City Series:Volume5a Chapter5
Chapter 5: Books
03/21/1944 - 03/25/1944
I plan to visit the library to investigate the Attesor Project
March 21, 1944
Letter from Sword Lady #8: To Beretta who Inherited my Name
Are you reading this, Beretta who inherited my name?
I can’t believe this. I’ve already used up half of the letter set and ink from US Army Development. But we can’t help how limited the quantity is. These are special products created by gathering up antique paper and ink that existed in the forties and doing some emblem processing. Without this, you wouldn’t be able to bring these into that world, so that’s just the way it is.
The former Allied soldier in charge of you “transfer students” mentioned that he wished they had created a lot more stuff back then. Because anything made outside of France before August 6, 1943 can be brought into the city without the immune system catching it. Putting together a full set of supplies from back then isn’t exactly easy here in ’98.
Just processing your own genetic structure to match the space-time Lives of that time is hard enough, but we also have to worry about your clothes and accessories. Even if Virtual City DT is skilled with Live processing, it still can’t be easy.
From what I’ve heard, they might have to start using kimonos from Japan starting next year.
I hope your clothes weren’t blown off of you when you arrived in Paris. It’s a little late now, but that can happen because only clothes form the time period can get inside.
The Live immune system that supports France is a weird thing.
First Erasers like me and anyone else who has been in there once before is kicked out, but anything that was anywhere except France at the time is allowed in the first time.
Then when the Format hits, it notices something isn’t right and never lets that in again.
That is why there are no time paradoxes inside Paris.
Those of us familiar with the First Format time period aren’t allowed in and any changes to history are reset with each Format. Thanks to that and the immune system, any changes with an external cause can only be tried once.
And the immune system grows stronger each year, so there are fewer and fewer changes inside.
France wants to take good care of itself from that time. Do you understand, Beretta?
France is gradually solidifying itself and closing itself off more completely.
I hope France is freed from that Rondeau, though.
Then again, that would send the entire world back to ’44.
So France must be allowed to fully close itself off and it will one day disappear from the world. It’s a complicated thing.
…Now, then. Since this is the 8th letter, it must be March there.
But not much of note should happen that month.
Still, are there a number of things you can’t come to terms with? When it was me, I couldn’t stand being unable to tell everyone I was an Allied special agent, so are you feeling something similar?
Well, I’m sure you have your issues, whatever they might be.
You may have made some temporary friends and maybe a boyfriend. Just like me, you’re a pretty attractive woman when you bother to behave. And just like me, you may have met someone you wish you could promise your future to.
But, stay strong, Beretta who inherited my name.
If you come across a problem you can’t solve and it has to do with history, politics, or the course of the war, I could give you an accurate answer by looking back in my memories. But your personal problems are something only you can solve.
Do you remember that important lesson I’m always telling you?
Worrying about things is not a bad thing.
What is bad is keeping those worries in your head and never acting on them. A Knight Striker moves the Barrel with the power of their will while Write Bringing, right? This is the same. Your will leads to action. France is destined to Format, but it also carries a number of possibilities and continues to move. It can still move. It has yet to fully solidify.
And one of those possibilities must be a method of freeing it from the Rondeau.
Well, that’s all I can say on that. If I waste any more ink, I’ll run out.
I am praying that you are not in too much trouble.
While I write all 13 letters in a single night.
School is off for the week as is the custom during Easter.
That’s why I am writing this entry at the city hall. I brought the introduction letter the librarian lady gave me and they let me check the documents room in the basement. But it wasn’t easy getting to this point. I mean, I’m just some kid with an American accent, so the old guy at the reception desk just kept Signing and refusing to look at the letter. It took a lot of work getting him to Point.
The basement documents room seemed larger than the library’s lower level.
Below France there is a network of underground passages between catacombs and they said the documents room was originally a part of that. Come to think of it, that weird German adventurer discovered the grave of the Mother of a Thousand Kings underground here.
Even though we have the week off for Easter, the boys taking the Heavy Barrel class are holding mock battles for anyone who wants more practice. Since I beat up the instructor before, the boys’ Heavy Barrel couldn’t do anything.
Since it’s voluntary, I don’t think I’ll join them. Just watching would be boring and Write Bringing again probably wouldn’t be the best idea. Both because of that previous mock battle and because I’m just not feeling real into it right now.
I know I shouldn’t just sit around worrying like this, but I can’t help but wonder.
What does it mean to Write Bring into a Heavy Barrel?
I couldn’t protect the others and I regret what happened, but I did fight a minor battle with the Germans that night. Some of them probably died. When I place my dead comrades and the dead enemies on the scale, how am I supposed to read the result?
A Knight Striker is supposed to protect people.
When a lot happened as a kid and I started wanting that power, I found a certain book in our study and realized that power was a lot closer to home than I thought.
That is the power to protect what matters most to you.
That’s when I grew to love Heavy Barrels in addition to Sein Fraus and I started asking my grandma about Knight Strikers and about my great-grandfather Jack McWild.
I thought I understood all this. I even helped a vigilante group at Image City – SF and defeated Live monsters with a Heavy Barrel. I was satisfied with that, but it isn’t that easy.
Can a Knight Striker really protect people?
And even if they can, can I do it?
It’s such a weird thing to worry about. It’s a lot like my thoughts about Rosetta. I kind of hope she wants to become human and this is similar.
I do want to find the answer.
In this reality which is doomed to disappear, I want to make Rosetta human and I want to find out what a Knight Striker is. One of those will be Formatted and the other won’t, but neither one will disappear as far as I am concerned. That’s how it works.
<The current time is 3:30 PM.>
It’s about time to head back. Today, I’ll read over the documents at home and check for a change of address notification or something like that. If it goes well, I might figure out where my great-grandmother moved tonight.
I’ll also select any documents related to the Attesor Project and make copies.
The old guy at the reception desk wasn’t happy about it, but I gathered all of the information I might need.
And I’ve made up my mind on one thing.
Tonight, I’m going to write a letter to M. Schrier. I decided I can’t just put it off and I have to try everything I can. So I’ll write a letter to M. Schrier tonight and try to force an answer out of France’s Lives. I’ll push things outside the pre-established harmony and wait to see what kind of response France will give me to hide it. I’ll visit the library tomorrow and give the letter to the librarian. But I’ll have to write that letter while pretending to be someone from this time period. Using my grandma would probably be best.
Heinz Berge’s Journal
At 09:30, I greeted the Panzer unit at the army’s Paris branch office. Every member of the day shift gathered at the Panzer training ground.
At 11:00, we began the drills. As an example, I sliced through three Panther tank shells fired at me from head on. With a break in the middle, I fought 28 mock battles against both the day shift and the night shift that swapped out at 19:00. None of them could last three battles in a row, but I have determined this gave them all an opportunity to obey me.
At 20:30, I returned to the barracks. My 1st Aide informed me that my 2nd Aide would also be arriving from my platoon stationed at Normandy. “Please do not push yourself too hard, Lieutenant Colonel.”
He gave me that advice, but I held back on responding as I still do not have a reference point for defining “too hard”.
At 22:00, I read the Ober Geheimnis Compilation. In the 7th volume, 30 pages were spent on the Attesor Project. Most of it felt like it was merely written by a curious third party, but I believe fragments of the truth can be found there.
The Attesor Project was meant to develop the strongest Panzer and I have found I feel hostility toward it. I joined the Panzer Ritter Project to become the strongest. Am I trying to learn about the Attesor Project to determine its strength?
I am off duty tomorrow, so I plan to visit the library to investigate the Attesor Project.
Beretta’s Letter: House Thanksure Publishing – To M. Schrier
As the early spring wind blows in, I hope you are doing well.
This is my first time writing you. I am Beretta McWild, a student living in Paris.
A few years ago, I grew interested in the Attesor Project to develop the strongest Barrel that is mentioned in Volume 7 of your Death Techno Compilation and I am currently investigating it as an exchange student in Paris. (The German army occupied France soon after I arrived four years ago and I am unable to escape, so assume this letter reached you along a special route.)
This may be presumptuous of me, but I would like to ask something of you.
If you have any documents, copies of documents, or other reference materials from the research into the Attesor Project for your Death Techno Compilation, could you possibly just give me a list of what they are? I know this is an unreasonable request for someone who must be as busy as you during this war, but please help me out if at all possible.
My father was apparently a leader of the Attesor Project and he was killed by someone in Paris five years ago.
I do not know why, but it may have been related to that project. (Although I do not see what value a plan that had been abandoned and erased from people’s memories could have.)
My father never told me or my mother anything about the Attesor Project. I would like to uncover the full picture of that project. With this letter, I will include copies of the reports I believe to be connected to the Attesor Project that I found here in Paris as well as the records my father left behind. Hopefully they will be of some use to you.
I should probably be sending a fan letter, but I am sending you this instead. Sorry about that.
If you are willing to reply, then send it to someone known as the High Priestess using the South Sea Cruise Post. Then it should reach me along a special route.
Sorry for interrupting your busy schedule.
I am praying you will remain successful in the future.
March 22, 1944
I’m in the library today.
I secretly handed the librarian the letter and package, but she chuckled when she saw who it was addressed to. M. Schrier is apparently well known for going around with his assistant and doing crazy things against the Germans. It was a good reminder that this is back when he was doing that in real time. It felt like finding myself inside a book.
(Well, you could kind of say this city is inside the book of the Format Rondeau.)
This was the first time the librarian asked me what I’ve been investigating all this time. Well, I actually Pointed and realized she’s been asking me that this entire time. We always had such a simple conversation during the checkout process that I never even thought she might be asking that.
When I said I was investigating the Attesor Project, it was the library director next to her who reacted first. That chicken-like old man smiled bitterly and mentioned a commotion in the Bourgogne region 25 years ago where a giant appeared and devoured some German troops, but then he said this:
“But if that project had succeeded, France wouldn’t be like this now.”
While looking through all the documents, I’ve realized two things: some powerful military commander definitely carried out the project in extreme secrecy (so that they would not lose any status if it failed) and the results of the experiments were only seen in the Bourgogne region.
The majority of the witnesses were in the Bourgogne region’s Herlde village in the Morvan mountains. 25 years ago, the German army apparently passed through that mountain corridor in an attempt to take the shortest route west. Because that corridor is the only way to pass through those central French mountains without taking any damage from the black dragon there. The journey takes six days through there, but more than two weeks if you go around.
But the records say the people of Herlde didn’t know there was an Attesor Project lab deep in the mountains there. Then what cover story did Jack McWild and the others use when they visited the village?
I solved that mystery today. One of the documents was a newspaper article based on independent research of the French army at the time and it contained what appears to be the answer. (I actually found this article last year, but I didn’t realize it was so important until now. I’m so pathetic.)
<The French army has announced it will begin mining rare materials in the Morvan mountains.>
There was more to the article saying that a survey team would be sent in first to perform a few geological surveys, so that team would be entering the Morvan mountains a few different times.
A deeper inspection of the military records revealed that survey team to be the Weapons Development Office’s 781st Unit, but their budget was not listed and the people on the unit were never specified. Nor did it ever mention a length of their survey or that they had ever completed it. It sounded a lot like personal troops or a ghost unit.
The timing matched perfectly with when Jack McWild and his group had been holed up in the Morvan mountains and occasionally descending to Herlde for either a break or to resupply. So I Signed that the unit was in fact the cover story they used in the Bourgogne region.
When the villagers asked them what soldiers were doing there, they would have responded that they were performing a geological survey. They had probably known what the “giant that ate the German troops” was, but they may have feigned fear and tried to build up the commotion further.
The outlines of Jack McWild’s character were coming into view. He must have loved excitement, just like a real American.
I’m understanding more and more. But even if this tells me that the Attesor Project really did exist, I still don’t know what kind of project it was. What was it for?
<The current time is 3:00 PM.>
Oh, I should probably get going. The documents I searched last night told me what room my grandma used to live in, so I think I’ll visit there. I haven’t found any change of address info yet, but I have a starting point.
Then I’ll write a letter for Rosetta. When I’ve been focused on the Attesor Project all day, I end up zoning out and growing curious how he’s doing.
But I am starting to wonder one thing.
I want her to evolve, but is that what she wants?
I might find the answer to that soon and this may be a crossroads.
Is she willing to become human, worry about so many things, and evolve in exchange for the joy of gaining emotions? It isn’t wrong to worry about things as my grandma always said, but I haven’t figured things out quite that far. So I kind of want to see for myself.
Does she or does she not truly want to become human? That must be connected to what I’m worrying about.
If she wants to become human as her Sein Frau destiny, then I think I’ll take a serious step forward too. I will face the unavoidable fact that I am a Knight Striker and I must protect people.
<The current time is 3:02 PM.>
Oh, I need to hurry out of here.
Come to think of it, the anniversary of Jack McWild’s death is coming up. I need to think of something to do for that.
Heinz Berge’s Journal
At 09:30, I was asked to make an appearance at the army’s Paris branch office and I arrived there at 10:05. The branch commander said there was a problem with yesterday’s drills. It was unclear how, so I asked. He said one of the soldiers who received the training was the son of an influential general. That had no connection to the drills themselves, so I rejected the branch commander’s suggestion. I am here on orders from the general headquarters, so I must make it clear a mere branch commander cannot influence my actions.
At 12:07, I left the branch office.
At 13:00, I checked a road map of Paris at the barracks reception desk and ran across Phillip Missel who I had conversed with the day before last. During our short conversation, I asked him where the library was located. When he asked if I was investigating something, I mentioned the Attesor Project. It was brief, but a look of surprise appeared on his face. We parted ways without asking any further questions.
At 15:07, I arrived at Paris’s central library. When I asked for the locations of the materials I wished for, I was informed most of them were currently checked out. I acquired the ones that were not and returned to the barracks at 18:10.
At 19:30, I read through the materials. My memories from World War One really are gradually returning. At the time, I had become the third generation of the Berge family to reach the rank of lieutenant and I led a platoon near the border of France and Belgium.
At the time, the French army supposedly had a project to develop the most powerful Panzer. I must find out whether that project actually existed and what results it had.
At 22:05, I finished reading the materials. Only fragments of my old memories had returned and I realized something upon confirming that none of them had any connection to the Attesor Project.
“Why are my memories returning?”
This independent research was a way to determine what exactly the Attesor Project had been, but today’s activities almost felt like I was trying to restore my memories using that investigation.
I predict that I had some kind of contact with the Attesor Project in the past.
I have no way of knowing if those memories have simply yet to return or if they have and I have not recognized them as such.
Once I complete tomorrow’s drills, I plan to visit the military document room and check for any records from the time.
Sorbonne University Student Message Board: To Students of the Practical Lourd de Marionnettes Class
On 3/26, Class 3-CG “Practical Lourd de Marionnettes” will hold a review for any who wish to attend.
Please gather at the school’s mock battleground at 3 PM if you wish to participate.
March 23, 1944
Letter Left by Phillip: To Beretta
I’m writing this before heading to the branch office this morning.
I gave you a map via Mallette before, but I seriously regret that. I know you are investigating the Attesor Project (which we laughed off as a superstition at one point), but I met a German who is seriously searching for that. You’ve probably heard his name before: Army Lieutenant Colonel Heinz Berge. He is the Lourd de Écrivain who remade his own body for using a Lourd de Marionnette in the Panzer Ritter Project.
I don’t know why he’s searching for that, but he is in the German army and he is a Lieutenant Colonel in name only. His actual authority is on the level of a general. (It had something to do with a Lieutenant Colonel being the absolute maximum rank that would allow him to appear here as a platoon leader.) You’ll be in serious trouble if he sets his sights on you. I know you’re upset with me, but don’t do anything that would draw the Germans’ attention.
At the very least, forget all about the Attesor Project until the end of the war…no, until Heinz Berge leaves Paris at the end of May. And like I said before, distance yourself from Lourd de Marionnettes. Heinz Berge is retraining the troops in Paris. Rumor has it he sliced through three tank shells fired at him from almost point blank range. So the Lourd de Marionnette battle at the school festival will involve a Lourd de Écrivain trained by him.
You beat up a military opponent during class after I told you to stop, didn’t you? After last year and that, the branch office’s Lourd de Marionnette troops are fighting over who gets to visit Sorbonne University and take part in the Lourd de Marionnette battle.
The university is holding a review for their Practical Lourd de Marionnettes class on the 26th, but don’t you dare show up to that.
Just lie low for a while. That’s all I’m asking.
Today I’m writing my journal at home during the night. I’ll start by continuing where I left off yesterday.
I found my grandma’s house. It was surprisingly close by. It’s an appartement in the residential area north of Tuileries Garden. The landlord said she remembers me (well, my grandma) and rubbed my head before showing me the room which is now vacant.
It was a two bedroom appartement with a low ceiling. The wooden walls were painted a cream color, perhaps because my grandma begged for it as a kid.
They had apparently actually been renting two rooms, but one of them has a resident now. And the one I had seen had miraculously been vacant since they had moved out. It had apparently been used as a Sein Frau maintenance storeroom. Those two rooms had contained my grandma’s entire life and everything I had inherited had been born there.
According to the landlord, my great-grandmother, Rose Francisca, had sent a few letters since moving. Assuming she had not thrown out the letters, she promised to give me the contact information.
Now, I spent all day gathering materials, hanging my blanket on the balcony to dry, and then taking it back down. When I checked the mail in the morning, I found letters from Rosetta and Phillip.
Rosetta had apparently been maintaining the garden properly and she was spending more time out in the garden. She also asked how to use … and —, so I wrote a reply to answer her.
I told her they were called an ellipsis and an em dash. And that the ellipsis had exactly three dots. I was really just passing on information I had learned at school in San Francisco, but I was able to write the letter and she would remember it. I also wrote a quick letter for that old man:
“I want to teach Rosetta how to cook, so let her out of the house.”
I wasn’t sure if that would get through to him, but I figured it was worth asking. It was about time for her to head out beyond the garden and the food of hers I had eaten before just seemed to suit my tastes really well. Mallette and the others are all terrible cooks, so I wanted to invite Rosetta to a cooking get-together with them all. I wasn’t sure if that old man would allow it, but I could always complain incessantly.
And I think I’m going to make a decision here.
If she is simply a Sein Frau who likes cooking, then I won’t try to make her evolve as a human any further. If she only wants to increase her functional ability and not as a human, then I’ll go along with that. But if that isn’t the case, then I’ll even more eagerly go along with what she wants.
Now, the problem is Phillip. It’s like he can’t stop lecturing me. What did he think telling me that would accomplish? But I’m also kind of thankful. It feels like none of his business, but it also means he wanted to warn someone as unpleasant as me.
But this is an important time. I had sent my letter to M. Schrier (well, to France really) and a lot of information was coming together. Plus, the war was at something of a standstill. The next big move would be the Normandy landing on June 6. France will get a lot busier then and I probably won’t be able to gather materials any longer. By then, I want to have found most all the materials I need and to visit the Bourgogne region. Although I can probably manage with the materials I already have.
But telling Phillip all this would probably be wasted effort. I honestly don’t know if I’ll be taking part in the Heavy Barrel battle. I was nominated, but it’s really just up to my mood. After all, that battle is like a game, but I really don’t feel like doing it at this point.
I only want to Write Bring when I have some serious thinking to do.
I’ll probably come up with a conclusive answer eventually like I will with Rosetta.
Today, I went over all the materials and created a chart of appointments and retirements of French generals during World War One. That way I can see who had remained in a position to control the Attesor Project from 1914 to 1919. I intend to examine that along with the other materials tomorrow.
Now, the anniversary of my great-grandfather Jack McWild’s death is coming up soon.
It was on the 25th that he was found below the bridge at the Place de la Concorde.
I have to make sure I don’t forget that.
Maybe it’s because I visited his home yesterday, but I feel like reading his writing. I plan to pull out his letter from the bottom of my travel bag and reread it before going to sleep.
That of course is not the letter he intended to send to Rose Francisca.
It’s a letter for a French friend that was found along with some materials explaining a few things about the Attesor Project.
He never finished writing it, but it must be the final record that my great-grandfather left behind. My grandma gave me something that precious.
I’m going to read that before going to sleep. I might cry, though.
Jack McWild’s Letter: To My Friend in a Distant Land
My friend. I haven’t had anything worth writing to you about, so I thought I had lost any chance to speak with you.
But thank you for the letter each year for the past few years. Twenty years have passed since that cursed time and ten years have passed since everything got started anew, so perhaps our crimes are vanishing.
The two of us are the only ones who remember that project.
The survivors of that great war are gradually joining the dead and Beretta who I let you meet just that once (although she slept through most of it because she had worn herself out having fun) is now 16 and assisting a vigilante group by Write Bringing into a Heavy Barrel. When I see her fighting those Live Break monsters, I am sometimes reminded of you in the old days.
Now, I think it is about time I truly made up for my crimes. I think I will make up for that failure of a project that required us to erase so many people’s memories and perhaps created great sorrow for so many people who are not even human.
I plan to meet a certain person in Paris and entirely erase the Attesor Project. I will make that project no more than a superstition.
Then I think I will visit you. And her as well.
Thank you for telling me she has taken over her parents’ clinic.
Ten years ago, I was unable to tell her about that project and I was working so hard to clean up afterwards, but she mistakenly thought it was she who had done something wrong and we broke up.
At this point, I am glad that happened. That is why I must first truly make up for the Attesor Project. I will truly wipe the slate clean and attempt to redo everything.
I will visit you eventually. And when I do, I want to forget everything and free the last trace of the Attesor Project. And I will of course need your cooperation for that.
Then I will tell my daughter and the others-
March 24, 1944
I am writing my entry in the library today. I’ve been eating lunch in the entrance a lot lately.
After eating an early lunch, I Pointed just for the hell of it and saw a German soldier walking past me.
<Even in morning, the elderly soldier is wearing a green military coat with the collar buttoned up. His limbs are prosthetic and produce quiet metallic sounds to reveal their mechanical nature.
He is heading to the reception desk with a leather bag full of materials.>
That was Heinz Berge. No doubt about it. He came here to investigate the Attesor Project.
To be honest, I’m writing this in the study room, but I’m a little worried he’s going to show up behind me and arrest me. And when I was acting all defiant in yesterday’s entry. After seeing him for myself, Phillip’s warning felt a lot more convincing. Ugh.
I didn’t Point at him for too long since I didn’t want him to get suspicious, but I think his eyes were also prosthetic and he definitely had auditory devices near his ears. I can see why he’s known as a Panzer Ritter.
I can’t believe this. I never thought he would come here.
I mean, the Attesor Project honestly doesn’t seem all that important. That Heinz guy didn’t bring any men with him, so is he only looking into it as an individual?
What am I supposed to do about this? I think I’ll write out my possibilities here:
1: Stop gathering materials and gradually put together an overall picture of the Attesor Project.
2: Gather even more materials and quickly put together the overall picture before summer.
Option 2 feels more like my style. But as Phillip said, the unexpected could happen. Option 1 would definitely be less nerve-racking.
I think I’ll consider both options while making sure I can steer in either direction once I make up my mind.
On that note, I had a small success in my compilation of historical documents today. I chose some candidates from the list of generals in the previous war I made last night and I narrowed it way down. The final answer is still only speculation, but I have to keep in mind what my great-grandfather’s letter said:
<The two of us are the only ones who remember that project.
The survivors of that great war are gradually joining the dead.>
This general would have to have maintained their high status from 1914 to 1919 but died within 20 years of the war’s end. And they needed to be powerful enough to build a lab in the mountains and have an entire unit perform research there for a 5 year period. That left only one option.
<General Auriol Severn who is descended from French nobility. (Died 1921)>
That famous general was praised for his courage by the entire French army and he continued commanding he troops until near the end of the war while hiding the fact that he was afflicted with Words Warn. People called him Your Excellency.
That’s a pretty big name, but it has to have been him. I’m not quite sure whether I should go ahead and Sign that it was him, but I’ll just have to use this as a clue for now. I’ve got to keep at it.
<The current time is 4:45 PM. The music box that indicates the library’s closing time is playing.>
It’s time I got home. Then I can mail Rosetta’s letter…no, I can just carry it to the mansion.
I will write a journal entry today as well.
A lot of unusual things happened today. I first noticed that the smell of the wind was different from normal. So I tried to look back into my old memories. I tried to remember the wind. I wanted to remember when I had first been touched by the wind.
But I could not remember.
I am incomplete. And the master once said that an incomplete machine is not a good thing.
Recently there has been a large female machine known as a Lourd de Marionnette in the underground storeroom. Its arms and legs have been removed though. The master seems to want to see it move. I go look at the machine a lot. It was not created as a Belle de Marionnette and thus does not have a will of its own.
But it is a machine just like me. However. If you asked me which one of us was the better machine I would tell you I am. For some reason I feel a sense of relief when I look at it. It does not grow and evolve and it does not have a will of its own. However. It is complete like that.
I am incomplete.
I will rewrite these thoughts as a letter to Lady Berretta.
This evening Lady Beretta arrived by bicyclette and left after giving me a letter from her big bag. There was also a letter for the master.
She used her letter to invite me out. She said she wants to teach me how to cook.
She ended her letter by saying I should go outside soon.
Me. Outside. I can view the outside from the mansion’s hill but that is only viewing it.
Lady Beretta is trying to do something different. She is trying to invite me out into that. I have of course been in the city before. Like for the night market. And when I send a letter I go to the boîte aux lettres in front of Boulogne Forest.
But I feel like this invitation is different. I do not know what to say. And I have realized something else as well. I want to go out. If I had to say why I would say because I can predict that something fun is sure to happen if I do as Lady Beretta says. There is so much more out there than in the garden.
The garden was once a place I only went to trim the grass.
Now the garden is a place that makes me feel so many different things.
Similarly the outside is currently a place that I only look at. But what will it be in the future? I do not know what will happen out there. But I want to go and find out.
The master went to the second floor so I rang the bell on the stairs to call for him.
When I appeared on the landing I looked up and told him I wanted to go outside with Lady Beretta.
For some reason his expression briefly changed. It was something other than a smile.
But he immediately gave me permission. Then he told me to come up to the second floor.
The second floor. I had never been there in my entire life. I thought my hearing was malfunctioning and asked him to repeat himself. But he had indeed told me to come up to the second floor.
I climbed the stairs for the very first time. I knew it was a series of small steps but it felt like having a wall in front of me once I actually set foot on it.
There are three steps down from the kitchen’s back exit. But the stairs up to the mansion’s second floor are three times my height. I climbed one step at a time. The stairs are small and I could not move my feet back or forth on them. Once I had set my foot down, I had to step with the other foot without moving the first one.
I stumbled twice.
Once I had climbed them all the master praised me.
And he told me I would be working up there as well starting tomorrow.
I did not know what he meant by that but he is apparently having me clean the second floor hallway and some of the rooms. He has apparently been spending the last few days tidying up the second floor.
We walked down the second floor hallway and the master showed me the rooms I am to clean.
The study. The library. The antiques room. The storeroom. And the hall. They are all larger than the rooms on the first floor. They were also quiet dusty. Only the library was clean and I think that is because the master uses it a lot.
I will be cleaning those rooms starting tomorrow. The master made sure to watch from the landing until I had made it all the way down the stairs. I made sure to hold onto the railing next to the stairs on the way down. That is because it felt like my feet were descending before my body on the way down.
A lot happened today.
I have so much to write about and I am quickly using up the pages of my journal.
There is so much more to look forward to now. I am now going to wait for Lady Beretta. She first visited the mansion during the night so that could always happen again.
I am waiting. This is not part of my job. It is not my job and yet I am waiting.
Heinz Berge’s Journal
At 03:22, I awoke earlier than planned. I believe I was woken by a shocking dream.
Ever since my Psyche Outer surgery, I have experienced no dreams. I cannot say whether this is a mistake in the surgery or if I had simply been forgetting them until now. I do not remember what this dream was about either.
The only thing that remains in my memory is a scream. I cannot determine what kind of scream or whose scream it is.
I cannot predict why I had a dream related to a scream. From there, I waited until dawn.
At 08:35, a contact officer from the army visited. The Kavalier damage from the training the day before yesterday was not fully repaired, so I agreed to begin the drills at 13:30.
At 10:45, I visited the city’s central library. When I performed a Verbesserung on the way in, my left precise vision prosthetic eye detected the receptionist librarian receiving a hidden package along with a guest’s books.
I left through the back entrance and tailed the guest.
At 11:18, I ordered the SS troops patrolling the city to tail the aforementioned guest. I then walked to the army intelligence division and ordered them to inspect the librarian’s home. When they asked if I had any circumstantial evidence, I retrieved the data from my prosthetic eye in their 2nd science room.
At 12:10, I left the army intelligence division.
At 13:25, I began drills with the Panzer troops. I trained them all until they could pass 5 seconds in overdrive.
At 19:50, I returned to the barracks. A letter had been left for me saying the librarian and guest’s homes had been located and a warrant would be put out for their arrest within the day. There is a good possibility that librarian was a contact point for the Resistance.
At 20:21, I went to the army intelligence division and requested to view my own records from World War One and the combat records of the Army 111th Infantry Division 1st Grösse Panzer Platoon that I led. I was told I could search for documents and that I would receive a response in a week to a month after making a request.
At 21:08, I returned to the barracks. I read through the material on the Attesor Project. I suddenly recalled my dream from this morning and thought about it. I guessed that the scream I heard in my dream was related to this project in some way. If so, the awakening of my memories would be the key to solving the Attesor Project.
But one thing still eludes me: why am I pursuing the Attesor Project?
To confirm I am the strongest? Or to search for my past?
Memories related to combat in World War One are gradually resurfacing. I can clearly recall some battles such as the Seventh Fort or the Arstrasse. But I have yet to recover any of the memories of a visit to the Bourgogne region that I believe to be related to the Attesor Project. Is that because I did not visit that region at the time, or is something suppressing the recovery of those memories?
I concluded I could answer that question when I later received my combat records.
March 25, 1944
Heinz Berge’s Journal: Entry 1
At 03:21, I awoke earlier than planned. I had that dream again.
A scream, flowers, the rainy streets of Berlin. Those memories remain independent of each other. Of course, these fragmentary memories are not deemed combat related and will eventually be erased by the prosthetic parts controlling my memories.
But I am not sure why I am recording that here. I should have no emotions, so why am I leaving a written record of these unnecessary fragments of memories?
Am I subconsciously predicting them to be a key to finding the Attesor Project?
Or have I realized that these memories are important to me?
What am I doing?
I only know the general concept of the Attesor Project and that it was carried out in the Bourgogne region. But I am gaining evidence of its existence from a few different sources.
I am attempting to be the strongest, so why am I looking into the French army’s past? Is it part of that same goal, or am I seeking my lost memories? If I am to continue pursuing the Attesor Project, I must head to Bourgogne. And to do that, I must end this war.
I can predict I am recording this so I will know that.
It is currently 04:01. I will now go back to sleep.
Today, I’m writing this on a bench at a corner of the Arc de Triomphe plaza. I don’t really feel like heading home.
If I had to sum up today, I would say it was the day I learned of my naiveté.
First of all, the librarian is gone. I entered the library while Signing, greeted the librarian at the reception desk like always, and started to return the research materials I had borrowed. But then…
<The library director is standing at the reception desk with a surprised look on his face.
“She won’t be returning here.”
Sure enough, the usual librarian is nowhere to be seen.>
That’s the scary thing about this city. I just Signed my assumptions and thought she was there. And when those assumptions didn’t match reality, a Point threw that reality in my face.
According to the director, the Germans arrived that morning and stole every last one of her possessions and documents from the library. That meant she really had been part of the Resistance.
I stayed in the library for a bit after that, but I couldn’t relax and decided to leave. I had given her a letter to send. What would happen if the Germans got their hands on that?
And what was it that led to her arrest? Was it Heinz Berge from yesterday?
My delivery may have ended up with the Germans and I’ll find a soldier in front of my room when I go home. No, it might not be today. It could be tomorrow too. I was questioned as a female Knight Striker before, but Mallette and the others saved me by faking an alibi for me. But there would be no escape this time. I mean, they would have actual evidence that I had a connection to the Resistance.
I can’t believe this. Since I’m an outsider in this world, I’ll just disappear if I die.
Anyone with even the slightest connection to the Resistance is “welcomed” as a prisoner of war at one of the concentration camps in Germany. And they never come back.
What am I supposed to do now? Because I had been Signing as I walked to think about all this, I had apparently ended up with a discrepancy from “reality”. When I Pointed to prove how calm I was, I found the shoulder of my shawl was a little torn. It may have caught on something while I walked.
So what do I do now? It wasn’t like me to be too afraid to even approach my appartement. But today I was reminded what it meant to be “like me”.
I really am a coward and ignorant of the world.
My mind had been on the Germans all day. Even when I threw a bouquet of flowers into the river for Jack McWild and when I met with Rosetta to tell her I would be picking her up tomorrow.
Phillip was right. Maybe I should lie low for a while.
Before, I Write Bringed into a Heavy Barrel and five people died. And today something had happened to someone else. Today couldn’t have been entirely my fault, but it’s still true the people around me are disappearing.
Why can’t I protect the people around me? Aren’t I supposed to be a Knight Striker?
<The Arc de Triomphe plaza clock says it is 8:32 PM.>
Oh, no. The Germans begin their night patrols at 9. I’ll be questioned if I’m still out then.
I need to get home, but I’m afraid to.
Why does Phillip have to be with the Germans at a time like this? I could have gone and asked to say in his stable.
But, well, I might not be arrested. If I keep Signing, I’ll just depress myself further. I need to make sure to Point on my way back.
I might not be able to sleep tonight. I should probably use this as a chance to write some letters. Those could act as my will. And if I survive to tomorrow, I can pick up Rosetta, have a cooking get-together with everyone, and just have a good time. Once that’s over, I’ll have one less regret even if I am arrested.
It’s time to get home. Going there and getting arrested would feel a little better than staying out and being arrested after a random questioning.
1: The High Priestess was Arrested
A young woman known as the High Priestess worked at the library and acted as our contact with those outside the country, but she was raided and died last night. Late at night, the SS visited her appartement, so she told them to wait until she was presentable, returned to her room, and slit her own throat with a knife.
Only the letters and packages for the 24th were found in her room and the arrest of the senders has begun. The deliveries for the 23rd have yet to be found, but it is unknown if that is simply because they have not been found or because they were already sent out on the Resistance’s delivery route. That is under investigation.
Old “Blue-Eyes” has said to use another High Priestess as a contact point. Personally, I do not understand why the young ones tend to choose death like that.
2: Paris Liberation Planning Meeting
Old “Blue-Eyes” and I discussed what plans could realistically be carried out. We primarily want a definite method of reaching liberation using only the Resistance inside Paris. This was only our first meeting, but we came up with quite a few plans. Of the 1500 Resistance members in Paris, only about 300 are capable of serious combat. And while there are a variety of usable weapons, the primary weapons at our disposal are cars and Appareils. We are putting together plans that use those.
Old “Blue-Eyes” is the most excited about it and he even said other cities could follow our example and liberate themselves if we did liberate Paris with only the Resistance here. That would indeed be ideal.
3: Anniversary of Jack McWild’s Death.
In the afternoon I brought a bottle of wine to the Place de la Concorde bridge where his body was found floating. I met Old “Blue-Eyes” there. He does not know that Jack McWild and I shared that abominable Attesor Project together. While discussing old times, I made an Ajouter near the bridge and saw that girl there.
She threw a bouquet into the river and left. She did not Ajouter at all. She was entirely inwardly focused.
Old “Blue-Eyes” tried to call out and ask who the flowers were for, but I stopped him. We poured the wine into the river and then went our own ways. Once I returned home, Rosetta was in a good mood, the girl was there, and she left after hearing Rosetta’s answer.
That sums up today.
Heinz Berge’s Journal: Entry 2
I was off duty today.
At 10:02, I was visited by an SS contact officer. He informed me that the librarian from yesterday was arrested, that the Resistance had used her to communicate with those outside the country, that most of the deliveries had already been sent out two days ago, and that we would have had much better results had she been arrested two days earlier. He then thanked me and left.
At 12:32, I searched the materials at the central library. I passed by a woman at the entrance. Her shoulder bumped into me, her sleeve tore, and her coat’s shoulder belt snapped, but she continued walking without noticing. I recalled the meaning of Lernen and Verbesserung.
At 16:28, I left. I visited the army intelligence division and searched through the past records. I tried to view my combat records from the previous world war, but the search assistant said most of the records from that time had been destroyed due to the Treaty of Versailles and the surviving ones would require approval from the archive back at headquarters. I had the search assistant send a request to the headquarters archive. When the form asked for the purpose of my request, I said it was for my personal investigation of the French Army’s project to develop the strongest Kavalier.
At 18:33, I returned to the barracks and read through the day’s materials.
In the process, I recalled the names of all the French generals back then. Our army unit would have been fighting battles to strike back against that brave Auriol Severn.
It is still unclear what exactly the Attesor Project was, but I am gathering more evidence that it did exist.
I began remaking my whole body for the Panzer Ritter Project after the Treaty of Versailles. The closer my body became to being a machine, the more efficiently I could Schreiben with a Grösse Panzer and the higher my reaction speed, the greatest weakness of a Kavalier, grew. That should be obvious because it becomes a machine rather than a person combining with the Kavalier. When a normal person Schreibens, the Kavalier attempts to match their human parts and they cannot draw out the Kavalier’s full ability.
I am attempting to be the strongest, so why am I looking into the French army’s past? Is it part of that same goal, or am I seeking my lost memories? As the Psyche Outer surgery took away both my emotions and my memories, I have no emotions to feel about this.
At 22:35, I finished reading the research materials. As I tidied up my things, I discovered a photograph. I felt like I had seen it before, but I could not find any memory of it. It was a photograph of a woman and a girl smiling in front of some flowers. I could not remember who they are or the name of the flowers behind them.
I also read back over the first entry from this morning, but I could make no sense of it.
Looking at the previous records showed that I had dreamed of a scream yesterday too. The rest is unclear. But based on the text, “flowers” and “the rainy streets of Berlin” had also been important.
<What am I doing?>
That question was unnecessary for combat. I can predict these thoughts come from a failing of the surgery, but I have none of those excess thoughts now. The Psyche Outer surgery was meant to improve my combat ability.
I have no past as a human or any hesitation. I have no surprise or doubts about that, so I will simply Lernen the things in the back of my mind and go to sleep.
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