FFXII - Script - Ch 2: Royal Palace - Nalbina Dungeon

[Back to Old Dalan...]

Dalan: Oh ho! So you've got a sunstone, have you? Hand it over, m'boy, and I'll use it to give the Crescent Stone back its magicks like I promised. Now you'll be wanting to know how to sneak into the palace, eh? First, you go to Storehouse Five. You know the one. Two doors she has. Now the right takes Vaan Ratsbane to his territorial hunting grounds in the sewerbottom... but that's not the way you'll go. No, you'll take the left door, down into the Garamsythe Waterway. The waterway leads to a stair, the stair to the palace cellars. That's your way in. But don't go counting your gil just yet, m'boy. Getting into the palace was the easy part. The way into the treasury is carefully hidden. That's where this Crescent Stone comes in. The magicks it bears can open the hidden door to the treasury, you see. Listen, Vaan , for the words I shall speak are most important, and not to be forgotten. Do you understand? "The signet years for sunstone's strength, to light the clouded way." Once in the palace, you'll find the signet tile. Very important. Give to it the sun's power, and it will light your path. Very well. Oh, a warning: be aware that if you're caught... you'll spend the rest of your short life rotting in the Nalbina dungeons. So look sharp, m'boy. And don't go running off before you're ready. Plans freshly hatched have a habit of tumbling from the nest... straight into the hunter's stewpot. [laughs]

[You obtain the Crescent Stone! Scene change: Beneath Rabanastre - The Garamsythe Waterway. Several soldiers are gathered, including Vossler, Basch's friend from the Nalbina mission two years earlier! A soldier runs up to him]

Soldier: Squads 3 through 6 are in place. They stand ready. So far the Imperials haven't noticed a thing.

Vossler: Then go now and hurry the others. By nightfall, we must ensure all our men are in place.

[The soldiers run off. Vossler turns around, and we see the lower half of a woman in a rather fetching hot pink microskirt walk on screen...]

[Back to Lowtown - Vaan opens up the entrance to Storehouse Five, and inside is... Kytes!]

Kytes: Hey, Vaan! I finally worked out how to get the door on the left side open! I hope there's somethin' in there besides rats... I wanted you to go in first, so I waited for you to come before openin' it. Well, that's one of the reasons I waited... Thing is, I'm gonna need some special tools to open the door... Gonna need you to go fetch 'em for me. I know, I know. Not the most exciting thing to do, is it? Heh, heh. I'm just messin' with ya. I've got everything I need ready to go! Hang on while I open it...

[Kytes walks over to the door, the screen goes black]

Kytes: Hmm, let's see... Yeah, that should do it... Huh? Ungh. Urgh. Angh! Hrooph!

[We see him walk back to Vaan]

Kytes: It's open! Now we've got a whole 'nother place to explore! Oh, and I almost forgot. Take these with ya before you go. No tellin' what's down there...might come in handy.

[Kytes hands you 2 Potions and 4 Phials of Eye Drops!]

[Vaan makes his way through the Garamsythe Waterway, eventually reaching a set of stairs leading into the palace...]

[FMV: Outside to the palace, a couple of fireworks explode in the air. Guards are on patrol; a stealthy hoverbike bursts into view without drawing their attention, carrying a sharply dressed man and a buxom Viera. The bike eventually comes to a halt; the man jumps off, while holding a gun, and mutters a "Hmmm"]

[Vaan enters The Royal Palace of Rabanastre - we know this because the words are plastered across the screen. He ventures through the palace cellars, where several workers mingle about. Eventually he comes across a group of them & a pair of soldiers]

Imperial: Have you gathered up all of the occasionals? ...Good. You'll be on clean-up duty when the fete's over. Wait here until we're ready for you. No one goes to the upper floor until we give the order. Step out of line and you will be punished.

[The soldiers walk away. A soldier is on watch at the base of the stairs, so if Vaan tries to sneak up...]

Imperial: Wait here until I've further directions for you.

[Vaan walks away]

Palace Servant: ...What's he doing? Trying to go upstairs?

[Vaan goes to talk to him]

Palace Servant: Trying to go upstairs, ain't you! I know... Yer hungry! I don't blame you. An empty stomach'd make me want to crash the fete, too! No, no, no use tryin' to hide it! Look here, I'll help you out.

[The servant explains how to sneak past the guard.. Vaan does it with ease]

Vaan: What was it Old Dalan said? "The signet yearns for sunstone's strength, to light the clouded way." But there was more... Oh yeah! "Once in the palace, you'll find the signet tile. Give to it the sun's power, and it will light your path." Looks like I've got a signet to find.

[Once you find it...]

Lion Signet: The light of the sun flows into the signet. The hidden way is lit.

[Vaan goes to the hidden way and waltzes right through]

Vaan: Well, that takes care of the secret passage. Now where's this treasure...

[The passageway behind him closes]

Vaan: Hey, watch it! Guess it's not leaving me much choice.

[Vaan finds the treasure room and thoroughly explores it. He trigger something and hears a mechanical crank behind him; behind him, the face of a statue slowly opens, revealing a shining crystal. He grabs it and gasps]

Man: Quite a performance.

[Behind him, a door opens. The sharply-dressed man from the previous FMV walks in]

Vaan: Who are you?

Man: I play the leading man, who else?

[He smirks. The female Viera is behind Vaan]

Man: Fran, the magicite.

Fran: Now then. I'll take that.

Vaan: No you won't. I found it. It's mine.

[The man walks forward, and Fran stands beside him]

Man: And then when I take it from you, it'll be mine.

[Vaan is between a rock and a hard place. For several moments, tension fills the air... broken up by the sound of soldiers. The man spots an open doorway]

Man: Exit stage right.

Fran: The gods do not smile on us.

Man: I like it better that way.

[Vaan runs out. He's trying to find where to go, but soldiers are running around; he spots some stairs and proceeds up them]

[FMV; He runs outside; huge swordfights are occuring outside the palace! Vaan runs along a bridge, then stops]

Vaan: What's going on?

[Above him, an airship lets loose a rather hefty fireblast, disrupting the swordfighting below. Vaan tumbles backwards]

Man: The Ifrit, eh? That's quite an entrance. Impeccable timing. If i didn't know better, I'd say they were waiting all along.

[More blasts... the man raises his arm to avoid the dust unsettled by the blasts. Vaan runs away]

Man: Stop running!

[Vaan does stop... but only because Fran, riding her hoverbike, blocks him]

Man: End of the line! You have something that belongs to me.

[Spotlights from the Ifrit shine on them; soldiers exit the Garden Stairs doors]

Soldiers: More this way!

Man: Fran! Let's move!

[Fran drives off the bridge. The man runs to Vaan and picks him up; Vaan struggles futilely]

Man: Off with you!

[He throws Vaan off the bridge and jumps; he lands on Fran's hoverbike, and grabs a hold of Vaan's hand... the bike cuts through the air, with Vaan dangling all the while]

Vaan: Let go of me!

Man: Keep this up and I will!

[Something goes wrong...]

Man: What's going on, Fran?

Fran: I don't know. it's not heeding me.

Man: I don't have time for this.

Vaan: I'm slipping!

Man: Not good!

[FMV's over... the hoverbike's crashed. They're now in the Garamsythe Waterway]

Fran: What happened? Our hover didn't just drop-it dissapeared.

Man: Bah. Forget it. Even if we could fly... the Ifrit's playing with fire, and I'd rather not get burned. We'll go the old-fashioned way.

[The man looks at Fran, then at Vaan, who's looking at Fran]

Man: Not many Viera where you come from, thief?

Vaan: It's Vaan. Sorry.

Man: Well, Fran is special... in that she'd deign to partner with a hume.

Fran: Oh? Like a sky pirate that chooses to steal through the sewers?

Vaan: Pirates? You're sky pirates? So you have an airship?

Man: It's Balthier. Listen thief-Vaan. If you ever want to see your home again, you'll do exactly as I say. Myself, Fran, and you. We're working together now. Understood?

[Balthier looks at the crystal which Vaan is still grasping... he hides his hand & the crystal behind his back]

Vaan: Don't even think you're getting this.

Balthier: The thought never crossed my mind.

[Balthier and Fran join the party, and Balthier explains the gambit system. A little farther ahead, and you notice a couple of soldiers dead in the water...]

Balthier: Insurgents. Most like they thought to take advantage of a lax watch while the fete's on. ...to feed the good consul a length of steel for his supper. I should think Vayne used to such hospitality. Clever. He used himself as the bait to draw them near, and then sent in the air brigade. A fine, bloody banquet. Hmph. I daresay I've soiled my cuffs. If a dungeon's waiting for us at the end of the night, it had best have a change of wardrobe.

[The trio make their way through the dungeon. Eventually they come across a group of Archadian soldiers on a ledge, surrounding the girl in the hot pink miniskirt, who's currently wielding a sword. She viciously slashes one, as he tumbles below]

Girl: Who would be next?

Soldier: Close ranks! Bring her down!

[She's at the edge of the ledge]

Vaan: Jump down!

[She gasps and looks at Vaan]

Vaan: Hurry!

[She quickly weighs her options and jumps down; Vaan catches her in his arms]

Soldier: She's not alone!

Fran: Our ranks grow by the hour.

Balthier: And our troubles with them.

[Fight vs. 4 Imperial Soldiers. Afterwards, Vaan approaches the girl]

Vaan: You all right?

Girl: Thank you.

Vaan: I'm Vaan. And this is Balthier and-

[Balthier is walking away]

Vaan: Hey!

[Balthier stops. Vaan turns around to face the girl once more]

Vaan: What's your name?

Amalia: Amalia.

Vaan: Amalia, huh? Nice to meet you.

Amalia: There were others with me...

Fran: I'm sorry.

Amalia: No...

[The crystal in Vaan's hand glows]

Vaan: Huh?

Balthier: Oh, now isn't that impressive.

Vaan: Don't get any ideas. I said it's mine.

Baltheir: I'm afraid the jury's still out on that one.

Amalia: You stole that?

Vaan: Yeah!

[It stops glowing]

Fran: Have you finished? When the guards don't report in, they'll come looking for us.

Balthier: If they aren't already.

Vaan: You should come with us. Better than being by yourself.

Amalia: Very well.

[She walks away stridently]

Vaan: What's wrong with her?

Balthier: [sighs] You have a lot to learn before we even get started on your thievery.

Vaan: What's that mean?

[Amalia joins the group as a guest. On the next screen, a trio of Flans surround the group... they look up to see a 4th Flan clinging to the ceiling, before falling down behind them. Fight vs. 4 Flans! At the end of the fight, the last Flan melts and slinkers into the sewerwater below...]

[The group proceeds on... and a horse made of fire appears in front of them. Boss fight vs. Firemane. Afterwards, a booming voice is heard]

Voice: Stand where you are!

[A line of soldiers have their guns pointed at the group. The voice comes into view... it's Vayne, Rabanastre's new consul and the man from Nalbina 2 years ago! Amalia clearly looks pissed, but Balthier grabs her arm]

Balthier: Now is not the time.

[The soldiers descend the steps to surround the group. Amalia stares at Vayne with piercing hatred]

[Scene change; Lowtown. The citizens are gossping among themselves]

Voice #1:They're the thieves who stole into the palace.

Voice #2: Is that what the commotion last night was about?

Amalia: They think me some common thief.

Balthier: Better than a common assassin.

[A soldier shoves Amalia forward]

Amalia: These people have done nothing. Release them.

Vaan: What are you doing?

Amalia: Don't interrupt me, I'm thinking.

[Vayne looks at Vaan and walks away. Suddenly...]

Penelo: Wait!

[Penelo tries to approach Vaan but is held back by some soldiers]

Penelo: He didn't know what he was doing! You have to let him go! You have to!

Vaan: Penelo! Sorry. That dinner'll have to wait.

Penelo: I told you!

Soldier: That's enough!

[The soldier punches Vaan in the back of the head; he falls forward. Penelo breaks free from the guards restraining her]

Penelo: Leave him alone!

[She runs toward Vaan, but Balthier steps in front of her and hands her something]

Balthier: Hold onto this for me, would you? Just until I bring Vaan back.

Soldier: On your feet! You, over here!

Balthier: All right, all right. Edgy, aren't we?

[Around the corner peer a couple of Bangaas; one of them being the green headed/grey skinned variety briefly spotted in Rabanastre at the conclusion of an earlier cutscene]

Bangaa: It's Balthier, my brother.

Bangaa Leader: What does that philanderer think he's doing? I was to kill Balthier, not those addle-pated Imperials!

[Dramaaaaaa. Screen goes black... and fades back in on a white room. It's a flashback; an individual is sitting motionless in a chair in a hospital room. Vaan walks in]

Vaan: I brought you some of those flowers you like: Galbana lilies. Remember? You always said how they smelled nice, and how pretty they were. Remember?

[The individual doesn't move... we see it's Reks]

Vaan: The King-

[Close-up of Reks' motionless, and emotionless, face]

Vaan: Did you? Were you really a part of it? Even if-even if you were-Captain Basch must have tricked you into it!

[Reks dissolves into the sunlight; the lilies are gone from Vaan's hand as well, replaced by the ring that had been on Reks' hand. He closes his fist around it, looks at Reks' empty chair, and walks away, the lilies left behind on the chair...]

[Back to the present. Vaan is laid out on a sandy floor inside some underground dungeon; a bit of sand falls from the ceiling.

Balthier: You're awake.

[Balthier is sitting on a nearbye stone]

Vaan: Where are we?

Balthier: Prison, where else? More a dungeon, but it's really all the same.

[Vaan stands up and holds the back of his head; he's still feeling where the soldier hit him, it seems. In the distance he hears the cries of someone most likely being tortured. He stumbles backwards, and almost trips on the carcass of a Bangaa]

Balthier: It's just a corpse. Jump at every little thing down here and you'll wear yourself out. It's not even a proper dungeon. They just sealed off the bottom level of the fortress. Take a look around. We're not the first they've thrown down here.

Vaan: Where's Fran?

[Balthier stretches]

Balthier: She's off trying to find us a way out.

[Vaan hears another tortured scream. Balthier stands up]

Balthier: Remember what curiosity killed. Just a friendly word of advice.

[He holds up a pouch; the bottom is wet]

Balthier: This is all the water we've got. I'd save your strength if I were you.

[Vaan walks away; Balthier smirks. "Nalbina Dungeons" is emblazoned across the screen. Vaan ventures forth. He eventually enters an area that resembles a large colisseum, with a pit in the centre. The lack of a ceiling lets a lot of sun shine in. He looks around and sees other prisoners, shackled in various ways. He steps forward, but a couple of Bangaa drop at his feet. One mutters "Save me..." before running away; two large pig-beasts, creatures known as Seeqs, drop from above. They chase the escapee and hit him repeatedly with rudely-fashioned clubs. Just as one's about to land a killing blow...]

Vaan: No, don't!

[He still hits the Bangaa, then turns around and faces Vaan]

Vaan: He was defenseless..

[The Seeqs approach Vaan; one of them mutters something in an unintelligble language. A third Seeq jumps from above and slams into Vaan. He gets dragged into the pit; the doors entering it close around him. Vaan is backed against a wall as three Seeqs close in on him...]

Balthier: Something stinks in here, all right. I've changed my mind. This is no dungeon, it's a sty.

[Balthier is outside the pit; the Seeq mutters something at him. Balthier spits and cracks his knuckles]

Balthier: I said you're the one that stinks, Hamshanks. Hear me now?

[He jumps into the pit]

Balthier: You all right, Vaan?

[Vaan doesn't reply; he just assume a fighting stance. Balthier smirks and motions his hand in a "Bring it on" fashion. Fight vs. the 3 Seeqs. Easily dispatched in hand-to-hand combat]

[All is silent... several other prisoners crowd around the pit to see the victorious pair. They're pretty amused. Vaan's attention is drawn to a set of doors leading into this colisseum area; several soldiers begin to march in... the prisoners disperse. A soldier looks at the pit and sees it's empty - Balthier and Vaan are pressed against a wall, out of his viewpoint. In walks the Bangaa from Lowtown that wants to kill Balthier for some unknown reason]

Balthier: Great. They just don't give up, do they?

[The Bangaa shoves the soldier aside and looks around]

Balthier: Now is looking like a good time for us to leave.

[Vaan looks to his right; Fran is there, and she lifts one of the pit doors enough for them to squeeze under]

Fran: Through the oubliette, there's a way out. Only-

Balthier: Only you sense the Mist. Then we'll need weapons.

[Balthier and Vaan pass under it]

Soldier: What did you call me? Say that again!

Bangaa: What, you couldn't hear? I merely said that the lot of you are incompetent fools. If you've the sky pirate in your hands, where is he?

Soldier: You'd have done better, Ba'Gamnan? By your own words, it was the Imperial army who caught this sky pirate of yours. We've done your job for you! We don't require the assistance of filthy headhunters. The Empire will restore order here.

Ba'Gamnan: Eh? What's that you say now? Maybe I'll whet my blade on you... before I kill Balthier.

Voice: That's enough, Ba'Gamnan.

[Ba'Gamnan's attention is drawn to a being who we see from behind, clad in armor and sporting a flowing black cape. His face is covered]

Fran: A Judge.

Vaan: Judge?

Balthier: Hmph. The self-proclaimed guardians of law and order in Archadia. They're the elite guard of House Solidor. Which effectively makes them the commanders of the Imperial army. If you ask me, they're more executioners than judges. Not a friendly lot, at any rate. What are they doing here?

[Ba'Gamnan steps aside as the Judge and his entourage walk down the steps]

Judge: The Emperor is willing to overlook race for his more talented servants. However, those that do not show respect will receive none in kind.

[Ba'Gamnan interjects with "Your Honour but the Judge continues...]

Judge: You travel freely through our lands because the Emperor wills it. Am I correct?

[Ba'Gamnan throws up his hands, muttering "Bah" before turning around and walking away. The Judge turns to face the lead soldier, who's saluting him; the Judge ignores him and walks off; the soldier follows]

Judge: Where is the Captain?

Soldier: We have him in solitary, Your Honor. We're ready to begin our interrogation.

[Ba'Gamnan attempts to say something]

Judge: This does not concern you, bounty hunter.

[Ba'Gamnan is pissed, and turns to face his fellow Bangaa cohorts - his headhunting entourage, if you will]

Ba'Gamnan: He's in here somewhere! Find him!

Bangaa: Bwagi, that way!

Bwagi: I was going this way!

Balthier: Time for the hare to follow the fox.

[Vaan mutters a "Huh?"]

Fran: The magicks binding the door to the oubliette are quite strong. Too strong even for my talents.

Balthier: That's why we'll get them to open it for us.

Vaan: How is going deeper into this place-

Balthier: What's wrong? You don't trust her? Viera's noses are sharp. If she says there's a way out, there's a way out.

[They proceed onward, but something draws Fran's attention]

Fran: Look.

Balthier: Ah! The prison repository of wrested relics and araments.

Vaan: So our things are in here?

Balthier: That's what I said.

[Everyone recovers their lost items & equipment! MOving onwards, the trio make their way through the closing doors just in time. Balthier passes a corner, but quickly backtracks, peering around it to see several soldiers in the distance - and the Judge as well]

Balthier: There are more turnkeys than cutpurses down here. I've had my fill of chains. Let's tread lightly, shall we?

[They proceed onwards, following the Judge and his soldiers. One soldier says...something, in a different language. The magicks on the down are disabled, and it opens up; the Judge and company stride through it... as does our heroic trio]

[Scene change; the Judge approaches a cage. Inside, a man with a gaunt appearance is shackled. The Judge removes his helmet to reveal a man with a bit of a buzzcut]

Judge: You have grown very thin, Basch. Less than a shadow. Less than a man.

[Above the fray, Balthier and company observe the proceedings. Vaan audibly gasped when "Basch" was uttered]

Judge: Sentenced to death and yet you live. Why?

Basch: To silence Ondore. How many times must I say it?

Judge: Is that all?

Basch: Why not ask Vayne himself? Is he not one of your masters?

Judge: We've caught a leader of the insurgence. She is being brought from Rabanastre. The woman Amalia. Who could that be?

[Basch perked up at the mention of Amalia... he signs soon after. The Judge places his helmet back on]

Judge: Such a faithful hound to cling so to a fallen kingdom.

Basch: Better than throwing it away.

Judge: Throwing it away? As you threw away our homeland?

[The Judge and soldiers walk away. Balthier comes into view]

Basch: Who's there?

[Balthier looks down the chasm underneath Basch's cage]

Balthier: This the place?

Fran: The Mist is flowing through this room. It must be going somewhere.

Basch: You! You're no Imperials. Please, you must get me out-

Balthier: It's against my policy to speak with the dead. Especially when they happen to be kingslayers.

Basch: I did not kill him.

Balthier: Is that so? Glad to hear it.

Basch: Please, get me out. For the sake of Dalmasca.

[Vaan flies into a rage at the mention of "Dalmasca". He jumps onto Basch's cage]

Vaan: Dalmasca!? What do you care about Dalmasca!? Everything that's happened is because of you! Everyone that's died, every single one! Even my brother-You killed my brother!

Balthier: Quiet! The guards will hear.

[Fran detects the approaching guards w/ her heightened Viera hearing]

Fran: I'm dropping it.

[She kicks a lever; the chain attaching the cage to the ceiling begins to drop]

Balthier: Pirates without a sky.

[Balthier and Fran jump on as the cage drops down. The Judge and his soldiers return to see it's gone...]

[Down below, the cage is crashed open. Basch grasps his wrists. Vaan tackles him and raises his right fist to strike him - but Balthier grabs a hold of his arm and sends him tumbling backwards]

Balthier: Spare us your quiddities.

Vaan: Yeah but - but he's a -

Balthier: A traitor, I know. Stay here and fight, if you want.

[He turns to face Basch]

Balthier: If you can walk, let's go.

Vaan: You're taking him with us?

Balthier: We could use another sword arm.

Basch: And you have it.

[Vaan's still pissed at him - but nevertheless, Basch joins the party as a guest. They proceed through the Passage; eventually they take a breather]

Fran: The Mist seethes.

Balthier: It reeks. Something's close.

[Basch notices a fallen soldier nearby, with a sword by its side. He picks up the sword. He swings it around]

Balthier: Nice moves there, Captain.

Vaan: You mean "traitor."

Balthier: So they say. But I didn't see him kill anyone.

Vaan: My brother did.

[Basch gasps; Vaan is staring at him]

Basch: Reks. He said he had a brother two years younger. I see. He meant you. Your brother. What became-

Vaan: He's dead.

Basch: I'm sorry.

Vaan: It was you who killed him!

Basch: I give you my word: that was not the way of it.

[Flashback to the events of 2 years ago; quotes are rapidly displayed, as we see Basch and two Rabanastre soldiers making their way to the King's room. Once inside, they're surrounded by Archadian soldiers. They fight through what they can, but eventually Basch is held down by 2 Archadian soldiers. We see the original Basch is being held down in a darkened corner of the room, while a 2nd Basch is standing by Reks, talking to him, before he stabs him]

Balthier: A twin brother? Fancy that. But still, the pieces fit. I'll give you that much. And he did look like you.

Vaan: I don't believe you.

Basch: Of course not. It was my fault that Reks was there. I am sorry.

Vaan: My brother, he trusted you. He trusted you, and he lost everything. How can I believe you?

Basch: Not me then. Believe in your brother. He was a fine soldier. He fought to the last to protect his homeland. No. Surely he fought to protect his brother.

Vaan: You don't know anything!

Balthier: Believe what you want to. Whatever it takes to make you happy.

[He walks away]

Balthier: What's done is done.

[Proceeding forward, they eventually encounter... a massive monstrosity. The Mimic Queen! Boss fight vs. Mimic Queen. Afterwards, the entire chamber begins to collapse... the group narrowly escapes, and arrive outside in the desert]

Basch: To think Dalmascan air could taste so sweet.

Vaan: Where are we?

Balthier: The Estersand, by the look of it. Let's back to Rabanastre before we shrivel up. By your leave, Captain.

Basch: Yes, the hour of my return is already over late. The people may hate me, but that does not free me of my charge.

[The group heads back to Rabanastre]

Basch: I thank you.

Balthier: I'd avoid crowds, if I were you. In this town you're still a traitor, you know.

Basch: The resistance will surely find me soon. [He turns to face Vaan] Fates will we meet again. I would pay my respects to your brother.

[Basch walks away; Balthier faces Vaan]

Balthier: You're a fugitive now, too. Stay low for a while.

[Balthier and Fran begin to walk away]

Vaan: What about the stone?

Balthier: Do as you like. That stone's ill-favored.

Fran: We feel regret. We sought that stone and found ourselves only worry.

Balthier: You offering it?

Vaan: It's mine!

Balthier: Then why do you ask? Our regards to your girl.

Fran: We stay in Rabanastre a while.

[They walk away. Vaan holds out the crystal and speaks to it]

Vaan: What do you think? Can I trust Basch? I gotta get rid of this thing. But maybe I should show it to Penelo first. So she knows I got something. She'd be at Migelo's place this time of day.

[Balthier and Fran leave the party. Vaan, all alone, heads up to Migelo's. He walks in, looks around, and... Kytes is there!]

Kytes: Vaan, is it really you? I heard you got took off to Nalbina!

Vaan: The Imperials'll need more than a dungeon to stop me.

Kytes: You broke out of a dungeon? Whoa!

Vaan: Hey, try and keep it down, wouldya? Penelo isn't around, is she? Out on a delivery, maybe?

Kytes: Nope, haven't seen her all day. Not like her to up and skip out on work like that. Migelo's not here either. He went running off somewhere a little while ago.

Vaan: So much for my big welcome. Guess everybody's busy.

Kytes: I got my hands full watching the shop... and Old Dalan had something for me to do, but I can't get away.

Vaan: Old Dalan, huh? Tell you what. I'll go see him for you.

Kytes: Really?

Vaan: Well, nothing better to do.

[Off to Old Dalan's...]

Dalan: Well, well. Look who we have here! Heard you were sent off to Nalbina?

Vaan: And I got out of there as fast as I could. But it was all worth it, Dalan. Here, look at this!

[Vaan shows him the crystal]

Dalan: My, my, my. Quite a treasure you've got there.

Vaan: Well, you know, I couldn't have done it without your help.

Dalan: So, there is more to this gutter-churl than first meets the eye. Vaan, I've an errand: a simple favor to beg of you. I was going to ask that Kytes to go, but I should think that you ought to do. No-no I think you're just the one.

[He reaches back and grabs something... it's a sword]

Dalan: There's a fellow by the name of Azelas, and I need you to bring this sword to him.

Vaan: That's-that's a sword of the old Order.

Dalan: Speak my name when you arrive. That should be enough to get you in to see him. I've made a note on your map showing you where he can be found. Mind you, you are to deliver the sword to him personally.

Vaan: I will. Hey, Dalan? Could I get you to do something for me? I need to find out where Penelo is. I wanted to show her what I got from the palace, but I haven't been able to find her anywhere. Can you let me know if you hear anything?

Dalan: You can just leave that to me.

Vaan: Thanks, Dalan.

[Vaan walks away, sword in hand]

Dalan: And so it is done. But will it be enough to remind him of what the Order once meant?

[Vaan goes to where Azelas is and speaks to a Rabanastran]

Vaan: I'm supposed to deliver something to a man, name of Azelas. This is the place, right?

Balzac: And who was it told you that?

Vaan: Old Dalan. He said I have to give this to him personally.

Balzac: Does nothing get past that Dalan? He has ears in every wall. All right, get inside. But not a word of what you see or hear in there, you got that?

[Vaan goes inside. A few people are gathered around, discussing something or other]

Guy: Then what of Ondore's proclamation? Did they fool even the marquis?

Guy: What if a Judge killed the King, not the Captain? That would explain everything wouldn't it?

Guy: Then the Captain would be brother to a Judge! How are we to trust such a man?

[Basch walks into the room. Vossler is also standing there!]

Vossler: Now there is the Basch that I remember.

Basch: Then will you fight again at my side?

Guy: His word alone convinces me of nothing!

Guy: I'd take his word over that of a mouthpiece marquis!

Guy: Then you name Reks liar with him.

[Vaan storms in]

Vaan: My brother was no liar!

Basch: Just the opposite. Reks was the witness they needed. They had to make it appear as if I'd killed the King-Reks bears no blame. The Fates have willed it.

[Vossler approaches Vaan, who's still holding the sword]

Vossler: So this is Reks's brother.

[He grabs the sword, then return to talking to Basch]

Vossler: Your words may convince this child, but they weigh too lightly on the scales for my taste. Our paths will remain separate.

Basch: Do you not think Amalia worth saving?

[Vossler pauses for a moment]

Vossler: I hold men's lives in my hands. I must see foes in every shadow. The night we moved against Vayne, he knew. I will not chance such disadvantage again. I must treat you as I would Ondore-as I would treat any abettor of the Empire.

Basch: Then what will you do? Hold me here in chains?

[The screen splits in two; Vossler and Basch stare at each other for a few moments... eventually Vossler tosses Basch the sword; he easily catches it]

Basch: Some things never change. Do they.

Vossler: Listen to me, Basch. Your cage may have no bars, but it is a cage. The eyes of the Resistance watch unblinking.

Basch: Let them watch. I know something of cages.

[Basch walks out; Vaan follows him]

Vaan: That's right... Amalia's in the Resistance.

Basch: Then you know her.

Vaan: Sort of. We met just before we got sent to Nalbina. I've known nicer people.

Basch: Our paths keep crossing, yours and mine. It's more than coincidence.

Vaan: It's annoying.

Basch: I'm sorry. Allow me one last annoyance: a favor to ask. I want you to take me to Balthier. Even caged birds need wings.

Vaan: This makes us even.

Basch: Even?

Vaan: For Nalbina. We couldn't have done it without you.

[Basch joins the party! He and Vaan head to the Sandsea; outside, Basch is distracted by a couple of children running through the street]

Vaan: A lot of kids lost their parents in the war. Mine-mine had already died before that. The plague took them both.

Basch: I'm sorry. I didn't know.

Vaan: It's okay. It's been five years now. After that, I lived with my friend Penelo and her family. Then... then the war came.

Basch: I am sorry.

Vaan: You don't have to keep apologizing. Really, it's all right. I know it wasn't your fault. I see that now. You didn't kill my brother. It was the Empire. My brother trusted you. And he was right.

[Inside the Sandsea, they talk to Balthier, who's talking to Migelo with Fran by his side]

Balthier: As I said, a misunderstanding.

Migelo: Misunderstanding!? What I am understanding is they took Penelo because of you!

Vaan: What? What about Penelo?

Migelo: Oh, Vaan! They've taken Penelo! And there was a note - a note for this Balthier! Come to Bhujerba Mines, it said.

Fran: It's Ba'Gamnan. He was in Nalbina.

Migelo: If anything were to happen to that sweet child - why, I've her parents' memory to consider! You're going to go to her aid, and that's that! It's what you sky pirates do, isn't it?

Balthier: I don't respond well to orders. You do know that the Imperial fleet is massing at Bhujerba?

Vaan: Fine, then I'll go! You at least have an airship, don't you? Just get me there, and I'll find Penelo myself.

Basch: I'll join you. I have some business there as well.

Balthier: An audience with the Marquis, by chance?

[Balthier and Basch exchange smirks. Vaan is holding the crystal]

Vaan: Balthier, just take us and this is yours.

Fran: The gods are toying with us.

[Balthier mutters an "Augh!" before standing up and walking away. Fran follows him]

Balthier: Make yourselves ready. We leave soon.

Vaan: Right.

[Vaan follows them, and Basch follows him. Balthier and Fran rejoin your party! Eventually Vaan heads to the Aerodrome, the departure & arrival point for airships in large cities]

Balthier: Bhujerba's on the sky continent of Dorstonis, and the magicite mine we're looking for is in Bhujerba. If we're going to save the girl, we start there. You ready to leave? [I'm ready / Not yet / Tell me about Bhujerba. Let's leave]

Balthier: We make for the Lhusu Mines in Bhujerba. Seems I took on more baggage in Rabanastre than I'd planned... Well, let's save your girl and be done with it. Come on.

[FMV; the quartet walks into an airship hangar...]

Balthier: This is the Strahl.

[We see the overview of the airship]

Balthier: She airship enough for you?

[Vaan pushes past Balthier, and stares at it]

Vaan: The Strahl... You really are a sky pirate!

Balthier: Well, the headhunters seem to think so. What's the good word? Is she ready?

[A moogle descends the Strahl's stairs and squeals. Balthier and Fran walk up the stairs]

Vaan: So, is she armed? How fast is she? Could she take the Ifrit?

Balthier: I suppose I could tell you, but... wouldn't you rather see for yourself?

[They enter the airship; Balthier and Fran take their seats in the cockpit]

Balthier: Fran, our course.

Fran: The shortest way's over Dorstonis.

[Basch walks in]

Basch: How flies Bhujerba?

Balthier: Oh, she's free as can be, for now. The Empire took notice when they announced the Princess' suicide and your untimely execution.

Basch: If it becomes known that I'm alive, the Marquis will lose their favor.

[Balthier presses the necessary buttons & controls]

Balthier: I try to steer clear of such things. Right. It's time to fly. And no wagging tongues or you're like to bite them off.

Vaan: [thinking] I'm coming, Penelo.

[The airship takes off]

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