Cogitatio

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Cogitatio Vigilo
Previous Valorem
Characters
Sarkaz Mercenary B icon.png
Sarkaz Traitor
Backgrounds
RI Corridor DM
1
RI Command Center
2
Barracks
3
A rebel appears inside Babel, and the target of the attack seems to be the Doctor. Scout arrives in time and detains the intruder, but the Doctor and Theresa have different ideas for how to deal with him.
For this interlude, all of the Doctor's dialogues are not player-determined.
<Background black>
Theresa Dr. {nickname}?
You're saying that... the two of you have known each other for a long, long time?
Don't worry, I'm just a bit nervous. After all, you've known the Doctor for longer than you've known me, and I would like to leave a good first impression.
There's just one thing though. Kal'tsit, you have some concerns about the kind of person the "Doctor" is now, right? It's written all over your face.
Let me find out as well, Kal'tsit. I'm really curious, what sort of person is that "Doctor" who is so closely connected to your past?
How should I go about it...? Meeting this Doctor, exchanging pleasantries, connecting the Doctor to myself and the Sarkaz... These are all questions I have to answer for myself.
My opinion... can influence you as well, yes?
So, Kal'tsit, take me to see the Doctor, won't you?
<Background 1>
[Theresa welcomed Scout who had just returned from a mission.]
Theresa Good work, Scout.
Scout It was just a recon mission, part of my job.
Theresa Hmm... Where are Kal'tsit and the Doctor?
Scout The conference room... Is something wrong?
Theresa Our spy in the Military Council has returned our intelligence. They don't intend to give us any breathing room...
Unfortunately.
Scout A spy... Are you talking about that Vampire noble? Your Majesty, I believe she only answers to the Prince of Blood, and is untrustworthy.
Most of them are nothing more than speculators looking out after their own interest. Unless forced by the situation, I doubt she would even enter the war...
Theresa Of course. I understand your concerns, Scout.
But at least for now, she won't lie to me. She hasn't worked up the courage for that yet.
<Background 2>
[Theresa enters the command center where Kal'tsit and Doctor are in.]
Theresa Kal'tsit? Doctor? Are you two busy?
Kal'tsit Your Majesty. Is your meeting over?
Theresa Yes, but the results aren't exactly a cause for celebration.
Am I interrupting your work? By the way, since I rarely get out of my meetings before noon, would you like to have lunch with me, Kal'tsit?
Kal'tsit It's too early.
Theresa Huh? Oh... I suppose it is.
Kal'tsit No, I meant to say, you're a lot earlier than usual.
It's hard to imagine that the people in the Chairman's office would just let you go that easily, unless the result is so bad that there's nothing to talk about.
Even if that is the case, you... still did come a bit too early.
Theresa I guess so... but we anticipated this current situation... a long time ago, didn't we?
Kal'tsit So, the discussions didn't go smoothly. I guess the situation is worse now, to the point where talks are about to break down.
What happened?
Theresa The Military Council has gained support, and our information channels throughout Kazdel are shrinking.
Babel will likely come under siege in the fall.
Kal'tsit Some of the Sarkaz betrayed us, which is to be expected.
But Babel is not fully prepared yet...
Theresa Sorry, Kal'tsit. By the looks of things, we won't keep it together that long.
Kal'tsit The King of the Nachzehrer and the rest of the royal court...
Theresa They've only put forth a more demanding request. Don't worry, Kal'tsit, they're just targeting me.
But... we no longer have the leeway to deal with more mistrust.
Doctor Theresa.
Theresa What is it, Doctor? Ah... Right, I haven't formally solicited your advice yet, and it would be unbecoming of me to start giving orders rashly.
Doctor, it seems we'll need to get a bit further away from Kazdel. This calls for a full relocation, or in other words, a retreat.
Do you have a second opinion?
Doctor This might be the only option.
Theresa If possible... I would have liked to give everyone more options. But we're out of time.
The Military Council's ideas are both too heavy-handed and direct, and I stood firmly opposed to their ideology. But to prevent Kazdel from making unnecessary sacrifices, we'll have to leave, temporarily.
I believe– I truly believe, that we share the same heart, and the same blood flows through us. But even blood can be separated and transfused, and I don't know when we'll be able to merge again.
At least for now, separating is the least damaging option.
Doctor Every Sarkaz has a desire to follow her beliefs. I can feel your convictions, and there will be many Sarkaz following you.
But I will not help you make a decision. I can only bear witness.
Kal'tsit ......
Theresa Yes. That's the best arrangement in front of us so far, Dr. {nickname}.
Alright then, without further ado, the two of you should pack up and get ready to set out!
Doctor How much can we take with us?
Theresa Unfortunately, not much. We may have to abandon a large number of our facilities. Ascalon will buy us time.
Kal'tsit That's more than enough, Theresa. You don't need to dispatch any more hands to help us. I'll bring the Doctor back to rendezvous with you safely.
Theresa Then we'll follow the pre-arranged plan, Kal'tsit. The person-in-charge will arrive later.
But, Doctor, Kal'tsit, I'm sorry to make you evacuate in such a hurry.
We'll have to put the research on hold for the time being... How I hoped to see the fruits that they would bear.
I'll work hard to create a space where we can continue our research. Finally...
I believe things will take a turn for the better.
<Background 3>
13 days later
Kazdel Border, Babel Encampment, "Dr. {nickname}'s Camp"
[The Doctor hears something shattered...]
Doctor Who are you?
[...and suddenly a Sarkaz warrior grabs them with his blade pointed at them.]
Sarkaz Traitor Don't move.
I'm not like those idiots getting themselves killed for no reason. I caught you alone.
Doctor ......
You shouldn't be doing this, Sarkaz.
Sarkaz Traitor Hah... Is that what someone in your shoes should be saying?
I lost my patience a long time ago. Her Majesty... She even put you on a pedestal, letting you talk down to us.
But you've done nothing for us at all! You don't understand us at all!
You and that Feline aren't even Sarkaz. You don't belong in Kazdel.
Now you swarm around Her Majesty, using that intimate position of yours to push the "Babel" she dreams about.
Don't make me laugh... Her Royal Majesty, Theresa, the great hero, thriving for a hundred years, she needs foreigners to direct her every move?
I don't trust your ilk...! Outsiders who have nothing to do with us!
You, "Doctor," to think that Her Majesty trusts you so much despite being an outsider, still act like a bystander. Let me hear it from you then, which side has a better chance of winning?
Doctor The fact that you can only think of preserving your own hide–
Proves how pathetic you are.
Sarkaz Traitor How dare you–
[Suddenly someone shot the turncoat Sarkaz, forcing him to release the Doctor from his grasp. The one who shot him turned out to be Scout.]
Scout Are you done?
Sarkaz Traitor Wha–
...Scout... what are you doing here?!
Scout Don't underestimate Ascalon, traitor, let alone Her Majesty.
Her Majesty chose to be a missionary of benevolence, to allow people to get a taste of the right to freedom...
But you used that freedom to do something vile.
You clearly know that Her Majesty respects the Doctor, and you've also heard the Doctor's public statements. This one has nothing to do with our "civil war."
But you, you took advantage of Her Majesty's kindness... and the Doctor's tolerance.
Maybe there's no need for me to judge you, traitor.
Doctor Scout!
Scout Doctor. I'm merely doing what has to be done.
Doctor I get it, Scout.
But he wanted answers from me.
If he wanted to kill me, he could have done it already, instead of getting caught up in his choices.
Scout You're still saying that now...?
Fine, you call the shots.
Doctor Let me talk to him, Scout.
Theresa won't mind.
Sarkaz Traitor Damn you... You want to talk reason, with a knife to my neck?
Ridiculous... *cough*... Damn it...
Doctor Why do you think Her Majesty has chosen to trust two outsiders?
Sarkaz Traitor Hah, haha... Why does Her Majesty trust you? It's nothing more than you using your rhetoric and silver tongue to manipulate fact and fiction.
Ridiculous, hilarious... Her Majesty, our King with her lofty ideals, is buying into this clown show!
Doctor Okay, Sarkaz... call me a clown, but I can't walk with Theresa anymore. That ship has sailed.
You think you don't trust me. It's Her Majesty you don't trust.
Sarkaz Traitor What gives you the right–?!
Doctor You're getting led around by the nose.
You can't be a loyal vassal, you can't buy into her vision. All you've got is that title, "Her Majesty", you can throw around to add weight to your choices.
Scout ......
Sarkaz Traitor Bullshit! You can talk like that about me?! You dare say that I don't believe in Her Majesty's way–
Doctor Those were your words, not mine.
Sarkaz Traitor You filthy outsider, choke on your own spit–
Doctor Do you want to hear my opinion? I'll tell you, Sarkaz.
I know for a fact that it's not my fault, or Kal'tsit's, that you lost faith in Her Majesty. You started to lose trust in her, and looked for someone else to blame.
Sarkaz Traitor You talk out of your ass! If I really left Her Majesty, I would've taken your head with me!
Doctor If it's really my fault you don't buy into Her Majesty's sermons anymore, why bother confronting me?
You're scared of Her Majesty's strength? Or are you scared you can't change Her Majesty's mind?
You're still lost. You don't know your own destiny. But "He" wants it.
It doesn't matter who "you" are. He knows that there will always be people like you, and there will always be such a bridge.
Sarkaz Traitor Who are you talking about?
Doctor They awakened you, worked you up, and it's not so I could listen to your talk.
He wants to know what Theresa says, and how I react.
Sarkaz Traitor ...You...
Doctor I was never a part of the Council's plans.
He needs to confirm this. Whether Theresa acquired any additional power.
Scout ......
Sarkaz Traitor Who the hell are you talking about? Dirty tricks, vague blathering, just to lure me into confessing to defection? Just to put on a show for Scout?
Doctor No, Sarkaz.
–I only want you to walk out of this place alive.
Sarkaz Traitor ......
What?
Are you joking? What kind of joke is this?
Doctor "The one who can guide his people to survive, is the one crowned King in their hearts."
I recognize you, "traitor."
That night, you carried the wounded Ascalon back to the camp, and it was you who brought the final message from the fallen soldiers to inform the whole army of the location of the recon team.
So, I'm giving you this opportunity.
Sarkaz Traitor ......
Impossible... Why should I believe you?!
Scout Take a good look at the situation, traitor.
Regardless of what the Doctor says, you have no choice but to believe it.
Sarkaz Traitor No, no! Scout, don't be deceived! The purpose of releasing me is to rehabilitate these lies! I'm not going anywhere!
You want to slander me as one of Theresis's spies?! You don't have the slightest idea what I've been through– I am–
[Theresa herself shows up.]
Theresa Enough.
Scout Your Majesty!
Theresa Doctor... are you injured?
Doctor No.
Scout Your Majesty, this incident broke out so quickly because I didn't notice the situation within the team.
Doctor No, I told Scout to stand down. Otherwise, this Sarkaz might have already been executed.
Theresa I understand.
Sarkaz Traitor Y-Your Majesty... I...
Theresa Ah... It's you.
Yes... When I was giving my sermon, you were standing below. You are one of the many faces in that crowd.
What the Doctor said is right. You and your mercenaries have made military gains for us, but that... is not an excuse for your current actions.
Sarkaz Traitor Y-Your Majesty... I...
Theresa You... don't trust me? Marco?
You, who rescued so many of your compatriots and brought back information for us from the most dangerous of places. Now, you're no longer willing to trust me?
Sarkaz Traitor No! No, no! I... I was just...
(I can't even bear to look up at her... I...)
(What have I said...?)
Scout Your Majesty.
It seems that there won't be any use interrogating him.
The situation is grim, and we need to evacuate imminently. We must immediately confirm whether there is any unrest with you among the team– or, if there is a Kazdel spy.
Please hand him over to Ascalon.
Theresa Yes... Before that, Doctor.
Can you tell me what he did to you just now?
Doctor He didn't do anything.
Hmm.
This might've been an assassination attempt, but I don't see that as the case.
Scout Doctor!
Sarkaz Traitor I...
Doctor Theresa, if I was to say that he is by far the most innocent one, would you believe me?
Mon3tr (Shrieks)
[Kal'tsit shows up alongside Mon3tr, poised to strike down the turncoat Sarkaz.]
Kal'tsit Dr. {nickname}, This is no time to be cracking jokes. Scout probably doesn't see himself as a part of your skit either.
But at least this Sarkaz is indeed not on the list of spies that the captives named, Theresa.
Sarkaz Traitor Damned outsider! How dare you call Her Majesty by name...!
Theresa Do you hate Kal'tsit...? Do you hate the Doctor?
Just because they are not Sarkaz? Not because of what they've done, or what they will do?
Sarkaz Traitor Yes, that's exactly right, Your Majesty!
There are so many excellent people around you, so why do you insist on letting these outsiders–
Scout Shut your mouth!
Sarkaz Traitor ......!
Theresa Yes... I understand what you mean.
Allow me to ask one more question. Scout, what's your verdict?
Scout I respect your judgment, but per my opinion, he should be taken into custody immediately and locked up.
According to military law, there can be only one outcome.
Sarkaz Traitor ......
Theresa Indeed, this is but one choice. We are always faced with countless choices.
No matter what schemes or designs he may have, he will be unable to resist that desire.
Kal'tsit This won't be the last time you see actions like this.
Theresa, if your tolerance creates further troubles, it will eventually threaten your safety.
Theresa He simply made an unfortunate decision.
Sarkaz Traitor No, Your Majesty...! P-Please, I can explain...
I am... Sarkaz... a Sarkaz of Kazdel...! I just couldn't bear the thought... of you and Babel being so far away from Kazdel!
Doctor ......
Theresa Initially, this was the thing I resisted the most. Underhanded tactics and tricks... If this was not the only way to achieve a lasting peace, I would not be able to swallow this pill.
But the Sarkaz have been waiting for too long.
Among the countless wars, we must utilize this war, along with equally innumerable lives, to open up this world and understand its emotions.
Kal'tsit, Doctor, this will be the attitude I have towards you. We share the same beliefs, and we can complement each other. Therefore, I choose to respect the Doctor's choice.
Doctor, please tell me how you'd like this to end.
Doctor This Sarkaz... He carried out an act of betrayal, not against me, but against an image of Theresa in his heart that had disappointed him.
He cannot be called a traitor. As far as I can see, Her Majesty Theresa is willing to grant freedom to so many people–
–Why not exile this Sarkaz, and see what choices he makes?
Sarkaz Traitor ......
Doctor Let him fend for himself upon this land.
He may find a new faith, maybe in you, or someone else.
Sarkaz Traitor –You... Why are you doing this...
Kal'tsit I'm opposed.
Even if the existing evidence does not prove his involvement with the Military Council, I do not deem it prudent to release a soldier who openly attacked his commander.
Theresa.
Doctor ......
Sarkaz Traitor Y-Your Majesty...
Theresa Leave it to the army.
Yes, Marco, you are... a Sarkaz mercenary.
So, Scout, take him to see Ascalon.
Babel will decide your fate. Ascalon will decide your fate.
That you consider yourself a Sarkaz of Kazdel means you cannot leave.
Sarkaz Traitor –Your Majesty! You, you're putting me to death–?
Theresa ......
Kal'tsit Scout, before he has any outbursts of emotion, restrain–
Sarkaz Traitor ––No!
No! No! No! You– You're right– That's right, kill me! You're doing the right thing, sending a flake like me to hell!
–You were a war hero! To execute a traitor, a nobody like me, is what you should do!
Scout Behave yourself!
Theresa ......
Sarkaz Traitor I was wrong... I was wrong. Your Majesty, you still have what we long for, the story we've heard for decades!
The banner of the six heroes still flies. How many have grown up listening to the tales of you leading the Sarkaz against foreign invaders? The masses wait for that era to come again!
I've been waiting– We've all been waiting!
We're still waiting for those legends to reappear, waiting for that bloodstained history to reignite!
That is what Sarkaz should be– that is what the Sarkaz must be!
Your Majesty! Now, this is justice. You have become justice!
Your Majesty!
<Background 2>
Kal'tsit This is the current situation. The mercenaries we've been able to contact will arrive in two days.
Theresa Whose team is it?
Kal'tsit Hoederer's.
Theresa Hoederer is an excellent commander, but he seems to despise war even more than he lets on.
Kal'tsit I will ensure that he arrives on time.
Theresa Good work, Kal'tsit.
Perhaps one day... the Sarkaz can finally escape meaningless conflict and sacrifice.
Kal'tsit There's sorrow written all over your face. Is it because of the incident with Marco?
Theresa In him... I saw a microcosm.
The road ahead of us is still long, Kal'tsit.
Kal'tsit It's too long, Theresa. Such that your people want an answer, and they want it placed before them.
Theresa But you'll accompany me down that road, won't you?
Kal'tsit Of course...
That said, I heard you were doing some... fashion design last night?
Theresa Oh no, are you going to discipline me?
Kal'tsit No, why would I? Proper relaxation is necessary for stress relief.
The situation isn't optimistic. Your every move will affect the morale of all Sarkaz.
Theresa I know.
[The Doctor comes to Theresa's side.]
Doctor Theresa.
Theresa Hm, Doctor, what's the matter?
Doctor Ascalon sends word that Marco committed suicide, out of fear of punishment...
Theresa ......
Doctor In order to avoid embarrassing his King.
Kal'tsit Theresa...
Theresa I... I know.
Doctor... What are you going to do next?
Doctor In addition to the mercenaries, all Sarkaz hiding under Kazdel's sphere of influence are paying close attention to our movements.
This is a comprehensive relocation, and we have no margin of error when it comes to intelligence and logistics work.
Theresa Thank you... I'll speak with Ascalon later.
She'll find good candidates.
Doctor Very well.
Theresa Doctor...
Don't worry, I trust you.
Doctor ......
Thank you.
Theresa Hopefully, the visions that I've seen will... No, rather, as long as we can still see, let us move forward a bit.
Doctor That's right.
I've already gotten used to it.