Part 22: PRAISE BE THE WORM!
Last time, the Creeper reemerged, and is now infecting everyone. Sinister! Today we take a slight detour from the seriousness of this revelation. I hope you're feeling particularly...
: The guys that deserted Greyfield's army were heading to a town called Salvation.
: That's a weird name.
: Yeah, well, this place is special.
: What rubbish! What unscientific balderdash! Who would ever believe such nonsense?! Our hope lies in science, not some snake-oil-peddling witch doctor! Only slow, painstaking researching can hope to present us with a cure.
: Easy for you to say, sawbones! You ain't got the Green Thumb! And what if ya did have it? Huh? I suppose you'd just sit in your lab and run tests, yeah? Maybe read some books or somethin'? Well, nuts to that! I'd do anything I could to get cured, even if it sounded crazy.
: Yes, I am afraid that this is simply a refuge for desperate, gullible people... There is no scientific explanation for this. ...Magical cures. What rubbish!
???: Praise him, my children!
Who the Hell is that!?
: ...What in the world was that?!
Oh. Well then.
: Where's that voice coming from?!
: There are loudspeakers set up around the village.
I see cities. Cities have power. We never questioned this before, Lin.
: Do you believe in magic, my children? Do you seek a cure for your illness? The Worm demands sacrifice! Only then will you be cured! You must spill blood in the name of the Worm! Only then will you be free!
MASTER OF OBSERVATION.
: I don't like this one bit. This kind of fanaticism is completely outside my field of expertise.
: There's something on the radar... Something big. It's coming this way.
: What's wrong, Gage? Feeling jealous of my awesome commanding skills?
Yeah Gage, jealous she blew up a gatling turret? I would be. That's awesome.
: I think that mob is going to attack us.
: Poor guys. That disease is driving them insane. This is going to be a weird battle. Is that why you want command?
: We can't afford to hesitate. It could give the enemy a chance. Will and his men may have concerns about fighting armed civilians. But I do not. I am a soldier, and I will do what is necessary. Brenner's Wolves saved us. I will take command to repay my debt.
Gage takes command here, as he mentioned. Good enough, since I still like his theme.
Anyway, here's what we're looking at. We have a minor force in the south, our strongest unit being a tank in the west. The Fanatic, meanwhile, has a war tank, out of ammo and almost out of fuel (10 units left), along with a slew of varying health infantry and mechs. I like this, given he's gotten a bevy of infected people, of course they're going to be weakened.
There is, for the observant, a new building. Well, "new". Missile silos are an old staple, coming from Advance Wars 2, and continue to be unchanged. You don't capture them, you simply send an infantry, mech or bike over to the building, select "launch", and fire a missile that has the same radius as a flare shot (13 tiles, or a two tile radius). This missile deals 3 damage to ALL units in the radius, yours or the enemy's.
First though, we have a couple silos out of range in the west. We need to secure those. The Fanatic has two up north, and those will already be devastating enough to our forces.
Staying out of tank range is pretty critical. We're at a disadvantage numbers wise, last thing we need to do is give an opening shot away.
The bike in the south, meanwhile, takes advantage of a close spawn silo of our own, and targets a mass that includes the war tank.
One small touch I like happens to be that the ground darkens at the spot the missile hits. 3HP off a war tank is nothing to scoff at, and I'm fairly happy in this hit.
I demand more blood (in the name of the Worm!), however, and target a bunch of infantry and a tank with a second strike.
Smells like napalm. I love it.
The Fanatic thoroughly shelled, I end the first day. Some friends are with the Fanatic, however.
: I dont't wanna die! I don't wanna die! I always sided with the winning team! I did my best to protect myself! But look at me now! LOOK AT ME!
: I've seen what the Green Thumb does to people! I've seen the flowers! I got the mark, man! I got the damn mark!
: Wait! What mark?!
: I saw it! With my own eyes! Once the mark appears on your flesh, the flowers start to blossom... They're gonna burst, man! Gonna burst right outta me!
: Davis! Calm down! We're here to help you!
: I don't wanna die! I don't wanna die!
He's gone from snivelling kissass to batshit insane. It's a marked improvement. I guess the Creeper isn't all bad.
The Fanatic has no theme of his own, and gets the generic "no CO" music.
So, remember how I said the Fanatic has two silos up north?
Silos hurt when stacked on each other. The enemy tank in the east chipped at the recon, only to lose 1 HP in retaliation. Not the best plan.
I'm going to deal with the east first. To begin, the recon takes out this mech. No sense leaving that strength in the enemy's hands.
Once again, 3 HP off a war tank is always a good thing. Given I have no easy way of killing it, anyway.
In the west, the tank attacks the enemy mech.
Still not a waste.
Especially since this can now happen. Good bye biggest threat to me.
Time to clean up a little chaff. This mech dies first.
Boxing in this tank, with luck he'll attack close enough that the mech can retaliate. Bike that fired the first missile also moves up to assist in killing.
: Stop it! You're insane! None of this will cure the virus!
: You say it will do nothing... But who will believe you? NO ONE! My children need a cure! They need their precious hope! Would you steal that from them? My children need hope to live!
: ...Wait. So you don't believe what you're saying? Why would you fool people?
: I fool no one! They want to believe! This world is cold and hard! I give them peace!
: So I gave them hope! I gave them... Salvation! Who would not choose to live in a dream over this cruel world?
I like that he is completely and utterly rational. He's not insane, he's just THAT devoted to making people's deaths easier on them.
: Without my Worm, all these people would have perished from grief.
But but but... where there's life, there's hope!
: But it's wrong!
: No! It is YOU who are wrong! You demand that people face reality! That's why you must be wiped out... You know the truth. Take up your weapons, my children! The Worm demands it!
With that discussion done, let's take a look at the situation. First, our tank is dead. The Fanatic's isn't. That's a problem we need to fix quickly if we want a shot at winning the west fight. The east is looking pretty solid right now.
This should help out a little.
We'll get the bike out of the way of our mech attacking the tank, and take out another Fanatic unit in the process.
Now, the tank dies, evening out the west a little.
Finally, the lonely infantry gets taken out.
Over to the east, I make a quick prayer to the Worm, and attack the other tank with my bike.
Well then. Guess I'm solidly in the camp of Wormion.
Recon begins a rampage that will likely be unending.
And the infantry gets veteran status while killing off a weak Fanatical infantry.
Sacrifice is made, and one of our infantry plays bait to lure the Fanatic down a little.
First though, the bikes begin chasing down that mech up north.
Then the mech that killed the war tank comes up and attacks the infantry in the center.
Damaged infantry finishes the job.
Sometimes plans don't always pan out. Behind the join button, the recon couldn't kill off the infantry. I'm now clearing space to let the bike come in and kill the infantry.
Like so. I want my high health units to be getting the experience, as that makes killing easier, and also will help boost the power score at the end.
Things are looking quite well for us now.
The Fanatic advances on us. I'm not afraid of this.
Veteran infantry gets his shots in.
Bike weakens the mech
And recon finishes off the infantry, gaining veteran in the process.
Mechs join together.
Enemy mech suicides on our recon, and the infantry healing on the HQ makes a break for our HQ? I think? He's running SOMEWHERE.
First, I'm dealing with the mech up north. Bike takes first shot.
Recon should be able to finish this.
But doesn't. Damn. There's an extra turn.
I join up the bikes, to ensure no silliness happens up there.
The mech intercepts the infantry, and almost kills him.
My remaining bike snipes the kill.
Let's see what the priority is here. Life, or feebly attempting to save the HQ?
Turns out, HQ capturing infantry, no matter how many units you have left, and the capturing unit's HP compared to yours wins out. Sweet, sweet suicide.
: We don't need that kind of salvation.
We sure don't, Gage. We got Dr. Morris, and Will, and a whole load of bullets!
: And we have located this worm that they claimed would save them.
: Is he the one behind all of this?
I'm genuinely curious as to what renders Lin speechless.
: ...There's no one here. Where is he? Where is the Worm?
: Right there. In the corner.
: Wait, but that's...
: According to the villagers, this is the one and only Worm. The one that was supposed to save them from the Creeper.
: But it's... It's just...
: They were prepared to kill for that?!
: Once people lose all hope, they become willing to believe anything. Let's go. There's nothing here for us.
: Who will save us now? Who can we believe in? What's the use of going on?
: Oh ho ho! My friends, please! You mustn't give up so easily!
Spoken out loud, there is a "u" in surrender. This only works when written, Morris.
: What's that supposed to mean? You were lied to! The mark has appeared on skin, and now the flowers will blossom!
: Wait! Wait, listen to me! I'm a doctor! I will find a cure for this plague! I need you to hold on to your hope!
: You're a doctor...?
: He can cure us!
: Hurry up! Cure me! Cure me! I don't want to die! Cure me!
: I'm sorry, but it's not that simple. I am looking for a cure. I haven't found one yet. You'll have to be patient.
: How can we be patient?!
: I am just a human being. I don't perform magic, and I can't cure you instantly. I won't tell you what you want to hear or make false promises I can't keep. I offer no guarantees. Only hope. In truth, some of you will perish before I am able to find a cure.
: That's no good!
: But I do promise you this! I promise that I will never give up.
Hippocratic oath isn't dead yet, folks!
: Trust me. Be patient. Try to hold on until I can find a care.
: It's OK, Doctor. Go to your work. I'll make sure these people are comfortable.
: I think I know what he was talking about.
: Oh yeah?
: There's a diamond-shaped mark on my left shoulder.
: And if I'm right, my flowers will bloom soon. Not very comforting, huh?
: Oh, Lin.
: We'll find this mark on some of the infected. But it probably doesn't appear until late... I'm running out of time.
: OK, so we work harder! We help Dr. Morris, and we work to--
: Why won't you leave, Will? Why won't you go? Are you trying to prove something? I know I asked you to be our commander, but this is beyond duty. It's suicide. No one doubts your commitment or your courage. Go, Will. Go. Walk away and don't look back. We'll be OK.
: No. Not after all this. I'm not staying here to sacrifice myself, Lin, or to be...noble or make a point or something. I'm staying here to help. Where there's life, there's hope. I believe that. And if I run, I... I take that hope from everyone. Does that make sense?
: ...Brenner had you pegged from the start.
Oh no! Lin!
Nothing too fancy, probably just anoth---
No. NO. I am NOT doing this! I'm going to go build a flame ram and take a keep in Guild Wars 2. Charge into a fray with dual shotguns and a strogn chance of not using bullets in Borderlands 2! Fuck THIS.