As soon as the results of the global referendum are tabulated, the old Trio Eye team immediately inform The Company headquarters. The headquarters send word that a ship will be dispatched to New Earth 306 the following day to bring the three exhausted children back to the Training and Guidance Department. They graciously extend an invitation to The Worm to accompany them in gratitude for looking after the young Trio Eye.
Tofu is missing. Kuro, Hoho, Chee, and the Worm check the Gourmet Center and Recreation Center without any success. They even go back to where they made their landing on New Earth 306 but, there was no sign of him either. Later, while cleaning the Grand Reception Hall at the Library, The Worm notices oil droplets on the stairs that he believes were left by Tofu. They make attempts to look for him in the Great Library, but turn back for fear of getting lost in the maze of archives. So, Tofu, along with his unique quantities of information, vanishes into the depths of the Great Library.
The Company spaceship makes a landing on New Earth 306, and the incumbent director of the Training and Guidance Department elegantly disembarks from a luxurious, enormous, and shimmering platinum spaceship. He shakes the hands of the Chief Executive and the old Trio Eye in turn, and says something that compels the chief executive to bow repeatedly. Standing some distance away, the three children can’t quite make it out. Chee says the director mentioned words like “loyal,” “proud,” “honor,” and “promotion,” but she doesn’t know why these words are anything to get so happy about.
Just as the spaceship is about to take off, The Worm arrives out of breath and empty-handed. Kuro excitedly runs out to greet him, and to ask him what he has decided to do, since his parents haven’t given their permission for him to go. The Worm says that the Chief Executive visited his family first thing that morning and spoke to his parents for a long time, saying a talent like The Worm who loves to read is hard to find even across all of the New Earths in the Universe. Not only is The Company headquarters going to give The Worm an opportunity to travel, but also a chance to learn at The Company headquarters where he will join in the Trio Eye training program. After training, he will have an opportunity to return to work on New Earth 306, or to participate in Mirroring Project on other New Earths.
So then, my parents agreed to let me find you guys, The Worm says.
The volume of work coming through to the Information Department and Security Department on New Earth 306 has skyrocketed recently. Despite the referendum, many people remain curious about The Company’s coverup, and a new rumor seems to pop up every minute of every hour of every day. Some people say that The Company is secretly planning to change the hierarchy between real humans, homunculi, chimeras, and mission-based robots; so, homunculi and chimeras will outrank real humans, while the ranking between mission-based robots and real humans will depend on the mission. Others believe the opposite is true: that The Company has developed new technology so that only real humans will remain in the future. Any homunculus or chimera without the means to transform themselves into real humans will risk being exterminated or having their circuit boards destroyed. Still others think the real secret The Company is hiding is the fact that their current leader is not a real human at all, but a chimera who happens to be homosexual.
The rampant fake news has become a source of irritation for the Chief Executive, especially the one about homosexuality. In a press conference to refute these rumors about The Company, he emphasizes that The Company does not discriminate against homosexuals because “everyone is equal in The Company.” Homosexuals can have any role and any job they wish. But in an era of a declining birthrate, as the leader of The Company and role model for all 3068 new earths, the leader must be able to reproduce and must have the emotional experience of raising a child in a narrowly-defined family setting, so that they can convince everyone of their ability to look after a “family” on a universal scale.
The press conference has limited effect. People continue to spread their preferred versions of the ‘truth’. It is the old Trio Eye who finally manage to settle public opinion and to prevent the rumors from developing into a full-blown disaster. They pull the files of all those who voted “disagree” in the referendum, and sent teams from the Security Department to deliver gifts — not just once, but several times, politely and with smiles – and to ask them why they voted the way they did.
The rumors naturally come to a stop soon after that.
Some of the classified documents in the files of The Company’s branch on New Earth 306 show that of those who voted “disagree” at the time of the Random Number Incident, the real humans and the homunculi with the financial means have moved to other developed New Earths for education and work, and 91.7 percent of them never return. Many of those who struggle financially volunteer to be “trailblazers” for The Company to pioneer new earths, and 100 percent of them never return.
During the year, Verity, the real human of the old Trio Eye, uploads her memoir “Taking Refuge in a Nameless Place: Real Human Blood, Sweat, and Tears in Developing New Earth 306” to the Recreation Center. The databank details the arduous process of transforming a barren planet into the most successful and advanced of New Earths. In the section describing the Random Number Incident, she wrote:
In the turbulent moments after the Random Number Incident, many of those who voted to disagree were considered to be extremists, traitors, and criminals by their families and friends. But to me, the word “criminal” is just an abstract legal term. When we stand face-to-face, I see that each of them has a kind heart. We had to make some tough decisions so that different types of people can live together; Looking back, I have no regrets. […] When the first batch of residents from other New Earths arrived with the Chimera, I once asked them, “What is the name of this place?” And you said, “This place has no name.” A person cannot be without a name and a place cannot be without a name. This place is New Earth 306. It Is not a randomly generated code, but the name of our home.
She passes away peacefully in her sleep on a mite bed at the end of the year, at the age of 221.
The hostility between chimeras and mission-specific robots rises to a fever pitch, and ultimately leads to mission-specific robots proclaiming that “animal genes in the chimera will offset the accuracy of information,” before completely revoking Recreation Center usage rights for chimeras. Unable to access any of the databanks, chimeras are in effect deprived of access to channels of knowledge and information. In turn, some chimera intellectuals take over the now-defunct Great Library and begin to teach chimera children to use books.
One day, a little girl reading to her grandmother inadvertently discovers a number of redactions and annotations in the blank spaces of “Chapter Four: Rewriting a New Home” in “The History of The Company.” The penmanship is remarkably neat, beyond the capability of human hands. In addition to mentioning the realities of the Mirroring Project, the notes also mention the existence of “Mr. General.” The secrets about The Company revealed in these annotations, and the sense of rage accumulated over the years among the chimeras, compel the chimeras to organize their efforts to explore the books archived in the Great Library. They collect and categorize all the annotations they find in the pages and, using travel as a ruse, they are able to connect with “disagree” voters back in the days of the Random Number Incident who have since immigrated to other New Earths. Gradually, they form a network under The Company’s radar.
This year, rampant rumors have thrown New Earth 306 into a state of chaos once again, leading to the planet’s first and only uprising that culminates in secession from The Company to join Mr. General.
By piecing together the secrets of The Company from annotations scattered around the Great Library, and by forming an interplanetary network with other New Earths, the chimeras help people realize that Mr. General is not a minor pest, but an alternative to The Company in a project to “normalize Mr. General.” This project attempts to discredit the falsehood of “everyone is equal in The Company” by pointing out the factual inequalities in various areas. They convince everyone around the globe that taking a gamble will be better than living under the lies and the inequality.
The uprising gains momentum, until finally the residents of New Earth 306 forcibly repatriate all of the high-level officers of The Company back to headquarters. They welcome a takeover by Mr. General, and a treaty is signed between The Company and Mr. General. Before Mr. General allows The Company to leave, a “Mr. General” section is added to the “General Knowledge/History/Important S” data file, with the note:
“As a measure to maintain peace in the aftermath of the Third Virtual World War, The Company formerly described The General as an anti-The Company organization. Since the Universe has now entered into a new phase, we proclaim that we shall join hands with Mr. General in friendship, to work together toward peace and prosperity in the universe.”
Mr. Flourish Richard Evergreen Hurricane, age 112, who was involved in the Random Number Incident, and who now serves as senior consultant of New Earths 14000 through 15000, says that although the current uprising might be interpreted as a vestige of the Random Number Incident, he believes that the current events leading to The Company joining with Mr. General has no direct link to him. He expresses his best wishes without further comment.
He also wants to take this opportunity to say hello to his old friend Heimlich the Worm, wherever he may be:
My friend. After leaving New Earth 306 on that day 100 years ago, I never saw you again. The mission-specific robot T07U on the ship told me that you had been sent to a different planet. If you see this message now, please get in touch.
The mystery of the Great Library on New Earth 306 is finally resolved through the collective efforts of Mr. General, The Company, and other space developers. The complex architecture is then revamped to serve as an educational amusement park where visitors can interact with characters from different historical periods in casual banter. There are dating or battle modes. The parameters of characters can even be finetuned to suit the user’s imaginations.
During the renovation process, an employee of the Construction Department comes across an ancient mission-specific robot pilot. The robot is discovered in a remote book vault, surrounded by books and papers that have clearly been marked up. These notes describe in sequential leaps what happened 300 years and 600 years ago, as well as 3000 years and 60000 years hence. This particular model of mission-specific robot was discontinued soon after the Random Number Incident due to its susceptibility to external influence which resulted in unstable functionality. The employee who discovers the robot donates the artifact to the Department of Archives and is awarded two months’ worth of meal vouchers.