Part 20: Life After Dumb
A difficult choice. Hang out with the guy who probably makes out with his stab vest, or the two who best can be described as "Asshole and Wikipedia"?
Eh, let's go with Shock and Rocker. That's probably the most painful route!
I would actually like to hear what they have to say. They were certainly close to Klace. Rocker seems like he was holding up okay. But I'm wondering how Shock was taking this.
I was also hoping they might play me some songs. But given the circumstances -- I highly doubt it.
I just love Rabies' line of thought here.
Sorry your best friend died. Play Freebird!
The use of the phrase "it isn't long" make it sounds like it took Rabies almost a minute to make it over to the two. Either Rabies walks in slow-motion or this room is the size of a stadium.
Oh. Perhaps I could've picked a better time.
Shock this is the shirt police. You're under arrest.
No offense, but it makes you look stupid.
It makes perfect sense, man. You're just too daft to understand!
You calling me stupid?
No more than you've already done to me.
Hmph -- you should know how smart I am. Klace's lead guitarist can't be dumb. It takes a certain level on intelligence.
Does it really matter who's the lead guitarist? If you were Klace's bandmate, your life is obviously full of bad decisions.
They both take deep breaths and turn to greet me.
So you're the fanboy, right?
Shock, they're not a fanboy. They're out honored guest!
How much did you spend on PopStarr? You must be quite the rabid fan. Look at all that blind devotion.
Of course Rabies is a rabid fan, it's his name for God's sake. And Rabies wasn't about to listen to some hoity-toity "Surgeon General's Warning" when chugging PopStarrs.
Shock -- don't be rude!
It's true when you think about it, Rocker. We -earned- our spot beside Klace, right? We didn't buy a red carpet to walk in on.
Klace was a person, like anybody else.
Hey Shock, did you go to the same "artist" as Rook to get those godawful glowing tattoos?
This is what he really meant to say. He appreciates your devotion to Klace. Him and Shock were childhood friends.
Childhood friends? I guess it goes deeper than I thought. Shock doesn't seem to be too affected by the murder. In fact -- he just seemed like an all a round jerk.
Time and time again, the game goes out of its way to describe Rabies as a huge fan of Klace, even though he's shown to be ignorant on even basic trivia about the band. One of the lead guitarists, Shock, was apparently Klace's childhood friend. If Rabies is such a huge fan, how would he not know this?
And I'll also apologize for my own actions. You walked in on an argument between us. It's rare that I get heated up.
It's true, Rocker isn't one for arguing. Hearing him raise his voice is rare. In fact, I forgot what our fight was about.
Memory of a goldfish, huh? Singe sure knows how to pick 'em.
If this game veers into a weird furry Chick Tract I will laugh until my lungs fall out my ass.
You mean like zombies?
No Shock, not like zombies. Let me explain it this way. Maybe we can convince Rabies.
Great -- I love hearing things twice.
Didn't he just say he forgot why they were arguing?
Well, if you'll let me begin. There's no need to be a jerk about it.
Alright, go on then.
Well -- I know Klace is gone, and all. But it's possible for him to live on. Especially in his possessions and art.
Shock seems to thing that death is final. A little hypocritical if you ask me. He's been chugging PopStarr's [sic] all day.
I don't care how famous Klace was, people aren't going to buy more soda just because he died.
It's childish to think that Klace is gone. He will live on in so many ways.
I disagree entirely. Klace is gone for sure. All of that stuff is superficial.
Then what about his albums? People will be buying them in droves.
Previously recorded albums, you mean. Klace will never sing live again. All that's left is memories of the past.
But you can live on in a memory. That's what I'm trying to say.
No you can't -- that's stupid, Rocker. A memory will never replace his voice. It's a mockery of what we've lost.
I think Klace was already a mockery.
If you really think memories suffice? Then you weren't close to him at all! Nothing can replace the real thing.
Klace died as he lived: pantless.
No, I don't really know. All I know is -- Klace is dead. He's not coming back, and that's final.
You can sugarcoat it any way you want. But that's what they call denial. He's outlived by commercial trash.
Shock, some people would kill to have their names immortalized on commercial trash.
I didn't mean to strike a nerve. But musicians like that tend to live on. Sometimes -- even after centuries pass.
I don't see Klace being any different. He has fans to carry on his legacy.
Come on Rabies. You got my back here, right? No one is gone if we can remember them. At least, that's what I like to believe.
How can you side with that...? Dead is dead -- and that's a fact. Legacy is not an apt replacement. It'll just make the company more money. They'll milk his death for more profit. That's what happens when anyone dies.
You're with me on this one, right?
Regardless of whether or not he lives on in a memory, that's not going to change the fact that his corpse is currently at the Tokyo city morgue, presumably still naked from the waist down.
We'll side with Shock.
The death of a celebrity is often commercialized. It wouldn't be a projection of the "real" Klace. Shock seemed like he was really close to the popstar. I can therefore understand why he's not okay with this.
Wait -- I didn't expect that. I'm always alone in my opinions. I expected you to side with Rocker.
You shit on every other character in the game. Let's just say I like your style.
You're not as alone as you think, Shock. Perhaps you should apologize, now. You were quite rude to Rabies earlier.
I guess. Sorry I judged you like that. I hope I didn't offend you.
I accept his apology with indifference.
Now you can't say you're always alone. You've got an ally here, Shock.
Hey hey hey, Rabies likes how Shock treats the rest of you like shit. He didn't say Shock was his friend!
Something like that. No need to mock me, you know. Either way, we shouldn't waste time arguing. For once, I'm choosing to end the fight. Don't act all surprised, though.
I am a little surprised, actually. You usually fight until you're winded.
I don't think Klace would approve of this. He wouldn't want to see us fighting at all.
Unless you were in your underwear or something.
I mean, we're on the topic of honoring him. So we should think about what he'd want. He hated when we fought, after all.
Fair enough, actually. If he were here, he'd stop us both. Just like he usually did.
You might have noticed by now that even though Klace the character is dead, the other characters in this game cannot stop talking about him. Not only is humility not in Klace's vocabulary, but he's probably ignorant of the very concept.
I guess he did keep us in line. Especially during our most popular fight. Like -- who Klace's lead guitarist was.
I know right? It's pretty clear that it's me.
Hey, that's not true!
I laugh softly, and turn away. It isn't long until they act as if I'm not there. It seems to be cyclical, with the two of them. Arguing, making up -- and arguing again.
It was almost like a sibling dynamic. I wasn't about to take sides in their current fight. They were both extremely talented guitarists. It was like arguing was their way of showing affection.
All those bruises, broken bones, and stab wounds: love taps!
Perhaps I'll get to learn more about them after. At least, I'll have to split them up first. I don't think I could get anything out of them both. They'd get caught up in some sort of fight first.
I walk back to the center of the room and look around. It appears that everyone is anxious -- and restless. It must have been a long night for them all. But answers are so close, so we all hold out together.
I scan the room a few times over. An eerie silence fills the area. I feel like perhaps I should break it.
Who's ready for a nice wholsome singalong? I call this one: Phidget's Mom on the Wall. Oohhhhhhh, 999 dead moms on the wall-
But before I can do anything -- the large doors open. Someone walks out, and exchanges glaces with everyone. This must be Singe, and the Conference Room entrance.
If the objective of these intro portraits is to make me hate a character before they even say anything, man, success story of the decade.
He bows to us, much like Rocker.
In a few minutes, the press will come. The door will be unlocked for everyone. I'd be honored if you came in first.
I'd like for all of us to be on stage. I want us to appear united in this crisis. As a team -- with nothing between us.
We've endured a tragedy. We need to show the world our strength. We are a family, even in grief.
What kind of family? Like the Mansons?
Says the guy who bought 36 toilets off Amazon and then started throwing them at pedestrians from the rooftop.
Please come and take your seats with me. We will begin as soon as the room fills up.
He bows again, and goes back into the conference hall. Not a moment later, we all start to follow him. Unsure of what the conference has in store. And unsure of what shocking truths await the world.
Shocking Truth #1: Singe has probably just straight-up eaten someone in the last 24 hours.
Let's go to Plair's! It isn't incompetent writing if the plot barely qualifies as 'existing'!
Well, the story starts with me being slightly drunk and seeing this game on Steam...
YOU'RE ON ANOTHER PLANET. COFFEE SHOULDN'T EXIST THERE.
Who is Riley waving to?
You would've never endorsed my actions. Even if they -were- for the greater good. So I had to take things into my own hands.
Of course -- and I still don't believe it. Endymion and Konrad are my trusted allies. I laugh at the notion of their betrayal! I'd never dedicate resources to that. Yet -- here we are, in the present. You have evidence backing your claim.
Of course -- I always validate my word. Last night, I ventured to the Tavern. Endymion and Konrad were there as well.
I still refuse to believe that not only did Velasquez not get ousted for building a single bar as an apology, but that it's apparently famous and loved throughout Terra. Also, the way he says "Tavern" makes it sound like there's literally only one bar on the entire planet.
But they had someone with them. An immigrant from another world. One they will not be giving to you.
In fact, they are bringing him to Velasquez.
'Bring' is such a subjective word.
This directly violates your truce. Were they not to bring everyone to you? You're keeping tabs on this immigration.
Yes -- that was the plan, Riley. All of it should go through me. Easier to keep track of, that way.
You know what they say: seize all immigrants on arrival and stuff them into your torture-basement
I think it's been well-established that Endymion and Konrad are physically incapable of keeping a secret.
Impossible -- they filed the paperwork. This immigrant is now fully sanctioned. They violated the truce, my Lord.
Indeed - that is irrefutable proof. It's impossible for me to work with that. This immigrant is now in the records.
But I wonder -- what does Velasquez want? Of all people, he wants an immigrant? They must be quite an important person.
Of course Rabies is important. Just look at his important glasses!
Of that I am unsure. But I feel like it's irrelevant. No explanation can excuse betrayal.
And you know Velasquez's stance on that. He's too friendly to these off-worlders. I'm glad I was able to open your eyes.
You're right -- and I appreciate that. But now my curiosity is affecting me. Just who could this immigrant be...?
Some say he was a cog granted life, others think he crawled out a nuclear waste dump. All that's known is that he took the surname McFutts after a botched Dairy Queen robbery in 1987.
Rabies secretly being a Transformer would explain the gear head.
Again, I'm not sure. But you could ask them yourself.
I did what you would have wanted, my Lord. I took action after seeing this betrayal. It was either that -- or let them win.
I paid this off-worlder a visit. One thing led to another, however. The ended up "passing out".
Okay. Two possibilities exist.
One: Riley choked out Rabies, then somehow managed to drag his body down the stairs, through the tavern, through the streets, and to Plair's dungeon without anyone noticing.
Two: People did notice him dragging Rabies around, but just didn't care.
Riley -- how could you be so foolish...? I can't believe what you're telling me. Do you realize what you've done!?
You abducted a -legal- immigrant? One that was wanted by the King! Velasquez will have us under scrutiny!
You keep coming to me with "revelations". First, it was that Caylen worked for Righty. But then you go and do this to us...?
We'll have two assassins target us! Under the pressure of a royal mission, too! And everything was going good for once!
Believe me, being targeted for assassination by those two is about the least threatening thing you can hear.
I can't believe you would do this! Discretion was our greatest ally, Riley. Two guilds will soon be upon us...!
Please Lord Plair, I can explain. There must have been a lapse in--
Your judgement? Trust me, this is far worse than a lapse. If I didn't trust you, I'd almost think--
DUN DUN Do any of you really care about this plot twist?