Comic 875 - Take a break

Posted on 1st Apr 2018, 4:47 PM in Shipping Off to Southden
Take a break

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 1st Apr 2018, 4:47 PM edit delete
Morgenstern
You decide to keep the spare fingers.

For... whatever reason. Practice, probably.

You all head back to Bunker A. Caius and Michelle return your guests to their quarters on Mars, and head back to Bunker A, as well.

You all have steak and vegetables.

"This steak is... suspicious," Dr. Finch mutters.

"Where we can get food, and how we prepare it are both pretty restricted right now," Fuse comments. "I wouldn't question it too hard."

"Fair," replies Dr. Finch.

Caius and Michelle confirm the Mars guests are doing okay, though they're starting to get a little stir crazy. "If we can move 'em somewhere f'real, maybe soon-ish," Caius adds, "might be for tha best. Oh, and I talked to Jury, she should be checkin' in with tha feds in tha city now. She'll be freed up to talk about whatever after that."

You remember that Elizabeth mentioned Thale trying to get to the federal agents--you ask her who Thale might've gotten to.

"A federal agent named Lawrence Shaw was Thale's best liaison, but he is no longer alive," replies Elizabeth. "The other agents in communication with Thale's associates are strictly local, and Thale is unsure of their commitment."

"Detective Shaw was that corpse at the school," Fuse comments. "Edison got a hold of him after he helped lure Jury in."

"At least that rules out Thale messin' with Jury," Michelle states. "If he ain't got a good in with the feds, we don't gotta worry about her gettin' her head screwed up while she was gettin' evaluated the last week."

"Not by Thale," Fuse replies. "The feds themselves could still be sketchy. We're not exactly the good guys from their perspective--we're vigilantes working with an alien hybrid. Jury likes us, but her bosses might see us being just as dangerous as Thale. I'm not accusing her of being compromised or anything, I'm just saying--Thale's not the only one we need to keep an eye on."

You update Caius and Michelle on what all you confirmed from Elizabeth. Also, you update them that her name is now Elizabeth.

Michelle grins. "Alright. You just... decided that?"

Yup.

Michelle nods.

"I would like to add," Dr. Finch begins, "that while it's not an immediate issue by any stretch, we are going through biopaste rather quickly. Restocking may be a plan to jot down for the near future."

"Double if Thale's tryin' to blood all the paste in the city," Michelle adds. "We wanna get to it before he does."

"He might already be in a lot of it," Fuse says. "Elizabeth mentioned Thale breaking his plans down to the... uh... smaller hims. Lesser hims? Whatever, the other people with Thale in their brains. They might have already infiltrated half the biopaste companies in the city, and Thale's just avoided thinking about it. He doesn't trust other people but he trusts himself, and we don't know how many himselfs there are now."

"I have a theory about that, actually," Dr. Finch states. "It might not simply be that he's avoiding the thought to weaken its passing on sync. Elizabeth struggled with a few thoughts regarding Thale's current body--what if he's wiping his own memory? We've tampered with neurons and electrical signals to erase memories, yes? Yes. Thale may well have done the same--erasing key information from his own mind so that when he syncs, there's no risk of that data being passed on. He trusts the individuals he's already oversynced to accomplish their tasks, as... they're essentially him, at that point."

"That's confusing as hell," Caius replies. "So he doubles himself brain-wise, lets his brain double know somethin', then makes himself forget it?"

"Perhaps," says Dr. Finch. "Again, it's only a theory--but it's very possible with what we know the blood is capable of, and would help explain the holes in Elizabeth's memory. ...In addition to the incomplete oversync and the attempted lobotomy, of course. My fear--my larger fear--is that he could have used this to alter memories, not just erase them. That statement really bothered me: he's going to become a god. ...Patton barely knows what that means. He's had a great deal of time to begin setting this up--what if he's orchestrated some complex series of hoops to lead himself through? How many of his delusions are self imposed? Elizabeth doesn't know Thale's long term plan... but does Thale even know it?"

Dr. Finch takes a breath, and adjusts his glasses. "Thale only trusts himself. ...But how much does he trust himself?"

There's a brief pause before Fuse speaks up. "One of these days, Dr. Finch is gonna start talking and my head's just going to explode."

Caius grins, Michelle laughs, Elizabeth maintains her perfect poker face.

"Biopaste," Michelle repeats. "We were talkin' about biopaste. Focus, people. Can Blondie make biopaste?"

You... could, maybe. It's just mulched up people parts, right?

"If you make a bone blender, I need to see it," Caius states.

You would probably just try to make the paste itself, up front, instead of making whole people and then... ewww. Though, now you're wondering if there's anything specific to the consistency, or if the balance of materials matters, or if they add anything to it to keep it from rotting--

"Y'know," Michelle says, putting her hands up, "y'all should just buy some in Southden, or wherever Tesla's gettin' stored. I don't want y'all doin' biopaste experiments in the bunker, I'm already sick just hearin' about it."

Caius looks offended. "You pointed out brain chunks to me like it was no big deal. You're still weirded out by biopaste?"

"It's different," Michelle insists. "It's not people anymore. It's goopy, and nasty. Body parts is no big deal, they ain't like... soup. Carryin' them tubes is the worst."

"Making a run for biopaste in Southden should be feasible," Dr. Finch says. "We do need to return there for the book at some point. We went through all the trouble of getting access to the domes... we may as well finish the mission."

Caius grins. "If we don't wanna mess with tha feds, maybe we could get tha Deck to forge papers for Mav an' them. I could do s'more cage fights."

Michelle and Fuse give each other a look, and then glance back to Caius.

"Uh, the hell did we miss?," Michelle asks.

"Seriously," Fuse adds, "I got stuck in a vent and you guys went cage fighting?"

You realize that, in the excitement of saving Elizabeth and fighting a giant hand, you never finished filling in everyone on what's been happening in Southden. ...So, you start explaining all of that.

"I see how it is," Michelle pouts jokingly. "Y'all go off without us, joinin' cool underground fight clubs, chasin' birds, meetin' mysterious gangs in spooky bars."

"Pubs," Fuse says. "I think they're called pubs over there."

"Whatever!," Michelle exclaims, throwing her hands up. "I don't wanna visit stupid Southden anyway."

Caius shakes his head. "Nah, s'not that great. They think all lab meat's cops, and they hate cops. Plus, tha beer kinda sucks."

Comments:

Leafia_Barrett 1st Apr 2018, 6:19 PM edit delete reply
Leafia_Barrett
We should contact Jury next, I think.
Twyll 1st Apr 2018, 7:45 PM edit delete reply
We should get some movies for Elizabeth to watch, games for her to play, books to read, stuff like that. (And it's a good idea to have entertainment materials on hand for when we need to rest in the bunker, anyways.) It could help her start to form some likes and dislikes-- she probably hasn't even had the luxury of getting to figure out *what she enjoys* before, and it will probably help her come out of her shell a bit (or to begin forming a personality that was previously denied to her).
Blue_Elite 1st Apr 2018, 8:10 PM edit delete reply
What kinda dystopian future are we living in where European beer is worse than American beer? D:

On the subject of what I'm going to call Janepaste: we can shift organic materials from one form to another readily enough. As long as we have biopaste, we should theoretically be able to just mix red WITH the biopaste and just have it copy whatever it's next to. Do that enough times and eventually all the red will be biopaste (though the mix of preserving/guiding material that makes the paste actual paste and not putty might be off).
On the positive long-term side, it'd make the illusion of, "us," being others (like Thale does) much more easier to handle mentally for anyone we patch up significantly like Elizabeth (and thus possibly use them as a font for red; which is why I said, "long-term positive,").
On the long-term negative, if we ever want to purge everyone we've blooded so they can live normal, alien-eldritch-blood-god-free lives, having to purge significant portions of mass would be a bad, bad thing.
Mainly food-for-thought at this point.

Contacting Jury, updating her and getting her opinion on what-all she can do at this point would probably be our next best step.
If she can secure a safe storage place for all the Zone Fifty stuff we pinched from Thale, we'd benefit from not having all our eggs in one basket AND Jury might be able to identify some of the items.
There's also the whole matter of knowing Thale's next big move - bioprinters throughout the city and possibly beyond that can print his blood and maybe even function as an artificial red to use at his whim. We might not have evidence for Jury's higher-ups but perhaps she can perform damage control and limit that issue to just this city.
Also she may want to interview Elizabeth (with Elizabeth's permission of course) as an in to investigating Thale. Jury might have some more questions we haven't asked that she needs answer to.

If nothing else pressing we may just want to call it a breather night (for everyone else anyway) and relax until we go to bed. If we haven't made significant progress with fixing up Elizabeth we can just keep a mild painkiller effect on her.
pkrankow 1st Apr 2018, 8:39 PM edit delete reply
pkrankow
I still want that door either in England or somewhere aecure and not in the city, but strategically useful for us.

Can we load up the gps coordinates of bunker A, which is halfway around the world in a snowstorm and see if there are any points of civilization within 50 miles? 100 miles? Transportation might be an issue, but knowing will have some use. It might be in a good destination.

Yes, entertainments. For Mars too. More food too. We can probably go shopping in England too.
Blue_Elite 1st Apr 2018, 8:47 PM edit delete reply
We could move the door to whatever safe location we end up storing the rest of the Zone Fifty stuff at (assuming we find a separate, safe location to store them). It'd decrease the overall security if Thale ever finds a way to access the bunker doors BUT would serve as a quick and easy way to access said items without having to use up our Bunker's limited storage space.

Also making a note that once we get that door in a secure place, we should inform the PJs they can go off of high-alert and that they did the right thing in response to the, "blood pager (TM)."
lil Joshu 2nd Apr 2018, 12:24 AM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
I still say we see if we can portal the door into the red. Too many advantages to doing that to not try. Not the least of the which is probably indirectly blooding the whole door network so we can have a rock-solid security on them in addition to making it easier to pull stuff in and out of the red.