Quartz: No Regrets

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Operator Record
No Regrets
Quartz icon.png

I'm sorry... I had no other choice.

Unlock conditions

  • Raise Quartz to Elite 2 Level 1.
  • Have at least 50% Trust with Quartz.
Female Londinier icon.png
Nobleman A icon.png
Bounty Hunter B icon.png
Male Old Kuranta B icon.png
Old Officer Vincent
Old José icon.png
Old Panhandler
Ursine Villager icon.png
Uncle Pickett
Blank icon.svg
Aunt Pickett
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Blank icon.svg
Village House
Village Outskirts
In times past, Quartz spent a brief while with a family. However, an ill turn rears its head all too soon, sending massive shockwaves through this small and tender moment.
<Background 1>
[Quartz is walking through the crowd with a woman.]
Quartz Ivy, stick close behind me. Don't let the crowd sweep you away.
Just hold out a minute more. I'll treat your wounds the moment we're somewhere safe.
Ivy Ugh... piece of shit mayor. Lost his goddamn mind.
He saw how many there were in that store, and set fire to it anyway. He doesn't even give a shit who lives or dies.
Quartz I can tell why you've always made him out to be such a bastard.
Ivy Yeah, it's a whole house of bastards. Him and his mercenary goons.
We all usually try to stay away from them, but somehow they still come calling.
Quartz This way. Less people around.
[Quartz and Ivy runs, but...]
Old Panhandler Hey, hey. Girlie. Hold it there. What's the rush?
[...an old panhandler shows up before them.]
Old Panhandler Where's my allowance today? Huh? Got it on you?
Ivy Eesh, seriously, friend... you pick some amazing times to ask me for money.
The mayor's guys are coming this way. You sure you wanna be sitting there?
Old Panhandler When you ain't got nothing, you ain't got nothing to lose.
And that goes for the two of you, too. Whatcha so afraid of, scramming like hell?
You guys didn't start jack shit. So what's gotcha running out so far? Huh?
Quartz ......
Let's move, Ivy.
<Background 2>
[Quartz and Ivy enters the house.]
Ivy *huff*–Finally home.
Quartz Ivy, let me take a look at your wounds.
(Not deep, luckily. Quick ad-hoc treatment first, stop the bleeding.)
[Quartz bandages Ivy's wound.]
Quartz Anywhere else you're hurt, apart from the leg?
Ivy Mnn... I'm fine. Just catching my breath.
Freaking bastard... how can he exist?
I seriously hope someone teaches him a goddamn hard-ass lesson one day.
Quartz ......
[A man enters the house.]
Ivy Hey, Dad! We're back!
Uncle Pickett ......
Quartz ......
Uncle Pickett I heard about the commotion. And then you two went missing at the exact same time... Had me stressed to high heaven.
And how'd you get hurt, what happened? The heck did you two get up to?
Quartz Mayor caught someone smuggling goods behind his back. Didn't just beat the tar out of them, set fire to their store too.
We were in there at the time, then Ivy hurt herself on accident as we ran out.
Uncle Pickett That mayor...
I warned you two not to head outdoors these days, didn't I? You gotta stay put at home.
Ivy I just... wanted to buy Quartz a present.
You know she's leaving soon.
Uncle Pickett No talking back, just answer me–did I, or did I not tell you to stay put at home?
Ivy Mrgh... yes, Dad, you did.
Uncle Pickett So, tell me, was what you just did wrong of you?
Ivy ...Yes, it was.
Aunt Pickett Enough! Ivy's hurt and all you want to do is chastise her!
Come here, sweetie, and let me take a look at that injury.
Ivy Mom!
I'm okay, see! Besides, Quartz has been looking out for me the whole time.
Aunt Pickett Is that right? Be sure you thank her properly, then. But don't forget to listen to your pa, too.
Ivy Mm...
Thank you, Quartz.
Quartz I should be apologizing, really. It's my fault you went out in the first place.
I'm sorry, Uncle Pickett, for the trouble I've made.
Uncle Pickett *sigh*... Forget it. We're lucky you were by her side. Who knows what could've happened to her otherwise.
Aunt Pickett You know, you are leaving tomorrow, Quartz.
What's your favorite food? I'll make it for you tonight.
Ivy Quartz... can't you just stay? I don't want you to go...
Dad, couldn't we let Quartz stay at our place?
I know it's tomorrow, but just for even a day longer, please...?
Quartz ......
If my father never left... if my mother never fell ill...
We would've been living our lives out together like this, as a family.
But I never got to make those memories, nor will I ever have the chance to make up for that.
<Background fades out and in>
[Quartz prepares to leave.]
Quartz It's not like you'll never see me again, Ives. I'll come visit.
Uncle Pickett, thank you for your hospitality these past few days.
I really should get going sooner than later, after bothering you for this long.
Uncle Pickett Hrmph. Don't thank me.
Fact of the matter is, I'm eager to get you out. Ivy's been sticking to you like glue, and I'm scared to find out what she's been learning.
I'm amazed your parents would approve of you heading out alone into wilds as dangerous as ours.
Quartz They, uh...
I imagine they would want to leave home and see the sights too, but... they've never had the chance.
I know my father wouldn't approve. You're just like him, you know, always going on about how dangerous it is out there. Though I suppose he wasn't wrong.
Uncle Pickett And you still went, knowing full well?
Let me tell you, the people here–one second they're with those Liberi evangelists, wailing and gnashing and flogging themselves for all their past sins.
But look away for one moment, and they'll cut your throat for a glass of beer, over a bet, for a single pet cystybeast.
And lately, bandits have been raiding supply cars and Pioneer Teams right outside of town.
Our own mayor's a monster, and it's not like old Vincent at the precinct'll do anything for you.
Anything could happen here, and at any time. And when it does, there won't be a soul to help you, you understand?
So if you're done with your business, I say you hurry back on home.
I remember how I used to listen to my father jabber on like this, time after time.
It's an... indescribably familiar tone.
Quartz Mm...
Uncle Pickett Enough. Couldn't tell you what time it is right now, but I know it's late.
Quartz It's nine. The store across the street closes every night around then, and I just heard them moving stuff out of there.
Uncle Pickett Huh? Oh...
Then get your belongings sorted pronto, and rest up. Meanwhile, I've got deliveries to run for that bastard... my rotten luck.
Stay safe tomorrow. Be home soon as you can.
[Mr. Pickett leaves.]
Quartz Nine...
I guess I should be turning in about now. I always have.
I don't want to sleep.
But I don't know what else I feel like doing.
I don't know why, but everything that happened today is swirling through my brain like a tornado now.
Maybe I
should do something or other.
<Background black>
*thud* *thud* *thud*!
Quartz (That's the sound of my father fixing the roof.)
Father That ought to do it. And that means your mom can get a good night's sleep.
Quartz! Quit it!
Pay attention. Watch very carefully how I do things.
You're going to have to do this stuff yourself someday, you know.
Quartz ......
*thud* *thud* *thud*!
Quartz (That's the sound of thugs knocking at the door for repayment.)
Father Get the hell out! Who let you into OUR house?!
You know I'm going to pay back what I owe! But if you people DARE show up at our door like this again, I will NOT hesitate!
See that, Quartz?
It'll be your turn to protect your mom soon. So never, ever fear anybody.
I won't be here to shield you guys forever, and like hell anyone else will help you. You gotta handle all this on your own.
Quartz ......
*thud*! *thud*! *thud*!
<Background 3>
Quartz Shit! It's already so bright outside the window.
How did I wake up so late today? I shouldn't have, I shouldn't...
I still have to... to...
*thud* *thud* *thud*!
Quartz (No, wait, that's the sound of someone knocking at the door.)
Who is it?!
Father? Quartz! Wake up! For the love of god, get up!
Take your belongings and run!
<Background 2>
[People breaks into the house.]
Uncle Pickett Ivy, you and your mom stay in there for now and don't come out.
The hell are you doing, crashing my house like this?!
[An old officer, accompanied by mercenaries, whispers to Mr. Pickett,]
Old Officer Vincent (Mayor got jumped by someone last night. Steamed him so bad he sent out a search, leave no stone unturned and all. Won't calm down until we find the perp.)
(And you guys are the only ones who saw him last night.)
(Just work with me, okay? My hands are tied here...)
Uncle Pickett (He got attacked? Who has the balls to...)
Mercenary A When I knock, I want you to open! The hell are you yapping for?!
Shit-for-brains, all of you!
[The merc hits Mr. Pickett...]
Uncle Pickett Gargh!
[...prompting Ivy to come out of a nearby room.]
Ivy Dad! Are you okay?!
Uncle Pickett Get back in there.
Ivy No! Why should I–
Uncle Pickett Get back!
Mercenary A Yeah, that's right, keep your girl in check. Don't make this any more complicated than it needs to be.
Nothing to hide, nothing to fear, okay, buddy?!
Shit pisses me off, honestly. I'd rather kill the goddamn lot of you and THEN figure out if you did it.
Aunt Pickett Ivy, listen to me. Go to your friend Quartz and stick with her.
It'll all be fine. Don't worry.
Ivy ......
I saw Ivy's face in that instant...
I was once like her. Unwilling, furious, but forced to swallow my anger.
Feeling pale and lost and praying for a miracle, or for some kind of hero. A million parts of you screaming, every last uncountable cell in you, but never getting an answer.
Uncle Pickett I came back right after I was done with the mayor's deliveries. Didn't take a step outside after that.
All the neighbors around can testify. We were all here at home.
And it's just me, my wife, and these two girls here. How could we...
Mercenary B Hey! Check this out!
Guess what I found in the other room here?! This thing weighs a ton!
[The merc points out to Quartz's greatsword as she picks it up.]
Mercenary A ......
Mercenary B ......
Uncle Pickett ......
Old Officer Vincent ......
Mercenary B Drop the weapon! Now!
Mercenary A The hell are you?!
Mercenary B Easy there! Final warning!
Ivy Is that... yours, Quartz?
Ivy's eyes swim like hope when all is lost.
Maybe I've gotten rusty after not using a greatsword for so long, because it feels a little stiff in my hands.
But it's at home all the same.
I ready myself to face the enemy.
Yet out of the corner of my eye, I see someone pull Ivy from my side.
Ivy (Dad?!)
(Quit pulling me! Quartz was...)
Uncle Pickett (If you want our family to stay out of trouble, then starting now, you shut your damn mouth.)
(I tell you this with every inch of solemnity: do not go near her.)
Ivy (Ugh! Dad!)
[Mr. Pickett holds Ivy.]
Uncle Pickett Vincent, she was lodging at our place, nothing more.
You wouldn't forget, would you? It was you who brought her to seek our help in the first place.
Old Officer Vincent Uh... uh, yeah!
I was just thinking how pitiful she seemed at the time...
Uncle Pickett We only agreed on account of her seeming like just your regular lady. We didn't think anything more of it.
So whoever she really is, we don't know a damn, and we sure as hell never asked.
Quartz ......
Uncle Pickett ......
(Sorry, kid.)
Here I thought I'd find a part of my life I'd never had before.
Here I thought I could make up for my past regrets.
But that was just wishful thinking. It was all an illusion.
[Quartz drops her greatsword.]
Quartz They have nothing to do with this.
I don't know them.
<Background black>
*thud*! *thud*! *thud*!
Quartz (That's the sound of my heart pounding.)
Foreman See that? That's what happens when you rock the boat.
If you have half a mind to keep working here, to keep making money...
...then don't ask unless you're told to ask, and don't mind unless you're told to mind.
*thud*... *thud*... *thud*...
Quartz (That's the sound of my mother's fading pulse.)
Happy birthday, Mom!
It's that present Dad promised he'd get you. I finally bought it!
<Background 4>
[The mercs torture Quartz.]
Mercenary A Son of a bitch!
Old Officer Vincent Now, now... that's enough.
Look, she ain't moving anymore... Heaven knows if you just killed her...
Mercenary A Tch... none of your goddamn business. Let's go to the mayor.
Mercenary B Watch her, old man. You know what happens if you let her run.
Old Officer Vincent Yeah...
<Background fades out and in>
Old Officer Vincent ......
Miss? Miss?
Quartz ......
Old Officer Vincent Phew... Had me sweating there. Thought you'd done kicked the bucket for real.
You're... Quartz, right? My memory ain't what it used to be.
Quartz ......
Yeah, it's Quartz.
Old Officer Vincent I'll confess, I can get why you'd carry a weapon everywhere, seeing how dangerous it is out there alone.
But you sure walked into one hell of a mess...
*sigh* If you ask me, I know you didn't do it. If you're looking for someone who'd lay hands on that...
(...that bastard, there's plenty townsfolk who'd jump in line before an outsider like you ever got the chance.)
[Quartz stands up.]
Quartz ......
No matter what happens, no matter the consequences...
I can take it.
Not like I know where I should be going, anyway.
Old Officer Vincent Anything? No matter the consequences? Easy for you to say, but what about your family, huh? Your parents? You think they could take it?
Look, I don't know where you're from, but worst case...
Just supposing there's, uh... a word or two I'd want to deliver your folks, I'd at least like to know who I'm looking for...
Quartz ......
I'll be going to find them myself, soon enough.
Old Officer Vincent What, you're gonna run after all? You can't cut me a break, can you?
You know how many people are out there? I don't think you can run.
*sigh*... Off the record, but... if you did manage to make off... I don't know whether I'd cry from fear or joy.
I mean, thinking about it... I know everyone's tearing into my ass these days.
But I've got a family too... and god help me, I know you didn't do it... but I'm just scared to contemplate... I'm sorry...
I bet Pickett's of the same mind... much as it's not my place to talk.
I'm sorry...
Really am.
Quartz ......
Old Panhandler You done sermonizing there? 'Cause I'm sick of listening.
One man spends all that breath t'say he knows the girl didn't do shit, and oh how he sympathizes, yet won't stick his neck out one inch.
[The old panhandler shows up.]
Old Officer Vincent Holy–?! How'd you get in?!
What's your business here?!
Old Panhandler My business is with her, and not you.
Need you to take a little nap though.
[The panhandler struck Vincent...]
Old Officer Vincent Ungh!
[...knocking him out.]
Quartz ......
Old Panhandler M'pologies, girlie.
Didn't know I'd tow you into this, ah, hullabaloo. *sigh*...
Quartz How'd you get past everyone outside?
Old Panhandler Outside? Hell, it's pure carnage outside right now, didn'tcha know?
Also, just before I let you go... you got any interest in joinin' us?
<Background 1>
Ivy Dad, what the hell is the mayor calling everyone here for?
What's he gonna do?!
Uncle Pickett I don't know.
The two of you, stay with me. Don't get lost.
Ivy I don't get it. Why is everyone so afraid of him?
We've got the numbers, look at us. Can't we just drive him out of town?!
Uncle Pickett Ivy, your dad is going to beg you here.
Yes, in fact, I am BEGGING you!
LISTEN to me, okay? I don't want nothing bad happening to you.
Long as we're together as a family, we'll be fine.
Just... trust your dad, okay?
Ivy ......
<Background fades out and in>
Mayor Just catching the perp won't be enough. If there's even one person willing to try their luck, then I guarantee you there will be a second.
Just goes to show I've been too easy on them. They've begun to get wicked thoughts, and I won't let that stand.
And so what if we catch them, anyway? This whole chase ain't healing my wounds, or staying my rage.
Mercenary A ......
What do you want us to do?
Mayor Round up the families you've investigated, plus the two merchants who thought importing behind my back was a smart idea...
Get them all locked up. Whoever doesn't behave, throw them in a Pioneer Team.
But keep one from every family in the town. That way, no one will try to take the chance to run.
Squeeze them where it hurts, and they'll listen.
Mercenary A On it...
<Background fades out and in>
Ivy Dad!
Uncle Pickett You sons of bitches! What is this?!
We're not even Infected! The hell are we going to Pioneer Teams for?!
Mercenary A Either you stay in town and your wife and daughter get sent, or your daughter stays and you and your wife are brand new Pioneers.
Am I clear?!
Uncle Pickett ......
Ivy Dad...
Uncle Pickett Can I... go to the Pioneers myself?
Let my wife and girl stay, I beg of you.
Mercenary A This ain't open for discussion.
Only one of you stays in town!
Ivy ......
You–! You assholes! This is too far!
<Background 4>
Quartz They found you while you were casing the place, so you just walloped the mayor right there?
You're roving bandits, right? The raids outside of town these days, that's all you. You're eyeing the town itself now?
Old Panhandler Bandits, fugitives, criminals... call us whatever you like.
We're just a buncha regular folk at the end of our ropes.
And we're not eyeing the town. We're eyeing the mayor, and every one of his kind.
Quartz And what about the rest of the townsfolk?
Pull something this loud, and you'll drag a whole mess of people in, including the innocent.
Old Panhandler *sigh*... Listen to you, a bundle of nerves like all the rest.
We're just lookin' to hold the guys at the top accountable. Not like we're tryin' to be heroes of justice or whatnot.
These people are weak. They're cowardly. They don't give a damn.
They get what's comin' to them.
Doubtin', worryin', fearin', mindin' what they do so much, they may as well do the safest thing–which is nothin' at all.
And that makes the most obedient kinda person, don'tcha see? They got doubts. They never dare. That's why everyone here fears the mayor.
But I don't. I'm an old panhandler with no job, no home. What do I fear?
He yaps my ear off, no shit I'll beat the daylights outta him.
Maybe he woulda killed me, but like hell he could take me, so I beat him to kingdom come. Damn shame he got away.
And here he is now, takin' it out on these folks because he couldn't face up to me any day of the week.
Quartz ......
Old Panhandler Makes all kinds of sense, wouldn'tcha say?
You can't get a damn thing done for how you stick fast to the rules. And them? They live like there's no law, and their reward is kickin' their feet up on top of your heads.
So hell, what's the problem? What's to fear?
Sure you'll be "bad," but what's that even matter?
Quartz You really don't talk like a panhandler.
Old Panhandler But a panhandler I've been made to be, and I'll let you know you've become quite a vagabond yourself.
Quartz ......
So say I choose not to join you?
Old Panhandler You can leave anytime, carry on your journey. I won't force you, that much is granted.
I'll see you on your way. Get goin'.
<Background 1>
[Ivy draws out a knife.]
Uncle Pickett Ivy! What the hell?!
Drop that goddamn weapon! You're going to hurt yourself!
Mercenary A Miss, you'd best listen to your pap.
Don't be in a rush to get yourself hurt. Think of your mom and pap–just think of them.
Ivy ......
Mercenary A Good. Think. You try and take us, and what do you think'll happen to them?
Mercenary B No one here wants to see anything gruesome.
Ivy ......
Uncle Pickett Ivy, don't do anything stupid!
So long as we're a family, we can get through anything together.
Ivy But we're not gonna be, are we? We're not gonna be together.
Doesn't matter who goes to the Pioneers and who stays in town, we're getting split up.
And who the hell knows what happens after that?
Uncle Pickett ......
Ivy I can see where this is going, and it's nowhere good.
So, what's the worst that could happen? You guys gonna kill me?
Alright! Say I die, Dad, are you gonna take revenge for me? Or are you gonna keep wrangling with yourself?
Uncle Pickett Ivy! What is this nonsense you're cooking?!
Ivy Weren't you guys gonna take me?!
C'mon, then! C'MON!
Mercenary A Shit!
Mercenary B Your time's up, kid!
[The mercs attack Ivy, but Quartz shows up and protects her.]
Ivy Quartz?!
Mercenary A You little shit! How'd you get out?!
Mercenary B Where the hell is that Vincent SOB?! Did he make his peace or something?!
Quartz Don't bother going. I plan to cut you all down.
And then I'll drag that bastard mayor out too!
[Quartz swings her greatsword at the mercs.]
Mercenary A & Mercenary B Argh!
<Flashback starts here>
<Background 5>
Old Panhandler Whatcha got there?
...That's that girl, ain't it. The one you felt was like a kid sister.
Quartz Ivy's a brave girl. And Uncle Pickett, and Auntie. None of them are bad people.
I want to deny it so badly, but if years and years ago, I were in their place, I might've done the same as them.
I hurt my own father out of fear of someone's wrath.
Bent over time's knee, strived to work, out of fear I couldn't pay for my mother's treatments.
Didn't even know where I went wrong until I lost it all. After doing everything they asked me to do, everything right.
I began to regret, to despair, and even to blame those who put doubt in my mind. Felt like if it wasn't for them, I'd have been brave enough to choose differently.
Old Panhandler And now you have the chance to make up for lost time, with us.
The lot you have ain't your fault. Never was.
Quartz ......
No. It was.
Suddenly I understood, when I saw Ivy.
I could've chosen completely differently. I've been doing nothing but making excuses. Excuses for my past timidity and weakness.
I see how... precious a thing it is, having someone who worries for you.
Like Uncle Pickett does for his beloved daughter, and old Vincent does for his little granddaughter.
It's a cowardly disgrace, but anything but lamentable.
Old Panhandler ......
You gonna go help her then? That's a lotta mercs. You ready for that?
Quartz Did you forget, friend?
I'm just like you, one lone person.
What am I scared of? I'll put it all on the line!
<Background black>
Do what you want to do. Never again regret what's gone by. Never again fear what's yet to pass... I may not know where my next destination is–
But I know where I should be going.
<Flashback ends here>