Monday, July 23, 2012

Chapter 2 (g)

We walk outside and I can finally breathe fresh air again. The stench of that place still haunts me, I hope it didn't get soaked up by my hair and clothes, I hate when that happens.
I wonder if that workplace is really healthy, I don't think it is ventilated enough. The unrefined geeks of that club probably do not care about such details, I doubt any of them has a girlfriend.

Satsukawa: "I'm impressed..."

Erika: "Huh?"

Satsukawa: "It totally blew my mind... how did you know?"

Erika: "How did I know what, exactly?"

Satsukawa: "The fact that the latch of the P.E. shed has been installed by that girl."

Erika: "So you also reached that conclusion despite her denial?"

Satsukawa: "Well... I can't say I'm completely certain, but judging by her reactions I think it's safe enough to assume so."

Erika: "Interesting. What kind of reactions did you notice?"

Satsukawa: "Well, to be precise it's the lack of reactions what I really observed. There are no humans without emotions, only humans that hide them."

Erika: "Very true, but I think she does that on a regular basis."

Satsukawa: "Right, but the less emotions and reactions one shows, the more are the reasons to think he's hiding them."

Erika: "I see, so you realized that whenever Dlanor's questions were bothering her, she became even more silent and still than usual. Not bad, Satsukawa-san, I have a slightly better opinion of you now."

Satsukawa: "Slightly..."

Erika: "So I guess that what you want to know is how come I suspected that from the beginning."

Satsukawa: "Exactly."

I take a look at my surroundings. I need to get a better idea of the school grounds' layout.

Erika: "Let's walk, I'll explain on the way."

Satsukawa: "Sure, where are we going?"

Erika: "Just taking a tour of the school's perimeter."

We begin to walk in the direction of a running track. It's empty, either this school doesn't have an athletic club or today they are practicing elsewhere. Not far from here there is a small baseball field, a few male students are playing what seems to be a training softball match.

Satsukawa: "So, what's your explanation? How did you reason out that Junko Andou was probably involved with the P.E. shed?"

Erika: "Obviously whoever wanted that work to be done needed to do it in secrecy, and it's doubtful that occult freaks would also possess the required skills for such manual labor. When I heard that there was a do-it-yourself club in this school, everything snapped into place."

Satsukawa: "I see... it does follow, but why Andou?"

Erika: "It's just a matter if seeing patterns, Satsukawa-san, there is evidence that only girls are involved with that place. It's clear that our cultist ringleader prefers girls for some reason. Maybe she thinks they are more easily manipulable, maybe she distrusts or hate males, or maybe it's just an arbitrary decision, as in the case where, for some irrational rule of her little circle, only female students must be involved in the private matters of her cult. In the end that's not so strange, secret societies often have sex barriers. Think about Freemasonry, for example."

Satsukawa: "In other words you're claiming that they wanted someone who was part of their 'club' to do the job, because that meant entering in their secret base. However since they lacked the proper competence and skills, they needed to find a suitable member that possessed those. Therefore Junko Andou, the only female member of the do-it-yourself club, was a natural choice."

Erika: "Exactly."

Satsukawa: "But it seems like she's the kind of person that really can't care less about the supernatural, and she claims she told that to Teramoto."

Erika: "I think there's a pretty interesting story behind that, but, whatever happened, in the end they must have reached some sort of agreement. I don't know yet if she lied to us and became part of their group or if they simply made her work for them after making sure she wouldn't talk."

Satsukawa: "It could be, it's not like there's much chance she'd talk either way."

Erika: "Right, she's a girl that can keep her secrets very well hidden."

Satsukawa: "But wait, you didn't explain the most important part."

Erika: "Oh, what still confuses you, Satsukawa-san? *giggle* *giggle*"

Satsukawa: "Why were you so sure that they added the latch themselves? What if it was already there to begin with?"

Erika: "Really, Satsukawa-san? You can't tell?"

Satsukawa: "Did I miss something? Is there a relevant hint that I'm not seeing?"

Erika: "I think it's more correct to say that you're blind to the painfully obvious."

Satsukawa: "Damn... what it is?"

Erika: "I'm not telling you. *giggle*"

Satsukawa: "I guess it's something you noticed by looking at the latch itself... you must've noticed that it was newer than the door."

Erika: "I can't deny that it did look newer, but this is something I was already pretty sure of even before checking the actual site."

Satsukawa: "Is that a trick to confuse me? Even before checking the crime scene you've seen the pictures..."

Erika: "Please, Satsukawa-san, when I want to trick someone I use way more refined techniques. What you just accused me of is nothing but a worthless child play."

Satsukawa: "So in other words you guessed it just by the mere description of the setting?"

Erika: "If it was something that only I noticed and never told to anyone, it wouldn't be fun. Right, Dlanor?"

Dlanor: "The detective must not light on any clues which are not instantly produced for the inspection of the reader."

Satsukawa: "Is that one of the ten Knox's rules?"

Erika: "Correct."

Satsukawa: "You said it wouldn't be fun... Not fair, fun? Is that what Knox's decalogue is meant for?"

Erika: "I imagine that depends on your perspective, for what concerns me it's a matter of fun. It isn't fun if the one who's supposed to solve the riddle thinks that it was impossible to solve when the solution is revealed. It's only fun when he realizes he could and should have solved it... and feels like an idiot about it."

Satsukawa: "I see... So I'm an idiot for not realizing what you did already?"

Erika: "Oh, definitely."

Satsukawa: "I give up... please tell me..."

Erika: "No, I want you to come to the realization of your own stupidity slowly by yourself."

Satsukawa: "That's... very nice of you..."

Erika: "It's a pleasure, literally."

I stop walking. We reached the northern border of the school grounds. Since the Mitsugi Institute's entrance faces south, it means that we are on the opposite side now. Incidentally this is also the side that the crime scene is closer to. A brick fence is running through the whole perimeter, it's about one meter and a half high.
I try to climb on it and I succeed with little effort.

Satsukawa: "Wait! What are you doing?"

Erika: "Can't you see? I Just climbed on the top of this low fence. Not really the best on security, don't you think?"

For some reason Satsukawa decides to join me. He jumps on the top of the fence with a single smooth movement and makes my attempt look awkward in comparison. He is pretty agile, I imagine he trains himself on a daily basis on the off chance he will need to pursue some dangerous criminal or something.

Erika: "Impressive. I see that where you lack in intellect you compensate in brawn."

Satsukawa: "I'll take that as a compliment. Is there any reason we're standing on the top of a fence, anyway?"

Erika: "I just wanted to test how easily climbable this brick wall was. The experiment was successfully completed."

Satsukawa: "Let me guess... you're thinking that anyone could have climbed this fence, including Gotsuji's murderer."

Erika: "To be more precise, I'm thinking that the surveillance camera in front of the main gate is absolutely meaningless and doesn't prove anything."

Satsukawa: "And that means Teramoto and her friends could have slipped inside the school again after they left. Yes, I was already aware of that."

Erika: "The fact that the murderer could be someone who had already left the school grounds doesn't necessarily mean it isn't someone who was still inside. But I think it's important to note that we can't really exclude anyone. How come you never mentioned this?"

Satsukawa: "It must have slipped my mind. Anyway there's always a chance someone managed to get past a fence, unless it's very tight on security."

Erika: "But there are other factors to consider. For example, what's that building over there?"

I point my finger to a huge structure standing on the other side of the street. It runs almost for the whole length of the school grounds. It's in a really bad shape, broken windows, discolored paint, several cracks on the walls on so on.

Satsukawa: "Starting from the opposite side of this street it's all industrial area. That building is an abandoned factory."

Erika: "An abandoned factory, uh?"

Satsukawa: "The last ten years have been quite grim for Japan's economy. This ward was particularly affected by the crisis. I'm no economist but I heard that delocalization is all the rage now. That of course means that in this country there's less demand of factories and blue collar workers as there was in the past."

Erika: "Such a shame. We're no longer doing wonders as we used to after the war and people call it 'grim'. I'm so moved with compassion that I could almost puke."

Satsukawa: "It might not be that bad if you look at the big picture, but for the single persons losing their jobs and the way to support their families it's a tragedy."

Erika: "Satsukawa-san, we're talking about global economies while standing on a fence, maybe we should stop this before someone sees us."

Satsukawa: "Agreed... let's get back down on the school grounds, shall we?"


  1. This is a very interesting story so far, Jan Poo.

    I like how you use Erika. You emulate her character quite well. I bet Ryukishi07 would enjoy this story. It's quite entertaining.

  2. I was actually worrying I was depicting her too differently from the orignal ^^;
    I don't really have something to use as a reference in the original story because we have rarely seen Erika as a narrator in Umineko.

    By the way don't mind the fact that I don't answer to comments. Anything I say could give away an unwanted hint, and if I suddenly didn't answer a comment, that would also give you a hint. So I rather not answer at all. I'll consider this an exception, but from now on, "radio silence" until it's finished.

    Feel free to write your comments though, I enjoy reading them.

    1. Ok, no problem. This was actually feedback, I wasn't expecting an answer, so this is a nice surprise.

      I intend to keep commenting as new parts of the story are released.

  3. "can finally breath fresh air" --> breathe

  4. Yeah, Erika here can be as obnoxious as in the novels,but that's ironically her charm.