Monday, December 13, 2010

Demon City – Chapter 1

"There was nothing we could have done. If he hadn't sacrificed himself so that we could get away, neither of us would be alive right now." Feed's voice sounded distant.

Sitting on the soft leather sofa, Nakajima finally opened his heavy eyelids and looked outside the window in a daze. At some point the wounds on his arms and legs had been bound in bandages, but he had no memory of who had treated them or when.

Seemingly unaware that Musashino had turned into a demon city, the cars on the freeway sped by, their headlights forming a river of light. For a brief moment, Nakajima thought he saw the smiling face of Narukawa-turned-Tsukuyomi in those lights. More importantly, Nakajima could not understand why Narukawa had gone so far to protect him, even in defiance of his own organization. He could only think that there had been some sort of connection between them that defied logic, much like his own connection with Yumiko. All he wanted to do now was cling to the hope, however, small, that Narukawa had somehow survived.

Something occurred to him."Hey, where are we?"

"We're in the American embassy. We're safe here." Almost right after Feed's reply came a knock on the door. A tall, elderly gentleman entered the room.

"How is our guest doing, Professor?"

The man's gentle, slender face turned toward him. Nakajima realized that he had seen this person on television several times before. Blackwood, the American Ambassador to Japan.

"He looks a lot better. Thank you."

Feed responded with a calm expression that Nakajima had never before seen on the man. Looking at Feed speak so casually with an important American government official and getting a glimpse of just how broad the professor's world was, Nakajima felt a twinge of loneliness. He knew better than anyone else that he had no place he belonged. As he hung his head in shame, the Ambassador appeared to mistake it for anxiety and came over to shake his hand.

"Everything's all right. Professor Feed has told me everything. We will never hand you over to the Japanese government, even if they demand it." Blackwood's Japanese was flawless.

Nakajima said nothing and shook the man's warm hand.

"By the way, Ambassador, have you arranged for a jet?"

"We've got an F14 waiting. It'll depart for the US at 8 o'clock tomorrow morning."

"Thank you, Ambassador."

"No need to thank me. Say hi to the President for me."

Waiting for the ambassador to disappear behind the door, Nakajima spoke. "Are you going back to America, Professor?"

"Yes. About that..."

Feed sat down on the sofa across from Nakajima and leaned forward. His eyes were glittering like those of a mischievous child.

"I've finally discovered a fool-proof way to banish the demon."

"What!?"

"I know it's difficult to believe, but this is a sure thing. Remember what I said a while back? If there are two magnetic fields that simultaneously attempted to summon a demon, if the difference in their strengths is large enough, the demon will automatically be pulled to the field that is stronger. What determines the strength of the magnetic field?"

"The makeup of the atmosphere, gravity, the geomagnetic polarity...and the state of mind of the people would probably have a large effect as well."

"You've got it. I'd have expected nothing less from my best pupil." At some point, Feed had decided that Nakajima was his student. Confused, Nakajima shook his head at Feed's words.

"Don't you understand what I'm getting at? Here, take a hypothetical example. What do you think would happen if you could create a magnetic field that had no interference from atmosphere, gravity, and geomagnetism?"

"Well, of course, in theory it would be immensely powerful. But trying to artificially create such an environment would take enormous amounts of time and money, and..." Nakajima stopped in the middle of his sentence. "I get it! In outer space! You're going to use a satellite!"

Feed nodded in satisfaction. "There's no way to predict what a demon banished to outer space would do. But if we were able to pull Set onto a satellite raised into Medium Earth Orbit, he would never be able to meddle on Earth again so long as the computer kept running. There would be plenty of time to develop a weapon capable of taking him out in the meantime. I have to return to the US to get the government's approval to use a satellite."

"Is there a satellite with a computer powerful enough to summon a demon?"

"Of course. My country has launched a satellite in geosynchronous orbit at 135 degrees East as a base to control the future SDI satellites. Currently it's only operating at 30% capacity. It'd be perfect for summoning Set." Feed's voice was full of confidence.

"What will you do? Trying to take on Set all by yourself at this point would be nothing but foolishness. I would think it be best for you to stay here until everything is resolved."

As if chasing an illusion, Nakajima's eyes drifted to the window.

"I think your plan has a very high chance of succeeding. But there's something you forgot, Professor."

"What?"

"If you pull off your plan, Set's temporary body, busy fusing the human world with the demon world, will experience a tremendous shock as its environment suddenly changes. I think it would be safe to say there would be no chance of saving Yumiko."

Feed was silent.

"I'm going to fight Set again. But before that, I want to find Izanami. She may have some wisdom as to what to do..."

"So I fight for humanity, and you fight for your girlfriend. Well, that's fine, then."

Feed stood up and offered Nakajima his hand.



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