Comic 1038 - Try to refill the bug

Posted on 21st May 2018, 12:29 AM in Hope
Try to refill the bug

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 21st May 2018, 12:29 AM edit delete
Something occurs to you.

You consider your depleted bug.

It's... really not a bug at all. You started thinking of it that way, but it's not. It's still just your blood, covered in dust.


Your blood. You. Your material.

It takes you a moment or two of dwelling on this, reiterating in your mind, for you to accept it... but after a few seconds, you transfer some of your blood back to the bug. You do it cautiously enough so as not to overfill it, as its outside is still very much not blood and popping it would probably make a mess.

You make a note of this, because this could be handy later.

You check back on the hummer, and the rest of your allies. Dr. Finch has finished looking for tracers, and everyone's ready to proceed.

You have your golem awkwardly stumble out of the car and shamble over to the hummer. Michelle has to open the door for it, but you make your golem climb inside. Michelle gives it the keys... and everyone backs away.

You start the hummer with your golem.

It does not explode.

There's a slight sigh of relief.

"I'm kinda surprised," Michelle says. "I didn't think we did all that great a job of hidin' it, not for how long it was out like this."

Dr. Finch adjusts his glasses. "No police, no tracers, no explosives... it is quite clean. Not to curse us, but this does seem too easy, yes? ...Yes."

"It's likely below us," Elizabeth says dryly. "Some creature that can either hear the vehicle leaving, or feel the vibrations through the concrete. It's staying quiet so it can follow us back to our base of operations, crawling along the ceiling of the tunnels."

There's a very long pause. Dr. Finch and Michelle stare at Liz, then at each other, then back to Liz.

Elizabeth tilts her head. "That's what I would do if I were Thale. ...And for the most part, I am. If I'm correct--and I can almost guarantee that I am--it won't attack us. It wants to know where we're going. That's far more valuable than blowing up the humvee."

Michelle breathes out slowly. "So either Thale never found the hummer, or..."

"Or he did," Dr. Finch finishes, "and we now have that to shake off somehow."


undeadDreamer 21st May 2018, 12:53 AM edit delete reply
Do you think the creature could tell if the Hummer was pushed? They could push it for a bit if it couldn't.
Cyanic 21st May 2018, 1:07 AM edit delete reply
Might be able to push Jane's banged up car by the hummer, then start and drive it away with the golem, it doesn't have to be fast, just drive slowly,

also maybe have the rest of the crew hop on above the hummer so it can't tell the crew didn't really leave yet? we don't know how good its vibration-sense is, treat it like Tremors graboids!
Gigafreak 21st May 2018, 6:45 AM edit delete reply
Or if the creature could pick it out from a traffic jam worth of cars. Isn't it midday or early afternoon on Friday? Shouldn't be hard to get it into a highway where there'd be hundreds of cars to shake the ground all at once.
Gigafreak 21st May 2018, 6:46 AM edit delete reply
Clarification: because of RUSH HOUR.
Guest 21st May 2018, 1:11 AM edit delete reply
We don't need the hummer parked right outside our door now, do we? Just somewhere accessible.

Also, Caius still had his bone armor on last page, is there a chant to have the bone disappear, or is the spell for making it only? Can he take it off?
Espylacopa 21st May 2018, 2:07 AM edit delete reply
From the description on this page I'm thinking he's just gotta take it off manually. If it were physically attached to him it probably would'a mentioned it.
Verde 21st May 2018, 5:16 AM edit delete reply
I wonder what would happen if someone tried to use that ritual while already wearing armor.
1977 21st May 2018, 2:38 AM edit delete reply
Good thing we don't need to get to base with the hummer then.
For starters drive back home, Thale already knows our house and it is under surveilance by him anyway so no harm done.
Place some rats along the way in the tummels so we can have a look at the trackercreature.
Once home take care of it.
Skullrama 21st May 2018, 8:43 AM edit delete reply
This is a pretty solid base plan... Get the rats to get a look at the creature.

Get one of the rats to find us an entrance to the tunnels that we can access somewhere nearby. Have Michelle go into the tunnels from there and setup an ambush - lead the tracking creature to Michelle's position and hopefully can kill it dead while it is distracted with the whole listening to the exact sounds of the hummer deal.
Leafia_Barrett 21st May 2018, 9:52 AM edit delete reply
This is accurate.
ReikoLupus 21st May 2018, 10:15 AM edit delete reply
Good plan XD.
Blue_Elite 21st May 2018, 4:39 AM edit delete reply
What annoys me the most about this development is that it'd also mean we can't drive the hummer to Hope's place without alerting Thale where we are. We need to drive the hummer to a place where we can access Thale's tunnels so we can kill said creature if we're going to use the hummer at all. If Michelle thinks she can do it with her minigun (the creature would need to be fast enough to follow a car and so probably very fragile) that should be the next step. Otherwise pick up the rest of the gang with Jane's car and go tunnel hunting.
Nayru9572 21st May 2018, 4:43 AM edit delete reply
We could drive the hummer out of the city. There aren't any tunnels there, right? Drive it far enough out and then back in?
Oh, wait, that might lead to inspections from Thale, since it's supposed to be difficult to leave without him noticing.
I'd say either call Jury if she knows a government road through which we can drive out of the city for a short while, or drive the hummer over to an exit for the tunnels we know of and fight the creature.
Ablaze 21st May 2018, 6:46 AM edit delete reply
Place some blood in one of the tunnels. Then drive over it. Let's test this theory.

We should quickly make a fake base somewhere. Park in front of an abandoned building for now.
Skullrama 21st May 2018, 8:49 AM edit delete reply
Oh man, transferring more blood to the bug opens up so many possibilities. Best ideas so far:

Each golem should now come equipped with an internal 'blood tank' and a circulatory system that, while not pumping blood constantly, lets us send blood to any part of the creature. The tank needs to be kept in a dense meat and bone shield, as it is now the golem's weakpoint. Since we can portal more blood into the blood, we now have unlimited fuel for repairs and additions to the golem. 'Hey, it sure would be useful if the golem had bonespikes' - give it friggin bonespikes on the fly!

Second, how about smaller golems that pretty much ARE just blood tanks with some needle/tube limbs to pump blood into things? These could be fleshy med-bots for the crew, pumping our blood straight into anyone that needs some body repairs and needs them NOW - among other uses. We could make them small enough to carry on one's person.
PurpleKetchup 21st May 2018, 12:21 PM edit delete reply
MiniJane-shaped stimpaks. Make it happen.
The bohiem 21st May 2018, 8:55 AM edit delete reply
Team: be catuios
Golem:gain Free will, emotions and a craving for hot dogs
Fuse pick nose
Check Piecie
Check every one that we blooded
Fishbulb 21st May 2018, 9:12 AM edit delete reply
Drive around until you find some place where you can do a few sick jumps with the hummer. :3

Or just drive through a construction area maybe?
zelly_fangirl 21st May 2018, 9:37 AM edit delete reply
I had this insane flash of inspiration that is dangerous and risky at best. Waaaaaaay back when, Jury gave us a possible location for Carpenter, right? I don’t believe we ever checked that place.

Let’s take the raven we had checking on the hummer to spy on the possible Carpenter base real quick. If it looks like he’s there, then let’s drive the hummer there. Thale wants to attack a hideout so badly, I say we let him.

It just won’t be ours.

We can get out and push the hummer a block or so away and then drive home without worry while Thale has a juicy Carpenter target to strike instead.
PurpleKetchup 21st May 2018, 12:19 PM edit delete reply
That would be delicious. I'd vote for, but I'm not sure if we won't actually need the damn thing to save Grizwald.

Best case ? Thale swallows the whole fishing rod, sends the big monster to Carpenter's hideout as well.
Worst case, Carpenter just destroys the whole humvee with some explosives - we lost a great ride, Thale is not tricked, and we're back at square one.
Wote 21st May 2018, 9:46 AM edit delete reply
If we can get rats in the tunnels quickly, we can figure put if something is down there. More importantly, though, we need to consider the possibility that any other "tracker" Thale sets on us is like Swordhands, and able to use something outside conventional senses to keep track of its target. Y'know, before we get too confident about pushing the Hummer.
Wote 21st May 2018, 10:03 AM edit delete reply
It also may be worth seeing if Pierce has any insight into how Swordhands tracked us.
ReikoLupus 21st May 2018, 10:08 AM edit delete reply
I knew it! We can transfer Blood to them! XD.

The situation with de tracker Monster is problematic. Isn't there a highway high enough and with enough traffic to lose the thing? Or maybe we can Kill it manually? XD
Skullrama 21st May 2018, 10:27 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, looks like a conversation thread last page presented a good enough argument to at least consider the bug part of ourself, since it is still, essentially, our blood.

This won't work for Lumpy, since he doesn't have our blood in him and was created in the Red instead of directly from our blood... but if we put blood reservoirs in new golems, we have something to work with going forward. Lots of interesting new possibilities there.

EDIT: Or, uh, I could remember the obvious fact that all our golems have SOME of our blood in them, since we have to like, control them somehow. The question would likely be a matter of efficiency of space for converting it to new material and refilling.
pkrankow 21st May 2018, 6:25 PM edit delete reply
Our red is us, as we are made from it. Making some into our blood as an intermediary might be a workaround.
lil Joshu 21st May 2018, 11:06 AM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
We just have to throw something off our trail?

Hee hee...

Sorry, just chuckling because it's relatively easy for us, and gives us a chance to push our limits.

Make an exit blood portal near the doors (IN the base if the hummer could fit through the doors).
Drive it into an alley somewhere.
Jane meets it.
Sombody dropes a waterproof speaker or something into the base blood portal (sound carries through liquids, make it easy to identify portal in red).
Jane opens a blood portal underneath it.
Hummer drops through blood portal, pops out the other side.
Then, close alley portal.
(Bonus points: Hummer is now thoroughly blooded, and think of the fun that will cause!)
Skullrama 21st May 2018, 11:19 AM edit delete reply
An experiment like this would definitely be good to try to learn some more about traveling through the red, but I'm not sure we have the time to pull it off since there's a lot of running around involved.

Some good questions are raised by this though. What exactly IS the Red? Is it totally just our blood? When we pull stuff out of it, they don't come out soaked in blood, right, and huge gushes of blood don't come out with them. Hm.

Does sound travel through the Red? Does sound EXIST in the Red? It's pretty much another dimension, we don't understand the rules yet... much to learn there.
Frission 21st May 2018, 11:26 AM edit delete reply
Guy: "Hey! Don't open that! It's an alien planet! Is there air?! You don't know!"

lil Joshu 21st May 2018, 11:37 AM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
True, time is an issue...

So to expidite... instead of sending Jane out... we just learned our bug could re-fill with blood. We could do the same with the golem in the car, and have it make the alley portal, then we don't even have to have the hummer cross the in-between area making it nice and fast. And this is a good way to test too, as nothing living is at risk.

As for the blood coming gushing out of the portal, we can control how it moves. So it won't gush out if we don't want it too. (Think kind of like the portal from Stargate)... actually, on that note, we don't even need to put it on the ground, just put it on the wall and drive the hummer through.
Skullrama 21st May 2018, 12:21 PM edit delete reply
Thinking about this some more - biggest immediate issue: We don't have a waterproof speaker. Or, like, a regular speaker. Where could we get one?

Second issue: Assuming the Red is just a giant blood zone full of blood, we probably can't, like.. drive the hummer through it. Even assuming we manipulate the red to form solid blood roads for it to drive along, engines don't do well submerged. We would need to push it through or setup a winch and pulley system on the other end or... something.

Third issue: Can we even make our blood into a portal on a large scale without being there in person? Our blood bug can go through little blood portals, but that's small scale and made of our blood. Driving a humvee through a bloody wall is another matter entirely... we barely managed to get a coin to go into our own palm.

With time to experiment and practice, the blood portals could be useful but right now it seems risky at best, if not impossible. Eventually, maybe we can learn to manipulate it enough to form oxygen bubbles around passengers or some such... but it's gonna take time and training.
PurpleKetchup 21st May 2018, 12:29 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, red is clearly more than just... 'something'. I mean, there's a whole part of Jane that's sentient Red. It can generate and/or mimic molecular structures, transmit electric signals through its own dimension, probably toast bread and butter said toasts.
Studying the stuff from a human point of view is a massive SAN sink, and Dr. Finch isn't too far from the deep end as it is.

Being a relatively young half-eldritch god is suffering. Maybe Mom's Red can teach Jane some simple tricks.
Gigafreak 21st May 2018, 3:55 PM edit delete reply
Well, when Jane portaled HERSELF through the Red, she was indeed covered in blood when she popped out the other end.

So maybe let's not do that to something that would be damaged or destroyed by flooding, such as... automobiles.
Portal In Time 21st May 2018, 12:36 PM edit delete reply
Portal In Time
That sounds pretty neat, actually. Just “splorsh” the golem we have into enough blood to pass the hummer into the red, and calcify the leftover puddle so as to not set people off about a massive pool of blood.

After that, we could worry about the hummer on our own time - send it closer and closer to our bunker’s entrance over the course of a few days, and coat a wall with blood to bring the car back out.

I second this!