Part 12: I wonder if this is the place that started it allUpdate 12: I wonder if this is the place that started it all
When last we left off, we heard Ben had killed someone. What's notably different this time, as opposed to the last two chapters, is that there was no flashback immediately preceding this happening. But enough talk, let's hop on over to Chronos and find out the details.
: (Was there really a murder here?)
: Something's up--I can feel it.
Let's start with the obvious.
Morris: Look--Ben's got blood on his hands.
: :: sniff ::
Ethan: (Huh? What's Jacob doing here? Has he gotten caught up in some kind of trouble again?)
Vin: All right, all right--calm down!
This part is, in my opinion, one of the worst-designed interfaces I've seen. Let's go over how this works.
Each of these four people you can talk to starts with a few questions you can ask them. Certain questions prompt other questions, as always...except this time there's a catch. Asking one person a question can allow access to another person's question, which you need to proceed. Except you don't know if you've unlocked a new question, and of course you don't know who might have a new question available. Normally this would be no more than a minor hassle, but there's one final complication. Once you talk to someone, you can't back out of the conversation. You have to ask them a question, and click through their answer. Each answer isn't terribly long, but it gets ridiculous combined with the earlier part.
I get to do this seven times. Theoretically it gets easier towards the end because conversations 'max' out at three options, but even that doesn't help much, if at all.
*Question: Did Ben kill somebody?*
: I still can't decide. I mean, they haven't found a weapon.
*Question: What weapon did this?*
: With all this blood, it'd have to be a knife or something else with a sharp blade.
: I...I'm not the bad guy here!
*Question: What happened here?*
: It...it wasn't my fault... I wanted to go to Chronos, that's all.
*Question: Did you see what happened?*
: Well, I didn't see the actual moment it happened or anything...
: He was already flat out when I got here, and at first I thought he was dead.
: But no, Aaron was still breathing. They just took him out of here.
: I'm not supposed to talk to strangers.
: (...So the reality where I'd already spoken with Jacob has been erased. I guess that means the Jacob that knows me is gone, too...?)
: (Gah, my brain hurts.)
: (I'll just introduce myself...again.)
: I'm Ethan Kairos, but call me Ethan.
: I'm Vin, and this guy in the glasses here is Ben.
: I'm Jacob Eleven. You can just call me Jacob.
I'm suddenly glad we don't have to actually earn Jacob's trust each time we re-meet him for the first time.
*Conversation: Jacob, reprise*
*Question: What were you doing here?*
: I was taking a walk with Lucky...
: Going by the name, I'd say Lucky is a dog.
: Uh-huh. My dog.
Everything after here is unlocked by a previous question. Pretty sure this first one comes off Morris's appraisal of the weapon.
*Conversation: Ben; Question: Did you have a knife?*
: I-I don't know anything about that, you hear me!?
: ...Dammit... Everyone's ganging up on me... But I...I didn't do anything...
This one comes off Vin's previous answer regarding what happened.
*Conversation: Vin; Question: Who's Aaron?*
: Olivia's boyfriend. He was already at Chronos when we got here.
Which leads to this:
*Conversation: Ben; Question: Why Aaron?*
: He just came out of the cafe. And then...
: After the boy with the glasses hit Lucky...
: ...I thought he was gonna hit me. But then the other boy saved me.
: That's when they started arguing.
: Y-you don't know what you're talking about!
I have no idea how this is triggered. Probably off Vin's Aaron answer. Definitely came long before we even knew there was an argument.
*Conversation: Jacob; Question: Who started it?*
: That boy in the glasses saw Lucky and got really mad.
: Hey! That dog went after ME!
Now that we know there's an argument, this becomes available.
*Conversation: Jacob; Question: Where's Lucky now?*
: Lucky's not used to being yelled at like that. He got scared and ran away...
*Conversation: Vin; Question: What do you think about it?*
: Well, it pretty much adds up, doesn't it? At least going by what Jacob says.
: Ben, you said you hated Aaron, right?
: Well, with him being Olivia's boyfriend and all...
: Stop it! That has nothing to do with this!
Finally, now that we have all the information, we can go back to Morris.
*Conversation: Morris; Question: Now what?*
: I dunno...seems like they don't need us all here... How about we leave Ben with Vin and go looking for Lucky?
: Vin, is Aaron in the hospital now?
: Yeah, the ambulance just took him. Olivia's with him.
: So if there's any news, they'd be getting in touch with Chronos.
: We'll go look for Lucky. Vin, you take care of Ben.
: Yeah, I've got him under control.
: I wanna go, too!
: No, Jacob--you stay here. Someone else might want to ask about what you saw.
: Okay... Oh, and about Lucky...
: He's white with a brown patch over his eye...right?
: Uh-huh. That's Lucky. I hope you find him.
: This dog a friend of yours?
: Well, you know...
: Let's start over by the station. Maybe someone there saw Lucky.
: Oh, Ethan.
: Oh, um...nothing.
: (I'd like to ask her a few questions...but not now.)
: We're looking for a dog.
: A dog...? I haven't seen any around here.
: See you.
: You bet.
And she's gone.
: No dogs here, I guess. Let's try somewhere else.
: ? (What's going on? Suddenly Morris has this really sour look on his face.)
: About Ben... I wonder if this is the place that started it all, made him change.
: Don't you remember? It used to be our secret hideout.
: They've turned it into a fancy shop, I see.
: Oh, yeah...there was that tree right out here. (Now it's an antique shop named Aeon.)
: Ben was the one who brought Shiloh here, and the one who cared for him the most.
Ethan: (Shiloh was a darling pup who took to just about everyone. If only there hadn't been a lightning strike during that typhoon...)
: Yeah, I think he's been different ever since that lightning hit.
: (Shiloh couldn't get away from the hideout and was hit by lightning during the storm. Ben had forgotten to tend to Shiloh that day...)
: ...He's not here.
: Who? Shiloh?
: No, you idiot. Lucky. Where to next?
With that, Aeon becomes a new marker on our town map.