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>Pick the door’s lock
Lock picking isn’t a skill you forget easily. It’s handy and it’s entertaining. An exercise in dexterity and patience. It’s also exceedingly more difficult without the proper tools on hand. My mind tends to wander whilst I’m doing these sorts of things, but I managed to find some especially hardy paper clips for a tension wrench. See, people think its the pick that is necessary to open a lock, but the tension wrench is the most important tool, because it keeps all your work in place whilst you work on the next pin.
It takes longer than I anticipated, but I finally managed to get the last pin in place. My handiwork is rewarded with the lock turning, and I enter the room.
After the lights come on, its clear someone has tried very hard to recreate their own bosses room, except the intended intimidation doesn’t work when there’s a half meter gap between the door and the desk, and barely no room to move around in. The cabinet in the left corner of the room was overflowing in two compartments and the desk next to it was covered in what looked like years of abuse. Whoever owned- no, owns- this desk hasn’t bothered to take good care of it. Scratches and stains were the least worrying part, as a pretty large gouge had been carved out of the top.
There was an envelope sitting on the top of the largest pile of scrap paper, on a whim, I took it and did the courtesy of opening it for them, a Mr Ringo.
That date can’t be correct.
Suddenly, every single paper in the room was precious. Each one was at least 60 years from the last time I remember the day. 3421 P.C. was the furthest I had seen. That placed my cryostasis as lasting about 75 years.
That’s far, far beyond what a normal sleep cycle should last without permanent damage. A person needs to be woken up every 20 years, at the latest, to prevent brain damage from occurring.
It takes a while, but I manage to steel myself so that I can continue looking over the papers in more scrutiny. I’m now conscious of the time I’ve wasted messing around, but all the letters start to blur as my brain refuses to let go. It’s mostly just keywords I’m looking for at this point, but nothing seems to be suspicious. Not on the desk at least.
My hope starts to run thin as I go through the drawers, one by one, until I get to the bottom drawer. I don’t think I’ve seen such a badly hidden fake bottom in a while, where “bottom” is halfway up the drawer. It takes some stress, but I pull the drawer out and place it on the top of the desk. Like usual, the drawer has observation notes on Earth and Gensokyo, but its mostly notes on fauna, and nothing alarming. The fake bottom is the most interesting part.
A gun, and a folder. The gun is a model I don’t recognise, but it’s more of a hand cannon than a gun. Flipping open the chamber shows its already loaded with the standard seven bullets, and the text reads 82 mm diameter. I don’t think I can take down someone exceptionally powerful with it, but it will be enough to stop them in their tracks. Anyone apart from them won’t be getting up for a while, maybe never. Even the grip is cold, and that’s got some special adaptive foam as a handle.
I stow it in my trousers waistband.
It weighs heavily on me, but I feel comfortable carrying such high fire power. Unfortunately there weren’t any spare bullets, but I’ll take what I can get.
By coincidence, Sanae pokes her head into the room just as I finish stowing away the gun. It’s better if she doesn’t know, after all.
“Hey, Seiran, I’m done with the spell” It’s not a good sign when people look confused after those words, but I wave her into the office regardless.
“So, what did you find? As you can see,” I wave my hand over the office. “I’ve been through the whole place and found only one small folder. I was going to go through it right now, in fact.”
“Seiran, you’re shaking” Oh, so I am. I open my mouth to explain.
I close it. I want to tell her everything but I can’t. I’ve never been so afraid, I’ve lost everything I’ve ever known. I want to vomit.
I open my mouth to explain. “I just found out I probably have been frozen for longer than seventy years, maybe seventy five. I can’t give an exact date.” I can’t look her in the eye. Why do I feel so guilty when I did nothing wrong? When I did the correct thing, and not tell a stranger all my worries as soon as I met her?
Sanae doesn’t care I didn’t tell her immediately, Sanae just hugs me instead.
“We can do this Seiran. I know we can.” She breaks her hug to look me in the eye. “I can tell your remarkably brave, much, much braver than I would have given any person credit for.”
It’s what I have to do.
I resolve to steer us back into work; its been a while since we came in here and there’s still no signs of people moving. It seems to me that they’ll start sending workers back in here soon.
“So, lets start with you.” It’s always awkward after something heart warming. “What did you find from the gash?” I can tell that the girl’s a little peeved from the fact that I got straight back into work, but it’s necessary.
She starts rambling a little, unsure at first but with more fervour as she goes on.
“I didn’t understand what the spell was telling me, not at first. It was a confusion of horror and disgust and anger at the world, all these feelings were flowing into and out of me, trying to find something to unleash it on.” She pauses, for breath and to think. “It was definitely someone mortal, and it was definitely someone close by. This much I am sure of, although I have no idea what the rest means”
Finally, something we can look at, something that is tangible. “Let’s take a look at these documents now.”
I’m almost disappointed, but it’s not as bad as it looks. “I can’t read this script.” All these runes, and so many of them. “It doesn’t look untranslatable, but it seems to be a mix of Old Lunarian and some sort of cipher language.” However, that doesn’t mean it’s completely useless at the moment.
Me and Sanae get to work, spreading the documents across a patch of table not used. Every single one gets scrutinised for any sort of information easily available. From the gist of things, we manage to discover that it was a log of some sort, possibly a surveillance file. The pictures are the most important thing, showing the landscape of the far side of the Moon. Bizarrely, Sanae finds what seems to be medical logs on a rabbit, judging from how it’s organised on the sheet and the photo attached. Why would it be here, in code language?
By the end of our shuffle around, we gain 10 questions for each answer we solve. Dates are easy find, and we pieced together a very vague reason for the invasion. Namely, something is attacking the moon, and someone strong enough to hold their attention for over 5 months, at least.
“There’s still one big thing that’s really bugging me Sanae, what’s this ‘Gensokyo’ they keep writing about?” I thought I could make some sense of a couple of words in the folder, and this one kept cropping up.
“It’s a bit hard to explain” Sanae sits down in the office chair to ponder, sinking into it a little. “We’re in Gensokyo right now, actually. You know how the Lunarian world isn’t accessible to normal earthlings?” She’s smirking, probably because she just used earthling legitimately.
“Yeah, yeah. They put those seals up right back when the capital was founded.” It’s slightly worrying I’m struggling to remember history drilled into me when I was learning, but I push that thought aside.
“Well, Gensokyo was made in the same way. A bunch of really powerful mages got together and sealed off a tonne of youkai, to make sure they can survive.” Her face creases to pout. “Most normal people stopped believing in them all, youkai, gods, ghosts, whatever! They could only live without worry in this area of dense belief. There’s still some youkai out there, outside Gensokyo, but it’s getting harder and harder.”
She’s getting emotional again, this time with some sort of patriotism for Gensokyo. “That’s why I want to make sure this place is fine, because there’s no where else for my gods, there’s nowhere else for youkai, and I don’t want this place to be lost!”
I’m feeling a bit motivated by that speech myself. Sanae really gives it her all whenever it’s required, it seems. All in all, our expedition wasn’t a complete failure, but now we need a new plan of action. I am keenly aware of how much time we have already spent here.
>Leave the building as soon as possible.
>Leave the office, but continue searching the building.
>Search the office again one last time.
>Attempt to find the person who made the gash.