Disclaimer: The author of the fan fiction does not, in any way, profit from the story and that all creative rights to the characters belong to their original creators Ninja Theory and Namco Bandai Games.


"Did I do the right thing?" asked Trip, looking to Monkey in search of answers.

It was partly impetus that compelled Trip to sever the chords from Pyramid's back, as he was splayed dead over a computerized console. Dark sludge flowed from the orifices on his partly cybernetic back, pooling and spreading onto the floor. Pyramid's death signaled the untimely shut down of the entire facility that housed thousands of people enslaved by the memories of this single man. They were memories from the old world that served as a mirage in a desolate land of brutal mechs. Now those memories were gone, no better than dust returning to the earth.

While impetus was partly what compelled Trip to destroy Pyramid and his lucid memories, there was something else that drove her to do what she did. It first emerged with the death of her father, and then culminated to the noble but doleful sacrifice of Pigsy. Finally, it had reached its boiling point when Monkey decided to take Pyramid's mask. She had always seen Monkey as a strong man, not for his sheer strength and command in combat, but by his unstoppable will to persevere through dire circumstances. So when Monkey put on that damnable mask, Trip saw all his colossal countenance collapse as Pyramid's dream world threatened to steal him away from her. Her father, her friend Pigsy, and what could have been Monkey, were like constellations fading from the sky being drawn into a vacuum, pulling her along with them.

Trip wanted to protect Monkey. That was all there was to it.

But when she looked into Monkey's eyes, looking answers to her question, she saw something in those depths that unsettled her. Even when Monkey lifted her chin up reassuringly, as the glow on his slaver band died off, as the room grew dim and the people were released from Pyramid's memories, Trip could see the conflict that was there. And if there was a moment where she needed Monkey the most, this was it; this was the moment where she needed to have that iron-bound will of his to move forward, that strong back to carry her through such a deplorable circumstance.

"They need you," said Monkey.

I need you, thought Trip.

But he was right. Currently there were thousands of people awakening from their lucid stupor - rustling, murmuring, and confused. Trip was the only one right now with the tech to speak to everyone through their slaver headbands simultaneously. A quick observation of the facility showed her that there were still remnants of energy signatures flowing through the walls as electrical currents danced between circuitry and conduits. Trip activated the holographic terminal from her wrist tech and began punching a series of translucent buttons. She walked over to the side of the central platform as she tapped away, wanting to be away from the lifeless husk of Pyramid as he bled out pungent fluid.

Trip began to explain, "The facility definitely has a back up energy source that it's using right now, and it also has a communications array. If I can power up the array through a series of isolation bridges, I can digitize an uplink with a calculated pulse that…" She stopped herself and saw Monkey perk an eyebrow.

"I should be able to talk to everybody soon through their head bands," Trip said simply.

Sometimes when Trip went into her techno-babble mode, she would get carried away. In actuality, during those intense moments on their journey, her techno-babble gave her a sense of solace because technology and programming were familiar to her. Trip felt that codes and algorithms were something rigid, solid, easily controlled and predictable. It was something Trip really wanted right now, because all the events coalescing up to this point were anything but that; the journey west was all immutable and unpredictable.

Just like how Trip didn't predict that she would be standing in front of thousands of lost souls, now desperate for a definitive answer or direction to what was going on. These people, these once enslaved, were living in their once-upon-a-times, with their dream families and dream children, going on into forever, into blissful eternity with their lives of jobs and schools as citizens. They were living the fantasy universe based on an old world constructed by Pyramid's memories that had encroached so venomously onto the new world known only as the wasteland.

As everyone's headbands crackled to signal a successful communication uplink between them and Trip, all she could think about was her father. He was a natural born leader, fearless and unwavering, taking initiative when necessary, and knowing the right things to say. It was like that time as a kid when Trip's father saved her from that wild Dog in the forest - how he showed bravery by paralyzing it with an EMP then pulling her away from it, how he showed command by ordering his scouting troops to attack and kill it. That memory resonated with her as she grew up, how she wanted to be like the leader her father was. Now she was much older, without the nurturing guidance of her father, balancing on that boundary between the helpless girl that once was to the courageous woman that she could grow to become.

"Citizens of the West," Trip blurted, her first words spilling out in a turbulent motion before she stopped herself.

She had no idea if that was even the proper way to call the once enslaved people, but it proved successful, as everybody suddenly grew silent, all attention averted to her standing figure on the central platform. Trip could feel the rising pressure of each eyes gouging her, judging her, questioning her: what just happened, why has this happened, what will be done about it, where to go, who to help, how to help, who is to blame, and on and on. There were questions upon questions circling her mind, each one needing answers for thousands of silent voices that used to have families, friends, and lives in another world. What could she possibly say? Yes, no, I'm sorry, forgive me, it was a lie, this is reality, I don't know, maybe, help, please help me?

Trip's knees quivered, the pressure was just too much to handle as she thought 'Oh daddy, help me, what should I say?'

A gentle hand on her shoulder was all it took to quell the cacophony in her mind. Trip's thoughts became like still water as she gazed over and saw Monkey, reassuring her once more. Then Trip knew what to say next, because Monkey made her feel this way. It was the same feeling she felt strongly for awhile now, especially during that intimate moment with him under the twilight of the Leviathan's generator room. To her, Monkey made her feel…

"Free…" Trip said under her breath, and then raised her voice vigorously, echoing in everybody's slaver bands, "You are all free!"

"No," replied an ominous booming voice suddenly, "You are not free."

Trip faltered, taken aback as three distorted screens appeared, surrounding the central platform. Each one had a visage just like Pyramid over a console, each one wearing different masks.

Author's Note: Thank you for reading! Don't forget to click on the drop-down box at the top of this page for the next chapter. All comments and constructive criticisms are always welcomed. Spread the word to other Enslaved fans if you liked this story, thanks again! :)