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A Much Too Silent Sea
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|A Much Too Silent Sea|
|Written by||Eishima Jun|
|Printed in||Strategy Guide, A Short Story|
|Date of copy||01.10.2017|
0730: Rise from bed ~ breakfast
Her consciousness surfaced rapidly from the depths of slumber.
She felt stimuli behind her closed eyelids. It’s probably getting brighter. Irritated, she tried to pull her blankets up to cover her head. Her actions were interrupted by a call of “10H”.
“Report: Time to rise and shine.”
“Recommendation: Get up.”
“Warning: Get up.”
“Five more minutes…”
Cold air washed over her body. Her blanket was forcibly removed from her. 10H’s personal support unit, pod 006, certainly takes no prisoners.
“Geez...what a pain….”
10H gave up and pulled herself into a sitting position. She knew when it was time to cease her meaningless struggle and surrender...before the pod moved on to more drastic measures.
The pod in question skillfully folded the blanket with its four arms of varying sizes and placed it at the end of the bed, before moving a pillow on top of it. It was a clear message - no way you’re going back to sleep any time soon. 10H gave a quiet sigh as she surveyed the pod’s handicraft.
White bedsheets and white blanket. White pillow. Her surrounding walls were white, the floor was white, and the ceiling was white too. Everywhere she looked, she saw white. The only exceptions in this room were herself and the pod. Her black clothing and the pod’s red-painted body. Actually, there’s another source - the monitor on the wall changed colors based on its content.
“Water temperature, water pressure within normal limits,” a voice recited from the monitor’s speakers. This facility is located deep in the sea, more than 10000 meters from the surface. Even the slightest change could lead to disastrous results, so the facility’s surrounding were under constant monitoring.
“Report: Breakfast is ready.”
The pod carried breakfast on top of a wagon. White again, she thought to herself. A white plate and white cup. The wagon itself was also white.
“Recommendation: Eat up while it’s still hot.”
10H reached out to the piece of bread on the plate. It’s a square, flat piece of bread toasted light brown. She bit down, feeling the dryness and minute vibrations with her front teeth. Finding it hard to swallow, she poured the liquid in the cup into her mouth.
“Question: How was the toast? Was the coffee a bit too strong?”
The pod faithfully recreated what human civilization considered breakfast, but 10H wasn’t particularly moved.
“I mean...I don’t care. We can survive without eating.”
“Denial: A healthy life begins with good habits. You have to sleep properly and eat properly. Breakfast will leave you pumped and ready to go.”
Pumped? What does that mean again? Oh, right, “motivated to undertake tasks”. Pod 006 used a lot of ancient words from back when human civilization still existed.
“Urrgh...that just means I need to discharge that extra energy somehow.”
If she doesn’t eat, she doesn’t need to discharge anything. 10H thinks that’s a lot more convenient, but the pod doesn’t seem to agree. Apparently, ‘eat well poop well’ is the key to a healthy mental balance and worth spending time on.
But in reality, androids can basically break down any so-called ‘food’ substance within their bodies, so they practically have on need for excretion.
Her toast slipped from her hand and landed on the plate. Upon closer inspection, she saw that her fingers were damaged. She thought that she was having trouble holding the cup because of grogginess, but it looked like her fingers were suffering from decreased functionality.
“How did this happen?”
“Answer: Stress from carrying objects.”
“Was that...the cause?”
They received a shipment of supplies yesterday, and while she remembered that she helped the pods move supplies around, she wasn’t sure if she was quite passionate enough about the work to actually strain herself.
“Recommendation: Don’t overexert yourself.”
“Alright. I’ll be more careful.”
She couldn’t even remember something that happened yesterday - did that have anything to do with the whole mental balance thing? Maybe the pod had a point, 10H thought to herself. She should probably start eating properly.
10H’s room wasn’t the only area that was entirely white. The same color extended to every crook and cranny of the facility - walls, floors, ceilings.
Delivering construction materials 10000 meters below the sea must’ve been a hard task on its own, so whoever built this facility probably didn’t have much time to spare for interior decor. However, 10H herself was only assigned to this facility after it began operating, so it’s not like she’s speaking from personal experience or anything. This was simply her hypothesis.
They built a facility so deep in the sea - fully aware of the constant struggle against the water pressure - for exactly one reason. They cannot afford to have this place discovered by machine lifeforms.
This facility houses backup servers that were made in anticipation of emergencies. Every piece of data concerning the moon’s Council of Humanity, as well as all YoRHa squads, are stored here. YoRHa unit data may be an acceptable loss, but humanity’s data is definitely the most important thing in the world.
“Server room no. 27, all clear.”
10H immediately tried to shut the door and was met with scolding.
“Warning: Please do a more thorough check.”
“But I don’t really understand all the details.”
A non-trivial amount of effort and technology were required in order to store such a large amount of data in the limited space they had under the sea, so the servers here were all constructed in strange and complicated ways. Maybe an S type could make heads and tails of it, but as an H type who specializes in repairs and tuning, she didn’t even think it’d be worth trying.
Anyways, even if she doesn’t understand it herself, as long as the pods do, it’s fine. Fifteen pod 006s were hard at work in server room no.27.
Fifteen bright red pods. They really stood out against the white walls and roofs - almost to an offensive extent. Fifteen streams of voices filled the room.
“Proposal: Today feels like a bad day. Why don’t we reorganize the data on another day?”
“Not recommended: We can’t just break procedure.”
“Answer: I was just joking.”
“Report: More importantly, did you hear? Today’s lucky number is 9.”
“Proposal: So should we do our work while floating upside down?”
“Refusal: Don’t wanna. Are you actually serious?”
What’s going on with this conversation? 10H massaged her temples. Are their minds really that empty?
She supposed she wasn’t that much better herself. Since there’s not much to do, she didn’t have a lot of opportunities to exercise her mind either. 10H’s main job involved the maintenance and inspection of the pods, and undertaking the necessary repairs when they malfunction. That’s why an H type android was stationed at this facility.
However, pods don’t really break down all that often. They could even take care of most minor repairs themselves. Since pods are android support units, they’re well-equipped to deal with emergencies, and they come pre-installed with simple repair programs. Basically, they don’t need 10H.
A long time must’ve passed since she was first assigned to this facility, but 10H can’t recall the exact amount of time. At some point, she found the daily “This is the Xth day in your assignment, your total operation time is X hours” announcement too annoying, and stopped listening to information about the passing of time.
“I didn’t see any red flashing lights, so we’re ok, right?”
“Understood: Well, I suppose.”
“Cool. Let’s get on to the next one.”
She emerged from the corridor and started climbing the stairs. Since the many server rooms were interconnected in a web-like structure, the nearby corridors were filled with curves, slopes and stairs.
“Urgh! Walking is such a pain!”
“Denial: Walking makes good exercise.”
“I get that, but why do I have to wear these shoes…?”
The bottom of her shoes were affixed with magnets, which made each step significantly harder. Walking around the facility in these shoes certainly made good exercise, but it didn’t change the fact that it’s a goddamn pain.
“Recommendation: Stop complaining and start walking!”
“Recommendation: Your response?”
The first thing she saw after climbing the stairs were the flashing words “on the air”. It’s the broadcast room. She was told that the Council of Humanity’s broadcasts are relayed through this room. Maybe it’s to prevent anyone from pinpointing the moon server’s location from the broadcast source, but she wasn’t privy to the actual reason.
Maybe the pod would tell her if she asked, but she didn’t really want to know. She’s not interested in the contents of the broadcasts either. She just didn’t care.
“There’s a broadcast going on today, right?”
“Affirmation: 972 seconds until end of broadcast.”
What a lucky day, she whispered to herself. Since she was forbidden from entering the room during broadcasts, she could basically skip over this room. It’s like taking a shortcut - even if it didn’t actually get her anything. Aside from more free time, she supposed.
1030: Free time
10H yawned as she moved another chess piece. Once she’s done with her morning patrols, she didn’t have anything to do until lunch. And once she’s done with lunch, she’d be free until dinner. In essence, most of 10H’s day consisted of free time.
“Recommendation: Cover your mouth when you yawn.”
“Geez, don’t be so picky.”
“Not recommended: Nope, that’s bad manners.”
Pod 006 had a lot of opinions. 10H remembered other pods as being more businesslike and not engaging in smalltalk all that often, but since 10H was the only android assigned to this facility, the talkative and somewhat annoying pod 006 was the only pod deployed here.
Pods were supposed to operate with a set of three bodies, but the pod in this facility was a special model that utilized a few hundred bodies. That’s just the minimum amount required to maintain this facility.
One of them always followed 10H around. But since all the pods looked the same, 10H couldn’t tell whether the pod 006 with her right now was the same pod 006 as yesterday.
But since 006 only had a single self-consciousness, the pods didn’t quite care enough to make that distinction. Apparently, every single of those hundreds of pods was pod 006. 10H found it hard to wrap her mind around that fact.
“Wait, wait! Hold up! I take that back!”
She was so caught up in her own thoughts that she missed an opportunity to take one of the pod’s pieces.
“Refusal: This is the third time. I told you that there’d be no next time.”
“Just this once! It’s only been three times today, right?”
“Refusal: You’ve said the same thing yesterday. “Just this once”. And how many times did you actually retract your moves?”
“Umm….like ten times?”
“Denial: Thirteen times. Don’t try to lie to me.”
It’s too small of a number to misremember. Both 10H and 006 can memorize this level of information as long as it isn’t actively deleted.
“I mean...my AI isn’t used for playing chess. Cut me some slack…”
“Refusal: No way!”
Sparks flew from the tips of the pod’s arms.
“I got it! I got it!! So no violence, please!!”
“Understood: It’s good to hear that.”
The pod used its arm - no longer surrounded by sparks - to move its knight piece. 10H tried her hardest to hide the smile that was threatening to form on her face.
“It’s my turn, right?”
“Affirmation: Go ahead.”
“Your bishop is mine!”
“Proposal: Wait! Let me take that back!”
“Not hearing any of that!”
Like 10H, 006 wasn’t equipped with a chess AI either. Deep thought was never required of pods, as it wasn’t necessary for the completion of their missions.
Though they were both fairly good at remembering things, neither the pod nor the android had the logical processing required for chess. So what if you made them fight each other? Chess quickly degrades into a somewhat silly game where the only way to victory is to fish for your opponent’s mistakes, often by talking about unrelated topics.
“I feel like we’re playing a completely different game.”
10H flicked a piece on the chessboard. Just like her shoes, the chess pieces had magnets attached to them, so a simple flick wasn’t enough to budge them at all. She heard that the combo of metal chessboards and magnetic pieces was invented so that humans could enjoy playing chess in shaky vehicles. First the bread and coffee breakfast, now this. The facility was certainly filled with callbacks to human civilization.
“Is there any meaning to AIs battling it out using a game that neither of us were specialized for?”
“Conjecture: It just means we’re bored?”
“I mean, you’re right. But do we really have to kill time by playing a meaningless game?”
“Answer: An idle brain is the devil’s workshop.”
“Answer: You come up with bad ideas when you have too much free time on your hands. Therefore, killing time is necessary. Source is from an ancient text concerning human civilization.”
She wondered whether that even applied to her when she wasn’t human, but she couldn’t say for sure that they didn’t need to kill time.
“Alright, then let’s keep going…”
“Agreement: So I’ll…”
“It’s my turn!”
10H moved her own piece in a flash. Of course, the bishop was still hers to take. Sparks flew from the pod’s arm for a split second. Maybe that’s the pod’s version of a tut.
“But why do we have so much free time?”
“Answer: Free time means peace. That’s not a bad thing, right?”
“I guess. No machine lifeforms have ever discovered this place, after all.”
They’re located more than 10000 meters under the surface. If they’re attacked, that’ll be the end of them. There’s nowhere to escape.
“I mean...shouldn’t they have stationed a B type here in case of emergencies? But I guess it’ll be a mostly defensive battle, so maybe a D type is better?”
The facility only hosted backup data, but they’re important data regardless. You can’t rely on an H type to put up a meaningful defense even if she put her life on the line.
“Denial: B types and D types cannot perform maintenance, inspections and repairs.”
“Denial: S types get bored easily. They cannot bear to spend time on useless things.”
“Ohhh...I think I get it now.”
She can repair pods when it’s needed, and she isn’t bothered by all the free time she has. In that sense, she’s the most suitable for this position as an H type.
“But can you fight, pod? I’ll have you know that I can’t, not at all.”
“Answer: I am equipped with an acceptable degree of weaponry, so we’ll be fine. I just don’t need to use it on a day to day basis.”
“I see. Well then, that’s good to hear.”
There are a few hundred pods around, so as long as they can make up for 10H’s lack of battle capability…
“Let’s see. Next up is….”
She tried to make her move, but the chess piece slipped in between her fingertips. The rook bumped into a pawn on the chessboard and rolled off onto the floor. She hurriedly tried to pick it up again, but it wasn’t going too well.
“My fingers aren’t quite right today.”
It’s been like this since the morning. What appeared to be a flesh wound on the surface might be indicative of a deeper problem inside.
“I’ll go repair this.”
“Not recommended: We are out of stock of materials for finger parts. You’ll have to wait until the next shipment.”
“That’s in a long while, huh.”
After all, they’ve just received a shipment yesterday that 10H helped sort out. She never thought that she’d be needing repair parts because of that.
“Guess that’s a no go then. I’ll try adjusting the program itself at least.”
She could probably stop herself from dropping things as frequently if she just adjusted her grip and range of movement.
“And that’s it for today’s match.”
10H left the pod to clean up the chessboard and returned to her own room.
1130: Investigation (own room)
She dove into her mindspace and took a close look at the program responsible for controlling her fingers. She did a simple check up on the few spots that were malfunctioning and adjusted her signal relay algorithm. It’s been a long while since she did something befitting an H type.
“This will do until the next shipment of supplies.”
It’s not like she fixed the hardware problem, after all. She only made adjustments so she could perform tasks like “eating and drinking without dropping anything” and “moving a chess piece”. She had to make tradeoffs that negatively affected some of her other movements.
For example, she won’t be able to control the power behind actions like squeezing something with her fingertips. If she wanted to squish a bug on the window with her fingers, she’s likelier to make a hole in the glass. She could probably also destroy touch panels just by using them, and keyboards are a risk too.
But really, all she needed to do was refrain from operating touch panels until the next shipment, so it’s not all that restrictive. She didn’t have to use touch panels all that often, and the pod makes a good substitute for when she really needs to. Even better, there are no machines in the facility that requires a keyboard, and no insects either. Basically, it’s not all that big of a tradeoff for her.
“Well, I got nothing to do, after all.”
She was lucky that she wasn’t operating in a place where the slightest malfunction would be deadly.
“Alright, time to finish up. ...huh?”
She found a strange thing in a strange place. Just like humans, androids do not use all parts of their brain at the same time. They intentionally left some blank space in their minds in case of emergencies, so the blank part can act as a buffer for unexpected load.
A strange code was placed right upon that blank space.
“Why? And who?”
She’d expect this kind of handiwork from an S type, or an H type like herself, but she’s the only android in the entire facility. Of course, pods can do it too, but they would most definitely leave some traces. Writing and modifying the blank regions is also not a simple process, and it’s not something that beings other than herself could easily access.
“So...I did this myself?”
If she did, she certainly didn’t remember. Did she also erase her own memories?
“Umm….is all the free time getting to my head?”
Well, it wouldn’t hurt to try and decrypt the code. She hoped the encryption algorithm wasn’t so complex that she’d need the processing power of an S type, but it didn’t look like she had to worry. The algorithm was so simple, it could even be called crude.
She didn’t know. Decrypting the code revealed coordinates inside the facility, in an area that had restricted access.
“What’s going on..?”
Tilting her head in confusion, 10H decided to head towards the coordinates.
1150: Investigation (entrance room)
The coordinates pointed to the entrance room. It was the only route that connects to the outside world, so it’s not used much aside from accepting shipments.
The room itself was divided into two areas, which are never open at the same time. It’s designed to prevent water flow into the facility.
“What a pain…”
The gate to the first area was placed under heavy locks. As the manager of this facility, 10H did have rights to unlock the gate, but it required both her passcode and black box signal, which was kind of a pain.
But turning back at this point wasn’t even an option for her. Something just felt off.
The gate opened, and lights illuminated the first area. The walls, the floor, the ceiling - everything was so white it hurt her eyes.
“Question: What are you up to? Is there something wrong?”
All of a sudden, the pod appeared. It seemed to be concerned as it circled in front of 10H to peek at her face.
“Nothing’s wrong. There’s just something I need to check.”
She made a beeline for the second gate. The first area was quite big.
“Why is it so big? There’s so much unused space.”
“Answer: You need this amount of space to adjust the water pressure when things enter from the outside.”
“That I get, but we don’t use this place at all except to accept shipments. So it’s kind of a waste.”
She put her hand on the second area’s gate. The coordinates she decoded lie beyond this gate.
“Not recommended: Stop it. Access to the second area is forbidden.”
She ignored the pod’s voice and opened the gate. The automatic lights came on, revealing a pure white space practically identical to the first area.
“There’s nothing here…?”
She thought that some sort of object would be placed here. It might be a treasure chest, or it might be a bomb, but surely it must’ve been something worthy of leaving an encrypted note in her mindspace’s blank regions. But there was nothing in the room. Not on the floors, not on the walls, and of course not the ceilings.
“Warning: Danger ahead.”
“I know. I won’t open that door.”
The gate at the end of the second area was equipped with a valve, since it leads directly outside. If the gate is opened without adjusting the water pressure, a tremendous amount of water would rush in instantly. 10H didn’t want to think about the destructive power of the water pressure at 10000 meters deep, but she’s pretty sure that both the pod and she will be flattened.
She walked to the location her coordinates pointed at. Maybe the ‘thing’ that the encryption hinted at wasn’t an object, but a phenomenon.
“Warning: Turn back immediately.”
Why this particular location? She let her eyes roam as she walked. Her surroundings were entirely white, including the gate connecting the first and second areas, as well as the gate connecting the second area and ‘outside’.
The gate might’ve been pure white before, but it was tainted with a different color now.. There were several black trails running down the valve. It looked like something had been peeled off, and the trails resembled scratch marks.
“What kind of marks are these…?”
She wanted to take a closer look. Suddenly, she saw sparks fly before her eyes. A beat later, pain from the back of her head. She was smacked by 006.
“What are you doing!? Your arm is pretty damn hard, you know that?”
10H complained as she turned around, but was rendered speechless by the sight before her. She was held at gunpoint. The pod was in ranged attack mode.
“Wait! Hold up!”
The first shot came without warning. She dodged it just barely...or so she thought. A searing pain ran down her bicep, and the pure white floor became stained with her blood.
10H shook off her shoes. She wasn’t able to dodge it completely because of the magnets attached to her shoes. The second shot fired. She jumped, and a searing laser nailed where she stood a second ago. However, not a trace of it was left on the floor or wall. She realized for the first time that the facility’s walls and floors were heat resistant.
But there was no place to hide in the huge room, so 10H could only run around. She launched herself from the floor, from the wall, and even rolled on the ground as she shouted,
“Hey! What are you playing at!? What’s this about!?”
The pod didn’t answer and maintained its attack mode. The response to her question came in form of a third shot. She took off and ran. The pod overtook her and placed itself in her path. She dodged around it, but took a hit from her back instead. She grunted in pain.
She finally understood that the pod was seriously trying to kill her. Due to some error in its programming, maybe?
She had to destroy the pod somehow. But how? H types weren’t meant for combat. Their true potential shines in the presence of a B type for offense and D type for defense. On top of that, her target was a support pod. The destruction of friendly units was a job for an E type, and not an H type like her…
But she couldn’t afford to think any longer. She was bombarded by an assault of ranged lasers and close quarter arm strikes. She had no time to even catch her breath.
Pain from her side. The smell of burnt skin. Her evasion speed was dropping. She couldn’t run around for much longer. However, she didn’t even have a weapon to counterattack with. This wasn’t even a matter of whether she was suited for combat or not - this facility didn’t stock any sort of weaponry.
So she has to fight with her bare hands? No way! She’s not a B type, so it’s not like her arms were particularly powerful….arms? What was she doing before this? She was adjusting the control program for her fingers so that she could move chess pieces without dropping them.
She made a sharp right. Her injured left leg throbbed in protest, but she ignored it. She made a beeline for the pod.
The pod aimed its gun at her. She grabbed the tip of its firearm and squeezed it with her fingertips. With a satisfying sound, the gun twisted and bent under her hand. Using her right hand’s fingertip, she flicked away the pod’s body. She curled in upon herself and braced for impact. The sound of an explosion in the air followed soon thereafter.
That was too close for comfort. Thanks to her previous adjustments, the action of ‘squeezing something with her fingertips’ was performed with an abnormal amount of strength behind it, so she was able to achieve feats like crushing a gun with her bare hands. It was a brute force solution. 10H took a deep breath, and felt sharp pain course through her. She didn’t know which of her wounds were throbbing, because she was covered in them.
She didn’t expect to be facing such an outrageous situation. Just what was going on…?
Her thoughts were interrupted again. This time, by the alert announcing an enemy attack. Why? Confusion filled 10H’s mind. Why was there a supposed enemy attack in the second area? Only she and the destroyed pod were here.
She was confused, but intrinsically, she understood. 10H took off towards the gate - the one connecting the first and second areas -, so she could lock it from this side.
The hundreds of pod 006s in this facility were unified under one consciousness. Though their bodies may be separate, they share the same self-consciousness. So every new pod that came into this area would try to attack 10H again. The alert was not a false alarm.
She heard loud thumping sounds against the gate she just locked - the sounds of multiple pods bashing their bodies against the gate. The noise put a toll on her already beaten body, and 10H grimaced as she knelt down.
She couldn’t return to the facility anymore. The remaining gate led to the bottom of the sea, more than 10000 meters under the surface. She had two choices. Either die via crushing by sheer water pressure, or die via the lasers of hundreds of pods...
“Can I pick neither?”
But she couldn’t stay here either. Clutching her burnt side, she began making her way towards the gate that led to the deep sea.
The pods were hiding something, and that something existed beyond this gate. If she’s gonna die either ways, she might as well die from knowing. She’ll die once she’s seen all of the pods’ secrets...though she might be flattened by water pressure first.
She reached out towards the valve. An unpleasant sound reached her ears, and her fingers were instantly roasted.
Her eyes flickered between the valve and her own fingers, burnt to a crisp by a charge of high voltage electricity.
“This...this just isn’t right.”
Why was the interior side of the gate equipped with such a function? If it’s for defense, then the electricity should be on the outside. The way it is, it’s almost as if…
10H took the valve again. Her hands were burning. But she continued to turn the valve. Her field of vision was bright red from the pain and heat. Her throat was trembling. She was screaming, but screaming what? She didn’t know.
The valve hit the end of its rotation. She now knew the reason for the black trails. Somebody must’ve attempted to open this gate before, forcibly turning the valve even as their hands were burnt by electricity. These were the trails left behind from back then.
She unlocked the gate. Now all she had to do was press a button, and the gate would open. With a single press from her broken hand...she would die.
She didn’t have time to hesitate. The gate blocking off access from the first area wouldn’t hold up much longer. 10H pressed the button, and the gate opened.
She wasn’t crushed. In fact, the opposite happened. As soon as the gate opened, 10H was shoved outside by a strong force, almost as if she was being sucked into a void.
For a split second, she heard a whooshing sound, but everything quieted down immediately.
Her body crashed and tumbled on the ground. Wincing from the pain, she slowly lifted herself up. Her vision was blurry from the storm of sand.
Sand? Huh? What is this?
Her voice was strangely muffled. There wasn’t a drop of seawater to be seen. She lifted her face and saw the black sky overhead, filled with little dots that she recognized as stars.
She doubted her eyes. Right in front of her, she saw a round blue object floating in the black expanse of space. The earth. In other words….
This is the moon?
The moment she put her thoughts into words, everything became clearer. She didn’t realize that she was operating under the moon’s gravity - which was only 1/6th that of the earth’s - because that’s how she was programmed. A YoRHa unit’s body weighs approximately 150 kilograms and is controlled by strong artificial muscles. Someone must’ve made adjustments to her control program so she wouldn’t notice.
The cup that came with a lid. The magnets on her shoes and the chess pieces. Those were all put in place so that 10H wouldn’t suspect a difference between the actual gravity and what she herself experienced.
This wasn’t 10000 meters under the sea. There was not a single drop of seawater around the facility. Only dry sand and darkness void of any sound.
Just what was I doing? What have I been made to do?
She put her mind into overdrive. The incredibly large and wasteful entrance room. The complex interiors of the facility. The server room and the broadcast room. The words ‘on the air’ flashed by in her mind.
She was forbidden from entering the broadcast room when those words were displayed. Now that she thought about it, that was awfully strange. After all, the room was just used as a relay point, so it shouldn’t matter whether anyone was there or not. But 10H was forbidden from entering the room regardless, because...
...this was no relay point that acted as a camouflage for the broadcast source. This is the source. Once she understood that, the rest fell into place rather quickly.
The servers contained in this facility weren’t storing backup data. This is the Council of Humanity. That’s the secret that the pods tried so hard to hide from her. And since this pure white facility only housed a few hundred pod 006s and 10H…
The Council of Humanity didn’t exist. Which meant that...humanity itself...no longer exists? Is that it? That must be it.
Her knees grew weak, and she slowly sank to the ground. Sand flew soundlessly around her. She felt a different kind of pain, unrelated to her wounds, threatening to overcome her.
She felt the pods behind her back. A few hundred pod 006s were closing in on her.
B types were simply too strong. D types could drag out the battle indefinitely. S types would see through the farce right away. And that’s the true reason behind why an H type like her was appointed the manager of this facility.
But even 10H managed to reach the truth when given enough time. And she escaped ‘outside’, even at the cost of burning her own hands. She was captured immediately and had her memories wiped, and that’s why she could only leave behind clues in a blank region that she herself had exclusive access to.
The pods surrounded 10H. She knew that this was the end for her, but she wasn’t all that scared. She’ll have her memories wiped and return to her good old boring days. The shock from the realization that humanity had gone extinct, as well as the sadness she’s experiencing right now, will all be erased without a trace.
“I lose. I surrender. I’ll go in peace.”
She raised her hands and closed her eyes, awaiting her capture.
Right before her consciousness sunk into darkness, she heard the pod’s final words.
“Poor child. That’s the 46th time.”