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Last Edit: 2017-03-14 – 11:06:37 PM
Two Automata related novellas in the NieR:Automata World Guide book, published in tandem with the original Japanese release of the game on February 23:
- Orbital Base Station “Bunker” – Observation Diary by Eishima Jun
- The Memory Cage by Eishima Jun
＊ This novella has 6 separate sections that tend to shift the perspective between 9S and 2B. It’s never clearly stated when it’s supposed to take place, but simply from the narrative, the reader is lead to believe that this is sometime before the start of the game, on a mission to the desert zone.
＊ These are notes and translations I made after a quick read-through.
Further details and/or corrections will come at a later date.
MAJOR SPOILERS for portions of the game are included in the material below. Please don’t read further if you don’t want to be spoiled.
■ The Memory Cage by Eishima Jun (9 pages, 3 columns each)
▼ Part 1
It opens up with 2B dispatching a bunch of Bio-machines with the Type 4O sword in order to check for an important message from the Bunker at an access point.
Appearing out of the distance comes 9S.
9S: 2B! Is that a message from the Commander?
2B: No, it has nothing to do with our current assignment. It’s about another mission. (Changing the subject) This wasn’t our rendezvous point.
9S: I know but, I thought… I could help you……
2B: There’s no need.
9S: (shrug) No, it doesn’t look like it. Well, we met up safely, so why don’t we head toward the target area?
▼ Part 2
9S: Uwaah! I’ve got sand in my shoes again! Doesn’t it bother you?
2B: What does?
9S: Your shoes must be full of sand, aren’t they?
2B: I can tell somethings inside them, but it hardly impedes my ability to move, so…
9S: Don’t you hate how the sand sloshes around in your shoes like that!? Even if you can still walk fine, doesn’t it feel horrible?
2B: Emotions are forbidden.
The narrative here explains that it was probably due to a failed squadron that later YoRHa androids were instructed to suppress their emotions. 2B believes, for all intents and purposes as battle type androids, emotions are not necessary… especially for herself.
They work their way through the vast desert area and come across the ruins of the Barren Temple (lit. Sanctuary of Sand). 9S points to what looks like the shadow of a building in the distance.
9S: Ah! Could that be it?
Pod053: Affirmative: This is the investigation target. A large building left over from human civilization.
9S: It seems to be what they called a sanctuary, some sort of religious building. Specifically, it was called the “Barren Temple”, I think. I suppose people from long ago used to live here but later turned it into a religious temple…… I guess.
9S was so excited to explore temple that he forgot about the sand in his shoes.
9S: C’mon, let’s check it out, 2B!
As 9S dashes off, a smile nearly forms on 2B’s face, but she suppresses it by quickly following after him.
2B: Emotions are forbidden……
She only meant to say this to herself, inside her mind, but she actually spoke them aloud. 9S heard her say something and turned around to face her.
9S: Did you say something!?
2B says it was nothing and they both continue their way toward the entrance of the temple.
▼ Part 3
As they entered the temple, the sound of the wind from outside in the desert faded away. It was suddenly so much quieter that 2B thought that all sound had disappeared.
9S: It feels like someone turned on the AC in here, huh?
Pod053: Negative: There are no such air conditioner units at this current location in the temple entrance. You are merely experiencing the difference of temperature from the outside to room temperature.
9S: Oh for craps sake, I realize that. It’s just a feeling.
The only sound in the room were their own footsteps and the low frequency humming of the two Pods. Part of the ceiling had caved in, allowing a brilliant stream of sunlight beaming through the still air.
9S: It looks like the sand’s even made it this far into the temple.
A nearby staircase and adjacent landing, the walls as well as the floor below were covered in mounds of sand.
Pod053: Conjecture: The sand mounds throughout the central hallway and multiple areas along the walls were placed artificially: however, exactly how it arrived there is unclear.
9S: I wonder why they’d do such a thing? You don’t have any idea?
So much of the old world’s legacy was a mystery. Even if humanity fled to the moon, that doesn’t mean they were able to take all of their records with them. That’s why it was important for the androids to conduct such investigations and record their findings.
2B: (To Pod042) Are there any Bio-machines nearby?
No enemy signals appeared on her visor screen, but she asked just to be sure.
Pod042: Response: There is no enemy signal within the temple.
Pod153: Warning: Both the stairs and portions of the ceiling are damaged further ahead.
9S: You don’t need to tell me to know that, huh, 2B?
2B nodded. Halfway down the stairs, a huge boulder blocked the way.
9S: This used to be part of the ceiling. Much of it has been worn away, but you can still make out some of the pattern on it.
Both 9S and 2B raised their eyes to the partially collapsed ceiling above, exposing the brilliant blue sky beyond.
9S: I wonder what caused it to collapse.
At any rate, their ultimate task wasn’t to engage in battle with the Bio-machines but rather to help humanity return to the surface of the planet, and hopefully as close to their original form as possible. And that also included preserving natural heritage sites and other locations of the past as well, which meant avoiding battle near these areas and drawing out the enemy far enough away as not to further damage the ancient relics of humanity.
Pod053: Response: The cause of the collapse may due to the passage of many thousands of years. Further details on this cause is unknown.
9S: Thousands of years, huh? That’s amazing.
9S: Well, I mean, if the ceiling here collapsed however many thousands of years ago, then the whole temple must have been built much earlier than that. For it to be in such good shape… it’s amazing. Given such a harsh climate out here in the desert, I’d imagine there’d be more erosion than what we see here.
Then almost without warning, 9S stood up and stepped toward the room on the side of the stairs.
2B: Now what?
9S seemed fascinated over a large, stone door that hung wide open.
9S: How do you think this door opened and closed? It’s complete stone, right? With this thickness and weight… There’s no way an average human could open it on their own.
The doorway featured double doors that wouldn’t even budge no matter how hard you pushed against them. 9S tilted his head in confusion.
9S: There must be a power source somewhere.
9S looked all about the room, but unlike the hallway that was flooded with natural light from outside, the space beyond the doorway was pitch black as the darkness expanded with no end. As 9S set foot toward the darkness, Pod053 moved ahead of him.
Pod053: Proposal: Turn on the light.
9S: Okay, do whatever.
What Pod053 then illuminated was a space far wider than he ever could have imagined. As 9S ran into the center of the room with Pod153, the space where 2B stood grew darker and darker the farther away 9S ran. Instructing Pod042 to turn on a light as well, 2B followed after 9S.
His gaze looking up at the ceiling, 9S continued to run through the open room along the walls around the perimeter as his footsteps echoed under the high ceiling as he went. He ran here and there, stoping only for a moment to examine the floor or the side of the wall. Simply watching him go to and fro made 2B’s head spin.
9S: The floor, the walls, even the ceiling are all made out of stone! The stone was cut into huge slabs and assembled together…… It’s unlike any building construction that I’ve seen. I’ve never seen anything like it! How in the world did they they manage to move such heavy slabs of rock!? How can this one pillar support such width and height?!
Seemingly talking to himself, 9S stepped near a section of the wall.
9S: Could there have been light source here? Attached to this long, narrow fixture in the wall?
Pod053: Affirmative. There are traces of a light source fixture known as a torch or something similar.
9S: There’s one, two, there, four… a total of eight fixtures along the room. I wonder what they used this room for? Maybe they’re remnants of some sort ceremony?
After running all about the room, 9S made his way to the inner doors. The entrance doors were left wide open, but a second set further beyond remained firmly shut.
9S: This couldn’t possibly…
He rest a hand upon the door.
9S: …be a cinch to open, do you think…?
Just as 9S voiced how impossible that would be, the doors budged open with a creak.
9S: It opened!?
9S looked on in shock at the double doors that opened to the left and right. With its light shining brightly, Pod053 ducked in and out of the doorway.
Pod053: Warning: There is an extreme vertical interval between the door and the pathway further ahead.
But 9S didn’t seem to care.
9S: I’m just going to take a quick look! I’ll be right back!
The moment 9S removed his hand from the side of the door and dashed inside, the doors tightly closed behind him.
▼ Part 4
The moment 9S and Pod153 disappeared behind the door, 2B let out an exasperated sigh. There was no way she could let this chance slip away.
2B: Pod Program, switch to close-range battle support and deploy weapons.
Pod042: Understood: Commencing close-range radio wave camouflage, booting close-range attack equipment.
Pod042 proceeded through this procedure with static indifference.
2B: Switch battle mode to Anti-YoRHa. Disengage the ID signal.
She began to feel encumbered by the thought of what she must do. In order to calm the thoughts in her head, she stood still, releasing all the tension.
This, too, was merely part of her job. That’s right: her job. Those words “absolute secrecy” remained firmly on her mind.
She first received the information in an email as she had landed her aerial unit. It couldn’t have been while she was on the Bunker, nor during the descent through the atmosphere. It wasn’t until she was was heading toward the desert that Pod042 received the message.
At that moment, she knew what was going on. The message must have come directly from the Commander, not through the Operator. The timing would have made it difficult to intercept. Classified information within classified information.
No. She knew long before she received the actual message. She knew from the moment she and 9S were tasked to investigate the ruins of human civilization. She knew it wouldn’t be long before she’d receive the order to terminate him. Unfortunately, this just proved her right.
2B: Pod, search for 9S’s location and find the fastest access route to flank him on the side.
2B turned her back on the door that 9S and 153 went through. If she were to track them, it’d be best to find a different route. Rather than following behind, they should confront them head on instead.
Not to mention, the target is a Type S. Investigation and information gathering is their forte, moreover, he’s a newer model. If she wasn’t extremely careful, she’d easily lose the element of surprise.
Of course, she was certainly the stronger of the two. It was known from the start which one of them would be the victor; therefore, there was no need for surprise. Simply, she wanted to get it over with as quickly as possible–if possible–and before he even saw her coming. That way he wouldn’t have time to be afraid; he wouldn’t have to suffer.
As Pod042 signaled “Search complete,” 2B turned back down the hall and jumped over a large stone that blocked the stairs. The signal from 9S’s black box was ever so close now.
Next, she was conscious not to make a sound with her heels as she came down the stairs. The source of the black box signal was coming from the next room. Silently unsheathing her sword, she stepped near the door.
Like the first room, this one also had a set of double doors, both left wide open. But as far as she could see, there was no sight of 9S anywhere. Stepping closer to the doorway, she quickly peered inside the room. There were absolutely no obstacles inside, which meant there was nothing to take cover behind. It would be a risky move to venture any further inside, but…
Suddenly, she felt as though something was behind her when bullets began to rain down upon her. It was the long-range attack from a Pod.
As she stepped back to correct her stance, she saw the edge of a sword falling. At some point, she didn’t know when 9S managed to ambush her from behind who proceeded to attack with a long sword.
She never imagined that 9S would preemptively strike at her. She intended on striking him down quickly, but it was she who came under fire first.
The moment she was about to kick the long sword out of 9S’s grasp, a warning sounded in her mind.
Why did 9S have a weapon meant for close-range battle? He shouldn’t have been able to wield such a weapon……
She quickly put some distance between the two of them. She saw as the blade disintegrated, gleaming brilliantly in the heat of battle. It was 9S’s long sword. If she had been stupid and kicked at it before, it would have slashed a deep wound in her right leg. 9S must have somehow predicted the movements of a Type-B android specializing in hand-to-hand combat.
2B thought it would be best to move to a different location. If she moved into the hallway with worse visibility, she would later be at a disadvantage.
Taking a giant leap to gain more distance from 9S, she plunged through one of the doors. The signal from 9S’s black box was detected from a completely different room. Given the length of time that they were separated, there was no way he could have set traps for her in this room, too.
9S was closing in behind her. Although this was a wide, open space with nowhere to hide, she still showed no hesitation against 9S. 153 began firing supportive rounds as 9S continued to attack. His style of fighting seemed like he was giving it his all, which greatly confused 2B. She had never seen him like this before.
2B dodged both incoming attacks from 053 and 9S, but 9S’s movement was much faster than she could have imagined. No, not only that but the long-range fire from Pod was annoying. She’d have to take Pod out first.
2B: Pod! Focus your fire on 053!
There was no such kamikaze type of programming installed in aerial support units. If it were attacked, it would automatically attempt to evade. So, that would give 2B a slight leeway to dodge the incoming fire, but it would only be a second or two. It would be enough.
As 2B is trying to find him, she just barely dodges out of the way of sudden gunfire from… Pod153 and 9S himself. Apparently, he found out that she was planning on killing him sometime and was waiting for her to make the first move… but it never came, so he decided on a preemptive strike. He manages to hack into her systems and completely take control of her…
But then 2B started to gain the upper hand anyway due to a tertiary backup plan by the Commander. She infects him with the Logic Virus that completely deletes his personal data, rendering his android body immobile and ready for the slaughter. She receives the order to destroy his head unit but hesitates. Again, she’s given the same order. Still she hesitates, even though this isn’t a first for her; she had also given peace to other YoRHa androids… At first she only felt her hand shake but now her whole upper body felt as though it were under such great pressure. There was no logical reason for it and yet she felt an acute pain in her chest.
Nonetheless, she still manages to perform her given task and lets her sword loose upon his neck.
“Signal from black box confirmed lost.”
And yet, she keeps hearing 9S’s voice in hear head:
2B tries to regain her composure but is continually plagued by a strange feeling and 9S’s voice echoing in her head. She asks Pod042 to open a channel to the Commander to tell her the status of the mission… and in the end, when she closes the line of communication, something like flowing quicksand overcomes her.