A week has passed since Wächterin decided to move into the Smith Mansion, despite his previous attempt at killing Roger, and he has settled in quickly to life with Roger, Dorothy and Norman. Naturally, he has also moved Touyou into the hangar next to Big O. Since he is now seen as a friend by all the other residents, they are permitted to simply call him Tim. The day opens with Roger wandering out onto the balcony in his robe, after the usual orchestral awakening by Dorothy. He spies Tim on one of the pillars lining the balcony's path wearing his new black uniform, a strange assortment of flowing garments that allow for maximum flexibility, the design is very martial-artist in design, as Tim calls it. He stands atop the pillar practising one of his many martial-arts routines, posing in many inspiring forms, and making many a bone-snaring click, as Roger continues to watch the new arrival in his morning routine. "You can stop staring like a deer in the head-lights Roger."
"Oh, sorry Tim. I'm just not used to having someone like you here yet."
"Someone like me?" asks Tim with a sense of intrigue.
"Well, I mean someone who's obviously well learned. I mean, there's probably no one else in the City that has ever even heard of the Martial Arts."
"You're probably right on that, and granted you've never let anyone in your house that's tried to kill you before, but I'm sure it can't be that different, after all, you don't see me firing a mulititude of Rocket Launchers at you do you?" Roger attempts to continue the conversation with his new house-guest, but Dorothy interrupts behind him.
"Roger, you have a call waiting for you."
After wandering back into the house, Roger takes the phone from Norman and places it to his ear with a small sign of thanks to the elderly butler.
"Hello, Smith Residence," he speaks into the microphone of the black pre-Event device.
"Hello, Dominus," speaks a chilling voice from the speaker, and a faintly familiar one at that.
"Who are you?" he asks the voice, slightly intrigued and frightened.
"For the time being, you can call me 'Conocimiento.'"
"Conocimiento? I'm guessing that's not an English name."
"You would be correct, Negotiator. In fact, it is Spanish."
"Spanish?" Waiting for a response, Conocimiento hangs up on Roger, leaving his question about Spanish unanswered. He wanders back onto the balcony, Tim is just finishing his routine as he notices that Roger is back. "Tim, do you know anything about Spanish?"
Seeming completely horrified, Tim barely manages to say "Spanish?! Where did you here that from?" He finishes the sentence leaning toward Roger, his fists clenched tightly and his teeth hissing wildly.
"I heard about it from a guy on the phone, he called himself Conocimiento. Is he a friend of yours?"
"More than a friend, he's my brother." Tim calms down a little bit, still scared out of his mind.
"Brother? So, do you know Conocimiento means?"
"It's Spanish, and it means 'Knowledge.' He's the smartest of us all."
"There are 3 of us. And hell hath no fury if the third wakes up anytime soon."
"Let me guess, he's the worst of you?"
"Not even close, Negotiator." Tim smirks at his landlord, surprising Roger to a degree since he just spoke very highly of him. Regardless, Dastun arrives at the Mansion not long afterward.
"What is it Dastun? I've just had a very disturbing phone-call to get to the bottom of."
"I know, and I know where it came from Roger."
"Huh? How could you know that?" Roger is clearly surprised at his old superior.
"We bugged this Mansion when it was a Bank before The Event, so we know who you talk to and where they are."
"So, where is Conocimiento at the moment?"
"It was from outside the city, in an old building about 15 miles away."
Roger turns to look back at the stairs, almost half-ignoring Dastun's words. "Norman, get Tim and Dorothy and start the car!"
* * * * *
Roger drives the Griffon to the location Dastun told him about, as Tim stubbornly insists on running alongside the vehicle instead of being inside it with him and Dorothy. As they drive, Roger takes time to consider what kind of person Tim really is. 'Is he human? No, if he were human he'd be dead by now. Maybe he is an android? Nah, he bled all over those train tracks after I stabbed him.'
"I know, it still stings ya' brute." Roger turns to see that the window next to him has opened, and Tim is smirking at him through it.
"You can read minds then?"
"Clear as a lightbulb in space, mate."
"Never mind, it's not important."
The short conversation finishes off as they reach the old lighthouse, half buried in the sand dune behind it. They decide to go in in a line with Dorothy at the front for the best lighting, and Tim at the back almost cowering in fear of his brother. They wander through the seemingly endless halls of the submerged side of the lighthouse, total silence is all that manages to keep them all inside the eerie building.
"Am I the only person who thinks there shouldn't be a lighthouse here?" Tim is the first to break the silence.
"What do you mean Tim?" Roger replies to his question.
"I mean, lighthouses are, were, only ever built near coastlines like the harbor.."
"So why would one be in the middle of a desert?" Dorothy cuts him off in her usual manner, eyes still facing forward.
"Precisely, kiddo. If the desert had somehow overrun the sea, it would be changed into a jungle by the moisture levels. Anyway, while we're down here there's three things we need to look out fo," he tells the two ahead. As they enter a darkened archway, all falls silent.
"So what are they?" asks an impatient Roger as they pass a rotting wooden door.
"Number #1: We need to look out for patches of ceiling that look like they're bulging, it means the sand's gotten in and the bulges are about to blow, which is a bad thing." Dorothy turns to face him with an expression of subtle annoyance at his sarcasm. "I'm just trying to help here, kiddo, don't punch me through a wall, which by the way is another bad thing." Dorothy returns to her forward position as they continue on through the corridors. "Number #2: We need to watch out for large cases with a glass porthole near the top. Those contain creatures and people who'll be in a VERY bad mood if they find us here. And last but not least," Tim begins to conclude as they approach a steel door, frozen shut from lack of use over the years. Dorothy reaches toward it to push it open with her strength, as a blinding light appears from within it, knocking everyone about 3 feet from the door. "We need to look out for that."
"What is it?"
"That would be either Eliminar or Conocimiento." The door bursts open, hitting the now upright Dorothy square in the head, knocking both herself and her light out cold as all plunges back into darkness.
"Remember Touyou was one of the Element Megadeuses?"
"Eliminar is another one of the Element Megadeuses." The two whisper in the pitch black. A low hum emanates from where the door once was, and is followed by a youthful voice.
"Welcome home, I've been waiting for you."
"Who is he talking t..." Roger almost finishes his sentence, then realises just who the voice is talking to.
"Conocimiento, I take it that your true name is that of an English Escoces?"
"Rough translation of course?" it returns.
"Then indeed I am the man of which you speak, Tim."
"Anything new in the realm of Intelligence brother?"
"Brother?" Roger mumbles from the still darkness, roughly to the left of the two 'people', if such a term is applicable to the two brothers.
"Not much, but the Android your new landlord is carrying has about 3 hours before she wakes up. Oh, and she happens to contain about 8 weeks of footage from the Hard Drive that needs to be deleted within the next 2 days unless you want all hell to break loose."
"Same old Scott then." Roger simply lies stationary, mouth hanging open, as the new impossible spurts all manner of information he himself couldn't possibly comprehend, and 'Scott' was talking about him and Dorothy. In a state of complete ghast, Roger's thoughts begin to stray once more into the ancient halls of his mind. The lights in the corridor still out, the corridors are barely visible this time as his footsteps echo through the empty halls. Once more he reaches the area for R. Dorothy memories, and for the first time since the room became of use, Roger decides to look over the images stored here. He sees many a recollection; seeing R. Dorothy for the first time, taking off her blindfold, unplugging her from Dorothy 1 until...
"Uh, Roger?" Tim's voice snaps him out of yet another daydream. After a few blinks with his eyes, Roger resumes his composure.
"What is it Tim?"
"Well, do you think it's a good idea or not?"
"Whether or not we should delete the footage in R. Dorothy to prevent the world from coming to an end, again?" Roger takes a few seconds to totally understand the question, then realizes that Dorothy is not in his arms.
"Where is she, Tim?"
"Huh? Oh, Dorothy? Scott already took her into the hangar to see just what exactly is on the footage she has."
"Is that safe? Will she be okay?"
"She'll be fine from this, but it's possible that the footage has integrated itself with her memories and/or personality programming, in which case it's likely that deleting the footage will permanently damage her overall image, behaviour, and form." Another few moments spent realising the information put forward, and Roger is ready to answer once more.
"Okay, so how did she get the footage from the, what was it you called it again?"
"The Hard Drive? She probably absorbed it before The Event, likely through some sort of Data Confrontation."
"You can explain that later, which way is the hangar?"
"Straight through the door Dorothy got clocked with."
"I should have guessed."
Roger wanders through the broken-hinged doorway, and is stricken with awe by the magnitude of the hangar. To his left is a stairway leading down to the floor of the seemingly endless hangar. To his North, suspended paths criss-cross and continue to a point he is unable to perceive in the oddly well-lit area. To his North-West, Roger sees the gigantic machine, which he assumes is Eliminar, and is in further awe of its grandeur and technological superiority to Big O. He soon spies Scott at the bottom, near a group of strange machines, and Dorothy laid on a slab close by him. Roger rushes down the stairs, half tripping in his hurry. "Scott! Get your hands off her!"
"Oh, you finally snapped out of it, huh?"
"Yes I snapped out of it, now leave Dorothy alone!"
"Oh, that's right, I'd forgotten about your connection to her." Calming down a notch, Roger begins to wonder what he means.
"What connection? What are you talking about?"
"You mean you haven't figured it out? The great Negotiator of Paradigm City and you can't even figure that much out?"
"Will you get to the point!"
"Fine then, would you like it short or descript?"
"I think I've had all I can take of the descript!"
"Gotcha, you're related."
"I can see this is going to take some more descript"
Over the next few hours, Scott and Roger continue to talk about the connection between them all and R. Dorothy's existence and memories. However, all is not as solemn in the lighthouse as some would believe. Deep in the basement of the extension, in a dark room with no lighting, a large container that is spewing forth a light that is the polar opposite of normal solar rays, a light that is the purest black, a light that is spreading throughout the room, is starting to move...
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