EP. 08-2E  Parader Ⅱ (1)

...

M16A1 Persica!
...
Calling Persica!

Persica Oh, yeah. I'm here.

Persica Sorry. I was checking on M4.

M16A1 How...is she?

Persica Everything is...going according to plan.
But that aside, RO didn't see you do anything back in the database, did she...?

M16A1 No, I already had it sorted by the time she came out.

Persica I see... How are you doing?

M16A1 Humph. You'd better not tell me...it's not too late to regret my decision.
But I do have a question. Let's just say it's some wild suspicion caused by instability in my neural cloud. Can you answer it?

Persica Now that we're here...ask ahead.

M16A1 Regarding Lyco's death, I ran a search in Griffin's database, and 378 reports stated that he died in an accident.
So I don't understand why you're so hung up on it...
Whatever he's done, he's already dead. Why do you still care?

Persica Because his death was extremely suspicious.
Even if he did die, it couldn't have been an accident...
Which is why I'm not buying it.

M16A1 Ha, who knew you can be so astute.
Are you really just a scientist, Persica?

Persica Like you, M16, I've had some narrow escapes from death. Survival is a skill.
In any case, that thing is your target.
The commander will hold off S.F.'s attack so that you can investigate safely.

M16A1 Investigate...that strange signal source...?
When on earth did you notice that?

Persica When RO infiltrated the Sangvis mainframe and started searching for File No. 7...
I secretly conducted a multi-channel search on the network using RO's neural cloud and downloaded an interesting file.

M16A1 I want to remind you that all files in the Sangvis mainframe are potentially virus sources...
Humph, but it hardly matters now, does it...

Persica Even RO herself can neutralize that kind of feeble Sangvis virus, but that's not the point.
The reason I downloaded this particular file is because it's encrypted in a way that's completely different from standard Sangvis encryption method.
Therefore, this is a message. An invitation that promises anything but a fool's errand... You got the coordinates, right?

M16A1 Invitation...you say?
In all my days on the field, I've never received such an ominous invitation.

Persica What? You're feeling skittish now that you've come this far?

M16A1 Even MY neural cloud can suffer a breakdown... Especially now.
...Too bad...it can't be backed up.
All this experience...can't be of use for M4.

Persica You seem to...think about her in everything you do.

M16A1 Yeah...
This is all for the sake of protecting M4...
This is the only order you've given me, and it's absolute.

Persica I'm glad that you still remember.
She'll wake up very soon, M16.
If you move quickly, you might still make it in time to tell her goodbye.

M16A1 Nah, it's fine. I don't have time to think about what to say...
Better get on with it. That's...the only thing I can do now.

EP. 08-2E  Parader Ⅱ (2)

An hour later. M16 approaches the signal source.

M16A1 The signal should be coming from here.
It's a factory. Abandoned, of course.

Persica Head inside, M16.
Find the signal and confirm it.

M16A1 You sure you want me to go in there alone?
I gave the factory a quick scan and the internal structure seems incredibly complex. I'm not sure how long it's gonna take to find it.

Persica Don't forget, M16, you now have access to the Sangvis mainframe.
Scan the terrain features and see if they match with the data in your neural cloud.

M16 walks toward the entrance and starts scanning and matching.

M16A1 Huh? This record...
I seem to possess parts of this factory's blueprint in my neural cloud?
When was it...saved in here...?

Persica So it's true...
M16, you've been here before. Your neural cloud has the authorization to download the blueprint.
Once you connect to the factory's network, it should start downloading again.

M16A1 I've...been here before?
But I...don't remember it at all...

Persica Neural clouds can be modified. Some records in yours have been completely wiped.
You know, of course...that your neural cloud can't be duplicated?

M16A1 Indeed...

Persica Which means, all your memories are singular. No back-up.
If they're wiped...those memories will really cease to exist...

Persica ...!

M16A1 What. Isn't that just stating the obvious?

Persica So that's what it is...! So...they've exploited this...! Dammit!
This operation really is a crazy gamble...
I've been pretty lucky so far judging from things.

...M16 lets out a heavy sigh.

M16A1 Persica...what the hell are you talking about?

Persica M16A1, do you know...about the Butterfly Incident?

M16A1 Hmm. The accident that Lyco died in?

Persica That's right... A riot took place in a Sangvis factory within a single night. Reason unknown. A complete mystery.
Lyco also died in this accident, and Sangvis Ferri has been the enemy of mankind ever since.

M16A1 So this factory...is where all this trouble started?

Persica By the look of things...that's the only possible thought.

M16A1 Still, that's not a particularly useful piece of information to have now. I've taken over the factory's authorization and opened the door.
I'm now moving inside the factory. It's full of bullet holes, blood stains and broken parts.
Nothing important though. Somebody must've cleaned up.

Persica Which is why we need to investigate the signal.
M16, ignore these trivial things and head deeper. You're running out of time.

M16A1 Ha, I honestly don't give a damn about what happened here, or how my neural cloud has been tampered with.
But I must remind you again of the reason I accepted this order even though it meant not telling my friends and the Commander the truth. You know why...

Persica This is the one and only order I'm giving you. It's of the highest priority, and it's absolute.
Don't worry, M16. We're on the same page about this.