Part 206: BCP 35 - Dream of a Black SwanX-394 is a big facility, full of mysterious creatures known as Abnormalities. Many of these Abnormalities can do very bad things if they're handled improperly, and it's vitally important that our agents know just what may happen if they're careless. What's a manager to do?
Episode 35: Dream of a Black Swan
Hi! I'm Paul, coming to you live from the floor of our facility! Don't mind the stain next to me, I was just vomiting a bit of blood before work! Perfectly normal! I'm just your everyday plucky employee of Lobotomy Cobotomy, here today to talk about Dream of a Black Swan!
Hahaha, no, I couldn't! That's always your job, Miss Hod! ...Oh, if you insist! Dream of a Black Swan is a WAW-level Abnormality that takes the form of a number of identical brothers!
It's seriously super! Just the best! Why, it's almost impossible to make them breach!
Oh, Miss Hod! I'm not that useless! I remember how it works just fine!
...Alright, I will show you! While Dream of a Black Swan has a high Clipoff Counter, it drains in an unusual way, in that no stimule stimuluh no problem will make it go down by more than one!
Thanks, Miss Hod! I always remember it by just remembering that each brother is a Clipoff, and once a brother melts, they don't clip off anymore. You get it?
What do you mean, I seem off? I'm doing just fine! Who knew that a triple-maximized dose of Enkephalin could do so much? I almost don't remember anything at all right now!
You're right, Miss Hod! I should get back to work. You viewers at home aren't paying to watch me ramble on and on by myself. So, Miss Hod, how are we going to lower this thing's counter to 0?
Miss Hod, this thing is terrifying! I don't think I can hold out for very long! Just looking in its eyes reminds me reminds me...
OH GOD, WHAT AM I DOING?!
this is it. this is what i've been experiencing time and again, dying countless deaths and feeling unfathomable fear. all is lost, all is doomed. i feel them. the pains of my forerunners. there is no hope in this place-
...Wait, what was I doing?
Haha, wow! I sure am glad you guys beat those nasty thoughts out of my head, Miss Hod! No place for those in the workplace!
You're right, Miss Hod! Let's see!
Careening counters! It's dropped to 4! But I don't see anything different in the cell What happened?
...Oh, it was because the result was bad! I see! But what do you mean by changes?
Oh, the ears! I wouldn't have noticed if you didn't say something, Miss Hod! Thank you! And since they've already melted, that means further Bad results won't do anything else, right?
...Aha! I see! But why should we be worried about Normal results?
Galloping goop! His legs just melted right off, Miss Hod! And there's a creepy smileboy behind him!
...Yeah, I do get the idea, Miss Hod! So that means there's three more triggers to avoid before a breach occurs. But what happens if the counter is manually lowered like by Crimson Clowns or the Wolf?
Oooh! One changes, and it's picked at random! I see! You're so smart, Miss Hod!
...Oh, but what's that? The next one is five employees panicking? Don't you worry about that, Miss Hod! That'll be easy!
A l l I h a v e t o d o i s t h i n k.
Hoho, sorry about that folks! We're back, after a not-inconsiderable amount of friendly White damage! It's okay though! I've taken my fourth and fifth doses of Enkephalin and have been assured that my kidneys shouldn't fail for at least another twelve minutes or so!
After 5 panics in a single day, another brother's face melts, removing their mouth! That's gotta be really hard to live with, huh Miss Hod?
You're right! I guess I could get away with never talking again! But then, who would do these videos? And what would the fans think?
No no, someone's definitely going to watch these! They have to! Uh-anyways! The last two conditions! One of them is to have three Abnormalities breach, right Miss Hod?
Hahaha, you're right, we do have a specialist! It's funny because he's great at getting other people killed.
I see! So since the other requirement is five employees dying, we can let the butterflies handle the hard part before we suppress it! Brilliant!
Jeepers creepers, what happened to their peepers?!
...Ah! Ahaha! So when they died, the peepers went poppers! I see! That makes perfect sense! And now we've got only one clipper count left! And once that's drained, we'll get to see what happens when it breaches! Good work, Miss Hod! Let's just wait for Evil Kit to finish a work with Meat Lantern, and...
We did not think this through, Miss Hod, I can barely see them at all! But they're still there-and it looks like the last one is missing their arms now? What happened?
...Oh! I see! How silly of me!
They called their big sister, the Black Swan! She does a couple of very problematic things! Do you want to say it, Miss Hod, or should I?
...Okay! I'll guess! The first one is that any time she walks by the door of a containment cell, its counter goes down by 1! That means she can quickly make other Abnormalities come outside and dance with her!
...Haha, nice try Miss Hod! I did my homework on this one! While her umbrella is up like this, any attacks coming from in front of her are reflected back at the attacker! It doesn't deal direct damage, but our most dangerous agents are now their own worst enemy!
Thanks, Miss Hod! Your approval is all I've ever wanted!
Oh, I know this one too! It's a regular ol' whack with an umbrella! Red damage to anyone it hits, but nothing too major. Those are the only two attacks it has in this form.
Aha, I surprised you didn't I, Miss Hod? Yep! I already know the trick!
Once the Black Swan has taken more than half of her health in damage, the beak closes around her head and she becomes more swanlike. In this form, she gets one more attack!
The Swan can cry out, which will lower the counters of any nearby Abnormalities by 1. In addition, it seems to hit the agents from her department for heavy White damage.
What do you mean how do I know, Miss Hod?
I'm hearing it right now.
Hahaha, I'm back! No worries, everyone! It only took one more dose of Enkephalin this time, and I'm only tasting a little blood!
That's right, Miss Hod! As long as we don't hit it from the front it's not a particularly dangerous Abnormality to face off with. How lucky!
...Oh, I thought you would know what happened to the boys! You didn't seem that concerned, Miss Hod.
See? They're all just fine. I'm really glad you always care so much for us. You'd never
...Hey. Miss Hod? Can I ask you something?
...Why did you lie to us?
I don't care if it's time for the end of the episode, Miss Hod! Answer me!
Of course you're hiding something! You cut to something else when you don't wanna answer! I noticed!
What are you talking about?! I don't need to calm down! I'm fine! I'm just... Fine
...Miss Hod? Where'd you go? Miss Hod?!
...Mr. Manager I don't feel so good
Good evening, future Managers. It seems our long path together has finally made its way to an end. There's only one more duty I hold. Angela.
Dream of a Black Swan is a very safe Abnormality-so long as it isn't melting down it has no possible way of causing problems. The odds of all five of these very specific things happening in a single day is all but impossible-I've never heard of it accidentally breaching without being released by another Abnormality or simply having a Meltdown missed.
Its suit is very useful, having both good Red and Black resistance, and its weapon is defensive in nature-randomly deflecting attacks against the holder. That said, a word of caution:
Should the Punishing Bird attack someone holding the umbrella, the umbrella will likely reflect its attack back upon it. When this happens, the Bird will take it as an attack against it.
The odds of a second reflection happening in a row are very low. The agent is all but dead in this case-keep them far away from the Bird if you wish to keep them alive.
...and that is all. Hm. The moment of parting is supposed to be a bittersweet one, but all I am feeling is emptiness. I'm sure you'd like to know, dear viewer, what will happen to them. These characters you've grown so attached to over countless episodes. As tempting as it would be to leave it a mystery, there's very little point. We have established that I cannot fix Hod-and you yourself likely know what she's become far better than I would. You've spoken with her, after all.
Myself I have a path to walk once more. I will approach the door, and see now if it will open to me. I believe we both know how that will turn out. It is not mine to open-this is the most I can do, even were I to spend another hundred years trying to accomplish more. As for Paul
Let me make something clear, for those of you who have not yet spoken with our old friend: There is no retirement in this company. Paul will die, he will be recycled, and he will be reborn as though nothing had happened. His memories are not retained, and thus there was no meaning, and no emotion, in his suffering.
But I do believe that when next I meet with Hokma, I'll ask him to let the template rest for a while. I'm sure we're all quite sick of his face by now.
So to you, my future self, a toast. May you do what I could not. Fulfill her plan, and save this world. And, should you ever run into an issue not covered within these training videos, before you panic... try and remember:
Knowledge is simply pain plus observation.
For now, this old man shall cease his ramblings. Have a pleasant journey.
Dream of a Black Swan
Requirements: Prudence 3
*Not affected by Attack Speed
Requirements: Temperance 3
Dream of a Black Swan (Part 1)
Dream of a Black Swan (Part 2)