EP. 08-3E  Parader Ⅲ (1)

...

Persica Alright. They're your new teammates.
Well? Aren't they all lovely?

M4A1 Indeed...
It is my honor to serve with such beautiful people...

Persica No, they're like you. They're also T-Dolls.
Hmm... We still need to install...a weapon wielding software in your Imprint, don't we?

M4A1 What? Weapon...?

Persica Since it's just a test for the AI... Let's go with the most generic one.

...Click.

Persica There. Here we go. Assault Rifle M4A1.
This should be...the most commonly used weapon. With the corresponding software installed, you'll be able to wield it like your own arm.

M4A1 M4...A1?

Persica That's right. From now on, the M4A1 is your bespoke weapon.
By the by, it is one of Kryuger's weird quirks that T-Dolls should be named after their weapons...
So your name is now M4A1.

M4A1 My name is...M4A1...?

Persica Hmm... What weapons should the other T-Dolls use...?
It'll be confusing if you're all armed with the M4A1...
Guess I'll give them your sister variants. After all, you're now practically sisters.

M4A1 Sisters...?

Persica Hmm... It might be a bit hard...for you to grasp this concept at this stage.
But don't sweat it. Okay, M4, look at this.
M16A1, M4 SOPMOD II, and AR-15.
With that, all matches have been made. Be sure to get along from now on.

M4A1 Why...should we get along?

Persica Uh...I told you. You're sisters!
One should get along with their family.

M4A1 Family...?

Persica Yeah, "family". Do you feel warm and fuzzy hearing this word?

M4A1 Family... My family...
No, I have no family...

Persica Huh?
But look, M4A1, their weapons look very similar to yours, don't they?

M4A1 Weapons...?
No...weapons... No...

Persica Uh...what do you mean "no"? They're in the same series. There's no way I could've been mistaken.

M4A1 But why are their weapons...
Their weapons...
...Why are they all stained with blood?

Persica ...?!

M4A1 Blood... Why...are they...all drenched in blood?
Miss Persica... Why... Why...

M4A1 keeps repeating the same question.

Persica Dammit...
Is her neural cloud having a meltdown again...at the sight of weapons?!
Sorry, M4. You'll have to go back to sleep...

...Click.

Persica What other memory fragments...remain sealed...?
M16, please hurry up...

EP. 08-3E  Parader Ⅲ (2)

Twenty minutes later, M16 is at the connection terminal within the factory.

Persica Is the door still shut, M16?
Say...if it really doesn't work, can't you just use your arm as a bomb and blow the door open?

M16A1 So sorry, but I'm not a military Doll and am not equipped with such high-class parts.
But it shouldn't take too long to break the code with Sangvis access authorization.
Uh...I'm not sure why, but I just can't shake the feeling that I've done the same thing here before...

Persica So even T-Dolls get deja vus... Fascinating...
But do thank me. You have a much higher computational speed than military Dolls... Hacking through this kind of door should be a piece of cake.

M16A1 Haha... Next time, I'd rather you make me dumber.
Then I wouldn't have second thoughts about heading to certain death...

Persica I didn't just make you to fight in battle.
Oh right, M16... I got in touch with RO and SOP-II.

M16A1 Really...? That's great...
Go on. I'm listening.

Persica They're in good physical condition, but emotionally...they're a bit dejected.

M16A1 I know. Because I left them, and I deceived them.

Persica They haven't found out about the latter yet. RO is awake, and she's still waiting for you to come back.

M16A1 (Sighs) You're SO good at cheering people up. Seriously, which of us is the T-Doll here...

Persica Sorry, M16... But do you like RO?

M16A1 Compared to M4, she's more decisive, more ready for action, and more suited for the role of leadership in general.
She may be a bit headstrong, but nobody would fault her for that.

Persica I'm also very happy with this AI.
I don't plan on modifying her anymore. Let's just keep everyone on the AR Team the way they are.

M16A1 Are you sure about that? SOP-II almost went berserk last time.

Persica That's...a necessary step along the way.
You don't hate her for that, do you?

M16 chuckles wistfully.

M16A1 I'm just worried about her...
After all...there won't be much room for her to mess up from now on...

Persica Then do you want to leave them a message or something?

M16A1 No, I have nothing more to say.
Just leave the rest to M4. I know she'll...

...Click!

M16A1 Got it.
I'm going in, Persica.

M16 wedges the door open and goes through cautiously.
...Then she gasps.

Persica M16, what did you find?

M16A1 I'm not sure. Probably some sort of incubation facility...
To be honest, I won't be surprised no matter what I find in here.

M16A1 The scene has been tidied up. Can't really tell what transpired here...
But...this place could've been used to raise...
A monster...? Nothing good, in any case.

Persica That's not important, M16.
Find the signal source. There must be something.

...M16 bends down and searches every corner of the incubation facility.

M16A1 I found the signal transmitter...
But I still can't discern the identification signature...
It's neither S.F. nor Griffin. My neural cloud contains no corresponding information about this.

Persica So it's true... Someone HAS been there after the Butterfly Incident.
Check that transmitter.

M16A1 Sorry, I have given it a closer look, but it's just a normal transmitter.
There's nothing inside. I can't tell what this thing is for...

Persica Which means...the key might be the room itself.

Persica ponders for a while.

Persica M16, are there any monitoring devices in the room?

M16A1 Yes, but they're broken.

Persica Then...could there be something to store the footages in?

M16A1 Give me a sec...
...Found it! There's an operation system in the corner with a large storage device underneath.
The system is off, but the indicator light is on, so it should still be functional.
If there are any CCTV footages, they'll most probably be in here...

Persica There...must be recordings from that day...
Turn on the operation system and see if you can hack into it.

M16 brushes the dust away and turns on the operation system.
An electronic warning signal starts blaring from the system.

M16A1 It's not working. The system has been deadlocked by S.F. I can't read the content.
The authorization level is too high. I don't recommend breaking through with force.
If something goes wrong in the process, not only will we attract the enemy's attention, there's also a risk that the files would be destroyed.

Persica As expected... The content is locked with the highest authorization code...
There's no other way, M16...
Looks like we'll have to resort to the backup plan...

...M16 takes out a transistor.

M16A1 You mean this?
Is it okay to inject it again? The last shot has already...made it really hard to control myself.

Persica It may have been modified, but it's still the Parapluie virus after all...
The first shot you took in the database building only contains a minimal dosage of nanomachines.
They've only given you limited Sangvis authorization, and they're slow to rewrite your neural cloud.
If you can make it back in twelve hours, I can repair you...

M16A1 Why, thank you for formulating a plan that takes my wellbeing into consideration...

Persica The virus was modified from the samples on AR-15.
Sangvis Ferri would notice you after the shot, but you'd still be pretty safe under the protection of the Commander's forces.
But this second shot...

M16A1 Humph... Won't be so mild, huh?

Persica From what I've learned, the Parapluie virus was engineered with the purpose of rewriting T-Dolls' neural clouds and putting them under Sangvis control.
The damage to one's neural cloud, once inflicted, is irreversible.
Put it simply...the dosage contained in the second transistor is enough to turn you into a Sangvis T-Doll within a very short period of time.
Your personality, your memories, everything you possess now...will all disappear.

M16A1 And you want me to send you the data before I completely turn into a Sangvis.

Persica ...
I told you. From the moment this operation begins, there's no going back for you...
M16, you may live on after this, but you'll no longer be the "you" as you are now...

M16A1 ...
How much time will I have after the shot?

Persica Twenty minutes.

M16A1 So...these are my last twenty minutes, eh...?

Persica M16A1, I only decided to go through with this operation after I made sure I was ready to pay the price.
What about you? Are YOU ready?

M16A1 You should know what my answer is, Persica...
But just to confirm this one last time

Persica At least...this is definitely the last piece of the puzzle.

M16A1 Is that so...
Then it makes things much simpler.
So, shall we begin?