Education (mission)

A Gaule soldier is attempting to take an Amazonian teenager away from his family against his will for the purposes of "education."

Level: 12
Start: Oksana Yanick, Market, Estación de Amazon


While walking through the market, you feel yourself hurriedly shoved out of the way by a running Amazonian boy. You don't catch a good glimpse of his face, he's little more thank a lanky blur of fleeing limbs. A Gaule soldier rushes by you a unit later in hot pursuit.

As you watch the two disappear into the crowd, you hear the woman beside you quietly click her tongue in disapproval at the scene. She catches you looking and explains sadly.

She says: That's our Tree Shaman, Shenzia's boy. Trying to escape from the Education Center won't do him any good. They took my oldest a cycle ago. Nothing to be done about it but move on.

You have accepted the "Education" mission.

  • Is he okay?
  • Why was he running?


Me: He looked terrified! Is he okay?

The woman whom your CORETECHS identifies as Oksana shrugs as the child she's holding struggles.

She says: Don't know. I haven't heard from my boy since they took him, but it's the way of things now. Good day to you, Stranger.

She moves to another booth in the market.

The boy was headed in the direction of the residences, you could easily follow him if you wanted to.

  • Follow the boy.
  • Walk away.


You decide to follow the boy to see if you can help. This "Education Center" he's running from doesn't sound good.

Follow the boy to the Residences.

Next NPC: Shenzia Viro, Residences, Estación de Amazon

  • Find the boy.

You hear a woman shrieking. At first there is fear in her voice, and then it hardens into white hot rage. You follow the sound. The boy's mother, perhaps.

You skirt around the base of one of those unnervingly thick Amazonian trees to find the woman yelling at a Gaule soldier. The soldier grips the scrawny Amazonian teenager you saw in the market by the shoulders. The boy struggles but says nothing.

The Soldier says: Please, Shenzia, let it go. It’ll be easier on both of you.

  • Leave.
  • Step in.

Step in:

Me: What’s going on here?

The soldier notices you when you speak up and grunts in frustration.

He says, By the Black, not more interference. It's official Gaule business. Move along, ser.

Shenzia perks up immediately, excited to suddenly have a potential ally. She marches up to you and grabs your hand, locking eyes with you.

She says, He’s trying to steal my son. Elric is too young for military conscription, I’ve told them, but they’re taking him anyway!

  • Look at the soldier expectantly.
  • Are you trying to conscript him?

Trying to conscript:

Me: Are you really trying to conscript this boy?

The soldier shakes his head, looking exasperated with Shenzia.

He says, It’s not the military, it’s just the Education Center. I’ve told her that.

Shenzia huffs indignantly at that.

She spits back, Different means to the same end and you know it!

  • Ask about the Education Center.
  • I've heard of those.
  • Let the soldier take Elric.


Me: What's the Education Center?

The Soldier says, When Gauloise children are old enough, we move them out of their childhood homes and into dorms with other kids their age to continue their education into adulthood.

The man's calm explanation riles up Shenzia more.

She argues, Dorms on the MILITARY base! And no contact with their families allowed until graduation! It’s grooming for a military life, it’s nothing short of Gaule INDOCTRINATION! They brainwash good, gentle souls into heartless soldiers.

  • That seems a little intense.
  • Is that true?

Is that true:

Me: Is that true?

The soldier scratches his whiskered face awkwardly.

He replies, We feel it’s important to spend a few cycles away from your family to truly mature. It’s harmless and very normal for Gaulise children. Shenzia here is just…. Passionate.

Shenzia crosses her arms and snorts.

She says, “Passionate,” I am. It’s not harmless, Stranger, he’s trying to steal my son. Elric doesn’t want to go to that center, he’s already escaped once, and now they intend to DRAG him back. Don’t you?

The soldier clenches his jaw and struggles to control his tone.

He says, Attendance to the Education Center is mandatory. We take education very seriously in the Protectorate. Truancy is… not an option.

Shenzia and her son fix their eyes on you desperately.

  • Intimidate the soldier into letting Elric go.
  • Let the soldier take Elric.
  • Talk the soldier into letting Elric go.


You step closer to the soldier and speak in a hushed tone.

Me: What’s your name?

The soldier seems a bit perplexed but answers after a moment of hesitation.

He says, Er…Thorsten. Private Thorsten, ser.

Me: Thorsten, what are you doing? Roughing up a child in the street for anyone to see? What kind of impression does that give locals of their Gaule allies?

He protests, But they were—

Me: Tsk, tsk. Victim blaming, Thorsten? Really? Come on, Thorsten.

  • Trick him into letting Elric go.
  • Suggest he let Elric go.

(Social check)

You pause for drama and circle Private Thorsten like a shark.

Me: I hate to tell you this Thorsten, but this seems like it could embarrass your commanding officers if they caught wind of it. That’s fine, I guess… if you want to be PRIVATE Thorsten forever.

Thorsten thinks for a moment before letting go of Elric. As Elric bounds back to his mother, Thorsten looks at you icily.

He says, Very well. I’ll return with the proper documentation to relinquish this woman of her guardianship of the boy. No parent has the right to keep their child from a proper education. Good day.

He tips his cap to you and turns on his heels to walk back up the narrow path through the trees. Shenzia watches him go with fire in her eyes. Her gaze flickers to you and she waves you over.

  • Speak with Shenzia.
  • Walk away.
  • Speak with Elric.


Me: Are you both alright?

As you approach Shenzia, she lets go of Elric and gives you a familiar hug.

She says, Thank you for your help, Stranger. You're a rare soul and the tree spirits smile upon you.

She releases you from her embrace and smiles.

She says, Will you come in for a cup of tea? It's very good, I make it myself with dried fruits from the garden.

  • That sounds lovely, thank you.
  • I should really be going.

Sounds lovely:

Me: That sounds lovely, thank you.

Shenzia's face lights up and she grabs you by the hand to pull you into her home. Elric follows behind silently. When you look at him, he smiles warmly but says nothing. He's been oddly quiet all this time.

  • Enter Shenzia's house.

The inside of Shenzia’s house is strange and alien to you. She’s covered her home in all varieties of potted plants. Some of them flower bright, strange orchids, some are sharp and spiny, some sport thick bunches of odd shaped leaves. There are succulents and conifers and hundreds of small jars containing different sorts of moss.

Shenzia gestures to a large, comfortable looking couch and a few chairs in front of a low coffee table.

She says, Make yourself at home, I’ll brew the tea.

  • Go sit down.
  • Examine Shenzia's house further.


You look around the peculiar little house a bit more before sitting down.

You gently pick up some of the jars of moss and are startled to discover tiny animal bones inside some of them. They're mostly the sharp toothed skulls of small frogs and snakes. Some of the jars contain the petrified bodies of colourful insects like dragonflies and moths, delicately pinned to a bed of soft green moss. Symbols are painted on many of the jars, and some also contain small wooden carvings of faces.

  • Go sit down.

You sit down on the couch and sink uncomfortably low into it. Elric has already found his seat in one of the chairs by the coffee table. He’s busily carving a small figure into a round chunk of wood with a pocket knife. You watch him quickly slice away purposeful swaths of material.

He notices your gaze and smiles. He turns the figure around and you find yourself staring back at a rough wooden figure of your own face.

  • That's creepy.
  • That's cool!


Me: Whoa! Elric, you made that just now? That’s amazing!

He nods, beaming. Shenzia comes out of the kitchen with a tray of strong smelling fruity teas. She spots the figure and coos in delight as she places your tea in front of you.

Shenzia says, Oh, that’s a good one, Elric! You're getting better than me at those.

  • I want to ask some questions.
  • Ask if you can help with something else.


Me: I want to ask some questions.

Shenzia crosses her legs and takes a sip of tea.

She says, I'm an open book.

  • Ask about Elric's carving.
  • Ask about the jars of moss.
  • Thank you, that's all I wanted to know.
  • Mention Elric doesn't talk much.


Me: Uh, why is he making a carving of my face?

Shenzia pulls out a figure of her own face from her pocket, it’s more detailed than yours and delicately painted.

She explains, It’s a protection talisman. When a Forest Shaman carves your likeness into wood, they ensure you are protected by the tree spirits. He’ll give it to you once it’s finished. Most Amazonians carry one, even those who claim to no longer believe in the spirits.

  • Forest Shaman?
  • Ask if you can help with something else.
  • Ask about the jars of moss.
  • Thank you, that's all I wanted to know.
  • Mention Elric doesn't talk much.

Forest Shaman:

Me: A Forest Shaman? I haven’t heard of that.

Shenzia nods and sips her tea delicately.

She says, Yes, I’m not surprised. Since we’ve allied with Gaule, Amazonians have lost much of their spirituality. I am a humble servant of the tree spirits. It was by their divine benevolence we were spared from the worst of the Catastrophe. The tree spirits provided us with food and water when so many went hungry.

She continues, Shamans deal in herbal remedies provided to us by the grace of the forest and maintain a special connection with the spirits through prayer and song.

She looks at Elric busily carving and smiles, gently running a hand through his mop of black hair.

She adds, That’s part of the reason it’s so important for Elric to stay away from that center. We need all the Forest Shamans we can get, and they will not allow him to learn our ways there.

  • Ask about the jars of moss.
  • Thank you, that's all I wanted to know.
  • Mention Elric doesn't talk much.
  • Ask if you can help with something else.

Doesn't talk much:

Me: So… Elric’s pretty quiet, huh? Is he…mute?

Elric looks offended you suggested that and Shenzia shakes her head.

She says,: Oh no, nothing like that. Elric is studying to become a Forest Shaman like me. Part of the training involves taking a vow of silence for a cycle. Silence teaches us the weight of words, doesn’t it Elric?

Elric nods proudly and goes back to working on his little figure of your face.

  • Ask if you can help with something else.
  • Ask about the jars of moss.
  • Thank you, that's all I wanted to know.


Me: I was admiring your home decor. Is there a reason for all the plants and moss?

Shenzia smiles at you with sparkling eyes.

She says, How very astute of you to notice. You happen to be sitting in the home of one of the last Forest Shamans on the station! Each plant has a meaning, most are herbs for the remedies I use frequently, some have symbolic significance. The jars of moss hold small tokens of the forest I use for blessings, prayers, and ceremonies.

  • Thank you, that's all I wanted to know.
  • Ask if you can help with something else.

Anything else:

Me: I’m grateful for the tea, but I have a feeling you asked me to come in for more than just a hot drink. Is there something else you need?

Shenzia smiles bashfully and takes a sip of her tea.

She says, You’re quite intuitive, Stranger. What’s your name?

Me: <name>.

She says, Well, <name>, I do have one more favor to ask of you if you’ll indulge me.

She looks down at her cup nervously.

  • Agree.
  • Decline.
  • Ask for details.


Me: What do you need?

Shenzia says, I’d like to you make an appeal on Elric’s behalf with Commander Luka to have him pardoned from school. I want to educate him myself in more a traditional way. Luka won’t listen to me, but perhaps if an outsider asked him he would be more understanding.

  • I can do that.
  • Decline.

I can do that:

Me: Sure, I can do that. I'll go speak with him right now.

Shenzia's face glows with delight.

She says, Oh, bless you <name>! Thank you!

Go to the Government Center and speak with Commander Luka on Elric's behalf.

Next NPC: Colette DeFrance, Government Center, Estación de Amazon

  • Speak with Luka's secretary, Colette.

You approach the ornate genuine wood desk positioned outside Commander Luka’s office. A petite woman sits in front of a monitor, not paying much attention to her surroundings. She's trying different colors for her nails with a tiny polish gun which automatically paints her entire nail at once. Her eyes have the glaze of someone viewing something on their CORETECHS.

Me: Hi there, I’d like to speak with Commander Luka.

Colette doesn’t look at you when she responds, she’s clearly engulfed in whatever she’s watching on her CORETECHS.

Colette says, On lunch, take a seat.

She points at a waiting area with several chairs and a few people there already, distracting themselves on their own CORETECHS.

  • Chat Colette into letting you see Luka.
  • Hack Colette's CORETECHS.
  • Sit and wait.
  • Aggressively demand to see Luka.
  • Attempt to bribe Colette. [50 Credits]

(Social check)

You manage to pry past Colette's cold exterior through sheer determination and charisma. You do a spot on impression of a Gaule soldier and get her to crack a smile. You engage her through somewhat mean spirited gossip about the other people waiting in the office which seems to be the only thing that brings her joy, You feel a little morally dubious about it, but the important thing is she's on your side now.

She pushes a button under her desk and the door the Commander Luka’s office swings open.

Colette says, Oh my, it seems I’ve accidentally booked a meeting with Luka over his lunch. Silly Colette.

Next NPC: Commander Luka, Government Center, Estación de Amazon

  • Enter Luka's office.

The office is nice but spartanly decorated. He has a lovely desk of real wood and an antique analog clock on his wall but no other decorations of any kind. His desk is bare aside from some datapads splayed across it.

Luka is in the middle of his meal and he seems shocked to see you enter his office.

Luka says, Colette? I don’t have any meetings scheduled for right now, do I?

Colette calls back to him without getting up.

She says, Just this one ser, won’t take long.

Luka looks between you, the door, and the clock in confusion.

Luka says, But—

The doors to his office shut before he can ask her further questions. You smile at him amicably and he sighs and gestures to the seat in front of his desk.

He says, Alrighty, then. Have a seat. What can I do for you?

  • Make your case for Elric.

Luka eats his lunch as you explain Elric’s situation. When you finish talking, he takes a final bite of his food, nodding. He stands up and crosses the room to throw away his rations packaging.

Luka says, I’m quite sympathetic to the situation, but I have to decline your request to pardon the boy from school. I will not deny a young man his education on these grounds. My men will return tomorrow morning with all the official papers to relieve his mother of her guardianship of Elric. It’s the opinion of the Gaule government that she is unfit to parent at this time.

  • Ask him why.
  • Plead with him.


Me: Why is that? She seems totally capable of looking after Elric. She just wants her son to stay out of the Education Center.

Luka nods and paces the room.

He says, So you’ve said. Never the less, I'm concerned for the boy's welfare. Should a young man be denied his independence because of an overbearing mother? I’ve heard she’s even forbidden him from speaking for a cycle! Where does it end? Elric is a boy, he doesn’t know what’s best for him, and I can’t say I trust that woman to make the decision for him.

Luka shakes his head and clasps his hands behind his back.

He continues, Private Thorsten filed a full report regarding her outburst today and your… intervention. I admire the spirit of what you’re doing but I find it… misguided. I’m sorry, <name>, my decision is final.

  • Accept his decision.
  • Argue with him.

(Social check)

Me: That's unfair to all the families who don't want that for their children. You can't make these kinds of decisions for people!

He says, You're only saying that because you didn't grow up with it! By your logic, school itself shouldn't be mandatory. This is how it's done in the Gaule Protectorate and this station went in with it's eyes open. It's not my fault if they don't like it. It's how things are <name>.

Luka is starting to get agitated, you can see him getting emotionally invested in the argument. Maybe if you can just hammer your point in a little harder you'll be able to change his mind…

  • Argue further.
  • Accept his decision.


Me: Ser, if you'd just—

Luka cuts you off with a swiftly raised hand.

He says, I’d love to sit and debate the finer points of ethics with you, but my lunch break is over and I have other meetings to attend to. Please show yourself out.

Frustrated, you turn and head for the door.

Luka calls out, <name>, wait. One last thing.

  • Yes?

Me: Yes?

Luka hesitates for a moment, picking his words carefully.

He says, I’ve dealt with this sort of situation before. We do not feel it's fair to the child, as such we have a zero tolerance policy and punish parents harshly for aiding and abetting truant behavior.

He steps closer to you and gives your shoulder a gentle squeeze, locking eyes with you.

He continues, If Shenzia should… confide in you that she plans to press this matter further, perhaps remind her of the penalties she could face. And if she doesn't heed your warning, you should know the Gaule government rewards tips about criminal truancy handsomely.

  • Brush him off.
  • Consider his point.


You take a moment to genuinely consider Luka’s point and nod at him.

Me: I’ll keep it in mind, ser.

He lowers his hand from your shoulder and nods back.

Luka says, See that you do.

You walk past Colette’s desk on your way out. She waves at you slowly with one brightly painted finger at a time as you go.

Go back to the Residences and update Shenzia.

Next NPC: Shenzia Viro, Residences, Estación de Amazon

  • Speak with Shenzia.

Shenzia spots you through the window of her house and comes outside to greet you, wringing her hands in nervous anticipation. You can see Elric linger inside, anxiety creased onto his brow.

Shenzia says, <name>! You’re back! What did Luka say? Will he grant the pardon?

  • Be blunt.
  • Let her down easy.


Me: I’m so sorry to tell you this, but he denied the request for a pardon. I did everything I could, but I couldn’t change his mind. They’ll have papers to legally revoke your guardianship of Elric tomorrow.

Shenzia’s mood crumples like a dried flower and you can see her visibly shake with grief. She nods, with tears gathering at the bottom of her eyes. When she speaks again, her voice quivers.

She rasps, So be it then. Come, <name>, we will discuss this further inside.

  • Bid her farewell.
  • Follow her.


You follow Shenzia back into the house. She casts a nervous glance outside before shutting and bolting the door behind you. She closes all the blinds before turning back to you and Elric.

She says, Elric, go tend the garden. I need to speak with <name> alone.

Elric hesitates before heading to the back door to their garden. His round brown eyes bore into you before he disappears through the door.

  • What do you want to discuss?
  • Shouldn't Elric be here to discuss this?

Shouldn't Elric be here:

Me: Why did you send him out? Shouldn’t he have a say in his future?

Shenzia shakes her head, pacing.

Shenzia: Of course he deserves a say in his future but… what happens next could put me in great danger. I don’t want him to sacrifice his freedom for me. I won’t let them control him with fear and threats. He doesn't want to go to that school and I won't let them force him.

  • Don't tell me.
  • What exactly are you planning to do?

What are you planning:

Me: What exactly are you planning to do?

Shenzia measures you with her gaze for a unit.

She asks, Can I trust you, <name>?

  • Of course.
  • 50/50
  • I wouldn't.


Me: It's always a roll of the dice.

Shenzia laughs bitterly and examines you with her striking green eyes.

She says, I appreciate your honesty… but I suppose I don’t have a choice. I must ask for your services one last time and pray you prove trustworthy.

  • What do you need?

Me: What is it you want, Shenzia?

Shenzia starts pacing again, her bare feet tap gently on the floor. Her toe rings make light clicking noises with each footfall..

She says, I’ve been in contact with a belter named Marlin; a maintenance worker at the Port. He specializes in producing certain papers for people wishing to leave Estación de Amazon on a… low profile.

  • A visa forger?
  • Dangerous job.

Visa forger:

Me: A visa forger?

Shenzia nods and glances out the window at Elric tending to their fruit garden.

She says, I’ve arranged for Marlin to produce a Consortium visa for Elric. If he can get to a Consortium station, there’s no way the Gaule government can touch him. I've already paid him by CORETECHS, but he's stopped responding to my messages…

Her eyes drift back to you.

She continues, That’s why I need you. Will you go to the Port and get the visa from Marlin? I know he has it with him. They’ll be watching me closely for suspicious behavior, but you can still move freely. It’s the last thing I’ll ask of you, I promise.

  • I'll help.
  • You'll be arrested!
  • Refuse.
  • Convince her to give up.


Me: Shenzia, Luka warned me about this. He said they punish parents severely for that, you can’t!

Shenzia’s eyes blaze through you.

She retorts, You think I don’t know that? You think they haven't made an example of others? I don’t care. This body is a servant of the tree spirits and if it suffers for them, or suffers for my son, so be it. I don’t care. Will you help or won’t you?

  • I'll help.
  • Convince her to give up.
  • Refuse.


Me: I’ve gotten this far, I might as well finish what I started. I’ll retrieve the Visa for you.

Shenzia envelops you in a warm hug. You can feel her quickened heartbeat and her terror and desperation in the tightness of her hold on you.

She says, Thank you, <name>. You’re an emissary of the spirits sent to save my son.

Decide what you want to do… Go get the Visa from Marlin at the Port, convince Elric to go to school at the Residences, or tell Luka Shenzia’s plan at the Government Center.

  • Get the visas.
  • Convince Elric to go to school.
  • Go tip off Luka.


  • You decide to convince Elric to go to school since his mother won't see reason.

Next NPC: Elric Viro, Residences, Estación de Amazon

  • Convince Elric to go to school.

You leave Shenzia’s house, and when her back is turned, quickly duck behind her neighbour’s house. You climb the fence between their two backyards until you arrive in Shenzia’s fruit garden, where Elric is tending a tall tree with dark narrow leaves and round mango-like fruits.

When Elric spots you, he cocks his head in confusion. You raise a finger to your lips for silence and he smirks at you. As if he can do anything but silence. You beckon him over and he approaches you curiously.

Me: Elric, your Mom wants me to get you a Consortium visa for you to get off the station. Are you aware of that?

He nods, confused. His brown eyes probe you. He glances through the window to the house at his mother, probably wondering if you've betrayed them somehow.

  • Convince him to go to school.
  • Intimidate him into going to school.
  • Offer to pay him to go to school.
  • Never mind.

(Social check)

Me: Elric, I know you don't want to go to this school. You'd lose something really important to you, I understand that. But if you go through with this and leave the station, your Mom is going to be arrested. She didn't want you to know, and she's willing to face the consequences but I can't stand by and let her throw her life away for this. You needed to know.

Elric’s eye dim with dread. He looks inside through the backyard window at his mother. She’s sitting beside the coffee table, head in her hands, rubbing her forehead. He glances from her back to you.

He nods in thanks for telling him and pulls out the little wood carving of your face he was working on before.

He’s clearly put more work into it, carving finer lines and painting a base layer of color. It’s become quite a striking likeness. It's attached to a thin chain now which he gently lifts over your head and allows to hang from your neck. He smiles at you reassuringly and gives you a thumbs up.

A feeling of vigor and power overcomes you. You catch yourself wondering if this talisman really does have some kind of special power before quickly scoffing at yourself. Must be placebo.

Your stamina stat has increased by 1.053.

  • Thank you, Elric.

Me: Thank you, Elric.

He points at the trees around him and then to you. He hesitates for a moment and then sighs.

Elric says, I suppose my vow of silence will be broken when I attend the Center, won’t it? I may as well thank you out loud. May the tree spirits watch over you, <name>. Thank you for warning me what would have happened to mother, and for everything you’ve done for both of us.

He smiles at you sadly before turning to jump the fence out of his backyard. He sneaks past his house, careful to avoid the windows so Shenzia can't spot him. You watch him climb the narrow path out of Alajuela and disappear between the trees.

A few units later, you receive an incoming message on your CORETECHS from the offices of Commander J. Luka.

  • Accept transmission.
  • Reject transmission.


A small field of text pops up in your CORETECHS.

It reads:

DEFRANCE, COLETTE: Hey, that Elric kid just electronically checked back into school, says he’ll be on the base ASAP. Colette, send that <name> person some thank you credits for talking his crazy mother for me. A message with the credits? Oh, I don’t know, what I just said but more official. Add "kind regards" to the end or something.

DEFRANCE, COLETTE: Kind Regards, Commander J. Luka

300 credits were deposited into your account by the Gaule Government.

You have received 300.00 credits.

You have completed the "Education" mission.

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