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REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA: ET IN ARCÆDIA EGO

Chapter I:  "Plaga Medicus"

Written by Abri Isgrig and Diane N. Tran


Dr. Juan Guerrero read that headline splashed across the front page of a discarded copy of the magazine, Vanity and Vein:

WHO IS THE PLAGUE DOCTOR?

The infamous Repo Man — an urban legend, a figment of the mind's eye, a ghoul, a boogeyman — was sketched upon the cover, with a pair of hollow, soulless eyes and a long, vulturine beak and a dramatic, flowing cape.  It was amusing really, as it looked nothing like him.  Artists are a strange and imaginative lot, but not very smart.

Guerrero tossed the magazine into the gutter, studying it roll along with the other trash the wind carried.   He turned on his holographic watch:

It was time.  Would she come?

Turning the corner, a woman, fresh and beautiful, pranced down the half-lit alleyway with a man at her arm, gleefully laughing at the world as she did so.  Who she was and why she was here was unimportant.  She skipped a payment to GeneCo on her heart and, by contract, had to pay the price of said penalty.  He watched her escort — her client, no doubt — press her against the building wall in a lustful promise, and Guerrero made his move.

He stepped out of the depths of the shadows, under the guise of the Repo Man, and cracked a heavy walking-stick across the spine of the man and he knocked him to the ground.  He unsheathed a ready blade from his staff and slit the woman's throat, as her body slumped over her companion.  The man scrabbled to his feet at the sight of the Corpse and turned to find himself affront a harbinger of Judgment:

The Plague Doctor.

He trembled before the creature, as it pressed a solitary finger under its beak and whispered:

"Shhhhhhh..."

The Plague Doctor permitted the man to flee.  His time of Judgment will come eventually, as he knelt down before his target and got to work.  He ignored what little fabric clothed her, slicing through the warm flesh.  He snapped the sternum clean and pulled the ribcage ajar.  His talons circled around the once-beating muscle and extracted it out, bagging it in a refrigerated case for delivery.

He craned his head up at when he heard the faint sound of applause next to him and, there, sitting cross-legged on the closed lid of a dumpster was the GeneCop-turned-Graverobber, Christopher Chance.

"Nice work, buddy, very nice," marvelled the white-haired Graverobber with a smirk.  "No wonder you're the best Repo Man of the Four.  You take organ repossession and turn it into an art form."

"What part of 'stop following me' don't you understand?" sneered the Plague Doctor in an icy voice that seemed unlike him.

"Whoa, look who woke up on the wrong side of the dissection bed."   Chance jumped from his seat, biting into a withered apple and tossing it aside, and sauntered over to admire the Corpse at the assassin's feet.   "You done with her?"

"I got what I needed.  And if I find you tailing me again," he tapped the bloody blade of his scalpel against the right glass eyepiece of his mask and continued, "you lose an eye."

"Hey, what's with you?  You're not acting like yourself."  The Graverobber frowned and glanced up and down his friend's costume:  "Well, so to speak."

"Get your shit and go."

As the Repo Man tapped a button on his holographic watch to signal the clean-up crew, the Graverobber pulled an empty syringe out of his satchel from his belt.  He plunged the needle deep through the nasal cavity of the fallen woman, punching though the tough cartilage and sensitive bone, and anchored its tip into the epiphysis.  He pulled the piston out, sucking in the glowing, glandular ooze into the glass vial.  Chance pulled the needle to value at his prize, adoring its splendour in its freshest and purest form, with a simper:

Zydrate.

The Graverobber turned to meet his comrade-in-arms, but he was abandoned with only the Dead for company.

The Plague Doctor had gone.
Chapter I: "Plaga Medicus"
Chapter II: "Ecce Arcædia"
---

My friend ~Lady-Rorschach and I have gotten a lot of response over the Human Target-REPO! the Genetic Opera crossover. She's a much faster writer than I am. The stuff I write and add takes hours to days, sometimes weeks (or months), so please be patient with us. We hope to bring you a good, strong story with deep symbolism with emotional melodrama worthy of the opera house and gory horror worthy of the Grand Guignol! I love the "propaganda posters" used for the REPO! film. See the the "higher" quality rendition of the "The Plague Doctor Poster." This story takes place about a year after the events of the REPO! film.

The title "Et in Arcædia ego" is Latin for "Even in Arcadia (Paradise), I (Death) exist," as spoken by Death personified: However, there's a cruel irony within its meaning that is not obvious to most whom are familiar with the quote: While it is grammatically accurate in Latin, it is not a proper sentence, but a nominal phrase with no finite verb and no comma: The most literal translation goes "And in Paradise I," not "me" but "I." Some historians conclude this is an anagram that, when Death personified spoke the phrase, Death was referring to himself as Paradise and thus Paradise is the personification of Death, too.

The chapter title "Plaga Medicus" is Latin for "Plague Doctor." Historically, plague doctors were specialized physicians, hired by the Church, that "treated" bubonic plague victims during the Black Death in medieval Europe, to which they adopted an ominous-looking costume, consisting of a heavy, leather robes to draw the plague away from the patient and onto the garment, a pair of red-glass eyepieces to make them impervious to evil, and a mask with a hollow beak filled with herbs and spices to overpower the miasma ("bad air") thought to carry the plague. However, while his duties were often limited to visiting victims to verify whether they had been afflicted or not, by prodding the body with a stick, plague doctors were more responsible for spreading the disease, as a vector for infected fleas and assisting in poor sanitation, rather than its treatment.

Human Target © DC Comics/Fox
REPO! the Genetic Opera © Darren Smith/Terrance Zdunich
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:icongeorgie-kovacs:
Georgie-Kovacs Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2013
FANART AHOY! [link] I hope you like it.
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:icontranimation-art:
tranimation-art Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Whheeeee!
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:icongeorgie-kovacs:
Georgie-Kovacs Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013
Hey, after watching a certain Rock opera movie (Bet ya can't guess what it was) I managed to sketch out a sort of design for Mr 'Plague Doctor'. If you like I could post it and send you a link... And if you like it you can use it for this lovely story of yours... Just don't ask me to draw Chance, I can never get his hair (or Chin) right...
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:icontranimation-art:
tranimation-art Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Really? Oh, wow, I'm flattered beyond belief! I'm sooooo happy you like this! I love fanart! It bewilders me to no end, too. I'm so used to being a fan that the idea of having fans, particularly fans who are willing to make art based on my work, never crossed my mind, ever! So, yes, please do. I'd love to see it! I'll add it to my "fan art" favourites.

I totally get Chance's chin! That chin is CRAZY! I can never get it right either!
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:icongeorgie-kovacs:
Georgie-Kovacs Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013
Yeah his chin reminds me of the animated series Batman. He has the dimple and everything.

Yeah I'd be surprised as well if I found out I had fans, but I do want to be an actor so you never know. Of course if I do get the job I'll be begging my agent to find me parts I can play alongside Jackie (Or Liam Neeson...):3... I'll get to uploading the pic soon. But first I wanna try and improve on the design, it reminds me a bit to much of the Night surgeon. (Well the coat does)
I have a thing in putting characters in overcoats...
I blame the Doctor (Doctor Who)Damn his lovely long coats...
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:icontranimation-art:
tranimation-art Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2013  Professional Filmographer
I do have image of Chance in the HUMAN TARGET spinoff comics. I was amazed they "captured" his chin quite well in a few of those panels: [link]

Plague Doctors are fascinating. Their beaks and designs are so various. And I love long overcoats, too!
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:icongeorgie-kovacs:
Georgie-Kovacs Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2013
Yeah, it's a crazy likeness...

Plague Doctors used to freak me out, but now that I have become a creepy horror (thinking Freddy Krueger is puppy-dog cute) Nutcase, I have come to be quite fascinated instead of cowering at them when they appear on the TV.
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:icontranimation-art:
tranimation-art Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2013  Professional Filmographer
You're in good company then. :highfive:
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:iconslashphoto:
Slashphoto Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wonderful as always!
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:icontranimation-art:
tranimation-art Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Awwww, thank you! Next chapter will finally be posted for April 1st (irony!).
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