Comic 1173 - Finish asking questions

Posted on 6th Feb 2019, 11:38 PM in Like a Bullet from Behind
Finish asking questions

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 6th Feb 2019, 11:38 PM edit delete
You relay another question for Caius to ask.

He takes a breath. "So uh... s'it safe to trap Nil in tha red?"

There's ... a slightly longer pause than usual from the tradesmen. It almost feels like hesitance, or they may be discussing the answer.

They do finally reply, though. "That question, as it is being asked, cannot be answered. Beings that Nil has taken a hold of can be placed in the red--this may be dangerous to the red, depending on his level of influence. Taking Arvin Carpenter in his current state, for example, is not recommended. Nil, as an entity in his entirety, cannot be contained by physical means. The nature of his existence precludes it. ...This is why we cannot properly answer your question."

In explaining why they can't answer the question, they... sort of answered your real question. Also, dangerous to the red? You're curious, but you suspect Caius may be getting tired. You give him one last question.

"There any way we can get that messagin' ritual?"

The tradesmen answer much more promptly this time. "We can answer this question in exchange for your favorite T-shirt."

"...But I can just buy another one," Caius states, trying hard not to phrase it as a question.

"That is correct," respond the tradesmen.

"Alright," Caius says. "Yeah, deal."

The tradesmen give you an address. The answer is simple, to the point... and immediately, back in the lab, Caius's body buckles. The candle lights go out, and he leans into the nearby counter to keep himself standing.

"Caius!," Dr. Finch gasps. "Are you alright?"

"Yeah," Caius huffs, though he does sound short of breath. "Jus'... kinda hit me all at once, is all."

You tell everyone how the ritual went, and what information you gained.

"We should really acquire more of those phones," Liz suggests. "It's a little ridiculous how far they can reach."

"Agreed," Fuse replies. "We gotta buy more regular phones for that, though."

"I'm now... quite curious about our leech-like friend," Dr. Finch states. He eyes one of the lab's cabinets, leading you to believe that's where its container was stashed for the time being. "I'm still hesitant to to just... unleash it, though."

"We can at least finish trading up the watches," Fuse points out. "Maybe that won't give us anything... uh... organic."

"Right," Dr. Finch concurs. He steps over to Caius, helping to prop him up and guide him toward the barracks area. "We can proceed with that and perhaps experiment with our anti-psychic creature in a moment."

You update Michelle and Pierce, as well.

"Huh," Michelle begins. "Wonder what's at the address? Anyway, if the tradesmen say it's cool and Caius is out for a while, I guess I can try out the disc ritual."

Pierce gives a small nod. "The instructions are fairly concise--I believe I could produce the symbols required. ...I may need a pen, or some such."


Boredone 7th Feb 2019, 12:07 AM edit delete reply
Where even is the address? Is it in Southden? In Illworth for some reason? Etc?
Anotherdamntimeclone 7th Feb 2019, 12:10 AM edit delete reply
If we do try to test the disc ritual I recommend we try it out in one the fields near or in Illworth first, so its away from where we would draw attention and in a big area.
Myya 7th Feb 2019, 12:22 AM edit delete reply
I tend to prefer the snow field for testing, as it's further away from any civilization. That's where we went to test the messy armor spell with lumpy.
Twyll 7th Feb 2019, 12:33 AM edit delete reply
The snow field carries the risk of frostbite, though-- we're not sure if bundling up Michelle will interfere with the ritual in some way, which means she'd probably end up very cold pre- and post-transformation.
echo 7th Feb 2019, 1:06 AM edit delete reply
In or near Illworth probably runs no risk. We own the town, it's still mostly deserted, and there's no reason for us to believe it's being watched by any of our enemies. The most that's likely to happen is Zene, Mav or Crease might see, which isn't a big deal.
Fishbulb 7th Feb 2019, 10:03 AM edit delete reply
The only risk with doing experiments on that scale in Ilworth is that someone might drive by and notice a gigantic Michelle.
Myya 8th Feb 2019, 12:33 AM edit delete reply
If Ilworth has a large warehouse or garage that's in okay shape, and isn't haunted, that would probably work for experiments of this type while keeping them out of view. For Combat #11 we just need a place that wouldn't be considered a "tight space".
Lapdragon 7th Feb 2019, 12:14 AM edit delete reply
So, we’re not getting rid of NilPenter the easy way then - it was worth a shot and now we know that Nil is a really durable fella (and the Red is not an indestructible infinite realm of blood).

Yay for the contact ritual being a gimmie - we’ll have to give it a go at some point.

Let’s send Liz and Michelle shopping (for phones, more music, etc), I think it might be good to get a bit of pro-Mine propaganda sent her way via Michelle, and we can test the embiggening ritual with one or both of them once they’re back. I think it might be enlightening for Liz to be in a big super-tuned nonThale-ified healthy body for a little bit - and if we test it on our ostensibly weakest (Liz) and strongest (Michelle) members, we’ll get a sense of where the ritual’s limits are.
Kumondo 7th Feb 2019, 1:19 AM edit delete reply
That's an interesting point on that last bit there, Lapdragon; Liz doesn't have a roll in our active operations at all yet. We have our "away team" with Finch as our back up and chief intelligence officer. This ritual *may* offer a short cut to great power for Elizabeth without compromising our teams usual set up, while giving her a real, tangible way to thoroughly mess with Thale and company's plans. IF she consents to it. We'll give her the reason and opportunity, but if she says no, then no.
pkrankow 7th Feb 2019, 8:09 AM edit delete reply
Liz is definitely intelligence support as her current primary role. It probably is underutilized, and she is capable of more. Pierce is even more underutilized even as just a support person.

I agree with Michelle, Liz, and Pierce assessing the ritual and trying it. They should start in an open temperate location, but should also test in convenient extremes (snow, heat, limited spaces)

Fuse and Caius have a shopping trip. Phones enough for two possibly three more ear phones, and an attempt at replacing a shirt. (I suspect Finch may have more luck on the shirt though)

Finch may or may not join, however I think Finch and Mine may want to mess with the leach.
Lapdragon 7th Feb 2019, 7:01 PM edit delete reply
Liz has a role - she’s just not an active field participant, I think her normal gig would be “logistics and accounting”, which while not particularly exciting, is still a needed role.

I’ve been thinking (ya, bad idea, I know), but I think that after testing the ritual for efficacy and safety, we should try convincing our home guard folks to get the inscriptions, so if the bunker gets attacked while the heavy hitters are out, they won’t be helpless back at home (and could possibly do serious damage against an unprepared foe). I think also that in that vein, we should discuss with Big Red his options as far as home defense goes - we already know that his “speaking in the red” caused Fuse some discomfort when they met - is “shouting in the red” something he could do to incapacitate an assault team?
Taenidia 7th Feb 2019, 10:26 PM edit delete reply
Lets expand the just-in-case ritual-marking handouts to our allies Grizwald and Lydia too, when we get a chance. Maybe send them an encrypted ping, see what's up.
Cyanic 7th Feb 2019, 12:15 AM edit delete reply
So where's that leech thing that we got? I don't think I can see it in sprite form

also what IS that behind Caius? just to his left (our right), on the edge of the table near MomRed, beside the dead spider, on the side near the door are those eyes? WHAT IS THAT
Myya 7th Feb 2019, 12:32 AM edit delete reply
I think that might be the part of our dead spine monster we brought back from Bunker X so we could study its bulletproof bones.
Michael Chandra 7th Feb 2019, 12:33 AM edit delete reply
There's a bunch of things on the desk, better visible on page 1169.
echo 7th Feb 2019, 12:45 AM edit delete reply
The leachesque creature is probably in one of the cabinets, which you should be aware of if you read this page's text.

From above: "I'm now... quite curious about our leech-like friend," Dr. Finch states. He eyes one of the lab's cabinets, leading you to believe that's where its container was stashed for the time being.
Twyll 7th Feb 2019, 12:35 AM edit delete reply
Caius' sacrifice of his favorite T-shirt may be larger than we realize. After all, if it's a tour shirt, it may be really hard to get his hands on a new one...
zophah 7th Feb 2019, 2:45 AM edit delete reply
I'm guessing the location of the messaging ritual is it's own challenge, so the Tradesmen didn't need to add too much more to the cost of finding it.
Kumondo 7th Feb 2019, 6:19 AM edit delete reply
Well, I'm looking at this and thinking our next course of action is to stay the course. Once we've sent a raven to the address, or looked it up on Nuugle Maps and then sent a raven, let's get Pierce a fine point sharpie and work on giving Michelle the sickest temporary tattoo in history. Depending on the size and location, Mine may do the marking herself in private just syncing the info quickly over. Course, we may want to consider doing the melanin-altering skin pigment technique like we did with the bone ritual to make it more permanent, though that will take more time.

Meanwhile, after we've updated them on the latest information and plans, Fuse, Finch and Liz can quickly trade up the watches, and if they're feeling bold, try and figure out how the leech works.

Finally, once Michelle is ready, let's gather everyone up for a demonstration. I'm O.K. with either Illworth or the mountain top as the test site, but my vote officially is for the mountain top. Hopefully it's a mild day.
Kumondo 7th Feb 2019, 6:29 AM edit delete reply
I really can't puzzle out weather the leech is to be put on someone to protect them or disable them psychically. On one hand, looking at it in RPG terms, if the tinfoil hats give a +1 to psychic resistance when equipped, then it stands to reason that "equipping" the leech will give a +15, or what ever. However, if say, it follows more cinematic tropes it's more likely a brain sucker, and we need to put it on the many for best results.

I am concerned, and want to squint at it and an instruction manual...
Limrix 7th Feb 2019, 9:22 AM edit delete reply
Leech Mini-Mine? Also I vote for the forests around Illworth if there are any. Otherwise I think Mine should be able to conjure a giant warming blanket if we need it on the mountain.
Myya 7th Feb 2019, 5:18 PM edit delete reply
Leeching mini-Mine would be interesting. We can see how the leech affects Mine's control at the same time.
Sekwel 8th Feb 2019, 8:14 AM edit delete reply
It's a toss-up. Sidenote for later: Let's maybe experiment to determine if intentionality affects the trade-up ritual.

We traded up phones and got a better phone. We traded up disks without anything particular results in mind and got something more potent in the same thematic vein.

If us 'wanting' a better tin foil hat gave us one, I'd vote for it attaching to the user and blocking out interference.

Maybe pierce could look at the ritual and provide insight.
Verde 7th Feb 2019, 9:25 AM edit delete reply
Would Pierce like to try it himself?
Fishbulb 7th Feb 2019, 10:02 AM edit delete reply
Send one of your animals to scout out the address. Also, ask Finch if there is any way to examine the Leech creature without harming it to see if he can figure out what its capabilities are and whether or not it is harmful to the person it attaches(?) to.
Myya 7th Feb 2019, 5:11 PM edit delete reply
While we get setup to test the combat #11 ritual and have people trade up the watches, lets also check with Finch to see if he thinks our friends may be able to go through a lower level experiment Odin and have them return to their bodies with boosted auras but without negative side effects.
Since incident f is an overcharged experiment Odin, perhaps there is a lower power version (like 10-100% of a normal Odin run) that would work.
Oh, also, since Faraday is no longer in cloud form, do we think that their bunker is now safe for electronic devices, such as Fuse's leg?
Mayteyalan 7th Feb 2019, 11:23 PM edit delete reply
I think Fuse has already been there but am too lazy to actually look for it.