City Series:Volume5a Chapter11
Chapter 11: Leg
05/20/1944 – 06/01/1944
I had lost a connection to my master.
May 20, 1944
Heinz Berge’s Journal
Today at 07:25, I regrouped with the 352nd Infantry Division. The division is supposed to be guarding the Normandy coast, but we are waiting in a hilly region further inland.
At 07:45, I visited division command where I received a report on the current situation and a few orders.
At 08:20, I regrouped with my 1st Grösse Panzer Platoon. I recognized every member based on my memories and I confirmed I had their names correct. My repaired left eye was working fine. I received a report on the current situation and learned some things I had not been told at command.
I learned that the army leaders and the general headquarters are not working together well and I learned that the 352nd Infantry Division was ordered to wait in the hills of Normandy instead of guarding the coast. General Rommel wants to guard the coast, but the general headquarters sees that as unnecessary and refused.
At 10:40, I began equipping Rot Löwe with coastal equipment to protect the motors and such.
I took a break and, at 15:00, I began testing Rot Löwe. The arm protections were stiff and threatened to interfere with my movement. I made further modifications.
At 19:05, I completed the modifications. I returned to the barracks.
When I put my luggage in order and removed my jacket, I found a bookmark in my pocket. I had no memory of it, but my records say I have seen it a few times before. It has a pressed flower on it. I tried to remember the name of the flower, but that information is not necessary for my life, so I changed my mind and stopped searching my memories for the name.
At 20:35, I was searching through my military records from the previous war I had acquired in Paris. In them, I discovered that the very last records were from the Morvan Mountains of the Bourgogne Region. That matches the newspaper clipping I discovered before. What does this mean?
Was I not pursuing the Attesor Project because I see it as a threat?
I now had a military and civilian source saying I had visited the land where the Attesor Project originated. There is no doubting it now: I was in that land while the Attesor Project was underway.
This leads to 3 questions. 1: Is it possible I saw the Attesor Project myself while in Bourgogne? 2: Why was that memory not deemed combat-related? 3: The war ended after that, so why did I volunteer for the Panzer Ritter Project?
But I can find no answers. This battlefield does not require answers to these questions. I must focus on my battle preparations.
Starting tomorrow, I will speak with command and examine the possibilities of an Allied landing operation.
May 23, 1944
Sorbonne University Student Message Board: Notification to All Students
The final exam and summer break schedule is as follows:
June 1-14: Exam Period
June 15 – September 20: Summer Break
June 20: Exam Results Announced
July 5: Supplementary Exam Schedule Announced
August 7-14: Supplementary Exam Period
August 20: Supplementary Exam Results Announced
September 1: Diplomas Issued
September 5: Graduation Ceremony
September 10: Freshmen Entrance Ceremony
September 21: New Term Begins
Please check the above schedule carefully and act accordingly.
–Sorbonne University Student Affairs Office
Today, I am writing this in the school library. The break begins tomorrow and we only have to come in for exams, so this will be my last time here. But, man, this week since the festival has been crazy, what with Phillip being reassessed in a positive way and Rosetta’s hidden popularity going way up.
Since Phillip doesn’t like all the attention, he hasn’t come to see me since, but I feel like that’s only drawing more attention to him. Not that I mind either way.
Anyway, I’ve had to think about all sorts of things. Like what I’m supposed to do about all this.
Writing it down gives me a clearer view, but everyone else has such a solid grip on things.
Mallette says she plans on helping with the family business once she graduates. That’s why she’s in the economics department. As a Jew, her family is only allowed to exist because they pay a hefty tax.
Rosetta has begun doing a lot of studying in an attempt to become human.
Phillip is working to protect people as a Lourd de Écrivain.
I’m jealous. I’m the only one that feels so lost. I fought in those Heavy Barrels to find out what I am as a Knight Striker, but I feel like I only learned that I’m lagging behind everyone else.
To be honest, I really don’t want to Write Bring into a Heavy Barrel for the rest of my two and a half months in France.
In that Heavy Barrel battle, I learned Phillip is on another level entirely and is facing a completely different direction from me.
Phillip moved to protect me without even thinking about the consequences. And I’m sure he would have done the same even if it wasn’t me. He’s true to himself when it comes to that. While I can’t bring myself to move because I’m agonizing over issues of responsibility, he immediately acts because that’s what he wants to do.
He’s the kind of person the term Knight Striker points to.
And Heinz Berge really was powerful.
The duty of a Knight Striker is to protect others. But if you view a Heavy Barrel as a weapon, it becomes a tool of killing. If you aren’t powerful, you can’t protect anyone. But that power can hurt people.
Heinz Berge does not fear that paradox.
Instead of protecting and winning, he prefers to attack and achieve victory despite some damage. It looks like his stance is to protect the most people in the long run.
But I want to protect the people right in front of me. That desire was defeated by Heinz Berge’s overwhelming strength. If that had been a true battlefield, I would have failed to protect anyone.
In France, everything is established by what is written. And writing requires a will.
I kind of thought that I could win if my willpower was great enough. And since he has had a Psyche Outer surgery, Heinz Berge can’t use his Over Emblem.
But I couldn’t beat him. Everything about me is weak and everything about him is strong. My will to protect was inferior to Phillip’s and my attack power as a Knight Striker was inferior to Heinz Berge’s.
At the very least, I see no reason for me to Write Bring into a Heavy Barrel here in France.
There are two opponents I could not beat in a fight. That’s twice the loss.
And based on the records, Phillip will be killed by Heinz Berge on August 1.
Even his will to protect cannot defeat that attack power.
Which of us is the correct form of a Knight Striker? I think Phillip has it right on the ideological level, but Heinz Berge can produce the results.
I doubt any Knight Striker can defeat Heinz Berge. He really is the strongest one. And if so, I have my answer.
Not every Knight Striker can protect people.
If a power is great enough, you can lose to it. That must be how it always was. I thought I could protect someone, but I don’t have the power or will to crush someone to achieve that.
I wonder what my grandma thought about this. What did she think while Write Bringing into Heavy Barrels in Paris before the First Format?
And what does Heinz Berge think about being a Knight Striker? And if the Psyche Outer surgery has left him without emotions, then what was it that led him to participate in the Panzer Ritter Project?
And why did Jack McWild decide to start the Attesor Project? Why did he try to make the strongest Barrel and why did he abandon that project?
What does it mean to be strong?
What does it mean to protect?
I can’t talk to anyone else about this since they all see me as a Knight Striker from America. This is difficult to deal with, but…but what is it I want to do?
<The clock says it is 4:47 PM.>
At the moment, it seems I want to go home, but what am I supposed to do about all this?
Letter from M. Schrier: To Lady Beretta McWild via the High Priestess
It was a pleasure to hear from you. This is M. Schrier who you wrote to with some questions concerning my Death Techno Compilation.
I happened to receive your letter and documents when I returned to the US. Your situation seems pressing and, when I read your letter, I could tell it is all very much related to me. I will sum up the main points and send you a response along with what documents I have.
Now, you seem to already now that the Attesor Project did in fact exist.
Please carefully read the following, reach your own conclusions, and act accordingly:
- The German Army has begun to investigate the Attesor Project. Their investigation method is unknown, but I believe they are approaching quite close to the heart of the matter.
So if you reveal to others that you are researching the Attesor Project or perform any open acts of investigation, you would be in grave danger. So please cease any such actions. I will send you documents that I believe will serve your purposes instead. I think you should research these documents and stick primarily to deskwork.
- I know some of the truth regarding the Attesor Project. In my Compilation, I intentionally referenced a portion of that truth in a “superstitious” fashion. Why did I feel the need to do that? Because I did not have the full picture of the Attesor Project and because the surviving documents led me to believe this project hid a power that necessitated a cover-up.
Thus, the Attesor Project was not abandoned because it was incomplete. It was abandoned because its success was far too dangerous.
I am saying that a success of the Attesor Project is still hidden somewhere in France.
- The German Army wishes for that dangerous success and the investigation records. And I believe it should never fall into their hands.
Now, with all that said, I have an unreasonable request.
I am currently working to pursue a different Death Techno. And I am on the run from Germany.
The only people who know the truth of the Attesor Project are me, you, and the German Army. If the war drags on, the Allies may gain an interest as well.
If possible, I would like for you to find and erase the Attesor Project before that happens.
I have a single reason for making such a ridiculous request. Five years ago in Paris, a certain man gave me all surviving documents concerning the Attesor Project.
His name was Jack McWild.
He gave me the documents and said this before leaving:
“Can you disguise this as ‘some silly story’ to give everyone peace of mind and protect them?”
A few days later, he was dead. I did as he said and presented the Attesor Project as a curious rumor, but the German Army had begun to act before that.
I will send you all of the documents he gave me. Along with the predictions I have made from them.
The details of the Attesor Project are unclear from these surviving documents, but I believe you will find many answers if you visit the site and take a look for yourself.
If possible, I must ask that you carry out my request. Do what I could not: give everyone peace of mind and protect them.
May 25, 1944
I’ve learned something incredible.
Jack McWild and M. Schrier met in Paris during ’39 and the Attesor Project section of the Death Techno Compilation that led me to become a Knight Striker was based on information from Jack McWild. This has really, um, hit me hard.
This means enough happened here before the looping year starting on August 6, 1943 for France to write that response. France remembers it and it knew what kind of response M. Schrier would have written if he had seen my letter.
This world is built amazingly well.
I tricked France into giving me the documents and information (which France must remember from when Jack McWild brought them here), but I feel like I was the one tricked. I can’t believe it.
Anyway, even if the M. Schrier who responded was a fake created by France, I’m kind of happy that he’s exactly the kind of person I thought he was. I need to thank France and then start searching for everything.
May 26, 1944
The Prophetess’s Letter: To Monsieur Guilliaum, the Former Royal Guard Chevalier
It has been a while, hasn’t it? It seems to me that a number of currents have been hesitantly set in motion. I predict that everything will be determined by whether or not that hesitation finds a definite direction to take.
I would be glad if they swear to work toward France’s true liberation, but that will require much sacrifice.
Monsieur Guilliaum, it may be necessary for you to give an order despite knowing it will lead to someone’s death. So I will first give you some information that is not necessary for any life-or-death decisions.
- The Allies will begin a landing operation on June 6.
The operation will be called Overlord. An Allied landing force will attack the coast of Normandy at midnight on the morning of the 6th. It will be a historically large operation that leads to more than 4000 deaths.
After losing there, the Germans will retreat through southern France while exchanging artillery fire with the pursuing Allies.
That is but a portion of the information I know from my prophecies and the collection of history.
The outside world plans to allow France to close in on itself. Because as I said before, when France is liberated from the Primitif, it will return to 1944, not the outside world where 55 years have passed.
To destroy the Primitif’s Rondeau means to treat our timeline as the true one and we will be returned to our proper era. The outside world has spent 54 years as “a world without France”. But if France is liberated, it will return to 1944 and those 54 years of history will be redone. That would create “a world with France”.
The outside world fears its own destruction, so they are apparently extracting as much data as possible from France and then never touching it again. The outside world must be shy as well.
Monsieur Guilliaum, what do you think of all this?
There is a future we have never seen, but our liberation will destroy it and create a new world. If we do not seek freedom, the outside world will not be destroyed.
What is the right thing to do here?
I think the top priority for achieving that liberation is to stop the detonation of the Wort Bombe, but I doubt it is possible with that alone. According to the adventurer I met 25 years ago, the detonation of the Wort Bombe was no more than a trigger and two things are needed to liberate France: a proof and a will. In the early morning of August 6, the Wort Bombe must be stopped, all hesitation over the war and oneself must be ended, and we must all desire the liberation of France.
Then we must send a certain Ajouter into France: A proof that Paris’s Rondeau was created through a paradox.
You could say that the closed Rondeau covering France is a Signe of France itself. We are inside it while France refuses to Ajouter the outside world and continues to Signe its own year.
So someone inside must prove that the Rondeau does not work.
There are bound to be several paradoxes compared to the outside world.
If someone can clearly and definitely prove that to France while also carrying a will of liberation and if they can stop the Wort Bombe’s detonation, France will have nowhere else to flee, it will wake up, and Closed City – Paris will be liberated in the truest sense of the word.
I know what power is needed for that. I know one paradox that has entered this world.
There should be two girls with you, Monsieur Guilliaum. One bears the name of my daughter and the other is gradually becoming human. Please treat them with care. They are currently full of doubt and unsure of what direction to take. They are horribly vague in my prophecies and are only a collection of possibilities. Whether they wish for that power or not is the one thing we cannot force.
But I am certain this is our final chance.
Will they give everyone a will of liberation and will they find a paradox somewhere in this world? Will they be able to stop the Wort Bombe’s detonation? And will they be able to say that we must leave this world and that it is a lie that we are trapped here?
I will not force that upon them, but I have high hopes.
May 27, 1944
Letter Left by Mallette: To My Beloved Beretta
Before heading out to buy a late-night snack, I have to be blunt: You haven’t seen Phillip since the festival dance party, have you?
You haven’t even returned that dress, have you? He got injured pretty badly saving you and I think he should be with you. And after the dance party, he bought you a ring at the art department’s store, didn’t he? Think about just what that implies. Summer break will begin once the exams are over, so how about you make some plans with him? Bye.
Letter Left by Beretta: To My Sister-in-Law Mallette
Hey, stop just having your say like that. Especially after you were asleep when I wanted to discuss this with you.
I’m having a hard time facing Phillip, so it’s kind of a problem.
What am I supposed to do? And I was thinking of doing some things with Rosetta during summer break.
Phillip, hm? I do need to return that dress… Yeah. But you don’t need to worry about whether someone was bought a ring. I was pretty excited at the time, but when I put it on, it was way too loose. I’m afraid it’ll fall down the drain when I’m washing dishes.
Hmm, what to do, what to do?
June 1, 1944
Lady Beretta taught me another writing tool today. I’m using it right now. It is called indentation. And according to her…
“Move the first letter over a bit every time you start on a new idea.”
“You can also do it when starting a quote.”
The former makes it easier to pick up on the text’s meaning and the latter makes the text easier to read.
But I am kind of worried about this new technique.
Starting my writing by including a blank space is a difficult thing to do. When every line starts right at the edge it is easy to know where to start. And I have difficulty knowing when I am starting on a new idea.
While writing this I feel like I am talking and can go for line after line. I can think of it as similar to the part of a conversation where the other person would speak or I would take a breath.
I think this is a difficult writing technique. I now have to check the text purely as a written work because indentation does not exist in conversation.
It is difficult, but I kind of understand. Conversation has techniques not found in writing. You can gesture or use facial expressions.
I will think of this as something similar. I hope I will be able to use indentation as naturally as I do gestures in conversation.
I still find many strange things while reading the letters and picture books Lady Beretta gives me. But I am gradually solving those mysteries and I plan to start using those things.
Now I will begin on today’s journal entry.
A lot happened today as well.
I tripped on the stairs while cleaning this morning. I lost my balance while polishing the railing.
I fell down about 7 steps – I was lucky I was not higher up – and ended up lying on the floor at the bottom. When I got up my right leg and left arm were damaged.
But they were damaged in different ways. The right leg had come off at the crotch and shattered. But the left arm had not come of and simply hurt. What does that mean? Before I could answer that question I was picked up by the master who had heard the noise and rushed down the stairs.
He took me to the storeroom and started to attach a replacement leg.
When he tried to remove my clothing I refused and insisted on doing the work myself. He seemed confused by this.
“Are you embarrassed? Then I’ll leave this to you.”
Only then did I realize what I had done. When I was not in a hurry or when he carried me to the storeroom like this I had always let him replace my parts.
This would have been the same.
So why did I refuse it?
Was I embarrassed?
I did not really understand, but he turned his back and sat on a wooden box in the storeroom.
“Tell me if you need any help.”
What did this mean?
I realized I would never again receive his kindness like that.
I had likely crossed a line in the moment I had refused. I had refused to let everything remain the same from now on.
I had lost a connection to my master. So he might bring me there in the future. But he will not replace the part himself.
I found there was nothing I could say.
I searched the storeroom for a replacement right leg and asked him a question.
“What is this emotion I am feeling? Do you know, master?”
“Do you not know the word for it?”
“I think it is most like sorrow. But it does not appear on the surface. It simply permeates me from within.”
“Will you tell me what it is?”
“No I won’t. Silly girl.”
His answer to my question was simple.
“If I told you you would Signe that emotion.”
Hearing that caused me to cry. I do not know why. It was the first time I cried in front of him. It was embarrassing. While I held the spare leg and hid my tears with a hand my master walked over. He rubbed my head.
“You’re becoming more and more your own person.”
I tearfully held out the spare leg and he took it.
“This is the last time. Okay?”
Then he got to work replacing my leg. I let him take care of everything while I cried. He removed my skirt and blouse and he looked at my hurting left shoulder.
Then he noticed that I was gaining a human arm. The shoulder was no longer as hard and cold as porcelain. It was a bit springy but it had the softness and warmth of human skin. At some point the joint had turned into lines and bulges. And the joint’s black intermediary parts now looked like a band of moles.
The hurting part had become a blue bruise. That meant my arm was becoming human thanks to the Coppelia Effect. He checked my right shoulder and it was the same. When getting dressed this morning I had thought the support cloth that hides the joint was attached oddly well. I guessed that those machine parts had already changed into what they would look like if I were human. My fingernails felt like they were actually attached instead of embedded in my fingers. The joints seemed to move with almost no resistance. The Coppelia Effect had to be working inside me. The outside had changed in the short time between last night and today. The fingertips are still not complete. But I am sure they too will become human eventually.
How long has it been since I replaced my arms with ones modeled after a human’s? I am growing more human just like Lady Beretta said I would. I must have needed better arms to write and to cook for Lady Beretta and the others.
“The bulges from the joint parts and the black marks from the intermediary parts will eventually go away.”
My master said that and then began replacing my leg.
And I asked him for something.
“Please carry me out of the storeroom. Walking with a new leg is not easy.”
“That’s the first time you’ve asked to be spoiled.”
Is that what it means to be spoiled?
He carried me out into the hallway and to the bottom of the stairs I had fallen down. He did not have to carry me that far but I let him spoil me. Because I knew this would be the last time.
Then I spent time making lunch – recently the Fantasmé Renard children will come in through the back entrance and play when I am in the kitchen. After a while, I heard the parent’s cry and they left.
I realized one other strange thing today. I noticed it while making sure the second story windows were locked. There is apparently a half-room space between the study and the library.
I asked my master about it.
“Yes. There apparently used to be a torture room there where people were forced to talk. That was my grandfather’s horrific hobby so I had it filled in with cement.”
I see. The torture room was directly above the first floor study. That means I have been writing my journal below a torture room all this time. I managed to solve that mystery almost immediately.
A lot happened today. But it was fun.
Writing my journal is my job. Fun things are not a job. But I am beginning to think that the job of writing my journal may be fun.
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