Comic 1177 - Experiment with Pierce's version

Posted on 17th Feb 2019, 10:44 PM in Chapter IX
Experiment with Pierce's version

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 17th Feb 2019, 10:44 PM edit delete
Morgenstern
You ask Pierce if he wants to try out the new form. He nods.

You all give him some room to move past, and move he does. The form is at least slightly faster than Michelle's was--it doesn't need to haul itself on all four limbs, instead gliding across the surface of the ground. The 'wings' jolt and flash when Pierce turns, the energy helping to keep him on balance--and allowing him to spin on a dime. With some practice, he gets to where he can even glide backward.

Despite appearances, it doesn't seem like the form can fly, properly--Pierce makes a few attempts to take off, but can't sustain it. He does get dangerously close, the form having tremendous leaps. Combined with the way its levitation-esque movement style alleviates its weight, Pierce's jumps take him ridiculously far and with impressive agility. Within minutes, he's able to leap from the side of one building to another, barely leaving a mark--even skating along the side of one structure, though gravity does slowly angle him downward. It's not true flight, but it seems like he doesn't have to touch the ground if he doesn't want to.

Not wanting to cause any extra damage, Pierce mostly trains his combat abilities on the building Michelle's already broken into. His claws seem just as powerful--slightly smaller, but with a more humanoid frame he can lash out faster and with more versatility.

You make an effort to feel his aura while he tries the form out. His aura is... definitely different than before. It feels erratic and... smaller, maybe drawn in more tightly. With the way the ritual temporarily alters the brain, it may affect the personality and the sense of self in a way that drastically alters the aura, as well.

You ask Red if this ritual is draining you at all.

"Not that I can tell," she says. "It's pulled from your red, but... it's infinite, and it's not coming from you personally."

Not coming from you personally... even though the red's inside you, in a way.

You mull over what Liz said--about cognitive dissonance. Your abilities have always been tied to your perception and how you consider things to be, from the moment you crushed that ventilation shaft in the hospital. The way you interpret your own powers has created a few limits... but it seems to have also bypassed some of the limits you would have had if you'd seen the world more objectively.

You also consider the conversation about flight. You can only move blood... but why? You can turn blood into other things, but then you mostly lose control over it--except to turn it into other things, including back into blood. Are you just stuck on the idea that the red is blood? You've seen the red, been inside it--and while the unformed infinity of it is closest to blood, it's not exactly blood. It's like... proto-blood.

But you can turn blood into meat.

So blood is like proto-meat.

If you can control blood, you should be able to control the rest of it with the same fine level of manipulation.

Plus, you've moved parts of the body inside the body before--just... not a whole body at once.

You focus on it--trying to get a grip on your entire self, not just maneuvering musculature around or pushing things out. It's... difficult. You feel like you can almost do it, but the concept keeps slipping through your fingers--you end up starting to move a piece of you, inside, but you can't manage to lift yourself entirely off the ground. ...Which is, admittedly, a little painful. You can't quite grasp yourself as just one entire person, you can't get over the knowledge that you're made of parts.

Pierce starts to figure something else out--beginning to do... something with his wings independent of his movements. He can't seem to control it all that well, but he does start to force more energy out--eventually thrusting it out of his back with enough force that he has to reposition himself to keep his footing. He... could almost attack with it, or possibly use it for propulsion--

but then his ten minutes run out.

Pierce steadily shrinks down, his robe and even his visor steadily repairing. His visor, you note, does have a slightly... off texture when it returns, though, specifically where it broke. The seam isn't as neat as it is with his clothing.

He immediately topples over.

Michelle climbs to her feet, shuffling over to help Pierce up. "You okay?"

You rush to give Pierce a painkiller effect. After some effort, he manages to stand on his own again. He's still a bit wobbly, though.

"That is... very disorienting," he remarks. "I'm alright, thank you. After what you said, I was expecting paranoia, but... no. It was like I wanted an enemy, I had this... rage, and nothing worthy of it. ...I don't recall much else."


image


"You wanna try this?," Michelle asks Liz.

"Perhaps another time," she replies. "It has to be sometime after noon by now and we have greater priorities."

Michelle gives Liz a long and somewhat sassy stare.

Liz's expression doesn't change, but she does eventually relent. "It would make sense that the form granted by the ritual is based on the original body. Caius's eleven form isn't likely to be much different than yours. Pierce and Dr. Finch would have alternate forms closest to what the ritual makers intended."

She pauses, just slightly.

"I was genetically engineered, but not like you or Caius. I've seen what I'll likely become if I perform the ritual. Patton had a basement full of them."

"Hey, though," Michelle begins, "Blondie put a lot o' time into makin' you better, right? You mighta started as lab meat, but you oughta be pretty close to... Finch, or Pierce, or Lydia as far as body goes. The ritual prob'ly don't care how you got here, just what you're workin' with for... I dunno, organs an' stuff."

"...Maybe." Liz remains visibly stoic. "I'll consider it for later--I wasn't just being coy, we do have more important things to concern ourselves with. Arvin has us on a countdown."

Comments:

Limrix 17th Feb 2019, 11:55 PM edit delete reply
Limrix
I've been thinking more about the upcoming fight, and I think if we are going in there with people, we need to be prepared for all sorts of attacks. For that reason, I think we should ask an old question. What kills a human?

Airborne poison. Have a filter, or source O2 from the red.
Tear gas. Have eye caps. This shouldn't be hard. We can make them form fitting.
Depressurization. Source O2 from the red.
Electricity: Ground armor either to ground or the red with conduits routing electricity away from critical areas. The red would require using the nose portal for more.
Heat: Wrap victim in blood to suppress fire and maintain body temperature.
Cold: Mine controls the temperature in the red, so we can summon boiling blood. We would need to confirm this first.
Acid: research corrosion resistance?
My answers for the last three aren't great, but I think adding tough skin webbing to the bone armor should help with that enough for now. It would help with temperature and acid, and we can include current shunting to the floor if it's not too much work.

Red oxygen would involve a noseplug with a portal to the red for breathing, and a mouth dome to seal that while still allowing for speech. We keep the red oxygenated. Supporting five small portals shouldn't be a problem. A filter based approach would work as well, and would avoid the need for portals.
Tych 18th Feb 2019, 12:11 AM edit delete reply
When you say "What kills Humans?" do you mean that directed at the group for defenses or at Carpenter for attack plan cause aside from acid I can't think of anything he probably hasn't removed or reinforced against
Limrix 18th Feb 2019, 12:17 AM edit delete reply
Limrix
Ways for us to not die to these things. With regard to offense, we'll use whatever we have at the time, be it blood noodles or accelerated meat.
Nic 18th Feb 2019, 1:50 AM edit delete reply
I think we need a way to disrupt magic.or remove it from an object. Nil does t use normal methods, he makes an area of non existence. He may be the only entity that could trueky "kill" mine
Myya 18th Feb 2019, 3:37 AM edit delete reply
There may be some normal attack methods, such as poisons (like what happened to Finch previously) that we'll want to work on protecting against, but I'm currently more concerned about potential Nil attacks.

We should get back to the tradesmen's list of things that might not help prepare for a fight against Nil. Forced syncs (try again with Michelle and see how Mine's powers work now), interact more with Mine's alien side (imprint strengthening ritual on Red and introduce her to the team), work on forced perceptions in astral form (and have Red and as much of the team as possible join in on this training).
SSMike 18th Feb 2019, 9:33 AM edit delete reply
Straight O2 is bad for you, maybe just put a big ol' blob of air in the red for later use
Mister 18th Feb 2019, 7:28 PM edit delete reply
+1 to Straight Oxygen being a negative. Mine should probably memories what average air is comprised of, but store some too.

Limrix - you've listed a bunch of things that could be ambient / present upon arrival, however these could also be sprung as traps.

I mean, he is like a robotics guy, so sensors are his forte.

Which means we have to add:
- Explosions (heat / explosive pressure / explosive decompression)
- Falls (or rather the sudden stop at the end)
- Crushing (a la Indiana Jones / landslides)
- Tearing / Slicing (I'm thinking Robot wars like weapons attached to walls / floors / ceilings)

As for ever-present items, what about
- Radiation
- Focused radio waves (like microwaves or 5G towers ;) hahaha)

That's just my initial thoughts.

Ps. Don't visit my house uninvited ;)
Golnor 19th Feb 2019, 3:01 PM edit delete reply
As for acid resistance, the stomach does it by constantly producing a lining of mucus for the acid to dissolve. Kinda icky.
Cyanic 18th Feb 2019, 12:00 AM edit delete reply
Oh, speaking of Lydia, you think we should share this transformation with Griz and Lydia who are the most baseline of baseline humans we know since we didn't even blood them? For self defense I mean so Griz doesn't get kidnapped again

Might be a bit hard though since we can't just have them think of the runes and glyphs, but we could probably contact them

We also have the address to check out
I'm betting we can speak through our raven if we really wanted to and we need to talk to em, maybe think of it like D&D if it's hard so that we can associate our animal scouts as like familiars that we can speak through if we wanted
Tych 18th Feb 2019, 12:10 AM edit delete reply
I don't think Bird vocal cords work that way Cyanic or most animal vocal cords for that matter
SSMike 18th Feb 2019, 9:36 AM edit delete reply
But how willing is Grizwald going to be? Lydia might be more willing but she'll probably still be a little freaked out

I don't think Mine has ever played DnD, but I may be wrong
Cuttlefish 18th Feb 2019, 11:20 PM edit delete reply
Does the Griz still have a vial of blood? Because we're at the point now that if we ever want to contact them we can just spit a burner cell through it and brainphone it from another dimension.
Limrix 18th Feb 2019, 12:07 AM edit delete reply
Limrix
I think we can fly. Our blood isn't the only thing we have control over, it's our whole body. In the same way we manipulated the parts of Lumpy with our powers, we can manipulate ourself to fly. Just for a moment though, we have other things to do. Like building stuff in red, and spiritual training.
We should also test how long it takes to accelerate a hunk of meat. Organic slugs/bolts would be effective weapons in a pinch if we can accelerate them quickly enough. Otherwise, we should get Mine some fingerless gloves she can blood to shoot projectiles out of in a pinch.

I think the first thing we should do is start construction on some blood ticks: small, minimalistic blood bugs that are basically a tiny sac that would attach to pets and allies. This will allow us to deliver blood to our allies at any time. We can also make them in the form of arm/leg bands for a higher flow rate.
Golnor 20th Feb 2019, 1:03 AM edit delete reply
So we are having trouble lifting our whole body. What about pieces that can support our weight, like our shoulder blades or something?
Twyll 18th Feb 2019, 12:08 AM edit delete reply
I think we should consider the billboard idea that was mentioned in earlier pages, or some variety of a tactic that states explicitly when we'll be coming-- perhaps in the guise of warning innocents to get out of the area, allowing Carpenter to assume that it's just our softhearted nature giving away our plans, and not a calculated move in an effort to buy more certainty. Before we do this, though, asking the Tradesmen about its likely outcome would be a very good idea. And also asking about the outcome if we were to attack the day before the stated date :P

Re: flying... can Mine lift herself by the pelvis? That's essentially the "core" of a human when it comes to movement, so if we can focus on causing *that* to fly, everything else should come along with it in a relatively balanced way (meaning, not falling upside-down easily). And lifting by the pelvis won't cause injury, since it's *meant* to be the part of the body that many hefty muscles attach to and that supports the spine. Our hips don't lie, but they DO fly! ...or something. Anyway, this circumvents Mine's apparent issues with thinking of her whole body at once instead of as a set of parts or systems (which is understandable, since she's a nurse and all).

Let's not pressure Liz to do anything that would involve warping her body if she doesn't want to. She's still coming to terms with her body being truly *hers* to begin with.
Limrix 18th Feb 2019, 12:40 AM edit delete reply
Limrix
I don't think an evacuation billboard is a good idea, as Carpenter wants us to watch his plan, and wants to kill as many people as possible. I don't think the Tradesmen will be able to answer what this would do for our time, as Carpenter is a fickle man. Given Elizibeth's comment, I think that we have today, and possibly one more before Carpenter runs out of patience on his own. I suspect at this point, anything we do will only convince him that we are paying attention and cause him to pull the trigger sooner.
Twyll 18th Feb 2019, 1:36 AM edit delete reply
*Does* he want to kill as many people as possible, though? The Tradesmen's answer on the last question we posed seems to imply otherwise-- that it's possible for Mine to avoid collateral damage entirely by going in herself, which implies that his beef with her is indeed very personal and he doesn't care to kill a lot of other people aside from her. It also implies that the Tradesmen have at least *some* insight into Carpenter's reasoning. He may be erratic, but he does still have grudges and desires and hangups and so forth that can be considered. The inclusion of Nil complicates things, but if the Tradesmen were able to say "you have some time to prepare," then they ought to be able to at least make a pretty good estimate of how he'd react to the billboard plan.

I really don't think you can glean *that* much from Elizabeth's comment, and why would she know better than the Tradesmen would, anyways?

In any case, it's at least worth asking the Tradesmen about. Worst case, they just say "we can't answer that" and we're out the energy it takes for a single spell, which is not a lot in the grand scheme of things.
The Chicken Guy 18th Feb 2019, 1:14 AM edit delete reply
So, does anyone else what to figure out what Finch would look like?
echo 18th Feb 2019, 1:42 AM edit delete reply
Of course, we're curious about everyone's eleven form(even Lumpy and Mini Mine), but there really are other things we should be doing.
Nicolas 18th Feb 2019, 1:52 AM edit delete reply
From what I remember lumpys can't talk so we need better golems that can actually say the ritual. Mini is a maybe
echo 18th Feb 2019, 2:11 AM edit delete reply
We made Lumpy use the painful and messy bone armor ritual, he can speak. His lack of a brain might be a problem though.
Lunar Waffles 18th Feb 2019, 2:48 AM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
+2(ha i wish) to Spiritual training for everyone (meditate, try to change cloths while astral projecting ect.)
+1 to asking the tradesmen creep- i mean carpenters motives
+1 to trading up a Caius hammer. give it some blood jets with a bladder/intestine like sack, see if we can get some kind of rocket hammer x:
+1 to getting all the ilworth car together and finally getting that space car.
+1 to combining "my aura is a container" with "i can move not-blood-blood(Red Stuff)" to give the flying idea a small boost. (fly with the hips!)
But mostly, everyone needs to solidify their sense of self x:
Myya 18th Feb 2019, 3:24 AM edit delete reply
+1 to spiritual training and solidifying sense of self.

I still think Mine should discuss potential Experiment Odin possibilities with Finch in this regard. Since Incident F is a purposefully overcharged Experiment Odin, it might be that the power could be reduced to a lower level (or maybe even just to standard Experiment Odin levels) to allow the team to go through it to gain stronger auras and sense of self while still being able to return to their bodies without negative repercussions.
SSMike 18th Feb 2019, 9:49 AM edit delete reply
maybe practice flying with a new mr. lumpy first?
also, strengthening bone/muscle/tendon structure could help if we can do it without messing everything up
zophah 19th Feb 2019, 3:06 AM edit delete reply
I always +1 to training
Skullrama 20th Feb 2019, 1:22 PM edit delete reply
Spiritual training is definitely a thing that needs to happen. Maybe via the experimenting with forced syncs.
Myya 21st Feb 2019, 12:11 PM edit delete reply
Forced sync training (starting with a re-visit with Michelle) needs to happen as well, but I feel these are two separate things that will both require focus, time, and significant energy. Forced syncs also have their benefit limited mostly to Mine, unless we plan to drag everyone along, and even then the full team would likely benefit from spiritual training (like form shifting in spirit form) prior to doing so.
Archon 18th Feb 2019, 4:52 AM edit delete reply
Huh.
So the combat ritual does call on our red, but not from Mine.
Possibility the red is shared between other instances of Mine?
(Possibility it would be so if we believed it to be?)
It could be rather important/valuable if so... But, not alerting other instances of Mine, particularly any unfriendly ones, strikes me as outweighing the value of casual investigation at this juncture.
Still, something to pin for later discussion once we've proper free time again.

As for more readily actionable matters, seeing how fast we can make a thunder-blood-slime for support may have merit, particularly with the intent to generate one mid-air and drop on a target.
Perhaps even generating them in advance and only creating a portal to drop them from the red? hm.
Guest 18th Feb 2019, 7:51 AM edit delete reply
Sounds to me like Red managed to become independent, so it calls on her not Mine.
Myya 18th Feb 2019, 11:51 PM edit delete reply
+1 to thunder-blood-slime and seeing if Mine can form one at range with her aura. While shifting mass between golems should be okay, we likely do not want to open any portals during this fight, as we've been warned that Nil/Carpenter being in the red would be inadvisable.

The combat ritual calls on Mine's red (which is infinite, so it's not really noticed material-wise), but it doesn't tire her out. Think of it this way, if someone else held up your arm for an hour, you wouldn't be the one getting tired out. While the rituals are using material from her red, it's not using her energy to do so, that energy is supplied by the caster of the ritual.
zophah 19th Feb 2019, 3:08 AM edit delete reply
Now I'm imagining an alternate-timeline Mine who saw what Thale was doing and decided she wanted to do that herself, kicking Thale out of her way.
Golnor 19th Feb 2019, 3:03 PM edit delete reply
Hmm. Could we make some fist-sized lumps of bone and meat and make those fly? Punch thing from a distance?

Or make them spikes. Or car sized.
Spades 19th Feb 2019, 3:27 PM edit delete reply
Increased size won't do us much good unless we can move it around at the same speed as something smaller. Compare Bullet Bills from thr Super Mario Bros. series to ordinary bullets fired out of ordinary hand guns and you'll find the latter to be the superior weapon. Working on our speed will be more to our benefit than levitating larger things.
when is next undercity 21st Feb 2019, 5:01 AM edit delete reply
update
Mochi 21st Feb 2019, 7:41 PM edit delete reply
Mochi
how the fuck would morgenstern know? undercity is not created by him, nor is it affiliated in any way with blood is mine. it is a separate entity entirely and has no connection to this or any other works created by morgenstern. you want an answer, go leave a comment on that comic. don't come hassling someone else about something they have nothing to do with.
i guess hassling 22nd Feb 2019, 2:09 AM edit delete reply
is asking a simple question to the author of my favorite series