While hunting through the Society's archives, Eustace discovers that the official report of the encounter on Moon Sliver has been heavily doctored. A few moments later, a man from a rival Society sector enters the room, catching Eustace in the middle of his sleuthing.
The snowfields are quiet and monochromatic. Warmth left him long ago, so he trudges onward with the frost biting at his limbs.
He should be moving toward a purpose, but instead he is driven by fear.
Closing his eyes, he can see the roaring flames, the lamentations of happier days now lost.
And having witnessed them go, he is left only with this insufferable silence.
It is unyielding as it resonates throughout the void of his mind, a hymn of loss that only he can hear.
A lone Erune rummages through a dark and gloomy archive.
As he flits through document after document, Eustace spots something that catches his eye.
Eustace: Is this it?
Finally it is within his grasp: the record of the conflict on Moon Sliver.
This is the place where the Phantagrande branch of the Society stores its most classified documents.
Eustace, filled with suspicion concerning his own commanding organization, pores over the battle record—one available only to those with a certain level of authorization.
Eustace: What's this...
After a few seconds of reading, it becomes clear that the report has been tampered with.
Automagods, moondwellers, Pyet-A...
All of the hard facts that had been exposed during the battle—every single one—is missing from the pages.
Eustace: The disparity between this report and my debriefing is too great.
Eustace: (It's obvious the Society is attempting to cover something up.)
Eustace: (But what could that something be...)
Intent on getting to the bottom of the mystery, he continues reading through the document. However...
The sound of approaching footsteps echoes down the hall. He quickly stows the report back in its proper place on the shelf.
Society Soldier 1: Oh, is that you, Eustace?
Eustace: Aren't you...
The man is a member of the Society's new force, a sect openly opposed to weapon contractors like Eustace.
Society Soldier 1: You hardly ever come out to this branch, sir.
Eustace: I suppose I don't.
Society Soldier 1: Is there a record I can help you find? I know this archive like the back of my hand.
Eustace: I'm already finished here.
Society Soldier 1: That was quick! Well, if you need anything, don't hesitate to ask.
Society Soldier 1: ...
Vyrn: Hey, anybody seen where Sourpuss went? He left a while ago.
Lyria: It is getting late...
Vyrn: Is it just me, or has he been runnin' himself ragged lately?
Lyria: I think so. He's been leaving the airship a lot more.
Vyrn: Even if he is a member of our crew, he's also one of the Society's top agents, huh?
Lyria: They keep him pretty busy, don't they?
(Captain) and the others first met Eustace during a skirmish at North Vast.
???: The blue-haired girl you're currently working with can control the power of primal beasts.
???: This girl has the potential to become a threat to us.
???: Monitor the girl and her fellow skyfarers.
If you deem her a threat, eliminate her.
At first Eustace joined the crew because he was ordered to by the higher-ups at the Society.
???: The decision was reached at a recent meeting. The girl has been judged a considerable danger.
???: With the ability to use the power of many primal beasts, she's an extreme danger to us. Eliminate her... and her friends.
???: It is your duty to see this happens swiftly.
Eustace: All I want...
Eustace: All I want is peace and quiet.
???: Hm? Yes, we're well aware. But what's your point?
Eustace: Therefore... I refuse.
Now, shirking these orders, Eustace travels with (Captain) and the others on their journey.
Lyria: Eustace is really cautious and strong, so maybe we shouldn't worry, but still...
Choose: It is kinda lonely...
- It is kinda lonely...
- Nothing we can do about it.
Lyria: That's what I thought too...
Vyrn: Sourpuss is such a weird character.
Vyrn: He never cuts loose with us, but just havin' him around makes you feel at home, you know?
Lyria: He really does...Choose: Nothing we can do about it.
Vyrn: Yeah, it won't help nothin' if we complain to him.
Lyria: I suppose so...Continue 1
Lyria: But no matter how busy he is, he's always been there for us during our worst times.
Lyria: That's why I want to support him if things aren't going well.
Vyrn: I hear ya. He's not exactly an open book, so I doubt he'd say something if he was stressed.
Lyria: I just wish he'd hurry up and come back already.
Lyria: Eustace! Welcome back!
Vyrn: Whoa! Speak of the primal, and it shall awaken!
Eustace: The primal?
Lyria: Hehe. We were just talking about you, Eustace, and then you showed up.
Eustace: Ah. An idiom. Quaint.
Having nothing else to say, Eustace slinks to a corner of the room away from (Captain), Lyria, and Vyrn and sits at a table.
He then unholsters his beloved gun, Flamek.
Lyria: Ahhh. It already feels better having him back.
Vyrn: Now that things have returned to normal, we can finally relax!
???: Indeed, leaving the blue-haired girl to her own devices would present a problem.
???: Given the impending circumstances, any potential risk factors must be eliminated.
???: And going along with that, we'll need to rediscuss the actions of that weapon contractor, Eustace.
???: You mean the fact that he's currently in the same skyfarer crew as the girl?
???: The fact that Eustace is stationed near them means we can understand the girl's position, effectively giving us control of the situation.
???: You think so?
???: What are you suggesting?
???: Do you really believe Eustace has the capability to enact the will of the Society? That he can watch and detain the girl if necessary?
???: You think he's betrayed us? Absurd.
???: He is a suspicious one; he has a history for theatrics.
???: Ignoring orders, destroying transceivers, going rogue. Certainly stands out, doesn't he?
???: If you ask me, the fact he hasn't been investigated before is the most bizarre issue at hand.
???: But he has—he's been discussed at length already.
???: It was determined that his current standing with the crew is too valuable a tool to waste.
???: Which is exactly why I propose we reopen the discussion.
???: You're right. These situations can change at a moment's notice after all.
???: In any case, I can't help but say that leaving things as they are now is, well, a stupid plan.
Lyria: What! I'm telling you, that's not what happened!
Vyrn: What do you mean! Lyria, you were...
Vyrn: Huh? Sourpuss, you okay?
Eustace: I need to leave the ship.
- Be careful out there.
(Captain) scowls, earning a somewhat pacifying head pat for the effort.Choose: Be careful out there.
Eustace: I will. You too.Continue 2
Lyria: Please come back to us, Eustace.
Eustace: I'll be back.
(Captain) and Lyria both give a despondent sigh as Eustace exits the room.
Despite their reservations, despite the intuition telling them that something bad is coming, neither lift their voice in protest as he leaves.
Eustace receives his mission orders from a new officer. While on the way to the target location, he encounters his usual messenger and superior officer, Ronan. Ronan warns Eustace that his actions have garnered suspicion within the Society, but the tight-lipped Erune leaves without acknowledging the potential danger.
???: Buzz... buzz...
???: New orders, Eustace.
???: We've received word that the Foe is planning something in a nearby town.
???: You will go there, conduct an investigation, and obstruct their operation.
The voice on the other end of the transceiver is firm but calm, delivering commands with no room for back talk.
???: We're short on agents, so you'll be handling this one alone.
???: That won't be a problem. Will it?
Eustace: I understand the mission parameters. Permission to speak.
???: What is it?
Eustace: Has the chain of command been altered?
???: That's none of your concern.
???: You know what you need to do. Now get on with it.
When the voice cuts off, Eustace finds himself staring at the transceiver, his expression even more grim than usual.
Eustace: Almost there.
It's only a short distance until he arrives at the designated locale.
But Eustace comes to a sudden halt and draws Flamek.
Eustace: Come out. Now.
???: You never were one for surprises, Eustace.
???: Now, why don't you put that gun down.
Eustace: If you've been dispatched, then that can mean only one thing.
Eustace: The situation must be dire.
Ronan: Got business I didn't want to discuss over the transceiver. You never know who's watching.
Eustace: Normally you would be the one relaying my orders.
Eustace: So what's going on?
Ronan: The Society is questioning your loyalty, scrutinizing your continued suitability as a member.
Ronan: The fact they forbade me from communicating with you is just one of the consequences.
Eustace: I see.
Ronan: But I know you, and I know that you would never bite the hand that feeds you.
Ronan: At least not until you've had your revenge on the Foe.
Ronan: You remember the day when they launched their conspiracy in your village, taking everything away from you.
Eustace's mind is suddenly filled with the roar of flames eagerly lapping up his snowy homeland.
Ronan: You've grown, you've gotten strong, and you've even become a weapon contractor.
Ronan: But that doesn't mean you've forgotten the peaceful life the Foe took from you.
Eustace: No. I haven't forgotten.
Eustace: But never mind that. Are you saying there haven't been any changes inside the Society?
Ronan: Well, yes. The inner structures have been thrown into chaos.
Ronan: But that's exactly why acting independently is a foolish move, Eustace.
Eustace: I'm just trying to follow orders.
Ronan: I thought you knew better than to try to twist your words with me.
Ronan: Here, I'll lay it out simple: don't get any closer to that blue-haired girl or that crew.
Eustace: Ah, so that's it.
Eustace: I should have known the Society would target them again.
Eustace: Ronan, I know you're risking your neck by coming to visit me directly. And for that, you've got my thanks.
As Eustace turns away from Ronan, the older Erune drops his head in failure.
Ronan: As long as you can get your mark—no matter what losses you have to endure—you just won't be stopped.
Ronan: But then again, that's how you've been since I've known you.
Tranquil Light: Scene 2
A Society soldier comes to the Grandcypher, informing (Captain) and the others that Eustace may be in danger. They follow the soldier and his men, eventually finding themselves in a forest. There the soldiers reveal the Society's true intentions: to obtain Lyria.
The pangs of loss froze his heart, until he mistook his emptiness for resolve.
But at some point warmth found him again, and the ice began to thaw.
It's not that he'd forgotten his emotions; it was just that they'd begun working once more.
The power he now possessed, so soft and comfortable he could cry, was all he could wield to protect that warmth.
And he would protect it. Even if that meant utilizing the same strength that torched his familiar, frozen soil.
Society Soldier 1: Excuse me! Is anyone here!
Vyrn: Geez, what's all the hubbub about?
Society Soldier 1: Oh, thank goodness! I've come with an urgent request!
Lyria: Hey, aren't you both Eustace's Society friends?
Vyrn: Urgent request?
Vyrn: What's the matter? If you're lookin' for Eustace, he's not here.
Society Soldier 2: Actually it's about him.
Society Soldier 1: We've received word that tragedy befell Eustace during the line of duty...
Vyrn: Is-is he okay!
Society Soldier 2: I'm afraid we haven't been able to establish contact.
Lyria: This can't be!
Society Soldier 1: We've come to ask you and your crew for your help. Please assist us with a search and rescue operation.
(Captain), Lyria, and Vyrn have followed the Society soldiers to a wooded path.
They haven't walked very far into the tree line when one of the soldiers turns to address them.
Society Soldier 2: (Captain), you're aware that the Society hunts primal beasts, are you not?
Lyria: Well, we've heard that.
Vyrn: Not sure of the details, but we know you guys use crazy weapons to battle 'em.
Society Soldier 1: Good, that'll save us part of the explanation.
Vyrn: Huh? What do you mean?
Society Soldier 1: I apologize for how frank this might sound, but can we count on your continued cooperation?
Vyrn: Um, maybe... What exactly are you getting at?
Society Soldier 2: That is to say, we're asking about Lyria.
Society Soldier 2: You can manipulate primal beasts, right? That's an amazing power!
Lyria: Um, well...
(Captain) takes a protective step in front of Lyria.
Society Soldier 1: Won't you come use that ability for the Society?
Vyrn: Um, pal, we're kind of—
Society Soldier 2: Yes, if you join us, you'll learn how to control your powers and wield them more effectively!
Lyria: But I think I already...
Choose: We refuse.
- We refuse.
- Cut the crap.
Vyrn: That's right! We're skyfarers.
Vyrn: And we're traveling together for a good reason!
Vyrn: Besides, as if we'd hand over Lyria to creeps like you guys!Choose: Cut the crap.
Vyrn: You said it, (Captain)!
Vyrn: You guys might act like you've got our best intentions in mind...
Vyrn: But we can tell that you'll try to use Lyria, just like the empire did!Continue 1
Lyria: (Captain), Vyrn!
Society Soldier 2: Humph. If that's how it's gotta be.
Society Soldier 1: I was hoping we wouldn't have to resort to getting rough.
Society Soldier 2: But we won't leave until you've met our demands!
Tranquil Light: Scene 3
After seeing the crew in action, the soldiers make vague threats about Eustace's safety in an attempt to gain the upper hand. (Captain) sees through their bluff and refuses to back down, prompting the soldiers to call for reinforcements. Just when things seem dire, Eustace shows up and helps (Captain) and the others rebuff the Society members.
Society Soldier 2: Damn it... You're going to resist us to the bitter end, aren't you?
Vyrn: We'll have the same answer for you every time you ask, pal! Lyria is stayin' with us!
Society Soldier 1: Then, in that case, what about Eustace?
Lyria: Huh? What do you mean by that?
Society Soldier 1: Don't you wonder what's going to happen to him while you're tied up with us?
Vyrn: What! What have you done?
Society Soldier 1: You already know, don't you?
Lyria: What should we do... What if something happens to him!
Despite the nervous tension, (Captain) gives a smirk.
Choose: Don't underestimate Eustace.
- Don't underestimate Eustace.
Society Soldier 2: What?
"There's no way Eustace hasn't figured out your little scheme," says (Captain).
"And this isn't the kind of thing he would forgive easily."
The captain adopts a fighting posture and stands steadfast in front of Lyria.
Society Soldier 2: Stop bluffing!
Vyrn: He's right! Sourpuss is tough as nails!
Lyria: Yes! He's overcome so much all on his own.
Lyria: He has a hard time relying on others, and I know he's lonely because of that, but that's also what makes him so strong! And so kind!
Society Soldier 1: You've all fallen to his wiles, I see.
Vyrn: And why not! He's our friend!
Society Soldier 2: A friend, huh?
Society Soldier 2: Even we understand the value of friends. In truth, we wouldn't underestimate Eustace—or you.
Vyrn: Ahh! Reinforcements!
Society Soldier 1: Well, well, blue-haired girl, unfortunately for you and your crew, we've got certain orders.
Society Soldier 1: If you resist our demands, we're to eliminate you all.
Vyrn: Grr! We've never given into threats, and we won't start now!
Lyria: No! I don't want this...
Vyrn: Lyria, get back!
Society Soldier 2: Resist if you want. It won't save you.
Society Soldier 2: With numbers like this, you'll have to show us what you're capable of!
(Captain) attempts to fend the soldiers off as they encircle and close in on the crew.
But there are too many of them.
One of the soldiers grabs Lyria by the arm and begins dragging her away.
Rushing into save her, (Captain) leaps for the soldier, but the strike falls too late.
Society Soldier 2: Urgh!
But then the sound of gunfire echoes through the forest. The soldier holding Lyria suddenly winces in pain and releases her.
Society Soldier 1: Ugh!
Vyrn: That gun!
Eustace: Get back, Lyria.
Eustace: (Captain), to your left.
Eustace: Hold nothing back.
Tranquil Light: Scene 4
Ronan appears and puts an end to the conflict between the crew and the Society. After the dust settles, Eustace gives Ronan an ultimatum—Eustace will continue working with the Society, but only on the condition that Ronan can guarantee Lyria won't be targeted as a person of interest any longer.
Society Soldier 1: Eustace, what are you doing!
Society Soldier 1: Do you think you'll be forgiven for this behavior!
Society Soldier 2: That's right! The Society doesn't take kindly to traitors!
Ronan: That's enough.
Society Soldier 2: What?
Ronan: Put away your weapons.
Ronan: You too, Eustace.
Society Soldier 1: Wh-why are you here?
Society Soldier 2: You shouldn't have permission to be here!
Ronan: I don't have to explain myself.
Ronan: I order this operation canceled. Immediately. As is my authority to do so.
Society Soldier 2: What! You can't do this!
Society Soldier 1: Don't argue. You don't want to go up against this guy.
Society Soldier 2: Damn it!
Ronan: If you truly know what's good for you, you'll put away that weapon. Don't make me repeat myself.
Society Soldier 2: Grr...
After the Society soldiers leave, Eustace and Ronan slink away from the crew to have a private discussion.
Eustace: To be honest, I wasn't able to read your intentions.
Eustace: Even if we've stopped them here, the Society won't give up on Lyria so easily.
Ronan: That depends on the circumstances.
Eustace: There's a connection between my contract weapon and the moondwellers.
Eustace: They might have even developed the thing.
Ronan: Eustace, what are you going on about?
Eustace: When we were at the Moon Sliver, we fought and destroyed an automagod named Pyet-A.
Eustace: If Grynoth is any indication, the automagods somehow use the power of our contract weapons to change their form.
Eustace: That or perhaps the automagods were hiding their existence by mimicking the form of weapons.
Eustace: We reported all of these findings, including my hypotheses, honestly and accurately.
Eustace: But I found all of the records erased.
Eustace: Not to mention the signs of Society involvement we found in that underground lab with the destroyed speedships.
Eustace: I still have no idea why the Society would want to invest in the development of speedships.
Eustace: At first I thought it could be to facilitate travel between headquarters and the branches, since they're all located in different skydoms.
Eustace: But now that I know the moon is involved, there could easily be more to the story.
Ronan: What else?
Eustace: It's hard to say what kind of conflict will erupt between us and the moondwellers and automagods.
Eustace: But I'm certain it won't help alleviate the chaos within the Society.
Eustace: It's among that chaos, Ronan, where I'll be needed. Especially as Flamek's wielder.
Eustace: So. Should I be a dog for them, be a dog for you, or be a stray bent on revenge?
Ronan: Are you asking me to choose?
Ronan: What are your conditions...
Eustace: No more interference with (Captain) and Lyria's journey.
Ronan: Thought as much.
Ronan: You understand that this thing with her is bigger than me, right?
Eustace: That's only if you let it be.
Eustace: I know you. You understand the merit of having me as your pawn.
Ronan: As unreasonable as ever I see.
Eustace: I don't think there's any unreasonable about my terms.
Ronan: I can't believe I'm about to make this deal. You really have grown, Eustace.
Ronan: (Then again, I guess I should've expected this little pup would grow up to have big teeth.)
Eustace: Then that's all there is to it.
Eustace turns away from Ronan without hesitation.
Eustace: The rest is up to you.
Ronan: I'll get our transceiver communication privileges restored.
After parting from Ronan, Eustace returns to (Captain) and the others.
Lyria: Oh, Eustace!
Vyrn: Finish your errand?
Eustace: Indeed. Sorry to keep you waiting.
Lyria: It's okay. We're fine, but...
(Captain), Lyria, and Vyrn lock eyes with Eustace, worry plain on their faces.
Eustace: Something you want to ask?
- There is something...
Vyrn: Seriously, you guys are just gonna stand there speechlessly staring at each other?
Vyrn: At least spit it out so the rest of us can participate in the conversation too!
Eustace: Is that all?Choose: There is something...
Eustace: Go ahead.
(Captain) takes a moment to find the right words.
The captain then nods and says, "We trust you... So never mind."
Eustace: Is that all?Continue 1
Eustace: I know that my actions have put a burden on everyone.
Eustace: Still, that doesn't stop you from risking your necks for me.
Vyrn: Actually we were thinking you could stand to depend on us even more.
Lyria: Yes. We want to be there for you.
Vyrn: If you're ever in trouble, you be sure to tell us, okay?
Lyria: Even if you can't talk about the reason, we still want to help you, Eustace.
Vyrn: That's what friends do!
Eustace: You're right. Thanks.
Vyrn: That settles that! How about we head home?
Lyria: Good idea! I'm already hungry.
Vyrn: Should we grab a bite on the way back? Or should we eat on the ship?
Lyria: Oh, good question...
Lyria: What do you want to do, Eustace?
Eustace: Let's see...
Eustace: Why don't we stop somewhere on the way back?
Vyrn: Good call! With that outta the way, let's head out!
As (Captain) and the others begin to turn and walk, Eustace pauses for a moment, staring ahead at them.
Lyria: You okay, Eustace?
Vyrn: Hurry up, Sourpuss! We'll leave you behind!
Eustace: Right, I'm coming.
The edge of the sky is alight with the warm colors of sundown.
Eustace smirks as he catches up to the rest of the crew, realizing the warmth inside him has begun burning with the same brilliance.