A/N: Twinkham's "Secret Diary of Motoko" inspired this little ditty, so if you'd like to blame someone her e-mail address should be in her profile. As for me the usual disclaimers apply, GiTS and all its incarnations belong to Shiro Masamune, Oshii Mamoru, Kamiyama Kenji and music c/o Kanno Yoko. The only thing I own is my pride and the OC in this fic. And just to spare any readers (if there is any) grief this is a legend for the fic:
'(speaking)'- written dialogue
"(speaking)"- quoting and/or live speech
(speaking)- e-brain communication
The M.E.'s P.O.V.
By Saoirse the Irish Colleen
21. 2. 2030
One would believe with all of our A.I. and high-tech medical advances, we physicians wouldn't be reduced to doing the Y-incision with scalpel and circular saw (at least on the fresh meat victims)- don't believe a word TV propagates! If the cybernetic body has sustained detrimental damage to the point where I can't even have the engineers in Hardware hack open the torso I have to get out the blowtorch. Take this one for example; I didn't have to do a Goddamn thing considering a certain musclehead decided to break out the heavy artillery and pump three 00 buckshots blowing this poor bastard to kingdom come! And guess who has to half-assedly piece it back together? 'I told you to use your buzz knucks or .50 caliber hollow points!' I told him. 'Hanka prototypes aren't cheap unlike your audio implants I see.' All the asswipe did was smirk and say, 'Babe, we only need the Tomiland in good enough shape to finger Colonel Akagi with more than just circumstantial evidence.' That wasn't the point and the moron knew it, I also detest being referred to as "Babe". I awaited the Major's backup with bated breath and instead got silent mirth from the gorilla-bitch and my fellow homegrown, Togusa… dorky-ass prick. I ripped the jacks from my interface ports to better blowing my stack, the liquid crystal monitor hissing blank behind me triggering a communal groan. I could give a shit that we were in the middle of a briefing; the Chief was detached- big shocker! 'You aren't winning this one Batou. Who the hell said for you to skip the paperwork and act like a vigilante? If you don't like it go back to Section 4! You aren't Special Forces and this isn't the jungle!' Why the fuck does Togusa give me that look for? The SOB is usually left out of the loop the majority of the time… didn't he figure that one out yet? On the upswing I'm getting a full report out of Batou's fat ass promptly at 20:45, and I'll know if Togusa helped him.
3. 3. 2030
Friday nights are dinner with Dad. He runs a tight ship but manages to maneuver his schedule around for "Daddy-Daughter Time" once a week. And how eventful! I pick fretfully at the Chicken Mei Fun I slaved three hours over as he reads the Soyuz Evening Edition. The benefits of having a Chinese mother are learning how to prepare pork 27 different ways and how to strike at the apt moment. 'I could make potstickers and fried eggplant next time.' And I counted 48 seconds exactly before he acknowledged me as he does without fail and he said, 'Your choices are fine with me.' All right then, I choose to quit my job and live on the beach naked.
11. 3. 2030
Forty-five minutes late, and I am getting docked and… it's… not… MY… FAULT! I'm taking this straight to the Section's tribunal and challenging it until it's struck off my record! It's not my problem that the ConEx delivery guy was a dipshit wandering all over the ground floor lobby and the receptionist 'bot was switched to stupid mode failing to instruct him that all deliveries are made around the back at the shipping gates! Where was Ishikawa when you need him? But I forget he spends his lunch hour in the Dive Room DLing porn thru his teensy pachinko brain farm. So as he wallows in blissful oblivion watching Kawaii Michie take it up the ass thus unable to alert the SWAT team even though package and truck bombs are back in vogue. And what do I do, like a true idiot I decide to sign for the damn thing just to get the delivery asswipe's acne-pockmarked face out of mine and take it out on the recipient later. I didn't hear the forklift's siren until it was too damn late… The worst a five-pound weight could have done was bust an arm- as long as it wasn't Togusa's or the Chief's. Megatech bodies were top quality and publicly restricted for a reason. I completed my internship there after graduation; Asuda-hakase mentored me personally through my fourth PhD since Megatech was the ripest plum hanging over all of his pupils' noses. And I won it fair and square. 'Hard cover!' Paz hollered sending everyone flying to the carpets but I still caught the ponytailed dumbass upside the head. There were no words to tack onto that; I simply had Batou's pre-assembled jungle gym delivered to Section 3's ladies locker room.
18. 3. 2030
Kusanagi finally caught onto the trend that being a buttinsky doesn't earn you popularity points. She was bitchy over the fact that "Chroma" isn't permitted access into the Tachikomas' A.I. satellite, but "Muse" is. BTW Muse is yours truly. Anyhow we were only conducting data stream calibration experiments and the Tachikomas respond more favorably to me especially when they're in a nihilist chattering frenzy. It never bothered me since Asuda-hakase predicted A.I. evolution years ago, his theory was printed in the International Cybernetics Journal but it was the scientific community's fault they never took it seriously… until robot revolution became a reality. Motoko thinks the four countermeasures she's got up her sleeve would actually work but little does she comprehend that the Tachikomas data acquisition is quite speedy. Wonder how Motoko would feel if I let this slide from the report? Nya-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha…
27. 3. 2030
Weekends would be the bomb if I actually had one to myself. Wakabayashi Katsunari got out the pen a couple of weeks earlier and I'm managing to enjoy my Lichee pudding and coconut rice milk smoothie. My current location is the Fai Da Bakery on the green line in 5th Sector, Old Town to those old enough to have survived WW III and Chinatown to the half-breed folk like me. Another benefit to having a Chinese mother is the ease on how you make friends in low places, the clinic within the Triads borders would have been blown to smithereens if I didn't aide in negotiations between them and the local Yakuza. But the Kojinkai's Deputy General Manager was never in favor of diplomacy without the submachine guns. It was by Buddha's hand that the shithead did a year with a deuce-and-a-half stapled on for a hit in the big house and peace flourished without as much as an eyebrow quirk from Inoue Yoshihito or Hsiao-Hsien Wong. Now the wheels of retribution and old debts are turning and Tony Kwan is shitting his pants desperate enough to ring me. The meeting arranged with General Manager Shimura Mario's happening tomorrow night at the club. Besides the Kwan bastard owes me for saving his kids' lives. The little girl will live a normal life, but his son requires prosthetics or he won't see his 16th birthday. The mother is a fanatical Daoist so there's little chance of her letting him into a computerization center. No one in S-9 knows about my little side gig or I'd be subjected to one of infamous Kusanagi's ghosthacks pumped for info or under surveillance indefinitely… for all the good it would do. My dawdling came to an abrupt end when I saw the weak spatial distortion of a Tachikoma scaling a wall under therm-opto cam. I signaled for my awaiting rickshaw and paid Charon for his services for the day. I can only hope that whatever assignment they're on keeps them busy preventing them from getting a visual on me.
2. 4. 2030
Paradoxically they had me within their sites, as our Asian crime syndicate powwow got a bit rowdy. The whole section was toughing a stakeout of a private bar of a local band of pimping wannabes not far from the club. Our voices tended to carry as well as the sound of the CAR-15's. Just as S-9 was about to pack it up after a fruitless night when the inevitable cheap-ass Armani knock off suited body was blown out a stained glass bamboo-curtained window. I went for cover under the bar when three Tachikomas demolished the wall with missiles, as per Batou's orders. Wakabayashi and his lieutenants fled like rats from a sinking ship in the smoky catastrophe, my mistake was screaming in Chinese thinking they hadn't infiled yet. I'll admit only here that I don't give Togusa enough credit for his good ears but I honestly didn't believe he would recognize my voice through my Cantonese-accented Hong Kong dialect. 'Sensei? That you?' They aimed their laser trackers on me as I struggled to find my footing. I think my outfit rather than my situation stunned them, putting up my hands provided them with a better view. I've got a whole wardrobe of Chinese silks and chose this number deliberately primarily for its tackiness. I blended in with the thousands of other bargirls in my gold trim and orchid patterned sleeveless cranberry qipao. Though I wasn't officially arrested I was cooped up in a Tachikoma's pod and ordered, "to be quiet for once". I paid Batou back for that when his emergency Yebisu keg was filled with foam water. /But we'll never look at you the same, hatare girl/ Boma yucked it up over the e-brain. Dude, you are so off my Christmas list.
19. 4. 2030
I made a special corn velvet soup and got a discount by the butchers for my Pork Yat Gaw Mein that I was forced to carry on a tray making sure Dad ate his dinner. Secluded in his study he yakked on his cell and surfed simultaneously skimming through his mountains of files. Talk about multitasking! Shallow gene pools give rise to innate behavior; we could never leave work at the office. I still had to finish my reports on my vivisection of that nasty illegally modified combat android bodyguard that hurled Kusanagi into a pile of week-old trash. The e-brain was totaled after Batou pulverized its head with his fist. So much for a data transfer. On the bright side my autopsy on Yokose Kanemoto's remains uncovered his cause of death was a massive brain edema (there was more than enough grey matter in his cyber-enhanced brain) brought on by a violent anaphylactic shock to the THC in the Hashish he smoked. I tested the blood on his silk sheets that drained from his body and e-antibodies were present. Yokose's knowledge of his allergy is doubtful but his use of the drug proved quite lengthy. Guess whoever commissioned the Maoist girl assassin must be feeling pretty stupid.
30. 4. 2030
Like I always say, "I wasn't the kind of girl to submit to the antediluvian notions of prom invites and I'm not the kind of woman enthusiastic about candlelit dinners." 'Yeah, not that you get many in either case,' Batou retorted one lackluster evening. The Chief with Motoko in tow vanished for an impromptu supper with Prime Minister-Elect Kayabuki Mahomi and members of the new ruling party. I've never known him to be so keen on politics before unless he was using its players as Trump Cards in S-9's favor. This smacks of the Dejima refugee quandary we're entrenched in. Crawling out from the debris of WW IV Japan had refused to accept any more refugees. More than 30 years later we have an island with a 3 million-refugee population and no one's quite sure how it happened. We declare sovereignty over Dejima a half a block gets blown up in Harajuku. Somehow a car crammed with Gertex crashes through a department store's display window and a firework show rivaling that of the American Empire's diamond jubilee is set off. A statue honoring the Dejima war heroes gets erected in the middle of town and an insignificant minister on his way to the Diet gets his cyberbrain sniped all over the asphalt. Section 9's artillery has been getting modified every month, and a few of mine have found its way into the arsenal. Saito has been especially pleased with my laser guidance plasma shoulder-mounted cannon. Substituting for typical gunpowder ordinance, the projectiles are loaded with a heavy ionized gas that will ultimately result in extreme damage with less usage. As former Director of R & D back at Harima Research Academy the military became interested in my plasma armaments specs that were in the final stages of testing when I was "recruited" for Section 9. And a good thing too, I wouldn't be enjoying the Hanami at the moment with Saito at this cool teahouse that is strangely vacant. I hear the ecstatic squeals of the spinning Tachikoma in the fields under the sakura fall as Saito and I enjoy the four-level bento I've prepared for us. And the memory of seeing the artificial blood vessels bulging in Batou's oversized neck will last me a lifetime.
19. 5. 2030
This insane not to mention unseasonable heat brings out the worst in people! Or maybe just me. One thing is for certain I fucked up. I made a great infarction. Colossal mistake. Bad boo-boo. In the grand scheme of things shit tends to happen and at the choicest moments. A day off at Section 9 is a Godsend; Togusa was probably filling up the pool for the wife and kiddies on this ad hoc summer day getting blasted by a super soaker; Kusanagi was more than likely cybersexing it up with her girlfriends; Boma could be anywhere but we knew of a certain tree in Chuo Park he had a thing for napping under; Ishikawa had his home-brewed diving system entertaining him; Paz had his little black books to keep him occupied; Saito preferred private target practice on the coastline; and as for Batou a case of Yuengling was his sole company on his boat while fishing. The Chief had been gracious to assign me as his date for a refugee fundraiser where I knowingly spent my hard-earned cash on a full treatment and shoe dyeing for the old man to spend the evening with Prime Minister Kayabuki in her office. A pair of S-9 cherries fresh from recruitment picking, Azuna and Koga, were our watchdogs for the evening. Just as the cheese and biscuits were going around Kubota's people roused our lovely Defense Minister with the news of a tanker truck exploding at the juncture of Tokyo Expressways 2 and 3 smack in the middle of Roppongi. To spread the icing on that cake the truck may have been transporting biological paraphernalia, specifically virally treated water for our chemical and biological warfare trialing. No conformation on contamination or what type of virus it was. S-9 was mobilized and rushed for a briefing, unfortunately before I could even reach the Chief over the neural comm we were whisked to the parking lot and taken to HQ. How would they take the news when I had to break it?
Well just as the Chief was done spouting orders and Kusanagi laying out her game plan I whipped out my magic wand and pulled rank. 'You are now officially under quarantine.' Welcome to the longest night of your lives, morons! Reeling from the shock of my stick shaking and Kusanagi challenging me I reminded her of the Nemuro landing op not so very long ago where Falkland Island guerrilla-terrorists had chemically treated the plastic lining of water filtration tanks with a genetically engineered strand of Ebola. When exposed to water the proactive virus had a medium to travel, it was made even more aggressive when water converted to steam becoming airborne it killed over 5 million in the first three months alone. It was also the first to be designed to specifically target organic parts of cyborgs, while the Chief, Togusa, Saito and myself ran the highest risk Motoko, Batou, Boma, Paz and Ishikawa's brains were in the crosshairs as well. Section 9 was a critical investment to national security especially at this time and the Chief conceded to my argument, though I suspect out of emotional factors rather than practical. The Major clicked on the monitor to watch three separate news broadcasts since her suspicions that a press blackout wasn't imposed in time was confirmed and there was a media blitz from here to Nirvana. Paz and Saito collapsed with her on the sectional probably feeling useless. When Paz tossed out two packs of unfiltered French cigarettes he was settling in for the night. Boma and Ishikawa hotfooted it for the Dive Room; Togusa was on his cell having a three-way conversation with his wife and parents in Yokohama. The Chief vanished for the central diving room to conference with his government circle and as for me I proceeded to get to the lab to start work on antibodies for a vaccine, though I had no idea what I'd be working with.
'How did you know about the Nemuro op?' Batou interrogated me leaning against the doors. /Y'know it pays to know people even in the Northern Frontier. / He knew who I was talking about but had no idea how I met up with him. That's for me to know and him to never find out… it's only a matter of time now… I felt sorry for the Tachikomas and set them loose from their alcoves to wander around the lab. Proto and the engineers of course had stayed put and I had a hard time concentrating assaying the Tachikomas' recent structural analysis. I curse my restless ways during times of high tension and took a walk. I shot the shit with Togusa in the firing range unloading his Mateba at paper targets. I checked with ballistics his .9mm revolver has a high accuracy than the .5mm Seburo automatics, the standard-issue sidearm for S-9. The center of mass is blown out faster but the drawbacks are fewer rounds and slower reload. I scanned the range uncertain of our privacy and couldn't detect any energy signatures from therm-opto cam; left to her own devices Motoko could be anywhere. I was on my way to the Dive Room to do some of my own surfing when Batou's hyper-masculine grunts combined with the meaty belts of his fists taking his rage out on a bag in the gym echoed in the halls. To get to Ishikawa's Dive Room I had to pass it and the door was perpetually open for ventilation. I went in the other direction to glare out a picture window.
'You can't see anything from here,' Batou butted into my brooding.
'Bakayarou, I wasn't trying to.' It was a mistake to walk into the gym but I was too rattled think of anywhere else to go. The mind rehearses a million and one worst-case scenarios to muddle through impending doom and as a scientist a catastrophe such as this leaves much to the imagination. /Ishikawa, anybody calling dibs on this one/
/A big negative on that. I checked with Environmental Ministry so far their tests are proving inconclusive. But the boneheads running the show are doing a rush job so a series of double-blind tests were ordered up. /
/How about the Defense Ministry? Any unusual movements/
/We have pretty good feelers out on their Net space and nothing out of the ordinary has turned up. /
/Only corruption, double-dealing and back room politics is good enough for our government. But we'd be splitting hairs and I wasn't built for that. /
'And when were you invited into this conversation?' I snapped at Batou unwrapping the tapes from his big knuckles.
'Since you decided to have it here.' It was amazing at how he remembered to toss them into the trash. I wrinkled my nose at the sweaty tang in the air that my olfactories just registered.
'Yes this is definitely your turf and I'm taking my leave.'
'Running away again? Nothing new with you.' And that's when I heard the wail of the camel when his back broke.
'Look! I'm tired of all this bullshitting around, if you've got something to say to me let's have it out once and for all! I don't like you Batou and I'm sure as hell you haven't warmed up much to me, but we've got to work together and coexist civilly and tonight hasn't been our night from the get-go. So whatever beef you've got gimme your best shot!' I swear to God I'm not sure what happened next. It's all fuzzy from there and all I know for sure is my dress fell off somehow. I remember coming to when the Tachikomas branched me I accessed their window and where their infantile prattle was coming from. The Chief called for a briefing and I realized two things, I must have switched off unconsciously and satin isn't wrinkle free.
Well the world could breathe a sigh of relief when the truck that blew turned out to be an accident and its cargo was olive oil. To be on the safe side the Chief ordered that the driver's body be delivered to my lab for the autopsy. As compensation for our overnight stay he gave us the day off and it seemed a bit odd how we were ready to say good night at 6:20 A.M. At least that's what was going through my head when I was climbing the steps to leave. Unfortunately karma is a bitch goddess.
'Doctor I tried several times to reach you over the e-brain,' the Chief piped up so matter-of-fact that he was probably giving me a structural analysis. I closed the door extra soft. 'I apologize sir, I should have notified you that I was switching off.' Unexpectedly everyone sat back down, Batou as he does perched his ass on the sectional's backrest freshly showered and in that loud-ass yellow leather jacket of his in his own little world.
'May I ask what kept you so preoccupied?' I was backed into a corner and couldn't expect any assistance from my abettor so I had to ad-lib. It was a good thing I had been working on the Tachikoma projects before I got myself into this mess and jacked into the monitor pulling up all the new data. 'I uploaded all of my old notes from Asuda-hakase's class, even my doctoral dissertation, but I needed a second opinion. So I spent the majority of the time hunting for the doctor and found out he wasn't at Harima or his home but stranded for the night at Gakushuin University attending a symposium.' Ishikawa yawned.
'Continue,' Chief said.
'Well I suppose what prompted my headhunt was the analysis of the A.I. data stream. Since the Tachikomas don't have a "brain" in the computational or physical sense and the organic oil that they were being supplied with altered their base-operating programs their back-up memories gave every indication that ghosts are present. They resemble simulated ghostlines that occur when a real ghost is transferred but there's no evidence of the degradation that's usually incurred. In any case this is purely theoretical until we can chart the ghost sector and dive into it, and how we're going to that is another story since their A.I. is in a satellite. So we may have to assemble an online barrier maze.' Whew. I sounded convincing and kept my eyes trained on the Chief's who's shifted for a split second. I didn't want to know what he looked at. 'If you feel that this is eating into the terrorist investigations I'll suspend all testing.' And that silence that I'm so used to simply agonized me.
'Naruhodo. I'll trust your judgment, Doctor.' He squeezed the sinus cluster on his nose. 'Do you need a ride home Doctor?'
'They need me here.'
'Try to get some rest then.' He didn't put on his tux's jacket when he left through the side door. I made a big show of leaving the office and ducked into the ladies room to wait for everyone to leave. When I went back Batou was still sitting on the sofa backrest. I had no planned speech and I didn't know how to feel.
'Batou we should talk. And I mean just talk.' Because of those damned Ranger-issue cybernetic optic implants it seems like he has the same expression all the damn time. 'What happened earlier I consider the "closing argument". I guess what was happening with us was just our way of getting off on one another without even touching. And now that we have I guess this means we'll be moving on. I'll respect your feelings and I won't bring it up or hold it over your head. Our lives are complicated as is.'
'You coming over or what?'
So now that I'm lying here and unable to sleep since Batou snores like a bulldozer (I'm bringing him in for a full systems diagnostic snoring like that could indicate anything from sinusitis to heart problems. People think just because you're manmade doesn't mean your inorganic parts don't need an occasional replacement) I'll close here. Tomorrow I have to finish that genetic screening from the Tokra Eka case. Her Progeria is definitely linked to her family's company's cyberbrain brand. The genetic mutation had to occur when the cyberbrain first went online which had to have happened when Eka was still on the operating table. Since there is enough of her grey matter for her ghostline to be active within the shell the firewalls may not have been responsive quickly enough when a virus got through and transmuted into a protein that infected her operating brain cells thus spreading and gave rise to an error in replication so that the newly formed DNA strand carried a mutation and her body simply degraded from the disease.
Great, now I gave myself a headache but at least I could sleep now. I always wondered if cyborgs dreamed of organic sleep.
P.S. Can you figure out the identity of the M.E.'s dad?