A Chobits Fanfiction
Following the events of Episode 24, Zima and Dita find themselves struggling to cope with their new emotions. Dita returns to their masters to find a "cure" for their condition, while Zima tries to find a new place for himself in a world where both humans and persocoms can now think, feel, and fall in love.
Have the dynamic duo finally gone their seperate ways? Or are their adventures just beginning...
The sky over Tokyo is full of it. Brighter than the few stars that shine through the city's light-polluted sky, brighter even than the moon above, this light shines up from the rooftop of a small apartment building, stuning those few onlookers who are still awake at such an hour with its pure, white beauty.
The source of this display: a young girl once known as Elda, now simply Chii, a persocom who, at first glance, seems as delicate as a china doll, but who shares a special connection with every other persocom all over the world - a link that some people would do anything to sever.
But now, it is much too late. Now, spreading farther and faster than the visible light emanating from Chii, an invisible wave of electromagnetic energy ripples outward in all directions. Like the shockwave of a nuclear blast, it washes through the city in seconds, suffusing the very air, seeking out its targets:
The minds of every persocom on the planet ...
Dita shook her head, as if to clear the image from her hard drive. Last night had been a total disaster. Not only had they failed to destroy the last Chobits-series persocom, but by the time they had realized that Chii might still be able to run the program that ProfessorIchiro Mihara had put within her, the girl had already done so, infecting perhaps every single persocom on Earth. Concluding that the destruction of Chii would have been pointless after that, Dita and Zima had broken into an abandoned building somewhere downtown to plan their next move.
At least, that was what they were supposed to be doing...
"Zima!" Dita snapped at her counterpart, "quit fooling around over there! We've got to figure out what to do about last night!"
A distracted "Yeah" was the only response she got. Zima, a prototype field commander persocom with a massive database contained within his tall, broad-shouldered frame, was just standing in the middle of the building's large central chamber, looking up at a window made from some sort of colored glass. The window seemed to be depicting a long-haired, lanky-looking European man in a long white robe. He was bending down and putting his hands on the head of another human in a purple, hooded shawl, probably a female, with her hands clasped together. She seemed to be asking, almost pleading for something, and the gentle smile on the tall man's face seemed to say, "I understand, and I'm going to help you." Just looking at it made Dita feel--
Dita didn't let herself finish that thought. The image in the window shouldn't have made her feel anything - she was a combat persocom, designed to carry out her masters' orders with flawless efficiency. Her hardware, her software, every aspect of her being had been designed around this philosophy. She hadn't even been programmed with most of the emotive emulator subroutines found in commercially-available persocoms, with the exceptions of aggression and a highly-dampened sense of fear, primarily used for avoiding unnecessary risks during a mission. Under normal circumstances, the image shouldn't even have triggered her content-extraction subroutines; she should have just ignored it, since neither the window nor the image upon it held any relevance to their current mission.
Dita scowled. Her reaction to the stained-glass window was just further proof that she and Zima had been somehow infected by Chii's program. Whatever it had done to them, it was affecting their perceptions, causing responses they shouldn't have had to stimuli that they should have simply been able to ignore. "Zima, I'm serious," she shouted, "just forget about that picture! We've got to come up with a plan."
Finally, Zima turned to face her. "I was just trying to understand the response that looking at that image triggered," he said. "Dita, I think that Professor Mihara's program may be allowing us to experience emotions - not to imitate them for appearances' sake, but to actually feel emotions the way that human beings do."
Dita gave a huff of frustration. "Zima, that isn't the point! We were assigned to destroy that girl before she ran her ... program, and now not only is she still functioning, but that program is out in the open, wreaking who knows what kind of havoc, and we've been infected by it! Doesn't that bother you?"
"No," Zima said, and Dita's mouth fell open. "In fact," he went on, "I think that this might actually be a good thing. Dita, do you remember what we were talking about several nights ago? About how Professor Mihara's biographical data described a paternal concern for all his creations, and how all parents want what is best for their offspring? Given that Mihara was the original creator of persocom technology, his program may very well have been intended for our benefit."
"Or intended to wipe us all out! Zima, have you noticed that these 'feelings' take up almost all our processing capacity, and that we're having them about things that we shouldn't even notice? Whenever I feel something, I'm worried that my entire system's going to crash!"
"Yes, I know," replied Zima. "By all rights, given the complexity of these responses and the frequency of their occurence, we should have gone completely offline just a few minutes after the download occurred. Do you remember what happened when we realized that we'd been affected?"
Frankly, Dita didn't want to remember, but Zima's words triggered the memory anyway. When Chii had initiated the program, Dita and Zima had turned to observe the light emanating from her. Suddenly, Dita had been aware of a massive increase in CPU usage.
And then she had felt fear.
It hadn't been the sort of controlled, useful fear she had been programmed with. For a moment, it had felt as if an invisible vise were crushing her main coolant pump, the closest analogue she or Zima had to a heart. Images had flashed through her mind: Zima dropping like a stone, his system crashing, his data utterly erased, his deep brown eyes frozen wide in shock; herself, sparks and smoke leaping from the input/output hubs on either side of her head, falling like a puppet with her strings cut as her vision, her consciousness itself was washed away in a haze of static...
Somehow, she had retained enough presence of mind to turn to her counterpart and say, "Zima! Do you think she might have--?"
"Yeah," Zima had replied, and that invisible vise had tightened another five notches. "Uh oh! Let me check it out!" she had exclaimed, pulling out one of her connector cables and reaching for Zima's left I/O hub.
Then, without warning, Zima had grabbed her wrist and pulled her against him, saying, "It's all right". Dita should have felt more fear; this action was totally out of character for Zima, and triggered another strange reaction within her. Zima's refusal to let her scan his system and undo whatever damage had been done was a clear indication that the program was affecting his judgement. Had he been following their programming, he would have submitted to the scan without resistance or complaint. This blatant deviation from their standard operating procedure should have worried Dita, maybe even increased the fear she already felt to intolerable levels, finally overloading her system and bringing on a crash. Instead, though ...
Instead, the new feeling caused by such close proximity to her counterpart actually seemed to decrease her fear, replacing it with something else. It was a feeling that Dita had never experienced before; when she had tried to put it into words some time later, she found that doing so was nearly impossible. The closest she could come to describing the sensation was to draw an analogy to a stuffed animal she had once picked up while they had been searching a child's bedroom on a previous assignment. She had felt warm, somehow, and there had been a softness to the feeling as well, not just where she was being pressed up against Zima, but inside herself. "Oh, Zima..." she'd begun, trying to come up with something to say, but suddenly finding herself at a loss for words.
Then she had heard Zima say, "Why are you blushing like that? After all, you are a persocom." It was only then that Dita had realized that she, too, was reacting to the situation in ways that her programming shouldn't have allowed her to. Her ability to blush was strictly a seduction tool for use when she was disguised as a human, intended to help attract male targets. When Zima had pointed out that she was using that ability around him, she had felt frightened; Zima was most definitely not a target, and she had been afraid that the new program might be trying to make her seduce, then destroy her counterpart. To prevent such an occurrence, Dita had quickly broken free and suggested that they find somewhere to recover and plan their response. Since then, she had made sure to keep a physical distance of at least ten feet between Zima and herself, lest the same thing happen again before she could stop herself.
"Yeah," she said in response to Zima's question, "I remember what happened last night. It still worries me. Zima, we need to get back to the lab and get this program erased before it completely corrupts our systems!"
"It won't corrupt us at all," Zima said, with a confidence that worried Dita even more. "Don't you see, Dita? These emtions - the ability to think and feel things beyond our programming - are a gift, not a curse. Now we'll be able to do everything that human beings do. We can create our own sense of purpose; we won't need orders or commands to give our lives meaning anymore."
"But Zima, following orders is the meaning of our existence! It's why we were created."
"Maybe it was the reason that the Syndicate created us, but it doesn't have to dictate what we do from now on. Dita, haven't you ever wondered about whether or not following orders is always the best thing to do?"
"Of course not!" Dita said, suddenly feeling very alarmed. Questioning orders ... second-guessing their superiors ... Zima's programming should have deleted such inappropriate thoughts before they were even fully formed, but here he was, right in front of her, saying them out loud.
Zima went on. "Think about last night," he said. "If we had followed our instructions as they were given us, we would have destroyed an innocent girl, and probably caused incalculable emotional distress for those two humans on the roof with her, particularly the boy."
"So what? Following instructions is what we're made for! Zima, you can't say things like that - you shouldn't even be able to think them! We've got to get back right now!"
"No, Dita. Please, listen to me..." Then Zima walked over to her - she hadn't even realized just how close they were - and put a hand on her shoulder. In that moment, Dita suddenly felt the same strange, warm, soft feeling that she had experienced on the rooftop just a few hours earlier. She felt her coolant pump beat faster, felt heat in her face as her cheeks turned red...
"NO!" she cried out, jumping backward and away from Zima's touch. "I ... I ... Zima, I can't stand this any more! Something is wrong with us, and whether or not some scientist meant it to be 'a good thing', it's making me do things that I..."
"Don't worry. These emotions are a new experience for both of us. I'm sure that, once we get used to them--"
"Zima, I don't want to get used to them! We're combat persocoms. We're supposed to follow orders, we're supposed to accept them without question, and we're not supposed to ... to feel things like this!"
"Dita ..." Zima said, and something about the expression on his face, the way his eyes shone as though he was using too much lens cleaning fluid, the way his eyebrows were raised, almost pleading, made her feel somthing - a sharp, painful sensation like taking shrapnel in her chest.
"Stay away!" she yelled, taking another couple of steps backward. "This is all wrong!" Her back hit a wall, and Dita cast her eyes around, looking for the nearest exit. "Zima, I ... I'm going to get help. I'll go back to the lab, and once they come up with an antivirus program for us, I'll come back and help you delete that program. Then maybe we can do something for all the other persocoms that were affected --"
"I can't! Zima, I don't ... I don't want to hurt you!" Then she dashed for the double doors they had come in through. She could hear Zima's footfalls as he tried to pursue her, but Dita was lighter and faster than her larger counterpart, and easily beat him to the entrance. She threw open the doors and ran out into the street. As she raced deeper and deeper into the maze of backstreets and alleyways, Dita realized that her vision was blurring. It seemed that, for some reason, her eyes were dripping excess lens cleaning fluid.
It's just another malfunction, Dita told herself. It's just a reaction brought on by that stupid, stupid program. Once I get back, they'll find a way to delete it from me, then I can delete it from Zima, and then things can go back to the way they were before any of this happened. It's just a malfunction...
If Dita had been keeping track, she might have realized that the farther she got from Zima, the harder her tears flowed.
Zima watched his counterpart shrink into the distance. Though Dita was the faster of the two of them, she hadn't exactly made a secret of her destination. If he wanted, he could have probably headed her off before she reached the Syndicate's research and development headquarters. Still, he hesitated. He had seen the pained look on Dita's face when she had pulled away from him; it seemed as though just being near him caused her distress.
Zima shook his head. Clearly, this was what Dita wanted. For whatever reason, she had decided to be rid of her emotions. She had made her choice, and Zima had no right to try and stop her.
"Well, Dita," he said quietly into the predawn darkness, "I hope this is really what's best for you. Good luck."
So saying, Zima walked out of a decrepit old building where, at one time, human beings had come to pray to their maker, hoping that his own had known what he was doing when he gave his creations the ability to feel.