Atmospheric Conversion Center (exterior)
Despite Griffin's orders not to get involved, Konoko leaves on her own to track down Shinatama at an Atmospheric Conversion Center. Meanwhile, Shinatama is being tortured by Muro, either for information or out of pure sadism (or both). Konoko ventures deeper into the facility. After defeating a Fury and two Strikers, she experiences her second major Daodan spike; this one is noticed and reported to Griffin, who responds, "This is getting out of control".
- The goal of Shinatama's kidnapping is not clear: while it is true that Shinatama can withhold information about Konoko's symbiosis, it is normally forwarded to the science team through Damocles and stored in human-readable form at the TCTF Science Prison and at the HQ itself. Thus it would not be too logical to extract that information verbally from an android that is not even clearly "torturable" in the first place. There are, however, a couple possible motives for the raid.
- First, by taking Shinatama away, Muro disrupts Griffin's Daodan project. Of course Muro has no direct control over Konoko's insubordination, Shinatama's death, Konoko's rogue status, etc.; he is merely an agent of chaos (cf. the Joker in the Dark Knight). With Shinatama gone, the tension will inevitably rise, until Konoko realizes that Griffin has been using her as a weapon against Muro.
- As for Konoko's direct reaction to Shinatama's loss, Muro is curious to see it, whatever it is: he is not interested in his sister's stability, so he welcomes anger as a possibility (cf. Joker again). As a bonus, Muro gets to torture a WCG android and explore the degrees of pain it can endure.
- Torturing droids is a time-honored tradition in sci-fi. One suggestion at that link is that torture of a droid which can register pain, and which has self-preservation programming, may be an attempt to uncover information about the android, such as which priorities are lower than self-preservation. Though the sensitive information that Shinatama knows is undoubtedly higher-priority than her self-preservation directive, so interrogation for data on Konoko or the TCTF is not possible, it could at least tell Muro and his men something about the psychology of the SLDs that the WCG makes.