19 October, 2009

Pathologic - The Veins of Suok


Day 8 - The Inquisitor expectedly sent me back to the Abattoir to inquire about the source of the blood sample I used to make the Panacea, and whether or not I could get some more. On a whim, I decided to drop into George Kain's house and say hi. He told me of the turmoil and unrest among the Order in the Apiary, and that they wanted the one who shut the Apiary to answer for his actions. Big Vlad was apparently taking responsibility, though George told me it was the younger Vlad who was responsible. Despite my reputation among the Saburovs, George recommended I talk to Catherina as well, to get their perspective, since the fate of the Olgimskiys is of concern to each of the ruling families.

Catherina expressed suspicion about the Kains' motives, telling me that they wanted to trick me into believing that the younger Vlad was responsible so that he would be the one to be avenged by the Order - since from a political perspective, the younger, healthier Olgimskiy posed more of a long-term threat to their power. Who to believe? I have no more reason to believe that the Subarovs would tell me the truth than I would the Kains - I would think the opposite, in fact.

According to what I learned in the Bachelor's scenario - if we can trust the Olgimskiys at their word - it was indeed the younger that sealed the Apiary, and the elder that took the blame. Although it's not certain that it occurred the same way in this scenario (but, this then explains the cause of Big Vlad's death in that scenario). Previously I had understood the sealing of the Apiary to be in order to protect those inside, but it was indeed to prevent spread of the infection, which had already broken out among those of the Order. So, while ostensibly protecting the town itself, the sealing basically condemned all those inside to infection. Many died, though some obviously survived. And now the survivors want retribution.

So I talked to Mother Keeper, who is now the protector of the Order. She said the Order would take the one responsible into a room she herself is not allowed to go into, and that he would not come out alive. And the worst part? I had to tell her who was responsible - the younger or the elder Olgimskiy. Who was I to condemn to death?

I received a note today from the Bachelor, firmly enlightening me to his intentions - to protect his adherents, and to serve the "utopians" (which, by extension, includes the preservation of the Polyhedron). Interestingly, I've noticed that Eve is still alive, where by this point in the Bachelor's scenario she had been sacrif- er, I mean, she had taken her life in vain, hoping to enact a miracle. Well it doesn't really concern me, but I'm happy she's alive. On the other hand, the Bachelor hesitatingly noted Young Vlad among his adherents - speaking in a manner that seemed to suggest that he might not survive much longer. And considering the decision before me...

Holding off on that decision... I thought I'd go talk to Young Vlad and see what he had to say. Nothing about the important issue at hand, I'm afraid, but I noticed his well had been blocked up, and he explained why. A group of marauders (muggers, etc.) broke into Young Vlad's house to evade the pursuit of an agry mob of townsfolk. With the marauders hiding in the well, the townspeople decided to plug it up and leave them to suffocate.

Unfortunately for Vlad, he had some important notes on superstition and old traditions sitting by the well, which fell in before it was stopped up. So he asked me to go in, by the back door (remember the manhole behind the Theatre?), and retrieve those notes. I had to use up some ammo on the muggers hiding in those tunnels, but the money I got off them and Young Vlad's reward made it worthwhile, I think.

Back at the Apiary, I asked Mother Keeper to open the way into the Abattoir for me again. But, as I've come to expect, she doesn't give out favors for free. Apparently, Klara (the Devotress) had met with her earlier, and begun to tell her a story, which was left unfinished. Mother Keeper, fully knowing the Devotress' cunning instinct, expected she would use the revelation of the story's ending as a bargaining chip, and Mother Keeper did not like to be in debt to the Devotress. So she implored me to track down the sly girl and extract the ending to the story from her so that I could give it to Mother Keeper and thus absolve her both of her curiosity as well as her debt to Klara.

And that is exactly what I did. I tracked the Devotress down to Mishka's pad (I wonder what business she had there...), in an abandoned train car on the railroad, and cleverly cheated her out of the story's ending (something about a prince planting a garden of crystal flowers), without even bringing Mother Keeper up. And so, the way to the Abattoir was once again open to me.

I spoke to Elder Oyun, but, stubborn as always, he wouldn't recognize my position since I was apparently missing an important piece of my heritage. So I returned to Ospina and asked her to hand the rest over. The missing item was a large horn, a sacred adornment, which was also identified as the suspicious horn that my father's body had been pierced with on the day he was killed. Ospina had kept it from me to protect me (she says she's fallen in love with me, though I'm hesitant to believe it - though that suspicion might just be a remnant of my memory of her acidic attitude toward the Bachelor), since if I had been carrying it previously, while I was accused of being my father's murderer, I would surely not have been found innocent.

But that's all in the past. Now with my complete heritage, Elder Oyun opened up to me the secrets of the Order. He spoke of a sacred bull, whose body is one with the earth. There was no sacrifice made previously, and there was no living aurochs roaming the caverns of the Abattoir. The sacred blood came from the earth itself. Apparently, the Order has been pouring sacred blood from sacrifices into underground channels, to nourish the earth, which in turn nourishes those who live on its surface. Interestingly, the blood courses through those underground channels as if they were veins, remaining warm and alive and potent. If I could gain access to those channels, there's no telling how much Panacea I could create. But before giving me access, Elder Oyun insists I must rise into my family position by finally making the destined sacrifice that's been hinted at before.

But who is to be sacrificed? There is some leniency, which suggests that I will be forced to make a choice. How to know which will be the right choice? And is the sacrifice related to the Olgimskiy decision, or is there something else? I am uneasy...

P.S. I discovered that Anna Angel and Rubin are both infected. Easy to tell by the harbinger on the doorstep...

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