Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pathologic: Day Five, on which the Bachelor is to regret that the existing prefer the living rather than the dead.

At 7am:

The morning of the fifth day has come. 
Infected in the past 24 hours: 105 ppl. 
Died in the past 24 hours: 74 ppl. 
Gone missing: 30 ppl. 
Number of dead at the moment: 370 
Number of infected: 107 ppl. 

You will not be able to defeat this enemy. Less than eight days remain.

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Pathologic.

Day 5 Map
Today's Map
Day five brings a new low. The plague breaks out in the heart of the Town--just outside the Theatre-turned-morgue--which makes travel a nuisance. On top of this, the infection has intensified: as soon as I enter the area I'm swarmed with rats, and the ragged plague victims lurch around in groups, rather than alone. I can't even walk straight: as soon as I settle on a course, a thick plague cloud will materialize, forcing me to either divert or breathe in lungfuls of disease.

The political climate has also deteriorated. Alexander Saburov, drunk on the authority I've given him, has told me the townsfolk have lost confidence in my leadership. They've called Inquisitor Karminskiy from the city to address the surge in crime: rippers, bandits and rapists have begun to wander the streets in broad daylight. Saburov informs me that, very soon, I will be officially replaced.

Day 5 Factory
Broad Daylight is putting it a bit strong, I guess.
Fire Starters / Innocent People

I get a note from Anna Angel across town at the start of the day. She tells me she has a get-rich-quick scheme: we're going to blackmail Var, the Hunchback, and fleece him for all he's worth. I'm promised a cut of the money and sent across town to collect. Easy as pie, right? Of course, this is Pathologic we're talking about.

On my way over, I get wind from Kain and Olgimskiy that the Saburov, who's gotten fairly high and mighty, has performed a mass arrest under my nose. Sure, he's taken a multitude of criminals off the street, but there are a few holed up in the Town Hall who are obviously innocent. The Executors, guarding the cells, demand a ridiculous sum: 60,000, which is all but beyond my means. George Kain and Young Vlad give me a fair bit, though it's not enough. What's more: Saburov, all too happy to have caught so many criminals, won't listen to any of my pleas for mercy.

I don't have time for this. I decide to pocket the money and go blackmail the hunchback.

When I reach the hunchback, I find him tied in knots for his stripper daughter who has run away from home. He's crushed to find out about the blackmail; of course, from watching Kevin play, I realize this fellow's loaded. Fifty thousand won't hurt him much. The poor soul gives me an advance, and says he'll pay the rest when I find his daughter. The blackmail is enough shame to drive him out of town, apparently, and he wants to leave with family.

I track down the girl dancing at a local tavern and arrange to meet in the now-quiet Tanners District at 9pm.

The vaccine Rubin developed for me yesterday (Unmentioned in the previous post) is not good enough. I find him camped out in his super-secret laboratory, and he tells me that in order to develop an improved serum, we need fresh infected tissue. We need Artemiy Burakh, the Haruspicus.

Day 5 Rubin
My cohort Rubin, in his super-awesome lab.
This is problematic, of course, because Burakh has been captured by Alexander Saburov, and is being held in a factory down south. I glean this much from Saburov's ailing wife (who actually predicted my death on the first day) and seek out the holding cell where they're keeping the Haruspicus. It's guarded, and I have no desire to kill town officials. So I hire out some goons from Gryph and set Artemiy free.

Day 5 Haruspicus
"At the end of this, we may be on opposing sides"
The Haruspicus says he'd love to help, that he'll be in the Tanners District at 9pm with a freshly-cut heart, and that I should get there a bit early.

I can already see where this thing is headed. I show up at the appointed spot and poke around for a bit, when I see the ground littered with corpses. There before me is the body of a guard, an infected, and beside them both the scantily-clad body of a young dancer. Her heart has been left exposed; with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, I rush it to Rubin's laboratory. After some cryptic comments about blood, he promises me a serum in the morning.

I'd like to end my day on some kind of victory. My purse is brimming with about 50,000--just ten grand short of the ransom for the prisoners. I head to a pharmacy, sell off as much as I can--medicine, food, anything--and head to the Town Council. I pay the greedy Executor his due, and he lets the prisoners free. As they slouch out, I open up my quest diary to see the mission completed--though the note doesn't read with a hint of optimism. "The prisoners are free, but I am afraid there is a great probability of their going out onto the streets after such an injustice," it reads.

Really? Is that supposed to cheer me up?

I emptied all my funds to free these six men, and I'm told they're probably going to go off and become marauders? Thanks again, Pathologic, for the vote of confidence.

My mind begins to race. Maybe, just maybe, there's a chance the Haruspicus didn't kill the Hunchback's daughter--that the girl was some other stripper nobody knows, who just happened to be at the appointed meeting place when the Haruspicus needed an infected corpse. To be certain, I run back to the Tanners District and comb the yard, searching for some sign of the real daughter. No luck.

I don't have enough money to buy alpha tablets to stave off infection. The disease is devouring my entrails, I'm getting hungry, and I'm about to collapse from exhaustion. Perhaps the Hunchback will have some sort of compensation for information about his daughter's death. I lurch over to the other side of town to deliver the grim news--to tell him it was a murderer who killed his daughter, after infection had taken her.

This sends him into a rage. He begins to rant about putting together a "brotherhood of fanatics" to take down the Olgimskiys, who were *obviously* behind it. I leave him enraged, plotting revenge in his attic, no richer than when I came.

I have just one more out. Perhaps Anna Angel, who started all of this nonsense with the Hunchback, will have something to say. I tramp back to the Western side of town, carefully avoiding the infected district, to inquire. She greets me with a laugh: What? The Hunchback is forming a band to take down Fat Vlad and his spoiled son? According to her, this was all part of her plan, and she used me from the beginning.

Before I drop off to sleep, I resolve to comfort myself by checking into the Hospital and Morgue. When I come to the church I find it locked, with seven hundred starving plague-ridden victims clawing to get out. The guards commend me for my wisdom, but speak in hushed tones that I really ought to find some way of getting them food. Stricken, I delve into the infected district to inspect the Theatre, where I was greeted with this cheery sight: Day 5 Morgue

Oh, and this too:

Day 5 Morgue 2

Utterly defeated, I check into Lara Ravel's "House of the Living", stomach growling, and ask for some medicine and food. She doesn't have any. So, with a long sigh, I go to the nearest bed and sleep until morning, worried about what tomorrow will bring.

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