Astesia: Revelation

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Operator Record
Revelation

There are more than just the stars that can light up tomorrow.

Unlock conditions

  • Raise Astesia to Elite 2 Level 1.
  • Have at least 50% Trust with Astesia.
Characters
Backgrounds
RI Room
1
RI Surgery Room
2
RI Infirmary
3
RI Corridor
4
Regaining the light of day after a brief spell of blindness.
<Background 1>
Rhodes Island Landship
Astesia's Room
[Astesia reads a book.]
Astesia (Rubs eyes)
If I recall correctly...
[Astesia sifts through the book's pages.]
Astesia According to the books, the constellations should be stable and distinct tonight.
Hopefully it'll be a fruitful... night...
(Rubs eyes subconsciously)
My recent calculations have deviated greatly from the data published by the Astrology Society.
Father must be displeased...
I should wait a while before sending my response to him.
......
Oripathy... Oripathy...
(Rubs eyes subconsciously)
*Sigh*...
[Astesia sifts through the book's pages.]
Astesia I'll make a few more notes tonight. If the projections are still off, we'll need to get the right data from observation.
(Lightly rubs eyes)
*Yawn*...
My eyes itch...
[Astgenne enters the room.]
Astgenne Hey Sia, I'm here.
Astesia Mm. Good mor–
Astgenne What's going on with your eyes?!
Astesia My eyes? They're just a little itchy.
Astgenne They're completely bloodshot!
Astesia They'll get better soon...
Astgenne There are even lumps...
This isn't something that recovers on its own.
I'll take you to Medical.
Astesia But tonight–
Astgenne Forget about the stars. The stars won't heal your eyes.
Come with me.
Astesia W-Wait...
[Astgenne takes Astesia to the Medical Department.]
<Background 2>
Folinic Bacterial infection. Acute inflammation in both eyes with pus formation.
Perfectly treatable. Just a minor surgery and some medication, and you'll be good as new in a couple of days.
Astesia Phew...
Folinic But you won't be able to see for 36 hours. You should arrange to stay the night here.
Astesia ......
Can we delay the surgery?
Astgenne I'll make the call, doctor.
Folinic Well, the two of you can work it out amongst yourselves.
Astesia Genne...
Astgenne The answer is no.
I know why you wanted to put it off, and I know how much this means to you.
But let me say it again.
The answer is no.
You know what I care about more than anything.
Astesia ......
Astgenne She's agreed to the surgery.
Folinic I need to hear it from you directly, Operator Astesia.
Astesia (Hushed) Yeah...
Folinic Then I'll need the signature of a family member for this informed consent form.
Astgenne (Reads and signs the form)
Folinic (Takes the form and enters data into a terminal)
Go reserve a bed at the front desk. You'll be taken to the ward directly after surgery. Family members can wait there.
Follow me, Operator Astesia.
<Background 3>
Astesia ......
Folinic Relax. It's a simple operation.
As we told you earlier, you'll be under general anesthesia for the surgery. Is that okay?
Astesia (Nods)
Folinic Good.
(Administers anesthetic)
Count from one to ten.
Astesia One.
Two.
<Background black>
Astesia ......
After an indeterminate period of time...
Folinic ......
Can you speak?
Move your finger if you hear me.
Astesia (Slight finger wag)
Folinic The patient is awake.
The operation went well. The nurses will take you to your ward in a bit, and I'll stop by on my nightly rounds.
Let me know if you feel any discomfort.
Nod if you hear me.
Astesia (Nods with effort)
Folinic Good.
The doctor's footsteps fade away. The bed is laid flat and pushed into the corridor.
<Background 4>
The wheels make a screeching sound as they touch the ground.
Even noisier, however, are the complaints of doctors, patients, and accompanying personnel.
?? Just be patient, Popukar. It'll be your turn soon.
[Footsteps are heard.]
??? Why are there so many sick people today? Who's next?!
[...]
?? I already paid! What's–I have to sign an agreement? Fine, fine, bring it on, my sister's waiting for me on her bed.
[Sounds of people running are heard.]
? How was I supposed to know I'd be allergic to this nail polish? Ow... it itches...
Voices come from all directions, carrying emotions that not even the speakers are aware of.
Sadness, regret, fear; Astesia hears all of it.
She feels uneasy.
Normally, she would be the one to comfort these people in distress.
Right now, however, she is the one lying on a hospital bed.
Astesia ......
The bed stops in the corridor, turns, and enters a ward.
<Background 1>
Medics secure the bed and give the usual inpatient briefing.
Once satisfied that their patient is doing fine, they leave briskly.
The voices from the Medical Department leave Astesia's head as soon as the door closes.
It is silent.
Astesia Genne...
As the effects of the anesthetic wear off, she begins calling for her younger sister.
Astesia Genne... are you there?
No one responds.
Astesia Anyone?
There is nothing here but her own voice.
She feels a sense of helplessness.
She used to be an astrologer guiding the paths of many.
Right now, however, she can neither reveal the path for someone else, nor see that of her own.
Ever since the Originium took root in her body...
The stars are silent.
<Background black>
......
She remembers that some of the most famous astromancers never tried to hide the fact that they were Infected.
She remembers the look on her father's face when he learned of her infection.
Concern, mingled with joy.
Which is why he could not hide his disappointment when he learned that infection had not made his daughter a great astromancer; far from it, in fact.
......
Perhaps the stars forsook her for her cowardice, as she cowered in the safehouse while her sister faced the lab's Originium leak on her own.
The stars rescinded their mercy, leaving behind only the cold glint of Originium.
So shiny, it pierces the heart.
??? (Whispers) Sia...
(Whispers) Are you alright?
Astesia ...Genne?
<Background 1>
Astgenne Yeah, I'm here.
It was such a pain trying to get a quiet single room for you.
Astesia A single room... you're wasting money again.
Astgenne Not really, I just diverted a bit of equipment funding.
What's the matter? Your palms are sweaty.
Astesia No... I'm fine...
Astgenne Do your eyes feel any better?
Astesia They don't itch anymore. Dr. Folinic did a great job.
Astgenne Good.
And to think you're the one who was always telling me to go to bed and get up early.
Astesia ......
Astgenne Still thinking about stargazing tonight?
Astesia The conditions are the best they've been for months.
Astgenne I'll tell the doctor to tie you to the bed if you so much as try to take those bandages off.
Astesia I won't. I'm just thinking about it.
My eyes are more important. I'll listen to you.
Astgenne Hm... alright, fine then.
Not that Dad would appreciate the results anyway.
Astesia How did you–
Astgenne I looked at your observation logs and conclusions. They're very different from the Society's.
Astesia You...
Astgenne I caught a glimpse while looking for your ID.
You left them on the desk.
Astesia Ever since then, not once have I been able to provide Father and the Society with the right data. Of course he would be angry with me...
Astgenne Actually, I made some calculations based on that data of yours.
You were right. Always were.
Astesia You don't need to comfort me.
Astgenne I know what I'm doing. I never liked stargazing, but I DID have a formal education in it forced down my throat.
What's right is right, and what's wrong is wrong. I don't need to lie to you.
I can present the steps and possibility spaces in data models for you, if you like. After your eyes have healed.
Astesia Are you suggesting that the Society's data is wrong?
Astgenne Yeesh, did you really have to inherit Dad's hard head too?
Have you ever considered that you could both be correct?
Astesia Huh?
Astgenne It's not exactly unusual in science.
Data can be affected by external factors. Rhodes Island isn't in Columbia. The observation environment and geographic location are completely different.
The stars don't move in regular ways, either. Frankly, I'd be more shocked if your results were exactly the same.
Astesia But the algorithm has already been adjusted for position!
Astgenne Take it easy, Sia.
That's why I said your data is right.
I picked up Dad's methods faster than you, but your results were always way more accurate.
It's high time you accepted that he's not always right. Don't just assume that you're wrong because they doubt you.
(Whisper) Not that I'm in a position to lecture anyone...
Astgenne Ahem. Anyway, I'll help you out with it once you get better. We could even go home and confront Dad together, if we have to. How's that?
Astesia Let me hold your hand, Genne.
Astgenne Oh, come on, how old are you? Here.
Astesia (Holds her sister's hand gently)
Thank you.
Astgenne No need for that between sisters.
Don't overthink it. Just get some rest and heal up.
Astesia Mhm.
Astgenne Anything you want to eat?
Astesia Drizzle cake–
Astgenne Nut cookies and berry juice. Got it.
I'll make dinner. You've been the cook ever since I got here. You should try my cooking once in a while.
Astesia Mhm.
Astgenne I'll get to it, then.
(Gently moves her sister's hand)
I left some cut fruit on the table to your left. There's a toothpick in each piece. Just put them back on the plate when you're done.
And here–
Your astrolabe's to the right of your pillow.
That should be all.
I'll be going, then. Take care.
[Astgenne leaves.]
<Background fades out>
The door closes again, leaving Astesia by herself once more.
The world is still dark, but the darkness does not feel so oppressive this time, with the astrolabe's gentle clockwork humming by her side.
Her sister's encouragement has helped her reassess her situation.
Is she independent?
No, not compared to Astgenne.
Her sister continues to break new ground, striving for the lifestyle she wants. Meanwhile, she herself lacks the courage to even rebut her father's doubts.
Astrology is a school of tradition. It is not as systematic as modern science, but it is old, and with age comes authority.
She realized at an early age that her explorations and questions would be shot down by her teachers, or given an established answer. And she would accept it, even if she did not agree.
No mistakes were made, therefore they must be right.
She is afraid of being denied by authority, and so she accepts their conclusions without question.
Then why did Oripathy break that barrier?
Is it because she encountered the dilemma of either denying authority or denying self?
Or did her sister's courage inspire her to face her longtime doubts?
Astesia does not yet have the answer.
[...]
Other than preparing meals, Astgenne spends the rest of the day by Astesia's side, making life stuck in a hospital bed more bearable.
Astgenne wanted to stay by her sister's side as night fell too, but Astesia persuaded her to return to her own quarters.
She knows that bright stars fill the sky above Rhodes Island as it travels.
She has seen that sight countless times, but continues to be fascinated by the uncertainty that lies within. She would gaze upon it forever, if she could, but right now–
<Background fades in>
Astesia Was there something else, Genne?
??? It's me. I'm making my rounds.
Astesia Oh, my apologies, Dr. Folinic.
[The one that Astesia mistook as Astgenne is actually Folinic.]
Folinic How are your eyes feeling? Any itching, excessive tearing, or the sensation of heat or foreign objects?
Astesia No. The surgery went well.
Folinic Then you should recover soon.
Astesia You sound awfully tired.
Folinic I'm used to it. It's like this every day.
Astesia Feel free to have a seat then, if you're not busy.
My sister cut me so much fruit that I can hardly finish all of it.
Folinic It's almost time for lights-out. You're the last patient tonight.
I think I can stay... fifteen minutes.
Astesia Thank you, Doctor. There should be a chair by my bed.
[Folinic sits on the chair beside Astesia's bed.]
Folinic Astgenne has a knack for picking fruits.
Astesia We've both always liked these.
Folinic ......
Actually, I have something I wanted to ask, but I was afraid it might be offensive.
Astesia Go ahead.
Folinic I don't meet many operators who work with divination or the occult.
In my eyes, people like that seem like they're trying to pass themselves off as omniscient and omnipotent.
If you can really tell the future, why weren't you even able to avoid your own illness?
Astesia I've never once considered myself omniscient.
It's just that I was born to a family of astrologers, so that's what I've studied since I was little.
You may find this sort of knowledge to be abstract and impractical, but if I want to help people, it's all I have.
From the Columbian elites to the uneducated young men in the Pioneer teams, many encounter things that their own knowledge and experiences cannot explain.
In such cases, they try to dispel their doubts through the supernatural. That's what I understand to be the reason for studying these matters.
There are times when you have doubts yourself, aren't there, Dr. Folinic?
Folinic ...You wouldn't understand.
Astesia Did you know that the brightest constellation in the sky tonight is the symbol of Ursus?
Folinic ?!
Astesia I don't know what pains you harbor, but I can surmise the reasons through unscientific means.
Not that I could comfort you, though. To you, it would seem nothing but meaningless derision.
Folinic Ha...
You would make a great psychiatrist, Astesia.
Astesia I'll take that as a compliment.
Even the best psychiatrist can't foretell an eye infection, after all.
Instead, it must be treated by someone with concrete knowledge, like you.
Folinic It's about time for me to head out.
Rest well, Astesia. You should be able to see the light again by this time tomorrow.
[Folinic leaves.]
<Background fades out>
The doctor turns off the lights before she leaves. Astesia falls asleep, dreaming of the starry sky.
She has loved the stars from a young age, just as her sister loved science.
For her, watching the skies is a habit born of both nature and nurture.
Which is why it hurt so much to be rejected and denied.
Not because she was rejected by authority, but because of the regret that she did not understand.
The more she studies this abstract wisdom, the smaller she feels.
Does the answer truly lie in the stars?
Astesia does not know the answer.
[...]
But there is one thing she knows.
A traveler who loses his way in the night gazes up towards the stars, his eternal companion, before continuing on his journey until he finds his way again.
<Background fades in>
Astesia wakes from her dream as the sun shines in, visible through her bandages and eyelids.
She is waiting for her sister.
With her help, she could at least get her teeth brushed, wipe the parts of her face not covered by bandages, and move around a little before lying down again.
She hears the long-awaited sound of the door.
But it is not Astgenne.
??? Are you ok, Astesia?!
Astesia Tomimi? What are you doing here?
Tomimi I came with Gavial. She told me that one of my friends got admitted yesterday, so I ran over right away.
Are you okay? That looks serious. Did you get hit in the eyes?
Astesia No, it was just an infection. It'll heal soon.
By the way, could you tell me if there are toiletries by the bed? Toothbrush, towels, that sort of thing?
Tomimi Yup.
Astesia (Gets up from the bed)
Then could you grab them for me and lead me to the bathroom?
Tomimi Sure thing!
Take it nice and slow...
[Tomimi takes Astesia into the bathroom.]
Tomimi Here we are.
Toothbrush, toothpaste, and cup. Need me to squeeze the toothpaste for you too?
Astesia I can do that much myself. The towel, too.
Tomimi Alrighty then.
Astesia (Squeezes out the toothpaste and begins brushing)
Tomimi I just set up a couple of pedestals in my room so I could put stuff on them, but Gavial's eyes lit up when she saw them. She said they were really cool, like totems.
Astesia (Mumbles)
Tomimi Oh, and I took my nursing test a while back.
I don't like tests, but now that I passed it, I can help Gavial with her medical work.
Astesia (Nods while brushing)
Tomimi And Bibeak started teaching me how to make clothes. Soon I'll be able to make beautiful clothes for everyone!
......
Why are you so quiet, Astesia?
Astesia (Rinses mouth)
Phew...
Don't worry, I was listening.
(Washes towel)
You're doing wonderfully, Tomimi.
Tomimi Hehe, it's all thanks to your tips. I've been really thinking about what I want to do and what I can do.
Astesia What you want to do and what you can do... hmm.
(Wipes face gently)
Tomimi But all that good stuff has got me in trouble now.
Astesia Mhm.
(Wrings the towel to dry it)
Would you mind helping me back to the bed? We can talk more once we're seated.
Tomimi Oh, sure.
Careful.
Watch your feet...
[Tomimi takes Astesia back to her bed.]
Tomimi Here we are.
Astesia Heh.
Phew...
Have a seat.
Tomimi I'm sitting.
Astesia So, what sort of troubles are you having then?
Tomimi Well...
Now I have to think about caring for my babies, helping out Gavial, making clothes with Bibeak, and everything else.
I just feel like I don't have time...
Astesia Are you... considering giving up on something?
Tomimi Yeah. Maybe there's just too much stuff I wanna do, and there are also tons of things I have to do here at Rhodes Island.
Maybe the fun stuff will have to wait...
Astesia And that upsets you.
Tomimi Yeah, Astesia! Exactly!
But I'm not sure how I can balance everything...
Astesia It's human nature to want to have your cake and eat it too. Once missed, some opportunities will never return. You shouldn't be too hard on yourself over it.
Tomimi Mmhmm.
Astesia Perhaps you're unaware, but time management is an entire field of its own.
I can't say I'm an expert in it myself, but I'll teach you what I know.
Tomimi Alright! Thank you so much!
Is this part of astrology too?
Astesia Astrology? No.
The stars may show us the path, but they can't walk it for us.
That requires self-determination, and no end of effort.
But I think you can handle it. Can't you?
Tomimi Uh... Yeah!
Astesia Will you be visiting the bookstore tomorrow afternoon?
Tomimi Uh-huh.
Astesia Then do wait for me there. We can talk once you've bought the magazine.
Tomimi Okay!
Astesia You should be going now; no doubt Gavial's been griping about where her aide went off to.
Tomimi You think? Okay, later!
Thanks, Astesia!
Astesia You're welcome.
[Tomimi runs off just as Astgenne enters.]
Astgenne Huh... was that a friend?
Astesia Mhm.
Astgenne Hm...
Have you washed your face yet?
Astesia Mhm!
Astgenne Even though you can't see?
Astesia I had someone to be my eyes for me.
Astgenne Figures. It's only been a day, and there's already a line outside your door.
Hmph...
Well then, what do you want to eat today?
RI Landship 1.png
......
The sun has set, and after a long day Astgenne falls asleep by her sister's side.
Astesia enjoys the peace of the darkness as she awaits the light.
<Background 1>
[Folinic enters the room.]
Folinic Ast–
(Whispers) How are your eyes, Astesia?
Astesia (Whispers) Feeling wonderful, thanks to you.
Folinic (Whispers) Then I'll be taking the bandages off now.
The doctor cuts away Astesia's blindfolds.
Then she wipes off the remaining ointment with a cotton swab.
Folinic (Whispers) Congratulations on making a full recovery, Operator Astesia.
(Whispers) I've dimmed the lights. You can turn them up again once your eyes adjust.
(Whispers) Refrain from drinking, spicy foods, and strenuous activity.
(Whispers) I've also prescribed you some eye drops. Your sister has the prescription.
Astesia (Whispers) I appreciate it.
Folinic (Whispers) ...I'd also like to have a chat with you this weekend, if you have some free time.
(Whispers) I think I could use a shrink.
Astesia (Whispers) Anytime. Have a pleasant evening, Dr. Folinic.
Folinic (Whispers) You too.
The doctor leaves. Astesia slowly opens her eyes, and sees her sister sleeping by the bed, alongside her own notebooks on the stars.
She opens them. The writing on the last few pages resembles her own, but not quite. Astgenne had made detailed notes on the stars last night.
There were some mistakes in the markings, and some misspelled stars.
[...]
But what does it matter?
Astesia closes her eyes and gazes towards the night sky beyond the window.
There are no stars there. Even the moon has been obscured by the dark clouds, with not a single ray shining through.
But there are stars. There, in her own eyes.
They shimmer and shine.