Comic 1156 - Sustain a portal

Posted on 29th Dec 2018, 9:09 PM in Like a Bullet from Behind
Sustain a portal

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 29th Dec 2018, 9:09 PM edit delete
You ask if anyone has a cable or cord you can borrow, so you can practice sustaining a portal for longer periods.

Fuse brings you a random computer cable. You create two small portals, pushing one end through the red; you use the mass of the red to sort of... push the cable through to the other exit, and squeeze the middle in place, holding the whole thing suspended. Each end of the cord now sticks out of the floor, the middle in another dimension.

"I believe..." Dr. Finch begins, with a slight pause, "the real issue we're going to run into is time. Not even accounting for the rigors of trial and error, the majority of our plans would take days, if not substantially longer. We have not the vaguest idea when Carpenter is going to go through with... whatever it is he and Nil happen to be planning."

"True," Michelle replies. "Might be better to work on astral defense an' the like, try to get at Carpenter's base as soon as we can. We might not be able to whip up workin' mechs before things get bad."

You bring up a possibility: you're able to manipulate time in the red. Mostly. Kind of. You... wonder if you could potentially build a room, put air and whatnot inside it, and then everyone could work out of that. If solid walls could stop the... infiniteness of the red from driving everybody crazy, then they could have all the time in the world to work on things.

"You lost track of time just by yourself," Fuse points out. "Isn't it like... subjective, or something? You'd have to babysit all of us to make sure nobody ages super fast or anything."

"We're already on our way to stoppin' people from aging," Michelle replies. "I ain't worried about it. I think it's a good idea... we could have full blown, fully tested mechs ready in like an hour."

"Hmm..." Dr. Finch begins, "it could be problematic. In my honest opinion, ceasing the aging process will be easier than... de-aging someone might be. If someone gets off track, it could create problems not easily solved."

"You're all stuck on the big, obvious issue," Liz states. "If our times fell out of step, age would be the least of our problems. Think about it--everyone else in the room speaking and moving in slow motion, or faster than you can keep up with. That's if your lungs aren't taking in air too quickly, or light's actually reaching your eyeballs in time. Everybody in the room could be dead before you're able to notice. I could name a dozen ways off hand how the red could drive someone to madness, even with walls up."

There's a surprisingly tense silence.

Caius speaks up. "I think Blondie can handle it. I mean, if she still wants to." He adds, with a slight chuckle, "I know I wouldn't want that kinda responsibility."

Fuse almost smiles. "So you're not volunteering to test the room out?"

Caius shrugs. "Hell, I'll do it. She wants a guinea pig? I need to age this body up some, anyway."

"I think she can do it, too," adds Michelle. "Ain't a lot she can't do, so far."

Dr. Finch adjusts his glasses. "As much as I have my concerns... my curiosity is going to get to me, soon or later. If Mine believes she can keep a sense of time in check for multiple parties, I would like to see if this works. I would... recommend perhaps starting small, one or two additional persons at most. Juggling all of us from the start would be diving into the deep end, I suspect. Even building a functioning room in the red may be taxing, in itself."

"Well, I'm not gonna chicken out now," Fuse remarks. "If you guys are down, I'm down. I'm still worried we're gonna blow through whatever time we got, and maybe we should worry about dealing with the Many and Nil first, but... man, if we're committed to this mech thing, then screw it. All in."

"You're all insane," Liz says in a flat tone.


Cyanic 29th Dec 2018, 9:41 PM edit delete reply
While this is encouraging, I don't wanna have a repeat of losing 10 straight hours of time.

I think we should shelf both the mech and time projects until after Nilpenter, and for now we'd wanna talk with the worm, ask its name, or give it a name if it wants, then learn its astral tricks to defend against Nil
Mathbird 29th Dec 2018, 9:44 PM edit delete reply
This. I don't want to mess with time (or people in the Red) until we've finished everything else we can. That feels like endgame stuff.
Sekwel 29th Dec 2018, 9:50 PM edit delete reply
There is also the risk that we everyone comes out before they went in. I'm not sure if the powers that are watching that sort of thing would care, but I say let's not risk it until we're at the top of our game.
Some Random Guy 29th Dec 2018, 9:58 PM edit delete reply
Some Random Guy
Since we have to juggle dimensional rooms, time distortion, and sanity all at once, lets shelf this at the way back and check on literally anything else. If we fail at the red room stuff, someone will most definitely die because of it.
Some Random Guy 29th Dec 2018, 10:01 PM edit delete reply
Some Random Guy
Also, +1 talk to worm, preferably with Michelle and Fuse with us. We need to further talk out some sort of peace agreement.
Mathbird 29th Dec 2018, 10:12 PM edit delete reply
Possibly with Finch there too? A scientist might be helpful.
Limrix 29th Dec 2018, 10:42 PM edit delete reply
Moving straight to a Red Room is far too ambitious. We haven't even practiced our basics with regard to time manipulation. We would need to start slow, experimenting using a clock in the red to provide feedback, maybe brew a few drinks while we're at it. After getting that down, the payoff would be Mine accelerated, which, given that Mine is how we intended to make these mechs, is enough of a reason to still want to do this.

I'd be interested to hear the concerns that Liz has regarding the red.
Kumondo 29th Dec 2018, 10:49 PM edit delete reply
I agree that we should shelve the time project for now. There's just enough risks and obstacles going against it: we're under real world time pressure, mine's not on top of her mental game today and we don't have enough practice in this field to warrant risking people. If things go wrong, we lose our friends. If things go really wrong, we lose the world to Thale.

We stand to gain a heap of powers, abilities, tech and advantages if all goes well, but the odds aren't favorable with the potential cost. High risk, medium reward. We will, however, get back to this when we're a bit better prepared.
AgentKuga 29th Dec 2018, 11:44 PM edit delete reply
+1 for this. I believe the worst thing that could happen is people dying, and I don't feel like that's very good.
Memo 30th Dec 2018, 12:29 PM edit delete reply
Strongly agree.
And if we do the room thing, maybe start with a bunch af big candles first.
They should be a good first test of things like time, gravity, air circulation and such
Kumondo 29th Dec 2018, 11:13 PM edit delete reply
May I suggest, before ending the meeting, a quick rundown of how some of our other projects are going? Specifically: if we've got anything from materials research on the decaying, extradimentional, acidic face-spider form bunker X and it's accompanying segment of spine form Spinebro; any further results from the bunker door program; progress on the memetic warfront against Thale; moving the mars crew to Illworth and weather Silky is friendly; a general rundown of current supplies, like bullets, food and biopaste, and general health; and finally any other thoughts or concerns the crew has on their mind.
Limrix 30th Dec 2018, 12:38 AM edit delete reply
+1, I'd also like to bring up that we don't know where Bunker X is located.
1977 30th Dec 2018, 2:41 AM edit delete reply
+1 and I agree with Limrix, we should finally see what is on the other side of the Bunker X door.
Taenidia 30th Dec 2018, 10:43 AM edit delete reply
+1, this is a solid batch of tasks
Memo 30th Dec 2018, 12:30 PM edit delete reply
This. All of this
Xylas_Incarnum 30th Dec 2018, 12:06 AM edit delete reply
..... Have we checked in on the Z50 lab door cracker thing yet? Z50's the type of place to have done Mechwarrior type R&D
Taenidia 30th Dec 2018, 10:48 AM edit delete reply
+1, good thing to check

...huh. We brought the Juries backdoor home with Liz, I wonder how awful it would be to use it as a wire-portal and build a big mech around the door?

Might even be able to combine it with the mini-Juries plan, somehow (having mini-Juries pilot it?).

(...okay, pretty awful, convinced myself against it.)
Taenidia 30th Dec 2018, 10:55 AM edit delete reply
Z50 tech *does* seem like the correct way to do portals, if we can get the schematics somehow.

We might want to stick Lydia and Pierce (once settled in Illsworth) on "Search the darkweb for magitech / Z50 schematics" indefinitely... possibly aided by some kind of upgraded Tradesman device, if we can think of something.
Taenidia 30th Dec 2018, 11:05 AM edit delete reply
...have we tested if a sufficiently large pile of science magazines and academic articles can trade up to alien tech schematics? Or if a larger pile of newspapers and printed-out Lydia blog articles can get us a better news account of local goings-on?
echo 30th Dec 2018, 12:55 AM edit delete reply
Even if we could do this on a good day, our ability to focus is not at 100% right now. I'm against trying it presently.
TGWMoC 30th Dec 2018, 1:28 AM edit delete reply
I still say have Blondie practice with just herself, first. Or even a clock, while she stays outside. That would be an easier way to know how she's doing too, just blood a clock, or a watch, something that can tell time, and drop it in the red.
zophah 31st Dec 2018, 11:00 PM edit delete reply
From when we dropped Knox in the red, I think just having it in the Red counts as blooded.
Crestlinger 30th Dec 2018, 1:45 AM edit delete reply
Sustaining that portal should be as far as we push our recovering self. Before putting people in a time chamber, maybe scale down and try it with isects>animals. multipe animals Then people.

Shelving that and the mech for the moment:
-Talk to the Wyrm, hopefully gain a named ally (name idea Charon as it moves between the realms of the living and the dead) and fortify and blood bug all gates if not already done so.
-Maybe prep for another bunker X floor, if loading up for Nilpenter bring the 'special' bullet.
-Tinker with the stuff from the previous one and the various other items we have from the warehouse etc. Redmote acid spider bombs anyone? Or make more of Caius's hammer, portal loop them in the red until terminal velocity and have the ultimate smackdown on hand when required.
psychoshen 30th Dec 2018, 1:57 AM edit delete reply
I don't think we should pursue the time thing just yet, but when we do, we really should do some incremental steps, not just straight to rooms and keeping people from aging. Let's try some bugs or small animals first? Or a watch even?
Anotherdamntimeclone 30th Dec 2018, 2:06 AM edit delete reply
I think liz is my favorite character now.
The Chicken Guy 30th Dec 2018, 6:17 AM edit delete reply
My fav is still Caesar, the FATTEST pigeon
rtester 30th Dec 2018, 8:26 AM edit delete reply
Connect two computers over ethernet through the red, and then you can test if the packets arrive too late or too early depending on when you sent them. It would be a decent way to see how time fluctuates in the red without risking anything or anyone.
Archon 30th Dec 2018, 3:09 PM edit delete reply
Still interested in trying out blood-based artificial weather phenomena.
Blood-mist, Thunder-bloodstorms, so-on and so-forth.
(Note: Possibility of using weather-phenomena to rain slimes/other bioconstructs from above? Hmm.)
Kumondo 30th Dec 2018, 6:57 PM edit delete reply
This is completely terrifying in the best ways.
ReikoLupus 30th Dec 2018, 3:57 PM edit delete reply
Let's test this with a rat, pigeon, or something like that first. To see if we can mantain them... Alive.
After that, we can test it in our team XD.
undeadDreamer 30th Dec 2018, 5:36 PM edit delete reply
No time for time shenangians. We're also too tired for time stuff right now.
Winged Crusade 30th Dec 2018, 6:18 PM edit delete reply
Winged Crusade
I say we should contact The Deck for a mechanic or robotics expert. Try to get some kind of info, or even better an actual modular framework to build around for a biomech. Time is still a precious commodity we don’t have, and even testing the Red Room will still take time in some capacity to do.

We should also try to make the outer shell of the biomech more like an exoskeleton, maybe try to see how an insect’s carapace is and if Mine can figure out how to replicate that as natural armor.