Comic 1194 - Break off the sync

Posted on 4th Aug 2019, 4:14 PM in Chapter IX
Break off the sync

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 4th Aug 2019, 4:14 PM edit delete
Morgenstern
You take a breath.

Alright.

You quickly check on Macland Row. He's... fine, and doing Macland Row things. You suspect he's just kind of resigned himself to weird sensations and mind shenanigans being inevitable for a while.

You break off the sync with Mom's red for now. As much as you want to push it further, you've already learned a great deal, and you need to prioritize. Carpenter is still on the horizon.

You suggest that Fuse try to work with the Juries in Bunker B. While they may not be inclined to leave there, devices for EMP purposes, robotics, and other electronics could be taken to them, and they may be willing to help (as this does, in the long term, help protect Bunker B).

Fuse nods. "Yeah. I'll give it a shot."

"I can keep tradin' up what we got," says Michelle.

Fuse heads out to go try and talk to the proto-Juries.

Seeing Dr. Finch still struggling to get something, anything, from Willard--you suggest that he instead try to focus on working with Caius. The... er... human connection may make it easier to make something happen. Blood-wise.

Dr. Finch nods solemnly. "Perhaps you are correct. I've not been able to accomplish much else on the rodent end of things, I'm afraid."

Lastly, you bring up an idea--blood ticks, or something like them. If you could make smaller blood objects to attach to people--or even to your animals--it could provide a way for you to pull from the red at anyone's location at a moment's notice, or even teleport to them in a pinch. Being able to create bugs or walls or cages wherever your blood is has been useful, you just need a way to have your blood always be where it needs to be... and currently, you still struggle with the separation between "your" blood and the blood you've put in other people being "their" blood now.

Dr. Finch adjusts his glasses. "Hm. An exterior blood source would solve that issue. It could also provide an excuse to practice working at smaller levels--for something like that, you would want a very minute entity, one that couldn't be spotted or removed easily, and that wouldn't be in the way of our normal activities. Something small enough that it wouldn't bother its... its, er... host."

"It'd also make scoutin' a lot easier," Michelle points out. "When we hit up Pierce's church, we had that problem where we had Willard in place but couldn't get to 'em fast enough--once things started goin' south we had to drive there the old fashioned way. You put a tiny blood thing on the rats and birds, then we can jump to anywhere they can get into."

"We could straight up assassinate Thale," Caius realizes out loud. Everyone stops and turns to look at him.

Caius gives a small shrug. "I mean, we could. Right? We don't wanna storm tha place through tha front gates, asshole's prob'ly got an army ready and he could be hidin' anywhere in that building. We send a rat or somethin' in through tha vents, though..."

Dr. Finch shakes his head. "Harold Hope had defensive measures installed to his ventilation system, and he was--quite frankly--a bit of an imbecile. I have zero doubts that Thale's taken similar precautions... as much as I wish it could be that simple."

"We kinda got around Hope's defenses, though," Michelle points out, "And that was without blood-ticks-ridin'-rats and everything else we picked up here lately. I know Thale's security's gotta be tougher, but... I dunno. Might be worth a shot, tryin' to sneak somethin' into Thale's HQ."

Dr. Finch breathes out slowly. "I'm... hesitant to agree. You make an excellent point, I just..." He pauses. He shakes his head. "Thale, for his limits, has surprised us numerous times, and each new twist has been progressively worse. He is weaker than Mine, absolutely--but his complete lack of ethics and his inhuman approach has given him the jump on us, both situationally and in terms of certain powers. I... I don't know what I'm afraid of, I'm just very concerned about what could go wrong. I don't know what could go wrong, and I believe that's the problem."

"He did kinda explode a guy at us," Michelle remarks, "before we had any idea that was a thing."

"And what he did to Knox," Caius adds. "Him usin' Knox like a meat puppet wasn't a shock, but all tha... that other shit he was doin' with Knox, I didn't see that comin'."

"I feel like that's all the more reason to do some scoutin' on him, though," Michelle replies. "We could figure out some of his tricks ahead o' time. He ain't gotta catch us by surprise with some weird new freaky nonsense next time we face him. Hell, we might find out somethin' on Carpenter, or find a way to play 'em against each other. There's a lot we could gain from spelunkin' Thale's vents, and I can't picture much he could do about it."

Dr. Finch hesitates, casting a glance aside. He adjusts his glasses again. "I... I feel that we should maintain our focus on Carpenter, for now. Attempting to spy on Thale while Carpenter is still in play is that much more dangerous--I would feel better about approaching one threat after the other is eliminated. Attempting to manipulate them into dealing with one another--while I admit, is incredibly amusing--is far, far too risky, not just for us but the city at large."

"It'd be funny, though," Caius points out.

"It would be funny," Dr. Finch agrees, fighting back a smile.

Comments:

zophah 4th Aug 2019, 5:08 PM edit delete reply
I find it interesting that Finch mentioned specifically that Thale is weaker than Mine. And at this point I'm not only inclined to agree, but believe that Mine is currently one of the more powerful entities on the planet.
Sekwel 4th Aug 2019, 5:18 PM edit delete reply
We should consider that sending anything to Thale right now might just give him ideas, if he catches whatever we send. Presumably he hasn't been using animals so far. Imagine if our more human approach gives him ideas to use against us.

I do think we should focus on Carpenter first. It's weird to say, but with Nil involved I think he might be the bigger threat given our present circumstances. At least Thale hasn't presented us with a proverbial timer to his next encounter with us.

Definitely up for trying to make blood ticks while we wait for the various goings on that are happening, though. Maybe we could blood an actual insect to learn a thing or two about their physiology?
Sekwel 4th Aug 2019, 5:22 PM edit delete reply
Followup: Why couldn't we just Blood actual ticks? Sure they may not be the most undetectable. But it's low investment, high reward that way.
Anotherdamntimeclone 4th Aug 2019, 5:36 PM edit delete reply
Well blooding the tick would be the problem of, the blood is the ticks now, hence making our own would mean its just blood we see as ours.
Daniel 5th Aug 2019, 5:26 PM edit delete reply
Hmm...interesting point. A tick is so different from a human being, though, that I think we ought to be able to convince ourselves that our-blood-in-a-tick is still ours, whereas in a fellow human it's sorta-kinda theirs. I'm thinking something like "the tick is too dumb to really own anything". Mine being Mine, this probably doesn't scale to animals complex enough to be cute :p.
Limrix 5th Aug 2019, 5:53 PM edit delete reply
Even if it's strange life, it's still life. Rats, ticks, robots, aliens, we acknowledge them all. If we want something to count as Mine, it has to be all Mine.
Sekwel 6th Aug 2019, 3:56 PM edit delete reply
I definitely at least want to see if it'd work. lol
PretenseAndPoison 10th Aug 2019, 6:43 PM edit delete reply
After taking some time to mull it over myself, it's also an interesting prospect. While blooding other creatures /is/ technically less effective for our current purposes or making portable, strategially placeable blood points to act from, we already know fromblooding the cats, the rats, and the ravens that animals have some different senses. Trying to adapt to an insects feedback could be an interesting experience... but with everything that's going on it may be an experience best saved for later.

In particular though, it may be interesting to see how blood interacts with blood drinking parasites, and then theorize about that in relation to vampires. There wasdefinitely a vampire hunting kit in Zone Fifty's leftovers. This, however, is a silly thing for silly times.

Lol.
Limrix 4th Aug 2019, 5:47 PM edit delete reply
It's time to accelerate. We have all of the information we need for Mine to safely accelerate herself in the red for some much-needed power leveling, both for Red and herself. The last time we tried to accelerate, we slowed time for the worm instead of accelerating ourselves, waisting hours. We have proved that acceleration can function relative to real-time. By observing out of other parts of ourself, we can make sure that we are on track if Fuse's superwatch doesn't help with that. Deceleration should be easier as the one accelerated, as we would be able to slow it down faster. Even if it's not, the only effect is that Mine spends more time accelerated than she originally planned, it's not going to take a significant amount of real-time for that to work itself out. Making the red go backwards in time requires a conscious effort, so that shouldn't be an issue. Moving back and forth is a different kind of movement from changing relative speed; it should be hard to do this by accident. Sleeping while accelerated should also not be a problem, as the time inertia should keep everything accelerated while we sleep. The speed bleed off should be minimal, as not much realtime will have passed. One hour a second, like the cellpone when it 'got going' is a very nice acceleration level, and I think we should aim for about that. As both the accelerator and the acceleratee, we should have finer grain control over our rate than when trying to accelerate something while moving at realtime rate. 1/360th realtime is both fast enough to do whatever we want, and also slow enough that we should be able to return without any trouble. The only issue left is that this could be boring to the readers, so we should cram a bunch of stuff into the next couple of strips to avoid that.
Lunar Waffles 4th Aug 2019, 6:13 PM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
+1
Anotherdamntimeclone 4th Aug 2019, 7:11 PM edit delete reply
Anotherdamntimeclone
+1 More
Limrix 4th Aug 2019, 9:40 PM edit delete reply
We should also bring anything that we want to experiment with us to minimize required spinup/spindown time. A cell phone, some various metals, a spider corpse, a can of beans, a cell phone, some mundane dirt, the blue cactus, some of that green cube slime, the spine thing corpse... Feel free to add more. If accelerating with them is hard, we don't have to bring them.
PretenseAndPoison 5th Aug 2019, 7:46 AM edit delete reply
Considering the numerous entities which have been squeamish about messing with time, I feel like we should be very wary of , well, messing with time. Even in the Red, at least until one or more of the current threats have been dealt with.
Limrix 5th Aug 2019, 8:35 AM edit delete reply
We have been cautioned strongly against going back in time, as there are powerful entities this would anger. As far as other time stuff is concerned, they don't really care from what Mom Red said. Time moving at differing rates in the red is natural. As long as we leave causality alone, we are fine. The only thing that we have to do is not leave the red before we entered, which, considering we aren't making it move backwards, should be easy.
Limrix 5th Aug 2019, 9:10 AM edit delete reply
One last thing: we shouldn't do any syncing while accelerated, the consequences could be disastrous. It might just fail, or it might lead to oversyncing the slower party in seconds.
Limrix 6th Aug 2019, 8:37 AM edit delete reply
If accelerating ourselves and other objects is hard, we could try defining a space and accelerating that. Walls might help visualize this. We don't need to try this too hard though, if it doesn't work it doesn't work.
We should also take this opportunity to talk to Red, as we'll be alone together for quite some time, and both of us could use the company.
Skullrama 7th Aug 2019, 9:36 AM edit delete reply
If we're going to do the accelerated time thing, we need to approach it cautiously, with an experiment or three first. If we just jump in and assume that keeping a portal open to watch normal time (or whatever we do) is foolproof and will absolutely work... we could be in for a really crappy surprise that we don't see coming.

Let's at least keep the first attempts brief and non-commital as much as possible until we're very confident.
Lunar Waffles 7th Aug 2019, 5:18 PM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
+1 to Skullrama
PretenseAndPoison 14th Aug 2019, 11:15 AM edit delete reply
+1 to Skullrama (and channeling our inner fuse)
Limrix 4th Aug 2019, 6:18 PM edit delete reply
Things to do While Accelerated Megathread:
** Learn to reduce fatigue/emulate sleep. A priority as this lets us do more with our time.
* Practice bloodcrafting until it becomes second nature.
* Work with electricity and try to craft with energy.
* Experiment with acid, water, gas, and silicon based life.
* Craft new materials, like limpet teeth and superworm silk.
* Make breathing a formality, and make gas masks that turn CO2 to O2, as they are also part of us.
* Create light
Lunar Waffles 4th Aug 2019, 6:21 PM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
#1 all the flesh crafting ideas;

Blood Ticks(or smaller)

get really good at making human-like golem so we(and or our allies) can "be in two places at once" from the perspective of an outside looker.
study Mini-Mines brain for that, get really good at making that not-brain brain.

maybe even learn to make fake birds/cats?

#2 try to keep blood speak fresh in the mind.

#3 learn to command computers, even if they're locked.

#4 learn to be the blood while still being "Mine Ametsuchi" or figuring out some other "half-way" point.

#5 try to figure out how to Danny Phantom(go ghost) at will? wont be useful for this fight but maybe the next one.
pkrankow 4th Aug 2019, 6:59 PM edit delete reply
pkrankow
E=MC^2

We could go full on atomic... but just working with theory might allow for some possible manipulation concepts.

Waterjet. A stream or water thin as a pencil line can cut inches of steel. (yet can be stopped by a relatively shallow pool of water) Focus and refinement around a concept might allow for a breacher weapon. We already did similar. Breaching the shell of a robot would help with Carpenter.
PretenseAndPoison 5th Aug 2019, 7:48 AM edit delete reply
+1 to the blood jet cutting experimentation, that should be relatively easy to pull off and we could just punch right through a wall. Wouldn't even need to have that big of a puncture, since once that blood is through to the other side Mine can set up a portal.
Limrix 5th Aug 2019, 8:57 AM edit delete reply
* Get to know our body.
* Work with our aura- shifting it around, condensing it, expanding it, making it spin around us instead of randomly vibrating.
* See if we can gain control of an electronic device by filling it with our electrons.
* Make a meat mech suit for ourselves, complete with portalable surfaces and a fashionable design.
Limrix 5th Aug 2019, 9:05 AM edit delete reply
Addendum: Person sized mech, exosuit might be a better term. Ideally this would be about the size of the bone armor and not too bulky. Mine should focus first on mobility and second on defense, her powers are all the offense she needs.
Limrix 5th Aug 2019, 11:47 AM edit delete reply
* Work on mind shielding.
* Make various blood critters, blood tube, something with the movement of the brain leech.
* Craft blood bullets.
* Experiment with shielding from projectiles.
Natural 20 6th Aug 2019, 3:47 AM edit delete reply
+1 to bloodcrafting experiments of all sorts, especially an armored exosuit for Mine.
PretenseAndPoison 10th Aug 2019, 6:46 PM edit delete reply
After additional time thinking it over, realizing that it doesn't technically have to be Mine being accelerated, I vote we try the aforementioned 'defining a space and accelerating that'.... with some fruit. If we can make some fruit rot that's a clear sign that a designated space has been messed with, and would be a good sign.
inthestartown 4th Aug 2019, 6:20 PM edit delete reply
inthestartown
Pokemon but bloody woah.
Guest 4th Aug 2019, 8:18 PM edit delete reply
Did we ever get around to sending the cryptic message to Carpenter? We should probably do that. That would be priority #1.
Lunar Waffles 5th Aug 2019, 1:56 AM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
Peirce is currently working on that. if we dont do something we'd just be waiting.
T41 5th Aug 2019, 12:19 AM edit delete reply
As tempting as it is the try and make our enemies take each other out, Dr. Finch is in the habit of usually being right.
Lunar Waffles 5th Aug 2019, 1:56 AM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
+1 XD
PretenseAndPoison 5th Aug 2019, 7:49 AM edit delete reply
Infinite +1 to Finch being regularly right.
Cuttlefish 17th Aug 2019, 2:54 PM edit delete reply
+1... It'd be funny though :p
Ablaze 5th Aug 2019, 8:29 AM edit delete reply
What about making swarms. Could you make many many tiny flying insects and then control all of them together as if it were one unit? They could flow like blood, just on a different scale.
C-type 5th Aug 2019, 10:45 AM edit delete reply
Could we convince ourself the blood we've provided to others is more of a joint ownership type of deal? That way it wouldn't hinder their ability to operate independently or mark them as "part of us" but we could still manipulate that blood when we chose to.
Lunar Waffles 5th Aug 2019, 12:44 PM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
we're already at that stage. Mine can use the blood to shift mass of her friends Manually, but cant pull from The Red, or shift that mass to another person.
(Not that she would want to do that last bit)
PretenseAndPoison 10th Aug 2019, 6:49 PM edit delete reply
Being pedantic, shifting mass to another person would be a potential way to perform an organ transplant should repairing the existing one prove too strenuous and/or dangerous in an emergency. Maybe a nice, organic heart left lovingly in the chest of a dear friend.
37212513 5th Aug 2019, 6:22 PM edit delete reply
37212513
Nothing is stopping her from defining a "Blood tick" as anything specific. This means we can get specific. Once Mine has it in her head what a Blood tick is for sure, then it's set, still... if small is the target. Try setting a gemstone in the opponents bone marrow. Micro-sized, distinct, and Mine can keep her claim.

It wouldn't be too different from how street gangs tag walls and what not with graffiti. Your "Tag" is always yours and everyone knows it. Tag someone else turf, you've just started a turf war. (It's a mental thing for her.)

In Mines case, the war wouldn't start until she shows off her tag willingly. Of course, I'm assuming Thale
doesn't regularly check on his "disposable" guards.
37212513 5th Aug 2019, 6:28 PM edit delete reply
37212513
Having said that, you don't have to start aggressive. Most gangs tag their own turfs first after all.
pkrankow 5th Aug 2019, 7:13 PM edit delete reply
pkrankow
Tags are always the creator's even if given, bought, sold, or stolen. Play that copyright law.
PretenseAndPoison 10th Aug 2019, 6:50 PM edit delete reply
"A signature is yours no matter who you give it to". It's a miracle that slow burning realization didn't do me any mental harm when that finally clicked for me.
Natural 20 6th Aug 2019, 4:11 AM edit delete reply
Once Pierce finishes sending that message, we really ought to try a sync with him, Finch, and Big Red. Knowledge of Big Red's fundamental nature gained through the sync would benefit them both in making sense of things.
Guest 7th Aug 2019, 4:37 AM edit delete reply
Not related at all, but I JUST now realized that the syringe we started with was from when we got drugged before the comic started.

I always just dismissed it as something a nurse might have.
Lunar Waffles 7th Aug 2019, 5:21 PM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
oh, hadn't thought of that....also, if you want to talk about this kind of stuff in length i recommend visiting the discord, if you haven't already. x:
Morgenstern 18th Aug 2019, 4:44 PM edit delete reply
Morgenstern
Hey.

So.

Long story short, I blew out my power supply, and in getting it repaired also stirred up something sinister that had been lurking in my computer. I'm uh, mostly recovered from that, it might take a bit to readjust and getting everything rolling again. They basically had to wipe the entire system but I think I managed to salvage everything I need comic-wise. Updates should commence soon, if nothing else goes sideways.

Consider joining my Patreon! I know I'm not exactly earning it right now but I'd like to fix that. My money situation is no bueno
PretenseAndPoison 19th Aug 2019, 12:00 AM edit delete reply
That sounds exruciating, you have my sincere condolences. It's a good object lesson in warning others to back up their files as well.

P.S., love the phrasing of something far more sinister lurking in your computer. So mysterious- it could be dataa leak, it could be a blown wire, it could be infinite crablike legs made of pure shadow that reach out in the night and feel around in search of your favorite coffee mug, never to be seen again.
PurpleKetchup 19th Aug 2019, 12:51 PM edit delete reply
Wiping everything stills smells like bull. Was it a mac by any chance?
Guest 20th Aug 2019, 1:42 PM edit delete reply
ugh, i hate it when the power supply bursts into flame...i mean dies. glad everything is taken car of now.
37212513 23rd Aug 2019, 8:45 PM edit delete reply
37212513
sympathies on the PSU. Had to get replace mine not to long ago myself. Test button still works, so bro and I might make a robot with it (the dead one). Never know what an old part might be used for some day.
Angelo Sanguianto 25th Aug 2019, 6:58 PM edit delete reply
Angelo Sanguianto
maybe we should have Finch & Elizabeth researching what make a cult a cult, the billboards effects will reach the psychology community thus adding hefty names to the anti Thale movement
Eric 29th Aug 2019, 9:19 AM edit delete reply
Can someone remind me what "all that other shit he was doing with Knox" was?
PurpleKetchup 30th Aug 2019, 12:43 PM edit delete reply
The whole transforming him into a gory, hulking berserker wasn't exactly expected, IIRC.
PretenseAndPoison 8th Sep 2019, 1:57 AM edit delete reply
With such high stakes a 'group movie night' might be a good way to either relax or realize there isn't going to be any legitimate relaxing for a while.

The spa day sure did hammer out a lot of small, personal revelations. Something more 'communally intimate' might do some good for the party.
Blue_Elite 10th Sep 2019, 5:37 PM edit delete reply
Getting away with murder.
Blue_Elite 13th Sep 2019, 10:14 AM edit delete reply
Huh, interesting name there.
Aston Whiteman 14th Sep 2019, 12:19 AM edit delete reply
And that's how the Blood is Mine story ended...

Fighting back a smile. 😊
Morgenstern 14th Sep 2019, 7:47 AM edit delete reply
Morgenstern
it wasn't over a year ago when you declared it was, and it's not over now lol

I am on this site every day. I am on the discord pretty much 24/7. I'm worn out and fighting twelve shades of anxiety at the moment, but I haven't abandoned BiM whatsoever. This comic is my number one priority and I want to get back on it as soon as I can.

Writing's just... a thing, right now.
Chaostraveler 15th Sep 2019, 11:55 PM edit delete reply
I for one am more than willing to wait for a story as great as this one is. More than one of the series that I've stumbled onto over the years has apparently died and then come right back. Appropriately, as some of them were about zombies. You take care of yourself first Morgenstern, the comic can keep and will likely be the better for you being ready. I only ask one thing in return: Will this all be solved by hugging Thale or Carpenter? They do seem the types that weren't hugged enough as children. :p
PurpleKetchup 16th Sep 2019, 2:47 PM edit delete reply
Look, I wanted to hug Edison when she was still largely unmanageable, but even I think Thale is too far gone for that to have any positive impact on anything.
Mochi 15th Sep 2019, 11:46 AM edit delete reply
Mochi
hey. hey asston. HEY.

FUCK YOU
Aston 16th Sep 2019, 2:54 AM edit delete reply
Thank you for your effort
Aston 16th Sep 2019, 2:54 AM edit delete reply
Thanks for the update.

I like the comic. I swear it's really good.

Hope city isn't eaten.