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Chapter 13 Title Card

Manga

Manga[]

Overview[]

The Chosen Ones, also known as Chapter 13, is the thirteenth story in the manga timeline, and the penultimate story of Volume 4. It covers Roger investigating the disappearance of his latest client, who ends up being one of many people harvested by a pair of deranged scientists for their twisted experiments to revive memories from prior to 40 years ago.

Synopsis[]

A mob of elderly people outside the domes surround a large rocky structure in a half conscious state, as a voice echoes and congratulates them for being “chosen”. Roger then begins his monologue, describing a place between multiple domes described as an "island of poverty in a sea of affluence". Roger parks The Griffon amidst a decimated city street, before a flashback shows mass protests, demanding better job and higher education for their children, Roger citing that according to Dastun, this place saw mass protests so massive even Paradigm Corporation struggled to contain them.

Roger walks throughout the city streets, which not only are decrepit, but desolate as well with no people in sight. This is all in spite of evidence of recent human activity, like a teapot spewing out steam while on a burner in one of the empty buildings. Roger questions what’s going on and where the people being fairly creeped out by the situation. Soon, Roger hears a beeping noise, and soon traces it down to the address his client wanted to guide him to. He enters the building and finds an unanswered phone was the source of the noise, in yet another deserted building.

Roger deduces this is too elaborate to be a prank, and once again questions what’s happening and where his client is. Roger’s search for signs of life in the district leads him to the sound of footsteps caused by marching Military Police officers surrounding the rock structure from before, guarding it with various military vehicles. Roger suspects something is off and drives the closer in the Griffon, only for the Police Officers present to shoot at him. Roger questions what their deal is, supposing it’s the “shoot first, ask questions later” theory before retaliating.

Roger has The Griffon return fire as its’ front end opens up to reveal machine guns that knock down the officers. Roger notes that these rubber bullets won’t do any fatal damage, but questions why they were so eager to shoot him in the first place. Suddenly, the rock structure starts vibrating, before then shrieking a phonosonic wave at Roger, forcing him to pull over. In an instant, Roger’s car is surrounded by troops and random citizens who congratulate him for being “chosen” by the rocky statue.

We then cut to Dastun, who’s being driven to Paradigm HQ. The officer driving him over asks what this emergency summons is about, to which Dastun replies he doesn’t know. At the headquarters, Alex Rosewater is notified of Dastun’s arrival. Alex notes Dastun has arrived just in time, before then asking Dastun what the mission of the Military Police is. Dastun recites that it’s the Military Police’s job to defend the peace of Paradigm City. Alex approves, and then rhetorically asks that no matter who disturbs the peace, the Military Police must do their duty. Dastun acknowledges this, after which Angel then hands him a report. The contents of the report shock Dastun, who catches onto what he’s about to be asked to do. Alex then states there’s no exceptions, not even for “former collegues”.

Below the rock structure, a machine known as Dantalion, is a connecting laboratory where a pair of twin scientists ask an elderly man with a device strapped to his head what he lost 40 years ago, and to tell them what the world was like. They get a visual of a singular tree on their screen, only for the headgear to short-circuit and cause the screen to cut out, killing the old man. The twins note that he couldn’t handle the load and that the settings haven’t been perfected. They note these as the dangers of direct brain stimulation, and must consider that each subject would need their own settings, before then having the body of the old man thrown into a pile of corpses composed of previous failed test subjects.

The twins then take turns going on a monologue:

“The masses outside the dome contribute nothing to the city. If they all disappeared…those inside the domes wouldn’t even notice. Nobody would care. Nothing would change. We’re giving these parasites the opportunity to be useful…giving them the honor of serving the city. With this machine we excavated…and our brilliant minds…we can extract lost memories from deep within the brain…and illuminate the darkness of 40 years ago...before the city suffered mass amnesia! Over time the city has recovered somewhat…with help from remaining memories. But there are gaps, mysteries. Enigmatic memories are sometimes discovered. But the cause of the event…which for four decades has frustrated the efforts of all of Paradigm Co research teams…WE…will discover!”

They chant down at the brainwashed masses of elderly people below them in the facility, saying they are the “chosen ones”, and are privileged to die as heroes. We then cut to an unconscious Roger Smith hooked to the headgear connected to Dantalion, as the twins state the brain of the best negotiator in the city may have valuable clues from all the cases he’s worked on. When the machine is run and Roger’s memories are shown on screen, the twins are stunned by what they’re seeing.

Before anything is shown, we cut back to Dastun and the Military Police driving over to the district Dantalion is at, with Dastun in a foul mood. A brainwashed police officer reports to the twins that Dastun’s forces have arrived. The twins, Paneer and Palac, split up, the former staying put and studying Roger as the latter goes over to confront Dastun. Dastun and his men then watch in bewilderment as the Dantalion rises and levitates from the ground, Lieutenant Colonel Eddy’s unit standing in front of it and awaiting them. The open fire on Dastun, resulting in a firefight. Dastun states Eddy’s unit is “revolting”, and thus need to be contained in this district and are no longer Military Police.

Palac arrives at the control seat of Dantalion, surrounded by brains floating in water bulbs and tied to the machine. He notes this must be done now while there’s still survivors of the event still available. Dantalion uses a phonosonic shriek to attack Dastun’s crew. However, this is cut short as Dantalion briefly stops working, much to Palac’s confusion. Paneer then notifies his brother that there’s a new issue: The machine couldn’t handle the load this time, with Roger having too many memories for it to process, the entire lab bursting into flames as Roger stands up freely with his headgear removed. Dantalion fully arises from the ground. Palac notifies Paneer that he’s disengaging, and to have the brainwashed police put out the fire.

Big O then appears, rising from the ground and now with Roger at the controls. Roger uses Big O’s Arc Line to attack, but Dantalion uses it’s phonosonic shriek to deflect the beams, baffling the negotiator. Palac is thrilled to see Dantalion’s phonosonic screech begin to overwhelm Big O, only for the black megadeus to grab a nearby building and throw a several storey chunk of it at Dantalion. Although the building was wiped out, it succeeded in causing Dantalion’s attack to stall. Roger would take advantage of this situation and have Big O then use missile party, destroying Dantalion. Palac pleads, asking why the black megadeus is interfering when they can discover their history, his last words being that it's in their reach.

Roger replies after the fact, stating research that harms people has no value, regardless of it’s goals. Paneer then panics amidst the burning laboratory, as he realizes he overdid the brainwashing on the police officers they captured and now they can’t even properly use fire extinguishers to put the flames out. Dastun emerges from the fire to confront the remaining twin. Dastun notes that although memories are said to be more precious than gems, they’re not as important as human lives.

Paneer angrily states he never expected a watchdog from Paradigm Corporation to understand any better than Alex Rosewater did. Paneer exclaims that the real crime would be to cease this research, saying Paradigm can’t understand the importance of he and his brother’s experiments. He vows to recreate scientific wonders from 40 years ago and restore the world, only to then get shot in the head. Dastun is stunned, as he wasn’t the one that fired on him, before then noticing someone in the distance who did. Before he can act however, he’s notified by one of his men that the Military Police have subdued Eddy’s squad. Roger has an epilogue to end of the scene:

“The mad scientists brainwashed Lt. Colonel Eddy and his men, and used them as lab rats in their warped experiments, with the machine they excavated, before Paradigm Co. could stop them. The residents of this district were released from the research facilities, but there was no happy ending for the people who died in the experiments, or for their loved ones. And many still haven’t recovered from the brainwashing.”

Dastun notifies Roger that volunteers from outside the domes will oversee the victims’ rehabilitation. Roger notes that Paradigm owns those volunteers, and laments that this is the “Paradigm Way”. We then cut to Alex who just finished hearing the report from Angel, and is pleased to see this is all over. Angel then tells him they found a piece of paper from the crime scene, slightly burnt but still legible enough to know what it is. She hands it to him , stating they're Michael Seebach’s notes and deducing the twins must've know of them. Angel believes that “it” is about to begin, to which Alex simply smirks. The chapter ends with Roger glaring at Paradigm Dome.

Similarities To The Anime[]

  • Although a manga-exclusive premise and overall story, the fight Big O has with Dantalion is almost identical to when it fought Constanze in "A Legacy of Amadeus", with Big O fighting an opponent who uses a phonosonic machine capable of deflecting Arc Line, but then later being able to have their weapon stopped long enough for Big O to destroy the opposing robot with Missile Party.

Trivia[]

  • Megadeus: Big O, Dantalion
  • According to Paradigm Gallery, the working title of this chapter was “Godhead”.
  • A new feature of The Griffon was revealed in this chapter, with the front-mounted machine guns it featured in the anime also being shown to be capable of using non-lethal rubber bullets.
  • Dantalion gets its name from the mythical fallen angel turned into an archduke of hell, as part of the 71st of the 72 Spirits of Solomon. His mythical attributes of altering peoples minds, showing them visions, and teaching arts and sciences might have been thematically tied to the Dantalion of this chapter, whose main attribute is altering the minds of others and showing memories.
  • Paneer and Palac's names are mispelled as "Paneel" and "Pallack" in the manga due to translation errors, as these aren't real names. However, translating their panel in the Paradigm Gallery reveals their correctly spelt names. This is likely due to Ls and Rs being intertwined in japanese language.
  • Paneer shares his name with a type of Persian cheese and Palac is a popular Phillipino surname.
  • It’s also noted in Paradigm Gallery than Paneer is the younger of the twin scientists.
  • Dantalion’s name is revealed in the Paradigm Gallery and is described as a “mysterious statue” instead of a traditional megadeus and is also stated to be capable of floating, as was seen in it’s fight with Big O.
  • It’s unknown if the headgear connected to Dantalion was always a part of the machine or simply something the twin scientists built onto it, as it was connected to their laboratory right next to Dantalion rather than actually inside of it.
  • Although it's debatable how much of Dantalion's ability to read memories came from experiments done by the twins, it was definitely capable of detecting people who possessed memories of what happened during and/or prior to 40 years ago, as it did with Roger.
  • The first memory we see retrieved by Dantalion for the scientists is an image of a tree, which later becomes a recurring visual and possible biblical theme associated with the Gigadeus, a machine with access to memories prior to 40 years ago.
  • Another connection between Dantalion and Gigadeus is their ability to do memory-related interfacing with humans that gradually destroys their minds, as seen with Dantalion’s ability to degrade some of the brainwashed officers beyond being able to use a fire extinguisher if not outright killing people connected to it as seen near the beginning of the chapter. The Gigadeus meanwhile erodes peoples sanity and can even cause them to ascend to possess supernatural properties after death, as was seen with Beck.
  • According to Paneer and Palac, Paradigm City’s research teams have been unable to figure out the cause of the event for the past four decades.
  • Although we never see what memories Dantalion retrieved from Roger, it’s revealed that the sheer amount of them and their implications was enough for the memory recollecting technology linked to Dantalion to burst into flames, and whilst many people died from exposure to that machine, Roger was completely fine.
  • This is the first reveal we get of Roger having memories regarding what happened during and/or prior to 40 years ago in the manga, and although we’re never shown what these memories were, it’s likely they were the same nightmarish flashbacks of the megadeus apocalypse that Roger started having in episode 13 of the anime after reading Gordon’s book Metropolis and being stalked by Red Destiny.
  • We’re never shown the report Dastun is given by Angel and what former collegue Alex wants Dastun to take down, but it’s likely a report the brainwashed Lt Colonel Eddy’s squad might’ve sent regarding Roger after their scuffle near the Dantalion. This didn’t seem to head anywhere, presumably because Dastun would find out Eddy was brainwashed along with his troops.
  • It’s revealed that at the control center of Dantalion are a series of brains in jars that are wired together. Much like the memory headgear, it’s unknown if this was part of the original machine or something the twin scientists added to Dantalion using the corpses of their deceased test subjects.
  • This chapter shows a rare instance of Roger actually killing somebody, in this case Palac who died inside the Dantalion when it was blasted by Big O’s Missile Party.
  • It’s not revealed in this chapter who was responsible for shooting Paneel in the head, and few hints were given.
  • It’s revealed by Angel that the twin scientists had access to Michael Seebach’s writings, and it seems this was foretelling of something that’s about to happen that only Angel and Alex knew about.
  • The event Angel and Alex were predicting, based on Michael Seebach’s notes, probably involved Big Duo, who would debut in the next chapter after a prophecy Angel tells Beck to spread.

Citations[]

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