Treatment Pods, also known as Medical Pods, are futuristic containers that treat various illnesses and injuries. They can also "freeze" living things in their current state.
In Rhizome 9, there are three of them found in the Treatment Center and one found underground at the B. Garden. Three are in the Headquarters. Clover, Alice, and Phi were frozen in Treatment Pods in order for them to participate in the Nonary Game: Ambidex Edition.
The treatment pods augments a human's natural ability to heal, strengthens their immune system, accelerates their metabolism, and can cure many otherwise incurable diseases. In addition, it can create personalized medicines, perform gene therapy, and even repair the effects of radiation damage.
It also has a function called "Cold Sleep". Cold Sleep uses CAS (Cells Alive System) freezing to freeze the entire body without damaging it. That way, even if the disease can't be cured, the patient can be frozen until a cure is found. CAS allows organic tissue to be safely and non-destructively frozen. CAS supercools the subject with a magnetic field, and causes them to freeze almost instantly, preventing crystallization.
There are generally two types of cold sleep:
- The first type involves lowering internal body temperature. This reduces basal metabolic rate and induces a state similar to hibernation: In other words, the body is still actively functioning, just very slowly.
- The second type involves freezing the body to essentially "lock" it in whatever state it was in. Until recently, this was impossible, because the expansion and crystallization that took place during the freezing process irrevocably damaged human tissue. However, CAS technology has overcome this hurdle, and made cryonics a reality. The resuscitation rate is nearly 100%.
Virtue's Last Reward
Treatment pods are used various times on the different routes throughout the game. On most of the routes, Quark is put into one of them to keep him from killing himself from the effects of Radical-6. The Treatment Pods can treat Radical-6, but cannot cure it.
Sigma and Clover, along with an unconscious Quark, go through the Green Door and find the treatment center. They decide to use the pods to help cure Quark. After unlocking the door to the pods, they perform a treatment and freezing tests on plants to allow it to treat Quark. Though it cannot treat Radical-6, it can suppress the symptoms, though they decide not to enter cold sleep as it would be too dangerous for Quark.
When they leave, Clover notices the screen has changed. When they check it out, they learn that 3 people were taken out of the pod from cold sleep about 8 hours ago, but they can't figure it out who it was. They also find it strange that it refers to "8 hours ago" than the actual time. They find that all other records were erased by the admin, to which Sigma thinks Zero Sr. didn't want them to know the actual time and Clover thinks it is a clue. They decide to leave and tell the others about Quark.
Later, Clover brings Tenmyouji, at his request, to the pods as he wanted to check up on Quark. During this time, he told her about him being Junpei in order to convince her to pick ally. The others enter intending to use the cold sleep function to take off their bracelets, with the exception of K, whose armor prevents that. Unfortunately, they find it disabled by Zero III and have to leave to play the AB Game.
After Dio is discovered to have killed the old woman, K restrains him on the ground and locks him up in a treatment pod until the Chromatic Doors open. Sigma, Phi, and K decide to make it a priority to find Tenmyouji and Clover, so they split up to look through the escape rooms. When Sigma and K enter the lounge, K mentions that he remembers part of his childhood, and tells Sigma about how he lived in Rhizome 9 all his life. As they are about to go ahead, K asks if he can lie down for a bit and rests on the sofa. Sigma proceeds ahead and runs into Phi. Meanwhile, Kyle Klim (who is inside of the armor and has the key he found in the GAULEM Bay) gets out of the armor and rushes to the treatment center.
There, he turns off the oxygen to the pod, killing Dio. Sigma and Phi go back into the lounge to find K, thinking that he is fast asleep. Kyle makes a noise in the hallway to draw Phi and Sigma out of the lounge and quickly gets back into his armor, pretending nothing has happened. Phi and Sigma rush to the treatment center to check on Quark and Dio, and find Quark is safe in his pod, but Dio has died from asphyxiation.
The two go back to the lounge to inform K on the matter, who pretends to know nothing about Dio's death. The three decide that they should proceed through the white Chromatic Doors, but find that Phi and K need Dio's bracelet to proceed. K quickly backtracks to retrieve it. He destroys it and brings it back to Warehouse B. To their shock, the bracelet has been shattered. The Chromatic Doors shut and Soporil is injected into the three players. While slowly losing his focus, Sigma crawls up to K and asks him if he had killed Dio. K admits to doing so, and says it was because the old woman was very important to him.
After unlocking the gravestone in the B. Garden, a treatment pod appears. Phi tries to unlock it, but fails. The announcer says that treatment pod "TP-00" will take 10 minutes to defrost and that the lock would automatically disengage. Sigma explains to Quark that the pods work using CAS and he thinks that Akane must be frozen like an ice cube. Phi asks K to explain why he knew Akane, he states that he remembers everything and tells them that they are on an installation called "Rhizome 9", and that he grew up with Akane and Zero Sr. and watched them develop the "AB Project". He explains that its purpose is to send Sigma's and Phi's consciousness to the past to eventually stop Radical-6 but that they can't stop it now. When asked to elaborate, he states that Akane and Zero. Sr were only following their histories. He also explains that the AB Game, Chromatic Doors and the puzzles were to strengthen their timeline jumping abilities to help them retain their memories. He explains that everyone was infected with Radical-6 to store potential and then use a life or death situation to help jump through time.
Tenmyouji notes that K talks about Sigma and Phi and wants to know why the rest of them are here. K says that Clover and Alice were kidnapped 45 years and a month ago and that Clover is here because she is an esper and was used to help amplify Sigma and Phi's power. He then states that Alice was here to help deactivate the bombs and figure out that Dio was the one who planted them as well as get the password for the number 3 bomb, all of which occurred in a different timeline. K explains that Tenmyouji was here for the same reason as Clover, as states that he had previously saved a young girl almost half a century ago using this ability. Tenmyouji explains that he got a message telling him to come with Zero if he wanted to see Akane again, K states that he brought Quark with him as Tenmyouji insisted he come, not wanting to leave him behind on Earth. He then states Zero told him to keep quiet about what he knows and Quark states they were knocked out when they landed. K states that Dio was here because Brother ordered him to come here and his real name is Left, (based of the original Left) and explains to the others about Free the Soul and the Myrmidons and that Brother released Radical-6 to the general population. K states that Dio was sent to kill Akane and win the AB Game in order to stop their plans in that timeline, he also explains that Dio was given a contingency plan to destroy Rhizome 9 if that failed. When asked by Phi why Brother knew about the AB Project, he states that Brother is also an esper, but decides not to elaborate. K explains that Sigma and Phi already know the truth about Luna (her being a GAULEM) but states that the others should ask Luna herself, since he thinks it is appropriate to ask her themselves later, which Luna agrees to. K states that he is here because he is close to Zero Sr. and Akane. Quark asks who Zero Sr. is, and K states that Sigma has seen him in another timeline, but doesn't know who he is. The treatment pod then unlocks.
They open up the treatment pod and a man that looks like Sigma is inside, confusing Sigma, as he expected Akane to be in the pod. Sigma remembered the man in the pod in another timeline being in K's armor and deduces that someone else is in fact in K's armor. Looking at K, she tells him that he figured it out, stating Akane's words when Sigma and Phi rescued her saying "I will be at your side, watching over you". She unlocks the armor, revealing herself to be Akane, and that she was in the armor this timeline much to the surprise of everyone else. She then explains to everyone else the purpose of the AB Project and the Nonary Game.
End or Beginning?
Akane reveals to Sigma that Alice, Clover, and Phi are in the three treatment pods, which will later be placed in the Treatment Center for the next 45 years after they are transferred to Rhizome 9 the next day.
An amazing machine that augments an individual's natural ability to heal, strengthens their immune system, accelerates their metabolism, and can cure many otherwise incurable diseases! In addition, it can create personalized medicines, perform gene therapy, and even repair the effects of radiation damage. What an incredible machine! It's not that incredible if it can't cure Radical-6, you say? Yes, well, I guess you've got a point. But don't worry: It also has a function called "Cold Sleep." Cold Sleep uses CAS freezing to freeze the entire body without damaging it. That way, even if the disease you have can't be cured, you can be frozen until a cure is found.
There are generally two types of cold sleep. The first type involves lowering your internal body temperature. This reduces your basal metabolic rate and induces a state similar to hibernation: In other words, your body is still actively functioning, just very slowly. The other sort of cold sleep is the one in this game. This involves freezing your body to essentially "lock" it in whatever state it was in. Until recently, this was impossible, because the expansion and crystallization that took place during the freezing process irrevocably damaged human tissue. In the world where this game takes place, however, CAS technology has overcome this hurdle, and made cryonics a reality. The resuscitation rate is nearly 100%. In fact, you'd be much more likely to die in a plane crash, which means that freezing yourself to visit the future is safer than flying from Tokyo to Milan.
"CAS" stands for "Cells Alive System." It allows organic tissue to be safely and non-destructively frozen. In this game, CAS is used to put people in cold sleep. It supercools the subject with a magnetic field, and causes them to freeze almost instantly, preventing crystallization. In real life, the problem comes when you try to thaw something out, which also must be done instantly. In this game, however, the technological magic of the treatment pod makes returning from cold sleep possible.