Manticore: Dead Silence

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Operator Record
Dead Silence
Manticore icon.png

She trembles and shudders, scared even of the sound when she speaks.

Unlock conditions

  • Raise Manticore to Elite 2 Level 1.
  • Have at least 50% Trust with Manticore.
Characters
Person in a White Mask
Voice Outside the Door
Backgrounds
RI Command Center
1
RI Room
2
RI Corridor
3
Desert
4
From inside her locked door, the Manticore girl who arrived at Rhodes Island by accident does not say a word, but listens closely to the conversations that take place outside.
<Background 1>
Rhodes Island Command Center
[Stormeye, the R.I. specialist operator, is reporting in to Kal'tsit and the Doctor.]
Stormeye I'm sorry. I shouldn't have brought her back.
Kal'tsit Help me understand what happened.
Stormeye As I stated in the report, she was unconscious near the safe house, barely clinging to life. She was covered in dust and sand, looking just like a desert Catastrophe victim.
I wanted to give her a sip of water. A bit of the old habit came out.
Kal'tsit There's nothing wrong with the compassion to help those in need, as long as you can handle the responsibilities that come with it.
Stormeye I'll admit, I did not fully consider who she might be.
I gave her a little salt water and left her in the shade near the village.
The next time I saw her, she was on the aircraft.
Obviously, she followed me.
Kal'tsit And you said you didn't notice anything at the time, correct?
Stormeye I performed a comprehensive cabin inspection, and didn't see anything out of the ordinary.
She suddenly appeared in the middle of the journey, and I can't even confirm that she had been hiding inside the aircraft.
If not for her poor physical condition at the time, she might've even hit me with that attack.
Kal'tsit According to our analyses, she possesses some form of invisibility-type Originium Arts. If you can provide any further details, we'll have an easier time handling her.
Stormeye I'm sorry, Dr. Kal'tsit. I honestly don't have anything else to offer.
She didn't even leave footprints in the sand.
Kal'tsit That could also be useful information.
Can you think of any reasons she might've had for attacking you?
Stormeye I'm thinking it might've been an old grudge, or a simple misunderstanding. It might've even been a stress response after crossing the desert.
Doctor Or maybe it's because you saw her.
Stormeye That's crossed my mind as well.
Kal'tsit Rhodes Island will continue to investigate her, but some answers may have to come straight from the girl's mouth.
Just so you feel better, Stormeye, she hasn't hurt anyone since coming to Rhodes Island.
She allowed us to examine her, but while we were administering an IV, she pulled the needle out and left Medical. She's been placed in a single dorm since then.
From the data we've gotten back from her infection monitoring device, her life isn't in imminent danger.
However, she refuses to communicate with us.
Stormeye Okay.
[Stormeye leaves.]
Kal'tsit Now then, the next matter is yours, {nickname}.
We tried to identify the ID cards she had on her person, but most of them are older than her – remnants from a regional conflict decades ago.
All we can tell from them is she has been active throughout most of Sargon. Beyond that, there's no deeper connection among those IDs.
The other angle of investigation arises from the weapon she was carrying. We can fairly conclusively say that her primary function mode is assassination.
She carried several small and delicate devices with a level of craftsmanship unlikely to be self-made.
But, Rhodes Island has no way to trace the weapons and poisons. Our intelligence networks have come up completely blank.
Similarly, assassinations are not uncommon in Sargon, so we can't link her activities with any specific event.
Finally, judging from her behavior since coming in contact with Rhodes Island, it might be difficult to get any information directly from her.
She has been awake for three days, but has continued to refuse the food and water we've provided.
If she's so fiercely loyal to her past, can we really reach a cooperative relationship with her?
––These are things for you to decide, {nickname}. If you have time, you can go see her.
For Rhodes Island, she is an Infected first and foremost, and that has nothing to do with her past.
If she is willing to cooperate, then we can accept her.
<Background black>
Person in a White Mask Same rules as always. Spin the bottle.
Whoever the bottle points to takes the job.
Everyone quietly gathers in a circle. The bottle spins with no regard for who it chooses. They're all the same.
The mouth of the bottle stops in front of her. She takes the note from inside, and leaves the group.
Person in a White Mask The orders are inside the bottle, on the slip of paper.
The group leader always repeats these words, as if tacitly acknowledging the presence of newcomers.
But she doesn't keep track of the comings and goings. Sometimes three or four show up. Other times, there might be as many as a dozen.
She reckons that the group leader probably doesn't keep track either, because the voice behind the white mask has changed as well.
<Background 2>
Panicked Manticore Girl Haah......
(That was a close one... I almost fell asleep again...)
(Nnh... What am I wearing? The texture feels so weird...)
Voice Outside the Door A I haven't seen a Manticore in years! The girl won't come out?
Panicked Manticore Girl (The observers are coming...)
[The Manticore girl hid herself as the ones behind the door gets closer.]
Voice Outside the Door B Please calm down, Dr. Warfarin. If you shackle her to... Err, invite her to your operating table, you might stir up some repressed psychological trauma in that child.
Voice Outside the Door A Hm?
Then what does Kal'tsit plan to do? We might have the most advanced medical technology, but we can't treat patients through a door.
Voice Outside the Door B Dr. Kal'tsit said to give her some more time... If she doesn't want to open the door, we can't force her.
Right, I found an old uniform jacket for her. There's no way she can wear whatever she had on before.
She looked a lot more energetic after getting her out of those gritty, blood-soaked rags.
Don't worry too much. Your subject... Err, I mean, your patient, should recover soon enough.
[The Manticore girl comes out of hiding as the ones behind the door are gone.]
Panicked Manticore Girl It's quiet again.
Are the observers gone?
They know... I'm an Infected.
They are waiting for me to give in... Using treatment as a bait... to trick me into giving in.
Ugh!
You can't touch it... Even if it's inside me, I can press down hard until it hurts, but I can't feel the Originium.
So, if they know I'm an Infected, they must know who I am.
Has my cover been blown? I failed to kill that soldier...
They're testing me... They want to know if I can still be used.
That would be great. It's been so, so long since I've gotten orders.
I will prove myself.
There's a strange restraint on my leg. It looks like tech that only a nomadic city would have.
There are soft beds here too... and no sand stuck between the cracks of the walls.
Just like living in Dreamland... Could I be in the same place as that Padishah?
[Someone knocks the door.]
Voice Outside the Door A Excuse me, how are you doing? Are you still sleeping?
I know... if you're starving, you can't eat a whole bunch of food in one sitting. So, I made some very light porridge for you.
Still asleep, huh? Well, I'll slide it through the little window here.
Voice Outside the Door B Oh hey there, Gummy. Are you in charge of breakfast today? I would've been out of bed at the crack of dawn, if I knew.
Oh, did you come to visit the new girl too? I was gonna ask if she wanted to put together a manicure set with me, but she never showed up.
Voice Outside the Door A The folks from Medical told me she needs to rest up, and that I shouldn't go bothering her.
Voice Outside the Door B It's not like I'm going door to door selling stuff. I just wanted to see if she felt like getting some fresh air.
I finally found someone who'd look great with blue nail polish. I'm not gonna let this opportunity slide by!
Voice Outside the Door A Err, Utage... You don't need to get so fired up over that kind of stuff.
Panicked Manticore Girl (They're calling each other by name... It doesn't seem scripted.)
(In other words, the ones who captured me... are enemies.)
(They confiscated my weapons... There's no sharp furniture here either.)
(They're getting ready to interrogate me, and... they don't plan on letting me escape before they do.)
(And a lot of people here have seen me... I'm already useless.)
(But it's okay. This was bound to happen one day.)
Voice Outside the Door A Oh right, did she not touch the plates we brought her yesterday and the day before?
Voice Outside the Door B Seems like it. Is she like those Vouivres who can just eat or not eat whenever they want?
Voice Outside the Door A No clue... Isn't going hungry super sad though? Plus, all that food is going to waste.
Well, whatever. Sounds like our new friend is still sleeping, so let's not bother her.
Panicked Manticore Girl They're gone.
Did they really... say all those things so I could hear them?
<Background 3>
Ansel Doctor, I never knew you had the time to come to the operator dorms.
Whenever I pass by your office, I can tell you're totally swamped with operation materials and paperwork.
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor Kal'tsit suggested I come visit her when I could.
Ansel So Dr. Kal'tsit told you the same, eh?
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor I want to see how she's doing.
Ansel Ah, that's right. Ever since Medical took in the Manticore girl, everyone's been looking after her.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor Getting up to walk around is part of my exercise routine.
Ansel I'm glad you've taken my advice to heart, but I'm afraid that just walking around isn't enough.
Oh, but let's talk about the Manticore girl first.
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Ansel We medics all want to help her.
Even though her infection has already developed to an intermediate stage, with Rhodes Island's current technology, we can get it under control to prevent further deterioration.
The data collected from the infection monitoring device shows that the Originium crystals inside her are now quite active, and it doesn't help that she's weak from refusing to eat.
None of us want to see our patients consume themselves like this.
But if I was suddenly taken to a strange new environment, and found myself lying on an operating table first thing after waking up, I'd be plenty scared too.
So, uh, I brought one of Hibiscus's healthy meals with me and planned on saying hi to her first, just as a token of our good will.
Do you have any ideas, Doctor?
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor Tell her Rhodes Island can protect her.
Ansel Protect? Doctor, do you mean to say... She's not just afraid because we're a strange new place?
Right, maybe she's also scared of her Oripathy. As a medic, I can guarantee that her life won't be in any danger.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor That health food is the opposite of good will.
Ansel Yeah, you have a point, Doctor. Healthy meals primarily incorporate cold foods, which may not sit well with someone who hasn't eaten in days, or be digestible enough to give her energy.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor Tell her Rhodes Island needs her skills.
Ansel Eh? Doctor, are you saying she can become a reserve operator?
To be honest, if I encountered an invisible enemy during a training exercise, I'd be pretty nervous myself, haha...
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Ansel Phew. With you here, I always feel like we have a better chance of persuading the other party.
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor Oh right, and try not to be too graphic when describing what we do.
Ansel Makes sense.
To be honest, as a reserve operator, I don't actually know what hellish battles you and the regulars have had to endure.
But so many patients have told me... that you saved them.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor You can share with her why you trust Rhodes Island.
Ansel Me? I trust in Rhodes Island's determination to find a cure for Oripathy, and I deeply admire Dr. Kal'tsit's knowledge and ability.
And when I'm tending to the wounded in a dangerous operation, I have full faith that you'll be in firm control of the situation so I don't have to focus on anything but my responsibilities as a medic operator.
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Ansel That's probably what I'd tell her.
Doctor, did you want to come along with me?
<Flashback starts here>
<Background 4>
Person in a White Mask How long have you been hiding in here?
Panicked Manticore Girl Eek!
Person in a White Mask You're too weak to kill a single beast to even feed yourself anymore?
Panicked Manticore Girl I... I don't want to be like this either... I'm not hiding on purpose. It's just that, nobody can see me...
I... have no weapons. I've never touched a weapon...
Person in a White Mask You were born a weapon.
Panicked Manticore Girl I've always been very careful... My tail has never hurt anyone!
Person in a White Mask Who are you trying to deceive by feigning weakness? You no longer have an audience.
Your Oripathy has progressed to this stage. Do you still think you can stay in the market as always, earning your next meal from somebody else's hands?
Panicked Manticore Girl H-How do you know... Who are you?
Person in a White Mask You should know this well enough. There's no place for you in your old life.
You must learn to wield a weapon. This is the only worth you now have.
Panicked Manticore Girl No... I won't...
Person in a White Mask Look, this is a painkiller for Oripathy.
You want to live, right?
My team happens to have a spot for monsters like you.
Join us. The leader will save you.
<Flashback ends here>
<Background 2>
Panicked Manticore Girl Ugh...
The familiar pangs of hunger, the sensation of her consciousness withering away due to dehydration.
These things will sometimes happen in this stalking crouch. She is capable of judging her own body's state, and if she's on the job, she won't lose control.
However, every job she's had in the past specified a rendezvous point. As long as she could reach it, she'd have a chance to rest.
Panicked Manticore Girl There's nothing on the note this time...
Ah... Even though I'm obviously useless now, I still want to be saved...
Even though I already knew... that the leader was lying...
[Someone knocks the door.]
Voice Outside the Door Hello...?
Ansel Hello, my name is Ansel.
I'm sorry, but I don't know what to call you. But here at Rhodes Island, there are a lot of people who don't want to disclose their real names, so they go by codenames. You can choose one for yourself.
Panicked Manticore Girl (They keep talking about this "Rhodes Island." Where is Rhodes Island?)
(The same thing is written on these clothes...)
Ansel I completely understand... When you woke up, you found yourself in a strange new place. You must be very nervous. I just want to tell you we don't have any ill will towards you.
Um... I was one of the assistants standing to the side taking notes, so I hope you don't take this the wrong way.
We are a non-state affiliated pharmaceutical company that hopes to help all Infected people across Terra.
Even though you didn't come to Rhodes Island voluntarily, and were brought here by accident, you were in very poor physical condition at the time, and we examined you as part of our duties as medics.
Panicked Manticore Girl (He referred to this place as a pharmaceutical company... Is it a Columbian company?)
Ansel We really do want to help you... But if you don't want our help, we won't force you either.
Oh, but, Rhodes Island is well outside Sargon's borders right now.
Panicked Manticore Girl (Outside... Sargon?)
Ansel If you wanted to go back, we wouldn't be able to let you off the ship until the next time we docked at a nomadic city. After that, you'd have to find your own way back.
Of course, it'd be ideal if you chose to stay with us. Oh, and uh, our medical examination won't intrude on your privacy.
Also, someone should've already introduced you to the Doctor, right?
Panicked Manticore Girl (The Doctor... I keep hearing this title...)
Ansel The Doctor says your skills will be useful to us.
Because the situations surrounding the Infected can be rather dire, when we try to extend a helping hand to them, we inevitably run into conflicts with other people.
So, we are in need of partners who are able and willing to fight to protect others.
Panicked Manticore Girl (He said "need"... Does that mean I can still be useful?)
Ansel Oh, but don't let that scare you. You'll probably just be a reserve operator like me.
And all the regular operators talk about the Doctor's reliable command.
Plenty of regulars come back from life-or-death situations to tell me the Doctor was the one who saved them.
Panicked Manticore Girl (Really?)
(They won't send me to die?)
(*Softly clears throat*) ...H-Hello.
Ansel Doctor, she doesn't seem to be responding. Do you need to get back to work?
Panicked Manticore Girl No, p-please wait...
Ansel I can't hear anything from inside. She might still be sleeping.
Panicked Manticore Girl Don't go... I have to prove myself...
Commander, please don't leave me...
Ansel I am worried about her, but I suppose we also shouldn't bother her too much.
Panicked Manticore Girl I'm right here... Please notice me...
I want to live...
<Background black>
Doctor The door seems to sway, ever so slightly. / I think she's listening.
......
Doctor If you don't know how to answer, you can give me a codename first. / What would you like me to call you?
(Pass your notepad and pencil through the door.)
<Background 1>
Dobermann You're right, Doctor. For the operators of Rhodes Island, a raid of this sort would not be impossible.
I also agree with putting some less-experienced operators into this drill. So they won't be completely caught off guard when encountering invisible enemies on the battlefield.
But there is one problem: we don't know anything about this assassin who goes by "Manticore."
You can't let her scribbles on a single piece of paper replace the formal application process, let alone serve as an application to participate in a combat exercise.
She still hasn't talked about her past, and the only information we have on her background is still vague.
Doctor That's exactly why we can trust her.
Dobermann Are you saying that once we win her over, she'll never betray–– I see now.
But first, how will Rhodes Island win her over?
Doctor With this battle.
Kal'tsit When our operators have the ability to defend against her attacks, or even counter them, this mock battle will instead have the effect of demonstrating Rhodes Island's sincerity to her.
Just like how an assassin places a knife by the monarch's pillow to let the opposition know she has the ability to strike at any time, but simply chooses not to.
She should be able to get our meaning.
Dobermann Fine. I accept your proposal.
I'll arrange for a video recording of this exercise, to keep as part of her files.
Doctor, I trust you'll be able to get exactly what we need.