Saga: Prologue Arc

Prerequisites: Previous missions in Arc

Summary: Psi wakes up in the Intimidator HQ. After some confrontational scenes, Synn and Artemis get properly reaquainted, and because Artemis no longer trusts Synn with his recent memory loss and newfound second personality, both he and Psi are forced to go through all the Intimidator rites of passage from scratch before they continue with his previously assigned task. This offers some brief tutorials in stealth and avoiding the law when necessary - once the player is briefed on those, they are given their first bounty mission, leading straight into the next mission.


[The screen starts black and gradually fades in to a backdrop of a dimly-lit back room in the Intimidator HQ. There are no windows and only a single door in or out. Psi is chained tightly to the rightmost wall. Towards the center, Artemis is casually tinkering around with and occasionally performing tricks with his sidearms, whilst the Doc stands close by, sharpening a pair of scalpels against each other in anticipation.]

Psi: Ugh...

Artemis: Oh good, you're awake.

Doc: Ooooohohohoho! That mean we start now?

Artemis: Hold up, let's just see what he has to say first.

Psi: What I have to say? What's going on?

Artemis: Shut up. I'm asking the questions here. One of my top operatives has disappeared, and now here you show up, looking almost exactly like him. Care to explain yourself?

Psi: Explain myself? I'm just as clueless as you are.

Artemis: Obviously you didn't understand me clearly. Let me put that more bluntly.

[Artemis walks up to Psi and holds his sidearm against his head at point blank.]

Artemis: Where the hell is he!? What have you done with Synn!?

Synn: What the hell are you talking about? I'm Synn.

Artemis: That's certaintly not the impression I got from you earlier. You may be able to mimic his voice, but--

Synn: Okay, look. If we're aquainted, I have no recollection of it. I can't remember anything that happened before a few days ago - all I can assume is whatever happened, it was something big. Big enough that it caused Mr. blue-eyes here to... join with me, for lack of any good explanation.

[A brief silence follows. Artemis doesn't move.]

Synn: What I DO know is that I'm a professional. If I was sent to do something for you and came sort, it certaintly wasn't for lack of trying. I'm well aware of what happens to people who try to bail on contracts.

[Artemis sighs and grumbles loudly, slowly lowering his sidearm. He turns around and gestures towards Doc.]

Artemis: Leave us.

Doc: We don't get to--

Artemis: Not today.

Doc. Aww.

[As Doc leaves the room, Artemis loosens Psi's restraints, allowing him to free himself.]

Artemis: You were sent to retrieve a set of objects. Do you have anything unusual in your posession that wouldn't have been there before?

Psi: Anything unsual?

Artemis: Shut up. I'm not asking you.

Psi: But--

Synn: A set of... would any of them happen to be a large gem, perhaps?

Artemis: Do you have it with you?

[Synn pulls out the Gem of Chaos Psi woke up with at the start of the game. He motions to give it to Artemis, but he quickly recoils.]

Artemis: Keep that thing away from me!

Psi: Why? Is there something wrong with it?

Artemis: Frankly, I don't know, but considering what's happened to you... two, I don't want to take chances.

Synn: Fine. So what's next? Do I complete the rest of the contract?

Artemis: Well, here's the thing. It's not a contract. You're a long standing member of our organization, and a trusted one at that. However, whatever this thing has done to you, it's potentially compromized the integrity and secrecy of our operations. Both you and your... companion... will have to go through all our rites of passage anew.

>Psi: Is there no other way?

Artemis: Well, I could just shoot you and have someone else finish the job. Honestly, I'd much rather do that just to save time, but you've been a special individual in our ranks and I'm feeling generous for it.

Synn: Welp. Re-induction it is, then.

>Psi: Well, if it helps put things in perspective, I can't really complain.

Synn: That's the spirit. Let's get this over with.

[The scene fades to a large room further into the Intimidator HQ some time later, lined with platforms and walls patrolled by fellow Intimidators. The camera pans from Psi at one end of the room to a large red button on the other, and then back again.]

Artemis: As you've no doubt noticed, our organisation is one based on secrecy and subtlety. In order for it to stay that way, you must learn to stay hidden until your job necessitates revealing yourself. To prove you're capable of this, you must make it to the other end of the room without being spotted. You may begin when ready.

Psi: How do we do that?

Synn: Isn't it obvious? Just move when they're not looking, and make sure you're not there when they turn around.

Psi: It doesn't look that simple. Some of those guys are standing right where I need to be, and... come to think of it, I don't think I'm even tall enough to reach some of those ledges.

Synn: Of course. That's why we cheat.

Psi: Huh? What do you mean?

Synn: Just use our powers. We can use telekinesis to levitate ourselves to the higher platforms, and if we use our mind control properly we can fool them into thinking we're not there. It generally works out in the field too, so there's no reason we can't do it here.

Psi: Alright... let's give it a shot!

[Before the first attempt starts, the game explains the usage of Psi's Specials as a component of stealth gameplay, including flight, invisibility and hallucinogenic decoys. If the player manages to press the button without being sent back to the start by one of the guards, another Inimidator shows up behind Psi, turning the current platform into a small arena.]

Artemis: The Intimidators are bounty hunters, but not of the kind you would normally expect. We don't usually kill our targets - we earned our name because we're paid simply to inflict terror on them, to make them doubt their criminal lifestyle because they know we're watching them. Obviously this isn't usually as simple as talking down on them, so to be adept at this practice you have to learn to beat it out of them. Fight the man before you into submission, and then we'll continue.

Psi: Well, we've had no shortage of that lately.

Synn: Damn straight. Time to kick ass.

[The Intimidator yields once his health hits the halfway mark, then flees the area. All of the guards that the player snuck past earlier are suddenly alerted to Psi's position and begin to make their way over.]

Artemis: We would prefer not to attract more attention than necessary, but even the most subtle of us aren't perfect. Our work can entail the subjugation of high profile individuals, and with many such people come a dedicated security force that will know when their client is in trouble. To maintain your cover, you need to know how and when to run. The how is right now - the when... you'll just have to find that out as you go.

Psi: Run where!? There's only one path to here!

Synn: Simple. We go back the way we came, straight past the guards.

Psi: We can't just go straight through them! There's too many!

Synn: I said past, not through. Just keep running and dodge whatever they throw at you. Don't bother throwing anything back unless they're right in your way, and you should do fine.

[The mission ends as soon as the player reaches the starting point of the training course. They are given additional ranking bonuses based inversely on how many times they were hit in the final escape portion on top of the usual criteria.]