13 November, 2009

Pathologic - Town: The Head


I spoke to George Kain in the morning on orders of the Inquisitor. She wanted me to get inside the Polyhedron. Before granting me that favor, George insisted that I follow up on the Rubin scandal, informing me that the fugitive doctor had been hiding out in the Apiary. I didn't find him, but I did find both of my rivals there.

The Bachelor expressed curiosity regarding the nature of the blood sample the Haruspicus used to create the panacea. Burakh wouldn't tell him, but he opened up to me. He spoke of the avroxes (hey, look, a different spelling!), and their sacred blood. He also said that, through his cooperation with Rubin, he discovered that Simon's blood was basically a weaker version of the sacred blood. I wonder how that happened. The Inquisitor had told me that the Elder of the Abattoir himself was descended from a cross between a bull and a Worm Bride (we'll just ignore the specifics of that genesis...). Burakh also told me more about Simon's confidants, who I believe are one and the same as my adherents. Apparently, their blood is also like Simon's - whether equal or inferior to, I don't know. But more and more I'm getting the feeling that I have some fundamental connection to Simon, and I hope I get to find out what that is.

On my way back to the head end of town, I dropped in to visit my sister. My Detectress skills must have dried up, as I wasn't even in the right district at first... I eventually found her though. At this point, side quests are getting kind of repetitive, as later in the day the Bachelor and the Haruspicus were at each others' throats again, and I had to go and warn each of them of the other's plans, just like yesterday. It's a good excuse to go marauding, though.

When I insinuated my connection with Simon to George, he was expectedly skeptical, and mentioned Simon's impending rebirth (or reappearance). But he granted me access to the Polyhedron. Victor provided the password which I used to soften Kahn's reluctance to let strangers inside. All the way at the bottom, I stepped on the diagram on the floor and entered a dream. I was in the park, with the sandbox, and the sand town, and the two kids standing nearby who have identified themselves in the other scenarios as the Authorities. I think they were surprised to see me, but they spoke of my mission. The girl seemed to expect me to end up killing everyone, but the boy was confident that I could save them all. They weren't in a talkative mood for very long though.

I spoke to the Inquisitor, and we came to a disagreement. I spoke of the miracle I'm confident I'll be able to pull off, and she became hostile. She still believes the presence of the plague is the result of the town's attempt at capturing a miracle - which one could say was accomplished with the construction of the Polyhedron (currently housing Nina's soul, soon to be accepting Simon's). When I suggested against her plans that the Polyhedron could be salvaged along with the town, she dissolved our temporary partnership. She went so far as to attempt to banish me from the town, and asked me to return to the earth from whence I came.

But now I'm wondering about pride and humility. Is the creation of a miracle incompatible with the humblers' faith? I've been working against the pride of the Utopians all this time, and yet now I begin to realize that my desire to create a miracle is itself quite proud, and perhaps not at odds with the Utopians' philosophy. Is this the wrong path? Or was I even meant to embrace humility in the first place? It was Catherina's grand goal, not necessarily my own. The Haruspicus earlier told me that Julia, who he verified is a criminal like the others (I'd like to hear more about that), was the one who, through logical analysis, derived the humblers' faith and set Catherina on her path.

I'm still uncertain about the fate of my charges. Are they to be redeemed, or sacrificed? Through what magic will this miracle be conducted, and how will it manage to save the town? The blood of the avroxes is the blood of one who goes against the natural Laws - the plague being a tool of that Law. Simon and his confidants possess an element of that defiance. Beating the plague means breaking the cycle of natural Law. Is that not an act of pride, in line with the construction of the Polyhedron? Are the confidants blind sacrifices, who through humility will give up their soiled lives unknowingly to an act of pride? Were they to know, would self-sacrifice itself not be prideful, if it is conceived for a greater purpose?

To quote Young Vlad, "self interest plays any role - even a role of unselfishness."

Having become the Inquisitor's enemy, my natural course led me to the General's makeshift quarters. He spoke highly of me without being prompted. Apparently he had been wowed by tales of saintly miracle workers in battle, and essentially put his unbridled faith in me on a whim. He also sounds desperate. An accomplished soldier, who nevertheless has been targeted by the higher ups for speaking out against the bureaucratic unjustices of war, he has been sent away from the front lines to deal with this plague - and surely his safe return is not counted on. And so he placed his fate in my hands. I have found new reason to continue my work in this town. But how, I wonder, can the General facilitate the working of my miracle...

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