Chapter 6:

Thirsting For Clarity

The WTP Club

"The man's task is to protect women and children from all dangers. The man must therefore always be in perfect shape, must always be able to keep a cool head and must work hard on transforming the entire country into a place of security for women and children! The woman's task, in turn, is to raise the children. She must be sensitive and empathetic in order to understand the needs of the children and to encourage the children in their abilities. In addition, she has the responsibility to ensure the reproduction of social and cultural values. Thus, the man inherits the warrior while the woman inherits the mother. It is this symbiotic relationship between man and woman that has driven the evolution of mankind, and it is only this relationship that can ensure the preservation and development of the human species."

Arriving home, Glenn had directly accessed PlatinumOne's latest video, hoping to gain clarity from his wise words.

"Warrior...", Glenn muttered. Was it perhaps the warrior gene within him that tempted him to fight Keiichi. And was it perhaps the warrior gene that made him want to protect Va. But Keiichi was no real enemy of him, and Va was not really in danger. Or was Bane right and Keiichi could really not be trusted? Why else would Va train as if she had to prepare for a real fight? 

He just didn't understand what this all was about. In the end, he did not manage to get clarity of his mind and at some point fell asleep from exhaustion, completely unsure of how to proceed with the WTP Club. 

On Monday at school, Glenn had a hard time following the lessons. He had slept poorly all weekend and the fatigue was now catching up with him. He glanced at his phone. Va had sent them the location of the abandoned factory building, where Sousui, Wark and Sikh would be waiting for him in just a few hours.

As he strolled, lost in thoughts, down the hallway to his next class, he suddenly heard Va shout "Leave me alone already!"

Startled, Glenn ran in the direction from which he thought he had heard the voice. In the corner of the hallway, he finally found Va and she was being harassed by none other than Keiichi, her supposed enemy.

"Va, tell me already, what's with this club!?", Keiichi ordered partly desperately, partly aggressively, wanting to grab her by the arm "Why are you doing this?"

"Go away, you promised to never get close to me again!", Va replied irritatedly.

"Va! I'm not even angry at you, I just want to talk!", Keiichi shouted, growing increasingly louder.

"Hey!", Glenn interrupted.

Keiichi looked up.

"You heard that she wants you to leave. So leave her alone right now!", Glenn ordered as he stomped menacingly toward Keiichi. His hands were clenched into fists. 

"This is none of your business!", Keiichi shouted indignantly "You don't understand anything!" He was visibly overwhelmed with the whole situation.

Glenn, meanwhile, had walked up on to him and looked deep into his eyes. "Yes, I don't understand anything. But I see a girl who needs help, so I don't hesitate for a moment before I intervene."

Keiichi gave him a hateful look, but then shied away from any further confrontation. He knew he was physically outmatched by Glenn, and he couldn’t tell Glenn the truth either. So he gave in and trudged off.

"Is everything okay?" Glenn walked up to Va, who was still standing devensively in the corner.

"I thought we agreed not to talk at school anymore", Va muttered.


"Our strategy, remember?", Va explained impatiently as she tried to regain her composure "We were going to pretend we didn't know each other."

"Are you stupid?", Glenn asked perplexedly "Should I have stood by and watched Keiichi threaten you?"

"No...", Va said hesitantly "But now he might suspect you being part of WTP too. We can't risk any more members becoming known."

Glenn clutched his head. "Isn't the most important thing that you are unharmed?"

Va nodded, but still looked depressed.

Glenn remembered that Va had reproached Keiichi for promising not to come near her again. "Say, you and Keiichi..."

"We should still avoid any further conversation now", Va interrupted him and walked off.

Glenn glanced after her, still feeling quite worried about her. Just before she turned around a corner, Va paused and returned his gaze. "Thanks Glenn."

Although Glenn had been contemplating all weekend whether or not to return to the WTP Club, as soon as the bell ended the last lesson, he headed straight to their new meeting place. On the one hand, he still struggled with the question of whether he was doing the right thing by being part of a club that unfoundedly accused another student of crimes. On the other hand, the confrontation between Va and Keiichi had shown him that there must be much more to the WTP Club than he had originally assumed. He remembered Bane's words that Keiichi was certainly not an innocent person and wanted to find out the truth behind it all.

Down town from the school was a small, rotten wooden bridge that led across a narrow stream and into a forest. From there Glenn followed a trail for a few minutes before he spotted traces of a road, that was covered in plants. Apparently, it had been several years since the last time a car had driven along here. Glenn strode up the road and noticed that it ended in the driveway of a ruin. This had to be the factory Va had been talking about. He paused and looked up the moss-covered walls of the dilapidated building.

The factory consisted of two floors. Due to the fact that the building was mostly surrounded by tall trees, hardly any light reached the premises, and everything gave off a creepy atmosphere. The condition of the complex revealed that it had not been in use for at least a decade. Most of the windowpanes were shattered, and the walls were covered with graffiti. Glenn strode up the driveway to the factory’s parking lot where he found his clubmates.

Wark, Sikh, and Sousui had all already arrived, sat on stones or on the ground and ate curry from plastic boxes. Lenin was also sitting next to them in front of a box full of curry, that he surprisingly hadn't touched yet.

"Hi Glenn, here, try some, tastes great!", Sousui greeted him and directly handed him a box and a spoon.

"Thanks", Glenn replied with a smile and sat down with them.

"Curry is home cooked. I’m hope it is taste good", Sikh explained.

"Tastes good", Glenn confirmed after trying a bite.

"We wanted to figure out what else Lenin has opinions on and tried a couple of commands out”, Sousui opened the conversation with a grin on his face "Lenin, weed!"

"Drugs are bad! -10 importance", Lenin declared sternly and an angry emote popped up on his display.

"Our importance has gone down the tubes in the meantime", Wark added amusedly "Lenin, importance!"

Lenin enumerated:
"#1 Va, +2000 importance
#2 Glenn, +90 importance
#3 Sousui, +20 importance
#4 Wark, +10 importance
#5 Sikh, +10 importance
#6 Lenin, 0 importance
#7 Beat, -10 importance
#8 Bane, -600000 importance"

"At least we're still positive, and not negative like Beat", Sousui said mockingly.

"Wow, Va really seemed to be mad at Bane”, Glenn analyzed and raised an eyebrow "Weren’t we told that starting a WTP club was rewarded with 2000 importance."

The group laughed.

Sousui changed the subject. "Tell me Glenn, what did you mean on Friday when you said you would take care of Bane?"

"You didn't reply after that anymore", Wark added.

Glenn nodded and expressed a sigh. "I met with Bane."

"On the weekend?", Sousui inquired.

Glenn nodded again "Yes, on the same evening even; I guess I got a little too caught up in everything. I was going to confront him about what he was thinking, revealing our goals to the public."

"And what did he say?"

"Well...", Glenn reflected "If I remember correctly, his wording was that he wanted to spice the role-playing game up a little."

"Role-play..." Sousui suddenly seemed a bit depressed and looked at the floor with a forced smile, "Yeah it probably isn't more than that." 

"The ironic thing...", Glenn continued "is that the conversation made me realize for the first time that maybe there is a lot more to it.”

Wark, Sousui and Sikh listened intently as Glenn shared his experiences. He echoed Bane's words about Keiichi and also talked about his encounters with Va, both in the park and in the school hallway. When he finished, everyone's eyes had widened. Even though they had all been carried away by Va just like Glenn, they had never seriously considered that the whole WTP Club might have a serious background.

Sousui was the first to take the floor "But how do we find out more about the past between Va and Keiichi now?"

"Couldn't we just ask Keiichi?", Wark wondered.

"If Keiichi has actually done something bad, we can't expect him to tell the truth", Glenn argued.

"Now that Va's not around, you're actually in charge as the second most important person, Glenn", Sousui reasoned, putting his legs up while having a grin on his face "So tell us what to do."

"What a cheap attempt to shirk your responsibility", Glenn replied reproachfully.

"We could look through Keiichi's or Va's phone", Wark suggested.

Glenn and Sousui fell silent. If there was a past between the two, it was most likely perpetuated in chats on their phones. But wasn't that a huge violation of their privacy?

"Sikh, how's the game going?" Sousui finally asked.

"I already have Pro Rank!", Sikh said proudly,

"Then I think we should rather focus on infiltrating Keiichi and Landini's clan for now", Sousui stated "Maybe we'll learn more about Keiichi’s and Va’s past there. I'm uncomfortable taking one of their phones."

The others agreed not to take such drastic steps for now. With that, there was really nothing left to do for the majority of the WTP Club. Va, however, insisted on discipline. Every 30 minutes, she expected status updates via chat. So it happened that the four still stayed together.

While Sikh trained to become good enough for Landini's Hoen Ryomen clan, the other three, under Sousui's command, began to pimp up the factory grounds a little. Sousui had a very specific vision of a WTP headquarter in mind, which the three tried to realize as best they could. Only when Sousui began to fantasize about a secret underground passage through which Va and Beat could secretly join them, Glenn decided to slow Sousui down a bit and managed to convince him that one comfortably furnished room inside the factory building would be enough. 

Not only Va participated indirectly in the WTP Club meeting via chat, but Beat also used the chat in similar time slots as Va to tell the others how bad he felt about Star. Apparently, contrary to Sousui's advice, he had not given up on Star and instead had continued to harass her with messages. Then on Sunday, Star had decided not to deal with this any longer and blocked Beat on all internet platforms. As Beat reported, he had then tried to talk to her again at school, but this had only resulted in her putting him in his place in front of the whole class. As a consequence, he had received a lot of mockery from his classmates.

Sikh, who went to class with Beat, confirmed that the experience must have been very embarrassing for Beat. Even Wark, who had encouraged Beat until Sunday, now asked him to let go of Star. Glenn was relieved that at least Wark seemed to have come somewhat to senses. He also noticed positively that Wark was staying away from the strange video game for the entire day, even though Sikh was playing right in front of his eyes.

By the end of the afternoon, Sikh was already so strong that he won several online matches against other real opponents. Sousui, Glenn, and Wark were also happy with their progress. As their new headquarter, they had chosen a room, which had probably formerly been used as an office. They then had removed undergrowth from the room and dumped the rotten furniture in the wood. For the next day it was planned to bring cleaning supplies and other tools to refurbish everything. Va would probably insist on one hundred percent attendance anyway, and they all liked the idea of a cozy base.