Part 76: Part Seventy-Six: White SeeD Ship of DreamsPart Seventy-Six: White SeeD Ship of Dreams
So. Funny thing about being asked to do something: it doesn't mean you actually have to do it.
Case in point: instead of leaving, we're going to hassle all these White SeeDs.
White SeeD: There's nothing I can tell you. I'm sorry.
They're not particularly receptive.
Even the children won't tell us anything.
Really, one of the only things we can do around the place right now is take in this view of the moon at sunset.
White SeeD: If he doesn't want to talk about it, well, we can't, either.
A lot of people have something new to say if you talk to them a second time, but it's still generally not that helpful.
Damn, I know this kid knows something about Ellone but she just won't break...
Boy: (He might make me leave, and I can't swim so I would drown.)
What are the odds that the White SeeD leader would actually kill a kid for talking to Squall?
White SeeD: I guess it made us a bit testy after you mentioned Ellone.
I guess that makes sense. This boat exists to keep Ellone hidden, so to have some guy just waltz up and ask to take her away might ruffle some feathers.
There's also a kid on this part of the ship (you can see him in the previous screenshot) who is fucking psyched to talk to someone.
The other kids were pretty reserved, but this guy is goin' nuts about some weirdo hassling him for no reason.
As soon as you go towards the aft of the ship, you see this guy.
Yeah. It's been a while.
And there's the other half of the two-man act.
Zone: Squall, how's it goin'?
Watts: Can't believe you're here! Everybody doin' good, sir?
These two are happy to see the B-Team again. I wonder how they ended up on this boat. Weren't they supposed to be laying low or something?
But how did you get on the boat? Timber's not a port.
Oh holy shit.
Zone: Hey, it was a plan. All you were doing was whining like a big baby. 'We're gonna die, we're gonna die!' And look who jumped in first! You, you numbnuts!
This is a pretty sudden reminder that nobody expected Rinoa to be fighting with Squall's team. She was there by choice, sure, but part of Squall's job was to protect her.
: For some reason, she went unconscious after the fight. She's resting in the Garden now.
Sure, Squall didn't do anything wrong on the "protecting Rinoa" front, but something happened.
: I don't know what happened. We couldn't protect her. I'm...I'm sorry.
This is another important moment for Squall, even though it's not huge in the plot. He has to go outside his comfort zone and explain this situation. And the player knows it's not Squall's fault or something he could have stopped, but that's not how this works.
Zone is pissed.
This is a pretty real moment from a comic relief character we haven't seen for 20 hours. It's one of those things that the leader of SeeD would logically have to confront all the time, but is usually just ignored for the sake of narrative convenience.
Thankfully, before it comes to blows, Watts steps in as the voice of reason.
Watts: She's not dead. They just dunno what's wrong with her, that's all. Ain't that right, sir? Squall would never give up on her. Am I right, sir?
He defends Squall to Zone here, but there's still that question at the end, the request for confirmation.
This is half the truth.
And this is pretty much just blind optimism. I feel like it looks even flimsier than normal when he says it out loud as a way of explaining his actions.
It does give Watts a bit of ammo, though.
Watts: She promised she would come back! We all have to free Timber together. Don't worry, sir!
It defuses the immediate situation, but Zone's still pretty pissed about the whole thing.
At this point, Zone goes back upstairs. Let's follow him.
This guy must be the navigator. He also lays out what to do next, in case you were confused.
He also explains what Zone does around the place.
I'm not convinced, but to each their own.
At least Zone here is getting something out of the whole thing.
Zone: It's tough. With trains, you just have to worry about stayin' on the track. But with ships, oh man. You gotta worry about the entire sea.
Dude, whatever, you can just crash into shit all the time. Works for us.
Talking to Zone a third time, he gets very excited about something.
Oh, he's excited about the porno rag we picked up at the Timber Maniacs office forever ago.
(Also, I'm imagining Quistis chatting with the navigator about navigatin' here.)
Can you believe this guy? He wants my useless porno I stole!
Wow, rude. Now I see why I didn't give you that magazine.
Or we can make him pay for it.
Zone really wants this magazine, so he'll do it.
Ultimately, though, the right thing to do is just let the man have your smut.
Not only does this make him very excited,
he also gives you crap in return.
Afterwards, he's just happy to have something other than the sea to look at.
And hey, there's even some substitute reading material (a Timber Maniacs) over here! Everyone wins!
Now we're going outside, to converse with the next generation of White SeeD about the merits of sunshine.
Sunshine-Liking Girl: Watts told me sunshine is good for you.
Over here is a man, sitting in the shade and complaining about the dark.
Shade-Lamenting Guy: It's gettin' too cold to sit out here these days. My sister doesn't catch colds anymore since we sit in the sun, but now I think I'm getting the sniffles. It's probably because I always sit on this side, in the shade. I don't know why I keep doing that.
Well, I hope you work out what you wanna do with your life, dude.
Finally, while we're here, we can talk to Watts for some information about crap.
Watts: So far, I've only seen kids and guys our age.
I don't think it was ever discussed before, but I suppose it makes sense for Watts and Squall to be around the same age.
He tells you two things for each option. This is the second tidbit about the ship.
Watts: Me and Zone are orphans, too, so we all kinda understand each other.
Zone and I.
Watts: Sometimes, the little ones look lonely, and that's always tough to watch.
I was being flippant earlier, but I really do think that the younger kids are meant to be the next White SeeDs. Kind of fucked up to keep little kids on this boat orphanage, training them to be soldiers.
But that is a worry for another day. Let's ask about Ellone.
If the leader won't tell us, maybe Watts will.
Watts: Oh, you mean that pretty girl, sir? She left when some other ships came.
So, uh, we came all the way to the ass end of nowhere to look for these guys who only exist to keep Ellone safe, and she's fucked off on some other boat.
Yeah, I wouldn't want to explain that to anyone else, either.
: What other ships? Who were they?
Good questions both.
Son of a bitch.
This concerns Squall, because Esthar and Ellone have a pretty bad history. So bad, in fact, that this entire ship and the organisation running it were created to keep them separate from each other.
Good job, White SeeD.
Watts: I don't know, sir. But I think she was smiling as she left.
Squall with another good question.
And, of course, the answer we've been coming to all game. It's really wearing on him to not know what's happening at this point. Frustrating for the player, too, because you keep getting close to answers just to have them snatched away.
Ellone is very popular.
Watts: She was the one who found us in the water. We would've drowned if it weren't for her. She made us feel welcome, too. She talked to us a lot when we first came onboard.
Zone and Watts were picked up by the White SeeDs after they picked up Ellone, then.
Watts: I'm sure everybody's really worried about her.
Why didn't they stop her from being taken by Esthar, then?
That's all he's got to tell us about Ellone, so let's ask about the leader.
Watts: He gets really serious when it comes to Ellone. He can be harsh at times, but he's actually a good guy, sir.
Sounds like someone I know.
Watts: He helps a lot of people who are in trouble.
Hopefully he can help us, too.
That's all we can learn from Watts for now.
So let's see what we can find out down here.