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970260 No. 970260 ID: e24163

Their chains won’t hold me forever.
266 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
>>
No. 978398 ID: e51896

*whispers to self*Have a really bad feeling about about making that deal with that scarf... huh? What? I didnt say anything.

In any case, I dont think we should show Diagram the bullet, I dont want to drag the poor girl into the trouble we are getting ourselves into despite our curiosity of the bullet

Let us see Nanoweaver
>>
No. 978402 ID: b1b4f3

>>978383
Even if the scarf can't tell lies, you can still deceive with the truth. For instance:
>meeting with Judi in secret
That didn't give any context. Like, she might be conspiring against you, or she's acting as a double agent with the intent to help you, or it has nothing to do with you at all. It's information you cannot act upon; you'd have to confirm it first and find out why they're meeting. The easiest way to confirm it is to ask Diagram if she's been talking to Judi, because she'd be terrible at hiding it from you. But that'd also be playing into whatever the scarf's plans are. Do you think that's a good idea?

Let's go talk to Diagram regardless. The bullet is extremely abnormal and could be crucial information, or we could find out that it should be returned and you'll need a replacement bullet for your offering.
>>
No. 978405 ID: 735fa3

We already knew that, Diagram gave her... us to implant in her. You were pissed but seem to have gotten over it quickly.
>>
No. 978406 ID: b1b4f3

>>978405
Haha, that's right isn't it? It could just be out of date information, too.
>>
No. 978438 ID: 4286b4

>I study and reproduce the actions of other people in this facility
But if you were trying to reproduce her, then she would be reproducing you, reproducing her, reproducing you, reproducing her, ...

>It's lying. It has to be.
It must be painful to hear that Judi's been cheating on you.

>to shock you
Hmm, if the scarf can shock her, and the scarf is a SAI, then maybe...
*shocks Argine*

Nanoweaver.
>>
No. 980818 ID: b4b327
File 160507601939.png - (323.32KB , 1000x1000 , pl_061.png )
980818

>The Scarf's 'Truth'

It.. it-
Both Diagram and Nanoweaver have had to meet with Judicium in the past, especially about me being implanted. But the way that SAI talked about it...
No.
I don't want to think about it.

But if either of them betray me, there'll be hell to pay.

>It could be deceiving you with the truth
>It could be outdated information

Yeah, you're both right. I mean, Nanoweaver and Diagram have both met up with Judicium as part of the tournament setup. I'm suspicious of how those two got it set up so smoothly, but I'm sure that's just because the Sector Bosses have their own schemes going on, and 'if Argine played along, then she'd fall right for it'. Fat chance of that happening though.


>SAI Shocks
Nice try. I don't think something that's in me can deliver an electric shock.

Either way, that SAI was a bloody waste of time. But hopefully it doesn't rat me out, since I helped it. If someone's offering me help for such a simple task, why would I ever turn it down?

I snatch up the vial where I stashed it prior, then make my way over to Nanoweaver's office again.

Damn, I feel tired... wound must be wanting me to heal it.

I open the door, and this time, Nanoweaver is there by herself.
"Ah, welcome back. Did Ozone give you any trouble, Argine?"
She blinks, behind those red-tinted lenses. I guess she can see a difference in how I walk.
"You're quite injured! Are you alright?"
Ah, Nanoweaver, always caring. She rushes over, helping me over to a chair.

"She was trying to shoot me."
Nanoweaver runs a gloved hand over the bruised area, where my rib had broken.
"That was all? Hm. I would have assumed landmines would have been involved- no, she wouldn't be the sort to damage perfectly fine equipment. Not to imply that you're not a wonderful operator, Argine."
She laughs gently, a doctor's sort of humour.
But, come on. If she was going to crack a joke, at least make it one where I'm not being blasted into the ceiling.

"I doubt Ozone would want to have fought you directly, Argine. I'm assuming Astrolysis roughed you up? That makes two in one day..."

"Nanoweaver, how is it fair that Ozone was armed and chasing me around the weapons room like a madwoman? I thought we weren't meant to fight outside of designated times."

She doesn't immediately respond, pulling up my arm as she jabs a needle into it. I exhale as the pain meds run through me, steadying my breathing.
"It wasn't live ammunition. That old woman was bragging to Mnemosyne about a little loophole of hers - a tranquilizer gun with something else loaded. Technically, it wouldn't harm you, but..."
The sentence trails off.
But what?
"Tsk. Getting into fights when you have a proper duel tomorrow. Get to rest early today, Argine. If you think your regeneration is going to work with regular sleeping schedules, you're going to be sorely disappointed. No exercises or drills, either. Normally you'd be able to push yourself, but I'd strongly recommend against it."
There goes the rest of today. Astrolysis did a better job of sabotaging me than Ozone did.
"Fine. I can still pay a visit to the Hall, can't I?"
She nods, as she opens the door of the nearby fridge. I turn down the ice, though.
"Maybe Ozone wanted to toy with you a bit - you were going to get those gadgets one way or another, after all. But, I doubt someone as prideful as her would try the same trick twice - just be careful when you decide to fight her, properly."

I pull out the Skill Trace vial, passing it to Nanoweaver.

"Here you go. A Skill Trace vial, like you asked."
>>
No. 980819 ID: b4b327
File 160507608357.png - (630.74KB , 1000x1000 , pl_062.png )
980819

"What's the vial for, doc? Went through a lot of trouble for it.
Nanoweaver holds the vial up under the medbay lights.

"Ah, it's for a little machine of my own creation. It reads SAI splinters - the Skill Trace Vial's made of something that stores... ah, well, you wouldn't understand. It's quite interesting tech, something about preserving engrams and converting them into data.
Don't worry about it right now, but I'm sure it'll be useful in future."
I glower. So it's just a way I can read your little backstories better?
"Could you tell me how? Sure, when I'm getting strategy they can be useful, but I'm not sure getting a look into the heads of multiple dumbasses will really help my case. I thought you'd be using the vial in a cool... gun, or something."

Nanoweaver shakes her head, taking a seat at her workdesk.

"I don't work with weapons, Argine. But you'd do well not to underestimate the knowledge you can glean from the past. Those who don't know about the past, are doomed to repeat it."
Cryptic advice from mentors that are getting in my head. Sounds familiar.
She places the vial into a holder, and then, I see the glow.
A Parasignia. Her Parasignia. I don't see it used often, but - that feeling of watching it unfold strikes a distinct sense of awe into those who see it, if you don't have one of your own. I wasn't the first to get one - and to the gals without one, we all envied those that did. And those who did have a Parasignia - they felt it, whenever someone else uses one. Like there's some kind of energy, bouncing off of you and charging you up.

The vial simply... unravels. Like she's pulling it apart from one end, in the form of a glowing string.
She spools it onto a... what did she call it? A skein? Weird word. She knits the end - and it's a *small* skein, but she slides it into her drawer, for later use.

"Thank you, Argine. While I know you hold your doubts, I'll be sure to inform you when things are ready."

She leans forward in her seat, a determined look behind those crimson lenses.
"Now, let's discuss the tournament."
>>
No. 980820 ID: b4b327
File 160507650918.png - (278.94KB , 1400x1000 , pl_063.png )
980820

"Give me the details. All of them. I'm not going to get ambushed again on something I didn't know."
Now that I can breathe properly, the familiar, reassuring scents of the medbay feel like they're tickling my nostrils.
"Very well. Listen closely."

"The tournament - the final tournament starting tomorrow, is going to be your gate to freedom.
It is structured differently, due to the unique circumstances surrounding it. It'll be you, Argine, versus the facility's finest."
They're starting it tomorrow because they don't want to give me more prep time than what I've already got. But I guessed as much, anyway.

"Yeah, tell me something I don't already know. We don't exactly have more than fifty people to run an actual bracket with, and somehow, I don't think it'll be another spectator sport. But I appreciate the help, doc."
They hold these annually, though I guess some people consider them bi-annual. They haven't run any since the... previous one I was in. Part of that was because everyone was leaving through the Weave Nexus to go see the outside world, but, there was something going on that day.

"There will be a total of six rounds - one, per opponent - or Sector Boss, that you must face. But they won't be fighting amongst themselves for points - all of them are against you. In addition, there's a small catch."

"How so?"

"You'll be able to pick who you wish to fight, outside of the first and final bouts."
Awfully generous of them. But there's always a hidden agenda with those people.
"Why the first and final ones?"

"Your opponents made an appeal to have those roles, specifically. Judicium is first, because she was your instructor in the last few months of training."
Predictable. Though, they could have sent my sister out first to try and demolish me beforehand.
"Your sister is last - although she had asked to go first. The others weren't receptive to the idea, because they all wished to fight you for one reason or another - and because they were confident that you'd never triumph over her."
That arrogance will be their downfall. I'll make sure of it.

"Losing against the Sector Bosses doesn't mean you're automatically disqualified, however."

"What, are they just going to give me a stern lecture and pat me on the back?"

"They'll join your sister in the final fight as an additional participant."
Oh.
"Needless to say, that is an outcome that's best avoided. But there's also something in your favour, negotiated by me... and your sister."
My sister negotiated with the rest of the sector bosses to give me a handicap? She's pitying me! But I'm going to take it. I'll take my advantage and shove it down her throat.

"You'll be able to get additional gadgets and equipment from the opponents you defeat. They are all obligated to give you something of significant value. I'm unsure of how many, though. I doubt they'd want to give you a significant advantage, given your unique skills and proficiency with such tools."
Considering how I get exponentially more badass with each piece of unique equipment I have on me, this is honestly an insane advantage. Someone's a little cocky if they've all agreed to this.
Nanoweaver continues as I try to think of the possibilities. You know, they actually developed gadgets based off of Parasignias? The science team went wild each time someone got a new one. If I didn't threaten them with my fists, I probably would have been stuck in the most boring of medical examinations and repeated testing ever, worse than the redundancy that Judicium and the others put me through.

"The first and final fights are important, Argine. Because losing in them isn't an option. If you lose the first, you will be deemed incompetent, and therefore your imprisonment here will have grounds for validation."
As if escalating this situation to the point where the best soldiers in the whole damn facility have to invoke tournament rules on me isn't already an accomplishment on its own.
"The final fight is what wins you the right to leave. If you lose there... well, you'd be stuck here for longer. Maybe you'd earn the respect of those you had defeated prior."
They'll just treat me worse.
"That is the gist of it, Argine. You have me and Diagram on your side. While it may be tough, this is the only real option, as you've long since realized."
"I'll win. I'll make a life for myself, Nano."
I breathe in, a stinging in my lungs.


I was prepared to fight out with only my revolvers and the standard gadgets. But, this? My odds of success have gone up significantly.
Let's work out an initial plan of attack here, SAI. Approaching opponents like these without a plan is going to get me screwed over, I learned that much from my tactical drills. We can make changes as I get better gear or info, but what order do you think is best? All four of the options I have are bad in their own ways.

Mnemosyne is one of the earliest soldiers this facility has produced, and she's immensely experienced. She's an all-rounder sort, but in the few times I've seen her truly fight, she's a hurricane of a woman. Skilled in close quarters combat, assault weaponry, gadgets and navigation, she's someone who's difficult to face. We can face her first, catch her off guard if we want - but that's like telling me to win a firefight in my underwear. I need equipment for fighting these monsters, but I can't get any unless I win!

Astrolysis would normally be laughed at for being blind and unable to use a gun, but the fact that she can break bone with a single punch and probably snap most people in half is intimidating enough on it's own. Since she can't use firearms, she developed a taste for all kinds of melee weapons, but I sweat - that woman hides her skill behind brute animal ferocity.

Nickel's someone who gets routinely underestimated due to being the smallest soldier around. Unfortunately, that puts her at a good stabbing distance. You'd think most people would out-reach her, but her mobility is unparalleled, and she's a killer shot specialized in long-ranged weaponry. Maybe I can take her on, but getting knifed in the back or shot between the eyes is going to put me out of commission pretty easily.

Ozone's strange. I've never seen her fight, but she's one bitch of a drill sergeant. She's in charge of the Vehicle Hangar, but that place never gets used. I wouldn't be surprised if she's hiding a tank in there, though. I'd say she's overcompensating, with how often she lugs around heavy weapons that are far larger than her, but even though I can throw her over my shoulder, she's capable of carrying things well above her weight limit.

Then there's Judicium and my sister as outliers... I don't want to think about them, not just yet. Especially not my sister. But I'll say that she's strong, unbelievably, unbearingly strong.
But I'll give you the details when I'm ready.

This is just an overview - I'll give a more detailed profile when we actually have to fight the person in question.
You can also ask Nanoweaver some questions while we're here. But after we're done, I'm going to see Diagram and try to get another bullet - she may have one lying around, and I could talk to her about the strange one I found in the office.
>>
No. 980822 ID: b1b4f3

>Mnemosyne
An all-rounder opponent you don't have much confidence in fighting would be a poor first choice.

>Astrolysis
Can you outrun her? Keep away long enough to wear her down with gunfire and gadget use? That's a potential plan, and we just had first hand experience with her combat style so we're more informed on her than the others. I'm leaning towards fighting her first just because she's a straightforward opponent.

>Nickel
Well, you have a shield to keep from getting plastered by long range weapons, which might provoke her into getting in close, at which point you can try using your mines to take her out. You don't have a lot of mines though.

>Ozone
Well she's not a complete mystery. You fought her just earlier today, though I doubt she was working within her specialty. But yes, you should try to get some information on what she's capable of so you can plan your approach. Ask around! Ask Nanoweaver.

Heck, ask Nanoweaver if she knows what each opponent's weaknesses are.
>>
No. 980841 ID: 05fd71

>>980820

Ask nanoweaver why she's been trying so hard to help you with this.
>>
No. 980926 ID: 2d89f7

Ask Nanoweaver if she heard of any rumors about any of the soldiers having any kind of bad blood, or disgusts or some kind of hatred towards your sister.

That way, if any of them have any animosity over your sister, you can probably consider losing to some of them on purpose so that they will have trouble teaming up with your sister against you or maybe even sabatoge your sister in some way if your lucky.

Say it in a way that does not make Nanoweaver think you are acting suspicious.
>>
No. 981038 ID: a092dd
File 160543696049.png - (300.52KB , 1000x1000 , pl_063dot5.png )
981038

>Would you be able to outrun Astrolysis?

If I was pelting her with bullets, probably. Damn woman is faster than anyone her size has any right to be.

>Losing to people on purpose
Yeah, right. Even if there was anyone who actually wanted to fight with me, there's a code of honor to this kind of thing. Throwing matches for any reason is taboo, and a bad idea. But as for bad blood... I think there's a general sense of respect everyone has for my sister, thanks to that awful persona of hers she likes to wear. Everyone thinks she's just so awesome, and completely ignore the fact that there are other people beside her who are capable of doing a good job.
But as for defeating my sister... I won't lie and say that I'd want to fight her entirely honourably. But it's not good for me regardless of how things play out.


Before I leave, I give Nanoweaver some questions.

"Nanoweaver, can you give me information on each of the opponents I have to face? You've been here longer than I have, you know what they're like. Got any info on them I can use?"
Nanoweaver's expression softens. Although I can't see much behind those lenses in her mask, she's always able to evoke a strange feeling in me, like I know she's right before she even says anything.
"Oh, Argine. Are you asking me to divulge confidential medical information?"
Well, yeah, that's basically what I want you to do. But I don't say that out loud.
Nanoweaver shakes her head - it's moments like these that it's clearest that she's the one who cares.
"One at a time, maybe. If you settle on an opponent, I could lead you to relevant information. But I very much can't simply hand you all of the documents on my person. I want to help you, Argine, but you are still fighting against my colleagues."
I... have to respect that. Nanoweaver was the person who made me, and I owe a lot to her. She's already doing me a lot of favours.

"Why do you help me out so much, Nanoweaver? I know you were the person who made me, but... even with how things played out, you still support me. Why?"

Even behind that mask of hers, I can practically see her smile. She touches her face as she speaks - like she's concealing some kind of damage beneath.
"It's only natural that you care about someone who you brought into this world. Wouldn't you do the same?"
I'm not sure I would, but I've never really... made a person before. I do love my guns though, so I think the sentiment's there.
"I've made mistakes before, Argine. The Sector Bosses here have too. And with you, I want to do better."
She's always been secretive about her past, but I don't often inquire. That kind of thing, I don't really know what to talk about.
"Oh, apologies, Argine. I'm simply rambling. The essence of it is, I help you because I care. Both me and Diagram see your struggle, and we want to help you put a decisive end to everything."
That makes decent enough sense. Moreso than the reasons that the Sector Bosses give me for keeping suppressed all the damn time.
"Alright. Seeya, Nano. I'll make damned sure that I win."

She turns away as I leave, resuming her work.
>>
No. 981039 ID: a092dd
File 160543700202.png - (283.81KB , 1000x1000 , pl_064.png )
981039

Alright. Last stop. After this, I'll pay a visit to the Hall of Heroes, then I'm going to have to rest up for tomorrow. Damn this wound - don't bother reminding me that I screwed up, I already know well enough.
I have to get better. It's the only way - I'm not going to let it phase me any longer.

I cross the facility, pulling open Diagram's door. I'm greeted by a scent of gunpowder.
She's leaned over her workbench, but looks up as I arrive.

"Hey, Diagram, I'm back. You still doing work on that secret project of yours?"
Maybe it's because I had already paid a visit today, but Diagram doesn't seem as shocked as she was last time.

"Oh! Argine, I was waiting for you to get back. Did things go well with Nanoweaver? She must have given you the details, right?"

I nod, though I pluck the bullet from my pocket.
"Right, I did. But I've got something for you to take a look at. Found a bullet that I can't seem to absorb into my Parasignia, only the casing around it. You're the brainy one, can you tell me what's up with it?"

I flick the bullet towards her, the thing sailing through the air and being hurriedly caught by our favourite lil' blue engineer.
She brings it over to her workdesk, where there's a bunch of casings and bullets lying around from her previous experimentation.
The bullet is placed under a weird scope-looking thing. Apparently, it's a thing called a 'microscope'? But this one looks different to the ones I've seen in the textbooks. Must be some kind of weird contraption that Diagram uses for special tasks.
She's bent over the device, adjusting the bullet on occasion, before looking up.

"Argine..."
She holds the bullet up to the light, before lowering it.
"Where did you get this?"

I shrug.
"I got it from the ice queen's office when I was retrieving my gals - it was hidden under her mattress. I also ended up picking up a Skill Trace vial on the way for Nanoweaver."
She squints her eyes.
"What? There's no such thing as a Skill Trace vial. Did you mean a Memory Trace Ampule?"
Eh?
"No, I mean Skill Trace vial. That's what Nanoweaver told me. Whatever, there was two things in the Cradle, I took the other one."
Diagram still looks like she's about to correct me on something, but holds off.
"Ah, it's okay if you got confused, Argine... I mean, you're not with the genetics division. A-ah, I'm getting off-topic. Argine, this bullet..."

She clears her throat, adjusting her posture.
"This bullet's infused with someone else's Parasignia."
I pull up a seat, grunting.
"And what does that mean? Parasignias can be bloody anythin', doesn't exactly narrow down what's special about it."

Technically, you could argue that my bullets are 'Parasignia infused' too, since I can produce a lot of them until I run out of energy. But I'm not too familiar with all the complex, reality-bending aspects of Parasignias. I know mine, and what limits it has.

Diagram places the bullet on the table like it's a bomb, before scooting away from it.
"Argine? This bullet is highly abstract in nature. It's quite literally out of this world. The Parasignia that affected this bullet - it's nothing like the Parasignias that you or the Sector Bosses have. It's... magic."

Eh? Huh?

"What, like one of your storybooks?"

Diagram looks flustered.
"W-well, yes, actually! This bullet has a high abstraction rating, the highest I've seen if we're talking in terms of Parasignias and the science behind them. Basically, abstract things obey the laws of physics less, but are more unstable for it. All Parasignias, and people as well are positioned differently on the sliding scale of Abstraction versus Realism. But because we are all from the same world, we all roughly have the same qualities. This bullet's far more abstract than anything I've ever seen, so it's the work of someone from a foreign world, probably from the Weave Nexus? But that's all I can determine from a quick look. I'd have to study it further. The gist of it is that whatever this is, it's unpredictable. You could fire it, and then it turns what you shoot into flowers or some strange effect like that."
I grin.
"So you're telling me that there's a chance I could just make someone spontaneously combust? Sounds great."

Diagram shakes her head, raising both of her hands.
"Argine, the bullet could be dangerous to you too! We don't know what it's from, and what consequences there are."
She glances back at the desk, where the bullet sits.
"If it's not too much of a bother - you could leave it with me, and I can study it to try and find out what it does. But that'll take a long time - I'd have to go into Exotic Materials Research and use some of the machines there, and without Judicium noticing. I won't be able to give it back for a while."

Orrrrrrrr I could just keep it and fire it when I'm in a tight spot. It's a bullet - what else is it meant to do? Do situps?
Although my revolvers aren't really meant to take this caliber, I can still load it anyway - besides, the way Diagram's talkin' about it, it's probably going to do something beneficial for me or something like that.
>>
No. 981044 ID: c57fb0

Give her the bullet. You don't want to mess up your guns and it might be useful.
>>
No. 981047 ID: e51896

How about neither. Didn't you say you were going to use that .50 calibre round as an offering to a soldier you deeply respect in the Hall of Heroes >>971347 ? You wouldnt be able to do that if you gave it to diagram, or use it as a weapon. Remember?
>>
No. 981048 ID: e51896

>>981047
Oh wait, you made a copy of the bullet with your parasignia, my bad.

still, maybe a magic .50 caliber bullet would be the best offering than just a copy of that bullet?
>>
No. 981050 ID: e9716e

>>981039
eat the bullet.
become bullet woman.
>>
No. 981054 ID: 6e6f32

Mom, we need another bullet in this caliber of we gonna give you this one!

Are you having secret meetin- OH!
Momma, we made a friend!
>>
No. 981063 ID: b1b4f3

>>981039
Argine, it's not that it'd do something random. It's that she can't tell what it'll do. For all we know it could blow up in your face and was left there specifically as a trap for you. Or it could *permanently kill* the target, and Judicium is planning to murder someone. Or it could fuck with the mind of whoever gets shot with it, turning them into an obedient dog, and Judicium was planning to shoot you with it. Or it's something relatively harmless and is meant as a prank, or some kind of weird sex thing.

You absolutely need to find out what it does. Give her the bullet.
>>
No. 981253 ID: a092dd
File 160567404699.png - (698.68KB , 1000x1000 , pl_065.png )
981253

>Mom, are you having a secret mee-"
I said, we're not considering that. And even if she was, Diagram's in thought range. You really want to go and reveal that we know that?

>Eat the bullet
What do you take me for? What kinda freakish species eats metal anyway?

>You don't want to mess up your guns
>The bullet wouldn't work randomly, it could be really dangerous
>Give her the bullet
>You made a copy of the bullet

Well, I made a copy of the bullet's casing but that's not exactly useful.
Part of me wants to keep this thing, either for offering or for firing, but you guys do raise a good point.
Permanently killing someone with bullets, huh... Man, that's kind of freaky. I mean, people get shot all the time back when I was in training, and things grew back!

The question is why Judicium would have it - I haven't seen that woman carry a gun, ever. Always a staff or some other big stick. I mean, I can get why some people like knives, but Judicium doesn't even use any weapons that deal real damage!

>You need a bullet for the offering
Yeah, yeah, I'm on it.

"Diagram, you got a spare .50 lying around in that cabinet of yours? I didn't ask before because I know you're always tinkering with 'em, and you might not have one on you. But I kinda need a replacement for the magic bullet."

She nods, rummaging around in her drawers and tosses me back the right calibre. Nice.

"Keep it for research. Let me know when you've got the details on it."
Diagram nods, but as I start to walk out of her room - she calls out to me.


"Wait, Argine, I have something special for you!"
My spine tingles, as I hear the click-clack of a shell chamber being cleared.
"You didn't."
Diagram throws something towards me, and I catch it in my hand, surprised by the weight. This thing's chunky, for sure!

The glorious, shining metal of a new gun.

"What's it called, you beautiful, beautiful nerd!"
Diagram smiles awkwardly, a blush crossing her face.
"It's the Creirwy D-3! I named it after a beautiful sorceress from one of my stories, who started off a humble girl."
As I turn and examine the gun under the light, I feel it's heft in my fingers, looking over each and every component in the pale blue steel.
"And yet, in spite of her beauty, she was a force to be reckoned with... when the time was right, she learned of latent powers that she carried all along. With time, she mastered her sorcery, using her fierce powers to protect those she cared about. And in those moments, when she had to draw on her inner strength..."

I swing the weapon forward, grinning like a madwoman. It was pointed at nothing in particular, but I could imagine the kick, the sting in my arm.
"...she soared."

My heart's soaring, that's for sure.
"Damn, Diagram. Was this what you were hiding from me before?"
She nods, clasping her hands together.
"Do you like it? You like it, right? It's an 8-gauge, I knew that you like guns with kick! The pump's a little stiff, so it's a bit slow, but the heavy buckshot would hit really hard. I made it to accompany The Sound and The Fury, since then you've got something that can help you out more in times when your revolvers can't get through tough armour!"
I give her a hearty slap on the shoulder, causing the twiggy girl to stumble.
"You know I love it. But you're really just going to give this to me? Don't need me to do you a favour or two?"
I mean, hell. I owe it to the girl, she does a lotta good things for me.

Diagram hands me a small bag of shells, which I quickly absorb into my Parasignia. Why bother with bandoliers when I can just manifest the shells into my fingers?
"Just... take good care of it, Argine. And if you make it out - just remember it as a gift from me, alright?"
Her lips tremble, as if she's going to say something more, before cutting it short.
"...Good luck in the fight tomorrow."

I grin, giving her the best thumbs up I can, before leaving for the Hall of Heroes.
>>
No. 981257 ID: a092dd
File 160567434151.png - (428.24KB , 1000x1000 , pl_066.png )
981257

The Hall of Heroes looms over me as I step in, a mere shadow in this sacred place. There are no statues of people here – only symbols.
Faint echoes ring out with each step I take – an acknowledgment that the heroes see all, hear all. There's a certain scent of wood and stone that's associated with this place, like there's just so much... history, behind everything here. This place was built at the very start, when the facility was first founded. It was a chapel then, it's a chapel now. I've heard rumours about this place - that at some point, people didn't look up to the heroes. There were no statues, none of that kind of stuff. I wouldn't know for sure - that kind of thing was far before my time.
I'll be a hero too, someday. I'll make my own name, and a statue commemorating me will be put in a place just like this.

I stand, just past the threshold of the door. Just gotta make the offering at the end of the hall.
There's something that presses against me - something that makes me want to stop, to leave. I... don't quite know why.
>>
No. 981260 ID: b1b4f3

>>981257
There's probably someone else here. Better look around carefully. Don't forget to look up.
>>
No. 981261 ID: 1d5ff4

Lets save that new weapon for your sister, only use it when it is time to fight her and no one else, it'll be a unexpected secret weapon and she wont know what hit her.

You feel something strange here? Like a presence? Lets see if we can scan the area and get a map of the area and for anybody hiding here, just like when we were being hunted by Ozone earlier, alright?

Scan the environment for any hazards or occupants in the area, please...

(If it does not take my request, Argine, maybe you need to be the one to make the request)
>>
No. 981295 ID: e7c7d3

Check out the inscription
>>
No. 981304 ID: a9af05

>>981257
>There's something that presses against me - something that makes me want to stop, to leave. I... don't quite know why.
Remember how you were told that you have some areas that are off limits to you? This feeling is probably a warning letting you know that you're getting close to the boundaries of where you're allowed to go. I think you were also told that going past the boundaries would result in you getting a shock that would knock you out.
>>
No. 981457 ID: 2fc0a7

>>981257
throw the bullet as hard as you can towards the end of the room
>>
No. 981474 ID: a092dd
File 160586249947.png - (300.17KB , 1000x1000 , pl_067.png )
981474

>Is the area off-limits to you?
I mean, why would they bar me from the Hall of Heroes? There's nothing really crucial or secret here, dozens of people would be in here all the time. I could cross the door at least, so I breathe in, and keep going. Nothing adverse seems to happen to me, so I guess I'll be fine.

>Throw the bullet across the room

Nah. I'm here to give an offering, not to set a new record at shot put... not that I want to think about shotput again after what had happened last time.

>Scan the environment for hazards


[ERROR. UNRECOGNISED COMMAND.]

Well, I guess that didn't work. At least it turns on when we need it.

The wooden flooring has the faint imprints of hundreds of boots walking in and out of this sacred place. Nowadays, few people show up here. No more fights, no more tournaments for the soldiers - they've already moved on with their lives, out there in the universe.
Except me.

>Check the inscription

I don't need to. I've committed the heroes to memory.
Even if I closed my eyes, I could recount the heroes as I pass their statues and plaques.

Zayanskaya, the Loyal. Once a gladiator sort, the tradition of the Tournament was made in her honour. In her country, the other Asliann hold her up to a different standard – being the model soldier, one who had true pride and could hold herself to it. Time after time, she repelled invaders who tried to cross her fortified wall – and time after time, she would wipe them out.

Amala, the Kind. A young Linharjan who died stopping a biological weapon from being unleashed onto a city. The legends say that she died in the arms of her lover. They never confirmed that, however. Apparently, they never found the bodies. The favourite hero of romantic types, like a certain blue nerd we know.

Elyse Alois, the Resolute. A Sarasol Sergeant, who saved a promising young engineer from an internment camp after both of them had been abducted from a secure transport convoy. She went far and above to escape, taking down entire platoons of soldiers in a grand finale, despite her otherwise low rank. Someone who still inspires others, even after so long.

Marco Azni Saildrift, the Stoic. As far as I’m concerned, she was a bureaucratic type who got in the way of things... but I have to admit that her own accomplishments were impressive. The dismantling and sabotage of weapons of mass destruction, multiple successful solo-operations that led to the assassination and disestablishment of terrorist groups, before being promoted into a commander of her own special forces squad that kept the peace.
Few Rhappor like her were able to achieve similar heights, except one.

Many more line the halls. I could go on and on. Though, nobody's ever really seen their faces - only their weapons of choice.
A pantheon of fired bullets, long since spent. The reason we offer up unfired rounds is because we’ve still got legends of our own to forge. And I'm going to make my own damn legacy as a hero, the moment I get out of this damned place.

I feel a shiver as I cross by a statue.
>>
No. 981475 ID: a092dd
File 160586253865.png - (304.18KB , 1000x1000 , pl_068.png )
981475

As a cloud crosses over the horizon, dimming the light streaming into the chapel, I catch a glimpse of a familiar silhouette in the corner of my eye.


I stop. Don't make eye contact, don't make eye contact...

Sister "dearest". She's sitting there, waiting for me. I could've sworn she wasn't there a few moments ago.
>>
No. 981477 ID: 2fc0a7

>>981475
two can play at that game. you sit in a darkened spot and act like *you* were waiting mysteriously for *her*
>>
No. 981478 ID: b1b4f3

>>981475
She wasn't. Either she was invisible, or she can teleport. Invisibility is more likely and less troublesome.

Don't assume she's waiting for you. Keep going.
>>
No. 981480 ID: e51896

Ignore. Don't say anything, don't look at her, keep your head towards your destination, and just keep walking. it is bad luck to meet with your opponent before a match begins. (If she does say anything to you, just tell her it is disrespectful to be leaning her back against one of the statues of a hero, as they are important heroes to our world, not a headrest)

To keep your mind off of your si- that person sitting there, can you tell us about that soldier you admire that you're going to offer that bullet to as you keep walking? Why do you admire her so much?
>>
No. 981489 ID: ff1738

Just do what you came to do and leave. Avoid conflict.
>>
No. 981524 ID: a092dd
File 160596342774.png - (391.02KB , 1000x1000 , pl_069.png )
981524

“Argine.”
She always picks the worst of times to arrive. I don't know how she got here, but somehow, I don't recall her having invisibility or teleportation before.

Jin-R. Don’t you have anything better to do with your time than pestering the Sector bosses' inmate? I don't want to see your bloody face when you're hiding your eyes like that.”
She's been wearing those lenses on her face ever since she won the previous tournament. She can't go a damn moment without showing off her victories, it seems.

Jin doesn’t reply, like the stubborn oaf she is.
In turn, I try to ignore her presence, continuing towards the reason I came here today.

>Maybe YOU should sit in a dark spot mysteriously
Heh heh. But seriously, why does she do that? It's utterly baffling to me, and it's like she's ready to snap my neck at a moment's notice.

I arrive at the last shrine. The only hero I’d ever worship.

>Tell us about her

Urza Mara Frostpike, the Fury. A controversial and popular figure, and the most amazing Rhappor to have ever lived. Brutally efficient, even with her bare hands. Tall in stature and reportedly capable of tearing someone’s limbs off. There were often debates whether her practices were ethical, but you couldn’t deny that she got results. She’s someone I look up to… someone I wish I was. She struck fear into her enemies, defeated her own mother in hand to hand combat, and doesn’t care about what other people think of her. She typically only sees offerings from people like me – those who are willing to do anything to find victory, and the weak, seeking a fraction of her inner and outer strength.
When you give a shrine an offering, you’re basically asking the hero to support you and in turn, you must embody their ideals. The more you strive to be like one of the heroes, and the better you are at it, the more powerful you become. Or so it is said.

I place the round onto the altar, getting ready to make a quick prayer, but...
Jin sits nearby, like she's trying to edge me out of this space.

"Shouldn't you be offering up something to that stick-in-the-mud bureaucrat instead?"
I stick a thumb towards Marco's bullet statuette.
"I started out here too, Argine. It's okay to get in touch with your roots occasionally."
Probably as another way to spite me. She just has to choose everything I do, out-compete me in every damn training course, simulated operation or any kind of activity that we do together.

She scoots closer to me, without so much as asking. I'd push her away, but her fat ass means that she's as heavy as a tank.

"Can I go a single damn day without you suffocating me?"

"No. I have as much of a right to be here as you do, Argine. Even if my presence makes you unhappy."

I keep silent for a moment. It's like she's a living brick wall! Damn it, how am I meant to make the offering if she's breathing down my neck?
>>
No. 981529 ID: ce39da

Have you... ever actually voiced these feelings to her? And are you 100% sure that this is exactly what she intends with her actions, and she isn't just socially awkward? Insisting on wearing cool shades and being physically close to you could just mean she likes being close to you and values your perception of her. And she may have no idea that your feelings go beyond the usual sibling annoyance.

Talk to her; talk about your frustration about how everyone thinks she's better than you in every conceivable way, but especially how that seems to make you worthless in their eyes despite your own accomplishments, to the point where they won't even let you out of this prison even though there is no war anymore. Is there something everyone isn't telling you?

Even if she's not good at responding, she seems like a good listener.
>>
No. 981560 ID: b1b4f3

She strikes me as someone who needs to look cool at all times.

Have you talked to her much? Does she think you're a failure, or is it just that you're envious of her massive success?
>>
No. 981562 ID: 8fab7a

Why would her breathing down your neck hurt your convictions and willingness to make an offering at all?

If her goal is to disturb you, you should carry on regardless. If her goal is not to disturb you, why do you care?
>>
No. 981613 ID: 15a025

Ignore her breathing down your neck then. Don't let her weaken your offering. Put you heart into it.
>>
No. 981984 ID: a092dd
File 160626169060.png - (620.62KB , 1000x1000 , pl_070.png )
981984

>Have you talked to her much?

I mean, she's my sister. I had to - but she's been overshadowing me for a long, long time. And I'm pretty sure she knows my distaste for her. If she were smarter, she'd just leave me alone.

>Why would her presence be disturbing you?

Haven’t you ever had someone staring over your shoulder when you're trying to concentrate? Sure, I've got the incantations memorized, but it's like someone's intruding in on something private. Something that's meant to be mine.

>Maybe you're just envious.

Maybe I am. So what? Imagine being born, and right outta the tank - there's someone who's quite literally better than you in every conceivable way. And because you're both the last of the line, everyone places all these expectations on you. Even if she isn't trying to screw me out of my own achievements, it's far too late now. She knows that I'm in her shadow, and that's a status quo that isn't going to change any time soon - especially since everyone else has already left. They'll remember me as an embarrassment.

"Just tell me why you're here, Jin. I just want to get this prayer done and go to bed. I've got a fight tomorrow."
"Argine, is there any possibility of you resigning from this tournament?"

I glower. If she had asked that question to anyone in the facility from the past three generations, not one would’ve said "yes". Does she take me for a dumbass?

"What do you think? Why the hell would I turn down one of the few chances I get at freedom?"

Jin shakes her head. "Argine, listen... we were going to let you go soon. That's what everything was for! You don't need to fight if you'd just be a little more patient and-"

"Are you kidding me, Jin? That's what Judicium and the others have been telling me for months! To this day, I still don't know what you all think is wrong with me, but clearly I'm not important enough to be told. I'd much rather kick your ass and be over with it instead of being forced to watch as everyone except me leaves and makes a name for themselves in the outside world!"

Jin stands up, her fists clenched. Maybe if she gets riled up enough, I'd actually be able to get her to leave.
"Why are you so insistent on fighting people who care about you? Judi cares for you, even if she's harsh. The others care for you!"

I laugh, dry and hoarse, like she has her grip around my windpipe.
"They care for me? They bloody care for me? When was the last time that monster that's barely a person had a talk with someone that didn’t end in broken bones? Tell me, how's Nickel doing, with her utter indifference to everything, the countless times she stood by watching her best friend wrench my joints out of their sockets? How’s she?"
It must be nice at the top of that podium they set her on. What the hell does she know?
"How about Ozone turning me getting equipment for the tournament, mine by rights, into a game of cat and mouse? What about the fact that most of her interactions with me are her looking down with disgust, or disdain? You tell me when I'm anything but pulp on the bottom of her boot!
And don't even get me started on how Judi supposedly cares, after she told me that my accomplishments were worthless and I was too! That you were all they ever needed and I might as well have been born dead?"

I can never tell what she's thinking, why she pokes at me like this. If she had good intentions - she'd leave me alone instead of constantly trying to play with my feelings.
"I'm fighting for something that's actually worth a damn. Being able to make my own decisions without you, or anyone controlling me! Being free of all of you! Even now, I've still got bots in my brain that were apparently intended to make me a compliant drone! At least when the bots are calling me stupid, they can't break my arms over it, or humiliate me in front of the entire facility like some meathead did!" I shout.

Jin pauses, grimacing. I can't ever read her expression behind those stupid glasses of hers.

"You know why I want to be a hero, Jin? Because then I'll be respected. I'll earn myself a place in a hall like this, and people will offer up their own wishes, hoping that they'll be like me someday!"
>>
No. 981985 ID: a092dd
File 160626177454.png - (463.02KB , 1000x1000 , pl_071fix.png )
981985

I can hear my words bounce off of the walls of the hall of heroes, reverberating around us.
“They're dead, Argine! You’re carrying on the legacy of people who have long since passed on. You don't have to live in their shadow. You don't need to put yourself in the shoes of dead soldiers.”

Like hell I do!
"You mean like I don't have to live in a certain someone's shadow every waking moment? I'm going to be a hero, Jin. All of you, you've all been holding me back my entire life!
When I'm no longer under your thumb, I'm actually going to do something worthwhile! I'll stop bad guys, save worlds and get the glory! Far, far more than whatever I could have ever accomplished being stuck here all my life."

Hah. First time in awhile I've seen this much expression on Jin's face.
She looks like she's ready to break my nose, she's just barely holding herself back.

"How can you say that when you don't have ANY idea what a hero is? The Sector Bosses were going to let you go, without having to go through this pointless brutality! All you had to do was to be patient! Out there, out there in a reality that's far bigger than you or I could ever imagine, do you really think you can get away with using violence and power as your only answer? You can barely even manage that against the people in this facility! We both know that you lost to me before - how do you expect to win against everyone else?"
I seethe. Even if fighting was allowed in the chapel, I still wouldn't be able to do anything against her! Do you have any idea what it's like living under someone like this? Someone who everyone thinks is better than you in every way? The small chance that she actually is, the possibility of it being true - it grows over time, like some kind of cancer. This is coming from someone who has always been exploiting her power against others. Even her own sibling. You all heard how the other Sector Bosses all think she's going to beat me.

She continues on.
"And if you do win... and you've got your freedom... then what? Do you have any idea what you'll even do after you leave? After you go into the outside world, will you even have a goal besides your selfish idea of heroism?"

I sneak a glance at Urza's statue. She wouldn't have to put up with this.
Unfortunately, Jin catches me.
"You're just acting as someone else. You stole her aesthetic, you stole her approach, you stole her ideals… when will you start living as yourself, Argine? You are not the same person as her. You’re can’t live your life as her.”

I growl. That's a lie. I'm my own damn person, and I'm perfectly capable.
"Easy for you to say! You stole my name, you stole my acclaim and you stole my fucking victory! What, are you coming back to steal the hero I admire too, after you already succeeded in making everyone think you're basically her descendant? The others revere you after your victory back then - to the point where some people say you're more capable than Mnemosyne herself! And you know what? You might as well be!"
She exhales, like she's explaining something to a child. Always looking down on me.

"I'm sorry, Argine... Is there anything I could do for you, before the tournament?"

"You can apologize by letting me go free, right this instant. Deactivate the kill-switches that the SAI has, take me through Exotics, and bring me through the Weave Nexus. And take the SAI out of my body before I leave."
>>
No. 981986 ID: a092dd
File 160626180472.png - (472.94KB , 1000x1000 , pl_072.png )
981986

"I... I can't do that, Argine."
She can't meet my eyes.
"Why not? Why the hell not, Jin? Don't you owe it to me?"

I glare at her, staring down those cold, darkened lenses.
She doesn't say anything.

"We're done here - leave me be. I'll see you once I beat all of the others - and I'll beat you too. I'll show you what humiliation feels like, in front of the last crumbs of this facility. And then I'll be free of you all."

She turns and leaves without a parting shot, finally leaving me in peace.
I just...
I just need to make this offering. Then I'm going to bed.
>>
No. 981992 ID: e51896

>>981986
We will respectfully stay silent for you while you do your prayer with your offering, girl, to leave you to your thoughts for awhile. we will talk about your feelings later before bed, that is, if you want to talk about it later. If not, that is fine too, we'll understand.
>>
No. 981998 ID: b1b4f3

Funny how she called the tournament pointless brutality when you've been exposed to brutality your whole life. "do you really think you can get away with using violence and power as your only answer?" she asks you, when your entire upbringing has been others using violence and power against you.

She thinks you're dangerous. Worshiping the wrong hero, acting out against people she loves, trying to fight your way out when you could have just waited. Or so she thinks. She also seems to think the tournament was your idea. Her perspective is that you're the bad guy, fighting against people she respects and have treated her well her whole life. She doesn't know what you've been through.

There *is* another way. Not patience, not submitting to authority. You need to make it clear to your sister just how much she's been sheltered from the true natures of those she holds dear. Then she'll be on your side for once. Maybe the fights in the tournament will be enough? Or maybe you can do something else...
You could get a recording device, and use it to gather evidence against those who wronged you.
>>
No. 982013 ID: 6e6f32

Is... Is this a mental facility?
Are we like supposed to be mechanical anti-psychotics?
Is everyone crazy here? Are you crazy?
You sound crazy.

Did you not see it?
The others are starting to make sense now.
Their actions toward you are the result of radically different perspectives.
Your perception is warped.
Like... Like your an eighth grade emo kid.
>>
No. 982044 ID: 094652

She's angry because you're letting other people's expectations of you define your existence. Even if you defy it, you're still predictably rash and aggressive. 'Heroes' like that are typically used and thrown away by manipulators, and any accomplishments they make can be easily re-written by the historians.

However, you've made a solid argument against Jin; this facility is screwed up. Whatever goes on in their heads, their actions are biased, abusive, and manipulative. The faster you get out of here, the sooner you can get some sane social interaction.

Just don't expect the rest of the world to be like this messed-up place.

Before you make an offering, know this; your hero is not an all-powerful perfect being. If they were, this facility and its cruelty wouldn't exist, because this world wouldn't need more heroes.

You'll just have to pick up where they left off.
>>
No. 982087 ID: ce39da

I feel like you both made a mix of good and bad points.

You're right about the Section Leaders having a real screwy way of showing they care. If Jin does love you, I'd love to see what she'd do to Ozone if she learned of even half of the things the latter said about you.

However, I think she's right to say that your goals are childish and self-destructive. Because becoming a hero isn't a life-goal. It's how you aspire to be remembered after you're dead and gone.

Your one real ambition after you're out will only pay off when you're dead. No fucking wonder you got a rise out of Jin; who wouldn't be distressed about their own sister having such a fatalist outlook on her life?
>>
No. 982306 ID: a092dd
File 160655689905.png - (207.69KB , 1000x800 , pl_073alt.png )
982306

>We will stay silent for the moment.

Alright.

...

Thanks.


I kneel in front of the statue, placing the bullet in front of the box. It was Judicium who had taught me about this tradition to begin with, but I guess I kept it going. That was back when I thought she actually did care about me.
The bullets don't have to match the preferred weapons of the heroes after all - rather, it represents the strength and desire we have to fulfill certain goals we have. Whether it's to protect, to conquer, or to destroy.

"Urza, grant me your blessing, the strength to destroy those who oppose me. With your spear and your wrath, I'll carve a path through my enemies - to my own freedom."

It's a short prayer - fighting's the true way to show devotion, at least with most of the heroes.

I stand up, my legs shaking. My body's complaining about me moving around with that injury of mine, and now that the adrenaline from my little 'discussion' with Jin's gone, I'm feeling like Astrolysis decked me again.
Time to head home.
>>
No. 982307 ID: a092dd
File 160655697753.png - (190.71KB , 1000x1000 , pl_074.png )
982307

I can hear the door to the Hall of Heroes slam shut behind me. With that, the static fuzz of your voices start straining in my mind.

Yeah, yeah. I know you're all programmed to keep an eye on me or somehting like that, so you can't keep your mouths shut for too long. But I needed a little time for myself.

As much as I hate it - my thoughts drift back to that time when I listened in on Judicium talking to someone - saying that I may as well have been better dead. It was after the tournament, and my big loss to my sister. Hearing that was... it knocked me off balance at the time. I guess it was part of why I realized that, nobody in this place really cares about me. That I'm just an experiment.

Maybe Nanoweaver and Diagram do, but it feels like they have no choice.
I'm one of Diagram's friends, and Nanoweaver made me. They're obligated to support me. They're some of the few people in this facility who do. They understand what I'm feeling, where I'm coming from.


>Is this a mental facility?
>Your perception is warped.

Says you. You're nothing more than some splinter in my head, talkin' about what's right or wrong. I'm trapped in here against my will when there's a perfectly good way out. How am I in the wrong for this? If they give me the option to fight, I'll take it. And, hate to break it to you - but if there's any consistency with us clones, we all love fighting, one way or another.
Guess that brief silence wasn't going to last too long - you people just can't be quiet, can you? I guess that's what you're made for.
By the end of all of this, I'm going to use whatever power I can to get rid of you all. Nothing personal, but... you were injected into me to watch me. I can't just let them chase me, hound me for the rest of my life when I'm meant to have escaped by then.

>Your entire upbringing has been others using violence and power against you.
Well, you're not wrong. But that's what we were made for. I have no idea why Jin's so reluctant - as much as I hate the fact, she destroyed me, humiliated me in front of everyone. Power, violence is how this facility works. And that's why I need to get stronger. The outside world's not going to be any different, at least that's what I believe. The stories that others tell of the outside world are rare - I mean, who the hell wants to come back here, to dry meals that nobody quite knows how to prepare, and dusty, unused rooms because everyone's already moved out?

The only people left are people who loathe my existence.

>Why not try gathering evidence against those who wronged you?
Evidence? What's there to prove? Jin's practically tone-deaf. She knows I'm not faking what I'm going through, and yet you heard her. Even when I asked a favour of her, she refused. What does that say about her allegiances?
Besides, it's not like I've got any recording devices on me. We're not exactly in a surveillance company, even if we are geared for a fight.
I guess SAIs can do that, but I wouldn't even know how to start making use of you to do that, and trying commands at random hasn't really worked out.
Even when I was making an offering to Urza, you were all there. There's something disturbing about that, even if some of you mean well.

>Your hero isn't all-powerful
I agree - that's why she's dead.
I may admire her strength, her tenacity. But I don't plan on following her path. She died in exile, loathed by the people she was sworn to protect. And she was cast out simply because she was too good at what she did. She deserved better, and so do I.

I plan on getting my own revenge. I may as well burn this facility to the ground when I leave. Nobody important's left, and they can leave whenever they want to, if I'm no longer their prisoner. The way I see it, I'm doing everyone a favour.

But, it's quite strange, talking to you lot. I'm practically talking to myself, getting worked up over things that nobody else can hear...
Making the trek across the facility feels eerie like this.
>>
No. 982308 ID: a092dd
File 160655701382.png - (539.45KB , 1400x1000 , pl_074pointfive.png )
982308

I feel the familiar chill of my room when I open the door. It's modest, like any other soldier's room. Diagram got a special one to herself since she's always tinkering with something and needs the space - part of which is taken up by her storybook collection.

I look over at the bed, which is looking more enticing than ever.
What Jin said still sticks with me, as much as I hate it, but the emotional and physical exhaustion I've been through today is threatening to make me fall over..

>If Jin does love you...

Love, huh? Diagram's the only person who ever really uses that word.
I don't really know what it means. Something about caring for someone else a lot? But hell, I wouldn't know. I'd care if someone pushed me out of the lunch line, or if they were being extremely frustrating to deal with. Is that love?

Besides, I think Jin already knows about what Ozone and Judicium do to me. She always knows something I don't. Am I just out of the loop because they deem me as someone who's just that inferior? If she loved me, she'd know when to leave me alone, right?
Still... what she said about heroes. Why does she talk about the Sector Bosses like that, why does she support them even though they're intent on suppressing me? Is that what heroes are like in the outside world?

>Becoming a hero is how you'll be remembered after you die
Then what do you call those who fight against injustice in day to day life?
Because when I leave, when I make a name for myself in places I've never even heard of before, they'll learn to respect me.

Mm...
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No. 982309 ID: a092dd
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982309

I sit on the side of my mattress, taking off my jacket. It's been a long day - but I can't let what Jin said to me throw me off. I have to rest well for tomorrow, maximize my odds of success.
There's still some echoing voices in my head... but they're growing fainter. Maybe... maybe when I'm tired, I'll be able to get some respite from you.
>Who wouldn't be distressed about their own sister having such a fatalist outlook on her life?

We're clones, SAI. We're made for an explicit purpose. If we didn't have that purpose, we wouldn't exist in the first place. If I was meant to lead some kind of different life, I wouldn't be trained to use these weapons in the first place.
Though... I'm not really sure what I was made for. I'll figure it out. I know I want to be a hero, to be that person that everyone looks up to. That's what I think my purpose is, anyway.

I take off my jacket, brushing the dust off the sleeves. Not much clings onto the low-friction fabric, and I toss it onto my footlocker afterwards. The rest of my clothes follow, and I'm left feeling like I've just a hundred laps around the training course.

I curl up on the tough mattress - it's been with me for three years, now.

Three years I've been here, three years I've been under the control of these people. Judicium, Ozone, my sister, the others... has anything really changed for me since then?
Tomorrow's when it all begins. I'll be out of here, soon...
I want to see the outside world. Then I'll decide what I'll do. I'll do it my way.
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No. 982310 ID: a092dd
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982310

Mmh...

I'll... I'll talk to all of you again when it's time...

.......


PRELUDE: END


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