When the kidnapper awoke, he found himself in a huge white room. While still trying to identify his location, he hears a voice.
"Good, you're awake."
He sits up and sees Faust sitting by the bed, accompanied by the Saber dolls. Lorelei was sitting somewhere further off the bed, accompanied by Otaru.
"The game is over. Hand over what you have taken from us."
He looked at Faust further, and smirked. "Sorry, I have no idea what you are talking about."
Upon hearing that the man said he does not know anything about the otome kairos, Otaru felt blood rushing through his head and he rushed over and grabbed the man by the collar, "Why, you…"
"Stop it, Otaru." Faust said, his arms folded. He then turned to the man, "Don't try to deny it. There is only one reason why we found you lying on the forest floor. I have planted a device in Bloodberry - I mean JSM-03B which can give off plasma energy. They have penetrated you and that's why you lost consciousness."
The man smirked again. He then turned, away from the faces looking at him. "Ah, then I stole them, so as you like to say. But I don't know where I've put them.
"YOU…" Otaru is stopped by a raised hand from Faust.
"Te… Tell me… who are you?" Lorelei, sitting at the back, who has not uttered a word since the man woke up, spoke. She asked in a trembling tone, as if afraid to hear the answer.
Otaru turned and looked at Lorelei in amazement. "Lorelei, you know this scum?"
"Know? Ah, she knows it only too well… what a pity it was 300 long years ago and it is ancient in her memory already…" The man replied in sarcasm.
Lorelei looked down. Images flashed through her mind. After so many years…
She looked up and saw the imploring faces of Faust and Otaru looking at her. She then saw the man sitting on the bed, his back facing her. Finally there must be an ending to the mistake… someone must compensate this…
Lorelei took a deep breath and out came the following, " M-S-M… 00 … … Shinya… that's who you are, isn't it?"
Shock filled the faces of everyone's faces, and silence followed. The man's eyes widened. Hatred and misery filled his brown eyes.
"Lorelei continued, " I never imagined you to survive after so long."
The man smirked and clapped. "Ah, yes, bingo for you! Thanks to your blessings, I'm still alive - or shall we say I've not been destroyed yet? So did I disappoint you?"
"Lorelei defended herself, "But back then it was never my wish to bring that upon you… "
"Enough! Just shut your trap! And stop thinking that I will ever fall for your tricks again!"
Silence. Everyone was engrossed in their own thoughts. Lorelei tightened her grip of the handles of the chair she was sitting on. The closed fists shook terribly. Faust walked over. "What's wrong?" he asked.
"The first marionette with an otome kairo." Lorelei said after a long pause.
This piece of information brought further shock amongst all in the room. Otaru asked, " Isn't Mesopotamia the first recipient of the otome kairo?"
"No… it happened a long time ago… I don't even think the memories of the original Faust or Ieyasu would have the details…"
"Then can you explain it to us?" Faust walked over and looked at Lorelei. Her green eyes revealed the fatigue within her. She looked away, not wanting to face him.
"MSM-00 - they had built it for experimental purposes…"
"They?" Asked Otaru.
"The Marionette research team. I was part of it. Back then, I had got my P.h.D. based on my research on the Marionettes. They were very impressed with my report and so I was invited to become part of their team…
I was young then… it was my dream to see a world where marionettes can co-exist with people. I believed that machines should have feelings too. After many attempts, I finally produced what I thought was perfect. The otome kairo had the ability to make the marionette produce similar emotions to humans. I was exhilarated. However, when I handed in the designs to the team, they insisted that it was too risky and they dismissed it. In the meantime, however, they realised the potential behind the otome kairo and ordered the secret construction of a marionette to be the first recipient of the otome kairo…"
"MSM-00?'' Faust asked.
Lorelei nodded. Memories begin to flood her mind…----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Terminate? The whole project to be terminated? But why?" A young girl dressed in a Lab coat stormed into the Marionette research team's headquarters' main office and demanded.
"This is a very dangerous piece of invention. Do you realise the consequence by inserting feelings into non-living objects?" A tall, elderly man replied her question. He wore glasses and was dressed in a lab coat just like the girl.
"I'll assure you nothing will happen. The otome kairo is modeled after me. I can vouch for…"
"I say we do not take any risks, and that's final.'
"But … Chairman…"
"You're dismissed! And terminate the project immediately!"
A few weeks later, the girl yet again faced the elderly man, together with the whole Marionette research team committee.
"Chairman, you told me to terminate my project, so why is it that I have received information that you are in the process of constructing MSM-00?
"We changed our minds. We have held a meeting and decided that the future prospects of the otome kairo were simply too tempting. We decided that we'll do a model in secret and if it is a success, you shall head the project for further study into the otome kairo." A man next to the chairman spoke. He had black hair and moustache all over his face. As he spoke, he raised his glasses and looked at Lorelei through those clear lenses.
"But… Vice chairman, there is something very wrong with the model…"
"Yes… the otome kairo is modeled after the heart of a girl. But the model - MSM-00… the model you have constructed is a male shell. This is not correct!"
Her voice echoed throughout the room. The committee members sat in shock when they realised the mistake. A commotion rose as they whispered within themselves.
"What… the otome kairo… is the heart of a girl?" One committee member asked in shock.
"Yes. You have taken the wrong approach. May I request that you rebuild a female shell for MSM-00 instead."
The chairman spoke. "Is that the only way out?"
"Yes, I'm afraid so."
The chairman slumped back on his chair and covered his face with his hands.
One day, when she was walking along the labs of the research headquarters, a man ran out of the lab and chased after her, calling, "Lorelei san!"
She turned, surprised. "Yes, Hayashi san?"
"Is reconstructing the shell the only way to remedy the mistake?" he asked.
"I think so…"
"Is there some other way we can go about doing it? So that the marionette will not be scraped?" He pressed on, putting his hands on Lorelei and looked at her fervently, his eyes burning in desperation.
"What's wrong? Did something happen?" she asked as Hayashi tightened his grip around her wrist. He looked around, as if not wanting anyone to find out his secret. He then bent down and whispered into Lorelei's ear. "Please come with me for a short while."
Lorelei followed him until they reached an underground Lab. This Lab contained the research team's top secrets, and Lorelei has not entered it before. The man brought her until they came upon a marionette lying on a long table. He looked just like a human... it looked just like the marionette was ready to jump into life. As Lorelei looked on, she was sure that was the best model of a marionette anyone has built.
Lorelei continued staring at it in wonder. She asked, "That is…"
Hayashi walked towards the marionette and caressed it tenderly on the face. "Wake up, Shinya. There's nobody else here."
The marionette slowly stirred and opened his eyes. His large brown eyes looked around the room. He slowly sat up and saw Hayashi beside him. He gave him a wide smile. "Ohayo, Yutaro sama…"
Lorelei's eyes widened in surprise. A marionette able to display emotion! "That… that is…" She said in shock. But at the same time, her heart beat faster in excitement. "Shinya… is he…"
"Yes you're right." Hayashi said, looking at her. "This model in front of you is MSM-00."
"Amazing! The otome kairo worked! The experiment is a success!"
Hayashi stood up. "Yes, I too think it is a success. But a pity… they think this marionette itself is a major flaw. A female heart is housed within a male body."
"Oh…" Lorelei stopped short. The man left the Marionette and came in front and grasped Lorelei once more. "Please, Lorelei san, onegai, please save Shinya!"
"B…but why? What will happen?" asked a surprised Lorelei.
"They do not know that MSM-00 has woken yet. They are planning to destroy MSM-00. This has become a humiliation to the Marionette research team."
"Oh! And its because…"
"Yes, its because you told them that this is the only way out. But Lorelei san! Look! Take a look at Shinya! He's perfect! Why should he be destroyed? Why?" He looked at Lorelei fiercely, demanding for an answer.
"Yes, you're right… he will not be destroyed…"---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"So this became a secret between me and Hayashi san …" Lorelei said.
"And what happened after that?" Otaru asked.
"This incident gradually became forgotten. Everyone had forgot the project about MSM-00. They only knew of a new member that joined the team…"
"This happened shortly before you boarded the Mesopotamia?" Faust asked.
"Yes. Later, Me, Hayashi san and Shinya boarded the Mesopotamia, together with Ieyasu and Faust… … alas, the secret could not be kept for long…" Lorelei stopped, unable to carry on. Silence prevailed as everyone waited for Lorelei to continue talking. Shinya, on the other hand, kept his back facing Lorelei and clenched the bedsheets tightly in his fists.
"What happened?" Otaru, who could not keep the suspense any longer, broke the long silence.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Hayashi Yutaro. As a member of the marionette research team member, you have violated our rules by keeping results of experiments from us." The man with black hair and moustache spoke.
"Surrender MSM-00 immediately now or you'll be faced with severe punishment."
"Committee, may I ask what will happen to MSM-00 if I surrender it to you?"
"It will be dealt with accordingly, of course."
"All right… If it must be dealt with, may I request that I do it myself." finishing his last sentence, he grabbed Shinya and tore away his left sleeve. He then opened a compartment and pressed the switch hidden within.
"Yu… Yuta… ro… sa…ma…" MSM-00 managed to utter before closing his eyes and fell into Hayashi's arms.
"Gomen, MSM-00… Committee, the program has been terminated. May I request that this incident end here."--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"And he destroyed Shinya? Then how…" A confused Otaru asked.
"No, he didn't. It was one of the special functions Hayashi san had designed onto Shinya. He had figured out someday someone will discover Shinya's true identity and he installed that switch into his body. That switch, is equivalent to what you might call a pause button. It pauses the program, but will give the impression that the program has been terminated. The program will resume when the switch is pressed again."
"And he hoped by pretending MSM-00 has been terminated, he might save Shinya?" Faust spoke.
"Yes, Hayashi san was a great inventor. While I was the one who designed the otome kairo, he was the one that really knew the marionettes well. He knew how to make each and every marionette work perfectly. He had many wonderful gadgets for marionettes. Like me, it was his dream to see marionettes possess feelings like humans. We always believed that…"
"What do you mean 'we'?" Shinya suddenly cut in after not speaking for a very long time. Eyes turned to him.
" 'We' were never together. Yutaro sama and I were never with you. We would never get ourselves associated with a traitor." Shinya continued. His voice was cold bitter, and had sarcasm within.
"Lorelei san… you've only told them how Yutaro sama saved me… you did not tell them why I was discovered…" The cold and bitter voice continued. Brown eyes revealed a soul that was hurt and betrayed, and the words that he spoke felt like several katanas piercing through Lorelei's heart, shattering it into pieces. She felt she could not do anything else. A hot surge rushed up her eyes, and though she tried her best to control it, tears fell out of her eyes. Her first instinct was to run out and hide in a corner where nobody would see her, so she could cry to her heart's content, but her legs would not obey her. So she sat there, tears streaming down her cheeks, green eyes staring at that soul badly hurt by her - housed within that shell that has gone through so much scheming to spoil her creations.
"Too ashamed to tell the rest what you have done? Come, I'll take over…"
*E*N*D* *O*F* *P*A*R*T* *6*
Author's word: For now, the story ends here... This is my very first attempt to write a long fic, so please gimme comments!! Do come back for the ending!! In the meantime, try to guess what Lorelei did to hurt that marionette so much. Special thanks to Gene-Weiß who helped me brainstorm ideas and make it more interesting! And not to forget Mizuyousei who helped me name all the new characters that i've put in this fic..^_^