XENOGEARS: A ROPE OF ROBOTS (part eighteen)

When we last saw our villains, Miang had subdued Dominia and Elly with her disco vision, and was heading back to the bridge. All in day's work! She turns in a report on the battle between the pink dolphin and our heroes' giant robots.


It!


It is probably docked at the Thames. Or it's just floating around in the ocean, who knows.

To be a villain in this game, you have to be able to keep track of a lot of unattributed pronouns. There is probably a written test. Ramsus wants to attack right away, but Miang reminds him that the Yggdrasil is an actual submarine now and can simply dive if they try to advance on it. Say, that would have been a good idea earlier, Bart! Maybe you should poach this Miang chick from Gebler, she seems to be going places!


I have made arrangements to cripple their ship.


...Arrangements?


Yes.


Okay!

Ramsus is the worst commander, seriously. Meanwhile, back on the Thames, the captain is far along in his plan to contribute to the delinquency of a minor, and Bart is so drunk.


So, when you see a really giant and probably well-armed ship that means you no harm, what do you do?


Well, we fish it out of the ocean to see if we can sell it for scrap.


No, I'm talking reeeaaally giant and probably well-armed.


Bart.


Oh, well, we shoot at it!


Yes! See! Exactly!


Bart!


Those other guys, they don't understand, because they are not awesome captains like us! Jeez, that Fei guy, what a cock-block.


BART!


What??


Sigurd wants you back on the ship!


God, you see?


I do indeed see!


You understand. You're a walrus.


Bart, I swear to God.


FINE


Hey, guys.


Hey, Elly.


Hey.


 


Wait a second, when did Elly come back?

When indeed! She is just wandering around the Thames all unguarded-like. Like you do. When you've been kidnapped by Gebler.


Are you okay?


Oh, yeah, I'm fine. So, say, is there a submarine around here?


...You mean the Yggdrasil?


Yeah, that.


Yeah, it's... docked for repairs.


Oh, okay. Well, I'm beat! I'm going to take a nap. On the submarine.

Elly leaves, and everyone is left standing around awkwardly at varying levels of sobriety.


Yaay, Elly's back!


You are SO FIRED.


Bart, would you please stop being a jerk about Elly?


Okay, look, I don't think she is really the back-stabbing type or anything, but your girlfriend is a Gebler officer and she probably has family and stuff, and she isn't just going to walk away from that.


And would you stop calling her my girlfriend!


...isn't she?


No!


Dude, you were stranded at sea together for like a week, what kind of loser are you?

One who's been hit on the head a lot. Meanwhile, Elly has decided that the best place to take a nap on the Yggdrasil is the engine room. She is barked at by a dog, whom this narration is just going to assume is the head of engineering, but it is calmed down by a fellow crewmember. It's okay! It's just that Solarian girl we thought the enemy had captured but was let go with no explanation wandering around restricted areas of the ship! You don't need to bark!


Oh, it's just a psychic dog, they don't know any better.


I think I hear Sigurd calling you.

Bart has been hiring from Kislev's security, it seems.

Elly starts hitting some buttons! The "press here to break the engine" buttons! Whoosits start popping out of whatsists all over the place! Bart and Fei run in, and Elly promptly faints. Bart gets one of the best lines in the game:


I knew it all along! This moll's a mole!

Yes. Yes, she is. Bart does not even know what TV show he thinks he's on anymore. He tries to find the "press here to fix the engine" buttons, but he does not actually know how his ship works. Also he is probably still drunk. Luckily there is a perfectly ordinary country doctor on hand to totally ignore the girl who has fainted and get this engine to stop exploding!


Elly was hypnotized to carry out a preprogrammed task! I suspected as much. She was acting very strangely.


You knew she was hypnotized.


Yes, it was quite obvious.


And you didn't... stop her, or anything.


I think I hear Sigurd calling you!


I am not falling for--


YOUNG MASTER, WE'RE UNDER ATTACK!


SHIT!

It's Gebler! The Yggdrasil's engines are in pretty bad shape, so Bart has no choice but to part with the Thames and prepare to face the attack in their giant robots. Elly wakes up, shakes her head a couple of times, and demands to come along. Bart is, uh, not really on board with that idea, but Citan insists that they can trust her now! Probably! And if she betrays them, he will shoot her himself. Everyone agrees to this, though Elly joining the party means that Doc can't, so that's a pretty hollow threat if there ever was one.

So Bart, Fei, and Elly head out in their probably not fixed and definitely not waterproofed giant robots to fight the enemy underwater yet again. They fight Dominia for a bit, which is boring, and then face the pink dolphin again. This time, Ramsus is driving!


There you are! MY ARCH RIVAL.


Whoa, uh.


If anyone is your arch rival, man, it's Margie, she was the one summoning rats.


Nice giant robot! Where's your old one?


Look, you have clearly mistaken me for someone else. You should go attack him. Whew, glad we could clear this up!

No such luck! It was worth a try. They fight, and in a weird turn of events Ramsus gets so mad he just starts ramming Fei's giant robot. Kinda gay, there, Ramsus.


...so, this red light on the dashboard marked ARMOR BREECHED, COCKPIT FLOODING? Is that bad?

Yes, it is very bad! Fei is going to drown! Elly freaks out and starts hitting random buttons, and she manages to find the good old 'fart aerods' switch! The one she can apparently only press when she is coked up or panicking. ...This narration has no idea how these giant robots work.


Underwater aerod farts! My only weakness!

Ramsus withdraws! Bart and Elly manage to haul Fei's giant robot back to the surface, but Fei was trapped in a cockpit full of sea water for too long and is very nearly dead. They slap him on life support, but they can't get his vitals back up, and in a surprisingly grim turn Fei leaves the party for the first time since the game started. For those of you keeping track, the shounen protagonist battle now stands at 2:1.


The cold temperature of the water kept him from dying of oxygen deprivation, but neither the Yggdrasil nor the Thames has the necessary equipment to safely revive him.


What are we going to do?


We have one option. The only people in this area with the technology to handle this are the Ethos.


...You have got to be shitting me.

Yes, our lovable country probably-pagan hero will die unless the party can get him to the Vatican. Shakhan is apparently tangentially connected to the Ethos, and Bart and company belong to a different church anyway, so this is really not the best move to make politically. But we don't have time for politics, our main character is dying!


Well, there is that Etone who comes around occasionally. You could ask him.


What's an Etone?


They're Ethos workers who fight zombies.


...Zombies?!

Yes, zombies! But never mind that for now. The Thames people warn the party that the Ethos are not really keen on the public option and won't just help anyone who manages to drag themselves in, especially sketchy-looking types on an Aveh pirate ship. Whatever! Make something up! Citan takes comatose Fei back to the Yggdrasil, and Bart, Margie, and Elly start wandering around the Thames to look for this Etone fellow.

Everyone knows the guy they're talking about, but no one knows where he is at the moment. Typical. Elly glances around and notices a couple of guys trying to kidnap a little girl. Who brings a little girl onto a salvagers' ship?


 


...What are you guys doing?

Christ, Elly, what does it look like they're doing? She and Bart take it upon themselves to intervene, but the guys are not much impressed until they start getting shot at from off-screen. They run away, and a heavily armed guy swaggers up to our heroes and aims a shotgun at Elly's head.


Hey, what?


Don't move, you Solarian bitch.


Oh, come on! I haven't done anything treacherous in like four hours!


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