Comic 1168 - Mess with time more

Posted on 20th Jan 2019, 11:56 PM in Like a Bullet from Behind
Mess with time more

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 20th Jan 2019, 11:56 PM edit delete
While the others continue to sort, setup the trade ritual, and turn tin foil into hats, you make an attempt to read Red's aura.

It's... faint? It feels like there's still not a whole lot her there in total--likely a product of her still... sort of being in the process of achieving an independent form. That she does have an (erratic, slightly) aura at all is definitely a sign of progress, though.

Out of curiosity, you try to get a feel for your own aura. You have a great deal of difficulty, though--it seems to blend in seamlessly with the

...electromagnetic field.

You realize that a significant amount of the energy in the room is yours. Your aura is... sizeable, spread out wide throughout the room. Caius and Dr. Finch's auras are fairly restrained, but yours feels... kind of the exact opposite. It's just... out there.

You grab one of the stopwatches before it gets piled in with the trade-ins. You set it to keep track of seconds and milliseconds, then toss it into the red.

Aside from generally practicing your time control, you try a few small experiments. First, you accelerate time around the watch--just a little, though you still overshoot it by a hair--and then you take your focus off of it.

...Which turns out to be difficult, because trying not to think about it makes you think about it?

You decide to run a quick mental check on your animals to distract yourself.

Edgar, the raven you sent to look for the Site One door (which turned out to not be there) is on his way back, and should be back in the city in... well, a couple of hours or so, you suspect. He seems to have taken a few detours to do whatever it is ravens do.

Allan, your second raven, is still hanging out near Rockwell Arcade. You don't notice anything too unusual from his perspective.

Poe is near Cam's hospital, having previously kept watch over the hummer. Nothing suspicious there, either, just the usual coming and going of people.

Caesar, your pigeon, has joined a number of other pigeons in the area around Carpenter's base. Aside from your pigeon being by far the largest, you don't think he should stand out too much.

Your numerous rats (Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Pac-Rat) are still scattered throughout the city, roaming the tunnels and sewers. A couple of them have joined up with other, unblooded rats, while the others are off on their own, having little rat adventures.

Your cats are currently in Ilworth, enjoying the overgrown grass and variety of smaller critters to hunt.

Which leaves... Willard.

You're not really sure how he got up there in the first place.

Without taking full control, you start gently nudging Willard to retrace his tiny rat steps, and show you how he arrived in the ceiling. Steadily, he makes his way toward the bathroom area, where he then carefully climbs through... a small hole in the little intersecting wall that obscures the shower.


Willard then proceeds to rat parkour his way to the floor, sort of suspending himself between the wall and the shower door on his way down. He has to take it somewhat carefully, but it's overall a very impressive display for a rat.

Well, that answers that question.

You check back in on that stopwatch.

It appears as though time has started to revert back--not entirely, not all at once, but slowly the seconds tick at a less and less frantic rate, as though it's gradually decelerating. You're not sure if time is returning to a baseline, or if the time zone is... just kind of... bleeding out into the rest of the red. You remember hearing that time is kind of "tracked in" to the red, and isn't native to it--it's possible that time has a sort of... tangibility in there, and when forced to be, may then start to dissipate the way smoke does in the air.

Maybe. You're just spitballing.

You make an effort to move the ... er, time pocket, independent of the watch. This turns out to be rather difficult. Without being able to visualize or sense time itself, you can't really... peel it off of the watch. You try pushing the watch away from where it was, but time follows. You try... carefully, meticulously separating the watch from its surrounding area, generating new space wholesale around it, but time seems to cling to the item.

It does decelerate a bit harder, which makes you think you might've... pulled... some of the time off of it. Or something. Time is weird.

You pull your attention back to the bunker just in time to see the smoke clear. Dr. Finch leans down... and picks up a CD case from the floor. In his other hand is a similar one from the trade in casting prior.

The first case he was holding is incredibly decorative, with ornate golden symbols all along the backing, and across the top of the disc. You've seen designs like it, but not just like it--there's something unique and otherworldly about its appearance.

The second disc--the one they just acquired--is much plainer. The case is generic, as is the disc itself. It's the kind you can buy in bulk from a number of department stores. Scrawled crudely in red marker is the phrase "COMBAT #11."

"So... one's from Finch's music..." Michelle begins, "the other is from Caius's. You can uh, kinda guess which is which."


Cyanic 21st Jan 2019, 1:06 AM edit delete reply
Think we're the most equipped to deal with eldritch shenanigans, so let's volunteer to listen to both discs in another room so that people aren't caught in it

if it's determined to be ok, we can go ahead and give everyone else a chance to listen to this

for the red stuff, I think we could sense time, at least inside it, we're basically omnipotent when it comes to the red, we're just not that good at harnessing our omnipotence from there yet, but I think it's definitely possible to sense absolutely anything that's within the red including time and space, and possibly even abstract concepts when we get good at it
Twyll 21st Jan 2019, 1:09 AM edit delete reply
I feel like Caius will simply *refuse* to let us listen to "Combat #11" without him XD But oh god I want to know. I hope it's basically just the soundtrack to DOOM.
Golnor 21st Jan 2019, 10:25 AM edit delete reply
Aw man, the title drop sequence is the best. I wanna play it again.
Taenidia 21st Jan 2019, 11:46 AM edit delete reply
+1, we are definitely best-qualified to deal with any potential alien music earworms.

Possibly listen to it while doing body/brain-monitoring as The Blood, to be extra-careful, or at least be prepared to jump *into* the blood if it seems warranted?
Cuttlefish 21st Jan 2019, 1:25 AM edit delete reply
Odd and unimportant thought, but can Caius' brain phone call us in the red? Just in case we ever get lost in there or dissappear for a long time like with the silkworm attack.
Taenidia 21st Jan 2019, 11:49 AM edit delete reply
That... seems like an important thought to me. Lets throw a burner phone in there and find out!
Kumondo 21st Jan 2019, 5:26 PM edit delete reply
We've already got a burner phone in the red; fuse tossed it in to help start the time experiments just a few pages ago. Thing is, we've already called Caius' brain phone from within the Tradesman information ritual with a phone that may or may not have actually existed, so I'ma gonna call it now and say the brain phone can contact phones in the read just fine. It gets really good reception.
Cuttlefish 21st Jan 2019, 7:23 PM edit delete reply
If he can, it could help us set a baseline time on earth in the red
Anes Mt Siin 21st Jan 2019, 1:37 AM edit delete reply
I was wondering why Michelle's aura wasn't as drawn to Mine's as I expected it to be. Turns out it was already engulfed in it.
zophah 21st Jan 2019, 12:31 PM edit delete reply
That is what I was thinking! =)
HoSt. 21st Jan 2019, 3:56 AM edit delete reply
Got an Account now. My former posts are under the name 1977.

First let's tell everyone about Willard's adventures.
I'm sure they can't wait to hear that there is a rat in the shower and most likely was there the last time they used it.

Afterwards it's time to listen to a bit of music.
Finch's music is likely good when we want to meditate, Caius' should be perfect for combattraining.
Michael Chandra 21st Jan 2019, 4:10 AM edit delete reply
Daaaaw at little rat adventures and rat parkour!
Limrix 21st Jan 2019, 8:02 AM edit delete reply
Let's ask Red to report the drain on ourselves as we continue to manipulate time, and see what Dr. Finch thinks about our observations so far, and if there's anything he'd like to test.
In addition to that, let's test the idea that the time acceleration is focused on an object. We'll need to use those watches for a bit for this. Put several stopwatches in the red in a loose cloud and watch them for a while as a baseline. Then create a thin membrane around the center ones and start accelerating time for that. How far does the time warping extend from the bubble we formed based on the other watches? Are all objects inside accelerated equally? After that, we can give all but one of the watches to be traded up, blooding the watches that don't show the current time before doing so.
While we're doing that, the others can start on the tin foil hats trade.
Frission 21st Jan 2019, 10:06 AM edit delete reply
It will be difficult to fully grasp time as a physical aspect of space. It's made up of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey... ... stuff, after all.
undeadDreamer 21st Jan 2019, 10:48 AM edit delete reply
Let's pop those suckers in and get listening.
Mayteyalan 21st Jan 2019, 11:15 AM edit delete reply
CDs, how old-fashioned.
PurpleKetchup 21st Jan 2019, 1:14 PM edit delete reply
Probably loaded with alien-compressed files... Good thing we got an alien rig to decode that.
Myya 21st Jan 2019, 9:05 PM edit delete reply
My headcannon is that they got tired of renaming the discs after the terrible 'ultra mega digital holographic uber storage disc Z double alpha' naming debacle, and decided for everyone's sanity that it was just better to refer to the current audio disc format as CDs. ;p
Taenidia 21st Jan 2019, 11:53 AM edit delete reply
Weird thought, but I may have just come up with a possible industry for Illsworth...

Tradesman ritual lets us take what is almost-literally *junk* and turn it into miscellaneous alien valuables. So what if we let Illsworth run a... high-tech secretive recycling facility?

We'd get empty well-designed alien softdrink cans, Illsworth would get an income stream, everyone's happy?
Limrix 21st Jan 2019, 2:11 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, that seems like a good source of income once Illworth gets up and running.
Kumondo 21st Jan 2019, 5:34 PM edit delete reply
+1ing this as a medium-long term, medium priority goal.
Skullrama 21st Jan 2019, 2:09 PM edit delete reply
Interesting line of thought in the Discord, has real potential and should probably be explored.

Our aura is an extension of ourself - a part of us. If our aura is us... we should be able to pull from the red using it, just like any other part of us. It might take a little mental gymnastics to handle the perception correctly... but we should be able to pull from the red using our aura.
Limrix 21st Jan 2019, 2:22 PM edit delete reply
Auras are made of electricity - Mine's electricity, and those electrons are Mine, just as much as any other redstuff. The ghost girls literally are their auras, so we should be able to comprehend this. If we can accept this, then we should be much better off in fighting EM and electricity based and attacks.
Myya 21st Jan 2019, 4:37 PM edit delete reply
Yay! I finally caught up!

+1 to this. Thanks for posting it skullrama!
Kumondo 21st Jan 2019, 5:31 PM edit delete reply
The logic check out enough that is warrants a quick test, yeah. Worst come to worst, if pulling from aural electrons is too taxing for prolonged use, we can make a tiny amount of regular blood matter from our aura and pull the rest of what we need from that. That alone opens up a huge amount of tactical options and screwy self identity implications.
Lunar Waffles 22nd Jan 2019, 2:35 AM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
Skullrama 23rd Jan 2019, 9:01 AM edit delete reply
Probably also worth noting - anything within our aura is 'contained' in our aura. It's a container. Free manipulation of blood and such within it should be possible.
Bob the Terrarian 24th Jan 2019, 12:37 PM edit delete reply
Bob the Terrarian
Another thing we could explore is pulling from the red in an astral form. The conventional blood powers didn't work before, but we could give it a shot when we're not under the stress of carpenter.
Caterya 21st Jan 2019, 2:14 PM edit delete reply
Cassumbra 21st Jan 2019, 5:23 PM edit delete reply
"The case is generic, as is the disc itself. It's the kind you can buy in bulk from a number of department stores."

i feel like this is a callback to caius being a tubecop. if it is, ouch.
Myya 21st Jan 2019, 8:55 PM edit delete reply
Hm. I rather feel it has more to do with the intent behind the items/people involved in the trade here.
Finch was probably focused on finding something useful/helpful for magical purpose, whereas Caius was probably looking for something Metal to go into combat to (cuz it'd be awesome, and way better than listening to Carpenter's lame tunes). Not to say that the second won't have magical properties, just that it may also be influenced by Caius's desires.
Guost 22nd Jan 2019, 2:02 PM edit delete reply
It is said that you should not judge a book by its cover.
fellow 22nd Jan 2019, 2:47 PM edit delete reply
I think it says more about the origin on the cd. Combat #11 is earthly and was made by a human, but the ornate CD comes from something alien or eldtrich.
TGWMoC 22nd Jan 2019, 7:54 PM edit delete reply
I can see how you got that impression, but I'm pretty sure it looks like that because it's a mix tape someone burned on whatever they had lying around. Hence the handwritten label.
Myya 23rd Jan 2019, 11:38 AM edit delete reply
Something I just realized. We should have Fuse try to light something on fire while we watch his aura. It would be interesting to see if mutations might use some kind of aural manipulation to produce their effect.
If the aura does appear to be involved, perhaps we can figure out how to condense our aura around objects/people to provide some level of protection from both spiritual and mutant attacks.
We definitely want to find a way to use our aura more effectively so we can avoid another worm in the red (nomming on Red) situation.
PretenseAndPoison 24th Jan 2019, 4:03 AM edit delete reply
+1 to that, there's a distinct possibility that mutations could be picked out of a crowd if the use of them has an effect on the 'visible aura'.

Just in case we ever need to track down somebody else like the Many, or that one perception altering baddie.
PurpleKetchup 24th Jan 2019, 3:26 PM edit delete reply
So... time to build Cerebro ?
PretenseAndPoison 24th Jan 2019, 4:03 AM edit delete reply
+1 to that, there's a distinct possibility that mutations could be picked out of a crowd if the use of them has an effect on the 'visible aura'.

Just in case we ever need to track down somebody else like the Many, or that one perception altering baddie.
Departure_Dave 24th Jan 2019, 5:05 PM edit delete reply
No wonder Red can manifest so easily: she's always within Mine's aura!