Comic 788 - Release the hostages

Posted on 8th Mar 2018, 6:29 PM in No Easy Way Out
Release the hostages

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 8th Mar 2018, 6:29 PM edit delete
You're not sure if a rat can climb a ladder, but you ask Willard to try. It's... a little awkward, but he starts to (slowly) make his way upstairs.

You talk into the phone again, checking if the cultist is still on the line.

"Oh, um... yes, I'm still here," he replies.

You inform him that something's coming--probably a bomb. You need the cultists to unchain their hostages, and it's probably a good idea for everyone to get out of there.

He motions for the others to undo the chains; the cultists comply, and start unchaining the two people they have at the pipe. The cultist considers the rest of it for a moment, but pauses.

"If we leave the range of the Many, Enyo will take control of us again."

You state that there should be... blood? Maybe? That the ritual produced. If the cultists can inject that, it will free them from 'Enyo's' influence.

The cultist approaches the sludge left behind by Red. He stares at it, wincing. "I'm... not sure that's blood anymore. We could try injecting it, but... well... I'm not a doctor. Far be it from me to question you, oh goddess! But I'd be really worried about putting that in my veins, normally. It's... a tad goopy."

You ponder another threat, as well. Thale isn't controlling anyone in the Many's range... but why not? You had a fear, before, that the Many could "ride" its control from someone under your power back to you--Thale's hesitance to manipulate those in the church at present may confirm this. While Thale can't pull back to the blood like you can, he does have a number of people oversynced--he may have been able to compete, mentally, with the Many by offloading the fight across the minds of his family (and anyone else he's oversynced). It was enough to keep him from being hijacked, but he clearly wasn't confident enough in duplicating the feat to press it any further.

If the cult takes your blood--and Red is right about the Many's intentions--you'll be right back to mentally battling the Many. Syncing to pit a bunch of minds against the Many may be an option, but it's something of a gamble.

You ask what the cultist knows about the Many. "It's a mutant," he says. "Or... multiple mutants, I'm not certain. It was found in the lowest tiers. The story is that it was only a few minds, once, but over time it grew larger, and more minds began to bud inside it."

After another second of considering the truck situation, the cultist makes a suggestion.

"We are a ways underground," says the cultist. "If it's a bomb, we might be okay down here."

You check your cat's vantage point to see how close the truck is. It's... began to turn, trying to circle around to the back of the building without looking suspicious. It may be trying to reach the church's loading dock--which shouldn't be necessary if it's carrying an explosive.

It may be coming to take something out of--or put something into--the church.

You also take a moment to ask Fuse if he knows Crease's wife's name--you don't think you ever got it.

"Mav," says Fuse, smiling dryly.

You ask the cultist about Mav.

"Oh, yes, she's right here--she was one of the offerings we had chained to the pipe," replies the cultist. "She was... less than excited about doing the ritual."


Nayru9572 8th Mar 2018, 7:16 PM edit delete reply
Let's try to get her out of there first and foremost. Perhaps put her husband or son on the phone (only for a moment) if she doesn't want to follow orders or so after that whole ordeal. She might be able to bring Willard along, if she's not scared of rats.
Twyll 8th Mar 2018, 8:17 PM edit delete reply
Yes, Mav and the guy they grabbed off the street should leave immediately. If the cultists feel safer staying, that's up to them. (We need to blood Mav, though, to keep her safe from Thale. Perhaps she could take a handful of gloop and cut her hand when she's near the edge of the Many's range?)
undeadDreamer 8th Mar 2018, 7:18 PM edit delete reply
Any way we can get blood down there at any reasonable speed? Might it be possible to manifest the red through the cat?
lil Joshu 8th Mar 2018, 7:20 PM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
Willard carries some of our blood, as does the cat. Taking a sample from each of them and then injecting a small amount into each person (under normal circumstances, I recommend against sharing needles!)
rufiangel 8th Mar 2018, 8:39 PM edit delete reply
It was unfortunately proven on this page that secondary blood transfer does not work.
Leafia_Barrett 8th Mar 2018, 7:28 PM edit delete reply
I think... I think we have to step in. We obviously can't go directly, but bad shit's about to go down. I think we need to start properly evacuating these people, but since we have to blood them to do so, we need to get syringes down there. Ask how many cultists there are.
pkrankow 8th Mar 2018, 7:30 PM edit delete reply
The cultists must secure the building. If there are deliveries, particularly unexpected deliveries, do not accept them.
Twyll 8th Mar 2018, 8:18 PM edit delete reply
Yes, hopefully they have some way of securing the loading bay that would at least delay whatever Thale's up to.
Leafia_Barrett 8th Mar 2018, 8:09 PM edit delete reply
Could we perhaps pull some shenanigans by blooding the cultists from range with the tranq gun? Have the cultists stand just barely inside the Many's strongest range and Michelle just outside that range, and have her tag them from there?
Blue_Elite 8th Mar 2018, 10:45 PM edit delete reply
We really should get the cat out of there and switch to raven-view (better vantage point AND better eyesight).
Also get Caesar in position to track that truck once it leaves. Maybe it'll take us to the very warehouse Bunker B leads to.

We should ask if we can speak with The Many (either directly or via medium which it seems we're kinda doing now). Try and hash out a deal for its own and the liberated followers' survival.
EDIT: I'm going to guess what's in the truck is a mindless Carpenter flesh golem that'll butcher everyone. Might be able to use that as leverage.
Swagner 8th Mar 2018, 11:28 PM edit delete reply
The Blood (and, ostensibly, that quasi-meat paste of the same origin) is more controllable if it's in something, right? Could we see if we can purify it into regular blood if they put it in syringes first? If no-one else, we still need to free Mav from Thale, and as suicidal as these cultists are, we can't let Thale take over them either. Is it safe to blood them as long as Jane doesn't control them? Willard's there, but we're not getting any feedback (although that could just be because the Many can't control rats).