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Lincoln Perez
Lincoln Perez

[S1E3] Day Three !!TOP!!

The three higher-ups in the hospital are having talks about who they will evacuate next. At this moment, one of the men says they should make the DNR crew wait until last, which ruffles some feathers. Things get a little heated discussing this, and it ends when one of the men mentions that Susan needs to be present for this conversation.

[S1E3] Day Three

Fire and Blood, the book on which House of the Dragon is based, took place over 300 years. To cover much of that ground, the show needs to get a move on: Episode 3 is set three years after the events of episode 2. You'll recall in that episode King Viserys Targaryen announced to the Small Council his intention to marry Alicent Hightower. Now King Viserys and Queen Hightower have a son, Aegon, and as episode 3 opens we see scenes from Aegon's second birthday celebrations.

Viserys is informed of this development and is told that the Crabfeeder's forces have retreated to Stepstone caves, neutralizing the dragon advantage. Viserys doesn't want to hear it: "It's been three years, it can wait another three days."

"Well isn't this splendid?" King Viserys pronounces as he, Alicent and Rhaenyra are seen traveling via carriage to the hunt. "The whole of our family off to celebration and adventure in the king's wood." The glances exchanged between the three of them betray the fact that it is not, in fact, splendid.

Viserys says she's mistaken him, that he was just trying to help. He exclaims that she's been alone and angry for the past three years, and that a family might help. Rhaenyra points out that if the king was only interested in serving the realm, he would have married Lady Laena, daughter of Lord Corlys, rather than Alicent Hightower. Viserys concedes the point. He says Rhaenyra needs to get married, but she can make the choice of who it's to.

The Threefold Death is an ancient Indo-European rite which involves death by hanging (or strangulation or falling), drowning (or poisoning) and by wounding (or fire/burning). The death might involve all three injuries happening to one person or a different person experiencing each injury. Combined, the human sacrifices made to Esus (god of war/hanging), Teutatis (tribal protector/fire) and Taranis (god of thunder, sky, sun and wheel of the year/drowning) were Threefold Deaths. Some on the island want to kill Sam, either for real or symbolically. Other want him to do the killing, either for real or symbolically.

L: Is that a...a commercial refrigerator?W: Yeah. It's where I store the blood.L: Blood?W: Just a side business. Sorta hush-hush. It keeps the motor running. Uh, don't-don't worry. It's perfectly safe. I have standards. [lights cigarette, exhales] Some places are desperate for it. Some are not. Blood stays good for around 21 days, so I collect as I go. Sell it where I can. Now I personally have an AB blood type, so everybody loves me. You can usually find a desperate administrator somewhere looking to undercut the Red Cross if you ask the right people. Oh, um, I'm sorry. Do you smoke?L: No, but, I don't mind.W: I'll crack a window. [window scrapes] How are ya?L: I'm good. Thank you for asking. W: You've had a rather harrowing experience recently. L: Yes. Uh, but I'd rather not talk talk about myself. W: I bet you didn't know you had it in ya to back him down like that, huh? [exhales] Oh, my. Of course not. How could ya? Right? I'm glad it was you that talked to Winona too. I'm sorry to hear she's in so much pain. You Melville wrote about it. "What deadly voids and unbidden infidelities in the lines that seem to gnaw upon all faith and refuse resurrections to the beings who have placelessly perished without a grave." Lost at sea, Winona. All of them. I, uh, recognize the pain. I don't know it. I just hope she knows how important she is how her courage inspires. But none of this is why you're here. L: No. It's not.W: Well, go ahead.L: Okay. Who was the man you were all there for? What was the panic. Was Winona right about there being many people killed outside of Oscar Totem? And how and where did everyone go?W: Yeah. [exhales] I didn't know the man. I knew of the man, or at least what people said about him. Well, I might have known him, without knowing I known him. You know? So, I don't know if lived or died, but that doesn't matter very much to what's happening now.L: Why not?W: That night was a destruction of form. Not soul.L: Are you referring to The Panic?W: Yes? But I can't say much about it. It was quiet for me. That was the worst part of it, the silence. And the the sudden cacophony of violence. I just waited for the sun to come up.L: What caused it?W: Don't know. I was turned off by then.L: Turned off? What does that mean?W: [sighs] I don't know why I'm supposed to talk to you. Or what this all is or why now. But, I have a feeling this is all part of something bigger, you know what I mean? I'm not the first, I'm not the last. Limetown was purposefully constructed to keep everyone in the dark. Divisions of labor. Physical proximity. Gobbledygook project names, work shifts, NDAs.L: Okay.W: What I'm saying is, you'll get there when you get there. Wherever it is you're supposed to get. I know some things. I don't know other things.L: So what was your role?W: Ahhh! Roles. We have a role. And it is so important you ya-da ya-da.L: Right.W: Pigs.L: Pigs?W: Yeah. That was my role.L: cared for them?W: Well, before Limetown, I was a large animal veterinarian in Pennsylvania.L: So you do have a medical background of sorts?W: Well, I know how to draw blood if that's what you're getting at.L: So, what did the town need with a large animal veterinarian? Or pigs for that matter?W: When you want to roll out a new piece of biomedical engineering, where do you start?L: Wait, h-hold on. A new piece of biomedical engineer--W: Animals. Exactly. You start your experiments on animals. And then, if and when they work, you go to human animals.L: Can we just step back for a second--W: Don't worry, I'll get there. So, I'm a large animal vet. I've done a lot of work for a man, a neuroscientist, obviously. Although I didn't know it until that conversation. He had a horse farm back in Pennsylvania, and he tells me they need someone with my skill set to oversee a medical testing program for animals. Just to make sure the animals are treated correctly. It lacked on specifics, but uh, the money didn't.L: And so you agreed to do it without knowing exactly what it was you were doing.W: I apologize if I've mentioned this before, I can't remember, but my wife had passed right that and I really didn't care what the hell I was doing as long as it was something else.L: Right. I'm very sorry to hear that.W: I was not a man of faith then.L: Oh, so, you weren't always religious?W: [laughs] No. No ma'am.L: So, you were brought into Limetown to oversee the animal testing program.W: Right, so, pigs. What are some characteristics of pigs that come to mind?L: They're-they're smart, they're sensitive, they're...W: -Delicious.L: [laughs] Yes.W: They're slaughter animals.L: Right.W: No one bats an eye if you kill them. And on top of that, they also carry a great anatomical similarity with our species. It's a good loophole to exploit if you're building a private town in the middle of nothing and nowhere.L: What-what you're saying is that the pigs were officially brought in for a purpose other than medical testing.W: Exactly. Everybody loves bacon.L: What were you testing?W: Yeah. [exhales] Winona talked about a man talking to her without talking to her, right?L: Right.W: The basic principle being the transfer of thoughts between others without verbal communication.L: Right.W: Right.L: You were trying to read the thoughts of pigs.W: Yeah.L: Through biomedical engineering.W: I can't speak to that in detail. I know basically it involved planting something directly into the brain, and then regulating it through medication. As to what or how that worked...L: So you were-you were testing a product o-or a combination of products to communicate non-verbally with animals.W: Right.L: Was that the purpose of Limetown?W: Well, that was my purpose in Limetown. Like I said before, we worked within our own little vacuum sealed universes. As far as we were concerned, our work was the beginning, the middle, and the end, amen.L: We all have a role.W: And it's so important you don't know what the hell the left hand is doing.L: So, so were you successful in communicating with the pigs?W: Not in the beginning. Not at all. The implant process was a difficult thing to perfect. We lost a lot of stock upfront. And once that was sorted out and the dosage was assumed to be correct, it was time to move on to a human host.L: To listen.W: Right. The tree falling in the woods corollary.L: So, who was the human host?W: Well, it only made sense to use someone the animals were comfortable with.L: The large veterinarian on staff.W: I volunteered, to be clear. Animal comfortability was a point I just so happened to have in my favor.L: You said it wasn't successful in the beginning. Was it ever?W: Yes.L: So, you were able to read--W: Yeah.L: That's-that's amazing.W: Yes, it was.L: How has the public never heard of this?W: [laughs] The public! Yeah.L: It just seems like something that would have leaked or otherw--W: I don't mean to be condescending here, but I feel like you should know better than that by now.L: Okay. You're right.W: [glass clinks] One of my members gave me some homemade muscadine moonshine. [unscrews jar] 160 proof. [pours moonshine]L: No, thank you.W: You sure?L: Yes.W: More for me. [swallows] WHOO! Praise God and all things good. Hallelujah.W: So, like I said [lights cigarette, exhales] We lost a lot of stock in the beginning, before figuring out the implanting procedure. And then from there, we had to tinker with the medication. The first iteration caused severe brain hemorrhaging in the subject, but we weren't sure if that that was due to the subject's chemical makeup or if it was the product. After another series of tests, it was determined to be the product. So, then it was refined until we got the fifth iteration. That's when I was implanted. From there, it was just a matter of determining the dosages for me and the subject until there was contact. It was a brutish process. [exhales] Pigs are finiky as hell. You can't work with them unless they trust you, and that just means talking to them, touching them, feeding them, letting them get comfortable on their own terms. You know, they fight like hell, but they don't like to be left by themselves. Also, and maybe most importantly, they don't speak. Or, not in any way we can hope to translate. Which is to say, there are a lot of factors working against us outside just the biotech bullshit.L: R-right. How did you think you were going to communicate?W: What was hypothesized was that what could be relayed between subjects was raw emotional data. It's not exactly hard to tell if a pig is scared or happy. But this is more just a baseline to see if anything could work.L: How could you translate emotion?W: Well, the hardware could interpret emotional changes in the brain, and translate them into simple, synthesized tones.L: Ah, a-and that worked?W: Not until Napoleon. Technically, he was LTS-54A, but I named him Napoleon after the pig villain in Animal Farm. I thought it was funny. You sure you don't want anything to drink?L: Yes, I'm sure.W: [pours drink] Napoleon had a really calm nature about him, so we used him to ease in any new stock brought in. He was very comfortable with me, so after a certain point along the way, it just made sense to involve him. First time I heard him, I heard calm. We knew the tones would work. Well, to be clear, that was what we had planned on working, if it did at all. What we didn't expect was the emotional transfer which is just exactly what it sounds like. I heard calm. And then I felt a wave of calm come over me. Animals are very nuanced in their emotions. Not like us. Whatever they feel, they feel purely, and uh, persuasively. That worked in the other direction too. When I heard calm, I got excited. And in turn, Napoleon got excited. [drinks] It's a good memory. [sniffs] You know, at first it only worked when I was in the facility. The hardware implant was still being worked on, so the distance was pretty limited. So, every day coming to work was exciting. On my walk, I could feel him being near. And then we would be together. It was like meditation. He was mostly calm, until he was hungry. [laughs] And that's about as cranky as he got, but then, you'd feed him, and all was well. I came to Limetown with a lot of baggage. But it was deep. It was...deep. Sitting there in that room with that damn pig was...therapy. Whatever I felt and brought into that room was like trying to stand against the ocean. Our brains are creative when it comes to building shadows and boogeymen and corners you can't see around. Napoleon had a simple, resolute clarity. There is food. There is shelter. There is companionship. And it can be okay if you just let it. Over a period of several weeks, inexplicably, I could hear him anywhere in town. At the diner, at my house, the school. He was there. The medication didn't change, the dosage didn't change. But I could. He slept a lot. Or was otherwise pretty thoughtless when we weren't together. Which sounded a lot like white noise. Sometimes it would fluctuate, sometimes I would fluctuate, but we always leveled the other off. That pig knew me better than anyone in my life ever could. It was the most powerful sensation I have ever experienced. [drinks] We shared a mind. But then there was the leak. We found out later it was all a big fuss over nothing, but I was reading a book, which Napoleon always seemed to enjoy. Mothernight. And one of the other various departments squirreled in the facility doing God know knows what, there was some kind of broken seal involving a gas they were...unsure of. It fed into the ducts, which filtered right into the room Napoleon and I were sitting in. And he was an important asset. [alarm sounds] Alarms sounded, lights started flashing, men in hazmat suits busted in, they ripped us out of there, taking us to separate rooms for medical examination. It happened fast. [alarm stops] Napoleon knew it was death. And the concentration of fear--[whinges] I was overwhelmed to the point of not being able to breathe. His fear became my fear and my fear became his fear and over and over and over. It was a fear that shook the foundation of my sanity. It was a glimpse at the fleeting nature of life. How meaningless, how pointless, how it could be taken from you so quickly and without your consent. [laughs] I kicked a hole through the wall and broke the doctor's leg before they sedated me. Napoleon was never the same after that. He could feel things other than fear, but, there was always this undercurrent. He didn't trust reality anymore. Sure, everything's fine right now, but. [laughs] As time went on, it-it got worse. I would try to calm him or explain what happened but, uh. Yeah. Got to the point where he couldn't sleep, which meant I didn't sleep. The fear was always there and I-I couldn't make it stop. We couldn't make it stop. They messed around with the medication, hoping to disrupt it, but that-that didn't work. Napoleon was broken. I was broken. And I knew how to fix it. [sniffs] He knew I was coming. He was afraid at first. But by the time I got into the facility, he was calm. Almost as calm as before. I walked into his pen with my sledgehammer was serenity. I was angry and sad. Crying. But he was warm. He-he welcomed it. [inhales] He stared me right in the eyes and didn't move. I have become death. I killed him on the first blow. I had a glimpse of death. Void. Nothing forever and ever. And then it was quiet. I was alone in my mind for the first time in weeks. [inhales] It was exactly when I didn't need to be. But then, two, maybe three minutes later I heard. It was faint. But I heard the tone. I checked Napoleon but his body was surely dead. I, uh. Lost it. I don't remember much outside the rage, the confusion. The idea to destroy my brain. When I woke in the hospital, they had strapped me to the bed. And that was fair. The tone was gone. They took me off the medication and disabled the hardware. I had destroyed their property. [scoffs] I was allowed to stay in town, but I just worked at the movie theater. I knew how to thread a projector. And that's that.L: That's awful.W: Yeah.L: What do you think it was you heard after he was killed?W: My calling. The road to Damascus. L: Right. But, do you think it could have just have been a psychosomatic response to an extreme situation?W: Absolutely.L: So, this-this could all be in your head.W: Sure.L: So, why do you prefer the notion of an afterlife?W: Because I'm already dead and I've heard the punchline. L: [gasps] What happened with the technology?W: They advanced it to human trials.L: Even after what happened?W: The tech worked.L: Did it work?W: Sure.L: Do you-do you know any more about that?W: No. Just that it led to that night. And I knew exactly why.L: Why?W: Have you been listening?L: Yes. Of course. But. What happened after The Panic?W: I won't speak to that.L: Why not?W: I'm afraid.L: Who are you afraid of?W: Lia.L: If you let them hide, if you don't expose them, if--W: I'm sorry. I really am. You're not there yet. You're not there yet.L: Why won't you help me? 041b061a72


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