Comic 1184 - Slyly ask about the candle

Posted on 13th Apr 2019, 6:45 PM in Like a Bullet from Behind
Slyly ask about the candle

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 13th Apr 2019, 6:45 PM edit delete
You tell the old lady that you don't intend to keep her long. You and Pierce begin to look at the books, while Caius mostly keeps his attention on the bodyguards. You mostly search for books for the ghost girls, while Pierce... well, you imagine he's hunting for something else.

You also take a moment to try and read their auras. The girl with the glasses has a withdrawn, tighter aura, though its flow is fairly erratic. The much larger man with the... unfortunate face has a surprisingly still aura--very calm, but honed and focused. You think if it had a physical shape, it'd be like a solid cube with sharp edges.

The old lady's aura is... different. For the most part it's calm, quiet... faint. Only when you really pay attention to it do you notice how forceful and wild it is nearest to her core--just utter chaos, like a tiny storm.

You noticed there was a candle on the counter when you walked in--after staring at it a little harder, you realize it's the same color as the candles you use for the tradesmen questioning ritual. You ask about it... subtly.

The elderly woman's associates noticeably tense up, leading Caius to do the same.

"Oh, that?" The old lady smiles. "Yes, I don't know what it is about that color, but it's quite the conversation starter. You seem like a nice girl--you remind me of all those kind nurses at the clinic. It's hard getting old, but they're always very patient with me."

You used to be a nurse yourself, actually.

The old lady grins a little wider, and begins to make her way around to the back side of the counter. "Ah, that explains it. You know, I was told you'd be blonde."

The girl in the glasses... does something with her hand. You have trouble registering it. "You sure it's her?"

"It's like a strawberry blonde," the big guy states.

"She's a redhead," counters the younger girl. You keep trying to see what her hands are doing, and you just... can't. You can't really explain it.

"That's why it's called strawberry blonde," replies the other bodyguard. "It's usually sorta red-ish."

"It's her," the old woman finally clarifies, pulling a book out from under the counter. "You can settle down. Your guns won't accomplish much anyway, I wouldn't think."

It's only then that you see the girl reholster a shotgun to her back. You never even realized she had it.

You couldn't.

The old lady hobbles back around and toward you, book in hand.

"That..." Pierce starts to say, but doesn't finish the sentence. He gives a subtle nod toward the girl with the glasses--specifically, the shotgun. "Is there a way to do that with people, or is it just--"

"Only weapons, I'm afraid," the old woman replies. "And it's not a very easy process. I think one does exist for people, but... finding out about it was a little more than I'm eager to pay."

She smiles sweetly, and holds the book out to you.

"This one's on the house, dear. I owe it to someone else to get it out of here."


Nayru9572 13th Apr 2019, 7:38 PM edit delete reply
Thank her first: manners are important.
Not sure if it'd be polite to ask her about who she owes it to - maybe our mother? - but I am pretty curious about it.
In the same vein I'm kinda curious how she got into contact with the Tradesmen, and whether she has any tips on dealing with otherworldly forces to share - I get the impression's she been doing this for longer than us. But again, not sure if all those questions would still be polite...
Fishbulb 13th Apr 2019, 8:02 PM edit delete reply
Ask if she minds if we ask her a few questions.
Gigafreak 13th Apr 2019, 8:06 PM edit delete reply
"Can you share the secret to the hidden weapon thing" is a thing worth asking, and perhaps even worth offering compensation in exchange.
Aside from that, we could let Pierce shop for a few minutes. Couldn't hurt to give them a little business after they've helped us.
Limrix 13th Apr 2019, 9:42 PM edit delete reply
The bone armor ritual is probably the thing we have with the closest value to that, though I would understand if they didn't want to trade. It's a pretty spooky power. Also, it may invoke Nil, given its power.
Bob the Terrarian 16th Apr 2019, 12:05 PM edit delete reply
Bob the Terrarian
From what I remember bone armor might be using power from the Red instead of from Nil. High chances they still won't want that though.
Blue_Elite 14th Apr 2019, 4:40 PM edit delete reply
I'm assuming The Library is who she "owes" the book to. I.e. passing it along to us is part of the path that book will take to eventually returning to The Library.
Departure_Dave 13th Apr 2019, 7:41 PM edit delete reply
Offer a hug. On the house.
Daniel 13th Apr 2019, 8:57 PM edit delete reply
Yes, very this.
PurpleKetchup 14th Apr 2019, 3:52 AM edit delete reply
Clearly must happen.
This is probably documented as Mine's signature move by now, which should confirm the old lady's guess that she is who she is.
Guest 14th Apr 2019, 6:39 AM edit delete reply
+ ∞
kingoftheworld 14th Apr 2019, 10:21 AM edit delete reply
I can't tell if this is a joke or not.
Nabb 14th Apr 2019, 1:27 PM edit delete reply
Caterya 13th Apr 2019, 7:46 PM edit delete reply
we could probably introduce ourselves properly
undeadDreamer 13th Apr 2019, 7:49 PM edit delete reply
Yeah that
Lunar Waffles 13th Apr 2019, 8:03 PM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
Caterya 13th Apr 2019, 7:46 PM edit delete reply
we could probably introduce ourselves properly
Myya 13th Apr 2019, 8:03 PM edit delete reply
+1 to properly introducing ourselves, though it's obvious they already have a good idea as to who we are.
Perhaps we can also see if there's anything we can do to help the big guy, since he's looking kind of green...
Beyond that see about books for the girls, books for Pierce, and any potentially helpful information they might be willing to give, trade, or sell us that would help us in regard to spiritual strengthening or other things that might help with the upcoming fight.
Lunar Waffles 13th Apr 2019, 8:12 PM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
yeah, that. though -1 to "helping the big guy"
1, might be rude.
2, we don't know if there is anything wrong with him
Limrix 13th Apr 2019, 8:27 PM edit delete reply
+1 to formally introducing ourselves.
-1 to offering to help the big guy, It might be rude, and whatever's ailing him can probably wait until the world isn't ending if they're not bringing it up.
Let's not bring the blood antics out just yet until we introduce ourselves, and let them know if we are going to do something extraordinary beforehand.
Taenidia 14th Apr 2019, 10:59 AM edit delete reply
+1 Formal Introduction

I'm getting a "golem," or at least "construct," vibe off of the big guy. "Boxy aura" almost cinched it for me. He even looks like clay.

Maybe ping Pierce to see if he knows anything about that.
Cyanic 13th Apr 2019, 8:27 PM edit delete reply
anti-memetic holsters could be useful
even more so if we had anti-memetic guns, so that they don't see us holding a gun at all

and then anti-memetic selves could be really good, it's like superior invisibility, someone might have found a way to do that to themselves and they could be working as a fantastic spy

they could be spying on us right now
Taenidia 14th Apr 2019, 11:05 AM edit delete reply
Probably not useful against Nilpenter, so no rush. But in future contexts... could be? Anti-mimetic syringes could be nice.
undeadDreamer 13th Apr 2019, 8:30 PM edit delete reply
Tell the old lady she has an interesting aura.
lil Joshu 13th Apr 2019, 11:21 PM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
Offer hugs, and learn more about them; regardless.
Chaostraveler 14th Apr 2019, 12:12 AM edit delete reply
Thanks, proper intros, ask for a good children's book and or cat magazine recommendation, maybe ask about the old lady's aura, ask about the camouflage spell, ask if they have anything on fighting against Nil or things like him (god-level entities)
Kumondo 14th Apr 2019, 12:25 AM edit delete reply
+1 to suggestions "Thank them for the book," "Properly introduce ourselves," "Inquire if we can ask a couple of questions," and "Offer hugs." There's still a bit of trust to be built up between parties here, but we're off to a pretty good start.

It seems that they already know somethings about us, it should be fine to confirm that we are who they think we might be. Confirming the details they have , yes we're that nurse who survived the Tobu Cyberbrain incident, that we dyed our hair to make it harder for our enemies to identify us (though it's only really worked on present company so far), and a brief, minor demonstration of Blood powers, like making a syringe levitate or something.

A couple of questions to ask:
How do they know about us? On the whole we've tried to keep a low profile and most of those few that know about us are less than friendly about it.

Just who are they? We don't need too many details, but them knowing about us, the candle, the unseeable shotgun trick, and even how we got directions here say this is far more than just a book store. Additionally where they stand in the current affairs of the city, and how we can help them (even just by not mentioning them to others) would be helpful information.

Conversely if they just want to conclude our business and part ways the we'll respect that. Pay for any of the other books we might have found, thank them for their time and head out.
Taenidia 14th Apr 2019, 11:16 AM edit delete reply
+1 to asking them where they stand, and if there's anything we can do to help them out.

Maybe subtle-hint about "Can we talk about magic?" via bringing up our "mutual friends" and asking if this is a good place to "trade information"?

We should be careful about whipping out the blood like that, because it could easily be taken as an offensive maneuver coming from a bloodmage.
Twyll 14th Apr 2019, 1:23 AM edit delete reply
Ah yeah, we kinda traded our hair color to the Tradesmen a while back... it was auburn at the time though I think? We've gone through a few hair colors at this point XD

I like the idea of chatting with this lady some, introducing ourselves properly and all that. Ask her if there's any assistance we can offer her in exchange for the book, even if she says it's on the house-- we can *at least* offer a hug in exchange :3 And perhaps we can ask her some questions in exchange for some help; does she need anything looked at by a nurse, have any questions about medications that we can answer, perhaps? Or we can just offer info of our own in exchange for info.

We *should,* however, ask everyone present to say the name Patton Thale, just to be suuuuuper duper sure. And say it ourselves and have Caius and Pierce do likewise, to prove our non-Queenedness, of course.

Another thing we might be able to offer her in exchange for info or assistance: information on the activities of the Feds, since she'd probably be interested in avoiding them, if she's involved in magic.

EDIT: Another thing... we *might* wanna offer a vial of our blood and explain what it is and the fact that it prevents being Queened. We should be completely honest about what it entails, but also offer it freely in case they want to make that decision, or just to have it on hand. If they have ways of protecting themselves, though, or just don't want to risk having a strange blood goddess's blood around, it's fine if they don't want it. (Also, if they have ways of protecting themselves that don't involve our blood, that'd be lovely to know about so that we don't have to jump straight to blooding people in order to protect them.)
PurpleKetchup 14th Apr 2019, 5:18 AM edit delete reply
+1 for gifting them a vial of blood (or more), explaining that it can be used for localisation, StQueen immunization and emergency portals if needed.
conversation starter 14th Apr 2019, 1:28 AM edit delete reply
I see what you did there, old woman.
When are we 14th Apr 2019, 2:18 AM edit delete reply
Gonna attack Thale?
Kumondo 14th Apr 2019, 3:03 AM edit delete reply
Dividing a question halfway between you user name and the actual comment is kind of a poor choice, but to answer your whole question: when we're ready. Specifically, after we've handled Carpenter and Nil's current team, and likely before we've dealt with the remains of Lasker and the Mars Blood. IRL, it may take roughly anywhere between 4 to 18 or so months before we try and handle Thale directly, with room for additional subterfuge, unexpected threats, hiatus and miscellaneous journeys of self discovery between now and then.
PurpleKetchup 14th Apr 2019, 3:46 AM edit delete reply
It feels like the younger girl's glasses let her see Red superimposed over Mine. Or maybe some sort of aura vision.
Can we ask about it ? Imbuing various items with special properties would be a great addition to our skillsets.
HoSt. 14th Apr 2019, 4:29 AM edit delete reply
Would be interesting to let Red appear there, maybe the others can see her.
zophah 14th Apr 2019, 4:05 AM edit delete reply
While it's clear that they know who we are and we have a good idea that they are in-the-know for magic, announcing everything sounds like a stupid idea. Like if two criminals were speaking in a code language, but one gave up on the code and just talked about whatever they wanted. We shouldn't just throw away subtlety.
Guest 16th Apr 2019, 4:53 PM edit delete reply
In light of the hidden weapon thing, Mine may want to practice blocking bullets with aura/blood. Perhaps start with deflecting paintballs, then BBs, then blanks/real bullets.
WalkerOfSorrow 16th Apr 2019, 6:08 PM edit delete reply
So, Akira?