The Let's Play Archive


by woodenchicken

Part 39: Chapter Eleven - pt.3

The day’s investigations were over. She knew what everybody was up to; Burakh and Dankovsky were ready to act, preparing for the final confrontation. Unlike Klara, they were not hindered by self-doubt and would act without hesitation, putting their flawed, limited plans into action, causing loss of life and human knowledge.

It was time to explain to the Inquisitor how she would put an end to the epidemic and avoid any destruction with the help of both men (and a handful of martyrs).

What brings you here, instrument of the Law?
Inquisitor Aglaea Lilich. I have a better solution than what the Haruspex and the Bachelor propose. Now I know it for sure. It all makes sense now. There is a way to save the town! It may seem unbelievable, but it’s true. The disease will remain – it is impossible to stamp out – but it will become benign. We will bring it under control, as we did with smallpox. I will do it with my own hands. I will stay here. We can inoculate them. And people will live.
I don’t understand.
Doctor Rubin conducted a research. He has established beyond doubt that the plague didn’t kill Simon Kain. Simon had certain particles in his blood that rendered the infection harmless. When I heal a person with my hands, their blood becomes the same.
Does that mean you are intending to cure everyone as they become infected? How are you going to handle the multi-thousand population with disease spreading at this speed? And what about the rest of the country? What if we can’t keep the plague within the bounds of the town?
No, no... I can’t do it alone, of course. Besides, this requires a certain kind of blood... But there are people who have such blood, who agreed... to become vaccine for everybody. I will show them to you tomorrow.
Are you saying you can maintain this deadly, unnatural creation and even give it an opportunity to... to develop further, by constantly transforming the blood of these people and slaughtering them as they did with Simon?
...Sounds about right.
Do you really imagine yourself to be a miracle-worker?
I can do it. Nobody else can, which is why nobody has thought of such a plan before. Nobody believes in miracles.
Not another one... And I thought Nina was bad! Going on and on about her miracles, turning the entire town into one big pagan altar... What you want it to become is a blood-soaked conveyor with you at the controls. It won’t happen!
Enough! Enough of these speeches. How can you all be so blind? Another obsessed idiot showing up to lead thousands of victims into the same trap! No... that’s enough! Help me shatter the Polyhedron, or leave this town immediately – otherwise, I shall destroy you.
But why? We can save it! We can keep everything as it is!
It’s the Authorities who want to keep everything as it is – this is why the outbreak happened in the first place. Who do you think you are? You’re not a miracle-worker. You are actually the embodiment of the Sand Plague. Do you understand what I’m saying here? But instead of doing your job as an instrument of the Law, you’ve assumed someone else’s destiny.
Is this why I’m a thief?
This is why you’re a thief. You are guilty of acquiring a destiny that does not belong to you. You should not have gotten into this role. You are ridiculous, like a hangman pretending to be a saviour while stringing people up at the gallows!
Now I’m beginning to understand... But this is wonderful!
I’m giving you an hour to leave the town for good, you creep. It is I who will drive the plague away, thus completing my mission... Away with you! Don’t even try to find a protector for yourself, nobody will help you.
Oh, no... Not this again!

This is the end... Aglaea is telling me to get out of town! Why? Why didn’t she like my plan? That’s because it is coincides with the will of the Authorities... And she calls herself a government Inquisitor? That malicious, vindictive... impostor! Nothing left to do but fall down at the General’s feet and beg him for protection.

So Aglaea was outraged by Rubin’s plan; Klara couldn’t blame her for that. It would cause complications, but the other thing she learned from the conversation was much more important, because the woman confirmed what she had already heard from Ospina. Her thoughts, her actions... it all had belonged to someone else. But it didn’t matter whom – it was her now, and she had a difficult choice to make.

She returned to the Town Hall.

The Inquisitor ordered me to leave the town by the end of the day.
Why on earth...?
I’ve thought of a way to preserve the town intact. All of its three parts – the Town of Beasts, the Town of People and the Town of Children... But she said it would never happen as long as she was alive.
I am not surprised. It would interfere with her plans.
It seems so... She wants to destroy the Polyhedron at any cost.
Yes... Also, the reason Bachelor was rescuing that architect was to find out whether the fragile base of the tower can withstand the shock if the town was to be bombarded...
I know how to avoid its destruction! But I need more time... at least one more day. I must find several Adherents that will volunteer to die. I already know a few that think that they deserve death and have accepted their fate.
How many do you need?
Seven, at least.
Well I can give you seventy-seven!
No... I told you, it will only work with Adherents. Not all people are the same. They... they have a special blood type.
Start looking. I’ll give my soldiers an order to defend you if anybody dares threaten your life. Too bad I have so few loyal men left – and there will be even less after we crush the mutiny. But we will prevail! Come back and tell me about your success.
You don’t want to destroy the town?
No. I don’t. It may cost me my career, but I don’t want to kill and shatter this town.
I was born and raised in a town just like this. I can’t bear the thought of firing cannons at it. But it’s not the main reason... Everything in this town is precious. This place is symbolic. Below it is everything that passes away – now it’s nothing but dead bones, museum pieces. And above it is what will never exist again. A possibility of a future I don’t want to lose.
How do you know all that?
The Haruspex showed me the former, and the Bachelor proved the latter. I feel that the destiny of the entire country is reflected in the fate of this town. And the role I’ll play in one will be the role I’ll play in the other. It is as if the Maker himself is watching me make a choice.

And so, it is time to make my last round. Seven sinners will be enough to save this town.

Klara decided to go outside and get some air. She needed a clear head for what she was about to do. There was nothing left to busy herself with, no excuse to delay the inevitable. It was time to come up with a list of seven Adherents that were going to die. Then she would have to visit them all and see if they would agree. She had to make sure they would do it of their own accord, fully realising what was being asked of them.

It would be the most difficult thing she’d ever have to do in her life.

There were nine people to choose from. Nine Adherents she had sworn to protect. She had done just that over the last 11 days, preserving them from disease, persecution, violence of this most tumultuous time in town’s history. Was it worth it to be saved from Sand Fever or a bullet to the head just to be euthanized in sterile conditions just a few days later? Klara didn’t know, it wasn’t her decision to make. But it was up to her to choose those whom she would approach with this deadly and honourable proposition.

She pulled out the sheet of paper that lised her Adherents and started scribbling.

Mistress of the Land, a prophet who declared us a messenger of Fate and helped us avoid persecution by superstitious mob.
-Wanted to protect the town by making its inhabitants abandon impudent thoughts.
-Kept a cool head and supported us throughout, despite whatever the rest of the town were saying.
-Katherine has no real gift of prevision, and her decisions were guided by the earth through one of its creations.
-We cannot become a Mistress while she is alive. (this may actually be false if she doesnt count as one)

Town’s menacing mayor. Focusing too much on the search for the person responsible for the outbreak, he failed to maintain order and minimize the losses, and was deposed, finally setting his hopes on a miracle when there was nothing more he could do.
-Welcomed us into his family and provided protection. Perhaps mostly for practical reasons, but still.
-Didn’t deny his mistakes and faced trial with clear conscience.
-Seemed pretty cruel and vindictive, petulant and not very bright as a ruler.
-also isn’t it the leader’s responsibility to give his life for his people when there's nothing else left?

A «young» «actress» with a persecution complex, shady past and not a shred of compassion for anyone, be it an orphaned child or a man bleeding out on her porch.
-Is very pretty
-Has donated all medicine in her possession... (when left with no other choice)
-She worked for the kidnapping karnies, she destroyed, and assumed the identity of, the previous owner of her house... who knows what else she is capable of.
-She admitted to everything herself. Why did it sound so unconvincing?

Ospina considers herself a monster and earth’s weapon against those who disrespect it. But it turned out that there wasn’t a need for her, so she devoted her time to making sure Order was in the right hands- Artemy’s hands that is.
-possibly not human, so probably useless for the ritual?
-Incited riots among the Abattoir workers to set up the Olgimskys, and everything ended really ugly. And pointless, since it only harmed the Order in the end.

Daughter of a military officer that got involved is nome nasty business and was executed.
-Tried to open and maintain a refuge; let people stay at her home to sit out the epidemic.
-Saved Burakh when a warrant for his arrest was issued.
-Failed to protect that many people despite all her efforts.

This pessimistic woman and shrewd thinker was, according to Burakh, an inventor of Humility as a philosophy.
Not sure how it makes her evil, then again it was said by a man with an axe to grind.
-donated some clothes for the refugees? It didn’t seem like she has a lot of contact with the world outside her house.
-was a very close friend of Eva’s... maybe a little too close?

Formerly a soldier, currently a medic, always a thorn in the side.
When not busy stealing cadavers, hiding from the law or insulting powerful clans, he tries to develop a way to fight Sand Fever on a global scale.
-He is a doctor – he treats a bunch of people and is even prepared to lose his life for them.
-Came up with this whole plan.
-Came up with this whole plan...

A crook with friends in high places and an army of merry men at his disposal. Ruthless, manipulative, clever...
The world would be better place without him basically.
-Did NOT throw bodies of Sand Plague victims into the water supply, at least.
-follows a certain criminal’s code of honour, I guess?
-these are the only things about him that are not horrible.

A corrupt and murderous haruspex who scammed his way into power.
-at least seems to regret his mistakes and wants to make sure the Order in the hands of a worthy man
-possesses an immortal soul
-Cocked up the ritual of cutting of Bos Primigenius, ruining the chance to provide enough vaccine for everybody.
-according to Olgimsky, is actually more ox than man 1/4 ox

Done. Now it was time to choose two people who would live to see the town return to life, and seven who would sacrifice themselves to make it happen.