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Project YoRHa

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Project YoRHa
Written by Yoko Taro
Found in NieR Music Concert
Translated by /u/ilfans
Date of copy October 2, 2017
Source Full translation
Translated from Original Script Book
Discussion [Reddit post]
A story about prototype YoRHa androids and the creation of the YoRHa project.

Original Video with Subtitles

Scene 1: Zinnia

No.9 (narration): Everything that lives is designed to end.

No.9 (narration): We are perpetually trapped ...

No.9 (narration): ... in a never-ending spiral of life and death.

No.9 (narration): Is this a curse?

No.9 (narration): Or some kind of punishment?

No.9 (narration): I often think about the god who blessed us with this cryptic puzzle ...

No.9 (narration): ... and wonder if we'll ever have the chance to kill him.

(Zinnia speaks in a cheerful voice.)

Zinnia: Hey, the name's Zinnia. But everyone just calls me Genius.

Zinnia: ... Just kidding!

Zinnia: It's just Zinnia, like the flower. I've heard they take a long time to bloom.

Zinnia: My job is ... Mmnn, how do I put this ... I'm the chief of technical development for the human forces, I suppose.

Zinnia: I'm developing a new type of android known as a "YoRHa" up on the sixth orbital base, the "Lab".

Zinnia: This Lab is equipped with not only the most state-of-the-art development equipment, but excellent staff, as well.

(No.9 speaks up in the middle of his speech.)

No.9: Zinnia ... Are you talking to yourself or something?

Zinnia: Oh, No.9!

Zinnia: Well, I figured once you YoRHa-type androids are perfected, the whole world's eyes'll be on me, so I thought I'd practice my speech.

No.9: Hahah, seriously? Don't you think that's jumping the gun a little?

Zinnia: A first-class researcher such as myself must be prepared for anything and everything!

No.9: Oh, so that's it, is it? ... Oh, No.2.

No.2: What is it, No.9 ... Do you need something?

No.9: Uh, no, not really, but ...

No.2: Then you're just wasting my time.

No.9: Wasting your time?

Zinnia: Hahah, don't fight now, you two.

Zinnia: No.2, communication is of the utmost importance for androids.

Zinnia: So I'd hardly call it a waste of time.

No.2: ... All right.

Zinnia: Okay, then! Today we're going to test everyone's motor functions.

Zinnia: So I'd like for you to tell everyone to meet at the testing block.

Zinnia: No.9, you especially ...

(No.9 mimics Zinnia's voice.)

No.9: "You especially need to remember to head there, seeing as you're always getting distracted by everything!" ... Right?

Zinnia: Oh, so you do realize it!

No.9: You've only said that a million times. It'd be hard not to.

Zinnia: Right, then. Testing block in ten minutes. Got it?

No.9 and No.2: Okaaay.

(No.2 's response is much shorter than No.9's.)

Zinnia (narration): They're the base models for the new units, but ...

Zinnia (narration): To me, they're like my cute little family ... No, maybe more like my students.

Zinnia (narration): It's painful for me to send them off to the battlefield, but ...

Zinnia (narration): All I can really do is train them so that they'll be strong enough to withstand whatever they face there.

(Zinnia pauses, face growing dark.)

Zinnia (narration): At least ... that's what I thought.

Scene 2: Name

No.9: Hey, Zinnia, there's something I wanted to ask you.

Zinnia: Oh, No.9, No.2. Is it just me, or are you two always together?

No.2: Just a coincidence. I'm only here to deliver the documents you asked for.

Zinnia: Right, right, thanks for that. And what is it you wanted to ask, No.9?

No.9: Uh, nothing in particular, actually. I just saw No.2 passing by and decided to follow her.

No.2: Creep.

No.9: Hahah, aw, come on, don't be like that.

Zinnia: Geez, if you two are just going to flirt, do it somewhere else. I'm too single for this.

No.9: No, wait, wait, I really did have something to ask you about though!

No.9: Your name's based off of that flower, right? The Zinnia?

No.9: Why do you have a name like that?

Zinnia: Wasn't my choice. My former senior officer called me it.

No.9: Huuuh. So names can be given out that easily?

Zinnia: Well, nicknames aren't really a problem, but for an official name, you'll need permission from the human forces' higher command.

Zinnia: If you don't get that, then it'll be a hassle for administration to deal with.

No.2: Um ... Could we ...

Zinnia: Hm?

No.2: Could we be given names ... too?

(Zinnia hesitates for a moment.)

Zinnia: Sure ... Once you've finished all your tests and your assignment has been decided, I think Command will give you your official names.

(No.2 looks a little happy about that.)

No.2: I see ...

No.9: Oh, hey, No.2. It's almost time for us to get our memory storage checked.

No.9: We should head over to the server management room.

No.2: Understood ... Zinnia, thank you.

(There is a pause.)

(Zinnia's expression suddenly grows dark.)

Zinnia (narration): Those two can never be given official names.

Zinnia (narration): Within YoRHa units' bodies lies a powerful energy source made from the core of a machine lifeform.

Zinnia (narration): Using the enemy's technology in their bodies like that ... disqualifies them from being treated as legitimate androids.

Zinnia (narration): It's already been decided in my meeting with Command that they'd continue to be named by their model number.

Zinnia (narration): What am I ...

Zinnia (narration): What am I doing ...?

Scene 3: Constellations

(Zinnia speaks in a serious tone.)

Zinnia: Two weeks ago, a vast portion of the eastern Eurasian continent fell into the hands of machine lifeforms. 

Zinnia: Not only are we unable to deploy Dragoons to the "Kingdom of Noon", but androids have begun to retreat from the front lines, as well.

Zinnia: But I'm fully aware of the cause. It's all because androids have lost their will to fight.

Zinnia: We have an urgent need to introduce the new "YoRHa" units, but they're still riddled with problems.

Zinnia: Although they're exceptionally powerful, they require multiple high-quality cores from machine lifeforms, and thus their operating costs are far too high.

Zinnia: If I'd have to give an estimation, it's unlikely we'd be able to deploy more than a hundred or so units.

Zinnia: At this rate, turning the tide of battle to be in our favor will be exceptionally difficult.

No.2: Zinnia, may I come in?

Zinnia: Ah, No.2. What is it?

No.2: I just have a question.

Zinnia: Ask away.

No.2: When we receive Earth's relative coordinates while on the satellite, how should we measure our position if we can't see the ground due to cloud cover?

Zinnia: Hmm ... That sort of thing seldom happens, but ... if that happens, you should calculate your position using the current time and stars within your observable range. For example, the constellation Orion, perhaps. 

No.2: Orion?

Zinnia: That's right. Humanity once looked up at the night sky and would often compare the arrangements of the stars to their gods.

Zinnia: We don't have any particular gods we believe in, but the coordinates of those stars still remain, so if we look closely at them ...

(Zinnia suddenly thinks of something.)

Zinnia: Oh, I see ... So that's it ...

No.2: Zinnia? What is it?

Zinnia: No, no, it's nothing. Rather, I should be saying thank you.

No.2: What a strange person ...

Zinnia (narration): That's right. Androids have lost the will to fight because they've lost the one thing they believed in: humanity.

Zinnia (narration): And in that case, we'll just have to create that.

Zinnia (narration): I spent a week devising the draft for said plan.

Zinnia (narration): But here's a summary of it:

Zinnia (narration): We have to release an announcement to all androids around the globe that humanity is still alive.

Zinnia (narration): Of course, naturally there will be some who'll demand proof.

Zinnia (narration): And in order to convince them, we'll create a server on the moon from which we'll broadcast communications from humanity.

Zinnia (narration): Right now, we have an unmanned base there where we store information about humanity, so we can go ahead and just use that.

Zinnia (narration): For the time being, we'll refer to this server as the "Council of Humanity".

Zinnia (narration): Next, in order to get the communications I mentioned going, we'll have to prepare full-time android special forces as well as a thirteenth orbital satellite base.

Zinnia (narration): But until all androids know about the Council of Humanity, this plan will ...

(Zinnia hesitates halfway through.)

Zinnia (narration): No, there's no way it'll work. This plan poses to great of a risk, and we'll never be able to keep all of this a secret forever.

Zinnia (narration): I should just dispose of ...

(In that moment, No.9 speaks up.)

No.9: Huh? Zinnia? Is there something wrong? You're looking kind of upset ...

(Zinnia speaks while shaking.)

Zinnia: O-Oh, um ... was I?

Zinnia: Well, it's nothing, No.9.

(Zinnia speaks with a dark voice again.)

Zinnia: It's really nothing ...

Scene 4: Project YoRHa

(No.9 speaks in a serious tone.)

No.9 (narration): At the time, No.2 was undergoing tests on breaking through the atmosphere outside the Lab, and was out in space on standby. 

No.9 (narration): As she'd just finished her preparations for being a descent test unit, she was merely waiting for the Lab to instruct her to begin.

No.9 (narration): However, her signal to begin the test never came as scheduled, nor was there any response from her attempts at communication with the Lab.

No.9 (narration): After around fifteen minutes of waiting past the scheduled time, she decided there must be a problem with communications, and she decided to return to the Lab.

No.9 (narration): And there, she witnessed it.

No.9 (narration): What was really happening in the Lab ...

(No.2 notices something.)

No.2: What's ... going on? There's smoke ... coming from the Lab ...?!

No.9 (narration): There was smoke bellowing out of the catapult on the Lab.

No.9 (narration): When she arrived in the hangar, the area's usual lighting was completely out, and all that existed was the red blinking of the emergency light.

No.9 (narration): It was a fire.

No.9 (narration): But a fire on a satellite base is completely different from one on the surface of the planet.

No.9 (narration): Not only is there nowhere to run, but more importantly, the Lab is packed full of various materials that are no less dangerous than gunpowder.

(No.2 begins coughing.)

No.2: No.9 ... Zinnia ...!

No.2: Don't worry, I'm coming ...!

No.9 (narration): Without even giving it much thought, she made a beeline for Zinnia's room.

No.9 (narration): Due to the gravity in the hallways malfunctioning, it was difficult for her to even walk. 

No.9 (narration): By kicking against the walls, she was able to eventually make her way to Zinnia's lab, and open the door to it.

No.2: Zinnia ...!!

No.9 (narration): And what she saw there, was a raging fire engulfing documents and various equipment.

No.9 (narration): As well as her fallen friends.

No.2: No.4 ... No.21 ... What happened to you?!

Zinnia: Ngh ...

No.2: Zinnia?! What happened here?! Everyone's ...!

(Zinnia appears to be on the verge of death.)

Zinnia: No.2, no ... You have to get away from here ...

No.9: Hmph!

(No.9 attacks, landing a hit on No.2.)

No.2: Aaah!!

(No.9 speaks in a cold tone.)

No.9: Heh ... Just what I'd expect from a combat model like you, No.2 ... Looks like I couldn't land a fatal hit so easily ...

No.2: No.9 ... What are you ...

No.9: Hey, No.2, didn't you know? There's a little hidden secret about us YoRHa units ...

Zinnia: No.9 ... Don't ...!

No.9: You shut up!!

(No.9 kicks Zinnia, causing him to faint.)

Zinnia: Gah!!

No.2: No.9, stop! What are you saying?! What did he ever do to you?!

No.9: What, him?

No.9: Well, you see ... You'll never believe how he's been creating us YoRHa units ...

No.9: You know about the Black Box we have inside us, right?

No.9: We were told that it was just an abnormally high energy efficient fusion reactor, but ...

No.9: But the truth is that they've been salvaging cores from the machine lifeforms and reusing them in our bodies!

(No.9 laughs dryly.)

No.9: Isn't that hilarious?

No.9: We may not be humans, but of all things — our structure is the same as those damn machines!

No.9: Like this, we're not even androids ... We're just monsters!

No.2: But ... Even if that's true, going this far ...

No.9: Oh, but I've only just scratched the surface!

No.9: You see, it's Zinnia here who set this whole thing up!

No.9: It was all just a ruse, telling everyone humans are still alive on the moon, just to give androids the will to fight!

No.9: But that little plan of his was incomplete.

No.9: There was a risk of information leaking out from that satellite base that was meant to manage the human server on the moon.

No.9: That's why I decided to rewrite his plan.

No.9: I rigged the thirteenth base to have a back door that'll open at a certain time.

No.9: The base'll be destroyed by an attack from machine lifeforms, at which point only the server on the moon will be left with transmission capabilities.

(No.9 slowly turns back, his tone sounding like he's just giving a speech.)

No.9: And so, I'll create a "god" on the face of the moon for us androids.

No.9: I've already sent a program to the server there to carry out this plan.

No.9: It even contains the blueprints for all our YoRHa designs.

No.9: Through this, the automated production of YoRHa units will give birth to our god ...

No.9: And then ... us YoRHa units will truly have a god worth dying for ...

No.9: Hey, No.2. I think I'll call this plan "Project YoRHa" —

No.9: Guaaaah!!

(As he's turning around, No.2 suddenly thrusts her sword through No.9.)

No.2: Please ... No.9 ... You've — gone mad ...

No.9: Ugh ... ghhhh ...

No.9: There's no ... stopping this plan now ...

No.9: We'll all be ... manufactured all over again ...

No.9: But I'm happy ... that this version of myself ...

No.9: ... could be killed by you ...

No.2 (narration): I sunk to the ground, after having killed No.9 ...

No.2 (narration): I thought I could see No.9 smiling through the flames, even if just a little.

No.9 (narration): Hey, No.2.

No.9 (narration): I wonder, why do you think we were born?

No.2 (narration): I don't know, No.9 ... I just don't ...

No.2 (narration): I believe ... only tragedy awaits us in our futures.

No.2 (narration): And that ... we made a mistake somewhere along the way.

No.2 (narration): We can never ... ever ... be forgiven ...

No.2 (narration): Never ...