Pudding: What the Snow's Like Far Away

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Operator Record
What the Snow's Like Far Away
Pudding icon.png

For however long it's been, Pudding's recollection of Sami has resembled a little snowglobe, perfectly frozen in time.

Unlock conditions

  • Raise Pudding to Elite 2 Level 1.
  • Have at least 50% Trust with Pudding.
RI Operator icon.png
Engineering Operator
Reserve Operator - Logistics icon.png
Medical Department Operator
Reserve Operator - Caster icon.png
Rookie Engineering Operator (Celica)
RI Corridor
RI Room
RI Cafeteria
RI Bridge
RI Landship 1
An operator helped out by Pudding goes to Sami to carry out a mission. One day, Pudding receives a letter from her.
<Background 1>
Pudding Don't worry about it, I'm making some adjustments.
Rookie Engineering Operator Um....
Pudding Here... we should almost be done.
Next is to connect the power supply module... Celica, can you check the screen?
Celica The data... they're stabilizing.
Pudding Alright, problem solved.
Celica Thank you... Was there something wrong with my design...?
Pudding Oh, no, just a minor issue. The system's operating environment exceeded the universal voltage stabilizer's control range, and the power surge blew out some components.
I replaced all the damaged parts and adjusted the voltage stabilizer's circuitry, so there shouldn't be any more problems in the future.
Celica To think I've been working overtime just to fix a simple problem I couldn't even diagnose...
Pudding It's not your fault; who'd expect such a simple problem from such a complex machine.
Celica *sob*—
Pudding Ah, don't beat yourself up over it... Here, you'll feel better after some hot cocoa.
Celica This is... coffee... *sob*...
Pudding Sorry!
Celica Pudding... Am I just not cut out to be a electrical engineer?
Pudding Let's not be hasty!
At the very least, I think you're really talented at this, and you're a hard worker, too.
Celica But I always mess up at work...
Pudding Instructor Dobermann always says that rookies have to fail in order to grow.
Celica Last time it was the coupling circuit, and this time I couldn't even find such a minor fault...
Pudding If you look at it another way, you can technically call this progress.
Celica But I still have to work overtime to clean up my own messes...
Pudding It's alright, I'm always working overtime too.
Celica But it's different with you, Pudding.
Pudding Huh?
Celica You work overtime to help us balance out the workload and smooth everything over.
I mean... you're skilled enough to turn Closure's wild ideas into actual, production-ready blueprints.
You can calculate an entire project's specs just from the data, without conducting any on-site surveys, accurately enough to build an equipment installation setup in the workshop.
I have to give it my all just to finish my assignments, but it's probably child's play for you, Pudding.
Pudding Celica, I...
Sorry, I'm not too good at comforting people.
But I'm sure you've just hit a stumbling block. I've run into difficulties before too, and my grandpa taught me how to face them.
Whenever I feel like giving up, I just recall the happiest I've been while working. As long as I keep at it, I know I'll experience that joy again.
So... maybe you can try that, too?
Celica The happiest I've been... have I ever enjoyed it...?
Pudding Hm?
Celica What... what's your happiest moment like? I want to know.
Pudding Me? Let me see... I wish I could say it's whenever I finish my tasks ahead of schedule, but honestly it'd have to be...
Probably when I went to Sami with a Columbian engineering team as a student.
Celica You've been to Sami? The mysterious land in the north, with all its ancient icefields and majestic mountains?
Pudding I've been there plenty of times as a child, because of family circumstances.
Celica I've only read about it in books. Is the landscape really full of oddities beyond imagination?
Pudding Actually, most of my trips were for family vacations, so we never went too deep. My impression of Sami is just a land of pure white.
Pudding Except for the one time I followed the engineering team into a wetland settlement.
A trip to the wetlands is as damp as it sounds, so it's hardly a vacation spot, but... it's special to me.
Celica Wow.
Pudding Even now, I can still remember the moment the first electric lamp lit up in the settlement. The smiles of the Sami people are deeply etched in my mind.
It was the first time I truly understood how technology had the power to reshape people's lives, and bring them... happiness.
And then I wondered, what if I became a professional electrical engineer, and continued building bridges to the future, just like I did then?
Celica Bridges... to the future.
Pudding Hehe, all you have to do is figure out what you want, and then work hard at it. I mean, I'm an electrical engineer now, right?
Oh, I just remembered. If you're interested in Sami, I have one more thing...
Celica This is...
Pudding A snow globe souvenir from a Sami resort. It has a miniature model of a Sami settlement inside.
Celica Thanks...
The young Engineering operator stares at the snow globe in her hands, lost in thought.
Celica ...Yeah! This is it!
Pudding Was that directed at me?
Pudding Ah, no, I just shared my thoughts, that's all...
Celica I, Celica Wilson, will not give in so easily! From now on, I'll strive my hardest to improve myself, and at the very least, become independent!
Celica I must act now, and focus on finishing my remaining work!
Pudding I'll also—
Celica Suddenly, I'm very interested in something related to you!
Pudding M-Me?
Celica I just remembered, but haven't you been on this landship for a long time? Closure mentioned that your skills have improved a lot since you first arrived.
Celica Have you ever thought of going back to Sami to experience your happiest moment again?
Pudding Go... back to Sami?
<Background 2>
[Pudding walks toward a table]
Pudding (Places a letter on the table)
...This topic again. Father mentioned our old holiday trips, and hopes I can go back with them when I'm on vacation.
Pillow, do you dream of Sami too?
I dreamed of it yesterday night.
I was looking down from someplace high up, at the wetlands, at the Myrkwood, at the snow-covered Fjal Vetrtonn, and finally at an endless icefield.
Everywhere I looked matched up with what I remember.
The roadside grass sleeping within a blanket of snow, the night pulling over the aurora like a curtain, and the icefield breeze blowing their time away.
I also dreamed of the gift shop where I met you, Pillow.
You and your friends were crowding the shelf, with snow globes as your neighbors.
The snowflakes were floating, falling on the small hut in the settlement. I waved my hand and a light lit up the roof.
What do you think? Should we go back to Sami?
<Flashback starts here>
Pudding Help... Is there anyone out there...?
Anyone... please help me...
<Flashback ends here>
<Background 2>
Pudding I'm so scared.
I know my parents are waiting at home for us to set off for Sami together, but it might be dangerous on the way back.
Huh? We'll have friends escorting us home?
But even so... what if the engine suddenly catches fire, or the aircraft hits a fowlbeast mid-air and breaks down?
The scariest thought is probably that I'll trip over a rock just when I step outside, and then I fall right onto a piece of sharp debris...
No, absolutely not! I can't go out that far anymore...
Dreams... dreams are much safer, don't you agree?
Let's have another dream, Pillow.
<Background 1>
Engineering Operator We're clocking out, Pudding. See you tomorrow.
Pudding See you.
Engineering Operator Don't overdose on coffee, okay? You're a hard worker, but you should still take care of your health.
You're the only one who works overtime in the workshop, ever since Celica left.
Pudding Celica... left? No wonder I haven't seen her in a while.
Engineering Operator Oh, you didn't know?
She left the landship for a mission two months ago, after she passed her field operations assessment.
Pudding Her skills have improved so much... I guess it's good that she's taking on new challenges.
Engineering Operator I heard she was so excited, she had trouble sleeping the night before she left. She had really been looking forward to that mission.
No surprise there though. I'd also love to be able to visit Sami alongside the Columbian engineering team.
Pudding Eh? So she really did go to Sami...
Engineering Operator You've been there before too, right? Ah, I'm so jealous, getting to see all that beautiful scenery you only ever hear about in stories.
Let me tell you a secret. Whenever we chatted, Celica would treat you like some sort of idol. So maybe she went to Sami to follow in your footsteps.
Pudding I doubt it... Who would idolize me?
<Background 2>
Pudding Do you know, Pillow? Celica's gone to Sami.
I'm sure she's excited to see all those sights with her own eyes. I'm really happy for her.
[Someone knocks the door.]
Pudding Huh, at this hour?
Messenger Good evening, Pudding. I've got a letter for you, from Sami. The sender is... Celica.
Pudding Ah.
[Pudding opens the door and the Messenger gives a letter to her.]
Messenger Well then, have a good night.
[Pudding closes the door]
Pudding ...
I guess I should read it.
[Pudding reads the letter.]
Pudding ...She says she's entered Sami territory.
[Pudding continues reading.]
Pudding "I had imagined many magnificent sights on my way here, but when I finally set foot on Sami soil, I realized the vastness of this great land exceeded the limits of my imagination."
"Fowlbeasts with gray tail feathers soar into the skies, as powder snow falls onto the branches like petals. A mushroom opens up into a crystal-clear umbrella, like a glass bowl filled with sunlight."
"These fantastical sights have had me enraptured since I got here."
And then there's just some standard greetings. I'm glad she didn't...
Don't blame me, Pillow.
I'll come clean. It's kind of rude, but I originally wanted to pretend it didn't exist at all...
You know, my parents always mention this and that about Sami whenever they send a letter. So I was worried she'd say something similar, asking me to go too or something.
But I'm too scared to...
Sorry, Celica! I'll write you a reply tomorrow!
Oh, seems like there's another paragraph at the bottom.
[Pudding reads the letter.]
Pudding "Oh right, my engineer colleagues told me spring in Sami was approaching. Guess what I found in the snow?"
"The answer is in the enclosed photo. Remember to make a guess before you look, though."
The photo...
No, Pillow. We have to make a guess before we look.
You're guessing mushrooms? Then I... I'm guessing it's a pretty ice cube.
Now, it's time to find out!
Ah, the snow... it's melting.
The snow on the grass has dwindled, revealing sporadic patches of green.
A pink flower bud has shed off its white clothing, swaying leisurely in the breeze.
The moment is perfectly framed in the photo.
Pudding It's a beautiful scene.
Pillow, have we... ever seen spring in Sami before?
You're thinking the same too, right? But it's impossible...
It's going to take some time to finish my current work, and then I'd have to submit a trip application, so wouldn't spring be over by the time we arrive in Sami? Besides...
We've already tried so many times... I can't go somewhere that far.
Oh, I know, why not just ask Celica to take some more photos for us?
I'll write her a letter now!
[Pudding walks to her desk.]
Pudding "Dear Celica..."
<Background 3>
Medical Department Operator Pudding, has Celica's letter arrived yet?
Pudding Nope.
Medical Department Operator I just did some napkin math, and it's been almost two months! It should have arrived by now!
Ah, I'm so excited I don't feel like working...
Pudding Working hours are almost over anyway.
Engineering Operator Are you not working overtime today, Pudding? You've been sitting there for the past half hour.
Why don't we go grab a bite together? We can talk about Celica's travel diary. Are you good with spicy food? What about barbecue?
Pudding Um, me? I'm fine with anything...
Engineering Operator My favorite story has got to be the time Celica ate the fodder the Sami people feed their burdenbeasts as if they were biscuits, hahaha. That's just too funny.
Medical Department Operator What about the time the engineering team was setting up equipment against the Sami people's wishes, and she stepped in and cleverly resolved the conflict. Now that was a wonderful moment!
Engineering Operator What about you, Pudding? Which one is your favorite?
Pudding I...
Messenger Hey, everyone! The thing you've all been waiting for is here—Celica's letter!
Engineering Operator Quick, let me see!
Pudding S-Slow down...
[Pudding opens the letter.]
Engineering Operator Hey, look at this part, haha! I'm laughing so hard my stomach hurts!
Pudding Celica says the engineering team is about to leave the Myrkwood, and is heading towards the wetlands in the northeast...
"Our captain told me our first stop in the wetlands was near a Sami settlement, where the engineering team had previously installed some basic power facilities."
"I'm guessing there's a high chance this is the same settlement you visited."
"I think you must be as excited as I am to find out how life has changed here after getting electricity."
"Although I ran into some unpleasantness along the way, I still couldn't help but burst into laughter from realizing I could fulfill my wish then and there."
"Do you still remember what we talked about that day? Going forward, I decided to use my skills to transform people's lives."
"So, my goal is to do everything I can to optimize the settlement's electrical system."
"Think you could give me some tips, Pudding?"
[Pudding closes the letter.]
Engineering Operator Pudding? Are you leaving?
Pudding Sorry, I can't hang out with you guys tonight.
I need to... make some preparations.
<Background 1>
[Greyy passes by an Engineering operator.]
Greyy Good morning, Ball... *huff* The corridor is so cold.
Engineering Operator I was shivering all over when I came here this morning, but I checked the temperature control terminal and the air-conditioning in this corridor isn't even on.
Greyy The cold air doesn't seem to be coming from the vents... but from that direction.
Engineering Operator Over there... That's the electrical engineering lab!
[Greyy and the operator tuns toward the lab.]
Engineering Operator C-Cold... Ah, the floor is all wet!
Greyy Is there flooding in the laboratory...? Is there anyone inside?
[Pudding walks out of the lab, whose floors are wet.]
Pudding Sorry, I'm doing some waterproofing, there are shoe covers are by the door.
Engineering Operator So it's you, Pudding... Are you simulating an engineering environment? Are you simulating... Sami?
Pudding Yeah... To be more precise, it's a wetlands environment. This is the first time I've simulated this kind of natural environment in the lab...
Engineering Operator So many coffee bags... Were you here all night?
Pudding I'm fine... Um, sorry, could you help me? I'm in a bit of a pickle.
Engineering Operator Let me see... Gah! What's this stuck on my shoe?
Pudding That would be the aquatic plants I'm repurposing as cables for the simulation, please be careful.
Engineering Operator ...
This is... Are you trying to test out the latest power transmission tech in a Sami wetland environment?
Pudding Yup.
Engineering Operator I'm sure it could greatly improve the stability and control of long-distance power transmission, but are you sure it'll work?
Pudding In theory. According to the previously established parameters for the Originium substation and power equipment, at any rate.
Celica also helped research and develop the tech, so modifying the equipment and laying out the cables shouldn't be too difficult for her.
The key issue is controlling the power load. If you look at the power flow calculations here, this part should be able to function normally after modification...
But given the potential spikes in power consumption after future developments, I realized it would critically overload.
I've been thinking about this for a while, but still haven't figured it out.
Greyy Pudding... I think I came across a similar problem before. Could you wait for a moment while I go look up the solution I found last time?
Greyy grabs a stack of papers and wades back through the water.
Afterward, they discuss the engineering issue in earnest, ignoring the "swamp" reaching up to their ankles.
Pudding Sent the letter.
Engineering Operator Alright, we're done here. Let's leave the rest to Celica.
Pudding Thank you both... for taking time out of your schedules to help me out.
Engineering Operator Don't sweat it, I'm actually really happy to get a chance to help you out.
I have to say though, Sami's environment is just so complicated. The myriad factors you have to keep in mind just make my head hurt. Only you could've thought this through so meticulously without being on-site, Pudding.
You have to finish this, Celica, so don't screw it up!
Pudding I'm just scared of any other variables I might have missed...
Greyy I'm sure your proposal will be able to meet the power supply requirements of a modern village, so please don't worry yourself sick.
Engineering Operator Yeah, you've done a great job. We're bound to miss something without conducting an on-site survey ahead of time, so don't overthink it.
Besides, the actual environment is always changing, and no one can calculate every possibility.
Pudding ...I guess it would have been better if we did do an on-site survey for this project proposal.
Engineering Operator It's fine, we all know you don't like going outside. No need to force yourself to do something you don't want to.
Pudding Am I... unable to help everyone to the best of my abilities?
Engineering Operator Why would you think that?
Pudding But going outside... I'm afraid of making a mistake again, or running into some sort of danger...
Greyy At this point... No need to worry, Pudding.
If you'd ever like to try stepping outside, we can accompany you wherever you go, just like what we did now.
<Background 3>
Pudding Pillow, Celica's letter hasn't arrived yet.
Yes, I won't be working overtime today, but I just wanted to wait here.
Should I get a cup of coffee...? I do miss the taste of hot cocoa when I'm not working overtime though.
I look unhappy? You know that I've been at a loss recently.
In retrospect, I did work on some simulation experiments while helping everyone implement their ideas, back when I had just arrived on Rhodes Island.
Maybe those experiments gave me a false sense of security, made me think I could become a good engineer even if I stayed in a closed environment.
But maybe, things have quietly changed outside, as time flows in the breeze, with us none the wiser.
Oh, how I envy Celica... I really want to know what she's seen...
[The messenger walks toward Pudding.]
Messenger Good evening, Pudding!
Pudding Is Celica's letter here?
Messenger Yes, it's for you. Have a good night.
Engineering Operator Quick, open it!
Medical Department Operator I can't wait any longer.
Pudding Um... huh? When did you guys get here?
Engineering Operator We... just happened to be passing by. Uh, right, we were on our way to get some hot cocoa.
Here, this cup's for you.
Alright, enough about us, what did Celica write this time?
Pudding Um...
[Pudding opens the letter.]
Pudding "Dear Pudding, you might find it difficult to take in what I'm about to tell you. I was also shocked when I first saw it."
"Let me figure out how to say this..."
The rest of this page is blank.
Engineering Operator Let's look at the next page, I think there's writing on it.
Pudding "When we arrived at the Sami settlement, I was so surprised to find that they weren't using electricity—or any other modern devices—like we had thought they would."
"They still use the most traditional means to provide light for themselves."
"So in actuality, life in this community is no different than when the first Columbian expedition team chanced upon them many years ago, and modern technology has changed very little."
How could this be...? But those smiles...
Engineering Operator Pudding... It's too soon to feel bad, there's still more.
*ahem* "However, I was also surprised that they hadn't entirely discarded the notion of using modern technology."
"What they have done instead is live alongside it in their own unique Sami way."
Seems like there's a photo in the envelope.
Pudding sees light, before tears cloud her eyes.
There is no doubt this light comes from modern civilization. A soft, cold light is emitted by the diodes powered by Originium.
But there is not even a single electrical light in the photo.
She sees a horned creature emerging from the forest, like the first ice crystals shaken from the treetops.
Its fur glistens like moonlight.
Engineering Operator So that's an ice sculpture? I thought it was real!
Wow, so the Sami people actually stuffed light tubes into their ice sculptures to make that shiny fur. It's beautiful.
Medical Department Operator I have to say, this is my new favorite story.
Pudding There's more at the very bottom...
Celica had written another paragraph.
Pudding "Did you see the photo? I never read about the Sami people doing anything like this in books, but I saw this with my own eyes."
"Your efforts didn't change how they live, but this result... I think it feels just as wonderful."
"I don't know if you feel the same. But when I saw that, I felt like I saw something new, and yet ordinary."
"Like something that has always been with us, that we've never properly looked at until now."
"Sami isn't a static snow globe. This land has always been beyond our imaginations."
"Pudding, I'll continue striving onwards, but not necessarily to change anything. The future will change on its own."
"I can't just stay like this, even if only to witness the many different vistas out there."
I... can't just stay like this.
<Background 4>
Medical Department Operator I'm not seeing things, am I?
Is that... Pudding? Outside?
Engineering Operator Oh, hello everyone.
Greyy Hello.
Engineering Operator I'm accompanying Pudding outside to do some maintenance work on the landship equipment. It's the first time she's left the ship ever since she got here.
Medical Department Operator You...
Engineering Operator Don't look at me like that, I didn't drag her out. She chose this on her own.
She was very enthusiastic on the way here, go take a look if you don't believe me.
Greyy Pudding... seems to be trembling a little.
<Background 5>
[Pudding walks to the Rhodes Island landship's exterior.]
Pudding Scary... It's so scary...
P-Pillow... I think I really shouldn't... shouldn't...
Go outside!