M8-2: Silence, Born of Excessive Speech

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Silence, Born of Excessive Speech
Episode 08
Previous R8-3 (Story)

Kal'tsit has never demonstrated impatience when explaining a story to others. She is either very good at controlling herself, or she actually enjoys it.
Possessed Sarkaz Centurion icon.png
Herdified Sarkaz Warrior
Underground Passage
Chernobog Downtown Burning
Lungmen Uptown Rainy
On the other side of Chernobog's core city, Kal'tsit and the Doctor are trying to enter the sarcophagus, with herdified Sarkaz mercenaries standing in their way.
<Background 1>
Central District
A short while before
Doctor How are you certain Amiya's group will reach the command tower...
...without crossing one of Talulah's elite squads?
Kal'tsit This is the problem with conspirators.
Take a warlord, or a tyrant of a devious king. Their strongholds are always easy to defend, hard to attack.
They know their own deeds will invite furious retribution without fail. They'll use superior strength and advanced armaments to deploy unyielding defense.
Yet, seeing as Talulah's despotic behavior is confirmed to be some kind of act, she would not do things this way.
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor What makes you so confident?
Kal'tsit Experience, theory, phenomena.
I have no confidence. I can only derive the facts.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor ......
Kal'tsit ...Truthfully, I'm hoping to see you ever offer your own opinion.
Or maybe you're already content with silence as a brand of opinion?
Then I thank you for your understanding.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor I wanna hear your reasoning.
Kal'tsit If my thought process was one that won your approval...
Did you think that I would thus feel some kind of happy?
Respect is a two-way street. If you value my point of view, and arrive at any useful conclusions, then I in turn will give your point of view serious consideration.
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Kal'tsit Talulah is maintaining her own image. She needs to have the normal Infected respect her, have the Sarkaz mercenaries obey her, have the guerrillas trust her, have the zealots worship her...
She needs to have the distance between her and them clearly visible, and have these people able to examine each other.
According to a series of behavior exhibited by Reunion so far, we can very clearly realize that Reunion's other leaders do not particularly recognize Talulah's conduct at all.
Even Patriot, seeing through to her scheme, had no power to reverse the tide in the middle of its change. If he could have killed Talulah, all the same, he still would have been unable to alter Reunion tending towards collapse.
To say nothing of the plot to exploit the Infected that Talulah has drawn up inside her own head... The time she would need likely far exceed the time Reunion has existed so far.
I conjecture that all of Reunion's actions up to now have been premised on a plan. Namely...
"Reunion will perish after all this is over."
Talulah will scatter keen, hidden forces across every part of her territory. When she needs them, she'll assemble them, and have them make their appearance at the right moment.
Doctor, I believe the Empire of Ursus's Third Army would not permit any Infected to act freely whatsoever.
However, Reunion's current conduct is all within the bounds of their tolerance. Superficial violence, lacking discipline and organization. The Third Army must be happy to see it.
Think about it carefully. Would they limit themselves to being onlookers? Thus, would they risk truly, willingly letting Talulah control a whole city—even a whole country's state of affairs?
Or perhaps, even this is one of the weights on Talulah's scales, used to swindle the Ursus military out of their power... having them hibernate somewhere, waiting until the situation is just about to move on from her control.
And then, in the truest sense, she'll be able to use... the power she could never even touch. Just as she wishes.
But that needs time.
Doctor Now that you say all that, how is she not a tyrant?
Kal'tsit Because while current Reunion wants that in a leader, it doesn't truly need that in a leader.
A tyrant treasures one's own enablers, even if a tyrant more often than not recklessly destroys them for lack of foresight or composure, and weeps truest, deepest tears for it.
A conspirator does not. The tyrant has chess pieces, and the conspirator does too; but the tyrant is with them on the chessboard, while the conspirator sits outside of it.
We can suppose she has humanity, and thus might make mistakes. But if we're talking about a qualified conspirator with a scheme on the tracks, then even if she herself died, her scheme would continue as a matter of course.
Doctor Is our operation useless, then?
Kal'tsit If they were, we'd hardly be taking Rhodes Island's operators to hell and back.
The only thing naturally useless is killing her. So, in every part and every place, we must break down her plot, antagonize her instructions, and lead her scheme to failure.
If we cannot halt a landship's forward march, then we will tear it to pieces, and make it arrive at its destination no more than an empty carapace.
...Ah, maybe I shouldn't have put it to you like that. Don't get me wrong, we still need to stop this Chernobog core city.
<Background fades out and in>
Kal'tsit Doctor, you've worried about whether or not Amiya's group will run into any incidents...
I think what's on show before us is the real incident, here.
W, W. Where W? W stronger.
Don't, don't enter...
Doctor Can you communicate with them?
Kal'tsit (A certain Sarkaz tribe's language)
Herdified Sarkaz Warrior Underground full of darkness. Darkness create evil. Evil bring pain.
Too much, pain.
Kal'tsit (A certain Sarkaz tribe's language)
Herdified Sarkaz Warrior Will you, share our pain?
Kal'tsit No luck. Even if they weren't born in Kazdel, they should still have some kind of reaction to a hint of their native language. Their ability to actively think has been damaged.
Doctor Could those words you were saying have any effect on them?
Kal'tsit They were meant to in the first place.
No, wait... this wasn't a common-sense idea. Don't get excited.
But if not even this lets me rouse their conscious, then they've already lost all capacity for thought, beyond simply their ability to express.
It means their brain's activity has been sealed off, or that their nervous system has been perturbed by the infected organs... either way, we don't have enough time left to ascertain the true answer.
Just based on what facts we have, it's not looking good.
Doctor They don't seem like they'll attack us.
Kal'tsit They're preventing us from entering. Deeply infected Sarkaz mercenaries in this area number around six, and seem to spend most of their time set to an unconscious roam.
Their range of movement doesn't extend outside this passage. These severely Infected collected here only after they picked up on our activity.
Moreover, as long as we don't cross some boundary, they don't do anything further.
Reconnaissance operator. Can you detect our straight-line distance to the Sarcophagus? Determine position via the waveform I provided.
...1.4km. Precise figure?
...If my calculations aren't wrong, then the breakout of conflict between Reunion and Sarkaz special Infected happened to be roughly at distance 1.4km from the City Hall too.
We initially planned to enter the Sarcophagus holding from the City Hall basement shelter passage, but as things are, that exit's likely been occupied by Sarkaz special Infected of the same kind.
I have an unconfirmed conjecture, Doctor...
Doctor What kind of conjecture?
Kal'tsit We don't know what their goal is, but these Sarkaz special Infected are likely preventing anyone else from entering the sarcophagus holding, and by happy coincidence, this district they've controlled measures 1.4km out.
Doctor You might be right, but what about their goal, then?
Kal'tsit (Shakes her head)
At the very least, it's not the same goal these Sarkaz originally had.
Poor Sarkaz, hailing from Kazdel. No matter where, they still become tools.
I believe there are similarities between the Infected and the Sarkaz's current situations. These Sarkaz here with us could only choose to well with hate, or to lose it all.
...Things were meant to have changed. We have that power.
Those Teekaz who lost their homeland—have become Sarkaz, rootless as people.
And now, the Sarkaz before us can barely even be called people.
Doctor How do you want to do things?
Kal'tsit All operators, inspect your hazmat equipment.
What we're facing may be a Class II Emergency Infective situation.
Doctor, in minimizing wear and tear to the utmost, we must halt the special Infected's activity to the utmost.
...We haven't stepped in to resolve an Emergency Infective state for a while. This outfit looks entirely like Ursus's Infected Patrol Unit.
Doctor Infected Patrol Unit?
RI HAZMAT Gear.png
Kal'tsit There's something I can't deny—the hazmat equipment we've been provided with is emblematic of Ursus's cruel rule over the Infected... it shares the same prototypical design.
Though our approach is intrinsically distinct from the Infected Patrol Unit, I can only hope we're able to continue preserving that intrinsic difference—that outside forces don't force us to change beyond recognition.
The same hope we hold for so many things. Just like I told you about some time before. I hope you'll hope so too.
<Background 2>
[Amiya uses her powers to sense her surroundings...]
Amiya ——————————!
————Was—Madame Ch'en here?
<Flashback starts here>
<Background 3>
Wei Yenwu Which way was he headed?
Shadow Guard West. Stone's throw from the exclusion zone of Glowing Hoof.
Wei Yenwu ...He plotted all of this. It was to ensure the area where we signed the pact was secure. Leithanien expanded their contended exclusion zone, overlapping our own.
Shadow Guard We can infiltrate, kill Kashchey and bring back the Miss.
Wei Yenwu No. He's already prepared.
...In this meeting, the Twin Empresses directly dispatched the Empresses' Voice, and they weren't short of armed forces.
The Empresses are fresh upon the throne. If Kashchey intends to blow our diplomacy apart, all our transgressive conduct may very well be the Empresses' excuse to flaunt their power.
We can't give Kashchey more opportunities to harm Lungmen, or even Yan.
Ch'en Hui-chieh Uncle!
Wei Yenwu ......
Ch'en Hui-chieh Uncle... it's not Tal's fault!
Wei Yenwu I'm not blaming her.
Ch'en Hui-chieh ...Then you should get mad at me.
Wei Yenwu You haven't done anything wrong.
Ch'en Hui-chieh I told her I was gonna go with her. But then I got scared... I... let go of her hand. I didn't go with her...
She looked... really scared. I was really scared, and she was too. I... I did something wrong.
Wei Yenwu ...Hui-chieh, she made the mistake, not you.
Ch'en Hui-chieh Huh? B-but you said you wouldn't blame her, Uncle!
Wei Yenwu No, I won’t.
Ch'en Hui-chieh But didn't... didn't she do something wrong? If she does something wrong, you're... not gonna get mad at her?
Wei Yenwu ——
She doesn't know the truth. It's not a truth anyone should be privy to, so of course she'd make a mistake. If not now, she would in the future.
...In so many cases, the wrong thing shouldn't be punished. Not only do we make mistakes, we'll make so many of them. If there's some mistake, we will make it. We can't dodge that, nor escape it.
Talulah simply made the mistake she was bound to.
Ch'en Hui-chieh Is that still doing something wrong, then?
Wei Yenwu Yes, of course it is. This world of ours wouldn't forgive something just because it was bound to happen.
The world is harsh, the people are harsh, the regimes are harsh. Apart from right and wrong, they don't care a damn. As if it's right and wrong keeping them alive, and not what they breathe and swallow...!
Ch'en Hui-chieh ......
I don't get what you're saying, Uncle.
Does... does it mean Tal can still come back?
Wei Yenwu —I don't know, Hui-chieh. I don't know.
Ch'en Hui-chieh ...*sob*... Is it because of me... Tal won't come back? It's my fault... it's my fault... Tal...
Wei Yenwu Hui-chieh!
Ch'en Hui-chieh *whimper*...!
Wei Yenwu Wipe your tears away.
Ch'en Hui-chieh *sob*... I...
Wei Yenwu Or cry, then. I'll give you five minutes. After you're done crying, if there's not still tears in your eyes, I'll tell you what you should do.
Ch'en Hui-chieh Mm...!
...Waaah...! Tal...!
Wei Yenwu gazes towards the sky. He considers bending down to comfort the tiny girl, but after hesitating, feels as if he isn’t suited to the task.
Wei Comforts Young Ch'en.png
Wei Yenwu You're done crying, then.
Ch'en Hui-chieh ...Mm-hm. I want Tal back. What should I do?
Wei Yenwu I'll teach you a world of things. I'll teach you how to supervise a city, how to fend off villains, how to treat your friends.
Do as I say, and Talulah will have a chance of coming back.
Ch'en Hui-chieh Wh-what do I do? Will Tal be able to come back, really? Are you tricking me, Uncle?
...Mama... Mama said, you only know howta trick people. Can... can I really believe you?
Wei Yenwu Perhaps.
I've made a massive mistake of my own, and it led to your mother despising me for her whole life. Even on her deathbed, she couldn't have let go. What she told you is understandable.
But mistakes can be made right.
Hui-chieh, listen carefully. Proper conduct is worth striving your whole life for. Correcting a mistake is worth putting life itself at stake for.
Talulah's departure was a mistake. Every consequence it brings, I will bear.
And you, Hui-chieh. You'd better grow up fast.
Ch'en Hui-chieh What'll it be like when I grow up?
Wei Yenwu Hmm. When you grow up... you'll be able to change everything.
Ch'en Hui-chieh Really?!
Wei Yenwu Perhaps. Or let's put it this way: so long as you believe, it will be real.
I'll teach you to wield a sword, Hui-chieh.
To wield Chi Xiao.
<Background black>
"Unsheathing strike, eradicate without delay."
<Flashback ends here>