Comic 1057 - Go to church

Posted on 2nd Jun 2018, 8:59 PM in Hope
Go to church

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 2nd Jun 2018, 8:59 PM edit delete
You take a deep breath.

You send your bug downstairs... and you have it hit the button to finish opening the bay door to the tunnels. You have your bug scramble back over to the body.

A massive tentacle shoves its way inside, grabs at the poisoned corpse, and drags it into one of many mouths.

You give the signal to Caius. He calls Jury, and tells her to be ready--the monster will be disabled in about forty five minutes.

You all grab equipment--guns, ropes, rubber gloves, air filtration masks, whatever you think you might need. Everyone performs their respective rituals, conjuring bone armor. ...Except Caius, who's still wearing his. You do a quick test with Lumpy, having him use a normal bone armor ritual--and it works. The incantation and symbols for the prototype are different, so the rituals don't conflict.

You, Fuse, Caius, Michelle, Dr. Finch, and Lumpy all pile into the hummer and take off. Dr. Finch and your golem will stay with the vehicle--Finch to drive, the meat golem to help you protect Finch in case something goes wrong. Elizabeth stays at the bunker.

You consider blooding the hummer itself, as an alternative to bringing Dr. Finch. However, you're... still not really sure what all that would entail. It does have a computer built in, but it doesn't have a self driving option--you don't think blooding that would give you access to the steering, for example. You could try blooding the engine itself, the steering column, the... brakes? It would be a lot of blood, and require you to do some syncing, you suspect, as you know very little about cars.

Once enough time has passed and you're fairly close to the church, you start preparations in earnest. Caius tells Jury she's good to go on attacking the monster. Fuse breaks out his phone and starts hacking into the local network of Hope's cameras, TVs, and so on--not just disabling the cameras, but putting Carpenter's face up on all the screens. You check on your raven and rats to make sure nothing is amiss.

Just before you reach the church, you activate the eggs. Meat walls start bursting into existence all across the church, including one broad one over the window that overlooks the sanctuary. Before Hope and the others can react, you spring a huge meat cage up around Grizwald... who starts to laugh like a madman from inside it.

"Y'all are screwed, now!," Grizwald yells. "She's here. Y'all's gooses are cooked! I warned ya!"

Hope and his two associates are... visibly unnerved, the largest man drawing a very heavy looking handgun.

You, Caius, Michelle, and Fuse charge in through the front doors of Brother Hope's church. You make it to the top of the sanctuary steps before guards from all over the room start firing their handguns toward you--forcing you and your allies to duck behind the pews (and Caius's shield) for cover as you return fire.

"Can't get close enough to light 'em up," Fuse mutters.

Michelle sticks to the handgun for now, letting her fire and duck back down quickly--and shoot with more accuracy, as the minigun loses something over a distance.

"Please, brothers and sisters!," Hope yells from the stage. Despite the gun fight going on, he doesn't make any effort to take cover. "Can't we talk about this? Can we not deal with this in a calm, CIVIL manner? Are we animals? I am WILLING to NEGOTIATE!"

Despite his calls for peace, his numerous guards continue to try and shoot you from various directions.


Mochi 2nd Jun 2018, 9:55 PM edit delete reply
sure, harold. you're open to negotiating and i'm the grand duchess anastasia of russia.

avoid killing him. making him a martyr will just add fuel to the flame. incapacitate him if we can. maybe drop some "eggs" off the meat cage and grow some golems. keep in mind that thale has eyes and ears in this place still. knox and the other guard are upstairs, and thale probably has no shortage of goons to expend. we need to stay on our toes.
Twyll 2nd Jun 2018, 9:58 PM edit delete reply
I feel like Hope already does so much adding fuel to the fire on his own that even turning him into a martyr would be less incendiary than his continued existence.
Gigafreak 2nd Jun 2018, 10:53 PM edit delete reply
The thing about martyrs is that they galvanize someone else to take up their cause right afterward.
On top of that, Thale can easily just appoint a new Chief Idiot Priest of Enyo by making "Enyo's voice" whisper to his next-most-charismatic thrall.
The fire doesn't ever stop. If we can prevent a martyr, we can at least partially douse it before a new Chief Idiot pops up to start reigniting things.
Tobias23 3rd Jun 2018, 4:15 AM edit delete reply
If Jane has enough concnetration / cover, let's go with dropping off some bugs from the meatwall, have them scurry towards the guy with the big gun first and blood him, then have him take Hope hostage and blood him as well. Then we can command everyone to put their guns down.
Alternatively, if we don't want to have too many new arrivals in our party, or we don't want a blood fight with Thale, we could go for poison straight away, maybe we could use a dosage that won't be deadly, but will incapacitate people.

A note for later: Let's learn how to create anesthetics.
Frission 2nd Jun 2018, 10:41 PM edit delete reply
A pleasure to meet you, your highness! ;D
lil Joshu 3rd Jun 2018, 10:50 AM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
Could we use the blood gun and not blood him... but just control our blood when shooting him ... like have it travel through him, get rid of his ability to speak, and then leave without actually taking control? This seems like a thing we should be able to do. I know I wouldn't want someone slimy like that in our group.
Tobias23 3rd Jun 2018, 11:24 AM edit delete reply
My first thought, too, but we could do the same we did with Macland, get him out of the city and occasionally drain his resources. In any case, using him right now could be practical.

But, like I said before, it might turn into a battle with Thale if he's been blooded. Listening in on him and the secretary might give us some info on that.
Twyll 2nd Jun 2018, 9:56 PM edit delete reply
Withdraw immediately, have *Thale* withdraw immediately, have Thale's *monster(s)* withdraw immediately, and we won't have to kill you to rescue our friend. If any obstacle remains between us and Grizwald, we will destroy that obstacle, even if that obstacle is you.

Sorry Hope, but given that you actively desire the destruction of our entire hometown and the deaths of millions, we aren't terribly interested in negotiating with you unless you hand us a 100% unconditional surrender, no tricks-- especially no *Thale* tricks.

Are any of the guards standing near enough our meat walls that we can bone-spear them? Alternatively, this might be a good time for some meatball grenades-- or to send some bugs/winged darts to harass the shooters and allow our allies to shoot more easily.
Cyanic 2nd Jun 2018, 10:04 PM edit delete reply
oh shit, bioshock them with insect swarm, I like that idea
Cuttlefish 2nd Jun 2018, 11:36 PM edit delete reply
Seconded. Have Caius (biggest voice/most charismatic) make it clear that we are acting to rescue an illegal hostage in tandem with the authorities, and imply that Hope has utilised torture. I suspect that Thale is making some sort of local recording that Fuse can't access.
Cyanic 2nd Jun 2018, 9:57 PM edit delete reply
Let's get some bone bombs thrown, get some the guards, maybe even guide them a bit in the air toward their targets

Whatever remains of the bonebombs, fragments, pieces, etc. we try to quickly pigment and have those pieces cast the messy bone armor spell (as long as Jury and co aren't around)

Also keep an eye on the monster somehow, we did not look at it after poisoning it
ALSO DEFINITELY OBSERVE THE BROADCAST ROOM (with Thale and secretary) we left an egg there with eyes and ears
Gigafreak 3rd Jun 2018, 12:45 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, if the secretary or the Thale clone is being mutated into a threat, we'll want to know before it tears through the meat curtain.
While we're at it, maybe we should check on the bug we fed to the tunnel monster-- if it's still alive, we can try blooding the thing. Gaining control of it would be amazing; but even forcing Thale to rot large chunks of it away just to prevent the blood from reaching the brain would be helpful to Jury.
Gigafreak 2nd Jun 2018, 9:57 PM edit delete reply
We have no idea if Hope's been fully briefed on our blood powers... including blood-levitation.
So let's see if we can sneak a blood syringe into Hope.
Twyll 2nd Jun 2018, 10:00 PM edit delete reply
If we could manage to blood Hope, that would be excellent. I suspect Thale has some measure in place to keep that from happening, but it would be really nice if it worked.
pkrankow 3rd Jun 2018, 8:31 AM edit delete reply
Good idea
Xylas_Incarnum 2nd Jun 2018, 10:18 PM edit delete reply
Blood Griswald, no sense in being stupid. They could have injected him with queen once they got him for all we know, or just a straight up dose of HiveThale Blood. Probably should pat Gris down for any sort of tracking thing before getting him over on Mars for a bit.... Well Mars or one of the other bunkers but let's face it the guy would probably have a rather interesting reaction to being on Mars.
chaosblitz 3rd Jun 2018, 4:39 PM edit delete reply
Seconding blooding Grizwald and Hope, but we should also try to blood anyone we can. Definitely focus on those two, though.
Toricon 2nd Jun 2018, 10:31 PM edit delete reply
Tell him that we're willing to negotiate, to get a better idea of what he wants, at least. But only if his guards stop shooting us.
Gigafreak 2nd Jun 2018, 11:08 PM edit delete reply
There are a lot of things we could tell him.
We could tell him that we can't trust someone who'd plot against his own allies in the night- and gesture to the Carpenter silhouette. (There is no overt lie in this statement. Hope did plot against Carpenter that one night. If he wants to believe the implication that Carpenter put us up to this, that's on him.)
We could tell him that the gentleman in the A/V room won't help him.
We could tell him that all we want is to give him a blood transfusion-- or a mutual exchange of blood as a gesture of goodwill. We'll even let him decide who injects whose blood first!
Blue_Elite 2nd Jun 2018, 10:34 PM edit delete reply
Getting to Grizwald comes first and foremost. If we can make meat walls to block the gun fire, we should be able to gradually work our way down to him (better than being stuck behind the pews).

This is taking longer than I had hoped. I'm expecting a retaliation from Thale at any moment. Any other ideas to get Grizwald to us sooner the better.
Can we move the meat shield? Grizwald was tied to a chair so we'd have to pick him up inside the shield. Maybe move it like a slug or snake gradually up to meet us (or convert it into a blood turtle)?
Frission 2nd Jun 2018, 10:42 PM edit delete reply
Have one of the meat walls generate a swarm of bugs, and then one quickly get to each guard and re-form into a meat cage around them!
Skullrama 3rd Jun 2018, 1:22 AM edit delete reply
This, seems like a good plan. Contains them pretty well. We could blood them with bugs instead, bjt it's hard to say how that would go... This takes them out of the fight, gets less people shooting us. I approve.
Tobias23 3rd Jun 2018, 4:18 AM edit delete reply
Good idea, I agree, but I'm worried all that meatwalls will leave Jane completely drained. Could we inject the guards with something non-lethal instead? I think that would be less strain on us.
Frission 3rd Jun 2018, 4:24 PM edit delete reply
Hm. Maybe. Make blood mosquitoes that inject knockout drugs? o.O
ReikoLupus 3rd Jun 2018, 12:25 AM edit delete reply
Create Meat Walls with holes to aim and shoot. Even if a bit of our faces are exposed, we have helmets that cover it XD.
skybirds15 3rd Jun 2018, 12:30 AM edit delete reply
He's willing to negotiate now... but when Thale comes in and grows a bone out of Hopes face to impale our pinky toe cause he's that goddamn petty, any negotiations done by then would be pretty much moot.

Also for christ sake, Hope, shotgun diplomacy only works before you start shooting. Then it just becomes shotgun.

Was the fat guy here? If he is, don't worry about shooting him cause fat is pretty bulletproof. I only say this cause someone important should get shot here, and it's not gonna be us/Griz.
Espylacopa 3rd Jun 2018, 12:53 AM edit delete reply
He's here and has already drawn his weapon.

Hope and his two associates are... visibly unnerved, the largest man drawing a very heavy looking handgun.
chaosblitz 3rd Jun 2018, 4:50 PM edit delete reply
on second thought, blood/shoot the guy going for the gun.
We do NOT want to have to deal with that.
Barswanian 3rd Jun 2018, 1:26 AM edit delete reply
Drug the monster beneath some more. And more. And more. Make sure its down and not going to smoosh thr church.
pkrankow 3rd Jun 2018, 8:34 AM edit delete reply
PurpleKetchup 3rd Jun 2018, 2:38 AM edit delete reply
So... build some more shields for cover and run to Grizwald, I guess ?
Time is of the essence.
dasno 3rd Jun 2018, 5:48 AM edit delete reply
given how unnerved they are there is a good chance thale may not in fact be blooded and his bodyguards are. thale seems to love playing it close to the vest/ hope might not even know about the giant monster under his church. i mean look at macland and gensai for great examples on the 'out of our depth' club.
pkrankow 3rd Jun 2018, 8:42 AM edit delete reply
Have one of the big voices shout out something like

If you can say the name 'Patton Thale' put away your weapons and get out of this building. Our fight is NOT with you.
lil Joshu 3rd Jun 2018, 1:05 PM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
I recommend against having them say Thale's name because we know Thale is consciously active in this building right now, and if he knows we've been using that as a test, he'll change things up, and we'll lose a tool we've had.

I'd simply inform everyone that if they aren't slaves to Thale, for them to vacate, that we don't wish to fight them. We're here to get our friend back, and that's it.
Gigafreak 3rd Jun 2018, 1:11 PM edit delete reply
If we can get them to actually listen, then this is probably the best approach to have. We're here to rescue someone, not to hurt people.

I'm not terribly convinced they WOULD listen, but maybe we can bluff them into standing down because they're counting on the tunnel monster-- currently busy fighting off Jury's squad while dealing with severe food poisoning.