Part 32: Episode 6-1: An Urgent Meeting
Episode 6-1: An Urgent Meeting
This is actually Deputy Secretary George Marshall, who had brain aneurysms back in chapter 3.
Marshall: Secretary Mendez?
Mendez: It's unlike any plague mankind has ever known.
Except GUILT. It's almost exactly the same as that one.
Mendez: First off, Stigma is a virulent disease created by man. Reports indicate that a contagious strain exists, which means it's a significant threat. In addition to that, there's an underground organization attempting to exploit the situation, so we must face the possibility that Stigma is being circulated as a biological weapon. But in order to investigate, we need the cooperation of Homeland Security.
Marshall: No need to worry about that. I've already notified the appropriate individuals.
Mendez: Thank you. I appreciate it. However, I'm afraid we don't have much time to waste. There've been reports from around the world describing symptoms that suggest the presence of Stigma. There's even been a major outbreak in one country.
Marshall: You're talking about Culuruma, correct?
Mendez: Yes. We've had one patient flown in for examination. We'll handle the treatment and subsequent analysis here in the US. Caduceus will be seeing to it. In case you weren't aware, Mr. Deputy Secretary, Caduceus is our countries finest-
Marshall: There's no need to explain. I'm familiar with the organization.
Irene: You must have been so scared.
Elena: You have no idea. But we survived, with each other's help.
Everett: I'm sorry you had to go through that. We must take stringent measures to improve our security immediately!
Tsuji: With no work since your disappearance, we had begun to fear the worst. How are you feeling? Were you harmed?
Valerie: It was difficult, but we were determined to get through it. Now that I've met the enemy face-to-face, my resolve to continue this mission is even stronger.
Irene: I wouldn't have objected if you'd decided to resign, but I'm glad to here that. We can't win the war against Stigma without you three.
Markus: …Something caught my attention while we were being held captive. I think Professor Wilkins may be a member of the Kidman family.
Valerie: The Professor!? What do you mean, Markus?
Apparently, Valerie just isn't very observant.
Markus: Well, you know the guy they referred to as "The Director"? His face was hidden, but he definitely was the same height and had the same build as the professor. He also appeared to be the center of their research on Stigma.
Also, they have the same voice, and how many people do you think have purple hair? Actually, given the other two, maybe I shouldn't push that one.
Markus: If he is Professor Wilkins, then this would all make sense.
Valerie: I have to disagree. The way he moved and spoke… I just don't think he could be Professor Wilkins.
Markus: I'm not positive, but it seems very likely. I just can't figure out how he got mixed up with them.
You probably won't guess the resolution to this one beforehand, because it's completely ridiculous.
Irene: Regardless, I'll notify the FBI. Now, I understand that you're concerned, but I need you to continue the mission.
Cromwell: We don't know hoe infectious the disease is, so use the quarantine transfer unit. According to preliminary examination, we're dealing with a new type of Stigma, so we'll be relying heavily on your abilities. I know it's a lot to ask, since you just returned, but I hope you're up to the challenge.
Markus: Well, at least we're not out of practice.
Cromwell: I'd like to say you'll have the best working with you, but unfortunately, we've lost a key staff member. We'll still do all we can, though.
Markus: Did something happen.
Cromwell: Cynthia left. She quit while you were away.
Valerie: Why would she do that? She seemed so dedicated to her work!
Cromwell: …Do you have any idea why she quit, Isabella?
Isabella: As a representative of Humani, I'm not at liberty to say, but I'll tell you as a friend. She seems to have gone through a lot with the higher-ups concerning Stigma. They blamed her for developing products that increased patients' susceptibility to it. But no one could have anticipated that side effect.
Markus: It's a shame to lose someone like her, but we can't dwell on it. Let's prepare the operation, Val.
Valerie: That's too bad… I had hoped to work with Cynthia more until we eradicated Stigma together.
Yep, a new one already.
Tsuji: Just so you're aware, I'll be present throughout the operation. I realize it may be difficult to perform such a procedure after your recent ordeal.
Valerie: Don't worry, Kanae. We can handle it.
Tsuji: I'm glad to hear that. I can't tell you how glad I was to hear you were all safe.
Markus: I hear this is a new strain of Stigma.
Tsuji: Yes, but the preliminary tests didn't tell us much. We did learn a few things, though. First, it has multiple arms, which are causing the damage.
Tsuji: Second, we can prevent further damage by removing the grapplers from the ends of the arms.
It's an octopus or something?
Tsuji: It's affixed to the affected area, so we can't pull it off by force.
Valerie: In that case, I think we should try to restrict its movement and then excise it.
Cromwell: That's where this baby comes in. It's a result of our research, and it will allow us to turn Stigma's own characteristics against it. You see, we were able to extract a Culurium-based fluid which will-
Tsuji: Basically, it can stop the pathogen's movement for a short period of time. Would you mind giving it a try?
Note: This one never moves under any circumstances so I have no idea what they're talking about. Anyway, the job of defeating Stigma has fallen again into the hands of…
Stigma Strain 5: Brachion
This one means "lungs." It's completely different from any virus we've fought up until now. Its only attack is injecting toxins into the patient via its arms. Brachion operations are hectic, but usually don't throw anything surprising at you. As long as you pay attention, you can get through them.
In this shot, I've actually already found it and put it to use. By pinching a segment on each arm, you'll stop the toxin. Of course, it's not as simple as that; when the toxin reaches that segment, it'll unpinch and a new batch of toxin is released in that arm. You can also only pinch one segment at a time, so make it the one furthest from the core. Your goal is to carefully manage all of Brachion's arms, while injecting the serum into each grappler.
Once sedated, you can slice and remove the grapplers. I experimented a little in this operation, and I found that I prefer to fully remove the grappler before moving to the next one. The reason for this is that I tended to pick up and drop the grappler by mistake when I was trying to pinch a segment of the arm.
Oh, and just because the grappler is gone doesn't mean you get to ignore the toxin. Even on arms with no grappler, if the toxin reaches the end, the patient takes damage, and ALL of the grapplers you've removed will regrow.
This is the result of removing all three. Cromwell magically divines that the core withdraws its arms to regenerate, and that this regeneration causes a great deal of stress. In other words, you need to repeat the process until it dies. In this case, you'll need to do it a total of four times.
Each round has a new configuration for the arms, with the last two having four instead of three.
Once the core fizzles out, you can finish.
I missed the chain when I missed my No Miss because of my Miss.
I still did okay in the end.
Valerie: It was a tricky one, but somehow we managed.
Irene: I don't mean to press my luck, but I actually have another favor to ask of you. This will be an extremely difficult task.
Markus: So, it's no different from usual.
Elena: Don't worry. We're used to it by now.
Irene: We received a request for help from the country of Culuruma, where an outbreak has occurred. They desperately need doctors who know how to treat Stigma. The government would like to provide assistance. That is, of course, if there are any doctors willing to volunteer.
Valerie: And you want us to go?
Irene: If we can get some of our personnel into Culuruma, where that metal originates, then I believe we can advance our research on Stigma. But to do so, I need to put three of our finest staff members in danger. Not just of infection, but also of insurrection.
Markus: Culuruma is a hotbed of guerilla activity. It's a time bomb waiting to go off. What do you think, Val?
Valerie: Well, ultimately, what's our purpose? Is it worth risking our lives over?
Markus: If we're trying to convince ourselves, we could say its to protect the world from Stigma.
Valerie: Well, Elena? How do you feel about going south of the equator?
Elena: …Well, it's better than going someplace cold.
Good to know that minor issues of comfort outweigh the risk of being blown up.
Valerie: Then, its settled. We accept, Madame Director!
Next time: Culuruma! The doctors must defeat a mysterious and illogical jungle sickness.