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 photo BBL4-01_zpse7b18bf6.png


"...poisoning.
Only a few hours ago."

"I believe he was already dead when the announcement was broadcast this morning, though."

"I checked the broadcasting equipment, and it looks like they put the video together from last year's disaster drill footage."

 

Meaning, somebirdie killed the headmaster and gathered everyone else in the gym...

"Why would anyone...?"

"There is no explanation but mere obscene delight in the grotesque."

"I think we may all be vastly underestimating the magnitude of whatever's going on."

"It might be better if we kept this to ourselves for now."

"...poisoning.
Only a few hours ago."

"I concur.
Until we have a proper grasp of the situation, telling the others would only cause unnecessary panic."

 

First Hiyoko, and now the headmaster, both poisoned.

Were they killed by the same person...?

"More rationally, they must have had a reason for killing him and fabricating the broadcast.
This must be connected to the quarantine."

"Since we're finally here, let us search for some clues, Kawara."

"Right."

We fade to black for a moment.


 

...easier said than done. Every shelf in his office is piled high with documents and papers.

"Where do we even start...?"



"Incompetent feral!
Examine each piece one at a time, looking for anything about emergency procedures, plans of the school..."

"Got it."

 

PTA Records...
That's not it.

Demographics for Dummies...
Nope.

Transfer Students...
Wait, next to that is-

"The Human Representative?"

 

That must mean Hiyoko. And the date is from two years ago: right before she enrolled.

It's not really related to today's incidents, but it might have something useful...

 

_______________________________________________________________

"There doesn't appear to be anything about converting the school into a shelter... anything this large-scale would have to leave some sort of paper trail, were it official."

"...hang on, Sakuya."

"What are you reading, Kawara?"

"This."

"'The Human Representative'?"

"It's locked, even though none of the others are."

"A minority representative is no more important than a transfer student, or the like... there's no need to have it sealed up like a criminal record."

"I wonder what's written in here...?"

"We can't exactly ask the headmaster to open it for us. I don't suppose the key is in here somewhere..."

"Maybe we should ask Mister One for help?"

"Do you intend to break it open?"

"Yeah. It'll be faster than looking around for the key."

"And-"

"That? I was wondering about it, as well."

"Is that thing on his desk... some sort of control panel? Whatever it is, it's suspicious."

"I believe it is a control panel for some machine, yes."

 

And spread out next to it is...

"The dome."

"Maybe these are the controls for the dome?
Or the hatch we saw earlier..."

"One did postulate that it would be in here."

"Locked, of course... I doubt we will find it easy to break that one."

"Yeah..."

 

All the same, we have some actual hope of getting out of here, now.
Even just that is comforting.

"Let's go talk to Mister One."

"I think we have exhausted the possibilities of this room for the time being. Let us go."

 

_______________________________________________________________

The music stops, and the door creaks as we exit into the hallway.

"Mister Kawara."

"...yes sir?"

"Hoho, I see you have yet to lose your open distrust of me."

"Well, two people have been poisoned."

"And we have evidence that the perpetrator went into the infirmary."

"It's... sort of hard not to doubt you a little, sir."

 

Not too hard for Sakuya, though.

"How honest of you."

"Did you find it yet?
The thing you forgot about."

 

The thing I forgot about?
He must be talking about what he said earlier...

"No.
I'm not convinced you're not just trying to mess with me."

"Are you sure you're not trying to keep me from finding something you thought nobirdie knew about?"

 

"How cruel, Mister Kawara. Your boundless suspicion wounds me."

 

He doesn't look wounded at all.
More like amused.

"I have no reason to regret your solving this mystery, Mister Kawara. Let me give you another hint."

"There are no riddles here.
If you want to find the truth, you need only to keep going.
You need not use your brain at all."

"What are you talking about?"

 

No riddles?
Wait, not that-

"You mean to say that you know the truth already?!"

"Well... who knows?"

The screen shakes.

"If you do, tell me!"

"I told you, you need only to keep going.
Everything here is a plot that was laid out just for you, after all."

"Just for me...?"

"How long must you babble, Kawara? Come!"

"Sorry..."

"I take it this is a challenge, Doctor?"

"Hmm... you may take it that way, if you so wish."

"I swear, I will find the truth.
And if I find that you killed Hiyoko-"

"Hohoho... oh, I do look forward to seeing what sort of answer you find."

 

_______________________________________________________________


Ryouta knocks politely on the door before entering.

"Mister One?"

"You two again. What is it?"

 

We explain to Mister One what we found in the headmaster's office.

 

_______________________________________________________________

"The plot thickens, I see."

"We think this file may be connected to the mystery. Can you unlock it?"

"Or break it."

"Let me see."

"Hmm... this one will be rather troublesome."

"It's just a lock, right...?"

"Forcing it will result in spontaneous combustion."

"What?!"

"Why would they put something like that on a bunch of ordinary documents?!"

"Perhaps because these documents are not ordinary."

"All the same..."

"I have dealt with similar things in the past.
It will take time, but I believe I can open it."

"So defusing bombs falls under maintenance operations?"

"Do not forget, I'm not just a maintenance worker.
I am a Bright and Massive maintenance worker."

 

What does that have to do with anything?!

"So, maintenance work in Japan requires a number of skills. I am impressed."

"Uh I think Mister One is the only..."

"Oh, right! Can we ask you one more thing?"

"You may."

"We found a control panel that looks like it's for the dome, as well.
But it's locked."

"It seems to require a password."

"A password? Hrrm... ask Mister Sakazaki for help."

"Yuuya?"

"He is a master of unauthorized access."

"So that wretched mongrel has lowered himself to crime?!"

"I never knew he could...
Sakuya, just let it go. We need his help here."

"I shall take care of this folder, then."

"I can't say for sure, but... it should be done by the time you and Mister Sakazaki get back."

"All right. Thanks!"

 

We should probably write all this down, since we're here.

The music stops for us to save our progress, and move on.

 

_______________________________________________________________

"Where is Yuuya right now...?"

"In the lab or possibly gallivanting around like a nincompoop."

"This would be a lot easier if we could use our phones."

 

But, we can't.
Off to the lab.

 

_______________________________________________________________

"Here we are."

"I wonder if he's still in there...?"

 

As we turn the corner-

creeeeaa...a...k...

"!"


 

The scarecrow-man blocks our path!

"Uhh... fshhh...oo...wa..."

"Of all of the-"

"Sakuya, run!"

"Oooh...aah, oh..."

"Don't order me around, feral!"

Finally, the screen goes black to a flutter of wings.

 

_______________________________________________________________

"-pant-... -pant-... we lost it.
...right?"

"...oh."

 

Shoot.
Sakuya and I must have run in different directions.

"I hope he's okay."

 

Of all the times to run into that thing again.

If it's lying in wait like that for us, we can't rely on the noise of it's arm to find it.
And the dome makes the building dark, so it's hard to see...
I'd better be careful.

Where is it now?
I want to head straight to the lab, but...

There's the sound of a page turning.

"...?"

 

Did I just hear something?

"!"

"What are you doing in here all alone?"

"...!"

"Did you see the wall outside? There's been an emergency and everybirdie's supposed to gather in the gym.
You should-"

"...you're... Kawara Ryouta?"

"Uh..."

 

He knows my name?
Have I met him somewhere before...?

"Yeah, uh... have we met before?"

 

The unfamiliar mourning dove shakes his head.

"This is the first time we've spoken."

"Then why do you know my name...?"

"She told me.
Miss Tosaka."

 

Hiyoko...?
Oh right, didn't she say she made friends with a freshman who's in the library all the time?

"Can I ask your name?"

"Fujishiro... Nageki."

"You were friends with Hiyoko, then?
Umm, did you maybe see her after school yesterday? Was she acting strange at all, or..."

 

Oh.
Shoot.

He didn't hear the emergency broadcast.
So he probably doesn't know what happened to her, either.

"Umm... she's..."

"Don't worry about it.
You don't have to explain again."

"Huh?"

"I already know."

"Oh..."

"She washed up here, and spoke to me.
Which can only mean one thing... she's dead."

 

He doesn't exactly make things easy to understand... almost as if he's talking to himself, and doesn't care whether or not his interlocutor knows what he means.

Interlocutor: noun, a person who takes part in a conversation.

"She washed up here? Do you mean yesterday?
If you know anything about what happened to her last night, please tell me!"

"I do not.
Miss Tosaka did not come to the library after school yesterday."

"Hmm, so she didn't come here, either...? Thanks."

"I need to hurry back to the cheistry lab, and you should probably get out of here, too.
There's a suspicious individual in the building."

"...it was not yesterday that Miss Tosaka came here."

The music fades out.

"It was... just now."

"What...?!"

 

He's gone.

The mourning dove who just spoke to me has disappeared.
Did he go to the gym?
I hope so...

I don't really want to consider the possibility, but maybe Sakuya's right. Maybe I am going crazy.

I have to last long enough to find the killer...!

 

_______________________________________________________________


"You're late, Kawara!
Blasted feral doves..."

"Sakuya! You're safe!"

"He was pretty worried about you, Ryouta.
He couldn't sit the entire time you were gone."

Aww.

"Silence, mongrel!"

"Ahaha, thanks.
Sorry for worrying you, Sakuya."

"Anyway, Sakuya filled me in on your adventures. You want me to hack into the headmaster's computer?"

"Can you do it?"


"Naturally. Just leave it to me.
Come on, let's go!"

_______________________________________________________________


 photo BBL4-10_zpsbd65a65b.png


"Oh, welcome back, Kawara."

"Sir, about this control panel..."


"What about it?"


"Can't you tell? It must be the controls for that dome."


"Mm, right. I suppose it could be."

"It's locked, though.
We were going to have Yuuya get into it for us, but..."

"Oh, welcome back, Kawara."

"That's illegal, you know."

"That doesn't matter! Don't you comprehend our situation?!"

"I never said you shouldn't do it.
We don't have much choice, do we? Go on."

"Thank you, sir!"


"Well, having Mister Nanaki's approval certainly helps my conscience. Let's see..."

Yuuya gets to takking away at the computer.

 

He wakes up the computer, and before long I have no idea what he's doing to it.

"Wow... I wonder where he learned to do that."


"I imagine he spends his spare time stealing illegal X-rated videos off the intertubes."

 

X-rated videos can teach someone how to do this sort of thing?
Maybe I should watch more of them.

Ryouta, no!


"There we go! Now then-"

"There.
We're logged in as the administrator now."

"Woohoo!"


"...hmph."

"This... only has an open and close button.
I guess that's pretty straightforward."

"Well, I'll leave the rest of this to you two."

If we press this button, either the dome itself or the hatch will probably open.
But with the headmaster dead, we have no way of knowing what's happening outside.

If... if there is some terrible disaster, then opening the dome could put everybirdie in danger... I wonder if mom's at home.

I hope she's okay...


"There is a dangerous individual wandering the premises, and the bird in charge is dead. I think it would be wise to open the dome now."

"That's true..."

 

We did get Yuuya to help and everything...

Might as well just go for it!

"Let's open it.
We need to get everyone out of here."

"Agreed. And we can confirm once and for all that the talk of a disaster was nonsense."

Panel

"Escape hatch opened."

"I guess it's... not for the whole dome."

"No matter. All we need to do is get a look outside."

 

Just having the hatch open is better, anyway, in case there is a storm or something out there.

Panel

"The escape hatch will close automatically in 15 minutes.
To reopen it, please reboot and try again."

"It closes on its own? That seems like a risky design."

"Fifteen minutes isn't enough to get everyone out..."

"Let's go out and take a look, before it closes."

"We're going outside again, Mister Nanaki."

"If it's safe, we'll organize an evacuation in the gym."


"Mmm, that's a good idea... maybe I'll come, too."

"Sakazaki, Doctor, what will you two do?"


"Hmm... well, I don't have any more business here.
I shall return to the lab."

"Leaving Hiyoko alone with another man would hardly be gentlemanly, so I'll go with the Doctor."


"Well then. Let's go, Kawara, Shirogane."

"Very well."

"Yup!"

 

_______________________________________________________________

"Where was that hatch?"

"Have you eyes, or pickled onions? Right there!"

 

The hatch, high above the ground, is open.

Looks like the control panel worked.

"Hmm... I think everybirdie should be able to fly up to that.
It's a little narrow, so we'll have to go two or three at a time..."

"But, outside-"

"...yeah."

"It's perfectly clear."

 

We can only see the sky, but there is no storm or gale.
Nothing but the same calm autumn sky from this morning.

"No earthquake, and no typhoon, and the announcement video was a fake.
I think it's safest to assume that the whole thing was a lie."

"I am curious about the state of things out there, but... the door closes on its own, so we had best think carefully before going out."

 

We can't see the city at all...
We don't really know what's going on out there, if anything.

But if there really is no disaster, and this is all some plot surrounding Tosaka's death, then we need more clues...

"I'll go."

"Are you sure?
We have no guarantee that it's safe out there."

"It isn't safe here, either."

Student A

"Look, the hatch is open!"

Student B

"It is!
We can go home!"

"No, you're supposed to be in the gym! You shouldn't go out yet."

Student A

"Like hell are we sticking around with nothing but that bogus explanation from earlier!"

Student B

"I can't wait any longer! I'm going out!"

There's a fluttering of wings as the invisible students take off.

"Wait, come back! Come back at once!"

"We don't know if it's safe out there yet!"

There's a gunshot, and the screen goes red.

Student B

"Gaaaaaaah!"

!


"A gunshot?!"

"W-we have to go help him!"


"Calm down, Kawara! You'll only get yourself shot, as well!"

"But-"

As if to laugh at my shock, the hatch gives an unpleasant rumble and swings shut.

He was shot.
As soon as he went out, someone on the other side shot him.

It's not a natural disaster. If we go out, we'll be killed.
But why...?

 

 

 

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