Mana P2y1s18

Mana: And so it was written: Pokiehlember 2nd, Year 1, Gnome's Day. The evening, at the Triple Quarantine. It's been expanded, slightly, another thin, ghostly white tent sprawling out of the back of the first. Inside, the shapes of people, stacked like cordwood.
Wilhelmine looks the entrance over. She raises an eyebrow upon seeing the tent's expanded - she's kept her mouth shut about what's happened inside, though. The spread of the disease certainly couldn't have been due to her. Not like the quarantine is good at keeping things out, anyhow: no doubt the guard's still as sloppily-drunk as last time. Hopefully there's just a zipper blocking her
Wilhelmine entrance.
Mana: Yes - and this time, it doesn't stick, coming cleanly apart.
Wilhelmine steps inside to inspect how things have changed. After dealing with Merrick, she's in no mood for nonsense.
Mana: The tents are… full. The patients are kept on sliding racks eight high, barely room to walk between them.
Mana: You almost expect a scent, but there isn't one, not one at all. There's a slight chill in the air.
Mana: In beaked mask, the Doctor Evervigilant approaches, walking sideways to fit down one of the alleyways that labyrinth the quarantine.
Wilhelmine: "Hopefully this isn't my fault. I don't believe I have the disease, but I'm uncertain if I could still be a transmission vector."
Mana: "Or is one sufficiently certain that is a disease, given, possibly-"
Mana: "Experiencing casus-sans-casus, synchronous, diseaseless plague, if you would-"
Mana: "Body of symptoms without the symptoms of symptoms, as such. Hold this?"
Mana: He does not, in fact, hand anything out.
Wilhelmine keeps her hands in her pockets. "Sure."
Mana: "Which… would help if I was holding the thing I wished you to hold so as to have my hands free which-"
Mana: "Which are, ahem, currently free."
Wilhelmine: "Feeling the symptoms of holding something without actually exhibiting said symptoms?"
Mana: "Ah." A sigh. "Symbolism."
Wilhelmine: "Rather blatant."
Wilhelmine: "I'd still take it over the irony that Professor Merrick is soon to experience."
Mana: A masked smile. "Ah. Well, things seem… stable for now, so, yes, do share, if you don't mind."
Mana: "Has it coming, really."
Wilhelmine: "Ahhh, and ruin the surprise? I'll tell you after the collision."
Mana: "Theoreticians. Never get their paws sopped. Machine-work. Pointless, detached, leaving me to field all of this mess."
Mana: "Anything new in your research?"
Wilhelmine: "Some. New to me, but perhaps not to you. Fending off winter the best I can."
Mana: "Much appreciated. Can't have everything freezing over and what not."
Wilhelmine: "Lot of field work. Stirring up hornets' nests wherever I go."
Mana: "Field work is the best work, after all." He pauses to draw out one of the trays on one of the many racks, examine through the smoked lenses of his mask, then slide the person back in place.
Mana: They seem… sort of nondescriptly… stable, at least. "Breathing shallow. Glad you got here after the evening feeding. Takes quite a bit of work."
Wilhelmine: "Any progress with yours? And I mean knowledge, not body-count."
Mana: The doctor adjusts his mask, and leans in.
Mana: "Question: Do you personally know anyone, by name, who has been affected, personally, by this plague?"
Wilhelmine: "No. If I did, I'd probably care more about trying to cure it, hm?"
Mana: "Granted. Hypothesis: What if it's fake?"
Wilhelmine: "The plague? The plague you're curing."
Wilhelmine: "You think it might be fictional. Non-real."
Mana: "Yes." He looks to his left. Then he looks to his right.
Mana: "Yes I do."
Wilhelmine: "A symptom of the winter."
Mana: "A symptom of disaster. Winter being, possibly, the opposite of disaster.
Wilhelmine: "An invasion of the non-real, essentially. Precisely what I've been investigating."
Wilhelmine: "Your hypothesis has merit."
Mana: He stalks away. "Yes. Exactly. It's acting like a sickness without being a sickness precisely because-"
Mana: "We are getting sick patients without patients falling sick!"
Wilhelmine: "It isn't one. It simply isn't."
Wilhelmine: "Does the traditional _ _ _ _ _ _ outside strike you with a similar feeling?"
Mana: "Well, there's nothing unusual about _ _ _ _ _." He turns. "Of course, I remember the students from _ _ trying to _ _ _ _, and we had a _ _ _ _ _ _ _. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _."
Wilhelmine: "Nothing unusual?"
Mana: "On occasion."
Wilhelmine: "To be honest, I didn't perceive half of what either you or myself just said. Just as I don't know the name of anyone with the disease, there are … simply holes after when I said 'traditional' and before I said 'outside.'"
Wilhelmine: "Hypothesis: I may not know their names because they're being filtered somehow?"
Mana: "Holes?"
Wilhelmine: "Nondescript. Empty. Void of concept or meaning."
Wilhelmine: "I suspect something of the Luna nature."
Mana: "Not… silences, you say."
Wilhelmine: "That's another possible descriptor for it."
Mana: "Right. But, being, I would venture, if one were to produce a descriptor for a blank expanse in a conversation where no sensation is transmitted, the word, being, immediately leaping to mind-"
Mana: "Would be one or more of, silence, pause, Interrompsario-"
Mana: He folds a gloved hand around the beak of his mask. "Holes."
Wilhelmine: "How long has the entrance to the afterlife below been around?"
Mana: "Titania would have been constructed upon it, I imagine. Unusual that it lies in a direct axis with our connection to the Lunar Sea."
Mana: "Given, possibly that's how afterlives work. Sample size of one, I imagine."
Wilhelmine: "And what could explain why I experience Inerrompsario, but you do not?"
Mana: "I suspect a fundamental difference in the qualia of our consciousnesses."
Wilhelmine: "There's that."
Wilhelmine: "Evervigilant. It's been a pleasure. I can't say that about many people."
Mana: "Yes. Best of luck. Leaving, then?"
Wilhelmine: "I have a favor from a friend I must collect on."
Wilhelmine: "No doubt he'll think my request or behavior just as erratic as our hypotheses today."
Mana: "Naturally. The curse of the SDU."
Mana: "Peeling back the veil, possibly finding nothing there. A hard burden."
Wilhelmine: "But we relish the peeling, not what's revealed."
Mana: "Yes. So we do. Some of our esteemed emeritus possibly excluded."
Wilhelmine: "Tell them to take their tenure to the academies in Wisp, perhaps?"
Wilhelmine nods and turns. "In any case. Do take care."
Mana: And so it was written.

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