It has been some time since rumors of the existence of a processor called “Psyche” first surfaced. First mentioned in news groups then eventually throughout the web, its name was whispered among tech-otaku, with employees of shops in Akihabara and Nihonbashi at the core.
While it’s true that every episode so far has focused squarely on Lain, this episode does so in a way that speaks more than it hides for once. Lain’s multiple identities are brought up many times, and I find no reason to question that they’re the same person. Lain never denies any accusations, and rather her actions toward the end of the episode in Cyberia suggest admittance to the idea that “Lain of the Wired” and Iwakura Lain are one and the same. My suspicions that Lain is up to something also feel confirmed, if only by the elementary-school tech wizard Taro’s similar suspicion towards Lain. (I love that I’m suspicious of the main character, by the way.)
Despite high skepticism as to whether a computer’s performance could be so astoundingly enhanced by the mere insertion of this processor into the motherboard, this editorial office has, through a certain route, successfully managed to obtain what is believed to be the processor called “Psyche.” Here, without ado, I report the details of our findings. Let me just add that I can in no way reveal the route by which we obtained this processor, and can answer no questions on the subject.
The later half of this episode is the more exciting part, but the whole is important, as it painstakingly paints the picture of Lain’s struggle with the decision to stay in the real world. Lain is keen on the whole idea of giving up her body to go into the wired, but she’s terrified of doing so. Moreover, she’s finding, perhaps forcing herself to find, an anchor to the real world in Alice, her destructively sympathetic classmate. Lain starts to attach herself to Alice, and might even be falling in love with her. On the other hand, the Psyche processor lands inexplicably in her lap, even though she has no idea what it is—from the episode’s dialog, bolstered by these quotes from the artbook, we can guess that it’s a key element in leaving physical reality behind if one so desired. The materials of both directions are in Lain’s grasp.
As observable from its exterior, it is multi-layered in construction. The density of the dye area does not look to be particularly high, perhaps due to its being a small-lot prototype. What we managed to obtain was only the actual processor itself—there were no documents of any kind. Therefore, a bit of trial and error became necessary for the installation process.
The last minutes of the episode are stunning, as honesty begins to seep through the cracks. When Lain shows up in Cyberia, she’s instantly propositioned by a friend-like entity to “throw another rave,” for which she could “do the planning.” I find it monumentally important that Lain isn’t going to raves—she’s throwing raves. And that’s not the only person in the busy club to recognize her—after giving her a good looking, Taro remembers seeing her in the wired, and actually calls her out on having a completely opposite personality in the wired as she does in the meat. Lain’s reaction to his claims might as well confirm them; but if Lain is only like that in the wired, then how was she seen acting that way in Cyberia by her friends? Is reality somehow overlapping with the wired in a physical sense? The question becomes all the more pressing when, after shown looking ultra-cute in her underwear while putting together her navi, Lain smiles weirdly and greets her sister, her face pixelating as she does so. This is not real-world Lain. What the hell just happened?
…While accessing the network on a Psyche-installed machine, the computer began to make automatic downloads without the user’s consent, rewriting the registry. In addition, what seems to be a type of mailer application became installed, and strange messages began to appear in floating windows. These messages are a revelation from god, and they command me. The prophecy must be fulfilled. The knights of eastern calculus shall save my soul, and the software that shall restore humans to their original form will inhibit the brain’s serotonin secretions, taking me to a world without suffering, without pain.”
– Layer 02, minus technical specs (will post if requested), from ab# rebuild an omnipresence in wired