Comic 963 - Treat dead tissue

Posted on 23rd Apr 2018, 10:37 PM in Shipping Off to Southden
Treat dead tissue

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 23rd Apr 2018, 10:37 PM edit delete
You send the raven that was at Rockwell Arcade to go watch the hummer.

You send one of your rats through the tunnels toward Bunker A, hoping to find a ladder out near your base. You put a blood alarm on it to tell you when it finds something.

You give a heavy dose of painkiller to Caius and Michelle... and you start looking at their wounds.

As Caius's is confined to his hand, it doesn't take that long to deal with. The sections of completely necrotic tissue aren't... that significant, in the big scheme of things, and you can salvage the rest of it. You suggest that he looks away, you temporarily suspend the nerves around his hand entirely... and you use the living tissue to force the dead tissue out.

You quietly kick the dead material over to the pile of deceased rat against the far wall, you put Caius's living meatstuff back into place, and you bandage his hand up. You start converting lipids and his tonsils into replacement hand material, you maneuver them through his body, and for the most part it's all back to normal. You... suggest that he not go crazy with this hand in the immediate future, since it's probably not going to feel great for a while.

You turn to Michelle. She gives a dry, grim sort of chuckle. "This is gonna suck, ain't it?"

You want to tell her that it won't, but it's probably going to.

A very significant amount of both her arms is completely dead. There's... not likely to be enough material to replace it outright like you did with Caius, and it takes up so much real estate that you'd be hesitant to try anyway--her arms wouldn't come out right if you tried to wing it. You tell her that you're going to remove what you have to, but her arms will likely need to be replaced.

"Robot arms," she says with a small laugh. "Got it."

You numb her arms... and level Michelle. You begin to work on pushing the dead tissue out. It takes a substantial amount of time, as you don't want to make things worse or accidentally kill additional tissue during the process.

"Brown recluses," Michelle comments idly, staring as far away from what you're doing as she can. "Brown recluse bites cause straight up necrosis almost half the time. That always scared the hell outta me. They ain't aggressive, but if you like... got one stuck in your clothes or somethin', they're liable to bite. They can cause like... gross, gangrene ulcers and stuff. Doctors can't really do nothin' about it 'cept cut that part out and replace it."

Caius shakes his head. "You're gonna make me scared o' spiders, you keep talkin' like that."

Michelle smiles. "It's weird, though, ain't it? We can print a whole damn limb, or a kidney, or a chunk o' somebody's face... but th' idea of somethin' rottin' out and gettin' cut away is still real uncomfortable. I'm still... nervous, about losin' my arms, even though I'll prob'ly have 'em back by the end o' the day."

Caius shrugs. "S'natural. Tha thought o' somethin' inside you bein' dead is weird. Tha idea o' replacin' part o' you with somethin' new is weird. Trust me, I had to replace my whole friggen body. I'm lucky I got real good at not thinkin' about stuff, 'cuz this? It ain't fun to think about. All tha talk about..."

Caius pauses. He reconsiders mentioning it, but he fights through and keeps going. "All tha talk about souls an' shit, it ain't helped. It's identity, right? That's what tha... all tha big magic guys have been sayin'. Sense o' self. And that's gotta be tied to my brain, right? An' I got tha same brain, so... I'm good. I just keep thinkin'--"

He stops, and looks at the floor.

"What happens when I take a bullet to tha head, and we gotta make me a new brain? Same body, different brain, is it still me? I'm like 99% different, everything BUT tha brain is a different Caius, is it still me? Jury ain't got a brain, does she got a soul? If she's got a soul it ain't about tha brain, which means I--"

"You're right," Michelle interjects. "You're better off not thinkin' about this stuff. You're you, that's all that matters. You're Caius. All this soul, sense o' self stuff... it's above our paygrade. We can't do nothin' about it, so why worry about it?"

Caius scratches at the back of his head. "I worry sometimes that I ain't Caius. Not... real often. Just once in a while. I'm scared tha real Caius is dead, and I'm... I dunno, livin' his life. I'm gonna steal his man like a total asshole. He died on an operatin' table, and I'm gonna live tha big life as some kinda hero when all this is over with. I don't... do much thinkin', so when I take a swing at it I ain't great at it."

"Jury's got a robot brain," Michelle says. "That's gotta count, right? She's got a machine thing she thinks with, it's gotta all be tied to that. Your brain's what makes you think you're you, I ain't sayin' the soul gets kept there 'cuz it's prob'ly more complicated than that but... yeah. You got the same brain, you're still Caius. I'm still me. S'all good."

It takes a lot to keep from doing what Dr. Finch told you not to do.

Thinking about your own brain.

You're still not... entirely sure what he was worried about, but he was very serious about it.

You distract yourself, focusing on Michelle's wounds. It takes a great deal of time, but you're eventually sure she won't die of gangrene or anything like that. You bandage up what's left--she's definitely going to need her arms replaced.

Your blood alarm goes off, as the rat you sent found a way out of the tunnels.

You and Caius help Michelle back down the ladder, and you all take off. It's a long, slow walk, and you're mostly quiet throughout it. You mentally contact the other three once they get back from Southden, and update them on the situation.

By the time you reach the end of your journey and pop out of a manhole in the city proper, the sun is starting to set. You're still a number of blocks away from Bunker A, this is just the closest exit your rat could find.

"Well, poop," Michelle sighs. "The robo-limb place'll prob'ly be closed by the time we can get there. Guess I'm settlin' for bioprinted arms after all."

You send a message to Fuse, telling him your location. You get about a block and a half before he pulls up in your car. You, Caius, and Michelle load up, and begin explaining everything that happened.


Twyll 23rd Apr 2018, 11:26 PM edit delete reply
Let's congratulate everyone on a job well done. We did what we set out to do and it could have gone a lot worse.

I mean seriously, we dealt with being surrounded by police AND attacked by a giant, ridiculously fast robot with a bomb inside (and apparently with mad hops, too). And we did it without hurting anyone except the robot! AND we completed our objective!
GivingTree 23rd Apr 2018, 11:27 PM edit delete reply
Let Caius know that he's definitely actually Caius, you didn't feel anyone die while that operation was going on. (and even if he did, he'd want someone as cool as current-caius to carry on his legacy)
Reiko Lupus 23rd Apr 2018, 11:36 PM edit delete reply
Yeah. Even if Caius died, this Caius is worthy of carring his spirit XD.
Yuki 24th Apr 2018, 3:56 AM edit delete reply
I'm in partial agreement. Now might be a good time to tell Caius about how significant it is feeling someone die with the blood and that he, most certainly, did not.

The part I'm iffy about is telling Caius he would've been happy to have another version of him carry on his spirit. We don't REALLY know if he'd be cool with that and saying so might negate the reassurance that he is the same man we saved from the warehouse.
pkrankow 24th Apr 2018, 6:30 AM edit delete reply
Yes. Shore up his confidence with telling him what death feels like. The man on Mars and all. Caius did not expire.

This really is the deep end isn't it?
Reiko Lupus 23rd Apr 2018, 11:34 PM edit delete reply
Michelle, your REALLY want robotic arms, right? XD.

For now, let's get new arms for Michelle, and after that eat something. This was a LONG day. After eating, we can make some deals with a devil or whatever, but everyone needs a rest and somehting to eat.
And don't forget to hug Mini-Blondie. She really saved us this time XD.
Blue_Elite 24th Apr 2018, 1:19 AM edit delete reply
Yes, even if she's technically a mindless golem, B.B. definitely deserves a hug.
hello 24th Apr 2018, 6:56 AM edit delete reply
i mean it's pretty clear it's pretty much impossible to get robotic arms for Michelle, but with robotic arms Michelle will look different from the time she was in a shootout with police. so i guess try to get robotic arms if possible.
Portal In Time 24th Apr 2018, 3:53 PM edit delete reply
Portal In Time
I honestly don’t like the idea of Michelle having robot arms. It seems like a cheap out, and I don’t know if even she would want them. It seems too gimmicky for her, and we’ve already got one cyborg, I don’t want to dim Fuse’s figurative light.
Swagner 23rd Apr 2018, 11:38 PM edit delete reply
Let's ask Fuse if he nailed down where the hackers are, and if he thinks he was detected at all. As rough as it is, that may be a lead we have to follow up on fast, if Thale even suspects we know where they are, he's sure to move them soon.

Hey, at least we can make use of that "exceptional" finger, right?

And on a less-morbid note, we ought to put mini-blondie in a little witch outfit, since she will likely prove instrumental in any magic we do outside of the bunker henceforth. It'd be adorable.
Reiko Lupus 23rd Apr 2018, 11:45 PM edit delete reply
Yes, Mini-Blondie is now our oficial Witch XD. And as a Witch, she need a cute outfit XD.
Heroshima 24th Apr 2018, 9:02 PM edit delete reply
I approve so much of the tiny witch outfit.
Guost 24th Apr 2018, 12:05 AM edit delete reply
Ask Fuse about Howler. Apart from the hacking, he have any skills or abilities worth bein' concerned over?
Guost 24th Apr 2018, 12:16 AM edit delete reply
And put tha blood alarm back in the raven at the hackers' location just in case they do start movin' out.
Archon 24th Apr 2018, 12:25 AM edit delete reply
We could ask the Tradesmen about this soul business.
Related; I'm a bit concerned Caius and Michelle may have taken some damage to the soul, not just the physical necrosis.
Guest 24th Apr 2018, 8:51 AM edit delete reply
True,that may very well be true. Check on Michelle and Caius souls...
nicolas arboleya 24th Apr 2018, 12:41 AM edit delete reply
We can bioprint fingers. So why don't we print a bunch,attach them and the use the mass to repair other areas. We are really good at making fingers
nicolas arboleya 24th Apr 2018, 1:09 AM edit delete reply
Is it possible to externalize our reds conciousness into mini us?
Blue_Elite 24th Apr 2018, 1:25 AM edit delete reply
This time I think bio-replacing is going to be a little more complicated. Michelle had naturally strong arms as a part of being a tube cop. We can't just bioprint any arm, we need a naturally strong arm.
If Dr. Finch/Fuse don't think they're up to the task, we can try bioprinting multiple arms and then do a Tradesmen trade to see if we get some single, meaty arms to attach to Michelle's body.

Then we should do dinner. Since we are winners, I'm thinking chicken dinner.

Also we should work on replacing that bone armor. We already have our next mission set.
Also since Fuse already told Jury about it, we should coordinate with her (wouldn't want to accidentally get in a fight with the feds because we didn't communicate/coordinate).
Yuki 24th Apr 2018, 3:50 AM edit delete reply
Trading for super arms for Michelle sounds awesome! They won't be the robot arms she wants, but she might be just as stoked to get super magical arms instead.
Nayru9572 24th Apr 2018, 1:54 AM edit delete reply
Can Jane check the minds of Michelle, Caius and herself? I'm worried if Nil might've managed to gain a foothold somehow.
Yuki 24th Apr 2018, 3:48 AM edit delete reply
Seconding this. When the result of using the Nil ritual leads to our friends having parts of them DIE, there's more than enough reason to be concerned that it did something else to them. We might even want to consider double-checking the Nil ritual's info in the book or even asking the Tradesman if the price isn't too high.
Guest 24th Apr 2018, 3:39 AM edit delete reply
to the guy talking about externalizing the red in mini Blondie, I've actually been thinking. if we can trade up some more golem's to get more mini Blondies, and then trade THOSE up, we could have a fully formed secondary body for Jane to swap her consciousness into if something bad happens. or a fully formed and fully functional body to put the red in. course looking at her mothers red, i don't know that it's meant to function that way, and i suspect that one of the advantages to having a literal building made of flesh is it being able to take from the red and shift it's parts without you having to. imagine being synced up to yourself but the size of an apartment building, with all that mass being mostly brain.
Yuki 24th Apr 2018, 3:59 AM edit delete reply
After a conversation like that, it's pretty clear that Michelle and Caius are in desperate need of a mental breather. Jane likewise considering parts of her friends DIED, which meant that it could've been ALL of them. Given the death of her friends is her worst trauma, she's probably feeling some strain. Hugs, good food, and the company of friends in safety as they bask in the glow of a job well done is in order for now.
Leafia_Barrett 24th Apr 2018, 9:10 AM edit delete reply
Why have we not hugged Caius and especially Michelle yet?

Prepare to make a bunch of bioprinted arms, muscular and high bone density, to trade for hopefully super-arms.
EDIT: Actually, ask Michelle if she wants to wait for tomorrow to go get cyber-arms, or wants to give the bioprinted trade idea a try.
Blue_Elite 24th Apr 2018, 10:02 AM edit delete reply
The whole, "Using arms," thing might be a... touchy subject for Michelle right now. We can hug her after she is able to hug back.
fellow 24th Apr 2018, 9:50 AM edit delete reply
Maybe we could make a bunch of blood golems that are just big arms, and then trade those in with the tradesmen?
psychoshen 24th Apr 2018, 10:40 AM edit delete reply
Take a moment and remind Caius that Faraday doesn't even have any physical body at the moment, much less a brain. Caius will always be Caius, regardless of the physical vessel, arms, brains, body, etc.

Also, if we have someone that's not too tired, we may want to perform the information ritual again. We can check to see if the destruction ritual had any lingering effects, specifically to make sure Michelle and Caius don't have something that needs further attention. We can also see how effective our plan was by asking whether the hackers are aware that we located them.
pkrankow 24th Apr 2018, 2:45 PM edit delete reply
Good use for the information ritual. Finding out about lingering effects from another ritual sounds right in line with the intentions of the Tradesmen.

Don't forget a grocery run for possible cash value exchanges.
Reiko Lupus 24th Apr 2018, 2:50 PM edit delete reply
Yes, I don't think that the Tradesmen is going to ask for a high Price (Or even ask for one) if we ask about the side effects of the Rituals where it is the mediator XD.
Asking for them is a good idea.