Part 10: Episode 10 - A Pure Heart And The Price It PaysChapter Ten: A Pure Heart And The Price It Pays
Since we have the Garage back its time to get to work. Further upgrades to our LEVs bodywork is going to cost 4,000 per upgrade, so lets upgrade weaponry first.
Razma gets upgrades across the board. So does Yukito aside from his Handgun, and Semyls Beam Cannons and Missiles also get a boost.
I also give the Dreizehn a Supply Pack before moving on with the story.
Music: Transient Repose
: Razma? Are you alone? Where is everybody else?
: Warren and Yukito went to go work out at the gym. Semyl said she was going to buy Myona some clothes, so the two of them and Mebius went shopping for girlie stuff.
Turns out our heroes have lives outside being Martian space freedom fighters. Nothing like hitting the gym after obliterating half a dozen LEVs driven by Acemos scumbags.
: Hmm. Where's Ares?
: Probably the hangar. He said something about analyzing the data he got at the facility.
: But I thought the only equipment they had there was maintenance tools for LEVs and OFs.
: OK, I'm bored anyway. I'm going to go and be a nuisance. I can look at the Frames while I'm there too.
: No! Razma! You shouldn't! Wait!!
The scene shifts to the hangar bay.
: Ha ha, ha ha ha....
: Oh, you two! Did you come to help out?
: No, we're here to be a nuisance.
: Oh. I see.
:...For Pete's sake...
: So, Ares, what did you find?
: fact, it's not easy to have resources like this. I'd love to know where to find these things.
: Ares. Women have lots of secrets.
: Aha. Secrets. It must be difficult to have so many of them.
: But since you were so kind as to prepare all these tools, I will do what I can, even though it may take a while...
: What!? You know how?
:...This is interesting. She may be able to get better results than any of us.
: I like that. Please do.
: Would that be okay with you, Cage?
: Of course. Please!
After that totally unsuspicious scene its time for a little change of location
Music: Black Ops
:...this to you?
: Please. I have made my meagre contribution also. 'It was taken' is simply not good enough.
This bearded fellow is Mr. Ryan, founder and CEO of Ryan Corporation.
: Stop worrying. If you work with us, there's nothing that NUT can do to stop you. I will find it soon.
:...Will you actually 'get it back,' or 'find it'? I hate to say it, but...there are those who doubt you. They say that it was in fact no 'accident', and that you're trying to sell the Animus elsewhere...
: Before, that threat may have worked...but now? Face the facts. I don't mind cooperating. But I don't owe you anything. I can tolerate your unpleasant experiments only because it can make me profit...At least for the time being.
:...Are you threatening me?
: Threatening? Hardly. I'm warning you.
: We will take care of the incident at the factory. Is that okay with you?
Ryan leaves the room.
:...(I have no choice...It's risky, but it must be done. I'll have to give Bolozof permission to carry out his plan...
Zephyrs activates a communicator.
: It's me. Give me Lieutenant Velasgo.
Okay, now that things are getting interesting its probably a good time to recap some of the things weve learned so far. Zephyrs was using the Bonaparte to transport the Animus, ie. Testament, to Mars in order to demonstrate its capabilities to Ryan Corp. We know this because of this latest scene and because the captain of the Bonaparte mentions mysterious higher-ups telling him to be extra-careful with his cargo. Unfortunately for Zephyrs something goes wrong the Bonaparte is attacked as it enters Marss orbit and explodes, although several escape pods manage to jettison beforehand. The Animus itself also survives when Cage and Myona hop in and pilot it down to the planets surface.
Upon hearing of the Bonapartes destruction Zephyrs sends out Ned to silence any survivors and recover the Animus. Ned does this and drafts a false report that the Bonaparte crashed with all hands due to engine failure, which is accepted as truth by the public. In the meantime Zephyrs develops the Bizac, probably as a means of placating Ryan Corp whilst awaiting the Animuss recovery. Ned quickly finds out that the Animus is in BISs hands, reports this to Zephyrs, but before he can recover it Cage removes Pharstis limiters and kills him. The loss of his operative prompts Zephyrs to send the more skilled Bolozof after the Animus. Bolozof turns out to have his own anti-Martian agenda and begins to become unpredictable, and Zephyrs slowly begins to lose control.
With no progress being made and the destruction of Ryan Corps Bizac factory, some of the major corporate players within Ryans company begin to doubt Zephyrs and Ryan himself is no longer cowed by Zephyrss threats. Zephyrs is in a tight spot right now, to the point where he has to rely on Bolozof to pull himself out of the fire.
But anyway, on with the plot.
Music: Transient Repose
: Hee hee, the data is very cute.
: The data...Cute?!
: Yes. It was all wrapped up in a pretty package so as to conceal its contents.
: Interesting metaphor....
: And what did you find?
: anything. I'll transfer the files now.
: This is really something. It's not everything, but it's completely deciphered.
: In this short amount of time...
: Breaking the code.
: This here...
: Metatron linkage I... D0? Subject 1179 F-15...?
: Hey, there's more over here. Impulse transmitter F-6x, M-12.... I don't get it!
: would be the age. M-12 would be a 12-year-old male...
: But...How...They're mostly children!
:...According to this, the data goes back 10 years. The compatibility of the human brain and metatron... There's a plan to implant a human brain directly into the machines.
: What's this?? An I.D.O. System record of accidents and deaths?! And this OF is the culprit?
: wasn't the only accident it's caused.
: Things are starting to make sense. But we still need proof that this frame is somehow affiliated with Zephyrs. We are so close...
: The truth is about to be revealed... All their evil deeds...Pharsti! Is there any more?
: This is all the data I have been able to decode. The rest of the data turns into a 'suicide virus' and will delete itself when opened without the proper password. I would not recommend attempting to analyze the rest of the data without the password.
So Zephyrs turns out to be Dr. Mengele In Space and has apparently been carrying out the experiments him and Ryan were previously talking about for more than a decade. Moreover, the Black OF that attacked the Bonaparte was involved in these experiments. Unfortunately the decoded parts arent enough to link the experiments to Zephyrs, but before BIS can contemplate that
: *Gasp* Again?!
:...Ms. O'Connell. Please take a look at this.
Twede turns on the news.
Music: Enemy Mine
: as of late bombed a civilian-owned factory last night. UNSF Lieutenant Bolozof Velasgo was able to capture some members from this group, known as BIS, a little while ago.
: I repeat. Just now... what? Live feed? Excuse me. There has been a last-minute change. We have a live broadcast from the scene.
:...A word to the terrorists. We have reached the limits of our tolerance for you. From now on, your immoral activities will be met with weapons. This is not a threat. We will do whatever it takes to prevent tragedies like this from happening again. Today at noon, we will hold a public hearing for the terrorists who have been captured!
:...They have nothing to do with us. They have abducted random people to lure us to them.
: Oh, no!!
:...That isn't the only problem. Please continue watching.
: There's Sis - and Myona! Even Semyl!!
: They...They found out?!
: it must have been a coincidence... but I guess we don't really know. I can't imagine that they would actually hold a 'hearing.' It's probably more like a public execution.
: Those dirtbags....
: Oh! Ra-Razma! That person there...its Nadia!
: They're even using their own people...Are they insane?
: Ms. O'Connell, I would strongly advise against taking such action. It is impossible to save them, and they would most certainly be captured.
: So...What do you suggest we do?
: If we do that, the people are not just going to let it go...At the very least, the humans on Mars are going to be angered, and the politics on Earth will encounter serious problems as well...Even if we don't go out of our way to expose ourselves to danger, the situation should improve for us. Not doing anything is the best strategy - it yields the fewest victims.
: Ms. Robin?!?!
: How is abandoning you own friends 'the best strategy'? I'm going, even if I have to do it alone. And don't stop me!
: But, Twede, we don't want ANY victims. Peace earned at the price of any victim will only breed more victims in the future.
: Ms. O'Connell!!
: Ms. O'Connell...Thank you!
: Thank you! We're going.
: But I'm only going to let you go under one condition. All of you must come back safely. Can you promise me that?
:...Yes! We promise!!
: Come on, everyone... Let's hurry!
Deckson and the others leave.
: (Good luck, everybody... Be safe...)
: You know that what I said reflected the wishes of the higher-ups...Do you realize what a big responsibility you are taking on?
: I'm aware of it.
:...Well, then. In that case, I have nothing to add....
The screen fades out on that rather ominous note.
This is supposed to say Scene 10: A Pure Heart And The Price It Pays.
Music: Uncontrollable Fear
Acemos LEVs spawn all over the map before the camera focuses on the execution stand.
: I can't believe I couldn't save these children... I owe Deckson an apology.
: Myona! Can you hear me? Don't you give up on me! I know that idiot is gonna come get us!
: Semmy.... I'm so sorry. If I hadn't gotten caught, this wouldn't have happened...
: That's just dumb! Come on, grumpy, they're gonna come get us! You can't trust him as far as you can throw him, usually, but in crisis situations, that idiot is pretty reliable. So I'm tellin' ya, don't sweat it.
: troops to save their men in this situation...he would lose his position.
: Is that...?
: Say that again, you little punk! When help arrives, we'll leave you here!
: I don't care I plan to die here. I couldn't look at him now.
: Lieutenant...I apologize deeply for what has happened. It is my responsibility...
: That was Bolozof! I knew it...So she's Nadia?
:...That pendant...I remember now. You still have it.
: Yes! I am so glad that you remembered...I...I was...very happy.
A wild smuglady appeared!
: Who the...! What are you doing?! Get away from Lieutenant Bolozof immediately!!
: Oh please! My job is to stay with Mr. Bolozof and take good care of him.
: would be you!
: Nadia...Don't ever even utter my name with that filthy mouth of yours again.
:...What?! I'll happily agree to execution. I am not afraid of death! So...so...Look at me until the very end...Don't dislike...me....
:...I'm tired of you. I also have no use for failures.
: work next to him!
: Oh, well, that's over. He'll forget about you soonmy technique is that good. Even last night...
This line is incredibly, unbelievably creepy considering this characters in-game datafile lists her as being around sixteen years old.
: Sh-shut up!! That's a lie!!! Please, please say it's all a lie!!
: But I hate travelling. Can I tear it up?
: Do as you like.
The sound of paper tearing can be heard.
: world as an Ender.
Damn, this scene is nothing but sticking knives into Nadia and twisting them over and over again. Its obvious that Amante is Bolozofs new paramour, and unlike the naïve Nadia her smug, bitchy and vicious attitude makes her a perfect partner in crime for him.
: (...I don't know what happened there...But I feel really bad for her...)
: believe it!
:...Heh... I'm just glad that I won't have to look at your face anymore.
:...I can't believe these cats...They're gonna dump it all on her.
: Do you really think that's going to solve your problems? Because if you do, that's awfully simplistic of you.
: You won't be able to make any more of your precocious remarks in a little while. I feel bad for you...But the only ones to blame are the terrorists.
: I am reluctant to do this...But consider yourselves unlucky and just give up.
: (Consider yourselves unlucky and just give up... Hmmm...Con...si...der your...sel...v...?!?) Doctor...Zephyrs?
: Myona...This is Zephyrs?!
: You!...You aren't...
: Mr. Zephyrs, we have decided upon the execution of the terrorists! It will be underway shortly. Please step back.
: (Heh... how could that be?...Should've turned into ashes along with everything else at the lab.)
:...Very good. (I'll leave the rest to Bolozof and go now....)
: Please don't! If you'd just check one more time, you'll find that I'm innocent!
: Hey! Wait!! I didn't do anything bad!! I've been framed!!
: Well, you're out of luck, aren't you? All units aim - and make sure you don't miss!
: Is he...not planning to come?
: (Deckson, you did the right thing. This is a trap. I don't think poorly of you. Darling...Tia...I'll be with you both very soon...)
Music: Onward to Victory
: What?! What is going on?!
: (Heh, heh...I was getting tired of waiting.)
BIS units spawn in the middle of the city.
: You idiot! What took you so long?!
: You sound like you're doing okay. Give me a minute - I'll get you out of there.
: I'm sorry we're late, Myona! We couldn't get a hold of Warren and Yukito!
: I'm here too!
: We're clearly outnumbered...But we knew this would be a dangerous situation from the very beginning. Mebius, are you all right?
: Heh heh... I guess I won't be seeing those two today...It's your fault, you know!
: So...How do we handle this...?
: Cage, there are explosives by the feet of the people who are tied up. There also seems to be a time bomb. I am not certain how much time we have, but we should hurry.
: any of the hostages go...There's no time to debate on what we should do! Our first priority is to get the hostages! Free the people who are fixed to the blocks, one by one!
: So I should hover above the blocks? Got it!
: We don't know how much time we have before the bomb goes off!! Let's hurry!
Bolozof retreats and we gain control of the field.
Player Phase Music: Counterattack
Enemy Phase Music: Impact
Our units are in roughly the middle of the map. Theres a Local Server to the right which well want to get, and numerous enemies are pressing in on our flanks and coming down from the north.
Behind those LEVs are the execution stands. There are three of them and if we fail to move over them in our OFs before ten turns are up the explosives will detonate and well fail the mission.
Wait a minute this fellow up here
Its Frazer! Hes toughened himself up a bit since we last saw him. Now hes driving a Missile LEV and actually has some decent stats.
Anyhow, we dont have much to work with. Were down to only Cage, Ares, Razma, Deckson and Phil.
I send Ares to get the Local Server. Hes got the movement range to catch up far better than Cage.
Razma snipes the northern Missile LEV, gaining a level in the process.
Everyone else moves up and I end the turn.
The damaged Missile LEV moves down and attacks Deckson but misses, as does the Machinegun LEV that was parked next to it.
I havent been attacked by a Beam Gun in a while. The AI seems to prioritize melee attacks over ranged as long as my units are within their movement range.
Another LEV attacks and hits Testament, but the damage is fairly minor. Other than that the AI simply moves its units around, apart from Frazer who stays put.
All right, first things first.
Now that thats done its time to thin out the crowd of enemies.
Might as well give this kill to Phil since he can do enough damage to take him out.
He gets a much-needed level in the process.
Meanwhile I have Cage counterattack the LEV that attacked him last turn.
Deckson continues the attack.
Unfortunately he doesnt quite finish him. Time for the enemy to move.
Two enemies attack Phil and miss.
Another tries to melee Cage, but also misses.
A Beam Gun-toting foe has more luck.
His compatriot charges forwards into melee range but his attack fails to connect. The few enemies who arent yet in range move to engage us and the AIs turn ends. When our turn begins a short scene plays.
The Durandal II and the Justeen appear on the bridge to the west.
: How did you know where we were?
: That Tweed appeared out of nowhere. Anyway, we heard the whole story. I know were late, but we still wanted to help.
The situation now looks much more manageable.
Ares, Warren and Yukito arent in range so I move them all up.
Phil takes out the crippled Missile LEV.
Razma and Deckson cripple his friend for Phil to finish off next turn.
Since its the third turn I figure its time to start rescuing hostages, so Cage moves up towards the execution stands, engaging an enemy on the way.
He only gets 7 exp from it, but its enough to gain another level. Now its time to see what the AI does.
One enemy goes after Deckson and misses.
Phils streak of evasions runs out as he gets hit by the Machinegun LEV.
Another LEV tries to melee him, but misses.
A second foe tries for a missile attack, which is also dodged.
The third attack is more missiles, and this time they hit.
The Beam Gun LEV tries to hit the Vjaya, but the nimble OF is too quick for it. Once again Frazer does nothing and the enemys turn ends.
First thing I do is move Cage up to rescue the first batch of prisoners.
Next Phil murders the Machinegun LEV, netting himself another level.
Another one bites the dust.
Yukito finishes off the injured Machinegun LEV.
Warren and Deckson try to tag-team one of the remaining Missile LEVs, but it hangs on by the skin of its teeth. Even so, things have turned around; there are only three LEVs close enough to be a threat now.
That could have been bad.
So could that.
Beam Gun LEV tries to shoot Warren, but misses. Frazer continues to do a whole lot of nothing.
: Couldnt you come any sooner? That is so inconsiderate! I I cant stop shaking!!
You know lady, I could just wait another five turns for you to blow up.
Phil takes out the injured LEV whilst the others get to work on destroying the final two.
Razma snipes the Beam Gun LEV and Ares moves to finish him.
Meanwhile Yukito and Warren take out the final enemy in the city centre.
Now its just Frazer left.
I spend the next four turns moving everyone up, repairing the Blade and generally getting ready for the second half of the mission before moving an OF over the final execution stand. Oh, and about Frazer whilst he wont move, he will fire on you if you get into his range. He also gives out Boss exp when attacked.
So lets take him out.
Frazer retreats once you deplete all his health.
: The enemy has been defeated.
: All right! Now lets take the opportunity to get everyone out of here!
Another good reason for defeating Frazer and the others is that doing so boosts Cages Spirit by 10. Anyway, time to rescue the BIS members.
: Come on, Nadia. Come with us.
: Do as you like.
: Were okay. Now, youve got four delicate ladies up in here. Drive safely!
: Dont make me laugh! You want to die just because a guy dumped you? You know, they say that in that case The best revenge is to become happy. Give life another try!
: I I dont need any more of your help, or your lecturing!! Let me off!
Frazer appears, despite the fact that we messed him up pretty good.
: I do not know. But
: I am no longer your superior.
: Thats true. OK, Nadia. Then you are still my student. Its only natural for a teacher to save his pupil, is it not? Does this satisfy you?
: situation. Dont you understand that?!
: That attitude is why Im still stuck in middle-management. Oh, wait I suppose I should say was stuck.
: Heh. Hey, BIS! You want the password to view the coded files, dont you?
: (Deckson heh heh, now theyll be after me too But I feel pretty good, surprisingly. You owe me one for today Ahh, yes. In that Handy PC that I seized from that boy I guess Ill have to believe them.)
Frazer and Nadia leave. The comment about the Handy PC is interesting right at the start of the game Lewy mentions how hes downloaded the National Space Forces security logs onto it. The files inside would probably prove Cages story about the Bonaparte was the truth, and may well be why we havent seen Frazer take action against BIS for such a long time.
: Animus today!
Unfortunately Bolozof decides to crash the party with Amante and four Acemos toadies.
: You didnt care for it, eh, Mr. Bolozof? Do you really think youre going to get away with all these crazy things youre doing?
: Hmm? Im not the one with the problem. Those who hang desperately onto their titles and have no skill those are the ones who need to worry!
: What?! Dont you care about your teammates?!
: I dont care, as long as Im having fun. I dont trust anyone least of all a spoiled brat like you!
: Hey, is that the Animus? Can I kill it? Pleasssse? Can I?
: (Heh heh, she acts so ditzy, but she scored well when she enlisted wouldnt think it just by looking at her shes my little golden egg.)
: Do as you like. If you can beat it then theres no reason for us to take it back.
: Come on, Pharsti!
: Im ready, Cage!
Okay, now were up against Bolozof and Amante in their Bizacs and four of their Acemos lackeys.
Like Frazer, Bolozof is a fair bit tougher than he was before.
Amante is easier to deal with, being in a slightly weaker machine and having a lower level.
First move is to get the Blade right the hell out of the firing line.
Second is to snipe one of the lackeys with Razma before letting Bolozof have a crack at me.
Yukito dodges a melee attack.
Bolozof just barely misses Razma with his Beam Gun.
So Amante steps up to the plate and has a go.
She also misses. Nobody else is in range, so the AI shuffles its remaining units forwards.
I should be able to take out most of the generic enemies this turn.
One down. I was hoping Deckson would gain a level from this, but he just missed it.
Argh, so close to an OHKO! Now if I can just manage to nail a critical hit
Bah, no such luck.
Yukito cherry-taps with his Handgun to get rid of him.
Razma takes out the LEV he damaged last turn. I could move the Durandal II forwards and take a swing at Bolozof, but hes playing with his usual rules of retreating when his health drops below a certain point so Id rather take him out in one turn.
Bolozof himself has no such restraint.
Amante backs him up with a ranged attack.
Warren is too quick for her, though.
Okay, so everyones going after Warren now.
Still, things should be smooth sailing from here.
Annoyingly I dont think Ill be able to kill Amante in this turn.
Yep, shes going to live barring a lucky critical.
Razma gets a level out of it, so its not all bad.
I could kill Bolozof now but that would end the mission, so instead Ill try and scratch him down to low health. Note the hilariously low hit percentage.
It means Phils reticule is hilariously small.
Cant complain about the experience, though.
Deckson also gets in on the fun once Ive surrounded Bolozof with my other units to stop him getting into melee range with Phil.
It turns out to not have been necessary since he goes after Warren instead.
This is actually really bad since Warrens OF rescued one of the batches of prisoners, they die if the Durandal II goes down in flames. If he dies its game over.
So its a good job he doesnt and our turn rolls around again.
First lets deal with the hanger-on.
Amante is next on the list.
She gives out some great experience, but even better than that
: No, no, no, no!! How come they get to win?! No fair!! Im retreating!!
We get to wipe the smug right off her face before she retreats.
Warren retreats and Phil fixes him up. Just one more turn
Time to die, Bolozof.
Once again Cage gains many levels.
: more!! Its only a matter of time!!
Bolozof withdraws, and the rest of BIS bug out.
Music: Every Day
: Well, I don't really care about you, but I'm really glad the other two were okay. Are you okay, Sis? Did they treat you roughly? Myona, that must've hurt, being tied up like that. If you like, I'll rub it until...
:...Idiot. We trusted you and we were waiting for you.
: Did you just say something?
: No! Hmph!!
Semyl leaves the room.
: Uh-oh. This is trouble.
: Hey! Where are you going? Wait!
Razma also leaves.
: It never ends....
: Mebius, are you sure you're okay?
: Myona...Are you feeling all right?
: Excuse me...I'm going back to my room...I have a slight headache...
: Everyone's had quite a day today. Get some rest, and we'll talk about everything tomorrow.
: Oh! We-well, in that case, I...
The scene cuts to the hangar bay.
: No, it's nothing. Good job today.
: No, all I did was assist Cage.
: That's very modest of you.
: That is the truth. Please excuse me. I am going to run a self-check now.
: Bye, Pharsti.
: (Metatron...salvation of civilization...? Or another one of mankind's mistakes? Or...Dr. Hardiman...What was it that you saw?)
Here I should probably explain that by Dr. Hardiman Robin is referring to Rikoah Hardiman, the man who basically invented Orbital Frame technology. Hes a background character who is mentioned only a handful of times in the entire ZOE series. The question of what he saw in Metatron is very interesting considering the projects he worked on as well as who his son is but those are details for another time. For now we have another ~mysterious scene~.
: worry about. They can read our information and act on it. The device? Its not necessary right now wait. Actually, it is necessary. Yes, take care of that for me.
We get some new attacks and a supply pack as spoils.
And thats it for todays mission. The threads of the plot are drawing together slowly but surely Zephyrss role in things is becoming clearer, Nadia and Frazer are out of the picture and Bolozof is really starting to lose his cool. Until next time