XENOGEARS: A ROPE OF ROBOTS (part twenty)

Well, the grownups are being all kinds of depressing, so Bart and Elly turn right back around and go back to the orphanage, which is full of people closer to their age and temperment. And that Billy guy. Who may be a shounen protagonist of sorts, but he sure is no Fei. The way this week has gone so far, our heroes probably just want to go sit in the rafters with that dragon kid.


Could you guys please stop going through my house?


But... we're RPG characters!


...It's my house.

No fun at all! If Fei were here he'd probably be dangling by his ankle on the swingset by now and in need of rescue, but Billy has to work or something. A bishop has shown up out of nowhere to give him an assignment.


Hello, everyone! How are you today?


Oh, Bishop Stone!


 


Primera! Don't say things like that to the bishop!


...So. Who are all these godless heathens?


I don't know, but they keep shoving my bookcases around.

Bishop Stone tells Billy that they've located an Ethos transport ship they'd lost contact with, but it's not responding to radio communications. Billy and Stone agree: it's probably those pesky zombies again!


Zombies can swim?

Apparently!


...Wait a second, is that the ship Sigurd was talking about? Listen, that area is dangerous! The currents are really bad, so you shouldn't take your row boat or... swim, or whatever it is everyone is doing to get around. We can take you on the Yggdrasil! We can even help you fight the zombies!


Ha ha, no, that's okay!


Billy, these godless heathens are just trying to help! You should take them up on it!


We owe you for helping Fei! It's always best to fight zombies with friends!


Ugh, fine!

It's settled! Bishop Stone leaves, and Billy tells Bart and Elly that he'll meet them on the Yggdrasil in the morning. Our heroes head back to see if the adults have drunk themselves dead yet. Not entirely, as it turns out! Just Sigurd.


...Why is my first mate unconscious?


It is a long story.


LET'S GO STREAKING

Well, they still can't launch without Sigurd! Not that they were planning on going anywhere. One gets the impression that Sigurd is the actual captain, and Bart is just in charge of blowing up other ships when Sigurd isn't looking.

Jesiah heads back to the orphanage, thankfully fully clothed, and starts shouting drunkenly for Billy from the dining room. Billy comes in all pissed off because the kids are asleep, but Jesiah starts slagging off on the church and tells Billy he needs to quit. Billy is no mood -- Billy is pretty much permanently in no mood -- and Jesiah declares that Racquel, Billy's mother, died in vain if Billy just turned around and joined the church after she was killed. Well, this improves the atmosphere considerably!


NOT MY REAL DAD


Yeah, I guess you inherited that hair color from a moon elf or something.


THEN YOU'RE FIRED


YOU CAN'T FIRE ME I QUIT

Billy's sole argument for Jesiah not being his real dad seems to be that he doesn't like him. Ah, if only it actually worked that way. Everyone goes to bed, and the next day Billy comes on board before anyone else wakes up, because as we have seen the Yggdrasil has no security. Whatever, he probably isn't going to blow up the engines.


Come on, you guys, we have zombies to kill!


Okay, so... how exactly do you kill these zombies? You seem pretty small and harmless.


Oh, easy! With this fully stocked arsenal I keep under my coat!

Billy launches into a tutorial about how to use his weapons, which consist of two handguns, two ether cannons (!), and a full-size shotgun (!!). Note: no one else in this game has required a tutorial. This priest has only just joined the party and he is already trouble.


Jeez, over-compensating much?


I could not help but notice this gigantic gun mounted on the wall here. Would that be yours?


Okay, look, that is a family heirloom, okay?


I'm sure it is.


So, ah, Billy! Why did you become an Etone?


Well, the Ethos like to help people.


No, I mean you personally.


Oh! Because ZOMBIES ATE MY MOTHER.

Billy then tells the long, horrible story about how Jesiah abandoned the family when Billy was a kid, and his mother raised him and Primera alone for a while until zombies came and ate her.

Bishop Stone came in and saved Billy and Primera just in time, but Primera was so traumatized that she hasn't spoken since. Billy was so grateful to Stone that he joined the Ethos monastary and after several years became a priest and an Etone. He came home and opened the orphanage, and all seemed to be well, relatively speaking, until one day Jesiah came back! Billy's infuriated his father was alive out there while all these awful things were happening, and that he thinks he can just waltz back into their lives now. Primera immediately loves Jesiah best, though, and Billy is just spitting with rage over it!


Elly, next time, let me change the subject.


Well, being a priest and Etone is all right. My other career option was gay child prostitute.


...pardon?

This narration has been very bad at times, but for the record it's not making this up.


It sure would have paid better, tell you what.


NO, DON'T EVER SELL YOUR BODY! YOU CAN NEVER BUY BACK YOUR INNOCENCE! IF YOU NEED HELP THEN COME TO ME AND I WILL PROTECT YOU FOREVER!


 


SO, AH, BILLY


WE SHOULD PROBABLY GO


YES, THAT'S RIGHT, WE SHOULD PROBABLY GO


 


...you could say thank you.


I am too dumbstruck, frankly.

Well, we should go do something manly now! Like kill zombies! Elly can come, too. In fact, Elly should definitely come! Girls are great, right? Yes, yes they are!


Hey, he was the one talking about it!

Don't mind Bart, you guys, he's been under a lot of stress. It is time to deal with this zombie ship! The Yggdrasil finds it and our heroes board warily. Citan wants to know what that weird smell is.


...do zombies smell pleasant where you come from?


We do not have zombies where we come from!


Then what do you do for Boxing Day?

The ship is, as advertized, chock full of zombies. Billy and company have to go through the entire ship to make their way to bridge, which probably means they boarded the wrong end of it. There are some disturbing things on this ship!


Oh god, this shower is bleeding! ...Oh, no, it's just rust.


Oh god, it's... Oh, no, it's just a giant meat locker.


So when did this turn into Silent Hill 2?


Silent Hill 2 didn't have zombies!


Didn't it? I thought it did.


No, no, it had those straight-jacket monsters.


Silent Hill 2 came out three years after this, you guys, focus!

Our heroes reach the bridge. They are immediately attacked!

They fight the, uh... well, presumably the head zombie. Is there such a thing as head zombies? You know, like head vampires? Whatever, they fight and kill it. Before it dies, it mutters something about its "buddy," and this gets Billy concerned enough to put through some kind of radio communication back to the orphanage. Oh man, you guys, are you ready for this?

So there's a kid who apparently just sits on the orphanage's roof waiting for Billy to send distress signals, at which point all the kids pitch in together to launch Billy's giant robot from the front lawn. Why does a priest own a giant robot, you ask? This game is not listening. La la la! it says. Giant robots uber alles!

Well, at least we aren't in Silent Hill 2 anymore. That's a terrible game to be in!


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