The Let's Play Archive


by The Dark Id

Part 67: Episode LXIV: Billy Lee Black Has a Very Bad Day

Episode LXIV: Billy Lee Black Has a Very Bad Day

Music: Fuse

*sigh* “Again...?”
*yawn* “Looks that way...”
“What are you two talking about?! This is...this is a massacre.”
“Yeah...probably should have mentioned we kinda run into a lot of massacres, disasters, and otherwise bad news... At first I thought it was just because of Fei being some sort of jinx. we are...”
“What...? You two make this sound routine.”
“Look kid, in the last month I nearly drowned in quicksand. Twice. Was involved in a botched coup where I almost got shot up by like 50 dudes. Had my base invaded by a Gebler hit squad. And had that ship we were just riding dropped on me. On land.”
“I had a botched mission result in contributing to the destruction of a rural village. I was nearly eaten by a dinosaur. Committed several acts of treason before deserting the military. I nearly had a giant bomber ship fall on me. And I had the airship I was riding blown up by a SAM.”
“Sorry about that. But, don’t forget when you got mind controlled and nearly blew up my ship’s engine.”
“Oh yes. That too...”
“And that Rico guy. Don’t even get me STARTED on what happened to him...”
“I am afraid to ask...”
“You know how he’s a giant green-skinned eyesore? Let’s just say he wasn’t green when he started rolling with us.”
“Heh. Nah, I’m just bullshitting you with that last one. I’ve only talked to that guy like once ever. But I wouldn’t be surprised if that were the cases.”

“B, Billy...”

Billy walks over to the dying Ethos member...

“I don't know...... Suddenly, I heard a gunshot......”
"Hey, hang in there! Hey!"
"It's no use... He can't survive with those wounds."
”I am afraid he lacks a character portrait. It’s no use...”
"Why... Why did this happen?”

Billy notices something on the floor and stands up...

“............... This is...? This is father's shell casing... Dammit... Don't tell me he stormed into the 'Ethos' headquarters in desperation?"
"It's possible with him."
”Dude was definitely badass enough to take out all these guys.”
“He also had a character portrait. So it’s either him or...”

The party enters the inner area of the chapel...

The gang enters the hall just in time to see another Ethos get whacked by some kind of...midget assassin...?

“There are still survivors?”
”Oh man. Fleamen? Good thing I packed my whip.”

The party is attacked by the two varieties of Assassin attacking the Ethos HQ: Blueskinned hunchback midgets with claw hands and shrugging hippie monks. Sure, why not...?

Midget Assassins are very fast enemies and do some decent damage by throwing their claws or dashing over to perform a combo. But, they’ve also min-maxed agility in exchange for vitality and pay for it dearly being about as durable as a wet paper bag.

Shrugging Monks are slightly more annoying due to their solitary offensive attack, lobbing a giant magic Ethos symbol at people, has like a ten second animation and they almost always both do it at the same time. Having to wait half a minute watching a mediocre spell play out every time they pop-up is less than entertaining. They can also thrown nets on people to cast Stop. This just ensures more thumb twiddling if they appear in numbers.

The party kicks the shit out of the assassins...

“Why're they attacking the 'Ethos'?"
"Watch out, Billy. These guys are professional assassins."
"What! Then, everyone..."
"Come on, Billy. There have to be survivors. Let's help them."
”You did know a few people here with character portraits, correct?”
“Well...myself. Bishop Stone, of course. And... Umm...”
“Ouch...this is going to be a blood bath...”
“Poor guy.”

We can look around the area if we want to kill some time. The chef and a few orphans guarded by an old man not affiliated with the Ethos survived. Everyone else? Very dead.

The party heads downstairs toward the basement Umbrella Labs...

“O, oh... Billy... You're safe... The purge...has begun... We sinners...have brought god's judgment on mankind...”
"God's judgment? What do you mean, Bishop?"
"He's gone. What was he trying to tell me? Purge, I wonder what he meant?"
<Oh boy... Going to regret wearing this uniform again, aren’t I?>

The party enters the sub-level...

“You're still pretending you don't know anything?”
“You may be the leader of the 'Ethos', but you don't know when you're beaten.”
"It's been exposed?"
“Rebelling against us will cost you your life.”

"The Pontiff!! Damn you...!!"

Billy’s objection to his boss’ murder results in the assa—HOLY SHIT! Look at what they did to that guy! He’s just a shredded upper torso and a gore covered ribcage! Jesus... What did they do with his limbs?! Is that where the humps in their backs come from? Stolen body parts?

Anyhow, after that exceedingly gory death and a boring fight, we’re allowed to wander the rest of the Umbrella Labs. Unfortunately, they’re just pretty much a winding linear corridor. Except for a little side passage with a trio of holding cells. The first one is empty at the moment. But the other two...

The party enters the second cell and finds a survivor...

“I...... don't... know...... anything......... I can't...... talk... anymore... than... this...”
"Hang in there now! Don't worry. We came here to help you!"
“......? ............! She... vat... Got... to... contact... Shev... vat...”
"'Shevat'!? Did he just say... 'Shevat'!?"
"These wounds are horrific. He might not survive in this condition."
"Let's call my crew on the Ygg to come and help him out."
"I contacted the Yggdrasil to come and help him. So, he's taken care of. Let's hurry."

And Cell #3 contains...

Big Joe...? Forget it. Leave the door closed! No, Billy! Dammit!

*walks off* "You came all the way to save me, eh? Well done, well done. Someday, you'll brag about saving me! Adios amigos!"
”Friend of yours...?”
“Long story...”
“Stupid story...”
“I see...”

At the end of the corridor we find an elevator leading down to even more linear hallways. Hey, go make a sandwich before this next part. It’s gonna get wordy...

“Which could mean that this is the 'Ethos' data bank?"
"The 'Ethos' data bank?"

A short while later Rico and Citan decide to show up. Yup, this is going to be a plot dump big enough to give Rico some lines. I really hope you made that sandwich...

"This data bank holds all the information concerning the 'Ethos'. From the past to the present...everything! This facility is strictly off limits to us. Only the Bishop class can ever enter this area."
"Yeah, but even then...this place is damn well equipped. Look at it!"
"I say...a facility of this magnitude would even be hard to find in Solaris. Why would the 'Ethos' have such a set up?"
"...Wait a minute! ...This is Solaris' equipment!"
"So, Solaris!?"
”Wait, he just said this would be hard to find in Solaris.”
“He hasn’t been there in years. I was there a couple weeks ago. I believe my knowledge of up-to-date systems trumps his by a bit.”

"Don't be so surprised! No matter how vast this world is, such advanced equipment as this could only come from Solaris."
"The 'Ethos' has been assaulted by someone... And in the basement...we find a Solarian facility..."
“Thanks for the input, Rico.”
"Hmm... the plot thickens..."
"What's going on here? What is this place? Hey, Billy! You know anything about this!?"
*shakes head* "Don't ask me... How would I know... This is my first time in here...!"
"Then let's investigate...!?"
”Thanks for the input, Ri—no wait... That’s a pretty solid idea... Let’s see...”

Some time later...

"It looks like some transmission record from somewhere... We might be able to find some clues here. Wait one moment..."
*fiddles with computer* "Alright... Now I am able to transmit it to the main displays.”

“IGNAS CONFLICT STATUS 37th arms supplement - upgrading Aveh's Gears from level D2 to D3. Maintain Kislev Gears at level D2. Current balance = 4 : 6 ... REPORT BY BISHOP SHAKHAN OF THE IGNAS DIOCESE: Due to the intervention of an uncertain factor, correction is needed. Progress of the operation has declined by 30%...”
“Report No. 50224 from Nortune's D”
“Transferring all Battler data. Also transferring to Solaris all data concerning the A Class Battler's health conditions and estimated adaption rates for Type Y demi-human deployment...”

“On top of that, that Shakhan's a bishop!? Wasn't he excommunicated from the 'Ethos' 17 years ago!?"
"That can't be the case if he's been sending in regular reports."
”Thanks for the input, Rico. Never woulda figured that out myself...”
"Look, here! The destinations of all resources collected by the 'Ethos' through trade with each area... All the resources are being sent on to the Solaris homeland."
*shakes head* "B, but, why would the 'Ethos' be sending supplies to Solaris!?"
"I don't know..."
*walks to a computer display* "This is in the Solarian language, but it's been encoded. Hold on...... Ummm...... What is this......? ..............."

"Hold on! It's hard to translate this stuff!”
”Unless you have someone else that can translate from Solarian to Surface, I’d suggest some patience.”
*cleans glasses*

“Ummm...... 'Lambs'... great war... collapse... re-education... postwar rehab plan...... based on...... schedule for building 'Gate' foundations... 'Lambs'... 02-04 to Ignas... 05-08 to Aquvy... 11-16 to be uniformly distributed... Put into practice...... 'Ethos' established as an organization... ...Supervision by elders... conference... supervision by the Gazel!? The 'Ethos' is...!?"
"It's all a front! The 'Ethos' is really a subsidiary organization of Solaris."
"So...what does this all mean?"

“500 years ago, there was a great war that occurred between Solaris and the land dwellers. It's not clear what the outcome was, but after the war, Solaris feared another land dweller revolt... So Solaris built a 'Gate', or barrier, that separates Solaris' land from the rest of the world's land. The land dwellers who lived within this Gate were made to dwell as separate races and were thus supervised. To carry out the actual supervision, Solaris established the 'Ethos'. So the 'Ethos' is actually controlled by the 'Gazel Ministry', or Solaris' highest governmental body. So, yes, the 'Ethos' is really a 'front', or a subsidiary organization, working for Solaris! Excavation findings, goods and natural resources from the surface are transported to Solaris by the 'Ethos'. This also includes 'human resources', or people used for manual labor and so on. Basically, this here is the window between the planet's surface and Solaris up there in the skies above. According to these records, there's been an enormous amount of goods and people transferred to Solaris!"
“...That wasn’t short AT ALL!!”

"So, the 'Ethos' has been manipulating us, heh. Anything else?"
"The rest is mainly about population distribution and excavation records. The amount of detailed information about races and their biological data kind of concerns me though..."

”Is it under 500 words or less?”
“Ehh... I believe I can abridge it a bit.”

“It also indicates that there has been a large amount of people sent to Solaris... The majority of them were people who had come to the 'Ethos' seeking help or spiritual salvation."
*shakes head* "This can't be! I've heard nothing of the sort!"
"So what happened to all those people you've seen coming here for help?"
"They became me..."
"Surely not all of them? What happened to the ones that didn't become Etones?"
"Well... arrh...?"
”They became...Etone groupies...? Perhaps...” *frown*
*nods* "It's all becoming clear then, eh... How about it, Elly?"
*nods* "There are facilities in Solaris for accommodating surface dwellers... I know! The 3rd class citizen level - Earth dwellers of various races are regularly sent there as manual labor."
"So this is the source of their labor supply."
”Well, it sure didn’t take long for this church to turn out to be evil...”
"But that's impossible...! How could that be..."

"This could be your answer..."
"The 44th salvage plan."
"The 44th salvage plan? Isn't that what the captain of the Thames was talking about?"
”I mean, I don’t remember the ‘44th’ part anywhere. But...what other excavations of note that will undoubtedly turn out to be plot relevant have we heard about?”
"This is the only plan that is not linked to Solaris... It must have been initiated by the 'Ethos' itself, as a completely independent project. It was commenced about... 19 years ago. Allow me to display the data..."
“...Completed investigation of the Zeboim city which sank to the bottom of the sea approximately 4000 years ago... After over 100 test digs, the city center has been ascertained... Excavation planned to begin...”
"So, from this, it appears that under Aquvy lays an ultra-ancient civilization. They have been doing a huge number of test-digs and obtained a vast quantity of resources from the ruins. Biological weapons... reactive weapons... Hmm... I see, so this must be their intention... My assessment of the circumstances is that the 'Ethos' is attempting to break away from Solaris... And once free from its master, it is likely it will attempt world domination on its own."
"Attempt a breakaway...and attempt world domination... That's an incredible plan."

"Yes, but the real intentions of the 'Ethos' are quite obvious... The fact that they are not reporting the results, let alone the site's very existence, gives it away... The 'Ethos' is planning to revolt by monopolizing this ultra-advanced civilization's resources! Actually, such rebellions have been quite common..."
"So, do you think Solaris is responsible for this attack on the 'Ethos'?"
”Not that I really have to ask. But, just confirming...”
"Yes, that is probably it. Shall we move along? There could be more to find yet!"

"Hey, Billy! How long you plannin' on being like that? Get a hold of yourself!"
”So your faith is a giant sham front for human slavery and you’ve been living a lie for the better part of your life and everyone you worked with for years has just gotten brutally murdered by midget assassins. It could be worse...”
“My... My...”
“Oh and I guess you’re unemployed now, too. Ah well...”

"This is all just speculation based on circumstantial evidence. It would be best for you to confirm what is the truth with your own eyes."
"We're going to go on further... Citan and Rico, could you please accompany the person from 'Shevat' to the Yggdrasil?"

Well...that was quite a bit in one sitting. And we’re only half way done with this info dump... Stay tuned!

Citan Concept Art