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File 162613976128.gif - (504.42KB , 1000x1000 , itonethreadheader.gif )
1005459 No. 1005459 ID: 5bf1bd

This is a significantly short interlude with an emphasis on probing the memories of a certain individual. The next main chapter will follow immediately after this interlude's conclusion.


[CONSOLE DETECTED]
[ESTABLISHING REMOTE CONNECTION]
[SPLINTER RECOVERY PARTIALLY SUCCESSFUL]
[SEARCHING FOR FAMILIARITY RECORDS]

[DISPLAYING INTERFACE GUIDELINES]

Welcome to the Splinter Analysis Wizard (SAW), [USER].
Playback of the recorded memory will begin soon.
Would you like assistance?

-Y

Introduction:
The SAW is a tool designed to assist SAI operators with SAI debugging and viewing.
You will be able to view the subject's splinter from the perspective of the SAI at the time of recording. Due to the SAI's neurological capabilities, probing the subject's mind can lead to the display of simulated thought, providing further insight into the recorded event.
Disclaimer: The use of SAI-recordings as evidence in a court of law is considered insubstantial evidence when it comes to mental records and thought patterns.
These recordings are simulations and are not necessarily fully accurate. Please keep this in mind while viewing.

Operation tip:
When probing the splinter with questions, keep it short and direct. The more connected a splinter is to the question, the more likely it is for the SAW to simulate accurate memory approximations. It is recommended that you only ask one question at a time.



Expand all images
>>
No. 1005460 ID: 5bf1bd
File 162613979732.png - (299.51KB , 1000x1000 , itone01.png )
1005460


[TIMER EXPIRED]
[INITIATING PLAYBACK]

The doctor called these vats Cradles.
Looking into them... at the beings growing inside...
These are meant to be the future of the alliance?

The air is cool, like I'm standing in a meatlocker, but when I put a hand against it, it's warm.
Like a living being.
>>
No. 1005463 ID: cefe46

Tap tap
>>
No. 1005464 ID: 96c896

Who are you?
>>
No. 1005475 ID: 094652

What are you growing.
>>
No. 1005548 ID: 5bf1bd
File 162626262169.png - (373.07KB , 1000x1000 , itone02.png )
1005548

>Who are you?
I'm Armintell, a soldier. Top secret orders, huh? Shipped out all the way here, guarding a couple of geniuses...

>What are you growing?
I don't know what the Alliance cooked up this time... but super soldiers? Actual, real bloody super soldiers growing right in front of my eyes? Who dreamed this up?

"Armintell, what do you think of all of this?"
Doctor Troveheart's footsteps echo throughout the Cradle room. It's awfully large, but I guess if they're planning to stock these things up in advance for several years, then they're going to need a lot of space.
"I'm not so sure, doc. I mean, it's one thing to train up soldiers, but growing them? Next thing you know, we'll be growing guns and vehicles too."
I'm not sure the good doctor appreciates the joke, but still. Maybe this means less lives will have to be spent on the battlefield, if this all works out.

He goes up to the one I'm looking at. Apparently they're all going to get names too. Honestly, I don't know how I feel about that. I'm not really much of a sentimental guy. It's basically like naming your gun. Sure, some people do it - but ultimately, aren't these meant to be tools?
"Sorry for speaking out of my station, but...did they all have to be women, Doc?"
Doctor Troveheart maintains his expression, a little nonchalant.
"Our cloning facilities are a little... incomplete, so to say. During the cloning process, the Y chromosome is recessive, meaning that by default, all of the Prometheus clones are female. The individuals back at the alliance deemed this to be inconsequential, considering their mutual history with war heroes. I'm sure you're aware of all of the women who have bravely served for our respective countries."
He looks away from a moment. I've got my own theory, though.
"...They must make for effective shock troopers, huh? Just imagine a horde of these guys, wearing the faces of our nations' most beloved heroes... isn't that a little messed up? Especially since they'll all be ruthless killing machines."

Troveheart looks perturbed by the suggestion.
"That is true. But we have to make do, and the genetic stock has already been provided. But if everything goes well..."
He trails off.
"What'll happen, doc?"
He turns to me, his glasses hiding his eyes.
"We won't have to unleash them onto the world."
>>
No. 1005549 ID: 031458

I assume you won't be able to terminate them- not with your reputation with the ethics committee...
So what will you do with them instead?

Play house with monsters?
Maybe introduce a bunch of willing slaves into society?
Keep them locked up in the worlds freakiest zoo?

I'm sorry Doctor, but I fail to see the benefit of creating super-soldiers outside the context of war.

Would you be so kind as to enlighten me?
>>
No. 1005550 ID: 094652

>The Y chromosome is recessive
That would be reasonable... if it wasn't a massive bluff. I suspect the real reason is to regulate the inevitable super-breeding.

Ask if anyone knows who is in charge of their... Faction? Country? Conspiracy? Like, what perverted mind designed this crap? Or what system decided this was a good idea?
>>
No. 1005561 ID: 96c896

>>1005548
>the Y chromosome is recessive
That's not how genetics works...

What is the war about?
>>
No. 1005604 ID: 5bf1bd
File 162635328006.png - (407.39KB , 1000x1000 , itone03.png )
1005604

>What are supersoldiers for besides war?
That... I don't know what the doc has planned, but it has to be something, right? He's under orders, just like I am.

>That's not how genetics works.
All of this gene stuff doesn't make any sense to me regardless. Didn't sign up for the army because of all of my skill in genetic theory, after all.
The Doc is probably trying to spare me the actual detailed explanation. Why spend all the time to explain the complex theories, when you can say something as simple as that?
From what I've heard, Doctor Troveheart's been pressured to do this. I doubt he would have left the process the way it is if we could be doing it any better.

>It could be a bluff.
I'm not here to question my superiors. In the end, I'm just a grunt who's meant to take orders.

>What's the war about?
The same reasons that they've given us for the past three years. Something or other about claiming land for our growing populace, same old faces speaking in front of podiums. Back when I was still on the mainland, the headlines were always about the dwindling resources... I just hope the higher ups know what they're doing. Asliann like me are a specific sort, when we're serving in his Majesty's army. Always knowing where to put your faith. Now's never quite the same as the old days - when it was clearer who was the best person to lead.
And now we're under the orders of the Alliance - we're the gift, it seems.
I may not necessarily like all of them, but I've got a duty to my homeland, and I'll see it through to the end.
Hell, the Alliance made up this scheme, with some of the brightest minds from each of the five species around the globe. Not often you see faces from different species come together... against a group made up of people with the exact opposite plans. Guess no matter the species, your allegiances determine whether you're considered a hero or a villain.
If there's going to be any end to this, it'll be thanks to this, right?


[FRAGMENT ACCELERATION RATIO - 6 MONTHS]
[PLAYING NEXT MEMORY SEQUENCE]


As time goes on, the Cradles are opened, one by one. I'm always on standby nearby, but actually opening one of these things up?
Greeting the clones is one thing, but... there's that fear. What if they go berserk? What if they see us as enemies?
That's why we've got a gun on our hips.

Even if they're engineered to be the strongest, to come out of those vats ready to kill a man, they're still living. Without armour, they're still vulnerable.
I catch myself shaking a bit. Even if this is something new for the world - we'll be able to handle it.
There's the blare of an alarm. Some of the other soldiers jump, as the fluid inside of the Cradles are drained away to who knows where. The hiss of a pressure change fills the room around us, the vat's chamber sliding open.

And she steps out, naked but not shivering. Her features a blend of Sarasol and Rhappor. A chimera.
Her footing is unsteady, and she falls forward -
I catch her, my gun clattering to the floor and for a moment, I can hear her breathing in my ear. She's still warm, soaked through with the fluids from the vat.
All across the room, other soldiers like me do the same for their assigned clones. Each of them help support their clones, helping them to their feet.
"What... what is my name?"
The question was out of left field, but it made sense. She had just been born.

"M...Mnemosyne. Your name is Mnemosyne. Neh-mou-sin."
The clone looks at me, nodding her head. Her wet fur clings to me and I can feel the beat of her heart.
"What am I here for?"
"To protect and serve us and the alliance we belong to", I respond. The scientists prepared us for this.
"What... what is your name?"
I freeze. She looks up at me, her blue eyes piercing me like a round through my chest.

"I'm... I'm Armintell. I'm a soldier... just like you.."
She pulls herself up - her fingers digging into my armour. Even right out of the vats, they're so strong!
"Come on... let's get you dressed and ready."
Her arm goes over my shoulder, and together, we take slow and steady steps out of the Cradle room.
>>
No. 1005612 ID: b2a936

Yea, uh, hate to break it to you.. but I'm pretty sure your side are unambiguously the villains. Wars of aggression, expansionism, ludicrously immoral biological experiments, lack of a free press to make dissenting opinions available, a focus on following orders without any caveats about only legal orders... Let me guess, only a single political party, right? Is this sounding familiar? Is there a focus on reporting dissension too? Do people sometimes just disappear and no one knows why?
>>
No. 1005613 ID: 96c896

>>1005604
What's Dr Troveheart like?
>>
No. 1005621 ID: 094652

The empire isn't so much dogmatically malicious as it as ignorantly rotten.

Dwindling resources, nationalist tensions, fear of losing an arms race when the prize is the next tier of civilization. There's enough to make a proposal that fixing the empire is not simple and may even be impossible. But peer into the workings behind thee mainstream news and the intentionally convoluted policymaking, and you'll see that the simple answers are restricted by bureaucracy and social norms, while the pipeline of resources is corroded and easily siphoned by disorganized cartels and con artists.

Those few who have the intelligence and information network necessary to understand this failing system lack the decency to correct it, since anyone with a persisting conscience tends to respond with a culinary gourmand of fine beers and/or a full-course meal of flash-roasted iron straight from the barrel.

>Query
Who are her 'ancestors'?
>>
No. 1005676 ID: 5bf1bd
File 162644180506.png - (485.72KB , 1000x1000 , itone04.png )
1005676

>I'm pretty sure your side are unambiguously villains.
What? That's definitely not true.
People don't just disappear, there's plenty of healthy discussion on the situation, and there's multiple parties involved in the alliance as a whole. My nation may be a bit of a monarchy, but don't you dare claim that we're some kind of tyranny!
I won't deny that these biological experiments are a little questionable, but when I hear rumours of potential superweapons on the horizon... explosives that can level cities, chemical warfare, ballistic missiles... are supersoldiers really that bad in comparison?

>What's Doctor Troveheart like?
He's... a quiet man. Keeps to himself more than the other four leads on this project. In terms of his biography, he IS one of the modern leads in genetic engineering and cloning technologies, building on the work of the many people who came before him. At very least, he seems to care. Not that he's in charge of EVERYTHING in Site 70, but at least we're eating good.
I can't help but feel like he has a similar air to some of the soldiers I've met before. There's a certain weight floating around him.

>Who're Mnemosyne's ancestors?
Well, they would be Sarasol and Rhappor heroes, right? People like Johanna, Marco Azni Saildrift, Elyse Alois... she doesn't have much Linharjan in her, or Asliann. Not like all of the gene stock are women after all, though that does apparently make the process smoother.
If she were more descended from the Asliann though, I'd be able to ramble off on how she resembles the heroes, but these people are just names to me.


[FRAGMENT ACCELERATION RATIO - 1 MONTH]
[PLAYING NEXT MEMORY SEQUENCE]



The blast smoke clears and I rush over to her.
She coughs as I pick her up. Her armour's hot to the touch, but what the hell did I expect? When someone takes a grenade point blank, they're going to be bloody hot. "What the hell were you thinking?" I shout, her scorching hot body threatening to burn me through my gloves and fur. "You could have died!"

It all happened in a moment.
A badly thrown grenade, on account of one of the trainees. Bounced all the way back - right where everyone was standing.
I went to dive for it, but...
But Mnemosyne just pushed me aside, tossed her helmet over the grenade and fell onto it. Her vest's in tatters, the plating underneath splintered three ways to tomorrow. The fragments of the grenade look like they've dug pretty deep into her, but she's still breathing. The smell of burning plastic assaults me, but still, I hold onto her like she's about to fall apart.
She meets my eyes, her limbs limp. "I could have died. But you would have definitely died."
That... that was true. I was ready to do it. Bloody hell. Weren't these clones meant to be unfeeling shock troops? Why... why for me?
"Then why did you do it? I'm just a normal soldier - I'm expendable like that, but you're not. You're the future of this damn facility!"
>>
No. 1005690 ID: 094652

>>1005676
Why should you be expendable when she was born to die? (APQ)
>>
No. 1005703 ID: 96c896

She's made of the right stuff, that's why. The stuff of heroes.

Are you sure they're meant to be unfeeling? Ruthless?
>>
No. 1005710 ID: e728c8

>Why did you do it
That should be obvious. It's tough to get somebody loyal to a cause. Sure, the people who developed this project could immerse these troops with the cause, but that'd still take time. They have to get them out to the battlefield ASAP. So they selected a faster, more powerful motivator. They chose those already loyal to the cause, let them raise these mass-bred troops. Because you raised them, they'd follow you to the gates of hell.

To summarize, they care little about the whys of the war, but they do care about those who they've lived with. My guess? If it would have killed her, she still would have saved you.

>>1005621
Gotta say, that'd make a great bad-guy tirade.
>>
No. 1005719 ID: 5bf1bd
File 162648449237.png - (591.71KB , 1000x1000 , itone04p2.png )
1005719

>Why would you be expendable when she was born to die?
Because she's part of the first lot. When they're going to get sent out... that's when they're supposed to do their job. The value of one soldier versus one of these clones this early on is significant.

>She's made of the right stuff, that's why. Are you sure they're meant to be ruthless?
I...

>She did it because you raised them. They'd follow you to the gates of hell.
It's... it's only been a month since she was born. Even if she had the memories of past soldiers and heroes in her, a month... a month isn't all that long to get attached to us.

She cracks a smile, even through the pain.
"It's important to prevent casualties when you can. Besides... I can heal. We clones recover from injuries more easily than most."

"Even with your healing in mind, you're not just going to get up in a day after taking a fragmentation grenade at point blank! That's a month of recovery!"
She grunts in affirmation.
"That's true... but it's worth it."
I'm left speechless.
The rest of the people in the room are standing there, jaws slack. Bloody hell. Why'd they get me as a training supervisor for today anyway?
"Don't just stand there, someone get a stretcher and take her to the med bay!"
Soon, the nurses and field doctors arrive, easing my worries a little. No way the lesson was going to continue like this.
They strip her of her burned armour, the sight of the shrapnel embedded in her hard to witness.
Even as she's carried off to safety, and the idiot who threw the damn grenade being given probably the worst hell she can imagine in her short life so far, I'm left with Mnemosyne in my thoughts.
"It's worth it."
Just, what has Doctor Troveheart created? This... was this really the kind of blood-thirsty troops that the Alliance were talking about?
I watch her disappear through the door, the words tumbling around in my head.
>>
No. 1005729 ID: 094652

Why haven't you asked more about this project?

Skip to next scene.
>>
No. 1005730 ID: 96c896

>>1005719
Why do you have a SAI?
>>
No. 1005744 ID: 5bf1bd
File 162652693017.png - (943.46KB , 1000x1000 , itone05.png )
1005744

>Why haven't you asked more about this project?
Don't know where you come from, but I don't think most rank and file folk like me are going to care about the nitty gritty of how all these clones are made. Not really much of an intellectual, personally. There's clones, we gotta protect them, and protect the other people in this facility. That's the gist of it.

>Why do you have a SAI?
Oh, that thing? It gets passed around the facility to different people, but... apparently it just goes where it pleases. I don't think about it much, since it's kinda like when you say you're okay with a company collecting data on how you use their services. In this case, it's just tracking how often we use some facilities, or our physical conditions. Not much to it than that.




[PLAYING NEXT MEMORY SEQUENCE]


I look up from where I've been slammed into the ground. For a moment, the bright lights overwhelm me and I can't see anything but stars. Then, it clears up, revealing that familiar beige colour.
Mnemosyne is kneading at her arms while peering at me like I had simply tripped and fell on my own.
"It seems victory is mine again, sir."
She has a distinct smile on her face. It's kind of cute, for someone who can flip me over in an instant.

I hear the sound of distant footsteps as I work to pick myself back up.
"Armin, you having fun over there?"
Testemillian pulls me up, giving me one of his trademark grins. With how he's always got those sunglasses of his on, it's like he's playing at being more of a movie star than a military training instructor. He waves away Mnemosyne, who goes to retrieve a towel and bottle.
"Yeah... sure, let's say that. What gives me the honor of having you pay a visit, Doctor Millian?"

"That's Doctor Test-a-million to you, soldier! But I'll forgive the misnomer, I've got something else to discuss with you."
>>
No. 1005746 ID: 5bf1bd
File 162652709257.png - (432.82KB , 1000x1000 , itone06.png )
1005746

Doctor Testemillian pulls me aside, to the corner of the training room. In the distance, I catch Mnemosyne glancing at me.
"She's a beaut, huh?"
I feel his elbow jabbing into me.
"What?"

Millian lowers his sunglasses a bit.
"What do you think of her?"

I think on it for a moment, the stings of my bruises more apparent now that I'm standing.
"She's efficient, sir. I hate to say it, but her physical performance is exceptional. Can't land a hit on her half the time. She moves like a strong gale. If the rest of the clones are half as good as her, I'd rather go shoot myself in both feet and run a two mile than be on the opposing side to her and the others in a combat situation."

The doctor sighs.
"Oh, come on, Armin! You like her, don't you? And don't make me clarify what kind."
I can feel my ears prick up at that.
"H-hey, we're not schoolchildren. Besides, we shouldn't be having relationships with the clones-"

Millian throws his hands up. "Fraternization is mainly a problem when the individuals in that relationship are of different rank. Just because she's a clone doesn't change the fact that the two of you are roughly equal in rank. You're lucky, Armintell - a romantic like me still has to obey the command structure. I'd rather not foster any unwanted relationships with the lovely individuals in our corps."
He leans in a little closer, a strange grin on his face.
"Plus... they're all sterile, you know."
Gah! He's gone and put that idea in my head!
He shakes his head, adjusting the glasses sitting on his snout.
"Look, all I'm saying is - as long as you're both aware of the consequences, then it's fine. Don't snuff out a flame just because you're afraid of something catching fire. We're not living in a box of gunpowder. If anything, giving the clones something a little more intimate to attach themselves to would do wonders for morale, and teach them that there's more things to than putting lead down range or defusing landmines. Think about it, Armin."

And so he saunters off, leaving me like this. Mnemosyne, seeing that I'm no longer occupied, comes back over to me.
"Is there a problem, sir? May we continue training?

"No, it's fine. Let's continue."
I pause for a moment.
"And... you can call me Armin if you wish, Mnemosyne."
She grips my hand.
"Alright... Armin. Let's see if there's more you can teach me."
>>
No. 1005783 ID: 96c896

>>1005746
You should try dating her.

How does the SAI move around?
>>
No. 1005832 ID: 031458

>>1005783
Yeah.
Maybe cook her some decent food.
Even if you aren't a chef, you could make something better than the standard "Dynamic Ration" trash they have here.
>>
No. 1005839 ID: 9c64da

Just take things carefully, and your romance will go fine :) find a good place for a date
>>
No. 1005853 ID: 15a025

Dating might not be the best of ideas, teaching other life skills however is a great idea! Knowing how to cook some good meals could come in handy.
>>
No. 1006012 ID: 5bf1bd
File 162674348759.png - (530.11KB , 1000x1000 , itone07.png )
1006012

>You should try dating her!
I'll... think on that for a bit.

>Cook some decent food too.
Cooking, huh? Honestly, not like there's a lot of facilities for that around here, but our hydroponics setup is pretty good. I'll definitely have to look into that in future, but it's not like I can just commandeer the kitchen for my own purposes. Maybe when there's a good enough opportunity.



[PLAYING NEXT MEMORY SEQUENCE]


I stand in the corner, waiting for her to arrive. It hasn't been a week since Testemillian basically gave me the go ahead. The thought's been swimming around in my head all damn week.

"Hello, Armin."
I practically jump at the sight of her.
She's all dressed up in that shiny new armour of hers. The crimson plating catches the hallway lighting as she crosses over to me.
"Hey, Seene. You know, I'm not exactly sure why they gave you red armour - we haven't even been deployed yet for you to have started any kind of bloodbath!"
I expect a flat expression, the kind she bears when she's on duty. Instead, I'm greeted with a faint smile that barely curls the edge of her lips.

"Oh, Armin. We don't need a battlefield to raise a little hell of our own. Plenty of bloodied noses for everyone."
The way she's able to throw jokes around with her usual uptight tone makes each time she talks a bit of a game. Couldn't ever really be sure whether she was being serious or not.
"Say, so..."
I thumb at my coat pocket, not quite sure how to proceed.
"Would you like to go shooting, sometime? I'm eager to test your marksmanship. Can't let you get complacent, now can I?"
"No."
The response is so brief, it stings.
"What?"
She purses her lips, before showing her teeth. I step back against the wall. She... she doesn't look pleased.
"For someone who's lived much, much longer than I have, you're as dense as lead."
"Wh-"
Her grip clings onto my shirt, pulling me towards her and -
>>
No. 1006013 ID: 5bf1bd
File 162674350204.png - (396.08KB , 1000x1000 , itone08.png )
1006013

Our lips meet.
It's short, rough, like a punch.
>>
No. 1006014 ID: 5bf1bd
File 162674355126.png - (527.97KB , 1000x1000 , itone08pointfive.png )
1006014

We step back a bit, her crimson fingers digging into my shirt still. I try to steady my breathing, but for once, I don't quite have a grasp on it.
I can still taste... her.
"I've been making what you would call... advances, towards you for a long time. I hope this is forward enough."
I grin, my tongue pressing against my bottom teeth.
"Yeah. Forward's a bit of an understatement with that."
The kiss was awkward, like a girl proclaiming her love for someone for the first time. Normally, we tilt our heads, meeting each other's lips at a better angle... or press your foreheads together, depending on what part of the Alliance you hail from.
Didn't make it any less good, though. Something to tell her at another time.
Mnemosyne steps back, a distant look in her eye.
"You... you know... This feels so very familiar. Like I had done it once before, in another life."
I squint at her.
"What do you mean?"

There's a brief flicker of something... exhausted in her eyes.
"Sometimes at night, I dream. I dream of wars and fights that I've never been present in - where I'm of a different shape and size, where I'm surrounded by people who I know and at the same time, don't."
She continues, and I don't know how to respond. "Then there are the memories of strange places. Worlds with big grey walls lined with glass that tower off into the sky, and each one has a room inside. Sometimes, I'm in one of those towers, looking out, surrounded by people whose names I should know, but I don't. But..."
>>
No. 1006015 ID: 5bf1bd
File 162674357592.png - (370.46KB , 1000x1000 , itone09.png )
1006015

She looks into my eyes, those pale blue eyes of hers looking just like the day she was born.
"But it would be nice to make some new memories, ones without gunfire or the bruising of flesh."

I laugh. "I hope you're not ruling out everything involving bruising, then."
She nods, thoughtfully.
"True. They do say that a rigorous sparring session helps develop camaraderie..."
She trails off, deep into thought. Hah, what am I going to do with her?
"Let's save that for another time. But... let's go get some lunch, right?"
I hook her arm around hers, and for a moment, she looks surprised.
"Let us depart, then."
And so we walked off, hand in hand.
>>
No. 1006018 ID: 96c896

>>1006015
How long did it last?
>>
No. 1006031 ID: 894419

>>1006015
You make a cute couple, but I don't see how this relationship with a someone literally born to die for your nation can end any way but tragedy.
>>
No. 1006033 ID: 6b0cd0

>>1006031
The role of a soldier is not to die for their nation, it's do make the other guy do so.
>>
No. 1006034 ID: 094652

So is she really sterile?
>>
No. 1006089 ID: 5bf1bd
File 162686948723.png - (465.02KB , 1000x1000 , itone10.png )
1006089


[FRAGMENT ACCELERATION RATIO - 2 YEARS]
[PLAYING NEXT MEMORY SEQUENCE]


>How long did it last?
Still going.

>Is she really sterile?
Don't think genetics are going to do us any favours, especially since she doesn't have much Asliann in her for my sake.

>This is going to end in tragedy, isn't it?
Sometimes, you just have to take the blessings you can get in your life.

You know... after a few years in this place, the view never really gets old. Stretches of ocean that continue on forever. Clean air, devoid of smog from the factories back at home. Some people fish in their downtime, whereas others like to feel the sand against their feet.

Us, though? We like to eat outside, on top of a little cliff. It looks over the sandy bay, and up here, we can feel the breeze together.

We hadn't been here in a while, a week or so. New training regimen being planned. Schedules didn't happen to line up as well as we wanted it to.
I run along the fields, boots off. Mnemosyne for one reason or another, prefers to go without her boots outside of combat situations, so I figured that trying to feel things her way was appropriate... when we're outside, anyway.
I can feel her fingers entwined in mine as I drag her along.
She calls after me, her grip tight and resolute.
"Armin, we haven't resolved our previous debate! Which name do you think is better, Prometheus Clone or Trace Clone?"
Another day, another debate. Last month it was about which of the rations were the best.
"Trace Clone? Is that what the others are calling it now? Why's that, anyway? The late Doctor Prometheus was one of the people who invented the tech to make clones like you possible in the first place. Doc Troveheart's work was built on top of his after all, before he even set this whole facility up."

Seene brushes at her angular ears. They remind me a bit of rank chevrons, and it makes me want to tug on it, put it on my lapel.
"Well, we are formed from traces, are we not? The genetic traces of our predecessors, and their memories... though, there was that unusual new girl."
She shakes her head. Even as she talks, we continue to walk up the grassy outcrop. "Her circumstances are different. The other doctors have made it clear that we're not to bother her. She's not like the rest of us. But she was the reason why the question is being posed. She's an... evolution of the process. Not quite the work that Prometheus began, now is it? And Doctor Troveheart is much too modest than to name it after himself."
I consider this thoughtfully. Even though I'm just a soldier - I've talked with the man plenty of times. Is it really humility behind the name... or some kind of guilt? It isn't my problem to question orders, though. Especially when it's brought me the love of my life.
"Yeah, I see what you mean", I reply. "But, it's still good to acknowledge who came before you, right? Plenty of heroes who had built you up to begin with. I don't find myself leaning too far either way!"
She jabs me in the shoulder, her curled lips exposing those sharp teeth.
"I hope you're not implying that my accomplishments aren't my own, ya bastard."
I raise both my hands, laughing. "Whoa, whoa, hey, you're a tough bitch, wouldn't expect any less of you. All of us gotta have ancestors, comin' from somewhere, right? Ah, you know what I'm talking about."
This time, we're both laughing, as step over a stray petal.
>>
No. 1006106 ID: 96c896

>>1006089
Who's the new girl?
>>
No. 1006311 ID: 15a025

So tell us more about this new girl?
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No. 1006448 ID: 5bf1bd
File 162739027477.png - (644.57KB , 1000x1000 , itone11.png )
1006448

>Tell us about the new girl.
Ah, her? I don't know her name, actually. While the first few generations of clones got assigned names, the later ones can just choose their own. Saves the scientists time, and it differentiates them. There's a few out there, like that one gal who named herself after mold.
As for what she's like, I don't know much, to be honest. I've heard the rumours, but we were explicitly told not to gawk at her, and I haven't ever been assigned to her area. But, apparently, she's the pet project of Doctor Jaz Kinshimann. Seems like there's something strange going on with her, and there's discussions on 'a new generation' of clones, potentially, since she's different somehow. They're keeping it under wraps since the project's scope has expanded a good amount in these two years, and so I guess I don't have to tag along to keep watch or anything. Kinshimann has made it clear that he doesn't plan to make a lot more like her, though, but I imagine that she'll be cracking jokes about Testemillion's balls like the rest.

"Here we are!" I begin, tossing the blanket onto the grass out on top of the clifftop.
A picnic's not exactly something you'd have in a place like this, but even having something to sit on's alright. Makes it so the grass isn't jabbing into your ass, anyway.
Would've bought a basket for the food, make it all classic lovey-dovey couple stuff, but we ain't got much of those around so I've just tucked the snacks I cooked up with her in my coat.
Came up with some nice ways of combining what we've got around the facility into a nice flat sort of savoury 'cake'. Tastes like meat 'n' gravy, and it's been a hit with Seene.
Up here, there's only the clean breeze. There's never any planes flying over here, not unless we suddenly put together an air division to our facility. Occasionally though, I can see the boats that take people to and from the island - but I'm never on them.
Seene takes her seat next to me, though instead of her eyes being glued to the horizon, she's staring at the ground."What are these little things in the ground?"
She hesitantly prods at it with a finger.
"Those are flowers... not sure who planted them, but they're a wonderful thing, aren't they? They really match your dye colours, you know."
Immediately, she pulls one of her ears forward, comparing the colours.
"It's a bit off, Armin. But I see the merit in the comparison."
She looks over at me, curious. "So what are these for? Do they serve a tactical purpose for the site?"

Ah. Always a pragmatist. I think on it for a moment - can't say there's ever been a girl who's asked me about the tactical advantage that flowers would provide. "They're... good for morale? A lot of things are."
"Like those fictional depictions of combat engagements where one man runs in shirtless, guns blazing? I'm not so much sure they're good for morale as giving the girls wrong ideas of their own capabilities. Even if we're powerful, we're not invincible."
She squeezes my shoulder.
"Besides, we're going to have to protect squishy things like you on the battlefield as well."

I look down at the grass for a moment, feeling her fingers dig at my shoulders. Deployment, huh? Not like I haven't seen action before, but... there's still no projections on when this secret project's going to be employed to begin with. Who knows what the brains at the Alliance are thinking, anyway?
"I'm not sure we'll be deployed together, Seene. But if we are, I'll be counting on you. But let's enjoy the view while we can - always more going on soon."
At very least, I hope that I'll be able to see her. That's all I care about.

This is the last update in this interlude where you can submit questions. Ask any questions you may have now.
>>
No. 1006471 ID: e7c7d3

Kiss her, you fool!
>>
No. 1006496 ID: e799e4

Who is this Kishimann guy?
Is Prometheus' name a pseudonym? Did he name himself after Greek myth? How does he know Greek myth?

Oh, and how's the war going?
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No. 1006634 ID: 5bf1bd
File 162756446557.png - (246.17KB , 1000x1000 , itone12.png )
1006634

>Who's this Kinshimann guy?
Doctor Jaz Kinshimann, eh? A bit of a mouthful, his name. Linharjans tend to have very long surnames like that.
He's sort of a counterpart to Doctor Troveheart - the two of them have actually collaborated before, and - get this, Kinshimann's the reason why half the damn facility's got four ears and four nostrils. He succeeded in making cross-species chimeras via cloning processes! So, it's really thanks to him that me and Seene are even able to be together...

>Greek Myth?
Never heard of it.
>Is Prometheus a pseudonym?
Doctor Prometheus was a bit of an interesting figure... I believe he was one of the first people to really get cloning as an actual viable field of science. Before he came along, things really didn't seem to be going well, at least from what I've heard from Dr. Troveheart. But, I do think it is a pseudonym of sorts, probably mashed together from his actual name. Kinda like how everyone calls Doctor Graph, Doc "Silicagraph" after the process he ended up developing that revolutionized materials engineering.


>Kiss her, you fool!
Heh. When it's time.

We snuggle up a bit closer together. It's nice being able to cut loose, here. Compared to my days on the field at one of the alliance's countries, there's less of a feeling of constant, persistent exhaustion. Sure, some people find it boring at Site 70, but when you're part of the future? You're practically witnessing history happen.
Though, I don't think most people can bone history as literally as I have.
"There's something else I want to talk to you about, Armin."

She hands me a red strip of cloth. She looks away from me, some kind of bashfulness on her face.
"I heard... I heard that in some cultures, lovers often gift the other a possession that stays with them. Rings, gems, other sorts of gifts. I don't have anything like that. But I do desire that... proof. That kind of bond between the both of us."
I snicker, a small mask for how bloody touched I am by this. I wouldn't even know if this counts as getting married or not, but...
"You know... back at home, we'd give our loved ones multiple rings. One for each wish we'd want to give to our beloved. A wish for happiness, a wish for health, and a wish for success. Three wishes, for both individuals."
Of course, there's only one red sash, dyed the same red that she has.
"Here. Let's make it mutual, then."
I untie the black sash around my own shoulder. They had given it to me all the way back when I was a cadet.

We both hold out our sashes, ready to exchange. The air is crisp, and I can smell the breeze carrying her scent over to me.
"So, do you consent?"
The question hangs in the air a bit.

"There aren't any pastors around. And besides... men and women like us, I don't think we'll need the old traditions for that kind of thing. We're not in the motherland - we're all adrift at sea."
I tie the black sash across her arm, wrapping it tight.
"Shall I apply a tourniquet to your heart~?"
She responds with a quick kick to my knee.
"Aw, so sweet of you. Maybe I should bind your arm tight enough to cut circulation to it."
She gives it a quick tug, teasing.
And when it was all done, we simply sat there, looking over at each other.

"Black suits you as an accent," I tell her.
"Really now? I can't say red suits you all that well. I'd rather not see you bloodied in an attempt to woo me."
There's a strange feeling in my heart. What'll happen if I'm gone? She knows our line of work. And I'm not as strong as her, physically anyway.

But I'm not going to think about that. It doesn't matter now.
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No. 1006635 ID: 5bf1bd
File 162756448926.png - (439.71KB , 1000x1000 , itone13.png )
1006635

And so, I sit there, feeling Mnemosyne lean against me. We're in perfect balance - our weight, our strength complementing each other.
I don't really know how things are going to play out from here, but I don't have to.

We lean in and we kiss, for the umpteenth time.
This time, it feels a bit different. The scent of the wind, her scent, are mixed together by the sea breeze.
In this moment, everything feels just right. I'm sure she feels the same.
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No. 1006636 ID: 5bf1bd
File 162756454166.png - (745.24KB , 1000x1000 , itone14.png )
1006636


[END OF RECORDING.]
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-N

Thank you for using the Splinter Assistance Wizard.


>>
No. 1006637 ID: 5bf1bd
File 162756456607.png - (109.14KB , 1000x1000 , itone14part2.png )
1006637

I never did find out how those two came together before. I wonder if one of these splinters has my own birth recorded?
...
Well, that's the first of many done.

I was hoping that Argine didn't have to meet Amica now, of all times. This makes it so, so much harder. I'll have to increase security, adjust plans...
But as long as Argine makes it out fine, then it'll all be worth it. There are things she doesn't need to know, that the others don't need to know.

...

Then why did I put this thing together? Did I just have to relive all of the past?
...But I had to understand. I had to understand why everything happened.

I can feel my exhaustion in my bones.

That's enough for tonight. If I can't take care of myself, how do I expect to take care of others?
Maybe the nightmares would leave me alone for tonight.
...
I doubt they will.
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No. 1006638 ID: 5bf1bd
File 162756463940.png - (48.83KB , 1000x1000 , interlude1end.png )
1006638

Discussion Thread: https://questden.org/kusaba/questdis/res/133296.html

Next Thread: TBD
>>
No. 1006683 ID: 96c896

She's still wearing her black band. I wonder if he's still alive?
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