(part twenty-nine)

When we last saw our somewhat disorganized heroes, Gebler was mucking up the newly christened Ft. Jasper and Margie had seized the helm of Bart's would-be new giant robot! And also Sigurd was revealed to be a Fatima at some point, but whatever, we knew that.

Well, I guess it's Margie's giant robot now!


Bart ducks his way through a hail of bullets to get to the Omnigear, which Margie isn't really piloting per se -- she's just sitting there and shooting bitches that get close enough. She misses Bart, though, as his bullet-ducking skills are unfortunately legendary.

What you are doing? You're getting your lady cooties all over my cockpit!

I've sort of been shot.

Sort of?

Sort of.

You're getting BLOOD all over my cockpit!!


Well, this will not do at all. Bart parks Margie in the backseat so he can crack his knuckles at this giant robot's controls! There is just one problem.

This giant robot does not have any controls!

Exceptionally poor giant robot design! Sigurd manages to get over there and asks if Margie is okay.

Sigurd, how do I work this thing?!

What do you mean, how do you work it? Margie was doing fine a second ago, let her do it.

Margie-- oh, she passed out.

Ethos robots are attacking! The Catholics are here! Quick, someone who is not Margie figure this thing out!

I know how it works!

Oh, there's a surprise.

The Omnigear does not function by mechanical controls, but mental ones. You have to think at it!

Think at it?



We're screwed.

We are not screwed, shut up!

Thinking about blowing things up is what I am best at!

Okay, so, I'm screwed.

Stay off of interesting-looking ships and you'll be fine! Pussy.

Bart totally blasts away the Ethos robots! Finally, a creative outlet! Shakahn runs away and Bart wants to follow him, but everyone yells at him to stop because Margie has been shot, asshole.


Everyone gets out of the giant robot and again gently reminds Citan that he is supposed to be a doctor or something, so he takes a look. Luckily they just got her in the leg and the bullet passed through. There is some more general confusion about how the heck this mental control scheme works, since it sounds like Margie was actually still piloting in part even after she passed out, and Bart still doesn't quite get it.

So I'm just gonna have to get used to it?

Or you could let Margie have it. She is as deserving of the Fatima treasure as you are, and she seems to be quite adept with it.

Yep, just gonna have to get used to it!

...as long as Solaris does not get it, I suppose your casual misogyny matters little.

They schlep back to Nisan, where Sigurd has some good news from the troops they sent to Bledavik. They've taken the castle and are investigating Shakahn's business. Also, the Yggdrasil's radar picked up Shakahn's giant robots heading to Bledavik, only they turned around midway to head back for Nisan.

Why are they coming back here?

Oh, I don't know. Probably has something to do with that cave east of here that has a ~Gate~ in it.

Solaris has a Gate outside Nisan?


This is one of these Gates we had no clue as to the location of two parts back, right?

That's the one.

Okay, just checking.

Everyone agrees that the excess party members should stick around in Nisan, since Shakahn must be tired of attacking it by now, and Bart rounds up Fei and Elly to go check out this cave.

So no one ever noticed this sign that says "Ignas' Gate Cave" before, huh?

We just never really thought about it, I guess.

I don't think that's correct apostrophe usage.

That's debatable!

Look, you two, no more of your fights about apostrophes after S or Oxford commas! We'll be here all day!

Some Ethos robots come out and attack, so it looks like they've got the right cave. They smash them up and go inside, where they find a Solarian Gate generator!

Hopefully the other two are also accessible by walking a few feet.

We found it!

So it would seem!

It's Shakahn! He was hiding on the ceiling while the party came in, presumably, as his robot looks totally suited for that. Now he has parked its fat butt between our heroes and the generator.

In the beginning we Ethos just monitored the Gate for Solaris without knowing what it actually did, but eventually we ran some tests on it and found that it worked as a power source! I've been using it to charge my iPod, but now I'm going to get my giant robot's A/C adapter out.

Shakhan totally whips out a power cord and plugs himself into the Gate generator. Well, okay, it probably does beat fuel boosting.

Oh, come on, now you're just being an asshole.

But something is wrong! The generator isn't giving Shakahn's giant robot any power! He is totally going to have to drop like $120 on a new adapter! UNLESS.


How the fuck did he get in here?!

An excellent question, Fei! Nobody answers it.

I have power! I have plenty of power! I just need to jiggle the cord a little!

That didn't work with the projector at your last board meeting and it isn't going to work now! I can offer you real power!

I think one of the pins is bent... oh, dammit.

My fist is the divine breath!

Blossom, o fallen seed, and draw upon thy hidden powers!

Grant unto thee the power of the glorious 'Mother of Destruction!'

Does this thing have a customer service number on it anywhere?

It does not. Shakahn screams a bit, and then the fight is on! This fight is not really hard, but it is irritating, because every once in a while Shankahn gets that cord to work and the Gate heals him. Heals him! That's cheating! Only playable characters are allowed to heal themselves in battle! Everyone knows that. But Bart and company eventually defeat him anyway, because Shakahn sucks even with that sort of advantage. Bart finally gets his cool guy in victory moment and tells Shakahn that he can keep his stupid throne, because being a king is far greater responsibility than someone like Shakahn could ever understand or handle. ...That doesn't really make sense, but it's okay because Shakahn dies.

Hey, that means you're king now!

...oh, crap.

And so they head back to Bledavik to tell everyone the good news.

So, you guys like me, right? Not just because I'm royalty?

Uh, I guess.

Even if I were to do something very questionable in the next two minutes?

I'd be alarmed about your heath if you went two minutes without doing something very questionable.

Young master, what is all this about?

Well, here goes nothing.

My good people of Aveh... This is Bartholomew Fatima, the 19th king of Aveh, son of Edbart Fatima IV, the 18th king of Aveh. One would first like to apologize for one's lengthy absence from the throne due to one's bumming around the desert like a lunatic for twelve years while everyone else was suffering under an occupation. One would also like to apologize to everyone who has lost family and loved ones to the retarded war with Kislev, which one plans to call a truce with immediately. One would especially like to apologize for one's lack of better formal public speaking skills, as one's 'one' business is very awkward-sounding. But one must soldier on.

As a country that has just toppled its government, Aveh is very fragile and needs strong leadership now more than ever. So I hereby dissolve the monarchy!

Oh God, what.

Good luck, everybody!

Young Master, you are confused.

Nope, says so right here in Dad's will! Dissolve the monarchy! I'm outta here!

Your father wrote that in his will? As in, he gets to be king for life and then you have to dissolve the monarchy?

Yeah! It is sort of dickish, now that you mention it.

You knew all that and you didn't mention it until now? Whatever, you just don't want to leave the party now that you have an Onmigear!

The crowd goes wild, though it's not entirely clear what they are going wild for. The promise of democracy, or this hot blond speaking in stilted gibberish from a balcony? Probably about half and half. Bart dismisses the retainers who have spent his entire life being deeply devoted to getting him back on the throne and wanders off. Fatimas are bitches.

Later that night, Bart goes wandering around the castle and comes across Maison in a study. Maison for some reason does not take this opportunity to smack the taste right out of Bart's mouth.

Young Master, why aren't you in bed?

Because I want the dirt on Sigurd!

Oh, that is a story very personal to Sigurd, and he likes to keep his privacy. Let me tell you all about it!

Apparently before Bart's father met Bart's mother, he met and fell in love with a young lady from a religious sect in Aveh's eastern desert that was not Nisan or Ethos, which means this game officially has too many religions now to try keeping track of. That's okay, the game doesn't try either. She dumped him after a while, leaving him totally heartbroken, but there were rumors that she had a child shortly thereafter! And then ten years later Sigurd showed up in court, and the king made him a squire.

I see! So Sigurd is from Aveh's eastern desert! Well, that explains everything.

...I suppose.

Bart wanders off again. This time he finds Sigurd!

Hi, Sigurd! Why did your mom leave my dad?


...We aren't still treating this like a big plot twist, are we?

She left because she was very sick and didn't want to break his heart by dying on him. So she broke his heart by running off into the desert and having his kid without him and living just fine for another ten years instead.

I see! Well, it's just that Dad's will says that I'm supposed to share my inheritance with my brother.

The inheritance you just dissolved?

I'm supposed to share my inheritance with my brother and all the people of Aveh, specifically!

The next time we hold a will reading, we are not letting the crazy teenager do it without a lawyer.