I kinda feel Nail isn't a qualified doctor.
Now... I'm utterly confused. Black Crystal is meant to nullify their magic, these kids are useless without their magic, that goes for Veda's project plans as well.
I presume Black Crystal effects wear off eventually otherwise these new soldiers are 'ruined', right? (Sure, that's assuming they'll cooperate and don't try to escape once they get their powers back.)
Now to the cat. Is it hissing because of Nail or for whatever is being done to the kids?
Yeah eventually it'll leave their system again. It just gives the kids zero ways to regain their magic beyond waiting out the effect.
But the black crystal was swallowed?
Then it should exit their system fairly swiftly the natural way?
I'm beginning to think the Guards might be jerks.
That is assuming it won't be (partly) dissolving in their digestive system.
In any case, I think what we have here is a classic misdirection:
A) He could tell the truth and black crystal is poisonous thus needs a cure.
B) He is lying and the effect of the crystal is wearing off quickly thus needs to be maintained by further injections. The cover story (A) is there to validate them willingly accept the "medicine".
The cat looks like a monstrosity here, with all this arching and hissing, and its little, beady eyes.
@Random. I'm pretty sure he's telling the truth. They aren't bothering to inject the prisoners the kids caught so it's unlikely that the crystal needs to be maintained.
My thought is that this whole thing feels like a misstep on the Empire's part. To me it feels like the best way to get what they want here would have been to cut some sort of deal with Malhart. Amnesty for him and his followers in exchange for helping protect the Empire. They could even have done a staged public arrest to appease the more paranoid citizens. They'll never be able to trust the "new recruits" with the route they appear to be going right now, not without some brainwashing of a level the Empire hasn't yet shown a willingness or capability to do yet. I suppose they could make the offer after he's captured, but it still makes him less trustworthy than if they just made the offer first.
When using the carrot and the stick, it's generally more effective to offer the carrot first.
making such a deal with malhart would be assuming the empire is more morally upstanding and compromising than they really are
@nitrotetrazole Morales aren't required for such a deal. It only requires that the Empire actually want to continue to exist in a world of magic. It needs magic soldiers to do so, and Malharts followers will never be dependable magic soldiers without such a deal. Trying to use them at all can only erode the little loyalty the current crop has. I'm curious to see how the Empire expects this to work barring a deal. I expect Veda plans to make such an offer if she captures him. But with all this and the Empire's history Malhart might not trust the Empire enough to take a deal anyway. Wouldn't blame him, the Empire's done little to earn his trust. Veda would have to make one hell of a deal.