[NPC] Ryan:I got the Zombie Gang all fixed up. They're resting in the infirmary. We'll have to get them some raw meat if they start acting like actual zombies and craving brains and stuff.
[NPC] Blue Spirit:That's good. Thank you, Ryan.
[NPC] Ryan:What are you looking at?
[NPC] Blue Spirit:Hair sample I got from the shower. I forgot to give this to Risky.
[NPC] Ryan:And we still don't know who the killer is.
[NPC] Blue Spirit:I stopped caring about the killer a long time ago. I'm sure whoever it was, Fadbury can handle them.
[NPC] Ryan:You wanna go after the ghost, don't you?
[NPC] Blue Spirit:I know who the ghost is. Lewis' description of her was spot on, and based on what happened to the Zombie Gang in the elevator shaft, it could have only been her.
[NPC] Ryan:Someone from your past?
[NPC] Blue Spirit:Someone from my mentor's past. They caused irreparable damage to her family. They were never brought to justice.
[NPC] Ryan:So it's another hunt, is it? Just like Draco.
[NPC] Blue Spirit:Draco stole a Reaper artifact, and even then I suspect Grim let him do it so he wouldn't have to worry about them being confiscated. This is different. Helvetica has no involvement with the Reapers or obstructs their business.
Ryan, what I'm trying to do goes against the Reaper code of conduct. We're not allowed to meddle in the affairs of the living, but I can't let that monster get away with what she's done.
Alex stands up off the couch. He looks Ryan in the eyes and holds both of his arms out to her.
[NPC] Blue Spirit:I intend to apprehend Helvetica and make her pay for her crimes, no matter the cost. That was my only reason for ever becoming a Reaper Assistant.
Ryan, if what I'm doing is wrong I want you to arrest me, because right now you are the only one who can stop me.
[NPC] Ryan:...Why do I have to arrest you? If you know this is against the rules why even do it?
[NPC] Blue Spirit:She stole what should have been many happy years with her family from my mentor. I don't care if this is wrong or not, Ryan. I cannot let her get away with that.
[NPC] Ryan:Does Grim know about this?
[NPC] Blue Spirit:...No, I've told Grim nothing about this. He's... too suspicious, like he's keeping something from me. I cannot trust a man like that. I spent six months in the Battle Verge not even chasing after Draco because Grim never gave me a straight answer and actively fed me false information. I only agreed to become his assistant because it was advantageous for me. That is what the world taught me. Like myself and my mentor before me, when interests change anyone can turn on you. I trusted no one...
Or rather, I use to. I may not trust Grim, the Reapers, my fellow spirits, or even Angela...
[NPC] Blue Spirit:...but I trust you. I don't want to come inches from my goal only for Grim or anyone else to get in my way. I'd rather things end here and now than pursue in futility.
If you think what I'm doing is wrong I want you to be the one to stop me, because I can't bring myself to hate you if you do.
[NPC] Blue Spirit:It's alright. I've already accepted the possibility that you would turn me in. Do what you think is right.
[NPC] Ryan:I don't trust Grim either. He never told me the full story about my scythe. He never told me the full story about his plan with Draco. He didn't trust me with that information. I don't think he's a bad person, but he's negligent. And more importantly, I've tried my hardest to play by the books for my entire tenure as Reaper, because this is my job and I want to be good at it. But he's broken more rules than any other Reaper I know. If he can get away with breaking so many rules, why can't I get away with breaking one?
[NPC] Blue Spirit:...What do you mean?
[NPC] Ryan:Grim didn't warn me about Draco. You did, even if it was too late. You even helped me get my scythe back.
This Helvetica person hurt your family, so **** her. We'll take her down together.
Ryan smiles and fist-bumps Alex's already outstretched knuckles. Alex is speechless.
[NPC] Ryan:...What's wrong?
[NPC] Blue Spirit:I wasn't expecting you to team up with me. Are you sure? You'd be going against the Reapers if you help me.
[NPC] Ryan:If we do this in the park, they won't know. This place is sealed off from the outside. That was the whole idea behind the barrier. The other Reapers can't spy on us in here.
[NPC] Blue Spirit:True...
[NPC] Ryan:My point is, you did me a favor. And listen, getting my scythe back and getting to see Draco get culled wasn't the best part of Edward's event for me. I found something better.
Ryan leans in giving Alex a kiss.
[NPC] Blue Spirit:...Ryan...
Ryan walks behind the couch. Placing her hands on Alex's shoulders, she beckons him to sit back down. She waves a piece of paper in front of his face from behind him.
[NPC] Ryan:Here. Diana, Lewis, and Samantha are asleep upstairs so they won't bother us. I'm giving you the choice on where we should begin.
[NPC] Blue Spirit:Begin what?
[NPC] Ryan:Investigating, you clod! Here, read that off. I'll be a minute.
[NPC] Blue Spirit:"Bathroom"...
Ryan, you know investigating this place won't do us any good, don't you? We're not going after the killer anymore, and there aren't any clues in the mirror world.
[NPC] Ryan:Keep reading.
[NPC] Blue Spirit:"Bedroom"...
Ryan, I'm confused. What the devil are we investigating?
[NPC] Ryan:You're a smart boy. I'm sure you could figure it out. Or haven't you noticed?
I'm~ not~ wearing~ any~ clothes~
[NPC] Blue Spirit:...
...You're uh... not wearing any skin either.
Ryan is all bones from the neck down.
[NPC] Ryan:So now you noticed.
[NPC] Blue Spirit:Okay Ryan, you win.
...but let's... not get carried away like last time. I actually want to get some work done.
[NPC] Naru:How did you know where my dorm was?
[NPC] Naru:Well anyway, thanks for dropping me off.
[NPC] Naru:Who cares? All my classes are just teaching me shit I already learned in highschool.
[NPC] Naru:Would you like to use my bed while you're here? I got plenty of sleep hours ago.
Naru waits for Ai to change into something comfortable and lets her crawl into her bed.
[NPC] Naru:...Okay? Why though?
[NPC] Naru:You mean like tuck you in?
Naru gives in and tucks Ai into bed.
[NPC] Naru:Want me to read you a bedtime story as well?
[NPC] Naru:You're so weird...
[NPC] Naru:What did you think I said?
Ai rolls over and starts fake-snoring. Naru sighs and turns out the lights as she leaves.
[NPC] Amy:NARU'S BACK!? NARU WHERE WERE YOU?!
[NPC] Naru:Away. What's it to you?
[NPC] Amy:Without telling any of us?! We were scared to death!
[NPC] Naru:You really think they'd do something like that?
[NPC] Amy:Why would a gun be dangling from a-
[NPC] Amy:Anyway! You can't be neglecting your academic studies either! Hundreds of wood sprites died to become the books that you take for granted every day!
[NPC] Priscilla:Back off. Naru can disappear to wherever she wants.
[NPC] Amy:But you can't neglect school! Not to mention you're technically paying for all this. You're throwing money away by avoiding your education!
[NPC] Naru:Amy I don't care.
[NPC] Naru:I don't care. I don't care if I was late, or if I miss a bunch of classes, and I don't care what my teachers think of me either. I've been bending over backwards for everyone and their grandmother my whole life, and even now I have to deal with every Reaper in the Spirit World vilifying me. If they have a problem with my perfect record being tarnished they can get in touch with my mom. Just make sure you tell them the fee for international calls first.
[NPC] Naru:Fine. Ever heard of Wayback Con?
[NPC] Naru:I just got sent there a day and a half ago... unwillingly.
[NPC] Amy:REALLY?! YOU MEAN LIKE... WHEN YOU VANISHED?! SO THAT WAS WHEN YOU-
[NPC] Naru:Well, I got to fight my past self while I was there, despite not remembering ever being there to begin with. I broke my hands. Fought Black Naru, had North heal my hands, spent the night there, and then I sort of just... came back on my own. Not sure how.
[NPC] Amy:OMG NARU YOU COULD HAVE TOLD US THAT SOONER! INSTEAD OF IMPLYING YOU JUST UP AND BLEW EVERYONE OFF OUT OF NOWHERE!
[NPC] Priscilla:Ignore them. You didn't have to tell us anything. But I'm glad you're back from that hellhole of an event.
[NPC] Naru:Search party?
[NPC] Amy:I got the girl's dorm to do the exact same thing.
[NPC] Naru:And you didn't try and stop him?
[NPC] Priscilla:I tried to stop him.
Wait, what kind of prize was it?
[NPC] Naru:......Oh... Is that it?
For a second there I thought you meant giving away my underwear or something embarrassing like that.
[NPC] Amy:Well I mean that was the first idea.
[NPC] Amy:What? It's just underwear.
[NPC] Amy:Mmmmmm five more minutes...
Goldie crawls on top of Amy and licks her face.
[NPC] Amy:Ah- Aaah! Pffftt! Pfffft! Alright! Alright! I'm up!
[NPC] Marvin:What time is it?
[NPC] Amy:Lemme check...
Goldie why didn't you wake us up for breakfast?
[NPC] Amy:It's fine. Can you wake up Jim?
Goldie jumps into Jim's overcoat.
[NPC] Yellow Spirit:Good morning Amy. Breakfast just ended, but if you'd like I can prepare everyone brunch.
[NPC] Amy:Risky, you're just as guilty of not waking us up as Goldie is.
[NPC] Yellow Spirit:I'm actually still asleep. When I woke up, I went back in time to guard the halls from that terrifying murderer and their insatiable thirst for blood.
[NPC] Yellow Spirit:Hey! Hey! Wake up!
[NPC] Yellow Spirit:Mmmmh... Wha?
[NPC] Yellow Spirit:You were suppose to wake Amy and her friends up!
[NPC] Amy:Don't blame this on your past self when you're just as responsible! Maybe even more so since you were awake and could have woken us up!
[NPC] Yellow Spirit:That-
Fine. Whatever. You still need to go back and look for the killer from last night.
[NPC] Marvin:At least let the guy stay for brunch.
[NPC] Yellow Spirit:Fine, but he has to help.
[NPC] Yellow Spirit:Mmmmm Yeah I'm cool with that.
After Goldie wakes Jim up, the party heads upstairs for some better-late-than-never breakfast.
On their way up, Amy and Jim find an ominous scene.
[NPC] x50i:Affirmative. Protecting the timeline from deviation is now our top priority.
A platoon of ten or so androids standing behind Perseus salute him in uniform...
[NPC] Jim:......oh dear.
[NPC] Amy:JIM WHY IS PERSEUS AND HIS ANDROIDS HERE?!
[NPC] Jim:HOW SHOULD I KNOW?!
[NPC] Amy:Jim we need to tell Miss Hanasaku.
[NPC] Ai:Mr. Fadbury! Perfect timing! Can you explain to Mr. Anetic what you discovered in the basement last night?
[NPC] Jim:Y-Yes I'd be happy to but, well... There's something you should know...
[NPC] Ai:There is?...
[NPC] Jim:Yes, it's about the androids...
[NPC] Ai:Oh hey, you're that friend of Mr. Anetic. I'm the event manager Ai Hanasaku. Nice to meet you!
[NPC] Ai:This is Mr. Fadbury. He's helping me with the event.
Tequila's Business Card
A business card for the company Body & Mind. It has the contact info for "Minne Meena Tequila" printed on it.
[NPC] Andromeda:Greetings. I am Andromeda. Commander Unit of Anetic Lab's x50i line of free-thinking androids. We have been assigned as this event's secondary security force.
[NPC] Jim:Ah. Andromeda. It's uh...
[NPC] Jim:Pleasure to meet you!...
[NPC] Andromeda:Miss Tequila has been a great help tutoring me on how to be, and I quote, "the life of the party." For example, I have a joke for you:
[NPC] Andromeda:"Why was the robot angry?"
[NPC] Jim:...oooooh.... that's... that's a tough one.
I... I don't know. Why was robot angry?...
[NPC] Andromeda:Because someone kept pushing his buttons.
[NPC] Jim:Hah. Haha. Ah. G-Good one.
That joke was so funny I'm barely able to laugh.
[NPC] Andromeda:Do not feel bad. Although I am the latest in Artificial Intelligence research, I am incapable of genuine laughter. Mr. Anetic has informed me that my next software patch should correct this, but for the time being I shall simulate laughter to the best of my ability.
[NPC] Perseus:Don't let her innocent appearance fool you, Mr. Fadbury. When it comes to subduing criminals and other rule breakers, she's a killing machine!
[NPC] Jim:Haha... Ha... Aaaah... Oooohh...
[NPC] Perseus:Well shoot, it's kinda overkill but if you need a personal police force to help maintain the timeline then look no further!
[NPC] Perseus:Was it a supervillain?
For a second there I thought you said there was a murderer in the basement last night.
[NPC] Perseus:Well I'm sure they've been taken care of, right? It's not like they're loose inside the park and we're all trapped in here with them or anything...
[NPC] Perseus:Aha... Ha...
[NPC] Ai:That's not going to work. There's a barrier around the park keeping time travelers from leaving. It was the only way we could keep them from changing history without our supervision.
[NPC] Ai:I understand that this is unsettling, Ms. Tequila, but let me be clear that the killer is a non-issue right now-
[NPC] Ai:WAIT! LET ME FINISH!
[NPC] Ai:I can go back in time to the night before and catch the killer myself, whenever I want to. For all we know they're probably already taken care of. That could be why my staff never found them last night.
The real problem is the nature of the temporal anomaly itself. Time Travelers can appear anywhere inside the park at any time during the event, and we can't guarantee they'll all be friendly. This already happen twice before the event even began, which is why I need Anetic's androids in the first place. If you're uncomfortable with this I can take you back to your time period. Just keep the Paradox Bandit in case you want to return for any reason.
[NPC] Perseus:What?! Leave?! Hold on there! What about our partnership?!
[NPC] Perseus:What if our time periods don't match?! You could be twenty years from the future for all I know!
[NPC] Ai:Actually, there's a limit of ten years in the future for anyone that comes here.
[NPC] Perseus:That's still bad!
[NPC] Perseus:Ms. Tequila! Minnie! Can I call you Minnie? Think about this rationally! Yeah it's dangerous, but the average person walks past sixteen killers in their lifetime without even knowing! Besides, Ai said it herself! My androids are perfectly capable of keeping everyone here safe from any potential serial killers!
Come on you can't go! Our business deal is going to go down the toilet if you leave!
[NPC] Andromeda:Please reconsider, Ms. Tequila. I've grown too attached to you being around. If I could experience human emotions, I would die of loneliness if you were gone.
[NPC] Perseus:Uh... Consider it done! In fact, Andromeda, order any androids not occupied with Ms. Tequila to keep the guests from any and all harm! No exceptions!
[NPC] Perseus:Done! Andromeda, I'm assigning you as Miss Tequila's personal bodyguard.
Tequila points to four random androids standing behind her.
Just as Tequila reaches the stairs, she stops and turns back to Jim.
[NPC] Jim:I do, actually.
Tequila leads Andromeda and four other androids back to her room.
[NPC] Jim:She seemed nice.
[NPC] Ai:So I take it you're willing to help?
[NPC] Perseus:Well I mean, my company's grant money is on the line! I'd be crazy not to accept! Not to mention this event is a goldmine for good publicity.
[NPC] Ai:Thanks. I try and keep an air of professionalism about running this event, but I'm kinda in a tight spot right now. I don't think I can keep my guests safe without your androids helping me.
[NPC] Jim:Let's not get ahead of ourselves! Miss Hanasaku already has enough to worry about. We can't throw this on top of her as well! Besides, we don't have any evidence to support that will happen during the event! The only reason they went bonkers before is because of that software update that blew out their emotional inhibitors...
[NPC] Jim:But we aren't anywhere near Anetic Labs. That means they can't get their software updated and they won't be corrupted. Who knows? They could spend the entire event without ever going crazy... and then inevitably go crazy months later and past us will take care of it.
[NPC] Jim:Yeah... Yeah I can tell...
[NPC] Jim:But the rest of them seem fine!
More importantly, we can't go flinging mud if our foundations are built on sand. Jumping to conclusions, vilifying people and causing panic where there is none will do more damage than any android invasion ever could.
[NPC] Jim:Yes! It's the reason why the androids are even here in the first place! There never would have been a World III uprising if it wasn't for the Reflection witch hunts that sparked it!
[NPC] Jim:How about a compromise? I'll try and gently persuade Ms. Hanasaku of a possible negative outcome. Even if she's not willing to suspect the worse, she's a time traveller! If things go sour she can always alter the timeline for the better.
[NPC] Ai:Oh! Oh oh oh right! Sorry Mr. Fadbury! I got distracted! Was there something you wanted to tell me?
[NPC] Ai:I think that's a worse-case scenario, Mr. Fadbury.
[NPC] Perseus:Aw geez not this again...
I have enough fundamentalists breathing down my neck with imaginary dangers they've concocted in my own time period, Fadbury. I don't need more. If it weren't for my legal team Anetic labs would be ruined by now.
[NPC] Perseus:Trust me, Mr. Fadbury. They're unhackable.
[NPC] Perseus:They run on machine code! That's why! No one can read machine code without some kind of big, heavy lab equipment to translate it all into readable, easily understandable binary.
[NPC] Ai:Okay now you're being paranoid.
Look, I get it. You deal with this sort of thing a lot. But if I don't use the androids... then what? Have the guests fend for themselves? Have Michi handing out D-lixirs by the dozens? Cancel the event? Neither of those options are the least bit attractive.
Mr. Anetic, please tell me there's no risk of your androids going crazy or whatever and sabotaging the event.
[NPC] Perseus:Nope! No risk whatsoever! All my android are programmed to be bundles of sunshine and altruism that only want to help people! Isn't that right, Model number...
Perseus leans in closer to the android next to him to read the serial number label printed on him.
[NPC] Perseus:...zero zero zero nine two?
[NPC] x50i:You have nothing to fear. Our primary concern is the safety of the park guests, and we will do everything in our power to prevent any and all physical, mental, and emotional pain they may suffer from. As we speak, Commander Andromeda is creating a database of the individual guests solely for documenting their specific needs and how to best accommodate them.
If it will ease your worries, every x50i unit undergoes a diagnostics scan every two hours to check for any corrupted files, and a full system scan every 24 hours. Also, in the event of a hacking attempt, an x50i unit is programmed to initiate an emergency shutdown to ensure our hivemind database is not compromised.
[NPC] Ai:That's great! See? Perfectly safe!
[NPC] Perseus:Yeah yeah! There's no reason why the androids would want to revolt anyway! Sure, they're programmed to only follow orders from myself and Andromeda, but they wouldn't be free-thinking artificial intelligence if I didn't give them some amount of freedom. It's not like they're being controlled against their will or... anything like that.