|"Layer 06 : Kids"|
|Directed by||Ryūtarō Nakamura|
|Written by||Chiaki J. Konaka|
|Original air date||August 10, 1998 (Japan)|
The "Cheshire" Cat
People are walking the streets of Tokyo at night. A female voice informs us, "When humans are connected, small voices will become larger. When humans are connected, even life will get longer so..."
[Title: KIDS Layer 06]
It is nighttime and the power lines are emitting their by now very familiar hum. Lain's dad stands in the dark hallway outside of Lain's room. Her door is open just a crack and a bright light fills the narrow space. Lain's father proceeds to the door, knocks, and announces he is coming in before any reply can be heard. His eyes widen in surprise as he notices first that he is standing in water and second that Lain's Navi now fills most of her room. He looks about the room with shock and amazement on his face. All he can do is gasp, "Lain."
Lain appears to be entranced as she stares at her Navi screen. She does not seem to know that her father is in the room . Her father notes that Lain is engrossed with her computer so he turns to leave, his face frozen with a grimace of concern.
The Navi scrolls up the word COMA. Lain says, "Thank you" to the screen. Suddenly the scene shifts and Lain is floating in a solid white room. She is having a conversation with someone who is not visible. Lain continues, "But I've already confirmed that register," and laughs. She notes, "It is so strange." A moment of silence which Lain seems to reply to by stating, "I agree. It'd be better if the next generation protocol would be released soon. When it is I can..." Lain then switches the topic. "But why are you so kind to me?". A strange sound seems to reply and Lain then says, "I don't think so. I'm just curious. Because I don't have many friends." The strange sound is heard again. Lain replies, "Thank you all, Knights." then she laughs.
A daytime view of the power lines. Lain is walking to school. She is startled by the sudden appearance of a boy, standing just a short distance ahead of her. He is staring at the sky with his arm raised in a 'V' shape. Lain follows his gaze upwards but does not see anything. When she looks back down, the boy is gone.
Scene shifts to Lain's classroom. Lain is using her pocket Navi and is about to connect to the wired when she is interrupted. Reika chides, "You are too diligent." Lain quickly puts her pocket computer in her desk. Alice adds, "Lain, you look like yourself again." Juri also walks over and comments, "Let's play together again. If you are alone, your life will be miserable." Lain counters, "But I'm not alone." Alice gasps, "What, who is with you?" Lain answers, "Many people visit me." But she pauses and corrects herself, "No, perhaps I go to where they are." Reika gets somewhat huffy. "You mean the Wired? A 'Net Pal' is not a real friend." Alice is amused by Reika and teases her, "Reika is too much of an old fogey." Juri agrees and repeats, "Old fogey." Reika takes their teasing in stride and responds, "Nothing wrong with that. But Lain, who are you talking to?" Lain grins and very slowly and deliberately states, "That... is... a... secret." Alice looks concerned. Reika and Juri are intrigued and press Lain to tell them more.
The scene shifts to a new location. It appears to be a tall apartment building. The voices of Lain and her friends can be heard discussing what outfit would look best on Lain. The scene shifts again and we see all four girls in casual clothing. They are walking about the city's shops. Juri recommends they all go to one store in particular because they can eat ice cream for thirty minutes. The girls seem to be enjoying their outing. They are walking and laughing. Suddenly Reika stops and makes a sound of puzzlement. Alice hears her and asks, "What's up?" Reika points down the street at a boy (it is the same boy Lain saw earlier in the episode). He is again staring up at the sky with his arms raised in a 'V'. Lain's eyes widen in recognition. Juri asks, "What is that kid doing?'" Reika responds, "I wonder." Juri then says, "Let's go, Lain".
The girls walk a short distance further. Lain is looking about the throng of people who are also walking about the city. Lain's attention is caught by two children in the crowd. Both are staring up at the sky and simultaneously raise their arms skyward. Lain looks up at the sky. A cloud appears. The cloud begins to part down the middle like a curtain opening for a play. A huge godlike image of Lain appears in the cloud. Lain gasps in shock. The other girls had continued walking. Alice backtracks, sees that Lain is mesmerized and asks, "What?" Now other people in the crowd have noticed the apparition in the sky and they begin to buzz with questions. Alice turns to Lain and gasps as she too looks upward. "Is that Lain?" she asks aloud. Lain does not answer and turns her gaze downward to look at the two children once more. They are still standing with their arms raised seemingly in benediction to the godlike Lain figure. Lain looks upwards again but the sky has returned to normal.
It is dusk and the scene shifts back to Lain's house. Mom is in the kitchen doing dishes. Without turning around she states, "You're home early lately." It seems she is addressing Mika who is sitting sprawled on the couch watching the television news. Mom continues, "Instead of you, Lain's out late these days.". Mika does not respond. Mom then asks her, "Did you get the recommendation (to the next grade level)?" Mika still does not reply and seems to be in a catatonic state as she blankly stares at the TV screen. Mom then announces, "She's home." Mika still just stares. She seems to attempt to verbally respond but can only make a guttural sound, as if she is unable to speak.
Lain sloshes into her dark bedroom. Her Navi seems to come on automatically upon her entrance. A voice announces, "In Tokyo there was an extraordinary phenomenon in the sky." Lain begins to angrily take off her clothing. The voice continues, "Many people were afraid of it. Is it a mischievous prank? Is it just a natural phenomenon?" Lain plops down in front of her Navi. The voice is still going, "Was it done by someone on purpose?" Lain addresses her Navi, "Hello Navi." It answers, "Hello Lain." Lain then instructs her Navi to connect her to the wired.
The scene shifts to a dark area. There is a single beam of light with a figure illuminated in it. It is Lain. A male voice asks, "Are you Lain?" Lain ignores the question and keeps walking. Suddenly a giant mouth appears behind her. The mouth says, "You're great. You can change your shape in the real world so much." Lain retorts, "You're pretending to be a Cheshire Cat." (See, I told you, Wonderland. Literally and figuratively- Shades) The mouth snickers and says, "I can only do this because of my user permission level." The scene shifts and we see that Lain is walking on a path of light, surrounded by darkness. The mouth continues, "Almost all people only have an ear. I'm better than them." Lain is annoyed by the mouth and states, "Don't waste your breath. Give me information." The mouth giggles, "If I help Lain, I'll be a hero in this locale." Lain counters, "You make too much noise," and wipes her arm across her face. She then asks, "Have you ever heard of the game that's popular among grade school children?" The mouth asks, "Game?" There are many children's games. "Stupid fellow," responds Lain. The mouth then asks, "Were you inspired to think of a child's game?" Lain waxes philosophical, "Everything will be a game for children." The mouth opens wide and sighs, "Tsk, you found out this 'Result'. I see. He may know the answer."
A panel-like object appears on the path before Lain. Lain walks up to the panel and looks at it. On it is an image of an older bearded man wearing a lab coat. Lain states, "He is a child killer, this scientist." The panel disappears leaving the scientist image behind, though it has become more grainy. The mouth giggles, "Tee hee. That's just like you Lain. You found him by yourself. In the real world he is an old man merely waiting to die in a hospital ward." Lain's eyes narrow. The mouth adds, "I helped you. A little bit. Ask about KIDS." The mouth then laughs and moves away leaving Lain alone with the image of the scientist. Lain throws a parting jab at the mouth, "I didn't need your help, Cheshire Cat." Lain now addresses the gray figure of the scientist, "Professor Hodgeson. It's your turn now. Tell me about it." The scene closes in on his face and sifts once more.
Lain is standing next to the prone figure of Professor Hodgeson as he reclines on a bed. They are on a large balcony. Professor Hodgeson addresses Lain, "You look very lifelike, young lady." Lain ignores his comment and asks, "What is KIDS?" He sighs, "What a tranquil time. Until my body in the real world rots, I want to remain calm." Lain presses him again, "You must know what happened. What is KIDS?" The professor is in no hurry to answer her questions, "A beautiful time. An eternity of silence." Lain does not give up, "Professor Hodgeson. Let me see the data pertaining to the experiment fifteen years ago." The professor finally acknowledges Lain's questioning, "I didn't want to put children in danger." Lain corrects him, "It's not about fifteen years ago but about the game children are playing now. Isn't it a reproduction of your experiments fifteen years ago?" The professor replies, "Someone learned of it from a trash can. I believed that I had deleted all the data." Lain prompts, "Tell me about the Kensington Experiment." The professor is quiet for a moment then begins, "'PSI' , super psychological power. Almost all kids possess it, even if it is very small."
The scene shifts to a flashback of a laboratory. The professor's voice continues, "It's not really ESP. It's just for intuition and it only has enough physical force to bend a coin." The lab has rows of children who all seem to be strapped in place. There is a strange metal dish like object over each child's head. Lain walks in front of the image of the children used in the experiment. She points to one and asks, "What are these over their heads?" The background dissolves into a close up of one of the children. The professor answers, "We called them 'Outer Receptors' and they receive the 'PSI'."
The image of Hodgeson appears in his lab coat. The scene dissolves behind him to show a big, black, square. He states, "This is KIDS. Even though they're weak individually, if I amass the forces of kids..." The scene again changes. Now the black box is in the center of rows of the children. Some type of energy appears to be focusing on the box. Lain asks, "What did you expect?" Professor Hodgeson replies, "Something unpredictable. I wanted to see young lady." The scene moves to an inner view of the box. It appears to contain a glowing sphere of energy.
Lain turns to the professor and asks, "What did you do for them?" The professor answers, "I thought science was not just experiments based on hypothesis." Lain hides her face in her hands. She is disturbed by what she is hearing and seeing. The professor continues, "I didn't ask them." Lain snaps, "Didn't you think of the children?" The scene shows Lain and Professor Hodgeson facing each other with the black KIDS unit between them. The professor answers, "No, I didn't, as you said. I'd just convert this weak electromagnetic wave of the brain received by the the 'Outer Receptor'. The KIDS System is an extended part of the functions of the brain." Suddenly the box and the professor disappear in a blaze of bright light. Lain has to turn her head due to its intensity. When she looks back she sees a rotating sphere of energy. The bodies of many children appear to be trapped in the sphere. Their bodies then dissolve into its energy mass.
Lain yells out a question, "When all of their PSI was joined how much power was generated?" A child's voice pleads in the background, "Stop it!" Lain grabs her head in desperation and proclaims, "That's enough!"
The scene shifts back to black. The professor states, "I broke them completely so they would never be restored." Back on the balcony the professor continues, "But the schematics of the machine were leaked to somewhere in the Wired, then they spread." Lain is visibly upset. She tells Professor Hodgeson that indeed someone has found out. The professor continues, "They updated it to function without the Outer Receptors. It was really great that they could make it so widespread with only an emulator". Lain looks up angrily and says, "Do you only think about that? Do you think children are important?" The professor replies, "The children won't return to the real world no matter what I think. Moreover, I don't know about the current children." Lain is mad and tells him, "You're selfish. Who's using it now?" The professor seems to be winding down. "Young lady, I'm tired of talking. I'm glad to have met you. I don't know what you are trying to do, or what you're trying to be, but you're strong. Extremely strong. You must be a blessed child of the God in the Wired, if he exists. Lain replies softly, "I don't..." The professor talks right over her. "Where did your enormous power come from? You are different from those who are creating mischief with KIDS." Lain repeats, "Mischief," then gasps as though she realizes something. The professor turns to Lain, "Let me go now. I'm a little tired. Now my embers of life have disappeared. My wish has also been granted." Suddenly the professor starts to glow a bright white color. He and his bed disappear leaving Lain alone on the balcony. Lain has returned to the path of light. She appears to be deep in thought as she utters a single word, "Knights."
The bright glow of a computer monitor fills the screen. Lain is slumped in a chair in front of her Navi screen. She seems to be exhausted. Lain addresses her screen, "Shut up. What are you? Why are you trying to tell me something?" The screen remains blank. Lain is not done yet and she continues to express her anger, "Was I only a toy for you? Was it all just a game? What do you want to do with the kids? Is it just for fun?" Lain's anger and outrage grows, "You'll do anything just because you can, and because you're interested." Lain laughs and exclaims, "If that's so you're mere monkeys!!!" She then throws her body back in her chair and continues to laugh. Around her, the Navi equipment starts to become more active. Pressure gauges are moving and the liquid in her cooling unit seems to be bubbling. Lain continues, "Why does no one answer? No one answers?" Lain is looking up at the ceiling. Her eyes widen in surprise as she notices two red laser lights scanning the ceiling.
Outside, the two men in black are standing in front of their car. The laser lights are originating from the devices on their glasses. Lain is now at her bedroom window. The red lights run across her face. She peers down and sees the two men. Lain scowls and proclaims, "There they are!" Lain runs through the house and pushes past the gate outside. She stops before the men and shouts, "You! You're the Knights, aren't you?" The men do not reply. Lain again questions if they are the Knights. The taller of the two men puts out his hand and motions for Lain to lie down. Lain is shocked. KERBLAM!!! A loud explosion rips through Lain's just vacated room. Her bedroom window shatters and glass fragments fall to the ground.
Lain is shaken and asks what happened. The shorter man explains to her that it was the cooling system in her room. Lain is still in shock and turns to face the men. The taller man adds, "They sent a parasite bomb to your cooling system." Lain replies, "You talk as though you had nothing to do with it." He counters, "We didn't." Lain is curious, "Then who did?" The men do not answer and head back to their car. Before he gets in, the taller man turns to Lain and answers, "The Knights." Lain's eyes widen in shock. She watches the men drive away. A siren is heard in the distance.