12-11: Ticking Clock

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Ticking Clock
Episode 12
Previous 12-10 (Story)

Given the same amount of time, the knowledge that each man can obtain is never equal.
W's Safehouse
The Damazti Cluster reflects on the significance of their existence throughout history. Kal'tsit reflects on her longevity, and places her hopes for the future of the Sarkaz on W.
<Background 1>
[The scenery shifts into a farmland with the Damazti Cluster assuming the form of a Kazimierzian knight.]
"Kazimierzian" I often feel that the times change with irregularity.
Their means of coming up with concepts so brilliant, their methods of forming societies so diverse, it's all dizzying.
I've lived in Kazimierz many times, and every time I leave, I end up coming back. To tell you the truth, Banshee, traces of us are still present in that land of knights.
I must admit the place is indeed fascinating.
Logos Yet you didn't have me sketch out those neon lit skyscrapers for you.
You simply... chose this ordinary village for the stage this time.
"Kazimierzian" Because it's much quieter here, and it's Kazimierz as I first saw it.
Golden farmlands amid the never ending plains. It's a pity that these are probably no longer important to the Kazimierz of today.
What do you think, how does it compare to Kazdel?
Logos Kazdel is a land of ruin, but the rubble also means that there are countless possibilities beneath it.
Our visions of Kazdel may have their differences, but we can still look forward to its next iteration.
"Kazimierzian" And as for Kazimierz, it evolved so fast that in the blink of an eye, the Pegasi along with their morals and glory dispersed and withered away.
And it became even sweeter, more fascinating...
The descendants of the Elders and the Ancients accuse us Sarkaz of devouring their flesh and blood, and enslaving their souls. So they found a new method, and they did it even better than us.
They let those under their rule be fed, swallowed, turned into nourishment for their monster to continue expanding and grow.
And all they have to pay is a promise of the pleasures of life.
I searched for Kazimierz's rulers, intrigued by what they had created, but instead I only discovered...
No, there was no ruler, those company spokesmen, those members of the General Chamber of Commerce, even the Adeptus Sprawiedliwi or the Grand Knight, you could not call any of them a ruler of Kazimierz.
Inflated desire is so powerful that it can rule itself.
Logos Is a simple thirst for survival enough to keep up with your search, Damazti?
You're more restless than I imagined, what exactly are you afraid of?
"Kazimierzian" Of sinking, deep into the past and history.
I just want to understand...
How to get along with ourselves.
<Background 2>
Kal'tsit ......
[Kal'tsit opened her eyes to see W.]
Kal'tsit Ugh...
W Hey, Kal'tsit. Not lookin' so hot, hm?
Kal'tsit Where am I...?
W Why not sleep in a little longer? I need some more time to get a bomb under your pillow.
I'm guessing you're probably not in the best mood, waking up to see me, of all people. The feeling's mutual.
I'd rather die than let someone think I've been hovering over your bed, day after day with tears in my eyes, praying with all my heart and soul that you'd open your eyes.
Believe me, this is just a coincidence. I only came looking for water, and you just happened to be in my spot.
Kal'tsit Where are the Doctor and Amiya?
W Wanna take a guess?
Maybe I killed them both while you were taking a lazy cat nap.
Kal'tsit Sounds like they're both fine, for now.
W You have so much faith in me?
Kal'tsit What's our present location?
W The outskirts of Londinium, in a safehouse of mine. The courtyard out there is packed with a whole bunch of your people right now.
Is this favor of mine part of your grand plan too, Kal'tsit? You can try thanking me from the bottom of your heart, and I'll consider accepting your gratitude.
Kal'tsit Ascalon and I did work out several plans, and we did consider enlisting the help of ex-Babel members for the worst-case scenarios.
W I always knew you were so good at calculating everyone's usefulness–
Kal'tsit But, I have to thank you, W.
As you requested, from the bottom of my heart.
W ......Oh?
Did Theresis smash your head in too hard? Should I call Shining?
Kal'tsit I...
W I was kidding about calling Shining, by the way. Getting a brain injury wouldn't necessarily be the worst thing for you.
Kal'tsit Can you... help me up? I need to get out of bed.
W ......
<Background fades out and in>
W Water for you.
Kal'tsit Thanks.
Withdrawing from Londinium was an extremely risky operation. Can you tell me the current situation?
W You sure you wanna ask me? Closure's busy getting those temporary barracks up now, but we could keep our distance from each other till she gets back.
Kal'tsit I want to hear it from you. Mercenaries have a keener sense of danger.
W ......Fine.
Your Self-Salvation Corps got played by Manfred, hard.
He and his little sidekick seem to have found just the right time to take you guys out. The way I see it, these poor city folk were never a match for sharp-edged blood-licking Sarkaz scum.
And now your poor wretches are being driven out of Londinium, which honestly to me, is a good thing. It's way better than dying in some alley for nothing.
The only good news is that the dukes finally got moving. That bitch Ines tells me the Doctor and the little bunny were kidnapped by a certain duke who wants to use them to do a favor.
Kal'tsit A duke...?
So a war has broken out after all.
W Isn't it tragic? You've missed out on all sorts of excitement.
Any regrets, Kal'tsit? Seems like your gigantic brain didn't get you the results you wanted.
Kal'tsit I've never regretted my actions.
Friend of My Enemy.png
Kal'tsit But sometimes I feel...
W Wow. So you're actually capable of such a show of emotion? I gotta grab this once-in-a-lifetime chance to take a selfie with a poor, miserable Kal'tsit.
Kal'tsit I won't pretend to be the type who hides in the shadows and gropes in the direction of history, although sometimes I do hope that things go my way.
I... and my past selves have tried many approaches. Some have been successful, while others in hindsight have proven to be questionable.
But I still maintain that every choice has been made with rational judgement, and was the optimal choice at the time.
W Hmph. Optimal, huh?
Kal'tsit "Optimal..." Using such a term does make it sound like all related problems were solved.
But that's not really the case. I can only ensure that things don't turn out for the worst.
But no matter how I try, the results often prove to me that the impact an individual can make is always limited in the end.
No matter who it is.
Even if this name, "Kal'tsit," and the memories she carries have been walking these lands for so long, what I can accomplish... might be called insignificant.
W, I... I destroyed Kazdel once. The me that I was then believed that it was the only way to bring peace.
We managed to behead The Lord of Fiends then, and we were victorious, for all intents and purposes. According to our plans, we should have reclaimed the King's authority.
I had prepared all kinds of plans, and the successors were under my supervision.
But at that moment Theresa... chose to pick up the black crown.
W Hey, I'm not here for a history lesson.
But I'm awful curious, Kal'tsit. Why did you and her put Babel together anyway? What exactly do the Sarkaz mean to you?
If you're just trying to play with our lives, she... Theresa wouldn't be on your side.
Kal'tsit We found that, in actuality, the Sarkaz aren't so different than the rest of us as we had originally thought. Not inferior to any other race, nor nobler than any other existence.
No matter where we've come from, Originium has changed us all into a similar form, possessing the same emotions and desires.
This land is currently in an ugly state. The Sarkaz souls whisper of being the former masters of this world, and they were slaughtered, oppressed, displaced for countless millennia.
I have seen the times of old. I was there when only Sarkaz walked on the land.
In fact, the term "Sarkaz" actually originates from an arrogant abbreviation of their murderers, though it has also become a rallying cry for the victims.
The difference between a Djall and Goliath is huge, and so is the stark contrast in appearance between a Cyclops and a Diαblo, but why have they all been classified as common "Sarkaz?"
If a Vampire establishes his own country, how would it be any different from the arrogant Victoria of today? If a Nachzehrer were to rule all civilization, how would the culture be any different from those under the ice-cold rule of Ursus?
Theresa and I came to the conclusion that these conflicts ultimately lead nowhere.
She dived so deep into the Lord of Fiends' memories, and realized what I had feared was indeed possible.
Our time... or rather, all time for these lands, this world, is running out.
<Background 2>
W Why are you telling me all this? Didn't I say I'm not into history?
Kal'tsit It's precisely because you're not, W.
History has made Vampires, Liches, Nachzehrer, Damazti, Gargoyles... made all of you into Sarkaz, but it has also bound the Sarkaz to their past.
Kazdel shall be rebuilt, but what will it be rebuilt on?
Perhaps someone like you would have a different answer than I do, W.
<Background 3>
Feist ......
Rockrock Are you still worried about Catherine, Feist?
The wounded have settled down for the time being. That Sarkaz mercenary called W... she's really capable.
The Self-Salvation Corps are already re-organizing themselves, and I think we'll be back in Londinium in no time.
Feist Oh yeah.
Rockrock, did you see anyone yesterday night?
Rockrock You mean like Sarkaz troops?
Feist No, of course not, strangers, or... I don't know actually.
Rockrock What's going on?
Feist I received a letter... it was in my suitcase this morning.
Rockrock Wasn't it written by a Self-Salvation Corps soldier?
Feist The handwriting's really familiar to me, but no one's coming to mind.
The letter said that Granny is in Londinium safe and sound, and I needn't worry.
And... it also contained several addresses, not very far from here.
Rockrock The only person who would do such a thing, would be a certain duke.
Feist Yeah.
Rockrock But that duke isn't a Londinier.
Feist Don't worry, I know exactly whose side I'm stood on.
No matter what those bigwigs think of us... we're not their pawns.
They think the war is just a scramble for power, and that we don't have the right to make our own choices.
The Self-Salvation Corps will show them all they're sorely mistaken.