1353: Fire Emblem: ReAwaken – Chapter SixteenPosted: March 10, 2016
Title: Fire Emblem: ReAwaken
Media: Video Game
Topic: Fire Emblem
URL: Chapter 16
Critiqued by Herr Wozzeck, Sura T’Lenya, and Crunchy Raptor
Hello ladies and gentlemen, and welcome back to Fire Emblem: ReAwaken. I’m your host Herr Wozzeck, and joining me this time are Sura T’Lenya and Crunchy Raptor.
Crunchy: As always?
Sura T’Lenya: What do you think, raptor?
C: I was assuming the polecat would join us again.
Eh, not likely in the very near future. Though there is a thing I might have them join up on in the future…
ST’L: Uh-oh… Do I want to know?
Nope. And on that note, let’s get started, shall we?
We start with this:
“Kale, are you sure you’re okay?” I hear Krysta ask. Again. To which I again respond ‘yes’, even though I know I’ll get asked it again. I appreciate the concern that a few of the group is showing me- Albert even looked a bit worried about my health, though I’m sure he’d deny it in a heartbeat- but come on! I’m seven- eighteen! …God it’s weird that I came into this world so close to my birthday. Still, I’d be expected to be able to take care of myself in my world, so why does everyone act like I’ll break in a few moments?
C: As I recall, there was the one anxiety attack that we are still holding against you. I would not be surprised if they were making sure you would not run away from them again.
…Okay, I did technically have a mental breakdown, but still.
But still, nothing! Your mental breakdown had you running away from them like a little bitch, and they didn’t bump into you again until Lackey McEvil attacked the monastery you had run off to! I’m honestly more surprised they didn’t leash your ass up!
ST’L: Or even better, why they didn’t let someone tag along with you while you were exploring Ylisstol.
Daven doesn’t count?
ST’L: True, but you’d think they’d get someone they trust a lot more.
Anyway, Kale mentions he does feel better, and then he asks Arashi about it. Arashi’s response…
I hear a rumbling sigh. “I really, really wish that I could say yes to that and not be lying, but… Aah, it feels like its on the tip of my tongue… Damn it all, this would be so much easier if I just had my memories!” I visibly flinch at his sudden outburst, getting a few odd looks from people around the table. “…sorry. I’ll… be going now.”
“Wait, what?! Don’t just bail out like-” And he’s gone.
C: Ah, plot convenient amnesia. Of course.
Hey, someone has to give the PCC their paychecks.
Anyway, Kale is like “well, it was my first time in a jail cell”, to which Myra is all “get some rest, yo.” And she says it…
“Maybe you should get some rest?” Myra offers, frowning just a tad as she looks at me. “I know that’s what I do whenever I feel stressed, and it usually works out pretty well for me.” She suddenly gives me a smile. “I think I speak for just about everyone here when I say that we don’t want anything bad to happen to you.”
…Did Myra just show some compassion to-
ST’L: Ten credits says the other shoe drops right about… now.
“After all, I still have revenge to get. It wouldn’t be fair for you to be sick when I went for it.”
ST’L: Well, I hardly had time to collect anything from the pool.
Anyway, Marco agrees with Myra, and Kale notes he’s been quiet. He also mentions there’s a group of bandits harassing villages, and he’s all “we’re going there”, before Garrett is like “did she say who they were, exactly?”
Marco raises an eyebrow at how abruptly Garrett interrupted him, but the big man just shrugs and brings his drink to his lips. “…Yes, she did actually. Apparently, they’re called Harker’s Hounds, led by a man named Harker.” Well, it’s not like the guy’s name isn’t in the title of his gang or anything, Marco… “You wouldn’t happen to know anything about them, would you Garrett?” he asks.
ST’L: Let me guess: he knows exactly who they are, but for bullshit reasons he’s not going to say anything.
Really? You’re going at that?
C: Do you blame her? Everything else has been so clichéd thus far that—
Garrett says nothing but continues to drink, eventually bringing the glass from his face with a loud sigh and slamming it on the table. Sneaking a quick look, I see he’s completely drained the beer he’d had. Well, he can certainly handle a drink. “Yeah, yeah you could say that I know them… I mean, I did work with them for about two years, so you could say that we’re somewhat familiar.” He leans back in his chair and brings a hand to his face. “Gods, of all people, it would be Harker, wouldn’t it?” he mumbles.
… Or he doesn’t hold back on telling these guys.
ST’L: What about that.
No kidding. Nice change of pace, but I wonder if—
“I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this Harker is pretty bad news.” I offer. From between his fingers, Garrett’s eyes snap to me and fix me with a glare- oh God, that’s terrifying… I forgot he could do that! “So… is that a yes or a-”
“It’s a fuck yes, that’s what it is!” he shouts, standing up and slamming both of his palms on the table. Whoa, calm down there! This game was only rated T! I’m the only one allowed to drop the F-bombs around here! “Marco, I’m going to beg you to reconsider what the Exalt is asking. You have not a clue, not a damn clue, just what you’re going to be getting us all into if we go after Harker.”
C: And why are you worried? Your group is led by a Gary Stu, you know.
No kidding. I know he wasn’t there to witness the craziness that Kale-Stu wreaked just after getting the Arashi thing, but come on! Surely all the dead bodies with the no casualties on the monastery should tell you everything!
ST’L: Never mind, of course, that he’d actually be of more use if he’d actually, you know, tell these guys what they’re up against. You worked with the guy for two years, surely you’d know that and would be willing to tell them, right?
Albert, who’s looked confused ever since Marco started talking about how Garrett knows this bandit, looks like he’s about to say something, but Marco beats him to the punch. “Garrett, would you care to elaborate on just what we’ll be getting into? After all, it’s hard to make a judgement based off of no information.”
ST’L: Thank you. Glad to see these people aren’t total idiots…
“You want to know about the sick bastard that calls himself Harker?” Garrett laughs darkly. “That’s pretty much saying you want to know about the Fell Dragon Grima… Though I’m not sure who I’d rather face, him or the dragon.” He closes his eyes and- is he actually considering this?! “You know, I’d take Grima over Harker any day. At least the beast would put you out of your misery pretty damn quick!”
Yes, but can he end the world?
“I doubt anyone can be as bad as Grima…” Daven mutters softly, looking down at the floor. I try and give him a reassuring smile, knowing he’s probably got more than enough reason to make that call, but I’m not sure if he even notices.
Didn’t think so.
Anyway, Garrett, what’s Harker’s deal?
Garrett must not have heard him, as he continues his rant. “You know what Harker does to the people he doesn’t like? He takes his precious sword and starts cutting, slowly. He makes sure that he doesn’t hit anything that would kill you, ’cause that would just end all the fun for him. No, instead he chains you down and starts to make cut after cut on your body, relishing in your pain. If he’s feeling particularly nasty that day, he might decide to bring in salt to pour into your wounds or maybe some heated spikes to drive into your flesh. Really, it depends on his mood.” He glares at everyone at the table, seeing if we’re all looking at him. I doubt I have to say that we’re all rapt with attention at the moment. “After that, he does one of two things. He either lets you go so you can lick your wounds and pray to who or whatever you worship that you don’t make him mad again, or he cuts your legs off.” He stops and we all wait to see what it is he has left to say.
ST’L: So… is that it?
“So… is that it?” Marco questions, looking at the angered man curiously.
C: Good to see some of us are still on the same wavelength here.
“Eh? Yeah, that’s all that Harker does…” Marco opens his mouth to say something, but stops when Garrett starts again. “He leaves you like that so his dog can have what’s left of your carcass. The mongrel… it starts to eat the moment he lets it off its chain, and the damn dog is as bad as its master. It eats slowly as Harker watches, both of them enjoying every moment of pain.”
So he’s a sadist… but you just have to avoid getting captured, right? I’m sure all this is a non-issue if you avoid getting captured, since this tells us nothing about how he is as a fighter.
ST’L: Yeah. When you said “I know what he can do”, I was expecting “he’s a monster on the battlefield”, not… he tortures people horribly. This isn’t relevant to how you deal with him until someone gets captured, so why are you telling it now? If anything, this is the part where you should say what he’s capable of.
Well, I mean, it could mean he’s ruthless on the battlefield too.
ST’L: Then why doesn’t he just say that?
With a heavy sigh, he falls back into his chair. “The man is- no, the bastard is a complete psychopath, willing to throw his own men onto a bed of hot coals if it would entertain him. He’s a menace in battle, and it doesn’t matter how much he gets hurt, he’ll still keep going.”
ST’L: Thank you. This is much appreciated.
Then he puts his face in both hands and he starts to breathe slowly. “I am begging you Marco, begging you, to reconsider going after Harker. We won’t survive the fight.” …I can’t believe that I’m actually hearing legitimate fear coming from Garrett. God, is Harker as bad as he says? I’m starting to have my own doubts…
Bah, he’s not as bad as a Gary Stu, trust me.
So then Marco is like “Jesus, I didn’t know he was that bad”. Of course, instead of weakening his resolve…
“Which is why, more than ever, we have to stop Harker.” I have to force back a smile as Garrett’s jaw falls open in shock. He looks like he’s about to flip out, actually. “This man needs to be put down like the dog he is, and we’ve been assigned the task. I understand why you’d be concerned about fighting against him, but if you know all of these things about him how can you just let him live while he hurts innocent people?” Garrett looks like he’s trying to think of a comeback, and is failing miserably. “That, and you owe me money for getting you out of prison. I pay you, so how do you expect me to pay me back otherwise?” Marco asks with a smug grin on his face.
C: These characters keep going between being unlikable pillocks and being the best characters ever! Would there please be a consistency, please?
Preferably of the latter variety, please.
Garrett is just like “fine, might as well die with an axe in my hands”, before he goes into “I NEED A FREAKING DRINK” mode. Marco is like “just make sure you’re sober for the fight”, before he is all “prepare, folks”. He’s all “I’m sure you’ll be fine, though”.
“And if we do run into any trouble, I’ll be there to patch you up.” Krysta chimes in. “Just remember that I won’t be able to reattach any limbs.”
Nor can you heal mortal wounds, but that is a kind of—
ST’L: Is it me, or is she being oddly specific there?
Everyone else immediately looks at me, causing me to just roll my eyes. “Oh, sorry Kale…” she mutters, realizing what she just pretty much caused.
“It’s fine.” I say, though I’m still kind of embarrassed about what happened. “Barnaby should be fine, though he’ll have trouble making any of those figurines of his again. Besides, he was drunk and fell into my slash.” I shrug indifferently. “It’s not exactly my fault if someone falls on my sword, now is it?” Everyone nods in agreement, amused smiles on a few people’s faces.
Okay, so that was a lame attempt at humor there. Excellent.
ST’L: That, or it was an attempt to make an awkward situation gone really badly. Never mind that we wouldn’t have had a situation if we hadn’t had that bit of forced dialogue.
No kidding. Good catch, Sura.
ST’L: I try.
So then, the conversation turns to Kale and Daven going to look for a place to live in, and of course—
“Wait.” Marco stops me midsentence. “Sorry Kale, but… didn’t I ask everyone to go looking for a place for us to call our base?” Turning on the others, he frowns. “Just what were the rest of you doing? Other than Garrett, that is. I already know he was getting himself thrown in jail at the time.” The man in question just gives a derisive snort and starts to chug one of the drinks that the waitress brought to the table.
Hm… Did he?
C: He did, as a matter of fact. He said so at the end of Chapter 14.
Oh, okay. For a second there, I thought I had lost my mind.
Albert then says “well, I had to turn in my resignation, so…” And then Genevieve just says:
“Myra suggested that we go about the town and see if any of the stores had anything worth purchasing.” This time it’s Genevieve who cuts Albert off, to which he just looks at her in disbelief. “The three of us went to Ylisstol’s shopping district and made a few purchases. I must agree with her- she said that it would be most entertaining, more so than searching for a house.”
Oh yay, Genevieve gets to be an idiot again! Woo, I totally wanted that!
She looks at Myra and gives her a smile, though quickly notices that a blush has risen on her face. “Oh, are you falling ill? Perhaps you should go and rest. After all, we did go into several shops today, and I suppose it would tire most, if not all, people out.”
“Genevieve, could you please shut it-“
“Myra.” Marco stares at his little sister, causing her to shrink back in her chair. “I thought I asked you to help find a place for us all to live. Am I hearing things correctly, though? Did you go shopping?”
ST’L: … Wait, has this been a long-recurring problem?
“Well… just a little-”
“Myra!” he cries, before placing a hand against the side of his head. “How many time have I had to tell you that shopping is not a priority? Gods, I’m afraid to even ask how much of your money that you spent…” Shaking his head, he looks at me and Daven. “I apologize to both of you, from the bottom of my heart. My-my here has a bit of a shopping problem-”
“Marco!” she squawks indignantly, rising from her seat a little as her face turns a deep red.
“-and it’s caused more than its share of problems for me in the past.”
C: If this was an attempt to show a less serious, less pent-up side of her, I feel this has failed.
No kidding. “Yes, let’s double down on her femininity”. Never mind that I’m sure shopping sprees weren’t a thing back then (even excusing the fact that Myra is a princess, given Marco is supposed to be the heir of Plegia’s throne), and never mind that there’s actually plenty of mileage to humanize her as far as the Myra/Albert dynamic goes, we gotta have more things to do with the character!
ST’L: Yeah, that just overstuffs the character.
No kidding. Anyway, Marco apologizes some more, he makes Myra apologize to Kale, and then Myra does… this:
It’s just that, we’re in Ylisstol. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity!” Her eyes suddenly start to sparkle. “Oh, the shops that they had were amazing! I found a new tome, a new pair of shoes, a spare cloak-”
Her ramble is cut short by Marco. “…sorry.” she says sheepishly before looking away from the table.
Well, at least nobody else wants to get in on the stupid shopping shit, right?
I take the opportunity to speak up, though I also catch Albert opening his mouth. “Uh, Marco,” I start, noticing Albert’s eyes widening in anger as he glares at me, which is not nearly as bad as when Garrett does it, “don’t be too hard on her. I have a pair of sisters who are older than me, and they’d usually drop things on me whenever shopping came up. I’m… pretty sure it’s just a thing that’s a part of some girls, so don’t be mad at Myra.”
ST’L: Yes, because shopping sprees in the modern world are very similar to those in the time this is set in.
Seriously, where’d he do his research on shopping sprees in the time period, a fucking Renaissance Fair? And why are we still going on about that?
I look over and give her a friendly smile before continuing. “But that aside, we- that being Daven and I- managed to find a place to live, though…”
Thank you. Jeez, make a point about “all girls go shopping all the time”, and it takes like eight million years. I mean, I know female characters are allowed to get in touch with their feminine side, but going with the “they all go shopping all the time” cliché? Really? You went with that one?
ST’L: No kidding. Ugh, what I wouldn’t give to slap them around with Pallin’s fringe for that.
Anyway, Kale is like “well, you’ll see why it’s free”, and then everyone goes off to bed. We then get a line break, and we cut to…
Marco rolled his shoulders as he sat down on his bed, working out old pains that never seemed to leave. Myra, meanwhile, was lying on her bed with her back to him, quiet as a mouse.
Yay, we get a sibling moment between these two.
C: Oh good, perhaps we can get more on their characters.
“Myra,” he started after a moment, “I’m not mad at you. Disappointed, maybe, but I’d never be mad at you.” He chuckled softly to himself. “To be honest, it would have surprised me more if you hadn’t gone on one of your infamous little shopping sprees.”
“They’re not that bad!” she shot back, sitting up in her bed and glaring at her older brother.
He gave her a dubious look. “Myra, you almost spent every penny that our family had when you were eight! Over toys and candy no less!” His voice was stern, but it didn’t really carry any weight. In a moment, both of them were lost in a fit of laughter at the memory. “Gods, I can still remember the look on father’s face when he saw the bill…” Marco managed to say, gasping for air at the memory.
C: Worry not, parrot, I have prepared goop cannons in the hallways.
Good, that—wait, what?
[Scene Redacted for Extreme Goopiness]
ST’L: If your apprentice didn’t hate you before, he certainly will now.
C: He will learn in time.
“Well, it was his fault. He gave me free-reign and a servant for that day! What kid in their right mind wouldn’t take advantage of something like that on their birthday?” She smiled fondly at the memory and leaned against the wall.
[Scene Redacted for Extreme Goopiness]
ST’L: Yeah, I think he hates you now.
Anyway, Myra gets all nostalgic about it, and then she rants about how she misses home and why did we lose it all to Gangrel, and she loses it screaming into Marco’s shoulder. Marco goes all “don’t worry, sister, we may be outcasts now, but I’ve talked to Emmeryn about that. Myra’s like “so she said she’d help?”, and Marco says…
“Not at the moment,” he started, making a frown cross Myra’s face, “but at the same time, I didn’t expect her to.” A remorseful smile crossed his face as he stood off of her bed and walked over to his. “It seems that she’s ever the peacemonger, wanting to talk her way from war. Not that I can blame her- Fifteen years of war, with nothing but a stalemate? It’s unsurprising that she wouldn’t want another war like that. However, I don’t think we can rely on her for support in dethroning Gangrel.” Sighing, he sat down and looked over to her sister. “Still, if we can gain enough allies here, as well as the few we left in Plegia, we might have a chance. We just have to hope that it will work out.”
Eh, I wouldn’t worry about that. Plot regurgitation senses says that Chrom will have plenty of reason to fulfill that obligation before the story ends.
Myra was silent, leading to Marco believing she was readying herself for bed. Lying back on the mattress, he closed his eyes and prepared to fall to sleep himself. “So, what did you think about Lady Emmeryn?” Myra asked, breaking him from his sleep. “Personally, I think what everyone says about her- you know, how she’s one of the most beautiful women in all of Ylisse and how she’s as kind to a stranger as a mother would be her own child- are all pretty much on the mark.”
ST’L: *frown* Where did that come from?
Lying on his back, Marco considered this for a moment. “She is quite pretty, I’ll admit, and it’s clear that she’s willing to do just about anything for her people. Even so, the fact that the war between Plegia and Ylisse is still going on, even if it hasn’t been outright declared, tells me she just can’t bring herself to put another’s life in danger, and I can’t tell if that’s a good thing or not.” Turning his head to face his sister, he stared at her curiously. “Wait, why are you asking?”
“No reason.” she said, though her trademark mischievous grin was on her face. “No reason whatsoever…” With that grin still on her face, she laid down on her bed, turning so that she was facing the wall.
Shaking his head, Marco closed his eyes and let sleep overcome him, not bothering with trying to understand what his sister may be planning.
She’s shipping her brother with the Exalt, isn’t she?
C: Well, you must admit, such a course of action may—
C: What was that for, parrot?
Um, she’s shipping her brother with Emmeryn. You know, the one who’s supposed to canonically die later on?
ST’L: Wait, what?
Yeah, Emmeryn dies in the plot of the game. Well… she’s supposed to, anyway. One of the paralogues you can unlock right at the very end casts some light on that, because then she reappears with her memories erased, and those paralogues might be considered canon because all the other characters who die have them and their paralogues build the universe a bit, but regardless, she dies.
C: So are you saying that… That this mercenary group may be called upon to rescue Emmeryn?
Crunchy, it’s a self-insert fic with a Gary Stu in it. What do you think the answer to that question is?
ST’L: The more I read of this thing, the more the plot has a ton of black holes in it.
No fuckin’ kidding. Jesus Christ…
Anyway, we then cut to Kale, where—
“Arashi, I have a serious question…” I say, trying not to scream the freaking question at him. “…why the hell am I here?”
“Ah, a question that all mortals ask-“
“Not like that, I meant why is he here!” I finally snap, pointing to where he- doppelganger me, that is- is standing, leaning against the hilt of his sword. He waves at me as I glance over at him and I notice he looks bored as can be. “I thought I’d, you know, gotten rid of him after I chose to be the Harbinger? So why is he back?”
C: Oh, Kale, allow me to tell you something: you are not a terrible guardian unless you have your minions at your beck and call. Are you truly so surprised?
“Gee, aren’t we just appreciative?” he quips, standing straight.
Ow! What was that for?
ST’L: Lighten up, soldier! As you’ve seen multiple times, this fic is actually capable of good humor. You’ve seen it yourself! Now stop twitching!
Sorry. Parallel Realities fucked me up on that word so much just being around it triggers me.
ST’L: Oh, for… *facepalms* You’ll be fine. Just calm down, and keep going.”
Anyway, doppelganger then goes on about “so Arashi thought it would be a good idea to train you”, and—
Especially if you’re going after this Harker guy and he’s as bad as el Bandito was saying.”
I blink. “…el Bandito?”
He sighs and brings a hand to his head. “Good grief… Garrett, you moron!”
“I know that, I just didn’t know why you decided to call him that!” I shoot back.
Because it was funny?
ST’L: No, that was a little weak to be a real quip. Just a bit of Spanglish, not that funny.
No kidding. At least Kale didn’t actually laugh at it. I would’ve just given up right there.
So then Kale asks for why that requires the doppelganger, and then Arashi is like “he’s gonna be your sparring partner”. Of course, Kale asks the operative question:
“How does that work if we’re in my head?”
Yeah, valid point there. Because dreaming about doing something doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll transfer to muscle memory, you know? So how does that work?
With a sigh, other me plants his sword into the ground. “People train day-in and day-out to master how to fight, right? A lot of fighting ability comes from up here,” he taps the side of his head, “just as much as it comes from being able to swing a sword around. If you know how to fight, you might be able to win a fight against someone who’s stronger than you.” Looking back at Arashi, he shrugs. “Now, did I miss anything?”
No no, don’t ask Arashi that. Ask Fraug about that! Or SC. Whichever one answers first. (Which means it’s likely SC. Dammit, where’s Fraug when you need him?)
Anyway, Arashi is like “well, you still gotta train physically”, and then Kale is like “fine”.
“Alright, that sounds good to me. So, when do we-”
Before I can even draw my sword, other-me is running at me full speed, his sword raised to attack. I quickly move my hand to my blade, trying to draw it while fumbling for the hilt, as he closes in. By the time I manage to get the blade out of its sheath, he’s bringing the sword down. “Shit!” I scream and close my eyes as the blade cuts through my arm and- AGH! FUCK ME! “You just cut my damn arm off!” I scream, falling to the ground and cradling- wait, there’s no blood. I open my eyes and- my hand is… still… attached…
“Oh God, that was hilarious!” other-me cries as he rolls on the ground, clutching his stomach as laughter bubbles out from his mouth. “You- You actually thought I cut your arm off! How stupid are you?”
ST’L: Really? This is supposed to be training, and yet we get this bullshit again? Come on, guys.
No kidding. Like, what the hell even was that?
The doppelganger is all “like I’d do that”, before Kale is like “but I felt pain!” Arashi explains it’s just a simulation, and that nothing would happen to her in all actuality. Kale isn’t entirely convinced, before he’s all “wait, so what do I call the doppelganger now that he’s an actual character?
ST’L: Isn’t that just “Kale” spelled backwards?
C: Well yes, but would you be surprised if that was truly it?
ST’L: Yes, actually. There are some clichés, but he’s not that clichéd!
C: You will see. Now, Elak, what shall we call you in-fic?
Ignoring my words, he leans forwards on the hilt of his sword and bites his thumbnail in thought. “A name for me, eh? God, I never quiet thought of- Ooh, I know!” Smiling, he stands straight up and grins widely at me. “Just call me Alistair! Sounds great, doesn’t it?”
I just look at him. “There is no chance I’m calling you Alistair. You don’t deserve a name that awesome sounding.”
I cup my chin for a moment and look him over. “You know, I’m thinking ‘Al’ might work. Yeah, you kinda look like an ‘Al’ to me.”
The newly dubbed Al glowers at me as he picks up his weapon. “That name is Alistair!“
He lets out a scream as he charges towards me. I raise my weapon to block and- MY LEG! Falling to the ground, I clutch the limb. Even though I still have it, it hurts like hell! “Hah, that’s two for me, Alistair, and zero for you. Don’t tell me this is the best you can do.”
Trying to focus on blocking out the pain, I stagger to my feet and hold my sword in front of me. “I’m just getting started!” I snap, trying to settle into something of a stance.
Something tells me I’m about to be in for a rough night.
ST’L: Eh, we won’t get the brunt of it.
Yeah, ‘cause this is where the chapter ends. And I think we’re going to call it a day here, given that the only other thing is an author’s note.
C: I assume we will see you next week?
Pretty much. See you guys then!