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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dissension - Chapter 15

Time for some stealth action from Agrus Kos. What will the secrets of Novijen reveal?

Dissension - Chapter 15

Three cheers for the Simic Progenitor. Momir Vig has only been in place as guildmaster for a few weeks, and already more than a dozen new clinics with free medical treatment have sprung up where they're needed most. We say those who object to signing a simple waiver in exchange for good health are rude, ungrateful, and untrusting. Three cheers for Momir Vig.
-"Three Cheers," Ravnican Guildpact-Journal
(11 Tevnember, 9211 Z.C.)

31 CIZARM 10012 Z.C.

Agrus Kos realizes why the whole place smells like and infirmary. He's a virus. Or actually, a virusoid. Something the body keeps on correcting every time Kos thinks the wrong word. He's in the virusoid's body now so it's the virusoid's thoughts that he hears. Thankfully as Kos' anchor, Obez is still able to communicate with him as well.

Obez explains that this body is perfect. Besides being the right frequency for possession, it's strong, resilent, and likely to be ignored. Kos just needs to take this new body of his, walk into the lab, and do his thing. The virusoid knows the way.


They all look at Augustin like he's crazy. The city is under attack by the nephilim and Szadek is out to destroy the Guildpact and yet all he wants to do is call the Senate to order! He says this is an emergency and there are decisions to be made. Saint Kel is the first to leave this madness behind. Vitu-Ghazi needs him.

Feather and Teysa try to convince him there are more important matters at hand, but he refuses to budge. It's clear that the grand arbiter is going to be of no use so Feather decides to go into the Parhelion... to retrieve Razia's body... ? And Teysa decides doing that will be better than doing the nothing that the grand arbiter is going to do so she tags along.

(That's going to save the city and/or the Guildpact how?)

As the enter the castle, there's another rumble and a portion of Prahv comes crashing down and seals them in.


Novijen isn't just a greenhouse, the whole building itself is alive. Kos hears some squishy footsteps approaching, but considering the nature of the spongy floor itself there is no telling what is approaching. It turns out it's another virusoid. He'd never seen one of Dr. Nebun's creations and this was a time to see what he currently looks like.

If his own borrowed guard looked anything like this fellow, he had only the merest suggestion of face - a mouth like a wide slit, no nose, bright patches of shinier green where the eyes should have been. No, they were true eyes, Kos realized, or I wouldn't be able to see the other virusoid. Just simple ones.

Kos isn't sure what to do. What's the proper protocol? So he goes with his instincts and nods.

Uh oh... maybe that was exactly the wrong thing to do. The virusoid pauses, turns around and follows Kos. Obez scolds him about acting like a wojek and not doing a better job of blending in. If the virusoid is on to him or if the whole thing is just a coincidence, Kos never finds out. Obez keeps him calm until the trailing virusoid veers off down a different corridor.

He gets scolded that next time he better stop acting like a wojek. Don't react unless addressed and especially don't speak. Virusoids can physically do it, but it's not something they ever actually do.

Now back on the trail to the lab. Working with simple minded virusoid was easy. Kos just inserts the command to find the progenitor and the virusoid obeys. Kos finds that there really are only a few simple commands within its mind such as "stop intruders" and "prepare for the next step." What the next step is he can't seem to find out.

On the way to Momir Vig, Kos passes chamber after chamber of various Ravnicans with all kinds of cytoplasmic augmentations. There are some goblins with helmets on, a woman with spider-like legs made entirely of cytoplasm, and more. Kos assumes he's close when he passes a door guarded by a pair of virusoids and climbs the spiral staircase with mushrooms for steps and a glowing fungi lighting the way. He's a little concerned that no one else is going the same way.

...Above Ravnica...

Pivlic is sure the nephilim aren't just attacking randomly. After they made their way through the city gates they split up but they were are all still heading straight for the city's center. That can't be a coincidence.

Obez chimes in with his own thoughts about the creatures. For creatures creating such random destruction, they have yet to attack each other as if they're working together. They might possibly even be communicating with each other with some kind of goal.

The two watch as a trio of skyjeks fly past and in a coordinated attack against the yore-tiller . The bam stick shots appear to at least sting the creature as it reacts by turning towards them and expeling a liquid that seems to catch fire as comes with the air. Obez is quite awed.

Over at Centerfort the two can see the glint-eye pounding away at the building. Pivlic wonders aloud how stopping Szadek will solve this problem and Obez isn't sure it can. But as long as the Guildpact they'll at least have a chance to find away. Their mission is the essential one.

While they continue to muse about everything that's going on, a shadow falls over them and they have the presence of mind to take evasive action. They manage to dodge a piece of flesh from the ink-treader but it falls close enough that it creates enough turbulence to knock them out of their seat. Pivlic holds tight to the reigns while Obez has a iron grip on the imp's wings.

What else can go wrong? Rakdos erupts from the ground below.


At the top of the staircase the path branches out and Kos tries to ask Obez for advice but there's no response. He doesn't know what else to do so just continue to rely on the virusoid's instincts. It works. Kos enters the lab of Momir Vig . It's actually more like a combination of lab and classroom. The Simic progenitor has a harness that suspends him above a table on the far end of the room to give him a comfortable angle to dissect the virusoid below him, but he not the only one in the room. There are all manner of work stations with students performing their own experiments. Thankfully there are plenty of virusoids in the room as well, either being experimented on assisting with the experiments.

There was no sign of Szadek so Kos decides to approach his secondary target, the suspended Momir Vig. It seems like this is going to work until a young lady grabs his hand and asks for his assistance.

"Virusoid, you will hold this bowl over this open flame until it begins to boil. Then you will drink it," the vedalken said.

"I'll what?"

(Oh crap.)

"Did that virusoid just speak?" Momir Vig said, looking up abruptly from his work.

...In the streets...

Saint Kel pushes his way through the streets no longer attempting to help even those who desperately need it. There's just too much death. He wants to go home. How can anyone want to cause such pain? They need to pay. Someone will pay for this. As a part of the Conclave he hears the song that touches every Selesnyan soul but he can also help direct it. The Conclave has become too complacent but he knows the wolf will be on his side and the young dryads all respect the wolf.

The titans are lifeless, the Boros are dying, and every moment more and more notes of the songs come to an end. It is time for Ravnica to see what Selesnyan justice is like.


Momir Vig calls over Svogthir who wears the body of the dead Savra to his side. Despite Kos' efforts to play dumb there is no fooling the two guildmasters. The tricks of the Azorius are well known to the elf and the zombie-god can clearly sense a familiar soul within the body and recognizes the former wojek.

Kos calls out to Obez but he still doesn't respond. He has no idea if he can find he way back to his anchor without Obez's help. The Simic progenitor begins the questioning by removing a few of his him. Kos tries to resist but when it's clear that not going to work he tries to bluff instead.

He says he knows everything.

The elf was just looking for confirmation that their plan has been found out and begins spouting annoyance that Augustin must be trying to investigate him to uncover what he wanted the dragon cerebral fluid for. That he knows about Project Kraj . Once fully turned online, every cytoplast will leave their current hosts, leaving thousands crippled and adding augments to Kraj.

Kos has no idea what he's talking about but Szadek is the important thing. He agrees with the brilliance of the elf but warns him that working with the Dimir is a bad idea. Momir Vig just laughs at how the Azorius are always so obsessed with the Dimir then orders his assistant Udom to toss Kos out a window.

Kos calls out to Obez and there's still no response. Kos just hopes his thirty minutes are up and leaps into the first body he can think of.

This is a revolting development, the god-zombie thought. You will not last long in here, wojek.

Maybe not, Kos thought, but as long as I am here, let's talk about your deal with Momir Vig.

* * *

Agrus Kos, Virusoid

There are only four chapters left, so Kos sneaking around couldn't last long. While it did though, it was excellent. This situation of ghost Kos and Obez works a lot better than living Kos and ghost Bell Borca. Obez actually has relevant input and abilities that can be put to use and the interrupted communication was used effectively, especially contrasted with Borca's constant nattering and ignored warnings.

And now it's 100% confirmed that it is Svogthir that's with us and not a Savra that's ascended to zombie-god like power. And Kos has possessed him. I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next.

Project Kraj

Well I got that wrong. The whole cytoplast idea. I thought the Simic and Dimir were working more hand in hand than they apparently are. I was thinking that the cytoplast augmentations were all a ruse to get pieces of Lupul spread throughout the population, and then when the signal came, much of the opposing forces to their plans would be all be crippled at once. We've had Lupul with us across the whole trilogy, I thought this was going to be his grand finale.

The actual plan seems like it's going to do much the same thing, and after taking another look at the actual Experiment Kraj card it makes perfect sense to use him rather than Lupul, but now I just wonder what Lupul's role will be for this whole thing.

(In fact what are Teysa and Feather doing? Is that important at all?)

Saint Kel, Avatar of Wrath

Well this is a nice development. The Selsnyans have a chance to really redeem themselves and step up to the role of Ravnica's defenders with the Boros severely crippled. I also can't wait to see what they can do without the quietmen as their muscle.

This is definitely the best book of the trilogy.

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