Chapter 2.6 - Virtual Reality: Escape
Out of the darkness, Jan as a child appears with his mother.
Jan (Child): Mom, why isn’t Dad coming home?
Ingrid: Because his job is to protect the city. He works to protect everyone.
Jan (Child): Then, why are you always crying?
Ingrid: Because Dad isn’t coming home.
Jan (Young man): Mom, what did Dad die for?
Ingrid: For the safety of the people, Jan. So that he could carry out his mission. That’s what a policeman does.
Jan (Young man): I can’t remember his face, Mom. I can’t remember what kind of person he was. Because he was never there. Mom? Mom… where are you?
Jan runs into the darkness, chasing after her disappearing figure, when he comes across another person.
Jan (Young man): Uncle Sean…
McCallum: Jan, your father was a brave man.
Jan (Almost present day): I aspire to maintain the public order and serve the people.
McCallum: Jan, do you still feel proud of your father?
McCallum: Your father was a brave man. But sometimes I wonder.
Jan: …What do you mean?
McCallum: He protected the people, but at the expense of his family’s happiness. I wish… he had been a more cowardly person. As his friend.
McCallum walks away into the darkness. Confused, Jan chases after him.
Jan: Chief! Please wait! Chief…
Mysterious Voice: Stop. Don’t chase that shadow. [Though the portrait accompanying this voice is blurred, it is recognizable as chaos.]
Jan: Who’s there!?
Mysterious Voice: Waiting beyond that shadow is the eternal prison of the soul. That is… a cold death. Your memories will not give you peace. You should know... There are people that you must protect…
Jan: People I must protect? As a policeman I protect the public order…
Mysterious Voice: No. Special people you must protect… not as a policeman, but as you yourself. …Also, the place where you are now is not a world that needs you. It is…
Jan: Who… are you…?
Mysterious Voice: …
Jan wakes up back in Klaus’s room.
Bugs: Captain! Oh thank heavens, we were so worried!
Jan: Where am I… This is Klaus’s consciousness! Patriarch Julius is in danger! Let’s get out of here immediately. Mikhail…!
Mikhail: With the destruction of Klaus's ego, the decay of his consciousness has accelerated! I can’t make out the details of the logout point anymore…
Jan: What about Erich!? If you work together, you must be able to…
Mikhail: W-Well, Erich is currently confirming the Patriarch’s safety…
Jan: …I see. Then we’ll just have to find the logout point ourselves. Mikhail, we’ll contact you when we get there. Be ready to recover us!
In the briefing room.
Mikhail: Captain! Come in!
Jan: What is it, Mikhail?
Mikhail: Captain! You were right! Everyone is in a panic here! The Patriarch…
Erich: Patriarch Julius has been assassinated!
Jan: I knew it! How did it happen?
Erich: Neurological injuries from a brain jack! Seems like it happened during a split second when the secret service men weren’t watching.
Jan: …And the assassin? Did he leave any trace logs?
Erich: Yes. But they’ve instituted martial law and it’s out of our jurisdiction. Additionally, it’s protected by AAA-class security. I snuck into the central government mainframe to confirm my suspicions… I wasn’t wrong. It was Voyager.
Lactis: The Descendents of Nestorius… are they behind this? Things weren’t looking good for them.
Erich: Perhaps. Voyager knew we were occupied at the boat party. And with our attention turned toward Klaus, he could crack the security codes to get close to Julius.
Jan: I wonder if pressure from the right wing is what caused the Chief to reject my recommendation to shut down U.M.N. access…
Melisse: It can’t be! Someone inside the police force is conspiring with Voyager!?
Jan: Judging by the situation, it seems very likely.
Mikhail: Either way, the station is in a frenzy over the assassination! At least no one cares about what we’re doing… Ow-! Scratch that, Chief McCallum seems to care…
Jan: …I see. We’re running out of time here… let’s proceed with the search for the logout point.
Inside an alley, they come across Klaus standing alone.
Jan: Klaus? Part of him is still here, even with his consciousness breaking down?
Klaus: …Say, isn’t there something here you need…? You can go back to your world from this place.
Melisse: The logout point! Why are you helping us?
Klaus: There’s something I want to talk to you about.
Bugs: …Something about him is different from before.
Lactus: Indeed. Like a part of him fell away…
Jan: What was it you wanted to say?
Klaus: It’s about ‘that person’… no, Voyager.
Klaus: …Ah, I know how you feel. He used me too. …Hah, there isn’t time to say it all. After I died, I became aware of so much. If I had met you all sooner, I might have been more aware.
Jan: What did Voyager tell you!?
Klaus: He said he would lead me to a land of peace. I was to hand over people addicted to the endorphin drugs. He said the Zohar would fix everything. But there is no land of peace. What exists there is the eternal prison of the soul…
Jan: Prison of the soul? Are you the person that reached out to my mind earlier?
Klaus: …Reached out to your mind? No, that wasn’t me. You’re the ones who reached out to me. You experienced my world. That young woman felt sadness at seeing my memories…
Melisse: Me…? That was just… common compassion…
Klaus: Common, huh? It would be nice if that were true. But even that small gesture made me happy.
Jan: Please tell us! What in the world is the ‘Zohar’…
Klaus: You should leave here quickly. I can’t hold it together much longer…
Klaus: The Zohar… is… !!
Klaus suddenly changes and his aggressive side emerges.
Melisse: Is Klaus’s consciousness splitting in half!?
Jan: Be careful! …This isn’t the same person!
Second battle with Loki.
Jan: Damn… Who’s there! …Is someone there? Klaus!? Is that you!?
Jan is plunged into darkness once more. Before his eyes, a shadowy figure wearing a white cloak appears.
Jan: …Who the hell are you?
Voyager: You too are a person that desires peace…
Jan: Are you… Voyager?
Voyager: If you like, I’ll give you what you desire… eternal peace…
Jan: Wait! I want to ask you…
Voyager melts into the darkness. The figure of Erich appears in his place.
Jan: Erich? How did you get here?
Jan: Hey! Erich, where are you going!?
Erich disappears and Jan is returned to virtual reality.
Jan: Where’s Erich?
Lactis: Erich? Isn’t he with Mikhail?
Jan: You didn’t see him too? Erich was just here…
Lactis: Captain, please calm down. We found the logout point. Let’s log out first.
Jan: You’re right… I’m sorry. This is Klaus’s final act of kindness. Let’s appreciate it and get out of here.