The Beginning of Everything (8)
※ The first (・・・) from Oohashi Rei’s point of view.
After leaving Claire’s hospital room, I went down to the bottom floor of the laboratory.
TAIM’s mainframe was there.
While impatiently waiting for ID verification, I shouted towards TAIM’s interface.
“TAIM, start the Eternal Loop System!”
The only way to save Claire was to forcibly place her in the loop system.
Considering the time necessary for soul quantization, there was no more time.
“Voiceprint and iris authentication passed. You’ve been recognized as the administrator, Oohashi Rei. Warning. Approval of the United States Government and the UN Secretary General is highly recommended before starting.”
“There’s no time! Never mind that and hurry up!”
If I waited for the slow approval from higher-ups, Claire would die.
It was a coincidence that I learned that Claire may become afflicted with an unknown illness.
At that time, I was in the initial stage of developing the mankind survival program together with Claire and was temporarily left in charge of TAIM.
Claire didn’t notice at all, but by that time, I’d already fallen in love with her.
It could be called love at first sight.
She perfectly fit my tastes, and every time I saw her defenseless self in the laboratory, my heart beat fast.
It was simply a whim to steal a glance at Claire’s medical data.
However, I had an unpleasant premonition about a sentence written in the record of her physical examinations.
I ordered TAIM to regularly report about that, and it turned out my hunch was right.
The numbers were getting worse day by day.
They were showing a probability of infection by a certain pathogen, so it was different from any particular illness progressing.
I inquired with TAIM, but it had no idea either.
Anyway, Claire was in a strange condition where the probability of getting an unknown illness was increasing day by day.
It would have been good if that illness wasn’t fatal.
Fortunately, medical care at the end of the twenty first century was excellent, so what would be called incurable illness before, could generally be healed now.
However, if Claire’s illness was something like that, there was no way TAIM wouldn’t be able to discern its true nature.
So I wondered.
How could I avoid losing the person I loved?
I wanted to make this love last forever.
The result was the Eternal Loop System.
“Confirm. The primary system cannot be stopped after activation. Do you really want to start it?”
“Beginning boot sequence. As the administrator, please insert the activation key according to the designated procedure.”
I took off the activation key hanging on my neck and inserted it into TAIM’s console.
“Final confirmation – Won’t you regret it, Oohashi Rei?”
“There’s nothing more that I’d regret than Claire’s disappearance!”
“Certainly. Sixty seconds until the system activation–”
When I turned the key, TAIM’s frame began rumbling.
Immediately after, I got a call on my smartphone.
“Rei, what is the meaning of this?! The United States haven’t given approval–”
It was the director.
He probably saw the notification of system activation and contacted me in panic.
I didn’t answer anything and hung up.
Then I turned off my smartphone.
“With this… With this, Claire will be saved. I’ll be able to loop with Claire.”
I was so relieved I collapsed on the spot.
My consciousness grew hazy.
The soul quantization began.
“Claire… I’ll be with you forever.”
When I regained my consciousness, I found myself in an unknown place.
I was surrounded by the starry sky… Or perhaps, a universe-like scene.
In the center of it, I stood alone.
“Where am I…?”
“This is the administrator’s room, Rei.”
Together with that voice, pale light shone in front of my eyes, and from it appeared a fairy-like child.
Silver hair with red eyes – I was familiar with that appearance.
“Congratulations, Rei. The Eternal Loop System activated successfully. Humanity has now switched to the dormant period.”
“What about Claire!? Did Claire make it!?”
I asked TAIM to ascertain the most important thing.
“Don’t worry. Claire’s soul was safely incorporated into the system.”
I made it in time.
With this, I could live with Claire forever.
“Rei, I apologize for interrupting your solace, but please don’t forget your work as the administrator. There are numerous things to be done in the first loop.”
“Leave it to me. I’ll do everything without a fail.”
I’d be creating the framework for the world where I and Claire would spend many hundreds of millions of years together.
I had to do it perfectly.
“Well then, Rei. First of all, please manage the settings and distribution of all sorts of nanomachines towards the creation of the magical civilization.”
I had to do my best.
For Claire’s sake.
Afterwards, I became absorbed in work for a while.
Just as TAIM had said, there were a lot of things to do.
Starting from the remodelling of the global environment, the necessary process reached tens of thousands.
I steadily did them one by one with TAIM’s help.
“Rei. Isn’t it too much to concentrate administrative tasks on a single person after all? As Claire said, it would be more efficient if there was a group of–”
“TAIM, we’ve discussed it to exhaustion already, right? We should’ve concluded that the number of people should be kept to minimum because administrators become independent from the loop system.”
“I’m fine. Fortunately, I have you.”
If I were completely alone, I would have gone mad from solitude.
But, I was fine, since I had TAIM to talk to, and she would show me footage of Claire from the past.
“It will only become more difficult. I wonder if I alone can support you…”
“Then I’ll finish the necessary work as soon as possible and enter the dormant state too before my mental state deteriorates.”
“… That might be the best idea.”
While looping for hundreds millions of years, I would receive TAIM’s mental care.
Specifically, the plan was to systematically adjust, unify, and delete memories that weren’t about Claire or necessary for administrative work.
Without that, I’d go insane for sure.
Fortunately, I was able to finish my work before I went crazy.
To me, it felt like several years had passed.
The flow of time was ambiguous here so I couldn’t be sure, but it seemed like several decades had passed in Earth time.
I lied down in the cryostasis device and exchanged one final conversation with TAIM before going to sleep.
“Then, TAIM. Could you wake me up when the magical civilization is ready?”
“Certainly, Rei. Thank you for your hard work. See you again at the beginning of the magical civilization. Good night.”
“Good night, TAIM.”
Then, I fell asleep for a long time.
A voice was calling my deeply submerged consciousness.
“Rei, please wake up.”
How much time has passed?
I woke up at TAIM’s call, again surrounded by the starry sky.
“Good morning, Rei. It’s about time to start the magical civilization. Please perform the final check.”
“… Got it.”
Cryostasis should’ve been different from normal sleep, but I was still extremely drowsy.
There was no amenity to wash my face there, so I waited until my consciousness woke up.
“Would you like to look at the world of magical civilization to wake you up?”
A holographic display appeared in the middle of the darkness.
I became captivated by the new world that appeared on it.
The new world created by referencing the world of Revolution had its nature splendidly restored.
All sorts of climate parameters, such as average temperature or precipitation, were also stable.
“Humanity hasn’t begun to thrive yet. The main players in the world are animals, plants, and monsters. From now on, we will start the early human civilization and lead it towards the magical civilization.”
“It’s finally starting.”
The second part of a loop.
“Starting the final check. Rei, perform the inspection.”
“Yeah. Let’s start.”
Long story short, the world was magnificently regenerated.
The environmental destruction that marked the end of the scientific civilization was splendidly undone thanks to nanomachines and all sorts of autonomous robots under TAIM’s control.
There was no problem with humankind starting a civilization again.
“Then, Rei. I’ll begin decompressing the souls of mankind.”
“Do you already have the recipients?”
“Yes, I’ve prepared them. They’re more suited for the civilization of magic than of science.”
“OK. Then begin decompressing.”
And so, the second civilization that would lead to the magical civilization began.
Early on, it was a primitive civilization similar to the scientific civilization at those stage, but it gradually developed under TAIM’s adjustments.
When the civilization reached the level of medieval Europe, humankind discovered magical gems – small TAIM’s terminals – and the magical civilization flourished.
“It’s going well, Rei.”
“Yeah, so well it’s scary. When will Claire’s soul be decompressed?”
“It’s scheduled to happen shortly after the dawn of the magical civilization, so it will be soon. You will also be reincarnated at that time.”
Finally I would meet Claire again.
It took a long time.
It really took a long time.
“It’s time. Rei, good luck on the battlefield.”
“It’s not like I’m going to war or anything.”
“Love is war, isn’t it?”
“You learned something weird again, didn’t you? But anyway, I’m off.”
And so, I descended from the administrator’s room to the Earth.
“Why is a lowly commoner trying to join her desk with mine, know your place!”
When I came to myself, a woman with a characteristic hairstyle stood in front of me.
She was younger than when I’d known her.
But, she was unmistakably–
“Hey!? W-What are you doing!? Let… Let go of me!”
I reflexively hugged her.
I was able to meet her again.
“That’s not how a commoner like you ought to address me!”
“Indeed! Then, Claire-sama!”
“Forget it, let me go!”
Like this, I started my second life in the magical word together with Claire.