XENOGEARS: A ROPE OF ROBOTS (part three)

The pirates fire on the Aveh ship, apparently unconcerned that the robot they want is on the roof of the Aveh ship. Pirates are crazy! They blast a hole through its hull, and it starts sinking.


Help! There are no fire exits in your prison cells! Let us out!


Wait, we're sinking?


Yes!


Aren't we in a desert? Quicksand has water in it.


You are trying to apply realistic physics to your life now?


I was running around on foot in this desert for hours, it's not quicksand!

Since Fei is clearly not going to help, Citan kicks down the door of their prison cell by himself, because he is an ordinary country doctor. Sand is quickly filling the corridors, so Citan and Fei stumble up to a ladder and manage to get to a higher deck. They scramble up to the roof of the ship and have merry antics involving timed jumps and a mechanical crane. Fei manages to get into the giant robot's cockpit and grab Citan in the robot's hands before the ship sinks. Stunt performed by trained drivers on closed track, kids.


Well, I've stolen this stupid thing twice now, I guess it's mine.


Ha ha, no.

It's the pirates!


...Is that giant robot seriously wearing an eyepatch?

It is.


So, you don't care that everyone on that ship died except for you guys, huh?


You're the one who shot it down!


You are the suckiest Aveh soldiers I have ever seen.


That is probably because we are not Aveh soldiers!

The pirate's giant robot attacks Fei's giant robot! With a giant robot whip! You might think a whip is a questionable combat accessory for a person, but everything is okay if a robot does it. Suddenly, the plot-triggered quicksand kicks in again!


Damn you dramatic ironyyyyyyyy

Fei and the pirate are sucked down into the desert! Which... is hollow! And quite well-lit! And there's no sign of a Aveh sand ship down here! Interesting.

The pirate hops out of his giant robot and knocks impatiently on Fei's giant robot's door.


Come out, Aveh soldier! ...hey, you're not an Aveh soldier.


I'm going to kill you.

They quickly determine that they are both shounen protagonists, which is an issue because you can't put two shounen protagonists together without them acting like betta fish, but they agree to cooperate long enough to get out of this weird hole.


I'm Bart! I run a pirate ship!


I'm Fei. I destroy innocent villages by accident, get attacked by ladies and dinosaurs, run out into the desert on foot, and get arrested for almost no reason at all except stealing motorcycles.


...that's cool.


But I guess you sort of saved me, albeit stupidly and accidently.


That's the spirit!

Meanwhile, it turns out that the pirates totally rescued all those Aveh soldiers, so who even knows what the hell that was all about. They also rescued Citan, who is milling about and not acting suspicious at all. But they can't find their captain!


Oh, he'll come home when he's hungry.


You seem to put a lot of trust in your shounen protagonist.


He does get hungry a lot... Hyuga.

DUN DUN DUN!


Yes, I suppose he must... Sigurd.

DUN DUN DUN DUN!

Fei and Bart continue to bicker over every detail of the their escape plan, which mostly consists of walking in circles and pushing rocks around.


Aren't you a captain? Won't your crew come and save us?


Dude, they're pirates. They're probably all drunk and taking potshots at UFOs by now.


Man, I wish I was drunk and taking potshots at UFOs.


You would be if you hadn't tried to kill me!


I wasn't trying to kill you! I was only trying to sink that ship and steal your robot, thereby stranding you in the middle of the desert!


You were so trying to kill me!


I'll kill you right now!

The shounen protagonist truce is ever a shaky one.

After many minutes of stumbling around in this cavern, they come across a house.


Wait, what, a house? What kind of desert is this?


Let's go in and take their stuff!


SURE, WHY NOT

They get out of their giant robots and go into the house, not knocking or taking off their shoes or anything. But someone is home! Whoops.


...Hello.


Holy crap, it's Spock's dad!


You know, generally when one builds a house in an underground cavern in the middle of an inhospitable desert it's because they don't want shounen protagonists coming into their house and taking their stuff.


We fell down a hole.


Obviously. Well, have some tea. From the sounds your giant robots are making I'm guessing one needs new whoosits in its whatsits and the other needs an oil change.


Wow, you can tell that from just listening to them walk around? Are you some kind of government scientist hiding in order to finally enjoy peace after years of contributing to war efforts and bloodshed?


No!


No.


I am Balthasar, merely a... collector of... things.


...Yes, I could not help but notice your collection of skulls.


Oh, yes, aren't they wonderful? Come, take a closer look! Do you notice anything interesting about them?


I think it is interesting that they are skulls and that they are lined up on your dresser.


Is that one a cat?


No, no, you see, they are lined up in order from oldest to newest. I dug them up in the same ruins that everyone is digging the robots up from! And as you can see, there are no human skulls that go back further than ten thousand years ago.


Well, maybe the ruins just aren't that old. I mean, there are robots in them.


Hmm, nope, I prefer to think that the human race just showed up fully formed ten thousand years ago.


The theory of evolution disagrees with you, buddy!


Bah, the theory of evolution! Superstitions and lies fed to you by the Church! They only want you to believe in science to lull you and make you easier to control!


Really.

Balthasar proceeds to regale them with the story of the Book of Genesis: The Director's Cut, where Michael Bay went back and put in all the giant robots the studio insisted that did not have the money for. It's pretty much the same as the original release until God exiles the humans from Eden, but instead of grimly going forth and populating the earth they build giant robots and try to take Eden back by force. God was having none of that, apparently, and kicked them out of paradise extra, and then went to go sleep beneath the ocean for another thousand years. Or ten thousand, whatever.


Ha ha! That is very interesting.


So, Fei, odds on this guy raping and eating us?


In Xenogears? Pretty even.


Yeah, we better get out of here.


Not so fast! In order to get out of this cave you have to do annoying things with some sand sensors and such.


Ugh, fine!

They get back in their giant robots and stumble ineptly around the cavern some more, doing annoying things with some sand sensors and such.


That's better.


So, say, so you seem to know a lot of nonsense about giant robots and God. Have you ever heard of the God Gear?


You mean Omnigears? Giant robots infused with the power of god? Dear heavens, boy, don't be ridiculous, it's just a story.


But you said--


I'm just going to go out and fix your robots now, ha ha.


Robots infused with the power of God?


Yeah, they're supposed to be thousands of years old. All the robots people dig up these days are only hundreds of years old, though. Pshh.

Apparently the people of Aveh have no records of their history whatsoever, because it's all controlled by the Church. Ha ha, those kidders! They are probably not evil.

Suddenly, Balthasar shines a red flashlight on Fei's robot and starts yelling at it.


WAIT A SECOND! You!


What?


Are you going to kill God?


...no.


Are you sure? Be honest.


I'm pretty sure. I mean, I wasn't planning on it.


You two have to leave now.

He totally kicks them out! Fei and Bart are miffed, but agree that it's better than being raped and eaten, probably, and they head out to the surface. But before they can escape, they are attacked by another giant robot! Bart thinks Balthasar sent it, which seems bitchy of him, but he was pretty old and crazy. They defeat it, and Bart tries to do the 'cool guys don't look at explosions' thing. You're already down an eye, Bart, you shouldn't do things like that.

The robot gets back up and tries to attack Bart again!


Oh, for fuck's sake.

Fei attacks the robot again before it can hurt Bart. It blows the hell up! Bart is very impressed.


Did you just hadouken that thing?!


Eh? Iunno.


What do you mean you don't know?


I've never done that before! I have no idea how I did it.


Oh, okay, that's not ominous. Let's go!

They reach the surface! Thank God. Bart is surprised that they've come out very close to Aveh's capital, Bledavik.

He briefly goes morose about how he used to live there and he would like to go back some day, but it's all occupied and stupid now. Anyway, he will have to kill Fei another time, because they'd probably get caught here.


Sure, whatever, pussy.


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