第14話 ターニング・ポイント ／ Turning Point
ANNOUNCE: Abandoned artificial satellites. Tanks jettisoned from shuttles. Refuse generated during space station construction. This vast amount of junk floating in space, space debris, is a very serious threat to everyting in orbit. This is a story of 2075, a time in which this space debris has become a major problem.
MAN: Hull separation mechanism system check. Couplers, power transmission, guidance and control. Connection of all systems to avionics is confirmed.
MAN: Moving center of gravity adjustment mechanism elements!
HACHI: Oh, wow! This baby’s fresh off the assembly line! Hey, it’s still got a plastic wraps on it! Fee! Can I rip this off here?!
FEE: Knock yourself out.
HACHI: Yeah! I totally love this stuff! I feel like a captain already!
TANABE: He’s like a kid who just got a new toy for Christmas.
FEE: Men are kids their whole lives, do you know that?
HACHI: Wow, check this out! It’s got a new model D5 instead of the old D2!
YURI: Tanabe, you have a visitor.
TANABE: What, a visitor here?
YURI: She said that she’s been waiting for you to come back to Seven, so I brought her over.
TANABE: Who is it?
LUCIE: Me, that’s who!
LUCIE: I have something important to say. Come with me. Someplace where we can be alone.
LUCIE: All right, Tanabe, admit it! You like him, don’t you?
TANABE: Yeah… at least I think I do.
LUCIE: Have you done it??
TANABE: What? Of course we haven’t! We haven’t done anything. Well, we did almost kiss.
TANABE: At first, I thought he was just some weird and irresponsible guy. But when he chews me out over something, it’s really because he has pride in his job.
TANABE: And not only that. He has soft side, too. When I’m practicing, he stays with me until I can do it on my own. And he’s got a strong sense of justice, and he likes kids a lot, too.
LUCIE: Tanabe, what are you talking about?
TANABE: What I’m saying is that he and I almost kissed. Hachimaki and me.
LUCIE: What? You mean Diaper Man?!
TANABE: Lucie, stop calling him that! All astronauts wear diapers. That’s a required gear. I suppose I’m dense about these things, so I never realized how I felt. You noticed it even before I did, didn’t you? I wonder when I started feeling this way about him? You see, I always–Oh, gee, I’m doing all the talking. I wanted to talk to me about something. So, what’s on your mind?
LUCIE: You hang in there!
TANABE: Hang in there with what?
LUCIE: Just hang in there! Hang in there, Tanabe!
HACHI: Oh, man! Listen to this! Toy Box 2 can make it to the moon on its own, and can even land on the surface! The engine’s a laser-ignition model, and if we added extra tanks, it might even be able to go all the way to Mars!
CHENG-SHIN: Say, Hachi.
CHENG-SHIN: I’m curious how’s Tanabe been lately?
CHENG-SHIN: She’s been acting kind of cold and aloof ever since the incident with the Space Defense Front. I asked her out to dinner a while ago, but she just turned me down. Has she said anything?
HACHI: No, not really.
TANABE: Crap! No! I totally forgot about that!
HACHI: We went that far, so… So I have to make sure to do this right. As the man, I’ve gotta do it right. I’ve got to…
TANABE: Sempai, we’re supposed to mix this stuff with the ferret feed, right?
HACHI: See it through to the bitter end.
HACHI: What? I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening.
TANABE: Suffering a touch of Earth-lag, huh?
TANABE: Your mom’s pork cutlets were totally delicious, and the sea was so pretty. It’s not surprising that you miss the Earth so much.
HACHI: Um… Once we’re off, do you wanna go grab something to eat?
TANABE: Sure, we go once Fee and Yuri get back.
HACHI: That’s not what I meant! Yes, see, I… I meant just you and me. You don’t want to?
TANABE: Sempai, I… I want to tell you something–
LAVIE: Listen up, everyone! The following is an order from the manager.
TANABE: Orders from the manager?
EDEL: You mean from the assistant manager.
TANABE: So, what is it?
LAVIE: Well, effective today, I’m hereby banning office dating in Second Division, Debris Section!
PHILIPPE: What did you say?
DOLF: It’s less than 100 days until the Von Braun’s outfitting is to be completed. What do you mean, the shipping schedule for the tandem mirror engine hasn’t been fixed yet?
MAN: It looks like the load was too much for CLAIRE to handle.
DOLF: As her superior, following through on was your job.
MAN: I’d like nothing better than to offer her some guidance, but she’s rather busy with other things.
MAN: She’s at the OSA right now. You know, it was a mistake to let her oversee the Orbital Security Operating Audit. Her mistakes have been awfully conspicuous lately, too. So, perhaps you should assign someone else to oversee it.
MAN: We’ll accept it this time, but be more careful from now on, all right?
CLAIRE: Yes, I’m very sorry.
MAN: When can we expect to receive the rest of forms?
CLAIRE: Sometime next week.
MAN: This week. I’ll be off on my vacation next this week.
CLAIRE: OK, I’ll do it. All you need is completed form 35, right?
MAN: Yep, that’s the one.
HAKIM: Hmm? Yes, and you are…?
CLAIRE: Is there any chance you could tell me? How is Temara Poitier doing? I’d like to know.
LAVIE: Tanabe, you know about Technora’s Third Division, right?
HACHI: They’re our lunar division.
LAVIE: Correct. The daughter of their division manager works for Technora, and she’s recently got herself quite a pregnant.
TANABE: Wow, that’s wonderful news!
LAVIE: No, it’s not!
HACHI: What, don’t they know who the father is?
LAVIE: No, he’s a scientist who also works for Third Division.
PHILIPPE: Ah, an office romance.
LAVIE: They say the division manager is raging mad. All of Third Division is in turmoil!
HACHI: What’s the big deal?
LAVIE: He’s a rank-and-file employee! Different social standing!
TANABE: Social standing doesn’t matter?
LAVIE: In a company, it matters plenty.
PHILIPPE: So, what’s happening with the two as of now?
LAVIE: Well, the boy’s been reassigned to a deep mining operation on Mars.
TANABE: They can’t do that! It’s not right! They can’t break up two people who love each other! There’s no labor or management where love is concerned!
LAVIE: Look, Tanabe, in a company, there is!
PHILIPPE: Now that you mention it, that Kuroda boy who transferred here. He asked to be sent here because he just couldn’t stand working in the same department as his ex-girlfriend. It was driving them crazy.
LAVIE: See what I mean? Office romances cause trouble almost every time they happen.
TANABE: That doesn’t mean you just–
PHILIPPE: Yeah, it makes you feel sorry for them, doesn’t it?
LAVIE: But, Chief, it wasn’t just the regular employee who was demoted.
PHILIPPE: They didn’t!
LAVIE: They did! They shipped his supervisor off to Mars. He was on the verge of retirement, too.
PHILIPPE: No way!
LAVIE: Officially, it’s for an expansion of our Mars environmental business development.
PHILIPPE: I can’t believe something like that happened while we were on vacation. So, office romances are officially banned for the time being.
Hachi & TANABE: What?
PHILIPPE: Got all right, guys?
TANABE: That’s no fair!
LAVIE: That’s a direct order from the section chief.
EDEL: From the assistant section chief.
PHILIPPE: Please try to understand, Ai. I’m going to be retiring in very short while. Please! Okay?
LAVIE: Hachi! That goes for you, too!
HACHI: Yeah? Why me?
LAVIE: Because you have a history.
PHILIPPE: You used to go out with that
CLAIRE: girl who works in Control Section.
HACHI: How would you know?!
PHILIPPE: I heard Ai mentioned it, I think.
TANABE: Huh? You know,
CLAIRE: dumped you because you say mean things like that, you jerk!
PHILIPPE: Hachi, is there anyone you’re interested in?
LAVIE: You aren’t seeing someone in violation of xxx already, are you?
HACHI: No! I’m not seeing or interested in anybody! Technora women might be real ambitious go-getters and everything, but they’re all ugly on inside!
LAVIE: Well, that’s that, then.
HACHI: What? Hey!
PHILIPPE: Thanks for your understanding, everyone!
HACHI: I still haven’t agreed to anything yet.
MAN: That’s a tall order and a big rush, too. You’ve got that test flight to the moon tomorrow, right? OK, I’ll try to get everything together before then.
YURI: Sorry about that. I owe you one.
MAN: Huh? Sure. I’ll see you at 1900 hours.
FEE: Yuri, did something happen down on Earth?
YURI: You think I’ve changed?
YURI: A future engineer I met down there broke something for me.
YURI: The part of me that couldn’t let go.
HAKIM: Mr. Temara Poitier is being held under extremely humane conditions. However, I’m told that all the research data for the spacesuit design was confiscated.
CLAIRE: Because the technology could be applied towards weapons, I suppose.
HAKIM: So, why are you standing up for him? Is it sympathy? Or acting out of opposition to INTO?
CLAIRE: Well, I… I suppose I’ll never be one of the upper classed.
HACHI: What are you angry about?
TANABE: I’m not angry!
HACHI: Oh, yes, you are! I said all that because– Because of the ban on office romances. That’s what you get for blabbing!
TANABE: It’s better this way, isn’t it? Now you don’t have to make do with what’s on hand.
HACHI: Don’t be so sarcastic!
TANABE: I can’t help it, I’m an ugly inside.
HACHI: Look, that was just me giving a right back with the XXXXXX us! It just came out wrong.
TANABE: It’s prohibited!
TANABE: Going any further right now is prohibited.
LUCIE: Hey, Cheng-Shin! What’s that book you’re reading?
CHENG-SHIN: The documentation on the Von Braun. It’s going to Jupiter. I heard they’re going to start taking crew applications pretty soon.
LUCIE: You’re joining the crew?!
CHENG-SHIN: Well, I’m at least taking the test.
LUCIE: The Jupiter is so far away! You won’t come back for at least seven years!
CHENG-SHIN: I suppose not.
LUCIE: How can you say that?
FEE: Come in Seven, this is DS-12. We are go for taking free. Main umbilical, separation now.
CLAIRE: Separation complete. You copy?
FEE: I copy. Taking free now.
LAVIE: Oh, there. Did something happen between those two?
YURI: Happended to who?
LAVIE: Hachi and Tanabe. Who else? Things seem awfully chilly between them.
YURI: It’s just one of their usual fights. It’s nothing to worry about really.
LAVIE: Still, it seems a little different from their usual ones.
CLAIRE: DS-12, this is Seven. Vector and window navigation data matrix downlink complete. You’re go for own’s burn.
LAVIE: So, are we there yet, Fee?
FEE: We’re at Lagrange One, running a complete translink test with the Fishbones.
LAVIE: Oh, really? I guess I’ll go back and get more sleep, then.
HACHI: Hey, Tanabe. About Apollo Park… I said I’d take you, remember? Once we reach the mo–
TANABE: No thanks. Why don’t you go by yourself and try to score with some girls?
HACHI: You never let things go, do you?
TANABE: Better that than forgetting everything like you do.
HACHI: Forget what?
TANABE: You don’t remember what you tried to do to me on Earth, do you?
HACHI: Don’t bring up that crap here!
TANABE: “That crap"? What do you mean, “That crap"?! Fine, just forget about it.
FEE: Listen up! Abort the translink test. A meteoroid is coming right at us.
HACHI: I copy. C’mon, Tanabe, we’re heading back.
TANABE: I know that! I can hear Fee’s transmissions over here, too, you know!
HACHI: I was just getting confirmation, damn it! Don’t bite my head off!
MAN: Please come in.
TANABE: Sorry, I’m ugly inside, remember?
MAN: DS-12! DS-12, please respond!
HACHI: Would you give it a rest?!
MAN: Are you reading me? DS-12, please acknowledge now!
FEE: This is DS-12 here. We read you fine.
LAVIE: What’s the matter?
MAN: Thank goodness we finally got through! Who’s in charge over there?
LAVIE: I’m Technora’s Second Division, Debris Section manager, (Assistant), I’m Arvind LAVIE, the highest ranking person here.
MAN: Please, Mr. Manager. We need your help. You’ve gotta save our dream before it’s too late.
MAN: Our experiment module is currently moving right in the meteoroid’s path. In just two more days, our experiments will produce results.
MAN: We’re begging you. If there’s anything you can do to save our module, please do so immediately.
FEE: Wait a minute.
LAVIE: That’s one of our company’s unmanned modules.
MAN: Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot to identify. My name is Ning Mantegna. I’m a scientist with Technora’s Third Division, Research Section.
LAVIE: Mantegna…? Wow, it’s pregnancy boy!
HACHI: Pregnancy boy?
LAVIE: You know, the guy who knocked up the daughter of Third Division’s manager!
MAN: Don’t worry about it. You said you did the right thing, didn’t you?
MAN: Yeah! It’s that stupid old man’s fault for not giving you two his blessing!
MAN: He’s right!
MAN: You see?
NING: Please listen to me. We’ve spent past five years researching properties of catch connective tissues in sea cucumbers in order to create a new concept in armor material. But we’re going to be split up and transferred less than a week. This is our last chance to accomplish this!
LAVIE: Well, I’m fully aware of your circumstances, but–
FEE: Wow, that guy is one narrow-minded dad.
NING: Please help! You’re the only ones anywhere near this orbit!
LAVIE: Don’t let our last dream die. Please.
LAVIE: Hold it, Hachimaki!
HACHI: We might be able to do something for them if we use our impact drivers.
LAVIE: That’s irrelevant! Destroying meteoroids is just prohibited!
HACHI: You’re banning this, too?!
LAVIE: You’re forgetting that your license only allows you to collect debris! Meteoroids are not debris, they’re natural bodies!
HACHI: What the hell’s that got to do with this?!
LAVIE: Well, everything! It’ll break Space Environmental Protection Act! If you violate INTO law, you’ll be a criminal! They’ll hold me responsible, and I won’t be able to support my children!
HACHI: Which means that if I move the module instead, there’s no problem, right?!
LAVIE: Huh? Uh, well, I guess… Would that work, Fee?
FEE: Don’t see why not?
NING: Thanks, Second Division. You don’t know what does mean to us.
HACHI: Don’t sweat it. I’m doing this 'cause I want to. You should also do what you want. Forget all about parents or your company rank.
HACHI: Okay, now… A little over three minutes to collision. If I use my return fuel, too, I should be able to–
NORMAN: That’s far enough, the Second Division vessel.
HACHI: What the–?
NORMAN: We of the Third Division are in sole charge of Lunar orbit. I’ll have to ask Second Division to pull away and stay out of this.
HACHI: Who the hell are you?
NORMAN: My name is Norman Schwimmer, and Division manager here.
LAVIE: Mr. Division Manager!
FEE: He’s the the dumb dad?
NING: Division manager, please! Let us complete this experiment!
NORMAN: What do you hope to gain by researching sea creatures? It’ll be far better for the company to let that meteoroid hit the module and collect the insurance on it.
NING: So, you knew that the meteoroid was coming, and you still allow us–
NORMAN: Enough. Cut off their transmission now.
NING: What happened to your daughter is my responsibility–
NORMAN: I’m ask you to walk away from this, is that clear, Second Division?
LAVIE: Yes, sir! At once, sir! Hachi, come back here in an instant! That was an order from the Third Division manager!
HACHI: Yet, I’m Second Division. He’s got no authority over us.
NORMAN: You’re a rank-and-file employee. Are you going to disobey a superior?
HACHI: Damn right I am. This has nothing to do with who’s labor and who’s management.
YURI: Collision in two minutes twenty-five seconds.
NORMAN: You fool! In my division, rank-and-file employees aren’t allowed to backtalk!
HACHI: I shove it! When somebody tells me something’s prohibited or tells me to stop something, that makes we wanna do it even more!
NORMAN: How dare you talk to me in that manner, you little peon!
HACHI: Oh, crap. It’s got too much mass. One Fishbone doesn’t have enough thruster to push–
TANABE: Sempai! I’ll help you, don’t worry!
HACHI: Okay, don’t rush it. Just stay calm and link up carefully.
TANABE: I copy!
HACHI: Avionics control master-to-slave couplers deploying now.
TANABE: Coupling complete.
HACHI: Okay, we’ll do a de-orbit burn with our combined thrusters. got it?
TANABE: I copy!
HACHI: Balancing remaining propellant. Adjusting common center of gravity.
LAVIE: Darn it all… All right, we’ll just have to cut off the module’s location data–
YURI: No one but the captain touchs these controls.
LAVIE: Hey! Yuri, what do you think you’re doing?!
FEE: Hachimaki! I’m sending you the vector for the rendezvous coordinates, try to push 'em over there.
HACHI: I copy.
NORMAN: This sector is the jurisdiction of Third Division! I’m the top dog around here! Are you listening? Hey!
FEE: Uhh! Shove it!
FEE: If we don’t do something, it’s gonna create tons of debris! Are we supposed to do nothing?!
HACHI: Okay, here we go!
TANABE: Right, copy that!
HACHI: Combustion at maximum. Continuing to increase thrust and build up delta-V! Will cut thrust once transfer orbit reached!
FEE: Engaging secondary hull separation. Linkage joints, detached. Laser guidance control, confirmed. Separation complete. Target acquired. Guidance control. Fine-tuning relative velocity. Rendezvous complete. Vectors synchronized! Catch up.
FEE: Target secured. Ignition!
WOMAN: Experiment module EM42 is exiting its orbit, sir. Target meteoroid will make a near miss.
NORMAN: Get the Second Division on the call. I want to talk to their division manager.
TANABE: Sempai, look!
NING: Do we have a connection yet?
MAN: Barely. It’s voice-only.
NING: It’ll be enough.
YURI: Hey, it’s the guy who called us earlier!
NING: Section Division crew, come in, please. Can you read me?
LAVIE: Yes, we can read you!
NING: Thank you. Now we can go to Mars with heads high and no regrets.
FEE: I see.
NING: We’ve decided to continue our work on Mars.
FEE: Well, I hope you successful. Oh, and give my best to your girlfriend, too.
NING: I, ah…
FEE: You could always take her with you, you know, to Mars.
NING: I copy! Thank you so much, Debris Section. Over and out. Good flying.
LAVIE: Ahh… the division manager’s gonna have my hide… Ah, what’ll it be? Dismissal?
FEE: If there’s one thing that DOLF’s always hated, it’s being ordered by someone to do something.
NORMAN: Are you listening? Your people acted improperly inside my jurisdiction! Well, I want to know how you intend to make amends?
DOLF: You have my apologies, Sir. But, they did to prevent the creation of debris. It’s what the Debris Section is supposed to do.
NORMAN: What did you say?! They screwed things up inside my turf!
DOLF: If you’d like to lodge a complaint, could you do it in an official document? Make sure to include concrete examples of all broken rules.
HACHI: Hum, oh, well, this ship runs through the breathing sequence fast.
TANABE: Do you really think we’ll be okay? We disobeyed the division manager.
HACHI: When somebody tells me something’s prohibited, it makes we want to do it more.
TANABE: Hm, I bet LAVIE is in dizzy and passed out in the cockpit.
HACHI: Like I said, if somebody tells me something is prohibited, I just wanna–
TANABE: Right, right. You said that a couple of times, you know.
HACHI: About the office romances. They’re still prohibited, right? Tanabe, would you… you wanna… Uh… Do it?
TANABE: What’re you saying, you pervert?! How could I possibly say yes to you if you ask me like that?!
HACHI: What? Idiot, I didn’t mean to that! I mean, do you… do you wanna try picking up where we left off down on Earth. I’m trying to ask you if you wanna go out. Geez!
TANABE: How would I know that?! For one thing, you’ve got no tighter delicacy! You’re loud, you go through other people’s desks and you walk around in your diapers all the time!
HACHI: Look who’s talking! You wear 'em, too!
TANABE: That’s what I mean by you’ve got no tighter delicacy!
HACHI: So, what’s it gonna be? Your answer…