第22話 “暴露” / “Exposure”
MONOLOGUE: It has been a little more than a century since the historical Apollo 11 moon landing. Human kind’s first manned ship to Jupiter, the Von Braun, is preparing to set sail to the giant gas planet, carrying with it humanities’ hopes and dreams for the future.
WOMAN: How much longer?
MAN: I’m sorry, ma’am.
MAN: Hakim Ashmead was a member of the Space Defense Front. His goal all along was to pass the crew test in order to get a shot at the Von Braun.
MAN: You remember that terrorist attack where they tried to slam that communications satellite into ISPV-7? We’ve learned that they had been leaking information from the OSA in that incident, as well.
MAN: It turns out that he was working as a terrorist the whole time he was in the OSA.
MAN: Unfortunately, he’s been at large ever since his attempt to destroy the Von Braun failed.
GIGALT: Why… ? Why couldn’t I think of one for him? Why couldn’t I come up with a nickname… ?
CHENG-SHIN: Why the hell am I being taken off this flight?! The rule is to have the same crew on both flight out and back again, isn’t it?
MAN: You’ve been taking off to cool your head. I don’t know what’s got you so angry, but you’ve been acting really strange lately.
CHENG-SHIN: What?! When have I ever acted strange?!
MAN: You’re doing right now. I’ve never heard you raise your voice to anyone no matter what happened. The way you’re acting now, I can’t trust you with passenger’s lives. I’m sorry, but that’s the call I’ve made as the ship’s captain. Go relearn your job on a freighter. Come on.
HACHI: It was my decision, wasn’t it? Why should I discuss with you? I have my life. And you have yours, right?
YURI: This is getting ridiculous. The paperwork’s becoming really complicated thanks to the INTO Supreme Council meeting. It looks like the shuttle carrying the Chief and the others is gonna be late, so you can go ahead and take off early. Tanabe?
TANABE: Yes? Did you want something, Yuri?
CHAD: Did someone try calling the security company?
MAN: They said that everyone is out working on the Supreme Council meeting!
MAN: Really? Ya got 30 for us? God job!
CHAD: Could you not handling the security, are you? This is a contract we are talking about here. You must contact a person in charge to complete your work!
FEE: Hard to believe that this is the company that’s running the Jupiter project humanity is pinning its future on.
DOLF: We can’t spare any time to worry about how we look. This may be the Jupiter project we’re talking about, but it’s not a high-priority item for INTO. The budget is as big as you’d expect, but hardly any funds are discretionary. Most of money are strings-attached. Of course, My plan is to cut the majority of those strings.
FEE: I just like that look on your face, Dolf. You know, you’re definitely cut out for playing David to somebody else’s Goliath.
DOLF: You came here to ask about Hoshino, right?
DOLF: Everyone who’s there taking the third round of tests are effectively incommunicado. You’re worried, aren’t you?
FEE: I don’t care about the test results one way or the other. I’m more worried about the girl he’s going out with.
DOLF: You’re a good leader, Fee.
FEE: Thanks. So are you.
CHAD: Just convince them [???] improving their image.
FEE: He’s like a new man, compared to the way he was at Technora.
DOLF: I won’t let my valuable resources sit and rot. I regret that I let that happen before. And that I didn’t use Debris Section correctly.
CHENG-SHIN: Even if he passed a difficult test, he’s still a complete failure as a human being. Now I think I understand why you decided to break up with him.
CLAIRE: You know, that’s a good look for you. You have a nice face and body, and a good head on your shoulders, and to top it all, you come from a wealthy family. To tell you the truth, I always thought you were too good to be true.
CHENG-SHIN: Well, Claire, you’re awfully mean-spirited today even for you.
CLAIRE: You never knew, did you? I hated you with every fiber of my being. The problem with you is that you see yourself as a considerate man, but you’re horrible.
CHENG-SHIN: I don’t think that!
CLAIRE: You think you’re sensitive, but you’re awfully dense where it really counts. You really don’t know the first thing about me or Hachi.
CHENG-SHIN: You can never really know someone.
MAN: Claire Rondo, employed with the Debris Section of Technora’s Second Division? Would you mind coming with us to the OSA office?
CLAIRE: And what am I being arrested for?
MAN: Please don’t get the wrong impression. This is purely voluntary. Would you agree to come in if I said that it was about Hakim Ashmead?
CLAIRE: All right, I understand. There are lots of dark dirty secrets in this world that you don’t know anything about.
WOMAN: Yes, the people from Second Division. Yes, the Debris Section reinforcements. Yes, they’re taking the elevator up now.
PHILIPPE: I wonder if this is gonna pan out? We’re all gonna be working together for at least a month.
LAVIE: Hey, don’t worry, Chief. Debris Sections are the lowest performance in every division. We’re all just dead weight.
PHILIPPE: Yes, but they’re on Level B. That’s three floors above the reception desk! Our office is in a basement storage room!
LAVIE: Oh, C’mon, Chief! Stop worrying so much! I brought along the perfect gag to break the ice! Watch!
PHILIPPE: What in the world is that?
LAVIE: Isn’t it great? It’ll go over like gangbusters! I could even be the opening act for the Supreme Council meeting! I-I…
PHILIPPE: Huh? Is this really the Debris Section? It’s so neat and tidy.
LAVIE: I’m thinking that maybe we should’ve brought along our field team, too. Or at least a nice gift.
PHILIPPE: We’d be late if we go get it now. Tidy offices like this are always sticklers for punctuality!
LAVIE: Then I’ll go buy something myself! You go on without me, Chief!
PHILIPPE: I don’t want to go in alone! Lavie, it’s my responsibility! I’ll get the gift!
LAVIE: No! You shouldn’t be the one who runs errands, Chief!
PHILIPPE: No at all! I’ll do it really!
LAVIE: No, I’ll do it!
EDEL: Move it.
PHILIPPE: I’m so sorry we’re late.
MAN: Welcome to Debris Section!
LAVIE: Chief, they are just like…
PHILIPPE: Yes, yes!
MAN: A hearty welcome to all our friends from the Second Division!
PHILIPPE: I guess Debris Sections are Debris Sections everywhere.
MAN: He maintained a top-notch record from the time he joined the OSA. He even won the Jim Lovell Award in 2073. Hakim Ashmead was an exemplary member of the OSA. He had a large circle of social contact. He was even involved in Greenhouse Effect Prevention activism, and at least on the surface, he was a loud proponent of aggressive space development. He had everyone–
MAN: Mr. Hachirota Hoshino, thank you very much for your cooperation. You’re free to go whenever you wish. Your belongings are at the front desk. Also, don’t discuss this with anyone. There could be some risks to your family.
HACHI: Yeah, I know! This means that I can get back to my testing now, right?
MAN: We’ll contact you regarding that later.
HACHI: Claire? You’re here? Eh… You…
CLAIRE: Don’t worry. It’s all right. For the moment, I’m cooperating voluntarily.
HACHI: Yeah, but–
CLAIRE: It’s seemed for some reason the OSA thinks that I’m a member of the Space Defense Front.
HACHI: They what? What’re you guys talking about? That’s the purest stupidity!
MAN: Mr. Hoshino!
HACHI: She’d never do that! Damn it!
CLAIRE: They’re doing this because I’m Hakim Ashmead’s girl friend. That’s what you think, isn’t it?
MAN: Let’s talk about those details in the interview room.
HACHI: Hey… !
CLAIRE: It bothers you?
HACHI: Of course, it does!
CLAIRE: But you have Tanabe, don’t you?
CLAIRE: I guess no one every fully commits with their feelings.
MAN: Again, everything to remain confidential.
HACHI(PHANTOM): In the end, humans are all alone. You have your own life, and other people have theirs. You said the same thing to Tanabe, remember? So why are you so pissed off at Hakim? Basically, you were pinning all your hopes on him. You wanted somebody who would make the trip to Jupiter with you. Cheng-Shin couldn’t have done it, but Hakim, well. Gee, that’s too bad. And just when you thought you’d made yourself a friend, too. When it’s all said and done, people are alone. Even the stars that seem to be tightly packed in the night sky are actually separated by vast distances. In between those stars, there’s nothing but dark, cold, cruel space.
LUCIE: Eh… ?
COLIN: Lucie, what’s the matter?
LUCIE: Nothing, I just thought that I saw someone I knew. C’mon!
HACHI: What am I? Some kind of moron? How can I talk to her now? Huh?
HACHI: Wait, your name’s–
TAROBO: My name is Tarobo. Remember?
HACHI: Right, that was your name. Where are the other ninjas?
TAROBO: I’m sorry! Please forgive me! Please pretend you didn’t see this! I don’t have a job, so I don’t have any money! Oh, please… Please, sir…
TAROBO: They’re all dead. Everyone but me.
HACHI: They’re dead?
TAROBO: They’d gotten jobs working on the tandem mirror engine. Back during that hotel fire, I was the only one who was afraid. Well, since that time, we’ve had a sort of a falling out. They packed their bags and went on their jobs without me.
HACHI: Well, okay, but that doesn’t explain what you’re doing, does it?
HACHI: You were selling their stuff?
HACHI: It’s okay. I don’t expect any better from human beings.
GORO: Well, I guess I can come up with some way to make the deadline. But, I can’t make any more sudden changes to the schedule, okay? It screws up things.
LOCKSMITH: Moving up the schedule like this and taking the ship down into lunar orbit was a request on the part of our sponsor, so I can’t make any promises.
GORO: It’s so obvious. All they wanna do is show off to the media. What a joke. “The first Supreme Council meeting space,” my ass. By the way, when’s the new captain coming? From what I hear, you’re gonna be staying behind on Earth.
LOCKSMITH: The President says that he’ll be arriving right when the people who passed the test are announced.
GORO: Aha. Eh?!
LOCKSMITH: You and that hook are way back, right?
GORO: Yeah, I’ve been using this ever since my first flight to Mars. I was with Gigalt on that trip.
MAN: With the historic first meeting of the Supreme Council to be held here in two days, the atmosphere here at the lunar station is described this tense. Oh, it looks like Chairman Clifford has arrived! He is surrounded by his body guards! Look at that!
MAN: Moving the meeting from Sea of Tranquility City to the lunar station was a drastic measure.
CLIFFORD: There’s no need to go all the way down to the lunar surface. All that matters is that we hold the meeting in space.
MAN: Right. I suppose that it’s easier to beef up security here, and it’s probably forced those terrorists to change their plans.
[—Space Defense Front—]
MAN: The security personnel on the lunar station is nearly tripled than the last month.
MAN: Yes, but, they’re short-handed in Sea of Tranquility City.
MAN: Over 73 percent of all the OSA’s patrol vessels have gathered in high lunar orbit. They’re checking out every satellite and piece of debris that they come across.
MAN: It looks like our operation against ISPV-7 had an effect on them.
MAN: Yes. The aftermath made our work here much easier, sir.
MAN: The final work on Catnip is finished. They say it can cover all of lunar orbit for 40 minutes.
MAN: And the Black Cats?
MAN: We’ve gathered six so far. We’re pretty sure we can get one or two more, sir.
WOMAN: The Tiger has begun its descent into lunar orbit. Everything is going as planned.
MAN: Don’t do anything to raise their suspicions. With our numbers, our only chance of victory is a sneak attack.
LAVIE: Well, I’ll be! It’s Hachimaki! Hehehe, hey buddy, what’re you doing here?
HACHI: H-Hey… !
PHILIPPE: Hachi! Long time no see! We heard that you’ve made it all the way to the third round of testing!
LAVIE: This joker is a fellow debris hauler! He passed the test for the Von Braun!
MAN: Wow, that’s amazing!
LAVIE: Well, it’s all thanks to my guidance, of course. Right?
EDEL: Mr. Hoshino.
HACHI: Yes, Edel?
EDEL: Miss Tanabe is working hard. She said that she’ll always do the job right even if you aren’t there. That she’d give it her best on her own.
LAVIE: Hey, Hachi! Why don’t you make [???] stop by the office sometime! You know, you’ve got a lot of mail piling up! It’s not just a work-related, there’s some personal e-mails.
PHILIPPE: We’re sorry, Hachi. We took the liberty of looking through them to make sure there wasn’t anything urgent.
HACHI: That’s okay. Just tell me who the e-mails were from?
LAVIE: They’re mostly from Maintence and Records, so they’re probably from your dorm buddies. Oh! And there was one from Gigalt, too.
HACHI: From Sensei? What did it say?
LAVIE: It said to come to Sea of Tranquility Medical Center when you finish your tests.
HACHI: The hospital?
HACHI: Wanna read this? It’s just this week’s Cosmonauts. And I’ve already finished reading it.
NONO: Yeah, thanks a lot, Hachimaki. Getting a check-up?
HACHI: No, I’m here to visit someone.
NONO: Mr. Gigalt?
HACHI: So, you know Sensei?
HACHI: He taught me all I know about EVA. He’s the kind of guy who’s way too tough to die, though I suppose he’s getting on in years. His e-mail said to come see him once I was finished with all my testing. Do you know what room he’s in?
NONO: Here you go, Hachi. Mr. Gigalt said to give this to you.
HACHI: What? You mean, Sensei’s not around anymore?
NONO: No. He’s gone.
HACHI: Oh, brother! That’s one spry old geezer. Hey, Nono, did he give you a weird nickname?
NONO: Hachimaki, what I meant was–
WOMAN: Nono, c’mon now. It’s time for your check-up.
NONO: But I’m talking to–
HACHI: I have the day off, so I’ll wait for you until you’re done.
NONO: You will?
TANABE: What? You mean, you ran into Sempai?
LAVIE: That’s right. On our way from our first round of bar hopping.
PHILIPPE: Ai! Why don’t you come and join us for round two!
LAVIE: Yeah! Why don’t you come over? We’ll wait for you! What? Where do I think he went to? Beats me, maybe he just went back to his place.
PHILIPPE: Lavie! You remember! He went to what’s-it-called.
EDEL: Yeah, hello. It’s me, dammit.
TANABE: Oh, hi, that’s you, Edel?
TANABE: Hey, are you drunk?
EDEL: I’ve had 12 single malt doubles. Never mind that. He’s at the hospital!
EDEL: The Sea of Tranquility Medical Center! If you leave now, you can still catch him! From where you are, the fastest way is to go up to the first floor and take the shuttle bus from the spaceport! If you run, you can still make the 7:47 bus! Get moving!
TANABE: Thanks, Edel. Really.
TANABE: Living alone and dying alone… alone… How can he be satisfied with that? It’s stupid.
HACHI: Hey, that’s Sensei.
GIGALT: It’s been a long time, Hachimaki. I’m afraid that the fact you’re watching this video means that I’m probably already dead. It’s cancer. I guess that for astronauts like us, it’s just an occupational hazard. I suppose that’s the kind of place that space is. I heard that Harry Rowland, my own Sensei, died here, too. Space is such a cold place. And it’s cruel. And it’s heartless. But somehow we fall in love with her, anyway. Like a pure-hearted boy falling for a not-so-pure girl. I guess this is what they mean by loving something, warts and all. So anyway, what is all this news I hear about you taking the test to get aboard the Von Braun? Hakim told me about it. He really is a tough guy, isn’t he? He’ll make a very good rival for you. Oh, one more thing. I’ve got one last lesson to teach you. It’s very important. Every ship needs a home port. A port that will always be there waiting for them, and will take them in when they finally arrive. A warm, safe place. Remember that. Well, give my best to Goro. I want you two to try to get along.
CLAIRE: Who’s there?!
HAKIM: It’s me.
TANABE: I’m trying to find Hachirota Hoshino.
STAFF: Check over there.
TANABE: Sempai! Thank goodness. I’ve been looking everywhere for you. I had to see you and talk to you. Everyone’s worried about you. You haven’t called, so we didn’t know how you were. Sempai, I got to know, that was just a lie, wasn’t it? About wanting to be alone, ‘cause it’s too lonely to go through alone.
HACHI: Sensei, Sensei is…, Gigalt Sensei is…
TANABE: He can’t be, he said he was still fine.
HACHI: Still? Tanabe, you… You know about this? You knew that since I had cancer?
TANABE: I ah-
HACHI: You know, and you didn’t say anything. You didn’t let me think.
HACHI(Phantom): See it’s just like I said. People say they like you and they love you. But this is what they do.
TANABE: Gigalt made me swear that I would never say anything to you about his condition. But I guess to be honest with you that’s just an excuse.
HACHI(Phantom): People stars, there’s no difference. They just float there all alone in the vastness of space.
TANABE: I’m really sorry Sempai. You seem sad and angry, and I don’t know how to help you.
HACHI(Phantom): Well, it seems there’s nothing but cold cruel dark space between you and Tanabe, too.
TANABE: But I think you can make things like this a little easier by sharing them with someone who cares about you. Something hard to bear alone might be easier with a friend.
HACHI(Phantom)You’re gonna realize that your ultimate fate is to die alone just like gigalt!
HACHI: Shut the hell up!!
HACHI: All of it is mine. All the loneliness, all of the pain, all the doubts, all the regrets! You don’t deserve them!! No way in the hell am I gonna give them to you!!!