|Opening of the Mason Grey Memorial Institute|
|Date||March 15, 2040|
|Internal Series||Bishop Two Memorial, #1 ▶|
March 15th, 2040:
The Opening of the Mason Grey Memorial Institute for Global Education
Two Years After...
Felix: H-hello everyone. Thank you for coming. I'm honored to be here, at this celebration of the life of Mason Grey, known most fondly as Bish... Bishop Two. My name is Felix Antonio, and I was Knight... 6 on the Aether throughout Mason's time of s-s-service. Next to me is Hannah Harpe, also known as Rook... Rook...
Hannah: Rook 12. Thank you again, everyone, for coming today, and to those at home watching on the VR. Thank you. Education being available to everyone was something that Mason was extremely passionate about. We're proud to be here, to open up this Institute which will make sure children from all over the world will have access to education and a chance at the best life possible.
Felix: As part of the opening ceremony we're going to unveil a specially created statue of Mason in just a few minutes. After that, we've got sort of a treat for you, a recording of Mason's f-f-final words from his Consortium Mind Communicator. The Queen made this available to us for this occasion, and it's something that we've never released to the public before. Mason was the first Bishop killed in action, and with him three... three-thousand and fif-fif-fifty-two people also lost their lives. Even though the enemy is no longer, we must remember that peace must sometimes be hard... hard won.
Hannah: Mason was well known throughout the world, and was one of the central figureheads in the fight against the Long Dragon Syndicate. He was a vocal spokesman against their oppressive nature in many of the South East Asian countries, and was always pushing the King and Queen to make the Consortium more active in the fight against what he frequently said was the "last villain left on Earth". It is tragic, but he ultimately got his wish. Following Mason's death, at this very location, the Consortium in tandem with the Orbital Authorities and Global Senate forces finally put an end to the Syndicate, with all of its major figures being sent to the Voltaire Crater Prison on Deimos. Countries, and their people, were freed. Mason would say that his sacrifice would have been worth it. Some of us feel that it came with too high a cost.
Hannah: Um, Knight?
Felix: Oh. Sorry. Remembering past times. I knew Mason before he was ever a Bishop. Back in his SAS days. Back when there was an SAS. I met him on a... orbital... freighter.
Hannah: You mean a ship freighter, Knight.
Felix: Right. A ship freighter... in the Indian Ocean. He was on leave, and had decided to travel around the ports of the continent. We picked him up in Panaji, and he looked like he'd just been tossed out of the worst bar in the city. Still smiling though. He was always s-s-smiling. Always... smiling. And cracking jokes. I was First Lieutenant on the H.M.S. Argonaut, and he had some friend in the upper ranks who let him come and stay on board for a few stops. I lost over two hundred dollars to him that night at poker. Won it back two days later. He owed me fifty dollars up till the day he... right here. We're standing right where he died. I heard his last words, you know. We couldn't do anything. He was stressed, and there was civilians in the way. Something was wrong, we all knew it. That was his last...
Hannah: We'll listen to it, Knight. Maybe we should unveil the...
Felix: Yes. The Statue. Of course. Please. Drop the sheet.
Felix: It looks just like him. Statues are supposed to look like who they represent, aren't they. They got his smile just right.
Hannah: We'd like to now present the last five minutes of C.M.C. recording from March 15, 2038. This recording has never been heard outside of the inner circle of the Consortium.
Bishop Two: Damn.
Knight Six: Bishop? What's going on?
Bishop Two: I don't see any of the Syndicate members. Something's wrong here, boss. I can smell it.
Rook Twelve: Knight! I've got something on long distance radar! Closing fast! Ten... twenty, no...there's like thirty of them!
Knight Six: Bishop, I want you out of there. We haven't heard from him yet, it's not like the General to stay so quiet.
Bishop Two: No can do, boss. They've got civilian hostages in here. I've had it with this "General". We've got a shot at taking him down, and I'm sure as hell not going to let him get away. Not again. Not after Singapore.
Rook Twelve: We've got 38 drone fighters closing, Knight. They're almost on us. Four minutes, tops.
Bishop Two: Where the hell'd they get those? I want YOU guys to pull out. I'll be fine.
Knight Six: I'm the one who gives orders on this ship, Mason.
Bishop Two: Give the order, then. Take care of Aether. I'm going in, and we're going to put an end to this General. I don't care how it smells. I'm certain he's here. Don't worry about me. We'll be having drinks by the bar in my cabin before you know it!
Rook Twelve: Three minutes, Knight.
Knight Six: I swear to God Mason, you better come back.
Bishop Two: They've fired their biggest guns at me and hardly left a scratch. I'm not worried!
Rook Twelve: Two minutes, Knight. We're detecting some major power signatures from those fighters.
Bishop Two: Entering the Commerce Building now. It's quiet. I don't see any sign of the hostages, or Syndicate members.
Knight Six: Begin evasive manoeuvres. Tell 9 and 3 to prepare for incoming fire and somebody wake up Hicks! Rook 18, we may have wounded, be ready for it.
Rook Eighteen: Prepped and standing by.
Bishop Two: What the hell? They've got civilians tied up in here. Against the pillars. The bastard's hiding behind a bunch of women and children, what is...
Knight Six: Bishop? Mason? Are you there?
Rook Eighteen: His C.M.C. is no longer transmitting and I'm... I'm also getting a flatline on his vitals.
Rook Twelve: The fighters are on us and I don't much like the look of those weapons. We need to get out of here, Knight, right now!
Knight Six: What's going on down there? Get me a visual on the building!
Rook Twelve: I can't see it! There's some kind of dust cloud blocking... Oh, shit.
Knight Six: My God. It's... the building. It's gone. Mason! MASSSSSSOOOOOOONNNN!
Rook Twelve: I'm sorry, Felix. It's... it's gone. He's gone.
Felix: That was... two years ago. That Mason died. I... I can't do this. You take over.
Hannah: Have a seat, Knight. Here.
Felix: I'm not a Knight. Not anymore. Not after... three thousand people. I didn't know them, but I'd... God, help me, to bring Mason back I'd...
Hannah: Sssh. It's ok.
Felix: Where is it, Grace? I just need a riff, only one. It hurts.
Hannah: Here, let me just... I'm sorry, folks. The Knight has had some health problems over the last few years. No, please, no questions. To close off the ceremony I'd like to leave you with a bit from a press conference Mason spoke at the day before he died. I think it's what we should remember him by. He was a warrior, yes. But he also always tried to avoid killing. He saved his enemies where he could, even helped in reforming them. He loved people, and all he wanted was a... better world. The "best world." That was how Mason would say it. He never saw the tarnish, or the darkness. Laughter, love, and a good, stiff drink under a warm sun. That was Bishop Two. Let's always remember.
Bishop Two: From Sea to Sky, to Ocean and Orbit, the Consortium shall stand tall and proud against those who would challenge liberty, life and the freedom of any of who dwell on this planet. Lay down your arms, sons of the White Tiger, or you shall fall this day before us. Those who do shall be welcomed. Do not think that you are lost, that the world will reject you. I know how it can be, living in the dust, and in squalor. Not all is lost. Together we can make the world the best place it can be. That's all you need to do. Just that.