Spaghetti Syndrome/Story

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Spaghetti Syndrome - Opening

Isaac and Raybury, an engineer and his robot sidekick, show up to help Pommern stabilize the dark essence facility. They then return home and turn on a machine that allows communication with the moon, which surprisingly issues a directive to bring Cassius back to the moon.

Pommern: ...
Pommern is supervising a work site in a remote area of Agastia, and he doesn't look happy.
Pommern: It's been forever since we last heard from the technicians, I do say.
Erste Soldier 1: Yes, sir. The runner who is supposed to check in with us periodically has also failed to return.
Pommern: What a mess. Thank you very much, rapid military expansion, for leaving us with this fiasco.
Pommern laments his bad luck under his breath.
A large apparatus in front of him is the source of his frustrations—a behemoth of a machine designed from imperial research to boost the yields of dark essence.
It remains a testament to the military-industrial complex that pumped out war assets during the reign of the Erste Empire.
Pommern: If the dark essence growth tank's breakdown causes it to go haywire... I don't want to think about it.
Erste Soldier 1: We probably shouldn't send any more people into the chamber. The dark essence radiation has spread everywhere.
Erste Soldier 1: Not only are the monsters clamoring around in there like nightmares out of the Grim Basin, the tech staff are probably mutating—
Pommern: Stop! Not another word, I do say! I'll do this myself if no one else can!
Erste Soldier 1: B-but General! The kingdom needs you! Who knows what will happen once you're exposed to that radiation!
Pommern: Hah! I'm no stranger to dark essence! I can finally put my body to good use and save my soldiers!
Erste Soldier 1: Hey! Someone help me hold back the general! Don't let him get anywhere near the entry hatch!
Pommern tries to push past the subordinates swarming all over him.
Pommern: I command you to let me go! If we ignore the problem, this island will be overrun by monsters!
The sins of the past still haunt Agastia as it continues to rebuild.
Right now only one concern races through the general's mind: the imminent transformation of Agastia into a hive for monsters.
???: Are you sure this is right, Raybury?
Raybury: Going by the readings, yes. Or we can take a look and judge for ourselves.
Pommern & Soldier: ...
Pommern and his men stop shoving each other long enough to regard the unknown man who is accompanied by a strange automaton.
Erste Soldier 1: Who are you? Do you realize where you are right now?
Isaac: Oh, hello. My name is Isaac. I figured you guys could use an engineer.
Pommern: An engineer? I don't recall sending for a machinist.
Isaac: Ah, well, machines are only one part of my repertoire. I handle waste management, maintain golems, you name it. I'm a handy-dandy man.
Pommern: Handy... dandy?
Raybury: No job is too small. Flexible. Professional. Any of these words may apply.
Isaac: Handy-dandy is sort of a catchphrase that's made its way down my family tree to me. Anyway, what's it gonna be? Want me to haul this dark essence away for you?
Raybury: We have completed twenty-four dark essence decontaminations—all successes. Our track record speaks for itself.
Pommern & Soldier: ...
Isaac: Look, just sit tight while I do my thing. Even if it doesn't work out, I promise I'll come back alive.
Without further ado, Isaac and Raybury open the hatch leading into the production chamber.
Isaac: Oh, one more thing. I'll leave my bill to you. Might want to toss in extra hazard pay considering my life's on the line. Just sayin'.
The two workers pay no mind to the purple haze as they step through the open hatch.
Pommern: I'd heard there was someone going from island to island collecting dark essence... Do you think it's him?
Erste Soldier 1: Anything's possible... Why would anyone want to do that though?
Monster: Groooar!
Isaac: It's like we've stepped into a scene from hell.
Raybury: Radiation levels are increasing consistently. At this rate, we'll be transported from hell to heaven in approximately 3,000,000 milliseconds.
Isaac: Has the production mechanism already started to go wonky? I was hoping to take my time—
Erste Soldier 2: Ungh...
Isaac spots a soldier who, perhaps due to being bombarded by dark essence, is partially fused to a wall.
Raybury: It doesn't make sense to bother with that man given the amount of time we have at our disposal.
Erste Soldier 2: Help... me...
Raybury: Isaac. Think straight and act rationally.
Isaac: ...
Isaac: Stay with me, cousin! You'll see your family again in no time!
Erste Soldier 2: Aah... Urgh...
Sparks fly as Isaac's tool cuts the soldier from his metal tomb.
Isaac: Don't worry. Your looks haven't gotten bad yet. You'll still be a Handsome Hank in the eyes of your loved ones.
Raybury: Could you at least up the cutter's intensity? We're down to 80% of time remaining before the apocalypse kicks off.
Isaac: You know I can't do that, otherwise Handsome Hank's gonna have to change his name to Crispy John Doe!
Raybury: Need I remind you that if you take too long, everybody on this island is going to be a John Doe.
Isaac: I can't leave him behind, okay? Because—
Isaac: Because I won't betray my roots. "A life is not measured by a number." That's been the family motto for generations.
Freed from the wall, the soldier manages to move under his own power. Isaac covers the soldier in a protective film and points him toward the exit.
Isaac: Next up—
Monsters: Grrr...
Isaac: We make our way to the growth tank, clean it up, and go home. How much time we got left? 2,400,000 milliseconds, right?
Raybury: Radiation levels are spiking faster than projected. We just passed the 1,700,000 millisecond mark. Please refrain from undertaking any more "unnecessary" tasks.
Isaac: You don't have to be passive-aggressive about it, Raybury. Besides, my gear can take this amount of radiation.
Raybury: True, the radiation won't seep through your gear. But you'd better pray to your ancestors if you want to get past this next problem.
Isaac: Okay, dire times call for a plea to the moon.
I pray to the Almighty and the Benevolent—
Monsters: Groooar!
Isaac: O divine moon, protect me from harm!
A flash of light erupts from the tool in Isaac's hands, eradicating the monsters in this dark essence-fueled hellscape.
He shows no concern for his own safety as he approaches the out-of-control growth tank that is pumping out dark essence.
Isaac: Ah, I see. Yep, this is definitely going to make this island a living hell.
The growing mass of dark essence finally breaks through containment, expanding to a size that will eventually be too big for the chamber.
Isaac: Yeah, I don't think our container's big enough to collect it in one piece.
Raybury: I'll shut down the machine from generating more dark essence. The problem is that giant cluster it's already produced.
Isaac: All right, I'll smash it into smaller pieces. After you shut down the machine, wrap the dark essence in protective film.
Raybury: That lies outside my operating specifications. I was only designed to handle data.
Isaac: You're not the only one operating outside their comfort zone. I'm only supposed to make stuff and break stuff, but today I saved a life. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, buddy.
Raybury: Understood. However, temper your expectations of my performance.
Isaac: Whatever happens, give it your best shot. That's the handy-dandy way to do things.
Isaac: Here we go!
Isaac: Ahem.
Despite complications, our stockpile of dark essence speaks for itself.
In the end Isaac makes it home safely. He addresses a large, run-down machine.
Raybury: Septide locsticanipom, ruo peckislot fo drak secseen esspak orf lesift.
Old Machine: ACK.
A slip of paper trickles out from the machine's slot as Raybury converts Isaac's words into a format the old machine can process.
Isaac: Even with remuneration, the amount gathered is sufficient. Over and out.
Raybury: Vene hwit morteenarinu, het taumon tedgreah si sefunficit. Vero dan uto.
Old Machine: ACK.
Isaac: Sigh, I wish the voice module and monitor on this comm device hadn't given out three generations ago. Good thing I've got you to translate.
Raybury: I thank your parents for giving birth to you, so that you could assemble me out of junk and scraps.
Isaac: I'll take that as a compliment, despite your constant sarcasm.
Old Machine: Icnoming phidcast.
Raybury: Incoming dispatch.
Isaac: Ooh. Is it time for the next shipment of components to come in?
Old Machine: Pusply pord nonudib. Cellcot onponmects BCZ8882 hohgurt BDA0048. 1116 talot.
Raybury: You are correct. I know you're capable of reading this without my help.
Isaac: Yeah. But I like having someone to talk to, and you're the only one I can be real with.
Isaac tears off the paper and stares at it.
Isaac: Hmm... They sent a lot of parts this time around. Well, I'd rather be doing something over nothing—
Old Machine: Dedamdun.
Isaac & Raybury: !
Raybury: Isaac, there's another—
Isaac: I'm not blind!
Isaac cuts off Raybury, staring intently at the new printout.
Old Machine: Laprella diervetic. Tacleo tagen sussica dan—
Isaac: No way! The messages have always been about supply drops and nothing else for the past thirty years... No, this is probably the first time ever in family history!
Raybury: So tell me what it says.
Isaac: Give me a sec here... Um, "Locate... Accent... Casey"?
Isaac: Oops, my mistake. "Agent Cassius" is how you read that. It's telling us to look for this person!
Isaac: And the rest of the message says...
Whoa. Am I reading this right?
Isaac: Ahahaha!
Isaac: Huff... Huff...
Isaac: "Parallel directive. Locate Agent Cassius..."
Isaac takes his eyes off the shapes scrawled on the piece of paper. He cranes his neck up at a towering object standing not far away.
Isaac: "And bring him back to the moon." Yes! Finally!
He grips the printout tightly, tears of jubilation welling in his eyes. This is what he's been waiting for.
Isaac: My ancestors toiled for centuries to put this baby together, but now the time to launch it has come!
Isaac: I can finally return to the moon! Who'd have guessed I'd be the one to answer my family's prayers!
Isaac: Ahahaha!
Isaac dances in the shadow of the metal hulk, pumping his fists in triumph.
Words can't express how happy he is.
???: Parallel directive.
???: ...
???: Locate Agent Cassius.
???: ...
???: Bring him back to the moon.
???: ...
Parallel directive. Isaac isn't the only recipient this order is intended for.
Their methods and motivations may differ, but to those who have received this order, nothing will stand in their way to accomplish it.

Spaghetti Syndrome - Chapter 1: Ingestion - Episode 1

After an outing with Cassius, Eustace comes to realize that the moondweller has slightly changed ever since they first met. That night, Eustace receives orders from the Society to bring Cassius in for questioning, and is conflicted about it. Meanwhile the latter is roused from his slumber by a sound from outside.

Zeta & Beatrix: Eustace did what?
Vaseraga: He went for a walk with Cassius.
(Captain) and company are staying in a certain town.
They can't believe what Vaseraga has told them.
Vyrn: Sourpuss himself invited Cassius out for fun?
Lyria: I wasn't expecting that. What are they going to do?
Vaseraga: Nothing in particular it seems. But knowing Eustace, I doubt this is simply a male-bonding excursion.
Beatrix: Wait, wait, wait. Does Eustace know what he's getting into? Watching Cassius is no walk in the park!
Beatrix: He's such a handful—it's like babysitting a little kid! He'll follow any stranger without a second thought! Remember the time we went yukata shopping?
Zeta: Ahaha. This is Eustace we're talking about. I'm sure he's done his homework and read the reports. They'll be fine.
Beatrix: Well... A little warning would've been nice. Instead of making people worry, y'know?
Vaseraga: You're one to talk.
Beatrix: Urk!
Zeta: Right back atcha, Vaseraga.
Vaseraga: ...
Lyria: Ahaha... I'm curious though...
Lyria: I wonder what kind of conversation Eustace and Cassius are having.
Zeta: My imagination isn't strong enough to create that scenario.
Vaseraga: They're probably discussing the next mission.
Zeta: The mission, huh... That woman who eats glass jars and belongs to the Foe is in this town somewhere, and we're supposed to capture her.
Vyrn: You think she's really here though? Spiky and the others searched for days and found no trace of her.
Vaseraga: Who knows. She's unpredictable, which is why we can't rule anything out. We'll keep looking until we have definitive proof she isn't here.
Vaseraga: Remember, we're up against a woman who summoned the dead and an automagod during Halloween festivities.
Vaseraga: I get the feeling Eustace is trying to extract some kind of clue about that woman from Cassius.
Lyria: Oh, because Cassius and the automagods all came from the moon...
Beatrix: And since that jar-cruncher called up an automagod, she's gotta be connected to the moon too, right?
Beatrix: But, like, Cassius isn't the type of guy to open up about himself just 'cause you ask.
Zeta: To make matters worse, Eustace is not what I'd call a people person. He's pretty blunt. No subtlety, that guy.
Vaseraga: They're quite similar if you think about it, which might help them understand each other better.
Vaseraga: To be honest, I have no idea what Eustace's true motives are.
Vyrn: Hey, here's a crazy thought. What if they're just out to get food?
Lyria: Huh? But then Eustace would've invited us along too!
Zeta: That guy does like hangin' out with you guys.
Beatrix: Cassius and Eustace grabbing a bite together... I just hope it doesn't lead to any sticky situations...
Eustace: ...
Cassius: ...
Eustace and Cassius walk side by side, barely speaking, obviously unaware that the others are gossiping about them.
Eustace: What do you want to eat?
Cassius: Hm... It is difficult to decide.
Cassius: This island is fascinating, what with all the diverse category of restaurants it supports. Why are there so many establishments here?
Eustace: This is a hub for travelers. It's a prime location for people of various cultures to set up shop.
Cassius: I see. It is interesting to note that the gathering of different cultures can become this island's defining feature.
Eustace: That's what we call civilization, yes.
Cassius: Hm... When does one become aware of a civilization's development if they have never encountered it before?
Eustace: ...
Eustace: Give your spear a good spin. Wherever it points to when it lands is where we'll dine.
Cassius: That leaves the decision all to chance. Doesn't that defeat the purpose of choice?
Cassius: But it is an interesting proposition nonetheless, one that will us save time. It is illogical, but practical.
Cassius twirls Yek into the air and lets it fall to the ground.
The spearhead has determined their next stop: a small cafe.
Cassius: Next item. What is omurice?
Eustace: ...
A dish made with rice and eggs.
Eustace has been stuck in his seat, explaining the entire menu to Cassius since they first sat down.
Cassius: Hm, what makes it different from fried rice? That dish also requires rice and eggs.
Eustace: Different cooking method. Different flavor. Et cetera. Got it?
Cassius: Same ingredient input, different compositional output. Fascinating.
Waitress: Are you ready to order?
Cassius: Omurice.
Eustace: Same.
The waitress turns to go, leaving the two men to sit in silence while other diners chatter away.
Cassius: ...
Eustace: ...
Eustace studies Cassius, who keeps looking around the cafe.
Eustace: How long do you think you'll be here for?
Cassius: About fifty years at most.
Eustace: How do you figure that?
Cassius: That is the limit to how long life expectancy can be extended through a procedure on the moon. Once the flesh ages past a certain threshold, the procedure loses its efficacy.
Cassius: Therefore if I can't return to the moon within fifty years, I will wait out the rest of my life here.
Eustace: Life expectancy extension? Is that possible?
Cassius: It is a standard procedure on the moon.
Eustace: Are you sure you should be telling me that? Sounds confidential.
Cassius: ...
Cassius: I have not received orders from the moon to keep my mouth shut. I am free to disclose information as the situation warrants.
Eustace: I see.
Eustace: ...
Eustace tries to understand his growing anxiety while they wait for the food to arrive.
Cassius: We are back.
Beatrix: Darn it, Cassius! You know you're not allowed to go off on your own!
Cassius: I was under Eustace's watchful eye the entire time. What's the problem?
Zeta: Bea was worried about you.
Zeta: She wouldn't shut up about how you might get mugged by crooks or find yourself in all kinds of sticky situations.
Cassius: The vast majority of skydwellers cannot harm me, and there is nothing on this island with such adhesive properties. Your fears are unfounded.
Beatrix: Sigh... See, this is exactly what I'm—forget it. What matters is nothing bad happened.
Vyrn: So whaddja do with Sourpuss?
Eustace: We had a meal together under my supervision.
Lyria: What! So you did have lunch together! That's not fair! You should've invited us too!
Eustace: ...
Cassius: ...
Cassius: I would not be averse to going to the same cafe tomorrow under (Captain)'s supervision. Is that acceptable?
Eustace: ...
Permission granted. Do what you want.
Cassius: Then it is approved.
Lyria: Huh? Aren't you coming too, Eustace?
Eustace: ...
I am.
Lyria: Hehe, yay! By the way, what did you guys eat?
Cassius: A dish called omurice. Despite sharing the same ingredients found in fried rice, the resulting product differs—
Cassius goes off on a deadpan lecture that doesn't seem to dampen Lyria's enthusiasm.
Eustace: ...
Meanwhile Eustace quietly watches on like he always does.
The sun sets before long, ushering in the night.
Eustace: ...
Eustace's transceiver vibrates with an incoming transmission from a Society higher-up.
Eustace: This is Eustace.
Society Top Brass: Make your report.
Eustace: I have no setbacks to report.
Society Top Brass: I want more details than that. You should have finished an easy mission like this ages ago.
Eustace: My goal is to avoid pointless friction from internal and external sources.
Eustace: At present, interacting alone with the traveler is highly unnatural.
Society Top Brass: You don't have to be so cautious—
Eustace: I'm assigned to Ronan. Talk to him. Why the urgency?
Society Top Brass: This mission isn't necessarily about urgency, nor is it the highest priority. But it has to be done.
Eustace: Then you should speak with Ronan. Over.
Eustace unceremoniously cuts off the transmission and stows away his transceiver.
Eustace: (They want to question the traveler at headquarters.)
Eustace: (That's not a high priority? Not a chance. Something's in the works.)
The Society had tasked Eustace with bringing Cassius in.
But something inside Eustace blocks him from carrying out his mission.
Eustace: ...
And he wants to know what that something is.
Cassius: That is the limit to how long life expectancy can be extended through a procedure on the moon. Once the flesh ages past a certain threshold, the procedure loses its efficacy.
Cassius: I would not be averse to going to the same cafe tomorrow under (Captain)'s supervision. Is that acceptable?
Eustace: (He's changed...)
Beatrix: Geez, I was worried about you!
Cassius: The person who evokes the greatest amount of worry in others is you.
Beatrix: Wh-what! Now Cassius is dunking on me?
Vyrn: Oh, brother. If I didn't know any better, I'd have figured you two for exact doubles.
Eustace: (Furthermore (Captain) and the other crew members have already accepted him.)
Eustace: He appears no different from any other skyfarer. Is that the root of my hesitancy?
Eustace looks conflicted, knowing what this means for the future.
But the night wears on, indifferent to the issues swirling in his head.
Meanwhile Cassius is sound asleep.
Cassius: ...
A soft hum of snores comes from under the covers.
Cassius: ...
???: Holel drowl.
Cassius: ...!
It takes all but a split-second for the familiar mechanical noise to jolt Cassius from his peaceful slumber.

Spaghetti Syndrome - Chapter 1: Ingestion - Episode 2

The sound Cassius heard was actually Grace calling out to him via moon language. The two engage in a brief duel, in which Grace comes out on top. Before taking off, she expresses her wish that they become friendly one day.

Cassius quickly scans the room for enemies before moving to the window.
Cassius: I know what I heard.
???: Ferenerce netrige foo.
Cassius: Foo?
???: Sinags foo dan bar ot foo.
Cassius: I do not believe this signal has any meaning to it, and yet...
Unsure of what's going on, Cassius tightens his grip around Yek's reassuring handle.
???: Holel drowl.
An unknown figure briefly pops into Cassius's line of sight, retransmitting the seemingly nonsensical signal before melting away into the shadows.
Cassius: ...
Cassius—armed and ready—gives chase.
???: Good evening, Cassius. It's such a lovely night, wouldn't you agree?
Cassius: Who are you? Why did you send me that signal?
Grace: Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Grace. Why don't we become good friends?
Cassius: I asked you questions and I expect answers. What is the meaning behind that signal?
Grace: Did you know that like attracts like? I wanted to come and tell you how similar we are to each other.
Cassius: For what reason?
Grace: Ugh, I just told you.
Grace: I want to be your friend.
Cassius: !
A near-invisible blade shoots out from Grace's hand toward Cassius.
Moonlight glints off thin strings that slice through buildings and stone like a hot knife through butter.
Cassius: (Nanowires!)
Grace: Oh my goodness. You avoided them. Splendid.
Cassius: (She must be one of them!)
Cassius: Rae ouy morf lartcen sixa? Hyw ma I bigen deatgert?
In the heat of the moment, Cassius switches to moondweller speak, taking advantage of its speed over skydweller speak.
Grace: Oh, bother. This isn't going well at all, now is it?
Cassius: Eswarn em!
Grace: Cassius, darling, what can we do to get this budding friendship off on the right foot?
Grace offers Cassius no answers, electing to swing away at him with her blade.
Cassius: Tch!
Cassius: (I would require automagod armor to withstand her weapon. I cannot defend myself properly with my current equipment.)
Cassius: (Counterattacking will be difficult. She can focus on offense since the surrounding wires are constantly protecting her. A shrewd opponent indeed.)
Cassius continues to analyze the assailant for an opening.
Cassius: (I need to get rid of those wires if I want a fighting chance. Wash them away with a tide of water or a blast of wind...)
Wind and water. Cassius is suddenly hit by powerful emotions those two words conjure.
Cassius: (My chances of winning this on my own are—)
Grace: Hehe. Thinking about calling for backup, perhaps?
Cassius: !
Grace: You're not wrong to do so. I have no doubts those kindhearted folk would spring to your rescue as they always have.
Grace: Are you sure you want to invite them here though? Hah. I thought they were important to you.
Cassius: ...!
Cassius keeps evading Grace's attacks, his knuckles turning white from gripping Yek.
Grace: Ah, how unfortunate.
Grace: If you keep waving that pointy stick at me, then we can't be friends…
Cassius: ...
Grace: Well, let's keep the line open, shall we? I'm sure we'll become the best of friends once we get to know each other. After all, we have sooo much in common.
Holstering her weapon, Grace vanishes into the night without looking back.

Spaghetti Syndrome - Chapter 1: Ingestion - Episode 3

Though Cassius keeps quiet about the small fracas he had with Grace, Eustace sees right through him. It turns out the moondweller didn't want anyone else involved since Grace's weapon can be extremely dangerous to contend with. Eustace is surprised to learn of his concern for the crew.

Cassius slowly walks back to the inn, unable to settle his nerves. Not after that harrowing encounter with Grace.
Cassius: (Three questions need addressing: who is she, what is her purpose, and how do I fight her—)
Vyrn's Voice: Heeey! Where'd you go, Cassius!
Cassius's thoughts are temporarily interrupted, and he turns toward the source of the voice calling his name.
Lyria: Oh! There he is!
Eustace: Don't go out on your own.
Cassius: The town at night is too much of a draw to pass up. I was observing the interplay between cultures.
Vyrn: Uh, okay, but what's with all the cuts and bruises on you?
Cassius: A stranger engaged me in a quarrel.
Eustace: You said yourself that skydwellers pose no threat to you.
Cassius: And that remains true. As you can see, my injuries are not life-threatening.
Eustace: All right. Everyone back to the inn.
As they resume walking, everyone casually takes position around Cassius as if they expect him to suddenly run off again.
Lyria: By the way, Cassius. If you want to go outside, you have to let us know beforehand!
Eustace: Now I see what Beatrix meant when she said it's like watching over a child...
Vyrn: Haha, you're such a grouch, Sourpuss.
Cassius: ...
Cassius: (Grace said she would return.)
Cassius: (I need a plan.)
Vyrn: What's up, Cassius? You're quieter than usual. Is it 'cause we yelled at you?
Cassius: I was just thinking about what I saw in town tonight.
Eustace: How sentimental of you.
Cassius: Speaking of emotions, I am learning about them through literature.
Eustace: ...
Eustace is leery of Cassius, but he doesn't push it any further.
As for (Captain), Lyria, and Vyrn, they are blissfully unaware of the tension that surrounds them.
Eustace: Hold on, Traveler.
Eustace has waited for the others to retire to their rooms before calling out Cassius.
Eustace: Who did this to you?
Cassius: That is unknown.
Eustace: Don't jerk me around.
Cassius: I am telling you the truth. My assailant was a Human female. That is all I could ascertain.
Eustace: She doesn't sound like an ordinary person.
Cassius: Correct. She used a weapon made with moon technology.
Eustace: So she came from the moon?
Cassius: That is unclear. She did not understand moondweller speak.
Eustace: Why didn't you tell us the truth?
Cassius: Preparations must be made. I do not possess the necessary defenses to guard against her assault. Giving way to emotions will result in unnecessary casualties.
Eustace: You prioritized the safety of (Captain) and the others above your own?
Cassius: ...
Cassius: The sacrifices it might have taken to defeat her were simply too great. Therefore I came to the most logical conclusion.
Eustace: Understood. Brief me about her physical appearance later.
Cassius: Will do.

Spaghetti Syndrome - Chapter 1: Ingestion - Episode 4

Hearing of the attack on Cassius, Zeta and the others realize that Grace is the member of the Foe that the Society is currently chasing. Her unique fighting style makes it clear that she is from the moon, suggesting a connection with Cassius. Meanwhile Grace pays Isaac a friendly visit.

The next day.
Zeta: So. Why'd you call this meeting?
Zeta and the other Society members have moved to a building away from the inn at Eustace's request.
Eustace: Cassius was ambushed last night.
Beatrix: What! By who!
Eustace: She looks like this.
Eustace slides a detailed sketch across the table so they can all see.
Zeta: That's the jar-cruncher we've been looking for!
Eustace: I thought so. It lines up a little too well with what you've reported.
Beatrix: Wait, why is the Foe attacking Cassius? Aren't they on the same side?
Eustace: When we fought the Foe on Moon Sliver, anything coming from the moon was considered an enemy.
Eustace: But there's an unspoken difference between Cassius and the Foe.
Beatrix: Well, when you put it that way...
Zeta: The Foe is hell-bent on stirring up a war, but Cassius isn't like that.
Beatrix: Yeah, he stirs up trouble in his own way, but it's mostly harmless.
Vaseraga: Do you think he's putting on an act to deceive us?
Beatrix: How can you say such a thing! Plus you've been watching him this whole time too!
Vaseraga: All I'm saying is we can't rule it out.
Zeta: I disagree. Like, I don't have any proof to back this up, but I don't think he's trying to pull a fast one on us.
Beatrix: Yeah, yeah! I might fall for tricks, but not Zeta!
Eustace: ...
Eustace: I sense a change in the traveler as well. He's started to feed me information.
Vaseraga: You think he can be trusted?
Eustace: I doubt he can fake a personality change. At the very least, I consider the traveler and the Foe to be separate entities.
Vaseraga: It means more work for us if we have to investigate every incident involving the Foe and Cassius as separate entities.
Zeta: Just when I think the Foe is about to reveal itself, we're back to the drawing board?
Eustace: So it seems. For now take extra precautions against this woman.
Eustace: According to the traveler, she's armed with a weapon that can't be guarded against. Be on the lookout for ambushes.
Zeta: Even though she's got a super weapon like that, she runs around taking potshots at us.
Zeta: The hell's her problem? What's she got against us?
Eustace: She seems intent on capturing the traveler, but I'm sure she has ulterior motives as well.
Zeta: So either Cassius completes his preparations first, or the jar-cruncher reveals her intentions. In the meantime we have to wait either way?
Beatrix: Damn it... I hate being played around with...
Zeta: Agreed.
The Society members are completely baffled by this strange woman's actions.
Isaac: ...
Isaac stares off into the sky above him. A metal construct can be seen not too far away.
Raybury: The drop should be arriving soon if my calculations are correct.
Isaac: Yep, I think I see it. Over there.
They watch a red dot in the sky glow brighter and brighter.
The hurtling fireball crashes into the ground, shooting up columns of flame and debris.
Raybury: The margin of error on the landing zone we were given is less than 10%. Such technological prowess never ceases to amaze me.
Isaac: Boy, you really love moon tech, huh? But then again, so do I.
They calmly walk over to the crash site.
Nestled snugly in the newly formed crater is a rock that requires two arms to lift. Isaac touches it.
Isaac: Woo, the printout wasn't lying. This is a big shipment.
Isaac's head is halfway inside the rock. He happily inspects its contents.
Raybury: They disguised the container as a large boulder. How did it fly here?
Isaac: Legend has it they use a huuuge gun, bigger than anything you can imagine. It keeps costs super cheap and—
Isaac suddenly freezes when he looks up to see someone's face smiling at him.
Grace: Hi!
Isaac: Grace!
It's the woman who had attacked Cassius.

Spaghetti Syndrome - Chapter 2: Absorption - Episode 1

When Grace starts crying about her deceased pet, Isaac willingly agrees to share a meal with her. However, his eagerness turns to horror upon learning that the meal is in actuality the remains of her pet, which was of Otherworld origin. Leaving Isaac to vomit away, Grace leaves behind a scalpel before ambling off.

Grace: Hehe. How's my favorite demolition man doing?
Isaac: I'm an engineer. Not an architect, and not a dismantler. That's outside my area of expertise.
Isaac glares at Grace, careful not to fall for her tricks.
Raybury: Who is this?
Isaac: An acquaintance. Specifically the kind you don't want to be acquainted with. I barely know anything about her.
Grace: Teehee. You really know how to talk to a lady.
Isaac: If you're here to discuss "that," then sorry, but my answer is still no.
Grace: Darling, give us a chance. It's not like there's another love of your life, am I right?
Isaac: How many times do I have to tell you I can't marry you?
Raybury: She proposed to you, Isaac? How did someone like you swing that?
Isaac: Don't you start with me.
Isaac: It's not just her I'll turn down either. I don't plan on marrying anyone.
Grace: Aw... That's too bad. Our genes would've played so nice together.
Isaac: Both of our lineages are rooted in tragedy. We were saddled with a burden from the day we were born. That's all we have in common.
Isaac: Let's say we got married and had kids. Would I want them to inherit twice the amount of responsibility from both of us? Absolutely not.
Grace: Okay. I understand. Clearly words aren't going to change your mind.
Isaac: Is this where you get stabby?
Grace: Not quite. I have a better idea.
Grace slides her bag off her shoulder and takes out a glass jar.
Grace: I made stew. Why don't we enjoy it together?
Isaac: Where is this going?
Grace: I just... sniff...
Isaac: Wh-why are you crying?
Grace: Because my dear pet passed away recently, and... and...
Grace: All I'm looking for is someone to talk to...
Isaac: Okay. Okay! I don't know why, but something about you crying just gets to me.
Isaac: I can't stand to see someone sink into despair. If a fun chat will lift your spirits, then let's do it. Is my place okay?
Raybury: I suppose this is my cue to leave.
Isaac: Your ability to read the situation needs work.
Grace: Aw, thank you! You just made my day! I knew you wouldn't abandon me!
Isaac: I could've sworn those tears were real... Man, you're totally unpredictable.
Grace: Hum-di-dum... Let's get cooking. I'll just borrow this stove and pot.
Isaac: ...
Grace: Do you have any spare glass lying around? I want to make a salad.
Isaac: There's an empty jar in the corner there. Make sure you use a leather sack or something. I don't want shards getting everywhere.
Grace: I know.
Grace chops up vegetables and fills two plates. She drizzles the greens with dressing, topping them off with a generous helping of bacon bits and shredded cheese.
She then places the empty glass jar inside a leather bag and smashes the whole thing with a meat tenderizer.
The jar shatters with a fantastic crunch, pulverized into bite-sized shards after two to three more solid poundings.
Grace: Would you like some?
Isaac: No thanks. My stomach is glass intolerant.
Grace smirks.
She dumps the glass bits on top of her own plate of salad.
Grace: There. We'll whet our appetites with salad while the stew warms up.
Isaac: Okay.
Isaac's fork hovers over his plate of glass-free mixed vegetables.
Grace: Mm... Scrumptious.
Across from him, Grace happily munches away at her extra crunchy salad.
Isaac: I'm impressed you still eat glass. I take my family roots seriously, but even I don't go that far.
Grace: That's the difference between me and a demolition man. I view my birthright as a weapon and nothing more. I'll need it when the time comes to move somewhere else.
Isaac: I told you I'm an engineer.
Isaac and his guest pick at their salads until the sound of the simmering pot becomes noticeably audible.
Grace: There's the main course calling. Still got room in your tummy?
The stew is ladled out and set on the table.
Isaac: Mm... You used a different meat this time. So what do you want to talk about?
Grace: I've had my pet for as long as I can remember. Khobe was his name. He died from injuries not too long ago.
Isaac: I'm sorry to hear that. It's hard to cope with the loss of a loved one who's always been there with you.
Grace: Yes. He taught me so much during the time we spent together.
Isaac: Like the value of friendship and affection?
Grace: Not really. He was my talking partner. We used to have many conversations.
Isaac: Conversations?
Grace: Yes. About the prince of Wales for instance.
Raybury: What prince?
Grace: Oh, who was it again... The Strawberry Knight? Haha, it's not important.
Isaac: There goes your tendency to ramble. It doesn't matter if it's important or not as long as you tell the story straight. Anyway, that's beside the point.
Isaac: Your pet talked about Wales and strawberries? What is he, a parrot?
Grace: You could cut your stomach open and find out yourself.
Isaac: I don't like where this is going. Did you seriously turn your pet into stew?
Grace: Sure, why not? I can't think of a more fitting memorial, and nothing goes to waste.
Isaac: Raybury. What did I just eat?
Raybury: Zaylangin onponmects.
Raybury: Results are inconclusive. Perhaps it belongs to an animal neither of us has encountered before. Does its taste offer any clues?
Isaac: It kind of tastes like pork but not quite. Probably not a parakeet or parrot either. Long-shot guess, but a really old dragon?
Grace: Bzzt, wrong again. The correct answer is...
Grace: An Otherworldly being.
Isaac: ...!
The blood drains from Isaac's face. He shoves his chair back and rushes outside as the bile rises in his throat.
Isaac's Voice: Uuagh! Hack!
Raybury: It's not nice to feed the deceased to Isaac simply because he rejected your marriage proposal. Why are you doing this?
Grace: But it's the same as me deciding to eat glass.
Raybury: Are you saying it'll be useful in the future?
Grace: Yes, it most certainly will.
Isaac: You... How could you make me eat that stuff!
Grace: Because you're so special to me. Heehee.
Grace: And I have one more present for my special one.
She lays a scalpel onto the table and gets up.
Isaac: What is that?
Grace: That's what I used to cut the flesh off Khobe while he was still alive. At some point it seemed to have gained a mysterious power.
Grace: I have a feeling you're going to need it someday. Keep it safe, will you?
Grace ambles toward the door without a care in the world.
Grace: Oh, last thing. I promise.
Grace: I'm looking for someone. Agent Cassius. Ever heard of him?
Isaac & Raybury: ...!
Isaac: I don't remember ever meeting any Agent Cassius.
Grace: Hm... Too bad. I heard he was on this island, but maybe he already took off.
Grace: He must be highly skilled to avoid my wires by sight alone while still holding onto his pointy stick. Let me know if you see him, okay?
Isaac: I'll consider it.
And with that, Grace is happily on her way.

Spaghetti Syndrome - Chapter 2: Absorption - Episode 2

Having learned that Grace is also searching for Cassius, Isaac is now determined to find him first—as Cassius's assistance is vital for returning to the moon. The engineer and his robot companion spot Cassius enjoying a meal with friends in town.

Raybury: How are you feeling?
Isaac: Terrible. I can't believe she tricked me into eating that crap.
Isaac and Raybury are walking across a grassy field to get to town.
Isaac: Did you give my machine a good look-see?
Raybury: There was no evidence to suggest that woman tampered with your creation.
Isaac: Good. Thanks for checking.
Raybury: She's an extreme wildcard. That scalpel she left as a parting gift could not be identified.
Isaac: You mean it's made from unknown metals?
Raybury: No. The materials themselves are readily available on the market, except for the blackened part of the blade, which yields different results with each passing analysis.
Raybury: Extrapolating from those results alone, the blackened portion has a compositional makeup of "everything," though it only lasts for a microsecond.
Isaac: Um, what? Do I need to run a diagnostic on you?
Raybury: No errors are detected when scanning other materials. This recurring phenomenon is localized to the scalpel.
Isaac: Maybe it's for the best that you can't figure it out. Nothing good comes out of staring into chaos.
Raybury: Meaning?
Isaac: When a strong wind blows through a forest, you might catch a glimpse of a face in the swirling leaves.
Isaac: By the same token, probing background noise can expose hidden information.
Isaac: You might find collapsing worlds or worlds reborn. Or maybe none of those things.
Raybury: However, you're not sure. It could all be in your head.
Isaac: Right. But an unbelievable event did occur in the past, which we know thanks to the stories passed down the generations.
Isaac: What I'm saying is, staring into the abyss can lead to disaster, and that scalpel isn't something I want to mess with.
Raybury: Hm... I wish we could discuss this more, but it will have to wait. The town is just up ahead.
Isaac: It scares me to trust what Grace says, but if Agent Cassius is here, we need to ask around.
Raybury: Are you certain you can find him?
Isaac: Yep. I've got all the data I need. Height, weight, physique, complexion... Heck, I've even got the measurements for his chest, waist, and hips.
Raybury: It always sounds easier on paper. How is a hermit like you going to find a missing person?
Isaac: Oh, come on. A genuine word of encouragement now and then is all I ask.
As Isaac sets foot into town, Cassius is also on the move.
Cassius: This is the cafe.
Lyria: Heehee. I'm so excited! Aren't you, (Captain)? Vyrn?
Vyrn: Uh... Can we get a table without a reservation?
Vyrn looks over his shoulder at Zeta, Beatrix, and Vaseraga.
Bringing up the rear, albeit keeping his distance, is Eustace.
Cassius: It was quite crowded yesterday. I don't think it will be a problem.
Brushing off Vyrn's concern, Cassius steps through the door.
Waitress: Hi, welcome to—oh, I remember you. Weren't you here the other day?
Cassius: Yes. I informed (Captain) and Lyria about this establishment, and they asked me to bring them here.
Zeta: I didn't think you'd actually invite us.
Cassius: I considered the possibility that (Captain) and Lyria's impressions would trickle down to you eventually.
Cassius: Then I would lose time trying to justify why I had offended you by not extending an invitation in the first place. Logically speaking, I decided to cut that step out.
Beatrix: You brought them here thinking they'd love it that much?
Cassius: I was confident in that probability.
Vaseraga: ...
Eustace: ...
Waitress: I had no idea you loved our food that much! Come in, come in!
The waitress cheerfully pushes enough tables together for the entire party to sit at.
Their orders are collected. Soon plates of steaming hot omurice are placed in front of each person.
Lyria: Om nom... This is sooo good.
Vyrn: Course it is. It's got Cassius's seal of approval.
Beatrix: Crap... I should've sprung for the large.
Zeta: Bea, wanna go halfsies on another order?
Vaseraga: We're not exactly off the clock. Don't eat so much that it'll impact your mission performance.
Cassius: ...
Eustace: ...
The crew members exchange happy smiles as they eat, but some at the table don't share the same enthusiasm.
Zeta: Come to think of it, I thought Cassius and Eustace already ate this yesterday. Don't you wanna try something else?
Eustace: I'm fine with whatever.
Cassius: I as well. Furthermore if I were to dine here every day, I think everything on this menu would properly sustain my nutritional needs.
Vyrn: Speaking of which, remember how you ate nothing but ramen for days and broke out in pimples?
Zeta: Aha... So even you can't escape from ordinary skin problems.
Cassius: It has already healed without visible scarring.
Beatrix: What, no scabs or anything? You have to tell me how you did it! I gotta know!
Cassius: That knowledge will do you no good. My metabolic structure is fundamentally different from that of your kind.
Beatrix: Aw, maaan... Wish I never had to worry about skin blemishes...
Zeta: Ahaha... Have you tried eating something other than sugary foods?
Eustace: ...
Without the threat of battle looming over his head, even Eustace manages to crack a tiny smile.
The party continue to enjoy their meal in peace.
Isaac: ...
Yet a pair of eyes is secretly watching them from another table.

Spaghetti Syndrome - Chapter 2: Absorption - Episode 3

Cassius goes off alone to confront Isaac and learns of Isaac's mission to bring them both back to the moon. Cassius refuses, explaining that his life span still allows him plenty of time in the Sky Realm, and runs off. Isaac gives chase and ends up being captured by (Captain) and company.

The diners recline in their chairs, rubbing their satisfied bellies.
Isaac: ...
Isaac watches each movement like a hawk.
Cassius: ...
Cassius: I need to go freshen up.
Beatrix: Huh? Since when do you wear makeup?
Eustace: He means to use the bathroom. Fine. Go and come back.
Cassius leaves his seat without responding.
Cassius: ...
Isaac: Hello, cousin. Can I have a word with you?
Cassius: You have been watching us this entire time.
Isaac: Yep. Been waiting forever for my chance to talk to you.
Isaac: You're Agent Cassius. From the moon, yeah?
Cassius: ...!
Isaac: Whoa, chill, chill. No need to get up in arms. I'm on your side. Call me Isaac.
Isaac: Here's the deal. I received a message from Central Axis.
Isaac: It said to bring you back to the moon.
Cassius: I do not understand. Aren't you a fossildweller? Why are you framing this as if you are going home?
Isaac: Because it's true. We share the same roots. My ancestors came from the moon.
Cassius: ...
Isaac: Don't believe me? Maybe meeting my pal Raybury will change your mind.
Raybury: A pleasure to meet you, Agent Cassius.
Cassius: Hello.
What am I talking to, Isaac?
Isaac: This machine was assembled using materials from the moon and the moon techniques passed down within my family.
Cassius: This machine is not a simple drone. It appears to be closer to an automagod.
Isaac: Mm-hm, I built it using machine cells from one. Now do you believe I've got some moon blood in me?
Cassius: I still have my doubts, but the preponderance of evidence suggests otherwise.
Isaac: Good enough for me. Which also means you're taking that order to bring you home at face value.
Isaac: Congratulations, Cassius. This is a happy occasion for the both of us. Am I wrong?
Cassius: ...
Cassius doesn't answer immediately. He thinks for a moment.
Cassius: Is there a set date for my return?
Isaac: Um, no, I don't think it mentioned a date anywhere.
Cassius: Then I shall take a deferment of fifty years.
Isaac: Huh?
Cassius: I still have fifty years before the life expectancy extension procedure becomes ineffective.
Isaac: I'm sorry, wh-what are you trying to say?
Cassius: My observation of this world has yet to conclude satisfactorily. Therefore I will continue until I deem it worthy of ending.
Isaac: And that's gonna take at most fifty years? Come on, cousin, that's not gonna fly with Central Axis.
Cassius: I would not be so sure about that.
Cassius: Central Axis once described the War as a minor scuffle. Do you know why that is?
Isaac: Er, no? Why?
Cassius: Gleaning from the information my security clearance affords me, the moon has been at war for over seven thousand years.
Isaac: ...?
Raybury: Hmm... Interesting...
Cassius: The first entry in a log regarding that time period was recorded by a warrior that greatly outranks me. That warrior is still active to this day.
Isaac: So if I've got this right, you're saying this warrior with a higher rank than you has been alive for over seven thousand years thanks to the life extension procedure?
Cassius: Correct. Using that time scale as a reference point, the War lasting only a few centuries is like a dot on the timeline.
Isaac: Okay... And?
Cassius: Those in Central Axis perceive time differently. Fifty years is within the margin of error.
Isaac: Right... Margin of error... Whether you return now, or in fifty years, it doesn't really matter?
Cassius: Exactly.
Isaac: So... you're not going back right now?
Cassius: I am not going back right now.
Isaac: Aw, no way...
Isaac can't hold back his disappointment.
Raybury: Chin up, buddy. Try using your handy-dandy persuasive skills. This is an all-or-nothing opportunity.
Isaac: Thanks for the positive encouragement for once. You're right though. I'm not giving up on my family's greatest wish this easily.
Isaac: Besides, I can't report back to the moon saying I made contact with Agent Cassius but failed to convince him to come home.
Cassius: If you need to make a report, tell them this: unforeseen complications arose after making contact with Cassius; lost sight of target.
Cassius: Isaac, I presume combat is not your specialty, considering you are an engineer. Stay here. It is dangerous outside.
With that cryptic warning, Cassius runs out of the bathroom.
Isaac: Really? I wonder what's going on outside?
Raybury: Nothing is occurring. He was making an excuse to run away.
Isaac: Why didn't you say so sooner!
Beatrix: Cassius has been in there for a really long—
Vyrn: Uh, where's he—
Isaac: Listen to me, Agent Cassius! Don't you want to go back to the moon?
The Four: ...!
Isaac: Um... H-hello...
Raybury: That was very stupid of you, buddy.
Isaac: Whatever! I have to go after him!
Vaseraga: Do you think he's in cahoots with that glass-eating woman?
Eustace: It's very likely. Let's go.
The crew throw some rupies on the table to cover the bill and dash out of the cafe, hot on the trail of a bespectacled man and his robot friend.
Beatrix: Hold it right there, you two! What do you want with Cassius?
Raybury: The hunters have become the hunted.
Isaac: Huff... Pant... Don't worry about it! I'm a master at escaping from deadly situations!
Isaac huffs and puffs after Cassius, looking back at his own pursuers from time to time.
Isaac: I've got thi—
Despite his bravado, Isaac fails to notice the metal pole aimed at his legs, sealing his downfall.
Isaac: Waugh!
Raybury: ...
Isaac: Ow...
The Four: ...
Isaac: Ahaha... Hello again...
Vaseraga: Who are you?
Isaac: Who, me? I'm just a plain old engineer. Nothing suspicious about me, no sirree! Haha... Right, cousin?
Isaac looks at Cassius with pleading eyes.
Cassius: This man appears to be connected to the moon.
Isaac: Too much of the truth can hurt, cousin...
The engineer's head droops with disappointment.
Eustace: Take him in.
Vaseraga: With pleasure.
Eustace and Vaseraga each grab one of Isaac's arms. And that's how Isaac comes to be their captive.

Spaghetti Syndrome - Chapter 2: Absorption - Episode 4

It pains Isaac greatly to see (Captain) and company being so wary of him simply for being descended from moondwellers, despite doing his best to be on good terms with skydwellers all his life. The crew notices this and starts to wonder if they should be more trusting of him.

Isaac: Sigh...
Raybury: I can't wait to hear your amazing plan for getting out of this one, buddy.
Isaac: We'll just have to wait and see. I'll call it a win if we make it home alive.
The Four: ...
Isaac, securely bound, has been brought to a room that the Society members are using to plan their movements.
Vyrn: What's the deal with Four-Eyes and Junkbot here?
Lyria: This is just my opinion, but I don't think he's a bad person...
Zeta: That jar-cruncher—Grace or whatever her name is—had us fooled at first glance too.
Isaac: Oh... You guys met Grace?
Vaseraga: So you are working together. That makes you part of the Foe.
Isaac: No! Hear me out! Yes, we're acquainted, but I am not her ally!
Isaac: Yeah, our ancestors came from the same place, but that's all we have in common. We mostly just chat in passing. Honest.
Eustace: You admit that your origins extend back to the moon.
Isaac: Yes, that's right. But I'm not your enemy.
Isaac: I'm mostly—I mean, I am a skydweller. I've lived here all my life.
Zeta: What do you think?
Vaseraga: I'm still reserving judgment.
Raybury: Tough break, Isaac.
Isaac: Ugh, you just had to run into Grace first... What a disaster...
Zeta: It's not only her, you know. The problems your moon friends have caused are on a different scale.
Isaac: ...
Raybury: No rebuttal, buddy?
Isaac: Psh, I have one. A big one actually. I'm just depressed...
Isaac: I'm a life-long citizen of the Sky Realm! My ancestors from many generations ago were the ones who came from the moon, not me!
Isaac: I've got nothing to do with the automagod kerfuffle. But all you see is my past and treat me like a villain for something I have no control over. It sucks, I tell you...
Lyria: E-excuse me, but can't we hear what else he has to say?
Isaac: Huh?
Lyria: Isaac looks very lonely to me, so could you all...
Eustace: ...
Isaac: Aah... Thanks for your concern, Blue Birdy! Your sympathy means a lot to me.
Isaac: It's always the skydwellers who are quick to lend a helping hand! They're awesome!
Lyria: Ahaha... You don't have to worry. Everyone here is very nice.
Lyria comforts the man who is on the verge of tears. This display of compassion seems to soften the mood.
Eustace: Very well. Go on and speak.
Isaac isn't about to make Eustace ask twice.
Isaac: Starting from today, I'd say it's been about, oh, a thousand years or so since my forefathers left the moon to come to the Sky Realm.
Isaac: But I guess they couldn't get back and ended up settling down here. Gives you an idea of how tall my family tree is.
Isaac: My ancestors were grateful to the skydwellers for saving them. They wouldn't have made it on their own otherwise.
Vaseraga: You don't call us fossildwellers?
Isaac: Hey, I don't use slurs, okay? My family banned that word.
Isaac: Anyway, they passed down two things to their kids, who then told their kids, and then theirs, yadda yadda yadda. "Repay our debt" and "return to the moon."
Isaac: I was born to carry out those wishes. Me and everyone else that came before me.
Isaac: I can't give up, and if it doesn't happen in my lifetime, my offspring will have to carry the torch. That's why I want to be the one to finish it.
Isaac's bitterness over his long-standing burden leaves his captors in silence.
Isaac: Look, all I'm asking is that you let me talk to Cassius. He's my ticket back to the moon.
Beatrix: You're taking Cassius back...
Lyria: To the moon?
As far as the crew and Society members are concerned, the moon has been the source of nothing but strife.
The Foe: an organization that sows the seeds of mistrust wherever they go.
Automagods: weapons of destructive power.
On the other hand, Isaac's family arrived in the skies a thousand years earlier and lived peacefully as skydwellers.
Zeta: I don't know what I'm supposed to believe right now...
Isaac: I'll tell you another interesting tidbit about those of us with moon origins, Ducky. You and I are probably related.
Zeta: Who're you calling Ducky!
Isaac: There's no real way to tell where your ancestors came from after about the fifth generation.
Raybury: It's hard to believe, but there are quite a few things that originated from the moon.
Isaac: The world is full of connections, like a big plate of tangling spaghetti.
The captors find themselves absorbed in Isaac's narrative.
Despite this man's relationship to the moon, and by proxy, the Foe, the skydwellers are coming to realize that not everything is black and white.

Spaghetti Syndrome - Chapter 3: Infection - Episode 1

Isaac explains that his family has toiled away throughout the generations to build a rocket and return to the moon. He only needs a flight control system, which Cassius's spear, Yek, would be a perfect fit for. Yek is currently broken, but Isaac's willing to try fixing it. Society troops storm the location to take Cassius away, but the crew isn't too keen on letting that happen.

Cassius: ...
Isaac: I gotta say, cousin, it feels good to get that off my chest.
Cassius: While there is evidence to support your background profile, I still have trouble believing what you have told me.
Isaac: To be fair, I never thought I'd get to meet a bona fide moondweller in my lifetime.
Cassius: How do you plan on getting to the moon?
Isaac: We'll take flight on a rocket that I made myself.
Cassius: What?
Isaac: Engineering blood runs through my family's veins. Hundreds of years worth of components from Central Axis went into its construction.
Cassius: What about the propulsion system?
Isaac: And therein lies the problem. Fuel is a precious commodity on the moon, so they never sent any my way.
Raybury: Finding an adequate solution to the propulsion problem would require a few more centuries, it seems.
Isaac: Then I got the idea to build an engine that converts dark essence into fuel. Each test stage went off without a hitch.
Isaac: Next we need a flight control system. Can't get to the moon if you can't steer, right?
Cassius: ...
Beatrix: ...
Vyrn: What's with the big frown?
Beatrix: I wonder if Cassius is thinking about going back to the moon...
Zeta: Hey, if that's what he wants to do, then who are we to stop him?
Vaseraga: The same can be said for skyfaring crews. Membership is rarely permanent.
Beatrix: He did mention that he'd stay here until he found a way back to the moon...
  1. Let's force him to stay.
  2. Let's go say our goodbyes.

Choose: Let's force him to stay.
Beatrix: (Captain)...
Vyrn: I could hammer home there's, like, no good grub on the moon, so he might as well stay here.
Lyria: Yeah! Going back to the moon is no good!
Lyria: Look at how long they've ignored him up until now!

Choose: Let's go say our goodbyes.
Eustace: ...
Eustace: We should hear his intentions from his own mouth first.
Zeta: Huh?
Eustace: We can't force someone to stay or leave. There's a reason why discussion exists.
Beatrix: Oooh, I get it. You're gonna be lonely without him, right?
Eustace: ...
Eustace stares ahead at the forlorn faces of Lyria, Vyrn, and (Captain).
Continue 1
Isaac: Are you serious!
Isaac's sudden outburst catches the others by surprise. They quickly burst into the room where the two men are talking.
Isaac: Yek is broken?
Cassius: Yes. Broken.
Isaac: How!
Cassius: In the battle against an automagod. It is little more than a metal pole now that it has lost its functionality.
Raybury: ...
That sounds like one vicious battle.
Isaac: I'm sorry, cousin. I must not have heard you correctly... Yek is broken, you say...
Eustace: What's going on?
Isaac: Oh, nothing, nothing. Just the obliteration of well-laid plans, that's all. See, we need a device that calculates flight controls for the vehicle that will get us to the moon.
Isaac: Building something like that is out of my league, so I need Yek's ability to control stuff, but it's—
Cassius: Broken.
Raybury: This is most disappointing news. Even I can't handle those calculations.
Isaac: Gaaah! Now what...
Raybury: Hm... Cassius, would you be willing to leave Yek in Isaac's care?
Isaac: Me? In charge of repairing the moon's latest tech? Don't be crazy!
Raybury: I thought you were a handy-dandy engineer.
Cassius: ...
Cassius: Can it be fixed?
Isaac: Honestly? Won't know till I try it.
Cassius: Do what you can.
Beatrix: Does that mean you've made up your mind to return to the moon?
Cassius: No, not yet. But I will require Yek at its full potential.
Vaseraga: I'd like to hear what you'll need it for.
Cassius: I will need it if I am to stand a chance against Grace.
Cassius: I cannot block her weapon. Yek should be able to jam the weapon and seal its effectiveness.
Cassius: Engineer. If that woman is not your ally, I assume you have no qualms cooperating with me?
Isaac: Yeah, I gotcha. I don't know what she's guilty of...
Isaac: But my family taught me never to overlook those in need.
Isaac: I'd appreciate it too if you gave going back to the moon some thought, cousin.
Cassius hands Yek over to Isaac.
Raybury: Let me hold on to it so I can analyze its composition.
Isaac: It's a bit too long to fit inside you.
Isaac: Maybe it folds up? Lemme just tinker with this part here, and then like this...
Beatrix: So it's always been collapsible?
Cassius: That is new to me.
Beatrix: How can you not know that about your own partner?
Eustace oversees this exchange when his transceiver starts to vibrate.
Eustace: This is Eustace.
Society Top Brass: I want to question the traveler. It's urgent.
Eustace: No can do. There's been a problem, and it'll take some time.
Society Top Brass: I want to question the traveler. It's urgent.
Eustace: Then you should have gone through Ronan in the first place.
Society Top Brass: I want to question the traveler. It's urgent.
Eustace: ...?
Society Top Brass: It's it's it's urrrgeeent—
Eustace: (Is the transceiver acting up?)
The line suddenly goes dead, but then it springs back to life again.
Eustace: This is Eustace.
Ilsa: It's Ilsa. People are flipping out, and I want to know what Hellcat did to piss them off.
Eustace: What are you talking about?
Ilsa: The Society has dispatched soldiers to your position. The order was issued by Central Command; you know, the top of Society food chain?
Eustace: Okay...
Ilsa: The unit they're sending over is packing anti-primal armaments. CENTCOM is a wee bit unhappy, wouldn't you agree? What did Hellcat screw up this time?
Eustace: Nothing that requires that much show of force.
Ilsa: I see. Well, that's one less thing to worry about. Look, you need to get away from there. Now. I'm looking at the departure manifest, and they'll be arriving at any minute.
Eustace: Understood.
As soon as the line goes quiet, Eustace hears the drone of jackboots growing louder in the distance.
Beatrix: Was that the drill sergeant telling you Society troops are heading our way?
Eustace: Yeah, and they're fully armed. CENTCOM is in a foul mood at the moment.
Zeta: Bea...
Vaseraga: What did you do?
Beatrix: Wh-what the hell! Don't look at me! I haven't done anything at all!
Eustace: They should have the building surrounded by now. Let me do the talking. Don't make any sudden movements.
Vaseraga: What about them?
Isaac & Raybury: Ahaha...
Eustace: The Society shouldn't have a file on either of you. Wait in a different room, then walk out of here like you don't know anything when you get the chance.
Isaac: Sorry for the trouble!
Zeta: Should (Captain) and the others escape through a back exit?
Eustace: Depends on what the soldiers do.
Eustace: Vaseraga, stand in front of (Captain) and the others. Zeta, watch their six.
Vaseraga: Roger.
Zeta: Got it.
Eustace: Beatrix, if things go south, don't lose sight of Cassius.
Beatrix: Heheh, copy that! Leave it to me!
Beatrix: I don't know how I feel about babysitting duty though...
Cassius: I will also do my best to ensure that Beatrix does not lose sight of me.
Beatrix: Grrr! I think you've got our roles mixed up!
Eustace: ...
They hear a commotion in the lobby followed by more footsteps getting closer.
The soldiers eventually barge into the room.
Society Soldier 1: By orders of Central Command, we are here to take custody of Cassius. Surrender him peaceably.
Eustace: This is a bit much just to bring him into questioning. I was told by CENTCOM that this wasn't an urgent matter.
Society Soldier 1: Maybe if you hadn't taken your sweet time, CENTCOM wouldn't have grown tired of waiting.
Eustace: CENTCOM is hiding something. Did you ever stop to think they could be compromised by the Foe?
Society Soldier 1: I take it you're refusing to hand him over.
Eustace: You could try taking it up with Ronan.
Society Soldier 1: ...
Eustace: ...
The soldiers brandish their guns, but the seasoned Society contractors aren't fazed in the slightest.
Cassius: Hm. We are outnumbered.
Beatrix: Stay back, Cassius. You're the one they're after.
Zeta: They're not actually gonna pull the trigger on us, are they?
Vaseraga: I'll give them a fight if that's what they want. All I ask is they leave the non-Society members out of it.
Eustace: Let me issue you soldiers a word of advice.
Eustace: Try anything against (Captain), Lyria, and Vyrn, and we'll make short work of you.
Society Soldiers: ...!
The Society grunts recoil in the face of four elites who show no signs of backing down.
Society Soldier 1: C-carry out Central Command's orders! Don't falter! Get them!
Zeta: Boxing us in from all sides, huh?
More soldiers crash through the window behind them.
Eustace: Zeta, Vaseraga, on me. We'll take the front.
Beatrix: And we've got the back! Let's do it, (Captain)!
The party splits into two fronts against the gun-toting, knife-wielding soldiers.

Spaghetti Syndrome - Chapter 3: Infection - Episode 1: Scene 2

The overwhelmed Society troops unleash a jamming device that renders the weapon contractors powerless. Not sure what to make of it all, Cassius finds himself dragged away by the Society soldiers.

Society Soldier 1: Keep fighting!
Cassius: Vacittae fexrel mulitis; cacetereal spirescong. Hinnegcan tacetil pereptonic; tichwings ot dexented FOV odem.
Society Soldiers: Gwah!
Since the soldiers opt to show no mercy, Cassius decides to return the favor.
It's like fighting an invisible enemy, and the soldiers fall without knowing what hit them.
Society Soldier 1: Ungh...
Zeta: You guys had enough yet? Because we don't wanna fight you anymore.
Beatrix: Can you imagine what Ilsa would do to all of us if we really put the hurt on each other?
Eustace: (Captain), Lyria, Vyrn. Are any of you injured?
Vyrn: Nah, we're good thanks to you guys!
Lyria: A-aren't you soldiers part of the Society too? Why are you fighting against us?
Society Soldier 1: I told you already. We can't disobey CENTCOM's orders.
Eustace: Why is CENTCOM acting so desperate? Something didn't seem right the last time we spoke either.
Society Soldier 1: As if they'll ever tell us that. All we know is...
Society Soldier 1: We're dead meat if we don't accomplish this mission!
Machine: Margstintin camhine-slacs lilk mocdamn. Atgert: lal.
A painful ringing noise seems to emanate from behind the soldiers.
Zeta: ...!
Eustace: ...!
Zeta's and Eustace's seal weapons react wildly and tumble out of their hands onto the ground.
Vaseraga: Ngh!
Cassius: Urgh! Not... this!
Vaseraga and Cassius sink to their knees, clutching their chests.
Beatrix: H-hey, what are you guys doing!
Society Soldier 1: Don't. Move.
Beatrix: What did you do to them!
Society Soldier 1: You're (Captain), right? We have three hostages now. Anyone other than Cassius has been designated as expendable.
(Captain)'s sword trembles with fury, but the captain can do no more than glare at the soldier who has his gun trained on Zeta and the others.
Society Soldier 1: Apprehend the target.
Cassius: Ngh!
Beatrix: Cassius!
Beatrix reaches out to Cassius, but she flinches upon hearing a loud gunshot.
Beatrix: ...!
Beatrix clenches her teeth as she looks down at the hole by her feet. Not even automagod armor would've stood a chance.
Society Soldier 1: I won't miss next time. Stand down.
Cassius's face remains blank as the soldiers hoist him up and carry him away.
Isaac: ...
Raybury: Are you worried about them?
Isaac: Yeah. They're sticking their necks out so that I can escape.
Raybury: If you're thinking about going back into that warzone, I advise you to to to to to—
A terrible ringing hits Raybury with potent results.
Raybury: Tooo too to to to toooo—
Isaac: What's gotten into you, buddy!
Raybury: Betoor.
Raybury: An intense, artificial signal triggered an internal power surge.
Isaac: You got knocked out by a jamming signal? I thought you were stronger than that!
Raybury: Feels like moon tech, and I don't think I was the only one affected.
Isaac: You mean Ducky and the others? That tears it. I've gotta go back in there, buddy!
Raybury: What sort of battle assistance can you provide? You're not a fighter.
Isaac: It's the family motto! Analyze that signal's noise signature by the time I get there!
Raybury: Understood.
Isaac turns around and heads back to the building where he'd been held as a prisoner only moments earlier.

Spaghetti Syndrome - Chapter 3: Infection - Episode 2

Cassius arrives at Central Command by way of a troopship. CENTCOM seems bothered at the absence of Cassius's spear. In the meantime, Isaac and Raybury investigate the jamming device and discover it is a moon relic from ages past that can disable other objects of lunar origin. The crew grows curious as to why the Society would have such a device.

Society Soldier 2: How is the traveler's condition?
Cassius: Unh...
Society Soldier 1: He'll be out for a while, but we double-triple chained him up just to be safe. He ain't going anywhere.
The soldier's transceiver rings.
CENTCOM: Make your report.
Society Soldier 1: Target is in custody.
CENTCOM: Question the traveler. About the spear.
Society Soldier 1: ...
What spear?
CENTCOM: Traveler has a spear. Where is it?
Cassius: ...
Society Soldier 1: Er, I'm afraid there's no such item on his person.
CENTCOM: Press him. Ask about the spear. Go now.
Society Soldier 1: ...
The confused soldier hangs up.
Society Soldier 2: What did CENTCOM say?
Society Soldier 1: Something about a spear. We'll have to interrogate the subject.
Society Soldier 2: Wake up, you!
Cassius: ...
Vaseraga: And that's what happened.
Isaac: Just my luck. Why did this have to happen now, after I finally found Agent Cassius...
Beatrix: Yeah, why did they wait until now to take him away?
Eustace: ...
Eustace: An order was given to bring him to headquarters for questioning, but perhaps that's not their true motive.
Vaseraga: That was an excessive show of force for mere questioning.
Eustace: Mm. It was designated as a low priority, but their actions tell a different story.
Lyria: What does the Society want with Cassius, I wonder...
Zeta: I don't know, but whatever it is, it can't be good. They're even keeping Eustace in the dark.
Vaseraga: This whole op reeks of foul play. What's the plan, Eustace?
Eustace: Taking large-scale actions will draw too much attention...
He silently ponders for a bit.
Eustace: I'll go to headquarters and lodge a formal complaint with CENTCOM. Can you take me there on your ship, (Captain)?
Eustace: If I stay quiet, I'll lose access to Ronan who's been covering my back. We're going to need that going forward.
Raybury: If that's the case, we should go with them, Isaac.
Isaac: Yeah. I swear we'll be useful. It's going to be troublesome if something happens to Agent Cassius.
Isaac: Whoever you're up against, they used moon technology to jam your seal weapons. That's where an engineer like me comes into play.
Zeta: You know what caused our weapons to bug out?
Isaac: Sure do. I'll explain on the way.
Beatrix: What did those Society soldiers do? We suddenly lost our ability to fight.
Zeta: Actually, only Bea was fine. A real surprise considering that even Vaseraga collapsed to the floor.
Vaseraga: Cassius was affected as well, though for whatever reason, he seemed to have taken the worst of it.
Isaac: I'll let Raybury explain that part.
Raybury: I can tell you from firsthand experience that you were hit with a signal transmitted by a moon device. Quite an old signal, too, judging by its code structure.
Raybury: This jamming signal forces all devices originating from the moon to cease operation. You could say it's a precursor to Yek.
Eustace: That explains the odd behavior exhibited by our seal weapons.
Isaac: As for Cassius... I've been told that denizens of the moon have portions of their body mechanized.
Zeta: And Vaseraga's connection with his seal weapon produced that much of a negative effect?
Vaseraga: They've got their hands on a dangerous toy. I suppose they needed a contingency plan in case us weapon contractors decide to mutiny.
Raybury: No, perhaps not. They might have contingencies in place, but this isn't one of them.
Raybury: The kill command's checksum doesn't match, which leads me to believe the signal was interrupted when the device ran out of power.
Vaseraga: ...?
Isaac: Ah, so in other words, it ran out of battery midtransmission before the last part of the signal could be broadcast.
Raybury: That's likely. Surely they would've kept the device in better condition if they planned to use it against the seal weapons.
Isaac: I guess it's a regulator that predates Yek by several generations... Maybe it's even from the same era as my gear. Super retro stuff.
Raybury: What an unexpected find.
Isaac: You said it.
What are they going to do about Cassius's capture?
Theories about the Society's aims are discussed further as the Grandcypher heads for Society headquarters.

Spaghetti Syndrome - Chapter 3: Infection - Episode 3

When (Captain) and company learn that CENTCOM is not just after Cassius, but also his spear, they suspect there may be a plan to go to the moon. The crew continues toward Society headquarters, all the while speculating on CENTCOM's true aim.

Cassius: ...
Cassius swivels his head—the one part of his body that isn't tied up—to look at the Society soldiers surrounding him.
Society Soldier 2: Tell us about the spear, Traveler.
Cassius: Spear: a weapon used in hand-to-hand combat. It sports a sharp point attached to a long shaft. Though similar to a halberd, both weapons can be differentiated by how the blade is fitted.
Society Soldier 2: I wasn't asking for a definition! I'm talking about location!
Cassius: Hm... I might have an idea.
Cassius: This room is connected to a long corridor. High quality material was used in its construction.
Society Soldier 2: Quit avoiding the question! We know you possessed a spear!
Cassius: I was not given ownership of a spear. All of my equipment is issued under proviso. I have not been granted the right of ownership.
Society Soldier 2: Aaargh!
Society Soldier 1: Yes... Interrogation is proceeding, but the subject is uncooperative.
CENTCOM: Get the spear. Use of physical persuasion is authorized.
Society Soldier 1: Physical persuasion, as in...
CENTCOM: Fire. Water. Blades. Creatures. Poison. Break him physically and mentally. Whatever it takes to get that spear.
Society Soldier 1: In other words: torture.
CENTCOM: It's the only way.
Society Soldier 1: Understood.
The transceiver goes dark.
Society Soldier 2: What's the call?
Society Soldier 1: Use any means necessary.
Cassius: ...
Cassius: Vacittae praknilesil.
Society Soldier 1: CENTCOM is acting weird though. They can't even speak properly.
Society Soldier 2: Maybe the pressure's mounting. Just what in the hell's goin' on?
Ilsa: ...
Ilsa briefly checks in on Cassius's interrogation. She slips into another room and dials her transceiver.
Eustace: What's the situation?
Ilsa: Cassius is safe for now. Unfortunately CENTCOM has authorized the maggots to extract information about the spear by any means necessary.
Eustace: Did you say spear?
Ilsa: Yes. CENTCOM is fixated on the spear. I can't guarantee the grunts won't go overboard. If you're going to make a complaint, you'd better get a move on.
Ilsa: These interrogators aren't my men. I can stall them a little, but that's about it.
Eustace: Understood. Sorry for the trouble, but keep me posted.
Zeta: CENTCOM is getting desperate?
Eustace: Yes. There's been a flurry of activity ever since the order to capture the traveler was given.
Eustace: Their attempts at securing his spear reeks of desperation.
Raybury: Hm... It sounds like the time has come.
Isaac: You mean "that"?
Raybury: Yes, I do mean "that."
Isaac: Eustace, when was the order given to bring in Agent Cassius?
Eustace: Two days ago in the evening.
Isaac: That's about the same time I got the transmissions from the moon.
Raybury: It's possible your Central Command intercepted the very same message we received.
Beatrix: So CENTCOM doesn't want to hand Cassius over to the moon?
Raybury: No, the opposite. It implies Central Command is about to go to the moon.
Eustace: Where's the proof?
Raybury: If they didn't want Agent Cassius to return, they would've simply killed him and ended it there.
Isaac: And if that weren't enough, they seem obsessed with getting Yek.
Isaac: Agent Cassius should be safe if that's what they're after.
Isaac: They've gone so far as to entrust valuable moon technology, like that jamming device, in the hands of regular foot soldiers.
Isaac: If they want to make it to the moon, they'll need Yek's computational capabilities, and only Cassius himself can activate it.
Raybury: Agent Cassius is the only person Yek is registered to as far as I know. If he dies, they lose their pilot to the moon.
Isaac: Bingo. I'm pretty sure that isn't lost on the Society as well. This newer generation stuff is tough to hack.
Isaac: Luckily for you guys, this handy-dandy engineer can crack vintage machines in a snap.
Beatrix: Hold on. There's one thing I don't get. Why does the Society want to go to the moon in the first place?
Zeta: To start an all-out war with the moondwellers?
Vaseraga: How likely can that be? Production lines for anti-automagod equipment are still in the setup stage.
Eustace: Nor are the designs perfect. The strongest weapons we have are the seal weapons.
Eustace: Yet there's never been any indication they want to involve us weapon contractors.
Zeta: They're in such a rush to get to the moon, but they wouldn't stand a chance against the automagods without us.
Beatrix: Aagh... I have no idea what those Society buttheads are thinking... Not that I ever do...

Spaghetti Syndrome - Chapter 3: Infection - Episode 4

While another Society faction is plotting against CENTCOM, the crew speaks to Ilsa through a transceiver to learn more about what exactly is happening. Shortly after their communication gets cut off, a giant mechanical beast appears before the crew.

Society Soldier 1: Has he spit out the location of the spear yet?
Society Soldier 2: It's hopeless. Nothing we do to him makes him flinch...
Cassius: Hm. What do you intend on using that glass jar for?
Society Soldier 3: This!
The soldier shoves the jar into Cassius's mouth, then takes a step back, cracking his knuckles while admiring his handiwork.
Cassius: Mmph...
Society Soldier 3: Don't wanna talk, tough guy? How about I bust up that pretty face of yours? Maybe the shards of glass'll loosen your tongue!
Cassius: Haugh.
But far from being intimidated, Cassius is in a state of absolute calm.
A loud pop erupts from his mouth, caused by his own teeth biting down on the jar.
Cassius: Munch, munch.
Society Soldier 3: What the!
Cassius: Gulp.
Society Soldier 3: You ate it! How are you not screaming in pain!
Cassius: That was close. My silica levels had dropped below safe levels. It is an important nutrient for maintaining the health of my body.
Society Soldier 1: He ate the glass jar?
Society Soldier 2: Yeah. I know we were worried about going overboard and killing him, but after seeing that? I don't think we can half-ass this...
Society Soldier 1: All right. Get a torch and some knives. Those might not work either, so prepare some poison while you're at it.
Not even the interrogators remember if they're supposed to be gathering information or making Cassius suffer.
Society Brass: ...
A man watches this exchange from the shadows.
Society Brass: Are you there?
Society Soldier 4: I'm here.
Society Brass: What is CENTCOM doing right now?
Society Soldier 4: CENTCOM has dispatched assassins to prevent (Captain)'s party from rescuing Cassius.
Society Brass: The time draws near. We will also make our move.
Society Soldier 4: Are you mobilizing Ilsa's unit?
Society Brass: Yes. I formed that unit so that things won't play out the way CENTCOM wants it to.
Society Brass: Assemble those troops. I'll pass the directive to Ilsa personally.
Society Soldier 4: Heehee. You got it.
Eustace: Ilsa, how's it looking over there?
Ilsa: I can't see a concrete plan to go to the moon.
Ilsa: I've scoured through several years worth of archives, personnel files, and accounting statements, but I couldn't find anything out of the ordinary.
Eustace: I see. Not even a misplaced zero on the balance sheets?
Ilsa: No, nothing. No signs of hush funds or siphoning of resources, and nothing looks doctored.
Ilsa: If there is any discrepancy to be found, it'd be the work of a rogue individual.
Ilsa: But that sounds even less plausible. I can't imagine one person storming into the automagod stronghold alone.
Eustace: For argument's sake, there wouldn't be enough equipment to outfit the army needed to take on that place.
Ilsa: True.
Eustace: What about the traveler?
Ilsa: I haven't seen any cause for concern as of yet. He's being his usual self, throwing the grunts for a loop in his little cell.
Ilsa: In any case, he can't keep this up forever. I'll do what I can to keep him out of harm's way.
Eustace: I'm counting on you.
Ilsa: Someone's coming. Over.
Man's Voice: Commander Ilsa... With me...
Ilsa: Mr. Heisenberg—
Eustace manages to catch a snippet of a different conversation before the other end cuts off.
Eustace: (Heisenberg? He created the unit of soldiers that opposes the seal weapons...)
Vyrn: Hey, Sourpuss. Are you sure taking the long way is a good idea?
Eustace: Yes. According to what Ilsa overheard about the soldiers' mobilization, CENTCOM has assigned assassins to cover the shortest routes leading to headquarters.
Beatrix: Who cares? We'll just bust their heads if we run into any. C'mon, Cassius is in danger.
Vaseraga: We don't know their troop strength. Fighting soldiers individually will eat up more time compared to following a steady path.
Zeta: Normally I hate taking it slow, but I don't think we have much of a choice this time.
Eustace: We keep watch in shifts. Everyone else take five.
Beatrix: Bah. Least relaxing break ever.
The others try to alleviate Beatrix's grumpiness, but everyone is clearly on edge.
They eat during their downtime, but the thought of Cassius, CENTCOM's plans, and what it means in the grand scheme of things robs them of their appetite.
Tension runs high when they spot the silhouette of a Society ship breaking through the clouds off in the distance.
But just as Eustace had predicted, there would be no run-ins with Society hitmen trying to kill them.
Nothing happens for the vast majority of the trip. The Society headquarters isn't much farther away, and they'll soon be able to land without incident.
Or so they think.
Ilsa: Eustace! Eustace! Come in, Eustace!
Eustace: That's an emergency transmission!
Zeta: It's Ilsa! Something must've gone wrong!
Ilsa's voice blares over Eustace's transceiver, getting straight to the point.
Ilsa: Protect the spear at all costs! I can't prove it...
Ilsa: But CENTCOM and the automa—
???: ...
Ilsa's voice is erased by the sound of a loud explosion.
Lyria: Gasp!
Only static crackles through the air.
Eustace: ...!
Beatrix: H-hey, Eustace? What happened to the drill sergeant? She's okay, right? Right?
Eustace: I don't know, but she won't be transmitting again.
Eustace: Be prepared for the worst.
Beatrix: ...!
Beatrix—her face red, fists balled—shakes in silence.
Zeta & Vaseraga: ...
Beatrix & Eustace: ...
Vyrn & Lyria: ...
Ever since Ilsa's voice cut out, no one dares to speak.
Raybury: So what's the plan now?
Isaac: Too soon, buddy. Too soon...
Raybury: But it doesn't make sense to waste what little time we have when we should be focusing on Ilsa's last wish.
Beatrix: Shut up! Don't talk as if Ilsa's—
Zeta: Hey. What was Ilsa trying to tell us?
Raybury: There are many things I do not understand. However...
Raybury: The thing that likely attacked Ilsa is roaring its way toward us.
Raybury points at a small shadow in the distance.
Eustace: Assassins from headquarters?
(Captain) and the others brace themselves for what they think is a squad of Society troops.
Beatrix: I don't care how many soldiers they throw at me. I'm gonna make 'em all pay!
Lyria: No... This is different... It's something much worse!
???: ...!
Beatrix: An automagod? Is that what the drill sergeant was trying to warn us about?
Zeta: The hell is it? Something's not right!
???: ...!
Vaseraga: Tch!
Lightning shoots out from a finger of the automagod-like entity, catching Vaseraga.
Zeta: Hah! Left yourself wide open!
???: ...!
Zeta: What!
Zeta is about to counterattack, but the entity blows her off-balance with a blast of wind.
Zeta: Yeah, there's no question about it!
Vaseraga: Mm. This isn't the first time we've fought such an enemy.
Vaseraga: I have a bad feeling about this, but we can delve into what it really is after we finish our counterattack.

Spaghetti Syndrome - Chapter 3: Infection - Episode 4: Scene 2

Raybury notes that the pseudo automagod that attacked the crew was the same one that attacked Ilsa. It was created by using data gathered within the seal weapons via battles against primal beasts. This particular one seemed to be modeled after the Wind God and Thunder God that Zeta and Vaseraga fought long ago.

???: ...!
Isaac: What a shock. I had no idea the Society could control automagods.
Raybury: Wrong. This entity was merely a facsimile of an automagod.
The fighters get busy examining the wreckage of the mechanical monster. Raybury pipes in.
Raybury: Zeta, Vaseraga. Does anything about this stick out to you?
Zeta: Hm...
Zeta: You thinkin' what I'm thinkin', Vaseraga?
Vaseraga: Mm. I know this uncomfortable feeling.
Zeta: It was like that time we fought those primal beasts, Wind God and Thunder God.
Lyria: Oh! That's when we first met you and the other Society members on that island.
Vaseraga: But this monstrosity also came off as fighting an automagod.
Beatrix: Brrr... Why does the Society have something like this?
Zeta: ...
Zeta thinks about Beatrix's question.
Zeta: The reason why we were given the seal weapons was to hunt primal beasts and record those encounters.
Each member speaks aloud as if to collect their thoughts.
Vaseraga: Was the Society using the data we collected in order to create this pseudo automagod?
Eustace: Its power seemed on par with that of a real automagod. This could be the Society's anti-automagod weaponry.
Zeta: Since they got it to work, I guess they really are thinking about going to the moon to start a war?
Zeta looks off into the horizon and spots an island.
Thick, black smoke rises from the home of the Society's headquarters, warning potential visitors that they might not like what they find there.

Spaghetti Syndrome - Chapter 4: Outbreak - Episode 1

The crew arrives at Society headquarters only to find it in ruins. They bump into an injured soldier who happens to be a subordinate of Ilsa's; he recounts the carnage that occurred there.

Zeta: ...
The plight of the Society's headquarters becomes clearer as more of the island comes into view.
Shell holes and impact craters cover all sides of the building. There's evidence to suggest that explosions also came from within the building.
Lyria: Are you okay, Zeta?
Zeta: Mm, yeah. I'll manage.
Zeta: I feel... conflicted right now. If that pseudo primal beast is what attacked Ilsa...
Lyria: It was like a mix of the Wind God and the Thunder God we found on Lognos.
Zeta: Yeah. We collected their data, and our findings were turned into... that thing.
Lyria: I don't know how I feel about it either. Meeting many different primal beasts helped me grow as a person.
Lyria: Just like how meeting (Captain) and Vyrn, you, Vaseraga, and everyone else helped me grow stronger.
Zeta: ...
Zeta: Now that I think about it, we're pretty similar in the things we do.
Lyria: Uh-huh. You mean traveling around in order to meet many different primal beasts, right?
Zeta: Yep. I mean, except for the part where we kill them while you ask them for help.
Lyria: We're closer than we think, aren't we?
Zeta: I wish it were that simple. If only the Society was as compassionate as you are. Too bad it's been nothing but trouble lately—
Isaac's Voice: Yeowch!
Lyria: Eek!
Zeta: What the? Geez, that came outta nowhere! What's that glasses guy doing?
Isaac: Ow... Shoot! I guess my perfect defenses aren't perfect at all!
Raybury: But that proves we've got a chance, doesn't it?
Isaac: Yep. Yek hasn't completely bit the dust yet. All is not lost...
Lyria & Zeta: ...
Isaac: Hm? Oh, hiya, you two. Something wrong?
Lyria: Um, are you hurt?
Isaac: Hahaha. Well, I had a close call, but I'm fine. I've got the best gear in the world.
Zeta: What were you screaming your head off about?
Isaac: Ah, check this out.
Isaac sets Yek down for everyone to see.
Isaac: I wasn't sure if Yek could be repaired, so I started poking at it. Its biometric authentication system is secure, I can tell you that.
Isaac: Botch the activation sequence and its self-defense mechanism kicks in, zapping the hapless tamperer with enough juice to vaporize them. But if I can reverse the circuit—
Lyria & Zeta: ...
Isaac: Er, sorry. Too technical?
Zeta: Yep. Hurts me to say this, but you suck at explaining things.
Isaac: Hahaha, yeah. I turn into a chatterbox when it comes to my field. Bad habit, you know?
Isaac: To summarize: it's possible to fix Yek, but only if I have the help of its contractor, Agent Cassius.
Zeta: Hm...
Isaac: Oops, do I need to dumb it down even more?
Zeta: Nah, you're fine. I was thinking my spear acts in kinda the same way. It burns anyone who touches it except for me.
Isaac: Oh, that's right. Your seal weapons aren't completely like Yek, but they're still valuable nonetheless.
Isaac: Hey, wait a minute. How are skydwellers able to handle seal weapons in the first place? What happened to authentication?
Zeta: That's what I'd like to know. Do you mind taking a look at my spear? And I'd appreciate it if you skipped the technical stuff.
Isaac: I'd have to tinker with it before I can tell you anything, but what do you want to know?
Zeta: How do I awaken it?
Isaac: Awaken it, huh? What usually happens when it awakens?
Zeta: Its firepower increases.
Isaac: What does its automagod form look like?
Zeta: It won't transform, even though it should be able to.
Zeta tells Isaac of the previous events involving the seal weapons.
Isaac: Um...
Isaac: I know that the power release is activated by your voices. Many devices from the moon are voice-activated.
Isaac: I can even understand how a seal weapon like Grynoth gained control over its wielder.
Isaac: But hearing Embrasque's voice? Arvess producing enough power to kill an automagod without becoming an automagod itself?
Isaac: Talk about baffling. I'd go so far as to call it nonsense.
Zeta: I wanna know how to bring out that power again. I don't remember since my mind was gone during that fight.
Isaac: Okay. I'll give Arvess a whirl too while I work on Yek.
Raybury: Don't forget that repairing Yek comes first.
Isaac: I know I say this every time, but this world could use five more copies of me.
Isaac clamps Arvess in Raybury's mouth, then returns to analyzing Yek.
Their free time is soon over, however.
The airship arrives at the island's dock.
No one is around to greet them.
Wisps of smoke leak out from the broken doors of Society headquarters.
Eustace: This place has seen better days...
Zeta: What could've done this to headquarters?
Beatrix: Look at all this destruction. Burn marks, gashes, frozen bits...
Beatrix: How many of those pseudo primal beasts did they make?
Vaseraga: I wouldn't jump to conclusions. Judging from the trail of destruction, this might be the work of a single assailant.
Eustace: Meaning it has access to every type of weaponry conceivable.
Eustace: Like a walking armory.
Vyrn: We've fought a lot of crazy strong opponents before, but a walking armory is something else...
Lyria: I think we'll be okay. We have a lot of primal beasts on our side.
Vaseraga: Don't count us out either. We're equipped to handle all kinds of rough customers.
Vaseraga: Eustace, I'm taking point. I want to keep our noncombatants in the middle as we move, so you bring up the rear.
Eustace: Roger.
With Vaseraga taking the lead, and (Captain), Lyria, and Vyrn in the middle, the contractors have all their bases covered.
Then they hear a noise.
Society Soldier: Groan...
Lyria: A-are you okay?
Vyrn: How'd your hand get all mangled like that?
Society Soldier: You people... You're friends with Commander Ilsa, right?
Beatrix: What do you know about the commander! Are she and Cassius safe?
Society Soldier: I don't know... Unit got scattered... Traveler went missing...
Eustace: Tell us what happened in there.
Society Soldier: Heisenberg ordered Ilsa to gather us up. Seemed routine at first, but then everything went fubar...
Ilsa's subordinate labors through the pain to recount the events that led up to this scene of carnage.

Spaghetti Syndrome - Chapter 4: Outbreak - Episode 2

Ilsa had been called by someone named Heisenberg before her last transmission with the crew ended. This man reveals that Central Command has betrayed the Society, and issues a call to arms. Along with his subordinate Murray, he gathers everyone to take a stand against CENTCOM.

Eustace: Ilsa, how's it looking over there?
Ilsa: I can't see a concrete plan to go to the moon.
Ilsa: I've scoured through several years worth of archives, personnel files, and accounting statements, but I couldn't find anything out of the ordinary.
Eustace: I see. Not even a misplaced zero on the balance sheets?
Ilsa: No, nothing. No signs of hush funds or siphoning of resources, and nothing looks doctored.
Ilsa: If there is any discrepancy to be found, it'd be the work of a rogue individual.
Ilsa: But that sounds even less plausible. I can't imagine one person storming into the automagod stronghold alone.
Eustace: For argument's sake, there wouldn't be enough equipment to outfit the army needed to take on that place.
Ilsa: True.
Eustace: What about the traveler?
Ilsa: I haven't seen any cause for concern as of yet. He's being his usual self, throwing the grunts for a loop in his little cell.
Ilsa: In any case, he can't keep this up forever. I'll do what I can to keep him out of harm's way.
Eustace: I'm counting on you.
Ilsa: Someone's coming. Over.
Heisenberg: Commander Ilsa. We have an emergency on our hands. Assume control of your men and follow me.
Ilsa: What kind of emergency, Mr. Heisenberg?
Heisenberg: Central Command has betrayed the Society and gone rogue.
Ilsa: Another person in Central Command has gone rogue? Following Alandus, that makes one more Society founder...
Heisenberg: Actually it's a little different this time. You could say this particular founder predates Alandus.
Heisenberg: As the one who discovered the seal weapons, this founder is the reason the Society still stands today.
Heisenberg: Now is not the time to be fighting the Foe or the automagods. We have to stop CENTCOM.
???: Pardon the interruption. Everyone in Ilsa's unit has assembled.
Heisenberg: Good work.
Ilsa: Who is this woman?
Murray: How do you do? My name is Murray. I work for Mr. Heisenberg.
Heisenberg: Forgive me for not introducing her sooner. She is a top-class intelligence agent. I was impressed by the results of her aptitude tests.
Ilsa: Pleased to meet you, Ms. Murray.
Heisenberg: All right, on to business. We're going to meet CENTCOM.
Ilsa: Understood.
Ilsa: Prick up your ears, maggots! This ain't your mama's house anymore! You want to know who's waiting for you in there?
Ilsa: One pissed off papa because you broke his little princess's heart, and you'd better believe he wants to shoot you! Give him a how-do-you-do before he pumps you full of lead!
Ilsa: Check your weapons, check your gear, and move your rears! Our target is CENTCOM! March!
Society Soldiers: Yes, ma'am!
A company of soldiers more than one hundred strong marches in step behind Heisenberg, Murray, and Ilsa.
They're going to see the one who started it all—the original creator of the Society.

Spaghetti Syndrome - Chapter 4: Outbreak - Episode 3

On the way to CENTCOM, Murray discusses how war breeds advancement in weaponry and sees it as a positive advancement in civilization, especially when it comes to the firepower necessary to take down automagods. Finding her attitude repulsive, Ilsa begins to suspect both her and Heisenberg's true motives.

Heisenberg: What's the unit's loadout?
Ilsa: Anti-primal ordnance, as you requested.
Heisenberg: Excellent.
Heisenberg: Keep your wits about you. Whatever happens, don't hesitate to unload everything you've got.
Ilsa: Understood.
Ilsa: (Mr. Heisenberg said it was one individual going rogue...)
Doubt suddenly clouds Ilsa's face.
Ilsa: (What kind of person warrants this much caution, manpower, and firepower? However, he's not the type of person to make misjudgments.)
Ilsa: (What's going on with CENTCOM?)
Murray: Hehe. What seems to be on your mind?
Ilsa: I've never been to CENTCOM before. Without seeing the layout for myself, I can't properly position my men.
Murray: Oh, you don't have to worry about that, darling. You have no shortage of ammunition, and the rounds are more effective than ever, am I right?
Ilsa: Yes.
Ilsa: Grynoth injured countless innocent bystanders in towns across the skies.
Ilsa: And that monstrosity resembling Pyet-A that revealed itself to the world during Halloween.
Ilsa: After those events, news of the automagods' existence traveled fast.
Ilsa: As a result, anti-primal rounds found their way to the general public, leading to an uptick in mass production and performance.
Murray: Hah, don't I know it. Thanks to those past automagod skirmishes, the advancement of the sky's weaponry took a big leap forward.
Ilsa: That's not something to be proud of. I don't mind pointing my barrel at an automagod, but the thought of turning it on a person is inconceivable.
Murray: Ah, but think of the possibilities. That'll give us the chance to develop even stronger armor.
Murray: Besides, if we've turned on each other, doesn't that mean the automagods are no match for us anymore? Joking of course. Heehee...
Ilsa: ...
Ilsa: (I don't like this woman. Is she advocating for war in the skies in order to bring about a swift conclusion to the conflict with the moon?)
Murray: Oh dear. Have I touched a nerve?
Ilsa: No. But I thought the reason we employ weapon contractors is to prevent us from fighting each other.
Murray: Do you really think they're capable of protecting everyone?
Ilsa: I can't think of any reason that paints war in a positive light. The sacrifices are too great.
Murray: Even if the loss of a few will save the many?
Ilsa: I'd rather not measure lives in terms of numbers.
Murray: How admirable of you. People like you are the only ones fit to be contractors.
Ilsa: What do you mean?
Murray: I was just thinking there are a lot of people in this world who would be grateful to have you as their savior.
Heisenberg: Murray... I think you've said more than enough.
Murray: Oops, my apologies. I just couldn't help having a spot of conversation with Ilsa.
Ilsa: ...
Ilsa: (There's something about this Murray woman I can't put my finger on... The way she acts and talks feels like she's hiding something.)
Ilsa: (Why do I feel so uncomfortable around her? Is it because of the awkward way she moves her right arm?)
Murray: Heehee. Could it be you feel the same way I do, Ilsa?
Ilsa: Yes. You're an interesting person. Very interesting.
Murray's erratic behavior fills Ilsa with overwhelming suspicion.
That same suspicion extends to the man who handpicked the woman: Heisenberg.

Spaghetti Syndrome - Chapter 4: Outbreak - Episode 4

A mechanical horde assaults the Society group making their way to CENTCOM. Ilsa discovers from Murray's fighting style that she is actually Grace, but they must cooperate to face the common threat.

A soldier injured in the battle barely escaped with his life to relay all of this to (Captain) and company.

Ilsa: ...
Heisenberg leads Ilsa and her troops down a long corridor.
They eventually reach a black metal door.
Heisenberg: This is Heisenberg. I'm here to see CENTCOM.
Someone's Voice: Voice print confirmed. I detect a hint of strain in your tone. Is there a problem?
Heisenberg: No, nothing out of the ordinary. Though I admit to feeling a little nervous, seeing as how it's been so long since we last spoke.
Someone's Voice: Visitor exhibits no signs of malice. You may enter.
Heisenberg engages in a verbal back-and-forth with an unseen individual before the door automatically opens.
Ilsa: What kind of door is this?
Heisenberg: It unlocks to my voice instead of a key. That seems to have been the preferred authentication method back in the olden days.
Heisenberg: CENTCOM takes security seriously. Keys can be stolen; voices cannot. It's a very practical solution.
Ilsa: ...
Ilsa: (Am I getting deja vu? I've never seen such technology before, yet I can't shake this feeling...)
She looks up and catches sight of a small device above them that is tracking the party's movements like a mechanical eye.
Ilsa: (We're surrounded by all manner of unknown machinery... It's almost as if...)
Shrill alarms reverberate throughout the corridor, stinging Ilsa's ears.
Someone's Voice: Authentication failed. Access denied by CENTCOM.
Heisenberg: I demand an explanation. Patch me through to CENTCOM.
CENTCOM?: Czzk... Sssk...
CENTCOM?: Travel. Er.
Heisenberg: He's still being questioned.
CENTCOM?: Spear.
Heisenberg: We're working on it. Let me in so I can explain.
CENTCOM?: Tra-tra-tra-traveleeer-er-er.
Heisenberg: Let's talk this over.
CENTCOM?: Ssssspeear-ear-ear-eaaarrr...
Heisenberg: Open the door.
Someone's Voice: Access denied by CENTCOM. Deleting Heisenberg's voice print.
The alarms wail again, red lights flashing throughout the corridor.
Ilsa: ...!
The door behind Ilsa and the others slams shut.
Murray: Oh, bother. We've been shut in.
Heisenberg: Tch! Open the door, you cursed machine!
Someone's Voice: Access denied by CENTCOM. Executive Heisenberg may not leave these premises.
Heisenberg: Ilsa! Shoot the door with an anti-primal round!
Someone's Voice: Open flames are prohibited on the premises. Fire suppression protocol engaged. Now evacuating oxygen.
Streams of air blast into the area, forcing everyone to cover their ears.
Ilsa: This is bad!
They hear muffled noises coming from somewhere far away through their distended eardrums. The air suddenly feels thinner.
Ilsa: Fire! Destroy the door!
Society Soldier: We can't! Our guns won't fire!
Someone's Voice: Chemical reaction suppression protocol complete.
Society Soldier: Ungh...
Someone's Voice: Suppression protocol is hazardous to organic life-sustaining systems. Please evacuate immediately.
The warning is ominous; soldiers collapse, either from the thinning air or noxious chemicals.
Ilsa: Ngh!
Ilsa points her gun at the door, desperately clinging to consciousness.
Ilsa: My body... won't...
The world around her fades to black.
Murray: Phew, that got hairy real fast.
Pieces of the cut-up door scatter across the floor, and a rush of clean air sweeps over the trapped party.
Ilsa: Gasp! Cough, cough... What was that?
Murray: Now, now, I can't have you annihilated after coming this far, can I? The one who needs to die is up ahead.
Ilsa: ...
After catching her breath, Ilsa realizes it was Murray who had somehow sliced the door open, allowing the life-saving air in.
Ilsa: I know... who you are...
Ilsa shakes as she looks at the telltale cut marks on the door.
Heisenberg: Cough, cough! It doesn't matter! Advance! CENTCOM is just a little farther—
Ilsa: No. Not yet.
Ilsa: Murray, if that is your real name. Take your helmet off and show me your face.
Murray: On our first date?
Heisenberg: There's no time, Ilsa.
Ilsa: This woman murdered my cadet during Halloween!
Ilsa: Didn't you, Murray! The cut on the door matches the same cut on his armor! You're the enemy!
Heisenberg: Stop it, Ilsa! Focus on the task at hand!
Ilsa: Mr. Heisenberg, I pray for your sake the Foe hasn't wormed its way into you too!
Murray: Phooey. This isn't how I'd planned to reveal myself, but them's the breaks.
Grace: Hello, I'm Grace of the Foe.
Ilsa: ...!
Grace: Say, Ilsa. Do me a favor and simmer down, would you?
Ilsa: How dare you talk to me like that!
Grace: His life had to be sacrificed for the sake of everyone here.
Ilsa: I don't know what your game is, but I already told you I don't gamble with lives as if they were chips.
Ilsa: I'll make you pay for taking my cadet's life!
Grace: I know you're not going to throw away the lives of everyone here.
Ilsa: Damn straight I won't. If anything happens to them—
Grace: Then won't you save me too? I'd appreciate it if you went from an enemy to a friend.
Ilsa: Huh?
Grace: See for yourself.
Grace looks over her shoulder.
Machine Horde: ...
Giant Machine: ...!
Grace: You see? Poor little me can't handle that many on my own.
Ilsa: Those mechanical bugs are from the moon! All units, form up for attack!
Society Soldier: Yes, ma'am!
Ilsa: (No wonder these machines I've never seen before gave me a sense of deja vu...)
Ilsa: (It's the same feeling I got during the first wave of moon attacks on Moon Sliver!)
Ilsa: Fire!
Society Soldiers: Raaaah!
Heisenberg: I suppose there's no point in pretending anymore. This is turning out to be quite the mess...
Ilsa frantically dials her transceiver amid the chaos of flying bullets and exploding shrapnel.
Ilsa: Eustace! Eustace! Come in, Eustace!
Ilsa: Protect the spear at all costs! I can't prove it...
Ilsa: But CENTCOM and the automa—
The soldier who barely escaped with his life and made it outside doesn't know what happened next to Ilsa and his comrades.
(Captain) and company pray that the long wisps of smoke coming from deep inside, along with the stench of gunpowder, is proof positive that Ilsa and her troops are still fighting the good fight.

Spaghetti Syndrome - Chapter 5: Resistance - Episode 1

Beatrix is especially devastated after hearing about how Ilsa was attacked. Raybury cheers her up, but he's simply curious to find out what exactly lies ahead.

(Captain) and company descend into the subterranean floors, heading to where Ilsa was attacked.
The level of destruction grows worse as they descend from one floor to the next.
Beatrix: ...!
Beatrix sucks in her breath and stops.
Zeta: What is it?
Beatrix: Never mind. I thought I saw the drill sergeant's hat underneath that rubble...
Beatrix: Agh! Just imagining what might've happened to Ilsa and Cassius sends a chill down my spine!
Raybury: Steel your nerves. That's probably what Ilsa would've told you to do.
Beatrix: Don't you dare jinx it! We won't know what's happened to them until we find out for ourselves!
Raybury: That's exactly my point. Anything is possible. There's no way to confirm whether they're dead or alive by simply looking at the chaos around us.
Raybury: Rather than giving in to despair, changing one's attitude might be a better option. Isn't that right, buddy?
Isaac: Uh, y-yeah...
Beatrix: You're saying we might still make it in time?
Raybury: The probability is not zero. But letting one's emotions run high will eat up that valuable time.
Raybury: We may or may not like what lies ahead, but the only way to find out is to meet it head-on.
Beatrix: I don't know what Cassius and the drill sergeant have gotten mixed up in...
Beatrix: But if there's even one second to spare, I'll do anything to get to them!
Beatrix picks up the pace, her resolve renewed.
Isaac: I hadn't pegged you as the rah-rah type, buddy.
Raybury: No, I didn't do it for her. I want to see what's causing the chaos in CENTCOM. And I'll do whatever it takes to get us moving.

Spaghetti Syndrome - Chapter 5: Resistance - Episode 2

Raybury takes the lead, unlocking door after door as if familiar with the Society's layout. The crew can't help but wonder how that's possible, but he simply brushes it off by saying that he's composed of automagod parts. They ready themselves for battle when gunfire sounds from behind another door.

Vaseraga: It's way too quiet down here.
Isaac: We haven't seen a single person either, even though we should be getting close to the fight.
Vaseraga: ...
Isaac has joined Vaseraga at the front of the group, matching his stride. Vaseraga eyes Isaac with suspicion.
Isaac: I'm not trying to get in your way, so can you stop glaring at me, cousin? It's scary enough taking the lead.
Vaseraga: Of course it's dangerous up here, since we'll be the first ones to be attacked. Why don't you stay behind me if you're scared?
Isaac: Because my buddy insists we walk up front.
Raybury: Isaac's suit offers unparalleled survivability. It keeps him from being roasted or boiled alive, which makes him a prime candidate to take point.
Isaac: I'm like a lamb being led to the slaughter...
Vaseraga: ...
Isaac: The least you could do is pretend to sympathize with me, cousin.
The group continue to walk in this manner until they reach a blast door.
Eustace: This is Eustace. Open the door.
Someone's Voice: Emergency protocol is in effect. This door will only open for evacuees on the other side. Please evacuate immediately.
Eustace: We're here to fix the emergency. Let us through to CENTCOM.
Someone's Voice: Please evacuate immediately.
Eustace: Tch...
The voice refuses to recognize Eustace's authority.
Zeta: Something definitely went down on the other side of that door. How are we supposed to get through?
Raybury: Forget about forcing it open. Violence isn't going to solve our problem here.
Raybury touches the door.
Raybury: ...
Beatrix: It opened... What did you do?
Raybury: We shook hands, if you will. Sometimes you need a machine's touch to get things done.
The others glance at each other, feeling that Raybury has dodged the question.
Raybury: Let's press on. She told me valuable information, including the traveler's current whereabouts.
Raybury leads the group down branching corridors without hesitation while the others follow behind him, still mystified.
Lyria: The hall splits off again...
Raybury: Hm... The interrogation room should be this way.
Zeta: ...
Vyrn: Who are you anyway, Junkbot?
Raybury: Nothing more than a heap of junk as the nickname you've given me suggests. I was assembled from scrap.
Zeta: You claimed "she" gave you information—whatever that means—but I get the feeling you already knew your way around headquarters.
Raybury: I have the previous owner's body to thank for that.
Vaseraga: What's that supposed to mean?
Raybury: Isaac got his hands on the wreckage of an automagod, and its parts were incorporated into me.
Beatrix: Why did you have automagod parts, and why did you use them, Isaac?
Isaac: Erm... It's part of my job, you know? I collect and process hazardous materials. Which led to—
Raybury: That's a long story, and this isn't the best time to get into it. We should tread carefully from this point on.
Eustace: The signs of battle are getting stronger.
They strain their ears and hear muffled gunfire coming from behind another door.
Raybury: All I can say is I am not your enemy. Nor am I the same as the automagods.
Raybury: Now prepare yourselves. That walking armory is waiting for us.

Spaghetti Syndrome - Chapter 5: Resistance - Episode 3

Ilsa's group, in their effort to protect Cassius, struggles against the mechanical horde unleashed by CENTCOM. But with the crew's assistance, they are able to make it out of there in one piece. Cassius finds it illogical that they'd risk life and limb to save him, but Isaac remarks that skydwellers don't always act on logic alone.

Ilsa: More incoming! Fire!
Machine Horde: ...!
A hailstorm of bullets smashes into the horde of bugs.
Ilsa: Reload! They're after Cassius!
Ilsa: What for? I don't know. But I'm not going to let that happen!
Cassius: ...
Ilsa: Have you secured an escape route yet?
Society Soldier 2: Control room, open the blast door! I repeat: control room! Open the blast door!
Someone's Voice: Blast door operation unauthorized. A supervisor with higher security clearance is required.
Someone's Voice: An emergency has occurred. Please proceed to a designated emergency exit.
Society Soldier 2: Then open this door so we can evacuate, damn it!
Someone's Voice: Blast door operation unauthorized. A supervisor with higher security clearance is required.
Chaos reigns supreme; the soldiers are trapped in a room with rampaging machines.
Cassius: Release me from custody, and get these bindings off of me.
Cassius: Let me join the fight, or else we will all be annihilated.
Society Soldier 2: Commander! We could really use another set of hands!
Society Soldier: Yeah. CENTCOM, can't we let the traveler go under these circumstances? Please give me authorization to undo his restraints.
CENTCOM: Take the traveler to the administration office.
Society Soldier: What? Now? Can't you see what we're dealing with!
CENTCOM: Take the traveler to the administration office. Extract the spear's location.
Society Soldier: The hell happened to CENTCOM these past few days? None of these orders make any sense!
Machine Horde: ...!
The machine horde has the soldiers and Cassius pinned down.
The soldiers fumble to reload their weapons as the mass of machines approaches, but there's no time left.
Cassius: Release me from custody.
Society Soldier: I can't! The restraints can only be unlocked by CENTCOM!
Cassius: Tch!
One by one the soldiers are engulfed by machines right before their eyes.
Society Soldier 2: Please open the dooorrr!
The soldier futilely pounds on the unyielding door as a wave of machines is about to crash down on him.
Society Soldier 2: Open, open, op—
Society Soldier 2: Whoa!
Suddenly Cassius and all the soldiers pressed up against the door tumble to the floor.
Machine Horde: ...!
Zeta: Arvess!
Vaseraga: Grynoth!
Eustace: Flamek Thunder!
Beatrix: Daaah!
The Society elites burst through the now open door and obliterate the machines into a shower of metal bits and pieces.
Lyria: Cassius! Ilsa! Are you both okay?
Beatrix: Dr-drill Sergeant!
Ilsa: You guys made it!
Beatrix: What kinda dumb message was that! You had us so worried!
Ilsa: Fine, so that wasn't my proudest moment! Now get off my case and fight!
Machine Horde: ...!
Lyria: Let's go, (Captain)!
(Captain) cuts a swath through the mechanical army.
Lyria: Please help us, Colossus!
Colossus: ...!
Lyria summons an iron giant that crushes enemies with a mighty swing of its flaming sword.
Cassius: Why are you all here?
Vyrn: What's it look like? We're here to rescue you.
Cassius: Voluntarily risking one's life in the face of overwhelming danger is highly illogical.
Isaac: That's a skydweller for ya. They don't always do things because it's logical or profitable. You know that by now, don't you?
Isaac chuckles as he fiddles with Cassius's restraints.
Isaac: And you're free! Phew, these restraints actually gave me a bit of a challenge.
Raybury: Now that we've got everything, we can start repairing Yek.
Isaac: Yep, but this working environment is a little too loud for my taste. Let's get out of here!
(Captain) and company choose to retreat for the moment, making their way topside to where the Grandcypher is docked.

Spaghetti Syndrome - Chapter 5: Resistance - Episode 4

CENTCOM shows a strong reaction to seeing Lyria summon primal beasts, and unleashes another machine horde—this time to capture the girl in blue. But Cassius, in an attempt to defend her, is the one who ends up getting captured.

Colossus: ...!
CENTCOM: Primal... Relic... A threat to the survey...
CENTCOM: That girl... is a relic... database?
CENTCOM: Collecting... is my duty...
CENTCOM: Kill... blue-haired girl... The mission! The mission!
Eustace: What happened in there, Ilsa?
Ilsa: Wish I knew what was going on, but I can tell you for damn sure that the crap hit the fan.
Ilsa: Actually, I found out Mr. Heisenberg is in contact with the Foe. That jar-cruncher's sunk her claws into him.
Eustace: Hm... Where are they now?
Ilsa: Gave us the slip when it all went south. Bastards...
Eustace: I see.
Eustace: If it's any consolation, you did a good job holding out.
Ilsa: Yeah, well thanks to that, I've saved up enough expletives to make a crime lord blush.
Ilsa looks at the soldiers that have managed to make it out alive thanks to (Captain) and the others.
Society Soldier 3: Keep it together, gentlemen! Won't be long till we reach the dock!
Vyrn: Sheesh... When are we gonna finally escape from all this craziness?
Lyria: Huff... huff... I hope we can get everyone out safely...
Cassius: That will not be a problem. That little machine can bypass the security locks before doors close on us.
Isaac: I don't get it though, buddy. These machines are based on skydweller tech. Since when could you manipulate them too?
Raybury: Well...
Something happens before Raybury can answer.
Society Soldier 3: Th-the door!
The blast door in front of the group jitters to a close.
Isaac: Yikes! You'd better work your magic, buddy!
Raybury: Sorry, but this is out of my hands. Get ready for a fight. There's no telling what the next attack will be or from where it'll come.
Eustace: What makes you say that?
Cassius: The door's closure was not automated. It was forced shut judging by its erratic movement.
Beatrix: But there's no one on either side of the door to push it closed...
Cassius: There is one other possibility.
Cassius: The enemy is inside the walls.
Beatrix: What!
Cassius: The ceiling, the walls, and the floor. We're surrounded.
Society Soldiers: ...!
Cassius's words cause everyone to scan their surroundings in panic.
They hear groaning noises, as if the building is creaking under the weight of something.
Zeta: Seriously, what next?
Vaseraga: Sounds to me like giant snakes slithering around in a crawl space...
Ilsa: Hmph. Light them up the second they come out to play.
All warriors ready their weapons in anticipation. Everything suddenly goes quiet.
Vyrn: Wh-what the heck!
Ilsa: Pull up your diapers and shoot it!
Society Soldiers: Raaaah!
The bullet-riddled tendril crashes to the ground with a thud, but more tendrils pop out to continue the onslaught.
Cassius: What is this! Not even Central Axis is infested with such an amount of machinery!
Cassius: Engineer! Activate Yek!
Isaac: Oh, for the love of—I'm working on it! I need your biometrics first!
Isaac grabs his tools and goes to work on Yek as it's being held by Cassius.
Small Drone: ...!
Cassius: Tch!
Cassius crushes an incoming drone with his fist.
Cassius: Strange.
He carefully observes the drones, flitting about like a cloud of gnats.
Cassius: What are they aiming for?
Isaac: Who do you think? You!
Cassius: No, that's not it...
Lyria: ...!
Cassius looks over his shoulder at (Captain) and Lyria.
Cassius: Lyria is most likely their highest priority.
Cassius: Keep working on the spear.
Isaac: Huh? Hey! Where are you going!
Confident that the machine horde is after Lyria, Cassius lets go of Yek and sprints toward the girl.
Machine Horde: ...!
Cassius covers Lyria just as a stream of purple mucus is about to smother her.
Cassius: Ngh!
Lyria: C-Cassius!
Cassius: Is this what you would call an act of kindness? Why did I—
Cassius: ...!
Isaac: Cousin!
Cassius does his best to put up a fight, but the machines drag him into a hole in the floor.
Beatrix: What are you doing, Cassius!
Beatrix immediately leaps into the hole after him.
Ilsa: That idiot Hellcat! We're going in too!
Beatrix: Oof!
Beatrix: Ow... Where am I?
Ilsa: What's the matter with you, Hellcat! Why did you jump down alone!
Beatrix: Gulp! But Drill Sergeant, they have Cassius!
Ilsa: That's enough! I know you're not the type to look before leaping!
Someone's Voice: Warning. This is the administration office. You are not authorized to enter.
Beatrix & Ilsa: ...!
Ilsa: The tracks lead farther in.
Beatrix: You mean Cassius is being taken to see CENTCOM?
Ilsa: Stick close to me. I won't have you doing anything reckless on my watch.
Ilsa and Beatrix proceed deeper into the building.
Red-Haired Girl: Bring Agent Cassius to to to the moon.
Cassius: Tch!
Cassius struggles to free himself from the sticky substance covering his body.
Red-Haired Girl: Putting target into standby-by-by mode.
The girl extends a tendril from her body and injects it into Cassius's neck.
Cassius: Augh! Guh...
Cassius's body convulses violently before going limp, his face devoid of expression.
Beatrix: So you're the one calling all the shots, huh? What did you do to him!
Red-Haired Girl: Go go... home...
Beatrix: ...?
The red-haired girl mutters to herself, having not heard a word of what Beatrix said. More tendrils appear and wrap around Cassius's body.
Red-Haired Girl: I tawn ot og hemo og hemo.

I tawn ot og hemo og hemo.

I tawn ot og hemo og hemo.
She uses her writhing mass of tendrils to pierce through the ceiling and vanishes into the hole with her captive.
Beatrix: Cassius!
Beatrix reaches out for him, but she comes up clutching at air.
Her shouts ring hollow into the black void that the girl has disappeared into.

Spaghetti Syndrome - Chapter 6: Excision - Episode 1

Considering that CENTCOM—who turns out to be a lone girl-turned-automagod—has lunar roots and wanted both Cassius and his spear, Isaac suspects she may be headed toward his rocket to take off to the moon. But without Yek, it's very likely that CENTCOM and Cassius will be doomed to an eternal space coffin.

Society Soldier: Sergeant Ilsa! You're safe!
Ilsa: Hmph. Congratulations on surviving, but that's all you'll get from me.
Society Soldier: Things were looking real bad in there, but then the machine horde left us alone.
Society Soldier 2: I couldn't believe it. The machine swarm stopped attacking, bunched up together, and flew off somewhere.
(Captain) and company have no idea where the red-haired girl has taken Cassius.
Any hope of recovering him seems lost.
Isaac: I might have an idea where they went.
Isaac has been thinking for a while. He shares his thoughts with the others.
Isaac: They're probably heading for my house.
Beatrix: Your house? What's so special about your place?
Eustace: Tell us why you think so, Isaac.
Isaac: Actually I'm all but certain I'm right, but we're running out of time. Can I tell you on the way there?
Isaac: Judging from how CENTCOM has been targeting Cassius and from the way she fights, I'm positive her origins stem from the moon.
Isaac: CENTCOM is trying to get back to the moon too. That's why she and I have been scrambling to get to Cassius first.
Zeta: If she wants to go back so badly, why doesn't she just go by herself? Seems to me she's got all the machines she needs.
Isaac: It's impossible. The moon is so high up, not even an automagod using a repulsion field could make it there.
Raybury: You'd need to be able to control a power source that's strong enough to blow an island off course.
Isaac: That's why the people from the moon were forced to live here. Same could be said for Cassius.
Isaac: My ancestors, Grace's ancestors, and even those of CENTCOM... We're like one big family that was abandoned by the moon.
Ilsa: Why did they leave the moon in the first place to come here? Why did the moon abandon them?
Isaac: Perhaps curiosity got the better of them? I never learned why they came to the Sky Realm.
Isaac: But the reason for abandonment simply boils down to cost. The moon valued saving fuel over the lives of their own.
Isaac: It's not like you can float up to the moon with a whole bunch of balloons. The engineers in my family have toiled for hundreds of years to build a vehicle capable of moon travel.
Isaac: Components from the moon sometimes land in the Sky Realm, and we used those parts to make a rocket—a vehicle that will go where no airship has gone before.
Vyrn: You guys made something that can fly higher than any airship can? That's pretty crazy.
Vaseraga: But as a side effect, your invention will allow moondwellers to come here in droves.
Raybury: The rocket is essentially a one-way ticket. It can't be flown multiple times and guzzles far too much dark essence.
Isaac: My rocket isn't going to change the status quo between the Sky Realm and the moon, I promise.
Eustace: Tell me one thing.
Isaac: Just one? Let the questions fly, cousin.
Eustace: Why did that monstrosity leave Cassius's spear behind?
Beatrix: Hey, yeah... You said before that Yek is needed in order to fly to the moon.
Isaac: Right, so that's kind of why I asked you guys to shake a leg. Which do you want to hear first, the bad news or the even badder news?
Vyrn: Is there a none of the above option?
Isaac: Okay, bad news it is. That monstrosity has realized she can't repair Yek.
Isaac: So in her impatience, she's going to fly the rocket manually.
Isaac: That leads to the badder news. Only Yek can pull off something that risky. One mistake and you can kiss landing on the moon goodbye.
Beatrix: So what's going to happen to Cassius?
Raybury: Cassius will have said his last goodbye to both the skies and the moon.
Beatrix: Ergh! Just tell me where he's going to land!
Raybury: Nowhere. He'll be trapped in a rocket coffin, traveling forever through a void where no light shines.
Beatrix: ...!
Isaac: I'm glad you care about him, because I would hate to abandon him too.
Isaac: I've mentioned my goals to you guys before. At the very least, I want to repay a longstanding favor to the skydwellers and return to the moon.
(Captain) feels a tinge of uncertainty. Is it a good idea to take Isaac at his word?
But for the moment, they do share a common goal in wanting to rescue Cassius.
Trusting in Isaac's integrity, (Captain) and company make haste to the rocket before the giant machine blasts off, never to be seen again.

Spaghetti Syndrome - Chapter 6: Excision - Episode 2

Perceiving CENTCOM to be a dire threat to all like any other automagod, the skyfarers on the island launch an all-out attack against her. Heisenberg and Grace watch the battle from afar, pleased to see that anyone can take a stand against automagods thanks to the spread of anti-primal ordnance.

Red-Haired Girl: ...
Cassius: ...
The girl lands on an island along with her army of machines. The purple mucus trapping Cassius has solidified into purple crystalline shackles.
Cassius: Hawt rea ouy lannping?
Red-Haired Girl: I tawn ot og hemo.
Cassius: Nugis tath crekot? Tosp. Ti si troncunlalobel othtiwu Yek.
Red-Haired Girl: I tawn ot og hemo og hemo.
The girl stares up the rocket with wide red eyes, a twisted expression clouding her face.
Red-Haired Girl: I tawn ot og hemo og hemo.
I tawn ot og hemo og hemo.
Cassius: (She's malfunctioning.)
Red-Haired Girl: Ot ot ot hemo hemo ot hemo.
Cassius: (Has she gone past the time limit to get the procedure?)
Cassius gives the girl a cursory glance.
Then he looks at a town not too far away.
Cassius: (We may have been spotted by the townspeople. That is only going to make matters worse when they come to investigate.)
Cassius: Vacittae praknilesil.
Cassius spreads painkillers through his system in anticipation of the violence that's about to unfold.
Skyfarer 1: Damn, I knew I wasn't seeing things!
Skyfarer 2: Yeah, it's those mechanical monster thingies, and they've come to mess up our island!
Cassius and the girl feel the accusatory eyes of islanders boring into them.
Red-Haired Girl: I tawn ot og hemo og hemo.
I tawn ot og hemo og hemo.
Skyfarers: ...!
Skyfarer 1: Are you armed?
Skyfarer 2: Hell yeah I am!
Cassius: To all who are present, allow me to say this for your own good: leave this place at once.
Skyfarer 1: Or what? You're gonna hurt us? I'd like to see you try!
Cassius's words only rile the men up further. They take aim with their guns.
Cassius: ...
Skyfarer 2: Suck on this!
Their guns are loaded with anti-primal rounds developed by the Society.
Past incidents have put people on edge. First there was Automagod Grynoth's rampage.
Then there was the fake Automagod Pyet-A's Halloween nightmare.
Profits from the race to develop weaponry in case of future automagod attacks continues to line the Society's pockets.
Red-Haired Girl: Yeeeenneem ooodpetst...
The red-haired girl's hand transforms from flesh into steel to block the incoming bullets.
Numerous tendrils explode out in all directions to attack the nearest hostiles.
Skyfarers: Gaaaugh!
Unmanned Machine: ...!
Two figures watch this clash of flesh and metal from afar.
Heisenberg: Our plan is coming together much better than I had anticipated, if I may say so myself.
Grace: Mm-hm. The seeds we sowed have pushed sky weapon technology to another level.
Heisenberg: If that's the case, then you don't have to buy us time anymore.
Grace: Good, because it was getting too close for comfort. If she makes it back to the moon, we can kiss the skies goodbye.
Skyfarer 1: Go back to the junkyard where you belong!
Unmanned Machine: ...!
Heisenberg: It's been worth all this heartache. I really hated sending fellow skydwellers to their deaths.
Grace: Too true. Dying men, women, and children are a sad sight to see.
Unmanned Machine: ...!
Skyfarer 2: Ungh!
Heisenberg: However, this mission is ours to bear, and we must see it through.
Grace: When the Central Axis that abandoned our families comes to the skies, the skydwellers will be able to protect themselves.
Skyfarer 3: Grr! We need backup!
Skyfarers: Raaagh!
Heisenberg: The skydwellers who saved our ancestors when Central Axis would not...
Grace: We are alive today because of them.
Heisenberg: Our debt must be repaid, Grace. The skydwellers mustn't fall victim to Central Axis's overbearing rationalism.
Grace: Yes. Further war must be waged. One sacrifice will save one hundred; one hundred sacrifices will save ten thousand.
Heisenberg: All that we do is for the greater good of the Sky Realm. For the greater good of the skydwellers.
Grace: And to that end, we have chosen to become the "Foe" of the Sky Realm.
Gunfire echoes through the air as Heisenberg and Grace leave the battlefield behind.
The flames of a new conflict are gathering strength, begging for a chance to exact revenge on Central Axis.

Spaghetti Syndrome - Chapter 6: Excision - Episode 3

A losing battle becomes an evenly matched one when the crew, along with the weapon contractors, joins the fray. Isaac sets into motion a plan to recover Cassius.

(Captain) and company can see Isaac's rocket in the distance.
Even from the airship's deck, they can make out skyfarers engaging in a frenetic battle with a red-haired girl.
Vaseraga: It's a war zone down there.
Zeta: 'Bout time we joined in on the fun.
Isaac: Don't forget to keep my rocket safe too. Do you understand how much time and effort would be lost if anti-primal bullets ripped into the hull?
Eustace: First we have to secure Cassius.
Isaac: Good call. We can stop her if we use Yek's power. Or at least I think that should work.
Beatrix: I hope he's okay down there, all by his lonely self...
Vyrn: Why are we flappin' our gums then? Let's get down there already!
Ilsa: My troops are ready to go. Follow the plan, and we'll get through this.
Lyria: Do you think the plan will work?
Isaac: Uncertainty is part of life, no matter how many times you get to relive it. That's another motto my engineering family likes to say.
Raybury: I've calculated the fastest way to get to the fighting. Bring the ship over there. That's as close as we can get without being spotted.
Raybury: The plan should be burned in your heads. All that's left is to pull it off.
  1. Let's go!

Choose: Let's go!
All: Roger!
The bow of the Grandcypher pulls in close to Raybury's designated landing spot.
Machine Horde: ...!
Skyfarer 3: There's too many of 'em! Are we screwed?
Ilsa: All units, open fire!
Machine Horde: ...!
Ilsa: Good work holding the line. We'll take it from here. Fall back to a safe position and heal up.
Skyfarer 3: Huh? Who are you to barge in and issue orders?
Skyfarer 3: You think we're just gonna turn tail and let those things run amok?
Ilsa: Hmph, just don't get in our way!
Ilsa: We've got extra ammo! Take what you need!
Ilsa rallies the skyfarers, and they line up shoulder to shoulder with her own Society soldiers.
Isaac is hiding in a thicket, working as quickly as he can to play his role in the plan. He nervously eyes his allies who are providing covering fire.
Zeta: Are you done yet?
Vaseraga: I can't take any more senseless casualties piling up. We're heading out.
Isaac: Calm down, calm down! I've almost got it!
Beatrix: Hey! Why am I on backup duty! I didn't agree to this!
Eustace: A contractor without her seal weapon is a liability on the front line.
Beatrix: Urk...
Beatrix: Damn it! Why did that stupid Alandus have to mess with my partner!
Beatrix's pouting goes unnoticed by Isaac, who is solely focused on the device in front of him.
Raybury: My analysis of the battlefield's situation tells me you're out of time, Isaac.
Isaac: Um, er... Five minutes! Give me five more minutes!
His fingers twist and tie wires as fast as they can move.
Ilsa: Ugh!
Ilsa: Tch! Don't let up!
Zeta: Ilsa!
Beatrix: Drill Sergeant!
Isaac: Hey, wait!
Seeing Ilsa get wounded is too much for Zeta and Beatrix to sit idly by, and they quickly rush to their superior's aid.
Raybury: Your deadline just got shorter.
Isaac: You're not helping! I thought we were all supposed to stick to the plan!
Raybury: Remember that you're alive today specifically because skydwellers tend to not follow plans.
Isaac: Yeah... And not a day goes by where I'm not grateful to them for that.
Vaseraga: Keep him safe, Eustace.
Eustace: Roger.
Vaseraga enters the fray, leaving Isaac with only one contractor left to protect him. Eustace quietly checks his gun.

Spaghetti Syndrome - Chapter 6: Excision - Episode 4

Recalling that skydwellers didn't think twice about helping his ancestors, Isaac is ready to do whatever he can to repay the favor. While the battle against CENTCOM rages on, he repairs the jamming device that had been used earlier to disable the weapon contractors.

Lyria: What about us, (Captain)?
  1. Let's go help Zeta and the others.
  2. We're protecting Isaac.

Choose: Let's go help Zeta and the others.
Isaac: Not you guys too...
Raybury: It might not be a bad idea to have all our firepower concentrated on the front line.
Isaac: Yeah? Well, it's too reckless! Huff!
You should be... Ungh!
Against it!
Isaac twists a bundle of wires with all his might, and the device rewards his efforts with a short beep.
Isaac: But if you're set on going out there, let the others know that I'm almost ready.
(Captain) nods and hurries off to join Zeta and the others.
Red-Haired Girl: I tawn ot og hemo og hemo.
Zeta: What does she keep mumbling to herself?
Zeta: Haagh!
Vaseraga: It's hard to make out, but I think she's saying, "I want to go home."
Vaseraga: Grah!
Beatrix: Take that! And that! Out of my way!
Beatrix: What home is she talking about? The moon?
Vaseraga: Mm, her speech is becoming less coherent, but I think that's what she means.
Vaseraga: She's breaking down... She's been waiting for a long, long time.
Zeta: Just like Isaac's family, watching generations go by for hundreds of years...
Vaseraga: I get the sense that her situation is a little different from theirs.
Zeta: Either way, doesn't that prove that the rest of her moonkind tossed her aside?
Beatrix: Her and Cassius both...
Red-Haired Girl: I tawn ot og hemo og hemo.
The red-haired girl stands alone in the middle of a sea of machines. Beatrix feels a modicum of sympathy for her.
Beatrix: It didn't have to turn out this way. If she'd just gotten to know Cassius or Isaac, I bet they could've made it home perfectly fine...
Vaseraga: There are people who'd rather die than let that happen. There must be a reason why.
The battle has devolved into a stalemate. (Captain) and company come running in to lend support.
Vyrn: Everyone okay over here?
Beatrix: That girl's mega dangerous! She's got, like, an unlimited supply of machines! Where are they all coming from?
Lyria: It feels like the powers of primal beasts are gathering...
Vyrn: I'm not saying it's impossible, but I reeaally hope she can't summon primal beasts like Lyria can...
Red-Haired Girl: Teg teg teg het malrip...
Lyria: I think I see things in a different way from other people.
Lyria: If I lost something really important to me, I could see myself turning out like her too.
Vaseraga: That's why (Captain) and all of us are here to prevent that from ever happening.
Zeta: Yeah, one berserk Vaseraga is more than enough.
Beatrix: Besides, no matter what happens, we'd never abandon you.
Lyria: Or Cassius either.
Beatrix: Yeah. But...
Beatrix: All we can do is push forward!
Vyrn: The soldiers are almost out of bullets. At this rate we'll be overrun!
Beatrix: Ugggh! If only I had Embrasque!
Raybury: You all look like you could use some help.
Vyrn: Uh, what're you doing over here? I thought fighting wasn't your thing.
Raybury: I have two pieces of news. First, Isaac's gambit is almost ready to go.
Raybury: Second, I thought you might like to know that I'm quite good at mimicry.
Vyrn: Is that supposed to be a joke? You know this is an emergency, right?
Raybury: It might sound like I'm malfunctioning, but I can assure you I'm operating at normal capacity.
Raybury: While it's true I'm not a fighter, there is a way I can be of service. But it has to be done before Isaac sets the trap in motion.
A loud buzzing sound fills the air, signaling that Isaac's part of the plan is about to start shortly.
Zeta: So... we won't be able to use our seal weapons, right?
Raybury: Only momentarily. The machines will be knocked out briefly. Use that time to get the traveler away from her.
Raybury: Beatrix. You're known to excel in dire situations, correct?
Beatrix: Huh? Uh, yeah! I don't know why, but I never lose! Um, because I know I can't lose!
Raybury: I admire your attitude. Use it well when it comes time to clean house.
(Captain), Zeta, Vaseraga, and Beatrix line up, ready to charge at the red-haired girl, who has become a quivering mass of various machinery.
Cassius: ...
Their next move has to be swift and coordinated if they're to snatch Cassius from the girl's cold, hard tendrils.
Ilsa: Quit gawking like a tourist! Keep the ammo flowing!
Society Soldier: Drill Sergeant! Their numbers keep growing, and we're down to our last crate of bullets!
Ilsa: How many more times can we run covering fire?
Society Soldier: Two. Two and a half tops.
Ilsa: Heh. Not a bullet wasted before we die. Just the way I like it.
Ilsa: Start evacuating the wounded! I'm ordering a full retreat after the next barrage!
Zeta: This is it!
Vaseraga: Mm.
Beatrix: You sure you're gonna be okay?
Raybury: I've told you before, I'm very good at pretending to be something else.
Ilsa pops a flare, and (Captain)'s team moves in while the soldiers pull back.
Machine Horde: ...!
Lyria: Please help us, Tiamat!
Tiamat: ...!
The primal beast of wind looses a strong gale that scatters the swarm.
Red-Haired Girl: Zaylangin...Analyzing...
Lyria: ...
The red-haired girl loses interest in the soldiers. She turns her focus to Lyria, silently gazing at the blue-haired girl.
Machine Horde: ...!
Lyria's actions have agitated the machine swarm.
Zeta: They got a taste of the primal beasts we took down with our seal weapons, and now Lyria's looking appetizing to them too.
Vaseraga: Zeta, Beatrix. Make sure nothing happens to (Captain) and the others.
(Captain) and company charge forward, slicing and dicing their way through the machines.
Red-Haired Girl: ...
Despite the numerous bullet wounds that mar the red-haired girl's face, she never takes her eyes off Lyria.
Raybury: Poor Yatima.
Beatrix: Hm? Did you say something?
Raybury: No. In any case, we're up. It's now or never.
Beatrix: Embrasque! Can you hear me?
Beatrix: Lend me your power one more time!
Beatrix reaches into her pouch and pulls out Embrasque's hilt. She puts it in Raybury's mouth.
Feeling as if she has no other choice, Beatrix hurls Embrasque and Raybury at the mechanical tendrils, hoping the plan will work.
Red-Haired Girl: ...!
The combination of Embrasque and Raybury severs the tendrils holding Cassius, and a look of shock crosses the red-haired girl's face.
Cassius: Guh!
Beatrix: Cassius!
Cassius: What did you do just now?
Beatrix: How should I know? That robot said it's made from parts of an automagod, so it was able to copy Embrasque's blade somehow.
Beatrix: Look, let's just get you out of here!
Beatrix grabs the exhausted Cassius, and they try to regroup with the rest of the team.
But the horde that is engaged with Zeta and the others moves to intercept Beatrix, cutting her and Cassius off from the group.

Choose: We're protecting Isaac.
Eustace: I'll shoot down any enemy that comes this way. You mop up whatever I miss, (Captain).
Eustace issues orders to (Captain) as he scans for targets.
  1. You can count on me.
  2. I guess I won't have much to do.

Choose: You can count on me.
Eustace: I know. Thanks.

Choose: I guess I won't have much to do.
Eustace: I'll do my best to meet your expectations...
Continue 2
Raybury: How does it look, buddy?
Isaac: Almost there, I swear!
Ilsa's Voice: Reinforcements are here! All regular personnel, retreat! That includes you, skyfarers!
Zeta: Daaah!
Vaseraga: Grah!
Beatrix: Take this! Gotcha!
Zeta and the other contractors take the place of Ilsa's troops and the skyfarers. (Captain)'s team watches the action unfold from the thicket.
It appears the mighty contractors have the full attention of the enemy, and (Captain) starts to wonder if Isaac needs the extra protection.
Eustace: You're itching to get in there, aren't you?
Vyrn: Yeah. From the looks of it, (Captain) would probably feel better providing Red and the others with backup.
Lyria: I'm a little worried, (Captain).
Lyria: I want Cassius and everyone else to come back safely.
Isaac: ...
Raybury: You look like you're about to cry, buddy.
Isaac: See, this is a prime example of how instinctive skydwellers can be.
Vyrn: Huh, you're startin' to sound like Cassius.
Isaac: I'm putting myself in my ancestors' shoes, okay? And the emotions are hitting me hard.
Isaac: Just imagine the panic you'd feel from being stranded in an unfamiliar place because fuel costs outweighed your own life.
Isaac: But the people of the skies didn't think twice before lending a helping hand. That's the reason why I'm even alive today.
Isaac: I'm honored knowing that the skills passed down within my family can be of service to the descendants of our saviors.
Sparks erupt underneath Isaac's hands, and the device meekly coughs to life.
Red-Haired Girl: ...!
Vyrn: Shoot! That scary girl's lookin' right at us!
Isaac: Damn, she must've heard that!
Raybury: I think she's realized why this device you're fixing is so pivotal to this battle. They're coming.
The machine horde has zeroed in on its next target, moving toward Isaac with fury.
Eustace: Cover your ears.
Flamek Thunder unleashes a burst of lightning that vaporizes the incoming machines.
Eustace: It'll take time to reload. Cover me, (Captain).
(Captain) immediately assumes a fighting stance, sword ready to slash the enemy to bits.
Small Drone: ...!
(Captain) cleaves a hovering machine that invaded their hiding spot in two.
Eustace: Locked and loaded. Let's go.
Another round of lightning tears through the machine ranks, whittling them down to nothing.
Raybury: So the power of the seal weapons has come this far...
Lyria: I'm not sure why, but Eustace's gun feels different from when we first met.
Eustace: It's changed over time, similar to how Embrasque alters its form when needed.
Isaac: Like it's adapting to its wielder? That's pretty interesting considering the seal weapons are creations from the moon.
Isaac's attention never sways from the device in front of him despite the raging battle swirling in the background.
Isaac: Did I mention this jamming device that put Cassius and Vaseraga out of commission requires some form of authentication to activate?
Isaac: It goes without saying that a more powerful device like Yek employs similar security.
Eustace: Then what about the seal weapons?
Isaac: Obviously those weapons should have safeguards that prevent anyone other than the contractor from using them. Did you ever sign a contract with the moon or something?
Isaac: How is it you're able to use the seal weapons without authentication? On top of that, why have the weapons adapted themselves to you personally?
Isaac finishes up and closes the lid of the device that will play a key role in their plan.
Isaac: That's enough questions for now. It's time for the main event!
Isaac: We'll use what little juice this baby has left to jam the machines for a few moments.
Isaac: That should buy enough time to rescue Cassius, but keep in mind your seal weapons will be down too.
Zeta, Vaseraga, and Beatrix charge at the red-haired girl.
Isaac: Right-o, here we go!
(Captain) takes off into a run. When the timing is right, Isaac activates the device.
Continue 1
Eerie Signal: 000100101101100011—

Spaghetti Syndrome - Chapter 6: Excision - Episode 5

Isaac activates the repaired jamming device, shutting down CENTCOM just long enough to take back Cassius. The crew uses this opportunity to regroup for the final stretch of the battle.

Red-Haired Girl: ...!
Cassius: Guh!
Vaseraga: Ungh!
The instant Isaac switches on the device, everything with origins connected to the moon stops moving.
Beatrix: Whoo! Got 'em! I don't get his handy-dandy spiel, but that engineer rocks!
Zeta: I hope CENTCOM likes the taste of her own medicine. That'll teach her for using the device against us when Cassius was captured.
Vaseraga: I can bear the pain, but not for long.
Zeta: It's always something with you.
Beatrix: You two guys are a pain in the butt to take care of!
Isaac's success buys just enough time for everyone to get away from the red-haired girl.
Red-Haired Girl: I... I...
Red-Haired Girl: I tawn ot og hemo og hemo.

I tawn ot og hemo og hemo.

I tawn ot og hemo og hemo.
Raybury: The opposing combatants have rebooted. Are you all able to fight again?
Vaseraga: I'm at full strength.
Zeta: Bring it on.
Cassius: Same. I am ready to join in.
Isaac: Sorry, cousin. I need your help repairing Yek. Can't do it without your authentication.
Cassius: What?
Raybury: Here's what we're dealing with. Listen carefully.
Raybury: She looks like a girl on the outside, but on the inside lurks an automagod packed with enough dense machine cells to form its own island.
Raybury: If every soldier here were to pool their collective power together, they still wouldn't come close to being able to destroy that mass of cells.
Cassius: ...!
Isaac: The only way to stop her is to fix Yek, like, really, really fast and send out a kill command.
Cassius: ...
That is a sound conclusion. It pains me as a warrior, but I will remain here on standby.
Red-Haired Girl: Difn tagen sussica...Find Agent Cassius...
Lyria: I-is that girl really an automagod?
Lyria: I feel so much sadness coming from her...
Cassius: She possess both qualifiers of a moondweller and an automagod. I assume she assimilated with an automagod?
Raybury: Yes, probably in a bid to extend her life.
Eustace: She's gone past the expiration date...
Raybury: Correct. She is not a descendant, but one of the original moondwellers to be sent here.
Isaac: Wow, so she actually knew my ancestors then?
Raybury: Yes. She's not driven by the need to satisfy her ancestor's wishes, because she has none. No, all she wanted was to go home, and she bought herself time by fusing with an automagod.
Raybury: But as time went on, the automagod took over her entire being. This is the result of what she's become.
Zeta: ...
Vaseraga: What is it?
Zeta: Remind you of anyone else who became a shell of their former self?
Vaseraga: ...
Raybury: The girl that used to exist is as good as gone. We should put her out of her misery.
Zeta: Yeah. I can't see any other way around this.
Zeta quietly grips her spear. She looks neither sad nor angry.
Arvess emits a faint glow, as if resonating with its wielder's feelings.
Vaseraga: If it's for the sake of ending her ongoing torment, let it be at my hands.
As if craving a bit of rivalry with Arvess, Great Scythe Grynoth begins to change shape.
Beatrix: Since when are you two so in sync? Well, I've got my own partner! You're with me, right, little robot?
Raybury: Unfortunately that trick will only work once. And I have to reserve my support for my buddy here.
Beatrix: Tch! Fine! I guess my sword is the only friend I have!
Eustace: ...
Eustace: Calm down. I'll be your backup. We don't need an angry Ilsa on our backs if something goes wrong.
Beatrix: P-psh! Try not to slow me down, Eustace!
Isaac: ...
Cassius: What are you doing? You need to repair Yek quickly.
Isaac: Right. Sorry. Just thinking about my own history and stuff.
It's time for the decisive battle. The warriors won't back down against the red-haired girl.
Red-Haired Girl: Difn tagen sussica...Find Agent Cassius...
Red-Haired Girl: Dan rutner mih ot het noom!And return him to the moon!

Spaghetti Syndrome - Ending - Episode 1

Cassius sustains heavy injuries in the battle against CENTCOM. The weapon contractors unleash one devastating blow after another, trying to fight her off. Fortunately, Isaac repairs Yek in the nick of time, allowing Cassius to send a kill command. At the battle's end, Isaac reports that Cassius's chances of recovery are slim.

Yatima: ...!
Recognizing the power of (Captain) and the contractors, the red-haired girl unleashes everything she has.
The grass plains instantly morph into a slithering pit of mechanical tendrils that threatens to smother the fighters.
Zeta: Crap!
Vaseraga: Is this what Raybury meant by enough cells to form an island?
Vyrn: Nooo! These things are crawling over everything!
Lyria: Yggdrasil!
Stone spires erupt from the ground, cutting through tendrils. But even the spires are soon wrapped in serpentine metal that unceasingly pursues (Captain) and company.
Cassius: ...!
Cassius scowls at what he's seeing, still holding onto Yek as Isaac works on it.
Cassius: Are you not done yet?
Isaac: It's in the middle of its startup sequence! Hang on a little longer!
Cassius: There's no time!
Cassius: ...!
Cassius is caught off guard by the impatience in his own voice.
Isaac: I know, I know! Keep calm, cousin.
Isaac: Just like you and my ancestors, I want to help out (Captain) and the others in any way I can!
Beatrix: Ugh! What's with these stupid things!
Eustace: Get back! I'm going to fire!
Beatrix: Eeeek!
Beatrix disengages from her fight with the tendrils, stumbling back to Eustace's position in the nick of time.
Beatrix: Th-that was too close!
Eustace: I guess you weren't going to take the hit after all.
Beatrix: Of course not! I only throw myself into danger when I'm fighting with Embrasque!
Cassius: You would go that far for them?
Isaac: Yep. That's why I'm fixing Yek. My ancestors probably fixed up weapons for the skydwellers too.
Isaac: I doubt you're the only moondweller to grow attached to the skydwellers.
Isaac: My ancestors must've been worried that if and when the moon invaded the skies, the skydwellers that helped them would come under fire.
Cassius: ...
Isaac: That's why the first moondwellers to come over here snuck hidden features into the seal weapons supplied by Central Axis, careful not to let the bigwigs back home find out.
Cassius: Which explains why those weapon contractors can use the weapons as they do.
Isaac: Most assuredly.
Isaac: Okay, just one more twist of this thing here, and—
Cassius: ...!
Cassius and Isaac reflexively turn toward the earsplitting roar.
The entire area is blanketed by the shadow of a hulking beast.
Yatima: Oooo...
Machine cells ooze out from what was supposed to be a red-haired girl.
The cells coalesce into a pillar that extends toward the sky above, flashing a myriad of colors before settling on black.
Vyrn: Uh, guys? How do we take that thing out?
Lyria: (Captain)... Please don't let go of my hand.
(Captain) grasps Lyria's hand, eyes closing as if to say a prayer.
The monstrosity can't be destroyed without a power strong enough to decimate an entire island. There is one option that may still work.
Lyria: Bahamut, please help us!
Surely this primal beast's destructive power will have some effect.
And it does, though not in the way they were expecting.
Yatima: Aaaaah!
A flap of the dragon's wings draws out a terrified scream from the girl who has turned into a black pillar.
Scores of metal spikes shoot out toward (Captain) and Lyria.
Lyria: ...!
There's nowhere to run from the black death raining down on them.
The two huddle close, hands held tight.
And then they hear the gut-wrenching sound of blades piercing into flesh.
Cassius: Uagh!
Lyria: Ca—
Lyria: Cassius!
Beatrix: Cassius!
When Lyria and (Captain) open their eyes, they see the man who had shielded them.
Vaseraga: ...!
Zeta: ...!
Zeta grits her teeth, her fists clenched around her spear, shaking with anger.
Zeta: Why won't any of you...
Zeta: Think about not throwing your life away!
The white hot tip of Arvess pierces through the black pillar.
Vaseraga: Oooaagh!
Vaseraga hacks away at the pillar like a man possessed and beyond all reasoning.
Eustace: ...!
Though he appears calm on the surface, Eustace quietly lines up his shots amid the anger seething beneath.
Yatima: Aaaaah!
The combined firepower of the seal weapons chisel away the base of the black pillar, causing it to shudder and crash to the ground.
Isaac: What were you thinking, cousin! If you die, it'll all be for nothing!
Cassius: I avoided an instant death...
With the last of his strength, Cassius grabs Yek, and Isaac applies the finishing touches.
Isaac: Geez, you could've waited another millisecond for me to finish! I thought people from the moon weren't supposed to give in to their emotions!
Cassius: ...
Yatima: Ooooo!
As the black pillar attempts to right itself, Yek begins to glow.
Cassius: Cerof udatomoga dwontush.Force automagod shutdown.
Yek acknowledges the command, causing the pillar to collapse again, only this time it disintegrates into a soot-like substance.
Cassius: Cough...
Raybury: Your internal organs are badly damaged.
Beatrix: Damn it, Cassius! Why'd you do something so reckless?
Cassius: I do not know. By the time I realized what I had done, I found myself in front of (Captain) and Lyria.
Beatrix: I'll yell at you again after we get you to a doctor!
Isaac: No, you're better off not doing that.
Isaac's suggestion is met with glares.
Isaac: The people from the moon are partially mechanized. Magic can heal his skin and bones, but his machine parts are the problem.
Raybury: For example, his digestive system is one such part. He'll have metal fragments stuck in there if surgery is poorly executed.
Zeta: What's your great idea then? We just leave him to die?
Isaac: No... If you let the moon people examine him, there's a chance they can save him.
Beatrix: Oh, that's convenient! You're just trying to make an excuse to bring him back to the moon!
Isaac: You're half right. As for the other half, I genuinely am trying to save him.
Isaac: I owe my life to the skydwellers who saved my ancestors. The blood of those kind souls courses through my veins. I'm not about to sit here and watch Cassius die.
Cassius: ...
Isaac's heartfelt plea combined with Cassius's fading condition is enough to change the skydwellers' minds.
They help prepare to launch the rocket that Isaac had built.
Isaac: Are you at peace with your decision?
Cassius: Yes...
Raybury: There's no telling what might happen along the way. Are you ready for this?
Cassius: Yes...

Spaghetti Syndrome - Ending - Episode 2

The rocket launches, sending Isaac and Cassius to the moon—where the latter will have a much a better chance of survival. After seeing them off, Zeta and the others discuss how Heisenberg has become the de facto leader of what remains of the Society, and has even put a bounty on the weapon contractors. They will likely be hunted by skyfarers and Society soldiers alike for some time to come.

Zeta: Are we far enough away from the blast zone?
Beatrix: Kinda defeats the purpose of seeing someone off by being this far away...
Lyria: I hope Cassius will be okay...
Vaseraga: There must be a reason why he was called back to the moon. It seems unlikely to go through all this trouble simply to watch him die.
Those that remain in the Sky Realm pray for Cassius's safe journey. The purple glow from the base of the launch pad grows in intensity.
Vyrn: I'd like to see that guy come back soon.
Beatrix: Damn it! Who else am I going to share my bread with if he doesn't come back?
Eustace: ...
They watch as the rocket climbs toward the heavens and beyond.
The rocket bids farewell to the familiar blue, leaving behind a trail of spent dark essence.
Raybury: And so we have slipped the surly bonds of the skies. Finally we are on our way to the moon.
Isaac: How are you feeling, cousin?
Cassius: This tape has successfully staunched the bleeding.
Isaac: Quite the handy-dandy tape, if I do say so myself. You can use it to stick anything together. I was even thinking about using it to tape air ducts.
Cassius: ...
Cassius stares absentmindedly out a little window. It's not clear if he heard Isaac or not.
Cassius: (Why?)
Cassius: (Why am I remembering this now?)
Beatrix: What's wrong with you? Oh, you must be hungry! This bread'll do you some good. It tastes even better with strawberry jam!
Zeta: Listen to me! Those words are just part of the yukata's design. You don't have to read them aloud!
Vaseraga: Hold on, Cassius. That's alcohol.
Vaseraga: ...
Ilsa: Would you stop wandering off? You're like a fresh recruit who's yet to have their soul ripped out by boot camp...
Eustace: You like it?
Eustace: I see.
Lyria: Guess what, Cassius! The next island is supposed to have all kinds of delicious food stands!
Vyrn: Aha! I told you he'd say "fascinating"!
Isaac: You've been pretty quiet there, cousin. Something on your mind?
Isaac: Oh crap! Don't tell me the pressure caused a hemorrhage—
Cassius: ...
Isaac: Cousin?
Cassius: Yes?
Isaac: Oh. Um, never mind. You didn't look too well, is all.
Cassius: The bleeding has stopped. I am fine.
Isaac: Sure, yeah. That's all that matters.
Isaac: ...
Isaac: Say, I was just thinking. Do you have any regrets leaving the sky? Because I do, to tell you the truth.
Cassius: According to a story I once read, that is how you would hope to feel upon finishing a trip.
Isaac: Yeah, makes sense. That's how you know you had a fun time.
Cassius: Furthermore...
Cassius pauses for a bit, then closes his mouth.
What appears as a pearly white circle from afar gives way to the grey moon surface. This is the landscape Cassius had always known.
Cassius: !
Isaac: Urgh! I've lost flight controls!
Raybury: We're caught in something. Don't try any exaggerated maneuvers, or the rocket will tear itself apart.
???: ...
Cassius: Why here of all places? I will go outside to fight it. Get your gear on, Isaac.
Isaac: Don't be crazy! You're in no condition to fight, cousin!
Cassius: This is the first time I've seen one this big. Give me Yek.
Raybury: You're at a disadvantage. Three more entities have been alerted to our presence, bringing the total to four.
Cassius: Tch!
Cassius firmly grips the handle of the hatch door and is about to turn it.
Man: It's really slow for its size. Maybe it was only used in the past as cannon fodder against the automagods.
Woman: Aww... Is there nothing left on it I can eat?
Young Man: I got to see something wonderful... Meeting big ones are the best...
Man: Do you sense anything else, Ellis?
Young Man: Oooh, yes... I can see it... I can see the nothingness...
Man: I've got too much adrenaline. I need something to smash.
Woman: Too bad. This appetite of mine won't leave me alone. Isn't there anything I can eat?
Man: What if I smashed this rocket? Yeah, that sounds like a good idea.
Woman: The rocket looks delicious.
Young Man: Hmm... Whether we smash it or eat it, I see the important one getting angry with us...
Man: Then let's show them the way in.
Woman: Can it be the way into my stomach?
Young Man: No, welcome them to Central Axis...
All Three: Welcome home.
Isaac: Uh... Are they friends of yours, Cassius?
Cassius: Those three are some of the strongest warriors on the moon...
Ilsa: What happened to Cassius?
Eustace: Our last visual confirmed he was on his way to the moon.
Ilsa: I see...
Beatrix: I mean, they'll patch him up good and stuff, right?
Zeta: They say that no news is good news. I'm sure he'll be fine.
Beatrix: Yeah... I'd rather have no news instead of all the bad news we've been hearing lately.
Eustace: Now that CENTCOM is gone, and the Society is in shambles...
Ilsa: To the casual observer, sure. But in reality that slimy scumbag Heisenberg has seized control.
Vaseraga: That's just what we need, having the entire Society join the Foe.
Ilsa: Fortunately, some maggots with enough brain cells to know what was going on took the chance to crawl out of that dung heap.
Ilsa: If I can organize them, we might be able to avoid the worst...
Zeta: How would you know which ones to trust? There's bound to be traitors among the ranks.
Ilsa: I know who's crap when I see it, but we'd better be ready for anything.
Zeta: Now we've got skyfarers and ex-Society members gunning for us.
Eustace: I don't expect this situation to last long though. The Foe aren't going to sit on their hands.
Beatrix: Meh, I've been in tough jams lots of times! Put your faith in me, and I'll sniff out an escape route!
Vaseraga: You know what would be even better? Not getting caught in the first place.
Beatrix: You could believe in me from time to time, you know! You too, Zeta!
Zeta: Yep, yep. When the time comes, I'll defer to you.
Ilsa: Moving right along, I have other matters to attend to. I've still got maggots to raise in the aftermath.
Ilsa: The rest of you will operate in two-man cells. Pupper with Armored Chicken. Hellcat with Eustace. And keep a low-profile while you're at it.
Zeta: Sigh... Bea, Eustace, and Ilsa are gone.
Vaseraga: You're saying too much. We were ordered not to be conspicuous.
Zeta: Yeah, yeah. Loose lips might lead to an anti-primal bullet to the head. Got it.
Vaseraga: With CENTCOM out of the picture, the Foe will be looking to exterminate us contractors.
Zeta: It just keeps getting better and better...
A piece of paper pinned to the back alley wall catches Zeta's eye, causing her to sigh.
Zeta: Ahaha. Check it out, Vaseraga. My bounty went up.
Vaseraga: Why is yours higher than mine? I don't get it.
Zeta: Who knows. Does it really matter in the end? No one's ever gonna claim our bounties anyway.
Skyfarer 1: I found them! It's the wanted fugitives!
Skyfarer 2: Grab the anti-primal rounds! Hurry!
Vaseraga: Well, this is a fine mess we find ourselves in.
Zeta: Yeah, and it pisses me off.
Grumbling to herself, Zeta grabs her wanted poster and rips it to shreds.
The End

Spaghetti Syndrome - Isaac's Bonus Story - Icnoming Phidcast

A transmission is sent out from the moon's Central Axis by someone hailing from Fossil. This man, an engineer by the name of Isaac, reports that he has successfully returned to the moon. He goes on to explain that Agent Cassius, who arrived with him, has had his brain surgically removed for study. The utter fear and helplessness in his voice is evident as he pleads for help.

Isaac: Ahem. Mayday. Mayday. Can any descendants of the moon hear me?
Isaac: If this message reaches you, please listen to the end. I can only hope you have some kindness in you.
Isaac: My name is Isaac, and I'm transmitting from Central Axis on the moon. That's right; I've returned safely to the moon.
Isaac: Uh, so a bunch of stuff happened, and I'd like the following people to know what went down.
Isaac: (Captain), Zeta, Vaseraga, Beatrix, Eustace, Ilsa... And I guess Grace can hear this too.
Isaac: As soon as I arrived on the moon, I was separated from Cassius and taken to Central Axis.
Man: So that's Cassius. The returnee. His silica levels are low. It's useless to smash him open.
Woman: But look at all the delicious meat on him. My meal has been delivered.
Young Man: The lost girl, Yatima, didn't come back...
Isaac: Then this happened.
Man: Hm? You have something on you. Something that triggered an abnormal response.
Isaac: Who, m-me? All I've got is my buddy and my gear...
Young Man: I can see it... Something from a different world. It's psychedelic...
Man: From another world, you say? That's dangerous.
Man: Is this the abnormality? It must be destroyed and disposed of immediately.
Raybury: ...!
Isaac: W-wait just a minute now! I can't go on without my buddy! Please don't destroy him!
Woman: Wait, Dex. Can I take a small bite of it first? I want to know what something from another world tastes like.
Young Man: Juana, Raybury isn't from another world per se. He used to be a fossildweller.
Isaac: What!
Raybury: ...
Juana: Oooh... You mentioned Yatima, right, Ellis? Is Raybury her friend? The one who became an automagod in order to come here?
Ellis: That's him all right. He made a promise to Yatima when he was a child. I just saw it...
Juana: The law of conservation of mass was upheld. If Yatima is gone, another can return. A tale of rags to riches entropy. That is the truth.
Raybury: ...
Dex: If not the robot, then what did you bring in, returnee? What did you bring from another world? I'll smash it.
Isaac: Um, I don't really understand what you're saying.
Isaac: What do you mean by another world?
Isaac: The only thing I can think of is that time someone named Grace tricked me into eating the flesh of an Otherworldly being...
Isaac: I threw it up as soon as I found out what it was, but maybe some of it stayed in my system?
Dex: The abnormality is inside the returnee? I'm not allowed to smash him open. I have no outlet for this adrenaline.
Juana: Do I have permission to eat him? I want to satiate my hunger.
Ellis: No smashing and no eating of the guest are allowed. At least for now.
Isaac: This wasn't right. This wasn't right at all. It slowly dawned on me.
Isaac: None of them showed any concern for Cassius's injuries. That's what gave me chills.
Isaac: I wasn't allowed to roam around, but I had to get to the bottom of this mystery. Luckily I had something useful.
Isaac: (Did Grace make me eat that Otherworldly being in order to camouflage me?)
Isaac: (I've been hiding the scalpel she gave me all this time. Was it all for this?)
Isaac: Nothing good comes from reading into chaos, and machines aren't immune to that axiom either. Coming in contact with chaotic noise caused them to malfunction without fail.
Isaac: Whatever form of chaos that remained in the scalpel Grace left me unlocked any door I wanted, even though I had no clearance to do so.
Isaac: ...!
Isaac: I was able to open the door to Cassius's room. What I saw through those doors still haunts me.
Isaac: Before I tell you everything, I should probably mention this.
Isaac: When I checked the logs of the pod that sent Cassius to Moon Sliver, there were no return coordinates punched in.
Isaac: It wasn't much different from the containers that got sent to the Sky Realm with the parts I used for my rocket...
Isaac: Sorry. I'm getting off topic. I know you want to hear about what happened to Cassius.
Isaac: Cassius's brain had been removed. They wanted to know how he had changed. They wanted information about the blue-haired girl.
Isaac: Rather than waste time interrogating him, they went straight to the source and probed his brain itself.
Isaac: Life in the Sky Realm changes the people of the moon in different ways. Some went on to create the Society, while others formed the Foe.
Isaac: Cassius was a sample; a living experiment to observe what kind of influence living in the skies has on moondwellers.
Isaac: Have I fulfilled my family's wishes only to allow this act of cruelty?
Isaac: It hurts so much. I... I can't stand it. Someone... Anyone... Save—
To be continued.

Spaghetti Syndrome - Zeta's Bonus Story - Self-Reflection

(Captain) finds a troubled Zeta on the Grandcypher's deck, who explains to the captain what Isaac had told her about Arvess before he left for the moon. Isaac believes that when Zeta's emotions reach their peak, that will trigger Arvess's full power. Even so, Zeta still needs to self-reflect and figure out what the most important thing is to her.

Zeta: ...
After watching Isaac and Cassius take flight to the moon, the crew leaves the island on the Grandcypher.
(Captain) spots Zeta leaning against the deck railing, her chin resting on her hands as she stares out into the clouds.
Zeta: ...
  1. Call out to Zeta.
  2. Poke her in the side.

Choose: Call out to Zeta.
Zeta: Oh. Hey, (Captain). What's up?
Zeta isn't her usual self; she seems distant despite the smile on her face.
Zeta: Heh, heh heh... I'm not being me, right? Thing is, I've got some stuff on my mind.

Choose: Poke her in the side.
Zeta: Ack!
(Captain) tiptoes up next to Zeta and grabs her attention.
Zeta: What the heck, (Captain)!
Zeta: Geez, you made me lose my train of thought. I know I'm usually not like this, but I've got some real heavy stuff to think about right now!
Continue 1
Zeta: You know, before Isaac left for the moon, he took a look at Arvess for me.
Isaac: Say, Ducky. Would you mind if I took a look at Arvess?
Zeta: Huh? I don't think that really matters right now. You gotta get Cassius treated.
Isaac: Oh, I definitely will, but the engine's gonna take a while to warm up. Not enough time to do a full diagnostic on Arvess, mind you.
Zeta: All right then. How's Cassius doing?
Isaac: He's stable. I expect nothing less of a moon warrior, given that their bodies have to tough it out on the moon's surface.
Isaac talks as he examines every angle of Arvess.
Isaac: Mm-hm... Mm-hm... Yep, seal weapons are something else, no doubt about it.
Zeta: I take it you discovered something?
Isaac: Well... It looks like Arvess can read your vital signs. Heart rate, perspiration levels, body temperature, you name it.
Zeta: Huh? My vital signs? Like whether I've caught a cold or something?
Isaac: Maybe. I mean, I didn't peek at the logs. I'm all about respecting the privacy of others.
Zeta: Huh... That's weird. Why would Arvess want to know any of that stuff?
Isaac: Considering that's the kind of data it's pulling from you, maybe one of your vitals is what triggers its awakening.
Zeta: Okay, so if I run as fast as I can and then use Arvess, I can make it awaken?
Isaac: I... don't think that's how it works. There has to be a catch.
Isaac: Hm... Heart rate and perspiration... What could that be...
Isaac's brow furrows in thought, his fingers absentmindedly tapping against his head.
Isaac: What if... What if Arvess was actually trying to read your emotions?
Zeta: My emotions. Right.
Isaac: I've always heard that the people on the moon aren't allowed to have emotions. They always have to be super rational.
Isaac: They couldn't understand why the skydwellers would offer to help them for free when they got stranded.
Isaac: So maybe they rigged the seal weapons to read spikes in heart rate and so forth, as a measurable gauge of emotion, to use that as the trigger for awakening.
Zeta: So it's not so much my physical condition as my feelings... I was running on pure instinct when I fought Pyet-A.
Isaac: I bet you Arvess will awaken when you need it the most—it'll connect with you when your emotions peak.
Zeta: Sounds complicated, but I get the gist of what you're saying.
Just then a low grumble comes from the rocket, informing them that the engine is ready to go.
Isaac: I hope I was able to give you some kind of hint going forward. Anyway, I'll see ya when I get back.
Zeta: Hey, one last thing. Why do you call me Ducky?
Isaac: Um... Because of your hair color?
Zeta: And Lyria?
Isaac: She reminds me of a blue parakeet I saw a long time ago.
Zeta: Uh, okay, sure. That's all I need to know.
Isaac: No prob. I wish you guys all the best on your missions. See ya later.
Zeta: Thanks. Take care of Cassius. Bye.
Zeta: And that's what happened.
  1. Emotions are the key, huh...
  2. Ducky, huh...

Choose: Emotions are the key, huh...
Zeta: It's weird, right? That the people who harp on logic would turn around and leave us weapons like these.
Zeta: I wonder what they were thinking when they modified their own weapons so that skydwellers could use them? I'm not sure how I'd feel in their place.
Zeta: Would you do it because the automagod threat was too great? Even if it meant betraying your own country?
Zeta: It's nothing but questions, questions, questions.
Zeta: Phew...

Choose: Ducky, huh...
Zeta: Bwuh? Why are you bringing up that part? I'm being serious here!
Zeta: (Captain)... I'm only going to say this once. If you ever call me Ducky again...
Zeta: I'm gonna noogie you to death! Gaaah!
Zeta: Phew...
Continue 2
Zeta gets the same distant look in her eyes from before.
Zeta: I wonder what my trigger will be. When will I reach the height of my emotions?
Zeta: Completing missions, getting loot, eating food, or even clothes shopping? There's also pride and vanity. And eating out with all of you guys is always a lot of fun too.
Zeta: Maybe it'll be when something important is about to be taken from me. Man, my head is spinning.
Zeta: Haha... I never realized how little I knew about myself.
Zeta: I guess I'm gonna need a little more time to think. I have to take stock of myself.
Zeta: It'd be nice if I got to know Arvess the way Bea gets along with Embrasque. Then I could awaken it at will.
Zeta lets out a dissatisfied sigh as she looks down at Arvess in her hands.
This is the first time (Captain) has ever seen Zeta so lost in her thoughts.

Spaghetti Syndrome - Vaseraga's Bonus Story - Blur the Lines of 0 and 1

While having a meal with (Captain), Lyria, and Vyrn, Vaseraga thinks back to a conversation he had with Raybury, in which the robot claims Vaseraga's fighting style is both brutal and fragile. Although Grynoth's penchant for going berserk may be a result of Vaseraga's subconscious desires, Raybury thinks a mix of strength and fragility can form something greater, reminding Vaseraga that the Draph has his own worth.

After the crew sees off the moonbound travelers, Vaseraga pays a visit to (Captain)'s room.
Vaseraga: (Captain), can I speak to you for a moment?
Vaseraga: Sorry for the sudden intrusion. Things are only going to get more hectic from here on out.
Vaseraga: I wanted to treat you to a meal as a way to... apologize for the troubles you've had to go through.
Vaseraga takes (Captain), Lyria, and Vyrn into town for a meal.
Vaseraga: Is there anything you'd like to eat?
  1. I want omurice.
  2. I want some primo desserts.

Choose: I want omurice.
Vaseraga: Ah, like the one from the cafe Cassius took us to?
Vaseraga: Good call. That place will do nicely.

Choose: I want some primo desserts.
Vaseraga: ...?
Vaseraga: Primo? Is that the name of an island?
Vaseraga: Sorry. I'm not hip with the times.
Continue 1
Without realizing it, they find themselves in front of the cafe where Cassius once took them.
Vaseraga: It wasn't that long ago when we were all here, but I still feel oddly nostalgic.
Vaseraga watches (Captain), Vyrn, and Lyria study the menu.
He thinks back to the lull before the rocket launch.
Raybury: Hm...
Vaseraga: Hm?
Raybury: I'm interested in the symbiotic relationship you share with your seal weapon.
Vaseraga: Is it symbiotic?
Raybury: You gain the use of Grynoth's power, and Grynoth uses your body to preserve the shape of its roots.
Vaseraga: Sounds more like a curse to me. There's a constant threat of it running wild.
Raybury: Or transforming into Automagod Grynoth.
Vaseraga: Yes. It's difficult to get along with Grynoth, despite the fact that seal weapons are supposedly controllable by skydwellers now.
Raybury: Furnishing the seal weapons with a hidden feature was likely a rush job. It's very possible the implementation was flawed.
Raybury: Or maybe Grynoth is trying to make a secret wish of yours come true.
Vaseraga: What could I possibly be wishing for?
Raybury: According to Isaac, a seal weapon seems to empathize with its user's emotions.
Vaseraga: ...
Raybury: That's one way of interpreting Grynoth's no-holds-barred style of fighting.
Vaseraga: To extinguish the self and run wild?
Raybury: Or by acting as a powerful enemy that stands in your way.
Vaseraga: ...
Vaseraga: I never wished for anything like that.
Raybury: If you do have a symbiotic relationship, Grynoth is aware of that—it will understand both your fragility and your strength.
Vaseraga: My fragility...
Raybury: It's not a weakness in one's disposition. Adding materials into iron makes it harder, but at the same time can make it brittle.
Raybury: But mix in something with flexibility, and that same metal can gain unrivaled strength. It's much like a skyfaring crew or the Society.
Vaseraga: What are you talking about?
Raybury: Your body is more than the sum of its parts, however suspect some of those parts may be.
Vaseraga: Hm...
Vaseraga: You're surprisingly talkative today.
Raybury: I wasn't lying when I said I was intrigued by your assimilation with an automagod. And above all else—
Just then a low grumble comes from the rocket, informing them that the engine is ready to go.
Raybury: The thought of finally going to the moon has my motors running. I hope you find what you're looking for too.
Vaseraga: Thanks. May you all arrive safely at your destination.
Vaseraga: ...
Vaseraga's spoon stops moving.
(Captain) notices and asks what's up.
Vaseraga: I was remembering something the little robot told me.
Vaseraga: A sword's steel can be forged using a combination of both hard and soft metals, and people are no different.
Vaseraga: I have little doubt that you three will form the pillar of support for all of us.
Vaseraga: Ah, never mind me. I'm just rambling. Don't let me get in the way of your meal.
A sword becomes stronger with the right balance of hard and soft material. Grynoth's roots wind around Vaseraga for support.
Just as Vaseraga leans on the steadfast support of those right in front of him.


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