Stone is making a run for it! The party chases him into the Vatican's giant robot hangar, but wouldn't you know it, there are giant robots in the giant robot hangar. Stone makes his escape in a massive robot that did not want to pose for a screencap. That's all right, it's not very interesting looking.
That giant robot! It's called Alkanshel, right, Hyuga?
Yes, something like that.
Stone gets away! Jesiah muses that such a large giant robot would not manuever very well and would be easy to face in their own smaller giant robots, but that a ship would be pretty helpless against it. The Yggdrasil can just dive, of course, but the Thames is in danger! Because, as was vaguely and very briefly mentioned several parts back, the Ethos outsourced their excavation of the ruins beneath Aquvy to the Thames, and now Solaris will consider them accomplices.
We have to warn them! Everyone back to the Yggdrasil!
They dash back out of the Vatican and get back on board the Yggdrasil, but something is already going on!
There's a huge ship approaching the Thames' fleet!
Stone beat us there?
No, I mean huge. It's much larger than a giant robot.
WE'RE NOT SHOOTING AT IT
It's our old friend, the flower vase ship! It blasts a bunch of the Thames' smaller ships out of the water before settling in. It's very hard to find parking when you are a giant ship shaped like a flower vase. Apparently this ship is what's carting the Gazel around! Oh, great.
We have no need for an organization of fanatics.
Who does? The Gazel continue to be very grumpy with the Ethos. Stone was sent in to take care of it, but now they are grumpy with Stone as well. As are we all! They are also still grumpy about this whole nanomachine retrieval thing.
'Humans' and 'machines', it's all the same to us.
So it would seem, yes. Meanwhile, elsewhere on the flower vase ship -- which is apparently called the Ezekiel, but this narration would just as soon stick to "flower vase ship," thank you -- the bridge crew is pondering what to do with the Thames.
Eh, just drop some zombies on it. Zeboim is our first priority.
Back on the Thames, the drunk captain is mildly concerned about all of his ships being destroyed.
Does anyone else see that giant black fishbowl in the sky, or is it just me again?
One of his crew raises the alarm that is is RAINING ZOMBIES!
Oh, goodness, I just assumed that was just me again.
Yes, it was apparently too much trouble to herd the zombies into a shuttlecraft or something. The Thames tries to shoot down the zombies while they attempt to retreat, like the very worst game of Space Invaders. Meanwhile, our heroes on the Yggdrasil are monitoring the situation.
So zombies don't swim, they... fly?
THAT IS EVEN WORSE
We need to help them!
Do we have to?!
Yup! The Yggdrasil docks with the Thames, and our heroes meet up with the captain. The captain wants to know what the hell is with the flower vase ship, which is fair. He says it's heading to one of the dig sites, but not the major one -- it's some obscure spot where the Thames had earlier determined there wasn't anything to find.
It is just as I thought!
Doc, I am seriously going to kick your ass one of these days.
Well, that is where Stone went, so the party abandons the Thames to its fate and heads for this dig site. It's on a little island to the north, and there is indeed nothing there to find. Aside from the stairwell leading straight down labled "Ancient Underground Ruins This Way."
Meanwhile, Grahf is hanging out underwater with some fish. The phone rings! Oh, it's just Miang.
Did you notice? His Gear is reawakening. Soon, he himself will awaken also. His friends are headed for Zeboim. It's been sealed up for 4000 years. You know what's there better than I do. He probably won't give anyone anything. But it's something we both need. You know what I mean?
...Not in the slightest.
He blasts off anyway. Goodbye, fish! He will never forget you!
Our party continues to head deep underground, supposedly beneath the ocean, and eventually they come upon an open-air bridge over a huge metropolis.
I think we're lost.
I knew we shouldn't have asked a starfish for directions.
They go into another building, which is full of airlocks and scanning equipment. That's always a good sign. Elly is beginning to act kind of weird, saying this all looks familiar, and the rest of the party laughs nervously and tries not to make eye contact with her. This is all very creepy!
Okay, we've gone past Silent Hill 2 and straight into BioShock.
This building is like a labyrinth! It's like whoever designed this didn't want people getting in.
Labyrinths are not built to keep people out. They are for keeping something in.
On that reassuring note, onward they go. Eventually they come across an airlock that states that it's been 34999999 hours since a state of emergency was declared inside the reactor. Would they like to run a manual scan?
I think I would like to check out a different building!
They run the scan, which tells them they have suffered no nano contamination. That's good! Probably? After several more airlocks and one recompression chamber, they come to a level where all the equipment is still up and running. After 34999999 hours! That is one hell of a back-up generator! They poke around a bit.
Is this a wild computer?
Ah, the wild computers that roam the Scottish Highlands in packs, baying at the moon, drunk on their freedom! No, Citan, it is not a wild computer.
Suddenly, Elly goes into full freak-out mode.
BLOOD SCREAMING the cold groping hand of death
Whoa whoa, lady!
All alone here all this time!
Maybe she didn't get recompressed enough.
If Fei were here he could tell them that this is something she does pretty much whenever her blood sugar gets low, but he is still in too much of a stupid coma to come get lost in Rapture with his friends. For the time being. Anyway, Elly flipping out has the nice bonus that she suddenly knows how all the computer equipment works, and she starts hitting buttons! This causes a large glass tube to rise up out of the floor, and then a young girl to appear within it.
This narration would make the obvious comparison to a troll doll, but everyone has made the obvious comparison to a troll doll, so let's just all agree that she looks like a troll doll and move on.
Okay, I don't even know what this game is, but I'm tired of it and want to go back to ours.
I know, right?
This girl appears to be an artificial lifeform created inside the reactor. She was probably assembled in the reactor by using that series in the database in the control room... which means she's...
It's Stone! He was... hiding? Whatever.
I'll just be taking that nanomachine colony with me, thank you!
Billy makes big sad eyes at Stone, and they launch into a rambling argument about the nature of sin and salvation, because this is totally the time and place for that.
Salvation by faith is something that everyone should have an equal opportunity at attaining!
Yeah, we thought about that, but we've decided to go with salvation by nanomachine instead.
I refuse to be a part of this!
Look, Billy, you'll understand when you're legal.
Stone has his men drain the glass tube and take the girl out. Citan tries to stop him, and Stone unleashes his secret weapon!
A robot and a bunnygirl! Man, Catholics got some nerve.
Hi, I'm Tolone and this is Seraphita. We'll be your recurring villains and painfully unfunny comic relief for the remainder of this game. Ah, but I repeat myself.
I like poor translations of already bad puns! What do you like?
It's like looking into a horrible genderswap fanfiction mirror!
The party fights them, and they turn out to not be terribly impressive as back-up goes. But by the time Tolone and Seraphita get bored and run away, Stone is already on his way back to the surface with the girl. Our heroes are in pursuit!
Meanwhile, back on the Yggdrasil, Fei is having another inexplicable flashback! It's been tens of hours since he had one of those. He must be feeling somewhat better.
Fei sees himself in a lab coat watching through the nanomachine reactor room's door as Elly lies dying on the floor, telling a group of soldiers that no matter what happens, she won't hand their daughter over to them. This dream version of Fei, while presumably a scientist of some sort, does not know how doors work and can only scream for the soldiers to stop. Well, Fei, you can't really get more far-fetched than thinking you remember painting someone who died five hundred years ago, but thinking you remember having a degree pretty much does it.
The unkempt child version of Fei that kicked him out of his subconscious's private screening room earlier then shows up, saying he is going out. Does anyone need anything from the store? That is too bad.
Just remember: if you ever have a good idea of what's going on in Xenogears, then Xenogears isn't doing its job.