The Let's Play Archive


by woodenchicken

Part 33: Chapter Nine - pt.2

Klara was returning to Horns after her trip to the Apiary, to the very top floor of the Short Wing.
She was supposed to find Rubin and summon him to Kains, but the medic was not there. At least she managed to learn some interesting facts from Burakh and Dankovsky, who were also there.
It was time to report to Georg.

Entering Tanners, she saw a guard near Petr’s front door. It looked like the confused architect had fallen ill as well. If he had agreed to repent and become one of the Humble, his fate would have been «touched» by Klara and his blood would have been mutated... Was that what Artemy’s theory implied?

The soldiers were not wasting any time. Klara witnessed the execution of a brigand right behind Stamatin’s pub.

Inquisitor may have arranged a few show hangings, but she didn’t have the men to enforce the order citywide. In fact, it had gotten worse for a while. But it all seemed to have changed with the arrival of the military.

Klara hoped Georg would still let her into the Polyhedron after she’d failed to bring him Rubin.

Rubin – that’s who is apparently the one bound most strongly to my fate! He will reveal its mystery to me! It is he who is standing between me and the most important hero of this passion play: Simon... I shall return to Horns. But it’s too early to make conclusions...

...but conclusions started pouring out of her in a torrent as soon as Georg looked at her inquisitively.

I have discovered some interesting facts about myself.
What are they? I’m listening.
We are bound, Simon Kain and I. Maybe we are even alike. He’ll return into the world through me.
This is interesting. So you allege that he shall be reborn through you? What is the meaning of this? You don’t mean this literally, do you? Because if you do... excuse me if I don’t believe you. According to my information, Simon will return as early as tomorrow.
But how?
This is none of your business.
You want to resurrect him with magic! But it’s blasphemy...
It’s not for you to argue about such matters, Impostress!
So you think you can work wonders? Am I right?
Polyhedron can work wonders. It will become flesh for Simon’s spirit. But there is a terrible cost for this decision – we shall have to lose Nina, whose spirit currently inhabits it, forever.
This is impossible...
The Polyhedron exists in defiance of all conceivable and inconceivable laws. It’s an embodiment of miracle, the grand total of all our history. Utopia itself. If it is destroyed, there will never be another one. Nothing of the kind will ever be created by mankind.
What’s so unique about it?
It is able to capture a miracle... It captures a soul. It captures childhood. To children, it is a world of everlasting happiness. That’s why they set their republic there. Now talk. Did the Bachelor speak about unusual blood?
The destroyers, Artemy and Daniel, seem to think that I was involved in its appearance. I don’t understand what is going on... This is frightening.
If you and Rubin can find out where this blood comes from, we probably won’t have to exile Nina. We don’t need Simon himself – we need creativity. We live for it. The Polyhedron wasn’t made for Simon; Simon existed so that such Polyhedrons could appear in this world.
I want to see your Polyhedron myself.
I’m afraid Nina won’t show you anything interesting. You are no longer a child. You will only see cold walls and empty staircases.
You promised...
Victor will help you. Only he knows how to find the key to his beloved wife’s favour. He was the only man she would listen to.

So the Kains were planning to purge Nina’s soul from the Polyhedron to make space for Simon... Would it still be so special after that? It was good that Klara would get to visit it before that happened.

So Victor was the one who could let her inside the tower. She should have visited him first.

When is this torment going to end?
Victor, I am going inside the Polyhedron. Georg gave his permission...
Yes, I know. But I am afraid you won’t see anything there. Nina is unlikely to receive you with favour.
We’ll see. How do I pass the barrier?
It’s quite simple. Get to the very top. You will see my son. If he is not there – wait for him or tell one of the Dogheads to call him. When he receives you, immediately, without answering any questions, without greetings and apologies, say the words: «Fains I!»
Thank you. «Fains I...»

It was time to see the mysterious, improbable structure up close.

The stairs began at the far end of a small bridge made of stone. (It had to be the very bridge that gave Bridge Square its name) The near end of the bridge the guarded by two symbolic «horns».

From up close, Klara could finally appreciate how complicated the structure was. Stairs were twisting and turning, at different angles, clockwise and counter clockwise, as they rose into the sky. The landings hung in the air unsupported. The structure had to be completely weightless and incredibly firm to withstand wind and gravity without distorting.

Klara couldn’t help but make a groan. She’d had enough stairs for the day.

There were no handrails or anything else preventing a careless visitor from crashing to the Steppe below. Luckily, she wasn’t faint of heart and mounted the steps quickly, reaching the main structure in only a few minutes.

The upper part of the monolith had flat surface you could walk on. In the middle was a big hollow with some sort of radial beams running along the surface from the centre. Ends of the beams ended with big sharp thorns.

It had to be some kind of door... there wasn’t anything else. Klara made a few careful steps toward the centre of the hollow, careful not to get caught on the thorns

, and without any transition she found herself in a spacious room. The air felt so warm and still after the chilly wind at the top of the tower. I front of her, with a couple of dog-headed escorts, stood the youngest Kain (and apparently Aglaea’s nephew) Caspar, or «Khan».

So you're adept at trickery. Where on earth did you come from?
When we're about to be fooled, the situation unties our hands!
Fains I!
This is new! Well, come in, I guess. Do you want to join us? Now that they’ve brought that cannon, the mere sight of which is enough to level five towns like ours? You amaze me.
Yes! I want to become one of you.
Good. It is a direct and honest answer. Then prepare to face the trials.
Wait! I’d like to learn more about the tower first.
This tower? It’s a children’s toy that makes any real adventure pale in comparison. It’s a treasure. It grants you visions. Here one can play even with a most fragile dream indefinitely. Here you can share your dreams with others so they can play with you.
You can always retell your dream if it’s that good.
Retell? Might just as well make a drawing... Pointless! Don’t you know that everything that is precious about a dream, what makes you want to stay asleep forever and not wake up, disappears moments after you open your eyes? A dream cannot be recorded or told about. All magic will be gone.
You say this tower can preserve dreams?
Not just preserve! Bring them back! Follow up on them! Share them with others! And not just characters or worlds, but aerial fragrances themselves. Most wonderful experiences, dearest things in dreams.
Do these blank walls do all this?
Do you see blank walls? I feel sorry for you.
Now let me in.
Go... I would be glad to show you what I see – but you are already grown up.
And what do you see?
Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.

Klara decided to look around the room.

The Polyhedron’s interior didn’t have any doors at all. Just solid walls designed in the same style as the... the hollow she used to enter.

Indeed, she hadn’t entered through a door either. She examined the floor and noticed two large line drawings, or sketches, side by side. She stepped on the closest one

, and the next moment she was standing, breathtaken, in a completely different area.

She located a similar drawing on the floor and stepped on it

to make sure she could go back at any moment, and then repeated the step into the Polyhedron’s inner chamber.

The place was also irregularly shaped, and lit with bright colours. The walls had the texture of paper; wherever she looked, she would see drafts with writings and sketches. Could they also be doors?

There were no floors, just one big chamber with ladders and walkways streaming and interweaving in the middle.

The writings on walls and ledges were in adult handwriting. Or maybe she was only seeing that because she was adult? Klara didn’t know.

Moving towards the bottom of the chamber, she passed a paper eagle, the kind that only wanderers and old men knew how to make. Klara wondered what the children saw in place of the bird.

It turned out that the chamber actually had a bottom. Klara was half expecting her descent to end at the very top of the structure again somehow.

There was another one of the asymmetrical charts that symbolized (or maybe made up) doors in that place. Klara stepped on it and...

Another shockingly quick transition, and she found herself in some sort of small garden. It was night.

Q: ...I don't know whether I want you to have taken some liberty with the translation there or not.
A: Nope this is real.

Q: To me, this just came off as "Hey, look at this cool thing we put in because 98% of the players will be too depressed to play this game twice and won't see it". I may be wrong, of course, it just breaks my inmersion, one of the selling points of the game.
A: It means that Caspar, like Rutger Hauer, experienced something that Klara, like Deckard, would never be able to experience. And I don't think it's a traumatic experience for him, in fact, I'm sure he's loving every minute of it. What kid wouldn't like space battles? Nikolay Dybowski said that Pathologic is set in the 1980-s, so that shows you how much he cares about historical coherence. Also we're talking about dreams. Dreams are allowed to be weird.