survived: (pic#3055722)
Shion 「紫苑」 ([personal profile] survived) wrote in [community profile] rokutousei2012-05-12 02:08 am

I GUESS WE CAN TALK ABOUT MAGICAL WASPS.

No.6 is a new city, a vulnerable one with seemingly no flaws from the outside. However, it’s immediately clear to the readers that it’s nothing less than a dystopia. No matter how flawlessly the government seems to control everything, the underworkings of the city are, while expertly organized and hidden, still hinted at on the surface. The city is quick to collapse in on itself after its inner workings have been revealed. But that’s just it – none of the revelations are huge ones that overturn the plot of the story. That is, aside from the parasitic wasps.

We’re going to have to go back a bit before I can correctly explain this, so try to stay with me here. The explanation is a lot less complicated in the anime, but in the novel and manga it’s kind of just a giant plot dump that I can’t explain properly without going through all of it, so here we go!

After Shion was stripped of his privileges and pulled from the special course in Chronos, he began to work as a robot maintainer in the park district. He would look over the park from the cameras within the three cleaning robots that roamed them. However, one day the camera picked up something strange, and when Shion and his co-worker Yamase went to check out the area, they found a deceased elderly man in the bushes. Naturally, they reported it to the higher-ups straight away, who then took it to the government officials. But when Shion came in to work the next day, he discovered that the man’s death hadn’t been reported on the news, and the government officials told his wife, a young woman, that he died of an accident. However, the most mysterious thing was his appearance, as the man was only supposed to be 34. Shion mistakenly let a question slip to Yamase: “what if the government is covering this up?” And right as Yamase flared up and told Shion that he couldn’t say things like that out loud, something strange began to happen.

It began as an itch, just a mild rash on the neck. But in just a few moments, Yamase fell to the ground and writhed in spasms. He began to age abnormally fast: 70, 80 years in a matter of seconds, until the twenty year old man appeared to be unmistakably elderly. His hair and teeth fell out, age spots appeared over his body, and then he went still. He’d begun to go through rigor mortis abnormally fast, and Shion was unable to close Yamase's eyelids only a minute after he’d ceased all signs of life. Naturally, Shion was on the verge of fainting, unable to hold back his screams or composure. No, he had to memorize this. Figure out what was going on. Postmortem phenomena that usually took dozens of hours was taking place in only fifteen minutes.

And then it finally happened: A dark stain appeared on the back of his neck, and a black wasp ate its way out from under the skin. Shion promptly fainted, and he woke up to the government officials questioning him about the incident. The problem at hand is that they needed someone to be their scapegoat, and the one that fit the criteria best was Shion, as he was Yamase’s only coworker and could have theoretically had the knowledge to pull something like that off due to his background in ecology. As such, Shion was arrested under the suspicion of murder, Nezumi rescued him from the police car, and the two began their escape from No.6 to West Block.

Fast-forward to the next day in Nezumi’s underground room. After a brief argument, Nezumi noticed that Shion’s hands and arms had suddenly become covered in dark black spots. Shion began screaming and dropped to the floor, and while on the verge of a mental breakdown, urged Nezumi to cut open the spot on his neck. He realized that his reaction was slower than that of Yamase and that he was going through far more pain than Yamase did, but it was due to this time extension that Nezumi was finally able to cut the wasp chrysalis out of Shion’s neck. Shion very nearly lost consciousness and had to fight hard to keep himself awake, but once they were sure that he had won the battle, he fell asleep for three days. Upon waking up, his appearance was altered to its current state: white hair, red eyes, and a snakelike red scar entwined from his ankle all the way up to his cheek.

Are you still with me? I hope so, because we’ve only just brushed the surface! That’s how the parasite wasps affect Shion as an individual, but here’s the full story (in convenient bullet points!).

-The beginning of No.6: the land that it was going to be built on was a miraculously fertile forestland. The forest was so rich because both the forest-dwelling people and a being called Elyurias had been protecting it since long ago.
-A man discovered the forest people and Elyurias by coincidence. He reported his findings to the higher-ups, which eventually led to the Mao Massacre, the massacre of the forest people. He was also the one to give her the name Elyurias, as she hadn't been given a proper name up until that point.
-No one knows what Elyurias really is - she might be something supernatural, an organism unknown to man, or something else. However, she's existed since long before humans were born, and always protected the land. The forest people worshiped and coexisted with her, and also feared her.
-Elyurias takes the form of a wasp, though no one knows what her true form is supposed to be. She would appear randomly, once every several years or even decades, only for the purpose of laying eggs. She would lay eggs in human hosts and then completely control them without the host ever realizing it. This "control" was basically making the host have a heightened sense of danger, gather the most nutritional food, and staying out of trouble, so that the host would stay healthy and alive for the eggs to hatch ("hatch" probably isn't the right word to use, but for convenience's sake). Once they hatched, the host would immediately grow old and die. This is the "disease" spreading inside No.6 right now.
-One of these eggs would become the new Elyurias. Elyurias is a being that dies and is reborn again and again, but no one has ever seen Elyurias' corpse.
-Whenever Elyurias appeared, the forest people would conduct a ritual. The singers from the forest who could communicate with her would sing and talk with Elyurias to placate her, and then the forest people would present to her a sacrifice that they called the "God's Bed." This was an artificially made host, an animal's brain, for Elyurias to lay her eggs in rather than inside humans. The agreement between them was that Elyurias would lay her eggs in God's Bed, so the forest people had to protect it until they hatched. Elyurias would also protect the forest for them. The animal brains never rotted while the eggs were inside, but once they hatched, they would immediately rot in the same way as the human hosts
-Of course, No.6 wanted the power of absolute control that Elyurias possessed. After conducting the Mao Massacre, they stole God's Bed and researched it.
-Their first attempts at incubating the eggs failed, but they eventually discovered that human brains are the best hosts.
-As such, they started conducting human experiments on the brain. They chose all different types of samples to test the incubation on, and Shion was one of them. The wasp eggs were supposedly injected into the hosts alongside other shots during typical doctor's visits. Basically, they snuck them in alongside vaccinations.
-The research institution was moved to the correctional facility for these experiments so that they could collect more samples. The manhunt, a large-scale "cleanup" of people living outside of the walls of No.6, was also created for this purpose. The scientists wanted to gather the brains of people put under extreme shock, hence all of the large-scale attacks.
-Elyurias is only laying the wasps in No.6 because of the issue with the host mentioned before. The host needs to be able to stay out of danger, gather the best nutrition, and most of all stay alive, which is much more easily done in No.6 instead of West Block.
-Toward the end of the novel, Shion convinces Elyurias to give humanity another chance, and she disappears from No.6, evidently resolving everything up to this point. It's a cop-out ending, I know.

Plot dump complete!

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