Part 25: Brother Crocodile vs. Brother Eagle
Chapter 24: Brother Crocodile vs. Brother Eagle
Gabriel marches into the Voodoo museum as bravely and dumbly as he can. He's not really sure how much the Voodoo cult realizes he knows at this point. After the snake attack and the half-dead present in his storefront this is a lot more risky, but it's possible Dr. John honestly does think he's that stupid.
Dr. John seems entirely distracted today and perhaps even more indifferent to Gabriel than usual. He buries his nose in his book while Gabriel looks around.
Gabriel wanders around the place, looking for something that he can hide the tracker on. Dr. John pays almost no attention at all while Gabriel browses the artifacts.
After a short while, he spots the perfect opportunity in the tiny coffin by the door. After a quick check to make sure Dr. John isn't watching...
Dr. John seems weary of Gabriel, but not overly suspicious. He didn't seem to notice the signal tracker at all.
Can't just assume he's going to take the sekey madoulé, though.
Crap, he seems to be in a hurry. Better figure out what to do quick. Not that Gabriel really could have convinced him through casual conversation.
After leaving the museum, Gabriel shuffles through his mounds of crap to try and get some ideas. He looks at the translated code from the grave site:
DJ conclave tonight bring fwetkash
A flash of inspiration hits him. He's missing a few letters, but it's still worth a shot. Gabriel's next stop: St. Louis Cemetery #1.
There's good ol' Watchman Toussaint Gervais, still raking. There aren't even any leaves on the ground. It must be a compulsion.
The watchman is still doing the same old thing, but something here has changed.
Gabriel immediately whips out his sketchbook.
It occurs to him he should have probably gotten a full key for the code rather than just what that particular message said, but hopefully there are enough letters in common that it won't be a problem.
DJ keep e?es on GK b?t do not har?
No need to go to Moonbeam for this one. ALSO THIS MIGHT HAVE BEEN MORE HELPFUL YESTERDAY.
This will come in handy for writing the message.
Gabriel pretends to inspect some pottery until Gervais wanders out of sight.
Gabriel rubs out the current message with his jacket sleeve and prepares to write his own.
The interface for writing the message is pretty simple. You can flip between the two previous messages and select letters for Gabriel to write down. If you screw it up you can either delete it one letter at a time or you can exit out and Gabriel will wipe the whole thing clean.
This puzzle is a dead end for a lot of people. It's very clever -- probably a little too clever -- and it holds up to scrutiny a lot better than that goddamn clock, but it still requires you to fit far too many scattershot bits of knowledge together. In the end, you have just the right set of letters to write the perfect message:
DJ conclave tonight bring sekey madoule
There's some flexibility, so if you just write "DJ bring sekey madoule" that'll work too.
Nothing more to be done about that; it's up to Dr. John now. Just in case this works, Gabriel's going to need just one more thing. Hopefully Grace is willing to go along with it.
When Gabriel arrives at the shop, Grace is buried in her work.
The real reason, of course, is that Crash said you need the tattoo to get anywhere near the cult; if Gabriel showed up at the ritual without it, he definitely wouldn't make it back. Since crashing the cult's party is the exact opposite of what Grace wants Gabriel to do, he'll have to improvise.
Grace's voice perks up venomously with the word "Malia." Girl can hold a grudge. It still sounds better than the truth, so let's roll with it.
That's a good question. Gabriel appeals to Grace's innate kindness.
Whoa damn that didn't work. Still, it did give him a nice opening. Gabriel turns on the charm one more horrifying time.
Grace handles this as well as can be expected.
And that's the tale of how Gabriel Knight used his awful slimy smugness to get a girl to paint his chest.
And then he forgets to turn it off when he gets his way.
The two march over to Gabriel's bed, Grace pissed and Gabriel grinning like a buffoon.
Gabriel has his shirt off within about two seconds.
He sits on the edge of the bed while Grace readies her supplies.
That finally shut him up.
Gabriel remains mercifully silent while Grace paints the snake onto him.
Huh. All right. Gabriel pulls his shirt back on, being careful not to smear the paint.
Grace heads back to her desk without another word, leaving Gabriel to his own devices.
Gabriel spends some time to think it over, ultimately deciding he's as ready as he ever will be. It's time to head out to the bayou and see what's up. He leaves shortly before sundown.
Grace watches him suspiciously as he leaves, but doesn't say anything else.
Bayou St. John is as spooky and oppressive as ever. Gabriel fights the urge to get the hell out of there and readies the tracking device.
The blip is showing the signal device due east, and not too far from here. Looks like Dr. John took the bait! Gabriel follows the signal into the creepy swamp.
It doesn't take long before he starts feeling disoriented.
The signal seems to bounce in all directions, one moment directly ahead of him and one moment coming from somewhere behind him. He grits his teeth and tries to follow it as best he can.
Gabriel keeps wandering off the wrong way, but steadily the blip approaches the center. After what feels like hours, but can't have been more than ten minutes...
Just off in the clearing, Gabriel can see the cult members dancing and drumming, though it doesn't seem like the festivities have really started yet. Nobody in the circle has seen him yet.
This is the moment of truth -- Gabriel can back out now, ignore his heritage, and move away -- maybe out of the country. Or he can step into the clearing and find out exactly what he's up against.
Gabriel chooses the much less safe option.
Gabriel takes off most of his clothes, his fake tattoo still fresh and clear.
He pulls out the crocodile mask and places it on his head.
With some trepidation, and more than one glance at the skulls hanging from the tree, he steps into view.
Cult members dressed as animals litter the clearing. The bonfire rage. Off on the other side of the circle, a goat calmly observes all of this.
Dr. John, standing near the vévé and gloriously painted as an eagle (although the game graphics don't make this too clear), immediately notices Gabriel's entrance. After a check that everything's in place -- snake tattoo, crocodile mask -- he greets Gabriel warmly.
Dr. John eyes Gabriel suspiciously. He's already acting kind of loopy, but he still seems to almost recognize Gabriel's voice.
Oh, so it's a quiz now? Good thing Gabriel came prepared.
Thank you, Dr. Hartridge, you poor insufferable dead bastard.
Dr. John turns away, no longer interested in Brother Crocodile. Gabriel watches as the festivities really begin.
A woman dressed as a leopard walks into the center of the clearing, carrying a couple of live chickens by the neck.
She begins dancing in a circle, squeezing hard and waving the chickens around, much to their displeasure.
When she's done with the chickens, Dr. John pulls his snake out of the nearby cage.
She begins dancing even more wildly with the snake while Dr. John prepares some sort of powder.
The powder hits Gabriel hard, swiftly impairing his motor functions.
He sees in his mind the two rings of fire from his latest dream.
Reeling, Gabriel takes off his mask and stares intently at the leopard woman as she dances with a khu-bha-sah.
The images from the dream and what he sees in real life begin to blur. And the leopard woman looks ... familiar.
He rushes in and reaches for her mask.
Suddenly, Malia changes.
The last thing Gabriel remembers before slipping into darkness is a hand reaching for his arm.
Wolfgang assesses the situation in Chapter 25: Grace Nakimura vs. Travel Plans!
46. You know what else they say? No. (Dailymotion) (Youtube)
47. This party's getting a little weird. (Dailymotion) (Youtube)