Part 11: Episode 2-4: StigmaEpisode 2-4: Stigma
Wilkins: I led you all to believe that I was suffering from a chronic heart disease. But now that my preparations are complete, I will reveal the true nature of my illness.
Valerie: Dr. Rousseau is on the team, too?
Markus: Yeah, but he won't be operating.
See? Even Markus loves having him around.
Wilkins: What I'm asking you to do is treat an unknown illness. I'm asking you to face the unknown.
Rousseau: An unknown disease!?
Wilkins: By certain means, I received a mouse with an unprecedented illness. It was a pathogen born as a result of gene-related medical research. I isolated it, analyzed it, and became deeply interested in it, despite my initial fears. It was such a unique disease.
Markus: Curiosity -- Man's greatest weakness.
Elena: Dr. Vaughn?
Markus: Nothing. Never mind.
Curiosity probably gave you that magic green goop, amongst other things.
Wilkins: As a member of the medical community, I immediately recognized the importance of this discovery, and began researching the disease. But before I could complete the research, I myself became infected. It's communicability between animals and humans was quite a surprise.
Rousseau: It's a tragedy for us all, Professor. It breaks my heart to learn of your infection.
Valerie: What was the means of transmission?
Wilkins: It's too late to ascertain now. It must have occurred while I was researching it. I might have accidentally pricked myself with a needle. My hands aren't as steady as they once were. I don't believe it is highly communicable, but we should still be careful. One thing is for certain: it's not an airborne disease.
Rousseau: What about your condition? You seem rather stable right now, Professor.
Wilkins: I do have some data which I collected during my experiments. It's dormant at the moment, but it becomes active when the carrier experiences stress. It's invasiveness is quite strong. It's at least as serious, if not worse, than an acute virus or parasitic invasion.
Elena: So, this operation must be performed right away.
Valerie: That's why you selected us.
Wilkins: Yes, it is a new disease, so as you may expect, no medication or vaccine is available yet. Extraction is the only viable option.
Rousseau: Dr. Vaughn, this is a serious responsibility.
Wilkins: Indeed. This disease manifests itself in mysterious ways. I've tentatively named it "Stigma." We'll refer to it by this name for now, but please keep this information confidential. I will also grant you access to my research data, but you are only permitted to read through it.
And so ends exposition theatre.
Markus: That's not its nature. The Professor's hiding something.
There's a knocking sound here as the Professor enters.
Wilkins: Forgoing your meditation today? Don't allow this disease to trouble you. Just accept that it's beyond your comprehension.
Markus: Should someone in your condition be up at this hour?
Wilkins: I have one more favor to ask you.
Markus: I'll save your life. What more do you want?
Wilkins: If for some reason the operation is a failure, I want you to destroy all my research concerning Stigma. This is my research and mine alone, whether or not this operation is successful. You should have no objections. After all, wasn't it your wish three years ago that all this disappear?
Wilkins: Well then, I bid you good luck.
Stigma: dictionary.com defines the word as "a mark of disgrace or infamy; a stain or reproach, as on one's reputation." This extends to medical terms, where stigmata refers to a mark that is characteristic of a disease.
Elena: I've taken a look at the data, but I don't know what to say.
Valerie: That makes two of us.
Elena: The pathogen's mobility is simply unbelievable. Who knows what damage it's capable of? Based on the data, it's unlikely that medication will be effective, so our only option is to…
Markus: Burn it with the laser. It's the only way.
Valerie: Has there been any change in the Professor's condition?
Elena: He's still stable. He should have enough strength to endure the operation.
Rousseau: If the Professor's research is accurate, then this data will make medical history. Mistakes cannot be made. I presume you understand that.
Markus: Relax, we've got it under control.
Well, since Markus has something to do with this, I guess…
It's his responsibility!
Elena: Based on what we know, we expect the Stigma will become active as soon as we open up the Professor.
As with many types of GUILT in Second Opinion, the first step for this operation is to deal with a few of the basic wounds this type of virus produces. Ensure you have good vitals before suturing the last one.
As soon as you finish, Stigma will appear.
Stigma strain 1: Cheir (Pronounced "care")
The name is Greek for "hand." This strain is very similar to the first supervirus from SO, Kyriaki. Unlike Kyriaki, Cheir is more resistant to attacks, so it doesn't bother hiding. It has several forms of attack, but not all of them are present this time.
As advertised, Cheir is mainly damaged with the laser. It takes several seconds of sustained fire to do one "point" of damage, and the average Cheir has three. It's rather evasive, and tends to try and move outside the screen when under fire. If that happens, it's best to let it move back to the center before continuing. This one can be eliminated before it gets a chance to do anything as long as you keep on the pressure.
Of course, you don't get off that easily, as two more will appear right after this.
If you have a second player, you can just split the responsibility and keep both of them occupied. Otherwise, you will likely have to suture at least one wound. Once the second wave is gone, there's still one more wave. Don't both attacking these ones, though. They have other plans.
The last wave of any Cheir operation will feature two that fuse into one "boss" Cheir. It behaves the same as an ordinary one, but has more hit points, takes longer to damage, and does way more damage.
You can see how. Still, a single fused Cheir isn't too hard. The same tactics apply, and once you eliminate it, you've won.
These bonuses are pretty easy to get. Mainly, I should have raised vitals, but I wasn't sure at the end of the operation how much time I had left.
I think the vitals would have gotten an S at the very least, here. Probably XS. This is actually a fairly easy operation to get it in.
Valerie: Still, that was a daunting procedure.
Elena: I can't believe that such a disease exists, and that we were able to treat it.
Markus: I hope this is the last we see of it, though.
Rousseau: I must say, this "Stigma" certainly is an intriguing disease. Doctors around the world will be astonished.
Next time: A new twist, and the end of chapter 2. Also, the introduction of the most irritating operation type in the game!