Saga: Intimidator arc
Prerequisites: Completion of Prolgue arc
Summary: The answers Aku speaks of are apparently located in City Hall, so the mission moves to take place there. Aku isn't actually welcome there anymore due to an incident prior to the game, so the player is required to keep all the attention on themselves rather than him to allow him to keep searching undetected - either by way of engaging in a timed conversation with one of them, or by using Psi's mind control abilities to temporarily make Aku invisible to certain guards - sometimes a combination thereof, depending on the activity around them. At the end of a sequence is a locked safe that Aku doesn't know the combination to, prompting the player to use Psi's telekinesis to unlock it. Inside is a file filled with several plot revelations - most notably among them, the claim that they are on an alternate dimension Earth by the name of Denuo, a prediction by a powerful and reputable prophet that Psi will become a vessel of unimaginable destruction and suffering, and a directive that Aku watch over him to prevent that from happening. On the way out, they are confronted by a small party of Intimidators who took out the guards to get to them, and both of them are brought back to HQ.
[The previous scene cuts to just outside City Hall in South City, with the setting still late at night. Psi and Aku are standing outside, discussing their next move.]
Aku: Here we are.
Psi: What's the hold up? Let's go in!
Aku: Well see, there's a problem. When I first came here I was... a lot like you, to put it nicely. Confused. Angry and mistrustful of everybody who offered me help. Long story short, I started a ruckus in there a long time ago, and I haven't been welcome in there since.
>Psi: Couldn't I just go in on my own and look for it on my own?
Aku: Not unless you know exactly where you're looking, and how exactly to get into where you're looking.
>Psi: So what do you propose we do then?
Aku: I want you to keep everyone's attention on you and not me. Chat up some of the guards so I can slip past, and I should be able to make it to where we need to go.
Synn: Do we HAVE to take the sneaky approach? Why not just beat the hell out of whoever's in our way?
Aku: Even if you're not concerned with your public image, you could always take into account all the vaults lock whenever an alarm is triggered. Incidentally, did I mention we're going to the vaults yet?
Psi: I guess if I can make myself invisible to other people, I could find some way to make Aku here invisible instead of me. That might help.
Synn: Umm, it doesn't work that way, Psi.
Psi: What? Rubbish. Here, let me try it this way...
[Psi turns invisible, as per his usual usage of the move in-game.]
Psi: Wait, that's not it... oh, I get it now.
[Psi reppears. Shortly afterwards, Aku starts flickering instead, then outright disappears himself.]
Psi: There, got it!
Synn: How the hell did you...
Psi: It's simple really. The way you usually use it, you focus the mind control on one person and direct it back at yourself. What I did here is focused on you and directed it back at him. It's just like switching a few plugs around.
Aku: Don't you two find it wierd that you're talking to yourselves!?
[Psi stares blankly in surprise at the empty space where Aku's voice is coming from. A brief silence follows.]
Aku: I mean... could you go ahead and make me visible again now? I can't see my own hands and it's creeping me out.
Synn: [quitely to himself] Was I wrong about it all this time? Did I just need some fresh perspective? Hmm... something's not right here. It's like... he uses my powers differently, somehow.
[A Topic on Psi's powers is added. Aku is made visible again shortly after the notification is given.]
Psi: ...hmm? Did you say something?
Synn: It was nothing. Let's just get this over with.
[Once inside, the player can talk to any of the guards at their leisure. Though they have fairly generic dialogue not unlike most other NPCs in the game, opening the chat window not only allows the game to continue running in the background, it causes them to pay absolutely no attention to Akumaryu, allowing him to walk past as long as the player doesn't exit the chat window. Similarly, by using the mind control ability whilst focused on a specific guard, it makes Aku invisible to the specific guard alone. Both of these concepts are introduced seperately in situations optimal for one or the other, before throwing circumstances that require either juggling of the two techniques or using both simultaneously. Checkpoints are issued after every seperate formation of guards (though the player earns more rank bonuses for not resorting to them), allowing them to repeat the same section as much as they need to should they screw up.]
[After reaching the vault]
Aku: Here it is. It'll be in one of the deposit boxes inside... ah, here, this one. Umm... wait a minute.
Psi: What's up?
Aku: ...it's embarrasing to admit, but I only just now realized I don't remember the combination to my deposit box.
Synn: Of all the... get out of the way.
[Aku obliges. Synn uses his telekinesis on the deposit box, and the camera cuts to an internal view of its locking mechanism as Synn telekinetically lifts all the tumblers into their appropriate positions, allowing the door to swing open. Aku shrugs to himself and retrieves an ordinary brown folder from the deposit box, containing various documents and photos, then spreads them across a table in the centre of the room.]
Aku: Now I need to stress that you might not like some of what you're about to hear, so I'll try to take this slowly. I know Psi isn't your real name. Jean Eric, wasn't it?
<Jean Eric>Psi: Yes, I believe we covered that back in the subway.
>Psi: How the hell did you know about that?
Aku: Well see, here's the thing. That name is the subject of something of a legend back where I'm from. His is a tale that started with good, even noble intentions... but they ultimately resulted in the very same tragedy he was working to prevent. I can't really name many specifics because honestly, we don't know any. In fact, until recently I didn't even think of it as any more than some sort of nursery rhyme.
Synn: Look, do you have a point or not? Cut the dramatic suspense and get on with it!
Aku: *sigh* The point is, it's not a story that was told... on this planet, technically. To put it short, Psi, you're not on Earth anymore.
<Denou>Psi: I know. I figured that part out myself.
Aku: Oh good. That saves me the trouble of explaining that part, then.
Psi: Do you know how far away we are from Earth?
>Psi: What!? Oh god. At least that explains why I haven't seen a single human being yet. How far away are we?
Aku: This is the part where it's gonna start getting strange to you. It's really not a matter of distance at all. In fact, you're in a completely different dimension to your home entirely. Same as I am. How you ended up here, I have no idea yet. That part isn't important...
[Aku picks up a letter from Destiny from the papers on the table, displaying it to Psi.]
Aku: ...what's important is that I'm here because of a prophet's word. Destiny herself, as a matter of fact. That you, Jean, would come back in another form, and the story would repeat itself. And I quote--
Psi: Wait, hold up. Did I hear that right? "Repeat"? As in it's already happened before?
Aku: You mean you don't... oh, crap.
PsI: Don't what? What are you holding back?
Aku: There's no easy way to say this, so I'd better just say it straight. You wanna know how I figured your story actually happened? I came across this.
[Aku picks up a photo from the table and gives it to Psi. It is a picture of a gravestone, with the name Jean Eric engraved on it]
Psi: I... but... how...
[A brief flashback plays. The sound of what is apparently a gunshot is heard, and a wounded Jean is seen falling to the ground amidst a dark, rain-battered environment.]
Psi: I'm... dead? But I'm alive? How in the...!
[The flashback resumes. Jean is lying face-up on the ground as rain continues to fall onto his body. The camera gradually zooms to an extreme close-up shot of the purple Gem of Chaos in Jean's hand, as a purple mist visibly drains from his body back into the gem. The camera cuts back to the same perspective of Psi's gem back in the vault, zooming back out again to catch the character in frame.]
Psi: The gem... it took me with it. I'm alive in spirit alone...
[Tears start rolling down Psi's cheeks.]
Psi: So... going back to the way things were... is out of the question?
Aku: [hesitantly]...yes. But we can still--
[Psi suddenly scrunches up the photo in his fist and throws it away in a fit of anger, still dripping tears from his face. Aku's eyes start watering up in turn as his empathy kicks in.]
Psi: Why are you here? What do you want from me!?
Aku: I... I...
[Aku wipes the tears from his own eyes frustratedly, trying to hide them.]
Aku: Just... take it easy. I'm here to make sure you're not a threat.
Psi: So you came here to kill me. Is that it!?
Aku: No! I'm sure that's what anyone else would have wanted of me, but I'm not that damned heartless! Look, Psi, you're unstable. Nobody can deny that. But you're not beyond help. Whatever Destiny envisioned would happen to you, it's born of emotion, I'm sure of it. I understand your emotion better than anyone else, so as long as I'm here, I can help keep it in check and help make sure tragedy doesn't befall you twice.
Psi: You understand me? Bullshit! I've only just met you! Why should I believe that!?
Aku: Because I'm an empath, damn it! Whatever you feel, *I* feel it! Now will you... PLEASE stop shouting at me? It's... annoying. To say the least.
[Psi looks understandably dumbfounded, but quickly shuts up. He wipes his face clean of his tears before continuing.]
Psi: So... what do we do now?
Aku: That's up to you. Whatever it is, I'll stick by you, at the very least, until I'm certain this prophecised tragedy has been averted.
Synn: I'd hate to break up this heartwarming union, but it seems all the guards are gone.
Aku: What? How do you figure that?
[Synn points directly upwards.]
Synn: Probably because of them.
[Several Intimidators drop from the cieling, pointing weapons at Aku and Psi.]
Psi: Aw crap.
[The screen fades to black, ending the level. An addition to the Jean Eric Topic, outlining his death, an addition to the Akumaryu Topic outlinging his empathy, and a new Topic on Destiny and her prophecy, are all added afterwards.]