Forgotten Lighthouse

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Forgotten Lighthouse Preluding Lights
Underground Passage
Blue Poison and Glaucus investigate an abandoned building to the north of Iberia and meet Indigo, who found her way to the building while she was lost. She tells them what this building once was–a lighthouse.
<Background black>
2:18 P.M. \ Clear
Deserted Coastal Town, North of Iberia
We've arrived at the specified coordinates.
The target building's outside appearance matches the description outlined in the preliminary survey report.
Our team will now proceed into the building for an inspection. We may need to cut the transmission. Watch for flares, in case anything happens.
Blue Poison, over and out.
<Background 1>
Blue Poison There's an entrance here. Hm, it doesn't look like the builders intended for this to be here.
The edges are pretty rough, like it was hacked open with an axe. Perhaps the bounty hunters did this? I heard some of them like to come "treasure hunting" here.
Glaucus That's probably because they aren't Iberians…
Blue Poison Right, ruins like this one are more than "toxic" to those who got out of that alive.
Glaucus As for the ones that stayed behind... The Church, the Inquisition... They have no way to make it here.
They already pay too high a price, and they wouldn't want to see any of this.
It's just like how I never wanted to look at my legs when I was a kid. No matter how much I tried, they just couldn't run. Iberia as it is now doesn't want to see any of these broken parts.
Blue Poison Look at you, using yourself as an analogy again. I'm starting to feel bad.
Glaucus Hm, I can tell you are joking this time.
<Background fades out and in>
Glaucus Electromagnetic Pulse Field released.
Blue Poison So, should we go up? Or down?
Glaucus Your call.
Blue Poison I'm thinking up. I'm not entirely sure why, but I feel up is the way to go. This place is like... a tower.
Glaucus A tower? How tall do you think it is? The part that stands above ground is at most three stories. What could its purpose be?
Blue Poison In that case, I guess we should go down.
Glaucus Hm?
Blue Poison You just reminded me that we have no idea how far down it might go.
Glaucus Let's find out, then. And don't worry. I got your back.
Blue Poison That puts my mind at ease, though I do hope we won't end up in a fight.
<Background 2>
[Blue Poison and Glaucus traverse the dark corridors of the tower's basement.]
Blue Poison Hm, it's dark in here.
Glaucus The lighting system is busted.
Blue Poison You can't fix it?
Glaucus The Iberian technology here is several decades old. Their wiring is nothing like Raythean's. If you gave me a few days...
Blue Poison Don't worry about it, then. We'll let Closure and Engineering worry about it later. We won't be staying in this coffin pit for long.
Glaucus Coffin?
Blue Poison It's an analogy, or maybe not. There is a foul stench lingering in this building.
Glaucus It's been abandoned for years, and then it was flooded with seawater and buried by mud...
Blue Poison Shh.
Glaucus Hm?
Blue Poison Say, if we don't talk, do you suppose we'll hear ghosts screaming?
Glaucus G-Ghosts...?
Blue Poison Oh, it's just a joke. Try not to tug so hard on my clothes. I like this new outfit a lot.
Glaucus Oh... We should switch on our portable Originium lamps.
Blue Poison Now it's much brighter.
Glaucus Hm...
Blue Poison You seem to be a big fan of these technological ruins.
Glaucus This kind of technology only existed in the coastal towns of the past. You don't see them much in Iberia these days.
What... are they for?
For observation? To relay signals? Or could it be... for sightseeing?
Blue Poison Perhaps it was for locking people up.
Glaucus Possibly...
Blue Poison When we look at the Iberia of the past, we some see the technology that they left behind, like gold covered in dust.
Yet, during those radiant times, there were countless bones buried underneath El Dorado.
Glaucus I'm sorry...
Blue Poison What are you apologizing for? The bones of the Ægirs who took my ancestors away to Iberia have long been eroded by the sea waves.
I don't hate Iberia, nor do I hate the Ægir people. Now, I suppose I don't even hate myself as much anymore. This is all thanks to the Doctor and you, Glau.
Glaucus Does this technology... give you any bad memories?
Blue Poison All I care about is whether this place will be of any use to Rhodes Island.
In the end, this is what we are here for, no?
Glaucus Right... We're here to scout out the surroundings, to analyze the data, and to confirm what we can retrieve.
Too bad that this place has been torn apart inside and out, though. If it was just the time and the environment, the parts wouldn't be this wrecked.
Look at this part here. It went so far... Ah!
[Suddenly Glaucus pulled out her Franker and fired it at something ahead.]
Blue Poison What's wrong? Why did you pull out your Franker all of a sudden...?
Glaucus T-There's a ghost!
Blue Poison A ghost...? You mean the shadow in the path ahead?
It isn't moving. Doesn't seem to be alive.
[Blue Poison approaches the one hit by Glaucus' Franker.]
Blue Poison Judging from his getup... It seems he was a bounty hunter.
We haven't made it very far from the entrance. Perhaps he was the one who cracked it open, and he died here after he came inside.
Glaucus Oh, I see.
Blue Poison Wait, let's not get any closer yet.
Glaucus Hm?
Blue Poison We still don't know how he died.
Glaucus You think it could be dangerous?
Blue Poison A bounty hunter died so close to the entrance.
We'll have to watch out for whatever killed him.
Glaucus Hm...
Blue Poison Stand back a little more.
I can smell... the scent of the seawater.
Glaucus Seawater? We're pretty far away from the shore.
Blue Poison ......
You don't mean...
Though Blue Poison told Glaucus to stay where she is, she continues to walk toward the corpse. She kneels down about a meter away, observing it closely.
Blue Poison Okay, it's just some seagrass.
It's a full skeleton. No sign that he was eaten by any monsters, and there are no other fatal injuries.
No trace of any common toxins that could lead to death either.
[Blue Poison takes a closer look at the skeleton.]
Blue Poison Judging from his posture, he likely got himself tied up in the seagrass and drowned.
Glaucus I don't see any water, though. It's dry everywhere.
Blue Poison Take a closer look at the rust left on the wall.
Glaucus Hm... I can see some areas are more rusted than others.
So this place was flooded twice, then?
Blue Poison The seawater destroyed the building the first time around. Whatever its function was, that was when it failed. The second time, the seawater gushed into this place again, flooding its insides once more.
And this poor bastard happened to be in here at the time. He likely thought he'd hit the jackpot, and was happily tearing away at the things in the wall.
He didn't manage to escape in time when the seawater began to flood the building, and the seagrass had his arms and legs caught. He lost his life after struggling for a while.
You can't really blame him. He was a Kuranta.
Glaucus Poor guy... They don't know the strength of the sea.
Blue Poison The Doctor once mentioned that research on the ocean is for the most part done only by a handful of oceanologists. It's not a very popular field.
Well, it's not really that strange. We are only interested in the things that we can see and conquer.
Perhaps... the Iberia of the past was the sole exception.
Glaucus It's all in the past. I haven't seen the ocean myself either.
Hm... I'm not even sure why you're so sensitive to the scent of seawater.
Blue Poison Have you heard that rumor?
Glaucus Ugh...
Blue Poison About the disasters?
Glaucus We... don't talk about that. That's not allowed in Iberia.
Blue Poison You're all used to avoiding the subject.
Glaucus It's hard to kick your habits. We don't talk much about... our homeland at Rhodes Island. Besides, each of us has a different impression of that incident, and sometimes even about that whole area.
I've talked to Weedy about it. Both of us are Ægirs who grew up in Iberia, and I've come to realize the Iberia in her eyes is totally different from the one I see.
Blue Poison That's nothing strange, no? If you are not allowed to discuss the incident, then the only thing you will remember of it is the small fragment that you saw with your own eyes.
They... are taking the chance to piece the fragments together, from the people.
Glaucus Hm, there's only the two of us now. I could talk about it, but... I'm afraid to do that. It's like something has my throat blocked.
I'm worried that as soon as I talk, the shadows cast on the path here will charge toward me.
And I say that even though I know it's just shadows cast by the Originium lamp.
Blue Poison Shadows... What a fine analogy. They skillfully redirect everyone's attention away, such that they fear the shadows rather than the enormous truth that lies behind.
Glaucus It's so cold... but I'm sweating.
In the past, I would never even imagine that I could stand here and talk to you about this.
Blue Poison Everyone feels that way.
I suppose this pitch-black, sealed-off building is protecting us.
There's a dead body here, and we don't know what lies ahead. But this keeps me even more at ease than a wide open space.
The walls here give us a false sense of security, a sense that everything's under our control.
Glaucus You're right. At least there isn't another pair of eyes staring at us.
Blue Poison Now I'm not sure about that.
Glaucus Stop trying to scare me...
Blue Poison Okay, okay. I'll stop. Back to the topic of the disaster. The Inquisition isn't actually to blame for that decision. The decision to not talk about that was made by the Ægirs who came ashore.
Glaucus Huh?
Blue Poison I guess it was a form of self protection.
Glaucus Self... protection?
Blue Poison Do you know why the Ægirs came ashore?
Glaucus I... don't know. I thought we were meant to be here to begin with, though it seems most Iberians don't agree with that.
Blue Poison I'm not too familiar either.
Glaucus Yeah... but you know more than we do, at the very least.
Blue Poison It's funny. The history slowly disappeared from the Ægirs' memories, and we are the ones who still remember any of it.
My ancestors were taken away by the Ægirs some hundred years ago. They wanted the "toxic" ability that we are born with.
Glaucus Why... is that?
Blue Poison They kept extracting the toxins for experiments. They were trying to figure out whether these subterranean toxins could be used as some kind of weapon...
Glaucus What were they trying to attack with that?
Blue Poison I have no idea. How could I have seen it? From my elders tell me, it was an enormous, terrifying monster that doesn't exist on land.
Glaucus It's from the sea...
Blue Poison All I can say is that's extraordinarily likely.
I thought about asking the Doctor or Dr. Kal'tsit... or even the hunters directly.
Once, I happened upon Operator Skadi. This question immediately rose to the top of my mind.
Glaucus I doubt she'd tell you...
Blue Poison Right, I don't think so either, and I didn't ask her in the end.
I'm not sure I have the courage to find out the truth…
Just like the Ægirs who came ashore, it took them several hundred years to forget that fear. That's how they could finally put down roots with their minds at ease to slowly become a part of Iberia.
No one would cast aside a new life they earned for themselves to fight what could be an endless war. Especially not when nobody knows when that disaster would actually strike, and when it actually strikes, everything could still be futile.
Even I wish that I could live a new life, even after the Doctor has taught me so much.
Glaucus In that case... perhaps we should turn back, then?
We can still make it.
Blue Poison Perhaps.
Glaucus You're still going straight ahead...
Blue Poison Oh, you're right. I'm still going straight.
Thinking back, after all these years, I haven't once thought of giving up my abilities to use my toxin.
Perhaps I've never managed to break free of the souls of those Ægirs who enslaved my ancestors, and, deep down in my heart, I believe that the toxins in me will get the enemies they're meant for.
[Blue Poison and Glaucus continues onward.]
<Background fades out and in>
[After trekking through the tunnels for a while…]
Glaucus How far down have we come?
Blue Poison I lost track.
Glaucus Me too.
Blue Poison This tower is deeper than I expected... Uh, taller. The confined space here is disrupting our senses.
Glaucus Oh, I think I'm hallucinating.
Blue Poison What did you see?
Glaucus (Blinks)
A light up ahead.
Blue Poison ......
Glaucus And it's slowly floating upwards.
Blue Poison !
(Quietly) Switch your light off!
<Background fades out>
Amid the darkness, there is a white light swaying not far away.
Blue Poison makes sure this isn't a reflection of their lamps. Is it an illusion, or is it real? Which scenario is more dangerous?
Blue Poison (Let's get closer. Slowly now, don't surprise them.)
Glaucus (Is it a threat?)
Blue Poison (Prepare for combat...)
Glaucus (Franker at the ready.)
Blue Poison (Okay, we'll be making contact soon. There's a corner up ahead. Watch my hand. I'll knock three times. On the count of three–)
A bolt whizzes through the air.
It strikes the fuzzy white light. No, not quite. Just as it was about to strike the object, its trajectory curved to the side.
It's no problem. No one can see it. The bolt split in two soon after it was shot, one in the front, and one in the back, capturing the white light.
The very next moment, the white light suddenly expands.
Glaucus Franker, maximum power!
[A Pythia woman is standing in the shadows before Blue Poison and Glaucus.]
??? W-Wait!
Glaucus Amplifying microwave–
??? I mean no harm!
Blue Poison Hm?
??? *Cough*... Oww... hit my back... what a shockwave…
Please don't do that again...
Blue Poison If it's mercy you want, you should stop casting, Caster.
??? Uh, you mean my light? N-No, you're mistaken. This is just for lighting up my surroundings.
I defended myself on reflex. Please believe me! I don't want to hurt you at all!
Glaucus No wonder... it feels kind of warm... and bright... Nothing about it makes me feel sick.
Blue Poison Glau, don't let your guard down just yet.
Her Originium Arts are not to be underestimated. This seems a little special, even.
Glaucus Hm...
??? P-Put it down, please! Could you also move your bolt away from my neck...? Just a little, please?
I... I'm too scared to even breathe now... *Whimpers*...
Blue Poison I can lower my crossbow.
But you need to drop your staff too. If you try anything funny, believe me, your reflexes are no match for my bolts.
??? Okay...
The light extinguishes as soon as the girl throws her staff away.
Blue Poison Originium lamp.
Glaucus Alright.
<Background fades in>
??? So that light was yours...
Blue Poison Are you after us?
??? No, that isn't what I meant.
I was waiting down below. There's no one else here, and when I saw your light, I thought maybe somebody decided to check this place out, so I started climbing the stairs to meet this guest.
Blue Poison You said you've been here for a while. Who are you?
??? Oh, I forgot to introduce myself... Um, my name is Aria.
Blue Poison Well, Aria, are you an Iberian?
Aria Yes. Why, is it obvious?
Blue Poison I figured I'd ask. If you'd said no, I would've guessed Columbian or Victorian. I have my ways to make you talk.
Aria Why, that's sending chills down my spine...
Blue Poison You're an Iberian and a Caster, and your Originium Arts work as a light. Are you affiliated with the Inquisition?
Aria The Inquisition? No, no, no! I haven't ever met them.
Blue Poison What are you doing here, then?
Glaucus (Isn't this almost an interrogation? We're just here to check this place out.)
Blue Poison (It's more efficient to ask her directly. Besides, it doesn't seem like she noticed anything's off yet.)
Aria Mmm... What am I doing here again?
Why, I'm not actually so sure myself...
Blue Poison Hm? Do you have amnesia, perhaps?
Aria No, of course not. I remember how I got here and that I spent the last couple days here.
Two days ago, I asked a local about any opportunities to make some money in the area. I needed work... Otherwise I would go hungry.
He took the last few coins I had and told me I could come seek riches here.
Glaucus (Sounds like she ran into a con man...)
Blue Poison ......
He might've mistaken you for a bounty hunter.
A lot of bounty hunters used to come to this area in the past. You have a staff, and you, well... you look like you are from a rather well off family, by your appearance. They may have thought you an aristocratic young lady looking for adventure.
Aria Oh... Is that it? So they misunderstood me...
Glaucus (They probably didn't... They could tell right away what a gullible girl you are.)
Blue Poison (Smiles)
Aria I-Is that funny?
Blue Poison No, my friend here may be a little shy around strangers, but she seems to be worried about you.
Glaucus *Cough*...
Aria Huh? W-Why, thanks! It's okay. I'm just lost, and since I saw a lighthouse here, I thought I'd come rest in here a little...
Blue Poison Huh?
Aria I-I was lost, yes...
Blue Poison No, that isn't what I was asking. You said this used to be a lighthouse?
Aria Oh, yes. You can find lighthouses everywhere in Iberia. Have you never seen one before?
Glaucus (Shakes head)
Aria Hm... Perhaps they're only seen along the coastline. I've been away for about half a year now, and the towns farther from the coast don't have lighthouses.
Glaucus Did you grow up by the sea?
Aria Yes, and not far away from here. It's a small town, so you probably haven't heard of it.
Glaucus How is it doing...?
Aria Okay... I guess?
There aren't that many people, so we all got along well. My teacher said we were lucky. The sea's disasters spared our home.
Glaucus Phew... That's great.
Aria Well... except our lighthouse. Ever since that day, our lighthouse has never lit up again.
Blue Poison Since that day?
Aria Right, that one day several decades ago. The day when disaster struck.
In that one brief moment, the entire Iberian coastline was shrouded in darkness.
Ever since... it's never lit up again.
<Background fades out and in>
Blue Poison Aria, you seem rather familiar with lighthouses.
Aria Why, that's because I grew up in one.
Glaucus In a lighthouse like this...?
Aria Please don't get the wrong idea. My town's lighthouse is in much better condition. There wasn't a lot of damage, it just won't light up anymore.
The mechanical parts, the central control system, the power circuits, the automation core, the outside wall Hologram emitter, and the wireless communications were all fine.
My teacher would take me around the lighthouse every day to inspect and maintain everything, according to the manual. We even repaired the outside walls regularly.
Why, I can confidently say that, aside from the aging materials, our lighthouse is in just as great a condition as it was decades ago.
Glaucus That's amazing…
Your eyes light up when you're talking about your lighthouse... Just like when I talk to anyone else about Franker.
Blue Poison Do you and your teacher manage lighthouses?
Aria Oh, I'm sorry if I forgot to mention. Yes, my teacher is a glorious lighthouse keeper.
As for me... I'm afraid I'm not there yet... A lighthouse only needs one official keeper, and I, uh, I'm just an apprentice…
And it's been so long since I left... so I guess I'm not even an apprentice anymore. *Sigh*...
Blue Poison You left long ago, but you still remember all the steps like the back of your hand.
Aria That's because I recite them before bed every night!
Blue Poison ......
You really love your job, Aria.
Aria I want to see the scenery my teacher described to me. It was something her teacher had described to her too.
Under the night sky, a multitude of intersecting courses in the sea lit up by the lighthouse.
All the grand drilling rigs and sea forts glimmering in the dark as ships large and small come and go in their surroundings... It was far more bustling than any city on land and far more radiant than even when the sun burned its brightest...
If you got close enough, you could even see the underwater cities that the Iberian Ægirs built along the continental shelf.

All of this was possible thanks to the thousands of lighthouses that stood on the Iberian coastline.
Now, disaster struck our energy system. None of the lighthouses can ever light up again as they once did.
Yet my teacher and I stayed to tend to the lighthouse.
Every night, my teacher would try to light it. The signal lamp doesn't work, so we made a new light source.
Our light source may not be able to stand in for a real lighthouse and illuminate the whole sea around us, only a small corner.
And ships may long have stopped sailing the sea–
But we are still here.
Blue Poison ......
And you'll be there to watch the lighthouse even if the coast will remain forever silent?
Aria Yes, we will.
<Background 3>
Aria This is the top of the lighthouse.
I inspected it a couple days ago. The lighthouse is in a really bad shape... There was hardly anything left of it before.
This is the only thing still here.
Glaucus What is it...?
Aria It's a kind of energy core that Iberian lighthouses use. The most advanced technology they use... and also the first to be destroyed.
Glaucus Is it broken?
Aria The original technology was lost... Neither I nor my teacher could restore its design. Without the complete energy system, we don't have a way to use the core to its full potential.
Glaucus Perhaps... Hm... If you don't mind, I would like to take this back to Rhodes Island and inspect it with Closure.
Oh... I'm not saying I have a good grasp of this... Iberian technologies from those days have some really special wiring... Just like this core. All I can tell is that it's not based around Originium technology.
Blue Poison It doesn't use Originium as its energy source?
Glaucus Not quite. It most likely still uses Originium for its energy, but... the foundation of the technology is very different. I'm even thinking that perhaps Originium energy isn't the best power source for this device.
Aria Oh!
Glaucus W-What's the matter? Is what I am talking about too boring...?
Aria Can you really light up the lighthouse again?
Glaucus I think it's worth a try. It may take a while.
Aria I... I think I want to come with you.
Glaucus Huh?
Aria Does that Rhodes Island you two are talking about need people like me? I don't know much... but... I'll work as hard as I can.
Glaucus Ugh...
Blue Poison First, you need a resume.
Aria What's a resume? I...
Mm... Weird... Why, I'm feeling kind of dizzy...
Glaucus Huh?
She passed out. What's the matter?
Blue Poison (Shrugs)
Glaucus Oh... did she get poisoned?
Blue Poison Here I was thinking that Phidia is immune to my toxins, like you are.
Though it looks like it just took longer for it to affect her.
(How should I say this? Perhaps her body isn't special in anyway. She's just... a little slow?)
Glaucus (Let's not analyze this right now. D-Do you have an antidote? You're out on a mission with me alone, so you got to have one, right...?)
Blue Poison Relax. The paralysis is temporary.
Let's head outside. She should come around after she gets a little breeze.
<Background 1>
Glaucus Disable EMP field.
[Elysium contacted Blue Poison and Glaucus.]
Elysium Finally! How are you, ladies? Have you run into any trouble?
Blue Poison Only a brief interlude...
Aria *Cough*...
Blue Poison Oh, you're finally awake?
Aria Sorry, it seems like I fell asleep...
Blue Poison You came back around sooner than I expected.
Blue Poison No need to worry. Our investigation was a success.
Elysium So why can I hear a third person? Sounds like a young lady with whom I've not had the pleasure...
Blue Poison We met her at the mission location. Her name is Aria, and she gave us some valuable information. She'll be coming with us to Rhodes Island to hand PR her resume.
Elysium Ah, well, let me welcome you in advance!
Aria H-Hello...
Blue Poison Right, in conclusion, this was a lighthouse.
Elysium Hm? A lighthouse? Did I hear that right? Our informant said it was "'really complicated by the looks."
(I thought it was some important facility...)
Blue Poison It was built before that disaster in Iberia.
Elysium I get it now...
Blue Poison The inner structure is still pretty intact, though the related technologies suffered heavy damage. We don't know for sure how much we can retrieve from here.
And let the engineering team following this up know–
This place has the potential to become a new Rhodes Island office.
Elysium Okay...
*Sigh*... If this actually ends up becoming a new office, I will probably have to run back and forth all the time, won't I?
And it's so close to that place too...
Well, I guess we don't exactly have much choice. We aren't the only ones that need this, either. The informant said there's been some refugees who escaped the destroyed towns to the south. They have a tough journey ahead, and they'll need someone to look out for them.
Blue Poison Right. Perhaps this lighthouse... will end up being fairly useful.
We can provide medical services for the Infected in the area and help those in need, and we can... watch the tides that draw towards the land closer and closer day after day.
It may not shine upon the area anymore... but it can still watch over this coastline.