Cutscene: Subject 4C
SOME TIME AGO
It had taken him years to track them down.
Most had died, expended in various missions. One was somewhere in the ass-end of Pakistan, fighting for some fringe group or another -- too far outside his grasp. Another was in a pleasure house in Bali, which was a tragic misuse of skill if Hiroshi ever saw one. Some were still in Japan, mostly serving in various illicit groups.
But one had remained surprisingly close to home...
He'd accepted his invitation to the 'new, improved' SEBEC for the sole reason of reclaiming his dolls, if he was being entirely honest. The one which was still with the Order, first, and then the others. Within the company, he'd be able to take what was left of their research, however long and winding that case of corporate espionage might be; and once he had that...
Well, if there was really no way to continue his research, he'd take his dolls and kill whomever he didn't like.
But he'd really prefer to continue his research. He'd had such plans. He was the one who suggested many of the re-education methods they later used to create the super-soldiers they required. It was his work, really. Oh, perhaps others contributed, perhaps others were credited -- but the work was his. His!
And when SEBEC fell, they let his beautiful creations go to dust. They dispersed, confused and alone when the world called on them to think. (To think. Nonsense. They might have been people, once, but not any more.)
Of course, without the Order, he wouldn't be able to make them quite so indestructible, but Hiroshi simply wasn't sure he could trust them with such delicate work after all that. There were other organisations who dealt in Persona, surely.
Perhaps in Pakistan. There was demand, there, after all. Only right to provide proper supply.
Hiroshi looks over his laptop screen at the medical records which he has complete legal right to access, and he smiles, melancholy.
She's been away from him far too long. She's breaking, poor doll. Tragically, 4C had been one of his earlier attempts, so it was only natural she would. He faulted the surgeons, really, and R&D as well -- had they known what they had been doing, surely she'd be a much better specimen.
(He faulted anyone but himself, frankly.)
Of course, the drugs they'd been keeping her on to stabilise those physiospiritual issues were lost, now. Perhaps that would have been bearable, had she been kept in a stable mental condition -- but the rigours of personhood have worn on her, he can tell. She keeps diaries to try and compensate for her amnesia. Diaries! An assassin with a personal log. The thought is almost enough to make him laugh.
The distress she obviously feels over her mental failure is almost enough to make him feel bad. But he knows better, really.
She's just malfunctioning.
He had confidence in the meds he was going to try with her; they weren't the same little pills, but if they even made a dent, they'd be working in his favour. Clues from the last round were narrowing him in closer to a solution. He must admit he's a little worried that her faultiness will get her killed in the field, but she's survived this long, on her own. (Commendable, really. Is there something from early experimentation they later dropped which might account for her resilience?)
The medication was going well. It was going in a direction he liked. He had options, there.
As for her mental status...
... he'd have to move carefully. She had friends, after all. People who thought she was more than just a tool. But she knew what she was, and she was responding well to his attempts to 'gain' her trust. He would just have to wait.
Fragile as she was, an opportunity would come.