Comic 1179 - Reach a different conclusion

Posted on 30th Mar 2019, 7:55 PM in Like a Bullet from Behind
Reach a different conclusion

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 30th Mar 2019, 7:55 PM edit delete
You mull over what everyone's said--and an additional aspect of Carpenter that hasn't been touched on as much. He has... something of a penchant for collateral damage. Combined with his flair for the theatrical and his desire to control the situation, trying to publicly evacuate the area around his base could end up having the opposite effect--it may prompt him to kick things off early, to try and hold onto as many potential hostages as possible. You voicing your concern for likely casualties may just incite him to leverage them.

If you do try and push Carpenter to wait, it may be better to try and do it more... privately. Maybe a direct message, sent to him, not one that involves the public.

"That still fails to address the main issue," Liz points out. "Arvin wants to dictate the schedule himself. He enjoys the power, as petty as it is. If you try to take over the terms of the engagement, it's going to set him off."

Dr. Finch nods. "Carpenter wants to think this is his battle to orchestrate. He didn't tell us he's waiting for us--the Tradesmen did. As far as Carpenter is aware, he's going to be surprising us."

"It's not just about the tactical advantage," Michelle adds. "He just likes bein' in control. He prob'ly don't care as much about havin' an ambush ready as he does bein' the one to name the time an' place. ...Yeah, it makes sense, but damn. Makes this hard to approach."

There's a brief silence before Fuse speaks up.

"...Guys. When I got MY weird message, I didn't know where it came from."

Another silence ensues. Michelle's face lights up first.

"Ohhh. Oh! If we do the Tradesmen message thing, he don't have to know it's from us!"

Fuse points at her. "That. Yeah, exactly. We could drop that cyborg asshole an anonymous message that we're gonna be there in a week or so. We know there's cosmic guys on both sides of this--some for us, some against us. Nil's gotta know that, too--right? So some rando from the outside tipping them off about our plans shouldn't come as a shock."

Dr. Finch hmms, stuffing his hands in his coat pockets. "Could we manage that? Convincingly, I mean--if we pretend to be some mystical, anonymous third party... that... that's quite a substantial bluff..."

"We don't have to sign anybody's name to it," Fuse replies. "Just keep it short and sweet, a quick She's Coming In A Week or something. Creeper thinks he's getting a hot alien tip instead of thinking we're scheduling the fight. He'll feel smarter and more confident about the shit he's pulling, instead of getting pissed that we're spoiling the game. It'll make the wait more exciting, 'cuz he'll think we're still totally in the dark but he'll know we're coming. He doesn't have to know that WE know that... uh... he knows."

"You should send it in an older language," Pierce suggests. "Something obscure and ancient. I could help you decide on something that... well, something that you wouldn't normally have sent a message in. That would help sell the illusion to Carpenter's passenger."

"It's deceptive," Liz starts. "Anyone familiar with this group's usual tactics wouldn't anticipate subtle, arcane misdirection." She pauses. She takes a breath. Hesitates. "It could work."

You have a raven at a used bookstore--the address where the Tradesmen's messaging ritual is allegedly located. If you decide to follow through on this plan, the next step would be to... well, see what that's all about.


Bob the Terrarian 30th Mar 2019, 8:35 PM edit delete reply
Bob the Terrarian
Dang, this is getting confusing.
Should we send someone to help the raven, if it’s not too far away?
Nayru9572 30th Mar 2019, 8:35 PM edit delete reply
Ok, sounds good. Let's check it out.
(Also really glad to see the comic's updated again! You go!)
PurpleKetchup 2nd Apr 2019, 1:57 PM edit delete reply
Seconding all of this.
Lunar Waffles 30th Mar 2019, 8:40 PM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
Baron(someone in the discord):"+1 to arcane misdirection"
i agree x:
Gigafreak 30th Mar 2019, 8:55 PM edit delete reply
Three or four direct fights in hospitals, multiple vehicular shootouts, a brawl in a nuclear plant that ended with the entire place going up in flames, a climactic showdown with Swordbro in the park, and a daring raid on a fortified church. The closest thing to "subtle" this team has been... was the time we stole a buncha crates from Thale's warehouse (and that went pretty sideways halfway through).

"Mine's group is trying to pull a fast one on me" seems like it would indeed sound terribly out of character to an outside enemy observer. So let's try the Tradesmen's messaging system next!
pkrankow 31st Mar 2019, 9:03 AM edit delete reply
We need help with "subtle" yes. Maybe Lydia or Grizwald can help with this message as subtle has been such a problem.
Some Random Guy 30th Mar 2019, 9:13 PM edit delete reply
Some Random Guy
Limrix 31st Mar 2019, 12:02 AM edit delete reply
This is a plan that could give us what we need most: time. I'm in favor of dropping everything else until we get this done.
Twyll 31st Mar 2019, 1:49 AM edit delete reply
I also agree. Add my +1 to Plan Subtle, Arcane Misdirection.
caterya 31st Mar 2019, 4:36 AM edit delete reply
caterya 31st Mar 2019, 4:36 AM edit delete reply
AgentKuga 1st Apr 2019, 4:14 PM edit delete reply
I give agreement +1
Myya 30th Mar 2019, 8:40 PM edit delete reply
While we're throwing random ideas about anyhow, we should take a moment to ask Finch if any level of Experiment Odin would be safe for our friends to use and return to their body without issue. It would be nice if even a low power version could be used to help strengthen their sense of self/aura before the upcoming battle.
YetAnother 31st Mar 2019, 12:18 AM edit delete reply
Addition to a cryptic message to Carp: tell him we're coming in a week, then come a day or two earlier. Sure that cuts into our prep time, but that might give us a surprise bonus.
NightArcher3677 31st Mar 2019, 3:34 AM edit delete reply
Young Nutz too lazy 31st Mar 2019, 3:05 PM edit delete reply
This be my shit
Ablaze 1st Apr 2019, 6:39 AM edit delete reply
You should phrase it that she's "going to surprise you by attacking on" xyz day. That way he'll think he's getting the drop on us.
Young Nutz 2nd Apr 2019, 4:08 AM edit delete reply
Exactly, we gotta be strategic, memetic warfare isn't effective unless you're secretive. MM is a genius. Let's bring him down indirectly.