Comic 961 - Take out the robot

Posted on 23rd Apr 2018, 1:25 PM in Shipping Off to Southden
Take out the robot

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Morgenstern 23rd Apr 2018, 1:25 PM edit delete
You step out of sight of the cameras, and ask Fuse to start looping the feeds. That way, if Carpenter is using the cameras to monitor you, he'll lose track. Fuse does so. He's already sent what he had to the police, so there's no fear of them seeing what you do next.

You sync everyone, and you begin to collect things--sheets, bandages, cleaning supplies. You blood the sheets and the extra bandages. You reach into your red and begin to make golems... and once you've completed a couple, you start to mix them with the chemicals, creating makeshift bombs inside them.

You start sending golems downstairs--one in each elevator at staggered rates, a couple down the stairwell. If you can bait Carpenter upstairs from one way, you can approach the first floor and the tunnels from the other direction.

However, Carpenter keeps his distance from the stairs and the elevators respectively. As soon as one door opens, his guns begin to spin up. He takes your golems out before they can get near him, and he does so promptly. You can't... quite get him to leave, either.

"He knows what kinda shit we're in," Caius suggests. "We either go to him, or we jump out a friggen window. He's crazy but he ain't dumb enough to chase us."

"Might be more to it," Michelle adds with a grimace. "His Plan B might be to take out the whole hospital... so he's stickin' close to the supports. We go to him and things go south, he doesn't just blow the robot up--he drops the whole building on us. S'gonna be hard to get him off the first floor if I'm right."

"Seems like a bit much," Caius chuckles. "Kinda excessive."

Michelle smiles. "It's us, and he's already failed to kill us a bunch o' times. He ain't gonna take chances."

New plan, then.

You start searching the upper floors for candles, and things to write with. You find some magic markers in appropriate colors. You remember what you needed to perform the destruction ritual, the one that invokes Nil.

...But you stop. Even with cleantex, you can't remember the contents of the book all that clearly. You noted this problem before--you couldn't remember the trading up ritual directly from Geoangular Control, you had to recall Michelle's performance of it to do it from memory. Something about the book obscures your ability to remember it, and if you don't perform it correctly there's a serious risk of--



Something else occurs to you, and the plan is back on track. You resume gathering materials for the ritual. You find a couple of break rooms with designated smoking areas, and you dump multiple ash trays into a single one--ashes are another component of the spell.

You craft two more golems, but with a different chemical concoction inside than before.

You let everyone know the plan. You head to the second floor stairwell. You take a deep breath, a bundle of items in your arms.

You send out the two golems.

"We're STILL doing this?!," Carpenter yells from his robot. His automatic weapons spin up, the rotating barrels tearing through the golems with rapid fire.

...Releasing thick, caustic chemicals into the air that obscure his view of the stairs. You, Michelle, and Caius bolt out the door, rushing into the first room you can get to. It's a patient room. Caius turns over the bed to make more space, and the three of you start setting up the ritual.

You can't remember the symbols to draw or the words to speak, and the book is still in Bunker A. Everyone left, half your group in Southden and the other half here in the hospital.

Everyone but the miniature you.

You have your tiny simulacrum climb onto the counters of the lab and open the book. You view through her eyes, using her perspective to setup the spell.

You can hear Carpenter in the hall, shouting over his blaring music. "Heat sensors, you idiots! You think I'll fall for something so pedestrian?!"

His robot stomps toward your room. You continue to frantically light candles and draw symbols as you hurl your sheets and bandages out of the room, catching Carpenter as he approaches. You cover up what you can--what you can identify as sensors, cameras, all of it. You wrap your bandages--including your strengthened ones from the tradesmen--around the robot's legs.

Carpenter begins to fire blindly, bullets rapidly tearing through the walls. Slowed by their journey through solid objects, most of the rounds miss, and those that don't can't make it through the bone armor of you and your teammates.

You finish preparing just as the robot comes tripping and stumbling into the room, taking out half the door frame as it slams its way inside.


"Tell me this kid stuff isn't the best you have," Carpenter laughs... but you can hear the irritation in his voice. He starts to turn the robot around while firing both chainguns, but with the legs bound, he can't redirect his fire very well. Caius and Michelle both grab onto the robot, holding it in place--keeping it from manually readjusting its aim, and keeping it firmly in the circle.

You begin to recite the words to the spell.

"Ohhh no you don't!," Carpenter screams. "None of that voodoo nonsense here, Missy! A HOSPITAL IS A PLACE OF A SCIENCE!"

You hear something welling up inside the robot. He uses the lasers from the robot's big, green eye, slicing through the sheets... and the walls, and the window, and the bed. The robot fights harder, its legs finally tearing through the bandages. Michelle and Caius have to fight harder and harder to keep the mech restrained.

"Please!," Carpenter shouts, his voice crackling through the speakers. "Don't stand so close in this very confined space, IT WOULD BE SUCH A DAMN SHAME IF YOU DIDN'T CLEAR BACK A BIT!" Michelle recognizes the sound building in the mech, and by extension, so do you. He does have a bomb, bigger than Michelle anticipated. You speak the words faster, as quickly as you can read them off. It's a painfully long incantation, or at least it feels like it.

Light seeps from the seams of the robot.

Carpenter starts to laugh maniacally, cackling as smoke rolls out of his mech.

You scream the last few lines of the spell.

The room is bathed in light.

You're stunned for a moment, and blinded, thrown to the floor by the sheer force of it.

Your senses return.

The robot is gone. So are the candles, and most of the ritual circle. All that's left is a plume of thick smoke, sort of shifting from black to pale blue to a violet tone and back.

Your hearing is the last thing to return. "Fuck... almighty," Caius mutters. You hear Michelle throw up.

You check on everyone.

Caius is fine. His armor is broken in places, and one of his hands looks... burnt? Slightly mutilated on the surface in a way you have trouble pinpointing.

Michelle is... less fine. Most of her armor is gone completely, and something... something's happened to her arms. One all the way up to the shoulder, one a little past the elbow. They're... rotted, desiccated, burnt. Reduced. Whatever happened to Caius's hand, Michelle got the worst of it. There's no blood running through her arms, everything's just... sort of collapsed on itself and died.

You immediately work to keep her from going into shock, and putting painkiller on the three of you. Caius helps Michelle to her feet, and you both help carry her out of the room. Caius grabs the minigun on his way out, dragging it behind him.

You reach the hole that Carpenter made in the floor earlier. It appears to drop two stories before entering Thale's tunnels.


Baron11704 23rd Apr 2018, 2:12 PM edit delete reply
2 stories is fine, it looks big, but that's an easy jump, go for it and sprint down the tunnels, we'll be leagues ahead of the police by the time they get inside
chaosblitz 23rd Apr 2018, 4:04 PM edit delete reply
that'll work, but let's be careful not to a) touch the edges of the hole or b) breath in the freaky smoke. We don't know if there's any... aftereffects from using Nil.
Reiko Lupus 23rd Apr 2018, 2:19 PM edit delete reply
To whoever thinked of using the Ritual of Nil to take care of the robot: You are a crazy genius XD.

Well, it doesn't look like we can go for the hackers in this situation. For now:
-Send the Raven to keep an eye on the hackers. We discovered were they are, it would be bad if they change the place without us knowing XD.
-Tell Fuse, Finch, and Liz to return to the base.
-Return to the base to heal the injuries of Michelle and Caius.
-Hug the Mini-Jane.
Wote 23rd Apr 2018, 2:29 PM edit delete reply
One thing I would add is to make plans to start moving whatever assets we have left out of the city--including Griz and Lydia--as soon as possible. The bad guys know we can and will use magic against them, so we need to make sure any knowledge they gain still requires them to go to lengths to stop us.
Wote 23rd Apr 2018, 3:09 PM edit delete reply
Also, just realized I should add to the kudos for the Nil plan. Apparently, that was Cuttlefish, Swagner, and Joshu who supported it. Good job, y'all. :D
AE-86 23rd Apr 2018, 2:22 PM edit delete reply
Probably should make sure whatever happened to caius and Michelles arms isn't spreading and remove the infected area if it is we can use our bioprinter when we get back.
Leafia_Barrett 23rd Apr 2018, 2:39 PM edit delete reply
Oh shit, you're totally right, this is important.
AE-86 23rd Apr 2018, 4:19 PM edit delete reply
We should still check but whatever happened to Caius And Michelle probably wont spread because their arms were completely dead so it might have killed itself off.
Frission 23rd Apr 2018, 2:25 PM edit delete reply
Before we go jumping down a 2-story hole, let's have Fuse find out what the police are doing now that they know the truth, at least part of it.
Swagner 23rd Apr 2018, 2:56 PM edit delete reply
We'd probably be better off misdirecting them; they aren't our friends, and we've already destroyed the evidence really thoroughly. Perhaps make them think there are still bombs in the building so we have a head start escaping?
Cuttlefish 23rd Apr 2018, 5:25 PM edit delete reply
We can at least have Lydia's podcast report the truth of what happened here to get the real story out there.
Blue_Elite 23rd Apr 2018, 2:32 PM edit delete reply
Make sure Caius and especially Michelle are in stable condition. If possible to reinforce Jane's legs, now would be the time to do so. Michelle said Caius and her could take 4 stories, 2 stories should be nothing so we just have to prevent Jane from injuring herself from the fall.
Then cleantex and run through the tunnels to somewhere that is not-here. If the rats found any other place out in the middle or upper-tiers that'd be preferred. Otherwise let's head to Howler's apartment for much-needed wound-licking.
Then arrange for one of the other members to pick up the hummer/us later. We still have Jane's damaged car if we can be picked up now rather than later (the hummer can wait until the heat is off the hospital area).

Side note: So very. very glad we had armour. Looks like it protected the vital areas perfectly. Definitely making more armour before our next encounter.
Leafia_Barrett 23rd Apr 2018, 2:46 PM edit delete reply
Make sure whatever's happened to Michelle's arms and Caius's hand isn't spreading, or take all steps necessary to halt the spread if it's there - if need be, the arms can go, we'll be replacing them anyways.
Archon 23rd Apr 2018, 2:51 PM edit delete reply
Either the robot left a nasty gift, or the two were hit by the ritual...
Yeah, give Caius and Michelle a look-over before we do anything else.
Espylacopa 23rd Apr 2018, 3:08 PM edit delete reply
If the description is accurate anything affected by the ritual will be removed from existence, not damaged. What ever this is, I'm thinking it's Arvin's doing.
Swagner 23rd Apr 2018, 3:55 PM edit delete reply
The description makes me think that this is what happens if you don't keep your hands, arms, feet, and legs outside of the ritual at all times. Particularly if you caught a bomb halfway through exploding in it. I don't think Carpenter could invent something that just kills/shrivels tissue like that (at least not that quickly), but that seems exactly like Nil's handiwork.
fellow 23rd Apr 2018, 3:21 PM edit delete reply
Let's see if finch knows what's happening. Possibly sync with him.
Swagner 23rd Apr 2018, 3:53 PM edit delete reply
Jane or Caius ought to grab Michelle's gun, she probably won't be using her hands for much until we get back to the base.
Kal S 23rd Apr 2018, 4:14 PM edit delete reply
Caius already did.
Swagner 23rd Apr 2018, 4:25 PM edit delete reply
Oop, missed that.
psychoshen 23rd Apr 2018, 5:11 PM edit delete reply
Wow, that ritual went almost as well as could be expected. I hope Michelle can handle what she took. Those who came up with and supported that plan definitely did a great job.

Definitely check to make sure it's not spreading. If it is, we'll have to work on Caius and even the hospital, there's no telling how far it can go. Personally, I suspect there aren't any lingering effects, but I wouldn't put it past Nil to destroy the world slowly with just one ritual.

Do we still have bandages and sheets that are blooded or did they go up with the robot? I was going to say we could lower ourselves into the tunnels, but we may end up having to jump.

Bring our rats into the area if we can to scout a safe path for us. Carpenter could have more robot monsters waiting for us. It'll be easier to fight without the cops on us, but better to know what we're dealing with.
pkrankow 23rd Apr 2018, 5:56 PM edit delete reply
First aid before magic.

See how much of Michelle's and Caius' injury we can percieve. We have had quite a bit of practice on Elizabeth with rebuilding physical structures. Acting sooner may be better than waiting.

Yes, escape. A hanging drop is no problem from 2 stories for most people. Not sure the best order of exit, but carefully.

Is Howler's a safe place? We need a safe hole and sorta rescue.
Ablaze 23rd Apr 2018, 6:21 PM edit delete reply
I'd suggest a quick transfusion. Michelle has possibly lost a lot of blood, and more of your special blood may help stabilize her until you can get back home.
undeadDreamer 23rd Apr 2018, 6:29 PM edit delete reply
Quickly ask if they can use their damaged parts at all. If the answer is no then remove the damaged parts of their bodies. Those would only slow them down.