How does resident regular medic Shining factor into Rhodes Island's growing club of regular and normal people like Jaye
Shining is disqualified from the I'm Just A Little Guy/Gal club on virtue of her having intentionally, willingly weaponized her backstory on several occasions already.
I can see why you'd think she fits in there, what with her insistence on being a Medic instead of being a Dynasty Warriors character, but the main crux of just being a normal dude/tte is that you do NOT want to ever be put in a situation and you run away from your backstory. Jaye fills a strange, bizarro normal dude space in that he really is convinced he's a normal guy and he's not aware he's not, so he can't even weaponize his backstory even if he wanted, and Mr. Nothing and Shalem, the prime examples, cry and moan and scream and run away from their backstory until they have absolutely no choice but to weaponize it, such as Mr. Nothing being completely willing to not harm a Pincerbeast and look like a fool and maybe even get hurt in the process if it meant he didn't have to use his martial skills, and only really throwing hands for the first time when a Bitey was going to eat a girl because he's fine being a clown but he's not going to stand around and watch a child get killed, and Shalem had to be completely and utterly cornered, quite literally, in his room, before he did anything remotely close to not running from his backstory.
Shining, on the other hand, shows up, and does this
She literally just stands there and everyone goes "Oh Fuck Oh Shit" like she's fully aware that they understand The Implication Of Her Presence. She's the actual Category 10, DEFCON 1 Woman Moment. Platinum and a bunch of other assassins were going to get wild and wet in the Maria Nearl event, then Shining shows up, says "🙎" and Platinum immediately calls it off, nope, not getting butchered tonight. She's not even remotely pretending to be a just a birthday girl, she has and will continue to weaponize The Implication Of Her Presence. Absolutely everyone is aware that she's not just a normal Jane, hell, even if she DID pretend otherwise, she's still a top notch Sarkaz healer who knows secret Sarkazian healing arts, she's as far from Normal Squad as you can get. Compare and contrast with Mr. Nothing who comes across as "charlatan", Shalem who everyone just knows as Bob the Builder, and Jaye who makes tasty treats.
With the release of Chapter 11 on CN, I need to mull over the new information revealed about Shining (AND Nightingale) and thus make any connections to the wild speculation I had after Shining’s module. I know several of my speculations have been debunked with this. My thoughts and observations are all over the place, I apologize. Spoilers ahead.
(From left to right: Salus, Confessarius, Shining)
To start off, the woman on the left is a relative of both Shining and Confessarius, most likely a cousin, or someone distant. She calls them family, and belongs to the same “clan”, but I don’t think she’s a particularly close relative, if only because she looks way different and Shining’s module put emphasis on a bloodline’s purity, to the point where even her parents looked similar to each other. (Creepy implications? Yes). As we have learned, Confessors are not just an occupation, but an ancient subrace of Sarkaz.
I was wrong about the inherent Arts of Confessors being necromancy, it seems like their true ability is being able to draw out memories from the previously-established Sarkaz Collective Consciousness, and transfer them into a body, to “recreate” an individual.
Anyway, the BIGGEST bombshell that was dropped in regards to these characters is that Nightingale was indeed confirmed to be an experiment.
Salus: By the way, Shining, the subject that you took away... Well, what was her name again? Lisa... or was it Liz? Is she okay?
Shining: ... Liz is fine.
Salus: Is her Oripathy getting worse? She has a very special body, you know, even that... that... medical organization you found, even with Lord Kal'tsit around, they may not really be able to help her. It's great that she's back in Londinium now though, your lab is still here, you can bring her back anytime...
An experiment for what? It’s not entirely clear, but the prevailing theories are either:
1) to bring people back to life. Specifically: to transfer someone’s memories into another body. Even more specific: transferring Theresa’s memories. Nightingale is a “prototype” of the resurrected Theresa.
Or 2) to transfer the power of the Lord of Fiends into a body. Because Theresa chose Amiya as her heir.
If Liz was meant to have Theresa’s memories, even as a test run, that explains why she was able to recognize Doctor despite never having met them before, as well as her saying that Amiya gives her deja vu!
I had previously assumed that Liz’s unexplained familiarity with them was due to the Sarkaz Collective Memory. A sort of... in-universe Cloud, that gets added to whenever a Sarkaz dies and other living Sarkaz are able to unknowingly access it to varying degrees, thereby possessing memories that aren’t necessarily their own (see Surtr). But I think... collective memory wouldn’t have worked... if Liz was already dead.
It’s currently not clear whether Liz was still alive or already a corpse before experimentation. She is very sickly, so it wouldn’t come as a surprise if she did end up dying in the process. Remember that Oripathy is not the sole cause for her current frail state.
As for what I think between the two possibilities? I think the Confessors forcibly injected Originium into Liz in order to try and transplant Theresa’s memories into her. According to the info we learned from Ptilopsis, Originium is capable of storing information.
It’s possible that Liz’s amnesia is because she is basically a reanimated corpse, or her mind got messed up somewhere during the transfer. Her Oripathy is getting worse, her body is deteriorating, falling apart (literally?).
Confessarius: Is the food not to your taste, my dear sister?
Salus: Don't be so silent, you finally came home, do you really want to be so indifferent?
Salus: If this is because of what happened to Liz... I apologize. But you should know that Liz is not an ordinary infected person.
Salus: Besides, from whom did her suffering and consciousness come from?And from whom did her pain and memory come from? When she recalls these things, will you still be able to get along with her?
Salus: She's not our family after all, you want to—
Shining: She is my family.
Salus: ... oh...
Salus: But... but if you don't come back to us, she will become an empty shell sooner or later. Don't forget why she was made the way she is.
Salus: If you truly value her that much, then I sincerely hope that her end will not be too tragic. Come back, okay?
Salus: You will not fail to understand.
However, the Confessors say that the result wound up being flawed, imperfect. Liz’s original mind is still somewhere, possibly locked away, as written in her profile? She has some vestiges of Theresa’s memories, but isn’t wholly Theresa, like what her captors wanted her to be. Liz was an experiment on how to get a dead person’s memory (and remove emotion associated with it)
While Salus was trying to convince Shining to return to them, Confessarius adds that Liz’s body is “an archaic cage. If necessary, we can weave a new one”. Shining, of course, is having NONE of it. She will not put Liz through that again.
What’s also interesting is that both Confessarius and Salus remark on how long Confessors have been around; according to them, it’s thousands of years. And in those years, Confessors have been misunderstood in more ways than one. This could be a reference as to how resurrection is seen as heretical or sacrilegious in Sarkaz culture, because death is the final peace which must not ever be disturbed.
Moreover, going back on bloodlines, Salus’s own experiments have her trying and failing to separate emotions from memory during a transfer. Whatever progress she makes, it doesn’t last long until the memory itself vanishes. Presumably this is because her lineage isn’t as pure, whereas Shining and Confessarius are able to capture whole “moments” of memory from the collective Sarkaz consciousness.
Salus goes on to describe how “none of [Theresa and Theresis]’s ancestors have even been noticed by Confessors, and we have never collected their bloodline memories. Even if The Lord of Fiends had chosen the sister, it would not prove her brother.”
This makes me wonder if the Confessors had also acted as Kazdel’s recordkeepers, or some sort of archivists.
The leader of the Confessors wordlessly sipped his wine.
Shining could feel that Salus had activated a spell. She can draw her sword and leave, it can be done, but then what?
Will this really find her a way to save Liz?
Confessarius: Shining. I allow you to act alone. I allow you not to come back to me for a while. But... don't interfere with the Regent's plans. Don't interfere with the Sarkaz's journey to our long-awaited future.
Confessarius: Shining. My sister. No one, no matter how much they spurn their bloodline and long to be free of those shackles, can ever truly deny it. There is no point in denying the Divine Right of this gift of blood.
Shining: I thought you already knew. You can't make everything happen the way you want it to... Patriarch.
Lastly SHINING JOINS THE BATTLEFIELD IN AN OFFENSIVE ROLE MEANING SHINING ALT WHEN
Confessor Guard: You still came to this battlefield. Once again you have disobeyed the will of the leader.
Shining: If my actions are still subject to his control, wouldn't my departure be meaningless?
Confessor Guard: You hate the leader so much?
It was never him that I hated.
I hate myself.
The mask on the guard's face cracked, and the Confessor’s scabbard reflected his expression before he fell. Shining stared at him, her eyes both calm and sad. Once again, the last flash of the fire of a creature--stained her sword forever.