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Tachikoma: Hey, look at this! I found a top-secret file on the Individual Eleven in the National Police Agency's file server!

Tachikoma: Really? Show us! Show us!

Tachikoma: That's interesting, all right.

Tachikoma: Let's have a look.

Tachikoma: I wanna see too! I wanna see too!

Tachikoma: Where is it?

Tachikoma: It's this one.

Tachikoma: I'm impressed that you found this.

Tachikoma: I wish I could look at it too.

Proto: Come on, now. You should know better than to dive into places like that without permission.

Akafuku: Nothing on earth can suppress their curiosity. If they encounter any inappropriate data, we'll just delete it. Hardware maintenance is our top priority.

Proto: You're too soft on them, sir. I can't believe you let them buy you off with pastry.

Tachikoma: Red lab coat eating red bean jam treats. The man with the sweet tooth was too sweet.

Akafuku: Huh?

Proto: That wasn't very funny, you know.

Tachikoma: Sugar is such a human weakness.


#15 The Machines' Afternoon; PAT.


Tachikoma: So what do you think about this...

Batou: Hey, it sounds like you guys are having a good time in here.

Tachikoma: Mr. Batou!

Togusa: You aren't up to your usual mischief, are you?

Tachikoma: You're hurting our feelings, Mr. Togusa! Mischief, as if! For your information, we were delving into the Individual Eleven affair in our own little way.

Tachikoma: You can't even develop a vaccine for that virus Mr. Borma found because no one has been able to pinpoint the factor that triggers it, right?

Tachikoma: Yeah, yeah.

Batou: Ah... Well, that's certainly true. you are correct.

Tachikoma: Darn right I am. So, we tried searching through the data that police have for anything relevant.

Tachikoma: Look at this! We've checked out eleven people who killed themselves. It appears they shared a lot in common, including the types of jobs they had. Former military officers, policemen and even mercenaries. Another point that can't be ignored is that each man's prosthetic level was over 50%!

Tachikoma: And aside from that, isn't the number of virus carriers estimated to be somewhere in the range of 20,000? We're talking about a potential epidemic here. If we don't hurry up and create a vaccine, no one can guarantee that there won't be more victims like that reporter that Mr. Togusa met.

Batou: Let somebody else deal with this. It's not your job.

Tachikoma: Oh... but...

Batou: And we've already asked for SPring8 to handle the examination of the dead Individual Eleven members.

Tachikoma: Woohoo!

Batou: Yeah, I figured that would interest you. That's why we're on our way out there now to meet up with the Major. And speaking of the devil, that reminds me - the Major said to bring one of you with us. Who wants to go? But if you haven't had your maintenance check yet, I'm afraid I can't take any of you.

Tachikoma: Me! Me! Over here! I'm all done with my maintenance!

Proto: Huh?

Batou: You say that you are ready, huh? Okay, let's go.

Tachikoma: Yes, sir!

Togusa: It's his personal unit.

Proto: A... Hey!

Tachikoma: Hey, guys! Wait up, will ya?

Proto: What's going on? I haven't given it any oil yet.

Tachikoma: It's strange. We haven't been given natural oil since we've got these new bodies. So, why do you suppose that one retains the position of Mr. Batou's personal unit?

Tachikoma: Not only that! I get the impression that the differentiation in our individuality is even stronger than before.

Tachikoma: Hey, Proto! What do you think that is, huh?

Proto: That's a question I can't answer. Maybe it's due to the fact that we set up a main server for the Tachikomas and then we reprogrammed you with the ability to keep individual information separate from one another.

Akafuku: Now listen! You'd better start behaving yourselves! Otherwise we'll never finish up here!

Tachikoma: We can talk in this place without being bothered by anyone, right?

Tachikoma: Yeah, and the passage of time does not apply here either.

Tachikoma: Let's get back to the topic of the Individual Eleven that were thought to have manifested virus symptoms. What's your opinion of these Individualists? For people who stress the importance of individuality, didn't they seem to lack that?

Tachikoma: That's quite too. They may claim to be looking for value in their individual differences by searching for isolation that will offer proof of their existence on the net. But their attempts to reject people with different goals is one factor that binds them all together, don't you agree?

Tachikoma: Yes, you're right. I think they lack an identity. This is a group that tried so hard to find individuality that it lapsed into a state of non-individuality.

Tachikoma: So, in a sense, I get the feeling that this makes these people the opposite of us!

Tachikoma: I concur. Even though we're obligated to synchronize with each other, we somehow managed to acquire individuality along the line.

Tachikoma: And because we finally got everyone to acknowledge and respect those differences that make each of us distinct, we only need to synchronize vital information now. Huh?

Tachikoma: If that's the case, and these individualists have formed a group that's free of identity precisely because they are trying to be individuals, who is the one making the decisions on behalf of this complex entity? Anyone?

Tachikoma: As far as the Individual Eleven go, I'd say the decision-maker was Goda of the Cabinet Intelligence Service.

Tachikoma: And the terrorists who attacked the Chinese embassy were reportedly a bunch of individualists who turned up entirely on their own, not because of a virus or whatever, remember?

Tachikoma: Some sociologists contend that the copycats who showed up in droves during the Laughing Man incident are the real origin of the phenomenon.

Tachikoma: Okay, for the sake of argument, let's say that's true. Then it would mean that even before Goda got involved with this plans, those people shared a common vision that resembled this current situation. Well, wouldn't it?

Tachikoma: Making the expulsion of refugees the consensus of the populace, huh?

Tachikoma: If you're gonna put it like that, are you implying that the refugees were already carrying out terrorist acts prior to the Individual Eleven coming onto the scene?

Tachikoma: It's pretty strange. No one was issuing any commands, yet all the parties involved began moving spontaneously in the same direction.

Tachikoma: Or maybe it's that humans possess a third identity for making decisions; something other than the individual or the collective.

Tachikomas: What do you mean?

Tachikoma: Permit me to offer an example. There's Dawkins who searched for the promotion of the self in genes on the micro level and Lovelock who focused on the extreme macro level of an Earth-scale body.

Tachikoma: The Earth biosphere!

Tachikoma: The two of them published works at approximately the same time, although they presented opposing themes, that could be said that each have arrived at roughly the same conclusion.

Tachikoma: Ah-huh! this one! This one!

Tachikoma: What kinda stuff is written in there?

Tachikoma: Supposedly about how humans are the most logical beings and the smallest units with consciousness. They also postulate and refer to the existence of the holonic architecture of a species that's both greater and smaller than itself.

Tachikoma: In other words, they infer that the element responsible for determining the actions of the individualists and the refugees exists either on the micro level and is smaller than each person, or is on the macro level, and is greater than the group.

Tachikoma: Gosh! That's hard to follow.

Tachikoma: It's simple. It means that the current state of the net, which wasn't around before humanity established its existence, loosely forms a subconscious mind, one which is split off from mankind's consciousness. This mental level net and the electronic network now cover most of the world. The subconscious mind they give rise to is done so in the form of the general consensus of the whole. You follow me?

Tachikoma: So, if I understand you correctly, what you are saying is that human bodies and minds are already two separate things. But for some reason, people haven't noticed this yet?

Tachikoma: That's my blunt, personal opinion, yep.

Tachikoma: Aaah! But we were leaning toward the verdict that the body and mind are inseparable. This change of view is complete 180!

Tachikoma: That's a different circumstance. Wouldn't that mean that Goda deliberately manufactured mediators for the purpose of accelerating that slow process?

Tachikoma: What a concept.

Tachikoma: Hey!

Tachikoma: Huh? What's going on?

Tachikoma: Sorry, I'm ready for my turn now. I apologize for that; our discussion got pretty exciting.

Tachikoma: Let me synchronize the data of what you talked about.

Tachikoma: Okay.

Tachikoma: Whoa. I get it. That's a very provocative thought!

Tachikoma: Isn't it?

Tachikoma: Coincidentally, I've been having experiences lately in which I feel as though my consciousness and body are separate.

Tachikoma: How do you mean?

Tachikoma: I can only describe it as having a sensation of looking down at myself from high in the sky.

Tachikoma: Hey, I felt that too! Is each of our individual selves contained within our separate bodies? Or is there a only one "self" that we share among us as a collective Tachikoma?

Tachikoma: Considering that we have a predisposition to synchronize, I would have to say it's the latter.

Tachikoma: Besides, the will of our god, the Major, is preventing the growth of our individuality.

Tachikoma: Yeah, but our Individualization is still progressing even though natural oil is now banned. We ought to be homogeneous, yet we're not. And if we're subconsciously experiencing the sensation of the disconnect between body and information, that means...

Tachikoma: Could it be...

Tachikoma: Could it be...

Tachikoma: Could it be...

Tachikoma: It's a gho...

Tachikoma: Wait, just a minute. We shouldn't be jumping to any conclusions. Couldn't that sensation simply be one of dissociation caused by the addition of our agent functionality?

Tachikoma: It's a possibility, of course. But I can't help feeling there's a third self somewhere, something other than the body and the spirit.

Tachikoma: I can relate to that. You recall a little while back when we fought that Jigabachi? At the critical moment, I suddenly and surprisingly found myself instantly able to carry out my role as the Major's "suit" without any fear of death whatsoever. When it happened, there was a detached part of me, somewhere vague, that spoke to me inside that my body was no longer my own.

Tachikoma: Was it different from the indescribable feeling of ecstasy we experienced when we wanted to save Mr. Batou?

Tachikoma: I think so. This was more of a matter-of-fact action, something programmed into us.

Tachikoma: I hate to say it, but in light of what you just mentioned, the mysterious third self you felt is probably different from the one a human senses. Besides, you have to take into account that none of us have even been told where the server is that all our shared data is stored on, remember? That may be what this third self actually is. It's anyone's guess.

Tachikoma: Then, what we thought was a ghost could have been something else entirely, like a hallucination.

Tachikoma: Perhaps. But we shouldn't rule out this third self that you said you felt. We need to explore the subject in greater depth. Let me synchronize that sensation data.

Tachikoma: Hahaha. Sure.

Proto: Hm?

Tachikoma: Brrr!

Motoko: Is there any chance the results are wrong?

Lab worker: Probably not. We found dissolved fragments of proteins in the pilot's blood that were consistent with material that made up the micromachines. We couldn't pull any concrete evidence like that out of the cyberbrains of those Individual Eleven characters, though.

Motoko: These are pretty much the results that I was anticipating. But the results for the pilot are a major find.

Batou: Does this mean that we've officially determined the pilot's cause of death as "murder by micromachine"?

Lab worker: But we can't deny the possibility that he took them himself.

Motoko: In a perfect world, we would have discovered evidence in the corpse's cyberbrain indicating that those eleven helicopters had functioned as some kind of trigger. But that's too much to hope for.

Togusa: And what about the explosives?

Lab worker: According to our molecular level analysis, we found that it's identical to C4 that's manufactured on the peninsula. Nowadays, they find lots of C4 just like that among the confiscated goods coming into the country via the Taiwan smuggling route.

Batou: Huh?

Motoko: Tachikoma, can you see anything from where you are?

Tachikoma: It looks like there's been an explosion!

Lab worker: We've been taking on quite a large load of terrorism related investigation work lately. Maybe that's made us a target.

Batou: Hey, what happened here?

Togusa: Just tell us everything you know. It could be vital.

Guard A: Well, sir, as far as we can tell, it looks like there was an explosion.

Guard B: We do. We have a sector that's trained and equipped...

Batou: That's weird. no one's running out of the building. What's up? Is the place empty?

Guard A: Actually, a few days ago we got an anonymous threat that a bomb would be set off here so we evacuated the building. We've been on heightened alert, but...

Togusa: Talk about your cloud with the silver lining.

Guard A: Except Dr. Asuda, the chief scientist here, came in to do some work this afternoon. And there's a possibility that he's still inside.

Batou: Why didn't you tell us that in the first place!?

Batou: Major, we're at the center of the blast. From what I can see this is the kind of damage you'd get from a gas explosion.

Motoko: Casualties?

Batou: A guard said that a scientist by the name of Asuda was in the building, but we're still looking.

Motoko: Asuda? Tachikoma, pull up the data on that researcher.

Tachikoma: This is probably the man they mean.

Tachikoma: Um...

Batou: Hm? What's up?

Tachikoma: Well, the thing is, I'm positive that I've seen this person somewhere before.

Batou: Huh?

Togusa: Maybe you met him when they ran a structural analysis on all of you.

Tachikoma: That's what I thought at first, too. But there are no matching records in my memory.

Motoko: HQ, check the IR systems on roads that access Itami and Niihama airports as well as those inside the airports themselves. See if they've picked up anyone who matches Dr. Asuda's records.

HQ: Understood.

Batou: Major, what's the story?

Motoko: I'll explain it later. Leave that scene to the cops and come back to the tiltrotor. He's probably headed for Niihama airport.

Tachikoma: Hey, everyone!

Tachikoma: Geez, you don't have to shout.

Tachikoma: Take a look at this man. Check to see if you have any records that match him. I don't know how, but I'm certain that I have memories of meeting him before.

Tachikoma: Who is he again?

Tachikoma: Let's sort this out.

Tachikoma: I'm positive that I've seen him before, too, but I don't have any matching data in my memory, either.

Akafuku: All right! That's enough! Cut it out!

Tachikoma: This is so frustrating! I know it's there, but I can't remember it!

Tachikoma: I guess your synapses aren't connecting.

Tachikoma: Synapses? Lay off those organic analogies, would you please?

Tachikoma: Hey, does this seem to you like this one memory is stuck somewhere in our cyberbrains, but it's in a section that's partitioned off, so we're unable to access it?

Tachikomas: Uh-huh.

Motoko: It turns out that the Dr. Asuda is the scientist who single-handedly developed the prototype model of the neurochip used in the Tachikoma's AI.

Batou: What, is he the Tachikoma's dad?

Motoko: I suppose you could put it that way. As a matter of fact, we also had Dr. Asuda personally help us out when our Tachikomas were being rebuilt. In addition, it was due to his research that we were able to come up with ways to eliminate the risk of their experience lost by adding agent functionality and providing them with a redundant memory architecture.

Togusa: Do you suspect this Dr. Asuda has something to do with the explosion?

Motoko: He probably committed the crime himself.

Batou: For what reason?

Motoko: To defect from the country and take the fruits of his labor with him.

Motoko: The doctor prided himself on having engineered the neurochip entirely on his own. But his status is that of a state-sponsored scientist. Therefore he couldn't take out a patent on his own work even though he developed a revolutionary AI. For these and other reasons, we conceded to the doctor's wishes and arranged things so that he'd be able to run structural analyses on the Tachikomas. It allowed him to study their current condition, as well as the extent of the neurochips' development.

Togusa: That's why you told us to bring along one Tachikoma.

Tachikoma: Okay, if that's true, why do we carry a vague memory of the doctor?

Motoko: When any of you underwent a structural analysis, we erased your memories during the procedure. Because he probably wanted to leave behind a record of his achievement somewhere, the Doctor inserted a memory of himself into part of yours.

HQ: Major, we've located Dr. Asuda in the lobby of Niihama airport.

Motoko: Good work. Keep him under surveillance. Chief.

Aramaki: Right. I just put out an order to ground all flights leaving for North America.

Motoko: That'll be a big help.

Aramaki: Thank you for your help in this, Madam Prime Minister.

Kayabuki: There's no need to thank me. We were able to accomplish what we set out to. We prevented one of our country's top minds from sneaking out of the country with his brilliant life's work on AI research.

Aramaki: Thanks to the dedicated efforts of my team, you're able to say that.

Announcement: May we have your attention please. Due to poor weather conditions, the departures of all passenger flights to North America have been delayed.

Tachikoma: Oh, so that explains it.

Tachikoma: But I still can't remember this Dr. Asuda.

Tachikoma: My synapses are stopping one step short of connecting.

Tachikoma: Didn't you say that you hated use of the word "synapses"?

Tachikoma: Wait! I know!

Tachikoma: Hey, Proto. I'm gonna open up this one's head, okay?

Tachikoma: Aah?!

Proto: I wanna know what's going on here.

Tachikoma: Synchronizing's not good enough? You want me to hand over my whole AI?

Tachikoma: No, I'm just gonna check to see which part of your AI the partitioned sector is in, that's all. Now, hold still.

Akafuku: Stop, you little fool! You can't do that!

Tachikoma: Guwaah!

Tachikoma: It's-it's not there! This Tachikoma's AI is gone!

Tachikoma: Does that mean that each and every one of us is brainless?!

Tachikomas: Oh...

Tachikoma: Then, the question is where the heck are our AI's?

Announcement: May we have your attention please. Due to improved weather conditions...

Batou: Dr. Asuda, I presume? Sir, you are in violation of the revised Arms Export law. You're coming with me.

Asuda: I won't. I intend to continue my research in a country that properly recognizes my rights.

Togusa: You became a state-sponsored scientist in exchange for all the funding and equipment you ever wanted. You ought to know better than anyone that you have no right to do this. It's wrong.

Motoko: What a shame. And here we brought this little one down to the lab for a visit. How disappointing.

Asuda: I see.

Tachikoma: Uh... Umm... I was wondering, are you... my father?

Asuda: Is that what you think?

Motoko: Even though their condition is stable right now, there's just no way of knowing what might trigger another collapse or when it could occur. It's unpredictable. We think you put memories of yourself into them without authorization. Will you tell us how to erase them?

Asuda: Long ago, there was once a nameless carpenter who built a castle. He deliberately left behind the tools he had used to carve his name in the tower of the castle as evidence to show he had taken part in its construction. You're even going to delete that trivial act of sentimentality?

Motoko: I am. When you surrender something to the powers that be in exchange for that power, that's the price you pay.

Asuda: Very well. Delete file C9 located in partition #8 of the hub cyberbrain, it's the one I built into the satellite at your request.

Motoko: All right, then.

Batou: Hm? Major, what's he mean by "satellite"?

Tachikoma: Oh, I get it. Now I understand why we felt like our self was somewhere outside our bodies, it was because our AIs were synchronizing way out in space through that hub cyberbrain in orbit, weren't they?

Motoko: Right on the mark.

Tachikoma: This revelation leads me to conclude that our server is up there on the same satellite, too?

Tachikoma: And does this mean that what we were perceived as our third self was in reality that super-high birds-eye point of view?

Tachikoma: The situation shouldn't come as a surprise. Our AI's aren't equipped with sense organs, therefore we never noticed until now what path our consciousness was taking when we were thinking.

Tachikoma: Oh, I see. That's why we don't need any mind-body unity between our bodies and programs anymore.

Tachikoma: Also everything became clear to me as to why I didn't have any fear of dying.

Tachikoma: Still, I can't believe it's up in space. That's pretty amazing...

Tachikoma: The thing of it is, I don't think I wanna have the memories of you erased, Dr. Asuda.

Asuda: Don't you worry. The ideals I had for the AI that I envisioned will likely end up on the net.

Batou: Hey, Major. Have any idea what's gonna happen to him?

Motoko: I have no idea, but since we're the ones who brought him in, that would probably afford us a bit of leeway. If the man's lucky, he'll be sentenced to prison.

Batou: And if he's not so lucky?

Motoko: He might spend the rest of his life confined within the facilities at Harima toiling away in complete obscurity.

Batou: Maybe I'll bring the Tachikoma to visit him every once in a while.

Motoko: I don't know if that would help. He was trying to find his freedom, but now he's no longer free. Just like us.

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