[summary] No.6 ~ 3025
Author/Circle: Kino Hinoki, Asano Atsuko
When we last left our intrepid heroes, Shion–glassy eyed and seemingly devoid of emotion, was asking Nezumi why he killed Safu. After all, they came here to save her–didn’t they? Not to kill her.
Nezumi tries to talk sense into Shion, to explain himself–they had been too late, she’d already been dead–but Shion is having none of it and shouts that she was still alive!
Shion: She was alive…and standing right in front of me.
Nezumi protests that it wasn’t really her, only an illusion, and that Shion should know this fully well, but Shion continues to deny him vehemently. No matter what form she might have taken, she was still alive. And Shion had to save her.
Nezumi calmly explains that Safu had become one with Mother, had chosen to be destroyed along with the machine. Shion isn’t convinced–is that supposed to be reason to kill her?
Nezumi: Then what would you have had me do?! Do you seriously not understand her feelings?! The reason she called us to her is because she wanted to see you.
Yes, she wanted to be saved–but not rescued from this facility. She knew full well that was no longer possible–she just wanted to be saved from that miserable existence.
It’s getting difficult to breathe in the destruction–but Nezumi’s protests fall on deaf ears.
Shion: …You used her. You used Safu to destroy the Mother Computer. Destroy the Correctional Facility, and in doing so bring down No.6. That was your goal all along.
Nezumi sacrificed her for his own ends.
Nezumi is shocked silent–is this…really how Shion sees it? As Nezumi doing this all for himself? But a voice within him counters, Is he wrong, though? Did you not use her? Did you not sacrifice her? The voice continues to harangue him.
All around them is chaos as crowds of the facilities prisoners try to escape, guards attempting futilely to keep them in line.
Shion slumps to the ground, strength leaving him, and begins to pathetically apologize.
Shion: I’m sorry, I just…just… I understand, really. You had no choice. You…simply granted her last request. I should’ve been the one to do it, really, but…I was so scared. I couldn’t.
Once again, he’s pushed the dirty work onto Nezumi, attacking him because Shion doesn’t want to acknowledge his own cowardice. He’s dragged Nezumi, Inukashi, Rikiga-san even into all of this, and if this is how it has to be… They didn’t come here to destroy anything, they were supposed to be coming here to save someone, and yet–
Nezumi: We came to destroy.
Shion pauses his self-flaggelation, confused, and glances up as Nezumi explains that Shion had been right all along. He’d always been planning on destroying this place; he’d never once been planning on saving Safu. He simply needed Shion for his own ends. Shion was his trump card, nothing more.
He doesn’t plan on apologizing for it, either–because there’s nothing to be sorry for.
Shion explodes–what is he saying?! He doesn’t understand at all! But a chirping alerts Nezumi to danger, and he turns just in time to see one of the guards leveling a gun at them. Nezumi shoves Shion out of the way, telling him to get down–
–and takes a bullet straight through the shoulder. His consciousness fades around him in the wake of the heat and pain, and he mentally calls out to Shion to run, quickly, his last sight before he blacks out an image of Shion desperately reaching out to him…
…and calling his name.
Karan receives an unexpected visitor–Youmin. His sister Renka had to be sedated to calm her down enough to sleep, and her husband Getsuyaku has yet to return home.
Karan states that surely contact would come if something had happened at work–but it turns out Getsuyaku had never told his family where he worked, wary of being fired if he revealed it.
At this, it’s clear he was working for the Correctional Facility. Youmin is certain there’s a connection between Getsuyaku’s change and the changes in No.6 itself. He can sense great disruption and distress in the Facility and No.6. The authorities do nothing when the citizens start dropping like flies, and fear grips the city, turning to mistrust of the government that’s about to rupture.
Karan grows uncomfortable with Youmin’s state, likening his expression to that of the men who founded No.6 in the first place.
She asks what he’s planning to do, and he reveals his plans in full, deeming her trustworthy: he’s going to use his network to reach out to the citizens, letting them know what their government is trying to do, urging them to rise up and take back the city. It’s their chance!
But Karan begs him not to–the army will beat down any who dare raise a voice against the city-state, and then what? People will die!
Youmin: …Some sacrifices cannot be avoided.
They’re trying to change the world–it’s something you have to accept when embarking on such a quest. He’ll finally have vengeance for his wife and son…!
Karan tries to talk sense into him, reminding him that surely his wife wouldn’t have wanted him to seek revenge, and Youmin leaves, realizing she won’t understand his feelings and asking Karan to look after Lili and Renka.
She slumps to her knees, wondering what her boy is doing right now and urging him to live, to treasure the lives of others. She recalls Nezumi’s promise to reunite them and vows to not give up, no matter what. She’ll survive, and they’ll see each other again.
Rikiga and Inukashi are bored out of their skulls waiting. Rikiga can’t stand sitting around doing nothing, and Inukashi is distracted thinking about how lonely Baby Shion will be if he wakes up and Inukashi isn’t there.
The dogs go on alert, though, and it seems they’re about to have company–from two sides at once. Inukashi makes a break for it, but the door is locked, until Rikiga locates a lever and sets them free…into a stinking vault.
Behind them come four guards, and Inukashi instructs Rikiga to follow closely. The guards seem disoriented by the stench, and Inukashi fires off a round, only to be thrown off balance by the blowback–it’s their first time firing a gun, after all. The guards nevertheless flee, though–but return only moments later with some huge device: a soundwave generator, the very same as used in the Manhunt.
If it goes off here, they’re doomed–and Inukashi has no plans on dying here. In their mind, they hear Nezumi ordering Move!, a hand at their back, urging them forward, and Inukashi, teeth grit, charges forward.
Move like your life depends on it…!
To be continued…