Comic 1125 - Discuss minds

Posted on 19th Nov 2018, 6:43 PM in Like a Bullet from Behind
Discuss minds

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 19th Nov 2018, 6:43 PM edit delete
You approach Dr. Finch, and hug him tightly.

You tell him it's alright. You respect his privacy, and you won't do anything he's uncomfortable with. You also don't judge him--everyone's made mistakes. Everyone can change. You won't think less of him.

Dr. Finch nods quietly. "...Thank you."

Though, that does still leave the question of who you could practice a forced sync on. You ask Mom's red about it...?

"I do not believe that would work," states the giant mouth on the wall. "I do have a poor understanding of these syncs--they were not something I recall your mother performing. But, if I have gathered correctly... they require an independent mind. That is something I do not possess. I am a construct, an object. I have something resembling a brain in structure, not a proper mind."

"I... I don't think I agree," Dr. Finch says, looking up at the huge mouth. "You question, yes? You you you reason, you doubt, you wonder. Even in your short time here, you've displayed curiosity and anger and... and and hints of pride, even. I confess I'm likely as lost as you are in matters of self and souls and... and all that, but I don't believe you're any less of a person than anyone else that's wandered through this bunker. The nature of the mindscape is so imprecise and difficult to interpret from a purely scientific vantage point, I can't imagine the origin of one's brain having all that much to do with it."

The mouth... is silent for a moment, as though it's taking all this in. "...I have difficulty arguing with your logic, though that may well be due to the inexperience of us both in these things. I would not dub myself a 'person,' but I cannot speculate as to how this syncing process would classify my existence."

"Further," begins Dr. Finch, pushing up on his glasses, "if a forced sync with you DOES work the implications would be... well, they'd be tremendous. The nature of the syncable mind, untethered from the necessity of a technically human brain. It would suggest that syncs with other individuals--those with 'minds,' but not necessarily 'brains' in the strictest sense--could be synced as well, such as... as as androids or whatnot. The act of even attempting a sync like that would be an interesting test of Mine's abilities, at the very minimum."

"I do not mind," the mouth finally answers. "If you wish to try, I will allow it. I can alter my state of consciousness when required."

Dr. Finch turns back to you. "Though I AM quite intrigued to see how this turns out, I must suggest caution, as well--I believe your mother's red has a mind, just as valid and real as yours or my own... but it would certainly be a different place, and a very different experience. If you decide to go through with this, it will most assuredly be a stranger sync than you've had with previous minds."


"So what's tha plan?," Caius asks. "We gonna torch this stuff or what?"

"We probably could," Fuse replies. "That's a lot of burning in close quarters, though--I can make fire, I can't make more air. We could dissolve it, like... with bleach or something. Bleach has to eat through spider webs, right?"

"We could jus' go around," Michelle adds. "There IS a perfectly good door there."

Caius shrugs, throwing another glance at the webs. "Yeah, but I ain't gonna admit defeat to no freaky webs. I couldn't cut 'em, that makes it personal. Do we even got bleach?"

"YOU got the bag," Michelle says with a small laugh. "You oughta know. ...But nah, I don't think we do."

"Blondie might be able to make bleach," Fuse states, almost to himself. "It's... sodium hypo-something. No idea if that's a thing that shows up in the body."

Caius and Michelle both give Fuse a confused look. Michelle manages to speak first. "You almost know how to make bleach?"

"It's a drug thing," Fuse says, waving his free hand. "I know how to do a lot of bad shit. Sodium... hypochlorite, I think. That's the best I got."


Guest 19th Nov 2018, 8:34 PM edit delete reply
Let's first have two folks peek through the door while someone else keeps an eye on the webs before we immediately try to destroy it all, ok?
Leah9572 19th Nov 2018, 8:35 PM edit delete reply
That was me posting, btw. Forgot to add my name.
Twyll 19th Nov 2018, 8:47 PM edit delete reply
Probably a good idea. Attempting to mess with the webs will likely cause all hell to break loose, as spiders are generally *very* sensitive to vibrations through their webs. Even species that normally go out and hunt and only use webs to construct safe homes to rest in would react badly to their web being disturbed-- so we'd be eliciting either a hunting response or a defensive response, neither of which is a very friendly thing. We'll want to know exactly what's going on in the rest of the building before we pull the trigger on that.
Anonymous Coward 19th Nov 2018, 10:05 PM edit delete reply
Yeah... Maybe we aren't ready to deal with raging spider monsters at the moment. Better do some recon.
Lunar Waffles 19th Nov 2018, 9:35 PM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
+1 to peeking.
Limrix 19th Nov 2018, 10:18 PM edit delete reply
+1. If anyone brought a portable light source, now would be a good time to get that out.
Tale Swapper 20th Nov 2018, 3:21 PM edit delete reply
+1. Does Fuse count as a light source?
CiciEnixa 19th Nov 2018, 8:46 PM edit delete reply
I suppose Sodium, Hydrogen, Chlorine and Oxygen do exist in the body as individual elements so, theoretically you *might* be able to make bleach? I don't know if the body directly produces the compound though.

Hydrochloric acid (gastric acid) IS something the body makes, though, but please do not attempt to mix this with bleach, you WILL end up with chlorine gas and that's bad. Besides this, I'm also not sure how long it would take to dissolve the webs with either chemical, especially since we don't even know if this has the same composition of spider webs.
Anonymous Coward 19th Nov 2018, 10:03 PM edit delete reply
Hydrochloric acid sounds much more manufacturable, but probably more dangerous than we are currently equipped to deal with. The stuff's nasty. Not that we are much more equipped to deal with bleach. Sounds like something to do later.
PurpleKetchup 20th Nov 2018, 12:52 AM edit delete reply
If this webbing is made from proteins like normal web, it can be attacked by strong acids as well as alkali; but also by digestive enzymes.
The latter would not cause nasty reactions with the surroundings and probably be easier to manage/produce.
Anonymous Coward 20th Nov 2018, 9:28 AM edit delete reply
Did some research, looks like the one enzyme that would be really good for dissolving proteins (pepsin) is only really useful in body temperature gastric acid.

Dang it... I really wanted that to be a solution, too.

Oh well. Now we have an excuse to make a walking stomach golem, after we explore a bit, of course.
PurpleKetchup 20th Nov 2018, 3:02 PM edit delete reply
There are plenty of way more adequate candidates. For instance...

The thing silkworms use to melt their own silk cocoon, effective in neutral pH @ room temp.
Anonymous Coward 20th Nov 2018, 6:56 PM edit delete reply
Okay... How would we get it, though? Can Mine produce that from the red? So far, we've only seen her make things that are human derived (probably because she's more familiar with human biology). I suppose that we could buy silk worms, blood them, and then find out how to synthesize serratiopeptidase that way. I don't think we have that kind of time, though.

Of course, by the time we've hooked up a stomach with a pair of legs, we'll likely have already met the creature making the gigantic webbing, and have either deemed it friendly, unfriendly, or blood-able.
Twyll 19th Nov 2018, 8:46 PM edit delete reply
Hmmm. I'm beginning to suspect we get our ability to endow people with souls from our mother :P Who wants to bet that, as Mom interacted with MomRed while she herself became more human, she ended up with a much more independent Red than either of them ever expected? Then Mine came along and sealed the deal.

I think practicing a force sync on Mom's Red sounds like a really intriguing plan, but I would like to try practicing with modifying our form during astral projection first, since that can be done as a solitary endeavor. (For exactly how to do this, see my five-step plan outlined on the last page-- actually, I'll just copy-paste it here in a response to this comment.) Not now, though-- now, Mine should work on something that allows her to keep at least some attention on the power plant crew, should her assistance be required.

Meanwhile, peeking through the door first is prooooobably a good idea, yeah.
Twyll 19th Nov 2018, 8:51 PM edit delete reply
Copy-paste of last page's comment:

I propose we use changing our astrally projected form as a training program. Being limited in what we can use— not being able to visualize having certain items or powers, for example— has been a huge issue during force sync, and I suspect any kind of astral battle would manifest in a way that’s similar to force sync. So, let’s try training in steps:

Step 1: Change the clothing of our astral projection. Clothing is something that people change frequently and it’s part of how we present our identity but also not in any way inherent to it, so it’s an ideal place to start. I suggest changing our clothes to our nurse uniform, because that’s something we’re intimately familiar with. If we want to leverage emotional connections— which can be very powerful— we might try our bloody nurse uniform, because that’s what we were wearing when we met Michelle for the first time and brought Finch into the party. We could also try changing any items that we have on hand when we start the ritual into familiar items that we don’t have on hand, e.g. putting some bandages in our pocket before we start the ritual and then turning them into syringes.

Step 2: Add items that we didn’t have on hand at the start of the ritual. It could be very useful to have, for example, the blooded bandage-syringe-tentacles that we used in the hospital, and those are familiar enough to make a good thing to practice with.

Step 3: Change our astral body into something that we have physically experienced before. We could replicate an injury we’ve experienced, or maybe add the torso-ear back in. Or, we could try becoming Child!Mine, since we were a child once.

Step 4: Change our astrally projected form into something that we identify with, but have never physically experienced being. For example, Finch!Mine or Fuse!Mine or another Mine variant from Incident F.

Step 5: Modify our astrally projected form in an unusual/unfamiliar way. I suggest adding cat ears. (We don’t need to make them functional just yet, although if we get good at doing this, we could try.) Step 5b is, of course, showing off the cat ears to Tesla and Faraday ^w^

Step 6 would be to try all of this again in the context of a force sync.
Limrix 19th Nov 2018, 10:16 PM edit delete reply
This is an incredibly well-written, well-documented plan that puts us in a great position to attempt a sync with mom's red afterwards. Expanding our notion of what a mind is, of what a self is, is imperative.
I am 100% on board with this. +1.
WalkerOfSorrow 19th Nov 2018, 11:49 PM edit delete reply
I agree with Limrix, and am on board. +1

I will also be unable to check the comic for some time, due to personal...trouble. Everyone, our beloved Mine and her friends are in your hands. I trust you to do what you have been thus far and keep her alive.
Skullrama 20th Nov 2018, 12:40 AM edit delete reply
Seems like a good plan. Only thing I have to add is maybe get Red in on this. Get to chatting with her while in our Astral form, do back and forth ghost stuff.
Lunar Waffles 19th Nov 2018, 9:34 PM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
+1 training wheels first x: also might be able to train to use the red will as a ghost, since there shouldn't be a logical reason we cant?
dasno 20th Nov 2018, 12:02 PM edit delete reply
+1 but we can also train astral form by playing with the astral kids to better manipulate objects and stuff.
pkrankow 19th Nov 2018, 9:01 PM edit delete reply
I am intrigued by syncing with Red.

Bleach is a strong base. Lye is also a strong base. ( Alkaline )

Hydrochloric acid is a very strong acid, sulphuric acid is also very strong.

Spider web is protiens that like to exist close to neutral Ph, so either will damage the structure chemically. (Per google)

Don't mix acids and bases unless you know what you are going to get.
undeadDreamer 19th Nov 2018, 9:11 PM edit delete reply
1.Let's go for the big red sync

2.Go ahead and light the webs up. Spider webs don't burn they just shrivel.
Twyll 19th Nov 2018, 10:52 PM edit delete reply
That is likely to disturb whatever's inside them, though, and we don't have complete knowledge of what is likely to become the battlefield. If there's something *else* in the next room and disturbing the spiders also disturbs that, that would be a problem.
undeadDreamer 20th Nov 2018, 3:35 AM edit delete reply
Would that be worse than having things we potentially have to fight on both sides?
Ablaze 19th Nov 2018, 11:45 PM edit delete reply
Its interesting that he mentions Androids as possibly being force syncable. There are those Androids in the other bunker...
Lunar Waffles 20th Nov 2018, 1:54 AM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
Also Jury, we might be able to remove her, ~unwanted adjustments~(?) about magic.
fellow 20th Nov 2018, 5:40 AM edit delete reply
You can't really alter a mind during a forced sync, can you though? We've seen that with michelle. We'd have to rewrite her microchips, just like we got nil out of people.
Omar 20th Nov 2018, 2:48 AM edit delete reply
What is Mind? No matter.
What is Matter? Never mind.
1977 20th Nov 2018, 7:20 AM edit delete reply
My idea to sync with the ravens to see if we can retrieve our memories from them got no support.
The idea to sync with mom's red, something that is potentially far more dangerous, is considered immediately.
Strange world sometimes.
I would put mom's red at the end of the list, after syncing with everyone else this is the final test of our abilities.

Leave the web alone for now, there is a door we can go through.
Should we have no other choice then I recommend dissolving it in a way that doesn't harm the area(no fire for example).
Fishbulb 20th Nov 2018, 7:35 AM edit delete reply
Before we destroy the webs, let's take a sample or two to analyze later. Being able to create super-strong thread would be incredibly useful if Mine can reproduce it.
psychoshen 20th Nov 2018, 8:00 AM edit delete reply
Please, let's not use fire. There are plenty of real life news articles about people burning down their homes when they tried to kill spiders with fire.
fellow 20th Nov 2018, 2:55 PM edit delete reply
Having something that dissolves the webs is probably gonna be very useful for dealing with whatever is in here.