456 – Girl-in-a-Can


“It’s way too big to be a canned product.”

Since it was unclear how long the life support system of the canned product (provisional) we retrieved would last, I had Krishna quickly return to the Lotus for the time being. And now, we’ve moved the canned product from Krishna’s cargo hold to the med bay and are currently trying to open it up.

Incidentally, Elma’s Antlion and the mechanic sisters were still busily using drones in order to search for survivors. Currently, the people gathered inside the med bay were me, Dr. Shouko, Mimi, Kugi, and Mei. There’s also the combat bot that carried this big canned product (provisional) all the way to the med bay.

“That’s true, but isn’t it also quite small, considering that there’s a person inside it?”

“It appears like it can only hold a young child at most.”

“It’s repelling my scans. Since there’s something that looks like a data port, I shall access it from there.”

After saying so, Mei pulled out a data cord from around her neck and connected it to the part at the base of the canned product (provisional). Since it’s Mei we’re talking about, it should only take an instant for her to analyze the thing…… or not. It seemed like she froze up or something.

“……Mei?”

“……”

Mei remained frozen still, with her eyes widened. What’s wrong? Don’t tell me she’s broken.

“Oi, are you okay?”

“……Yes. I’ve met with unexpected difficulties. I’ve regained control, so please do not worry.”

“Regained control……? Uh, so how do we open this thing?”

“Currently, there is no way to open it. That requires specialized equipment. Therefore, we would have to cut it open forcibly instead, Master. At this rate, its internal power and the various medical fluids within it will soon be depleted, leading to the occupant’s death.”

“Forcefully prying it open huh……? Well, if that’s the only way. But if I cut it as is, I’d probably cut the one inside as well. Please tell me exactly how I should cut it open.”

“Please leave it to me.”

According to Mei’s instructions, we decided to split the canned product (provisional) open lengthwise. Naturally, it wouldn’t do if we cut open the one inside as well, so I made sure to only cut the can’s metal plate. It was pretty tedious. Wouldn’t it be better to cut open the top part just like how one opened a real canned product? I suggested as such but was told that it wasn’t possible since there were apparently some stuff that were connected to the top part. It looked like I could only split it open vertically.

Although it was a bit of a struggle, I was eventually able to cut just the metallic cover of the can vertically, then split the bottom part to allow us to peel the cover straight off. It took quite a bit of work.

“Well then.”

Mei lifted up the can’s relatively thick outer shell, revealing its contents.

“……Eh?”

“—”

“……”

“Hmm?”

I, Mimi, and Kugi were all rendered speechless. Dr. Shouko was the only one who cried out in a show of interest.

Within the can was a pale white, naked…… young girl? Why did I sound uncertain? It’s due to countless cables extending from the bottom of the can, piercing various parts of the person’s body, as well as the tubes inserted into all the person’s available orifices. The mouth, the nostrils, and the lower body.

While I remained speechless in shock, Mei proceeded to pull out all the cords and tubes connected to and inserted into the girl, picked her up, and took her to the med pod.

Following Dr. Shouko who quickly went after Mei, the rest of us also moved toward the med pod.

“Now then. Let’s perform a scan.”

“Yes. It appears that being connected to the life support device was her usual state, so it can be said that her body is akin to a slightly larger newborn’s.”

“Hee? That certainly sounds interesting……”

“It seems that her effective service life is only less than a year.”

“Effective service life huh……? Are you saying the Federation is actually locking up children like her within those tin cans in order to function as biological control units or something? That’s going too far, I think.”

After hearing the two’s exchange, I couldn’t help but look up to the ceiling. Seriously? Did that mean that the command units they were referring to during the battle were biological units like this kid? This was just too…… Were they really that heartless? Where was their humanity?

“This child has something installed inside her head. Or rather, there’s a lot of stuff placed inside her body, with her brain as the center…… Just what happened to her internal organ’s functions that led to her becoming like this? Her skeletal structure is skewed, and the state of her muscles is also pretty terrible. For now, let’s do this, this, and this……”

Dr. Shouko grumbled as she inspected the results of the med pod’s scan. I couldn’t understand the readings at all, but I at least got that the state of the kid’s body was terrible.

“Uh–…… Can she be saved?”

I asked Dr. Shouko as I looked at the girl who was being injected with various drugs within the med pod, irradiated with lights of some sort, and fitted with what appeared to be a respirator.

“For now, she won’t die as long as she remains within the med pod. It’s all thanks to you spending a fortune to buy the best, Hiro-kun. In any case, other than her brain, this girl’s growth has been artificially suppressed. I won’t know for sure unless I investigate properly, but judging from the current state of her brain, she should be easily over twenty years old.”

“Seriously?”

No matter how you looked at it, her body’s age only appeared to be in the single digits. She’s barely a young lady. Or rather, she’s still a little girl. In outer appearance, at least.

“Um, Hiro-sama. She is totally naked, so……”

“Well, that’s true. But…… Mei, have you talked to this girl already?”

I didn’t feel anything while looking at the white body of the girl which lacked any curves, but the other party might feel uncomfortable, so I heeded Mimi’s words and faced away from the girl while addressing Mei.

“Yes. We didn’t exchange words, but we did engage in a form of communication. I was almost subjected to hacking though.”

“Oi. Are you really okay?”

Was that why she froze up earlier? Even though it was only for a short time, making Mei unable to respond was a pretty impressive feat.

“There are no problems. The electronic warfare capabilities that make full use of the combination between a high-performance chip and the human brain is certainly impressive, but they still pale in comparison to us mechanical intelligence with positronic brains.”

“I-I see……?”

“Oh, so that’s what you meant by regaining control earlier. Directly connecting with Mei-san’s brain and conducting electronic warfare…… Um, is this child okay then?”

“I do not think she suffered any serious damage to her vital functions. I may have been a little harsh on her though.”

“It appears that she suffered from excessive stimulation. Or rather, she’s completely passed out. If the stimulation was just a tad bit stronger, she might have died before we could even get her out of that tin can.”

“It proved slightly difficult to extract information from the chip within her brain. I believe the chip’s temperature shouldn’t have reached a level enough to damage her brain cells. Doctor, please go ahead and cool her brain down.”

“Are you still planning on doing something? The burden’s too great, so I’d prefer that you didn’t go through with it.”

“We need to take steps in order to prevent her from panicking when she regains consciousness.”

After saying so, Mei connected herself to the med pod just like she did with the can earlier. Then, a cord slid toward the girl lying in the med pod and pierced her neck. Apparently, there was something like a connection port on that part of her neck.

“It should be fine now.”

“What did you do?”

“I’ve electronically isolated this med pod. I’ve also made sure that I’ll be able to detect her as soon as she regains consciousness, so please do not worry.”

“I see…… I don’t really get it, but anyway, I’ll leave this girl to the two of you. I’ll be counting on you guys.”

“Yes, Master.”

“Sure. Just leave it to me.”

For now, let’s forget about the contents of the can and get back to searching for survivors. Oh, and I also needed to contact the Imperial Space Force commander and Captain Serena about the can in question. I was actually supposed to report to the officer in charge of the search for survivors instead of Captain Serena, but the one I found was apparently no ordinary survivor. Well, it’s probably gonna turn out into something troublesome. There’s no doubt it would.


『A biological command unit…… I’ve heard the rumors, but this is the first time we’ve secured– err, captured one. I suppose this is also thanks to your bad luck.』

Captain Serena sighed lightly on the other end of the holo-display. Did you really have to sigh……? I mean, it’s not like I did anything wrong.

I piloted Krishna back into the battle site and flew around the place while leaving the search for survivors to Mimi and Kugi. I then got in touch with Captain Serena.

『Well, we can probably use this as a political weapon. Could you hand the girl and the pod you dismantled over to us?』

“I don’t mind handing over the girl, but it looks like she’s nearing the end of her service life. Her insides are a complete mess, and her bones and muscles all lack strength. Even her skeletal structure is apparently skewed. Our ship doctor says she’s practically akin to a large newborn baby. For now, she’ll likely die if we don’t keep her inside a high-performance medical pod.”

『It’s to that extent……? How inhumane. It isn’t any different to the atrocities perpetrated by space pirates.』

“That’s something we can both agree on.”

Conveniently distorting other people’s lives to suit their own purposes while disregarding their victim’s wills was part of the regular modus operandi of space pirates. It’s no different from what humans do to livestock? Yeah. But humans aren’t livestock. I certainly wouldn’t want to be treated like that and would do everything in my power to avoid such a fate. I believe anyone else would agree unless they were some sort of extreme philanthropist.

“So, do you think she’s really the rumored biological command unit, Captain?”

“It’s unlikely that the Federation forces were harboring rescued pirate victims on their ships, so I believe that is almost certainly the case. Whether that side admits to it or not is a different matter, but it would still serve as good material for conducting an official censure. The problem is……”

“The problem is?”

『If the other side doesn’t admit to it. Such a person doesn’t exist in the Federation. Naturally, such a person also wouldn’t exist within the ranks of the Federation military. If the Vereverem Federation insists that the poor girl is only a fabrication of the Empire and has nothing to do with them, then……』

“I have a bad feeling about this.”

『Then, according to imperial law, she will be regarded as a victim with no familial relations, and you would be obligated to take her under your wing for a certain period. Given the current situation, it’s possible that the Empire might shelter her and use her as living proof of the Federation’s inhumane deeds though……』

“I do hope that’ll be the case…… Or rather, it’s actually not certain if she’ll be able to survive for long though. I better call our ship doctor first.”

『Alright. I would like to hear the opinion of an expert on the matter as well.』

After calling her several times, Dr. Shouko’s face appeared on the holo-display.

“Uh, Dr. Shouko? I’d like to ask you about the condition of the girl we took out of the can…… Frankly speaking, how long do you think she’ll be able to live?”

『It would be difficult to prolong her life using the genetic engineering tech of the Federation. But…… it would be a different story if we used Imperial tech instead.』

Did I just hear an ominous sound effect, or was that just my imagination? Her face strangely clouded over for a moment there, right? Was it really my imagination?

『Did a strange sound just……? Didn’t your expression also change for a brief instant?』

『What are you talking about? Anyway, it’s not like we can’t do anything about prolonging her life and providing her treatment. It’s just that it’ll take time and money.』

“Money huh……? How much, exactly?”

『Let’s see. About 5 million Enels, I guess? That includes the various technical fees. Minus those fees, it’ll be about 2 million.』

“Those technical fees sure are expensive…… Well, I suppose that’s just how it is. If you think about it, paying 5 million Enels to significantly extent the life of a person with less than a year to live doesn’t seem too expensive after all. Well, there you have it. We’ll go ahead with it if the country will shoulder the expenses.”

I gave Captain Serena a glance, and she placed a hand on her forehead while displaying a bitter expression.

『I’ll bring it up with the higher-ups, but…… we’ll have to see whether or not they’ll approve that much budget.』

『I’ll stabilize her condition for now and make sure she’ll be able to communicate. Well then, I should get back to treating her. Is that all?』

“Yeah, thank you. For now, just treat her well. We’ll take care of her if the country doesn’t want to.”

『Oh? You’re being quite nice, aren’t you?』

“If she ends up getting abandoned by both the Federation and the Empire, she’ll end up with no choice but to die. Her appearance apparently doesn’t match her actual age, but…… she does look like a young child, so leaving her be won’t sit so well with me.”

I was reminded of the figure of the girl lying inside the med pod. She couldn’t even stand, let alone walk properly, and if she was abandoned to die in a lonely alley in the imperial capital…… No, not happening. Absolutely not. I don’t like that kind of stuff. Even if it’s a bit troublesome, I’ll help as long as I’m able to. Even I had my limits, but I’d at least try to help those directly involved with me.

『……Are you planning on adding another woman again?』

“Getting jealous of that girl is kinda narrowminded y’know……”

『By the way, this is the girl in question.』

An image of the girl appeared on the holo-screen. She was still completely naked, but a breathing apparatus, IV tubes, and other stuff were attached to her pale white body, making her look quite pitiful.

『I take back my previous comment. That truly was narrowminded of me.』

“I’m glad that you understand. Anyway, that’s about it…… Oh, are we gonna launch a counter-offensive after the clean-up?”

『For the time being, we’ll settle for regaining the territories we originally had control over. We’ll decide our next move once the gateway is restored and the reinforcements arrive. Or rather, they would probably bring us orders from the higher-ups.』

“Roger that. We’ll go back to searching for survivors then.”

I dropped the transmission with Captain Serena and Dr. Shouko, then returned to searching for other survivors just as I declared.

Good grief…… We certainly did pick up something unexpected. It kinda felt like the time we found Chris. I suppose I should just accept my fate.

Novel Schedule

I Woke Up Piloting the Strongest Starship, so I Became a Space Mercenary

Schedule will be reduced when the goal is reached

Balance: 0

Comments (19)

  1. fenrirragnarok

    I have only one thing to say to those vereverem fuckers :

    EXTERMINATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. StealthAria

    I’d make a joke about canned bread, but I’m pretty sure it’d fall flat.

  3. UnwantedFoe

    Ugh, no we don’t need a new future crew member

    1. S4ty4

      TBH I got an inkling suspicion that the author wanted to break the record of a certain unlucky guy from Tenchi GXP 😅

  4. Galatriel

    Neve is already in the black lotus, let’s wait for what happens with Linda in the future, and Chris will eat Hiro out of rage over Serena. May,Tina,Wiska,Kugi,Shouko,Linda,Neve) 1 wife (Mimi) and Hiro doubts three/four more xd (Luciada,Tinia,Elfin/Maria)

    1. Galatriel

      Neve is already in the black lotus, let’s hope what happens with Linda in the future, and Chris will eat Hiro out of rage over Serena xd,* if we count correctly for now there are 10 candidates for wife (Chris, Serena, Elma, May,Tina,Wiska,Kugi,Shouko,Linda,Neve)* 1 wife (Mimi) and Hiro doubts three/four more xd (Luciada,Tinia,Elfin/Maria)

      1. Vasnth

        Ahh… fellow google translater user i see, I guess I’m not the only one who went straight to source to see what’s about to happen. But I’m curious how it will go with Maria

      2. Galatriel

        and forget that both the old group and Princess Luciada play with the idea of including Isolde, the princess’s guard xd

      3. TacticalSpaghetti421T

        Is there really a need for spoilers here tho? REALLY?

  5. chirantannath

    This is some Matrix-level inhuman practices damn

  6. Maverun

    What this?! Hiro is evolving to a single dad!
    his wife haven’t yet to birth one!

    1. LordLexx

      He’s married, he can’t be a single dad.

    2. brokeena

      i think the “girl” will get an “artificial grown” so here body can sustain the brain ande other implants without external help

    3. brokeena

      i think the “girl” will get an “artificial growth” so here body can sustain the brain ande other implants without external help

  7. Philips

    Thanks for the chapter! Awesome translation as always! May God bless you!

  8. Hikikomori

    Thanks for the treat.

  9. S4ty4

    Thanks for the chapter
    *DING-DING-DING!!!*
    Announcer, “CONGRATULATIONS! You just win a choke full can of sh*t worms!” 😅😅😅
    Damn, I honestly didn’t expect that the Vereverem to be THAT low to operate in something close enough w/ what to the pirates would do to their own so called “product”. Are they really alright, their government? It’s almost like a desperate move on them to use such means/ tech
    On the other end of the spectrum, does this mean our hero get another harem member? Someone close enough to be similar to Ruri (Martian Successor Nadeshiko) and/or Melfina (Outlaw Star)? We’ll soon find out! 😁

  10. 88898

    Thanks for the translation.

    I was right. Not that I proud of it. Man, that set one new low for some “country” low ethically acts. From her perspective in the other chapters, she got quite a sprunk and seem to be really understanding military tactics, so she really a good choice for crew member. Now it depends on what age her body will be. If Dr. Shouko don’t force another loli for our Mc, she probably got her matching brain age, 20-ish body, though she’s just less than 1 years old.

    1. Hughmann

      They didn’t say she was less than a year old. That was how much life she had left. Apparently she’s been in service for over 20 years and is nearing her max lifespan with that Federation tech. With the Empire tech, they can save her and fix her up. Just takes the $$ and Hiro will pay.

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