Part 27: GraceI CAN BARELY CONTAIN MYSELF
TO FINALLY FALL
FROM GRACE or whatever I don't know.
I mean, surely we've done that LONG before now.
But one thing we DIDN'T do?
of course, we can't actually say no without being a huge jerk about it.
We could have gone with like "well, I hope my wife does well with this treatment, let's talk about her, I love her a lot", but no.
We've just gotta be mean.
There's a lesson here about emotional intimacy. Even if nothing Henry actually did could be truly considered capital-c cheating, clearly there's an attraction and a bond here, just because of these long talks.
If we weren't remote-controlling Henry, if he had no discipline, like his character naturally wouldn't, it could easily go the other way, from harmless beginnings. A lesson to learn, if you aren't Henry!
Also, a minor point: if we return to the therapist's office:
And yet the poor soul in the library goes undiscovered and unmourned. Tsk!
And now, on to the meat of things:
We elected, of course, to Not Mention the Nightmares, and I agree, that is 100% what Henry would do.
- Excellent news, then proceed we shall!
This will be great for company morale.
- Get your wife Grace into our medical trial ward.
I'd like to show her to the members of the board.
...uhhhhh heh. Ah heh. She uh.
She's.... sic-no wait. She's... look she has a MILD case of insanity, but it's... probably... unrelated!
Just shock from... getting better! So quickly!
Ahahaha Henry, you're screeeeeewed!
- But first clear out your old office,
go pack up everything you need.
There will be unlimited funds,
to ensure you'll succeed.
- What are you all still standing there for? Hop to it everyone!
For a project like this, there's no such thing as cost overrun!
Ohhh don't tell Henry that. He'll be charging a mansion by the end of TODAY.
Also, note that Henry's demands for a public apology melted immediately. Not that he doesn't WANT one, but I'm sure he's too timid to actually ask for one.
I know it normally isn't CEO-level management's immediate task to hand out roles, deliniate roles, or do anything like that but...
I don't know, maybe we should at least talk about our next steps? Are we going to... start production?
He mentioned the medical trial ward at least so... I guess we're... going to give more pills to people? Which we still need to figure out how to get more of...
oh I give up. Sure. Let's go move our stuff and then, uh...
Figure out something with Grace.
Everybody shuffles out and we fade to black.
Nothingg to do now, but head to the office...
Where the phone immediately rings.
A new old lady! Who's really saucy! Alright lady, you've got my attention.
- Yes this is Henry speaking, who can this be?
I can't talk for long, I'm very busy you see.
- My name is Mrs. Harris, my son worked there but recently died...
He was the chief of security, the one that always stole and lied...
Uh... uh... yes let's focus on how he was bad, and not on, say... other things!
Also, I really thought Harris was his first name. My dad isn't "Mr. Bacter", as awesome as that would be.
- Oh... Mrs. Harris, I'm so sorry for your-
- No need to be sorry boy, I'm sure he got what was coming.
My son was not a good person, with many a shortcoming.
Ohhh little Harris. Always chloroforming his teddy bears and torturing the neighborhood kids.
I guess we're nature, not nurture
Also, I mean, she HAS to know you did it, right? Otherwise why is she calling?
- I'm calling with a warning, he and an associate wanted to blackmail you.
With footage of you handing drugs to the receptionist, could that be true?
So... the security cameras WERE working?
So they saw us doing... everything that we did in the main area? Entering the IT room before the 3rd floor feed cuts out? Getting thrown out by Harris?
Then Harris shows up dead, we're still around, and we have what we need from the 3rd floor?
I mean, if nobody cares nobody cares, but it really seems like we're trying to keep wraps on this. It's just... that we haven't... at all.
I mean, I'm with Henry on this one. What a bizarre conversation.
- Now I don't approve of drugs, but neither do I approve of blackmail.
The tapes are in a safe in the IT room, that's all I know in detail.
That's... more than I'd think you'd know?
"Hi mom! New uniform's already smelling like chloroform ha ha!"
"Oh Harris, I wish you'd stop all that torture."
"Shut up hag. Anyway, this idiot who I personally know to be on the very edge of poverty had cocaine in the office, so I'm going to blackmail him."
"Oh HARRIS, cocaine is one thing, but BLACKMAIL? Perish forbid!"
"Ha ha yeah. Anyway, the tapes are in the IT room. Also, I have an associate, but never you mind his identity! It probably won't come up!"
"You're despicable, my son. The second I hear that you die for any reason, I'm CALLING this Henry!"
"Alright mom, see you Wednesday."
- It'll be in your best interest to get your hands on those tapes real quick.
I'm sorry for my son's behavior, to put it lightly, he was always a dick...
Yeah, IFFG with perfectly normal human conversations. The 'ol classic "mom of a dead bad guy calling the guy he was going to blackmail for drugs because she didn't like her son."
Actually, a minor digression - I don't much like this little mini-segment at all.
We've already dealt with desperately trying to keep our misdeeds under wraps, we're hitting the real end-game, and Grace is going downhill fast.
We have to get this tape and just destroy it, and it kind of grinds the action to a halt. A LOT.
...we know where the tapes are.
- A note next to it reads "Putting all complete backups in the safe is key.
Hand them to the IT Manager who has access - he's in room 403."
So up we go.
Oh darn, the door is locked. Well, guess we're at a total stymie...
Boy. What a huge series of coincidences.
The game REALLY wants us to have to break in here. We're only doing it because the mom of the guy we murdered called us out of nowhere to tell us about the tapes, and then because this lady happened to be standing by, ready to tell us that the IT manager is on vacation, so the tapes are still somehow worthwhile, since he hasn't seen them.
She then walks away forever...
- I noticed the water tastes like water again.
The new ones are cleaned, now and then.
- I'm not sure if that makes me feel better or worse.
That old building was always a dreadful curse.
And once we listen to the old coots settling into their new environment (aren't they department heads or something?)...
We walk 10 feet away from them and
...use our snake cam? Yes, we have to. I guess we... force it under the door?
BOY those watercooler guys do not give a CRAP.
As promised, it's a room with a lot of notes.
- Those are A LOT of post-it notes all over the place...
Not long before they'll run out of space!
- I need to get in there to see if that safe combination is written down.
But the IT manager has gone for an extended trip out of town...
Yeah, we KNOW. They just told us.
- I can't see through walls, or thorugh this door.
How could I get a close up look to see more?
Ok, so at this point you're just totally stymied, with no clues anywhere, until you figure out a long chain of things.
This game has been pretty good about being not too adventure-gamey so far. That comes to a screeching halt NOW.
You're probably thinking "oh, telescope! Got it!"
But no, the telescope just shows the blank window.
The TRICK is, now that this event has happened, something has magically changed in the office.
Don't know what it is? That's because it has no reason to have changed. But in fact, if we head back to the office of the language translator...
YEAH, BECAUSE OF YOU. Henry is such a master of deflection that I have to remind MYSELF that he's doing it after a while.
Now, what to do with this plane?
Well, what you have to understand is that this is no ordinary plane. Oh no.
...is made... (no this won't work just anywhere outside, you have to specifically use the RC plane on the transformers )
Now, I know what you're thinking. Same thing I did.
No WAY. No way does an RC plane break reinforced office window glass. It bounces right off! It's not JET POWERED, it's got a little bitty propeller!
I got stuck in a TREE.
But to that, I can only say...
Read it and WEEP
From here, we just got and collect.
YOU PICKED UP INCRIMINATING SECURITY FOOTAGE
- With that sorted, I should go check on Grace.
I miss feeling her loving and warm embrace.
Also I've been ignoring her studiously for years, and ALMOST just eloped with a rando grocery store clerk, but sure, I miss her deeply, devoted husband that I am.
I... really have no idea what to make of this sequence.
I've kind of already identified my complaints, but:
1) We've already established PRETTY well that this is a giant amoral company. I guarantee they wouldn't fire a guy who was going to make them billions over some cocaine. OR murder, probably. I mean, they employ Dorris!
2) This whole sequence relies on basically one bizarre coincidental event after another: That Harris' MOM calls us, that the office of the guy is written on the wall, that the lady happened to be around to tell us about the vacation and THEN left forever, that the RC plane could break through a window, and that there was a random telescope tripod out back.
3) It also REALLY screeches the action to a halt: this is the most adventure-gamey that I've seen the game get, with a lot of mandatory, hard-to-find items (the telescope is in some random office, the RC plane suddenly appears out of nowhere), you would never think of using the plane on the transformers specifically)
4) Right at a time when we should be hyper-focused on both our career and Grace's decline.
5) It really adds nothing to the plot. Harris is already dead, and his 'associate' never comes up again. It's just this weird problem that materializes out of nowhere to waste an hour of our time, then disappears forever. OH WELL
Let's head home, and ACTUALLY start the endgame!
I keep expecting that the whole house is going to be covered in blood or something, so it's nice to see that she's just breathing heavily and chilling by the couch.
I don't know if he means like... impossibly oily? Or is he just being a jerk about her skin care, because she's too insane to shower? With Henry, I genuinely have no idea.
- Grace, are you listening to me?
Would you like a nice cup of tea?
Things are going great at the Henry household!
Have the kind children spoken to you?
They're watching everything you do...
Well, I did two moral things in the past few days, so tell 'em to shove off!
Their way of speaking is very amusing.
Though at times it can get a bit confusing...
yeah that's... how they talked. Later, of course. When they were talking about flesh. When they merged!
Why don't we ask Grace what her nightmares are about, in detail? That REALLY SEEMS like it'd be an important thing to do!
Like it REALLY DOES MAN.
They've promised to look after you.
They'll hold your hand and guide you through...
- That's great, but we need to go.
You don't have to get dressed.
We're going to see Dr. Richards,
he's gonna help you get some rest.
Why are we not worried what he's going to think about her!
We lied about the side effects, and now EVERYBODY IS GOING TO SEE THEM.
Also, "oh honey shut up" is VERY NOT the tack to be taking right now, Henry m'dude!
These kids MURDERED YOUR THERAPIST. This isn't something we can honestly ignore - it's obviously a real thing!
Grace is breathing super heavily and quickly through this part. It's kind of anxiety-inducing, actually. One more moment the game gets right.
Ok... I like Dr. Richards so that'll be fine.
I hope he'll be allowed to keep his spine.
:catstaret: yes I... also do...
Ok! Nothing more to process here!
FADE TO BLACK, AND BACK TO....
We must be in the medical trial patient ward.
Grace is in the sterile cleanroom, and it looks like they gave her a cat
It's little tail is wagging, and, as long as it's not the one that kind of murdered the guy in the city, it is SO ADORABLE.
- I theorize it's the rapid change that has her confused.
A shock to the body no doubt, she seems so bemused.
Yeah, that's how I'd describe weeping constantly and screaming my name while talking about transcendent knowledge.
Also that's a stupid theory. I mean, it's the optimistic thing, but you aren't really allowed to do that in medical trials. "Patient has gone insane, but probably just because, like, the cure works SO WELL".
EVEN HENRY HAS A HARD TIME BELIEVING IT!
- I'm worried she won't be able to recover her wonderful mind.
To any kind of knowledge or reason, she seem [sic] to have gone blind.
You're WHAT? This sure didn't come up earlier!
But actually, taking a step back, I really don't mind this. Henry is... this bizarre combination of driven and lazy. That's what makes him hateable, but the driven part is what made him push the pill on Grace. Stupidity and irresponsibilty got him to where he would know TO push it on her but still. He was willing to throw it all away for a chance in the limelight, and now... is he... maybe not liking it as much as he thought? Now that Grace is maybe broken? Is he... having... CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT?! It must be the end of the world!
- She'll be alright eventually, she just needs to catch up on her sleep.
We've got some strong sleepers here, much better than counting sheep.
Shows a clinical imporovement of 150% over sheepcounts. I'm sure he's putting on a brave face, but still. KIND of early for this speculation, dude!
- Go in and talk to her, she'll need a familiar face.
This isn't exactly a warm and welcoming place.
Oh I don't know, it seems ok. Sterile? Maybe I don't mind that as much as some people do.
- Here, take this badge with clearance to the ward. Come and go as you please - the access logs are ignored.
YOU PICKED UP A KEY CARD WITH ACCESS TO THE MEDICAL TRIALS WARD
Kind of makes you wonder why they... HAVE access logs then, huh?
You know, I know we're worried about Grace but like...
What's... our job now? I mean we're in charge of this "initiative" but like... why? What skills do we have? Did everybody just take our word that we somehow made this stuff? Are we... going to make any more of it?
Surely, we should have at least one person wanting to have a meeting with us!
Oh well, let's comfort Grace as best we can.
Right it's not so much her VITALS that worry me...
(Also, I'll take "things that would never ever ever be in a sterile medical patient trial ward. A hospital maybe, I guess? Not an ICU, and for SURE not here.)
Can you do anything about murderous psychic unborn children?
You can't talk to any of the doctors, but...
- Your breathing is quite rapid still,
have they given you anything to chill?
Do you want some cocaine? A cursed skull? I can get you anything, babe.
Ugh. You know, I understand you might be feeling morbid, Henry, but come on. I'm pretty sure it's just there for new patients.
ALSO, why are people dying off in this pharmaceutical company's office? Shouldn't this be like... outpatient stuff?
I mean, ok, some of you know, my mom died of cancer earlier this year. There were absolutely experimental treatments that we were going to try, and if one was in a big pharmaceutical office, that would be one thing. But like... she wouldn't have been KPET there. If she was close to dying, she'd be in the ICU, or at home. I would want a full medical team at a hospital if she was that close (which is what she got), and like... whatever the treatment is, they can do it AT the hospital.
Oh well. I DO appreciate not having to drive anywhere else, the load times are kind of brutal in this game.
Ok. That's it for this room, nothing to do but head home for the ni-
ahhhh here we go. The ancient secret phrase, she's now screaming! Good!
This startles the medical team, who gather around.
Ah yes. It "sounds like Aramaic". I'm PRETTY sure you would say, I don't know, it sounds like "arabic" or "hebrew". If you can pick out aramaic SPECIFICALLY, well... you're another ancient language specialist, aren't you! Admit it! I knew it! This company doesn't do real research at all, it's just a cover for people with useless degrees!
Ha ha ha yeah probably. Probably you should.
This would be a great time to mention the note that caused the language guy to hang himself, but... ah no it wouldn't They wouldn't know how to respond, and Henry is NOT torpedoing his one chance like that.
Or start screaming in tongues, apparently!
Yeah, don't worry. We'll isolate what in her blood is causing her to shriek in either Aramaic or Japanese. It's a simple test!
So we just scoot on home, in our way that we're accustomed to.
Outside the ward, life continues on as usual.
People succeed, or fail. Live, or die. Move out of the crumbling, drug-addicted part of town, or decide to stay there, out of loyalty or inertia.
For Henry? Who finally got what he wanted?
Does he feel peace? Or unease? Or just a sense of... blankess about the future?
What do you get, for the man who has it all?
- Where did I lose myself? And where along the way did I lose you?
If ever I'd seen this coming... would I still have followed through?
What do you get him? How about the things he lost along the way?
(And the chorus screams YES OBVIOUSLY YOU TWIT)
And we go to sleep, alone in our bed, for the first time in a long time.
Of course, as soon as we drift off, the muchkins appear...
- Please don't go agian...
- Don't worry... we'll see him again soon when he does...
- Good bye daddy...
You know, somehow, this is more ominous than the "tear into their flesh" thing.
Though it DOES highlight the uh... somewhat inconsistent portrayal that these kids go through.
Are these the same ones that ripped our therpaist to shreds?
What do they mean they'll 'see us again'?
Well, let's find out.
There's nothing new to do in town today - no new dialogue from anybody, given the choices we made.
The only thing to do is go into work.
I've put that in a new update. I did one video, and one screenshot one. I'd actually recommend the video - there's a really, really good song that plays! And I think... you might like it. I'll say that.
Just... before you click on the links, and appreciate how this game ends,
think for a second. What have we been building to? Where is this story going? What are the lessons, and what have we done?
What's going to happen when we go into work tomorrow? Did you guess it? If you did, well, congratulations, you absolute maniac.
Oh ladies and gentlemen. Ohhhhhhh L&G. I'm so happy we get to experience: