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The Sky Crawlers: Episode 4, Episode 5, Epilogue

The Sky Crawlers: Episode 4, Episode 5, Epilogue

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The Sky Crawlers: Episode 4, Episode 5, Epilogue

99 pagine
1 ora
Feb 28, 2017


Do we care or not about coming back to the same place again when taking off from the runway?
I do not care about such a miracle.
When flying above the clouds and viewing the stars in the heavens, I can forget about the things that lie in the future.
I can exchange my whole life with leaving the ground, or with the distance from the ground.
I never doubt the outrageousness.
The important point is whether we have such spirits of children or not.

The story about the formidable children named "Kildren", who kill each other in the eternal flow of time, concludes with deadly silence. At the same time, magnificent "The Sky Crawlers" series starts from this masterpiece.

To the skies of the whole world, their pure spirits continue to ascend boundlessly.
Feb 28, 2017

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The Sky Crawlers - MORI Hiroshi

The Sky Crawlers: Episode 4, Episode 5, Epilogue

The Sky Crawlers: Episode 4, Episode 5, Epilogue

Originally written in Japanese by MORI, Hiroshi

Translated by Ryusui Seiryoin

Cover illustration by mm

Cover design by mm

This work was first published in Japan in 2001.

Japanese edition copyright © 2001 MORI, Hiroshi / Chuokoron-Shinsha

English edition copyright © 2017 MORI, Hiroshi / The BBB: Breakthrough Bandwagon Books

All rights reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-365-78958-8

Episode 4: Spinner

Lionel was either unwilling or unable to speak up at once. At any rate, he waited till the hiccupping aftermath of his tears had subsided a little. Then his answer was delivered, muffled but intelligible, into the warmth of Boo Boo’s neck. It’s one of those things that go up in the air, he said. With string you hold.

This excerpt is from Down at the Dinghy, a short story included in Nine Stories (written by J. D. Salinger)


It was raining on the moving day. For pilots, rainy days are the birthdays of demons. I am afraid of the one which does not usually make merry deciding to make merry. It makes me hope that this gloomy day is over as soon as possible. It looks as if each raindrop clung to the canopy is being controlled from hell. I am urged to expect them to suddenly form an evil grin on the cowling, as the runway gets closer. Once I reach the sky above the cloud, I will have nothing to do with the climate. Therefore, only by ascending with sheer determination against the instinct of the Earth, I can escape from the gloom. However, since we have failed to become the angels, we have to go back to the Earth in the end. As the altitude decreases, the gloom of the ground recurs. Human beings are such existences that cling to the humid ground and live miserably.

If the rain were a little harder, our flight would have been postponed. When we were taking off from the ground, the rain was still gentle. About 15:00, Senryu, an old type of aircraft, arrived at the base. It was the first time for me to see a two-seat Mark E. Its pilot was a good-natured middle-aged man named Mugiro Yamagiwa. Suito Kusanagi got into the aircraft. Three Sankas, piloted by Tokino, I, and Shinoda, in this order, took off and followed this Senryu. Even though we were feeling the peace of mind thanks to the fact that we had a guiding aircraft, by the time that we were lowering the altitude to land, the sun was setting, the sky was becoming completely dark, and the rain was getting more torrential. The condition would not allow the pilots to check other aircrafts other than lights with naked eye.

I could say it was a miracle that all of the four aircrafts successfully landed on the runway just with a single attempt. I am sure that Kusanagi was proud of the feat. Occasionally, there are times during which pilots feel the urge to return to the ground even if a landing gear happens to be broken. That is more or so the case, when the pilot is close to an unknown airbase at which the pilot cannot easily recognize the aerodynamics involving the winds to aviate the plane.

We were not sure at the night how large the new airbase was. A simple and frugal party was held in the cafeteria, in which the four of us were welcomed. It seemed that Mugiro Yamagiwa was the leader of the squadron stationed in the base, and he seemed to have five subordinate pilots. But, those who attended the welcome party were four. They were all males who had similar impressions. We joked, If one of them is traded to our team, then the number of pilots for the two teams would become the same. Although two weeks had already passed since Yudagawa went missing in action, our team had yet to recruit the new member. I heard that the previous base was not going to be used for a while. I am getting worried about Sasakura, and have decided to ask Kusanagi about him in the middle of the party.

Why do you ask? She glares at me with a sideway glance. As of now, I have heard nothing of him.

In short, does it mean that the mechanics are still staying at the previous base? It is not that such a massive amount of facilities can easily be transferred from one base to another. Besides, this airbase should have its own facilities and engineering personnel.

I mean, he has helped me with this and that ... The choice of my expression is as casual as possible. Also, I’m interested in what he was developing.

If it is that much useful, then it would become widespread, sooner or later. Kusanagi’s tone is even more casual.

By the way, why have we moved into this airbase? I place the glass in my hand onto the table and take out a cigarette. Occasionally, someone might have looked at Kusanagi and me, but none of them should be overhearing our conversation. It is because Tokino is speaking loudly to a group of people, gathering at a part of the cafeteria that is slightly far away from us.

If you are asking me about it, you have got to be insane, you know? Kusanagi whispers, sniffs, and smiles.

I am doing so, probably because I’m drunk. I exhale the cigarette smoke and sigh simultaneously. For example, is it normal for me to assume on a constant basis that a large-scale combat is about to occur in the near future at any moment?

There is always the possibility that it would result in ending up being in a large scale. She says so, while taking her eyes away from me and observing other people. At times, many people may be forced to move from place to place, no thanks to the plans and motives that we cannot understand at all. I mean, it might be a short period or a long term. Could it be based on a political reason related to the election, or the managerial strategy of the military company? In short, it is like plants that are shaken when a strong gust of wind blows. Everyone intuitively knows that being shaken along with the wind is the way of the preventive measure not to be snapped.

Wouldn’t it be easier just to be snapped and fall off in the early phase?

Well, nothing has to be easier than dying.

Although I do not know who brought a guitar to the cafeteria, someone is playing guitar, and many start singing along in chorus. I am not a big fan of such a noisy environment, so I am stepping outside.

It has already stopped raining. The light from the office is reflected here and there on the asphalt in front of the building. The humidity is high, and the air is stuffy. But, it is not cold. The sticky fog is twining around night-lights like cotton candies, and is muffling the buzzy noises from the light bulbs.

There is a small piloti-based building beside a passage corridor connecting the billet and the office. Two vehicle-shaped stationary rides,

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