Comic 1040 - Devise a different plan

Posted on 22nd May 2018, 2:07 AM in Hope
Devise a different plan

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 22nd May 2018, 2:07 AM edit delete
You confirm to the others that there is, in fact, a monster in the tunnels under the hummer.

You consider Michelle's plan. The creature looked like it was mostly bone--it's probably not THAT tough, but it's going to be more of a fight than Michelle anticipated. Stopping for weapons, and then trading them in an alley or something, may be the best way to--


You think about it more.

The rat that died looking for a way into the church--he wasn't exactly under the church, just approaching it. That means Hope's monster stretches beyond the church itself. It smashed a rat, which means either Thale's getting paranoid of rodents, or that monster is acting autonomously--killing anything that comes at it through the tunnels.

You develop a different plan.

You explain it to the group.

Michelle pushes Lumpy over, and climbs into the hummer. Dr. Finch and Liz get into your car. They all take off.

Sure enough, the hummer chaser begins to... chase the hummer, crawling rapidly along the ceiling of the tunnel to keep up. It's not actually as fast as the hummer--you think if Michelle could get enough clear road, outrunning it would actually be plausible.

In turn, though, your rat can't quite keep up with the monster... not by a wide margin. You ask Michelle to hang out at stop signs a bit, giving the monster more time to catch up to the hummer... and your rat more time to catch up to the monster, so you can continue to monitor what's going on.

As they steadily approach Hope's church, you can see a darkness at the end of the tunnel. Something large enough to block the lights out.

No. Not just that.

It almost fills the tunnel itself, wall to wall. You can't tell how far it extends, or how many other tunnels it's occupying. It's massive, far larger than any monster you've seen before.

Michelle keeps driving, and the smaller creature keeps pursuing... until, as you predicted, it gets too close to the gigantic church monster.


The monster that was chasing the hummer is thoroughly smashed against the ceiling. Its corpse hits the floor of the tunnel.

It does not move after that. You withdraw your rat from the area before it gets put in any further danger. You update everyone--Dr. Finch and Michelle turn their vehicles around, and start driving away from the church.


Akasha 22nd May 2018, 2:38 AM edit delete reply
Right. Now that we can go about our business in peace, uh. ...You may want to tell everyone about the ridiculous abomination that just fucking obliterated the Most Fabulous Scorpion.
Gigafreak 22nd May 2018, 6:41 AM edit delete reply
The description of the thing would be particularly relevant to Jury, since she's planning on fighting it.
Cyanic 22nd May 2018, 2:41 AM edit delete reply
Well fuuuuuck, I don't think we can take the subchurch monster right now, might be best to just find a way to rescue Griz stealthily and leave

Also, let's tell everyone what the heck the subchurch monster is like/looks like
Guest 22nd May 2018, 2:49 AM edit delete reply
I think we need to do Odin. Error-Fuse said it was totally worth it. If we don't let it consume the congregation it might be manageable.
Blue_Elite 22nd May 2018, 6:22 AM edit delete reply
Error-Fuse was also crushed to death and error-Jane seemingly jailed. Whatever "it" it was worth, "it" wasn't saving Grizwald/fighting Thale's fabomination (seriously, between the monster with bold hair and this thing's luscious red lips, I'm beginning to think Thale is projecting...).
Cuttlefish 22nd May 2018, 2:55 AM edit delete reply
The nightmare noodle has a pair of luscious lips.
Gigafreak 22nd May 2018, 10:41 AM edit delete reply
...And a lot of exposed blood vessels. BLOOD vessels... It'd be quite risky for Thale if Jane had, oh, somehow learned to quickly replenish her bloodstream since the last time they had a run-in.

...Then again, this seems like bait. Maybe those blood vessels don't actually lead anywhere in the monster. Just "decorative pipes" along the outside surface.
Bob the Terrarian 22nd May 2018, 11:31 AM edit delete reply
Bob the Terrarian
Why have a mouth on the side of the, uh, tentacle? And eyes on the thingy if it’s gonna be smashing through concrete and shit. The blood vessels (and about every other part of the monster) are gonna be somewhat armored seeing how it attacks.
Umbra 8th Dec 2019, 2:04 PM edit delete reply
Thale does not have a red. both monsters are likely grossly mutated clones. thus lots of random parts in strange places
fellow 22nd May 2018, 2:41 PM edit delete reply
There is probably more blood in one of those veins than there is in janes entire body.
Gigafreak 22nd May 2018, 4:49 PM edit delete reply
Thankfully, Jane learned to yank additional blood out of the Red and directly into her veins a few hours ago.
Nayru9572 22nd May 2018, 2:57 AM edit delete reply
Maybe inform Jury that no matter what happens, she better not send anyone into the tunnels
Jaesooth the Mad 22nd May 2018, 3:02 AM edit delete reply
Thale: I have the weirdest boner.
Cyanic 22nd May 2018, 3:14 AM edit delete reply
So a lot of us on the Discord have talked about poisoning it via saxitoxin (you can google it since I don't think we can link here). It has nerves because it's partially autonomous enough to crush the other monster.

But before we go producing ludicruous amounts of poison, let's make a sample size first directly from the red to see if we can make one. Ask Dr. Finch to examine it to see if it's accurate, and then we move onto the next part: Making our own monster that can inject that much toxin to be effective
Cuttlefish 22nd May 2018, 5:26 AM edit delete reply
I've been wondering about our capacity to synthesise botulinum toxin (botox) for a while now too. I assumed it would be too dangerous for Jane but with our recent developments on the golem front it becomes more viable. Will take a look at saxitoxin. Botox is good at paralysing muscle mass.
Blue_Elite 22nd May 2018, 7:07 AM edit delete reply
Keep in mind Thale has defenses against poisons or other substances that do not result in immediate death.
I'm not against the idea but probably shouldn't put all our eggs in one basket with that idea.
Cyanic 22nd May 2018, 8:02 AM edit delete reply
We'll still at least wanna try out making a sample size amount of toxin so we can have Finch see if it's accurate, if we don't use it against the monster, it'd just be good to know that we can produce that,

we should also talk it out with our friends
Blue_Elite 22nd May 2018, 6:33 AM edit delete reply
That... is the stuff of nightmares.

First we should note where the rat is/was when the monster got crushed. If we compare that with where Hope's place is, we can make a rough estimate of the radius Thale's abomination occupies. We should then update Jury on the matter to make sure she doesn't accidentally send anyone to their death.
EDIT: Oh, and totally tell her Thale has at least started putting monsters in his tunnels. No telling if the two we've ran into so far are the only ones or not.

Then, Jane should continue exploring with the blood bug. Now that we know the monster is acting autonomously, that may mean that the floor collapsing has to be done manually. We should continue investigating downstairs from the study room. If we can find rigging that'll open/destroy the floor and break/disable that, we'll be one step closer to rescuing Grizwald AND at least delaying Thale's monster-feeding plan.

Finally, get our shopping done. Also I'm thinking chicken pot pie for dinner (I know we did an early lunch, not sure how much daylight we've burned with bug-espionage and golem crafting and hummer driving).
EDIT x2: Also I'd like to throw in a tote bag or backpack to our shopping list. Let's start bringing basic items on these encounters like rubber gloves and flashlights and ammo that'd help so, so much. Maybe even consider bulk buying them to see if we can trade up for a Handy Haversack.
Gigafreak 22nd May 2018, 11:00 AM edit delete reply
The floor didn't (won't?) "collapse," though. The church monster breaks its way upward from underneath. It's acting autonomously right this moment, but... so are most of our animals, as are our allies. Thale can likely assume direct control when it's time, just as we can for our team.
Briggs 22nd May 2018, 12:33 PM edit delete reply
I second the idea of being able to carry more essentials on our escapades.
Gigafreak 22nd May 2018, 6:46 AM edit delete reply
When this plan was proposed, I just sort of imagined the Hummer-chaser just... bonking face-first into the one below the church and getting stuck like that.

This is so much better though.
pkrankow 22nd May 2018, 7:16 AM edit delete reply
What day or how long is left till the Sunday morning the Error Fuse died?
Blue_Elite 22nd May 2018, 10:17 AM edit delete reply
It's Friday and was somewhere between morning and noon right after we finished Floor 0 of Bunker X.
Since then we practiced more the Red manipulation (ultimately leading us to discover the pigmentation tattoo trick); started the blood bug infiltration; spent, "A good chunk of time," making Lumpy; and then checked out and drove the hummer leading to the blonde tunnel monster's demise.

If I had to guess, I'd say it's easily late afternoon possibly evening. Since Hope runs a church, I expect that the original broadcast about the exorcism either goes out Sunday morning or possibly sometime Saturday so they can get us to come out on Sunday in the morning.
Gigafreak 22nd May 2018, 10:37 AM edit delete reply
Tonight, Friday night, would likely be the best time to act. They have made their plans but have not announced anything yet, so they have no reason to believe we have any idea what they're up to; they'll be completely blindsided if we catch them now. Waiting until Saturday runs the risk of them making their announcement... from which point forward they'll be expecting us.

Plus if we somehow rescue Griz tonight, he'll be able to make it to Lydia's podcast on time. So that's a little bonus.
Skullrama 22nd May 2018, 10:53 AM edit delete reply
Agreed - Friday night or very early Saturday morning. We'll need to choose our team and loadout carefully.

We've got two options as I see it:

Stealth approach - grab evidence and Grizwald, get out without anyone knowing we were there.

Hit hard and fast - grab Grizwald and bail before they figure out what's happening and can tell the floor monster to attack.

Plan A has the most rewards, but the highest chance of something going terribly wrong. We can always combine the two, but if we get caught while sneaking instead of engaging on our own terms, things could go bad in a hurry.
Skullrama 22nd May 2018, 8:28 AM edit delete reply
Okay, wow. So far I am doing a fantastic job of underestimating the scale of Thale's creatures. So, uh, even with trading up weapons, I don't think we're going to easily get the firepower necessary to take on THIS thing in a direct fight. Jury definitely needs to be informed that the thing is not just big, it is 'crush a van cause I felt like it' big.

While Jury can decide if her team has the resources to take this thing down, I think we're just going to have to formulate a plan to work around it being there... or commit to the church exploding act of terrorism.

That said, Bunker X did display that our weapon and equipment selection has considerable room for improvement. We should still go shopping, see what sort of items for trading up are readily available and try to make some things - at this point, I would be flat surprised if Hope's church wasn't hiding another terrible monstrosity somewhere.
Swagner 22nd May 2018, 2:58 PM edit delete reply
Or we could start making monstrosities of our own. Perhaps some teeth-and-bone-blade monster just small enough to fit down the tunnel, that would make the big monster sticking a tentacle into it like sticking your hand into a blender? If time is of the essence, we could toss lumpy down a manhole and mutate him into it, since we seem to have overcome the "constructs aren't us" mental block with the "bug" golem.
Skullrama 22nd May 2018, 3:56 PM edit delete reply
While a lot more possibilities are opened by it, I don't think we can freely manipulate all golems yet. It only worked with the bug because it was literally created directly from a vial of our blood. We still need to find perception loopholes for the complex creatures created in the red.

That said, we clearly CAN find loopholes and they quite clearly can work.
chaosblitz 22nd May 2018, 8:44 AM edit delete reply
So in summary: does anyone know how to get grenades? it's gonna take something pretty big to take that thing out (and I'm not talking regular grenades, no we need to get a bunch of grenades and trade it in for one SPACE grenade). I know we can't launch any at it while it's still under the church, but the second we figure out how to get that sucker out of there we need to blow it to smithereens, and that is not going to be as easy as we were hoping for.
ReikoLupus 22nd May 2018, 9:57 AM edit delete reply
Well. We knew it was big, but I wasn't expecting it to be bigger than the church itself XD.

-Send Michelle and others to buy some weapons and grenades to trade up before returning.
-Call our cute robot to tell her that the Monster if a bit higher that her league.
-Ask the Tradesman about a good way to Kill that abomination.

EDIT: And transfer Blood to the Egg where Griz is captured to see the situation. If he is alone, we can talk to him in morse code.
Skullrama 22nd May 2018, 10:23 AM edit delete reply
That's a good idea - communicating with Griz may be useful, and at the least we could give him some reassurance that he's not alone. Even if he's being listened to, Hope and his cronies don't strike me as the type to know morse code (although Thale almost certainly would).
T41 22nd May 2018, 10:04 AM edit delete reply
Extracting it might not even be possible at that size. Could we find a way to electrocute it? Expose some wires or something?
The bohemian 22nd May 2018, 10:49 AM edit delete reply
Uh we tell every one that where going to need a bigger boat. and if we get out of this alive have one of our bunker residents research explosives and gunsmithing.
Fuse:pick nose.
And we need to not go into that sewer at all cost.
IDGAS if we need to, just send in a spy or something to grab giz
Bob the Terrarian 22nd May 2018, 11:24 AM edit delete reply
Bob the Terrarian
AgentKuga 22nd May 2018, 11:33 AM edit delete reply
first blonde hair, now lipstick. Wow. Yeah, should stick away from that monster until Blondie and the others are really prepped for fighting it.
PurpleKetchup 22nd May 2018, 1:19 PM edit delete reply
Woohoo. Plan worked. Excellent.

... and now I'm all out of plan. Bubblegum, anyone ?

Re: tentacles - I can only assume that Thale has started turning his labmeat Secretary clones into random mindless monsters. This one probably looks like an early iteration of Jane's mom, when she was still thin and stretched and considering drinking of the Earth - when she started adding these eyes and mouths to be able to communicate with weird puny mortal creatures.

Maybe Thale thinks Jane won't be able to kill them when she realises. That might end up working horribly right.

... Does the blood dripping from the tentacle belong to it, or to the scorpionbone monster ? Can the tentacle be injured with sharp bones ?
- grab the old IV bag (...did we keep it ? make a damn bag out of tough skin if necessary), pour some red inside it; enough to open a portal to the red. Fill the bag with portal-produced blood.
- coat the bag with hollow bone needles. As hard and thin as possible, as much as possible, all around the bag.
- wrap that in another layer of tough skin.
- make a few rats carry it all the way to the tentacle, not too close.
- remote-control the ball into the tentacle's range. She will crush it.
- key part; if some bone needles withstood the hit, they're now full of red, and jammed in the tentacle's skin. Maybe Jane should practice this first - but she should be able to pull the same trick she did with the syringe of red she gave to Grizwald: open a portal in those bone needles.
- inject as much red as possible with each needle before the tentacle finds a way to deal with them.

... maybe ?
Blue_Elite 22nd May 2018, 2:55 PM edit delete reply
For anyone curious PurpleKetchup is referring to THIS IV Bag (no idea if we kept it or not, same with the backpack from the 1st Chapter that'd be very, very helpful if we still have it).

Also as far as the "pretty" monsters go, I'm wondering if Thale is trying to copy a version of our mom so he can get access to the Red Lasker-style (obviously all the attempts we've encountered, so far, being failures in that particular regard).
Crestlinger 22nd May 2018, 3:13 PM edit delete reply
Would be incredibly ironic if to defeat this monster all that would have to be done is put the blood bug inside it made tiny enough to avoid detection. Quite possible and Thale likely would not be expecting an attack on the inside, travel through the bloodstream to the heart, brain, or general central mass nerve cluster and then just sit there and Grow, then explode/spikes/turn to spider acid.
pkrankow 22nd May 2018, 4:38 PM edit delete reply
Good idea. I rather like it. We need an otherwise inert container that we can control so Thale does not realize that there is our blood inside.

Straight outta a '60's flick
Skullrama 22nd May 2018, 4:59 PM edit delete reply
It could work - avoiding detection would be key, so that Thale doesn't cut off the part our blood is in from the other parts, so we would have to make sure it didn't 'override' his blood... if that's possible.

It is acting at least somewhat autonomously, so it definitely has to have a brain. Being so big, it could very well have multiple redundant brains and organs though - Thale has demonstrated he can just make brains on the fly too, and there's plenty of mass to do it with, so... we'd have to be sure we can kill it dead in one shot.
pkrankow 22nd May 2018, 4:41 PM edit delete reply
I think liquid nitrogen is the way to go. I suspect that Thale is still using a respiration model, in part, so the nitrogen blanket will force more effort if it doesn't kill. Freezing is also known to be a viable means of stopping Red based creatures.
Gigafreak 22nd May 2018, 4:56 PM edit delete reply
There's freezing, and there's cryostasis. I'm not sure how cold those holding cells are, but the cold might not be the only thing stopping it; Red-based aliens are able to travel through the cold vacuum of space.
Skullrama 22nd May 2018, 5:00 PM edit delete reply
Now, where can we find enough liquid nitrogen to flood a tunnel at short notice on a Friday evening?