The Notebooks of Gregory O'Donnell
Gregory made use of a blank, black covered, A4 sized, spiral-bound notebook for his initial note taking when Sekirei 37 Madoka initially told him of the Sekirei, in December of 2019.
Gregory continued to use this notebook (and others like it once the first was filled with notes), recording his observations of the Sekirei, of metapsychic abilities, of the people involved in the Sekirei Plan, and of MBI.
From the author, August 26, 2022 - Intermission! One of the regular requests/complaints/asks from fans of NGFOM was that I post all of Gregory's Notebook entries together as one post/chapter/whatever. So, I went ahead and assembled them and hopefully polished it a little bit, enough to catch some of the obvious errors and to get the formatting right so that it makes some sense what you're looking at.
If there are still errors or formatting problems, well, they'll just have to stay. 9 hours, literally, doing nothing but tweaking text and adjusting Boldface and Italic fonts has pretty much wrecked me for the day.
There is a bit of duplication of information through the Notebooks. Much of it was deliberate(ish) because Gregory wrote these over a period of weeks and months. He would go back to a topic and add a few things to it or write an entirely new "New Info" entry on another entry.
Gregory tried to be as organized and consistent as he could be. He probably did a better job of it than I have done here!
Obviously, since Book Five was never completed there likely should be a few more entries here but... I never finished Book 5, alas.
This "chapter" is dedicated to the two biggest Notebooks fans out there: Fenschway (who every time I sent him a chapter to beta read if it didn't have SOME kind of Notebooks entry at the end he'd always push for such to be added) and Thug 4 Less (who asked many times for me to post all of the Notebook entries as one post). Both of you guys are awesome and I love that you appreciated the in depth geekery of the Notebooks sections.
Also, if on the chance any Sekirei writers want to use any of the world-building/lore/mechanics that I and Fenschway explored in NGFOM and The Game Changer and that I expanded on in the Notebooks, feel free to do so! Maybe send me a PM to let me know, I'd like to read what you do with it.
From the Notebooks of Gregory O'Donnell
Notebook Entry 1 – Thur Dec 19th 2019 NGFOM Ch3
MBI Sekirei Labs - We'll use this phrase as our umbrella term to designate MBI's facilities for the study, housing, and care of the Sekirei. There may be multiple locations but unless it is important to specify which or where we will just call them all the MBI Sekirei Labs. Madoka reports there was no one specific term used for these facilities that she was aware of. Madoka and the other Sekirei she was raised with spent their entire lives in the MBI Sekirei Labs, not once being allowed to go away from the controlled facilities on their own. This blatant imprisonment is only the least of the laws, both Japanese and International, which MBI seems to have violated.
Addendum: The two locations primarily used were the facility at Kamakura Island early in the program (Pre-2010) and later the MBI Corporate Headquarters building in Shin Tokyo.
Sekirei - The supposedly alien subjects of MBI's experimentation and MBI's 'Sekirei Plan'. At least some are confirmed by my own witnessing to have abilities beyond human. There were 108 of them when their ship crashed into the Pacific a thousand years ago (this all being reported by Madoka as 'common knowledge' among the Sekirei in the MBI Sekirei Labs). The 108 included one adult (Sekirei 01) and 107 Sekirei fetuses at various stages of development, transported in some sort of suspended animation womb tanks.
They were discovered by Hiroto Minaka and his "minions" (a term used by Minaka himself according to Madoka) in late 1999 still in suspension aboard their long-crashed ship. Madoka does not know where this ship might be other than a vague memory of it being on a rocky island in the ocean.
Madoka indicates there was some significant difference between the late-stage fetuses (numbers 02 through 09) and the rest of the Sekirei (numbers 10 through 108). What possible difference one pre-viability fetus can be to another pre-viability fetus is unknown but Madoka insists there was certainly a difference of some sort.
Ashikabi - Madoka says the Sekirei require a psychic mating bond to an 'Ashikabi' in order to unlock all of their psychic potential (and possibly to unlock the ability to reproduce, must follow up on this later). She says the Ashikabi are indistinguishable from any other human, indicating that the trait for Ashikabi potential is not common to all humans.
Must follow up on where this trait originated from, Madoka reported that myth or legend among the Sekirei hints Ashikabi-ness may be a result of ancient Sekirei genes still being passed down among the human population from earlier Sekirei arrivals on Earth.
Can male Sekirei be Ashikabi? Can female Sekirei? Is it only humans who can be? Only humans with some ancient Sekirei genetics? If only Terran Humans with Sekirei ancestry can be Ashikabi then it follows that Sekirei themselves could be Ashikabi, unless the 108 specimens aboard the original ships were engineered to not have that ability themselves while still passing it on to their descendants.
Obviously a great deal more research needs to be done on this subject.
Group 11 - The selection of Sekirei who shared common dormitory, classes, examiners, and 'adjusters' to which Madoka was assigned. Madoka reports that there were seven Sekirei who were always a part of Group 11, but others came and went over the years. This manipulation of which Sekirei lived together, for how long, when they were separated from those they had grown bonds with, seems to be part of a long term, intensive, study by MBI on the socialization of the Sekirei, possibly to determine how best to manipulate them long term.
From initial descriptions, it seems that interaction with other Groups never occurred and even the existence of other Groups is speculative. If someone were removed from Group 11, it meant they would never be seen again, in Madoka's experience.
Note: get Madoka to list all the members of Group 11 in every detail she can recall, as well as those who were assigned to the Group and separated from it over the years.
What Sekirei I have information about I will note here, along with the source of that information, rumor or hearsay noted where applicable.
37 Sanjunana Madoka - Madoka has the ability to heal injuries by touching the wound and concentrating on a desire for the wound to be healed. I witnessed a demonstration of this ability with my own eyes and the demonstration was carried out upon my own body, both injuries caused by Madoka herself for purposes of proving her abilities and a second injury caused by myself to prove there was no trick with the injury itself.
She asserts that she can see also "around corners", which sounds a lot like a form of clairvoyance. The same faculty allows some to communicate wordlessly, mind-to-mind, as well as sense other Sekirei and their relative strength.
She claims most of the other Sekirei are super-humanly strong and tough and that she is one of the few that lack those abilities.
According to what Madoka was told by MBI she was the fifth Sekirei released into Shin Tokyo as part of Phase One of the Sekirei Plan, on Friday, Dec 6, 2019.
16 Toyotama - Madoka described Toyotama as a powerful fighter, a "power type" who had great skill with a fighting staff/javelin that she carries on clips on her back when it is not needed. Madoka says she does not know if the lower number Sekirei are automatically more powerful than higher number Sekirei (other than the single digits who are definitely more powerful, must look into this later). The impression amongst the members of Group 11 was that the 'teen' numbered Sekirei were certainly a cut above everyone except for the single digits.
Madoka indicated she knew Toyotama for years in Group 11, but we did not get into their history (must return to this when more time is available). Toyotama is bound to the Ashikabi Higa Izumi.
18 Ichiya - Another power type, according to Madoka. 18 Ichiya was also raised in Group 11. Ichiya eventually specialized in savate, or French kickboxing, as her combat style of choice. Madoka claims only 10 Uzume, 16 Toyotama, and 14 Chiyo ever defeated Ichiya in spars among the Group 11 Sekirei and none of those three won every match vs Ichiya.
22 Kochou - Bound to Ashikabi Kakizaki some date prior to Monday Dec. 9, 2019. Madoka has little firsthand knowledge of Kochou, though she was one of the witnesses to some emergency which occurred within the last year of their confinement at the MBI Sekirei Labs that had to do with Kochou and her twin sister Akitsu.
Madoka: The staff was separating the two to be assigned different dorm groups for the first time in their lives. This was well after we had all been through our Puberty Adjustments, I will guess it was perhaps just a year ago. Akitsu (then known as number 07) went berserk and lost control of her powers (something to do with being able to reduce thermal energy in an area, perhaps coupled with the ability to force condensation of atmospheric water), resulting in the death of staff as well as destruction of property. All the Sekirei witnesses were quickly moved away from the scene. I do not know what happened after, other than the long-term consequences of this event directly led to Akitsu to becoming a "scrapped number" (Gregory: must follow up on what his means, later).
22 Kochou is supposedly one of the uncommon Sekirei with non-physical powers, like Madoka herself. Kouchou's abilities supposedly have something to do with her intelligence and the ability to organize data, but Madoka knew little for sure about it, only rumor and what she overheard among the MBI staff.
Madoka believes, from what she overheard between Ashikabi Higa and Ashikabi Kakizaki in the downtown alley on Monday 9 Dec 2019, that Kochou is somehow able to get inside information from MBI about the release schedule and dropoff locations of the Sekirei, allowing Ashikabi Higa and his people to set ambushes for the unprepared and unaware Sekirei. If true this makes Kochou a significant asset to Higa's operation and a real game changer, which MBI very likely did not take into account in their planning.
86 Katsuragi - Madoka could only say that Katsuragi was likely a "power type" from what she recalled from the few months when Katsuragi shared the same dorm space as Madoka's 'Group 11' several years ago. Madoka's description of the events of Katsuragi's winging to Higa Izumi indicated that Wing Bonded 16 Toyotama had little difficulty physically beating unwinged 86 Katsuragi. Madoka stressed this meant little when it came to Katsuragi's danger to other Sekirei or to mere humans. Madoka remembers Katsuragi as being mild mannered and quiet, a girl who kept to herself mostly, but who was kindhearted and friendly.
Higa Izumi - Higa Izumi, young heir to the Higa Pharmaceutical empire. Izumi is a wealthy young man, he has access to a vast array of resources as the CEO and President of Higa Pharmaceuticals, also, perhaps only coincidentally, a primary rival of MBI in the medical technology field.
Madoka reports she could sense he was a powerful and dangerous man, though the worth of this 'sense' has yet to be evaluated. He bound Sekirei 16 Toyotama to him on some date prior to Monday Dec. 9 2019. He bound Sekirei 86 Katsuragi to him on that date, sometime in the afternoon, downtown Shin Tokyo.
He may be the first Ashikabi to discover both
1. it is possible to 'wing' more than one Sekirei and
2. it is possible to do so by force, against the will of the unwinged Sekirei. He seems to have some superior relationship to the Ashikabi Kakizaki. He also seems to have a great deal of contempt, even disgust, for the Sekirei themselves.
Kakizaki - Not sure if first or last name. Seems to have an inferior relationship to Ashikabi Higa due to obsequious behavior witnessed by Madoka Monday Dec 9 2019, downtown Shin Tokyo. From his own statements and the statements of Ashikabi Higa, Kakizaki has bound Sekirei 22 Kochou at some date prior to Monday Dec 9 2019.
From the Notebooks of Gregory O'Donnell
Notebook Entry 2 – Thur Dec 19th 2019 NGFOM Ch4
Winging - Through a kiss, traditionally, according to Madoka, but also appears to be doable via other contact between an unwinged Sekirei and an Ashikabi. Just any contact will not necessarily produce the life-long bonding that the winging represents.
At the moment of the Winging, the Ashikabi/Sekirei psychic bond is established. The Sekirei manifests a large, radiant, pair of wings from high on the back, around the shoulder blades. Before these intangible 'wings' fade, a glowing symbol in the shape of a stylized bird, yin/yang sign, and four tomoe, appears as well above and behind the Sekirei and settles on to their back, imprinting itself in a visible and permanent manner, like a tattoo. See the attached illustration.
Obviously, the presence of the yin/yang indicates a non-alien origin for at least some part of this manifestation of metapsychic power. The bird is, no doubt, symbolic of the avian ancestry the Sekirei claim (in contradiction to all evidence that they are profoundly mammalian).
Madoka says it is common knowledge among the Sekirei that once an Ashikabi wings a Sekirei they are bound together as mates for life, nothing can break this bond. She is sadly unable to source this "common knowledge" though, just as she cannot explain other, scattered, Sekirei traditions and myths.
The Sekirei have a traditional phrase they invoke after they are winged by their Ashikabi: "forever and ever". This phrase emphasizes the permanent nature of this bond. Like all of the traditions and myths the Sekirei have it is difficult to determine the origin of this phrase. It could be from their home world, it could be something MBI invented, or any of a dozen other explanations. Unless we can interview Sekirei 01 or review any computer records in the Sekirei ship it is unlikely we will know the answer to that question.
Winging provides the Sekirei with additional abilities, both a permanent across the board increase in their known powers and some super-version of their powers that is unlocked using a chant, called a Norito (an obscure Japanese word for a formal sort of Shinto prayer according to my more traditional Japanese dictionaries, so quite likely not an alien word for this power-activating chant).
It may also be required for a Sekirei to be winged to their Ashikabi before they can reproduce, though Madoka was less clear on this point.
There is definitely a psychic connection forged between the Ashikabi and the Sekirei. After bonding with Madoka under circumstances that were less than ideal, even I was able to get a sense of her emotional state that was far more immediate than guessing based on her demeanor and words. One would speculate that this would make it difficult for Ashikabi and Sekirei to deceive each other, for better and for worse. My perception of Madoka's emotions, even her physical location, was immediately far beyond what normal senses could explain. The limits of this 'sense' needs to be tested and quantified.
What other effects the bond might have on Sekirei and Ashikabi also needs to be investigated and documented.
MBI has stressed to the Sekirei that the first and by far most important priority in the Sekirei Plan is for the Sekirei to find an Ashikabi. Most Sekirei feel there is one 'fated' Ashikabi for them though most acknowledge they may not be lucky enough to find that Ashikabi. This is similar to human girls' insistence that there is 'the one' perfect Prince Charming out there for them, as well.
Sekirei Alienness - The question as to whether, and to what degree, the Sekirei are alien is at once critical, and yet, unimportant. For our purposes, we will refer to the Sekirei as the 108 beings who were recovered from the crashed spaceship on Kamakura Island by Hiroto Minaka and company. As well, hypothetical other ships in the same colonization fleet which may have landed on Earth in earlier ages would contain Sekirei, though their descendants would likely be Terran Human/Sekirei hybrids rather than the 108 attempting to keep to themselves and breed true, based on what little we know about the supposed mission of integration with the local dominant intelligent life, Terran Humans.
The species of intelligent life which built the ships and stocked them with the 108 transport tanks and their biological cargo will not be called "Sekirei", as there is good reason to consider them a different species entirely (ie, unable to breed with Earth humans, likely to have a completely different evolution, chemistry, and morphology from Earth humans). We will refer to the originators of the colonization effort as the "Kouten" until we have better information as to what they prefer to be called.
What we know about the Sekirei, at least second hand:
1. They can breed with Terran Humans. De facto this means they are the same species, Homo Sapiens. As it is extremely unlikely that homo sapiens evolved on a second world, with no common ancestor between the two species, we have to look for other explanations for the fact that the Sekirei are homo sapiens.
2. They have abilities that are not commonly demonstrated by Terran Humans. Psychokinesis, Mindspeech, Farsight, these abilities may be latent in some Terran Humans but in the Sekirei they seem common and operant. This marks them as distinct from Terran Humans.
3. The Sekirei are all notably not only healthy examples of Homo Sapiens, but they are specifically beautiful to the eyes of Earth humans. As standards of beauty vary based on culture and time period (but remaining within a fairly narrow range, surprisingly), one speculates that each ship contained different ethnicities of Earth humans, attractive to whichever part of the globe they were targeted towards. Alternatively, the Sekirei themselves change based on the standards they perceive in the Earth humans they encounter (see "Sekirei Plasticity Theory", later in this Notebook). The beauty of the Sekirei is an important data point, even a critical point, in our guesses about the nature and origin of their bodies.
Exobiology, Astrobiology, Cosmology, and basic fucking math - Anyone who does any serious study in the fields of exobiology or astrobiology rapidly comes to the conclusion that while there may indeed be intelligent life in this universe which has appeared and evolved completely separately from what has occurred on Earth, the vastness of space and the great age of the universe makes the odds of encountering any such truly alien intelligent life incredibly minute.
The entire history of humankind, from Neanderthal to Homo Sapiens, is but a blink of an eye in the age of the Earth, much less the Milky Way Galaxy, and much much much less the universe itself. That two species might evolve, completely separately on worlds separated by interstellar distances and they just happen to do so physically close enough that they might encounter each other at some point during a simultaneous blink of an eye in time that both exist is almost laughably unlikely.
Note, we are speaking of life from a completely separate world, one where life evolved from microbial beginnings as it has, clearly, on Earth, and without any contamination possible from Earth's native life due to interstellar space. If one discovers living microbes on Mars, we have not found proof that life may evolve independently of Earth. We have only discovered what is, more likely, cross contamination from Earth to Mars, by hardy microbial life.
But intelligent life from another star system entirely?
Assuming such incredible odds were overcome, that in the blink of an eye that makes up all of mankind's history on Earth and in the separate blink of an eye that makes up all of (for instance) Kouten's history on their world, that these two blinks are simultaneous and that the two star systems are close enough in the great vastness of our galaxy, much less the universe, let us look at what would be likely even if such amazingly small odds as those were overcome by chance.
95% of life on Earth is built upon six elements; carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur (called CHNOPS). These six elements are the building blocks of virtually all life on Earth, indicating that almost all life on Earth has a common antediluvian ancestor.
The other 5% of life on Earth are based on other elements. These Terran life forms are those that did not come from the same ancient single-celled ancestor from which the other 95% evolved. That common single-celled ancestor for the 95%, built upon the six elements listed above, was present some 3.5 billion years ago on this planet. The other 5%, those "alien" life forms that live among us on Earth, are still more closely related to me and you than any life that developed on a hypothetical world of Kouten.
Even among the 95% of life on Earth that shares a common background in the warm seas of 3.5 billion years ago, there is vast diversity. On Earth there is an estimated 5,490 species of mammals. All 5,490 of those species are our incredibly close relatives, compared to the rest of life on Earth. There are 9,998 species of birds. 31,300 species of fish. The 63,649 species of vertebrates, including Homo Sapiens, on Earth are all practically identical to each other, compared to the other forms of life which make up that 95% which is based on the six elements above. Homo Sapiens is incredibly closely related to sea bass, compared to how close we are related to any of the 1,305,250 invertebrate species on Earth, for example.
Much less the 1.5 million species of fungi.
Earth humans are far, far, more closely related, in every way possible, to those 1.5 million different species of fungi than we are to the 5% of life on this world which is based on chemical formations other than carbon/hydrogen/nitrogen/oxygen/phosphorous/sulfur. We have common ancestry to that 95%, including the fungi, whereas the 5% of truly 'other' life on Earth formed from completely different elements we have nothing in common with at all.
Needless to say, that 5% makes up some of the strangest and most 'weird' life on this planet. Even the 95% we are related to make for some truly bizarre and 'different' forms of life. Including life which evolved in radian form, instead of bilateral form (which is most common on Earth).
Life which evolved on Kouten would, we must assume, be just as varied as that on Earth. There is little evidence that the CHNOPS elements are universally superior for the construction of life, only that those were the elements which were most successful here on Earth in our own unique environment and circumstances. There's as much chance Kouten is based around silicon instead of carbon and live in liquid nitrogen seas, as anything like our own Earth.
Having already hand-waved the vast odds against Homo Sapiens of Earth and a hypothetical Kouten civilization existing at the same time period and close enough in physical distance to actually come into contact with each other (and let me once again stress what an ENORMOUS hand-wave that is), next we have to consider the odds of the form of life on both worlds being very different from each other.
We know that we, Homo Sapiens, have a far closer relationship to radially symmetrical animals such as jellyfish than we would have to any life which evolved, separately from Earth, on Kouten.
Do you look at a jellyfish and feel kinship or a connection? Do you see a potential reproduction partner? Odds are you do not. One… certainly hopes you do not.
And yet you are incredibly closer in relation to that radial life form than you are to any life on Kouten.
That the Sekirei appear to have a kinship and a connection with Terran humans, specifically appearing as attractive reproduction partners to us, indicates they must have been made for that purpose. There is almost no chance at all that the form and chemistry of their bodies here on Earth is the same as (or even remotely similar to) that of the originator species on Kouten, if any such exists in fact.
Science fiction aside, anyone who seriously proposes such simultaneous parallel evolution of life forms with no common ancestor on worlds separated by interstellar space simply does not understand the factors involved in such a proposition.
We can come to some tentative hypothesis concerning the Sekirei, just from what humankind does know about exobiology, evolution, and morphology.
1. The Sekirei are not the Kouten, as far as their biology is concerned.
2. The Sekirei were likely specifically designed by the Kouten for their mission to integrate with Earth's dominant intelligent life, Homo Sapiens. And yes, I find the therefore implied level of technology more terrifying than the Kouten's ability to cross interstellar space.
3. Sekirei myths about themselves having avian ancestry may be based in fact, but it would be more likely the Kouten themselves being avian or from avian descent than the Sekirei.
4. There may be some part of the Kouten that was included in the Sekirei. The 'tama core' or metapsychic profile or the 'soul' or whatever term one wishes to use for the demonstrable (with the Sekirei at least) aspect of their intelligence and being which exists separately from the meat of their bodies and brains, may well be this Kouten life element which is a part of the Sekirei. Does this Kouten life aspect breed true from Sekirei to Sekirei/Human hybrid? Hints indicate it does, though the degree of operancy or latency seems to depend on the percentage of Sekirei ancestry.
At some point, I hope to have the opportunity to examine whatever records MBI recovered from Kamakura Island. Or, even less likely but more desirably, personally examine the remnant of the crashed ship at Kamakura myself.
If the opportunity ever arises to find and speak to the Sekirei 01, the one adult Sekirei aboard the crashed ship, many of the questions about the native life on Kouten will be at the top of my list of inquiries.
From the Notebooks of Gregory O'Donnell
Notebook Entry 3 – Thur Dec 21st 2019 NGFOM Ch5
The First Five - The Sekirei of Group 11 referred to the "grown" Sekirei that they knew of (Sekirei 01 through 05) as the First Five. Group 11 had no contact with 01, but they did see the other members of the First Five over the years. (See below: MBI Sekirei Labs - Sekirei Ages)
01 (No Name Known at this time) - Madoka claims that the only adult in the ship was numbered 01 and was the Sekirei responsible for caring for the 107 unborn who were in the ship. Madoka never saw 01 nor did she ever meet anyone who claimed to have met 01, though it was strongly implied that 02 Matsu at least had.
This Sekirei took on a mythological status among the younger Sekirei, especially given the fearful and lonely lives they lived as children.
The MBI Researchers, Administrators, and the older Sekirei themselves, forbade any questions from the Group 11 Sekirei concerning any non-Group 11 Sekirei. Madoka says it was popularly considered that this rule existed only because they didn't want anyone asking about 01. A rule forbidding any non-Group 11 queries solved any problem MBI's staff might have had with keeping their stories straight, as well as preventing proof of Sekirei 01 by inference.
Madoka believes that 01 is out there, trying to get free from MBI so that she can rescue the 107 Sekirei upon who MBI has done so much wrong. I find myself skeptical, but I am also reluctant to disabuse Madoka of a faith that has brought her at least some comfort in what has been a remarkably dark and difficult life so far.
If this Sekirei is truly still alive, I hope for Madoka's sake she is truly a prisoner of MBI or that Madoka never finds out otherwise. What trauma would it be for me, a stable adult, to discover the Christ of my faith was not only real but had sold out to the Devil instead of sacrificing himself for us?
As difficult as that would be to imagine, the reaction in the Sekirei who had faith in 01 would be far more extreme.
I truly do hope their faith is never proven wrong. Let this 01 be dead and long dissected in MBI's Labs, for the sake of all these poor girls.
02 Matsu - Red hair, glasses, a 'brain type', she was known for not having any combat abilities, much like 22 Kochou and 37 Madoka. Reported to have been a mature adult at the same time Madoka remembers herself and her Group 11 peers being approximately five years old, physiologically. The last time Madoka saw 02 Matsu was just over a year before Phase One started and Madoka considered 02 Matsu to have not aged particularly noticeably, other than perhaps being curvier and more endowed than she had been originally.
02 helped the MBI scientists in their work with the Sekirei, this much is clear. How much of this cooperation was actual collaboration and how much of it was motivated by seeking harm reduction is impossible to tell. She was the only person to make any effort to educate the younger Sekirei about their origins, according to Madoka.
According to the rumors in Group 11, 02 disappeared from the MBI Sekirei Labs a year or so before Madoka was separated from Group 11 into her own final adjustments (approx. October 2019), so before the Sekirei Plan launched. If 02 parted ways with MBI at that point, it would have been sometime in 2017 or 2018.
03 Kazehana - Black hair, beautiful face and figure, she was reputed to be the most powerful of the Sekirei other than the mysterious 01. She was known to be fixated on the President of MBI, Hiroto Minaka, and constantly courting his attention. This well-known attraction 03 had for Hiroto Minaka compromised her in the view of most of the Group 11 Sekirei, even though 03 seems to have made efforts over the years at endearing herself to the younger Sekirei, playing up a "big sister" role with them on the occasions she spent time in the Group 11 dorms. The younger Sekirei believed (for good reason or not it is impossible to tell at this stage) that 03 would betray them to Minaka if doing so would put her in his good graces.
Only 10 Uzume and 67 Riko were truly trusting of 03 Kazehana, among the Group 11 Sekirei.
Like 02 Matsu, 03 seems to have disappeared from the MBI Sekirei Labs before the Sekirei Plan began. The last time she was seen by anyone in Group 11 was, best guess, sometime in mid-2017, a bit over two years before Phase One of the Sekirei Plan began.
Given the rules which forbade questions about any non-Group 11 Sekirei only rumors followed 03's disappearance.
04 Karasuba - Grey-silver hair, slender, a katana always in her belt. She carried a distinct aura of menace around her, which impressed all of the Group 11 Sekirei into avoiding the "Black Crow" as much as possible. 04 seems to have had very little interaction with Group 11, at least from Madoka's point of view.
05 Mutsu - The only male Sekirei in the "older" group. Mutsu carried a Japanese sword, likely a katana, at all times. He also has grey-silver hair and a general facial similarity to 04 Karasuba. Madoka reports that rumor had it 04 and 05 were twins.
Mutsu is very tall, two meters at least, broad of shoulder, and likely a powerful physical presence. He was a forbidding and unfriendly figure to the younger Sekirei of Group 11.
They all felt as though 05 Mutsu did not like any of them, and as though he were offended by their very existence.
Madoka says he disappeared from the MBI Sekirei Labs long before any of the others in the First Five group.
The Sekirei's ages - There is a noticeable problem with the ages of the Sekirei compared to the earliest they could have been born (no earlier than 1999).
Madoka says none of the Sekirei that she spoke to recall any life before the labs. Given that Madoka remembers from about the age of three (toddlers) living in what were called "crèches" instead of the later residence in "Dorms" (and note that Terran human's only record permanent primary memories from about the age of 5, not 3), Madoka remembers meeting and interacting with the "older" Sekirei (the First Five).
That these Sekirei were physiologically adults at the time when Madoka was physiologically about 4 to 5 years old there is a definite problem with the timeline.
Quizzing Madoka about the appearance of the older Sekirei, our best guess is that 02 Matsu, 03 Kazehana, 04 Karasuba, and 05 Mutsu were all approximately 20 years old, physiologically, at the time Madoka and her peers were 4 to 5 years old, physiologically. (There's no way to know how old Madoka or the First Five Sekirei was by the calendar unfortunately.)
If their colony ship was discovered in 1999 by Hiroto Minaka and his companions, then the earliest the first Sekirei could be born (decanted?) was likely sometime in 2000. 01 through 05 are assumed to be these earliest Sekirei removed from their suspension tanks and brought around, so to say.
Assuming Madoka decanted as early as practical and was approximately 4 years old in 2005 then how could there be four Sekirei who were adults when Madoka was 4, in 2005?
Visualize it: it's 2005. 02 Matsu is standing before you at an apparent physical and mental age of 20. How, exactly, would that even be possible?
Madoka has mentioned "Adjustments", periods of time when a Sekirei was taken away and put unconscious for modifications to be done to them by MBI's Researchers, (often performed by Researcher Specialists with the intriguing title of "Limiters"). It appears irrefutable that at least some part of these Adjustments was to artificially age the Sekirei. Otherwise, it would be impossible for a five-year-old Madoka to remember encountering a twenty-year-old 04 Karasuba. Not if the earliest 04 Karasuba could have been born (gestated, decanted, whatever the correct term is) is 1999-2000!
Not all Adjustments were about aging the subject. But there were several that were, enough that it is impossible to estimate Madoka's calendar age.
The Sekirei in Group 11 made particular note of hallmark Adjustments, such as the Puberty Adjustment. In a Puberty Adjustment the Sekirei would depart the Dorms as a child (Madoka establishes them as all about the same as 8- or 9-year-old children in this stage) and come back as an adolescent with notable breasts and wider hips, just one day later in some cases.
What sort of technology has MBI acquired from the Sekirei ship? Artificially aging a person? One assumes they must be able to use this technology to not only age the body but also to surely fill in at least some of what the Sekirei would learn in those missing, accelerated, years. Simulated experience? Education? Hard-copied algorithms or heuristics stamped onto the mind of the patient?
Producing an infant mind in an adult body would be utterly useless for anything other than organ harvesting and organ harvesting was obviously not what MBI was doing in their Sekirei Labs program.
One sincerely hopes that they were able to provide the accelerated subjects with some emotional maturity in addition to whatever other mental aging was done, or the Sekirei will be walking time bombs, rife with emotional and mental instabilities that are almost guaranteed to go off at some point, go off explosively and horribly for anyone nearby given that all of the Sekirei are essentially demigods. Those who were artificially aged the most would likely have the most noticeable problems, the more extreme instabilities.
If so, that would explain why MBI spent so much effort having many of the Sekirei spend time as toddlers, then time as children, then more time as adolescents, instead of simply maturing all 107 unborn Sekirei to adulthood in one go.
What else could this technology do? What miracles of education, health, disease control, are MBI holding back from the rest of humanity?
And, most importantly, why?
From the Notebooks of Gregory O'Donnell
Notebook Entry 4 – Thur Dec 21st 2019 NGFOM Ch6
Sekirei "Powers" Terminology- From talking at length to Madoka about the 'research' staff at MBI and what she had spoken with them about, or overhead them saying, over the years she was there, it seems there was no commonly used terminology or descriptive framework for designating the Sekirei more-than-human abilities. Madoka says they just called her ability "healing". They described 16 Toyotama's abilities as "strong". To which I must say "what in the everloving fuck?"
Madoka says the trick to Farsight was a secret among the girls in Group 11 that they would share with some of the other Sekirei who were assigned to Group 11 and there was every indication that MBI did not even care about this sort of ability, as it had nothing to do with one-on-one formalized duels.
I find it utterly bewildering that any actual scientist would not have at the very least defined and categorized the Sekirei and their abilities. Attempting to discuss these more-than-human traits while calling them "powers" is simply not serious.
I suspect that - early on in the study of the Sekirei, perhaps by 2005 - Hiroto Minaka experienced some disaster that drove him mad. His behavior became erratic and irrational; he began directing the bulk of MBI's resources and efforts away from scientific study and classification and instead towards conditioning the maturing Sekirei to participate in his "Sekirei Plan".
As any terminology is better than none, I will use what framework I can cobble together from various sources: fiction, academic, and speculative.
Chair of the Dartmouth Metapsychic Department (such as it is), Doctor of Psychology and Physics, Professor Dennis Remillard, has been an invaluable aid in this part of the project, having already established a significant lexicon for this subject, though his theories are all untested yet, of necessity.
As we go forward with observation and documentation, any observed facts that do not fit our terminology or framework will require us to adjust the terminology and the framework.
We will make extra effort to avoid attempting to force the observed facts to fit the terminology; instead, we will adapt the terminology to fit the newest observed facts.
(Some definitions updated and modified later than the date marked on this entry, as defining and classifying metapsychic abilities correctly is an ongoing project.)
Metapsychic Abilities - As these more-than-human abilities need some overall designation other than "powers", I have chosen to refer to them as:
1. metapsychic abilities
Many of the terms that I have selected are from the speculative academic papers of Professor Remillard, with whom I have corresponded at length since December 19, 2019. Other terms and labels are from fiction that featured such things, notably the works of Julian May.
So far, I have maintained enough distance and vagueness in my discussions with Professor Remillard that MBI should not object, but this cannot likely continue for much longer. I have discussed with him sharing authorial credit on the initial paper that discloses the truth of and describes the functions of metapsychic abilities. When this paper is eventually produced, and it will be eventually written, I have guaranteed him full access to my data, and he has guaranteed full co-author credit for me and for Sanjunana Madoka.
Professor Remillard was not enthusiastic about sharing full co-author credit with someone who had no academic credentials, like Madoka, someone not even a run-of-the-mill alumnus of Dartmouth like myself. But sending him a fraction of the data I have collected so far - with assurances that bulletproof evidence would be available once we all had the freedom to openly associate – shut him right up about Madoka's lack of academic track record. It also convinced him that my contacting him was likely the best thing that has ever happened to any professor of psychology at Dartmouth in the institution's 250-year history.
That giving Madoka co-author credit was absolutely non-negotiable meant he had little choice in the matter anyway and it's entirely possible he decided to simply make the best of the situation. Either way, Madoka will be a part of the eventual Nobel Prize that comes from this research. It is the least I can do for her and stealing a march on MBI and robbing them of their own no-doubt-existing plans for Nobel considerations is icing on the cake.
(Addition March 14, 2020 - Yosuga has been added to the co-author list in spite of Professor Remillard's objections. We agreed that he should be allowed to add up to two of his aides/assistants to the co-author list if and as he feels they deserve such recognition for their contributions.)
On Degrees of Metapsychic Operancy
Operant - Metapsychic abilities are present and available for conscious, controlled, use. To the best of our knowledge only the Sekirei are in this category among those living on Earth.
Latent - Metapsychic ability is present but cannot be used deliberately, consciously, or consistently. May manifest as exceptional mundane characteristics and skills. For example, a powerful latent Creator might be a naturally gifted engineer or mechanic. A powerfully latent Coercer may manifest significant charisma and social prowess. Many Terran humans fall in this category, though only a minority.
Inoperant - Without any metapsychic abilities or the potential for them. The majority of Terran humans are metapsychic inoperants.
Note: We have an early hypothesis that all Earth-born operant and latent metapsychics are descended, to some degree, from early Sekirei insertions into Earth societies. It is entirely possible, even likely, that the potential for metapsychic ability was simply not present in Homo Sapiens and the advent of the Sekirei into our gene pool handed humanity this extremely important survival trait, free of charge.
Free of any charge we know of, at least.
Psychokinesis - The ability to move mass by metapsychic effort rather than physical effort.
Creation - Ability to manipulate energy and/or matter. This may take the form of seeming control over fire or electricity, the ability to create illusions. It may also be, in a subconscious form, the power that makes the Sekirei physical form more durable and resistant to damage than human bodies. Madoka reports the Sekirei are no more resistant to injury while sleeping or unconscious than a human and that a Sekirei can have hypodermic needles penetrate their skin with no more difficulty than a human's skin if the Sekirei is cooperative, implying there is a certain conscious metapsychic ability behind those who are resistant to combat damage.
Farsense - The ability to sense at ranges and in conditions beyond normal human limits, both micro and macro. The ability to speak at a distance, or 'telepathy' would fall under this category as well. Farspeak, Farsight, Farsense. The ability to shield their minds from accidentally broadcasting emotions and thoughts is also a characteristic of the Farsense metafunction. From limited observation, it seems all operant metapsychics have some operant Farsense capability, enough to use 'mindspeech' at least, if they are aware of the metafunction. The range varies by the strength of the Farsensor.
Mindspeech from undisciplined and/or untrained operants can be difficult to understand and seems disagreeable to more experienced, disciplined, and trained operants, much like listening to 'baby talk' would be to an adult.
In addition, whether an operant has their 'shields' up or not appears obvious to any operant that 'looks'. Most latents are known to have shields as well, some at very strong levels. This is common enough that simply checking for any degree of mental shielding has been a mostly reliable method of determining if a subject has latent metapsychic abilities or is inoperant.
Note: Not all operant metapsychics appear aware they can use Farspeech with other operants.
Coercion - (Note - multiple updates to the definitions of this metafunction have been made since the initial entry on 12/26/19) The ability to mentally command another to perform actions. This can take the form of convincing the target that they wish to perform the action, or it could be literally forcing them against their will to act.
To change the will of the subject so that the subject truly wishes to perform an act requires long-term modifications more appropriate to the Redaction metafunction (see entry below for Redaction). Coercion is a short-term, temporary, change to a subject's mind. Redaction requires a great deal of education and practice in order to effectively manipulate a subject's mind to the specific ends of the metapsychic adept where Coercion operates almost intuitively, simply.
This ability is likely common in its latent form among many of the Sekirei, evidence being the great number of Sekirei who would appear to have significant charisma and sex appeal. These traits allow the Sekirei to have far higher success rates in manipulating the people around them than is typical, consciously or not.
If there are any Sekirei who have manifested the operant form of this ability, they need to be identified as soon as possible. They would be a profound danger to everyone else if they do not receive a great deal of ethical education and engender significant moral strength among their adepts.
Redaction - (Note - multiple updates to the definitions of this metafunction have been made since the initial entry on 12/26/19) The ability to heal, which seems to include the ability to heal damage and trauma of the mind as well as the body. While Farsense allows an operant metapsychic to communicate with other operant metapsychics with "Farspeech", Redactors have the ability to delve into the minds of operant, latent, and inoperant persons. They can read the memories and thoughts of their subject if they can delve deeply enough, and they can modify what they find as well, in order to heal (or cause) mental and emotional trauma.
It would seem this ability has a very limited range (requiring touch in all cases so far studied) and is slow to engage, making it less than useful in a combat situation.
The operant form of this metafunction seems as rare as operant Coercion, thankfully.
Madoka confirms that an operant metapsychics mental shields - which are a function of the Farsense metafaculty and which can be enhanced if the target has operant Redact, operant Coercion, or even latent Redact or Coercion if the target has significant latent strength in these metafaculties - can interfere with a Redactor's efforts to access their mind. But the Redaction metafunction seems particularly effective in evading shielding compared to Farsense or Coercion.
Where a Farsensor Adept or a Coercer would need to batter down the defensive structures in a target's mind – and in so doing make the subject very aware that their mind is under attack - the Redactor Adept can learn to bypass common defensive techniques. They could then gain full access to their subject's mind without the subject even being aware of the intrusion.
We can only speculate at this stage, but we assume that this is so the Redactor Healer who needs to access a damaged or disturbed Operant mind in order to heal it will have the tools to get past their mental shielding. Otherwise, little healing could truly be done.
We were also able to confirm, through Madoka's encounter with another Sekirei on 25 Jan 2020, that the "healing" metafunction is what is used to modify or affect the thoughts and memories of a target. Both healing physical injury and accessing a target's mind to read and modify it are not separate metafunctions. One assumes the original purpose of this ability was to heal injuries of the mind and emotional trauma, which is why the "healer" metapsychic has this ability.
Sekirei Exceptional Physical Feats - The ability to lift great weights, leap extreme distances, move at great speeds, these may be a separate category of metapsychic ability. However, we strongly suspect that these feats have little or nothing to do with the actual muscles and nerves of the Sekirei and are, in fact, a manifestation of a zero-range/internal-only form of PK (psychokinesis) and therefore are not an actual separate metapsychic trait. Without additional Sekirei to evaluate, it is impossible to do more than speculate.
Metapsychic Strength Ratings
At some point detailed and specific tests and evaluations will no doubt be established for rating the 'strength' of each metapsychic's operant metafaculties. That there are ranges of capability and potential seems unquestionable, though more observation needs to be done on this subject. Tentatively we are utilizing the following rankings.
Paramount Grand Master
What qualifies an operant to which rankings in the metafaculties they can manifest is extremely subjective at this early stage of study. One expects practitioners of the various metafunctions will, someday, establish benchmarks for defining when someone is worthy of a particular ranking.
In discussions with 37 Madoka, who seems to have a higher than typical ability with the Farsense metafunction and is an operant Redactor, she claims to be able to evaluate the strength of any Sekirei she observes, if given even a few seconds to concentrate on the subject. I've directed her to begin keeping notes on every Sekirei and Ashikabi we encounter as far as their metapsychic strength levels are concerned and any other information she can perceive about them.
From the Notebooks of Gregory O'Donnell
Notebook Entry 5 – 2019 NGFOM Ch7
The Sekirei Plan - From what Hiroto Minaka informed me during our brief video conference after winging Madoka (Dec 19th 2019), and from what Madoka herself has been able to tell me based on what briefings she was part of, and what she was able to overhear during the last years in the MBI Sekirei Labs, this is what we know about the Sekirei Plan.
It was not revealed to the Sekirei (at least Group 11) until they were already at approximately the adolescent level of physiological development. (from 37)
Originally the First Five cooperated with Hiroto Minaka and company as part of the "S Plan" (as distinct from the "Sekirei Plan" but we don't know what the "S Plan" was). As Minaka's intentions either changed or were revealed, as the "S Plan" changed into the "Sekirei Plan", his goals became unacceptable to several of the First Five and all but 04 Karasuba abandoned Minaka and the remaining 103 Sekirei. (Partially from 02, partially unsourced rumor)
What part 01 had in this is unknown entirely. Only rumor and myth speak of this figure, at least for the Group 11 Sekirei. (from 37)
The remaining 103 Sekirei were raised by MBI and conditioned to participate in Minaka's "Sekirei Plan". How much conditioning was necessary is unknown, as the nature of the Sekirei is unknown. We do know it would take a great deal of effort to condition 103 random human children for the same purpose. (from 37)
The Sekirei are to be released into Shin Tokyo, Japan, and are under orders to not leave the city, ever. They are released 3 to 5 per week, starting at the beginning of December 2019. This would mean all would be released sometime in April 2020. (from 37)
They are to find their Ashikabi and bond to him. (from 37)
They are then to seek out the other winged Sekirei and engage them in formalized combat, or duels. Since they are to keep the existence of the Sekirei secret from the human citizens of Shin Tokyo until the Second Phase begins it is expected that any combat in the First Phase will take place well out of public view and most Sekirei will likely be simply waiting until the Second Phase before fighting. The rules for such duels are strongly impressed on the Sekirei. They are:
1. The Sekirei both announce number and name.
2. They fight each other until one is damaged so badly their Sekirei Crest disappears from their body or until one gains enough of an upper hand to place their fingers on the opponents Crest and recite the victors Norito. This causes the defeateds Sekirei Crest to disappear as well.
3. As a 'terminated' Sekirei is completely unable to function, the victor is to stand guard over the defeated until MBI arrives to recover the body.
4. All bodies of the Sekirei are intended to be recovered by MBI and returned to MBI's facilities.
5. Sekirei attacking humans or Ashikabi is not permitted. Allowances may be made for collateral, incidental, damage, but the Sekirei are expected to make all reasonable effort to avoid harming bystander humans and are expected to make more than merely reasonable efforts to avoid harming opposing Sekirei's Ashikabi.
Bizarrely no rule against an Ashikabi attacking a Sekirei or even another Ashikabi has ever heard of by any of the Sekirei I've talked to.
Once 90% of the Sekirei are 'winged' the Second Phase of the Sekirei Plan will begin. MBI is (somehow) going to close the city by force, blocking all traffic in and out of the city for the Sekirei and the Ashikabi, searching every vehicle individually via handheld sensors. (Note: Madoka overheard this description of the "Second Phase" of the Sekirei Plan and the handheld sensors from two careless lab techs a few months before the First Phase began).
What enforcement mechanism MBI has in place to ensure the rules of the 'game' are followed is unknown. Madoka says she regularly saw security personnel in military type clothing and bearing assault rifles, as well as what might have been Armored Personnel Carriers, with MBI logos. How many, how well armed, how well trained, is unknown.
Also unknown is what extent MBI's intelligence apparatus functions. It is assumed, by the Sekirei themselves and strongly confirmed by the rules as they were explained, that immediately on the termination of a Sekirei that MBI is aware of this fact and are aware of the location of the terminated Sekirei. This reveals several disturbing facts about the reach of MBI's awareness.
To what degree is MBI aware of the location of each Sekirei? Through what mechanism are they aware? The "Second Phase" plan to stop all vehicular traffic and search car by car with handheld sensors for any hidden Sekirei would indicate a distinct limit on MBI's awareness of the location of all the Sekirei. However, the expectation that the moment they are terminated in a duel that MBI forces would be dispatched to the exact location of the fallen Sekirei indicates a completely contradictory level of awareness.
We can guess that there will be additional "Phases" after this "Second Phase". Perhaps the Third Phase would be triggered once 100% of the Sekirei remaining are winged, for instance.
The fact that MBI intends to seize governmental control of Shin Tokyo and engage in martial law control of the largest city in Japan and one of the world's great cities is mind-boggling.
How they can expect to get away with such behavior without profound ramifications is utterly beyond me.
Secondly, why would they do this? The Sekirei have already been informed, in the First Phase, they are not allowed to leave the city. The Ashikabi they find for themselves during the First Phase are informed of this as well. Does MBI not have any way to insure the First Phase Sekirei and Ashikabi remain in the city? If not, how can they expect this rule to be followed during the First Phase? If they do have ways to ensure this rule is followed in the First Phase, what is the point of seizing control of the city and engaging in what is surely illegal martial law, blocking all traffic in and out of the city with, one assumes, vehicular searches and such?
Other than drawing the immediate attention of every government of every nation on the planet, for what possible reason would MBI perform such a heavy-handed act?
Surely MBI's Second Phase Plan isn't intended to isolate news and information originating in Shin Tokyo from the rest of the world, some sort of attempt to keep the Sekirei and the Sekirei Plan contained while the Sekirei duel to the death in the streets over the course of, what, weeks? Months? Surely not. With 19 million people in Shin Tokyo and every one of them has a camera phone? With internet access from dozens of services, not to mention satellite communications? No, that would be laughably naive. You couldn't informationally isolate Kandahar, Afghanistan, these days with such methods, much less try to do so with Shin Tokyo, the technological and information services capital of the entire planet.
The rules of combat themselves are ridiculously formal. It is obvious whoever came up with this is guilty of romanticizing conflict and battle. The delusions of the administrators assuming that, for example, one Ashikabi would not kill another Ashikabi in order to prevent the loss of their Sekirei in combat, reveals a worrisome level of naivete on the part of whoever is controlling this mufti-trillion-yen international megacorp and directing its resources to enforce this "Sekirei Plan". If another Sekirei were about to terminate Madoka I would not hesitate even a second before putting a bullet into the head of the enemy Sekirei's Ashikabi, for example.
That MBI's briefings to the Sekirei and the Ashikabi themselves do not even mention this sort of scenario smacks of incredible naivete.
The goal of the Plan, that the winner, the sole remaining Sekirei and her/his Ashikabi, will win the "right to ascend" and the "higher sky above" is so vague a goal or prize that it is amazing MBI was able to condition the Sekirei to participate. The proposition that one must engage in the genocide of every other member of one's race in order to win an undefined "right to ascend" is just startlingly ridiculous. Yet Madoka shows every sign of believing in the Sekirei Plan and believing in "the Professor" (as the Sekirei call that fucking lunatic Hiroto Minaka) as is likely for all the Sekirei. Years and years of conditioning… what great effort MBI must have gone through just for that one purpose?
Obviously, any "plan" which features as its core the genocide of a race of intelligent beings is as evil as anything one could imagine. Any decent, moral, person would stand against MBI's "Sekirei Plan", and only the most venal and corrupt, or brainwashed, person would participate willingly.
From the Notebooks of Gregory O'Donnell
Notebook Entry 6 – NGFOM Ch8
Group 11 - The following includes all Sekirei who were ever part of Group 11 in the MBI Sekirei Labs to the best of 37 Madoka's memory. Most were only a part of the Group for a short period, some joined as part of a merging of another Group into Group 11, others as individuals or pairs being reassigned, yet others were assigned to Group 11 after years of being isolated from all other Sekirei. Only seven were a part of Group 11 from Madoka's earliest memories until she herself was removed just before the First Phase of the Sekirei Plan began but there were usually at least a dozen Sekirei in the Group. Enough so that it was possible to not have close relationships with every person and for rivalries and factions to develop, likely by MBI's design.
10 Uzume - "Permanent" member
14 Chiyo - "Permanent" member
16 Toyotama – "Permanent" member
18 Ichiya – "Permanent" member
37 Madoka – "Permanent" member
44 Yosuga – "Permanent" member
54 Kuruse – "Permanent" member
Additionally, the following Sekirei were known to Madoka but were not a part of Group 11:
Over the last several weeks of observing Madoka's behavior, I believe I've witnessed a phenomenon concerning the nature of the Sekirei as they relate to their Ashikabi. It's tentative and until we can interview more Sekirei and hopefully get accurate answers from them on this subject I'll not know if I'm on the right track.
The observed phenomenon in question is the seeming plasticity of the Sekirei psyche and personality.
I suspect that the Sekirei adapt themselves to their Ashikabi to a degree far greater than any Terran human could, even if they wished to. Whatever behavior, attitude, demeanor, morality, ambition, or desires they perceive their Ashikabi prefers in a mate, the bonded Sekirei will change to match. The key is, I believe, the "perceive" portion of the phenomenon. Through what means do these highly metapsychic people perceive the preferences of their Ashikabi? Quite likely through not only the Ashikabi's verbal statements but also via the deep mental connection the Ashikabi and Sekirei share. This would, one assumes, allow the Sekirei to become what the Ashikabi really wants in a mate, as opposed to what he says he wants.
How many men would say they want a partner who is an equal and who is independent minded and strong willed, because that's what is expected by society for them to want, when in the secret places in their minds what they'd really prefer is a mindlessly devoted sex-slave? If that Ashikabi's Sekirei became stronger willed and independent over time, insisting on equal treatment and being consulted in all decisions then it is quite likely there would be far more strife in their relationship than if she had perceived what her Ashikabi really wanted in a mate and over time became more mindlessly devoted to him.
The potential for abuse of these sentient beings is so profound that it boggles the mind. How many Ashikabi have the strength of mind and will to refuse to send even subconscious messages about how they would prefer their Sekirei behave? How many would gladly accept what would seem to be the perfect adolescent fantasy-mate, dropped into their laps, without concern for the Sekirei herself?
Is it even possible for an Ashikabi to not change his Sekirei to suit his own selfish desires?
The primary effect I have noticed so far with my own Sekirei, 37 Madoka, is a distinct change in her attitudes towards sex and physical affection, as well as an increased willingness to be seen in various stages of undress around me. As this was notably not her behavior a month ago, I must assume her attitudes and possibly even her desires are being changed by the plastic nature of the Sekirei themselves, via her perception of what I would prefer her to be.
A great deal more observation needs to be done on this subject before we can even begin to develop a hypothesis to explain the observed phenomenon, and even to tell if the observed phenomenon is being correctly defined. If my suspicions are correct though… a great evil has been done to these girls and the only ethical course of action is to do everything we can to eliminate this characteristic if at all possible.
Redaction - (New Information, some data added at a much later date than the original notes) Madoka described her efforts to "reach" into the mind of 16 Toyotama as being blocked by a shield, the same shield Madoka describes as detectable in all the Sekirei when using Farspeech to "get in" to the target's awareness. When Madoka attempted to get through, via the usual method of the Farsense metafunction, she was totally stymied. Normally, if she was desiring to simply Farspeak the shielded person, she would just "shout" at the target from outside their shields until they opened their shield enough to allow for basic communication. However, when she used her "healing" ability, the Redaction metafunction, she says she was able to "slide right through" the shield. It was still there, it wasn't broken or shattered, but she passed right through.
She reported that she gathered her Redaction power and told herself she needed to get through the shield so she could heal what was causing 16 Toyotama so much pain.
It would seem that, as I earlier speculated, the "healing" metafunction is indeed the same for intrusive mind work as well as healing physical injury. And the Redact metafunction has the ability to bypass (to some degree) the mental shields all operant and most latent metapsychics seem to have. Likely this is so they can actually heal those who have damaged minds, as the mentally damaged would very likely resist greatly any attempt by an outsider to access their minds.
Mind shields seem to be designed to keep general Farsense/Farspeech practitioners from snooping information out the Operant wants to keep private. They may also be helpful for resisting the commands of an Operant Coercer. However, Redaction, as the "healing" metafunction, seems to have special status when it comes to bypassing shields.
Obviously, more testing needs to be done, but we can say with a high degree of certainty that the healing injury and the reading/modifying the mind metafunction is, indeed, the same ability.
From the Notebooks of Gregory O'Donnell
Notebook Entry 7 – Sun Jan 26th 2020 NGFOM Ch10
Farsense - (New Data) With practice, Madoka can now use her Farsense metafaculty combined with her "healing" ability of Redaction to visually see within a target's body (aka a "Healing Probe"). The point of view of her perception moves to a spot inside the target body, allowing her to search out and find damaged tissues and once located she can exert her Redaction metafaculty to repair the damage. She is, essentially, a walking MRI/Cat-scan/X-Ray machine, with far higher resolution than any technological method we've discovered yet for seeing within a body.
Redaction - (New Data) Madoka is now able to easily differentiate between the two types of Redaction Probe she has discovered.
Using her Farsense/Redact Probe (aka "Healing Probe") allows her to "see" inside a patient's body, her point-of-view literally moves within the patient. This provides for the deliberate use of Redaction to heal, for example joining together two pieces of muscle which have torn apart, which is far more energy efficient than her previous "just pour healing energy into it until it is fixed" technique.
Alternatively, using her Redact alone to probe a patient's mind (aka "Mind Redact Probe") she enters a visual representation of their mind, with memories and thoughts and many other elements she can't identify yet, all laid out for her to examine, as opposed to viewing the brain matter inside the skull cavity. She can view the brain in the skull cavity, but that's by using the aforementioned Healing Probe (Farsense+Redaction).
It's worth noting that Madoka must be in her Norito Boost State in order to utilize the Healing Probe, but does not require the Norito Boost State to utilize the Mind Redact Probe.
What this means for advancing humanity's understanding of the structure of the mind, the nature of thought itself, is beyond my ability to imagine. I only know that we cannot afford to let this amazing young woman be killed in some senseless "game" such as what MBI and that fucking lunatic Hiroto Minaka are forcing upon the Sekirei.
MBI Elements - As neither Madoka nor I have been informed what the official designations are for these elements of MBI's operation are actually called, we have taken to referring to the presumed aspects of MBI that we are most likely dealing with by the following terminology.
Sekirei Plan Operations Management - The presumed executive element of MBI's Sekirei Plan Operations department in charge of overall decision-making as well as handling the day-to-day issues of running the Sekirei Plan. It would be personnel in this element who would make decisions about whether a Sekirei or Ashikabi were breaking rules of the "game" and if so, what sanction was appropriate for that violation. One assumes they would also be monitoring the secrecy so important to the First Phase as well as planning for execution of the later Phases.
We assume that Hiroto Minaka resides at the top of the Sekirei Plan Operations Management org chart but have no assurance that is actually the case. That fucking lunatic would not be the first figurehead ruler of an organization.
MBI Intelligence - The presumed element of MBI's overall Sekirei Plan Operations department that is responsible for collecting and checking all data about the Sekirei and their Ashikabi. It is assumed this element of Sekirei Plan Operations tracks the purchases made with the MBI Platinum Cards as well as other data such as cell phone usage, GPS location tracking, human intelligence about the Ashikabi (family names, addresses, employer info, etc).
MBI Security - The presumed element of MBI's overall Sekirei Plan Operations department that is responsible for acting on directives issued by the Operations Management, aka, The Muscle.
Madoka says they were all informed that a squad of three Sekirei was held back from participation in the Sekirei Plan to be part of MBI's enforcement efforts, known by the ridiculous moniker of "The Disciplinary Squad".
No information on which three Sekirei are part of this "Disciplinary Squad" was given to Madoka before she was released into the city. Nor was any information on this enforcement group given to the Ashikabi during what we laughably call the "briefing" by Hiroto Minaka after Madoka was winged, so how she or I are to recognize these Security assets and know to follow their orders is a mystery. Like much of what we've seen so far of MBI's information distribution to the Sekirei and, especially, to the Ashikabi, this lack of information about who the enforcers actually are seems yet another clusterfuck of poor planning.
If you have cops, the first rule is to make them identifiable AS COPS.
MBI Security likely would be the primary users of MBI Intelligence data (though Operations Management would also likely use MBI Intelligence data significantly as well), especially in cases where Operations Management decides to sanction some punitive action in response to rule-breaking activity by a Sekirei or Ashikabi. This element may also be responsible for dealing with keeping the Sekirei Plan secret by way of intercepting media and communications, though that could very well be a separate element.
From the Notebooks of Gregory O'Donnell
Notebook Entry 8 – 2020 NGFOM Ch11
Wing Flare - The flare of metapsychic power which appears high on the back of a Sekirei when their Ashikabi kisses (or otherwise exchanges bodily fluids, see below) them. Wing Flare occurs at the moment of the Wing Bond being established and it occurs any time after that point when the Sekirei and Ashikabi kiss (assuming the Sekirei isn't already in a Norito Boost state, see below). The duration of the Wing Flare event has been observed from 10 seconds to 35 seconds.
Whether the Wing Flare is a reaction to a Wing Bonding (see below) or the result of the Sekirei's Ashikabi placing her into her Norito Burst State the phenomenon is extremely pleasurable for the Sekirei. Sensually and sexually pleasurable, very similar to a particularly good orgasm according to the Sekirei I've interviewed. Considering that a fair percentage of the Sekirei are quite young (physiologically), many appearing to be below Japan's Age of Consent even, and some few appearing actually prepubescent, this phenomenon is legally and ethically problematic and rather worrisome.
Wing Bonding - When an "unwinged" Sekirei kisses (or otherwise shares bodily fluids with, see below) a metapsychically latent (or possibly even metapsychically operant) Terran human (or a Sekirei?) the two will establish a deep metapsychic bond. This bond establishes the Sekirei as subject to her new Ashikabi (the term for the latent metapsychic Terran human in the new relationship).
This bond is supposedly unbreakable, the Sekirei by tradition will welcome their new state with some statement including the words "forever and ever" and it appears this is literal. The Sekirei will manifest a sort of tattoo on their upper back, across their shoulders, of the Sekirei Symbol (see earlier entry on the Sekirei Symbol) once they are "winged". The bonded relationship between the Sekirei and her Ashikabi is clearly intended (at least by all of the Sekirei I've spoken to thusfar) to be a lifetime lasting mate relationship, as significant or more so than our tradition of marriage.
Norito Boost State - The condition of having "extra" temporary metapsychic strength due to a Sekirei's Ashikabi having recently kissed her (or otherwise exchanged bodily fluids). A Wing Flare event indicates the beginning of the Norito State.
Norito Burst - A special, one-shot, manifestation of a Sekirei's metapsychic powers only accessible to a Sekirei who is in a Norito Boost state. Using the Norito Burst reduces the Sekirei to their normal non-boosted state immediately.
Norito Termination - A Winged and Bonded Sekirei can supposedly be terminated if another Sekirei touches the Sekirei Crest of the target, and the attacker recites her own Norito.
Norito Boost State, Norito Burst, Norito Termination - These are three separate yet related, phenomenon called "norito" by the Sekirei; the Norito Boost State, the Norito Burst, and the Norito Termination.
The Japanese definition of the word "norito" is a Shinto prayer that is addressed by worshipers to a deity. 37 Madoka reports there was no religious indoctrination in the MBI Sekirei Labs for the Sekirei raised there; they were informed of the major religions of Japan and educated in the basics of what those religions believed but there was no context given for the Sekirei to understand what religion was or why it was important (or unimportant). Therefore, the origin of the word "norito" for an expression of metapsychic power from a Winged Sekirei is unknown, though likely the word was coined by a researcher in the MBI Sekirei Labs who was familiar with the Shinto concept.
Regardless of the Sekirei's lack of religion and the possible origins of the word, "norito" is universally agreed among the Sekirei to be the word for this important metapsychic phenomenon.
In Shinto, the various prayers referred to as "norito" are founded on the concept of koto-dama, the idea that spiritual power resides in words. According to the ancient belief of koto-dama beautiful, correct, words bring about good, whereas ugly, coarse, language can cause evil. Thus, "norito" prayers in Shinto are always expressed in elegant, classical, language.
As a teacher of languages, I admit I am tempted to incorporate this concept into my lesson plans. Good language causes good events! Bad language causes bad events!
For the Sekirei, only the Norito Burst (see below) and the Norito Termination require the recital of words. The Norito Boost State (see below) occurs without any verbal cues.
Norito Boost State - When an Ashikabi kisses their Sekirei (after the initial Wing Bonding iss) or otherwise the Sekirei takes in bodily fluids from their bonded Ashikabi (so far, as of 16 Feb 2020, kissing/saliva, fellatio/semen, and vaginal sex/semen, have all been confirmed as functional activators) the Sekirei manifests a Wing Flare. Once the psychic Wing Flare has receded the Sekirei is then in a state of higher metapsychic strength, a state we will refer to as their Norito Boost State.
The degree of increase in metapsychic strength is difficult to determine at this stage as 37 Madoka has a much more difficult time using her Farsight+Redaction to gauge her own strength than in how well she can judge it in others. She says the increase in metapsychic strength is noticeable, she feels conspicuously, remarkably, stronger – though not physically stronger. The Sekirei may then continue to operate with her normal metapsychic powers but with this across-the-board power boost of the Norito Boost State.
Tests with Madoka have shown that the Norito Boost State remains in place for exactly 1 hour from the time of the Wing Flare that initiated it. Whether the Sekirei uses their metapsychic powers a lot, not at all, or only a small amount, during this hour seems to have no effect on the duration of the Norito Boost State. It lasts for one hour, every time, unless the Sekirei uses the second phenomenon, the Norito Burst, in which case the Norito Boost State is immediately forfeited and cannot be reactivated until one hour has passed from the initial Wing Flare.
Norito Burst - Norito also refers to a strong expression of the Sekirei's metapsychic powers in a single burst. This is supposed to be (according to the stories and myths the Sekirei heard growing up) some sort of major attack (or other major expression of their abilities if a non-combat Sekirei like Madoka), called into play by the Sekirei reciting a chant or prayer of two lines, in a formal or classical form (the Norito Chant). Examples that Madoka could come up with were a javelin wielder might pull off a piercing stab capable of punching hole through steel plate or a fist fighter might do a combination of punches that would expect to defeat even the toughest foe if they all land.
These attacks are more than mere katas or combos though; they are supposedly an expression of the Sekirei's inner nature, their "tama", and take a form that pays tribute her devotion to her Ashikabi. While that seems like an awful lot of criteria for an "attack" to fulfill, Madoka is quite insistent that a Sekirei's Norito chant is a very singular, very personal thing. This form of the Norito will be referred to as the Norito Burst henceforth.
The one example we have experienced of using a Norito Burst, so far, is a case where Madoka expressed the Mind Redact Probe aspect of her Redaction metafaculty in the form of a Norito Burst to heal her Ashikabi of an acute deep-seated psychological flaw. Once she was in a Norito Boost State by kissing her Ashikabi she only needed to touch her Ashikabi then recite a short bit of prose, which came to her at the moment in spontaneous inspiration: "By the life of my pledge, may the harm to my Ashikabi be cured."
After she recited her Norito, the entirety of the extra energy she received from kissing her Ashikabi (her Norito Boost State) expended itself in one burst of healing power and had a dramatically larger scale effect on the target than she could have accomplished piece by piece with her normal Mind Redact Probe, even with the Norito Boost State energy boost in place.
Unfortunately, the effect of 37 Madoka's Norito Burst for Mind Redact was imprecise and was not something she could define or insist on specifics for. We need to do a great deal more experimentation to quantify exactly what can and cannot be done via Norito Burst and the Redaction metafunction, both the physical injury healing aspect of Redaction and the mind healing-mind modification aspect of Redaction.
In testing with 37 Madoka it was determined that any time a Sekirei is not in a Norito Boost State they can be put in a Norito Boost State by their Ashikabi, unless the Sekirei had used a Norito Burst to leave the Norito Boost State.
If a Sekirei expends their Norito Boost State by using the Norito Burst they are then unable to be placed back into a Norito Boost State by their Ashikabi via the usual methods, until one hour has passed from the initial Wing Flare that put the Sekirei in a Norito Boost State.
If we find a Sekirei who has a more physical form of metapsychic powers and a more physical sort of Norito Burst we might test with, we will report those results at that time. But so far it appears that a Sekirei can only utilize one Norito Burst per hour. Ideally, they would use the Norito Burst at the end of an entire hour of enjoying the across-the-board power increase of the Norito Boost State. Then they could immediately (or close to it) recover their Norito Boost State via their Ashikabi for another hour.
Norito Termination - It is unknown why the same Norito chant/prayer that is used to trigger a Norito Burst would also be the verbalization used by an attacking Sekirei to terminate a Winged and Bonded Sekirei via Norito Termination (see Terminology, above). I hope to have the opportunity to have 37 Madoka investigate the effects of Norito Termination on another Sekirei, using her Mental Redact Probe to observe exactly what is happening to the target Sekirei.
We may be able to reverse or prevent this sort of termination if we can find out exactly what is going on in the targeted Sekirei's body and mind when they are subjected to a Norito Termination.
From the Notebooks of Gregory O'Donnell
Notebook Entry 9 – Wed Feb 19th 2020 NGFOM Ch12
Sekirei Plasticity - I can report that, tragically, my initial test of my Sekirei Plasticity Theory has succeeded. As of 19 Feb 2020, Madoka now chooses to listen to 1970's and 1980's Country and Western music (henceforth "Urban Cowboy Country") by preference over J-Pop and K-Pop. Urban Cowboy Country is not the only music she selects for her own enjoyment but there is a definite preference on her part for this genre of music now.
Whereas prior to 21 Jan 2020 (initiation of my first efforts at deliberately wishing for my Sekirei to prefer Urban Cowboy Country music over other genres) she had never selected anything except J-Pop and K-Pop.
That it took a month (the test began on 21 Jan 2020) of 2 minutes of concentration on the "desire" every four hours (except while sleeping), or four to five 2-minute episodes per day, for results to show from my efforts could be due to many factors impossible to determine at this point.
Some possible reasons for the time required for the test to prove positive:
1. My own limited metapsychic potential (Madoka describes my baseline metapsychic rating as "1" with "1" being defined as "the minimum required to evoke any reaction at all from a Sekirei. Compare this to what she remembers of Ashikabi Higa Izumi, who carries a rating of approximately 45: forty-five times my own metapsychic potential rating (see Notebook Entry: Metapsychic Potential Ratings in the next chapter).
2. There could have been other, less conscious and deliberate, desires on my part which were given priority, i.e. they were queued up (see: notes on changes in Madoka's sex drive).
3. The fact that she did not have easy opportunity to discover this genre of music until we copied all of my existing media library from my family's apartment media server to the new media server at the loft (Friday 31 Jan 2020) which included many songs in this genre.
4. Making any change to the psyche of a bonded Sekirei may simply take approximately 30 days.
5. Some other unknown factors unguessable at this point.
I have not told Madoka about this test and its results yet. Partially because I would like to see how long it takes her to come across this information when she is casually reading my thoughts or memories as she is prone to doing when we are in close contact (without deliberate intent in many cases).
And partially because if it were I who was being informed that my sovereignty over my thoughts and my mind may be less than absolute, I would find such a prospect terrifying, perhaps to the point of evoking madness. Even now, I shudder at the idea that I possess such influence in shaping the mind, the very being, of my Sekirei. The notion that I could reshape another sentient being's mind by mere wish or desire is repulsive, revolting.
Even evil. No one should have such power over another sapient being!
How I would feel at the prospect of being on the other end of this level of such influence is beyond my ability to imagine.
Hence my reluctance to speak with Madoka about this subject.
There are many elements of this Sekirei Plasticity that need to be determined and measured. Is it unique to 37 Madoka? Obviously, I have only one subject to test, so it is entirely possible that only 37 Madoka is subject to this influence, perhaps as a function of her rare Redaction metafunction? But if so then many Sekirei could be stuck in bonds with incompatible Ashikabi. As the Wing Bond is purported to be (emphasis though on the unproven nature of the information we have on the matter) a permanent, lifetime, bond enforced by pain and perhaps even death for the Sekirei via Crest Rejection Shock (but not for the Ashikabi, of course), then Sekirei Plasticity may be a lesser evil than the alternative.
The prospect that MBI likely has information on how the characteristic of Sekirei Plasticity was engineered into the Sekirei or what part of the Sekirei genome is responsible for this "trait" is also a horrifying idea. As the Sekirei are no doubt extremely compatible genetically. Judging from what Madoka has said about the Sekirei intending to breed with Terran humans the Sekirei are by, definition, Homo Sapiens or perhaps Homo Sapiens Plus. But thus genetically compatible to Terran humans including whatever part of their genome defines their metapsychic abilities and possibly their "tama core", whatever that is. Thus MBI would have the potential to inflict the Wing Bond and the Sekirei Plasticity traits on Terran humans.
I feel I must repeat that for those who are slow readers: It is almost a surety that MBI has studied the Sekirei Genome and likely knows what parts of the Sekirei genetic code makes Wing Bonding and Sekirei Plasticity part of the Sekirei. It is also almost a certainty that MBI could develop genetic engineering techniques to add these two Sekirei aspects to Terran humans.
I pray to God that this is not the case or at the least that these traits are not inheritable! Please God let the Kouten have been wise enough to make the Wing Bonding and Sekirei Plasticity traits "run once then delete" elements of the Sekirei genome!
If not, then we could be witnessing the end of Act One of the story of the human race and the beginning of Act Two, the dominion over all of Terran humans unfortunate enough to qualify as a "Sekirei" by those who are genetically fortunate enough to qualify as an "Ashikabi".
The only hope I can see would be:
1. If the traits of Wing Bonding and Sekirei Plasticity cannot be inflicted on an already defined full genome (i.e., any point in a person's existence after the initial fertilization of the egg by a sperm) by various genetic engineering methods, and;
2. These characteristics cannot be engineered into the parental gametes (the separate "half-of-the-recipe" contained in the egg and in the sperm).
How these could be arranged seems impossible and would require something you might as well call magic by all we know of the human genome and how inheritability works.
But as 100% of the characteristics of a Sekirei is very likely defined by their genetics (i.e., are phenotypic traits just like blonde hair or the blueprint for a human liver), including their trait of having potential for Wing Bonding and Sekirei Plasticity, and their genetics are (supposedly) completely compatible with Terran humanity, I find myself unable to put much hope in either A or B above, at least not without engaging in extreme wishful thinking.
It IS possible that the Kouten engineered these traits to only exist in the 108 Sekirei aboard their colonization ships, that these traits are NOT phenotypic traits.
If that is the case, if the Wing Bond and the Sekirei Plasticity traits are truly artificial and were attached somehow only to the 108 Sekirei (or 107 because 01 may be an exception to the rules for the unborn Sekirei) by the Kouten for their own mysterious reasons, then there would be little in the way of a Kouten cultural foundation for the Ashikabi and Sekirei social structure. And according to Madoka there were strong indications that the Ashikabi/Sekirei social structure pre-dated MBI's meddling.
In other words, this social structure is likely historical to Kouten and therefore a long-standing characteristic of their species or at least their culture. Which means it would be highly, extremely, unlikely the Kouten made these traits limited to only the Sekirei on the colony ship or that they made these traits non-inheritable.
Mostly these hints or indications were from 02 Matsu, who would occasionally pass on knowledge of the Sekirei's nature to the younger inhabitants of the MBI Sekirei Labs, perhaps as a function of 02 Matsu's supposed knowledge specialty?
If I get the opportunity to ask her, I will certainly do so. Unfortunately, she seems to have disappeared from the MBI Sekirei Labs two to three years ago (best guess at the timeline).
No, I am afraid the most likely scenario is that these two characteristics, with all their alarming, even horrifying, implications are indeed phenotypic traits encoded in the Sekirei's genome and that genome is 100% compatible with that of Terran human.
And MBI has, at the least, the knowledge that these traits can be encoded in the Homo Sapiens genome.
And knowing something can be done is almost a surety that it will be done. If it is possible to encode Wing Bonding and Plasticity into the human genome… it will eventually be done.
And that prospect will haunt me until the day I die.
Sekirei Power Ratings OMPR (Overall Metapsychic Power Rating) - With a scan from a Farsensor Novice any persons overall metapsychic strength can be gauged. The Farsensor can usually determine the persons Native OMPR (the power rating they have naturally before any modifiers are enacted) as well as their Adjusted OMPR (the power rating after modifiers from factors like a Wing Bond to an Ashikabi, what the Ashikabi's multiplier is, and if the subject is in a Norito Boost state).
MfPR (Metafunction Power Rating) - A Farsensor Adept can scan for the individual power ratings of each of a person's metafunctions, whether the metafunctions are latent or operant. Both Native MfPR and Adjusted MfPR can be determined, as per the entry on OMPR above.
Ashikabi NBSA (Ashikabi Norito Boost State Additive) - The amount of OMPR increase a Sekirei receives when she kisses her Ashikabi and goes into Norito Boost State. The Ashikabi NBSA is calculated by the formula
10 + (Ashikabi's Adjusted OMPR) = Ashikabi NBSA
Ashikabi Winging Bonus - This is the permanent multiplicative bonus to the winged Sekirei's OMPR granted for Wing Bonding with her Ashikabi. It is 1/10th of the Ashikabi's Adjusted OMPR (calculated AFTER the Ashikabi gets his new Sekirei BTA, see below).
If the Ashikabi Wing Bonds additional Sekirei and his Adjusted OMPR climbs due to having done so all of his Sekirei, including those bonded previously, recalculate their new Adjusted OMPR based on their Ashikabi's new Winging Bonus.
Sekirei BtA (Sekirei Bonus to Ashikabi's OMPR) - This is a multiplier factor that a Sekirei immediately grants their Ashikabi's OMPR, resulting in the Ashikabi's Adjusted OMPR. So far in our observations, the more powerful the Sekirei, the higher their multiplier to their Ashikabi's OMPR.
Effect of Ashikabi on Sekirei Power Levels - The following is from our monitor recordings, a conversation between Madoka and myself in the Jeep, Saturday Feb 22, 2020.
(Note: need to convert this to standard notation ASAP)
Madoka: "Starting with Kohaku-san and his ratings, because those have a substantial effect on Midorino's ratings. Kohaku-san started out with a Native OMPR of 10, approximately 10 times your Native OMPR. After he Wing Bonded 76 Midorino his OMPR went up to 15, so there is definitely a multiplying effect the Ashikabi gets from his Sekirei and that effect varies depending on the Sekirei. Midorino appears to have a x1.5 multiplier she grants her Ashikabi, where I seem to have a x2 multiplier I granted you."
Gregory: "Do you remember or can you guess at the OMPR for Higa Izumi or his guy Kakizaki? You saw them both, in that alleyway, when 16 Toyotama captured 86 Katsuragi, right?"
Madoka: "No, I do not know what their ratings are, or were. At the time I did not know how to Farsense so accurately, especially Farsensing the metapsychic strength of Sekirei or Ashikabi."
Gregory: "Ah well. Perhaps we'll get another chance to have you eyeball both of them so we can have a better idea of what we're up against. Still, Mado-chan, it's damn handy you can see what the Ashikabi's and the Sekirei's ratings were pre-Wing Bond as well as post-Wing Bond. That gives us a lot more data to work from."
Madoka: "Yes, it is very handy; the more I concentrate my Farsight on someone, anyone, who is at least latent in metafunctions, the more data I perceive. I think this is something very new, as I do not recall any Sekirei in Group 11 or any of the MBI Researchers mentioning measurable power ratings at all, much less ratings available at just Farsensing someone. So, since I could tell what Kohaku-san's pre- and post- Wing Bond OMPR was, I could tell what 76 Midorino's Bonus to her Ashikabi's OMPR is. Same for you and I, so I could tell what my Bonus to Ashikabi OMPR is."
Gregory: "So, we now know that the Sekirei increases the power rating of their Ashikabi and that the Ashikabi increases the power rating of their Sekirei by addition when they are in their Norito Boost State. And we have a tentative idea of what both of those factors are. Midorino is a 1.5 multiplier for her Ashikabi, so as soon as she Wing Bonded to Kohaku his base power rating of 10 went to 15. Then his 15 power rating granted a plus 25 bonus to Midorino's various metafunction ratings when she's in her Norito Boost State?"
Madoka: "Right, just so, Gregory-kun. Based on the Native OMPR 1 we saw for you and the Adjusted OMPR 2 you had after Wing Bonding with me. My power ratings on my metafunctions, when I am in Norito Boost State, increased by 12, from my normal 40 up to 52. It seems that our guess that the Ashikabi's bonus to the Sekirei is directly related to his effective OMPR was correct and that it is additive. Thank goodness it isn't multiplicative. That would get insane very quickly; if there were a dozen Sekirei who were Wing Bonded to someone like Higa Izumi, they would all have Adjusted OMPR's in the thousands when in their Norito Boost State. They will still be very powerful as it is, just not insanely so. But it is very clear that Sekirei who are Wing Bonded in groups, such as what has happened with Higa, will be prominently more powerful than Sekirei who are unwinged or who are Wing Bonded solo to an Ashikabi."
Gregory: "It does beg the question what exactly is the 'natural' formation of the basic Sekirei social unit. Is it the single Ashikabi and single Sekirei formation, as MBI was convinced it was and which MBI taught all of you? Or is the natural basic social unit for the Sekirei a larger formation, with multiple Sekirei Wing Bonded to one Ashikabi? Is there a point where efficiency starts decreasing, making the basic social unit have an effective cap at, say, six or ten? Or is there no cap, where the more and more Sekirei an Ashikabi can Wing Bond results in a constant increase in the OMPR in Norito Boost State for all of his Sekirei, so an Ashikabi with a hundred Wing Bonded Sekirei would have an Adjusted OMPR of tens of thousands? Hundreds of thousands? If the Sekirei Bonus to Ashikabi OMPR multiplier is evolved instead of engineered, then I'd bet it just about has to have an efficiency cap. We should keep an eye on that question as we get to know more Ashikabi and Sekirei, Madoka. Because if there's an efficiency cap on the Sekirei Bonus to Ashikabi OMPR multiplier it would be a point of evidence for evolution of this trait. If there is no cap then it would be a point in favor of this trait having been deliberately engineered into the Sekirei by the Kouten."
Madoka: "Hmmmm. It is sad that I paid so little attention to the MBI Researchers and what they were studying and what their theories were about these sorts of subjects. But, no, I do not have any information on if there is an efficiency cap or not, Gregory-kun. Alternatively, there could be a hard cap where once an Ashikabi has X number of Sekirei Wing Bonded he cannot Wing Bond anymore. That also is a possibility to keep in mind. But none of this was never mentioned by MBI, not that I recall. No one talked about Ashikabi Wing Bonding more than one Sekirei, other than some of the Sekirei like Yosuga and I talked of sharing an Ashikabi, when we were children. I honestly do not think the MBI Researchers ever considered the possibility. Could this have been a simple case of a cultural blind spot?"
Gregory: "Totally possible. If the basic Sekirei social unit is the Sekirei equivalent of a Terran human's "nuclear family", and there's every indication it is and that the MBI Researchers realized this and thought of the basic Sekirei social unit in exactly those terms, then the lack of acceptance in Japanese culture for polygamy, or any other form of polyamory, would affect their assumptions. Other than the slightly acceptable case of a man having both a wife and a mistress there isn't any cultural acknowledgment of polyamorous family structures. Indeed, very few cultures in the world have basic social units, families, which are built around polyamorous relationships. Only the oldest cultures had such things recorded as acceptable and common and those were more a reflection of men having a greatly higher social standing than women and thus able to treat women as a commodity, than a reflection of the society's tolerance and acceptance of varied romantic or family relationship structures."
Madoka: "Like which cultures? Where could we live where such an arrangement would be okay?"
Gregory: "Nowhere, today. Not really. Historically though you see it in Biblical scripture. Regularly in the Old Testament, so more than 2000 years ago, there were polygamous family units where one man might have multiple wives. But by Jesus's lifetime, around 2000 years ago, it was already becoming uncommon. I don't know of any culture in the world today which accepts polyamorous relationships as the basis of the family unit. Not socially and not legally. In most First World nations like Japan or the U.S. it's not against the law to live however you wish. If a man and two women wish to live together and act as husband and wives to each other in those places there's not likely to be legal sanction against them for it. However, it's understood that the arrangement is informal, not endorsed by the state. But that's neither here nor there, really, when it comes to our situation with the Sekirei and Ashikabi. It looks like the basic Sekirei social unit very well could be based on polyamorous scenarios. If there is an evolved, or engineered, power level benefit to having multiple Sekirei Wing Bonded to a single Ashikabi, that's going to have a real effect on the development of a society and it's family unit structure."
Madoka: "I do not know how we could ever find out the answer to that. We can only, at best, observe what formations come about now that the Sekirei are out among Terran humans and beginning to assemble social units, yes?"
Gregory: "Yeah, just so. Unless we ever get the chance to talk to Sekirei 01, who was fully grown in the colonization ship and thus the only Sekirei who was actually born and raised and educated on Kouten, so they would likely know the answers to these questions. But this also reveals an important point about Ashikabi, too. That the more powerful the Ashikabi, as in the higher the Ashikabi's Native OMPR is, the better off all the Sekirei in his… what… group? Family? Flock? Anyway, the more powerful the Ashikabi, the more powerful all his Sekirei. That means latent or operant metapsychics with higher OMPR will be more 'attractive' to an unwinged Sekirei who is searching for her Ashikabi."
This was the first evidence we had of how much a disadvantage my bare-minimum metapsychic power rating (my Native OMPR is a mere "1", the baseline minimum OMPR required to evoke a reaction in a Sekirei at all) was for any Sekirei that was Wing Bonded to me. My own OMPR and Ashikabi Norito Boost State Additive (or Ashikabi NBSA) would always be a fraction of what a more powerfully metapsychic Ashikabi could grant.
On a personal note, I found it interesting that Madoka made very little effort in this conversation to obfuscate her native intelligence and her growing education in these matters. She even made a distinct effort to counter my arguments and downplay the significance of some elements of the observations she'd made. The primary reason I find it interesting is because the gist of the conversation, the logical conclusion to draw from her observations, is that I am an incredibly poor Ashikabi. And I always will be. And Madoka threw out her usual social-security-blanket behaviors to fight that conclusion.
Here is the formula for determining what increase a Sekirei gets to her OMPR from her Ashikabi, in her Norito Boost State, as far as Madoka and I have been able to determine:
Ashikabi NBSA = 10 + (Ashikabi's Adjusted OMPR)
Thus, for Kohaku-san:
10 + (15) = 25 Ashikabi NBSA
10 + (2) = 12 Ashikabi NBSA
Kohaku-san's Native OMPR of 10 is not exceptional, yet due to him starting out with a Native OMPR of 10 then getting his Sekirei Bonus to Ashikabi of x1.5 from 76 Midorino, this results in him having an Adjusted OMPR of 15. That Adjusted OMPR of 15 gives his Sekirei an Ashikabi NBSA (Norito Boost State Additive) of 25 across all of her abilities when in Norito Boost State.
Compared to my own Native OMPR of 1, then Madoka's x2 Sekirei BtA (Madoka is a fairly powerful metapsychic from what I can gather, though she doesn't see it that way), giving me an Adjusted OMPR of 2. This gives my Sekirei an Ashikabi NBSA of 12 across all of her abilities.
One can easily see that having several Sekirei, each multiplying their Ashikabi's OMPR by their Sekirei BtA, would result in Sekirei who are substantially more powerful than the Sekirei who are Wing Bonded to lower powered and/or single Bonded Ashikabi.
Higher Adjusted OMPR Ashikabi will result in stronger Adjusted OMPR Sekirei. In addition, more Sekirei in the Wing Bonded unit, the higher the Ashikabi's Adjusted OMPR will be, and so forth.
Given this, a force such as Higa Izumi's is not only possible, but it was almost inevitable. Unless there is some hidden negative associated with many Sekirei being Wing Bonded to a single, strong, Ashikabi then that is exactly what will happen, as it seems a common instinct for both Sekirei and Terran humans to acquire as much power as possible.
We have no data yet on what effect higher or lower Adjusted OMPR for the Sekirei has on the Norito Burst. Does the Norito Burst for a Sekirei have greater reach or effect if her Adjusted OMPR is higher? It would make logical sense that it would. So, a combat Sekirei who was Wing Bonded to a strong Ashikabi (say, he has an Adjusted OMPR of 50) would likely have a much more powerful Norito Burst attack available to her than the combat Sekirei who was Wing Bonded to an Ashikabi such as myself (an Adjusted OMPR of 2).
That is, admittedly, all speculation at this point. We will keep our eyes open for the chance to collect additional data and I have little doubt at all that we will have opportunity to do so. We can only hope to survive the experience.
I will also add to the list of questions for Sekirei 01, or for any records/databases surviving in the Sekirei's colony ship. I would like to know what the Sekirei's natural basic social unit is and if the source material knows if that social unit structure is the same for the Kouten as well as for the Sekirei. Is there a point of diminishing returns in the Sekirei BtA in adding more Sekirei to the social unit? Is there a hard cap?
Maybe I will get the chance to ask these questions, some day.
From the Notebooks of Gregory O'Donnell
Notebook Entry 10 – Wed Feb 19th 2020 NGFOM Ch13
44 Shijushi Yosuga - Sekirei 44, Yosuga, is a fighting type who uses a pair of sai as her weapon of choice. She says she chose the sai because the art of sai fighting, called Ryukyu Kobujutsu, fits with her special Sekirei physical gifts.
Unlike most of the fighting type Sekirei, Yosuga is not notably physically stronger than a very fit, athletic (really, Olympic) Terran human. Instead of having great physical strength Yosuga's Sekirei abilities manifest themselves in the form of great speed.
Her hand to eye coordination is unbelievable and she can move parts of her body at speeds far beyond what I have ever seen anyone manage. Standing 10 feet away from her I held a baseball in each hand at shoulder height out to the side and then dropped them simultaneously. Before they hit the ground, she had grabbed both out of the air.
Any feats of coordination and speed of hands she can perform at incredible levels. She can strike, with her sai, one in each hand 10 hard strikes per second and keep that pace up for more than a minute without strain.
I've yet to get her on a track to test her running speed or had the chance to determine how she manages to leap as many as 10 stories up at a time (which should be impossible no matter how strong her legs are for a variety of reasons).
Obviously, more measured research into the supposedly physical Sekirei is needed.
Farsense - (New Information) The Farsense metafunction has a secondary manifestation that has little to do with emulating any of the traditional 5 Senses. Any metapsychic Operant who has the ability to use Farsense (and as far as we can tell all operants have some degree of Farsense; it is the most basic and common metafunction) can use the Farsense metafunction to communicate directly to other operants and even some latents. The term for this is Farspeech.
This isn't "speaking" by vocalizing more loudly than a set of physical vocal cords can manage. Nor is it super-hearing, allowing someone to hear a whisper from miles away. Instead, Farspeech is classic, simple, mind-to-mind communicative telepathy.
One might assume that more than "Farspeech" this might be "Farhearing", as that would stick to the model of enhanced senses, enhanced beyond the limits of reason even, that is so convenient for the other Farsense manifestations. It is simple for us to understand "Farsight", since we all have eyes and can see normally. We simply think of it in terms of a "super" version of our already understood sense. Is "Farspeech" instead really "Farhearing", where a metapsychic sensitives is hearing someone's desire to communicate (in the same "super" sense that Farsight is seeing something beyond the eye's ability to perceive)?
From what few tests we have been able to perform so far, it would appear that it is extraordinarily difficult for a metapsychic operant to send Farspeech to a inoperant or a weak latent. This strongly implies that there is some aspect of the receiver's metapsychic ability being worked in order for Farspeech communication to function.
As Farspeech originating from a weak latent or inoperant is also highly unlikely (as far as we know), it may be that both the sender and receiver are utilizing their Farsense metafunction in order to communicate.
Testing regimes for establishing range, interference media, and other limitations and features need to be established and testing begun in order to quantify this metafunction (which was almost entirely neglected by MBI, even more so than the Farsight manifestation of Farsense).
From the Notebooks of Gregory O'Donnell
Notebook Entry 11 – Monday Feb 24th 2020 NGFOM Ch15
The Disciplinary Squad - Little is known for sure about the so-called Disciplinary Squad. 37 Madoka says she was never officially briefed on the existence of the Squad nor on its members, having only heard rumor that the Squad existed at all and nothing of its composition or mission.
44 Yosuga, being released into Shin Tokyo almost three months after 37 Madoka, heard much more about the Disciplinary Squad and its members while she waited her turn to be released into the city for Phase One of the Sekirei Plan. All of what she heard was hearsay and rumor, but she is confident in the information she passed on to us.
The Disciplinary Squad for the Sekirei Plan was originally only 04 Karasuba but was expanded in January of 2020 to include the then-still-unreleased Sekirei 104 Haihane and 105 Benitsubasa.
Both 104 and 105 were removed from Group 11 and given special "Adjustments" before being put into the Disciplinary Squad.
It is entirely likely that the expansion of the squad from one single digit to three members was in response to the events of December 2019 in which Higa Izumi winged multiple Sekirei - including powerful fighters such as 16 Toyotama - giving rise to a situation for which MBI seems to have never considered.
To wit: 04 Karasuba may be powerful enough to be a sure bet against any single Sekirei in the Sekirei Plan (i.e. every Sekirei above 05 that isn't a Scrapped Number or already terminated) but MBI must have been less than sure of her ability against multiple powerful Sekirei, especially as Higa Izumi spent December and January acquiring multiple low-numbered Sekirei (such as he did when he acquired both 16 Toyotama and 18 Ichiya).
Could 04 defeat 16 Toyotama and 18 Ichiya at once? Could she do so 10 times out of 10 tries? If not then it makes sense that MBI Security would want to add more muscle (or at least cannon fodder) to their Disciplinary Squad.
Adding 104 and 105, especially if their limiting "Adjustments" were removed, would go a long way towards bringing enforcement strength back to the Disciplinary Squad. Whether they could stand against all of Higa's Sekirei at once is certainly unknowable, but at least three strong Sekirei would be adequate for almost all enforcement duties, especially if those duties were simple execution of suspected rule-breakers.
We have to assume that the members of the Disciplinary Squad are Wing Bonded Sekirei, given the power boost Wing Bonding provides. But whether they have separate Ashikabi or share an Ashikabi is unknown at this time. Separate Ashikabi would make more sense from a control point of view but given MBI's seeming lack of intelligence in structuring its operations it would not surprise me if the Disciplinary Squad had one single Ashikabi who was only partially under MBI's control.
The Squad has as its mission the enforcement of the rules of the Sekirei Plan. This would make the Disciplinary Squad an important element of what we've been calling "MBI Security".
It does not seem that the Disciplinary Squad is involved in the efforts of the other arm of MBI's Sekirei Plan Operations, "MBI Intelligence".
What rules the Squad exists to enforce are unknown and no formal set of rules has ever been found by any Ashikabi or Sekirei we've spoken to so far. The only rules any of us have heard are that:
1. We're not to leave the city and,
2. We're to keep the Sekirei Plan and the existence of the Sekirei secret until the Second Phase begins.
What form of "enforcement" the Disciplinary Squad exercises is also unknown. 44 Yosuga says she expects any rule breaker to simply be killed by whichever Disciplinary Squad member is sent out to deal with them. It absolutely boggles the mind that the only enforcement efforts by MBI would start and end with execution, but that may be the case.
That MBI makes no effort to publicize this dire consequence for rule breaking, makes no effort to insure every Ashikabi and Sekirei know the Disciplinary Squad members and what their authority is, is just one more baffling bit of seeming insanity from Hiroto Minaka's operation at MBI. There can be no doubt that the Disciplinary Squad is MBI's primary tool for enforcement of the Sekirei Plan's rules and as such are the most distinct threat any Sekirei and Ashikabi will face if they intend to work against the Sekirei Plan's restrictions.
As not even rumor has surfaced of epic confrontations between Higa's Sekirei and the Disciplinary Squad, we can speculate that MBI Security has not yet been issued orders to reign in Higa's group. Why they've not been issued such orders is a mystery as almost all of the open Sekirei combat that has occurred in Phase One has been caused by Higa's Sekirei, in seeming direct contradiction to the rules about remaining completely secret until the Second Phase.
Is MBI's Sekirei Plan Operations Management unwilling to risk their Disciplinary Squad in a confrontation they are unsure they can win? Are they going to continue allowing larger, more powerful, groups of Sekirei to flaunt the rules while ruthlessly slaughtering single Sekirei for minor infractions?
Judging from the lack of professionalism seen so far, that is exactly my guess.
From the Notebooks of Gregory O'Donnell
Notebook Entry 12 – Tue Feb 25th 2020 NGFOM Ch15
Activation Threshold - The arbitrary point that determines how much Metapsychic Power is required to cause a Reaction in a Sekirei. The Activation Threshold is related to the Sekirei's own Metapsychic Power Rating but there are many other (currently unknown) factors that determine what the ultimate Activation Threshold is for each Sekirei.
Attribute Compatibility - Twenty attributes (or characteristics) of a metapsychic's nature which are a factor in how compatible two metapsychics are with each other.
Reaction - A physical and emotional sensation experienced by a Sekirei in the presence of a potential Ashikabi whose Overall Metapsychic Power Rating exceeds that Sekirei's activation threshold. This sensation is highly pleasant for the Sekirei with many similarities to sexual arousal. And given the early teen-tween, and even child physiological ages of several Sekirei this is ethically and legally perilous.
Attribute Compatibility - Among the elements that determine if a Sekirei reacts to a potential Ashikabi (so far all potential Ashikabi have been Terran Humans with detectable levels of latent metapsychic abilities), the primary determinant is the metapsychic strength (the Adjusted Overall Metapsychic Power Rating or Adjusted OMPR) of the Ashikabi.
(See Notebooks Entry 8 for definitions of the various terms such as OMPR related directly to describing metapsychic's power levels).
Each potential Ashikabi has an Overall Metapsychic Power Rating. This is a measure of how strong a metapsychic he is. Each Sekirei has an "Activation Threshold" that is based on her own Overall Metapsychic Power Rating (though there are other elements that can cause a Sekirei's Activation Threshold to be higher or lower than simply indicated by her OMPR. These elements will be the subject of a future article).
If a potential Ashikabi has a high enough OMPR to equal or exceed the Sekirei's Activation Threshold he will cause a Reaction in the Sekirei. How powerful this reaction is depends on to what degree he exceeded her activation threshold.
Even if a person has detectable latent metapsychic abilities, (i.e. they are a potential Ashikabi) they may not be able to match a target Sekirei's Activation Threshold and thus will not be able to invoke a Wing Bond with that Sekirei. It is also possible for an Ashikabi to meet or exceed one Sekirei's Activation Threshold and thus be able to Wing Bond her yet not be able to Wing Bond a different Sekirei due to failing to meet or exceed the second Sekirei's Activation Threshold.
In addition to the potential Ashikabi's Adjusted OMPR, there are two other items that can have a substantial influence on whether or not the Sekirei will React to the potential Ashikabi.
First of these elements is Attribute Compatibility.
The second is Situational Modifiers.
Both of these items establish either a positive bonus to the Ashikabi's OMPR (for purposes of comparing to the activation threshold of the target Sekirei only) or a negative penalty to the Ashikabi's OMPR (for purposes of comparing to the activation threshold of the target Sekirei only).
In this essay, we will examine the Attribute Compatibility factor.
Per the Operant Farsensors Madoka and I have spoken to and who she has trained in how to discern a target's Attribute Profile there are 20 attributes/characteristics that each Ashikabi and each Sekirei have which their metapsychic cores automatically compare when a potential Ashikabi and a Sekirei meet, and the Reaction check begins.
We've assigned each of these attributes an alphabet character (consisting of only consonants minus the letter Y). Each attribute is represented by either an upper-case letter or a lower-case letter.
For example, the Attribute profile for an Ashikabi might be:
Twenty attributes, each with an upper case or lower-case consonant describing it.
What each of these attributes are is a complex question not easily answered. For some it is possible to summarize, such as "this is the attribute that says if the person is passive or if they are assertive". However, even that summation is inadequate to truly describe everything the attribute represents. More research on exactly what each of these 20 attributes/characteristics are will need to be done in the future.
Regardless of what all 20 attributes are, they are compared Ashikabi vs Sekirei and the result of the comparison is an additive, or a subtractive, or a neutral, result for each attribute.
Opposite cases are additive to the potential Ashikabi's OMPR when the Ashikabi presents upper case and the Sekirei presents lower case.
Opposite cases are subtractive to the potential Ashikabi's OMPR when the Ashikabi presents lower case and the Sekirei presents upper case.
Same case is neutral resulting in no modifier for that attribute.
When a Reaction check begins the Ashikabi's attributes are established then the Sekirei's attributes are compared. Thus, the first line would be the Ashikabi and the second line the Sekirei, as follows:
In our example, the potential Ashikabi (the first row) would receive an additive bonus to his effective Overall Metapsychic Power Rating (for purposes of reaching the Sekirei's Activation Threshold) for each case where the Ashikabi is presenting an upper-case attribute and the Sekirei presents a lower-case attribute. So in this example the Ashikabi would receive a bonus for C, D, K, N, V, and W attributes.
The Ashikabi receives a negative modifier for his effective Overall Metapsychic Power Rating (for purposes of reaching the Sekirei's Activation Threshold) for each case where he presents a lower-case attribute and the Sekirei presents an upper-case attribute. In this example, the Ashikabi would receive a negative for B, G, P, Q, R, T, and X.
All attributes which match cases - whether upper case or lower case - have no effect on the encounter.
Continuing with this example, our potential Ashikabi has five attributes that give him a bonus with this Sekirei and seven attributes that give him a negative. Thus, overall, he would receive a penalty to his OMPR when determining if he can reach the Sekirei's Activation Threshold due to weak compatibility with that Sekirei.
Note, just because in our example the Ashikabi ends up with an overall penalty to his efforts this does not mean he cannot get a reaction from the Sekirei. He might, for example, start with an Overall Metapsychic Power Rating that far exceeds the Sekirei's activation threshold. So even with the negative penalty from the Attribute Compatibility check he could still exceed the Sekirei's activation threshold. The two may never be aware of the fact that they are not particularly compatible and thanks to Sekirei Plasticity it is likely they will eventually be more compatible than they were during the initial encounter.
Due to Attribute Compatibility and Circumstance Modifiers, it is possible for an Ashikabi who does not normally have enough raw metapsychic power to cause a reaction in a particular Sekirei (ie to reach that Sekirei's activation threshold) to nevertheless cause a Reaction in that Sekirei. If they are particularly well matched (10 or better complimentary matches and no penalties for example) the reaction can even be very strong.
Even without a strong reaction it may still be possible for the example Ashikabi to establish a Wing Bond with the example Sekirei. It might require more effort on his part (i.e. it may require substantial circumstantial bonuses) to get him up to the Sekirei's Activation Threshold, however.
Any Adept Farsensor can determine what the Attribute profile is for any Latent or Operant metapsychic as long as they know what to look for.