CHAPTER 10 . CAT AND MOUSE
Konoko follows Mukade through the city's rooftops, feeling somehow connected to him on a deep and unpleasant level. Finally cornered, Mukade states that they are one and the same; that they should surrender to their violent nature, and be consumed by what is inside them. In denial of any similarity between them, Konoko kills Mukade and retrieves the disc (presumably) containing the data about her life which Mukade removed from Regional State.
- Something deep links Mukade and Konoko. That much is fact. But what is the source of their connection? Two main possibilities present themselves, not mutually exclusive:
- That somehow they are related. Konoko sure does a lot of thinking about her Dad while tracking him: "That data file contains information about my past. About my dad. I guess I knew I had a father at some point but I don't remember him. Now I want to know everything about the man I tried really hard not to think about..."
- That Mukade also has a Chrysalis. This is a less dramatic revelation, and would explain his superhuman abilities (teleportation and the Devil Star). It could also explain their mental connection without Mukade needing to be related to Konoko.
- We can learn a fair amount about the mindset of Mukade and Konoko from their brief exchange. Let's break it down:
* 11_40_01 Mukade: All you have done by hunting me is force me to fight. You should have let me go.
It seems that someone doesn't want her to know the truth, and a confrontation is not desired (not yet, anyway).
* 11_40_02 Konoko: Who are you? Why can I feel you inside me?
* 11_40_03 Mukade: Does your blood burn when you kill? Mine does.
Does this exchange imply that they are related? It may simply refer to the über-spikes Konoko had after defeating Barabas and the room of bad guys guarding Shinatama.
* 11_40_04 Konoko: Stop it...
* 11_40_05 Mukade: We writhe inside as we are torn apart to make way for what we will become. Surrender to it.
Let the bliss of oblivion free you of all your doubts and fears...
This also makes sense in retrospect when we learn that the Chrysalis replaces its host from the inside out. However, Dr. Kerr's explanation in the next chapter assures Konoko that she will not truly change in personality. Mukade views his transformation as something that will kill him as a person, and, believing this to be inevitable, welcomes it. Konoko, of course, has no way to respond to this intelligently, not even knowing what he's talking about.
* 11_40_06 Konoko: You are one of Muro's thugs, nothing more.
* 11_40_07 Mukade: We shall see...
Konoko is clearly trying to distance herself from him; she's seen how evil Muro's men are, and (since she assumes that Mukade works for Muro) she hates to think that she has something in common with one of them. So she belittles him as a 'mere thug'. Mukade promises to show her what he is capable of.
Konoko's unnecessary killing of a clearly-defeated enemy brings into question just how good Konoko is. We know how evil Muro is from plenty of evidence, but we've also been assuming that Konoko is basically a good-hearted victim. Her killing of Mukade seems to be a desperate, self-defeating attempt to show that she's not like him. On the other hand, since Konoko is without a real identity at this point, killing Mukade could be seen as a total rejection of the identity that Mukade offers her, one of nihilism and death. An identity that has more in common with Muro's.
Note: For an alternate interpretation of these events, Truth Number Zero.