Hello again, everyone! If you haven't seen the last chapter in a while, I revamped it a few days after I posted it. You might want to give it another look – it's much better now!
And now the Summer of Act 2 has ended. And just in time, too – I go back to school in two days! So coming up is the School Year of Act 3. I'm going to aim for at least an update a month. It'll be killer.
Near Rouen, France
The sun was hanging low in the sky. Or at least Sissi assumed it was – only a few rays of sunshine poked through the steady cloud cover. She liked seeing those rays – she always thought they looked quite angelic, even if their presence meant hair-destroying humidity.
Not that she'd had the chance to look in the mirror for over a week. Or take a bath since the river Avon. We must all smell horrific, she thought, and look even worse. There was a mirror above her she could easily flip down, but she didn't know whether she feared what she would see or simply didn't care.
A memory surfaced, one of downtrodden, scared, violent Sissi Delmas attacking a nurse for refusing to let her take a shower. She felt a wave of embarrassment, then pushed the thoughts out of her mind and concentrated on the road again. She swerved sharply to avoid several wrecks, then back to avoid going over the edge of the overpass. Nicolas woke with a start, mumbled something about his mother, shivered, and fell back to sleep.
Seeing him, Sissi couldn't help but shiver herself. Once they'd gotten the minivan running, William had given her a not-so-brief crash course in driving. She'd had several false starts and wasn't always able to stay in her lane, but given that there were no longer any traffic laws to follow and she was quite good about not hitting anything, William graciously took the break. It was then they'd discovered that the heater wasn't working and the air outside was colder than cold. Everyone was spread out under the blankets, all asleep but for Yumi, who was sandwiched in the back next to Milly and Tamiya.
Sissi felt her own eyelids flutter, and the wounds in her leg begin to throb. The burn cream had worked wonders, but when it wore off… She tried to take a brief glance at William, but was sidetracked by two loud CRUNCH noises under her wheels. Cockroach-class, most likely – the highway was infested. There were Cube-class here and there as well, but she was usually able to outrun them. She counted herself lucky she hadn't run into a Crab-class, or another Warhead-class. If she had, she would've had to stop the car, wake everyone, and wage war…
There, now back to William. He had foregone a blanket, and wore two layers of sweats instead. He lay with his head against the window, drooling slightly. Sissi laughed, knowing he couldn't hear. For all his bravado, it was easy to forget that William was just a child, not much older than her. A mysterious one, to be sure – but one whose belief in her capabilities probably went beyond reason. Come to think of it, she thought, he may be the only one that does believe. If Sissi had learned anything yet, it was how to be surprised.
She heard a soft grunt as she turned her swimming eyes back on the road, then a yawn and a stretch. "Where are we?" William slurred.
"Uh," Sissi said. "On the road, still. Somehow."
"Then you're doing fine." William pulled his arms close to his chest, then shook his head around. "Where in France, though?"
"We're…" Sissi craned her neck to look at a sign covered in dead and dying ivy. "20 kilometers to Rouen. 156 more to Paris."
"That close already?" William stretched again, and the more he stretched, the more energetic he appeared to become. "I must've been out a while."
"Not too long…" Sissi tried to stifle a yawn.
"Need me to take over?"
"I can make it…"
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, I'm sure!" Sissi spoke slightly more angrily than she meant to.
"To Paris? Tonight?"
"Oh, well…" Sissi shook her head, and shivered, but not from the cold. "It'd be another two hours…"
"In the dark." William's face was grim. "Should we really be moving in the dark…?"
"Probably not. We'll be at the Seine soon, I'm sure…" The Seine. A river that flowed towards home. "You know," she was suddenly inspired to say, "Don't tell anyone I said this, but…I really wouldn't have been able to do this without you. Thank you."
"Sissi…" William looked startled, at first. Then a confident smile spread over his face. "Thank you," he said. "Thank you very much. You know, it's funny. As much as I like compliments, and as rare as they are from you…"
"I've been meaning to say the same thing." He laughed to himself. "Who would've thought, you know? We're just two dumb kids, thrown into the wrong circumstances…but really, we make quite a team."
There were two loud laser blasts in the distance. Sissi couldn't see from whence they come, but they unsettled her all the same. "T-team? Well, yes, I guess we make, we, we're good…in this…"
"Yeah, I didn't mean anything else at all…" William laughed. "Hey, exit coming up."
"Oh-" Sissi swerved onto the exit road. In front of her, the Seine shimmered like a ribbon under the overpass. "Thank you…I guess." She felt herself blush – why in heaven's name was she blushing?
"You're welcome." William looked away. "Say…do you ever think about them?"
"The kids from your school. Yumi, and her friends. Jeremie, Odd…Ulrich…"
"Ulrich…" Sissi felt a dull pang in her chest. "Well, yes, I do, but, I…" She tried to visualize him, and everything she ever liked about him – his eyes, his hair, his arms, the smile he never used when she was around – but the best she could manage was a dim outline of his body. "Not…like I used to. I think…"
More images, ones she'd buried so deep she didn't even know she had them anymore. Ulrich standing on a table. Ulrich running from the bear. Yumi hugging Ulrich instead of carrying him away. Emergency responders carrying a bloody body on a gurney. Her father – it hurt more to think of her father than of anything else – hugging her tight and telling her Ulrich was dead. "I think of what he means," she said. "Of what he did."
"You must think of him as very brave."
"He was." Sissi felt numb, but she didn't feel sad. "But even now…I don't understand why." She sighed. "The next time Yumi wakes up, I'm going to ask her. Because…she knew him better than I ever will. Even if he was still with us. And I'll ask about Jeremie and Odd, too. Maybe she knows where they are." She paused. "She didn't know Ulrich was dead."
"That would be something to hope for," William said. "If they're alive, they could help us even more. Maybe they're fighting, too."
"If they'd even want to help me." Sissi drove the minivan off the road and under the overpass, where she parked it. There were no monsters anywhere in sight; she wondered if, like the Channel, the water was keeping them away. "But, forget about that. We have to wake the kids."
Waking everyone else was a bit of an adventure. Tamiya woke with a tap on her shoulder, and Milly with some prodding from Tamiya, but the boys actively refused to budge until Sissi and William pulled them out of the car and splashed river water at them. They woke angry and motivated, and splashed them right back.
Thus began an impromptu splash fight that managed to get the worst of the dirt off them, though it did soak all their old clothes. Sissi got the surprise of her life when she aimed a volley at Nicolas, then realized once the water fell that she had, in fact, hit Milly – who then grinned and hit her right back. Then Tamiya came and hit her from the other side, and hit Milly, too, while she was distracted. Over time alliances broke down, and it became every person for themselves – though it was the first moment that Sissi felt that they were truly a group.
Eventually everyone was too tired to continue. They gave Yumi a quick dip, changed into fresh clothes, which were all either too big or too small, and began to set up camp. Half the group, in this case Milly, Sissi, and Nicolas, were sent to collect firewood. They had to walk quite a way to find sticks just lying around, but when they found them, they carried armfuls back to camp.
William lit the fire more quickly this time, and once again they passed the PEACHES while they waited for the rest of the food to cook. Nicolas and William argued endlessly over who was the victor in the splash battle. Herb tried to join in, but couldn't help but look left and right for any monsters that might have been approaching. Milly and Tamiya sat quietly, reading their books.
And Sissi…she yawned and shifted her weight on her blanket, and a faint jingling reminded her that she still had her keys in her pocket. She was struck by a moment of inspiration – because everyone had been so tired, there had been no opportunity to play their new CDs. This wouldn't do, she thought. "Hey, guys," she said, and then, when she had their attention, "Watch this."
She walked back over to the car, turned it on, and inserted the Subsonics CD. There was a loud grinding sound – for a second Sissi feared that the CD player did not work – but then the familiar intro of "Planet Net" began to play. She turned up the volume, opened all the doors, and then exited the car with a smile on her face. "Well?" she said.
Everyone looked stunned at first, but their stares thawed quickly. "Well, uh," Tamiya said, "That was…unexpected!"
I LIKE THIS SONG, was all Milly had to offer.
"Hey, what do you think this is, a party?" Nicolas's tone was mocking, but his grin was wider than any other.
"Whatever it is, I'm down with it." William stood and stretched. "It's been WAY too long since I've heard these guys."
"I just thought it was something we needed," Sissi said, walking closer. "Just like Nicolas said…a party…" Memories flashed in her mind – the Prom, the beauty queen contest, the bear, Yumi, Ulrich – and she wondered if this were really the first time that evening she'd thought of them. "What? What are you staring at me for?" Her energy was getting away from her again. "Doesn't anyone want to dance?"
William's entire expression changed. "Well…this is a bit sudden, I think…" He tugged at his collar. "Alright, alright, full disclosure, I'm not really that great a dancer…"
"Really?" Sissi smirked. "Usually when guys say that it's just to cover up when they're scared."
"Psht," Herb said. "What kind of a dope would be scared of dancing?" He jumped up, walked over to Sissi, and grabbed her hand in his. It was thin and clammy, and she tried not to shiver. "I can dance with you, right?"
Sissi grinned and nodded at him, then looked over at William with what she hoped would come off as a plea for help. William smiled, then shot a glance at Herb. "Well, if it's just us, who cares, right? – wait, Herb, what's going on?"
Sissi looked over at Herb, and what she saw was a look that didn't belong on his face – sheer terror. "Crab-class," he said, raising a trembling finger at the beach beyond the overpass. "Over there…a Crab-class…"
Everyone turned their heads, and Sissi swore their jaws dropped in unison. She'd never actually seen a Crab-class in person, only heard about them in London, but they were even larger and more grotesque in the flesh, if they could be said to have flesh. When Herb saw it it had been over a hill, patrolling, but it spotted them around the same time they spotted it – and ran for them at top speed, priming its laser.
"EVERYONE IN THE VAN!" William and Sissi yelled at the same time. Sissi tossed the keys to William – there was no way she was going to be able to drive – and hung to the back to make sure that no one was falling behind. She had to physically pull Nicolas away from saving the food, and just as they were clear of the campfire the ground shook behind her. There it goes, she thought, though she didn't know whether it was bigger or smaller now.
Everyone piled into the van at a decent speed, and once Sissi got in William floored it without giving her a chance to close the door. "What's our plan?" he said as they rocketed under the overpass. "Do we even have a plan?"
"Can we live?" Tamiya shouted from the back.
"Brilliant plan," Sissi shouted back. She looked back at the Crab-class. Its weak point was enormous, but most people who had ever tried to harm a Crab-class had usually found themselves on the business end of its front laser, which, unlike the burns of the Cockroach-class, could tear through flesh and bone. That, and it was quite high up. Their rifles were strapped across the backs of the front seats, but…she turned to William. "How much ammo do we have?"
"I really don't have any way to check right now." William hit the gas pedal again.
"Right." Sissi turned to the back, where Herb and Nicolas sat. "Can you guys see how much ammo we have?"
"I could open this up," Herb said, "But I'm not sure I'll be able to close it again…"
"Ugh, we don't have time for this! Just- grab them!" She turned back. She didn't mean to yell at them – she only hoped they were just as stressed as she.
"Do you think we can hit it from here?" William looked up into his rearview mirror. "'Cause I don't."
"And we could have as little as one shot." Sissi put her hand on her chin. "The overpass. Get on the overpass!"
"Right, because it's not going to follow us," William said, though he turned the car sharply anyway. Milly yelped in the back.
"Of course it is," Sissi said. The Crab-class was indeed charging up the hill after them – but it was, at that point, at a lower position than they were. "Guys! NOW!"
"Eh?" For several slow, agonizing seconds, Herb and Nicolas fumbled with their weapons. Then Herb swung his out the window, shot too fast, and missed; he tried to shoot again, but only heard a clicking sound and swore. "IT'S FIRING!" he screamed.
William swerved to avoid the blast, sending them off the road and into the grass, and leading the shot that Nicolas had been taking way off course. He kept going, and the Crab kept coming, gaining speed. In the rearview mirror Sissi could see its underbelly laser opening and charging. "NICOLAS!" she screamed in terror.
"Ready…NOW!" Nicolas fired twice but only released one bullet, which buried itself in the very top of the Crab-class's EYE. For a moment nothing happened, and then the Crab swerved, fell, and exploded.
William slammed on the brakes. Once they came to a stop, they sat in stunned silence for quite some time. Sissi couldn't think of anything but the continued function of her brain and heart. They hadn't turned the music off – "Technoide" was just ending.
When "D'ici et Ailleurs" began, William began to chuckle. "Really?" he said. "Technoide was our battle music? Really?"
He laughed so hard he could no longer talk. Milly began to chuckle as well, and soon everyone was laughing, more at the shock than at the music. Sissi's didn't last particularly long. "Do you think it heard the music?" she said softly.
"I don't think they have ears," Herb optioned.
"And if you're looking for a way to pin this on yourself, you can forget it." William clapped her on the shoulder. "Maybe if we turn it down a little, can we still have that dance?"
Sissi was silent for a time, then smiled. "You're making it sound like it was your idea."
"It was mine first," Herb interrupted. Nicolas gave him a thumbs-up.
Sissi gritted her teeth, but nodded. William chuckled. "That's alright. Looks like Tamiya and I will just have to have the first dance." He turned his head back. "Right, Tamiya?"
"U-um…yeah, sure, I…" Tamiya buried her face in her hands, and Milly patted her on the head.
"Lovely." William turned back up, and hit the gas again. During the noise that this produced, he leaned over slightly. "I'm surprised you didn't say no," he whispered.
"Not to a friend." Sissi smiled and turned away. It wasn't until they were halfway back to the campsite that she realized he might have misinterpreted what she said – but she didn't know whether or not to correct herself.
It was quite a devastating loss. They'd exhausted their only supplies of ammo, and the campfire and three cans of food had been destroyed – Nicolas had only been able to save one. They managed to rebuild and open new ones, but Sissi was starting to get nervous about how few cans were left. She only hoped Paris hadn't been stripped clean.
After dinner, the promised dances began. Sissi didn't last too many – between the driving and the fighting, she was quite worn out. Thankfully neither Herb nor William was much of a chore to keep up after, though Herb did step on her toes several times and William, while less clumsy, had little to no rhythm. Still, it was enjoyable, and the others seemed to enjoy it just as much. It did seem to lead to some more communication between Milly and Tamiya and Herb and Nicolas, two groups that, thus far, had stayed rather separate.
Eventually, however, more and more people joined Yumi on the sidelines, and it was eventually decided that bedtime was in order. Given the danger at hand, the car was parked under the overpass, and everyone claimed their own seats to sleep in. They all chose turns to take watch; Sissi got last, much to her delight, while Herb got first. After this everyone gathered their blankets and pillows.
Sissi was so tired, she was the very first to fall asleep. The sounds of the night slowly faded…
And she was back in Dublin, back in the snow, sitting on Grafton Street next to a plaque honoring a folk hero she neither knew nor understood. Her father didn't know where she was, was more than likely in a panic, but she didn't care, not anymore. This was her spot. This was her purpose. Would he even know her if he passed by? Or was she a statue, something new and unrecognizable, just like the girl?
"Molly Malone's her name, sweetheart," the man sitting next to her said. "But you've got other things on your mind."
"I remember," Sissi said. "I remember her name. And I remember you. You said my potential was prophetic."
"And isn't it? Aren't you headed back to Bolougne-Billancourt right now? Back to the source?"
"I am." She felt as though she were in ten different places at once. Avenshire. Room 404. Playing with the Mermond girls. Avoiding the eyes of the Ishiyamas. Smiling at Luisa as she fed her son. Grafton Street. The caravan, clinging to her father. A van outside Rouen, with monsters all around. Kadic Academy. The gymnasium. "Why? Am I doing that wrong, too?"
"I'm not here to scare you," he said, pulling his hood down so she could see the flaking burns that crisscrossed his skull. "I'm only here to say I told you so, sweetheart. You don't belong anywhere near this statue anymore."
Sissi wanted to respond but couldn't. "Let me give you this advice, though," the man went on. "There are many different kinds of heroes, sweetheart. Those that fight with guns, and those that must come after to stop them." He laughed . "And which one are you, I wonder…"
"…and what are you asking me this for?"
The sounds were back. Sissi sat up with a start, and shivered. She realized that her window was open a crack; she turned to close it, but saw Herb outside before she could. He was sitting on a rock, bathed in moonlight, with his back turned to her. Why would he be talking to himself? She wondered – but only for a moment.
"You're here. I'm ready. And I'm only saying what I want to." It was a familiar voice – but different. Raspy. And it was only then that Sissi saw Milly sitting next to Herb, and put two and two together. Her blood ran cold.
"Well…" Herb folded his arms, but didn't answer.
"Is it for Sissi?"
"I don't know. She's been making googly eyes at Dunbar this whole time…"
"Is it for yourself?"
"I didn't say it wasn't for Sissi!" Herb said angrily. "But…man. I've never wanted revenge on anyone as much as I've wanted revenge on them."
"I'm not doing this for anyone but me. Me and Tamiya." Milly paused. "I want revenge, too."
"On everyone. The whole entire world." Milly kicked her legs. "I want to show them what I can do."
"Then…what are you going to do?"
"I don't care what they do to anyone else," Milly said. "But I'm not going to let them hurt me. I'm going to get so big, and so strong, that they won't."
There was stunned silence for a moment, and then Herb stood up. "I…should get to bed," he said, but Milly did not respond. Sissi closed the window, then shut her eyes and turned away before Herb could see her. She fidgeted fearfully for almost an hour before sleep came again, but when it did the incident blurred in her mind, and she could hardly tell dream from reality.
The next time she woke up, it was bright, if overcast.
She felt confused, in many ways. Had she really seen Herb talk to Milly? Did what she said make as little sense to Herb as it did to her? And what about that other dream – she knew she'd had one, but what had even gone on? All she remembered was a statue. And that aside, had she slept through her watch? What time even was it?
She looked over to see if the key was in the car – it was not, and neither was William. She looked out the window, but didn't see him. Curious, she opened the car door – and was hit not only with a blast of cold, but also a series of loud coughing sounds. Confused, she exited the car and walked around to the back.
She found William bent double against the car, grabbing his chest and coughing up a lung. She was concerned, but mostly confused, until she looked down at the ground and saw the lighter, the cigarette pack that William had taken from the caravan, and the smoking remains of its one cigarette, lit but barely used.
It was at about that point that William noticed that Sissi was there. His eyes went wide as dinner plates, and he stumbled, coughing even harder.
"Seriously?" Sissi bent down, and extended her hand to him. "Seriously, William?"
"S-s-shut up." With Sissi's help, he was able to get to his feet. He was still coughing some, but now he was smiling. "Admit it. You were curious, too."
"Not anymore." Sissi laughed. She felt a momentary urge to tell him what she'd heard the previous night, but decided that that was nothing more than a sure way to stir up strife within the group. "You're a real fool," she said instead.
"You would know, wouldn't you?" He coughed again. Sissi felt an urge to pat him on the back, but decided that might just be too intimate. "So," he began again, righting himself. "Today's the day. The big one."
"Oh my god, you're right." In all the commotion, Sissi had hardly realized how close they were to Bolougne-Billancourt.
"What do you think we'll find there?" William folded his arms. "You'd know better than me."
"A factory. Lyoko." Sissi laughed. "Or nothing."
"I kind of hope it's the first one," William said. "What do you think they'd say, if they could see us now? Our parents…or the people from Avenshire…"
"I don't even want to think about what my father would do." Sissi frowned. "But I wonder if they'd think we're heroes."
"Not until we beat XANA. Then they will." He smiled at her. "Say…have you thought of what you want to do after this, yet?"
"Not really," Sissi said. "I've had other things on my mind."
"We'll get there," William said. "I believe in you. I mean, us…I mean…you…"
He stretched his arm out, but Sissi saw it too late, and he retreated. Sissi wondered if she was blushing. "Did you have an idea or not?"
"Well…nothing concrete. Just general things. Like going home. Sleeping in my own bed. Basking in my fame. Seeing my parents again." He laughed. "I just hope it's that easy."
"We won't know until we try." Sissi picked the lighter up. "I don't know what time it is. Should we get an early start?"
"If I have to be awake, so do they." William walked past her – and as he passed, he did pat her on the back, just as she hadn't. Sissi tried not to make anything of it – she had other things on her mind. But somewhere in the back of her mind she realized that she was making something of it – but nothing anywhere near clear enough to decide whether it was something she wanted or not.
They were thirty kilometers from Bolougne-Billancourt when they saw the first monsters none of them recognized.
There were three of them walking some distance away, and thankfully they didn't seem to have noticed the minivan. Sissi couldn't make heads or tails of their appearances – they had stubby brown bodies, some kind of white shell covering their heads, where their Eyes lay, and sinewy, elongated arms and legs with metal tips.
They were smaller than Crab-class but larger than humans, and William floored it the moment he saw them. There was a brief argument about what exactly they were until Nicolas, who hadn't seen the first herd, saw another and proclaimed them to be "some messed-up lookin' horses."
That was neither the first nor the last of the surprises. At twenty kilometers two of the Horse-class (as they'd taken to calling them) spotted and charged them, the lasers on the tips of their limbs blazing. They had no more ammo, and thus no way to get to their Eyes, but they managed to lose them by exiting and re-entering the highway, even if they did have to stamp on a few Cockroach-class on the way.
At five kilometers they were right on the edge of Paris's city limits, but there was no time to celebrate. The crowd of monsters around was growing thicker and thicker, and there were more Sissi didn't recognize – many creatures with tails, elongated legs, and lasers in their mouths, and wailing, manta-like monsters that patrolled the skies and expelled white, beaked balls over the roadway, where eventually they exploded. In the distance she could see something moving on long, spindly legs taller than a skyscraper, and then, out of the corner of her eye and entirely too close, something swift and silent that looked vaguely human and disappeared in an instant.
And they all attacked on sight.
Later, Sissi found that she could hardly remember the last five kilometers of the drive. She knew the lasers were coming. She could hear Tamiya's screams, could see Herb shoving a garden rake out the window to brush away Hornet-class, but none of it stuck in her mind – only the vague notion that she was putting her team through hell.
What she did remember were landmarks, or the absence thereof. Buildings, gone. Parks, demolished. The cemetery where the survivors of Kadic Academy had taken shelter, still standing. Parisian structure. Parisian streets. Home. Home and she couldn't even concentrate on it for all the monsters crawling in and out of its corpse.
And she knew William was doing his best to steer clear, to follow road signs, and yet they argued about directions – Sissi knew that an upcoming road was going to take them into Bolougne-Billancourt, and yet William insisted that it was going to take them downtown, and by the time Sissi won the argument they had to double back and find it again…
She remembered driving under two Crab-class. She remembered a bright blue light, and a rumbling that nearly knocked them off the road. She saw lasers bouncing off the glass and metal of the car, and then, inexplicably, one breaking through and striking her on the shoulder. Pain, screaming, and yet the car continued – she doubled over, she couldn't look out the window anymore – screaming, everyone was screaming – she'd done it, she'd killed them, why were they still going –
She heard four loud blasts close to her ears – "The tires, they got the tires, I can't control the car!" – they were spinning, spinning, they hit something and rolled and rolled…
And then it was silent. Too silent. Sissi felt a hand on her shoulder – a comforting feeling, at least until it hit her new laser wound and she shivered in pain. The hand moved away and across her back. "Sissi?" a faraway voice said.
"I'm here, I'm here," Sissi said – but why did she say that, in particular? "I'm here…"
"Uh, yeah, we all are." William, it was definitely William. "We're here."
Sissi nodded, but didn't take her head out of her hands. "Is she okay?" she could hear Nicolas say from what sounded like an ocean away. And then she heard Tamiya respond: "It doesn't matter…she has to see this."
"See what?" she said, though she was sure Tamiya couldn't hear her. "What's out there?"
"It's, well…" William laughed. "Whatever it is, it's not killing us."
Sissi hesitated, then lifted her head out of her lap. The windshield was smashed like a spiderweb, but she could still see what they wanted her to see.
Them. Hundreds, thousands, even more of them than she'd seen in the Chunnel. Rows of Crab-class stood over rows of Cube-class, Cockroach-class, and Warhead-class, all standing at attention, lasers primed. Rows of Hornet-class and the Manta-class even flew in midair, their wings spinning and their tails bobbing.
But none of them moved, not an inch. Not even as a Block-class lay collapsed under the front wheels of their car – not dead, but simply doing nothing. And behind that Block-class stood a half-destroyed sign, proclaiming for every human in the vicinity to see that they had just entered "OLOUGNE-BILLANCOUR".
END OF ACT TWO: ROADS
And there we are! I really hope you guys enjoyed reading all this as much as I've enjoyed writing it.
Because of the long time this all took and how confusing things might be, I'm going to write a recap of Acts One and Two. It'll explain everything in plain English, and it'll serve as a resource for me too! I'll put it on Ghosts in the Machine's TV Tropes page when I post the next chapter.
And an endnote: For those who don't know, the Subsonics/Subdigitals album is a real thing you can actually listen to, in both French and English. I haven't heard the whole English album but the French is pretty darn good! Listen to it if you have the chance.
Coming up, the final act. Buckle up, everyone.