Part 19: The Greatest Company on EarthThe good news: I've fixed my image problems. The bad news: I have to keep playing Major\Minor.
Swarming complete strangers doesn't really seem like a thing the Japanese press would do. Remember what I said about there being almost no real evidence that this game actually takes place in Japan?
What do you mean, 'lucky'? The Grim Reaper still hasn't seen fit to release me from this burdern of a game.
Hey, that's the news reporter from last night. He's the one who reported the death of Klace.
Contest winners -- we need to talk! There's some allegations going around. They say this is just for publicity!
What's the legality on suplexing the first Buzzfeed reporter I see?
Just keep walking -- and they'll move. That is, if they want to keep their careers.
He glares at Fukumoto as he says those last few words.
Err -- perhaps I'll ask again later.
He slowly backs away and blends into the crowd. Acheron must've intimidated him into submission. But it was for the best -- and I'm thankful.
How is Fukumoto not used to being threatened by the people he's trying to interview?
Like 'this game is good' ?
I nod -- as I find his counsel invaluable.
We keep walking -- and I make sure Kila is in tow. Inumi is following us as well, completely unphased. He must be used to the limelight, by now. Being Klace's brother, he'd get lots of attention.
I look back at the limo. A large crowd blocks Jade's attempts to leave. I feel sorry for her -- she's stuck with the press.
Oh for god's sake, just run them over. Reporters basically grow on trees.
Not used to all these eyes on you, eh?
Not at all.
As soon as he says that, it hits me. And a sense of anxiety starts to rise within me. If I was being watched -- it could be anybody here! I ask him if we can walker faster, but then--
I hope this person sending us vaguely threatening texts realizes that Rabies is illiterate.
I pull out my phone with extreme apprehension. I'm unable to display a calm composure. I'm sure I could play it off as fear of the crowd. Acheron has no idea what's happening on my end.
By the way, each of these texts exists in the game files as a separate image, because of course they do.
Okay -- now it's very clear that I'm being followed. And they're close enough to see my worry as well. I scan my surroundings, but everyone is watching me. They certainly picked the perfect time to watch.
I'd never be able to tell who it was in the crowd. I start to panic -- and cling even closer to Acheron. I give him a gentle nudge; pushing him to move faster. He seems to take my signal and thankfully obeys.
It isn't much longer until we get inside. We're promptly greeted with the illusion of safety.
I don't like how 'scurries away' implies that characters in this game actually run away on all fours.
The windows are dimmed, so it's not too bright. But this bodes well for someone in my situation. If I was being watched, they couldn't do it now. I stand relieved, in the lobby with Acheron and Kila.
You did a good job out there. You were overwhelmed, but that's normal. You handled yourselves admirably.
You say that like we stormed a hill or defused a hostage situation. All Rabies did was follow you into a building!
If only he knew what I was actually worried. Actually, perhaps I should tell him. He'd be the last person I want to hide this from. And he's probably know exactly how to respond.
I'll wait until I can talk to him in private.
Fuck privacy, why would you not tell him about this immediately?
I want you two to wait right here. I'll go find out where Singe is. Do me a favor, and -don't- wander.
He walks toward what I assume is the reception desk. I turn to Kila and ask him if he's okay. So far, it's been impossible to get a read on him. I know he's prone to zoning out -- but this is unreal.
Let's play a game! Name one instance in this game where Kila has demonstrated zoning out.
We'll get involved with the media, now. They'll probably even dig up our pasts! I'm not really cool with that, Rabies!
So Kila, how many anime conventions have you been banned from?
Luck is definitely not on our side.
He's right -- this was supposed to be luxurious. Our every dream was expected to become a reality. Saying that this hasn't happened is an understatement. It went south in almost every way imaginable.
I tell Kila that everything will be okay. Although, I don't know who I'm trying to convince. There's a lot more on my plate with the fate of Terra. So I simply say we should wait until we talk to Singe.
Yeah, you're right.
] He turns away and starts to inspect the lobby. It's rather massive. And it doesn't really look foreign at all. In fact, it makes me feel at home -- very modern.
I don't stray away, at Acheron's behest. Instead I look at the TV's attached to the wall. They're all playing a news report -- recorded earlier. It must be a story of interest to Tokyo's civilians.
As a few moments pass, I relize that's true. But it happens to be of great interest to me as well.
This guy is kind of a microcosm of what makes this game so special. I honestly can't choose what to hate. His stupid hat with the ears just puncturing the sides? His special OC heterochromia? The fact that his tail just looks like a massive growth on his side? The blue hair? His really crooked and poorly-drawn grin?
This is very spontaneous, people! Sorry for any background noise. But I think you'll enjoy our guest!
This guy seems to get around. Are there no other news reporters in Japan?
She arrived in Tokyo a few weeks ago. But she's been under scrutiny ever since! Well -- we're here for the -real- story.
And we'll get it from the woman herself. Everybody -- welcome Maxine Armstrong! The CEO of Armstrong Incorporated!
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is the first time in the entire game where a Japanese honorific is used.
It's that woman I've run into multiple times. Didn't think she was special enough for her own report.
For those not in the know, Maxine came--
Please, call me Max.
Err -- very well, Max. You came here from the United States. But nobody knows the real reason why.
This has made a lot of people uneasy. Given the nature of your business. Chemical and explosive weaponry, right?
Some would say you deal in war.
What tinpot African dictators decide to do with Armstrong patented Legshredder landmines is their own business!
Means such as Chemical 7, the amazing agent that reacts with the skull to create the wonderful medical condition known as Brain Crush!
Fit to use Armstrong's new line of cluster bombs. There's a war crime in every canister!
And what better way to protect yourself than with Armstrong-brand assault rifles? Guaranteed to destabilize your country or your money back!
Paparazzi annoying you? Ex-spouse's divorce lawyers on your back? Friends staging an intervention? With Armstrong's Red Roger neurotoxin, your problems will be foaming at the mouth in no time!
Armstrong Incorporated officially takes no responsibility for the misuse of Armstrong weapons during the Balkan Wars. However, Armstrong Inc. also officially finds the misuse hilarious!
Oh, I see -- thanks for explaining. That is an admirable mission statement. Your parents would be proud of you, Max.
But can you understand the unease? Some people are scared of your presence. Especially since you're keeping secrets.
But now -- Japan is your audience. Do you have anything to say? Something to put us at ease?
Unfortunately, I do not. My purpose here is confidential. However, no harm will come to your citizens.
My presence here should put you at ease. I offer the most advanced products possible. I could even stop these "Midnight Deaths".
I suppose if you carpet bombed Tokyo, there'd be no one left to die.
There's something both annoying and funny about how Fukumoto's character art has him pointing the mic away from Max.
That's not what I said.
That's all we have time for today. But rest easy -- we're all safe! Armstrong is here for a noble purpose.
This is Fukumoto, signing off.
And who wouldn't know about Armstrong Inc? The Hague trial of the board of directors in '89 broke all TV ratings records!
I'll have to talk to her about it if I see her again. She did express interest at getting to know me better.
I see that Acheron is on his way back. Hopefully now we'd get to meet with Singe. I was dying to hear an official statement about this. I await our next move, as I walk toward my friends.
Hey -- thanks for staying put, you two. The conference won't start for a while, yet. So we can go and pass some time upstairs.
Renting this place must be expensive. Singe's pockets go pretty deep, it seems. Well, anyway -- I guess we should go.
Those people outside are really loud. A headache is the last thing I want. It should be more quiet upstairs.
This line implies that Rabies can be killed by mere mortals. That's cute.
And that's what we did as we ascended the stairs. We'd leave the frenzy of the media behind us. But unfortunately -- not for good.
I wonder if the Mission Impossible theme is playing in his head.
Kila leaves my side as well, and tries to find a seat. Eventually, he situates himself in a nice leather chair. I see a lot of familiar faces around this room. Rook is using his tablet -- and Inumi is pacing around.
But then I see some not so familiar faces. Although I feel like I recognize them from TV.
It's almost like everybody important to Klace was here. Maybe there were just as clueless as I was about this. I guess I wasn't the only one who wanted some answers.
It isn't long before Rook looks up from his tablet. He notices me and starts to walk in my direction. I wonder how he was handling all of this.
Wait until you guys hear how Klace handled the previous guard being written out of the game. It's a real treat!
Ran off -- what does he mean by that? Anyway, no beating around the bush. You're here, so you must know the truth. Last night -- Klace was murdered.
He says it in such an emotionless way. It's hard for me to tell if this has even bothered him. Instead of prying, I tell him that I did know the truth. I saw Fukumoto reporting live on TV past midnight.
Speaking of communism, I wouldn't mind the cast of this game experiencing a good ol' fashioned Stalinst purge.
I have no idea how he got that job. He twists words -- like the tabloids. I'm surprised he works for a real station.
That's true -- I did see his interview with Max. I let Rook know that he tried to interview me as well. He mentioned that this was all a publicity stunt.
Of course he'd mention that. Listen -- don't take him seriously. You learn that pretty quickly in Tokyo.
But the general population loves him. Honestly -- I'm not able to see why. She's just a sham, a sensationalist.
Stating a plain fact is not 'wisdom'.
Singe is just getting ready. It shouldn't be much longer.
Everyone is still shocked, of course. But some friendship might help them. Uniting is what we need to do right now.
Rook turns his head and notices someone approaching. It's a fox with a guitar, and he steps with purpose.
I guess Rocker is a fine place to start. He's definitely a knowledgeable man.
Here's another game for those at home. Using your hands, copy this guy's pose. If you feel like an idiot, congratulations! You win!
Hey -- you're the one that said it.
He bows to Rook, as a gesture of respect. He then does the same to me, wearing a large smile.
Sorry, I'm not one for shaking hands. But with much respect, it's my pleasure. I'm Rocker -- nice to meet you Rabies.
I hesitantly give him a bow and introduce myself too.
Oh my -- a saikeirei? Rabies, I don't deserve that.
Trust me, I've long accepted that this LP can only dig through the bottom of the barrel and careen towards the core of the Earth.
This is very important though. Rabies -- that was an incorrect bow. You went far too low just now.
A bow like that is for an apology. Or for addressing someone of status. And I mean, exceptionally high status.
Furthermore, your back was bent as well. You should always try to keep it straight. A crooked bow can be seen as disrespectful.
Try and remember this simple fact. To most, a fifteen degree bow is fine. Around here, it's called an eshaku.
It's meant for equals. And I don't mean to rag on you. But I'd hate for you to offend someone.
Headbutt everyone like a Krogan to establish dominance, got it
But who else will Rocker vomit Wikipedia articles at?
Rook gives him a very crooked and low bow. As if to mock the entire lesson Rocker just gave.
I'm surprised he didn't scare you away. If I were you -- I would've run. He can be really rude without knowing it.
I'm pretty sure he knew he was being rude.
He thinks he's joking, or something. But it always comes off as crass. He's not the best at social interaction.
Regardless of my feelings about Rook, it was true. In fact, Rocker's lesson was refreshing. He did it to legitimately inform me about bows. Not to judge or berate me, like Rook would always do.
I thank him and try giving him the bow he explained. Fifteen degrees, and with a straight back.
You catch on fast -- I like that. We'll get along just fine, Rabies.
I know we have spare time before the speech. If you want to hang out, feel free. Of course -- you'll be meeting Shock, too.
When he says the name Shock -- it all becomes clear. Shock and Rocker were Klace's lead guitarists. They performed some of the most legendary solos.
If Rocker and Shock were so legendary, how did Rabies not immediately recognize them?
I'm starstruck as he walks away -- almost in disbelief. I've heard lots of their music, and it was awesome. But here he was, talking to me so casually. If I knew who he was at first, I would've panicked!
So many people, so much time! So little sanity!
Well, I already know Rook and Kila good enough. But Acheron was still a mystery -- as was Inumi. And Shock and Rocker were quite enticing as well. Hanging out with a rockstar duo would be awesome.
We might be here a while.