Nameless, Clueless, and Really Ugly

And so it begins...
Kellin's Walkthru for Planescape: Torment

Jump to Chapter Two
I wake up on a slab in what looks like the aftermath of a pretty kinky dungeon scene. Resembles a weird morgue with a severe lack of attention to hygiene. Feel like I have been run over by a herd of big critters, beaten senseless, taken apart and put back together. Can't remember a damn thing. Note to self: avoid those tequila shootouts.

Before I can even take stock of the damage, a bizarre floating skull comes over and engages me in conversation, poking fun at my predicament. Morte, it seems is either a disembodied skull trapped here with me or the remnant of a bad mushroom. At least he seems to be an informative hallucination, pointing out that my back hurts because it is covered in tattoos. I don't even remember the tattoo parlor. Conveniently, Morte can read. Must be a useful skill for a skull. Unfortunately, that probably means he isn't a bad dream. My back indicates that I used to have a journal and that I need to talk to some guy named Pharod. I should have gone for the rose on the ankle, I think.

Nice advice that my back has, I seem to have been relieved of my possessions - journal and clothes included. To add to the fun, I am locked in a room with a bunch of mindless zombie slave labor, no weapons, and no memories. Yay. Should be a fun day…

Morte tells me that killing the corpses should net me a key to one of the doors and that there may be a scalpel I can use laying around the room. Note that Morte the Brave has not attacked any of these key holding zombies himself. Next time I wake up in a scene from Brazil, I want a sidekick with a little more meat on him and a whole lot more weapons. Nice stuff going on here - corpses without skulls, skulls without corpses, embalming fluid, bloody slabs. Some days, a near corpse should just go back to the slab and sleep in.

Roaming about the room, I manage to come up with the scalpel and a couple of rolls of bandages. Hopefully, I won't need 'em, but given my current condition, I am not taking any chances. Common sense says that I should take the zombies on one at a time, so I march right up to the first one and search him for a key. No key, but I kill him for the bandage he has and the experience of killing someone who is already dead. Start to wonder if I missed a dosage earlier in the week I can't remember.

Nice cataloging system, too. Zombies are marked up with identifying numbers - right on whatever is left of their bodies. Check my bod - no numbers that I can see. Find a few big ass scars. Decide I don't need to know my catalog number that badly. Leave Zombie #569 and head over to ol' #825. Bump him off and snatch his bandage as well. Boy, and they say nothing good comes of killing…

Glancing around, I discover the last zombie in the room, #782, gripping a key in his mouldering paw. Don't you just hate it when what you are looking for is in the last zombie you kill? Oozing with skill at re-killing the dead, armed with the equivalent of a sharpened metal toothpick and some dirty bandages, Morte and I head for the doors. Three in the room, one that opens, guess which one I check last? A pattern is developing here, and it isn't an encouraging one.

Brimming with optimism, we step (well, I step - Morte kinda flows) through the threshold. Closing my eyes briefly, I imagine a happy scene of half naked babes leaping from cakes, balloons, presents and cheap wine. Morte, ever the cheer-bringer, chooses this moment to inform me that there is a cult of corpse collectors call Dustmen who want to bump me off and ship me into zombie-hood. Yikes!

He also recommends that I quit killing zombies. I bite back snide remark about how it was okey dokey when he needed something. I start to seriously reconsider our alliance when he implies that the female zombies in particular should be left intact. If skulls had eyebrows, his would be waggling lasciviously. Ewwwww…

Since my memories do not seem to be raging back and my old journal doesn't seem to be laying about anywhere for the taking, I decide to start a new one. Wouldn't want to forget one precious moment of this adventure, no-siree-bob. Besides, Morte has some great lines that I might want to steal - NOT!

There are a few more zombies hanging around in this room (#594, 626, 965), but they are not nearly as forthcoming since I am now constrained from brandishing my mighty scalpel in a threatening manner. Decide that a zombie is not a compelling career track after watching #965 walk round and round in a triangle pattern for a while. It seems that if a zombie is given a task and no one gives it another one, it just keeps on and on in the same useless pattern. Zombies are obviously the middle management of the morgue.

Picking up on the triangle thing, Morte launches into a diatribe on "The Rule of Three" which seems to dictate that stuff will happen in threes. He does not seem convinced, but I am gonna file the info away anyhow. Eventually get bored watching zombie turn left. Note to self: car races are interesting because of the beer. Move on to next room.

Now, this looks promising - lurching zombies and a tubercular scribe. Trying to ignore the wheezing in the middle of the room (difficult since the old guy is plopped down in front of an enormous book), I decide to explore (OK, troll for goodies) before exposing myself to disease. Manage to take a bandage off of one of the zombies, a little cash and some nifty Fist Irons from one of the tables and a Receiving Room Log Book (missing a page - probably the good parts).

I remark to Morte that my zombie conversation skills seem to be improving and approach another zombie, ready to chat. Just my luck that he seems to have his mouth stuffed with a note and stitched up tight. Wonder briefly if I have found Jimmy Hoffa. Extract note and read touching last wishes. Fold note up to stuff it in my pocket, discover that I don't have a pocket. Look at folded note realize that I have created one of those little paper pouches. Thrilled that I seem to have a skill revered by 12 year old girls, I unfold the note to discover a triangle shaped earring. Check navel. Relieved to find no piercing, I stick the earring in my lobe for safe keeping. Life just keeps getting better…

Having run out of zombies to interrogate, I approach the decrepit gentleman wheezing in the middle of the room. Ever polite, I ask how he is doing. Typically, he mistakes my good manners for sincerity and starts to tell me. All in all, it is a pretty illuminating conversation. Evidently, I am not only Nameless, I am Restless. I arrived in a corpse cart owned by my buddy Pharod (can't wait to meet him) and have spent most of my life in this little piece of heaven. Swell.

Amidst long ramblings about Dustmen philosophy which I dutifully record, Dhall (yep, phlegm has a name) tosses out an interesting tidbit about some chick on a slab in the building. Seems that she came here with me at some point. I ponder this, digging for some memory. It is gonna be really bad if I have forgotten something like a girlfriend. It is gonna be worse if I have forgotten a wife. We don't even want to talk about the possibility of having forgotten both. Resolve to have Morte check for tattoos of women's names.

Old guy tells me that there is always a chance that I can sweet talk one of his compatriots into just opening the door for me. Uh huh. He promises that he won't tell anyone that I am not actually dead since that would really piss off the Dustmen. Oozing gratitude, I take my leave before contracting whatever is taking Dhall over the threshold into the Long Night.

Now having a mission to find my missing babe of unknown relation, I move to the next room and discover…. (drumroll) A zombie! What a surprise. This one, however seems to be clutching a stack of books with an out of place page. Quickly putting two and two together, I deduce that this may be the missing one from the Receiving Log I snatched earlier. So much for that theory that near death affects intelligence. Discover that logs of corpses can be fascinating reading and are highly recommended for those suffering insomnia. Stuff page in pack and move on.

Next room seems to look a lot like the other preparation rooms, with the exception of the fact that this one seems to have a woman in it. Thrilled, I straighten my loin rag, run my finger through my hair (disposing of those disconcerting little clumps that come out) and hope the stitching isn't too obvious. Approaching with my best patter, she completely ignores me. Great! First living chick I meet in the dungeon and she is deaf with demon blood and talons for hands. (Information gleaned from Morte, that little ray of sunshine). I am sure Mom would love her - if I could remember Mom.

After a very brief conversation, I have my first quest since rising from the slab. All I have to do is fetch a little embalming fluid and a needle and thread. Wheee…. Nothing like starting at the top. Wonder where you would get embalming fluid in a mortuary?

Since I am now a man with a mission, I embark on a thorough search of the room and its inhabitants. I must say, these zombies are the giving sort. The first one I approach donates the thread and needle from his own skull to the quest, revealing that some zombies have more than one number assigned to them, depending on whether you look on the decomposing skin or directly on the skull. Decide to postpone lunch until this image disappears. I do seem to be doing well on the scavenger hunt, though.

Notice that the second zombie seems to be even more unstable than most of the lurching undead up until now. Being the helpful sort, I prop him up a bit, slip and rip off his arm. Not the best first impression, but I take the arm, pack it in ice and stuff it in my pack, just in case. Doubt that I can pass it off for embalming fluid, so continue the search.

Moving into the next room, I am starting to despair of ever having a scintillating conversation again. Morte looks as offended as a denuded cranium can. Resigned, I approach the next zombie and lo and behold, it speaks! Not a zombie at all! He's a whiner with a serious speech impediment (due to that mouth stitching and decay). After a few minutes of threatening and cajoling, he fesses up that he is a member of a faction called the Anarchists who believe that all factions should be eradicated and that he has mutilated himself as a disguise. Decide not to alienate new buddy with the stupidity and paradox of his deeply held beliefs. Morte looks disgusted.

Non-zombie offers to disguise me as well for some thread and embalming fluid. Must be really hot items in the mortuary. But, hey! Quest number two. Things are really looking up now. Nameless Guy - Gofer to the Creepy! Then he tells me that he can provide me with exit info in exchange for a key from the demon-babe in the other room. I inform him that her name is Ei-Vene and that continuing to insult people will just get him sent to zombie diversity training for a refresher course.

Returning to Ei-Vene, I decide to hang around and watch for a while. After a bit, a memory starts returning. I am stitching some stuff into the chest cavity of a corpse numbered 42. Hmmmm….we do a little mutual arm crossing in the memory, then I am back in the horrible present (not that the past is looking like a real treat). Trying a new approach, I ask nicely for the key and am rewarded for my efforts. Miss Manners would be proud.

Bypassing the Anarchist for now, I decide that I really need to repay the nice corpse preparer for her kindness and find some embalming fluid. Heading south, we come to another corpse preparation room. Since they are all starting to run together, I put together a little map of our travels and name this room the Southeast Preparation Room. Morte is stunned into silence by my originality. Snooping about, we find an abundance of riches - not one, but two jars of embalming fluid. Hang on kiddies, Daddy's bringing Christmas home! Being thorough and hoping for more thread, we also discover that bashing locked stuff causes it to disgorge goodies like jewelry and bandages. Cool!

Back to Ei-Vene, holding her quest goo like champagne on a tray, she takes it from us and goes back to work without a word. A bit miffed, we hang around waiting for a suitable display of gratitude for our efforts as she uses our hard earned swag to fix up a newly arrived corpse. Also, since I am basically the near-dead and Morte is dead, we aren't really in much of a hurry.

Once Ei-Vene has finished up with the zombie-du-jour, she turns a critical eye to me. Flattered, I strike a suitably manly pose. She obviously thinks I am a zombie and takes her work seriously, making nasty comments about the job that was done on me. Trying not to be too insulted and grateful I haven't encountered a mirror, I let the scene play out. Oddly enough, she grabs me. Encouraged, I stand frozen in anticipation.

Needless to say, I am a bit startled and very nervous when she reaches for her needle and thread. After stroking one of my scars, she pokes me through with a needle and starts stitching. Not exactly the stuff of a Penthouse letter. (I am a zombie in a small mid-western morgue. One day a couple of really hot coroner twins showed up to apply for a job…)

In for a pound at this point, I decide to stand still, play zombie and let her finish. Morte just hangs there, gaping at the scene. She stitches along and covers me with embalming fluid. Morte makes gagging noises. I consider pointing out he doesn't have a throat. While normally I would agree with him and find this pretty gross, when she is finished, I feel a bit better about things. I really think I am getting the hang of this mortuary experience…

Stay tuned, boy and girls! Next installment - "Nameless Guy and Skull Mount Stairs in Search of Fame, Fortune and a Piece of String"

 
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