I was briefed about the work they want me to do. I was told I'll be given much more responsibility than I've had before, and that I might find the work distasteful. I asked if there was anything else for me to do here, anything that didn't involve vivisection. Apparently there isn't. Everything they do is focused on discovering how the mal works, how it can be cured and controlled. They believe that every other avenue of investigation has failed, and that the only solid basis we have for our research is in the interaction of living, human tissue with the mal. I asked how it would help us solve the expansion problem, and was told that we needed something, anything, that was tractable to scientific investigation, and that thus far, there'd only been success in this one field.
There's a second reason for this research, one that nobody talks about because it's almost too horrible to contemplate. In the event that The Sick Land begins to consume population centres, our research will be needed to help the afflicted people survive the mal as best they can. To me, it seems like trying to fix a decapitation with a bandage, but I understand that there needs to be some planning for the worst-case scenario. I start work tomorrow; I hope I can stomach it.