Part 17: Ethos HQ
The road to begins here in earnest
First we hit Billy's house and check that secret room we saw earlier.
We grab the B&J M686 Gun
This would be awesome if we had the proper ammo for it at, we have 100 shots and can't buy more at the moment. This is part of why I don't like Billy, the game more or less forces you to not use him at various points because ammo for the better guns isn't available, even if you have the guns.
Anyway to Ethos HQ
Well, that's no good
The Etone on the right starts clawing on the ground toward Billy
Billy: Are you alright? What happened?
Etone: I don't know. Suddenly, I heard a gunshot...
Billy: Hey hang in there! Hey!
Citan shakes his head as the Etone dies
Citan: It appears that we're too late.
Billy: Why-Why did this happen? This is--? This is father's shell casing! Damn
It! Don't tell me he stormed into the 'Ethos' headquarters in desperation?
Citan: It is possible with him.
In the hallway a clawed creature kills an Etone
Billy: Don't move! Who are you?
They're pretty easy to kill with one deathblow
Billy: Who are these guys? Why're they attacking the 'Ethos'?
Citan: Are the people from the 'Ethos' alright? They mentioned survivors but...
Billy: What! Then everyone--!
Elly: Come on Billy. There have to be survivors, let's save them!
We find a secret passage leading downstairs
Bishop: Oh, Billy, you're safe. We sinners have brought god's judgment on mankind
Billy: God's judgment? What do you mean Bishop? He's gone. What was he trying to tell me? Purge, I wonder what he meant?
Downstairs they find the Pontiff surrounded by the assassin creatures
Creature 1: You're still pretending you don't know anything?
Creature 2: You may be the leader of the 'Ethos', but you don't know when you're beaten.
Pontiff: It's been exposed?
Creature 3: Rebelling against us will cost you your life.
The Pontiff gets killed
Billy: The Pontiff! Damn you!
Down a side corridor they find a survivor
Survivor: I don't know anything I can't talk anymore than this...
Elly: Hang in there! Don't worry, we came to help you.
Survivor: Shevat. Got to contact Shevat.
Citan: 'Shevat'! You are from 'Shevat'?
Rico: These wounds are horrific, he might not survive in this condition
Citan: Let us contact the Yggdrasil to come and help us.
And who happens to be next door?
Big Joe: You came all the way to save me? Well done, well done. Someday You'll brag about saving me. Adios amigos!
We take an elevator downstairs and enter a room
Billy: Which could mean that this is the 'Ethos' data bank.
Bart and Rico enter
Elly: I am sure of it! This has to be the 'Ethos' data bank!
Billy: This data bank contains all the info 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.
Bart: Yeah, but even then, this place is damn well equipped. Look at it!
Citan: I say, a facility of this magnitude would be even hard to find in Solaris. Why would the 'Ethos' have such a set up?
Elly: Wait a minute! This is Solaris' equipment!
Elly: Don't act so surprised! No matter how vast this world is, such advanced equipment can only come from Solaris.
Rico: The 'Ethos' has been assaulted by someone, and in the basement we find a Solarian facility...
Citan: Hmm, the plot thickens.
Bart: What's going on here? What is this place? Hey Billy! You know anything about this?
Billy: Don't ask me, how would I know? This is my first time in here.
Rico: Then let's investigate!
They activate the computers
Bart: Citan, what is that being displayed there?
Citan: It looks like some transmission record from somewhere. We might be able to find some clues here. Wait one moment. Alright, now I am able to transmit it to the main displays.
Screen 1: 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 factory, correction is needed. Progress needed.
Screen 2: Report No. 50224 from Nortune's D Block
Screen 3: transferring all Battler data. Also transferring to Solaris all data concerning the
A Class Battler's health conditions and estimated adaptation rates for Type Y demi-human deployment...
Bart: What the heck is this? Why's the 'Ethos' looking into this kinda' stuff? On top of that, that Shakhan's a bishop! Wasn't he excommunicated from the 'Ethos' 17 years ago?
Rico: That can't be the case if he's been sending in regular reports.
Elly: Look, here! The destinations of all resources collected by the 'Ethos' through trade with each area. All the resources are being sent to the Solaris homeland.
Billy: B-but why would the 'Ethos' be sending supplies to Solaris?
Elly: I don't know.
Bart: There's a terminal switch over here too. Huh? What's with these letters? I can't read this.
Elly: This is in the Solarian language, but it's been encoded. Hold on. Umm, what is this?
Bart: C'mon, hurry up!
Elly: Hold on! It's hard to translate this stuff! Umm, Lambs... great war... collapse...re-education... post war rehab plan... based on... schedule for building 'Gate' foundations... 'Lambs' ... 02-04 to Ignas... 05-08 to Aquvy... 11-16 uniformly distributed... Put into practice... 'Ethos' established as an organization... Supervision by elders... conference... supervision by the Gazel The 'Ethos' is--!?
Rico: It's all a front! The 'Ethos' is really a subsidiary organization of Solaris.
Bart: So what does this all mean?
Elly: In short, it's like this, 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!
Rico: So the 'Ethos' has been manipulating us, heh. Anything else?
Elly: The rest is mainly about population distribution and excavation records. The amount of detailed info about races and their biological data kind of concerns me though.
Citan: Here is a relatively recent record. 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.
Billy: This can't be!
Rico: So what happened to all those people you've seen coming here for help?
Billy: They became Etones, like me!
Bart: Surely not all of them? What happened to the ones that didn't become Etones?
Billy: Well, arrh...?
Bart: It's all becoming clear then, eh? How about it, Elly?
Elly: 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.
Rico: So this is the source of their labor supply.
Billy: But that's impossible! How could that be? Even if that was the case, who would kill all those 'Ethos' people and why?
Citan: This could be your answer.
Citan: The 44th Salvage Plan.
Bart: The 44th Salvage Plan? Isn't that what the Captain of the Thames was talking about?
Citan: 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 16 years ago. Allow me to display the data. . .
Screen: 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. . .
Citan: So from this, it appears that under Aquvy lies an ultra-ancient civilization. They have been doing a huge number of tests 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 freed from its master, it is likely to attempt world domination on its own.
Rico: Attempt a breakaway and attempt world domination. That's a rather ambitious!
Citan: 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 become quite common.
Elly: So, do you think Solaris is responsible for this attack on the 'Ethos'?
Citan: Yes, that is probably it. Shall we move along? There could be more to find yet!
Billy: The 'Ethos'! My 'Ethos', my faith...
Bart: Hey Billy! How long you plannin' on being like that? Get a hold of yourself!
Citan: 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.
Rico: You go on ahead. Bart and I will take the 'Shevite' back to the Yggdrasil.
Elly, Billy, and Citan exit to the hall
Billy: The 'Ethos' was that dubious and organization. What was it that I believed in all this time?
Voice: Isn't that the very reason why I told you back then that you belong with us?
Verlaine and another Etone walk into view
Verlaine: You're defiled, Billy. You left the 'Ethos' and kept company with dregs who have no faith at all. And you lost sight of what it means to be defiled. I didn't expect it out of you, you who used to live only for your faith. You should have remained like us. But fear not, Billy. I shall cleanse you. You'll live within me. You will become one with me in death.
Two shots are fired the etone falls
Jessie steps walks out, carrying his gun as usual
Jessie: What are you getting flustered about boy? It was a stun bullet. He's just taking a nap. You should've been able to tell by the sound it made! Besides, these murderers are not from the 'Ethos'.
Jessie shows them something on the Etone's robe
Billy: That symbol...
Jessie: Yes, that's right. They're agents of Solaris. Probably an assassination unit under
Stone's command! I got word that they were exterminating all 'Ethos' members, and hurried here. But I was too late. All 'Ethos' affiliates have already been killed, except for those on some sort of salvage mission.
Billy: You claim Verlaine and his men are an assassination unit for the Bishop! How could you even say such blasphemy!?
Verlaine: That's right, we are servants of the Bishop. Our mission is to hand out judgment on fallen priests and sinners in order to make them repent.
Billy: Is that true Verlaine? But why people from the 'Ethos'?
Verlaine: The Pontiff and his brethren deserve to die! They allowed greed to tempt them into abandoning their duties as the 'Ethos' to pursue world domination. They passed their own death sentences when they allowed such desires to overtake them. And that's not all. Saving orphans and refugees, that may seem like the works of mercy. But the little boys and girls kept here were actually used as a means to satisfy the desires of the Pontiff and Bishops. Thus my call that Billy was getting offers from the clergy Indulging in selfish desires. This is not conduct befitting priests! Such defiled leaven have no right to speak for god. That is why we set out on this purification work. They must atone for their sins. These are the Bishop's orders!
Billy: Even if that were true, we have no right to punish others! Judgment belongs to god. That is what we were taught, wasn't it!
Verlaine: God? Where does such a being exist? You should know by now how the 'Ethos' came about. It was an organization created by Solaris eons ago solely for the purpose of managing ignorant humans. Its doctrines are just deceptions to control the masses. The 'Ethos' used the 2 sweet fruits of 'faith' and 'technology' well to skill fully manipulate global affairs and people's zeal. Thus, they manipulated the ignorant masses to repeatedly continue their pointless wars. Eventually battle data on 'man' and 'weapons' gleaned from these wars were sent to Solaris itself...And analyzed to aid in ruling the entire earth. These intentionally perpetuated wars caused so much psychological discord. But faith in 'god,' salvation, was used as a cushion to soften the blow. It was a well thought out system. But the choice of managers was extremely poor. Or did you think that acting out the part of a faithful servant of god would someday yield an answer from a great god somewhere? Can't you see that such a divine being just never existed from the beginning? And you don't seem to realize this, but you yourself were passing judgment on sinners as much as we were!
Billy: I-I have been passing judgment?
Verlaine: That's right. Daily you have been dirtying your hands as an accomplice.
From off screen
Voice: Are you trying to take away my ultimate pleasure, Verlaine?
A shot fires, Verlaine is his, he falls to the ground,
Billy: Verlaine! Hang in there!
The gunman shoot Verlaine in the head
Billy: Verlaine! Verlaine!
Billy: Bishop! Why Verlaine!? What in heavens are you trying to accomplish!?
Stone: I am the inquisitor sent to earth from Solaris.
Stone: The status of Bishop is merely a convenience for my activities on earth. The 'Ethos' was created as a Solaris sub-organization and given the task of managing earth dwellers. But over the years the 'Ethos' started to set up convenient doctrines for itself. It then went on to gather the ignorant masses, and created a god for them to believe in. Then, the 'Ethos' even went so far as to plot a separation from its creator, Solaris. Solaris had no choice but to eliminate all those who defy our rule and raise the flag of rebellion. The ones prepared as 'eliminators' were...the Etones. Etones, 'the Atoners', the organization I established within the 'Ethos' had 2 purposes. On the surface their aim was to eliminate the 'Reapers' or -Wels- that run rampant on the earth. But that's not their only purpose. Behind the scenes, we also had selected men like Verlaine. They were responsible for observing and eliminating any corrupt people who appeared in the 'Ethos'. You didn't have the chance to learn of this, since you left the 'Ethos' so early. Or actually, I just never told you. There was 'another' role I wanted you to perform.
Billy: Another role?
Stone: Billy, there are certain things in this world that you're happier not knowing. Even lies and deceptions can become the truth for some people of the earth...Particularly those not knowing the true nature of things, or how these systems of things works. In fact, the -god- and -faith- systems set up by the 'Ethos' were the truth in itself, were they not?
Billy: Tell me! What other 'role' were you talking about? What did Verlaine mean when he said judgment!?
Stone: So you want to know? But can you bear the full weight of the truth? Billy, if you can bear that weight, then I'm willing to tell you.
Stone: You believed that you were saving wandering souls weren't you? That's why you carried out your cleansing of the 'Reapers', -Wels- from the earth, right? In fact it was all just another control system put in place by Solaris. But what's more, your 'saving' work, that very activity you believed in so much, was in reality---
Jessie moves towards Stone
Jessie: You're talking to much nonsense!
Jessie: You haven't changed at all since then, have you, Stein?
Stone: That's a name I haven't been called for a long time. Hearing that name vividly brings back a pleasant twinge of pain to the 'scars on this body'. You know what I mean, Jessiah?
Jessie: Heh, your brain still isn't working right. Answer me!
Stone: That's not worth wasting my breath answering. Just consider it 'my reward in life'. Of course that includes watching your agonizing death. I could succumb to the desire to slice up your body here and now, and drag out your innards...But I can't do that now. I have a matter to attend to elsewhere. That 'duty' comes before any pleasure I could have with you here. I haven't the time to waste anymore.
Stone goes to leave, Jessie levels his gun
Jessie: I won't let you go that easily Stein!
Stone turns back
Stone: I can't be bothered by insignificant wretches like you.
The henchman move at the party
Stone: Until next time! And, as a parting gift, I'll have these men entertain you!
Billy: Bishop Stone!
Stone: Well then, excuse me. Oh and Billy, if you something you wish to discuss, come see me later. I'll be waiting for you.
Stone leave the henchmen are pretty much generic enemies
Jessie: Stein, you aren't goin' anywhere!!
Jessie runs after him, but he's gone
Jessie: Just missed him. Looks like Stein's... There!
Elly: I've never seen a gear this huge.
Jessie: The mobile gear of Solaris was Alkanshel, wasn't it Hyuga?
Citan: What? Yes, something like that.
Jessie: It may be big but its slow to maneuver, so we'll be alright in our gears. But its firepower is phenomenal. Against a bigger target like a ship, BLAM! It'd all be over. Ain't that right Hyuga?
Citan: Yes, probably.
Jessie: See what I mean?
Elly: Wait, that means!
Citan: The Thames fleet is in danger! They are unaware of this!
Citan: I think they can catch up with the gear. Let us hurry and go help the Thames's fleet.
Back on the Yggdrasil
Crewmember: I've picked up the 'Ethos' fleet and the Thames on the radar, sir. They're on the sea south of here. If we travel at full speed we can reach them in an hour.
Sigurd: Alright! Set sail for Thames!
Crewmember: Aye, aye, sir!
Radar man: First mate! The radar sir!
Sigurd: What is it!?
Radar man: The radar just detected an enormous object! It appeared straight over the fleet!
Bart: Don't tell me Stone's there already!
Radar man: No, it is much bigger than that. I estimate it's at least 2000 sharls!
Billy: That's gigantic! What in the heaven is happening?
Gazel - Blue 3: A selfish creed. I question his faith.
Gazel - Red 2: We have no need for an organization of fanatics.
Gazel - Blue 2: We will seek what they will, it's their nature.
Gazel - Red 3: But, too much is undue, something must be done. A reprimand is necessary.
Gazel - Red 1: They are an expendable group. There is nothing we can do at this point.
Gazel - Blue 4: Yes, there is nothing more to gain from their continued existence.
Gazel - Blue 1: They've already done what we've required. Currently, we're in the process of 'dealing' with each area responsible.
Gazel - Blue 3: Stein is in charge of dealing with Aquty.
Gazel - Red 2: Bear in mind the need for a 'fitting solution'.
Gazel - Red 1: Moreover, Krelian is rather exorbitant. It's only a molecular machine. Why is he placing such importance on it?
Gazel - Blue 2: 'Humans' and 'machines', it's all the same to us.
Gazel - Blue 1: Yes, they are all the same
On Ezekiel (The "fishbowl" ship)
Crewmember 1: Main gun, 20 until the energy is recharged. Engineering, ready for a full demonstration. Main ship, military units are at stand by. Clean up is at 80%. Currently, our heading is clear.
Crewmember 2: Krelian, there are several ships that have not been vaporized. What should we do?
Krelian: Eliminate the rest of the trash. Use the test subjects, Wels, for retrieval and elimination.
Crewmember 2: We've confirmed the marker location of Stein. Of the 130 research and excavation sites, it's in the southernmost peak.
Crewmember 3: Shocktroops are entering Zeboim right now.
Krelian: I see, the thing they've searched for, for over 500 years. This should be interesting.
Crewmember 1: Releasing the Wels.
Hans: What are you asking me for?
Captain: Weren't the other Salvager fleets almost blown away by one shot? Is this the way the 'Ethos' greets us?
Hans: I seriously doubt that! Why do they have to attack us? We only came to help with the excavations.
Crewmember: C, Captain! Wels Reapers! Reapers are coming out of that fishbowl thing by the dozens!
Hans: Why? This cannot be happening!
Captain: Launch the Gears! Load the big gun!
Captain: Alright, y'all! We're going to assist and rescue survivors from the other ships if at all possible while trying to retreat! And shoot down those Wels with our 2 guns! Don't let those filthy Wels get near our Thames!
Turns to Hans
Captain: Hans! Look alive! Take the helm! We'll show that fishbowl thing how real men of the sea retreat!
Hans: Y, yes sir!
Radar Man: I've detected a rescue signal! It seems the Thames is being attacked by a pack of Reapers!
Bart: So this is purging by Solaris that Stone was talking about!?
Citan: Let us make haste! Otherwise the Thames will be destroyed by Reapers!
Citan: Yes, you could say that. But you seem to be better off than I expected.
Captain: Of course. We are Men! of the Sea! Is what I'd like to say, but the truth is the situation's been pretty bad. We've got some that are injured badly and some that are fatal. But considering what happened to the other ships, we're in no position to complain. And by the way, Citan, What the hell is up with that fishbowl thing? It came out of nowhere and kicked our butts and left behind Wels. And then, it headed for some obscure excavation site where there's supposed to be nothing. Odd, since we were sent to go to a deeper and bigger excavation site.
Citan: Just as I thought.
Captain: Some say they saw a huge Gear-like monster. It seemed like it was guiding that fishbowl thing to the excavation site. Or so I'm told.
Citan: Stone, it appears there is something there for sure.
Captain: Call it salvager's intuition, but I don't wanna' get any closer. And Citan, is that fishbowl thing an enemy of yours?
Citan: You could say that.
Captain: Well, I won't ask for revenge. But I can't just sit back and do nothing. If you're against it, we'll help any way we can. You can ask Hans anything about the site.
Hans: Fishbowl was headed due north. The north edge of that island, but why? There's nothing there but a small mine.
They return to the Yggdrasil and prepare to go to the dig site.