I'm really starting to hate this bitch. When she's following me she's harder to shake than pneumonia, I try to force a confrontation and she turns down a blind alley and vanishes. I really hope her Mistress hasn't developed something like the Path of Black Leaves. But on to the topic of this post. I was originally going to talk about Nests but then the Faceless Bastard showed up. I'm going to take some time and see if he accidentally drops some new information on his kind before posting on Nests (Rule 7 folks, the Enemy's blogs are a source of information. Use them.).
Instead I'm going to discuss the Proxies of someone long thought to lack Proxies, the Plague Doctor. I know that a lot of you are discounting the thought right now, but think about this . . .
In this world we have bug chasers , anti-vax doctors, doctors who prescribe antibiotics like they're M&Ms - which paradoxically creates stronger antibiotic resistant bacteria . . . the list goes on and on. People who positively encourage the spread and strengthening of disease. If that's not working for the glory of the Plague Doctor than what is? Trace these ideas back to their source and I have no doubt you would eventually find someone with the Stick and the Serpent displayed in their office decor, or perhaps their jewelry. Last week a Runner of my acquaintance contracted a very nasty infection when a back alley "doctor" sewed up a knife wound (don't look at me! A Slenderproxy knifed him!) without disinfecting his equipment properly. Well, I visited that "doctor" to have a talk about proper sanitary procedures and during the discussion his shirt tore revealing the Stick and the Serpent tattooed on his arm. Lets just say after that the conversation turned ugly. Good thing the building next door wasn't nearly as flammable. These folks are subtle. Unless you see old beaky's sign on them it can be nearly impossible to tell them from someone with a few crackpot ideas (which they probably got from an actual servant of his). But for all their subtlety they can do a lot of damage. Like a recent pox party (a brilliant plan to spread disease far and wide if I've ever heard one!) where the kids came home with an especially vicious strain of measles instead of the chickenpox their parents were hoping to expose them to. That strain spread all over the state and caused a lot of deaths before burning out.
As if these Plague Bearers weren't bad enough recently I've been hearing of Mad Doctors. For example, this Doctor Beakman (wonder if that's his given name or if he changed it in honor of his patron) who seems to enjoy using his knowledge of the human mind to break it rather than heal. Mr. Carlson is not the first to encounter that particular man and it seems madness, possibly handcrafted by the man himself, follows him wherever he goes. The first I heard of him involved a former patient of his who had been seeing him for anxiety - several months after showing improvement the bodies of children who had gone missing in her neighborhood were discovered buried in her basement. The news reports said that she had been prescribed an "Extract of Salmacis", but that when the medication in question was analyzed it appeared to be nothing more than water. Those of you who read my last entry know what that means. He clearly had her on a dose high enough to cause obsessions without tripping her all the way over into Camper but I don't know how he managed to plant the obsessions he wanted. While I wouldn't say the Mad Doctors are as subtle as a Plague Bearer they can get away with a lot of experimentation and patient abuse before coming to the attention of the AMA (or whatever group governs the medical profession in their country of origin) and who knows what sort of experiment one might decide to preform. Again, your only hope is to spot the Stick and the Serpent before they do something nasty to you in the guise of actual medical treatment.
Is the symbol of a doctor.
Is the symbol of the Plague Doctor. You shouldn't find the second on or near someone who's going to make you better.
Why do they do it? As far as I can tell it's some sort of cult. There seem to be a lot of rich and powerful people at the top of this and that street doc had to be able to pull in a lot favors to keep operating without getting busted. Not to mention that pharmacopeia I found before his building caught fire due to circumstances that had nothing to do with me. The painkillers and antibiotics could have been useful, but given their source I couldn't guarantee they weren't contaminated in some way so I got them out of there, dissolved them in water and poured the water into some cat litter before throwing it out (the proper procedure for disposing of medicine so it doesn't get into our water supply). All that aside, they're not a huge unbeatable supernatural menace. They're just people, although people who chose to side with the embodiment of disease instead of their species, and if you have to defend yourself against one (unlikely. They don't like to make crude frontal attacks.) they bleed and die like anyone else.
These bastards are hard to see coming, so until next time Stay Alert, Stay Alive.