underfoot was shaking.  This whole floor is waiting to collapse.  The alcove slab distorted, and was transfigured into a slope.  Turning, and falling.
  This is no longer a battlefield.  Sousuke crawled getting away from the conflagration and the cave-in.

"Another explosion...."
  The frequent sound of gunfires continued, with a large sound of explosion.  The ceiling of the rattling passage shook, with large dust falling over the heads of Kaname and the others.
"It's probably Sagara-san.  He encountered the enemy while searching for me...."
  Tessa said.
  Kaname had already heard from Tessa the details.  Being involved in the helicopter crash to straying from Sousuke, while searching for him alone she met Kaname.
  Sousuke will be here immediately.
  Hearing that, Kaname was unable to contain her feelings.  Without thinking, she tried desperately to restrain herself from running off from this place.
She keeps telling herself [If you get impatient here you will become lost], not being able to discern the logic from her emotions.
  She wants to see him immediately.  She can't stand even one more second.
  Also she won't get lost.  If she continues to call his name in a loud voice, it could somehow work.  She might be seen by the enemy?  That won't be, she'll definitely meet him first---- such irrational thinking, it keeps coming up no matter how much she erases it.
  And then the worry, about the sound of that explosion.
"Let's go find him!  I know the general direction"
"Eeh, but...."
  Tessa hesitated.
"But.  What?"
"It is certain that enemies are deployed in the direction of the explosion.  Mr. Lemon's leg is injured.... we can't run away from the encountered enemy before Sagara-san."
"We don't know that right?  Sousuke might be in a bad situation, I just can't leave him"
"That is why I'm hesitating.  For me, the safety of you and Mr. Lemon----"

"Such reason, whatever!  I want to see him!  If you'll get in my way then I'll go alone!"
  There was a number of Deja vu.  Her irritation reaching its critical point, Kaname spontaneously raised her voice.
"Please calm down.  I didn't----"
"There's no time to calm down right?  Finally....just when he's so close.  Why do you say such things?  If I were to meet him, is the circumstance that bad!?  Why----"
"Kaname-san, stop it"
  Lemon suddenly grabbed her arm.  With such strong power surprised her, and immediately returned to her own self, and noticed herself getting distracted.
"I know how you feel, but you have to be calm.  If you make rash behaviour here, everything will be a mess"
  It is as he said.  They have to be more prudent here.
"....sorry, Tessa"
"It's alright.  Becoming like this, was all my responsibility..."
  Looking at the frail Tessa mumbling, Kaname felt guilty.  Even though Tessa also likes Sousuke, she did not say any selfish insensibility.  Yet she was enduring it.  If she were in her standpoint, she would have flared up and talked back.
"Somehow....really sorry.  I, don't know what happened...."
"It can't be helped.  Because, you're finally going to see Sagara-san"
"Uhn...."
"If you're calm, let's move on"
  Lemon said.  With a serious voice.
"It's dangerous to be here.  He have to get as far away from the enemy as possible.  If it goes well, we might be able to find another exit.  We have to get to the surface somehow, I think it would be best to contact Testarossa-san's allies with the wireless radio."
"But Sousuke...."
"He would be alright.  He's not a burden like me, and it would be easier for him to move alone, and he would aim to get to the surface to contact the allies.  If we carelessly join him, there is a dangerously high probability of both parties falling."
  Even though it was unfamiliar, Lemon carries such experience in his body.  It would be wise to abide by his judgment in this kind of scene.
"I understand.  Let's do that"
  Killing off the lingering affection that remained---- the feelings that want to run off to the direction of Sousuke, Kaname nodded.
"Tessa do you know the way?"
"For the time being, just a rough construction.  We get down from here, going into the deepest research facility to the north there should be a ventilation duct in an ordinary stair case.  Although there is no guarantee that the enemy would not be there, it would be much safer than going to the south side...."
"North....where?"
"Here.  Let's go"
  The three of them, intersect into a cross road.  Lemon walks being supported on both sides by Tessa and Kaname.

  In the middle of the darkness, Lemon revealed a faint smile.
"What's the matter?"
"No.... This is quite a benefit.  Having beautiful girls on both side, it would be the best if I didn't have an injury"
"....Tessa.  This person, shall we leave him behind?"
"That's right....  we should at least hear his last will and testament."

"Aah.  Sorry.  Sorry.  Don't abandon me."
"Geez...."
  Carrying an earnestly apologizing Lemon, Kaname and the others staggeredly walked in the middle of darkness.

  Sealed in.
  Escaping from the flames, finally ending up inside an underground facility after a short walk, this was what Sousuke concluded.  No matter where he goes, collapsed ceiling and seal steel door blocks his way.  It would be nice to blow them up using C4 explosives, but there was the offensive smell of gas in the area, unskilfully using firearms would result in explosion.
  Going back with caution to the previous room where there was a battle, it would not be possible to get back there being plugged with a crumble steel frame and pipes.  The flames were temporary, now it's ending.  He was thankful that the oxygen was not completely taken, he couldn't remain in a place like this.
  He was also worried about Tessa.  If the enemy managed to get into this vicinity, she might have already been captured.  Since she is the sister of their commander, she might not be killed without argument, that is why he can't leave it to chance.
(Escaping at once, he has to join up with Kurz....)
  If he were to ride in that powerful <Laevatein> with the support fire of Kurz, it was not impossible to recover Tessa.  Although he still don't know if he would be able to win over Leonard's AS, at least, it was a more solid plan than facing many enemies alone with an out of order carbine gun.
  Then, what if Tessa was not yet caught?
  If that were so, then she would have surely joined up with Kurz and the others.  In order to carefully search for the allies in this maze, there is a need for him to eliminate all the enemy.  If he will he be able to do that, he himself could not estimate----
"....!"
  In the corner of his path Leonard appears.  It seems that he had survived the explosion.  Furthermore sarcastically, not filthy.
  Sousuke and Leonard mutually noticed each others existence, mostly at the same time.  Both parties with gun aimed, with fingers in the trigger staying from firing.
"Ooops"
  Leonard laughed.
"If you shoot an explosion  might occur.  It seems that you noticed."
  Piercing the nose some time ago, an irritating odor like rotten onions.  Isn't this a combustible LP gas?  Then guns would be bad.
"Possibly, it might not occur"
  Sousuke said suddenly pointing his gun at the opponents head.  He won't miss at this distance.  One shot would end it.  But that would also be the same for the other.
"Then want to try it?  Won't that be entertaining"

"What a charming idea"
"You say that, but you're considering of drawing that knife from your waist.  With that there is no worry about explosions.  Pressing on a weak me, cutting my throat with it"
  That is correct.  Sousuke had his left hand always in the position to reach the removal of his knife.  In the challenge of melee, there are plenty of chances for victory.
"Funny you should mention that.  I also have something like that"
  Taking out from under the coat of Leonard, and turning it towards Sousuke.  At one glance it is a simple thrusting knife that is not like a sword, there was a lever for the thumb attached to the root of the blade.  Looking at it Sousuke secretly smacked his lips.
"This is what you call a Spetsnaz Knife.  Looks like you know"
  That knife was a weapon developed for the Russian Special Forces.  There was a strong spring inside the grip, it was constructed that if the lever is pushed the blade would be detached.  Its construction looks like a simple toy, but its destructive power is dreadful.  If detached from 10 meters it has a deadly power that could easily penetrate a telephone directory.
  The condition has become disadvantageous.
  This AS pilot suit has anti blade function, but could not guard against that kind of piercing weapon.  He would die if hit, or would lose with a severe wound.  Furthermore a weapon that uses a simple spring power, would not be dangerous for an explosion.
  However, there is only one shot.  If he is protected from that shot, he could get close and bring him down.

"I know what you're thinking"
  He said seeing through what Sousuke was thinking.
"Kill with whatever method.  If there are no guns then kill with the knife.  If there is no knife then kill with a bare hands.  If both hands are cut off---- then bite on the windpipe.  Even if you die you sharpen your bones, you're the type of guy who waits to trample on the enemy.  I wonder if you would think about discussions...."
"Is there a need to discuss?"
"A method to get out of here.  It's a stupid conversation, but were both sealed in here"
"........."
"Propane has been leaking for a while now.  Right now it’s still fine, but after 2 more hours both of us would either suffocate of get poisoned"
"You mean there is no need to fight"
"Either way we'll die.  I've been going around, but there is a staircase over there that is plugged by rubbles.  If the both of us remove the rubbles, we could get out before we die."
"A short time truce, you mean to say"
"That's right.  If we fight now, whoever wins the wounded won't get out.  Even if one of us gets injured, I don't think it would get the work done.  For the mean time we should cooperate and get out of here, after that we can just kill each other.  That's my proposal."
  Leonards words were not lies.  The gas and escape route were also true.  If they don't have a truce both of them will surely die.
"Alright.  But in the end, it's for the sake of getting out of here"
  Not even an atom of forgiveness, he has to get along with Leonard's proposal.  Both of them put down their weapons at the same time.
"Fine.  Don't we get a handshake?"
"Bullshit"
  Sousuke put his carbine gun over his shoulder, and headed to the stairs with a quick pace.

  The Airborne troops of <Amalgam> which is under the command of Kalinin, has finished securing the majority of the ruins surface.  Although it is [secured], they can only confirm no signs of the enemy.
  He himself also got off to the surface, investigating the other helicopter that descended in the ruins.  He noticed that there are 2 people who walked to the research plant, in addition he managed to see through that these two people were Sagara Sousuke and Teletha Testarossa.
  Most probably, they were under that plant.
  Leonard might also have noticed that.  He's also independently moved into the plant, and no communications could be made.  After that a 4 man scout also went in, and after the last contact of [Gunshots have been heard] no further communications were made.  They have fought Sousuke, he could only think that the tables have turned.
  After a few minutes, reports from his subordinates confirmed his conjecture.
  The crashed helicopter exploded and caught fire in another area.  Again, guaranteeing survivors on the crash site, those evidence points to Chidori Kaname and the French man being alive.  And then Leonard's whereabouts are unknown, and the movements of Sousuke and the others are unknown.
  It seems there's a strange thing happening underground.  Having cut off from the majority of their force in the surface, he possibly can't let his forces get near the plant.
[Leave the surface to me]
  Casper said standing by on his AS.
[I'll take care of those who comes near]
"....understood.  I leave it to you"
  Kalinin saying such, brought along a few soldiers and began to head to the plant's underground descending the shaft.

  Because of Tessa's guidance going well, Kaname with the three of them has not encountered the enemy and continues to proceed the plant's underground.  But then, they are running away from the direction of the enemy so it was not unnatural.
  Going through the deepest part to get out of the opposite side---- this plan itself Kaname understood, but getting deeper into this maze was very unpromising.
"Is it really this way?"
  Kaname asked Tessa countless times.  Even she herself, did not know how many times it was asked.  It was because of the frequency of the deja vu.
"Eeh.  It should be but...."
  Tessa hesitated to say.  The route was another matter, and has the appearance of being puzzled.

"....if you head straight of this curve, you would go out of the opposite side.  From there if you look for a ladder in the stairs, you could get to the surface"
"Aside from that, what are you trying to say?"
"Eeh"
  Tessa stood to a stop.
"....I guess I can't leave it alone.  I have to visit it.  You should proceed, please go on ahead."
  Kaname and Lemon were surprised at her words.
"What do you mean?  A place to visit...."
"The enemy will be here soon.  It's dangerous for you to be alone."
"Don't worry.  Besides, originally there is something I need here.  Coming this far, I just can't give up"
"What exactly do you need?  We'll also accompany you"
"It's not that far right?  Let's go"
  With the proposal from Kaname and Lemon, Tessa shook her head.
"No, you can't come.  Anyway it's something important....I will do it alone."
  It was a bad enunciation on Tessa's explanation.  Even though she knows something, she won't tell it to Kaname and the others.  No---- not Kaname, but Lemon.  Right now it was a proactive collaboration with Tessa, to begin with he is French Intelligence.  If there is a great secret in this plant, there is no guarantee that the contents would be transmitted to the organization.
  Lemon himself have noticed this.
"Could it be, that you can't tell me this?"
  Tessa fell silent.  In other words saying that is so.
"About this secret city, Wraith and I risked danger to investigate it.  Whatever was in here, without knowing the details, we silently did what you asked and went to Moscow.  And then I became like this, morever I don't know if Wraith is alive or not.  Even then, you can't tell me the circumstance.  It's that right?"
"I am very grateful to you.  But this is----"
"My allegiances?  If it's the DGSE, I'm sure I'm already fired.  I haven't been in contact with my superiors."
"You're mistaken.  Of course I'm also concerned about the information leaking to your organization, but that is not the only problem.  The secret here, is not about the national security of one nation.  If handled unskillfully---- the fate of the people of the world, might get triffled with"
"That exaggerated"
"No.  Even moderately, it is not exaggerated.  If you knew the secret the sleeps in here, most people would be charmed by the power and use it.  It's alright to tell Kaname-san.  Sagara-san would also be alright.  These two and me, were already triffled with this secret, speaking with the person concerned.  But, you Lemon-san---- being tempted by it, I do not have the confidence in it."
  He was embarrassed by her words, Kaname also understood.
"I really don't understand.  If I were to know about that secret, I should leave it to your monopoly?"
"That may not be unreasonable---- that at least is an important problem.  That is why, could you go ahead with Kaname-san?"
"That a hard request.... Then, how about this"
  After saying that, Lemon took out the automatic pistol out of his belt.
"Wai...."
  Kaname's expression changed.  But turning on the safety device, he turned the gun and handed it over to Tessa.
"Take it.  If I started thinking strange, shoot me."
"Lemon-san, I----"
"Ahead of this, I'm not sure if I would be able to return alive.  Then I would like to know.  ....please"
  It seems that she is in deep worry.  As far as what can be seen, Lemon was a good person, she can't say whether this was an act or not.  After one minute he could suddenly change, exactly who should warn them?

  But in the end it was concluded as [unavoidable].  Tessa made a deep sigh, and carefully took the pistol that he handed.
"....I understand.  However, if you showed any signs of change then I will really shoot"
"R...really?"
  Kaname asked, Tessa nodded.
"I'm serious.  I will shoot with all my power.  Though I don't know if it will hit or not...."
"I..is that so..."
"Kaname-san.  I thought about telling you this.  Even if I didn't, having brought you here, my brother would have told you.  possibly this...."
"Possibly, what?"
"No.  Anyway, since we've decided to go we must hurry.  This way"

  It was an unusual cooperative work, and continues in the darkness.
  Both of them pulling, and took them more than 5 minutes to move the unyielding steel frame.  Receding the concrete and rocks in the surroundings first, it was a hard struggle for 10 minutes.  Finally the aforementioned steel frame, could be move with just a kick.
  Sousuke and Leonard only making exchanges to the most minimal required, did not say anything more.  Only in a degree in something like [get that off] or [pull this].
  Of course they did not get their guard off.  Whenever the opponent would change his mind, he would immediately pull out his knife, and would not turn his back when ever necessary.
  No matter the situation the man is an enemy.  He did not forget this decision.
"Oh well...."
  Leonard rested his hands.  He did not seem tired.  Only bored of the simple work.
"Don't rest on your own"
  With the words of Sousuke, he shrugged his shoulders and returned to work.
  It was not a bad performance.  And not because he was powerless.  For someone who doesn't know much but wears a suit, it has a strange feeling looking at him working like this.
"Tessa must also have come here right?  Aren't you worried about her?"
  Not being able to stand the boring work, Leonard spoke.
  This matter of speaking from the enemy doesn't seem like pinpointing the location of Tessa.  It might be a bluff, but he thought that he might have guessed that Tessa would be in this ruins.  But there is no reason for him to offer such information, and feign innocence.
"I don't know what you're talking about"
"I don't think you'd come here alone.  She is the one who has a need here."
"I don't know, I also don't fell like answering."
"Aah, is that so"
  Leonard said with a searching voice, taking an armful of reinforced concrete, and putting it down below the stairs.
"What if I tell you that Chidori Kaname is here, well?"
  Sousuke gripping the fragments of the conduits with his hands, suddenly stopped.
"Did you bring her?  In this ruins?"
"Don't rest on your own.  Hey"
  It must be revenge for before.  Leonard made a smirk in the darkness.  Even with annoyance, he didn't say a word and continued to work.
"A helicopter came crashing down the large elevator shaft right?  She was riding in that"
"What was that?"
"Then later the helicopter exploded, and burned up.  Although we haven't confirmed the corpse, it was because of your attacks"
  For an instant his muscles grew cold, Sousuke immediately decided that [it must be a lie].  If Kaname were trully dead, he wouldn't be talking comfortably here like this.  Although he didn't know whose death this man would be saddened, at least he wouldn't laugh about it.
"You don't seem to believe me.  There is no mistake that what I've just said is the truth.  I was at the hanger of the helicopter in my AS, it was simple to escape.  She was in the front cabin.  Whatever happened to her, even I don't know."
"Nonsense"
"It's true.  Chidori Kaname was riding that helicopter."
"Then, why do you talk so optimistic?"
"That's right.  That's a good question.  ...well, it's time we start moving.  Let's try it"
"Let's go"
  Somehow the two of them grabbed on the unmoving steel frame, and pulled with full strength.  The base covered with rubble slowly began to give, and they finally pulled it free.
"Alright.  Well then....where were we.  That's right, her condition."

  Returning to manual labor, Leonard continued the topic.
"It is true that she was on the helicopter that crashed.  I didn't rescue her, the helicopter exploded and burned.  Even then she is alive, I am confident about it.  That's a point."
"What are you talking about?"
  Sousuke really does not know the meaning in Leonard's words.  For example if Kaname being in the helicopter was true, why does he have that confidence?  Additionally, why purposely say so?
"I've also tested it before.  Just before your struggle in Hong Kong.  She was targeted by an Assassin ordered by Gauron, and was attacked in the business district of Tokyo.  Under the rain.  I was in there hiding, did nothing and only watched."
"............"
"Think generally.  An assassin that was a protégé of Gauron, and a high school girl with good reflex.  No matter how you think it would be her end.  But she was saved."
"She has good luck"
"That's right, she has good luck----abnormally"
  There was a hidden enigma in Leonard's words.
"During the attack, that assassin used his first gun.  The first shot missed, and emptied the cartridge.  In such opportunity she managed to run away."
It was the first time that he heard of this.  Even from Kaname, he didn't hear the details about it.  Aside from the small AS called <Alastor>, and the meeting with Leonard and 2 to 3 conversations, he knew nothing more.
"It was not rare that the automatic pistol to malfunction"
"That's right.  But if you were going to kill someone with a gun, before that what do you do?"
"That's..."
  Confirming the function of the gun, and inspect that there is nothing wrong with the bullets.  Blundering at the start, no matter what kind of target it is it would be difficult if the target were to be absorbed to the killing rhythm.  That is why you have to make certain from the start, to be very careful in preparing to send the target to the other world.
  That assassin is also the same.
  Aside from the coincidence that the bullet missed, the gun also broke down.
"She has good luck, that girl.  It's a little unbelievable right"
"Is that why she is alive from the helicopter crash?  Something is wrong"
"Is that so?  You also have some knowledge of it.  how many times she had barely escape danger in a nick of time.  I think that the way she lives is strange."
"That's...."
  With his nose indicating a smile, Sousuke couldn't do it.  That’s correct.  When he met her, she was involved with countless dangers.  Among them, even some aspects that would  send chills to Sousuke who had experienced the scene of carnage.
  Was that also luck?  No, that shouldn't be.
"She never gives up and continues to move.  Judging what she can do in her circumstance, according to her will and beliefs.  The meaning in that, is that she is similar to an ordinary veteran soldier"
  Of course Sousuke could not deny what's called "luck".  He himself was also alive because of luck.  Being a soldier himself with enough abilities, he could also be killed with a single stray bullet.  But luck was a persistent element attached to it.  There is a saying [Man prosper, God disposes], luck surely must be [god's will].  Being bothered by luck, only then would action follow.
  If you remove the ability of a Whispered, Kaname Chidori is by no means a non-rare human.  More than an ordinary human, she is a little more stronger.  Actually this is a difficult matter, but this it not a rare disposition.
"I recognize her great will and activity.  But, Will you think about this?  She would happen to have this kind of ability herself, her luck"
"It's just a bending theory"
  Then the people who had filled their life expectancy, all of it would have to be luck.  A required environment to live the full life, would mean having the required ability.  There are already a hundred million people among the world.

"Well, that might be.  This is matter is just going around circles.  Also for not being dead, it was not luck but inevitability"
"Inevitability?"
"She is the convergence point of cause and effect.  You can say that the world is strange because she is here, or you can say that she is here because the world is strange. From now she will be---- probably, even without any arrangement from me, she would be meeting with the dead of this [relic].  There she would unite with the power to put a full stop on history.  Becoming the [KANAME (Key Stone)] that would create a world without a past, future and present."
"I don't understand.  what are you saying?"
"About the [Omni Sphere] and the [Whispered].  The chaos of the world will start from this ground."

Tags:

Continuation of Chapter 4 from here

Chapter 4b

  The frequency of the deja vu is evidently high.
  Kaname also felt that she has walked this long and narrow passage a number of times, and felt that the small abusive language of Lemon and the cough of Tessa were heard a number of time.  Having too much deja vu seems to be laborious, clearly gathering your will in front to preserve the true nature.  But even then, the indescribable fatigue were accumulating throughout the nerves of the whole body.
"My head seems to feel funny"
  Lemon muttered.  Those words were heard countless of times.

"I'm sure it's just ahead.  But I feel that the door gets farther and farther away.  I somehow understand what a mountain climber feels...."
"Don't worry.  We'll get there"
  There was fatigue oozing out of Tessa's words.
"Just ahead, is the center of the research facility.  The device that Professor Valof and the research team created, would be sleeping there unharmed."
"The effect would be coming from the device right?"
"Yes.  But strictly speaking, it is not the fault of the current device.  Since there is no electricity it's not functioning."
"Being the effect of a device that stopped, I really don't understand..."
"It's a little hard to explain---- the effects of that device, would be coming from the past. 18 years ago, the psychic wave of it's full operation are being transmitted to this period"
"The past? Psychic wave?"
"It's the [Omni Sphere] that I've explained a while ago.  This center is ground zero.  Everything started from here."
  Gradually---- really gradually, the three of them managed to reach the center.  Getting pass a number of massive doors.  They were lucky these were not locked, and the weight of it was opened by both Tessa and Kaname.
  In there was a extensive hall like space.  Many times wider than a school gymnasium.  In the inner walls were drum type units, countless of them sticking closely to each other.  One by one they are the size of a truck's tire.
  And then in the center of the vast hall, was a large dome type structure.  It looks like a globular gas tank in Japan, and the larger half cut.  In it's outside surface, similar to the inner wall of the hall are hundreds of drum type units clinging.
"What is this place....?"
  Lemon said with uneasiness.
  Looking alert, an ordinary human would not know what kind of facility this was.  Speaking only of its atmosphere, it looks like a photo of a neutrino observation facility.  Constructed deep underground, strange and exaggerated---- it is an experimental device for a simple purpose.  If this was thought with an enormous budget and resource with the required resources, it would become a large-scale device like this---- being said as an arrogant space.  Even being organized as it is, this device has an abnormal eccentric feel to it.
  As a scientific apparatus, it would rather be like a heretic temple ruined in ancient times.
  Due to the deterioration, the inside of the drum was lost from the inner wall and rolled to Kaname and the others.  Probably, this drum is an amplification device.  The insides were enclosed special electrical circuit that substitutes human intellect.
  No, during those period such scale of circuits can't be built.  Unless----
"Kaname-san.  Are you uneasy about the contents of this drum?"
"Un, could it be...."
"I don't think it's the brains of humans as expected."
  Tessa said with a voice without vigor.
"Probably, they used brains of other high class mammals.  Professor Valof's team seems to be researching the brains of Dolphins, the atrocity of the victims were probably them."
"How cruel...."
  Talking about one or two heads would already be sickening, but this facility has thousand of them in the same drum.  Kaname tried to refrain from vomiting.
  They already understood.  This ruins is the product of evil and madness.

  If not so, even if the victims were not humans, such cruelty should not exists.
"This is TAROS?"
"Yes.  This device was created by Professor Valof, the worlds first TAROS.  Although he called it [Mental communication device].  The current TAROS loaded into <Laevatein> and <De Daanan>, using the latest technology in large scale logic element---- using Al and Daana as an amplifying device, making it possible to transmit and respond to the Omni Sphere."
"However, the period that created this device should not be possible.  That is why the amplification of a living brain...."
"That's right.  To keep the large resources of brain organization from dying, in order to control the chemical of such activity various kinds of diverse drugs were refined in this Yamsk 11 Plant.  To keep the secret the production facility were collected within the town.  The former town that this was, many excellent specialist were gathered from the Eastern countries.  Majority of these scientists did not know the whole aspect of the experiment.  Having to investigate this far, took me quite some time.  Risking Lemon-san to danger, the different piece were put into place."
"Tessa you've gone to that much hardship.... no matter how many secret towns there are, aren't there any people that knows remained?"
"None of them remained.  Because the people of the town, those who remained either died or are crippled.  And in merely one night"
"....what exactly happened?"
"During the full operational test an accident occurred.  TAROS went berserk, radiating an extremely strong psychic wave.  The people within the 30 kilometer radius of this center, received a serious mental contamination.... later it would be shown on the ruins outside.  People who lost their sanity killed, and continued to commit suicide.  There are also many people in distant places who were killed by the shock."
  Although Kaname had not seen the streets, but she could imagine what had happened.  There is no mistake that it developed into a scene of Hell.
"A telepathic version of the Chernobyl huh"
  A silent and listening Lemon muttered.
"That's right.  There are a variety of psychic wave that radiates through the Omni sphere.  One that weakens by distance and time is the [Iota wave].  What contaminated the residents of Yamsk 11 was this Iota wave, the effects are comparatively confined in an area.  And then the other is the [Tau wave].  This has no relation to distance and time, and a psychic wave with a property that can be transmitted by a distance with getting weak.  This has no influence for an ordinary person, except for an instant degree of deja vu.  However, the effects of this Tau wave are wide.  I think that it has been transmitted to all over the world."
"But, nobody noticed...."
"Yes.  It cannot be observed physically, and there are no persons who received the effects.  However, there are exceptions.  During the berserk of TAROS---- this is just an assumption---- roughly 18 years ago, December 24, 1981, 11:50 Greenwich Mean time continuing for about 3 minutes.  In this moment the effects were received by the people who are exceptions.  Do you know what kind of people these are?"
"Well..... I guess it's us"
  Lemon's head turned to one side, Kaname made a deep sigh.
  This might be the biggest sigh for humans.  Listening that much, she finally understood.
  My secret.  Our secret.
"The newborn baby.  The moment they woke up"
"That's right, it's us."
  Still remembering it now.  During primary school there were research subject like [let's inspect the incident on the day you were born].  At that time it was shown to the birth mother.  December 24, Tokyo time is 20:50.  Greenwich Mean Time would be 1:50.
  Mother.
  You should have birthed me 1 minute earlier.....
"As to why would the Tau wave effect the newborn baby on the moment of their birth....we still don't fully know that.  In the explanation of a Physiologist Alice Miller, the moment a newborn baby is born there are special activity in the basal ganglia and Occipital lobe.  However, at present there are no medical verification.  There are no consent from mothers"
"Well that's right....  there are no mothers that would agree to having electrodes stick into the brain of a child just before birth."
"With the creation of more advance apparatus, I think there is a way to investigate this....  to be delivered into a special Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Apparatus.  If ever in the future, that Kaname-san chances to give birth to a baby would you let me conduct an experiment"
"Wha..what are you saying.  Why don't you do it yourself!?"
"But, I will probably be alone for the rest of life...."
"What's with that bitter face"
"Nothing.  But, that's right....  If Kaname-san would lend Sagara-san to me sometimes, I'll do the experiment myself"
"You say that easily...."
"You don't want to?"
"Of course!? Well, in the first place, he and I are not really..."
"I'm joking.  Don't be seriously troubled by it"
"....hey you"
  Kaname shook her shoulders, Lemon timidly raised a voice from the side.
"Um. Right now, we were talking about something very serious but...."
"Ah, that's right"
"sorry, we got carried away"
  Kaname and the others were near the giant dome in the center of the hall.  Tessa seeming to look for the passage inside, walked along the outer circumference of the dome.
"Well then.... Children who were imprinted by the Tau wave the moment of their birth.  They were the [Whispered].  Nonetheless, we did not receive the vast knowledge from that short instant.  Connecting to the Omni Sphere, I think we gained the ability to receive another psychic wave from some future."
"Some future?"
"Yes.  The Omni Sphere retrogrades information through time.  We did not receive information on technology not yet known from birth, but [receive] information through psychic wave from the future.  The imprinting during birth, would be to have the minimum required ability for that reception."

"In other words, it's like an access code or a protocol.... With that, when the child grows up the intelligence rises, by some kind of chance, would receive the suspicious electromagnetic waves"
"That's how it is.  ....children born in the said 3 minutes, what was recorded all over the world was 174 person.  With the healthcare system of underdeveloped countries, there are children with no accurate birth records, and is actually much more numerous.  A rough estimate would multiplied by that---- around more than 350 people.  However, the confirmed Whispered at the present are only a handful, less than 10."
"Why is that?"
"The age where the Whispered ability awakens might be dependent on each individual differences.  And aside from the time of birth, there is a possibility of other conditions to become a Whispered.  The [qualities] are different though.  There are many individual differences when humans are born, and it would not be mysterious for those born not affected by the Tau wave.  Currently those [complication ratio] is less than 3%, and would not be considered as unnatural figures.  At any event---- we are currently the communication terminal that receives the output of technology information from the future."
"It is an unbelievable story"
  Lemon muttered.  His face being pale, was not only because of his injuries.
"Technology information sent from the future.  Then that means, technology and weapons came from that information."
"That's right.  The AS was the start of [Technology that shouldn't exists (Black Technology)]
  There was no inflection in the words of Tessa.  In the wide darkness with nobody but the three of them, her voice resounded with a vacant tone.
"I think that the effects of the Black Technology most probably have started around the mid 80's.  The same children as us Whispered, there were records that these abilities have started to display at around age 3.  My father, while still alive was investigating this."
"80's?  Then, the world right now...."
"Yes.  The world has been affected by the Black Technology for 15 years, it would not be difficult to imagine.  The explosive advancement of elliptical computer technology.  The innovative invention in the field of energy.  The dramatic change in radar technology...."
  Originally, the development of these enterprises were not yet developed.  Enterprises that should have collapsed have not collapsed.  Military operation that was supposedly a failure succeeded.  International economy receiving a different effect.  There might be a change in the result of a large country's election, originally it may have a different administration, or it may have a different policy.
  A collapsed country, might not have collapsed.
  A country preserving its unity might have split up.
  And then, it is possible---- The American-Russian cold war might have ended.

"For arguments sake the [Original History]---- if there is a history that have no Black Technology present---- something that is mostly on conjecture---- I think the science technology would still be unchanged from the start of the 80's.  With computer voice recognition in a suspicious level, the existence of Palladium Reactor, the materialization of a bipedal robot technology, and that sort."
"Then were talking about Technology?"
"Yes.  Those brought about the effects in Political economics and military affairs.... complex conjectures are impossible.  The whole surface might gone into nuclear warfare, or the reverse the cold war might have ended.  In any case, it is a different world that we know of.  A group of people that would know this truth, would call this situation a [Time Hazard].  It's just, that in the first place an [Original History], it is unknown if it exists or not.  If the appearance of Whispered and interference of the Omni Sphere are inevitable, this might be a natural occurrence."
"Its something of a large scale that I can't imagine.... just now how many times a deja vu came, my head is really become strange"
"Please steady your head, Lemon-san.  Where we are right now, is the center of where the Time Hazard occurred.  We cannot predict what effects it would have on the mind."
"The center....  But isn't it strange?  The world rotates, revolving.  Moving in the center of the solar system and the Milky way.  If it were in the strict coordinates, the [here] 18 years ago would be somewhere beyond space right?"
"No.  The Omni Sphere exists in the mind of the area it was first activated, and have absolutely no relation to the physical world's coordinates.  It is not something similar to the Ether Space of the past.  That is why the livelihood domain of human---- in other words on the surface world, [existing here] could not be explained.  The Omni Sphere adheres to the Earth and moves together with it, and the coordinates system on the earth makes Yamsk 11 ground zero, there are other faulty expressions but.... it would be better to think that situation like that."
"It's difficult.... Even so, this ruins have been uninhabited for a long time.  If there are no people, the Omni Sphere wouldn't exist right?"
"It's not because there are no people that it doesn't exist.  I think the expression [it has no meaning] is more correct.  Besides, this place is different.  The effects of the incident 18 years ago, still remains to the present day---- no, it reaches here."
  They found the entrance to the dome.  Similar to the height of Tessa, a narrow hatch.
"Aah..... I really don't understand.  Kaname-san, how about you?"
"I..."
  Kaname who has been silent for a while, felt her head heavy.  it was the because of the said deja vu.  step by step, she felt painful advancing forward.  Like walking in a heavy viscous liquid with resistance and discomfort.  Then there are order of precedence.
"I... understand"
  She understood.
  This was not a simple uninhabited ruins.  What wait waiting ahead.
"Aah..... I really don't understand.  Kaname-san, how about you?"
  Lemon said.
"Lemon-san. You're repeating yourself."
"Aah..... I really don't understand.  Kaname-san, how about you?"
"Lemon-san?"
"Kaname-san, how about you?"
"Lemon-san!"
"How about you?..... about you? you? you? ou? u, u, uwawaauwaua......uwaaaaaaaa!!"
  It was a scream with a frozen spine.  Lemon's mind being plucked from his body, like receiving an electromagnetic shock averting his spine, his whole body shakes violently.
"Hi....!?"
"Stopstopstopstopstopdon'tdon'tdon'tdon'tdon'tdon'tdon't!!"
"Lemon-san!!"
  Looking down upon Kaname who was only shivering, Tessa thrust him away will full power.  Lemon staggered, and falling to his backside a few meters away from the dome.  Even then his struggle did not stop.
"Let's pull him back!  Help me!"
"Eh? Ah, un"
  Lemon who continued to scream despite falling, both Kaname and Tessa pulled him out into the exterior hall.  Finally his derangement have stopped, he lied down on the place with a sobbing voice.
"What was that?  What exactly is this...."
"I don't know.  But, probably----"
  Tearing off from her shoulder, Tessa muttered.
"The Iota waves that was emitted from the center of the facility, is stronger than expected.  With a strong feed back from the Omni sphere, Lemon-san fell into panic.  It's because he is a normal human."
"Right.  When I first felt electromagnetic wave in North Korea, it was this kind of feeling.  It because we have grown accustomed to it, those unskilful might be shocked to death...."

"This was beyond supposition.  At this rate, we can't bring him inside."
  There was no reason to recklessly bring him in.  Rather if this is favorable to Tessa, she doesn't have the appearance of being glad.
"But the Iota wave, there must be something inside?"
"That's right.  However, but more than my hypothesis, the distant strength is----"
  Tessa lie faced down, and cough in nausea.

"Tessa, are you alright?"
"Yes.  Why don't you wait with Lemon-san.  There is no need for you to recklessly accompany me.  Here with him----"
  When she was saying this, Kaname firmly gripped her hand.
"Alright. Let's go."
"...yes"
  Holding the hand of Kaname, Tessa once again started walking towards TAROS---- the center of the dome.

"Stopping History.  What's that"
  Sousuke asked, Leonard muttered something in the middle of the deep darkness.  [Machenshaft Als Herrschaft Des~].  He did not hear the last part.  It's most likely German, the meaning he doesn't understand.
"?"
"I wonder if that's Heidegger.  [A construction that controls the creation and the created].  Or possibly Self Cause (Causa Sui).  It's only by association.  The connection between cause and effect, is to go because of going.  Well, it’s about philosophy.  Anyway setting free the principle of causality, we have lived thus far in this different world.  If Fate and Destiny are indeed become free---- what would man wish for at that time?  I am progressing for that preparation."
  Principle of causality?  Fate?
  Sousuke doesn't entirely understand the meaning of this.
"You heard about the Omni Sphere from my sister right?"
"A little"
"Even TAROS?"
"Once.  A device that accesses the Omni Sphere, and the ability to operate the Lambda Driver."
"The Lambda Driver was just an extra.  It was for convenience"
"It seems so"
"In this ruins is where the worlds first TAROS was created, and a berserk incident occurred.  As a result, children who were to arrive on the same time became the [Whispered].  ....the real importance the Omni Sphere holds, was the transmission of a variety of electromagnetic wave from that area, not being restricted from time and space.  A whispered, are persons capable of transmitting information from the past or future.  With its effect, made this world different from the [original world].  Another history, another time axis, another world.  Originally AS should not exist, even <Mythril> shouldn't.  <Amalgam> also would be a different organization"
"That's absurd.  Such a thing----"
"It's up to you to believe it or not.  But this is the truth---- how do you think you should treat this world?"
"I don't have to treat anything.  I should just leave it alone"
  Wherever the world may be, for Sousuke such things have no interest to him.
  History changed?  Then what about it.  Even if it were the truth, the truth surrounding him will not change.
  There are enemies, there are allies.
  There are battle tactics, there are mission objectives.
  Actions that should be done, looking at information that needs to be known, something that should be heard.
"Would it be alright continuing like this?"
  Leonard laughed.
"Of course not.  Those that should exist are gone, those that doesn't exist are here.  People who should have lived are dead, those who should have died are still alive.  This world has gone mad.  We have to correct it.  A man who has the power to do so"
"The one who's mad is you.  I don't know what kind of methods you have to reform the world but----"
"It's not world reformation"
  His fed up scornful voice echoing in the darkness.
"It's not worthless politics.  Inclining the Earth's axis, think about the occurrences of natural disasters.  If there is a way to return things, it would be ordinary to think about returning it right?  Returning the world to what it was originally.  What is mad about that?"
"I'm not a great genius like you.  Even if you say the world is mad, no feelings would grow.  I really don't understand, but what you say about [returning the world], would be to deny the environment that we have lived in right?  Even for enemies and allies.  That is what I do not like."
"Then listen to this, do you have comrade in arms that have died?  Relatives or friends, surrounding comrades that you have lost?"
"Of course"
  The comrade in arms in Afghanistan.  And the mercenaries he met after.  There are many of them.  Those who were with him in the operation of <Mythirl>.  Matt Shade of the intelligence department.  Urzu 1 Gale Mcallen.  PRT's Rian Shaopin.  Gebo 9's pilot Eva Santos and her crew.  Colleagues who died in the battle at Melidia island that he heard of---- Castello.  Speck.  Several officers of the West Pacific Fleet.
  And then---- Nami.
  No matter how many of them there are, there at least a few people who died because he doesn't have enough strength.  Especially Nami of Namsak, just the fleeting memory of her name sends pain down his heart.  Nami.  Sorry.  If I were only a second faster in saving you----
"You have right.  You have many deaths.  Don't you regret them?"
"....I have no obligation to answer"
"No, you regret them.  But, [originally], majority of them should still be alive.  The [Black Technology] that the Whispered brought about changed warfare, surely the fate of those surrounding people were obviously affected.  The lives that they should have, are you going to deny them this.  Saying coldly [leave them alone] and abandoning them.  Who would be the one who's mad?"
"I'm not abandoning them....!"
  Understanding the expectations of his opponent, even so Sousuke raised his voice.
"Can you say that to them?  [It was unfortunate that you died, give up.  There is a way to save you, but I don't want to try it]?"
"What you're saying is nonsense.  You can't save those who have died.  Time axis of the past of the future, they won't be resurrected by such theories."
"Hmm.  You don't seem to be saying that with a rock head.  Why do you think so?"

"Because I'm a killer"
  Sousuke gazing at Leonard said this.
"Before, it is as you said before Chidori.  I killed more than 100 people.  I don't know the accurate number.  And there is no need to know.  There were a number of people riding in the truck which I blew up in the gorge of Afghanistan, but I did not count.  Generally speaking, I stole the lives of countless of men.  That is why I understand.  I feel I know it."
"Hmm.  In other words?"
"Human's death are absolute.  They won't come back again.  If you can somehow bring them back as a puppet, then they would be another person."
"Why is it?  If the body, mind and environment are the same, then they would be the same person right"
"Your mistaken.  Death itself is a part of humans.  A personality until the last moment.  That is why is seriously fighting with full devotion.  This is the only unchanging absolute rule.  Even for that Gauron, abide by this.  That person is the garbage of humans, but simultaneously know the fleeting moment of life.  The difference between him and me, are what is being enjoyed and what is not being enjoyed."
"Very interesting view"
  Leonard said laboriously taking up the concrete lump.
"Gaurun huh.  This talk---- about made time and destiny, he also mentioned this.  He didn't doubt.  But he didn't concern himself.  He said something similar to yours.  Even though you were fated enemies, having the same opinion.  Isn't it cynicism"
"It's not cynicism or what.  It was a warriors unwritten law."
"Gauron is a warrior?"
"At least.  But you're different."
  He has no intention of disdain.  Sousuke only spoke what he felt.  [You're different].  But his words stimulated something inside of Leonard.
"I see.  Then---- you have to hear this, would Kaname dying be the same thing?"
".........."
  Sousuke did not say anything.  He didn't understand it himself.
"You don't know right"
  In Leonard's voice, there was no pride resounding in it.
"If I were in your standpoint, well, I couldn't accept that.  A rule or an unwritten law, because this is a world that has no need of such procedure.  Aren't you people perceiving things in simplicity?  Good or evil, Likes and dislikes, Enemies and friends---- you don't believe in dualism right"
"What are you trying to say"
"I don't know.  Unexpectedly, I think there might be no need for us to fight."
  An unexpected words.
  No need to fight---- Why did he say such words?  You appeared to us as enemies from the start.  Standing as an obstruction to our mission, many friend died, and then taking Kaname away.  There was no thought of reconciliation.
"I understand.  It's not that I'm talking about peace.  No matter how I say it, the answer would be NO right? If these were known long ago conciliation work would not be"
"Of course"
"You're stubbornness, are no different from the fundamentalism of terrorist.  However Mr. Kalinin was wrong.  He was hesitant at first."
"....the Lt. Commander?"
"The first time I made contact with his was last Christmas.  Even after listening to the current mad world, he did not immediately believe.  However, he seemed think long and hard.  During the great assault last January."
"You're nonsense would not make him double cross."
"I'll reveal some proof to you.  Using an ordinarily unforeseeable natural phenomenon, <Amalgam> gave <Mythirl> a great blow, so to say"
"Natural phenomenon?"
"The Solar Wind.  With the influence of a large scale solar activity, it is know that most communications would be down.  I foresaw it using TAROS.  It is impossible to predict the surface climate and society, but it was not difficult to predict solar activity.  The activity of humans living in a small planet, there is nothing that could affect the sun.  knowing the exact second.  I used that.  If not, <Amalgam> would not be able to strike a great blow to <Mythril> in such a short time."
  During the aforementioned great offensive, he heard that Kalinin's state was strange.
  That was because of Leonard's prediction.  Using the absolutely unpredictable solar activity <Amalgam> devised an attack.  There is no more [proof] than this.  TAROS and Omni Sphere, history's accident that made a communication method to cross time.  All of it are true.
"Then he agreed.  With a means to correct the mistake, I have that power.  The allies that he followed, is accurately no <Amalgam>, but me"
"Impossible..."
  For Andrei Kalinin, isn't he the personification of that [Warrior's unwritten law].  Beside the possibility of [correcting the mad world], it's unthinkable that he would ride along that plan.  For him to accept failure, defeat and every kind of blow, on top of these he would construct the [next mission].
  If not.  If he were not so, us who have been fighting under him, for what purpose were we fighting for exhausting all power.
"Andrei Kalinin is a realistic man.  I also understand if you do not accept this.  That is why no explanation was made."
"The Captain---- Tessa knew this"
"She should know.  On top of that she did not explain anything, and obstructs my objective.  Why is that?  Do you know?"
"There are people in <Mythril> who approves, as you want to say"
"That is correct.  That is why Teletha did not explain everything.  Letting bygones be bygones, and thinking of letting history continue.  Facing forward is splendid, but it was a reason of self intoxication.  There is also the revenge towards <Amalgam>.  Going against controlling the world.  But that girls first motive, was to go against me.  Denying me of what I should be doing, thinking of showing her own power."
"She is not that kind of selfish person"
"I don't care about her true intentions.  But it is as what I've said, having pretext of [wrong] principle.  In short, a child.  Because she's smarter than ordinary people, all the more she will manage it.  There is a theory attached inside of her."
  Extracting the steel pipe buried in the rubbles, there was a sound of the surrounding concrete breaking.  There was a hole no larger than an arm, from there blew a cold wind.
  Just a little more.
  If they remove the surrounding rubble, they could go through the opposite passage.
"<Amalgam> right now, is radically headed to deterioration."
  Removing the rubble, Leonard surprisingly said that.
"Although no one notices it.  What I am going to do---- the plan to fully stop the history of the mad world, needs a considerable calculation and resources.  The democratic system is inconvenient.  That is why, I'm going to break the lever"
"Break the lever?"
"The introduction of dictatorship.  Destroying the equilibrium of the management's power, spreading distrust and fears.  Then a person will appear to execute the brilliant activity, using the carrot and stick in the dark forming alliances using influences.  It is simply a troublesome work, but will take form in half a year.  Due to the activities of Mr. Kalinin."

"In other words, you will be the dictator"
"We still haven't arrived at that stage.  Mostly grasping the background of the important leaders, finish off their communications network like a virus.  The communications network is not the internet.  It's a little more primitive coded system so nobody noticed.  <Amalgam> also have made use of this for tens of years quietly increasing it."
  Although he doesn't have any intention of giving away the coded system, these words of Leonard are already important information.  Also easily speaking about the actual circumstance of his own organization.
"Why do you tell me this?"
"I thought it might be a good idea to tell you.  You guys are desperately fighting, someday <Amalgam> will decline.  No---- that representation is amusing.  Before that, this world will be corrected from the mistaken form."
  Coming this far, Sousuke can't possibly think of what this man is boasting about.  If Leonard were mad, the conversation would be over.  But in the unfortunate matter, that is not the reality.  Kalinin has sided with him, <Amalgam> certain has shown some strange movement, and then the unnatural question about this world---- coincides with what Tessa said.
  It's not a lie, and it is not madness.
  Then, what kind of method would that [plan] be executed?
"Chidori being necessary, was it for that plan's purpose"
"That is exactly it.  Right now, a new TAROS is being constructed in another place.  This TAROS so far, has a structure that has no problems in scale.  It's power is to interfere with the past, an ordinary Whispered can't be used as a catalyst.  A much more larger power for imprinting, most probably there is only one suitable person.  Searching so long for that suitable person, I finally found it.  The psychic wave that was emitted from the incident in this <Yamsk 11>---- the first until the last information of the Tau wave, it would be her who will receive its vastness.  Sending the technological information from the future to the Whispered, it is not from someone unknown.  It is her.  She will be from now on, would be that."
"Chidori....?"
"Her [abnormal luck], is because she was living in a [singular point].  She would be capable of that.  Influencing fate.  That is why she is not a [Whispered].  Rather what she should be called, Chidori Kaname is a [Whispering].  That's right, the one who would send the Black Technology to make the world in disorder, would be her"
"She is an honest person"
  Sousuke was emphasizing in an irritating tone.
"No matter what kind of theory, she would not have a behaviour of gladly sending killing technology. ....I'm not sure about the context, at any rate she is not kind of person."
"That is a mystery"
  Leonard laugh saying that.
"Being strong that far, why would a righteous girl interfere with the past?  The past that she cannot accept, what would that be?  Was is something that happened long ago?  Or would it be happening to her?  And then, why would she be sending the black technology?  No, will she send it?  Even then, in the first place who was the one who invented the information that she has?  Where is it?  Is there another [Whispered] from the future?  Or there isn't?  If you want to know that then you have to leave it to [chance].  What do you think?"
  There was a mixed self derision in his inquiring words, echoing from somewhere desolate.  The devil descending in front of your eyes, laughing at the works of god that has surpassed his own understanding---- drifting about in such eeriness.
"What I know...."
  His head seems to be funny.  Leonard’s words, his tense and context were in disorder.
  But he understands one thing, Chidori Kaname---- that innocent girl---- it has nothing to do with he own will, with someone elses reasoning, would become a sacrifice in a grand and arrogant plan, that is only it.
"Ultimately, what would you do yourself?  What is your objective in fighting us?  Retribution against <Amalgam>, or the opposition of world domination, stop with that empty slogan.  It possible I want to hear a much simple intention."
"Take back Chidori, returning to the usual life.  That's all"
"Impossible"
"That's not so"
"No, it's impossible.  Even if I give up, she will be targeted by someone else eventually.  Such humans, and ordinary person should be existing in an organization.  Even <Mythril> is suspicious.  If the generation changes someday longer for her powers would start.  it is because its an organization.  This is absolutely."

"..............."
"But if we were to correct the mad history, she will take a life as an ordinary human.  No one would target her.  Having a calm life, fall in love, give birth, grow old.  What you would wish for.  This is the only solution."
  Speaking of the theory thus far, that should be.
  In the corner of his confused mind, something is telling him that [what this man is saying is correct].  But leaving out the most important thing.  In regards to that solution, why does he have this feeling of rejection?
  No, he knows.
  If that were to be, he would no longer be in her life.  In Leonard's words---- [fall in love], [give birth], [grow old]---- one by one those words were tightening his heart.
  He is not there.
  No even be able to protect her from afar.
"Then.... it would be meaningless"
"What a troublesome dilemma.  I'm even bothered by it.  It's good that you're bothered"
  Leonard took an armful of concrete and let it fall on to the lower floor.  Sousuke also in the same manner throws the rubble.  In a matter of few minutes, both of them immersed themselves without saying anything.  Finally the two of them uprooted the steel frame, with the momentum they clear the stairs and a large amount of rubble fell in.
  The flatness and the hanging dust and smoke clears, and a large hole passable by one person was finished.
"Oh well, we're saved"
  Leonard muttered, and dived wilfully to the hole.  Although his back was defenceless, he didn't have the mood to attack.  Sousuke later followed, the two of them safely on top of the floor---- coming out into a stairs and a T junction on a narrow passage.
  The truce ended here.
  The two mutual enemies took a few distance from each other, confronting each other in the darkness.
"Well then, shall we return to killing each other?"
"...........?
  There is no worry catching fire here.  Guns and explosives can be used.

  To take him down it should be now.
  If it were a showdown in AS, even with the <Laevatein> he doesn't know if he would win.  But if it's flesh and blood there are prospects of victory.  If he does not defeat him now, this man would definitely become a great threat.
"Alright.  By all means."
  In the side with a dim light where dusts were fluttering, Leonard Testarossa was laughing.
  It was not a pretentious smile.
  As he is right now, he was glaring at somewhere.  Immediately gazing at him, he was expecting conflict.  There was not even a particle of tenacity to the present world, it was the laugh of a religious fanatic.
  Sousuke suddenly, was caught wondering if he could win against this opponent.
  By no means was it fear.  Only, the killing intent towards the enemy that was inside of him previously, was no longer there.  This was the result of listening to the words of Leonard, it produced a hesitation inside of him.
  If ever---- if ever there is a possibility to implement Leonard's plan, wouldn't it be the best course to let Kaname return to a peaceful world?  To kill or wound this man, would it end that path?
  I don't care what happens to me.  Chidori.  Why are you not here.
  At the end of the short hesitation, Sousuke said.
"Right now.... let's stop"
"Fine.  Then for our mutual frustration, why don't we let those feeling out some other day"
  Turning on his back, Leonard left Sousuke.  A defenceless back.  There is still time for a surprise attack.  This is probably the last opening.
  But Sousuke couldn't move.
  Leonard's form disappeared into the darkness.  He can no longer be aimed at.
"let me tell you this last.  Even if I turn the whole world against me, I will accomplish my objective."
  His voice echoing in the passage.
"You can do nothing and become a spectator.  But the next time you show yourself in front of me, there will be no mercy.  I will kill you with all my might"
  Sousuke could not answer back.
  Standing still and dejected, not knowing where his enemy went, the sound of the footsteps disappeared to far away.
  Change the world?
  Becoming calm alone, he suddenly did not believe.  Currently half believing half doubting, this must be the proof of his own characters preservation.
  However, there is still one important task remaining.
"Chidori...."
  If she were somewhere in this ruins, he has to find her first before the enemy does.

  Kaname and Tessa went through the hatch of the dome, proceeding in the narrow passage.
  Lemon was lest behind outside of the dome.  He was with them entering it, or so they thought.
  Deja vu.  Deja vu.  Deja vu.  The endless repetition of their thoughts.
  Drawing close to the center, there was a feeling of pressure and fatigue in the form.
  Even though it was almost 5 meters away.  Why was that goal---- the small room inside the dome this far?  No matter how much advances was made the end will not come.  Even thought the summit can be seen, the summit can't seem to be reached, it was that desperate feeling when climbing a mountain.  These are shared by the two.
  Hand in hand, hearts connected.
  I'm scared.  Do your best.  Just a little more.
  It's hard.  Painful.  Don't give up.
  But, what now?
  It was not distinct as to who was reprimanding and who was complaining.  Threading on a few meters for an eternity of travel, the two girls reached the center of the dome.
"This is...."
  The deepest part of oldest TAROS, was a corpse with a large amount of electrodes surrounding it.
  In a container like a large bath tub, a number of cable and pipes were connected.  In the center of the container, a corpse like a mannequin was stationed upright.
  A girl---- a young one at that.
  It was not decayed, a skeleton, or like a mummy.  It is closest to a wax figure.
  It has a material feel like a cloudy ice.  the corpse has preserved its glossy luster.  A rich breast and slim waist line was perfectly remained.  It has a feel to it like it was a varnish on the dead---- like something coming out of a fantasy, a smooth curve.
  The corpse is close to a [sculpture].
  The face still can't be seen.  Surrounding the head of the [sculpture] was countless electrodes, and extremely large helmet like shape.  The head of the deceased, is accurately placed in the center of the dome.  It must be for the accuracy of the experiment.
[Who is that?]
  Kaname and Tessa opening their mouths at the same time, asking  question and answering at the same time.
[The subject 18 years ago.  Although I do not know who it is]
[Then, why is the remains in this state?]
[No.  The remains perished long ago.  What is in here, is the remains of her existence.  With long months and years, her mind manifested itself in the physical world through his form, the Omni Sphere.]

  It was an icicle like cave.  The power that remains in this space, those molecules are one by one being constructed.
  This is the remains of time.
  This crystal---- her remains is the [Whisperer].  There is nothing here but the power it holds, someday---- that's right, in an unknown future she will be revived.  Controlling me right now with greater power.  No eternity.  10 years?  100 years?  Unknown.  An unknown number of time.
[Make preparations----]
  From the bag in her hands, she took out the plastic explosives.  Plugging it into the electronic detonator, placing it in the foot of the sculpture.  Stretching the cord from the reel, connecting it to the firing mechanism.
[Blow it up?]
[Yes.  I'm going to destroy this place]
  That was her objective.  This sculpture that is emitting psychic wave---- This Crystal formed catalyst.  Making the Tau waves reaching from another period convert and transmit a high energy Iota waves.  Its effect was Mitchell Lemon losing his sanity.  If this were to be destroyed then <Yamsk 11> would be released from its curse.  There is no prevention from having the same crystal from being brought up, but it has to be destroyed every time.
  No----
  That itself is a large contradiction, is it not a wasted effort?
The appearance of the [Whisperer] can't be stopped.  it's eternity.  Then----

  There was a voice.
  You fully understand don't you, my daughter.  You’ve finally come.
  It was a familiar voice.  From long ago.
  That's right.  I have been waiting for you to come.  Even now, I have been calling you many times.  And every time you resist, your ears rejecting my voice.
  But this has been decided.  You are here.  You can no longer refuse me.
  Receive it.  My power.  Accept it.  My soul.
  If a God exists, then we are that existence.  You are the entirety of the three Moirae.  Clotho, Lachesis, Atropos.
  There is no longer need to fear.
  Reach out your hand.  Open your heart.
  With great joy, hold on to your heart the infinite joy.
  That's right.  We are always like that.  Hesitation is a waste of time.
[Kaname-san!?]
  Tessa called.  Facing pressure.  In a voice without fear or despair.
  When she noticed Kaname was standing in front of the created [sculpture] in the center of TAROS, brushing the now her exposed face.
[We're going to destroy that.  Please stand back!]
  Gripping the detonator of the explosives, Tessa warned her.
[Destroy....?]
  Kaname mumbled as if in a fever.  The reverberation inside her cranium sometime ago somehow, has distinctly vanished.  Those deja vu no longer came.  The field of vision becoming clear.  Like the refreshing feeling of having your nose unclogged.
[The need to destroy it, is no longer]
[eh?]
  Separating from the sculpture, she walks to the side of Tessa.  What would she do, she does not know.  Pulling on the chest of a perplexed Tessa, she snatched the detonator.  the surprised girl stretched and pushed, throwing the detonator.
"what are you----"
  Quickly snatching the gun hanging in Tessa's belt, she slapped he cheeks.  Grabbing on the her collar while staggering, she pulled with all her strength.
".....!"
"Let's go, Tessa.  There's nothing we need here"
  The Whisperer behind Kaname, the sculpture building up a sound and broke up in pieces.

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