Part 14: Plot Held Together By Fourteen Litres of Spit
: Mike still can't get over the previous scene.
: My God... what the hell was that? The guy wanted to kill us. I don't believe it.
: Oh no...
: Don't look at the camera!
: This can't be for real. Those scumbags.
: Do you think he's... dead?
: No. You heard what Odila said. They need him.
: How do you know that? Maybe they took a shine to Bernard?
: Perhaps he's been arrested?
: They've kidnapped him.
: Flap your arms more and you'll fly right out the window.
: Either Odila or the police will be here in five minutes.
: It's Jack! I hope, he won't give them a recap of the entire case.
: Jack, shoot them now and make yourself relevant to the plot!
: Oh no. You always meet twice.
: You know each other, or what...
: That's the guy from the jetty by the museum.
: A few dozen questions in fact. You're under arrest. Both of you.
: What's the charge?
: Well. Let's just start with break-in, causing an explosion, forgery of vehicle registration plates, fraud and misleading the authorities. And then we'll see if we can't throw in accessory to murder or even murder itself.
: How much of these are actual legal terms?
: The door loudly clicks and creeks.
: Why does Robert have multiple copies of the same painting?
: It's Bernard!
: I shit you not, the three frames above directly follow one another in sequence.
: And so do these two.
: Bernard is at peace now.
: That's what I call timing.
: Hey. Everything alright?
: We ought to ask you that. (keeps quiet)
: (keeps quiet)
: Come now, game, tell me that Jack (keeps quiet).
: Listen guys...
: You idiot. You grassed us up to the police.
: "Grassed on me he did," I said morosely. I drew closer and laid my dirty junky fingers on his sharkskin sleeve. "And us blood brothers in the same dirty needle. I can tell you with confidence he's due for a hot shot."
: No, I didn't.
: Then what? You just stole from us? And then disappeared before it got dangerous?
: Guys. We've gotta get out of here. Now.
: We? There is no WE anymore, you pillock. You're a snitch. I'm sick of the sight of you.
: Is that what you think too, Cathryn?
: Go. Go where you were planning to go. No one needs you here anymore.
: Yes. You need me. And McBride needs us. I... I know that I er, cocked things up.
: Oh yes? I'm looking forward to hearing this!
: Yes, Bernard stands with Jack's foot between his.
: We've gotta get to the airport, immediately.
: Without me. We haven't even got a car anymore, you idiot. We can't go back to the London Eye. We can't go anywhere.
: Let's take the cop's car. Come on now!
: We're in control to examine the easel and the paintings. I didn't see the hand over the buckets of paint.
: There's been some kind of struggle here...
: What a mess...
: And now we loot the body.
: He'll be out for a while yet.
: What have we got here?
: That must be the key to his van...
: How do you know he drives a van? Did the item name tip you off?
: Even at this time Cathryn can find a moment to bitch about the chairs. Now for the van.
: That must be Stern's van...
: And thus Jack's van plays a bigger role in the story than Jack.
Actually, I have a theory: Jack wasn't supposed to feature in the plot at all.
His appearance at the jetty had no effect on the plans. His presence is imperceptible to the trio until he nicks the business card, and that is instantly overshadowed by Bernard ditching the team. Jack saves Mike from a character never mentioned in the plot before, and then Mike runs away as he would have done anyway after Odila pulled out his gun. They lose the van, but Jack happens to have a van that looks exactly like Mike's, so they might as well have driven from the London Eye straight to the airport. Oh, and Mike didn't even recognize Jack in the studio.
Why is Jack here? Well, back then Heavy Rain was announced to have multiple plot threads. And Fahrenheit had them. After the original plot for 15 Days was scribbled on a napkin in some cafe someone on the development team probably said "Let's add a detective's side to this", and so it happened.
: Go ahead.
: OK, listen. I've got caught up in something really bad. I... I've done a couple of jobs on the side. With... Mr. Odila.
: He wanted access to Robert's studio. A duplicate key.
: And you got him one.
: You can't be serious.
: He knew everything about me.
: Debts? Who do you owe?
: You two.
: What do you mean us two? Wait... you gambled the money away? I know it. "I've gotta go into town" - what kind of a poor sod are you?
: I'm sorry. I swear I didn't want to spend the money. I... just wanted... to double it.
: If memory serves, not counting the few times I specifically pointed it out, the only time the game hinted that Bernard might have a gambling issue was when Cathryn optionally examined the chess set in the loft. Great narrative.
: And keep the winnings.
: (keeps quiet)
: What did Odila want with the key?
: To stick it into the lock?
: He didn't tell me. But he assured me that nothing would happen to Robert and that he wouldn't notice a thing. I thought it had something to do with Robert's work. He's got a load of excellent copies lying around. I thought they might be after one of those.
: Oh great. And this morning you realised that everything was going to leak out, so you just disappeared.
: (keeps quiet)
: With our money.
: I haven't received a penny from Odila. He conned us. All of us.
: I heard Cathryn's call. I was already at the airport. But I... I just couldn't do it.
: Oh, all of a sudden...
: Yeah, all of a sudden. I'm sorry.
: (keeps quiet)
: (keeps quiet)
: Should I go?
: As far as I'm concerned you should never have come back.
: Mike was looking forward to prison.
: Now you've got more debts. You owe it to us to get him out of there.
: I know. I blame myself.
: I'm not going anywhere with that pratt.
: This cop? Have we got you to thank for him too? Have you done "business" with him as well?
: Huh. And why should we believe that?
: It's the truth. I can't tell you anything else.
: Mike, can you please go through all the papers that snooper's got in the back of his car? If he was investigating us then he might also have some clues that could lead us to Robert.
: I'm pretty sure the only thing Jack's got is a log of Mike's movements. That's going to be embarrassing.
: And the thing with Bernard? Is it just gonna hang in the air like this?
: We need all the information about this dictator we can get. Now. Come on Mike.
: What dictator? Odila never named his employer.
: My eyes!
: Henston and Brown were both particularly outspoken with regards to the economic sanctions against Surinawa. Brown's vote in the security council was the direct cause of the blockade. And Henston had significantly supported the counter-movement in the civil war. Dictator Elengi had to flee. He's now the president of an exiled government, on a mini island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
: It says that he promised the Western leaders, who had forced him from his country, a painful death.
: How do you see this, Cathryn?
: Here. I found this diplomatic passport on Odila. "Provisional Republic of Surinawa". That's where they'll take Robert. Where is this island exactly?
: So, first they look up a random dictator, and then realise that Odila is connected to him. Actually, how did she find a passport on Odila? Was Bernard originally supposed to knock him out in the studio and they just left the lines untouched? OK, Cathryn could have done it in the London Eye, but why would she?
: In the middle of nowhere. Near the Society Islands, far off in the Pacific Ocean. They haven't even got an airport.
: Find out how we can get there Mike. You've got half and hour. And get hold of the most detailed map you can.
: Yes, we've got money. Isn't that right Bernard?
: Hasn't he gambled it all awa... ah, fuck it.
: OK. I'll see what I can do.
: The nearest airport is on Tahiti. From there you have to travel to take a ship or a boat. I've also found a map of the island. Quite secure. This Elengi is certainly a bit paranoid.
: When's the next flight?
: If we hurry we'll make the check-in for the night flight. In ten minutes.
: We've got enough money.
: You, keep your mouth shut. And when we're there? What's the plan?
: We haven't got time for a plan Mike. When the cop wakes up again he'll start looking for us right away.
: Or a week later.
: We fly over there, I'll board the ship as a tourist and look for Robert. YOU two will stay on Tahiti in the meantime and make a plan.
: That sounds great.
: We've got no choice. We've gotta improvise. Come on.
: OK, here's a brief summary. There was that Elengi guy in Africa who had a bone to pick with the West, and he had such an amazing influence on the troops that they killed their own families when he ordered them to, and left their children to die when the westerners tried to treat them. Now he's operating from a remote heavily fortified spot, his "compound" if you will, and we're to pay him a visit.
What I'm saying is, in the final act 15 Days reveals that it has been a Heart of Darkness/Apocalypse Now game all along.
Hell, you can draw parallels to Spec Ops: The Line if you want, with our team of a leader in denial, a wisecracking tech guy, and an older guy. Only none of them work.
Now, while it sinks in...
: 15 Days goes past 15 days, and I've got an island to explore.
: Is it just me or does the map have nothing to do with the aerial view?
: A real paradise...
: The endless stream of birds in the top left is animated barely above the level of that plane in the London Eye scenes.
: I'm there now. I'm going to have to shut down for a while. I'll be back in touch as soon as it's possible.
: OK. Watch out for yourself.
: There's nothing to examine on this screen except for the shacks on the left.
: It looks kind of romantic. But those are slums.
: Right, let's check out the car on the right and talk to the mine salesman, or whoever he us.
: Ooh. That looks a mess...
: I think I have to speak to the soldier first. He's giving me some funny looks.
: What soldier? Anyway, funny looks.
: Hi Officer. It's really fabulous here.
: Your passport please, madam.
: Yep, I've got it...
: Yeah, remember that time she unconvincingly gave her name as Tracy to Steven(s)? It's official now.
: No one is going to call you.
: Empty your pockets.
: Oh, I... don't have much with me. Only my mobile, the passport and a bit of cash. I'm only making a bit of a detour over here, you know. I really live in Tahiti.
: While she's saying this the guard hands her back the passport. It vanishes when Cathryn doesn't take it.
: You're travelling alone?
: Er... Yes of course.
: How long are you staying?
: Well... Perhaps two or three days. Depends how much I like it here. I hope not everyone here's as unfriendly as you.
: Madam, you are a British citizen. Are you aware about the diplomatic situation between your country and mine?
: To be honest, I'm not all that up on things... Is there a bit of a problem?
: Great Britain is an enemy state. Visits from its citizens are undesirable. Our President, Raila Elengi is a benevolent man and he allows visitors from western states to stay for a maximum of three days. If you haven't left our territory by the time that period elapses, then you'll be taken into custody pending deportation. You may not move about the island during the curfew. Photography and filming is forbidden. If you break the law then you run the risk of...
: ...custody pending deportation?
: I see we understand each other. Do you have any questions?
: No, everything's quite clear.
: Good, can I talk to the mine guy now?
: Fine... I'll check out the area up the stairs behind the guard.
: Nothing to do here, then.
: There's the tanker, the watch tower and the pump.
: Filled to the brim with petrol.
: Nice and gloomy...
: The pump is pretty close to the watch tower...
: It's like a Just Cause 2 map. Let's go further into the town.
: Here Cathryn can observe the sign, the palm tree, the washing on the line and the concrete blocks marking a checkpoint.
: It's only a short hop to the beach.
: Nifty! Mum used to always do that too.
: A checkpoint.
: Let's go further down the only available path.
: A soldier on every corner.
: We can't talk to him, though. Let's take the exit, labelled "Villa".
: Another dull place. There's a camera facing away from the gate and the barbed wire fence.
: Hmm... Like in London. Everything under surveillance 24/7.
: No way through there.
: And now we open the gate.
: It doesn't look to inviting.
: It's closed. As long as the soldier's there, I can forget about it.
: Step back.
: Step back, or I'll have to arrest you.
: OK, OK, no problem.
: Who does this property belong to? It's certainly very imposing.
: That's a new one.
: You're not especially talkative, are you?
: (is silent)
: Ah. OK then. I'll go.
: Suddenly, a cutscene.
: Oi! You still breathing? Yes?
: This isn't a joke, all this. I've just had my first police interrogation.
: Yeah, great. What did they want?
: Immigration formalities. As an Englishwoman, I'm not exactly a guest of honour.
: Yes, that was to be expected. Did they notice anything?
: No, everything's OK for now. I can only hope that I don't meet that Odila here. The island is really tiny.
: They won't be reckoning on us coming to them.
: I'm going to take a look around. I'll give you a shout later.
: Yes, I get the hint, Cathryn.
: What is it?
: What are you still doing on the streets?
: Is it curfew already?
: In twenty minutes. You have accommodation?
: I... I'm sleeping on the beach this evening. If that's allowed.
: It's not. Curfew means you have to stay in your house. If you don't have anywhere to stay, I'll lock you up.
: Sounds like a reasonable offer.
: Oh, I understand. Where, er, could I find accommodation quickly then?
: Most of the fishermen have guest rooms.
: A guy dressed for a night on the town, which is kinda ironic, walks into the scene.
: She does not have accommodation.
: Oh my, my. Then we have to help the poor girl! I can't allow such a charming person to spend the night in a grim police station, Captain.
: His accent seems to be built around horribly mispronouncing select vowels.
: Thanks very much, but I'm sorting myself out. If I can do it in time for the curfew.
: Oh yes the curfew. You can't go blaming the good Captain Pakele about that. But he is very strict about it. Pakele, Don't be a beast and give the girl some leeway will you, hmm?
: Yes Sir.
: Good night Captain. Good night young lady. Maybe we'll meet again?
: He's nice. Who was that?
: Now just make sure you have somewhere to stay.
: Finally we have a reason to talk to the mine guy.
: Do you speak my language?
: Yes, a little. You're from England, young lady?
: Correct, you can tell then?
: Well one tries. I spent 15 years working on Ascension, you know. That's full of Americans.
: Yes, I heard. It's a military base isn't it?
: How do you know his name? Was it something I couldn't hear in the noise of the waves hitting the shore?
: What did you do there?
: Oh, I helped to mine the inshore waters.
: Mmm. That's a pretty dangerous job.
: Ah, you get used to it. Obviously if you step on one, then it gets unpleasant.
: How does one step on a naval mine?
: How did you get that job?
: I'm a fisherman. And the fishermen know the waters around here. You know all about the channels and the shallows. You can tell by the colour of the water whether or not you can take a boat somewhere. Therefore you also know the route that the enemy boat might take. And that's where you lay the mines. The Americans knew that. They recruited lots of fishermen from a radius of around a hundred miles.
: If the game's own story is to be believed, this island is somewhere in the middle of the Pacific. Ascension island is in the Atlantic, halfway between Africa and South America. Those Americans were fucking desperate. Oh, and Ascension island is controlled by the UK, the US forces are guests there.
: And they were simply allowed to do that?
: Yeah. At the time these islands were still free. We could go where we wanted. At that time...
: So, when did this island switch oceans, pops?
: You don't get many people coming here these days. And even fewer get away again. When Elengi took over the islands, the first thing he did was mine the local waters.
: Ah... so that's why Alfred is sitting on a stockpile... of Soviet TM-46... anti-tank mines. What the hell, game?
: But that wouldn't be able to stop someone like you.
: No, of course not.
: No, I don't. No way, these islands are my home.
: But... You just said...
: Look, child. A person isn't free if they have to flee their home. You're free when you can leave... and also come back again.
: Tell me about Elengi.
: Take a look around. See the mines, the watchtowers, the soldiers. That tells you everything about Elengi.
: How did he take over these islands? Didn't anyone defend them?
: Yes, of course. The young ones and the brave: they fought. And so we became an island of cowards and old folks.
: You mean they're all...?
: Elengi is a cultivated man, young lady.
: He loves art, you know.
: He did WHAT...? That's not true.
: In his palace he has a gallery with rust red walls. He's a very cultivated man.
: He's a monster.
: Elengi, putting the "dick" in dictator.
: Tell me about Elengi.
: Yes, she repeats the line.
: I can tell you a story. Four years ago, I caught a fish. A shark. It was a very weak animal, already lost all of its strength. An easy catch. I cut off its fins and sold them to a tourist. When I gutted the shark, I found a small poisonous fish in its stomach. The tourist became fatally ill. I sat in hospital at his bedside. I knew that he wasn't going to survive. Then Elengi came into the hospital. He'd heard about the case. He watched the death struggle all night long. And in the morning, when the man was dead he said:
: He had the dead Briton painted. The picture's hanging in his palace.
: That's gruesome.
: Yes, of course I am. Every morning. An hour before sunrise.
: Could I come with you?
: No little lady. That wouldn't work.
: Why not then?
: I know the way through the mines. If you got to know it, then we'd both end up getting lynched for it.
: It's a good thing Cathryn didn't arrive by boat. Oh, wait...
: Oh, I understand.
: Listen Alfred... I've got another question. I'm a little uncomfortable asking...
: You need somewhere to stay, don't you? It'll be curfew any time now and you can't stay here on the beach.
: Er, yes. Exactly. Perhaps you know someone..?
: You can stay at my place.
: Oh, that's really nice of you. I'll pay you of course... wait, I can give you...
: Keep your money. Better give it to a good cause instead.
: I think I can promise you that.
: We have to go.
: Just a minute. I still have to make a phone call.
: I'll find it. And then you'll have to tell me more.
: I still can't take a mine for a souvenir. Let's make a call. Cathryn won't even let us enter the town before that.
: I have to speak to Mike first, urgently.
: Is here better?
: Cathryn takes a few steps towards the screen and...
: Yep! We're here. We're trying to rustle up a boat. But it's not so easy. None of the tubs we've seen so far would even get us to the next buoy. How's it going with you? You found anything out yet?
: He's told me some real horror stories. The waters around the island are mined. You won't get through so easily.
: That doesn't sound so good. Do you know what kind of mines they are?
: Not yet. I'll try and find out though.
: They're landmines. As long as you don't drive on the ocean floor, you'll be fine.
: It all feels a bit weird here to me. The island looks like a paradise. But the regime is hellish.
: Must be the shark fin soup.
: Do you think that McBride's still alive then?
: I'm not so sure anymore.
: Do you want to get out?
: I can't give up that quickly.
: That's your decision.
: Huh. Well which of us knows what that is.
: How are you getting on with Bernard?
: How should we be getting on? We don't talk much.
: Mike you have to...
: I don't have to do anything. He's a pig.
: Stop it.
: How's the world supposed to change if one of the three of us is happy to leave things as they are?
: He made a mistake, Mike.
: Yes, course he did. Maybe this Elengi has just made a mistake too.
: That's not the same thing. And you know it.
: You'd think they'd keep the chat short with the upcoming curfew, but no.
: Should we just quit this job?
: It's the last one we're doing anyway.
: You say that like we've lost already.
: Have you already thought about what we're going to do if we ever get away from here.
: I don't even remember most of this conversation. I think, I went to get a mug of tea when the empty beach showed up.
: (is silent)
: Here's Bernie. We'll talk again tomorrow, OK?
: I hope so.
: The game probably expected me to make the call on the beach. They had the camera and the script ready. Only Cathryn wasn't there.
: At least I can still interact with the hotspots.
: So I go past the immigration & curfew officer...
: ...pick up Cathryn's body and enter the town for the night.
P.S. Here's the video of the evening checkpoint meeting. What accents are they doing?