Windflit: Lone Dance at the Old Factory

From Arknights Terra Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Operator Record
Lone Dance at the Old Factory
Windflit icon.png

"The lights shine bright in the factory tonight, / Like the sunset when I spoke my love to you."
–As the song most sung by the workers goes.

Unlock conditions

  • Raise Windflit to Elite 2 Level 1.
  • Have at least 50% Trust with Windflit.
Male Kuranta A icon.png
Neighbor A
Male Kuranta B icon.png
Neighbor B
Male Old Kuranta B icon.png
Old Worker
Village House
Windflit returns home after his job search falls through. The old factory continues to plod on, its workers keeping faith in the future.
<Background black>
This product is used to treat chronic insomnia, helping the user fall asleep and improving sleep quality.
Consult your doctor or pharmacist before use, or for any questions.
It is normal to have difficulty falling asleep in the first several nights of use. Contact your doctor if this continues.
<Background 1>
[Windflit, then known as Gantt Jr., returns to his home.]
Gantt Jr. Mom, Dad, I'm back...
Wait, you're...?
Old Worker Hey.
That you? Ole' Gantt's boy?
No wonder he sent me out here.
Look at you, your eyes glued to your terminal. You couldn't fix a washing machine before the clothes dry.
Gantt Jr. I'm waiting for a job offer.
Old Worker Hmph.
Young people like you always want to go out, leaving us old folks behind. Then we waste big bucks getting other people to fix things when they break down.
It's crazy.
Good thing you've still got me.
[A clang is heard.]
Gantt Jr. Hey, you dropped your wrench!
Old Worker Stop standing there like an idiot and give me a hand.
Gantt Jr. Fine, fine, I'm coming.
[Gantt bumped into a wall when trying to walk toward the old worker.]
Gantt Jr. Ouch... I bumped myself...
Old Worker Look at you, always messing up.
Gantt Jr. *Sigh*...
[Two neighbors enter the house.]
Neighbor A Oh? Junior's back?
Neighbor B Hey, Jon, no need to come all the way to fix our lock then, just let Junior do it!
Gantt Jr. I–
Old Worker You saying my hands don't work anymore?
Let me tell you, I can fix that old lock of yours even if they're trembling like a leaf!
Neighbor B C'mon, I just wanted to spare you the trouble, that's all.
Old Worker This kid couldn't fix his way out of a matchbox.
Just sit tight, I'll be over when I'm done with this.
Gantt Jr. I know how to fix locks. Maybe I should–
Old Worker Don't you dare look down on old people, kid.
Gantt Jr. I'm not, Uncle Jon.
Hold on, I'll come and help after I put this down.
<Background 2>
[Gantt enters the first neighbor's house.]
Neighbor A Hey there, Junior! You're back again!
Gantt Jr. Yeah, I did promise to fix the stuff.
What's this thing hanging here, Uncle William? Some kind of toy?
Neighbor A Oh, that?
It's from when my wife had just given birth to our daughter. We were both too busy to play with her, so we hung up a toy using some springs.
The spring kept it swinging for ages whenever I closed the cabinet after coming back to fetch some stuff, and she used to love that.
So I got in the habit of closing the door hard, to make it swing even longer.
My little girl's all grown up and earning her own living now, but I guess my habit stuck. It's been a few years since I last saw her. Bus tickets don't come cheap, after all.
But seeing this little thing reminds me of her, so I like to get someone to come fix it from time to time.
Gantt Jr. Hold on, let me lubricate this a little more.
I'll also add a small shock absorber here, and it'll last way longer.
[Gantt picked the spring toy.]
Neighbor A At the end of the day, though, it's still a bad habit.
At least I'm doing well enough here with my wife, eh?
[A clang is heard.]
Gantt Jr. Uncle Jon, you dropped your screwdriver!
Old Worker ...Kid.
Are you throwing shade on my work?
Gantt Jr. Of course not!
But it'll last longer this way, and you won't have to come fix it so often.
Old Worker ...Guess your eyes ain't that bad.
You can tell?
Gantt Jr. I used to help out in the factory when I was little.
Just, you know, helping Mom and Dad pay my tuition.
It was that big production line. Maybe you even saw me there.
Old Worker When you were little?
Hmph... My hands weren't for holding these tools when you were little.
Neighbor A Old Jon used to–
Old Worker (Inhales smoke)
Terminal Beep.
Gantt Jr. !
"From Mama John's..."
Oh... it's just an ad.
Old Worker Stop daydreaming, kid. We're working.
Gantt Jr. Er, alright...
<Background 3>
Neighbor B How're the legs, Old Jon? Your hand still hurt?
Old Worker Meh, not great, not terrible.
You did okay yesterday, kid. Try fixing this one today.
Gantt Jr. Alright.
[Gantt checks the door's lock.]
Gantt Jr. This lock... it's all worn and battered. Even if I fixed it up, it'd just break down again sooner or later.
Why don't you buy a new one?
Neighbor B Ah, you wouldn't know since you've been away all these years.
My wife went to work in one of the nomadic cities. Says she's gonna make a fortune there before she comes back.
I keep the old lock around so her key will still work when she does.
Sending stuff by Messenger ain't cheap.
Not worth it just to send a key, and it's not like I have anything else to send either. Plus, she wouldn't be too happy about me wasting all that money on mail.
So I just keep my nose to the grindstone. Take things one day at a time, you know?
Gantt Jr. ...I see.
But couldn't you get a new lock made for the same key?
Neighbor B With what money?
Not many people know how to make locks, and the price... Well, if I had the cash to spare I'd rather save it anyway.
Gantt Jr. Well, this won't be easy... let me take a look.
Neighbor B You went to a famous university, didn't you, Junior? Let's see your work!
Old Worker Famous university, huh...
(Inhales smoke)
A bright future for everyone!
Terminal Beep.
Gantt Jr. (Looks at terminal)
Old Worker Getting distracted again?
Gantt Jr. Well... it's hiring season, and a lot of companies are recruiting.
...Not that I've gotten any offers.
Neighbor B Don't worry. You're a good kid; it'll turn out alright in the end.
Old Worker So eager to leave, though?
Gantt Jr. Yeah.
I want to learn new things and bring them back.
Old Worker ...Not a bad attitude.
Just don't forget where you came from.
[A clang is heard.]
Gantt Jr. Hey, you dropped your screwdriver again!
<Background fades out and in>
Neighbor B Junior! Is it really true?
You made me a brand new lock? Wow!
Gantt Jr. Well... it wasn't too difficult.
Old Worker (Silently smokes a cigarette)
Guess I really am getting old.
Neighbor B After all these years fixing stuff for us, this is the first time I've heard you say that, Jon.
Old Worker (Silently smokes a cigarette)
Wanna help me out, kid?
Gantt Jr. Sure, with what?
Old Worker I have an old piano at home.
<Background 2>
Gantt Jr. Oh!
This is a nice piano.
But it doesn't look like it's been played in a long time.
Old Worker Yeah...
The old man opens the fallboard, filling the air with dust.
Fingers mottled from decades of working with machine oil press the keys, and dull, out-of-tune notes come out.
Old Worker ......
It's been decades since I last played it.
I still remember playing in big concert halls, filled with folks who came just to hear me.
The old man plays a string of notes with trembling hands.
The sound of rustling cloth comes from inside the house, and an old but joyful voice speaks.
"Honey, is that you playing?"
Old Worker You heard me, Marge?
Why don't you come out and dance?
Out-of-tune notes come from trembling fingers, the shell of a light-hearted dance.
The old woman lifts up the edges of her skirt, and starts dancing on tiptoes.
While she doesn't have much in the way of form or training, the old man cannot take his eyes off his wife's every little step and turn.
Gantt Jr. watches the scene with bated breath.
Old Worker I looked everywhere for a doctor who could cure my hand, but eventually I gave up.
Gantt Jr. So your hand is...
Old Worker Imagine getting a job, then realizing on the first day of work that you've forgotten how to do anything, but you still remember everything else.
You remember the hard work, the glory, the achievements, but there's nothing left.
My hands couldn't press the keys anymore, and I couldn't bear to look at a piano again, not even a single glance.
Gantt Jr. No wonder you had that expression on your face when I said you might've seen me sneaking into the factory to help out when I was little.
Mom and Dad said everyone knew I was working there against the rules, but nobody said anything.
Old Worker ...They never said anything about me either.
When I couldn't play anymore, my agency came after me, demanding a penalty fee that I had no hope of paying.
Who knew they hid all those terms and conditions in the contract? I wouldn't have been able to pay it even if I spent the rest of my life performing.
So I hid from them here, in the dark corners of the warehouses. Then I met Marge.
She hid me, fed me, and told me how beautiful the sunset outside was.
Gantt Jr. So this piano...
Old Worker I went back a little while ago and snuck it out from the old warehouse.
I thought I'd never play it again... but Marge has started to lose her hearing.
So I've been taking job after job to make the money to get it fixed while she can still hear it.
When I said I didn't care for your work a few days ago... I didn't mean it, kid.
Can you help me fix the piano?
I'm afraid we're running out of time.
Gantt Jr. But I've never fixed a musical instrument.
Marge It's okay, sweetie, no need to force yourself.
We'd all end up like Jon used to be if we obsessed over fixing it. I keep telling him that it's the present that counts.
I'll always remember the tune, even if I can't hear anymore. It's not the end of the world.
Gantt Jr. Still, I'll try my best. Let me look into it.
I was just thinking...
If I went through the same thing you guys did... I don't think I'd have been able to carry on.
The moment that I found out I couldn't play the piano anymore, or that I couldn't hear anymore, I'd have given up on my goals in life.
I can't imagine what could keep me going.
But what I just saw from you two... it really touched me.
Gantt Jr. gazes at the sweat on their two aged brows.
Gantt Jr. Sorry if this sounds offensive, but... if a broken star can continue to shine in the night, why can't I?
Old Worker Heh. Counting on you, kid.
<Background 2>
Old Worker I can tune it myself. The problem is the parts. Some of the hammers don't move anymore.
Gantt Jr. Let me see... must be the lever action here.
[Gantt checks the piano's lever action mechanisms.]
Gantt Jr. Do you have a pair of curved nose pliers? I want to adjust the screws here.
<Background fades out and in>
Old Worker Here, a new spring.
Gantt Jr. Okay, leave it here. This is the hammer, right? It's supposed to bounce back like this?
Old Worker Exactly!
<Background fades out and in>
Old Worker Sorry, I need a break... Why don't you stay for dinner, kid?
Gantt Jr. ......
(Marge will eventually lose her hearing, won't she?)
(How long will these repairs last?)
<Flashback starts here>
Old Worker You heard me, Marge?
Why don't you come out and dance?
<Flashback ends here>
Gantt Jr. (Fixing the piano won't help much, if things end up the same anyway.)
(If only Marge could see the sound from the piano...)
<Background fades out and in>
Gantt Jr. A little fowlbeast down shouldn't affect the sound of the strings.
An attachment here won't affect the tone either.
I don't know if they'll like the color, but it's the same shade of blue as Marge's skirt that day.
It won't be easy finding the same dye, and I'm not sure about my artistic talent... but everyone likes feathers and ribbons, right?
Gantt Jr. presses a few keys, and an elaborate device conducts the resonance of the strings to the feathers and ribbons outside, creating a beautiful arc.
The first rays of dawn shine through the windows and onto the piano.
Gantt Jr. Whew–
I hope they like what I did.
<Background fades out and in>
Gantt Jr. Would you like to try it?
I didn't change anything that was already there. I can easily remove it if you want.
Sorry, it's an idea I had last night, so I just gave it a shot without asking.
Old Worker (Presses a key)
No, kid... It's beautiful.
Did you choose this blue for the ribbons on purpose?
It's the color of Marge's eyes...
(Plays a song)
The lights shine bright in the factory tonight♪
Like the sunset when I spoke my love to you♪
Marge I can hear it, honey... I used to sing this song when I got off work.
You would follow behind me like this...
(Dances in lithe steps)
Gantt Jr. feels like he is seeing the couple in their youth.
Jon in a tuxedo, Marge dancing to the tune, her skirt spinning in the factory.
Gantt Jr. ......
(Did I finally achieve something?)
The old man switches over to a delicate tune.
Old Worker What are you thinking, kid?
Gantt Jr. I was thinking... maybe I should go into the factory tomorrow... the production line... I've been thinking about it...
Oh, sorry, I'm babbling.
I was thinking, maybe I could do something about that production line... the line that Mom and Dad always worked on.
I remember staring at the conveyor belt, lifting up the stuff as it came along, turning it over, and putting it back if it passed inspection. It was inefficient and exhausting.
I want to modify it. Tomorrow.
Old Worker Weren't you waiting for a job offer from someplace else?
You're planning to stay here, then? What about the factory owner?
Gantt Jr. No, I'm still waiting. I still want to leave.
Old Worker Then...
Gantt Jr. I've just always wanted to make changes to the factory.
Actually, it's my whole reason to keep pushing forward.
Old Worker ...I thought you young folks went out just to make more money. I thought you didn't care what happened to old things like us who stayed behind.
You're different from the others, kid.
Gantt Jr. Not really...
The old man stops playing.
Gantt Jr. What I want the most is just to make money, climb the ranks, and get into a good company. I resent those who took away my opportunities. That's the kind of ordinary guy I am.
But when I was fixing that lock, Uncle Mason said he didn't want to change it, so his wife could still use her key when she comes back. I've heard a lot of stories like that.
"Don't worry, I've already eaten." "These pants still look trendy."
Truth is, we don't have a choice. We say those things to make ourselves feel better.
I started out just wanting to learn some tricks to make things easier on the production line.
Make my parents' workload lighter, so we could make more money and live in a bigger house.
Old Worker It's enough that you haven't forgotten that.
Gantt Jr. I've been thinking, though. Should I deny everything I've worked for and not help other people, just because I haven't gotten a job offer from an outside company?
Old Worker (Smokes quietly) You wouldn't be the first person to back yourself into a corner.
I would've died alone out there, if not for Marge.
Gantt Jr. I was too obsessed with the process. That's why I was acting like that when I got back a few days ago.
It was a simple question, but I trapped myself in a corner.
He lets out a self-deprecating laugh, but there is a glimmer in his eyes.
Gantt Jr. If I modified those production lines, Uncle William might have the money to buy a ticket to see his daughter, and Uncle Mason might be able to send a new key and who-knows-what-else to his wife.
He breathes out.
Gantt Jr. I won't be able to help you out the next few days, but I'll be back once I'm finished at the factory.
Old Worker You're such a good kid...
Marge could not hear what the two were saying. She leans by a window, watching the sunset, then turns around joyfully when Jon starts playing the piano again.
She takes Gantt Jr.'s hands.
Marge Don't just stand there, sweetie.
Come on, while I can still hear the sound of the piano, while I can still dance, while the sunset still lingers.
Let's dance.
<Background 1>
[Gantt returns home.]
Gantt Jr. The lights shine bright in the factory tonight♪
Like the sunset when I spoke my love to you♪
Terminal Beep.
Gantt Jr. Huh, guess I left my terminal at home.
15 unread messages. All ads. Last checked... 3 days ago?
I forgot about it for that long?
The stars are shining so bright.
What should I fix tomorrow?
Gantt Jr. lies down on the bed, aching from a whole day of work.
He stares at the ceiling, where some of the paint has begun to peel off.
He closes his eyes and soon falls asleep.
In his dreams, he has taken over the operations of the factory. Everyone has new uniforms–including those hard hats worn by the workers on the posters–and lives in warm and spacious homes.
He turns over, a smile on his face, and knocks over a jar of medicine by his bedside.
Terminal Beep.