Toaru Majutsu no Index:NT Volume5 Chapter3
Chapter 3: The Gate Opens. Impregnable.
At a time of day closer to night than evening, Misaka Mikoto found her way to a certain coed high school in District 7.
“So this is that idiot’s high school…”
The Ichihanaransai functioned as an open campus for those wanting to check out a certain school, but a local rule of the students said that the true essence of a school was better seen during the preparatory period while all the work was being done than on the day of the festival when everything was decorated and prettied up. There was no official system inviting in students from other schools, but there was an implicit understanding that some would secretly come for a look.
However, there was also a danger of festival spies pretending to be taking a look at the school, so the more prestigious schools had very strict security.
Even so, some dirty members of newspaper clubs would let their journalistic spirit lead them to testing out the level of security at various schools. All in all, there were a lot of different issues surrounding the situation.
(Huh? No one is trying to stop me…)
Misaka Mikoto looked very suspicious as she glanced cautiously around her surroundings near the school gate, but no one looked her way despite several students carrying wood or tools to make stands rushing about.
If she had been within the School Garden, guards would have been chasing after her just for hanging around the fence with a camera hanging from her neck.
She cautiously walked through the open gate and onto the school grounds.
The facility as a whole was on a much lower level than the School Garden or Tokiwadai Middle School, but a high school still seemed like a completely new world for a middle school girl like her.
She felt her legs trembling slightly as she glanced around some more.
Students preparing for the Ichihanaransai were darting about holding tools of the type used for do-it-yourself carpentry. But they were all wearing the same uniform. Mikoto saw no sign of any other students sneaking a peek like her.
(H-hmm… If only there were a lot of other students from other schools. Then I could mix in among them.)
Right after she had that thought…
“Huh? What are you doing here?”
A soprano voice suddenly came from behind her.
Mikoto turned around in surprise and saw a girl with a height of about 135 cm standing there. Mikoto assumed she must be from some other school as well, but for some reason she had a teacher’s attendance book held under one arm.
The girl looked carefully up and down Mikoto’s outfit.
“Hm? That’s a Tokiwadai Middle School uniform, isn’t it!? Does that mean you are an unofficial visitor!? You can’t do that. You’ll get a scolding from Anti-Skill!!”
“Sigh… Thank goodness.”
“You’re a visitor too, right? I can’t believe how out of place I feel here all alone, but I couldn’t exactly bring Kuroko or someone with me.”
“W-wait a second!! I am not a visitor! I am a teacher!!”
“But…you must be in elementary school. Isn’t it a bit soon to be visiting a high school?”
“Are you making fun of me but with perfectly good intentions!?”
Mikoto then visited various areas of the school along with that girl (?) she had met. The school lacked the feeling of strict rules and order that Tokiwadai had, but that lax feeling was quite refreshing for someone who attended a rich girl school like Mikoto.
“It feels like the students have a lot more autonomy than at Tokiwadai. …But how do they keep the school in order with such poor teachers and school rules?”
“Th-the teachers are not poor!! I do an excellent job!!”
“(…But where did that idiot get off to? I wonder where his classroom is.)”
“??? What was that you just muttered?”
“N-nothing!! Don’t worry about it, little girl.”
Mikoto frantically waved one hand to deny she had ever said it.
A female student with long black hair and a bust plentiful enough to wrap Mikoto in killer intent burst out of the school. She was speaking with someone over her cell phone.
“Dammit!! He ran off even after I told him he had to stay over tonight!? Himegami-san, do you know where that bastard Kamijou Touma went!?”
Mikoto twitched slightly when she suddenly heard that name.
But the situation went well beyond what she could have predicted.
The large-breasted girl speaking with someone over the phone said, “Eh? …He’s been arrested by Anti-Skill!?”
And so he was caught red-handed and arrested.
Kamijou Touma had his handcuffs removed upon reaching the Anti-Skill station and was left to shout from a folding chair.
“Ehhh!? W-well, yes. I might have gotten into a fight in that fast food restaurant, but I can’t afford to be doing this right now!!”
“What do you mean ‘doing this’? Now fortunately for you, the witnesses have all told us you were primarily the victim here. Even so, just because everyone is preparing for the Ichihanaransai does not mean your duty as a student changes. You cannot act without restraint like that.”
Kamijou had been thrown into an interrogation room where the window was covered with bars and one wall was covered by a one-way mirror. A middle-aged Anti-Skill man was currently giving him a lengthy scolding. Thor had made a dashing exit before the authorities arrived, leaving the remaining festivities for Kamijou to deal with.
Ultimately, Kamijou exhibited some excellent acting with the line “Uuh…!? I have a blight in my wounds…!!” and managed to escape the Anti-Skill station (while taking on the risk of being charged with perjury). More time must have passed than he thought because the night had grown quite dark.
Due to the Ichihanaransai preparations there were a lot of students out despite the standard curfew having passed.
(The danger from Index is probably at its max for leaving her in the dorm for so long, and the danger from Fukiyose is probably also at its max for skipping out on the preparations.)
But Gremlin and Ollerus’s group were on the verge of getting into a dispute over whether the windowless building that was the heart of Academy City would be destroyed or not. Whichever side Fräulein Kreutune ended up with, Kamijou doubted it would be good news for her. He did not like having to do so, but he had to give that priority.
And so what he had to do was…
“Oh, so you came here after all,” said Thor when he spotted Kamijou at the location he had specified on the napkin.
They were in District 7.
They were in an area filled with abandoned buildings that seemed to be buried by the rest of the cityscape.
Kamijou bluntly said, “I’m going to betray you when I see fit.”
“That’s fine,” said Thor so cheerfully it sounded like he was about to start whistling.
Kamijou looked around and frowned.
“What are those things you have there?”
Some tools of the sort used in do-it-yourself work were lying around the area.
Thor simply replied, “I gathered the things we need to invade the impregnable windowless building. Everyone around here seems to be preparing for some kind of festival, so it wasn’t hard to swipe these.”
Kamijou decided it would be pointless to try to explain the standard rules of society to him, so he just sighed and asked Thor a question.
“We’re up against a building that is supposed to be able to withstand a nuclear blast. It has no entrances or exits. How are we supposed to get in and contact Fräulein Kreutune?”
“There is something else we need to do before I can give you the detailed explanation. Listen up because I’m only going to say this once.”
Academy City’s #4 Level 5. Her power was known as Meltdowner. Electrons always appeared as either a particle or a wave, but her power let her emit them while they were fixed in a pure state that could not distort into either form. That attack known as the Particle-Function Waveform High Speed Cannon held enough destructive power to slice apart an Aegis ship.
Had she acquired such a power because her personality had been brutal from the beginning or had she gained a brutal personality from acquiring such a power? There may have been no one who could answer to that chicken-and-the-egg question, but there was no mistaking the fact that Mugino Shizuri currently had a personality that befitted the #4 Level 5.
To put it bluntly, she was a girl who knew nothing of housework such as cooking and cleaning.
“Hm? …The hell is this? When did I order this? I’ve ordered so many cakes and biscuits lately I’ve lost track.”
Mugino frowned at a cardboard box she found inside the apartment she shared with a boy and a few other girls.
Inside, she found a clear bag filled with a powder that looked like flour, cooking tools such as a silicon spatula, silver-colored molds to be used in the oven, and a manual the size of a notebook.
She peered inside the box while using her left hand to spin around a silver spoon apparently used to measure ingredients.
If the room had been as silent as a music hall, a mosquito-like mechanical buzz could have been heard whenever her fingers moved.
A fight to the death. That phrase may have seemed to have little to do with a Japanese schoolgirl, but Mugino Shizuri had experienced fights like that a few times in the past. In the process, she had lost one eye and one arm. Her face may have looked graceful, but the burns from that time had been restored with special makeup and she had a fake eye. Also, her left arm from the shoulder on had been replaced with a functional fake arm.
The problem this created was the periodic maintenance to correct any errors.
The constant use of the mechanical parts inevitably led to a slight deviation between her actual body and the machine. To correct this, Mugino had to carry out moderate exercises to test out the fine movements of her fingers.
What she used for this was mail order kits for homemade desserts.
She could have written or used chopsticks instead, but cooking was best as it let her use many different movement patterns in a short period.
“Well, it doesn’t really matter. I just need to fulfill my quota.”
Mugino picked up the box she did not recall ordering and brought it to the kitchen. While trying to use her left hand as much as possible, she flipped through the notebook-sized manual. She was completely unaware that this rehabilitation had been another factor alongside the hot chocolate in causing the crisis of Fremea Seivelun’s back teeth.
“…What? What? Prepare saline water with a concentration of 0.9%. Boil the included implements to sterilize them…”
Compared to the other kits she had ordered, this one seemed to have a large number of warnings about keeping things sanitary. But Mugino did not care so long as it let her check on her fake arm. She followed the instructions in the manual by pouring the white powder in the clear bag into a bowl, mixed them together, and whipped the mixture. She poured the resultant substance into the silver mold, put a lid on top, and stuck it into the oven.
“15 minutes at 400 degrees. I can work on a different item during that time.”
She pulled out two containers that were just a bit smaller than ping-pong balls, poured a clear gelatin-like substance inside, and placed them in the refrigerator. She poured a sticky liquid that looked like a mixture of yellow and white into the juicer.
Her arm seemed to be functioning well.
When the oven timer went off, Mugino opened the door and pulled out the metal sheet and what lay on top of it. She used a wet towel to grab the silver mold and opened it from the side like she was opening a long, narrow fountain pen case.
Mugino then frowned.
A normal girl might have screamed and dropped what she was holding.
“…What is this? A human bone?”
While lightly waving around a part that very much looked like a human thigh bone, Mugino gave voice to its identity.
A page flipped over in the manual she had left open.
The new page it was opened to said the following:
“Carry the finished parts to the bath. Sterilize the bathtub and fill it with 0.9% concentration of saline water. Arrange all the parts according to the provided diagram of human anatomy, and wait 45 minutes for the parts to fully attach.”
The sticky, cream-colored liquid being mixed in the juicer was fat, the spherical containers just a bit smaller than ping-pong balls cooling in the refrigerator were eyeballs, the object steaming in the pressure cooker was the liver, the object she had used paper towels to suck the moisture out of was the stomach, and the raw pasta-like objects were blood vessels and nerves. Similarly, the remaining “cooking ingredients” were also human body parts.
With a splashing noise, a naked girl rose up from the bottom of the bathtub.
She expressionlessly stared at her own hands and looked a bit puzzled.
She then spoke in French.
“This is smaller than I had expected. You didn’t properly use the quantities listed.”
Mugino was leaning against the wall of the changing room with her arms crossed. She understood French, but she spoke to the girl in Japanese nonetheless.
“Who are you?”
The girl with fluffy blonde hair and white skin caught the bath towel Mugino threw at her, wiped the 0.9% concentration of saline water from her body, wrapped it around herself, and left the bathroom.
“Thanks to being turned into a human table by Marian Slingeneyer and returned to human by a man named Ollerus, I am now able to reconstruct myself.”
Mugino initially assumed the girl had misspoken due to speaking in Japanese, but it seemed that was not so.
“The main force of Gremlin has grown more active. They seem to be planning something in Academy City. I decided the most efficient way to do some damage to Gremlin as thanks for betraying me was to contact the group that opposed them in Hawaii.”
The bath towel girl who had named herself Cendrillon grabbed the cardboard box that had looked like a mail order cooking kit. The box was divided into a few different layers and she took apart the different layers like it was a sandwich or hamburger.
Inside, she found a large but thin piece of paper.
It looked like the type of pattern used when making clothes.
Starting to get a bit annoyed, Mugino asked, “Is that a design for a dress?”
“Can I ask you for one more favor?” asked Cendrillon without turning around. “First cooking, now sewing. Both are excellent training for being a wife.”
Fully pissed now, Mugino Shizuri blew away one corner of the apartment without warning.
The bath towel girl jumped down from the balcony with the pattern paper in hand.
Kamijou headed for the center of District 7.
The windowless building was not open to the general public and it was constantly protected by strict security. However, it was not in the middle of some large empty space. It was still in the middle of the city. Buildings such as shopping malls and hotels were built around it.
Based on the instructions Thor gave him, Kamijou was headed for a parking garage located near the windowless building.
“If Anti-Skill or someone even more annoying spots us and we end up on the run, we can’t get this done. We need to split up and meet up at the rendezvous point,” had been Thor’s instructions.
But Kamijou knew none of the details of Thor’s plan. If Thor ended up getting caught, Kamijou would have no idea what to do.
“If that happens, I will find a way to contact you. Then you can do it on your own.”
Kamijou just wished the boy would just tell him what to do from the beginning.
Kamijou lived in District 7, but he was not familiar with the area around the windowless building. Plenty of stores were located there, but he had no real reason to head that far away from his dorm to purchase what he needed to live his everyday life. He could buy the exact same things at more local stores.
“I’m not sure whether to call this area tidy or dreary,” muttered Kamijou as he looked around.
The area was lined with stores filled with items for an everyday life or for entertainment, and nothing looked out of the ordinary at first glance. However, the color of the signs and lights were all uniform. To put it simply, the area was arranged so as not to tire one’s eyes.
That sounded simple enough on its own, but it was up to each individual owner what to do with their private property. That much uniformity over such a large area was rare. Some administrative power would be needed that had enough influence to overpower personal tastes.
In this case, it was obvious what that administrative power was.
The chairman of Academy City’s board of directors.
It was possible that visible arrangement of lights was just the tip of the iceberg and the locations and heights of buildings were controlled in a fashion that fully controlled the flow of people through the area. And it would all be done in a way that was not obvious at first glance.
“Parking garage… Parking garage…”
Kamijou would have been able to easily locate it using the GPS map on his phone, but given what he was about to do, he did not feel particularly inclined to needlessly use a service that could allow a third party to determine his location.
And so Kamijou moved around on foot while glancing around at the signs inconspicuously enough so as not to draw too much attention.
Suddenly, he heard a voice from behind him.
“You bastard!! So this is where you are!!”
It was a female voice.
When Kamijou turned around with a puzzled look on his face, he found a girl with short brown hair wearing the uniform of the prestigious Tokiwadai Middle School.
She was Misaka Mikoto.
Or more accurately, someone who looked like her.
When she saw his face, she stomped closer to him.
“Why aren’t you at your school to help prepare for the Ichihanaransai? And I hear you were arrested by Anti-Skill. What did you do!? Also, how in the world did you get back to Academy City from Hawaii!?”
And then shook his head.
“Thor, I’m sick of your jokes.”
“Stop it! Is this really any time to be doing this? Not to mention that you’re the one that said we should stay split up until we reach the rendezvous point!!”
“Wait, I want an explanation for all that other stuff, but what are you talking about?”
The girl seemed utterly bewildered, but Kamijou paid her no heed.
He casually reached out his right hand and touched her upper body with his palm as if he was giving her a shove.
More accurately, he touched the center of the girl’s chest.
“Yes, yes, I’ll destroy that illusion. IDTI, IDTI.”
“Don’t make some nonsensical abbreviation! And where do you think you’re touching me!?”
“C’mon, it’s not like I want to touch something like this!!”
“Something like this…!!!???”
“Don’t go to the pointless effort of making it feel so real. How do you do that anyway?”
“Th-th-these are not pads!!”
Mikoto was left trembling on the spot with an expression distorted by various emotions and her entire body turned beet red.
Kamijou ignored her and started to leave.
“I guess having the spare time to play around is a good thing, but make sure you get to the rendezvous point, Thor. I can’t do anything without you there.”
As he had arrived first, Thor waved one hand when he spotted Kamijou Touma arriving at the parking garage.
“Hey, you’re late. Were you worried about being followed?”
“No, it was because I had to deal with that joke of yours. In fact, how did you get here ahead of me?”
Thor looked puzzled, but Kamijou did not notice.
Kamijou Touma held a pair of binoculars in one hand.
The windowless building stood at the center of District 7. That giant building was visible from the parking garage.
After Thor had confirmed Kamijou had arrived, he went off somewhere leaving Kamijou alone once more. It seemed he needed to prepare something.
Despite being the castle for the chairman of Academy City’s board of directors, the windowless building towered up within the cityscape. Buildings such as hotels and shopping malls were lined up around it. Kamijou was on the 5th floor of a parking garage, leaning over a guardrail meant to prevent cars from falling off the edge.
A small refrigerated truck passed by behind him, heading down the slope.
Thor’s earlier words came back to him.
“As its name suggests, the windowless building has no windows or any other kind of entrance or exit. It is completely closed up. No liquid or gas can get in or out, much less a human. X-rays and microwaves cannot get in either. It’s almost like a galactic warship sticking up vertically from the ground.”
So what were they going to do?
The answer was simple.
“So if we are going to rescue Fräulein Kreutune from that building, our only option is to blow a hole in the wall. That is the premise we must work from.”
Another small refrigerated truck passed by behind Kamijou. And it did not end there. Truck after truck headed down the slope.
“Everything we are going to do from here on out is working towards that end. Everything is a necessary expense for destroying the armor of that impregnable windowless building. Do not forget that.”
While peering through the binoculars, Kamijou used his other hand to pull out his cell phone.
He was watching the first refrigerated truck that had reached the ground.
He dialed the number he had been given to call Thor.
“The first truck has reached its position.”
“Of course it has. I’m using a camera and controller to operate them. That isn’t what I asked you to do. How are things around it?”
“There’s no one around the windowless building. Just as you predicted.”
“Good. …Just to be sure, keep watching until everything is ready. The cameras in the driver’s seats can only turn so far. I need someone watching from above.”
“By the way, what is loaded in those things?”
“You’ll see soon enough. And don’t let your guard down. All of the trucks will be in place in another 10 minutes.”
Kamijou looked around with the binoculars and saw identical refrigerated trucks taking up position near the windowless building.
He saw no sign of the people Thor was worried about.
Not only were there no normal people walking around the area, but there were no dedicated Anti-Skill guards.
“This place is surprisingly defenseless.”
“That’s because of how strong the armor is. Plus, it has no entrances or exits. Even if there were guards, they would have no idea what areas to protect,” replied Thor casually. “And more importantly, posting guards adds the danger of having those guards betray you or allowing someone to disguise themselves as one.”
“It’s not like we could do it, but couldn’t someone try to destroy the ground around the building to make it collapse?”
“There is no official diagram of the building, but the foundation of the windowless building is 15 meters below the surface and it spreads out for quite some distance. The foundation covers something like 3 kilometers in every direction. There are also several thick pillars that head deep underground, so there’s no way that building is falling over. At the very least, burying a nuclear landmine wouldn’t be enough.”
By that point, five or six small refrigerated trucks were parked near the windowless building.
“Everything’s in place. How are things?”
“No change. I can’t see anyone.”
“Understood. Then let’s get this started.”
“Get what started?”
He received no reply.
Instead, Thor took action.
Suddenly, all of the refrigerated trucks positioned outside the windowless building exploded.
Even at his distance, the shock was enough to knock Kamijou to the ground. The binoculars and cell phone fell from his hands and slid across the parking garage floor. As he saw black smoke rising up from the surface, Kamijou backed up in a sitting position, and grabbed his phone.
“What the hell did you do!?”
“Can’t you tell? I blew them up. I didn’t want to do something that would leave a bad taste in my mouth, so I wanted to avoid getting any normal people caught up in the blast.”
“Like hell you did.” Kamijou grabbed the binoculars, stood up on wobbly legs, and looked around the surface. “What possible good could that have done!? You’re the one that told me the windowless building can withstand a nuclear blast! The only damage you did was to the buildings and shops around it. An explosion like that is enough to shatter the windows and injure the people inside!!”
“Oh, shit. I didn’t think of that. I wonder if anyone was hurt.”
Thor had been using the cameras inside the refrigerated trucks to gather information on the area while remote controlling the trucks. The explosion had destroyed those cameras, so he could no longer see what was going on.
That was why Kamijou gave into his anger and made an announcement.
“It went just like I thought it would. I don’t know what you had in those trucks, but it wasn’t enough to destroy the armor of that building that can withstand a nuclear blast. Your plan failed!!”
“That armor is known as the Calculate Fortress. …Fortunately, this went exactly as I expected it to. The first stage of the plan is complete.”
“Don’t worry about it and come back here. The plan to rescue Fräulein Kreutune is going just fine. Oh, and I sent a map to your phone. Follow the route on there on your way back. Otherwise, you’ll be followed. If that happens, I won’t meet back up with you. Understand?”
A magic spell has been cast.
Kumokawa Seria was revived!
“Oh, what’s this, what’s this? Has the shut-in been drawn out by the festive mood?” said a girl walking along a footpath at night.
That comment was made by Kumokawa Maria, a girl wearing a crazy maid uniform colored yellow and black like a bee or a railway crossing. She must have been preparing for the Ichihanaransai like all the other students because she was carrying a cardboard box filled with perishable food.
She happened to be Seria’s younger sister.
The older sister wore an unfashionable school uniform and she scratched at her black hair in annoyance while showing no real change in mood due to her sister’s comment.
“No, I’m not completely back yet. It’s just that everyone else won’t shut up about it being my turn.”
“Are you talking about the beauty contests being held at various schools for the Ichihanaransai? Are you being left in charge of wearing the most shocking swimsuit? You damn G! Have you grown even more!?”
“I’m not entering any beauty contests. Yawn… My role is always behind the scenes, so I don’t like standing out too much. And what’s the point in entering anyway? That annoying #5 will just use her powers to manipulate the votes.”
“Are you trying to say you don’t already stand out a lot? Then how much more of an aura do you have left in reserve?”
Unable to keep up with the excitement of Maria, Seria rubbed her eyes sleepily.
“I think that’s just a difference in chest size.”
“Don’t look down on me while acting so tired! You damn G! People who have too much in that regard get so arrogant just like how winning the lottery changes people…”
“Yeah, but there would have to be something severely wrong with a world that let flat-chested girls look down on well-endowed girls.”
“Here’s a little piece of trivia for you. In the day of the Greeks they had no bras, so having a flat chest was a status symbol. Large breasts would sag and no one wants to see that.”
“Yes, but that no longer applies in this day and age. And you act like having a flat chest was a virtue, but works like the Venus de Milo make it pretty obvious they thought you needed a bare minimum size even back then. All in all, isn’t it nice to have a size that allows you to complain about how limited your options for a swimsuit are?”
“I’ve complained about that before. …But for the opposite reason.”
“Oh, is that so?”
There was a note of melancholy in Kumokawa Seria’s tone because she really did not want to look at the mailbox on her beloved handheld device. It was likely filled with annoying issues regarding Academy City.
In fact, the light indicating an incoming email was continually flashing even then. The city must have been in some kind of dangerous situation yet again.
(Well, I never once made an official announcement that I was working again, so I can ignore it.)
Her normal “work” was to act as the brain of an old man on the board of directors. She would come up with ideas and suggest solutions for those difficult problems. However, she did not particularly enjoy the work. Or at the very least, she did not enjoy getting an extra-large serving on the house without ordering it.
As such, she used all her might to avert her gaze from those real problems.
“Little sister, about that Kihara Kagun you love so much that he gives you nosebleeds…”
“I-I do not get nosebleeds. I know how to control myself!!”
“Anyway, what would you think if that Kihara Kagun announced he was a flat chest lover and refused to accept anything larger than a B as breasts? Assume this announcement is made with enough force to befit a ‘don!!’ sound effect.”
“…” Kumokawa Maria thought back to her time with that former teacher of hers when he had worked as a Student Keeper. “I-I wouldn’t want him to accept me like that. It would hurt my pride so much I would likely lose all trust in other human beings.”
“You see? So keep working at it, young one.”
“Work at it? But I don’t know anything I can do about it that doesn’t amount to superstition.”
“Don’t worry. You have not fully bloomed yet. You still have the proper nature hidden deep within you like something from a shounen manga. Something like this.”
“Hey!! You damn G! Don’t show those off to me with such a triumphant look on your face!!”
All older sisters had the ability to casually brush aside the anger of their younger sister.
Kumokawa Seria brought a hand to her mouth, let out a loud yawn, wiped away the tears that appeared in the corner of her eyes, and then suddenly realized something.
“By the way, I have a serious question for you. Is it true you fell in love with Kamijou Touma in Eastern Europe? If so, it’s time for full-on soap opera mode.”
“Th-that’s defamation of character!! Where did you hear that rumor!?”
The new rendezvous point was on the grounds of a shopping mall near the windowless building. It was not actually within the building; it was in an outside corner lined with vending machines.
The nighttime scenery was colored by flashing red lights because of the fire trucks dotting the area. One must have been borrowing the firefighting equipment of the shopping mall because a thick fire hose was connected to a pump-like valve on the wall.
Mixed in with some onlookers, Thor approached the vending machines while sipping on a can of coffee. He gave a thin smile upon spotting Kamijou Touma.
“Does this country not have any decent coffee?”
“…If you don’t like it, then don’t buy it,” said Kamijou in annoyance. “More importantly, explain yourself. You certainly put on quite a show, but you haven’t put a scratch on the windowless building. You said that was a success. What the hell are you—”
Thor held his index finger to his own lips to cut off Kamijou.
He then whispered, “Let’s talk while we walk. There is a reason I have been unable to give a proper explanation of my plan.”
Kamijou and Thor began walking away from the crowd of onlookers.
“To start with, Academy City’s higher ups have created a surveillance network that allows them to monitor every little thing that happens in every corner of the city. That has prevented me from explaining my plan in full.”
“Are you talking about satellites and security robots?”
“I don’t know how many projects are being run in parallel in this city, but those wouldn’t be enough to cover all the blind spots. I think there is some other surveillance network using some much more nasty technology that has not been revealed to the public.”
The true identity of that surveillance network was the Underline data-gathering nanodevices that had been disseminated throughout Academy City, but only a very small group of people such as Accelerator and Tsuchimikado Motoharu were aware of its existence.
“But,” added Thor, “whatever this technology is, we are not the only ones that do not like having it around constantly. …And so there are places like this.”
Saying that, Thor opened a metal door located beneath an overpass. It looked like an area meant to store cleaning equipment, except it had yet another door inside. That door led to a long, cold passageway.
Kamijou frowned as he peered inside the dim passageway illuminated by flickering fluorescent lights.
“…What is this?”
“It belongs to the Freshmen. Or rather, it is the hidden base of the dark side organization that produced them. To carry out their shadowy acts behind the scenes, they needed bases to carry out specialized maintenance. This is one of those places. It is a blank spot in Academy City’s surveillance network. And yet it is located almost directly above the underground foundation of the windowless building.”
However, Kamijou and Thor had not gone through the normal preparations the Freshmen would have used. They would have effectively disappeared from the surveillance network, so someone would be sent out to investigate before long.
They could only use the area for 20 or so minutes.
“You’re from the magic side, so why do you know more about this than a resident of the city like me?”
“The Freshmen were Gremlin’s potential enemy. We made sure to investigate our enemy. Also, we had an excellent source of information on the city.”
“Bersi. As Kihara Kagun, he used to be a researcher within Academy City,” explained Thor as they walked down the long passageway.
The man at the center of the disturbance in Baggage City. Kamijou Touma had been guided to Baggage City by that man in order to “clean up” after him.
Thor grinned and said, “Blowing up those refrigerated trucks was also so I get some help from Bersi.”
“What are you talking about? I thought he was dea—”
“For a long, long time, Bersi’s goal was to take revenge upon a researcher named Kihara Byouri,” said Thor, cutting him off. “And he planned out ways to combat her in places other than just Baggage City. As it was possible he would end up confronting her in Academy City, he set up a few tricks before leaving the city. I guess you could call them backdoors.”
“This is the place. Come on in.”
Thor opened up a metal door partway down the passageway and invited Kamijou in like it was his own house. Inside was a small room with no furniture. A household power outlet and internet cable jack were installed on the wall.
Thor pulled a handheld device out of his pocket and connected a cable into the jack on the wall.
“The armor covering the windowless building can withstand a direct hit from a nuke. But it is not simply that the Calculate Fortress is especially hard. If you built a high-rise building out of too hard a material, it would crack during earthquakes due to having no way to let the shaking escape.”
“Then how does it do it?”
“It uses electromagnetic waves or ultraviolet rays to calculate the pattern of the approaching shockwave and then the mobile armor plates carry out the optimum vibration. Basically, the two waves cancel each other out. That is why there is no point in trying to defeat it in a simple contest of strength. Naturally, it has other countermeasures against all types of chemicals and high or low temperatures.”
Once the handheld device had connected to the network, Thor began doing something. Kamijou took a peek at the screen, but he had no idea what it meant as all he could see were countless strings of numbers scrolling by. The display was clearly not designed for general users.
“But at the same time, the Calculate Fortress is not all that strong in and of itself. If the intellectual portions fail to activate, a direct explosion is enough to blow a hole in it.”
“But the windowless building’s power is supplied from the inside, right?”
“Yes, so we can’t cause a power outage,” readily admitted Thor. “And so we need to tackle this from a different direction. That was what I blew up those trucks for. Simply put, I gathered some data from when the Calculate Fortress cancelled out the impact of the explosions in order to calculate out some ‘idiosyncrasies’ of the machine. The strength and direction of each explosion was different.”
“…What can we do once we know these ‘idiosyncrasies’?”
“We calculate out a shockwave pattern that the armor cannot fully escape. If we then carry out an attack following that pattern, we can open a hole in that building that not even a nuke can destroy.”
“I doubt you can calculate that out using a household computer.”
“And that’s why I’m leaving the heavy lifting to some bigger computers.” Thor lightly waved the handheld device as countless strings of numbers scrolled by at high speed. “Do you remember Bersi…or rather, Kihara Kagun’s backdoors that I mentioned? He set up free pass IDs in the supercomputers of a few research facilities. I’m having those do the predictive calculations. Of course, those will be closed to us after we use them here, the same as this secret base.”
After about 15 minutes, the results of the calculations displayed themselves.
They had the equation required to break through the impregnable Calculate Fortress that protected the windowless building.
With that in hand, Kamijou Touma and the Lightning God Thor headed on to the next phase of the plan.
Kamijou and Thor headed through Academy City using the remains of the research facility that had produced the Freshmen, an organization within the city’s dark side.
They held bags filled with power tools. They were the tools Thor had stolen.
“The board chairman likely relies on the accuracy of his personal surveillance network and the Calculate Fortress. As they will not betray him, he can trust them more than a human. But there is no such thing as a perfect system. If we can get close enough to the windowless building without him detecting us, we can apply a fatal wound to his security system.”
“Hm? Don’t worry. I haven’t forgotten our objective. We’re here to rescue Fräulein Kreutune. But don’t forget that it isn’t over once we get her out of the windowless building. In fact, hiding her from the magicians in Gremlin’s main force and Ollerus’s group will probably be the hardest part. If we take a detour here, we’ll just end up being ganged up on from all sides. To be honest, it pains me we can’t do more here, but this is no time to get greedy.”
Kamijou and Thor stopped in front of a ladder attached to the wall.
When he looked straight up, Kamijou could see a round exit.
“Is that a manhole?”
“It comes out right next to the wall of the windowless building. But once we exit from there, the board chairman’s surveillance network will be able to pick us up once more. Not to mention that he’s likely already begun investigating Kihara Kagun’s backdoors. If he figures out what we were calculating using the super computers, he will do whatever he can to stop us.”
“How long do you think we have until that happens?”
“Ten to twenty minutes. But that should be enough. We can still open a hole in the rumored Calculate Fortress.”
Kamijou double-checked the weight of his bag filled with power tools.
Once they climbed up the ladder and opened the manhole, there was no turning back.
He had to be fully aware of that before he could continue on.
“Let’s go,” said Kamijou.
“That’s more like it.”
What connection was there between Fräulein Kreutune and Kamijou Touma?
It did not matter.
They were not walking down that path to earn anyone’s thanks.
They were simply going to save someone who needed their help.
Dinner that night was mizutaki.
“To make chicken seem as extravagant as possible, you have to go with a nabe,” said Yoshikawa Kikyou as she spun the small gas cylinder for a portable stove in her hands.
Her specialty was in pharmaceuticals, genetic engineering, and other clone-related technologies, and she had once worked on the military Radio Noise project.
She lived in a teacher’s apartment, but the apartment was not leased in her name. She was living with an Anti-Skill member she knew.
Exceedingly unfortunately, Yoshikawa Kikyou was currently unemployed.
Incidentally, a few other freeloaders lived in that apartment in addition to her.
For example, there was the girl called Last Order who looked to be about 10 and was swinging around a nunchuk-shaped wireless controller while jumping around on the couch.
“Ohhhhhh!! You can’t have Snow White, says Misaka as Misaka makes her announcement!! Misaka has seen no proof that Snow White will be happy if she goes with the prince, says Misaka as Misaka—!!!!!!”
“Okay, it’s time for dinner.”
“Misaka just got to a good part, says Misaka as Misaka protests your timing! Communication is important in a network game, so you can’t log out at a bad stopping point!! says Misaka as Misaka explains the basics!!”
“But your account’s friend list is filled with nothing but Misakas. Isn’t this just a more over-the-top way of playing on your own?”
Former researcher Yoshikawa Kikyou looked puzzled as she recalled the roles played by the mass-produced military espers and their control tower.
Also, the fairy tale art style and the cute star and heart effects looked nice enough at first, but a closer examination showed seven dwarfs using agricultural tools like axes and hoes to beat up a prince on a white horse. Yoshikawa wondered if the game had been given a motif of the peasants revolting.
“Hey,” said Yoshikawa to the white-haired, red-eyed Level 5 lying on the other sofa positioned at a right angle from the one Last Order was jumping around on.
His name was Accelerator.
As the modern cane placed nearby and the choker-style electrode around his neck suggested, he was not in perfect condition, but even so, he still held the position of strongest as Academy City’s #1.
But at the same time…
“I can never figure out how to deal with that girl. You’re her guardian, you deal with her.”
“…Why the hell would I do that? If we start eating, that brat will come join us on her own. Making her feel left out works better than trying to flatter her or order her around.”
“You sure do know her well.”
“Do you want me to punch your face in?”
Ignoring Accelerator’s glare, Yoshikawa Kikyou stuck the gas cylinder in the portable stove and fixed it in place. She turned the ignition lever two or three times as a test and confirmed that it was creating a ring of blue flames.
A girl called Misaka Worst (evil look in the eyes, large breasts) also lived there as a freeloader, but she was a delinquent girl who loved the nightlife, so she was almost never back by dinner time.
The #1 frowned in displeasure and asked, “Where’s the head of the household?”
“Aiho is out patrolling streets as patrols have been strengthened this week. The curfew restrictions are temporarily repealed due to the Ichihanaransai.”
“…So what are you doing?”
“Training for being a wife!! …or so I’d like to say, but these days the wife has a job too and the housework is shared.”
“That would be ideal.”
“You’re hardly one to talk,” said Yoshikawa in annoyance. “But I do realize I can’t stay like this forever. Unlike you kids, I live in the society of adults, and that means a blank spot in my life is a very bad thing.”
“Have you found somewhere to work?”
“No, but I am working on the preparations.” Yoshikawa grabbed an A4-sized envelope from the ground and waved it around. “I’ve been invited as a special lecturer at a college of science. It’s only temporary, though. I can make a bit of money and make the preparations I need to get myself back into a college.”
“I want to be a teacher but not one related to genetics. I doubt I can get to be a homeroom teacher in a school, but the hurdle is much lower for a Student Keeper. …You don’t need a teaching license for that. It seems they even hire normal people from companies. …Hm?”
Yoshikawa stopped moving all of a sudden.
She had been working on preparing the nabe, but now she looked around, headed into the overly high level kitchen, and rummaged through the shelves.
“We don’t have any green onion for flavor. Well, we can still eat the mizutaki without it.”
Yoshikawa heard an explosion of noise.
It had come from Last Order while she was taking a break after having attacked in a group of seven, beaten up the prince on the white horse, and stolen his crown and mantle.
“Misaka can go buy some for you!! says Misaka as Misaka makes her announcement!!”
“Guardian, you deal with this.”
“Don’t just turn this over to me…”
Last Order was not some puppet programmed to enjoy running errands. She clearly wanted to head out and see Academy City at night as well as enjoy the different world created by the Ichihanaransai preparations.
“But aren’t you the one with the tightest hold on her reins? To be honest, I sometimes can’t keep up with her line of reasoning at my age.”
“I have a hold on her reins? What the hell are you talking about? You make it sound like I’m a little brat like her too.”
“Okay, now hand the money over to Misaka! says Misaka as Misaka holds out her hand!!”
“Hmm… Or maybe she holds your reins. Well, either way, you are definitely the person with the closest connection to her.”
“…Sometimes I get the feeling you want someone to kill you. Do you never think what might happen to you to pay for those mocking comments?”
“Come to think of it, what are you going to do during the Ichihanaransai? I assume you’re going to go around with that girl.”
“What do you mean ‘you assume’?”
Accelerator and Yoshikawa Kikyou suddenly realized Last Order’s shouting that had been louder than a siren had disappeared.
They turned around to find no one there. The front door was sitting half open as it was caught on a shoehorn lying on the floor, and the smallest pair of shoes usually lined up there was missing.
Yoshikawa Kikyou put one hand on her hip, lightly touched her temple with the other hand’s index finger, closed one eye, and sighed.
Then she said, “Take care of it, guardian.”
“Oh, fuck you!!”
The manhole opened.
First, a bag filled with power tools was pushed up onto the surface and then Kamijou Touma appeared into the night.
Thor shouted from below.
“Hurry! We only have 10 to 20 minutes!!”
They were right next to the windowless building. Before Thor could even crawl out of the manhole, Kamijou ran up next to the wall of the windowless building. He used a red pen to draw a large circle on the Calculate Fortress.
As it could supposedly withstand even a nuclear weapon, he had imagined it being as hard as diamond, but when he touched it with the tip of the large pen, it felt more like a thick rubber panel. That may have been because it distributed or let escape any shock or impact rather than deflecting it.
Perhaps the Calculate Fortress only seemed flexible due to the offsetting waves running through it and it actually was made of a material that was as hard as diamond.
(Thor said it had other countermeasures for chemicals and high heat… This thing doesn’t have nanodevices covering it, does it?)
Kamijou turned around and shouted.
“I’ve marked it!”
“Ready your jackhammer! I’ve already inputted the impact pattern calculated out by Kihara Kagun’s backdoors!!”
Thor had already put together the power tool from his bag. It was shaped like a machine gun, but it had a giant spike in place of the barrel. Rather than opening a hole with a single “thrust”, the tool would break down the wall with hundreds or even thousands of repeated impacts.
Holding his jackhammer, Kamijou slid the lithium ion battery Thor tossed him into the bottom like it was a magazine.
Thor held his own jackhammer in the same way and said, “Press the spike to the wall along the line you drew. Then you just have to pull the trigger. That will activate the jackhammer. Keep pressing it in even after the wall starts cracking. Pull it out once the spike is driven in all the way to the base and do the same at a point a short distance away along the line. Understand!?”
Kamijou and Thor pressed the ends of their jackhammers against points at about three o’clock and 9 o’clock of the circle and pulled the triggers that had a bit of resistance to them.
A deafening rattling noise rang out.
A dull pain exploded in Kamijou’s shoulder as the stock struck him there again and again and again, but he could see the tip of the thick spike truly starting to sink into the armor of the supposedly impregnable windowless building.
It would not be going too far to call it a historical moment.
Not even Accelerator, Academy City’s strongest Level 5, had been able to cause that destruction.
“It’s going in!!”
“But our pace is too slow!! At this rate, I’m not sure we can open a hole in time!!”
Also, the noise was much louder than Kamijou had expected.
Thor had just recently blown up several refrigerated trucks to gather data. The firefighters were still working in the area.
“They’re going to notice this!! If the firefighters spot us, they’ll interfere!! We’ll never finish in 10 to 20 minutes if that happens!!”
“The firefighters won’t be able to hear it over their own sirens. They won’t notice us that easily!! The real problem is that this armor is cleverer than I had expected. Dammit, how is it still this hard after we calculated out the theoretical values!?”
Kamijou then heard a noise that sounded like a gear breaking.
Thor clicked his tongue, stopped his jackhammer, and pulled it out from the armor. The thick spike had broken off halfway down.
“I’m going to swap out the spike!! You keep working. We can’t lose any more time!!”
“Do you have spare parts!?”
“I brought enough parts to put together an entire spare jackhammer in case one broke. But that means this is our only spare spike. Don’t break yours!!”
Not only was the planned portion not going as planned, but now they had experienced an unforeseen accident. Kamijou’s unease rapidly grew.
Would it all end like that?
This was the castle of the chairman of the board of directors, the person who acted as the head of Academy City. Had it been wrong for just the two of them to challenge the Calculate Fortress that protected it?
But even so, turning tail and running would not make anything better.
It was self-evident that the only way to escape their predicament was to continue on forward.
Kamijou had a feeling that reasoning was the same as someone who kept gambling after doing nothing but losing, but he could not come up with any other answer no matter how clever he tried to be.
Kamijou forced down his unease and pressed the jackhammer further in.
After creating holes at 3 o’clock and 4 o’clock along the large circle he had made, he moved the tip of the jackhammer to 5 o’clock. But that was when something happened.
At first, Kamijou thought something had happened to the jackhammer he held. A new and somehow odd noise was mixed in with the usual deafening sound it made.
“Thor! Something’s wrong. I think mine might have broken, too!! Is your jackhammer not fixed yet!?”
But Thor did not respond.
Kamijou shouted again while still facing the Calculate Fortress.
Kamijou turned around to see why Thor was not responding.
Thor was supposed to be swapping out the spike, but he was instead crouching down holding the broken jackhammer while looking up. His eyes were opened wide. It looked like he was trying to see something beyond the darkness of the night sky.
He was not just trying.
Thor really had spotted something heading their way from the night sky. Something that overturned all the previous assumptions and that made him completely forget about their goal of breaching the Calculate Fortress.
“What is it!? My jackhammer has started making a weird noise! I know nothing about jackhammers, so just hand yours over to me once you swap out the spike!! You can check mine over to find out what’s wrong with—!!”
“No!! There’s nothing wrong with your jackhammer!! That’s the sound of a group Academy City unmanned weapons heading this way!!”
Without thinking, Kamijou let his finger off the jackhammer’s trigger.
The impacts against his shoulder stopped and the deafening noise ended.
Nevertheless, he could hear an approaching noise that was just as deafening as the jackhammer. And this noise was obviously not coming from the jackhammer.
Red and green lights could be seen dancing through the air, but Thor seemed to see them as more than points of light.
“Those must be low-cost versions of the Six Wings model. To follow the naming scheme, I guess these would be Four Wings. It looks like they’re even more maneuverable after trimming the fat.”
“What are you talking about!?”
“Unmanned attack helicopters. They use sonic weapons to stop any human resistance and then use machine guns and missiles to finish them off. They’re about as horrible as you can get!!”
The number of lights visible told them this was more than just one. However, even a single craft would have been a death sentence for Kamijou. He was powerless against that kind of violence that had nothing to do with the supernatural.
“Those things are unmanned right!? So no one’s aboard. Thor! Can’t you do something with your magic!?”
“I could, but we don’t have time to play around!! Also, I don’t want Gremlin or Ollerus to detect it. If we can’t breach the Calculate Fortress, this will all have been for nothing. The more time we lose, the faster the situation’s downwards spiral will accelerate. We don’t have time to deal with those things!!”
They could hardly just do nothing and get shot, but they did not have time to deal with the enemy either.
Their escape route had finally disappeared.
At the current rate, Kamijou and Thor would be unable to rescue Fräulein Kreutune and also be blown to pieces. The path they were headed down led straight to the worst possible scenario that had not even the smallest hope left.
“Thor, if we can’t deal with those helicopters, we need to fall back.”
“But then we lose any chance of getting Fräulein Kreutune out of there! We can’t use the Freshmen’s underground facility again and the impact pattern that hits a blind spot in the Calculate Fortress will be covered up with a security patch to the defense program!! We aren’t going to get another shot at this!!”
“Your plan has failed! If we’re killed here, there will be no one left who even wants to rescue Fräulein Kreutune!!”
“Once Gremlin or Ollerus make their move to secure Fräulein Kreutune, we will truly have no way of intervening. And she will not meet a kind fate no matter which side secures her!!”
“Dammit!!” cursed Kamijou as he pulled the trigger of his jackhammer once more.
But they were not able to come up with any other idea in time.
The situation was changing by the moment and yet they had no cards left to play. Kamijou and Thor could only try to scrape by with the what they had just barely managed to save up. Once the situation exceeded a certain level, they would not have enough to keep up.
That moment came.
Kamijou heard an odd noise and this time it really was coming from the direction of the jackhammer in his hands. It was the sound of a crack running through hard metal.
He thought it was the spike breaking just like Thor’s had.
But he was wrong.
A giant crack was running through the wall of the windowless building.
This crack ran beyond the large circle Kamijou had drawn on the wall with a large red pen.
The destruction seemed to extend forever.
It created a perfect square over 10 meters across.
The impregnable Calculate Fortress fractured along that line that was obviously artificially created. Having lost its support, the giant wall collapsed toward Kamijou.
Kamijou let go of the jackhammer and frantically jumped to the side to avoid the wall. The thick remnant of the wall bent, crushed, and utterly destroyed the unrefined jackhammer that was still sticking into it. The remains of the wall slammed into the ground and sent dust shooting up into the air. The Calculate Fortress was supposed to be indestructible, so the dust must have come from the asphalt below.
(That crack didn’t come from our jackhammers. That went well beyond what we wanted. So what caused it? I thought the wall could cancel even a nuclear bomb with the exception of the impact pattern we calculated out using Kihara Kagun’s backdoors!)
Nothing other than their jackhammers could have damaged the wall from the outside.
And Kamijou doubted the defenses were lax enough to allow natural-forming cracks to form due to deterioration or metal fatigue.
Had that artificial destruction come from the inside?
And if so…
Thor stared into the dust.
He stared into the dim interior of the windowless building through the hole in the Calculate Fortress.
Someone stood inside.
Who was it?
Kamijou and Thor could hear the footsteps of this person who stood before them. But it was not the hard sound of leather shoes or boots. It was the softer sound like that of someone pressing their palm against a glass table. Whoever it was may have been barefoot.
The person’s skin came into contact with the dust-filled outside air.
The person exited the building.
It was a woman, but she was rather tall for one. She was almost 2 meters tall. Her silver hair was so long it reached her ankles, and her head was lowered so the hair obscured her expression. She wore what looked like a dress made of a thin synthetic fiber, but she did not seem too concerned about how she looked. Her underwear was perfectly visible through the thin material, but she showed no sign of caring. Her white skin looked like that of a teenage girl, but it was hard to tell what age she actually was.
On some fundamental level, she did not look like a fellow human being.
She had no obvious inhuman elements such as horns or wings. If he had been asked what about her seemed inhuman, Kamijou would not have been able to give a clear answer. However, there was clearly something off about her even if it was difficult to describe with words. No one would find it odd to see skin that glossy on a teenage girl in a sauna. However, it would be a completely different story if a girl like that was discovered in an ancient pyramid. There was nothing wrong with the girl herself, but there seemed to be something distinctly out of place in the air around her.
(Who is she…?)
Kamijou wondered that in his heart.
And then he wondered why he had not spoken his question aloud.
Later, he would realize he had felt as if he was facing a carnivorous beast that had escaped its cage. He wanted to avoid providing any kind of provocation before he knew what was going on.
(She came out of the windowless building…so could this be the mysterious head of Academy City? Is this the chairman of the board of directors…?)
But Kamijou Touma’s guess was incorrect.
Having completely forgotten about the 10 to 20 minute time limit and the approaching unmanned attack helicopters, Thor stared at the woman blankly.
“…Fräulein…Kreutune…?” he muttered.
Immediately afterwards, the person Thor had named glanced over at him through the gaps in her silver hair.
She tilted her head to the side as if trying to work out the solution to some question.
An odd noise escaped Thor’s lips and he collapsed to the ground along with a dark, red liquid.
Kamijou was completely unable to comprehend what had happened despite watching from so close by.
Even if it was some unknown attack and even if it had been a complete surprise, an official combat member of Gremlin, the group that had caused so much chaos in Baggage City, had been downed in a single blow.
It seemed Thor was trying to move his arms and legs while collapsed on the asphalt, but he quickly reached his limit. He just barely managed to make his fingertips tremble slightly. It looked like an insect desperately trying to move a leg that was almost completely ripped off.
“Thor!!” shouted out Kamijou without thinking as he ran over to the other boy.
But there was nothing he could do.
He had turned Fräulein Kreutune’s attention to himself. That alone may have been a fatal mistake.
Unlike with Thor, the woman did not even glance in Kamijou’s direction.
Kamijou Touma heard a muffled sound burst from what seemed to be his lungs, and the next thing he knew, his vision was spinning.
Between the Lines 3
Crisis Management File Special Provision #4431119.
Matters of concern regarding the maintenance of Fräulein Kreutune.
The primary object is to keep the above mentioned person’s effect on the world to a minimum as she will become an impediment to the Plan related to Academy City and the entire world. However, killing her would prove difficult given her nature. For that reason, our plan is to box her up like a cat so that her effects outside the box are diluted as much as possible.
The matters of most pressing concern regarding this plan will now be specified.
The driving force behind her is curiosity as opposed to an ideology. As such, we must prevent her from becoming curious concerning the outside world. As she cannot be killed no matter what is done to her, she will head for the object, situation, place, or person of interest no matter how much it would destroy her physical body.
She is being kept in an impregnable box surrounded by the Calculate Fortress, but her nature makes that an uncertain prison at best.
The most effective method would be to surround her in perfect darkness and perfect silence to eliminate any possible source of curiosity.
She has no concept of like or dislike.
She will display all types of curiosity towards whatever draws her interest whether that is for the good or ill of said target.
Once sealed inside the box, even the slightest light, wave, or noise will likely cause curiosity to well up within her. While one or two sporadic incidences may pose no threat, any stimulus that continues for longer than one minute would be especially dangerous.
We must not provide even the slightest change to her environment.
Once she is activated, she will likely use her high-speed thoughts to construct a means of breaking through the Calculate Fortress.
Also, once she obtains a means of breaking through the Calculate Fortress, no normal means will be able to kill or stop her.
If she is released into Academy City with both means of offense and defense, she is to be seen as a Code Red-level threat.