Comic 1124 - Inspect the webs

Posted on 18th Nov 2018, 11:29 PM in Chapter IX
Inspect the webs

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 18th Nov 2018, 11:29 PM edit delete
Morgenstern
Caius nudges past Michelle, more boldly making his way toward the webbing at the end of the room.

"Caius!," Michelle starts, but Caius is already there--and with barely a hint of hesitation, he shoves his hand into it.

"Guys--" Caius starts, hazarding a glance back over his shoulders. "These don't feel like spider webs."

Fuse, alternating between keeping an eye on Caius and watching the door, glances back. "Well... yeah, they're huge. They're probably not gonna feel right."

"Nah, I mean--" Caius attempts to cut some of the webbing with his machete as he mutters. "It feels... too soft? But look," he pauses, sawing at the material more firmly, "it's like tryin' to cut through metal."

"Spider webs are stupidly strong," Michelle replies. "I'm talkin' like, stronger than steel."

"What?" Caius gives up on hacking through it, turning around to face the others. "No they ain't. Y'can walk right through a spider web."

"You can rip webs off the place they're stuck to," Michelle counters. "Have ya ever tried rippin' a web in half, though?"

Caius makes... a face, shrugging and scratching the back of his head. "No? Tha hell would I do that for?"

Michelle sighs, and Fuse tries not to chuckle.

"It just don't feel right, that's all I'm sayin," Caius concludes. "You got a point, though--maybe I can tear it from tha walls."

"I... wouldn't," Fuse interjects.

Michelle nods. "Yeah, there's no way that'll end well."

"You guys ain't still worried about Spider Satan, are ya?," Caius asks.

"...Yes." "Yeah," Fuse and Michelle reply almost simultaneously.



You ask Pierce for any ideas about practicing, on the spiritual side of things.

"You've learned astral projection, correct?" Pierce turns toward you, and gives a small nod. "That is practice, in a way. The astral form is how one sees themselves--how the mind recognizes its body. Familiarity in that can go a long way--it is good to be able to know when the soul is twisting into something it shouldn't be. In the same fashion, those with an intimate awareness of who they are, who they can be, the aspects of themselves... I've read that they can change their astral form. I've never seen it myself, of course. You may wish to test the limits of what you can accomplish in that state--it is not so different from what you would be in the plane of the mind."

You also bring up that, while your mother is no longer living... her red, technically, should still exist. Another of her kind--the Mars creature--continued to "live" even after being shredded to pieces, and was resuscitated by Zone Fifty scientists. You... wonder if magic could do something like that.

"I could make an attempt at a ritual," Pierce replies. "Though, the ritual that I and the other members of the church put together to summon you to us... didn't go exactly as planned. ...You might keep that in mind. Magic is powerful, but it can also be very dangerous. Still... there's no harm in at least looking into it."

You thank Pierce, and consider the next step. Pushing the limits of your ghost form is a good idea--as is trying to do more with forced syncs. Pierce mentioned the astral state being not that different from the plane of the mind, which you imagine is what happens when you force a sync. Both could be a good way to strengthen your abilities.

You almost, for a moment, ask Pierce about practicing a forced sync with him. ...However, he is still finding himself after a very extensive sync with Thale, and you don't want to further jeopardize his identity by forcing someone else's mind on him. Further, you're... not sure what a mind that's still very Thale heavy would look like.

You return to Bunker A, instead.


image


Your entrance catches the attention of Dr. Finch, who was doing further studies on the (steadily decaying) remains of the Bunker X head spider.

"Oh! Welcome back," he says. "I believe Elizabeth and our imprint friends are in the other room, though I can't begin to imagine how that conversation is going. Did you learn anything from Pierce?"

You explain what you were told, and your intentions going forward. ...And you inquire about possibly practicing a force sync with Dr. Finch.

He... hesitates. He glances aside at everything laid across the lab table, and stuffs his hands into his coat pockets. "I... hm. Hm. ...Would you think less of me if I declined?"

You start to answer, but he quickly clarifies. "I don't want to say I have skeletons in my closet, per se, but I... I I just... I know how much you learned from enacting this process with Michelle. I.. I've done a number of things throughout my life I'm not especially proud of. I've not done things that... that perhaps I should have. I'm... a fairly withdrawn person, I think, normally. I'm not... I'm still not particularly comfortable with me. This entire ordeal, all of it, every individual aspect has... has made me question more. Doubt more. ...Regret, more. It's no exaggeration to say that my world has been turned upside down, Mine, and I... I just..."

Dr. Finch heaves a very long sigh, turning his gaze to the floor.

"I don't want to be seen. Not... me. Not the rest of me. I don't... I honestly don't want to know what my mind looks like, what manner of monster inhabits it, and god knows I don't want anyone else to see that either. I know I took that risk when were... conventionally synced for as long as we were, but... somehow I convinced myself the facade would hold up through that. Making the reality of who I am more visceral, more tangible, I don't... I don't think I'm comfortable with it. Not yet."

Comments:

Toricon 19th Nov 2018, 12:43 AM edit delete reply
Hug him, and reassure him.

We won't do anything like that if he's not okay with it. The privacy of the mind is precious, and violations of it should be performed as rarely as possible.

However, we will not judge him for his past. He is not who he was; none of us are. We accept him for who he is, and we would not share his innermost secrets with anyone but himself.

We will allow him to change his mind, should he desire, but we cannot push this on him. That would go against so much that we stand for.
Guest 19th Nov 2018, 12:44 AM edit delete reply
Agreed
Cyanic 19th Nov 2018, 1:00 AM edit delete reply
yes

it's been too long since we got a Mine hug
it's ok, Doc, we don't gotta do that yet

can we ask momRed if we can feed a drop of blood to Babred and try to do a force-sync with them?
Mathbird 19th Nov 2018, 1:15 AM edit delete reply
I kind of want to leave Baby Red alone... could we try to sync with Mom Red?
The Chicken Guy 19th Nov 2018, 6:12 AM edit delete reply
+1 to hug
Some Random Guy 19th Nov 2018, 7:42 AM edit delete reply
Some Random Guy
Fiiiiiiiiiiiinch don’t be sad, we’re here for you, we won’t sneak into your mind stuffs. :(
Twyll 19th Nov 2018, 10:24 AM edit delete reply
Very this. And yes, let us hug.
AgentKuga 19th Nov 2018, 12:03 PM edit delete reply
AgentKuga
+1 i agree
Cuttlefish 19th Nov 2018, 3:08 PM edit delete reply
+1
Lunar Waffles 19th Nov 2018, 12:49 AM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
think LESS of you?! LESS?! that took a lot of courage, if anything, thinking MORE of you is more accurate. +1 to hugs.
undeadDreamer 19th Nov 2018, 1:26 AM edit delete reply
undeadDreamer
Hug Finch! Of course we won't think less of him. It's fine to be uncomfortable with something so invasive, and it's not like there aren't other people we could ask. On that note Let's ask big red if he'd mind trying a force sync. We can make infinite blood so having enough to blood big red shouldn't be a problem, and we can practice unblooding people.
Skullrama 19th Nov 2018, 1:35 AM edit delete reply
Plus 1 to hugs.

Asking Mom's red about these possibilities certainly can't hurt - may as well see what they have to say.
Sekwel 19th Nov 2018, 1:43 AM edit delete reply
I don't know that either red would have enough of a mind to practice a forced sync -- at least one that would be comparable enough. Their minds might not have the processing power to handle another presence.

Maybe we could trade up something to get a minimally functioning environment to practice in? Maybe mini-Mines?

I do realize that borders into weird territory. But it might be worth a shot.
The Chicken Guy 19th Nov 2018, 6:19 AM edit delete reply
+1 to upgrading mini-Mines only because I realized that we could use them for group hugs, and that pleases me.
Lil Joshu 19th Nov 2018, 1:48 AM edit delete reply
+1 hugs

Also, thought... able to manifest limitless blood now, we could probably sync with Mom's red. As the closest thing in our entourage to another God-like entity, and also the most alien, that actually makes the most since.
fellow 19th Nov 2018, 2:15 AM edit delete reply
fellow
Hmm. I guess another option would be to later force a sync with either Caius or Fuse. I guess Fuse would be better practice since he's very psychic.
Lunar Waffles 19th Nov 2018, 3:22 AM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
Fuse is so over synced he could see "Red" before she was ghostly. we're trying to lay off of him for a bit x: also, different kind of Psychic-y x:
The Chicken Guy 19th Nov 2018, 6:14 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, let's leave fuse out of it. It could trigger a relapse. I don't know if that's a thing, but the possibility exists.
fellow 19th Nov 2018, 6:32 AM edit delete reply
fellow
Whoops, you're right. I forgot all about that. I guess that leaves Caius and big red. Or, I suppose, we could try syncing with animals.
1977 19th Nov 2018, 3:33 AM edit delete reply
We already know he was married, not sure about him having children or not.
I guess the "I've not done things that... that perhaps I should have." refers to what led to the divorce.
Now I'm really curious if he has a monsterversion of his wife in his mind, much like Michelle had a monsterversion of Vasquez in hers.

Reassure him that whatever happens we will not think less of him.
After all, Mom was a worlddestroying monster before and we love her anyway.
The Chicken Guy 19th Nov 2018, 6:13 AM edit delete reply
I do love that the one thing EVERYONE in the comments comes together on is hugging. It's adorable.
The Chicken Guy 19th Nov 2018, 6:16 AM edit delete reply
As for the spider-web issue, maybe chemicals could be a solution? I know we have fuse's flames, but thick clumps of matter don't necessarily burn well (oxygen access and all) and could easily get out of control.
fellow 19th Nov 2018, 6:39 AM edit delete reply
fellow
Hmm, spiders can eat their own webs, can't they? Maybe we could bioprint a bunch of spider web digestion enzyme.
Ablaze 19th Nov 2018, 7:36 AM edit delete reply
Why not just put mine's blood on the web and try to absorb it to the red. If mine could decompose and learn enough to make this on her own, we could have better armor.
Anonymous Coward 19th Nov 2018, 9:33 AM edit delete reply
I propose making a bleach solution and spraying it out of a fire-hose. That way, we get rid of the web, and whatever that made the web will now have bleach in its eyeballs.
Twyll 19th Nov 2018, 10:46 AM edit delete reply
“those with an intimate awareness of who they are, who they can be, the aspects of themselves... I've read that they can change their astral form.”

I suspect that THIS is what alt-Fuse meant when he said that Incident F was “so worth it,” then. Doing Incident F really allowed Mine to become familiar with her own identity in a new and unusually concrete way.

I propose we use changing our astrally projected form as a training program. Being limited in what we can use— not being able to visualize having certain items or powers, for example— has been a huge issue during force sync, and I suspect any kind of astral battle would manifest in a way that’s similar to force sync. So, let’s try training in steps:

Step 1: Change the clothing of our astral projection. Clothing is something that people change frequently and it’s part of how we present our identity but also not in any way inherent to it, so it’s an ideal place to start. I suggest changing our clothes to our nurse uniform, because that’s something we’re intimately familiar with. If we want to leverage emotional connections— which can be very powerful— we might try our bloody nurse uniform, because that’s what we were wearing when we met Michelle for the first time and brought Finch into the party. We could also try changing any items that we have on hand when we start the ritual into familiar items that we don’t have on hand, e.g. putting some bandages in our pocket before we start the ritual and then turning them into syringes.

Step 2: Add items that we didn’t have on hand at the start of the ritual. It could be very useful to have, for example, the blooded bandage-syringe-tentacles that we used in the hospital, and those are familiar enough to make a good thing to practice with.

Step 3: Change our astral body into something that we have physically experienced before. We could replicate an injury we’ve experienced, or maybe add the torso-ear back in. Or, we could try becoming Child!Mine, since we were a child once.

Step 4: Change our astrally projected form into something that we identify with, but have never physically experienced being. For example, Finch!Mine or Fuse!Mine or another Mine variant from Incident F.

Step 5: Modify our astrally projected form in an unusual/unfamiliar way. I suggest adding cat ears. (We don’t need to make them functional just yet, although if we get good at doing this, we could try.) Step 5b is, of course, showing off the cat ears to Tesla and Faraday ^w^

A final note is that we should wait to do this until the party is done exploring the factory, since it will probably take all of our concentration. Until they’re done, we can try to work on rigging up a way to make remote-control biomechs.
Twyll 19th Nov 2018, 10:49 AM edit delete reply
Ah, forgot to mention, step 6 would be practicing doing the same things in the context of a force sync. Doesn’t have to be with Finch tho of course.
Lunar Waffles 19th Nov 2018, 2:13 PM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
yes, this. +1 also, add any outfits that in Mines past that we dont know meant something to her, and summoning Plushies x: summon giant combat Plushies that hugs the meanness out of someone!
Anes Mt Siin 19th Nov 2018, 11:26 AM edit delete reply
It's not like Dr. Finch is the only person we could ask. Elizabeth has the same issue as Pierce.
Wouldn't want to try Cauis or Fuse right now when they're in ?maybe dangerous place.
Zene?
Crease?
Mav!?
Animals??
Twyll 19th Nov 2018, 6:48 PM edit delete reply
I don’t think we should be doing something that takes 100% of our concentration while our allies are in a dangerous situation, either. Probably better to wait until they get back and work on something else like bio-mechs or manipulating the red until then. If we astral project or force sync, we can’t do *anything* to help our allies until we’re done.
Guest 19th Nov 2018, 5:15 PM edit delete reply
Perhaps we could practice walking around with astral projection - Mars mine maybe?