Frau Doktor (Nightbell)

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Frau Doktor (Nightbell)
Date of Cutscene: 05 October 2018
Location: Mitakihara General Hospital
Synopsis: Nightbell drives Dr. Murano home from the hospital. The Doctor decides on her new code name.
Cast of Characters: Rosalie Janus

A nearly-seven-foot-tall figure in a raincoat made her way out of the hospital, hood pulled up to hide her face; she towered over the severe-looking woman next to her. The two remained silent until they got into a sleek black minivan with tinted windows, the taller one in the driver's seat, and neither spoke until the van pulled out of the hospital parking lot.

Dr. Murano sighed theatrically. "Freaking finally!" she said. "I don't know about you, but not being stuck in a hospital is just to die for."

Nightbell pulled back her hood. The tinted windows hid her glowing eyes and face-markings for now. "I mean, I get the sentiment, if not the specific phrasing," she said. "I still say this would've been less awkward if I was being Akari."

"And if someone you know in your civilian identity saw you?" said Dr. Murano.

Bell shrugged. "What, were you expecting the captain of the Kendo team to recognize you and conclude that 'Akari' is a member of Eclipse?" she said. "No offense, Frau Doktor, but your lack of tactical acumen is a small part of the reason you were in the hospital in the first place."

Dr. Murano snickered. "'Frau Doktor'?" she said. "Well, all right, point taken. I still say there's no point in blaming yourself that much, the problem was that both of our failings collided with each other. But we've had this conversation at least twice a week since then."

Bell sighed softly. "... Yeah."

"I did come up with an interesting idea for energy-gathering, by the way," said the Doctor. "It'll probably take about a week before it's ready for deployment."

"Sounds good," said Nightbell. For some reason, the thought sprang into her head that 'Akari' would hate going along with this and that "energy-gathering" was a stupid euphemism for indiscriminately draining random peoples' energy.

"In the meantime," the Doctor continued pointedly, "now that I can be with you in person full time, I'm going to get out Ritterglocke, and we're going to figure out just what the hell your creators were thinking."

"I think the boat has sailed on finding a sensible answer to that," said Bell without missing a beat, "but if this is about Sakura-imouto, I agree. I was far too easily swayed, and it'd be great if we figured out what the hell they thought was the point of giving me the ability to feel familial love." And absolute desperation for a family-connection, and romantic attraction, but she'd always felt an inexplicable need to hide those sorts of things from Eclipse ...

"Precisely," said Dr. Murano. "It's true that you're surprisingly ... 'human' ... for an artificial intelligence. But this seems like the sort of thing that your creators would have objected to. Or should have, at least."

"No argument here," said Nightbell, glancing at the Doctor before turning her attention back to the road. "Seriously, every time we look through that damn Storage Device, I find another clever and creative implementation of an absolutely terrible idea." She came to a stop at a red light. "Bet you a million yen the lab was blown up by the Belkan authorities, who caught on because the conspiracy's operations security was just as clever and creative."

The problem was ... Ritterglocke, the Storage Device which had contained Nightbell (or "Nachtglocke" in Belkan) and which Eclipse had recovered from the Dusk Zone, was full of notes and diagnostics tools which would have been incredibly useful to Clara Meriva, the Belkan scientist who had created and programmed her for the conspiracy Doppelkreuz, or to Meriva's underlings and associates who actually had access to the plans and notes. To Dr. Murano, who hadn't even realized that activating the Storage Device was going to cause a Belkan Knight to materialize in her lab? Not so much.

The Doctor laughed. "Easy money, if you could find anyone who'd take the bet!" she said. "Still. It certainly beats the alternative."

"Yeah ..." Akari sometimes had metaphorical nightmares about never being found, or not being found until Ritterglocke had completely broken down, or in which Dr. Murano activated Ritterglocke and Nightbell came out as a raging darkness-youma ... "Couldn't've put it better myself, Frau Doktor."

The Doctor grinned. "You keep calling me that and I'm gonna want to ask Riventon-sama to officially make that my code name."

"What, 'Frau Doktor'?" said Nightbell. The light turned green, and she eased the car through the intersection. "... You can have whatever code name you like, as long as you don't try to do field work without a Barrier Jacket and your own flight."

"I might have to take you up on that," said Dr. Murano.

Nightbell glanced at her. "'Might'!?" she exploded. "Murano-san, you almost died! I am not having that happen on my watch just because you can't get over your damn tunnel vision!"

It took her a few seconds to realize that she'd just use the same turn of phrase as Rashmi. But Frau Doktor and Eclipse didn't need to know about that, either, beyond the fact that Rubindorn could now create a Time-Space Barrier.

"Ahh ..." The Doctor frowned as she thought about this. "Well ... all right." After a moment, she smiled. "Thank you, Nightbell."

Bell gave her a quick smile in return. "It's what I was created for, Frau Doktor."