Fire Also Climbs
We appear before the Burned Man, who is walking the Slums with the boy he rescued from Blacktooth’s clutches at Odyssey. Just then, the duo pass by a ladder resting against a shack. TBM freezes at the sight of it, causing the boy to stop and turn his attention to his hero, concerned at his sudden paralysis.
“I’m sorry, but seeing that ladder reminds me of the nightmares I’ve been having recently. Faith was trapped on the top of Arcadia’s tallest structure and I was tasked with climbing to the top to rescue him.”
The kid listens intently to what the survivor has to say.
“Around me was a wooden ladder that led directly to him. However, every time I chose and began to climb one of them, that ladder would spontaneously combust, devouring the wood and my flesh. The burning only stopped when I let go and hit the floor, where the fire promptly extinguished itself.”
“I was not alone in my chase for James, however, as both Blacktooth and Luther Grim also played a part in my nightmare. The cannibal apparently took back his word on eating ‘veal’ and looking for a quick snack. The hunter, meanwhile, wanted to catch my son and use him as bait to trap me for a future hunt.”
“They had their own ladder to climb to reach my son. However, unlike mine, theirs were made of steel and didn’t ignite upon contact.”
He sighs, stammering a little as he recounts his nightmare.
“Knowing this, I started to panic. It no longer became an issue of facing my trauma and overcoming it at my own pace. Now it became a race against two men that wanted to take everything from me while I burned myself alive.”
The kid pats the mummy on the back, attempting to comfort him as he speaks.
“I tried to race up the ladder as fast as I could, but the fire was too hot and scorched my skin more than I already am. I attempted to try and throw my foes off their ladders so I could climb theirs, but neither they or the ladders would budge.”
With a deep breath, the survivor collects himself and continues.
“There was only one path to save my Faith, and that path was to climb the burning ladder to save him.”
There’s more courage in TBM’s voice as he speaks.
“It took a while, but I eventually learned that if I focused on reaching the top, I could ignore the pain and reach the top faster than either Blacktooth or Luther. I never gave up on my climb to rescue him because I couldn’t let my fear and trauma beat me.”
“I’m a persistent son of a bitch, and I won’t give in until I save my son.”
They resume walking, but the mummy still speaks.
“Consider Titanfall a demonstration for what will happen if those two come after my kid or my gold. Be careful when climbing a flaming ladder, you just might get burned.”