Col. Baldwin, increasingly old, increasingly battered, ambles down Chuo-dori, arguably looking for Liquid Rooms. Deep winter. His jacket is an N-1 naval deck coat, fur collar long since frayed, size, a bit too short. “Double-double”pants, pilfered from a construction site near Ni-chome, billow out beneath, covering square-toed dress shoes; his sole concession to the date he’s supposed to keep tonight with yet another Yuka. The lookout for Liquid Rooms is not going well. The Espionage Rejects have yet to actually locate one, and whatever forecasts and precog flashes they get via the Overtones are vague, borderline hysterical, and ultimately useless. All the home office wants is hard data. So why send out the ER, who are by nature, nothing but allusive and obscure.
Baldwin’s brain is long since fried too, but a kernel of discipline still remains. He’s good at managing the long term tasks, seeing what the outcomes of any given scenario might be, but minute-to-minute task fulfillment is a struggle. Psy-Ops did a number on him, pre-op experiments before the E.S.P.Y. project really began… ferocious hallucinogenic drug cocktails, leftovers and backwash, the absolute dregs of so many failed truth serums, mind control cocktails, et al. Psy-Ops were just passing time, pilfering defense budget change. They never expected to find the Overtones, the missing frequencies between oscillating standing waves. But somehow, on October 13th, 1963, Baldwin’s brain tuned into them and began receiving and broadcasting signals -- like a two-way radio -- that no human mind had held before.
It manifested as hysterical laughter, which the doctors and white coats assumed was euphoria. But Baldwin knew, even then and forever after, that the moment was not transcendent. He was laughing because there was nothing out there. In the world and inside of himself.
Dig Tokyo’s Shinjuku Kabukicho district: a naughty neon-lit Pleasure Island from Pinocchio filled with seedy adult entertainment ranging from hostess clubs, host clubs, strip clubs, massage parlors, all night gourmet eateries… you name it Mack, they got it.
In order to operate a successful business in this overheated hothouse environment, you need a SERIOUS GIMMICK to help separate yourself from the competition. Enter the latest contender on the block: the Shinjuku Kabukicho Robot Restaurant...
Built at a cost of 10 billion yen (they say...), the Robot Restaurant combines garish lighting, with female robots and flesh & blood cabaret girls for a hallucinatory experience that will hopefully do for the jaded, thrill-seeking salarymen of Japan what “Chuck E. Cheese” does for little kids.
For an entrance fee of around US$37.00, patrons and stare slack-jawed as enormous Cutey Honey-esque robots roll around controlled by comely “pilots”.
Army girls patrol the allies of smiles for enemy robots on armored vehicles that would shame anything in Disneyland’s Main Street Electrical Parade!
They also zip around through technicolor LED landscapes on actual motorbikes!
There's even musical shows and revues performed by the girls, including Japanese taiko drumming and a marching band!
And should any of this phantasmagorical spectacle fail to entertain, you can always lose your mind on cheap whiskey and chain smoke like a chimney while staring at the otherworldly décor!
In truth, the joint is more like a kyabakura, or “cabaret club”, than an actual restaurant. Three measly food items in all are listed on the menu, a perfunctory measure probably because it's easier to get a license for food service than to apply for a “giant robots plus army girls and marching bands and motorcycles” license. Either way, here’s wishing the Shinjuku Kabukicho Robot Restaurant the very best of luck as it awkward rolls the human race one step closer to a well-deserved Robopocalypse.
Dead Panda looming large tonight in the figurative scheme of things. Grief and sadness so severe that it crosses over the frequency band and out past the overtones. Emotions that could be real, could be Government of Darkness propaganda. The lines blurred in this here scene from the Taishomei Jidai: Espionage Rejects on a sidewalk of Tokyo2, looking between building and around corners for Liquid Rooms, tiny singe of sadness manifesting as tightness between the eyes. The Goka-na jyupun senso is still a little ways off. G.O.D stashing weapons, drugs, contracts, religious artifacts from the Vice Fairy wars, whatever and whoever for unimaginable sums of money and power. The ER – a core group of five – can sniff them out these stealth spaces, but only for seconds at a time, by which point the rooms have vanished into spectral aeather. Button push by mod on server. Even Col. Baldwin, and top-level Paranormal Rejects, can’t explain how Liquid Room tech works. No one has ever secured evidence of one. Probably something to do with nanotech construction and frequency modulation, very much an Espionage Reject’s brain, which is how they are able to tune into them and “see” what goes on in there in fleeting glances. Examples: Youna in a dress made out of luxury belts doing a samba, Mami in yet another schoolgirl uniform; on a phone selling steel to rebuild a post-earthquake alternate Japan, Yuka Yuka burning her arm on a frying pan making Chinese food for a group of ayashi producers. And a tiny pink baby animal, breathing labored, levitating, glowing.