Comic 1119 - Consult Caius

Posted on 12th Nov 2018, 8:29 PM in Like a Bullet from Behind
Consult Caius

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 12th Nov 2018, 8:29 PM edit delete
You decide that, at least on the issue of Knox's fate, you should ask Caius first. He's... probably the closest to him. Maybe Macland, but you're not sure you can even begin to explain what kind of condition Knox is in to him, let alone the nature of the deal you're making.

At the very least, you agree to give up the pancakes.

There's a pause... and the tradesmen reply.

"A written request will not alter the outcome of the ritual. ...Not in any way one might hope for."

Well, that's that then.

You take out your phone and attempt to call Caius. There's... an odd noise on the other line, at first, but eventually he answers.

"Yeah? Brain phone, who's this?"

You inform him that it's you, calling from within the tradesmen ritual.

"...Wait, how?"

There's some murmuring in the background before Caius continues.

"Like, we're watchin' ya just stand here. ...This ear thing is nuts. Oh, and some pancakes jus' disappeared into thin air. We're hopin' that's you too, an' we ain't got breakfast ghosts."

You... explain the situation to Caius. All of it--that you're trying to find out what's beyond the door, the tradesmen can't answer for some reason... and that they want Knox in exchange for an answer on what's stopping them.

Caius takes a little while to mull it over.

After a great deal of silence, and a heavy sigh, he responds. "Look. That thing we fought at tha church... that ain't Knox. He was always an asshole, but whatever happened to 'em... he's a fuggen monster now. You do what you gotta do. If Mac could see 'em--if Mac knew what he was like right now--he'd prob'ly say tha same thing. Even if we could fix 'em..."

Caius gives another, smaller sigh, and takes a moment to collect himself.

"Man, if somethin' like that happened to me, I wouldn't wanna be fixed. I wouldn't wanna have to remember bein' that... that thing. Even if we turned 'em back into regular ol' classic asshole Knox, I dunno if he'd be right. I ain't a therapist or nothin', though."

Caius pauses again, more briefly, as something crosses his mind.

"...It's gotta be Nil, though? Right? Hidin' all that from tha tradesmen? It'd have to be somebody with some oomph, and we know Nil's tried to work over Carpenter before. Maybe that freakshow finally got to 'em."


Cyanic 12th Nov 2018, 8:49 PM edit delete reply
I say we do it

and I also wanna ask the tradesmen if they're safe and if no one's out to get them because playing all sides is probably gonna piss a few entities off. They're a great source of info and gear and it'd be bad if that suddenly goes away
Lunar Waffles 12th Nov 2018, 8:52 PM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
they have an understanding with anyone that can "get" them, they are neutral. always x:
Some Random Guy 12th Nov 2018, 9:05 PM edit delete reply
Some Random Guy
Lunar Waffles 12th Nov 2018, 8:50 PM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
Okay, agree to the trade....if they can snatch Knox out of the Red themselves, that will be quite something, would LOVE to watch it happen.
Departure_Dave 12th Nov 2018, 9:01 PM edit delete reply
It's probably the ritual itself doing that. In which case Mine is the one who consents to and powers the "snatching".
Fishbulb 12th Nov 2018, 9:16 PM edit delete reply
pkrankow 13th Nov 2018, 6:56 AM edit delete reply
Ask about it?
knox 13th Nov 2018, 4:56 PM edit delete reply
gas it up in the truck
Limrix 12th Nov 2018, 8:52 PM edit delete reply
I think Caius is right and it's Nil. If we want to see if the tradesmen will elaborate further, we could make the trade, but I don't think we need to, given how Nil-esque the description of the door was.
Tinkerbill93 12th Nov 2018, 9:01 PM edit delete reply
Honestly, I disagree. Because Nil was shown during his convo with macland to be kindof, Weak. Like they portrayed him as weaker than the red and a little afraid of it and kindof wanting to be on the good side by bringing caius back to life right?

I think he's just the only other deity we know so he gets the blame
Winged Crusade 12th Nov 2018, 9:33 PM edit delete reply
Winged Crusade
Weak? Not exactly. More just like “limited reach.” He can’t do much in the real world without any real tangible anchor to it.

Good? Not at all. He’s not egging on Mine nor is he on anybody’s side but his own. He is not ‘good’ either... Not inherently EVIL, but not good. He is literally the embodiness of nothing.

The deal was so he could take control of Macland and have an anchor to Mine’s world, not out of the goodness of... Whatever his “heart” is.
Tinkerbill93 13th Nov 2018, 3:35 PM edit delete reply
sorry for the misunderstanding, i mean on the good side, of the red.
like he wanted us to owe him a favor, and maybe not destroy him for his impudence of standing against us
kingoftheworld 12th Nov 2018, 8:54 PM edit delete reply
All right, let's hear it.
Departure_Dave 12th Nov 2018, 8:59 PM edit delete reply
Trade Knox's remains. Hopefully this will help us stop this happening again in the future.
Leafia_Barrett 12th Nov 2018, 9:06 PM edit delete reply
Well, that's that then. Let it be so. The exchange of what remains of Knox for knowledge.
Tych 12th Nov 2018, 9:42 PM edit delete reply
I say before we trade what's left of Knox we ask the Tradesmen if it's Nil who is blocking them from seeing what Carpenter is doing and see if that alters the payment for the question just to see if it doesn't trade Knox
Snervalton 12th Nov 2018, 9:51 PM edit delete reply
Also please remember to ask what the price of knowing how to get Edison to trust us more would be.
Sekwel 12th Nov 2018, 9:57 PM edit delete reply
We probably shouldn't linger within the ritual. Though I was up for asking them for specifics, it does occur to me that if it's not Nil...We're about as in the dark as we are if it is.

Going forward, we should maybe try to knock out stuff on our list of things to do. We apparently have some time. And it's not like Carpenter to be subtle about anything. Maybe just have Fuse keep a tight watch on the news.
Frission 12th Nov 2018, 10:08 PM edit delete reply
Ask the Tradesmen if we can learn a technique to gauge how much energy this ritual and others will take out of us.

Heck, maybe even alien tech that stuff and get like a literal mental heads-up-display of our fatigue. xD
Ablaze 12th Nov 2018, 10:18 PM edit delete reply
You know what.... Caius's phone can probably just call up the tradesman without needing the ritual at all.
winger 12th Nov 2018, 11:07 PM edit delete reply
first i would ask if it nil doing the blocking a yes or no answer would be much cheaper and at has not does not bring in a new player (or if it if not nil it does not revial who is blocking meaning it should be cheaper
fellow 13th Nov 2018, 12:31 AM edit delete reply
I have a hard time giving up the remains of Knox. Perhaps it is better to give up on him at this point, but the same could've been said about Caius way back, or Elizabeth.
Guost 13th Nov 2018, 12:37 AM edit delete reply
On the subject of brainware, has anyone actually tried use uor babelfish yet? I can't remember.
Twelveseal 13th Nov 2018, 1:05 AM edit delete reply
Not a fan of trading Knox, especially without knowing if he can be saved/restored. If we know there's nothing that can be done for him, if we know what the Tradesmen will do with him, then I might be on board.

However, I have a feeling that just about anything Thale can do with his tricks can be undone by the genuine Red.

Caius is probably at least partially correct, though perhaps not quite, when it comes to Knox's attitude; they have the same genetic base and purpose. However, they're not the same person. I don't feel comfortable with euthanizing or selling him without some method of either verifying he's beyond help or unwilling to receive it. I suspect the team feels the same. Caius himself seemed hesitant to take the stance he did.

As for his speculation about Nil... maybe not spot on, but potentially close. Carpenter has shown he can harness Nil as a weapon of sorts. Who's to say if infecting people with him is the only way he's learned to use that thing's abilities?
1977 13th Nov 2018, 2:57 AM edit delete reply
In the case Caius is right about it only Nil could it be, then the Tradesmen should say something along the lines of "We cannot effectively price a question that you already have the answer to." as soon as she proposes the deal.
white 13th Nov 2018, 3:16 AM edit delete reply
Unless I'm remembering incorrectly, it's been established that restoring him is impossible. If that is the case, I think the price is worth it.
fellow 13th Nov 2018, 4:54 AM edit delete reply
You know, if mental trauma is our biggest concern for Knox, Macland could probably hire an expensive psychologist or two.

Also, well, it's a bit of morally grey area but we are capable of deleting memories.
Lapdragon 13th Nov 2018, 8:34 AM edit delete reply
If I remember right (which is always questionable), I believe that Mine decided that there's not enough left of Knox's brain to put him back together again - she could probably regrow his body back from just scraps, but there's so much of his original brain missing that what made Knox Knox is irretrievably gone.

Carpenter/Thale obviously cares less for the wellbeing of their friends and employees than we do.
fellow 13th Nov 2018, 10:26 AM edit delete reply
Earlier we've discussed with big red that we might be able to revert Knox' personal timeline within the red. So that's still on the table.

However, Big red also said that there might be reprecussions to that, "physically, mentally and causally". We may wanna ask about that last part, if reverting someone's personal timeline will alter the past. Since don't wanna alter one hair of the past.
fellow 13th Nov 2018, 5:22 AM edit delete reply
You know, it'd probably be a waste of resources but we could take a pen, a notepad and an hour and just trade in a hundred written requests for random stuff like, say, a pony or an empty parking spot.
Ablaze 13th Nov 2018, 6:29 AM edit delete reply
We could ask the tradesman for Carpenter's phone number.
The Chicken Guy 14th Nov 2018, 6:16 AM edit delete reply
YetAnother 13th Nov 2018, 6:31 AM edit delete reply
You know, let's first ask the following question:
"Why remains of Knox rebalance the info about your inability to look into Mysterious Adress?"
We'll be able to deduce a lot from the price.
WalkerOfSorrow 13th Nov 2018, 6:04 PM edit delete reply
That could potentially be brilliant! We don't actually know what our contributions even do for the Tradesmen. Presumably, they give them to somebody who wants it. But there could be more to it than that.
The Chicken Guy 14th Nov 2018, 6:15 AM edit delete reply
Good point.
Loose Cog 13th Nov 2018, 8:37 AM edit delete reply
Loose Cog
We should ask what the tradesmen do with what we trade them.
Some Random Guy 14th Nov 2018, 7:04 AM edit delete reply
Some Random Guy
Ablaze 13th Nov 2018, 8:22 PM edit delete reply
If the tradesman don't know what's inside the building... Then maybe they should be paying us to tell them once we find out.
fellow 14th Nov 2018, 10:38 AM edit delete reply
They likely will, we've traded information to them before.