Part 40: HoodiedumpThe results are in! By unanimous vote, it's Jeb!
Just kidding, it's Konrad.
Packing some emergency belts, Konrad?
There's probably a warrant out for your arrest, so taking you to the king would have probably been a bad idea.
Why does Sam suddenly care what happens to Rabies?
Really, Rabies just wants to see how Konrad somehow fucks up escorting him to the castle.
Just how far away is the bar from the door?
Rabies will tread where he pleases!
Just how out of shape is Righty?
Phidget wanted me to give this to you. He's a little shy -- so please forgive him. I told him he should do this himself.
He hands me a piece of paper that's folded up. My name is written on it -- was this a present?
I wish you the best of luck at the ball. Not all of us are going to be there. I have my own reasons for staying behind.
Probably to keep an eye on PB and Phidget. I not at him, and let him know that I understand. But before I can look at the paper, Phidget approaches.
Rabies would demand to see your medical doctorate, Phidget, but remembers that doctors on this planet still wear plague masks and subscribe to miasma theory.
I just wish that everyone else was fine. I heard about what happened to the others. It's sad when people have to go like that.
I nod, and look at both of them. I start to unfold the paper, but Righty interrupts.
I'll be leaving you two alone. But as I said before -- good luck. There's a round on me when you get back.
Phidget looks a little uncomfortable without Righty. He shifts from side to side, avoiding eye contact.
Phidget, this wouldn't even be acceptable on Deviantart.
You're free to look at it if you like. I think it might be my best one yet.
A slight blush appears on his face as I open the paper. And he was definitely right -- it's his best one yet. It's a drawing of me, with Endymion and Kabu. We're holding hands, wearing big smiles on our faces.
Well the first detail you got wrong was that Kabu is basically a pez dispenser now and Endymion has about half dozen holes in his gut.
I got the idea after talking to Reiyo. He said you might bring them back. That's why you're all so happy.
I think that's exactly what would happen. No one would have to be sad anymore. That's what it would be like with Mom.
Hey look, it's the character even more irrelevant to the plot than Jade.
Trish enters the conversation with a wide grin. She probably noticed that I was talking to Phidget. As far as I remember -- these two always stayed close.
Hey Trish -- I was just finishing up! I wasn't skipping lessons again, I swear!
It's okay Phidget, no need to worry. Today is quite a big day -- isn't it? I wish I could go to that royal ball.
Yeah, it would be really cool. I'd love to meet the King one more time. He'd definitely know where Mom is.
I like how Phidget makes literally everyone around him uncomfortable with his constant mom death denial.
You can run along now, Phidget. I need to have a talk with Rabies. Make sure to say goodbye though.
Goodbye, Rabies! I hope you have lots of fun at the ball. I'll be here waiting when you get back.
He runs off excitedly, and Trish lets out a sigh. I could tell she was holding something back all along.
Listen -- I'm going to be blunt here. Reiyo told us all about your role. He said you might bring back the dead.
I NEVER WOULD HAVE GUESSED
Why? He's been doing this annoying "have you seen my mom?" schtick for years as far as I can tell, and you idiots have just been putting up with it the whole time?
Even if Rabies could and did revive everyone that's ever died ever, he'd still not bring back Phidget's Mom. That's just wrong on a primal level.
I shake my head -- telling her that it's fine. If the power was within me, I'd bring everybody back. Trish wouldn't have to worry about Phidget anymore.
Thank you very much, Rabies. It breaks my heart to see him like this. He draws his Mom every day, too.
He says he'll show her when she gets back. But we all know that the real situation is. She'll never get to see what he did.
That is -- unless you make it a reality.
What that "something" is is still kind of undefined.
Never seeing any of these chucklefucks again. Ahh, a cog monster can dream.
I wouldn't be surprised if someone did invent the combustion engine on this planet, but was immediately burned as a witch.
I take a breath of fresh air, and smile. I sure hope things ended up the way Reiyo predicted. An end to suffering -- the resurrection of our friends. That would surely be a worthy end to my journey.
It feels like it's been a lot longer than it really has. There was a part of me that was eager to see this end. But there was a part of me that didn't want to let go. I didn't know which was winning the fight in my mind.
It's a minor thing, but why does the tavern's outside have a different background than the first time we went inside it?
At least, I hope we are. I don't know what Velasquez has planned. But I know we're in for one great party.
But you know, regardless of my goal? I'm glad that I cold attend it with you. We'll have fun before you see Velasquez.
Anyways -- I'm sitting up top. You can sit in the back with Reiyo. I'm sure you have lots to talk about.
He pats me on the back and jumps on the top of the carriage. I guess he'd be giving directions to the "drivers". Moments later, Reiyo exits the Tavern doors.
Reiyo, the last thing this terrorist attack of a plot needs is to reveal that you've been a vampire the whole time.
But I know there's a lot I haven't done. I guess now I'm free to try everything. And it's all thanks to you, Rabies.
He gives me a warm smile before walking to the carriage. I wonder how long it would take to get to the castle.
Would you care to join me? I'm sure we can keep each other company. No shortage of things to talk about.
After saying this, he enters the carriage. I follow behind him, climbing in the back.
Ah yes, the famous space-defying rickshaws of Terra.
Rabies is seriously tempted to lock Reiyo in that trunk.
He gestures at the open seat in front of him. Without pause, I take a seat and look towards him.
Not sure how long of a ride we have. I've only visited the castle in suspension. I never left Velasquez's throne room.
He rests back in his seat, sighing heavily.
I never thought I'd live to see this day. We watched over Terra for millions of years. To think that change will finally come...
It'd be nice to know why it'll be remembered for eternity, since apparently everyone except Velasquez is ignorant of the actual goal here.
Talk about putting the pressure on me, Reiyo.
Velasquez will be quite happy to see you. He's been waiting for a very long time. I expect he has quite the feast ready.
It's not too often that he opens the gates. The last time was The Exodus Project. Of course -- it didn't go as planned.
I like how Klace is trying so hard to make this a parallel of the limo ride at the start of the game, but it just falls flat in every way imaginable.
That's a depressing story, anyway. What else is there to talk about? I'm open for anything, really.
I have a few ideas now that he's being more open. But the number one thing on my mind is his past. How did he really come to rule over The Ark? Where was he from -- and what was his life like before?
You want to know about my past, huh? You really are something else. Always taking an interest in others.
Seven word horror story: "Your bond with Klace was strong enough."
I was created by Velasquez a long time ago. Likely as a failsafe against Nami and Nagi. I'm positive that he thought this through.
I mean -- how could I harness the power? It's likely that I'm a living weapon. Able to tap into it like their blades.
They didn't know about me, or expect me. So they carelessly unleashed your power. They thought they had won so easily.
Using your power, I sent you back. But this is where things get confusing. As you relived events, you got stronger.
Apparently, Rabies has been trapped in a time loop. That'd be cool., if there was ever any hints whatsoever that that was what was actually happening.
Every time I did -- your power grew. Unfortunately, many suffered repeatedly. Your journey hasn't exactly been easy.
But you've been through so many cycles. Made so many choices, met so many people. It was nice to watch you change it up.
Every cycle had potential to be different. But some aspects were set in stone. Mainly -- the fact that people died.
But these experiences made you stronger. Your power is far greater than it was. Like a grain of sand becoming a desert.
"But mostly it was Kila. What did that squirrel do to you?"
It's hilarious to me that Endymion is so utterly fucking useless that he got stabbed to death by a bellhop in every single cycle.
I watched Nagi stab you over and over. But every time -- I sent you back. I grew your power for almost an eternity.
I had to be certain you were strong enough. In the end -- we'd only get one chance. If I broke the cycle, we couldn't go back.
So if you were hoping for another chance? You won't be getting one in the end. It's over if your power isn't strong enough.
Reiyo hasn't revealed jack. How does resetting the cycle make Rabies stronger? Did he not hold the death contest for The Ark in every previous cycle? Why did he always wait until Nagi stabbed Rabies to reset the cycle?
So I made different choices in the other cycles? He must've witnessed almost every single possibility. But this raises a lot more questions than it answers.
Velasquez will have to tell you more. Such as how you got the power to begin with. I am only responsible for nurturing it.
But enoug about that -- we're here now. We don't need to think about the past. The future is what's most important to us.
I noticed that he dodged my question yet again. Is he lying -- or does he truly not know his past? Well, I mean his past before this "infinite cycle". Perhaps it's been so long he forgot about himself.
Then why the fuck did you tell them if you weren't sure?
I've witnessed so much death and rebirth. And I only received a portion of your power. I know that you can bring about change.
I think we need to eliminate Nami and Nagi. Then maybe you could go back in time. We could change history without any worry.
They've been a fixed point on this timeline. But if we can erase their existence...? Then we really could change things.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. All I know is that your power is limitless. I told everyone what they wanted to hear.
Well, except for Phidget. Reiyo hired a mariachi band to follow Phidget around and sing dozens of songs about his mother's demise.
A great change is coming to Terra. It may even affect more worlds. Acheron has a lot of work on his plate.
I trained him for what felt like years. It took him a long time to learn. To be honest -- he had a lot on his mind.
He kept asking about Max, over and over. But it wasn't out of worry or care. I think he wants to kill her, Rabies.
But he can't do that -- no matter what. He can only visit her in suspended space. You must never kill anybody in that place.
That's only going to give him more motivation to kill her!
I hope Acheron takes his duties seriously. A grudge could cause extreme chaos. But this also supports my earlier theory.
If someone can be erased from history? That just proves history can be changed. If we do that -- we can prevent deaths.
He definitely had a point, as weird as it was. He was so fixated on raising the dead. It made me wonder if he lost anybody himself. And his desire was being reflected in his speech.
But I quickly realize that this is pointless speculation. Especially since he can't seem to recall his past. The majority of his existence was spent helping me. In a way, he sacrificed himself for my cause.
It is nice for Reiyo to at least admit he did all of this blind and dumb.
As he says these words, the carriage comes to a stop. We jerk back a little bit -- caught off guard.
Oh right -- I guess there's one more thing. I told you about the true nature of Terra. How it houses the souls of the dead.
Not make a big deal? Acheron is going to freeze space and kick your ass out of existence when he realizes you lied to him about The Ark's resurrection powers.
And he just rolled with it?
Acheron had a "perfect" track record that he was willing to sacrifice, along with the lives of actual people, just on the chance that he could revive his dead sister. And when you told him you straight-up lied about being able to do that with the powers you gave him, he wasn't utterly pissed?
Fuuuuuuck this game.
And Reiyo bails on us without any fanfare.
I sincerely hope some drug addict shivs Reiyo's fake-mysterious ass.
I'm rather partial to the ramparts that keep out the poors!
He gestures broadly towards the castle with a smile. Then a moment later, he jumps down from the carriage.
What do you say -- are you ready? We'll have to do our best to blend in. We don't get to skip the line or anything.
I nod -- and look up towards the castle. It's true, it definitely was a sight to behold. Like something you'd see in the history books. But this time -- I would be a part of that history.
I can already see quite the lineup, too. We should get going so we aren't late. I'd hate to miss the King's big speech.
No thanks to our blue dog and his dead mentor.