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Once a Slave was a virtual representation of one of Kassandra's genetic memories, relived by Layla Hassan through the Portable Animus HR-8.5.

Description

While in Karystos, Kassandra heard a man wailing.

Dialogue

Approaching a house in Karystos, Kassandra heard a distraught voice.

  • Slave Owner: I can't believe they stole it. Of all the things they could take!

She entered the house and approached the man within.

  • Kassandra: You say somebody stole something?
  • Slave Owner: Somebody stole something? Look around. Bandits took almost everything. And worst of all, they stole my family's vase. After so many generations, it's gone.

  • Kassandra: You're wealthy. You could buy yourself a new vase.
  • Slave Owner: A new vase? Didn't you hear me? It's a family heirloom, you can't replace something like that.

  • Kassandra: I carry with me something passed down from my mother. I appreciate the value of family heirlooms.
  • Slave Owner: It's strange how inanimate objects can generate real feeling in us, isn't it?

  • Kassandra: How much is this vase worth to you?
  • Slave Owner: I'd pay a substantial amount of drachmae for it. A very substantial amount. Is finding my vase something you could do?

  • Kassandra: I'll find your vase, but I'll need some ideas of where to look for it.
  • Slave Owner: Speak with my slave near the warehouses. I sent him to uncover what he could from other slaves in the area. Hopefully he's learned something by now.
  • Kassandra: I'll return if I find the vase.

  • Kassandra: You mean this?

Kassandra drew out the vase. The man was delighted.

  • Slave Owner: My vase! You found it!

Kassandra gave the vase to the man. A slave approached them, addressing his master.

  • Slave: Master, I have a concern.
  • Slave Owner: A concern about what?
  • Slave: How do we know that this misthios isn't one of the people who took it in the first place?
  • Slave Owner: That's a good question -
  • Slave: Let me talk to her privately to be sure.
  • Slave Owner: Yet another example of why I'll miss you when you're gone.

The master and the slave embraced. With a final look at Kassandra, the slave owner left. The slave turned to face her.

  • Slave: Misthios, I know you must've taken the vase from the bandits. But, that's not the point. I have a favor to ask of you.

  • Kassandra: .
  • Slave: .

  • Kassandra: Unless I know what it is, I won't know if I can gift you with this favor.
  • Slave: You're willing to hear me out. That's a start.
  • Kassandra: What kind of favor are we talking about?
  • Slave: My master recently told me that after the coming summer solstice he will release me. But I don't want to go. I want you to say that I told the bandits where to find the vase. And then, for atonement, I'll offer my services.

Kassandra considered the slave's words, while the master returned.

  • Slave Owner: Well? Who took my vase?

Kassandra spoke with the slave outside.

  • Kassandra: Your master tells me you might've learned something about the missing vase.
  • Slave: I have. But I'll need something from you before I can talk about it.

  • Kassandra: I don't like conditional deals like this. I have a job to do.
  • Slave: I understand. But what I need from you isn't a labor or an action, it's a commitment.

  • Kassandra: I have a working agreement with your master. We're all on the same side, so tell me what you need.
  • Slave: You're a rose amongst the weeds.

  • Kassandra: So what do you need?
  • Slave: I'm hoping that after you retrieve the vase, you'll tell my master that I told the bandits to loot the house.
  • Kassandra: Why would you want to do that?
  • Slave: After the summer solstice, my master plans to give me my freedom. But I don't want it. I'm hoping that if I take partial blame for the crime, I can offer my continued servitude as atonement.
  • Kassandra: That's ridiculous, but I'll think about it. Now, tell me about the bandits.
  • Slave: Other slaves in the area assure me that bandits from the northern hills of Mount Ochi are the ones ransacking the nearby homes.

  • Kassandra: The northern hills of Mount Ochi... Is there a more precise place I should look for these bandits?
  • Slave: The slaves mentioned there's a copper mine in the area. That's where I'd put my hideout if I was a bandit.

  • Kassandra: I'm curious why you're not excited to have your freedom?
  • Slave: With my master I have purpose, responsibilities, food, and shelter. All the things I wouldn't have on my own.
  • Kassandra: With your freedom you can acquire all that, you know.
  • Slave: We all have different circumstances and abilities, misthios. This life offers me the best chance of survival.

  • Kassandra: I will go find these bandits and get your master's vase.
  • Slave: Remember what we talked about when you return it to my master.

Kassandra took her leave and headed north, locating the bandits' hideout at the foot of Mount Ochi.

  • Kassandra: There it is. The copper mine.

Kassandra infiltrated the camp, made her way into the copper mine, and found the heirloom vase.

  • Kassandra: All this trouble over an old vase...

She escaped the camp and mused to herself on her return to the slave owner.

  • Kassandra: I can't believe that slave wants me to lie for him.

Kassandra returned to the house.

  • Slave Owner: Have you found my vase?
  • Kassandra: Yes.
  • Slave Owner: That's great news! Who took it?

  • Kassandra: It was taken by bandits hiding in the copper mine north of here.
  • Slave Owner: Well, you returned it, so at least there's some justice. Here's the reward I promised.
  • Kassandra: You know, your slave is very loyal. You've already granted him his freedom, but I think you should keep him on. He may even want that.
  • Slave Owner: Is it true? You want to stay?
  • Slave: Yes, I do.
  • Slave Owner: Then why didn't you say something?
  • Slave: It's not a slave's place to question his orders. Isn't that right, misthios?

  • Kassandra: Even though you're a slave, your life is still your own. You should've just asked your master to stay.
  • Slave: Please accept my humblest apologies, master. I will never do it again.
  • Slave Owner: All is forgiven. It worked out the way it was supposed to.

  • Kassandra: You should respect your master's wishes. Maybe he sees something in you that you don't see yourself.
  • Slave: Is that true? You think I'm ready to be on my own?
  • Slave Owner: Yes. While your body and mind are still able, you should go. Start your own life.
  • Slave: Thank you, master. I will.

Kassandra spoke with each of them later.

  • Slave Owner: Thank you for returning my family's vase.
  • Slave: You were right by not lying to my master. I don't know what I was thinking, but I'm glad you did what you did.

  • Kassandra: It turns out your slave told the bandits to loot your home and take the vase.
  • Slave Owner: What? Can this be true?
  • Slave: Yes, master. If you'll allow me to make atonement, I'll...
  • Slave Owner: Atonement? Never. I won't allow a slave who tells bandits to steal from his master to work for me.
  • Slave: What? No. Please no. Let me stay!
  • Slave Owner: I won't hear it. Leave now, before I pay this misthios to kill you. Go!

The slave left, his plan to stay having backfired in the worst possible way.

  • Slave Owner: Just when you think you know someone. Here's your payment for returning my vase. Thank you for returning my family vase and exposing my slave.

Outcome

Kassandra helped an elderly slave owner to retrieve an heirloom stolen from him.

Trivia

  • The name of the quest references the phrase "once a thief, always a thief."

References

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