Beeswax: Trail of Sands

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Operator Record
Trail of Sands

To seek out the way home for life is also to seek your own destination.

Unlock conditions

  • Raise Beeswax to Elite 2 Level 1.
  • Have at least 50% Trust with Beeswax.
Characters
Reserve Operator - Melee icon.png
Office Operator
Male Tiacauh B icon.png
Tribe Priest
Burdenbeast
Desert Merchant
Erudite Woman
Knowledgeable Old Man
Tribe Elder
Worried Elder
Backgrounds
Lungmen RI Office
1
Desert Mountain
2
Desert
3
Canyons
4
Acahualla Village B
5
Acahualla Waterfall
6
Beeswax sets off on an unfamiliar journey in order to bring an Infected's belongings back to her homeland.
<Background 1>
A Certain Rhodes Island Branch Office, Sargon
Ankhesena Yep... My brushes, essential oils, and sandpaper strips. All packed away.
Huh? What are you doing in my bag, little bug? Are you coming with me? You can't. Off you go.
[Ankhesena throws the bug outside the room.]
Ankhesena Okay! Finished packing.
Wait, no. I need to say goodbye to Mr. Kadeem before I leave.
[An R.I. operator opens the door.]
Office Operator That son of a bitch just up and left! Even leaving the stuff behind right next to the door! What the hell's with that?!
Ankhesena S-Sorry, Mr. Kadeem. I shouldn't have tossed that bug out the door!
Office Operator Ankhesena? No, don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about you!
Ankhesena If it's not about me... did something happen?
Office Operator Eh, it was before you got here. Last month, we had a temporary operator die of his disease. So I packed up his things to ship them back to his family.
But the moment the local Messenger heard the package belonged to an Infected, he straight up refused to deliver it for me, saying it's bad luck. And that's after I got it all cleaned up so there's no risk of infection.
Ankhesena B-But you do so many things for the people here. You give out medicine, you treat patients, and even teach them how to prevent getting infected...
Office Operator Well, all that's... insignificant compared to the trauma and fear they have of Oripathy.
Ankhesena Oh...
Office Operator *sigh*... I could deliver all this myself if it weren't for this leg. Maybe later.
Alright, forget about it. I see you've finished packing. Are you leaving today?
Ankhesena Yep, I got a message from Rhodes Island two days ago. My sister isn't there, and doesn't want me to go look for her.
It doesn't say why, but I'm sure she has her reasons, and I respect her decision.
Office Operator You look real disappointed, though.
Ankhesena I-It's okay. I have my own trials to complete. I can't always be following in my sister's footsteps.
Office Operator I'm glad you see it that way. That's a great first step. So do you have any plans or goals for the rest of your trip?
Ankhesena Hm... I haven't thought about where to go. But it's okay. I can think about it on the road.
Office Operator Hahaha. Come on, let me take your luggage and see you off. I've been real lucky to have you here to help out. Things would've been so much harder with just myself and my bad leg.
Ankhesena No, no, I enjoyed helping. I'm the one who should be thankful for you taking such good care of me! Speaking of which...
Office Operator Eh, don't. No need for all that here.
Ankhesena Mr. Kadeem!
Office Operator Huh?
Ankhesena If this is everything he left behind, I can help you bring them to his family.
Sargon's deserts may be vast and endless, but our tribe has lived in the desert for a long time. We learn how to tread the sands from a very young age.
Office Operator And this won't get in the way of your trials?
Ankhesena It won't. Giving others a helping hand is a part of them, too. A really important part!
Office Operator If that were coming from anyone else, I would've scoffed.
But well... You found your way here from a tribe deep in the desert, all by yourself. I have no reason to refuse.
Ankhesena So? So?!
Office Operator So... I'll let you handle his stuff. Be sure it gets back to his hometown.
After all, that's the only wish he left us with.
Ankhesena Yeah... got it.
<Background 2>
Ankhesena Based on Mr. Kadeem's description, looks like my destination is a pretty isolated tribe... Not sure exactly where it is.
Hm... He did tell me I'd find it if I just follow all the signs after leaving the village.
Really though? I'm not so sure about this... The sign points west to a saxaul forest, and it points east to the red sands there.
Phew...
(Claps hands together) The golden sands, where the setting sun returns. Wheresoever the followers of the gods walk, they will never walk their journey alone.
O Faceless God, grant me your blessings so that I may successfully cross this desert, allowing a soul that has drifted in the lands for years to return to his homeland.
Time to go.
[Ankhesena walks off as...]
A breeze blows by. The sign lets out an unbearable creak and softly spins in the wind.
<Background 3>
[As Ankhesenna walks through the desert...]
Ankhesena The sun... The sun has risen again. Have a walked a whole day already? I see nothing but saxauls here. How come I haven't made it to the red sands yet?
Where's the next sign Mr. Kadeem said I'd see? Didn't he say I'd find it after just half a day?
I'm so tired... I can't walk anymore. Let me find some shade to sit down in and get some rest.
There's no exact location, and the route's already off. How am I supposed to find his hometown?
I wish my sister were here... She'd pet my head and tell me everything's okay.
(Lowers head to look at her own hands.)
Hm... I can do this too.
(Pats her own head)
It's okay, Ankhesena. Cheer up.
Stay calm. It'll work out somehow. Stand up and take a look at your surroundings. See what clues you can find.
Okay, standing up–
Waagh!
O-Ow... I stepped on my clothes.
Oh no, his stuff all spilled out. I gotta pick it back up.
[A strong wind blows past Ankhesena...]
Ankhesena Wah! Don't! Why does the wind have to blow now of all times?
[...as it flips open the pages of a diary among the deceased's belongings on the sands.]
Ankhesena Is this... a diary? I'm sorry, Mister. I didn't mean to look. The wind blew the pages open.
(Closes the notebook)
That short passage just now... Was that a description of his hometown? Maybe... I can find some clues in there.
O God, please forgive this intrusion against the dead.
(Opens the notebook)
"Time and again in my dreams, I make my way home, and my mother stands waiting for me under the date palms. Just like the day she watched me leave my home behind."
"As my body worsens by the day, I reminisce about that oasis more and more fondly. I left her to chase my dreams, yet I've dreamt of her every night since my departure."
"The rainy season and the drought season alternate with one another. A small pool of water forms a lake, only for it to dry into a salt marsh just as quickly..."
He really missed that place. Almost the entire diary is about things that happened in his hometown.
Date palms, an oasis, and a seasonal lake...
<Background 4>
Ankhesena There are little bugs crawling all around here...
(Picks one up to closely examine)
I shouldn't be too far from a water source. If luck's on my side, I might even find a settlement there.
Just gotta climb a few sand dunes. Good thing I brought a wooden board to sand ski with.
*Knock*... Yep... Gotta tie it a bit tighter.
It might get bumpy. I should roll my clothes up. It wouldn't be good if I tripped again.
Okay...
Three, two, one...
Whoaaaa–!
<Background 3>
Knowledgeable Old Man The town mentioned here? Let me think... I've been there, but it's been so many years. I can't say for sure if it's still there.
Ankhesena Do you know how to get there, Mister?
Knowledgeable Old Man Ride a burdenbeast and keep heading northwest. Once you reach a rock formation that looks like a mushroom, head southwest a few more kilometers, and you should be there.
Ankhesena Do you remember anything about the environment around the town? Are there lots of date palms? Does a lake form when it rains?
Knowledgeable Old Man Sorry, that doesn't ring a bell.
<Background 2>
Ankhesena "As I almost succumbed to despair, Mr. Kadeem saved me."
"After a while at the office, my condition started to stabilize, and my mental state has also started to calm..."
Looks like he lived in that office until he died.
Burdenbeast Pffft–
Ankhesena Huh? Are you hungry? I have some hay here.
[Ankhesena gave the burdenbeast some hay to eat.]
Burdenbeast (Munches)
Ankhesena Look at you eat. Your saliva's getting everywhere.
<Background fades out and in>
Erudite Woman The place you're looking for is hard to find, Miss. There are a number of oases both big and small to the north of our town, and nearly every one of them has a large field of date palms.
Ankhesena Then... Does the seasonal lake narrow it down?
Erudite Woman Not much. Seasonal lakes don't always form in the same place. You can't count on finding anywhere with just that.
Ankhesena If you don't mind, could you circle where the oases are on this map?
Erudite Woman Are you going to check one by one?
Ankhesena Yep, I made a promise, so I'll do it.
<Background fades out and in>
Ankhesena "Finally, I made enough money to leave. I don't know what lies beyond this desert, but everything there is new to me. Just that very thought fills me with excitement."
"I only hope my enthusiasm will bear fruit. Farewell, my homeland."
Desert Merchant Hm, what are you reading, little girl?
Ankhesena It's... someone's past.
Desert Merchant Huh?
Ankhesena It's a diary.
Desert Merchant Whatever the case, this is your stop. The place you're headed isn't too far from here. We need to be on our way, so this is as far as we can take you.
Ankhesena Thanks for the ride, Mister.
Desert Merchant Hahaha, not at all. If you weren't there to save my caravan from the quicksand, I would literally be six feet under right now.
Ankhesena May the sands bless the rest of your journey!
[Ankhesena disembarks the caravan...]
Desert Merchant Haha... thanks!
[...as they move on.]
Ankhesena This is the last oasis. O Faceless God, please grant me a miracle.
<Background 5>
[Ankhesena searches the houses.]
Ankhesena Hello, is anybody home?
Anyone?
This place looks pretty rundown. Doesn't look like anybody lives here.
[Ankhesena heard something...]
Ankhesena Huh...?
[...and checks it out...]
Ankhesena Who is it?
[Only for a male bestial Archosauria to surprise her, but he was repelled by her protective Arts...]
??? Agh!
[...and pushed away, only to recover and shouts,]
??? You entered my tribe's territory without our permission, outblood!
Ankhesena I-I didn't see anyone on my way here. I thought this oasis didn't belong to anybody.
??? Of course you didn't.
Ankhesena But why?!
??? Put down that spear before you ask any questions.
Ankhesena *Whimpers*... Okay.
??? (Why is she acting like I wronged her when she was just doing me dirty?)
What are you doing here, outblood?
Ankhesena I was asked to deliver someone's belongings to his homeland.
I have all his things in this bag. Why don't you take a look? If he's not from here, I'll leave immediately.
??? Bring it over. Let me see.
[Ankhesena hands over the deceased's diary to the Archosauria.]
??? He's never been back all these years... So he's passed away.
Ankhesena You knew him?
??? Right, going by seniority, he was my younger cousin. I took care of his mother before she passed away.
Ankhesena Does he have any other family besides you?
??? (Shakes head)
Outblood, there aren't a whole lot more people in this tribe. The young ones have all left to make a living. The only ones left are the older folks, and there's less and less of them by the year.
Ankhesena What will happen to the tribe once everyone's gone?
??? Do you still not understand, prick? Our tribe will disappear soon. From the oasis, and from Sargon.
Ankhesena Then... What do we do with his things?
??? I'll bury them next to his mother.
Ankhesena (Grips onto her spear uneasily) Now that I delivered these, I... I'll leave now. I won't bother you anymore.
??? Prick, you're already here. Stay and help me. We only have his things, not his body, but his spirit has returned, and he needs a proper funeral.
Ankhesena Okay, no problem. I-I can help.
??? Then come with me. We need to get started.
Ankhesena Mister? M-May I ask you a question?
??? Go ahead.
Ankhesena If everyone's gone, why do you insist on staying?
??? Because I'm the tribe's priest. Until the tribe is gone for good, someone has to be here to guard it.
Besides, what if someone wants to come back? Like he did...
<Background 6>
Tribe Priest You want to throw the first dirt, kid?
Ankhesena M-May I?
Tribe Priest You're the one who brought him back. You have more than enough right to.
Ankhesena Okay.
[Ankhesena puts the first dirt on the grave.]
Ankhesena Um, Mr. Kadeem asked me to bring your belongings back to your home, and I made it. Please forgive me for all the accidents that occurred on the road.
Tribe Priest ......
All fruits born on the lands eventually make their way back to the soil, buried and awaiting to sprout anew.
My dear brother, may you return to your loving mother's embrace. May you find peace under the golden sands. May there never be tears wheresoever you go.
Ankhesena (May he be blessed by the golden sands.)
[The priest buries the deceased's belongings on the grave.]
Tribe Priest Thanks for helping me. Do you want something to eat? It must have been a tough journey.
Ankhesena No, no, this kind of journey is nothing out of the ordinary for my tribe.
Tribe Priest I've never left this oasis. I can't imagine how your desert tribe lives. Just looking at the tumbling sands makes me afraid.
Ankhesena There's nothing to be afraid of. A god lives in the desert, and He protects us.
Tribe Priest We used to believe the forest had a god too, and it was thanks to Him that our tribe managed to survive and prosper, but it looks like we've been abandoned.
Ankhesena Of course not. Gods don't abandon their children.
Tribe Priest But what if His children abandoned their faith in Him?
Ankhesena You mean those who left...?
Tribe Priest Did he live a good life outside?
Ankhesena Not really. He got infected with an incurable disease. Rocks grew on his body. It hurt, and could spread to other people. He would've been ostracized in lots of places.
Tribe Priest Did it hurt when he died?
Ankhesena I don't know. He had already passed away by the time I got there... But Mr. Kadeem was there to take care of him, so he probably died peacefully. At the very least, he wasn't alone.
Tribe Priest And who's Mr. Kadeem?
Ankhesena Mr. Kadeem's in charge of the place where he worked. He's very experienced when it comes to treating Oripathy.
Tribe Priest I used to complain that he never came back to see his own mother one last time. He mentioned in his letter that it'd only take a day of travel on foot to get back here from where he settled down.
Ankhesena Huh?
Was it... that close? *Whimper*... To tell the truth, I got lost on my way here. It took me half a month to find this place.
Tribe Priest Perhaps he traveled somewhere else after he sent that letter.
But now that I've heard what happened, I can understand why he wasn't willing to come back.
Nobody here's ever come down with a disease like that. I wouldn't be able to do anything for his pain here, and if he spread it to others, I'd have no way to deal with that.
Ankhesena So...
Ankhesena opens her mouth only to find herself unable to say what she was going to say.
Once someone has set their mind on crossing a desert, they can no longer turn back. Because the sands that blow with the wind will undoubtedly swallow the path they'd taken.
And the courage they took so long to gather is never enough for them to look back at their unrecognizable past.
<Flashback starts here>
<Background 2>
Worried Elder *Sigh*–
Tribe Elder Old fool, stop sighing in front of the kids. You'll bring them bad luck.
Worried Elder You dare call me old with that white beard of yours? Take a look yourself. The ones who came back from their journeys this year are just half that of last year. What should we do if this keeps happening?
Tribe Elder Who am I to influence how they think? Once they've experienced all the amazing things outside, who would come back here to live a life of nothing?
Worried Elder And how can you be so unbothered by that? The tribe will collapse one day if this keeps up.
Tribe Elder I'm at my wits' end too, but we can't just keep the children here and not let them leave.
Worried Elder (Shakes head helplessly)
Tribe Elder Right, I have something I need to discuss with you. I got a letter a few days ago, and I'm worried about what it says.
Worried Elder What's wrong?
Tribe Elder A child caught that disease and wants to come back...
Worried Elder That's a good thing. They should.
Tribe Elder He said he's infected with an incurable disease, and he's worried about spreading it to others in the tribe... But I can't bear seeing one of our children stranded out there.
Worried Elder What should we do?
[Carnelian and Ankhesena watches the elders arguing.]
Carnelian ......
Ankhesena (Tugs Carnelian's sleeve)
Sis...
Carnelian What's wrong, Ankhesena?
Ankhesena You'll go on your journey in a year. Will you come back after you leave?
Carnelian Of course I will, it's just...
Ankhesena Sis?
Carnelian I don't know what He has in mind for me. What if He doesn't want me to stay here?
Ankhesena No... Once you leave, I'll keep praying to Him. Wherever His children walk, they are bound to be far from evil.
Carnelian That's not evil, Ankhesena. It's not...
<Flashback ends here>
<Background 1>
[Someone knocks the door.]
Office Operator Who is it?
Ankhesena It's me, Mr. Kadeem. Ankhesena. Could you open the door, please?
Office Operator Coming, coming.
[Kadeem opens the door, allowing Ankhesena to enter.]
Office Operator I thought you were on your journey? Did you manage to deliver his things?
Ankhesena *pant*–*pant*–
Office Operator Maybe you should come in and catch your breath first. Here, have some water.
Ankhesena I did...
(Glug-glug)
And I gave him a proper burial with the priest there.
Office Operator That's great, but you didn't come all the way back here to tell me that, did you?
Look at you. You're covered in sweat. Didn't I say you didn't have to come back?
Ankhesena That's not why. I found it. I found what it is that I want to do.
Office Operator Hahaha, so you found a goal for your journey? Go on then, don't keep me in suspense.
Ankhesena I want to go to Rhodes Island. I want to go to the landship!
There are things there that I want to bring back to my tribe.
She said those words in a sonorous, powerful way, completely unlike the soft voice she usually speaks in. Like the heavy, blazing sunset crushing the yellow desert outside the window.
And under the sunset's glow, the mark on her forehead glows ever radiant.