The transport helicopter that carries Sousuke and the others took off from the cargo ship <Bernie Woller>, and headed east in the Bering Sea. Although it is daytime, but in order to activate the ECS, the scenery from the windows were dyed purplish to sepia color.
Because of the stupidity that happened onboard, it was more difficult to talk with Tessa.
To bring up that matter now would be stupid, to say it---- no, to be bothered by it in the first place was not the problem.
"Can I have a moment?"
He was startled by Tessa's voice. The girl who was suddenly beside him without being noticed, was peeking here from her seat.
Even now he still resists in calling her [Tessa]. More than the problem of affinity, it was an uncomfortable feeling. Having practiced in calling her by rank, it would be crazy to change that mood.
"When are you going to get on the AS?"
"30 minutes before descent."
"Then its way before that right. Can I sit here"
Taking away the books and documents from the next seat, throws it in a suitable bag. After Tessa gave her gratitude, Tessa sat down beside Sousuke. He knew that she was a short girl, but somehow she looks smaller than before.
Sousuke waited for her to speak.
For one minute, she was quiet and stared at the back of the seat in front of her. Now seeing a awful turning in the middle of his clear-headedness, what exactly is she thinking. He could try to guess, but he can't think of anything.
"Are the injuries alright now?"
"About you. In the city called Namsak, you got badly injured"
"Ah...yes. No problem."
"Is that so. That's good."
With that Tessa sank into silence again. Perhaps, she does not know what should be said. Unable to bear the awkward silence, he asked a question.
"Captain. I apologize for what happened"
"In the container ship with Kurz..."
Then her head made a small shake.
"Aah. About that. Please don't worry. When I first got on the <De Danaan>, knowing that there is somebody beside me, I spoke with a loud voice with people around. It was a modest harassment. But, it was something from the long past."
"But Sagara-san also talks about those things"
"Your mistaken. That Kurz on his own----"
"I know. It's about Melissa right?"
Looking at a surprised Sousuke, Tessa raised a reserved smile. Even though she wants to give a bigger expression, she thought that she does not have the qualifications to do so.
"I heard it from her. She told only me. How I am to Melissa, must be the same as how you are to Weber-san"
"But even then it was unexpected. Those two."
"Yes. I was also surprised."
"Well, I don't really know how they got together. But Melissa seems to worry about it. The age difference, and not being unfaithful"
"Is that so."
Sousuke mobilizing his power of imagination, was guessing the image of those two [getting together]. But he can't think of anything positive.
"But, it might be unreasonable to have them in the same team:
Sousuke said, Tessa nodding also having that expectation.
"Can I hear your reason?"
"I don't mind valuing your comrades. But you cannot go too far. If necessary in a point number of seconds, it is Mao's job to make the decision to abandon Kurz or Me. I do not know how it will cloud that judgment."
"That's right. If Melissa heard it she will be outraged."
"It's not that I doubt her capabilities or impartiality. It's just, if it were me----"
Saying that much Sousuke noticed.
If it were an ordinary person it would have already been known long beforehand, for him it is at that time, that he finally understood.
Tessa herself, once carried a complication with him.
Getting close to Tessa because of her good will, in the end he could not cross that line, it was not because of his own cowardice that he did not return the words. Having noticed this obvious thing himself, he was utterly amazed.
And then, knowing the difficulty in Tessa's position, Sousuke suddenly thought.
(It would be good if there won't be that much difficult thinking)
Forgetting that it was his own problem, that's how he felt. She was not strict.
At the same time, this thinking also applies to himself. Even for Kurz and Mao, isn't it a difficult thinking? It was certain what he said himself---- there was no difference in the capabilities of the team. If he were to be slow in making the decision by a point few seconds, there might be a disastrous consequences. But, how do you say that. In the helicopter that is flying right now, there is a point something percent ratio that a breakdown will occur and crash.
If you were to enumerate an insignificant sound argument, that itself is insignificant----
"What's the matter?"
Not noticing his meager progress, Tessa made a mysterious face.
"No. It will be what will be"
Sousuke made a little exaggerated cower of his shoulders.
"We can't take charge on how we will get sick. We should continue to cooperate like always, if something bad happens then we should think about it"
"Sagara-san, it was different from what you said before"
"Yes. I changed my mind"
"Is that so?"
"A random words like [It will be what will be], was something that you never used before."
Saying that, it may be so.
"What's the appropriate issue?"
"There might be a possibility of being dead. Please think more seriously"
He looks at Tessa's eyes without any reserve. Aside from the little bewilderment, he can see nothing besides the deep weariness and irritation. He thought about pity for that.
"I'm always serious. Even then even now."
"Is that so."
"The issue is about you. You think to change the world. Exerting effort in elaborate thinking, making the impossible possible. Continuing to think [seriously]"
Tessa's brow crumpled.
"What do you want to say?"
"I'm not making fun of you. Practically, you are a superior person of prodigy. What an average person like me cannot do no matter how hard I try can be easily done by you. With a strong will than anyone. The situation is still harsh, but you will probably win."
"Of course that is my intention. That is why even now I'm----"
"Exerting effort, planning, adding adjustments, fighting. That I already know."
Interrupting her words, Souske patiently continues.
"It's good to challenge fate. But no one can control fate. Can you control the weather or make an earthquake?"
"If necessary I can think of it. If you can use freely the data and statistics, you can acquire its closest effectivity."
"That's the problem"
"What about it that's not good?"
"You are not a god. And imperfect and weak human. It is natural to feel the responsibility of the lives of your subordinates, but to even control the fate of your subordinates, that is a misunderstanding. I've returned alive from a number of place I thought I'd die, I might die tomorrow tripping on a paved road. I'm telling you stop worrying about things like that"
"I don't understand"
Grabbing her sleeves with full force with the fingers.
"No, you already knew. Whoever dies, you take the responsibility. Taking the punishment yourself. And then vowing to take revenge on the enemy, you're so obsessed with destroying the enemy that you are burning yourself out."
"That's right. But, what do you do at the grave?"
It was a difficult question that cannot be answered.
It was the same for him. He blames himself with many things.
But Sousuke thought of an extreme lie. Hesitating if he should be saying this or not, he tried to answer back with an extreme reply.
"Let's stop this already"
"Disband <Mythril>. Sell off <De Danaan> somewhere, and send everyone to a comfortable daily life using that money. It's not like <Amalgam> would destroy the world. Ignore the conspiracies and have fun."
Tessa made a stunned face.
"What about Kaname-san?"
"It's enough. I'm sorry for Chidori, but forget her. Then I'm going to request to date you. And then we head to Guam, it would be alright for the loudness of Lt. Colonel Courtney and the others."
At the reprimand of Tessa with a red face of anger, Sousuke calmly reacted"
"It's a joke"
"Wasn't it interesting?"
"Is that so. It's a hard thing, saying that joke"
Being the first recipient of the first joke of his life, it ended in a misfire.
"So to speak. But---- the last should do it"
"If we finished what we have to do, that submarine and the AS should be sold. And then everyone should enjoy life. I'm going back to school with Chidori to study. And then become an ordinary man. A man that does not need weapons"
Tessa was surprised, but Sousuke was even more surprised having those words coming out of his own mouth.
"You too may someday become like that. A woman that does not need weapons"
"Even for the dead comrades, that is what they would wish for."
Tessa no longer refuted. Staring at her fingers situated just above her knees, and muttered without strength.
"....that may be"
Making a deep sigh, she sunk into her seat.
"Sagara-san. You've changed"
"Everyone does. Even you unchanging"
Tessa did not answer, lowering the tip of the cap moving it to cover her eyes.
"I'm somewhat tired. It's Sagara-san's fault"
From under the flight jacket placed on her knees, she took out her hand and held Sousuke's hand. Although it was unseen from the surrounding, he was startled.
The slender fingers. A smooth and pleasant sensation.
"I undertand. But I forgive you"
"With only this. Only this is alright...."
With that she fell silent.
Waiting for 3 minutes there was no reaction. Calling on her, she was already soundly asleep.
([a man that does not need weapons] huh...)
Remembering his own words, Sousuke felt depressed.
It would be good if that were to be true---- probably, impossible. He has already killed so many people. In the end what he told Tessa, might be a blind hope that he tells himself.
Oh well, it seems that you're still alive.
Lemon made a sigh of relief, looking absentmindedly at the fluorescent bulb in the short ceiling. Unpleasantly cold. He was sleeping in a stretcher. Swinging drops of water. A feeling of tight bandages in his leg. A somber white wall, and a rack full medical devices.
It was a narrow room---- no, this is inside an ambulance.
Along with the clatter and tremor, it was not bad. They were probably running along a paved road.
In the corner of his vision he saw a person moved. An unknown man. Noticing that Lemon had woken up, brought near his face with a mask.
"Does it hurt?"
the man said. with only an apathetic voice like looking at a patient. Lemon remembered the dentist attending him during the time when he was a student. Shaving of the tartar, Jan. It's painful but please bear it. Gari, gari, buchi! Doctor, I'm not Jan but Paul.
"I hate dentists....Aah!"
Lemon shrieked when his injury was pressed. The gunshot wound that Leonard Testarossa shot, he started to remember his own work as the pain passed through. The man checked his blood pressure and pulse, and pushed down the bottom eyelids of his right eye with a thumb, flashing a light.
"Can you say your name?"
"Where is this place"
"Say your name"
"Say it or not. Where is this place"
The man lightly beat Lemon's cheek, and then his field of vision disappearing. The sound of the slide door opening and closing. It seems that there is no one else inside the car. it's strange. Wasn't this ambulance running? When the man left, nothing happened.
Several ten minutes, no hours passed. His muddy consciousness getting clearer, Lemon finally understood.
This is inside a transport.
He can hear the sound of the Turboprop engine. This ambulance must be inside the storage room. After a few ten minutes, there was a big jolt and impact coming that supported his interpretation. The inside of the car cluttering left and right, and the tremor went silent. This kind of state doesn't seems to have a good runway.
The transport stopped, the sound of the hydraulic device opening and closing at the rear of the unit. The engine of the ambulance started. The car is moving outside. Moving a little it stopped, the door opened. a strong white light gushes in, the piercing cold of the wind blowing.
Two men stepped in. Someone from the outside was shouting [wait a minute]. It a voice of a girl. Young.
"Are you going to abandon him!?"
The girl said. Wasn't that a Japanese accent? An accent that is similar to that of Wraith or Sousuke.
"In this cold mountain. You're not going to kill him! I'm not kidding!"
"But, we were ordered to let you ride this car....."
The man who was taking care of Lemon earlier, answered in an insolent attitude.
"I don't need a nurse. Didn't I say with only sleeping my temperature went down?"
"Telling us this suddenly would be trouble. if we were not to do as we're told----"
"Is there trouble?"
A new voice. The sound of footsteps trampling on the snow. He knows that. It's Leonard Testarossa.
The voice of the girl with authority was suddenly concealed.
"It's been a long time. Unexpectedly you seem to be doing well"
"Ah...you too, aren't you doing fine being fatally injured"
"It's because of you. It's more clearer now. In so sorry to have pulled you out like that after you just recovered....!"
The sound of a slap. A small scream. The sound of the girl on her knees in the snow.
The girl had an appearance of not hiding her shock. Not because she was treated that way, but was surprised at Leonards violent handling.
"It's a greeting of change of plans. My strong patience is already lost, I'm already bored with my gentle face. So---- this is important, and time is already running out."
"I...is that your true nature? You're strange"
"Fine whatever. From now on we will....hey, close that"
After Leonard said that, one of the man banged the door shut. He was grateful the piercing cold wind was cut off, but he could no longer hear their conversation. With the obstruction of the engine sound and the bulky doors, he could only barely managed to hear the muffled voice.
Leonard said something. She strongly protested.
Leonard raised his voice. The girl mustered her courage, and somehow asserted position.
And then between them, a long gloomy exchange continued. Whether this is related to his fate, Lemon could vaguely discern. Not even seeing her face yet, who could that girl be? In the end, where is this place?
Where would they be going from here?
Repeating the questions without any answers, the door of the ambulance suddenly opened. The men stepped in, rudely grabbing his stretcher. Will they be taking him out like this. He's not even wearing much clothes.
But that was the only resistance. The men were moving the stretcher back inside the ambulance, fixed on the metal bed, and went out of the car. After the said nurse and a large built bodyguard like man, and another girl went inside.
The girl was the one disputing Leonard and his subordinates.
A beautiful oriental girl.
A dark jeans and read jacket. A glossy black hair with a length reaching the waist. An elegant eyebrow like it was drawn by an impressionist painter. Looking at the smooth curves, he thinks that the numerical value of the contour could be attributed to the Fields Medal.
Unfortunately the color of her face was not good. It must be because she just recently recovered as mentioned in the previous conversation. On top of that, Her right cheeks were red from the slap she received. Essentially her big charming eyes were bloodshot, there were traces of tears in the corner of her eyes.
The girl was sat down beside where Lemon was sleeping, repeatedly scrubbing the sleeves of her jacket in her mouth. Rubbing with strong force, she was not worried about her lips getting cut.
"First let's get the temperature----"
"I don't need your help"
Sweeping away the nurses hand, she settled in the top of the seat. The ambulance starts running again, inside the car was a heavy silence.
Lemon raise a nervous voice. The girl did not respond.
"Hello, young lady"
"Are you talking to me?"
Finally realizing the existence of Lemon, the girl replied.
"That's my intention"
"What do you want?"
"Well....I really don't know the circumstances, but I think you are the benefactor of my life?"
"Not really. Before getting on to the other airplane, they will be throwing you out into the snow, I only asked them to stop. i don't know what kind of person you are, but it seems that they are finished with your interrogation."
So that's how it is, Lemon comprehends.
His consciousness was not clear since he woke up, it was because they used truth serum. Without knowing, they must have heard the necessary things. If they used the latest truth serum, no matter how strong your will is resistance is futile.
His own secret code or hidden house, even escape route, Lemon was praying the Hunter and the others would hastily abandon them. No, they would be alright, the problem was the ruins that was investigated in Moscow. Although he doesn't remember anything, there is no mistake that he said this things himself. They might be heading to those ruins.
Then, the ones in danger are Tessa and the others---- without expressing his sense of impending crisis, Lemon told the girl.
"In other words, you are the benefactor of my life. Thank you very much."
"That was just self satisfaction. I don't even know you."
Bluntly saying, the girl turned away.
"Then let's get to know each other now. Mitchel Lemon. Nice to meet you"
He took out his left hands from under the blanket, seeking a hand shake. After Lemon introduced himself, the male nurse who was looking snorted. The girl sigh, and gripped his blood dried hand.
"Yes yes, nice to meet you. Satisfied?"
"I somehow understand. you are Chidori Kaname right?"
The girl's eye turn round, and took a long hard look at Lemon again.
"You don't need to hide it. I'm a friend of Sousuke."
Lemon heard about the girl----Chidori Kaname from Sousuke. Although he haven't seen a photo, he knows her age and characteristics. Even being kidnapped by Leonard. Naturally he could guess.
After hearing the name of Sousuke, she was again surprised.
"You know Sousuke? He's----"
After saying that, Chidori Kaname remembered the existence of the observing men sitting nearby and shut her mouth.
"Don't mind us. We're still in the palm of your hands.
Laughing sarcastically, the men made no reaction.
"...is he alright?"
"Aah, he's lively. He's going wild together with Al. He will definitely get you back."
Then she could no longer bear it, both her hands covered her face. With a little incomprehensible voice, she muttered some Japanese. [...YOKATTA (thank goodness)] can be heard. Lemon didn't understand the meaning, but he could guess what that word is.
That's right, this girl----
Raising her covered face, the shoulder of the girl trembles. Looking at the figure, Lemon can feel an unspoken pain.
She must be a good girl. Also beautiful.
Naturally energetic, cheerful, courageous, and empowering those who are around her. And also who loves Sousuke.
Nami was like that.
Isn't this too harsh, Sousuke.
(No, don't don't....)
Inside his heart he felt the impulse of [this girl is also wounded], Lemon blushed himself.
This girl was not bad. This girl has no responsibility. Many things have happened after meeting Sousuke, it would be better to stop these words----
After rethinking this, he said with an overdoing cheerful voice.
"I'm kinda jealous. Being loved like that."
Wiping the tears with her fingers, she lightly smiled.
With the open circuit of the wireless radio of one of his subordinates, the conversation of Kaname was passed directly to him. They should have already known about this, they did not regret being overheard.
His head hurts.
With the carefree drama unfolding inside this car, he was not bored. He took off his ear phone, and hummed outside his mood.
[The Real Me] by The Who.
Can you see the real me preacher? Can you see the real me, doctor? Can you see the real me, mother?
His head hurts.
This is the Tyva Republic which is south of Siberia. The distance from Moscow is 4000 kilometers. Transferring to a transport, he came from Sri Lanka and joined up with Chidori kaname, from then on they headed towards the east. A troublesome Christmas Present from 18 years ago. A thrown away wrapping paper. That person will also come.
It can't he help that his head hurts.
That man called Mitchel Lemon, essential information was already taken from him. Essential?
Not necessarily essential. Reconfirming what was already known, this is just information to make sure that the progress goes smoothly. What were they investigating in Moscow---- in other words pointing out what his sister has noticed.
There is no longer any worth to the information of the man called Lemon. Which is why he ordered to have him thrown out. But being obedient to Chidori Kaname, he makes use of that man's life.
In the life of a complete stranger, how long does that girl plan to accompany him? This is no sightseeing---- Leonard remembered the taste of the sensation of her lips from long time ago, and chuckled. What was she thinking with serious eyes, expecting to understand his sincerity, he could not believe it even now. How far would be gentlemanly. It is unexpectedly impossible. Then someday---- No, that's absurd. It's enough. It was like this from the start.
Aah, that's right.
This is the first time in his life that he hit a woman. He was pushed to kill a resisting woman, but hitting her like that was a first time?
Long ago, having lived one time in a poor section of Austin, prostitutes who were standing in the road are definitely followed a pimp. The previous him looked like those pimps. To do hanky panky with the clients, the prostitutes who are resisting with dirty words, were beaten by the men. Disciplining the prostitutes with rough treatment, and then gently saying [sorry for beating you, I love you, Baby].
He truly thinks that it was an absurd process, but it has turned smoothly, that world. A world with only rubbish, base, emotions and impulse. A world that does not neet intelligence. isn't Chidori no different---- expecting that itself is absurd.
She is the same. An animal afterall.
It's not because of disappointment. Recovering from the wound, being enlightened on that night, he began to understand many things. Then even for himself, it would be alright to be associated with their style. In anycase this world could not continue that long. To act without restraint, what inconvenience had it caused him?
His headache would not go away no matter what.
It's strange. He feels like he has forgotten something, and he could not remember it no matter what. He once had it, now he no longer has it.
No need to worry.
Someone in his head said. No matter what you can remember, it is already useless, it is only an excess baggage. For a plane that does not plan to land, it wouldn't need legs right?
You are already flying away.
Wraith getting away with her life from the carnage at the airport, it was impossible for her to return her dislocated shoulder on her own. Having no method of contacting Hunter, she was on the verge of losing consciousness with the pain and fever.
In the end, she managed to get to an apartment 5 kilometers away from the airport and hid in a nearby garage, then fainted. For how many hours, she herself did not know. Probably, when she fainted the resident saw her and reported her to the authorities. When she woke up a number of policemen came into the garage, pointing their gun at her.
She did not have the spare energy to resist and run away.
Then taken into the custody of the local authorities, understanding the extent of her injuries and transferred to a nearby hospital for observation.
With rough medical treatment her shoulders were realigned, and prescribed with unknown pain killers and sedatives, completely exhausted in the hospital room a uniformed officer finally came.
It was not the KGB that were chasing them at the airport, but the military intelligence department---- an officer of the GRU.
Will she be handed over to Leonard, or will she be executed. in any case already resigning herself for the end, the GRU officer spoke something unexpected.
"I thought you were an excellent student. But it seems my expectations were different."
Someone that she knows. Age around his 40's. A deep gray eyes, bald head, and having an impressive hook nose. From long ago, he was one of the instructors while she [studied abroad] in Moscow, a time when she was still a girl who believed in the justice of her fatherland.
Wraith muttered, he pointed his finger on the insignia of his uniform.
"I'm a Lt. Colonel now, Yunhi. If I arrived 3 minutes later, you would have been inside the car of the KGB (Chekist) now"
2 kilometer before the [objective point], in the mountain range 800 meters in altitude, Kurz's M9 made the first descent.
Operating the ECS and making the sniping position, confirming that there are no threats in the surrounding. Following Kurz unit nibly is Gebo 4---- <Paib Mare> transport helicopter flying about the objective point, scanning for existence of danger with the sensor. In that moment, Kurz continue to make a lookout if by some chance that there are enemy ambush
After 5 minutes, Gebo 4 and Kurz informed that there are [no enemy sighting].
[That's fine. then let us head out as well]
Tessa informed the pilot with the onboard phone, also reaching the ears of Sousuke. Another unit of <Paib Mare>---Gebo 6 is where Sousuke's <Laevatein> and Tessa were riding, leaping over the short mountain district. The image of the optic sensor of the helicopter was also transmitted into the cockpit of the <Laevatein>.
It was a desolate scene. Like the end of the world.
An orange colored ground. The trees and shrubs has grown, being covered with the height of the grass. Right now it is barely autumn, this area will be trapped in deep snow soon. Practically, this neighborhood is visited by a fierce cold for the whole year.
At the moment the local time is 16:32 hours. In the Mountain range of the west the red sun was sinking. No man made things can be seen in the destination. Only the traces of road and power lines.
In the ravine a town can be seen.
A town area which was constructed in the basin with a radius of 3 kilometer.
A line of residential areas were built around the flat roof residence, in that direction a short building was sparsely built. There was a plaza in the center of the town, and a large bronze statue can be seen. when the helicopter got near, they knew it was the statue of Lenin.
The name of this city is [Yamsak 11].
One of the [secret cities] constructed in the Russian Territory. Mainly for the sake of researching nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, and other highly classified information, the research members and their families migrated into this city, The name of this city does not exist in any map. Even the name [Yamsak 11] was for convenience, it was a postal code for the administration of the neighboring major cities. The security was rigorous, it was forbidden to come in and out without permission.
But the city being seen right now, there seems to be no need of security. It was abandoned a long time ago, a town in ruin.
No man can be seen. A dark red rust, and ruins of rusted automobiles were left here and there in the road. Grass growing on the cracks of the asphalt, collapsed road signs had moss growing on them. The dwelling places are also in a terrible condition. If looking closer a majority of them are broken.
The walls fallen in decay, roof opened with big holes. The house had been tossed like a press. Cracking from the weight of the winter snow, it was left there as is.
Built in secrecy, abandoned in secrecy, this town was forgotten.
In the database of <Mythril>, the name of this town does not exists. Just the other day, Tessa managed to get her hands on this on the efforts of Lemon to get information about this town.
Far from the enemy, this place doesn't seem to be approached by normal humans for 10 years. And it may be meaningless to Search for threat.
[Damn, this is an eerie place]
The pilot of Gebo 6 said.
[In the neighborhood near the countryside of Nevada where I lived as a kid, there was a ruins that felt like this. The 5000 residents, it was said that they all disappeared in one night. It was rumored that in one night all of the residents were murdered. With some sort of experiment by the military, the residents were attacked. All the adults laughed at it like a yota story, but even those who transfered from that place to our town doesn't know anything.]
[Ooh, scary scary]
In the wireless radio Kurz laughed.
[...well the truth is, the only car factory in that town was shut down, and nobody lived there anymore.
[What, how boring]
With the exchanges of Kurz and the others, Sousuke fell to a strange sensation.
A deja vu. Such landscape, it was like he has seen it before. No---- on the contrary, even the conversation of Kurz and the others, he felt like he had heard it before. what is this sensation? Later, Tessa will surely say something----
<It is a strange sensation>
It seems like he is mistaken. The one who spoke was not Tessa but Al.
<In front of me, I feel like I had came here>
Sousuke said, being surprised of Al having the same sensation as he did.
<The coordinates, and the geography does not correspond the the previous operational data, but I have a feeling of [I have seen this before]>
[but it is surely strange. I also felt like I've been here before]
[Me too. I wonder if it shown on the new]
The pilot of Gebo 4 said. not only that, the other crews also in succession complained that [I also have that feeling].
[This might be the absentmindedness of the head due to the long travel, please brace yourself. We will not get close to the plant of the town.]
Just as the voices started to drift into anxiety, Tessa said this.
[Could you tell us already about this, Tessa? what's in these ruins? In the first place----]
[I'm sorry, but I still can't say]
Interrupting Kurz's complaint, she instructed them again.
[I am now going to land on that ruins. Sagara-san you be the escort. Leave the <Laevatein> behind.]