Comic 1065 - Prepare for Incident F

Posted on 11th Jun 2018, 1:46 AM in Hope
Prepare for Incident F

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 11th Jun 2018, 1:46 AM edit delete
You wake up, get dressed, prepare a bowl of cereal, and head to the lab.

Fuse has begun utilizing the... uh... translation implant, and is working with the alien computer. Caius is talking to Dr. Finch, while Dr. Finch works with the various items of note you picked up from Bunker X. Michelle is trying to explain action movies to Liz.

You ask if there's been any news on Hope, and everything that went down.

"Not a damn thing," Fuse grumbles. "Hope is Reigns' guy, even if he was doing Thale's dirty work... between them, there's not a news place in the city that'll report what happened."

"I'm curious as to what they'll do regarding Hope's show," Dr. Finch states. "It's usually ran live, yes? It'll surely raise suspicion among the regular viewers when a rerun is played instead."

"There's some good news, though," Fuse says. He makes his way toward you... and hands you a keycard. "I'm still setting our new computer up to work with the old bunker finding algorithm, but... this should open Site One."

You acquire the key to Zone Fifty Site One.

You check on the raven you sent to look for the Site One door. The raven has reached its destination, however...

as you feared, the door is gone.

Nothing but an empty lot remains now.

You report this to the others, who all seem to have expected it.

"Thale had to have moved it," Caius says.

Michelle nods. "Yeah, if that's where he used to work, that place has gotta have the most evidence about who he really is."

"Not to mention possible evidence implicating him in his current misdeeds," Dr. Finch adds. "Or worse, perhaps. Difficult to say what all could be found within, but certainly nothing he'd want anyone getting their hands on."

"Puts us back at square one, though," Caius says, scratching his head. "Where tha hell IS tha door, if it ain't there?"

"Maybe Thale's got it," Michelle speculates. "I mean, what else would he do with it? He can't trust nobody else with it."

"Might've just destroyed it outright," Fuse replies. "If it's that much of a liability, he could've dismantled it, incinerated it... whatever."

"I wonder if Thale would take that risk," Dr. Finch ponders. "With everything we've uncovered thus far, we're still nowhere close to understanding how the bunker doors actually operate, or where they came from. Are they alien technology? Is the spacial distortion man-made? Can it be reproduced still? Or or or did they simply... build a frame to house and contain a preexisting phenomenon? I would personally hesitate to destroy one of the doors entirely--we have no way of knowing what the side effects could be."

"That's... a fair point," Fuse says. "Breaking a door could turn it into like, a black hole or something."

"Or a city-sized explosion," Michelle adds, "or stop time, or... yeah, we got no idea, do we? Thale might not, either. We know he's got blind spots when it comes to Zone Fifty stuff."

"I have something to add to this," Elizabeth says simply. Everyone turns to look at her, and she continues. "...I don't have any memories about an isolated door. None whatsoever. Not attempting to destroy one, nor the location of one. It may be another piece of information I failed to receive, or..."

"Patton Thale may not know himself," Dr. Finch finishes. "We've speculated previously that Thale's plans may entail him erasing memories, even from iterations of himself. Director Thale may have hidden away the Site One entrance, and ensured that no one--not even his own clones--would know of its existence."

"It would follow with the previous theory," Elizabeth replies. "Patton Thale may not know he's being lead down a path designed by one of his predecessors. He believes his plans are his own, that he is the ultimate mastermind--when in truth, these machinations were planted in his head long ago."

"And findin' Site One would wreck that," Caius says with a nod. "If he found notes or whatever talkin' about tha whole plan from whatever years ago, he'd know he ain't tha hot shit supervillain he thinks he is."

"Guys," Fuse begins. "If this is all legit, you realize what kinda position we're in, right? We're looking for a door that Thale hid from himself."

There's a lingering silence as that statement sets in.

"...Damn," Michelle finally replies. "Yeah. That's gonna suck."

Dr. Finch adjusts his glasses, thinking deeply on it. "Hidden from even himself... hm. Hm hm hm. That... that that that is an obstacle, to be sure. How would he hide something where even he couldn't find it...?"

For now, you switch gears to focus on immediate plans. You want to take a swing at replicating Incident F, turning yourself into a widely dispersed imprint and then condensing yourself back down so you can take Faraday with you. You don't want to put off helping the ghost girls any longer, it's a step on the way to setting up Ilworth for the Mars gang, and error!Fuse said the whole thing was worthwhile.

"The process will likely be quite exhausting, at least mentally," Dr. Finch points out. "And because you'll be separated from your body, you'll be unable to contact us via the blood during the event. If there are any preparations you intend to make, well... I would try to be certain that you're ready."

You nod. You also bring up an idea you've had floating around--one to attack Thale not physically, but... memetically, maybe. He's fighting not to be identified by his name, not to acknowledge that he's really Patton Thale. His plan to become the city sort of hinged on his identifying as... a force of nature, or an element, or a concept or something. His ability to oversync and switch matter so freely seems to play with that vague identification, as well.

If you could set up some elaborate campaign--billboards, radio, whatever it takes--to make the public and by extension Thale more aware of his... well, of himself, then it may damage the use of his powers.

"You might be onto somethin'," Michelle says. "Especially now that we know Patton's a clone o' clones. If we could work that in somehow... y'know, bring up the family resemblance..."

"If he's truly unaware of the predetermined course of his motions," Elizabeth states, "then causing him to question his own independence and by extension his motives could force him to doubt himself overall. That, plus a blow to the inhuman persona he's attempting to forge for himself, could create a tangible weakness."

"It's something worth looking into," Fuse agrees. "I dunno if we got the money or the pull to do city-wide propaganda... hell, I don't even know where to start on that."

"I bet tha Deck does, though," Caius suggests. "Diggin' up dirt an' spreadin' it to tha people's kinda what they do, ain't it? Lydia's gotta know some stuff, too, bein' a reporter an' all."

Dr. Finch nods to you. "While you commence your experiment with Incident F, perhaps some of us could start looking into waging a war of information. Attempting to storm the gates, as it were, will be a much easier task if we can find a way to weaken Thale first."

"Yeah, we need to do somethin'," Michelle says. "Thale might not be as untouchable as he used to be, but I bet bustin' into his HQ and throwin' the cuffs on him still ain't gonna be easy."

"Carpenter's been quiet, too," Fuse says. "I was really waiting for him to show up at the church, and he never did. I don't like it."

"Well, one at a time," Michelle chuckles. "We finally got a minute to breathe, we ain't gotta go chasin' ol' cyclops just yet."

"Gotta make sure we do it right," Caius says. "Take our time. ...Fuggen savor it."

Fuse cracks a very small smirk. "Savor what? The hell are you planning to do to him?"

"Dunno yet," Caius responds. "Fun to think about, hard to pick one. Might just improvise, see where tha moment takes me. Dickbag ain't gonna like it, though, whatever it is."

"I highly recommend we make an effort to turn both Thale and Carpenter over to Jury, if at all possible," Dr. Finch suggests. "I'm not going to delude myself into believing that's perfectly feasible, but I would prefer we not preemptively concoct plans to murder them. ...As much as I agree with the sentiment. Strongly."

"Hey, nobody said Carpenter had to die," says Caius. "He just might not make it to tha cops with all his fingers, that's all I'm sayin'."

Dr. Finch sighs, but smiles. "Incident F, and weakening Patton Thale's imposed identity. We should really focus."


Cyanic 11th Jun 2018, 2:51 AM edit delete reply
Before we do all this, we should speak with momRed, we haven't talked in a while, see how they're doing, and ask about the secure storage thing we asked of them so we can just chuck the soulkiller and the badbox into the storage and hopefully not worry about them. Ask about bloodspeech as well and if there are any tangible benefits to learning that at this point in time

Besides that, morning meditation, help us prepare ourselves mentally for Incident F

After all these, let's actually do it, we might wanna do the actual ritual inside Bunker E so we don't have to walk far. Then have someone else cast the imprint-strongifier so we have more of a hold while being a ghost

It occurs to me that we'd also need a companion to actually activate the machine to Incident F us

anyway, let's tell everyone this before we execute
Blue_Elite 11th Jun 2018, 4:15 AM edit delete reply
From the design of the Odin machine, it looks like Jane will need to crawl into Tesla's canister and be loaded in (something Caius or Michelle will likely need to do). Then someone will need to activate it (something Dr. Finch will likely need to do, maybe Fuse but he's got his hands busy anyway).
Twelveseal 11th Jun 2018, 4:27 AM edit delete reply
I vote Caius on this one. He's more invested in the Ghosts, I think, and we were wanting Michelle to see about getting the Mars crew and maybe Liz into Ilworth to do some work there.
Caydenite 11th Jun 2018, 5:34 AM edit delete reply
I agree on sending Caius, as he's so invested in the girls well being. I think maybe also Liz; she doesn't seem to fully understand why we do things like helping out little ghost girls, but maybe meeting them might help- she hasn't interacted with many people probably, and seeing them as more than statistics might humanise them to her, and hopefully humanise her too.

Also, what happens if we establish a sync before going astral? Seeing as it's done through the Red, could the Red maintain it whilst Mine is elsewhere? Might help give Caius or Liz Finch's ghost knowledge.
PurpleKetchup 11th Jun 2018, 3:07 PM edit delete reply
Well... last time Mine astralled into a ghost (#973), Red remained behind in her body - taxing her somewhat since she's not very used to handling everything herself... but if she can breathe and speak, she should be able to cast spells and activate the machines as well.
Although, not saying that's what we should do, but a possibility.

I'd rather ask her to keep in touch with the others, since Dr. Finch seems slightly worried about that. She's the blood too, so she can totally do the telepathic message stuff.
Twelveseal 11th Jun 2018, 2:54 AM edit delete reply
It begins.

Wonder if the door is actually still there, just concealed through tech or magic. Though maybe he hid it in the Mars mine back when Z50 collapsed. Or, alternatively, he's moved it to his corporate headquarters. I'd expect him to keep it close at hand.
pkrankow 11th Jun 2018, 8:49 AM edit delete reply
A few feet of gravel and some fresh pavement hides everything.
Guest 11th Jun 2018, 3:16 AM edit delete reply
As for the war of information, Hope's show suddenly going down is bound to generate some gossip. That could be a starting point. Don't need money to spread rumours.
Gigafreak 11th Jun 2018, 7:10 AM edit delete reply
Lydia's podcast will surely broadcast the news to the world.

Maybe Reigns might not like that. Hm.
Deminia 11th Jun 2018, 3:33 AM edit delete reply
We know of one bunker door that was isolated and sort of in Thale’s hands. If the site one door could connect to other bunkers but other doors not to site one then maybe we already have the door?
Twelveseal 11th Jun 2018, 3:58 AM edit delete reply
I actually got to thinking about it a bit more, and a few things seemed to fall into place.

The tunnels under the city match the human circulatory system. Patton Thale's HQ, his corporate headquarters, is likely where the brain would be.

But that's not where Director Thale is. He's likely where the Heart would be, secure in Site 1. The door is likely in the tunnels. Further, I'm fairly certain that's where the last piece of Laskar is. The Director has been using that to produce the Biopaste used in Save the Queen. Laskar is regenerating it, and Thale is mulching it up and using it to make his drug.

Patton is a pawn. A scapegoat and distraction. It's the real reason he doesn't know everything. He's a tool. He's the brain, but as Nietzsche wrote, the mind is the plaything of the body. The Director is that body, the heart.
Blue_Elite 11th Jun 2018, 4:37 AM edit delete reply
The tunnels are a long, ongoing project; likely started around the time of Director Thale. If he intended that project to last as long as it did, clone!Thale would have eyes there constantly as construction continued. It'd be a very bad place to hide something from himself.

We're 99% certain a piece of Lasker is in the Mars mine. The Tradesmen more-or-less confirmed this (having not explored the place yet, there's little else we could know to be in there).

Lasker's Mars blood and the bioprinted Save the Queen blood are not only different but 100% incompatible. It's what caused Lasker to freak out and go on an eldritch killing spree. It's effectively why the mind control project was shutdown (and likely "sold" to Patton Thale).

EDIT: Just to throw in my own guess, if I wanted to hide something from me, I'd pick somewhere I'd either never guess or never want to go to. Thale doesn't live at his old house and probably by choice since his whole gambit relies on disassociation. If he finds a drawing he did when we was three-and-a-half or something like that, it might bring up old memories of his past and ruin his trick. Great way to keep himself out of a place where he wouldn't want him to be.
I think the door is in Thale's old house. Either in the attic where no one would think to look or in the basement hidden behind a series of automated traps that don't allow even Thale himself to pass through. Not only is it a great place to hide something from himself; since it's likely heavily guarded 24/7, it's a great place to hide it from everyone else as well.
Akasha 11th Jun 2018, 5:09 AM edit delete reply
Wait, wait.

When were we ever sure that it was a piece of Lasker in the Mars mine? I thought we were certain that it was where Z50 struck blood, more than anything else.
Twelveseal 11th Jun 2018, 6:00 AM edit delete reply
We haven't, just that there's a piece of him "elsewhere." It's too vague of an answer to say where as anything other than speculation.

Gris does say that they were making the bioprinted blood directly from the Mars Blood, but if Thale's still doing that, it either means he's got a stockpile of it on earth now, a bunker with Mars access, or he's figured out how to use a piece of Lasker to produce it. If it's that last one, he'd probably want it in the tunnels so he can produce Queen more efficiently, but that's just my guess.
Twelveseal 11th Jun 2018, 6:32 AM edit delete reply
I like the House theory. It makes sense.

You have a point on the tunnels, though I'm not sure how strong it is. Thale can dump a mental aversion to saying his name on people he's Queened. Wouldn't surprise me if he can do the same with locations.

As for what's on Mars, I'd guess either just the mining operation and leftover data from it, or potentially the remaining Mars Blood, assuming Thale hasn't collected all of it. Lasker parts are a possibility, but it seems like it'd be odd to research it at the same facility it was acquired by when considering Z50's information siloing policies. I imagine the Lasker incident happened somewhere else, though they may have dumped part of hom there afterwards.

It still wouldn't surprise me if Thale is using Lasker's blood-warped tissues to produce Save the Queen since he's had so much of it. The alien would have had to have been titanic to produce that much material. Not to say that it wasn't.
Espylacopa 11th Jun 2018, 4:42 AM edit delete reply
Twelveseal, this page indicates Thale Energy is at the "heart".
Twelveseal 11th Jun 2018, 5:51 AM edit delete reply
Hmm, right. My bad.
Nayru9572 11th Jun 2018, 4:28 AM edit delete reply
For the location of Bunker One, couldn't we just use the information ritual? Not necessarily now, but sometime.
Twelveseal 11th Jun 2018, 4:33 AM edit delete reply
True. Even if we don't pay, we can at least find out if we have it already. If there's a price, welp... odds are it's high, and we won't want to pay.
Memo 11th Jun 2018, 9:45 AM edit delete reply
Yea, that seems like the best way to find it!
Even if the price is too high, it is likely to give us some useful information.
We should also ask more about the doors, like how they work, and how they are made.
Caydenite 11th Jun 2018, 6:44 AM edit delete reply
Oh, can we leave an us blob here, for quick slorping?
Twyll 11th Jun 2018, 3:37 PM edit delete reply
It would be a good chance to try isolating some of our blood within the raven and ejecting it as an egg somehow. Hopefully while nobody's watching, as I can't imagine that seeing a raven hork up a blood egg would be fun to watch :P
Wote 11th Jun 2018, 7:14 AM edit delete reply
Even if we focus on other things for now, we should get a rat or something heading in that direction, too. While most of the bunker doors have been on the surface, there's no reason to assume Site One couldn't have had its door underground, so we may want to check for underground access and see if we can find the telltale reader that way.
Twelveseal 11th Jun 2018, 8:03 AM edit delete reply
We just have to be careful. Defenses and guards in the tunnels, especially around that, are a given.
fellow 11th Jun 2018, 8:21 AM edit delete reply
We don't know what kinda hardware carpenter has in him. Turning him over to Jury without knowing that might prove very bad for Jury.
pkrankow 11th Jun 2018, 8:53 AM edit delete reply
Yes. I am sure something can be arranged.
fellow 11th Jun 2018, 10:12 AM edit delete reply
We could ask the tradesmen for what's on his body that could get him out of prison or harm/control jury.
lil Joshu 11th Jun 2018, 9:17 AM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
While the rest of the team focuses on Incident F & Patton Thale propaganda, that doesn't leave much for Caius, so I suggest, as a dual experiment, Caius use the alien communication device in his head to contact the Tradesmen instead of rituals (experiment 1), and if connected, ask what it would cost to locate Zone Fifty Site One. The estimate might give us an idea of how close we hare to defeating Thale (experiment 2), and may be a feasible price.
Memo 11th Jun 2018, 9:48 AM edit delete reply
I like the idea of calling The Tradesmen on the phone, but I have some concerns about what could happen if he actually got through to them.
Also, what number would he dial?
Twelveseal 11th Jun 2018, 9:59 AM edit delete reply
Can you imagine the fees that hotline would charge?
lil Joshu 11th Jun 2018, 10:04 AM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
He doesn't have to dial a number on his alien phone to call someone, just think about them. So he thinks about the Tradesmen. Considering they want to be contacted, do you think they wouldn't drop their contact info on the device before sending it over? That said, if we can trace, it's probably not a 1+ area code.

As for the fees... lets avoid any 900 numbers for now. :P
ReikoLupus 11th Jun 2018, 11:10 AM edit delete reply
This is... An interesting idea.
And even if you need some sort of contact before making a call like that, Caius had a mínimum contact with the Tradesmen in Bunker X.
We need him to test this while we are doing Incident F XD.
nicolas arboleya 11th Jun 2018, 6:18 PM edit delete reply
The the zone 55 site 1 bunker. I think I've figured a way in. We don't need the door. The tradesmen said specifically that bunker x connects to ALL OTHER bunkers. Including site 1. So all we do is use the site 1 key for Inside bunker X
Ablaze 11th Jun 2018, 6:52 PM edit delete reply
That's clever. Unfortunately i don't think bunker x has a card reader. You might be able to hack the door, but you might get stuck there.

Have we ever checked the backside of bunker x's door?
Twelveseal 11th Jun 2018, 7:19 PM edit delete reply
Might want to be careful with that. I can't help but remember that Bunker that got launched out of the solar system. Might be safer start asking the Tradesmen about what's outside of these things before we explore directly. Or at least if the other sides pose direct threats to life, limb, or sanity points.
Twelveseal 11th Jun 2018, 7:19 PM edit delete reply
Might want to be careful with that. I can't help but remember that Bunker that got launched out of the solar system. Might be safer start asking the Tradesmen about what's outside of these things before we explore directly. Or at least if the other sides pose direct threats to life, limb, or sanity points.
Gigafreak 11th Jun 2018, 9:50 PM edit delete reply
When did they say this? I didn't see them say anything like that when first exploring it with the rat, nor when the team arrived to challenge it, nor petitioning the tradesmen in between. The wiki doesn't mention that capability, either.
Guest 15th Jun 2018, 11:56 AM edit delete reply

The one outside the solar system and others such are inaccessible, period, so no need to worry.
Guest 11th Jun 2018, 10:25 PM edit delete reply
Re: Carpenter; I still want to see if that phone can ring up the Many.