The Soal: The Fallacy

I know what some of you might be saying, - "That this is an isolated case, and just because this particular case turned out to be an unfortunate mistake perpetrated by a grudge informer that the soal are non-existent."  However, after my meetings with soal investigators I've started to get to the realize that the story of the soal are nothing more than fairy-tails, and a deadly one.

You see, finding out the murder conspiracy wasn't the end of the story, at least not for me.  I needed to know what the signs were, all the signs were, so Nana's heartbreak wouldn't be repeated in someone else.  One shouldn't be killed in such a brutal and disgusting way simply for being married to the target of one's crush.

When I asked Reignhart Brawn, the soal investigator for the city, he told me that the signs were the following:
  • Rubbery appendages on any part of the body, including, and especially, extremities (how Darmon was 'busted').
  • Unexplainable euphoria or depression
  • Wild behavior not of the norm
  • Orange insides (this one is found at postmortem)
  • Reddening of the eyes, whitening of the gums, or bluing of the lips
  • Appearing pale and flushed when one shouldn't be
  • Zombism (again, postmortem)
Already, there was a problem, namely in quantification.  How is an investigator to determine if a subject's behaviour is outside of their usual norm?  Sure, the investigator could take the family or friend's word for it, but again, the issue with grudge informants, who might make this claim just to get rid of someone they didn't like.  When I asked Brawn this, he got defensive and told me that he had to use other means to diagnose someone.

Still, 'unexplained euphoria or depression?'  He wouldn't elaborate on that either, even though not only is that hard to quantify, but... well, emotions aren't suppose to be rational to begin with.  I mean, what would stop a bitter husband from claiming that his wife is soal on the grounds that she, like any woman, is highly emotional and having unexplained depression, euphoria, or just violent mood-swings that can go in either direction?

Even then, those were the only behaviour-based criteria, the rest hinged on physical ailments.  Here was where things got dark.

You could be accused of being a soal for staying up too late one evening from the pub.  After all, being bloodshot was a symptom.  As for being flushed?  Any number of ailments will do that, and before a diagnosis from a doctor, no one would know what it was.

I asked Brawn how many of these a person would need to be classed as soal.  According to him, one only needs two of those check marked.

Two?  Only two?  Aside from the fact that to determine the colour of the insides of someone requires cutting them open and someone would have to wait at your grave... once your dead, to determine if you pop back to life afterwards, that means you need two very vague symptoms.

Dammit!  Anyone who is sick would qualify!  Anyone in a mental asylum would qualify!  If you buy the unexplained behaviours bit, everyone in this room at some point has been happy or sad for no rational reason!  Would that mean everyone, including myself, would qualify?

I checked the public records on the subject.  According to what I read, I never saw a case with more than three symptoms checked, contrary to what Brawn told me, there were cases that had only one symptom checked.

If Sergeant DelVore's case is any indicator, a lynch mob only needs one symptom.  Rail people up enough and they will believe in anything.

So, I conclude, the soal are fiction.

<Continued in The Conclusion>