Long Road to Home (Eryl)

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Long Road to Home (Eryl)
Date of Cutscene: 10 December 2016
Location: Scorched World - Eden
Synopsis: Eryl has finally come home to Eden to be debriefed on his 110-year journey, and where he is to go now.
Thanks to: To everyone who has ever scened with Eryl. It's all been leading up to this.
Cast of Characters: Eryl Fairfax

Eryl sits in the room atop Eden Tower, surrounded on all sides by the ReGenesis Board of Directors. Five experts in their related fields who assemble to decide matters of urgency. The issue of the day; the debriefing of SAVIOUR-001 in the wake of his completed journey.

For the first time since he was a child, Eryl is nervous in a primal way. All creatures fear the uncertain, and the biggest uncertainty is the future. But not for him. Every day was the same as the day, weeks, months and years previous. He lived secure in the knowledge that he was doing important work. But now that time is over, and the rest of his artificially extended life looms before him, shrouded. Would he continue to work for ReGenesis? Would they cast him out? Would they want him scrapped for parts? That one was ridiculous, he realized, but fear is not a rational thing. In that moment, he realized he was being addressed.

"Eryl Fairfax. Are these summaries correct as they have been read to you?" asks Diana LeFoe, CEO of ReGenesis. A severe-looking woman with short cut gray hair, clad in a pure black jumpsuit. A quick recap courtesy of Original Face reveals no inconsistencies. "Yes ma'am," he replies. Evan Olimander, the squat head of R&D in his white suit with two purple stripes around the collar, wrists and ankles chimes in. "So no difficulties with your body, barring damage from external sources in your time in the Multiverse?" he asks in a chipper tone, gleefully taking notes with the keyboard on his right arm when Eryl responds to the affirmative.

Major General Alexi Fohm, commander of the Eden Defence Force in his forest green suit with the white insignia of the EDF on the breast, chimes in. "The settlers. We've had some of the early ones as soldiers. But the more recent ones, any concerns about their combat ability before we start recruiting?" A response in the negative this time, satisfying the man as he strokes his goatee.

"About the Before Times knowledge you've obtained. What is your estimate on how much is new?" asks Lawrence Reils, descendant of Eden's founder and head of the Archivists who preserve Before Times media in all forms. He leans forward, crossing arms over the white insignia of the Archivists, a crumbling book falling into outreached hands, as Eryl answers, estimating 74%. The man beams and nods, scratching his sandy hair. "And what of the state of the beaches and lakes?" asks Mariah Fried, head of the Procurers who specialized in the production of food, water and other necessities. The tall, willowy woman taps the table impatiently, dressed in indigo with black stripes encircling the stomach. "How long do you think it would take to clean them to repopulate them with fish?" A harder question with the Multiverse in mind. He gives a reasonable estimation of 3 years, which just makes her sigh like it's a personal attack on her.

The questions continue, and Eryl just starts answering on autopilot. This room has changed, he realized. Back when he was first issued with his task, it was full of bookshelves, diagrams on the walls, tables groaning under the weight of documents. It's very austere now with just the semicircular table as the only feature. The windows look out on Eden, which has also changed, something Eryl didn't get to appreciate during his last brief visit. It's bigger now, obviously. The houses on tracks to promote easier expansion as the population grew were not implemented when he left. Even the grass seemed greener, owing to improvements on the GARDEN fungus.

And finally, the moment of truth. Diana LeFoe clears her throat. "Eryl Fairfax, designated SAVIOUR-001. You have completed your assigned task, in spite of several leaves of absence over the past few years, including a period of several months this year. However, you have succeeded in ways that our forbearers could never have dreamed. Our progress has been accelerated by decades, thanks to your tireless networking in the Multiverse. Though it may have delayed the SAVIOUR Project by perhaps a year, the time was well spent. We of ReGenesis, and all of Eden, owe you a debt indescribable."All very kind words, and ones that Eryl accepts graciously. But inside, all he can do is urge them to deliver the news of what he is to do now.

"But now we must ask you to leave."

Eryl's mind locks up. His body freezes, his skin becoming even whiter than usual. He speaks no words as Lawrence produces a familiar bundle of papers. A compilation of all the rulings on the SAVIOUR Project, created even before he was taken in. When he left, it was already yellowed and fading. Now it looked positively ancient. "In the event that SAVIOUR-001 completes their mission and returns to Eden with sanity intact, but ReGenesis has grown to the point that assembled forces can disseminate aid to survivors more efficiently than a single cyborg, they must not be allowed to take up a home and position within Eden. To do so opens the gates to giving official positions to what could become an immortal tyrant, and makes salient the differences between they and the population. This may lead to undue stress and calls for more widespread augmentation and immortality treatments in the populace." He looks up from the pages with a sympathetic smile, met by a blank stare. "It's all in here, I'm afraid. I voted against it, but..."

Diana, for the first time most anyone in the room can remember, offers a sympathetic smile. "Had it not been for the Multiverse, I would have redacted that ruling. But you have friends out there Fairfax. You can live a full life out there, and you are always welcome back in Eden... but the ruling is clear. You cannot stay and work here. I'm sorry.

Eryl can only muster a single nod. "Then I shall take my leave. Thank you for everything." A bow is offered to all five members, each one returned. He retreats, an underfoot elevator in the center of the room taking him down. In the tower foyer, two rows of EDF soldiers bare their arms as he leaves, forming a path. A gesture of respect, or armed insurance that he leaves peaceably? He is separated from the crowds by the soldiers, some cheering, others merely staring on. He's a product of their predecessors, his efforts barely worth noticing in the day-to-day life of Eden. He feels stung by their indifference, but not surprised. The thick shroud over his future only seems to thicken further, making him blind and deaf to it all, choking his thoughts more than even Original Face can deal with. Finally, for the third time in his life, he leaves Eden behind, only a single thought in his head.

Now what?