Shalem: The Play That Was

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Operator Record
The Play That Was
Shalem icon.png

The nightmare never left.

Unlock conditions

  • Raise Shalem to Elite 2 Level 1.
  • Have at least 50% Trust with Shalem.
Male Old Kuranta A icon.png
Kind Villager
RI Operator icon.png
Rhodes Island Operator
Male Siracusan B icon.png
Sad Man
Head/Broken Skull
Silent Man
Shalem keeps dreaming about the past.
<Background black>
The sky is a strange color.
The sun is dark. The clouds are gray. The sky begins to split in the distance, the crack spreading along its center.
But all this is no longer important.
You remember this day.
You can never forget it.
It is like a prophecy destined to come true, one known by everyone.
It is like a nightmare that can never be shaken, always entwining.
You cannot tell if this is just a play.
Perhaps your entire life is just a play, in the eyes of another.
You ask yourself.
The actor on the stage must follow his script. But what about you?
What choice will you make?
<Background 1>
[Abyss, or Shalem as we know him, walks around nervously while carrying a dagger.]
Abyss ...
I can't do it.
[A man suddenly appears.]
Sad Man Don't show mercy, Abyss.
The others would still be alive if I hadn't screwed up.
You have a chance to make things right. Bring back my head and—
Abyss Shut up! Don't make me regret this!
Sad Man ...
Abyss Don't show mercy?
Then what am I supposed to do?
I'm supposed to kill you, take your head and bring it back.
Bide my time, wait for the chance to take revenge...
No, that's not right.
...Take this.
[Shalem gives the man his dagger.]
Sad Man Your dagger...
Abyss Take it. Go.
Sad Man Abyss!
Sad Man What are you going to do, then, if you let me go?
Abyss I...
<Background black>
You made your choice, once again.
You know what you have to do, don't you?
<Background 2>
[An old man approaches Shalem.]
Kind Villager Thanks for taking care of the kids for the past few days, young man.
They say you're a great storyteller!
Abyss You're welcome, sir.
They're all good kids. We should be the ones thanking you for giving us a place to stay.
Kind Villager Oh, no, no, it was no trouble at all.
I'll leave you to your work, then.
[Now an operator of Rhodes Island approaches Shalem.]
Rhodes Island Operator Telling stories to children?
Looks like you're getting along well with the villagers.
Abyss Doesn't take much effort to move your mouth and tongue.
Rhodes Island Operator Well, it takes patience I don't have.
Things have been calm here, too calm. The mission's going too smoothly. I'm not used to this.
Abyss Calm isn't bad.
Certainly better than running into unexpected trouble...
Rhodes Island Operator I know, I know, your dream is to retire quietly.
Oh yeah.
I have a gift for you.
Abyss Oh? What is it?
[The operator drops something.]
A round object falls on the ground before you.
It is slightly rotten, and makes a dull thud as it lands.
Your "gift" rolls along on the ground, stopping at your feet.
The gaze of its lifeless eyes meets yours.
Rhodes Island Operator I brought his weapon back, too.
This is yours, isn't it?
Abyss But... why...
Rhodes Island Operator The one you let get away.
Suddenly, the past catches up to you, just when you thought you'd finally escaped it.
It was the right decision to not kill him, Abyss.
Abyss The right decision?
Rhodes Island Operator It makes the script even better.
What's the matter, Abyss? Isn't this the script you wrote for the troupe?
Abyss Script...?
No, no!
I have nothing to do with the troupe! I ran away from it a long time ago!
This isn't a script! It can't be!
<Background 1>
Abyss No...
It was my own choice...
Sad Man What choice?
What are you talking about, Abyss?
Abyss It was... my own...
It was right that I didn't kill you?
Sad Man No, no.
I don't know what's vexing you, but the best way is to kill me.
No need to take risks. Just carry out the plan—
Abyss No!
There is no plan! It's not time for you to die yet!
Go! I'll come with you!
We can all get out. We just need to be careful this time... don't get caught...
Sad Man ...
Calm down, Abyss.
I can't escape. It was enough that I got to see you in the end.
Abyss What are you doing?
Stop! Stop!
Sad Man I can't let get you into trouble.
[The man stabs himself with the dagger and collapses.]
Abyss ...Tell me you're joking.
Silent Man ...
Abyss Get up! Stop acting!
Get up! We need to go, or it'll be too late!
Silent Man ...
Abyss Say something!
Sad Man There's no other way, Abyss.
Kill me and take my head back.
Abyss ...
Sad Man Do you hear me?
Kill me! We don't have time!
Abyss Kill you?
[Shalem stabs the man.]
Abyss Put my dagger in your heart like this, and watch you die?
Sad Man Yes, that's right.
You made the right choice, Abyss...
Abyss Did I?
Was it really my choice?
<Background black>
What is choice?
What are you?
Everything about "Abyss" was created by the troupe. The "self" that you had sought...
Does it really exist?
<Background 1>
[Shalem cuts off the man's head.]
Abyss Ha... haha...
You'll die. I know you'll die.
Your head will inevitably be separated from your neck. I just hope it won't have to fall into the dust and dirt.
That's why this time, I'll cut your head off myself.
Head Is that your prophecy, Abyss?
Abyss I'm not a prophet. I just saw it.
I saw you die. You'll die, even if I let you go.
I ran, but I could never get away.
Head Of course you can't.
You'll never escape their eyes, no matter how well you hide.
Abyss ...Who's watching me?
Head The audience, of course.
Abyss Audience... audience?
Why are they watching me? If I screw up, all they'll do is get rid of me.
Head Certainly, there are those who are angry at your docile performance on stage. But that's to be expected.
We all know this is where the allure of art truly lies.
A good play with good actors should be able to move people's emotions, don't you think?
Abyss No... that's not what it is! It can't be!
It was my choice to let you go! It's not their will!
Head If you're really sure about that...
Then why are you still trapped in this nightmare?
Why does that day keep repeating itself, even though you've already escaped?
Why do you keep trying anything you can to detach me from that body and bring me back with you?
Abyss I...
Head You're afraid, Abyss.
Letting me go was your first and only act of defiance.
Running away from the troupe took all the courage you had.
The Blood Diamond had come for you, but all you could do was hide.
You were always more afraid of this all being part of some plan than of actually getting caught.
You don't like being seen, because you're afraid that your "true self" doesn't actually exist here.
Am I wrong?
Abyss ...
Shut your trap.
[Shalem stabs the head.]
Abyss You're just a phantom in my dreams. You don't exist!
And don't call me Abyss.
??? Don't call me by that name!
[Shalem stabs the head again.]
Broken Skull Poor thing. You couldn't kill your fear. You couldn't silence your doubts.
You know it's anathema to seek the self.
But it can achieve great art!
Even now, you continue to contribute to the stage! They were wrong about you. You're a great actor!
??? Shut up! I'm not acting!
I'll free myself from you. I'll kill you!
I won't go back on stage. I'm not Abyss. My life is not a play!
Broken Skull You and your tiny, tiny resolve.
Then let me ask you.
Who are you, if not Abyss?
??? I'm...
I am—
<Background 2>
Rhodes Island Operator ...lem?
Shalem —!
I... I'm here.
Sorry, I was distracted... did something happen?
Rhodes Island Operator What were you daydreaming about?
Not that it matters. It just sounded like you were talking to someone, so I came over and saw you staring into space.
Shalem ...You were hearing things. I'm the only one here.
There's no one else.
Rhodes Island Operator Really? Guess I should get my hearing checked.
Oh yeah, ■■.
■■ What did you just call me?
Rhodes Island Operator Huh? ■■.
What's the matter? Isn't that your callsign?
Never mind that. Look—
I have a gift for you.
■■ ......
A gift?