A Saddening Hypothesis (Rashmi Terios)

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A Saddening Hypothesis (Rashmi Terios)
Date of Cutscene: 01 November 2017
Location: Rashmi's Bedroom
Synopsis: Rashmi has been doing some Googling about Jin Meiyou, before and after the talk they had down the block from the restaurant. More and more, Rashmi is certain that Jin hides a heartbreaking secret.
Thanks to: Jin-player!
Cast of Characters: Rashmi Terios, Jin Meiyou

bing! << WHY DO YOU PERSIST, MASTER? >>

Rashmi blinked owlishly, pulling her head away from her computer screen and peering at the armored book laying next to her teacup. "Hm?"

bing! << THIS INFORMATION DATABASE IS SLOW. OBSOLETE, MASTER. A DEVICE A TENTH MY CAPABILITY COULD STORE THREE TIMES THE INFORMATION SAVED ON THAT CRUDE DATABASE. >>

"It's not about power," Rashmi chuckled, looking back to her screen and frowning. Tabbing from one window to another, she narrowed her eyes at the articles as though squinting could make the pattern more clear. "It's about access. You aren't carrying the Internet in your storage, Nicomachea."

bing! << IT COULD BE DONE, MASTER. I COULD HAVE ACCESS. >>

"Not until Devices are more common on Earth than cell phones," Rashmi said immediately. "I'm not going to cheat like that, it wouldn't be fair and it wouldn't be right. Besides," she said as her fingers slipped, and the new auto-completed search term forced her to push her personal best at scrabbling to close the window. "Half the stuff that's on here? It wouldn't be a favor to you to ask you to store."

bing! << THEN WHAT DO YOU NEED ACCESS TO KNOW? >>

"It's Jin-san," Rashmi sighed, opening up a new window and re-entering her search query properly. "I'd almost consider it impossible, but... I'm pretty sure he's a ghost, Nicomachea. Like, an actual memory of a dead person." Scrolling through the obituary, she frowned, poking at the characters. "See... Here we have an entire family named Meiyou, who died in Sendai after the Toohoku earthquake. Jin Meiyou was 12 years old when he passed. Born February 11, 1999."

She switched to another article, and tapped at a very familiar-looking portrait on the screen. "And here's a Jin Meiyou, Private First Class of the SDF, honorably discharged after an accident that crippled his leg, cleaning up from the disaster that VirtueNet calls Walpurgisnacht."

bing! << THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY, MASTER. IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THE TWO NAMES ARE-- >>

"Yeah except Jin Meiyou, Private First Class was from Sendai. Born Feb 11, 1999."

bing! << ... >>

"I know, right?"

bing! << ..... >>

"So can ghosts be Device Users?"

bing! << Not in the manner you suggest, Master. >>

"Okay... so what do you mean, then?" Rashmi says, turning in her chair and moving her teacup out of Nicomachea's way. Of its own accord, the book opened, ruffling through a few pages. The writing glowed faintly golden, and a series of holographic screens expanded into being in the air above the open book.

<< THERE IS RECORD OF LOST LOGIA FROM AMONG SEVERAL CIVILIZATIONS IN MY EDUCATIONAL DATABASE, >> the book said. << COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS SHOWS A COMMON THREAD AMONG MANY OF THEM; WHETHER IT BE THEIR PRIMARY FUNCTION OR NO, THE LOGIA WOULD ABSORB THE LINKER CORE OF ITS PRIMARY, AND CREATE FROM IT AN INTERFACE TEMPLATE. SOME HAVE BEEN SUSPECTED TO PHYSICALLY RECREATE DEVICE USERS, SIMILAR TO A FAMILIAR CONSTRUCT. SUCH A LOGIA MAY BE ABLE TO DECONSTRUCT AND STORE A DEVICE AS CONSTRUCT-PATTERN INFORMATION. THUS, IN THIS WAY, A GHOST WOULD BE A DEVICE USER. >>

Rashmi listened attentively throughout the entire lecture, nodding slowly to herself as she followed the book's logic. "...But I don't think that's what's happening here, Nicomachea. I mean... that would require a lot of mana to do, right? So wouldn't we be able to sense every time Jin was brought out to do whatever? And anyway, aren't those kind of Lost Logia usually keeping guardians or primaries or whatever, to do something?"

bing! << ... ANALYSIS SUPPORTS YOUR HYPOTHESIS, MASTER. IF SUBJECT IS THE PRIMARY OF A LOST LOGIA, SUSTAINED RECONSTRUCTION WOULD REQUIRE POTENTIAL POWER OUTPUT NO LESS THAN TWO ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE LESS THAN A JEWEL SEED. IF SUCH A LOGIA WERE ACTIVE, IT WOULD BE A KNOWN QUANTITY. >>

"Yeah... but I'm pretty sure that our Jin is this Jin... and I'm also pretty sure that this Jin is dead..."

The room fell into silence, as both Mage and Device contemplated this possibility. << THIS HYPOTHESIS IS UPSETTING YOU, MASTER? >>

"Well... Yeah," Rashmi said, scrubbing at an eye with the back of her hand. "I mean... You heard him talk, he sounded like he's pretty close to figuring out whatever he needs to move on. And all he wants is to make sure that Fate... Fate! is taken care of! That's heartbreaking, Nicomachea! God I wish we'd known about this so much sooner, I'd've done so much more to help him have a happier time here!"

bing! << WHAT IS UNKNOWN CANNOT BE KNOWN BEFORE IT IS UNDERSTOOD, MASTER. >>

"I know," Rashmi said wetly, and gathered up the book to hug to her chest. "Just... like, just thinking about how the timeline probably went makes me want to bawl like when I was little, y'know? Ask Chandra sometime about the first time I saw the Neverending Story, and Artax in the swamp and oh God I'm crying more now!"

Nicomachea was warm against her chest, the light of text scrolling across his crystal leaking out on either side of her neck. bing! << MASTER SHOULD SLEEP. THE BENEFICIAL EFFECTS OF SLEEP AND ITS UTILITY IN RESTORING ORDER TO THE BRAIN PATTERNS OF THE GRIEVING IS WELL-DOCUMENTED. >>

The Device's concern was easy to discern, even around its monotone delivery, and Rashmi managed a soggy chuckle. "Yeah okay," she said, turning to hit the power button on her monitor. "You're probably right."

bing! << SLEEP WELL, MASTER, >> the book said, reverting to the sunburst charm of its power-save mode.

"Good night, Nicomachea," Rashmi sniffled, shutting off her desk lamp and crawling into bed.