Earthspirit: Distant Relic

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Operator Record
Distant Relic
Earthspirit icon.png

Sometimes, work is the simpler part of living.

Unlock conditions

  • Raise Earthspirit to Elite 2 Level 60.
  • Have 200% Trust with Earthspirit.
Characters
Female Leithanian B icon.png
Miss Bachmann
RI Operator icon.png
Office Operator
Leithanian Nobleman A icon.png
Louis
Bounty Hunter A icon.png
Mercenary
Bounty Hunter B icon.png
Mercenary Captain
Backgrounds
Leithanian Alley
1
Mansion Room
2
Cave Entrance
3
RI Cafeteria
4
After receiving letters from Professor Bachmann's daughter, Earthspirit finally decides to use a few days of her precious leave to go meet in person. She doesn't want to get into trouble, but finds herself buried in it.
<Background 1>
Earthspirit Brr, it's cold.
Office Operator All the more reason to knock, instead of wasting time out here.
[Earthspirit walked towards a door and stops in front of it.]
Earthspirit But I don't know her that well.
Office Operator Glad to see you're as shy as ever, even after all these years.
Earthspirit It still feels weird that we've become colleagues, even after all these years.
Office Operator Alright, then I guess I'll help you out, as a colleague.
[Earthspirit knocks the door and a woman opens.]
Leithanian Woman Yes?
Earthspirit ......
Office Operator Miss Bachmann, this is Glacier, the "Earthspirit" whom you wrote to.
Miss Bachmann Ah, yes. I found a box labeled "To Glacier" written on it while going through my late mother's belongings, so I asked you to come and pick it up.
And you're finally here.
Earthspirit I was on my way to visit family, so I stopped by to see what Professor Bachmann had for me.
Miss Bachmann Please, come in.
<Background 2>
[The woman, now known as Ms. Bachmann, pours water to a glass for Earthspirit.]
Miss Bachmann We pried the box open because we didn't know what was in it. Only after reading the letter inside did we learn it was meant for you.
We're still not sure what the stuff we found is, though. I wonder if you could tell us.
[Earthspirit opens the box.]
Office Operator Hm... a piece of paper and a rock?
We came all this way for this?
Earthspirit It's a design for an Arts Unit inhibitor, but still very much in the theoretical stage.
She taught me how to hear the vibrations of certain minerals using Originium Arts, but all that turned to pure noise after I became Infected.
At least treatment at Rhodes Island put an end to that. Now I can hear them again, even clearer than before.
At the time, though, we were at our wits' end. She believed the Oripathy increased my Arts output, so she said she'd make me an inhibitor after I'd worked for a full year.
Miss Bachmann An Arts Unit?
How hard can it be to order a custom-made Arts Unit in Leithanien? Why did Mom have to do it herself?
Earthspirit Simply suppressing my Arts would have prevented me from hearing the sounds at all.
So it could only be made by someone familiar with both the Arts involved and the vibration frequencies of minerals, who could manually calibrate the inhibition of different wavelengths–like tuning an instrument.
Miss Bachmann Sounds fascinating. Too bad she never completed it.
Earthspirit I could still use an inhibitor like that, though... If she'd come this far, perhaps I could continue her research.
Miss Bachmann What about the rock then?
Earthspirit It's a beacon stone.
Miss Bachmann Sorry, I'll need more of an explanation than that.
Earthspirit Some rocks undergo metamorphism when they come into contact with Originium, resulting in metamorphic rock that contains Originium.
Such rocks react to my Originium Arts, allowing me to sense them with the help of a tuning fork.
The professor would use the rocks with the strongest reactions as beacon stones.
We used to bring them on our field trips, leaving them behind to mark our path.
Office Operator Wouldn't your beacon stones get mixed up with others using the same method to pass through the same area?
Earthspirit Not many people do this in the first place, and it's even less likely that their stones would use the same frequency. If anything, it would help us identify who else had passed through.
Miss Bachmann Sounds like a convenient Art.
Earthspirit It's just about causing small vibrations in matter. Frequency control is a relatively minor part, the key is understanding the mineral composition.
Miss Bachmann So why did she leave this to you?
Earthspirit Perhaps it's a clue, a way of asking me to use my Arts to search the city for this beacon's frequency.
Is that okay with you, Parker?
Office Operator Should be fine, as long as it doesn't endanger public safety, or draw the attention of others.
[Earthspirit uses her Arts to track the beacon's signature, and...]
Earthspirit I sense a trail leading outside the city.
Miss Bachmann Should we check it out?
Earthspirit Now?
Miss Bachmann If not now, when? You're leaving tomorrow, aren't you?
Earthspirit I could always come back another time.
And Professor Bachmann always told me that curiosity leads to ruin.
Miss Bachmann This is a nomadic city, you know. You may not be able to pick up the trail next time, if it's outside the city.
Earthspirit I'm here on vacation, not for work.
Miss Bachmann This isn't exactly work, is it? Whatever you find belongs to you. Walk a few steps, make some easy money.
Office Operator We have time, Earthspirit. I just heard from the hotel that it's going to be a couple of hours before they get the room ready anyway.
Earthspirit They sure are sloppy...
Alright, we'll go and try to get this done before dark.
<Background 3>
Office Operator Never thought I'd see a place like this outside the city.
Miss Bachmann Are you sure it's here?
Earthspirit Yes, this is where the signal led.
Hm... a cave with a tunnel leading beyond. The entrance has caved in.
Miss Bachmann Huh? Is this mine what mom left you?
Earthspirit It seems to have been abandoned long ago. And I'm not aware of her owning any private mines.
[Earthspirit uses her tracking Arts.]
Earthspirit The signal goes further in.
It's beneath the cave-in.
Miss Bachmann Beneath? We should have brought tools.
Earthspirit Leave it to me.
Earthspirit touches the ground with the end of her staff, and the collapsed area begins to liquefy.
Then, the ground begin to roil.
Soon, an elaborate metal box rises to the surface.
Miss Bachmann There must be something valuable inside!
??? That's good news.
[A number of mercenaries surround Earthspirit and co....]
Office Operator Hey, what are you doing?
[...as a nobleman named Louis walks in.]
Louis Thanks for the heads-up. Now I can get my hands on the full legacy of Professor Bachmann.
Earthspirit Miss Bachmann?! Was this a trap?
Miss Bachmann Sorry. I wish there was another way, but my husband insists that we tie up all loose ends.
We can leave once we sell these, right honey? We can live a better life in Columbia, like you said?
[One of the mercs shoot Ms. Bachmann in her leg.]
Miss Bachmann Ngh!
Louis Her leg? Where are you aiming? Shoot to kill, not maim.
Miss Bachmann What are you doing? Are you out of your mind?!
Louis You have no idea how much time and effort I spent planning this.
But Bachmann left behind little beyond a house and a bunch of useless rocks.
And now that I have my hands on the last remaining piece of the inheritance, I don't need you. I'd rather not have to split the spoils.
This will give me the capital I need to make a comeback in the Columbian mining sector.
Just look at this. An abandoned mine outside the nomadic city. An opportunity of a lifetime.
Earthspirit Stop this!
Louis My dear Miss Glacier, I hear you've turned down invitations from multiple Rim Billiton companies.
Join me, and I'll allow you to live and serve me. I'll even give you a leadership position.
Earthspirit Sorry, I'm not looking for a career change. The pay may be nothing to write home about, but working for Rhodes Island has many perks for an Infected.
Louis Have you never thought about escaping the cage of everyday life?
About a vacation, where you don't have to worry about when you'll return to work.
About having time to just lie in bed, without needing to think about anything.
Don't you want to live a life like that?
Earthspirit Who doesn't?
Louis Then join me. You'll have authority, and plenty of vacation time.
Miss Bachmann Ugh...
Earthspirit You said the same thing to Miss Bachmann, didn't you?
I'll admit your words may be tempting to the young.
But I've been around long enough to know that jobs like that simply don't exist. Anything offering such great conditions is probably a scam.
Louis Hmph.
Still, sparing your life was part of that offer. You would be wise not to defy me.
Earthspirit It's bothersome enough keeping track of my boss' condition at Rhodes Island. I took leave for New Year's, and I'd rather spend it on my own projects, thank you very much.
Miss Bachmann It hurts... Ugh...
Louis Oh, shut up.
Kill her first!
Mercenary A Want us to shoot her?
Louis With your aim? No need to prolong her misery, just get it over with.
Mercenary Captain Draw your swords!
[One of the mercs charge at Earthspirit, but she uses her Arts to immobilize him.]
Mercenary A Hey, I can't move! Something's grabbing my feet!
Mercenary B No, you're sinking!
Earthspirit You shall not pass.
Mercenary A Help! It's up to my chest! I can't breathe!
Mercenary B Grab my hand!
Louis Damn it!
Mercenary B We can't get through!
Louis Is this your final answer, Glacier?
Earthspirit Take it however you'd like.
Louis I changed my mind. Kill all three of them.
Office Operator Wait, I haven't–
Mercenary Captain Switch to crossbows. Shoot them from a distance!
Mercenary B Yes, sir!
Mercenary Captain Target the Caprinae! Kill her and stop her Arts!
[The mercs fire at Earthspirit, but the R.I. operator protects her with his shield.]
Office Operator You're not hurting my colleague.
Mercenary Captain Oh, forgot about you.
Mercenary A Captain, this place is too cramped. They could easily block all our bolts with that shield, and the Caprinae's Arts are preventing us from closing in.
Mercenary Captain What a pain...
Louis I'm not paying you to stand around! Do something!
Mercenary Captain Alright.
[The merc captain reveals a cache of explosive munitions...]
Mercenary Captain How about this? Explosive bolts we found at the cave entrance!
[...before having the mercs load them...]
Office Operator Not gonna happen!
[...and take aim at the ceiling.]
Office Operator What? They're aiming above our heads?
Louis Cause of death: cave-in due to disrepair. What a perfect conclusion!
[The mercs open fire, with the explosive munitions triggering a cave-in.]
Office Operator Watch out–
<Background fades out>
Miss Bachmann looks up and sees only a great mass of black.
A tire-sized rock falls towards her.
Before she has finished processing what is going on, a white hand enters her field of vision.
Rocks turn to sand when they touch it, and flow through the gaps in its fingers onto her cheeks, still warm from the hand's touch.
<Background fades in>
She sees a Caprinae grabbing her shoulder with one hand, the other hand raised high in the air.
She smells a familiar scent of dirt and grass, just like that of her mother.
A sense of security surrounds her, one that she had forgotten for close to twenty years.
Earthspirit Are you okay?
Miss Bachmann Thank you... you could do that?
Earthspirit It only took a few calculations.
Glad I wasn't late this time.
[The mercs continue firing at the ceiling...]
Office Operator They're aiming deeper!
[...causing the cave to start collapsing.]
Earthspirit The whole place is coming down!
Office Operator Are they trying to bury us alive?
Earthspirit Get over here, Parker!
Office Operator I think we should run!
Earthspirit She can't walk! And those guys have blocked the way!
Office Operator Well, we can't just sit here on our thumbs!
Earthspirit Just trust me!
[Earthspirit channels her Arts...]
Office Operator Wait, Earthspirit!
Stop! The warning light on your monitoring ring has turned red!
Earthspirit A false positive.
Miss Bachmann Are those... bones?
Earthspirit Don't look.
[...and unleashes it...]
Earthspirit Stick close!
Louis Hahaha! Die!
[...with destructive results.]
<Background fades out>
At first, the rocks turn into sand of various colors, like stars falling from the sky.
The grains gradually increase in size, hitting the ground like the spring rain.
The rocks at a distance also begin to fall, hitting the ground hard.
Rather than swallowing the three of them up, the liquefied ground rises like the tide and lifts them.
<Background fades in>
Office Operator Earthspirit?!
Earthspirit I'm fine, just calibrating things! Cover your nose and mouth, and don't let any dust get into your body, or you'll be making a lot of trips to the doctor!
Miss Bachmann You're analyzing the composition of each falling rock and each inch of earth, and vibrating them at different frequencies? And you call that "a few calculations"?
If anything goes wrong...
Louis W-What's going on?
She can't move right now! Shoot! Shoot her!
[The mercs fire at Earthspirit...]
Office Operator Oh no!
Earthspirit Not so fast.
The falling dust suddenly turns back into stone, blocking the incoming bolts as they fall.
As they hit the ground, they send forth ripples, as though falling into water, which build into waves that surge towards the cave entrance.
And as those waves come into contact with the people standing there, the liquefied earth returns to normal.
Louis I–I can't move!
Earthspirit Tie them up, Parker, and call the police.
Office Operator Alright.
Louis Wait! Did you think she was innocent?
Forging the will, stealing the inheritance–she was my accomplice from beginning to end.
It was her idea to use you to find the final legacy!
Earthspirit Forging the will and stealing the inheritance?!
......
Why did you do that, Miss Bachmann?
Miss Bachmann You never realized? Mom never loved me. She only ever had eyes for my brother.
I never got anything from her... so it's only fair that I get a bigger slice of the inheritance.
Earthspirit What on Terra are you talking about?! Do you realize what you did? You were plotting with that guy to exploit me just minutes ago!
Miss Bachmann Mom did so much for you, it's the least you could do to help me escape this hell!
I wasn't going to take your life...
Look, I'm a recent graduate, and I've been all over the place looking for a job. But with this money, I wouldn't have to work at all; I could sleep-in all day if I wanted to.
Earthspirit ...You're a spoiled brat.
Miss Bachmann What do you know? You only visit home once a year. Adults like you only care about work, never about your family. You deserve to drown in the endless cycle of mundane life.
Earthspirit I'm not in a position to defend the image you have of Professor Bachmann.
But you have no right to criticize me, or anyone who works hard and lives their lives seriously!
Yes, I'm a jerk who hardly ever goes home.
Besides my work at Rhodes Island, I also accept jobs as a Catastrophe Messenger to make some extra cash.
Do you know why?
Did you think I do it just so I don't have to go home? Do you think anyone LIKES living like that?
I was born and raised outside the nomadic cities, in a tiny town with nothing.
That's what I consider home, and it never moves. It's not so bad when there's a nomadic city nearby, but they're never around forever, and they always leave us behind.
What will my family do when a Catastrophe comes, if I don't make enough money for them to move to a nomadic city?
I may be a Catastrophe Messenger, but that doesn't mean I have a solution other than paying to get them out of harm's way.
Maybe you think you could live without a care, unlike the rest of us. But if you don't care about the deeper issue, then at least spare me your juvenile sense of superiority!
Miss Bachmann I worked for this inheritance!
Earthspirit Would you have gotten any of it without me? Even your Leonard here's been working harder than you.
Louis Actually, it's Louis–
[Earthspirit channeled her Arts in anger.]
Earthspirit Shut up! I don't care what your name is!
The normally quiet Caprinae roars.
But the collapsed cave walls do not echo her voice.
Even the skulking skeletal creature behind her whimpers and backs off.
Louis ...Yes, ma'am.
Earthspirit ...Huff...
As far as I know, Miss Bachmann, your mother loved you.
She worked four jobs–professor, geologist, Catastrophe Messenger, and pianist–because she loved you and wanted you to have a better life.
Your older brother suffered from malnutrition as a child, leading to all sorts of complications, and she was worried that you'd end up like him.
She gave you a comfortable life, and the best education money can buy in Leithanien, but also your current... immaturity...
Miss Bachmann So what? You say she gave me all that, but was hardly ever home. She wasn't so busy that she couldn't take a single day off, was she?
Earthspirit One time, she wanted to take some time off and spend it with you.
But then I slipped and fell in a cave during some fieldwork.
She said I was in bad shape, covered in cuts from the exposed Originium.
She had to patch me up and drive me all the way to Rhodes Island. So... it was my fault.
If she'd gone home back then, and you talked out your feelings together, then perhaps she'd have retired earlier, and things could have gone differently.
Miss Bachmann If you know it's your fault, then leave me alone, and let me live my life!
Earthspirit But this man will throw you under the bus the moment I hand him over to the police. You want me to let him go too?
Miss Bachmann He's got a criminal record; I had to get someone smuggle him into the city. Destroy his fake documents, and they won't let him in.
That's the best way to get rid of him.
Louis You... you backstabbing bitch!
Miss Bachmann You betrayed me first!
Louis You'd be dead already if I could move!
Earthspirit So, are you asking me to make the decision?
Miss Bachmann You said you were sorry, right? Then let me live my life.
Earthspirit I'm sorry... Miss Bachmann.
Making decisions is for leaders. I just do the job I'm paid for.
Besides, you dragged me into your family matters while I'm on vacation. Can you pay me overtime?
Miss Bachmann What?! You dirty, stinking Infected...
[After Earthspirit thinks of the best solution...]
Earthspirit I'll take you to the hospital to get your wounds treated, and then ask your brother what he thinks. If he's okay with it, things can stay as they are.
If not, then it's off to the courts.
Miss Bachmann You'll ruin my life!
Earthspirit Maybe you ruined it all on your own.
Let's split up, Parker. We'll meet up in front of the Bachmann home once we're done.
Miss Bachmann Wait!
Office Operator Understood.
<Background 1>
[The R.I. operator returns.]
Office Operator Everything's taken care of on my end.
Didn't think I'd ever see you lose control like that.
Earthspirit Ahem. I never lost control...
It was just... let's call it stress relief.
......
Office Operator What are you looking at?
Earthspirit Their house. The last time I was here, the plants in the garden were trimmed, and the walls were neat and clean. How did it get so run down in just a few years?
Professor Bachmann worked so hard to support her family, and for what?
Office Operator I guess you should spend more time with them when you're the head of the household.
Now explain the monitoring ring, Earthspirit. Under normal circumstances, I'd be required to report that to the HQ immediately.
Earthspirit Did you see that thing behind me?
Office Operator Just a faint silhouette. Was it a living thing?
Earthspirit Yes. Not everyone can see it, but it gets clearer when I cast Originium Arts. It should've been fairly visible back there.
My Arts depend on accurate control of the output. Most vibrations only require a small amount of energy, and the rest goes to waste.
And since only a little bit of it is used, the excess gets radiated.
At some point it began to draw in creatures like that, which feed on the waste energy.
And with the help of the Casters at Rhodes Island, I discovered how to draw upon the energy contained inside it.
But that causes a direct flowback into my body.
Which is why the warning light on the monitoring ring lit up.
So there's no need to worry, but we'll need to do something about the data. I don't want to be put on medical leave if the Doctor or Kal'tsit finds out.
Office Operator Understood.
You've never been a good liar, so I'll believe you.
Earthspirit Thanks, Parker.
<Background 4>
[While Earthspirit is having a lunch with Provence...]
Provence Oh? Sounds like you had quite the adventure over your vacation.
Earthspirit Too much adventure for me, I'm afraid. I took a detour to see Professor Bachmann's daughter, but I never imagined the trouble that'd bring me.
Provence Don't eat so much fried food. Here, have some veggies.
Earthspirit But a little bit now and then improves my mood. Want some fries?
Provence I guess that means your mood needs improving?
Don't push yourself too hard, okay? But no, I don't even know how you can stomach those cold, soggy things.
So, what was in the box?
Earthspirit Geological units collected from north of Ursus.
Provence Sounds like things are about to get busy for you.
Earthspirit Not really. The professor said these came from unexplored lands. We may not get a chance to visit there in our lifetimes.
She always said she'd leave them to me someday, but I didn't expect her to already have made the preparations.
Provence Isn't it hard for researchers like you to keep your curiosity in check?
Earthspirit I still have a lot of hobbies. I get to do what I like after work, rather than worrying about what needs my attention.
Besides, I made a promise to the professor.
My job is just to keep these safe, and report to Kal'tsit and the Doctor. Nothing more, nothing less.
...I just remembered that I still haven't made my report.
Ugh... looks like another rough afternoon.

See also