Return to Ruin

I’ve come back now to where it all started. The initial dream sequence. A confused mess of interactions with unfamiliar people in a filth-ridden subway. Sarah led me by the nose through the masses of victims whose new lives entailed new deaths. Rubble was moved, doors forced open, gates unlocked. We reached the surface, eventually. I’m wishing I hadn’t.

The missions I’ve been sent on lately have been downright sadistic. All that time spent in Egypt and Transylvania constituted relatively benign preparation for what was described to me as the “end game.” It’s here, in the Kaidan district of Tokyo. Infected things openly walk the streets and have developed immunities (yes, multiple) to standard-issue military-grade weapons. Proprietary technology must be activated and applied in order to harm them.


I found it amusing in the midst of this unfolding apocalyptic drama that a local bosozoku motorcycle gang took the time to drive down the main drag in full regalia while I fought off blackened abominations as if to say “Drop a filth nuke on our city and we still give zero fucks.” I wonder whether they’ll learn to care when faced with their own deaths. Probably not.

It’s a good thing I’m a quick learner. I also happen to suffer from a debilitating illness: I’m allergic to stupid shit. This has enabled me to avoid death thus far – here in Tokyo, even the butterflies feel a bit skittish. I run the calculations in my head before going into combat, normally. Math or anything that involves numbers has always been my best subject. Ask me to write a paper on the usefulness of different types of fuel economy or related phenomena such as hypermiling and I’ll produce a respectable, idiomatically written paper in about two weeks. (This actually got me in trouble with a Chinese professor who was suspicious of my paper’s authorship and quizzed me on its specifics to the point where I got irritated and ended up dropping the course.) I’m just not terribly good at it.

Calculations, on the other hand, I’m pretty good at those. The only problem here in Kaidan is that there’s almost no time to react, let alone think. I’m having to learn a huge amount of new systems just to survive. Maybe those Orochi people can lend me a few of their servers, you know, the ones that fill up entire airport hangar-sized caverns they have tucked away in mountain bases. What are the odds of mastering all of this complex technology before getting blown up into pieces so tiny the butterflies will never find them all – you got those numbers for me?


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