Part 5: Aveh Sand Cruiser and Stalactite Caverns
Aveh Sand Cruiser and Stalactite Caverns
It seems that the Aveh soldiers have decided to take us prisoner instead of executing us. We get a show of the sand cruiser then Fei in bed.
Fei dreams in cutscene
Fei wakes up, Citan is already awake.
F: Huh? Ahh, well, sort of.
C: Sorry I messed up, I was careless. That Gear is a top secret experimental model from Kislev. It was only natural that Aveh would also be madly searching for it. Fei, are you hurt? You do not look so well.
F: Well, I suppose you could say I was hurt.
C: That man in black, spoke of your father's fate. Is that what is wrong?
F: There is that too, but, it's the other stuff he said. What happened at Lahan was all planned to get me to ride in that Gear, or so he claimed. That's got me worried.
C: To get you to ride in that Gear?
F: Doc, before the village was destroyed, I lived without doubting myself. But it's different now. I don't... know who I am. I've never felt like this before.
C: Well we cannot do anything as long as we are prisoners, even if we wanted to. Let us rest a little. Maybe it will sort out your feelings a little.
F: Let's talk more.
C: Are you worried about what he said about your father?
F: All I know is what the maids at my home in Lahan told me: one night a strange masked man carried me to Lahan. I was heavily wounded at the time, in my delirium I called out for my father. That's all they could tell me about my background. I don't remember anything of my father or my past, so I guess I'm not really all that lonely or sad.
C: Let us rest a little.
F: Good idea.
Fei goes back to bed we see Citan's thoughts
Citan: (It was him! No mistake. That was no coincidence. Could it be that we are approaching the -Time- of the -Gospel-?)
Citan has a flashback
Emperor: Yes, the -Gospel-.
We who fill this land will once again return to the presence of God in paradise and live there eternally. That is the -Time- of the -Gospel-. That -Time- is at hand. We, the Gazel, must find God's resting place by then and resurrect him. That is our final prayer.
C: Our final prayer?
E: Our final prayer to escape from the -Fate- that was determined at our genesis.
Citan flashes back to the present, looking at Fei he thinks
C: (Majesty, Is this the end?)
We get a view of someone watching the sand cruiser.
Voice: And look what we have on top!
Gunner: Turret A 'Anton' and turret B 'Belta' can initiate their electropometers twenty seconds after opening their hatches.
Franz: I don't hear anything other than the flowing sound of the sand... No suspicious radar activity detected!
Marseilles: Maitreya's units are on standby at the catapults. They'll all be able to launch one minute after we resurace!
Pirate: Good! Let's do it! Battcon level 1!
The ship prepares to fire
Crewmember 1: Engine room, ready!
Crewmember 2: Torpedo room, ready!
Crewmember 3: Anti-Gear guns, ready!
Crewmember 4: Navigation and Engineering are also ready!
Young Master (pirate): Battle stations, everyone! Surface navigation, begin operating the sand pump! Prepare to fire starboard cannons upon surfacing!
Both Guys: Young Master!
Young Master: Trim to the right! The wind is strong up there and we may be blown off balance! Jerico! Hand the helm over to me!
Back to Fei and Citan
C: A sand cruiser, it must be those desert pirates!
Back to the pirates
Crewmember: Alternate firing between A 'Anton' and B 'Belta'! Calculating adjustments!
Young Master: Aww yeah! Switch mode over to salvos after the initial shots! Let's slow 'em down. Get ready to give them a spankin' they won't forget!
Old Guy: Young master, please wait! It may just be a requisitioned ship, not a warship...
Young Master: Let me handle this! Whether it's a warship or not, it's carrying a new Gear! Gunner! Let 'em have it!
The ship opens fire
C: Oh, oh!
The sand cruiser takes a sold hit
C: We will probably sink within minutes.
F: A few minutes, Doc!!
Citan tries to open the door
C: It is locked. Somebody free us! Argghh!!
The door breaks open and sand starts to fill the ship
F: Let's get out of here, doc!
Fei and Citan run down a hall and climb a ladder
The ship slowly fills with sand, but the Aveh guards still want to fight me every step of the way. I grab a couple items and head to the top deck.
C: Whew, that was close.
C: Fei! Can you hear me? I am moving the crane towards Weltall's cockpit. Hurry! Go up the crane to Weltall! We are going under fast!
F: I got you, doc! But when you're done you hurry up there too, okay!?
I dick around at this part because the game doesn't really make this very hard for you
F: Here we go again, you and I seems to have a fated relationship!
F: C'mon doc! Over here! Hurry up!
Fei grabs Citan and gets out of there.
Citan jumps out of Weltall's hand
F: Are you okay, doc?
C: Ha ha ha! Well, Doctor Citan Uzuki! Feels like you have sacked your saccules, and tickled your utricles enough for one lifetime! Wow, dizzy! (A saccule is a small sack in the inner ear. A utricle can also be a part of the inner ear or a vestigal part of the prostate, I'm going to guess Citan was going for the ear one)
F: Sorry about that, doc! I didn't have time to open up the cockpit, are you really okay doc?
C: Fei, I was only joking. Note to Citan, you suck at jokes. Riding in the hand was not so bad. I can see what is so good about this top-secret experimental Kislev machine.
Fei:Yeah, when I started it up, it began doing all kinds of stuff by itself.
Yeah, weight reduction hovering, I shit you not! Fucker didn't know what a gear was three days ago and now he's an expert
C: Really? Amazing! I think Citan is just humoring him at this point: "yeah those systems exist lolls!"
Fei and Citan see 3 gears nearby, two generic ones flanking this sexy beast
Checkout the sweet eyepatch!
Young Master -Fuck it his name is Bart
Bart: Hm... can't you make a better plea for your life? You come jumping out of an Aveh ship and claim that you are not Aveh soldiers! Stop trying to fool me!
F: I tell you, it's true!
B: Tsk. How pathetic are you! Even if you're the pettiest of soldiers, how's about showing a little spine and put up a decent fight!
F: Stop it! I'm telling you I'm no soldier! I don't want to fight!
B: How nauseating! Why don't you stop grumbling, and leave the Gear and run away?
Bart is kinda' a prick and a braggart.
B: For someone who doesn't want to fight, you're quite powerful. I see, an all-environment model, so that's it, huh? Now I want it even more!
This fight is mostly easy but for one thing
Wild Smile is probably the most ass-reaming 2 EP ability ever, it lowers both accuracy and evasion ability, works on people and gears and stacks with itself.
Not that that matters, Bart only gets 800 Frame points for this battle, but after I win
B: In the heat of battle, I get caught in quicksand! Darn. Me, of all people! Damn! It's all your fault! Boy are you going to get it later. So be darn ready!
F: Why? I'm just as confused on this one as you Fei.
We sink into an underground cave
B: Hey! You're not an Aveh soldier?
F: I told you that in my intercom transmission earlier. You're the one who refused to listen to me, right?
B: Hah, ha, ha. Sorry, sorry. Yes, I remember you were saying something like that. I went off half-cocked and thought you were the enemy. Uhh, ahem, my name is Bart. I'm the pirate that works this territory. I like how he makes it sound likey they're unionized or something.
F: My name is Fei. I was arrested for no reason, shoved into that Aveh transport ship and was nearly about to be sent to a concentration camp until you went and blew the thing to blazes. Anyway, I'm just glad to have been able to survive.
B: I see, well, I'm glad I at least helped you out a little. But I didn't expect a civilian like you would be riding in a military Gear. Besides, this Gear is a brand new model. I've never seen this type before.
F: Let's just say that a lot of things have happened. It wasn't like I wanted to pilot it! Where are we anyway? Looks like we fell into one weird place; I've never heard of huge stalactite caves such as this existing under the desert before.
B: What? You don't know anything, do you? Where are you from? The desert only covers around 1000 sharls of the outer layer of the earth. The stratum underneath that consists of igneous rock. 1 Sharl = 0.964 meters = 3.1629 feet
F: From a sea of trees to a sea of sand, and now a stalactite cave, what's next?
B: What are you talking about?
F: Oh, nothing, never mind.
B: We're in trouble, look, the hole we fell through has disappeared. We'd better find another way out. So, you wanna' call a truce for now? At least until we find an exit and get out of here.
F: Yes, agreed. First we gotta' find the way out of here, so, let's get going.
Random Pirate: Hey, you! I know you're tired but don't go any further than there!
Aveh Soldier: Shut up! You sunk our ship! Don't you forget that!
Random Pirate 2: No, you shut up! NO YOU! Just be thankful that you were saved!
Nurse: Excuse me, is there anyone who is almost dead, with no arms and legs, or in need of an abdominal operation? No one...? Well, that's depressing.
Pan to Citan
Citan: I see...
Sigurd: Yes, he actually calculated this attack, or so he says! As you can see, no one has died this time, either.
[A gear walks up to the cruiser.]
Pirate Gear: We still can't locate the young master. General Maitreya's platoon will scout around again.
S:Okay. I'm counting on you.
Gear:Yes, sir! Since I'm part of the unit I'll also excuse myself.
C: So, what happened to this 'young one' you call 'master'?
S: He fell into an underground cave with that other guy in a Gear. It's near an old excavation site, and he is riding in a Gear, so he'll probably be able to come up somehow. We'll try to find him for a while, and if that doesn't work, then we'll wait for him at our meeting point.
C: You seem to trust him a lot.
S: Trust him, yeah, I trust he'll get us into trouble. But I never thought I would meet you here, 'Hyu...'
C: It is not coincidence. It is an inevitable consequence, I assume.
Back to Fei and Bart
Fei finds a massive boulder blocking their path.
B: Hey, Fei!
B: If we can get rid of this boulder, but I doubt we can just smash it to pieces.
F: I guess we could try pushing it.
Fei starts pushing
B: Wait, no matter how you look at it...
F: What the heck are you doing? Hurry up and help!!
F: We can get by if we help each other. Let's keep it up so we can get out of here.
B: The hydromechanic pipe for my knee is on the verge of breaking down. It's all because of that fall from the ceiling, followed by pushing this mega-colossal boulder. It won't be funny if my Gear malfunctions in a huge cavern like this.
F: Your friends won't come and help us?
B: It'd be a waste of time waiting. They probably won't come.
F: But, aren't they your friends?
B: We believe in a liberal upbringing. They'll think we can escape by ourselves.
F: I wonder if doc is okay.
B: Don't worry about the man you were with. I'm sure our guys saved him by now.
B: What is it?
F: We wouldn't have fallen in here if only you had listened to me.
B: Don't blame it on me! You should've surrendered instead of challenging me. All I wanted was your Gear. God, I just wanted to take your incredibly valuable weapon.
F: Don't be ridiculous! You're the one who blindly attacked me. What else was I supposed to do? I thought I might die if I didn't fight you.
B: I was taking it easy on you. Couldn't you tell? Then you're a bit dense.
F: Don't lie to me. Fei he's not lying, press square, look at his REAL frame HP I know you were serious.
B: What! You want some!? Let's have it out! Right here!
Fei walks off ignoring Bart
B: Wait! Settling it right here comes first. I won't be able to get anything done until we settle this once and for all!
F: I thought you wanted a truce for now? Getting out of here should come first! Once we're out of here, I'll fight you all you want. Let's hurry up and move on out of here!
B: I don't like you very much, damn it! I'll get you when we get outta' here.
The stalactite caverns feature our first encounter with one of the best enemies ever
These gears wonder around various areas, they refill frame points and fuel, deal next to no damage when they attack, and are supper easy to dispatch once they restore you.
We spot a small cave with a light
B: Who'd have ever thought there would be someone living in a place like this! Let's check it out!
We hop out of our gears and go in.
B: Hey, Fei! This is a surprise! There's someone living in this place! It was a surprise five minutes ago when we saw the light, now it's pretty obvious.
Old Man: Well anyway, come on back in here and make yourself at home. It's been a long time since my last visitor. What happened? Did you fall from the surface?
B: I guess that's it.
Old man: I see, that's too bad, I can tell from the sound that you both ride good Gears. But, the legs seem to be playing up a bit.
F: You mean, you can tell what's wrong just by the sound of its footsteps?
Old Man: Ha ha ha. It's easy to know what's wrong with Gears by the sounds they make. My guess is that one of them needs a new hydromechanic pipe in its joints. It's making a nasty sound. It must be hard to walk with too. Oh, by the way, the name's Balthasar, but you can call me Ol' Man Bal. What and old man named for one of the three wise men, who is super knowledgeable and a recluse, In a Square game? No, I don't believe it!
B: Oh yeah? So it looks like we've got a real fanatic here, huh! What's a old man like you doing in a place like this? I think Bart's trying to score here
Ol' Man Bal: I guess you can call me a 'fossicker' or a 'collector of things'. There is much to be found lying around in this here stalactite cavern.
B: A collector, huh? Sounds interesting. The things on this shelf, are they some of the stuff you have found?
Ol' Man Bal ('fossicker'): You mean the fossils? They're one of the things I collect. Feel free to have a look at them.
Ol' Man Bal: Notice anything particular on these shelves? They go from oldest on the left, to newest on the right.
B: Are you an archaeologist or something, old man? I don't quite see what you are talking about. They just look like a bunch of old bones to me. Fei, what do you think?
F: Let me see. First, there are no human bones up to here. Then, from here on over to the right, something is slightly different, I guess.
Old Man Bal: Yes, from a certain point in time, human fossils suddenly no longer appear. That point is roughly 10,000 years ago. This is confusingly worded, he means there are no human remains prior to 10,000 years ago.
B: What does that mean?
Ol Man Bal: Don't ask me. I don't know for sure, but my guess is, there were no humans on this earth before then. At least it appears so.
B: How could that be? What about all that talk about evolution?
Ol Man Bal: You mean the theory of evolution as taught by the 'Ethos', right? In this world only the church believes in science. You can't trust that! Rather, I believe in the old legends and myths. Balthazar is a bastion of progressive thinking, or maybe the well educated liberal elite of this world all think evolution is bullshit, this is starting to hurt my brain.
F: Legends? Myths?
Old Man Bal: Haven't you heard of this story? They say that humans and God lived together in a paradise in the sky. With God's protection, there was no fear of death, and natural disasters were entirely unknown. Then one day, humans ate a forbidden fruit which gave them incredible wisdom. But God drove mankind from the paradise for their sin. Bitter at having been driven out of paradise, humans used the wisdom they had to make giants. With these giants, they plenned to challenge God himself. But God poured his wrath down on them. All who defied God were destroyed. But God himself did not escape unharmed. Taking paradise with him, the wounded God buried himself deep beneath the ocean to sleep for eons. Before going to sleep, God used his remaining power to create right-hearted humans to live on this planet. These people are said to be our ancestors. Well, anyway, I'll stop my ranting now.
F: By the way, does this cave have...
Old Man Bal: An exit? There is an exit in the excavation site beyond the sand barrier. You can get outside through there.
B: Sand barrier? You mean that huge wall you can see from your entrance?
Old Man Bal: Yes, that's it. On the other side is an old Aveh excavation site. They built that while Aveh was excavating to keep the sand from falling in from above. But they've stopped working there now.
F: So, how do we open a huge thing like that?
B: If it's a wall, you can probably break it down.
Old Man Bal: Hold your horses there young 'uns. No matter how good a Gear you have, you'll never break that wall down. Fei: let's try pushing it It's much too strong. So, let's make a deal.
B: A deal?
Old Man Bal: The wall was closed due to the reaction of the 'Sand Sensors' Thanks to that, now I can't get through to the other side either. Maybe it happened when you two fell in here. Were you boys fighting up there or something?
F: You seem to be able to tell everything! Anyway, so what can we do about it?
Old Man Bal: It is very simple. You just have to turn off the Sand Sensor switches. So when he said he was trapped, he really meant that he was lazy Doing that will keep the barrier from closing again. While you two are doing that, I'll open it up.
F: Right, got it.
Old Man Bal: The sensors are in two places. You should see their flashing red lights. Well, good luck then.
F: Let's go Bart.
Old Man Bal: Oh, before you go
B: Thanks, old man. Well, we'll go and finish our part of the deal then!
Hummm, I wonder what this HEIM stuff is all about?
This robot tells me where the sensors are
Back to Old Man Bal
F: Well done, old man!
Old Man Bal: Our deal is done.
B: Hey, old man. There's one thing I want to ask you.
Old Man Bal: What is it?
B: I've heard somewhere on this planet is a Gear far superior to all others. I've heard it was called 'the God Gear' and was made in ancient times but was hidden away somewhere. Do you know anything about it?
Old Man Bal: A man-made God, created with the wisdom of God! Such a Gear would have the power of a thousand Gears. In a wave of its arm, it could destroy whole cities. Its battle cries would thunder in the heavens. You must be speaking of the 'Omnigear'.
B: You know of it? Then perhaps it was what you were speaking about in that tale you told us of the battle with God...
Old Man Bal: Goodness gracious, you too, boy? Those stories were made to inspire man's soul. Wait I thought he said that he believed in these
But they're only legends. They don't really exist. Anyway, allow me to take a look at your Gears. It'll only take a little while, so wait here, please.
Balthazar goes to check out our Gears
B: Hey, wait! Arhh, he's gone.
F: Hey Bart. Do you think the Gear in that story's buried in the ground somewhere?
B: I think that's what I've heard.
B: Yeah, right! What are the chances of that happening?
B: The Gears that are excavated lately are usually only a few hundred years old. Nowhere nearly as old as the Gear in that legend.
F: Then why were they in the ground?
B: I don't know. There are no records. Except...
F: Except what?
B: There must be some truth in the tales they were buried after a great war. The bullet wounds covering most of the Gears would appear to confirm that.
F: You mean there are no records from the last several hundred years? You'd think this sort of thin would be common knowledge. How about before that?
B: None from either period. The 'Ethos' controls all the records from that time period. maybe they had some very ancient records too. All we know about our history is from the little pieces that we find for ourselves. Anyway, Fei, what do you make of the old man?
F: What do you mean?
B: Why would such an old man live all alone in this abandoned cave?
F: I don't know. Probably digging for ancient Gears or something?
B: Right! So you think so too?
F: Hey! I just said that as a joke. Don't take all that stuff seriously. They're only legends, you know.
B: No, that old man is up to something!
Balthazar suddenly cries out
Old Man Bal: This can't be!
B: What's wrong, old man?
Hell yeah, check out the spinnaz'!
F: Well, sort of.
Old Man Bal: Where did you get it?
F: I'm just borrowing it.
Old Man Bal: This is...
Wait, say WHAT?!
F: Wait a moment! What did you just say?
Old Man Bal: Nothing. I didn't say anything! Way to play it smooth
F: No! I heard you! You said, slayer of God! That's what you said, isn't it old man!
Old Man Bal: Your Gears are fixed. You have no more business here. This is a bad time for me. Be on your way!
F: Be on our way? Listen here, old man!
Despite what he says Balthazar will still sell me gear parts, but he does it with a warning
We take the little gondola to turn on the power for the elevator
After taking a few steps we're confronted with this guy
Remember when I said Wild Smile was broken?
Well, its still true, 3-4 of these guys and Calamity is only aptly named when you consider his odds of hitting.
Bart turn toward the exit
B: Anyway, looks like that's the exit. So, it'll soon be adios to this old cavern!
Calamity gets back up
B: What the...!
F: Get out of the way, Bart!
Fei charges over
And goes sickhouse all over Calamity
B: What do you mean 'huh'!? What in blazes was that? Don't you know?
F: No, err, I don't know.
B: That was incredible! You just blew that huge thing to pieces! Why didn't you use that technique a bit earlier?
F: I dont' know that technique. I have no idea how I even did it!
B: Hmm. Oh well, I guess that doesn't matter. Wait a second, how is this not significant?! Anyway, thanks for helping me out!
B: So, now that we've gotten rid of that nuisance, let's get out of here, eh, Fei!
F: Where are we?
B: You see the twin mountains over there? That's where Bledavik, the royal capital of Aveh and Fatima castle are located. Currently, there's no king living there though. Anyway, that's my old hometown.
B: I'd like to go ahead and settle our dispute but, considering how close we are to the capital of Aveh, we'd probably get caught.
B: Hey, stop looking so glum, chum. I guess I'll have to get you back to your friend soon or you'll die from fretting or something. Anyway, the rendezvous point with the Yggdrasil is right over there. Don't worry, you'll be meeting your friend in no time at all.
Until next time!