Project G.A.D.O.H | Teen Ink

Project G.A.D.O.H

January 30, 2022
By fzhang BRONZE, Singapore, Other
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fzhang BRONZE, Singapore, Other
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Author's note:

This piece is heavily inspired by HIMEHINA's world view, created by their lyricist GOHGO, who drew inspiration from the famous play Rossum's Universal Robots - the origin of the word "robot". The idea of "reality" and "virtuality", and the Chosen One saving the virtual world, is both inspired by HIMEHINA and The Matrix, a film with arguably one of my favourite settings and world views.

Shelley and Dana are indeed my interpretation of Hime and Hina; the names are decided because they sound similar to "Shell" and "Data". Helena and the last name Glory are taken from RUR's protagonist, Helena Glory. (In the first version of this story, she was named Lillian as a reference to HIMEHINA's alleged "mother".)

Most Japanese terminologies in the story, such as Hitogata-shi (Humanoid City), Tachiiri-Kinshi Kuiki (Restricted Area), the Tree of Knowledge, the katabami (wood sorrel) crest and hibari (skylarks), are influenced by HIMEHINA. Some others, such as the Shintaku (the Oracle) and the Kenchikuka (the Architect), are references to The Matrix.

As for the Czech ones, láska (love) is a recurring theme in both Ai No Hana and Kiryca, two HIMEHINA albums. Naděje (hope) is the main theme of Kiryca. The rest are mostly translated by myself.

Some philosophical concepts, such as the "shell-data-soul" relationship, are again based on the hidden information GOHGO left in HIMEHINA's music videos; however, it could also be inspired by Kant and other philosophers.

One more thing - the fictional department ATAC (Advanced Technology and Armaments Centre) is a homophone of "attack", highlighting its aggressiveness.

May technology be free of exploitation, and may the world be free of hatred.

The author's comments:

Puroguramu: プログラム, or Program
Shintaku: 神託, or Oracle
Kenchikuka: 建築家, or Architect
- Hitogata-shi: 人型市, or Humanoid City
Tachiiri-Kinshi Kuiki: 立入禁止区域, or Restricted Area

Hard and cold.

The ground, on which Shelley was lying, was so hard and so cold.

Full Name: Genetic Alteration and Duplication of Humanoids

Acronym: Project G.A.D.O.H

Development Status: Abandoned

So this is how it all ends? Self-destruction? Shelley thought bitterly as she watched the world beside her being devoured by the giant robots. The Puroguramu.

She didn’t know what to do. God, I don’t even have the strength to stand up anymore. And I’m bleeding all over.

Lead Researchers: Noah Glory†, Noel Glory†


No one knew what the Puroguramu really were before. The Shintaku, the mysterious fortune-teller, had once said they were made by the “Kenchikuka”, the same people who created their world. They had one sole purpose: to completely eradicate the reality they knew.

2035.09.25 00:00:00 UTC - Scheduled diagnosis started.

2035.09.25 01:18:37 UTC - Full-system diagnosis ended. Time elapsed: 1h18min37sec. No errors found. Preparing scenes for Hitogata-shi.

“Dana?” Shelley whispered wearily. “Dana? You’re awake?”

“Ye… Yes,” Dana, who was lying just beside her, whispered back weakly.

2035.09.25 01:30:00 UTC - City activities have started. Current mode: WarSim.

2035.09.25 12:00:00 UTC - Scheduled diagnosis started.

Dana, Shelley’s dearest sister, was also lying on the ground, a scarlet puddle oozing from her body. Dana’s body! Shelley simply refused to believe this. Not long ago, they had at least been inside their house; now, they were lying flat on the main street, with everything turned upside down.

2035.09.25 12:24:39 UTC - FATAL ERROR: Diagnosis interrupted manually by user General [DATA EXPUNGED]. Stopping diagnosis.

“Dana… Do you think it’s worth it?” Shelley said quietly, a despairing look on her face.

“Worth… what?”

“Our lives. We’re ending them in such a rush, when humans die and lives are crushed.”

Dana smiled wryly. “Oh… I suppose not.”

2035.09.25 13:01:16 UTC - New message. From: General [DATA EXPUNGED]. To: Research Department. Content: The government has decided to shut down this project. I will initiate the self-destruction programme shortly.

To Shelley, Dana was her everything, even though she wasn’t her biological sister. Their mother, Helena, had just brought her home on a sunny afternoon fifteen years ago. That was when the young girl made up her mind: she would be her one and only Dana.

Then came the war. Shelley didn’t know how the war started. The world when they were younger had been so much better - the beautiful palace they lived in, their family castle, the bedtime readings with Helena…

2035.09.25 13:02:37 UTC - New permission request. Request made by user: General [DATA EXPUNGED]. Requested permission: Initiate Self-Destruction.

2035.09.25 13:02:37 UTC - Permission request by General [DATA EXPUNGED] was automatically blocked by the system. Reason: Sensitive permission.

Shelley later learned that they weren’t repurika, as almost all the residents of Hitogata-shi were. They were… created, somehow.

Even the Shintaku didn’t know where they came from. She was both shocked and delighted to find someone who, just like herself, was not duplicated. She suspected that the Kenchikuka might have been their creators. In any case, what she did know was, they were “bound to save the world”.

Shelley never really understood what she meant. Not until today.

2035.09.25 13:10:25 UTC - New message. From: General [DATA EXPUNGED]. To: Research Department. Content: Why haven’t you granted me permission? What are you waiting for? This is President [DATA EXPUNGED]’s executive order!

Shelley turned her head a little, staring at Dana, an affectionate look in her eyes. Dana lay there, exhausted. Feeling Shelley’s gaze, she turned her head as well, and let slip a smile so subtle it was almost impossible to notice - not for Shelley, of course, who knew her sister like herself.

“She… Shelley…” Shelley heard Dana whispering the words.


“I… I want to tell you…” her voice dimmed.

Shelley made her best effort to move closer to her sister. When their hands touched, she found her sister’s body temperature dropping at an alarming speed.

“I… I love you.”

Tears flushed down her eyes.

“I… I love you… too…”

2035.09.25 13:10:57 UTC - Permission for user General [DATA EXPUNGED] has been changed by user Research Department. New permission: Initiate Self-Destruction.

Around them dust was everywhere; buildings were on fire, ashes falling from the sky like snowflakes. The city was slowly burning away, being consumed, turning into a void. It was no longer the city they knew. The Puroguramu were simply too powerful to be defeated with any weapon known to this world, let alone by two young girls.

2035.09.25 13:12:16 UTC - User General [DATA EXPUNGED] has initiated self-destruction. Pending confirmation by an administrator.

Memories of their childhood floated into Shelley’s mind. She remembered, vividly, how Helena had suddenly told them one day that they had to escape. They never learned why; they just packed up and followed.

The outside seemed no different from what they usually saw. The skylarks were singing happy little tunes, the sun was radiating warmth on the field of wood sorrels beside their family castle, and the air encompassed the sweet scent of flowers and grass. There was no sign of anything dangerous that could take place.

They travelled day and night to reach what seemed like a deserted room with a prodigious electronic gate. When they saw the sign on the wall, they gasped.

Tachiiri-Kinshi Kuiki. Restricted Area.

The border of their world.

2035.09.25 13:13:00 UTC - Administrator Research Department has confirmed self-destruction. Initiating self-destruction programme.

Suddenly, Shelley felt a pain in her stomach so sharp it dragged from her daydream. She tried to fix her eyes on Dana again, and when she did, she gulped.

Dana is dead.

Dana is dead!

The thought of it overwhelmed her. Her memories came crashing down like a tsunami: their childhood, the family castle, Helena’s death, the outbreak of the war…

It was simply too much for a weak girl.

The author's comments:

- Katabami: 片喰, or wood sorrel/oxalis
Těla: shell
Údaje: data
- Duše: soul

When Shelley woke up, she found herself in the field of wood sorrels next to their old family castle. Her wounds were gone.

Where am I?

She saw no giant robots, flames or ashes - as if the war had never happened, and the Puroguramu had never existed.

Is this… heaven?

She looked beside her, and, shockingly, she saw Dana.

“Dana!” She jumped up. Her sister, giving her a warm hug, was also excited to see her.

“You are not dead?” Shelly examined her curiously. Dana’s body was intact. All her wounds had vanished as well.

“I don’t know. Are we dead?”

“Yes,” a voice said behind them.

They froze for a second. It sounded so suspiciously familiar they couldn’t help but wonder if it had been merely a hallucination.

It can’t be-

They turned around. Under the Tree of Knowledge stood Helena, her body appearing as it had been seven years ago.


They rushed towards their mother, who was now embracing them both tightly.

“You sure have grown.”

“Yes, mama, we missed you so much! We-”

“Shh, I have news,” Helena interrupted.

The girls listened intently.

“As I’ve said, you are dead.”

They weren’t sure how to react. Being dead is not too bad, Shelly thought. At least I can finally see mama.

“But there is one way that you can save this world and bring everyone back again.”

The purple eyes of the girls, pure as amethysts, lit up. “Bring everyone back? But how?”

Helena smiled. “Remember our family crest?”

Shelley looked up, her face puzzled. “Katabami? The wood sorrel?”

“Indeed. But do you know why it has three petals?”


Helena continued: “Every individual in Hitogata-shi was supposed to have three parts. Těla, údaje, and duše: shell, data and soul.

“However, the souls can be extracted from their owners and kept in separate containers.”

“So, the soul can be separated from the shell?” Dana cried in fright.

Helena nodded in agreement. “But it was not only separated from the shell; it was preserved. That’s how they mass-produced the rupurika.”

The girls pondered.

“Well, I guess it’s time for you to know something,” she added, “And I’m sorry for concealing it before. I had no choice.”

“What is it?”

Helena paused for a second and sighed. “Your… origin.”

For an instant, the girls thought they misheard it.

“You mean… who created us?” Shelley’s eyes widened, her voice almost breathless.

“Well… not quite. Although there was a note in your cradle fifteen years ago.”

Reaching into her pocket, Helena took out a small piece of paper.

Half an hour later, the girls had prepared for their return.

“Stay safe, will you?” Helena kissed their foreheads.

The girls nodded slightly, still shocked by what they just read.

“Don’t worry. If you feel weak… just remember I am always with you.”

“Mama,” Shelly suddenly interjected, “Can I tell you something?”

“What is it?”

“I… I love you. I’m so scared that we’ll… never be able to see you again…” Shelley sobbed, reluctant to leave their mother. After all, they had not seen her for almost seven years.

“Don’t say stupid things like that. You’re going to be just fine. And I love you both too.”

Kissing them goodbye, Helena retreated to the Tree of Knowledge.

“Good luck-”

Her voice cut off, and the world in front of them turned black.

The author's comments:

Dej nám lásku: Give us love
Naděje: hope

The Puroguramu were almost done when the girls returned to the street. The city was now only one-fifth its original size.

But this time, they climbed up full of energy.

We will save this world.

Running as fast as she could, Shelley dashed towards the giant robots.

Because I am Noah Glory.

The giant robots, on the other hand, did not notice the girls at all.

And she is Noel Glory.

Making her way through the gigantic claws, she ran without hesitation to the machines in the centre. Aim for the commander, Helena had said, the one with the symbol of a star.

Because I represent těla.

Dana, running in the opposite direction, was heading towards the centre as well.

And she represents údaje.

The girls surrounded the machine. But as if it didn’t care, it contemptuously kept sucking in whatever it could reach.

Because my name is Shelly.

The girls jumped up from the ground directly onto the roof of two nearby bungalows.

And hers is Dana.

Once in position, they vaguely nodded their heads to each other.

Because we are not repurika.

Then, fast as lightning, they rose into the air, their bodies completely airborne for seconds, and hit the container with all their strength.

And we will find the missing piece of the wood sorrel.

The whole world stopped. In that quarter of a millisecond, the surface of the glass container rippled, taking in the tremendous force.


In a loud crash, the glass shattered.

The machine looked down, a horrified look on its electronic face. Then, as if hit by an enormous spaceship, it collapsed onto the ground, smoke rising from the metal.

But Shelley and Dana were more interested in the content of the canister. Above the broken pieces of the glass, something was hovering in the air, a dim light surrounding it.

When they walked closer, they realised it was a petal of wood sorrel.

Precisely like the one on their family crest.

The soul.

“Are you ready?” Shelley asked Dana, a triumphant smile on her face.

“More than ever,” Dana smiled back.

Hold each other while you’re holding the soul, Shelley remembered Helena’s voice, and say the words.

Shelley swiftly picked up the petal and held onto Dana’s hand. They looked at each other for one last check. Go on, Shelley heard Dana saying in her heart, it’s our sole chance.

Dej nám lásku,” the girls said at the same time.

Instantly, Shelley felt a warm flow of energy inside her body. Her life flashed in front of her eyes again, but this time with images she had never seen before: labs, scientists, repurika sealed in containers, computer code, blueprints, yellowed files…

She suddenly felt something.



The author's comments:

- Sayounara: さようなら, or farewell

My name is Noah Glory, and I am one of the Kenchikuka.

I was not born in this world, but my brother and I decided to cross the Tachiiri-Kinshi Kuiki. To tell the truth, we had found a way to reach the border a long time ago, but we just couldn’t make up our minds. To give up everything we owned in that world. That world - where everyone craved war.

No! When can people understand that the only solution to war is to love, and not to hate? To forgive, and not to blame? We were disappointed. We wanted a world where everyone appreciates one another, not a world full of hatred, blood, and death.

But they ordered us to get rid of the souls. They said they didn’t want souls; they wanted soldiers.

We couldn’t withstand the enormous pressure. Nonetheless, we managed to conceal them inside one of the self-destruction programmes. We even added a star - the symbol of the army - so that the one with the soul would be distinguishable from the rest.

When everything was ready, we transferred our souls into two bodies. We named Shelly and Dana to remind our future selves of the structure of the wood sorrel, our family crest: těla, údaje, and duše.

Fifteen years have passed since we first came here, and as I have anticipated, they are shutting down the project. So now is the time to say sayounara to that world.

Completely paralysed, it seemed as if Shelly’s body was not controlled by herself anymore, but by some exotic creature inside her.

The next thing she knew, the rest of the machines collapsed down to the ground.

2035.09.25 14:43:26 UTC - FATAL ERROR: Self-destruction was interrupted by (unknown process). Restoring all changes.

Then everything seemed to glitch like a broken computer. It was like watching a movie backwards: she could see the places being restored and the machines gradually fading to dust.

2035.09.25 14:46:35 UTC - New message. From: General [DATA EXPUNGED]. To: Research Department. Content: What the hell’s going on? Why has the self-destruction programme stopped?

Suddenly, a bright white light shone down and blinded her. For a moment, she wondered if she was back in heaven.

Instead, when she opened her eyes, she saw something better than heaven.

The city… is rebuilt!

2035.09.25 14:50:12 UTC - Reloading city activities. Current mode: Normal.

Shelley was suddenly able to control her body again. She turned with eagerness to her dear sister.

2035.09.25 14:59:42 UTC - New message. From: Research Department. To: General [DATA EXPUNGED]. Content: Please be patient. We’re investigating this issue.

2035.09.25 15:04:31 UTC - A new user has been created. Username: Glory. User role: Superuser.

“We did it!” Shelley almost lost her voice in excitement.

“We freed the city! And we freed the scientists!” Dana added, unable to control the emotions either.

“We were the scientists,” Shelley pointed out playfully.

Dana rolled her eyes. “If you insist, Mr. Noah Glory.”

2035.09.25 15:06:34 UTC - New message. From: Glory. To: All users. Content: Farewell, my fellow researchers.

“But mama…” Shelley started, yet the sorrow hit her before she could finish.

“Don’t jump to conclusions yet.”

The girls turned around. Helena, in her signature velvet dress, was standing right behind them.

“Mama!” The girls threw themselves at their mother. Apparently underestimated their weight, Helena staggered back a few steps.

“You sure have grown,” Helena said, holding them both in her chest.

“Mama, we were so scared…” Shelley sobbed.

“We thought we couldn’t see you again…” Dana snivelled.

“There, there,” Helena comforted them, “I know. You are really, really brave.”

“Mama, are we safe now?” Looking up from her teary purple eyes, Shelley asked.

“We sure are, my dear,” Helena smiled, “I’m pretty sure the two Mr. Glory would take care of the rest now.”

2035.09.25 15:09:25 UTC - Permissions for all users have been changed by user Glory. Removed permission: Initiate Self-Destruction.

2035.09.25 15:09:25 UTC - Permissions for all users have been changed by user Glory. Removed permission: Administration.

2035.09.25 15:09:25 UTC - Permissions for all users have been changed by user Glory. Removed permission: View audit log.

“Mama, can we get ice cream?” Dana begged, “Please?”

Helena giggled. “Well, I guess that didn’t change.”

They all laughed. Behind them, the skylarks were singing happy little tunes, the sun was radiating warmth on the field of wood sorrels beside their family castle, and the air encompassed the sweet scent of flowers and grass.

In front of an entire room of officers, The President slapped the Director of Advanced Technology and Armaments Centre.

Everyone gasped. Although the new president was known to be short-tempered, slapping a respected member of the intelligence community was not a scene one saw every day.

“Are you telling me you failed to shut it down?” he roared angrily.

“No… Yes… We don’t know,” the Director stuttered, “But I promise, it will not incur any more fees from now on.”

“It better not,” the President spitted.

“Mr. President, I can prove that the research team did not interfere in the self-destruction process,” a general stood up. All the eyes in the room turned to him. “I was the one who initiated the self-destruction…”

The President gave him a petrifying stare, and he immediately cringed.

“Look,” he leaned forward on the table, gnashing his teeth as he enunciated every word dauntingly audibly, “I don’t care who initiated the self-destruction. I care about my budget. And if you cannot provide me with an acceptable explanation, what am I going to tell the taxpayers? That some alien robbed the bank?”

No one laughed. The Director silently weighed his choices.

“Mr. President,” he began, “I can-”

“No need,” the President interrupted, “Go mark this project as abandoned. Never mention it again. And never start another project like this ever,” he added, “I’ve had enough of ATAC failures.”

“Yes sir,” the Director nodded desperately.

“The meeting is over,” the President stood up and left.

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