Encounter the Desolated and “Stone Mode” Reggie Bates is the fourth episode of Mysteries of the Past: A Bizarre Adventure. It was released on June 30th, 2019. It is succeeded by A Truth to Show while being preceded by The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
“In the grasslands of Pennsylvania and Ohio, we’re a bit lagging behind with our second enemy Stand User. I, like the rest of the others, have never seen or heard of a Stand User. We don’t even know where they came from, although I kept hearing some squabbles about magic dust and a archer shooting in random places, while others proclaim they’ve been shot weeks to months ago. Joan said that ‘they’, or the mystery person, are still here, but she refuses to give out any answers. Could she be that stubborn to move or has she encountered someone like ‘they’ before? I’ve also noticed something pulsating on Maddie’s left arm, but I didn’t think anyone or Maddie knows. I know we don’t have time to ponder about, but there are still some mysteries arriving in the race.” - Jefferson Rook, June 23rd, 1900
On the railroad...
A train is seen on a railroad moving in a straightforward direction. Inside, a mysterious figure checks something under a napkin before closing it. Two men arrive and have a talk with the figure, saying that the everybody’s nearing the end of the second stage. The figure demands them to bring in Lady Highmore, who they had in their hands now. The men move back to the train cart they came from and bring in Highmore, who is unaware and confused of what’s going on. The figure now talks to the former mayor, demanding the map of the “Galileo Corpse Parts”. Highmore, unsure of what’s going on, tries to deny it until the figure pulls out from the napkin a diagram of the corpse, showing everything from the head to the legs. The figure also talks about a man who has been using the Spin and holds up a picture of Isaac Bontemps, much to Minerva’s shock. Although it may be less troublesome if he is killed, there may be a chance that he may have one of the parts. Highmore sees through the window to find herself seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Seeing the aristocrat worry and sweat, a woman with disheveled hair and wearing a cloak types something in Morse code and writes, “For Her”, on it. She then gives the note to one of the aides, who gives the note to the figure. The figure, reading the note, whispers to the aide, who comes back at the disheveled woman, whispering the message. The woman frowns, expecting something to happen to Highmore.
On the state of Ohio...
Maddie, Isaac, Diego, Rook, Rose, Giulietta, Katherine, and Xelan are seen traversing through the tan fields of grass, seeing nothing in sight. Giulietta and Diego have a chat about how people would usually have long social arguments in Ohio, which lasts about a hour and a half or more. Katherine gives out a dismissive sound, saying that Ohioans are illogical time-eaters with no reason for starting their petty arguments. Everyone besides Xelan (who is not paying attention) barely agrees on Katherine’s words, but Rose argues that there some people in Ohio who can be well-known, such as Rick Whelps (a Socialist man), Lucas Dernier (who was responsible for organizing the taxes), and Desolated Arby (a hermit). The revelation of the third person shocks everybody except Xelan (who doesn’t know anything about him), saying that Arby has a bad tic when anybody tries to trespass into his home, whether they are friendly or not. The last time somebody went into his lair, Arby blasted their head away with one shout that is louder than three sticks of dynamite per Maddie. She also says that there was a rumor that Arby used to be a milker until he went missing for several months. His appearance somewhere in the plains was confirmed when there were dead bodies appearing everywhere, but where is he hiding is unknown. With that, the team decides to take care of Arby as he may endanger the other racers too. Maddie’s left arm begins to pulsate and rips open to reveal what seems to be an arm of a decayed corpse, which catches Isaac and Rook’s attention. A green and pink glimpse of something appears near the arm and quickly disappears, making the two observant of the arm.
A rock is seen not so far from the moving team and the still-moving airship. It then starts to move before slowly emerging out of its position, revealing a dark-skinned man with scratches and bruises and dirtied clothes. Looking at the arm Maddie has, the man chuckles and takes a few steps, feeling sure that it’s the one “she” wants. Seeing a gray speck afar, the man’s skin turns into stone and he moves forward slowly before transforming into a boulder to get there faster.
Katherine notices a big boulder passing by, but doesn’t mind as she believes it is the wind and turns to her team. However, she catches a glimpse of a mysterious entity appearing in a flash with a blue figure floating aside it before disappearing, leaving behind what seems to be pieces of levitating glass. Katherine becomes suspicious for a second before instantly losing thought of the anomaly, now seeing a big cave up ahead. Rook asks Xelan about any tricks he can do, which he obliges and begins to pull something out of his ear. To the team’s amusement besides Rose and Katherine, Xelan reveals three pearl-like balls and makes them roll around his arm before hiding them. Rose reminds the team about the cave before going to it. Xelan joins in too, having the team follow him while he does his ball tricks. They reach the cave and find a lot of protrusions and a few specks of light, prompting Rose (as she is both physically and tactically powerful) and Diego (as his Ripple can be used as a light source) to go into the cave while the rest of the team stays behind in different positions, ready to strike Arby at any time. Evie is seen on the grassy fields with Mildred and Wally, who are both checking and fixing the Flying Squad airship to find any malfunction or damage on it. Evie wanders around and uses her binoculars to see the racers passing by, worrying her. She also spots the team in different positions near a cave and wonders what are they doing here. Evie then moves to the cave to reach her team, only to be caught by a gray hand and dragged away into the grass.
Diego and Rose continue walking through the cave spotting the nearby light sources and a few carving marks on the walls. Diego taps the ground for any life sources with his Ripple, but he doesn’t to detect single soul inside the cave. Wanting to test how far the cave is, Rose fires her gun through the cave, creating loud echoes that temporarily deafen the duo and make the cave rumble. Rose starts questioning about Arby’s lifestyle inside the cave until she starts hearing what seems to be an argument outside along with Diego. The two come out of the cave to see their friends in position facing an angry hermit, who claims that he lives here. Maddie tries to assure him, but the hermit angrily warns the team that he will count to three if they continue to “ruin” his home further and are still in his sight. Not wanting to face the old man’s wrath, the team quickly leaves out of the hermit’s sight and goes back to their horses and vehicles. Before Isaac can jump back to his horse, Katherine notices a stone hand and gets the team’s attention, and much to their surprise, they see a statue of Evie crying for help while being dragged by an unknown force. Katherine initially thinks in fright that Evie’s been turned to stone, but Isaac denies it, saying that Greek myths can’t be real. Maddie uses her newfound Ripple to find if anyone’s nearby, but she finds nothing more than a lot of insects hopping around. Everybody, confused of the situation, attempts to find more about the statue of Evie and to revive it, only to find and gain nothing at all. Katherine, who was standing here unimpressed, informs the team of her turn. She that starts revealing a mirror-like figure that becomes more detailed and visible to the team. The figure then has two antennas sticking out of the shoulders, a blue orb on its forehead, and several small holes set evenly. Katherine then refers the figure as her Stand, Bizarre Mystery, who scans the statue and pre-constructs the last 3 minutes of its position: a mysterious person was somehow dragging Evie and quickly left behind a statue of her to puzzle the team. Becoming worried about her girlfriend’s safety, Katherine follows where the man has dragged Evie, only to find another statue of Evie.
Katherine becomes quick to rant about Evie being kidnapped while the team tries to calm down. Far from the team, someone watches the team investigating the disappearance of the Archivist and hides in the tall grass. They also notice Maddie’s left arm glowing and goes closer, taking interest on it. Katherine uses Bizarre Mystery again to figure out the appearance of the statue, only for the team to find another Evie statue in a different posture along with many others evenly spaced between each other, showing the direction of the enemy. Seeing that the Ripple would be useless in this situation, Isaac throws his Steel Ball at the first Evie statue, destroying it and making it go through many more Evie statues to create more debris and projectiles. The Steel Ball then launches out the pieces of the statues all over the area the enemy might be, forcing the team to run and take cover in a big shield Rose has. Rose chastises Isaac for this reckless action, but he made it clear that Evie will be the least likely person to be harmed from the projectiles as she is somehow continuously dragged by the man. Xelan was able to spot the enemy (a gray spot resembling a rock) 30 meters away with a piece of square glass and points out that the spot is slightly moving unlike the rest of the others and has some blood coming out of it. Maddie, Katherine, and Rook quickly dash to the rocks while Isaac, Diego, Giulietta, Xelan, and Rose decide to go back to the airship to report to the Chief, only to be stopped by the hermit once again. Xelan wastes no time to refer the man as “Desolated Arby”, who impatiently demands something from them. Giulietta blankly responds by saying that they neither have nor interested in what the hermit wants, aggravating him. Arby becomes blunt to the team and demands the left arm they have, but Rose thinks he is cannibal and dismisses him. Rose tries to go pass through the hermit, but he doesn’t let she and any of her friends and constantly demands the arm “over there”, pointing to the trio who have recently left. Diego, having enough, confronts Arby and warns him, only for the man to sneer at him and prepare to shout something out of his mouth...
Diego is pushed down by the shout, but he bounces back up and stabs Arby’s diaphragm with his pinkie, making him gag and sputter as Diego prepares for another attack. Diego quickly lets go of his finger and sees that Arby’s going to attack, but this time, about to spit on him. Diego quickly initiates his Zoom Punch, stretching his arm fast enough at the hermit to strike him away from the team, forcing out the spit. The spit eventually reaches the ground and blasts everybody away except for the hermit, who is already on the ground. The team then realizes that he let himself take the Ripple punch to release the spit into a wider area of effect, blasting them away. Diego takes some time to gather his thoughts and begins to realize something these last 5 minutes since he confronted the enemy: Arby has supernatural abilities that allows him to enhance his voice and mouth into a deadly weapon. Xelan quickly lands with his two fingers clenched on a balde of grass before landing down, with Rose landing with her hand and Giulietta simply going through the ground with her Stand, seemingly planning something to take down Arby while her allies steadily engage at the nasty hermit.
Maddie, Rook, and Katherine quickly go to where Evie is, who is seen badly hurt and bloodied. The team closes in to help Evie, but she fearfully warns the team to stay away. Katherine becomes confused of this and tries to comfort Evie, only for her to deny it and reveal that “he’s” coming. The trio doesn’t get what Evie’s saying until a rock emerges out of the ground to target the trio, but Maddie shoots down and destroys the rock with her gun, now imbued with Spin and Ripple energy. However the pieces of the rock are sent flying to the team, hitting their chests and making Katherine barely trip on her girlfriend, saving herself with Bizarre Mystery. Rook and Maddie take a few steps trying to sneak away from the enemy, only for a rocky hand to appear and grab Maddie by the ankle, making Katherine summon Bizarre Mystery to quickly punch it. However, the Stand is unable to phase the enemy with its weak attacks and tries helping Maddie, who is about to be dragged underground. Rook fires two bullets at the hand, cracking it, and kicks it multiple times. Another hand then tries to catch Rook, but he jumps for safety and runs to his horse to get a shovel, which both he and Maddie use to quickly spin it down to the enemy as if it were a drill. As the enemy seemingly catches the shovel, Rook and Maddie think they’ve got him until...
The shovel is instantly snapped in half and quickly sinks along with the spinning handle. Maddie, Rook, and Katherine all feel the ground becoming soft before they quickly sink into the ground. They then realize that the enemy intended Maddie to use her Spin so he can get the advantage, leaving the three to stay trapped while he confronts their friends first. Everybody is seemingly unable to get out of the muck until Katherine throws a lasso at her horse, tying its body with it. After being pulled into safety, Katherine tries to have Maddie and Rook grab her hand, only to be instantly attacked by the enemy again, sending her flying to the horse. The partners, still stuck in the spinning ground, worry about their teammates and think they may arrive soon.
Rose is having a hard time shooting at Arby despite aiming for his body and being the one farthest from him. The next bullet she fires starts moving in random directions due to what seems to be wind affecting everything around the fields, only landing missing Arby by a fraction of an inch. Diego blocks as much shouts as he can to get closer to Arby while treading through the grass, only to be instantly knocked down by what seems to be a falling bird that releases a blast of sound that disturbs and blows away everybody. Isaac throws his Steel Ball against the grassy ground, hoping to shoot out the blades against Arby, but everything in his eyes starts to become filled with many other grass blades moving at quick speeds, harassing and cutting the team. Giulietta digs through the ground trying to sense the hermit’s movements, but she finds herself hearing various echoing sounds rather than simple footsteps, baffling her as there are a few people around the fields. She then guesses the enemy’s location and has Underground Resistance instantly attack above the ground, only to be assaulted by a volley of sounds coming from the flying blades, knocking off UR and revealing Giulietta flying out of underground, shocking the team. Xelan doesn’t seem that concerned and bites off the skin and blood vessels on his finger, allowing his blood to flow freely to the direction the sound is pushing it. Diego is initially confused of Xelan’s deed, but the latter slightly nods his head at him, making it clear that he’s doing something all according to plan. Rose briefly upgrades her binoculars to find the hermit while Issac attempts to gather the grass around while suffering from the effects of the sound. A spark of the Ripple moving erratically through the wind was able to reach Isaac, releasing whispers that Isaac can fully understand. Isaac then clears his and Rose’s path through the chaos to go through it and eventually sees his two colleagues awaiting for them. Diego approaches Isaac, about to speak reveal his plan to him.
In the Flying Squad’s airship...
Wally slowly becomes annoyed of the seemingly windy sounds passing through his ear and body while he and Mildred are still continuing their work on the engine. Wally complains about the wind, but Mildred, being harsh stoic as she was, bluntly dismisses the event and says if they need more time talking about climate, then that would be less time doing the job. Wally patronizes Mildred about her “lethal actions” three years ago, but Mildred quickly shoots him down with a punch to his arm. Wally then angrily spits out insulting and racist words against Mildred, who is now ready to attack him again. Mildred begins to throw a punch, but Wally throws a punch back at her fist, causing a brief struggle between them that is enough to make their knuckles crack. Mildred then tackles Wally to the ground and the two begin trying to kill each other.
Maddie, Rook, and Katherine, now stuck sinking to the ground, attempt to get out of the ground, with than successful results. As the enemy begins to reach their hand out to attack the trio, Maddie uses her Ripple to create a brown geyser that shoots out the heroes, which she calls “Spitting Brown Overdrive”. The geyser also blows out the enemy too, who uses pieces of stone to attack Maddie, Rook, and Katherine. Rook tries to fire at the enemy with his gun, but it jams from the mud and quickly breaks by the shooting rocks. However, Rook pulls out a spare pistol, this time semi-automatic, and fires through the clear passages caused by the rocks. After shooting, he sees a man quickly retreating out of the geyser, now bleeding on his back. Rook then reveals to Maddie and Woolf that he intended on using the first pistol, which was merely an altered hole puncher, to allow the enemy show his weak points. As the trio jumps down from the disappearing geyser, Rook, Maddie, and Katherine ready their guns to the ground, about to face the enemy. Katherine makes a prediction of what will happen, which has the enemy nearing a stone protrusion to Rook or Maddie’s chest, making her sweat out of stress. Woolf then thinks about what will happen to Evie next if she and her friends don’t get to her in time, fearing the worst that may happen. The journalist then quickly pushes both Rook and Maddie out of the way, having her torso pierced through by the protrusion created from the enemy. Seeing their friend in trouble, Maddie quickly rushes to Katherine’s aid while Rook rushes up to the hill to save Evie, only to be stopped by a voice of the enemy underground. The enemy sadistically chuckles for a bit before taunting the team about his control over the ground and threatens them that he will kill either Katherine or Evie if two of the heroes reach one of them first. Rook barely recognizes the voice for a bit, but needs some time to figure out who it is. The enemy then elaborates on everyone’s situation: if one person reaches the helpless person, then they will face him without any assistance at all, risking their lives and wasting the other hero’s time to attack. If two people reach the helpless person, then the enemy will go after and kill the helpless person on the opposite side. Facing a choice-based dilemma, Maddie and Rook become confused and then furious of this. Maddie then uses her Ripple to detect the enemy underground, only hearing a faint heartbeat that slowly rotates around them, indicating the enemy is moving in circles. Maddie then cocks her pistol, imbuing it with both the Spin and Ripple, despite the risk of combining them into one, and aims for the enemy, who is now getting closer to her and Rook while still moving in circles. Seeing her chance, Maddie fires a spinning Ripple-infused bullet at him at high speeds, striking him and spinning the ground. The duo then cheer at their successful hit and quickly rush to their friend’s aid, with Rook helping up Evie and Maddie healing Katherine’s wounds with her Ripple. As Katherine slowly gets up, still affected by the pain, she sees Rook carrying Evie back to her and Maddie, much to her joy, but it doesn’t last for much long...
Right before Katherine can attempt to go after her girlfriend and old friend, the enemy emerges out of the ground near them, now bleeding and pissed. Now with his rocky skin removed and arm fractured, he glares at Rook and is unsurprised of what he saw before. Rook becomes shocked of what he saw: Reginald “Reggie” Bates, the now-former Italian gang member who killed the previous Concordian Police Department Commissioner, Talmadge Baldwin. Reggie wastes no time punching Rook several times and stomping him afterward, bragging that he doesn’t need his “Stone Mode” to beat him up. Katherine and Maddie are shocked to see the killer again, who recognizes the latter and threatens her that he will kill both Rook and Evie if she gets any closer.
At the same time, Isaac uses his “Life Magnetism Overdrive” to gather up all of the nearby grass, creating a giant barrier that goes flying away from the team, who are now deaf from the excessive sound piercing their ears. Without their hearing, the team facing Arby is unable to communicate with each other at all besides Xelan, who surprisingly has cotton in his ears the whole time. Examining their ears for a few seconds, Xelan gives sign language that the team except Diego understands. Using his hand, Xelan tells the team about their condition and how his eardrums were able to survive the attack. He also says that their ear insides were altered to the point they are virtually unrecognizable to him. Arby appears and taunts the team about their condition before telling more about his ability: his Stand, Greatest Hits, can be transferred as his amplified sound to any object or person at all times, up to the point it will overload their brain into exploding. Xelan, who can only hear the hermit, expresses doubts of his sound being able hurt others while it cannot hurt himself. Arby, without warning, shouts,
“GET OUTTA HERE!!!!!”
Xelan rushes at Arby and absorbs the blow while taking damaging effects from the sound. Arby continues screaming at a running Xelan, whose skin starts to bleed from the shouts, until he begins to seemingly choke from overuse of the power and stress. Xelan, who feels a bit woozy from the attacks, reveals a garrote wire from his pants and quickly approaches Arby, who slowly turns his back while choking about. Xelan cocks his brow an suspects something unusual about Arby. To prove his theory, Xelan flips a coin-shaped object at Arby and strokes his chin, seeing that he is not flinching at the slightest from any touch. Xelan, preparing for trouble, lights up a stick of dynamite near Arby, who now has the nerve to shout out two words,
Greatest Hits sends Xelan flying away from its user, making its victim’s ears pop out blood from the prolonged damage before. Arby defuses the dynamite and declares his victory to the rest of the affected team before suddenly being shot in lungs and throat by three blades covered in yellow energy, making him unable to use his Stand again. Xelan, who was really not deaf and had cherry wine inside his ears all of the time, reveals that he used the “marker” (the coin-shaped object) on Arby, allowing Diego, who had multiple art utensils, to have three of them be attracted to the faint traces of the Ripple inside Arby. Seeing that Arby is unable to speak at all, Xelan takes his leave while Arby collapses to the ground, bleeding out and seemingly dead.
About 30 meters away...
Maddie and Katherine are faced with a life-threatening situation of their former enemy trying to kill another police officer again, but this time with the Flying Squad. Reggie gives the ladies a choice to have him take Rook, which he will personally take revenge for his downfall, or take Evie, which he may use her for his own advantages, much to Katherine’s disgust and anger. He also threatens them of getting closer to or trying to shoot him, and he will murder four of them right in this spot where no one will find them forever. Maddie begins to feel stressed about the choice she is going to make, saving Rook means Katherine will be heartbroken, and saving Evie means that the Flying Squad will lose their greatest detective. Rook tries to convince Maddie into saving Evie, saying that he is what the gangster wants. Maddie, seeing her arm glowing, wonders about what happened back in Pennsylvania and believes that there is something supernatural happening in Concordia. The arm then starts spinning, adding more into Maddie, Katherine, and Rook’s wonder and Reggie’s confusion. The cop killer angrily questions about Maddie’s arm and threatens her that he will kill both Rook and Evie, but the detective doesn’t respond and glares at Reggie, showing scorn for murdering the Squad’s untrusting but grateful ally and for acting as the catalyst to everything wrong in the city. Maddie’s fingers start spinning, adding more of Reggie’s shock and anger, and a Stand comes out of her left arm, ready to attack. A pissed off Reggie haves enough and prepares to chop Rook’s head off, desperate to finish him off for good. Maddie fires out a fingernail at Reggie’s hand, destroying the rock covering his it and slicing it clean off, letting blood spill and Reggie scream in pained anger and confusion, much to Katherine’s amazement. Maddie then expresses her impatience at him for wasting valuable lives over trying to save his and the Italian gang’s selfish rears. Reggie retorts at the hero’s response, saying that the gang is the only the Italians and others had left and they share no kindness to cops like Maddie, and prepares to crush Rook with his foot. Maddie fires another fingernail from her left hand that slices off Reggie’s foot, making him trip and more blood to spill of out the wound. Reggie begins to question Maddie’s deadly powers as he believed that he is way stronger than all of the police way before he is caught red-handed while Katherine, still amazed by Maddie’s attacks, gives her friend an increase of morale to take down Bates. Maddie takes some steps closer to the gangster, ready to shoot a third nail bullet at his head. Bates refuses to surrender and places back both his hand and foot, quickly sealing it back to his body, before punching the ground to create rocky spikes that Maddie effortlessly slashes down. Bates and Maddie then a brutal fight, with Maddie wasting all of her remaining fingernails and flintlock bullets while Bates has the upper hand, briefly ending with Maddie being taken down by multiple rocky shapes thrown by Bates. With Maddie taken down, Bates gloats about his victory and forms a rock-shaped hammer to obliterate the detective’s head, even bunting away a boot thrown by Maddie. Katherine begins to cry out for Maddie until she and Rook find energy appearing on her toes, meaning that the latter hasn’t lost this round yet. As Reggie prepares for the killing blow, Maddie’s toenail shoots right through his torso, slicing him in half and killing him. Reggie’s upper half then drops dead before his legs, being narrowly avoided by both Rook and Evie. Maddie then regenerates her nails and refers her Stand, now visible, as Heritage for the Future, given her hopes of the future itself. With the two enemies out of commission, the team is now able to continue the race.
Evie slowly wakes up to see her girlfriend near her with a smiling face, quietly assuring her that she is safe. The Archivist, now with tears on her eyes from seeing what happened to her, hugs her lover while the team, Mildred, Wally, (the two being in bandages from their fighting) George, and Ramirez watch in sympathy. George, being tearful of the event, says he’s only crying because it reminds him how his love life can never be succeeded, although Ramirez points out he had impressed a woman once, which George quickly replies that she is a scarlet woman. With Arby still unconscious from Diego’s blades and Reggie’s corpse inside a light brown body bag, the team prepares to take the latter to the morgue while Rose and Viola come out of Arby’s hideout. Rose then reveals to Rook that Arby is actually a robber, using his job as a milkman to poison the milk so he can get more money from the victims. He possibly isolated himself when he obtained his Stand a few months ago, which explains his ability to shout at loud noises. Rose also reveals that she has found a large stack of money offered by someone, but she doesn’t know who it belongs to as Viola was unable to find fingerprints on the money rather than Arby’s. As the team are talking about, Arby quickly arises from his slumber and grabs Xelan, shocking the team besides the strange man. Arby threatens the team that he will kill Xelan and the rest of the others if he does not get his wish: the left arm Maddie has. The team tries to attack, only for Arby to drag Xelan at them to fire, giving an still-injured Maddie a hard choice as her teammates look by. Not wanting to lose another friend again and seeing a vision of Charles Dupont pass by, Maddie tearfully tears off the left arm, making her Stand disappear, and throws it away, having the hermit grab it with glee and run off with it. Mocking the team one last time, Arby runs off while planning to kill the team anyway with his powers, only for his celebration to be cut short when he sees the corpse’s arm’s fingernails spinning at him. Isaac, whose wit hasn’t faltered at all, reveals that he imbued the arm with the Spin to prepare the finishing blow when he was near Maddie at the time. With his Steel Ball slowly gaining spinning speed, Isaac now has the arm’s nails to blow up near the hermit’s face, defeating him.
Maddie, relieved to have the left arm saved, puts it back to her body, allowing her to use HftF again. The competing team then goes back to their horses and vehicle to continue the race and finish the second stage, given that they’re lagging behind while the others go back to the ship to watch the race while trying to find out more about Reggie’s unusual physiology and motives. Inside the airship, Viola enters Arthur‘s office, where she sees a worried Arthur tapping his pen. When Viola voices her concern for the Chief, he slowly stares at her in distress.
To be continued...