Saga: Intimidator Arc
Prerequisites: Completion of previous missions in Arc
Summary: After some confrontational dialogue between Aku and Artemis, the Intimidator lead decides to make him an honourary member for the time being, and decides that Psi is finally ready to continue with Synn's previous mission. As part of a joint effort between the three of them, the Intimidators pull a daring heist at a technology-oriented expo, stealing an apparently "revolutionary" generator in the process. Psi and Aku successfully pull out of town whilst Artemis draws the majority of the attention away from them, but a solitary personel-carrying chopper slips by him, dropping reinforcements in advance of their escape route. When Aku is caught completely by surprise in the ensuing ambush and knocked out cold, a distant memory of Psi's is triggered, accidentally drawing him into his currently-unknown Nostaliga Mode and wiping them out in the same frenzy as in his previous memory. Wounded during the experience, Psi also blacks out, leaving Intimidator reinforcements to drag them back to HQ.
[Everyone is back at the Intimidator HQ again, in the same interrogation room The Masked Man started in. Doc And Artemis are with Psi once again, this time joined by Akumaryu and a small number of Intimidator guards fortifying the exit. Doc is once again sharpening scalpels against each other in anticipation.]
Artemis: Explain yourself.
Psi: The man had answers to my past. I thought it could have shed some light on what happened to us...
Artemis: Your mission was to clear out the subway and nothing more, yet you've confided your trust in this thing despite his suspect behaviour and yet again compromised the secrecy of our organisation! Explain to me why I should let this fly!
Synn: Because Mr. Kadokawa is a Trinity, Artemis.
[gasps and hushed whispers echo throughout the room. Artemis walks up to Akumaryu to confirm the fact, and turns him around to face his back towards the camera, revealing the Trinity sigil emblazoned across the back of his gi. More surprised crowd reactions follow, until Artemis gestures for silence.]
Artemis: You brought a Trinity member here?
Psi: What the heck is a Trinity?
Synn: Long story short, Psi, we and them had a rivalry once. They stole bounties from us because they objected to the way we did things back then.
Aku: You know as well as I do that it's not that simple!
Synn: Yes, I do. But now's not exactly the best time to go through the entire history of our clan relations.
[A new Topic for the Trinity is added.]
Synn: In any case, Akumaryu does not have any destructive movtives, if that's what you're thinking, Artemis. He came here specifically to help Psi out, so I guess that means helping me and us out by proxy. It is my belief that he could actually be of great benefit while he is here, and if he ultimately tries to bail on us then I accept the responsibility of tracking down and silencing him personally.
[Artemis breaths out a heavy, frustrated sigh after a brief pause. He then gestures to the rest of his Intimidators in the room.]
Artemis: Leave us.
[They all walk out of the room. Doc lets out an excessively loud, disappointed groan as he storms out with them.]
Artemis: Synn, you're really pushing your luck, so I hope you know what you're doing. But now that you mention it, yes, there is something he could prove useful with. I've got a heist planned within the city, and the getaway is the most difficult part of it - it could be a challenge between the two of us--
Artemis: ...ahem. Three of us. But put Aku here into the mix, and things will certaintly go a lot smoother. We have a short time window, so we'd best get going right now. I'll explain more when we get there.
[Artemis takes off ahead of the player, leaving Psi and Aku alone in the interrogation room. They both share a somewhat confused expression, then decide to head topside themselves. Cut to just outside the Intimidator HQ]
Aku: He said a "short window", right? How short are we talking, exactly?
Synn: The plan is to hit an expo, which starts around midday if I'm not mistaken.
Aku: ...wait, like on-the-dot midday? Because that's in five minutes!
<Flight>Psi: I can fly, and you can run really fast, so it shouldn't be a problem. Hell, it could even be fun!
>Psi: Wow, really? What does he expect us to do, sprint all the way there?
Aku: Actually, speaking of that... how about we make this fun? Let's make this a race, just the two of us. Heck, I'll even give you a head start.
[Psi levels a puzzled look towards Aku, obviously finding it somewhat hard to take him seriously at first. Once Psi's dialouge is chosen, his face lights up again.]
>Synn: ...why would we do that?
Aku: No offense, guys, but you two do need an excuse to lighten up. It won't kill you to enjoy yourself once in a while, especially if it's not going to affect your job any.
>Psi: A race, huh... that's actually a pretty awesome idea. Alright, let's go! Hope you're fast on your feet, because you'll have to beat me off the ground!
[Psi takes off into his signature hovering dash outside of the player's control, shooting offscreen.]
Aku: What the--- hey, that's cheating! Get back here!
[Aku takes off after Psi with a chuckle, using his Quick Dash special as an instant kickstart. Gameplay starts in mid-transit on the route to South City, with both Psi and Aku already hot on the trail. Beating Aku to the objective is barely possible even though it really doesn't affect the outcome of the chapter, but the player's performance does offer a ranking bonus. Apon coming to a stop outside the expo...]
<Win> Aku: Wow, you actually outran me? Not bad!
Psi: That was freakin' intense! I feel like I could tackle anything now!
Aku: Yeah well, don't let it get to your head too much. You don't look like you could handle a return trip at that same pace.
<Lose>Psi: Heh, I guess I lose, huh? Oh well, I had fun anyway.
Aku: Nothing to be ashamed over. Heck, I don't know many people that could catch up to me on foot, so it's actually kinda remarkable that you kept the pace you did.
Psi: Well, we're here in any case. Let's go in and find Artemis.
[The two head in through a set of automatic doors. Artemis is standing immediately to the side of the entrance inside, and engages in conversation as soon as they enter.]
Artemis: Ah, there you are. You two are--
Artemis: You know what, I don't care what you say about it anymore. I only see two people here. Anyway, you're here early. What'd you do, sprint all the way here?
Synn: You... could say that. So, what's the deal?
Artemis: There's been another change of plans.
Synn: Another one? What's the problem this time?
Artemis: The original plan was to steal a blueprint of the next exhibition, but as it turns out, it isn't quite that simple.
[Artemis takes out a piece of paper and shows it to the group.]
Aku: That's not a blueprint?
Synn: Does it look blue to you?
Artemis: No, it's a script for the exhibition itself.
Psi: A script? How does that help us? Come to think of it, what is this exhibit anyway?
Artemis: It's a generator of some sort. The techs back at HQ would understand it better than I do, but what I know of it is that it can essentially self-generate energy with only a one-time startup charge. That kind of power would be indispensible for our base and operations.
[The group slowly starts walking further into the building.]
Artemis: As for how the script helps out, well there's a point in here where--
[The automatic doors close as Psi moves away from it. Unwittingly, he allows the doors to shut on his tail, catching it in the doors. Needless to say, Psi is left in great pain over the whole experience, and Aku instinctively clutches his own backside as he feels the pain secondhand via empathy.]
Psi: OWOWOWOW GETITOUT GETITOUT
Artemis: (to Aku) Just walk away. Don't draw attention.
[Artemis and Aku walk offscreen. After further fruitless struggles partly aided by player input, one of the larger NPCs in the crowd pries the doors open, freeing Psi again. The player catches up with Aku again closer to the stage as the crowd gathers around. A PR representative is talking away incoherently in the background.]
Aku: Woah, are you okay?
Psi: I think I've been worse.
Aku: Well just so you know, Artemis seemed pretty annoyed about what happened back there.
Synn: Can't say I'm surprised.
Psi: I'm just not used to having this... thing on my backside. Where is he, anyway?
Aku: He's already in position. He didn't have time to say much, but basically the plan is, he wants you to take out the PR guy and swipe the generator once the lights go out.
Psi: The whole thing? Are you serious?
Aku: Relax, it's not actually that big. You could probably even carry it with your hands if you needed to.
[The camera pans over to the stage, showing the generator itself as the PR guy walks back and forth promoting it.]
Psi: Oh yeah, right. Telekinesis.
Synn: Shut up, you two. Our cue's coming up, so get ready.
PR guy: ...alright, so you're probably wondering what all that means. Show of hands, who actually understood all of that?
[All bar a few members of the audience raise their hands.]
PR guy: Hahaha, well, I can't say I'm surprised. I don't even really understand the techno mumbo-jumbo myself.
[Soft laughter is heard from the crowd.]
PR guy: Well, let me put it to you guys this way. See this?
[The PR guy pulls a power cell out of his pocket roughly the size of a AA battery.]
PR guy: You all probably know what it is. You'd use it to power small things around the house - remotes, toys, that kind of thing. THIS is all it takes to start the generator up - with such a simple "starter charge" like this, the generator can recycle its own energy with almost perfect efficiency. Enough to run for years by itself off a tiny little battery. And what of the output? Well, I could tell you exactly how much energy this thing pumps out, buuuuuuuuuuuuuut I think it would be easier to point out that it's been powering everything in this building since you entered.
[The PR guy reaches down and pulls the generator out of the ground, causing the lights to go out and plunging the room to go dark. The player is given control of Psi as the crowd gasps and applauds, until the player knocks out the PR guy with a single blow, causing him to drop the mike. Synn picks it back up to say a few words before leaving backstage.]
Synn: I'm not a man of many words, so I'll just say thanks for the new toy. Hope you folks have fun!
[Cut to Psi and Aku emerging on the rooftops outside. An AI-controlled Artemis leads the way for the player across the various buildings, helping out in combat when police and army officers drop in to interrupt. After a while, a dropship emerges right in the player's path, blocking the way through and continuously dropping troops off. After a few have been defeated...]
Synn: We can't stay here! They're going to box us in!
Artemis: I'm aware of that! You two, split up and keep going! I'll keep their attention for a while longer...
[Gameplay transitions onto the streets below, right where the player would ordinarily be if they were exploring the city as per normal. Most of the opposition is still infantry-based, but occasionally police pursuit vehicles and large APCs will influence the flow of the chase either by forcing a speed up or by stopping the chase entirely respectively. On one occasion, both will show up at once, causing one to crash into the other regardless of whether the player manages to dodge both. Artemis is waiting on the outskirts of the city with his minigun climax at the ready.]
Psi: Where the hell did you get... nevermind. We're all set.
Artemis: Good. Lose the rest of them in the woods and get back to HQ. I can handle the rest.
Police NPC: The other two have the generator! Get after them!
[Synn appears to pat Artemis on the back briefely before he and Aku runs off. As a close up of Artemis plays of him winding up and firing his minigun roughly into the screen, the camera slowly pans downward, revealing a subtle shot of the generator hidden under his cloak. In the same shot, a single dropship manages to get past Artemis's fire in the distance, persuing after Psi and Aku as the shot fades to black. The game cuts to Psi and Aku in the forest not far from the Intimidator HQ.]
Aku: Okay, I think we lost them.
<Win>Psi: So much for pacing myself on the return trip, huh?
Aku: Well it's a good thing you proved me wrong on that count, because that was a pretty close one.
>Synn: Now I remember why I love this job.
Aku: Are you actually kidding me!? We could have died out there!
Synn: Of course. That's why it's so exciting. Don't tell me you've never had that rush before?
[Suddenly a series of ropes descend from the top of the screen, followed shortly by a group of elite soldiers. The camera pans up briefly to reveal the presence of the same dropship from earlier hovering above them.]
Army NPC: Freeze! We've got you surrounded!
Psi: What the... how did they find us!?
NPC: Hah, listen to that! They didn't even notice! We shot a tracking beacon onto one of you while you were still in the city, and we've been following it ever since!
[Aku peers over his shoulder, and discovers a small, pulsing red light emenating from a device attached to his clothing.]
Aku: Waitwhathuh-- how long has that been there!?
Synn: Forget it, we'll worry about it later! Let's take them out!
[Gameplay continues as normal, with the situation treated as a boss fight. Each time Psi takes down one of the elites, the scene becomes increasingly distorted, the music starts to fade in favour of a more disturbing ambience, and Psi considerably more aggressive in his vocalizations, and his attacks to an extent. With only a few left, Psi himself starts hallucinating when he inadvertently triggers Nostaliga Mode, changing the scene around him into another of Jean Eric's former moments in life in which he was ambushed similarly, and in the ensuing frenzy happened to kill a close friend of his after mistaking him for an enemy troop. When all the enemies are defeated, it's revealed the same happened in reality, and that Psi had just knocked Akumaryu out cold. Psi is visibly confused and exhausted by the whole experience, clutching his head out of wooziness and disorientation.]
Psi: Oh godddd... what just happened...?
Synn: Psi... what did you just do?
Psi: I don't know.... get out of my... head...
[Psi promptly collapses into the pile of bodies he helped create. Psi only remains concious long enough for a small group of Intimidators to drag them back towards HQ, before which the screen fades to black and the level ends.]