For once in his life, Koki Kariya is very, very grateful that Uzuki Yashiro is the one who’s writing the usual investigation postmortem, and not him.
For one, he knows just how badly Uzuki wants the career advancement, and this--if anything--will definitely give it to her. Probably will earn her a shot at Officer-hood, might even get her on the Iron Bitch’s good side (which would be a rarity).
The other reason being...well, yesterday he had made the distinctly uncomfortable discovery someone whom he’d considered a friend in past, and who’d been a rising star...had become just a bit of a rabid dog, and he doesn't want to be the one to pull the trigger.
He’s sure Uzuki’s going to be screaming at him for the next week on how she was made to pull out a small library to document things, but...it’s better for her.
Better that she have the opportunity.
Better that she’s the one that shoots the dog.
Because Koki Kariya doesn’t know if he has it in him to shoot the dog.
On day 4 of the second week of the most recent Game, an unknown sigil was found in Udagawa (see Figure 1 for snapshot) associated with an outbreak of Taboo Noise; this report is a postmortem analysis of this event and the sigil.
The sigil in question was subsequently determined to be a Taboo Noise Refinery Sigil, which was apparently not activated at the time (and which was subsequently deactivated as noted below). We are noting symbolism and analysis of this Sigil as a means to identify and prioritize for deactivation, due to the profound risk that Taboo poses. This is the first event of its type in over twenty years in the UG, and (per my research) the largest known event of its type so far documented.
Figure 1. Taboo Noise Refinery Sigil observed in Udagawa near Cyco Records, subsequently deactivated. A full shot is not included and wards are placed on the picture to avoid inadvertent activation.
Symbolic language in the sigil that is unique is as follows:
- Western Zodiac symbols were included, placed in the sigil in what appears outwardly to be a chaotic ordering (Aries/Tauris/Gemini/Libra/Sagittarius/Cancer/Capricorn/Pisces/Virgo/Leo/Scorpio/Aquarius) but (as noted below) are actually in a normal, but unconventional, order aligned with the Gregorian rather than the old Western Julian calendar (and having Capricorn as the start).
- Numbers written at each of the “zodiac points”, also appropriately noting the positions in the Western zodiac by Gregorian order (using Capricorn as a starting point rather than Aries; order being Capricorn/Aquarius/Pisces/Aries/Taurus/Gemini/Cancer/Leo/Virgo/Libra/Scorpio/Sagittarius). It is curious that the Gregorian order is used...
Kariya sees a lot of potential in Uzuki. She’s hungry. He likes her as a partner; yes, sometimes she’s a little quick to jump the gun and go into action, but she really does care about the job, and he knows a lot of the frustrations she’s dealing with over the Long Game and over the Games in general are the necessary periods of sitting around and doing nothing.
At least when she’s an Officer she’s not going to have so much of that, but it’s best now to get her used to the sorts of paperwork she’ll have to file on meetings and quotas and the occasional frank weirdness.
Koki Kariya hopes she doesn’t ever have to file a Shoot The Dog Report other than the one she’s typed up and sent a copy to him and sent a copy to HQ.
She’s got an eye for detail. He’s taught her well.
Maybe a bit too well.
There is some particularly interesting number symbolism as well:
- Numbers are included (labeling all of the Western zodiac points) which are not only written out in English (albeit in a stylistic manner resembling certain esoteric alphabets--Enochian and Siddham being tentatively identified) but also incorporating the numbers themselves. It is curious that the numbers are written in English, but this may relate to the specific esoteric system apparently used within.
- In certain cases, the number names (and occasionally the numbers themselves) are drawn to resemble specific mathematical constants; among other things, there are number names with stylistic writing resembling the square root symbol, phi (the symbol for the golden ratio), e (aka the natural logarithm), addition and subtraction symbols, c (the number typically used to refer to the speed of light in a vacuum), set theory symbols, and so on. At least some of these constants referred to are sufficiently obscure that outside references (e.g. lists of mathematical symbols) were used to verify.
- In addition to the stylistic choices noted, there are a few notable other bits of symbolism. One number, viewed from one angle, resembles the alchemical symbol for brimstone; there are others that resemble alchemical symbols for quicksilver or mercury; another vaguely resembling the alchemical symbol for lead.
- There is at least one occurrence of this with the mathematical constant pi, which will be noted in a dedicated section due to its implications.
Koki Kariya really doesn’t want to be the one to shoot the dog.
It’s much better if Uzuki does it. It’ll be good material for her career advancement.
He tries to not think about how literally a week ago he’d defended the Grim Heaper to Uzuki’s face, letting her know that yes, Minamimoto was a pain to deal with, but he was an artist above all, and art was not something to be rushed.
He never imagined the kid who'd become a legend in his own right (to the point he had urban legends around him) and had risen like a rocket in rank would be dabbling in this kind of art, though.
Extensive symbolism relating to the number pi is included within:
- At least one section of number symbolism consists of the word “pi” (in Romaji) in a style drawn actually resembling the symbol for the constant.
- The number is included at multiple points in the sigil almost as a bounding circle, included to at least 29 digits (although at points this is hard to tell due to the style of the sigil).
- There are no less than three specific instances where pi is noted, along with possibly other mathematical constants on the outside periphery.
Koki Kariya feels sick.
He’s doing this for Uzuki, he reminds himself.
He knows all too well the threat of Taboo. The only other time he’s ever had to file a Shoot The Dog Report was with a dumb kid who’d tried to dabble in calling up Taboo--to see what was different about it--close to a quarter century ago, when he’d first joined the Harriers himself.
Not terribly longer in the job than Uzuki has been, really.
By the time they found the kid, he’d been savaged by the grizzlies he’d managed to call up from the nether and it’d taken the better part of three days to clear out the angry Noise infestation.
He never wants to see another fucking Wall of Grizzly again if he can help it.
He hopes that Uzuki doesn’t notice a few details he saw in the sigil.
He hopes when they catch Minamimoto that...they’re certainly not going to let him remain an Officer, he won’t even be allowed to live after this...but maybe after he’s Erased, maybe the Powers That Be will take pity on him, and he’ll end up some cat Noise or whatever where he might know something of joy without all that shit he had in his head all the time…
There are a few other aspects of the sigil for which the purpose is not yet known:
- There is at least one instance of “21” apparently unconnected to the other numbers. The significance of this is yet unknown.
- There are possibly other mathematical constants referred to in the periphery of the sigil, but these are as yet unknown.
Unfortunately, examination of the symbol also leads us to a direct suspect—one Sho Minamimoto, presently a Reaper Officer, and whom would technically have been GM in charge of the Game during Week 2:
- The extensive mathematical symbolism—and particularly the use of pi—is strong circumstantial evidence.
- His own personal Reaper Noise symbol (Leo Cantus) is included in the center. Whether he was attempting to summon his Noise form separately or whether it was meant for other purposes is not known.
- The most damning evidence is noted in Figure 2, where there is at least some evidence he may have in fact signed the sigil as a sort of graffiti tag.
Figure 2. Colour-reversed image of the apparent “tag” of the sigil. “M. Sho” appears in Romaji (noted in blue), with surrounding drawings meant to give an impression of a lion cub’s ears and tail (noted in red); these, too, are drawn to resemble mathematical constants and set theory symbols (noted in green).
HQ has been contacted on an emergency basis and has sent assistance for deactivation of the sigil, but the grave threat of Taboo—and in fact an apparently very advanced and in part successful attempt to summon Taboo—cannot be understated, especially in a case where a Reaper Officer may be involved.
We are grateful to HQ for their assistance in this matter, including pointing out some of the more unusual references in this report.
Fuck. Fuck. Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck fuck.
Uzuki Yashiro’s going to be a good Officer.
Right now, Koki Kariya is really wishing Uzuki wasn’t such a quick study.
It’ll be good for her. He just wishes she hadn’t noticed THAT particular detail.
(Yes, he admits to himself, yes, we both saw him draw the bedamned thing. He still doesn't want to admit that to himself.)
He doesn’t want to be the one to put down someone he considered a friend (as much as Sho Minamimoto even considered anyone a friend).
He knows Minamimoto has gone rabid, and Taboo cannot be allowed to propagate in the UG under any circumstances or Bad Things happen.
He just doesn’t want to be the one to pull the fucking trigger to shoot the dog.
Better to have Uzuki do it. She’s hungry. She wants the promotion.
Koki Kariya sends the approval to send the postmortem report on the sigil to HQ via text message.
And then spends the next five minutes softly cursing to himself as it all hits like a train:
Goddamnit, Minamimoto! What the fuck would even possess you to do this? Taboo? What the fuck? Just...goddamnit, why, Minamimoto? Why fucking Taboo? Why?
Goddamnit. Goddamnit it all to fucking hell. Just…
And in a bathroom stall in a godforsaken part of the Udagawa backstreets, Koki Kariya weeps to himself and mourns for the dog he knows has to be put down.
He’s gonna miss the weird modern art Minamimoto tried to explain to him.
The weird maths obsessions which he hated at first but which had grown on Kariya after a while when he realized this was an odd sort of artistic flair.
The unusual ways Minamimoto tended to handle things, starting from the first time Kariya had seen him.
He’d known the kid was going places.
He never dreamed he’d be sending the kid to Erasure, though.
Goddamnit, Minamimoto, why?