Comic 1180 - Agree to the plan

Posted on 2nd Apr 2019, 7:07 PM in Like a Bullet from Behind
Agree to the plan

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 2nd Apr 2019, 7:07 PM edit delete
You agree to the plan. Obtaining the tradesmen messaging ritual, and using that to send an 'anonymous tip' to Carpenter about your plans to 'surprise' him, seems to be the best way to stall for more time.

"We can say we're comin' in a week," Michelle suggests, "then hit 'em a day or two before that."

Dr. Finch nods. "The tradesmen provided an address where the ritual should be located, yes?"

You have a raven perched outside the address--a used bookstore in the middle tiers--but through the fairly opaque windows, you can't make out much of the interior. You definitely see human-sized figures moving inside, but your raven can't discern any details.

"Might have to send a crew," Michelle says with a small shrug. "It's just a bookstore, right?"

Fuse's face tightens up. "Man... how many times has it been just a warehouse, or just a library, or just an abandoned power station? Bookstore could be a portal to another dimension with our luck."

Michelle gives a slightly larger shrug. "I wanna say the tradesmen woulda warned us if it was dangerous--"

"But you know better by now?," Fuse asks, fighting back a smirk.

"A ritual that lets one deliver a message doesn't sound all that powerful, on its face," Pierce remarks. "I wouldn't suspect it of being heavily guarded."

"Still," comments Dr. Finch, "we may not wish to take approaching it too lightly. Entering the city proper at all, at this point, is bound to carry some risk."

Michelle nods. "Yeah... s'a good point. Pretty sure the cops haven't given up chasin' me yet, and Thale's a cornered animal right now. So who's goin'?"


Gigafreak 2nd Apr 2019, 7:40 PM edit delete reply
Even if the indistinct folks in the bookstore are friendly or neutral, there's a fair chance of a disadvantageous encounter in transit on the way there or back. Thale knows about the purple vehicle, and may have ordered law enforcement to react to it... perhaps we could get there via the tunnels instead. So maybe let's have the animals look for an exit from the tunnel system near the bookstore.
Lunar Waffles 2nd Apr 2019, 9:52 PM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
this is a good idea. but i also think this is a good time to try and make two portals that touch each other inside the red leading to different locations by "Changing" the Fake-Space of "The Red".
(this way no one technically enters "The Red")
Remember, Space and Time are both not a real thing in the red, so Mine should theoretically be able to make two touching portals that lead ANYWHERE in the universe she has blood at. Though maybe ask Moms Red if that would even prevent any problems or maybe cause new ones?
Limrix 2nd Apr 2019, 10:29 PM edit delete reply
I second this. We have an immediate use for blood portaling, and it will be a useful skill to have.
Daniel 2nd Apr 2019, 11:01 PM edit delete reply
Thirded—this was the first thing I thought, even before reading the comments section. Obviously we want to be careful, but it would just be *so useful*.

Also worth noting: we can get a fair amount of experimenting done in the time it would take to travel conventionally, so we might even come out ahead on time. Oh, but we do need to send a blood bug or something to the location, in order to actually be able to open a portal there. Maybe call the raven back so it can carry one? Or is another raven free and closer to us?

And, once we've brainstormed ideas of how to protect our allies from the Red, we could possibly ask the Tradesmen which of them would be effective—hopefully cheaper than just asking them how to do it in the first place.

Ideas so far:
* What Lunar Waffles said above.
* If having portals touching and leading to far-apart locations is too difficult, make a "room"—bone might be a good surface material, less creepy than the intestine-y walls of Mom's Red—with portals on the walls. Hopefully with a few feet between portals the requisite space-warping will be easier—or, if not, we can always open one portal, everyone pile in, close it, *move* the room in the Red (we know we can do that), then open the other one.
Lunar Waffles 3rd Apr 2019, 2:34 AM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
Oh, as for the team. if we get the portal idea working quickly, just Mine, Caius, and ask Pierce if he wants to come. because, magic bookstore.
Gigafreak 3rd Apr 2019, 6:16 PM edit delete reply
And even if Pierce doesn't want to come, we can pick up any books he might like while we're there. Send him mental images of the shelves so he can point out titles he might be interested in, or something.
fishbulb 2nd Apr 2019, 8:04 PM edit delete reply
Caius is probably the least notorious of the group, so he probably should be in the vanguard.
Tych 2nd Apr 2019, 9:03 PM edit delete reply
that is a bit hilarious when you think about it
Archon 2nd Apr 2019, 8:16 PM edit delete reply
Do we still have the homunculus made to resemble a person?
Couldn't hurt to bring it along if we do.
Might be useful as a distraction? Maybe?
Kumondo 3rd Apr 2019, 3:00 AM edit delete reply
On party composition:
I don't think we need too many people for this operation; 3 or 4 should do it. Overall, in perhaps crude terms, we're probably looking at one muscle, one mind and one Mine. Either Dr. Finch to spot and evaluate interesting and useful things or Pierce if he's willing, Caius or Michelle for back up when if things go sideways, and Mine because she's the face of the party and y'know, powers and stuff. I don't think we need anyone else specifically, but if any one is interested in the potential of the bookstore a fourth position is available. I'll also mention that I'm against sending a golem in first as our golems don't make a good first impression on potential friends/not enemies, nor do our golems have much agency if things get wild.

On the topic of powers though, I am +1ing at least attempting to make a portal from here to there through the red. As far as I understand Mine's powers, once there is Blood at the destination it should be a comparatively simple trick pull enough Blood at both sites to make the portals and move their "inside the red" sides up against each other in the red. The process should only take a few minutes, even if it takes concentration, and the brief time inside the red should be tolerable but easily survivable for our friends, if potentially uncomfortable or gross.
Limrix 3rd Apr 2019, 9:54 AM edit delete reply
Regarding party composition, I would favor Caius over Michelle for town jobs. I would also pick Pierce over Dr. Finch if he's willing to come, as he's more familiar with the subject matter.
Skullrama 3rd Apr 2019, 11:09 AM edit delete reply
I like a composition of Mine, Pierce and Caius myself.
Cuttlefish 4th Apr 2019, 10:09 PM edit delete reply
This sounds good to me.
fellow 3rd Apr 2019, 4:16 AM edit delete reply
Hmm, taking fuse might be useful in case there's psychic shit going on, and caius has shown to have a knack for negotiations. Other than that, I dunno.
Skullrama 3rd Apr 2019, 11:12 AM edit delete reply
Regarding making a the trip as subtly as possible - we could put a thin layer of blood on the outside of the humvee and, given our practice with small scale manipulation of the blood, we should be able to bond it to the paint pretty easily.

From there, we already know we can change the color of things we make from our blood, so we should be able to change the color of the car at will. This should help throw off people looking for us at least a bit.

We can do more complicated shenanigans with it as well, if we want. Spontaneous humvee bone armor.
Night Ot Eternity 3rd Apr 2019, 11:47 AM edit delete reply
This is critical- Pickup Kitty Picture Book(s)! You know, afterwards...
zophah 3rd Apr 2019, 1:32 PM edit delete reply
I agree on the caveat that it is not an occult bookstore, in which case a kitty book may actually be on interdimensional eldritch felines.
Twyll 3rd Apr 2019, 2:22 PM edit delete reply
I meeaaaan... interdimensional eldritch cats are still cats, tho.
WalkerOfSorrow 3rd Apr 2019, 5:51 PM edit delete reply
Like we REALLY wouldn't hug an inter dimensional eldritch cat that is the physical embodiment of the concept of hatred. This is Mine we're talking about. She'd give it a cute bowtie.
Guest 4th Apr 2019, 6:22 AM edit delete reply
Guest 4th Apr 2019, 6:22 AM edit delete reply
Guest 4th Apr 2019, 12:59 PM edit delete reply
Has Mine considered changing appearances? What would normally be cosmetic surgery would probably be pretty easy for her.
fellow 4th Apr 2019, 2:50 PM edit delete reply
Lumpy should give you a good idea of how good mine is at creating humans. It'd be hard for her to go back to her original shape.

I suppose she could probably change the pigment of her skin easily enough. Add like, sunglasses and a hat and it'd be hard to recognise her. But I don't think you could give the same treatment to anyone who'd be useful in a fight.
WalkerOfSorrow 4th Apr 2019, 3:45 PM edit delete reply
Can I just...suggest that we don't do pigment shifting? Or at least carefully? That touches into the 'transrace' argument and I really think this comic shouldn't go there just yet. If you're talking like "more tan" or "more pale," I don't think that would hurt much.

Changing her appearance would also not work on most thugs belonging to our enemies, but would not work on the people who matter. It wouldn't work on the Many, or Time Gods, or Carpenter, or anyone blooded by Thale. Or Nil. Most of those should be obvious, but I'll back up Carpenter because that's the weak one. He's got more hi-tech nonsense than anyone has a right to, and has shown proficiency in bio-tech specifically. He could figure it out fast. Considering, as "fellow" said, that changing her appearance would be difficult and tricky, the minimal advantage it would give is not worth it.
fellow 5th Apr 2019, 12:38 PM edit delete reply
Oh jeez, I didn't think about it like that. Yeah that is not a good place to go. I guess if you want to be careful mine could go pale like hands!mine is? Still, I agree this is not territory I'd like the comic to tread.

I figure the main risk in the city is civilians going by a description of mine and friends. So if mine doesn't look like mine at first glance it might be possible to avoid thayle's attention.
Hmmm 5th Apr 2019, 2:18 AM edit delete reply
Don't be afraid to go places, most people don't read into things too much if it's fiction. Unless you're really heavy handed about it. Changing appearances can just be shapeshifting, not a comment on transracial identity.
zophah 5th Apr 2019, 11:47 AM edit delete reply
Mine is already an eldritch demigod. Would somehow changing her human racial features be a problem at all?
Young Nutz 5th Apr 2019, 4:15 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, who cares do whatever we want. I never thought it was transracial shiet.
The Twentythird Witch 4th Apr 2019, 2:48 PM edit delete reply
If we actually suspect danger, we might want to stick with people who've already grown accustomed to it. Even if Pierce is helping with the message, his physical prescience isn't technically necessary.