Around four years have passed and I find that Shion has been relegated to a menial job managing parks for the city. He no longer lives in Chronos, where the more elite of society live, but now lives in Lost Town, a more middle class part of the city. We find out that this is all because of his involvement in aiding Nezumi in his escape.
While Shion is working, the park robots that he and his partner are monitoring discover something, a person. When Shion and his partner arrive on the scene they get a closer look:
A strange festering black mark on the neck is the only clue to mysterious death of this individual. The scene cuts away to the opening and we assume that the case is handled as expected.
Later Shion meets with his friend Safu and afterwards it becomes clear that Shion is still not able to fully understand his own feelings toward the path given to him in life and his place in the world. He no longer aspires to the prestige of those chosen for the Special Course, but at the same time he wonders what he is trying to accomplish in life now. Safu sees that he no longer has any attachment to his former aspirations. Safu has continued on with the Special Course and has passed a selection test to study abroad in No. 5. She then asks if Shion is jealous.
Safu: “You’re jealous, aren’t you?”
Shion: “Sure am!”
Safu: “Liar. My specialty is brain function, behavior modification, and hormonal relations. If you were jealous of me, spending time with me like this should cause you anxiety. If you were feeling anxious, you would be excreting a type of corticosteroid from your adrenal glands… ”
Shion: “I get it, Safu […]”
Safu: “You weren’t feeling the least bit of anxiety; you aren’t jealous of me at all. If you were, you wouldn’t be able to smile like that. […] It must be because we are looking forward to different futures. Shion! Just what are you thinking? What is it that you wish to accomplish?”
Shion: “My wish…I wonder…”
Just as the night’s winding down, Safu comes right out and says it:
Not quite as blunt as the picture, it’s still out of the blue and Safu, with her overly scientific disposition (which reminds me of Leonard’s mother in The Big Bang Theory), makes it even more awkward of a request than it already is. It makes me wonder if everyone has this disassociation toward love or if this is only specific to her.
Shion turns her down, but asks that after her two years of study abroad that she asks him again. Safu brightens up and is about to head off home when Shion and Safu are interrupted by a rat.
The rat crawls up Shion and speaks! Shion immediately realizes that it is Nezumi controlling this robotic rat and runs after it as it scurries away. The rat however gets away and Shion returns home.
The next day, upon arriving at work, Shion talks to his work partner about the mysterious death the other day. Apparently the death has been reported as nothing but an accident, which Shion severely doubts. He asks his partner if the authorities are manipulating the news and his partner quickly scolds Shion for voicing such thoughts, reminding him that they are ‘loyal citizens.’ It seems that openly criticizing the government is a punishable offense and adds to my view of how this government operates.
Suddenly his partner becomes old and withered before Shion’s eyes. Once again a black mark has appeared on the victim’s neck, but this time something else happens.
A wasp comes out from the blackened skin. Somehow this wasp must act like a parasite, feeding off of the host. When the wasp is ready to hatch it seems that is when the host dies. The Security Bureau members arrive on the scene and after reviewing Shion’s past, apprehend Shion, who was found unconscious at the site. Shion isn’t explained why he is being apprehended. While be transported, Shion realizes they aren’t going to the Security Bureau and asks what’s going on. A recording of what he said earlier to his partner concerning his suspicions of the authorities manipulating the news of the mysterious death is played back to him. Instead of the Security Bureau, they are taking him to the Correctional Facility under suspicion of discontent. I see that people under subconscious can basically be put under arrest without trial. Unable to do anything to struggle, Shion settles down resignedly.
The car they are riding in comes to a stop on a bridge, where a park robot block the path. When one of the guards goes to check it out, Nezumi launches his ambush and effectively subdues the entire team and steals the car. Shion and Nezumi don’t get far though, since the security members have a mean of remotely controlling the car. They abandon the car and escape by having the rat robot take Shion’s ID bracelet (being used to track him) and lead the chase away from them.
In the end, they must escape through what looks like a water filtration plant, whichtakes them outside of No. 6 where reality awaits.
No. 6 reminds me of Jagura’s city in Wolf’s Rain, a first world city that is ignorant of the problems around it and life others face outside of its walls.