Yutaka's just sitting around while Shinji types at the computer. Shinji's given him the gun and he's nominally on watch.
Then there's a lot of technobable. Yutaka asks what's going on.
Well, he said, his first priority was to remove the collars, which give away their position and make it so they can be killed anytime.
"But I gave up. You can't pry it loose without knowing how it's built. Sakamochi said it would explode if you took it apart, and I doubt he was bluffing. The outer casing must be loaded with a fuse wire for the device. It's probably set to ignite once you cut it. It's too dangerous to cross that bridge. I thought of inserting a metal plate inside the band, but it would be too thin to protect my neck from being blown to bits."
You give up easy. Why not try dismantling a corpse's? Those are presumably disabled - we know they aren't set off by the forbidden zones and presumably they wouldn't want them triggered by some accident either, since they prefer to examine the corpses.
But anyway, he decides the better idea is to go after the school computer.
Shinji learned hacking from his uncle, and knows how to get off the local net into the worldwide version.
While he might not be executed for these actions, they were illegal enough to send him away for a two-year stint at a juvenile prison for ideological offenses.
It's interesting to have some idea of what they won't kill you over.
Anyway, Shinji, who was bitching earlier that Shuya only goes around the government enough to listen to rock music...
he'd shown some websites to Yutaka (mostly pornographic ones, come on, gimme a break)
Ah, teenage rebels. Never put them in charge.
Although if the worldwide internet has good porn and the local doesn't, I'm surprised everyone doesn't find a way around it.
Shinji already had a cellphone on hand. He's already tried the phone to find out it's redirected to Sakamochi for dickery, but...
"Think about it. Their communication system has to reach beyond this island. I mean, their computers must be linked to the central government's for security purposes. Then how would they do that? It's simple. They've selectively employed numbers for military purposes from the cellular phone lines."
Hm. See, it doesn't actually. They otherwise seem to have bunkered down, and it doesn't seem like they really need outside contact. And the combination of betting + the amount of power Sakamochi has to potentially screw with things means it'd be cleaner if no one can call in asking for him to tilt things in someone's favor.
Instead, they could just turn the jamming off periodically to send updates. That's still useful in its own way - it means that if you attack right after the last update, no one will notice anything's amiss.
But instead, Shinji's going to be getting in through the unblocked numbers.
my cell is a custom model. It has two types of ROM memory for phone numbers and passwords. You can't tell looking at it, but you can switch the other one on by turning this screw ninety degrees. And this other number is something I came up with just for fun to make free calls..." He let go of his phone and continued, "It's the cellular number used by phone company technicians to test phone lines."
Shinji's kind of crazy overprepared. I'd actually find this a lot better if he wasn't meant to be the super government rebel but just a tech geek, because then it's being clever to find a way to apply those to a new situation, while here it just comes off as him having too many secondary skills. Or else go all out with him having prepared for something like this for ages and his cellphone works like that because he wanted to have a way of making his calls untraceable.
So anyway. He dismantled his phone so he could use it as a modem, remote accessed his home computer and transferred his password-hack programs, then went for a prefectural government site because apparently they're run by different people so the central government one is the only one with really great security. From there he finds the server for the games themselves on this island. Finally, he found something weird in a file there and he's been trying to figure out what it is.
Anyway, he downloaded all their data and he's going to modify it to turn the collars off.
By making the school premises a forbidden zone, they think they're totally safe against us, but now we'll be able to attack them by surprise. We'll have a chance. And once we control the school, we should be able to help out the others. Even if that's not possible, we can falsify the data to claim we're dead and then escape this island for good."
Seems legit. Shame he didn't think to check all of what the collars did, isn't it?
Yutaka is amazed, then asks why he's even friends with such a ordinary loser like him. Shinji says that being good at stuff doesn't mean you're better and Yutaka's better because he's funny and nice and sincere and actually Shinji really admires all those things and they're best friends forever! And Yutaka briefly cries again.
At this point the computer connection cuts out.
A message appeared, reading, "The number you have dialed is no longer in service." He received the same message no matter how many times he tried. The connection between the modem and phone appeared to be fine. Just to make sure though, he disconnected the phone from the modem and pressed the digits on the phone directly. He tried the weather report once again. The cell phone had no signal at all now.
Interesting Sakamochi doesn't make any attempt to screw with Shinji further here. I guess he's pretty rattled by how close they got.
Shinji's speechless himself, not understanding what just happened.
Next chapter, it's time for another new POV!
This time, it's Hiroki. 11. Hiroki Sugimura: Tall and knows martial arts. Seems tough but is actually shy, likes Chinese poetry. Shuya's friend. Close to Chigusa.
After the star icon appeared at the edge of the small liquid crystal screen, Hiroki Sugimura (Male Student No. 11) kept close watch. It was the same icon as the one in the center of the screen that had been there ever since he'd turned on this handheld device.
Which is to say, he's got something that lets him track the collars. It doesn't have much range, though. He's in the soon to be deadly H8 area, and he's had to make his way through the houses to check them all. So far, he's been through the other two forbidden zones, which means he's been running all over the place today.
He got this instead of a conventional weapon, but he thinks it's actually more useful. He's armed himself with a mop handle, which apparently he chose over some bladed weapon that was also avaliable - that's either referring to some butcher's knife or else Japan really does have saumirai stuff lying all over the place - because he's more familiar with martial arts.
There was a family garden in the small yard with tomato stalks up to his waist, yams planted in the ground, and green onions. Next to them pansies and chrysanthemums in different colors were in bloom. In front of the garden was a child's tricycle. Its chrome handlebars sparkled in the noontime light.
It's interesting he mentions this. This is the second time this house has shown up in the story (The veranda's storm doors were shut.) but last time the character either didn't notice or didn't care.
I wonder if the kids ever end up foraging? From the sounds of things, the games seem to end before food is really a consideration.
He doesn't have to risk moving the noisy storm doors, because he also sees a broken window.
He can guess that it's a corpse inside, since there isn't much time left to leave the area, but he wants to check anyway.
There's more details of the house. The broken window leads to a guest room with tatami floormats. That's where he enters. The room had an alcove. At the center was a low table and a large TV in the corner by the window on Hiroki's side. There was nothing else.
As he continues, he smells a whiff of rusty metal which I don't buy - there's going to be more to the smell of a corpse than the blood, and I've never found blood to be a particularly metal-y smell anyway.
He finds the corpse in the kitchen.
Small body. Short hair.
She looked like one of the two girls he was looking for. They were both equally important to him. She resembled one of them.
He runs over to the corpse and we're told that the blood hasn't congealed, which is ridiculous. Blood congeals incredibly fast. It should have completely dried by now, since it's been spreading out on a flat surface for hours - she was killed way back at four am, and it's now almost eleven. And that's assuming this isn't a wooden floor or something, which would have absorbed the liquid and made it dry much faster.
Blood just doesn't stay dramatic and red for very long.
It was a horrible sight. There was a deep gash in her thin throat right above the neck band (which was what in fact led him here). The wound gaped open like a hole, perhaps due to her blood being completely depleted. It resembled an infant's mouth, still without teeth. The blood had flowed down from the wound, sullying the silver collar then down her chest. Her mouth, nose, and left cheek were all immersed in a pool of blood. He deduced, this must have occurred after she fell. Drops of blood had formed on the tips of her eyelashes above and below her glazed eyes. They had hardened as well.
But that's some pretty horrifying description. The book really does well at that.
He recognizes Megumi, and it seems she isn't the girl he's looking for.
While the horrific state of the corpse had shocked him, he was still relieved. He closed his eyes for a while and took a deep breath. Then he felt guilty for feeling relieved.
Although there are certainly issues, overall I really feel like the book does a pretty good job of exploring how people would feel in a situation like this.
He tries to fix up the body. He moves it from the blood and lays her down face-up, closes her eyes and tries to cross her arms but finds them too stiff from rigor mortis. And then he leaves, because it's very nearly eleven.
I'm not really sure what his goal here is. Back in the manga rewrite it made sense because I think I remember they were being coy about who had and hadn't died, so if you don't check the bodies in an area before it goes forbidden, you'll never know whose they are and if your friends are still alive. But here he knows there's a regular announcement of who's been killed and if someone's already dead there's nothing he could really do. It seems his time would be better spent searching among the living.
2 Keita Iijima
4 Toshinori Oda
5 Shogo Kawada: Looks older than the rest, has facial hair already, transferred in, scarred. Shotgun. Saves Shuya and kills Kyoichi. Doctor skills.
6 Kazuo Kiriyama: Awesome. A sociopath who decides to play the game by flipping a coin. Kill count: 6.
11 Hiroki Sugimura: Tall and knows martial arts. Seems tough but is actually shy, likes Chinese poetry. Shuya's friend. Close to Chigusa. Has a device that shows him when someone with a collar nearby, also armed with a staff. Searching for two girls.
12 Yutaka Seto: Class clown. Best friends with Shinji, joined up with him. Fork weapon. Had a crush on Izumi. Decides to take on the government.
13 Yuichiro Takiguchi
14 Sho Tsukioka: Part of Kazou's gang. Escaped Kazuo's massacre.
15 Shuya Nanahara: Main character? Minor but utterly harmless teenage rebelliousness. Popular with the girls.
16 Kazushi Niida: jock, soccer. Killed Yoshio by accident.
18 Tadakatsu Hatagami: jock, Shuya's friend when they were younger. 'Shuya had started playing electric guitar, which was considered an "unpatriotic" activity. Tadakatsu's mother was uptight about that sort of thing."
19 Shinji Mimura: Shuya's current friend. 'short hair and wore an intricately designed ring on his left ear', highly athletic, knows a lot of information, particularly about the outside world. Extremely cool under pressure. Best friends with Yutaka, joined up with him. Pistol weapon. Uncle probably part of = the rebellion. Decides to take on the government.
1 Mizuho Inada: A friend of Megumi's.
2 Yukie Utsumi: class representative, braided hair, Haruka's volleyball teammate. The first one to speak after their abduction. Noriko's friend. Not playing, joined up with Haruka, sees Kazuhiko and Sakura's suicide.
8 Kayoko Kotohiki
9 Yuko Sakaki: Sees Shuya kill Tatsumichi and runs away unnoticed.
10 Hirono Shimizu: Part of Mitsuko's group. Tormented Megumi.
11 Mitsuko Souma: Delinquent group leader. "Even though Mitsuko had the gorgeous looks of a pop idol, she always wore a strange, listless expression on her face." Has a sickle and a diving knife. Kill count: 3.
12 Haruka Tanizawa: Yukie's volleyball teammate, exceptionally tall. Not playing, joined up with Yuki.
13 Takako Chigusa: Close to Hiroki.
15 Noriko Nakagawa: She has a crush on Shuya he's unaware of and Yoshitoki has a crush on her she may be unaware of. She's nice and likes literature. Suffering a leg injury.
16 Yuka Nakagawa: Yoshitoki says she's fat. Class clown.
17 Satomi Noda : "model student who wore wire-rimmed glasses which suited her calm, intelligent face"
19 Chisato Matsui: always quiet and withdrawn
20 Kaori Minami: A friend of Megumi's.