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Spes Vigilo
Next Memoria
Possessed Sarkaz Centurion icon.png
Fiends Gang Member
Nobleman B icon.png
Bounty Hunter A icon.png
Rusthammer Member
Columbian Police
Corporate Staff
Infected (Dave)
Manor Hall
Wildlands Morning
Village Outskirts
Prison Block
A sudden crisis leaves the Doctor and Amiya trapped in the Columbian wastelands. Unexpected aid against unexpected plots, with many possible solutions.
<Background 1>
5:20 P.M. \ Clear
Columbia City, Tkaronto
The name's Dylan, Rhodes Island low-altitude aircraft pilot, and I'm currently running pell-mell around the city.
I should be sitting in the cockpit of my aircraft, joystick in hand. The only things I should be facing down are turbulence and terrain.
Instead, I'm clutching one half of an automatic assault crossbow in my hands, and hell, the first time I heard of this model was earlier this morning. Even just half of it is damned heavy.
My palms are all sweaty. If I have to end up in a warzone, I sure as hell shouldn't be on the ground, let alone in some dark alley in Columbia.
I just hope to God that my enemy isn't... Ugh.
Blaze Dylan, I got my hands full over here. Can you help a gal out and tell me what it says?
Dylan It says Police. The "police" of Tkaronto.
Blaze He started it.
Dylan But it seems... probably not the real deal. A real botch-job if I've ever seen one.
Blaze At least he looked the part, pretty much the same as the guys up on the roof earlier this morning. Better than the ones that didn't have a uniform ready.
So let me ask this question again: what kind of cops wind their automatic assault crossbows during questioning?
Dylan Columbian cops?
Blaze Very funny. You know he's not a cop, at least not the kind we're used to dealing with.
I lift my eyes to cast a glance at the black-clad man collapsed in the alley, and then lower my gaze again to the half-a-weapon in my hands.
It was pointed straight at my chest just a moment ago, but now it's smashed into two pieces.
This "policeman" is unconscious. If Blaze remembered the Doctor's instructions when she struck, then he should still be able to cling to life.
The Rhodes Island team arrived in Tkaronto yesterday.
No matter how many times I experience it, this kind of speed always surprises me as a pilot–
Rhodes Island is in the process of steaming to the Grand Knight Territory, and we've crossed over the entire western wastelands by air. The entire western wastelands, I say.
According to the plan, after Amiya and the Doctor finish their business, we'll take the same route back to Rhodes Island. The Grand Knight Territory might not have finished its urban subdivision assembly at this time.
All I know is Rhodes Island was invited to visit during the Kazimierz Major, but I'm in the dark about when and why. But anyway, the sooner we can head back, the better.
If I wasn't in such a hurry, I wouldn't mind taking a few days off to chill in the metropolis... but after this, I'm not in the mood for that anymore.
Medic Operator Are we... safe?
Blaze No, not until we leave Tkaronto– Maybe not even until we leave Columbia.
Check for me if he's still breathing. It'd be nice if you made sure he kept on breathing.
Medic Operator I... Um, alright.
Dylan This is my first time seeing such a powerful automatic crossbow. Are these weapons common in Columbia?
Blaze Automatic weapons like that are a Columbian specialty.
Dylan I wonder how the Doctor's doing...
Blaze As soon as the raid started, the Doctor and Amiya left in a car. No clue if the autopilot system that Closure was fiddling with will work though...
Dylan What a disaster... Even those two got caught off guard.
Blaze They're only human after all... Sometimes shit happens.
Medic Operator They took over the hotel and seized all the drug samples we kept behind...
Blaze Whatever, we can worry about that later.
We've gotta think of a way to get out of this city safely first.
<Background black>
??? We've lost everything, but you are still not standing by my side.
Then what has it all been for?
Just to leave the faintest sliver of hope?
But, hope?
Don't you know, that hope is a cruel thing indeed?
When you realize it can't be undone, when you realize you are powerless, when you find yourself nothing but desperate...
Hope is enough to drive a perfectly good person mad.
Doctor But...
You want to say something, but you can't move your body.
You seem to be drifting in the void, everything before your eyes so familiar and yet so distant. These are a part of your memories, floating alongside you like fragments.
Like this, you continue to drift with your ceaseless thoughts, watching the familiar woman before you gradually fade away.
You open your eyes, and before you stretches an endless rocky desert. You see a strange, ugly iron bucket helm.
A peculiar man seems to be looking your way, but you cannot see his expression through that rough bucket helm.
<Background 2>
10:43 A.M. \ Clear
Gaspar Wildland
Cannot Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, friend.
Can you talk?
Doctor You? Who are you? Where am I?
Cannot The friend awakens, little rabbit.
Amiya Doctor!
You feel someone tightly embrace your waist.
But before experiencing this warm embrace, the cold, hard touch of the rocks behind you and the throbbing pain in your head remind you that all is not well.
Amiya I'm so glad! You're awake... I don't know what I would've done if you didn't wake up...
How are you feeling? Does it hurt anywhere?
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor I'm fine... Just my head hurts a little.
Amiya Your head hurts? Did you hit it? Let me have a look.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor ...Nothing serious.
Amiya Are you sure you're fine, Doctor? Do you need me to help you up?
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor I'm not that frail.
Amiya Doctor... you should still be careful. You're not in the best shape.
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Cannot Worry not, little rabbit. There is nothing wrong with this "Doctor," at least not physically.
On a spiritual level, however, one cannot say. You were mumbling a great deal in your slumber, but before you complain, I did not listen closely.
Doctor Who are you...?
Cannot Ah, pardon me for not introducing myself.
As you can see, I am a merchant.
You can call me Cannot, or Mr. Goodenough should you prefer that instead.
To be honest, friend, that display you put on earlier was simply too exhilarating. It is not every day one sees someone performing Originium Arts while flying off a cliff. A most excellent show indeed.
Doctor Off a cliff? What were we... / There might've been a problem with Closure's autopilot system...
Amiya This should be Columbia's... eastern wastelands.
Cannot That is correct, little rabbit. This is the Gaspar Wildland, and you two are quite fortunate.
Amiya Fortunate?
Cannot Yes, yes. Quite fortunate indeed. Two kilometers further south is a poisonous swamp, and had your car gotten stuck in that, good luck getting it out.
Doctor I wonder how the others are doing. / ...... / Where are the others?
Amiya The other operators split off on their own. I'm sure Blaze is taking good care of them...
But we can't get a hold of them, or any other branch offices.
Doctor Wait, what about the communicator? / Wait, what about the provisions?
Amiya We left it all on the "Bad Guy."
Not just the communicator. We didn't even have time to pack food or water.
Cannot Sounds like a desperate situation indeed, friends?
But there is always a way, if you don't mind...
Doctor Might as well.
Cannot I am quite familiar with this area. I can show you to the nearest Messenger Outpost where, should all go well, you will be able to contact your friends.
Doctor Who attacked us?
Cannot An excellent question indeed, but the only ones who could answer it are no longer able to speak.
The bucket-headed man points to the nearby cliff, where a unique-looking armed vehicle is emitting a thick, black smoke. By the looks of things, it's been wrecked for quite some time now.
Amiya Mercenaries. They've been chasing us even after we left the city.
Cannot Dedicated to their job. Dedicated to the point of giving up their own lives.
To be frank, Columbian mercenaries range from peerless to useless, and the ones with the resources to hire such dedicated mercenaries can be counted on one hand.
They seem to have taken quite an interest in you, friends. How exactly did you offend these great moguls?
Amiya So it was them...
<Flashback starts here>
<Background 3>
Officer-in-Charge So, Miss Amiya, are you really unwilling to consider the offer?
In Columbia, you'll be hard-pressed to find a more suitable partner than Mama John's. We can provide fairly favorable terms for Rhodes Island's drug sales.
Amiya Thank you for your generosity, but...
We're only here for technical exchange. Rhodes Island has no plans for any deeper-level commercial cooperation.
And the Oripathy analgesics we brought are still undergoing trials. These are more of a proof of concept than a finished product.
The process of researching and developing Oripathy treatments is long and complicated, and in these areas, we still have many opportunities for cooperation in the future.
Officer-in-Charge Many opportunities for cooperation in the future...? Hahaha...
<Flashback ends here>
<Background 2>
Amiya They planned this from the very beginning...
Doctor Should we contact the police first?
Cannot Police? Friend, you don't seem to understand where you are.
Mama John's is the largest firm in Tkaronto. The chief of police boasts of his connections to their corporate leadership in order to display his status. I suggest you change your mind.
The fact that they dared to steal your goods in the urban core means that from the very beginning, they never thought anything of you.
Amiya It's all my fault... I bought into their talk.
Doctor Don't blame yourself. Nobody could've expected them to be like this. / ...... / No, I'm just as responsible, Amiya. I should've known.
Amiya Mr... Good...y?
Cannot Ah. What is it, Miss Rabbit?
Amiya You just said you could take us through the wastelands, right?
Cannot That I did say, Miss Rabbit.
Amiya How do you plan to do that? Were you a Catastrophe Messenger?
Cannot That is nothing you need to concern yourself over.
I have plied my trade in the wastelands for many years, and that has given me a knack for avoiding Catastrophes.
Of course, I do ask for a small guide fee, two refined Originium Ingots in this case. Not too much to ask for in such a situation, yes?
Amiya We only have Columbian Gold Certificates, and won't be able to pay you until we get in touch with our ship. Is that alright?
Cannot No problem! My friend.
Amiya Doctor... What do you think? We could also figure a way back into the city, to meet up with Blaze and the others.
Doctor It's too dangerous. Looks like we don't have a choice. / This gentleman seems to have made the choice for us, right?
Cannot That is scarcely the case. We always have many choices at any point in our lives, but of course, we tend to pick the best one from the available options.
Doctor I hope we can have... a fruitful relationship in the coming days?
Cannot Of course, my friend!
I trust that this will be a most enjoyable journey.
<Background 4>
Five hours later...
Cannot ...As I said, bandits are not the biggest threat in the wastelands. I once knew the most courageous local– he even...
Amiya Doctor, give me your hand.
[Amiya helps the Doctor climb up an elevated ground.]
Amiya Phew, we're up.
Doctor How many hills have we crossed?
Amiya This is only the second one, Doctor.
Doctor Let me rest... Let me rest... / (Stay silent, gasping for breath) / I really... let myself go...
Amiya Haha, Doctor, sit down here for a minute.
Cannot Friend, at your speed, we will be on the road for at least another whole day.
Amiya The Doctor might not be able to maintain such a brisk pace.
Cannot We can slow down a touch, but...
Amiya Why can't we go a bit slower?
Cannot Even as a merchant of the wastelands, there is a limit to the amount of food and water I can carry on me.
If we slow down too much, we will inevitably run into a supply shortage.
Amiya If that's the case... Mr. Cannot?
Cannot Hmm?
Amiya Is there a forest nearby? I've heard of an oasis in the wastes of eastern Columbia.
Cannot There is, but what use is it?
<Background 5>
Night, above the wastelands, in a dark mountain pass.
A tongue of flame consumes dry branches, and the sound of a wooden spoon tapping against a bowl echoes across the canyon along with Amiya's humming.
Amiya These vegetables, as well as the mushrooms here, are pretty much all edible as long as they're cooked through.
This kind... is slightly toxic, but can still be eaten in an emergency.
Cannot I should've given you more credit, Miss Rabbit.
To be honest, most friends from the nomadic cities... have no sense of how to survive in the wilds. Many I know will never once step foot in the wastelands.
I see that you have a decent survivalist's skillset. Where are you from? Rim Billiton?
I would not be surprised if you were in fact from Rim Billiton...
Amiya Actually, the Doctor taught me all of this, a few years ago...
Doctor Huh? I did?
Amiya Yes. Back then...
<Flashback starts here>
<Background 6>
Young Amiya Doctor... Are these edible?
Doctor These vegetables, as well as the mushrooms here, are pretty much all edible as long as they're cooked through.[note 1]
<Flashback ends here>
<Background 5>
Amiya Those were trying times, harrowing times. But they were also good times.
Doctor ......
It seems that something is stirring in the back of your mind, but it gradually blurs out.
You try to recall that scene again, but the vague memory is like bubbles that occasionally rise to the water's surface, only to disappear just as quickly.
Amiya Doctor?
Doctor I... Is this something that happened before then?
Amiya Ah, it's nothing. It did happen a few years ago, but it doesn't matter if you can't remember.
She lowers her head and continues to stir the bowl, but the smile on her face seems somewhat lonelier.
Cannot Ahem, I must also say, you've chosen a most prudent location to make camp. Even though we've made a fire, our position is not easy to detect.
Doctor Are there any bandits around here? / ...... / Who's looking for us?
Cannot Bandits, bounty hunters, and countless Rusthammers. There are no shortage of annoyances in this land.
Amiya Rusthammer... I've heard the name before. They're a group of vicious marauders, right?
Cannot That description would not be a very rigorous one.
Rusthammer is a loose organization, and it is made up of various smaller groups.
For example, there is "Fiends Gang" made up of Sarkaz, and also a group of strange folks who worship Catastrophes as gods. I think they're called "Followers of the Archosauria", or something.
Amiya They worship Catastrophes?
Doctor Followers of the Archosauria? What a crazy bunch. / ...... / Sarkaz? Fiends Gang?
Cannot I heard something about a Rusthammer gang in Sargon that called themselves "Archosauria Devils." They seemed to have been searching for an "Archosauria war-god with massive horns on its head."
Amiya An operator from Columbia once told me that Rusthammer used to be just a few, small, scattered groups. Over the past few years though, their numbers have greatly increased, stretching from the mountains of Ursus to the wastelands of Columbia.
Cannot Our world is not a peaceful one, friend.
And the wastelands is no exception. You will encounter all sorts of strange people and strange occurrences.
But you will adapt.
<Background fades out and in>
Amiya Here, Doctor! Dinner's ready!
Doctor Thank you, Amiya.
Cannot Very good. What a heartfelt scene of intimacy.
Amiya Mr. Cannot!
Cannot Ahem... I am simply jesting. My apologies, please do not take it seriously.
<Background black>
??? At this rate, you will lose everything.
You will be alone, with nothing. Is it worth it?
Loneliness is a poison that erodes the mind. How much do you think you can withstand?
By the time you awaken, there will be no kin at your side. Nobody will recognize your sacrifice, let alone remember it. Is this the future you look forward to?
<Background 4>
You wake up.
A crimson glow spills forth from the distant horizon, and the darkness left unto humanity by the Shadow-Moon gradually ebbs.
Frigid wind gnaws at your cheeks as it blows across your face, and the land of Terra once again ushers in a new dawn.
Cannot You are up very early, friend.
Doctor The morning air is refreshing.
Cannot Where's the little rabbit? Is she not awake yet?
Doctor Let her rest a bit longer. What are you doing? / Maybe the aroma of breakfast will be more effective.
Cannot Short-tailed fowlbeasts don't have much meat, but they can suffice as breakfast.
This is a specialty of the Columbian wastelands. Worry not, it's free of charge.
A new day comes to Terra, and the situation has not changed, as far as I can tell. Nevertheless, good morning, friend!
You were talking in your sleep last night. Your mental state has seemed a bit unstable, do be careful.
Doctor What did you hear?
Cannot I am a trustworthy person. I didn't go out of my way to listen, let alone remember anything. Plus, you were only mumbling. Couldn't really hear anything clearly.
But... Every night, the little rabbit is very concerned about your sleep-talking.
Pardon me for being nosy, but after all the chatting we've done on our journey, it is hard not to take certain impressions. Have you lost your memories, or something of that sort?
Doctor ......
Cannot I see. If that's some sort of secret, let's say I never asked. It is an uncouth question indeed, and I asked out of simple curiosity.
Doctor Some things... happened to me, and I lost some of my memories.
...Maybe most of them.
Occasionally, I will recall some of them... just tiny fragments.
Well, maybe not occasionally. Only a few rare times.
Cannot Friend, I have a vague idea of what's going on.
Suppose your memory is a spread-out newspaper, and now, someone has spilled a bucket of paint on it.
You can only see bits and pieces of the content through the gaps in the paint, but you can't grasp the full picture of that content.
Doctor That seems like a pretty good description of my experiences. I am... a stranger to myself. / I can't even say if your analogy is accurate. I... don't know.
Cannot It sounds like something that defies all words, friend.
But I am no psychiatrist, and there is not much I can do for you.
Doctor Sometimes, I even find myself thinking about the kind of person I was before all this.
I don't know who I am. I can only piece myself together from the words of others.
Cannot That's not important, friend.
Our existence is often based on how others perceive us. The sum of your "self" is but the feedback of auditory, visual, and emotional interaction with others.
It doesn't matter what kind of person "you" are, but from a social point of view, it should be quite clear what kind of person others need you to be.
Doctor Do you happen to have anything that can restore memories quickly? / Do you know any tricks that could help me get my memories back as soon as possible? / Do you perhaps know some way of restoring my memory quickly after I make up my mind?
Cannot I do, but I can't recommend it. Let me think of how to put this...
Our lives are like an elastic belt. If you stretch out one side, the other side will contract.
If you want to restore your memories "quickly," you will have to endure many unmanageable consequences.
That quaint head of yours might not withstand such a tussle. Besides, this only applies to the most common forms of "amnesia."
Whether for your own sake, or for that of the little bunny who you value so much, I'd recommend just taking things easy.
By the way, the little rabbit's up.
Amiya Doctor... Good morning.
Doctor Morning, Amiya.
Cannot I'll leave you two to it then. I'm going to fetch some firewood.
Amiya stands beside you quietly, watching the sun rising in the distance.
The rays of light are slowly melting the cold tones of the wastelands, every piece of the rocky desert dyed by the gradually rising sun.
Perhaps you have never set foot upon this land, but in a corner of Terra's vast domain, you once wandered with Amiya.
You once left your footprints in this sparsely populated world.
This should have been your impression, your fragments of your memory– but the truth is, this is the "story" Kal'tsit told you.
In the cold wind of the early morning, you rack your brain, trying to find a tangible thread within your hazy memory.
The light of daybreak, the cold wind of the wastelands. You and Amiya, Amiya and you. You can remember, and yet you cannot remember.
Amiya takes hold of your hand.
Amiya Doctor, are you okay?
Doctor ...I'm fine.
Amiya I remember it was around the same time. We spent our first night in the wastelands, and watched the sun rise over the horizon just like this.
You asked me a bunch of weird questions...
Haha... Of course, all of that happened years ago, but it seems like it was just yesterday.
Doctor Sorry, Amiya... I...
Amiya It's okay, Doctor.
As long as you're here, one day, things will get better.
<Background 7>
The next day
2:39 P.M. \ Clear
Messenger Outpost
Several huge engineering vehicles and armed off-road transports make a circular formation on the rocky, barren expanses, surrounding several makeshift sheds.
The noisy din of generators and the roar of running Originium boilers can be heard near and far, intermingled with the loud conversations of travelers and Messengers.
The Messenger Outpost, an oasis of civilization beyond the ecological oasis of the wastelands, your destination.
Cannot Finally! We've arrived safely at the post!
We didn't encounter any major difficulties on our journey, nor did a Catastrophe befall us. You are quite lucky indeed, friend.
The third car from the left is the Messenger contact station here. You might be able to contact your group there. The Messenger rates here are pretty good.
Amiya But... the room over there has the logo of Mama John's on it. Are you sure it's fine?
Cannot As long as you keep a low profile and don't cause any trouble, there won't be any problems. This is a Messenger outpost after all. Even in Columbia, few companies will go out of their way to get on the Messengers' bad side.
Amiya Doctor... Wait here for me. I don't stand out as much as you do, so I'll head down to the Messenger contact station.
Mr. Cannot, can I trouble you to stay with the Doctor for a while? I'll be right back.
Cannot Don't worry, little rabbit. I am good at hiding people from prying eyes. There won't be any problems.
Doctor ......
Cannot Relax, friend. Look at those armed vehicles over there. Do you see those anti-armor turrets? Trust me, it's very safe here.
Here, have a sip.
It's a specialty from a local microbrewery. Give it a try.
Doctor Is this... beer?
Cannot Indeed. I've heard the owner of this microbrewery is an Infected. Unexpected, yes? Even among Columbia's pioneers, there are few who can accomplish this much.
Doctor Now is not the time to drink and make merry.
Cannot Fair enough. Why don't we go relax over there and listen to the news?
You know, the very best thing about Columbia is that they provide radio base stations for all the wasteland outposts. You can hear the news on the radio from just about anywhere.
Almost all cities have intra-city broadcasting, but the decision to cover the wilderness with base stations is unique in Terra. You should take it all in, and treat it like sightseeing.
News Broadcast ...The armed conflict that occurred in the Northern District of Tkaronto has gradually subsided. On site, police found evidence of a large-scale crossbow shoot-out, but have not apprehended any suspects...
...The Tkaronto Police announced that one of the parties involved in the conflict has ties to a foreign company, "Rhodes Island." The specifics of this organization are not known at this time...
...Some sources note that this foreign company has certain commercial conflicts with a local firm, but the spokesperson of this local business declined to comment on the matter.
The police believe that this may have been a terrorist attack on Tkaronto, and the specifics of this armed conflict are pending further investigation.
Amiya Doctor.
Cannot You're back, little rabbit?
Amiya The people at the Messenger contact station didn't come to work until three past noon, so we'll have to wait.
The news just now...
Cannot It sounds like your people have withdrawn successfully, which is a good thing.
But Mama John's probably got what it came for. Most regrettable.
Doctor We're the victims, but the police are looking for us.
The corporate intrigue here reminds me of Kazimierz.
Cannot Hah, something like this is a routine operation in Columbia. That bunch moved quickly and wiped their asses in advance.
Don't dwell on it, friend.
You'll leave this place soon enough. It's too late to manage this problem now, but be more mindful about it next time.
Doctor But what do they get out of a batch of semi-finished medicine samples? / Before that, Mr. Know-It-All, can you tell me why they're so desperate?
Cannot Very well... It seems that you've made up your mind.
Are you familiar with Columbia's business, my friend? How many times have you had to deal with them in the past?
Amiya Rhodes Island has had some simple dealings with a few Columbian technology companies.
Cannot Oh, I'm sure "simple dealings" are decently good on the surface.
But, my friend, the ugly and indecent parts are not often placed on the table for everyone to see.
Come then. I will take you someplace, so you can see something fun.
<Background fades out and in>
Corporate Staff Next!
Infected H-Hello... I need this month's dose.
Corporate Staff Sure, let's take a look...
Mr. Dave, is it? Ah yes, I saw your application. You've been a model employee this past month. Here's your monthly medicine ration.
Infected Dave Thank you... Thank you...
Um, would it be possible... to get next month's dose in advance? My wife is in pretty bad shape lately, and I need...
Corporate Staff Mr. Dave, according to company regulations, we are unable to provide any medication in advance. Thank you for your understanding.
But as you know, we always prepare additional medicine for commercial sale, and you can always go next door to purchase more Oripathy suppressants.
Infected Dave B-But...
Corporate Staff Company regulations, Mr. Dave. Thank you for your understanding.
Amiya What... what is this place?
Cannot Shhhh, hush. This is the Frontier Department of Mama John's. Keep a low profile.
Amiya They're passing out medicine to the Infected?
Cannot In Columbia, many things operate in a way unlike elsewhere in Terra.
For example, consider the wasteland pioneers– Pioneers, the lifeblood of Columbia's westward expansion, the writers of Columbia's wilderness stories, the protagonists of the Columbian dream.
They sign a contract with Mama John's and open up land in the barren wastes, establishing residential areas for Columbia and its companies.
Depending on how they work, companies will also provide them with medicine and supplies, as a sort of wage.
Here, take this.
Doctor The solid and liquid components are packaged separately. This is the medicine they distribute? / ...... / What... What on earth...?
Cannot This is the medication that they give to the Infected. You are the expert here, I doubt you need me to explain.
Amiya This is not an Oripathy suppressant.
Cannot Of course not, you know better than me. This half is a generic painkiller and the other half is a nutrient solution.
Amiya Why?
Cannot It's not a question of why, don't you see? They don't need to sell real suppressants.
These pioneers, Infected from all over the world, have never seen a real Oripathy suppressant.
Though these things can't actually suppress Oripathy itself, they can relieve the symptoms of the disease. The product of Mama John's works, and works quickly, and that's good enough for them.
The concept of "suppressant" is new to Terra, and naturally they wouldn't know.
Doctor Since they can make painkillers, they don't need to make real suppressants...
Why do they care about our technology then?
Cannot Hahahaha... That story would be even more interesting.
Did you know, before Mama John's became a big name, they were just a donut chain. How could they have mastered the technology to produce drugs?
All their pharmaceutical production lines are purchased from other companies such as Beachbrella, Towerhill Biotech, Rhine Lab...
Now that they sell painkillers as suppressants and make so much money, do you think the other pharmaceutical companies will sit on their hands?
They've been thoroughly beaten down by other companies, but they've also learned a whole lot. This time, they've decided to directly off their partner, something that is distinctively Columbian.
With your batch of samples in hand, I suspect the landscape of their cheap drugs will soon change.
A more efficacious drug with a stronger analgesic will convince more people that this in fact is an "Oripathy suppressant."
Amiya How can that be allowed?! Rhodes Island's samples are not Oripathy suppressants at all. Those samples haven't been tested for safety yet and might have serious side effects. We haven't...
Cannot Let me tell you what will happen next.
Mama John's will use your technology to make more and more "suppressants" at lower costs.
Of course, those poor pioneers will become the guinea pigs.
Will they die? Let me tell you the truth. Even without Mama John's, they will still die–
–Columbia's frontiers have been bought with the blood of the pioneers. Their life expectancy is not long regardless.
But those who remain, those whose lives were not claimed while paving the wilderness, are ever more likely to work for them in exchange for these so-called suppressants.
This medicine gives some short-term pain relief. Maybe it can even buy them a few extra years.
Then, the newspapers across Columbia's major cities will publish headline after headline of their great achievements, right on the front page.
"Mama John's Strides Into Pharmaceuticals, Bringing New Hope to the Infected!"
As for the truth, it is not at all important compared to the actual effectiveness of the analgesics.
Of course you can tell these poor people, "those drugs that you're taking can't actually cure Oripathy, but can best be regarded as expensive painkillers and placebos." And then what?
You keep telling the truth, saying that even the best suppressants by far can't bring back their completely normal lives and that they will continue to be accompanied by sickness and pain until they die.
On the subject of Oripathy, Rhodes Island indeed stands at the bleeding edge in this world, so you know the truth. But is it a truth that they can stomach?
And this... is Columbia, my friend.
Nothing will change, and everything makes sense. People come to Columbia with hope, create value with hope, and die with hope.
Amiya But we can't just sit around and watch them use Rhodes Island to...
Cannot See, this is very practical.
You cannot save them, nobody can save them. Not to mention, it is difficult even to protect yourselves now.
For the Infected who harbor hope in their hearts, hope never existed in the first place, and you know this better than they do.
You should contact your people sooner rather than later, and find a way to get back.
Doctor You're right, Mr. Cannot. / ...... / I don't want to admit it, but facts are facts.
Amiya Doctor...
Cannot I know, that hope is a cruel thing indeed.
When you realize it can't be undone, when you realize you are powerless, when you find yourself nothing but desperate...
Hope is enough to drive a perfectly good person mad.
People believe what they want to believe, and that makes them feel much better.
You look over at Amiya. You watch her ears slowly droop, her eyes filled with sadness, then stained with helplessness.
The two of you have seen much, but you both will see more still. You both understand all this, and in fact, there is no need for the wasteland merchant to explain it again.
In the distance, along the border between the wastelands and the sky, the sun slowly sinks.
Day is about to draw to an end in Terra's wastelands. The light is about to fade, and the twin moons will soon take its place in the sky.
The sun will still rise tomorrow, but not every Infected will see the coming dawn.
Even if there are enough drugs to suppress Oripathy in this place, it is too late for so many more. Nothing will change.
Nothing will change?
Doctor But– Mr. Cannot.
Even if hope will continue to bring us pain, I still think it's worth it.
If we give up on hope, what is the meaning of everything we've had to endure?
Amiya Doctor...!
Cannot Oh! Quite the rousing speech, friend.
You did not convince me, for you will find it hard to do so, but I felt the sincerity of your emotions.
I do like how you still refuse to bow to reality despite having seen it, though to be honest, you've already embarrassed yourselves.
Let's put that speech aside for now. I know that you two are very practical people, so I will also pose a very practical question. I'm quite curious, what will you do next?
You've already arrived at the Messenger Outpost at the border, and you will be leaving this place soon.
Do you plan to turn around and head back? What then?
To be frank, my friend, unless you have some way of getting your things back from them, you will have a very hard time resolving these matters.
Will you charge there single-handedly with all guns blazing? Should I lend you a burdenbeast so you can look like a hero of the vale from the indigenous Columbian peoples' folklore?
Oh, I almost forgot, you can't fight.
Amiya Mr. Cannot, please don't say that about the Doctor.
Doctor No, Amiya, he's right.
Sometimes, we don't necessarily need to use force. / We can use their own ways to resolve the problem– and I just happen to have some practice. / In order to get Rhodes Island out of here safely, we have to get crafty.
Cannot From the sound of things, you plan to appeal to reason?
<Background 8>
Four days later
4:01 P.M. \ Clear
Columbia Detention Center
Columbian Police Alright, you can leave now.
Doctor Thank you. Thank you very much.
Amiya Doctor!
Doctor It went well, Amiya.
Amiya Don't do that again! I was really... I was worried sick!
You played your bag of tricks quite well, my friend. Very clever.
I'm glad that the little excursion I took you on was not in vain, nor was me waiting out here for a few days. I really did underestimate you.
But, I am a bit scared of you now, my friend.
Doctor I'll take that as a compliment. / ...It's alright. / To be honest, I was a bit scared too when I woke up to a bucket-head.
Amiya I... I still don't understand... what happened.
Cannot Simply stated... our clever friend here voluntarily surrendered to Columbian Customs and Border Protection, saying that your company had smuggled a batch of Oripathy-related drugs into Columbia.
If you know anything about Columbian laws, you should know that Oripathy-related drugs are the most strictly-regulated medical products.
The company that lobbied to implement this law in the past spent a lot of efforts to monopolize the drug market in Columbia.
The information provided by our friend here definitely alarmed the Columbian Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Arts Units, and Originium, and they certainly aren't easy to deal with.
Per protocol, the Bureau's security forces went there in no time and seized all items in this smuggled product trade.
Amiya But, we have complete contracts and records of our cooperation with them, which should be easy to find...
Cannot Hahaha, that's the important part.
Miss Rabbit, when they chose to attack you, they had no intention of leaving any footprints. They have destroyed all evidence of this cooperation, and nothing would match up in the investigation.
So what kind of situation will prevent a company from leaving behind any evidence of a transaction?
What else but shady business.
Amiya So it was the Columbian government that seizes all the samples...
Cannot According to law, they will destroy these smuggled goods, and then? There's nothing after that. Mama John's is pretty much omnipotent around here, but what if the scope extends to cover all of Columbia?
Columbian Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Arts Units, and Originium. Their name might be a mouthful, but they have some competent people. And they'll be watching closely.
Amiya I understand now... But even with that being the case, won't Rhodes Island have a blackened record?
Cannot Hahaha, this is Columbia after all. There's not a company out there with a perfectly wiped rear.
Pay a fine, sign off on the ticket, and it won't be long until people forget about it– perhaps, people might have stopped caring already.
After all, in order to cover their ass, Mama John's might have inadvertently given Rhodes Island its best cover– and in case the Bureau really came for Rhodes Island, they would be the ones in trouble.
Of course, your Doctor did spend three days in the Bureau's detention room, which is its own price.
Amiya It's hard for me to evaluate this move, Doctor...
Dr. Kal'tsit is going to be mad.
Doctor That she will be, but if there's anything I know about her... / I'll just tell her I learned it from watching her.
[Blaze, who had heard of what happened to the Doctor, shows up.]
Blaze I wouldn't mouth off like that if I were you...
Doctor Oh, Blaze. The gang's all here.
The well-built Feline operator is looking at you with eyes of helplessness.
Blaze Doctor, you caused a real big uproar this time around...
Fines, fees, jail time, and even the Columbian government investigating illegitimate business practices...
But I have no clue how you managed to sort it all out. I almost had to call Dr. Kal'tsit myself.
How the hell are you gonna explain all this to her when you get back?
Doctor I... have my ways. / ...... / Uhh, beg for mercy.
Amiya Doctor! Please don't ever take a gamble like this in the future. We could contact the ship and wait for support!
Besides, Rhodes Island actually has a contingency plan for dealing with situations like this.
Doctor At least the trip through the wastelands was fun, wasn't it?
Amiya Fun? ...I suppose, just a little...
Doctor! Don't change the subject!
After we get back, you have to tell the whole truth to Dr. Kal'tsit. I'll help you with the report.
Doctor Okay... / Thanks...
Cannot Then I suppose it is time to part ways, my friend.
As I said before, our journey together was most enjoyable.
Doctor Yes, it definitely was. Thank you so much, Mr. Cannot.
Thanks for everything. We may meet again someday.
Cannot I do believe we will meet again in the near future.
Until then, I wish you good health. See you later.
Blaze Who was that? Gave me the sense there was something else under that nice front of his...
Amiya Doctor?
Doctor Hmm?
Amiya There's something I'd like to ask you...
Back then, you said you needed Mr. Cannot to do a little favor for you. What was it?
<Background 2>
Three days ago
3:27 P.M. \ Clear
Somewhere in the wastelands
Cannot You're a real crazy one, friend.
That's a rather destructive trick you've got there.
So, what do you need my help with?
Doctor Though we don't want to use force, I still want to keep the option open.
I would like your people to protect Amiya, up until she leaves safely. / Maybe your people can ensure that Rhodes Island doesn't come under attack. / In case of emergency, I'd like your people to do some clean-up work for me.
Cannot Oi! Hold up, easy now.
What do you mean by "my people?"
Doctor Mr. Cannot, I hope you can at least be honest with me now. / We've been followed the whole way, right? / We might just be lucky, as you said. But is it really just luck?
Cannot ......
The strange man has gone silent, but you can't judge his expression under the thick bucket helm. However, you feel that the silence harbors neither anger nor dissatisfaction.
Cannot Well done, Dr. {nickname}.
I thought my friends did a good job concealing themselves. This whole time, I took you for an intelligent but overly sentimental person.
You truly are full of surprises.
Well then, Dr. {nickname}.
Of course I can help you with this little favor, though I believe that with Miss Amiya's skills, she won't really need my help.
But business is business, and what can you offer me?
Doctor I'll turn a blind eye to the documents you took from our car.
How does that sound to you?
Cannot Hahaha...
Beautifully played, friend. It's a deal.
Doctor If everything goes well, we will see you in three days.
Cannot Of course, my friend. I wish you the best of luck.
[The Doctor leaves.]
<Background fades out and in>
Cannot ......
All right, you can come out now.
[A Sarkaz warrior of the Fiends Gang, who had followed Cannot Goodenough all the time, reveals himself.]
Fiends Gang Member You alone? Is it over?
Cannot Not quite. The upcoming show should be quite entertaining.
Fiends Gang Member That one's extremely dangerous. We shouldn't let 'em go.
[A Rusthammer warrior who also had followed Cannot Goodenough all the time reveals himself.]
Rusthammer Member We could come up against that Rhodes Island. Why should we help them?
Cannot Just trust me. The existence of an organization like theirs is good for us.
The longer such people live, the more interesting this world will become.
Let's go, friends. We still have a lot of work to do.


  1. Unlike the Doctor's other dialogues, this one is not player-determined.