Volume 1: Transfer
005: Shell Beast Disaster Response Headquarters.
Shinya was escorted to what looked like a temporary tent with a plastic board hanging from it that read “Shell Beast Disaster Response Headquarters.”
Surrounded on all sides by thick dark green cloth, the place was warm thanks to a large heater.
The sky had darkened while I was being escorted. It’ll be very cold outside the tent.
Shinya sat down in a pipe chair and looked down at the booklet in front of him.
It was titled “Response and Preparedness in the Event of a Shell Beast Van Disaster: History of the Shell Beast Van, Evacuation Methods and Reporting Procedures: Public Relations Division, Japan Branch of the International Quarantine Force, Asian Area Corps, 2018 Edition.”
A booklet with such a lengthy title was on the desk.
Across from him, a middle-aged man dressed in the same dark green military uniform as the temporary tent was also sitting in a pipe chair.
The man, who had introduced himself earlier as Major Yuichi Sonoguchi of the International Quarantine Force, was sitting with a sturdy demeanor in contrast to Shinya, who was sitting with his back slightly bent from anxiety.
His hair was cut short with a hint of gray mixed in, giving him the appearance of a “distinguished soldier.”
Shinya laced his fingers together absentmindedly under the table, and the clinking sound of metal could be heard.
The chains between the handcuffs were long enough that even though he couldn’t spread his arms, it didn’t hinder his movements much.
However, the fact that he was ‘handcuffed’ did not sit well with him.
The handcuffs that were placed on him when he was being escorted as per protocol were still on his arms without being immediately removed, unlike the explanation given at that time.
The factors that led to this began with the fact that he was asked to submit his ID card and did so without any particular thought.
The female soldier looked quizzically at the national insurance card that he had casually submitted as requested, so Shinya also submitted his student ID card and the pension ledger he had with him since he was on his way to the pension office.
After seeing all of those, the female soldier told him to sit down and wait for a while, and then she left the tent.
As it was, Shinya was left alone in the tent, but Sonoguchi arrived a short while ago and has been there since.
Shinya, who had resigned himself to the idea that even if he was blamed, there was nothing he could do about it, thought to myself, “If I have all this time, I should read the booklet in front of me.”
The words “Shell beast van” and “International Quarantine Force,” which were unfamiliar to him, were accompanied by a sense of foreboding. It was because it seemed to be critical information that he needed at the moment.
Sonoguchi turned Shinya’s insurance card over several times and looked at it for a while, then turned back to Shinya and opened his mouth.
“Mr. Mamiya. Well, I mean, forgery of official documents, how should I put it?
This kind of thing doesn’t exist. ……”
Shinya was amused by these words.
Taking his eyes off Shinya, Sonoguchi took out his wallet and pulled out a card from inside.
He placed the card on the office desk and lightly held it out toward Shinya.
“National insurance card. ……This is mine, though. It’s totally different, isn’t it?
What’s with this card? The address, too, is full of things that don’t exist. Japan, this is okay. But what’s Toshima Ward? I’ve never heard of it. Do you mean …… Old Tokyo?”
“No, uh, …… old? Well… Tokyo, I think, is Tokyo… the capital of Japan.”
“The capital of Japan is New Eastern Capital. Only at the beginning of the Meiji period did they call it “Tokyo.”
A strange air enveloped the temporary tent. It was broken by the voice of a visitor.
“Major Sonoguchi, may I?”
The words came from outside the tent, to which Sonoguchi replied, “Come in.”
“I have received a report from First Class Private Leonova regarding Mr. Mamiya. I’d like to ask for your decision.”
Shinya turned around and saw someone in a military uniform.
Male, probably around 20 years old. He was built like an athlete, but he wore glasses and looked very intelligent.
He spoke fluent Japanese, but he was black.
Was this also a conversation based on a common concept? Shinya had a strange feeling.
He could also see a bracelet on the right arm of the bespectacled soldier who was saluting.
Like Sonoguchi, the person he saw was quite likely wearing a bracelet similar to the one the girl and the corpse were wearing.
Since not all of them were wearing the same bracelet, perhaps it was a mark worn by those who had awakened to their abilities, which the girl had called Aubade.
Shinya felt somewhat guilty and grabbed his wrists to hide them.
The handcuffs made a clanking sound, but no one seemed to mind, and the conversation between Sonoguchi and the bespectacled soldier continued.
“First Class Private Leonova is waiting outside the tent. What would you like to do?”
“I’ll be over there in a minute.
……Mamiya, I’m sorry, but you’ll have to wait a bit.
You can have a drink of the water over there.”
The cardboard box to which Sonoguchi pointed contained several bottles of bottled water.
“Yes,…… I’ll have some.”
“ Just be patient with the handcuffs a little longer.”
Shinya winced at these words, but replied, “Okay,” while still holding onto his right wrist.
After hearing Shinya’s response, Sonoguchi left the tent. The bespectacled soldier followed him out.
Shinya, alone once again, got up from his chair, took a bottle of water from the cardboard box, opened it’s lid, and sipped it.
Feeling the sensation of water flowing down his throat for the first time in a while, he emptied more than half of the 500-millimeter plastic bottle in one gulp.
“Specialized Senior Soldier Lenova,” must be that girl’s name. Other than that girl, Shinya couldn’t think of anyone else who would report back to the soldiers here about him.
“Ms. Leonova …….”
Shinya said to himself.
He sat back down in his chair with a plastic bottle in his hand, glanced at the entrance to the tent, then dropped his eyes to the booklet in front of him and turned the pages.
The contents of the booklet were surprising to him.
The insect monster that had attacked him and the girl is called a shell beast, and mankind has been battling the threat for nearly 100 years.
They’re said to have emerged from the depths of the earth or from outer space, and automatic weapons are not powerful enough to fight the shell beasts on equal terms.
The shell beast, as the name implies, is covered with a shell so tough that tanks and missiles must be used, and It has the power to easily tear through steel.
However, at the same time that the shell beasts appeared, some people began to awaken to the ability to fight them, or “Otherworldly powers.”
They call these xenomorphs “Overlords,” and the army built around these Overlords is called the International Quarantine Force.
The Shell beasts have nests, and each country monitors the nests and exterminates those that come out. They also exterminate nests that are close to cities or that might interfere with economic activities.
The sudden appearance of a shell beast and the action it takes to build a new nest is called a “Van.”
The official name for this activity is local pollution activity caused by sudden nesting of shell beasts. How did they come up with the name “Van,” Shinya wondered.
Shinya did not understand the terminology used in this area. Although it is officially called “pollution,” it differs from environmental pollution in that this pollution refers to the invasion of a region, and by extension, the earth, by shell beasts.
The ecology of shell beasts is still unknown. The appearance of the beasts varies, with some coming from the depths of the earth and others from outer space, and no perfect forecasting method has yet been established.
After Shinya finished reading the booklet and also grasped the proper reporting procedure in the event of a shell beast van, he felt the need to hold his head in his hands.
A battle that has been going on since time immemorial. The main shell beast nesting sites. The difference between its location compared to a map of Japan and the names of places he knew.
Since the booklet was about the shell beast van, I didn’t get much additional information, but the girl mentioned a psychic called Aubade.
I concluded that the predictions I had in my head seemed to be real.
I’ve been transported to a world different from the one I know.
Though I don’t know why, I have to go back somehow.
If I could go back, that is.
If you ask me if I’m that attached to my former world, I’d have to shake my head, but in that booklet “The Damage Caused by the Main Shell Beast Van” was such a devastation that made me not want to stay in this world for long.
“But I said I would …… protect. ……”
Shinya crosses his arms, remembering his promise to the corpse …… Shinya, who’s probably the Shinya Mamiya of this world.
There’s no way to think about such things now. Having shelved it as such, he downed the entire contents of the plastic bottle he was about to drink.
It must have been half an hour.
Sonoguchi returned to the tent with a complicated expression on his face, unlike earlier. On either side of him stood the bespectacled soldier who had come to call Sonoguchi earlier, and the girl who knew about Shinya in this world.
Sonoguchi speaks to Shinya from the entrance of the tent.
He said, “Mr. Mamiya, I’m going to have to ask you to move. The car is out front, so please follow me.”
Shinya does as he is told and gets up from his seat.
When he looked at the girl, her face was military-like, and he could read nothing of the emotions behind it.
My heart tightens a little at the cold-hearted look on her face, the only girl I’ve ever known.
He takes only a glance, out of the smoldering rivalry in the back of his mind, tries to keep his face expressionless, and starts walking away.
However, Shinya’s face, not being a military man himself and having nothing else to cling to, looked somewhat pained.