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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Ravnica: City of Guilds - Chapter 11

Time is ticking by, but as expected, Agrus Kos survived the blast.

Ravnica: City of Guilds - Chapter 11

An act of intentional homicide against any wojek officer is a capital violation.
-City Ordinances of Ravnica


Within the care and safety of a wojek hospital, Agrus Kos wakes up groggy but alive. The angel, Feather, is the first sight he sees, ready to welcome him back. The more image and politics minded Captain Phaskin shows up with less welcoming words. But before he can get two accusatory sentences in, Nurse Yaraghiya interrupts.

Technically a member of the Simic, she was still the wojek nurse and he was her patient, and the patient and patient care comes first. Anticipating what she's about to say, he cuts her off and tries to tell her that she can't keep him bedridden. She ignores him and goes through a run down of his injuries.

"You have suffered a variety of injuries, including but not limited to extensive skeletal stress fractures, separated and cracked ribs, and severe, but temporary - thanks to swift attention - damage to your optic nerves and corneas. You're being treated for biomanalogical blood infection, severe burns, and, oh yes, and old-fashioned concussion," the vedalken said. "Per my oath, I must also inform you that your body suffers from an alarming number of chronic conditions, the most sever of which-"

He tells her to skip this last part, because he already knows. She does so, but then tells him she's scheduled a meeting for him with an alcohol and teardrop abuse specialist.

With that formality out of the way, Phaskin is free to both question him and provide him with information. In essence, he luckily survived, the goblin and Saint Bayul, and Borca were killed, and the ledev guardian spotted on the scene is missing, and is now suspected to have played a part. Sadly, Luda is also dead. The labmage Helligan is having trouble performing a necrotopsy on the dead loxodon, and they've called in a Simic specialist to assist who should be arriving in a few days, all the while Selesnyan protesters are demanding the immediate return of his body.

He failed. Everyone was dead, except for the ledev who he couldn't imagine could have been part of it no matter was Phaskin said.

But he could still solve this case... if the nurse would sign off he was fit for duty, which she was not about to do. Because of his teardrop abuse, she can not in good conscience administer even one more. Their effectiveness has already diminished on him, and even one more could possibly send him into cardiac arrest. (I bet that comes up again.) No, he was to remain in bed for two days under the healing aura provided by the hospital room for two days. If he continued to protest, it would be a week.

Kos decides to give up on the nurse, and as soon as she leaves, he turns to Phaskin and tries to evoke the vengeance statue due to the death of Borca. Then Phaskin has more to reveal. Not only does he agree with the nurse's assessment, and not only has the case already been handed off to Stanslov, but it's been three days since the attack. He's been in a coma. He's already missed his official promotion ceremony, and will now have to wait until after the Convocation to attend.

Then one more thing. The name of the missing ledev was Fonn.

"No last name, huh? So she was a- Wait. I know that name," Kos said. "Why do I know that name?"

"Fonn was- is, assuming she's still alive somewhere - Myczil Zunich's daughter," Phaskin said.

* * *

Technical Jargon

There was quite a lot of technical medical and/or legal speak in this chapter, and it was great. How was this dialogue any different from the disappointment in the Golgari chapters? They both evoke the real world.

The whole chapter had a very CSI feel to it, yet it felt like it was a part of this world. This is very much due to the nature of the environment. Our main character is a police officer, and he's being debriefed by a nurse and a ranking officer. There is only so far that you can alter technical speak before it no longer sounds technical. It's meant to be precise.

On the other hand, there were all kinds of ways to change the natural dialogue of Svogthir and Savra that didn't have to mirror cheesy cliches. Would the Golgari even have a saying about filling someone's sandals? Half the Golgari are teratogens and they don't wear footwear of any kind. Maybe it demonstrates the divided nature of the guild, but are sandals even the prominent form of footwear worn on Ravnica? I doubt it. We know at least the wojeks, and likely all the Boros wear boots. Even if all Devkarin wear sandals, and even though the Guilds have their own identities, it feels like a common saying should be applicable to Ravnican society as a whole, unless it needed to reflect the core tenants of the Guild. In the end, it was similar reasons as this, that made Savra's and Svogthir's dialogue feel cheap, while the technical talk felt natural.

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