Chapter 1.3 - Virtual Reality: Cathedral Entrance
Virtual Reality: Cathedral Entrance
The Archon police team and Melisse, Lactis, and Bugs have logged in.
Melisse: Our mission objective is to protect the minds of the Federation Goodwill Ambassadors and the diplomats. From the information we obtained, it appears they are being held captive at point NG-PP6-42T8. They've been trapped in the same place the negotiations took place. When we discover the target, keep an eye out for weaknesses, but don't act on your own. Report first.
Cordell: We can't force them to log out when we find them? They're criminals. We're police. We'll just arrest 'em like everyone else...
Lactis: This isn't a joke. You're to log out normally like you always do. Got it? Think about why our special team was called here. This virtual space isn't the familiar everyday world that you know. If you damage the target's brain by contacting their consciousness in the wrong way, then all the diplomacy and negotiations thus far will amount to nothing.
Melisse: Alright, confirming the target's present location. The coordinates are NG-PP6-42T8. It's not far from here. Re-confirming. This place has completely different logic from normal virtual space. We expect macrophages very similar to antibodies, but their basic construction algorithms are unknown. Be sure to be on your guard!
Police Officers: Yes sir!
The police officers salute simultaneously and hurry inside.
Lactis: That little sigh... do you ever think about quitting to become a schoolteacher?
Melisse: Don't tease me!
Bugs: Melisse has become extremely nervous. Respiration 128%. Heart rate 160%. Body temperature 112%. All of her basic vital signs are exceeding normal values...
Melisse: You lay off too! Geez, what kind of program is that anyway? I'm telling Erich!
Bugs: No no. I am sorry.
Lactis: Are you... really nervous?
Melisse: Probably. But one way or another, I want this mission settled! Will you help me?
Lactis: You didn't say anything before the dive. What are you getting so worried about?
Lactis: Well, if you don't want to talk, there's nothing I can do... I'll just let it go.
Melisse: Do you know when the Captain was promoted to his current position?
Lactis: ...I don't really pay attention to those things.
Melisse: It was seven years ago. He was 23 years old... the same age I am now.
Lactis: Ahh, I see now. So you think that if you do well on this mission, you'll get promoted to captain too? Don't kid yourself. You know, you can’t swallow your pride if you don't let go once in a while. You probably just assume that failure isn't allowed, right?
Melisse: I know, I know. ...But if at all possible, I want to try to resolve this without the Captain's help. Please, lend me your strength.
Lactis: I'll see the mission through. Realians like myself were created for this purpose. Whether it's the Captain or you, that's the duty I was charged with - seeing the mission through to the very end.
Melisse: And you, Bugs?
Bugs: M-me? ...We've already come this far, so there's no avoiding a scolding from the Captain... I think if we are going to get scolded anyway, successfully completing the mission might result in less scolding. Oh, but I am worried about Erich! If the Captain finds out he used me without permission... no no, it is awful just thinking about it!
Melisse: Don't worry about Erich... I'll take full responsibility for that decision. ...I feel much better with you two helping me out. So let's hurry up and rescue those ambassadors!
They eventually arrive at a place where the policemen from earlier have cornered some kind of tank on legs.
Lactis: What's that?
Melisse: Seems like the kidnappers left it for us, doesn't it? I wonder if it was laying in wait here?
Bugs: Accessing! Ah - there it is. It's a Tao Industries ambush-model mobile tank, 'Sleipnir.' Made in 4614. Pretty antique for a security unit.
Lactis: I don't like this 'laying in wait' business... pass that data over to me. Melisse! Go tell the other officers not to do anything until the analysis is complete. I don't think that's just an ordinary security unit.
Melisse: Okay. Attention! We are currently conducting an analysis of the mobile tank. You are absolutely not to approach it until you receive orders from us...
Marion: We’re standing down in the face of the enemy? I guess it's best to be cautious when the situation is unknown.
Mark: It's just because the superior officers are so principled. That tank is probably all bark and no bite. Let's go ahead and get rid of it.
Marion: Fine with me. Alpha, Delta, keep it cornered. Bravo, circle around and approach it from the right side. Charlie, secure a good sniping position. The weak point is at the nape of the neck. Time your attacks when it's exposed! ...Alright, GO!
Melisse: Wait, no!
Marion: It's got us!
Mark: This... how could something so old react so quickly!?
3 officers are deleted before their eyes. The remaining men flee in fear. Melisse has a look of horror on her face.
Lactis: Melisse! Hey, Melisse!! Snap out of it!
Melisse: I... I'm sorry... I... wasn't able to control them...
Lactis: Can we really do this without the Captain? And what are we supposed to do now, with you so upset?
Bugs: Lactis. That's a little...
Lactis: You be quiet. I went ahead and said it, didn’t I? Melisse, whatever you do, I must still complete the mission that was given to me. Don't get in the way of that.
Melisse: And the people that the mobile tank deleted...?
Lactis: Quite possibly dead.
Melisse: Because of my... bad judgment?
Lactis: In the special investigation force things like this happen every day. Do you think a person who gets this upset about it is fit to be a commander?
Lactis: You should log out. I'll take over from here.
Lactis: What's that? Coming along after all?
Melisse: I... get it. I'll keep going.
Lactis: Alright, well, there is the matter of destroying Sleipnir. We should be safe if we can stay near its chest. We're lucky Erich created this counter-terrorism armament for Bugs. Even though it's just the three of us, we should be able to defeat it. Let's go!