17 October, 2009

Pathologic - Of Beasts And Men


Day 6 - The Bachelor came to the conclusion that the Butchers et al. do indeed suffer from infection. I guess it just takes longer for them or something. Unfortunately, the latest tissue sample was not sufficient, so, as I mentioned previously, we had to find a nonhuman sample to test.

Only minutes after I left lovely Eve's house (where the Bachelor is staying), having decided to find a bull to take a tissue sample from, I got a note from the Devotress enticing me with the promise of information on where to find a bull (the bulls have disappeared on account of the food shortage since the outbreak). I guess rumors really do spread quickly in this town.

I met her over at Laska's Lodge, where she informed me that she had been kicked out by her benefactors the Subarovs. (If you'll remember, this is the day following the overnight break-in at the Cathedral, which led to the Devotress being accused of being the Spreader). She told me some creation myth about two ancient gods, the details of which were vague, but has something to do with the religion of the Worms and Butchers and the Order and all that. And then she directed me towards the second district of the Apiary (just across from the larger district), where I found Mother Keeper, (very) young daughter of some commander/commandant Tychik, recently(?) deceased, whose role I'm not entirely certain of. At any rate, she is protector of those who live in the Apiary - which, she informed me, were neither immune nor isolated from the epidemic. Before helping me out, she insisted that I bring her 50 immunity-boosting tablets (the yellow kind), for her to distribute among the Apiary-dwellers.

(Interestingly, in the dialogue it was 100 tablets, but on the quest note, it said 50. I acquired 50, while crossing my fingers, and returned to hand them over. The dialogue once again called them 100, but the 50 were perfectly sufficient. It must have been a translation error, though a particularly diabolical one - imagine my frustration if I had gone ahead and shelled out for twice as many tablets only to find out I only needed half that!)

Having handed over the tablets (luckily the shops in town were well-stocked, so they weren't hard to find, just a little bit pricey for such a quantity), Mother Keeper directed me towards a sacrificial altar out on the Steppe, where the Gatherers were, er, gathering, to sacrifice one of their bulls. But before I could make the sacrifice, I had to infect the beast (for reasons of my research, of course, and not the earth religion).

So I acquired an infected heart from one of the infecteds in a nearby infected district. I put on my gloves just to be safe, and that seemed to be sufficient to isolate me from infection (unless I was just lucky), even though I'm already infected, ever since my stint in that jail cell. I've been keeping the disease down with some antibiotics, but it really takes a toll on my health. I like to drink some Meradorm and restore health in my sleep, but with the infection acting, you can see the health meter struggling while I sleep. It increases more than it decreases, thankfully, but the overall increase is disappointly meagre... I have yet to acquire any powder in this scenario, although I did come across a little girl with a dose of it. I frustratingly didn't have enough of interest to her to trade for it though. And since the vaccines only prevent infection, and don't cure it, I guess I'm just gonna have to hang in there until I figure out how to develop the much anticipated Panacea...

So I fed the sacrificial bull an infected heart, and then after it was sacrificed, I took a tissue sample back to the Bachelor. Examining it, he determined that the bull antibodies were able to hold off the disease and prevent it from spreading, but they weren't able to actually kill the infected cells. The human antibodies can kill the infected cells, but not fast enough to stop the disease. Ideally, we'd need some kind of a hybrid sample containing both human and beast antibodies. Such a "man-beast" creature obviously doesn't exist(?), so I asked the Bachelor if he could somehow combine the antibodies in one serum. He said he'd give it a try, but he didn't sound very confident about getting a positive result. It's just one failure after another...

Meanwhile, the Inquisitor should be arriving soon - tomorrow, I think.

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