Ethan: Old Friends in Foreign Places

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Operator Record
Old Friends in Foreign Places
Ethan icon.png

A thing long past, an old friend, or a forgettable experience. The past never stops haunting Ethan.

Unlock conditions

  • Raise Ethan to Elite 2 Level 1.
  • Have at least 50% Trust with Ethan.
L.G.D. Officer icon.png
Officer Kam
Male Lungmenite icon.png
Passerby Customer
Female Lungmenite icon.png
Passerby Girl
Male Old Kuranta A icon.png
Lungmen Streets
Lungmen Back Alley
RI Training Compound
For the past year, Ethan has been searching the world for a particular old acquaintance. He learns that the man he is looking for is in Lungmen.
<Background 1>
Hoshiguma Oh, here you are.
[Ethan runs into Hoshiguma's side.]
Ethan Sorry to keep you waiting, Madame Oni.
Hoshiguma When did you get here? Yesterday?
Ethan Yep... I came with the Messenger convoy.
Hoshiguma Rhodes Island's Messengers told me you'd left last month? What took you so long?
Ethan Our convoy ran into a little trouble on the way. We came across a few Infected Creatures. We got lucky, though.
Hoshiguma Well, I'm glad you got here in one piece.
So you came all the way here just for this?
Here, this is who you're after.
The tall policewoman hands a thick file to the short Savra.
Ethan Oh, thanks. Let's see here...
Hoshiguma Are you sure he's the one?
Ethan Definitely... no question.
Hoshiguma Looks like we're not the first you've turned to for help. You also asked Lee's Detective Agency, right?
So who he is?
Ethan ......
A really good friend.
Hoshiguma ......
Let me ask you again. Are you sure it's him?
Ethan My answer's still the same, Officer Hoshiguma. I am pretty sure that's him.
Hoshiguma You still don't know how serious this is, don't you?
Do you know how much trouble this is going to be if he's actually the "Kevin" you were talking about?
Ethan Right, I know, I know.
Hoshiguma *Sigh*, Old Ch'en sure knows how to ruin my day.
Rhodes Island's position in Lungmen is delicate, to say the least, and the one you're looking for there... Well, it's a long story.
This case is technically being taken on by a civilian agency, but, well...
If things get out of hand, it's gonna be my head. You get that, right?
Ethan Yeah, I get it, Madame Oni.
This is personal, though. Nothing to do with Rhodes Island. Relax.
Hoshiguma Kam!
[An L.G.D. officer came to Hoshiguma's side.]
Officer Kam Right here, Inspector Hoshiguma.
Hoshiguma This is Officer Kam. He'll help you look.
Ethan What's up, Officer Kam.
Officer Kam (Nods)
Hoshiguma Report back the instant something happens.
Officer Kam Understood.
Ethan Thanks for the help, Madame Oni.
Hoshiguma Be careful, and don't go looking for trouble, especially not there. Don't stay too long.
Ethan Right, I get it.
<Background fades out and in>
Officer Kam Inspector Hoshiguma told me you work as an informant for Rhodes Island?
Ethan Yeah, I do.
Officer Kam Speaking of, how's Ch'en Sir doing?
Oh, don't worry about it if you can't tell me. I just figured I'd ask.
Ethan Um, I don't know Officer Ch'en that well...
But I guess she's been keeping busy helping everybody out. Seems like she's doing alright.
Officer Kam Well, that's good to hear.
[Kam takes Ethan to an alley.]
Officer Kam Here we are.
<Background 2>
The short Savra takes a look around the area.
The scars of war and the onslaughts the city has suffered are still clearly visible. The walls of the houses here, blown apart by cannon fire, have yet to be repaired. The damaged roads are still covered with fresh cement that has yet to dry.
Nonetheless, the morning streets are bustling, the slum dwellers are making their rounds, and the hawkers' peddling and the construction sounds nearby echo in unison.
The city is slowly recovering.
Officer Kam Do you speak Yan or Lungmenese?
Ethan I get by. Studied a bit.
Officer Kam Don't say anything weird after we get inside. Do as I say.
The people here aren't all that friendly to outsiders.
Secondly, don't go running around, and don't go taking any strolls in the back alleys.
There are still some roads being repaired, and some of the buildings are really badly damaged and haven't been demolished yet.
Ethan Yeah, Ah Sir, I get it. Don't worry.
Soda Hawker Three bucks a bottle! Just three bucks! Ice cold soda! You ain't gonna find soda cheaper than this in Lungmen!
Porter Yo, Ah Hoi, gimme a bottle!
Soda Hawker You got it!
Ethan ......
Officer Kam That's him.
Ah Hoi the soda guy. That's what everyone here calls him these days, at least.
Ethan Selling soda, huh? I didn't know he had a brain for business.
Officer Kam I'll wait for you around the corner.
Here's a communicator. If things look like they're about the get hairy, call for help.
It costs an arm and a leg, so don't break it.
Ethan I've known him a long time... I won't need it.
Officer Kam Just take it. Better safe than sorry.
It's almost Sauin. Everyone at the department's got plenty to do.
You're not from here, and the Infected district's situation's complicated. You don't know what it's like.
If things go wrong, the cops around won't get to you in time.
Ethan I get it, I get it. I promise it'll be fine.
Officer Kam *Sigh*... Well, be careful.
Soda Hawker Soda! Three bucks a bottle...
Ethan Yo...
Soda Hawker ......
Ethan How's business?
Soda Hawker You...
Ethan Yep, it's me. Never thought I'd see you again.
Soda Hawker *Sigh*...
So you actually came.
I knew this would happen one day. I just didn't expect it to happen so soon.
Ethan ...?
This isn't the reaction I was expecting...
It's been a while, Kevin.
We haven't seen each other since you went to Chernobog. How long has it been, three years?
I don't really know what happened to you since.
Looks like you're holding up pretty well, though.
Kevin I'm getting by...
Ethan That's good.
Kevin ......
Ethan ......
Kevin ......
Ethan Why don't you say something? It feels kinda awkward.
We didn't use to be like this.
Kevin I've got no last words to say.
Ethan Err, what?
Passerby Old Man *Cough*.
Am I interrupting?
Kevin Oh, not at all... Good morning, Master Lin.
Master Lin? Heavens, I am parched. Give me a bottle of your soda.
Kevin Here you go. Three dollars, please.
Master Lin? I'm getting on in years. My legs aren't what they used to be. Would it be a problem if I took a seat here?
Kevin Not at all. Please, go ahead.
Ethan Hah.
Kevin What? What's that for?
Ethan Nothing, I've just never seen you like this.
I remember when we used to go junk diving together. You'd pick a fight with those wandering bums every day.
You never this friendly.
Kevin So that's why you're laughing at me?
Ethan Nah, I'm not really trying to make fun of you.
You live in this hut?
Kevin This is the Lungmen slums. Practically everyone here lives in one of these.
It's much better than the old days when we lived on the streets. At least I have a roof over my head now.
Ethan That's a good thing.
Being able to settle down is already pretty great for kids like us.
Are you alone? Where are the others?
What happened after that?
Kevin You really want to know? Still care?
Ethan What happened to the others after that...?
Kevin They're dead.
Ethan ......
Kevin Are you surprised? All Infected die sooner or later. If we don't die fighting, we die in some quiet corner, alone.
If you want to know the gory details, I can lay them on you. They all died in the most undignified way possible. There, happy?
Ethan I...
Kevin Is that all you wanted to say?
Ethan What?
Kevin If you want to fight... let's not do it here.
Ethan Fight? Why would I fight you?
Kevin The folks here live a difficult life. If you kill me here, the L.G.D. will shut the whole place down. It'd be a big pain for my neighbors.
Ethan Hold on...
I think we've got a misunderstanding.
Kevin You aren't here to kill me?
Ethan No, hold on a second.
Why would I kill you? What are you talking about?
Kevin You can drop the act. I understand.
You left Reunion and went somewhere else.
Going by that trendy getup, it's gotta be a great place, eh?
Most Infected don't get to live as good of a life as you do.
But if you want to keep living that high life, you still have one last obstacle.
That's people like us.
I know who you are. I know you used to be Reunion.
Once I'm dead, you won't have anyone to rat you out anymore. No one will ever know you were cut from the same cloth as us lowlifes.
Ethan (Silence)
Kevin I knew this day would come.
Or should I say I've known for three years this day would come, when you told me you were thinking about leaving Reunion?
It's not like we get to live all that long anyway. Everyone else's dead, and I don't think all this peace and quiet is going to last that much longer for me either.
Ethan (Silence)
Kevin What's wrong? Lost your tongue?
Ethan A year ago...
A year ago... I heard there were a few Reunion folks still in Lungmen.
I spent all my money this year just to ask around, just to find you guys.
I held out hope that you were doing okay, that you made it through everything alive.
Looks like I shouldn't have.
Kevin Hold on, you really aren't here to kill me?
Ethan How could I be...?
I don't know what you've been through these last few years, but I've always thought of you as a brother.
Back when we were starving in Kazimierz, you stole a few cans of food just for the rest of us, and you got beaten up so bad.
When we were out in the wilderness, you fought off those bandits with Packy. That's how I'm still alive.
I'm grateful for you guys. If it wasn't for you, I would've died out there a long time ago.
That's why I came here to look for you.
But I kinda regret it now.
I shouldn't have come.
Kevin ......
Ethan Well, how about this? You're alive. That's good enough for me. It's a load off my mind.
Take this.
Kevin What is it?
Ethan It's Oripathy medicine. Here's the instructions. Follow them.
Kevin What?
Ethan Well, that's it, then. You take care.
Kevin Wait!
Hold on!
It's my bad. I got it all wrong.
I apologize. This is all my fault.
I didn't mean it. I just thought that...
A lot has happened these past few years. I've gotten a lot more suspicious.
Passerby Customer Ah Hoi, a bottle for me!
Kevin Right away! Three bucks, please!
Kevin puts on a tattered Industrial Arts casting glove and takes out a few bottles of light yellow soda. He tightly squeezes the glass bottles with both his hands. Before long, the surface of the bottles has begun to frost up.
Ethan When did you learn to use Arts like this...?
Kevin Remember that group of soldiers from up north?
Ethan You mean... the Yetis?
Kevin That's right.
After you left, I was assigned to the Airborne unit with a few other guys.
We worked with the Yetis for a very long time.
They're the ones who taught me this. I don't have much talent for Arts. All I can do is chill a few bottles of soda.
They were good people. FrostNova, too.
But they're all dead.
Ethan So what happened to the others...?
Kevin Packy died on our way to Lungmen. You know how serious his Oripathy was.
Waltz... The Lungmen squads killed him when he tried to shield the others.
Ethan ......
Kevin I'm alive only because I got lucky.
My jetpack broke down midflight. I crash-landed right in the garbage collector.
By the time I came to, the war was over already.
You know the most pathetic part? It was the junkmen from the slums here who found me. They dug me up from the mounds of trash, and that's how I'm still here.
Passerby Girl Ah Hoi! A soda, please!
Kevin You got it. Three bucks.
Kevin turns around yet again and takes out a few more bottles of soda.
Kevin Take a look at the people here.
They're all normal folks. There are some Infected too.
All of them have their own lives.
But, back then, that thought never so much as crossed my mind.
When I took up arms, I really thought I was fighting for all the Infected out there.
Looking back, I guess I was just some rioter who smashed and burned everything in my tracks.
In the end, I'm not even sure what I was doing these last couple years.
In hindsight, I guess you were the one who really tried to figure it all out.
Ethan I don't actually want to figure anything out.
I'm not as ambitious as you're making me out to be.
As long as I don't go hungry and I get a place to call home, that's good enough for me.
But charging into somebody's house, dragging them out, and then beating them up, hurting them...
I may be an Infected, but to do all that just to get by? No way, not me.
I'm not one to talk about righteousness, but that just isn't right. I know it.
And that's why I left Reunion.
Kevin *Sigh*...
Ethan Anyway, I really mean it. It's a good thing you're still alive.
I'm gonna get going.
Kevin You're leaving already?
Ethan Yeah... I actually sneaked out of work.
Kevin This stuff...
How much do they cost...?
Ethan Don't worry about it.
They don't actually sell them out on the market. Just take them yourself, and don't let anybody know.
Kevin Right...
Hey, hold on...
Ethan Hm?
Kevin Here. Take a few of these sodas. I bottled them myself.
Ethan Thanks.
Kevin This is probably gonna be the last time we get to see each other.
You take care.
Ethan Yeah... You too.
<Background fades out and in>
Officer Kam Back already? That was quick.
Ethan Yeah, I guess.
Officer Kam I don't mind. You can talk to the Inspector more about it.
Master Lin Well, hello, Officer Kam.
Officer Kam !!
Master Lin Hm?
Officer Kam Good morning... Mister Lin.
Master Lin It must be tiring to be on duty so early.
Oh, you're the young man who visited Ah Hoi just now.
Ethan R-Right, that's me.
Master Lin I don't know what happened between you, but Ah Hoi's a good man. Try not to make things too hard for him.
Well, I'll let you return to your duties now. Please excuse me.
Officer Kam Have a good day, Mister Lin...
Ethan Who's that old man...?
Officer Kam Don't worry about it. Let's go.
<Background 1>
The short Savra glances around the area one last time.
The scars and destruction left behind by war are slowly beginning to heal.
As time goes on, these traces will become a part of Lungmen, as a part of its long history.
On its war-torn streets, the citizens of Lungmen keep toiling away, living one day to the next.
[Hoshiguma appears.]
Hoshiguma Done already?
Ethan Yep.
Don't worry. He has nothing to do with Reunion anymore.
The Kevin of Reunion is gone. He's Ah Hoi the soda guy.
Hoshiguma ......
Well, one less thing for me to worry about.
Officer Kam Right here, Inspector Hoshiguma.
Hoshiguma Close the file, and I'll leave the paperwork to you.
Officer Kam So... what's our conclusion for this case...?
Hoshiguma He's just a normal Infected. Nothing special about him.
Officer Kam Anything else to keep in the files?
Hoshiguma No need. Let's not look for trouble.
Officer Kam Understood... I'll get right to it.
[Kam leaves.]
Hoshiguma As for you... Here, take this.
Ethan What's is it...?
Hoshiguma It's our file on you.
Ethan So the L.G.D. investigated me?
Hoshiguma I may not look it, but I'm an L.G.D.'s inspector. I've got to do my job.
To protect Lungmen's hard-earned peace, I need to investigate everything, and Rhodes Island is no exception.
But well, this right now is a private matter. It's got nothing to do with the L.G.D., and I'll pretend the report's contents never existed in the first place.
He's Ah Hoi, a Lungmen citizen, and you're Ethan, a Rhodes Island operator.
Let's leave it at that.
Ethan Thanks... Madame Oni.
Hoshiguma Oh, and stop calling me that. It's not like we ever rubbed elbows or something.
Ethan Oh, my bad. Thank you, Officer Hoshiguma.
Uh, sorry, Inspector.
Hoshiguma Right, do you have a way to get back to Rhodes Island?
Ethan Yeah, I'll head back with the branch office convoy next week.
Hoshiguma Sounds good. Have a safe trip back, and tell the Doctor and Ch'en I said hello.
Ethan No problem.
<Background 3>
Two weeks later...
[Ethan holds the bottle of soda from Kevin.]
Ethan Hm...
(I'll put it here.)
[Ethan puts the soda as Midnight and Spot appears.]
Midnight Huh? What's this? Soda?
I didn't know the cafeteria had any today.
Ethan Oh, I brought it here with me. Help yourselves.
Midnight Well, don't mind if I do!
Spot Maybe you should mind a little, grabbing all the freebies the first opportunity you get.
Ethan Don't worry about it. Just a gift from a friend.
Right, it's just soda...
...from a friend of mine.