Reliquary Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Why is there so much excitement surrounding the second skeleton found in the polluted Cloaca?

The second skeleton is horribly deformed, and there doesn't seem to be any reason ifor the deformity. It presents an anthropological and forensics puzzle, therefore drawing interest.

2. Does the existence of an underground "clan" seem plausible? What do you think is their purpose in the story?

The underground citizenry does exist. New York is riddled with subterranean tunnels, housing many of society's outcasts. The purpose in this story is to illustrate that the Wrinklers are the bottom of the evolutionary rung and are therefore relegated to the bottom of the worst part of the city.

3. What is the irony in the author's naming the leader of the Route 666 group Mephisto?

Mephisto, or Mephistopheles, is one of the chief demons of European literary tradition. The numbers 666 are commonly called the "mark of the beast." The subterranean tunnels are hell, after a fashion, and it is ironic that it is ruled by a man named after a demon whose clan bears the mark of the beast.

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