Comic 1162 - Ask the girls some questions

Posted on 10th Jan 2019, 2:08 AM in Like a Bullet from Behind
Ask the girls some questions

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 10th Jan 2019, 2:08 AM edit delete
You approach the girls, greeting them and asking how they're doing.

"We're doing okay!," Faraday says. "We're trying to get better at not shocking people."

"And cats," Edison adds.

"And cats," Tesla agrees with a nod.

You tell them that it's definitely worth it. Petting cats is great.

You send a quick mental message to the others, telling them that you're going to let Edison out for a while.

After a brief wait, Michelle shows up to help handle the containment tube.


You offer to let Edison test her progress so far.

"Alright," Edison replies.

She walks up... and grabs your hands.

Immediately, you feel the same sensation you experienced at the school--the cold burning its way up your limbs, every muscle in your body tightening. You choke on your own air, your brain filling with static.

"████hat's wh██ i█ is normally," Edison states, trying to suppress her grin as she begins to dial it back.

"Edison," Faraday says in a firm, almost scolding tone.

Gradually, the intensity of the electricity subsides. You still have a strong tingling sensation, but the actual pain is greatly lessened and mostly confined to the areas of contact. It's... not perfect, yet, but it's a lot of progress for so little practice.

Edison releases you.

You ask about the brain... static... effect. Thing. You experience it when she grabs you full force, but back at the school you were feeling it passively, even when Edison wasn't in the room. You're not feeling it now, though.

"Tinfoil hats seemed to stop it," Michelle points out, "but we ain't real sure if that... y'know, actually helped, or if you were jus' playin' along."

"Brain static?," Edison asks. She shrugs. "I honestly don't know what you're talking about."

You look at Michelle, who looks back at you. Michelle shrugs, as well.

"I know we ain't just crazy," Michelle says. "Stuff was messin' with the lights too, right?"

"Oh, that?" Edison squints. She looks like she's holding her breath for a moment, her cheeks puffing out as she strains...

and the lights in the room begin to hum.

They don't flicker or short out, though--you suspect the electrical equipment in the bunker may be reinforced specifically against this sort of thing.

You do begin to feel the buzzing sensation, your thoughts slowly becoming overridden by something like radio static. Edison finally exhales, and releases the effect.

"It's a good deal easier when I'm angry," she says. "I didn't know it did a brain thing! I thought it just goofed up the phones and whatnot."

"I didn't know we could do that," Tesla adds.

"I guess that confirms it, then," Michelle says. "The tinfoil hats really did work. ...Somehow. Real question is if it'll stop other psychic stuff, too."

You ask about other ghost tricks--moving through walls? Disappearing? Flying...?

"Disappearing's hard," Tesla says. "We can't really do it anymore." She closes her eyes... and fades, becoming partially see through, but not entirely invisible. She pops back into being opaque the moment she stops focusing on it.

"Going through walls is easy, though," Edison says... before pausing, looking down, and tapping her foot on the floor. "Well, maybe not these."

"I don't... believe we can fly?," Faraday states. She sort of... hops up on her toes for a moment, as if she's giving it a try. The other girls, watching her, follow suit--trying varying amounts of standing up on their tip-toes or hopping in place. Tesla even flaps her arms a little.

"Nope," Faraday concludes. "Don't rightly think we can fly."

Michelle looks at Edison. "Didn't you fall outta the ceilin' at one point...?"

Edison nods. "Yup! I had to climb up through the walls to get there, though."

Lastly, you ask if the girls know how to change their appearance.

They give you quizzical looks.

You start to explain how you can change your clothes when you're in ghost form--that you had to realize your clothes are just... kind of a figment of your imagination? They look the way they do because that's how you think of yourself. If you just force yourself to think of who you are differently, you can change how you look.

The girls look at each other, still visibly confused.

Faraday gives a small shrug of her shoulders, though, and gives it a try. She narrows her gaze, staring off at nothing as she concentrates. Edison and Tesla begin to do the same, focusing on their outfits, trying to change their appearance.

After a little while, though, nothing really comes of it.

"Might be too hard for 'em to understand," Michelle whispers. "I'm a grown woman, and th' whole subconscious identity thing is still--"

"Tesla!," Faraday shouts.

For a very brief second, Tesla manages to make her dress look just about like Faraday's. The color is... a little off, but it's barely a noticeable difference.

"Oh, wow!," Edison adds. "You're doing it!"


Tesla becomes visibly self conscious about it, and loses the change just as quickly. The moment her concentration lapses, her dress returns to its normal blue color. She looks down at herself. "D... Did I really?"

"Yes!," affirms Faraday. "You made your dress yellow for a moment!"

Tesla smiles wide, and covers her mouth with her hands.


Cyanic 10th Jan 2019, 3:42 AM edit delete reply
interesting iiiiiiinteresting

oh also, are the girls ok with this place being their place to hang out? They don't have like bad memories of this place? We could probably quickly fix up a place in Ilworth if they want, and Edison seems to be ok, so we don't need to keep her in her chamber

but anyway, good info, trade up so tinfoil hats into helms right quick

Other than that, I think we can go ahead and do BX, and right afterward, we'll send Carpenter a we're attacking in 1 week note AT HIS FAKE LOCATION, REMEMBER

Other stuff to do:
>ask the tradesmen about pulling the red's infinity into Nilpenter's pocket dimension
>ready some biomech components for ourselves for BX
>practice some golem crafting, blobs are cool and all, but aren't as effective as a Lumpy with BoneArmor+ I don't think, which wouldn't be as effective as an actual pretty good working combat golem
Nayru9572 10th Jan 2019, 4:32 AM edit delete reply
I think it's still a bit early to release Edison? She's fine now, but we don't really know how she'll react to other people, and she might cause trouble if she gets angry.
PurpleKetchup 10th Jan 2019, 1:27 PM edit delete reply
I think we properly channeled her anger towards Thale, since everyone else who worked on them is long dead by now.
She used to be a trickster, just settling back in her old shoes. Faraday seems to have a good handle on her as well. They're going to be ok.
Lunar Waffles 10th Jan 2019, 3:12 PM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
i would like to +1 the Billboard idea from a previous page, if we do send any kind of message x:
fellow 11th Jan 2019, 5:58 AM edit delete reply
With the billboard, one thing we should maybe consider is that such a billboard might also announce to Thayle that something will be going.
Twyll 11th Jan 2019, 10:27 PM edit delete reply
Given how quickly and impulsively Carpenter acts, and how slowly and methodically Thale does, I suspect we wouldn't run into conflict with Thale and Carpenter both reacting to the billboard. If our timeline is short enough to keep Carpenter from getting bored, it's also probably too short for Thale to be able to prepare any particularly substantial reaction.

I also +1 the billboard. It would make it look like Mine is giving her plan away not because she wants to manipulate Carpenter (which he would resent), but because she herself is too weak and soft-hearted to be able to keep from revealing her hand when innocent lives are on the line (which he would find delightfully amusing, and probably taunt us about).
fellow 12th Jan 2019, 8:29 AM edit delete reply
Thayle turned Knox into a monster in a very short timespan, and he was able to turn a person into a shrapnel bomb in little time as well. Even one day would be plenty of time for thayle to get a few blooded bodies near the billboard.
Nayru9572 10th Jan 2019, 4:31 AM edit delete reply
Compliment Tesla on changing her dress, and thank the girls for being so helpful. Ask if Edison wants to remain outside for a bit longer, because we're not in a hurry and can stick around - perhaps even as guinea pig.
Twyll 11th Jan 2019, 10:36 PM edit delete reply
Yes, praise and thanks and hugs are definitely in order.

Not sure how long we can afford to linger right now because we've got a lot on our plate, but one of the things we DO need to practice is modifying our astral form-- which would certainly be something we could practice via dress-up party. Perhaps we should go attend to business like the billboard (mentioned in comments above) and determining what we want to ask the tradesmen, then come back with some girls' fashion magazines and play dress-up for both fun and training while folks do whatever rituals we decide need to be done?
YetAnother 10th Jan 2019, 5:22 AM edit delete reply
Check if diamonds are valuable, and if they are, make some in the Red. We could use the mmmmoney.
Guest 10th Jan 2019, 5:55 AM edit delete reply
Creating artificial diamonds can take weeks, and needs a small real diamond to grow them. I have no idea how real diamonds are made though, so it might work?
YetAnother 10th Jan 2019, 6:07 AM edit delete reply
Well, it basically just carbon under high pressure and temperature, like ones in the depth of the Earth, or when a metorite imacts with the ground at the high speed. The latter are usually very small though.
Limrix 10th Jan 2019, 7:02 AM edit delete reply
I don't think we want to be trading time for money now. We're not hard pressed for money right now, and we are pressed for time to prepare for Carpenter.
Skullrama 10th Jan 2019, 8:43 AM edit delete reply
Well, there's certainly some stuff here that may be useful - as far as the time to create a diamond goes, manipulating time in the red without being in the red ourselves may let us create something like that very fast without losing time in the real world.

More relevantly, creating a diamond would be a place to start before trying to make the much more useful but probably more difficult diamond nano-thread... something we could weave into any number of items we might make in the red to reinforce the hell out of them. If we're making something we want to be strong, learning to do this is probably a good use of time.
lil Joshu 10th Jan 2019, 11:44 AM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
Secondinging insta-diamonds in red... after carpenter. Getting a steady on-demand income stream seems like a great idea.

And it gives a much better connotation to the term "blood diamond".

Also, a smart idea, because...
Diamond bone armor upgrade.
winger 11th Jan 2019, 11:39 PM edit delete reply
well diamonds are made from carbon nanotubes right? and since carbon is organic were could work on making those. would be a lot of work at first i expect after some time we would get the hand of doing them normally
psychoshen 10th Jan 2019, 6:50 AM edit delete reply
Aw, what a bunch of cuties =)
Limrix 10th Jan 2019, 6:51 AM edit delete reply
Congratulate Tesla on her progress, and encourage the girls that they can change their form however they want if they set their mind to it. I think it's reasonable to let Edison out into the main Illworth bunker. We're on a fairly tight schedule though, so we should start moving on to our next activity. I think we should have our friends trade up watches, music, and tin foil hats while Mine starts practicing manipulating time in the red on some clocks/food/booze starter.
zophah 10th Jan 2019, 12:10 PM edit delete reply
If we're still going to stick around for a bit, we might want to try a defense against Edison's electrical grasp. Maybe some practice shielding ourselves without the need for a hat.
the white 10th Jan 2019, 12:54 PM edit delete reply
Good to know Edison's sense of humour is still intact.
PurpleKetchup 10th Jan 2019, 1:29 PM edit delete reply
The ghost-hug must happen right now.
This is not an option.
pkrankow 10th Jan 2019, 1:38 PM edit delete reply
Mail order some RF blocking hats! Dunno where to deliver them though, probably to our friends in England.
Lunar Waffles 10th Jan 2019, 3:09 PM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
we have a WHOLE town of houses that can be delivered to x: Might want to put out a sign that says "Currently ongoing renovations" or some such though x:
Daniel 10th Jan 2019, 6:04 PM edit delete reply
I like how MM knows Mine well enough to have her be cool with Edison's "prank" without our input. :)

Quick idea: We should definitely ask Tesla and Faraday if they felt anything when Edison made the lights flicker, to try to learn more about the brain-static effect.

Second PurpleKetchup on finding a way to hug Edison. Sounds like she might not be *quite* ready for a normal hug (touching her is still painful, so full-body contact might be unwise) we want to spend the energy to project ourselves and do it that way?

Not sure whether to suggest this right now vs. after Nilpenter, but I'd be extremely curious to interact with Edison more and see if we can learn (a) to defend ourselves better as zophah suggested, or (b) if we can replicate any of those effects. Some thoughts:

Would the brain-static effect work on us when we're "dissociated"/being The Blood? Does it work on other imprints? (We can find that out now—see above.) What about astral projections? What about Red, as a special-case hybrid of being-The-Blood and imprint/projection? We probably don't want to intentionally subject her to that right now, though.

Can the Odin machine still be set to do regular Odin-level refinement, rather than Incident-F super-refinement? Might be worth applying that to an astral projection of ours (to put ourselves roughly on Edison's level), and try interacting with her that way to see if we can learn the electric-grasp and brain-static techniques. Further to-dos after that would be:

Try to learn how to Odin ourselves by pulling energy from the Red—perhaps we could find a way to "shed" the excess energy in a stable form when returning from Odin-form, and re-acquire it when starting out as a normal projection? Wait, can we manipulate the red as an imprint, or would we need, well, Red's help for this?

Try to learn how to use those abilities when in our normal body—maybe the same energy we use to Odin ourselves could help, but we have to be careful—don't want to fry our physical brain... (Learning to be comfortable with not needing our brain feels like a Long Term Goal.)
PurpleKetchup 11th Jan 2019, 3:00 AM edit delete reply
I was also including the other sisters in that hug, btw.
No playing favourites !
Kumondo 10th Jan 2019, 6:17 PM edit delete reply
I'ma' just gonna put all my +1ings and reasonings in one big post here.

In the immediate, +1 to acknowledge the cuteness of the specter sisters, their progress in developing their cool powers, and taking their first steps to becoming vigilante super heroes. I also approve of allowing Edison freedom to roam ghost bunker. We've just shown her enough trust to let her electrocute us, and putting her back in the time out box seems like a breach of that established trust. She's still mischievous, but does not seem malicious.

On the topic of tin foil hats and other trades: we have proof that the tinfoil hats did work against Edison's Electricity Field Scrambler Technique, which mean they are not likely to work against traditional psychic attacks. HOWEVER, I approve immensely in trading the hats up anyways, as we are likely to get some kind of useful tool or head gear. So, soonish today, and done by whichever member of the party, +1ing trade up tinfoil hats, watches, potentially magical music, and a quiet plug for surprise boxes, because why not? (I'll also mention, on the topic of tin foil hats, we may want to invest in a tool that replicates Edison's EFST to use against the many. A good offence may be our best defence here; why stop bullets when you can stop the gun?)

For mine's next actions today, I +1 focusing most of Mine's and efforts on time manipulation in the Red. Specifically staring with manipulating the effect of time on things in the Red, such as clocks, food, and red material while Mine herself is out side the Red. Make an eyeball in the red or other sensors if it helps, or if we really want to try watching exciting SCIENCE! watching through an open blood portal. (If we can see through them? I don't know if it's ever been mentioned directly if light can pass through, or if it's just the magic surface of a puddle of blood.)

On the topic of messaging Carpenter, I greatly approve of the billboard idea. It seems most likely to get Carpenter to believe and behave the ways we want him to believe and behave, and it'll help our PR to express interest in public safety. We may wish to briefly consult Lydia, Maverick Reporter, on how best to phrase the message to boost others opinion of us, actually evacuate citizens on the date, and most importantly, subtly influence a mad scientist to not go nutz for a week. I'll also add that we should keep a bloodfriend animal in the area to keep an eye on things.
Chaostraveler 10th Jan 2019, 10:01 PM edit delete reply
An excellent selection of ideas. I'd also say we should see if we can find a cute clothes catalog for the ghost gals to try experimenting with.
Twyll 11th Jan 2019, 10:14 PM edit delete reply
Some fashion magazines for girls (the sort of thing that focuses on cute styles, not too overtly sexy or anything, just fun and colorful stuff they'd enjoy) would be a great gift for them, I think. Inspiration for things to try, and just fun to read!

On the subject of letting Edison out into the bunker, I'm a little leery of that simply due to the sheer amount of fancy, powerful equipment in the bunker. I respect that she's showing a lot of self-control, but that much stuff could prove very tempting for her to mess with. I suppose Tesla and Faraday being there would be a moderating influence, but I've always hated the idea of siblings being responsible for policing each other's behavior-- it puts a lot of pressure on the ones who are supposed to be the responsible ones. I do certainly think we'll be able to let her roam free within Bunker E SOON, though.
Master_of_Horns 10th Jan 2019, 7:12 PM edit delete reply
Just finished up a reread and noticed we've forgotten about something.

Back at the infinity fall bunker we tested the doors and something parroted back our own words at us. When we asked the tradesmen about it they just implied whatever was behind the door was a potential threat, but I still want to follow up on that.

Obviously not right now, but I think we should probably try and find out what's behind the door, maybe when we're looking into those 2 new bunkers. I doubt it's anything more dangerous then the giant alaskan silkworm, or anything else we've encountered since for that matter.
PurpleKetchup 11th Jan 2019, 3:03 AM edit delete reply
Let's leave Hell where it belongs for a looong while. We have almost nothing to gain there compared to, say, bunker X.
Don't want to add any random demons to our daily problems.
Twyll 11th Jan 2019, 10:23 PM edit delete reply
The Tradesmen really didn't "imply" a "potential" threat. They directly stated that the threat was very real. Let's NOT mess with it.

It's VERY possible for something to be more dangerous than the Silkwyrm, especially when dimensional shenanigans are involved. The Silkwyrm was a single entity bound mostly to our plane of existence and our timeline, and it STILL ate multiple days of preparation and then hours of dealing with it-- which could have been months in the red for all we know-- plus a whole day of recovery. If the space behind the Bunker C door is caused by a dimensional anomaly, it could lead to somewhere inhabited by creatures that *literally* eat time, or that can shear dimensions in two or burn the fabric of reality with a flame made of concentrated thought. There are all sorts of things that could be back there that would take a LOT of time to deal with.
C? 10th Jan 2019, 7:25 PM edit delete reply
Whether or not Edison meant well, from a scientific perspective, it's good to have a baseline for comparison.
1977 11th Jan 2019, 11:30 AM edit delete reply
We should ask the Tradesmen if Jury is in any danger.
We know that she is genuinely afraid of Carpenter and what he could do to her.
Whatever he plans to do could involve harming/using Jury in some way.
Twyll 11th Jan 2019, 10:41 PM edit delete reply
Not something to focus on for the moment, but I *did* have an idea. We may not be able to make a full cat with our blood powers-- it would probably result in a horrifying abomination akin to Lumpy-- but we MIGHT be able to create a mini-Blobbert with fur, a.k.a. a tribble. That would be something the girls could use as petting practice before graduating to cats, to reduce the risk of harm coming to cat or girl. (I don't know if cats can harm ghosts, but I imagine the cat hissing and scratching at them would at least hurt their feelings!)