Comic 1138 - Relay the news

Posted on 5th Dec 2018, 7:05 PM in Chapter IX
Relay the news

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 5th Dec 2018, 7:05 PM edit delete
Morgenstern
You prepare to have your blood bug dodge, in case the enormous worm decides to lash out with lightning.


...You're not actually sure if you COULD dodge lightning, but you get ready to do so anyway.


After a long, tense silence... nothing. The worm heaves and writhes as it grips the generator taking up most of the room... but it doesn't seem to notice your bug as of yet.

You inform everyone that it is not, in fact, a giant spider.

"You sure?," Michelle asks.

You nod. It's... a huge silkworm.

"Oh." Caius scratches the back of his head. "That, uh... that don't sound that bad."

No.

Like.

Huuuge.

Huuuge silkworm.

"...Oh."

"Well, at least it ain't a spider," Michelle concludes.


"A silkworm!," Dr. Finch declares. "Of course! The majority of experiments done with specialized webbing are performed on modified silkworms. Altering them to be incapable of becoming moths makes it easier to contain them--if a genetically edited moth or spider escaped, it could easily clear great distances and breed, populating the countryside with more of its kind. If a silkworm escapes, it cannot make it nearly as far--thus, silkworms are the ideal candidate for metal-laced silk experiments. There's also been work done to safely increase the size of such worms, in the hope of obtaining greater quantities of silk..."

Well, this one looks like it asked for seconds in that experiment. Thirds, maybe.

Dr. Finch nods. "Hm. Hm hm hm. I certainly wouldn't rule out mutations, regarding its immense size. That could explain its ability to manipulate electricity, as well--as we've thoroughly determined, precision access to electrical fields can accomplish a great deal in regards to... to to ghosts and the like. This creature could simply be using a... a a fairly basic electricity based mutation to astounding effect, owing in no small part I'm sure to its size. It is a wonder how it traveled all the way to out there withOUT flight, but-- I suppose that's not a question pertinent to our current situation."

"So," Fuse begins. "Big ass silkworm. Mutant... genetically modified... big ass silkworm. What're we doing?"

You state that you want to try and talk to it, first. It's intelligent, it seems to have... goals, of some kind. You think if it could just be talked down from any hostile behavior, you won't need to fight it.

"Which is good," Michelle adds, "'cuz fightin' it would suck. That thing almost flash fried us halfway across th'building."

You finish blooding the webs in this room. Using your vantage point--between all the blood, and the ability to now dip that webbing (or... more accurately, you guess, silk) straight into the red--you take a closer look at its composition.

Aside from all the microscopic metal fragments, it looks like normal silk--mostly fibroin proteins, about 20% sericin for the sticky exterior. Examining the proteins closer--much closer... you're... sort of confident you could make fibroin. It's almost entirely nonessential amino acids the human body can produce on its own, which means you should be able to form them in the red. ...Admittedly, stringing amino acids into proteins is a far, far smaller scale than you think you've ever worked on, but you think you could manage it.

Sericin, on the other hand, is only about halfway comprised of things the body can produce naturally. You would need other, outside materials to finish that part of the webbing, you think... and to, again, practice working on an incredibly minute scale. Overall, though, you... don't think it's entirely unreasonable that you could make silk fibers.

"We should really have a backup plan," Fuse states. "Or, like, twelve of them."

"Agreed," Michelle replies. "I'm hopin' we can just talk to this thing, but-- we need to have somethin' ready if we can't."

You agree

and start building something in the red.

Something big, and... injectiony.

If it can't just be talked out, you want to have something you can throw at this giant worm to hopefully blood it, and quickly.

The next issue is, of course, the issue of approach.

The electrical fields in this building seem to have settled down, for the most part. There's not any immediate danger.

You poke your head through the door, and glance down the hall. No sign of ghosts. The lights flicker and buzz, but that may be more due to their struggling power source than anything the worm is attempting.

"We just gonna... walk down there?," Michelle asks.

"Hell yeah," says Caius. "Tha worm's drained, right? Screw it, let's just hustle our asses down there before it gets a second wind."

Fuse shakes his head. "If it juices this place back up and we're halfway down the hall, we'll be surrounded by ghosts at best and straight up microwaved at worst."

Michelle leans her head back, and squints at the ceiling. "We WOULD be puttin' ourselves in the killzone, if we don't get there before the worm can recharge the building. We don't go for it, though, we're throwin' away the one in we know we got right now. With no idea how long it'll be before this place lights up again, every second we spend here debatin' it might be tickin' away at our chance."

"Worm could just be fucking with us, too," Fuse points out. "Trying to see what we do."

"Now you're jus' bein' paranoid," Caius replies. "Worm's smart, worm ain't THAT smart."

"I'm covering our bases," Fuse returns. "We don't really know how smart this worm is. It doesn't need to be a rocket scientist to take its finger off the trigger for a minute."

"Ahhh, shit," Michelle huffs. "He ain't wrong. We're gamblin', at this point." She looks at you, directly. "What's the call? We book it down the hall, we might be puttin' ourselves in harm's way. We wait, it might get a lot harder to talk to that worm in person."

Comments:

Waddle Dee 5th Dec 2018, 7:56 PM edit delete reply
Flit the bug to the top of the silkworm's head and land it there. If it goes hostile, we can dissolve the bug to blood and force the injection-y thing through the resulting portal.

I'm for approaching the bug, but I don't know if it would find us to be a threat. Thoughts on how to appear friendlier? What would a silkworm think of humans...?
Twyll 5th Dec 2018, 8:02 PM edit delete reply
I feel like *most* things are going to react with hostility toward something flying toward their faces. A bug flies into YOUR face, what do you do? You swat it.
Waddle Dee 5th Dec 2018, 8:22 PM edit delete reply
Well, it's so large and the bug is so small, I feel like the worm might not be bothered by it or even notice it. We can land on its back if that's safer, out of its direct view.
Limrix 5th Dec 2018, 8:45 PM edit delete reply
Limrix
It might not have sight, but it probably still has a sense of touch. And it's probably grown used to frying small things that try to climb on it.
Twyll 5th Dec 2018, 8:00 PM edit delete reply
As much as I hate to suggest it, I think it might be wise to have our friends wait outside and go to talk to the worm ourself. If we need to, we can fuck off into the red. Our friends, however, would likely be harmed if we tried to bring them with us. It would still be nice to have them close by, though.

I dunno. I'm torn on the matter. I can foresee maybe needing their help, too. Can we kinda... send what we're seeing and hearing into their eyes and ears so they can help us negotiate without being so much in danger, and ready to rush in if we get mobbed by something and need the assistance?

Edit: I see this is evidence that we need to spend some time working on remote-control biomecha for our allies. Something they can see through and pilot, but that doesn't *directly* pose a physical threat to them, because we're getting to that point where our allies just aren't as overpowered as we and our enemies are. We're going from Dragonball territory to Dragonball Z, and maybe if we gave Krillin a custom remote-control biomech, he'd be able to keep up.
Limrix 5th Dec 2018, 8:55 PM edit delete reply
Limrix
+1, we need a way to keep our allies relevant that doesn't leave them vulnerable. Elizabeth has experience managing resources, and could probably be in charge of any long term tasks we want to work on. Dr Finch would probably be thrilled to work in a supportive research environment on subjects that no one has worked on before. Also, with remote control, having a stronger spiritual self would probably translate into better control/piloting ability, so having our allies work on their spirit sense becomes desirable on a number of fronts.
This encounter might require some nonstandard means of communication, as the bug seemed to be stretching itself to speak words, so I think going alone in person is warranted.
ReikoLupus 5th Dec 2018, 9:04 PM edit delete reply
ReikoLupus
Well, maybe we could make an authentic bio-machine to control bio-drones and things like that. We are capable of generating great amounts of electricity, and our hability to manipulate flesh and reconstruct it at our convenience let us work even in the human brain, the most complex organ ever created. We are still thinking of bio-weapons and bio-armors, but maybe we are limiting ourselves?
Creating small golems connected by the red to a "Console" that sends electrical signals to a very basic brain in them, and we could have Elizabeth or Finch doing the scouting and things like that for us, and even sending the golems to strategic points during a fight for us to do crazy things with our Red using the mini-golems as a portal. Having someone do this things for us would be really helpful. (But nothing of wanting to make them for Battle. We need to mantain them simple or they would be too complex to control them at distance without the help of Alien Technology XD)
Lunar Waffles 6th Dec 2018, 12:56 AM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
+1
Waddle Dee 5th Dec 2018, 8:27 PM edit delete reply
Ooh, other thought. The fewer people we send in to deal with this silkworm, the smaller a cage we'd need to build to protect ourselves in the event of things going sour.

As fearsome-looking as it is, at the moment its ranged electricity is our top concern. I doubt our weapons would do much to hurt it if we had to fight, so...maybe going alone is a good idea for now. Diplomacy and all that.
ReikoLupus 5th Dec 2018, 8:54 PM edit delete reply
ReikoLupus
Go to the Silkworm at the same time we Cover in Blood the road. And be sure to take all of our group with us.
That Silkworm has a LOT of eggs below... And nothing assures us that there aren't some that already were born.
The Electric Attack is amazing, but we can't forget that most normal thing: That he Might have companions. Smaller but also deadly "Children". We DON'T WANT to be surrounded by them alone.
Gigafreak 6th Dec 2018, 1:37 AM edit delete reply
There is no need to talk to it in person. On the contrary, invading its turf may be seen as a hostile intrusion, interfering with diplomacy.
The silkworm can speak perfectly fine from a distance when it's not out of energy. We can return a controlled quantity of electricity to it from the Red via the blooded silk, as both an olive branch gift of good faith and as sustenance to facilitate communications. Then we can just sit down (with a protective cage ready to deploy or even pre-constructed around us) and talk to the silkworm from the entrance room.

This also provides the advantage of drawing attention away from our blood bug. That'd be helpful if the conversation goes wrong and we need to try the backup plan to blood it.
Cyanic 5th Dec 2018, 9:34 PM edit delete reply
I think we were just trying to find a way to talk to the ghosts, we don't need to personally be near the silkworm,

I think a good course of action though would be to bring Lumpy in make him walk AS NONTHREATENINGLY AS POSSIBLE to the silkworm's room and see how the worm reacts, all while preparing to shield ourselves in this room again

running in is a baaaaad idea I think
Lunar Waffles 5th Dec 2018, 10:29 PM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
Lumpy is literally physically incapable of walking.
Archon 6th Dec 2018, 4:20 AM edit delete reply
...We still have Lumpy?
Er, was that our person-shaped homunculi from a while back?
Can't quite remember.
Memo 6th Dec 2018, 9:54 AM edit delete reply
Memo
Didn't we trade it for something?
pkrankow 5th Dec 2018, 9:40 PM edit delete reply
pkrankow
Giant hamster ball. Roll down the hall in armored style.
Guest 5th Dec 2018, 11:13 PM edit delete reply
We already know how to make a cage to protect us from electric bolts. I don't see why we can't just go.
undeadDreamer 6th Dec 2018, 12:39 AM edit delete reply
undeadDreamer
Yeah let's just cover the halls in blood so we can pull out cages when we need to and head down there. I'm also seconding Twyll's comment about trying to get everybody else to leave. They might be helpful but they're not gods. The more people are here the more people we have to worry about protecting.
Skullrama 6th Dec 2018, 12:49 AM edit delete reply
+1, coat everything in the blood.
Lunar Waffles 6th Dec 2018, 12:56 AM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
+1
Master_of_Horns 6th Dec 2018, 6:01 AM edit delete reply
Master_of_Horns
I think its worth pointing out we don't know how anthropomorphic this thing is, it could be thinking on entirely different wavelengths to us, especially since it's not a mammal.

Whatever we end up doing I'd really recommend we try and avoid coming off aggressive, so running at it through the corridor might be out.
Ablaze 6th Dec 2018, 8:03 AM edit delete reply
What about making a blood golem that's shaped like a silkworm? Send it in to talk while everyone is outside. No need to endanger everyone, it's not like The worm is going anywhere.
Guest 6th Dec 2018, 10:04 AM edit delete reply
The worm wants to talk to us right now, so I say we go for it. However, we don't need to bring everyone with us. I'd say Michelle for sure since she can run fast, shoot it and throw what we're preparing in the Red if necessary.
Leafia_Barrett 6th Dec 2018, 11:11 AM edit delete reply
Leafia_Barrett
We definitely want to try to come off as nonthreatening, but if things go south we need a backup plan. I think Mine should be the one to walk in, but Michelle as backup would be helpful. Definitely don't run into the room. Have a pool of blood under Michelle and be ready to shield at a moment's notice.
Sekwel 6th Dec 2018, 1:03 PM edit delete reply
Everyone: *Careful planning*
Me, Meanwhile: "FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT."
Guest 7th Dec 2018, 1:42 AM edit delete reply
What about getting the bug onto the silkworm and just blood the worm by spontaneously creating blood outta the bug?