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So Much for my Promise

At this time last night, I was... thinking and writing about how I would take a break from Trauma Team tomorrow, because I'd been playing it too much recently, and needed a day to clear my head. Instead of that, however, I took about half an hour after getting home from Tilbury to rename episodes of some TV shows, and then went right back to it, finishing the final "autopsy" just before 7:00. After work, I went straight back to the game again, and because of that, can at least say that I've seen the credits now. I would say "beaten the game", but there are unlockable bonuses, of which I've encountered three thus far. One is what are presumably supposed to be humorous recordings of the game's characters, which is a nice bonus, but nothing exciting (although I've only listened to the first thus far), while the second and third are more interesting. The second is a new difficulty (Specialist, alongside Intern and Resident), which was kind of expected, and the third is "Doctor Medals", which are kind of interesting. Apparently they're unlockable by meeting certain criteria throughout various episodes, but most of said criteria are vaguely worded (one says that "using the ultrasound could make things easier", which is indeterminate as to whether the requirement to get the medal is to always use the ultrasound, or never use it), so I finished off there for tonight, and will get back to them... later. As a reward for finishing the game (once) though, I went out to 7-11 for a can of Pringles, and along the way, came up with some things that are still bothering me.

The arc of the story as a whole feels really unsettling. Monarch butterflies are featured in the very beginning cutscene and end up being the unwitting (on the assumption butterflies can be unwitting) vehicle to the spread of the Rosalia virus. The moment I started to get ahead of the game in the last autopsy, and realized what had happened, almost everything clicked into place. That explains why Rosalia's ghost appeared to Maria. She was the only person Rosalia knew, and she was trying to warn her of what was about to begin. Mind you, that last sentence is conjecture, but it makes sense. Moving on though, I suppose the above doesn't really bother me. If anything, it gives me a great sense of respect for the people who came up with the story, and designed the game around it, which is absolutely not unusual. Other things that do bother me, however, are as follows:

a. Just a small nitpick to start. During the last autopsy, the game abbreviates "gunshot wound" to "GSW", most likely in order to save space. What's strange is that Kimishima pronounces it the same way - for example "the victim died from a gee-ess-double-u" - and that's actually longer than just "gunshot wound". The latter is only three syllables, yet to pronounce each letter separately, it takes five. Maybe it was just done for consistency, but I could be sure she did say "gunshot wound" when the text read "GSW" at least once.

b. Both Veronica and the bomber from the last normal autopsy somehow knew of the virus Rosalia was carrying, before word of it became widespread. Veronica had it rubbed onto her wall behind the wallpaper, in small letters, which was almost certainly done right before she died, whereas the bomber claimed that even though she couldn't kill anybody else, as a result of succumbing to the virus, it would get them for her. In both of those cases, how did those people know about it beforehand? One would assume the hospital would have some record of such a vicious disease, but they're completely clueless until halfway through the "True Path" episodes, and even then, they don't know Rosalia was the origin until right near the very end. I can kind of understand the bomber getting her hands on that information, but Veronica?... If she knew what was killing her, why wouldn't she say something before it was too late?

c. In one of CR-S01's flashbacks, he's shown coming to lying on the ground, with bodies all around him. Professor Sartre says something that I can't remember now, apparently injects CR-S01 with an unknown substance, and walks out unaffected. As above, the following is pure conjecture, but assuming the bio-terrorism attack that killed all of the other students in the school was viral hemorrhagic fever, or possibly even the Rosalia virus, then it would make sense to think that whatever was in the syringe was the antidote / anti-serum. With that in mind, the final autopsy reveals that Sartre was trying to help the world, by harvesting Rosalia's virus (while she was still alive), and using its extreme behavior to cure any known illness, so if he had the cure to either of those illnesses (unless they're one in the same), wouldn't he want to make that known to the proper authorities or professionals? What's even more CR-S01 is given a 250-year sentence for the aforementioned bio-terrorism attack, yet he passed out, just like everyone else in that school, and came to only thanks to Professor Sartre. Ergo, Sartre was fine the entire time, so wouldn't it stand to reason that he was behind the attack? In that case, why is CR-S01 still incarcerated? At first I thought that's what would be addressed by the "The 7th Doctor" episode (as a result of his actions, his sentence was commuted to, say, having to perform as a surgeon at Resurgam), but apparently that title referred to the player, and I missed most of that message because I couldn't tell what letter one of the first few words began with. The only answer I can see is that there's no way to prosecute a dead man, so CR-S01 is simply a victim of a very grievous form of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. What doesn't make sense about that theory is how there's no evidence aside from that flashback to support the idea of Sartre's supposed evil side, so what other options does that leave? Sartre injected himself with the Rosalia virus in order to survive, and then CR-S01, when he found him lying unconscious on the floor of the school? If that were true, then it makes sense for Sartre to have died the way he did (from the Rosalia virus), and CR-S01 would be alive only... because of the temperature of his cell? It's kept at zero degrees Celsius, which apparently inhibits the growth of most bacteria, but what about a virus? To invoke Occam's Razor (all other things being equal, the simplest path is to be preferred), CR-S01 would be responsible for the attack on the school, but that doesn't answer how Sartre was able to walk out unharmed. So many questions, but the possibility does still exist that I simply wasn't paying enough attention before.

Moving on to non-game matters now, the first part of work tonight was utterly frustrating, but the second half ended up being rather rewarding. Regarding both halves together, let's just say that I dislike working with Manoah as a manager, but like being on the same shifts together just as coworkers / friends. Up 'til 11, he seemed more concerned with doing only the bare minimum of work, which greatly annoyed me, because Brandon and Orlando were following him around, essentially doing the same, but then after they left, and it was just us, things turned serious, in a nice way, and after my dishes were caught up, we got to talking about things that had gone on since we last closed together. For one, apparently Tryphena wants to borrow a large amount of money from me to buy something expensive (the amount she was after was four digits), but she knew I would tell her know, so she asked Manoah to approach me about it instead. From what I was told after that, he took her thoroughly to task, saying that he wasn't going to jeopardize our friendship by doing something like that, which was neat. To hear that he actually considers me a friend is not something I believe ever came up before. Regarding Tryphena's request though, the answer is "absolutely not", for two reasons. One, I don't know her that well, and even if I did, I would be ridiculously hesitant to say yes, even if I had some fully-secure protection against her not paying me back or such. Two, we inferred from some things Manoah told me that the only reason she wants what she wants is so she can brag to friends at school. Apparently they're having a competition to see who can acquire the object first (big hint: it's something you need to be in to order at the drive-through), so we came to the conclusion that she probably only wanted it to have won that contest. Oh, and apparently the main reason she wanted Manoah to ask me is because she asked her Mom first, who obviously said no.

The other thing we talked about was Manoah himself, and how he feels bad because it seems nobody likes working with him, and all they have to say are bad things, such as that he's always in a bad mood. I tried to reason with him for a bit, offering such advice as that if other people weren't saying anything to his face, then he really shouldn't have anything to worry about, but nothing seemed to work, until I offered him a differently-worded piece of advice: why let what other people think about you dictate how you feel about yourself, and, related, why let what you think other people think about you dictate how you feel about yourself? He just stood there in silence after I asked that, before saying "that's true", which was really a nice thing to achieve. He said he agreed, and would try to just ignore people from now on, so we'll see how that's going on Friday. Also, my night course in January came up, and after I told him what I was going to take, he said he wanted to go back to college to get his high-school diploma-equivalent, because apparently he wasn't able to complete that the first time, but is afraid to go back, because he doesn't want to fail, and doesn't understand some of the math the test requires a knowledge of. What I hope he realizes now that we've talked is how his worst enemy in this situation is literally himself. He said he can take the test as many times as he needs to, and for free, at that, so I asked, toward being afraid of failing, which would be worse. Making it to March (his deadline) without even trying to pass the course, or giving it his best shot, and failing once or twice? He did agree that it would be worse to not try at all, but when I asked him about half an hour after that if he was any closer to a decision, he said he was worried about not being able to make any friends there, and on a related note, that people wouldn't like him. I can't remember if I said this or not, but it isn't a matter of making friends. You're there to learn the material (if there is any), and pass a test. That's not to mention that he's usually pretty good with being amicable with people, and making friends fast. As for people not liking him, I simply pointed out that he would almost certainly not be the only one there worried about that, and again, as I'm writing this in here, I feel it important to mention that taking the course isn't an exercise in getting people to like you. Regarding the math skills required though, I just advised him to look up tutorials and / or quizzes on the internet. Start at a grade 1 level, if need be, and work your way up from there. Hell, sign into MSN, and I'll go through it with you, because my math skills are rudimentary at best.

That's pretty much what tonight ended up being, and I even asked for a ride home with he and his Mom, to see what had been going on with them since last time I closed with Manoah, and all in all, I enjoy that. I like talking to people, not for idle banter, but for things that are bothering them. I just like being able to offer advice or different ways of looking at the situation, but to do that for myself right here, I would say "Go to bed". It's already 7:30, and I could use a little extra sleep after getting up early today. Just one email to send first, and that'll be it for another night. Maybe tomorrow will be a little more typical~

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