Part 33: The World's Funniest Bloodbath
We're immediately set upon by a sentence that sounds like Rabies sees Sam and just slowly crawls over to her over the course of a few minutes.
Questions such as 'how did Klace manage to create zero-dimensional characters?'
I already told you -- my name is Sam. Just stick to my side, and you won't die. I'm being paid to keep you alive, remember?
We can part ways when I deliver you. Trust me -- I'm not enjoying this either. But I couldn't turn down a bonus like that.
That was one of my main questions, actually. Who was paying her to secure my safety? And did she end up rescuing Caylen from these cells?
Sorry -- Caylen was nowhere to be found. And you mean you don't know who paid me? You must be more oblivious than I thought.
Note how this change happened completely offscreen.
I'm not one to take sides. I just go where the money lies. You seem quite popular on Terra, though.
Popular enough for a bidding war, I mean. But they said the three of you go back. So I'm assuming that you're friends.
So -- Endymion and Konrad paid her to free me? That seems odd, I'm sure they could do it alone.
They'll probably be able to tell you more. I'm but a simple delivery girl.
I ask her if this is Lord Plair's home. All of the pieces line up -- except for the prison.
You think Sam charged per-prisoner-busted-out or was it a bulk jailbreak kind of deal?
She gestures broadly at the cell doors.
But Righty has a heart of gold. He paid me to rescue all the others. It won't be long before they expose Plair.
After a few moments of walking, we reach a large door. I can only assume that this is the exit.
That brings up a good question, how did Endymion and Konrad pay this woman? Like half their lines were them going on about how they were broke.
She pauses for a moment, as if in deep thought.
There's something viscerally wrong when Klace tries to make a character flirty.
Okay, she didn't ask for payment upfront.
Why didn't she ask for payment upfront?
Sam runs off, in search of an alternate exit. I'm left alone -- with a large door in front of me. Could I trust her? What if this was a trap?
I look behind me -- and she's already gone. I guess I don't have any other option. I open the door, hoping that Endymion and Konrad await.
That's probably mold growing on the walls, too. Don't want that growing in your underground detention center, really lowers the property value.
I take a few steps forward, and scan the area. Didn't Sam say that they would be here? I look everywhere, but I can't find them at all.
I press my back against a wall and wait. Probably better than wondering out there alone. I see two figures enter the room from afar.
Every time Rabies escapes from one idiot, he encounters another.
My ears perk up as I hear Konrad call out to me. He runs towards me -- Endymion slowly walks.
The feeling isn't mutual.
Isn't this the same guy who gave Rabies a long spiel about how he doesn't make friends?
It wasn't that bad. The cell Rabies was staying in probably had higher living standards than the motel room he was strangled in.
Konrad releases the hug, and smiles.
We took a gamble coming here, you know. We weren't sure if the evidence was planted. I'm glad to see that we were right.
Yeah, it's a big relief. I hope that Plair didn't harm you.
I tell them that I'm fine. But I ask them how long I've been here.
Just overnight -- that's all. We came at the break of dawn.
We wouldn't leave you alone for long. You're very important to us.
And here's another previous plot point that's completely discarded. All those lines Kila wasted trying to explain the time difference between Earth and Terra were totally pointless!
Why do you ask?
I let them know that I went back to Earth. I just wanted to confirm any time difference at play. But they immediately looked shocked.
You're joking, right? "Went back"? That's impossible.
Indeed -- Terra is a one way street. Once you're here, you can't leave. You must've been having a vivid dream.
Only Rabies could think Kila's death was anything but a cause for celebration.
I don't know, Endymion. What do you think?
I think we have a Savior in our midst. This might be what sets him apart.
So you think Velasquez wants that power? You know what happened last time, though.
About the only concrete example we have of Velasquez's 'ideals' is that he apparently believes in stabbing himself on a regular basis.
And just why would people oppose a repeat of the disaster that killed thousands? The mind boggles.
You're right -- it makes sense. I guess we just have to wait and see.
I nod, and agree with them. I reveal that PB told me about The Exodus Project. He theorized that I would help Velasquez try again.
Person openly blabs about secrets. Remind you of anyone, Konrad?
Translation: We'll attempt to kill Plair, fail miserably, then dick around for a few more days before losing you again to some other scheming ass.
But Rabies is totally fine?
I guess they don't really have a clue. I still need to tell them that this is Riley's doing. But before I can do that -- we all hear a noise. Their ears immediately perk up at this.
That was upstairs. We should check it out immediately. I think I know who it might be.
You think it's Righty?
It could be. But it could also be some guards. Or even Lord Plair himself.
I guess our cover is blown.
Endymion, Rabies is legally obliged to tell you that he's not allowed to possess anything sharper than an eraser.
Yeah -- but it's worth it, Konrad. Come Rabies, we have work to do.
How is swordplay lost on Earth? There's fencing classes and a shitload of historical reenactors.
Eventually, we reach a long set of stairs. This must lead to the rest of the manor. Endymion and Konrad both stare back at me. They place a finger to their mouths, asking for silence.
Two goddamn paragraphs to say 'we went up the stairs silently.'
Yes the wealth inequality is on Terra is lopsided enough to generate lift, is that really surprising?
Just to be clear: Riley's plain is to burn this mansion full of priceless artwork and furniture to the ground because that's apparently easier than just disposing with the bodies like a normal criminal.
If this were Saltybet, I'd still be betting on touhou.
I didn't expect to see you two here. Tell me -- have you seen Caylen?
Out of our way, Righty. We don't have time for this right now.
He holds out his axe, like he's threatening us.
Tell me -- or I won't let you pass. This is important to me, you know. You already stole Sam from me.
These are not words that would come out of someone's mouth when they were being threatened with an axe.
I'm afraid I can't do that. I'm here to rescue Caylen. And after that -- I'll expose Velasquez.
You just won't give up -- will you!? There's nothing you need to expose!
Endymion draws his daggers and lunges towards Righty. Righty quickly weaves to the side and punches his gut. Endymion stumbles backwards -- winded. A lucky hit.
Couldn't Caylen just eat Kabu or something?
Help me take down Plair, and rescue Caylen. If you don't -- then you're my enemy.
Konrad draws his sword -- so I do as well. Righty stands in the face of all three of us.
Rabies told us what you plan to do. Righty -- it's nothing but a fool's errand.
If you don't let us pass, we will fight. Do you think you can take the three of us?
The courtroom scene waaaaay earlier in the game kind of proved that nobody really took Caylen's first testimony that seriously. Are people really going to believe a half-starved sparkledog?
We're all ready to attack -- but nobody does. Were we all just putting on a show for the other side?
I ask one last time. Let us pass, Righty. We don't have time for this.
Like hell you don't! Taking down Plair is what you wanted! Helping me will accomplish that, too!
And really, who wants to fail Elvis?
This is where I decide to tell them the truth. Lord Plair wasn't behind all of this -- it was Riley. He played the role of an advisor, and controlled him.
Are you serious...?
How does Rabies know Riley is behind all of this? All Riley did was choke Rabies out, that isn't exactly evidence of a grand arching scheme that Rabies somehow magically knows.
No need to rub it in, Riley. I'm sure Endymion and Konrad are perfectly aware of how much of fuckups they are.
But let's get things moving -- shall we? I'm tired of your endless bickering.
He turns around and grabs something from behind him. Or wait -- he grabs "someone" from behind him. Endymion and Righty immediately take a fighting stance.
This must be Caylen.
You can't put aside your differences. Not even when lives are on the line.
Caylen squirms in his grip, clearly overpowered. Riley holds him still, and places a knife to his throat.
You all think that you've won. But you couldn't be more wrong. Soon, this entire building will burn.
No evidence besides the sprawling prison complex under the mansion and the tons of charred corpses.
But not here -- I have a plan. Come and chat with me and Lord Plair. One last chance to "resolve" things.
No matter what, there will be death. And the outcome will decide our election. Today -- the throne will be secured.
He slowly backs out of the room, holding his hostage. I look at everyone beside me -- I'm not sure what to do.
So it's true.
He really is the one behind this.
They both look at me.
Thank you for telling us the truth.
Yeah -- otherwise we might've killed Plair.
Just leave the mansion and stand up Riley?
Should we go after Riley?
Or is it some kind of trap?
They both cross their arms and ponder in unison. I notice that even Konrad is staying out of this. Are they working together? Never thought I'd see that.
We have to play the odds, Endymion.
What do you mean?
We can follow after Riley. If we do, there's a chance Caylen will live.
But if we assume it's a trap and leave? Well -- Caylen will die for sure.
I came here to rescue The Savior. There's no need for me to stay behind.
Reminder that Endymion supposedly killed his own friends in order to prove his loyalty to Velasquez.
The fate of Terra hangs in the balance. I can't concern myself with one boy.
He's not just "one boy"! Please Endymion -- I need your help. You know I can't do this by myself.
Funny you should say that, Righty. You had no problem working alone back then. If you stayed with us, we'd be partners now.
You're still spiteful -- aren't you? Killing for Velasquez wasn't in my nature.
Wait, I know what this is. You're scared the King is hiding something. That's why you don't want Caylen freed.
Assuming Velasquez works like every other character in this game, he's probably blabbed all his secrets to anyone willing to listen.
Then you'd just be helping me save a friend. Can't you help me do that -- Endymion?
If what you say is true, so be it. Caylen won't have anything to tell me. You'll prove the King's innocence.
There's no reason for you to back down. That is -- unless you're scared. Scared that the King -is- lying to you.
Endymion scoffs -- clenching his fists.
Once again I'd like to tell Endymion and Konrad that they were given direct orders to bring Rabies to Velasquez as soon as possible. What's next, Endymion sees a red laser dot and spends six days chasing it?
Honestly I wouldn't want to touch any character in this game either. For some reason I see them having the texture of expired baby oil.
We tried working together once, Righty. Let's hope it ends up better this time.
Yeah -- let's hope.
They break the physical contact and turn to the stairs. I feel like this worked out in the best way possible. I'm all set to learn the truth of King Velasquez. Whether it's from Caylen -- or Velasquez himself.
It's as if there are no more "sides" in this for me. If he doesn't know anything, we'll still save Caylen.
They start walking up the stairs -- full of purpose. I turn to Konrad, who still seems to be processing this.
It's kind of funny when the characters themselves start bringing up how the developer was too thick to figure out how to have more than two characters onscreen at once.
He growls before he follows suit. Soon enough, we're all ascending the stairs.
When we reach the top, we notice the door is open. We all stare at each other, exchanging reassuring nods. In this moment, we were united -- our goal was clear. And with that resolve, we venture forward.
We've seen both of these characters, what, twice? Why should the reader be invested at all in this situation?
I examine their faces, and notice a disparity. Riley seems calm and collected -- completely unfazed. But Plair looks around in a panic, fidgeting awkwardly. Riley's leadership was now more apparent than ever.
Riley -- what do you want? You're cornered, and there's more of us.
By setting up Lord Plair to fail in the election that's still up in the air as to whether or not he's running for king, and Plair getting ruined/dying will somehow make all the votes go to Riley who will somehow win against the incumbent Velasquez because
That is something you can never do. You need to give up before it's too late. Riley -- we can negotiate for your life.
We never wanted to kill you, said the assassin.
I'm afraid it's too late for that. All of our prisoners are already freed. It won't be long before they start talking.
And after that -- they'll want vengeance. Living in fear isn't living at all. We would never be truly safe from harm.
But it's good to know you're not hiding. We were sick of pretending not to know. It's so obvious that you belong to the King.
This works in your favor, Riley. We can have him make a public statement. He'll announce your innocence to everyone.
He would gladly make a statement like that. Especially if you surrendered your campaign. At that point -- you'd be free men.
Shouldn't Riley be a bit more skeptical of this plan coming from the person whose sole job is to wreck the shit of anyone that opposes Velasquez?
Of course -- it would be simple.
But we want protection, too. A place to stay, guarded at all times.
Don't press your luck, Riley.
It's -you- who shouldn't be pressing.
He presses his blade up to Kabu's throat, smirking.
I'm honestly curious. Do you, the reader, honestly remember what Kabu looks like offhand? That's the level of not-giving-a-shit I'm at with him.
Plair and Riley exchanges glances before nodding.
We have to do this my way, Endymion. You can come get Kabu from me directly. Slowly -- and with no sudden movements.
And after that, Konrad can get Caylen. Then you'll escort us all to a safe place. I need to ensure that you're not lying.
We'll be at the back of the group. No one can be behind us. I know the true nature of you two.
Only in Klace's head is a terse list of demands 'complicated'.
I'm going to walk towards you, now. I'll raise my arms, so I can't attack. When I get there, you hand over Caylen.
Riley nods, and Endymion starts his walk. Righty looks on, unsure what to think. But if things went awry, I'm sure he'd attack.
Slower, Endymion. There's no need to move so fast.
He obeys instantly, almost like a puppet. Riley watches in fright as the assassin approaches him. I can see Konrad grip his sword -- just in case.
Kabu and Caylen -- everything will be okay. I promise this won't last much longer.
He reassures the two hostages as he arrives. After a few moments, he's face to face with Riley.
Actually, that floor looks pretty well-buffered. Endymion could probably just grab Kabu and slide him across the room.
Of course, I wouldn't dream of crossing you. But before you go -- can I say one thing?
Make it quick.
Riley clears his throat before speaking. It echoes throughout the large hall.
WHAT A TWIoh who gives a shit
RIP Kabu, a character almost as pointless as Trish.
Riley's quickly becoming my favorite character.
Endymion falls to the ground, making the puddle larger. Riley stands there with a sadistic grin, laughing.
Endymion -- yes!
Things have clearly gone to shit. What's the point of this not devolving into a complete bloodbath?
Plair looks horrified, staring at Kabu's body. But his grip against Caylen tightens -- he's panicking. Riley walks over to his pawn, still laughing loudly.
Do it Plair -- kill Caylen. He's the biggest thorn in our side. If you do it, we'll be unstoppable.
Plair gulps audibly, his body shaking.
Plair -- don't do this!
Righty interjects, still holding Konrad tightly.
It's not too late to become a free man. Riley has been using you all along. There isn't any real proof of your crimes.
Does the crime of being an accomplice just not exist on Terra?
I'm against Velasquez as well, you know. So I'm not acting in a way that helps him. I want to help you -- and save Caylen.
Plair -- we've come too far to back out. Everything we worked for is on the line! I order you to kill Caylen, right now!
Please don't kill Caylen, the hair dye industry will collapse without him.
You're right about that, Riley. Everything is on the line right now.
I am so sorry. Please forgive me, Caylen.
He closes his eyes before he uses the blade. Almost like can't attach himself to his actions. He adds a third victim to the floor -- and more blood.
So goes a true Terran hero.
He grabs his throat, and squirms in pain. Plair looks at what he's done -- horrified.
Caylen uses this opportunity to break free. He runs towards Righty, gaining his freedom. As he sees this -- he releases his grip on Konrad.
He immediately runs towards Endymion's body. He cradles him in his arms, shaking him softly.
C'mon, Konrad. This is kind of funny.
Plair runs to Kabu's body and holds it close. With the violence gone, they cry over their losses. Righty, Caylen and I stare on in shock.
I'm sorry, my son...
Aaaaand it just gets worse.
Yes, Nagi -- I agree. They're hurt over such small losses. These men mean nothing in the grand scheme.
But I'm thankful they became violent. It helped me test out my little theory. Father's been deceitful -- yet again.
Their armor honestly looks like something from a really terrible Oblivion mod.
So you're the man that Father wants. I have to say -- I'm surprised. I expected something different.
I immediately hold out my sword. I've never used it before -- so I mimic what I've seen. There's no way I could defend myself against him.
Don't be so stupid, "Savior". I just want to get a closer look.
I wouldn't want to stand near Nagi either. That armor's probably poked out its fair share of eyes.
Righty stands forward and holds out his axe. He's leaving Caylen's defense to come to mine?
Well, at least there's someone -my- size. But it's useless -- you can't stop me.
The way it says she 'extends an arm' honestly makes it sound like her arm literally extended like fucking Dhalsim from Street Fighter.
He hits the wall with a thud, and falls to the floor. He's motionless -- knocked out cold. This leave me and Caylen alone and defenseless.
Thanks, my love. He was starting to get on my nerves.
Quick Rabies, use your poorly-defined powers to somehow escape this situation!
Do you have any idea what you are? Do you have any idea what's inside of you?
I make eye contact with Caylen. I can tell he wants to help, but it's pointless. Anyone you can take out Righty is just too powerful.
I give up -- and try to run, but it's useless. Nami appears by my side and pins me to the wall. Nagi holds out his sword as he approaches me.
Father tried to trick us. The power that he wants isn't within Terra. For some reason, it's within -you-.
Grit your teeth, Rabies. The pain makes you stronger!
The gears spinning on the sword was actually so stupid that my brain refused to read it the first time around.
Looks like we've won the race, Nami. I didn't think it would be that easy. Anything to say before I unleash this?
Here's to the future we create.
Yes -- to the future we create.
Ah, the sweet release of death. Sought after by so many, but luckily it found Rabies.
My memories of this game usually involve a copious amount of alcohol.