The Let's Play Archive


by woodenchicken

Part 12: Chapter Three - pt.3

It was afternoon of the third day, and Klara was walking towards the Curriers district, the hotspot of the plague. The request from Victoria Olgimsky was to find some boy named Loafer, who was in possession of a dangerous medicine mixture, or at least Daniel Dankovsky, who was supposed to be in the area as well.

Bachelor is in the quarantined district. I shall find him in one of the houses.

She decided not to approach the place from the side of Stem. Buildings on that side were mostly shops and ateliers, and she was sure the business owners had taken necessary precautions against random people entering their stores. If Bachelor and Loafer really were there, they were more likely to be found in the residential area, which people had abandoned in panic. And that part was the farthest from Saburov residence. Klara didn’t mind a detour: a thought of crossing the entire deadly zone was making her uneasy.

Signs of trouble appeared long before she even stepped on the poisoned ground. Violence was happening up ahead: hearty moustachioed men were beating up some sack-wearing figures that were trying to escape. Klara figured they were the hapless inhabitants of the neighbourhood who had failed to get out in time (and also lost all of their clothes). The former group was probably Saburov’s men, enforcing the promised order.
No one paid attention to her as she entered the green.

It was the first time she was seeing the effects of Sand Fever in broad daylight. Klara didn’t know whether she was better or worse off for it – this time she knew exactly what to be afraid of.
Reluctantly, she started opening all doors she could see. Most of them were unlocked. Inside, all buildings were the same green glowing crypts nearly identical to the House of the Living.

After a bit of searching, she finally lucked upon Dankovsky.

See these thick clouds of warm vapour? Well, they carry infection. If you see the wind carrying such a cloud towards you – run away!
I've been looking for you, Bachelor. Someone is worrying about you.
No. Victoria. Aren't you here under her order?
I take orders from no one! Unlike you... I’m just doing my job. Oh, by the way – have you seen a suspicious boy around here? I told him to get out, but what if he didn’t? He looked pretty sly...
No, Bachelor... Haven’t seen any sly people here except you.
Good to hear... By the way, I wouldn’t stick around if I were you. Burakh the haruspex is hiding somewhere in these houses. He is dangerous. I’m sure he is the notorious Ripper, the body snatcher! And I needed that body, damnit! Uh... nevermind. I wish I knew where he is hiding... Wouldn’t want to be caught off guard...
What if that Loafer kid got into his hands? Did you think about this?
It’s all right; I’m tracking Burakh down myself. Has to be somewhere around here. Caught a glimpse of him not so long ago. If you meet him, tell me which house he is hiding in. I shall reward you. I’ll give you some cash, and medicine. It will come in handy.
If you are tracking him down, why aren't you leaving this house?
I cannot leave this place... there are other things that require my attention! Oh, and... have you, by chance, seen any butchers here? Huge men with flat faces? It’s been an hour... What if the goddamned Ripper got to them first? He has a thing for butchers.
No. I haven't seen anyone.

But Rubin, not Burakh, had Simon’s body! Rubin must have lied to Dankovsky to get rid of him.

Back outside, a rat was sitting on the cobblestone, facing the door. When it saw the Impostress, it made a loud chirp and charged at her. When the rodent took a leap, the girl held her hands out to protect herself. The moment her skin met the pointy furry head, the rat went limp and dropped on the ground. Divine Judgement. Did this mean that the rodent had been evil? Klara had no time to think about it, so she just wiped her hands on her skirt thoroughly to remove every trace of the plague and ran into the next building.

A bit further down the street to the left she found an arch that served as an entrance to a large overgrown courtyard.

A small head was peeking from around the corner. Klara came closer and saw a child hiding in a small nook.

What are you doing? Can't you see it’s dangerous out here?
It's all right. I can't be infected.
I’m testing a special powder. If you fall ill, you can swallow it and you might be cured. But it should be checked first. See, I'm carrying out a real test!
Give it to me, boy... And run away from here.

The boy handed her a small heart-shaped box the shops sometimes sold sweets in. Klara stashed it in a pocket, something she was in the habit of doing to pretty much anything she saw. Medicine, even false one, was bound to have its use as long as someone believed it could work.

She continued her search of the houses and found Burakh not long after.

What phenomenon is this? What are you doing here? Ah, I see... you’ve formed out of these clots of filth!
You’re being hunted, Ripper! Be careful. They are closing in on you...
Ripper... What kind of name is this?
Didn't you snatch Simon's body? You didn’t do it to give him a proper burial, I suppose... You have a sharp scalpel in your hands!
...I never touched or even saw Simon. ...Hmm, but the Bachelor may believe otherwise, and if you tell him that I am here, it could mean trouble. They’ll send a militia squad after me... I can’t risk failing my mission.
The Bachelor is really close now. He will shoot... and you aren't even armed...
I’ll give you my potions if you leave me alone. They are good, you’ll see. Or is it true that you can’t be infected?
I don't need your potions, Burakh... If you were truly innocent, you wouldn't be buying my silence with your jars.

On her way back to the Bachelor’s post Klara tried to decide whether to give Burakh away. Daniel would not catch him unawares in any case – having been warned, Artemy would surely lead him on a long chase. There was no need to have either of them snooping around the area after the child had been found, and the offer of cash and medicine was tempting...

Time, precious time is running out! Have you found that Ripper?
I have, Bachelor! Look, I’ll show you the house...
This is just great! Several hours of waiting, all in vain... all because of this satyr! My dead tissue! Where am I going to get it now?
Don’t worry; soon there’ll be no shortage of dead tissue in the streets...

After accepting Daniel’s bribe, Impostress went back to Victoria to report her success.

I’ve found the Bachelor, you know.
You’re so brave! Did he tell you anything? Is Loafer safe?
It looked like he had found the boy and taken the powder from him. His behaviour was rather odd when I met him.
...Maybe he decided to test the nasty mixture himself?
I don't know that. Well, it's time for me to go. Farewell.

Every soul she helped was willing to compensate her for her trouble; she was developing a healthy stash of money and medicine under her belt.
Once Victoria’s business was out of the way, all that was left was to go and inform the Kains about the location of Simon’s body and Rubin’s involvement in its disappearance. If Klara’s lucky streak were to continue, they would be grateful to hear the news. Very grateful.

You again? Such an impudent young lady... You can't even imagine how dangerous it is to provoke me.
I have some interesting news about Simon's body...
What can you tell me about Simon, deathgirl?
Rubin is performing an autopsy on him at the warehouses! In the southern part, near the smugglers' haunt! And the Bachelor is in on that!
...I see. You came to the right place. And you would have achieved your goal if you haven’t mentioned the Bachelor. Everything my Daniel does he does for the town, for human lives, and for the benefit of our house.
I expected a different reaction.
I'm going to pretend this conversation never happened. Be careful! Bachelor gets special treatment from me.

So Maria preferred to keep the fraud a secret to protect Dankovsky’s hide. But she wasn’t the only person who would be interested in the information. Surely, Georg would be more concerned with the desecration of his brother’s carcass? Klara decided to try breaking the news to him as well.

As it turned out, it wasn’t the b

You again? Hey! Minions! In the anteroom? I ordered you not to let her in! The end-time must truly be coming; who could have thought I would have to put up with such disobedience. I’ll have you all fetching corpses for Saburov! Hello? Is anybody even there?
I know something interesting about Simon. And if you listen to me...
Get out! Lying spirit, witch, accursed louse, Katherine's adoptee – now I know what kind of things you do! So listen to me! I know my servants cannot stop you, but I can ward you off, you monster!
What are you going to do, old man? Will you draw a circle around yourself or cover the walls with Kabbalah signs? Aren’t you afraid of summoning someone worse than me by accident?
Every time you appear in Horns, you shall suffer greatly! The thing that allows you to do your evil deeds will be burned out of you by these very walls! You can call it magic or you can call it higher justice!
Aah... It burns! What is it? What is it?
And remember, all the suffering you will undergo here is nothing compared to torments that you will have to endure if Maria reaches you not so much as with her glance but with her mere thought, or even memory! Tread lightly, daughter of the earth... Now scram!
You are making a big mistake...

Old man’s incantations didn’t really harm her – it was probably the girl’s excitable imagination that caused her to recoil from the very convincing passes Kain was making. She recovered quickly, but decided it would be wise to retreat nevertheless.

Not easily discouraged, Klara entered the third building of the complex. There was one more member of the Utopian clan she still hadn’t introduced herself to: Georg’s other brother and Maria’s father, Victor Kain. Luckily, the mansion looked almost deserted, and all servants or slaves of any kind were staying out of sight. She was free to explore, and found Victor’s study with ease.

We know everything about you...
But I know something you don't know. You are looking for Simon's body, aren't you? I came here to tell you about it...
What are you hoping to gain by doing it?
I want him to be buried in the ground.
Are you a steppe girl? A pagan, I mean?
What? Yes! I want to give the earth its due.
I understand. Well? Where is the body?
Rubin is hiding it at the southern warehouses.
Thank you, girl. You are telling me the truth.
You mean you already knew?
Yes, we knew that. But it is good that you've come here. My brother is irritated and prejudiced against you right now. But at least I shall think twice before believing all the things people say about you. The person people make you out to be would have never let us have the body.
Were you testing me?
No, not really. Here, have some money. That is all I can give you, besides my trust, of course.
Thank you. I'll give it to the poor.

Leaving Horns, Klara paused at the gates to observe the tower once more. Ospina and Anna were probably safe... She pulled out the sheet of paper that listed Adherents she needed to protect:

Lara Ravelle
Julia Luricheva
Stanislav R...

Damnation. Of course! Rubin was one of them! And she had just implicated him before the powerful and vengeful clan! Scatterbrain...
Kains seemed fairly lenient, thankfully – otherwise she would surely lose one of her Adherents, and then... She didn’t really know what that would mean, but the gut feeling that safety of those people was vital, was growing stronger and stronger. She swore to herself to protect them more vigilantly and headed home to retire for the rest of the day.

REEL 5: That night at the theatre...