The morning of the seventh day has come.
Infected in the past 24 hours: 181 people
Died in the past 24 hours: 350 people
Gone missing: 16 people
Number of dead at the moment: 2450 people
Number of infected: 450 people
Even together with the Inquisitor you will not be able to defeat this enemy. Less than six days remain.
Look at those numbers—the death toll has quadrupled from yesterday. It's not exactly an auspicious moment for the government Inquisitor to come calling.
|The executors, bowing to the Inquisitor. Not pictured: the town wetting its collective pants.|
I too am uneasy about the summons that arrives for me. While I know that I have done nothing that warrants execution—a punishment that the Inquisitor freely doles out—I also know that I have enemies in town who would love to put me squarely in her crosshairs. After all, I have been doing things—exacting vigilante justice on looters, consorting with weirdos like Ospina and the Worms, cutting open corpses on the street for their organs—that would look pretty bad when presented in a certain light. Unless I want to take a one-way trip to the gallows, I have to track her down and explain myself before she starts hearing tales. Thus begins a not-so-merry chase around town that takes up the greater part of the day.
The Inquisitor has set up shop in the Cathedral on the town's west side, but she's gone by the time I arrive for our meeting. A cackling executor tells me that she has thrown wide the doors of the Apiary and is there right now, taking note of the horrifying conditions under which Fat Vlad's prisoners have been living. Worried that my association with Vlad in the early days of the epidemic (was that really only a few days ago? it seems like ages) will come back to bite me, I hoof it over there as fast as I can, cursing every delay as plague zones sprawl across my path.
I thought the first section of the Apiary was disturbing, but I'm taken aback by what I find in the main part of the building. The only living Worms I'd seen up to this point were hanging out in the marshes, but there are tons of them in here, quite literally running around. Their frantic dashing back and forth, along with the unhinged, echoing shrieks that occasionally reverberate throughout the building, set me on edge even before I have a chance to explore. When I do, I find that the Apiary is laid out like a maximum-security prison, with multiple levels of cell-like rooms that extend up to the ceiling and are accessible primarily via catwalks. Unlike the rooms in the first section, these cells are not boarded up, probably because they are not occupied by stricken Worms gasping their last breaths into the dusty wooden floor. That does not mean, however, that the rooms are empty:
I also stumble across a larger back room that looks like it was being used for dissection and experiments. Was Stakh Rubin here?
Unfortunately, I've missed the Inquisitor, who has already moved on to the Town Hall to release some unjustly incarcerated citizens. I do however run into the Mother Keeper again, who has parked her adorable five-year-old self in some sort of temple room on the Apiary's third floor. She has resumed her duties as a spiritual leader in the Cult of Bulls, and as further thanks for my help yesterday with the pills, she tells me that I now have permission to enter the Abattoir. I thank her, but it's a privilege that I won't be able to exercise until I catch up with the Inquisitor. I make my way through the throngs of Worms and butchers and step outside into the free air.
|Just a reminder: this shrine is presided over by a kindergartner.|
Our conversation is a little cold at first as we feel each other out; but my knowledge of the Inquisitor's tenuous position has emboldened me, and she seems impressed with my refusal to apologize for my actions. In any case, we both want the same thing (if for different reasons), so there's no sense in her stringing up a potential ally. The Inquisitor is an interesting lady, if a bit abstract in her manner of speaking. She talks a lot about duty and politics and life, which makes for a fascinating if hard-to-follow talk. She seems interested in the town beyond its relevance to her job and is quite knowledgeable about its bull-related nature religion. So knowledgeable, in fact, that she has made a discovery that's eluded the Bachelor and me. The human-bull hybrid (called an "auroch") that we thought a fantasy exists, it's alive, and its blood can be found somewhere in the Abattoir. She sends me to meet with the Elder of the Abattoir, newly returned, to see if I can wrangle some blood out of him.
I've been dying to see the interior of the Abattoir ever since Day 1, so I get over there as fast as I can. To be honest, I was hoping for something a bit more mind-blowing after all the build-up. The part of the Abattoir that I'm able to explore is basically just a gigantic cavern, populated by a mix of butchers and Worms (the latter of which are becoming creepier and creepier by the hour). The town's paltry remaining cattle are penned up inside, their lowing echoing off the dank stone walls. There is one feature of the place that intrigues me, though, and that's a large chamber that looks as if it's used for sacrifices. In the middle of the floor is a seemingly bottomless pit. I wonder what goes into it—or what comes out.
|Part of the Abattoir, as viewed from a high platform. It's hard to tell from this shot, but there's a |
pit on the right side. I have no idea where it leads.
|Yes, your neck tendons are very impressive. You can stop flexing now.|
I have a twyre recipe that I have used only once, to make another disgusting dead porridge and beat back my infection. It involved a few rare herbs, but it also reduced my infection to almost nil. If any recipe should be used with the rare auroch blood, it's that one. I brew it up, add the blood, and press "mix," holding my breath.
A brightly colored flask labeled "panacea" appears in my inventory. I carry it to the Inquisitor, hoping against hope. Evenly, she tells me that, yes, this is indeed the panacea we've been striving for all this time. I've done it. I've found the cure!
... Now what?
1 In Duke's playthrough, as you've read, the Bachelor is on much better terms with the Inquisitor than he is here. Why the difference? I can only speculate that Duke's heroic efforts on Day Five—particularly his costly liberation of the wrongly imprisoned citizens in the Town Hall—actually had a positive effect after all.